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Chieli Minucci & Special EFX concert recap 2 September 17, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Jazz, Music, Personal.
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Friday was day two of the annual Long Beach Jazz Festival.  Fall was in the air outside one week early.  The festival’s main venue is the Long Beach Public Library‘s auditorium.  The second of two shows in the auditorium that night featured Chieli Minucci & Special EFX, whom I last saw a year ago at Sounds of Brazil.

The auditorium was packed to the gills.  And a few of the people I saw two nights earlier at the Dharma All Stars gig were present.

Chieli Minucci was on electric guitar…

…and acoustic guitar:

Jay Rowe on keyboards:

Jerry Brooks on bass:

And Lionel Cordew on drums:

Courageous Cats
Originally heard on: “Jewels,” 1995 (Chieli solo album)

2. Greenway North
Originally heard on: “Modern Manners,” 1985

3. Ascension
Originally heard on: “Sweet Surrender,” 2007

4. Nature Boy
Originally heard on: “Confidential,” 1989
Chieli played solo guitar on this.

5A. My Girl Sunday
Originally heard on: “Sweet On You,” 2000 (Chieli solo album)

5B. Miami
Originally heard on: “Masterpiece,” 1999

6. Cause We’ve Ended As Lovers
Originally heard on: “Renaissance,” 1996 (Chieli solo album)

7. New Bop
Originally heard on: “Sweet Surrender,” 2007

8. Kickin’ It Hard
Originally heard on: “Night Grooves,” 2003 (Chieli solo album)

Jay’s “Courageous Cats” keyboard solo:

Chieli switched to acoustic guitar for “Nature Boy” and “My Girl Sunday”:

“My Girl Sunday” began with solo improv by Jay:

Lionel’s “New Bop” drum solo:

The last note of “Kickin’ It Hard”:

The band left to a standing ovation:

Their next stop is Santo Domingo, Dominican Republic, next Friday for a jazz festival there.


Dharma All Stars recap 7 September 15, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, Jazz, Music, Personal, TV.
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Last night, I went to see John Favicchia‘s band, the Dharma All Stars, at The Brokerage, a comedy club in Bellmore, just a short trip from my house.

The players were the same as the last time I saw them 13 months agoChieli Minucci was on guitar:

Bill Harris on the tenor sax…

…and alto sax:

Nick Lazarev on bass:

Misha Tsiganov on the keyboard:

And John Fav on drums:

I was there for the first set.  Here’s what was played:
1. Horizons
2. Coincidence
3. Sing a Song of Song (Kenny Garrett cover)
4. Bodybeat (Special EFX cover)
5. Kukuc

The view from a bar TV:

Bill switched to alto sax for “Bodybeat”:

Bill switched back to tenor on “Kukuc”:

The Dharma All Stars will return to the Brokerage on Wednesday, October 12, at 8PM.

My 9/11 experience September 10, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Commentary, Media, Music, News, Personal, Radio, TV.

9/2/20 UPDATE: Original photos have been replaced with higher-quality retouched scans and the links at the bottom removed. A link to a subsequent relevant post was added.

9/16/21 UPDATE: I forgot to mention in my portfolio or the addendum that I was tired and wanted to sleep a little longer before getting ready to go up to campus for class. Classes were either Monday/Wednesday or Tuesday/Thursday. I think had two or three classes on Tuesdays and Thursdays this semester with the first, public speaking, at 11:30. If I had a 10:00 class, I would have been up sooner, probably seen news break, and seen the second plane hit before leaving my house.

The following is an excerpt from a written summary of a 9/11 portfolio I made at the end of the Fall 2001 semester (December 16) at C.W. Post (9/2/20: now LIU Post) for my Broadcasting 1 course, edited for brevity and accuracy:

