Tag Archives: Bono

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

29 Jun

JUNE BEGINS WITH A “J”

JamesTaylor.TimeMag.June2105“J” for James. His first album of new material in thirteen years, James Taylor brings us Before This World. “Purity of expression — it’s a rare and precious commodity in pop music, particularly in singing. After more than a decade of juiced-up vocal showdowns on TV, and more years of Top 40 crooners wallowing in melisma and melodrama, it is nothing short of a relief to hear a simple, moving lyric relayed simply and movingly.” Amen to that … JT believes in the power of live performance: “When you go to a concert with 2000 like-minded people and dedicate three hours to listening to a program that’s been made just for you, there’s some kind of common experience there that has real power, I think.” … And hard to believe, this is his first album to reach #1 on the Billboard charts!

THE DEAD LIVES

Garcia+Hunter.1963.June2015Garcia+Hunter.SongwriterHall.June2015They met at a local production of Damn Yankees in Palo Alto when they were teenagers. Then Jerry Garcia formed the Grateful Dead in the mid-60s, and he wrote the band’s music and Robert Hunter its lyrics. You know the songs – Casey Jones, Sugar Magnolia (my fave!), Ripple, China Cat Sunflower, Uncle John’s Band, Truckin’ (recognized by the US Library of Congress as a national treasure!), Dark Star, Touch Of Grey, Friend Of the Devil, and on and on and on. Now they’re honored as new inductees into the Songwriters Hall of Fame … To commemorate the Dead’s 50th anniversary, the surviving “core four” members have reunited for its final Fare Thee Well concerts in Chicago and Santa Clara, CA … In September, they will release an 80-disc box set Thirty Trips Around The Sun (Rhino) featuring 30 unreleased live shows … “Truckin’ got my chips cashed in, Keep truckin’, like the do-dah man, Together, more or less in line, just keep truckin’ on.” It’s what they do best.

MUSIC APPRECIATION PART 1: LOVE AND MERCY

LoveAndMercy.poster640x949.June2015.cr-useBrian Wilson was on The View to talk about his new album, No Pier Pressure and Love and Mercy, the new film portraying his life and music. Whoopie Goldberg asks him: “When you are writing music, one of the things we see in the film is music coming out to you sort of full. Very much like we’ve heard Mozart heard music. Do you still hear it that way?” Brian: “Sometimes I don’t hear it at all…Sometimes I can hear a full record produced by Brian Wilson.” Whoopie: “The piece that saved me was In My Room [tearing up] thank you for everything.” Thanks, Whoopie, you said it for all of us.

MUSIC APPRECIATION PART 2: LENNY

Lenny.June2015Conducting the New York Philharmonic in April 1972, Leonard Bernstein said of this photograph: “Taken at the Royal Albert Hall early in my career this image has always seemed to me to epitomize the inexpressible ecstasy that music can induce in both the listener and performer.” … Did you know that his dad discouraged him from pursuing music? Sam preferred he run the family’s hair and beauty business. It’s well-known that after his son’s famous Carnegie Hall debut in 1943, Sam was asked if it was true that he had refused to pay for his piano lessons. “Well, how was I to know he’d turn out to be Leonard Bernstein?” … It turns out, not so! From a letter just found from 1941, he secretly wrote to the future Maestro’s mentor, Serge Koussevitzky: “…from fatherly instinct [and] every outward indication, it is quite obvious that Leonard is…preoccupied with the work which he centers his every thought: MUSIC … I am appealing to you to find some opportunity for Leonard so that it will be possible for him to continue with his first Love: MUSIC … My chief concern is to find some haven for Leonard where he may continue with his work and know happiness.” … This Russian immigrant father wanted two things for his son: the American Dream and happiness.

AMERICAN BEAUTY

MistyCopeland.June2015Love, fate, tragedy, forgiveness. Tchaikovsky’s Swan Lake is the very definition of ballet. Performed by the American Ballet Theater at the equally celebrated Met Opera House, ovations went to Misty Copeland who made her New York debut in the lead dual roles of Odette and Odile. Sure it may be a historic moment in ballet, but really it’s just a great moment because Misty is simply just great.

DOG NEWS

DogNews.AKCbreeds.June2015The American Kennel Club added three breeds: the Berger Picard, the Lagotto Romagnolo, and the Miniature American Shepherd. Two are herding dogs from France and the US, and one a sporting dog from Italy. In fact, the Lagotto Romagnolo possesses a rare talent as the “only purebred dog in the world recognized as a specialized truffle searcher.” That can come in handy when you’re walking him in Central Park. Calling Chef Mario Batali!

