Tag Archives: Elvis Costello

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

26 Jun

JUNE’S SUPER TRIBUTES

PAReunion-use.top.june2017

PAReunion-use.bottom.june2017.cr-use

A tribute to love and the arts, my Performing Arts high school reunion was described by one of my classmates as “a roomful of love.” There was a lot of love, all of us happy to be together, some classmates coming from afar. All these years we have never lost touch with each other. There is a sense of ease when you are with the people you were always most comfortable with. We all knew that we hit the jackpot – none of us cut out for a standard high school experience. We were dancers, actors, and musicians. We were outsiders and we found each other. And we never lost that bond.

HAIL WONDER WOMAN

Wonder_Woman.june2017.cartoon-use

Have you seen the new Wonder Woman movie? It is the updated version of the classic comic book character from DC Comics (1941) and the TV series (1970s). The most popular female comic-book superhero of all time, the series is celebrated for its depiction of strong women. In her book, The Secret History of Wonder Woman (Deckle Edge, 2014), Jill Lepore reveals our hero’s origins, essentially based on feminism. Influenced by early suffragists and feminists, Dr. William Moulton Marston created her in 1941. In his first script, he explained her Amazonian origins in ancient Greece, where men had kept women in chains, until they broke free and escaped. Strengthened by supporting themselves, they developed huge physical and mental power. Dr. Marston’s comic was meant to chronicle “a great movement now under way – the growth in the power of women.” … He goes on to say, “Wonder Woman is psychological propaganda for the new type of woman who, I believe, should rule the world.”

… AND FAREWELL BATMAN

Batman.june2017.top-USE

Adam West was Batman/Bruce Wayne in the 1960s TV series. In tribute to West’s iconic portrayal of the Caped Crusader, the Bat-signal was projected onto the tower of Los Angeles City Hall. As I’m sure you remember, the Gotham City Police Department used the Bat-signal to summon the superhero to help them … West’s deadpan delivery of his lines and his genuine yet self-mocking portrayal was what made the show a phenomenon. That and the way he danced the Batusi, of course. And don’t forget that famous earworm of a theme song: dada dada dada dada. Sure the plots were absurd and his adversaries were totally nuts – the Penguin? the Joker? the Riddler? really!??! – but he made all the ridiculousness perfectly sincere and sublime.

THE MUSIC OF ART

Chagall.triump+sourceofmusicCOLLAGE.june2017-use

Marc Chagall’s Triumph of Music (left) and Source of Music (right). Aptly, these huge murals are in the windows of the Metropolitan Opera at Lincoln Center for all to see and enjoy. Growing up in a Russian shtetl, Chagall was surrounded by musicians, many were violin players. Music became his inspiration throughout his life and his deep love of it informed his artistic style. He listened above all to Mozart while he painted. He died at 97, having lived through the 20th century’s best and worst times (Russian pogroms, WWI, and Nazi persecution in WWII) … His musically inspired works include murals for opera houses and theaters, as well as backdrops, scenery, and costumes for operas. His distinctive use of bold colors and dazzling brush strokes brought to life fanciful dreamlike animals and even a fiddler on the roof! “Color is vibration like music; everything is vibration.”

“…FIND MAGIC WHEREVER YOU LOOK”

Dr.Seuss.CatInHat.june2017-use

A whimsical tribute to Dr. Seuss and his menagerie of unforgettable characters is at The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum in Springfield, MA. On display are our unforgettable “childhood friends” including Yertle the Turtle, Thing One and Thing Two, the Cat in the Hat, the Lorax, and Horton the Elephant who heard a Who … Aimed at children of ALL ages, the museum’s cheerful displays convey the positive message of his final book, Oh, the Places You’ll Go!Congratulations! Today is your day. you’re off to great places! You’re off and away!” … And just like his books that address life’s obstacles and fears, the museum offers an environment filled with hope, encouragement, and inclusion. A welcoming message that is underscored by Dr. Seuss’s famous line from Horton Hears a Who: “Don’t give up, I believe in you all, A person’s a person no matter how small.”

FEELIN’ GROOVY

Groovy.june2017.cr-use

groov·y / ɡroovē adj.
Slang. Exciting, attractive; excellent; enjoyable:

Groovy music; Groovy car; Groovy shag haircut
“Man, those are some groovy guitar riffs.”

