February 16, 2008

What the....

It seems that we are about to have an election. Here's the way I see this thing shaping up:

Obama = Too young

McCain = Too old

That's where this is headed, folks. Get ready for the Most Frustrating. Campaign. Season. Ever.

I, unfortunately, will be voting for the Republican.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 01:10 AM | Comments (397) | TrackBack

July 25, 2006

Weird Dream #2,471

[I have a lot of weird dreams, but I never write about them because I think they're usually uninteresting to anyone but me. But, I think last night was the first time I'd ever had a dream that included bloggers, so here 'tis.]

I climbed up a stairwell and entered a large room. With the doorway to my right and a yellow brick wall behind me, I surveyed the room. Along the left wall was a sofa on which my younger sister sat lotus-style and picking at her fingernails. There was a desk in the far left corner with a lamp and some books on it. I didn't notice what was along the right wall yet when a dark-haired woman entered through the same doorway that I'd just passed through.

"Annika died," she sadly whispered in my ear. Pointing to the far right of the room she said, "She's over there with Victor."

There was a nook at the far right. Along the right wall was a love seat on which Jenelle sat with her legs curled under her. Perpendicular to that -- and with the back against the near wall of the nook -- was another love seat on which sat Victor, cradling Annika in his lap.

"I just heard," I said as sat down next to Jenelle. I never saw Victor's face, but he was sitting with his right leg crossed on his left knee with what looked to be a 6 or 7-year-old Annika. "What happened?" I asked Victor as I rested my left elbow in his right knee and put my chin on my left fist.

"Terrorism," he said quietly.

After staring at little Annika for a few moments I stood up and walked to the spot where I first surveyed the room. I looked in the doorway and there stood Annika -- now about 14-years-old -- leaning against the door frame. I extended my hand and she walked toward me.

"Let me take your picture," said the unknown dark-haired woman pointing a camera at us as she arose from the desk's chair. I moved Annika in front of me and wrapped my arms around her, holding her shoulders in my hands.

"Okay," I said, "I'd like to have one picture of me and Annika together." The camera flashed but it wasn't a good one. "That was a weak flash," I said as dark-haired camerawoman cranked the film along to try again.

"I don't know what's wrong with this thing," she said as she removed the lens and then twisted it back into place again. "Should we try later?"

Then Annika walked to my right and scanned the yellow brick wall as if looking for something. "I don't know what's wrong with this thing," she muttered.

Jenelle then entered the room through the doorway and as she passed Annika said very matter-of-factly, "Annika, don't follow that wall, follow me." Jenelle then walked back to the love seat that she was sitting on earlier. Just as she spun around and plopped down onto the seat the wall in front of Annika exploded.

As dust cleared I looked to my right and there were bricks on the floor and a large hole in the wall, but no Annika. I took a few steps toward the nook and saw that Victor had the 6 or 7-year-old Annika cradled in his lap again (or still). Again, I never saw Victor's face. For some reason the dark-haired woman wanted to hand me the camera. "This is yours," she said as she poked my left shoulder with it.

I took the camera, raised it to my face and pointed it at Victor and Annika. Little Annika took up most of the view, so I zoomed out to include Victor in the shot. Victor looked up and I saw that his face was a blaze of white light.

Then the dream ended, I guess. I don't remember what happened after that.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 05:31 PM | Comments (458) | TrackBack

February 25, 2006

Groovin', Nyawlinz Style


With Mardi Gras underway I finally got around to uploading a piece of music that I'd like to share with y'all. It's "Dancing Bare" and is by a group called Pray For Rain and is the opening title theme to a movie called Zandalee. I was originally gonna have it play automagically when this page loaded, but thought that that might be annoying to some people. So, just click on the button below and, hopefully, you will hear some superkewl music.

UPDATE: Drat, it's not working. Anywho, until I find a way tohave the music to play, here's a link to the file:
Click here to play music

UPDATE 2: There's a button at the top of the page. Supposedly, if you click it, music will begin to play. It doesn't work for me, though. I get a "get a plugin" message. Give it a try and lemme know if it works for you.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 03:31 PM | Comments (2) | TrackBack

September 29, 2005

Whatever happened to the Broadway play?

