Tag Archives: Take It Easy

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

28 Oct

OCTOBER’S COOL!

snoopy-october-2-oct2016

October gave a party;
The leaves by hundreds came
The Chestnuts, Oaks, and Maples,
And leaves of every name.
The Sunshine spread a carpet,
And everything was grand,
Miss Weather led the dancing,
Professor Wind the band.

The Chestnuts came in yellow,
The Oaks in crimson dressed;
The lovely Misses Maple
In scarlet looked their best;
All balanced to their partners,
And gaily fluttered by;
The sight was like a rainbow
New fallen from the sky.
(George Cooper 1840-1927)

 

TAKE IT EASY

glennfreystatue-oct2016-cr

Well I’m standin’ on a corner in Winslow, Arizona, such a fine sight to see … Why it’s a bronze statue of Eagles founding member Glenn Frey who wrote those lyrics that ended up memorializing Winslow forever. The idea for the statue came from two radio morning hosts on Phoenix classic rock station KSLX to pay tribute to Frey’s impact on Arizona’s history. He is portrayed with his long hair and handlebar mustache, the way he looked in the early 1970s. And of course, there he is standing in “Standin’ On The Corner in Winslow, Arizona Park”Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy.

 

SHERLOCK FEELS NO PAIN

sherlockandpinkfloyd-oct2016

“Hello? Is there anybody in there? Just nod if you can hear me. Is there anyone at home?” The extraordinary actor who stars as Sherlock, Benedict Cumberbatch, joined David Gilmour on stage to sing Roger Waters’s part on Pink Floyd’s Comfortably Numb. It was an unannounced appearance for the surprised crowd at Royal Albert Hall. After delivering the line, “That’ll keep you going through the show, Come on, it’s time to go,” Cumberbatch left, yielding the stage to Gilmour.

 

THE AMERICAN ELM

americanelmtree-oct2016-cr-use

“The calm quiet strength of a tree
Showing anyone near
All the secrets of time
The calm quiet strength of a tree”

In the fall of 1858, the plans for New York City’s Central Park was underway. Land was set aside and plans drawn up to create a peaceful oasis in a busy city. On October 17, 1858, the very first tree was planted. It was the first of more than 20,000 trees now thriving in the Park … Central Park’s American Elm trees that line the Mall (also known as Literary Walk) are cherished and protected. A fence enclosing them has signs that say: Protect the American Elm: Please keep out. For this is one of the largest and last remaining groves of American Elm trees in North America. They were popular in 19th century landscaping (hence all the Elm Streets!), but due to Dutch Elm disease in the 20th century many of them died. Walking under their graceful canopy feels like you’re walking in a cathedral. Still green, the leaves on their twisty branches will soon turn to the fall colors, a beautiful and wondrous sight.

Hermann Hesse wrote about his love of trees: “… when we have learned how to listen to trees, then the brevity and the quickness and the childlike hastiness of our thoughts achieve an incomparable joy.”

 

DYLAN’S NOBEL PRIZE

dylan-nobel-oct2016

“Do you love me or are you just extending goodwill?” … It’s love alright. Love for Bob Dylan who received the Nobel Prize in Literature for the poetry of his timeless, ever relevant lyrics and for the influence his body of work continues to yield. This is the first time a musician has been given this award. Born Robert Zimmerman, he fittingly adopted the name Dylan after the poet Dylan Thomas. Even Joyce Carol Oates notes this is an “inspired and original choice, his haunting music and lyrics have always seemed, in the deepest sense, literary.” And most significant the award acknowledges that the beauty of his words has import and that songwriting is a laudable inclusion in the pantheon of literature.

dylan-timesareachangin-oct2016

 

CLASSICS NEVER GET OLD

oldcellaconcert-oct2016

“I was so much older then I’m younger than that now.” If Dylan said it, it must be true. All these artists are over 70, yet there’s no denying they are forever young. Desert Trip, the classic rock festival in Indio, CA, gathered thousands, 75,000 in attendance each night. Dubbed Oldchella, their songs are invincible and timeless with lyrics that are as important now as they were when they were written in the 60s and 70s. Our collective memory is tied-up in these songs and these artists. Rock ‘n ‘roll is nothing less than life-affirming. We consider their mortality and take the opportunity to worship our heroes while we still can. “May your heart always be joyful, And may your song always be sung, May you stay forever young.”

