Archive | February, 2014

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

27 Feb


Downton Abbey’s Season 4 was surely enlightening, thrilling, and quite satisfying. Now we wait a year to learn who DowntonAbbey.2.27.14Lady Mary chooses and how Carson and Mrs. Hughes liked the water … Johnny’s daughter, Roseanne Cash, released The River & the Thread, a meditation on folk and country by way of a southern state of mind. And she performed her dad’s songs on his signature Martin guitars at the Metropolitan Museum, tied in with the exhibit on Martin’s early guitars … Carnegie Hall presented the first Isaac Stern Memorial Concert with Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax playing Brahms … Hope you got to hear Dianne Reeves at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Her voice, her poise – she is one in a million. On Beautiful Life, she sings Fleetwood Mac and Marvin Gaye … The NY Philharmonic celebrated the Chinese New Year with Tan Dun’s The Triple Resurrection: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Hero; and The BanquetThe Apollo turned 80 and celebrated with Doug E. Fresh hosting their famous Amateur NightLadysmith Black Mambazo, you know, from Paul Simon’s Graceland, well, they brought their magnificent a cappella chorus to BB King Blues Club. Their album, Live: Singing for Peace Around the World, just won a Grammy. Spreading the good word in harmony, that’s what they do … And farewell for real to City Opera with a grand concert that celebrated 70 Years of the People’s Opera. Placido Domingo showed up, too, after all it’s where he made his NYC debut. Put on by the musicians and choristers, they ensured that proceeds benefited the NYC Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund (Local 802). A classy way to go out. Bravo.


It was 50 years ago todayThe Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 and the anniversary of theirBeatles.Love.vbb55 arrival in the US was not forgotten … The Grammys offered a tribute concert featuring Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Joe Walsh and Jeff Lynne, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Eurythmics, and oh yeah, Paul and Ringo … Donovan and Peter Asher talked about Beatlemania at the 92Y … The Library for the Performing Arts’s exhibit, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Beatles!, features tour memorabilia, historic film clips and video interviews. The Library held a debate, Beatles vs. Rolling Stones. Mike Myers stood up for the Beatles and NPR’s Ophira Eisenberg with Bill Janovitz, musician and author of a Stones book, spoke for well, y’know. Assembled by the Grammy Museum, catch it before it goes May 10 … Like their melodies, lyrics, and harmonies, the Fab Four’s cultural and musical legacy lives on and on and on and on, across the universe.


Every February welcomes the hounds. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show celebrates our companions, our champions. It’s our chance to see the wondrous magnificent variety of the dog world, where we are guided by the knowledgeable and passionate David Frei, who celebrated 25 years as our host. Three new breeds were introduced: WestminsterDog.2.27.14.bChinook, Rat Terrier, and Portuguese Podengo Pequeno – loved him! This year offered something extra. The Agility Championship, where the dogs go through steeple-chase maneuvers, included for the first time mixed-breeds. Congrats to our new champ, Sky, the magnificent Wire Fox Terrier – the breed’s 14th Best in Show win, more than any other breed. Terriers rule –with 46 wins, the most of any group. Asked why Terriers win so much, David said, “Terriers were bred to look for trouble…gives them an edge to their performance in the ring…It’s their world and we’re just living in it.” Tell me about it.


I will always remember this great actor’s roles in three music-related movies. In A Late Quartet, he played the violinist in a string quartet famous for playing Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14, opus 131. In Almost Famous, he was the renowned rock critic, Lester Bangs. And in Pirate Radio, he made us believe that he could save the world with rock ‘n roll radio. In each of these roles, he showed us his character’s pain, his truth, his humanity. Baring his own at the same time.


Angel-on-a-Leash.9.30.13.crWe know how much dogs can help to alleviate stress and suffering that patients and their families experience when dealing with illness. Angel On A Leash was founded by the host of the Westminster Dog Show, David Frei, to provide the best therapy dog programs in health care facilities, schools, rehabilitation, and hospice. Learn how you can help or donate.


Soundtrack to this Issue is
The Beatles’s Hey Jude
C’mon, sing along:
Hey, Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”

Downton Abbey pic: DowntonAbbeyOnline
Beatles pic: vbb55
Best in Show pic: Ben Hider/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty images
David Frei quote:
ESPN interview
Philip Seymour Hoffman pic: The Well-Tempered Ear

Hey Jude lyrics: Sony/ATV Music Publishing

Beatles Arrive in America 50 Years Ago

7 Feb

Fifty years ago today on February 7, 1964, The Beatles arrived at JFK airport – and music, culture, life was never the same! But before they got off the plane, they were worried: would anyone even care?

“We heard that our records were selling well in America,” said George, “but it wasn’t until we stepped off the plane … Seeing thousands of kids there to meet us made us realize just how popular we were there.”

I Wanna Hold Your Hand was at the top of the Billboard chart and stayed there for 7 weeks. And tickets for The Beatles’ first, live Ed Sullivan Show broadcast in New York City went on sale and sold out. John, Paul, George and Ringo were instantly embraced and adored – becoming influential cultural icons – then, still, and forever.

Fifty years later, Paul and Ringo are still putting out albums and still performing. So, what does 50 years mean to Ringo?

“We’re still out there doing what we love to do and that is to play.”



George quote: Time, February 7, 2014
Ringo quote: CBS This Morning, February 7, 2014

%d bloggers like this: