Tag Archives: Westie

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

28 Apr

APRIL’S WONDERS 

Giraffe.apr2017

Millions of us watched and waited for April the Giraffe’s baby to arrive at Animal Adventure Park. She finally gave birth to her baby boy. What to name him? Vote a minimum of five times at $1 per vote, with the money going to giraffe conservation, the Park, and helping local families with medical expenses. So far top names are Unity, Patches, Apollo, Patch, Peter, Harpur, Geoffrey, Noah, and Ollie.

Animal Adventure Park in Harpursville, NY is an interactive educational animal park, where you not only see the animals, but you can pet, feed, and ride them, too. April the Giraffe has plenty of company – there are mammals, birds, and reptiles – over 200 animals representing 70 species.

PINK MOON RISING

PinkMoon.apr2017.c-InAlaska

April’s full moon, the first full moon of spring, is called the Pink Moon named after the pink ground phlox wildflowers which bloom in early spring. You see here a deep pink moon rising over the snowy grasslands of Izembek National Wildlife Refuge in Cold Bay, Alaska. Naming the full moon was a way to gauge the time for many cultures.

CHART TOPPER

Prince.1958-2016.apr2017

Prince has sold more albums than any other artist in 2016 – from his death on April 21, 2016 through April 13, 2017. His albums and songs have sold a combined 7.7 million copies in the US: 2.3 million in traditional album sales and 5.4 million from digital song downloads. People bought the albums The Very Best of Prince, Purple Rain, and 1999. His best-selling songs were Purple Rain, Little Red Corvette, Let’s Go Crazy, and Kiss. Here’s something we can look forward to. There will be a deluxe reissue of Purple Rain with previously unreleased material coming out later this year.

FIRST CLASS

StevePerry.BeforeNow.pizap.apr2017-use

This year’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame ceremony was memorable in so many ways. David Letterman was the last-minute replacement for Neil Young and the only non-musician of the evening to speak. And of course, being Letterman, he summed up what the event really celebrates. While inducting Pearl Jam, he said: “When I came here for rehearsals, I was reminded what a gift live music is. Never take live music for granted.” … Then there was the fabulous appearance of Steve Perry – one of rock’s great voices – joining his long ago band Journey. Oh, if only he would have performed with them. Nonetheless he was first class all the way … The 2017 inductees were: ELO, Joan Baez, Journey, Pearl Jam, Tupac Shakur, and Yes. The always smiling Nile Rodgers received the award for Musical Excellence.

ODE TO A NIGHTINGALE

SpaniardsInn.apr2017

Did you know that April is National Poetry Month? Here is The Spaniards Inn, one of London’s oldest pubs, found on Spaniards Road in Hampstead, London. It is believed that John Keats was inspired to write Ode to a Nightingale while listening to birds in the inn’s garden. In the poem, Keats sees a nightingale and wants to escape from the world with the nightingale which is flying away. Perhaps symbolizing freedom, he wishes to be like the bird and fly away from his problems.

Forlorn! the very word is like a bell
To toll me back from thee to my sole self!
Adieu! the fancy cannot cheat so well
As she is fam’d to do, deceiving elf.
Adieu! adieu! thy plaintive anthem fades
Past the near meadows, over the still stream,
Up the hill-side; and now ’tis buried deep
In the next valley-glades:
Was it a vision, or a waking dream?
Fled is that music:—Do I wake or sleep?

DON’T BE A FOOL

AprilFoolsDay.apr2017

Why is April 1 April Fools’ Day? And why do we celebrate it with practical jokes? For one thing, springtime seems to inspire lighthearted fun. So perhaps April Fools’ Day started from an ancient spring festival or maybe it was just an excuse to play a prank and trick someone into believing something extraordinary. So, why is April 1 called April Fools’ Day? The bottom line is that no one knows for sure, leaving the door open to make up our own ridiculous and unbelievable stories to explain it. Hey, maybe someone will believe your story … that is until they see your sly smile!

DOG NEWS

Dog.Met.DogPosing.apr2017

NYC’s Metropolitan Museum of Art’s new “Open Access” policy makes images of artworks in the public domain widely and freely available for unrestricted use, and at no cost. So of course we had a look and found something we could relate to. This is [Dog Posing for Portrait in Photographer’s Studio Chair] a daguerreotype by American photographer Rufus Anson circa 1855. See? Some things never change – it’s always about the dog!

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.purpleheart.apr2017

They demonstrate bravery and courage. The Purple Heart, established by George Washington in 1782, recognizes the sacrifice and commitment of combat-wounded veterans. The Purple Heart Foundation’s mission includes programs and services that aid in the recovery of all veterans and serves as an advocate for legislative policies affecting them. Nearly 90% of cash donations fund programs and services such as the National Service Officer Program, National Scholarship Program, service dogs, and recreational and rehabilitative programs. We can help support the men and women who have served our country.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.MainIngredient.apr2017

The Main Ingredient’s Everybody Plays the Fool 

Lead singer, Cuba Gooding, Sr. died this month. May his soulful voice sing on and on and on … Listen to them perform on The Midnight Special in 1974.

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

Ok, so your heart is broken
You’re sitting around mopin’, cryin’, cryin’
You say you even think about dying
Well, before you do anything rash, baby, dig this

Everybody plays the fool, sometime
There’s no exception to the rule, listen baby
It may be factual, it may be cruel, I ain’t lying
Everybody plays the fool

 

 

 Who rescued whom?
barkleyypSo 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:
Alaska moon pic: Kristine Sowl/USFWS
Prince pic: KSTP graphic (ABC Eyewitness News)
Steve Perry Before pic: Jason Kempin/Getty Images
Steve Perry Now pic: AP
The Spaniards Inn pic: The Spaniards Inn
Dog News pic: Funds from various donors, 2004
Soundtrack lyrics: Rudy Clark, Kenny Williams, J. R. Bailey, 1971 ©BMG Rights Management

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

28 Jan

UNFORGETTABLE JANUARY

unitypeacelove-jan2017

A new year rushes in bringing us change and more change. Let us strive to join together in kindness and to seek peaceful resolution. We have many possibilities. Choose hope.

AMEN, MLK

mlk-jan2017

Martin Luther King, Jr, in his opening address to the Berlin Jazz Festival in 1964:

“Jazz speaks for life. The blues tell the story of life’s difficulties, and if you think for a moment, you will realize that they take the hardest realities of life and put them into music, only to come out with some new hope or sense of triumph. This is triumphant music.” Amen, Dr. King.

