Matt Damon stars in the film version of "The Martian," based on the excellent book by Andy Weir. The movie tie-in version of the book was released on August 18, 2015, although we have yet to find it in Amazon.com. Click on the image to read John Orr's review of the book.
"The Martian," by Andy Weir, is one of our favorite reads in a long time. An astronaut is injured and stranded on Mars, with no working communications and not enough food to last the years it would take a rescue mission to come get him. A very impressive, fascinating book. Read John Orr's review.
See more reviews and interviews in Books.
THEATER & DANCE
The Pear Theatre
John Orr / Regarding Arts
The Pear Theatre Founder and Artistic Director Diane Tasca, left, and Mountain View Mayor John McAlister, with some help from frequent Pear creative force Jeanie K. Smith cut the ribbon for the walk through of The Pear's new theater, on Saturday, August 15, 2015. It was quite the process; those scissors couldn't cut warm butter.
The Pear Theatre, formerly known as The Pear Avenue Theatre, let supporters and reporters tour its new building on August 15, 2015, and Regarding Arts' John Orr was there and reports back that the new space is great. Read his story.
Broadway By The Bay
Mark Kitaoka and Tracy Martin / Broadway By The Bay
Miko Ison as Estella, Catrina Manahan as Teresita, Elizabeth Gee as Gloria, Camille Edralin as Rosalia, Taylor Jones as Anita, Katy Tang as Consuela, and Katie Edralin as Francisa sing "America"in Broadway By The Bay's production of "West Side Story." Fabulous singing.
"West Side Story" is getting a grand and impressive production by Broadway By The Bay at the Fox Theatre in Redwood city, with a fabulous orchestra. John Orr reviews.
City Lights Theater Company
Susan Mah Photography / City Lights
""When you're a Jet, you're a Jet all the way." From left are Jeremy Ryan as Diesel, Darrell Hubbard as A-rab, Josiah Frampton as Riff, Sean Okuniewicz as Action, and William Corkery as Baby John. At City Lights in San Jose, July 16-August 30, 2015.
"West Side Story" doesn't get produced every day. It's big, it's involved, it requires fabulous singers and dancers. And yet, City Lights has managed to cram a very, very good production into its small theater in San Jose, and an audience of 100 at a time get to watch a fine cast of singers and dance move and sweat just feet from the faces. Thrilling. Read John Orr's review.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
Tony Lacy-Thompson / Regarding Arts
Grace Potter brings a lot of energy, impressive music and a short, short dress to Oakland's Fox Theater on Saturday, August 15, 2015.
Grace Potter and the Nocturnals brought their rock for grown-ups to the Fox Theater in Oakland, and Tony Lacy-Thompson was there to enjoy the hot show. Read his review.
Tony Lacy-Thompson / Regarding Arts
Bass player Greg Rzab, left, and music legend John Mayall at Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz on Thursday, July 9, 2015.
John Mayall, one of the earliest British blues musicians and certainly one of the most influential, is still bringing the goods at age 80. Tony Lacy-Thompson saw him a few days ago at Moe's Alley in Santa Cruz, and reviews the show.
Robin Trower may be 70 years old, but he's still a master of the Stratocaster and blew the doors off The Catalyst in Santa Cruz last week. Tony Lacy-Thompson was there, and reviews the great show.
Asleep at the Wheel
Wyatt McSpadden photo
Ray Benson, center on the couch, and Asleep at the Wheel.
Ray Benson's been rockin' that Western Swing with Asleep at the Wheel for more than 40 years. Tony Lacy-Thompson interviewed him. Read the story.
For ears and eyes
Kate Davis covers Meghan Trainor's "All About That Bass" with Post Modern Jazz, and wow! How do we love it? Let us count the ways! Oh, nevermind, we can't count that high. Just go watch and listen to the video on YouTube.
Puddles the Pity Clown performs an amazing cover of Lorde's "Royals." Yes, it's a weird act, but ya know, whatever works. This guy's done plenty of interesting work as an entertainer, including under his real name, Mike Geier. Check out his fabulous video.
Judy Garland was an amazing talent, unmatched in many ways. Want the proof? Lend eyes and ears to her singing "Somewhere Over the Rainbow" in a poor quality recording from the ancient days of TV. Fabulous.
Some guys singing "Bad Romance." It's so much fun.
Molly Bell is amazing. We have a profile of her here in Regarding Arts, but here's a favorite video of her performing in Divas for Life. Find out more about Divas for Life.
Lake Street Dive is a band formed by Rachael Price, who is a wonderful vocalist. I love this tune, which I heard on A Prairie Home Companion. Then I found this video.
"Laundry Room." Another from The Avett Brothers. Here is another tune that delves deep into emotion and yearning.
"While My Guitar Gently Weeps." Fabulous band performs in 2004 to honor George Harrison upon his posthumous induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame as a solo artist. Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Jeff Lynne, Steve Ferrone, Dhani Harrison and Prince. Mike Campbell of the Heartbreakers does the early solo stuff. Prince shows up and takes over.
Tim O'Brien: "Hey, Joe," at Celtic Connections 2009, Glasgow Scotland.
Trucks & Tedeschi Band: "Midnight in Harlem," at the 2010 Guitar Festival.
Van Morrison: "Real Real Gone."
OK Go: "This Too Shall Pass." Incredible Rube Goldberg machine video.
Willie Dixon: "I'm Nervous." Funny and charming video of the great songwriter, singer and bassist.
John Lee Sanders: Fabulous musician. Give a listen to "Midnight in New Orleans".