Sunday, February 8, 2009

"The Weekend" by Jack Jones

Most people not of a certain age probably don't know who Jack Jones is. Neither did we, until we picked up this album at an estate sale some time ago. But listen to the voice, and like us you'll probably say, "Hey, that's the guy who sang The Love Boat!"

Smooth, handsome and the very embodiment of a happening mid-century male, Jones enjoyed his greatest successes in the sixties. His biggest hit, the theme from 1963's Wives and Lovers, describes a Mad Men-type view of work- and home-life that Jones was forever identified with. Now 71, he continues to perform worldwide.

"The Weekend," from his 1966 album For the "In" Crowd (got to love those quotation marks), is Jones's celebration of the best two days of the week. In it, he details his workaday duties against a slow, loping beat and the mournful wail of a background harmonica.

But then, everything changes. The tempo picks up and the background singers perk up, because it's Friday, and "Friday's the night I get to see you... and we have the weekend!"

Jones and his imaginary lady friend spend the next two days painting the town throughout the song's soaring chorus. The music here is so bright and cheerful you can almost picture them doing the Watusi.

But on Sunday, things slow down and Jones admits to feeling blue, "when the weekend is through... and I have to say goodbye to you." The next morning, the whole thing starts all over again.

Though the song is over 40 years old, it still does a fantastic job of describing life in the 21st century. Enjoy it, as we often do, on a Sunday night.

The Weekend by Jack Jones
Fandalism Free MP3 Hosting

Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday Night Happy Hour: The Vodka Blush

There's a scene in Rosemary's Baby (probably M's favorite movie, of all time, ever) where Rosemary and Guy Woodhouse are having dinner at their new neighbors', the Castavets.

Roman Castavet toddles into the living room balancing a tray of four very full, very tall pink drinks. "Generally I pour these out as precisely as a bartender, don't I Minnie?"

"Just watch the carpet," scolds his wife, played by Ruth Gordon in her Oscar-winning role. "Vodka Blush?" Roman asks, handing one to Rosemary, then Guy. "Have you ever tasted one? They're very popular in Australia."

A few seconds later, Roman ends up spilling some Vodka Blush on the carpet. A few hours later, Guy has embarked on his deal with the Devil, brokered by the cheery witches next door. And nine months later, Rosemary has given birth to the son of Satan.

In between is one of the classiest horror films in the genre, all of it played out in a mid-sixties Manhattan of Danish Modern design and psychedelia-inspired fashion (including a radical-for-the-time Vidal Sassoon pixie cut on Farrow) that make us yearn for a time and place that's 40 years and 800 miles away from Rogers Park today.

Fortunately, a Vodka Blush (or two) and the Rosemary's Baby DVD can bring it all back.

2 1/2 ounces Vodka
3/4 ounces freshly-squeezed lime juice
Dash of grenadine

Fill shaker 2/3 full with ice. Add ingredients. Shake and strain into cocktail glass.