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Archive for October, 2015

At the Movies: Whiplash

Posted by keithosaunders on October 30, 2015

It’s time for At the Movies!  Now here’s your host, that connoisseur of the cinema, your favorite arbiter of taste…KEITHO.

5,6, ladies, I finally saw Whiplash and the verdict is in: It’s an instant classic. Let’s start with the countoff. When I’m sight-reading a complicated uptempo 7/4 chart there’s nothing that sets me more at ease than a random two beat countoff. Smooth.

The band director, Fletcher, must have an internal metronome akin to a Swiss watch as he is able to discern the slightest variation in tempo. Never mind that the tune is grooving like a Def Leopard concert the day after Mardi Gras. No, in the jazz world that Whiplash posits, tempo is the be all and end all. You speed up two ticks and there’s just the remedy – a chair hurled directly at your head will improve your focus.

Midway through the movie we get to see Fletcher at one of his own gigs. (he’s a pianist)  With all of his passion and Full Metal Jacket style fire and brimstone he must be playing something burning like a DOUBLE TIME SWING Giant Steps, or at least an 11/4 version of Stella by Starlight, right?  Nope. It’s a bossa nova!  A watered down one at that. It must be one of his originals.

I shouldn’t make fun. Watered-down bossa and all, Fletcher has snared himself a gig at Lincoln Center and he’s hired our protagonist hero, drummer Miles. But wait! He only hired him so to exact revenge and he has sent him onstage without a chart! The only thing is…it’s Fletcher’s gig. Who is he spiting?! FLETCHER IS THE LEADER, NOT DRUMMER MILES. Miles is going to get other gigs regardless of whether or not he makes the hits on some non-grooving poor man’s Buddy Rich chart. Hell, he’s playing at Fat Cat next week with better musicians.

Rating: 5 Stars

And that does it for At the Movies w Keitho. Remember to tip your waiter and go METS.

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Shellshocked

Posted by keithosaunders on October 29, 2015

OK so that happened. What have we learned in the past couple of days?

  1. The Royals can hit fastballs
  2. The Mets picked the worst possible week to go into a collective team batting slump
  3. I can’t figure out how to tell wordpress I’m done with this list
  4. We should remember 1986 in which the Mets lost the first two games to the Redsox – AT HOME – only to take the Series in seven.  True they were aided by questionable managing by John McNamara, who eschewed taking gimpy Bill Buckner out of the game for defense in game six, but who’s to say that Ned Yost isn’t capable of a managerial boner or two?  What remains to be seen is whether this current Mets squad has the grittiness to overcome a legitimately good, young Royals team.
  5. I saw this stat today: Jacob deGrom threw 94 pitches last night, only three of which went for a swing and a miss.
  6. I believe Cueto’s start was an aberration and that the rest of the Royals rotation simply isn’t that good.
  7. The Mets are a Familia cantaloupe away from being tied in the Series.
  8. Sorry for the listacle

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It begins

Posted by keithosaunders on October 27, 2015


shea

[Droning arco bass note]

In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth but the earth was formless and darkness was over the surface.And God said, ‘Let there be light.’

On the second day he created the sky and on the third day he created the land.

And on the fourth day he said, ‘Screw this, I’ve got light, sky, and land, now I’ll create a little team from Flushing called the NEW YORK METS!!!!!!!!!’ (but first I’ll create Flushing)

So it must be said, so it must be done!

And on the 5th day he created GO TIME.

OH YEAH, LADIES, IT’S YOUR 2015 WORLD SERIES STARRING THE GREATEST TEAM EVER, THE METS!!!!

[crowd noise] HAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAAA

LET’S GO METS, LET’S GO METS. I BLESS METS, I BLESS METS!!!!

CASEY STENGAL
MARV THORNBERRY
RICHIE ASHBURN
ROGER CRAIG
TOMMY AGEE
TOM SEAVER
DON CLENDENON
MR MET
GERRY GROTE
NOLAN RYAN
CLEON JONES
JON MATLACK
TUG MCGRAW
WILLIE MAYS
DUFFY DYER
KEN BOSWELL
LEE MAZILLI
FELIX MILAN
JOEL YOUNGBLOOD
DAVE KINGMAN
RUSTY STAUB
GEORGE FOSTER
NEIL ALLEN
KEITH HERNANDEZ
RON DARLING
GARY CARTER
DOC GOODEN
DARYL STRAWBERRY
HOWARD JOHNSON
KEVIN MCREYNOLDS
GREGG JEFFREYS
DAVE MAGADAN
BOBBY BONILLA
VINCE COLEMAN
MACKEY SASSER
JEFF KENT
ANTHONY YOUNG
BENNY AGBAYANI
JOHN FRANCO
JON OLERUD
CARLOS DELGADO
JOSE REYES
DAVID WRIGHT
JACOB DEGROM
JERYS FAMILIA
CESPEDES
YOU GET THE PICTURE….

