Phil Collins – In The Open Air

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Words can not express how great is was to see Phil Collins perform tonight at the opening of the US Open. For those who may not have seen it he performed two songs, In The Air Tonight and Easy Lover. This continues his slow emergence from retirement. As I was watching I couldn’t help but think if Tony Banks and Mike Rutherford were watching.

It is apparent that Phil is still recovering from his recent surgeries. As great as it was to see him tonight it was also a little bittersweet because he looks a bit older than his 65 years. I know that no one stays young forever, but it can be hard to watch your heroes grow old. Despite his appearance he sounded great and he sang with great passion. His band was amazing, especially Daryl Stuermer on guitar. Special mention must be made for his teenage son Nick who handled the drums like a pro.

What’s next for Phil? Only time will tell. For me, as a huge fan, I would love another solo album and one more Genesis album. I think asking for a tour at this time is a bit too much to ask. If, however, there is no new music in the future I’m fine with that. Phil Collins has provided me with thirty plus years of enjoyment through his music. So much of his music has been and continues to be part of the soundtrack of my life. He has given up so much for his love of music: marriages, family time and ultimately aspects of his health. Speaking as a fan, this man owes me nothing at all, he has already willingly given so much of himself and his life.  Here’s to many years of healing, health and happiness to one of my biggest music heroes.

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Tom Hanks and Harrison Ford: Never Too Late

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I recently watched Bridge Of Spies, Tom Hanks’ fourth movie collaboration with Steven Spielberg. Last month I watched all of the Indiana Jones movies. This got me to thinking, Tom Hanks and Harrison Ford have never appeared in a movie together. Arguably the two biggest movie stars of the 1980’s and 90’s it’s a crime that they never made a movie together. Harrison Ford and Tom Hanks have each worked with Spielberg as a director four times. It’s almost a foregone conclusion that if they ever made a movie together that Spielberg should be in the director’s chair.  It would have been amazing to see the three work together in their prime.  But it’s never too late!

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Mariano Rivera: Forever The Sandman

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Today Mariano Rivera received a much deserved plaque in Monument Park at Yankee Stadium.  The plaque commemorates his status as an all time Yankee great.  What a pleasure it was to watch him pitch for 19 extremely succusful seasons as a Yankee.  One could argue that he was the best closer to ever pitch in baseball.  He was definitely the best closer that I have ever seen.  I do not believe that we will see a pitcher of his caliber again for a long time, if ever.

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Demon Hunter-Extremist

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Demon Hunter is a band that I have been aware of for several years. However, I never really delved into their music too deeply. Pretty much everything that I have read about the band has been overwhelmingly positive. Over the last few years the great reviews made me curious enough to listen to a song here or there. However, what I heard really did not grab me musically. That all changed recently when someone posted a Demon Hunter video on Facebook. Something about the music really caught my attention this time. The song was from the band’s most recent album Extremist, which was released in 2014. I took a chance and purchased the cd and I’m so glad that I did.

Demon Hunter combines the sounds of bands like Bob Rock era Metallica, Alice In Chains, Creed and Pantera along with the genres of thrash metal, metalcore, nu metal and death metal. On Extremist all of these influences have come together to produce a wonderfully diverse and heavy album. Extremist is a well produced, well played metal album full of great guitar riffs and solos. One of the greatest strengths of the album is the vocals. Far to many metal albums have a vocalist who has the same vocal delivery from song to song. Extremist showcases lead vocalist Ryan Clark delivering a variety of vocal styling that range from clean singing to  death metal like vocals. His clean vocals on the mid paced and slower songs sounds like a mix Alice In Chains and Black Album era James Hetfeld.

I would highly recommend Demon Hunter’s Extremist for fans of modern metal. I look forward to not only hearing  a new album by the band, but also exploring their back catalog.

Inner Sanctum, An Obscure Film Noir

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I recently watched an obscure film noir titled Inner Sanctum. After watching the film, which was released in 1948, I realized why it is so obscure. The film contains a typical noir plot, typical noir themes, along with a typical noir protagonist, played by Charles Russell.  Overall it is an enjoyable, but average film.

Good points include a few scenes with some great examples of noir lighting and a solid performance by Russell. Not so good points include bits of misguided, misplaced humor and so-so acting by some of the supporting cast.

Despite the movie’s short comings it does contain one of the best lines that I have heard in a noir movie. Russell shares a scene with actress Mary Beth Hughes, the closest thing to a femme fatale in the movie. After some dialogue between the two Russell says to Hughes, “You’re very pretty when your lips aren’t moving.” Classic noir dialogue, in a not so classic movie. Although the movie is an average film noir, with a running time of 62 minutes it’s not a bad use of 1 hour.

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