Monday Mood Board #12

ART Immortal – the Holy Grail of art rediscoveries to be auctioned at Christie’s.  If only I had an extra 100 million dollars to spare…. 

Leonardo da Vinci’s “Salvator Mundi,” unveiled recently at Christie’s. Credit: Jewel Samad/Agence France-Presse — Getty Images

In something of an auction coup, Christie’s has secured two blockbuster works for its November Contemporary sale: the last known Leonardo da Vinci in private hands, “Salvator Mundi” or “Savior of the World,” and Andy Warhol’s final silk-screen, “Sixty Last Suppers.” – The NY Times

Andy Warhol’s “Sixty Last Suppers,” at Christie’s New York. Credit: Ilya S. Savenok/Getty Images for Christie’s Auction House

The Leonardo da Vinci work is estimated at $100 million and the Warhol at $50 million. Each has been guaranteed by a third, undisclosed party.

Read the whole New York Times article here:

https://www.nytimes.com/2017/10/10/arts/design/christies-leonardo-da-vinci-and-warhol.html

PICASSO’S OLD ART SCHOOL

L’Académie de la Grande Chaumière,

At the unchanged atelier of L’Académie de la Grande Chaumière, you might find yourself sitting in the very same chair where Pablo and a few of his friends, such as Manet and Cezanne, sat sketching their model a century ago. It’s open to the public for sketching workshops in the afternoon, Monday to Saturday, except on Wednesday when there’s an evening session from 7-10pm. No reservations are necessary, just show up with paper and pencils, no teacher, just the model. (14 rue de la Grande Chaumière, 6eme; See the ‘Free Workshop’ and ‘School’ sections of the website for all prices and timetables: grande-chaumiere.fr/en).  Oh by the way, this is in Paris.

L’Académie de la Grande Chaumière,

Channel Gabrielle, the eternal rebel (new Chanel perfume teaser) with a message

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=OxYRrb7nJ9M

It’s madness out there

“The statistics on sanity are that one out of every four people is suffering from a mental illness. Look at your 3 best friends. If they’re ok, then it’s you.” – Rita Mae Brown

There is no great genius without some touch of madness – someone said.

 

 

Feel-good Friday: Listen up

My friend went to Cuba and all she brought back was this fine bunch of Cubans. They’re called Brisas del Palmar.

If you live in Vancouver you have the opportunity to watch them perform this evening.  I’ve seen them before – they’re amazing! In Vancouver for one concert only before returning back to Cuba for Fall/Winter is EL GRUPO CUBANO – BRISAS del PALMAR.

Fresh from engagements in Victoria: these Cuban musical ambassadors have performed for the Pope and granted diplomatic passports to represent Cuba in international music competitions. Their traditional music and danceable tunes are featured daily on the nationally broadcast Radio Taino. Their winter engagements include Bodequita del Medio, the Havana bar made famous by Ernest Hemingway!  Yes, I’ve been there too. And yes, I had a daiquiri (a temporary departure from mojitos).  Havana little more:

Where: St. James Hall – 3214 West 10th Ave., Vancouver, B.C.

When: Friday, October 13th at 8 pm. They start on time. Doors open at 7:30.

Cost:  $20 at the door

Sampling: 5 years ago at the Vogue Theatre:

 

PURE FEEL GOOD MUSIC

 

Culture/Art/Film: Landfill Harmonic

This is the best feel-good movie I’ve seen in a long time.

landfil2 I just watched it with my film buddy who I met at VIFF. landfil1This film is not about garbage, it’s about making the best of the junk that surrounds you.

The reason it’s uplifting is that it points out that no matter what your living conditions are like, through the power of hope and dreams you can build on becoming what you desire and we realize that music is that unifying force that binds all people.  It’s pretty powerful.  It’s actually a film on the power of music through very unusual circumstances.landfil5landfil4

These kids play everything from the BIG THREE (Mozart, Bach, Beethoven) to heavy metal (play heavy metal with heavy metal) favourites.

