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Wednesday, December 13, 2017

Last Stand for Web Neutrality. FCC votes Thursday to destroy protections. Dec 13 2017

SPECIAL EDITION -- just this very important topic / call to action

Time is critical. Your member of Congress can help stop the FCC from rubber-stamping a power grab by a few rich corporations. This is the last stand to save the protections that make the internet a free-range experience, a place to access the world's knowledge and the facts and stats that combine into all those pesky inconvenient truths that annoy the hell out of the vested interests who want to control you. That's not putting it too strong, or exaggerating what's about to happen. How to contact your elected representatives is below the line of "plus" signs ("+ + + + +").

Now, before you blow this off...

Imagine that no one would ever be able to see, or even to find, your lovingly-crafted website, with your music performance clips and videos, your gig list, and all the things you put there to keep your fan base engaged and happy AND to create the critical crossroads for festival and concert bookers to FIND you. That is, they could only find you IF you bribe all the Googles out there to make your site show-up in a web search, and IF you bribe all the big telecoms and every other ISP to allow your site to be accessible to THEIR users. And if you're thinking, "Oh, I'll just do it all on Facebook and social media," you haven't been paying attention lately, because they have all reasserted that THEY own "your" page on their platform, NOT you. (And some of us, including music publications like this one, refuse to do ANYTHING with social media, so your "Facebook-only" presence is already invisible and inaccessible to us, anyway.)

Plus, one more thing to consider before you blow this off...

We know, and we AGREE with you that there's waaaay too much exploitive BS and baloney about what's happening with this whole internet-apocalypse thing. We're getting multiple emails each day that blatantly lie about what this means and who is responsible for it. For the record, FCC Chair Ajit Pai, who is a snake oil salesman for the big telecom companies from which he came (he was a well-heeled, overpaid top Verizon exec), is, nonetheless NOT a self-serving corporate hack brought in by Trump. He is a self-serving corporate hack brought in by Obama and promoted by Trump. So let's get off the toxic Trump train and focus on WHAT WE CAN DO.

Look, we are ALL being inundated by politics that masquerade as saving humanity or even saving the planet. Even while the NEED to save humanity and save the planet are very real and increasingly immediate, we're being exploited in shakedowns for pocket change to be the only ones standing between paradise lost and oblivion. And it's pretty damned annoying.

BUT CONSIDER THIS... the proposed control of the internet -- by rich and powerful interests -- will make it even more difficult for the rest of us to get the knowledge, information, tools, and contacts we need, if we ARE to have any chance of being effective -- in ANY effort to oppose the self-appointed controllers who want to decide for us "what is news" and what we are allowed to access... on the basis of what is profitable for them.

The FCC's internally-generated "changes" were, in fact, written by the power brokers for the supposed regulator / protectors to inflict on us.

Those changes are scheduled to go into effect -- with a simple vote by the FCC Board on THURSDAY.

If that happens, then let's look at what it means for all of us:

At the very least, internet access will become expensive, with dirt-road speeds the cheapest, and costs that get ever-higher if you want the cyber autobahn.

Moreover, it will be problematic, and maybe even impossible, to:

a) find multifaceted, even conflicting, information from a variety of sources, because anything that challenges corporate Big Media and corporate profit-motivated propaganda can simply be blocked or constrained in so many ways that it's functionally impossible to interact with those "subversive" sources.

b) access, and even FIND, alternative media that is not controlled by self-serving corporate interests -- much less any media or site that is anti-corporate, anti-war, anti-war-spending, anti-Big-Political-Party, anti-oligarch, anti-plutocrat, and anti-kleptocrat.

c) find any way to know about and support things like Native American uprisings and resistance to treaty-violating tar sands pipelines through their reservation lands, or find information about resistance to any fracked-oil poisoning that adds to corporate profits.

d) conduct ANY online search for ANYTHING and expect to get the range and variety of results that were always available to you before.

e) operate a website for your music career with info on gigs you're playing, and as the place to learn about and interact with festivals, venues, and music presenters who want to find you and hire you.

And all because, unless you are able to buy your way into the top tier of search results, you will become invisible because you pay extortion fees to be "available to be found" by any search, under the impending new FCC rules.


Grassroots pressure by people like you and me -- pressure to get Congress to stop the FCC -- is starting to work: FIVE Republican members of Congress have already spoken out against Pai's plan to give control of the internet to Big Corporations. Those five Republicans have joined widespread Democratic opposition. (ref 1)

IF we can get more members of Congress to come out in favor of a bill to PROTECT net neutrality, THAT can prevent the Pai scheme from killing it. But only if we turn up the pressure, and do so (literally) RIGHT NOW.

A new poll released by the Washington Post on Tuesday (yesterday) reconfirms we have the people on our side, in growing numbers:

A full 83% of Americans oppose the FCC's radical plan to hand control of the internet to Verizon and Comcast, et. al.; that 83% majority includes 3 out of 4 registered Republicans. (Ref 2)

Want an actual example where this is going if we don't stop it? On Monday of this week, the powerful Spectrum cable caused all its onscreen guide listings for RT America to be replaced, for approximately 24 hours, by listings in Portugese for something they do not even carry. Not even the time schedules aligned with anything being broadcast. Some wacky error? Hardly. This is just the latest example of Spectrum or its predecessor, Time-Warner, doing something to make RT America obscure or unattractive. (We'll tell you why in a second). Last year, the cable giant repeatedly broadcast the channel for days at a time with no sound. These things have ONLY ever happened to RT America on the cable giant, as part of their bid to cause diminished viewership so they can dump yet another non-corporate news source. They already dropped the excellent France 24 in September, and it is an open secret that corporate America and certain powerful political interests (who have forgotten about Freedom of the Press) want RT America's news coverage and programming gone.
Okay, yes, that's TV. Which is regulated. So when a cable giant pulls that crap, they can be reported, and they must correct what they're doing. Now, imagine your internet losing its audio for sites that are not popular with your corporate provider. Or suddenly needing an esoteric URL where the words have been replaced with Portugese. Of course, as we have cited, under the proposed FCC changes, your ISP could simply block access altogether, or throttle-down delivery of any sites to the point they can no longer carry video, or audio, or graphics -- or music.

