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May 9, 2013:

LINER NOTES

Bruce Kimmel Photograph bk's notes

Well, dear readers, as I sit here having been writing liner notes for the last couple of hours, it has occurred to me just how many sets of liner notes I’ve actually written over the years. I’ve never thought about it before, but it must be close to two hundred sets of them, what with 98% of the Kritzerland releases, several sets for Ryko and other labels, plus the occasional Bay Cities and Varese releases, too. It’s actually kind of mind-boggling. Beginning them is always the hardest part, trying to find a way in that’s interesting. Some are really fun to write (Scent of Mystery and the Bert I. Gordon releases being prime examples), some are interesting to write, and some take a lot of effort to find something that’s actually of interest to say. The liner notes for our next release were really fun to write – interesting score used interestingly in an interesting film. Once I found the way in, it went very quickly. The ones I’ve been working on today have been difficult because it involves three scores in a two-CD set – three very different films by one composer for one studio. The first part was easy, but then you have to watch the movies so you know what you’re talking about, and it all just takes a lot of time. Normally it’s fine if I only have to do one every few weeks, but over the last month it’s been endless and I still have two sets to go for projects whose masters have been finished for over a month – but each of those projects involves more than one film, so again, it’s the time to watch and formulate the approach. That’s how I spent most of my evening last night.

Earlier, I was up by ten but still didn’t quite get eight hours because it took a long time to fall asleep. Once up, I answered e-mails, had a nice conversation with Mr. Harry Groener, who I was hoping could do the next Kritzerland show (he can’t), then I went out and had a grilled cheese and bacon sandwich and no fries or onion rings. After that, I came home, did some work on the computer, began the liner notes, and then the contractor arrived and we walked the house and went over everything. Then I was irritated to find out that the actual work, which should have begun today, won’t be starting until a week from next Monday. I told them that I’d fought for them to get the job and that this news was not pleasing to me, but apparently the reasons for it have to do with stuff out of my control. That means that the work won’t be finished until the first week of June – I really want it all wrapped up no later than June 7. After that, I went and picked up some packages, then came back home and sat on my couch like so much fish.

Last night, I watched a motion picture on Blu and Ray entitled Jack Reacher, starring Mr. Tom Cruise. I read the first three Jack Reacher books as they were published, beginning with The Killing Floor. I found the character and the writing a weak sister to Stephen Hunter’s great Bob Lee Swagger first book, Point of Impact. The plots were okay, the character wasn’t as much fun as Swagger, and the writing was terse and not that interesting – very short sentences. I gave up after the third book. Interestingly, the first Jack Reacher film isn’t based on the first book – it’s based on the sixth or seventh book, One Shot. The film is pretty standard-issue today action thriller. It’s reasonably entertaining and is paced well, it’s silly occasionally, as most of these films are, but Tom Cruise is fine, and Robert Duvall has a fun cameo. The lead actress, whose name I don’t remember and who I’ve never seen before, was one of those “whispery” actors I so cannot stand. She’s not the only one who whispers. One can always hear Mr. Cruise, but several of the supporting character whisper away, as if that makes their performance “real.” Note to whispering actors: It makes your performance anything but real, because in real life if you whisper like that when you’re talking to someone all you’ll get in return is, “Speak up, idiot, I can’t hear a word you’re saying.” The film looks good and the transfer is excellent. The music pounds away in the fashion of today’s scores.

After that, I buckled down, Winsocki and wrote two-thirds of the liner notes. Well, why don’t we all click on the Unseemly Button below because I must get a good night’s beauty sleep.

Today, I shall do a jog, finish the final third of the liner notes, eat, hopefully pick up some packages, and then I shall actually begin writing tomorrow’s notes early, because they will be VERY long – you won’t want to miss them, really, and that’s all I’m saying about THAT. Oh, and we’ll be shipping out all of the Suzie Wong CDs, too.

Tomorrow, I have a lunch meeting, and hopefully our next release will have its packaging approved, otherwise I have to switch and go to something else, which I’d prefer not doing, and then I really hope to get some relaxing done. The weekend is free at this point, and I’ll probably pay a visit to Mystery and Imagination Books in Glendale – I’ve booked the signing there for the new book – it’s Saturday, June 8 at two o’clock and I’m really hoping we can fill up the jernt.

Well, dear readers, I must take the day, I must do the things I do, I must, for example, jog, finish liner notes, eat, hopefully pick up packages, begin tomorrow’s notes today and relax. Today’s topic of discussion: Who are your all-time favorite British actors and actresses and what are your favorite films of theirs? Let’s have loads of lovely postings, shall we, whilst I hit the road to dreamland, taking a brief respite from writing liner notes.

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