Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck is a song co-written and recorded by American country music artist Kip Moore. It was released in September 2011 as the first single from his debut album Up All Night. Moore wrote this song with and Dan Couch. It garnered positive reviews from critics who praised Moore’s delivery for being able to elevate generic lyrics. Somethin’ ‘Bout a Truck reached #1 on the Billboard Hot Country Songs chart, the only single in Moore’s career to reach that peak to date. It also gave him his first and only top 40 hit on the Billboard Hot 100, peaking at #29. The song was certified 2× Platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), denoting sales of over two million units in the country. It also charted in Canada, peaking at #33 on the Canadian Hot 100. Two accompanying music videos were made for the single, the official version by Roger Pistole and an acoustic version by Stephen Shepherd.
Moore discussed the album in an interview with American Songwriter. He stated, “I made a conscious effort on this record to try to capture the youthful spirit that we all have inside of us. So often people as they get older they feel like things have to change inside their spirit. We all have to mature and take on different responsibilities. I tried to really capture…that you don’t have to let your soul die or spirit die. You can still keep that youthful way and still live that way.”
Chopping Mall (originally released as Killbots) is a 1986 American science-fiction, horror comedy, slasher film co-written and directed by Jim Wynorski, produced by Julie Corman, and starring Kelli Maroney, Tony O’Dell, John Terlesky, and Russell Todd. The story focuses on three security robots turning maniacal and killing teenage employees inside a shopping mall after dark.
Julie Corman had a deal with Vestron to make a horror film that took place in a mall. Jim Wynorski agreed to write one cheaply if he could direct.
Wynorski wrote the script with Steve Mitchell, whom he had known since the 1970s, when they met at conventions for EC Comics, and became friends. They decided to do a “phantom of the mall”-type movie and Mitchell says it was Wynorski’s idea to feature robots. Wynorski said he was inspired by the 1954 film Gog; he claims he never saw the 1973 TV film Trapped, which some believe inspired Chopping Mall.
Mitchell says they wrote up the story in 24 hours and sent it to Julie Corman. Vestron gave their approval within a week despite lack of a script. The script took around four or five weeks to write.
At least two different versions of the film exist. The TV cut has some extra footage, such as a small homage to Attack of the Crab Monsters, extended scenes of Ferdy and Allison watching TV, some aerial shots, and an extension of one of the Ferdy/Allison scenes. No official source offers this version.
Concorde Pictures released the film in limited theaters on March 21, 1986. It was known during production as Robots, then Killbots. Upon initial release as Killbots, the film did poorly at the box office. However, it fared better when it was re-released as Chopping Mall. The name Chopping Mall was a suggestion of a janitor.
The film was released on VHS in the United States by the Vestron sub label Lightning Video in 1987. Lionsgate released the film twice on DVD, once in 2004 (with special features including a featurette, commentary, still gallery, and trailer) and in 2012 as part of an 8-horror film DVD set. It was released for the first time on Blu-ray on September 27, 2016 as part of Lionsgate’s new Vestron Video Collector’s Series line.
Wynorski later said, the film “did okay when it was released in theaters. It got some okay reviews and did decent business, but it really found a life on VHS and cable. That’s when it really was embraced.”
In December 1980, the Yes line-up of bassist Chris Squire, guitarist Steve Howe, drummer Alan White, singer Trevor Horn, and keyboardist Geoff Downes, completed their 1980 tour in support of their tenth album, Drama. While the North American leg was largely successful, the subsequent UK leg received a mixed reaction feedback from the fans, many of whom were unaccepting of Horn and Downes as they had replaced Jon Anderson and Rick Wakeman respectively. The group disbanded in early 1981; Horn became a record producer, Howe and Downes co-formed the supergroup Asia, and Squire and White remained together and continued to write material, including their 1981 Christmas single Run with the Fox. Later in 1981, the two entered sessions with Jimmy Page with the aim of forming a new band named XYZ, but the project was shelved over management differences and singer Robert Plant’s disliking of the material. According to White, some ideas that the three had rehearsed ended up on 90125.