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Halloween lights

Posted by keithosaunders on October 22, 2015

Driving home from last night’s gig I noticed a new trend. I’m a trend-spotter. All of a sudden people are feeling the need to decorate their houses with Halloween lights. Now what the heck is going on here?

People: Halloween is not a season, it’s a kids holiday. I’m looking at these piddley orange lights and I don’t know whether to feel contempt or pity. LIGHTS ARE FOR CHRISTMAS. What’s next? Thanksgiving lights? Purim lights?!

And listen up: If you are an adult that dresses up for Halloween, and by adult I mean older than 15, then you have some issues that need addressing. Don’t invite me to your costume party because I’ll go…dressed as a hater! I’ll drink your alcohol, eat your little tofurkey, flirt with your guests, and my costume will consists of my faux french beret that only ever gets worn to Deluxe because it brings so much joy to those who see it.  BUT IT’S NOT A COSTUME IT’S MY STUPID BERET.

I’d have more respect for folks if they dressed in drag year round. At least then they wouldn’t be sheep trying to relive their childhood even though in reality they’re washed up and middle aged.

Happy Halloween.

no-pumpkins

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NLCS GO TIME

Posted by keithosaunders on October 17, 2015

mets hatSomewhere on a lonely, deserted, slab of rock in the desolate radiation-infused paradise in the middle of the San Francisco Bay that is Treasure Island there exists a lone, abandoned Mets cap. But this is no ordinary bit of refuse. This is a cap with the power to see a little team from Flushing known as THE METS on a journey through the baseball post season. It is a journey that has only one possible ending; a trip down the canyon of heroes on a different island. The island in which my brain has been spattered. All over. Manhattan.

So to all you Cubbies fans who have waited 107 years for a title. I say to you, what’s one more year? For it is the pride, the power, the Treasure Island radiation, that is going to insure the inevitable. Oh yeah, folks.

It…is…GO TIME!!!!!

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Match point

Posted by keithosaunders on October 15, 2015

This is the 3rd playoff series between the Mets and the Dodgers.  The first, in 1988, featured Orel Hershiser pitching a complete game gem in the 7th and deciding game.  Who can forget Mike Scioscia’s shocking, game-tying home run off of Dwight Gooden in game 4; a game the Mets lost in 12 innings. (Kirk Gibson’s 12th inning home run was the difference)

In 2006, which was the last time the Mets were in the post season, they swept the Dodgers in the NLDS.  There are two players, one from each roster, that are playing in this current series.  They are Andre Ethier and David Wright.  That 2006 Dodger squad included veterans Kenny Lofton, Greg Maddux, Jeff Kent, and Nomar Garciaparra.  The Mets had a more youthful lineup, featuring Carlos Beltran, Jose Reyes, and the aforementioned Wright.  Their roster also included veterans Carlos Delgado and Cliff Floyd. That Mets team would go on to lose a heartbreaking NLCS to the St Louis Cardinals and the next two years they would suffer gut wrenching late-season collapses.

This brings us to tonight’s series-deciding epic matchup between another veteran Dodgers team and an upstart young Mets club. Jacob deGrom versus Zack Greinke.  If deGrom falters manager Terry Collins will use Noah Syndergaard and even Matt Harvey. (Scott Boras be damned)  I imagine big Bartolo will be on hand as well –  anything it takes to get to the one pitcher that matters the most: Jeurys Familia. For if he is in the game that’s a good sign that the Mets have a lead and what was once unthinkable — a trip to the NLCS — may yet come to pass.

Let’s go METS!!!

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The main event: The John Coltrane Quartet!

Posted by keithosaunders on October 14, 2015

I just saw this for the first time last week:  The John Coltrane Quartet playing A Love Supreme live.  Amazing stuff. McCoy’s solo on Resolution, which begins at appx 7.50, is devastating.

I really believe that in an Anchorman-style rumble the Coltrane Quartet would have no trouble with Mile’s 60s quintet. I realize that Miles’ group would have a man advantage, but the quartet would outweigh them and are going to want it more.

Now some of you are probably saying, ‘Woah, woah, woah, Miles knew boxing, mannnn!’ To that I would respond, one word: Elvin.

Elvin would be like, ‘You want a piece of this, Miles?’ *Ba bam bam be ke de bam [three against four to the face] GOOSH CRASH BE BAM CRINKLE OH SNAP [paradiddle] GA-GOOSH IMPOSSIBLE FOR YOU TO PLAY 6/8 GROOVE GROAN SKOOSH CYMBAL*

And that, my friends, would be the end of the Miles Davis Quintet. I would hope they already had recorded Miles Smiles cause that shit is my favorite.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_qt435yF2Qg

John Coltrane’s masterwork, A Love Supreme, was only played once in live concert. This portion is the only surviving film of that 1965 performance.
YOUTUBE.COM

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It’s go time

Posted by keithosaunders on October 13, 2015

If you had told me on April 6th when the Mets opened In Washington against the Nationals, that on October 13th they would be playing a playoff game against the Dodgers that could propel them to the NLCS, I would have laughed in your face. But here they are, poised for success in this most improbable season that turned on a dime with the July 31st acquisition of Yoenis Cespedes.

