Sunday, March 30, 2014

Mondays' Music On the Edge

This first clip is of Tony Bennett, if you read his body language you can tell that he is not as relaxed or comfortible singing this trio of songs as he is with the standards.  What you will not be able to tell is how forced his original recordings were.  With Somewhere, he was originally sounding very gravely and upset in the recording on Tony Sings the Great Hits of Today.

This next song was one of those songs from World War Two that still has some wondering what was the writer of this song on, when he wrote it.  This is a later version of Three Little Fishes done by the Andrews Sisters,

This last piece is my current nomination of the most annoying song or arrangement of a song currently.  Yes these have been songs or arrangements of songs that are not as well done as the original or not enjoyable because of how they drone on, or because, well just because.  The Tony Bennett songs were redone long after his album where he really showed his disdain for the music he was forced to sing.  He was a sonsanant performer and overcame his disdain as the video shows, although as I said by the body language you can tell he is still struggling.  So onto the most annoying song.

Please note this song isn't so bad, it is just how many times does she have to sing The Rumor Has it...  It is enough to cause one to really want to scream.   Adele is a great singer over all, she did the theme to the last James Bond Movie SKYFALL, but this song is ruined by how many times she sings those words over and over again.

Sunday, March 23, 2014

Mondays' Music some favorites

No delay, here we go with one of the greatest Jazz Musicians of all Time.  "Here's Doc Severinsen"  

Here is a clip I do not remember ever seeing.  Marie Osmand and Mac Davis.
They were both so young back then.  So was I.  Maybe about 18.  Where have the years gone?

One of the most amazing Pianists in the history of music and someone I wish I could go back in time and see perform live.  Truely an amazing talent and someone who will never be duplicated ever.
Can not top Liberace, so this is where my Mondays Music ends this week.

Til next time.

Tuesday, March 11, 2014

Schism THE BATTLE FOR DARRACIA The first book in an Epic Science Fiction Series

Schism, The Battle for Darracia is the first in a series by Michael Phillip Cash.  Cash is best know for horror and Paranormal thrillers,: Brood X and Stillwell , a haunting on long island.

Like Stillwell, Schism is a book that keeps you on the edge of your seat, wondering what will happen next, the first chapter does start slowly at first however once you get into the ritual that Prince V'sair is chanting the story picks up speed.

Prince V'sair is some ways very reminiscent of Paul Atraides in the Dune Epic started by Frank Herbert.  V'sair like Paul is not your normal human.  V'sair is a half breed between the Darracians,  who live in the clouds and the Quyoos, the people who live on the surface of Darracia, who are employed as servants to the Darracians.

This mix in V'sair makes he feel lost and as if he will never be accepted by either people, instead of being taught how to use the Fireblade, he is being taught the spiritual path.

The story moves rapidly and we find that the king Drakko, of Darracia brother Staf Nuen  not only disapproves of his brother movement toward peace, but equality for the Quyoos, he can not accept the possibility of peace and change and sets into motion a coup to kill his brother and his family to take the throne and keep things as they have always been.

This conflict is along the complex story telling of William Shakespeare mixed with the power struggles and tragedy that nearly all Shakespearean plays had.

There are many characters all whom are major players at one point or another throughout this book and like any good book it will have surprises throughout including the end.

Michael Phillip Cash has done it again, and I can hardly wait for the second book in this series.

5 Stars.

Monday, March 10, 2014

Stinky Fumes, King of the Wild a Review

I am not one who usually reads childrens' books.  I am 53 and have no children of my own, however I decided to take up this book as a challenge.

The book, 'Stinky Fumes, King of the Wild' is by 

Mahamad Ali ElFakir, and is a book that no matter your age, you will enjoy.

In this book two adopted rabbits find themselves as part of a family of skunks, and the youngest, Pepper is about to go to his first meet and greet, where he will meet all the other skunks of the village and the first time skunks, who will compete and see who has the most powerful spray.

The book moves rapidly, and keeps you involved throughout, you will experience a wide array of emotions and will find yourself rooting for Pepper and being surprised by his two rabbit friends Tiger and Hopper.

The book can be found on and is available in both paperback and Kindle versions.

