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Audiobooking 4 December 12, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Audio, Audiobooks, Comedy, Country, Film, Game Shows, History, Internet, Media, Music, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, Technology, Theatre, TV.
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Here is a list of all the audiobooks I’ve listened to in the 51 weeks since my previous “audiobooking” post:

These audiobooks got me through workouts, bedtime, long walks, and boredom.

In the case of Ron Perlman’s book, I found out after the “Legacy” chapter that Ron is politically active on social media. But I digress.

While I was obsessed with Game Show Network (now GSN) in the early 2000s, I saw plenty of Bill Anderson on Goodson-Todman game shows like Match Game and Password Plus. So, it was nice to be reacquainted with him and introduced to his music.

When you read a book, you don’t hear the tone and inflection that the author had in mind. Listening to Shelly Peiken read Confessions of a Serial Songwriter put what her words I read 16 months earlier into perspective.

Next year’s post will be #5, but will not mark five years of regularly listening to audiobooks. That milestone comes in a year and a half. In the meantime, I hope I’ve inspired you to give the above audiobooks a chance. Happy listening.

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Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour at Tilles Center December 4, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Comedy, Education, Football, Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Travel, TV.
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Saturday night, my friend Lori Downing and I saw the Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour at the Tilles Center for the Performing Arts on the campus of my college alma mater, LIU Post. Saxophonist Dave Koz’s friends are guitarist Peter White, horn player Rick Braun, pianist David Benoit, and singer Selina Albright, daughter of saxophonist Gerald Albright. (She plays the sax, too.) The rest of the band was made up of music director Randy Jacobs on guitar, Brian Simpson on keyboards, Nathaniel Kearney Jr. on bass, and Jay Williams on drums.

There are 149 pictures waiting below, but first, the backstory.

This was my first time at Tilles for something not involving WCWP since July 2009 when I saw John Tesh perform. It was also my first concert since Smooth Jazz for Scholars in May. Rick Braun was there for the first night.

I have been meaning to see Dave in concert for almost 11 years. My dad bought tickets to Dave’s Valentine’s Day show at Best Buy Theater in Manhattan in 2007, but an ice storm kept us from going. Four Februarys later, I had another opportunity to see Dave at the same theater with my friend, and loyal Dave Koz fan, Kelly Dacey. Unfortunately, plans came up for her and I missed out again.

For four years in a row, I saw Peter White Christmas – a spin-off of sorts of Dave’s Christmas tour featuring Peter and Rick Braun, along with saxophonist Mindi Abair – at the defunct IMAC (Inter-Media Art Center) in Huntington. (Here’s my recap of my fourth year.)

This year, to use a cliche, Dave got the band back together to mark the 20th anniversary of his tour. The inaugural tour coincided with his first Christmas album, December Makes Me Feel This Way. With Peter, Rick, and David Benoit, whom I hadn’t seen perform since five days before Hurricane Sandy, on board, I felt compelled to finally see Dave in concert. When I noticed in early September that the tour was coming to the Tilles Center on December 2, I immediately bought two tickets, inviting my friend Lori Downing to come with me. I picked those tickets up at Tilles’s Will Call booth on October 13, following my WCWP Homecoming Weekend show.

I was anxious in the days leading up to Dave’s show, worried that something would go wrong. Thankfully, nothing did.

Until Lori picked me up around 6:30 PM, it was a typical Saturday for me. I exercised, ran on the treadmill, went grocery shopping with my friend Rob Leeds, and watched NCAA Division I FBS (Football Bowl Subdivision) conference championship games.

I guided Lori from my house to LIU Post, going the route I’ve known for 18 years of my life: the Seaford-Oyster Bay Expressway (NY 135) north, the Long Island Expressway (I-495) west, NY 106/107 north, breaking off into 107 north, Northern Boulevard (NY 25A) west, and the west entrance to LIU Post. I usually went in the east entrance to be let off at Post Hall (where the Academic Resource Center was) or WCWP, but I directed her to the other one since we were going to Tilles.

We arrived just after 7PM, but had to wait a half hour for the concert hall doors to open.

Our tickets were for row JJ, which I affectionately called the Uecker seats, a reference to an infamous Miller Lite commercial from 1984, starring Hall of Fame baseball player and broadcaster Bob Uecker, a spokesman for Miller beer at the time:

Our seats weren’t that high. The view of the stage was great (and less filling). It still helped to have my 55-300 mm lens for the pictures I was about to take.

The show began at 8:08 when David Benoit, offstage, announced: “Ladies and gentlemen, please welcome your host for the evening, Dave Koz!”

“New York, make some noise!

Before you see the rest of the pictures, I present the set list:
1. Opening Medley: Winter Wonderland/Happy Holiday/The Most Wonderful Time of the Year/Angels We Have Heard On High/Sleigh Ride
Dave Koz – lead vocals on “Happy Holiday”
Dave’s saxophone: tenor

2. Let It Snow
Dave’s saxophone: tenor

3. Little Drummer Boy
Can be heard on: December Makes Me Feel This Way (1997), A Smooth Jazz Christmas (2001)
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

4. I’ve Got My Love to Keep Me Warm
Dave’s saxophone: tenor
Selina Albright – lead vocals
Rick Braun, trombone

5. The Christmas Song
Dave’s saxophone: tenor
Selina Albright – lead vocals

6. Santa Claus is Coming to Town
Dave’s saxophone: tenor
Selina Albright – lead vocals
Peter White, Rick Braun – background vocals
Peter White – spoken verse
Randy Jacobs – electric guitar solo