SAVE THE ARTS

nea-jan2017

Access to the arts – how can one ever measure the importance of that? The National Endowment for the Arts brings the arts to areas that don’t have big museums, symphonies, ballets, and theater. Cutting the federal budget for this agency is a shocking thought – putting in peril funding that supports literature, visual arts, dance, theater, museums, and arts education programs around the country. Their support is vital, giving all of us the opportunity to participate in the arts, exercise our imaginations, and develop our creativity. Here’s what we can do. Tell the NEA why the arts and the NEA’s work are important to you. Write to chairman@arts.gov or National Endowment for the Arts, Attn: Jane Chu, Chairman, 400 7th Street SW, Washington, DC 20506. By the way, that is Ms. Chu’s artwork you see here.

MR. PRESIDENT’S R.E.S.P.E.C.T. FOR THE QUEEN

arethaobama-jan2017

During Carole King’s tribute at the 2015 Kennedy Center Honors, the Queen of Soul, Aretha Franklin, brought the house down with the King classic “(You Make Me Feel Like) A Natural Woman.” As her voice soared, President Obama was so moved that he wiped tears from his eyes … New Yorker Editor David Remnick asked the President to provide a quote for the profile he was writing on Ms. Franklin. President Obama, who brought all corners of the American music landscape to the White House during two terms, bound together his love of music and profound faith in our country thusly:

Nobody embodies more fully the connection between the African-American spiritual, the blues, R&B, rock and roll, the way that hardship and sorrow were transformed into something full of beauty and vitality and hope. American history wells up when Aretha sings. That’s why, when she sits down at a piano and sings A Natural Woman, she can move me to tears — the same way that Ray Charles’s version of America the Beautiful will always be in my view the most patriotic piece of music ever performed because it captures the fullness of the American experience, the view from the bottom as well as the top, the good and the bad, and the possibility of synthesis, reconciliation, transcendence.”

GREENERY OFFERS COMFORT

greenery-frontdoor-jan2017-cr

This year’s color, as forecasted by the color institute Pantone, is a pretty yellow-green shade that evokes spring: Greenery. A symbolic choice, this life-affirming color speaks directly to the mood and attitude of our nation. “Greenery provides us with the reassurance we yearn for amid a tumultuous social and political environment [and] symbolizes the reconnection we seek with nature, one another, and a larger purpose,” says Pantone’s Executive Director. It is the color of hopefulness!

INSCRUTABLE ART?

artaward-theend-jan2017

Scary looking? Weird? Or mouth-watering? Hmm … You are looking at a swirl of vanilla ice cream, topped by a cherry that has attracted a fly and a drone. The End is by UK artist Heather Phillipson. She is one of the four finalists for England’s most visible public art commission, the Fourth Plinth in Trafalgar Square. The organizers describe The End as exploring “the extremes of shared experience, from commemorations and celebrations to mass protests.” Well then, it certainly speaks to our times.

WE CAN HELP

wecanhelp-nypddogcalendar-jan2017-use

That’s Timmy, aka “Mr. January” and one of New York’s Finest K-9s, helping the New York City Police Foundation raise money. He’s featured in the Foundation’s 2017 NYPD K9 Calendar. By making a $20 donation, you will help support new and ongoing NYPD programs and initiatives. It’s even got an extra month so you’ll have a head start setting up all your January 2018 appointments!

Soundtrack to this Issue

soundtrack-samcooke-jan2017changepainting-use

Sam Cooke’s A Change Is Gonna Come

Released in 1964, A Change Is Gonna Come became an anthem for the Civil Rights movement. Ever timely and relevant, it moves from bigotry and violence to a message of hope. After winning the 2008 election, President Obama referred to the song in his victory speech, “It’s been a long time coming, but tonight, change has come to America.”

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

I was born by the river in a little tent
Oh and just like the river I’ve been running ev’r since
It’s been a long time, a long time coming
But I know a change gonna come,
oh yes it will

 

Who rescued whom?
Barkley.WeCanHelp.Dec2015
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:
NEA pic: Art Works Blog, #WisdomWednesday, NEA Chairman Jane Chu, January 18, 2017
Aretha Franklin and President Obama pics: CBS-TV
Greenery quote: Pantone’s Executive Director, Leatrice Eiseman
A Change Is Gonna Come lyrics: Sam Cooke ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC, Abkco Music, Inc.

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

27 Sep

SEPTEMBER FULL OF HOPE

helloseptember-sept2016“The breezes taste of apple peel. The air is full of smells to feel. Ripe fruit, old footballs, burning brush, new books, erasers, chalk, and such. The bee, his hive, well-honeyed hum, and Mother cuts chrysanthemums. Like plates washed clean with suds, the days are polished with a morning haze.” (John Updike, September)

HOPE EVERLASTING

911lights-sept2016

“We’ve got to be as clear-headed about human beings as possible, because we are still each other’s only hope,” James Baldwin said to Margaret Mead in a historic public conversation in New York City, August 25, 1970 … The twin beams of light emitted each September 11, as transcendental as any symbol of remembrance can ever be, depicts the timeless hope of which James Baldwin speaks.

ROCK STAR!

freddiemercuryasteroid-sept2016-2-use“A shooting star leaping through the sky, Like a tiger defying the laws of gravity…Burnin’ through the sky yeah” … An asteroid has been named after Freddie Mercury to honor what would have been his 70th birthday. Asteroid “Freddiemercury” is “burnin’ through the sky” in the Asteroid Belt between Mars and Jupiter. Per Brian May, Queen’s lead guitarist as well as an astrophysicist, “It’s just a dot of light but it’s a very special dot of light and maybe one day we’ll get there.”

BREAKFAST IN AMERICA

pancakesinparis-sept2016
Former Hollywood screenwriter Craig Carlson, with no restaurant experience, recounts his dream of opening an American diner in Paris, Breakfast in America, and turning it into a popular restaurant chain in the heart of Paris.

“After a year in France, I was dying for a good ol’ American breakfast. [Back in LA] I ordered a ham steak, scrambled eggs, home-fried potatoes, and buckwheat pancakes. I stared at it wide-eyed and said, ‘Oh my God, this is the one thing I missed when I was in Paris!’ At that instant a year’s worth of eating French breakfasts replayed before my eyes. But the problem was that every breakfast was exactly the same. Croissants and pains au chocolat, croissants and pains au chocolat. I stared down at my pancakes…my heart racing as I repeated the phrase: ‘The one thing I missed in Paris’…I knew exactly what I wanted to do: open an American diner in Paris! I even knew what I was going to call it: Breakfast in America.”

KNOCKIN’ ON HEAVEN’S GATE?

dylangate-sept2016Did you know that Bob Dylan liked to sculpt enormous iron gates? Yes, it’s true. After all, he was born and raised in iron ore country in Minnesota. He just built a 26×15-foot iron gateway for the MGM National Harbor casino in Maryland. Called Portal, it incorporates found objects, farm equipment, kitchen utensils, and tools … Per Dylan: “Gates appeal to me because of the negative space they allow. They can be closed, but at the same time they allow the seasons and breezes to enter and flow. They can shut you out or shut you in. And in some ways, there is no difference.” Whoa, that is so Dylan.