By 1982, South African guitarist, singer-songwriter, and producer Trevor Rabin had moved from London to Los Angeles, and sent a demo tape to various record labels with the intent of releasing a fourth solo album. During this time, Atlantic Records manager Phil Carson, a longtime fan and associate of Yes throughout the 1970s, sought new musicians to work with Squire and White, and was introduced to Rabin by producer Mutt Lange, whom Rabin used to work with as a session musician. Carson had Rabin meet and play with Squire and White in London; Rabin recalled the first sessions “didn’t sound great but it felt good … there was a lot of potential.” This led to Rabin turning down a solo deal from RCA Records as he wished to work within a group context, especially with a “great rhythm section.” The three entered rehearsals for an album using most of Rabin’s demos, including Owner of a Lonely Heart, Hold On, and Changes which displayed a more commercial and pop-oriented direction and less complex in structure than previous Yes music. With such a direction, Squire recruited original Yes keyboardist Tony Kaye, who had left in 1971, feeling his simpler style of playing was more suitable to their new music. Horn followed suit as a potential lead singer, but after unsuccessful rehearsals, opted to become their producer. The four named themselves Cinema with the intent of establishing a new identity and to distance themselves from their Yes past.
Around six months into the album, clashes between Horn and Kaye resulted in the latter’s exit. Rabin saw it as “a mutual parting” as Kaye resisted learning the modern keyboard technology that the band were using, leaving Rabin to handle most of the keyboard parts. Matters were complicated further when management deemed Squire and Rabin’s lead vocals not distinctive enough, so Carson suggested the group have Anderson return to sing the songs. Squire got in touch with Anderson, who had returned to England in April 1983 after working in France. They listened to the tape in Squire’s car outside Anderson’s home due to past acrimony between the pair’s wives. Anderson liked the songs and got involved, making minor changes to the lyrics and arrangements. By this time the album had cost £300,000 to make, half of which came from Carson himself. With no more funds left to finish it, Carson flew to Paris and played the tape to Atlantic founder Ahmet Ertegun, who had signed Yes in 1969. Ertegun, interested in the prospect of a new album with Anderson on vocals, agreed to pay the remaining costs.
As the album neared completion, news reports in June and July 1983 indicate that Kaye, though he had played on it, was unsure whether to rejoin. The album was given the provisional title “The New Yes Album,” a reference to their third, The Yes Album (1971), but the group opted for an alternative name to distance themselves from Yes and decided upon its allocated catalogue number on their label Atco Records, a subsidiary of Atlantic. It was “90124” initially, but sleeve designer Garry Mouat said: “Because they couldn’t get consistency worldwide with that number, it got changed to 90125. I’ve still got some rough tour t-shirts and sleeves with the original number.”
Following the announcement of Cinema on MTV, the group received threats of legal action from other bands with the same name which prompted a rethink. As the group now consisted of four past Yes members, Carson suggested that they continue as Yes which concerned Rabin as he wished the album to be judged in its own right. But with Rabin persuaded, work began on promotion and rehearsals with keyboardist Eddie Jobson, formerly of Roxy Music and U.K. (Duncan Mackay, formerly of Cockney Rebel and 10cc, was also considered for the position.) Jobson appeared in the video for Owner of a Lonely Heart and was reported in the press as a Yes member as late as November 1983; however, seeking to consolidate the band’s legal identity as Yes, management came to an agreement with Kaye who returned after touring with Badfinger. Unimpressed with the change, citing “political problems” within the group, and having a lack of interest in sharing live duties with Kaye, Jobson left by early 1984.