7. White Christmas
Can be heard on: December Makes Me Feel This Way (1997)
Dave Koz only
Dave’s saxophone: alto

8. Together Again (Dave Koz)
Originally heard on: The Dance (1999)
Dave Koz/David Benoit
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

9. Possible (Selina Albright)
Originally heard on: Conversations (2017)
Selina Albright only

10. Everything is Alright (Rick Braun)
Originally heard on: Around the Horn (2017)
Rick Braun/Dave Koz/Peter White
Dave’s saxophone: tenor
Rick Braun – lead vocals
Randy Jacobs, Nathaniel Kearney Jr., Peter White, Dave Koz – background vocals
Randy Jacobs – electric guitar solo
Brian Simpson – piano, dance solo
Jay Williams – drum solo
Rick prompted the audience to sing the “hey, hey, pretty mama” line.

11. Do I Do/Promenade (Peter White)
Originally heard onGroovin’ (2016)/Promenade (1993)
Peter White/Dave Koz/Rick Braun
Dave’s saxophone: alto

12. The Music of Charlie Brown: Christmas is Coming*/Skating**/Christmas Time is Here***/Linus and Lucy**** (David Benoit)
David performs these songs on:
* – Remembering Christmas (1996), 40 Years: A Charlie Brown Christmas (2005), Believe (2015) (part of “Guaraldi Medley”)
** – Remembering Christmas (1996)
*** – Christmastime (1983); Remembering Christmas (1996), Here’s to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years! (2000)
**** – This Side Up (1985); Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown (1989); Here’s to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years! (2000)
Dave’s saxophone: soprano on “Christmas Time is Here,” tenor on “Linus and Lucy”
Selina Albright – vocals on “Christmas Time is Here,” vocalese on “Linus and Lucy”

INTERMISSION

13. Hark! The Herald Angels We Have Heard On High (Medley) (Dave Koz & Friends)
Originally heard on20th Anniversary Christmas (2017)
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

14. Silent Night
Can be heard on: 20th Anniversary Christmas (2017)
Selina Albright, end verse vocals
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

15. Feliz Navidad
Can be heard on: 20th Anniversary Christmas (2017)
Selina Albright – lead vocals
Dave Koz, Rick Braun – background vocals
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

16. Joy to the Wonderful World (Medley) (Dave Koz & Friends)
Originally heard on20th Anniversary Christmas (2017)
Dave’s saxophone: alto
In a year where Lori and I went to the Louis Armstrong House and Museum, and 50 years since “What a Wonderful World” was recorded, this song warmed our hearts.

17. Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas
Selina Albright – lead vocals
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

18. The Hanukkah Song/Eight Candles (A Song for Hanukkah) (Dave Koz)
“Eight Candles” originally heard onDecember Makes Me Feel This Way (1997), A Smooth Jazz Christmas (2001)
Dave Koz/Peter White/Rick Braun
Dave Koz – lead vocal on “The Hanukkah Song”
Peter White – accordion on “Eight Candles”
Rick Braun – trombone on “Eight Candles”
Dave’s saxophone on “Eight Candles”: soprano

19. Every Step of the Way/Kei’s Song Redux/Freedom at Midnight (David Benoit)
Originally heard onEvery Step of the Way (1988)/Conversation (2012)/Freedom at Midnight (1987)
Dave’s saxophone on “Freedom at Midnight”: tenor

20. Bueno Funk (Peter White)
Originally heard on: Glow, 2001
Peter White/Dave Koz/Rick Braun
Jay Williams – drum solo
Dave’s saxophone: tenor

21. Grazing in the Grass (Rick Braun)
Originally heard on: Shake It Up (with Boney James) (2000); Sessions, Volume 1 (2006)
Rick Braun/Dave Koz/Peter White
Mid-song vocal medley: Groovin’/Just My Imagination/Shotgun/Soulful Strut (instrumental)
Dave’s saxophone: tenor

22. You Make Me Smile (Dave Koz)
Originally heard on: Lucky Man (1993)
Nathaniel Kearney Jr. – bass solo
Rick Braun – trombone
Dave’s saxophone: soprano

23 (Encore). Celebrate Me Home
Part of “The Home Medley” on 20th Anniversary Christmas (2017)
Dave Koz, Selina Albright – lead vocals
Rick Braun, Peter White – background vocals
Everyone, even the audience, joined in on vocals at the end
Dave’s saxophone: alto

Now, the rest of the pictures. We start with Dave Koz on tenor sax:

Soprano sax:

And alto sax:

Peter White:

Peter played accordion on “Eight Candles”:

Rick Braun:

I never knew Rick played trombone until Saturday night:

Marching back and forth during the “Eight Candles” refrain:

David Benoit:

The “Linus and Lucy” solo, complete with Charlie Brown’s Christmas tree:

Selina Albright:

Randy Jacobs:

Brian Simpson:

Nathaniel Kearney Jr.:

Jay Williams’ “Bueno Funk” solo:

On to wide shots, starting with the opening medley:

“Santa Claus is Coming to Town”:

“Together Again”:

“Everything is Alright”:

…which featured a dance solo by Brian Simpson, accompanied by drummer Jay Williams:

“Promenade”:

“Linus and Lucy”:

“Hark! The Herald Angels We Have Heard On High (Medley)”:

“Silent Night”:

“Feliz Navidad”:

“Joy to the Wonderful World (Medley)”:

“Eight Candles”:

“Freedom at Midnight”:

“Bueno Funk” began in the audience:

The James Bond routine:

After Selina put the sunglasses on, Peter played a wolf whistle riff, which made me chuckle.

