For his third album, Nighthawks at the Diner, Tom Waits set up a nightclub in the studio, invited an audience, and cut a 70-minute, two-LP set of new songs. It's an appropriate format for compositions that deal even more graphically and, for the first time, humorously with Waits' late-night world of bars and diners. The love lyrics of his debut album had long since given way to a comic lonely-guy stance glimpsed in "Emotional Weather Report" and "Better Off Without a Wife." But what really matters is the elaborate scene-setting of songs like the six-and-a-half-minute "Spare Parts," the seven-and-a-half-minute "Putnam County," and especially the 11-and-a-half-minute "Nighthawk Postcards" that are essentially poetry recitations with jazz backing. Waits is a colorful tour guide of midnight L.A., raving over a swinging rhythm section of Jim Hughart (bass) and Bill Goodwin (drums), with Pete Christlieb wailing away on tenor sax between paragraphs and Mike Melvoin trading off with Waits on piano runs. You could call it overdone, but then, this kind of material made its impact through an accumulation of miscellaneous detail, and who's to say how much is too much?
Featuring all of the stealth and cunning of a modern-day Special Forces operation, the Los Banos raid is regarded as one of the most successful airborne raids of all time. On the morning of February 23rd, 1945 – just a few months before the end of The Second World War – a combined force of American paratroopers, Filipino guerrillas and amphibious tanks liberated over 2,000 prisoners who were facing a potential massacre at the hands of their Japanese captors. Incredibly, not a single prisoner was killed in the attack. In this dramatic feature length film, we return to the site of the Los Banos Prison Camp with four soldiers who took part in the rescue – as well as one of the prisoners who was liberated. Their compelling first-hand accounts form the backbone of the film. Wrote Colin Powell (in a letter to the 11th Airborne Division): "I doubt that any airborne unit in the world will ever be able to rival the Los Banos prison raid. It is the textbook airborne operation for all ages and all armies."
Thousands of men, women and children are setting sail almost every day from war-torn Libya in rickety, over-crowded boats to find a new life in Europe. So far this year more than 1,800 have died trying to make the crossing. With unique access to the Phoenix, a privately funded search and rescue ship, Our World follows the dramatic story of one rescue mission. Gabriel Gatehouse stays with the crew as they search for migrants in the hazardous waters off the coast of Libya, throught to the successful conclusion of a rescue. Our World documents the heroism and horror of what is happening in the Mediterranean on a daily basis, and tries to discover what motivates a person to risk all in the pursuit of a European dream.
For many acts, the casino circuit is the kiss of death creatively, but in the case of Tom Jones the exact opposite is true – amidst the neon lights, craps tables, and slot machines, he's at the top of his game, feeding on the energy and excitement to command the stage with a power and eroticism that are virtually unmatched. Recorded in Las Vegas in the spring of 1971, Live at Caesar's Palace – his tenth and final gold record – captures Jones at his bawdy best, offering a compelling mix of hits and covers while still managing to make time with the ladies between songs; riding high on the recent success of "She's a Lady," he also samples smashes like "It's Not Unusual" and "Delilah" in addition to a vast range of material spanning from "Soul Man" to "Bridge Over Troubled Water" to "My Way." The between-song stage patter is priceless as well – for fans, this is an essential set.
When Stephen McGarva and his wife moved to Puerto Rico, they hoped to find inspiration and adventure, and a break from the ordinary routine that their lives in the States had become. McGarva, an artist and adventure sportsman, was excited to pursue the boundary-pushing, adrenaline-rush activities he loved—hang gliding, scuba diving, kite surfing. One day he visited Playa Lucia, a postcard-perfect beach with shimmering white sand, palm trees, and dazzling blue water. There, instead of relaxation and fun, he found a sick and abandoned dog. This dog, and the quest to save him, transformed McGarva and gave him a new purpose in Puerto Rico. He soon learned that this slice of paradise was known to locals as Dead Dog Beach—a notorious dumping ground for the island's unwanted canines, and Stephen McGarva knew he had to act.