Capital Radio, 3-20: The First Day of Spring

A prerecorded Capital Radio celebrates today’s first day of spring with music from 17 artists, from Ella Fitzgerald to Fontaines D.C. There was some newish music from Belle & Sebastian, Iggy Pop and Beck.

Noted the birthdays of Sister Rosetta Tharpe, born this day in 1915; Lee “Scratch” Perry (1936) and Jerry Reed (1937). And Marcia Ball turns 74 today. 

Tried to salute the 70th birthday of Phil Judd of Split Enz, but mistakenly played a cut after he had left the band. 

Ended up playing three different songs composed by Jeff Barry and Ellie Greenwich at different points in the show, including the one they recorded themselves pretending to be their own phony group, The Raindrops, a fitting name for a springtime show. 

Here’s the link to the whole archived show; the setlist follows. 

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Capital Radio 3-13: Daylight to St. Paddy’s

A prerecorded Capital Radio starts with songs about Daylight Saving Time, and daylight and time and moving ahead (even if only for an hour) — with selections from the Kinks, the Byrds, Daft Punk, Dooley Wilson and Drive By-Truckers, among others. 

Then a brief salute to Neil Sedaka on his 84th birthday — and an answer song from Carole King.

The new material on the recently released boxed set “The Songs of Bacharach & Costello” get a listen and we close with the annual celebration of the land of pink hearts, yellow moons, orange stars and green clovers, just in time for St. Paddy’s Day Friday. 

Here are the links (two of them!) to the show today. The setlist follows.

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‘Randy Rhoads: Reflection of a Rock Icon’

Hard rock fans know the name of Randy Rhoads, the exciting young guitarist who had shredded his way to center stage in Ozzy Osbourne’s first post-Black Sabbath solo band, a co-writer of “Crazy Train” and a standout on the two albums he blazed and helped co-write and co-produce, “Blizzard of Ozz” and “Diary of a Madman.”

He was also victim of one of the deadliest of the misfortunes that seemed to swirl around Ozzy in those days After biting the head of a bat in a Des Moines show, and being accused of peeing on the Alamo, Osbourne was on tour in Florida when his bus driver took the guitarist on a joy ride in a small plane that buzzed the rest of the band still in the bus and crashed in a fiery explosion, killing three. Rhoads was only 25.

The young guitarist gone too soon was revered enough to be subject of a rock documentary more than 40 years after his death. But two-thirds of Andre Relis’ “Randy Rhoads: Reflections of a Guitar Icon” (Amazon Prime, streaming) are about Rhoads’ days fronting a much lesser L.A. band, Quiet Riot, back in days when the band couldn’t get a U.S. record contract to save its life (though a Japanese subsidiary of Sony did).

Rhoads deserved better in life and in film, as this one was cobbled together from second hand interview tapes, smudgy concert video and a lot of still pictures. There are a raft of testimonials from representatives of other hair bands of the era (though the famed guitarist of supposed Quiet Riot competitors Van Halen, Eddie Van Halen, ungenerously shrugs in an old radio interview that Rhoads learned everything he knew from him). 

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‘TV Eye’ Takes a Little Break

The ol’ blog takes a little break during a period of travel.

Hope to see you at the end of the month, with the cherry blossoms in full bloom!

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Other Things I’ve Written Lately

  • A story about the new reality series “The Exhibit: Finding the Next Great Artist” for
  • An interview with Annie Lennox about her impending contribution to The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song, for AARP.
  • A review of Red Sky Performance from Toronto, at the Kennedy Center, for Broadway World.
  • A feature about the installation of a full sized portrait of Lincoln at the National Portrait Gallery for SmithsonianMagazine. com.
  • A story for Media Village about the Vevo Artists to Watch 2023.
  • A review of the American Ballet Theatre’s “Romeo and Juliet” at the Kennedy Center.
  • A survey of contemporary Chinese photography at the Hirshhorn Museum and Sculpture Garden for
  • A review of the Spanish language premiere of the popular play “Native Gardens” at GALA Hispanic Theatre.
  • Reviewing the play “Bars and Measures” at Mosaic Theatre.
  • Covering the opening of the new entertainment wing at the National Museum of American History.
  • A review of Ballet Hispánico’s “Doña Perón” at the Kennedy Center.
  • In holiday events, “A Magical Cirque Christmas” at the National Theatre got a review, as did the Kansas City Ballet’s version of “The Nutcracker” at the Kennedy Center.

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Joni Mitchell Wins Gershwin Prize

The Library of Congress Gershwin Prize of Popular Music, in its 16 years has reliably been a solid night of tribute to a deserving artist and an anticipated D.C. event even after it moved from the intimate confines of the East Room of the White House to the nearby Daughters of the American Revolution Constitution Hall. 

This year’s event, though, was even more anticipated, building on the somewhat magical re-emergence of a deeply influential artist whose work has touched generations. 

After being stricken with a life-threatening aneurysm eight years ago that put her in a coma, Joni Mitchell has improved to the point where she could again talk, walk and now sing, plying her deeper, jazz-tinged vocals to her timeless songs and American standards.

She surprised and delighted those who came to sing her songs at a MusiCares event last spring by joining in on one singalong and drew international headlines with her remarkable and widely-reported 15-song surprise set alongside Brandi Carlile at Newport last summer. 

