Fifth Nerd Triathlon: Controversy Edition

So its high time for another running of T of V’s Nerd Triathlon. This is an event where I weigh in on a trio of topics of dire consequence to the World Legion of Geeks and Fanatics. Limbered up and ready to go?

holmes and watson

This way, Cumberbitches!

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Herbie Hancock

So today is the birthday of Herbert Jeffrey Hancock, the coolest cat in the universe and my favorite jazz musician.

herbie hancock

Call me Herbie!

Herbie was sought out by Miles Davis to take the piano spot in his second great quintet starting in 1963 when Hancock was only twenty-three. (But that’s nothing; Tony Williams the drummer was seventeen!) Along with bassist Ron Carter, this trio became what I believe was the finest rhythm section in all of jazz. Oh yeah, I said it.

davis second quintet

The quintet at play–herbie, miles, ron, wayne shorter on sax and tony

Even while recording and performing with Miles for the next decade or so, Herbie was already making records of his own as a bandleader and composer. Classically trained, Hancock’s style is melodic and persuasive. His compositions also frequently cross over into funk, soul and pop arenas as they are some of the most accessible of all jazz music–in a good way. He’s one of the prime movers of post-bop jazz, i.e., fusion. If awards are your thing, Herbie’s racked up more grammys than God. Or even Taylor Swift and Michael Jackson. (Herbie’s fourteen is one more than Michael got.)

herbie and band

Herbie in the seventies with the Headhunters (I think)…

I just love Herbie’s creativity, his joy in music. For people who don’t think they can “get” jazz, I’m convinced he’s the guy to try. Like I said, accessible in a good way. Some day I will do my definitive Herbie Hancock post so look out for that.

T of V ecstatically wishes Mr. Herbie Hancock a beautiful birthday. He’s turning seventy-four today, and still producing great albums year after year. If you don’t know his work, please listen to some today.

herbie hancock

Damn, that man’s got soul. Happy birthday!

A Liberal Doesn’t…

glenn beck

So as most Americans have realized, there is a deep divide between our two major political parties today; deeper, arguably, then it has ever been. Hell, most of the world has noticed that we can’t get along enough to pass the simplest of matters through our congress anymore, much less the important shit. Is this because of a difference in ideals, morals, ethics or any other pretense that both parties like to invoke, I assume sarcastically? Continue reading

The Hydra in Winter: T of V Reviews a Movie That Just Opened in Theaters!

So yeah, I went to the cinema for one of my bimonthly visits. What did I see?

You can’t seriously be asking me that! A new Marvel movie just came out. Whadja think I saw?

No spoilers ahead….but just barely. Continue reading

Hayao Miyazaki-sama

hayao miyazaki

Konnichi-wa!

The Wind Rises, the final film from the acclaimed animator Hayao Miyazaki, has recently gotten its wide release in the U.S.

To mark this occasion, I thought I would share my thoughts on the major themes that can be found in Miyazaki’s masterpieces. He’s a director I love so much that I went to Berkeley once and spent a couple hundred bucks just to see him answer some questions and talk about his films.

So let’s get to it. Continue reading

Mein WordPress Kampf, part two: Every Damn Day and Afterwards

dancing hitler gif

So where were we?

Sometime last November I noticed that just about every blog I looked at was in the midst of NaNoWriMo, or National Novel Writing Month. The goal of this exercise in sadomasochistic blog-flogging is to write a thousand words of a novel every day while also blogging daily about the experience. Continue reading