Friday, February 28, 2014

Breakfast Time

Good morning it is breakfast time! Promoting my own writing today. I do that from time to time. My latest article is about breakfast spots in the Pensacola, Florida area. You can read it here.
Grab your coffee cup and check it out! I promise none of the spots are cooking this...

In other news, the blog is back in full force now! I have some neat projects lined up for March which I will blog about. I'm doing the A to Z Blog thing in April. So stayed tune!

Wednesday, February 26, 2014

Happy Birthday Fats Dominos

Fats Domino turns 86 today. Who I was going to write about today (or at least who I was going to write about first) was not easy. He had some competition. However, he is someone it fun to write about and more importantly share music.

I think everyone knows "Blueberry Hill" but Fats is far from a one hit wonder.

Above is another classic "I'm Walking." I could go on and on. Don't worry he has more classics like this one..

What is your favorite Fats Domino song?  I am glad he is still alive. I am thankful for the songs he has created. Maybe I like him for his New Orleans roots, his great songs, his soulful is hard to pinpoint it.

Tuesday, February 25, 2014

George Harrison's Birthday

I published a similar post last year to celebrate the late George Harrison's 7oth birthday. This year I felt it was appropriate to celebrate him again. 2014 has already seen the Beatles celebrated for their 50th anniversary of their first concert in the USA. George Harrison was a guitarist in the band who like Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, and John Lennon went on to have a notable solo career. I'll try to mix up the videos this year to show something a bit different.

Here is a fan created version of "While My Guitar Gently Weeps" performed by The Beatles. Last year I posted a video of George playing it solo with some musical all stars.

Here is another great Beatle's song that really highlights George called "Here Comes the Sun"
Here is George playing a solo song from the late 80's "Got My Mind Set On You"
George talks about the Beatles break up
George Harrison maybe gone but he is not forgotten. We celebrate his birthday.


R.I.P Harold Ramis

Harold Ramis new comedy movies. He acted in some, he wrote or co-wrote a ton of them, he produced them, and directed them. Some films he wrote, acted, produced and directed. As an actor he is probably best known for his role in Ghostbusters a movie he co-wrote with Dan Aykroyd.

Here is a clip from that classic comedy..

My personal favorite of his is the film Groundhog Day. He wrote the film with Danny Rubin. He also acted in it, directed it, and produced it. Below is a trailer for the film.

Here is CNN's tribute to Harold Ramis.

He had something to do with Stripes, the cult classic Heavy Metal film, Animal House, National Lapoon's Vacation, Caddyshack, Meatballs, and so many more. The film industry lost a great one. We have the films to watch again and laugh. Thanks for the laughter Harold Ramis may you rest in peace.

Monday, February 24, 2014

Music Has Left The Hills: Maria von Trapp has passed away

Certainly those famous lines of "the hills are alive with the sound of music"from The Sound of Music will echo off the walls of a theater somewhere. However, the hills of Stowe, Vermont were silent on Saturday. It was a silence echoed in the famed hills of Austria where the original story found meaning. Maria von Trapp passed away on Saturday at the age of 99.

She was the last singing member from the famous Trapp family who The Sound of Music is based on. The story was originally found in the book "The Story of the Trapp Family Singers" which was written by Maria's mother, Maria Kutschera von Trapp. The family gave the world another example of how sometimes the best stories come from real life.

The original movie version is a staple for the girls in my household. The last time I watched the musical was when I reviewed a wonderful performance of the show at The Olney Theatre Center in Maryland. You can read my review for The Maryland Theatre Guide here.

The trailer to the 1965 movie here:

That famous song..

Thanks for the story, the musical, and the memories!

Sunday, February 23, 2014

Bieber Stays: Thoughts on 2014 Olympic Hockey

There was Team USA's big win over Russia in overtime that hockey fans wanted to compare "The Miracle" at Lake Placid in 1980. The Olympics have changed since those amateurs defeated a strong Russian team. Now the teams are filled with professional players with each team having their own all star team. There is no comparison.