We do not want to tell a future generation that we lived in one brief shining moment that was known as the Camelot of the web, before the darkness of feudal hegemony descended and gave full control to the rich and powerful. We figure you probably feel the same about that.

+ + + + +

CALL or EMAIL your Member of Congress and your state's TWO US Senators. Here's how:

✔ You can contact your MEMBER OF CONGRESS by using your postal zip code, at:

✔ And contact the two US SENATORS representing your state, at:

Or, call: 424-363-4877, and the coalition of organizations will connect you to the offices of your lawmakers.

WHEN YOU CALL, FEEL FREE TO CHOOSE from any of the following points to make your script when talking to them --

Just introduce yourself, be polite, and say why you are calling. The congressional staffer may want your address.

If you email use the same points and be sure to include your address.

a) "I support 'Title Two' net neutrality rules and I urge you to oppose the FCC's plan to repeal them. Specifically, I'd like you to contact the FCC Chairman and demand he abandon his current plan, and enact legislation giving Congress the authority to repeal these protections so we do not face this kind of threat again."

b) "The U.S. public overwhelmingly supports net neutrality, regardless of political affiliations. Now, we’re hearing that key lawmakers are considering taking action to slow Pai down — but they need to hear more from constituents to push them to act. That’s why I'm contacting you, because you are supposed to represent ME in washington."

c) "Net neutrality is the core principle that protects our free speech on the internet, and ‘Title II’ of the Communications Act is what provides the legal foundation for real net neutrality. Without strong Title II net neutrality rules, Big Cable companies like Comcast and Verizon will be able to block, censor, and control what we see and do online."

d) "If implemented, the plan from FCC Chairman Ajit Pai to end net neutrality would be catastrophic for the open internet."

e) "Without net neutrality, the Internet will look more like cable TV — where the content we see is controlled by corporations like Comcast and Verizon. We can’t afford to see the internet—a place where the exchange of ideas, democratic participation and the ability to organize has flourished—turn into cable TV."

f) "Now is the time for YOU, as my elected representative, to stand up against this plan to destroy net neutrality — which would kill free expression and innovation online. Stand with your constituents, not with Comcast."

g) "As your constituent, I urge you to strongly and publicly oppose Pai’s plan to end Title II net neutrality protections."

h) "If Pai gets his way and ends net neutrality, Big Cable companies -- like his old employer Verizon, as well as Comcast and AT&T -- will be able to slow down and block websites, or charge sites extra fees to reach an audience — fees that will get passed directly to people like ME."

i) "Big Cable will be able to curtail free and open expression on the internet. This will affect online campaigning, especially among communities of color, who also rely on online media to share their stories."

If we flood Congress with our calls and emails, there’s a chance we can still stop the corporate power-grab by their lackey, FCC Chair Ajit Pai, on behalf of Big Cable. But if you want your voice to be heard, you must act before the FCC Board votes to destroy the open internet on December 14th.

SO... Call Congress to let your lawmakers know you want them to publicly oppose Pai’s plan to destroy net neutrality.


Sources cited above:

1. Demand Progress, "Congressional Republican opposition to Pai’s net neutrality rollback mounts," Dec. 12, 2017.
2. Washington Post, "This poll gave Americans a detailed case for and against the FCC’s net neutrality plan. The reaction among Republicans was striking," Dec. 12, 2017.
3. Not specifically cited, but some info above, including points for making calls to Congress, comes from several organizations, including Climate Hawks Vote, Demand Progress, Common Cause, The Center for Media Justice, AFI, Free Press Action Fund, # Love Army, Open Media, The Nation, People for the American Way, People Demanding Action, Pen America, Presente Action, Public Citizen, Public Knowledge, Progressive Congress Action Fund, Roots Action, Sum of Us, and The Zero Hour. These organizations are cooperating with an online petition you can sign, but doing that may put you on one or more of these organizations' e-mail lists; the petition is addressed to your member of Congress. You can find it at:
4. The Guide's editor has written about this, in detail, for several publications. You can read his most recent examination of the subject in the L.A. Progressive, at:

The Acoustic Americana Music Guide is waiving its copyright to this edition with one provision, in hopes you will copy and paste this message and share it as widely as possible. That provision is, it must be shared in its entirety, without omission or revision, and any other use constitutes copyright infringement.

Copyright (c) 2017, Lawrence Wines and the Acoustic Americana Music Guide.

Sunday, December 10, 2017

Music News, plus Events -- today through the Music Parlor Christmas Shows. Dec 9 2017 edition

LATE ADDITIONS: there's one more Music News feature (A-11) for ANN WILSON’s "CHRISTMAS WITH A HEART" TV concert series, airing Dec 17-24 with a BUNCH of different musicians each night; and there's an added Events Section listing for "IMAGINE JOHN LENNON: 75th BIRTHDAY CONCERT" airing Sun, Dec 10, 6-8 pm and 10 pm-midnight (Pacific) on AXS, with 20 performances by WILLIE NELSON, JOHN FOGERTY, SHERYL CROW, and more. FREE previews, online, for each of these late listings -- urls are in the stories. Also, we've added a few more things to the events section, each marked with a "Late Addition" tag.

Now, here's the full edition as originally published, with those additions in place...
Finally, all that nonsense from the TV talking heads and the bloviating gasbag politicos about a "War on Christmas" seems to have abated. At least until somebody needs to inject even more obfuscation and distraction into what pathetically passes for the "news cycle" these days. Or maybe the melee of holiday-fueled consumerism is enough distraction for them to leave us be for awhile.

Seems it's not so much that Americans have hopelessly short attention spans -- it's more a case that it's ridiculously easy to push people's buttons by prodding their tribal identities.

But then, whoever would've thought that saying "Ho, Ho, Ho" would sound like sexist rap lyrics? Oy, vey.

No, we're not oblivious to all the folks and critters hurting because of the new normal of year 'round apocalyptic fire seasons and the choking smoke that works its way downwind. We're just unsure whether we sound oblivious because we try to take your mind off it for a while.


Because you deserve a break today -- and we don't mean by ingesting pink slime and a cocktail of hormones and chemicals in what you think is hamburger. Oops. We did it again, didn't we? We let calling-out the bs and baloney of the overhyped corporate-controlled world of Big Media and its protection racket for its interwoven web of corporate advertisers intrude into the parameters of our musical safe zone. Alright already, we'll behave. If only to fool their "predictive analytics" A.I. that they believe tells them what we want before we know it ourselves. Ha. Let them scratch their robot heads raw. We're artists. We make unpredictability an art form. Screw 'em.

Yes, we'd best strike up the band. Take it away, maestro, and let's get started!



Section A: Music News

A-1) New Music Releases

A-2) Special Release: Avenged Sevenfold Special Acoustic Album, out now

A-3) Tracks from Upcoming Folk-Americana Albums

A-4) John Prine's 2018 Tour Leapfrogs L.A.

A-5) "Jens Kruger Masterclass - Banjo Tones" is Free Online

A-6) Our Pick for this Week's "Best Read in the Musical Universe"

A-7) Simi Valley Cajun Music & Blues Festival Has a Good Year-Round Blog

A-8) Music Videos for Momentary Impulses & Your Watch List

A-9) Latest Americana Music Albums Chart: Comebacks and New Artists

A-10) Links to Find this Week's Other Good Music News Reads

Ann Wilson’s "Christmas with a Heart" Brings Music Stars to TV Dec 17-24

Section B: Events

B-1) Live Performance Events, through the Music Parlor Christmas Shows

(Our picks starting with Sunday, December 10, through the following weekend)


NEWS... Section A

# A-1 news feature...


Those year-end releases are rolling in, vying for your holiday buying impulses. Here are a few we think will interest you.

Moonsville Collective, "Moonsville IV"

The Oh Hellos, "Notos"

Shovels & Rope, "Busted Jukebox Volume 2"

Chris Thile, "Thanks for Listening"

As always, we encourage you to support your local record store with your purchases, so we are not putting links in here for job-stealing roboticized, lobotimized, dehumanized shipping warehouses. That said, we know that not everyone is willing to actually go outdoors and make a trek to a record shop. Thus, for those who deny themselves the tactile sensations and true satisfaction of having a CD package to caress and fondle, the foregoing releases are also available as downloads, from, uhh, the usual e-music purveyors.


# A-2 news feature...


Recorded live at their sold-out evening at the GRAMMY Museum, the newest release from the band AVENGED SEVENFOLD is an eleven-track special acoustic recording of their live performance. It's available now, but since it's unlikely that folk-roots folks have any idea who they are, we'll take this opportunity to introduce you.

"Avenged Sevenfold Live at the GRAMMY Museum®" on Capitol Records was produced by Joe Barresi (Queens of the Stone Age, Tool, Nine Inch Nails) and by the band's members. This is a digital-only release featuring unique renditions of new songs and classic tracks captured during their first-ever acoustic performance.

There's something of an underground tradition for a hardcore rock band to show their chops on acoustic instruments and deliver vocals that aren't yelling over the screeching effects. It goes back most notably to the FIVE MAN ELECTRICAL BAND's album, "Five Man Acoustical Jam," an all-time classic.

Now it's the turn of AVENGED SEVENFOLD, with an album that captures the energy of a live performance as well as acoustic artistry. They were already quite accomplished, even if it's always been electrical and loud until now.

Formed in Huntington Beach, CA in 1999, they have become one of the more successful and accessible metalcore outfits of the early 21st century. Avenged Sevenfold has endured changes both stylistic and internal during their rise from teenage troublemakers to mainstream success story.

Like a lot of Southern California outfits, the members of this band, known to their fans as A7X, were still attending high school in Huntington Beach when they first got together musically. It didn't take long for M. Shadows (vocals), Zacky Vengeance (guitar), Synyster Gates (guitar), the Reverend (drums), and Johnny Christ (bass) to make an impression with their aggressive hybrid of metal, hard rock, and punk-pop. The band made its official debut in July 2001, releasing "Sounding the Seventh Trumpet" on the Goodlife label. They soon moved to the Hopeless records roster for 2003's "Waking the Fallen." Warner Bros. took interest in the band's aggressive sound and issued its breakthrough release, "City of Evil," in June 2005.

The album reached number 30 on Billboard's Top 200, propelled in part by the Top Ten success of the single "Bat Country." The album's accompanying music video was heavily rotated on MTV and Fuse, while live appearances helped boost Avenged's growing profile, and the band ultimately won the "Best New Artist" Award (though they were hardly newcomers) at the 2006 "MTV Video Music Awards."

Boasting a grittier sound than previous releases, their self-titled/self-produced 4th disc appeared in October 2007, debuting at number four on the Billboard Top 200, and three songs cracked the Top Five of the U.K. rock charts. Their 2008 CD/DVD package "Live in the LBC and Diamonds in the Rough" captured the band during a nationwide tour stop in Long Beach. Since then, they've had an original member die, they've done music for a big-selling video game, made number one on the Billboard chart, and had another original member leave over "creative differences."

NEIL deGRASSE TYSON, the revered astrophysicist, does a spoken word performance on the 16-minute closing track, "Exist," on that album, "The Stage." It arrived in October 2016 following a live-streamed, 360-degree, 3-D performance atop the Capitol Records building in Hollywood.

Having done about all they can to be electrically fresh, they're now on record -- well, digitally, anyway -- as musicians playing real instruments without special effects.

A portion of the new, digital-only acoustic live album's proceeds will benefit the education initiatives of the GRAMMY Museum.

It's available for listening and purchase at:


# A-3 news feature...


Recommended new tunage available now, FREE online.

