Tag Archives: Robert Plant

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

26 Aug

HOT DOG DAYS OF AUGUST

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How hot is it? Real Feel: 118 degrees – wow! … This has been one hot summer for most everyone everywhere. Hope you (and your dogs) are keeping cool wherever you are … Prediction: There will be snow soon enough!

 

THE BOSS TELLS HIS STORY

BruceBornToRunBook.aug2016

 

 

“I come from a boardwalk town where almost everything is tinged with a bit of fraud. So am I. By 20, no race-car-driving rebel, I was a guitar player on the streets of Asbury Park … But I held four clean aces. I had youth, almost a decade of hard-core bar band experience, a good group of homegrown musicians who were attuned to my performance style and a story to tell.” … From the forward to Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography, Born to Run, to be released in September.

 

SO HOW’D YA WRITE THAT SONG?

RobertPlant.aug2016

 

Many were mollified at the unquestionably correct verdict that, no, Led Zeppelin did not steal a lesser known band’s music for their not derived, resplendent, iconic Stairway to Heaven Robert Plant testified in court on the song’s origins: “…I sat with Jimmy by the fire, and he began playing. And I had this little couplet lyrically that, if you like, in tempo, fitted into what he was playing. So I just started developing that into two lines, then four lines, and then on, slowly, opening it up…‘There’s a lady who’s sure all that glitters is gold, and she’s buying a stairway to heaven. And when she gets there she knows that the stores are all closed; with a word she can get what she came for.’…I was really trying to bring in that aspect of Welsh, the beauty and the remoteness of the pastoral Britain…Meanwhile, the guys were working on opening up the song and its transition into something that was really flowering and it was quite a thing as we moved on through the song, to open it up and to turn around various parts of it and see it develop into something I couldn’t even imagine.” … Ladies and gentlemen of the jury, that’s how they wrote that song.

 

DON’T STOP BELIEVIN’!

Tchaikovsky.aug2016

 

 

The Nutcracker. Swan Lake. 1812 Overture. The celebrated Russian composer Pyotr Ilyich Tchaikovsky (1840–1893) believed that one must keep working and working, just keep at it, and inspiration will happen … “We must always work, and a self-respecting artist must not fold his hands on the pretext that he is not in the mood. If we wait for the mood, without endeavoring to meet it half-way, we easily become indolent and apathetic. We must be patient, and believe that inspiration will come to those who can master their disinclination” … Two centuries later, producer, songwriter, and lead singer and guitarist of The White Stripes, Jack White echoes Tchaikovsky’s ideal … “Inspiration and work ethic — they ride right next to each other…Not every day you’re gonna wake up and the clouds are gonna part and rays from heaven are gonna come down and you’re gonna write a song from it. Sometimes, you just get in there and just force yourself to work, and maybe something good will come out.”

 

PEPSI-COLA HITS THE SPOT

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The distinctive Pepsi-Cola sign in Long Island City, Queens, that faces the East River and Manhattan, is now an official New York City landmark. Its bright red swirly lettering has long been a welcoming beacon on the waterfront. Crowning Pepsi’s bottling plant at this site in 1940, its reconstruction in 1993 was faithful to the original sign. The 50-foot painted Pepsi bottle was probably replaced in the 1970s with an updated bottle design. Serving as a longstanding and well-known branding symbol, this sure is a testament to the power of a great marketing imprint.

 

READY FOR LIFT-OFF

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Another should be New York City landmark are the Metropolitan Opera’s spacey chandeliers. Who doesn’t ooh and aah as the world-famous show before the show starring 12 radiant starbursts begin their ascendency as the lights fade? A gift made by the Austrian government to thank the US for its help after WWII, it was a shining symbol of the friendship between Austria and the US. Fondly named sputniks, their design was inspired by the post-war era’s International Space Race and the Big Bang. And now they have been mechanically overhauled, outdated equipment for raising and lowering them updated. Let the oohing and aahing begin!