Matt Harvey was mediocre last night versus the feckless Dodgers, but when you’re facing third-rate starters such as Brett Anderson and your lineup possesses gamers like Curtis Granderson and the aforementioned Cespedes, it doesn’t much matter. The Dodgers [probably wisely] sat Chase Utley, but at this stage of his career he is not an impact player unless you count chippy slides.

As for Harvey, I don’t blame him for not being sharp, what with nearly a two week layoff.  In this era of pitch counts and coddling it is unrealistic to expect your ‘ace’ starter to have any kind of rhythm in his biggest start of the year. I wonder what Juan Marichal and Bob Gibson think of today’s crop of tin-men. Hopefully, if the Mets move on, Harvey will be stronger in the NLCS.  They will need him against a frothing-at-the-mouth, too young to be scared Cubs lineup. (yes I have written the Cardinals off)

In the meantime the Mets have a game to win.  Rookie Steven Matz and his sore back will face Clayton Kershaw, who will be starting on three days of rest. The realist in me wants to believe that the pressure of pitching in a closeout game in hostile Citi Field will be too much for Kershaw, who thus far in his storied career has been a playoff washout.  The fatalist in me, however, hears a voice buried deep inside of my head saying, ‘He’s due.  He’s due.’

This is it, Mets.  FINISH THEM.

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The slide

Posted by keithosaunders on October 12, 2015

LIsten, the Mets did not lose Saturday night’s NLDS game against the Dodgers because of Chase Utley’s chippy slide. They lost it because they couldn’t score more than two runs against Zack Greinke.  As much as I hate to admit it Utley did nothing wrong.  He went into second base hard, as he was trained to do; as ballplayers have doing for over a century.  I’m more upset that the umps did not rule him out since he came nowhere near to touching second base.  Once again replay fails us. What’s the point of having it if not to decide plays like these?

And memo to Terry Collins:  Throw the sabermetrics away.  You had no business taking Bartolo Colon out of the game after a botched double play.  This may be a stretch, but big Bartolo has pitched a few years — I think he can get a lefty out. Leave your broken down chess pieces in the bullpen until you get into real trouble.

That being said, this series is the Mets to lose.  They got what they wanted out of their trip to Los Angeles — they stole a game from Clayton Kershaw.  Now it’s time for Matt Harvey to back up his cocky demeanor.  Harvey against Brett Anderson is a mismatch.  If the Mets bats are quiet we need to see Harvey go deep into this game and silence an anemic, underachieving Dodgers lineup. That means pitch count be damned. Is Harvey a ballplayer or a corporate interest?  A gamer or a faceless drone? A hero or a bum?

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Terry Collins mans up

Posted by keithosaunders on October 10, 2015

At last a manager showed some guts and sticks with his ace rather than adhere to the one-size-fits-all pitch count of 100. Terry Collins’ decision to allow Jacob deGrom to hit in the 7th inning with one out and men on 1st and 2nd paid off in spades.  The Mets came away with a 3-1 victory in LA against erstwhile ace and longtime playoff underachiever, Clayton Kershaw.  DeGrom, who had thrown 102 pitches, laid down a picture perfect bunt, nearly beating it out, setting the table for gamer David Wright.

Out came Mattingly to remind us that this is indeed the era of pussy baseball. He pulled his ace, the big bad, unbeatable (or so I have been told by Dodgers fans the past two weeks) Kershaw to bring in Pedro Baez, because we all know only righties can get other righties out.  Baez got behind in the count and at 3-2 grooved a fast ball which Wright banged into center for a 2 run double.  Ballgame.

By taking Kershaw out Mattingly undermined his ace’s confidence.  Do you have an ace or not?  If the answer is yes then has to be able to work out of tough spots in big games I don’t care how many pitches he has thrown.  it’s go time!  What’s the good of having an ace if he can’t pitch through late innings bases loaded situations? This is what you work for all season long. It comes down to who do you want to pitch to Wright:  Your Cy Young winning pitcher who had been untouchable all year long, or Pedro straight-down-the-middle-fast-ball Baez.

If I was Terry Collins I would name Matt Harvey today’s starter.  Here’s your chance to drive a stake through the heart of the Dodgers and take a 2-0 lead in games back to New York.  Then you have Syndergaard pitching at home where he is much more effective than the road.  You would always have DeGrom for a game five, or if you’re man enough, a game four.  If Scott Boras responded with as a much of a peep I would ban him from Citi Field.  What’s the worst that can happen?  The Mets miss out on the chance to sign a non-gamer pitcher for 30 million a year.  Boo hoo.

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