The much beloved singer, songwriter and political activist, Pete Seeger, passed away on Jan. 27 at the age of 94. He was a constant fixture in the folk scene where he will be sorely missed but his musical influence and activism lives on in artists he influenced: Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Woody Guthrie, Bonnie Raitt, Bruce Springsteen, Natalie Mains and Tom Morello. Morello of Rage Against the Machine said on his Twitter site, “RIP Pete Seeger. Absolutely the best humans can aspire to be. A courageous, kind, fearless soul.” Perfect words to describe this American icon.”
Jazz has always been renowned for musicianship and talent, enabling it a level sustainability that can only be compared with classical orchestra music. There is a complexity that exists within Jazz that has paved the way for all sorts of music in the once future that we now call our past. Darwin once hypothesized that if a species reached perfection it would stop evolving, or at the least, would need to evolve very little over time. In the field of music, this hypothesis must conclude that Jazz is perfection.
Smartphones have dominated everyday life with their ease of use and multitude of applications. However, with over 1 million apps to choose from, separating the good from the bad can be a challenge. To ease the process, in this column I will be picking what I think are some of the best apps out there for your review. This month, these include an alternative to Snapchat, social apps to keep you connected, and games for both casual and core gamers.
Thursday, Nov.7, theaters opened their doors for the first early showings of Marvel’s highly anticipated “Thor: The Dark World.” The sequel for the Asgardian had been highly anticipated by fans since the end of the Avengers movie. Now Thor would once more pick up the legendary hammer to defend the Earth and his own home world from destruction.
Entering through the large glass-and-gold chrome doors at Wild Horse Pass Casino is very daunting to me. I am immediately hit by the brightness of flashing prismatic lights above the rows of slot machines. So much color in the huge high ceiled, ornately decorated room. Totally lost and overwhelmed in this vast room, I ask the serious looking female guard directions to the theater. The concert hall will not be hard to find but walking through a smoky room full of zombie like people with glazed-over eyes, sitting mesmerized by slot machines frightens me. The only time a customer moves or show signs of life is when the portable drink cart comes by. I walk by tables where games I have never played are in process while the players sit there intently. The only positive thing about wandering through this maze of daze is hearing Led Zeppelin over their excellent sound system.
All aboard! Grab your ticket and get aboard the new iPhone game that is rolling down like a train on tracks of boundless fun into the app store.
While I am waiting at Mayhem Fest for Mastadon to appear, KUPD announces the lineup for its fall Desert Uprising show. My friend Grace and I immediately run over to buy tickets for both days.
We attended both nights of last year’s show and loved the bands, we both vowed never to come again to the festival. The continuous setting of numerous fires in the lawn near our seats marred the otherwise spectacular show. When the male participants started throwing plastic water bottles in the fire, we refused to put our lungs through inhaling the toxins that enveloped the air and made it hard to breath. However two nights of great bands for the special price of $10 is t oo tempting to pass up as we decide to give Desert Uprising another chance.
They have to say it, they have to do it, and you have to see it. You might have heard that saying on television every once in a while in a commercial for truTV’s hit show “Impractical Jokers.”
When I open Facebook a wave of excitement comes over me when I see in bold letters “John Densmore of the Doors” Book Signing at Zia, 3201 S. Mill Ave. Tempe, AZ, Dec. 13th 7 p.m.,” in my news feed. After I get over my surprise, I begin planning how to make sure I get this famous Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inducted drummer’s autograph. First step is to find my copy of his book, “The Doors: Unhinged,” which I previously purchased at Zia Records during Record Store Day.
Martin Scorsese’s, “The Wolf of Wall Street,” is a fast, funny, and filthy insight into the world of excess money, drugs, and fraud. It’s no secret that this film reeks of controversy, and the audience receives that message crystal clear. It tells the story of Jordan Belfort, a young stockbroker portrayed by Leonardo DiCaprio, who manages to make major bank at the expense of the American public. Belfort learns his ways from an older broker-guru (portrayed by Matthew McConaughey), and then transitions into starting his own company called Stratton Oakmont after briefly working on Wall Street.
“Assassin’s Creed Liberation HD” is a remake of “Assassin’s Creed 3: Liberation” for the PlayStation Vita and developed by Ubisoft Sofia in hopes of bringing the handheld experience to consoles. While they succeeded in scaling up the handheld experience to home consoles, the game still suffers from the shortcomings of the original.
When word spread around the Internet that a new Bruce Springsteen album was in the works for an early 2014 release, social network posts showed very low expectations.
Batman greets me when I walk through door at the Thunderbird Zia Record Exchange. The molded plastic superhero is at the front of the store as part of a four-foot barrel-shaped-black-plastic-cooler with a Mountain Dew logo. And he is for sale. The caped crusader is just the first unusual or unexpected item I will find in the store. The new Superman cardboard DVD display is fittingly right next to Batman and a section of the back wall is strictly devoted to superhero gift items. As I walk through the rows of used and new merchandise I see: DVDs, Blu-rays, comic books, video games, CDs and Vinyl. I feel as though I am walking through a maze as down each row I find unexpected merchandise. There are bright pattern socks, traditional board games, used turntables, a variety of speakers, musical instruments, sodas in glass bottles, rock and film posters, Beatle gift items, recycle bags with Edgar Allen Poe and David Bowie logos, and special edition boxed sets of albums and CDs. Used CD sets start out around $25 for a 4 disc Kiss set while a newly pressed Beatles vinyl set sells for $499.
Social media has totally changed my life . I started a Facebook account about a year ago, and immediately I had friends and fans from all over the world. This was partly because I had just earned the position of first assistant director on a major motion picture, “The Fallen One,” that was being filmed here in Arizona. The film had cast some well-known actors and was planned to have the feel of a Grindhouse Film, the B style film, with bikers, crime and sexy women.
After four decades of an extremely successful career in music and film, Cher announced in 2002 that she was embarking on her Living Proof: The Farewell Tour. That tour was so successful it lasted until 2005 and came through Phoenix four times. After the tour ended, she played 200 dates as the residential artist at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas. Then Cher kept a low profile in the entertainment world until the academy award-winning actor starred with pop singer Christine Aguilera in 2010’s film Burlesque. Now Cher is back and at 67 is determined to continue as a powerful force in music. She just released her first new album since 2001, announced first concert dates since 2007, signed on as Blake Shelton’s music mentor on this season’s The Voice, and performed on both the Today show and David Letterman the week her album dropped.