Happy happy holiday joy dear Beloveds.
As far as new movie releases go, the elephant in the room is perhaps the most anticipated film of the year- Rogue One: A Star Wars Story. The Filmosophers on the other hand, (this one, anyway :) are going to continue to "beat-the-drums" for a film most of us weren't even aware of a while back- La La Land. I've only read about it and seen one trailer. I began to learn more after it won the Audience Award at the Toronto Film Festival (TIFF). "Written and directed by Academy Award (R) nominee Damien Chazelle (Whiplash), La La Land tells the story of Mia [Emma Stone], an aspiring actress, and Sebastian [Ryan Gosling], a dedicated jazz musician, who are struggling to make ends meet in a city known for crushing hopes and breaking hearts. Set in modern day Los Angeles, this original musical about everyday life explores the joy and pain of pursuing your dreams." I'm prone to hyperbole (cause it can be fun) and jumped on La La Land as THE film of 2016. Since then I've become very confident in a few things. First, I believe it will win the Oscar for Best Picture; Damien Chazelle for Best Director and more. This is a musical, a genre that was almost dormant, so the box office outlook may be comparatively muted. I think it will surprise at the box office and do big business. Then, La La Land's success will reinvigorate the musical genre. We can anticipate more musicals. Perhaps most importantly, just by knowing the story and catching a glimpse of what Chazelle has created convinced me: a divided-weary nation dealing with sharp, post-election emotions will resonate with and yearn for this retro/modern/magical/musical love-story experience. La La Land will soon become a cultural phenomenon. There, I've said it. Now, in the Christmas Carol words of the immortal Tiny Tim: "God bless us... everyone." Love ~B
New Album by
(formerly of the Civil Wars)
With Beulah, White emerges as if drawn by song from a quiet life, drawn with that romantic regret. If White is out of practice, he doesn't show it. The songs on Beulah strike a tricky balance between precision in their craft and a loose folksiness in their sound and delivery. Longtime fans will recognize the pure tone of his voice and the finger-thrumming parlor sound of his acoustic guitar. -- NPR review
I am very happy to announce that Centripetal Sounds officially moves to a three-hour program with the next show. It will now be 2-5 PM on Thursday afternoons. It will be an extended version of the current show when I must record the show ahead of time. When I am live in the studio, the third hour will be called 'In Root'. In Root is an examination of roots rock, the roots of rock and roll, and the precursors to rock music. If you heard the audition on December 1st you will know what I mean. Tune in tomorrow for the next installment. The first two hours is part 3 of my ten year celebration of the show, and it includes the following types of music, according to itunes: Jazz, rock, psychedelic, folk, pop, country, classic rock, indie, progressive, art-rock, and funk. You may be familiar with the Intergalactic Contemporary Ensemble, Damien Jurado, Dr. Dog, Thee Shams, Haunted Leather, and Lake Street Dive. No? Tune In! I am completely excited about bringing the proof!
Whenever I think of chestnuts the first image that pops into my mind is a street vendor in Rome selling fresh roasted marroni (chestnuts) in little brown bags. The smell of a wood fire wafts into my nostrils, and my heart fills with longing to walk the streets of Roma on a cold December night with my wife, and stroll from piazza to piazza experiencing the wide variety of stalls filled with a myriad of items for Natale.
Next I am transported to a small woods in Cerro, a tiny town above Verona at the foot of the mountains. Our family is walking with Severina, our Italian mother, and she is instructing us on how to find and pick up chestnuts. She turns the leaves over with her cane uncovering more and more of the prickly cases that encase the nut. We stuff our bags full, and head to her apartment to roast some, and get warm.
It may not be quite as romantic, but John Freeberg, Michael Havelka, and a few other folks joined me at Green Building Supply on Tuesday, December 13 for our own local chestnut festival. John turned out a quite delicious apple/chestnut soup. Also, he made a chestnut hummus, a chocolate cake with chestnuts, and the live audience enjoyed a triple cream cow's milk cheese (Trillium from Fox River Dairy)with a honeycrisp apple, and hot spiced apple juice.
Michael Havelka talked about the chestnut, its history in the States and Iowa, growing chestnuts for profit, and John chimed in about preparing them in numerous ways. We also tackled such lofty topics as the future of agriculture with Avi Pogel, Dr. Thimm, Chef Eric, and one or two other folks contributing to the lively discussion.
Next month join me and Chef Eric from Everybody's Cafe LIVE at GBS at 7:00 pm on Tuesday, January 3.
Mystery writer Martha Grimes & her son Ken tackled their alcohol problems using different strategies. They share their struggles and their successes in Double Double: A Dual Memoir of Alcoholism. In this episode of The Studio, which first aired in 2013, Ken Grimes also relates his experiences learning the writing craft while a student at The University of Iowa and while writing this nonfiction book with his mother. Her mystery novels have achieved more than ten million sales in the U.S. alone.
We are mere moments away from the two-fisted whammy that is Xmas/Kwanza/Channukah and New Year's Eve. It's the time of year when you can fail miserably at the Xmas party knowing full well you can redeem yourself the following weekend at the NYE party. It's the perfect time of year for a mildly anti-social guy like me(I can be clumsy at a party but I summon every ounce of skill and courage in order to appear suave around the lady folks). It's the time of year to be on your best behavior. Mind your knittin'. Above all else, don't be a giant schmuck(sound advice for the entire year really).
THE WEEK THAT WAS w/ the Newsvandal
Meet Donald Trump's think tank
Trump Team’s Memo Hints at Broad Shake-Up of U.S. Energy Policy
Carrier to ultimately cut some of jobs Trump saved
We Do Not Have a Trade Deficit
Suspected of Corruption at Home, Powerful Foreigners Find Refuge in the U.S.
Korea’s Park Impeached as Protesters Vent Anger Over Corruption
Donald Trump "Has a Big Stake" in New 'Apprentice,' Says Transition Team
Without these ads, there wouldn't be money in fake news
What Is Time's Trump Cover Really Trying to Tell Us?
IMPORTANT LIVE SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT
This month's LIVE show at Green Building Supply is Tuesday, December 13 at 7:00 PM. Chestnuts in many different forms on the menu. Don’t miss it!
Now on to to this week's Great Taste.
The story of Champagne is a complex one with hundreds of years of history. It is one of the most famous wines made in France. A wine cannot be named Champagne unless the grapes are grown in one of the 320 appellations that comprise the entire Champagne area.
Fact: Every champagne is not extraordinary. I bet you have experienced some like that.
Many, though, can elicit a transcendent experience. A few years ago, Alan Tardi, a James Beard award-winning writer and chef, was allowed access to one of the most famous and secretive champagne houses.
Taylor Ross discusses her art porject that she'll be presenting this weekend Saturday, December 10th 8pm to 9pm at the ICON Gallery, the perfect space for what she'll be presenting. You can see her preparations anytime Saturday afternoon after 1pm, with the official showing starting at 8pm. There will also be live music from Lake Mary out of Colorado.
Taylot is an artist, activist, spoken word poet, musical composer, world observer and traveler. The eye of an artist as she scans the landscape wherever her feet find themselves. More scavenger than hunter, she is a found artist with a bent for sustainable beauty, objects made by animals, for instance, then abandoned because they make them anew each year.
Her work in support of the water protectors at Standing Rock included fundraising and delivery of hard wood from Wisconisn, a solar-powered truck, and much more.