Archive for February, 2008

Musea Art Contest 2/26/08

February 26, 2008

The answer to, and winner (if any) for, our last contest question of: Which came first the fiction or the physics? The DARK SIDE OF THE FORCE (fiction from Star Wars films) OR The DARK FORCE (physics term for the mysterious force that causes cosmos expansion to speed up). Science is in a real spot. Everything they saw in the sky, the stars, planets, etc., we now know only takes up the 4% of ordinary matter. Frosting on the reality cake! The rest is something like 74% Dark Force, or Dark Energy, and 22% Dark Matter. And we know virtually nothing about these two behemoths. It’s like our universe is 96% ??? IS The fictional Force of Star Wars. Though as one reader commented: “Your question is ill-posed as it conflates several concepts.” I do that often. Here is my reasoning on this one. Though Einstein had his finger on something dark force-ish way way back, it wasn’t till about 1998 that the force was actually named, and the force in Star Wars was there in 1977 I had no correct eligible answers. Which is a good thing so I didn’t have to defend my answer in court! You know that 4% that we live in. I don’t dumb down, so please wise up. Now on to a new Q.: Win a copy of my NEW cd CALLED ‘30′! – (first anti-band CD) or my NEWER cd CALLED ‘NEXT” or my NEWEST cd CALLED ‘THIRDS” (May ‘07) or my SOON TO BE RELEASED cd CALLED ‘FOUR-TH’ Hunkasaurus.com if you are the first to e-mail me at THIS NEW ADDRESS: tom-hendricks@att.net with the correct answer to this art question* This major film studio was started by 4 people; One was America’s sweetheart, another was her beau, another was a clown, and the fourth was a director. They were 4 of the most famous people living. Name the Studio and the 4 founders. Good luck puzzlers! Readers, IF you like these puzzles and would like to resend them to friends, post them on any newsgroup, or any website, please do so. The more the merrier! MAY ‘07 – NOW on the Musea website – on our contents page, A NEW Year Of Quizzes – yes all of this past year’s contest questions (’06-’07) and their answers – check them out! Musea.us JULY ‘07 – NOW on the Musea blog – This and all the most recent contests at https://musea.wordpress.com SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING NEW!!! Tom Hendricks (editor of the 15 year old zine Musea) Musea.us ( Zine, named as one of the best in the US by UTNE magazine) Hunkasaurus.com ( Music -3 full cd’s of Post-Bands free Music) Musea.wordpress.com (Blog for Musea) myspace.com/Musea (New Friends welcome)

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Musea E-mail Club #415: Oscar Recap