WE CAN HELP

Bono.June2015U2’s Bono revealed the reason for the sunglasses: he has suffered from glaucoma for two decades. It’s a disorder that causes damage of the optic nerve and can worsen over time. Bono plans to help battle unnecessary blindness in the developing world … According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation it is common in people over 60. Bono’s early diagnosis is rare and wearing sunglasses is a treatment and preventative action in itself. The GRF’s mission is to improve the lives of glaucoma patients and to fund innovative research to find a cure. There are 120,000 people in the US who are blind from glaucoma. Your donation will help them.

Soundtrack to this IssueSoundtrack.AmericanBeauty.June2015Let’s honor the Dead’s 50 years and Garcia + Hunter!
Grateful Dead’s Sugar Magnolia
from American Beauty (Warner Bros. Records 1970)

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

Sugar Magnolia blossom’s blooming
Head’s all empty and I don’t care
Saw my baby down by the river
Knew she’d have to come up soon for air…

Sunshine daydream
Walking through the tall trees
Going where the wind goes
Blooming like a red rose
Breathing more freely
Light out singing
I’ll walk you in the morning sunshine
Sunshine daydream
Walk you in the sunshine

 

Who rescued whom????????????????????????????????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:
James Taylor’s Time Magazine March 1, 1971 cover credit: J. H. Breslow
James Taylor commentary quote: USA Today
James Taylor performance quote: USA Today
Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia pic #1: wheresthatsoundcomingfrom.com

Robert Hunter and Jerry Garcia pic #2: Jay Blakesberg
Truckin’ lyrics: Robert Hall Weir, Jerome J. Garcia, Philip Lesh, Robert C. Hunter ©Ice Nine Publishing Co. Inc.
Leonard Bernstein pic: ©Clive Barda/ArenaPAL
Sam Bernstein quotes: Prelude, Fugue & Riffs, Spring/Summer 2015
Misty Copeland pic: ©Darren Thomas/QPAC
Dog News pic: AKC/AP
Dog News quote: AKC press statement
Bono pic: AP
Sugar Magnolia lyrics: Robert Hall Weir, Robert C. Hunter ©Ice Nine Publishing Co. Inc.

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)

Before Bono There Was Satchmo

4 Aug

Louis Armstrong, jazz trumpeter and singer known affectionately as Satchmo, was born on August 4, 1901, 112 years ago today in New Orleans, LA. He rose from playing big bands, to appearing in movies, to playing world tours. In 1949, he was the first jazz musician to appear on Time magazine’s cover.

Performing together in 1956 with the NY Philharmonic, Maestro Leonard Bernstein said this to the audience about Armstrong: “… what he does is real and true and honest and simple and even noble.”

He wasn’t only talking about his music. By breaking barriers along his way, Satchmo transcended his place in music to an equally significant place on the world stage. Touring Africa, Europe, and Asia on behalf of the U.S. State Department, he became known as Ambassador Satch.

But he was having second thoughts about a goodwill tour to the Soviet Union. On September 17, 1957 he spoke to a journalist before a concert in Little Rock, Arkansas, criticizing President Eisenhower’s inaction over school desegregation there. He made his position clear: “The way they are treating my people in the South, the government can go to hell … The people over there ask me what’s wrong with my country. What am I supposed to say?”

What a splash his comments made in the papers across the country. Some people criticized him and boycotted his concerts, others backed him and cheered him. He cancelled that Soviet tour. And what happened next was a marvel. On September 24, President Eisenhower sent paratroopers from the 101st Airborne into Little Rock, and the next day soldiers escorted the nine students into Central High School. Armstrong sent a wire to the president: “If you decide to walk into the schools … take me along, Daddy. God bless you.”

We admire musicians who take a stand for human rights. Today, Bono is one of the best examples of an artist who uses his celebrity for good causes. Back in the middle of the last century, Ambassador Satchmo’s actions made a difference. In fact, inspired by Armstrong’s ability to bring people of different colors together, in 1967 songwriters Bob Thiele and George David Weiss wrote What a Wonderful World just for him. How apt that it is one of his most popular and enduring recordings.

LouisArmstrongSatchmo.thegreat

 

Source:
Leonard Bernstein quote: Satchmo the Great (1957) documentary/CBS Sunday Morning, August 4, 2013
Little Rock: David Margolick/NY Times, September 23, 2007

 

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