Bradley Don Richter

Bradley Don Richter lives in Felton, California, where he writes, teaches music and plays in several bands. He and the band Still Searchin’ recently recorded an Americana and bluegrass album.

Posts by Bradley Don Richter

Jerry Garcia's art

The Secret Space of Dreams: Jerry Garcia's Art

In honor of his birthday on August 1, get mesmerized by Jerry Garcia’s art. It’s as psychedelic and openhearted as his music with the Grateful Dead. Jerry Garcia’s art was mostly of the musical variety. He was a founding member of the Grateful Dead, his longest-running project from 1965 to 1995. He was also an accomplished banjo player in the bluegrass group Old & In the Way and a longtime friend of mandolinist David Grisman,        …read more

Yellow Submarine

We Still Live in a Yellow Submarine

50 years after its release, the cartoon classic ‘Yellow Submarine’ continues to delight. Once upon a time — or maybe twice — the Beatles released a full-length animated adventure for children of all ages (especially 64). Inspired by their song “Yellow Submarine,” the auditory equivalent of a cartoon, the movie depicts a psychedelic voyage through time and space set to a soundtrack of classic Beatles tunes, some of which were written for the film. This        …read more

Frida Kahlo

Viva la Vida: The Life Stories behind Frida Kahlo’s Best Paintings

In celebration of Frida Kahlo’s birthday, July 6, explore the indomitable Mexican artist’s best paintings and the stories behind them. Frida Kahlo’s art is haunting, from tortured self-portraits to surreal works blending magical realism with her distinct folk art style. Her paintings are intensely personal, like visual diary entries, and she doesn’t shy away from the gory details of her physical and emotional pain. Every painting tells a story, and each one is a brushstroke        …read more

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert's Snarkiest Zero-Star Movie Reviews

In honor of Roger Ebert’s birthday, revisit his impassioned reviews of 8 movies he hated most. Born June 18, 1942, Roger Ebert became a household name back in the ’80s and ’90s partly because of his hit TV show with Gene Siskel on which the two critics rated movies “thumbs up” or “thumbs down.” He also published movie reviews in the Chicago Sun-Times, and he was the first film critic to win the Pulitzer Prize        …read more

Reading Rainbow

LeVar Burton on 'Reading Rainbow' and the Next Generation of Literacy

As ‘Reading Rainbow’ turns 35, LeVar Burton talks about the role of technology in promoting our love of reading — then and now. Reading Rainbow first aired on June 6, 1983. Each episode featured a different children’s book, often narrated by a celebrity, as well as book reviews by kids and other related segments called “video field trips,” not to mention one of the catchiest theme songs of all time. Reading Rainbow succeeded in large        …read more

free art apps

Top 6 Free Art Apps to Help You Create Anything

These free art apps can help you realize your vision, whether you’re into screenwriting, audio production, music, design, animation or video editing. When I was growing up, my family didn’t have a lot of brand-name items in the house. We drank cola, not Coke or Pepsi. We blew our noses on facial tissues (or paper towels), not Kleenex. When we got sick, we took cold medicine, not NyQuil. So when I became interested in screenwriting        …read more

Fahrenheit 451

HBO’s ‘Fahrenheit 451’ Reignites Bradbury’s Dystopian Nightmare

On May 19, HBO will release the Michael B. Jordan–starring movie that reimagines Ray Bradbury’s ‘Fahrenheit 451.’ In these uncertain times, people are turning to fiction that challenges them rather than pure escapism. Last year George Orwell’s 1984 rose to the top of the Amazon best seller list, prompting a new printing of tens of thousands of copies. At the same time, TV shows like The Man in the High Castle and The Handmaid’s Tale,        …read more

Salvador Dalí, Salvador Dali

The Many Faces of Salvador Dalí

“I don’t do drugs. I am drugs.” On Salvador Dalí’s birthday, May 11, we remember the surrealist painter’s equally surreal life. In 1924 French poet André Breton published the Surrealist Manifesto, in which he explained an emergent post–World War I movement in art and poetry called surrealism. The goal of surrealist art was to “resolve the previously contradictory conditions of dream and reality into an absolute reality, a super-reality,” which was often achieved by contrasting        …read more


Songs for 4/20: Put This Playlist in Your Pipe and Smoke It

Get 50 shades of green with this 420 playlist. Marijuana transcends genre. And pot smoke crosses (and blurs) other lines too, like gender, race, class, age, sexual orientation, education level and political affiliation. With recreational cannabis use legal in nine states, medical use legal in 29, and 64% of Americans supporting legalization, 420 just might be the thing that finally unites us, turning blue and red states green. But what does 420 mean? Its hazy        …read more

