Friday, June 26, 2009


I know at one time we all have probably said some negative things about Michael Jackson and his criminal charges, eccentric personality and ever changing face. There is one thing that you can't deny and that in his peak, Michael was the most electrifying performer of all time. The release of a new album, a new video or a concert performance was always a major event. Who didn't like the music of the Jackson 5 or own a copy of the Thriller album? Even today (before all this happened) I still saw kids dressed as Michael doing imitations of his dance moves. Michael, you will be sorely missed. Rest in peace. Here is Michael performing the Beatles classic Come Together.

Tuesday, June 23, 2009


OK, now I really thought my cat was over this phase. I mean this is something she liked to do when she was a kitten but she's not a kitten anymore! Jeez......anyway, this is what I found this morning in the bathroom. A whole roll of toilet paper shredded. Darn cat!


When one thinks of the greatest Laker of all time several names may first come to mind. You may think of Magic Johnson, Kareem Abdul Jabbar, Jerry West, Wilt Chamberlain or Kobe Bryant to name a few. In my opinion the greatest Laker of all time has to be legendary Laker broadcaster, Chick Hearn. For 43 years Chick Hearn was the voice of the Lakers. With an unbelievable work ethic and an astounding 3,338 consecutive game streak, Chick was the voice for several generations of Laker fans. Whether you were sitting at home watching the Laker games on tv or listening in your car radio, Chick provided his "word's-eye view" of the games that made you feel as you were right there seeing the games in person. I just finished reading the book (pictured) about Chick and felt the need to comment on how much he is missed by all of us Laker fans. Chick came up with so many "Chickisms" that is impossible to list them all here however we all knew when Chick put a game in the refrigerator that a Laker victory was secured. Here is one of many videos of the Lakers that you can find on YouTube with Chick doing what he does best. We miss you Chick! Enjoy!

Monday, June 22, 2009


OK, now there have been several High School reunions that have come and gone and I never attended any of them. I don't know why but I just never had any interest to go. It may stem from me not being very sociable at times but that's another story. Anyway, this past Sunday I decided to go to a High School reunion that combined the three different High Schools of Pasadena (PHS, Muir & Blair) and also combined several different graduating years. One big event all rolled into one!
I was a little nervous on the way over there as all kind of thoughts ran through my head. What if I don't know anybody or don't recognize anyone? What if no one talks to me? Will I look older than everyone? Be fatter or balder than everyone? And on and on my imagination ran, all the way over to the park in Altadena.
When I got there I saw a small group of older people that just couldn't be the reunion I was looking for, could it? As I got closer I started reading the name tags and yes, I was in the right place! A couple of girls I remembered right away and they remembered me and a few other people came later that I also remembered. Several girls were looking at me and giggling like, well schoolgirls so I walked over to see who they were. Although I vaguely recognized their names there was no way I could place a face with the way they looked now. No way! Sorry! Anyway, they seemed to know all about me in High School and asked who my plastic surgeon was and if I use botox. HAHA! I guess this was a compliment as I can honestly say that I felt that I looked much younger than most of the people there. It was an odd feeling seeing people that you hadn't seen in years and really don't know anymore. Very odd indeed.....


Yes, today is the day that yours truly, SAXOMAN (aka Afro-Samurai) celebrates the day of his birth (6-22). Another year older and another year has flown by. Well wishes, congratulations and donations to my Paypal account are gladly accepted. HAHA!

Saturday, June 20, 2009


OK, now when I was a kid I wasn't what you would call a model citizen and the friends I hung around with were probably a lot worse than me. Anyway, in high school and up until I finally turned 21 we would do whatever was necessary to score us some booze (typically Schlitz Malt Liquor). This usually meant standing outside of the liquor store waiting to ask someone who looked somewhat cool if they could buy us some booze. Typically we would see a possible candidate getting out of his car and then it would go down like this: "Hey that guy looks cool, ask him", "No, you ask him!", "No you ask him", "No you!","No you!"
On and on this went until it was too late and the guy was already in the store. Typically we would waste an hour or more doing this nonsense until we finally got someone to buy us some booze. I remember once we asked a guy to get us a couple bottles of wine and he comes out with the two bottles of wine and says "here you go, one for you and one for me!" What? What do you mean? We were too stunned (and young) to say anything when this happened.
Occasionally we would be hanging out in the parking lot of the liquor store and my Dad would show up since we were right down the street from my house! We pretended like we were just leaving and got out of there fast HAHA!
We also had a friend our age that looked a lot older than us and actually had facial hair (unlike us). He was always a sure shot when he was available. Anyway, that's just some of the many things we went through as kids trying to score some booze. I don't see kids doing this anymore so can only assume that their parents probably buy it for them. Just look what fun they're missing out on.

