The World According to Keitho

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Posts Tagged ‘Super Bowl’

The sound of exposed brick

Posted by keithosaunders on January 18, 2019

Has anyone noticed how awful music sounds in almost every restaurant and club?  Club owners and restaurateurs love their cavernous, barn-like structures with hard surface floors, exposed brick, and floor to ceiling windows.  Well let me tell you something, exposed brick may be hip and charming, but the effect it has on music is horrible beyond belief.

But forget about music, conversation sounds awful in these hell holes.  You get some liquored up tech-bros trying to one up each other with their knowledge of mixed drinks, and their clothespin-voiced girlfriends who speak in a range that would make Maynard Ferguson jealous, and you may as well be in the Super Dome on Super Bowl Sunday.

Would it kill the establishment to throw down a couple of rugs and hang some drapes?  What do they have against musicians and pukeys being able to coexist?

 

Image result for exposed brick

 

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Your obligatory Super Bowl post

Posted by keithosaunders on February 6, 2016

I feel guilty about my lack of enthusiasm over Sunday’s big game but for whatever reason I just can’t seem to get excited over it.  Part of the reason is that I have an early starting solo piano gig that’s going to interfere with me seeing the fourth quarter.  Fortunately I have a good line of sight from the piano to the TV but I’m a little farther away than I’d like to be which will make identifying the holding calls tough.

The game is being played in Santa Clara which is 40 miles south of where I live. This is where the 49ers moved two season ago — a corporate designer stadium monstrosity. From all counts Levi’s Stadium has a nightmare parking situation which can take hours to enter and exit.   Route 101 is a tough artery to deal with in the best of circumstances but one can only imagine how much worse it will be tomorrow.  Throw in the post 9/11 security and you couldn’t pay me enough to attend this game.  I’ve heard that there are people who flew in from out of town that aren’t able to go to the game but are going to local Santa Clara bars so that they can be close to the action.  I pity these dullards.  Stay at home and watch from your couch, for crying out loud.  Santa Clara has no ambiance!

All of the Super Bowl festivities, whatever they are, have taken place in San Francisco which has made it tough for the working stiff musician to get into town for his gigs. (I live across the bay in a town just north of Berkeley called Albany)  Tonight I’m gigging in North Beach which is a part of San Francisco that is only a 20 minute walk from the a Bart station.  Tomorrow, however, I’m working in a part of San Francisco not serviced by Bart so I’ll have to drive.  I’m hoping that everyone will already be ensconced at the TV of their choice by the time I have to leave.

And there you have it:  My Super Bowl post.  My prediction:  Carolina 28 Denver 7.

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

The right of the dial

Posted by keithosaunders on February 10, 2012

I spent the last weekend in Las Vegas visiting my father.  Having grown up in Brooklyn and Queens, my Dad is a lifelong Giants fan, and since my regular Sunday gig was cancelled due to the game, I decided to make the trek down to watch it with him.

This is the third time I’ve made the drive from the Bay Area to Vegas.  It is a deceptively long drive.  If you could drive on a direct angle from Berkeley to Vegas it would probably be a six or seven hour trip.  Thanks to the Sierra Nevada range, however, this is impossible.  You have to drive south to Bakersfield on I 5, cut over east on a 150 mile mountain pass road — rt 58 — and finally, at Barstow, turn North onto I 15.  It is a nine-hour drive, that is if you don’t stop.

Fortunately I love driving.  I’m an animal behind the wheel and can drive great distances without tiring.  All I need are some good sounds to spur me on and I’m happy.  I’ve driven cross-country on two consecutive years, with a third trip looming this summer as my oldest boy is going to be going to school back east.

After the game (and what a game!) I decided to drive home rather than have to wake up at 5AM the next morning.  I had to be back by Monday night for a gig and I knew I could make great time at night.

I know enough to pull over when I’m tired.  It’s amazing how effective a ten minute cat nap can be.  I ended up needing to take two of them — one at 2Am, and the other at 4AM.  I arrived home safe and sound at 5:30.

About halfway through the drive I decided to take a break from my ipod and tune in to some right-wing radio.  I expected to become upset while listening to their vitriol, but in the end I only felt a sense of bemusement and pity.

I mean, they’ve got nothing.  Literally nothing.   All they have to talk about is their hatred of Obama, and their love of the lord.  Obama is a socialist, and the lord is their savior.

