Tag Archives: Leonard Bernstein

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

27 Sep

SEPTEMBER’S NEW LEAF?

HappyFall.sept.2017.fscottfitz 

WHAT THE WORLD NEEDS NOW

Ringo.GiveMoreLove.sept2017

Count on Ringo to catch the zeitgeist and encourage its remedy. If words alone would heal…Give More Love.

Sometimes this world can be a hard place
We wonder where we go from here
So many hurting bad, Lost everything they had
It’s hard to know what we can do 

Give more love, Give more love
It’s what we know we need more of
From the heart, Let it start
To spread to everyone, Now it’s up to you
There’s something you can do
Give more love, Give more love, Give more love

 

NOM NOM IS A NO-NO

NomNom1.sept2017.CookieMonster.red

“I’m hungry, let’s get some nom noms at the dining hall.” “I just had a cheesy pizza. Nom nom nom.” “You like that burger? Nom nom nom.”Sesame Street’s Cookie Monster originated the expression nom nom. While eating something delicious, he would keep repeating the phrase “om nom nom.” The earliest appearance of om nom was in the Urban Dictionary in 2004, defining it as “1. eating with extreme delight. 2. The noise made when food is **** good nd u wanna show everybody [sic]” … Now it generates loathing. Is it something a grown-up ought to say? Doesn’t it sound like baby talk? Maybe it’s a little gross? Or is it a trend that is oh so over? … How did it become a buzzword? The OED‘s definition of buzzword: “a catchword or expression currently fashionable; a term used more to impress than to inform.” I think both those definitions are applicable. It was even in the running for 2010’s word of the year.

NomNom2.sept2017.Cats

Nom nom became popular in 2007 when a cat licking a birthday cake was posted on the ICanHasCheezburger website with the caption “nom nom nom/nooo it are my birthday” … Let’s bear in mind that nom nom is not in the dictionary (the real dictionaries, Urban Dictionary aside). Scrumptious is a better word. So is delicious or delish, tasty, lip-smacking, and yes, yummy is cool. How about we all agree that nom nom belongs to Cookie Monster – and only Cookie Monster.

 

AFTER THE DELUGE

Hurricane1.sept2017

The word hurricane comes from Taino, a language spoken by the Arawak, the indigenous people of the Caribbean and picked up by Spanish explorers there. The Taino word hurákan means “god of the storm.” Interesting to note that the word hurricane now only applies to tropical storms that occur in the Caribbean or Atlantic Ocean … At the end of the 15th century, Christopher Columbus noted a severe tropical storm while in the West Indies: “Nothing but the service of God and the monarchy would expose me to such danger.” Sure enough, three of his ships capsized … The word appeared mid-16th century in the English translation of a Spanish historian’s opus detailing the Spanish conquest of the Americas (from 1492 to 1547) with this description of a great tempest: “…when the deuyll greatly intendeth to feare theym, he threteneth to sende them great tempestes which they caule Haurachanas, and are so vehement that they ouerthrowe many howses and great trees.” … Shakespeare used hurricano in King Lear when Lear howls on the heath: “Blow, winds, and crack your cheeks! Rage! Blow! You cataracts and hurricanoes, spout Till you have drench’d our steeples, drown’d the cocks!” … Nature may be reminding us that out of destruction comes the chance to make new, to make better; out of destruction can come creation.

Hurricane2.sept2017.dylan

Rubin could take a man out with just one punch
But he never did like to talk about it all that much
“It’s my work,” he’d say, “and I do it for pay.
And when it’s over I’d just as soon go on my way.”

And then there’s Rubin Hurricane Carter, whose lightning-fast fists earned him that nickname. A top contender for the world middleweight crown, he had an astonishing four-fight winning streak, including two knockouts. Sadly, at the height of his boxing career, he was wrongfully convicted of murder and imprisoned for 20 years. Bob Dylan, advocating for his innocence, wrote about his life in the song Hurricane after visiting Carter in prison in 1975. Every night on the Rolling Thunder Revue tour, Dylan sang Hurricane and asked his audience to lobby for Carter’s release. Ultimately Dylan’s efforts actually helped get him out of jail.

 

BERNSTEIN!

