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February 27, 2011

Song of the Day #977

Song of the Day: The Social Network ("In Motion") [YouTube link] is a dark ambient track composed by Trent Reznor (of Nine Inch Nails fame) and Atticus Ross. It can be heard on the Golden Globe-winning soundtrack for this provocative 2010 film. The soundtrack has also been nominated for an Oscar for Best Original Score. Check out the 83rd Annual Academy Awards tonight to see all the winners. And so concludes this year's tribute to Movie Music!

February 26, 2011

The 1,500th Notablog Entry: Announcing The New JARS Archives!

This marks the 1,500th blog entry here at Notablog, though I was writing Notablog-ish entries (here, here, here, and here) long before I officially inaugurated this particular one. And, yes, more than half of these entries have had something to do with music, dancing, or entertainment, rather than politics, philosophy, or economics. I genuinely appreciate the radical sensibility of anarchist Emma Goldman, to whom is attributed the statement: "If I can't dance, I don't want to be in your revolution!"

I want to thank readers for their continued interest in Notablog.

Today, on the occasion of the 1500th entry, I want to take this opportunity to announce some new developments over at The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies. As explained here, the journal underwent a number of major changes in 2009, including three moves (from Port Townsend, Washington to Reno, Nevada, to Brooklyn, New York). The second issue celebrating our tenth anniversary year was not released until mid-2010, a year late, and our next issue, which inaugurates the eleventh volume, will be published in mid-2011.

As of today, however, the journal is making available PDFs of every essay to have ever appeared since our first issue, published in September 1999. Take a look at our various Tables of Contents here.

For the past ten years, these back issues were available as hard copies, but our stock dwindled considerably. By mid-2004, EBSCO Publishing, the world's most prolific aggregator of full-text journals, magazines, and other sources, began publishing the full text of The Journal of Ayn Rand Studies on their databases. Current issues will continue to be published in hard copy and sent to subscribers, just as they will continue to appear electronically with EBSCO. But since EBSCO does not carry electronic back issues from Volume 1, Number 1 (Fall 1999) to Volume 5, Number 1 (Fall 2003), and since it has become increasingly difficult to find hard copies of these issues, we have decided to make PDFs of all of our back issues freely accessible as archives on our website (PDFs of the later issues are of higher quality because the journal is now prepared as PDF-ready for our printer... ).

Publication on our site will lag by a full volume (which will mean at least a year, depending on the timeliness of our publication schedule... ). In other words, those who seek to read Volume 10, Number 1 on the website will have to wait until Volume 11, Number 1 is published. And so on ...

Therefore, those who want to keep current with JARS will have to maintain their subscriptions or to purchase single issues when they become available. But those who wish to access any articles published prior to Volume 10, Number 1 can now do so, immediately, and free of charge.

With the journal now indexed in whole or in part by many abstracting services in the humanities and the social sciences, the availability of essays from our first decade will make it easier for scholars to research various topics in Rand studies.

February 20, 2011

Song of the Day #976

Song of the Day: Spartacus ("Hopeful Preparations"/"Vesuvius Camp") [audio clip at that link] is featured in the Alex North soundtrack masterpiece from the inspiring and thrilling 1960 film, starring Kirk Douglas in the title role. This particular track is part of a new and absolutely stupendous deluxe CD soundtrack released by Varese Sarabande, in centenary celebration of North (who was born on 4 December 1910). The deluxe set also includes a poignant CD featuring timeless interpretations of the classic love theme, with artists as diverse as Bill Evans and Carlos Santana.

February 18, 2011

Song of the Day #975

Song of the Day: Ride 'Em Cowboy ("I'll Remember April"), music by Gene de Paul, lyrics by Patricia Johnston and Don Raye, was first heard in the hilarious 1942 Abbott and Costello film, "Ride 'Em Cowboy," where it was performed by Dick Foran (YouTube film clip at that link). Other classic renditions have been performed by the very Sassy Swinging Scatting Sarah Vaughan (YouTube link) and the late, great pianist George Shearing (YouTube link), who just passed away on Valentine's Day. (And while I could have posted this in, uh, April, this great song makes my list in Movie Music February, with temperatures reaching the very April-ish 60s in snow-weary New York City!)

