Sunday, July 31, 2011

Dr. John, Chuck Brown, and Red Baraat!

I saw an AMAZING concert last night at Celebrate Brooklyn. It was fan-fucking-tastic.

I went to see Dr. John -- who was fabulous. So great. Exactly how I expected him. No disappointment there. He is fantastic.

But, I was also blown away by the two opening acts. Red Baraat, a "Bhangra funk" band that included a lot of brass (including a sousaphone) was so incredibly energetic and exciting. I loved their funky, Indian-inspired, eclectic sound. It was hard not to dance (although I didn't). They kind of reminded me of Balkan Beat Box, who I love as well.

Next up was Chuck Brown, who I also had never heard of. He is apparently the godfather of go-go (had to look that up this morning). He had the deepest voice I ever heard and his funky "go-go" music was incredible. Again, hard not to dance (although again, I didn't).

Finally, Dr. John. The audience went wild for him.

The awesome concert made me very happy, but for some reason I got very tired toward the end and was wiped out from all the incredible musical talent and energy.

(the photo here isn't from last night; I got it off the internet, but I think he was wearing the same outfit.)

Saturday, July 30, 2011

Dear Zachary

Dear Zachary: A Letter to a Son about his Father is a moving and gripping story about a young doctor who is murdered. The filmmaker was a childhood friend of the man, and he started making this documentary as a kind of letter to the man's son (who had not yet been born at the time of the murder).

The wonderful footage of the life of the murdered man, Andrew Bangby, really made you feel like you knew him; it definitely captured his spirit and worked as a perfect memorial. However, the film was more than a testament to this great guy. It chronicles his parents in the aftermath of the murder trying to get custody of his child, Zach. Zach's mother is the one who killed Andrew, and the court drama surrounding her extradition is a big part of the film. Andrew's parents emerge as these wonderful, brave, loving, and wronged people. You really feel their intense grief, and feel like they are so strong throughout this terrible experience. And things only get worse...

Dear Zach tells a good story. However, I felt the style was too frenetic. I would have liked a slower, more straightforward telling. Also, it moralized slightly at the end about having a swifter surer justice system, and I'm not sure how I feel about it taking that direction.

Sunday, July 24, 2011

The Feelies!

Last night I saw The Feelies at Celebrate. They were amazing! It was truly an awesome show.

Awesome in spite of the 100+ degree heat yesterday. Sitting at the bandshell I was sweating my fat ass off. But it was totally worth it.

I remember The Feelies from college. I had the album The Good Earth, and I listened to it all the time. I wasn't aware of their other albums, but everything they played last night was terrific. I don't know how to describe their music, so I won't.

Sunday, July 10, 2011


The other night I watched Maurice, the 1897 Merchant-Ivory movie based on the book by EM Forster.

Recently I badly wanted to read the novel, but it is not available on Kindle. I had heard that it's a frank story about a gay man in England at the turn of the century, and was very curious about it. It was published posthumously.

Maurice is a young gay man that has an intense romantic friendship with a college friend. The romance is physical, but it seems that the friend, played by Hugh Grant, never wanted to go all the way sexually (if I understood correctly). Eventually Grant's character becomes too afraid of living the life of a gay man, and renounces his romance with Maurice and marries a woman.

Maurice is tormented by his sexual feelings and goes to a doctor and hypnotist, to no avail. Eventually (SORRY: Giving away the plot), a servant falls in love with Maurice and pursues him. They have a few passionate encounters, a little relationship drama, and the movie ends with them together. How they would navigate the class and sexual mores of the time is unclear.

Maurice is beautifully and sensitively told, and I'm not sure why I didn't quite love it.

Saturday, July 2, 2011

Inside Job

I just finished watching Inside Job, the documentary by Charles Ferguson about the economic meltdown. It gave me such intense agita to watch this. Although there was little information that I wasn't already aware of, it was intense having the story all laid out. The interviews were great. Some very pointed questions were asked, and evaded, and there were some tense moments. Basically, the power held by a small group of the super wealthy is just unconscionable, and the extent to which they are intertwined with government is truly frightening.

Steel Pulse at Celebrate

Last night I saw Steel Pulse perform at Celebrate Brooklyn.

It was an incredibly crowded concert with awesome energy in the audience and it felt wonderful and exciting to be there. The music was terrific -- they sounded great, and I enjoyed dancing.

Only problem was, I went by myself, and it just wasn't as fun as it would have been had I been with a friend.

I got there early to get a good seat, but everybody was standing so that was moot, I couldn't see a thing. But, like I said, they sounded great. Because I spent so much time waiting on line and waiting in the venue for the concert to start, once it did I had to pee like a motherfucker which was distracting. I left the concert an hour in. It was a great show, but I had to pee and I kind of was done.

Right now I think I'm going to download some Steel Pulse. I loved them and really hadn't heard them since college.