I feel sorry for them.  They don’t want to talk about Romney — they hate him.  They’re embarrassed by Gingrich, because

a) he’s too smart for them

and

b) his checkered history disturbs them.

Ron Paul is too liberal for them, and even these nutcases realize that Santorum has no shot.

One host claimed to know exactly when Armageddon was coming, but you had to buy his book to find out when and how.  I’m sure it would be a great read but I’m going to save my thirty bucks.

I ended up staying with right-wing radio for a good hundred miles.  I couldn’t turn away.  It was extremely entertaining.

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NFL, are you ready for greatness?

Posted by keithosaunders on February 10, 2011

Another Super Bowl is history and we now stagger into the dark period of the sports year when there is nothing to watch but meaningless regular season NBA and NHL games until the opening day of the baseball season comes to the rescue.  This year the doldrums will be a few days shorter owing to MLB having moved their opening day three days earlier than usual to March 31st. 

But I digress.  It was a good, not a great game.  The Packers dominated the first half until Pittsburgh obliged us by putting up a good fight in the second half only to fall short.  Boo hoo — they have enough championships.

What I really want to talk about is the halftime show, which was an abomination.  If the Black Eyed Peas is the best that the NFL can offer then maybe they ought to throw in the towel and go back to using Up With People.  I appreciate that the NFL is making an effort to appeal to a younger demographic, but for gods sake, don’t do it with mediocrity!  Better to trot out old leviathans such as The Who or The Stones.  At least they could rock at one point. (albeit a point that is now decades in the rear view mirror) 

Sending the Black Eyed Peas out to do a halftime show is like asking Pee Wee Herman to play Hamlet.  It’s not in their skill-set.  Fergie?!  Give me a break.  She sounds like my grandma on acid.  What’s more, the one song they do that I would have cared to hear  — My Humps — wasn’t suitable for Middle America.  That’s the song with these catchy lyrics:

What you gon’ do with all that junk?
All that junk inside your trunk?
I’ma get, get, get, get, you drunk,
Get you love drunk off my hump.
My hump, my hump, my hump, my hump, my hump,
My hump, my hump, my hump, my lovely little lumps 

Cole Porter couldn’t have said it better.

Fortunately for the NFL, I am here to solve their halftime problem.  Commishioner Goodell, if you want to hire an A-one class act that is professional, supremely talented, and under-the-radar, do yourself a favor and run, do not walk, to hire Cedar Walton.  There isn’t a better jazz pianist out there.  He’ll sound great, he’ll look marvellous, and best of all he will not embarrass you!  

Not only does Cedar bring excellence to the table, but he will imbue the halftime show with the dignity deserving of such event.  Us middle-aged jazzers will be thrilled to finally see our hero get his due, and the oldtimers will be happy not to have to fiddle with their hearing aids.  The youngsters will also be happy as long as you play up the fact that jazz is the most hated music of all time.  To them, seeing Cedar on the stage will be an enormous ‘fuck you’ to the yuppies that are pining to see the milquetoast bands of their youth. Not seeing Foreigner, Aerosmith, or Madonna on the stage will be worth putting up with ten minutes of hellaciously swinging hardbop.

Furthermore, I guarantee you that Cedar’s price tag will be hundreds of thousands less than The Police would have been.  It’s a win-win situation.  And just think how good those special effects will look to the sounds of Bolivia!   
    

Cedar Walton

Posted in football, jazz | Tagged: , , , , , , , , , , | 10 Comments »

Super Bowl memories: Part II

Posted by keithosaunders on February 4, 2011

The 1980s and ’90s were an era of Super Bowl routs.  You can count the compelling games on one hand.  Whether it was the Buffalo Bill’s four-peat of futility, the reaming of the Denver Broncos, or the one-off pratfalls of the Chargers and Falcons, it was an era of lopsided spectacles.  I watched them all.

Super Bowl XXII — San Diego

Redskins vs Broncos

I watched the game at my Aunt Ellie’s and Uncle Herb’s in downtown Brooklyn, USA.  My friend Jeff and I volunteered to bring over food from the 2nd Ave Deli in the East Village.  We didn’t count on the fact that every Jew in New York had that same idea, and we ended up missing practically the entire 1st quarter.  By the time we arrived Denver was ahead 10-0 and had concluded the scoring portion of their afternoon.  Before we had finished our corned beef sandwiches, Doug Williams had thrown four 2nd quarter touchdown passes and the game was, at least for this blog’s purposes, over.