“Grazing in the Grass”:

“You Make Me Smile”:

Finally, the encore: “Celebrate Me Home”:

Dave had everyone pose for a picture – albeit, a small one – posted to Facebook and Instagram:

Here’s how it looked:

“… God bless you, Happy Holidays, good night!”:

About an hour after the band left the stage, there was a meet and greet in the Tilles Center’s Herbert and Dolores Goldsmith Atrium, which has hosted the annual WCWP Hall of Fame Ceremony since the first class was inducted in 2012. Coincidentally, I was wearing the same shirt that I wore at this year’s ceremony. Rick was the first musician Lori and I met and greeted while we were in line for Dave, Peter, and Selina:

Then, at the table, I caught up with Peter, and introduced myself to Selina and Dave. I told Dave that Kelly Dacey said hello. He appreciated that and asked what she’s up to these days. I told him. 15 minutes later, after the autograph portion of the meet-and-greet was over, I posed for a picture:

As we were posing, Dave said it was great to meet him. Through my posed smile, I said “likewise.” Selina got a kick out of that, which led me to quip “I’m a regular Jeff Dunham.”

Then, Lori joined us:

I told Dave about how we’d been to the Louis Armstrong House and Museum earlier this year and how special it was to hear “What a Wonderful World” following the trip.

After that, Lori and I packed our things and left the building, but not the campus. First, I wanted to show Lori around WCWP; or at least, since the door was locked, the exterior of the Abrams Communication Center that’s been home to it since its switch to FM in March 1965. (It began as a carrier current station in October 1961.) She was fascinated.

The clock struck midnight as Lori and I drove back to our homes. It had been a fantastic five hours on the campus of LIU Post and its Tilles Center for the Performing Arts. I had a blast! It was great to meet Dave and Selina for the first time and see Peter and Rick again. I spoke to David on Facebook on Sunday, letting him known how things went for me, complimenting him and the band, and wishing them all luck on the rest of the Dave Koz 20th Anniversary Christmas Tour.

Merry Christmas to all that observe it and Happy Hanukkah to me, Dave, and our Jewish friends and family.

P.S. As I finish this post, I’m at the end of my 302-song iTunes instrumental Christmas music playlist, which I started listening to on November 9. Okay, let’s take it from the top!

2017 LIU Post & WCWP Homecoming, 2018 Hall of Fame Announcement October 16, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Football, Interviews, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Sports, Travel, Video, Weather.
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Earlier recaps: 2008, 2009, WCWP 50th Anniversary (2011), 2012, 2013, 2014, 2015, 2016

Later in this recap, I share airchecks from my pre-recorded Homecoming Weekend show that aired early yesterday morning. To see and hear my live show on Friday, along with other photos and audio from the three hours that followed my show, click here.

I didn’t arrive at LIU Post until 1:20 on Saturday afternoon, but I was already there in the form of voiceovers I recorded for Pete Bellotti’s WCWP Homecoming Weekend show prior to the Post Pioneers’ Homecoming game against the Southern Connecticut State Owls. As with my show yesterday, my VO garnered rave reviews from my fellow alumni when I arrived at the Abrams Communications Building. Pete Bellotti led the praise followed by John Commins, Bill Mozer, and Jay Mirabile, who ran the board during Pete’s show.

My segments, along with any references Pete and Jay made to me, can be heard here:

The “smooth jazz”/”Weather Channel music” bed they played was “Shakin’ the Shack” by Dave Koz on Lucky Man (1993), his second album.

After putting down my equipment and posing for two pictures, which you’ll see later, I made my way to Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium to take some pictures.

Skies were partly to mostly cloudy while the air was warm, especially when the sun peaked through, and humid.

As you can see, the press box is vacant:

I didn’t realize that there was a new press box. That’s where Jeff Kroll and Neil Marks called the game. Joel Feltman was the field reporter.

Shortly after I left the field, the Pioneers scored a touchdown. With the extra point, they led Southern 21-7.

On the way back, I stopped in the campus bookstore in Hillwood Commons and bought an LIU Post polo shirt, which I changed into at WCWP.

Bill Mozer wrote a familiar phrase on the whiteboard in Studio 3:

The next two pictures were taken before the field trip and shirt purchase, starting with Pete Bellotti:

Next, Jay Mirabile:

I had Bill Mozer take a picture of me in my new shirt:

Then, I took one of him:

John Zoni was the studio update reporter for the Homecoming game:

He provided those updates at halftime:

The Pioneers would go on to win 52-35. The Owls got within a touchdown twice, but Post hung on.

As always, Bernie Bernard, who earned her doctorate in theology the week before, followed the game:

As you can see, Grandfather Rock Chris MacIntosh dropped by:

For 36 years and counting, Chris has hosted Rock N Soul Gospel on WCWP.

At 5:00, the WCWP Alumni Barbecue began, and the 2018 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame were announced by Ted David.

Before the announcement, he posed with Chris:

The 2018 inductees are Muffet Provost, John Commins, and Pat Kroll (née Champion). Chris MacIntosh will receive the inaugural WCWP Lifetime Achievement Award. It will be for those that have worked at the station, but did not attend LIU Post.

