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

25 May

THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY

Lily-of-the-valley.LeMuguet.may2017

The tradition of giving lily-of-the-valley flowers on May 1 may have begun in 1560, when Sir Louis Girard presented King Charles IX with a bunch of lily-of-the-valley flowers as a token of luck and prosperity for the coming year. The King liked it so much that he began the custom of presenting lily-of-the-valley flowers to the ladies of his court each year on May Day. Ever since then, the lily-of-the-valley has been considered a talisman, a porte-bonheur, ringing in the return of springtime happiness … They are called muguet in France, they symbolize love and affection. In fact, May 1 is a French holiday, when people offer muguet to their loved ones and neighbors in a gesture of friendship and in celebration of spring. Bonne Fête du Muguet!

GRAMMYs BACK WHERE YOU BELONG

GRAMMY-COLLAGE.may2017-USE

How great is this? Marking the first GRAMMY telecast in New York City since 2003, the 60th GRAMMY Awards will be at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, January 28, 2018! It was announced via a very cool short film called NY Storiesdirected by Spike Lee, featuring artists telling stories at musical landmarks all over the city. As Spike calls it, “New York City of Music!”

THERE’S A NEW BLUE IN TOWN

Blue.may2017

So many blues. Can there really be a new blue? Oregon State University chemists accidentally created a new shade of blue, the first in 200 years. The color is called “YInMn blue,” after its chemical makeup of yttrium, indium and manganese oxides. It’s like cobalt blue, but a little brighter, more vibrant. This is an important find since blue plays a significant role in our lives because of its relationship to the sky and water. You can bet we’ll be seeing it real soon in new cars and on fashion runways. It’s even a new Crayola crayon replacing the recently retired Dandelion yellow.

DREAMING THE BEATLES

Beatles.may2017.cr-USE

On this 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band, let’s celebrate it with the just-published book by Rolling Stone columnist Rob Sheffield, Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World. As a Beatles fan with bookshelves filled with Beatles books – bios, song analyses, et al. – this is a welcome addition simply because it is none of that. Instead it is a collection of essays that explain why they matter to our generation and what that says about us. There is no doubt that we are a generation emotionally attached to them. Rob Sheffield construes it this way: “Being born on the same planet as the Beatles is one of the 10 best things that’s ever happened to me.” Amen to that.

SIR ROGER MOORE

RogerMoore.Moonraker.may2017

Although Moonraker may have been silly, Roger Moore’s fourth outing as James Bond mixed charm, style, and a dry humor with a deadpan delivery and wink in his eye. His Bond had a well-intentioned nature. In fact, he imbued dignity in every one of his roles … My first sighting of Sir Roger was as Simon Templar, aka The Saint. Later, he became my favorite Bond. How sad to ponder that we have lost our first James Bond actor. However, my favorite Roger Moore movie is Ffolkes, a spy thriller where he plays an unconventional and very cocky anti-terrorism expert. I may have seen it a very long time ago, but it’s an unforgettable adventure story with great acting … An animal lover, Sir Roger was opposed to fox hunting and campaigned against the use of foie gras in restaurants … He was cool. I close with a few of his own words: “I’m the fourth best James Bond” … “Of course I do my own stunts. And I also do my own lying” … “I would love to be remembered as one of the greatest Lears or Hamlets. But, as that’s not going to happen, I’m quite happy I did Bond.”

A IS FOR AVOCADO

AvocadoCreamSauce.may2017-USE

Love avocados? Here’s a recipe for a great and very versatile Avocado Cream Sauce. Scoop one large ripe avocado into a food processor. Add ½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream, juice from 1 lime, kosher salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and thick. You might want to add any of these: minced garlic, cilantro, basil, chili powder, jalapeño, or sriracha sauce. Mix with spaghetti as a pasta sauce, drizzle over grilled chicken or salmon, as a dip with chips or to dress a salad, with tacos, spread on a hamburger bun, and great with shrimp and sushi rolls, too! Makes everything even more delish!

DOG NEWS

DogNews.DogsOnTheTitanic1912.may2017

As long as we are marking the 20th anniversary of Titanic and Celine Dion’s smash hit My Heart Will Go On from the film, I thought I would share a story about the real Titanic. Many pets were on the ship for the journey but few survived the ship’s sinking (the dogs pictured on the deck here didn’t survive). Of the 12 dogs aboard, three dogs did survive – all three small. One Pomeranian was named Lady, bought by Margaret Hays while in Paris. She was wrapped in a blanket by Miss Hays when the order was given to evacuate. The second surviving Pomeranian was owned by Elizabeth Rothschild. The Pekinese, named Sun Yat-Sen, was owned by Myna Harper and her husband, Henry S. Harper, of the publishing firm, Harper & Row. All three boarded early lifeboats in the arms of their owners … Oh, if you hear the one about a First Officer William Murdoch’s large Newfoundland who swam between a lifeboat and the rescue ship and whose barking guided the survivors to safety? Don’t believe it – it’s chalked up to a hallucination … Then there’s this. In 1986, in the ship’s wreckage lying on the seabed, a statue of the goddess Artemis was found. She is the patron saint of animals.

