Friday, August 8, 2014


What can I say about Barbara Walters that you haven't heard? Like you, I have watched her change -- grow older, gracefully share and relinquish her role as the wise leader/boss on "The View."

And continue to do what she has always done -- ask the questions we want to ask.

I would trust her to answer any probing, too personal questions I might ask about how she looks and feels about herself right now. I know she'd search for the truth with me.

The tributes, the glimpses of some of her super interesting interviews with super celebrities, the story of how she got to be what she is right now, are interesting, but I am not very interested. I am somewhat bored by the media's to do over her retirement.

She, herself, the woman we have met on television, has a way of removing herself -- being absorbed in the discussion, but not making herself or her opinion the focus. So I find myself, in my writing, attempting to do what she does.

Barbara isn't exciting to look at. Twenty years ago, her looks, her name and stature compelled us to see her as a celebrity, but she didn't do things or announce things that were happening to her. We just saw her handle very famous people -- engage with them, get them to reveal themselves and their passionate concerns -- she somehow made others feel that her mind and her arms were open.

Yes, Barbara W. is very feminine and nice looking, but I couldn't describe her. bosom, hips or waist size, or her legs or her face. I like her eyes -- are they large? Her hair do -- hard to remember, wasn't it was straight hair with no curls for a while, then short hair, more or less curly as the blond, reddish color changed?

What she wears -- has it changed? I don't remember shorter or longer skirts, or spike heels, or very pale or dark lips or eye shadow, eye liner. and massacred lashes.

No -- Barbara has played a part -- the same part, throughout the time that I have watched her -- we see her curious, interested, wondering about the interviewees.

My tribute to her -- I learned by what she has done and said, how important it is to be yourself -- speak your mind.

Hurray for you Barbara.  I certainly learned a lot from you.

I am picking this interview with Dave Letterman because he's retiring (and having announced it, is somehow, suddenly less interesting), but the ease, the graciousness of you and of Dave in this show, had me celebrating you, and smiling throughout the conversation.

Tuesday, August 5, 2014


I saw this photo and thought self indulgent kid, before I took in the headline, "King of the Imperial Blaster Beat, Skrillex is making a big noise in the pop world."

This kid won six Grammys, and I have a hard time (very hard time) listening to him. I sort of enjoy the beginning of a song, but the development becomes a mish-mash of smashing, crashing sounds that makes me want to cover my ears.

I am paying attention to him because he is already more than a trend in music. Kids love him. 

Sonny John Moore, a/k/a Twipz, Skrocle, who is now called Skrillex, is 26. a DJ,  music producer, electronic musician, singer-songwriter. He grew up as a short (5'4"), punk-rock loving kid with bad skin, which apparently inspired him to relate to fans with similar social anxieties.

Sonny Moore joined the American post-hardcore band, "From First to Last" as the lead singer in 2004, and recorded two studio albums with them -- (I love the titles), "Dear Diary, My Teen Angst Has a Body Count," and "Heroine."  He left that band to pursue a solo career in 2007 and his first tour as a solo artist.

In 2008, Sonny was producing and performing as Skrillex in the Los Angeles area. Two years later, while providing programming and vocals for the UK metalcore band in their album titled -- (I love the title), "There Is a Hell, Believe Me I've Seen It. There Is a Heaven, Let's Keep It a Secret," Sonny worked feverishly on creating music for himself.

At his January 2013 birthday party, celebrating the release of his official Skrillex debut EP as a free download, Sonny Moore's hair caught on fire. (Though he was unharmed, it brings back memories of Michael Jackson, and perhaps explains Sonny's hairdo that suggests half of his head is shaved.)

In March  2014, Skrillex's "Alien Ride" was put up on Apple's App Store. He told a huge crowd of reporters, "I’ve been deep into electronic music my entire life. The first records I ever owned were ‘Fat of Land’ by the Prodigy and ‘Come To Daddy.’ I’ve been dabbling in making electronic tracks on programs like Fruity Loops since I was 14 years old.”

No doubt about it -- Skrillex is part of a new generation of artists that refuse to be restricted by audiences' expectations. He insists -- “Genre has never been important to me. I’ve never thought about music that way.”

Yes, I am playing Skrillex's music -- sort of learning and absorbing it. I remember when I was working with choreographer Norman-Walker on "Medea," to music by Alban Berg. As we began rehearsals, I hated the complicated twelve-tone, unmelodic, jangling, weirdly unsingable sounds. And sung it, and fell in love with Berg, as I learned to dance to it.

The New York Times said, "The artist that 13-year-olds play the most, which 64-year-olds also play the least is Skrillex."

Check out this video -- it comes with a warning -- "You must absolutely see this video until the end to get the full effect of what is actually happening here."

Like it or not, the "full effect" didn't impress me, but kids love this and dance to it. 

Skrillex is actually part of the genre called "Dubstep," which is a type of electronic music that has a reverberating sub-bass -- not four-four beats -- it's spaced, syncopated percussion that you may have heard in a Lady Gaga album, or recently, in Britney Spear's "Hold it Against Me." 

Listen to this video -- just music, no story -- the repetitive rhythm gets into my bones. Maybe it will get into yours.