Monday, November 29, 2010

"Gunn's Golden Rules" Review

Looking for a gift book or a small volume to read during holiday travel? May I suggest Tim Gunn's Gunn's Golden Rules; Life's Little Lessons for Making It Work, Gallery Books (A Division of Simon & Schuster), 2010.

When Tim Gunn appears in the workroom on cable's Project Runway, you can always look forward to his design insight and creative influence to inspire the show's contestant designers to reach their fullest potential. With his new book, Tim offers readers an honest look at the modern world, especially the New York fashion world he knows so well. With the skill of an experienced teacher, he provides examples of how to be a polite adult and how to fail miserably. 

One of the attributes that has made Tim Gunn an asset to Project Runway and the numerous television and corporate entities that he collaborates with is his constructive honesty. This book is humorous (and scandalous at times), but it is also completely open and personally candid from an industry that is based on facade. Whether writing about creative inspiration, the pitfalls of technology or "taking the high road," Gunn's Golden Rules offers thought provoking tales in the form of a delightful romp.

Read this book for the fun of it, for the inspiration to be a better you and for the relief of knowing even Tim Gunn has a mother that won't listen to him.

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Movie Review - 127 Hours

If you only have time and resources to see one movie this holiday weekend, brace yourself and experience 127 Hours.

Director Danny Boyle as taken movie making to a new height. This film is engaging, experiential and evocative. The visuals are eloquent and realistic. It isn't the blood that is unnerving, it is James Franco's portrayal of an everyman character making a choice we're not sure we could make. If there is a short list for the Oscars, Franco should be on that list.

Boyle also does what too few movie directors do well, he shapes his world with sound–music that provides character and pulse, the whisper of place and the dramatic sound of silence. Boyle allows his sound designers to employ an audio palette that startlingly conveys the agony of severing a physical nerve. Will you cringe? Yes. But there is no gratuitous violence to your senses, just raw honesty.

If you're looking for an extreme entertainment ride, the action and the music will take you there. But if you are willing to dive in deeper and hold on tight, Boyle will take you to a world of self discovery.

The real-life story of Aron Ralston's five-day ordeal trying to free himself from a boulder that pinned his arm to a canyon wall is more than a story of personal challenge. Boyle has molded Ralston's unique experience into a metaphor for the isolation most of us feel in modern society and the solitary way we try to face our personal trials.

Whatever your intimate struggle–joblessness, illness, emotional loss–none of us are alone and we all need help. See this movie. Let yourself take the visual, audio, emotional and physical ride with 127 Hours. It does what only the best movies can do, it delivers every viewer to their own personal destination. Oscars Take Note. - Keri Dearborn
Link to the trailer.

Saturday, November 20, 2010

Joy To The World- Pink Martini's Great Holiday Album!

Joy To The World  - Pink Martini's Great Holiday Album!

What a joy!!  I just picked the CD up yesterday at our Local Starbucks!

This eclectic band or "little orchestra" has done it again!

The album has a true excitement and a passion for the holiday season without being a  rehash of the "tried and true" usual fare of Christmas Albums.

Each track is fresh and thoughtful in it's approach and tone  with excellent structure, arrangements and musicianship.

If you only buy one holiday album this year- pick this one!!

Joy to the World
Released in 2010  -  Heinz Records
1. White Christmas White Christmas”
…sung by China Forbes in English  -gorgeous

2. White Christmas (part II) feauring Saori Yuki
.... in Japanese.  - way cool

3. Shchedryk (Ukrainian Bell Carol)
…stunning recording

4. Santa Baby
…sung by China Forbes - poppy and fun 
not a sex kitteny approach

5. Elohai, N’tzor
…sung by China Forbes,  Ida Rae Cahana & Ari Shapiro -  
- beautiful

6. Little Drummer Boy
… timeless with a modern take on the great beat!!

7. Congratulations – A Happy New Year Song
… really neat!!

8. Do You Hear What I Hear?
… I had no idea it was written during the Cuban Missile Crisis-  
great back beat

9. La Vergine Degli Angeli
… beautiful recording

10. We Three Kings
… modern take on the rhythms

11. A Snowglobe Christmas
… original westerny- hawaiian slack guitar fun

12. Ocho Kandelikas (Eight Little Candles)
… definitely a Pink Martini  beat!! - China Forbes & Ari Shapiro

13. Silent Night
... love the choir

14. Auld Lang Syne
... really fun in multiple languages - 
makes you look for the Brazilian drum corps!

From The website:

"Joy To The World is a festive, nondenominational holiday album with music from around the globe.

“There are 14 songs on Joy to the World,” says Thomas Lauderdale, “including well-known traditional holiday songs like Irving Berlin’s “White Christmas”…sung by China Forbes in English and by the incredible Saori Yuki… the Barbra Streisand of Japan… in Japanese.
With the Pacific Youth Choir and the handbell choir Bells of the Cascades, we recorded “Shchedryk,” known in English-speaking countries as “Carol of the Bells,” with the original Ukrainian text which tells of a lark flying into the house at the start of a new year, thus bringing good fortune.

We recorded a Hebrew prayer “Elohai N’tzor” with Ida Rae Cahana and Ari Shapiro and Patricia Costa Kim. (Ida Rae Cahana was for many years the canter at Central Synagogue in New York City and now lives in Portland… Ari Shapiro is the NPR White House correspondent… and accordionist Patricia Costa Kim was just named director of education at Experience Music Project in Seattle, but is also known by millions on YouTube as the keyboardist bandleader of Sonseed and their Christian ska song “Jesus is a friend of mine”).

There’s a Chinese New Year song from 1946, a Felainspired version of “We Three kings,” a song in Ladino (the intersection of Spanish and Hebrew), “Silent Night” in the original German, as well as a verse in Arabic and another in English.

The album ends with a samba parade of “Auld Lang Syne” with choruses in English, Arabic and French over the incredible percussion of the Lions of Batucada.”

Lauderdale notes, “I love the holidays and all the music that goes with it. We strove to make an inclusive and non-denominational album that could be played anywhere in the world.” "