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Bolder & Fresher Tour at Westbury recap August 21, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Audiobooks, Books, Comedy, Commentary, Media, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, TV, Weather.
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(2/22/13 UPDATE: For those that found this post by search engine, this is a recap of the original Bolder-Fresher show at Westbury in August 2011.  There will be another show there on June 1 of this year, but I won’t be attending that one.)

(12/6/14 UPDATE: On the other hand, I will be attending the Don’t Be a Pinhead Tour show at Westbury on May 2, 2015. The new name for the tour is the result of retooling.)

(Update at the bottom with viewer e-mails from audience members at 10/29 Mohegan Sun show, 11/2 Miller Time segment, my quick review of Killing Lincoln, and highlights from the 10/29 show.)

Last night, I returned to what is now the NYCB Theatre at Westbury for the debut of the Bolder & Fresher Tour starring Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller.

I went with my dad and we were joined later by family friend Joe Falco.  Joe is a former FDNY firefighter who survived the collapse of the World Trade Center’s south tower on September 11, 2001.  My college senior project was a documentary featuring his recollections and a return to Ground Zero where he retraced his steps.

The show was at 8:00, but since it was nearly sold out, Dad and I left the house at 6:45 to be safe.  It took about fifteen minutes to arrive.  Once in the theatre, we sat down for 50 minutes.  Our seats were adjacent to the aisle where Bill and Dennis walked to and from the stage.  A few minutes after 8:00, the lights dimmed, and Bill, via the public address system, introduced “the fresh part of the Bolder Fresher Tour, Miller!”  My dad said he and Dennis made eye contact during his walk down to the stage.

Dennis’ material was toned down a bit.  In TV ratings terms, he was TV-14-DL; no s- or f-words but suggestive dialogue.  His 35-minute set touched on many topics, including:

  • Global warming
  • California
  • The southern U.S. border
  • Michael Moore
  • Getting old
  • What he likes and dislikes about President Obama
  • Barney Frank
  • Nancy Pelosi
  • Pope Benedict XVI

Then, it was Bill’s turn.  Among his topics were:

  • President Obama
  • The Republican presidential candidate field
  • Who has the best chance to be the Republican nominee
  • The split in the Republican Party between the Tea Party and the establishment
  • His upcoming appearance in an episode of Rizzoli & Isles
  • His upcoming book, Killing Lincoln
  • Recounting his previous appearance on The View

After a 15-minute intermission, Bill and Dennis returned for 35 minutes of Q&A.  At this point, the two sat in stools while the stage rotated.  It took Dennis a few minutes to notice that and then he acknowledged it to the audience.  They each had stories to tell.  Dennis talked about:

  • How he moved from the left to center-right politically
  • His old CNBC show and how things fell apart between him and his monkey sidekick Mowgli
  • His work in Bordello of Blood and on Monday Night Football
  • Meeting Frank Sinatra
  • Checking out the room Elvis Presley stayed in at the Vegas Hilton
  • A story Billy Crystal told him about Redd Foxx

Bill talked about his upbringing, from Levittown to The O’Reilly Factor, and everything in between: working as a lifeguard for the Town of Babylon, going to St. Brigid’s, Chaminade High School, Marist (to which Dennis made a Marist/Roger Maris joke), working his way up in TV news.

It was a great show.  Bill and Dennis both entered and exited to standing ovations.  To be honest, I enjoyed this more than the Bold & Fresh Tour show last year.

If you’d like to see Bolder Fresher for yourself, check the tour’s website for upcoming dates and venues.  You’ll be glad you went.

8/23 UPDATE: Three e-mails from audience members were read tonight on The O’Reilly Factor:

Keith Warhola, Mineola, NY: “Bill, you and Miller killed at Westbury.  Loved the show.”
Bill’s response: “We didn’t actually kill anybody.  It means that–[in] show biz–we were good.”

Gina Serra, Syosset, NY: “Bill, the Bolder-Fresher show was great!  You were charming and Miller was a riot.”

Caryl Taylor, Briarcliff, NY: “Officer O’Reilly, we salute you and Dennis Miller.  We were fully entertained by your observations and Miller’s stories.”
Bill’s response: “Well, thank you for all the nice mail, guys; got tons of letters.  Clips from the show are now posted on BillOReilly.com for premium members.  Next week, we’re gonna open ’em up to everybody.  So you can see about 15 minutes of the Bolder Fresher show on BillOReilly.com.  Info on upcoming shows in Connecticut; Richmond, Virginia; and Atlantic City available on BolderFresher.com.  BolderFresher.com.”

