Tuesday, August 23, 2016

I was going to write something "deep and meaningful" about a performance I stumbled across, but why bother?  If you are alive and love (or just appreciate) music, you have to be charmed and somewhat amazed by this performance.  You certainly have to admit, that you would have NEVER heard this if not for the Internet.  Enough said.

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Bobby Hutcherson R.I.P.

I saw Bobby many times and was never disappointed.  The cat was always on top of things, whether headlining on his own or as part of another headliner's group.  And then of course there is the fact that I am very partial to vibes as a jazz instrument.  I don't think Bobby would mind if I said that Milt Jackson remains my favorite vibe man (he died in 1999), 'cause Bobby pretty much said that same thing.  Here is something proving my point, from today's obit in the SF Chronicle:

"The way Milt played made me feel like I had money in my pocket," Mr. Hutcherson recalled in 2012. "It was so satisfying and warm and round.  I'd heard Lionel Hampton and Red Norvo before, but Milt really spoke to me.  He played those long lines, and it was very soulful, very talking-to-you.  I thought I could duplicate that.  It took me a long time to realize those are Milt's cookies, leave 'em alone."

But Bobby is no doubt my number two guy on the vibes.  Gonna miss him.

Tuesday, August 9, 2016

The Dude, when you need him.

Always looking for that great online retort?  Well here it is.

Monday, August 8, 2016

The Revenant - a thought

I finally got around to seeing "The Revenant" on blu-ray the other night.  It was certainly worth watching in all respects -- acting, directing, photography, and creation of a totally believable milieu. However, there was something that lurked in the background and ultimately had a negative effect on my enjoyment of the fine film.  That was the rapid recovery of Hugh Glass (DiCaprio) after being literally almost ripped to pieces by the mama bear.  Based on the reviews, I had read I thought there would be a long period of time in which Glass would hole up somewhere safe for a long period of time during which he would rehabilitate and then emerge seeking serious and relentless revenge.  In two of my favorite movies a long rehabilitation takes place after the hero is beaten/wounded within an inch of death:  Yojimbo and One-Eyed Jacks.  In both of these films you get to see the rehabilitation progress slowly and painfully until finally the hero is well enough and strong enough to seek his revenge.  In The Revenant, Glass seems to heal way, way too fast, notwithstanding events that would exacerbate his awful injuries, e.g. getting swept away in the rapids and going over two waterfalls!!  Just saying...

Want to see what I mean?  Check out this video with excerpts from One-Eyed Jacks:  Start at about 3:18 to see the beating and then keep watching to see the rehabilitation.

Sunday, July 31, 2016

Rev. Barber on voting

As readers of this blog know, I worry mightily about voter suppression. So needless to say, I am overjoyed at the federal courts throwing out repressive voter ID laws in Texas, Wisconsin, and North Carolina.  As a result of the North Carolina ruling, the same court is in the process of reconsidering tossing out the Virginia voter registration laws.  This brings to my mind one of the Reverend William Barber's great takes on the subject of voting back in 2012.  Preach it brother Barber.

And if you have the time, check out Reverend Barber's incendiary speech made at the Democrats' convention -- just click right here. I love this guy.

Saturday, July 30, 2016

"The Killing" - Binge watching at its best

I have been meaning to turn you on to a great Netflix binge-watch series:  "The Killing."  The series premiered on AMC in 2011 and went for 2 seasons, was cancelled and then renewed for a third season.  It was again cancelled by AMC in September 2013 but Netflix ordered a fourth season of 6 episodes to conclude the series.  You can now see all four seasons on Netflix, which is how I got into it a while back.  I am currently two episodes away from finishing season 3 and am looking forward to watching season 4.  
I'm not going to spend any time trying to explain the series because you can read all about it right here.  Just trust me on this one.  Watch the first 2 or 3 episodes of the first season and you will be hooked.  What I will say is that the two leads, Mireille Enos and Joel Kinnaman are fantastic in their roles and have chemistry that grows and grows as the series unfolds.  Enos is glammed down to just this side of frumpy, which is interesting in retrospect in view of her new, glamorous role in "The Catch" on ABC.  Kinnaman is so good that I forget that he is even acting.  
The production value, writing, direction and acting are top notch.  If you are a Netflix subscriber you owe it to yourself to check it out.

Mireille Enos as Sarah Linden in "The Killing"

Mireille Enos as Alice Vaughan in "The Catch"