Tag Archives: Grammy

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

25 May

THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY

Lily-of-the-valley.LeMuguet.may2017

The tradition of giving lily-of-the-valley flowers on May 1 may have begun in 1560, when Sir Louis Girard presented King Charles IX with a bunch of lily-of-the-valley flowers as a token of luck and prosperity for the coming year. The King liked it so much that he began the custom of presenting lily-of-the-valley flowers to the ladies of his court each year on May Day. Ever since then, the lily-of-the-valley has been considered a talisman, a porte-bonheur, ringing in the return of springtime happiness … They are called muguet in France, they symbolize love and affection. In fact, May 1 is a French holiday, when people offer muguet to their loved ones and neighbors in a gesture of friendship and in celebration of spring. Bonne Fête du Muguet!

GRAMMYs BACK WHERE YOU BELONG

GRAMMY-COLLAGE.may2017-USE

How great is this? Marking the first GRAMMY telecast in New York City since 2003, the 60th GRAMMY Awards will be at Madison Square Garden on Sunday, January 28, 2018! It was announced via a very cool short film called NY Storiesdirected by Spike Lee, featuring artists telling stories at musical landmarks all over the city. As Spike calls it, “New York City of Music!”

THERE’S A NEW BLUE IN TOWN

Blue.may2017

So many blues. Can there really be a new blue? Oregon State University chemists accidentally created a new shade of blue, the first in 200 years. The color is called “YInMn blue,” after its chemical makeup of yttrium, indium and manganese oxides. It’s like cobalt blue, but a little brighter, more vibrant. This is an important find since blue plays a significant role in our lives because of its relationship to the sky and water. You can bet we’ll be seeing it real soon in new cars and on fashion runways. It’s even a new Crayola crayon replacing the recently retired Dandelion yellow.

DREAMING THE BEATLES

Beatles.may2017.cr-USE

On this 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club band, let’s celebrate it with the just-published book by Rolling Stone columnist Rob Sheffield, Dreaming the Beatles: The Love Story of One Band and the Whole World. As a Beatles fan with bookshelves filled with Beatles books – bios, song analyses, et al. – this is a welcome addition simply because it is none of that. Instead it is a collection of essays that explain why they matter to our generation and what that says about us. There is no doubt that we are a generation emotionally attached to them. Rob Sheffield construes it this way: “Being born on the same planet as the Beatles is one of the 10 best things that’s ever happened to me.” Amen to that.

SIR ROGER MOORE

RogerMoore.Moonraker.may2017

Although Moonraker may have been silly, Roger Moore’s fourth outing as James Bond mixed charm, style, and a dry humor with a deadpan delivery and wink in his eye. His Bond had a well-intentioned nature. In fact, he imbued dignity in every one of his roles … My first sighting of Sir Roger was as Simon Templar, aka The Saint. Later, he became my favorite Bond. How sad to ponder that we have lost our first James Bond actor. However, my favorite Roger Moore movie is Ffolkes, a spy thriller where he plays an unconventional and very cocky anti-terrorism expert. I may have seen it a very long time ago, but it’s an unforgettable adventure story with great acting … An animal lover, Sir Roger was opposed to fox hunting and campaigned against the use of foie gras in restaurants … He was cool. I close with a few of his own words: “I’m the fourth best James Bond” … “Of course I do my own stunts. And I also do my own lying” … “I would love to be remembered as one of the greatest Lears or Hamlets. But, as that’s not going to happen, I’m quite happy I did Bond.”

A IS FOR AVOCADO

AvocadoCreamSauce.may2017-USE

Love avocados? Here’s a recipe for a great and very versatile Avocado Cream Sauce. Scoop one large ripe avocado into a food processor. Add ½ cup Greek yogurt or sour cream, juice from 1 lime, kosher salt and pepper. Blend until smooth and thick. You might want to add any of these: minced garlic, cilantro, basil, chili powder, jalapeño, or sriracha sauce. Mix with spaghetti as a pasta sauce, drizzle over grilled chicken or salmon, as a dip with chips or to dress a salad, with tacos, spread on a hamburger bun, and great with shrimp and sushi rolls, too! Makes everything even more delish!

DOG NEWS

DogNews.DogsOnTheTitanic1912.may2017

As long as we are marking the 20th anniversary of Titanic and Celine Dion’s smash hit My Heart Will Go On from the film, I thought I would share a story about the real Titanic. Many pets were on the ship for the journey but few survived the ship’s sinking (the dogs pictured on the deck here didn’t survive). Of the 12 dogs aboard, three dogs did survive – all three small. One Pomeranian was named Lady, bought by Margaret Hays while in Paris. She was wrapped in a blanket by Miss Hays when the order was given to evacuate. The second surviving Pomeranian was owned by Elizabeth Rothschild. The Pekinese, named Sun Yat-Sen, was owned by Myna Harper and her husband, Henry S. Harper, of the publishing firm, Harper & Row. All three boarded early lifeboats in the arms of their owners … Oh, if you hear the one about a First Officer William Murdoch’s large Newfoundland who swam between a lifeboat and the rescue ship and whose barking guided the survivors to safety? Don’t believe it – it’s chalked up to a hallucination … Then there’s this. In 1986, in the ship’s wreckage lying on the seabed, a statue of the goddess Artemis was found. She is the patron saint of animals.

END NOTE

Manchester.TicketsCollege.may2017-USE

The Manchester tragedy – my thoughts went instantly to those teenagers that were thrilled to go see their favorite artist perform in concert. How many times did I do the very same thing when I was a teenager? Countless times. Then I grew up and did the same thing for a living. Not once did I ever think I might be in danger – that there was the possibility of terrorism at suchlike events and in suchlike venues. THEY WERE ATTENDING A CONCERT. A CONCERT. ONLY ATTENDING A CONCERT…

WE CAN HELP

AlanGilbert.May2017.nyphilbalconies“Music helps to define what it means to be human, and orchestras will continue to do what we have always done: playing powerful, intriguing, uplifting, thought-provoking music.” … Bravo Maestro! Alan Gilbert will celebrate his final season as Music Director of the NY Philharmonic with the Season Finale: A Concert for Unity on June 8-10. The Orchestra will be joined by musicians from orchestras around the world playing Mahler’s Symphony No. 7 to celebrate the power of music to build bridges and unite people across borders. Yo-Yo Ma (June 8) and Wynton Marsalis (June 9) will perform as special guest artists … The Maestro’s tenure may be over but his legacy lives on through the Alan Gilbert Fund, honoring his innovative programming and partnerships, and his fresh perspectives on classic works. He will be leading a new initiative in which musicians from around the world will come together to perform music at critical times in support of peace, development, and human rights. We can all support that.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.HarryNilsson.may2017

What’s your favorite song mentioning NY? This is mine:
Harry Nilsson‘s I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City

This song, written by Harry, was not used as the theme for the film, Midnight Cowboy. Instead they chose Harry to cover Fred Neil’s Everybody’s Talkin’. But I’ve always thought this was the one!

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

I say goodbye to all my sorrows
And by tomorrow I’ll be on my way
I guess the lord must be in New York City

I’m so tired of getting nowhere
Seein’ my prayers going unanswered
I guess the lord must be in New York City 

Well, here I am Lord, knocking at your back door
Ain’t it wonderful to be
Where I’ve always wanted to be?
For the first time I’ll breathe free here in New York City

Who rescued whom?barkleyypSo grateful for Barkley coming into my life.
Thanks to Westie Rescue of New England.

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

 

Sources:
Blue pic: YInMn Blue courtesy of Oregon State University
Dogs Aboard the Titanic pic: Courtesy of Widener University
Roger Moore pic from Moonraker: ©MGM/United Artists
New York Philharmonic pic: Michael Falco for The New York Times
Alan Gilbert quote: Charlie Rose interview
I Guess The Lord Must Be In New York City: music and lyrics by Harry Edward Nilsson ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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.

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

27 Aug

AN AUGUST IN AND OUT OF SYNC

Remember when you made your own mix tapes?GuardiansOfTheGalaxy.August2014.use Those were “best-of” times for sure. Well, all your faves are #1 now with the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1 soundtrack featuring “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Spirit in the Sky,” “O-o-h Child,” “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” and “Hooked on a Feeling.” Try to get any of those outta your head. You’re welcome … Great music at Bard, Mostly Mozart, Bargemusic, Saratoga, and Tanglewood summer music fests … Americanafest NYC is the first-time collaboration between Lincoln Center Out of Doors JanisJoplinStamp.August2014and the Americana Music Association, which promotes American roots music. Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, and Rosanne Cash were streamed live. “I like to say that if you can taste the dirt through your ears, that’s Americana,” so says the AMA’s director … The glorious Patti Lupone spent two weeks at 54 Below … Horrible things happen on The Leftovers, the HBO show based on Tom Perotta’s book. Don’t miss the always wonderful Marceline Hugot (y’know, 30 Rock’s hilarious, silent Kathy Geiss), Sadie.August2014.2crwho plays Gladys, a stalking, silent smoker. You heard me … Rockaway resident Patti Smith helped heal the Hurricane Sandy-struck Queens section with Rockaway!, a public arts festival … The USPS issued a Janis Joplin postage stamp … A pristine copy of Action Comics No. 1, which sold for 10 cents in 1938 and introduced us to Superman, was bought at auction for $3.2 million …. Westminster Kennel Club noted the passing of Sadie, the beautiful Scottish Terrier who was Best in Show in 2010. She had a great career, the only “triple crown” winner ever (Westminster, AKC National Championship, and National Dog Show presented by Purina) … And the Supermoon glowed bright and close above us.

ROBIN WILLIAMS

Of RobinWilliamsanother super star, Billy Crystal said of his friend Robin Williams, his “beautiful light will continue to shine on us forever, the glow will be so bright it will warm your heart.” … I invite you to watch this clip from Inside the Actors Studio with Robin Williams. As James Lipton recalls, “I introduced him and…bedlam! Then he took off!” … Watch it and laugh. Even as the tears roll down your face. And be thankful he was even here on earth among us. Amen.

