Tag Archives: Billy Joel

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

29 Nov

VALOR + HONOR = SPIRIT OF NOVEMBER

Stevie Wonder honored with the Presidential Medal of Freedom … Speaking of, he played his 1976US-POLITICS-MEDAL OF FREEDOM-STEVIE WONDER album Songs in the Key of Life from start to finish at Madison Square Garden … Billy Joel is the sixth recipient of the Library of Congress Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. Who also got this? Stevie Wonder … The Concert for Valor on Veteran’s Day in D.C. featured Bruce Springsteen, Eminem, and Metallica honoring our troops …Speaking of, Bruce releases new box set Bruce Springsteen: The Album Collection Vol. 1, 1973-1984, includes re-mastered editions of his first seven studio albums, recreations of original artwork and a book of rare memorabilia … American Arts Trust launched the American Veterans Art Wall, a virtual wall where U.S. veterans can submit their own creative expressions … Queen Forever features three previously unreleased tracks with Freddie Mercury on vocals, including a collaboration with Michael Jackson … Joni Mitchell’s Love Has Many Faces: A Quartet, A Ballet, Waiting To Be Danced FenderStrat.Nov2014contains 53 re-mastered songs spanning her career. “I am a painter who writes songs. My songs are very visual. The words create scenes.” … In her latest album, It’s The Girls, Bette Midler plays the music of girl groups like Be My Baby, One Fine Day, and You Can’t Hurry Love. Hurry and get it … Arlo Bloodhound.Nov2014Guthrie’s annual Thanksgiving concert at Carnegie Hall … Bob Marley tribute concert at the Apollo celebrates the 35th anniversary of his debut there … Guitars and good deeds: Fender Music Foundation benefit concerts provide instruments for classrooms and music therapy programs, City Winery hosts Guitar Mash, 350+ pros and amateurs perform together, raising money for music education concerts, and Wall Street Rocks concerts benefit ReserveAid, supporting reservists and National Guard members deployed abroad … Winner of the National Dog Show is Nathan the Bloodhound. “He kisses everybody he meets and doesn’t know a stranger – he makes me smile every day.”

MUSIC ON FILM

Dead.Nov2014Great directors on great musicians: Martin Scorsese is producing a documentary on the Grateful Dead in honor of the band’s 50th anniversary. “The Grateful Dead were more than just a band. They were their own planet, populated by millions of devoted fans. I’m very happy that this picture is being made and proud to be involved.” … Ron Howard to direct a feature documentary on The Beatles, focusing on the period from 1960 to 1966. “These guys looked and sounded different, and were absolutely explosive to watch. The girls were screaming. It was this flash of genius and uniqueness, but they were also relate-able.” … In the Mick Jagger-produced Alex Gibney doc, Mr. Dynamite: The Rise of James Brown about the Godfather of Soul’s life, career, and musical legacy, Jagger says he “tried to steal everything [from Brown] I could possibly do.”

WE CAN HELP

Delivery.10.29.14.happiness.cr

“Here comes the sun…” So grateful for Barkley coming into my life. Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England. Who rescued whom?

NatlSearchDog.Oct2014National Disaster Search Dog Foundation raising money to build a permanent national training center for search dogs on 125 acres in California … PACT for Animals provides temporary, free, in-home foster care for the pets of deployed military personnel and hospital patients and their families … Pilots N Paws is a meeting place for those who rescue, shelter or foster animals, and volunteer pilots and plane owners willing to assist with the transportation of animals.

StevieWonder.soundtracksunshine.Nov2014

Soundtrack to this Issue is
You Are the Sunshine of My Life by Stevie Wonder
(Stevie Wonder performing at The Motown Sound: In Performance at the White House,
celebrating Black History Month, February 24, 2011.)