Then there was the humorous Justin Bieber bet that showed up on a Chicago billboard. I snagged the photo from Entertainment Weekly's site and they snagged it from Command Sign. Funny stuff but Bieber apparently didn't see the humor. If Team Canada needed extra motivation they found it as they beat Team USA in overtime. The USA Team lost big in the bronze medal match.Finland came up with a 5-0 victory.

View image on Twitter

Sunday, Canada defeated Sweden 3-0 to win the Gold Medal. Of course the Swedes played without their star and NHL star Nicklas Backstrom failed a doping test. Living in the USA I had to search to find out who won the Gold but I had no trouble finding who failed the doping test.

There is always 2018, until then we still have Justin Beiber. Until then Beiber has a chance to mature, a chance to put a new album out, a chance to tour, and probably will have the last laugh.

On Reading in The Technical Age

This week I downloaded the Kindle application for my smart phone. I did it to support an author I know who released his first novel on the electronic media. The novel hasn't been released in a physical form. It is a drastic change for me since the last novel I read was a Japanese Nobel Prize winning book that dates back to the 50s or 60s.  A book that has aged, developed dog-ears and creases, and even yellowed with age.

Purchasing the new book was easy and downloading the app was a breeze. The kindle app is really ease to use with my touch screen phone. It even saves my place. However, if I drop my phone I risk an expensive deductible. I need my phone and gadgets so I can't afford to misplace it and my electronic book for months on end.

In short it is not a book. It does have it advantages and I could grow to like it. However, I am am old fashioned reader. I like the feel of a book in my hand as I read it. I even embrace technology to hunt down a book I want to read. I like searching through thrift stores, flea markets, and those great used book stores.

I fear technology. Book stores could vanish like record stores. Yes, I called them record stores when I purchased cassettes and compact discs as well. Libraries are shrinking will this technology make them landmarks of the past.

Am I wrong to hold on to the outdated books? Do outdated books turn into classics? Will classics still be made when you flick screens instead of turning pages? 

Friday, February 21, 2014

Lineup Bonnaroo 2014: A Few Big Names and The Rest of the Story

Over 125 bands and over 30 comedians are coming to the farm in Manchester, Tennessee for Bonnaroo 2014. I could probably blog on that lineup until the festival starts. So, I will wrap it up with this post. I will start out mentioning some of the bigger names and go from there.

Cage and The Elephant

Bobby Womack...

Ice Cube..


Here is a  Bonnaroo line up announcement..

So if you are going or wish you were wish artists do you want to see? Which comedians?

Lineup Bonnaroo 2014: The Jam Band Thing

Some of the bands mentioned in my first two Bonnaroo fit into the jam band kind of genre like Tedeschi Trucks and Umphrey's McGee. However these additions should keep the fans jamming!

The Yonder Mountain String Band

John Butler Trio keeps it going...

Add in the traditional style of the Carolina Chocolate Drops..

along with the Southern Rock sound of Blackberry Smoke...

and the Drive by Truckers...

along with the New Orleans funk of Big Sams Funky Nation and you have a party!

As I ramble pass the jam bands let me bring it back with The Wood Brothers..

Greensky Bluegrass..

and Break Science..

Lucero probably fits on this page too..

I think I have another post or so left in me.

Thursday, February 20, 2014

Lineup Bonnaroo 2014: A Strong Second String

This is part two of my multiple blog post series on the lineup at this year's Bonnaroo Festival. The first one introduced the headliners and mentioned nine announced acts. Here are some more artists performing at the festival and I thing this series of groups is a pretty strong second string.

Artic Monkeys keep the music coming..

Frank Ocean...

The Flaming Lips

Nick Cave and The Bad Seeds..

Those four bands provide the festival with some musical talent and bolsters the lineup. Add in a tasty bluegrass jam, the festival is in Tennessee after all.

Lauren Hill has the talent and at one time the hits to headline the festival. She adds to the strength of the lineup as I deviate from the listed order of the line up.

