Is that my son Ethan attempting to render the second movement from the Maurice Ravel string quartet on the banjo he got for Christmas? Indeed it is. This sort of odd stylistic conjunction is probably a case of the apple not falling far from the tree. I'm proud of that boy! Actually, this particular adaptation makes some sense - the second movement theme is played pizzicato and has the same sort of spiky tonality that a banjo produces.
And it wouldn't be the first time a classical work has surfaced in an odd setting. There used to be a cool Canadian-produced TV Western called "Bordertown" (the border in question being between the U.S. and Canada) that featured a theme from a Sibelius symphony played on a twangy guitar. It sounded just fine and was, in fact, catchy. I used to tune in just to hear the title sequence. It only lasted three seasons. All the TV shows I like get canceled quickly or don't last long: Coronet Blue, Square Pegs, Nero Wolfe, Mike Hammer, Camp Runamuck... I got a kick out of one comment about Mike Hammer: "In this show, when a girl entered the room, she was preceded by a yard of her own breast. Nothing like it on TV, before or since."
Fire Meets Desire - Here's an image that will haunt you while you try to sleep. I do believe that this particular ad agency is actively trying to creep people out.
Joshua Bell played in a D.C. Metro station for free and I wasn't there to hear it?!? Drat! Drat! Anyway, here's Bell playing the achingly beautiful main theme from "The Red Violin."
Residents are leaving California... and for good reason. It's too expensive and the place is totally out of control. Southern California was a great place to grow up, but I wouldn't live there again. Neither would my in-laws, who moved out after living there since the 1940's. It ain't the place it used to be.
I saw an absolutely first rate British film last night: "Seven Days to Noon" (1950); London is evacuated when a troubled scientist threatens to set off an atomic bomb near Parliament. Very suspenseful - but what was even cooler was seeing places and sights that I had seen last March, 57 years later.
Man, do I want to visit London again...
Boys will be boys, especially if they're teenagers and have driving licenses. Here are two 1960's stories from my hometown (Burbank, CA) as related by Mike Toon, the friend of the brother of a high school chum: "The Shopping Bag Bet" and "The Quag."
I vividly recall the slippery, slimy green goo Toon talks about the "the Quag." Burbank is riddled with storm channels and drains, and there used to be one up the street from me which doubled as the Mighty Mississippi. When I was twelve a friend and I mounted an expedition into one to see where it ended.
It was great being a boy... the other night, watching "No Greater Glory" (see yesterday's entry) took me back to a time when every vacant lot, abandoned house or industrial area offered adventure. To this day I still love new places to explore... but nowadays I do it in a car and (often) obey the
No Trespassing signs.
- ► 2012 (240)
- ► 2011 (249)
- ► 2010 (246)
- ▼ 2009 (256)