Sunday, November 30, 2008

I was heard on another radio station tonight

TJ Lubinsky is best known for producing PBS oldies specials. He also hosts a radio show Sunday nights on WJRZ from Toms River, NJ. Since the Lost 45s on WODS Boston is pre-empted by Christmas programming, I thought I'd give his show a listen. Tonight he was taking requests so I phoned in and asked him for Killer Joe by the Rocky Fellers. TJ who is quite knowledgable about the oldies told me that Killer Joe is actually the boxer Joe Frazier. Today's radio log:

BBC2 - Sounds of the 60s with Brian Matthew

Transporter 3 - Real or Fantasy?

Since it rained all day today we went over to the local multiplex to see Transporter 3. Here is the synopsis taken from the Internet Movie Database.

Frank Martin puts the driving gloves on to deliver Valentina, the kidnapped daughter of a Ukranian government official, from Marseilles to Odessa on the Black Sea. En route, he has to contend with thugs who want to intercept Valentina's safe delivery and not let his personal feelings get in the way of his dangerous objective.

IMHO a movie should project reality or fantasy not both. There were several scenes in this movie where the main character Frank Martin performs stunts that are physically impossible. I can understand a comic book character like Superman, Batman, or Spiderman performing unnatural students, but not a normal human being. Let me give an example:

Frank Martin is sitting in a car on a bridge over a river. His adversaries pushed him and the car into the river. He is then seen breathing air out of the tires and using the tire air to inflate a raft he has in the trunk to lift the car out of the water. He then gets a friend to help him start the car after it had been immersed in water for a long period. He then drives his car (the tires seemed OK) about 100 MPH to catch up with the thugs.

It's only a movie.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

From Canal Street to Soho to Greenwich Village

We got off the subway at the N train station on Canal Street. It was a very crowded shopping area. I hate crowds and shopping so we walked north toward the Rock Hall Annex as described in the previous post. Soho was also quite congested with many restaurants and shops. As we walked uptown we entered Greenwich Village. My eyes lit up as a saw Bleeker Street Records, a record store the way they ought to be. This store specializes in rarities. Since I had to watch my money, I bought the following three items:

1. DVD collection of Traveling Wilburys videos
2. CD of a Johnny Cash concert at Madison Square Garden in the 1970s
3. CD of Jimi Hendrix at Monterrey Pop

From there we walked by another rarity, a Barnes and Nobles bookstore. Karen bought here cats calendar and a Jeopardy calendar.

Rock Hall of Fame Annex in Soho

If you check back to my June 2008 entries, you will see that we went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland then and in 1998. Just this week an annex to the Rock Hall opened in Soho (in lower Manhattan). Lee insisted that we go today. As you walk in there is a wall with bricks listing all of the inductees. When an excerpt is heard the brick of the inductee is illuminated. The next stop is a short film featuring clips from several of the inductees. They even played Dylan's Maggies Farm, my favorite. You are then given a "Walkman typoe device" As you approach an exhibit, the music from that artist is played. You must stand in the same spot to hear the entire song. There was a small exhibit featuring the Clash.

We enjoyed our time at the Rock Hall Annex, but it was very small. We felt that $26 admission was high when we completed the tour in just under two hours. I was able to get a discount since I joined the Rock Hall when I was in Cleveland last June.

Friday, November 28, 2008

It was Literary Friday for me

Today is known a Black Friday when everyone goes shopping. There was a tragic incident in nearby Valley Stream where a a Wal-Mart employee was literaly trampled to death by shoppers breaking down the doors trying to get bargains. What was especially sad was that the agressive shoppers actually jumped over the medics who were trying to save the poor man. Anyway, I wanted no part of shopping malls today, so I spent some time reading.
Let's start out with John Lennon by Philip Norman. There have certainly been numerous biographies over the years written on the group and its individual members. This current tome with over 800 pages certainly presents some revelations that I never read about or just didn't remember from previous accounts. This volume was certainly well researched and provides details of Lennon's personal and professional life. This book is so heavy that I couldn't schlep it on the subway, so I had to read it at home. I have about 150 pages to go.
Noted sportswriter John Feinstein wrote this book about the pitchers Mike Mussina and Tom Glavine during the 2007 season. This season was disappointing for both. Glavine won his 300th game during the season for the Mets but collapsed as the Mets blew a 7 game lead in the National League east with 17 games to go. In the last gaem of the season he gave up 7 runs in the first inning.
Just today, I went to the library and picked up "A Bold Fresh Piece of Humanity" a biography of infuenetial TV personality and author Bill O'Reilly. For more information on Bill I suggest my readers check out Dave DuBrow's World Journal File. I hope that Dave with his very busy schedule will find time to read it.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

