Tag Archives: Harry Nilsson

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

25 May

THE MERRY MONTH OF MAY

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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

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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.

What’s On Your Summer Reading List?

16 Aug

There’s nothing like summer to catch up on our reading. And there’s no better time to reflect on the state of books. To that point, this week Seth Godin’s admonitory post, An End of Books, riled our sensibilities and our core emotions. In it he states, “Books, those bound paper documents, are part of an ecosystem, one that was perfect, and one that is dying, quickly.” Then he evaluates these endangered species: bookstore, library, publisher, our book shelves, and even the Pavlovian response of our reading process (!). But he ends on a hopeful note of reinvention. Thankfully. Because I love to read. I love the feel of a book, the turn of a page, and the thrill of discovery.

Books.snoopySo, it’s summer. We can take the plunge into that pile we’ve been building for just this moment. I’m starting with my favorite author’s latest, Daniel Silva’s The English Girl. Gabriel Allon, master art restorer plus Mossad assassin equals #1 bestseller. Then it’s on to Khaled Hosseini’s And The Mountains Echoed, The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, I mean J.K. Rowling, and The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes, hailed as this summer’s must read, much as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl was last year. And what a great read that was!

The rest of my summer reading includes Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings, Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews, Lexicon by Max Barry, and Brad Thor’s latest thriller, Hidden Order. He’s always topical and always action-packed. And the urban drama, Ivy Pachoda’s Visitation Street, is said to recall another fave author, Richard Price. In that case, I’m into it.

I’m really looking forward to getting into Roots drummer and Jimmy Fallon’s bandleader, Questlove’s memoir, Mo’ Meta Blues and to learning much more in Harry Nilsson: The Life of a Singer-Songwriter by Alyn Shipton.

Still to come is Roy Peter Clark’s next glamorous book on grammar, How to Write Short, out August 27, Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep in September, and Jo Nesbo’s next Harry Hole thriller, Police, in October.

Last but not least, The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter than You Think by Brian Hare will remind me who’s really the smart one around here.

I order a lot of my books from the Public Library. You can also check out Amazon’s Best Sellers of 2013 and the weekly NY Times Sunday Book Review.

Now it’s time for me to stop writing and start reading. What are you reading this summer?

 

Sources:
Seth Godin’s quote: Seth’s Blog, August 15, 2013
Pic: Charles Schultz

Good Thing It’s Book Lover’s Day Because I Love Books

9 Aug

I love to read. I have books all around me in every room. Books I’ve read and books I want to read. And there’s nothing like summer to catch up on your reading. So Book Lover’s Day is the perfect excuse to say adios to any more work (good thing it’s Friday!) and start digging in.

Books.snoopyI’m celebrating with my favorite author’s latest, Daniel Silva’s The English Girl. Gabriel Allon, master art restorer plus Mossad assassin equals #1 bestseller. Then it’s on to Khaled Hosseini’s And The Mountains Echoed, The Cuckoo’s Calling by Robert Galbraith, I mean J.K. Rowling, and The Shining Girls by Lauren Beukes, hailed as this summer’s must read, much as Gillian Flynn’s Gone Girl was last year. And what a great read that was!

The rest of my summer reading includes Meg Wolitzer’s The Interestings, Neil Gaiman’s The Ocean at the End of the Lane, Red Sparrow by Jason Matthews, Lexicon by Max Barry, and Brad Thor’s latest thriller, Hidden Order. He’s always topical and always action-packed. And the urban drama, Ivy Pachoda’s Visitation Street, is said to recall another fave author, Richard Price. In that case, I’m into it.

I’m really looking forward to getting into Roots drummer and Jimmy Fallon’s bandleader, Questlove’s memoir, Mo’ Meta Blues and to learning much more in Harry Nilsson: The Life of a Singer-Songwriter by Alyn Shipton.

Still to come is Roy Peter Clark’s next glamorous book on grammar, How to Write Short, out August 27, Stephen King’s Doctor Sleep in September, and Jo Nesbo’s next Harry Hole thriller, Police, in October.

Last but not least, The Genius of Dogs: How Dogs Are Smarter than You Think by Brian Hare will remind me who’s really the smart one around here.

I order a lot of my books from the Public Library. You can also check out Amazon’s Best Sellers of 2013 and the NY Times Bestseller List.

It’s time to stop writing and start reading!

 

Source:
Pic: Charles Schultz

Fab Four Finale: Let It Be, Already

28 Jul

To end this week of Beatles posts, here are a few more top stories about them that were in the news this week.

Beatles Musical Redux Redux
Beatles.Let_it_be_broadwayFirst there was Beatlemania. Then Rain. Now Let It Be. A Broadway musical of Beatles songs opened this week, kind of a tribute concert, kind of a history. But there’s a snag. This production was sued for being the same as the last production. And yep, money is at the center of it. Will they work it out?

Beatles White Album in the News
As Beatles memorabilia goes, this is a goodie! The first copy of The White Album that was pressed to vinyl will be on auction, copy number A0000001. In the possession of Beatles fan David Mincks since 1989, it was a promotional item that was given out to about two dozen record company execs and to the Beatles. If you’re interested, the opening bid is set at $10,000. That sure is a lot of ob la di ob la da.

Lennon + McCartney = Nilsson
The eternal question (well, at least to some of us!), if you mix John Lennon with Paul McCartney what do you get? Easy. Harry Nilsson, of course. Now there’s even a new book that backs up what we’ve always known. In Nilsson: The Life of a Singer-Songwriter (Oxford University Press July 2013), Alyn Shipton tells his story in this first full-length biography. Lennon and McCartney called this inscrutable musician simply the Beatles’ “favorite group.”

 

Source:
The cast of Let It Be pic: courtesy of Let It Be

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