Hey man, so you think you know what the word groovy means? In 1932, groovy was a jazz slang term, used in a phrase meaning first-rate, performing well, or excellent such as in the groove … Teens circa 1941 started using it for wonderful. Then in the happy hippie times of the 1960s, it was used as a synonym for cool, excellent, fashionable, or awesome … However, in late Victorian England, it had the completely opposite meaning. In that time, it applied to someone stuck in a groove or a rut – a square. As defined in Farmer and Henley’s Slang and Its Analogues (1890): “GROOVY, Adj. – Settled in habit; limited in mind” … Whoa, that is definitely not groovy.

WHO’S YOUR FAVORITE MOVIE DOG?

Dog.COLLAGE.pizap.june2017.BLUE-use

What makes a movie even better? A really cute dog as the star or in a supporting role, of course. They steal our hearts … Rin Tin Tin was a real German Shepherd who became a movie star in the 1920s. Rin Tin Tin the Fourth starred in the TV series (1954) about an orphan boy and his dog who help the Cavalry soldiers bring law and order to the Old West … Toto in The Wizard of Oz was played by a Cairn named Terry, whose film credit used her character name, Toto, rather than her real name. There never was a real Toto … Lassie, who starred in Lassie Come Home (1943), is also fictional. A boy in Yorkshire, England owns Lassie until his father sells her to a duke in Scotland. But brave Lassie is determined to find her way back home, encountering adventures that are the basis of the TV series (1954). Although Lassie was a female, she was played by a Rough Collie male named Pal … And my fave: Asta, the Wire Fox Terrier from The Thin Man movies. Owned by famous sleuths, Nick and Nora Charles, he helped them solve crimes by finding dead bodies and sniffing out and retrieving hidden guns. A veteran actor, he fittingly received star billing as “Asta,” his professional name.

WE CAN HELP

ACLU.june2017-use

As a tribute to Adam West/Batman, Wonder Woman, talented dogs, the power of reuniting, and the arts and creativity and freedom, donate to the American Civil Liberties Union. For almost 100 years, the ACLU works to defend and preserve the individual rights and liberties guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution and its laws. That includes freedom of speech and religion, a woman’s right to choose, the right to due process, and citizens’ rights to privacy. A champion for people of color, women, LGBTQ people, prisoners, immigrants, and those with disabilities, the ACLU operates within the court system to enact change and protect our basic human rights as American citizens. We can help them continue to fight for our freedom and the protection of our constitutional rights now and for the next generations.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.NBA.june2017.cr-use

Elvis Costello’s Alison

Their aim was true! 129 points true! Here’s a nod to 2017 NBA Champions the Golden State Warriors – Alison from Costello’s 1977 debut album, My Aim Is True. Go Warriors!

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

Oh it’s so funny to be seeing you after so long, girl.
And with the way you look I understand
That you are not impressed.
But I heard you let that little friend of mine
Take off your party dress.

I’m not going to get too sentimental
Like those other sticky valentines,
Cause I don’t know if you’ve been loving somebody.
I only know it isn’t mine. 

Alison, I know this world is killing you.
Oh, Alison, my aim is true.

Who rescued whom?KEEP-YP+BarkleySo grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

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

 

Sources:
PA pic top: Richard Goldfinch
PA pic bottom: Richard Goldfinch
Wonder Woman pic: Wonder Woman’s revised look on the cover of Wonder Woman: Rebirth #1 (2016). Art by Stanley Lau
The Cat in the Hat sculpture inside The Amazing World of Dr. Seuss Museum: Mark Murray/Springfield Museums
Alison: Words and Music by Elvis Costello ©Universal Music Publishing Group

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

27 Oct

IT’S OCTOBER, STAY CALM + READ A BOOK

Books.EdwardGorey.Oct2015.500x383

TAKE THE M TRAIN

MTrain.PattiSmith.Oct2015

“…Fred implored me to come and live with him in Detroit. Nothing seemed more vital than to join my love…saying good-bye to New York City and the aspirations it contained, I picked what was most precious and left the rest behind…”

Patti Smith blends a lifetime of memories with everyday experiences in her new book, M Train. In elegant prose and with sincerity, she recalls her favorite Greenwich Village café now closed, a cherished black coat now lost, her late husband, Frida Kahlo’s home, and Hurricane Sandy. Haunted by these intimate ghosts, she writes about the possessions (people, places, things) she has cherished, lost, and she reckons are now found as remnants in her soul, to be stored there forever … “The transformation of the heart is a wondrous thing, no matter how you land there.”