 

CLASSICAL AND ROCK: “TEAR DOWN THIS WALL”

mikemills-oct2016-use

Echoing President Reagan’s message to Gorbachev, R.E.M.’s bassist Mike Mills and violinist Robert McDuffie are doing just that. They have collaborated on Concerto for Violin, Rock Band and String Orchestra and are touring together with a chamber orchestra performing the six-movement work in opera houses and concert halls across the country. Both are classically trained but went in different musical directions. Working on the concerto, they intentionally wanted to combine the two genres. Says Mills, “One of the main things I like about [the concerto] is that we are trying to break down the walls between classical and rock ‘n’ roll, to show that there are elements within each that translate into the other. Some of the piano parts I wrote for R.E.M. have really small, tiny, little classical elements…” … It’s really cool and joyous. Take a listen to these excerpts.

 

BIGLY: ADVERB

bigly-oct2016-oxford1933

He said what??? Is bigly a word? For many of us, its use in the last presidential debate was the first time we heard it. I looked it up and it is a word. A variation of big, an adverb we commonly use, it means big, in a big manner, largely, comprehensively. The picture above shows the definition as it appears in the Oxford Universal dictionary from 1933. Bigly dates back to Middle English, when it meant in a blustering manner, haughtily, pompously. Lasting until the early 20th century, it has fallen out of use in our contemporary vocabulary … Look, he could be saying big league but swallowing the last g. A term that comes from baseball, players work their way up the ladder from the minor leagues to reach the major leagues, also called the big leagues … Back to bigly! The suffix -ly means in this way as in: largely, hugely, broadly, shortly. So why don’t we say: bigly, longly, smally, littly? There is no reason semantically. I think it’s going to catch on. Bigly is going to be huge. Believe me.

 

PETALS FOR PEACE

yoko-oct2016-grass-use

Yoko Ono’s first permanent public art installation in the US is a giant lotus flower in Chicago’s Jackson Park. The Sky Landing sculpture was constructed near a Japanese garden in an area dedicated to Japan-US relations (Yoko was born in Tokyo). The artwork has 12 large steel lotus petals and mounds that form the yin yang symbol to represent peace. It is a “place where the sky and earth meet and create a seed to learn about the past and come together to create a future of peace and harmony, with nature and each other.”

 

FLUTIST, NOT FLAUTIST

Silver flute on a musical score

I am a flutist (pronounced FLOO-tist) because Jean-Pierre Rampal was a flutist. He was my role model and whatever he did was good enough for me. So why do people ask if I am a flautist (pronounced FLOU-tist)? Although technically, they’re both right, flutist is more right. Nathaniel Hawthorne used flautist in The Marble Faun in 1860, perhaps because it was set in Italy where flute is flauto and a flutist is a flautista. But flutist is the older term, used in 1603! Plus, flutist is an offspring of the French flûtiste, which came from flûte. Voila! Having the historical claim and the more direct lineage, flutist it is and c’est moi!

 

UPDATE: BREAKFAST IN AMERICA

pancakesinparisupdate-oct2016-cr-use

In our September Newsletter we featured Craig Carlson who opened diners in Paris that serve an authentic American breakfast! He wrote about his successful venture in Pancakes in Paris. We have made an impression all the way to the author in Paris! Our wonderful Shirley Struchen sent the Newsletter to Melissa Dixon in Paris, who met the author at his reading event. Here’s what she wrote: “I just met Pancakes in Paris author and he is so lovely! His story is fantastic. He came to Paris with $300 in his pocket. He launched an amazing restaurant. He was happy to learn about Yvette’s blog review.” Here is Melissa with the author. Merci, Melissa. C’est formidable!

 

DOG NEWS

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In one of William Merritt Chase’s most celebrated paintings, The Tenth Street Studio (1880), the dog lies on a rug in the center of the room, head on the floor, one leg stretched across the train of an elegant white dress worn by the young woman in a blue chair. Chase’s (1849–1916) much-loved dogs were a customary presence in many of his works. His white, longhaired Wolfhound named Katti (pictured with him here) appears in several portraits. A renowned teacher at the Art Students League in New York City for 36 years, he furthered American modern art. Catch a major exhibition of Chase’s work now at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston.

“Before returning to America Chase purchased the beautiful white Russian hound Katti which he used in several pictures. The dog, a fastidious and aristocratic person, was the most considered member of the family. They found him rather a trying guest as he refused to eat anything but beefsteak.” (The Life and Art of William Merritt Chase by Katherine Metcalf Roof, 1917)

 

WE CAN HELP

wecanhelp-aspca-hurricane-oct2016

Hurricane Matthew ripped through the coasts of Florida, Georgia, South Carolina, and North Carolina. The storm is over but the region has the lasting effects of the devastating floods. The ASPCA Disaster Response Team is always ready to deploy in natural disaster areas. So far, they have helped and transported nearly 950 animals to safety in these four states and there are still more to be saved. Our donations ensure that the Disaster Response Team has what they need – boats, leashes, medical care – to respond to animals in need.

 

Soundtrack to this Issue

soundtrack-vanmorrison-oct2016

The single from his new album, Keep Me Singing:
Van Morrison’s Too Late

Magical and poetic. Mixing rock ‘n’ roll, R&B, soul, jazz, gospel, and Celtic music, no two words define Van Morrison’s music and lyrics better. A new album is always good news. On this Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Famer’s 36th album of 12 original songs, his inimitable Celtic soul sound is as powerful as ever. And now this Belfast native is a Sir, being knighted for his musical achievement and his service to charities in Northern Ireland. We all love Brown Eyed Girl, Moondance, Domino, and Into the Mystic so let’s take a listen to a new one. Enjoy!

 

Who rescued whom?

whorescued-img_2902-fb-sun-10-23-16

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:
Comfortably Numb lyrics: David Jon Gilmour, Roger Waters ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Peermusic Publishing, Warner/Chappell Music, Inc., Universal Music Publishing Group, IMAGEM MUSIC INC
The Tree poem: Tom Splitt ©1994
Hermann Hesse’s quote: Trees: Reflections and Poems (1984)
Is Your Love In Vain? Lyrics: Bob Dylan ©1978 Special Rider Music
Joyce Carol Oates quote: @JoyceCarolOates/Twitter
Times They Are A-Changin’ lyrics: Bob Dylan ©1963, 1964 Warner Bros. Inc.; renewed 1991, 1992 by Special Rider Music
Forever Young lyrics: Bob Dylan ©1973 by Ram’s Horn Music; renewed 2001 by Ram’s Horn Music
Mike Mills quote: Rolling Stone, October 19, 2016
Sky Landing pic: Kiichiro Sato/The Associated Press
Yoko Ono quote: AP/NationalPost.com
Flute pic: Sébastien Bonaimé via Getty Images
William Merritt Chase with pet dog pic: Florence, ca. 1911, The William Merritt Chase Archives, Parrish Art Museum, Water Mill, NY, Gift of Jackson Chase Storm
ASPCA pic: aspca.com

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

27 Jan

JANUARY’s CH-CH-CHANGES

Bowie.Peanuts

SOME CHANGES JUST SUCK

DavidBowie.Jan2016

Changes are really hard. Imagining a world without David Bowie in it is pretty unimaginable. But I do believe that Major Tom is happily traversing the universe now and we wish him an eternity of safe and interesting travels. “I don’t know where I’m going from here, but I promise it won’t be boring.” … His longtime producer, Tony Visconti, tweeted: “David Bowie, my friend and colleague, left us Blackstar and 1000s of great memories. Not enough really.”

Bowie compared his approach to music to searching for God. “There’s an effort to reclaim the unmentionable, the unsayable, the unspeakable, all those things come into being a composer, into writing music, into searching for notes and pieces of musical information that don’t exist.” … His influence significant and his message simple: “Fill your heart with love today, don’t play the game of time.”

TAKE IT EASY, GLENN

GlennFrey+DonHenley.Jan2016

Sad to lose Glenn Frey, a founding member, songwriter, and guitarist of the Eagles. It’s his voice on an amazing list of hits: Take It Easy, Peaceful Easy Feeling, Tequila Sunrise, Already Gone, Lyin’ Eyes, New Kid in Town, and Heartache Tonight … His solo album Soul Searchin’ (MCA 1988) yielded sunny laid-back lyrics, sax solos, and Frey’s upbeat spirited vocals. Check out Some Kind of Blue, pretty sweet … He also acted. My two favorite memories of him are when he guest starred on Miami Vice in the first season episode titled Smuggler’s Blues, inspired by his hit song of the same name, and his starring role in the Dead Dog Records arc of Wiseguy. Really, how cool is that?

Eaglemate Don Henley: “I’m not sure I believe in fate, but I know that crossing paths with Glenn Lewis Frey in 1970 changed my life forever, and it eventually had an impact on the lives of millions of other people all over the planet.” …. Yep, having sold over 150 million records worldwide, Glenn Frey took it to the limit alright.

