Tag Archives: New York Philharmonic

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.

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.

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

26 Mar

ARE YOU INSPIRED?

marvin-gaye-got-to-give-it-up.tamla.Mar2015

“You can’t wait for inspiration. You have to go after it with a club.” (Jack London) …

A jury ruled that Blurred Lines copied elements of Marvin Gaye’s Got to Give It Up, requiring Pharrell Williams and Robin Thicke pay $7.3 million to Gaye’s heirs for copyright infringement. “The verdict handicaps any creator who is making something that might be inspired by something else…fashion, music, design, anything. This is about protecting the intellectual rights of people who have ideas. Everything that’s around you in a room was inspired by something or someone. If you kill that, there’s no creativity.” So says Pharrell Williams after the decision …

What does inspire mean? (verb) 1. to fill with an animating, quickening, or exalting influence 2. to produce or arouse (a feeling, thought) 3. to influence or impel 4. to communicate or suggest by a divine or supernatural influence 5. to give rise to, bring about, cause … From the 14th century Old French, to influence with an idea or purpose;  inhale, breathe in …

“As an artist you want to record songs you feel strongly about…” A life filled with sadness, abuse, depression, and loss, Marvin Gaye found inspiration from what he saw around him and what he lived through. His songs reflected his concerns about poverty, discrimination, politics, drug addiction, and the environment. Motown founder Berry Gordy says of Gaye, “The truest artist I’ve ever known. Whatever he was going through in his life he put on records. So if you want to know Marvin just listen to one of his records.” … One may hold fast to the enduring resonance of What’s Going On, Mercy Mercy Me (The Ecology), and Inner City Blues (Make Me Wanna Holler), songs by an inspired and inspiring artist …

Let’s also keep in mind what Bob Dylan said, “Inspiration is hard to come by. You have to take it where you find it.” His are our last words.

CHANGES AT THE PHIL

PART 1: THE OPERATOR

Agent, manager, recording executive, film producer, and philanthropist, David Geffen is donating $100 million to renovate david-geffen.Mar2015and rename Avery Fisher Hall, becoming David Geffen Hall this September with the start of the New York Philharmonic’s 2015-16 season … Geffen made his mark in the music biz finding talent and building record companies to nurture that talent. He received the Ahmet Ertegun Lifetime Achievement Award from one of his early artists Jackson Browne at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2010. Of his success he said, “I have no talent except for the ability to enjoy and recognize it in others.”

Being shrewd is crucial to succeed, as this story from his bio, The Operator, shows. When John Lennon wanted to get back to recording, every label wanted to sign him. Upset that Yoko was not respected, John had her answer the phone calls. All the record execs “dismissed her rudely and demanded to speak with Lennon. Each time, Lennon directed Ono to hang up.” Although he didn’t know her, Geffen “shrewdly figured out that she was the decision maker…he sent her a telegram and asked for a meeting with her.” Seeing that it was addressed to her, John said, “He’s the one we’ll go with.”

By the way, did you know David Geffen started out in the mailroom at William Morris?

PART 2: THE MAESTRO

AlanGilbert.Mar2015The Philharmonic announced that music director Alan Gilbert will be stepping down in 2017 after eight seasons. The first native New Yorker to hold the post and the son of two of its players, he expanded the Orchestra’s repertory and its activities, developing CONTACT!, premiering new scores, and the NY Philharmonic Biennial, exploring modern composers … Especially inspiring (yes!) were his programs, La Dolce Vita: Music of Italian Cinema with Joshua Bell, Renée Fleming, and Josh Groban, and Philharmonic 360, where the Orchestra surrounded the audience in the cavernous Park Avenue Armory, playing Boulez, Mozart, and Ives … His entrepreneurial energy and pioneering spirit has inspired the Orchestra and its audiences. Bravo, Maestro!