It was 9:10 a.m. on September 11. I just wanted to see what Regis [Philbin] and Kelly [Ripa] were talking about [on Live with Regis and Kelly]. So, I put on Channel 7 (WABC), and [saw] John DelGiorno in NewsCopter 7 showing smoke rising from both towers of the World Trade Center. I had no idea how it had happened, but after flipping from station to station, and seeing the various replays, I knew. At the time, it was considered that two planes accidentally crashed into the two towers, especially after the first plane hit, and that perhaps these were [small planes]. But, of course, they were two Boeing 767s; one was American Airlines Flight 11, and the next was United Airlines Flight 175. As more time passed, we got a better idea that this was a terrorist attack of some sort. It was made clear when it was reported that two planes had been hijacked and disappeared from radar, and especially clear when at [9:37], there was a fire at the Pentagon, which turned out to be from American Flight 77. As all this was going on, I tried to go about my regular activities and get ready for my day at C.W. Post. At [9:58], I was in my parents’ bedroom, standing, towel in hand about to shower, watching Channel 4 (WNBC) and listening to Howard Stern, which my parents had on. We were looking live at the two burning towers, and then, as I looked away for a second [at 9:59], I turned back as my dad made a shocking remark. “The building just collapsed,” he said in horror. “Oh, my God.” And I indeed saw the South Tower collapsing in on itself. My heart sank as many stories as the tower; it was the most chilling thing I had seen since United 175 crash[ed] into that same tower. I continued to get ready, now further terrorized, and then at 10:29, as my mom and I were getting into our car to head up to campus, my dad came out the front door. I lowered my window, and he told us that the other tower had collapsed [one minute earlier]. I didn’t know what that looked like until I saw the replay on CNN at the Hillwood Cinema. As I watched the North Tower, with antennas and transmitters, collapse, I let out a long, horrified groan. That is all I will say about how September 11 was for me. …

Classes were suspended in the afternoon and didn’t resume until Thursday. So, I needed a ride home in the mid-afternoon. I couldn’t get through to either of my parents for that ride. When I walked past Humanities Hall, I found my Human Values professor from two semesters prior, John Lutz. Dr. Lutz was gracious enough to give me the ride home I needed. We listened to 1010 WINS for much of what turned out to be a long ride. Traffic was heavy nearly the entire way home. Lutz is still teaching at C.W. Post, now as an associate professor of English (9/10/13: and Chairman of the English Department). If you happen to read this, Dr. Lutz, I can’t thank you enough for your help on that chaotic day ten years ago.

I was so overcome with emotion that I wasn’t in the mood to listen to any music (on CDs or MP3s on the computer) for up to a week. Yet, I had a song in my head that I couldn’t repress. As the song looped, I kept visualizing either the two towers on fire after being hit or the image from NewsCopter 7 – one that got replayed repeatedly – of United 175 flying diagonally into the South Tower. It was chilling, as I said in my summary. When I wasn’t watching the nonstop coverage on that day and the days ahead, I watched syndicated reruns of The Simpsons that I had been taping for a year. (I gave that up in 2006.) It was a therapeutic escape from the insanity of real life.

I’ll conclude this post with a few handful of pictures. These were taken on a return trip to Ground Zero while shooting my senior project: a documentary about Joe Falco, a now-retired FDNY firefighter who survived the collapse of the South Tower:

9/2/20 UPDATE: There were several links at this point in the post, but none of them work anymore. Instead, I refer to a post five years later which includes video of the Joe Falco documentary.

Irene, Five Days in Freeport September 8, 2011

Posted by Mike C. in Comedy, DVD, Internet, Jazz, Media, Music, News, Personal, Photography, Radio, Technology, Travel, TV, Video, Video Games, Weather.
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After 26 years of barely missing hurricanes, or at least direct hits, Long Island’s luck ran out last weekend.

On a Friday afternoon, September 27, 1985, Hurricane Gloria, a fast-moving Category 2, made landfall near Long Beach.  25 years and 11 months later, it was Irene’s turn.  Though Hurricane Irene was barely a Category 1 when it made landfall on Coney Island last Sunday morning (immediately weakening to a tropical storm), it wasn’t moving as fast as Gloria and it came during high tide rather than low tide.  The south shore of Long Island got pounded.  Over 500,000 Long Island Power Authority (LIPA) customers, including myself, were without power at the height of the storm.  Either giant limbs or uprooted trees fell on power lines or transformers caught fire.  I lost power at 1:30 AM Sunday because of the latter.  (Also, the sub-station in Plainedge that we were linked to was badly damaged.)

I prepared my bedroom for the worst by covering up some belongings, including CDs, and putting them on the floor:

I spent Saturday night and much of Sunday in the basement and on the main floor, only going to the top floor in the afternoon to take a [cold!] shower.  While preparing my room on Saturday, I found a lucky rabbit’s foot.  I kept it close by or in my shorts pocket.