Land Fillharmonic was showcased last year at various film festivals but was recently re-released in many cinemas worldwide (you’ll have to check in your hometown).  If so, I highly recommend seeing it.  WATCH TRAILER:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=wCjbd21fYV8

Landfill Harmonic follows the Recycled Orchestra of Cateura, a Paraguayan musical youth group who live next to one of South America’s largest landfills. This unlikely orchestra play music from instruments made entirely out of garbage. When their story goes viral, the orchestra is catapulted into the global spotlight. With the guidance of their music director, Favio Chávez (a most amazing man), they must navigate this new world of arenas and sold out concerts. However, when a natural disaster devastates their community, the orchestra provides a source of hope for the town.

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king – one of the instruments taken in the lobby of VanCity Theatre Tuesday night.

Instruments Beyond Borders...harnessing the power of music to better children’s lives.  Many schools have now very unfortunately cut music from educational programs.  It’s good to give back.

Photo: d. king

Photo: d. king

An entirely volunteer, charitable Society dedicated to delivering donated musical instruments and funds to music education programs in disadvantaged communities at home and abroad.  In Vancouver instrument donations can be made at Tapestry Music (3607 West Broadway).  Tax receipts for donated instruments are available upon evaluation.

Music heals the world.  So will recycling.

Shaking things up – prose and cons

Bob Dylan was just awarded the Nobel prize for Literature “for having created new poetic expressions within the great American song tradition.”

Ill: N. Elmehed. © Nobel Media 2016

Ill: N. Elmehed. © Nobel Media 2016

What’s so wrong with that?

To the person who asked “does this mean that I can win a Grammy?” No!  It just means that people are taking more notice of great songwriting and poetry which have their place (or prose) in the writing world.  If so, then in my opinion Rodriguez (of searching for Sugarman fame) & Leonard Cohen should be next in line.

Maybe they should open it up to noteworthy artists who paint for a living.  They are like literature for the soul.  Open up a new category?  Something to think about?  I think so!

CHECK THIS OUT:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_sh05PyTURs&list=PLlOu5-_qNR9BYLoZCLPfAkejwn1EP7Ee_

Feel-good Friday: go Crazy!

Oh man; it’s hard to believe that Prince is dead.  A trailblazing talent with such avant-garde style, he was almost impossible to categorize.  Prince will continue to live on through his feel-good music.  Love his music!prince2

In the opening lines of his Billboard Top 10 1984 single “I Would Die 4 U” he sang:

“I’m not a woman, I’m not a man, I am something that you’ll never understand”prince1

Dearly beloved
We are gathered here today
To get through this thing called “life”

Electric word, life
It means forever and that’s a mighty long time
But I’m here to tell you
There’s something else,
The afterworld

A world of never ending happiness
You can always see the sun, day or night

So when you call up that shrink in Beverly Hills
You know the one, Dr. Everything’ll-Be-Alright
Instead of asking him how much of your time is left
Ask him how much of your mind, baby

Cause in this life
Things are much harder than in the afterworld
In this life,
You’re on your own

And if the elevator tries to bring you down
Go crazy (Punch a higher floor!)

Woo!

If you don’t like
The world you’re living in
Take a look around
At least you got friends

Are we gonna let the elevator bring us down?
Oh, no lets go!

Let’s go crazy
Let’s get nuts
Let’s look for the purple banana
Until they put us in the truck, let’s go!

We’re all excited
But we don’t know why
Maybe it’s cause
We’re all gonna die

And when we do (When we do)
What’s it all for (What’s it all for)
You better live now
Before the grim reaper come knocking on your door

Tell me, are we gonna let the elevator bring us down?
Oh, no let’s go!

Let’s go crazy!

(shortened – lyrics by Prince & taken from the album Purple Rain)

RIP

On another note……it’s EARTH DAY Todayearthday2

Let’s each do our part to make the world we’re living in a BETTER PLACE!

