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Jazz and Democracy Project

Posted by Amoebite, January 12, 2011 12:33pm | Post a Comment


 

The Jazz & Democracy Project® (J&D) is a music integrated curriculum linking the arts (music) and the humanities (history/government). Through literary, aural, and visual content, as well as kinesthetic activities, students 10 years and up learn about the process that creates Jazz and how this mirrors the democratic process. Without needing any previous musical experience, all J&D students understand what musicians must know and be able to do in order to create Jazz, and how these same elements form the foundation of The U.S. Constitution, American democracy, and civic engagement in the 21st Century. For more info, click here.

All That Biodigital Jazz, Man

Posted by Kelly S. Osato, December 30, 2010 10:55am | Post a Comment
tron arcade game legacy disney upright set
I remember the first time I caught sight of the glowing, blacklit neon appeal of TRON. The boxy upright console outshone the others in my hometown Putt-Putt arcade and I couldn't help desiring to bask in its purple hazed portal though I'd always considered Centipede to be my one and only love. Let's be honest, playing TRON was about as exciting as the saccharin in a can of Tab, no matter how romanced I was by that Starlight Express meets Pinball Wizard of a design story. It's a silly game popularized a silly movie and it seems the good folks down at Disney completely understand that. TRON may never be taken seriously for its dramatic narrative and that's exactly right-on, but it is bursting with cinematic content. For me, re-viewing the 1982 classic TRON flick and the recently reimagineered TRON: Legacy was pure pop Sci-Fi pleasure the likes of which anyone this side of the Logan's Run Carousel knows better than to over-analyze.

Anyway, what better way to punctuate sweet freedom of another semester completed and celebrate the spirit of the season than seeing TRON: Legacy in IMAX 3D over Christmas vacation? Disney's new take on the ambitious yet sketchy Rotoscoped, post modern, science-fantasy arcade-gaming jam delivers a not very smart but sometimes clever cross-section of tired sci-fi/fantasy genre clichés, slickly redesigned to diamond-cut, mind-blowing visual perfection, ever flying the promotional gaming flag and still driven (literally!) by a pre-Lebowski albeit CG'd Jeff Bridges (which raises questions about the ethical treatment of dead actors' imminent bodies of possible future work) as well as the more popular (and less obviously plasti-complexioned) post "Dude" Jeff Bridges. Aesthetically, TRON went from this: 
tron original 1982 jeff bridges color design story set cinematography
tron original 1982 graphis effects design set cheesy
tron original 1982 graphis effects design set cheesy
tron original 1982 graphis effects design set cheesy users
to this:
tron legacy castor party sequence sexy costume disney
tron legacy disney bike race visual speciel effects blur speed
tron legacy disney movie film lovers
tron legacy disney movie dinner scene design furnishings white weird
...clunky helmet no longer required. I really love the visual shift in the application of a primary color scheme from TRON's UV tinged, patent eighties neons to the updated laser red, tungsten yellow and halogen blue as they appear both on and off their respective renderings of "the grid," not to mention the thrilling, hi-tech hard edge TRON: Legacy has over the crappy vectorgraphic "effects" dealt by its predecessor. However, TRON: Legacy does manage to shovel its fair share of shit: what's with that queeny Castor character and his, or should I say HER, swishy hardly-head-of-security counterpart? Accommodating the Brits-as-villains Star Wars stereotype much? Castor's little ditty and dance act should be cast out. And how about all that easy, cheesy dialogue? I swear some of those lines were straight up lifted from the Matrix --- is that why this film wasn't made ten years ago? And while I'm not buying so much the Neo/Jesus/Skywalker/Solo vibe of Kevin Flynn's son (played by Garrett Hedlund), Sam, I am totally vibing on Jeff Bridges' Obi Wan/God/Gandalf "zen thing" update of his completely timelapsed character, under the influence of a heavy dose of his Dudeness (Duder, or El Duderino if you're not into the whole brevity thing). I mean, really, if Bridges hadn't had his prior engagement with the brothers Coen, TRON: Legacy would probably only have its visual wizardry going for it and zero characters for folks like me to latch on to. Besides, I was more than ready to settle in and enjoy the ride after that opening sequence: Bridges' voice, speaking over Daft Punk's excellent score of electronic minimalism meets classical orchestration --- incorporating Wendy Carlos' original TRON soundtrack in a fitting homage --- urging us to think of a time when computers seemed more magical than mechanical and menacing, the inevitability of A.I. more a willing dream than nightmarish catastrophe. "The Grid," he recalls: "A digital frontier. I tried to picture clusters of information as they move through the computer. What did they look like? Ships? Motorcycles? Were the circuits like freeways? I kept dreaming of a world I thought I’d never see. And then, one day, I got in."