C’mon, sing along:
You are the sunshine of my life
That’s why I’ll always be around,
You are the apple of my eye,
Forever you’ll stay in my heart

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

 

Sources:
Stevie Wonder pic: MANDEL NGAN/AFP/Getty Images
Bloodhound pic: AKC
Bloodhound quote: The Baltimore Sun
Grateful Dead pic: stereogum.com
Martin Scorsese quote: relix.com
Ron Howard quote: deadline.com
Search dog pic: Search Dog Foundation
You Are the Sunshine of My Life lyrics: Stevie Wonder, writer/©Black-bull-music Inc., Jobete Music Co. 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

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

30 Apr

APRIL STRONG

Record Store Day reminded us how great vinyl is and will always be. The good news is that indie stores around the country are Records.LucyLinusgrowing. Sad news is J&R closed … Robert Moog was surely smiling down on Asheville, NC, where his great invention was celebrated at the five-day festival Moogfest 2014. Brings back memories of ELP’s Brain Salad Surgery, doesn’t it? … Welcomed into the Library of Congress’s National Recording Registry were the original cast recording of Sweeney Todd, Jeff Buckley’s cover of Leonard Cohen’s Hallelujah, Isaac Hayes’s theme from Shaft, and Linda Ronstadt’s Heart Like A WheelJill Sobule’s new album, Dottie’s Charms, was inspired by an old charm bracelet she got as a gift. She asked Jonathan Lethem, Luc Sante, and other authors to write lyrics based on each of the charms … Former French first lady, Carla Bruni at Town Hall singing folk-pop ballads from her Little French Songs album … Billy Joel showed up at a Long Island elementary school concert and sat in the back of the auditorium … PBS’s In Performance at the White House: Women of Soul featured Aretha, Patti, and others paying homage to their musical “foremothers” … “It’s quite nonintellectual and nonverbal; it’s just – feeling,” on his songwriting process in Bruce Springsteen’s High Hopes HBO documentary … Guys and Dolls at Carnegie Hall with Nathan Lane. Amen … Aerosmith’s Dream On remix with a children’s chorus for the Boston Marathon made for a mighty inspiring anthem … And the Blood Moon glowed crimson.

TO KILL A MOCKINGBIRD

“I’m still old-fashioned. I love dusty old books and libraries. This is Mockingbird for a new generation.” So said Harper Lee on ToKillAMockingbird.HarperLeeher 88th birthday, finally allowing a Kindle version of To Kill A Mockingbird … In 2006, Lee wrote an open letter to Oprah Winfrey’s O magazine that discussed her love of books.

“[In] an abundant society where people have laptops, iPods, and minds like empty rooms, I still plod along with books. Instant information is not for me: I still prefer to search library stacks because when I work to learn something, I remember it. And Oprah, can you imagine curling up in bed to read a computer? Weeping for Anna Karenina and being terrified by Hannibal Lecter, entering the heart of darkness with Mistah Kurtz, having Holden Caulfield ring you up–some things should happen on soft pages, not cold metal.”

WE CAN HELP

In recognition of the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts’ exhibit Ladies and Gentlemen…The Beatles.sneakers.4.30.14.crBeatles! in honor of the 50th anniversary of the group’s coming to America, consider making a donation to support their great efforts. Besides lots of Beatles tchotchkes, there were instruments, posters, photographs, interviews, correspondence from 1964 to 1966, and special events and films. I was thrilled to see the original promoter agreements for their American tour. The Performing Arts Library has always been a huge part of my life. Become a NYPL member, donate, or volunteer … For her 90th birthday, Doris Day asked in lieu of flowers, send a donation to her pet foundation, the Doris Day Animal League.

ELP.BrainSaladSurgery.4.30.14

Soundtrack to this Issue is
Emerson, Lake and Palmer’s Still You Turn Me On
From their album, Brain Salad Surgery (great title!).
Then listen to Greg Lake’s version with just an acoustic guitar.

IMGP2541.cr.newsltr

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

 

Sources:
Harper Lee letter to Oprah: May 7, 2006 published in O magazine’s July “special summer reading issue”
Beatles sneaker pic: New York Public Library for the Performing Arts

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

30 Dec

DECEMBER = INSPIRATION + HOPE

A heartfelt thank you for your friendship, partnership, and support. I Dec13.inspireMugappreciate our connection. There was meaningful conversation and helpful advice. Changes, too. Which led to adapting. Which led to even more changes. Such is the cycle of our lives. I look forward to learning even more from you and sharing more news and ideas with you in 2014. Let’s continue to inspire each other!