HIS AIM IS TRUE

ElvisCostello.bookcover.Oct2015USE“Songs can be many things, an education, a seduction, some solace in heartache, a valve for anger, a passport, your undoing, or even a lottery ticket.”

Elvis Costello’s new memoir, Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink, recounts his life which begins as the son and grandson of musicians. Destiny surely played its hand. In equal doses, as a fan and as a scholar, he writes about music and the artists he reveres. The wit and acute observations that we’ve come to recognize and appreciate in his songs are just as evident in his autobiography. Accompanied by a 38-track, 2-CD set, he tells the detailed stories, experiences, and emotions behind Alison, Accidents Will Happen, Watching the Detectives, Oliver’s Army, and Veronica.

NO MUSIC, NO LIFE

TowerRecords.Oct2015

From modest beginnings in a small-town drugstore in 1960, Tower Records became the heart and soul of the music world, a cultural phenomenon with two hundred stores, in thirty countries, on five continents. All Things Must Pass, a new documentary from Colin Hanks, charts Ross Solomon’s dreams and the chain’s magical legacy and fateful demise in 2006. Tower was the place to spend hours going through records and talking about music. And you’d never know who you’d see there. A cherished memory: spending an afternoon with the one and only Bill Graham. Not just a store.

THE GREATEST COVER

Ali.SportsIll.Oct2015“You feel his presence when you walk into the room. Even though he can’t really communicate with you, you hope that just by being near him, something rubs off on you.’’

That can only be one person. The Champ. The Greatest. Muhammad Ali, the world’s hero, my hero … He told Sports Illustrated in 1965, “I got a feeling I was born for a purpose. I’ve always had that feeling since I was a little boy. Perhaps I was born to fulfill Biblical prophecies. I just feel I may be part of something—divine things.” … On October 1, at The Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY, the Sports Illustrated Muhammad Ali Legacy Award was inaugurated to honor a former athlete who has used the platform of sports to improve the world. The ceremony was 40 years to the day after Ali overpowered Joe Frazier in the Thrilla in Manila“How would you like to be remembered as an athlete? As the best heavyweight boxer of all time. As a person? As a good person who tried to be kind to everyone.”

DOG NEWS

DogNews.book.Oct2015“In times of joy, all of us wished we possessed a tail we could wag.” (W. H. Auden)

Wouldn’t you like to know why your dog behaves the way he does? The editors of Adopt-a-Pet.com just published a great resource for dog owners. The Total Dog Manual highlights behavior, training, and care. And Adopt-a-Pet.com should know – they are the world’s largest non-profit pet adoption website, helping shelters and rescue organizations find permanent loving homes for homeless pets. While they can’t speak, dogs do communicate to us.

So we should learn how to speak dog!

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.ASPCA.Oct2015.cr-DOGS

The ASPCA just completed the expansion of the rehabilitation center to shelter and care for even more canine victims of cruelty in New York City. The Gloria Gurney Canine Annex for Recovery and Enrichment can house up to 50 dogs rescued through the NYPD/ASPCA Partnership at any given time. And, crucially, the dogs will receive personalized behavioral rehabilitation necessary to prepare them for adoption. Our donations help the ASPCA continue to do their fabulous, innovative, and necessary work!

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.ElvisCostello.Oct2015

Elvis Costello and the Imposters’ live performance of
Everyday I Write the Book

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

Don’t tell me you don’t know what love is
When you’re old enough to know better
When you find strange hands in your sweater
When your dreamboat turns out to be a footnote
I’m a man with a mission in two or three editions
And I’m giving you a longing look
Everyday, everyday, everyday I write the book

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:
Book and a Dog pic: Edward Gorey
Patti Smith quotes: M Train (Knopf, October 2015)
Elvis Costello quote: Unfaithful Music & Disappearing Ink (Blue Rider Press/Penguin Random House, October 2015)
Ali pic: Sports Illustrated Cover, October 5, 2015
Quote under Ali pic: Dhani Jones, a former NFL linebacker who was a presenter at the night’s event, Sports Illustrated cover article, October 5, 2015
Ali quote: Muhammad Ali to Sports Illustrated’s Gil Rogin, 1965, Sports Illustrated cover article, October 5, 2015
Ali’s questions and answers: Sports Illustrated cover article, October 5, 2015
We Can Help pic: ASCPA
Elvis Costello’s Everyday I Write the Book lyrics: ©Universal Music Publishing Group

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

28 Sep

SEPTEMBER’S MESSAGE: TALK IS CHEAP

Keith.Sept2015

Keith’s first solo album in over two decades, Crosseyed Heart (Republic Records), has a little of everything. Rock, blues, country, reggae – the rootsy sound we expect from him, instantly recognizable. Oh, and it was recorded on analog tape. Nice! … On songwriting, he says, “In the right mood and with the right instrument, there’s a certain feeling of being an antenna, receiving and then transmitting.” … And if you haven’t already guessed, my fave Keith album is Talk Is Cheap. Words to live by.

