November 1, 2013 - 10:47 AM
November 7, 2011 - 12:11 PM
"Vietnam in HD," (airing for two hours at 9 p.m. Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday) is a six-hour docudrama that will open your eyes.
Using home movies and archival footage unseen by even the most avid students of the war in which 2.5 million Americans served, the miniseries starts in the spring of 1964 when fewer than 50 percent of Americans had even heard of Vietnam. Music of the era sets the scene as young men and women frolic. But we have already seen clips of the battles, the flag-covered coffins, the generals meeting, and we know what is coming.
The battle scenes were culled from thousands of hours of uncensored footage, much of it shot by soldiers, then converted into high definition. Shot from the ground and the air, the footage is pulse-poundingly realistic and occasionally graphic.
Tuesday's show is titled "The Beginning / Search and Destroy," Wednesday's is "The Tet Offensive / An Endless War," Thursday's is "A Changing War / Peace With Honor." Details of each show are can be seen at the History Channel web site. The soundtrack for the show can be downloaded from iTunes for $14.99 through a link at the site.
The spoken and written comments of 13 real people are voiced by such stars as Edward Burns, Tempestt Bledsoe, Jennifer Love Hewitt, Dylan McDermott and Adrian Grenier. It is narrated by Michael C. Hall.
This excellent docudrama followsthe History Channel's acclaimed Emmy-winning series "WWII In HD," which was seen by more than 24 million people in 2009.
To mark the premiere of this miniseries, the History Channel is working with the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund and the Honor Flight Network to support the Memorial Fund's Call for Photos Initiative. This national effort is designed to preserve the memories of those who lost their lives in Vietnam by collecting a photo for each of the 58,272 people named on the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Wall in Washington, D.C. The photos will be featured in an interactive exhibit at the Vietnam Veterans Memorial Fund's education center, which is scheduled to open in 2014. the memorial fund has already collected about 20,000 of the needed photos.
The History Channel will also work with Honor Flight to recognize the service of three Vietnam Veterans by hosting their visit to the Memorial Wall on Veterans Day.
-- Anne Neville
Image credit: The History Channel
August 29, 2011 - 3:39 PM
Welcome back to "Where In the World Is JoAnn Falletta?," the show wherein we track and trail our globe-trotting maestra around the wide, wide world.
Last time we played this game we were a few miles off. It turned out our divinations were not completely accurate. Falletta was in London, not where we said she was. Well, we were close! Getting there was half the fun.
Today we are absolutely sure! So, without further ado ...
Where in the world is JoAnn Falletta?
She is in this city.
Here is a hint. The city's name means "Northern Capital."
Let us take another shot. It is of ancient fortifications!
Here is a clue that is closer to home.
Got it yet? JoAnn Falletta is in ...
That is the Great Hall of the People above. And above that is Peking Duck. Before it was Beijing, Beijing was Peking.
The Tonawanda map will lead you to Beijing Garden.
The picture above that is of the Great Wall where JoAnn Falletta went wandering the other day according to an email she sent to Pop Stand. That's right, this is direct information!
"I am here in Beijing, conducting the Beijing Symphony - What a fascinating city- I went walking today on the Great Wall (actually quite challenging- it is VERY steep) and went to the Ming Tombs and the Olympic Stadium, she writes.
She adds: "The concert will actually take place in the Forbidden City!"
Pop Stand wrote back to Falletta telling her not to get persecuted, that from what we were reading, a lot of people in Beijing were getting persecuted.
"So far it has been wonderful! The environment is very different, but somehow musicians must have the same chemical makeup. We really enjoyed our Tchaikovsky and Beethoven together today. No discussion of politics! Just music-making."
BPO Concertmaster Michael Ludwig is making his debut in Beijing. He is playing the Wieniawski D Minor Concerto which goes like this.
That is an earlier Michael on violin. It is Michael Rabin. What a romantic piece that is.
The Forbidden City is echoing with it even as we speak!
August 24, 2011 - 12:30 PM
The Library of Congress has set up this cool National Jukebox that lets you play records from the early 1900s. It is free and easy to use and if you are into music you will get totally hooked on it.
There is this "Old Folks at Home" made in 1905. That is the year my ancient Steinway parlor grand was made! It is funny to hear this performance from back then.
A lot of songs that date from the vaudeville era, they caution you that the language might be offensive to some or inappropriate by today's standards. But that is part of history.
As a German-American I had to laugh at this song that spoofs the heinie who was right off the boat.
That is by an entertainer named Frank Wilson. "And then I will show you how we rock the baby to sleep in Germany." Then there is all this yodeling. This gem is from 1906! It is a real window into the old vaudeville culture when every immigrant group was spoofed on stage. Speaking of which there is a group that goes by The Four Sicilians. They should be something to hear! And there is also plenty of Al Jolson, always a plus.