Queens may be losing another kosher deli

Please note, that Ben's Deli has several locations on Manhattan, Queens and Long Island. The situation described in this article from the Queens Courier applies only to the Bayside restaurant.

Ben’s Deli Bay Terrace deal is dead
Tuesday, November 25, 2008 8:50 PM EST
The 15-year run of Ben’s Deli at the Bay Terrace shopping center will end on the last day of January, now that nearly two years of negotiations have failed to produce an agreement between the kosher deli and landlord, Cord Meyer development.The first word of the impasse came on Friday, November 14, when Ben’s released an “open letter,” saying that the deal was “killed,” with Ben’s spokesperson Scott Singer declaring, “Cord Meyer pulled the plug at the eleventh hour.”One week later, Cord Meyer issued a statement in response, “to provide the patrons of our Bay Terrace Center and the community at large with the facts relating to that matter and to assuage disappointment and concerns created by the unfortunate characterization of events.”“We can sincerely say that in the 104-year history of our company, we have never made a greater effort to accommodate a tenant or spent more time and thoughtful effort to bring a lease transaction to fruition,” they said.

The two sides have different interpretations of the facts on which they agree. Ben’s insists they “could not afford the pay the 86 percent rent increase that Cord Meyer demanded.”Cord Meyer related that the deli owners told them “Our customer base is moving out of the neighborhood, and we can’t afford any rent increase at all. We may be able to hang on for another 5 years.”According to the landlord, “Our organization felt that there was a need to have a kosher restaurant with a fine reputation to continue to service the community.”Both parties agree that ultimately, negotiations focused on a new location in the upper level of the shopping center, in the new construction around the Loews Movie Theater.In addition, both agree that the proposed agreement included a highly-unusual move for a landlord, “building out” the new space to suit the tenant and providing the financing to do so.Singer conceded that “It was a unique deal - [landlords] don’t normally do that,” although he also pointed out that “The landlord would “get the money back with interest in the form of increased rent.”

A Cord Meyer spokesperson confided that “The unique provisions we made added to the complexity of the lease and is one of the reasons we asked them to bring in an attorney months ago, but they didn’t.”The lack of legal counsel may have led to the collapse of the negotiations in the final analysis.The Cord Meyer spokesperson insisted that “we were very close,” to striking a deal and there were “just a few items to be clarified.” Singer however suggested that Ben’s felt insecure because “they took the first store and leased it out from under us.”What followed was an email directly from a principal at Ben’s, which led Cord Meyer to conclude that they were “insincere” - and end negotiations.“After all our above-and-beyond efforts to accommodate Ben’s and serve the community,” the Cord Meyer spokesperson said, “The tone and substance of the email struck senior management as having a lack of good faith in us.”

For all the disappointment, Singer seemed conciliatory. “I can understand the landlord has to make a profit,” he said adding, “Negotiations get contentious, sometimes.” He insisted that it was “just about business,” declaring “Nobody ever said anything to me to make me feel otherwise.”Kosher deli lovers can take comfort that both parties are actively looking to fill their needs.Singer revealed that Ben’s is actively searching out a site nearby. Cord Meyer also declared they were “committed to our patrons and shall continue to strive to see that a kosher food menu will be available,” from another tenant.

But in Bay Terrace shopping center, it’s bye-bye Bens.

A New York Radio Tradition Continues the Thanksgiving

For many years Alic's Restaurant by Arlo Guthrie was played once a year on WNEW-FM. Since that station no longer exists, the tradition was continued by WFUV. I heard it today at 12 noon.

