Thursday, July 30, 2015

Rick to appear at the Arizona State Fair

Arizona State Fair
Phoenix, AZ
October 21, 2015
Full band show

Concert free with admission to the fair

Photo by Charlotte Poe

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Stripped Down show announcement

A new "Stripped Down" show has been announced:

Paramount Theater
Cedar Rapids, IA
October 28, 2015

Photo by Susan Fortune

Saturday, July 25, 2015

October shows announced

Just added to the fall schedule:

River City Casino
St. Louis, MO
October 1, 2015
"Stripped Down" show

Beau Rivage Casino Theater
Biloxi, MS
October 2, 2015
Full band show

Van Wezel Performing Arts Center
Sarasota, FL
October 15, 2015
Full band show

The Ranch Concert Hall
Fort Myers, FL
October 17, 2015
Full band show

Photo by Laurie Bennett

Sunday, July 19, 2015

New tour dates Park Center
Austin, TX
October 22, 2015
Full band show

The Joint
Las Vegas, NV
October 25, 2015
Full band show

Raue Center
Crystal Lake, IL
November 19, 2015
Stripped Down show

Photo by Lisa Wilcox

Saturday, July 18, 2015

True Detective Rumors


Article by Jacob Belcher

Who Exactly is True Detective's Dr. Pitlor?

Dr. Pitlor, or "Creepy Rick Springfield" as he is affectionately referred to in the True Detective Reddit community, is something of an enigma in this season's True Detective. The soft-spoken psychiatrist first appears in "Night Finds You" when Ray Velcoro and Ani Bezzerides drop by his clinic to investigate a lead.  While our detectives don't get much in the way of answers, the audience is treated to an aperitif of psychological misdirection: TV Land's slight of hand.

Let me back up a little. A few years ago I became obsessed with The Shining, pouring over every frame as if somewhere in the celluloid was hidden the code to life. While I never did find that code (I'm pretty sure the big guy dozing under the tree by my local Costco found it first) what I did find was an eye for the abstruse: secrets hidden in plain sight.

The scene that introduced me to this Brave New World was set in the Colorado Lounge. So there's Wendy, pestering Jack with polite small talk, when suddenly, without any explanation, some furniture in the background vanishes from sight, only to reappear a few seconds later!

I did a double take Did I see that right? I rewound a few seconds, pressed play, and sure enough the disappearing act unfolded in front of my eyes once again. Maybe it was a mistake, I thought. Maybe some upstart Prop Master's assistant got caught up in the excitement and carried it away. I've seen it happen. A makeup girl is chatting up the Best Boy between takes, and suddenly a swivel chair that was facing left is now facing right. But something told me that wasn't the case. Not with Kubrick.

I started scouring the film for other such inconsistencies, and before I knew it I was down the rabbit hole and on my way to Wonderland. I found spatial and temporal disparities, repeating numbers, color significance, allusions to Navajo mythology. It was like Kubrick was having a conversation, not with actors and their words, but with images and their associations.

So what does this have to do with Dr. Pitlor?  Funny you should ask.

Pitlor's office abounds with esoteric art and literature, but a common image emerges upon closer inspection: that of a black bird. We see this image in some pottery on the desk as well as in a painting of an anthropomorphized bird (most likely a raven or a crow) hanging on the wall behind our True Detectives.

As Ray might say "I'm no Columbo," but there it is, staring right at us, framed between the detectives just like Pitlor. Yet everyone I spoke to immediately after viewing the episode overlooked it.  As an audience, we are so trained to focus on the actors and their words that we often miss the imagistic discourse happening all around them. I wouldn't be surprised if Pizzolatto deliberately uses images to have conversations as well, just as Kubrick does in The Shining. He certainly did to some degree in True Detective season one, using "devil's nests" to symbolize our captivity and the spiral to suggest the pervading theme of eternal recurrence.

I know what you're thinking: "Dang, Rick Springfield has an exquisite tan!" Well, you're right, but what is a bird painting doing in his office? At this point in the season, many viewers suspect that the bird mask accompanying Caspere on that romp down Mulholland Drive belonged to him.

Now I'm thinking that the painting is there to subliminally establish a connection between Caspere and Pitlor, a connection that grows even more evident in episode four.