There is a fair amount of classical music. Don't know any classical music? Sure you do. Here is the Brahms Lullaby ...
...sung by Ernestine Schumann-Heink. During World War I she had sons on both sides of the conflict. She used to talk about that on stage and the audience would cry. I read that somewhere.
It is poignant to hear this historic Marion Anderson record from 1924.
And now for the category everyone is waiting for ... polka!
The site invites you to browse. You can choose among Genre, Ethnicities, Religious, etc. I got onto polka by doing a search on "polka." I could not resist this one.
The collection of early blues is extensive and atmospheric. Here is a barrelhouse version number by a singer called Lena Wilson.
The notes are so extensive! They tell you the year, the place the recording was made, the arrangers, the pianists, the notes that appeared in the Victor ledger. For this Lena Wilson recording, it read "First Recording."
I have never heard of Lena Wilson and I looked her up on Google. She was a vaudeville performer who was married to -- great name alert -- jazz violinist Shrimp Jones. She was reported to have died of pneumonia in 1939. Here is a picture of her.
Because this was the dawn of the recording era I am guessing a lot of the blues is sung by white performers. But it will be interesting to see what else is out there. I have only had time to scratch the surface, so to speak.
Don't be shy. Get on the site! See what you turn up. If anyone finds anything on the National Jukebox you think is particularly fascinating, let us know!
But, warning: You see how this goes. You wander from one thing to another, listening and learning. It is awfully hard to quit.
Get ready to blow your whole day!
-- Mary Kunz Goldman
August 23, 2011 - 2:51 PM
If you are on Twitter it is funny to see the quake filtered through the lens of your Twitter connections.
I am a music nerd and my friends tend to be other music nerds. One pianist in Ontario wrote: "I thought the notes on my Ravel score were moving around and then I realize it was a quake in Toronto." He must have been surprised to learn it was all the way down in Virginia!
A music fan in Virginia wrote that the whole opera house shook.
Then there are the laughs.
One political wag wrote: "What you felt just now was the country moving to the right." Seize the day! Good for him.
And a sportscaster in Chicago got in a good one, too. He wrote, all in capital letters: "WOLF BLITZER IS ON THE PHONE WITH THE EARTHQUAKE."
And now that my desk has stopped shaking, I guess I should get back to work.
-- Mary Kunz Goldman
August 23, 2011 - 1:17 PM
Wow, my heart beat fast -- in three-quarter time, of course -- when I learned I would have a chance to become the Official Photographer for Andre Rieu when he comes to HSBC Arena this fall.
Everyone has a chance! So blared a bulletin from Rieu-land.
The perks are many:
"The winner for the show at HSBC Arena will receive a pair of tickets for great seats to the show on November 21, a Nikon CoolPix digital camera, an autographed tour program, and a chance to win a specially designed canvas that utilizes their photo. The winner will document his/her experience at the concert, with photos taken before and during the performance, and then send their favourite shots to the Web site after the concert. The best photos from each concert will be featured on Andre’s site, offering fans not at those shows a glimpse of what they’re missing."
So... how does one throw one's cap into the Waltz King ring?
This is kind of a disappointment but you do not have to swim the blue Danube, or demonstrate your skills at the waltz or the polka. You do not have to write in 50 words what Johann Strauss Jr. waltz is your favorite and why.
You do not even have to take any pictures and send them in, demonstrating your skills as a paparazzo.
It appears that you just get on Andre Rieu's Web site and register for a drawing.
Pick me, Andre, pick me!
-- Mary Kunz Goldman
August 22, 2011 - 11:50 AM
I haven't yet seen "The Help," the movie set in 1960s Mississippi, but I've heard it makes you hungry.
Hungry for justice, for equality, for mutual respect among all human beings? Probably.
But I was really just talking about food.
Don't laugh! I didn't give myself this idea. One food site got Viking Range On-Line Chef (there is a job that sounds like fun) to come up with recipes in tribute to "The Help," "to celebrate the opening of this empowering movie."
Another gave the recipe for Minnie's Chocolate Pie.
Even august Food and Wine weighed in with a list of recipes from "The Help" including Cucumber-Rye Tea Sandwiches, German Chocolate Cake and Tomato Aspic.
Is anyone actually going to make this tomato aspic? It seems to me that aspic is one retro food we will never see come back. Just the name!
Also, tea sandwiches. If anyone in Buffalo makes tea sandwiches as a result of this movie, I would love to hear about it.
See, this is the mark of a really good movie.