DarleneLove.Album.Sept2015You already love her. You heard her sing Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) every Christmas on the David Letterman Show. This new Darlene Love album is something to celebrate! And we have Steve Van Zandt to thank. He produced a huge sound to complement Darlene’s rich voice, and he asked friends to write songs. Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Linda Perry and Jimmy Webb. In fact, Costello’s Still Too Soon To Know features a duet vocal by Bill Medley … And if you still haven’t seen the Oscar-winning doc, 20 Feet From Stardom, do it. See and hear how great this lady is and always has been.

SAME HOME, NEW NAME

AveryFisherHall.Sept2015

At a ceremony before The New York Philharmonic’s Opening Gala Concert, Avery Fisher Hall became David Geffen Hall, in honor of Mr. Geffen’s $100M gift toward renovating the hall … Also honoring the Gala Concert, an annual major NYC event, the Empire State Building went Philharmonic Red!

MAYA ANGELOU’S ART

“Everything in the universe has a rhythm, everything dances.” … Maya Angelou died last year, her Harlem home filled with paintings and wall hangings. Part of her art collection, about 50 works, just sold for nearly $1.3 million. Her son, Guy Johnson, wrote in the auction catalog, “For my mother, paintings, sculpture, dance and music were ways of translating the intangible into digestible bites; these forms of art were ways of expressing feelings and emotions that resisted the confinement of words…Just as Dr. Angelou continues to serve as a source of inspiration for countless artists, writers and performers, she also found inspiration in the works of others.” … The painting here is by Bernard Casey (1939 – ). It is titled Music and Fruit (Songs in Eden), an acrylic on cotton canvas, circa early 1970s. Let’s see, musical notes in colorful hearts? What’s not to like.

NOTABLE BIRTHDAYS

StephenKingBday.Sept2015

We take note of three auspicious birthdays … Happy celebratin’, Stephen King, turning 68 on September 21. And the nice present he got from President Obama the previous day was the National Medal of Arts … Having just celebrated Born To Run’s 40th anniversary, now it’s the Boss’s turn. Happy 66th birthday to Bruce Springsteen, on September 23 … And Freddie Mercury, born September 5, 1946 (died November 24, 1991). Forever and always, our Champion of the World.

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.ASPCA.CAwildfire.Sept2015The raging wildfires in California have destroyed homes and caused thousands of residents to flee. While firefighters fight the blazes, people have been evacuated from their homes, putting many pets’ lives in jeopardy. The ASPCA has stepped in to help save badly burned animals, check for pets and livestock left behind, and shelter displaced animals in the ASPCA’s 30-foot disaster response trailer customized to house animals in emergencies. So far, 203 animals, including dogs, cats, goats, pigs, and horses, have been rescued and brought to safety; and 37 animals have been reunited with their families after being separated during emergency evacuations. Our donations can provide much-needed assistance during this critical time.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Meatloaf.GreatestSummerSong.September2015Greatest Song of the Summer of 2015?
Meat Loaf’s You Took the Words Right Out of My Mouth (Hot Summer Night)
From Bat Out of Hell (Epic Records/CBS Inc. 1977)
As voted on by Ultimate Classic Rock’s listeners.

Another September birthday boy, Meat turned 68 on September 27! Hey, more great news! Meat is back in the studio with Karla and Ellen. Could this mean another epic Steinman song?

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

You hold me so close that my knees grow weak
But my soul is flying high above the ground
I’m trying to speak but no matter what I do
I just can’t seem to make any sound

And then you took the words right out of my mouth
Oh, it must have been while you were kissing me
You took the words right out of my mouth
And I swear it’s true
I was just about to say I love you

 

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:
Keith Richards quote: NY Times, September 17, 2015
Avery Fisher Hall pic: AP
Guy Johnson catalogue quote: Swann Galleries, September 15, 2015
Best Song of Summer 2015 pic: Ultimate Classic Rock
You Took the Words lyrics: Jim Steinman ©1977 Edward B. Marks Music Corp., Neverland Music Company, and Peg Music Co.

