Saturday, November 02, 2013

Friday, November 01, 2013

Quote du jour

"Full many a flower is born to blush unseen,
  And waste its sweetness on the desert air."

- Thomas Gray

Neil Young • Cellar Door

These archive series recordings are just great! Really crisp early Niel.

Haloween 2013

Criss Angel

Been trying to watch some Criss Angel on TV. It's easy to take pot shots at something you don't like. It's more interesting to look at some other factors like what makes this guy so popular. He obviously has a large following and works his ass off to perpetuate his brand. So what is it? Do his fans actually accept that what they are seeing is real? Or is it with a wink and a grin and hey it's a TV show? I'm a big fan of Success. Criss Angel is a successful working magician in a tough and often heartless industry. He's climbed the ladder and now laughing his ass off to all of us who might call him a chump. He ain't no chump, he's a magician that works more than most of us combined. Good for him.

Wednesday, October 30, 2013

Halloween at the Magic Castle

Went to the Magic Castle Monday night. Lucy Lawrence was all dolled up in Halloween attire and working the door. "Open says me" and the evening was underway. I arrived after 10PM and was eager to start the night. Cocktails and magic, been a favorite of mine for years.

Stopped down to the WC Fields Bar to see Jon Armstrong work. Although I know and like Jon, to be honest, I haven't seen him in action all that much. It was a pleasure to watch him work the bar. While I enjoyed his impeccable card magic (any card at any location, some sort of telephone # Triumph, and of course his now wildly popular "Little Plunger"), other factors seemed even more relevant. I must say that his calm demeanor, flawless execution and dry wit had me in stitches. A couple of other noteworthy observations were a running gag with the bartenders tip bucket, BRILLIANT and his audience management of filling seats when people had to leave. Easy to see why he is Chairman of the Board of Trustees. He knows Magic and the Castle. Also gets bonus points for tilting the performing surface towards the audience using a couple of rocks glasses.

Next, was another stiff drink and the Palace of Mystery show starring Rob Zabrecky & Conjure. Chatted briefly (before the show) with Brian Elerdingwho was sporting a great costume and some provocative byplay with a cane. The show started and Rob was introduced. Rob, simply put, is in a class by himself. I can't compare him to anyone. He opened with a bit of paper cutting, his version of Diminishing Cards (a trick I normally dislike), had me in stitches. He's quite the dancer! I've been lucky enough to see Rob perform quite a few times since moving back to LA in 2006. It's no wonder he gets the positive attention and reaction that he does. Very interesting guy with a unique vision. Conjure did a wonderful, high energy, new vaudeville style act. Comprised of Mike Huling and his beautiful wife Cole. Pleased to see illusions (2 weeks in a row on the Palace Stage), Nifty version of the Shadow Box to introduce her. Mike did a wonderful hat juggling routine to music as well as a rope tie routine. Overall a strong and balanced show! I wish I could provide more details but, as it was getting late and the libations were taking effect. Details seemed less important than having a great time. Very funny bit with Stephen Levine and his unwanted ring tone from his phone. Hey, it happens. . . but rarely does it turn into comedy gold! Well played Rob!

A final drink and caught one more act. Paul Vigil working in the Close-Up Gallery. Although I don't know him that well, I've seen him perform a couple of times and like where he is coming from. I would describe him as slow and deliberate. From his Ace Assembly to his Matrix, clarity is what I came away with. "He's not happy till we're happy. . . . could it be anymore fair?".

Another great Monday night at The Magic Castle! Been lucky, last two Monday nights. Was able to see 3 acts! Thinking about going back tonight for a Members Only night. Try and catch the acts I missed.