Thursday, June 18, 2009


This weeks DVD Pick Of The Week is The Warlords. An epic film featuring Jet Li and Andy Lau. This movie is based on the killing of general Ma Xinyi (a true story) and also a remake of the original Shaw Brothers classic titled The Blood Brothers (another fine film). Although this film has yet to be released theatrically in this country you can still pick up the DVD. Me? I own the Special Edition 2 Disc Set of course.
Anyway, check out the trailer for a glimpse of this action packed film.


This weeks jazz artist of the week is the legendary saxophonist John Coltrane. Coltrane is without a doubt my favorite saxophone player of all time (closely followed by Sonny Rollins and Dexter Gordon). I own just about everything that Coltrane ever recorded and that is a whole lot of music. From Coltrane's early days as a sideman with Red Garland, to his days with the timeless Miles Davis group, and all the recordings of his own as a leader on Atlantic and Impulse. Many people find Coltrane's music a little too deep for their ears and can't get into it. I know some that refer to Coltrane's later recordings as "the crazy years" or "when Coltrane lost his mind'. To me, this is when John Coltrane just took the art of saxophone playing to another level and I agree that this music is not for everyone. These later recordings are serious, intense stuff that are not for the casual listener. Coltrane's influence over the tenor and soprano sax is still felt today and can be heard on many of today's sax players. Coltrane also reintroduced the soprano sax (after Sidney Bechet) to the public and this instruments popularity continues to grow.
Here's a video of Coltrane playing one of his big hits, My Favorite Things. Check it out and get hip!

Wednesday, June 17, 2009


I'm sorry but did I fail to mention that today was the LAKERS Championship parade? Yes, the streets were lined with thousands of fans all wearing the purple and gold. Me? I watched the parade from the comfort of my sofa, safe in the Vanilla Suburbs haha! I didn't want to risk getting arrested with any rowdy Laker fans so decided to stay home and enjoy the festivities on tv.
Tears of joy came to my eyes as I watched the celebration. It was an overwhelming and emotional moment for me as are most Laker moments.
I know I've promised to provide more updates on music and Asian cinema but right now I am basking in the glory of this championship so please bear with me. I'll be back on track soon.

Monday, June 15, 2009


I'm sorry but I did I forget to mention that my beloved L.A. LAKERS ARE WORLD CHAMPS! THAT'S RIGHT! WORLD CHAMPS! AT LAST!
Look for my blog to have more upcoming music and Asian cinema reviews now that basketball season is finally over.


My beloved LAKERS are now the 2009 NBA Champions. It has been seven long years since the last Lakers championship and at times I didn't think they could do it. I kept the faith and they proved me wrong by taking it to the Magic to win the championship in 5 games. My life is complete now and I can finally look at replacing the 2000 Laker Championship license plate frame on my car HAHA! I look forward to painting my body purple and gold and celebrating at the Laker parade on Wednesday.

Thursday, June 11, 2009


Oh my! At halftime I had started to blog about the NBA Finals being tied at 2-2. My beloved purple and gold were not playing good at all and were down by 12 points at halftime. Then the Lakers came out in the second half and started getting serious. Fisher hit a big three point shot to send the game into OT and hit another big three point shot to put the Lakers up for good! A great game that had me on the verge of a nervous breakdown. My Lakers are now up 3-1 in the series and I am counting on them going all the way! I don't want to get over confident (yet) until the final (remaining) victory is secured. Then? I'm gonna paint my entire body purple and gold and run naked through the streets of L.A. WHOOOOOO!
WHAT? You didn't see the game? What were you doing? Shopping with the wife or something? Jeez........well just check out these video highlights of Fisher's three-pointers. Oh yeah!