Eat.Drink.Dance.Listen – Blue Martini Jazz

my first (not completely) unhappy review – and hopefully my lastbluemartini1

Last Saturday I went with a friend to the newly opened Blue Martini Jazz Café  to listen to live music – the wonderful Dawn Pemberton and her band were performing and they were excellent; a mix of R&B, Jazz, Funk and World Beat music which I love. The ambience was reminiscent of a true dinner/jazz club which is lacking in Vancouver.  I can also walk to this place from home which is a big plus.bluemartini3

The friend I went with had been there for Dine Out Vancouver and said the food was great.  Here’s the complaint:

We only wanted to order one glass of wine and share some appies while listening to a few sets.  I only complain when necessary and hate to do so; but I became that woman for the duration of the evening.  And I believe that it only helps for the owners to know when a customer is not satisfied.

So we decide to order a glass of red wine each, a salad and an antipasto platter for two.

The waiter tells us the wine we want (which is on the menu) is not available (they just haven’t yet taken it off the menu) but he can bring us a comparable one in its place.  He wasn’t planning to tell us that the one replacing it will cost us each $4 more  – something made me ask (I must have felt suspect because I do not normally ask the price of something that should be a given).  We order a glass anyway.

He brings the bottle and starts to pour directly from bottle to wine glass.  It looks like a taster.  Which brings me to question how many ounces they serve.  He says six.  I say it looks more like four.  I finish in five sips and decide not to order more wine.  Maybe should have gone with a martini.  Waiter comes back and says “sorry, my mistake, we pour five ounces only.”  I still think my pour (like how would he really know since he didn’t measure and the pours were not even) was less but don’t want to start complaining as the company and music are perfect.

We order a zesty Caesar salad to split.  It was good even though the croutons were from a box. It should be noted that this place charges $4 to split orders although that either does not count for salads or they decided not to charge us.

The shared Antipasto Platter was a different matterit was a total disappointment.  Why? Because the menu reads: Italian Cheeses, cold cuts, pickles, smoked salmon, artichokes, olives, arugula and buffalo burrata.  At $16 per person (total $32 for the platter) Sounds great right?

It came with no bread.  We had to ask and they brought us 4 little pieces.  It came with no cheese that we can recall (remember we were not the least bit tipsy on 4 ounces of wine) except for two teensy tiny slices of mozzarella (believe me when I tell you there was no way on earth it was burrata – it was not the least bit creamy) on a slice of tomato.  One slice was double the size so we had to flip a coin for fun to see which one of us would be the lucky one to have it – I won.  There was a pile of arugula in the middle of the plate with a few pieces of artichoke underneath, a few of the tiniest gherkins we’ve ever seen, 4-5 regular sized green olives, two slices of smoked salmon and an assortment of rolled-up deli meats (mortadella, pepperoni, the usual where I can’t pronounce the names) but it didn’t even out with the rest of the plate.

I ask the waiter to see the menu again just to make sure there was mention of other cheese or cheeses in this case.  Sure enough the first thing mentioned on the antipasto platter is Italian Cheeses (see, it’s even plural  which suggests more than one kind). So I question him – where was the cheese? He tells us there was a little shaved parmesan on top of the arugula (there may have been but neither of us noticed).  I asked about the burrata.  He said it’s buffalo burrata.  I say it’s a way of misleading customers – it’s just another word for regular mozzarella cheese – of the plainest kind. The couple sitting across from us said the same thing – “why would they write cheeses on the menu when they only give you three little pieces?”  I said you got three pieces, we only got two?” They only complain to us that they’re not satisfied.

We ask for the bill. We’re still hungry but don’t want to order anything else.

Because it was obvious we were not satisfied we got a piece of dessert on the house to share – which was tasty. We laugh it off to an unpleasant experience – like something crazy out of a Seinfeld episode or Sex and the City.

We go back to my place and my friend asks if I have any food so I go into the fridge, take out some stuff and we sit on the sofa and watch an episode of a 4-part documentary series on Netflix –  Chelsea Does on Racism. It lightened up our evening.

Will I go back to Blue Martini? 