The award winning Tedeschi Trucks Band will also perform...

Jam band favorite Umphrey's McGee will also be performing. I think they are hitting just about every festival in 2014.

I'll be back with more posts about Bonnaroo soon. The real world is calling me...

Lineup Bonnaroo 2014: Headliners and such

Bonnaroo is one of the biggest music festivals of the season. This year's lineup is diverse as always. Headlined by Elton John, which might be a surprise. However, Elton John is a big musical name who will appeal to the baby boomer generation. Perhaps the younger generation will discover his music.

Bonnaroo this is your song...

The controversial artist Kanye West is another headliner at this year's festival...

Some might prefer the sounds of Lionel Richie..

Jack White is perhaps the only headliner that actually rocks. Elton John is quite the entertainer and his songbook could fill a festival by itself. Lionel Richie has a catalog of hits and a great voice. Kayne West provides the hype. So Jack White brings the rock..

Vampire Weekend has a band name that could be used for a horror con weekend. Below is their first single..

The Avett Brothers is no stranger to music festivals. Here is a taste..

Phoenix keeps the lineup of alt rock music going..

Skrillex will rock Bonnaroo with their set and return to the stage later with a super jam..

The first eight bands of this year's lineup. I will be back with more posts about the festival lineup.

Wednesday, February 19, 2014

R.I.P Bob Casele

Devo guitarist Bob Casele passed away at the age of 61 from heart failure. He and the band is best known for their 1980 hit "Whip It." The band had a cult following. They were known for their videos. The band founded in 1972 embraced things that would be the 80s such as new wave, post-punk, videos, and keyboards.

Here is their hit...

The band was more than a one hit wonder. They brought creativity even when they covered other songs like The Rolling Stones...

This song was popular, even if it wasn't charting in the charts..

His family, fans, and band mates certainly will miss Bob Casele may he rest in peace and thanks for the songs.

Tuesday, February 18, 2014

Happy Birthday Yoko Ono

Today is Yoko Ono's birthday and turns 81. She is probably best known for being John Lennon's second wife. She is a musician, artist, mother, and activist. Some people blame her for The Beatles breakup. I think she should be remembered as the person John Lennon loved.

Above is Yoko's "Baddancer" a song she released last year at the age of 80.

Above is a clip and discussion about her performance art. Yoko Ono is still going strong at 81.

Monday, February 17, 2014

Happy Birthday Michael Jordan

In 2010 I wrote an article about the reasons Michael Jordan could be considered the best NBA player of all time. You can read that article here. There are some in NBA history who can challenge Michael Jordan for that top spot. Kobe Bryant is putting up a career that would challenge MJ's and Lebron James could best him when his career is over.It would be a true statement to say Michael Jordan is the best player in my memorable lifetime so far. If he was the best or not could be argued but one thing that is certain is Michael Jordan is an all time great of the NBA.

Here is a collection of some of highlights:

If you like dunks this is for you:

To this NBA Hall of Fame, NBA great, and current owner I say happy 51st!

Stay tuned to this blog for a new post soon.

Sunday, February 16, 2014

Happy Birthday Ice-T

Today, February 16, 2014 rapper turned actor Ice-T turns 56 year old.

He was a big name in rap's early years. Then he went onto Law and Order..

To hosting the Grammy  Awards...

Ice T has seen his career in entertainment continue to grow.

Saturday, February 15, 2014

Wanee Festival Line Up

The 2014 Wanee Festival should be on your not to miss list for two reasons. One it is the Festival's 10th Anniversary. I congratulate the festival for achieving this milestone. The second reason is this could be the last Wanee Festival or at least the last one featuring The Allman Brothers.

The line up for the festival is solid but has a stripped down feel to it. The festival is still anchored by The Allman Brothers. Add in a set by Lynryd Skynyrd and the festival will have a distinct southern flavor to it.

The jam band crowd should feel pretty excited with The Trey Anastasio Band, Moe, Rusted Root, Umphrey's McGee, Melvin Seals and the JGB and Chris Robinson.

