Foster Brooks Roasts Don Rickles

Foster Brooks Roasts Don Rickles

Foster Brooks was a comedian at the height of his popularity in the 1960s and 1970s whose act consisted of “drunk” performances. He’s remembered most for his numerous appearances on the Dean Martin Celebrity Roast program where he would often assume the identity of a fictional character from the roastee’s past. Like all great live performance comedians, Foster Brooks’ timing was impeccable, and I’m amazed at his ability to remain in character while others around him were laughing so hard that they had to wipe the tears from their eyes. He was a true master at what he did. Brooks died in 2001 at the age of 89. Here’s a fun appearance where Brooks is roasting fellow comedian Don Rickles.    ...

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Remembering Elmore Leonard

Remembering Elmore Leonard

Elmore Leonard, the prolific and respected crime novelist, died last week on August 20, 2013 at his home following complications from a recent stroke. He was 87. You can read his obituary in the Washington Post here. Known for his pitch-perfect dialogue, memorable characters, and great humor, Leonard authored nearly 50 books (including the novels Bandits, Get Shorty, Rum Punch, and Raylan). He began writing pulp westerns in the 1950s because, as he says, he enjoyed watching westerns at the time. He originally earned $90 for his short story 3:10 to Yuma, which was made into a film starring Russel Crowe and Christian Bale in 2007. Rum Punch was the basis for Quentin Tarantino’s 1997 film Jackie Brown. Most recently, his short story Fire in the Hole was the inspiration for the FX hit series Justified starring Timothy Olyphant.   Elmore Leonard on Writing The two clips below are from a January 2012 interview and Q&A session Elmore Leonard conducted with The Center for Fiction. In the clips, Leonard discusses his writing philosophy (“If it’s not fun, why do it?”), his ear for dialogue, creative process, and long writing career, including his famous 10 Rules for Writing Fiction.        ...

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Bob Seger – Fire Inside

Bob Seger – Fire Inside

It’s always a good day when you hear a little Bob Seger. The heartland rocker’s first album – Ramblin’ Gamblin’ Man – debuted in 1969. In 2004, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and the Songwriters Hall of Fame in 2012. The official Fire Inside video below comes from Seger’s 1991 album by the same name. I fell in love with this song the first time I heard it on the radio in Bozeman, Montana back in the early 1990s. Fire Inside is not only a great song, it’s also great poetry and astute psychology. Seger nails the frenetic desperation we sometimes find ourselves succumbing to as we search for the true fire inside anywhere but inside. When we search for the “fire inside” in the external realm, we end up “Where the cautious loners and emotional wrecks/Do an acting stretch as a way to hide the obvious/And the lights go down and they dance real close/And for one brief instant they pretend they’re safe and warm.” Damn – how’s that for honesty?   Bob Seger Performing Fire Inside     Bob Seger on CBS Sunday Morning 2007   I also found this clip from 2007 where CBS Sunday Morning featured Seger. He has some great comments about family, the creative process, and saying that he wanted his legacy to be that he told the truth....

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Rumi – Poet of the Heart

Rumi – Poet of the Heart

So there’s this cool 1998 documentary on Jelaluddin Rumi (embedded below from YouTube). Rumi: Poet Of The Heart explores the life, poetry, and vision of the great 13th century Sufi mystical poet and original “whirling dervish.” Rumi’s poetry is a vision of love and ecstasy and the longing for union with the divine, as relevant and compelling today as it was 700 years ago:       Only Breath Not Christian or Jew or Muslim, not Hindu Buddhist, sufi, or zen. Not any religion or cultural system. I am not from the East or the West, not out of the ocean or up from the ground, not natural or ethereal, not composed of elements at all. I do not exist, am not an entity in this world or the next, did not descend from Adam or Eve or any origin story. My place is placeless, a trace of the traceless. Neither body or soul. I belong to the beloved, have seen the two worlds as one and that one call to and know, first, last, outer, inner, only that breath breathing human being. – Translated by Coleman Barks   Rumi – Poet of the Heart is an impressive achievement, less a traditional documentary than an experience itself. It features contributions from Coleman Barks (listening to Barks reading Rumi’s poetry is a mystical experience in itself), Robert Bly, Huston Smith, Michael Meade, Deepak Chopra, and many others.          ...

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Sungha Jung Videos

Sungha Jung Videos

Sungha Jung is a teenage Korean guitarist phenom with three albums, a huge YouTube following, and a style that’s both soothing and electrifying at the same time. Most of the hundreds of his uploaded videos are covers – interpretations is a better word – of popular songs and scores, although he includes his own compositions on his albums. I first came across Sungha Jung accompanying Jason Mraz on a live performance of “I’m Yours” in South Korea. I think the video is a pretty appropriate and classy introduction to Jung if, like me, you weren’t aware of him before. I’ve embedded the video below along with a whole gallery of other videos below that. Enjoy! Sungha Jung and Jason Mraz Performing “I’m Yours” More Sungha Jung Guitar Videos YouTube responded to TubePress with an HTTP 410 - No longer available  ...

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