THE BACK-UP PLAN

You’ll find inspiration in the documentary, The Wrecking Crew, about the studio musicians behind The Beach Boys, The WreckingCrew.Mar2015Monkees, Sonny & Cher, The Mamas and the Papas, and my fave, The Association (Windy!) – the sound of 1960s LA soft rock. In it, Nancy Sinatra says, “The musicians were really the unsung heroes of all those hit records.” … What’s really cool is what media specialist Howard Homonoff has to say about the doc. In his Forbes article, Howard points out the film’s “real lesson is about being open to finding creativity and innovation in unlikely places – not just in music but far beyond.” Read it just to learn his takeaways – partnership makes good business and that there’s nothing that talent, experience, and professionalism can beat. Follow him, his articles are great … And oh yeah, teamwork can be inspiring.

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.Vans+ASPCA.Mar2015

Vans launched a new collection of shoes, shirts, hats, and bags featuring dog and cat patterns to support the ASPCA. The shoes are available for purchase now at vans.com and select footwear retailers.

Soundtrack to this Issue isWindy.TheAssociation.Mar2015.b

Windy by The Association
#1 on Billboard’s Hot 100 Chart, July 1967

C’mon, sing along:
Who’s peekin’ out from under a stairway
Calling a name that’s lighter than air
Who’s bending down to give me a rainbow
Everyone knows it’s Windy

Who’s tripping down the streets of the city
Smilin’ at everybody she sees
Who’s reachin’ out to capture a moment
Everyone knows it’s Windy

And Windy has stormy eyes
That flash at the sound of lies
And Windy has wings to fly
Above the clouds (Above the clouds)
Above the clouds (Above the clouds)

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”lIMGP2541.cr.newsltr“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

Sources:
Pharrell Williams quote: Rolling Stone, March 19, 2015
Marvin Gaye quote: Marvin Gaye fan page website
Berry Gordy quote: This is Rebel Music by Harvey Kubernik (University of New Mexico Press, 2004)
David Geffen pic: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2010
David Geffen quote: Rock and Roll Hall of Fame 2010
John Lennon story: The Operator by Tom King (Random House, 2000), pages 311-312
Alan Gilbert illustration: New York Times Book Review/Jillian Tamaki
Windy lyrics: Mildred J. Hill, Patty Smith Hill, Ruthann Friedman, © Irving Music Inc., Summy-birchard Company

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

24 Dec

LOVE + HAPPINESS = DECEMBER

BEST WISHES FOR HAPPY HOLIDAYS
AND A GRAND NEW YEAR
FILLED WITH JOY + PEACE + LOVE!

Who better signifies the spirit of the season? The great, wonderful, forever super soulful Reverend Al 37th Annual Kennedy Center HonorsGreen receives this year’s Kennedy Center Honors, for those who have made significant contributions to the American arts and culture. Born to sharecroppers in Arkansas, he has sold more than 20 million albums and won 11 Grammys. “I got to meet country and western people, I’ve got to meet gospel people, I’ve got to meet hillbilly people, I’ve got to meet just down-to-earth regular American Midwest people — and all of them have had an effect on me.” Wearing the Kennedy Center honors medal and with Paul Shaffer and the CBS Orchestra band backing him, Al Green performed Tired of Being Alone and Let’s Stay Together on the Late Show with David Letterman …  Nick (What’s So Funny ‘Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding) Lowe’s Quality Holiday Revue at the Bowery Ballroom … Hip Hop Nutcracker featuring my pal, M.C. Kurtis Blow … The NY Philharmonic’s glorious Handel’s Messiah and The Night Before Christmas with Whoopi Goldberg … Then Dianne Reeves welcomes in the new year with the NY Phil’s all-Gershwin celebration … “Oh! ‘S wonderful! ‘S marvelous! That you should care for me!” … And here’s to everything wonderful and marvelous for you in the New Year!

HOLIDAY CHEER = DARLENE LOVE!

And who better deliversDarleneLove.christmasbaby.LateShow.Dec2014 the music of the season? The one and only Darlene Love performed her always anticipated annual rendition of Christmas (Baby Please Come Home) for the final time on the Late Show with David Letterman. Did she blow away the crowd? Oh yeah! … After 28 years with Letterman, what’s next? “I think we should get together once a year and do a huge Christmas show. A Paul Shaffer-Darlene Love Christmas show somewhere in New York. I’m sure it would sell out.” Count us in!

