Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

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    Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

      

     

    Kennedy Center honorees recognized

     

    From left: Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Natalia Makarova; David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman, President Obama, and Buddy Guy at a Kennedy Center honorees’ reception.

    MANUEL BALCE CENETA/ASSOCIATED PRESS

    From left: Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones, Natalia Makarova; David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman, President Obama, and Buddy Guy at a Kennedy Center honorees’ reception.

    Part of the fun of the annual Kennedy Center Honors telecast is the strange bedfellows nature of the high and pop culture recipients, all of whom are recognized for lifetime achievement in the performing arts.

    That is certainly the case with this year’s disparate class — feted on Wednesday at 9 p.m. on CBS — which celebrates veteran comic and talk show host David Letterman, blues legend Buddy Guy, prima ballerina Natalia Makarova, Oscar-winning actor Dustin Hoffman, and rock ’n’ roll gods Led Zeppelin.

    The all-star assemblage of performers is kept a secret until the show — recorded earlier this month — and it’s a kick to see the surprise and delight on the honorees’ faces as the various homages are paid.

    Robert Plant in particular appeared quite moved during the tribute to Led Zeppelin, kicked off comically by Jack Black but brought home musically with heart, brawn, and a fitting touch of bombast by by Lenny Kravitz, Kid Rock, Foo Fighters, Ann and Nancy Wilson, a grand choir, and an emotional Jason Bonham.

    Actors Naomi Watts, Liev Schreiber, Billy Connolly, Laura Osnes, and Robert De Niro gathered to pay tribute to an also clearly touched Hoffman, who, in De Niro’s words, “made it OK to be a character actor and a movie star.”

    Judith Jamison and a phalanx of impossibly precise and soulful ballet dancers evoke Makarova’s radiance and the spirit that, Jamison says, rewrote the history of ballet in the West when the ballerina moved from her native Russia and the Kirov Ballet to the American Ballet Theatre.

    The smoke rises pretty quickly during the fiery tribute to Guy, which includes performances from Bonnie Raitt, Jimmy Vaughan, Gary Clark Jr., Jeff Beck, Beth Hart, and Tracy Chapman, who does a great version of “Hound Dog.”

    The funniest moments of the evening come during the tribute to Letterman from super fans Jimmy Kimmel, Tina Fey, Alec Baldwin, and Ray Romano, who gets off the night’s best line, not in praise of Letterman but in a sly poke at President Obama that elicits a pretty big laugh from the man himself.

    Also noteworthy are the frequent reaction shots of the star-studded crowd. It’s endearing to watch as Debbie Allen cheers Hart or Yo-Yo Ma blisses out during the Zep jam.

    The Kennedy Center Honors is also great holiday family viewing since it covers so many bases offering something for just about everyone and something to learn for everyone else.

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    I ate the news up for breakfast.  

    Thank you.  :)  I was going to post this later today; I thought maybe you all were tired of me pluggin' it in some threads a few weeks ago.   I cannot wait to see the Led Zeppelin honors, as well as Buddy Guy.   Heck, except for Letterman (no comment ...), the entire lineup is enticing.  

    Jeff Beck is a presenter, too.   Can you believe it?    The archival footage and the manner of the presentation for each honoree is unique, positively sterling in quality, and in most cases, poignant.   I mean, Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, and John Paul Jones will be sitting just a few feet away from the POTUS and FLOTUS.  And I'll bet President Obama will be getting (or got, since the show is taped)  just as big a thrill out of the deal.  :)  

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    I have to admit,I had you in mind when I posted this Yoga.I knew you were looking forward to seeing it,so I figured I'd post this to remind you and others that it was showing tonight.I'm looking forward to seeing it,I also have my DVR set to record it.                                               

      On another subject,the PBS stations are showing some great concerts/shows about music lately.They've got a concert with The Rolling Stones playing with Muddy Waters,Beatles  "Magical Mystery Tour" as well as an hour long show with interviews and a look at the making of it.Austin City limits has Sonic Youth and the Black Keys performing.Along with other shows and concerts.

    Just something to maybe keep an eye on. 

     

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    I will be watching.

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    In response to jesseyeric's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    I will be watching.