I really wanted to love this place.   I understand that rents are high and there is no cover charge but please do not take advantage of good customers who may become regulars.  I like to support live music and buy CD’s. I’m crazy enough to go back at some point, sit at the bar, order one martini and just listen to the live music….maybe.

What do you think – Am I nuts?

 

Music/Culture: Piano Bar

I can never resist sitting around a piano bar, especially in Palm Springs where they’re an institution. This year marks the 100th birthday of Frank Sinatra.  That’s Life!

Melvyn's - photo: d. king

Melvyn’s – photo: d. king

Sing us a song, you’re the piano man

Sing us a song tonight

Well, we’re all in the mood for a melody
And you’ve got us feelin’ alright – Billy Joel

jumping out of my cake

jumping out of my cake

For my birthday last week there were eight of us at Tropicale and after dinner six of us escaped to the piano lounge to hear a man with a story who has  been playing for over 40 years with renowned people such as Frank Sinatra.  Just a pianist and a bass guitarist playing familiar standard classics mixed with a little jazz which put me in the mood to order a cocktail I may otherwise never bother to order at home (especially since I don’t like the taste of liquor) and don’t even know what’s in most of the drinks. Something like an old fashioned because I like the name but I decided on a ginger martini.

I settled for an Appletini

I settled for an Appletini to go along with the mood at Melvyn’s.  This one’s on Frank. Photo: d. king

The few cozy little tables that were set up around the piano and the music they were playing tempted us to want to linger longer. So there we were…

then on Saturday night I ended up at Melvyn’s piano bar (at the Ingleside Inn) to experience that same old fashioned feeling before leaving town.  The place was packed and when Melvyn (the owner who was in house that evening) found out I was from Vancouver he told me he recently had a private dinner with Jimmy Pattison (a local billionaire businessman) at the Frank Sinatra compound that Pattison stays at when in Palm Springs. I won’t mention some of the other things he said cause he’s been around a long time and he’s met everyone (photos of him with everyone from Frank Sinatra and Lucille Ball to Cher take up at least one wall). Paintings of Sinatra, Marilyn Monroe, Jimmy Dean & Elvis Presley from renowned celebrity pop artist Dan Tarantola are on another wall.

The evening was lots of fun. All ages enjoying campy, familiar, fun, feel-good upbeat tunes. I need to find me a piano bar at home.melvyn3

If I were mayor it would be mandatory in every restaurant

cause I’m an uptown/downtown kinda gal!

Goodbye Glenn – there’s gonna be a heartache tonight

Vaguery is the primary tool of songwriters” – Glenn Freyhotelcalifornia2Oh; there’s been too many losses in the entertainment industry in such a short time span.  Talented British actor Alan Rickman passed away less than a week ago (days after I watched a new movie he’s in that’s not even released yet), and only four days after David Bowie.  On that very same day, Celine Dion’s extremely smart manager husband René Angélil passed. Now Glenn Frey. This news came just days after I took a photo of “Hotel California” which I instagrammed with the captioned “some dance to remember, some dance to forget – with no alibis”.  Strange, right? And like Bowie, so unexpected.

my photo

my photo

I get this feeling I may know you

As a lover (I wished) and a friend
But this voice keeps whispering in my other ear
Tells me I may never see you again

‘Cause I get a peaceful easy feeling
And I know you won’t let me down
‘Cause I’m already standing on the ground.

What can I say about Glenn Frey that hasn’t been said before? Not too much.  Except that my BFF and I met Glenn Frey and Don Henley at an after party following their Hotel California concert performance in Montreal at the height of their career that they personally invited us to.  They were very pleasant and probably a bit tired after the exceptional show.  Jimmy Buffett was the opening act at the Montreal Forum that night.  I remember totally ignoring him.  At the time Hotel California was my favourite album and I had a big crush on Glenn Frey.  I must say once again, we were not groupies (only because we were very young, they were very famous and a lot of girls would have done anything to even be in the same room).  Anyway, it must also be noted that it didn’t seem like they were all that interested either.  We were not easy targets although like I said, I was crushing on Glenn because he was not only good looking and talented but there was also something naturally down home & unaffected about him which made him all that more attractive.  And he spent a chunk of time talking to us like we were already friends (“but Glenn, can’t I be your girlfriend? – move out of my way Jimmy”).  Sigh!hotelcalifornia4

These guys were the first ones to get my mind Tiffany-twisted, and wanting a Mercedes Benz.

