Saturday, February 18, 2006

A Big Break?

Anyone who has ever been in a band hopes for the big break, being discovered and the dream of becoming the next hot phenomena. Several "garage bands", comprised of high school and college students in Arizona are getting their shot -- courtesy of the Circle K Tempe Music Festival. Today, six bands played three original songs at Desert Ridge Marketplace. The same will be repeated over the next few weeks, whittling down semi-finalists to a show on COX 7, "Cox Rox" where viewers can vote for their favorites. Five bands will perform at the Music Festival, with the winner opening for John Mayer on April 1.
We got there early, had front row seats and watched these musicians perform. They played their hearts out, carting their gear in and out of the stage in the middle of the mall. Their parents carried amps and speakers; friends helped cart guitars, drums and assorted gear. The small crowd was mostly family and friends cheering them on -- taking pictures and sharing the concert via cellphones. Their energy and enthusiasm was contagious. Parents and grandparents rocked along with them, mouthing the words, supporting and encouraging their dreams. It was hard not to rock with their songs when they tried so hard. Some of the bands will go on to the next stage, others will not. But, no matter what, they touched their dreams today, and that is what this was all about. We are looking forward to going back for the other rounds and look forward to seeing who gets big break.

Thursday, February 16, 2006

I Don't Think So

Accept no substitutes -- there is only one "Rat Pack", as epitomized in the original "Ocean's Eleven". The headline in the paper today said "Country Rat Pack", explaining that a trio of country stars is touring the nation as the Country Rat Pack, sporting a nifty name for a solid group of Nashville's second-stringers with a twangy sound. Whatever or whomever they are, they cannot duplicate the charm, kitsch and chemistry of the real deal.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

Westminster Dog Show

Luckily, we happened on the finals of the Westminster Dog Show on television tonight. We love watching and cheering for these champions, picking favorites and poking fun at the announcers and handlers. The winner was not our first choice -- we liked the Dalmation and the Scottish Deerhound personally. I cannot help but think of the contrast in the lives of homeless people and animals on the street who have no food, shelter or medical care, when these dogs are treated as royalty.
We will likely never have a dog in our house again, but dreams of Andy, the Retriever will be around for awhile. The dog show, though not as funny as with Fred Willard in "Best In Show" is a wonderful diversion from reality. We did try to get a Doberman a few years ago, after watching a red Dobie, Indy, win the Westminster. He was not the right dog for our house and it ended sadly for us --- but the dog is happy and a champion himself.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

Super Bowl 40 Commercials

We planned ahead for Super Bowl XL -- think of how rarely you use Roman numerals. I originally wrote XXXX, but that looked weird, so I changed it back to Super Bowl 40.
Anyhow, Super Bowl commercials were a big deal in our house. We staked out our chairs, armed with rating sheetings and pens. We were so busy watching commercials that we did not eat all the snacks planned for the event. As a Seattle-born viewer, I was saddened by the game calls and outcome.
My favorite commercial was predictable, since I met "Duke" at a traveling Clydesdale road show in Seattle 20 years ago -- yes, the young Clydesdale pulling (or so we think) the cart aided by two big horses, unseen to the parents. I cried as it was so sweet. I am hoping that our summer travel plans include a visit to one of the Clydesdale stables around the country in search of the little horse.
The Dove commercial, aimed at young women and their self esteem was excellent. I deal daily with those topics (weight, being different, popularity, fitting in) with my daughter and her friends -- they hit the topic right on. We all have to do whatever it takes to keep our teens from doing self destructive behavior.
The revolving refridgerator reminded me of the scenes in "Blast from the Past" and was a favorite until forced to eliminate some of my choices by my fellow reviewers. It got bumped by the choreguys on the roof as it was so clever and elicited a laugh.
Overall, my ratings were based on whether they were original and made me laugh or cry the first time seen. The one about working with jackasses was just plain funny as it is so true for so many people -- who has not worked with a bunch of jackasses?