    [/QUOTE]


    I'm recording it because I'll be out.

    By the way, anyone get Celebration Day (Led Zep's O2 show from 2007). I got it for Christmas and have been listening to it all day. It kicks butt.

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    Anyone watch?   Record?   

    Sorry LZ was the last honoree, but that's purely a case of saving the best for last.  Well, almost, as Buddy Guy's production was the most magical.   Straight out of that blues thread, too.   A gem.  

    Tracy Chapman's performance was a great reminder and maybe a wake-up call, at least for me; I could not believe how masterful she was, and just loved her rendition of "Hound Dog"; I was blown away.   Plus, she looked like she was having the time of her life performing in tribute to Buddy Guy.  I have to do a "look see" of her albums, I honestly forgot what a talent she possesses.  

    Despite not being a fan of Letterman, I have to say the selection of comedians sending him up were inspired, and I was laughing MAO.    I especially liked Ray Romano opening with, "the last thing you want to do is bomb in front of Led Zeppelin" ...  and I never knew Letterman was responsible for getting Romano's career off the ground and ensuring him instant success with his sitcom.    

    Of the three members of LZ, it seemed that Page was having the most fun, absolutely beaming the entire time.   And Robert Plant seemed to be the most moved by the tributes.   I was actually shocked at myself for liking the Kid Rock performance ... hahaha.   And the rendition of "Stairway" could not have been better for the event.

    My mother turned me on to this program a bunch of years ago.  I used to think it was a bit corny the first few times I watched it, and then, one year, I saw the light.    The Honors tease out all the "pop" in culture, and focus on the true, cultural, artistic achievements of artists that have had enduring impact and influence on their peer group, as well as the audience.

    Getting back to Buddy Guy ... it was so satisfying to see him.   And it never hurts to be introduced by Morgan Freeman, now does it?   :)

     
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    Agree completely with you Yoga. Deniro was excellent on his tribute to Hoffman. Although I am still not sure why Letterman was honored (I am a fan), his tribute was excellent. In fact, all tributes were great.  Ann Wilson still has one of the best sets of pipes ever in RnR history. I liked that Beck came out on Stairway and he was masterful in the Guy tribute. I am not familiar with the young lady who sang with him, but she was d*mn good. You could see that Buddy was loving that specific jam. Liked that Jason Bonham was there and Dave Grohl again proved that not only is he the last great Rock Star, but that he is absolutely one of the biggest RnR fans ever.

    I most enjoyed Obama actually knowing the words to Whole Lotta Love and how he handled the ribbing of taxes by Romano.

    Can someone please teach the First Lady how to clap your hands. I didn't realize it was such a difficult manuever.

    One minor flaw - Jack Black s*cked. Hoffman gets Deniro, Guy get Freeman, Zep gets an idiot.

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    Here's a bit more about Buddy Guy.    He really is the embodiment of the blues.   

    Thought you might like to see a bit more on his segment:

    ------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------

    Buddy Guy ends his recent autobiography, When I Left Home with these words:

    “I’m believing that the blues makes life better wherever it goes—and I’ll tell you why: even when the blues is sad, it turns your sadness to joy. And ain’t that a beautiful thing?”

    Indeed it is. And for giving the world about six decades worth of sadness converted to joy, the guitarist and singer was recognized earlier this month in a star-studded gala event at the Kennedy Center that included a reception at the White House, a red carpet entrance and a tribute show taped for broadcast in prime time on CBS on December 26 at 9 p.m. EST. The other Kennedy Center Honors subjects this year included David Letterman, Dustin Hoffman, Natalia Makarova and Led Zeppelin.

    Buddy-guy-photo-by-paul-natkin_span9Paul Natkin

    Buddy Guy

    The Kennedy Center Honors gives equal billing to its honorees, although this year the gifted and influential dancer Makarova must have felt a bit like bassist Darryl Jones on tour with the Rolling Stones, pushed to the background, not necessarily because of talent but rather because of fame, an inarguable factor. Indeed the comedian and TV host Jimmy Kimmel referenced it when he said that almost everyone on the stage and up in the honoree box wanted to get to know David Letterman, except “the dancer,” at which point the camera cut to an ashen-faced Makarova, who had to wonder how her long career in dance would lead to becoming the punchline for a comedian.

