Commentary

Fall has just begun, so this is a good time to talk about a certain song - a pop tune from a forgotten French movie that became one of the most-played jazz songs. The many recordings of the 1945 song “Autumn Leaves” show how obscure tunes can become jazz standards.

(Music: YVES MONTAND - Les Feuilles Mortes 2001: Inédits, rares & indispensables (Mercury, 4-CD boxset) (first release 1950)

The philosopher Timothy Morton has observed that poetic imagery, like light, is delivered in discrete, quantized packets, one after the other after the other. There are convenient coincidences along with this: our eyes see at a certain number of frames per second, our ears can only hear so much at any given moment. There are both limitations to our perception of reality, and to the communication of reality itself.

Andrew Lloyd Webber is turning 70, and the whole world is joining the party. You can be a part of that global celebration if you attend the Wichita Grand Opera's fund-raising gala, featuring a concert production of the great composer's music on November 16 and 17 at the Crown Uptown Theatre. The Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber! includes 20 of Webber's most beloved works, such as “Music of the Night” from The Phantom of the Opera and “Memory,” from Cats.

The sausage fatty is a modern classic for backyard pitmasters. This simple dish, which traditionally was a smoked sausage chub with barbecue rub on the outside, started popping up online in the late 90s in various barbecue chat groups.

Before Robert Downey, Jr. popularized Iron Man, the most well known of Marvel’s superheroes was Spider-Man. He stood apart from other heroes because, when he wasn’t fighting crime, he was a pretty ordinary kid with relatable problems. He’s flawed, and funny, and trying to have a normal life, despite having these awesome abilities.

September is a tough month for movies. It’s not quite the dumping ground August is, but award-season movies don’t really start until October, so September is just kind of… here. But, if you look, you just might find something unexpectedly delightful.

Library of Congress via whitehousehistory.org

So wife and I spent a few days out of town recently, which meant we had to deal with that most gut-wrenching and fretful of all issues: What do we do with the dogs?

Elderly dog, Lucy, had a wonderful, loving drop-in dog sitter. But young, bouncy Labradoodle, Perry, got to stay at a local doggy B & B. There he could bark and romp to his heart’s content, sniffing the posteriors of the other rowdy guests at will.

ReverbNation

Last Sunday, a memorial service took place for Harry Dobbin, a member of the bands Sawdust Charley and the Funtones. He was also the graphic artist who made possible the recent book on Wichita rock & roll from 1950-1980. I still remember the work he did to arrange all the elements for the cover. Dobbin joins the ranks of so many Wichita rock figures who have recently passed.

Sarah Smarsh’s debut book Heartland, a memoir of growing up in a working class/poor family in south central Kansas, has just been long listed for this year’s National Book Award for non-fiction. Born in 1980, the daughter of a teenage mother, Smarsh uses her own experience to show us the divide between the middle-class and the working poor. She incisively cuts through our assumptions about a mother who works three jobs that are hard on her body; about a farmer or laborer harmed by government policies--or lack thereof--all burdened by the emotional toll of making ends meet.

Although Fruit of the Drunken Tree is fiction, it has its roots in author Ingrid Rojas Contreras’s real life. 

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