90125 is the eleventh studio album by the English progressive rock band Yes, released on 7 November 1983 by Atco Records. Named for its Atco catalogue number, 90125 was released to a generally positive reception and introduced the band to a new generation of fans. It reached #5 on the U.S. Billboard 200 and #16 on the UK Albums Chart, and remains their best selling album with over 3 million copies sold in the U.S. Of the album’s four singles, Owner of a Lonely Heart was the most successful and is their only song to top the U.S. Billboard Hot 100 chart. Cinema earned the group a Grammy Award for Best Rock Instrumental Performance. Yes toured for the album in 1984 and 1985 which included two headline shows at the inaugural Rock in Rio festival. The album was remastered in 2004 with previously unreleased bonus tracks.
Inspired by the glut of 1950s atomic-era-influenced horror flicks (which were gaining a second popularity thanks to reruns on TV), Hamilton Invaders gave kids the opportunity to destroy giant bug-like creatures with all matters of army men and vehicles. Finding these toys in the modern era is unlikely, as manufacturing company Remco produced them for only one season. Kids loved them, but parents hated having such gross creatures in their home.
Kumbh Mela, also called Kumbha Mela, in Hinduism, religious festival that is celebrated four times over the course of 12 years, the site of the observance rotating between four pilgrimage places on four sacred rivers—at Haridwar on the Ganges River, at Ujjain on the Shipra, at Nashik on the Godavari, and at Prayag (modern Prayagraj) at the confluence of the Ganges, the Jamuna, and the mythical Sarasvati. Each site’s celebration is based on a distinct set of astrological positions of the Sun, the Moon, and Jupiter, the holiest time occurring at the exact moment when these positions are fully occupied. The Kumbh Mela at Prayag, in particular, attracts millions of pilgrims. In addition, a Great Kumbh Mela festival is held every 144 years at Prayag, most recently in 2001. The Kumbh Mela lasts several weeks and is one of the largest festivals in the world, attracting more than 200 million people in 2019, including 50 million on the festival’s most auspicious day.
Attendees at the Kumbh Mela come from all sections of Hindu religious life, ranging from sadhus (holy men), who remain naked year-round or practice the most severe physical discipline, to hermits, who leave their isolation only for these pilgrimages, and even to silk-clad teachers using the latest technology. The religious organizations represented range from social welfare societies to political lobbyists. Vast crowds of disciples, friends, and spectators join the individual ascetics and organizations. The naga akhadas, militant ascetic orders whose members formerly made their livings as mercenary soldiers and traders, often claim the holiest spots at each Kumbh Mela’s most propitious moment. Although the Indian government now enforces an established bathing order, history records bloody disputes between groups vying for precedence.
Tradition ascribes the Kumbh Mela’s origin to the 8th-century philosopher Shankara, who instituted regular gatherings of learned ascetics for discussion and debate. The founding myth of the Kumbh Mela—attributed to the Puranas (collections of myth and legend)—recounts how the gods and demons fought over the pot (kumbha) of amrita, the elixir of immortality produced by their joint churning of the milky ocean. During the struggle, drops of the elixir fell on the Kumbh Mela’s four earthly sites, and the rivers are believed to turn back into that primordial nectar at the climactic moment of each, giving pilgrims the chance to bathe in the essence of purity, auspiciousness, and immortality. The term Kumbh comes from this mythic pot of elixir, but it is also the Hindi name for Aquarius, the sign of the zodiac in which Jupiter resides during the Haridwar Mela.
In the Meantime is the debut single of English alternative rock band Spacehog, from their debut album, Resident Alien (1995). It samples the Penguin Cafe Orchestra song Telephone and Rubber Band. Released in 1996, the single peaked atop the US Billboard Mainstream Rock chart and the UK Rock Chart. It additionally reached #32 on the Billboard Hot 100 and #29 on the UK Singles Chart while reaching the top 50 in Australia, Canada, Iceland, New Zealand and Sweden.
Lead singer Royston Langdon said, “It’s me trying to reach people. It’s using some kind of metaphor of a worldly or inner-worldly search for the end of isolation, and the acceptance of one’s self is in there. At the end of the day it’s saying whatever you gotta do, it’s OK, it’s alright. And I think that’s also me talking to myself, getting through my wan anxieties and fear of death. That’s what it all comes down to. What’s so beautiful about it is that it continues to connect with people.”
