Friday, September 19, 2014

1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die Pt. 2 and The Week in Reviews


[I review the new movie "Guardians of the Galaxy (in 3D),  DVDS "Palo Alto," "Bad Words," and "Words and Pictures." The Book of the Week is a Pulitzer Prize winner for literature, "The Goldfinch."]


But First


Last Friday I talked about the actors and actresses of the Golden Age of Hollywood who I feared were or would be forgotten.  That blog post was spurred by this book, "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die," because many of the movies listed date back to the 30's, 40's, 50's and earlier.


(and for you quiz aficionados, that post was a quiz too!).
 

If you go back and look at this post, you will see how the authors came up with this list, so I won't go into that now.

Being the movie nerd that I am at heart, I had to see how many of the 1001 films I have seen.  Yes, I really did go through the whole book and took a tally. 

I have seen 685 of the films listed, which means I have 316 to go.

What I discovered was that in addition to American classic films, many of the films highlighted in this book were foreign films, American films that pre-date the Golden Age of Hollywood, and experimental, avant-garde films.  Those were the three categories where I was weakest.
Now don't get me wrong, I have seen my share of foreign films. 

In fact, we used to live across the street from a Blockbuster, and I took it upon myself to see every foreign film (VHS - it was a while ago) they had from A to Z - from "Amsterdamned (a surprisingly good Dutch film with an unfortunate title)" to "Z."


("Amsterdamned" did not make it into the 1001 Movies You Must See...
"Z" did.)

So that made me wonder, is it because those films are not available that I haven't seen them?  Are those films I have not seen even available on DVD?  Some dated back to the 20's and some were very obscure, even to this movie aficionado.
Ms. Movie Nerd then went on to Netflix, Amazon and my local library's website to see how many of that 316 were actually available on DVD. 

Yes, Ms. Movie Nerd looked up every one of those 316 movies she hadn't seen. Ms. Movie Nerd wants to be able to say she has seen ALL of those 1001.  That's a true Movie Nerd.

And what did I discover?
 
Unbelievably, Netflix had practically all of the foreign films, even ones as old as 1932's "Boudou Saved from Drowning" directed by Jean Renoir and "The Adventures of Prince Achmed" ("Die Abenteuer des Prinzen Achmed"), Lotte Reiniger's 1926 film often cited as the first full-length animated film. 
 

But there didn't seem to be a rhyme or reason for what they had or didn't have.

Netflix had those, but not Satyajit Ray's "Apu Trilogy," Ray being one of the ultimate classic foreign filmmakers, or Bernardo Bertolucci's "Prima della Rigolluzione ("Before the Revolution)." Yet Amazon had both, for a price, of course.  If I want to see Jacques Rivette's  "La Belle Noiseuse ("The Beautiful Troublemaker")," I will have to buy it from Amazon for $140.00 (NEWSFLASH - my local library has it! Once again, the power of libraries!). Francois Truffaut credits Rivette with starting "The New Wave" of filmmaking.


Likewise, with many of the early American films I had never seen such as Alfred Hitchcock's "Blackmail (1929)" and one of the few films directed by Ida Lupino, "The Bigamist (1953)," Netflix surprisingly had those, but not John Huston's "Battle of San Pietro" or Boris Karloff in "The Black Cat."


(Though to give Netflix credit, the Apu films were listed as SAVE as were several others which could mean they had them once and may purchase them again).

What was mostly not found anywhere were the underground, avant-garde films such as Canadian underground filmmaker Guy Maddin's  "Archangel", "Blonde Cobra" or Andy Warhol's "Vinyl."  Not sure why.  Perhaps the audience for those films is considered too small to warrant release on DVD or release rights could be an issue or maybe they have been lost to the ages.


So there you have it.
I have queued up the films I haven't seen in my Netflix queue, placed holds at my local library, and if I must, I will probably buy those I can't find anywhere else from Amazon (though I will not be paying $140 - I don't care how good the film is),

because I am going to see all of those "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die," dammit, - - -before I die! 

Guess how I will be spending my retirement?
 (I will keep you posted on how I am doing.  Stay tuned.)

(Update:  I only have 35 to go)!




