Archive for the ‘entertainment’ Category
Falling, falling, falling..
It may seem strange to the under 50 crowd at this remove, but it's pretty much impossible to overstate what an incredible influence Fleetwood Mac's Rumours album had when I was in the last years of high school. Almost every track was on the radio at one time or another, and everybody had a copy. I would have had one, but I was dead broke at the time, so I somehow convinced my sister to spring for it. I taped her copy to cassette and it was in constant rotation with my Beach Boys albums in my jury rigged car player (which would reverse the tape and start playing the other "side" every time we hit a bump).
Rumours was the followup to the also very successful eponymous album Fleetwood Mac which established the band's "classic lineup". It was also the lead-in to the rather experimental Tusk which no doubt confused their legions of fans.
Over the years the band went through a lot of acrimony and romantic imbroglioes, with the fact that it was coed giving even more scope for feuding than even the Beach Boys "enjoyed".
Still, after all the dust settled, and after a sixteen year absence for Christine McVie, the classic lineup is back together and making music again.
I took the opportunity to see them in Charlotte, and everybody was in fine form, and looking and sounding pretty good for a bunch of 60 and 70 year olds. They played everything you would expect, and added a few new songs that, if not instant classics, were pretty good. As you can tell from the video and pix, I was *way* up in the nosebleed section, something I did not appreciate in the least while inching towards my seat like an action movie hero sidling along a window ledge over a twenty story drop. It was somewhat better once I actually had a seat, though as you can hear in the video, I fell in with a bunch of Chatty Cathys..
Anyway, it was a great show, and you should definitely catch them if you can.
As just a few random observations: It's amazing how bad a shape I-77 is in. It seemed like I was dodging huge ruts all the way to Charlotte. I don't remember that from my last trip in June, but it can't have gotten that bad that quick. Also, the parking garage at EpiCenter is the worst I've ever been in, like the old text based computer game "You are in a maze of twisty little passage all alike": It was amazingly hard to find the level changes rather than just driving by the same packed spaces again and again. Maybe I was "Over My Head"...
Kids' art studio, Tag It Art closed on 9 January 2015. You can see the classy farewell message here.
Forest Village is the little two-strip plaza that I still think of as the home of The Happy Bookseller though The Happy Cafe now occupies that spot.
(Hat tip to my sister)
The Free Times reports that this State Street loft has closed as of early December.
I really like comedy and make the trek to Charleston fairly often for improv, so I don't know why I never made it across the river. It's funny, I guess.
In my recent closing on the Lexington Monkey Joe's, I mentioned that I thought the Northeast location was still open. Well, I was wrong about that, and commenter Andrew set me straight, pointing out that commenter Miz Terry raised the issue of the Northeast closure right here, and that commenter badger had confirmed it.
Somehow I completely forgot those comments..
At any rate, the Northeast Monkey Joe's was on Newland Road, which is off of Clemson just south of I-20 (near the big flag car dealership). Although the building is now Awaken Church, you can look at it and immediately tell who the first tenant was.
(Hat tip to commenter Miz Terry)
I think we're all Bozos on this bus.
Celtic band Cu Dubh.
So, I thought at first I had made a big mistake heading up to the Carolina Renaissance Festival last weekend. It was a cold and rainy Halloween when I hit the road, and I awoke Saturday to find out that Snowpocalypse had hit the Midlands while I was gone and that it was cold, rainy, wet and miserable in Huntersville.
Fortunately, although I had to use the wipers driving out to the festival grounds, but the time I got there, it had stopped raining and was just cold and miserable. Obviously the crowds were thin, but the performers gave it a good go and the sun finally did peek out during the late afternoon giving them (and me) some relief. Sunday, however was gorgeous, and all these pictures date from then.
It seemed to me that a good portion of the performers were back from last year, but there were some new faces as well. As before, everybody had a very polished and entertaining line of patter and were quick to improv as circumstances demanded. There are plenty of kid centric and family friendly shows as well as more ribald "loose cannon" performances for those of us a bit longer in the tooth.
The festival continues on weekends through 23 November and it's a great way to spend a (hopefully sunny!) Fall afternoon.