Donny Hathaway (October 1, 1945 – January 13, 1979)
Donny Edward Hathaway was an American soul singer, keyboardist, songwriter, and arranger whom Rolling Stone described as a “soul legend.”
Hathaway, the son of Drusella Huntley, was born in Chicago, Illinois, and was raised by his grandmother, Martha Pitts, also known as Martha Crumwell, in the Carr Square housing project of St. Louis, Missouri. Hathaway began singing in the church choir with his grandmother, a professional gospel singer, at the age of three, and studying piano. He graduated from Vashon High School in 1963. Hathaway then studied music on a fine arts scholarship at Howard University in Washington, D.C., where he met Roberta Flack. At Howard, he was also a member of the Alpha Phi Alpha fraternity. Hathaway formed a jazz trio with drummer Ric Powell while there, but during 1967 left Howard just before completing a degree, after receiving job offers in the music business.
Hathaway worked as a songwriter, session musician, and producer for Curtis Mayfield’s Curtom Records in Chicago. He did the arrangements for hits by the Unifics (Court of Love and The Beginning of My End) and took part in projects by the Staple Singers, Jerry Butler, Aretha Franklin, the Impressions and Curtis Mayfield himself. After becoming a “house producer” at Curtom, he started recording there. Hathaway recorded his first single under his own name in 1969, a duet with singer June Conquest called I Thank You, Baby. They also recorded the duet Just Another Reason, released as the B-side. Former Cleveland Browns president Bill Futterer, who as a college student promoted Curtom in the southeast in 1968 and 1969, was befriended by Hathaway and has cited Hathaway’s influence on his later projects.
That year, Hathaway signed to Atco Records, then a division of Atlantic Records, after being spotted for the label by producer/musician King Curtis at a trade convention. He released his first single of note, The Ghetto, Pt. 1, which he co-wrote with former Howard roommate Leroy Hutson, who became a performer, writer, and producer with Curtom. The track appeared the following year on his critically acclaimed debut LP, Everything Is Everything, which he co-produced with Ric Powell while also arranging all the cuts.
His second LP, Donny Hathaway, consisted mostly of covers of contemporary pop, soul, and gospel songs. His third album Roberta Flack & Donny Hathaway was an album of duets with former Howard University associate and label mate Roberta Flack that established him, especially on the pop charts. The album was a critical and commercial success, including the Ralph MacDonald-penned track Where Is the Love, which proved to be not only an R&B success, but also scored top five on the pop Hot 100. It sold over one million copies, and was awarded a gold disc by the RIAA on September 5, 1972. The album also included other covers, including versions of Carole King’s You’ve Got a Friend, Baby I Love You, originally a hit for Aretha Franklin, and You’ve Lost That Loving Feeling.
Perhaps Hathaway’s most influential recording is his 1972 album, Live, which has been termed “one of the best live albums ever recorded” by Daryl Easlea of the BBC. The album is on the British online music and culture magazine The Quietus’ list of “40 Favourite Live Albums.” It was recorded at two concerts: side one at the Troubadour in Hollywood, and side two at The Bitter End in Greenwich Village, Manhattan.
Hathaway was the co-composer and performer of the Christmas standard, This Christmas. The song, released in 1970, has become a holiday staple and is often used in movies, television and advertising. This Christmas has been covered by numerous artists across diverse musical genres.
Hathaway followed this flurry of work with contributions to soundtracks, along with his recording of the theme song to the TV series Maude. He composed and conducted music for the 1972 soundtrack of the movie Come Back Charleston Blue. In the mid-1970s, he produced albums for other artists including Cold Blood, where he expanded the musical range of lead singer Lydia Pense.
His final studio album, Extension of a Man came out in 1973 with two tracks, Love Love Love and I Love You More Than You’ll Ever Know reaching both the pop and R&B charts. It also included his classic ballad, Someday We’ll All Be Free and a six-minute symphonic-styled instrumental piece called I Love The Lord, He Heard My Cry. He told UK music journalist David Nathan in 1973, “I always liked pretty music and I’ve always wanted to write it.” Added the writer, “He declined to give one particular influence or inspiration but said that Ravel, Debussy and Stravinsky were amongst whom he studied.”
