Posted: May 21st, 2013 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »
I actually did enter the theater, watch the previews of all the comic book movies coming this summer season and see the first, oh, two minutes or so of “Stark Trek Into the Darkness.”
At which point, as if preordained and predestined, I got up from seat and walked down the hallway of Baxter Theaters and settled in for a session with “Iron Man 3.”
Farfetched as it may seem, there is a logical explanation for my action. Which you can listen to below.
I did see “The Angel’s Share,” which won the Jury Award at Cannes Film Festival.
It’s a moderately entertaining “comedy,” if a might unhinged.
Anyhow, you can hear all about it all here:
Posted: May 14th, 2013 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »
Before you get to my take on Baz Luhrmann’s eagerly anticipated (with trepidation) take on F. Scott Fitzgerald’s “The Great Gatsby,” the podcast of which can be found below, a brief mention of two other films.
I have found the films of Michael Bay peculiarly bombastic, even in this age of more is more, be it chases or explosions or gun fights or egocentric direction. Perhaps the turn off came when reading an insufferable interview with the director awhile back. Anyway, I avoid his films as best I can.
But there was something about the trailers to “Pain & Gain” that grabbed my attention. An attitude shift perhaps. On the director’s part, and mine too. Could this film really be as self effacing as the previews indicated?
It’s the essentially true telling of a tale of three Miami dunderhead body builders, who decide to kidnap a rich client.
Which they do. Absurdity and mayhem ensue.
Mark Wahlberg and Dwayne Johnson are most engaging as two of the doofuses whose scam goes awry.
Which is to say I found this a most enjoyable popcorn flick, if one that might only appeal to the male of the species.
The coming of age flick, “Mud” was also more agreeable than expected, given that it’s centerpiece is Matthew McConaughey, an actor I’ve usually considered as slithering in the same pit as Eric Roberts. Here he’s a fugitive and enchanting mystery to a couple of river rat boys on the cusp of pubescence. Reece Witherspoon is also more than tolerable in her minor role as MM’s objet d’amour.
As for “Gatsby,” well, listen up. You might be surprised at my appraisal.
Posted: May 8th, 2013 | Filed under: Film Reviews Podcast | No Comments »
After a ten day foray to New Orleans, I’m back to real life.
Which means Movie Reviews on Tuesday mornings on FPK 91.9.
This week’s review is of Robert Redford’s “The Company You Keep,” which is kind of a thriller about what happens when an old Weather Underground revolutionary, who has lived a normal life in hiding since, decides to turn herself in. The plotline takes the form somewhat of a thriller, with facts being revealed slowly along the way.
Taking a day off from the frivolity of JazzFest, I did see a really good film while on holiday. “Ginger & Rosa.” I don’t believe it’s played Louisville, so I’m waiting to see if it does before reviewing it.
I also saw “Mud” yesterday, too late to talk about. It’s worth a visit to the movie house also.
Anyway, for my take on the star-studded Redford flick, click below.
Posted: May 6th, 2013 | Filed under: Community, Culture, Music | No Comments »
I am a traditionalist. A Beast of Habit, a man who plans a rhythm to his life. And sticks to it. Friends and family have called it OCD.
Even at an obsession as harum scarum as JazzFest can be.
Whether it’s the route I take to the Fairgrounds, or time of arrival. Canal to Jeff Davis then along Bayou St. John to the backside. Early for the opening acts. Or, parking. With my man Joe, along DeSaix. Or, first libation of the day. Frozen Cafe au Lait. Even last Friday, when it was chilly. Or, favorite hydration. AJ’s chocolate sno ball. (The ladies behind the counter have seen me enough they call out my order before I get to the window.)
Or, act I never miss no matter who else is playing. Allen Toussaint.
One of the odder little affectations of mine is that, as much as I love the festival — more than anything besides the Film Babe and Louisville basketball (we’re national champs, you know) — I never go on the last Sunday.
I understand. It makes no sense, really. But, it’s just what I do. Actually, don’t so. Thus, I shall be only able to comment peripherally on yesterday’s action. I trust it was mucho crowded, and that the muck had dried up some, but was still aplenty and that the Klezmers would have rocked my boat at Lagniappe.
* * * * *
But, I did watch a smidge of AXS-TV’s coverage yesterday afternoon, after returning to my home in Derbytown. (Where the out of towners who came to Louisville for the Derby, looked just as bedraggled at SDF heading home, as the crowd at MSY, leaving New Orleans.) Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 4th, 2013 | Filed under: Community, Culture, Music | No Comments »
The gates opened about forty minutes late.
One figures the powers that be were trying to make moving around easier in the above the ankle muck. Whatever efforts they made were to little avail. The word quagmire comes to mind. But, for all the havoc and inconvenience it caused, there were mighty few grimaces and complaints.
On our way in, we stopped for a quick Royal Teeth fix. The percussion-heavy pop jammers had an infectious energy. It was a super first sound of the day.
We had a mission though, and that was to make it to the Blues Tent for Spencer Bohren, hopefully in time to get a seat close enough to the speaker bank so the sound was listenable.
Which we did, and it was, catching the last two tunes of his abbreviated set. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 3rd, 2013 | Filed under: Culture, Music, Ruminations | 1 Comment »
The reality is this. Some days at JazzFest simply aren’t as magical as most.
Maybe it’s the music. Maybe it’s the weather or something like that.
The Film Babe made it to town last night. We had fun today. But neither of us was especially inspired by most of the groups we happened upon.
The muck isn’t that bad in and of itself. We’re vets. Duck shoes & rubber boots ‘r’ Us.
