‘Tis the season for lists of things. One of the popular types of lists is “Favorite of a Thing” such as “Christmas Movies”. A point of contention among those who make lists of Christmas Movies is if the 1988 action classic “Die Hard” qualifies. I believe it does and I’ll type at you why I believe this. Quite simply the story needs Christmas as a condition to happen and the themes of redemption and family are central to the resolution of the movie. The main character, John McClane (Bruce Willis) only finds himself where he does because he is traveling to see his family for Christmas. The central crime is plotted for this night because fewer people will be around due to the holiday. The idea that a man who has gone astray finds redemption happens twice as both McClane and Sgt. Powell (Reginald VelJohnson) both are both restored to a former honorable self by the end. Sure, these redemptions and finding of family (not only blood relatives but those we choose as family as demonstrated by the new friendship between McClane and Powell) come at the cost of something like two dozen lives, but that doesn’t erase that at the heart of it, these themes and plots are prime Christmas movie tropes. I’m not saying you have to like the movie or add it to your “best of” lists, just that it clearly qualifies on these merits.
It was announced this week that Dire Straits will be inducted in to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame this year. While I don’t so much care for the RRHF, I am glad they are receiving recognition. Dire Straits is still one of my all-time favorite bands. Some of this comes from the time in my life I was exposed to them, but as much comes from the quirky lyrics, strong rock rhythms, and the unique tonality Mark Knopfler brings to his guitar work. I’m not going to do an all Dire Straits mix (though I do own all of their albums as well as the rare EPS and one corkingly rare single…) but instead here are four of my favorite tracks of theirs (links below). I honestly wonder if Pick Withers will be at the induction.
Lions, last track from their eponymous first album
Expresso Love, the opening to the B side of “Making Movies”.
Love Over Gold, title track to the album of the same name.
You and Your Friend, from their final studio album “On Every Street”.
Listen to and/or download this podcast! The Funkomaticjamatron Presents… originally mixed the week of 12.15.17
NOTE: New “The Funkomaticjamatron Presents…” podcasts are generally posted on Fridays. The show archives are around ten shows deep. Beyond that, if the link isn’t active, the mix has been deleted to make way for new material.
Song – Artist – Album
Black Sands (Duke Dumont’s ‘Grains Of Sand’ Reconstruction Edit) – Bonobo – Black Sands Remixed.
Through The Sunlight – Carmen Rizzo – Ornament of an Imposter.
Shark – Juno Reactor – Bible Of Dreams.
Nigu-Jaka – The Sushi Club – Space Night, Vol. V [Disc 2].
Infinite Snow – Monolake – Silence.
In Mind – Amorphous Androgynous – Tales of Ephidrina.
Goodnight Vienna – LFO – Advance.
Garbage (Vietrmx21) – Autechre – Tri Repetae++ [Disc 2].
Optical (Instrumental 24 Bit) – William Orbit – Optical single.
Beautiful Strange (Bedrock’s Ambient Beats) – Bedrock – Beautiful Strange [EP].