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Saturday, December 31, 2005
Here's hoping that everyone is having a properly rowdy and safe New Year celebration. If you can't or don't want to celebrate it with anyone, there are still plenty of things which you can do all by yourself (besides that).
I've already listed some of the fights on the tube this weekend.
Here are a few of some of my other personal favorites which I recommend:
British comic Ricky Gervais has grabbed attention on both sides of the pond with his irreverent, off-the-wall, and usually intelligent comedy. He was the star of, and co-wrote, the series "Extras". This show, co-produced with the BBC, aired in the U.S. on HBO. He also did the same in his first major television venture, the BBC comedy "The Office", which is still being rerun in the U.S. on BBC America. (And I have not heard the same recommendations for its American version on NBC.)
Gervais describes his work as mainly being "a comedy of embarrassment." The stories involve everyday people messing up in a world where social niceties are too important, and where many folks too often manage to do the wrong thing at the wrong time.
With the first season of "Extras" finished and nothing clear announced about its fate as a series, Gervais has started a free podcast on the web site of the Guardian of the UK.
On the advice of a number of boxing writer colleagues, I have just started to consume Gervais's comedic works. What I have seen so far, mainly "Extras", is hilarious and sophisticated stuff. Check it out before the networks like HBO replace it with one of their many dreadful shows. (And also watch the better series, including far better boxing, on Showtime.)
The world leader in popular music, of course, is Texas music. If you've been delinquent so far about doing this, check out the modern Western swing group Asleep at the Wheel. Its leader, Ray Benson, has also been active in the campaign to elect Kinky Friedman governor of Texas.
Billy Joe Shaver is also one of the best songwriters ever, and his new album includes his version of his song, "Live Forever", whose video is still playing for free on CMT.com.
On the Yahoo group dedicated to him, Honky Tonk Heroes, I came across a link to a site for the Texas Singer Songwriters Review. Get ready to listen and learn. This site, along with its own Yahoo group, is for folks who like "Americana, Alt-Country, Texas Music, Red Dirt Music, Folk, Singers/ Songwriters, Bluegrass, Western Swing and Independent Artist(s)."
And if you are in or near Nashville, my favorites Big & Rich are joining perennial country music duo of the year Brooks & Dunn at the Gaylord Entertainment Center in a New Year's Eve show beginning at 8:00 PM CT.
Back to that lesser medium known as television. The sleeper of the night might be on Great American Country . They are having what they call a "New Year's Eve Block Party", described thusly: "Join Neal McCoy as he rings in the new year country style with all your favorite videos! Airs New Year's Eve at 9pm ET!"
And there are all sorts of marathons.
For rednecks or those who love them, CMT is showing a big helping of the "Dukes of Hazzard".
For bluebloods or those who love to mock them, BBC America is showing a marathon of Monty Python's Flying Circus..
For those who love the 60's and 70's, and real r&b before it was corrupted, AMC is showing two of America's funniest comedies: "Animal House" and "The Blues Brothers"
For those who remember science fiction and fantasy before it got too geeky, the SciFi channel has reruns of the original "The Twilight Zone".
And in that other dying medium, print, and also online, for those who don't want to or can't get drunk, there is Modern Drunkard Magazine
So happy new year, y’all, and don’t try anything I wouldn’t do!