Tag Archives: Sam Smith

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

25 Feb

DOGS TAKE THE LEAD IN FEBRUARY

SoBestInShow1942.westie.Feb2015 it was that the Westie won the 1942 Westminster Best in Show! Terriers have won more than any other group. The wonderful David Frei explains it’s their assertive nature. “Goldens and Labs (both have no wins) are looking at their people as if to say, ‘What are we going to do now?’ Terriers have a little bit more of an edge because they were originally bred to look for trouble. They’re always on their toes trying to find out what’s going on next, and they don’t care who’s behind them.” … Then there’s showmanship. That’s the ability to grab the attention of everyone watching, including the judge, and that’s the icing on the dog biscuit … The Metropolitan Museum of Art got hit with dog fever, too, acquiring a marble sculpture of a Maltese from 1782 donated by Barbara Walters in honor of Cha Cha, her beloved Havanese who died last year. Such largesse (it cost her $300,000) because, “I know everybody feels this, but Cha Cha was the best dog in the world.” Don’t we all feel that way? And isn’t each of us right? Oh, and as for its setting, the Met says: “It does have its place here, at a museum in Central Park, where thousands of dogs take their constitutionals every day.”

JOURNALISTS MAKE THE NEWS

You couldn’t watch the news without hearing about the loss of a newsman, one way or another. Each one DavidCarr.Feb2015maddeningly sad. For me, losing the NY Times’ David Carr is losing that articulate voice I turned to for an unvarnished perspective. His words always moved me, a storyteller telling the truth with invincible wonder, honesty, and humanity. To David Carr, respect worked both ways – to and from his audience. And with generosity ever present … In his penultimate Media Equation column, he wrote about Brian Williams: “I don’t know if Mr. Williams will lose his job. I don’t think he should, his transgressions were not a fundamental part of his primary responsibilities … We want our anchors to be everywhere, to be impossibly famous, globe-trotting, hilarious, down-to-earth, and above all, trustworthy. It’s a job description that no one can match.” … Finally, his colleague at the Times, A.O. Scott memorialized him thus: “He was a collector of personalities and anecdotes, a shrewd and compassionate judge of character. A warrior for the truth.” … Amen.

GRAMMY IS THE WORD

Sam Smith’s Stay With Me which came under controversy weeks before the GRAMMY show when it Grammy_logo.Feb2015was ruled that Tom Petty would receive a songwriting credit because of the song’s similarities to TP’s I Won’t Back Down (see January Newsletter), ended up with four Grammys. In accepting he said, “It was only when I started to be myself that the music started to flow and people started to listen.”Stunning. Powerful. Fearless. That would be Annie Lennox whose performance (with Hozier) stole the show … Another show stealer was Tom Jones singing (with Jessie J) the Righteous Brothers’ You’ve Lost That Lovin’ Feelin’Prince goaded, “Albums, remember those?” Oh yes, and we still have all yours … Through joyful tears, we note Joan Rivers posthumously won the Best Spoken Word Album Grammy for her Diary of a Mad Diva … And honoring Bob Dylan at the MusiCares gala, you might like to know that President Jimmy Carter said, “Bob Dylan’s words on peace and human rights are much more incisive and much more powerful than those of any President of the United States.” Talk about speaking truth to power!

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.AKCHumaneFund.Feb2015Every dog deserves a good home. The AKC Humane Fund protects pets, supports pet organizations, finds forever homes for dogs across the country, rehabilitates dogs with special needs, has domestic abuse shelters that offer safe havens to victims and their pets, and offers aid to animal shelters that provide pets temporary homes during disasters. Donate now so that every dog lives a happy, healthy life.

Soundtrack to this Issue is
Soundtrack.AnnieLennoxNostalgia.Feb2015
Annie Lennox singing
Screamin’ Jay Hawkins’ classic I Put a Spell on You
from her new album, Nostalgia

C’mon, sing along:
I put a spell on you
Because you’re mine
Because you’re mine
Because you’re mine

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:
Westminster pic: AKC Archives
David Frei quote: Westminster Kennel Club
Metropolitan Museum of Art and Barbara Walters: New York Times
David Carr pic: Adweek ZUMA Press/Newscom
David Carr quote: NY Times, The Media Equation, February 8, 2015
A.O. Scott quote: NY Times, An Appraisal, Friday, February 13, 2015
Jimmy Carter quote: EW.com, February 20, 2015
Grammy logo: Grammy.com/Take40
Pug pic: AKC Humane Fund
I Put a Spell On You lyrics: Jalacy Hawkins ©1956 Alfred Music/EMI Unart Catalog Inc.