Wednesday, June 10, 2009


I thought I would pay my respects and honor one of the most talented jazz musicians of all time, Rahsaan Roland Kirk. Rahsaan could outplay almost anyone on one instrument but took things even further by playing three horns at once! Because of this Rahsaan probably never really received the full recognition that he deserved as a musician. Rahsaan would play the straight alto sax (stritch), the saxello (manzello) and the tenor sax all at once! He would not only play these horns all at once but play separate melodies at the same time as well. As Rahsaan explained it "it's like splitting your brain". Occasionally he would change things up and use the clarinet as well. Rahsaan would also play two flutes at once (the standard flute and the nose flute at the same time). Rahsaan would circular breath and create an endless, uninterrupted stream of non-stop joy pouring out of his instruments. Suffering a stroke later on in life, Rahsaan had his horns and flute modified so he could still play one handed. What a talent! Oh, I forgot to mention that Rahsaan was also blind as well!
Anyway, for those of you that are not hip to Rahsaan, get hip and check him out. One of my favorite Rahsaan cd's is the double live cd titled Bright Moments. Check this one out and you will definitely be a fan! Here's a short video clip of Rahsaan in action and there are many more to be found on YouTube. Get hip!

Friday, June 5, 2009


This weeks dvd pick of the week is another Asian film of course! Isn't that the name of this blog? (silly wabbits). What? Another pick of the week? Well since I have endless time on my hands why not?
This weeks pick is Jet Li in Fearless. Now for those that haven't seen this movie it is based on a true story. The dvd (photo) shown is the one you should buy as it is the extended Directors cut and contains an extra 35 minutes of footage (yes, I ended up buying both of them). This extra footage fleshes out the story a little bit more in my opinion. Now this was supposedly Jet Li's final martial arts film but what's Jet gonna do if not these types of films? Romantic comedies? Sorry Jet but you have already done martial arts films after this such as The Warlords and The Forbidden Kingdom to name just a few. Anyway, a great movie that even the non-Asian film lovers/non-martial arts people will like. My wife even liked it for the love story part of the film so check it out!
Note: Don't buy this dvd if it has a sticker on it offering free Mummy movie tickets. This version was erroneously released and does not contain the extended version of the film. You'll end up having to return it. Just a word of warning to the unsuspecting public.
Just check out the trailer for this movie to see what you've been missing!


Well imagine my surprise when I opened up my computer today and discovered that today is National Donut Day! WHAT? Yes, it's true. Who knew there was a holiday devoted to one of my favorite treats? I can say that yours truly was completely unaware of this glorious holiday. I even see where several donut companies such as Krispy Kreme are offering free donuts today! WHAT??? I'm sorry but I gotta go......


For those of you that haven't heard, David Carradine was just recently found dead in his Bangkok hotel room. For those of us that grew up with the tv series Kung Fu (like me), David was one of the coolest cats on tv as the character Kwai Chang Caine. Most of you will also know David as Bill in Quentin Tarrantino's Kill Bill Volume 1 and 2. David you will be sorely missed so rest in peace.

Thursday, June 4, 2009


I was watching one of my favorite shows (Man vs Food) last night on The Travel Channel. Last night the host (Adam) was in Memphis, TN and visited a restaurant that sells what they call The Sasquatch Burger (see photo). This restaurant has what's known as the Sasquatch Challenge where if you can eat this burger in less than 60 minutes you get it free, WOW! What a deal! I'm in!
So what is this Sasquatch Burger? Well it is a 4-pound burger patty served with 2 pounds of bun and a half pound of fixings. Oh my! If you do eat it in less than 60 minutes you'll get the burger free of charge, along with having your picture on the restaurant's Wall of Fame. Now the host (Adam) was unable to eat this whole thing in the allotted time so in this case - Food won!
A great show and a great job I wish I had! Tune in and check it out!


Now believe it or not, I actually know people that do not buy any music. I don't mean they download it for free, I mean they just don't buy any kind of music whatsoever. What? Yes, some people are perfectly content to get in their cars and listen to whatever crap is playing on the radio (and I can tell you there's a lot of crap on the radio). If they don't like the song they turn the station to the next station that is playing some other crappy music.
Me? Well to me music is like oxygen. I need it so that I can function (plain and simple). I buy a lot of music because I like a lot of musical styles and different musical artists, plus what I want to hear is not what is playing on the radio.
I want to be in full control to listen to whatever I want and whenever I want to listen to it.
For those of you that don't buy any music and are content to listen to the nonsense being played on the radio nowadays, you have my sympathy. Get hip and take control of your lives!