February 25, 2008

Readers, It’s the day after, and time for our special annual feature of Melanie Pruit’s recap of the Oscars. Well, last night, the Oscars that almost didn’t happen turned out to be the Oscars that were just about right. First, the ceremony clocked in at a most respectable 3 hours and 15 or so minutes. Also, the host, Jon Stewart, seemed much more at ease than when he hosted a few years ago. From now on, I’ll always a soft spot in my heart for Stewart because he brought back to the stage Marketa Irglova the co-winner of the Best Song award after she was cut-off at the mic for a commercial break. Good for her, and good for Stewart. Btw, in case you missed it, Irglova and Glen Hansard, not only wrote the song but also performed it in the film (Once) and played the lead characters. The set they performed the song on last night, with guitars suspended around them evoked the music store in which they performed the song in the film. Meanwhile, Amy Adams looked lost on that big stage as she sang “The Happy Cleaning Song” to no one in particular, it seemed. Okay, well no film swept the Oscar though I’m sure the mainstream media will claim otherwise. Sure, No Country for Old Men was the big winner, taking home Best Picture, Director (Joel & Ethan Coen), Supporting Actor (Javier Bardem) and Best Adapted Screenplay, but 4 wins out of 8 nominations is hardly a sweep. The second most honored film was The Bourne Ultimatum, which took both sound awards (one for best final sound mix, the other for best sound effects), and Best Editing. Btw, everyone keeps making such a fuss about the haircut sported by Bardem in No Country. I guess it does look kind of odd, but people seem to have forgotten that the movie takes place in 1980, so the haircut makes more sense within that context. Think about it. I’m less concerned with Bardem’s hair than I am with the fact that in all his televised acceptance speeches, he’s never specifically thanked the actor who plays opposite him in the convenience store scene that has been broadcast over and over at every awards show. The scene is obviously effective or it wouldn’t be aired so much, so why hasn’t Bardem graciously acknowledged the other actor’s participation. Okay, for me, the best win of the night for me was Daniel Day Lewis for Best Actor. His performance in There Will Be Blood is, from first frame to last, a thing of beauty (albeit twisted beauty)–and he’s got one of the all time greatest closing lines. DDL won the Oscar for two very important reasons. First of all, he just had a great, well written, character. His character was the essence of the film. But, mainly, he played that character better than anybody else could have…it’s hard to imagine anyone else in that role: George Clooney, Johnny Depp, Brad Pitt, and Tom Cruise. No, I can’t imagine anyone else in the role. And when I see DDL onstage accepting award after award, it’s hard for me to imagine that even he played the role, so complete is his immersion in the character. Good work, DDL, and congratulations! Second biggie of the night for me was Tilda Swinton as Best Supporting Actress for Michael Clayton. I liked the legalese thriller Michael Clayton, and I certainly liked Swinton in her cut-throat role, but mainly I’m pleased for her because I’ve been waiting for her to at least get a nomination for 15 years, ever since she sashayed through the period epic Orlando (based on Virginia Woolf’s novel about a character who lives for hundreds of years and incidentally changes sex along the way). As I have pointed out several times this season, Swinton was also Oscar worthy in 2001’s The Deep End, and 2005’s The Narnia Chronicles. An Oscar for Michael Clayton is better than nothing. That said, I feel kind of bad for veteran Ruby Dee (American Gangster) and Amy Ryan (Gone Baby Gone). I hated Swinton’s black one armed potato sack dress, but I loved her irreverent speech. And I’m happy for Marion Cotillard (La Vie en Rose) for her Best Actress win. It is true that La Vie en Rose’s forward and backward leaps in time were distracting (thus hampering my impression of the film), but Cotillard’s performance was the real deal. And, of course, I’m a huge fan of Edith Piaf, so I think it’s great that she’s been memorialized via Cotillard’s Oscar winning portrayal. Oh, and wasn’t her cosmetic transformation awesome? The Best Makeup award was most deserved. And, yes, it’s true: none of the four winning performers are American. DDL is Irish-English (dual citizenship), Swinton is English by way of Scotland and Australia, Bardem is Spanish, and, of course, Cotillard is French. I guess that’s worth noting on some level, but I don’t know that it’s indicative of anything since three of the four perfs were in American made films (and DDL and Bardem were heavily favored by the American based media). Cotillard now joins Sophia Loren (Two Women, 1961), and Roberto Benigni (Life is Beautiful, 1998) as Oscar’s only truly foreign language winners in the leading acting categories. BTW, this is NOT the first time 4 Non-Americans have swept the acting categories. I can recall at least one other instance. In 1964, Rex Harrison (My Fair Lady) and Julie Andrews (Mary Poppins), both Brits, took Best Actor and Best Actress, while Peter Ustinov (Topkapi), A Brit of Russian descent, and Russian born Lila Kedrova (Zorba the Greek) took Best Supporting Actor and Actress. I would not have complained if Julie Christie had won, because I’m a lifelong fan, but I could never convince myself that Away from Her was truly Oscar worthy. Congratulations are in order for costume designer Alexandra Byrne. Last night Byrne won for Elizabeth: The Golden Age to compensate for the one she lost 9 years ago for the first Elizabeth movie starring Cate Blanchett. That year, she lost to the award to Sandy Powell for Shakespeare in Love. I also applaud cinematographer Robert Elswit, previously nominated for the black and white Good Night, and Good Luck (2005). As I wrote at the time, it’s hard to win a cinematography award for a movie that’s all interiors. There Will Be Blood, filmed near Marfa Tx (like No Country… and Giant, from the 1950’s) is filled with one spectacular vista after another–and Jack Fisk’s incredible art direction. Still, Sweeney Todd was a great art director’s movie, so the award in that category was fitting. (Sweeney certainly wasn’t a great singer’s movie, Depp’s Oscar nominated performance not withstanding.) I hope I catch up with animated nominee Persepolis soon, but in the meantime, I’m still a huge fan of Ratatouille, and I’m glad it won. I would have loved to have seen it in the Best Picture race. Yes, the movie is part of the evil Disney empire, but that doesn’t diminish its overall quality. Meanwhile, speaking of the evil empire, it’s time for ABC to retire Barbara Walters. Her special last night was an embarrassment of “journalism.” Of course, Walters is part of the ABC network, which is a part of the whole Disney conglomerate. And whom did Walters interview? Miley Cyrus, aka Hannah Montana, a Disney product (and already so overexposed, there’s hardly anything that a Walters interview could reveal). Also, Walters interviewed Vanessa Williams, of the same network’s Ugly Betty show. Now, come on, Vanessa Williams? I mean, I adore Williams, and I’m glad Ugly Betty is a hit but aren’t we all familiar with her story by now? I kept thinking, why didn’t Walters interview interesting people like Daniel Day Lewis, double nominee Cate Blanchett, Ruby Dee, or Hal Holbrook? Oh, and speaking of Miley Cyrus, she’s the reason why red carpet interviews should be scrapped. I can’t quote what she said word for word, but it was something the effect that the Oscars are an amazing event and to be there and be a part of it is amazing. Okay, Miley, thanks for sharing. The surprise of the night? Has to be the reviled Golden Compass for Best Visual Effects. Oh, don’t get me wrong, the effects in the film were fantastic, but the movie was hardly a box office sensation–and typically the winner in the Visual Effects category is a major box office champ. I also want to take a moment to correct the official media version of the Diablo Cody story. Even this morning, Cody, the Oscar winning writer of Juno, was described as a former exotic dancer turned writer. The truth is more likely that Cody, a communications major in college, is a former journalist turned exotic dancer turned author turned blogger and screenwriter. I think her underdog story–which is how she was sold to the American public–is a snow job. I mean, yes, it was touching when she cried and thank her family at the podium and everything, but her almost see through, leopard print, halter gown was ugly and she barely outpaced Tilda Swinton as the evening’s worst dressed. Btw, Cody reportedly wore a pair of Stuart Weitzman heels valued at over $1,000,000.00. But why???? All five Best Pictures won at least one award: 4 for No Country, two for There Will Be Blood (Actor, Cinematography), Atonement (Best Score), Juno (Original Screenplay), Michael Clayton (Supporting Actress). My vote for the Best Dressed goes to Katherine Heigl, looking for all the world like a red draped reincarnation of Marilyn Monroe. Red, in one shade or another, was the color of the night: Helen Mirren, Julie Christie, Ruby Dee (natch…I mean her name is Ruby, okay), and Anne Hathaway. My second best dressed vote goes to Hilary Swank who looked so elegant with her upswept do and black one shouldered gown. Hilary should have looked this good when she won her second Oscar for Million Dollar Baby three years ago. I was also impressed by Keri Russell in an ice-gray ballgown. Of course, Russell is gorgeous anyway. Also kudos to Amy Adams, of the naturally red hair and strapless forest green gown. And I kind of liked Cotillard’s white, almost outrageous, mermaid gown. Nicole Kidman in basic black? Not so much. It looked like she’d had a wardrobe malfunction backstage with her necklace. She looked like sloppy Patty Duke in Valley of the Dolls. Worst hair: Anybody in a ratty ponytail: Ellen Page, Cameron Diaz, and Jennifer Garner. For good-looking men, I’ll opt for Bardem, Clooney, Denzel, DDL Speaking of Hathaway, her pairing with Steve Carrell as presenters was no accident. They’ll soon be seen in the big screen version of Get Smart. I don’t think we need such a thing, but if it is to be, then Carrell is the ideal choice. I think I need to wrap it up here. If anybody wants to respond with questions or comments, please do. (Send them to Musea and we will pass them on to Pruit.) Thanks for your consideration, Mp “Mysticism doesn’t come naturally to an ironist…” –Pauline Kael

