Tuesday, October 20, 2009
Tonight I got to catch a screening at the IFC cinema for an inspiring documentary about one of my favorite singers, Bill Withers.
STILL BILL is an intimate portrait of soul legend Bill Withers, best known for his classics “Ain’t No Sunshine,” “Lean On Me,” “Lovely Day,” “Grandma’s Hands,” and “Just the Two of Us.” I was very pleased with how the filmmakers were able to capture the soul and simple honesty not only in his music and lyrics but in Bill Withers the man and his story. I think that I speak for many of us when I say his music resonates through all of our lives in one way or another.
From film synopsis:
"Filmmakers Damani Baker and Alex Vlack follow Withers and offer a unique and rare look inside the world of this fascinating man. Through concert footage, journeys to his birthplace, interviews with music legends, his family and closest friends, STILL BILL presents the story of an artist who has written some of the most beloved songs in our time and who truly understands the heart and soul of a man".
Unfortunately this documentary won't reach the movie houses but fortunately will be released on DVD soon.
For more info check out:
The Still Bill trailer
At your soulful service,
Tuesday, October 6, 2009
As a lover, part time slinger and part time geek of the cocktail, I was in good "spirits" all weekend for the preview of the 1st Annual Manhattan Cocktail Classic. We reveled in libations and watched the Official Bar in the Astor Center pump out cocktails from some of the most talented cocktail cats in the country.
The preview weekend to the Manhattan Cocktail classic, a festival of seminars and tastings with a goal of preserving the history, culture and art of the cocktail gave us just a touch of what the full 5 day event will be like in May. Attendees got a chance to see, hear and taste with the thought leaders and tastemakers of the cocktail and spirit industry as they talked about some of their favorite points of the culture through seminars. I dipped into the "Cocktails for Your Home Cocktail Party" seminar with Sasha Petraske and picked up a few great tips for the next time I entertain at home. I imagine the avid consumer found this seminar really exciting as he went through lots of great little tips on things such as the quality of ice as well as specifics on counts per person when hosting a cocktail party and how to properly use your bar tools. Out in the main bar area, I got a chance to chat with folks like David Wondrich, Dale DeGroff and even cracked a joke with Gary Regan at his book release party that was held at the new Crosby hotel.
The kicker of the weekend was the gala that was held in the gorgeous New York Public library's Grand Astor Hall. 12 bars represented by different brands and again bartenders from the most established cocktail joints were in full sling for our sipping pleasure. My lovely date and I sipped on whiskey cocktails all night and danced to the big band jazz sounds of Vince Giordano and the Nighthawks.
It was a fancy affair for the cocktail scene and I was happy to be a part of it. Can't wait for May's events!
At your service,
p.s....thanks to MetroMix for the fancy photo