On a rare outing of this type, Wifey and I took in the “Local Grooves, Local Brews” night at House Of Blues in San Diego’s Gaslamp quarter Oct. 21.

14 bands, 4 songs each alternating between two stages.  It has to be a logistical nightmare, but SD’s ace promoter Cathryn Beeks pulled it off again.

I couldn’t last all night — I probably couldn’t have even 30 years ago.  The crowd grew thicker, the volume got louder, and it was really a stress-fest as the evening wore on.

I did discover one amazing band — opening group Queen Divas of the Universe had the crowd in the palm of their hands from their first power chords.

Queen Divas Of The Universe

Lady Rockers Queen Divas Of The Universe

Low point? Well, I don’t want to name names, and of course it’s all a matter of opinion, but when a group has nothing better to do than make outer-space sound effects, I think they need a little better career guidance.  Just sayin’ …

Volume is not an artistic achievement.  It’s usually a sign of animmature band or an inexperienced sound engineer.  An amped-up audience isn’t a good guide to good sound.

For somebody who doesn’t like crowds — and who usually doesn’t DO crowds — I think I held in there pretty good.  The bar was filled to the brim with people more interested in making the scene than with music lovers, so I admire all the performers for sticking out their, uh, necks and putting on a bang-up show.

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What better name for a musician and luthier — Keith Medley.

Keith has been obsessed with playing “… the music I heard in my heart.” But six strings wasn’t enough.  What about the 7-string guitar?  Or a 12-string?


A documentary called “Creative Spirit” will cover the building of this instrument and show Keith playing it.

He says it wasn’t so hard building it — but it took him a couple of years to learn to play it.

“Hall Of The Mountain King” Keith Medley and his 27-string Medley Guitar from Jon Grimson on Vimeo.
In the video, Keith plays classical theme “In The Hall Of The Mountain King” from Peer Gynt by Edvard Grieg (1875).

Not quite satisfied yet, Keith is reportedly working on a 34 string guitar.

Thanks to Oddity Central


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You have probably heard of people who collect election buttons — the ones that say things like “I Like Ike” given out during elections by the candidates. But there is a thriving vintage comic pin market.
Collectable pin-back with Popeye advertised in the Evening Ledger The objects are rightly called “pinbacks” since they are basically a picture printed on a button with a pin on the back. Logical, isn’t it?
A voluminous collection of these pinbacks is gathered at a site lovingly compiled by Mark Lansdown. I say “lovingly” because it is a free reference. There are many collector’s guides on the web, but I don’t know if anybody else has taken the time to gather all these pinbacks.
If you are a collector — or want to be — Mark maintains a mailing list and will notify you whenever he updates.

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You see an attractive young lady and you stop to watch her for a moment. Then, you realize something is a little bit — off.
Emily may not be the perfect girl — but she is an example of the closest thing to perfection that Computer Generated Graphics can produce.

Some think that animation that is too close to real-life it gets kinda creepy.


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Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter face off for the last time.

Lord Voldemort and Harry Potter face off for the last time.

With the release of the final Harry Potter movie, many are suffering a kind of separation anxiety.  No more Harry Potter?  What are we to do?

Well, if you are like me, you enjoyed the movies but never read any of the books.  I had always heard that the movies — although very well done — had to leave out a tremendous amount of JK Rowling’s story because of the limitations of cinematic treatments.

Reading a bunch of big, thick books sounds like a formidable task, but I found one person who was up to the task — Stephen Fry.

If you aren’t acquainted with Mr. Fry, this will be a terrific introduction.  He is thoroughly enjoyable as he adopts various tones of voice and accents for the multiplicity of characters in the Potter Universe.

Although I haven’t heard them, I understand in the US, Jim Dale was hired to read the books.  I love Mr. Dale’s voice, which I enjoyed during the cult-favorite “Pushing Daisies” where he also narrated.

If you spend a lot of time in the care, or just want to spend some relaxing time at home playing audio books, and you can’t get enough of Harry Potter, this is the perfect way to sooth your Potter-withdrawal.



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The Comics Reporter reminds us that there is no better way to end the week than a tour of the Al Hirschfeld Foundation web site.

Drawing of Bob Hope by Al Herschfeld

Bob Hope by Al Herschfeld

What? You’ve never heard of Hirschfeld?  He was the long-time Broadway caricaturist — his images captured the movies and Broadway plays and all the major players from both.

Go quickly — see the showcase and then keep Googling until you find more great line drawings from the legendary master artist.


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We Create Music

ASCAP features British composer Paul Leonard-Morgan — fresh off of his score for the hit movie Limitless, and he tells about the experience of scoring a major Hollywood movie.

He has scored various movies and TV series in the U.K. and worked with popular music bands, but nothing will blow your mind like a major motion picture.

Click here for unlimited access to Paul Leonard-Morgan’s website.


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