Archive | September, 2013

September Newsletter: A Review of the Month’s Culture, Arts + Trends

30 Sep


Did you know September is Piano Month? Celebrate the great instrument. Listen to the piano opening on Simon and Garfunkel’s Bridge Over Troubled Water…There’s Yamaha’s new stringless piano. WWVCD. What would Van Cliburn do?…Boston rolled out 75 pianos all over town for people with skill or not, to play on and enjoy…Yoko Ono’s new album, Take Me to the Land of Hell, Yoko.albumcover.9.29.13features Questlove and Lenny Kravitz. The ever peace-promoting Yoko took a NY Times full-page, as is her custom, posting the lyrics to Cheshire Cat Cry. “I’m rolling in your dreams, listening to your screams…Stop the violence, stop all wars.”A Night With Janis Joplin concert musical opens on Broadway…Elton John and Sting released new music…The San Francisco Opera premieres Stephen King’s downright operatic story Dolores Claiborne. “With a Stephen King novel you find a person in extreme situations, and I was drawn to the psychology of that, of how we cope, how we feel,” says librettist J.D. McClatchy…The NY Phil played the score to Kubrick’s great 2001: A Space Odyssey, while the Post.RayChalesStamp.Sept.2013film played on a screen behind the Orchestra…Stevie Wonder, Alicia Keys, John Mayer, and Bono helped fight poverty at the Global Citizen Festival in Central Park…Renee Fleming sang, yes, sang the Top Ten List of opera lyrics on David Letterman’s Late Show…The US Postal Service honors Ray Charles with a stamp, released on his birthday, September 23. Also offered is a CD of his greatest hits. Honor this true music icon, buy his stamp. By the way, the stamp sheet looks just like a vintage 45 rpm record sleeve. Very cool…And Cher sang and talked everywhere upon theCher-Closer-to-the-Truth-Album.9.29.13 release of her new album, Closer to the Truth. Cher on Cher: “I’m serious about my work, but I don’t take myself seriously.” The single, I Hope You Find It, is pure Cher – all heart…The good news is Maestro James Levine returns to the Met Opera after a terrible fall which kept him away too long…And at the Met Museum, musicians performed period music that complemented the art in the European Paintings gallery…Alas, there is not good news for the NY City Opera company. This “people’s opera” is in need of money, lots of money, to survive. Losing an arts institution is in no one’s interest. The place Beverly Sills called home needs a benefactor who cares, really cares. In the meantime, there’s a Kickstarter campaign…The One Day University offered classes in Beethoven’s Ninth (The Story Behind the Masterpiece) and Gershwin, Ellington and the Search for an American Sound…Music plays a role in two new documentaries. Muscle Shoals about that Alabama city’s huge musical legacy. And Metallica Through the Never, a concert film. Bring your earplugs…Sir Paul, y’know the Beatle, released the single, New. “All my life, I never knew what I could be, What I could do, Then we were new.” Could it be a (silly) love song?…Finally, noted in the NY Times under In Memoriam: Isaac Stern, July 21, 1920-September 22, 2001, Fiddler.


One man follows his dream and is an eyewitness to a noteworthy decade’s highpoints. Documentary filmmaker Chris Szwedo held a private screening of Eye on the 60s, a mesmerizing view of the sometimes serious, sometimes hilarious, and always very interesting photographer, Rowland Scherman. He started out taking pics for the Peace Corps which led to the Kennedys, then BobDylan-Halo.9.29.13RFK’s campaign tour, the March for Jobs and Freedom in DC, and to Life magazine. Barbara Walters, the Beatles, Mapplethorpe and Smith, Janis Joplin, Joni Mitchell, Judy Collins, Arthur Ashe. There isn’t a pic he’s taken that isn’t seared into our collective memories. Scherman’s passion, his love, and his curiosity are displayed throughout his work – and all share his clear-eyed view of humanity. Oh, by the way, y’know that pic of Dylan with his hair in a halo, yeah, the pic on the cover of Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits, yeah, that one? That’s Rowland Scherman and it won him a Grammy. This film is not only a wonderful look at the 60s, with all the pleasures that come with that. It is a document of an artist’s intertwined life and career. Hope you catch it. I loved it.


Although her singing has been silenced by Parkinson’s, Linda Ronstadt’s voice LindaRonstadt.9.29.13is open, honest, and sure in her new memoir, Simple Dreams: A Musical Memoir. With Heart Like a Wheel playing in my head, her memoir felt as heartfelt as her performance of that song is genuine…Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep arrived. In this sequel to The Shining, Danny Torrance is all grown up. Is he fighting his demons? “Dan didn’t think he’d had such a clear shine inDramaHigh.9.29.13 years. It brought a ghost of delight that went back to earliest childhood, before he had discovered how dangerous the shining could be.”…Michael Sokolove’s Drama High about a public high school’s drama program is “the incredible story of a brilliant teacher, a struggling town, and the magic of theater,” and is a testament to the importance of arts education.


