Tag Archives: Morse

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

27 Mar

MARCH SAYS DREAM ON

DesertBloom.mar2017.purple.cr-USE

There’s a Super Bloom happening in San Diego’s Anza-Borrego Desert State Park. Purple verbenas, desert dandelions, brown-eyed primroses, desert sunflowers, and evening primroses offer us a glimpse of what we hope is in store for all of us after a crazy snow-filled March.

DESERT BLOOM

JoshuaTree.mar2017

This 30th anniversary of U2’s Joshua Tree reminds us of another California desert blooming with wildflowers. Known for its mind-blowing views, the Joshua Tree National Park has inspired artists and musicians for the past 75 years. The Joshua tree, the largest of the yuccas, grows only in the Mojave Desert. A spike-leafed evergreen, it grows nowhere else in the world. Mormon settlers are said to have named it “Joshua” because it mimicked the outstretched arms of the Biblical Joshua, at prayer and waving toward the Promised Land.

JoshuaTreeU2AlbumPic.mar2017.faded

Produced in March 1987 by Daniel Lanois and Brian Eno in U2’s native Dublin, their fifth album Joshua Tree took inspiration from the “mythic and real America,” says Bono. The Edge’s fierce guitar work plus Bono’s ever impassioned vocals equal a signature sound of spirit, hope, and emotion. Their best-selling album includes Where the Streets Have No Name, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, and With or Without You. It may be imperfect but still a classic.

MONOPOLY UPS THEIR GAME

Monopoly.newtokens.mar2017

Parker Brothers acquired the rights to Monopoly on March 19, 1935. Is there anyone who has never taken a chance on strolling Atlantic City to buy utilities and railroads or to hit it big with Boardwalk hotels? The original 10 tokens were an iron, purse, lantern, racecar, thimble, shoe, top hat, battleship, cannon, and rocking horse. The existing Scottish terrier, battleship, race car, top hat, and cat tokens will carry on. To be joined by Tyrannosaurus rex, a penguin, and a rubber ducky. No hashtag, no emoji, no cell phone. Offered a large collection of potential new tokens, more than 4 million voters worldwide selected these to be presented in the next version of the game. Take your game down from your closet shelf. See what tokens you have. What happened to the iron? I think my old game just got valuable. Ebay, anyone?

QUEEN MONOPOLY
QueenMonopoly.mar2017

Even greater Monopoly news! You will be a Champion of the World touring with Queen in the band’s own Monopoly version. According to Brian May, instead of moving around the board picking up real estate, Queen Monopoly will take players through standout moments and performances in the band’s career. Fans tour the history of the band, from their first concert at Imperial College in 1970 to their last with Freddie Mercury at Knebworth Park in 1986 and buy venues and hit singles and try to avoid taxes, jail, and bankruptcy. How cool is this? Really looking forward to passing “go” and “collecting $200” with the bicycle token from Bicycle Race or maybe Brian May’s guitar.

CHUCK BERRY

ChuckBerry.mar2017

“If you had to give rock ‘n’ roll a name, you might call it Chuck Berry.”
(John Lennon)

A founding father of rock ‘n’ roll, Chuck Berry will be remembered for his great songs, guitar riffs, and his famous duck walk. At 90 years old, he had a new album coming out this year. As a songwriter, he was honored with PEN New England’s first Song Lyrics of Literary Excellence award, held at the John F. Kennedy Presidential Library. His co-honoree, Leonard Cohen, said “all of us are footnotes to the words of Chuck Berry.” Bob Dylan called him “the Shakespeare of rock ‘n’ roll.” And John Lennon called him “a rock poet.” … He influenced a new generation of musicians to write songs that tell a story. You Never Can Tell is a love story that goes like this: “It was a teenage wedding, and the old folks wished them well, You could see that Pierre did truly love the mademoiselle, And now the young monsieur and madame have rung the chapel bell, ‘C’est la vie’, say the old folks, it goes to show you never can tell.” … By the way, did you know that his Johnny B Goode is heading for the stars on the Voyager spacecraft? It doesn’t get cooler than that.

MORSE NO MORE

Morse.mar2017

Colin Dexter, the creator of detective Inspector Morse who solves crimes in Oxfordshire, has died. Dexter’s 13 Morse novels (1975-1999) were adapted into the wonderful TV series starring John Thaw as the detective. That series then spawned Lewis, Morse’s longtime sergeant and Endeavour, about Morse’s early days on the police force. All his Morse stories were set in the city of Oxford, where murders happened at the University’s colleges, living quarters, and in Oxford’s beautiful countryside. The crossword puzzle loving Morse was erudite, cranky, cryptic, and not especially easy to understand. Thanks to Dexter for creating such an interesting character. And like Sherlock Holmes with prodigious intelligence and curious eccentricities, Morse always got his man.