Well, what do you want me to say? It was the State Fair, and if you've followed these posts for a while, you know the kind of thing I like to take pictures of at the fair, so there won't be any surprises here.
Some changes that started last year seem to have stuck. In particular, the sand sculpture is still in the Ruff Building rather than the Ellison Building and the gray market videos and TELEVAC 8600 are still gone:
The pictures are from 12 October, which was an overcast day, though the temperature was nice. As the evening wore on, it started to spit rain a bit, and in fact more than a bit at times. That affected the skyride video this year. I was afraid it would really start coming down, so I took the video going west to east, rather than hoofing it back to the east and going the other way. That means that we're travelling away from the most visually interesting parts. I think the rain was also futzing with the autofocus of the camera a bit from time to time.
Many more pictures after the break.
I know we came to Workshop several times when I was a kid, but as I recall I only went under my own steam three times, once for Noises Off, once for The Foreigner and once for A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum. You can see a trend there -- light comedies all. In each case, I thought the show was very well staged and acted, and thoroughly enjoyed myself.
Well, to reverse the opening theme to Forum, "Comedy tomorrow, tragedy tonight", as the venerable Workshop building has been torn down (along with other structures on the block) so the property can become part of the USC law school. For the nonce, Workshop is presenting at 701 Whaley while building a new home.
Here's a WLTX story on the demolition.
Interestingly, on FreeBSD Firefox, their web page renders as Orkshop Theatre, though it looks all right on Windows..
(Hat tip to commenter CayceKid)
What A Field Day For The Heat
If you're the Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Reunion Tour with Brian Wilson to keep Mike Love in check, Mike Love to keep Brian Wilson on an even keel and the second most important catalog in rock history, you can open with the howitzers, drop back to hand grenades and finish with tactical nukes. Otherwise, you'd probably best stick with the standard rock act strategy of opening with small arms, dropping back to firecrackers and closing with the big guns -- which Crosby, Stills & Nash more or less did at the Township on Wednesday night.
The trio kicked the show off with "Carry On", and the signature tight (detractors say "painful") harmonies were spot on in a pretty decent sound mix:
They then moved fairly quickly to "Marakesh Express"
and "Just A Song Before I Go"
Inasmuch as there was a front man for the group, David Crosby took the role. He alluded briefly to his famously self destructive ways back in the day, and did most of the commentary and introductions. He seemed a bit froggy when speaking, but nailed all of his leads, sometimes with vocals of surprising power. Stephen Stills was vocally in worse shape. I don't know if it was due to being 69 years old, or if he just blew out his voice over the course of the tour, but it was very noticable on his solo leads -- not enough to spoil the enjoyment, but definitely there. Somehow his harmonies were still pure though. Graham Nash was the most retiring presence on stage, and didn't seem to have a lot to say.
During the "firecracker" portion of the show, CSN did several new tunes, both as a group and as three solo artists. I thought the best of these was a lament for the Tibetian monks who have set themselves on fire protesting Chinese rule of that mountain land.
The way they approached the solo and new material was a bit odd as often the two who were not involved with a song would leave the stage. It was certainly a reminder that CSN is as much three people showing up together as it is an organic group. While it gave each man a time to shine, I would have preferred the solo songs to be presented in group arrangements as was done very effectively with Still's famous ode to carnal convenience:
And with the exploration of Stills's previous membership in Buffalo Springfield:
The show closed with a meditation on education:
Big guns conspicuously silent: "Suite: Judy Blue Eyes", "Ohio", "Woodstock" and Neil Young.
Certainly a great show.
(Would have posted this last night, but was having a terrible time getting the video uploaded. I will swap out the low-res for high when I finally get it transferred).
My sister mentioned to me tonight that the only channel that *always* came in clear at her house, channel 47, was gone, and that the CW network it had carried had moved to channel 63.
Wikipedia confirms the move of the CW as of 17 March 2014, but says that WZRB is still carrying ION (which started on 10 Feburary 2014). However, my sister says she's getting nothing on channel 47, and the station website is "under construction", so I'm not sure what's going on there.
The station started out as a UPN affiliate, and seems to have had an interesting and somewhat fraught history according to that same Wikipedia article.
(Hat tip to my sister)