Tag Archives: Best In Show

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

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.

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

27 Feb

FAB FEBRUARY

Downton Abbey’s Season 4 was surely enlightening, thrilling, and quite satisfying. Now we wait a year to learn who DowntonAbbey.2.27.14Lady Mary chooses and how Carson and Mrs. Hughes liked the water … Johnny’s daughter, Roseanne Cash, released The River & the Thread, a meditation on folk and country by way of a southern state of mind. And she performed her dad’s songs on his signature Martin guitars at the Metropolitan Museum, tied in with the exhibit on Martin’s early guitars … Carnegie Hall presented the first Isaac Stern Memorial Concert with Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax playing Brahms … Hope you got to hear Dianne Reeves at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Her voice, her poise – she is one in a million. On Beautiful Life, she sings Fleetwood Mac and Marvin Gaye … The NY Philharmonic celebrated the Chinese New Year with Tan Dun’s The Triple Resurrection: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Hero; and The BanquetThe Apollo turned 80 and celebrated with Doug E. Fresh hosting their famous Amateur NightLadysmith Black Mambazo, you know, from Paul Simon’s Graceland, well, they brought their magnificent a cappella chorus to BB King Blues Club. Their album, Live: Singing for Peace Around the World, just won a Grammy. Spreading the good word in harmony, that’s what they do … And farewell for real to City Opera with a grand concert that celebrated 70 Years of the People’s Opera. Placido Domingo showed up, too, after all it’s where he made his NYC debut. Put on by the musicians and choristers, they ensured that proceeds benefited the NYC Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund (Local 802). A classy way to go out. Bravo.

BEATLEMANIA

It was 50 years ago todayThe Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 and the anniversary of theirBeatles.Love.vbb55 arrival in the US was not forgotten … The Grammys offered a tribute concert featuring Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Joe Walsh and Jeff Lynne, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Eurythmics, and oh yeah, Paul and Ringo … Donovan and Peter Asher talked about Beatlemania at the 92Y … The Library for the Performing Arts’s exhibit, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Beatles!, features tour memorabilia, historic film clips and video interviews. The Library held a debate, Beatles vs. Rolling Stones. Mike Myers stood up for the Beatles and NPR’s Ophira Eisenberg with Bill Janovitz, musician and author of a Stones book, spoke for well, y’know. Assembled by the Grammy Museum, catch it before it goes May 10 … Like their melodies, lyrics, and harmonies, the Fab Four’s cultural and musical legacy lives on and on and on and on, across the universe.

DOG MANIA

Every February welcomes the hounds. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show celebrates our companions, our champions. It’s our chance to see the wondrous magnificent variety of the dog world, where we are guided by the knowledgeable and passionate David Frei, who celebrated 25 years as our host. Three new breeds were introduced: WestminsterDog.2.27.14.bChinook, Rat Terrier, and Portuguese Podengo Pequeno – loved him! This year offered something extra. The Agility Championship, where the dogs go through steeple-chase maneuvers, included for the first time mixed-breeds. Congrats to our new champ, Sky, the magnificent Wire Fox Terrier – the breed’s 14th Best in Show win, more than any other breed. Terriers rule –with 46 wins, the most of any group. Asked why Terriers win so much, David said, “Terriers were bred to look for trouble…gives them an edge to their performance in the ring…It’s their world and we’re just living in it.” Tell me about it.

REMEMBERING PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

I will always remember this great actor’s roles in three music-related movies. In A Late Quartet, he played the secondphilip-seymour-hoffman.2.27.14.br violinist in a string quartet famous for playing Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14, opus 131. In Almost Famous, he was the renowned rock critic, Lester Bangs. And in Pirate Radio, he made us believe that he could save the world with rock ‘n roll radio. In each of these roles, he showed us his character’s pain, his truth, his humanity. Baring his own at the same time.

WE CAN HELP

Angel-on-a-Leash.9.30.13.crWe know how much dogs can help to alleviate stress and suffering that patients and their families experience when dealing with illness. Angel On A Leash was founded by the host of the Westminster Dog Show, David Frei, to provide the best therapy dog programs in health care facilities, schools, rehabilitation, and hospice. Learn how you can help or donate.

 Hey-Jude-45.2.27.14

Soundtrack to this Issue is
The Beatles’s Hey Jude
C’mon, sing along:
Hey, Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

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

 Sources:
Downton Abbey pic: DowntonAbbeyOnline
Beatles pic: vbb55
Best in Show pic: Ben Hider/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty images
David Frei quote:
ESPN interview
Philip Seymour Hoffman pic: The Well-Tempered Ear

Hey Jude lyrics: Sony/ATV Music Publishing

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