Tag Archives: music

An Homage to The Beard Guy

I’ve only been listening to Walk Off the Earth for the past couple of years. But they spark. I don’t know how else to describe it. R. E. V. O., the first album of theirs I listened to, was already two or three years old when I heard it for the first time. REVO is also the first cut, which starts out simple enough with the driving rhythmic progression of repeated notes halfway up the guitar neck. Then, voices you’ll never want to forget chant the lines, “Close your eyes and take my hand . . .” and if you are human and have a beating heart, you’re compelled to do it. I’m just a fiction and I’m compelled . . .

From there it’s a steady flow of positive endorphins sparking your spirit and flowing to every dancey cell in your body. One of those voices, sadly, did just walk off the earth last week. Mike, The Beard Guy, Taylor was a vocalist and keyboardist. He left this world in his sleep—of natural causes.

According to The Beard Guy in an interview with andPOP, “REVO stands for Realize Every Victory Outright. Shoot for the starts, stay positive, don’t let anything get in your way, and realize your goal. It’s how we live our life and we encourage anyone that listens to our music to try and do the same.”

Walk Off the Earth, from Burlington, Ontario, formed in 2006, but didn’t gain prominence until they covered the Gotye Song “Somebody that I Used to Know” on YouTube in 2012.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P9mybTArlsk

The Beard Guy’s bandmates, Sarah Blackwood, Gianni Luminati, Ryan Marshall, Joel Cassady, and Peter Kirkwood made an outpouring of loving tributes to him on social media after his untimely passing on December 29, 2018. Walk Off the Earth and many friends will host a free concert Sunday, according to Billboard Magazine: “The free show is slated to take place at the Burlington, Ontario, Civic Square from 4:30 to 7:30 p.m., with portions of the event live-streamed on Walk Off the Earth‘s Facebook page. “Mike loved our fans so much. We want to honor him and his legacy by continuing our world tour to bring the spirit of this memorial to our fans across the globe,” the band said in a statement in a message to fans who are not able to attend the memorial but who might be able to catch them on their 2019 tour.”

To you, Sarah, Gianni, Ryan, Joel, and Peter . . . I share your heartache and will ever cherish the music, fun, and outright love you shared with us WOTElings. But as I’m sure Mike did, we all look forward to what’s to come.

A little added treasure . . . here’s an interview with Mike Taylor just before the release of their R.E.V.O. album.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7QyOVynX6Mo

Note: The photo of Mike Taylor was adapted from his andPOP YouTube interview.

One more note: Find out more about Space Larrabee at demunson.com

I think I Just Experienced My Favorite Al Pacino Flick

Danny Collins1X

Although it’s a departure from the characters of power Al Pacino portrayed in the Godfather and Devil’s Advocate, Danny Collins had more depth than either of the demons portrayed in those two disparate worlds of absolute power and absolute corruption.

In his latest role, Pacino as Danny had to face his demons arising from a life of wealth and fame. He sang them away, or attempted to, at any rate. If you can imagine Al Pacino singing, you’ve got a better imagination than mine. That was a big reason I was compelled to see this production in the first place.

At the onset of the movie I nearly cried—with desperation. I hadn’t wanted to step into the movie with any preconceptions, so I’d avoided trailers like the plague. The opening scene has Danny approaching the stage bursting with power and charisma. The crowd is on fire. Sporting a complicated pompadour with a hint of poodle and mullet touched up at the makeup table moments before, Danny flings the striped silk scarf around his neck and grabs the mic from the stand.

The ghosts of Tin Pan Alley possess Danny, issuing flamboyant strains of his most popular song, appealing to that superfluous pop mentality that floats on the surface of consciousness.

Mercifully, the next scene grabs us, throwing us into a flashback where a much younger Danny’s being interviewed by a fan mag. The interviewer raves about the lyrical depths of Collins’s debut album, likening him to Dylan and Lennon. The album collected accolades and rave reviews. Danny was getting notice, but not sales. The star-making machinery caught up Collins and molded him into what he would become for the next three decades—a star. In other words, wildly popular and desperately unhappy.

He hated every minute he had to spend onstage exploiting himself, striving for unconsciousness and achieving vapidity. I stopped crying. Even as I bled for him, Danny made me happy. This joy continued to fill my heart as the surprise plot twist took center stage to take Danny back to his depth.

This is not a spoiler. I’m taking pains to ensure this, because I sincerely want you to have the opportunity to experience what I did–or what you need to. — Now, take some time over the next week to see the movie. Ponder what you discover about Danny and yourself and let me know what you think.

My next post will include a surprise twist that happened for me after seeing the movie and digging a little deeper.

If you dare, following is a Danny Collins trailer

Danny Collins3

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