BARRY GIBB AND THE BOWL FULL OF LOVE

Bowl 6414

Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, California. June 4, 2014. Barry Gibb Mythology – The Tour video marquee before start of show. (Photo by Samii Taylor)

Last night, Barry Gibb played the Hollywood Bowl for the first time, but hopefully, not the last.  Even before the opening graphic roll, the crowd was chanting “Barry.  Barry.”  Gibb took the stage to the applause and adulation of a packed house of fans…and their children who drove them to the venue.

Fans may be middle-aged and gray-haired, but they know their artist and willingly paid the price and hiked up the hills of the Bowl to pay homage to the eldest of the Bee Gees.  Faithful fans and new converts were more than rewarded for their efforts.  Gibb provided over two hours of flawless entertainment, presenting an entire retrospective of tunes from the Bee Gees’ first composition, to their first radio hit Spicks and Specks,” to classics like Spirits Having Flown,” and, the Brothers’ favorite composition, “Immortality.  A bonus track was Springsteen’s “I’m on Fire,” performed in tribute for a recent Sydney performance of “Stayin’ Alive” by The Boss.

Near the end of the show, Barry announced, “Okay.  I can take it if you can.”  Cue the disco set.  The pin spot hit the mirror ball and the crowd went wild.  They love it all, but this was what they came for.  This part of the Gibb music legacy embodies the strongest memories of millions of fans.  The crowd stood and swayed the entire set, cell phones in hand, documenting their moment – data charges be damned!

Like fine wine, age has only improved this artist’s perfect vocals and style.  Gibb paced himself so that his signature falsetto remained clear and strong the entire night’s performance.  The tunes are a bit slower in tempo, enabling listeners to savor the moment.  Gibb sat out a few songs to give solo time to other artists in the ensemble.

Eldest son Stephen Gibb provided vocals and guitar the entire concert.  His thin frame and youth belie the strong, deep-throated rock vocal performance on a song penned by his uncle Maurice entitled “On Time.”  There is no falsetto here, but Stephen brings forth passion born of experience with life.  A well-known artist in his own right, he more than held his own with Dear Ol’ Dad, and the crowd added another generation of Gibb to their list of favorite performers.

Bowl Stage

Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, California. June 4, 2014. Barry Gibb and band onstage during Mythology, the Tour concert. (Photo by Samii Taylor)

The bare foot beauty of the tour, Samantha Gibb, gave an equally stunning performance on several songs on the playlist.  The only daughter of Bee Gee Maurice Gibb, she delivered clear, strong lead and back up vocals.  Sammy also has a solo career and proved she lacks nothing when it comes to her unique style and talent.  The audience buzzed with their appreciation of both.

Backup vocalist Beth Cohen provided vocals on Gibb penned songs for other artists like Barbra Streisand’s “Guilty” and Dolly Parton’s “Islands In The Stream.”  The Mythology backup singers are ladies who prove they bring more to the table than window dressing.

What could have been a sappy and manipulative tribute to Gibb’s late brothers, Andy, Maurice and Robin, was tasteful, insightful and seamlessly blended into the show.  Photos of the brothers were inserted appropriately and allowed Gibb to share insight into the brotherly dynamics they shared.  It was not morbid or trite, it was reassuring that this family is as real as the rest of us.  Gibb sang the first verse of  “I Started A Joke,” then the video screen behind him switched to archival footage of Robin singing the rest of the song.  The collective heart audibly skipped a beat upon seeing this perfect use of technology and talent.

Sadly, a portion of the audience felt the need to leave after the disco set.  “We’re not finished,” Gibb calmly announced.  He wasn’t kidding.  The encore included a moving tribute to wife, Linda.  “Words” are all he has to take her heart away – so it has been for 40 plus years.

The stage was set to match the no frills, all class tone of Mythology, The Tour.  The lighting design was visually exciting with no gimmicks.  The accompanying graphic displays were crisp, clean, and added to the overall entertainment experience.  Tasteful camera shots for the big screens brought everyone closer to the action without frenetic switching and Dutch angles.  This was a real class act.

Mythology audio engineer, Randy Lane from Clair Brothers, masterfully mixed intelligible lyrics, distinguishable instruments, and just the right amount of echo and delay.  Compression was perfect – nothing squashed.  Equalization was perfect – nothing gritty or offensive.  At a solid 80-85 db in the cheaper seats, the mix level was loud enough to be heard, but not ear-splitting.  It really doesn’t get much better than that.

