Monday, November 20, 2017

Lazy Sunday # 497: AC/DC


Rock icons are most often shooting stars, burning bright and flaming out quickly. Some endure, of course, their music shifting to fit or influence the eternal ebb and flow of trends and tastes. Few, if any, ride out a full half century doing the same damn thing.

Malcolm Young of AC/DC was one of the latter. He started out rocking hard and never stopped. Overshadowed by the lead guitar of his showy brother and gravel voiced lead singers, hardly anybody who followed the band knew that the guy in the background was the one who wrote all the songs -- and all the infectious riffs.

Malcolm Young's greatest talent was being able to touch something primal inside us and bring both it and those who heard it to life.

AC/DC wasn't a pretty band. It wasn't politically correct or a darling of the critics. But it knew its audience and gave them what they wanted, outselling more highly regarded artists by the tens of millions.

Their 1980 album "Back in Black" sold 50 million copies worldwide, making it the top selling record of any band -- as in -- any -- band.

Much of the credit for that goes to Malcolm Young, who died this week after a long battle with dementia.

As an example of their incredible longevity and appeal, I offer the following song as an example.

"Highway to Hell" was first recorded in 1979. The concert in the video took place thirty years later in 2009. When did you last see 100,000 people rocking out to a song written before they were born.

I have a feeling Malcolm Young's magic will touch their children as well. And their children as well. Like the man said, "Rock n' Roll will never die".

Enjoy Your Sunday.





Monday, November 13, 2017

Lazy Sunday # 496: The Monster Factory



Spoiler alert -- Professional Wrestling is fake. What happens in the wrestling ring isn't real.

Wanna know something else?

Acting is fake. What happens on movie and TV screens isn't real either.

And yet...

Those engaged in staging the latter always seem to dismiss and look down on those who wrestler for a living.

I've always wondered why.

Back in the mists of time, as both streams of entertainment evolved, they each trotted colorful wagons from town to town to find an audience and eke out an existence. Sometimes they even shared the bill and taught each other their skills.

What happened? If you ask me, one got respectable. The other  -- not so much.

Today there are no government grants to train or develop wrestlers, nor to export the culture of wrestling or expand its markets around the world. There are no respected performance spaces built by patrons or responsible city councils. No festival circuits. No seemingly endless awards seasons.

And yet -- wrestlers endure. And prosper at levels that dwarf the money earned in Canada's currently super-heated film and television production centers.

Without ever needing a tax credit to keep them going.

One of my current projects involves wrestling. And this week I set out to find somebody who could train actors to wrestle --and maybe find a couple of wrestlers who could act.

The search took me to rougher parts of town and into worlds where a red carpet just means somebody bled pretty good.

There's a lot in that world that deserves respect. Here's a taste courtesy of filmmaker Tucker Bliss.

Enjoy Your Sunday...
Monster Factory from Tucker Bliss on Vimeo.


Monday, November 06, 2017

Lazy Sunday # 495: Monsoon IV


I grew up in some of the drier places in Canada. The Alberta Badlands. The Great Sandhills of Saskatchewan. I often quip that I was 12 years old before I saw water that wasn't in a glass. And that's not too far a stretch from the truth.

And somewhere around age 12, we moved closer to water. I learned to swim and toyed with the idea of becoming a Marine Biologist despite having not yet seen an ocean. I often quip that I made the University of Saskatchewan swim team because there were few in the student body who could swim. And that's not too far a stretch from the truth either.

The major bonus of coming from dry land is that you look on rain as a kind of natural wonder. It's rare and at times spectacular, such as those Summer nights when it arrives wrapped in lightning and thunder.

Where I live now, it rains a lot. As in pretty much six solid months of the year. So everybody around me bitches about the wet or the lack of sunshine. And I do too sometimes. But mostly I still wonder at water that falls from the sky.

The following is from an American filmmaker named Mike Olbinski who, to my mind, shares my affinity with what goes on in the skies above that can only come from living in a very dry place.

I hope his work is as magical for you -- no matter where you live.

Enjoy Your Sunday.

Monsoon IV (4K) from Mike Olbinski on Vimeo.