R.I.P. JOE COCKER

And what better sentiment at the holiday season than the one that touches us all? The great rock/soul voice of JoeCocker.died.12.22.14Joe Cocker thankfully lives on forever – and never more so than on the Beatles’ With a Little Help from My Friends “What would you think if I sang out of tune, Would you stand up and walk out on me?, Lend me your ears and I’ll sing you a song, And I’ll try not to sing out of key, Oh I get by with a little help from my friends, Mm going to try with a little help from my friends” … At this time of year, we especially need and appreciate the warmth, kindness, and affection that friendship brings in our lives.

WE CAN HELP
???????????????????????????????Barkley hopes you get a lot of toys this holiday … Westie Rescue of New England sent me this beautiful bundle of happiness … All volunteers, they are dedicated to saving, fostering, and placing West Highland White Terriers into new loving forever homes. Your donation helps them continue their mission, one that is close to my heart … When our Westies smile, the world seems a little lighter.

AlGreen.lets-stay-together.Dec2014

Soundtrack to this Issue is
Al Green’s
Let’s Stay Together

C’mon, sing along:
Let’s stay together
Loving you whether, whether
Times are good or bad, happy or sad.

 

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:
Al Green pic: Kris Connor/Getty Images
Al Green quote: Associated Press
‘S Wonderful: written by Ira and George Gershwin, ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Darlene Love pic: Late Show with David Letterman
Darlene Love quote: Billboard
With a Little Help from My Friends lyrics: written by Lennon/McCartney, Sony/ATV Music Publishing
Let’s Stay Together lyrics: ©Buddabear Publishing, Emi Foray Music, Irving Music Inc., Al Jackson Jr Music, Al Green Music Inc., Warner-Tamerlane Publishing Corp., Burlington Music Co. Ltd., Jec Publishing Corp.

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

27 Oct

OCTOBER IS FALL’S CROWNING GLORY

Part spoken word, part concert, Lennon: Through a Glass Onion celebrates his words and music. Happy birthday, JohnJohnLennon.stageshow.Oct2014 … On the eve of her new album release, Aretha Franklin talked with Clive Davis at the 92Y. “It really is an honor if I can be inspirational to a younger singer or person, it means I’ve done my job.” … Big-hearted Betty Buckley performed six concerts at Joe’s Pub, from her new T Bone Burnett-produced album, Ghostlight … Simon Rattle led the Berlin Philharmonic in Bach’s St. Matthew Passion at the Park Avenue Armory, part of Lincoln Center’s White Light FestivalEverly Brothers honored with Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s Music Masters award … Bravo, Maestro James Levine on your 2,500th performance with the Metropolitan Opera OrchestraMatisse’s colorful cut-paper collages at MOMA … Yeah, they went their own way, but now Fleetwood Mac is back and on tourPrince.ArtOfficialAge.Oct2014The Who: 50 Years Greatest Hits album, whoa, fifty years? No! … Also out with new albums: Yusuf, Neil Diamond, and Annie Lennox sings American standards … The 3rd annual CBGB Music and Film Festival featured Devo … Speaking of, Mark Mothersbaugh has a solo art exhibition, Myopia, traveling the US … The surprising, enterprising, never disappointing artist known as Prince released two albums at once, Art Official Age and PlectrumElectrum … Esa-Pekka Salonen and the NY Philharmonic play Stravinsky’s The Firebird, let’s see, do the prince and princess live happily ever after? …

The glorious voices of Ladysmith Black Mambazo played Carnegie Hall’s South African music fest … Happy 30th birthday to Def Jam Records,BloodMoon.10.8.14.Oct2014.cr influential and genre-defining … Masters of Hawaiian Music played SubCulture. Can you say ki ho’alu? That’s slack-key guitar to you … A Harlem block is officially renamed, George Carlin Way … Recovered, the Allman Brothers resumed their residency at The Beacon … They gave it away on iTunes then U2 released Songs of Innocence, their 13th album, featuring the single The Miracle (of Joey Ramone). You had me at Joey Ramone … The Beach Boys’ gorgeous classic, God Only Knows,  celebrates the launch of BBC Music with the likes of Pharrell Williams, Elton John, Chris Martin, Stevie Wonder, Chrissie Hynde, Sam Smith, and more, and oh yeah, the great Brian Wilson … Two new breeds in Westminster, Coton de Tulear and Wirehaired Viszla … New postage stamps celebrate Batman turning 75 … The Blood Moon, a total lunar eclipse, rose up bright red … And R.I.P. Jack Bruce, Cream’s singer and bassist, and co-writer of the best song there ever was and ever will be, Sunshine of Your Love.