Moti Gibb

Hollywood Bowl, Hollywood, California. June 4, 2014. Barry Gibb performing onstage at Hollywood Bowl. (Photo courtesy of Moti Gibb)

Clearly, Gibb’s stunning performance at the Hollywood Bowl has not become part of music mythology – it has become part of the rich entertainment heritage that is the Gibb family’s music legacy. With a strong voice, a great band, a pro crew, and a talented family to back him up, it is quite possible that for Barry Gibb, reinvention means another era of popular music history is yet to come.

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TAKE THIS JOB – I LOVE IT!

Sharon Plump is a Groundskeeper with the Facilities Department at Cerritos College.  When she is mowing, edging, and trimming, Plump is smiling – even when no one is looking.  This woman’s mantra is, “I love my job!”

Johnny Paycheck’s Country music hit “Take This Job and Shove It!” chronicles an employee who hates his job, has had enough of the boss, and tells him so in no uncertain terms.  This song became the battle cry of the American blue collar, white collar, no collar worker in the 1980s.  Plump’s  uniquely positive, upbeat attitude toward her work makes her the antithesis of Paycheck’s antagonistic employee.

Passion for gardening and the outdoor life began when Plump was eight.  She learned her gardening and landscape skills from her grandmother.  When she graduated high school, Plump took a job as a bank teller.  It took one day for her to realize she was in the wrong business.  Even though she is a people person who is eager to serve, she found it very difficult to deal with difficult people and their money.

Plump left the world of high finance and took a job with a landscape company.   She likes to challenge her body so being a groundskeeper allowed her to be outside, gardening, and interacting with people.  “Gardening is a free stress reliever,” says Plump.

Plump was serious about her new career, taking classes and obtaining certificates in landscape maintenance.  Even when she was employed at other southern California colleges, she always had her eye on Cerritos.  She knew about the college because her mother was a Cerritos College graduate.  When an opportunity to work with the Cerritos Facilities Department was posted, Plump did not hesitate to apply.

Sharon Plump was the first woman groundskeeper hired by the Cerritos College Facilities Department.  Facilities Manager Tom Richey is very proud to have been the one to hire her.  “Sharon is one of my best hires,” says Richey.  The boss is also proud to let you know that Plump was awarded Employee of the Month after only six weeks – faster than anyone else in the department.

Richey recognized a special spirit in Plump.  He assigned her to the college Quad so that she could interact with students who hang around the Student Center, especially the athletes.  Plump may be maintaining grass and flowers, but garden fairy is also scattering the spiritual pixie dust of her positive attitude and timeless wisdom.

 

 

Plump and fellow teammate Donnie Hawkins believe it is important for employees to make the effort to reach out and show students and teachers respect by developing relationships.  Students often thank them for their hard work, letting them know how much they appreciate what it takes to make the campus clean and attractive.  “One little girl brought me a box of my favorite chocolates,” Plump revealed, “just because she thought so much of what I did for her campus.”

The Facilities Department company jackets are emblazoned with the words Facilities Team.  Richey says it takes a lot of work to communicate the vision of the department to employees these days, “Everyone has a different idea of what the work is.”  Older people have a different view of the job than younger people.  Communication is the key to getting the job done.  Not only does Richey have to communicate his vision to his team, but he also has to get the college instructors and Trustees to realize the vital role of his department.

 

 

Plump and Richey share a core vision – that their facilities department is the foundation of the education process at Cerritos.  Without the work of custodial, plumbers, groundskeepers, painters, and tradesmen, the campus would not be well-maintained, would not be a comfortable work and study environment, and no one would want to be there.  Plump points out the people judge the inside of a college campus or restaurant by the way it looks on the outside.  She believes that people make snap judgments based on appearance.  “Sometimes, they don’t even make it inside because of the way it looks on the outside.”

Sharon Plump and the Facilities Department Team work very hard to make sure everyone who steps on the Cerritos College campus will like what they see, want to come inside…and decide to stay.

 

Portfolio Potpourri

Thank you for viewing my online digital portfolio.  I hope you enjoy your visit.  Please check back from time-to-time for my content updates.

The projects viewed here will offer a variety of my interests and showcase my abilities in writing, recording, photographing, videotaping, and editing multimedia productions.  I am proficient in a variety of multimedia production software, and can post content across multiple social media platforms.  My main interest is in creating original content in a variety of genres.  I especially enjoy interviewing people and finding their unique story, then bringing it to light as a part of our global living history.  Frankly, my dear, I love weaving a great story anytime, anywhere.

