The World According to Keitho

Just another weblog

The whispering willows

Posted by keithosaunders on March 8, 2018

I’ve noticed a recent trend in TV acting:  Young, puke-faced millennial actors and actresses who, in lieu of any real technique, whisper their lines.  The dialogue emerges in a breathy rush, enunciation be damned.  They swallow consonants with the same insouciance that Trump swallows constitutional law.

Exhibit A is  MacKenzie Porter, an actress from a Netflix series called Travelers.  She never met a consonant she liked.  It’s deep, though, since she whispers.



Posted in media | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 5 Comments »

Rise of the Planet of the Relief Pitcher

Posted by keithosaunders on February 28, 2018

And now for some baseball madness.  I was reading a magazine article about the pitcher, Shohei Ohtani, who the California Angels signed during the off season.  Ohtani is a two-way player – a pitcher who can also hit.  Angels manager, Mike Scioscia, commented, we’ll be using Othani to pinch hit, as well as pinch run, since we’ll only have a 3 man bench.

My eyes nearly popped out of their sockets.  3 MAN BENCH?!   Is this what baseball has come to?   If this is a harbinger, and I think it is, teams will soon be comprised largely of relief pitchers.

It’s hard to get excited about rule changes designed to speed up the game when managers change pitchers more often than Trump changes cabinet members.  Pitch count clocks are cute and all, but between booth reviews and  6-10 pitching changes a game, the era of the four hour regulation game has arrived.

Posted in baseball | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Height of the union

Posted by keithosaunders on February 6, 2018

Time for more of my Tinder follies.  What is this fixation that women have with men being taller than they are?  I would say a good 30% of the women’s profiles I view stipulate in no uncertain terms that they expect their dates to be taller than they are.

I’m 5’8″ – 5’11” in heels. 

I like to look up to my date.

Sorry guys, if you’re shorter than I am swipe left. 

Excuse me, is this 2018 or do we still live in Victorian times?   How deflating to realize that even though you have made it to middle age, the Darwinian rules of high school still apply.

Women are sorting their dating pool based on the pituitary gland, thus downgrading seemingly important traits such as personality, humanity, and intelligence.  It’s no wonder we’ve ended up with a Donald Trump as president.  Most people are not introspective, but shallow, vapid, and self-absorbed.

This is bad news for me, since at 57 I’m not going to get any taller.  In fact, I’m shrinking!

Image result for the incredible shrinking man

Posted in life | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Thank you very much

Posted by keithosaunders on January 27, 2018

Who remembers the musical Scrooge from 1970 starring Albert Finney?  There’s a scene, about 2/3 of the way through, where Scrooge, visiting the his future self, views his own funeral celebration.  A cast of thousands breaks into a song called Thank You Very Much, singing, dancing, and gala-banding down a London street.  Scrooge, of course, thinks the crowd is thanking him for years of service and philanthropy, where in reality they are thanking God for ridding them of a scoundrel.

This is how I envision America to be were Trump to die in office.  It wouldn’t be a day of shock, grief, or mourning, such as when J.F.K. was assassinated.  No, this would be abject relief, if not joy.   Something tells me that Melania would be leading the parade.


This song was nominated for an Academy Award.

Posted in Politics | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Work hard, play hard

Posted by keithosaunders on January 9, 2018

Happy New Year everybody!  The statute of limitations on New Years salutations, according to my watch,  has not yet expired.  That would be January 15th, OK?  If you’re still wishing people a happy new year on Martin Luther King Day then I’m going to have to have a talk with you.

I have been faithfully plodding along on Tinder, but truthfully I have almost zero interest in dating.  I feel like I’ve been getting things done musically, what with all of my increased time for practice.  The thought of having to go through first date exposition is too daunting to deal with.  I would have to prepare as if I’m taking an SAT.  Who has that kind of time and energy?

I still peruse dating profiles, however, and I have noticed a couple of tropes that I would like to comment on.  (I mean besides the preponderance of photos in scuba regalia.)

I had no idea that there were that many women criminals on Tinder.  I would estimate that 1/3 of the profiles I read state that [she] is looking for a partner in crime.  Since I’m not into crime I usually swipe left.

The other thing I’ve noticed is that many many women not only work hard, but play hard as well.  The thing is, I’m an adult.  I put away my Twister and silly putty years ago! I suppose you could talk me into playing a game of Monopoly or Scrabble but how hard can you play those games?  Do I need to take steroids to up my level of intensity?  YESSSSSSSSS, BOARDWALK!  IN YOUR FACE, LADY. 

Image result for playing monopoly on steroids



Posted in life | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

How is this possible? Art Tatum

Posted by keithosaunders on December 15, 2017

Art Tatum was, arguably, not only the greatest jazz pianist of all time, but the greatest pianist period.  He is responsible for influencing Charlie Parker, who took a job as a dishwasher at a restaurant that Tatum was appearing at merely to be close to the man. Tatum also had a profound effect on Bud Powell, hence every single subsequent jazz pianist.

Tatum, born October 13th 1909 in Toledo, Ohio, came of age in the swing era, a good ten years before the be-bop revolution.  Though he emerged in an earlier era,  his harmonic sense – his voicings, as well as re-harmonization of songs –  is as modern, if not more so than that of anyone who proceeded him.  His technique is flawless and he sounds just as comfortable at breakneck tempos (see Liza) as he does when he plays a ballad.