Now on to The Week in Reviews



***In Theatres Now***


After his mother dies, a young boy is abducted from earth by space pirate aliens and grows up to be a charming, but dishonest superhero in this new Marvel film.
After his mother has just died, Peter Quill (Chris Pratt) is abducted by The Ravagers in 1988 and raised by one of them, a blue bandit named Yondu.  Twenty-six years later, our grown-up Peter, who likes to be called Star Lord, is a scavenger and is looking for an orb to take back to Yondu.  Unfortunately, every other bad guy in the galaxy is after it too, especially Ronan (Lee Pace), a really bad guy, who has revenge on his mind. 
Peter meets cute with a talking raccoon named Rocket (voice by Bradley Cooper), Rocket's muscle, a humanoid tree named Groot (Vin Diesel), Gamora (Zoe Saldana) who starts out working for Ronan, and Drax (WWE star Dave Bautista), who is seeking revenge on Ronan. Turns out the orb contains an infinity stone that can destroy whole planets so our disparate group of loners must work together to find the orb before the bad guys do.
There is all kinds of action as everyone searches for the orb, but it's the humor and the music that raises this sci fi action picture out of the ordinary.  Before she died, Peter's mother made up a mix tape for him of her favorite 70's music and that is his prized possession - "Hooked on a Feeling," "Fooled Around and Fell in Love," "Come and Get Your Love"...you get the idea.  There are references to Kevin Bacon and "Footloose" as the music works its magic on the aliens that Peter encounters.  The witty banter is hilarious.  Writer/director James Gunn deserves props for this script (along with Nicole Perlman) and his direction.
Chris Pratt is all buffed up and Zoe Saldana is everywhere these days and has perfected the badass girl role.  Glenn Close and John C. Reilly appear as "good guys" from the Planet Xandar, the planet Ronan wants to destroy and our heroes try to save.  Benicio Del Toro, wearing a great blonde pompadour, has a brief moment as The Collector, who tries to buy the orb.
When Peter's mother died, she made reference to his father.  Who is Peter's father? Of course, we need a sequel to see how this is all going to play out.  And there will be one.
Rosy the Reviewer says...if you loved Indiana Jones and "Star Wars," you will love this.  Can't wait for the next one!



***DVDS***
You Might Have Missed
(And Some You Will Be Glad You Did)


Palo Alto (2013)
Disaffected teens with not much to do while they try to figure themselves out. 

We follow three teens and their friends as they aimlessly make their way through the treacherous waters of an upper middle class teen life. Fred (Nat Wolff, most recently seen in "The Fault in Our Stars") and Teddy (Jack Kilmer, Val's son, in his screen debut) are like Beavis and Butthead in the way they talk and the decisions they make, but Fred has a dangerous edge and treats girls badly, while Teddy has a more serious, tender side.  Emma Roberts (Julia's niece and Eric's daughter) plays April, a good girl who wants to fit in with the not so good kids. James Franco, who also wrote the short stories on which this film is based, plays a pervy soccer coach who April has a crush on and who has his eyes on April.

Fred is a goofball and not a very nice kid.  Teddy could go either way and when he gets in a car accident while driving home drunk from a party, the judge gives him one last chance to make good with community service in a library.  Things are not looking good when he draws a penis in a children's book and gets caught.

There is lots of partying in homes where the parents are gone.  As a personal aside, it has come to light there was massive teenage partying in our home when we were gone, and I shudder to think those parties were anything like those depicted here.  Just proves that we never really know what our kids are up to.

Speaking of the parents and the adults, they aren't much better than the teens - a teacher hitting on a student, Fred's Dad hitting on Teddy, April's step-dad very strange.  The adults in this are pretty much useless.

Gia Coppola wrote the script, based on some short stories by Franco (is there nothing this guy doesn't do?).  She makes her directorial debut, joining her grandfather Francis Ford Coppola and aunt Sofia in the Coppola directing dynasty.  She has created a sort of cinema verite feel as she weaves in and out of the stories of Fred, Teddy, and other teens as they wander aimlessly around Palo Alto (it was actually filmed in Southern California), an upscale town filled with upper middle class people and kids with not much to do.  No big names here except for cameos by Val Kilmer as April's strange step-dad and Talia Shire as a counselor, (though Roberts is beginning to emerge as a star), so Franco had to help Coppola get this made, despite her directing royalty roots.

