Saturday, May 30, 2015

Joey Alexander, pianist

Yesterday, Friday May 29th 2015, on
"The World" pri (from NPR), this young pianist (11 years old) was interviewed by host Marco Werman.  He performed several piano jazz pieces - let me just say, that I have never heard an 11 year old play the way he did, nor have I ever heard one converse so incredibly with an adult.  

He will be performing at this year's Newport Jazz Festival.

You can hear some of his performance by going to "The World" pri.

Check him out.

My Old Lady, a film

We watched this film last night, not sure why it is labeled as a comedy, the subject matter is pretty involved.  Possibly, because Kevin Kline is generally considered a "comic"

Set in current day Paris.

Mathias Gold (Kevin) inherits an apartment (MORE like a palace when you consider the size of the place) from his estranged father, only trouble is that with the apartment, he also inherits Mathilde (Maggie Smith) and her daughter Chloe (Kristin Scott Thomas), who according to "ancient" French real estate laws, are not required to vacate the premises until Mathilde passes away. All Mathias wants to do is sell the place - he is after all BROKE!

Things are not always what they seem, and Mathias learns that his father and Mathilde had been lovers some 40 years ago, and is it possible that Chloe is his half sister?

Layers of hurt, anger and distrust are peeled away gradually, until we see each character for who they really are.

Quote of the Day----Goodreads

Ending a novel is almost like putting a child to sleep—it can't be done abruptly.
Colm Tóibín
Happy birthday, Colm Tóibín! The Irish novelist has said he'd like to be buried in his favorite writing room, surrounded by the books he loves.

If you haven't read anything by Colm, you are missing a real treat.  His writing is marvelous.  Hope you will give him a try.

Thursday, May 28, 2015

Quote of the Day-----Goodreads

I wonder how many people I've looked at all my life and never seen.
John Steinbeck
May 28, 1935: John Steinbeck's first successful novel, Tortilla Flats, was published 80 years ago today. The book borrowed from Arthurian legend to tell the story of a group of paisanos in the years after WWI.

Perhaps we should all stop and consider this, maybe we would have a better world if we just acknowledged with a smile or "hi" to that person walking towards us.

Have a Happy Day!

Wednesday, May 27, 2015

2nd Best Exotic Marigold Hotel, film

Saw this over the Memorial day weekend.  Fun, not as good as the original, however, very enjoyable, and the music was great.

Quote of the Day------Goodreads

Fiction is art and art is the triumph over chaos… to celebrate a world that lies spread out around us like a bewildering and stupendous dream.
John Cheever
American novelist John Cheever (born May 27, 1912) was not a good student in high school. His grades were extremely poor, but he channeled the negative experience into writing. The result, a short story called Expelled, was published when Cheever was 18.

Friday, May 22, 2015

Vera, an English tv series

Yet another "ITV" detective series.  We discovered this one several months ago.

Brenda Blethyn portrays Vera, a most unusual female DCI, in this series. She gets the job done with the help of Joe, her "side-kick".

This series ranks up there with DCI Banks, and George Gently.  What we enjoy about this, there is not a lot of gruesome stuff shown.

Thursday, May 21, 2015

Eric Bibb

How often do you come across not just one, but two really interesting musicians in a very short period of time?  Not that often.

I should have written about Eric Bibb first, however, Alan was still "singing" in my mind, so that was why I wrote about him.

On to Eric - he has been singing for 4 decades!?  Well, he never was on my radar, until my best friend sent me 2 of his CDs.

Listening to his music is refreshing, and highly enjoyable. Couldn't quite figure who he reminded me of, something about his style jogged my memory of the late Eva Cassidy (what a loss to the music world), and then just a few days after the loss of the great B.B. King, it occurred to me that there was just a hint of the great master's style in Eric's music - so if you are a fan of either of these two late musicians, you very well might enjoy Eric, that is if you haven't already discovered him.

Hope you will consider Eric.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

American Sniper, a film based on Chris Kyle

Unless you have been living under a rock, or on a desert island, for the past several months, you should have heard of the film American Sniper, starring Bradley Cooper as Chris Kyle.

We watched this film last night - never moving until its conclusion.  Even knowing how Chris died - murdered - I was just overcome with grief.  Lots of tissues.

No wonder so many of our current crop of young veterans suffer from PTS - what they saw on a daily basis, losing their comrades, never knowing if and when a bullet, grenade or rocket fire would get them, and never knowing if that woman or child walking towards them was an innocent bystander or a threat to them.  

Bradley Cooper gave a powerful performance as Chris.  Earlier this year, I had heard Bradley and Chris's wife being interviewed on NPR, that interview was amazing, and I knew that we would have to see the movie.

R rated for language, violence and sexual references.

Tuesday, May 19, 2015

Alan Doyle, musician

Last night driving home from work, listening to "Q" from CBC on the local NPR (nwpr) radio station, Shad's guest artist was Alan Doyle, (in photo at right), OMG WHAT A VOICE!  and what great music.  Check him out.  So often one can NEVER understand the lyrics, well, Alan has the gift of clarity and beauty!

Also, if you can find the radio program "Q", Shad is a very interesting host, I am so glad that they were able to find him.

Quote of the Day --- Goodreads

Reading is escape, and the opposite of escape; it's a way to make contact with reality after a day of making things up, and it's a way of making contact with someone else's imagination after a day that's all too real.
Nora Ephron
Before finding international success as a novelist and screenwriter, Nora Ephron (born May 19, 1941) briefly worked as an intern at the White House while John F. Kennedy was president.

Monday, May 18, 2015

Elsa & Fred, a movie

What a pleasant surprise!  How nice that Hollywood has started to address "old age" and love at the same time.

Shirley and Christopher gave the most lovely performances in this film.

Love can come at any time, whether you think so or not, or even want it to happen!


DCI Banks, British TV series

We bumped into this series several months ago. 

Naturally a crime is involved, what is particularly thoughtful of this series, is that we don't (generally) have to view the gory crime being committed!  The "movie" that was the forerunner of the series, however, was rather graphically violent.

We have enjoyed this series much more than some of the other BBC mystery series, that we have "faithfully" followed for a number of years.

Hope you will consider this series.

Tuesday, May 12, 2015

Quote of the Day-----Goodreads

You shall know the truth and the truth shall make you mad.

Aldous Huxley
May 12, 1961: On this day, a fire destroyed Aldous and Laura Huxley's home in the Hollywood Hills. While most of their belongings were ruined, their firewood, of all things, survived the disaster