LeonardBernsteinAt100.sept2017

“I can’t live one day without hearing music, playing it, studying it, or thinking about it.” And we are all the better for it … Leonard Bernstein at 100 is a two-year celebration of his life and legacy that kicked off with the Kennedy Center’s concert Bernstein on Broadway, featuring selections from his musicals. Events in cities all across the world will continue through August 2019 … The Grammy Museum’s traveling exhibit will go across the country. His record companies are issuing box sets, remastered recordings, and new recordings of his music. New documentaries will include highlights of his fervent support for civil rights through his music and in his own voice. And of course there will be concerts. Many concerts … I grew up going to Bernstein concerts with the Philharmonic. He was bigger than life, inspiring an enduring love for music. He made music easily accessible for the music novice as well as the trained musician. And most of all, using his favorite word, he made music fun … At a time when we all need our anxieties abated and our emotions and spirits uplifted, we have the Maestro’s music that reflects his own response to a time of great angst and disappointment. Motivating and hopeful – he has never failed to touch us deeply and remind us of our shared humanity.

 

LIGHT SHOW

JoshuaLightShow.sept2017

Light elevates us. But a light show transports us … Liquid light shows, projected on a screen behind the band, mix a live film to the beat of the music using glass oils or by cutting up transparencies … You remember being mesmerized by the colorful weaving wiggly psychedelic patterns at Grateful Dead, Pink Floyd, and The Who concerts, don’t ya? A light show is a fully artistic visual interpretation of the music as the band is performing. So no two shows are alike, creating a truly unique and totally immersive experience. Joshua Light Show, perhaps the most famous light show, still going after 50 years, has even been prominently displayed in concert posters … “There’s no question that the development of the scene as it evolved in San Francisco was way more than the music,” says Jefferson Airplane (and Hot Tuna) guitarist Jorma Kaukonen. “And part of it, of course, was the visuals that came along with the light shows.”

 

DOG (AND PET) NEWS

DogNews.ASPCA-Irma.sept2017

The ASPCA saw the devastation of Hurricane Irma firsthand and they were there for animals in crisis. The ASPCA prepared water rescue, emergency sheltering, and relocation efforts for the areas where animals needed help most. 100% of our donations are going toward the ASPCA Field Investigations and Response Fund, to ensure that rescue teams are always ready to help animals from situations of cruelty, neglect, and natural disaster … The ASPCA has these tips to prepare for an emergency situation such as Irma: Pets should be wearing ID tags with contact info; micro-chipping is a more permanent form of ID; make an emergency kit with medical records, water, bowls, pet food, and medication; and download the free ASPCA mobile app, to store important records needed for boarding pets at evacuation shelters.

 

ENDNOTE FROM RINGO

Endnote.RingoTweet.sky.sept2017

Even the clouds in the sky [are] beautiful
I am listening to we can work it out
peace and love

Endnote1.FingersPeaceEndnote2.HeartStarEndnote3.SunEndnote4.NotesMusicEndNote5.PeacePurpleSign

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.ElieWiesel.sept2017

The Anne Frank Center for Mutual Respect engages Americans to fight harder for Anne Frank’s dream: An inclusive world in which mutual respect replaces hatred and its consequences. We can help them to continue their traveling exhibits and educational programs across the U.S. and Canada. They go to museums, schools, universities, companies, and houses of worship. With our help they can carry on Anne Frank’s legacy. Fighting prejudice and discrimination, and advocating for her dream of a kinder and fairer world is more important now than ever.

 

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack-Picture.ConcertPoster.sept2017.v3cr

David Bowie sings Paul Simon’s America

Organized by Paul McCartney to honor the memories of the victims of 9/11, The Concert for New York City was held at Madison Square Garden on October 20, 2011 … David Bowie opened the concert with a beautiful heart-rending cover of Paul Simon’s America with only guitar and bass for back-up. He told the crowd: “Hi friends, my fellow New Yorkers. I’d particularly like to say hello to the folks from my local [FDNY] ladder, you know where you are. It’s an absolute privilege to play for you tonight.” … It was originally released on Simon & Garfunkel’s Bookends album in 1968. Rolling Stone noted: “It captured America’s sense of restlessness and confusion during the year that saw the assassinations of Martin Luther King, Jr. and Robert Kennedy, as well as the escalation of the war in Vietnam.” The emotion it stirs keeps it forever relevant. 