We can be heroes. Animal Planet’s Hero Dogs of 9/11 is a tribute to the 300 K-9 DISASTER RELIEF NIKIEdogs who played an important role in the rescue and recovery efforts at ground zero. “They will literally put their lives on the line for us.”…And heroes were in abundance at the annual AKC Meet The Breeds show. From the Irish Wolfhound to a teeny Chihuahua. Beauties with big hearts all. Alas, the Westies were a no-show at the show. But Angel-on-a-Leash.9.30.13.crI had a wonderful visit with David Frei. Host of the Westminster Dog Show, his Angel On A Leash is all about therapy dogs…Along with a new year wish for peace, I leave you with a Rabbi’s sermon on love. It is not what we feel, but rather what we do…When words of likability come cheap, our deeds matter more. When our emotions become a mere mouse click, our tangible actions define true relationship.” Read it, share it, dig it!


Simon&GarfunkleInCentralPk.9.29.13Posts on Yvette Perry’s Blog include lookalike book covers, Neil Diamond’s songwriting process, the Simon and Garfunkel Concert in Central Park, George R.R. Martin’s take on fantasy, and Diana Nyad’s mantra…Also posted there is this newsletter so you can easily share it with your friends. Just click on any of the share buttons below each post.


 Soundtrack to this Issue is Cher’s Believe,
performed live in concert in Las Vegas.
I believe in Cher.

 Buddha, stay. Good“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”  (Buddha)

Yamaha’s AvantGrand N3: David Pogue, The NY Times
Dolores Claiborne quote: The Sacramento Bee
Ray Charles stamp: Yves Carrère, photographer/USPS
Cher’s I Hope You Find It: The Today Show
Cher quote: CBS Sunday Morning
Eye On The 60s: Chris Szwedo Productions
Bob Dylan Halo pic: Rowland Scherman
Love sermon: Rabbi Benjamin Spratt

Look-Alike Book Covers Confuse Me!

26 Sep

I just took a double-take when I saw the cover of the just-published book, Burial Rites, by Hannah Kent. To me, it bore more than a passing resemblance to J.K. Rowling’s recent book, The Cuckoo’s Calling. And then I just got plain confused. There was so much publicity surrounding Rowling’s book, it’s hard to imagine that a publisher would have been unaware of what its cover looked like. Why make a book cover resemble another so closely?  Or is that the point? Whatever. I think there must be enough imagination to go around in the book industry. What do you think?


How Do You Write A Song, Neil Diamond?

25 Sep

Five days following the Boston Marathon bombings, the Red Sox invited Neil Diamond to perform Sweet Caroline at the game’s eighth-inning. Returning home to New York, he knew he wanted to do something. So he wrote a song.

NEIL-DIAMOND.9.25.13.BostonCapThe Freedom Song (They’ll Never Take Us Down)  took him about six weeks to write and record. He had a lot riding on it. He wanted to get it right. He felt he needed to get it right. Neil Diamond wrote a compelling and passionate message from his heart. He ended up writing an anthem.

Sold on Amazon and iTunes, 100% of the proceeds benefit the Boston One Fund and The Wounded Warriors Project. The song is a tribute to the first responders, promoting freedom, pride, unity, and strength. What a keen demonstration of the power of music. Can you listen to it without shedding a tear? I can’t.

“Every song is different. I wrote ‘Sweet Caroline’ in an hour and it took me four months to write ‘I Am, I Said’ … This was one of the most difficult songs I’ve ever written. And I wanted to get it right.”

“I was moved by the unity and the attitude of the people in Boston. And that’s really all a songwriter needs, is to be inspired. It doesn’t happen very often but when it does you have to follow that muse and I did …

“I didn’t know exactly what would happen with this song, but I did know I had to write it. So I set out on that creative journey of writing something that would lift people up, lift their spirits in the way that mine was lifted when I flew to Boston to sing at the Red Sox game.”


Pic: Michael Dwyer, AP
1st Quote: Boston Herald, June 27, 2013
2nd Quote: Billboard, June 26, 2013

A Simon and Garfunkel Reunion Was Only a Motion Away

19 Sep

Simon&GarfunkleConcertCentralPark.MicahelDoretPoster.9.19.13Oh yeah, I was there. Thirty-two years ago today, in 1981, Simon and Garfunkel reunited for a concert in New York City’s Central Park. It was a benefit concert thought up by the NYC Parks Commissioner and the super promoter, Ron Delsener, to clean up Central Park. Paul Simon and Art Garfunkel broke up after they released Bridge Over Troubled Water, but they agreed to get together for this worthy cause. After all, they are New Yorkers.