In addition to those e-mails, a few clips were shown last night in the Reality Check segment.  I compiled that and tonight’s e-mails into this video:

9/9 UPDATE: The latter half of August 24’s Miller Time segment was devoted to the Westbury show:

I would have posted this sooner, but Irene set me back and then I forgot.

11/1 UPDATE: Saturday night, the Bolder Fresher Tour came to Mohegan Sun.  As the winds howled and snow mixed with rain here in southeast Nassau, I wondered if the show would even happen, but this tweet confirmed it did:

Dennis Miller & Bill O’Reilly – Bold[er & Fresh[er] Tour (@ Mohegan Sun Arena) http://t.co/UJ475ItU

O’Reilly and Miller weren’t going to let a pesky snowstorm/Nor’easter stop them.  I’m sure everyone got back home, or home away from home (i.e. hotel room), safely.

One viewer e-mail from an audience member was read tonight on The O’Reilly Factor:
Lynda Hanratty, Selden, NY: “Hey, Mr. O, we drove five hours to Connecticut in that snowstorm to see you and Miller.  And it was worth the white knuckle ride!  You two were hysterical!  Was that your limo that passed us on the ride home?”
Bill’s response: “No limo for me, Lynda.  I drove up there, just like you did, from Long Island.  Glad you liked the Bolder Fresher show.  Watch out, Richmond, Virginia; and Atlantic City.  We’re comin’ to you Thanksgiving weekend.  Details on BillOReilly.com.”

11/2 UPDATE: Tonight’s Miller Time only made a passing reference to Saturday’s show at Mohegan Sun.  Here’s the video, anyway.  And here’s another viewer e-mail:
Mark Underhill, East Aurora, NY: “Bill, my wife and I drove seven hours to see you and Miller in that snowstorm on Saturday.  To make the trip go faster, we tried to buy the Killing Lincoln audio.  It was sold out everywhere.  So we bought the book and my wife read it to me.  Excellent.”
Bill’s response: “Your wife’s a trooper, Mark, and I’m sending you the audio for your ordeal.  Killing Lincoln is selling out everywhere, but we are printing them as fast as we can get ’em out to you.  More than 900,000 copies of ‘Killing Lincoln’ in print right now.  Thank you all.”

I pre-ordered the audio of Killing Lincoln before it came out and began listening to it September 28, the day after it was released.  It got me through my daily walks and I finished it in two weeks.  It reads (or is read by Bill) like a thriller.  I vividly remember where I was walking while listening to key passages.

11/3 UPDATE: Highlights from Saturday can be seen on the BillOReilly.com video page.  Look for “Bolder & Fresher Tour at Mohegan Sun” and click to play.

For the third night in a row, a viewer e-mail from an audience member was read:
Kathleen O’Gorman, Meriden, CT: “Mr. O, we lost power in the storm and it’s been rough.  You and Miller were the only bright spots as we caught the Bolder Fresher show.”
Bill’s response: “[I] appreciate that, Kathleen.  The power situation in the Northeast is gettin’ desperate.  A clip from the Bolder Fresher show on Saturday [is] posted on BillOReilly.com.  And Miller and I will see everybody in Richmond, Virginia; and Atlantic City at the end of November.”

11/4 UPDATE: Another day, another update.  Psychotherapist Dr. Karen Ruskin was in the audience Saturday night and tweeted Dennis this afternoon:

Hi Dennis, Dr Karen Ruskin here, mental health expert- appeared on O’Reilly. Great show w Bill Sat! Will never see ED the same @DennisDMZ

An audience member viewer e-mail all the way from Montana!:
Margot Belden, Missoula, MT: “Bill, I came from Montana to see you and Miller in Connecticut!  It was worth the ordeal.  You were so funny, I had tears in my eyes.”
Bill’s response: “I hope from laughing with me, Margot, and not at me.  Signed copy of Killing Lincoln coming your way for that big trip. …”  That was followed by another reminder about the Richmond and Atlantic City shows in a few weeks.

Back and forth with Bernie Williams August 20, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Baseball, Books, Internet, Jazz, Music, Personal, Sports.
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Recently, a friend of mine gave me a copy of former New York Yankees center fielder, and past-and-present guitarist, Bernie Williams‘ new book–written with Dave Gluck and Bob Thompson–Rhythms of the Game: The Link Between Musical and Athletic Performance.

One day after receiving the book, I started to read it.  I’m currently up to chapter 7.  After seeing a post-#FF (Follow Friday) tweet from Bernie in my Twitter feed, I figured I’d tweet to him what I just wrote in this post:

I meant every word.  I’ve been taking piano lessons since October 2006.  I don’t have an actual piano to practice on, but I have the next best thing: a Yamaha YPG-625 Portable Grand keyboard.  The lessons and practice are challenging, but fun.  That’s especially true after I finally get the song I’m learning down.