DOG NEWS

DogNews.RescuingPennyJane.mar2017

Meet Alfred, a silly, big Goldendoodle, intent on jumping on everyone at the shelter. Brody is an overly exuberant and misunderstood German shepherd mix. Their stories and others form an inspiring trip through the world of homeless dogs and the people who work to save them in Rescuing Penny Jane. The author covers what life is like in the shelters across the country. There are badly abused dogs and many who are neglected. Others are given up by their families who cannot take care of them. Case studies provide valuable insights into the importance and challenges of finding these dogs their forever homes. Reading this book, you might feel moved to learn more about adopting and caring for a shelter dog. Or find out how to make a difference by volunteering in one.

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.WarriorCanine.mar2017

Vets with combat stress train service dogs for fellow vets. That says it all. Research shows that companion animals, specifically dogs, help reduce blood pressure and ease stress. At the Warrior Canine Connection, service members with PTSD or mild traumatic brain injuries benefit greatly from working with service dogs. It can take two years and many service members to train each dog during which the veterans learn to become more patient, handle stressful situations better, and get back to living their lives. It costs more than $25,000 to breed, feed, care for, train, and place each dog. Every donation makes a difference.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.Aerosmith.mar2017

Aerosmith’s Dream On

For MTV’s 10th anniversary in 1991, the band performed the song live with an orchestra conducted by Michael Kamen.

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

Every time when I look in the mirror
All these lines on my face getting clearer
The past is gone
It went by, like dusk to dawn
Isn’t that the way
Everybody’s got the dues in life to pay

I know nobody knows
Where it comes and where it goes
I know it’s everybody sin
You got to lose to know how to win

Half my life
Is books written pages
Live and learn from fools and
From sages
You know it’s true, oh
All these things you do come back to you

Sing with me, sing for the years
Sing for the laughter, sing for the tears
Sing with me, just for today
Maybe tomorrow, the good lord will take you away

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

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

 

Sources:
Desert Bloom pic: Anza-Borrego DRC @AnzaBResearch
Joshua Tree pic: @Wanderlust Nomad, Trover
U2 pic: Anton Corbijn (taken during the album photo shoot sessions)
You Never Can Tell lyrics: Chuck Berry ©BMG Rights Management US, LLC
Dream On lyrics: Steven Tyler ©BMG Rights Management US, LLC

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

27 Jul

JULY’S TEARS TURN TO HOPE

BobbyKennedy.july2016

These times hark back to RFK’s commitment to racial justice. His advocacy of ending racism reminds us that his message is worth considering now, more than ever. While on the campaign trail, he revealed to the crowd that Dr Martin Luther King, Jr had just been killed, saying: “What we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness but is love, and wisdom and compassion toward one another and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.”

BASTILLE DAY

BastilleDay.july2016

Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité … That is what Bastille Day should be all about, commemorating the storming of the Bastille, the prison that represented the despicable Bourbon monarchy, and sowed the beginnings of the French Revolution in 1789 … Growing up I remember going to the parade on the Champs-Élysées with my Parisian father, a crowded and humbling event to witness. And in our home, he proudly raised this flag, honoring La Fete Nationale.

BastilleDay.july2016.PresHolland

Then day turned to night, fireworks to gunfire, celebration to tragedy, when a truck mowed down scores of people on the Promenade des Anglais in the beautiful southern city of Nice and Bastille Day celebration was no more. “The horror, the horror has once again, hit France,” said President Holland. But she is strong … Vive la France!

ELIE WIESEL

ElieWiesel.july2016

Peace. Atonement. Human Dignity … That was Elie Wiesel’s mission, his message to all of humanity. This from someone who survived the worst of humanity, not even humanity, it was nonhumanity … President Obama eulogized him, “We give thanks that Elie never gave up on humanity and on the progress that is possible when we treat one another with dignity and respect.”

STUART DAVIS

StuartDavis.SwingLandscape.july2016

His paintings are like music. They have rhythm. Just look at Swing Landscape (1938) by Stuart Davis. The Gloucester, MA waterfront is shown in bright colors and rhythmic patterns, realistic yet abstract, a modern rendering in American pop culture terms … “For me jazz was the only thing that corresponded to an authentic art in America. I think all my paintings, at least in part, come from this influence.”

PINK FLOYD STAMPS

PinkFloydStamp.endlessriverdarkside.july2016

The Royal Mail issued a set of stamps to celebrate 50 years of Pink Floyd. The album covers made into stamps include The Dark Side of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Endless River. Another four stamps show the band performing on tour, including one photo from a concert at London’s UFO Club in 1966!

LOUDER THAN WORDS

LouderThanWords.Button.BruceForPres.july2016

Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s timely exhibit, Louder Than Words: Rock, Power & Politics, explores the power of rock to change attitudes about patriotism, peace, equality, and freedom. Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello: “I’d say that 100 percent of music is political, that music either supports the status quo or challenges the status quo, so every artist is political.”