END NOTE

Manchester.TicketsCollege.may2017-USE

The Manchester tragedy – my thoughts went instantly to those teenagers that were thrilled to go see their favorite artist perform in concert. How many times did I do the very same thing when I was a teenager? Countless times. Then I grew up and did the same thing for a living. Not once did I ever think I might be in danger – that there was the possibility of terrorism at suchlike events and in suchlike venues. THEY WERE ATTENDING A CONCERT. A CONCERT. ONLY ATTENDING A CONCERT…

WE CAN HELP

AlanGilbert.May2017.nyphilbalconies“Music helps to define what it means to be human, and orchestras will continue to do what we have always done: playing powerful, intriguing, uplifting, thought-provoking music.” … Bravo Maestro! Alan Gilbert will celebrate his final season as Music Director of the NY Philharmonic with the Season Finale: A Concert for Unity on June 8-10. The Orchestra will be joined by musicians from orchestras around the world playing Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 to celebrate the power of music to build bridges and unite people across borders. Yo-Yo Ma (June 8) and Wynton Marsalis (June 9) will perform as special guest artists … The Maestro’s tenure may be over but his legacy lives on through the Alan Gilbert Fund, honoring his innovative programming and partnerships, and his fresh perspectives on classic works. He will be leading a new initiative in which musicians from around the world will come together to perform music at critical times in support of peace, development, and human rights. We can all support that.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.HarryNilsson.may2017

What’s your favorite song mentioning NY? This is mine:
Harry Nilsson‘s I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City

This song, written by Harry, was not used as the theme for the film, Midnight Cowboy. Instead they chose Harry to cover Fred Neil’s Everybody’s Talkin’. But I’ve always thought this was the one!

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

I say goodbye to all my sorrows
And by tomorrow I’ll be on my way
I guess the lord must be in New York City

I’m so tired of getting nowhere
Seein’ my prayers going unanswered
I guess the lord must be in New York City 

Well, here I am Lord, knocking at your back door
Ain’t it wonderful to be
Where I’ve always wanted to be?
For the first time I’ll breathe free here in New York City

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

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”lBuddha.TiffanyLatz.b-w“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Blue pic: YInMn Blue courtesy of Oregon State University
Dogs Aboard the Titanic pic: Courtesy of Widener University
Roger Moore pic from Moonraker: ©MGM/United Artists
New York Philharmonic pic: Michael Falco for The New York Times
Alan Gilbert quote: Charlie Rose interview
I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City: music and lyrics by Harry Edward Nilsson ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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

27 Mar

MARCH SAYS DREAM ON

DesertBloom.mar2017.purple.cr-USE

There’s a Super Bloom happening in San Diego’s Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Purple verbenas, desert dandelions, brown-eyed primroses, desert sunflowers, and evening primroses offer us a glimpse of what we hope is in store for all of us after a crazy snow-filled March.

DESERT BLOOM

JoshuaTree.mar2017

This 30th anniversary of U2’s Joshua Tree reminds us of another California desert blooming with wildflowers. Known for its mind-blowing views, the Joshua Tree National Park has inspired artists and musicians for the past 75 years. The Joshua tree, the largest of the yuccas, grows only in the Mojave Desert. A spike-leafed evergreen, it grows nowhere else in the world. Mormon settlers are said to have named it “Joshua” because it mimicked the outstretched arms of the Biblical Joshua, at prayer and waving toward the Promised Land.

JoshuaTreeU2AlbumPic.mar2017.faded

Produced in March 1987 by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno in U2’s native Dublin, their fifth album Joshua Tree took inspiration from the “mythic and real America,” says Bono. The Edge’s fierce guitar work plus Bono’s ever impassioned vocals equal a signature sound of spirit, hope, and emotion. Their best-selling album includes Where the Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, and With or Without You. It may be imperfect but still a classic.

MONOPOLY UPS THEIR GAME

Monopoly.newtokens.mar2017

Parker Brothers acquired the rights to Monopoly on March 19, 1935. Is there anyone who has never taken a chance on strolling Atlantic City to buy utilities and railroads or to hit it big with Boardwalk hotels? The original 10 tokens were an iron, purse, lantern, racecar, thimble, shoe, top hat, battleship, cannon, and rocking horse. The existing Scottish terrier, battleship, race car, top hat, and cat tokens will carry on. To be joined by Tyrannosaurus rex, a penguin, and a rubber ducky. No hashtag, no emoji, no cell phone. Offered a large collection of potential new tokens, more than 4 million voters worldwide selected these to be presented in the next version of the game. Take your game down from your closet shelf. See what tokens you have. What happened to the iron? I think my old game just got valuable. Ebay, anyone?

QUEEN MONOPOLY
QueenMonopoly.mar2017

Even greater Monopoly news! You will be a Champion of the World touring with Queen in the band’s own Monopoly version. According to Brian May, instead of moving around the board picking up real estate, Queen Monopoly will take players through standout moments and performances in the band’s career. Fans tour the history of the band, from their first concert at Imperial College in 1970 to their last with Freddie Mercury at Knebworth Park in 1986 and buy venues and hit singles and try to avoid taxes, jail, and bankruptcy. How cool is this? Really looking forward to passing “go” and “collecting $200” with the bicycle token from Bicycle Race or maybe Brian May’s guitar.