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

And we walked off to look for America
Cathy, I said as we boarded a Greyhound in Pittsburgh
Michigan seems like a dream to me now
It took me four days to hitchhike from Saginaw
I’ve gone to look for America … 

Cathy, I’m lost, I said though I knew she was sleeping
And I’m empty and aching and I don’t know why
Counting the cars on the New Jersey Turnpike
They’ve all come to look for America
All come to look for America
All come to look for America

Who rescued whom?

KEEP-YP+Barkley

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

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l

KEEP-Buddha

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

 

Sources:

Give More Love lyrics: Ringo Starr, Gary Nicholson/Ringo Starr Official Website
Hurricane pic: The aftermath of Hurricane Ike in Gilchrist, Texas (2008)/Reuters
Dylan’s Hurricane lyrics: Jacques Levy, Bob Dylan ©Bob Dylan Music Co.
Joshua Light Show pic: Joshua Light Show with Nicolas Jaar and Dave Harrington, October 2013, Fierce Festival, UK JLS (Twitter December 23, 2013)
Dog News pic: ASPCA
Endnote Ringo Starr quote: @ringostarrmusic (September 10, 2017)
Soundtrack quote: Readers’ Poll: The 10 Greatest Simon and Garfunkel Songs by Andy Greene/Rolling Stone Magazine (January 15, 2014)
America lyrics: Paul Simon ©Universal Music Publishing Group 

Special note about the Soundtrack: The video is May 30, 2002, but the sound is the actual performance from the October 20, 2001 concert.

September 27, 2017
All Rights Reserved

 

 

 

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.

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

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

29 Nov

NOVEMBER = GRATITUDE + LIGHT

Love.pic.11.28.13

From mourning to morning…The light was sure to come…And it came with the support from friends and colleagues…Cards, calls, emails, visits, Facebook and LinkedIn messages, blog post comments, a special prayer, deli dinners, lemon bars, wines, carrot cake, flowers, plants, hugs, dog kisses (from Ethan) and pics (from Bogey), chocolate babka, and latkes…With heartfelt gratitude to you all…And with best wishes for you at this auspicious time of Thanksgiving and Chanukah…Let there be love. Let there be light. Let there be life.

MOVING ON TO MUSIC…

A new doc on PBS, American Masters: Jimi Hendrix – Hear My Train a Comin’ looked at his life and music. Oh, and those clothes. Everything about him was colorful. Loved it…Musicwood covers concerns over wood by guitar makers, environmentalists, land developers, and loggers…A third doc, 12-12-12, went backstage at the benefit concert for Mozart.WQXR.Nov2013Hurricane Sandy victims at Madison Square Garden…Over at WQXR, it’s Mozart Month. The NY Philharmonic played his Requiem with the NY Choral Artists and performs his three final Symphonies, Nos. 39, 40 and 41, broadcast live November 30…And let’s hope the Brooklyn Philharmonic finds a way out of a dire financial situation…An eight-part series on YouTube, Zirka chronicles Robert Plant’s journey in Mali and features Malian music…Y’know those wonderful 92Y events that you wish you could go to all of them? Now ya can. They opened their archives, so stream away…Dylan Fest concerts benefited Sweet Relief Musicians Fund…The Stand Up For Heroes concert at Madison Square Garden featured MusicCorps wounded warriors playing alongside Roger Waters…City Winery hosted the Guitar Mash Benefit Concert and Jam that raised money for music education programs…Jazz and Colors in Central Park with 30 acts…Are record stores back? Vinyl, too? Rough Trade NYC opened in Brooklyn, has CDs and vinyl. WFMU’s Record Fair success is a sure sign of LP love. And Record Store Day expands to Back to Black Friday after Thanksgiving Day event…The Beastie Boys handled a toy company’s use of their music with a good outcome that respects the rights of artists. “We strongly support empowering young girls, breaking down gender stereotypes and igniting a passion for technology and engineering…As creative as it is, make no mistake, your video is an advertisement that is designed to sell a product, and long ago, we made a conscious decision not to permit our music and/or name to be used in product ads.”…Based on live recordings from their archives, the busy BBC released a new Beatles CD, a reissue, and a book. Thanks!…Van Morrison played NYC and has new deluxe behind the scenes CDs that include a re-mastered Moondance…Speaking of 92Y, Anthony DeCurtis talked to Lou Reed in 2006. “Lou Reed has defined so much of what contemporary music is about…my favorite conversations with him have often occurred running into him on the streets…that’s why we live in New York. So, the King of New York, Lou Reed.”…Finally, Lou Reed’s memorial at Lincoln Center was a fitting tribute, no speeches, no talking, just listening. His music speaking for him. And for us.

