Michael Cavacini

An award-winning arts and culture blog.

Archive for the month “November, 2012”

Louis CK Honors George Carlin

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Louis CK is one of the best comedians around, so it’s no surprise that he was heavily influenced by the late, great George Carlin. Below is Louis CK’s touching thoughts on Carlin, which he shared during a tribute to the comedic legend in March 2010.

Michael Des Barres: Rock N’ Roll Santa

Michael Des Barres, the raspy rocker known for the amazing Carnaby Street, just released a fun, infectious Christmas song: “Rock N’ Roll Santa.” Unlike the countless covers of traditional Christmas songs that will, no doubt, put you to sleep, this is an original tune about Santa losing weight. Yes, you read that right; Santa’s sporting a svelte figure in this song. If you’re looking for a short, sweet, catchy rock song to kick off the holiday season, I suggest you check out “Rock N’ Roll Santa.” And since this is the season of giving, a portion of the proceeds from this song go to support Little Kids Rock, a wonderful foundation dedicated to restoring and revitalizing music education programs in U.S. public schools.

If you’re not sold on downloading the song, check it out for yourself below.

When I Met William Shatner & Scott Bakula

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Earlier in the year I attended my first Philadelphia Comic Con. Once I heard that all five Star Trek captains, including William Shatner and Scott Bakula, were going to be there, I knew I had to go. I grew up watching Scott Bakula as Dr. Sam Beckett on Quantum Leap and loved William Shatner as Denny Crane on Boston Legal.

As evidenced by the image above, I jumped at the opportunity to get a photo with these two legendary thespians, and it turned out great. After having our photo taken, Scott Bakula turned to me, shook my hand and thanked me. This caught me off guard because I was about to thank him. He was as nice as could be, and Shatner was his usual charming self. Once the hard copy of the photo was printed, Bakula and Shatner autographed it for me.

Meeting a celebrity is an unpredictable experience. You never know if the person you’re going to meet will live up to your expectations or let you down. Thankfully, I left this event with greater respect for these two men.

Have you ever met a celebrity? If so, who did you meet and how did it go?

Lee Child: On Writing & Jack Reacher

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At age 40 Lee Child wrote his first book: Killing Floor. It went on to win an Anthony Award for “Best First Novel” and kicked off the best-selling Jack Reacher series.

Below are two short-and-sweet interviews with Child. One is about writing and the other is about Reacher. Enjoy!

Amazon Kindle Turns Five

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Five years ago Amazon introduced the first Kindle, and the world hasn’t been the same since. While the first iteration cost $399 and wasn’t aesthetically pleasing, it set out to become the iPod of books by allowing readers to carry their entire library of content on one device. As the years went by, newer models were thinner, lighter, sexier, and cheaper.

While other e-readers existed prior to Kindle, the public hadn’t embraced them. Amazon’s device allowed readers to tap into the company’s vast content ecosystem of newspapers, magazines and books – all without the need to plug into a computer. This was revolutionary, and the first batch of Kindles sold out it in less than six hours.

In 2008, Oprah announced that Kindle was her new favorite thing and provided viewers with a $50 discount. With the daytime diva’s stamp of approval and the launch of second generation hardware, Kindle continued its dominance as the e-reader to beat.

Over time, millions of Kindle devices and e-books were sold. Kindle’s ubiquity was most evident when Amazon reported that Kindle e-books were regularly outselling all print books.

Last year saw the launch of Kindle Fire, which went on to make up 22 percent of U.S. tablet sales. A new iteration, Kindle Fire HD, is now available in two versions and has received mostly positive reviews from critics.

This year also brought a new Kindle e-reader: Kindle Paperwhite. This device has also been well received by critics and the public, and rightfully so. It’s taken the device to a whole new level by incorporating a beautiful front-lit display.

My first Kindle was the second generation device, and my reading habits haven’t been the same since. I read more than ever, and consider my Kindle to be an essential part of my life. If you’ve never tried reading on one, you should; it’s a delightful experience. I can’t wait to see what the next five years bring.

If you have any fond Kindle memories you’d like to share, please feel free to leave a comment.

Below you’ll find a couple of my favorite Kindle commercials and an informational video about the first device.

Thanksgiving: Count Your Blessings

While we should always be thankful for what we have and those that love us, now is the perfect time to reflect on this. With this in mind, I wanted to share with you one of my favorite songs: “Count Your Blessings.” Below are the lyrics and a video of Barry Manilow’s beautiful rendition of the song. Happy Thanksgiving!

Count Your Blessings

When I’m worried and I can’t sleep
I count my blessings instead of sheep
And I fall asleep counting my blessings
When my bankroll is getting small
I think of when I had none at all
And I fall asleep counting my blessings

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
Then one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
So if you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings

And I fall asleep counting my blessings

I think about a nursery and I picture curly heads
Then one by one I count them as they slumber in their beds
So if you’re worried and you can’t sleep
Just count your blessings instead of sheep
And you’ll fall asleep counting your blessings

Joe Cocker: Fire It Up

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Joe Cocker is one of the most enduring artists in the music industry, and one of my favorites. His last album, Hard Knocks, was fantastic. It was filled with well crafted pop/rock songs that fit Cocker’s gravely voice like a glove.

Cocker is following up Hard Knocks with Fire It Up. Similar to his last album, it’s initially being released internationally and it was produced by Matt Serletic. The lead single is the title track “Fire It Up,” and it sounds great. I can’t wait to hear the rest of the album when it’s released in the U.S., more than likely, sometime next year.

Below you’ll find two videos: the official lyrics video for “Fire It Up” and the album’s electronic press kit (i.e., EPK).

The Golden Girls: Dorothy’s Cupcakes

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The Golden Girls is my all-time favorite sitcom, and the following segment showcases why it was such a brilliant show. Enjoy!

Supermarket Stories: Hair Piece Harry

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There’s an old man that comes into the supermarket on a regular basis, and his most distinguishing feature has been his awful-looking toupee. That is until today, when he came through my line wearing uncomfortably tight, hot pink jeans. It was disturbing. Unfortunately, Hair Piece Harry’s personality is just as bad as his “taste” in fashion. He has a grumpy demeanor and barely speaks. When he does utter a word, it’s usually nonsensical and barely audible. You’ve been warned: If you see an older man walking down the streets of Philadelphia with a toupee that would offend Donald Trump and jeans that are definitely not pretty in pink, head the other way.

New Day

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Sunlight pierces the curtains; sheets are pulled back, and feet hit the floor.

Daybreak brings stretching, sustenance and song.

Water is splashed; a shirt is shrugged on, and fingers run through hair.

Holes are buttoned, laces tightened and a belt is fastened.

One final glance; the door opens.

It’s a new day.

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