The World According to Keitho

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Archive for July, 2016

Singer’s choice

Posted by keithosaunders on July 30, 2016

Imagine that you are a singer living in a world that has known composers such as Duke Ellington, George Gershwin, Jerome Kern, and Richard Rodgers. Now imagine that between these (and other) composers that there are hundreds, if not thousands of great songs to choose from. Finally, imagine that from this wealth of repertoire you select Van Morrison’s Moondance.

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Report from the front lines

Posted by keithosaunders on July 24, 2016

Do you think being a working musician is easy?  Do you?!  Well let me tell you something, IT’S NOT!

Yesterday’s gig was a  corporately booked gig — a private party for a rich swell who lives in a mansion in Lafayette, California.  It was an outdoor event so I need my keyboard and amp.

I arrived at the scheduled time, an hour and a half before the gig.  Our set up was in his back yard but getting there involved taking my equipment down a long, steep, incline.  (the house was recessed into the hill) I had my keyboard and amp on my hand truck, as usual, and I figured I would walk backwards down the hill keeping my equipment in front of me so that I could brace it against gravity.

Wrong.  The path was made out of this ultra smooth, polished gravel.  My shoes, being somewhat new, had no traction.  Down I went in a slow motion face-first fall, my pitiful life flashing before my eyes. With my left hand I held onto my dolly for dear life, while with the right hand I braced my fall.  I landed flat on my stomach and my dolly ended up on its side.  I tried to get up but it was no use.  I would still be lying there today if the drummer and guitarist hadn’t happened by at that moment.

It took a bit of doing to get both myself and my equipment at an upright angle but finally I was righted and I was able to locate a set of stairs to access the backyard.  Did I mention it was 91 degrees outside and I was wearing a suit?

It was a long gig with short breaks.  There’s not enough time to detail the hilarity that ensued but I will say that I really enjoyed the music and the musicians that I played with.

How’s that for a happy ending?

 

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The clown car has arrived

Posted by keithosaunders on July 21, 2016

The Republican convention, which will conclude tonight with a speech by the potential OOTUS (Orangutan of the United States) has not disappointed.  Outside Cleveland’s Quicken Loans Arena you have cops and media outnumbering protesters by an impressive margin, but inside the Arena is where the real crazy people are.

On Monday night Melania Trump gave a speech and we awoke Tuesday morning to the news that large chunks of it had been plagiarized from Michelle Obama’s 2008 convention speech.  The media erupted in a swarm of indignation and outrage, but can I say something?  Who cares!  So she pilfered a few lines from the first lady.  Here’s a news flash:  It’s not a rare thing for potential first ladies to speak about family values or their husbands leadership ability.

What irks me the most about this [non] scandal is you can just picture some smarmy millennial on his iphone googling away until he uncovered the ‘scandal of the century.’  I guaranteed you this kind of thing has happened before but nobody cared.

Now we all owe a debt of gratitude to Lyin’ Ted Cruz for making our Wednesday night entertainment-packed.  Cruz’s speech, in which he failed to endorse Donald Trump, while delivering the opening salvo of his 2020 campaign, was like the high school kid getting his revenge on the school bully.  My hat is off to him.  He provided the image of the convention:  The Trump family standing in shocked disbelief, frowning and scowling.

I can’t wait for tonight.

 

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Pokemon Go-time

Posted by keithosaunders on July 18, 2016

squirtel

I have to say that this Pokemon Go game is really dangerous. Why, I was just playing it the other day when… [Flashback music]

I’m driving to the post office when I hear a beeping coming from my phone…a Charizard! I spring into action. I’m driving into oncoming traffic, onto the sidewalk, just missing pedestrians, and I end up crashing into the dry cleaner’s window.

The next day I’m playing the ap and all of a sudden I find myself in the ladies room. Of course everybody starts screaming, “What the hell are you doing in here, you sicko?  Get Out!”

“But there’s a Squirtel…”

“WHERE?!”

Everyone whips out their phones until we discover him cowering by the XLerator.

I’m really going to have to delete this thing. It’s just not saf…WAIT! There’s one by the PGE transfer station… To the Pokemobile!

 

 

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The elephant in the elephant room

Posted by keithosaunders on July 16, 2016

As we close in on the Republican convention, anxiously awaiting the arrival of the clown car, let’s take a moment to reflect.

That’s enough.

What upsets me the most about the Trump phenomenon is the way the media covers it.  To be more specific, what the media doesn’t say about him – that he is an incurious megalomaniac that is as qualified to be president as Pete Rose is to direct a remake of Citizen Kane.

It drives me crazy when pundits break down Trump’s foreign policy or analyze his position on supply side economics.  Folks, there is an elephant in the room here: The candidate is a moron.  What’s more he is a self-serving, narcissistic moron.

The lifer Republicans know this and they are mortified, but what can they do but fall on their swords and back this shell of a human being?  It’s the media that is doing a shameful job.  I realize that ratings are up and it’s in the networks and news industry’s interest to ride the cash cow, but is there one iota of integrity left in the business?

For now let’s pull up a chair and enjoy watching the Republicans twist in the wind as they struggle to feign enthusiasm for the potential buffoon-in-chief.  Bring it on!

