Posts Tagged ‘performance’

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Big Words Video 37.1: Van Taylor-‘Ain’t No Thang’

April 8, 2017

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Van was kind enough to share an exclusive live performance from the ‘UB On The Green’ concert series at (obviously) the University Of Buffalo.  I told him before the show that I’m a very piano-driven person when it comes to music, and Mr. Taylor does not disappoint.  There’s a reason why he’s been a driving force in jazz music on the front lines and off around the world for over 30 years: he’s that good.  See for yourself:

If you want to see the sheer scope and variety of bonus clips for the show for the last 3 years, SUBSCRIBE to the Channel.  Oh, and you’ll get an update every time a new episode drops.

#BigWordsVideo shall return,

Tom

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Big Words Video 35.1: John Valby-‘Topical’

March 2, 2017

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Yikes.

As an ardent defender of free speech for my own selfish purposes for many, many years, I found myself in a position yesterday where I had to take a dose of my own medicine.

John Valby’s unique brand of comedy is not for everybody.  For the uninitiated, he can be a bit…prickly.  This is in the grand tradition of Lenny Bruce, Don Rickles, Andrew Dice Clay and a lot of other comedians whose delivery and comedic timing far outweigh the bombastic nature of their content.  With all that said, there was a moment or two during the taping of the Big Words Video bonus clip where I thought, “This is gonna be trouble.”

Regardless, the entire point of the Bonus clips is for the guest to showcase their talent in any way they deem acceptable.  So there was a brief moment where I hesitated while we rendered and prepared the clip, and then that moment passed and I hit the Upload button.  Check it out for yourself:

I’m not about to start censoring anyone else’s right to free speech and free artistic expression, and when I start looking for inoffensive, politically correct or safe comedy for my entertainment purposes, that’ll be around the same time that I can the show and stop writing books.  YouTube is just like a television set.  You can always turn it off if you don’t like what you see.  If you do enjoy the show, though, SUBSCRIBE for FREE for additional episodes, bonus clips and other exclusive content.

Onward and upward,

Tom

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Big Words Video 32.1: ‘This Love’ & 32.2: ‘Buffalo’-Performed by Michael Bly!

December 9, 2016

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I’m always at a loss for how to present the #BigWordsVideo Bonus clips here above and beyond ‘Here’s the clips.  Click here.’  This time, I’ll share a little story behind the clips.  Unfortunately, Michael Bly’s favorite guitar was stolen a few weeks ago, so he brought a new-ish guitar (make and model already forgotten) to the studio with him.  We were unsure if his acoustic would even work if we plugged it into producer Richard Wicka’s sound board, so we improvised by placing one of the headsets in front of the guitar and Mike kept his headset on his head.  The sound came out incredibly well, but if you watch the videos, you’ll see a foam microphone sticking up from the bottom left corner of the screen.  It all worked out in the end.  Hence we have Big Words Video 32.1 with a very entertaining rendition of Maroon 5’s ‘This Love’ (from their Songs About Jane album over a decade ago) and Big Words Video 32.2 wherein Michael performs his original song ‘Buffalo’ from his second album, Stay True.  

I’m always amazed when we have a musician in the studio and they bring their A game under less-than-ideal conditions, so thank you to Michael for that.  We’ve been friends for a very, very, very long time, and I have to say that his vocals and his guitar-playing have improved by leaps and bounds from our days back at the Hidden Shamrock in the stone ages.  Thanks as always to Richard Wicka and to Jason Garra for bringing his A game in the Co Host Hot Seat.

And please, pretty please, SUBSCRIBE to the CHANNEL for updates on new shows, more bonus content and other miscellany!

#BigWordsVideo is doubling up for December, so I’ll see you in less than 3 weeks!

Happy Holidays,

Tom

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Big Words Video 29.1: Jesse Winterhalter-‘This Is A Comedy Show’

October 7, 2016

About a year ago when I was shooting video for Heather Stack’s appearance on #BigWordsVideo at the Tudor Lounge, I saw Jesse’s stand up act for the first time.  He’s got this magic combination of intellect, hilarity and…a very dark place.  His set was fantastic.  With everyone else who was booked, it took a year before he could come on the show.  Thankfully, Jesse got Roger Pleasant, Roger’s four duffle bags of cameras and myself in for his headlining stint at The Tralf for ‘This Is A Comedy Show’.  It made for a great Bonus clip:

This is the part where I beseech you to SUBSCRIBE to the show for more Bonus clips, behind-the-scenes footage and other surprises.  So do that.  #BigWordsVideo will return this month with actor Jason John Beebe!