While he didn't make a physical appearance, Dr. Pitlor has a strong presence in True Detective's 
fourth episode,"Down Will Come." His name first arises in conversation with Betty Chessani, the daughter of our favorite straightedge mayor. It turns out Betty's biological mother suffered from schizophrenia and was committed to a hospital in Nevada "And that doctor." Betty says, haunted, "She hung herself in there." When asked about her mother's doctor, Betty replies, almost predictably, "His name's Pitlor."

And so establishes connection between Mayor Austin Chessani and Dr. Pitlor, but it doesn't end there. When Ray and Ani return to Panticapaeum (the sweet lodge in the mountains), Eliot reveals that Pitlor actually attended the institute during the '80s, "Researching dynamics of communal living". Part of Chessani's Lodge I think." He goes on to show the detectives a photograph of Pitlor from the time, and lo and behold, Austin Chessani is right there with him.

With so many pieces falling into place, it seems only a matter of time before the chickens come home to roost...and other such idioms. Chessani and Pitlor are linked, and our detectives know it. But what are we to make of it? What else can we assume about the character?

Who exactly is Dr. Pitlor? Do you think he's implicated in the murder of Ben Caspere, or were the knickknacks and paintings in his office simply misdirection? Could he be the evil mastermind behind the transportation deal debacle, or someone else pulling the strings?

Sunday, July 12, 2015

Gathering on the Green Review

Review by B. Minett 

Gathering on the Green – Rotary Park
Mequon, WI
July 10, 2015

Concert Notes: 
This concert was the headliner of the first day of Gathering on the Green, a local two-day musical festival at a large, multi-use park outside of Milwaukee. In addition to the nightly concerts, people picnic before the show and there were many tents set up with food to purchase if you hadn’t brought your own. They also have children’s events on the second day of the festival, so this is a very family-oriented event.  

The stage for the concert was set on a small hill – but there wasn’t even an elevated stage; everything was setup at ground level. Reserved seating was “luxurious” white plastic lawn chairs with arm rests (the venue’s description of the seating); there was also a lawn section behind the reserved seating, where you could bring your own lawn chair or blanket. Due to the stage setup and the rigging for the lights, there was a large space between the stage and the reserved seating area, going down the small hill, then up the start of another small hill. Also, from the reserved seating on the sides, it was difficult to see the stage, as the lighting and equipment were in the way; unfortunately, these were the seats that were sold during the RS fan club pre-sale. Fortunately, before the concert began, security allowed fans to move and sit on the grass at the bottom on the hill in front of the stage, with the instructions that we had to stay seated and there could only be one row of people; they also allowed fans to sit on the hill at the sides leading up the stage, behind the roped off security taped area (behind the light rigging) – as long as they didn’t pull on the roping and knock down the lights! This made for an unusual concert seating arrangement – who stays seated at a Rick Springfield concert?! But it was one of the most relaxed concerts I’ve attended. No stage rushing or pushing. And, as a bonus, Rick frequently came off the stage onto the grassy knoll while playing guitar – just as if he were walking around your backyard! He did so when he first walked out, seeing the fans and walking directing down the hill to stand in front of those seated there on the grass while playing the opening music. 

The weather was perfect for an outdoor concert, with sunny, blue skies and not-to-warm temperatures. The concert began before dark – and Rick pointed out a drone in the sky when he first came on-stage - but once it was dark, the bugs were drawn to the lights on the stage and were bothering Rick. He said there were some weird bugs here – this from a man who grew-up in Australia with all its’ weird insects!  

The set list was the same as it’s been at recent full-band shows, with the screen and videos to accompany the songs. I wondered if that was maybe why he hasn’t been changing up the full-band set-list much recently, as it would be more difficult to do so with the videos and lighting effects? Also, most of the band members are still fairly new, and may not know a lot of Rick’s songs, especially since he hasn’t been doing as many shows with the band recently. I would have liked to hear more songs from the Shock Denial Anger Acceptance CD, as were meant to be played live and LOUD. And, I always like to hear more songs that Rick has written, rather than the covers that he plays – though the audience really seemed to like his rendition of Katy Perry’s ‘Roar’. Something else I really noticed at this concert, was while the audience went wild for ‘Jessie’s Girl’, the fans sitting at the bottom of the grassy knoll reacted more enthusiastically to the newer songs on his set list (an observation I’ve heard Rick talk about before). 

A few songs into the concert, Rick noticed a lot of empty seats in the middle section (maybe these were vendor seats?), and told people to move forward into them, as it bothered him to see them empty. He also mentioned early on that everyone didn’t seem as drunk as he expected, since there was the tents with alcohol being served (which speaks well to the family-oriented nature of this festival).  