COMPASSION IS THE SOLUTION

So says my favorite singer/songwriter, Matt Turk. Big congratulations on his latest album, Cold Revival, and his sold-out releaseMattTurkColdRevival.pic-ChristinaTorpie.October2014 party at The Bitter End …

“Opening with a lilting mandolin strum, Cracked Egg turns sharply into a powerhouse of explosive drums and heartfelt singing … When A Boy’s gentle, acoustic picking becomes a more upbeat track with the right amount of organ punched in … The album’s title track Cold Revival has a perfect country feel with restrained slide guitars, understated organ and strings … Say You’ll Live’s minor chords, mandolin and spoken word opening bursts into a dramatic, organ-driven piece.”

“Matt Turk strikes a fine balance between rockers and introspective acoustic excursions.” … Oh, and Matt is Featured Artist in Guitar Player magazine … Don’t wait, buy Cold Revival at turktunes!

GOTTA READ IT, GOTTA SEE IT

Books on music: Bernstein Meets Broadway: Collaborative Art in a Time of War by Carol Oja, Griel Marcus’sFiddler.book.Oct2014 The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in Ten Songs, Mick Fleetwood’s Play On (timed with his band’s tour), Sheila E’s The Beat of My Own Drum, Neil Young’s Special Deluxe, Joe Perry’s Rocks, David Ritz’s Aretha Franklin bio (timed with her album release) Respect, and Tradition! The Highly Improbable, Ultimately Triumphant Broadway-to-Hollywood Story of Fiddler on the Roof, the World’s Most Beloved Music by Barbara Isenberg …

And new films about music: Andre Benjamin as Jimi Hendrix in Jimi: All Is by My Side, JK Simmons as a music teacher in Whiplash, and Ethan Hawk’s inspiring bio on the equally inspiring 87-year old piano teacher, Seymour Bernstein, Seymour: An Introduction.

FALL’S WELCOME AND FAREWELL

FallColors.ChrisMeloni.Oct2014

“Even if something is left undone,
everyone must take time
to sit still and watch the leaves turn.”
(Elizabeth Lawrence)

 

WE CAN HELP
ASPCA.DonateBox.Oct2014

Soundtrack to this Issue
ArethaFranklinSingsTheGreatDivaClassics.Oct2014
Aretha’s Version of Adele’s Rolling in the Deep
(with a dash of Ain’t No Mountain High Enough, oh yeah!)

From the album, Aretha Franklin Sings The Great Diva Classics
©2014 RCA Records, a division of Sony Music Entertainment

C’mon, sing along:

The scars of your love remind me of us
It keeps me thinking that we almost had it all
The scars of your love keep me breathless
I can’t help thinking

We could have had it all
Rolling in the deep
You had my heart inside of your hand
But you played it to the beat

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
IMGP2541.cr.newsltr“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 

Sources:
Lennon: Through a Glass Onion pic: Illustration by Aaron Smith
Matt Turk pic: Christina Torpie, October 2014
Matt Turk’s Cold Revival review quotes: Rob Ross/PopDose
Matt Turk’s Magnet Magazine review quote: Magnet October Issue #114
Fall Colors pic: Chris Meloni
Rolling in the Deep lyrics: Adele Laurie Blue Adkins, Paul Epworth © EMI Music Publishing Ltd., Melted Stone Publishing Ltd.

