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

27 Apr

SOMETIMES IT SNOWS IN APRIL

Prince.Apri2016.snowinapril

Sing along to Prince:

 Sometimes it snows in April
Sometimes I feel so bad, so bad
Sometimes I wish that life was never ending,
But all good things, they say, never last

APRIL’S SCOTTISH REIGN

Parade.StephenPDriscollMemorialPipeBand.NYCTartanWeekFB.cr

And it was in the relentless rain, those unavoidable April showers, that the great Scots were celebrated in the New York Tartan Day Parade.

PURPLE REIGN: LONG LIVE PRINCE

Prince.Apri2016

Doves cry now, so do we. How sad it is to lose this magical artist too soon. With huge limitless talent, he could do it all. And all of it he did to perfection … “When I first started out in the music industry, I was most concerned with freedom. Freedom to produce, freedom to play all the instruments on my records, freedom to say anything I wanted to,” said Prince at his induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2004 … “Now cracks a noble heart. Good-night, sweet prince; and flights of angels sing thee to thy rest.” (William Shakespeare, Hamlet)

SEX, LIES, AND MOVIES

Book.DirtyWordsAndFilthyPictures.Apr2016

Freedom of expression. It’s the entitlement of a true artist. And it is what the First Amendment guarantees, meaning the government does not have the right to forbid us from saying and writing what we like. But in the movies, that wasn’t always so. Did you wonder why married couples were in two beds instead of sharing one? That is because during Hollywood’s Golden Age film censors, charged with protecting the moral fabric of their communities, were the arbiters of what we could see … In his new book, Dirty Words and Filthy Pictures: Film and the First Amendment (University of Texas Press), Jeremy Geltzer explores cinema censorship, the movies that changed the law resulting in greater creative freedom for all, and how modern versions of censorship are shaping what we see today … Well-suited for this subject, Geltzer is an entertainment attorney for major studios (Paramount, Warner Bros., Disney), producer (Turner Classic Movies), and teacher of film history.

APRIL CELEBRATES POETRY

Foley.Apr2016

In the movie biz, it’s the Foley artist who enhances the film with sound effects such as a thunderous night or a procession of clip-clopping horses … In her poem Foley (from The Oldest Map with the Name America, 1999), Lucia Perillo tackles the music lover’s age-old conundrum:

“In certain sixties pop songs that had the singer keening
antonyms: how can something so right feel so wrong,
so good hurt so bad…you know what I’m talking about.
And don’t you think it’s peculiar:
in the first half of the sixties they made the black girl-groups
sing with white accents and in the second half of the sixties
they made the white girl-groups sing with black accents,
which proves that what you hear is always
some strange alchemy of what somebody thinks you’ll pay for
and what you expect.”

ACTORS AS MUSICIANS

EthanHawke.born-to-be-blue.Apr2016

Ethan Hawke stars in Born to Be Blue, a re-imagining of jazz legend Chet Baker’s musical comeback in the late 60s. This is what Hawke says about why actors like to portray musicians:

“One thing about studying Shakespeare as an actor is that you start to hear the music in language. Shakespeare and the best rappers have a lot in common. There’s a musicality to language. Music is just about as powerful a unifying force as we have. It’s without language, it’s without race, it’s without so much … It’s because we want to be a little closer to the music.”

SHAKESPEARE’S APRIL

Shakespeare.Apr2016.1

William Shakespeare was born in Stratford-on-Avon on April 23, 1564 and died on April 23, 1616. And it is April that is mentioned in his works more than any other month.

“April, dressed in all his trim,
Hath put a spirit of youth in everything.”
(Sonnet 98)

“O, how this spring of love resembleth
The uncertain glory of an April day,
Which now shows all the beauty of the sun,
And by and by a cloud takes all away.”
(Proteus in The Two Gentlemen of Verona, Act I, Scene 3)

SHAKESPEARE, A NOBLER ACTION HERO

Shakespeare_action_figure.Apr2016

Need inspiration? Get yourself this Shakespeare action doll. Wordsmith as action figure, you ask? Why not? Known for his sharp tongue and withering wit, William Shakespeare wrote many a drama with loads of action. “To take arms against a sea of troubles,” his heroes believe in truth, faith, and loyalty, same as today’s action heroes. And he is wearing spandex. You just have to make up your own quips and obscure Elizabethan-era references. You know you’ll feel smarter and maybe he’ll even inspire you!

SCOTLAND’S NEW TARTAN: LOCH CHAIM!

Tartan.Jewish.Apri2016

The first kosher Jewish Tartan is here … Tartans have represented different clans in Scotland for over 200 years, now Jews have their own. This new Jewish Tartan design reflects both Jewish values and Scottish history. It features blue and white – colors of both the Israel and Scotland flags – with a central gold line representing the gold from the Ark, a silver line representing the silver that adorns the Torah, and red for the red Kiddush wine … A splendid symbol of Jewish and Scottish culture, order your Tartan tallit and kilt now!

DOG NEWS: SCOTS HONOR THEIR OWN!

TartanBagpiper+Barkley.IMG_0565.cr.Apr2016

The New York Tartan Day Parade featured the Barbour Tartan Dog Pack of Westies and Scotties. Sure, Outlander’s Sam Heughan was the Grand Marshall who led the marchers up Avenue of the Americas, but it was these distinguished Scottish dogs that brought roaring cheers from the bystanders. Yes, that’s my Barkley getting his marching orders from a Bagpiper as they get set to join the Parade.

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.GrammyFoundation.Apr2016

In honor of Prince, please consider a donation to the GRAMMY Foundation which provides national attention to important issues such as the value and impact of music and arts education and the urgency of preserving our rich culture and musical heritage.

Soundtrack to this Issue

 Soundtrack.DonovanBeatles.Apr2016

Donovan’s Mellow Yellow

Great Scot! Born in Glasgow, Scotland and inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2012, Donovan’s hits include Hurdy Gurdy Man, Jennifer Juniper, and Sunshine Superman. But who doesn’t hold fond memories of flower power and Mellow Yellow?

He traveled to India with the Beatles to study Transcendental Meditation in February 1968. That’s Donovan in all his very mellow yellow glory in the middle. (Left to right: Pattie Harrison, John Lennon, Mike Love, Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, George Harrison, Mia Farrow, Donovan, Paul McCartney, Jane Asher, and Cynthia Lennon.)

Donovan: “The Beatles discovered meditation and were searching for something different. Well, they certainly got something different from Donovan. A guitar style and a set of chords that opened up an enormous amount of new ways of doing things. And that’s what we musicians do, we pass on styles from one to another.”

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

I’m just mad about Saffron
Saffron’s mad about me
I’m just mad about Saffron
She’s just mad about me

They call me mellow yellow
(Quite rightly)
They call me mellow yellow
(Quite rightly)
They call me mellow yellow.

Who rescued whom?Barkley+Mom.Tartan.IMG_0587.cr.Apr2016

At the New York Tartan Day Parade.
So 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:
Prince pic: Rolling Stone
Sometimes It Snows In April lyrics: Prince, Wendy Melvoin, Lisa Coleman ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group
Ethan Hawke pic: IFC Films
Ethan Hawke quote: Entertainment Weekly, April 1/8, 2016
Shakespeare pic: Chicago Stage Review
Soundtrack pic: Beatles Book Monthly No. 143
Mellow Yellow lyrics: Donovan Leitch ©Peermusic Publishing

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