It used to be that you could go a Broadway theater to see a play. Oh, you can still go to Broadway, but finding a play to see has become like looking for a turntable for your stereo system. According to the Connecticut Post, this is what's currently playing:

AVENUE Q: Love blossoms among the twentysomething set -- a group that includes puppets -- in this very funny, adult musical...
BEAUTY AND THE BEAST: ['nuff said]
CHICAGO: An entertaining revival of the Bob Fosse musical...
CHITTY CHITTY BANG BANG: The hit London musical...
DIRTY ROTTEN SCOUNDRELS: John Lithgow and Norbert Leo Butz star in a musical...
FIDDLER ON THE ROOF: A lavish, loving revival of the classic Bock-Harnick and Robbins musical...
HAIRSPRAY: The cult John Waters movie set in 1960s Baltimore has been turned into a hilarious, tuneful musical...
IN MY LIFE: He's a musician with Tourette's syndrome; she's a journalist with obsessive compulsive disorder. Then they fall in love. A new musical...
MAMMA MIA!: The London musical...
MOVIN' OUT: Songs by Billy Joel. Choreography by Twyla Tharp. A dance musical...
RENT: Jonathan Larson's touching and now nostalgic look at struggling artists in New York's East Village. Lossely based on Puccini's opera "La Boheme".
[I have no idea if Rent is a musical or a play. But it's based on an opera, which makes me nervous. Bueller?]
SWEET CHARITY: Christina Applegate stars as the taxi dancer with a heart of gold in a revival of the Cy Coleman - Dorothy Fields - Neil Simon musical...
THE 25TH ANNUAL PUTNAM COUNTY SPELLING BEE: A sweet-tempered, often hilarious new musical...
THE LION KING: ['nuff said.]
THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA: The one with the chandelier. The Andrew Lloyd Weber musical...
THE PRODUCERS: A riotous stage version of the Mel Brooks movie. The musical...
WICKED: An ambitious if problematic new musical...

The most interesting one to reproduce in full is the Monty Python's Spamalot piece:

A musical inspired by that dememnted film comedy, "Monty Python and the Holy Grail." The cast includes David Hyde Pierce, Tim Curry and Alan Tudyk. Winner of three 2005 Tony Awards, including best musical. Shubert. Telecharge. Difficult.

There are three other show listed that I didn't include. None of them include the word "musical", but they're all listed as "Now in previews" -- which I assume means that they're almost ready to open the doors, but you can buy your tickets now.
All three are comedies: A Naked Girl on the Appian Way, Absurd Person Singular and Latinologues. (Latinologues is directed by Cheech Marin :))

So, there ya have it. Plays just aren't en vogue on Broadway. You could see the writing on the wall when 42nd Street took over and then A Chorus Line ran a thousand years. Then Annie, Evita and later Cats and then Phantom of the Opera and the list goes on and on. Maybe there's just not enough money to be made in putting on a play anymore.

I guess the play-form is best suited to film nowadays. I mean, when's the last time a musical was a hit at the movies? The film versions of Annie and Evita tanked. And don't get me started on how much The Birdcage sucked, no matter how many people seemed to think it was good. Face it -- the thing had no story to tell. It was just an excuse for Robin Williams and Nathan Lane to camp it up ad absurdum. I walked out half-way through. (Well, I didn't pay for a ticket. It was on A&E last Christmas and it was about time to be heading home anyway.)

Let's get some actual plays back on Broadway, huh?!

Well --- there's always New Haven...

Posted by Tuning Spork at 09:53 PM | Comments (0) | TrackBack

February 24, 2003

who by fire revisited

In "Who By Fire" [see below] I intentionally implied that the band, Great White, might be foremost to blame for the tragedy at The Station nightclub in West Warwick, Rhode Island--and they surely share in that blame. But, as I also, by careful caveat, said that we don't have enough information yet to make any solid determination of who is ultimately responsible. But as more and more information becomes available, it's looking more and more like there's plenty of blame to go around.

