Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Chauncey Devega on growing fascism

Chauncey Devega has written a really good article on the burgeoning fascism fueled by Donald Trump and his ilk.  Here is an excellent expert from the article published in Salon. 
American society is structured around maintaining, promoting, and protecting unearned advantages, life opportunities, and resources for white people. As viewed through the lens of the color line, almost every aspect of American life is a “safe space” for white people. This “safe space” for whiteness is reinforced by many factors, including, but not limited to, the mass media, residential and housing segregation, racially homogeneous interpersonal social networks, as well as a racist “criminal justice” system. And when this protective bubble of white privilege is pierced, or in any way challenged, many white folks respond in extremely negative, hostile, and immature ways.
I highly recommend checking out the entire article. You can read it right here 

Monday, November 16, 2015

Daryl's house is a very, very, very fine house...

One of the joys of my life is discovery of new things, at least "new" to me.  Upon many such discoveries I find myself saying, how could I have gone so long without knowing about this.  But then I say, "I'm grateful to have lived long enough to discover it." Right up there at the top of my list of recent discoveries is "Live From Daryl's House," which I stumbled across surfing Palladia network on TV.  The show comes from the house of Daryl Hall of Hall and Oates fame.  For each show Daryl invites a guest (group or individual) to jam with him and other musicians Daryl recruits for a given show.  I simply love the show and I especially dig Daryl Hall, who it turns out is one hell of a musician and human being.  I cannot watch this show without feeling so happy and blessed.  If you don't have access to the Palladia network, you are not out of luck.  Fortunately most of the shows are available on YouTube.

To start you out here is a number from recent episode 71.  The guest is Kandace Springs, who I had never heard of before, and whom I now have a hopeless crush on.

Another thing I really like about the show is that Daryl does not hog the spotlight.  In fact he often just plays guitar or keyboards and does not sing.  A GREAT example of this is when Billy Gibbons of ZZ Top was the guest.  Check out "La Grange",  especially the "video over" near the end when Billy tells a great story about BB King.

Yet another feature I dig is that often the guest will perform a Hall & Oates tune.  One of the best of this genre was four years ago when Jimmy Wayne was the guest, singing "Sara Smiles."

Finally,  You can check out a YouTube search for Daryl's House 2015 right here.

Ain't this cool!!

Friday, November 6, 2015

A shout-out for John Carroll Lynch

Successful "character actors" are a fascinating breed.  They are constantly popping up in one role or another, and nearly always believable in the part.  One of the very best popped up on the latest episode of The Walking Dead (episode 4), rendering a terrific performance as the character "Eastman." Who is he?  John Carroll Lynch.  The dude has been in tons of movies and TV shows.  Here, take a look and you'll recognize him immediately.

The episode was primarily a two-character story that included the back-story of the TWD  character "Morgan."  Lynch was splendid throughout.  It was one of the best acting performances I've seen in a TV show.  I realize many folks are not into TWD, but for those who are, you owe it to yourself to check out Lynch's performance.

To learn more about him and his extensive filmography check out his IMDB page.

Thursday, November 5, 2015

I Am The Walrus

A couple of days ago I was doing my weekly vacuum of the the house while streaming Pandora with a good set of Sony headphones.  I keep the volume pretty loud to drown out the vacuum.  My Pandora station  for such work is seeded with U2, Van Halen, Audioslave, Snow Patrol, and Cream.  This produces a varied ass-kicking mix from Pandora.  Anyway, as I was working away, what should come on but "I Am The Walrus," original Beatles version.  This was a delightful surprise especially because the quality was top notch.  I hadn't heard it for quite a long time and I must say that it pretty much blew me away.  It's a weird but totally arresting song that literally creates its own genre.  The word is that Lennon wrote the entire song himself but agreed to list it as co-written with Paul.  To my ear, Lennon as the sole composer rings true.