INFOGRAPH

Build A Better Burger was an open assignment with no specific subject matter required.  The concept is original and utilizes content photos from various free photo sites on the web.

MUSIC REVIEW

Gary Numan CD review composition, song posted through Soundcloud.

PHOTOGRAPHY

My photographic section features architecture and organics found on the Cerritos College campus in Norwalk, California, as well as the Professional Dancers’ Society Gypsy Robe.

PODCASTS

Morgan Brittany – I interviewed Brittany before her performance of The Lincoln Portrait with the La Mirada Symphony in La Mirada, California.  Content for both podcasts was recorded by me, then edited in Garageband, as required by assignment.

Opinion – content was written and/or recorded by me, then edited in Garageband, as  required by assignment.

SLIDE PRESENTATIONS

All photos were shot by me on either a Sony NX30 video camera using Photo Mode or on my Samsung Galaxy S3 phone.

 

NO JUST CAUSE: Childhood Abandonment and Murder

www.nydailynews.com/news/national/cbs-air-recording-woman-murder-article-1.1785141

http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2562207/Jason-Bohn-claims-murdered-Weight-Watchers-executive-girlfriend-27-traumatized-career-obsessed-MOM-child-shes-footing-legal-bills.html

In a world gone insane trying to justify sin, Jason Bohn’s attorneys use his childhood as defense for the brutal murder of girlfriend Danielle Thomas in their New York apartment.  Her body was on ice in the bathtub four days before police found it.  Thanks to CBS and the Freedom of Information Act, we can hear the eight minute cell phone recording of Bohn strangling Thomas to death.

Poor little Jason Bohn was abandoned by a career-obsessed mum who went off to have a highly successful life in publishing, without child in tow.  Bohn’s abusive dad turned him on to cocaine.  His grandmother cared for him until she was placed in a nursing home.  Bohn went into foster care where he was documented as a very angry, violent young man.  The good news: Bohn grew up to be an attorney.  Instead of ‘Young Man Triumphs Over Childhood Adversity,’ the plot twisted.

A psychiatrist/consultant for ‘Law and Order: Special Victims Unit,’ testified Bohn suffers from ‘Intermittent Explosive Disorder.’  Bohn apparently did not know what he was doing as he stomped, bludgeoned and strangled Thomas.  Add Bohn’s well placed notes, and call to an ex-girlfriend stating he was completely drunk and blacked out, and a gullible jury could float this boat.

Frankly, my dear… no matter what psycho-babble defense you spin, Bohn intentionally chose to kill.  He warned Thomas that he would kill her and her little dog, too.  At what point does someone not realize they have another person’s body in their hands and they are harming that person?  At what point do the words, ‘You’re killing me!’ lose their meaning?

I weary of people abdicating responsibility for their actions because they had a hard life, their parents didn’t love them, they were bullied, and my personal favorite, they were too rich to know the difference between right and wrong.  What dollar amount is attached to that level of irresponsibility?

Man always knows what he is doing, no matter how heinous the crime.  Man always seeks to avoid the consequences of his actions.  A young child commits a transgression of innocence.  Parents and society train the child in the way he should go.  That older child knows how life works, is without excuse, and the penalty phase kicks in.  It has been that way since Cain killed Able.

When society buys into perversions of justice and common sense, we are lost.  When anything can be used to justify anything, we are lost.  Reading this story, I fear we are lost.

MORGAN BRITTANY: Marriage and The Two Actor Household

Actress and political commentator Morgan Brittany and stuntman Jack Gill first met in 1980 when they were both working on the successful TV series The Dukes of Hazard. Morgan had been warned that stuntmen were nothing but trouble. When Jack tried to chat her up, he recalls, “She was a bit frosty.”

Once Morgan and Jack started talking they never stopped. These two straight-arrow actors had a proper “no living together” engagement, followed by a big family wedding. That was over 30 years ago. They never stopped working, and they never stopped being married – to one another. Morgan and Jack even raised two children who are “in the biz.”

In a world of Hollywood shack ‘n’ rack relationships and cheater scandals, these two have as normal a life together as you could imagine. I just had to ask, “How do you do that?”

Morgan attributes the success of their marriage to having only actually been together five out of the 32 years of their marriage.  They have very busy schedules that often keep them miles or continents apart. One of the drawbacks of a two actor household is that you can never really make plans. Things change and plans require instant rearranging by a very understanding partner. Fortunately, Morgan and Jack understand one another, and the love each has for their craft.

