Saturday, September 26, 2009

Today And Tomorrow In Santa Cruz, CA: The Fab Four Film Festival



Bay Area Film Events presents a tribute to the Beatles at the Del Mar Theatre in Santa Cruz this weekend. Here's a trailer promoting the event, which will include live performances by Drew Harrison and Peter Lomenzo of The Sun Kings.



Since I still have quite the soft spot for the Fab Four after all these years - especially the era involving that most productive competition between the Beatles-Sir George Martin and Brian Wilson (objective: make the most progressive, most orchestral, most mind-blowing pop album ever), this appeals to me.

I also have a soft spot for the still mod films of Richard Lester, so seeing A Hard Day's Night again on the big screen is a must, and am ready for a followup event involving Eric Idle's The Rutles, George Harrison's contributions to the early Saturday Night Live and various Monty Python-related endeavors.

Friday, September 25, 2009

Art Car Fest Hits The San Francisco Bay Area

Art Car Fest 2009 brings a colorful cornucopia of "vehicles gone wild" to the Bay Area this weekend. They will be in Redwood City on Saturday and Berkeley on Sunday. Here are clips from previous Art Car Fests, packed with amazing - and often hilariously funny - objects d' art.





It has been suggested to me, a film collector (by an artist, no less), that I create an art car with reels, projector/splicer parts, projection lamps and footage. While this is a fantastic idea, the only problem is that I, as a serious classic film geek, would opt to make my strange vehicle with ridiculously rare tinted silent movies and I.B. Technicolor cartoons on 35mm nitrate film. Nitrate is highly combustible, so it would ultimately be necessary to torch the vehicle, Burning Man style; alas, I love both cars and films too much to do this. Come to think of it, being a musician, I could never bring myself to light any of my guitars on fire (a la the great Jimi Hendrix), even the axes I didn't like.

For more cool stuff on this fun event, which brings new meaning to the phrase "cash for clunkers", check out the Art Car Fest Blog.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Born On This Day In 1926

John Coltrane (1926-1967), one serious musician. Here's a rare bit of an interview recorded in 1966.



I believe the following clip is from the John Coltrane Quartet's appearance on the KQED-TV program Jazz Casual (correct me if I'm wrong).

Sunday, September 20, 2009

Burt Bacharach Day

I can think of no better way to precede a listening of Elvis Costello Live With The Metropole Orkest - My Flame Burns Blue (recorded at the 2004 North Sea Jazz Festival) than by enjoying my last Elvis Meets Chet (Baker, not Atkins) blog entry, followed by this stellar performance of "God Give Me Strength" featuring no less than Burt Bacharach, the maestro himself, on piano. Now, if there could be an Elvis Costello - Diana Krall tour with Burt as conductor/pianist. . .

Friday, September 11, 2009

Interview: Two Songwriters Extraordinaire, Isaac Hayes And David Porter, June 2008

Note on this interview from the Conclave Learning Conference in Minneapolis (June 28, 2008): I have omitted Part 2, as there is no audio on Part 2 of the youtube clip, as well as Part 4, which is devoted to audience questions.



Wednesday, September 09, 2009

Never Can Say Goodbye by Mike n' Ike - Pick Your Favorite Version!

Here's a tune written by Clifton Davis that topped the charts and became concert show-stoppers for at least two 70's icons. In this corner, from Motown Records, The Jackson 5!



And in this corner, from Stax Records, the fabulous Isaac Hayes! I'm partial to the following version and Hayes' baritone vocal stylings - although both renditions are great.

Saturday, September 05, 2009

Raymond Scott Quintette, 1938

It's Labor Day Weekend, so I'm really too lazy to write today. So here's a clip from Happy Landing (1938) featuring the music of the amazing Raymond Scott Quintette and tapdancers dressed in Sitting Bull costumes.



So dear readers, however many or few, have a great weekend! If you're gainfully employed, enjoy and relish the time off. If you're out of work, I sincerely hope that paying and fulfilling employment (or an inspirational entrepreneurial brainstorm) comes soon!

Wednesday, September 02, 2009

More San Francisco Bay Area Jazz



Here's a bit of much-needed balm in these unrelentingly lousy economic times:

Tonight, the excellent "little big band"
8 Legged Monster is having its CD release party at San Francisco Yoshi's. Of four exceptional S.F. Bay Area female jazz singers, Kim Nalley, Tré Taylor, Lavay Smith and Karina Denike (add a fifth chanteuse, Paula West, when she is not on extended engagements in New York), two - Lavay and Karina - will be belting 'em out with 8 Legged Monster tonight.

8 Legged Monster's 8:00 p.m. set will be followed by a late show by The Shotgun Wedding Hip-Hop Symphony, an ensemble which blends jazz rhythms, arrangements and improvisation with the linguistics and distinctive beats of hip-hop. As hip-hop can often be very metric and free-flowing "without a net" improvisational jazz is anything but metric, I don't know how they do it, but this band pulls it off. They are carrying on the artistic tradition of Herbie Hancock, who mixed funk, 1960's style bop, r&b, free jazz (thanks to Bennie Maupin's powerful saxophone work), synth-pop and rock brilliantly back in the 1970's.

Across town at
Amnesia on Valencia Street between 19th and 20th, Gaucho pays homage to the sweet, sprightly and enduring "Gypsy Jazz" music of guitar god Django Reinhardt and The Hot Club Of France.

While not yet near the level of that last stretch of Bay Area music glory in the early to mid-1990's (ah, yes - heady days of many great young jazz bands, several of which featured innovative guitarist Charlie Hunter, playing the Elbo Room, Radio Valencia, Bruno's, Up & Down Club, Beanbenders, etc.), activity has been building slowly over the past few years. Hallelujah, we have a live jazz scene again.

So don't blow 250 semolians to attend one concert by some dinosaur act that doesn't need the money anyway, check out these fine local musicians instead. Support local arts and artists - it's up to you!