WHEN BAD ADVERTISING HAPPENS TO THE ARTS

wellsfargo-nea-sept2016Here’s a real head-scratcher. Seems that the Wells Fargo financial services company thought this was a good idea. Picture this. A smiling young woman with the caption: “A ballerina yesterday. An engineer today.” And the tag line: “Let’s get them ready for tomorrow.” Although they were taken to task for this tasteless ad campaign that they subsequently abandoned, how was it ever approved? The arts and those who choose to be artists are to be cherished, enjoyed, and encouraged. Hey, Wells Fargo, learn something about the arts from the National Endowment for the Arts and put aside some ad dollars for a donation. It’s the arts that fulfill promises and make life grand.

FULL OF AWE

awesome-sept2016-newsWords enable us to communicate with each other. What powerful tools they are! But changes in language and in people, including interpretation, people adapting language to fit their needs, societal changes, and shifting pronunciations, affect the meaning of a word over time. Let’s look at the evolution of the word awful: In Shakespeare’s time awful had the complimentary meaning of “full of awe.With the suffix –ful, awful means having the quality of awe. Its meanings include being worthy of, commanding profound respect or reverential fear, which may have led it to mean causing dread. So over the centuries, awful took on a negative quality – frightful, ugly, monstrous. Then awful was eventually replaced with today’s positive awesome. Note that the suffix -some is basically the same as –ful in its meaning. Since awful had such a strong negative connotation, awesome was used meaning “awe-inspiring” without the negativity. By the mid-1900s awesome went from awe-inspiring to its ubiquitous use today meaning amazing. Okay, so awesome may have reached its cultural saturation point, but its history is nonetheless awesome, right?

TRIUMPHANT NEW MUSEUM!

blackmuseum-baldwinquote-crA new major museum is always worth celebrating! Just opened is the Smithsonian’s National Museum of African American History and Culture in the heart of Washington DC. Its very design is crucial to the story it tells. From its lowest floor depicting the history of slavery, each ascending floor follows the journey to the civil rights movement and up to “A Changing America: 1968 and Beyond” and President Obama’s inauguration.

…AND THE BEATLES’ CIVIL RIGHTS VICTORY

eightdaysaweek-sept2016In the new documentary, Eight Days a Week, director Ron Howard examines the Beatles’ touring years. Of note, we learn that in 1964 when they reached the Gator Bowl in Jacksonville, FL, seats were segregated. They refused to perform until the venue was integrated, gaining a victory for civil rights. “We played to people. We didn’t play to those people or that people – we just played to people,” so said Ringo.

ROCK RELICS DO GOOD!

maxskcauction-bruce-sept2016Cool pic of The Boss, right? Unless you’ve read Yvonne Sewall-Ruskin’s High On Rebellion: Inside the Underground at Max’s Kansas City (see May 2016 Newsletter), you’ve never seen it. Taken upstairs at Max’s Kansas City backstage by Lily Hou in 1973, it was one of many great items up for auction to benefit Yvonne’s arts non-profit, Max’s Kansas City Project, which provides artists grants of emergency relief for housing, medical, and legal aid.

DOG NEWS

dognews-911dogs-sept2016Barkley’s incredible veterinarian Dr. Amy Attas (as well as Buddha’s and Skeffington’s!) volunteered to care for the heroic rescue dogs at ground zero. Dr. Attas and her colleagues listened to the handlers while their dogs were being treated for cuts, burns, and dehydration, prompting the vets to ask psychologists to sit with them. “A lot of the handlers told us that their dogs were really depressed, because they were search and rescue dogs and they weren’t finding anybody,” Dr. Attas told NBC News.

WE CAN HELP

9-11stairs-sept2016The Vesey Street stairs, on site at the 911 Memorial Museum and now known as Survivors’ Stairway, is the sole remainder above ground of the World Trade Center. Gazing at it, one visualizes all those people running down them seeking safety and escape with fervent hope that they make it out. The 9/11 Memorial Museum documents the impact of 9/11 and explores its continuing significance. There we bear witness to a collection of artifacts that remind us of the people we lost and the brave souls that heroically went in to help, to save, to do their job. It is a place of commemoration.  Make a monetary donation or you can make a contribution to the collection such as pics, videos, voice messages, personal effects, workplace objects, and diaries.

wecanhelp2-doghope-aacr-sept-2016Fact: Animals have a positive effect in helping people cope with traumatic events. HOPE Animal-Assisted Crisis Response teams have been responding to crises and disasters since 2001, when they sent specially trained handlers and their dogs to provide comfort at ground zero in NYC. They calmed survivors and helped first responders and other workers relax and talk about their experiences, just as you see Tikva here at work. HOPE has since responded to major hurricanes, wildfires, train derailments, and school shootings. An all-volunteer organization, your donation helps them continue training and certifying new crisis teams.

Soundtrack to this Issuesoundtrack-highhopes-teleBruce Springsteen’s High Hopes

Happy Birthday to the Boss. And what a way to celebrate. Four hour concerts! A book! A book tour! A new album! … Along with his captivating, candid, and poignant memoir, Born to Run, is a compilation album Chapter and Verse which features 18 songs that reflect the themes and sections of the book and includes five unreleased songs … High hopes is surely what we are feeling, so here’s the title track from the High Hopes album:

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

Give me help, give me strength
Give a soul a night of fearless sleep
Give me love, give me peace
Don’t you know these days you pay for everything 

Got high hopes
I got high hopes
Got high hopes
I got high hopes

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:
James Baldwin quote: A Rap on Race (J. B. Lippincott; 1st edition, 1971)
Freddy Mercury lyrics: Don’t Stop Me Now by Freddie Mercury ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Brian May quote: The Guardian, September 5, 2016
Book quote: Pancakes in Paris by Craig Carlson Page 42 ©2016 Sourcebooks
Dylan’s gate pic and quote: Forbes, September 7, 2016
Dr. Amy Attas, DVM quote: NBC News/New York, September 11, 2016
Tikva at Ground Zero, NYC, 2001 pic: HOPEaacr.org
Soundtrack High Hopes lyrics: Timothy Scott McConnell ©Universal Music Publishing Group

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

26 Aug

HOT DOG DAYS OF AUGUST

Weather.Aug2016.cruse.png

 

 

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

PepsiColaSign.aug2016.day.2

 

 

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

MetChandelier.aug2016

 

 

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

BeatBugs.aug2016

 

 

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

StevenHill.aug2016

 

 

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

RescueDog.aug2016

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

WeCanHelp.ASPCA-LAFlood.aug2016

 

 

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

Soundtrack.JoshuaTree.aug2016.cr

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

 

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

27 Jul

JULY’S TEARS TURN TO HOPE

BobbyKennedy.july2016

These times hark back to RFK’s commitment to racial justice. His advocacy of ending racism reminds us that his message is worth considering now, more than ever. While on the campaign trail, he revealed to the crowd that Dr Martin Luther King, Jr had just been killed, saying: “What we need in the United States is not hatred; what we need in the United States is not violence and lawlessness but is love, and wisdom and compassion toward one another and a feeling of justice toward those who still suffer within our country, whether they be white or whether they be black.”

BASTILLE DAY

BastilleDay.july2016

Liberté. Égalité. Fraternité … That is what Bastille Day should be all about, commemorating the storming of the Bastille, the prison that represented the despicable Bourbon monarchy, and sowed the beginnings of the French Revolution in 1789 … Growing up I remember going to the parade on the Champs-Élysées with my Parisian father, a crowded and humbling event to witness. And in our home, he proudly raised this flag, honoring La Fete Nationale.

BastilleDay.july2016.PresHolland

Then day turned to night, fireworks to gunfire, celebration to tragedy, when a truck mowed down scores of people on the Promenade des Anglais in the beautiful southern city of Nice and Bastille Day celebration was no more. “The horror, the horror has once again, hit France,” said President Holland. But she is strong … Vive la France!

ELIE WIESEL

ElieWiesel.july2016

Peace. Atonement. Human Dignity … That was Elie Wiesel’s mission, his message to all of humanity. This from someone who survived the worst of humanity, not even humanity, it was nonhumanity … President Obama eulogized him, “We give thanks that Elie never gave up on humanity and on the progress that is possible when we treat one another with dignity and respect.”

STUART DAVIS

StuartDavis.SwingLandscape.july2016

His paintings are like music. They have rhythm. Just look at Swing Landscape (1938) by Stuart Davis. The Gloucester, MA waterfront is shown in bright colors and rhythmic patterns, realistic yet abstract, a modern rendering in American pop culture terms … “For me jazz was the only thing that corresponded to an authentic art in America. I think all my paintings, at least in part, come from this influence.”

PINK FLOYD STAMPS

PinkFloydStamp.endlessriverdarkside.july2016

The Royal Mail issued a set of stamps to celebrate 50 years of Pink Floyd. The album covers made into stamps include The Dark Side of The Moon, Wish You Were Here, Animals, and The Endless River. Another four stamps show the band performing on tour, including one photo from a concert at London’s UFO Club in 1966!

LOUDER THAN WORDS

LouderThanWords.Button.BruceForPres.july2016

Cleveland’s Rock and Roll Hall of Fame’s timely exhibit, Louder Than Words: Rock, Power & Politics, explores the power of rock to change attitudes about patriotism, peace, equality, and freedom. Rage Against the Machine’s Tom Morello: “I’d say that 100 percent of music is political, that music either supports the status quo or challenges the status quo, so every artist is political.”

MORSE CODE

MorseMusic.july2016.cr-use

Have you watched Endeavor, the latest version of PBS’s longtime Inspector Morse series that also includes Inspector Lewis? It is the story of how Morse became Morse … As all three, Morse, Lewis, and Endeavor, take place in the university environs of Oxford, the Humanities take center stage. Philosophers and historians abound. Everybody here is smart. Most of all, Morse … Even the music is smart. Composed by the great Pheloung Barrington, the music uses Morse code to give us hints of whodunit in the score … And M-O-R-S-E is spelled out in Morse code in the opening notes of the theme melody. Barrington says, “It was just a little in-joke. I put his name at the beginning and then it recurred all the way through. Although a note to The Guardian pointed out that it actually spells T-O-R-S-E, as I’d slightly lengthened the dots on the ‘M’. I mean, honestly, some artistic license please, just because I asked the violinists to play a little more legato!”

GET DOWN, GET FUNKY, GET BACK UP AGAIN

KoolAndGangFunkTour.july2016

Remember that Billy Crystal line? An essential prescription for life, Keepin’ the Funk Alive, is also the name of Kool and the Gang’s tour. No JT, but original members, brothers Ronald and Robert “Kool” Bell, George Brown, and Dennis Thomas still celebrating. Also on the tour are Bootsy Collins, Morris Day and the Time, and Doug E. Fresh.

On Celebration: “We woke up one morning and they were playing Celebration on the space shuttle! We were scientists of sound!…[From] Scripture where the creator’s gonna create this human thing and the angels were celebrating him for doing so…There was never a song about a cel-e-bra-tion. Everyone around the world, come on, there’s a celebration every second of our lives. Somewhere, someone is always celebrating something.”

REASONS TO CELEBRATE

JonMarcus.july2016.cr-use

Thanks to May Pang for grabbing this pic of the coda of an incredibly heartfelt and celebratory service in honor of our great friend, Jon Marcus, longtime executive director of the New York office of the Recording Academy, the Grammy office. We were his happy minions, all enthusiastic members, ready to help whenever he called. A beautiful service, it ended with Charlie Feldman singing Satisfaction with Carlos Alomar on guitar, Jon looking upon his beautiful bride, Deb Whitfield, and all of us, his gathered friends, jumping up and singing, too. A wonderful life to celebrate.

JoePerry.july2016

So my Brother from Another Mother and Father (as we long ago called ourselves), Joe Perry, gave us a scare. Performing with Hollywood Vampires, his band with Alice Cooper and Johnny Depp, he collapsed and was hospitalized during their show in Brooklyn. Two weeks later he was back on stage on tour with the band. Celebrating his recovery is a good thing.

TwylaTharp.4.july2016

Twyla Tharp’s return to the Joyce Theater included early works, Brahms Paganini and Country Dances, both with her signature hip rolls and big brash attitude. Employing classical, jazz, and pop music while blending ballet and modern dance, her artistry celebrates humanity, joy, and life!

DOG NEWS

DogNews.Book.ShelterDogs.july2016

In Shelter Dogs, photographer Traer Scott’s compassionate portraits of dogs living in shelters make a passionate and compelling appeal to dog lovers. By revealing their expressive emotions, Scott raises awareness of animal rescue causes and the need for more adoptive homes for abandoned dogs … Photographer Nancy LeVine traveled the country, taking pictures of senior dogs along her way. Senior Dogs Across America, a compilation of photos and stories, is dedicated to “anyone who has ever loved a dog, young or old.” … Garry Gross’s photography in Beautiful Old Dogs is a heartfelt tribute that may inspire you to get involved in senior dog rescue and adoption.

