Month: May 2015

2013, Music

Miami Pop Festival (2013) by the Jimi Hendrix Experience

This is an Experience concert from the 1968 Miami Pop Festival (obviously) containing remarkably little music from either Axis or Ladyland – which they had already begun recording. Actually I don’t think there’s a single song from the latter. It’s a strong set and it shows off the Experience as a great live band, which …

2015, Movies

Mad Max: Fury Road (2015, George Miller)

It’s been years since I’ve seen the original trilogy in any kind of thorough way – since Thunderdome used to be on TV all the time, I’ve seen parts of it more than the other two – and I have to say I wasn’t keen on this movie. I hate remakes / reboots in principle …

2014, TV

Fargo – Season 1 (2014)

I normally review a TV series after I’ve watched all the seasons. However, given that the second season of Fargo will consist of an entirely new cast and plot, I am reviewing them separately. Needless to say, SPOILERS!!! I was really, really skeptical of this idea, not only because I was once a gigantic Coen …

2015, Music

Sol Invictus (2015) by Faith No More

When I was young I hated reunions, I felt like they were cash-grabs, things only sell-outs would do. I had a hard time thinking of musicians, particularly my musical idols, as people. I had an idea of artistic integrity and I thought that musicians should stick to it (or face my wrath, I guess). But …

1996, Music

Oracle (1996) by Michael Hedges

Michael Hedges is undoubtedly a great guitarist; his technique is incredible and his use of various alternative tunings and approaches to playing is also incredible. Apparently he was also extremely innovative; in the early ’80s he pioneered this style of heavily percussive playing. (There is some controversy over whether he was the first person to …

1970, Music

Live at Leeds (1970) by the Who

Is this the greatest live album of all time? I never used to care about live albums. I never used to care about live music. Music used to live in my bedroom and I had no idea that there was some other side to it. Frankly I didn’t understand why people went to concerts. The …

2000, Music

Ken Burns Jazz (2000) by Fletcher Henderson

This is a decent one-disc compilation of Fletcher Henderson’s big bands, which are more notable for the featured performers than for anything Henderson did (with an exception or two). Like all single disc compilations of a productive artist, it doesn’t give us the greatest picture of his work. But what it does function as is …

2014, Music

Joseph Haydn: Die Sieben letzten Worte (2014) by Cuarteto Casals

This is supposedly an “instrumental” oratorio. Haydn first wrote it for orchestra (with no vocals!). Then he adapted it for String Quartet. Then he adapted it for Choir (as if it was an actual oratorio). Then he “approved” an adaptation for solo piano, but apparently didn’t write that one himself. This is the String Quartet …

2011, Music

Joseph Haydn: String Quartets Op. 20 ‘Sun’ (2011) by the London Haydn Quartet

As with his symphonies and some of his other works, Haydn wrote a ton of String Quartets. Just an absolute ton. This set collects the 23rd through 28th, all of which were written at the same time, as one cycle or collection. They are considered by most people to be the birth of the modern …

2015, Politics, Society

It’s not just C-51 that’s the problem, it’s the System

I haven’t posted anything original in this space since February, in part because I am writing a new book, but in part because I have been a little depressed about the seeming inevitably of the government passing the worst piece of Federal legislation I have seen in my lifetime. (If you don’t know what C-51 …

Basketball, Sports

The Top 5 Raptors Draft Picks of All Time

The other day, I covered 10 of the “best” 15 draft picks the Raptors have made. Today we’ll be talking about the Top 5, the 5 players the Raptors have drafted, a couple of whom might actually make it into the Hall of Fame some day. I will be using a different format for covering …