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

28 May

MAY OUI!

Prince Prince.May2015.credit-SchureMediaGrouprules! He performed his stand-alone Rally 4 Peace concert in Baltimore on Mother’s Day, with proceeds going to Baltimore youth charities. A shout-out for equal rights and justice, he performed a new song, Baltimore, released the day before the concert. “If there ain’t no justice, then there ain’t no peace.”

SIMPLY WILLIE

A new memoir from Willie Nelson, 82, is always refreshing, direct, and honest – like the man, and just like his music … You know his songs, Crazy (made famous by Patsy Cline) and On the Road AgainWillieNelson.Memoir.May2015On his songwriting process: “When songs fall from the sky,” Nelson writes, “all I can do is catch them before they land.” … On writing his song, Night Life: “I heard myself ruminating…It ain’t no good life, but it’s my life…It happened because I was living it.” … On the state of the music industry today: “The only money I’ve ever counted on is the money I make when you buy a ticket to my show. And if hearing my record on your laptop or your smartphone motivates you to come see me, I’m a happy man.” … And on recording: “Simplicity is always the key. Sing the song. Get out. My kind of singing isn’t meant to be perfect. It’s meant to reflect the imperfections of a human being like me.”

R.I.P. Part 1: B.B. KING

“The BB-King.died5.14.15Blues has lost its king and America has lost a legend,” said President Obama. Born Riley B. King in Mississippi to sharecroppers, B.B. King – B.B. for Blues Boy – passed away this month … Lucille, as all his black Gibsons were called, will be remembered right along with him … Asked to describe the blues, B.B. said, “It’s good for me when I’m feeling bad and it’s good for me when I’m feeling good.”

R.I.P. Part 2: BRUCE LUNDVALL

Bruce Lundvall, BruceLundvall.May2015.NYTimeswho headed Blue Note Records for almost 30 years, died on May 19. He was always generous to me, always kind. And boy did he love music and the artists he recorded … When I ensured Seagram a five-city multiple-venue summer jazz series with one major artist as the cornerstone artist to perform in all of the five cities, it was Bruce I called. I didn’t have to say much. We had a trusting longtime relationship since our days at CBS Records. All he said was, “Dianne Reeves.” And that was that. The Myers’s Rum Taste What’s Happening Jazz Series featuring Dianne Reeves was off and running! … Speaking of, he signed Willie Nelson, whose 1975 Columbia debut, Red Headed Stranger, is considered a modern classic … Bruce was one of a kind, well regarded by anybody who had the good fortune to know him. In a word: he was a mensch.

MEMORABLE DOG NEWS

Following the WeCanHelp.NatlDisasterDogFnd.May2015.2deadly earthquakes in Nepal, U.S. teams on the ground in Kathmandu included 12 canine disaster search teams. The National Disaster Search Dog Foundation recruits rescued dogs and partners them with first responders to find people buried alive in the wreckage of disasters. Rescued dogs turned rescuer! …

New York Senator Chuck Schumer is pushing for the National Defense Authorization Act that would authorize military dogs return to the U.S. after their service ends so that veterans and their dogs stay together post service. The law at present doesn’t guarantee soldiers get their dogs. “Here we have a commonsense policy that is good for the animals that give it their all for America—and for the American heroes who love these dogs so dearly.”

WE CAN HELP

“I thought Slash.May2015a great thing to do would be to try to raise more awareness in the U.S. about how significant the U.S.’s contribution to the ivory trade is because I don’t think a lot of people know what’s going on.” … Inspired by a trip to South Africa, iconic rock guitarist Slash’s new song, Beneath the Savage Sun, confronts the crisis of the ivory trade and brings attention to the plight of the elephants … It is written from the perspective of an elephant whose family has been wiped out …

WeCanHelp.SlashElephant.May2015

In the field you hear us crying, For the ones we lost and loved, oh, ‘Cause the evil never stops, So we keep dying, Underneath the savage sun, Underneath the savage sun … How many bleeding and how many die?, All for the greed of an Ivory lie, When will they see what they’ve done is a lie, Blood that they spill could not be justified, How many bleeding and how many die?, Blood that they spill could not be justified.” …

Partnering with Slash to help protect the elephants and destroy the ivory trade is the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Proceeds of the sale of the digital downloads of the song go to IFAW. We must urge politicians and consumers to oppose ivory trade while elephants are still being killed for their tusks. Let’s support elephant protection efforts now!

BobDylan.May2015.Night45

Soundtrack to this Issue is
in honor of David Letterman:
Bob Dylan’s
The Night We Called It a Day
a single off his Sinatra-inspired album, Shadows in the Night.

Introducing Bob Dylan, his penultimate musical guest, David Letterman explains the most important things we need to know: “I spend a lot of time, like everyone does, driving around with my son, Harry, and sometimes you take an opportunity to teach him or reinforce things for him. And I say, ‘Harry, what are the two most important things to know in the world? One, you have to be nice to other people, and what’s the other one? The greatest songwriter of modern times is Bob Dylan.’ That’s all you need to know in life.”

C’mon, sing along:

The moon went down, stars were gone
But the sun didn’t rise with the dawn
There wasn’t a thing left to say
The night we called it a day

Take a listen to this classic classical performance from The Late Show with David Letterman: In 2004, 53 members of the New York Philharmonic played on the roof of the Ed Sullivan Theater. Maestro Lorin Maazel conducted Mozart’s Overture to The Marriage of Figaro.

 

Who rescued whom?

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So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

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

 

Sources:
Prince pic: Schure Media Group
Prince lyrics: Prince ©NPG Records 2015
Willie Nelson quotes: It’s a Long Story: My Life, by Willie Nelson with David Ritz (Little, Brown 2015)
B.B. King quote: CBS Saturday Morning, May 16, 2015
Bruce Lundvall pic: NY Times, Seth Wenig/Associated Press
Sen. Schumer quote: Press release May 26, 2015
Beneath the Savage Sun lyrics: Saul Hudson and Myles Kennedy © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
We Can Help Slash video: Official IFAW video
The Night We Called It A Day: Tom Adair, Matt Dennis © Dorsey Brothers Music A Div. of Music Sales Corporation

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