LDS Eagles fans had to love the reunion of Don Henley, Bernie Leadon, Joe Walsh, and Timothy B. Schmidt as they paid tribute to beloved band member Glenn Frey that passed January 18. With song co-writer Jackson Browne, they performed “Take it Easy.” Frey’s family wanted something “simple and elegant,” with conventional lighting and a blank backdrop, thus emphasizing the music; a photo of a smiling Frey came up during the last seconds of the song. Eagles members sensed the significance of the moment, bowing heads and wiping tears from crestfallen faces.
The rest of the show was a postmodern Ed Sullivan-style variety show on steroids: A Lady Gaga tribute to David Bowie was more Broadway than a redo of his jolting soulful style; it seemed more about Gaga than Bowie. Kendrick Lamar, the Bob Dylan of rap, did a stirring song about racism with musicians in chains and cages; it was artful and poetic. Justin Bieber threw his guitar down in Peter Townsend fashion, but his band comes nowhere near the Who. Something called “Hollywood Vampires” with Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp left jaws dropped, yet pleased their newly formed fan base in the auditorium. Twelve year old jazz pianist Joey Alexander, the youngest nominee, drew a standing ovation.
“Best rock performance” went to Alabama Shakes, with a humble lead singer Brittany Howard, accepting: “We started in high school and never thought we’d get an award like this.”
Album of the Year went to Taylor Swift for “1989,” the first woman to win Best Album twice. Bruno Mars’ “Uptown Funk” earned Record of the Year honors. The Best New Artist award was given to Meghan Trainor.
It was a difficult year for rock with the passing of Maurice White, Paul Kantner, Leslie Gore, Percy Sledge, David Bowie, BB King, Glenn Frey, and Natalie Cole. Deservedly, the most moving productions were the tributes to Glenn Frey, BB King, Maurice White, and David Bowie. This year’s show is getting good reviews, and kudos for the producers for bringing an eclectic array of multifaceted and multi-generational rock artists together in a unified and delicious way.
Don Hertzfeldt’s “World of Tomorrow” a 2015 Sundance Short Film Claims that a Person’s Soul will Live Beyond Physical Death through Artificial Intelligence
According to this short documantary, your soul or consciousness can be uploaded as memory into new cloned bodies continuously after your birth body passes. If you can’t afford this, full digital consciousness transfer will enable your mind to be implanted in a robot so that you can still be part of a person’s life after physical death. There will also be an “outernet” where everyone is connected to the same neural network. View screens allow robots to view all events in history. No where in the film does it explain how “consciousness” can be achieved in a non-living thing.
In the new TV series, “Lucifer,” the bad one is thinking more deeply and thoroughly about what it means to be human.
The adversary takes a vacation from hell to spend time in LA. His only power is to encourage people to fulfill their desires. And, of course, he focuses on the unsavory ones. He owns a nightclub and is an extraordinary piano player. Lucifer feels oddly fulfilled when questioning someone’s motives such as those of a murderer in one case. An angel is sent to retrieve him, but his interaction with humanity is intoxicating. His therapist says, “You’re changing.” The idea of the dark one developing the seeds of a conscience is an interesting plot line. The Jesus figure asks him to return to hell. “You’re time on earth is affecting you.” Unfortunately, the show is in the lowest common denominator genre trying to draw the largest audience possible. Which, of course, means lots of sexual innuendos and stilted dialogue. He’s no saint (duh), but it’s interesting the writers don’t mock religion or God. The issues raised are actually quite interesting. Hopefully, as the series progresses, it doesn’t turn out to be a downer.
Colorado boldly legalized recreational marijuana over two years ago. The documentary series, High Profits, tells the story of Brian Rogers and Caitlin McGuire owners of the first “weed” store, the Breckenridge Cannabis Club. The community, especially downtown retailers are mostly opposed to the “shop of highs.” Within weeks, they are making $5,000 a day and trending upward; soon it’s more than $40,000. Customers line up outside the doors for the store to open. One customer travels from Mexico City. Pot paraphernalia stores are popping up on side streets, and citizens are worried that their tidy pristine tourist town will soon be the East Village of Manhattan.
But, the owners have done their homework, (e.g., securing all permits, a dependable supply chain, and marketing plan). The store has the same faux Swiss-style Disneyland architecture as the other businesses; they blend in for the most part. There are problems, though. Taxes are 24%. “Our town is being destroyed!” a resident voices. Another agrees: “They’re parasites!” The City Council votes that the store has to move from Main Street to a less prominent location within a year.
High Profits is an eight-episode ethnographic film treating us to the first glimpse of a controversial industry unfolding. Perhaps most compelling is what it reveals about the weed culture before legalization. On the street outside the Club, young and old mingle, sharing “smoking stories” uncovering more about a vast culture once hidden. It also raises the potentially deleterious impacts on immature local teens as they grow up with this new element in their local community.