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

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

29 May

MY OH MY WHAT A MAY

The US Postal Service honored two giants, issuing the Jimi Hendrix and Harvey Milk stamps. Need a better excuse to stopJimi.Stamp.May2014 texting and send a letter? … Queen guitarist Brian May reveals plans for a new Queen album HarveyMilk.Stamp.May2014featuring unreleased Freddie Mercury vocals from the 1980s. More Freddie Mercury? Yes, please … Audra McDonald channels is Billie Holiday in Lady Day at Emerson’s Bar & Grill … Journey lead singer, Steve Perry, one of the true great rock voices, performed on stage with the Eels for the first time in almost 20 years. Don’t ever stop believin’ … Buzz Lightyear and Woody played the NY Philharmonic in Pixar in Concert … The NY Phil also held its annual Memorial Day concert at St. John the Divine, featuring Tchaikovsky’s Fifth Symphony … Norm Lewis, who made his Broadway debut in The Who’s Tommy in 1993, takes over the Phantom role in Phantom of the Opera “Swordfish.” You won’t need the password to go to Marxfest, a series of films, talks, and concerts honoring the Marx Brothers. Remember this Groucho groaner? “One morning I shot an elephant in my pajamas; how he got in my pajamas I don’t know.”

 PASSAGES

SingingBird.May2014

“My mission in life is not merely to survive, but to thrive; and to do so with some passion, some compassion, some humor, and some style.” Mission accomplished, Maya Angelou.

MetMuseum.Buddha.May2014

A birthday is a time for reflection as well as celebration. So I spent some of mine at the Tibet and India: Buddhist Traditions and Transformations show at the Met. Buddhas offering protection. Buddhas praying. Buddhas preaching. Buddhas meditating. All were imposing, inspiring, graceful, and, most of all, peaceful.

WE CAN HELP

AspcaNewFacility.May2014

The ASPCA never stops caring, never stops helping. A brand new facility will help save the lives of NYC’s homeless and abused dogs and cats. The ASPCA Kitten Ward and the NYPD CARE ward for canine cruelty victims is a special place for the extra care they need. Support their steadfast efforts. Become an ASPCA member, donate, or volunteer.

BoxTops.May2014.use

Soundtrack to this Issue is
The Letter by The Box Tops

Listen to Alex Chilton’s indelible soulful vocals. Released in 1967 on the album of the same name, it reached Number One on the Billboard Hot 100. Write a letter, mail it with Jimi and Harvey. C’mon, sing along:

Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane
Ain’t got time to take a fast train
Lonely days are gone, I’m-a goin’ home
My baby, just-a wrote me a letter

I don’t care how much money I gotta spend
Got to get back to my baby again
Lonely days are gone …

Well, she wrote me a letter
Said she couldn’t live without me no more
Listen, mister, can’t you see I got to get back
To my baby once-a more. Anyway, yeah!

IMGP2541.cr.newsltr

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

 

Sources:
Buddha pic: Metropolitan Museum of Art
The Letter lyrics: © Universal Music Publishing Group, EMI Music Publishing

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

27 Feb

FAB FEBRUARY

Downton Abbey’s Season 4 was surely enlightening, thrilling, and quite satisfying. Now we wait a year to learn who DowntonAbbey.2.27.14Lady Mary chooses and how Carson and Mrs. Hughes liked the water … Johnny’s daughter, Roseanne Cash, released The River & the Thread, a meditation on folk and country by way of a southern state of mind. And she performed her dad’s songs on his signature Martin guitars at the Metropolitan Museum, tied in with the exhibit on Martin’s early guitars … Carnegie Hall presented the first Isaac Stern Memorial Concert with Yo-Yo Ma and Emanuel Ax playing Brahms … Hope you got to hear Dianne Reeves at Jazz at Lincoln Center. Her voice, her poise – she is one in a million. On Beautiful Life, she sings Fleetwood Mac and Marvin Gaye … The NY Philharmonic celebrated the Chinese New Year with Tan Dun’s The Triple Resurrection: Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon; Hero; and The BanquetThe Apollo turned 80 and celebrated with Doug E. Fresh hosting their famous Amateur NightLadysmith Black Mambazo, you know, from Paul Simon’s Graceland, well, they brought their magnificent a cappella chorus to BB King Blues Club. Their album, Live: Singing for Peace Around the World, just won a Grammy. Spreading the good word in harmony, that’s what they do … And farewell for real to City Opera with a grand concert that celebrated 70 Years of the People’s Opera. Placido Domingo showed up, too, after all it’s where he made his NYC debut. Put on by the musicians and choristers, they ensured that proceeds benefited the NYC Musicians’ Emergency Relief Fund (Local 802). A classy way to go out. Bravo.