    But famous is famous and that’s that. As one of the most important electric blues guitarists in modern music, Guy was in the interesting position of being a major influence on fellow honorees, Led Zeppelin, in particular their guitarist Jimmy Page. And that made for a tricky use of Jeff Beck, who was a peer of Page, but, like so many of the British rock guitarists in the mid to late ‘60s, an acolyte of Guy’s. Beck ended up saluting the more elder of the two, and introduced his salute performance with a short speech of thanks to Guy for, amongst other things, saving him from "the constraints of the automotive industry." He then proceeded to play the type of edgy, screaming and note-bending blues guitar that both he and his hero have become famous for. In their soulful version of "I Would Rather Go Blind," Beck was accompanied by the relatively unknown but well-received blues belter Beth Hart, whose performance, thanks in part to a drowned out introduction and in part to her lack of celeb stature, had much of the older and affluent audience looking through their programs for identification.

    Also paying tribute to Guy were singer-songwriter Tracy Chapman who sang “Hound Dog,” a double pairing of Texas blues-rock guitarists Gary Clark, Jr. and Jimmie Vaughan, and of course Bonnie Raitt, who told JT that she used to open for Guy and Junior Wells before her fortunes turned and she then had them open for her in front of young rock audiences. Raitt performed two songs, including the first song she ever heard Guy on “My Time After Awhile,” with an impressive house band and then closed out the Guy tribute with all her fellow saluters, taking turns on vocals and guitar solos on "Sweet Home Chicago." Actor Morgan Freeman hosted Guy’s segment with both an in-person short speech as well as narration of a video piece. Freeman, who like Guy came from Mississippi, credited the Chicago transplant with bringing “gutbucket” blues to the world.

    For his part, Guy just beamed during the performances and tributes dedicated to his life and music. It was a beautiful thing.

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Anyone watch?   Record?   

    Sorry LZ was the last honoree, but that's purely a case of saving the best for last.  Well, almost, as Buddy Guy's production was the most magical.   Straight out of that blues thread, too.   A gem.  

    Tracy Chapman's performance was a great reminder and maybe a wake-up call, at least for me; I could not believe how masterful she was, and just loved her rendition of "Hound Dog"; I was blown away.   Plus, she looked like she was having the time of her life performing in tribute to Buddy Guy.  I have to do a "look see" of her albums, I honestly forgot what a talent she possesses.  

    Despite not being a fan of Letterman, I have to say the selection of comedians sending him up were inspired, and I was laughing MAO.    I especially liked Ray Romano opening with, "the last thing you want to do is bomb in front of Led Zeppelin" ...  and I never knew Letterman was responsible for getting Romano's career off the ground and ensuring him instant success with his sitcom.    

    Of the three members of LZ, it seemed that Page was having the most fun, absolutely beaming the entire time.   And Robert Plant seemed to be the most moved by the tributes.   I was actually shocked at myself for liking the Kid Rock performance ... hahaha.   And the rendition of "Stairway" could not have been better for the event.

    My mother turned me on to this program a bunch of years ago.  I used to think it was a bit corny the first few times I watched it, and then, one year, I saw the light.    The Honors tease out all the "pop" in culture, and focus on the true, cultural, artistic achievements of artists that have had enduring impact and influence on their peer group, as well as the audience.

    Getting back to Buddy Guy ... it was so satisfying to see him.   And it never hurts to be introduced by Morgan Freeman, now does it?   :)

    [/QUOTE]

    I call your shock and raise it at least double!  In fact, of the LZ tribute performances, Kid's "Ramble On" was the one I was most sorry to see cut short.  The only regret of "Stairway" was the premature applause by some in the audience at the end. 

    No surprise for me on the Tracy Chapman contribution - the new face for me was Beth Hart who ably held her own alongside Jeff Beck.

