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maya295
Note: ALL medias posted hereafter are my personal pictures and videos, please: do not repost without crediting. Thank you.

Tuesday, July 9th 2013, I went to see Hugh Laurie & The Copper Bottom Band in concert at Le Grand Rex with a friend and we had a wonderful time.

It’s the third time I go see him in concert (2011 / Paris, Le Trianon – 2012 / Paris, Le Grand Rex – 2013 / Paris, Le Grand Rex) and that one was, by far, the best I’ve attended. Hugh Laurie was relaxed, happy, and in top form. Paris audience obviously had a blast. People were cheering but in that sort of happy, blissful way as opposed – which would have been annoying, imho – to that crazed, totally aggressive, loud hooting and hollering a crowd of House, MD fans would have made. I think Hugh Laurie felt it, too, and so did the musicians. There was a genuine feeling of communion floating in the air, because of the music and it made him happy. Which in turn undeniably made us happy! At some point, in the very beginning of the concert, after “Iko, Iko,” Hugh Laurie playfully introduced himself saying that we may, or may not know him for he used to be an actor and I thought to myself that our reaction to that teasing bit
(whether or not we'd frantically yell at that mention) would probably determine the kind of interactions we’d have with him and the musicians during the concert. Thank you, Paris audience for your restraint because he said it and there was, like, a polite silence right after. I mean, a few people whistled and said ‘woo-hoo’ but, overall we stayed really quiet. It was like: “uh yeah, hello, let’s move on from that: we’re here for the music!” And, just like that, it became clear we were here to enjoy a blues concert, and not all seated in a venue to see Hugh Laurie, former actor of the hit-show House.

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It probably relaxed him, I don’t know, but from then on, he was all smile and laughter. He bantered and had that great, really laid-back attitude. Not once did he cringe, or grimace, or put his head inside his palms to hide his face because of some inappropriate reactions in the audience that could have made him uncomfortable. Not only that but, the Parisian audience knew blues music: we clapped to the beat in sync, at the right moments, we gave rounds of applause to the musicians' solos, at the right moments, when Sista Jean or Gaby Moreno sang solo on stage, they received equally cheerful and warm applauses (which were so deserved for these two women truly have music running in their veins...) In short: we had the codes. It was a Hugh Laurie AND the Copper Bottom Band concert, and it felt like Hugh Laurie was first and foremost part of a band - even if he is still very much the leader of it - and I’m sure he felt that just as much as we did.


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It was really enjoyable to be bathed in an atmosphere where we were obviously all gathered to enjoy music and have a good time, and not stalk Hugh Laurie, the actor… At least, that’s definitely my idea of what a concert should be like. Somehow, as good as it was by then, House, MD is now finally in the past; and that is true as much as in Hugh Laurie’s head as it was in the audience’s head, as well. That certainty really helped turn this concert into a genuine musical experience, during which we were able to let ourselves be transported by the energy of the live performance and the unique vibe of the blues, with its unique rhythm and melodies, served by brilliant musicians!


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Gaby Moreno, new member of the band for this year’s tour is an amazing addition to the ensemble: her voice, smooth, yet powerful has great nuances, especially in the low keys and she has those beautiful, mellow tones that gave me a very vivid and authentic 30s blues vibe on some songs. To a certain extent, I thought it sometimes had that sort of fragile, heartfelt vibrato Billie Holliday - or Mahalia Jackson - had, especially when she sang ballads like “I Wish I Knew How it Would Feel to Be Free” ; her voice then just had that perfect amount of bluesy, raspy melancholy and it was enthralling. But her talent doesn't end here as she not only sings, but also plays the ukulele and the guitar and does it quite well. A great artist and a truly lovely and humble person!

Sista Jean McLain, well, she’s a true bundle of fun! It’s just impossible not to feel invigorated by the way she positively glows on stage. Her voice has such an incredible flexibility of range, she can do pretty much anything with it: from low keys to high-pitched be-bop notes, via gleeful, energetic boogie tempos, or tormented, vibrant ballads… And man, it is so obvious that she’s having a blast on stage! She radiates bliss and generosity, and it’s most definitely one of the happiest communicative vibes you can receive when watching Hugh Laurie & The Copper Bottom Band perform. When Sista Jean smiles, you smile. And when she sings, you listen and get sucked in a moment of genuine togetherness.