BEATLEMANIA

It was 50 years ago todayThe Beatles performed on the Ed Sullivan Show in 1964 and the anniversary of theirBeatles.Love.vbb55 arrival in the US was not forgotten … The Grammys offered a tribute concert featuring Stevie Wonder, John Mayer, Joe Walsh and Jeff Lynne, Maroon 5, Katy Perry, Eurythmics, and oh yeah, Paul and Ringo … Donovan and Peter Asher talked about Beatlemania at the 92Y … The Library for the Performing Arts’s exhibit, Ladies and Gentlemen, the Beatles!, features tour memorabilia, historic film clips and video interviews. The Library held a debate, Beatles vs. Rolling Stones. Mike Myers stood up for the Beatles and NPR’s Ophira Eisenberg with Bill Janovitz, musician and author of a Stones book, spoke for well, y’know. Assembled by the Grammy Museum, catch it before it goes May 10 … Like their melodies, lyrics, and harmonies, the Fab Four’s cultural and musical legacy lives on and on and on and on, across the universe.

DOG MANIA

Every February welcomes the hounds. The Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show celebrates our companions, our champions. It’s our chance to see the wondrous magnificent variety of the dog world, where we are guided by the knowledgeable and passionate David Frei, who celebrated 25 years as our host. Three new breeds were introduced: WestminsterDog.2.27.14.bChinook, Rat Terrier, and Portuguese Podengo Pequeno – loved him! This year offered something extra. The Agility Championship, where the dogs go through steeple-chase maneuvers, included for the first time mixed-breeds. Congrats to our new champ, Sky, the magnificent Wire Fox Terrier – the breed’s 14th Best in Show win, more than any other breed. Terriers rule –with 46 wins, the most of any group. Asked why Terriers win so much, David said, “Terriers were bred to look for trouble…gives them an edge to their performance in the ring…It’s their world and we’re just living in it.” Tell me about it.

REMEMBERING PHILIP SEYMOUR HOFFMAN

I will always remember this great actor’s roles in three music-related movies. In A Late Quartet, he played the secondphilip-seymour-hoffman.2.27.14.br violinist in a string quartet famous for playing Beethoven’s String Quartet No. 14, opus 131. In Almost Famous, he was the renowned rock critic, Lester Bangs. And in Pirate Radio, he made us believe that he could save the world with rock ‘n roll radio. In each of these roles, he showed us his character’s pain, his truth, his humanity. Baring his own at the same time.

WE CAN HELP

Angel-on-a-Leash.9.30.13.crWe know how much dogs can help to alleviate stress and suffering that patients and their families experience when dealing with illness. Angel On A Leash was founded by the host of the Westminster Dog Show, David Frei, to provide the best therapy dog programs in health care facilities, schools, rehabilitation, and hospice. Learn how you can help or donate.

 Hey-Jude-45.2.27.14

Soundtrack to this Issue is
The Beatles’s Hey Jude
C’mon, sing along:
Hey, Jude, don’t make it bad
Take a sad song and make it better
Remember to let her into your heart
Then you can start to make it better

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l IMGP2541.cr.newsltr“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

 Sources:
Downton Abbey pic: DowntonAbbeyOnline
Beatles pic: vbb55
Best in Show pic: Ben Hider/USA Network/NBCU Photo Bank/Getty images
David Frei quote:
ESPN interview
Philip Seymour Hoffman pic: The Well-Tempered Ear