This is a fun book, with a few lessons and some laughs as well.  If you have kids, grand kids or just enjoy a well written book then 'Stinky Fumes, King of the Wild Volume 1, by 

Mahamad Ali ElFakir, is a book for you.

Sunday, March 9, 2014

Mondays' Music, the English Invasions

No, that is not a typo.  There have been three English Invasions musically speaking.

The first is the one that everyone knows about, it featured The Beatles, The Rolling Stones and Hermans' Hermits amounst others.

So for this first invasion from 1963 to 1969 we have...

Mic Jagger and the Roling Stones, the bad boys from across the pond, they did everything wrong and everyone loved them for that.

This was one of my favorite songs and singers from the 1960s'  Anyone else remember this song?

The Second English Invasion was in all reality a continuation of the first, it began in the mid 1960s' and ran into the mid late 1970s'

Now for me the English Invasion is any part of the Empire under the flag of the mother country, so this first group should be no surprise by that definition.  Here we have The BG's from Australia.
Take a look at the members of the band.  You may be surprised by one member.

By the 1 70s' this group was a huge hit both in Engliand and the U.S.  The Group Pink Floyd with one of their most powerful songs "Wish You Were Here.

In the 1980s' we had the 3rd English/ British invasion

This group came back big in the 1980s' that being THE MOODY BLUES.

Remember watching Men at Work on M-TV singing Who Can it Be Now?  This came out in 1981 and part of that 3rd Invasion.

There was a fourth English invasion, and yes, you guessed it, it was in the 1990s.

Another powerhouse group from Australia was Savage Garden, here with a song that really touches and hits home.  You may need to listen to this more than once, but it is worth it.

Last song from the 1990s' from another group from Liverpool.  

Hope you enjoyed my extended look at the English and British Invasion.  Please note I still have a half dozen more groups and singers that I did not get to, so I will be coming back to this at another time.

Have a musicaltastic week.

Sponsored: Michael Phillip Cash: Schism

 I am currently reading this first book in a series by Michael Phillip Cash. My review will be forth coming.
Until then, enjoy his book trailer and get your own copy!" imageanchor="1" style="margin-left: 1em; margin-right: 1em;">
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Disclosure: This is a sponsored advert on behalf of Michael Phillip Cash. I was compensated for this post.
Schism: The Battle For Darracia - BOOK TRAILER

Sponsored Advert on behalf of Michael Phillip Cash: Stillwell

Schism by Michael Phillip Cash was an excellent book that I have reviewed earlier on my blog. It has also been on the #1 best sellers list. Get your copy today.



Schism: The Battle For Darracia - BOOK TRAILER

Disclosure: This post is sponsored and I received compensation for the post.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

A Movie that should be bruned.

Recently I saw about ten minutes of a movie that I swore I would never watch ever again.

Normally, I do not write off movies.  Every film has some good point, a powerful scene, dialogue that will not go away or an amazing musical score.

This movie had none of those things going for it.  What it had was a name that drew people to it, because it was based on an actual historic triumph.

What makes this movie tragic, is that it could have been an amazing epic, about an amazing collection of men, who pulled off a miracle, of  surviving against overwhelming odds.

The movie was, THE MEMPHIS BELLE, a movie that had it been researched written and acted properly would have been an amazing story of heroism, courage and bravery.

The Memphis Bell, was a  B-17 Flying Fortress  heavy bomber that was the first plane and crew to complete 25 missions successfully over Europe in World War Two.  

This was such an event that on its' last mission the U.S. Army Air Forces, had a film crew aboard to chronicle this last mission.  This film is still available for public viewing and has been shown on the History Channel and Public Broadcasing several times.

So why is this movie so bad?  Well to begin with  it was full of mis representations, stereotypes and falsehoods,to the level that the names of the crew of the Memphis Belle were changed to protect the men who actually flew in this historic plane.

This was the 25th mission, no the first of sixth of tenth.  This was a milestone.  The crew for the most part had been together since day one.  They had flown many harrowing missions and were combat hardened.

No one screamed or protested about the danger they were facing.  ,  everyone wore oxygen masks, goggles and field helmets over their leather flight helmets.

Also, all crew wore heavy insulated leather gloves.  You were flying at 25,000 feet in a plane that was not pressurized and at temperatures bellow freezing.