Oh; yeah there’s more….

The Eagles were one of the great forces of 1970’s rock.  Frey co-wrote and sang most of the Eagles hits, including Life in the Fast Lane, Desperado, Take It Easy, Tequila Sunrise, Lyin’ Eyes, Heartache Tonight and of course the infamous Hotel California.  He was the Lennon to Don Henley’s McCartney.

One of the most famous Album Covers of all timie

One of the most famous Album Covers of all time

Hotel California is ostensibly about a luxury hotel visit that crosses over to the dark side – but it is really an allegory about the hedonistic lifestyle the musicians enjoyed in the 1970s.   Some of the wilder interpretations of that song have been amazing. It was really about the excesses of American culture and certain girls they knew (not us, I think). But it was also about the uneasy balance between art and commerce.  And a bunch of other stuff.

So Glenn… thanks for the memories, the music and giving us food for thought:hotelcalifornia3

Don’t let the sound of your own wheels
drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
don’t even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand
and take it easy.

Maybe order another tequila sunrise

And always make music

 

 

 

 

 

 

Art/Culture/Music – you always need a back up!

IF YOU  MUSIC you need to watch these two docs – both are on Netflix

20 feet from stardom

20 feet from stardom – backup singers

I just watched a fabulous documentary called 20 Feet from Stardom and I highly recommend it to anyone who has ever loved and listened to music – so that means YOU & everyone else.  This is an Oscar-winning film by Morgan Neville that is long overdue and super fascinating.

Do the names Darlene Love, Táta Vega, Judith Hill and Lisa Fischer mean anything to you?  Chances are you’ve never heard of them before but chances are you have heard them before.  Heard them sing that is!  Many times & on famous songs and hit records.  They are the back-up singers, otherwise known and relied on as being indispensable to the recording industry.  The unacknowledged unsung heroes – very much appreciated by the front runners of the industry but don’t get the credit from the general public that they so deserve. Although Darlene Love was recently & finally inducted into the music hall of fame by Bette Midler.

Darlene Love

Darlene Love

Neville talks to the big players like Bruce Springsteen, Stevie Wonder, Mick Jagger and music producers about the mind-boggling talent of these women and how much they respect them and rely on their support.  Infact, most of them sing as well or better than their superstar counterparts.

It is not without sadness but it is also about greatness and possibility.  Bittersweet.

Okay, I don’t want to give too much away except to say once again, you NEED to see this documentary if you love music.  That’s all!

WATCH 20 feet from Stardom trailer:

I also really liked:

THE MEDICINE OF MUSIC and one Man’s Amazing Journey

Glen Campbell I’ll Be Memusic2

While on the subject of music docs here’s another interesting one I recently watched (even though both have been out for a while now) on country singer & music legend Glen Campbell who was sadly & unexpectedly told to hang up his guitar after being diagnosed with Alzheimer’s disease in 2011 as he set out on an unprecedented tour across America.  Instead of the original intended 5 week tour, it went for 151 sold out shows over a year and a half while being documented as his “Goodbye Tour” as he and his wife decided to go public with his diagnosis and illness.   Alzheimer’s is an unpredictable, very common disease and it is great to see his family back him up with support, love, laughter and of course music (3 of his kids play on stage with him).  It is interesting, educational and heartfelt.

Interesting Tidbits: Bet you didn’t know that Glen Campbell played with the Beach Boys?  Yes, he did on occasion.

My friend’s talented daughter has the priviledge of recording at his son’s (Cal Campbell) home recording studio in California and said he is a lovely man.

GLEN CAMPBELL I’LL BE ME Official Movie Trailer

Directed by James Keach

Have you seen either?