CHUCK BERRY

ChuckBerry.mar2017

“If you had to give rock ‘n’ roll a name, you might call it Chuck Berry.”
(John Lennon)

A founding father of rock ‘n’ roll, Chuck Berry will be remembered for his great songs, guitar riffs, and his famous duck walk. At 90 years old, he had a new album coming out this year. As a songwriter, he was honored with PEN New England’s first Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence award, held at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. His co-honoree, Leonard Cohen, said “all of us are footnotes to the words of Chuck Berry.” Bob Dylan called him “the Shakespeare of rock ‘n’ roll.” And John Lennon called him “a rock poet.” … He influenced a new generation of musicians to write songs that tell a story. You Never Can Tell is a love story that goes like this: “It was a teenage wedding, and the old folks wished them well, You could see that Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle, And now the young monsieur and madame have rung the chapel bell, ‘C’est la vie’, say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell.” … By the way, did you know that his Johnny B Goode is heading for the stars on the Voyager spacecraft? It doesn’t get cooler than that.

MORSE NO MORE

Morse.mar2017

Colin Dexter, the creator of detective Inspector Morse who solves crimes in Oxfordshire, has died. Dexter’s 13 Morse novels (1975-1999) were adapted into the wonderful TV series starring John Thaw as the detective. That series then spawned Lewis, Morse’s longtime sergeant and Endeavour, about Morse’s early days on the police force. All his Morse stories were set in the city of Oxford, where murders happened at the University’s colleges, living quarters, and in Oxford’s beautiful countryside. The crossword puzzle loving Morse was erudite, cranky, cryptic, and not especially easy to understand. Thanks to Dexter for creating such an interesting character. And like Sherlock Holmes with prodigious intelligence and curious eccentricities, Morse always got his man.

DOG NEWS

DogNews.RescuingPennyJane.mar2017

Meet Alfred, a silly, big Goldendoodle, intent on jumping on everyone at the shelter. Brody is an overly exuberant and misunderstood German shepherd mix. Their stories and others form an inspiring trip through the world of homeless dogs and the people who work to save them in Rescuing Penny Jane. The author covers what life is like in the shelters across the country. There are badly abused dogs and many who are neglected. Others are given up by their families who cannot take care of them. Case studies provide valuable insights into the importance and challenges of finding these dogs their forever homes. Reading this book, you might feel moved to learn more about adopting and caring for a shelter dog. Or find out how to make a difference by volunteering in one.

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.WarriorCanine.mar2017

Vets with combat stress train service dogs for fellow vets. That says it all. Research shows that companion animals, specifically dogs, help reduce blood pressure and ease stress. At the Warrior Canine Connection, service members with PTSD or mild traumatic brain injuries benefit greatly from working with service dogs. It can take two years and many service members to train each dog during which the veterans learn to become more patient, handle stressful situations better, and get back to living their lives. It costs more than $25,000 to breed, feed, care for, train, and place each dog. Every donation makes a difference.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.Aerosmith.mar2017

Aerosmith’s Dream On

For MTV’s 10th anniversary in 1991, the band performed the song live with an orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen.

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

Every time when I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
It went by, like dusk to dawn
Isn’t that the way
Everybody’s got the dues in life to pay

I know nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know it’s everybody sin
You got to lose to know how to win

Half my life
Is books written pages
Live and learn from fools and
From sages
You know it’s true, oh
All these things you do come back to you

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away

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

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
Buddha.TiffanyLatz.b-w
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Desert Bloom pic: Anza-Borrego DRC @AnzaBResearch
Joshua Tree pic: @Wanderlust Nomad, Trover
U2 pic: Anton Corbijn (taken during the album photo shoot sessions)
You Never Can Tell lyrics: Chuck Berry ©BMG Rights Management US, LLC
Dream On lyrics: Steven Tyler ©BMG Rights Management US, LLC

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

27 Sep

SEPTEMBER FULL OF HOPE

helloseptember-sept2016“The breezes taste of apple peel. The air is full of smells to feel. Ripe fruit, old footballs, burning brush, new books, erasers, chalk, and such. The bee, his hive, well-honeyed hum, and Mother cuts chrysanthemums. Like plates washed clean with suds, the days are polished with a morning haze.” (John Updike, September)

HOPE EVERLASTING

911lights-sept2016

“We’ve got to be as clear-headed about human beings as possible, because we are still each other’s only hope,” James Baldwin said to Margaret Mead in a historic public conversation in New York City, August 25, 1970 … The twin beams of light emitted each September 11, as transcendental as any symbol of remembrance can ever be, depicts the timeless hope of which James Baldwin speaks.

ROCK STAR!

freddiemercuryasteroid-sept2016-2-use“A shooting star leaping through the sky, Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity…Burnin’ through the sky yeah” … An asteroid has been named after Freddie Mercury to honor what would have been his 70th birthday. Asteroid “Freddiemercury” is “burnin’ through the sky” in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter. Per Brian May, Queen’s lead guitarist as well as an astrophysicist, “It’s just a dot of light but it’s a very special dot of light and maybe one day we’ll get there.”

BREAKFAST IN AMERICA

pancakesinparis-sept2016
Former Hollywood screenwriter Craig Carlson, with no restaurant experience, recounts his dream of opening an American diner in Paris, Breakfast in America, and turning it into a popular restaurant chain in the heart of Paris.

“After a year in France, I was dying for a good ol’ American breakfast. [Back in LA] I ordered a ham steak, scrambled eggs, home-fried potatoes, and buckwheat pancakes. I stared at it wide-eyed and said, ‘Oh my God, this is the one thing I missed when I was in Paris!’ At that instant a year’s worth of eating French breakfasts replayed before my eyes. But the problem was that every breakfast was exactly the same. Croissants and pains au chocolat, croissants and pains au chocolat. I stared down at my pancakes…my heart racing as I repeated the phrase: ‘The one thing I missed in Paris’…I knew exactly what I wanted to do: open an American diner in Paris! I even knew what I was going to call it: Breakfast in America.”

KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S GATE?

dylangate-sept2016Did you know that Bob Dylan liked to sculpt enormous iron gates? Yes, it’s true. After all, he was born and raised in iron ore country in Minnesota. He just built a 26×15-foot iron gateway for the MGM National Harbor casino in Maryland. Called Portal, it incorporates found objects, farm equipment, kitchen utensils, and tools … Per Dylan: “Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed, but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways, there is no difference.” Whoa, that is so Dylan.

WHEN BAD ADVERTISING HAPPENS TO THE ARTS

wellsfargo-nea-sept2016Here’s a real head-scratcher. Seems that the Wells Fargo financial services company thought this was a good idea. Picture this. A smiling young woman with the caption: “A ballerina yesterday. An engineer today.” And the tag line: “Let’s get them ready for tomorrow.” Although they were taken to task for this tasteless ad campaign that they subsequently abandoned, how was it ever approved? The arts and those who choose to be artists are to be cherished, enjoyed, and encouraged. Hey, Wells Fargo, learn something about the arts from the National Endowment for the Arts and put aside some ad dollars for a donation. It’s the arts that fulfill promises and make life grand.

FULL OF AWE

awesome-sept2016-newsWords enable us to communicate with each other. What powerful tools they are! But changes in language and in people, including interpretation, people adapting language to fit their needs, societal changes, and shifting pronunciations, affect the meaning of a word over time. Let’s look at the evolution of the word awful: In Shakespeare’s time awful had the complimentary meaning of “full of awe.With the suffix –ful, awful means having the quality of awe. Its meanings include being worthy of, commanding profound respect or reverential fear, which may have led it to mean causing dread. So over the centuries, awful took on a negative quality – frightful, ugly, monstrous. Then awful was eventually replaced with today’s positive awesome. Note that the suffix -some is basically the same as –ful in its meaning. Since awful had such a strong negative connotation, awesome was used meaning “awe-inspiring” without the negativity. By the mid-1900s awesome went from awe-inspiring to its ubiquitous use today meaning amazing. Okay, so awesome may have reached its cultural saturation point, but its history is nonetheless awesome, right?

TRIUMPHANT NEW MUSEUM!

blackmuseum-baldwinquote-crA new major museum is always worth celebrating! Just opened is the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in the heart of Washington DC. Its very design is crucial to the story it tells. From its lowest floor depicting the history of slavery, each ascending floor follows the journey to the civil rights movement and up to “A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond” and President Obama’s inauguration.

…AND THE BEATLES’ CIVIL RIGHTS VICTORY

eightdaysaweek-sept2016In the new documentary, Eight Days a Week, director Ron Howard examines the Beatles’ touring years. Of note, we learn that in 1964 when they reached the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, FL, seats were segregated. They refused to perform until the venue was integrated, gaining a victory for civil rights. “We played to people. We didn’t play to those people or that people – we just played to people,” so said Ringo.

ROCK RELICS DO GOOD!

maxskcauction-bruce-sept2016Cool pic of The Boss, right? Unless you’ve read Yvonne Sewall-Ruskin’s High On Rebellion: Inside the Underground at Max’s Kansas City (see May 2016 Newsletter), you’ve never seen it. Taken upstairs at Max’s Kansas City backstage by Lily Hou in 1973, it was one of many great items up for auction to benefit Yvonne’s arts non-profit, Max’s Kansas City Project, which provides artists grants of emergency relief for housing, medical, and legal aid.

DOG NEWS

dognews-911dogs-sept2016Barkley’s incredible veterinarian Dr. Amy Attas (as well as Buddha’s and Skeffington’s!) volunteered to care for the heroic rescue dogs at ground zero. Dr. Attas and her colleagues listened to the handlers while their dogs were being treated for cuts, burns, and dehydration, prompting the vets to ask psychologists to sit with them. “A lot of the handlers told us that their dogs were really depressed, because they were search and rescue dogs and they weren’t finding anybody,” Dr. Attas told NBC News.

WE CAN HELP

9-11stairs-sept2016The Vesey Street stairs, on site at the 911 Memorial Museum and now known as Survivors’ Stairway, is the sole remainder above ground of the World Trade Center. Gazing at it, one visualizes all those people running down them seeking safety and escape with fervent hope that they make it out. The 9/11 Memorial Museum documents the impact of 9/11 and explores its continuing significance. There we bear witness to a collection of artifacts that remind us of the people we lost and the brave souls that heroically went in to help, to save, to do their job. It is a place of commemoration.  Make a monetary donation or you can make a contribution to the collection such as pics, videos, voice messages, personal effects, workplace objects, and diaries.

wecanhelp2-doghope-aacr-sept-2016Fact: Animals have a positive effect in helping people cope with traumatic events. HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response teams have been responding to crises and disasters since 2001, when they sent specially trained handlers and their dogs to provide comfort at ground zero in NYC. They calmed survivors and helped first responders and other workers relax and talk about their experiences, just as you see Tikva here at work. HOPE has since responded to major hurricanes, wildfires, train derailments, and school shootings. An all-volunteer organization, your donation helps them continue training and certifying new crisis teams.

