Let's face it, Urban Cowboy isn't the best movie ever made. Far from it. It has great moments — Ray Villalobos's chamber-of-commerce cinematography as John Travolta cruises down Memorial Drive in the opening titles; Debra Winger's opening line to end all opening lines, "You a real cowboy?" — but there's a reason Ordinary People took home 1981's Best Picture Oscar and not this.
Still, Urban Cowboy is a lot of fun. And it's ours — can't say that about too many other Hollywood blockbusters. Last month marked 30 years since the film's inspiration, Aaron Latham's "The Ballad of the Urban Cowboy and America's Search for True Grit," was published in Esquire, and the bumpkin-cum-Bayou-City narrative is alive and well. Chatter spent six months covering high school football and car wrecks for the Jasper Newsboy in 2002; with apologies to Chrissie Hynde, those were the happiest days of my life.
Anyway, originally Chatter was going to ring up a few of Urban Cowboy's best musical moments — the Charlie Daniels Band's peerless "Orange Blossom Special," Mickey Gilley's rollicking "Honky Tonk Wine," Johnny Lee's glass-smooth "Cherokee Fiddle." Then, right after Travolta's Bud and Winger's Sissy spend their honeymoon at the Huntsville Prison Rodeo, I was oddly compelled to put on something else from 1978 — the Rolling Stones' Some Girls — and see how the movie played out Dark Side of the Moon/Wizard of Oz-style.
"Miss You": Bud masters El Toro, Gilley's mechanical bull. So, in secret, does Sissy. "Baby, why you wait so long?"
"When the Whip Comes Down": Wes, the prison-rodeo prize bullrider, is on parole and hot for Sissy. Who, incidentally, can now ride El Toro in a much sexier manner than Bud. "I'm learning the ropes, yeah I'm learning a trade."
"Some Girls": Sissy rides El Toro in public. "Some girls give me diamonds, some girls heart attacks." Speechless Bud looks a little like he's having a cardiac episode.
"Faraway Eyes": More country than anything on the soundtrack. "Thank you Jesus, thank you Lord." Bud and Sissy are still arguing about the bull.
"Respectable": Bud meets slumming socialite Pam at the bar. They dance; sparks ensue. "So delectable."
"Beast of Burden": Wes and Sissy dance. It's not the same, because Bud and Pam are about ten feet away. "I ain't too blind to see"; neither are they.
"Shattered": Wes and Sissy drink the worm. Cue third-act redemption as Wes's beating drives Sissy back to Bud. "Don't you know the crime rate's going up, up, up?"
Houston's Compadre Records released Johnny Cash Remixed last week, wherein Pete Rock, Alabama 3 and Snoop Dogg's QDT production team take on "I Walk the Line," "Folsom Prison Blues" and so forth. • Several performers for the 2008 Latin Grammys, going down November 13 at Toyota Center, were announced last week. Mexico City firebrands Café Tacuba, singer-songwriter Julieta Venegas and Mexico's "Queen of Rock," Alejandra Guzman, head the list. • Cornbredd, a member of Houston rap-rockers Tha Fucking Transmissions, will be a contestant on MTV's new reality show 50 Cent: Tha Money & Tha Power. Episodes begin November 6. • Former Houstonian Lucinda Williams, whose new album Little Honey came out last week, isn't coming to town (yet), but fans can watch Thursday's show at Minneapolis's First Avenue atwww.lucindawilliams.com.
1846 Richmond, 713-666-5555
1. Rusted Shut, "Hot Sex" (12")
2. Lau Nau, Nukkuu (LP/CD)
3. Tom Carter, Shots At Infinity 2 (LP)
4. Toxic Holocaust, Overdose of Death (LP/CD)
5. George Coleman, Bongo Joe (LP)
6. Fotheringay, 2 (CD)
7. Vivian Girls, "I Can't Stay" (7")
8. Indian Jewelry, Free Gold (LP)
9. Windy & Carl, Songs For The
Broken Hearted (LP/CD)
10. Neu!, '75 (CD)
Lone Star Jukebox
KPFT (90.1 FM), 9 a.m.-12 p.m. Saturdays
Selections from Rick Haysquierdo's October 11 playlist
1. Red Sovine, "Teddy Bear"
2. Lucinda Williams, "Tears of Joy"
3. Porter Wagoner, "The Rubber Room"
4. Jason Isbell, "Brand New Kind of Actress"
5. Jubal Lee Young, "Greed Is the Creed" (live on the air)
6. Rodney Crowell, "Who Do You Trust"
7. Randy Weeks, "Couldn't Make It"
(live on the air)
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8. Loretta Lynn, "Fist City"
9. Eli Young Band, "Always the Love Songs"
10. Hank Williams III, "Atlantic City"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)