I was quite impressed by Elisabeth Lea, the new trombonist who joined the band this year, too. She and Vincent Henry (“the man who plays anything you can blow into”) allows The Copper Bottom Band to have quite an awesome horn section, even if it’s only one of two. Vincent Henry’s talent extraordinaire goes without saying because the man just fucking knows how to play – especially with a clarinet - and Elisabeth Lea, well, let’s say that whatever sound she decides her trombone has to produce, she just makes it happen. And she does so with such glee and liveliness, it’s a pleasure to watch her play.

The other musicians are all just as great. Mark Goldenberg, the guitarist, is mind-blowing! He stands on stage quiet and almost still but delivers incredible melodies and, don't be mistaken, his riffs during the solos are as powerful and passionate as the Blues itself. Herman Matthews, the drummer: he’s the true, rhythmic spine of the band in every song. And finally David Piltch is fantastic! His bass lines are really, as Hugh Laurie once said, “the blood that courses around the songs” which feeds the music with a steady, streaming vibe.

Speaking of Hugh Laurie, I genuinely felt that his musical mojo has improved over the past three years. And by that, I don’t mean to say that he was less good by then than he is now, because he was (and is), definitely, an excellent musician, pianist and guitar player but, the man has gained some confidence and it shows. It feels like he’s allowed himself to break free from some of the social chains that still held him back two years ago, preventing him from pulling out all the stops like he joyfully does now and that, without the slightest trace of guilt! What a great feeling to see him so liberated! The more he’s enjoying himself on stage, the more –obviously- we are enjoying ourselves as well and the sharing process simply gains in genuineness, quality and, mostly, in intensity. What more can you wish for?


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Also, his voice has significantly improved: it’s lost its nasal twang and it now sounds definitely smoother. What surprised me this year, indeed, is that it seemed a lot richer and deeper in the low notes. It’s really interesting to hear him evolve and - consciously or not - work on another one of the numerous instruments he can play: his voice! The song choices were perfect for his range and I really liked the vocal arrangements and harmonies between him and Sista Jean and/or Gaby Moreno.

In short, the concert – which lasted 2h15, including three encores of four more songs – was a pure moment of bliss and I’m happy I’ve got the chance to be there and enjoy the live experience.
























AFTER THE CONCERT:

There was a meet and greet moment afterward, and my friend and I had the pleasure to be there to meet the band members as well as Hugh Laurie, who spent a large amount of time with his fans. That extra moment for sharing was a great addition to the overall happiness we were already feeling after the concert. The crowd that waited outside was cool and lively, but very respectful and I’m sure it helped in the process of inspiring every musician to spend some time with us. We met Herman Matthews, Mark Goldenberg, Sista Jean McLain, Gaby Moreno, and Elisabeth Lea and had time to exchange a few words with each of them, congratulating them for the great show. They told us we were a great audience and that they had a good time playing for us. They also signed autographs for us.








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They’re all such humble and nice people! I mean, really. They took their times, smiling and bantering with people who were there. It was an amazing post-concert moment! I told Gaby Moreno I thought her voice had that Billie Holiday’s vibe and she seemed genuinely touched. Sista Jean adorably posed for a few pics. Her beam is just contagious. I told her that when she sang, music undeniably came from her heart and it showed and she agreed to say that it was where music should come from every time. When I told her I was impressed by her talent as a musician, and especially how much air she could blow in her trombone in one breath, Elisabeth Lea told me she had “a little bit of practice, which explained why!” Indeed, she added: she’s been playing that instrument “since she was seven!” No wonder she’s so good at it!

Anyway, it went on for almost an hour after the concert and then, around 12.30 am, Hugh Laurie joined the fans that were gathered outside to meet him, too.

