Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Way back favorite Time track

This is from their 2nd LP and Prince is all over this one.  Too bad nobody makes music like this anymore.

*looks for Van Hunt while counting down the weeks til D'angelo's next release*

Friday, May 6, 2016

Bernie Casey...Underrated (Seriously)

I’ve been thinking about Bernie Casey for some time and the unfortunate event on 4/21/16 has pushed me further to give props to our treasures while they’re still here.

Last year, I did a poll that asked the public who they felt the most underrated Blaxploitation actor was at the time.  The winner was the late Vonetta McGee but my personal choice was Bernie Casey for the following reasons.

His range of on-screen characters from the guilt-ridden officer on Cornbread, Earl and Me to the hard-loving but callous (he fed Pam Grier to a lion for pimping out his teenage sister...a real lion with fangs and shit) hustler from Hit Man and long before Dr. Huxtable, he portrayed a loving SINGLE father from the 'burbs on the short-lived network drama Harris & Company.  Let’s not forget the scary flicks like Dr. Black and Mr. Hyde or Gargoyles.

Like Prince, this Gemini has definitely about diversity in his career.  His image was also one of quiet mystery.  Like Jim Brown, he’s a former football player but his acting was a little more cerebral.  Casey has his own rugged good looks that surpassed the pretty-boy stance of Fred Williamson.  Yet, he seemed to be more about a fun and realness that Sidney Poitier and thespians before him lacked in their on-screen presence.  And though the super-smoothness of Billy Dee Williams still holds strong today, Casey is still in a class of his own.,,which for me, seems a little closer to earth.

Though most of his work is during the Blaxploitation period, he has managed to make appearances on TV and a few movies until about 2006.  It would be nice if Quentin Tarantino could give Casey one of Sam Jackson’s parts in his next flick or a strong supporting role so that he could be exposed to a new audience.

Below is a clip from his early 80s miniseries, Sophisticated Gents, where he and a few other familiar faces, like Robert Hooks and Thalmus Rasulala, from the Blaxploitation area show a more multifaceted side of themselves.  Finally, here’s a funny but offbeat article I read about Bernie Casey a few years ago.  Courtesy of Acid Logic.

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Did Purple Rain Bump Miles Ahead?

For years, I've been looking forward to the Miles Davis biopic starring Don Cheadle (who also directed).  He is one of my favorites and I think it's about time that the public become educated on the music industry as well as the trumpeter, who succumbed to cancer in 1995.  The timing seemed perfect until....we lost another genius on 4/21/16.

A day I'll never forget as long as I live but in getting back to regular life (and trying to ignore the speculative reports), I want to see Miles Ahead more than ever.  It came to only a few L.A. theaters in early April, and if a person (like myself) lives south of the 10 Freeway, wait until 4/22 for wider release ...or deal with Hollyweird traffic.

So last weekend, I'm looking through the AMC website, where there are about 4 theaters within a 10-minute drive and all I see are the usual standards (an A-lister, sci-fi or really violent flick, and at least one cartoon) and Purple Rain.

I'm one of those people who saw the movie several times during its original release back in 1984.  Despite having the DVD, I sometimes catch the heavily-edited musical on VH1 while doing chores. Although 1986's Under the Cherry Moon (P was a hoodrat gigolo looking for a quick comeup with a blue-blood type chick but meets an early demise instead) was more original and I liked the score better, I get it.  Let's celebrate life but why can't two brothers be on screen at the same damn time?

Cheadle's been in the game forever and these days, I can't wait for him to take a load off of Samuel L.Jackson.  Even if you've never heard of Petey Greene, Talk to Me is more than Taraji in pre-Cookie Lyons mode.  Performances were beyond excellent and I hope that I live to see more flicks like this instead of domestic/slave movies that the masses like to shove down our throat.

This is not a slap for those who do this in real life.  I realize that my degree, skills or contacts offer me no permanent guarantees in life.  So in winding down, I don't want to wait to see Miles Ahead or see it at a Redbox next month.

Wayback Weds - Tribute to Prince

In case you didn't know, Prince didn't care for YouTube or many other streaming video sites (I have an opinion about Tidal but I'll keep it to myself).  So finding his (or the protege) videos were never guaranteed.  In fact, I once used 15 seconds of 17 Days for a promotion and got a cease and desist letter from his attorney less than a week later.  Of course, I honored it with no question.

So Madhouse was my favorite side project of his and hopefully I can snag the 24 album while I'm on this planet.  I have 8 and 16 in its original release and even a few 12 inch singles I'm now taking with me (I have no children, nieces or nephews ...nor younger cousins that appreciate's better than letting the cat inherit, right?).

Now, there are many videos to discover and if you're diehard like me, you may spend a pretty penny on some rare cuts (like when he was releasing 3-4 CDs a year...sorry I couldn't keep up I had bills).  From now until the end of June, everything will be Prince or the proteges for this series of posts.