 

YOU MAY SAY HE’S A DREAMER

JohnLennonVsUSABook.aug2016

 

 

“Let’s see, I think it was Jack Lemmon and Yoko Moto,” said Leon Wildes when asked the names of his new clients. With immigration and deportation hot-button issues in this election year, how timely and informative this new book is about John Lennon’s four-year battle to stay in the US. Wildes was John and Yoko’s lawyer, an expert on immigration law. Insights abound. We see that the debate about discretionary targeting of political protestors was as relevant then as it is now. Richard Nixon may have wanted John banished but, as Wildes states, “Thanks to [Lennon’s] willingness to fight, we managed to discover and helped create a remedy for impossible cases.” Funny how John’s 1972 deportation case with its societal significance and legal impact, is as essential a lasting legacy as is the extraordinary music he left us.

 

…AND SPEAKING OF JOHN’S MUSIC

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Netflix’s new animated series, Beat Bugs, tells stories through Beatles songs, teaching kids life lessons while turning them on to great music! About a quintet of kid characters and their insect friends, Eddie Vedder performs as Jasper, a grasshopper who takes the insects on a Magical Mystery Tour. Pink sings Lucy in the Sky with Diamonds as Lucy the dragonfly, and yes, she has kaleidoscope eyes. James Corden sings I’m A Loser and Sia covers Blackbird. All You Need is Love is the theme song. Animated bugs singing Beatles songs? I’m taking that Ticket to Ride!

 

RIP, MENTSCH

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Law & Order is just a fact of life. It permeates countless homes. Who doesn’t love feeling the palliative power of watching L&O reruns over and over again? Switching channels, we are compelled to stop when there’s an episode airing. We know the words, we know whodunnit, we know the wisecracks. Especially those pithy gems spoken by Manhattan DA Adam Schiff, Steven Hill’s character. Hill even studied the law to make his character more convincing. Born Solomon Krakovsky to Russian Jewish immigrants, he passed away August 23. A devoted Orthodox Jew, he did not work on Shabbos, which was written into all his contracts. And when Hill resigned after a decade on L&O, in the show Adam Schiff resigned to work with a Holocaust organization. Oh, and he played the rabbi in Yentl. I admired him. A great actor who stayed true to his faith, Steven Hill had a deep sense of his own purpose and a heartfelt compassion which he exuded in every one of his roles. “Take the deal.”

 

I LOVE MY DOG

CatStevens.ILoveMyDog

I love my dog as much as I love you
But you may fade, my dog will always come through.

All he asks from me is the food to give him strength
All he ever needs is love and that he knows he’ll get.

All the pay I need comes shining through his eyes
I don’t need no cold water to make me realize that.

 

It is the 50th anniversary of Yusuf/Cat Stevens’ first hit single release, I Love My Dog in 1966. That was followed by The First Cut Is The Deepest, Wild World, Hard Headed Woman, Where Do the Children Play?, Father & Son, Morning Has Broken, Peace Train, and Moonshadow. Did you forget he wrote all those great songs? He’s on tour to celebrate his 50th anniversary as an artist – even playing New York City for the first time since 1976! Through his charity, Small Kindness, a portion of every ticket goes to UNICEF and International Rescue Committee to help children affected by the current refugee crisis. Inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2014, his most recent albums (2006’s An Other Cup is excellent!) are as notable as his early ones we cherish.

 

I LOVE MY RESCUE DOG

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So there’s this cartoon about the wonders of rescuing a dog. If you’ve ever adopted a dog, you will relate to comic artist Bird Born’s simple yet right-on telling of how he welcomed home his new friend. Remember, we never know where they are from, what kind of damage has been inflicted on them, nor are we ever assured that they’ll forget their history. But, we can shower them with loads and loads of love, make them feel safe, and show them the world will be a better place for them. Born’s experience in We’ve Taken A Dog From An Animal Shelter is a mirror of our experience, too. It’s the story of fear turning into owning the couch, the bed, the easy chair, well, you know the rest.