From the spot where we were standing, which was right in front of the door, we could see him arrive even before he exited the building because the path behind that door is like a long, straight corridor. I guess that, I don’t know, maybe there was a little apprehension on his side because, as he was walking towards the exit he couldn’t see us, at least not all of us (and there were, like, maybe 100 people waiting for him) so he didn’t know what to expect. But, that’s where I’m proud of the Parisian crowd because when he finally stepped outside, the reaction that accompanied his exit was so respectful that it literally brought him to a halt. Then, there were a few cheering shouts, but not hysterical. At the same time, Hugh Laurie seemed to truly assess how many of us were there and instead of making him cringe, it brought a huge smile to his face. He waved, and the cheering shouts got a bit louder - but still ok. The way the crowd was contained behind barriers, and neither yelling, nor pushing, probably made him feel safe… So, he was still there, by the exit door and, instead of walking away, he started to turn to the side and grabbed a sheet of paper someone was holding and he signed the first autograph. Then another, then another, and so on. Very patiently, all the while smiling, and listening to what people were saying. And so he progressed like that, very slowly, taking the time to sign as many autographs as he could. There were no movements of hysteria, no people yelling his name frantically to call for his attention. It felt like there was a silent understanding between all of us that he was there and there was no need to be impatient because, at some point, he would move to the next person and sign.

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NB: My friend had come to the concert with a gift for Hugh Laurie. It was two beanies that she’d knitted for him. And well, stupid her, for a reason unknown to me (at least highly incomprehensible) instead of waiting until after the concert to deliver them personally to him, she just threw them on stage during the concert while he was singing and her gift landed right by his feet under the piano! Tsss.

So, well, while Hugh Laurie was approaching us I told my friend that I was going to talk to him about her beanies! Then he came by us and my friend gave him a card to sign (it had an excerpt from the partition of “Stairway To Heaven” on one side and a message from Hugh Laurie to the House crew on the other.) Hugh Laurie took it and signed it then gave it back to her and, as he was standing right in front of me, I caught his attention by saying: “Terrific show tonight!” He lifted up his head and made a little bow before saying “Merci beaucoup!”

I handed him my lousy, shitty piece of crumpled paper (the only thing I had, ugh!) and while he was signing it, I said: “I have something to tell you.” He said: “Really?” so I explained: “Yeah, you know, maybe you didn’t notice but there was something under your piano tonight for you.” He smiled and said: “For me?” I said: “Yeah, it’s a knitted beanie.” Then, I turned to my friend and told him: “My friend here knitted it for you.” So he turned his head to the side to look at her and repeated: “For me?” My friend acquiesced and he thanked her, then gave me my autograph back. As he was still not moving, I said: “So, you know, if you wear it, she’ll be very happy.” He nodded and I said: “She threw it on stage while you were singing.” He made that funny face, like “no way!” and did a double take at my friend, then back at me and he playfully added: “Oh, yeah, right! I thought that was a cat or something!” “No, that was her beanie!” I replied, so he thanked us again, smiling then took a step to the side and waved bye (I think) and then he moved to another person. I didn’t even think about asking him for a picture, which I’m sure he would have gladly let me take. But then, we had plenty of time to talk with him and enjoy seeing him happy and smiling so it’s really more than just fine, all the same.

The cherry on top, of course, would be if my friend could know for sure that Hugh Laurie really got her gift and, maybe even decided it was worth wearing it; which, I must say, it surely is because my friend is a damn fine knitter!

So here it is, folks! If you ever get a chance to see Hugh Laurie and The Copper Bottom Band perform near the place where you live, just don’t hesitate and go see them live: I guarantee you will have a great time!
 
 
maya295



GOODBYE, DR. HOUSE. HELLO MR. BLUES MAN!

Le.Grand.Rex

Imagine that: you’re Hugh Laurie and you enter the stage of Le Grand Rex. This is what you see. Except, since you have many, many fans that probably came from all around the world (at least Europe), eager to see you perform, the room looks exactly like that but, with nearly 3,000 persons seated in it. Would you be impressed?



