Les Paul, Tivo, Netflix On Demand

I watched the 2007 Documentary “Les Paul: Chasing Sound”. It was really great and I highly recommend it. Actually for anyone, it is a very interesting and inspiring story. I had not heard some of the very innovative music he has done. And he was over ninety in this documentary….gad…

The other awesome thing about this is that, I simply stumbled on it while searching the Netflix library, then said add it to my “instant’ queue. There it was…simple as that. The TV is a terrible place to browse shows, so you still have to use Netflix, but there site is not bad. I’m impressed at how simple it is.

American Music Awards??? WTF???

So with the fascination of watching a train wreck live, I watched this show. Fortunately, I could Tivo it so I could fast forward…but OMFG the garbage!. This is like when the terms ‘moral’ and ‘ethics’ were co-opted by raving lunatics. American Music? stupid. The best act was a 53 year old Scottish woman. Annie Lennox is great, and I have to ask..well…how many of the so-called artists on stage will have a career when they are 53? Check out these ‘totally awesome’, freakin’, so-called AMERICAN MUSIC performers:

  • Christina Aguilara – blech…
  • Natasha Bedingfield – pretty crap
  • Beyonce – setting women back to the stone age
  • Mariah Carey – undeniable good pipes, but what garbage tunes
  • Coldplay – mildly interesting since they had Brian Eno produce their last album
  • Miley Cyrus – Taco Bell
  • The Fray – huh?
  • Jonas Brothers – Mouseketeers that have studied Mick Jagger and Elvis Costello
  • Alicia Keys – I can’t blame her for making money, she will be able to play real music later in her career since she is an actual musician. Kind of a modern day George Benson
  • Leona Lewis – huh?
  • Sarah Mclachlan – well, at least she has a nice voice to my ears
  • Ne-Yo – new yo? the latest short lived…
  • New Kids On the Block – you’ve got to be kidding me
  • Pink – mildly interesting as a rocker
  • Pussycat Dolls – who would have thought that soft porn still had a market, this really made me puke
  • Rihanna – like a bizarro world version of Prince? so wrong…
  • Taylor Swift – how many of these are there????
  • Kanye West – earned my respect for having Jon Brion produce his second album…but he still sucks
  • And that is who represents ‘Amercian Music’ in 2008???? I won’t even wast the typing time for the so-called winners..though I do love the fact that Alvin and the Chipmunks are the first listed. Good grief. It is as if the so called music industry is nothing but American Idol participants…er…wait, I think that is true. I am going back in my cave now…

    The Devil and Daniel Johnston

    Ok, this has to be one of the weirdest movies I have ever seen. Only for people who are seriously interested in understanding pop culture and derangement and mental illness at the same time. It is very hard to watch, yet compels you until the end. Watch it if you really like off-kilter movies and documentaries. If you get far enough to see it, I highly suggest the viewing the extras for more context. Much better and more moving and educational than any of those intelligence erasing reality shows that everyone seems to smoke like crack. Here is an excerpt from the official site:

    “As an artist suffering from manic depression with delusions of grandeur, Daniel Johnston’s wild fluctuations, numerous downward spirals, and periodic respites are exposed in this deeply moving documentary.

    As a reclusive teenager growing up in New Cumberland, VA, Johnston began showing signs of unusual artistic ability at an early age. He religiously recorded his thoughts and stories onto cassette tapes, directed intuitive Super- 8 films starring himself in multiple roles ala Peter Sellers, and created expressive comic book-style drawings and animation in the basement of his family’s home. However, in the eyes of his fundamentalist Christian family, Daniel simply wasn’t contributing to society in a useful or productive way. After running off on a moped and joining a carnival, he landed in Austin, Texas, broke and alone. It was there he began to hone his musical career, recording folk songs on a series of homemade, lo-fi cassettes, which Daniel handed out free to fans, friends and journalists in the early 80s. With the help of a timely break and the thriving Austin music scene, Daniel managed to secure a brief spotlight on MTV making him a minor celebrity. But just as he was beginning to make a name for himself, his inner demons began to surface and Daniel’s ongoing struggle with manic depression became more and more evident in his songs and drawings.”

    The Grammys

    The curmudgeon in me says once again…’people are stupid’

    I watched the Grammys last night. The music of today is in a very sad state when a 67 year old pianist playing a 84 year old composition is so far and away the best thing of the entire show….

    That was Herbie Hancock playing George Gershwin’s ‘Rhapsody in Blue (dualing pianos with Lang Lang, who I had never heard of…). The composition and the performance were in stark contrast to:

    • “I want to check you over for ticks”…could have been done by Weird Al
    • All the howling that passes for soul and emotion
    • The simple craftsmanship of hip hop. 

    I do confess to liking the Foo Fighters though…and Kid Rock was a little surprising. Amy Winehouse, lots of hype. She’s kind of interesting, but a major talent? Compared to? You decide…