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

29 Jun

JUNIE JUNIE MO MOONIE

On the first day of summer, Make Music New York filled the City with more than 1,300 free outdoor performances. The flutists StrawberryMoon.June2014in Central Park ruled (natch) … Elvis Costello solo at Carnegie Hall. About Everyday I Write the Book: “…a song I really hate. I wrote it in 10 minutes, and then it was a hit.” … Maya Angelou’s handwritten manuscript of I Know Why the Caged Bird Sings on display at the NY Public Library’s Schomburg Center … Looking for viability and relevance globally, Harleys go electric. But where’s the vroom? … The brilliant Patti LaBelle on Broadway in After MidnightQueen on a 19-date cross-country tour with Adam Lambert … The NY Phil Biennial was an 11-day festival of new music … Spike Lee directed the live stream of Pharrell Williams at The Apollo … Have you seen the iPad ad with Esa-Pekka Salonen? Software takes him from inspiration to score to orchestra … Bang on a Can collaborating with the Jewish Museum for a year and the Rolling Stones played Tel Aviv. L’chaim! … Dylan’s original lyrics to Like a Rolling Stone handwritten on hotel stationery sold at auction for over $2M – including doodles … You know it’s summer when Gangster of Love Steve Miller plays Jones Beach with Journey, and Ringo and his All Starr Band (Todd Rundgren!) play the Beacon … Caramoor’s American Roots Music Festival of folk, country, blues, and bluegrass featuring Rosanne Cash and my favorite roving troubadour, Matt Turk … And the June Full Moon –called Honey Moon, Strawberry Moon, or Rose Moon – filled the sky on Friday the 13th.

MUSICAL MOVIES

Supermensch.June2014He managed Alice Cooper, Blondie, and Luther Vandross. Mike Myers celebrates his great friend Shep Gordon in Supermensch … Clint Eastwood + The Four Seasons = Jersey Boys, based on the Broadway musical … Toni Colette is a rock music critic in Lucky ThemWe Are the Best! has all the wild fun raw emotions that a real punk girl group can muster … Begin Again with movie stars Keira Knightly as songwriter and Mark Ruffalo as record guy, with musician Adam Levine as musician with record deal … Don Cheadle crowdfunding for Miles Davis biopic, to direct, write, and star.

THINKING ABOUT…

MilesDavis.June2014“Tonight you’re mine completely. You give your love so sweetly…but will you love me tomorrow?” Gerry Goffin is remembered for writing beautiful songs with Carole King … RandR Hall of Famer Bobby Womack cited his lost friends, from Sam Cooke to Luther Vandross, as motivation to work. “I’m standing up for [them]. I feel proud to represent them. This is what soul music is about. Music has to reach the soul.” … I will always be grateful to Peter Shukat, my great advisor and friend. At the top of the music lawyerdom heap (John, Yoko, Miles, Jimi, Marley), he was ever accessible as he was skillful. Rest easy, Peter … Producer John McClure worked on 200 recordings with Leonard Bernstein: “[Bernstein] is not long on patience and not stingy with blame…[but he was] unfailingly stimulating, educational, maddening, and musically nutritious.” … And a passing of the bow (not baton), as Glenn Dicterow, NY Phil’s concertmaster since 1980, moves to sunny California to teach. I got to say goodbye to him, as did the City at the Beethoven Triple Concerto performances. A great musician, and, oh yeah, a mensch.

 

WE CAN HELP

R&RHallOfFameMus.poster

The Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and Museum tells the history and significance of rock and roll through its exhibits, library, archives, and educational programs. Become a member or volunteer. You can even donate an artifact!

Soundtrack to this Issue is
The Joker by the Steve Miller Band

SteveMiller.greatesthits

Greatest word ever in a song? Pompitous – of course! Listen to the Space Cowboy sing about the pompitous of love, lovey-dovey, playin’ music in the sun, and those peaches.

C’mon, sing along:

SteveMiller.peaches

 

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

IMGP2541.cr.newsltr

“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Painting of the Strawberry Moon: by Leah Dorion
Supermensch pic: supermenschmovie
Will You Love Me Tomorrow? lyrics: EMI Music Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Bobby Womack quote: LA Times, June 28, 2014
John McClure quote: NY Times, June 24, 2014
Rock and Roll Hall Of Fame pic: 2014 Induction Ceremony poster

%d bloggers like this: