Real Music & Real Estate . . .

Yiddishe Cup’s bandleader, Bert Stratton, is Klezmer Guy.

He knows about the band biz and – check this out – the real estate biz too. So maybe he’s really Klezmer Landlord.

You may not care about the real estate biz. Hey, you may not care about the band biz. (See you.)

This is a blog with a gamy twist. It features tenants with snakes and skunks, and musicians with smoked fish in their pockets.

Stratton has written op-eds for the New York Times, Wall Street Journal and Washington Post.



I’m not good around movies. I frequently go negative right afterward. I can’t stand being in a dark room for two hours watching mostly junk. What percentage of movies are good? Not that many. I get dragged along to movies because I’m a social animal.

I went to Supermensch: The Legend of Shep Gordon. I had read an interview with the “legend” in the Forward; I liked the word “Supermensch” in the title; and a friend said the movie was good.  Lastly, and most importantly, my wife wanted to go.

Shep Gordon is a booking agent/manager, who managed Alice Cooper, among others. Shep did a lot of drugs and messed around with a lot of women. He was loyal to his clients — for sure the ones interviewed in the movie. Gordon comes off as a very loyal sybarite.  In Hollywood that apparently qualifies as a “supermensch.”

Why not more about Shep’s mother, who liked the family dog more than Shep? What about Shep’s brother? He isn’t in the movie. Shep had a few marriages; I lost count.  Gordon hung out with just famous people. (Not entirely true; there were three or four non-famous people in the movie.)  He liked round tables, as compared to square tables, for his dinner parties. Round tables are more conducive to  good conversation. That was interesting.

thumbs down to movies

I walked out when Gordon had a heart attack.  Maybe it wasn’t a heart attack. He was in a hospital bed with tubes in him.  I didn’t hang around for the diagnosis. Heartless.  Me or him?

In the Cedar-Lee Theatre lobby afterward, I was called a curmudgeon and cynic.  I went on Rotten Tomatoes the next day: one-in-four reviews said the movie was crap. So I was redeemed.  Right?  One in four.  I was redeemed.

I wonder what Searching for Sugar Man got on Rotten Tomatoes. I didn’t like that movie either. [Ouch. Almost all positive reviews.]  I thought Sugar Man was too much about the music business and not enough about the guy . . . “We were big in South Africa but not Detroit” stuff. I had a friend who was fairly big in Japan in the 1960s, but not in America. So was Joan Jett. I remember this stuff but don’t want to.

I need a 98-percent-or-better on Rotten Tomatoes to go to the movies. Ninety-eight is my sweet spot.  Sugar Man was 95; Supermensch, 75.

I’m going to check out Anvil! The Story of Anvil on Rotten Tomatoes . . .

98.  Yes.  Anvil! was inspirational; a bunch of Canadian guys with lousy day jobs got their old band back together and toured.  Check it out. And don’t kvetch to me if you don’t like it.

Ann Wightman, salutatorian, Brush HIgh '68

Ann Wightman, salutatorian,
Brush High ’68

I wrote this one for last week: Class Reunions Shouldn’t Have to Be Every 10 Years.

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1 Ken G. { 07.10.14 at 10:06 am }

“Bad Company” — now there’s a superb film with Barry Brown and Jeff Bridges. Barry Brown — there’s a tragic story.

We see a great many movies — new, not so new, and vintage. Last night we saw at CMA “The Killers” – the 1946 version of the Hemingway-written film noir. Recently we saw a DVD of “Beyond the Candelabra” about Liberace and one of his paramours. We’ll likely see a film on the big screen Sat. night.

By Rotten Tomatoes ratings, I take it you’re referring only to the film critics’ reviews – right? – since, of course, they have the “public” reviews as well. Does anything really get a 98% or are you just joshin’?

Since you walked out on the Dobama play the four of us were watching together the day we met (ca. 1977), maybe there’s a long, sordid history here….

2 Bert Stratton { 07.10.14 at 11:46 am }

To Ken G.:
Yes, I’m referring to the critics’ rating. Anvil! got 98.

I wonder what Groundhog Day got. Look it up and report back to me! Should be 98+.

3 Ken G. { 07.10.14 at 2:00 pm }

How come your opening title says “Coimpany” and the title of the full version has it spelled correctly? That’s like on a recent item for sale I had on eBay….
“Groundhog Day” got a “97.” Lillian loved it, I hated it.

4 Dave Rowe { 07.19.14 at 5:19 am }

The most recent film I saw was Lawrence of Arabia (on Turner Classic Movies). it’s good, Peter O’Toole’s finest three hours. Before that it was – on East Asheville Library Branch DVD it was Some Like it Hot – Marilyn, what can you say.

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