The film was low budget and much was filmed in the Southern California homes of Val Kilmer and Coppola herself but no matter.  Palo Alto, a decidedly upscale, wealthy town, stands as a metaphor for the upper middle class malaise that affects so many teens in towns like that.

The film ends as it began with Teddy and Fred in a car deciding which way they are going to go, right that minute and later in life.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a sensitive portrayal of teens navigating that treacherous road to adulthood.  Coppola is a young director to watch. Worth seeing.




Bad Words (2013)

Guy Trilby (Jason Bateman) sets out to win a national children's spelling bee, much to everyone's anger and dismay.  But he has his reasons. 
Guy Trilby has found a loophole in the spelling bee rules that allows him to compete against the kids.  His motivation for doing so is unclear until the end of the film but until then, he gate crashes spelling bee after spelling bee in order to reach the ultimate prize - the Golden Quill Spelling Bee. He is accompanied by a journalist who is documenting his story, played by the always good Kathryn Hahn and befriends, if you can call it that, a young Indian-American boy, Chaitanya Chopra, played by Rohan Chand, who is also a spelling bee contestant and almost steals the show from Bateman.
Trilby is not a sympathetic guy.  He has no problem swearing at little kids or insulting women's hoo-hahs.  He has a photographic memory and gate crashes spelling bees with the ultimate goal to win the spelling bee title come hell or high water, excuse my bad word.
Bateman directs this film that wants to be dark comedy, but morphs into sentimentality expecially once Trilby befriends the young Chopra, who despite Trilby's constant racial slurs and bad behavior won't leave his side.  In fact they go on adventures together where they drink and Trilby hires a prostitute so Chopra can see a woman's breasts.
Bateman has come a long way from his years as a child and teen actor in "Silver Spoons" and "The Hogan Family" which were followed by some lean years as he found his adult legs in "Arrested Development."  Since then he has gone on to prove himself a wonderful comedic actor, with great comedic timing, which he displays here.  This is his directorial debut.
Rosy the Reviewer says...though uneven, there are some laughs to be had here, and though I am not a big fan of child actors, Rohan Chand is a delight.
The Honors Art instructor (Juliette Binoche) and the English teacher (Clive Owen) at an elite high school fight over which are more powerful:  words or pictures.  A competition ensues. 
"A picture is worth a thousand words," right?  Art teacher Dina Delsanto (Binoche) thinks so, but English teacher, Jack Marcus (Owen), believes it's the spoken and written word that have the most power.  They bicker endlessly until a full-blown school competition is unleashed to see who is right.
Jack is a failed poet with writer's block who has become bitter and fallen into alcoholism.  He is in danger of losing his job.  Dina has rheumatoid arthritis, which affects her ability to do her art and has also fallen into a lonely life.  He likes to play word games; she is a woman of few words.  What's likely to happen?  You are correct, sir (or ms.)!
What could have been an intelligent, adult love story turns out to be tedious.   These are not very nice people, so after awhile, you just don't care if they get together or not.  Owen and Binoche are wonderful actors, but a rom-com just doesn't seem to suit them.  And speaking of rom-coms.  This film doesn't really know if it's a rom-com or not.  If the soundtrack is any indication, at the beginning you get the feeling it's going to be a screwball comedy.  But then it morphs into something dark - then that silly music plays again and it morphs back. The witty banter between the two of them aside, the script lets them down.  And it's most apparent in the dialogue among the students.  Kids just don't talk like that. And that competition between words and pictures really comes to nothing, a missed opportunity to do something meaningful.
I wanted to love this film, because I am a huge fan of Binoche and Owen and adult love stories are my thing, but I found myself unmoved.
Rosy the Reviewer says...if you are an Owen and Binoche fan, go for it, but this missed the opportunity to do something brilliant - neither the words nor pictures add up to much.
***Book of the Week***


The Goldfinch (2013)

This is a 700+ page Pulitzer Prize winning novel about 13-year-old Theo Decker, whose mother is killed when a terrorist bomb goes off in the Metropolitan Museum of Art.  He saves a 1654 masterpiece and so starts him on a 14 year odyssey from New York to Las Vegas to Amsterdam.

