Posts Tagged ‘Johnny Bench’


February 19, 2013
Advance discs of the audio portion of the DVDs that will be A Day For Grace. Discs courtesy Doug Vincent.

Advance discs of the audio portion of the DVDs that will be A Day For Grace. Discs courtesy Doug Vincent.

People are depending on MY ears.  While flattering, all eyes are focusing on what I hear…  I never felt I had discerning taste, but many are relying on my ears to tell them what Johnny Outsider thinks of their hard work.  I have always been on the outside of the mainstream, ahead of the curve in some instances, left out in others.  But I can let people know what the 411 is when it comes to music, as well as some other cultural aspects of life in “Troubled America”.

As faithful readers know, I jumped from the Rundgren camp to the Tanin camp.  It’s been a blast and I have been exposed to more worthy, interesting music in this camp, mostly with Sam Llanas’ solo efforts.  Something I might not have heard of is Doug Vincent’s  “A Day For Grace”.  Click around my WordPress page here to find the full-out review of the actual show.  What we are reviewing here is the audio only advance copy sent to me from the Tanin camp.  Tanin himself conveys confidence that not only is this a worthy piece as it sits, it is being submitted to the Grammys for Spoken Word Award consideration.

Let me get this right, they are submitting this for a Grammy for Spoken Word and they want to know what I think of it?  No pressure…

Well, I am boastfully prepared to pick this puppy apart.  Let’s do a quick checklist to make sure we are ready for this journey (in effect) once again.  I shall climb into my critical cockpit: Remote control for the DVD/CD player, CHECK.  Remote control for the Harmon Kardon 7.1 Surround System, CHECK.  Note pad, CHECK.  Five sharpened pencils, CHECK.  Two audio only CDs that will go on to be the audio track to the forthcoming DVD, for which Sam Llanas is being interviewed at about the very same time that this review is coming to life, CHECK.

Harkening back to actually seeing this performance, and having been given the script to A) follow along as a guide for the CDs, and B) to assist in formatting my own script for my forthcoming show.  The main performer in A Day For Grace, Mr. Doug Vincent, is enthusiastic about my show, perhaps more so than anyone else, including me.  But I know what the content of these CDs has in store for me, one more thing I need in my critical cockpit before I fire this massive monster up: Full box of Kleenex, CHECK!

Ignition, tower clearance, let’s take this baby for it’s maiden flight…



September 24, 2012

Sam Llanas (left) and Doug Vincent (right); co-performers of A Day For Grace. Photo by Matthew Staver

AUTHOR’S NOTE:  The themes and language contained in the following play review are best suited towards a mature audience.  We at BouleBlog strongly suggest that readers under the age of 16 please consult your parents or guardian adults regarding the content and if it is proper for the viewing of minors in the household.  Thank you.

We are spreading our wings here at BouleBlog.  This is our first play review!!!  I can hear the nay-sayers now…  “What does he know about plays?  He’s JUST a musician…”  Yeah, just a musician.  The first flaw in that thinking is, I have spent some (academic) time doing theater.  So I can actually speak some of the lingo, blocking, direction, lighting, cues, etc.  Annette Palutis, you should be proud…

From the pre-show buzz, this promises to be interesting.  The basics of the story are, it is about the son of an alcoholic who is expecting the birth of his first child.  Touchy subject, alcoholism.  It hits close to home.  My best thing to ever happen to me did not see her mother for the last 18 years of her mom’s life as her mother preferred drinking over the company of the woman who was ostensibly her only surviving child.  My best thing has issues with abandonment.  This may be out-of-line, but part of the reason I separated from the syndication was to get down in the trenches.  If getting in those trenches means telling the story of my best thing and how she, as a five year old girl, watched her father suffer a cerebral hemorrhage and drop in front of her eyes only a to die a few days later, so be it.

My personal experience with alcoholism brings me back to the last time I saw my father in the house I grew up in New Jersey.  Ah, fond memories of Muzz (that’s what we called him, not dad, not father, but a nickname given to him by his friends because of his stylish upper lip warmer) gripping me by the collar of my shirt on either side of my neck, slamming me against the double door refrigerator DEMANDING that I tell him I loved him.

I can assure you I didn’t.

But as most victims of alcohol abuse can tell you, I did what was demanded of me (self preservation).  I saw my father once more before alcohol consumption took him at age 55.  At my brother’s wedding.  My brother’s wife was smart, she saw him going down the same road, so she left him!  My brother would drown shortly later in an alcohol-related boating accident.  So I am not unfamiliar with the irreversible damage alcohol abuse can do.

But A Day For Grace is also a comedy!  Huh???


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