Super Bowl XXIII – Miami

49ers vs Bengals

A rematch of Super Bowl XVI.  This time I was couch-side for the action.  Once again Jeff and I found ourselves at Ellie and Herb’s, this time joined by cousin Alan.  This was one of the few good games of this era, capped off by a late 49ers drive to give them the victory.  After the game the normally mild-mannered Herb lost his temper.  All day long he had been doing the slow-burn because Alan, upon arriving, had taken his shoes off, and Herb hated feet.  When Herb’s repeated attempts to get Alan’s attention failed, he finally lost it, exploding in a rage of invectives — an eventful end to an action-packed day.

Super Bowl XXIV — New Orleans

49ers vs Broncos

The first of many Super Bowls I would watch at Jeff’s house in the Bronx.  I had a gig in Connecticut so Jeff taped the game.  Somehow I made it back to Jeff’s without having discovered the score.  What followed was a good old-fashioned blood-letting.  52-17 Niners.

Super Bowl XXV — Tampa

Giants (!) vs Bills 

Jeff scored tickets to this game, but I had a gig at a restaurant called Camelback and Central on the East side, with the singer, Richard Lanham, and was unable to go.  Thank god there was a TV there and I was able to see most of the action, most notably the Giant’s clock-eating 3rd quarter drive, the Bill’s 4th quarter scoring drive, and the subsequent Scotty Norwood missed field goal.  20-19 Jints!  

Super Bowl XXVI — Minneapolis

Redskins vs Bills

Don’t be fooled by the final score, which was 37-24 Redskins.  This game was 24-0 at the half and going nowhere fast.  I’ll give you $100.00 if you can name the Redskins quarterback.  Time’s up!   Mark Rypien.  The game was so forgettable I don’t even remember where I was.

Superbowl XXVII — Pasadena

Cowboys vs Bills

The Cowboys had become good again but more importantly for them, they played the Bills.  I watched the game in my Long Island City apartment (I was living in Queens by then) with my wife, Debra.  Final score:  52-17.  Ouch.

Super Bowl XVVIII — Atlanta

Cowboys vs Bills   

I went to Fort Lauderdale, Florida with my wife to visit my in-laws.  My parents flew in from Las Vegas to join us.  My brother, who was living in Orlando at that time, drove down to Ft Lauderdale to complete the family affair.  I watched the game mostly with my Dad and brother.  I say ‘mostly’ because midway through the 1st quarter my father in law sat down, watched one series of plays, and declared that Dallas would win the game.  He then left the room and we didn’t see him until dinner later that evening.  It turned out he was right.  30-13 Boys.

 Super Bowl XXIX — Miami

49ers vs Chargers

How ironic that with all of the supposedly great Chargers teams of recent history, their one actual Super Bowl team was a forgettable squad quaterbacked by, of all people, Stan Humphries.  Stan who?!    I had a gig at Trumpets in Montclair New Jersey and missed most of the game.  Good thing, too.  The 49ers romped.  What’s that I hear?  The 49ers just scored again!

Super Bowl XXX — Tempe

Cowboys vs Steelers

Not a bad game compared to the array of clunkers that preceded it.  Final score 27-17 Dallas.  I watched the game at my LIC pad with my wife, one year old son, Jake, and cousin Alan who had free reign to take his shoes off. 

Super Bowl XXXI — New Orleans

Packers vs Patriots

I watched the game with Alan’s poker cronies at the apartment of Dan Afariat (The Afarianator) on the Upper West Side of Manhattan.  At halftime a poker game broke out.  I drank too much beer, and all I recall is losing a large amount of money.  This was my pre anger management days and I ended up screaming at poor Alan.

Super Bowl XXXII — San Diego

Broncos vs Packers

Viva Las Vegas!  I was visiting my parents in Vegas and watched the game with my Dad.  The Broncos finally won one.

Super Bowl XXXIII — Miami

Broncos vs Falcons

DRG.  That stands for Don’t Remember Game.  This was Elway’s swan song.  He was da winnah.

To be continued…

 

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Super Bowl memories!

Posted by keithosaunders on February 2, 2011

It’s that time of year again.  A time of renewal and a time to reflect.  Without further ado I give you…Keitho’s Super Bowl sagas!