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.StandHeroes.july2016

Stand Up For Heroes, the partnership between the New York Comedy Festival and the Bob Woodruff Foundation, is a clearinghouse for organizations supporting wounded warriors dealing with physical wounds to long-term PTSD. Make a donation in honor of Jon Marcus to help them continue to help veterans get better and get jobs.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.TrackTears.SmokeyMiracles.july2016

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles’
The Tracks of My Tears

The Library of Congress is honoring Smokey Robinson with the Gershwin Prize for Popular Song. His 1965 classic, The Tracks of My Tears, was added to the National Recording Registry in 2007 as a “culturally, historically or aesthetically significant sound recording.”

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

People say I’m the life of the party
Because I tell a joke or two
Although I might be laughing loud and hearty
Deep inside I’m blue

So take a good look at my face
You know my smile looks out of place
If you look closer it’s easy to trace
The tracks of my tears

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:
RFK quote: Bobby Kennedy: The Making of a Liberal Icon by Larry Tye (Random House 2016)
Elie Wiesel quote: Boston Globe
Stuart Davis quote: Indiana University Art Museum
Pheloung Barrington quote: crime4u.com
Kool and the Gang’s Bell brothers quote: Rolling Stone, June 29, 2015
Jon Marcus memorial service pic: May Pang
We Can Help pic: Bob Woodruff Foundation
The Tracks of My Tears lyrics: Marvin Tarplin, Smokey Robinson, Warren Moore, William Robinson, Jr. ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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

27 Jun

JUNE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE IS LOVE

peace..love.understanding.june2016.2

As I walk through
This wicked world
Searchin’ for light in the darkness of insanity

I ask myself
Is all hope lost?
Is there only pain and hatred, and misery?

And each time I feel like this inside,
There’s one thing I wanna know:
What’s so funny ’bout peace love & understanding?

ALI: THE GREATEST LOVE

Ali.redgloves.june2016

When I was a kid, my father took me to the simulcasts of Ali’s big fights at our local movie house, the Symphony on Broadway … As beautiful a boxer as Muhammad Ali was, floating on air and dancing on the lightest of footfalls, his bigger than life generous spirit was the thing I loved about him … I have a bookshelf dedicated to him. Many great books about him. But David Remnick’s King of the Word is must-read Ali. And any documentary about him is worth seeing. But When We Were Kings (1996) is must-see Ali.

Ali.IWishPeopleLove.june2016

I remember being in tears as I made my way through each exhibit and video at the Muhammad Ali Center in Louisville, KY. I cherish every moment I spent there with him … He has always been my hero. I will miss him and be thankful for him and to him forever.

FROM GRACELAND TO NOW

PaulSimon.StrangerToStranger.june2016

“If you don’t do it, who will write a Paul Simon song?” asked Philip Glass on the topic of Simon’s retiring … Although it’s been 30 years since Graceland, the sounds he created in that monumental work are updated to reflect the present time in his new album, Stranger to Stranger …. We sorely and surely need all the Paul Simon songs we can get. Just as the title track reassures us:

Still believing
That love endures
All the carnage
And the useless detours

Oh I love you, I love you, I love you
I love you, I love you, I love you,
I love you, love you, love you …

Words and melody
Easy harmony
Words and melody

HEY HO! LET’S GO … TO A MUSEUM!

Ramones.june2016

Hey Johnny, Joey, Dee Dee, and Tommy Ramone, you are in a museum! For real! … In honor of the 40th anniversary of the Ramones’ self-titled debut album, Hey! Ho! Let’s Go: Ramones and the Birth of Punk is an exhibit at the Queens Museum until July 31. It shows the Ramones from their roots in Queens to Manhattan’s CBGB’s, where their fun brand of punk rock was manifest … “Just get me to the airport, put me on a plane, Hurry hurry hurry, before I go insane.” Then take a plane to the GRAMMY Museum in Los Angeles on Sept. 16 where, through March 2017, the band is seen in the larger context of music history and pop culture … Cheers to you, Joey, my Joey, I sure do miss talking to you.

NOW SERVING BREAKFAST!

SupertrampCover.june2016

That’s Kate Murtagh. We know her as the Supertramp waitress who is 95 now (she was 90 in this pic). Retired from acting, she is a resident at the Motion Picture and Television Country House and Hospital and takes improv classes … Roger Hodgson wrote the classic title track, Breakfast in America. “Never could I have imagined when I wrote this song at age 19 that it would be gaining in popularity, if that is even possible over 40 years later. It’s the playful, fun, jubilant quality that people love to hear and sing along to.”

MEAT LOAF: RECIPE FOR STAYING POWER

MeatLoaf.Album.june2016

Meat Loaf collapsed onstage during a performance at the Jubilee Auditorium in Edmonton, Canada. A scary moment, it was due to severe dehydration and according to his Facebook page, he has recovered. Good news for sure … But wait, there’s more good news! Meat will release Braver Than We Are, his long-awaited reunion with songwriter Jim Steinman on September 16. The first single, Going All the Way, is another majestic-rock epic that features vocals by Ellen Foley and Karla DeVito, Meat’s Paradise by the Dashboard Light partners … “My songs are anthems to those moments when you feel like you’re on the head of a match that’s burning…they’re anthems to the essence of rock and roll…the fury, the melody and the passion.” (Jim Steinman)

DOG NEWS

Dog.GracieComfortDogOrlando.june2016-2

Bringing comfort to OrlandoGracie, from Davenport, Iowa, is one of the specially trained Comfort Dogs sent to Orlando, FL to help the victims, their families, and the community deal with the tragedy. Joining Gracie was Phoebe from Texas, Kye from Illinois, Sasha from South Carolina, Barnabas from Indiana, Katie, a Comfort-Dog-in-Training based in Nebraska, and Jewel from Tennessee. Brave, sweet, and loving, champion comforters all.

DogNews.2.911DogDiesBrittany.june2016

What a good girl. There were 300 or so search dogs working at Ground Zero, using their mighty noses to try to find survivors. Sadly, the last of these brave dogs died at age 16. Bretagne, pronounced Brittany, a happy golden retriever, lived an adventure-packed life until the end. In addition to 9/11, she was also deployed in response to Hurricane Katrina and other disasters.

DogNews.3.VanityFairCover.june2016

Check out the cover of Vanity Fair honoring Queen Elizabeth’s 90th birthday. Seems she was upstaged by her four dogs, two Corgis and two Dorgis (Dachshund and Corgi mix). Annie Leibovitz shot the pic starring Holly, Willow, Vulcan, and Candy. And, oh yeah, the Queen.

