Archive | July, 2014

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

31 Jul


She is loved! Linda Ronstadt received the National Medal of Arts at the White House from President Obama, who revealed, “I had little crush on her back in the day.” … Yet another award, the Library of Congress George Gershwin Prize for Popular Song was given to Billy Joel … The irony of it all. The George Harrison Tree got infested by, yeah, beetles … Newly restored, A Hard Day’s Night plays in theaters 50 years on, pretty good soundtrack … Tom Petty and his Heartbreakers released Hypnotic EyeEric Clapton saw to an all-star tribute album, The Breeze: An Appreciation of JJ Cale. Joining him are Mark Knopfler, Tom Petty, and Willie Nelson … The NY Philharmonic’s Star Spangled Celebration for July 4 … Lincoln Center’s Out of Doors series presented a memorial concert for Pete Seeger, Toshi Reagon’s Deep Roots of Rock and Roll, and the premier of John Luther Adams’ Sila: The Breath of the World … The positively upbeat Jason Mraz released YES! … Love the piano? Mannes held their annual summer keyboard festival …  JasonMrazYES.July2014.poster.crJames Taylor and Renee Fleming performed Tanglewood’s opening night  with the Boston Symphony Orchestra … Music Vault is Wolfgang’s Vault’s YouTube page of 13,000 performance clips and full concerts. Now you can watch the Who at Tanglewood in 1970 … Summertime means Peter Frampton with the Doobie Brothers, Aerosmith, Crosby Stills and Nash, and Yes on tour … Finally, Tommy Ramone, the last Ramone, has joined the band to play Blitzkrieg Bop in rock ‘n roll heaven. “We started auditioning drummers, but they just couldn’t grasp the concept of the band – the speed and simplicity.” And that’s how Tommy became their drummer. “Hey ho, let’s go!”


“I wasn’t thinking, ‘Oh, I’m on the bleeding edge of marketing, this is going to be a business model that will change the world.’” Remember Eat It? Weird Al Yankovic finally made it to #1 on the Billboard album chart with Mandatory Fun. The King of Parody’s online video campaign went viral crazy, especially with the songs Tacky and Word Crimes, which yours truly wrote about (see Blog post: Weird Al Yankovic’s “Word Crimes” Ain’t No Crime!). “I read your email, It’s quite apparent, Your grammar’s errant, You’re incoherent.”



“My friend has two dogs, a Shi Tzu and a Shar Pei. She named them Fluff and Fold.” Elayne Boosler’s (yeah, that Elayne Boosler!) Tails of Joy raises funds for rescue organizations, gives “Little Guy Grants” daily on a most needed basis, helps with pet emergencies, works for the passing and enforcing of anti-cruelty laws, and rescues animals. Learn more at the Tails of Joy website. Staffed entirely by volunteers, 100% of every donation is dedicated to animal welfare!


Sign the ASPCA’s pledge vowing to make pet adoption your first option. “The only way to stop is to adopt it!”


Broadway Barks held their annual dog and cat adoption event to benefit NYC animal shelters and adoption agencies, featuring Broadway stars like Zach Braff and Audra McDonald and hosted by founders Mary Tyler Moore and Bernadette Peters. Their fabulous 2014 Calendar is out now!

Soundtrack to this Issue is

When Will I Be Loved? by Linda Ronstadt

C’mon, sing along:

I’ve been made blue, I’ve been lied to
When will I be loved?
I’ve been turned down, I’ve been pushed round
When will I be loved?

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


Linda Ronstadt National Medal of Arts pic: AP Photo/Charles Dharapak
Tommy Ramone quote: Noisecreep, 2011
Weird Al pic: still from Tacky video
Word Crimes lyrics: from the album, Mandatory Fun (2014)
Linda Ronstadt pic: Asylum Records
When Will I Be Loved? lyrics: Phil Everly © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Weird Al Yankovic’s “Word Crimes” Ain’t No Crime!

16 Jul

Hooray! The king of parody sure has a way with words. Count on Weird Al to find a valuable use for Robin Thicke’s hit, Blurred Lines. In his new video, Word Crimes, Weird Al tells it like it is. Annoyed by the manifest misuse of words and phrases, bad spelling, and even worse grammar (especially on social media), he thought up a great way to express his displeasure. And to give everyone a lesson at the same time. Oh yeah, don’t get him started on those emoticons and faux abbreviations.

I hate these Word Crimes Your prose is dopey
Think you should only Write in emoji

I love words and wordplay (see my blog posts). Having fun with words is great – but learn your grammar rules first!

You should never Write words using numbers
Unless you’re seven Or your name is Prince

Grammar is my tool. If you want to get your message heard, make friends with proper grammar.

Good time To learn some grammar
Now, did I stammer Work on that grammar

Weird Al, thanks for the education on punctuation!



Weird Al pic: RCA via Billboard
Word Crime lyrics: from the album, Mandatory Fun (2014)

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