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Wednesday TV: ‘Farmer Wants a Wife’

Think of it as “The Bachelor” in plaid work shirts. “Farmer Wants a Wife” (Fox, 9 p.m.),based on a British format, had come to U.S. TV before on the CW five years ago. It’s back again, now on a different network, with in has four men of the soil pausing to consider some of the single city women who’ve come out to pursue them. Jennifer Nettles hosts. 

A new documentary series “MH370: The Plane That Disappeared” (Netflix, streaming) picks up the mystery of the Malaysian flight that vanished in 2014.

Winners worldwide from their own variations of “The Challenge” now compete with each other in an international competition “The Challenge: World Championship” (Paramount+, streaming). Hosts from the individual franchises in the U.S., Australia, Argentina and the UK join forces. 

From Germany comes the romantic comedy “Faraway” (Netflix, streaming), a middle aged woman finds love on a Croatian island. 

A new program covering the day’s financial news, “Last Call” (CNBC, 7 p.m.), makes its premiere. 

“Kung Fu” (CW, 9 p.m.) ends its season, with a possibility it won’t return. 

Jackie installs a lottery machine on “The Conners” (ABC, 8 p.m.).

“The Flash” (CW, 8 p.m.) tries to keep the Red Death from destroying the city. 

It’s DC Superheroes night on “The Masked Singer” (Fox, 8 p.m.), where last week they unmasked Grandmaster Flash.

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Tuesday TV: Smithsonian’s New ‘ArtNation’

The new eight-part series “ArtNation” (Smithsonian, 10 p.m.) collects features from “60 Minutes” and “CBS Sunday Morning” about artists like Bradfield, above, but also actors, dancers and musicians. It’s hosted by Demin Richards of “Yellowstone” fame and accompanies “The Exhibit: Finding the Next Great Artist” (Smithsonian, 9 p.m.), the reality competition that was made for Smithsonian but was deemed ready for a wider audience and premiered Friday on MTV. Here’s a story I wrote about that series. 

“Under the Banner of Heaven” (FX, 10 p.m.), which premiered last year on Hulu, gets a chance for a wider audience with the cable premiere of the better-than-usual series based on the Jon Krakauer book that stars Andrew Garfield and Daisy Edgar-Jones.

Another rapper turns chef in the new series “Downright Delicious with Yo-Yo” (aspireTV, 8 p.m.) in which the onetime protege of Ice Cube whips up some favorite recipes. 

The World Baseball Classic begins in Taiwan with Cuba vs. Netherlands (Fox Sports 1, 11 p.m.). 

“Houses with History” (HGTV, 10 p.m.) is a new series that involves renovations of older homes. 

Jimmy Fallon brings his celebrity-filled “Tonight” show games back to primetime with a second season of “That’s My Jam” (NBC, 10 p.m.). First up in the music-related game show is Kelsea Ballerina, Jason Derulo and Nicole Scherzinger. 

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Capital Radio 3-6-23: Wayne, Joni & David

Jazz giant Wayne Shorter, who died last week at 89, was celebrated in songs from Miles Davis, Weather Report and some of the pop songs to which his sweet sax contributed, from The Rolling Stones to Norah Jones. He also had a long musical connection to Joni Mitchell, who happened to be honored here last week, winning the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for American Song in a D.C. ceremony that drew both women whose careers she inspired and a couple of old boyfriends (James Taylor and Graham Nash).

Jackson Browne also apparently had a tryst with Mitchell, but we were playing him to honor David Lindley, his ace guitarist who died Friday at 78. Other Lindley work was featured on works from Warren Zevon, Terry Reid and Bruce Springsteen as well as from his single solo album El Rayo-X.

Celebrated birthdays of Phil Alvin, Red Simpson, Bob Wills, and Mary Wilson and closed with a farewell to K.C. R&B singer Ida McBeth. Here’s the link to the whole show; the set list follows.

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Monday TV: New HBO Series, ‘Rain Dogs’

Something a little unexpected is the British import ”Rain Dogs” (HBO, 10 p.m.), as gritty as the Tom Waits song title it uses, about a down-on her-luck working class mom in London and her gay friend, freshly sprung from prison. Daisy May Cooper and Jack Farthing star. 

It comes alongside the second season with the rebooted “Perry Mason” (HBO, 9 p.m.), with Matthew Rhys in the title role. It displayed its own brand of dark storytelling and grit, ending its first season back in 2020, but in its own stylish period setting — 1930s Los Angeles. The second season concerns the murder of an oil magnate. Juliet Rylance and Chris Chalk return; Hope Davis and Sean Austin have been added to the cast.

The voice of Mel Brooks is heard narrating “History of the World, Part II” (Hulu, streaming), which picks up from his 1981 feature of sketches lampooning moments of history. Despite a solid contemporary comedy cast including Nick Kroll, Ike Barinholtz and Wanda Sykes, the crass and obvious writing just isn’t funny. At least “Drunk History” had an excuse for its occasional lapses. 

Blake Shelton returns for his final season of “The Voice” (NBC, 8 p.m.) sitting on the spinning chairs alongside Kelly Clarkson and newcomers Chance the Rapper and Niall Horan. Let the blind auditions begin.

It’s taken time for the true crime documentary series genre to catch up with the infamous child predator from the sandwich shop, but here’s “Jared from Subway: Catching a Monster” (Investigation, 9 p.m.), with all three parts showing back-to-back. 

“The Bachelor” (ABC, 8 p.m.) travels to Budapest and takes a hot air balloon ride. Hope nobody shoots it down. 

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