Scenes from the announcement:

Ted David requested I take pictures of the inductees outside.

We started with John Commins and Pat Kroll:

John and Pat with Ted (a 2014 inductee):

John, Pat, and Chris MacIntosh:

John, Dr. Bernie Bernard (2013 inductee), Chris, Pat:

Then, Ted suggested I get in a few shots, starting with John:

John, me, Pat and Jeff Kroll:

The station transmitter:

Bobby Guthenberg, a.k.a. Bobby G., suggested I take a few pictures of John Commins and Bruce and Tamara Leonard, who had shows at 10PM and midnight, respectively. I took these in Studio 1:

John also asked for a picture with his wife Marilyn:

The WCWP sign in Studio 2:

Later in Bernie’s show, she interviewed May Pang, former secretary to John Lennon and Yoko Ono:

May will be appearing at the Heritage Trust Building on November 10 for An Evening with May Pang: Loving John Lennon. More information can be found here.

A shot from Bernie’s last aircheck, which featured (from right to left) Mike Riccio, Bobby G., and Alan Seltzer:

Prior to the picture, she interviewed WCWP alumna Fran Fried, whose appearance on Jeopardy! airs tomorrow.

Bernie then gave way to the aforementioned Mike and Bobby:

They interviewed me during their third aircheck. Here’s a vidcap:

After this, I edited photos, airchecks, video, and this post all on my laptop in Studio 3. I edited more yesterday. Conversation abound behind me and I soaked it all in. I also listened on the boombox as Mike and Bobby G.’s show continued in Studio 2.

Watch the finished video, with three airchecks each from Bernie’s and Mike and Bobby’s shows, below:

The middle aircheck from Bernie’s show is the Hall of Fame announcement. The video was monetized by Universal Music Group because of the beginning of “Pinball Wizard” during Mike and Bobby’s first aircheck. Thanks to UMG for not making me remove the song.

I always enjoy catching up with my fellow alumni and meeting new people, like Joan Yonke, the Director of Employee and Alumni Engagement at LIU Post. She told me that she saw my recap of last year’s Homecoming recap when she was researching the position, which she began in July.

Congratulations to Chris MacIntosh on his WCWP Lifetime Achievement Award, and to 2018 WCWP Hall of Fame inductees Muffet Provost, John Commins, and Pat Champion Kroll.

Until next year, I’ll leave you with airchecks from my pre-recorded Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri that aired at 4AM yesterday, preceded by the end of Bruce and Tamara Leonard’s live! midnight to 4AM show:

I recorded the show on September 21, but put the songs and liners in my Adobe Audition multitrack session the day before.

Here are the transitions between songs:

And the playlist.

The 40th anniversary Homecoming Weekend concluded with Jeff Kroll at midnight last night. Here’s how he signed off:

2017 WCWP Homecoming Weekend, first five hours October 14, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Airchecks, Audio, Education, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Photography, Radio, Video, Video Games.
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For the third year in a row, I led off the 60-hour Homecoming Weekend block of alumni-hosted shows on WCWP, LIU Post’s campus radio station. Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri kicked off the festivities yesterday at noon.

The Homecoming Weekend block began in December 1977 as Oldtimers’ Weekend. Here is a flyer made for the inaugural block:
OldtimersWeekendFlyer

And here’s the press release.

The block would move to the weekend of homecoming the following year, but wouldn’t be called Homecoming Weekend until 1980.

Back in the present, my mother drove me up to LIU Post at 8:10 AM. I arrived at LIU Post about a half hour later.

Three hours remained until my show. I passed the time by setting up in Studio 2, browsing the web in Studio 3 (which is as an editing room and classroom) on my laptop – which I brought to edit the airchecks audio and video after my show – and played a word search in a Nintendo 3DS game called Crosswords Plus.

Along the way, fellow alumni Jeff and Pat Kroll arrived, as did Joel Feltman.

Eventually, noon came and I was on the air. While my first song – “Happy Hour” by the recently departed Chuck Loeb – was playing, I took some pictures:

An hour into the show, I had Pat Kroll take a picture of me:

Ted David, who came on after my show, listened to me on his drive up to the station. He was very complimentary of every facet of my show, especially my music selections and delivery. He repeated those compliments early in his show. After spotting my camera, he took this picture of me:

Ted’s right. This was a great show. From my perspective, it was nearly flawless. The only mistake was having the CD 1 pot (potentiometer) down at the start of “One More Time” by Herman Jackson. Here is how I looked and sounded during the airchecks:

Thanks to Shanachie for not penalizing me for the excerpt of “Stratosphere” by Najee. They claimed the copyright on the video and are getting revenue. I thank them for the joy their artists provide me.

11:45 AM UPDATE: I just noticed that my camcorder swayed back and forth on the tripod while recording. I hope it doesn’t give any viewers motion sickness.

10/17/17 UPDATE: I have since acquired an alternate recording of the show via internet stream. The constant tone from my FM tuner recording in the above video is gone. Here is how the airchecks sounded on the stream:

I mentioned during the show that David Benoit hosts a show on an 88.1 FM in Long Beach, California, but neglected to elaborate. The call letters are KKJZ-FM and it’s known as KJazz 88.1 FM. Like WCWP, it emanates from a college campus: Long Beach State. David’s show airs weekdays from 8AM to noon Pacific (11AM to 3PM Eastern).