No one choked up, and no one fired endless reams of ammo, because each gunner had so much ammo to his section.  Gunners were trained to let the enemy plane lead and fire where it would be, a technique hunters use.

I could forgive these stereotypes if this were not a real aircraft and crew that had been documented in film already, Memphis Bell Story of a Flying Fortress.  However we were dealing with real people.

I have to compare this to Tora Tora Tora, the film that chronicled the attack on Pearl Harbor.  This film was historically accurate, it portrayed both the Japanese and Americans with great depth and accuracy.  No one was a cowardly frightened child, these people were cool calm and collected.

It is hard to believe that actors such as Matthew Modine, Eric Stolz and Harry Conic Jr. could give such terrible performances, but considering they were not even playing the actual crew, but instead made up characters for the film that is probably why.

Here is the list of the actual crew of the Memphis Belle, and their combat record, as well as the missions they flew.

PILOT: Robert K. Morgan was reassigned to the Pacific Theater following his combat tour in Europe and PR tour in the USA. Lt. Col. Morgan commanded the 869th Bombardment Squadron and flew the Boeing B-29 Superfortress "Dauntless Dottie" on the very first B-29 raid over Tokyo. Morgan completed 25 combat missions in B-29s by the end of the World War II. Retired from the USAF with the rank of Colonel.
CO-PILOT: James A. Verinis from Woodbridge, Connecticut also piloted the B-17 "The Connecticut Yankee". Retired from the USAF with the rank of Lt. Colonel.
NAVIGATOR: Charles B. Leighton from Flint, Michigan eventually retired to become a teacher and guidance counselor before he passed away in 1991.
BOMBADIER: Vince Evans was Hollywood writer, a restaurant operator and race car driver. He completed a second tour of duty aboard B-29s with Bob Morgan in the Pacific. Evans passed away in 1980.
ENGINEER/TOP TURRET GUNNER #1: Leviticus "Levy" Dillon transferred to the 306th BG after he crewed Missions #1, #2, #3, & #5 aboard the "MEMPHIS BELLE". He was wounded on Mission #3 though he never reported the injury and consequently there is no official record. Dillon retired to Providence Forge, Virginia.
ENGINEER/TOP TURRET GUNNER #2: Eugene Adkins from Johnson City, Tennessee flew on the Mission #4 and Missions #6 ~ #10 when he suffered severe frostbite. He was a Gunnery Specialist on B-17s, B-29s, B-36s, and B-50s. Retired from the USAF with the rank of Major. Adkins passed away in 1995.
ENGINEER/TOP TURRET GUNNER #3: Harold P. Loch from Green Bay, Wisconsin eventually retired as a building contractor and records registrar.
RADIO OPERATOR/GUNNER: Robert Hanson became a regular member of the crew during their training at Walla Walla, Washington in 1941. He kept a log book of the "MEMPHIS BELLE" missions. He eventually retired from business to Mesa, Arizona.
BALL TURRET GUNNER: Cecil Scott from Arapahoe, North Carolina acquired one "Damaged" enemy aircraft credit as a gunner aboard the "MEMPHIS BELLE". Scott retired after 30 years with the Ford Motor Company. He passed away in 1979.
RIGHT WAIST GUNNER #1: E. Scott Miller from Kingwood, West Virginia flew 15 missions with the "BELLE". but missed the PR tour because he hadn't completed a full tour of 25 missions at the time. Miller passed away in 1995.
RIGHT WAIST GUNNER #2: Casimer A. "Tony" Nastal from Apache Junction, Arizona flew one mission on the "MEMPHIS BELLE" but qualified for the PR tour with his 24 other combat missions on other Flying Forts. After the PR tour, Nastal returned to the ETO and completed a total of 60 combat missions.
LEFT WAIST GUNNER: Clarence E. "Bill" Winchell downed the eighth and final German fighter from the guns of the "MEMPHIS BELLE. His diaries provide most of the accurate accounts of the missions. Winchell retired as a chemical engineer and passed away in 1994.
TAIL GUNNER: John P. Quinlan was the only officially wounded crew member of the "MEMPHIS BELLE". After the PR tour, he tried unsuccessfully to fly again with Robert Morgan in the Pacific Theatre. Quinlan was eventually assigned to the CBI Theatre and downed 3 Zeros, to become a "gunner Ace" before his B-29 was shot down. He had already shot down 2 German fighters from the "BELLE". Quinlan eventually retired to Stephentown, New York.
CREW CHIEF: Joe Giambrone came from Hulneville, Pennsylvania and saw to the the replacement of nine engines, both wings, two tails, both main landing gear and more to keep the "BELLE" in top form. Giambrone retired as a Construction Company Office Manager in 1992.

