While the heyday of soul may be fifty years in the past with the likes of Otis Redding, Sam Cooke, and Jackie Wilson, a new swell of artists influenced by these early pioneers is rising and moving audiences around the country. Marked by strong frontmen and women, these folks have moves and energy straight from a James Brown playbook and backing bands that have licks of their own. Be prepared to have your soul stirred and, if you’re like me, end up with a goofy, strained grimace on your face and an air mic primed for lip syncing.
You may not recognize his face or even his name, but the comedy world lost an incredible talent today with the passing of Harold Ramis. He leaves an astounding legacy of writing and directing some of the most enduring (and quotable) comedy features and acting, most famously as the ever serious Ghostbuster, Dr. Egon Spengler.
Ghostbusters remains one my all time favorite films. Its witty dialog, spot-on acting, eccentric characters, creative storytelling, and pseudoscientific plot lines makes it one of the most enjoyable and audience friendly films I can think of. Pure desert island worthy material. If this was all Ramis left the film world, it would be enough in my book. But his body of work includes so much more and in light of his passing feels like it all deserves another view. Here are some of the highlights:
With 2013 coming to a close, the “best of” music lists have been pouring in the past few months. Best albums, best cover songs, best tracks, best photos, best music appearances on television - the possibilities are endless and critics never seem to tire of list-making.
Here is a round-up from some of the more influential sources:
It is one of the most cliché elitist replies when someone asks you if you like a band. Typically the speaker is trying to show off that they've listened to the band longer than newfound fans. In some instances, however, it's a genuine opinion void of hubris.
I confess that I've used the phrase for both reasons. Recently a friend asked me to go to see The National with him and I found myself saying this exact thing. I love their albums Alligator and Boxer, but found myself bored with their two latest. They weren't bad albums, just disappointing.
Being a father can be tough, but it can also be a lot of fun. All of the sudden you can build forts, spend hours playing with Legos, and run around the backyard screaming like a pirate without people shaking their heads in disgust. As Father's Day is upon us, here are some great books that will make fathers smile and help them up their game.
Now that the whole snow thing is out of the way, it's time to think about summer. Colorado hosts some amazing music festivals. Big and small, single day and weekend affairs, there is something for almost everyone to enjoy.
To kick off the summer, my family is trying out Meadowgrass Music Festival near Colorado Springs on Memorial Day weekend. In its 6th year, Meadowgrass may be smaller (and more affordable) than it's Planet Bluegrass rivals, but it's beginning to draw larger crowds and a notable lineup.
I naively used to think that writers of short stories and essays simply didn't have enough good material to fill a traditional book. Fortunately some great teachers, and exposure to some of the best writers in the field, showed me the incredible art of short form writing.
The beauty of short works has become even more apparent as I've read too many books lately where I'm left feeling like a shorter essay or short story would've been more powerful. Often (like my college papers) they had a few great things to say but had used filler to make it fit a length requirement. As print magazines, the previous bastion of short form, are shutting their doors, I'm encouraged to see new outlets such as Kindle Singles and Ted Talks remind people that brevity can be a virtue.
This isn't the first blog post written about Red Rocks here at DPL, but if anything in our fair metropolis deserves renewed attention and accolades, Red Rocks is near the top of the list.
In high school, I was a Dave Matthews fan. Of course being in a suburban, middle class high school, almost everyone was a Dave Matthews fan and DMB's concerts at the local, grassy amphitheater were the peak of summer socializing. By the end of high school, I'd discovered punk and obligatorily disavowed any interest in Dave Matthews.
On the unique occasions that I listen to contemporary pop radio (usually caused by CPR pledge drives), I'm always struck by the superficiality of the songwriting. The songs aren't always of bad quality, but their priorities lie more with fun, sugary sounds. That's okay, but much like a nutritional diet, balance is key. In case your portion of substantial songwriting is meager, here are ten underappreciated artists just waiting to be discovered at the library.
I go through phases of saturating myself in the canon of older songwriters; Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Nick Drake, Gillian Welch, and Patty Griffin are among my favorites. But I've been fortunate enough to come across great young songwriters of different genres whose words stick with me long after I've turned off the stereo.