Day of the Dead (2008)

Green Ooze – BagpiperDon’s +/- Top-10

This remake of George A. Romero’s original 1985 film could be a called (at least by me) a cross between 28 Days Later and the 2009 version of The Crazies. From the start the action ramps up, and 30 minutes in it stays constant — intense gore-fest. The zombies are high speed, a bit super-human, and the humans consist of recognizable actors beginning their careers — all with no gratuitous displays of possibly-future-famous-breasts (they’re nice, but it just gets old in zombie films). This piece showed me a few new things to z-films, and the story-line didn’t particularly take any leaps, however I did have a few beefs…

  • I thought it odd that upon the point an infected human turns into a zombie that they instantly fester sores and rotted skin.
  • I might be okay with the zombies having slightly super-human strength, but a Spiderman-like ability to stick to walls/ceilings was a over the top — if they’re going to do that, I would have preferred to see that they had the strength to dig their fingers in and hold-on.
  • Toward the end two survivors who where military broke into a civilian firearms store — there are a few problems with this…..
    • Usually gun stores are highly secure, you don’t just push the door open
    • I would have preferred that the film made the weapons realistic.  Civilian versions of military style weapons are only available in semi-automatic, not full-auto (semi-auto: you pull the trigger and the gun fires once, commonly &/or intentionally incorrectly called an ‘assault weapon’ / full-auto: the weapon continues to fire as long as you hold the trigger AKA a machine gun).

Day of the Dead (2008) at IMDB

The Crazies (1973)

Red Blood

(Written part way through viewing the film) This is probably at least a 1/2 decent film but it doesn’t adequately hold my attention. I should probably watch it again sometime when I’m sitting still — I’d like to see how it influences the 2009 version of the film. This film looks like it was made in the 1970s — oh yeah, because it was! The look of it, the story telling, the fashions — everything — all of which just adds to the campiness of it. (Written after viewing the film) The film seemed to end without a point — which isn’t to say that it didn’t have one, its more that it generally didn’t hold my attention well enough to notice one — all of a sudden a guy stripped, got lifted out of the danger zone, and the credits started rolling amid some paltry excuse for a 70s-ballad style song.

The Crazies (1973) at IMDB

 

The Crazies (2010)

Green Oozee – BagpiperDon’s +/- Top-10

I quite liked this flick — enough so that I believe I’d like to own a copy. It showed me some new stuff for a zombie film — largely with the ground-level very survivor-perspective of people in a situation trying to sort out whats going/gone on and what to do and the confusion that would come with that (much like 28 Days Later). While it kind of had the typical zombie-film journey-theme (a group of humans decided that if they can travel from Point A they’ll be able to survive better at Point B), the main charactres didn’t as-much seem to know where they were going. My understanding is that the film had a limited budget, but the cast/crew did a good job making it look like it had some money behind the production.

The Crazies (2010) at IMDB

Searching for Sugar Man (2012)

Written 10Oct2016 – 28Oct2016

“Searching for Sugar Man” is the unbelievable-but-true story of an iconic musician who did not know he was famous – for his influential music and for seeming to have never existed.

Yeah – you read that right.

One night in 1968 Detroit, two renowned producers (Mike Theodore & Dennis Coffey) intentionally went to a back-alley bar to hear a musician known as Sixto Rodriguez.  So impressed with his craft they quickly offered him a recording deal.  To their surprise, when his first albums were released in 1970 & 71, Rodriguez’s albums tanked.

As the singer/songwriter faded into obscurity, bootleg recordings of Rodriguez’s surprised album found their way around apartheid South Africa. Here, unbeknownst to him, over the following two decades Rodriguez became a cultural phenomenon.

“Searching for Sugar Man” gives the account of two Cape Town fans in the late 1990s endeavoring to solve the mysteries surrounding their hero.

LINKS

NOTE – Dennis Coffey & Mike Theodore also worked with Marvin Gaye, Stevie Wonder, The Temptations, The Supremes, Gladys Knight, Ringo Starr, The Four Tops, and Wilson Pickett, among others.  Yeah, these guys are no joke.  Also, this film does not draw attention to the fact that Sixto Rodriguez did get attention in Australia – which it receives some criticism for, suggesting that it is ‘myth building.  The argument against that is that it is not attempting to build a story about this artist but instead to tell the story of the two fans and their search into the history of this artist.