But sitting in sideways rain, listening to Widespread Panic, is not exactly my — our — idea of kickin’ out the jams.
* * * * *
Buuuuuut, there are always a few special musical moments.
The Mercy Brothers were mighty fine. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 1st, 2013 | Filed under: Community, Culture, Music, Personalities | 1 Comment »
The festival kicks up again in the morning. (That would be tomorrow a.m., Thursday.)
If you happen to be on your way down, here’s a tip. Think inclemency.
It’s rained every day this week. Without significant periods of sunshine to dry up the Fairgrounds muck we’ve come to know and love through the decades.
Forecast: Musical. Muddy.
And, oh yeah, more rain.
* * * * *
Other than last night’s special evening, celebrating the 75th birthday of Allen Toussaint, which you can read about here, I’ve been essentially taking a respite from tuneage.
I did stop by LMF yesterday on the way back from a late lunch/ early dinner, and caught the last half of slide guitar master Spencer Bohren’s in-store.
It had been a strange day when I’d had a little misunderstanding with an old pal — now resolved I do believe — but was feeling low. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: May 1st, 2013 | Filed under: Culture, Music, Personalities | 2 Comments »
The realization hit, as best I recall, sometime in the 70s.
A great majority of the music that really stirred my soul, going back to the Doo Wop days, had a connection to New Orleans.
Either it was recorded here. Or written here. Or performed by someone who was born, reared or schooled (musically speaking) in the Crescent City.
Fats Domino. “Tell It Like It Is.” “Fortune Teller.” Specialty Records, meaning, of course, the Architect of R & R, Little Richard. The irrepressible Ernie K-Doe. “Working In A Coal Mine.”
Then a later wave. Little Feat. “Lady Marmalade.” Dr. John, The Night Tripper. “Sneakin’ Sally Through The Alley.” The incredible horn charts on The Band’s live album.
Of course, the guy whose aura and genius that permeates so very much of New Orleans music for the last half century: Allen Toussaint.
Last night, I was fortunate enough to be among those who celebrated his 75th birthday at an intimate tribute show, benefiting New Orleans Artists Against Hunger & Homelessness. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 29th, 2013 | Filed under: Culture, Ruminations | 1 Comment »
I’m nothing if not a beast of habit, a man of ritual, a guy who likes to plan his days.
Even his daze, as in the Daze Between, which is what the three day interlude between JazzFest weekends is called.
So, this morning I went for my jog along the River Walk, and through the Quarter.
Then I drove out Magazine to the Whole Foods at the corner of Arabella.
(Aside that may be of interest only to me. Right down the street at the corner of Arabella and Tchoupitoulas used to reside Frankie & Johnny’s, one of my favorite po boy joints in the burg. The place had to close since the owners, try though they might, couldn’t keep the place up to health code standards. Last straw might have been when a ceiling tile broke during lunch and dropping to the floor was a live rat. I gotta tell you though, the place had great onion rings.)
Anyway I go to the generic Whole Foods for my Annual Daze Between Monday Raw Fruit and Veggie Cleanse. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 29th, 2013 | Filed under: Culture, Music | 1 Comment »
Of the many excursions to the Gospel Tent through the decades, two moments stand out.
There was an Easter Sunday years ago, back, when the Rhodes folks still sponsored it and before the admission skyrocketed so the venue was always packed with locals. As The Lord is my witness, the place levitated, so powerful was the spirit that Sunday.
Then there was the performance of Raymond A. Myles, may he rest in peace, during the weekend after the Rodney King arrest and the resulting riots in LA and the ensuing tension. Myles, who was the next big thing on the gospel circuit, turned the place into a love fest.
At the end of his set, he had everybody in the tent — literally, not just almost everyone, but everyone — with their arms around each other’s shoulders. Not just holding hands, arms around shoulders. Blacks. Whites. Germans. Japanese. Old. Young.
Brothers and sisters in arms, we were. True, lasting serenity seemed not only possible, but truly doable.
Now there’s a third transcendent day. Yesterday. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 28th, 2013 | Filed under: Culture, Music | No Comments »
As the story goes, Lionel Ferbes played the Battle of New Orleans After Party. That his riffs inspired Johnny Horton’s big hit.
I don’t believe that to be true.
However, on good authority, it can be noted that Ferbes did duet with Gabriel, and was a frat brother of Methuselah.
Which is to say, the trumpet player, is, well, nothing if not venerable. One hundred two years young, and the dude is still imploring “Bill Bailey, won’t you please come home.”
As he did during his opening set yesterday at the Economy Hall tent. His chops ain’t what they used to be. (Whose are?), but he’s still playing. This cat has been there, done that many times over. So I stopped by to pay my respects.
He is the essence of traditional New Orleans music. Read the rest of this entry »
Posted: April 27th, 2013 | Filed under: Culture, Music, Ruminations | 2 Comments »
I’ve got one word for ya.
Gary Clark Jr.
Allow me to repeat myself, just in case you didn’t hear me.
Gary Clark Jr.
I’ve heard Jimi Hendrix once in concert. 4 July, 1970. Atlanta Pop Festival.
And Gary Clark Jr., you are no Jimi Hendrix.
Buuuuuuuuut, my oh my oh my, you are as close as anybody’s come. You be The Deal.
How good was Clark’s set on Day One? Well, when he started playing there was a fairly thick cloud cover. His first tune, a most Hendrixian number, was so incendiary, it dissipated the cloud cover over the Gentilly Stage. I’m not shittin’ ya. It was still cloudy everywhere else at the Fairgrounds.
About 30 seconds after Clark’s last note stopped resonating, the clouds returned.
Just sayin’. Read the rest of this entry »