dayoffcartoon

Music Post: Brassy music on parade

Since launching “Howard’s Day Off” in 2006 I have done more than 450 shows, chiefly by pretaping programs rather than repeating old shows when I am going to be, as we say in Hawaii, off-island. While not making a habit of repeating shows, I do occasionally revisit a theme, as…

SCOTUS 2010

What the Supreme Court did, and didn’t do, on same-sex marriage

The Supreme Court today ruled, not that same-sex marriage was the law of the land, but that it was unconstitutional to forbid same-sex marriage, which had the effect of making it the law of the land. The case, called “Obergefell v. Hodges,” took up laws in four states – Michigan,…

Taylor_Swift_at_Yahoo_crop[1]

Taylor Swift teaches how to write a complaint letter

We all love to complain, and, let’s face it, most of the time we’re just venting, with zero expectation of getting any relief from the person or entity we’re beefing about. But what if you actually have a shot at getting some action from the party you’re complaining to? Taylor…

dctd-i-l

“Your brain is not the boss” – remembering Firesign Theatre

My comedic coming of age, like that of everyone my age, included “Saturday Night Live” and “Monty Python,” but for me there was much more to be gleaned and savored from the Marx Brothers, Bob & Ray, Stan Freberg and the Firesign Theatre. The Firesign Theatre was an acquired taste,…

dayoffcartoon

Music Post: Composers out of their element

It was a damn fool article about Ravel that got me into the occupation of writing about classical music. The article, in the Dec. 28, 1985 edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, postulated that dementia caused Ravel to lose his musical expression and was responsible for unusual…

200_s

A take off on the bygone burlesque era

Blaze Starr has died at the age of 85, but I won’t call it the end of an era because, truth be told, that era ended a very long time ago. She was the leading stripper of the Sixties, her affair with Louisiana Gov. Earl Long a scandal of the day,…

Tokyo_odaiba

Why Ige is in Tokyo this week

Long ago and far away, when I spent a lot of free time as president of a Gilbert & Sullivan opera company, a visiting conductor taught me a lesson about concerts. “The experience doesn’t begin when I raise my baton,” he said. “The experience begins when you’re looking for a…

Kronos_Quartet_by_Sachyn_Mital

Music Post: A short history of the string quartet

For the past 250 years the third most important classical performance source, after the symphony orchestra and the solo piano, has been the string quartet. And the string quartet has been the same since Haydn’s day, while the piano has changed a lot and the orchestra has evolved constantly both…

lego towers

Alternative wirings of the brain

(Photo is three Lego towers I built idly while reading news stories online and thinking about what to use for the following morning’s feature segments. They don’t depict anything. HMD) Autism studies interest me, because some people who know me well think I’m slightly autistic myself. No one ever called…

Waikiki

The true best place to retire

We love those lists ranking U.S. cities or states for this or that. Mostly we love to hate them. My own preferred response is to read the methodology and then figure out who got shafted by the measuring. This hobby started for me when I worked for Pacific Business News…