Arts, Entertainment, Living

Review: 'The Marriage Ref'

Sunday, 28 February 2010 06:01 PM Written by

Jerry Seinfeld executive produces and appears in Executive producer Jerry Seinfeld's "The Marriage Ref" (10 p.m. Thursday, WPXI) got a preview last night after the Winter Olympics closing ceremonies and proved to be a good-natured program. As Seinfeld suggested at press tour in January, the show is not intended to be anything more than a lark.

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Thanks to the intrepid Bill H of Elizabeth for his comment/review on yesterday's Eric Clapton concert. I thought it deserved prime-time exposure, so here it is:

I had a great time at the Clapton show.  This was one of my rare big time concerts and I hung on ever moment of both acts.  The Tickets were a Christmas present and I chose to take my 23 year old son who, despite his open lack of enthusiasim for things blue, really enjoyed himself.  It was his first Clapton show and he was impressed with how well the solos worked without feeling like gratuitous self indulgence.  I think we might make a blues geek outta that boy yet.

I enjoyed the ever insightful Scott Mervis'  review and agreed with his take on the Daltery set.  I'm so happy that his voice was in fine form.  He is one of the signature singers of the rock era and his vocals had the trademark bite  that I recall from my youth.

I do respectfully disagree with Scott's overall assessment of Clapton's work, however.  EC found his groove right off and watching him perform without a second guitarist was a treat.  He worked well with the keyboard tandem of Chris Stainton and Walt Richmond.  The rhythm section of veteran drummer Steve Gadd and bassist Willie Weeks was supple enough for the varied settings that ranged from slinky, funky fun ("Tell The Truth") to the unadorned pop of "Wonderful Tonight" and a stunning take on "Little Queen Of Spades."  

The show was a trip into EC's world and it's an interesting journey well worth taking.  He's developed a Blues influenced sound that is all his own.  His music is comprised of many elements and last night's concert was a prime example of what he does best.

Great stuff indeed.

yours truly
intrepid Blue Notes cub reporter, Bill from Elizabeth

Thanks Bill. Great, intrepid work as always. But maybe it's time to drop the "Cub" from your title. Hope to see you again one of these days.

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Invisibility and This Furious World

Friday, 26 February 2010 06:37 AM Written by

Ask any man you meet which superpower he’d rather have: flight or invisibility? Chances are to your face he will say flight. Chances are what he really wants, though, is invisibility.

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Furious World

My friend Peter has a web show. He calls it The Furious World and he self-produces it out of the garage he renovated into a home recording studio. The Furious World is a variety show of sorts that mainly features Peter and his music and also includes guests and segments that range from Phantoms of the 405 -  tone poems played against images of Peter driving his car on the 405 - to Turtle Talk - a sequence where Peter interviews his pet tortoise King Ferdinand and gives the reptile the voice and wisdom of what sounds like a hundred year old black man. The Furious World is really a look into Peter’s life and ideas – an inner dialogue with a long time musician, artist and thinker who will play some rock and roll for you if you agree to the terms of spending some time with his ideas.

The Furious World's production value is miles beyond other web shows. It’s engineered professionally using the latest in internet technology. Visually, it runs at least four cameras and is edited live. The sound quality is exceptional, the performances are truly amazing and Peter provides a fresh show nearly every week that is free of charge to anyone who might want to watch and that can be downloaded, again free of charge, from his web site or from iTunes. His guests are usually interesting (full disclosure: I was one), usually musical and the show can grow into an all out jam session that rivals anything anyone can go out and see live anywhere.

So why aren’t more people watching The Furious World?

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Peter and I like to take long walks to discuss the challenges inherent to being men past forty who still play at a boy’s game (rock music in Peter’s case, film and television in my own). We are both family men who live with a certain amount of faith, both men who believe that there should be a moral center to the work we create. We both devote some of our time to putting our work on the internet for free, knowing full well that we participate in this arena out of our own need to engage and be heard. And also knowing that, in these endeavors, the kind of work we do simply cannot compete with the real market of the internet – namely social networking, gaming and pornography. We joke about that last category and its vast influence over the web, but behind these jokes we also feel some envy. We’d love for people to want to watch us with the same desire and the same volume and the same loyalty that people view their pornography.  We know that we simply can't compete.

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Something about Clapton, and a little more

Friday, 26 February 2010 04:15 AM Written by

For those of you who missed it elsewhere on the PG site, here's Scott Mervis' review of last night's Eric Clapton concert at Mellon Arena. Roger Daltrey was the opener, and apparently even he sounded good.

Meanwhile, Clapton has announced the lineup of axmen/axwomen for his already sold out Crossroads Guitar Festival in Chicago in June. Not all blues, but not all that shabby, either.

And finally, Daltry says he wants to sing the blues with Jimmy Page.

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Don't believe your eyes

Thursday, 25 February 2010 07:01 PM Written by

This video shows one special effects company's work. It also reveals just how pervasive visual effects -- primarily green screen work -- is in prime time.

Most of these scenes are from shows ("Grey's Anatomy," "Ugly Betty") that are not thought of as special effects extravaganzas.

 

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