Wednesday, June 3, 2009


Now I don't know about some of you but I am getting tired of buying things repeatedly! What am I talking about? Well I have bought a lot of music in my lifetime and am having to constantly re-buy these items time and time again! I have bought albums and then re-bought them again when the cd's came out (which I could live with since it was a format change). But then a new version of the cd comes out that has an extra bonus track so I go and buy it again. Then later there is another reissue with more bonus tracks that I gotta have since I'm a completest. NOW? Well now I see that three jazz cd's (see photo)that I have bought and re-bought in the past by Miles Davis and Charles Mingus are now out (again) in Special Legacy Two Disc CD Editions. AAAAUUUGGGHHHHH!!!!!
Stop it, stop it already. You record companies are killing me with this. I know you are in business to make money but enough is enough! STOP!
Thank you for letting me vent. I feel better now.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009


OK, now back when I was growing up it was perfectly OK for your parents to smack you if you acted up. Your parents could smack you with their hands or any number of objects. Back then you didn't sue your parents for this and the parents were not arrested for child abuse. This was just the way that your parents kept you in line and it was perfectly acceptable. I even remember getting smacked by the Vice Principle for something I did (probably smoking cigarettes).
Now I can honestly say that I don't recall getting smacked very often but I do recall the last time I got smacked. I was in the 6th grade and a friend of mine and I were sitting on top of the monkey bars during recess flicking matches at people. Yes, I know, not a very smart thing to do.
Anyway, we got in trouble at school for this and when my parents came home from work it was time for me to face the music. They called me down to the kitchen where my father bent me over his knee and.......WHAP! WHAP! WHAP WHAP! WHAP! WHAP! WHAP!
When it was finally over I ran upstairs to my bedroom in tears. I ended up staying there the rest of the night crying and being miserable and thinking how mean my parents were.
My friend? Well he was smarter than me and had been through this before. He wore about five pairs of underwear to cushion the blows (pretty smart kid I must say).
Anyway, that's the story of the last time I got smacked by my parents. I can honestly say that this did straighten me out for a good while and I toed the line in school after this (until I became a rebellious teenager).
Right or wrong? Well as I am in stores and restaurants and see kids acting up I can honestly say that more kids nowadays need to be smacked as well so that they can straighten up!
So there you have it. SAXOMAN says it's OK to smack your kids (within reason). HAHA!

Monday, June 1, 2009


OK, most of the faithful readers of my blog know that I have an extensive music collection. I have an 80 gig iPod that is completely full of music and can hold no more. I have been patiently waiting (since Christmas) for Apple to come out with a new iPod. I have held out on buying the 120 gig iPod because I am hoping that Apple comes out with something bigger in storage capacity. I don't know why Apple got rid of the 160 gig iPod but they really need to bring it back or something bigger!
I have been following this web site which lists the average days between when Apple introduces a new product. This site also recommends if you should buy now or wait for a new update. Currently this site show the iPod as last updated 265 days ago with the average time between updates as 251 days. So I am still patiently waiting however am growing very impatient so come on Apple, issue a new, bigger iPod already!


In the 70's a lot of the movies I would go to see are what are called "blaxploitation films". These films typically contained a mostly black cast, usually took place in Harlem, and had the hero fighting injustices against drugs, corrupt cops, the mob or the man (whitey). These movies featured the hippest fashions, custom Cadillacs and also some really great soundtracks. Some of these movies included Shaft, Superfly (see photo), The Mack, Cotton Comes To Harlem, Trouble Man, Foxy Brown, Across 110th Street and many, many more.
Some of the great soundtracks from these movies included Isaac Hayes with Shaft, James Brown with Black Caesar and Slaughter's Big Rip Off, Marvin Gaye with Trouble Man and Curtis Mayfield with Superfly. This is just to name a few however there are many, many more. What? You say you're not hip to blaxploitation films? Well what are you waiting for? Go check out some of these classic films now! You can also check the link on my blog to Blaxploitation Pride which is a great site with a ton of information.
As a matter of fact, I was browsing around at Barnes and Nobles the other day with my unlimited free time and they had some of these great dvd titles on sale for only $4.99! What? What a deal! I picked up several "classics" such as Blacula, Hell Up In Harlem, Coffy, Slaughter, and a few more. Go get them while they last because I'm sure they are selling out fast!
Here is the trailer for The Mack. Just check out these "fly" fashions, the hip Cadillac and see what I'm talking about. Dig it!