…AND ART + WORDS

At $58.4M, Jeff Koons’s Balloon Dog (Orange) went for the highest JeffKoons.OrangePuppy.11.28.13auction price paid for a living artist…Remember Al Hirschfeld’s line drawings, caricatures of Broadway stars, that were on the cover of the Sunday NY Times arts section? His works are on view ‘til January 4 at the NY Public Library for the Performing Arts. Count those NinasThe Leonard Bernstein Letters (Yale U Press) is a collection ofLeonardBernstein.Letters.NovNewsletter.11.29.13 letters he wrote and received. Those by and to Aaron Copland and Adolph Green (who called him Lennish!) reveal wit, passion, anger, humor, and above all, the immense value they placed on music…Oxford Dictionary’s Word of the Year is selfie…Not too late to catch The Forty Part Motet sound installation at the Cloisters, there ‘til December 8The ever topical, musical, and erudite Tom Stoppard (Arcadia and Rock ‘n’ Roll!) wrote a radio play based on Pink Floyd’s Dark Side of the Moon. Darkside, commissioned by that busy BBC in honor of the album’s fortieth anniversary, is also on CD…Malcolm Gladwell talks about underdogs and what advantage really is in David and Goliath: Underdogs, Misfits, and the Art of Battling Giants. He explains, “…underdogs win more often than we think because their limitations can force them to be creative.”

WE CAN HELP

PoliceDog.11.28.13

Police dogs finally get bullet-proof vests. What took so long? Although over 450 now have them, there are many more who need them across the US. A vest costs $950. Donate to: Vested Interest in K-9s, Inc.

ABOUT A BLOG

I wrote four posts about losing my precious Buddha on Yvette Perry’s Blog…And I got back to business, though still hurting, with a post about Johnny Cash’s deeply moving version of Hurt as it was used on the TV show, Person of Interest…Also posted there is this newsletter so you can easily share it with your friends. Just click on any of the share buttons below each post…And hope you follow the Blog!

GeorgeHarrison.GiveMeLove.11.28.13Soundtrack to this Issue is George Harrison’s
Give Me Love (Give Me Peace on Earth)

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”lIMGP2541.cr.newsltr“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

Sources:
Love pic: Robert Indiana exhibit at the Whitney through January 5, 2014
Beastie Boys quote: LA Times, November 27, 2013
Mozart pic: WQXR
Jeff Koons Balloon Dog (Orange)
outside Christie’s pic: The Pup Diary
The Leonard Bernstein Letters
pic: Yale University Press (2013)
Malcolm Gladwell
quote: 60 Minutes, Sunday, November 24, 2013
George Harrison pic: Popdose

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

30 Oct

OCTOBER’S COOL IN EVERY WAY

Did you check out the colorful Melt to Earth metal sculptures by Aaron Curry that are planted all over Lincoln Center?…And the interesting docs keep coming. Three more to consider. HBO’s Muhammad Ali’s Greatest Fight looks at his Supreme Court battle about being a conscientious objector during the Viet Nam war…AKA Doc Pomus tells how Jerome Felder tAKA-Doc-Pomus-Poster.10.30.13urned into the hit-making songwriter of Save the Last Dance for Me, This Magic Moment, and A Teenager in Love…And Film at Lincoln Center had a one-night only showing of Following The Ninth about four people whose lives were transformed, repaired, and healed by Beethoven’s Ninth’s message: “All men will be brothers.” Lest we forget, the Berlin Wall came down as Leonard Bernstein performed the Ninth as an “Ode To Freedom” in December 1989…HOT1966015W02728-21AMilk Gallery presented Ali: Photographs by Thomas Hoepker…Maestro Gilbert led the NY Phil in Beethoven’s Ninth (you’ve heard of it?) that included a finale featuring Manhattan School of Music’s Symphonic Chorus…Paul McCartney’s new album is called, wait for it, New. New New.10.30.13songs that celebrate “the idea that pop music can still invigorate, inspire, and surprise – even if you had a hand in inventing it.”…At 92Y Talks, the great Boz Scaggs (did ya know he has a vineyard? Rosé, anyone?) talked with Anthony DeCurtis about his music, old and new. Heard Memphis yet? He’s still got it…So Alec Baldwin has a talk show on MSNBC and already peaked with Billy Joel. Will he top that?…Missed chances, lost time. Ah, Edith Wharton’s Age of Innocence as only Martin Scorsese could do it. Hope you caught it at Film at Lincoln Center’s NY Film Festival. A piece of art…Back when I produced an alternative music college radio show, Soul Asylum and Evan Dando kindly sat in. I was happy to hear that they played Webster Hall…Good news, guitar lovers! The NY Guitar Festival just announced its return in January for three weeks. Stay tuned for more…The first opera produced through the Met/LCT New Works program, Nico Muhly’s Two Boys is a modern tale with modern music. Is the Met taking up the slack since the loss of the NYC Opera? Maybe…But from out of the shadows we also have the Gotham Chamber Opera, whose 12th season just opened…Totally sad news under the Big Bummer category, we lost Lou Reed. He left us with plenty to keep us busy, thinking, and appreciating. And y’know that Doc Pomus movie I mentioned? Passages from Doc’s private journals are read by his close friend, Lou Reed. All the more reason to check it out.