Finding the tune on the Internet is difficult because of the tight control of original Beatles songs.  I heard that I-Tunes has the catalog but I'm not sure and I don't use that service at all.  Still, I was able to find the original video, which I had never seen before.  The quality is not that great and the video is ultra-weird but the music still comes through strong.  Also, I love seeing John in his element.  I'm sure you are chomping at the bit to see it, which you can do right here.

Enjoy and lemme know what you thought.

Friday, October 30, 2015

Fargo -- season 2

I was a huge fan of season 1 of the Fargo on the FX network.  So I was really looking forward to season 2, which has now aired 3 episodes.  I had the 3 episodes recorded on my DVR and yesterday I binge-watched them all.  What a freaking treat!!  It is at least as great as season 1, and I'm pretty sure it's going to surpass that benchmark of greatness.  Wonderful cast, yummy convoluted plot (your jaw will be dropping), and a truck-full of dark hilarity.  Man, it doesn't get much better.  I can hardly wait for the next episode to air.  (By the way, you don't need to have seen season 1 -- season 2 stands on its own.)

I tried to find a review that gives you the proper flavor of the series without a lot of spoilers:  here is a good one. (Obviously you will need to click on the "Continue reading" tab.)

If you have "on demand" capability I highly recommend a binge-watch on FX to catch up and then you can ride it to the end.  

Monday, October 26, 2015

Dali was cool, but also pretty weird

Salvador Dali was one of a kind, as evidenced by these wacky photos.  Would have loved to hang out with him for a while.

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

Fall overload of good TV

It happens every late summer and early fall:  My DVR fills up with the good shows that are coming back along with new shows whose positive reviews have prompted me to record them. Yesterday, I watched the season finale of "Mr. Robot," which is one of the best shows I've seen lately.  The plot is dense but rewarding, and I had no trouble following the delicious twists and turns.  The production value is top notch, especially for a USA Network offering.  But the best thing about it is the cast.  Rami Malek is mesmerizing as the protagonist, Elliot.  Christian Slater turns in his best acting in a long while as Mr. Robot.  The little known Martin Wallstrom (with an umlaut over the "o") as a demented whacko is so good he made me squirm.  The rest of the cast are all right on the money -- I can't think of even one miscast role.  By all means check out Mr. Robot the first chance you get.

But getting back to my DVR; finishing and deleting the Mr. Robot recordings hardly made a dent in my backlog. Complicating my catching up are all the the great sports telecasts like college and pro football along with the baseball play offs.  So, with the DVR about 75%  full, here is how it stands:
[Number of yet unwatched episodes in parentheses, with my comments]

The Bastard Executioner (4) -- loved Sons of Anarchy, giving this Kurt Sutter creation a whirl.
Blindspot (1) -- Eileen and I are liking this new show
Fargo (1) -- Last season was wonderful.  Can hardly wait to get to this one
Minority Report (3) -- Liked the first episode.
Quantico (1) -- Enjoying this so far
Homeland (2) -- Huge fan; Claire Danes can do no wrong; gonna binge watch to catch up
Walking Dead (1) -- You are either a fan or not; I'm the former.
The Good Wife (2) -- Eileen and I have been with Alicia from day one
Blood & Oil (2) -- Started watching -- still on probation
The Last Kingdom (1) -- BBC production getting very good reviews; haven't started yet
Blue Bloods (1) -- Eileen's show; I don't watch it
How To Get Away With Murder (3) -- Haven't started  to watch this season yet
Scandal (3) -- Haven't started  to watch this season yet
The Blacklist (1) -- Haven't started  to watch this season yet
Your The Worst (2) -- Watched some of this hilarious season; still the best comedy on TV
Ray Donovan (1) -- Great show; saving this season finale for a special watch
Extant (6) -- Watched most of the season; show did not get renewed
No Reservations (1) -- Eileen's show; I don't watch it
Orphan Black (10) -- The whole season just waiting for a binge watch
Broadchurch (8) -- The entire season; I may never get to it

I know it looks like an obscene amount of TV but it will eventually get viewed during the inevitable doldrums when I will be glad I have something decent to watch.