Hey Jude lyrics: Sony/ATV Music Publishing

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

31 Jan

JANUARY’S PROMISE 

A new year brought a new Bruce Springsteen album. And it opened at #1 on Billboard. High Hopes indeed … The HighHopes.BruceSpringsteen.1.31.14New York Guitar Festival’s month-long celebration of all-things guitar included Guitar Marathon: Las Americas, which featured artists from Latin America performing a variety of styles, the Alt-Guitar Summit, a six-hour classical marathon, and the really cool Silent Films/Live Guitars, music to silent films featuring NY … Make Music Monthly, a series of talks with musicians at the Cornelia Street Café and on podcasts, debuted with a discussion of Charles Mingus’s two-hour work, Epitaph … NY Phil’s pianist-in-residence, Yefim Bronfman, played Greenwich Village basement space SubCulture … The 10th annual five-day NYC Winter Jazzfest featured a 75th anniversary concert at Town Hall for Blue Note Records and a takeover of Greenwich Village clubs … Rolling Stone scribe Will Hermes to write Lou Reed bio, potentially called, Lou: A New York Life … Beatlemania just starting: Capitol released The Beatles: The U.S. Albums, a 13-CD set … Neil Young played Carnegie Hall, where he made his solo debut in 1970 … We wish a speedy recovery to Maestro Kurt Mazur who had to cancel his annual Manhattan School of Music conducting seminar … Although he’s not retiring until June we begin bidding our goodbye to NY Philharmonic Concertmaster Glenn Dicterow, who showed his chops in Tchaikovsky’s Suite No. 3 and Beethoven’s Triple Concerto. A great musician and a real nice guy. Bravo!

REMEMBERING PETE 

PeteSeeger.1.31.14One of a kind. Made a mark. Not just in music. But on culture and on society. Making peace was Pete Seeger’s message. And his mission. “The key to the future of the world is finding the optimistic stories and letting them be known.” He left us with Where Have All the Flowers Gone?, If I Had a Hammer, and Turn, Turn, Turn. And he also gave us his versions of This Land Is Your Land and We Shall Overcome. In Beacon you lived. And a beacon you were, and will forever be. Bless you and thank you, Pete Seeger. We remember you well.

ADIEU + MERCI MONSIEUR MAGRITTE 

Ceci n’est pas une pipe. You know the words. Better, you know the image.Magritte.The-Kiss.1951.1.31.14 The one and only René Magritte. MOMA’s celebration of the great Surrealist, Magritte: The Mystery of the Ordinary 1926-1938, finally came to an end. His art was representative, yet paradoxical, his images indelible. Even popular. That he shared the same name as my father made him my favorite. That he made me think, while appreciating the pretty pictures, only made me admire him more. What you see, well, is that what is?

WE CAN HELP 

ChimesOfFreedom.1.31.14The world’s largest grassroots human rights organization, Amnesty International, is a global movement of people fighting injustice and promoting human rights. And music has played a big part in raising awareness and much needed funds, and inspiring others to care.

Donate or buy the Chimes For Freedom CD featuring Johnny Cash, Pete Townshend, Patti Smith, Pete Seeger and more singing Bob Dylan songs.

Soundtrack to this Issue is Pete Seeger singing Bob Dylan’s Forever Young. From Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International.

 Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l IMGP2541.cr.newsltr

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

Sources:
Pete Seeger pic: Huffington Post, January 28, 2014
Pete Seeger quote: NY Times, January 29, 2014
René Magritte pic: The Kiss 1951

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

30 Dec

DECEMBER = INSPIRATION + HOPE

A heartfelt thank you for your friendship, partnership, and support. I Dec13.inspireMugappreciate our connection. There was meaningful conversation and helpful advice. Changes, too. Which led to adapting. Which led to even more changes. Such is the cycle of our lives. I look forward to learning even more from you and sharing more news and ideas with you in 2014. Let’s continue to inspire each other!

