Grant Gustin Ascending: Barry Allen and the FLASH


Stoked for this fall’s lineup of Downton Abbey, ARROW and debut of Grant Gustin as The FLASH!

Barry- er, Grant was born for this role

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Necessary GaGa Mentor, Masterclass comes to American Idol


CLEVELAND – How do you feel about getting a little psycho? 

Summary of this nasty, insatiable spectacle that continues to define and transcend into the timeless:

  • Give them a little Edith Piaf. Fabulous. If you have not watched Inception’s Marion Cotillard joie de vivre; visceral interpretation of La Vie en Rose, you’re probably not reading this to begin with…
  • There’s nothing wrong with Ginger Rogers.
  • Elvis was moving his hips.
  • Little known fact: GaGa’s mentor used to tie her wrists together during scales, arpeggios, runs, warmups etc .

I remember my tutor, Howard Spindler at the Eastman School of Music and alumni of Oberlin College (another school I originally auditioned with), used to make me cut my nails if I came to sessions unprepared. It was like nails (pun intended) on a chalkboard for him:

Click. Click. Slide. C-LICK.

Not conducive to flying fingers. Other tactics Spindler would use with me was putting a ruler or piece of paper in front of the sheet music when I began to rely too heavily on the notes and not the story, the pathos/ethos/logos of Bartók, Chopin, Rachmaninoff (damn his gargantuan hands!), Mozart, Beethoven, Shostakovich or Schumann’s Stories for Children.

But perhaps my favorite of his methods: literally slapping my wrists from underneath if I began to push them downward (which leads to carpal tunnel), as if I’d touched boiling, lava-hot magma: Reflex. Get your wrists (or in little monster’s case: Paws) up!!!!



Bananas, Tie Bars and other Twitter Malarkey

As the August round of and the Plain Dealer’s Twitter 20 comes to a close, I couldn’t help but share some of the shenanigans enjoyed by all who’ve participated this month.

As this week’s topic was fashion (which is ubiquitous anyway), randomly related conversations cropped up in my Twitter stream; Gini Dietrich and SXSWCares, SXSWJapan superstar Leigh Duncan-Durst in particular:

@ginidietrich I LOVE monkeys!

My response:

Darwin Bananas Chucks

During a brief stint as a shoes salesman, I remember a guy coming in and special ordering these. Wasn’t sure what was more amusing: His dopey grin, nerdy insistence or his formidably attractive girlfriend‘s mortified look and futile attempts to interject her disapproval.

Perhaps Gwen was onto something (in arguably one of the most perniciously contagious, incoherent videos of the last decade)

But seriously. Don’t watch it.

Absolutely terrible.

Anywho…back to the Twitter 20.


@Tweetmeslow >> Don’t wear your meatdress at the zoo #CLE20

Meat dress

@CharitUrbanista >> A must 4 ladies “little black dress” that makes u feel gorgeous & sexy! What is it for men? @byron_fernandez @raymondromero @LTreu #CLE20

My reply: Every man should know how to rock a tie bar. 

Milo Ventimiglia demonstrates:

GQ Milo Ventimiglia Gilmore Girls Jesse guy in suit tie Ray Ban folding wayfarer

As fall fast approaches, what are some fashion/style tips you’re enjoying or observing? What other nonsense muddles back porch conversation over Oktoberfest or a few pumpkin ales (ahegghm — Southern Tier PumKing), back-to-school maladies or plans for this year’s Halloween costume?

Thoughts, criticism and general tomfoolery welcome as always


Richard Dawkins Foundation for Reason and Science >> New Findings Confirm Darwin’s Theory: Evolution not Random Dealer >> Lady GaGa’s Meat Dress Draws Crowds to Rock and Roll Hall of Fame