Tartt won the Pulitzer for this and was compared to Dickens, but it was a controversial win outlined in this article in Vanity Fair "It's Tartt...but is it Art?"  Though her book was praised by Michiko Kakutani, the chief New York Times book reviewer for 31 years and Stephen King, who also reviewed it, she was skewered by The New Yorker, The New York Review of Books and the Paris Review for "dumbing down" literature. 

I can't disagree more. 

Those critics excoriated her for using language one critic found an "infantilization of our literary culture" and likened her more to J.K. Rowling than Dickens, and criticized her for using cliches such as calling the bomb site a "madhouse." However, she also writes that morning in the Village (NYC), "...felt adult, sophisticated, slightly alcoholic" and when talking about a character's dream wrote that it had "...slipped from my grasp and fallen into a crevasse where I would not see it again."  Gorgeous.  Tartt creates vivid images and characters that you can't wait to get back to.

It's no secret that my genre of choice is non-fiction, but that doesn't mean I can't appreciate a good novel.  And this is not just a good novel, it's a brilliant novel.

I get really sick of critics who think they are the last bastions of good taste. The aforementioned article goes on to remind us that The New York Times said of "Lolita," it "isn't worth any adult reader's attention" and that "The Catcher in the Rye" was "monotonous."  The Saturday Review said "The Great Gatsby" was "an absurd story."  In my view, critics have a habit of putting down things that are popular, as if their very popularity makes them crap.  That's not true. I think that Stephen King, for example, is highly UNDER-rated and a victim of his own popularity.  I'd like to see those critics write a Stephen King novel.

So here's my mantra.  To hell with the critics (except for me, of course).

Think for yourself. 

And...

Rosy the Reviewer says...an engrossing plot, interesting characters and gorgeous prose.  Best book I've read in a long time, fiction or non-fiction. 

That's it for this Week.

See you Tuesday

for


"Hubby"



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Tuesday, September 16, 2014

What I Did On My Summer Stay-Cation: My Summer in Concerts

Retirement has its perks, but there are also downsides.

Money.

Suddenly, there just isn't as much.

And we are a one-person-retirement household, meaning I am the only person who has retired.  Hubby still works.

So with those facts in mind, planning a major summer vacation can be a challenge.

Last year we went to Amsterdam, Bruges, Paris, London and the English countryside to the tune of about $9000 (I know, but you aren't going to catch me backpacking and staying in hostels - didn't you see "Hostel?").



So this summer we stayed home.

And it has been a beautiful summer (and you know how I feel about summer as per my "overrated" blog post and "What's Good About the End of Summer" post).  It has been the most beautiful we moved here over ten years ago, and according to the natives, the most beautiful Seattle summer ever.  We have had blue skies and sun with temperatures in the high 70's and low 80's every day.  No humidity, just perfect weather.  It's been so perfect that I find myself waking up some days and thinking, "Geez, sun AGAIN!?"  (Check with me in November, though, when it gets dark at 4pm and the rain has started).

So staying home for the summer.  What to do?

Why, let's go to a few concerts, especially outdoor concerts.

So that's what we did.

Here is the "Rosy the Reviewer" run-down on my summer concerts:


May 30 - Lionel Richie (with Ceelo Green) at Key Arena


 
I know that May 30th is not exactly summer, but I had to include this concert.
 
Ceelo opened for Lionel and was accompanied by female guitarists in red mini dresses. Of course. He sang his hits including the "real" lyrics, and let's just say his biggest hit is NOT called "Forget You!"
 
 


When Lionel came out, he warned the crowd it was going to be all the hits, "all night long."  And it was!  He wore us out.  He reminded me of Sir Paul who, when we saw him last summer, at 71 played for three hours straight without a break.  You could tell he loves to perform.  He never left the stage.  Same with Lionel.  He is 68 and sang all of his hits all the way back to his Commodores days. 

In between songs he said “I have noticed something tonight. We have been together for a very long time. Think about it. When I was in love, you were in love. When I fell out of love, you fell out of love … You got old. I stayed young.” 

He added to that with a cute bit where he said to the audience:

“Your relationship is over. Words you thought you’d never hear are being said to you. ‘I never want to see you again.’ You’re out of your mind in confusion. You don’t know where to turn or what to do. Alcohol is not the answer. You’re completely out of your mind. You don’t know where to turn, so you turn and rush home. You pull out your album, CD, cassette, 8-track. And you call on Lionel Richie.”