INSPIRING MUSIC…

Always inspiring, Handel’s Messiah at the NY Philharmonic. Making his NY Phil debut, Maestro Andrew Manze, with the Westminster Dec13.HandelsMessiahSymphonic Choir. And oh yes, everyone stood at Hallelujah. The soprano’s Air from Romans spoke to the season of hope: “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”…Bruce Springsteen brought us High Hopes, from his new album due January 14…And his Born to Run handwritten lyrics sold for $197,000 at auction…But wait, at the same auction, Yoko Ono’s typed manuscript (with handwritten notes) of her 1964 book, Grapefruit, sold for $485,000…Beyoncé out with a new marketing strategy, I mean no marketing strategy, no, I mean a new album – announced solely on Instagram – 14 songs, 17 videos, zero promotion. Social media + digital music distribution = a new way to do it…SeaWorld in Orlando saw concert cancellations by Willie Nelson, REO Speedwagon, Martina McBride, and Cheap Trick, over keeping whales in captivity…Remember Boston? Now it’s mostly Tom Scholz, an original techie, playing all the instruments on Life, Love and Hope. There’s a title with more than a feelingKennedy Center honorees included Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel, Martina Arroyo, and Carlos Santana…Speaking of. A NY institution merged with another NY institution: Billy Joel is Madison Square Garden’s first entertainment franchise. Hey, maybe some of his homegrown NY spirit will rub off on their Knicks franchise…New Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are KISS, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens, and Linda Ronstadt. Also, the E Street Band, Brian Epstein and Andrew Loog Oldham. Very cool list…Neil Young’s new release is really an old one from a 1970 solo acoustic tour, Live at the Cellar DoorDec13.Peter&TheWolfProkofiev’s enduring Peter & the Wolf, this one narrated, designed, and directed by the inspiring Isaac Mizrahi, set in Central Park, with the Juilliard Ensemble, and presented at the Guggenheim, a true NY holiday tradition…And Maestro Gilbert offers another NY tradition, the NY Phil’s New Year’s Eve Celebration, with classical comedy music duo, Igudesman & Joo. Bringing in the new year with laughter and music. Sounds perfect.

WHAT’S UP, DOCS? MUSIC!

HBO’s Six by Sondheim views the composer’s career through new versions of six of his classic songs, by some pretty great performers Dec13.MarvinHamlishincluding Audra McDonald and Darren Criss…PBS gave us Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love, a view of the artist whose life was totally devoted to music. Did you know he auditioned for Juilliard when he was 6?…And our fave doc of the year, 20 Feet From Stardom, an admiring ode to the never to be ever forgotten back-up singers, is on the shortlist for an Oscar.

GOOD BOOKS

Dec13.TheInterestingsMeg Wolitzer’s The Interestings resonates for all of us who went to a performing arts camp or school because it was part of our DNA and it would lead to our life’s passion and lifelong friends…The young protagonist of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch has a lot on his plate. His level-headedness and plain-spokenness keeps you riveted in his journey…In Johnny Cash: The Life, Robert Hilburn’s portrait tallies with what Bob Dylan said of Cash, “if we want to know what it means to be mortal, we need look no further than the Man in Black.”Beatles vs. Stones by historian John McMillan makes the case for each…And Mark Lewisohn’s first volume of his Beatles trilogy All These Years, Tune In, arrived in a glorious (almost) 1,000-page package. He tracks their beginnings up to December 31, 1962. Make room on your shelf.

WE CAN HELP

Dec13.ASPCA.mug.1

The ASPCA Adoption Center does good work. Each precious dog has a bed, blanket, toys, and coat. Each is cleaned, evaluated, and cared for. Cats, too. The ASPCA Love is a Treat mug is a great way to show your love, while making a meaningful purchase. Donate to ASPCA.

LAST WORDS

Change is hard. Everyone agrees this is so. This year brought each of us changes that were expected and unexpected, welcome and unwelcome. We adapt to some. Others we struggle through. Hope gives us the strength to persevere. Friends and colleagues provide inspiration…“Strange fascination, fascinating me, Ah changes are taking the pace I’m going through. Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes.”…Here’s to changes. And here’s to welcoming them…Cheers to a happy peaceful new year.

Dec13.DavidBowieChangesSoundtrack to this Issue is David Bowie’s Changes

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

Sources:
Marvin Hamlisch pic: PBS American Masters
Changes lyrics: words and music by David Bowie (EMI Music Publishing)

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