INSPIRING MUSIC…

Always inspiring, Handel’s Messiah at the NY Philharmonic. Making his NY Phil debut, Maestro Andrew Manze, with the Westminster Dec13.HandelsMessiahSymphonic Choir. And oh yes, everyone stood at Hallelujah. The soprano’s Air from Romans spoke to the season of hope: “How beautiful are the feet of them that preach the gospel of peace, and bring glad tidings of good things!”…Bruce Springsteen brought us High Hopes, from his new album due January 14…And his Born to Run handwritten lyrics sold for $197,000 at auction…But wait, at the same auction, Yoko Ono’s typed manuscript (with handwritten notes) of her 1964 book, Grapefruit, sold for $485,000…Beyoncé out with a new marketing strategy, I mean no marketing strategy, no, I mean a new album – announced solely on Instagram – 14 songs, 17 videos, zero promotion. Social media + digital music distribution = a new way to do it…SeaWorld in Orlando saw concert cancellations by Willie Nelson, REO Speedwagon, Martina McBride, and Cheap Trick, over keeping whales in captivity…Remember Boston? Now it’s mostly Tom Scholz, an original techie, playing all the instruments on Life, Love and Hope. There’s a title with more than a feelingKennedy Center honorees included Herbie Hancock, Billy Joel, Martina Arroyo, and Carlos Santana…Speaking of. A NY institution merged with another NY institution: Billy Joel is Madison Square Garden’s first entertainment franchise. Hey, maybe some of his homegrown NY spirit will rub off on their Knicks franchise…New Rock and Roll Hall of Famers are KISS, Peter Gabriel, Hall and Oates, Cat Stevens, and Linda Ronstadt. Also, the E Street Band, Brian Epstein and Andrew Loog Oldham. Very cool list…Neil Young’s new release is really an old one from a 1970 solo acoustic tour, Live at the Cellar DoorDec13.Peter&TheWolfProkofiev’s enduring Peter & the Wolf, this one narrated, designed, and directed by the inspiring Isaac Mizrahi, set in Central Park, with the Juilliard Ensemble, and presented at the Guggenheim, a true NY holiday tradition…And Maestro Gilbert offers another NY tradition, the NY Phil’s New Year’s Eve Celebration, with classical comedy music duo, Igudesman & Joo. Bringing in the new year with laughter and music. Sounds perfect.

WHAT’S UP, DOCS? MUSIC!

HBO’s Six by Sondheim views the composer’s career through new versions of six of his classic songs, by some pretty great performers Dec13.MarvinHamlishincluding Audra McDonald and Darren Criss…PBS gave us Marvin Hamlisch: What He Did For Love, a view of the artist whose life was totally devoted to music. Did you know he auditioned for Juilliard when he was 6?…And our fave doc of the year, 20 Feet From Stardom, an admiring ode to the never to be ever forgotten back-up singers, is on the shortlist for an Oscar.

GOOD BOOKS

Dec13.TheInterestingsMeg Wolitzer’s The Interestings resonates for all of us who went to a performing arts camp or school because it was part of our DNA and it would lead to our life’s passion and lifelong friends…The young protagonist of Donna Tartt’s The Goldfinch has a lot on his plate. His level-headedness and plain-spokenness keeps you riveted in his journey…In Johnny Cash: The Life, Robert Hilburn’s portrait tallies with what Bob Dylan said of Cash, “if we want to know what it means to be mortal, we need look no further than the Man in Black.”Beatles vs. Stones by historian John McMillan makes the case for each…And Mark Lewisohn’s first volume of his Beatles trilogy All These Years, Tune In, arrived in a glorious (almost) 1,000-page package. He tracks their beginnings up to December 31, 1962. Make room on your shelf.

WE CAN HELP

Dec13.ASPCA.mug.1

The ASPCA Adoption Center does good work. Each precious dog has a bed, blanket, toys, and coat. Each is cleaned, evaluated, and cared for. Cats, too. The ASPCA Love is a Treat mug is a great way to show your love, while making a meaningful purchase. Donate to ASPCA.

LAST WORDS

Change is hard. Everyone agrees this is so. This year brought each of us changes that were expected and unexpected, welcome and unwelcome. We adapt to some. Others we struggle through. Hope gives us the strength to persevere. Friends and colleagues provide inspiration…“Strange fascination, fascinating me, Ah changes are taking the pace I’m going through. Ch-ch-ch-ch-Changes.”…Here’s to changes. And here’s to welcoming them…Cheers to a happy peaceful new year.

Dec13.DavidBowieChangesSoundtrack to this Issue is David Bowie’s Changes

Buddha, stay. Good dog. z”l
IMGP2541.cr.newsltr
“…live in the present moment wisely and earnestly.”
(Buddha)

Sources:
Marvin Hamlisch pic: PBS American Masters
Changes lyrics: words and music by David Bowie (EMI Music Publishing)

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