I’ll update this post after I complete Rhythms of the Game.

9/30 UPDATE: I finished reading two days ago.  My considerable liking of the book carried through to the end.  It’s a great read.

New blog header August 18, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Personal.
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Here’s my latest blog header:

Bolder & Fresher Tour at Westbury August 10, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Commentary, Internet, Media, News, Personal, Politics, Radio, TV.
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Next Saturday, Bill O’Reilly and Dennis Miller will kick off the Bolder & Fresher Tour at the NYCB Theatre at Westbury.  It’s the sequel to the Bold & Fresh Tour with Bill and Glenn Beck.

The Tour is billed this way on its website:

Bolder and fresher than ever before…  Bill O’Reilly, godfather of “no spin” and in-your-face television, and Dennis Miller, the king of references and rants, are teaming up to take the country by storm!  Your town may never be the same.

So far, three other shows have been booked after Westbury:

  • 10/29: Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
  • 11/25: Landmark Theatre, Richmond, VA
  • 11/26: Borgata Hotel and Casino, Atlantic City, NJ

I will be in the audience next Saturday.  I can’t wait.

8/21 UPDATE: Here’s my recap of the show.

2005 set lists, Remembering IMAC August 9, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal, Theatre.
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While rearranging CDs in my room, which I’ve done here and there since Sunday night, I found a couple of set lists I transcribed while at two concerts in 2005.  The concerts were at the IMAC (Inter-Media Art Center) in Huntington; my first and second shows there, respectively.  I was a semi-regular at IMAC until December 2008.  Six months later, the theater closed.  I thought it was temporary at the time, but it was quite permanent.  In November 2009, the executive director, Michael Rothbard, suddenly passed away.

The first set list was from the Rippingtons early show on August 6, 2005.  Russ Freeman was, of course, on guitars; Bill Heller was on the keyboard; Dave Karasony was on drums; Scott Breadman handled percussion; Kim Stone played bass; and Eric Marienthal was on saxophone.  Here is that set list:
1. Brave New World
Originally heard on: “Brave New World,” 1996

2. Wild Card
Originally heard on: “Wild Card,” 2005

3. Gypsy Eyes
Originally heard on: “Wild Card,” 2005

4. Spanish Girl
Originally heard on: “Wild Card,” 2005

5. A Place for Lovers
Originally heard on: “Weekend in Monaco,” 1992

6. Villa by the Sea (Russ Freeman)
Originally heard on: “Drive,” 2002

7. Black Diamond
Originally heard on: “Black Diamond,” 1997

8. Cast a Spell
Originally heard on: “Let It Ripp,” 2003

9. Lay It Down
Originally heard on: “Wild Card,” 2005

10. Paradise
Originally heard on: “Wild Card,” 2005

11. Uptown (Eric Marienthal)
Originally heard on: “Sweet Talk,” 2003

12. Angelfire
Originally heard on: “Black Diamond,” 1997

13 (Encore 1). Snowbound
Originally heard on: “Curves Ahead,” 1991

14 (Encore 2). Tourist in Paradise
Originally heard on: “Tourist in Paradise,” 1989

15 (Encore 3). Purple Haze* (Jimi Hendrix cover)
Originally heard on: “Live Across America,” 2002

16 (Encore 4). Fire* (Jimi Hendrix cover)
Originally heard on: “Live Across America,” 2002

*Kim Stone, vocals

The second set list is from David Benoit’s 10:30 PM show on September 24, 2005.  David Benoit played piano and keyboard with David Hughes on bass and Jamey Tate on the drums.
1. Snap!
Originally heard on: “Fuzzy Logic,” 2002

2. Swingin’ Waikiki
Originally heard on: “Right Here, Right Now,” 2003

3. If I Were a Bell

4. Every Step of the Way
Originally heard on: “Every Step of the Way,” 1988

5. ReJoyce
Originally heard on: “Professional Dreamer,” 1999

6. Charlie Brown Theme
Originally heard on: “Here’s to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years!,” 2000

7. Kei’s Song
Originally heard on: “Freedom at Midnight,” 1987

8. 9/11
Originally heard on: “Orchestral Stories,” 2005

9. Once Running Free
Originally heard on: “Every Step of the Way,” 1988

10. Cast Your Fate to the Wind
Originally heard on: “Waiting for Spring,” 1989

11. Dad’s Room
Originally heard on: “Professional Dreamer,” 1999

12. Freedom at Midnight
Originally heard on: “Freedom at Midnight,” 1987
The live arrangement of this song, complete with the “Moonlight Sonata” interlude, was finally put on an album in 2010 as “Freedom at Midnight: The Schroeder Variations.”

