“That One Night” by The Hunted: So Wrong, So Right

That One Night  The Office

One of my favorite episodes of the U.S. series The Office is the season four episode entitled “The Dinner Party.” In the show, Michael Scott (Steve Carrell) and Jan Levinson (Melora Hardin) invite some guests from the Dunder Mifflin office for dinner, and the tension in their relationship plays out to make the most awkward party since the Donners. As Jim notes to the camera, “Michael and Jan seem to be playing their own separate game, and it’s called ‘let’s see how uncomfortable we can make our guests.’ And they’re both winning.” One of the most uncomfortable moments comes from a wonderful song, “That One Night,” by The Hunted.

The Hunted is the fictional band led by Hunter Raymond, the young man who had worked as Jan’s assistant. As Jan plays the CD on the stereo in “The Dinner Party” episode, the awkwardness ramps up when we realize that Hunter is apparently singing about losing his virginity to Jan (“You took me by the hand/ And made me a man.”). Below is the cringe-worthy clip of when Jan first plays the song.

The song appears again at the end of the episode when Jim reveals to Pam that he stole the CD, a sweet gesture to make Pam laugh and a sympathetic theft so Michael no longer has to hear the song. He plays the CD in their car as the song then plays over an epilogue showing the dinner guests after the party.

Unfortunately, there is no real album by The Hunted, but the song works perfectly in the episode of The Office. When a comedy uses an original song for comic effect, it is a challenge for the song to sound believably real while being funny too. “That One Night” hits it out of the park on all counts.

Who are the geniuses behind “That One Night”? In the series, actor Nicholas D’Agosto (born April 17, 1980) portrayed Hunter Raymond. D’Agosto appeared in two episodes during the third season, his voice appeared in another episode, and his image graced the CD cover for “That One Night” in “The Dinner Party” episode.

The actual singer on “That One Night,” though, is Todd Fancey, a singer-songwriter who is the guitarist for The New Pornographers. Fancey also wrote the catchy music for “That One Night,” while writing and producing team Gene Stupnitsky and Lee Eisenberg wrote the lyrics.

There are no “official” lyrics for the song posted on the web, so there seems to be a disagreement about the words Fancey sings. Some say that part of the chorus says “so raw, so right,” while others claim he sings “so wrong, so right.” Another source claims the words are “so rock the ride all night all right.” I have always thought it was “so wrong,” and that makes the most sense, but I understand how one may also hear it as “so raw.”

While we never got a tour or a full album from The Hunted, we loved the band’s music for that one night. Oh yeah.

What is your favorite episode of The Office? If you also love “The Dinner Party,” check out these deleted scenes. Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    “Louie” Returns For a New Season

    Louis C.K.
    In the old days, there was one time of year when you knew that all of the TV shows were starting their new season of shows. But in this era of random season endings and seasons divided up, we have to rely upon word of mouth. So I am here to inform Louis C.K. fans that after a nineteen-month break, season four of Louie begins May 5 on FX. Get ready — or set your DVRs or set up your computers or cell phones or however you kids watch TV these days. Here is the promo, featuring Louie jumping off a bridge.

    The new season features fourteen episodes, but they will run with two episodes back-to-back over seven weeks.

    What is your favorite episode of Louie? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Jackie Robinson Takes the Field

    Jackie Robinson On April 15, 1947 as a soft breeze blew across Ebbets Field in Brooklyn, Jackie Robinson took his position at first base to play his first official Major League Baseball game for the Brooklyn Dodgers. Robinson was 28 years old, having served in the U.S. Army and played in the Negro American League before Dodger general manager Branch Rickey recruited Robinson in 1945 to join the Dodger organization. On this date against the Boston Braves, Robinson broke the color barrier that had existed in baseball for more than fifty years after catcher Fleetwood Walker played for the American Association’s Toledo Blue Stockings in 1884.

    Robinson’s major league career that began that day would not be easy. But Robinson triumphed over the hate he encountered, both as a man and as a player, making him the greatest hero of any sport. Many were hostile to him, but many others admired Robinson at the time, and the radio even played a song about him in 1949, “Did You See Jackie Robinson Hit that Ball?” Baseball eventually recognized his accomplishments too. On this date in 1997, Major League Baseball retired his number 42, making it the first number retired for all teams.

    To go back and relive that sunny day at Ebbets Field on this date in 1947, listen to this 2007 NPR interview with writer Jonathan Eig, who wrote a book about Robinson’s first year called Opening Day: The Story of Jackie Robinson’s First Season. The interview discusses the historic game played this date in 1947.