BOOKS THAT MATTER 

There are 650 letters to be discovered in The Leonard Bernstein Letters, a new HumansOfNY.bookcover.10.30.13book that affirms his love of composing…I discovered Humans of New York when a friend shared their blog posts on Facebook. Now comes a book! That these pics and stories are all too human, well, that’s the point. Because we are them and they are us. And everyone has a story…In time to commemorate Kristallnacht, re-reading Viktor Frankl’s Man’s Search for Meaning which confirms the sanctity of memory. And how one can positively move forward from atrocity…Mary Oliver’s Dog Songs, poems and pictures about the special love between, aw, you know. So here’s a taste. “Steadfastness, it seems, is more about dogs than about us. One of the reasons we love them so much.” Here’s another. “Said Ricky to me one day, ‘Why is it you don’t have a tail?’ Well, I just don’t.”…Media alert! Under the OMG category, just, just, just out is Mark Lewisohn’s Tune In, the first volume of All These Years, the possibly definitive bio trilogy about all four Beatles.

PLENTY OF GOOD DEEDS

Hoping to draw attention to humanitarian concerns in Russia, violinist Gidon Kremer sees his To Russia with Love concert in Berlin as, a kind of a personal statement against injustice, expressed together with friends and everlasting music.” He goes on, “…we should for sure lend support to all discriminated people worldwide in peaceful actions using our abilities and art…After all, art is designed to bring people closer to each other and not to split them.”…The first Muhammad Ali Humanitarian Awards, celebrating individuals who have made significant contributions toward the attainment of peace and social justice, honored President Jimmy Carter, Christina Aguilera, and Michael Bolton. The Awards were inspired by the six core principles that have guided Ali’s life: 3291.buddha.crconfidence, conviction, dedication, giving, respect and spirituality. And yeah, The Champ did the presentin’!…Yo-Yo Ma’s 15th annual Silk Road Ensemble, a peace-through-music project, at Carnegie Hall. And there’s a new album that he calls A Playlist Without Borders, demonstrating that with sounds and ideas from musicians from all over the world, there are no barriers for those approaching music with an open mind…Buddha did his part, too. Visiting seniors, he spread the love…Mitzvot abound.

THERE’S THIS BLOG, SEE…

LouReed.10.28.13.KarlWalter.GettyImages

Posts on Yvette Perry’s Blog include Lou Reed, Veronique Sanson, Underdogs, Okkerville River’s video game, Sherlock Holmes’s violin, Close Cover Before Striking, Cause Marketing (there’s wine and a dog), Mark Knopfler, and Yoko + Peace + Love…Also posted there is this newsletter so you can easily share it with your friends. Just click on any of the share buttons below each post.

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Soundtrack to this Issue is Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side
Lou Reed with Andy Warhol at the best place ever,
The Bottom Line, July 1978.

Buddha, stay. Good dog. 

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

Sources:
AKA Doc Pomus pic: Documentary film poster
New quote: Kyle Anderson, EW
Humans of New York by Brandon Stanton: St. Martin’s Press
Dog Songs by Mary Oliver: Penguin Press
Gidon Kremer: Interview, NY Times
Concert in Berlin for Human Rights In Russia: To Russia with Love, October 7, 2013
Lou Reed pic at The Bottom Line: Ebet Roberts/Redferns

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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