Jethro Tull/ Too Old to Rock and Roll, Too Young to Die (the tv special edition)

tull too old These assorted compilations that find their way through the stones of years are some of the most wonderful collections ever assembled. How else would we truly delve headlong into the inside world of a band that has been more than a multiple milestone in the realm of music (especially if that band were your favorite). For example, the short career of one John Glasscock and his ever ready bass guitar, the countless recordings and outtakes of certain songs popular or reclusive. I always wanted to hear an instrumental version of Salamander, thinking the rapid acoustic duel between Ian Anderson and Martin Barre (which incidentally Martin Won) is a hidden jewel. The photographs included in the eighty page book are warm and telling of the company Tull has had walk through their door. Strange how certain songs can connect to others and yet have separate albums assembled. Strip cartoon is pretty much a lost soul of a tune but found its way onto this set. An early version of One Brown Mouse, originally found on Heavy Horses gives way to an incomplete sound as well. The video aspects are on the DVD’s with TV specials, surround sound capability, and remasters. This collection is a most interesting assortment of Jethro Tull at a time when they weren’t too old then and certainly the music is not prepared to die.

Jethro Tull Aqualung 40th Anniversary Adapted Edition

aqualung   This would be a separate installment from the previous double CD Anniversary issue of the famed Aqualung album which held many interesting connections to other albums during the recording sessions of its time. A remix of the album in its entirety guides us through the first disc, remixed by Steven Wilson. Disc two holds the lost and yet found bits of Tull’s alternate universe with a quite different perspective of their masterful songs prior to the ones that made it onto the the master cut. The more seriously diverse being the version of My God with an unconventional choral interpretation and flute solo. Throughout this passage of time and music, a most elaborate friend will be your guide in the form of a book chocked full of photos, information, and all things Tull. Hearing the actual thoughts and discussions of band mates is a most fascinating area since most of the time they have remained silent through those musical years. Continuing through this Passion Play we’ve arrived at the DVD portion of our illustrious journey. Once again we encounter the esteemed Aqualung album in 5.1 surround, treating the ears to a musical candy storm. In some ways Disc two has the potential to be the most interesting stop in this chronicle. It holds its songs within the caption of simple, yet intriguing little videos the way they once were before we entered the world of multi-thousand flashes of undecipherable images. A classic album with a soon to be classic read. Perhaps you too may someday find yourselves sitting on a park bench with Aqualung…

The Collins Center for the Arts Presents Gaetano Donizetti’s Roberto Devereux from The Met

roberto    Queen Elizabeth is forced to sign the death warrant of a nobleman who she is in love with. Yet, if he pledges his absolute loyalty and devotion it may be able to be dissuaded. After all, he is an influential member of the court of the Queen of England. The opera carries it own brand dramatic conviction as each character is unique in their plight. Sadness overwhelms the performance as the Queen’s demand for unshakable allegiance spirals her into a jealous rage, near frenzy, for she realizes Roberto’s love for Sara as her own maddening anger becomes bitter resentment. Death of lovers shrouds the stage with confrontation and allegations as the Queen is haunted by a headless corpse screaming for vengeance. The opera is raw and emotional with an extraordinary musical accompaniment. What a way to end this wonderful series at The Collins Center for the Arts. See you all next season.

The Collins Center for the Arts Presents Elektra from The Met…

elektra   Once again the milk of human kindness is utterly depleted as the incorporation of tragedy predestines the outcome of an early twentieth century setting deep in the chasms of Greece. This is a most psychological thriller in its rarest form delving into the inner doldrums of the human mind. The story engages a primal scream for vengeance, murder, and the breaking of ones mental state, enough to enter into such a realm. Strauss elaborates this mythological masterpiece with an overwhelming onslaught of orchestral musical power, enticing the scenes and interpolating the unleashing of the masterful voices loosed within this entrancing tale which encompasses Elektra’s very soul to the brink at the edge of the world from where there is no return.

Puccini’s Madame Butterfly at The Collins Center for the Arts from The Met

MadamaButterflyThumb   A naval officer determined to marry a Japanese girl whom he has never met is determined to make such an event work in his favor. However, not everyone is in a true accord with such a premise. A trail of broken hearts as wide as the sea assaults the senses in this masterful opera by Puccini. There is a stroke of imperialism within the boundaries if one may read between the lines making this piece almost controversial in its time and even somewhat in present day. The lyrics are especially impressive, delving deeply into the human heart and the situation at hand. Love appears as an idiosyncratic illusion in this mighty tale almost devoid of love as one would think. But the nature of opera either balances the scales of love or replicates its own justice.

Big G’s Deli (home of the Godzilla sandwich)

FSCN0038_088  Forget about getting less and paying more. When you walk through the doors at Big G’s Deli in Waterville Maine prepare yourself for a time travel back in time. Not only is the food amazing, but the sandwiches are so gargantuan you’ll need to pause before finishing the last bite. FSCN0051_096These dinosaur size hand held monsters will make you happy you skipped breakfast (which they provide heartily as well).  FSCN0042_091Choose celebrity named cold cuts bountifully placed onto fresh baked bread, or throw yourself into a delectably spiced massive burrito or a whole host of other possibilities.FSCN0035_086 Order a night of Italian food with your choice of pastas served with bread (of course). Have a salad on the side or make it a meal. There are so many finds on the menu, you’ll just have to take your time and choose wisely. Then again…you could always just come back and bring home a whopper of a whoopie pie.FSCN0064_100

The Collins Center for the Arts Presents “George Bernard’s Manon Lescaut” from the Met

opera   A woman who’s seeded passion for love, life, and luxury in the setting of France is bursting at the seams as her deception destroyed by her inner conflicts with attaining love and the opposing wealth and power tipping the scales of her judgement becomes a raging obsession. Leaving the simple life she once held as a country girl, her escalation into power overshadows her in a tyrannous journey to taking on the role of a Parisian temptress. The climb to her goal inflicts a deep rooted passion engaged by an onslaught between true happiness and the quest for position. George Bernard’s highly acclaimed masterpiece has been readily compared to the works of Verdi and still holds its valor in this complex and chivalrous tale of adoration and the devil’s gain.