    In 2013, a very good movie bearing the name of Robinson’s number 42 was released. But earlier in 1950, another movie was made about the player starring Jackie Robinson himself in The Jackie Robinson Story. Below is the entire film, and the recreation of his Major League debut begins around the 1:04:50 mark. The movie condenses events to give Robinson a triple on a day the first baseman went hitless, although he did score the go-ahead run after reaching on an error.

    Finally, here is a trivia question about that April 15, 1947 game. On that date, one other rookie besides Robinson took the field for the Dodgers that day, who was it?

    As explained in the video above, the other rookie was Spider Jorgensen, who was called up on such short notice that he did not have a glove. But his new teammate Jackie Robinson loaned Jorgensen one of his gloves. Using that glove, third-baseman Jorgensen fielded a ball hit by Boston’s Dick Culler, throwing it to Robinson at first base to make the first out of the game, which the Dodgers won by a score of 5–3. At the end of the 1947 season, the Dodgers won the National League Pennant and Robinson won the Rookie of the Year Award, which is now called the Jackie Robinson Award.

    1950 photo of Jackie Robinson and The Jackie Robinson Story via public domain. Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    Anniversary of “The Grapes of Wrath”

    Grapes Wrath 75 John Steinbeck‘s novel The Grapes of Wrath was published 75 years ago on April 14, 1939. The book, which recounts the struggles of the tenant farmers Joad family moving from Oklahoma to California, went on to win the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. It also helped Steinbeck win the Nobel Prize in Literature in 1962. Steinbeck’s book seeped into popular culture, aided by a great John Ford movie as well as songs.

    Less than a year after the novel’s publication, 20th Century Fox released John Ford’s vision of The Grapes of Wrath in January 1940. The film starred Henry Fonda, Jane Darwell, and John Carradine, and it contained some differences from the book, and in particular the ending.

    While the book was written as an indictment of the greed that led to the Great Depression, the conservative Ford maintained some elements of that vision while also giving the story a somewhat more optimistic ending. The Grapes of Wrath thus became one of those instances where a novel and its movie version both attained greatness even with some significant differences.

    The film would go on to inspire others. In particular, the speech by Tom Joad (Fonda) would inspire both Woody Guthrie and Bruce Springsteen to write songs. Check out our post about the story behind Guthrie’s “Tom Joad,” a song written at the request of a record company during an all-night session after Pete Seeger helped Guthrie find a typewriter.

    Bruce Springsteen used his stark “The Ghost of Tom Joad” as the title track of his somber 1995 album. In 2014, though, he released a new version of the song on High Hopes that features the raging angry guitar of Tom Morello, highlighting the defiance in Tom Joad’s speech. While Springsteen’s original acoustic version captures the sadness of the novel, his rock version of the song might be more comparable to John Ford’s vision. Check out this performance featuring Springsteen, Morello, and the E Street Band from Allphones Area in Sydney, Australia from March 2013.

    What is your favorite version of “The Grapes of Wrath”? Leave your two cents in the comments.

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    RIP Jesse Winchester

    Jesse Winchester Singer-songwriter Jesse Winchester passed away today at his home in Charlottesville, Virginia. The 69-year-old artist had been suffering from esophageal cancer. Winchester, who had moved to Canada in 1967 in protest of the Vietnam War, had some chart success with his own recordings of his folk-country-blues sound. While he may not be remembered by a large number of the population, he is well-respected and admired by a number of talented artists. And many of them covered his songs. If you are not familiar with his work, check out these videos.

    Here is Winchester with a moving performance of his song “Sham-A-Ling-Dong-Ding” on season two (2009-2010) of Elvis Costello’s Spectacle show. That’s Neko Case, Sheryl Crow, and Ron Sexsmith on stage with Costello and Winchester. You can see near the end around the 3:12 mark where Case has tears in her eyes from Winchester’s touching song. Wow.

    Here is a young Winchester in 1977, singing with Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris.

    Finally, here is one of my favorite covers of a Jesse Winchester song. In this video, Buddy Miller sings Winchester’s “A Showman’s Life,” which appeared on Miller’s 2002 album Midnight and Lonesome. Winchester’s “A Showman’s Life” has been covered in excellent versions by the likes of George Strait and Gary Allan. But check out Miller’s version.

    Thanks for the music Mr. Winchester. RIP.

    What is your favorite Jesse Winchester song? Leave your two cents in the comments

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