• RUBY BOOTS moves on but doesn't want to be reminded of her troubles on "Don't Talk About It," the breezy title-track from her forthcoming LP, due Feb. 9. Listen at the "Brooklyn Vegan" site, at:

• BRANDI CARLILE, singing "Welcome to the end of being alone inside your mind," shares a touching ode to her daughter. It's on a track called "The Mother," a second preview off "By the Way, I Forgive You," out Feb. 16. Catch the music video at the "American Songwriter" site, at:

• CALEB CAUDLE bears nothing but a heart on his sleeve on "Empty Arms," a hazy, twangy number from "Crushed Coins" due Feb. 23. Listen at the NPR Music Site (especially since NONE of NPR's exploratory performance-interview music programming is available on Southern California airwaves, you'll have to catch it this way) at:

• PEDIGO's MAGIC PILSNER accepts the duality of life on "Orion," a shimmering piano-led track from his album of the same name, due out sometime next year. Listen on "The Daily Country" site at:

• THE REVEREND SHAWN AMOS voices his call-to-action on the bluesy "2017," the first taste of "The Reverend Shawn Amos Breaks It Down," due out next year. Catch the "Official lyric Video" on "The Alternate Root" site, at:

• TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND rock out on their cover of NEIL YOUNG's "Alabama," a live recording robust with their signature blues horns and guitar riffs. Listen on the "JamBase" site at:

• JD WILKES is on a mission to do the impossible on "Walk Between the Raindrops," a rhythmic string-filled number from "Fire Dream," due out Feb. 16. Listen on "The Bluegrass Situation" site at:

Enjoy! Just remember to find your way back here to catch the rest of the Guide's music news!


# A-4 news feature...


Though more dates are promised, as it now stands, you'll need to journey to San Diego, San Francisco, or Folsom to catch JOHN PRINE during his 2018 tour. He's set to kick things off April 13 at New York's Radio City Music Hall, co-headlining with STURGILL SIMPSON. He has a date in Philly with KURT VILE. Eventually, he travels beyond his Chicago and Milwaukee shows for only three West Coast dates, all in California. The tour's current final date is June 2nd in Norfolk, Virginia's Chrysler Hall with "very special guest" MARGO PRICE.

John's 2018 road trip tours his new studio album of all-new original material on his label, Oh Boy Records. John says the album, whose title and release date remain unknown, will mark his first collection of new songs since 2005’s "Fair and Square."

Prine's California tour dates are below. And you can catch the video testimonial by actor-comedian BILL MURRAY that ran at the "American Songwriter" site. Murray recommends Prine’s humor as an antidote for the doldrums. It's at:

California dates, as of December 8:

May 19, 2018 — San Diego, CA's Balboa Theatre
May 23, 2018 — Folsom, CA's Harris Center
May 24, 2018 — San Francisco, CA, at The Warfield


# A-5 news feature...


This is an online freebie from our friends at Deering Banjo in Spring Valley, CA. In it, Jens Kruger of the KRUGER BROTHERS guides you through some simple techniques to add some very cool and very surprising tones to your playing repertoire.

Learn from master banjoist Jens Kruger how he creates a chorus effect on his acoustic banjo using palm muting. This really opens up the the tone of his banjo and brings his banjo playing in new directions.

Those attending the NAMM Show at the Anaheim Convention Center complex in January can catch the KRUGER BROTHERS performing live. Everyone can get the free masterclass lesson from Jens online, at:

To see all that's going on with the Deering folks and their mighty impressive stable of endorsed artists, check things out at


# A-6 news feature...


OLD 97s' RHETT MILLER shares his own take on the current state of the music industry in "The Baffler," and he has plenty to say about where technological changes have taken us and what that really means for artists. From the now central role of bot talent scouts to over-marketed consumption and a snowstorm of technological "advances" that, he says, allow DIY artists to create at the expense of an overall sense of comradery, this is quite a read. Don't be decieved by a title that sounds like it's only about one genre, because this is transcendent: "The Loneliness of the Long Distance Rocker -- Can music still save your mortal soul?" is a must-read for anyone thinking (or hoping) they can make a living in music. It's equally important for music lovers who long to be consumers, but don't often find much that's worth parting with their hard earned cash.

Now, don't ditch it when you hit the opening passage with its too-familiar tale of drug-dropout subculture. Before long you'll get to passages like, "In the days of the old business model, there were successful predators at the top of the food chain, but the kids who made the music were hiding down in the bushes with our friends." And, "We all knew there was a cutthroat cabal of music industry execs waiting on the top floor of a tower in Rockefeller Center, but we also knew that we were the good guys, the proletariat to their bourgeoisie, the Rebel Alliance to their Empire."

Then you get to his insight: "It’s all different now. My own observation of the current music industry is colored by my history with the extinct model... now the talent scouts are bots." And he examines that premise and what characterizes today's schisms, contradictory paradigms, and sets of social media-dictatted music-vs-business notions.

He writes, "The ability to record oneself in a bedroom represents an impressive flash-forward advance in technology, but it also is profoundly isolating. For starters, it negates the very human necessity of convincing small-time investors to fund a session, or the simultaneously joyful and agonizing experience of collaborating with the requisite technicians to make such a recording happen. In short, it eliminates people from the equation. And more to the point, it eliminates all the good people from the equation."

Part of his analysis sees "The Artists & Repertoire department has been replaced by a bot that alerts the label chief when an artist reaches a predetermined number of Twitter followers or Facebook likes. This sort of micro-market calculation was once anathema to creativity—it’s the origin of the old punk-rock contempt for 'the suits' who moved product on the AM airwaves."

He notes, " obsessive attention to online clicks and listens is all that an independent artist can rely on to outfox the system."

And contrary to the idea that artists today enjoy unprecedented creative freedoms, he asserts, "As the old (and abundantly flawed) avenues of income are closed off entirely, our new music delivery system reroutes the great majority of returns from music-making back to the corporations... Does YouTube share the revenue generated by these commercials with the creators of the content? Does YouTube give the artists in question any say over whose ad might be attached to the art they created? Hell no."

He includes, but does not rant about, how Google ripped him off by stealing one of his songs for a "crappy phone commercial" without ever compensating him, and then used their millions to intimidate him and his publishing house into letting them get away with it. We're glad he discussed it, because that kind of arrogance is becoming the new normal of megagiant corporate hegemony.

Lest anyone think it's only the Darth Vader-like presence of Google, Miller adds, "There’s another less obvious casualty of the great digital enclosure of the music business: as Spotify, YouTube, Apple, Google, et al., hoover up nearly all the available profits, the people marooned on the production side of a revenue-starved business model are trapped in a perennial race to the bottom, just to get by."