Li'l Bit #10

Posted by Job O Brother, December 22, 2010 03:02pm | Post a Comment

Cruise to Mexico: Part 7

Posted by Job O Brother, December 6, 2010 11:37am | Post a Comment
mexico

Day 5 (Part 2)

Thursday. September 16, 2010

PUERTO VALLARTA



As the boyfriend, his father, Fred, the sweltering heat and I walked home along the quaint, plank-board sidewalks along the coast of Puerto Vallarta, I was all the time keeping a look-out for a keen thank you gift for Smithy, who’s house-sitting for us had caused her such difficulty after the devious plotting of the demon spawn we call “our kitties.”

You’d think that a tourist trap like Puerto Vallarta would be ideal shopping, but I couldn’t imagine Smithy exactly swooning over a miniature beaded palm tree statue or a Hard Rock Café tank-top.

Then, at last, I saw just the sort of boutique that catered to the refined taste of my dear,lady friend: a tequila specialty shop. Hypnotized by the variety of tans, camels, and caramel colors that shone through the many-angled bottles, I floated in and got real thirsty. The vendor – who’s name I never got, so I’ll call Graggenhauserfrauschembaur – practically materialized from out of my shadow, eager to exchange some of his wares for the far-less delicious bills I kept in my wallet.

“This,” I thought to myself, “Is gonna be a great relationship.”

It was. At Graggenhauserfrauschembaur’s insistence we sat at a tiny portable bar and were lined up shots after shots of tequila tasters. It was like being a college freshman girl at her first date rape. Graggenhauserfrauschembaur’s salesmanship was bar-none; how brilliant to get your customers drunk! And the tequila was, truly, lekker. My personal favorites were a coconut-crème tequila and a tamarind liqueur that made me wanna be an alcoholic again for the first time. I purchased some booze for Smithy, and some for myself. I bid Graggenhauserfrauschembaur a bittersweet farewell, and he scolded the boyfriend and I for coming from Los Angeles and not being able to speak Spanish.

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Crunchyfest: A Benefit for Jose "Crunchy" Espinoza

Posted by Gomez Comes Alive!, November 29, 2010 08:51am | Post a Comment
Jose Crunchy Espinoza
I have been blessed to know Jose “Crunchy” Espinoza for about fifteen years. He is one of Los Angeles' finest musicians in a town of many great talents. You probably don’t know him by name but you have heard his work through the music of Ozomatli (he was one of the co-founders of the group) and The Salvador Santana Band. He has also done plenty of session work with the likes of The Black Eyed Peas, Blackalicous and Money Mark, just to name a few. Crunchy, a multi-instrumentalist who plays sax, flute and percussion, has been leading various Jazz groups in recent years. One of the groups is the monstrous, Cuban Funk inspired Ubalaye, which has the sickest collection of L.A. based musicians in one band. He took some time off from touring to finish his masters degree in Afro-Latin Music at Cal State L.A. Since then, besides recording and gigging, he has been teaching music for grade school students as well as raising his own kids.

This year has been tough one for Jose. He has been fighting cancer most of the year and has gone through stretches where the doctors have advised him not to play. Still, Crunchy continues to write music and you can hear some of his pieces on Sunday, December 5th at a show entitled “Crunchyfest” at the California Institute Of The Arts (CalArts). On The bill will be The Cal Arts Salsa Band, Cava, Salvador Santana, Sono-Lux and Crunchy-led Umbalaye. The event is free but donations will be accepted to help Crunchy with his medical expenses. The show is from 12 pm to 6pm. For more info please click here.

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