Soundtrack to this Issuesoundtrack-highhopes-teleBruce Springsteen’s High Hopes

Happy Birthday to the Boss. And what a way to celebrate. Four hour concerts! A book! A book tour! A new album! … Along with his captivating, candid, and poignant memoir, Born to Run, is a compilation album Chapter and Verse which features 18 songs that reflect the themes and sections of the book and includes five unreleased songs … High hopes is surely what we are feeling, so here’s the title track from the High Hopes album:

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

Give me help, give me strength
Give a soul a night of fearless sleep
Give me love, give me peace
Don’t you know these days you pay for everything 

Got high hopes
I got high hopes
Got high hopes
I got high hopes

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”l
IMGP2541.cr.newsltr
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
James Baldwin quote: A Rap on Race (J. B. Lippincott; 1st edition, 1971)
Freddy Mercury lyrics: Don’t Stop Me Now by Freddie Mercury ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Brian May quote: The Guardian, September 5, 2016
Book quote: Pancakes in Paris by Craig Carlson Page 42 ©2016 Sourcebooks
Dylan’s gate pic and quote: Forbes, September 7, 2016
Dr. Amy Attas, DVM quote: NBC News/New York, September 11, 2016
Tikva at Ground Zero, NYC, 2001 pic: HOPEaacr.org
Soundtrack High Hopes lyrics: Timothy Scott McConnell ©Universal Music Publishing Group

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

26 Feb

FEBRUARY FULL OF LOVE

ASPCA.ValentinesEcard.cr-use

LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED

Beatles.Love.vbb55

“All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.”

A SHINING STAR SHINES FOREVER

MauriceWhite.RobVerhorst-Redferns.Feb2016

Maurice White didn’t focus on one musical genre, he mixed it all up in his band, Earth, Wind and Fire – rock, pop, funk, gospel, soul, R&B, jazz, Latin, Caribbean steel drums, and classical … Just honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys, EWF’s music “naturally appealed across racial and socio-economic lines.” … He was a unique visionary who delivered exuberant, funky music with a mighty message of peace and unity. Inspired by the times of the 70’s, his music and message are even more relevant today.

“Being joyful and positive was the whole objective of our group. Our goal was to reach all the people and to keep a universal atmosphere. All of our songs had that positive energy. To create uplifting music was the objective.” (Maurice White)

YO-YO MA

YoyoMa.Feb2016.cr-USE
A child prodigy, Yo-Yo Ma has been performing since he was five … “I started the violin when I was three. I screeched away and sounded horrible, so I gave it up…I saw this double bass and I said, ‘I want to play that.’…The cello was a compromise. So my parents said, ‘You have to promise that you’re not going to switch again.’ So I kept my promise and I’m still playing the cello.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

MetLogo.old.feb2016MetLogo.new.feb2016
Based on a woodcut in its collection by Luca Pacioli (Leonardo da Vinci’s colleague), the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “M” logo (top) has been iconic for 45 years – suggesting the museum’s great hall with its three square chambers topped by circular vaults or the proportional geometries of Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man. Whichever, it has been hailed a classic, conveying what it represents – art, history, and architecture … So what do you think of the new logo (bottom)? Does it look like “a typographic double-decker bus crash” (New York Magazine)? Or Robert Indiana’s “Love” sculpture? Is it clean and modern? Is the red too bold? Does it say: museum? And the two words – did you think it referred to the opera house, also called The Met? Changing a company’s logo generates buzz, even controversy. Will this new logo unify this massive institution’s identity and connect its past to the future, as it is designed to do? Will it endure? Time will tell.

DOG NEWS

Westminster.TimothyA.Clary.AFP.GettyImages.Feb2016

No, the adorable, stubborn, spirited, intelligent, and brave Westie did not win the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show’s Best in Show. That honor went to the German Shorthaired Pointer named CJ. Rumor the German Shepherd, Charlie the Skye Terrier, and Bogey the Samoyed came close. Judge Richard Meen explained, “It’s very important that every dog take me back to what they were bred to do. Pointer CJ never stopped looking, focused in front of him, and he floated around the ring.” … New breeds welcomed in this year included the Bergamasco, Boerboel, Berger Picard, Mini American Shepherd, Spanish Water Dog, and the Lagotto Romagnolo.

DogNews.DavidFrei

Faithful companion. Could be said of dogs, sure, but must also be said of their human ambassador, David Frei. This was the last time he hosted Westminster. But we will still hear his knowledgeable and warmhearted commentary at the National Dog Show … Here he is with Gracie (left) and Angel, for whom his Angel On A Leash organization is named. A human who is synonymous with the love of dogs.

WE CAN HELP

DOgNews.WestminsterPOster.Feb2016

This year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show poster is a 19th century painting by J.M. Tracy, Haunt of the Woodcock: Sensation and Bang Bang. It depicts the Pointer, Westminster Kennel Club’s symbol since 1877 The recipient for the poster sales proceeds is the Warrior Canine Connection. Using Canine Connection Therapy, they help Wounded Warriors learn how to train service dogs for their fellow veterans. By interacting with the dogs from puppyhood to training to adult service dogs, Warrior Trainers benefit from the interaction with the dogs and the veterans with disabilities receive the finest in trained service dogs … By purchasing this poster, we can help bring the healing power of dogs to these heroes.