 

WE CAN HELP

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The ASPCA has dispatched its Disaster Response Team to Louisiana to conduct water rescues for animals displaced by the area’s devastating floods resulting from three days of torrential rain. Donations will help the ASPCA “give people peace of mind while they cope with this crisis by making sure their pets are safe.”

 

Soundtrack to this Issue

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U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For

 

One can relate to this gospel-influenced anthem from U2, especially heading into fall’s new beginnings. This is critic Jeff Jensen’s description: “[It] is my bridge over troubled water, a psalm of reorientation in times of disorientation. It embraces hopeful paradoxes: that doubt and faith are compatible, that certainty doesn’t preclude a constant search for truth … a bittersweet hymn that calls me to look up when I’m down and keep clear-eyed when I’m fogged.”

 

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

I have climbed the highest mountains
I have run through the fields
Only to be with you
Only to be with you.

I have run, I have crawled
I have scaled these city walls
These city walls
Only to be with you.

But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.
But I still haven’t found
What I’m looking for.

 

 

 

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:
Bruce quote: Bruce Springsteen official website brucespringsteen.net
Robert Plant trial pic: Mona Shafer Edwards
Robert Plant quote: Rolling Stone, August 16, 2016
Tchaikovsky quote: Life and Letters of Peter Ilich Tchaikovsky by Modeste Tchaikovsky (University Press of the Pacific 2004)
Jack White quote: from the documentary, Under Great White Northern Lights
Leon Wildes quotes: John Lennon vs. The U.S.A.: The Inside Story of the Most Bitterly Contested and Influential Deportation Case in United States History (American Bar Association, August 2016)
Beat Bugs pic: Netflix
I Love My Dog lyrics: Cat Stevens ©Universal Music Publishing Group
Soundtrack quote: Jeff Jensen/Entertainment Weekly August 12, 2016
U2’s I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For lyrics: Adam Clayton, Dave Evans, Larry Mullen, Paul David Hewson, Victor Reina ©Universal Music Publishing Group

 

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

28 Sep

SEPTEMBER REFLECTIONS

Komorebi isSunlightFilterLeaves.Sept2014.stouttraveladventure Japanese for “the sunlight that filters through the leaves of the trees” from Lost in Translation, a collection of words without English counterparts … NYC’s CultureAID will prepare arts organizations for another Hurricane Sandy-like emergency … A newly discovered extinct swamp animal is named Jagger’s Water Nymph because its mouth structure is “a highly innervated muzzle with mobile and tactile lips.” … San Francisco’s Spoke Art Gallery pays homage to Stanley Kubrick’s Kubrick.TracieChing.Sept2014glorious films with eye-catching artworks … Metallica made the Guinness World Records as the first rock band to perform on all seven continents … To celebrate the NY Philharmonic’s Opening Night Gala, the Empire State Building again glowed red … Hakuna Matata! Broadway’s The Lion King has the most box office total of any work in any media in entertainment history … New jukebox musical, Piece of My Heart, tells the story of Bert Berns who wrote Twist and Shout, Hang On Sloopy, and oh yeah, Piece of My HeartNY Film Festival’s celebration of the wit, intelligence, and strong women characters of Joseph Mankiewicz’s films includes All About Eve and A Letter to Three Wives … Opening night at the Met Opera saw the return of James Levine leading the orchestra in a spirited and updated Le Nozze di Figaro. Bravo, Maestro! … George Harrison’s The Apple Years 1968-75 box set of his first six albums, digitally remastered from analog masters. Also an all-star tribute concert George Fest benefits the Sweet Relief Musician’s Fund … KeithRichards.GusBook.Sept2014Also new Beatles Mono Vinyl box set … lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar, Robert Plant’s 10th solo album inspired by blues, bluegrass, West African and world music, is “a kaleidoscope of sound, color, and friendship” … Introduced to music by granddad Theodore Augustus “Gus” Dupree, Keith Richards wrote Gus & Me, a children’s book with pen-and-ink illustrations by daughter Theodora … We lost Bob Crewe. You know his songs, the Four Seasons hits, Sherry, Walk Like a Man, Rag Doll, and Can’t Take My Eyes Off You … Also, Joe Sample, the Crusaders pianist, played funk, pop, dance, jazz, rock. “Unfortunately, in this country, there’s a lot of prejudice against the various forms of music. The jazz people hate the blues, the blues people hate rock, and the rock people hate jazz. But how can anyone hate music?” So true … And Bruce Springsteen turns 65. Born to run and still driving, searchin’, boppin’, and making magic. Happy birthday, Boss.

