Wednesday, September 23, 2020
Wednesday, September 2, 2020
I was thinking about heroes, and how we look up to them. Not the real-life heroes though. Heroes such as Firemen, Soldiers, Parents, and others are very good, true. But I was thinking about how people, especially kids today, look up to fictional heroes. How do these heroes matter to kids?
I had my heroes when I was young, and I think they mattered. Luke Skywalker mattered to me as the average guy who fought evil. I guess he wasn't really "average guy". But he did work very hard and overcome a lot of obstacles in order to fulfill his dream. I think super-heroes such as the X-Men are important to a legion of fans. The X-Men is a very important metaphor for minorities and anyone else who feels picked on for who they are. The heroes are people that children look up to, even if these heroes are fictional.
And this brings me to the Black Panther. He is, of course, on my mind due to the recent untimely passing of Chadwick Boseman, who portrayed the Panther onscreen in the Marvel Cinematic Universe. I've always loved the Black Panther. He's an important hero for many reasons.
Jack Kirby and Stan Lee created T'Challa in 1966, and he was the first African character published by a major comic company. He broke a barrier, but even more important, he was and is a great character. Fighting racism was a theme Lee and Kirby would tackle separately and together many times. Though they weren't of African ancestry, they were two Jewish guys who had helped the world win the war against Hitler's Third Reich. The Black Panther matters because young readers who were black had a character that looked like them that they could look up to. This representation in popular media has shown to have a real positive impact on readers. T'Challa was a king, an leader, a genius, and became an Avenger. He's been a co-star or star of many comic series.
And he's also the main character in one of Marvel's best movies. The Black Panther movie is one of my favorite, and Chadwick Boseman's portrayal of T'Challa is just about perfect in every way. He gave the King of Wakanda a real regal presence among the many other great characters and actors in the Marvel Cinematic Universe.
I drew this picture as my tribute to Mr. Boseman. I know it's usually a cop-out to say "I could have done better", but in this case, it was a struggle to complete the drawing. Not because of the technical details, but because of the emotions.
Sunday, February 16, 2020
I discovered the Mona Lisa Twins a few months ago and immediately began to devour all if their posted videos on their website/You Tube channel. Wow do I love to listen to their music! They have a very retro-sixties sound, including doing cover versions of many 60's songs, chiefly by the Beatles. I have previous blog entries about such things as The Turtles, so yeah, this is one of my favorite eras if music. I discovered the Beach Boys in the late '70s, listening to their great harmonies and catchy pop songs, and expanded from there. My biggest Beatles experience was when I was in college and started playing some Beatles songs with friends of mine, one who went on to front a Beatles cover band and still performs lots of oldies--sometimes as "John Lennon".
But on to the Mona Lisa Twins. I love any "young" person who appreciates that music did not begin in the year 2000. The twins (I'll use MLT for short from now on) are currently 25 and have been performing since they were 13! They are incredible musicians and singers, and they harmonize like...well....they are sisters, so I guess it comes naturally.
I recently acquired their first two albums of original music: When We're Together and Orange and have been listening to them a lot. The two albums differ a bit in style, and I think there's a lot of growth between the first and second, but they are both exceptional. My favorite song off of When We're Together is "I Wanna Kiss You" which is just a fun pop song with cool background vocals. I don't know how to review music like a real critic (or someone who understands the technical aspects of music) but I also just love "I Don't Know Birds That Well" and "Nothing is in Vain". The latter is a bit more psychedelic, with simple lyrics but a melody that is enchanting.
So I was thinking what would I like to know or what would I like to hear from the MLT?
Why "Orange"? Is it your favorite color? Why no songs with cool rhymes for orange?
Do you each have a favorite Beatle? (I do not have a favorite MLT. Cannot choose. Love you both!)
Can you do a cover a Turtles song, but not Happy Together?
For those of you who haven't heard, here's some links to my favorite MLT songs.