Okay, thanks to the magic of the Scheduling feature of this sit, I'm able to jump back in here as I sit in San Diego waiting for the Holiday Bowl to start with Northwestern. I posted this last year, and thought it deserved a repeat. It's is a charming and exceedingly low-key video that Zooey Deschanel and Joseph Gordon-Levitt made, singing "What are You Doing New Year’s Eve?" Not-shockingly, I figured that it was reasonably appropriate tonight. How low-key are the production values? At the end, Ms. Deschanel leans over to click off the camera.
On the site, she also posts the following explanation --
"I have known Joe Gordon-Levitt for going on 12 years. We first met in the summer of 2000 while doing a tiny movie called Manic, where we bonded over a mutual appreciation for Harry Nilsson and Nina Simone and I have been lucky enough to call him one of my dearest friends ever since. When we did 500 Days of Summer 8 years later, we spent every lunch hour dancing to Marvin Gaye in the hair and make up trailer; we had loads of fun. I hope to do a thousand more movies with him because he's simply the best. But in the meantime, we made a little New Year's duet for all of you! The original by Nancy Wilson. ENJOY!"
For the sake of accuracy, she's wrong about a couple of things. For starters, it is not "by" Nancy Wilson. Yes, I know she (like many singers) is referring to who recorded it, but who a song is "by" is personal bugaboo of mine. And it's especially notable here because this particular song was written by the great Broadway composer Frank Loesser (who wrote Guys & Dolls and How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying, among others), though it wasn't for any show or movie, just a standalone song.
She's also wrong that the original was recorded by Nancy Wilson, missing by almost two decades. The original recording was performed by Margaret Whiting in 1947. (Wilson didn't record it until 1965, though she had a big hit with it, reaching #17 on the Billboard charts.)
But those are details. The performance itself is the lovely point of it all --
I'm heading off in about a half-hour to drive down to San Diego to watch the beloved Northwestern play the despised and hated Utah in the Holiday Bowl.
The game is schedule to start at 4 PM, which you can all watch on Fox Sports, though don't worry there won't be a test. We're getting there early, however, because we also reserved a spot at the N Zone Tailgate Party beforehand. Packed with fun and frivolity, no doubt, but also food. The important Three F's.
Though we plan to drive back after the game (yes, I know, a busy, long day, but spending New Year's Eve in a San Diego hotel is really not my idea of the way to fly), I don't expect to be writing anything else for the rest of the day -- but not to worry, I've scheduled something that's already written to auto-post in the early afternoon for New Year's Eve.. And we'll be back here on the site tomorrow. So, have a wonderful New Year and a very Happy Holiday...Bowl.
From the archives. The contestant for this week's Piano Puzzler is Genevieve Wilde from Quakertown, Pennsylvania. I could hear the tune, and almost clearly, but just couldn't get it. It's definitely known, and I got it later when pianist Bruce Adolphe brought the music out more, but it was tough, even though known and clear. The composer style seemed to be from an era that I overlap a lot of people, so I took a guess. I was surprised that I was somewhat close, but didn't get that either.
The guests on this week's 3rd & Fairfax, the official podcast of the Writers Guild of America are actors Zoe Kazan and Paul Dano -- who wrote the upcoming film, Wildlife, based on the novel by Richard Ford. Previously, Kazan -- whose parents are both acclaimed screenwriters, Nicholas Kazan and Robin Swicord -- wrote the screenplay for the movie, Ruby Sparks. This is Dano's first screenplay, and he directs the film, as well.
This week, the NPR quiz show Wait, Wait...Don't Tell Me! was broadcast from Orlando, Florida -- and so for the occasion, host Peter Sagal had as his guest contestant Aaron Gordon, forward for the Orlando Magic NBA basketball team. The easiest and simplest way to describe their interview is that it's endearingly charming.
And so we come to the last episode of "Bag Man," Rachel Maddow's wonderful seven-part podcast about the known and (until now) unknown history surrounding the investigation and resignation of former Vice President Spiro Agnew.
If you've missed any of the previous episodes, you can click on the links below to catch up --
Episode 7: You Can't Fire Me -- I Quit
Disgraced Vice President Spiro T. Agnew officially becomes a private citizen and addresses the nation one last time... as a convicted criminal. Agnew continues his attacks on the press and the prosecutors right to the end. But his sudden resignation leaves questions-- unanswered-- that echo 45 years later. Can a President or Vice President actually be criminally indicted while in office? And if not, what sort of pressure can be brought to bear... to force them out?
Robert J. Elisberg is a political commentator, screenwriter, novelist, tech writer and also some other things that I just tend to keep forgetting.
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