Phone me, candidates, at your own risk; you’ll lose a vote | NevadaAppeal.com

Phone me, candidates, at your own risk; you’ll lose a vote

Sam Bauman
Appeal Entertainment Editor

This may not qualify as an entertainment item, but I want to give fair warning to those politicos who think I’m interested in their recorded comments on my landline telephone. I do not consider a recorded plea for votes as a meaningful part of the electoral process. It intrudes into my privacy with something to which I cannot interact.

So be warned, telephone politicos. Call me and if I answer and it’s a recorded message, you automatically lose my vote. Well, maybe this is an entertainment item after all. Some may find it amusing, having suffered as well.

MUSIC AND FUN

Get into party spirit when The Fabulous Thunderbirds bring their rockin’ Texas roadhouse blues bash to Harrah’s Lake Tahoe Saturday. In 1979, The Fabulous Thunderbirds released their first self-titled album. Primarily blues influenced, it became a cult classic. The Fabulous Thunderbirds appear at 7:30 p.m. and tickets are $35 plus tax. Call (800) 786-8208 or see http://www.TotalRewardsTahoe.com.

Van Morrison appears 7:30 p.m. Friday at the Grand Sierra Casino in Reno. Tickets are $39.50 in advance, $43 the day of the show in the Grand Theater. Call 789-2000 or visit http://www.grandsierraresort.com.

“A Filipino Christmas in Reno” plays at the Silver Legacy Dec. 22 Tickets are $48 to $68. Call 325-7401.

Blue Traveler with Jesse Malin is at the Crystal Bay Casino Friday with tickets $30. Call 831-0512.

MontBleu Casino in Stateline has booked “The Magic of Rick Thomas” for Dec. 27-31. Tickets are only $17.50. Call 588-3515.

And the Tuesday night jazz-and-poet concert at Comma Coffee was packed, nary an open seat. The Mile High Jazz Band was in top form with David Bugli’s piano solo “A Child is Born” by Thad Jones tastefully done. Bass player was Tom Martin. And a trumpet solo be Gil Linsley topped it beautifully.

Then there was Jakki Ford adding beauty to the scene with her versions of “Have Yourself a Merry Little Christmas” while wearing a nifty Santa hat. She was so good that it inspired me to grab one of her CDs, “Her Favorite Things,” a Christmas album. One piece stood out – “Little Drummer Boy.” Starkly simple, it told the well-known story in a quiet way that is very effective.

Ford is backed on this CD by just two musicians, although it sounds like a whole band. Joanie Grauer does the keyboard and production work, and Chuck DiLaura on a solidly thoughtful bass.

This is a mixture of traditional and pop Yuletide music, and all of it is just what is needed to get away from the old Bing Crosby and Nat King Cole music, good as it is. Don’t know where you can buy this CD, but Ford lists 337-0948 as a contact number.

FROM THE VAULTS

“Raise the Red Lanterns” is just about the only movie I’ve seen in which the buildings play a major if silent role. It stars the stunningly beautiful Gong Li as Songlian, who after her father’s death is forced to abandon a university education and instead become the fourth concubine of the much older Chen Zuoqian. The great Chinese Director Zhang Yimou uses colors with dazzling effect, such as the red tile roofs of the compound where Songlian goes after her marriage. Near the historic Pingyao city is the historic Qiao family home used in the film. Begun during the reign of the Qing Dynasty’s Emperor Qian Long and finished in the 18th century, it is a courtyard estate covering 9,000 square-meters and having 313 rooms with 4,000 square-meters within six large courtyards and 19 smaller courtyards. From the air it all appears to spell out the Chinese word for happiness.

The master (who is never clearly seen) has red lanterns hung in the courtyard of whichever concubine he intends to visit that night. Songlian is at first favored but after a fake pregnancy is discovered is abandoned by the master. Drunk with wine she reveals that mistress No. 3 is having an affair with a doctor. No. 3 is then hanged. Songlian eventually goes mad.

Not much action here, but the story is powerful, and some have seen it as a rebuke to the communist regime, with the master the government and Songlian the public. Don’t think that matters as the film stands alone as a study in beauty in a harsh warlord time of the 1920s in China. In all, it’s a stunning experience, and the birth of a star, Gong Li.

The cast includes Cao Cuifen, He Caifei, Lin Kong, Jungwu Ma, Zhao Qi. It runs 125 minutes, released in 1991.

• Contact Sam Bauman at 881-1236 or Sbauman@nevadaappeal.com.