Morgan considers herself fortunate to be married to a guy who is not only well respected in his craft, but is well respected in his personal life. It is a very good life.

And that’s a wrap!

ACTIVE MINDS – Survive Suicide, Take Back Your Life

Suicide – the number one killer among Baby Boomers and young men age 17-25.  As a Boomer, I grew up being told that we had everything to live for – economic prosperity, advanced technology, medicine that treated illness and prolonged life.  As the parent of a Millennial, I believe my child has even more reason to live.   If everything is so great, why are people choosing to end their lives?

Among Boomer men, the reasons for suicide range from economic devastation to catastrophic illness to loss of a beloved spouse.  Among younger men and women, suicide is prompted by depression, self-esteem issues, and loneliness.  Men and women are both susceptible to suicide, with men four times as likely to attempt suicide and succeed.  The method of choice for men is hanging or firearm.  Women tend to consume pills or use less traumatic methods of demise.  Women attempting suicide are generally crying out for help rather than being intent on taking their lives.

Family and friends left behind are devastated by the loss of their loved one.  Once the initial shock of the loss passes, they are consumed with guilt.  Many spend the rest of their lives trying to make sense of what they believe to be a senseless and selfish act.  They live with guilt for not having “been there” for the victim.  They forever wonder if there was something they could have done or said that would have prevented the suicide.

Active Minds is a national organization with chapters on college campuses.  The organization is run by students for students.   Johnny Estrada, president of Active Minds – Cerritos College, says that many students like him have attempted suicide and failed.  They have come to terms with their past mental state and sought help.  They have decided that speaking about the unspoken, the stigma of suicide, is the best way to dispel the shame associated with mental illness.  These are the survivors.  They want to help others take back their lives!

Dog Tired And Running With The Pack

NEWS FLASH: To friends and family everywhere.

You may have noticed that I have not been able to make any of the highly amusing and personally insightful posts that I had promised when I started this blog.  Heck, I haven’t been able to post even a line or two just to keep you updated.  I’ve been really busy getting an education, honest.  As I near the end of my first semester at Cerritos College, I am exhausted, but committed to staying the course to acquire my degree.  I also take great comfort in knowing that the 17-21 year olds next to me who are sharing the experience are just as tired as I am.

Entering the academic world again has been much like childbirth – a woman suffers like crazy during the process, but is ready to do it over again because the joy outweighs the pain.  Frankly, I have a vague memory of what it was like in high school to have back-to-back, coincidental assignments due.  Nevertheless, I notice that even after all these years, teachers/professors have still not gotten together ahead of time and chosen different due dates for their projects.  It’s probably prohibited by their contract.  Either that or they had chips, salsa, and hearty margaritas one night, threw a burrito at a calender, and selected their project due dates with the help of the cosmos.

My sleep schedule this semester is quite deja vu – a four hour maximum, just like my rock ‘n’ roll days.  However, the emotional thrill is not quite the same.  Getting up at an ungodly hour of the night, flipping on the lights and computer to work on Photoshop assignments or dredge the nooks and crannies of the web for a research paper does not carry that unique adrenalin rush of flipping on the lights in a recording studio and prepping for the day’s session.  Thankfully, my office does not smell like those recording studios, permeated with the aroma of cigarettes, Heineken, and ganga.  Instead, I deeply inhale the warm fragrance of fresh espresso and cinnamon.  Then as I knock back another Five-hour Energy drink, I muse that if only these had been around when I was in rock ‘n’ roll, we would have never gone home!

Surveying the sea of student faces on campus, I see the same sparkle in their eyes as I do in mine – the sparkle of desire to achieve the goal set before us of getting the necessary credits to move on to university.  Although… I could be mistaken.  That gleam could be the glaze of total exhaustion that heralds a 24-hour sleep cycle as soon as we walk out of our last class on the last day of school.  Till that moment, we’re all dog tired and running with the pack!

I will refrain from posting a selfie on my blog with a glowing, yet fatigued, grin…just so you will know it’s me.

Someplace That’s Green

As I was wandering the Cerritos College campus during my break between classes recently, I came across a flower bed with some of the most beautiful Birds of Paradise that I have seen in a long time.  I was so struck by their brilliance and beauty that I spent the next hour roaming around campus finding beautiful little niches of green and splashes of color.

I confess, I thought the campus was pretty dull looking until I saw the variety of flora on display.  Daniel Becerra from Facilities said that Cerritos College maintains a wide variety of trimmed shrubs, well-manicured grass, rock gardens, desert plants, and an assortment of shade and sun plantings tucked away in little areas around the campus.  Caring for the greenery is a full time job.