This item casts doubt on the club owners' complicity, and the fire inspector's incompetence, in an ever more apparent sleepwalk to disaster.
Darn it, my gut feeling told me that that club owner, in that press statement, was maybe...hmmm...over-emoting. Maybe he was protesting to much(?). All concerned seem to have been force-feeding their time into a routine they'd all been through a thousand times before--comforted by the experience that it had all passed before without incident.

Why not gather the band, the club owners and the fire safety inspectors in a grand circle jerk of professional indifference and shower them all with the sparks of a dozen shows-worth of fireworks until they pass out from the pain? Huh? Then maybe wake 'em up and start again?

Yeah, okay; maybe only the material victims of that holocaust can claim a right of vengeance. But they're all dead.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 10:26 PM | Comments (0)

February 22, 2003


A live performer will do almost anything to excite his audience.
I say this as a live performer and as a member of many audiences. It's hard to give up a dream...especially one that's become a way of life. When a fisherman wakes up to discover that half the world has gone vegetarian he'll work twice as hard to corner as much of the market that remains. It's his livelihood afterall.

Last week I watched JAWS for the umpteenth time. By now you'd think I could quote the script word for word from memory. "It's a man-eater...it's a Great White!" Matt Hooper tells the Mayor of Amity Island. At least I think those are the exact words.

I read something somewhere recently where Peter Benchley (author of book-form Jaws) talked about his struggle to settle on a title for his story. "Jaws Of Death." "Within The Jaws." "When Jaws Attack" and other such options. The only word anyone liked was "Jaws", and so it became just that.

"In a suburb of Providence, Rhode Island, the '80's band Great White..." the radio spit out before I could hit the snooze button. "Sharks in New England again..." I thought. "...were playing a concert at a nightclub called The Station when a pyrotechnics display set the club ablaze."
More details followed. 30 patrons have perished. Then 35 were gone. The number was sure to rise, we were told.

I'd heard of the band, I must have. Heck, they were nominated for a Grammy--so we're now informed. I don't know their music. But I know now that they began their show; and moments into the opening number sparks were flying. A magnificent site judging from the video that's been playing on the news--taken inside the club by a film-maker doing a documentary on nightclub safety. Yes, the crowd was shouting, woo-hoo'ing, bottles of beer ritually raised in the air. Then there was fire behind the band. A guitar player, tight, a trooper going through his well-practiced riffs and phrases, was staring at the wall. Something had gone terribly wrong, the band played on. Three minutes later a hundred people were dead or dying. The rest were bottle-necked at the front door, firemen trying to pull them apart, to jostle them free. Three minutes; not even enough time to wonder how on God's green earth this could have happened.

"Stare not for too long a time into the fire, lest fire soon be all ye see," someone had cautioned Ishmael in Moby-Dick. Ishmael was mesmerized by burning whale oil, but his cautioner was talking about something else: obsession.

The assignment of blame has begun. The club owners claim they were never asked for permission for the band to use fireworks. The band claims that they asked, and were granted, permission verbally. The club owners had no permit to have pyrotechnic displays in their venue. At least four club owners who've hosted earlier dates in Great White's tour--the Stone Pony in New Jersey for one--claim that the band used those sparklers without permission. Some others say that the band had asked for permission, were denied, and obliged without protest.

Whatever the truth is--and we don't have enough information yet to know what the truth is--someone has made a grave miscalculation.

Could the club owners have been so obsessed with an inflated patronage that they allowed pyrotechnics in the 60-year-old low-ceiling wooden structure?
Could the band have been so obsessed with exciting their audience that they would use the white hot visual aids without regard to the niceties of written permission?
A live preformer will do almost anything to excite his audience. Being that the patrons weren't expecting any fireworks when they arrived at the door; one of those options seems more likely than the other.

Posted by Tuning Spork at 06:06 PM | Comments (0)
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