Samurai Night Fever, by Daniel Housman

This early Saturday Night Live video (season 3) is astonishing too, and bizarre, and awesome — for a couple reasons.

1. John Belushi’s Samurai character. He did it in a number of contexts, I think some of the cultural context is lost now, or maybe it was never there and that was the point, . . . → Read More: Samurai Night Fever, by Daniel Housman

Do We Really Worship the Same God? By Mark Erickson

Wheaton College is a nondenominational evangelical Christian institution located in the Western suburbs of Chicago that maintains a special relationship with the Reverend Billy Graham (currently 97 years old). Wheaton operates the Billy Graham Center for Evangelism, The Billy Graham Museum and Archives, and the Billy Graham Scholarship Program. According to a website called . . . → Read More: Do We Really Worship the Same God? By Mark Erickson

The Revenant: Gripping, Poetic, Beautiful, by Daniel Housman

The Revenant!!!

Yes, there’s a lot of anguish and pain on screen, and I had questions about how they might have enriched the story more, but as filmmaking, it’s fantastic. Gripping, poetic, beautiful and utterly transporting… You will see things you haven’t seen before.

Winter is coming, upper Missouri River 1823 (Montana, the Dakotas) . . . → Read More: The Revenant: Gripping, Poetic, Beautiful, by Daniel Housman

Jerry Douglas and Peter Rowan Will Perform at the Alberta Rose Theater on New Year’s Eve

Old and in the Way back in the day

Jerry Douglas and Peter Rowan will be appearing at Portland’s Alberta Rose Theatre on New Year’s eve. Should be a great show. Jerry Douglas is the Bela Fleck of the dobro. This is high praise indeed. By this I mean he has taken the sound . . . → Read More: Jerry Douglas and Peter Rowan Will Perform at the Alberta Rose Theater on New Year’s Eve

Support: Malian Pieces: Stories from a Rich Country, by Daniel Housman

Some old friends are making a great film about MALI, its music, and the culture of a special place in a difficult time.

if you can throw them even a few bucks so they can finish it, that would be great.

>>>>>>>>>>

“Malian Pieces is a feature documentary and accompanying online series . . . → Read More: Support: Malian Pieces: Stories from a Rich Country, by Daniel Housman

Too Many Zooz Live in Union Square

These agile musicians get a great sound, an urgent beat, and the brass section busts some surprisingly nimble dance moves while playing a bass sax. Thanks to Daniel Housman for sending along this viral vid to me. 20 years ago Daniel and I saw Morphine, that excellent 90s sax-based band, at the Off Ramp . . . → Read More: Too Many Zooz Live in Union Square

Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets Bring Their Quality Holiday Review For A Fun-Filled Night At Seattle’s Neptune, by Holly Homan

On Friday night December 18th I sacrificed seeing the new Star Wars on opening night to instead see Nick Lowe at Seattle’s Neptune Theater. The sacrifice was well worth it. Now white haired and bespectacled, Nick Lowe got on stage as a solo act for about the first two or three songs. Then the . . . → Read More: Nick Lowe and Los Straitjackets Bring Their Quality Holiday Review For A Fun-Filled Night At Seattle’s Neptune, by Holly Homan

Little girl mistakes bearded shopper for Santa Claus then something amazing happens

Sweet Lou Rawls’ Badass Christmas Song

I caught this on the local jazz station a few days ago. Called “Christmas Will Really Be Christmas,” this 1967 tune is an extraordinary Christmas meditation which deserves some reconsideration in 2015. As one friend described it, “Damn man, this really is a stone groove. Totally dig it.”