Soundtrack to this IssueSoundtrack.DowntonAbbey.Feb2016Philip Glass’s Escape! (The Hours OST)

We hear the familiar stirring theme music begin each episode and we know what’s in store. In celebration of Downton Abbey, here’s [hear] something interesting: Downton Abbey’s theme composer, John Lunn, admits he “started out with elements of Philip Glass and I did listen to a lot of English, early 20th century music … But the underlying harmony is actually very simple and perhaps almost a bit like pop music.” … Take a listen to Philip Glass’s Escape from Stephen Daldry’s film, The Hours. Both themes share a similar mood – evocative, moving, and hypnotic.

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:
All You Need Is Love lyrics: John Lennon and Paul McCartney ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Maurice White pic: February 1982, Rob Verhorst, Redferns
Producer Wayne Edwards quote: Roger Thompson, NY Times, February 12, 2016
Maurice White quote: Songwriter Universe, March 28, 2007
Yo-Yo Ma child pic: Adelaide de Menil, New York Magazine, January 12, 2016

Yo-Yo Ma quote: New York Magazine, January 12, 2016
Met logos: Metropolitan Museum of Art
West Highland White Terriers at Westminster pic: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Judge Meen quote: NY Times, February 17, 2016
David Frei pic: Ben Walker/AP
Downton Abbey pic: PBS
John Lunn quote: Hollywood Reporter, September 4, 2012

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?

???????????????????????????????

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

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

IMGP2541.cr.newsltr

“…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

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

27 Apr

APRIL’S ARTS + CRAFTS

Newly minted Ringo.April2015Rock and Roll Hall of Famer Ringo Starr and leader of the All-Starr band, out with Postcards from Paradise“Hold on tight and everything will be all right.” So Beach Boy Brian Wilson reassures us on his latest solo album, No Pier Pressure. Lush melodies? Check. Nonpareil harmonizing? Check. Well-constructed pop tunes? Check. And songs that sound like you’ve been listening to them for years? And check … The formidable and influential Village Voice music critic, Robert Christgau, penned Going Into the City, a memoir recounting the origins of rock criticism, as well as his clear-eyed assessment of 60’s counterculture … Dylan, Cash and the Nashville Cats, the exhibit at the Country Music Hall of Fame and Museum, illuminates the alliance of rock and folk with Nashville in the late 60’s and early 70’s – especially the huge hits that came out of it. Pivotal were Dylan’s Blonde on Blonde, Johnny Cash’s TV show, and the session musicians known as the “Nashville Cats.”

THE WEIGHT

A sure sign Paperweight.Apr2015.crof spring are flowers. And none more wondrous than those found in the floral paperweight collection at the Art Institute of Chicago. “Some fragment of a dream,” as Truman Capote described them, even taking along a few with him on his travels …

Paperweight artist Paul Stankard exemplifies the craftsmanship of this art form, calling it “poetry suspended in crystal.” This is his Honey Bee Swarm with Flowers and Fruit, featured at AIC.

ABOUT MUSIC WITH CARLY SIMON

Carly Simon justCarly.Apr2015 released The Bedroom Tapes (Special Edition) featuring tracks that weren’t on the original 2000 CD. The album’s name refers to where these songs were recorded, in her daughter’s old bedroom now a studio …

She talked about “honest emotions” with Philip Galanes in the New York Times: “I think music may be stronger than any of the other arts for that, than dance or painting or theater. There’s something intangible and mysterious about music. It can get you more; you can sob more. It’s got a stronger engine.” Both agreed that music was “related to the heartbeat.”

FOREVER JOAN

The JoanRiversAlbum.Apr2015.2Next to Last Joan Rivers Album (Buddah Records 1969), out of print 45 years, was re-released by Stand Up! Records for this year’s Record Store Day (April 18). From a set she did at NYC’s Upstairs at the Downstairs in 1968 – talking about diamond rings, being single, cooking, nurses, and stewardesses – it’s remixed and remastered with a new essay by Sarah Silverman.

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.R+RHallOfFame.Apr2015.cr-use“The name of the museum is as big as its mission.” …

This is how Bono describes the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. You’ll learn the stories of the people, artifacts, and events that shaped rock and roll. Through Museum exhibits, materials in its Library and Archives, traveling exhibitions, and educational programs and activities, you’ll get inspired.

BrianWilson.April2015

Soundtrack to this Issue is
Brian Wilson’s The Right Time
From his new album No Pier Pressure (Capitol)

C’mon, sing along:
Yeah, it’s new, but you’ll be singing it within seconds!

Whatever happened to me and you
And everything we’ve been going through
So many pieces but never in a very straight line

Right could it be the right
Could it be the right time
For getting together
Right could it be the right
Could it be the right time
I’m thinking forever

 

Who rescued whom?Delivery.10.29.14.happiness.crSo 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:
Paperweight pic: Paul Stankard’s “Honey Bee Swarm with Flowers and Fruit” (2012), Art Institute of Chicago
Truman Capote quote: from his essay, “The White Rose”
Paul Stankard quote: CBS News Sunday Morning
Carly Simon quote: Table for Three, The NY Times, April 26, 2015
The Right Time lyrics: Joe Thomas, Brian Wilson (Capitol Records)

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

26 Mar

ARE YOU INSPIRED?