Change Taking Place(?)

Over a year ago I made my biggest residential move yet — from Seattle to beautiful Whidbey Island.  Not that far, I know– but being an old-school Seattlelite, it’s kind of a big deal.  If you weren’t born & grew up in the city decades ago, you might not understand, just bear with me…

Without getting much into how Seattle has gone down-hill since the 1980s, I’ll just say that moving to Whidbey has been good for me … mostly.  The attitude and pace of the island is much like how Seattle was as so many years ago.  Island-living is familiar to me as my family has history here and I spent a lot of time visiting while growing up.  This made for a comfortable transition also enabling me to move closer to my parents and to help support them.  Then there is the matter of having dealt with 2 burglars, 1 car prowler, and a few uncontrolled threatening dogs and one of their idiot owners … hence ‘mostly’ … but I digress.

A large portion of my move occurred relative to employment — and my gross lack thereof.  This came with the projection of starting a baking business for myself, which I’m excited to say looks to launch soon.  I have many ideas of how I want to develop this company as employment for myself and others and as an extension of my creativity.  Keep an eye for Whidbey Island Baking Company and my biscotti, in the mean time look up Biscotti Journey on FaceBook.

When I moved from Seattle to Whidbey I told myself that I wanted to keep current as a Seattle musician — I wanted to keep working with musicians I’d already connected with along with gaining new experiences.  I also wanted to keep gigging with my band and being of service to private events.

A year+ later I have found that this has proven to be challenging and costly.  Frankly, when I moved to Whidbey I was broke — which included no longer having a personal vehicle.  I’m grateful for public transportation and the use of crash space at friends’ places, but the dividends of doing most-things-musical in The Greater Seattle-etc Area I’ve found to not be worth it.  Mostly what I mean by this is solo gigs.

The long and short of this is that I’ve been wrestling with what I want to do and how I want to do it.  The greatest expense to my playing in the Greater Seattle Area is my time.  I want to still play with my band, I want to work with other musicians, and I want to do some solo gigs though I imagine I’m going to be much more selective about my private gigs.  More than anything I want to focus on developing my playing and work on my album concepts — I’d also like to try and start performing house concerts.  In truth, with a company about to launch, that’s also going to take a lot of my time, and I predict I’d have to direct prospective clients for private performances to other qualified pipers.  I’d like to further develop what I’ve explored only a bit before — building my presences online with video broadcasts, YouTube videos, and e-marketing my albums.

Mostly, I see this as a shift in my existence as a musician an opportunity to direct myself on what I’ve most wanted to do.  It is an interesting question to ask musicians thought — if you could only do one which would be, only record and not perform or only perform but not have any recordings to sell or get played on radios or stereos?

Nae Regrets News

Nae Regrets, my Celtic-rock/fusion band, is gearing up for our 4th weekend performing at Northwest Folklife, providing high-energy performances to fantastic audiences. We are working hard to prepare and release our second studio album “Widdendream” at this year’s event — be there to enjoy us perform and to get your copy of the new album.
Check out the band’s website at NaeRegrets.com where you can also download 2 free MP3s on the Free Stuff page.

Free Stuff on BagpiperDon.com

How Cool is Free Stuff?

I posted 2 free MP3 downloads on my site yesterday — unedited tracks from my Celtic-rock/fusion band Nae Regrets’ recently released album “Alive at Northwest Folklife 2009”. Check out the newly added “Free Stuff” page on my site for the downloads. Album copies are available through BagpipeDiscs.com, Amazon.com, myself and Nae Regrets’ snare drummer Andrew in Vancouver BC.
ALSO, I recently submitted a track from the album to to IRFT Celtic (online) Radio — look them up and request music by Nae Regrets!

Smallpipe Album – Back to Work!

I’m very happy to announce that I am back to work on an album I started before my recent round of school. For this project, titled “Building Fire”, I will be playing my fireside smallpipes, and will be joined by a number of talented accompanists between the US and Ireland. My goal is to release Building Fire during the first half of 2011, following it with a sister-album re-working the original material into an electronic/techno remix edition titled “ElectriFire”.