Now Here are the actors and characters they played.  See if you can match them up with the real crew of this famous plane.


Cast overview, first billed only:
Matthew Modine...
Eric Stoltz...
Tate Donovan...
1st Lt. Luke Sinclair
D.B. Sweeney...
Billy Zane...
Lt. Val "Valentine" Kozlowski
Sean Astin...
Harry Connick Jr....
Reed Diamond...
Sgt. Virgil Hoogesteger (as Reed Edward Diamond)
Courtney Gains...
Sgt. Eugene McVey
Neil Giuntoli...
Sgt. Jack Bocci
David Strathairn...
Col. Craig Harriman
John Lithgow...
Jane Horrocks...
Mac McDonald...
Les (as Mac Macdonald)

This is the actual mission log of the real Memphis Belle.  Which was named after a ship in a motion picture and the pin up was from a magazine.

1 Brest, France November 7, 1942 U-Boat Pens
 2 St. Nazaire, France November 9, 1942 U-Boat Pens
 3 St. Nazaire, France November 17, 1942 U-Boat Pens
 4 Lille, France December 6, 1942 Marshalling Yards
 5 Rommily-Sur-Seine, France December 20, 1942 German Aircraft Depot
 6 St. Nazaire, France January 1, 1943 U-Boat Pens
 7 Lille, France January 13, 1943 Marshalling Yards
 8 Lorient, France January 23, 1943 U-Boat Pens
 9 Emden, Germany February 4, 1943 War Plant (Ford Factory)
 10 Hamm, Germany February 14, 1943 Marshalling Yards
 11 St. Nazaire, France February 16, 1943 U-Boat Pens
 12 Wilhelmshaven, Germany February 26, 1943 Sea Port
 13 Brest, France February 29, 1943 U-Boat Pens
 14 Lorient, France March 6, 1943 U-Boat Pens
 15 Roven, France March 12, 1943Marshalling Yards
 16 Abbeville, France March 13, 1943German Fighters
 17 Wilhelmshaven, Germany March 22, 1943Sea Port
 18 Roven, France March 28, 1943Marshalling Yards
 19 Antwerp, Belgium April 5, 1943War Plants
 20 Lorient, France April 16, 1943 U-Boat Pens
 21 Bremen, Germany April 17, 1943W ar Plant (Focke-Wulf Factory)
 22 St. Nazaire, France May 1, 1943 U-Boat Pens
 23 Antwerp, Belgium May 4, 1943War Plants
 24 Lorient, France May 15, 1943U-Boat Pens
 25 Wilhelmshaven, Germany May 17, 1943 Sea Port

The real men, in front of their B-17, being awarded for completing their 25th mission by two Generals of the 8th U.S.A.A.F.

The Hollywood fake story came out in October of 1990, by which time many of the men who had flown on this historic plane had died, the few alive obviously the writer and producer didn't feel necessary to interview, why interview people when you intend on making up names and changing events anyway?

  If you want to see the true story, here is the link  for the actual film by the U.S. War Department that was issued in 1944.

Sunday, March 2, 2014

Mondays' Music, a little bit of this... a little bit of that.

This started off being a flash back of videos that had special meaning in my past.  Well there will be some of that, and a few surprises.  We start off with one of those surprises, U-2s' latest video "Ordinary Love" from the move "Mandella, long walk to freedom."

This next tHIS also is one by someone we have not heard from in a while.  It is a song of being strong and taking care of one and other  So here is Jon Bonjovi "Because We Can"
This last video is a new group, well to me they are new.  This is The Killers with their ponient song "All the things I have done"    Hope you like these songs of conviction

So there you have it.  My selections of a variety of music once again that has feeling and surprises.
Til next week with the British Invasion, this is Mark aka Tamirisc signing off.