We believe we sums-up the current state of affairs facing both musicians and music listener/consumers in the following observation:

"The only way to carry over a lucrative music career in the prevailing market conditions is to puff oneself into a mammoth brand of the Taylor Swift/Kanye/Beyonce ilk. Bands, as over-romanticized as they may be by the rockers of my own generation as fearless anarcho-syndicalist collectives, no longer occupy a viable perch in the music ecosystem. Many of the new ones taking root in this top-heavy scrum to market online product have been systematically drained of all recognizable human traits—autotuned inside and out. As a dad seeing my kids fall for an indistinguishable blob of well-coiffed brandoid bands and Disney graduates, I’m not at all shocked that amid their many fast-germinating aesthetic and creative ambitions, my own offspring have never seriously taken it into their heads to pick up an instrument or start a band. The craft of music has entirely succumbed to its marketed spectacle."

Catch Rhett Miller's revealing and thought-provoking take on where we are -- and some suggestions for what we need to do about it -- in his full essay, at:

RHETT MILLER is the lead singer of Old 97’s. In addition to this piece for "The Baffler," his writing has appeared in The Atlantic, McSweeney’s, Salon, and elsewhere.


# A-7 news feature...


The Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival happens every year in May, on the Saturday and Sunday of Memorial Day Weekend. Though the latest edition didn't arrive until December 8, and is loaded with folklore for a musical Thanksgiving, we won't sell them short. fact is, it's worth copying and pasting things into your file for next year's Turkey Time.

Their latest edition's topics are:

* How You Benefit from Attending Live Concerts and Music Festivals
* Cajun Cooking Facts
* Perfect Songs for Your Thanksgiving Playlist
* Cajun-Inspired Thanksgiving Recipes
* Common Thanksgiving Traditions Explained

HERE IS one of that edition's stories, which first appeared Nov 30:

How You Benefit from Attending Live Concerts and Music Festivals

New study shows that getting out and attending concerts and music festivals is actually good for you.

A new study out of Australia suggests that people who engage with music by attending concerts and dancing along are actually happier. The study entitled “ If You’re Happy and You Know It: Music Engagement and Subjective Wellbeing,” explains that concert-goers reported being happier, more positive, and more stable over time.

This study on music’s relation to “subjective wellbeing” is particularly useful in helping to develop treatment for people suffering from depression and mood disorders. The study argues that creating and producing music “encourage(s) self-exploration, emotional expression, self-esteem, and confidence.” However, you don’t have to be a musician to benefit from music. The study also explains that enjoying music as an audience member is “associated with higher mood.”

However, the study warns that engaging with music requires more than passive listening. Instead, much of the benefits of music comes from social interaction with other concert-goers and members of the music scene. While listening to music alone can have physical and mental health benefits, engaging with music while with others creates “stronger positive experiences.”

While the study does not supply definitive proof that concerts and music festivals are beneficial for your health, many people agree that the music and experiences that come along with concerts makes them feel happy and excited. If you find yourself feeling stressed, lonely, or simply sad, then consider buying a ticket to your favorite band’s next concert. Who knows, you might emerge feeling more relaxed and positive.

Are you eager to reap the benefits that come from attending a live music festival? Then make sure you mark your calendar for the next Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival. In summer of 2018, Simi Valley will come alive with Cajun music and food, zydeco music, blues music, a Mardi Gras parade, zydeco dance lessons, and more! To learn more about this exciting local event, contact Simi Valley Cajun & Blues Music Festival today.

You can share the above story, on the Simi festival's blog, at:

Sign-up to catch all their blog post editions at


# A-8 news feature...


At least until net neutrality falls to the barbarians in the thousand-dollar suits and the corporate capitalists keep you from seeing what you want on the web? (Unless, of course, you pay the non-creative Wall Street banksters some new extortion fee) we can all, for the time being, still enjoy free online music videos. It's bad enough that you miss a lot unless you can stay up for the last six or seven minutes of the latenight chat shows, and even then, all the music performances happen at exactly the same time. But we'll save all that for another time. Some of what follows comes from the wee hours broadcasts, and was sent to us by the Americana Music Association from their "Americana on Your Screen" recommendations.

We'll start with our two favorites this week. First, an unlikely mix of roots musicians with a pop singer who shows she can shake the rafters at the barn dance. Next, a bonafide nu-folk supergroup trio. Enjoy.

* OLD CROW MEDICINE SHOW & KESHA team-up on the mega-high-energy, get-up-and-dance bluegrass song, "Flicker & Shine" live on CMT's "Crossroads" show, at:

* The superfolk trio of SARA WATKINS, SARAH JAROSZ, and AOIFE O’DONOVAN perform in their group identity as I'M WITH HER (with immeasurably more success than a certain politician who used that slogan). The trio does "See You Around" live; it's the title track and first song from their debut full-length album, due Feb. 16; catch the live track at:

* GREGG ALLMAN does "Song for Adam" at:

* THE STEVE EARLE BAND, featuring LUCINDA WILLIAMS, does "You're Still Standing There" live on "Late Night with Seth Meyers" at:

* FATHER JOHN MISTY performs "Leaving L.A." in his "official music video" at:

* HISS GOLDEN MESSENGER performs "Domino (Time Will Tell)" taped live on "Late Night with Seth Meyers," at:

* CHRIS STAPLETON performs "Millionaire" live on the "Ellen" show, at:


Turn it up just loud enough to get coworkers to come and see what you're listening to...


# A-9 news feature...


CHART QUICKIE NEWS: Across the pond, CHRIS STAPLETON's "From a Room, Vol. 2" debuted at # 2 on the U.K.'s Official Americana Albums chart. Meanwhile, NEIL YOUNG and PROMISE OF THE REAL's collaboration on "The Visitor" debuted at # 1.

Southern Cal rising star PHOEBE BRIDGERS is on the chart at # 17 with her song, "Stranger in the Alps." We told you a long time ago -- as in a few years back, when she was still in high school -- that she was definitely going places. Her album advanced to # 17 from the # 21 position last week. It's been on the charts the past 11 weeks, including a peak position at # 5. She's come a long way since we saw her playing the local barbecue joint in Pasadena where the "stage" was just an area where they slid a couple tables out of the way. Congrats, Phoebe!