Seeya soon,

Tom

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Big Words Video 26.1: ‘Lewd & Lascivious’ & 26.2: ‘Lysergic’

July 5, 2016

Comedienne Heather Stack is self-assured, conversational, and yes, really funny on stage.  Since she was originally booked for #BigWordsVideo back in October of 2015, I met her out at her open mic at The Tudor Lounge the month before to shoot some footage.  What follows is her opening set as well as a bonus bumper clip between other comics.  As Heather (and Tyrone Maclin) have explained to me, one of the host’s duties while running an open mic for other comics is not to run too long.  It was fortunate that Heather got a good opening set in before an evening of other great comics.  See for yourself:

 

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Big Words Video 24.1: ‘Me & Julio’ & 24.2: ‘Wandering/High Time Again’

April 13, 2016

Musician Gregg Sansone threw me a curveball in the studio when it came time to record the #BigWordsVideo bonus clips after the episode: He brought his Breedlove guitar.  While I know and love the man for his piano-playing, he’s also an incredible guitarist.  So Gregg pulled up a stool, plugged in and performed Paul Simon’s classic hit ‘Me & Julio (Down By The Schoolyard’ for the first clip and a double header of the James Taylor/Charles Grean song ‘Wandering’ and Gregg’s very own country composition ‘High Time Again’.  Feast your eyes and ears right here:

Now I’m not sure if I’ve said this before, but LIKE & SUBSCRIBE for additional episodes, bonus clips and updates!  We’ll see you all in a month!

Tom

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The Ballad Of Gregg Sansone (Uncut)

March 28, 2016

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Author’s Note: This interview has been on a wild ride in the last ten years.  A shorter edit originally appeared in Buffalo Spree magazine, the longer format ran on Acid Logic and the version you’re about to read finally found its way into my fourth book If They Can’t Take A Joke (Authorhouse, 2007).  Gregg’s been a dear friend of mine for more than 15 years and with his 55th birthday approaching, I thought I’d revisit this interview.  

If you’ve participated in (or just enjoyed) the Buffalo music scene for the last six years, Gregg Sansone is a pervasive, melodic, keyboard-driven entity. The two-time Buffalo Music Award Winning Solo Artist Of The Year plays out at clubs, bars and other venues over 300 nights a year (when he’s in peak physical condition), and his cover shows run the gamut of Steve Winwood to Elton John to Stevie Wonder. Dabbling in rock, jazz, blues and classical standards, Sansone has become a local icon and a national underground phenomenon. I saw Gregg play (or channel, to be more accurate) Elton John covers at Route 66 in downtown Buffalo four years ago, and I’ve been a Sansonite ever since. His two and three hour shows are lousy with fans, electric in their intensity and craftsmanship, and brilliant to witness. I had the opportunity to sit down with Greg at my apartment in Lancaster while he was recovering from major back surgery (he had a disc removed).

TW: You haven’t had a drink since you were 15. Why is that, and do you find it surreal to play out at clubs and bars for the majority of the year in the company of people who are soused out of their minds?

GS: No. Alcoholism runs in my family. I’ve got a huge family. Eight boys and one girl. Some people put down meat and become vegetarians. I had the hindsight as a fifteen year old to say ‘You know, I’m addictive as hell. I have a real addictive personality. I’m just not going to do this. Otherwise, I think it could be a problem, and it just stuck through college and everything else. Like anything, I stuck with it and it developed and it’s been years and years. I have a blast (at the shows). People come up to me and say ‘Man, you were hammered because you were dancing on the bars!’ and I say, ‘No, but awesome, thanks man.’

TW: How does your strongly held belief in Buddhism inform your singing and songwriting?

GS: Songwriting and instrumental writing are different. They’re along a spiritual line, but my performances are an extension of what I believe in anyway about myself. Buddhism isn’t a religion as much as it is a philosophy. They didn’t invent being honest and they didn’t invent being good people, they just do it well. So you can apply it to any faith that you have and for me, it just helps me to not want to kill everybody. Or when someone is drunk and they fall into my keyboards and everything, now I don’t want to drag them into the parking lot. Before (Buddhism) I did.

TW: Do you think the era of disposable pop/porn performers like Britney Spears and Ricky Martin is nearing its end, or is it more of a popular music cycle?

GS: I think human nature is human nature, and within music, I’m no expert on anything. I’m just an Italian from Buffalo. Before them when Madonna got really popular, they produced people like Jody Watley, and-

TW: Rick Astley.

GS: People like that, that’s exactly right, but specifically female singers to sound like her (Madonna). Tiffany, Debbie Gibson, so it does go in cycles. I think the American people, we’re a disposable society. There’s a huge portion of the population that buys into that, and they just go into whatever’s popular. But there’s this undercurrent of people like us that-

TW: Observe?

GS: Observe and evaluate and say, ‘This is good, this doesn’t work for me, that’s kinda bullshit. I know that you love Elton John for instance, as do I. People like Elton John, Eric Clapton, Paul McCartney and even Madonna, and I’m not a Madonna fan, but she’s stood the test of time. They’re not a flash in the pan, and for good reason. If we didn’t have those people, it would be a sad, sad world with the boy bands, although Justin Timberlake has broken from that and has really made a name for himself. I mean, I don’t think he’s going anywhere.

TW: And Mark Wahlberg-

GS: Mark Wahlberg is kinda cool in the movies, though! When he was Marky Mark it was a different story.

TW: Your best one night stand story after a show:

GS: Um, my best one night stand story after a show-because I have one night stand stories during a show.

TW: That sounds like the better story.

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