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Vitamin C and the Common Cold

I felt better when I woke up this morning, so I went to work. It was pretty slow anyway and they let us go home 2 hours early. I have taken one 500 mg tablet of Vitamin C every day for years. My colds are usually mild and take their course over a shorter today. In the 1980s I read the book Vitamin C and the Common Cold by Linus Pauling. He took several grams of it every day and lived to over 90. Dr. Pauling has the distinction of winning the Nobel Prize twice, for chemistry and for peace.

Tuesday, November 25, 2008

Blasted Cold

I came down with a cold. There is nothing much you can do, but let it take its course. Tommorow is another day.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

Dylan Singing All Along the Watch Tower Friday night

Quantum of Solace

It was off to the multiplex today to see Quantum of Solace, the latest in the series of James Bond films that goes back to 1962. I checked the Wikipedia entry for James Bond films and if I remember correctly, I've seen every Bond movie over the years. I must say that I prefeered the earlier movies starring Sean Connery as 007. My favorite has to be Goldfinger.

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Our first Basketball Game of the Season was a Blowout

We were disappointed because it rained 4 times this season when we wanted to see college football games. It was unseasonably cold today as we drove out to CW Post in Brookville, Long Island to see a Division II basketball game. CW Post killed Millersville College 105-65.

We took the A Train to See Bob Dylan Last Night

We left the house about 6:15 and took the #7 train to Times Square. We walked underground to 8th avenue and picked up the A train. Lee, the subway enthusiast in the family" was excited since this was the first time he ever took the A train. We got off at 175th Street and walked a block to the United Palace Theater. As you can tell from the linked web site, it was a very ornate theater. Most of the people in the audience were in their 30s or 40s who were not born when Dylan was in his prime in the 1960s. I ran into Richard Kearney, a librarian I know at William Paterson University. I knew from Facebook communications that he would be there. The ticket said the show would begin at 8:00, and it actually began at 8:15 which seemed unusual. There were many latecomers who had to find their seats after the concert began. I just can not understand why people leave their seats in the middle of an expensive concert to buy overpriced beer. There must be plenty of bars to go after the concert. Below is the set list from . Someone in the audience phones Bill Pagel minutes after the concert with the set list:

Gotta Serve Somebody(Bob on harp center stage - no keyboard, Stu and Denny on stage for all songs)
The Times They Are A-Changin' (Bob on harp)
The Levee's Gonna Break (Donnie on electric mandolin)
Tomorrow Is A Long Time (Bob on guitar)
Things Have Changed (Donnie on violin)
Desolation Row (Donnie on electric mandolin)
It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding) (Donnie on banjo)
Beyond The Horizon
'Til I Fell In Love With You (Bob on harp)
Make You Feel My Love
Honest With Me
Spirit On The Water
Highway 61 Revisited
Ain't Talkin' (Donnie on viola)
Thunder On The Mountain

Like A Rolling Stone
All Along The Watchtower
Blowin' In The Wind (Bob on guitar, Donnie on violin)

Dylan very often slurs his word when he sings, so it often takes a while for me to make out the song, especially the newer ones. This was the first time in several concerts that I have been where Dylan played the guitar. I just loved the harmonica solos.

Dylan has toured almost continously since 1992 with breaks duing the holiday season. Last night's concert is the last in this leg of what is known as "The Never Ending Tour." In 2008 we saw Dylan twice, but you never know when he could stop touring since he is 67 years old. Perhaps he will collaborate with Paul McCartney in the months to come.

Friday, November 21, 2008

Bob Dylan Vacation Day

Tonight is the big night seeing Dylan at the United Palace Theatre in upper Manhattan. Since I have plenty of vacation time, I decided to take today off so I would not be tired when seeing the concert. More tomorrow.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

Flash! - Paul McCartney wants to Record with Bob Dylan

Check out this story! What a combination! The world's greastest song writer with the worlds best singer. I suggest that they do not sing together it would be like pickles and ice cream; good separately, but terrible together. I suggest that Paul do an album with him singing Dylan songs with Bob playing in the background. Dylan could sing some Beatle sngs with Paul playing in the background. GO FOR IT!

