Reviews

Downton Abbey Review

ImageMy TV gets turned on twice each week because there are only two shows that I want to watch.

One is Downton Abbey on PBS.

For the uninformed, Downton Abbey is a British period drama TV series set in early 20th century England.  And I am hooked like a hopeless junkie.

I can’t help myself!  I love the writing, the costumes, the settings, colors, camera angles, the English countryside and the time period.  What can i say?  The series was made for me and obviously, these people have got my number.  And by the way it’s taken the world by storm meaning that I am clearly no the only prisoner of this high quality soap opera.

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I’ve always been smitten by English dramas.  I guess it’s because my mother is a big fan, so I grew up with the stuff in my living room.  And then there’s the fact that . . . well, they’re English!  For the most part, the English can act!  And for the most part, Americans — not so much.  Am I the only one who feels this way?

Anyway, back to Downton . . . Last night Season 3, Episode 6 aired on PBS in LA and Holy Mother of little baby J — talk about flip-flop! Robert gives up, Robert rebounds. Thomas gives up, Thomas rebounds! Was looking good for O’Brien and nephew, but now, not much of a bright future for them, methinks!

Anyway, you can check them out on the PBS website if you haven’t seen it. But if you’re also a big fan and you can’t seem to get enough, you’ve probably re-watched an episode or two on the PBS site, http://www.PBS.org

Thanks for checking in!

©2013 Christina Moss.  I’m the author of four science fiction & fantasy novels: Intwine, Insight, Incircle, and Vampire of My Dreams.  Leave a comment and follow me here by subscribing to my blog.  Also check out the LINKS page on my website to follow me on Twitter and more:  http://www.christinamoss.com/LINKS.html

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Reviews

Spencer Kent, Amplifi’d

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In Hollywood, off of Santa Monica Blvd and down an alley, is a building with a heavy purple door. Beyond the sign-less entrance is a hole-in-the-wall called Amplifi. Alcohol is not served there. People go only to see rock/punk/alternative bands play live music.

This is where I found myself on Saturday night. The tiny venue was packed, the music was loud and four or five bands were playing back-to-back.

For me it is the next best thing to a garage band, and I love garage bands. I don’t even care if they’re good because there is so much more to it than that and besides, I can pretty much guarantee Jimi Hendrix did not sound amazing the first time he picked up a guitar. What is important is that Jimi Hendrix picked it up in the first place. The tragedy would be if he had not.

My admiration overflows for anyone who first picks up that guitar or mic or drumstick, and for those who graduate to a garage band — well, this is cause for me to stand up and applaud. When I see a musician manage to persist through thick and thin, the vicissitudes of clashing and creative personalities, and all the naysayers who implore them to “get a real job,” and get themselves in front of a paying audience, I am in awe. That alone makes the music sound sweet to me.

Like an adorable child with hints of future ability shining through, there is something honest and fresh about a new musician. We are so enamored with what a child does well that we don’t care about the stumbles — he’s walking and it’s wonderful.

My favorite world-class bands that I love so well didn’t sound polished in early records but I still love their early sound. It’s fresh and raw. It’s similar to falling madly in love with all the excitement, newness and promise of things to come. It is never quite matched as years go by, even in the most successful relationship.  And so it is with budding musicians. And so it was for me on Saturday night at the venue called Amplifi.

It was the third or fourth act and I had a front seat. A man sat down with his plugged-in acoustic. Another man sat next to him with the same. The music began, my brow lightened and I found myself smiling. I was smitten. It was clear that these artists had music in them that had to come out — the real deal. Every song was epic.

I made a point of finding Spencer Kent after the show and buying his CD. I had to let him know that he had a new fan, that I loved his music and appreciated his work.

Below is a link to his music.  Check it out — you may love it too.

http://itunes.apple.com/us/album/the-optimist/id394007314

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Ernest Hemingway

I’ve been addicted to Hemingway for the past few weeks and the addiction has been so gripping that each night I’ll tell my husband, “I’m going to bed with Hemingway now.”

Fortunately for me, my husband understands me and loves me in spite of my addiction.

I recently read “Islands in the Stream”.  Ernest was so very talented at painting an entire scene in one or two sentences that he often had me standing there with him on the sandy beach, holding that icy drink in my hand and suffering over the loss of three sons.

Never has suffering been so beautiful!

The problem for me is this — it’s been a stormy love/hate relationship with Hemingway and me.  On one hand it’s wonderful writing and I love him, but on the other I haven’t found one story with an upbeat ending, not that I feel like everything I read has to have a good ending, but I love to read one now and then.

If you know of a Hemingway novel, novella or short story with a happy ending, PLEASE respond with the name of the story and I’ll run out and get it!

By the way, I absolutely loved “The Short Happy Life of Francis Macomber”.  If you’ve read that story, please tell me your thoughts on the ending.  Was his death an accident?

Personally, I think not!

© 2010 Christina Moss

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Saw AVATAR in IMAX

I really liked it!

I can appreciate the fact that James Cameron got to write, direct and partially produce his own story. There must be a lot of artistic freedom in that.

Movies are an interesting art form because so many different vectors have to come together in harmony. It’s nothing like painting or writing.

Writing novels is easy. I just sort go into solitary confinement and create whatever I want. There’s no one to disagree with me or argue with. If I don’t like the way something’s turning out, I go back and rewrite it. I can literally create an entire world in one day, and then change my mind and destroy it the next. It’s impossible to go over budget and there’s not one to challenge my choices. I can even kill off anyone I want without going to prison.

But truthfully I’m in awe of the movie industry. I think I’ll interview a famous actor and see if I can sit in on a movie being made.

© 2010 Christina Moss

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