When I finished my photo safari, I was refreshed and mentally revived.  That is the gift nature gives us every day.  Trees and flowers live to not only purify our air and provide oxygen for us, they offer us free beauty.  Most people probably never even notice the beautiful growing things in their path every day.  Maybe I can change that with a few photos.

A wide expanse of well manicured grass provides a refreshing green belt on the quad between the Athletic Department buildings and the newly renovated gymnasium at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014.  (Samii Taylor)

A wide expanse of well manicured grass provides a refreshing green belt on the quad between the Athletic Department buildings and the newly renovated gymnasium at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014. (Samii Taylor)

 

This beauty keeps its branches low for sitting on, but he branches reach skyward to provide cool shade on a sunny day.

This beauty keeps its branches low for sitting on, but he branches reach skyward to provide cool shade on a sunny day.

A large rock resembles the shape of a Golden Grizzly, the California state animal, in a rock bed outside the library at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014.  (Samii Taylor)

A large rock resembles the shape of a Golden Grizzly, the California state animal, in a rock bed outside the library at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014. (Samii Taylor)

Outside the Student Center dining area, a tree with a split trunk offers shade on a sunny day at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014.  (Samii Taylor)

Outside the Student Center dining area, a tree with a split trunk offers shade on a sunny day at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014. (Samii Taylor)

A large rock resembles the shape of a Golden Grizzly, the California state animal, in a rock bed outside the library at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014.  (Samii Taylor)

A large rock resembles the shape of a Golden Grizzly, the California state animal, in a rock bed outside the library at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014. (Samii Taylor)

A spent flower is poised for the perfect moment to shed its seeds and start life all over again at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014.  (Samii Taylor)

A spent flower is poised for the perfect moment to shed its seeds and start life all over again at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014. (Samii Taylor)

The planter bed around the water feature in the middle of the Quad is bursting with color at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014.  (Samii Taylor)

The planter bed around the water feature in the middle of the Quad is bursting with color at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014. (Samii Taylor)

The variegated Mock Orange bushes outside of the Student Center are kept well manicured at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014.  (Samii Taylor)

The variegated Mock Orange bushes outside of the Student Center are kept well manicured at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014. (Samii Taylor)

Sword ferns about to drop the last of their bright red berries in a flower bed at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014.  (Samii Taylor)

Sword ferns about to drop the last of their bright red berries in a flower bed at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014. (Samii Taylor)

A gnarled tree trunk offers tone and texture, light and shadow to students passing by at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014.  (Samii Taylor)

A gnarled tree trunk offers tone and texture, light and shadow to students passing by at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014. (Samii Taylor)

Late season camellias are in full bloom at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014.  (Samii Taylor)

Late season camellias are in full bloom at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014. (Samii Taylor)

Delicate red, feather-like flowers offer tasty sweetness to bees and humming birds on campus at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014.  (Samii Taylor)

Delicate red, feather-like flowers offer tasty sweetness to bees and humming birds on campus at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014. (Samii Taylor)

Giant Birds of Paradise make a bold display on either side of the walkway of the Athletic Department at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014.  (Samii Taylor)

Giant Birds of Paradise make a bold display on either side of the walkway of the Athletic Department at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014. (Samii Taylor)

A tree trunk grows sideways, offering it's rugged beauty for all to see behind the Student Center at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014.  (Samii Taylor)

A tree trunk grows sideways, offering it’s rugged beauty for all to see behind the Student Center at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014. (Samii Taylor)

A large alligator lizard pauses to express his annoyance at being disturbed while sunbathing on the steps of the Student Center at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014.  (Samii Taylor)

A large alligator lizard pauses to express his annoyance at being disturbed while sunbathing on the steps of the Student Center at Cerritos College, Norwalk, Calif., April 15, 2014. (Samii Taylor)

The Kindness of Strangers

I stopped into American Way Thrift Store in Burbank, California, to find out what happens to this type of retailer in a down economy.  Janet Ashe, General Manager, of American Way Thrift Store revealed that they, too, face hard economic times.  Before the economy took a bite out of people’s pocketbooks, American Way would take in as many as five grocery bags of donated items from one person – now, getting one full bag is a bonus.  Pastor Gretchen Bingea of American Lutheran Church said there has been a marked increase in the number families facing hard times that access help at the partner organizations the church supports to help meet the needs of the Burbank community.