13. Linus and Lucy
Originally heard on: “This Side Up,” 1985; “Happy Anniversary, Charlie Brown!,” 1989 (various artists); “Here’s to You, Charlie Brown: 50 Great Years!,” 2000

14 (Encore). Watermelon Man
Originally heard on: “Right Here, Right Now,” 2003

After the show, David B. and I posed for this picture (I weighed about 60 pounds more than I do now):

Unfortunately, I didn’t start this blog, which began the age of multi-photo concert recaps, until April 2008.  But I did go to a handful of shows at IMAC between April and December:
David Sanborn – May 3, 2008 (7PM show)
RnR: Rick Braun & Richard Elliot – June 6, 2008 (7PM show)
Acoustic Alchemy – June 21, 2008
Guitars and Saxes – October 25, 2008 (9:30 PM show)
Peter White Christmas – December 12, 2008 (9:30 PM show)
David Benoit/Charlie Brown Christmas – December 19, 2008

For me, IMAC lives on through these posts.

Surprise severe storm August 3, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in News, Personal, Travel, Weather.
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Most of Nassau County got an unpleasant surprise late Monday afternoon.  At around 3PM, a severe thunderstorm developed ranging from northwest to central Nassau and eastern Queens.  It was nearly stationary, expanding and intensifying rather than moving.  The storm brought torrential rain, extensive lightning, and golf-ball sized hail.  Wantagh, where I live, was on the fringe of the storm.  We were limited to distant lightning and thunder, moderate winds, and heavy-but-not-torrential rain.  But the fear between 3:50 and 5:20 was the storm would eventually get to us.  But as quickly as the storm developed, it slowly dissipated and moved offshore.  My hamlet was spared, but points north and west weren’t so lucky.

Read all about it (to borrow a phrase) in these links:
Long Island Weather Examiner: Parts of Nassau County rattled by violent storms
Long Island Press: Thunderstorms Prompt Flood Watch in Nassau
Wall Street Journal: Hail and Rain Wallop Region
Newsday (subscription needed): Strong storms knock out power, LIRR service
CBS 2 (WCBS): Hail Storm Shatters Windows, Rattles Nerves In Queens Neighborhoods

Jessy J at Daniel Street, Fourplay at the Blue Note August 2, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, Travel.
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Last week, my friend–blogger, graphic artist, and author Katherine Gilraine–attended four jazz shows.  For my post, we’ll focus on two of the shows.

First up is Jessy J at the Daniel Street club in Milford, Connecticut, last Friday.  (6/22/12 UPDATE: Daniel Street closed six months later.)  Jessy’s band featured Jay Rowe, another friend of mine, on keyboards.  K.G. writes in part (with links added by me):

… Out came Jessy on the alto, and out came Dizzy [Gillespie]’s Tin Tin Deo, and immediately, I saw that she has made leaps and bounds in her stage presence. She danced, she played to her audience, she back-and-forthed masterfully with Rohn Lawrence and Carl Carter, and she made it clear from the first thirty seconds that she was very much into the music that she was playing. The show quickly became a showcase as she went to the mic and got to singing – Mas Que Nada, mind you, is a favorite of mine – and commandeered a party through a Gloria Estefan cover. Granted, I’m no Gloria Estefan fan by any stretch of the imagination, but Jessy knew how to incorporate it into her style. There was no one with her on stage who wasn’t equally involved in the overall dynamic, and the audience was just as into her music as she was. …

Jessy has a new album coming out the day after Labor Day, Hot Sauce.

K.G. had this to say about the Fourplay show:

If Bob James or Chuck Loeb come to the Blue Note, I’m very sure that you will find me in the audience. If Bob James and Chuck Loeb are at the Blue Note, so is every Fourplay fan in New York City.

No, really.

… [Let’s Touch the Sky] was the focal point of the Blue Note show, and I saw how New York Attitude on guitar worked its way into the (admittedly) smooth dynamic of Fourplay. If you want to hear a great example of it, check out 3rd Degree. Written by Chuck in a tribute of himself being the third guitarist in the Fourplay lineup, it’s classic Loeb indeed: sharp, gritty, and almost toeing the line of rocker guitar, but not quite there. At the Note, this was a crowd-pleaser, right along Nathan East‘s voice on I’ll Still Be Loving You.

You can read Katherine’s full recap here.