Listening to Cousin Bruce Morrow on XM/Sirius

In a nutshell Cousin Bruce Morrow was a DJ on WABC for many years. Please click on the link for his entry in the Wikipedia. From the 1980s until 2005 he was heard on the legendary WCBS-FM. In the stupidest move in radio history he was let go in June 2005 when the station was hijacked by some morons who thought the audience was too old to appeal to advertisers. He certainly landed on his feet by getting a gig on Sirius Satellite Radio. Since I subscribe to the XM online stream I was not able to hear him until last week when the merger was completed. For the first time tonight I am listening to him on satellite radio. The photo above was taken with yours truly and the Cuz on the WABC Cruise in June 2007.

Passion for Dylan Runs in the Family

The handsome young man in the photo above is my nephew Adam Feuer. I just read in his Facebook account that he will seeing Bob Dylan in concert tonight at SUNY Oneonta where he is a sophomore. I don't think he is as big a Dylan enthusiast as his cousin Lee. I will have to ask him the next time I see him what is his favorite Dylan song. I am glad to see that interest in Dylan transcends the generations.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

False alarm about All Christmas Music on WCBS-FM

I listened to WFUV this morning, but when I got to work I checked the radio message boards and found out that WCBS-FM had returned to regular programming. A devoted listener to oldies radio speculated that WCBS-FM was just promoting its Christmas music CD.

A clarification was made on the air today. WCBS-FM will play all Christmas music on Monday - Friday 7 PM - 12 midnight only. I will listen to WCBS-FM at other times of the day.

Monday, November 17, 2008

I will not listen to WCBS-FM until December 26

While perusing some radio message boards tonight I found out that WCBS-FM is playing all Christmas music. Objectively, I think it is much to early to start doing this, but I guess the powers that be in radio land think it will attract more listeners and retain them after the holidays. If any CBS owned station should go all Christmas it should be Fresh 102.7. I admit I am not the most religious Jew in the world, but I have a great appreciation for my heritage and how my ancesotrs suffered. Christmas celebrates the birth of Jesus Christ and Jews do not believe that he is the messiah. Much of this music is seasonal rather than religious in nature, but I still prefer listening to an eclectic mix of music at all times of the year. thus, for the next 6 weeks WFUV will be my #1 station as it was during the Jack years.
I dare not post this to any radio message boards. I would probably be beaten to a pulp.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thoughts of the Day

I was very glad that it did not rain today. Lee and I went out to play basketball early in the morning. After that Lee joined some of his buddies for bowling. I got a phone call from my mother saying that she was a little under the weather. She has a bad cold that she just can't get rid of. She asked me to come over to buy her some items at the grocery store. She only lives 10 minutes away. After I did some errands for her, I did my little hike in Forest Park.

Sports Notes

The NJIT basketball team started out where they left off last season by losing its opener to Manhattan College 56-32. They have now lost 34 games in a row to tie the NCAA record for consecutive loses. I am just stating the facts here.

The Knicks blew a lead and lost to the Dallas Mavericks 124-114 in overtime. The Knicks are now 6-4 which is much better than last season

Radio Notes

Today's stations

WAXQ - Breakfast with the Beatles with Ken Dashow
XM/Sirius - 60s
XM/Sirisu - 70s featuring American Top 40 with Casey Kasem
WNYC-FM - standards show with Jonathan Schwartz
I was disappointed when I accessed WODS-Boston to hear the Lost 45s with Barry Scott. They were already playing all Christmas music. It is just too early for that.

Soul Men and Ellen's Stardust Diner

Instead of going to a football game yesterday, we went to see the movie Soul Men. This film marked the final appearances of Bernie Mac and Isaac Hayes who sadly passed away recently. The story was a little silly and Bernie Mac and Samuel L. Jackson were not professional singers. Anything has to be better than sitting home. Last week I took out of the library a new biography of John Lennon by Philip Norman. Since this book is over 800 pages, I just can't schlep it on the subway to and from work, so I must read it at home. I was able to spend some time reading it yesterday. I am up to page 169. In the evening I met up with radio fiend Jonathan Binstock from Maryland whom I've known since the mid 1990s. Back then we were both regular posters to the Prodigy radio message boards. Prodigy was an online service in the pre-Internet era. Once a year he comes to a lawyers convention and we meet there. I have hooked up with him when I have gone to American Chemical Society meetings in Washington, DC. We had dinner at Ellens Stardust Diner in the theater district. We held a Meet and Greet of Oldies enthusiasts there in June 2006.