Here’s how the transitions between songs during the show sounded (10/17/17 UPDATE: Also via the stream):

And here’s the playlist.

As I noted Ted David followed my show:

As I further noted, Ted complimented me during his show:

Thank you, Ted, not only for the compliments, but for the aircheck.

Ted then gave way to Pat Kroll:

Pat had me take a posed shot:

Then, I took a pic of Pat and Jeff:

Next door in Studio 3, I asked Bruce and Tamara Leonard to pose for a pic:

Then, Bruce had me pose with Tamara:

And before I left for home, a shot of Ted David and Joel Feltman:

It’s 8:05 AM as I post this. I’m headed back up to LIU Post this afternoon for Homecoming, the WCWP Alumni Barbecue and the announcement of the 2018 class of the WCWP Hall of Fame. I should have a recap of the day up by Monday.

Two shows on WCWP this weekend October 10, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Education, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Personal, Radio, Sports.
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The WCWP Homecoming Weekend is just three days away. For the third year in a row, I lead off the 60-hour block of alumni-hosted programming on 88.1 FM and WCWP.org.

Instrumental Invasion with Mike Chimeri airs live Friday at noon Eastern with music from albums released in the last three years. The show begins with a four-song tribute to guitarist Chuck Loeb, who passed away from cancer on July 31. You’ll also hear Jay Rowe, Pieces of a Dream, Peter White, Will Donato, and many more.

Also for the third year in a row, I recorded a separate Instrumental Invasion that will air on Sunday at 4AM Eastern. This year is the 40th anniversary of Homecoming Weekend, originally known as Oldtimers Weekend. So, the show will feature songs in five-year increments from 1977 to 2017. Expect to hear Spyro Gyra, David Benoit, Norman Brown, Brian Simpson, and a host of others.

Both shows can be heard locally at 88.1 FM and worldwide at WCWP.org and on the TuneIn app.

In between shows, I’ll be at LIU Post Homecoming on Saturday afternoon and evening. Most of my day will be spent at the Abrams Communications Building, home to WCWP, but I will briefly walk to Bethpage Federal Credit Union Stadium to check in on the Post Pioneers‘ homecoming football game against Southern Connecticut State University, or Southern for short. My friend Kelly occasionally attends jazz concerts at Southern’s John Lyman Center. As for the game, the Pioneers need to win to avoid their third loss in a row following a 3-0 start.

Before the game, you can hear me on Pete Bellotti’s show, which starts at 11AM Eastern. I recorded voice over and a segment where I share my fondest memories of my time at WCWP.

Around 5PM, during Bernie Bernard’s show, the 2018 inductees to the WCWP Hall of Fame will be announced.

I hope you’ll be listening to WCWP all Homecoming Weekend long, or as long as you can. I’m honored to be the leadoff hitter for the third year in a row. And once again, Jeff Kroll wraps up the weekend Sunday at 10PM Eastern.

My experience at Day 1 of 2017 New York Comic Con October 6, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Animation, Art, Comedy, Internet, Interviews, Media, Personal, Photography, Technology, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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Previous New York Comic Con recaps: 2012 Day 2, 2014 Day 1

Yesterday, I was at the first day of the 2017 New York Comic Con, held annually at the Javits Center in the Midtown West section of Manhattan. It was my third trip to NYCC.

I almost didn’t go this year. When I planned on buying a badge (ticket) in June, I learned that fan verification was required. Unfortunately, fan verification was closed. Luckily, last month, I learned on the website that verification was open again. So, I immediately got verified and bought a badge for Day 1.

I woke up at 6:20 yesterday morning. I looked out my window and saw a picturesque sky. I took a couple of shots of it, without and with flash:

After that, I put my camera in my backpack, where it stayed for a few hours.

In between, my mother drove me to the Wantagh LIRR (Long Island Rail Road) station at 8:40. Nine minutes later, I was on a train bound for Penn Station.

50 minutes later, I exited Penn and walked to the Javits Center. Those that had a badge, including me, were directed to the green entrance via West 39th Street, five blocks north of where I’d been walking.

I made my way down to Level 1 to meet five voice actors and get professional photo ops with four of them.

First up was Tara Strong:

As you can see, I wore my Northern Trust golf tournament shirt. I got it back on August 27, after walking Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury to see the final round.

After Tara, it was on to Rob Paulsen:

Rob is a throat cancer survivor (knock on wood), having battled it last year.

Tress MacNeille:

Jim Cummings:

And finally, Jess Harnell:

When I noticed Jess had his sunglasses on, I put my glasses on:

In all, I spent about four hours in five lines. It was a thrill to meet and chat with them all. I won’t get into the details of our brief conversations, but they were all very nice. Jess even gave me a hug.

I also enjoyed chatting with fellow fans – like Kelly, Sierra, Dave, and a few others whose names I didn’t get – while waiting in line. There was even a woman ahead of me on the Jess Harnell line who was not only dressed as one of his characters – Cedric from Sofia the First – but her name is Jess Warner! Her first name was the same as his, and her last name was the same as his Animaniacs character Wakko Warner. More on that below.

Afterward, I headed to the Epic Photo Ops area for a pair of professional photo ops. Since I had just met the actors at their autograph tables, there was a familiarity in the booth. It was like visiting old friends.

Jim Cummings suggested we “look intrepid”:

I love the outcome.

The second photo op was with Rob, Tress, and Jess, the stars of Animaniacs:

They were the Warner siblings: Yakko, voiced by Rob, Wakko, by Jess (as I noticed before), and Dot, by Tress.