CAN WE TALK?

Who JoanRivers.9.5.14.CherEltonPeeWeewere Joan Rivers’ first guests on her Late Show Starring Joan Rivers? Cher, Pee-Wee Herman, and Elton John. Cool? Very … “I have become my own version of an optimist. If I can’t make it through one door, I’ll go through another door – or I’ll make a door. Something terrific will come no matter how dark the present.” … Words to live by from a person who was always relevant, who always spoke the truth, and who was always funny. Amen.Joan+RUNDMC.Sept2014

As RUN-DMC’s agent, I booked them on the Late Show Starring Joan Rivers, where they performed Walk This Way in October 1986. And yes, Joan rapped with my guys: “Well, have you heard, I’m the first and number one, Not the best, not the worst, cause my name is Run, And I’m second cause I reckon that you want to see, An emcee like D inside the place to be, And have you heard he is third and his name is Jay.” And Joan raps: “I’m Mama Joan and I’m here to say, I got my own show and I’m here to stay!”

FUNNY + INFLUENTIAL = COSBY

“My father established our Cosby.Sept2014relationship when I was seven years old. He looked at me and said, ‘You know, I brought you in this world, and I can take you out. And it don’t make no difference to me, I’ll make another one look just like you.’” … In Cosby: His Life and Times (Simon & Schuster, September 2014), Mark Whitaker, longtime Newsweek editor and TV news executive, reveals the man we all think we know. Still travelling to do shows more than 30 weeks each year, Bill Cosby is a celebrity without entourage who carries his own bags and says hello to everyone. Mark will make you believe that the man we invited into our homes every week, the man who made us laugh at our own foibles, this groundbreaking comedian, is the approachable man we thought he was. Thank you Mark.

WE CAN HELP

Sweet Relief Musicians Fund pSweetRelief.Sept2014rovides financial assistance to career musicians who are struggling to make ends meet while facing illness, disability, or age-related problems. Donations help pay for an artist’s medical expenses, housing, food, utilities, clothing, transportation, programs, and counseling.jmj-foundation.Sept2014

Jason “Jam Master Jay” Mizell, RUN-DMC’s DJ, died October 30, 2002. The Jam Master Jay Foundation for Music provides funding and resources to support free public school music education programs. Donate to continue Jay’s legacy of creativity, positivity and community support.

Bruce.Magic.Sept2014

Soundtrack to this Issue is
Radio Nowhere by Bruce Springsteen
From the album, Magic ©2007

C’mon, sing along:
I was driving through the misty rain
Searchin’ for a mystery train
Boppin’ through the wild blue
Tryin’ to make a connection with you

IMGP2541.cr.newsltr

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

 

Sources:
Sun through leaves pic: Stout Travel Adventure
Lost in Translation: An Illustrated Compendium of Untranslatable Words from Around the World: By Ella Frances Sanders (Ten Speed Press, September 2014)
Jagger’s Water Nymph quote: Journal of Paleontology (September 2014)
Kubrick pic: Tracie Ching
Robert Plant quote: from Amazon editorial review
Joe Sample quote: Los Angeles Times (1985)
RUN-DMC and Joan Rivers rap: Jam Master Jay: The Heart of Hip-Hop by David Thigpen
Cosby: His Life and Times: Simon & Schuster (September 2014)
Radio Nowhere lyrics: © Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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

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