Saturday, November 15, 2008

Another Rainy Saturday

This is the fourth Saturday this Fall that it has rained preventing us from seeing a college football game. There is that old saying that everybody talks about the weather, but no one does anything about it.

Friday, November 14, 2008

Mom and Her Mah Jongg Friends over the years

Back in the early 60s my Mom played Mah jongg with the following for ladies:

Betty Cohan
Evelyn Mauer
Shirley Dule
Ruth Scheinbart

Once a week they would play and rotate the location. During the Christmas season my father had to work late every night so they would play at our house because my mother didn't want to leave my sister and me alone since she was afraid we would fight. The entire group with their husbands came to my Bar Mitzvah in April 1962.

Betty Cohan had two daughters about my age. During my senior year in high school Roy and I met her older daughter Fran outside her apartment on Saunders Street walking her dog in the morning. In the late 1990s we reconnected on a chat of Forest Hills High School graduates from the late 1960s. We had a mini-reunion in Tenafly, NJ in 1998. Sadly, Fran died of breast cancer in 2000 at age 50.

Shirley Dule lived diagonally across the street from us in Rego Park. Since she had a problem schlepping the Mah jongg set, I would come over to pick it up and bring to my house when they played. Her husband Irving became friends with my Dad. I distinctively remember he took us on a fishing trip to Jones Beach. Irving Dule was a coach in the Forest Hills Little League, though I never played on one of his teams. I was never a very good athlete anyway. He also liked to tinker with electronics, so whenever we had a problem with our TV set we would call him over to fix it. Shirley and Irving had two daughters Ellen and Linda. Sadly, Irving died of cancer in 1971. About a year later Shirley relocated to Arizona. I believe a few years later both of her daughters moved out there. Very recently, I reconnected with Ellen through Facebook.

Evelyn Mauer had a son about a year older than I named David. I remember that Evelyn recommend the photographer that we used for my Bar Mitzvah. In 1966 I would run into Evelyn on the Q60 bus when I worked as a volunteer for Memorial Hospital.

I did not keep track of Mom's Mah jongg activities from the early 1970s to the late 1990s when she formed another group with:

Eleanor Herschaft
Muriel Wolfe
Betty Solomon

Sadly, these three ladies passed away within the last few years.

Eleanor is the mother of Roy who has been my friend for over 40 years. One of these days I'll have to write an entry about him.

My Cousin Billy Slutsky married Muriel's daughter Barbara in the early 1970s. I remember my mother was annoyed back then since Joyce and I were not invited to their wedding. Billy and Barbara were inseparable while they were dating, but their marriage didn't last very long. Both of them have remarried.

In recent years Mom played Mah jongg with some women at her pool club. I never became acquainted with any of them. This season, these women did not rejoin the pool leaving my mother without a group.

Why is Mah jongg only played by women while other board games are not "gender specific."?

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Today was a radio day

Once a week I am scheduled to work from 1 PM - 8 PM. This semester it is usually Thursday. Instead of bringing reading material on the train, I bring my radio. Here is the list of radio stations that I listened to today either at home, on the train, or in the office:

XM/Sirius - The Loft
XM/Sirius Classic Rewind
XM/Sirus Adult Albu Rock
XM/Sirius Sinatra/American Standards
WWOZ - New Orleans (a tape that I made when I was there in 1999)

Wednesday, November 12, 2008

Good Luck Jeff Mazzei

The New York Radio Message Board reports that Music Director Jeff Mazzei was let go from the station likely for economic reasons. This is quite unfortunate since he worked so many years for America's greatest oldies station. I believe that he was responsible for picking the music that was played on the station all these years. During the Jack years (June 2005-July 2007) programmed the oldies on WCBS-FM HD2. One of the reasons I bought an HD radio was to get that station. I'll be honest to admit I didn't think would return to oldies which were re-branded as classic hits. I certainly wish Jeff well in his future endeavors.