DogNews.Pumi.june2016

Intelligent and whimsical. That’s the Pumi, a high-energy Hungarian herding dog and the latest new breed recognized by the AKC, its 190th breed headed to compete at the Westminster Kennel Club. Cute, huh?

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.AliCenter.june2016

The Muhammad Ali Center promotes respect, hope, and understanding, and encourages everyone everywhere to be as great as they can be. Your donation will help them continue to preserve and share Ali’s legacy and values.

WeCanHelp.AnimalShelter.catdog.june2016

There are more than 13,000 animal shelters across the US and combined they take in nearly 8 million cats and dogs per year. You can help your local animal shelter by donating: animal beds and blankets, dog and cat toys, laundry detergent and cleaning supplies, toys, crates and carriers, cat litter and boxes, leashes and collars, medical supplies, and your time and monetary donation.

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.Ali.gloves.june2016

Simon and Garfunkel’s The Boxer

Toward the end of his concert at The Greek Theater on June 3, Paul Simon strummed chords to The Boxer and announced, “I’m sorry to tell you this way, but Muhammad Ali has passed away.” And then he sang the final verse:

In the clearing stands a boxer,
And a fighter by his trade
And he carries the reminders
Of ev’ry glove that laid him down
And cut him till he cried out
In his anger and his shame,
‘I am leaving, I am leaving.’
But the fighter still remains

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:
Peace, Love painting: United Nations Art for Peace Contest 2012, entrant (not winner) Armaan, a 7 year-old from Canada.
(What’s So Funny ‘Bout) Peace, Love and Understanding lyrics: Nicholas Orain Lowe ©Universal Music Publishing Group, Plangent Visions Music, Inc.
I Wanna Be Sedated lyrics: Dee Dee Ramone, Douglas Colvin, Jeffrey Hyman, Joey Ramone, John (Ramone) Cummings, Johnny Ramone ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.
Roger Hodgson quote: RogerHodgson.com
Stranger to Stranger lyrics: ©2016 Words and Music by Paul Simon/paulsimon.com
Jim Steinman quote: 1978 Rolling Stone profile of Meat Loaf
Gracie the Comfort Dog pic: Gracie Comfort Dog Facebook Page
9/11 Dog Bretagne pic: Denise Corliss
The Boxer lyrics: Paul Simon ©Universal Music Publishing Group

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

26 May

MAY MAKES SWEET MUSIC

MyGirl.may2016.sameanother.cr-USE

HAPPY 75th BIRTHDAY, BOB DYLAN!

Dylan.FOREVER-YOUNG.May2016

“He was completely different than anyone, I remember the first time I saw him at Gerde’s Folk City in New York City. I snuck in because I didn’t have the money to buy a ticket. I listened to him and I thought, ‘…I can sing better than that. What’s all the fuss about?’ Then I started listening to the words.” (David Crosby)

GOOD VIBRATIONS: PART ONE

peacock-01.may2016

Peacocks not only show their spectacular tails, or trains, they rattle them, and scientists are studying the physics of feather vibration. They have found that the tail feathers vibrate at their natural resonating frequency — like a guitar string. During their courtship, they display their feathers often, and they vibrate only when females are around.

BEAUTIFUL MUSIC

RobinFreundEpstein.cover.USE

A flirtation, a courtship, a complex marriage, a productive working relationship, parenthood. Hmm, sounds like a modern day romance … In Robert and Clara (Master Performers), Robin Freund Epstein reveals the Schumanns’s remarkable music-making, despite a life together filled with secrets, sacrifice, loss, love, and illness. In Robin’s dynamic piano playing and enthusiasm for her subject, we are caught up in a world of romance and joy … Did you see HBO’s Mildred Pierce? Remember when Veda’s daughter played piano? Well, she was “performing” on a silent piano while the soundtrack was actually recorded by Robin. That was movie magic. Now you get to hear Robin’s real magic. Available at CDbaby and iTunes.

ANOTHER MOZART SUMMER!

MostlyMozartForever-use.cr-use

The new exhibition, Mozart Forever at the New York Public Library for the Performing Arts celebrates 50 years of the Mostly Mozart Festival. This fabulous annual New York summer tradition, takes place across Lincoln Center from July 22 to August 27 … The exhibit is special, too, with artwork, photos, memorabilia, interviews, and concert excerpts to discover. Check it out now through August 27.

REMEMBER MAX’S? CAN YOU REMEMBER?

HighOnRebellion.may2016

Yvonne Sewall-Ruskin is the president and founder of Max’s Kansas City Project, providing emergency funding to artists in need. Her husband, Mickey Ruskin, founded Max’s Kansas City, where Bob Marley opened for Bruce Springsteen, Aerosmith had their first New York show, Deborah Harry waitressed, the Rolling Stones, David Bowie, and Led Zeppelin visited, and Iggy Pop, Andy Warhol, and Lou Reed were regulars. Max’s was the place to be – there was always new music to hear and interesting people to talk to. Yvonne’s mesmerizing compendium of rare photos and first-hand stories of legendary performances might as well be a textbook called Music History 101.

HEY, LOOSEN UP!

esa-pekka-salonen.laphil.may2016

Maestro Esa-Pekka Salonen, Composer-in-Residence at the New York Philharmonic and curator of the second NYPhil Biennial, is interested in finding new approaches to appeal to younger, artistically inclined people who do not often listen to classical music. On the need for the music world to adapt:

“We should loosen up a bit, and accept the fact that there are so many experiences available that loftiness doesn’t get us anywhere. Self-improvement is not a reason to buy a ticket, which is not cheap. It has to operate on a totally different level. It has to be: O.K., here is an experience you won’t forget.”

GOOD VIBRATIONS: PART TWO

JazzofPhysics.may2016

Is there a secret link between music and the structure of the universe? That’s the idea behind Stephon Alexander’s new book, The Jazz of Physics (and its subtitle). “If the structure of the universe is a result of a pattern of vibration, what causes the vibration?” Is the universe acting like an instrument? Physicist and sax player, Alexander uncovered the connection between the fundamental waves that make up sound and the fundamental waves that make up everything else … The “reason music has the ability to move us so deeply is that it is an auditory allusion to our basic connection to the universe.” Whether musicians or fans, we can all relate to that.

FORGET THE COWBELL, MORE PIANO!

Steinway.may2016

Steinway & Sons’s new flagship in New York is no ordinary piano store. An artistic and modern two-level retail and performance space, there’s a 74-seat recital hall, a state-of-the-art custom sound system, live-streaming capabilities for musicians and audiences from around the world to connect, rehearsal studios for artists and students, and a recording studio. And they sell their awesome pianos there, too.

