Friday, February 27, 2015

R.I.P Leonard Nimoy

Leonard Nimoy who starred in Star Trek as Spock has passed away at the age of 83. He lived long and he did prosper.

Some highlights from the role that made him famous...

He also appeared in 39 voices either as an actor or with his voice. He also directed four other film that he did not appear in. He directed several he appeared in.

Here is a trailer for Invasion of the Body Snatchers a film he appeared in...

He appeared in several television shows as a guest. He starred in Mission Impossible.

His voice made him a star in programs such as In Search of and Ancient Mysteries. Enjoy a classic episode here.. 

How about some music..

May he rest in peace,,,

Thursday, February 26, 2015

Happy Birthday Johnny Cash

Today is the birthday of the late, great Johnny Cash. A country singer who influence rock as well.

Here he performs "She Used to Love Me Alot"

Of course I just dive into the music but what a fantastic way to celebrate an awesome artist!

Always a fun song "A Boy Named Sue"

Johnny Cash certainly left a vast musical legacy to pull music from. The last time I celebrated Johnny Cash's birthday on the blog it was a cover filled post featuring Roger Daltrey, Pearl Jam, and  Johnny covering Nine Inch Nails and U2. You can read that post here for more music!

Moving on here is Johnny with his wife June Carter.."Jackson"

What are your favorite Johnny Cash songs? Have any favorite Johnny Cash memories? Feel free to share in the comments.

Remembering Johnny Cash on his birthday!

Tuesday, February 24, 2015

Diana Krall

I don't write as I often as I used too. I am not reviewing concerts and theatre productions on a regular basis anymore. I've started to see more shows. Just haven't found the right opportunities that fit my writing and my regular job. One of the things I miss about writing regular reviews is it gave me plenty to blog about here. I used to call it "shameless self promotion." However, I always strived to add a little bit more to my blog. Perhaps it was videos that couldn't be added to the review, maybe an explanation of my thoughts.

In that spirit since I still write for the Examiner covering live music in the Washington area I decided to blog about Diana Krall who is one of the most successful jazz artist of my time. I wrote a preview article for her upcoming concert at the Strathmore in Bethesda, Maryland later this week. You can read it here. Her latest album "Wallflowers" sounds like a potential goldmine for my blogs' monthly Battle of the Bands series I participate in.

Below she performs "Walk on By"

The Strathmore is a venue I have reviewed shows at several times in the past. I can't praise the venue enough for the great sound and easy access. I reviewed Diana Krall when she performed at another famous venue Wolf Trap in 2012. You can read the review here at DC Theater and Arts.

Here she performs "Temptation" in Canada...

In the end it is always about the music and I do enjoy sharing it. 

"I'm A Little Mixed Up"

Hope you enjoyed my blog on Diana Krall and if she is coming to a venue near you and you enjoy jazz do yourself a favor and go see her perform!

Monday, February 23, 2015

Birthday Thoughts

I received over 75 birthday wishes from people on facebook. I am humbled that many folks would take time from their busy day to give me wishes. Friends from all faces of my life, including the good times and the bad times.

Ski friends, fraternity friends, family, other college buddies, writers ,editors, musicians, actors and actresses. People from old jobs and current jobs. People it is nice to hear from.

I celebrated my birthday over the weekend. A day at the beach on Saturday. Still a tad cold for swimming but still a fun time with family. Sunday my wife took me to a fancy Brazilian restaurant. A true carnivore's feast. She made it special, dressing up and all.

Sunday I did cook a special lunch just for me..

Black drum that I cooked. A tad over spiced and a tad over cooked. Still wasn't bad. If I didn't second guess myself it would have been better and if I wasn't so heavy fisted on the spices. Maybe some good advice for life in those lines.

Well my actual birthday turned out to be the greatest gift and biggest disaster rolled into one. My daughter ended up having the flu. So, I stayed home with her I was supposed to go to work. On the plus side I did have the flue shot. So, I got to spend the day snuggling with my daughter. I will take that any day! Of course I wish she felt better.

In my life the older you get the less material gifts you get. However the gentle reminders of the gifts of friends and family you have are so much greater. The gifts that really matter,

Sunday, February 15, 2015

Battle of the Bands Volume 15: Love Hurts

Welcome to my Battle of the Bands for February 15, 2015. Since it is the day after Valentine's Day I thought I would take a look at the other side of love. Everyone who has ever been in love knows "Love Hurts." Nazareth's version is probably the best known version. It is not the original. However due to the popularity of this song I won't include it in the battle.

I get to the music let me explain what is going on and who else has battles!

Regular rules, listen to the song clips in the blog post. In the comment section vote for the one you like the best. Feel free to explain why you voted the way you did. The battles take place on the first and 15th and winners will be announced on the 7th and 21st. I will normally post the winner in the comments. Of course have fun and enjoy!

The below list is edited to welcome some new battles and unfortunately some battles have taken a break. If you are still looking for more musical fun after you vote, you can check out these sites for more battles:

DC Relief

The Sound of One Hand Typing

If I miss anyone let me know and I will add you into the list! 

Vote for one of these;

Contestant #1: Joan Jett

Contestant #2: The Everly Brothers (the Original Version)

I was going to add more covers but I will stay with two. Enjoy and vote in the comments!

Friday, February 13, 2015

Happy Birthday Peter Gabriel

Today is Peter Gabriel's birthday.He is a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work with Genesis.

Here he is with Genesis with "The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway"

It is safe to say he hit the "Big Time" as a solo artist here..

One of my favorite songs of his is this one...

"The Knife" from the Genesis days..

I will leave you with this one.."In Your Eyes"

Happy 645th to Peter Gabriel! 

Thursday, February 12, 2015

Happy Birthday Michael McDonald

Last night I went and saw Michael McDonald in concert. It was an early Valentine's Day date for my wife since I have to work on Valentine's Day. The crowd sang Happy Birthday to him even though the five time Grammy Award winners birthday is today.

The first time I saw Michael McDonald in concert he was part of an all-star band called The Dukes of September...

Here is a review of that show I wrote for DC Metro Theater Arts if you are interested.

I am just celebrating his birthday in the style of this blog which is to share a bunch of music!

"What a Fool Believes"

Here Michael sings lead on Steely Dan's "Do It Again" ..

I am a big Steely Dan fan so I had no problem adding that song to the blog. Below he performs "You Belong to Me" with The Doobie Brothers.

I hope I don't forget anything..

Thanks for stopping in! I hope you enjoyed your visit!

Tuesday, February 10, 2015

Hourglass Heights Review and Blog Tour

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Welcome to my review of Ian David Noakes "Hourglass Heights." It is the author's debut novel but it reads like he has been honing his craft for years.

The book is 277 pages long and published by Austin Macauley Publishers Ltd.. The novel is a fun ride as it is erotic, it could be called a horror, and it is a thriller you won't want to put down.

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Here is a synopsis of the book:

Who is brutally murdering the male residents of the Hourglass Heights apartment complex? At first glance, it would appear that their spouses are the killers, but Detective Marcia Tanaka believes that a serial killer is responsible.
​Through the course of her investigation, Detective Tanaka is pulled into a world of Japanese folklore and the supernatural as she explores the darker side of relationships, sex and psyche. She must learn to defeat her own personal demons before she can defeat one that is far more sinister.

Hourglass Heights combines the mystery and suspense of a supernatural murder investigation with the intense sexual exploration usually found only in erotica.

