Sunday, August 24, 2008

Summer With Summer

Donna Summer performs at the Hollywood Bowl.
(with apologies for the blurry jumbotron screen caps).

One of the most anticipated concerts of the 2008 summer season is Donna Summer's concert at the Hollywood Bowl.

The event is sold out, which means the bowl is filled to its 17,000++ capacity.

There was no L.A. Philharmonic prelude to the concert. Her flautist played the national anthem (quite beautifully) and the show started.

Donna had an excellent stage with multiple screens, 3 backup singers and 3 backup dancers.

The center screen panel rotated to reveal the diva herself singing"The Queen is Back" from her new album - Crayons. She is wearing a very regal purple dress.

I must say those multiple screen panels in the background were very effective and flashed visuals relevant to the songs she was singing. Like a radio dial for "On The Radio" or rain for "Enough is Enough" or even a park for "Macarthur Park".

Let's stop here for a minute to say that I adore Donna Summer and her music and I do understand that at nearly 60 years of age, one may acquire some protective padding here and there but if and when that DOES happen - at least get a competent costume designer!

First costume change was this printed dress - meh!
The song she sang, "Sand on My Feet" was much better!

And then it was - oh no she dee-ent!

Da Who advised Miss Summer to wear a big red ill-fitting pantsuit? (and I mean BIG - the jumbotron turned all RED for a second).   I've seen her in a pantsuit before when she did a surprise guest stint at Barry Manilow's concert in Vegas and it didn't work out then (let's just say that there was a collective gasp when the cameraman inadvertently focused on Miss Summer's derriere).

This part was completely confusing to me. Her Hattie Mae segment where she wears a big white hat. Did I miss something?

Her voice was in fine form specially for the disco hits "Bad Girls" and "Hot Stuff", one of the most applauded segments of the evening.

I'm sure a lot of people were there for the disco hits of the 70's. And I do appreciate Miss Summer's efffort to expand her range with her new album but somehow the show seemed all over the place. There are some pretty good danceable tunes from her new album but I'm still wondering what that Hattie Mae stuff was about.

Overall, it was an enjoyable evening and I'm happy to see such a wonderful and talented performer. I can't wait for her next album.  And this time - I hope it won't take 17 years!

Hey Donna, call me!

Highland Camrose Park

And other picnic areas around the Hollywood Bowl.

There seems to be a lot of interest about picnic areas around the Hollywood Bowl, including the Highland Camrose Park so I decided to write more about it.

The Highland Camrose Park is located at the corner of Highland and Camrose (quelle surprise!)

There is an entrance on Camrose.
(Highland Camrose Park Entrance)

It's an enclosed park (walled-in) with a meandering pathway running the length of Highland Avenue and dotted with picnic areas. Being enclosed, it is not easily identifiable as a park when driving along Highland Avenue.

This is a very popular picnic site and gets filled up very quickly specially by large groups who block off sections for their party and will rabidly defend it against other igloo-cooler-toting-infidels (growl!)
(This photo was taken around 7pm and it's quite full already)

There is also a greenbelt across the street from this park on Highland that I've seen people having a picnic, but, it doesn't seem very pleasant since you can breathe in the fumes (from passing cars) with your food. And I'm so not into molecular gastronomy!

My favorite place to eat would be the terrace in the Hollywood Bowl right after the security and ticket check, but again, it gets filled up quite quickly. I have been known to set up a picnic blanket in the midst of all the tables and have had no problem at all. You can also hover around occupied tables and guilt people out of their seats. It helps if you look gaunt and hungry. Violent coughing also helps to speed up the process (just kidding!)

There are also small pockets of designated picnic areas on the way to the seats. What I've seen is people simply setting up a picnic blanket along the pathways and they seem to have a nice time.

On occasion, I have been offered leftover chicken by these people in spite of the fact that I look like I devoured a couple already.

You can also eat where you are seated but it does get tight and it could get messy.

Whatever you do, a moveable feast is best enjoyed with good food and good friends. Bon appetit!

Monday, August 18, 2008

Coming Attractions

Donna Summer at the Hollywood Bowl.

Get your tickets here.

Friday, August 1, 2008

Recent Acquisition - Gino Hollander

Presenting my latest acquisition.

I'm not sure as to the authenticity of this Gino Hollander painting since I got it on ebay. Plus, there was some damage during shipping (small crack on the back of the bull) but, the size is consistent with Gino's paintings of the period (24"x40"). This was allegedly painted May of 1964 on what looks like linen, which makes it even more delicate.

It's a picture of a dying bull, maybe during a corrida or bullfight. But Gino never titled any of his paintings (although the galleries often did for obvious reasons) so I just call it as I see it - a dying bull. this related to my mad-life crises?

To read more about Gino Hollander, here's my blog entry about the Jerry McLaughlin collection of Gino Hollander paintings.

There's also a film in the works about Gino Hollander and here's a preview. Just a word of warning, it's pretty long so prepare your butts people, it's gunna be a long preview:

Art and the Artist - Gino Hollander from Gino Hollander on Vimeo.