marvin-gaye-got-to-give-it-up.tamla.Mar2015

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” (Jack London) …

A jury ruled that Blurred Lines copied elements of Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give It Up, requiring Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke pay $7.3 million to Gaye’s heirs for copyright infringement. “The verdict handicaps any creator who is making something that might be inspired by something else…fashion, music, design, anything. This is about protecting the intellectual rights of people who have ideas. Everything that’s around you in a room was inspired by something or someone. If you kill that, there’s no creativity.” So says Pharrell Williams after the decision …

What does inspire mean? (verb) 1. to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence 2. to produce or arouse (a feeling, thought) 3. to influence or impel 4. to communicate or suggest by a divine or supernatural influence 5. to give rise to, bring about, cause … From the 14th century Old French, to influence with an idea or purpose;  inhale, breathe in …

“As an artist you want to record songs you feel strongly about…” A life filled with sadness, abuse, depression, and loss, Marvin Gaye found inspiration from what he saw around him and what he lived through. His songs reflected his concerns about poverty, discrimination, politics, drug addiction, and the environment. Motown founder Berry Gordy says of Gaye, “The truest artist I’ve ever known. Whatever he was going through in his life he put on records. So if you want to know Marvin just listen to one of his records.” … One may hold fast to the enduring resonance of What’s Going On, Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), and Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler), songs by an inspired and inspiring artist …

Let’s also keep in mind what Bob Dylan said, “Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it.” His are our last words.

CHANGES AT THE PHIL

PART 1: THE OPERATOR

Agent, manager, recording executive, film producer, and philanthropist, David Geffen is donating $100 million to renovate david-geffen.Mar2015and rename Avery Fisher Hall, becoming David Geffen Hall this September with the start of the New York Philharmonic’s 2015-16 season … Geffen made his mark in the music biz finding talent and building record companies to nurture that talent. He received the Ahmet Ertegun Lifetime Achievement Award from one of his early artists Jackson Browne at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. Of his success he said, “I have no talent except for the ability to enjoy and recognize it in others.”

Being shrewd is crucial to succeed, as this story from his bio, The Operator, shows. When John Lennon wanted to get back to recording, every label wanted to sign him. Upset that Yoko was not respected, John had her answer the phone calls. All the record execs “dismissed her rudely and demanded to speak with Lennon. Each time, Lennon directed Ono to hang up.” Although he didn’t know her, Geffen “shrewdly figured out that she was the decision maker…he sent her a telegram and asked for a meeting with her.” Seeing that it was addressed to her, John said, “He’s the one we’ll go with.”

By the way, did you know David Geffen started out in the mailroom at William Morris?

PART 2: THE MAESTRO

AlanGilbert.Mar2015The Philharmonic announced that music director Alan Gilbert will be stepping down in 2017 after eight seasons. The first native New Yorker to hold the post and the son of two of its players, he expanded the Orchestra’s repertory and its activities, developing CONTACT!, premiering new scores, and the NY Philharmonic Biennial, exploring modern composers … Especially inspiring (yes!) were his programs, La Dolce Vita: Music of Italian Cinema with Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, and Josh Groban, and Philharmonic 360, where the Orchestra surrounded the audience in the cavernous Park Avenue Armory, playing Boulez, Mozart, and Ives … His entrepreneurial energy and pioneering spirit has inspired the Orchestra and its audiences. Bravo, Maestro!

THE BACK-UP PLAN

You’ll find inspiration in the documentary, The Wrecking Crew, about the studio musicians behind The Beach Boys, The WreckingCrew.Mar2015Monkees, Sonny & Cher, The Mamas and the Papas, and my fave, The Association (Windy!) – the sound of 1960s LA soft rock. In it, Nancy Sinatra says, “The musicians were really the unsung heroes of all those hit records.” … What’s really cool is what media specialist Howard Homonoff has to say about the doc. In his Forbes article, Howard points out the film’s “real lesson is about being open to finding creativity and innovation in unlikely places – not just in music but far beyond.” Read it just to learn his takeaways – partnership makes good business and that there’s nothing that talent, experience, and professionalism can beat. Follow him, his articles are great … And oh yeah, teamwork can be inspiring.

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.Vans+ASPCA.Mar2015

Vans launched a new collection of shoes, shirts, hats, and bags featuring dog and cat patterns to support the ASPCA. The shoes are available for purchase now at vans.com and select footwear retailers.

Soundtrack to this Issue isWindy.TheAssociation.Mar2015.b

Windy by The Association
#1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart, July 1967

C’mon, sing along:
Who’s peekin’ out from under a stairway
Calling a name that’s lighter than air
Who’s bending down to give me a rainbow
Everyone knows it’s Windy

Who’s tripping down the streets of the city
Smilin’ at everybody she sees
Who’s reachin’ out to capture a moment
Everyone knows it’s Windy

And Windy has stormy eyes
That flash at the sound of lies
And Windy has wings to fly
Above the clouds (Above the clouds)
Above the clouds (Above the clouds)

Who rescued whom?Delivery.10.29.14.happiness.cr

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:
Pharrell Williams quote: Rolling Stone, March 19, 2015
Marvin Gaye quote: Marvin Gaye fan page website
Berry Gordy quote: This is Rebel Music by Harvey Kubernik (University of New Mexico Press, 2004)
David Geffen pic: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2010
David Geffen quote: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2010
John Lennon story: The Operator by Tom King (Random House, 2000), pages 311-312
Alan Gilbert illustration: New York Times Book Review/Jillian Tamaki
Windy lyrics: Mildred J. Hill, Patty Smith Hill, Ruthann Friedman, © Irving Music Inc., Summy-birchard Company

