Archive | April, 2014

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

30 Apr


Record Store Day reminded us how great vinyl is and will always be. The good news is that indie stores around the country are Records.LucyLinusgrowing. Sad news is J&R closed … Robert Moog was surely smiling down on Asheville, NC, where his great invention was celebrated at the five-day festival Moogfest 2014. Brings back memories of ELP’s Brain Salad Surgery, doesn’t it? … Welcomed into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry were the original cast recording of Sweeney Todd, Jeff Buckley’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, Isaac Hayes’s theme from Shaft, and Linda Ronstadt’s Heart Like A WheelJill Sobule’s new album, Dottie’s Charms, was inspired by an old charm bracelet she got as a gift. She asked Jonathan Lethem, Luc Sante, and other authors to write lyrics based on each of the charms … Former French first lady, Carla Bruni at Town Hall singing folk-pop ballads from her Little French Songs album … Billy Joel showed up at a Long Island elementary school concert and sat in the back of the auditorium … PBS’s In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul featured Aretha, Patti, and others paying homage to their musical “foremothers” … “It’s quite nonintellectual and nonverbal; it’s just – feeling,” on his songwriting process in Bruce Springsteen’s High Hopes HBO documentary … Guys and Dolls at Carnegie Hall with Nathan Lane. Amen … Aerosmith’s Dream On remix with a children’s chorus for the Boston Marathon made for a mighty inspiring anthem … And the Blood Moon glowed crimson.


“I’m still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries. This is Mockingbird for a new generation.” So said Harper Lee on ToKillAMockingbird.HarperLeeher 88th birthday, finally allowing a Kindle version of To Kill A Mockingbird … In 2006, Lee wrote an open letter to Oprah Winfrey’s O magazine that discussed her love of books.

“[In] an abundant society where people have laptops, iPods, and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books. Instant information is not for me: I still prefer to search library stacks because when I work to learn something, I remember it. And Oprah, can you imagine curling up in bed to read a computer? Weeping for Anna Karenina and being terrified by Hannibal Lecter, entering the heart of darkness with Mistah Kurtz, having Holden Caulfield ring you up–some things should happen on soft pages, not cold metal.”


In recognition of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’ exhibit Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles.sneakers.4.30.14.crBeatles! in honor of the 50th anniversary of the group’s coming to America, consider making a donation to support their great efforts. Besides lots of Beatles tchotchkes, there were instruments, posters, photographs, interviews, correspondence from 1964 to 1966, and special events and films. I was thrilled to see the original promoter agreements for their American tour. The Performing Arts Library has always been a huge part of my life. Become a NYPL member, donate, or volunteer … For her 90th birthday, Doris Day asked in lieu of flowers, send a donation to her pet foundation, the Doris Day Animal League.


Soundtrack to this Issue is
Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s Still You Turn Me On
From their album, Brain Salad Surgery (great title!).
Then listen to Greg Lake’s version with just an acoustic guitar.

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


Harper Lee letter to Oprah: May 7, 2006 published in O magazine’s July “special summer reading issue”
Beatles sneaker pic: New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

Peter Gabriel Inducted Into Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame

11 Apr

Peter Gabriel, already a member of the Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame for his work with Genesis, was inducted now as a solo artist. Kind, humble, and talented. Having worked with Peter on his So tour, I know firsthand the quiet authority he possesses. Congratulations to a great musician, a warm human being, and an inspiration to all artists.


In his acceptance speech, Peter Gabriel urged young musicians to use their imaginations.

“Surround yourself with brilliance. The brilliance of who you love being around — and the brilliance of their talent.”

He ended with a moving meditation on the power of music.

“Watch out for music. It should come with a health warning. It can be dangerous. It can make you feel so alive, so connected to the people around you, connected to what you are inside. It can make you think that the world should and could be a much better place. It can also make you very, very happy.”


Pic: personal archives

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