He returned to the charts in 1978 after again teaming up with Roberta Flack for a duet, The Closer I Get to You on her album, Blue Lights in the Basement. The song topped the R&B chart and reached the #2 spot on the Hot 100. Atlantic then put out another solo single, You Were Meant For Me shortly before his sudden death.
Liner notes for later releases of his final solo album explain: “Donny is no longer here, but the song Someday We’ll All Be Free gathers momentum as part of his legacy… Donny literally sat in the studio and cried when he heard the playback of his final mix. It’s pretty special when an artist can create something that wipes them out.” Edward Howard, lyricist of the song, adds, “It was a spiritual thing for me… What was going through my mind at the time was Donny, because Donny was a very troubled person. I hoped that at some point he would be released from all that he was going through. There was nothing I could do but write something that might be encouraging for him. He’s a good leader for young black men”.
In 1967, Hathaway married Eulaulah Vann. The two met while attending Howard University where both were studying music. They had two daughters, Eulaulah Donyll (Lalah) and Kenya Canc’Libra. Lalah has enjoyed a successful solo career, while Kenya is a session singer and one of the three backing vocalists on the hit TV program American Idol. Both daughters are graduates of the Berklee College of Music.
During the peak of his career, Hathaway began suffering from severe bouts of depression and exhibiting unusual behavior. In 1971, he was diagnosed with paranoid schizophrenia for which he was prescribed various medications. At one point, Hathaway was prescribed fourteen different medications that he was to take twice a day. After Hathaway was diagnosed and began taking medication, his mental state improved. However, Eulaulah Hathaway has said that her husband became less than diligent about following his prescription regimen when he began feeling better and often stopped taking his medications altogether. From 1973 to 1977, Hathaway’s mental instability wreaked havoc on his life and career and required several hospitalizations. The effects of his depression and severe mood swings also drove a wedge in his and Flack’s friendship; they did not reconcile for several years, and did not release additional music until the successful release of The Closer I Get To You in 1978. Flack and Hathaway then resumed studio recording to compose a second album of duets.
Sessions for another album of duets were underway in 1979. On January 13, Hathaway began a recording session with producers/musicians Eric Mercury and James Mtume. Each reported that although Hathaway was singing fine, he began behaving irrationally, seeming to be paranoid and delusional. According to Mtume, Hathaway said that white people were trying to kill him and had connected his brain to a machine for the purpose of stealing his music and his sound. Given Hathaway’s behavior, Mercury said that he decided the recording session could not continue, so he aborted it and all of the musicians went home.
Hours later, Hathaway was found dead on the pavement below the window of his 15th-floor room in New York City’s Essex House hotel. It was reported that he had jumped from his balcony. The glass had been neatly removed from the window and there were no signs of a struggle, leading investigators to rule that Hathaway’s death was a suicide. Flack was devastated and, spurred by his death, included the few duet tracks they had finished on her next album, Roberta Flack Featuring Donny Hathaway. According to Mercury, Hathaway’s final recording, included on that album, was You Are My Heaven, a song Mercury co-wrote with Stevie Wonder.
He has been inducted into the St. Louis Walk of Fame and won one Grammy Award from four nominations. Hathaway was also posthumously honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award in 2019. Dutch director David Kleijwegt made a documentary called Mister Soul – A Story About Donny Hathaway, which premiered at the International Film Festival Rotterdam on January 28, 2020.
The Picture of Dorian Gray is a philosophical novel by Oscar Wilde. A shorter novella-length version was published in the July 1890 issue of the American periodical Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine. The novel-length version was published in April 1891.
The story revolves around a portrait of Dorian Gray painted by Basil Hallward, a friend of Dorian’s and an artist infatuated with Dorian’s beauty. Through Basil, Dorian meets Lord Henry Wotton and is soon enthralled by the aristocrat’s hedonistic worldview: that beauty and sensual fulfillment are the only things worth pursuing in life. Newly understanding that his beauty will fade, Dorian expresses the desire to sell his soul, to ensure that the picture, rather than he, will age and fade. The wish is granted, and Dorian pursues a libertine life of varied amoral experiences while staying young and beautiful; all the while, his portrait ages and visually records every one of Dorian’s sins.
Wilde’s only novel, it was subject to much controversy and criticism in its time but has come to be recognized as a classic of gothic literature.
In 1889, J. M. Stoddart, an editor for Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, was in London to solicit novellas to publish in the magazine. On 30 August 1889, Stoddart dined with Oscar Wilde, Sir Arthur Conan Doyle and T. P. Gill at the Langham Hotel, and commissioned novellas from each writer. Doyle promptly submitted The Sign of the Four, which was published in the February 1890 edition of Lippincott’s, but Stoddart did not receive Wilde’s manuscript for The Picture of Dorian Gray until April 7, 1890, seven months after having commissioned the novel from him.
In July 1889, Wilde published The Portrait of Mr. W. H., a very different story but one that has a similar title to The Picture of Dorian Gray and has been described as “a preliminary sketch of some of its major themes,” including homosexuality.
Following the criticism of the magazine edition of the novel, the 1891 publication of The Picture of Dorian Gray included a preface in which Wilde addressed the criticisms and defended the reputation of his novel. The content, style, and presentation of the preface made it famous in its own right as a literary and artistic manifesto in support of artists’ rights and art for art’s sake.
To communicate how the novel should be read, Wilde used aphorisms to explain the role of the artist in society, the purpose of art, and the value of beauty. It traces Wilde’s cultural exposure to Taoism and to the philosophy of Chuang Tsǔ (Zhuang Zhou).
The preface was first published in the April 1891 edition of the novel; nonetheless, by June 1891, Wilde was defending The Picture of Dorian Gray against accusations that it was a bad book.
An airy confection made with just a handful of ingredients, chocolate mousse is a delicious paradox: the richer it is, the lighter it seems. Gallic chefs have been whipping up chocolate mousse — the word means “foam” in French — for at least a few hundred years, but the quest for foamy chocolate is much older.
Among the Olmec, Maya and Aztec peoples who consumed chocolate long before contact with Europeans, a hefty layer of foam was considered the height of good taste, and ancient codices depict cooks pouring chocolate from several feet in the air to create a froth.
Room 101 is a BBC comedy television series based on the radio series of the same name, in which celebrities are invited to discuss their pet hates and persuade the host to consign those hates to oblivion in Room 101, a location whose name was inspired by the torture room in George Orwell’s novel 1984 which reputedly contained “the worst thing in the world.” Orwell himself named it after a meeting room in Broadcasting House where he would sit through tedious meetings. It was produced independently for the BBC by Hat Trick Productions.
Nick Hancock hosted the first three series of the show from 1994 until 1997. He was succeeded by Paul Merton, who hosted the show from 1999 till the show’s original run came to an end in 2007. Frank Skinner hosts the revamped incarnation that started on January 20, 2012.
The 1994–2007 incarnation of the show was that of a one-on-one interview between the host and guest. Consignment of the nominated items, persons or concepts to Room 101 (theoretically banishing them from the world forever) was the decision of the host, sometimes after soliciting the opinion of the studio audience. The 2012 revamp introduced a panel format with three guests competing to have their pet hates consigned to Room 101, a decision made by the host. Guests included Ricky Gervais, Spike Milligan, Stephen Fry, Boris Johnson, Ben Miller and Ian Hislop (the only person to appear twice on the show in its original format). Fry went as far as to put Room 101 itself into Room 101.
A Dutch version of Room 101 started on February 24, 2008, but was short-lived. An Israeli version of the show was broadcast between 2010 and 2013. An Australian version of the show hosted by Paul McDermott began in 2015.