Before 1977 I wasn’t that interested in sports so my memories from that period are not specific enough to cite.  I remember Miami kicker Garo Yepremian trying to throw a pass after a botched field goal attempt in Super Bowl VII.  I also recall that the Mary Tyler Moore show used Super Bowl VIII — the Dolphins vs the Vikings — as  part of the plot for one of their episodes.   Most of the games in those days were one-sided affairs and were anti-climactic.  On the other hand, there wasn’t nearly as much hype around the games. 

Enough preamble, let’s get started.

Super Bowl XI — Pasadena

Raiders vs Vikings

I was there!  My Uncle Ernie got tickets and I went with my Dad, cousin R, and Ernie.  We parked in the driveway of the home of the L.A. District Attorney, John van De Kamp, who was friends with my uncle and lived walking distance of the Rose Bowl.  Our seats were a few rows in front of O.J. Simpson and Franco Harris who were sitting next to each other.  We also saw Cary Grant.  After the game we found that Ernie’s car was parked in by another friend of the D.A.’s.  My cousin, who had an impatient streak, ended up keying the guy’s car.

Super Bowl XII — New Orleans 

Cowboys vs Broncos

I watched this one in my Van Nuys living room with my Dad and my girlfriend.  The game was a rout but my girlfriend impressed us by knowing the names of the Broncos skill position players.

Super Bowl XIII — Miami 

Steelers vs Cowboys

Once again we were couch side at Casa Saunders although that year I was sans girlfriend.  Present were my Mom, Dad, brother, and cousin.  This was the brother of the cousin who keyed the car at SB XI. 

Super Bowl XIV — Pasadena

Steelers vs Rams

I was playing a gig at a club in Malibu called Pasquale’s with the drummer Roy McCurdy.  Rather than miss most of the game driving to the gig the band decided to arrive early, rehearse, and watch the game at the club-owner/bass player’s apartment, which was located above the club.  It was an exciting game but too bad the Rams lost.

Super Bowl XV — New Orleans

Raiders vs Eagles

The Eagles?!  I remember watching this one at home with my immediate family.  A terrible game but Philly was crazed with success from a few months earlier when the Phillies won the World Series for the first time in their history.  That being said they still await their first Super Bowl win.

Super Bowl XVI — Pontiac, MI

49ers vs Bengals

I missed this one because I was working on a cruise ship in the Caribbean.  I was upset because it turned out to be an exciting game and up until that year there hadn’t been that many compelling Super Bowls. 

Super Bowl XVII  — Pasadena

Redskins vs Dolphins

I only saw the first half of this one because I had a gig with drummer Dick Berk in Seal Beach which is way he hell down in Orange County, CA.  I remember listening to the second half on the radio and hearing John Riggins break off that long run for the deciding score.

Super Bowl XVIII — Tampa

Raiders vs Redskins 

For some reason I don’t have visceral memories of this one.  I probably was gigging with Berk again.  All I know is that Marcus Allen dominated.  This was the last Super Bowl I experienced while living in L.A.  It’s odd that I don’t remember this one too well since the Raiders had moved to L.A. by then.  You’d think it would have been a big deal for the city finally to have been a champion after all of the years of disappointment with the Rams. 

Super Bowl XIX – Stanford

49ers vs Dolphins

My first Super Bowl as a New York resident found me back on the west coast.  I was on the road with the saxophonist Richie Cole and we watched that game at his friend’s house on Whidbey Island somewhere off of the coast of Seattle.  The Marino era had dawned but unfortunately it would be his first and last Super Bowl.

Super Bowl XX — New Orleans

Bears vs Patriots

Daaaaaaaaa Bears!  Not much memories of this game other than the Bears dominance.  I was living in Brooklyn and must have watched the game at my Aunt and Uncles apartment on Jay St, which was near Brooklyn Heights.

Super Bowl XXI — Pasadena

Giants (!) vs Broncos 

New York had not yet come down from the high of the Mets improbable Series victory three months earlier.  Unlike Philly, New York was able to pull off the daily double and went on to claim the first of their three Super Bowls.  I watched the game at my cousin Judy’s in Rockville Center Long Island with her family, my Aunt Ellie, Uncle Herb, and my best friend Jeff.  After the game Jeff drove us all home which entailed making stops in the Bronx, Manhattan, and Brooklyn.  I tried to get him to go to Brooklyn first but he was having none of it.  After all, it was my family. Why should I get dropped off first?  This typical show of magnanimity on Jeff’s part prompted my Uncle to utter the now famous comment, “Jeff, you’re a prince.” 

To be continued…

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