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This book isn't for you if you don't want to read about sex, gruesome murders, which can be graphic at times. Not a children's book. But you wouldn't expect a book labeled erotic, a horror and a thriller to be.
The book was slow for me to get into, thankfully it was something I could overcome. The characters are interesting, human with their flaws. 
Taking place in an apartment building called Hourglass Heights the detective tries to solve a series of brutal murders. Throughout the novel she meets her own demons, sexual encounters, and the supernatural. Some writers touch on some of these things in their work in books, television, and movies however Noakes blends it all and turns the burners up to another level! A solid read and look forward to seeing what else he has in store in the future. Reading the book you can understand why it has been nominated for a couple of awards.
4 out of 5 Stars.

The author:
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 Want to learn more about the author visit his website.
Interested in the book? Check it out at Amazon

Thanks for visiting and happy reading! 

Sunday, February 8, 2015

R.I.P Dean Smith

Dean Smith the legendary former head coach of the North Carolina Tar Heels has passed away at the age of 83.

Dean Smith won 879 games in his coaching career. His teams won two National Championships and appeared in 11 NCAA Final Fours. The Atlantic Coast Conference has always been known as a power basketball conference. Winning 17 regular season conference titles and 13 conference tournaments adds to his status.He was a four time National Coach of the Year and nine time conference coach of the year.He was also the coach of the 1976 Gold Medal winning Olympic Basketball team.

If Hall of Fame memberships equals greatness Dean Smith had it covered.

He was inducted into the Basketball Hall of Fame in 1983, the College Basketball Hall of Fame in 2006, the North Carolina Sports Hall of Fame in 1981, the Kansas Sports Hall of Fame in 1996 and the FIBA Hall of Fame in 2007.

Maybe his greatest stat was 96.6% of his athletes received their degrees! A true legendary coach for North Carolina and perhaps a model of what coaches should be,

Tuesday, February 3, 2015

Happy Birthday Dave Davies of the Kinks!

Today is Dave Davies birthday! He is most famous for his guitar and vocal work in The Kinks. Today he turns 68 and we celebrate his music!

Here he performs "Through My Window"

The Kinks "Come Dancing"

Here is "Apeman" by the Kinks

Happy Birthday Dave Davies! Thanks for visiting I hope you enjoyed

Monday, February 2, 2015

Happy Birthday Graham Nash!

Today is Graham Nash's 73rd birthday! Best known for his work with Crosby Stills and Nash (and sometimes Young). He was also inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for his work woth The Hollies.

Here is as solo song "Innocent Eyes"

Celebrating his birthday with lots of music on the blog since that is how we roll.

Below is Crosby, Stills and Nash with "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes"

From The Hollies "On a Carousel"

Below here is Graham with Jerry Garcia and Mickey Hart of the Grateful Dead

Happy Birthday Graham Nash!

Sunday, February 1, 2015

Thoughts on the Super Bowl

I thought the New England Patriots were going to win before the game. I wanted a better game than last year's Super Bowl. I went to a local barbecue restaurant to watch the game with my daughter who was looking forward to Katy Perry at halftime!

14-14 at the half. My daughter glued to the television during the halftime show! I was hoping for more of Lenny Kravitz. It was a short and sweet show! I think she did a great job.

My daughter watching..

From the kids say the darnedest things file: A Seattle Seahawk player did not make a catch and my daughter says "he has butter fingers like me!" I have never used the term butter fingers around my daughter so I suppose she has picked that up from school. I did find her comment funny and thought she may have a career in the booth.

In the third quarter I thought Seattle might pull away from the Patriots when they took a 24-14 lead. When the Seahawks scored on the drive off of a Tom Brady interception I thought you can't make mistakes like that against the Super Bowl 48 Champions.

However, Tom Brady led New England back. Seattle drove down the field helped by a crazy, circus catch that was more luck than talent.

It ended on an interception when Seattle decided to pass the ball instead of run the ball in from the one. Most people called it dumb play calling. However, if it was a touchdown pass no one would call it dumb. So it was an entertaining finish, the game came down to the last seconds. I had great company with my daughter and plenty of boneless wings. It was not a bad Super Bowl at all!