DOG NEWS

DogNews.Barkley.ThomasParker.may2016

Barkley was chosen as a finalist in Pottery Barn’s Dogs of New York Cutie Pageant contest … I’d say photographer Thomas Parker caught Barkley’s Mr. Big Shot Westie attitude. Do you agree?

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.MusiCares.may2016

MusiCares provides help to music people who don’t have safety nets for emergencies. The legendary Smokey Robinson was honored this month for his dedication and support of the MusiCares MAP Fund, which provides members of the music community access to addiction recovery treatment regardless of their financial situation. There are free recovery support groups in LA, Nashville, Austin, New Orleans, New York, Seattle, and Fort Collins, CO that offer a safe environment to face the challenges of staying clean and sober in the music industry … Says Robinson, “I’m not ashamed to tell people because I want to be of help if I possibly can.”

Soundtrack to this Issue

Soundtrack.DisraelGears.May2016

Cream’s Sunshine Of Your Love

Eric Clapton, Jack Bruce, Ginger Baker. Cream is my all-time favorite band and this is my #1 favorite song. In honor of my May birthday, check out this live version … Oh yeah, Jack Bruce’s birthday? Same as mine. Meant to be.

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

It’s getting near dawn,
When lights close their tired eyes
I’ll soon be with you my love,
To give you my dawn surprise
I’ll be with you darling soon,
I’ll be with you when the stars start falling

I’ve been waiting so long
To be where I’m going
In the sunshine of your love

I’m with you my love,
The light’s shining through on you
Yes, I’m with you my love,
|
It’s the morning and just we two
I’ll stay with you darling now,
I’ll stay with you till my seas are dried up

I’ve been waiting so long
To be where I’m going
In the sunshine of your love

Who rescued whom?

Barkley+Mom.Tartan.IMG_0587.cr.Apr2016

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:
My Girl lyrics: Smokey Robinson and Ronald White ©Universal Music Publishing Group
David Crosby quote: Rolling Stone, May 24, 2016
Peacock tails: New York Times, May 3, 2016
Salonen pic: Los Angeles Philharmonic
Salonen quote: New York Times, April 26, 2016
Robinson quote: @MusiCares
Barkley pic: Thomas Parker
Soundtrack lyrics: Eric Patrick Clapton, Jack Bruce, Peter Constantine Brown, Peter Ronald Brown ©Warner/Chappell Music, Inc.

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

26 Mar

MARCH SPRINGS AHEAD

PeterMax.SnowyDay.Mar2016.CParkReservoirBridge

Peter Max’s Snowy Day to remind us of winter’s passing, with memories of the cold white covered ground and the promise of the sun’s radiant warmth to come.

#JeSuisBruxelles

Belgium.TinTin.MonDieu

Belgium’s iconic and beloved cartoon characters, Tintin the world traveling cub reporter and his dog Snowy, became the national symbol of mourning and solidarity following the deadly terror attacks in Brussels on March 23 … The Adventures of Tintin was written by Belgian cartoonist Georges Remi, who wrote under the pen name Hergé … Throughout their dangerous escapades, Tintin and Snowy always and heroically save the day. But not today.

THE FIFTH BEATLE

GeorgeMartin.engineering1964.Mar2016

“If anyone earned the title Fifth Beatle, it was George,” said Paul McCartney upon George Martin’s passing on March 9. Classically trained musician, composer, producer, and engineer, Martin helped The Beatles develop their sound. He signed them in 1962 and produced most of their music. Here he is at Abbey Road Studios – look at that board and the tape players in the early 60s!

George Martin on The Beatles: “I think they’re so damn good they’ll be with us for generations … they’re just great musicians and great writers, like Gershwin or Rodgers and Hammerstein. They are there in history, and The Beatles are there in history, too. They’ll be there in 100 years, too. But I won’t be.” … You will be, George. You already are.

THE WHO HONORS BOWIE

Who.Mar2016

The Who paid tribute to David Bowie before their concert at Madison Square Garden. A large screen projected a message from the band to Bowie:

David Bowie. Friend of The Who. Son of New York. Tonight we will distinctly miss David Bowie, longtime fan of The Who. He’s told the story of how he climbed the fence at London’s Roundhouse to sneak backstage and give Pete Townshend a copy of his new 1969 album, David Bowie. He covered ‘I Can’t Explain’ and ‘Anyway, Anyhow, Anywhere’ on his Pin Ups album. Nearly every year at MSG, he sat in the first row right beside the stage. We’ll miss our friend, a true icon of music and art, and a brilliant innovator.” … Classy.

GET INSPIRED

AgnesMartin.painting.Mar2016

Artist Agnes Martin (1912-2004) said her paintings were “meditations on innocence, beauty, happiness, and love,” and creative work comes from inspiration, “the beginning and end of all art work.” Using a narrow palette, lines and grids drift over faint background colors.

“An inspiration is a happy moment that takes us by surprise. Many people are so startled by an inspiration that they think that they are unique in having had it. Nothing could be further from the truth. Inspiration is there all the time for anyone whose mind is not covered over with thoughts and concerns, and [it is] used by everyone whether they realize it or not … It is an untroubled state of mind, [one that] cannot last, so we say that inspiration comes and goes, but it is there all the time waiting for us to be untroubled again. We can therefore say that it is pervasive.”

NINA SIMONE

NinaSimone.Mar2016

“How can you be an artist
and not reflect the times?”

Nina Simone was a classical music prodigy, a singer and songwriter who combined jazz, pop, R&B, gospel, and folk, and an outspoken civil rights activist. An artist of her times.

MUSIC FUNNY

MahlerSmahler.Mar2016

Here’s a little classical music humor to help celebrate the LA Philharmonic’s Mahler concert at Lincoln Center. Hee-hee.

“A symphony must be like the world. It must
embrace everything.” (Gustav Mahler)

WESTIE NEWS!!! THE BESTIE NEWS!!!

DogNews.CruftsBestInShowWestie

Best news!!! Best in Show news, that is. Devon, this gorgeous two-year old Westie Champion Geordie Girl, won the 2016 Crufts Best in Show! She’s the third Westie to win Best in Show at Crufts in 125 years. Are you listening, Westminster? Isn’t it time for the Westie to win for the third time here, too?

WE CAN HELP

WeCanHelp.AMC.GSD.Mar2016.cr

The Cancer Institute at the Animal Medical Center provides integrative and comprehensive care for animals diagnosed with cancer, focusing on early detection and working to find a cure through advanced research. A hospital for companion animals, AMC is also an institute for veterinary education and research. Donate to help continue their mission of providing high quality care and research for animals with cancer.

Soundtrack to this Issue
 Soundtrack.Yesterday.Single.Mar2016
 The Beatles’ Yesterday

It was George Martin’s idea of putting a string quartet on the record, giving this incredible song its indelible and perfectly simple understated sound! … Listen to Paul McCartney perform this live at Anfield, Liverpool on June 1, 2008.

