December 13, 2008
?Cadillac Records? is a musical drama about rock ?n? roll before Elvis Presley and is based on a true story. However, screenwriter, director and relative newcomer Darnell Martin fails in her attempt to write a cohesive script, covering too much with too little exposition. Leonard Chess (Adrien Brody) opens a club in a black neighborhood in Chicago, building his success with the talents of 17-year-old Little Walter (Columbus Short), a harmonica genius, and electric guitarist and blues singer Muddy Waters (Jeffrey Wright)
January 20, 2014
If you dig Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn, you're going to hate Little Victor, an untamed maverick whose raw, primitive sounds are the utter antithesis of the contemporary blues model. The offbeat singer-guitarist, who appears at Burbank's Joe's Great American and Viva Cantina this week, eschews the genre's prevalent trend for streamlined six-string virtuosity in favor of wild shouting, stabbing guitar and heavy, almost hypnotic, rhythmic repetition. It's very rough stuff, but is deeply rooted in blues tradition, and in Little Victor's case, was learned firsthand at the side of such hallowed blues masters as Louisiana Red and Hubert Sumlin.
April 22, 2009
Gene LoGuercio, proprietor of Chili John’s restaurant, quietly passed away at 6:30 p.m. April 13 in the company of his wife and sons at his home in Frazier Park. For the past year or so, I’ve been watching my business neighbor slowly being eaten away by pancreatic cancer and the radiation therapy used to treat it. Even to an observer it’s a harrowing experience. I can’t imagine enduring it myself. Of course, he’s a good man. Hardworking, honest, sincere, dedicated to his family — an always shook-your-hand- like-he-meant-it kind of guy. It’s been a most humbling experience to see his friends and regular customers coming by asking about him or chatting him up when he was well enough to be on the premises.
August 8, 2001
Wow. The July 28 Burbank Leader certainly did succeed in getting my blood boiling. What an extraordinary messenger of misinformation, at least where "sports" is concerned. First, prominently displayed on the front page, there was an article, "District high schools could go artificial," noting that the Burbank school board is now considering installing artificial turf at both of the Burbank high schools. This prospect is a direct response to concerns about maintenance expenses for natural turf.
September 13, 2008
The Florida Supreme Court last week tossed out two statewide ballot initiatives aimed at ending a long-standing ban on public funding for religious institutions. Should church groups participate in government programs, or would religious liberty and public education have both been badly damaged? Here we have the Florida State Supreme Court ordering that its citizens can’t vote on the use of public funds. Meanwhile, here in California we have a state Supreme Court that has refused to honor how its citizens have already voted on the sanctity of marriage.
March 26, 2008
This just in: A Southern California man has just lifted a half ton of crates and carried them across a warehouse — in his mouth. Not far away, a certain stage show has been deemed so dazzling that it made one reviewer feel as if she were struck by the process of fading. And in the Catalina area, a tourist has learned how to propel himself forward on a bicycle through the sheer power of salesmanship. Welcome to News of the Jeered, a new segment in which we make fun of other people’s mistakes even though they don’t deserve it. The reason the authors of these accidental news items don’t deserve this mockery is that their mistakes are very understandable and very common.
March 2, 2005
Like all great novels, Jane Austen's "Pride and Prejudice" speaks to different cultures; and like all good movies, "Bride and Prejudice" manages to stitch these cultures together in a colorful mosaic. "Bride and Prejudice" is the director Gurinder Chadha's ("Bend It Like Beckham") modern, cross-cultural and musical interpretation of the ambitious Mrs. Bennet's search for appropriate grooms for her daughters and of Elizabeth Bennet's and Will Darcy's misunderstanding and later enlightenment of each other.