Friday, August 15, 2008

Towering, and other news

We will welcome a family of musicians from the Boston area as special audience guests a week from Monday. They are so stoked about coming to see the band. The daughter in this tribe is 21 year old Amanda Corvini, bari sax player in the Berklee School of Music Tower of Power ensemble. Check out these clips:

Wow. 'eh? The Kids are takin' names and kickin' ass.

The faculty member and director of this project is trumpeter Wayne Naus. Below, an mp3 clip he sent me of a tune entitled "Burn Out" from his Latin jazz CD "Chase The Fire":

Nice, man. Very cool.

Well, I told Amanda to bring her axe, and we sent her a bari chart and an mp3. That will be great fun. Come help us welcome these new friends on the 25th.


Herman and his cats are back tomorrow night. Be there.


I'm gonna do a bit of my Loggins/Fogelberg 12-string acoustic schtick at the Barack Obama pre-convention rally in Henderson at CSN.

The other performer on the bill (the "headliner," actually) is a cat I'd not previously heard of, Phil Flowers. Nice voice. Really fine.


Come on out if you can.


Cheryl just bought me the DVD set of the 5th and final season of HBO's awesome, raw series "The Wire."

I've already watched half of it (I have all the prior season DVD sets). Man, it is so badass...

A monumental achievement, I gotta say. Ignoring for a moment even the fine quality of the writing, acting, cinematography, etc., the sheer volume of work just blows my mind. The typical theatrical release movie project, by way of contrast, comprises a lumbering logistical "virtual corporation" that comes together for usually something like three to eight years or so spanning pre-production, shooting, post, and marketing/release/distribution. All that for one 90 to maybe 150 minute film.

The five seasons of "The Wire," on the other hand, comprise 3,630 minutes -- 60.5 hours -- of finished episode material (plus all the ancillary documentary stuff they give you). Roughly the equivalent of 30 theatrical films in five years. Amazing. The work ethic and organizational efficiency, in addition to the artistic quality.

Season Five trailer below (warning, language):


I copped this in mp3 from an NPR "All Things Considered" Jerry Wexler tribute segment just now:

Jerry Wexler's personal taste predicted the path of popular music for more than 30 years. He was one of the last links to the roots of the modern music business — a time when legends were being born.

Wexler's specialty was rhythm and blues. Even the term was his: In 1949, he invented it as a reporter for Billboard magazine.

In 1953, Ahmet Ertegun, head of Atlantic Records, asked Wexler to join the company. The independent label quickly grew in strength, releasing a steady stream of R&B hits produced or promoted by Wexler: songs by Chuck Willis, the Drifters, the Coasters.

"When I came into the company, it was already a fairly successful enterprise," Wexler once said in an interview. "Ruth Brown, Joe Turner, Ray Charles were already there. The only music we recorded was the music that we liked and had sales possibilities."

Most of mainstream America dismissed this music as uncultured — too raw, too black...
Say it Loud.



August 23rd, Clark County Government Center Amphitheater, 7 pm. Featuring our bro', Major Bad Boy bassist Blaise Sison, Music Director for The Family Stone Experience. Free show. Great outdoor venue (recall, this is where I covered the Spyro Gyra concert recently).

Come on out. I will be there to cover it.

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