Posted by keithosaunders on March 25, 2017
Trump Care, or to be more apt, Death Care, was withdrawn by a House that didn’t have enough Republican votes to get it through to the Senate. I can’t seem to wrap my head around the reason for its failure. Was it because of moderate Republicans who would have to face a constituency that would find itself either uninsured or paying up the wazoola for health care? Or was it because of hard-line, conservative Republicans who thought that the bill was too generous and will not be happy until there are bread lines.
It’s hard to believe that the Trump administration thought that they could ram this bill through Congress in a month’s time and move on to gutting the infrastructure of the country via a budget bill. Talk about hubris.
Posted in health care, Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: ACA, Affordable Care Act, Congress, health care, Obama, Obama Care, Paul Ryan, Republicans, Senate, Trump, Trump Care | 2 Comments »
Posted by keithosaunders on March 18, 2017
Music is too loud these days. I played an early gig at a bar in the Haight and after we were off there was a band with a singer, sax, trumpet, hammond organ, bass, and drums. They were pretty obnoxious overall, but even worse they were loud as hell. Even the horns were miked. It was god awful. It’s acoustic music. There’s no need to pummel the patrons over the head.
Just a terrible job out of them.
Posted in jazz, San Francisco, Uncategorized | Tagged: Haight Ashbury, jazz, San Francisco | Leave a Comment »
Posted by keithosaunders on March 16, 2017
I’m imagining an Albany, California town meeting 100 years ago. One of the city council members opens the meeting by stating, We’ve got to come up with a theme for naming our streets. What could it be? What to do? Then the mayor snaps his finger and shouts, I’ve got it, we’ll name the streets after our nation’s worst presidents!
Thus modern Albany was born. For starters I live on Buchanan St. James Buchanan was the only president to remain a bachelor his entire life. Not only that, he was the only president from Pennsylvania. (my home state, incidentally) During his inauguration he vowed to be president for only one term. That’s like me promising not to play at Carnegie Hall. Buchanan was the last president before the Civil War. Nuff said.
Moving west to east we have Fillmore St. Millard Fillmore, our last Whig president, emerged from poverty out of the Finger Lakes in New York State. The Whigs would evaporate after Fillmore’s term and morph into the ‘No-nothings’
Did I mention how Fillmore gained the presidency? That would be the next street over – Taylor St. Fillmore was Zachary Taylor’s vice president. Taylor died 14 months into his term from a digestive ailment brought about by consuming copious amounts of raw fruit and iced milk.
That’s about all the time I have today for bad presidential memory lane. I didn’t even get to Polk St. Now enjoy this photo of Harvey Keitel.
Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: Albany California, Carnegie Hall, Finger Lakes, Harvey Keitel, James Buchanan, James Polk, Millard Fillmore, New York, Pennsylvania, presidents, Whigs, Zachary Taylor | Leave a Comment »
Posted by keithosaunders on March 12, 2017
It’s not fair to be a musician with a Sunday brunch gig on the first day of daylight savings time. After a late Saturday gig you are robbed of a precious hour of sleep before waking up at what is really 7:30 to play for Sunday brunch. The humanity!
One of my first steady gigs back when I first moved to New York, 30 + years ago, was at a boxcar diner with an upright piano crammed into one side called, The Empire Diner. It was a four hour gig – from 11pm-3am – and it paid thirty dollars plus a meal. (Eventually it went up to thirty-five)
A couple of times I played the late set on New Years eve which was from 2am-6am. It paid double scale! After those nights I felt so prosperous that I would spring for a cab ride home – from 10th Ave & 22nd st all the way to the Upper West Side on Broadway and 109th st.
Us late show pianists actually caught a break during the change from standard time to DST. At 2:00am , when the clocks jumped ahead to 3:00, we would say, “Welp, time to clock out!”
Conversely, in the fall, when the clocks moved back an hour, the place expected us to play for an extra hour. I would try to sub that night out, or conveniently forget about the time change.
Enjoy the extra light, everyone, we have made it through the dark days of winter. Now if we can only make it through the dark days of the Trump administration.
Posted in jazz, New York City, Uncategorized | Tagged: Chelsea, daylight savings time, Donald Trump, Empire Diner, New York City, spring, standard time, Upper West Side, winter | 1 Comment »
Posted by keithosaunders on March 7, 2017
Alcoa presents: The Jazz Ethicist…with Keitho!
Dear J.E. When is the proper time to employ the jazz ‘woo?’
Good question! First of all, whatever you do, do not use it on the bandstand. Horn players, when they are not soling, should effect an insouciance with head cocked at 45 degree angles, looking passively into the audience, occasionally snapping on the 2 and/or the 4.
NOW. During the break you will be talking about great musicians with your fellow band members. For example, someone one will say, “Herbie was killing it on Speak Like a Child!”
Now is your chance.
With a barely audible, yet excited 2 second falsetto, you proclaim, “Ooooh!”