There are two facets of his playing that have always astounded me.  One is his impeccable time.  No matter how complicated and ornate a run he plays he never drops a beat.  His sense of pulse is a thing of wonder.

Then there is his gift of harmony.  It’s easy to be hypnotized by his Olympian technique, but listen a little closer and you will hear intricate re-harmonizations – chords that flow into one another with deft ease, sometimes on every beat. They are beautiful to behold, but difficult for the laymen (read 99.99 % of us) to grasp, and hence nearly impossible to assimilate.

Listen to Moon Song.  At 3:11 you’ll hear Tatum launch into one of his impossible runs, his right hand a whirling dervish, while his left hand stride solidly holds down the time.  He doesn’t complete the run until 3:18 at which point the audience breaks into spontaneous laughter.  They can’t believe he has stuck the landing!

Posted in jazz | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Get Keiller!

Posted by keithosaunders on December 5, 2017

I hated A Prairie Home Companion,  Garrison Keillor’s long running Minnesota Public Radio show.  The sound of his voice was like nails on a chalkboard to me.  He was one of those guys who thought he was funny but wasn’t.  I am incensed, however, that the fact that he put his hands on a woman’s bare back (several years ago!) led to his firing.

Alleged improper behavior, read the headline.  We have now reached the point where the crime doesn’t even have to be cited.  This reminds of the Twilight Zone in which a mob in a small mid-American town runs around in a panic accusing people of being aliens.

For far too long people in power have gotten away with murder.  People such as Harvey Weinstein, Roy Moore or Kevin Spacey should lose their jobs and possibly serve prison time.  But I’m not about to put Al Franken, Keillor, or even Louis C.K  in their class.  In Keillor’s case the punishment most certainly does not fit the crime.  Until the orangutan in the Oval office has to answer to his *proven* improper behavior I don’t want to hear about the Keillors or the Frankens.

If we must have mob rule why can’t George Steinbrenner be alive now? And how is Rudy Giuliani getting off scott free?

I’ll be looking forward to tomorrow’s allegations against Tom Hanks. It will take my mind off of my impending tax increase.

Posted in celebrity | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Happy Thanksgiving

Posted by keithosaunders on November 23, 2017

Well, folks, Thanksgiving is upon us.  It is little secret the traditional Thanksgiving foods are among the most overrated of all all time.  There’s a reason we don’t eat stuffing and cranberry sauce year round.  Stuffing tastes like cardboard and cranberry sauce is an assault to the taste buds.  Sweet potatoes?  Meh. The turkey, a dry, unwieldy bird, tastes good for three bites or so before the tryptophan kicks in and then it’s goodnight the lights.  The white meat tastes like paper so you’d better get a good place in line to snag one of the two drumsticks.



Image result for turkey


Posted in life | Tagged: , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Can I get a vestibule over here?

Posted by keithosaunders on November 20, 2017

I don’t know if I have any restaurant or bar owners follow this blog but now that the colder November weather is upon us this is as good a time as any to leave this public service announcement:

Close your fuckin’ doors, OK?  I don’t care if this is California, Hawaii, or Ethiopia, it is in the low 50s outside. It is not balmy.  It is no longer t-shirt weather. In fact, in San Francisco, where most of my gigs are, it is rarely warm enough to walk around without a jacket in the summer, let alone the cold months.

Back east they have vestibules which keep the heat contained inside of the establishment.  How ironic that one is warmer indoors in New York City winters than in those of California.

Your establishment is not cozy and what little charm you gain by having an ‘open air’ ambiance is negated by your customer’s discomfort.  Look around you, for crying out loud:  Your customers have not taken off their down jackets!  They are not happy.  Neither am I.

No Vestibule




Image result for restaurant vestibule




Posted in San Francisco | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , | Leave a Comment »

Busy weekend

Posted by keithosaunders on November 12, 2017

This was one of those impossible weekends where I found myself with seven gigs on my calendar:  Two on Friday, a triple-header on Saturday, and two more on Sunday.  With six of the seven out of the way I can see the finish line ahead, but will still will have to power through a three hour solo piano gig in San Francisco.  (the fewer musicians around me, the harder I have to work)

Saturday morning’s gig – a one hour lecture/demonstration for toddlers and grade school kids proved to the hardest and most frustrating gig.  We were teaching kids about the fundamentals of music and jazz improvisation.  The leader was a trumpet player who gives me lots of work, but who happens to be an extremely unpleasant individual.  He’s one of those people who lectures you didactically nonstop (the lecture/dem gig was right in his wheelhouse) and enjoys arguing.  Everything goes one way, however — outward bound.  I’m pretty sure he’s on the spectrum somewhere.

He was particularity unpleasant during the rehearsal, stopping me every few seconds over minutia until it was all I could do not to pack up my keyboard and leave.  I toughed it out, however, and finished the gig without incident.

The thing is, you can’t blame people for being themselves.  This trumpet player can’t help being an asshole.  He was born this way.  He’s a miserable individual and its unfair and unrealistic to expect him to act out of his comfort zone.  No, I blame myself.  I’m the one who accepted the gig knowing full well what I was getting into.  If I accept future gigs with him I should expect more of the same.  Hopefully, in the words of Nancy Reagan, I’ll just say no.

Posted in jazz | Tagged: , , , , | Leave a Comment »