Some iconic names, living and dead, that are back on the albums chart include BOB SEGER at # 31, NEIL YOUNG at # 15 (in addition to his # 1 hit with Promise of the Real), THE LUMINEERS at # 15, GLEN CAMPBELL at # 8 with his former # 1 "Adios," VAN MORRISON at # 5, ROBERT PLANT at # 3, STEVE WINWOOD at # 32, LUCINDA WILLIAMS at # 35, MAVIS STAPLES at # 25, RICHARD THOMPSON at # 30, and BILLY BRAGG at # 21.

ALISON KRAUSS -- she could break her tie with Quincy Jones as the 2nd biggest winner of all time at the upcoming Grammys -- is at # 36 on this week's chart.

You can see this week's full US/global "Americana Albums Top 40 Chart" at:


# A-10 news feature...


• ERIC CLAPTON gets candid about his days of addiction and reflects on his career documentary "Life in 12 Bars," revealing that his former manager was responsible for setting him on the path to recovery while also looking back on Cream and looking ahead at the future of guitar. Read that story in "Rolling Stone" at:

• JASON ISBELL, LUKAS NELSON and PROMISE OF THE REAL, and more have contributed original songs to next year's remake of the three-time hit film "A STAR IS BORN." This one stars BRADLEY COOPER and LADY GAGA. Let's hope it proves to be a better idea than that awful remake of "Ben Hur" or the questionable use of old titles to tell altogether different stories, as in the 2016 feature films "The Magnificent Seven" and "Birth of a Nation." Previous cinematic efforts to tell the oft-told tale of the shooting star headed for a tragic end brought larger-than-life images to silver screens in 1937 with the David O. Selznick-William Wellman classic starring JANET GAYNOR and FREDRIC MARCH, and in 1954 with what would become a prophetic role for JUDY GARLAND, and then the 1976 retelling with BARBRA STREISAND and KRIS KRISTOFFERSON. Read the tale of the music for this go-round at:

• Congratulations to RAY WYLIE HUBBARD who will be inducted into the "Texas Heritage Songwriters' Hall of Fame" along with late icons BUDDY HOLLY and MICKEY NEWBURY during a ceremony in Austin, TX on Feb. 24. Read all about it in "Wide Open Country," at:

If you'd like us to include a tour of the music press, in addition to our own original reporting, let us know. We can even include more of it if it's what you want to see.


# A-11 news feature... (LATE ADDITION)


Starting December 17th, eight nights of Christmas concerts bring a strong lineup of artists to the small screen, including CHRIS ISAAK, BRIAN SETZER ORCHESTRA, ROD STEWART, FAITH HILL, TRANS-SIBERIAN ORCHESTRA, HEART, MICHAEL McDONALD, JENNIFER NETTLES, JESSICA SIMPSON, TWISTED SISTER, and more. It’s called "Christmas With a Heart," hosted by ANN WILSON (of the sisters band, HEART). It runs on AXS TV, for all those fortunate enough to have it on their cable, satellite, or webwatch package.

FREE previews are online for multiple shows, at:

Here's the lineup for the Christmas concert series' entire run:

Dec 17 - Rod Stewart: Merry Christmas, Baby
Dec 17 - Trans-Siberian Orchestra: The Ghosts of Christmas Eve
Dec 18 - Faith Hill – Joy to the World
Dec 19 - Jessica Simpson Happy Christmas
Dec 20 - Michael McDonald – This Christmas
Dec 21 - Band Against Cancer presents Jennifer Nettles: ‘Tis The Season
Dec 22 - Chris Isaak Christmas
Dec 23 - Brian Setzer Orchestra Christmas Rocks
Dec 24 - Twisted Sister – A Twisted Christmas: Live In Vegas
Dec 24 - Heart & Friends: Home For The Holidays From Benaroya Hall

ALSO, check out our companion LATE ADDITION in the events section, for the Sun, Dec 10 airing on AXS of "IMAGINE JOHN LENNON: 75th BIRTHDAY CONCERT." The concert features 20 performances of BEATLES and solo classics by WILLIE NELSON, JOHN FOGERTY, PETER FRAMPTON, SHERYL CROW, STEVEN TYLER, and more. It airs twice, 6-8 pm and 10 pm-midnight (Pacific).

That brings us to a wrap of this week's music news. But don't run off yet. The show goes on with our roundup of live performances.


EVENTS... Section B

# B-1 events feature...


We present our picks starting with Sunday, December 10, through the following weekend.

There's plenty happening in the Folk-Americana universe, whether you're looking to escape holiday commercialism or indulge in seasonal or non-seasonal music. Here are our recommendations.

3 pm "CELLAR SESSIONS" presents JAMES LEE STANLEY and AIREENE ESPIRITU, musically hosted by BRAD COLERICK, in the barrel room at Old Oak Cellars, 2620 E Foothill Bl, Pasadena, CA 91107; 626-356-4010.
* Light snacks provided along with complimentary wine tasting. Bring something to share/enjoy with your wine if you like.
* $5 of the sale of each bottle goes to MusiCares.
* Dress warmly, the wines like it cold.
* Tix $22 advance, $25 at door. Tix at:

Sun, Dec 10:
6-8 pm and 10 pm-midnight (Pacific) "IMAGINE JOHN LENNON: 75th BIRTHDAY CONCERT" goes out tonight to those with the AXS TV channel.
* The concert features 20 performances of BEATLES and solo classics by WILLIE NELSON, JOHN FOGERTY, PETER FRAMPTON, SHERYL CROW, STEVEN TYLER, and more.
* Recorded live at The Theatre At Madison Square Garden, it honors the songs of one of the most significant artists of the 20th century.
* FREE PREVIEWS online -- a pair of them -- are at:

Sun, Dec 10:
7 pm KEN O'MALLEY'S "AN IRISH CHRISTMAS" at Holy Trinity Catholic Church, 3722 Boyce Av, Los Angeles, CA 90039 (near the Tam O'Shanter).
* Ken's annual solo Christmas concert is one of the best. The venues change every year, but the performance, with or without side players, is reliably wonderful.
* Tix $20, available from Ken or Chris or call Karen Lloyd at the parish office, at 323-664 4723. To pay with PayPal email
* Concert is for ages 12+.