All that remained was to walk the show floor on Level 3. But first, a few shots taken in the lobby on Level 2 after entering around 10:15:

The show floor:

I mostly focused on the video game developers section, as you’ll see below.

The next six pictures were taken in the morning:

I took this in the afternoon:

It was a fun day, but I was ready to head home. I left satisfied.

I walked south on 11th Avenue until I reached West 34th Street, where I alternated between walking and running, hoping to make the 4:12 train back to Wantagh. I did, with time to spare.

Thank you to Tara Strong, Jim Cummings, Rob Paulsen, Tress MacNeille, and Jess Harnell. As I said, it was a pleasure to meet and chat with you all.

I’ll conclude this post with a picture of my program and badge:

10:25 PM UPDATE: While searching in vain on YouTube for video of the I Know That Voice: The Series panel that took place at 5:30, shortly after I got home, I found this interview of Jim Cummings:

10/7 UPDATE: The only video I could find of the aforementioned panel was this:

The video stops before the Q&A portion.

1990s Debut Albums September 18, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, New Age.
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The last episode (for now?) of Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection is devoted to 1990s jazz and new age debut albums.

Note and links from the video description:
This episode was recorded in mid-July, a few weeks before guitarist Chuck Loeb passed away.

Chuck Loeb, “Life Colors” (1990): https://www.amazon.com/Life-Colors-Chuck-Loeb/dp/B000003DDE/

Dave Koz, “Dave Koz” (1990): https://www.amazon.com/Dave-Koz/dp/B000002UUL/
Dave’s website: http://davekoz.com/

Ken Navarro, “The River Flows” (1990): https://www.amazon.com/River-Flows-Ken-Navarro/dp/B000000JYI/
Ken’s website: http://www.kennavarro.com/

Fourplay, “Fourplay” (1991): https://www.amazon.com/Fourplay-FOURPLAY/dp/B000002LQ5/
Fourplay’s website: http://fourplayjazz.com/

Norman Brown, “Just Between Us” (1992): https://www.amazon.com/Just-Between-Us-Norman-Brown/dp/B000001AL7/
Norman’s website: http://normanbrown.com/

Craig Chaquico, “Acoustic Highway” (1993): https://www.amazon.com/Acoustic-Highway-Craig-Chaquico/dp/B00001NFR2/
Craig’s website: http://craigchaquico.com/

Down to the Bone, “From Manhattan to Staten” (1997): https://www.amazon.com/Manhattan-Staten-Down-Bone/dp/B000001YJZ/
DTTB website: http://www.downtothebone.com/

Steve Cole, “Stay Awhile” (1998): https://www.amazon.com/Stay-Awhile-Steve-Cole/dp/B0000062SV/
Steve’s website: http://stevecole.net/

Title music: “Wishing for Something” by Jay Dobbins, from “Anything for You” (2013): https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/jaydobbins

1980s Debut Albums September 12, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Jazz, Music, Radio.
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The next-to-last episode (for now?) of Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection focuses on 1980s jazz debut albums. It’s the first of two episodes where I worked off a script. I didn’t quote it verbatim, though.

At one point, I share a funny story about talking up one of the Rippingtons songs one week on The Mike Chimeri Show.

Links from the video description:
Dan Siegel, “Nite Ride” (1980): https://www.ebay.com/sch/Music/11233/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=dan+siegel+nite+ride
“Nite Ride/The Hot Shot/Oasis” (without “Valdez in the Country”): https://www.amazon.com/Nite-Ride-Hot-Shot-Oasis/dp/B01FWBZ09M/
Dan’s website: http://www.dansiegelmusic.com/

Kenny G, “Kenny G” (1982): https://www.amazon.com/Kenny-G/dp/B000002VC4/
Kenny’s website: https://kennyg.com/

Special EFX, “Special EFX” (1984): https://www.amazon.com/Special-Efx/dp/B000008CAX/
Chieli Minucci’s website: http://chielimusic.com/

Richard Elliot, “Initial Approach” (1984):
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Initial-Approach-Richard-Elliot/dp/B000005HH8/
eBay: https://www.ebay.com/sch/Music/11233/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=richard+elliot+initial+approach
Richard’s website: http://richardelliot.com/

Najee, “Najee’s Theme” (1986): https://www.amazon.com/Najees-Theme-Najee/dp/B00000DQTI/
Najee’s website: http://www.najeeofficial.com/

The Rippingtons, “Moonlighting” (1986): https://www.amazon.com/Moonlighting-Rippingtons/dp/B0000001QV/
The Rippingtons’ website: http://rippingtons.com/

Gregg Karukas, “The Nightowl” (1987): https://www.amazon.com/Nightowl-Gregg-Karukas/dp/B00005U5CD/
Gregg’s website: http://www.karukas.com/

Gerald Albright, “Just Between Us” (1987): https://www.amazon.com/Just-Between-Us-Gerald-Albright/dp/B000002IM3/
Gerald’s website: http://geraldalbright.com/

Acoustic Alchemy, “Red Dust & Spanish Lace” (1987): https://www.amazon.com/Dust-Spanish-Lace-Acoustic-Alchemy/dp/B0000001VE/
Acoustic Alchemy’s website: http://www.acoustic-alchemy.net/