 

http://www.talonmarks2.com/multimedia_reporting_sp14/kindness_of_strangers/

Let’s All Tweet Like The Birdies Tweet – Or What The Tweet Is That?

It is official – I have now joined the masses of Twits out there in Social Media Land.  As near as I can figure, I have tweeted well over 100 individual and unique entries.  Is that twittered unique Tweets?  I’ll get back to you on that.

Initially, I was resistant to signing up for an account.  I really did not want to be one of the flock.  However, it was mandatory for my Journalism – 121 Multimedia Reporting class so I did it.  Besides, my instructor, Alicia Edquist, made it look so fun… in a strange sort of communication-based way.

After three months of having a Twitter account, I can honestly say that I see where it can be a tattle tail’s best electronic weapon.  If I had this kind of technology when I was a kid, I would have snapped pictures everything my little brother did and tweeted my mom.  He would have been so busted!

Things I learned from being a Tweeter, which sounds like an old audio joke, but I digress.  My observations from the Twitter wire:

  • The first TWEET is the hardest
  • There’s a lot of TWEET out there
  • Not all tweets are the same
  • Some people should never TWEET selfies… trust me, I know
  • Double spell check before hitting TWEET
  • It’s easy to go one TWEET over the line
  • You are what you TWEET…now and forever
  • A well-crafted TWEET will get retweeted
  • A well-crafted TWEET will get retweeted – and favored
  • Hashtags are your friends
  • Only @ the ones you love
  • You can TWEET till you’re blue in the beak and still not get a lot of followers
  • Avoid Twitter Rehab, TWEET responsibly, fellow twitterers… twits… whatever.

 

The most important thing to remember, if you are gonna TWEET, get one of those cute little battery chargers, ’cause live TWEET sucks up the juice.  See you on the wire!

 

P.S.    Jimmy Fallon – your HASHTAG Wednesday’s ain’t got nothin’ on my journalism class.  Just sayin’.

Wait, he’s got a #.  I can TWEET that!

GARY NUMAN Works Dark Magic on SPLINTER – Songs From A Broken Mind

RATING    ***** out of 5 Stars            Electronic, Synth-pop, Industrial, New Wave, Darkwave

www.garynuman.com

 Screen Shot 2014-04-08 at 6.15.16 PM

The first time I heard “I Am Dust” from SPLINTER I was hooked!

Normally, I’m a pop/rock girl with a tendency toward good ol’ 70s-80s music. The industrial-techno-electro strains of SPLINTER touched my soul so much so that I bought the CD a few days later. Gary Numan’s music calls to me today as it always has.

SPLINTER is Numan’s 74th album. His first American hit was “Cars” in 1980, which helped mark Numan as a pioneer in electronic dance music. The cutting-edge sounds and performances on SPLINTER are Numan the Innovator at his best!

The term Darkwave aptly describes the musical offering embodied in SPLINTER. The bass lines are heavy, sometimes ominous, but never conventional. The driving beat and syncopation are uniquely Numan. The melodies are woven of intricate and well-crafted patterns. The classically rendered sound waves within each composition meld into colors that draw the listener deeper into the imagery of the song. No two songs on SPLINTER sound the same.

I greatly appreciate the space Numan leaves in his compositions. I can never anticipate where the breaks will be or how precisely they will affect the lyric lines. Numan is a master of using a break as a composition.

The overall theme of SPLINTER – Songs From A Broken Mind is deeply spiritual – dealing with God, man and lost love that can never be restored.

The lyrics brazenly sing the unasked questions religious dogma fears. SPLINTER expresses doubts about God, while acknowledging the insidious, destructiveness of man. In “Splinter,” Numan pens the lines, “I don’t believe a word of ‘The Word” is true, I don’t believe in the goodness of people like me, I believe everything bleeds from the fear of man.”  Deeply scriptural.

One of my favorite cuts is “We’re The Unforgiven.” It speaks to the vanity of once perfect beings who crossed a line that sealed their fate – eternal separation from God. The line “Once there was life and we were strong, full of pride…now we’re just a ruin.” reminds me to be weary of my prideful self lest I, too, fall into eternal ruin.

I would love to have tea with this untrained musician of a man who says he is “just good with sounds.” I want to hear about the images of the mind that form the amazing dark magic that is Gary Numan in SPLINTER.

 

GYPSY AWARDS KEEPING TIME FOR 2014

http://www.talonmarks2.com/multimedia_reporting_sp14/pds_awards_samii/

PDS Gypsy Awards 2014

PDS Gypsy Awards 2014