Tag Archives: rock ‘n’ roll

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

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

27 Aug

AN AUGUST IN AND OUT OF SYNC

Remember when you made your own mix tapes?GuardiansOfTheGalaxy.August2014.use Those were “best-of” times for sure. Well, all your faves are #1 now with the Guardians of the Galaxy Awesome Mix Vol. 1 soundtrack featuring “Ain’t No Mountain High Enough,” “Spirit in the Sky,” “O-o-h Child,” “Fooled Around and Fell in Love,” and “Hooked on a Feeling.” Try to get any of those outta your head. You’re welcome … Great music at Bard, Mostly Mozart, Bargemusic, Saratoga, and Tanglewood summer music fests … Americanafest NYC is the first-time collaboration between Lincoln Center Out of Doors JanisJoplinStamp.August2014and the Americana Music Association, which promotes American roots music. Emmylou Harris, Rodney Crowell, and Rosanne Cash were streamed live. “I like to say that if you can taste the dirt through your ears, that’s Americana,” so says the AMA’s director … The glorious Patti Lupone spent two weeks at 54 Below … Horrible things happen on The Leftovers, the HBO show based on Tom Perotta’s book. Don’t miss the always wonderful Marceline Hugot (y’know, 30 Rock’s hilarious, silent Kathy Geiss), Sadie.August2014.2crwho plays Gladys, a stalking, silent smoker. You heard me … Rockaway resident Patti Smith helped heal the Hurricane Sandy-struck Queens section with Rockaway!, a public arts festival … The USPS issued a Janis Joplin postage stamp … A pristine copy of Action Comics No. 1, which sold for 10 cents in 1938 and introduced us to Superman, was bought at auction for $3.2 million …. Westminster Kennel Club noted the passing of Sadie, the beautiful Scottish Terrier who was Best in Show in 2010. She had a great career, the only “triple crown” winner ever (Westminster, AKC National Championship, and National Dog Show presented by Purina) … And the Supermoon glowed bright and close above us.

ROBIN WILLIAMS

Of RobinWilliamsanother super star, Billy Crystal said of his friend Robin Williams, his “beautiful light will continue to shine on us forever, the glow will be so bright it will warm your heart.” … I invite you to watch this clip from Inside the Actors Studio with Robin Williams. As James Lipton recalls, “I introduced him and…bedlam! Then he took off!” … Watch it and laugh. Even as the tears roll down your face. And be thankful he was even here on earth among us. Amen.

OH, FOR ART’S SAKE

Cake.jeffkoons.August2014“Art has this ability to allow you to connect back through history in the same way that biology does. I’m always looking for source material.” … It’s a Jeff Koons summer in NYC. He is the subject of the Whitney Museum’s last retrospective at their Upper East Side home. Dogs and puppies, cats, Michael Jackson, Elvis, and a slice of cake. Something for everybody. There’s also his flower sculpture, Split-Rocker, sitting atop the plaza at Rockefeller Center.

BOOKS FOR YOUR EARS, TOO

There’s Book.SoulTrain.August2014still time to catch up on your summer reading, hey there’s always time for a good book. Here’s our highlights, most are by friends … Lisa Robinson’s There Goes Gravity: A Life in Rock and RollNelson George’s The Hippest Trip in America: Soul Train and the Evolution of Culture & Style … Holly George-Warren’s A Man Called Destruction: The Life and Music of Alex Chilton, From Box Tops to Big Star to Backdoor Man … Paul Stanley’s Face the Music: A Life Exposed … And Gina Arnold’s Exile in Guyville.

WE CAN HELP

MusicCares.cr-blogIt’s not just about the GRAMMYs. Did you know in the past year, The Recording Academy’s MusiCares held 162 clinics for musicians in need including Safe Harbor Rooms, dental, hearing, vision, and healthy living workshops? To find an event near you go to the MusiCares Facebook page.

 

ASPCA.Colbie.August2014“I pledge to help rescue animals in need using my time, my voice and my resources so that every animal is safe and protected from harm.” … Make the pledge to fight animal cruelty. Join singer/songwriter Colbie Caillat in the ASPCA’s Come To Their Rescue effort to help abused and abandoned animals find their forever homes.

