zerode – a sensibility


film, music, text, city, spectacle, pleasure

Scenes of the Season: The dance from A Charlie Brown Christmas

It needs no introduction…

I always think of this as the “Snoopy dances” music, but really the main bit of music is apparently

Vince Guaraldi Trio, “Linus and Lucy” – from A Charlie Brown Christmas: The Original Sound Track Recording Of The CBS Television Special

As with White Christmas, the Charlie Brown Christmas special is required viewing for me—as for so many people—during the holiday season. Originally broadcast in 1965, A Charlie Brown Christmas has been shown every Christmas since then.  I don’t know if it feels as much a part of Christmas for people in their 20s as it does for those those of us who are somewhat older, but I hope so… For people of my ilk, the sounds of it—the voices, the music, and for me especially that dance—are just about as much a part of Christmas as “Jingle Bells” and the visuals are almost as iconic as a Christmas tree.

A Charlie Brown Christmas is the first prime-time animated TV special based upon the comic strip Peanuts, by Charles M. Schulz. It was produced and directed by former Warner Bros. and UPA animator Bill Meléndez, who also supplied the voice for the character of Snoopy. Initially sponsored by Coca-Cola, the special aired on CBS from its debut in 1965 through 2000, and has aired on ABC since 2001. For many years it aired only annually, but is now telecast at least twice during the Christmas season. The special has been honored with both an Emmy and Peabody Award…. (via Wikipedia.)

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Song of the Day, , , , ,

Song of the Day: Manhã de Carnaval – from the movie, Black Orpheus

One of my favorite movies, Marcel Camus’ Black Orpheus (1959), was shown in the wee small hours of this morning on TCM (as I wrote in my more or less regular round up of TCM’s weekly schedule, yesterday). So the film and its marvelous soundtrack have been in my mind – and my headphones – for the past day. The whole soundtrack is wonderful, but one track has always stood out:

Joao Gilberto, “Manhã de Carnaval” (“Morning of Carnival”) – from the soundtrack to the film Black Orpheus (1959)

As I wrote yesterday, Black Orpheus relocates the Greek legend of Orpheus and Eurydice – the story of the beautiful singer who descends into the underworld to rescue his love – from ancient Greece to Rio de Janeiro during Carnaval. The movie won the Palme d’Or at Cannes and the Academy Award and Golden Globe for best foreign film.

Most of the music in the film was composed by the now-famous Brazilian musician Antônio Carlos Jobim. This song, however, was written by Luiz Bonfá, and it became something of a hit. The famous San Francisco coffee shop, Caffe Trieste, had this song on their jukebox for many, many years and it was a favorite of the poets and others who frequented the place – including me.

For more…

Filed under: Song of the Day, , , , ,

Song of the Day: Mick Jagger, “Memo from Turner” – from Performance (1970)

Featured prominently in the movie Performance, directed by Nicolas Roeg with Donald Cammell and released in 1970, this song remains one of my favorite Mick Jagger/Stones songs—right up there with “Sympathy,” “Satisfaction” and “Monkey Man.” Here it is in a clip from the movie, with what is surely Jagger’s finest performance in any film:

A higher quality clip (and without the subtitles) is available through TCM: Performance (1970) — (Movie Clip) Memo From Turner. (As a Warner film, Performance is part of the TCM archive and you can check their webpage on the movie for any scheduled broadcast times.)

The Song

The song “Memo from Turner” was released as a single in the UK and also appeared as the first track on the second side of the Performance soundtrack—which also features music by Randy Newman and Buffy Sainte-Marie. It features Ry Cooder on slide guitar, and other musicians, rather than the regular Stones line-up. (Keith Richards reportedly balked at playing on the track because of love scenes in the movie between his girlfriend at the time Anita Pallenberg and Jagger, which were rumored to have gone beyond simulation.)

The song is also available on a number of compilation albums, including The Very Best of Mick Jagger, and some Rolling Stones compilations, such as Singles Collection: The London Years.

A second version of the song was released on the Stones album Metamorphosis in 1975. It features a different line-up of musicians—but still not the Stones—possibly including Brian Jones and Stevie Winwood of Traffic, as well as slightly differently lyrics. I think the original is much more powerful and appealing, but you can compare the two for yourself.

Read the rest of this entry »

Filed under: Movie Music, Movies, Song of the Day, , , ,



Enter your email address to subscribe to this blog and receive notifications of new posts by email.

Join 566 other followers

Blog Stats

  • 1,294,032 hits


Creative Commons License
zerode by nick chapman is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-Noncommercial-Share Alike 3.0 United States License.

Oh—and hello to Jason Isaacs.

Upcoming Bay Area Films of Interest

No upcoming events

The 400 Blows


is an over-caffeinated and under-employed grad school dropout, aspiring leftwing intellectual and cultural studies academic, cinéaste, and former poet. Raised in San Francisco on classic film, radical politics, burritos and soul music, then set loose upon the world. He spends his time in coffee shops with his laptop and headphones, caffeinating and trying to construct a post-whatever life.


What's in a name... The handle "zerode" is a contraction of Zéro de Conduite, the title of Jean Vigo's 1933 movie masterpiece about schoolboy rebellion.

tweeting my mind



%d bloggers like this: