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

27 Jan

JANUARY’s CH-CH-CHANGES

Bowie.Peanuts

SOME CHANGES JUST SUCK

DavidBowie.Jan2016

Changes are really hard. Imagining a world without David Bowie in it is pretty unimaginable. But I do believe that Major Tom is happily traversing the universe now and we wish him an eternity of safe and interesting travels. “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” … His longtime producer, Tony Visconti, tweeted: “David Bowie, my friend and colleague, left us Blackstar and 1000s of great memories. Not enough really.”

Bowie compared his approach to music to searching for God. “There’s an effort to reclaim the unmentionable, the unsayable, the unspeakable, all those things come into being a composer, into writing music, into searching for notes and pieces of musical information that don’t exist.” … His influence significant and his message simple: “Fill your heart with love today, don’t play the game of time.”

TAKE IT EASY, GLENN

GlennFrey+DonHenley.Jan2016

Sad to lose Glenn Frey, a founding member, songwriter, and guitarist of the Eagles. It’s his voice on an amazing list of hits: Take It Easy, Peaceful Easy Feeling, Tequila Sunrise, Already Gone, Lyin’ Eyes, New Kid in Town, and Heartache Tonight … His solo album Soul Searchin’ (MCA 1988) yielded sunny laid-back lyrics, sax solos, and Frey’s upbeat spirited vocals. Check out Some Kind of Blue, pretty sweet … He also acted. My two favorite memories of him are when he guest starred on Miami Vice in the first season episode titled Smuggler’s Blues, inspired by his hit song of the same name, and his starring role in the Dead Dog Records arc of Wiseguy. Really, how cool is that?

Eaglemate Don Henley: “I’m not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet.” …. Yep, having sold over 150 million records worldwide, Glenn Frey took it to the limit alright.

MUSIC ON FILM FOR REAL

JanisJoplin.Warhollike.Jan2016-USE

The sheer power of her voice and her personality made her unforgettable. There’s no one like Janis Joplin. Amy Berg’s new documentary, Janis: Little Girl Blue, uses archival and concert footage, Joplin’s letters home, and interviews with people who knew and loved her … But it’s a documentary I watched long ago late one night on PBS that I’ve never forgotten. It was Howard Alk’s Janis: The Way She Was (1974), I was hooked on how genuine she was. Powerful performances and candid interviews revealed an insightful, honest, and emotional artist.

“I’d like ya to feel like standin’ up and jumpin’ up and down in time to the music, gettin’ sweaty, just goin’ with the music, just goin’. Rock ‘n’ roll’s very rhythmic. That’s what it’s all about, y’know. One-two-three-four.” … When Joplin got hold of a song, she owned it, body and soul.

DOG NEWS

FIREHOUSEDOG.Jan2016.b-USE

On 9/11, seven firemen from Ladder Company 20, one of the first groups responding to the attack, were killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center, along with seven members of Squad 18 which shared the firehouse. A few weeks later, Ladder 20 was given a Dalmatian puppy by the Monroe County sheriff’s department in upstate NY. They named her Twenty. She slept and ate with the firefighters and went with them on all their calls. And she remained their mascot until she died this month at 14 … The Dalmatian as the iconic NYC fire dog dates back to the 1800s, when fire vehicles were pulled by horses. When a fire alarm sounded, the Dalmatians ran out of the firehouse barking to let bystanders know to get out of the way. Horses are afraid of fire, and the Dalmatians were a calming presence … Twenty became a spotted symbol of healing for the firefighters. Her ashes were placed near a memorial in the firehouse commemorating firefighters who died in the line of duty. RIP, brave girl.

JDSouther.Dogs.Jan2016

One of my favorite songwriters, JD Souther (here with Doc and Jake), co-wrote the Eagles songs Best of My Love (with Glenn Frey and Don Henley) and Heartache Tonight (with Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and Bob Seger) … He also loves dogs: “I’ve written three songs about dogs. Their place in my musical process is the same as it is in my life: a reminder to (a) not take myself too seriously and (b) pay attention!”

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.AndersonCooper.elite-k9.Jan2016-USE

Anderson Cooper did! The Norfolk, VA police department recently lost one of its bravest members, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois named Krijger during a shootout. He would have survived had he been wearing a ballistic vest. But at $2,200 each, most police departments can’t afford them. But now, thanks to Anderson Cooper’s donation, every single dog in the Norfolk PD is getting one. These dogs selflessly risk their lives to protect us. We can help to make sure that they are protected, too, by making a donation in Krijger’s memory to Spike’s K9 Fund.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.Eagles.TakeItEasy.Jan2016

The Eagles’ Take It Easy

Having trouble completing the song, Jackson Browne asked his upstairs neighbor Glenn Frey to help him finish it. When he got to the second verse, Frey came up with a key lyric: “It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowing down to take a look at me.” And then finished the song. Take It Easy became the Eagles’ first song on their first album, their first single, and a foretelling of their signature sound.

C’mon, sing along, you know the words:

Well, I’m running down the road
Tryin’ to loosen my load
I’ve got seven women on my mind
Four that wanna own me,
Two that wanna stone me
One says she’s a friend of mine

Take it easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
Don’t even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy

Who rescued whom?Barkley.WeCanHelp.Dec2015So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”lIMGP2541.cr.newsltr“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
David Bowie pic: ©Bowie
Bowie’s God quote: 60 Minutes, CBS News
Pic of Glenn Frey and Don Henley: The Dominion Post
Don Henley quote: Billboard, January 18, 2016
Janis Joplin quote: Janis: Little Girl Blue documentary (Amy Berg 2015)
Dog News pic of Twenty: FDNY Twitter Page @FDNY
JD Souther pic and quote: The Bark
We Can Help Norfolk Police dog in vest pic: Spike’s K9 Fund
Take It Easy lyrics: Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey, Jackson Browne/Swallow Turn Music/Night Kitchen Music/Open Window Music

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