 

Artist’s rendering of the Republican Partyone cran

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2001: The Keitho Way

Posted by keithosaunders on July 13, 2016

monolith.jpg

I’ve always felt that 2001 A Space Odyssey would have been a much better film had I written the screenplay. Take the dawn of man scene, for instance: (In my version the monolith talks.)
——————————–

Now let me tell you something you damn, dirty apes…you think you’re hot shit sharing that water hole with these warthogs and antelopes and that rival ape tribe? Well you’re not. If you puke-faced cro magnons would cut out your humble bragging for a second and listen to me, the monolith, you might learn something.

YOU! Yeah I’m looking at you, Moongazer. Grab that bone over there and USE IT AS A WEAPON. Now go kill an antelope and before you know it you will have invented the internet. And cook the meat, for Christs sake. What are you, a Freegan? COOK THE MEAT. How? Do I have to show you nimrods everything?! WITH FIRE.

Shit, I don’t get paid enough for this gig…

 

 

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My first night in New York

Posted by keithosaunders on July 11, 2016

I arrived at JFK airports in New York City on April 10th, 1984.  I took the subway from the airport – read express A train to Manhattan –  but when it came time to change trains I discovered that the uptown IRT was out of service.  I emerged from the subway and immediately discovered the reason why:  a rain storm of biblical proportions. This was my introduction to the charm of New York weather.

I tried to hail a cab but this proved to be no easy task in midtown Manhattan during rush hour in the middle of a subway outage.  Finally I was able to share a cab with a couple of strangers and I was able to travel the mile and a half to 74th st and West End Ave in a mere 45 minutes.

My cousin, who I would be staying with until I found a place of my own, lived in the old Hotel Esplinade. I arrived, dropped my bags off and went in search of dinner. I walked a few blocks up Broadway until I came to The Pizza Joint.  There I ordered the best meatball hero I had ever tasted.  Of course this could have been me, fresh off the boat,  over-romanticizing New York.  Over the years, however, I would return to the Pizza Joint, as well as its cousin, The Burger Joint, and I’ll be damned if they didn’t make some of the best meatball heroes and burgers ever.

I returned to the Esplinade and my cousin still wasn’t home from work.  With nothing to do I sequestered myself in his bedroom and turned on his clock radio hoping to find a baseball game.  The Yankees had just finished and the Mets were off that night (Monday) so I was out of luck there.  Turning the dial I stumbled upon a Rangers/Islanders playoff game that was in overtime.  What luck!  Ten minutes later the game came to an end on an Islander goal.  All of a sudden, out of one of the adjoining bedrooms I heard this blood-curdling scream.  If I hadn’t have been listening to the game I’m sure I would have thought somebody was committing murder.  Later I would discover it was my cousin’s sullen roommate, Rothstein.

And that was my first of 9,490 nights in New York City.

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The night before I moved to New York

Posted by keithosaunders on July 9, 2016

The night before I moved to New York City I walked into the living room to discover my brother sitting by himself on the couch.  I asked him what he was doing there.  A minute went by when he said in a choked voice that he was going to miss me.  After 23 years of sharing a room, fighting for stereo supremacy, arguing over what to watch on TV, and competing in cut-throat, sibling rivalry-infused games of basketball, or whatever sport was in season, we were saying goodbye.  He broke down in tears, as did I, and we stood together in the darkened living room embracing for the first time ever.

The next day I moved to New York City where I remained for the next 26 years of my life before moving back west to Bay Area some six years ago. During that time I met my wife and we had three children.  My brother moved all over the country before settling in Chicago.  There he met his wife and had two children.

Now both of our parents are gone and those days when we were a family with all of the security and angst that went along with it are but a distant memory.  My oldest son, just as I did in my early 20s, has moved to New York City.

Time is moving too fast.

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The NBA: Maximizing my free time

Posted by keithosaunders on July 5, 2016

Durant to the Warriors is a joke. At least, however, it saves me from watching meaningless, one-sided games.

Even with parity the NBA regular season is a sham, but now it’s ridiculous. Next season I’ll watch a game or two in November out of curiosity, maybe one with the Cavs when it comes up, and an occasional Clippers and/or Spurs game.

That’s it. Wake me up in May. I don’t even care about the first round.

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Durant to the Warriors

Posted by keithosaunders on July 4, 2016

Maybe the Warriors can get LeBron too. Why stop at Kevin Durant? All the stars should congeal on one team which will save us the time of having to watch regular season games. We’ll tune in during June for the Dream Team exhibition Finals while the one per centers enjoy their corporate luxury suites.

I’m just about at the end of my rope with sports which has turned into a corporate, joyless cesspool full of overpriced arenas, arrogant, over-paid athletes, and tedious replay reviews. The only thing that keeps me going is inertia – I’ve been watching practically my entire life and old habits are difficult to break.  That, and I’d like to see the Mets win one more time.

The toughest thing will be what to talk about in social situations and on gigs.  I’m going to have to come up with an entire new set of topics.  Comic books anyone?  How about basket weaving instead of basketball.

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