That theme carried through - "You just met your true love...so you rush home, you pull out your album, CD, cassette, 8-track.  And you call on Lionel Richie."

And over and over for a few songs.  And he was right.  Lionel's music punctuated many love stories and break-ups.

Rosy the Reviewer says...I hate arena venues, so I don't go to Key Arena for just anyone, but Lionel was on my bucket list and he did not disappoint.
 


June 22 - The Yardbirds at The Triple Door

 

This sixties group is most famous for its early members (at various times), Eric Clapton, Jimmy Page and Jeff Beck and the song "For Your Love."

No, neither Eric, Jeff or Jimmy were there.  But two of the original members are still with the group: Jim McCarty on drums and Anthony "Top" Topham on guitar and at 71 and 67 respectively, they looked their age.  But the other members are young guys and the lead singer and guitarist Andy Mitchell was really good.

They performed in a nightclub setting (that included dinner) and by most standards, the set wasn't very long.  The senior citizens in the group needed a rest, I guess.

Rosy the Reviewer says...a nice blast from the past.




June 28 - Cher and Cindy Lauper at Key Arena



Cher needs no introduction.  At 68, she still looks fabulous and puts on a terrific spectacle of a show.

When she came out in full Cher regalia, she told the audience she was 68 and asked "What's your granny doing tonight?"

She sang many of her hits with lots of costume changes and dance numbers, all very Las Vegas.


  
And yes, she sang "Half Breed!"



At the end, she was suspended from the ceiling and "flew" all around the arena singing "I Hope You Find It," like the Madonna (the saint, not the singer) blessing her flock.

I have been a huge fan of Cher's ever since Sonny and Cher were on "Shindig!"  I wanted to BE Cher, though I looked like her complete opposite - light coloring and nowhere near as skinny.  I adored her clothes.  Those bell bottoms and fringed vests. Here is my Cher impression from back in the day.



I wasn't alone in my adoration.  At the concert, Andie McDowell just happened to be sitting nearby and, of course, I had to go over to say, "Hi."  I said, "I don't want to be that person..." to which her husband immediately replied, "But you are going to be, right?"  But she was very good-natured and was appreciative that I knew she was filming her new show "Cedar Cove." She even introduced me to her co-star who was also with her.  My feather earrings (homage to Cher) kept getting caught in my shirt, which was so embarrassing!



Rosy the Reviewer says...she has a one word name for a reason.  She's Cher!





June 29 - Steve Winwood at Chateau Ste. Michelle

 


Here is the deal with the Chateau. 

It's a winery with a lovely outdoor amphitheater.  In the summer, they have shows with performers running the gamut from Pink Martini to Crosby, Stills and Nash.  It's a gorgeous venue when the weather is nice.  Not so great if it rains. Shows go on rain or shine.

You can get reserved seats or you can buy General Admission seating which means you sit on the lawn.  We call those people "Lawn People."  The "Lawn People" start lining up in the morning for some sold-out shows that don't start until 7pm or 7:30pm.

We get the reserved seats because number one, even though the tickets are cheaper, no way am I waiting in line for hours to secure a good spot to see the show. Second, I don't do lawns.  I might not be able to get up especially after consuming the requisite portions of wine that you stock up on there at the winery before the show. 

And "Lawn People" do not necessarily sit on the lawn because the tickets are cheaper.  They actually LIKE it because they have their chairs (they can't be tall chairs), they have their blankets and tablecloths and food and some even bring little tables.  They have it down.

"Lawn People" waiting for the gates to open.

We on the other hand usually sign up for "The Social," a members and reservation only event that provides free VIP parking and food and wine.  Well, it's not free.  We pay for the privilege.  We have that down.

Chilling at "The Social."
 
So that's the drill at The Chateau and Steve Winwood was our first concert of the season.  Depending on the line-up, we usually get tickets for several shows.  This year was a record seven concerts.
 
Steve Winwood was a member of Traffic and Blind Faith, among other groups, and he can play multiple instruments - guitar, mandolin, keyboards, violin, etc.  Here he played a fantastic long version of Traffic's "Low Spark of High Heeled Boys." 
 
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...He is 68, still fit, multi-talented, and he rocked the venue.