Changes to my XM Radio online subscription

Readers of this journal may remember that back in May, I decided to subscribe to the online version of XM Radio. Since that time there has been much movement with its merger with Sirius. Today I am able to get many more channels as a result of this merger. I was able to work in my office today so I listened to the Elvis Presley Channel and Classic Vinyl which came from Sirius to the new merged entity. There are other channels I would like to hear. I believe that stations for the 60s, 70s, and 80s have merged. If so, I will be able to hear Cousin Bruce Morrow Saturday nights at 8 PM. Gee, if the Saturday Night Oldies superenthusiasts read this, I’ll be beaten to a pulp. Dave DuBrow’s World Journal file reports today that XM/Sirius is in very bad financial shape. This is one of the reasons I’ve resisted the temptation to buy a radio.

Tuesday, November 11, 2008

Happy Birthday Sasha

A dog is always a member of the family. My sister Joyce has had dogs in her family since she married Keith. Today is Sasha's 14th birthday which is very old for a dog. Their previous dog Artemis died at 14 1/2 years. We always like to play with her when we come over to their house. Lee sent her electronic and paper birthday cards this year.

Monday, November 10, 2008

A Gem within Outlaw Blues

Outlaw Blues is a Dylan song that never got any attention. I don't ever remember hearing it on the radio in 43 years. People who complain about his voice have a good case when they hear this song. But within this nondescript song there is a gem of a line that really hit me.

Outlaw Blues

Ain't it hard to stumble
And land in some funny lagoon?
Ain't it hard to stumble
And land in some muddy lagoon?
Especially when it's nine below zeroAnd three o'clock in the afternoon.

Ain't gonna hang no picture,
Ain't gonna hang no picture frame.
Ain't gonna hang no picture,
Ain't gonna hang no picture frame.
Well, I might look like Robert Ford
But I feel just like a Jesse James.

Well, I wish I was on someAustralian mountain range.
Oh, I wish I was on someAustralian mountain range.
I got no reason to be there,
But IImagine it would be some kind of change.

I got my dark sunglasses,
I got for good luck my black tooth.
I got my dark sunglasses,
I'm carryin' for good luck my black tooth.
Don't ask me nothin' about nothin',
I just might tell you the truth.

I got a woman in Jackson,
I ain't gonna say her name.
I got a woman in Jackson,
I ain't gonna say her name.
She's a brown-skin woman,
but I Love her just the same.

Sunday, November 9, 2008

Oklahoma, the musical

We went to see a presentation of Rodgers and Hammerstein's Oklahoma done by Theatre by the Bay, The Community Theatre of the Bay Terrace Jewish Center. I was never a theater enthusiast, but I like to try different activities. There is no need to sit at the boob tube to watch 6 hours of football on a Sunday afternoon when we live in a big city with a multitude of activities. A broadway musical would cost about $100/ticket these days so this show was a good buy since it was only 10 minutes away by car. This group was obviously on a low budget so there was not live music or elaborate sets. We enjoyed the show which originally debuted in 1943.

The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest - out of context

It was a cold day in January 1968 when after my last final exam in my first semester at City College I stopped on the way home to buy the highly anticipated Dylan LP John Wesley Harding. It was the "anti-Sargent Pepper." Anyway, I am taking a line out of context from "The Ballad of Frankie Lee and Judas Priest" which applies to a decision I made today. Since the song is somewhat wordy I will only write the relevant lines:

Well, the moral of the story,
The moral of this song,
Is simply that one should never be
Where one does not belong.

I guess I don't belong in midtown Manhattan on Saturday December 6th

Saturday, November 8, 2008

Take Your Dog to See Beverly Hills Chihuahua

Since it rained today we didn't drive to Hofstra to see football. For the last 4 weeks Lee has wanted to see Beverly Hills Chihuahua even though it seemed to be a really dumb movie from viewing the trailers. It wasn't all that bad. I've seen worse movies. It got us out of the aprtment for a few hours.