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

Yesterday all my troubles seemed so far away.
Now it looks as though they’re here to stay.
Oh, I believe in yesterday. 

Suddenly I’m not half the man I used to be.
There’s a shadow hanging over me.
Oh, yesterday came suddenly. 

Why she had to go, I don’t know, she wouldn’t say.
I said something wrong, now I long for yesterday.

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:
Tintin and Snowy pic: @Vladdo/Twitter
George Martin pic: BBC/Rex Features
The Who pic: Theo Wargo/Getty
The Who quote: Rolling Stone Magazine, March 4, 2016
Agnes Martin painting: Untitled 1998
Agnes Martin quotes: Agnes Martin: Paintings, Writings, Remembrances (Phaidon Press), edited by Arne Glimcher
Mahler pics: Lincoln Center of the Performing Arts
Westie Devon pic: Crufts
German Shepherd Dog pic: Animal Medical Center
Yesterday lyrics: Lennon-McCartney, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

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

26 Feb

FEBRUARY FULL OF LOVE

ASPCA.ValentinesEcard.cr-use

LOVE IS ALL YOU NEED

Beatles.Love.vbb55

“All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.
Love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love, love.
All you need is love, all you need is love,
All you need is love, love. Love is all you need.”

A SHINING STAR SHINES FOREVER

MauriceWhite.RobVerhorst-Redferns.Feb2016

Maurice White didn’t focus on one musical genre, he mixed it all up in his band, Earth, Wind and Fire – rock, pop, funk, gospel, soul, R&B, jazz, Latin, Caribbean steel drums, and classical … Just honored with a lifetime achievement award at the Grammys, EWF’s music “naturally appealed across racial and socio-economic lines.” … He was a unique visionary who delivered exuberant, funky music with a mighty message of peace and unity. Inspired by the times of the 70’s, his music and message are even more relevant today.

“Being joyful and positive was the whole objective of our group. Our goal was to reach all the people and to keep a universal atmosphere. All of our songs had that positive energy. To create uplifting music was the objective.” (Maurice White)

YO-YO MA

YoyoMa.Feb2016.cr-USE
A child prodigy, Yo-Yo Ma has been performing since he was five … “I started the violin when I was three. I screeched away and sounded horrible, so I gave it up…I saw this double bass and I said, ‘I want to play that.’…The cello was a compromise. So my parents said, ‘You have to promise that you’re not going to switch again.’ So I kept my promise and I’m still playing the cello.”

WHAT DO YOU THINK?

MetLogo.old.feb2016MetLogo.new.feb2016
Based on a woodcut in its collection by Luca Pacioli (Leonardo da Vinci’s colleague), the Metropolitan Museum of Art’s “M” logo (top) has been iconic for 45 years – suggesting the museum’s great hall with its three square chambers topped by circular vaults or the proportional geometries of Leonardo’s Vitruvian Man. Whichever, it has been hailed a classic, conveying what it represents – art, history, and architecture … So what do you think of the new logo (bottom)? Does it look like “a typographic double-decker bus crash” (New York Magazine)? Or Robert Indiana’s “Love” sculpture? Is it clean and modern? Is the red too bold? Does it say: museum? And the two words – did you think it referred to the opera house, also called The Met? Changing a company’s logo generates buzz, even controversy. Will this new logo unify this massive institution’s identity and connect its past to the future, as it is designed to do? Will it endure? Time will tell.

DOG NEWS

Westminster.TimothyA.Clary.AFP.GettyImages.Feb2016

No, the adorable, stubborn, spirited, intelligent, and brave Westie did not win the Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show’s Best in Show. That honor went to the German Shorthaired Pointer named CJ. Rumor the German Shepherd, Charlie the Skye Terrier, and Bogey the Samoyed came close. Judge Richard Meen explained, “It’s very important that every dog take me back to what they were bred to do. Pointer CJ never stopped looking, focused in front of him, and he floated around the ring.” … New breeds welcomed in this year included the Bergamasco, Boerboel, Berger Picard, Mini American Shepherd, Spanish Water Dog, and the Lagotto Romagnolo.

DogNews.DavidFrei

Faithful companion. Could be said of dogs, sure, but must also be said of their human ambassador, David Frei. This was the last time he hosted Westminster. But we will still hear his knowledgeable and warmhearted commentary at the National Dog Show … Here he is with Gracie (left) and Angel, for whom his Angel On A Leash organization is named. A human who is synonymous with the love of dogs.

WE CAN HELP

DOgNews.WestminsterPOster.Feb2016

This year’s Westminster Kennel Club Dog Show poster is a 19th century painting by J.M. Tracy, Haunt of the Woodcock: Sensation and Bang Bang. It depicts the Pointer, Westminster Kennel Club’s symbol since 1877 The recipient for the poster sales proceeds is the Warrior Canine Connection. Using Canine Connection Therapy, they help Wounded Warriors learn how to train service dogs for their fellow veterans. By interacting with the dogs from puppyhood to training to adult service dogs, Warrior Trainers benefit from the interaction with the dogs and the veterans with disabilities receive the finest in trained service dogs … By purchasing this poster, we can help bring the healing power of dogs to these heroes.

Soundtrack to this IssueSoundtrack.DowntonAbbey.Feb2016Philip Glass’s Escape! (The Hours OST)

We hear the familiar stirring theme music begin each episode and we know what’s in store. In celebration of Downton Abbey, here’s [hear] something interesting: Downton Abbey’s theme composer, John Lunn, admits he “started out with elements of Philip Glass and I did listen to a lot of English, early 20th century music … But the underlying harmony is actually very simple and perhaps almost a bit like pop music.” … Take a listen to Philip Glass’s Escape from Stephen Daldry’s film, The Hours. Both themes share a similar mood – evocative, moving, and hypnotic.

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:
All You Need Is Love lyrics: John Lennon and Paul McCartney ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC
Maurice White pic: February 1982, Rob Verhorst, Redferns
Producer Wayne Edwards quote: Roger Thompson, NY Times, February 12, 2016
Maurice White quote: Songwriter Universe, March 28, 2007
Yo-Yo Ma child pic: Adelaide de Menil, New York Magazine, January 12, 2016

Yo-Yo Ma quote: New York Magazine, January 12, 2016
Met logos: Metropolitan Museum of Art
West Highland White Terriers at Westminster pic: Timothy A. Clary/AFP/Getty Images
Judge Meen quote: NY Times, February 17, 2016
David Frei pic: Ben Walker/AP
Downton Abbey pic: PBS
John Lunn quote: Hollywood Reporter, September 4, 2012

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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