A friend in Dublin, Ireland sent me the link to this mural of Bowie as Ziggy Stardust, which just went up in his neighborhood. I think it’s beautiful. You can read more about the mural at This Link!
Thanks to Finbar Hall for the Tip!
For Beatles fans who crave an authentic performance experience of the group’s expansive catalog of music, there is certainly no shortage of grand scale productions, which range from Rain and Let it Be on Broadway to 1964 The Tribute – an act that regularly sells out Carnegie Hall. But for fans who maintain a keen interest in the life and post-Beatles career of John Lennon specifically, Lennon: Through a Glass Onion offers something completely different.
Now in evening and matinee performances at the Union Square Theater, Lennon: Through a Glass Onion, is an intimate, two-man show featuring esteemed actor and singer John R. Waters and accompanist Stewart D’Arrietta, which originally saw sell-out tours in the duo’s native Australia. While there are no dazzling lights, clever sets, informative backdrops or special effects to bolster this very stripped down production, what you get is a heartfelt acoustic performance (guitar and piano – and D’Arrietta’s piano playing is quite excellent) of a selection of over thirty of John Lennon’s best and most autobiographical songs – both written with Paul McCartney while in The Beatles, and written and recorded by Lennon as a solo artist.
Tying the musical numbers together is Water’s biographical narrative of John Lennon’s often traumatic youth and tumultuous adulthood, the ups and down of which are punctuated and fleshed out by songs he wrote at that time. Although Water’s speaking voice is appealingly similar to Lennon’s, his (often quite gravelly) singing voice is not, so don’t expect the “close your eyes and imagine it is really him” effect that you can get with so many tributes. Through a Glass Onion is really more like watching two hardcore John Lennon fans perform his songs and talk about his life in a pub setting. This may or may not be your thing, so just know what you are walking into ahead of time.
In order to fit thirty songs into a 90-minute run time, many of the songs are performed as excerpts of various lengths, but you get the idea. Likewise, some liberty is taken with traditional arrangements, which finds “Help!” – one of The Beatles‘ most exhilarating anthems – performed almost as a dirge. Sometimes the alternative arrangements work and other times not so much.
It’s also unclear how much of the biographical information is simply improvised or creatively extrapolated based on various facts but, again, it is easy to imagine that Waters is speaking as Lennon and the story all comes together. As an aside, fans seeking more information about John Lennon’s life as a child and teenager, including the not-very-happy story about his relationship with his mother Julia – which had such a profound influence on so many of his songs — might be better served by the 2009 film, Nowhere Boy. You can find it on Netflix.
An added note about the venue, for those who’ve not yet been to the Union Square Theater, is that you are in for treat in this pristinely maintained, old school theater where every very comfy seat offers optimal viewing, so you don’t have to stretch your ticket buying budget to get the best seat in the house. The theater is also conveniently located three blocks uptown from the Union Square subway hub and is within blocks of dozens of excellent restaurants — so you can plan a night of it!
Lennon: Through a Glass Onion will run through February 22nd, 2015 at the Union Square Theater, located at 100 East 17th Street (Between Park Ave South and Irving Place), New York, NY 10003. Visit Lennon Onstage Dot Com for more information about the show, to get show times and to purchase tickets!
Wow, what could be a more fitting and fantastic tribute to the late great actress, Karen Black (who passed away on August 8th, 2013) than this video of her singing the song “Brighter” accompanied by guitarist Cass McCombs, who’s playing his guitar before a montage of her film clips? Even better, the video was directed by the Black’s husband, director Stephen Eckelberry. Wow.
Eckelberry explains how the video came about. “Cass emailed me in late November 2013 and asked if I would create a music video for ‘Brighter!’ – the song he recorded with Karen in December 2012 – using classic clips from her movies. It struck me as an opportunity to explore a theme that interests me – the relationship of film and memory. We watch a movie and the images from that movie become part of our memory stream.
My own memories of Karen are intertwined with memories of her in films – since I directed several movies she was in – which memory is stronger; Karen during the making the film or what ended up on screen? An image came to me: Cass himself becoming a screen for the projection of images of Karen – as if his memories of her were playing themselves out over his body.”
“Brighter” is featured on McCombs’s latest album, Big Wheel And Others and I think it’s just a fantastic track, and such a nice remembrance of Karen. Enjoy!
Cass McCombs and Karen Black (Image Source)
Just over a week ago, the music world lost Singer, Songwriter, Producer and member of the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame, Lou Reed. In honor of his life, fine art photography archive site, Rock Paper Photo has released an online dedicated gallery, including 2 never before seen Andrew Kent images of Lou, that can be viewed at This Link. Fans will not want to miss it.
You can see what seems like a thousand different interpretations of Robert De Niro as the character Travis Bickle in Taxi Driver — a film I really did not enjoy all that much — this weekend only at Scorsese: A Tribute Art Show at Bold Hype Gallery in Chelsea. Geoffrey and I waited in line for 45 minutes (another first!) to get into the opening reception last night, and inside the gallery it was more packed than a can of sardines, as you’ll see in the photo below:
All of the art on display represents characters, scenes or themes from Director Martin Scorsese’s many iconic films, but mostly it’s about artists painting and drawing likenesses of characters in these films that were played by Robert DeNiro.
I enjoyed Bethany Marchman’s interpretation of Travis Bickle / DeNiro as a rabbit.
Here, De Niro shares the wall with Jody Foster as their characters from Taxi Driver in two paintings that are, surprisingly, not by Shepard Fairey.
A few other non-De Niro characters managed to earn space on the walls.
It was not that easy to photograph the show due to the crowds, but there are hundreds of paintings, sculptures and drawings on display, so if you’re a fan of Robert De Niro or the films of Martin Scorsese, this is a must see show!
The Martin Scorsese Tribute Exhibit will be up on Saturday April 20th and Sunday April 21st only, from 12 Noon to 5 PM each day! Bold Hype is located at 547 West 27th Street, 5th Floor, in the Chelsea Gallery District.
“So Long Ago…”
John Lennon was murdered 31 years ago today. I found this really cool video on Youtube which is a tribute to John and The Beatles sound tracked by John’s 1974 single, “#9 Dream” – which is my very favorite song from John’s solo career. Please enjoy remembering John today.