Space Odyssey

'2001: A Space Odyssey' Is Still Breathtaking 50 Years Later

Stanley Kubrick’s enduring classic ‘2001: A Space Odyssey’ released on April 2, 1968. Stanley Kubrick made almost every genre his own. Historical epic? Spartacus. Romantic drama (albeit skewed)? Lolita. Satirical black comedy? Dr. Strangelove. Future dystopia? A Clockwork Orange. Period piece? Barry Lyndon. Horror? The Shining. War movie? Full Metal Jacket. Psychological thriller? Eyes Wide Shut. See what I mean? But Kubrick’s best film (in my opinion) is his take on science fiction. 2001: A        …read more

Ready Player One movie

Ready for the 'Ready Player One' Movie? Binge These '80s Essentials

Bone up on your ’80s trivia to get the most out of Steven Spielberg’s ‘Ready Player One’ movie. Ernest Cline’s 2011 debut novel Ready Player One is a love letter to nerd culture, a meta sci-fi thrill ride packed with references to classic ’80s video games, movies, music and television shows. I blazed through the novel when it came out and revisited it (via the audiobook read by Wil Wheaton from Star Trek: The Next        …read more

baseball movies

15 Best Baseball Movies of All Time

In honor of opening day March 29, we count down the best baseball movies of all time. If baseball is America’s pastime, then movies are a close second. And what do you get when you combine the two? Well, usually a bunch of baseball movie clichés like underdogs, slumps and game-winning home runs. But there are some (baseball) diamonds in the rough. The earliest known depiction of baseball on film is a 30-second clip from        …read more

The Dude

6 Life Hacks from The Dude

The Coen brothers’ cult favorite ‘The Big Lebowski’ turns 20 on March 6. Celebrate with these important life lessons from The Dude. Jeff Lebowski is a man for his time and place — 1991, Los Angeles. But he doesn’t call himself by the handle his loving parents gave him. He calls himself The Dude, Duder, His Dudeness, or El Duderino, if you’re not into the whole brevity thing. But is The Dude a bumbling burnout        …read more

Bob Marley / Black History Month

Small Axe and Big Tree: Bob Marley's Legacy

Remembering Bob Marley as the revolutionary he was, not just a ganja-loving entertainer. Born February 6, 1945, and departing this world at only 36 years old, Bob Marley left a permanent impression through his musical and sociopolitical contributions. ‘Africa unite’ It was midnight on April 18, 1980. One year before Bob Marley’s untimely death, and just over 100 years since the Berlin Conference (when Africa was divided by colonial European powers), Zimbabwe (formerly Rhodesia)        …read more

heartache, best breakup songs

5 Best Breakup Songs for Every Stage of Heartache

Getting over someone? These breakup songs might help you through the five stages of heartache. Whether you’re the dumper or the dumpee, breakups suck. Heartache can range from being bummed out over the loss of a summer fling to having your life obliterated by a nasty divorce. But there is one thing all heartache has in common: it compels songwriters to write some of their best material. And their songs can comfort the rest of        …read more

Drunk History

‘Drunk History’ Makes the Driest Subject Go Down Smooth

Before season 5 makes history drunk again, revisit the 5 best episodes of ‘Drunk History’ so far. Disclaimer: in the spirit of Drunk History, I am writing this article with a glass of absinthe. In chapter three of Lewis Carroll’s Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland, after growing to nine feet tall, crying and then shrinking again only to find herself in a sea of her own tears, Alice finally comes ashore with a strange assembly of        …read more

James Franco movie

How the ‘Citizen Kane of Bad Movies’ Inspired the New James Franco Movie

The 2003 drama ‘The Room’ is widely regarded as one of the worst films of all time, which is exactly why it’s the subject of the new James Franco movie. James Franco knows a thing or two about bad movies. On Rotten Tomatoes, several of his many projects have been labeled “rotten” by critical consensus. (As much as I may personally enjoy it, Your Highness sits at a rotten 27%.) But what about the new        …read more

learn music

Feeling Like an Old Dog? 5 Tricks to Learn Music as an Adult

It’s never too late to learn music! My piano student Jane is nearing a nervous breakdown. To help her learn music intuitively, I’ve just explained that I’d like her to experiment by holding down the sustain pedal and improvising with random black keys, which form a pentatonic scale. In an attempt to inspire her, I suggest the dulcet, though accidental, harmony of wind chimes in the breeze. She tenses. Her fingers curl into fists. She        …read more

Tom Petty’s birthday

Remembering a Legend on Tom Petty’s Birthday

On Tom Petty’s birthday, October 20, we remember 6 reasons why we loved the man and his music. I’ve been listening to Tom Petty since the womb. My mom is undoubtedly his biggest fan. She calls him, simply, “Thomas” and always has. My first concert? Tom Petty. The first time music brought me to tears? Tom Petty. My first crush? The girl from Tom Petty’s “Free Fallin’” video. That “good girl” who loves her mama,        …read more