Musea E-mail club #414: Start Your Own Radio Station

February 21, 2008

Readers, We net users have a new opportunity available to us in net radio. It is a real choice to get our message out. The site that I like for net radio is live365.com. It has literally thousands of stations in every genre as well as hundreds of talk radio stations. Hundreds are professional level, but thousands are individuals sharing their musical favorites. There are pages full of choices of stations that lplay Beatles songs. But you also find the quirky radio station such as the Dr. Who Radio Station,dedicated to the long running British Sci-Fi series, or Bombshell Radio, spotlighting the songs of the bombshell beauties from the 30’s,40’s and 50’s. Some stations have commercials, many don’t. It reminds me of a myspace for radio stations where instead of a myPAGE, there is a myRADIO STATION. It’s quite fun to explore. And tryout this or that genre. Right now I’m listening while I type to one of my 14 favorites. I’ll list them to show you the scope of the music offered – and to show off some of my favorite types of music: And remember for every station I chose there were many more choices on two levels: a free just sign up level, and a VIP level that costs the listeners a little more but eliminates all ads. There’s a surf music station (I’m listening to it now), an all acoustic guitar station, a bossa nova station (Lots of Jobim), Canuckteach Crooners – a big bands and divas station (Lots of Billie Holiday), a classical piano station – piano only or piano and orchestra, old time radio mysteries station, old time radio all kinds of shows (Fibber McGee and Molly for ex.), A classic jazz station of music from the 50’s and 60’s, The Cavern – Beatles and other music of the mid 60’s, a doo-wop station, A Sinatra and Sinatra songs sung by others jazz station, a rockabilly station, a folk music station, and a lounge and orchestral pop station (pure cheesy fun), It is truely a goldmine of great music. And unlike mainstream radio, these stations play music based on quality – and it shows. It really shows! But beyond that there is the freedom for us to have our own radio stations for a reasonable price. I know a number of readers that should have their own stations. I belong to the ULA, Underground Literary Alliance. They should have their own radio station to promote indie writers and challenge the mainstream abuses. I know one of my readers has a wonderful all Texas music news website. How great it would be to have an all Texas music station (surprisingly there isn’t one there yet). I know another reader that has been trying to start a community radio station. This might be the way to go – a national community radio station (there are hundreds of talk radio stations too). I looked at the fees and they seem reasonable. For a personal station, you would pay anywhere from 10-50 a month to broadcast. For a professional station it can run to a thousand or more a month. I wish I knew more about the details. But for those interested – check it out. It may be a way to bring back the media to the community and bring back good music! House News, The new Musea has been printed. It is my FIVE DOORS issue, featuring the five main doors to the art revolution. And why not a radio station of r art revolution news? Look for the new issue in your mail, at the regular stops, or on our musea.us website soon.