July 16 - Ringo Starr and his All Starr Band at Chateau Ste. Michelle


 
Ringo's All Star Band consists of great musicians from other bands who come together to showcase Ringo.  The group varies from year to year, though this year was the same as last: Steve Lukather from Toto (he's my new Guitar Hero, but more on him later), Gregg Rolie from Santana, Todd Rundgren ("Hello, it's Me"), drummer Gregg Bisonette, and Richard Page from Mr. Mister.  Ringo sings his Beatles songs and the other members sing songs from their bands.  And let's just say that you can tell Ringo spent a lot of time behind his drum kit, because his stage presence is not the best.  His performance consists mostly of walking back and forth across the stage while he sings, but he wisely also showcases the other musicians and their hits.
 

Rosy the Reviewer says...this picture tells it all.  A rocking evening.  And, hey, it's Ringo - a Beatle!



July 17 - Replay America:  Naked Eyes, Martha Davis of the Motels, Patty Smyth of Scandal and The Go Go's with Belinda Carlisle at Chateau Ste. Michelle


Martha Davis from The Motels.


 


Patty Smyth from Scandal and Hubby being Hubby.



Naked Eyes, and I am up there with them!  "There's Always Something There To Remind Me!"

Rosy the Reviewer says...an 80's love fest.



July 23 - Joan Baez at Edmonds Center for the Arts


She came, she sang, she left.  Joan did her 90 minutes, but she was in great voice, and personable.  She has a reputation for being a bit grouchy sometimes, which is why we didn't get a very good picture despite being in the front row.  We were scared she would yell at us.

Rosy the Reviewer says...she has let her hair go white, and she herself admits she is singing a little lower these days, but you would never know she was 73.  She looks great and her voice is still beautiful.
 




August 3 - Toto and Michael McDonald at Tulalip Casino Amphitheater



Another outdoor venue, but not as nice as the Chateau.  However, Toto kicked rock and roll butt.  There's my guy, Steve Lukather, who has taken over some of the singing and the helm with Toto (he mostly played guitar before).  When I saw him with Ringo last year at The Chateau, I was up front and as he was leaving the stage, I mouthed "You're FAB-U-LOUS" to which he mouthed, "You're fabulous" back to me, or I think he did.  That's my story and I'm sticking to it. 

The headliner was Michael McDonald.  Unfortunately, after Toto's kickin' set where he had briefly joined them to sing "I'll Be Over You," he faltered when it was time for his set. He couldn't sing. It was terrible.  His voice was cracking all over the place.  People were leaving in droves. That's pretty bad for a guy who is so known for his voice that it's said that women wanted to make love to it.  His voice, not him. He even apologized for his voice.  Let's hope it was a temporary condition.

Rosy the Reviewer says...Toto will rock your world.  Michael McDonald, maybe not so much.






August 8 - Creetisvan at Starbucks - Madison Park

 

Hubby and his bandmate, Mike Tiano are Creetisvan.  Check them out.   They were joined by Ashley Brewer for a special performance.  She took time out of her busy schedule to join her Dad and Mike, er, Creetisvan for a Rush song, "Time Stand Still."


Rosy the Reviewer says...A must see in the Seattle area. 

*You can catch them tonight (September 17th) at the Celtic Bayou in Redmond 9pm.




August 9 - Jeff Beck and ZZ Top at Chateau Ste. Michelle


Beck is 70 years old and still a guitar god.


I didn't realize I was a ZZ Top fan. 


The fur guitar.

Rosy the Reviewer says...If the Chateau had a roof to blow off, it would have.  They ROCKED!



August 24 - Peter Frampton and his Guitar Circus featuring Buddy Guy with special guest, Don Felder



Everyone probably remembers Peter Frampton more as the pretty boy with the long blonde hair and the talk box.

His looks overshadowed his talent to a certain extent. He never got the props for his great guitar playing.


Now he's balding and wanting to be taken seriously. He is a great guitar player.  Buddy Guy is the veteran.  We were sitting next to a couple who had come all the way from Canada, not to see Frampton, but to see Buddy.



Don Felder is an ex-Eagle.  His rendition of "Hotel California" was a treat. He is also a nice tall handsome man, which I like.


Rosy the Reviewer says...Peter Frampton wants you to take him seriously, dammit.  And you will.