Note: The W in ‘woo’ is silent – if you say ‘woo’ you’ve blown it and will be instantly ostracized from the herd.
I hope this helps.
Posted in jazz, Uncategorized | Tagged: Herbie Hancock, jazz, jazz gigs, jazz musicians, Speak Like a Child | 3 Comments »
Posted by keithosaunders on February 28, 2017
Last night’s jam session was packed with people. The establishment was going out of business and somehow this attracted jazz ghouls, suddenly smitten with nostalgia for a place that they were loathe attend during its run. As a result the session went an hour overtime so that every last singer, sax player, and whistler could be accommodated.
When we finally finished the last “act,” a Danish accordion player who played Baby Elephant Walk in 5/4, I breathed a sigh of relief, and stood up from the piano when all of a sudden an audience member starting yelling, “LET’S HEAR ONE MORE FROM THE BAND!” Of course the crowd cheered and hooted and the marathon night dragged on for another 15 minutes.
Now I love music as much as the next guy (probably more, since I actually play it for a living) but after having played for two hours straight I was ready for some Netflix. Enough is enough, people. If you really liked this club you would have patronized it during its heyday.
But let me tell you something, when a guy screams at the band to play one more song, it’s not about his love of music or his appreciation of the band. It’s about injecting himself into the conversation. It’s all about ego. Look at me – I love these guys, I love music so much, I’m so hip.
The art of the humblebrag.
Posted in jazz, Uncategorized | Tagged: accordion, Birdland, Denmark, humble brag, jam sessions, jazz, Netflix, sax player, singer | Leave a Comment »
Posted by keithosaunders on February 24, 2017
A few days ago I went out to a Japanese ramen restaurant with my ex-wife and son. I perused the menu looking for an interesting soup, but most of the soups seemed too bland. Finally I noticed a soup called fire chicken and decided to try it.
When I ordered the soup the waitress asked me, “what level?” I hadn’t noticed levels but when I looked back at the menu, sure enough there were five levels – 2, 4, 6, 8, & 10. (I don’t know what happened to the odd numbers)
I didn’t want to be one of those wimpy Americans with a fear of spicy foods so I opted for a level six. The waitress looked down at me and with a stern voice informed me, “Most people order level two.” I downgraded to a 4.
When the soup arrived things did not bode well. First of all, the broth was an unnatural shade of red; a shade not found in nature. It was a bright crimson, like the color of Ohio State’s uniforms.
When I tried it my eyes immediately began gushing tears and I coughed as if I had just taken a puff of my first cigarette. I broke out in dry heaves and my hair fell out in clumps. But it actually tasted pretty good if you ignored the ancillary effects.
But this begs the question: What is a level 10 and who are the humans that can ingest it?
Posted in life, Uncategorized | Tagged: fire chicken, Japanese reestaurants, Ohio St, ramen | Leave a Comment »
Posted by keithosaunders on February 16, 2017
The subject of my post is, admittedly, wishful thinking, but anytime I have the opportunity to quote the great Knick, Michael J. Richardson, I jump at the chance.
Less than a month into the Trump administration it is in a disarray of epic proportions. Just perhaps, and I’m going out on a limb here, it might have been best to hire people who had some actual experience working in government. At any rate, this miserable group of generals and billionaires are by any measure rotten to the core and we, the people, are going to have to batten down the hatches to make it through the next four years. Is there a class I can take in battening?
With Michael Flynn’s resignation the first domino fell. He was on the phone with Russia more often than I call my bookie, but I’ve said too much! There isn’t a chance in hell that he acted on his own but the question is will a public grown accustomed to suckling on the teat of 140 character tweets have the attention span for a Watergate-esque scandal.
Just to be on the safe side I’m brushing up on my Prokofiev sonatas.
Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: Dis Ship be sinkin, Donald Trump, Michael Flynn, Michael J Richardson, New York Knicks, NSA, Prokofiev, Russia, Twitter, Vladimir Putin | Leave a Comment »
Posted by keithosaunders on February 6, 2017
Stick a fork in the football season. This was the worst football post season I can ever remember. The Giants laid an egg, the Raiders lost their QB to injury, and every game was lopsided. The Super Bowl was a piece of garbage. Why do they even let any team from Atlanta in that game? You would think, with a 28-3 lead the Falcons would at least run some clock. Would that have been asking too much?!
How fitting, in this era of Trump, that cheaters such as Brady and Belichick are rewarded with accolades and Super Bowl victories. They lucked into it this year by playing the ultimate chump team, and they lucked into it two years ago when Seattle, for some fix-is-in reason, neglected to hand the ball off to Marshawn Lynch FROM THE HALF YARD LINE.
I hate all sports.
Posted in football, Uncategorized | Tagged: Atlanta Falcons, Bill Belichick, football, Marshawn Lynch, New England Patriots, New York Giants, Oakland Raiders, Seattle Seahawks, Super Bowl LI, superbowl, Tom Brady | 13 Comments »