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    In response to jesseyeric's comment:

     Agree completely with you Yoga. Deniro was excellent on his tribute to Hoffman. Although I am still not sure why Letterman was honored (I am a fan), his tribute was excellent. In fact, all tributes were great.  Ann Wilson still has one of the best sets of pipes ever in RnR history. I liked that Beck came out on Stairway and he was masterful in the Guy tribute. I am not familiar with the young lady who sang with him, but she was d*mn good. You could see that Buddy was loving that specific jam. Liked that Jason Bonham was there and Dave Grohl again proved that not only is he the last great Rock Star, but that he is absolutely one of the biggest RnR fans ever. I most enjoyed Obama actually knowing the words to Whole Lotta Love and how he handled the ribbing of taxes by Romano. Can someone please teach the First Lady how to clap your hands. I didn't realize it was such a difficult manuever. One minor flaw - Jack Black s*cked. Hoffman gets Deniro, Guy get Freeman, Zep gets an idiot. 

    Yeow, JE ... agree with your review, too.  Love your assessment.   :)    

    I thought the FLOTUS was rockin out pretty fine, actually -- and maybe her fingernail polish hadn't dried yet.   Who knows?   As always, the POTUS was in fine form.

    So agree on Hoffman /  DiNiro.   You know that Hoffman has the street creds, but being walked  back to the beginning of his career, re: archival footage, and seeing that he wrote-the-book, for crying out loud --- yeesh, these are the people who put the art into their craft.  So impressive.  I always love seeing clips from "The Graduate" to be reminded of its brilliance.  

    Soooo agree re: Jack Black.   He's a hack.   That's the only way I felt Led Zeppelin got ripped off.   There were so many other artists that would have been thrilled to stand up for them.  I was so impressed with Ann Wilson, too.   I also love that Dave Grohl has been present to pay his props lately, too.   He has arrived in a big way.   

    The ballerina seemed to have been a bit ripped off, too.   She seemed like a fish out of water and didn't segue well with the other honorees, all of whom were bonded, and unfortunately for her, had more fame among Americans.   But you know all about the "cult of personality" of a ballerina, so you may have had a little compassion for her.  :P

    Oh, one last thing.  I loved seeing YoYoMa rock out, too.  I saw the program the year he was honored; he is an artist filled with inner joy like I've never seen, and in connection with his humility, he sets the bar pretty high.  

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    YoYo was kickin it.

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    In response to gerbs's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    the new face for me was Beth Hart who ably held her own alongside Jeff Beck.

    [/QUOTE]

    The first I heard of Beth Hart was a song she did with Joe Bonamassa.  The two did an album together called 'Don't Explain' on which they tackle songs by the likes of Billie Holiday, Ray Charles, Aretha, and Etta James. 

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    In response to gerbs' comment:

     I call your shock and raise it at least double!  In fact, of the LZ tribute performances, Kid's "Ramble On" was the one I was most sorry to see cut short.  The only regret of "Stairway" was the premature applause by some in the audience at the end.  No surprise for me on the Tracy Chapman contribution - the new face for me was Beth Hart who ably held her own alongside Jeff Beck. 

    I know, gerbs, that performance could have knocked me over w/a feather.  I thought, ugh, what is Kid doing here, and THEN.    Too bad the performances had to be edited for TV.   

    As for Chapman, she's just not on my radar, so seeing her light shine (she was one of my top favorites for the entire evening) in her performance like that -- perfection, and so inspiring.  

    Yeah, good for Beth Hart.  I read that most of the audience were searching their programs to see who she was, as she's a relatively unfamiliar face compared to all of the towering musicians that were present.   Her performance was so hot, and what a fine way to introduce herself at a black tie blues / rock event.  :)

     

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    for the life of me, I don't see the appeal of Kid Rock or Jack Black. Are you telling me the greatest rock band in music history was introduced by Jack Black. Glad I missed it.

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    In response to polar123's comment:

     

    for the life of me, I don't see the appeal of Kid Rock.

     

    In general, I could not agree more.   He's a moron.  :)

    Last night?  Talk about a shock.   :) 

    Then again, you give someone a great song to work with ... 

    ETA: Actually, Jack Black didn't spoil a thing.   It's actually a shame you missed it.   Seeing Led Zeppelin at this black tie event, being honored, a few feet away from the POTUS who was swaying and rockin ...it does not get any better.  The archival footage and short bio / history of how LZ rose to fame was beautifully done.   Robert Plant in his youth.  Ah, now that's a fine sight.  :)



     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    Is it just me, or does Robert Plant have an enormous cranium...?  Like his neck will snap from having to support the weight of it...?