The Santa Claus Privilege, by Steve Stav

My one regret this season is to only have been able to put on the suit once… twice, if you count putting it on for my nephew, for this photo. A couple of years ago, a friend gave me the opportunity of a lifetime, buying a suit and asking me to play Santa for . . . → Read More: The Santa Claus Privilege, by Steve Stav

First Loved, Then Shunned: The Zombies and Others Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, by Rich Horton

After Sgt. Pepper, many of us Baby Boomers became so, uhhh, “sophisticated,” that we began sneering at many of the early British Invasion bands who served as our first introductions to rock ‘n’ roll. So many superb bands, including The Hollies and The Zombies and The Searchers, got shuffed off by us in our . . . → Read More: First Loved, Then Shunned: The Zombies and Others Belong in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, by Rich Horton

Rebecca Jade – Weather the Storm

Rebecca Jade understands the pure, indomitable magic of fifties R&B. Profoundly aware of the ebb and flow of her sound as well as the soul-derived beauty of the art, “Weather The Storm” is the first single from her upcoming record, A Shade Of Jade due out in 2016.

All I Want For Christmas – MINOR KEY! ft. Chase Holfelder

Jerome Blazé – Lone Pine, by Paul Johnson

Jerome, Jerome, Jerome Blazé. Is that bla-zay? Can’t be, unless you’re the master of some sort of Australian irony. On JB’s (if I may please take such license) title track “Lone Pine,” JB makes a winning case for his art and electronica.

Reviewing music is a little bit like screening resumes. And I almost . . . → Read More: Jerome Blazé – Lone Pine, by Paul Johnson

Frank Sinatra – Sweet Blindness, by Pat Thomas

Frank Sinatra in 1968 singing Laura Nyro’s “Sweet Blindness” (from Eli and the Thirteenth Confession) dressed as the 6th member of the 5th Dimension – let’s go down by the grapevine, drink my daddy’s wine, get happy!

– Pat Thomas is the author of Listen, Whitey! The Sights and Sounds of Black Power . . . → Read More: Frank Sinatra – Sweet Blindness, by Pat Thomas

A Bob Dylan Hannukah Story, by Daniel Housman

The other morning I had to take my car in, and instead of Uber-ing home from the garage, I decided to walk the couple miles back to Venice; it was a blustery morning, and I headed into a strong wind, with not a small amount of trash and dust kicked up in the . . . → Read More: A Bob Dylan Hannukah Story, by Daniel Housman

Frank Sinatra – Everything Happens to Me, by Tom Fredrickson

“Ava taught him how to sing a torch song. She taught him the hard way.”

—Nelson Riddle

The idea is that Frank Sinatra’s impossible, unresolvable romantic relationship with Ava Gardner—for whom he left his wife at a time (1950) when it simply wasn’t done; to whom he was married for a brief, tumultuous . . . → Read More: Frank Sinatra – Everything Happens to Me, by Tom Fredrickson

RIP John Trudell, by Daniel Housman

John Trudell, poet, activist for American Indian rights, dies at age 69

RIP John Trudell.

I’ll never forget hearing him speak 20 years ago in a basement hall at the University of Washington, at a time when the case of Leonard Peltier was getting renewed attention (which did not result in his pardon), . . . → Read More: RIP John Trudell, by Daniel Housman

Correatown – Embrace the Fuzzy Unknown: Review by Paul Johnson

Correatown’s new collection of wet, somehow magical little stones has been glistening in the dabbled sunlight of it’s musical dawn for a couple of weeks now. I stumbled across them just now. Let me show you some?!

This one, “Longshot” (below), is for when you’re having trouble smiling. See its color? That’s . . . → Read More: Correatown – Embrace the Fuzzy Unknown: Review by Paul Johnson

Remembering Sinatra: Pete Hamill and Jonathan Schwartz, by Chuck Strom

This is a recent conversation between two unquestioned experts on Sinatra, Pete Hamill, author of Why Sinatra Matters, and Jonathan Schwartz, the writer and radio host who coined the phrase “Chairman of the Board” in regard to Frank. A pleasant remembrance.

http://92yondemand.org/pete-hamill-with-jonathan-schwartz

– Chuck Strom