The World According to Keitho

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Good riddance to Super Bowl LI

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.

 

Image result for super bowl LI

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Close the damn door!

Posted by keithosaunders on February 2, 2017

I realize that it’s strange and somewhat ungrateful to complain about the cold when I’m living in California, but it’s my blog so clear the field, here I go.  It’s been a rainier and colder winter than normal.  The rain is good as it appears that our drought is all but over, but I’m sick of playing gigs with freezing hands.

It’s true that in the Bay Area we do not get bitter cold, sub-freezing temperatures, but it has been in the 40s consistently since November.  That still counts as cold in my book, especially when most of the clubs and restaurants keep their doors and windows open.  Why do they do this?  They don’t know from vestibules here.

Don’t restaurant owners understand the ‘open’ sign concept?  You hang the ‘open’ sign over the front door and then people know that you’re open.

Let me tell you something, there’s nothing charming about outdoor eating, even when you have heat lamps.  Do you like your food garnished with a sheen of exhaust?  Then outdoor eating is for you!

Even in the summer months it never gets that hot here.  Especially in the summer months!  Close the damn door already.

 

 

Posted in San Francisco, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , | 2 Comments »

Happy National Gorilla Suit Day!

Posted by keithosaunders on January 31, 2017

This is actually a real thing, created by Mad magazine artist, Don Martin. Each year my buddy from New York – sax player extraordinaire and general bon vivant, John Tendy – and his friend, Dan DiPaolo,  produce a video extravaganza to be released on January 31st.

Every year the production values increase as Dan and John strive to bring you the utmost in quality content.  You can search some of their previous years efforts on youtube under Ibar Fridays or National Gorilla Suit Day.

 

Enjoy, and remember…stay safe!

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Pledge week

Posted by keithosaunders on January 30, 2017

Let’s have a live look-in on NPR’s winter pledge drive!

—————-//———

This year why not take the plunge and become a gold member. You’ll receive 2 tickets to SF Jazz, our magazine – Boredom Weekly – and the brand new Keillor-Blocker.

This state of the art console attaches to your listening device to automatically block disturbing Saturday programming such as, A Prairie Home Companion, Wait Wait Don’t Tell Me, & Look Ma, No Hands.

In their place you can choose from among the following:

Game 6 of the 2003 World Series

Noam Chomsky reads The Pickwick Papers

&

Keitho sings A Love Supreme [in the shower]

Finally it is safe to drive a vehicle on a Saturday.

Hurry! There’s a limited supply.

Posted in media, San Francisco, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments »

Let the insanity begin

Posted by keithosaunders on January 26, 2017

We’re less than a week into Donald Trump’s presidency and it’s clear that we have elected a madman. He continues, without a shred of evidence,  to assert the lie that millions of people voted for Hillary Clinton illegally. He appears to want to make good on his promise to build a wall along our southern border even though it will cost billions and do little to prevent illegal immigration.  It looks like he’ll do his best to gut the EPA and inhibit efforts to contain global warming.  All in less than one week!

The folks for whom I reserve my greatest contempt, however, are the Republican Congressman and operatives.  Unlike Trump, these people know what they’re doing.  They’re gutting our countries natural resources, selling out the younger generation, feeding the rich, and taxing and imprisoning the poor.  All for their own benefit.  They can rot in hell as far as I’m concerned.

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , , | 6 Comments »

Happy Birthday, Dad

Posted by keithosaunders on January 15, 2017

dadrams

Dad

Today my father would have turned 90.  He died just 14th months ago at the age of 88.  He was born in 1927 in Brooklyn, New York.  He grew up during the depression, served in the army as a private first class at the end of World War 2, and went to college at a small school in upstate Plattsburgh near the Canadian border called Champlain College.

He was a huge Brooklyn Dodgers fan.  He endured the terrible teams of the 30s only to see them emerge as the dominant National League club of the 40s and 50s.  He suffered through the the ignominy of Bobby Thompson’s home run and five World Series losses to the Yankees, but experienced the exultation of Brooklyn’s first ever World Championship (against the Yankees) in 1955.

He married my mother two months later after a whirlwind three month courtship and they stayed together for 45 years until my mother’s death.

Dad was as liberal as they come. He opposed nuclear weapons, working in the 50s to have them abolished.  He was against the McCarthy hearings and he helped form a local political group called AQI – Associated Queens Independents.  I am glad that he will not have to experience the Trump years.

My Dad hated pomposity.  He couldn’t stand John Robinson when he was coaching the Rams.  He called him ‘The Blowhard.’ He also loathed the Dallas Cowboys owner, Jerry Jones, who he referred to as ‘The Pipsqueak.’   (Nobody knows why he called him that. Jones isn’t that small)

My Dad’s favorite Brooklyn Dodger was Jackie Robinson.  When I was growing up he used to tell my brother and I how Jackie Robinson was the most exciting ball player he had ever seen.  His favorite move was The Bridge Over the River Kwai.  He had a top ten movie list.  Some of the other movies on the list were, The Lady Vanishes, The Best Years of Our Lives, and Fiddler on the Roof.  It used to confound me that Fiddler made the list.