Friday, November 7, 2008

Happy Birthday Joni Mitchell

When we play a CD while we eat dinner, we like to make sure that we listen to different artists. Lee took a look at Dave DuBrow's Artist File for November 7th and noticed that today is Joni Mitchell's 65th birthday. We played a CD of her greatest hits. Back on November 3, 1998 Joni was the opening act for Bob Dylan at the main arena of Madison Square Garden. Even at 10 years old we took Lee to see Mr. Zimmerman. Big Yellow Taxi is Lee's favorite Joni Mitchell song.

Wednesday, November 5, 2008

Today's Radio Log

Today's radio log:


XM Radio - The Village
WLS-FM - Chicago

Happy Birthday Art Garfunkel

A glance at Dave DuBrow's Artist File tells us that today is the 67th birthday of Art Garfunkel. So, Lee goes to our rack of CDs and picks one out by Artie without Paul for our listening pleasure during dinner. Paul and Artie graduated from Forest Hills High School in 1958 while your's truly graduated from the same school in 1967.

Tuesday, November 4, 2008

Waiting for the results of the presidential election

I got to the polls to vote at 6:45 AM and didn't have to wait. I decided not to watch any returns until 9 PM since only a few states end their voting before then. I fondly remember watching the returns for the 1960 election when I was 11 years old. Of course, Kennedy beat Nixon in a close race. I just hope we don't have a repeat of the 2000 election when the vote in Florida was so close that it took a couple of weeks to decide the outcome.

Sunday, November 2, 2008

Sunday Afternoon at Flushing Town Hall

I discussed the Flushing Town Hall this past summer. It's nice to have a concert hall in the neighborhood where we can go to get out of going to silly movies at the multiplex. Today we saw a string quartet called Cuartetango devoted wholly to the music of tango. I was one of the younger people in the audience. It was something different to do on a Sunday afternoon.

Sunshine Superman, The Journey of Donovan

I have been a fan of Donovan since the 1960s when I bought his acoustic albums of the Hickory label. There have always been comparisons made between him and Bob Dylan. Both of them made controversial transitions from folk to folk rock in the mid 1960s. Likewise they both abandoned political songs at the same time. In 1966s Donovan had hits with Sunshine Superman and Mellow Yellow on the Epic label. I am bringing up Donovan now since I bought the biographical DVD Sunshine Superman the Journey of Donovan. We watched the first hour and 45 minutes of it last night. Let me make some comparisons and contrasts.

There have been many videos documenting and commenting on the works of Dylan who rarely gives interviews. Thus, journalists and other musicians who knew him at various points of his career made the comments. The most notable is No Direction Home produced by Martin Scorsese. Donovan makes virtually all of the comments about life and music in the DVD that I just saw. He certainly didn’t say anything negative about himself. He even includes some clips from Don’t Look Back where Dylan really dissed him. The video should have included remarks from other musicians and journalists who could provide some valid criticism. Donovan includes footage of himself in different times. He uses a chronological approach that would not confuse a viewer not familiar with his life and music. His beautiful voice has not changed in over 40 years.

Dylan’s biopic I’m Not There has been evaluated in this journal. Remember 5 actors and one actress portrayed Dylan, but there is only one Donovan who tells his life story in a simple way.

Dylan wrote a partial autobiography, Chronicles Part I that is very vague and confusing to all but Dylanphiles. Donovan’s autobiography called The Hurdy Gurdy man is also straightforward and chronological.

To summarize, I like both of them for different reasons.

Saturday, November 1, 2008

Thoughts of the Day

We had some kids come to the door last night trick or treating. They were likely from other buildings in the neighborhood.

It was a nice autumn day today. Lee and I went to Forest Park in the morning to play basketball and walk around. Later the three of went to Alley Pond Park to enjoy the Fall Foliage.

Saturday Night Oldies was only on for 1/2 hour tonight due to sports programming on WABC. So, I found other things to do. For a while I listened to Pete Fornatale's Mixed Bag on WFUV. I must say that Pete is the King of the theme set. Right now I am listening to XM Radio's Deep Tracks station. Later on we will start to watch the DVD Sunshine Superman, the Journey of Donovan. I say more on that in a future entry.
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