MORSE CODE

MorseMusic.july2016.cr-use

Have you watched Endeavor, the latest version of PBS’s longtime Inspector Morse series that also includes Inspector Lewis? It is the story of how Morse became Morse … As all three, Morse, Lewis, and Endeavor, take place in the university environs of Oxford, the Humanities take center stage. Philosophers and historians abound. Everybody here is smart. Most of all, Morse … Even the music is smart. Composed by the great Pheloung Barrington, the music uses Morse code to give us hints of whodunit in the score … And M-O-R-S-E is spelled out in Morse code in the opening notes of the theme melody. Barrington says, “It was just a little in-joke. I put his name at the beginning and then it recurred all the way through. Although a note to The Guardian pointed out that it actually spells T-O-R-S-E, as I’d slightly lengthened the dots on the ‘M’. I mean, honestly, some artistic license please, just because I asked the violinists to play a little more legato!”

GET DOWN, GET FUNKY, GET BACK UP AGAIN

KoolAndGangFunkTour.july2016

Remember that Billy Crystal line? An essential prescription for life, Keepin’ the Funk Alive, is also the name of Kool and the Gang’s tour. No JT, but original members, brothers Ronald and Robert “Kool” Bell, George Brown, and Dennis Thomas still celebrating. Also on the tour are Bootsy Collins, Morris Day and the Time, and Doug E. Fresh.

On Celebration: “We woke up one morning and they were playing Celebration on the space shuttle! We were scientists of sound!…[From] Scripture where the creator’s gonna create this human thing and the angels were celebrating him for doing so…There was never a song about a cel-e-bra-tion. Everyone around the world, come on, there’s a celebration every second of our lives. Somewhere, someone is always celebrating something.”

REASONS TO CELEBRATE

JonMarcus.july2016.cr-use

Thanks to May Pang for grabbing this pic of the coda of an incredibly heartfelt and celebratory service in honor of our great friend, Jon Marcus, longtime executive director of the New York office of the Recording Academy, the Grammy office. We were his happy minions, all enthusiastic members, ready to help whenever he called. A beautiful service, it ended with Charlie Feldman singing Satisfaction with Carlos Alomar on guitar, Jon looking upon his beautiful bride, Deb Whitfield, and all of us, his gathered friends, jumping up and singing, too. A wonderful life to celebrate.

JoePerry.july2016

So my Brother from Another Mother and Father (as we long ago called ourselves), Joe Perry, gave us a scare. Performing with Hollywood Vampires, his band with Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp, he collapsed and was hospitalized during their show in Brooklyn. Two weeks later he was back on stage on tour with the band. Celebrating his recovery is a good thing.

TwylaTharp.4.july2016

Twyla Tharp’s return to the Joyce Theater included early works, Brahms Paganini and Country Dances, both with her signature hip rolls and big brash attitude. Employing classical, jazz, and pop music while blending ballet and modern dance, her artistry celebrates humanity, joy, and life!

DOG NEWS

DogNews.Book.ShelterDogs.july2016

In Shelter Dogs, photographer Traer Scott’s compassionate portraits of dogs living in shelters make a passionate and compelling appeal to dog lovers. By revealing their expressive emotions, Scott raises awareness of animal rescue causes and the need for more adoptive homes for abandoned dogs … Photographer Nancy LeVine traveled the country, taking pictures of senior dogs along her way. Senior Dogs Across America, a compilation of photos and stories, is dedicated to “anyone who has ever loved a dog, young or old.” … Garry Gross’s photography in Beautiful Old Dogs is a heartfelt tribute that may inspire you to get involved in senior dog rescue and adoption.

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.StandHeroes.july2016

Stand Up For Heroes, the partnership between the New York Comedy Festival and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, is a clearinghouse for organizations supporting wounded warriors dealing with physical wounds to long-term PTSD. Make a donation in honor of Jon Marcus to help them continue to help veterans get better and get jobs.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.TrackTears.SmokeyMiracles.july2016

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’
The Tracks of My Tears

The Library of Congress is honoring Smokey Robinson with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. His 1965 classic, The Tracks of My Tears, was added to the National Recording Registry in 2007 as a “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant sound recording.”

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

People say I’m the life of the party
Because I tell a joke or two
Although I might be laughing loud and hearty
Deep inside I’m blue

So take a good look at my face
You know my smile looks out of place
If you look closer it’s easy to trace
The tracks of my tears

Who rescued whom?

Barkley+Mom.Tartan.IMG_0587.cr.Apr2016
At the New York Tartan Day Parade.
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:
RFK quote: Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon by Larry Tye (Random House 2016)
Elie Wiesel quote: Boston Globe
Stuart Davis quote: Indiana University Art Museum
Pheloung Barrington quote: crime4u.com
Kool and the Gang’s Bell brothers quote: Rolling Stone, June 29, 2015
Jon Marcus memorial service pic: May Pang
We Can Help pic: Bob Woodruff Foundation
The Tracks of My Tears lyrics: Marvin Tarplin, Smokey Robinson, Warren Moore, William Robinson, Jr. ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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