Rick teased with ‘Jessie’s Girl’ early in the show when he noticed someone getting up and walking toward the back. He said, “You don’t want to go to the bathroom now, because I just might play…” followed by chords to the chorus of ‘Jessie’s Girl’. 

He introduced ‘Our Ship’s Sinking’ by first asking if anyone had heard about the plaque from the Titanic that recently resurfaced. (If you’re a Titanic freak then that info would have shown up at the top on your phone, he said.) He joked about his “geeky” side that was fascinated by Titanic and Star Wars and still lived in his mother’s basement, and he mentioned the rare Star Wars figurine he owns. Then he introduced the song (‘Our Ship’s Sinking’) as being about Star Wars – oops, Rick!  

 In between songs, he asked if anyone had seen him on True Detective, and said his character was a little….“creepy”. He also mentioned that his new CD, Mayhem, would be coming out in January. I was hoping when he said this, that he was introducing a new song from the CD (perhaps ‘Light This Party Up’, that he debuted for fans during the Rickation getaway this past spring) - but alas, it was not to be. It was his introduction to a song from his last CD, ‘I Hate Myself’. He sang the second line as, “Everyone thinks I’m creepy and so do I.” 

In addition to walking out onto the grassy knoll to play guitar many times during the concert, Rick also went into the audience seats more than usual, standing on the chairs to play guitar (such as during the intro to ‘Wild Thing’).  And, of course, he waded quite far out into the seated section during ‘Human Touch’. 

During ‘Don’t Talk to Strangers’, Rick first sat on the lap of a security guy sitting in a lawn chair at the side of the stage, and told him the usual line that  “girls like a guy who sings”. Then, when he first went out into the audience, he chose an older gentleman sitting in the front row, who had his arms crossed. He waded far out into the audience to have more people sing, and then on his way back to the stage, he grabbed the hand a little girl sitting on the grass. He brought her up onto the stage with him and first had her dance, while he jumped around like she was doing. After she sang the line, he directed her off stage, joking that she was making him look bad, because she danced better than him.  

When introducing ‘Alyson’, he said this was the only song that he used the actual name of a girl that the song was about – something he knew not to do anymore. At the end of this song, he threw his guitar on the ground in front of the stage; when the audience gasp, he said not to worry; it only landed on the grass.  

When he returned to the stage after his sojourn out in the audience for ‘Human Touch’, he had a lighted hula hoop, that he tried to use – but couldn’t get it to spin. He tried a second time, and still didn’t have the hip action to get it to spin.  

As an introduction to ‘Love Somebody’, Rick asked if anyone had seen any movies recently. Then he talked about being in an upcoming movie, Ricki and the Flash, with Meryl Streep, in theatres on August 7. Little more than that was said about the movie, except that it was better than the last movie he was in.  

Who was there: Rick on lead guitar and vocals, George B on guitar, George N on bass, Jorge P on drums, Tim G on keyboards and guitar, sound guy Mattie, and guitar tech, Ruben. 

What he wore: Rick came out in a black suit jacket, black sleeveless dress shirt with white placket and stitching, black jeans, black leather boots, and round glasses with blue-tinted lenses. He took the jacket off after the first few songs and for the encore, he came back wearing a tight white t-shirt.  

Rick’s hair has obviously grown back from when it was cut for his True Detective role. However, the sides in the front and his sideburns were graying; he also had a shadow of a beard. During the concert, he was constantly slicking back the sides of his hair back with both hands, as the sides were styled a little differently than usual.

Set List:
Living in Oz
I’ve Done Everything For You
I’ll Make You Happy
I Get Excited
Our Ship’s Sinking
Affair of the Heart
I Hate Myself

Bop medley: (Bop ‘Til You Drop/ Celebrate Youth/ Calling All Girls/ Jessie’s Girl snippet/ Don’t Walk Away/ State of the Heart/ What Kind of Fool Am I)

Love Is Alright
Surf guitar music)
Wild Thing
Don’t Talk To Strangers
Human Touch
Love Somebody
Jessie’s Girl
We Can Work It Out

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

Ricki and the Flash movie trailers

Forget the bathroom breaks during commercials. This is when you WANT to see a commercial.

Movie trailers are now showing for "Ricki and the Flash" starring our own Rick Springfield and Meryl Streep. Premiering August 7th.