Sun, Dec 10:
7 pm JIM ‘KIMO’ WEST does his annual "HAWAIIAN HOLIDAY SLACK KEY SHOW" with KEN EMERSON at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena, CA.; phone for reservations 626-798-6236.
* A star of the instrument, he mostly plays big concert halls. This is a fine chance to see him perform in an intimate venue.
* Tix $20.

Sun, Dec 10:
8 pm HOLIDAY SWING with MARIA MULDAUR & JOHN JORGENSON in the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica, CA 90405; 310-828-4497.
* Tix $35.

7 pm TED RUSSELL KAMP, LAUREN ADAMS w/ NICK KIRGO, & HANK VANSICKLE play this week's "BLUE GUITAR" concert series hosted by BRAD COLERICK in the Blue Guitar room at Arroyo Seco Golf Course, 1055 Lohman Ln, South Pasadena, CA.
* Concert hall doors open 30 minutes prior to showtime.
* Adjacent to the Blue Guitar is the Arroyo Seco Grill which has food, wine, and full bar. You can bring your own bottle for a $10 corkage fee. The restaurant is open all day.
* Tix $15, at:

Wed, Dec 13:
8 pm "Spotlight: THE DUSTBOWL REVIVAL, presented in conjunction with the Americana Music Association, plays the GRAMMY Museum, 800 W Olympic Bl, Los Angeles, CA 90015; 213-765-6800.
* American folk-roots-soul band The Dustbowl Revival plays the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate performance and conversation, hosted by the museum's Executive Director Scott Goldman. Known for their unique sound combining soul, New Orleans funk, pre-war blues, and roots music into a genre-hopping, time-bending dance party, the band was recently featured in an HBO documentary alongside Dick Van Dyke. They have toured the U.S. and Europe, headlining festivals and playing alongside The Mavericks, JD McPherson, and Old Crow Medicine Show.
* Tix $15 at:

Wed, Dec 13:
8 pm WILL RYAN & THE CACTUS COUNTY COWBOYS mix it up with a few Christmas Songs, lots of their regular stuff (which is pretty doggone outstanding) with mashup parodies and a good time show that sounds like it landed from the 1930s, all disguised as "A Western Music Show," at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena, CA.; phone for reservations 626-798-6236.
* Tix, $20.

Thu, Dec 14:
5 pm & 8 pm THE LONG RUN - Experience The Eagles: for one night (2 performances) at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena, CA.; phone for reservations 626-798-6236.
* Tix $25 either show.

Fri, Dec 15:
8 pm DEAN FRIEDMAN, singer-songwriter and stage personality, plays the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena, CA.; phone for reservations 626-798-6236.
* Friedman’s single, "McDonald's Girl" was officially banned by the BBC for mentioning the tradename of the fast food restaurant, but his irrepressible pop song was successfully covered by a number of acclaimed contemporary bands including the Blenders (Universal) and top canadian band Barenaked Ladies.
* Tix $25.

Sat, Dec 16:
2 pm THE TALL MEN GROUP return for their annual holiday show and party with "some new songs, raffle drawings for free albums, TMG T-Shirts and other surprises," at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena, CA.; phone for reservations 626-798-6236.
* An ensemble of Southern California's songwriting elite, they're currently working on their fourth album, so expect some tunes and vocals that'll be new to you.
* Tix $20.

Sat, Dec 16:
7 pm JIM CURRY AND BAND PRESENT "A ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS" with the music of JOHN DENVER at Historic Hemet Theatre, 216 E Florida Av, Hemet, CA;
* This is one of two shows they're doing in Southern Cal (see Dec 19 for the other one); the rest are across the US.
* Tix:’S_ROCKY_MOUNTAIN_CHRISTMAS-Historic_Hemet_Theatre-December-16-2017.html

Sat, Dec 16:
7 pm SLIGO RAGS, the darlings of Disneyland's “Paradise Garden Bandstand,” present Celtic Folk (and more) with a decidedly bluegrass attitude at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena, CA.; phone for reservations 626-798-6236.
* Tix $20.

Sat, Dec 16:
8-10 pm WITCHER-RECUPIDO & LEVITT — BLUEGRASS GREATS play Boulevard Music, 4316 Sepulveda Bl, Culver City, CA 90230; 310-398-2583;
* This is Bluegrass at its best, great harmonies, exciting instrumentals and some of the finest original material around.
* Dennis Witcher, founder of the legendary Los Angeles based bluegrass band The Witcher Brothers, and long time Witcher Brothers band mate and song writing collaborator Tony Recupido, team up with Banjo stylist extraordinaire Dan Levitt to form this must see, exciting, new Los Angeles bluegrass band.
* For more that twenty years, Dennis Witcher and Tony Recupido have been mainstays on the West Coast bluegrass circuit. Their amazing songs have touched audiences across the country for years with soul grabbing melodies, lyrics that touch the heart and harmonies that are as close to sibling harmonies as you can get without having the same last name. When you add Tony’s amazing work on the guitar and Dennis’ distinctive mandolin style, that’s a pretty complete act in itself.
* BUT WAIT! THERE’S MORE! Dennis and Tony have teamed up with the amazing and innovative banjo stylist Dan Levitt. Having developed and mastered a banjo style he calls “Contemporary Clawhammer” with a melodic frailing style that incorporates elements of bluegrass, ragtime, folk, classical and blues, Dan makes an enormous contribution to the unique sound of the band.
* Tix $15.

Sat, Dec 16:
8-10:30 pm MICHAEL O'DORN in Concert at The Fret House, 309 N Citrus Av, Covina, CA 91723; 626-339-7020;
* The Fret House welcomes back their old friend and great picker Michael O'Dorn. You may have seen one of Michael's books, "Getting Onto Travis Picking" published by Mel Bay. In the back, there's a photo of Michael with Merle Travis that was taken in the Fret House in the early 70s.
* Michael's mastery of the guitar styles of Merle Travis, Chet Atkins, Marcel Dadi, and, of course, his own, have him in demand to perform several times a year for the "Chet Atkins Appreciation Society" in Nashville, Tennessee, and for the National Association of Music Merchants (NAMM) trade shows in California and Tennessee.
* He has taught Merle Travis style guitar at these events and for the "National Guitar Summer Workshop" (NGSW) at the University of Redlands, California.
* Michael has performed numerous concerts in France, California and Tennessee and has opened for country performers that include Joe Diffie, and Jeff Cook of the group Alabama. He has also recorded on three of Jody Reynolds' albums (of "Endless Sleep" fame). Also, Michael frequently donates time to perform for hospitals, benefits and telethons for groups such as the United Way.
* Watch and listen to him in action:
* Tix by phone, above.