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maya295
17 April 2012 @ 07:34 pm

Grade: C

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It’s impossible not to catch the obvious parallel of this week’s episode of
House with the famous, last line of Woody Allen’s movie ‘Annie Hall’ for it tackles the exact same, rather sad, fatalistic life metaphor: relationships are bound to disappoint since they will never completely fulfill our dreams.  But we accommodate, and we adjust, and we still go for it because, eventually, “We Need The Eggs.” Yes, in the end, what this episode tries to tell has a lot to do with the idea of pretense, compromise and comfort zone that we’re ready to settle for by fear of being alone.

In itself, and for once, the message is not as terribly awful and puke-inducing as most of what this last season of House has submitted us to so far and for that I’m ready to be as open-minded as I can for I have some teeny tiny remnants of hope that this could finally lead to something substantial and meaningful. However, it still doesn’t totally justify the path that’s taken to go there, which remains cringe-worthy for most its part. And I’m sorry but no, I can’t condone the ugliness of the journey and silently keep swallowing the crap just for the promise of the so-called beautiful, creative light that will maybe shine at the end of the tunnel. It compensates, a little, but all in all, the end doesn’t always justify the means. Only sheep can walk towards the edge of the cliff without being conscious of their fate, and I’m definitely not a sheep.

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maya295
04 March 2012 @ 10:44 pm


I'm back from La Romana, in Dominican Republic. It's nothing special, just some holiday pictures, but per oc7ober 's request I'm posting a few ones.

I hope you'll like them... :)



         

    

    


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Credit if you repost. Thanks.

 
 
maya295
14 October 2011 @ 11:07 am


GIF TIME! J

 
Here're come Gifs I made from the BestFriends Campaign With Lisa Edelstein (links to the videos: HERE and HERE)

ALL HAIL THE BEAUTIFUL LISA !



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Please credit if you reblog, repost or retweet them... thanks! :)




 
 
 
maya295
 
Hugh Laurie: “reasonable is not the adjective that describes me best.”


Actor, singer, musician, scriptwriter, novelist… The most watched man on TV also creates the buzz as the new male signature for L’Oréal. Clearly, nothing resists the priceless Dr. House. But what motivates this incurable dabbler? Attempt at a diagnostic…


In a rococo suite of The Savoy, in London, the enigmatic Hugh Laurie, his telescopic legs jeans-clad, annexes a sofa. He shows us his shirt’s label, signed J. Clew, and the brand of his laced boots, Crockett&Jones, a way to indicate that he’s a “no logo,” quite useless fashion-wise. On the opposite side, facing him, we melt. Worried, a bit inclined to paranoia, he knows instinctively that the interviewer compares his probable mimicry to the illustrious Dr. House. Seven years that the actor has been living with a four-star misanthrope, Einstein of the diagnosis, a sadistic and sexy boor, saddened with an attractive limping and an icy-blue gaze. Except the deep blue eyes, Laurie the introvert has nothing in common with the extravagant Dr. House. And he makes it clear that he’s not his avatar, hammering the slogan “I’m who I am, he’s who he is.” dear to every running candidate in politics. If he seems high, it’s because he’s jet-lagged, not because he popped too many Vicodins. House banters, Laurie is serious. When he shoots a joke, it’s stamped ‘Monty Python’, printed with this schoolboy humor he used to revel in on the Cambridge campus where, quite early, he met Stephen Fry and Emma Thompson. The same Emma, “Austeenian young lady,” retains fond memories of her first love with him: “Hugh” she said, “is one of those rare people who manages to be lugubriously sexy, like a well-hung eel.” on YouTube, one can watch his delirious antics, a very special interpretation of “Hey Jude” with a rattle voice, or his lousy tennis match against an infographic Monica Seles; a whole culture of fun he got rid of as maturity and notoriety hit him. the British eel had to wait until he was forty to become famous. in Los Angeles, he works six days a week and never goes out for a walk on Venice Beach: “I’d love to but people immediately take pictures of me and I hate that.” He only loosens up when he rehearses with the Band From TV, a rock band he started with some of his fellows actor. The frustrated Californian rather blooms by the river Thames. He’s left his four loves there; his wife, Jo, and his three children. When you’re paid $700,000 an episode, you’d better stay focused and in top form, even in exile. In the making-of of the l’Oréal ad, which brand he now represents, his deadpan humor however takes over. A girl manicures his nails as he says: “In here, inside, I’m a model. I’m a model of the spirit.” Erudite, isolated, locked, Laurie is a well-adjusted schizophrenic.