 

OohChild.August2014Soundtrack to this Issue is
O-o-h Child by The Five Stairsteps

C’mon, sing along:
Ooh, ooh, child
Things are gonna get easier
Ooh, ooh, child
Things’ll get brighter

 IMGP2541.cr.newsltr

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

 

Sources:
Americana Music Association quote: NY Times, August 8, 2014
Robin Williams pic: indiewire.com
Billy Crystal quote: Emmy Awards, August 25, 2014, NBC
James Lipton quote: bravotv.com
Cake pic: Oil on canvas (1995–97) Private collection. ©Jeff Koons
Jeff Koons quote: Whitney Museum
O-o-h Child lyrics: Words and music by Stan Vincent/© EMI Music Publishing, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Lou Reed

28 Oct

Last night when I learned that Lou Reed died, I immediately felt a hole in the universe – the New York universe, the music universe, my little world. Sometimes you don’t realize that someone even made a dent in your life, even remotely made a difference. Until that moment you learn they are gone. Sure, I met him a lifetime ago. In recording studios, in clubs, at concerts…

Lou was all about New York. In his review of the 1989 album, New York, Robert Christgau in the Village Voice summed it up: ” … Lou carries on a New York conversation – all that’s missing is a disquisition on real estate.”

Singular. Indelible. Iconic. That would be who he was. Velvet Underground, Andy Warhol, Walk on the Wild Side, Sweet Jane, Rock and Roll. That he was prescient of the times to come? Absolutely. He made his own brand of rock ‘n’ roll by mixing meaningful lyrics, simple tunes, and performance that was more than just singing on a stage behind a mic. His music was honest. Just like the man.

“Never be affected by a trend.” (Lou Reed)

For me the quintessential Lou Reed song is Street Hassle. It’s got everything. Just like Lou’s beloved New York. On the live album Animal Serenade, Lou says: “I wanted to write a song that had a great monologue set to rock. Something that could have been written by William Burroughs, Hubert Selby, John Rechy, Tennessee Williams, Nelson Algren, maybe a little Raymond Chandler. You mix it all up and you have Street Hassle.”

Y’know that saying, “May you live in interesting times?” Well, Lou Reed made our times interesting.

LouReed.10.28.13.KarlWalter.GettyImages

Sources:
Robert Christgau quote: Village Voice
Lou Reed pic: Karl Walter/Getty Images – NOTE THE SILVER TELLY!
(All Tomorrow’s Parties in Los Angeles, at the Queen Mary on November 6, 2004)

Beatles Prove God Exists?

24 Jul

“For me the Beatles are proof
of the existence of God.”

Rick Rubin co-founded Def Jam records and has produced LL Cool J, The Beastie Boys, Run-DMC, Aerosmith,  Public Enemy, Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty, Johnny Cash’s American Recordings series, Justin Timberlake, Metallica, AC/DC, Adele, Kanye West, Neil Diamond, and more.

BeatlesThe first great song or sound that he remembers hearing was … “The Beatles, Rock ’n’ Roll Music, the Chuck Berry cover. I was probably 4, and I can remember feeling electrified. That was the first real rock ’n’ roll I’d ever heard.” And about the Beatles … “It transcends everything. It’s much bigger than four kids from Liverpool. For me the Beatles are proof of the existence of God. It’s so good and so far beyond everyone else that it’s not them.”

 

 

Source:
Interview by Andrew Romano: Newsweek June 26, 2013

A Music Journalist Who Raised A Genre’s Standing

24 Jun

Chet Flippo died this week. He was a music journalist who had influence on a music genre. He eloquently garnered it awareness and consideration. Resulting in its lasting presence. At Rolling Stone in the 1970’s, it was Chet Flippo’s profiles of Willie Nelson, Waylon Jennings, and Dolly Parton that led to their popularity by a pop music audience.

Rolling Stone’s music journalists’ names were well-known to its readers. We knew their different styles and what mattered to them. Mostly, what fascinated them fascinated us. And Flippo, as he was called, was one of the great music writers whose name we knew.

TrendingTrbute.Flippo.6.24.13From writing about Janis Joplin’s 10th year high school reunion in 1970, to John Lennon, the Rolling Stones, and Bob Dylan, his rock journo cred was established. But it was his interest in “country and western” music that led to his championing of the genre. And it was his passionate advocacy that ultimately helped it to become simply “country” music. Flippo played a crucial role in promoting it to a rock ‘n’ roll audience in the ’70s and ’80s. Starting with Willie Nelson, who he considered overlooked and underrated, he went on to write about Waylon Jennings, who was opening for the Grateful Dead, and Dolly Parton, “country music’s best-kept secret.” One of his early articles was Country Music: The Rock and Roll Influence.

ChetFlippo.RollingStones.bookAfter he left Rolling Stone, he wrote his first book, Your Cheatin’ Heart: A Biography of Hank Williams. His subsequent books were about Paul McCartney, the Rolling Stones, and David Bowie. He was Billboard’s Nashville Bureau Chief and, since 2001, he was editorial director of the country music cable channel CMT.

Bringing country music to the rock ‘n’ roll mainstream exposed incredible musicians to a new audience. That’s a pretty good legacy.

Sources:
The New York Times: June 24, 2013
Rolling Stone: June 19, 2013

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