Simon&GarfunkleInCentralPk.9.19.13 Backed by the best of the best studio musicians, they played for an audience of 500,000 who sang along with them on Mrs. Robinson, Homeward Bound, Me and Julio Down By The Schoolyard, Still Crazy After All These Years, Slip Slidin’ Away, 50 Ways to Leave Your Lover, The Boxer, and Bridge Over Troubled Water.

You can hear these songs playing in your head now, right? Such great songs. We all know the words. The melodies. Those clear voices. Those harmonies. Oh, those beautiful harmonies. The duo, their songs, the concert. All are memorable and still magical. Here’s The Sound of Silence from the concert. Enjoy!

Paul Simon talked to Wynton Marsalis about his songwriting process:

“It’s not so much that I’m creating with it, it’s that I’m untying knots with it. And the more experience that you have with problem solving, the more creatively you can untie and re-tie that knot.”

Concert Poster pic: Michael Doret
Live Concert Album Link and Pic: Simon and Garfunkel The Concert In Central Park
Quote: CBS This Morning Interview with Wynton Marsalis, May 30, 2012

What Is Fantasy? George R. R. Martin Knows

18 Sep

Fantasy is imagination, especially when extravagant and unrestrained; and its mental images are especially wondrous, unreal, and fantastic. The author of the Song of Ice and Fire series of books known as A Game of Thrones, George R. R. Martin is a master of such writing and has something to say about the differences between fantasy and reality.

“The best fantasy is written in the language of dreams. It is alive as dreams are alive, more real than real … for a moment at least … that long magic moment before we wake.

Fantasy is silver and scarlet, indigo and azure, obsidian veined with gold and lapis lazuli. Reality is plywood and plastic, done up in mud brown and olive drab. Fantasy tastes of habaneros and honey, cinnamon and cloves, rare red meat and wines as sweet as summer. Reality is beans and tofu, and ashes at the end. Reality is the strip malls of Burbank, the smokestacks of Cleveland, a parking garage in Newark. Fantasy is the towers of Minas Tirith, the ancient stones of Gormenghast, the halls of Camelot. Fantasy flies on the wings of Icarus, reality on Southwest Airlines. Why do our dreams become so much smaller when they finally come true?

We read fantasy to find the colors again, I think. To taste strong spices and hear the songs the sirens sang. There is something old … and true in fantasy that speaks to something deep within us, to the child who dreamt that one day he would hunt the forests of the night, and feast beneath the hollow hills, and find a love to last forever somewhere south of Oz and north of Shangri-La.

They can keep their heaven. When I die, I’d sooner go to middle Earth.”

Soundtrack to this post is, yeah, you guessed it, has to be Traffic’s Dear Mr. Fantasy. Enjoy!



Definition of fantasy:
GRRM quote: GRRM Official Website

Diana Nyad Found A Way. Hey, That’s My Marketing Mantra

4 Sep

“Find a way.”

Diana Nyad’s mantra. It’s what got her through her successful swim from Cuba to Florida. Sure, she’s a swimmer. More like a super swimmer. She can also teach us marketers something about persevering, believing in yourself, and following your passion.

“Find a way.”

When I heard Diana Nyad say this, I thought, that’s what I do as a marketer. With each new day, I find a way to help a client reach a targeted audience, make a cost-effective marketing plan, build a business.

“It doesn’t matter what you come up against … find a way … you’ll make it through.”

As marketers, it’s what we do. Don’t we? Just like Diana Nyad had her challenge, every project we work on is a challenge. Regardless if we have done it before, once, twice, or twenty, thirty times. Or WWW.DianaNyad.9.4.13never before. I look at each new project as if it is for the first time. It’s a new client, a new goal, and it’s at a different point of time, too. Are there newer marketing venues? Newer technologies? Newer ways to do things? Each new challenge is an opportunity to learn, to try something new, to revise something old. We can get better. We can grow. It’s what makes marketing such a cool vocation. There’s always new things and at the same time you need to use all the skills and experience you have. It’s the only way that we can find a way. And as I’ve always believed, there is always a way.

Oh, and being me, yeah, there’s a musical spin, of course. She says that she has a playlist of 85 songs that she sings to herself. But the one that drove her to keep going, especially in the early mornings, was Neil Young’s The Needle and The Damage Done. Although its lyrics speak of woe, “… It’s that eerie falsetto voice,” that was her companion.

On my website, the headline is: Just do it. That’s always been my way. It’s just another way of saying find a way. And finding a way with some musical assistance is how I do things. It’s what works for me. And it’s my passion. How could Diana Nyad’s achievement, and even more, her earthiness, honesty, dedication, and her unwavering passion not speak to me? I think she can speak to you, too.


Quotes and pic: CBS News This Morning, September 3, 2013
Quote about Neil Young song: NBC ‘s Today Show, September 3, 2013


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