It gives you a lot to talk about!
-- Mary Kunz Goldman
August 17, 2011 - 11:01 AM
In this round -- Round 4, I think, it is -- the answer is especially exotic.
This time, it jumped out at me pretty quickly! I found out on Facebook, is what happened. Because of a post -- elementary, my dear Watson -- by the British author Norman Lebrecht. Norman Lebrecht, who in addition to his books writes the music blog Slipped Disc, is something of a globe-trotter himself. He is also a Facebook friend of mine. Let me say this right now: Anyone who knocks down Facebook and Twitter has no idea what he or she is talking about. Facebook and Twitter have been awfully darn good to me.
Norman Lebrecht wrote on Facebook this morning that he is having lunch with JoAnn Falletta .... where?
Here is a picture.
By the look of the cab you get the idea that we are not in Kansas any more, or even in America. You are correct!
But where are we? Where in the world is JoAnn Falletta?
Here is another picture. This is where the orchestra plays.
Here is a musical hint. This is a famous song sung by a tenor I love.
Now you are getting warmer! But it is not enough to say the country. You must say the city!
While you are thinking, you may listen to the song sung by the great Irish tenor John McCormack. You know me, I love my John McCormack.
I did not want to give away the tune's actual official name but now I have. It is from Londonderry.
JoAnn Falletta is in ...
She is the new music director of the Ulster Orchestra -- that is, when she is not here in Buffalo -- and that is where she is today having lunch with my Facebook friend Norman Lebrecht. And might I add that I introduced the two of them. Norman Lebrecht visited Buffalo last fall, reading from his new book "Why Mahler?" And it was my great pleasure to introduce Norman to JoAnn over a beer at Founding Fathers.
That is a picture up above of a pub in Ulster.
I hope JoAnn Falletta and Norman Lebrecht are having a beer there!
-- Mary Kunz Goldman
August 15, 2011 - 11:25 AM
Has anyone else caught any of those graphic new anti-smoking ads? (That is not a link to the ads -- it is a link to a story The Buffalo News ran about them.)
I have not seen any of the television spots, but if the radio ads are any indication, I do not want to. I am wondering about other people's reactions to this new campaign. In a way I am afraid to speak up, because please don't misunderstand me: If this campaign helps smokers stop smoking, it must be worth it. It is just that I personally cannot stand these ads. They are too much for me.
Last night, cleaning up the kitchen, I tuned in to WBEN-AM to see what they were talking about and that was when I heard this radio ad for the first time. This guy breathing this ratchety breathing and hacking and coughing... You know what? I don't smoke. I have never smoked. I do not even know how to smoke -- cigarettes, pot, anything. I am not the intended audience, you know? And I am used to weathering long chains of grating ads but this was too much. It was absolutely excruciating. I actually could not last through the 30 seconds. I switched the radio off.
This morning it happened again. I wanted to hear the topic of the morning talk show but when I turned on the radio, there was the hacking again. I switched to WNED-FM and they were playing a Brahms symphony and I stayed with that.
I acknowledge that it is admirable for radio stations to air these messages, but my personal experience makes me wonder if it will hurt their audience. As a non-smoker I do not want to have to sit through 30 seconds of aural torture. I am sorry but I am only human and my day is stressful enough.
That radio goes off and it does not go back on. I find something else to listen to.
I am wondering what everyone else does. Suffer these ads -- or switch them off?
-- Mary Kunz Goldman
August 11, 2011 - 3:15 PM
Today in the Buzz column I got bold and told about how I broke a bottle of Pinot Grigio at Premier Liquor.
At first I was not sure if I should tell the story. After all, it made me look like a klutz.
But then I thought, why be bottled up? Plus, think of how at Jewish weddings they break a glass for good luck. Imagine the luck that will be mine for breaking a whole bottle!
That luck has already begun. Because just now I got an email from an address I did not recognize. The subject line read: "Your Trip to Premier Caught On Camera."
Oh, no! I was afraid to look.
Then I did... and I have been laughing and laughing.
That is the video up above and if you watch it you will see what I mean. There is a swear word in it and I am sorry about that. But the video cracked me up. Plus, it resonated with me, I will say that.
"Here I am enjoying my nice peaceful afternoon...."
I know the feeling!
-- Mary Kunz Goldman
Search Pop Stand
- November 2013
- November 2011
- August 2011
- July 2011
- June 2011
- May 2011
- April 2011
- March 2011
- February 2011
- January 2011
- December 2010
- November 2010
- October 2010
- September 2010
- August 2010
- July 2010
- June 2010
- May 2010
- April 2010
- March 2010
- February 2010
- January 2010
- December 2009
- November 2009
- October 2009