I don’t know if the rabbit’s foot was the cause, but our house was spared.  The only damage for us was smaller branches and twigs, and leaves falling around the house.  I took these pictures Monday morning in the front and back yards under a partly-to-mostly sunny sky:

I put everything I had put on the floor back where they were before on Sunday night.  This picture was also taken Monday morning:

More pics from Monday near my house:

I stayed home without power until Monday afternoon when a family friend in Freeport was nice enough to let me stay with them until power was restored at my house.  Villages like Freeport that have their own utilities didn’t lose power for long.  If only that were the case for LIPA customers.  Some didn’t get it back until early this week.  I got it back 3:30 PM Friday.  The family friend was without FiOS (for reasons I won’t get into), so I was stuck with radio, wireless internet (on my laptop), and mobile web (on my cell phone).  I also passed the time by going for walks, listening to music on my iPod, and playing video games.  I hadn’t played Game Boy or Game Boy Advance games in ages until last week.  I brought my camera on one of those walks and stopped by my late grandparents’ old house and Cow Meadow Park (swatting mosquitoes along the way):

Before getting to the old house and Cow Meadow, I saw a sad sight walking up the block where the friend lives.  Curbs on both sides of the street had flood-damaged carpeting, couches, and appliances waiting to be picked up.  I used to live in southwest Freeport.  So, I know what it’s like to get flooding from the bay in the bottom floor of the house.  I got that during the aforementioned Gloria, and Nor’easters in December 1992 and March 1993.  Within months of those last two storms, I had moved to a part of Wantagh that’s a few miles inland.

Back at the friend’s house, she had the complete run of I Love Lucy on DVD.  I got into that show years ago when it was on Nick at Nite.  My love for it was rekindled.  I watched the latter seasons while the friend had them on.

The ride home late Friday afternoon was great.  I knew I’d be returning home to electricity and cable, albeit with an empty refrigerator.  Before leaving, I thanked the family friend for putting up with me for five days.  I returned the favor this Tuesday when I stayed at her house while she was at work to be present for a Cablevision technician to install their services–iO, Optimum Online, Optimum Voice–in place of Verizon’s–phone, FiOS internet, FiOS TV.

Three footnotes:
1. As I type this post, Hurricane Katia is about to turn northeast and move away from the U.S. East Coast.  Good.
2. There were plenty of columns and blog posts in Irene’s aftermath that downplayed the storm and/or reprimanding the media for overhyping it.  Many media did overhype it, but damage is damage.  Downed trees are nothing compared to massive flo0ding, whether from storm surge or rivers overflowing from nonstop rain.  Residents of New Jersey, Eastern New York State, and Vermont are among those that got the latter.  And the remnants of Tropical Storm Lee in the last few days have only added to the flooding.
3. I stumbled upon a blog post that offers the Washington, D.C. area perspective.  It’s written by freelance writer Kristine Meldrum Denholm: How I’ve dodged the demise of the east coast, part II: Goodnight, Irene.  There was minimal damage in her neighborhood and she never lost power.  Kristine is not alone.  My neighbors two houses to the west of me never lost power, neither did my piano teacher in Freeport.
4. Yet another link: Fox News meteorologist Janice Dean summed up Irene at her blog last Monday.

9/27 UPDATE: It’s hard to believe that tomorrow will mark one month since Irene made landfall here.  And as I noted at the top, Hurricane Gloria whizzed (compared to the slower Irene) through Long Island 26 years ago today.  Since I wrote this post a few weeks ago, a few more Atlantic tropical cyclones have formed and none have directly impacted the U.S.  (Knock on wood.)  In checking the August archives at the website Johnny Dollar’s Place, I found an interview John Gibson did with Janice Dean on his Fox News Radio show.  It took place on August 29, the day after landfall:

12/30 UPDATE: Irene was the #1 tri-state area news story in WCBS 880’s countdown of the top 11 stories of 2011:

… But Sunday morning, August 28, we knew the caution was called for.

Irene swept ashore in Brigantine, battered New Jersey, then crossed Coney Island at 9 a.m. on a path for New England.

Throughout its path, Irene caused widespread destruction, left millions without power and killed 56 people.

“We are now into day three of no electricity for hundreds of thousands of Long Islanders,” reported WCBS 880 Long Island Bureau Chief Mike Xirinachs. …

Even with all that Irene turned out not to have been a hurricane when it hit our area.

Okay, fine, it wasn’t a hurricane.  It was Tropical Storm Irene.  It might as well have been a category 1 hurricane because it moved slow enough to cause the same amount of damage.

You can read and listen to the rest here.