Nelson Rangell, “To Begin Again” (1988):
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Begin-Again-Nelson-Rangell/dp/B0002AAOG8/
eBay: https://www.ebay.com/sch/Music/11233/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=nelson+rangell+to+begin+again
Nelson’s website: http://nelsonrangell.com/

Eric Marienthal, “Voices of the Heart” (1988): https://www.amazon.com/Voices-Heart-Eric-Marienthal/dp/B000008BOC/
Eric’s website: http://ericmarienthal.com/

Kim Pensyl, “Pensyl Sketches #1” (1988): https://www.amazon.com/Pensyl-Sketches-Vol-1-Kim/dp/B000008BZ2/
Kim P.’s website: https://www.kimpensyl.com/

Kim Waters, “Sweet and Saxy” (1989): https://www.amazon.com/Sweet-Saxy-Kim-Waters/dp/B0000010HV/
Kim W.’s website: http://kimwaters.net/

Title music: “Wishing for Something” by Jay Dobbins, from “Anything for You” (2013): https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/jaydobbins

Albums by Sidemen September 4, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Interviews, Jazz, Music, Radio.
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The latest episode of Mike Chimeri’s Music Collection is dedicated to 11 sidemen, some of whom I’ve gotten to know over the years.

I interviewed three of the sidemen – Tom Schuman, Bill Heller, and Jay Rowe – on The Mike Chimeri Show in 2005 and 2006. Those interviews can be found here.

The late Chuck Loeb had a hand in three of the albums. I recorded this episode before he passed away.

Links from the video description:
Al Turner, “Movin'” (2008): https://www.amazon.com/Movin-Al-Turner/dp/B0015U0OLE/
Original version: “It’s Good to Have Friends” (2005): https://www.amazon.com/Its-Good-Have-Friends-Turner/dp/B0009XEU5E/
Al’s website: http://www.alturner.com/

Ron Otis, “Upfront” (2009): https://www.amazon.com/Upfront-Ron-Otis/dp/B005W4S9JI/
Ron’s website: http://ronotis.net/

Nathan East, “Reverence” (2017): https://www.amazon.com/Upfront-Ron-Otis/dp/B005W4S9JI/
Nate’s website: http://nathaneast.com/

Mike Ricchiuti, “The Way I See It” (2003): https://www.amazon.com/Way-I-See-Mike-Ricchiuti/dp/B000CAGNQS/

Peter Horvath, “Absolute Reality” (2016): https://www.amazon.com/Absolute-Reality-Peter-Horvath/dp/B01AAZ1P3U/
Peter’s website: https://www.peterhorvath.com/

Eric Gunnison, “Trios” (2011): https://www.amazon.com/Trios-Eric-Gunnison/dp/B00532DJUS/
Eric’s website: http://www.ericgunnison.com/
Nelson Rangell, “The Red Pill” (Live): https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7mjjzrFp1bk

Dan Reynolds, “Never Alone” (1993):
Amazon: https://www.amazon.com/Never-Alone-Dan-Reynolds/dp/B01G4CFF7K/
eBay: https://www.ebay.com/sch/Music/11233/i.html?_from=R40&_nkw=dan+reynolds+never+alone

Jay Rowe, “Red Hot & Smooth” (2006): https://www.amazon.com/Red-Hot-Smooth-Jay-Rowe/dp/B000GBE644/
Jay’s website: http://jayrowemusic.com/

Bill Heller, “Find the Way” (2014): https://www.amazon.com/Find-Way-Bill-Heller/dp/B00LJBTNT8/
Bill’s website: http://www.billunaticmusic.com/

Rico Belled, “The Pursuit of Comfort” (2010): https://www.amazon.com/Pursuit-Comfort-Rico-Belled/dp/B003VW3FV0/
Rico’s website: http://www.ricobelled.com/

Tom Schuman, “Deep Chill” (2006): https://www.amazon.com/Deep-Chill-Tom-Schuman/dp/B000BOW2OC/
Tom’s website: http://www.tomschuman.de/us-start.html

Title music: “Wishing for Something” by Jay Dobbins, from “Anything for You” (2013): https://store.cdbaby.com/cd/jaydobbins

My day at the final round of The Northern Trust August 29, 2017

Posted by Mike C. in Golf, Media, News, Personal, Photography, Sports, Travel, TV, Video, Weather.
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Previous event recaps: 2012 (The Barclays), 2016 (The Barclays)

For the second year in a row, a Long Island golf course hosted the PGA Tour event now known as The Northern Trust, the first event of the FedExCup Playoffs. Last year, which was the last year as The Barclays, the event was held at Bethpage Black Golf Course. This year, The Northern Trust was about 12 miles west at Glen Oaks Club in Old Westbury. Glen Oaks is adjacent to SUNY Old Westbury and not too far from NYIT (New York Institute of Technology) or LIU Post, my alma mater. In fact, as you’ll see near the end of this post, I wore my WCWP shirt that you’ve seen in previous posts. As for the other two colleges, I went to day camp at them for a few childhood summers. In 1989 and ’91, main camp activities were at NYIT while swimming was at SUNY Old Westbury. In 1990, activities were exclusive to Old Westbury.

My father Bill and I attended the final round of The Northern Trust, which began 50 years ago as the Westchester Classic, on Sunday. Jordan Spieth (-12) and Dustin Johnson (-9) were the last group of the day. Would Spieth hold on? Could D.J. catch him? Or would it be someone else?