OH, FOR ART’S SAKE

Cake.jeffkoons.August2014“Art has this ability to allow you to connect back through history in the same way that biology does. I’m always looking for source material.” … It’s a Jeff Koons summer in NYC. He is the subject of the Whitney Museum’s last retrospective at their Upper East Side home. Dogs and puppies, cats, Michael Jackson, Elvis, and a slice of cake. Something for everybody. There’s also his flower sculpture, Split-Rocker, sitting atop the plaza at Rockefeller Center.

BOOKS FOR YOUR EARS, TOO

There’s Book.SoulTrain.August2014still time to catch up on your summer reading, hey there’s always time for a good book. Here’s our highlights, most are by friends … Lisa Robinson’s There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and RollNelson George’s The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture & Style … Holly George-Warren’s A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man … Paul Stanley’s Face the Music: A Life Exposed … And Gina Arnold’s Exile in Guyville.

WE CAN HELP

MusicCares.cr-blogIt’s not just about the GRAMMYs. Did you know in the past year, The Recording Academy’s MusiCares held 162 clinics for musicians in need including Safe Harbor Rooms, dental, hearing, vision, and healthy living workshops? To find an event near you go to the MusiCares Facebook page.

 

ASPCA.Colbie.August2014“I pledge to help rescue animals in need using my time, my voice and my resources so that every animal is safe and protected from harm.” … Make the pledge to fight animal cruelty. Join singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat in the ASPCA’s Come To Their Rescue effort to help abused and abandoned animals find their forever homes.

 

OohChild.August2014Soundtrack to this Issue is
O-o-h Child by The Five Stairsteps

C’mon, sing along:
Ooh, ooh, child
Things are gonna get easier
Ooh, ooh, child
Things’ll get brighter

 IMGP2541.cr.newsltr

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

 

Sources:
Americana Music Association quote: NY Times, August 8, 2014
Robin Williams pic: indiewire.com
Billy Crystal quote: Emmy Awards, August 25, 2014, NBC
James Lipton quote: bravotv.com
Cake pic: Oil on canvas (1995–97) Private collection. ©Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons quote: Whitney Museum
O-o-h Child lyrics: Words and music by Stan Vincent/© EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Two Music Firsts: Grammys and Super Bowl

22 Jan

So here’s good news in the music world. One expected. Since the Grammys are all about exploring the present music scene, a new award is always welcome. The other is totally unexpected. And oh so cool. The Super Bowl is exploring beyond their comfort zone. Check it out.

Here’s a really cool Grammy award. It’s a new one. And if you loved your music teachers as much as I loved mine, you’ll dig this news. TheGrammyMusicEducator.1.22.14 GRAMMYs are recognizing for the first time ever the significant role music teachers play in shaping students’ appreciation of music with the Music Educator Award. The first recipient is Kent Knappenberger of Westfield Academy in Western New York – “Mr. K” to his students.

“I think it’s my job to try to approach children in a way that I can try to find something musical in them and sometimes in the kid you think shouldn’t have some musical gifting. If you start looking – wow, it’s there and amazing things happen.”

It will be presented to Mr. K at the Special Merits Awards Ceremony during GRAMMY Week. Congrats, Mr. K! Do you know a great music teacher? The deadline to nominate next year’s music educator is March 31. Applications are at GRAMMYMusicTeacher.com.

At the Super Bowl, we’re accustomed to hearing huge popular artists take the stage. At half-time and before the game. In groundbreaking ReneeFleming.1.22.14.decca-AndrewEcclesand truly great Super Bowl news, the national anthem will be sung by opera star, Renee Fleming. The winner of four Grammys and the National Medal of Arts, she is such a perfect choice. If you’ve ever been at a performance or event where she is the host, you know how down-to-earth and gracious this brilliant soprano is. And what a voice! Usually performed by pop and country stars, it’s not an easy song to sing, but Ms. Fleming will nail it. And I bet she will win over a lot of new fans. Hey NFL, outstanding!

 

 

 

Sources:
Grammy quotes: Official Grammy website
Kent Knappenberger pic: CBS News
Renee Fleming pic: Decca/Andrew Eccles

Cher Owes Her Career to Luck?

3 Jul

Is it luck? Cher has topped the Billboard charts in every one of the past six decades. That’s a lot of hit songs. She’s won Grammys. An Emmy for her  TV special. And she got the Academy Award for Best Actress. Wow! That’s a pretty long and successful career, wouldn’t you say? So, how did she do it?

“If you have an idea, you tell me because I haven’t got a clue,” she said of her secret to career longevity. “I believe that luck has a lot to do with it. There are lots of people who are more talented or whatever, but somehow this has been my path. So this is what I’m doing.”

Cher-womans-world

 

Sources:
Cher quote: Nicole Evatt/Associated Press, June 19, 2013
Cher pic: Cher’s Official Website

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