Musea Art Contest 2/19/08

February 19, 2008

The answer to, and winner (if any) for, our last contest question of: This fictional character had these 3 middle names: Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint. What name do we know this character by? IS PIPPILOTTA Delicatessa Windowshade Mackrelmint Efraimsdottir LONGSTOCKING. Yep it’s PIPPI the worlds strongest girl. I highly recommend all the Pippi classic books! And some of the Pippi movies are great too! I had no correct answers. Even her monkey, Mr. Nilsson, and her horse, Old Man, knew better! I don’t dumb down, so please wise up. Now on to a new Q.: Win a copy of my NEW cd CALLED ‘30′! – (first anti-band CD) or my NEWER cd CALLED ‘NEXT” or my NEWEST cd CALLED ‘THIRDS” (May ‘07) or my SOON TO BE RELEASED cd CALLED ‘FOUR-TH’ Hunkasaurus.com if you are the first to e-mail me at THIS NEW ADDRESS: tom-hendricks@att.net with the correct answer to this art question* Which came first the fiction or the physics? The DARK SIDE OF THE FORCE (fiction from Star Wars films) OR The DARK FORCE (physics term for the mysterious force that causes cosmos expansion to speed up). Science is in a real spot. Everything they saw in the sky, the stars, planets, etc., we now know only takes up the 4% of ordinary matter. The rest is something like 74% Dark Force, or Dark Energy, and 22% Dark Matter. And these two behemoths we know virtually nothing about. It’s like our universe is 96% ??? Must give some proof, and only one try on this one. Good luck puzzlers! Readers, IF you like these puzzles and would like to resend them to friends, post them on any newsgroup, or any website, please do so. The more the merrier! MAY ‘07 – NOW on the Musea website – on our contents page, A NEW Year Of Quizzes – yes all of this past year’s contest questions (’06-’07) and their answers – check them out! Musea.us JULY ‘07 – NOW on the Musea blog – This and all the most recent contests at https://musea.wordpress.com SOMEBODY DO SOMETHING NEW!!!

Musea E-mail club #413 Music Website Updated: 60+ Songs

February 16, 2008

Readers, Hunkasaurus and His Pet Dog Guitar have a new and rennovated house of music. Please come and visit our music site at hunkasaurus.com. (Click on the MUSIC button) Webmaster Matthew Creed has redone the two cd’s that were there and added a third. Now the site has 3 full cd’s of Hunkasaurus music with over 60 songs total. They include “30”, “Next”, and “Thirds”. He has set up an easy breezy player for each cd that gives you the title of the song, and a short description, as the music plays. Here’s a sample of one to listen to while you’re reading the rest of this post. http://music.hunkasaurus.com/greygreen.mp3 (It’s one of my favorites – an original instrumental that builds with passion as it progresses.) The music is in every kind of style from songs sung to instrumentals. (Pet Dog Guitar’s favorite is “Wooden Heart”). And they are in just about every type of style that one can play on a guitar and sing; from rockabilly to blues, from country to bossa nova, from lounge to classical, and more. Half are classics – some of the best songs ever, and half are originals from my 45 years of writing music.   Come one and come all and hear the first and only music, POST-BANDS Music, that openly opposes bands. New century, new music, new directions. One singer, one guitar, one art revolution! I asked my webmaster his comments on the new site and he said, “We are taking hunkasaurus.com to a whole new level and hope to continue keeping the site updated with fresh news and content about Hunkasaurus and Pet Dog.” Most of the comments I’ve been getting from others, have been very positive. But there is always one … like that guy who sent me to earchives, that youtube for sound bites, for a two word review: http://www.the-earchives.com/earframe.asp?p=9553&ref=11 But don’t let that keep you away.! Decide on your own Hope You Enjoy the Music. I welcome your comments.


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