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

25 Feb

DOGS TAKE THE LEAD IN FEBRUARY

SoBestInShow1942.westie.Feb2015 it was that the Westie won the 1942 Westminster Best in Show! Terriers have won more than any other group. The wonderful David Frei explains it’s their assertive nature. “Goldens and Labs (both have no wins) are looking at their people as if to say, ‘What are we going to do now?’ Terriers have a little bit more of an edge because they were originally bred to look for trouble. They’re always on their toes trying to find out what’s going on next, and they don’t care who’s behind them.” … Then there’s showmanship. That’s the ability to grab the attention of everyone watching, including the judge, and that’s the icing on the dog biscuit … The Metropolitan Museum of Art got hit with dog fever, too, acquiring a marble sculpture of a Maltese from 1782 donated by Barbara Walters in honor of Cha Cha, her beloved Havanese who died last year. Such largesse (it cost her $300,000) because, “I know everybody feels this, but Cha Cha was the best dog in the world.” Don’t we all feel that way? And isn’t each of us right? Oh, and as for its setting, the Met says: “It does have its place here, at a museum in Central Park, where thousands of dogs take their constitutionals every day.”

JOURNALISTS MAKE THE NEWS

You couldn’t watch the news without hearing about the loss of a newsman, one way or another. Each one DavidCarr.Feb2015maddeningly sad. For me, losing the NY Times’ David Carr is losing that articulate voice I turned to for an unvarnished perspective. His words always moved me, a storyteller telling the truth with invincible wonder, honesty, and humanity. To David Carr, respect worked both ways – to and from his audience. And with generosity ever present … In his penultimate Media Equation column, he wrote about Brian Williams: “I don’t know if Mr. Williams will lose his job. I don’t think he should, his transgressions were not a fundamental part of his primary responsibilities … We want our anchors to be everywhere, to be impossibly famous, globe-trotting, hilarious, down-to-earth, and above all, trustworthy. It’s a job description that no one can match.” … Finally, his colleague at the Times, A.O. Scott memorialized him thus: “He was a collector of personalities and anecdotes, a shrewd and compassionate judge of character. A warrior for the truth.” … Amen.

GRAMMY IS THE WORD

Sam Smith’s Stay With Me which came under controversy weeks before the GRAMMY show when it Grammy_logo.Feb2015was ruled that Tom Petty would receive a songwriting credit because of the song’s similarities to TP’s I Won’t Back Down (see January Newsletter), ended up with four Grammys. In accepting he said, “It was only when I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen.”Stunning. Powerful. Fearless. That would be Annie Lennox whose performance (with Hozier) stole the show … Another show stealer was Tom Jones singing (with Jessie J) the Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’Prince goaded, “Albums, remember those?” Oh yes, and we still have all yours … Through joyful tears, we note Joan Rivers posthumously won the Best Spoken Word Album Grammy for her Diary of a Mad Diva … And honoring Bob Dylan at the MusiCares gala, you might like to know that President Jimmy Carter said, “Bob Dylan’s words on peace and human rights are much more incisive and much more powerful than those of any President of the United States.” Talk about speaking truth to power!

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.AKCHumaneFund.Feb2015Every dog deserves a good home. The AKC Humane Fund protects pets, supports pet organizations, finds forever homes for dogs across the country, rehabilitates dogs with special needs, has domestic abuse shelters that offer safe havens to victims and their pets, and offers aid to animal shelters that provide pets temporary homes during disasters. Donate now so that every dog lives a happy, healthy life.

Soundtrack to this Issue is
Soundtrack.AnnieLennoxNostalgia.Feb2015
Annie Lennox singing
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ classic I Put a Spell on You
from her new album, Nostalgia

C’mon, sing along:
I put a spell on you
Because you’re mine
Because you’re mine
Because you’re mine

Who rescued whom?Delivery.10.29.14.happiness.cr So grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to
Westie Rescue of New England.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
IMGP2541.cr.newsltr
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Westminster pic: AKC Archives
David Frei quote: Westminster Kennel Club
Metropolitan Museum of Art and Barbara Walters: New York Times
David Carr pic: Adweek ZUMA Press/Newscom
David Carr quote: NY Times, The Media Equation, February 8, 2015
A.O. Scott quote: NY Times, An Appraisal, Friday, February 13, 2015
Jimmy Carter quote: EW.com, February 20, 2015
Grammy logo: Grammy.com/Take40
Pug pic: AKC Humane Fund
I Put a Spell On You lyrics: Jalacy Hawkins ©1956 Alfred Music/EMI Unart Catalog Inc.

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

31 Jul

A WHOLE LOTTA MUSIC IN JULY

She is loved! Linda Ronstadt received the National Medal of Arts at the White House from President Obama, who revealed, “I had aLindaRonstadt.NatlMedalOfArts.July2014.cr-use 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!”

WEIRD AL RULES


“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.”

WE CAN HELP DOGS!

ElayneBoosler.omg-im-adopted.July2014

“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!

Barknado.ASPCA.July2014

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

Broadwaybarkscalendar.July2014

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!

LindaRonstadt.AsylumRecordspic.July2014
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
IMGP2541.cr.newsltr“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
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

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.

PeterGabriel.SoTour

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.”

 

Source:
Pic: personal archives

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