Dad and I left for general parking at Nassau Coliseum at around 11:30. Once we arrived, we boarded a shuttle bus. On board, a welcome video looped on TV screens. The shuttle arrived at Glen Oaks Club just before 12:30. Weather conditions were excellent: partly sunny skies with warm, dry air and a cool breeze.

I would have loved to bring my Nikon D5500, but only smartphones on silent were allowed for photography. Thus, the pictures in this recap were taken on my iPhone 6 and edited afterward in Adobe Photoshop Elements 15. Since the phone lacks an optical zoom, I preserved the original resolution rather than shrink the pictures, as I usually do on this site. In most cases, you’ll have to zoom in to see the far-away players.

With that out of the way, let’s begin:

From here, pictures aren’t entirely in chronological order. Until we get to the 18th green, pictures are in order of the hole where they were taken.

The practice green:

The 1st hole:

LaGuardia Airport is close to the course, so there were plenty of low-flying planes in their final approach:

The 2nd hole:

Henrik Stenson and Martin Laird:

Bubba Watson and Jhonattan Vegas:

Paul Casey and defending champion Patrick Reed:

Dottie Pepper and Peter Kostis of CBS Sports walking ahead of…

Jordan Spieth…

…and Dustin Johnson:

Robert Streb and Scott Brown on the 4th hole:

Stenson and Laird at the 5th hole:

The 6th green:

The 7th hole:

The 8th hole:

Jason Day and C.T. Pan:

Matt Kuchar and Jon Rahm:

The 9th hole:

The 10th hole:

David Lingmerth and Louis Oosthuizen:

Bubba Watson and Jhonattan Vegas:

The 11th hole:

Jason Kokrak and Morgan Hoffmann:

A jib passing the 12th hole:

Dad and I followed Robert Streb and Scott Brown from here to the 17th:

There was a horse stable next to the 13th hole:

It’s rare that I hear horses neighing and sputtering in real time.

The 13th hole:

The 14th hole:

The 15th hole:

The 16th hole:

The 17th hole:

The 18th hole:

David Lingmerth and Louis Oosthuizen:

I spent the last two hours of the tournament at this spot by the 18th green:

I had to endure a few men behind me, who I assume were in their 20s, not necessarily following etiquette (that’s all I’ll say), but it was worth it.

The TV tower where Jim Nantz and Sir Nick Faldo called the action:

The Northern Trust is the last tournament of the year for CBS. The remainder of the FedExCup playoffs are on NBC.

After Lingmerth and Louis Ooie (as voice actor Jeff Bennett calls him) finished their round, the next pair to play 18 was Robert Streb and Scott Brown:

Followed by Bubba Watson and Jhonattan Vegas:

Vegas shot a 65 to finish at -9.

Then, Patrick Cantlay and Russell Henley:

Justin Thomas, who won the PGA Championship two weeks earlier, and Chez Reavie:

Justin Rose and Jason Dufner:

Keegan Bradley and Kevin Chappell:

Matt Kuchar and Jon Rahm:

Rahm finished tied for third with Jhonny Vegas at -9.

Paul Casey and Patrick Reed:

And finally, Jordan Spieth and Dustin Johnson:

Jordan and Dustin came to 18 tied at -13. Johnson’s tee shot landed in the rough and his second shot was short of the green. He would end up with a long par putt. Spieth, meanwhile, had a long birdie putt.

Spieth missed his birdie putt:

That meant D.J. could force a playoff if he parred…

…and he did!

The camera didn’t focus properly, but you get the idea.

Here’s how the putt looked on TV.

Spieth made his par putt to ensure the playoff:

The playoff:

Johnson hit a massive tee shot that landed within 95 yards of the hole. Here’s how it looked on TV. (6:42 PM UPDATE: The shot was shown in last night’s episode of Feherty when guest Darius Rucker listed D.J. as one of his three favorite golfers of all time. Arnold Palmer and Tiger Woods were the other two.)

D.J.’s approach shot landed near the hole:

The shot looked like this on CBS.

Spieth missed a long birdie putt to extend the playoff:

But Johnson made his birdie putt and won The Northern Trust:

The winning putt can be seen at the end of these extended highlights.

Dottie Pepper interviewed Dustin afterward:

Here’s the interview.

Our last two times at The Barclays, Dad and I stuck around to watch the off-air trophy presentation. This year, after a playoff, we were eager to head home, which, after buying a hat and shirt in the shop, we did.

Three FedExCup playoff tournaments remain. Can Dustin, Jordan, or anyone else in the top 100 win it all? We’ll know by the evening of September 24. (9/24 UPDATE: Someone else: Justin Thomas.)

On the way to the shuttle bus, Dad took this picture of me:

We got home at exactly 8:00. It was an exciting eight hours. What a finish! Our next golf trip will be next June for the third round of the U.S. Open, held at Shinnecock Hills.

I’ll leave you with a few news stories on the final round (subscription required for Newsday/News 12 links):
AP (via PGATour.com)
Newsday
Newsday column by Mark Herrmann, who also wrote the story in the above link
News 12 Long Island

I can be seen in the background in one clip from News 12’s video. Here’s a high-resolution screenshot from my TV:

And here’s a closer look:

3:29 PM UPDATE: I just learned I was actually in the background during CBS’s telecast, not in News 12 B-roll. Here is a vidcap:

8/31 UPDATE: Inside the Ropes segments of this week’s Inside the PGA Tour:
Round 1
Round 2
Round 3
Final Round