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Mendalla

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NF has picked up a load of PBS stuff the past while, including a lot of Ken Burns' documentaries. I've just starting watching his 10 part series on the history of jazz (called just "Jazz").


Partway into episode 2 and it is good. Part 1 was the evolution of jazz from a variety of musical streams ranging from spirituals to ragtime to blues and then the very earliest jazz artists. Part 2 kicks off with the beginnings of the great Louis Armstrong (true story: he was arrested and sent to a "waifs' home" at 11 and his playing in their band was so good that one parade through his old neighbourhood netted enough donations to buy new instruments and uniforms for the band) and then explores the post-WWI racial tensions that fed into the evolution of the music (and likely more but that's as far as I got last night).

And that's a real strength of the series - they don't shy away from the fact that racism and race politics played a very real role in how the music evolved and was taken up in society. Another true story: the first jazz recording was made by an all white Dixieland band whose Italian-American leader claimed to have invented jazz and also claimed that there was no way music like that could have come out of Africans.:oops:

The section on Armstrong was an eye-opener. I knew he was big but I also mostly know him from his late career recordings like "What a Wonderful World", though I have heard some early Armstrong. This documentary basically puts him forward as the Mozart of jazz; the whiz-kid prodigy who took the music to a whole new level.
 

Mendalla

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Part 2 continues with the effect of Prohibition on jazz (it helped by creating a vast market for jazz in the speakeasies), Armstrong's move from NOLA to Chicago at the behest of his idol and mentor Joe Oliver, and the story of the rise of another great of that first generation of jazz musicians, Duke Ellington.

Ellington offers a contrast to Armstrong. He came from a middle-class black family in Washington, DC and had a reputation for being a rather dapper gentleman (hence the nickname "Duke") while Armstrong was basically a rough and tumble street urchin raised by a single mother in one of the meanest parts of New Orleans.
 

Mendalla

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One interesting irony that has struck me: the criticisms that were leveled at jazz and jazz musicians in the early days are rather the same as those leveled at rock and roll early on (it promotes immorality, it is lower class and artless, it is "Black music" with less complementary terms substituted for "Black"). The irony being that the parents slamming rock and roll had, as kids, likely been the young people who upset their parents by dancing to jazz. IOW, jazz went from rebellious and dangerous to "establishment" in just one generation.
 

Inannawhimsey

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One interesting irony that has struck me: the criticisms that were leveled at jazz and jazz musicians in the early days are rather the same as those leveled at rock and roll early on (it promotes immorality, it is lower class and artless, it is "Black music" with less complementary terms substituted for "Black"). The irony being that the parents slamming rock and roll had, as kids, likely been the young people who upset their parents by dancing to jazz. IOW, jazz went from rebellious and dangerous to "establishment" in just one generation.
the new becomes the old hat

the rebel becomes the pillar of society

now hip hop, i dunno aboot that :whistle:
 

chansen

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Been up at night with G-I issues lately. Either a light flu or something I ate.

Anyway, started watching Archer on Netflix. Quite funny. Think James Bond meets Family Guy, except more graphic language than some will appreciate. Good bantering, though.
 

BetteTheRed

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I started watching Marco Polo a couple of days ago. Lots of action, don't know how faithful to real history, but a nice captivating watch.
 

Jobam

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We have been watching American Horror Story (not for the faint at heart). I remember watching the first two episodes, I said to my partner, these feel truly evil....I must have become desensitized, as we are now one season 3.
 

Jae

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My recommendation - don't get Ntflx. There's enough other stuff to watch for free.
 

BetteTheRed

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You're probably right, Jae. But compared to cable, which I don't have, Netflix makes a change from CBC.ca (which is, quite frankly, where I watch most of what I bother with) and also, for a pretty minimal $7.99/month, lets me off the moral hook when it comes to some of the on-line piracy required to do a lot of on-line TV watching.
 

chansen

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Netflix is an excellent way to augment over the air channels, or even cable. It is reasonably priced, and doesn't require you to subscribe to "bundles". It is the first item in the cordcutter's toolbelt.
 

Mendalla

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I started watching Marco Polo a couple of days ago. Lots of action, don't know how faithful to real history, but a nice captivating watch.
Does it get better? I watched episode 1 shortly before going on vac and found it quite unengaging. Just a bunch of scenes tossed together to introduce various characters. Two of the unsexiest sex scenes in the history of television to boot.

And it has about as much to do with the real history as you might expect. Basically took the barebones of the story and then went all "Game of Thrones" on it.
 

BetteTheRed

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The Polo character improves, and the Khan character actually develops. Just watched episode 2; it's not bad. I'm not a Game of Thrones watcher though, so I'm guessing I'm missing some plagiarism.
 

Jobam

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A Canadian alternative? CraveTv

How It Works

A subscription to CraveTV™ gives you access to a vast library of TV shows, all commercial-free for only $4 a month.

CraveTV™ is available on your TV, Mobile Devices and Computer.

Browse or search for hundreds of titles anytime.

CraveTV™ is currently available to Bell, Telus, Bell Aliant & Eastlink TV customers. Subscribe now to start watching.
 

ChemGal

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A Canadian alternative? CraveTv

How It Works

A subscription to CraveTV™ gives you access to a vast library of TV shows, all commercial-free for only $4 a month.

CraveTV™ is available on your TV, Mobile Devices and Computer.

Browse or search for hundreds of titles anytime.

CraveTV™ is currently available to Bell, Telus, Bell Aliant & Eastlink TV customers. Subscribe now to start watching.
What's the cheapest total though? Fairly expensive here.
 

Mendalla

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Right, but you have to have TV with one of those carriers which makes it useless for cord cutters, which where I am leaning. It may be a Canadian alternative but it is one that keeps you beholden to the big carriers.
 

BetteTheRed

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Yes, I think you're better off with one of the resellers of internet, a home wifi set up, and Netflix, with Hola installed so you can watch the U.S. stuff.
 

Jobam

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TORONTO - To tear through two seasons of "Orange is the New Black" or binge-watch episodes of "Scandal"?

The great TV debate raged through households in 2014 as a growing array of streaming video options opened the doors to a new world, and began to transform how some of us watch television.

Some of the country's biggest cable providers leapt into the game, launching their own answers to Netflix in an effort to prove they're still cool.

But industry watchers say fans shouldn't get ahead of themselves when it comes to perceptions of the country's overall viewing habits, which still lean towards cable television and over-the-air antennas.

https://ca.finance.yahoo.com/news/changes-canadians-viewing-habits-got-telecom-companies-streaming-210102034.html
 

Mendalla

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I'm actually on a Netflix break right now.

PBS had a couple good concerts over New Year's that I'm watching while I exercise. First up is a terrific Gershwin themed concert from the New York Philharmonic from New Year's Eve. Conductor is the lively, entertaining Bramwell Tovey (who long been the music director of the Vancouver Symphony Orchestra and will remain so until 2018 when he becomes Music Director Emeritus) and singer-actor Norm Lewis and jazz singer Dianna Reeves provide the vocals. Lovely concert including some Gershwin rarities as well as some of the standards.

The other, which I haven't started yet, is the annual New Years's concert from the Vienna Philharmonic which, as usual, focuses on Austrian dance music legends the Strauss family (Johann Sr., Johann Jr., Edouard, and Josef).
 
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