February 17, 2011

Song of the Day #974

Song of the Day: Ben-Hur ("Roman March" or "Marcia Romana") [YouTube clip at that link], composed by Miklos Rozsa, is one of the master's grandest marches from the grandest of all epics. Continuing Movie Music Month, this one's for me (on my 51st birthday)!

February 14, 2011

Song of the Day #973

Song of the Day: Midnight Cowboy ("Main Theme"), written by the late great John Barry, won a 1970 Grammy for Best Instrumental Composition. The 1969 film remains the only "X-rated" flick to ever win an Oscar for Best Picture. Check out YouTube for the soundtrack version, featuring harmonica virtuoso Toots Thielemans. See also a live version, featuring Toots with the Boston Pops Orchestra, conducted by John Williams.

February 13, 2011

Song of the Day #972

Song of the Day: The Graduate ("Mrs. Robinson"), words and music by Paul Simon, first appeared in an early version in this 1967 film, which starred Anne Bancroft as the older Mrs. in question, and Dustin Hoffman as the younger Benjamin Braddock, whom she seduces. The complete version of the song debuted on the Simon & Garfunkel album, Bookends. The record won a Grammy Award in 1969 for "Record of the Year." And any record that mentions Yankee great Joe DiMaggio gets extra points. In celebration of movie music this month, and in recognition of the 53rd Annual Grammy Awards, which air tonight, check out YouTube.

February 08, 2011

Song of the Day #971

Song of the Day: The Spy Who Loved Me ("Nobody Does It Better," Main Title), music by Marvin Hamlisch, lyrics by Carole Bayer Sager, was recorded by Carly Simon and was the theme song for the 1977 Roger Moore Bond flick. Check out the YouTube clip featuring the opening credit sequence.

February 07, 2011

Song of the Day #970

Song of the Day: Live and Let Die ("Main Title"), words and music by Linda McCartney and Paul McCartney, who recorded it for the group Wings, is the title theme song for the first Roger Moore 007 flick (former Beatles producer George Martin composed most of the soundtrack). The film was not one of my favorite Bond entries, and I'm a diehard Sean Connery fan, but this rocking, rousing track was a big hit for Paul McCartney and Wings (as heard in the opening film credits) and was also covered in 1991 by Guns 'n Roses (YouTube links).

February 05, 2011

Song of the Day #969

Song of the Day: Diamonds Are Forever ("Main Title"), lyrics by Don Black, music by John Barry, is featured in the 007 film of the same name, starring the greatest Bond, James Bond: Sean Connery. This was the second Bond theme performed with gusto by singer Shirley Bassey (YouTube link).

February 04, 2011

Song of the Day #968

Song of the Day: You Only Live Twice ("Main Title"), words by Leslie Bricusse, music by John Barry, is the title song, which manages to be both catchy and lush, featured in the fifth 007 franchise film. On YouTube, check out the original Nancy Sinatra version, and a few surprising covers by Bjork and Coldplay.

February 03, 2011

Song of the Day #967

Song of the Day: From Russia with Love, composed by Lionel Bart, is the title track to the second Sean Connery 007 flick. This splendid theme features the memorable vocals of Matt Monro (YouTube link).

February 02, 2011

Song of the Day #966

Song of the Day: Dr. No ("James Bond Theme") [YouTube link], composed by Monty Norman (though authorship has always been a source of controversy), is the signature James Bond theme, first featured in this premier 007 franchise film and heard in virtually all of the "official" Bond films thereafter. It boasts a classic, jazzy John Barry arrangement (another YouTube link).

February 01, 2011

Song of the Day #965

Song of the Day #965: Thunderball ("Main Title"), words by Don Black, music by five-time Oscar winner John Barry, is the title track to one of the classic James Bond films. In honor of the late, great John Barry, check out YouTube, featuring the powerful vocals of Tom Jones. No better time to kick off our Our Annual Movie Music Tribute Series than to feature this Barry gem.