Jethro Tull/War Child/the fortieth anniversary theatre edition (continues to dance the days and nights away)

tull child     It’s the stuff that international intrigue is made of. So many albums are involved with each other, and each of them a wondrous notion of songs. The “War Child” album is held in high esteem simply for the fact that everyone knows the tune “Bungle in the Jungle”. And what a great tune it is. Better still, the intermingling of “A Passion Play”, and “The Chateau Disaster” album ring several bells (and not Solstice Bells). They all have their own characteristics. The family of music originally incorporated within these albums were spawned from the “Chateau” material. Redesigned and generally given new birth to spawn “A Passion Play”, once cohesively joined forever as an epic search for the secret of life and death. This research takes us back as far as the “Aqualung” album where that anniversary set features extra tunes found on “War Child”. But that’s quite enough of the young readers guide to the historical Jethro Tull lesson, or otherwise known as “Living in the Past” as such. This collection will spark fellow Tull fans such as myself (and it did) to raise “Two Fingers” and both eyebrows once you’ve opened it. The original enhanced recording begins the show with act two trailing behind. This contains much of our lesson as previously discussed and a most endearing section of orchestrated orchestral (what else) recordings that were originally intended for the “War Child” film and play which never materialized. A spiffy piece of live footage is included as well as a narrated press conference. The dynamic color booklet is beyond chock full of whimsical wonders and beautiful photos as well. A collectors dream to counteract those disaster tapes that gave us a reason to forever dance the days and nights away.

Ian Anderson/Thick as a Brick/Live in Iceland (two bricks and two discs)

brick live    Nineteen seventy-two was quite a year. The seventies launched all sorts of beginnings in politics, style, and very much so in music. The epic forty-four minute monolithic musical journey entitled “Thick as a Brick” delivered to us by none other than the modern-day seed drill inventor Jethro Tull was no exception. When such a release had been unleashed upon the fans, many of which were greatly as surprised as were the critics, that such an undertaking would be loosed as a musical venture, the results had been more than favorable even though some confusion had been amiss at first . This massive grouping of musical passages together with the supposed rantings of a young child’s lyrics creatively entered in a poetry contest spawned a buzz beyond most of the recent innovative thoughts and images of the time. However, this day in history our very own famed flautist has once again delved into a most profound journey with not one old brick, but with a new one as well. Ian Anderson’s live renditions of “Thick as a Brick” and “Thick as  Brick Two” has overwhelmingly usurped the wildly imaginative capabilities that can be replicated in a live setting. The musicians are in full metal instrumentation and Ian himself has extended to us not merely an exact representation of the previous recordings but has expanded them to a narrated and visual experience that will give kinetic energy a run for its money (does kinetic energy have any money I wonder?) Well, let’s not quibble over such matters now when “Thick as Brick one and two” are out and about waiting to enhance your tastefully trained ears with a Calliope of musical merriment. Ian has even handed over some of the singing to band mates as he pines away at his pied piping with flute in hand. I venture to guess a bird in the hand is not necessarily worth two bricks in Iceland. A most wonderful recreation of both bricks no matter how thick they are.

Hart to Hart (the complete third season)

hart     What a great show this is! I missed it and am glad to see it released on DVD. This was one of those truly well written matters of the heart (to heart). It’s one of those somewhat accidental husband and wife teams that always seem to find themselves amiss with a desperate situation at hand, and at the same time desperately in love. What a wonderful scenario. We always see couples at odds with each other, problems arising from within the relationship, and distance between the two. However, this illuminating presentation grants us a look into the happy side of life and a twosome that love to be together. They remind me of a British show called “Tommy and Tuppence” where the primary aspect of the whole thing was them, and we see the same here. There is a catch however, those happy moments are placed in danger at the hand of some would be dastardly criminal who would dare to usurp the everyday decency of some unsuspecting situation involving… you guessed it, our beaming couple. And through it all, somehow it always comes out alright. Not to mention, who could forget Max, their everything guy and Freeway the cute little dog who always managed to put his two cents (or two barks) in. Robert Wagner and Stefanie Powers are sensational in this crime busting love affair.

Hill Street Blues (season three)

hill st   As one of the long standing innovators of the police world in the land of television, these episodes hold their ground as some of the most terrific crime dramas ever made. The acting was serious with bouts of well needed levity to lighten the blow of the deeply set story lines that engaged us then and will again. These men and women of the Hill Street precinct take us on a tour of the wild side of the streets and the filth that occupy them. This show was and is a groundbreaking moment in time for the ever present cop show with hyper realism with a serving of humor on the side. It was after all a most revolutionary copumentary of the bang bang shoot ‘em up universe that sparked a slew of police oriented presentations. A pioneer of the streets as they are to the trained eye.

 

Quincy, M.E./ (season 7)

quincy      Jack Klugman returns as the unyielding medical examiner who refuses to accept that a case is closed until he says it’s closed. An unintentional investigator, and always a thorn in the side of the local police (not to mention his boss), he pursues the truth at all costs with justice at the helm of the prevailing answer. This show dealt with many a tragedy and issues of the day in its time. This time around our good doctor places an eye on some rather suspicious deaths, intense social issues, the controversial fraternity hazing, toxic waste and bio-hazards unleashed upon the city, the question of gun control, and the ever looming drunk driving situation. A great piece of criminal investigation meeting the relentless world of forensic science in a clash for the search for truth wherever it may be found.

Lunatic Soul/walking on a flashlight beam

lunatic     From an instrumental side of the universe, the sway of sounds incorporated into one voyage of a recording imitating the variance of how far an instrument can be wielded to form a more perfect union with the bountiful collection of other sound making items culminates into a lunatic of a soul who dares to balance upon a beam of light. And one so daring may even permit no quarter to the entry of the universal engineer of the music idiom…the guitar. This is difficult enough. However, the multi-octave howling of the bass guitar and screech owl hemming and hawing of the mandolin seem to enhance what Mariusz Duda has been compelled to create within his realm of sound. The simplistic title’s such as “Cold”, “Gutter”, and “Treehouse” blend in with this wall of imagination. They are counteracted by title’s such as “Shutting Out the Sun”, “Stars Scalloped”, “Pygmalion’s Ladder”, “Sky Drawn in Crayon”, and the mysterious title track “Walking on a Flashlight Beam”. All of the cuts generate their own simplicity shrouded in a sound filled complexity. The hyper melancholy feel of this album glimmers with hidden passages of music that meander by in the moonlit sky on a cloudy night.

Bangor Ballet Presents: Nutcracker in a Nutshell

Nutcracker-Image-2014-SMALL       On November 22 at seven pm, and November 23 at 4 pm, the Bangor Ballet once again enters center stage and brings us yet another wintry wonderland of dalliance and dance as it comes to life before our very eyes at the Gracie Theater. This mystical, yet ever so magical sequence of child filled dreams and massive toy soldiers gently pound the stage with one hundred thousand toes of pure energy fulfilling that ever-present season we are about to enter. There will be songs of six pence without the singing as these talented feet peddle their way into your very spirit of Christmas and day of thanks. The majestic royalty of this wondrous story rises from the innocent imagination of a child and sprouts a tale to be told. Was it merely a dream? Or did such a vivid entrance into the mind of one so pure become a reality? Come and see for yourself by purchasing your very own ticket by calling 945-5911, or e-mailing bangorballet@gmail.com. You can also acquire these passes into dreamland at the Thomas School of Dance, Seven Arts Gallery in the Maine Grind Ellsworth, or the beautiful Gracie Theater. In a nutshell…