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

25 Feb

FEBRUARY MADE ME SHIVER

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LIGHT SHOW

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“Shall we go, you and I while we can,
Through the transitive nightfall of diamonds?”

On February 10, the night sky gave us a spectacular show. A comet, eclipse, and a full moon –– a rare triple header all at the same time! It started with February’s full moon, called the snow moon; then the penumbral eclipse, when the moon, sun, and Earth align to create a subtle shadow; and ending with the pale green Comet 45P, the New Year comet, streaking the Earth. Talk about a cosmic trip!

ONE LOVE FOR MARLEY

bobmarley-feb2017

Bob Marley was born February 6, 1945 in Jamaica. Marley’s music embraced his message: unity, spirituality, and struggle. A new treasure trove of his live recordings from the 70s was found in a cardboard box in a London hotel. The 13 analog reel-to-reel master tapes document four London and Paris concerts from 1974 to 1978 and include No Woman No Cry, Exodus, and I Shot the Sheriff. Though water damaged, after being restored they are now digital and sound great. Nice way to celebrate Bob Marley’s birthday month.

WORDPLAY

crossword-feb2017

The New York Times Crossword puzzle celebrates its 75th anniversary. Crossword puzzles became a national and then a worldwide sensation in 1924 and 1925. In 1942 the NY Times started its regular run. I watched my father solve them fluidly – and English was his third language. I grew up on the puzzles edited by Will Weng and Eugene Maleska. They created the cleverest ones – their wordplay putting me to work … Solving a crossword is a comforting pastime especially during tough times, because it provides finite answers, giving us a sense of order and completion. If solving one every day makes me a crossword addict, let it be.

“I LOVE YOU MAN, PEACE AND LOVE”

ringopaul-feb2017

So tweeted Ringo to Paul and the story goes like this. Once upon a time Paul went to Ringo’s studio and recorded some new music. That is no fairy tale. It really happened. The Beatles’ rhythm section recorded together for Ringo’s upcoming album. Maybe they’ll start a band! That would be a fairy tale with a happy ending.

Here’s how Ringo describes his current songwriting process: “… I do sort of a rhythm-pattern synth track. And then I play drums and go, ‘Oh, there’s a verse. Oh, that sounds like a chorus.’ And then I call writers in and say, ‘Let’s write something to that!’”

I’M WALKIN’ HERE

midnightcowboy-feb2017-better

It’s Oscar time, a good time to think about my favorite movies. So naturally, Midnight Cowboy came to mind. It won for Best Picture in 1970, making it the first and only X-rated film to be awarded (later changed to an R rating) … This scene shows Ratso Rizzo (Dustin Hoffman) and Joe Buck (Jon Voight) as they cross a New York City street. A cab jumps the light, causing Rizzo to yell my favorite movie line of all time: “I’m walkin’ here, I’m walkin’ here!” This was actually an ad lib by Hoffman who, while keeping it within the character, really did admonish the cab driver who really did jump the light … Joe and Rizzo make an odd pair but they ended up relying on one another to survive the hard streets of the gritty City. It wasn’t a pretty tale. The movie reflected the changing times and made way for the realistic and graphic movies of the 70s such as The Boys in the Band and The Godfather I and II … And if all that wasn’t enough to make it memorable, its hit song, Everybody’s Talkin’, was made indelible by the late great and much missed Harry Nilsson.

POWER OF MUSIC

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As the GRAMMYs celebrated music, Jennifer Lopez noted that this night is “about the music, the words, and the voices. How they move us, inspire us, and touch all our lives.” And she recited these words by Toni Morrison: “This is precisely the time when artists go to work. There is no time for despair, no place for self-pity, no need for silence, and no room for fear. We do language.” Then the show went into full gear with the performing artists in all genres singing powerfully and persuasively the language of music.

BEST IN SHOW

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So they didn’t win Best In Show, but these three new breeds proudly showed off their stuff at Madison Square Garden in the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show. Top Dog was a German Shepherd named Rumor. Lest we forget the Westie (never!), Champion Lotrando “Rondo” Sunshine Celebration came in 2nd in Best In Group. There’s always next year.

WE CAN HELP

wecanhelp-fender-feb2017

The Fender Music Foundation works to make music more accessible to everyone by strengthening the state of music education. They provide instruments to music education programs across the country, including schools. 100% of each dollar donated gets instruments into school music classes, after school programs, and music therapy programs. You can help by purchasing memorabilia or by making a donation.

Soundtrack to this Issue

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Bob Marley’s One Love

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

One love, One heart
Let’s get together and feel all right
Hear the children crying (One Love)
Hear the children crying (One Heart)
Sayin’ give thanks and praise to the Lord
and I will feel all right
Sayin’ let’s get together and feel all right

 

Who rescued whom?

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

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

TulipEars.b.hi-c
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Full moon pic: BG Boyd Photography
Dark Star lyrics: Bob Weir, Jerry Garcia, Ron “Pigpen” McKernan, Phil Lesh, Robert Hunter, Mickey Hart, Bill Kreutzmann ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group
Paul and Ringo pic: Ringo Starr/Twitter/PA
Ringo’s quote: Rolling Stone, July 2016
One Love lyrics: Curtis Mayfield, Bob Markley ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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.

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