MUSIC ON FILM FOR REAL

JanisJoplin.Warhollike.Jan2016-USE

The sheer power of her voice and her personality made her unforgettable. There’s no one like Janis Joplin. Amy Berg’s new documentary, Janis: Little Girl Blue, uses archival and concert footage, Joplin’s letters home, and interviews with people who knew and loved her … But it’s a documentary I watched long ago late one night on PBS that I’ve never forgotten. It was Howard Alk’s Janis: The Way She Was (1974), I was hooked on how genuine she was. Powerful performances and candid interviews revealed an insightful, honest, and emotional artist.

“I’d like ya to feel like standin’ up and jumpin’ up and down in time to the music, gettin’ sweaty, just goin’ with the music, just goin’. Rock ‘n’ roll’s very rhythmic. That’s what it’s all about, y’know. One-two-three-four.” … When Joplin got hold of a song, she owned it, body and soul.

DOG NEWS

FIREHOUSEDOG.Jan2016.b-USE

On 9/11, seven firemen from Ladder Company 20, one of the first groups responding to the attack, were killed in the collapse of the World Trade Center, along with seven members of Squad 18 which shared the firehouse. A few weeks later, Ladder 20 was given a Dalmatian puppy by the Monroe County sheriff’s department in upstate NY. They named her Twenty. She slept and ate with the firefighters and went with them on all their calls. And she remained their mascot until she died this month at 14 … The Dalmatian as the iconic NYC fire dog dates back to the 1800s, when fire vehicles were pulled by horses. When a fire alarm sounded, the Dalmatians ran out of the firehouse barking to let bystanders know to get out of the way. Horses are afraid of fire, and the Dalmatians were a calming presence … Twenty became a spotted symbol of healing for the firefighters. Her ashes were placed near a memorial in the firehouse commemorating firefighters who died in the line of duty. RIP, brave girl.

JDSouther.Dogs.Jan2016

One of my favorite songwriters, JD Souther (here with Doc and Jake), co-wrote the Eagles songs Best of My Love (with Glenn Frey and Don Henley) and Heartache Tonight (with Glenn Frey, Don Henley, and Bob Seger) … He also loves dogs: “I’ve written three songs about dogs. Their place in my musical process is the same as it is in my life: a reminder to (a) not take myself too seriously and (b) pay attention!”

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.AndersonCooper.elite-k9.Jan2016-USE

Anderson Cooper did! The Norfolk, VA police department recently lost one of its bravest members, a four-year-old Belgian Malinois named Krijger during a shootout. He would have survived had he been wearing a ballistic vest. But at $2,200 each, most police departments can’t afford them. But now, thanks to Anderson Cooper’s donation, every single dog in the Norfolk PD is getting one. These dogs selflessly risk their lives to protect us. We can help to make sure that they are protected, too, by making a donation in Krijger’s memory to Spike’s K9 Fund.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.Eagles.TakeItEasy.Jan2016

The Eagles’ Take It Easy

Having trouble completing the song, Jackson Browne asked his upstairs neighbor Glenn Frey to help him finish it. When he got to the second verse, Frey came up with a key lyric: “It’s a girl, my lord, in a flatbed Ford, slowing down to take a look at me.” And then finished the song. Take It Easy became the Eagles’ first song on their first album, their first single, and a foretelling of their signature sound.

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

Well, I’m running down the road
Tryin’ to loosen my load
I’ve got seven women on my mind
Four that wanna own me,
Two that wanna stone me
One says she’s a friend of mine

Take it easy, take it easy
Don’t let the sound of your own wheels drive you crazy
Lighten up while you still can
Don’t even try to understand
Just find a place to make your stand and take it easy

Who rescued whom?Barkley.WeCanHelp.Dec2015So 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:
David Bowie pic: ©Bowie
Bowie’s God quote: 60 Minutes, CBS News
Pic of Glenn Frey and Don Henley: The Dominion Post
Don Henley quote: Billboard, January 18, 2016
Janis Joplin quote: Janis: Little Girl Blue documentary (Amy Berg 2015)
Dog News pic of Twenty: FDNY Twitter Page @FDNY
JD Souther pic and quote: The Bark
We Can Help Norfolk Police dog in vest pic: Spike’s K9 Fund
Take It Easy lyrics: Jackson Browne and Glenn Frey, Jackson Browne/Swallow Turn Music/Night Kitchen Music/Open Window Music

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