    I noticed it on the Letterman appearance, too.   That thing should have a satellite or two orbiting it.

     

     

     

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    In response to MattyScornD's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    Is it just me, or does Robert Plant have an enormous cranium...?  Like his neck will snap from having to support the weight of it...?

    I noticed it on the Letterman appearance, too.   That thing should have a satellite or two orbiting it.

     

     

     

    [/QUOTE]

    Matty, what medicines do they have you on? Can I have some....

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    In response to yogafriend's comment:
    [QUOTE]

    In response to polar123's comment:

     

    for the life of me, I don't see the appeal of Kid Rock.

     

     

    In general, I could not agree more.   He's a moron.  :)

    Last night?  Talk about a shock.   :) 

    Then again, you give someone a great song to work with ... 

    ETA: Actually, Jack Black didn't spoil a thing.   It's actually a shame you missed it.   Seeing Led Zeppelin at this black tie event, being honored, a few feet away from the POTUS who was swaying and rockin ...it does not get any better.  The archival footage and short bio / history of how LZ rose to fame was beautifully done.   Robert Plant in his youth.  Ah, now that's a fine sight.  :)



    [/QUOTE]

    I'll take your word for it :)

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    Ann and Nancy Wilson showed why no covers Led Zeppelin better than them. As good as the other acts were -- and they were very, very good -- Ann's "Stairway to Heaven" simply blew everyone else off the stage. The other acts, like I said, were very good, but I would have been happy with Heart doing "Rock 'n' Roll," "Black Dog," Battle of Evermore," and "Stairway."

    I also liked the way Jason Bonham and Robert Plant motioned to each other.

    As for Jack Black, he was OK, but they certainly could have found someone better. Zeppelin deserved better.

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    Last night I went to see "Django Unchained",so I just got done watching the Kennedy Honors on my DVR,What an excellent show.Tracy Chapman and aforementioned Beth Hart were pleasent surprises.I have to agree with Jessey about Dave Grohl.I don't think anyone enjoyed performing and just being in the moment as he did.

    Also,an exceptional rendition of Stairway.It looked like the 3 members of Zep were totally digging it.

    This is the 22 minute video of the Led Zeppelin tribute:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ta0gDfGb9u0

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    I thought Kid Rock did an admirable job with one of my favorite Zep songs.

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    In response to mrmojo1120's comment:

    Last night I went to see "Django Unchained",so I just got done watching the Kennedy Honors on my DVR,What an excellent show.Tracy Chapman and aforementioned Beth Hart were pleasent surprises.I have to agree with Jessey about Dave Grohl.I don't think anyone enjoyed performing and just being in the moment as he did. Also,an exceptional rendition of Stairway.It looked like the 3 members of Zep were totally digging it. This is the 22 minute video of the Led Zeppelin tribute: http://www.youtube.com/watchv=Ta0gDfGb9u0 

     

    Fantastic quality youtube video, thanks for posting, MrMojo. Just watched it, and I know I'll watch it again.

    Jack Black was not the best choice, granted, but he certainly didn't put a damper on the proceedings.  He is who he is,  he had the opportunity of a lifetime, and I believe he knew it.  As for the archival footage, I was gawking and didn't pay much attention to Black, anyhow. 

    I know Jessey and Roy are fans of Ann Wilson, and closing the entire show / evening with that rendition of "Stairway" was breathtaking -- it was enough to bring tears to Robert Plant's eyes and mine as well.  Yeesh, is there anything Wilson can't sing?   She wrings emotion out of every note.  Could not have been delivered with more finesse.  

    Man, this year was one of the best I've ever seen.  Please don't forget about the Buddy Guy tribute, as it was blues perfection; tore it right up.  :)

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    No one forgets anything that Jeff Beck takes part in.

     

    Jeff Beck > than anyone else!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

     
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    Re: Kennedy Center Honors on tonight at 9:00

    Here's the Buddy Guy tribute.It's about 16 minutes long:

    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=aibICX4KZ3Y

     
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