Deeply saddened by the passing of Scottish string bender Bert Jansch, one of the most laid back and understated of all the great guitar gods. Jansch was simply a giant of folk, blues and jazz and pretty much defined the British folk rock sound as a solo performer, in duo with John Renbourn, and finally in his incredible group Pentangle, an intricate, soulful mix of all of the above that released a string of highly influential albums in the late '60s and '70s such as Cruel Sister, Pentangle and Basket of Light (the first one I ever heard). For a supposed folk rock band, Pentangle was always so much more. Solo Jansch blazed a trail that stretched from 1965 to 2006 and proved equally inspirational. Some clips:
Here's a tasty clip of Jansch (with a glimpse of Mike Nesmith) during the sessions for L.A. Turnaround
And a fond farewell to the great square jawed Charles Napier (of Russ Meyer films and well beyond), Steve Jobs and Rev. Fred L. Shuttlesworth.
Finally caught up with Breaking Bad, and loving it. Walter White enjoys the unique position of being the shows protagonist and antagonist. In each passing season he becomes increasingly harder to like or care about, but there are other rad characters (Hank, Jesse, Gus) to latch onto and keep us guessing. Walt is what we're all afraid of becoming in our rise to the top, and what some of us became long ago. I'm glad there's one more season left. I also recommend the movie Drive, which is kind of a cross between Michael Mann's Thief and Monte Hellman's Two Lane Blacktop with gorgeous night shots of LA, a bare bones narrative and excellent score that combines Angela Badalamente's dreamy synthtopia with memorable synth pop gems that came out today but sound like some sort of alternate version of the 80s where everything was cooler and had more depth (even if it didn't). It's a throw back that's actually something of a step forward. Killer supporting work from Albert Brooks and Bryan Cranston, Gosling's all steel and ice as the quiet driver. Carey Mulligan literally glides through the frame as the unconventional love interest. Keep it practical, Keep it to the point. Director Nicolas Winding Refn is one to watch.