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maya295
04 August 2011 @ 12:29 am


Ok, so here's the thing: I, for seven whole years, have loved House, the show. I've loved it because of House, the main character, of course, but I also loved it because of the dynamic he had with other characters. And I mean ALL of them! Like the lenient mother of a turbulent child, I was ready to excuse all his flaws. I understood his reckless behaviors and forgave his misguided, sometimes even violent outbursts. I was very conciliatory, full of emotional compromises and most of the time ready to keep my eyes closed for every tiny little inconsistency that was thrown out there occasionally. There was a time I was like that, yes, because House was grand, inspiring and above all, absolutely incomparable. But then, in my opinion, it changed. It became less surprising, ergo more predictable. That constant recycling of the same “I’m miserable and people don’t change” refrain started to get old, sadly less creative and less rewarding for me as a viewer.

This is no news to say that the season 7 of House has mostly been controversial, especially the way its finale was handled. Some liked it and some didn’t. I didn’t. There, I said it. And so what? Is this insulting? Am I flaunting my opinion in other people’s faces? Do I patronize them for not thinking like me, or worse, am I being proselyte, trying to force people to share my vision of the show? It sincerely feels odd that I have to ask myself those questions...

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maya295
01 July 2011 @ 12:38 am


It's summer...
And usually, though not only, summer is the season of the year where the skies are displaying the most surreal, mesmerizing colors.

I've always loved skies and I'm often unable to resist the need to capture them with my camera. Sometimes deliberately, sometimes just randomly, even while driving...

Here's a collection of skies that I like. I hope you'll like them too.

I took most of the pictures in France. The skies taken from the window of a plane are in the middle of nowhere, above the Atlantic, and the sky at the airport is from JFK, New York...

 

The Skies can't keep their secret!
They tell it to the Hills --
The Hills just tell the Orchards --
And they -- the Daffodils!

Emily Dickinson

v v v v v v v v

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maya295
NB: the scanned page of the original article can be seen here

Star Magazine published an interview of Hugh Laurie that was shared online yesterday. I was asked to do a translation. So here it is.

One clarification though, before I post: I have my opinion on Hugh Laurie and how he cowardly handled season 7 P.R campaign. I have my opinion on the lack of comments he issued once Lisa’s departure was announced. I have my opinion on the way he more or less always enthusiastically praised the writing no matter what the content was… And I had it long before that article was published... But I also have my opinion on newspapers and journalism and that’s two different things… So I will NOT comment back on that thread, because I don't want to go there. Please excuse me for that.

However, to everyone leaving a reply (I hope you will! LOL) THANK YOU FOR READING!



HUGH LAURIE'S INTERVIEW

During his stay in Paris, for the promotion of his blues album, Hugh Laurie welcomed us to talk about the very controversial season 7 finale of House. He also revealed to us his intention of leaving the series at the end of next season. House’s days are numbered…

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maya295

The French magazine Femme Actuelle published an "interview" of Lisa Edelstein. The scan of the original article can be seen here:
Here is the translation:



Lisa Edelstein drops the white coat

While the excellent season 6 of House has just been released on DVD, the actress who plays the famous Dr. Cuddy tells us everything……… well, almost! Explosive encounter.

Usually it’s all about Hugh Laurie. But since a few weeks, everyone talks about her only. Last May, Lisa Edelstein brutally announced she was leaving the show, sending the fans in a state of shock. The actress, paid not less than $175,000 per episode would have refused a 20% salary pay cut. At the moment, NBC would apparently be trying to talk she, who makes everyone’s heart race, into coming back. So will she stay or leave? We were thrilled to ask her about that in an exclusive interview. The actress, muzzled by Universal PR has been told not to talk. We tried everything. Interview under close surveillance.

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