September 12- Frankie Valli and the Four Seasons at Chateau Ste. Michelle


When a person is 80 and still out there doing what he does, you can be forgiving.  But you know what?  We didn't need to be forgiving.  Frankie still has it.  His voice is clear with that distinctive sound, he sang all of the hits with some new songs thrown in and he remembered all of the lyrics.  What more could you ask?  None of the original Four Seasons were on hand.  He is backed by young guys, and I wish they had done more of the signature moves.  But it was Big Band all of the way. One wonders, though, why there was no mention of the death of Bob Crewe, who wrote so many of their hits.

Rosy the Reviewer says...we were dancing in the aisles remembering those early teen years, and I was trying to remember how to dance the Mashed Potato to "Sherry." 



September 14 - Crosby, Stills and Nash at Chateau Ste. Michelle


Crosby, Stills and Nash defined much of the 60's ethos with their songs of love and protest.  All have been through some hard times.  Crosby chronicled his struggles with drug addiction and the law in his autobiography, and he looked much better than in recent years.  Nash also wrote a tell-all that sums up the times. Stills' voice is not what it once was and he seemed a bit disoriented at times.  It was ironic that Nash and Crosby sang "Wooden Ships," when it used to be a Stills-Crosby duet since they both wrote it.  But Stills can still play the guitar.

I saw David Crosby when I was 17 and he was with The Byrds.  They played at a local roller rink.  David was dancing all around with the locals in his fringed poncho and hippie brimmed hat.  I also remember that night dancing with a fellow who said he was being sent to Vietnam the next day.  I knew what that meant.  I excused myself.


 
 
 
Rosy the Reviewer says...if they come your way, a concert not to be missed no matter what your age.


 
As I said the concert was wonderful, but we almost didn't get to see it.
 
I am very much a Type-A personality.  The good side of that kind of person is that we are very reliable.  We can be trusted to get the job done, as it were.  So for that reason, I am the keeper of the tickets.  I can honestly say I have never forgotten to bring the tickets.  And when I have them in my possession, I check and double check to be sure they are still there.  While at "The Social (which I explained earlier)," I swear the tickets were in my purse, but when it came time to take our seats, they were nowhere to be found.  I could not explain it. Hubby hiked back to the car to see if the tickets had fallen out of my purse.  But those who know me, know that I carry a ginormous purse. 


How can something fall out of that thing?  Hubby must have taken everything out of my purse and put it all back a million times before the full impact hit him.  The tickets were not there.

Once the realization hit, then blame began.  There has to be someone to blame, right?  I saw divorce in Hubby's eyes. I could hear my Mother's voice saying, "See?  That's what you get for making fun of "The Lawn People." 

As we mumbled and grumbled, still at "The Social," a couple sitting near us said, "Did you lose your tickets? We heard someone found some tickets in the parking lot.  The name was something like Browder or Brainer.  They took the tickets to the Will Call."

Hubby and I couldn't believe it.  Browder, Brainer?  How about Brewer?

We hightailed it over to the Will Call booth and sure enough, there were our tickets. Unbelievable. There really is good in the world.  That concert was sold out.  A "Lawn Person" could have upgraded to reserved seating.  But then, as I said, "Lawn People" like to be "Lawn People." 

But even as I write this, I still can't figure out how those tickets printed out at home on 8.5 x 11 sheets of paper could have fallen out of my purse.  I know I checked that they were there when we were eating and drinking.  I think a gremlin took the tickets from my purse when I was getting more wine.  My mother would certainly say, "See?  That's what you get!" for getting more wine.

But what a summer! 

We saw some incredible performances.  These performers are icons of the music business and their music reflected the times and punctuated the youth of Baby Boomers.  They are in their 50's, 60's, 70's and 80's now, but they are still rocking.  Their staying power and ability to still draw big crowds says something about their talent, their music and their relevance. Will Iggy Azalea, Ariana Grande and Maroon 5 be around 40 years from now?

Rosy the Reviewer says...If any of these bands  I saw this summer perform in a venue near you, go.  They are not getting any younger. You may not get another chance.

 
Thanks for reading!
 

See you Friday for
 "1001 Movies You Must See Before You Die, Pt 2"
and
The Week in Reviews
 
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