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

28 Jan

JANUARY’S HOT TOPICS

Where does inspiration come from? SamSmithTomPetty.Jan2015.VH1If you thought that Sam Smith’s Stay With Me sounded familiar, that it reminded you of Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down, well, you were right! Turns out, the two songs are so much alike that Smith will be paying Petty and co-songwriter Jeff Lynne royalties on the track. Smith’s camp said, “Although the likeness was a complete coincidence, all involved came to an immediate and amicable agreement…” Check out the mashup. Sounds like all the parties did the right thing.

DID SOMEONE SAY INSPIRATION?

Idina Menzel IdinaMenzel.Jan2015performed her hit song from Frozen on Dick Clark’s New Year’s Rockin’ Eve special, but it was very cold and she had difficulty hitting some high notes. Yes, you guessed right, criticism ensued. This is the response she tweeted, using her words from a recent interview:

How do you define success? “There are about 3 million notes in a two-and-a-half-hour musical; being a perfectionist, it took me a long time to realize that if I’m hitting 75 percent of them, I’m succeeding. Performing isn’t only about the acrobatics and the high notes: It’s staying in the moment, connecting with the audience in an authentic way, and making yourself real to them through the music. I am more than the notes I hit, and that’s how I try to approach my life. You can’t get it all right all the time, but you can try your best. If you’ve done that, all that’s left is to accept your shortcomings and have the courage to try to overcome them.”

GODADDY’S AD POO-POOED!

Super Bowl ads are GodaddyPuppySuperbowlAd.Jan2015famously touted and analyzed, sometimes before the Big Game even airs. So it was when GoDaddy tested the waters online for their spot featuring a Golden Retriever puppy falling out of a truck and finding his way back home. Although trying to lampoon Budweiser’s heartwarming puppy ads, they were immediately criticized. The SPCA of Monterey, CA tweeted “If you can buy a puppy online and have it shipped to you the next day, it’s likely you’re supporting inhumane breeding.” And after tens of thousands of people protested, CEO Blake Irving tweeted, “…What should have been a fun and funny ad clearly missed the mark and we will not air it.” For doing the right thing, score one for GoDaddy.

JONI’S GRAND DESIGN

Joni.YSL.Jan2015.cr.blog

Yves Saint Laurent is surely smiling. Saint Laurent Paris (as his house is now named) has a new model. Joni Mitchell. Black and white portraits of her playing guitar at her house in Bel Air wearing the brand’s folk tunic, classic fedora, and a leather cape made especially for her. Part of the Saint Laurent Music Project. Say what? Too cool for school you say? Mais, oui! C’est magnifique!

WE CAN HELP

By providingWorldVets.Jan2015.belize free veterinary care around the world and helping animals during disasters, World Vets: International Aid for Animals improves the lives of animals. Veterinarians volunteer their expertise in underserved populations of animals, perform surgeries and treat injuries, and offer training and educational opportunities in developing countries.

 

TomPettyFullMoonFever.Jan2015

Soundtrack to this Issue is what else?
Tom Petty’s I Won’t Back Down
From the album, Full Moon Fever (1989)

C’mon, sing along:
Gonna stand my ground, won’t be turned around
And I’ll keep this world from draggin’ me down
Gonna stand my ground and I won’t back down

Hey baby, there ain’t no easy way out
Hey I will stand my ground
And I won’t back down

Well I know what’s right, I got just one life
In a world that keeps on pushin’ me around
But I’ll stand my ground and I won’t back down

Delivery.10.29.14.happiness.crWho 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:
Sam Smith/Tom Petty pic: VH1
Sam Smith’s rep quote: Rolling Stone
Idina Menzel pic: Just Jared

Idina Menzel quote: Broadway World
Joni Mitchell pic: Hedi Slimane/Saint Laurent Paris
World Vets pic: Punta Gorda, Belize ©WorldVets
I Won’t Back Down lyrics: Tom Petty and Jeff Lynne ©Gone Gator Music and EMI-April Music, Inc. 1989

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