The family bands will be there The Royal Southern Brotherhood, Gov't Mule, Jaimoe's Jasssz Band,Berry Oakley's Skylab and Tedeschi Trucks Band.

Adding to the party is Blues Traveler, Ziggy Marley, Hot Tuna, Dumpstaphunk (playing a set of Led Zeppelin), and Soulive. If you want hot blues guitars Walter Trout and Matt Schofield are scheduled to perform. The Blind Boys of Alabama also add to the talent rich lineup.

The rest of the lineup includes The Futurebirds, Rob Garza, Bobby Lee Jones, Break Science, Pink Talking Fish, Seam Chambers, The Yeti Trio, and The Hip Abduction.

April 10-12, 2014 Live Oak, Florida is the date and place more info at the official site. Wanee is always a great festival.

Friday, February 14, 2014

In Memory of Pete Seeger

Pete Seeger passed away while my blog was out. It might be better to write about him now since his death isn't current news or a trending topic. His death is simply a recent event. His life was far more than a simple life and his songs are much more than simple folk songs.

 In my younger days the loud guitars of Van Halen, Led Zeppelin, Deep Purple, Hendrix, and Guns and Roses appealed to me. I was turned on by the blues, especially the electric Chicago Blues. But as much as liked the grittier music I also liked the softer songs such as Bob Dylan, Joni Mitchell, Crosby, Stills and Nash. Neil Young kind to capture both sides. However, in my teen and young adult years I was introduced to the songs of Pete Seeger.

I used to sing and play his song "Where Have All The Flowers Gone." His influence on people, who could play  music who I knew, really pushed him up in my book. You know the real people in your life, who influence your taste in music and never have a clue they have.

In my opinion he is up there with Woody Guthrie and perhaps Ramblin' Jack Elliot on the top of my folk list. I tend to like the generation after them, The Grateful Dead, Dylan, Joni, Cat Stevens, Jimmy Buffett, and the list goes on. Still music before my time my wife likes to say. But to one of the guys who introduced me to Seeger's music, it was the music of his generation and he passed on the seed to grow inside my head. He probably doesn't know or remember he did. However, I am glad he did. I was able to appreciate Pete Seeger's music when he was alive and I will be able to pass it along.
Below is President Obama's tribute to Pete..
One of his last recordings was his cover of a Bob Dylan song..
Pete Seeger thank you for your music which influenced a generation. A generation that still passes your music down to other generations who will pass it down as well. You may have passed on but your music will carry on and another generation will ask "Where Have All The Flowers Gone."

Thursday, February 13, 2014

Thoughts on Shirley Temple

Shirley Temple passed away this week at the age of 85.  She will never be remembered as a 85 year old by most. However, she will live on as the sweetheart with the curly locks in old films. Being a parent of a six year old curly top girl creates yet another connection with Shirley Temple the comparison.

My daughter isn't Shirley Temple. My daughter is cute, she is taking ballet, and tap dance. Perhaps one day she will be a star. When and if that happens she will still be my little girl. However, there have been a few people who have said she reminds them of Shirley Temple. Looking back at the career and fame Shirley Temple achieved that is certainly a complement.

Above is part of The Kennedy Center program where they honored Shirley Temple. The Kennedy Center Honors is probably the best tribute to this star you can find.

Above is "Curly Top" I dedicate it to my daughter but present it in honor of Shirley Temple.
Below is perhaps her most famous tune...

I thank her for the memories that have become new to other generations. I am glad she lived a long life and I hope she rests in peace.

Wednesday, February 12, 2014

The Blog is Back

The blog is back. It has been away longer than I had anticipated. My ramblings kick off in 2014. The good news is the time of not blogging has left me with plenty ideas for blog topics. Feel free to browse back through the older posts to get a feel of how this blog works. Of course the future is never predictable and neither this blog. If your new to the blog, or if you are a reader from the blogs past welcome, sit back and enjoy the ride.