My Dad was one of the funniest and personable people I have ever met.  When he was in a good mood there was nobody else you would rather spend time with.  He was smart, witty, passionate, liberal, and self effacing.

He was a self made man.  He moved his family to California – my brother and I were toddlers then – with no savings and no job.  He found work, an apartment, and sent for us.  He struggled for many years before finding great success as an independent rep for juvenile furniture lines.  He and my mother were able to travel all around the world once my brother and I were older and on our own.

Dad, we miss you!

 

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Vestibules now!

Posted by keithosaunders on January 3, 2017

Image may contain: 4 people, people sitting and night

Folks, here is concrete photographic evidence of a clear and present danger in the Bay Area: An alarming lack of vestibules.

When people observe jazz in their overcoats they are not enjoying the music – they are counting the minutes until they can be reunited with their heater. Head colds and gig-related illnesses are predicted to spike in future years.

Stop the madness. #vestibulesnow!

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2016: The worst meme ever

Posted by keithosaunders on December 28, 2016

The latest sickening internet trend is the conceit that a random grouping of 365 days is a sentient being.  This is especially true on Twitter where people are trying to one up each other for the whiniest tweet.  Here’s an example:

So so sad to hear about the death of Carrie Fisher. 2016 has taught us one hell of a lesson.. don’t take anyone for granted! Hurry up 2017!!

I guarantee you I can pick any year and find just as many celebrities that died. Here is a list of notable deaths in 1955:

Albert Einstein, James Agee, James Dean, and most tragically, Shemp Howard of the Three Stooges.

Charlie Parker died in 1955. Bam. 1955 is exponentially worse than 2016.

Again, it’s all about the humblebrag. RIPing  Prince, Carrie Fisher, or ________________________ makes you seem like a sensitive individual, but the effect is to draw attention towards yourself and away from the deceased.

There is nothing new about the  gratuitous social media RIP, but this year came with a new wrinkle:  The anthropomorphism of 2016.  As if a year is a sentient being and that somehow 2017 will be more benevolent.

If I might offer a suggestion, try a different calendar. Why not go by the Chinese calendar? Or give the Jewish calendar a shot. Or the Mayan. It couldn’t hurt.

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Mandate

Posted by keithosaunders on December 20, 2016

Donald Trump won the popular vote by nearly 3,000,000 votes.  A lot of people have been saying, writing, and tweeting that he has no mandate, but I don’t believe his lack of popular support will effect him one bit.

Trump’s mandate is the fact that he doesn’t care whether or not he has a mandate.  Why should he stop doing what has worked for him?  Think of it – he’s bullet-proof.  He can ridicule handicapped people, have an ex-porn star wife, show admiration for a Russian dictator, admit to grabbing women’s pussies, and refuse to release his tax records.  Nothing can harm this guy!

Fasten your seat belts, folks, we can expect turbulence.

Posted in Politics, Uncategorized | Tagged: , , , , , , , | 2 Comments »

Glass Enclosure

Posted by keithosaunders on December 17, 2016

It took me almost half a year but I finally finished it – a piano transcription of Bud Powell’s Glass Enclosure. It was such painstaking work that two to four bars would take 40 minutes at which point I’d either be out of time or exhausted. The middle section, in which many of the measures contain a different chord for every beat, was particularly thorny. I’m confident I have accurate melody and harmony, but with the lower fidelity of 50s recordings I can’t be certain of the voicings. They are very close, though, and the genius of the piece is evident.

Glass Enclosure was written in 1953 shortly after Powell had been released from Creedmore State Hospital in Queens. According to a 1996 article in Atlantic Monthly written by Francis Davis, Bud, who had an ongoing engagement at Birdland, was kept locked in his apartment during the day by his manager, who was also his legal guardian. One day producer Alfred Lion, the co-founder of Blue Note records, came to Bud’s apartment and heard him working on new material. Glass Enclosure was the most striking of the songs he heard.

After living with this piece for 6 months my level of awe for Bud Powell has increased, if this is possible. The way I see it Bud’s repertoire can be divided into four distinct categories. There are compositions such as Dance of the Infidels, Wail, and Bouncing With Bud which are brilliant, as well as accessible to mortals.

Then there are the through composed pieces that are somewhat inaccessible, such as Glass Enclosure, Sure Thing, and Un Poco Loco. There’s also Tempus Fugit, which you can blow on, but is ultimately a giant pain in the ass. The thing is, even if you learn these tunes, what are you going to do with them other than attempt to play them as much like the original as possible?

In addition there are Powell’s reworking of standards such as I Should Care, Over the Rainbow, and Polka Dots and Moonbeans. These are so personal to him he may as well have composed them.

Then there is late Bud which still contains some gems such as John’s Abbey, Time Waits and Cleopatra’s Dream.

I believe that there is a legitimate case to be made that because of his compositions and the debt that every subsequent pianist owes him, Bud may have been deeper than Bird. At the very least they’re on par.  See for yourself.

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