Sat, Dec 16:
10 pm KEN O'MALLEY & TWILIGHT LORDS play Finn McCool's; info at

Sun, Dec 17:
1-7 pm Annual "Fret House Christmas Recital, Staff Show and Pot Luck" at The Fret House, 309 N Citrus Av, Covina, CA 91723; 626-339-7020;
* This renowned music shop invites everyone to "come celebrate the holidays with us." They continue, "This loosely organized event will begin with a student recital (all Fret House students are welcome to perform), then segue into performances by members of our staff and perhaps some special guests. There will be food and drink and merriment. We hope to see you there."
* The Fret House has a good start on their 2018 concert schedule, starting Jan 13, so check their website.
* Tix - none - this is a free event.

Sun, Dec 17:
6:30–8:30 pm "A CELTIC CHRISTMAS HOLIDAY HARP WITH CYNTHIA ARTISH" at the Folk Music Center, 220 Yale Av, Claremont, CA 91711; 909-624-2928;
* The harp in ancient times tells the story of holiday cheer. The venue says, "Come join us in celebrating the magic of the season!"
* Doors at 6, starts at 6:30.
* This is their final concert for 2017. Check their website for next year's concert offerings.
* Tix $10.

Sun, Dec 17:
7-9 pm "THE BOULEVARD MUSIC FREE HOLIDAY SHOW" is an annual tradition with FREE admission and FREE homemade cookies, at Boulevard Music, 4316 Sepulveda Bl, Culver City, CA 90230; 310-398-2583;
* Their invitation says, "Join us for a fun-filled evening with our staff, teachers, families, and friends (free cookies) in the one evening when Boulevard Music transforms into the “House of Schmooze.” There’ll be the regulars plus some (free cookies) new surprises to keep you on your toes. Featuring the ultimate toffee, Kathy’s Kholesterol Krunch. Nothing says lovin’ like something from the oven."
* Their concert schedule resumes Jan. 13, so check their website (above).
* Tix - none - this show is free.

Sun, Dec 17:
7 pm "THE UMPTEENTH ANNUAL McCABE'S HOLIDAY SPECTACULAR" is FREE in the famous concert hall in back of McCabe's Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica, CA 90405; 310-828-4497.
* This show rings-out their 2017 concert schedule; there's plenty booked for 2018, so check it out at
* Tix for this show - NONE - it's Free.

Dec 17:
7 pm "A CLASSICAL CHRISTMAS -- AN EVENING OF HOLIDAY MUSIC" at the Sierra Madre Playhouse, 87 W Sierra Madre Bl, Sierra Madre, CA 91024.
* A selection of contemporary Christmas songs in addition to classical yuletide favorites will be performed. This year, a couple of Chanukkah songs will be added to the mix.
* This concert sold out last year. Order your tickets early to avoid disappointment.
* Sierra Madre is just east of Pasadena.
* Ample free parking available in lot behind the Playhouse.
* Tix $20 adults and seniors; $12 students (up to age 21).
* Reservations, 626-355-4318, or online at

Sun, Dec 17:
7 pm The BEATUNES play musical homage to the Beatles in a show that always sells-out at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena, CA.; phone for reservations 626-798-6236.
* Tix $20.

Tue, Dec 19:
7 pm "MIRACLE ON 34TH STREET - 70th ANNIVERSARY" is a film academy event at the Samuel Goldwyn Theater, 8949 Wilshire Bl, Beverly Hills, CA, 90211
* Featuring a special holiday pre-show and a new 35 mm print.
* Enjoy holiday cookies and pictures with Santa after the screening.
* Directed by George Seaton. Produced by William Perlberg. Screenplay by Seaton. Story by Valentine Davies.
* Cast: Maureen O’Hara, John Payne, Edmund Gwenn, Gene Lockhart, Natalie Wood.
* Edmund Gwenn won an Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for his delightful performance as Kris Kringle in this holiday classic from 1947. The story of a skeptical young girl and a department store Santa who claims to be the real thing, "Miracle on 34th Street" portrays, for all age groups, the joy that comes from believing.
* Set in Macy’s Herald Square during the holiday season between Thanksgiving and Christmas, the film played a significant role in making the annual "Macy’s Thanksgiving Day Parade" an American institution.
* Also the winner of Academy Awards for "Motion Picture Story" and "Screenplay," "Miracle on 34th Street" was added to the "Library of Congress National Film Registry" in 2005.
* Tix & parking info:

Tue, Dec 19:
8 pm "JIM AND ANNE CURRY PRESENT 'A ROCKY MOUNTAIN CHRISTMAS' THE HOLIDAY SONGS OF JOHN DENVER," plus other seasonal favorites, at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N. Lake, Altadena, CA 91001.
* This is the most intimate venue they play anywhere, especially since their popularity has soared. This show is one of two they're doing in Southern Cal (see Dec 16 for the other one); the rest are across the US.
* Tix $18, and require reservations by phone or you'll find it sold-out and you won't get in; call 626-798-6236 between 10 am and 10 pm, 7 days.

7 pm HOLIDAY SPECIAL at "BLUE GUITAR" concert series, brings performances by CORRINA CARTER, LORIN HART, WILD MOUNTAIN MYSTICS, CHAUNCEY BOWERS, series host BRAD COLERICK, and surprise guests, in the Blue Guitar room at Arroyo Seco Golf Course, 1055 Lohman Ln, South Pasadena, CA.
* Concert hall doors open 30 minutes prior to showtime.
* Adjacent to the Blue Guitar is the Arroyo Seco Grill which has food, wine, and full bar. You can bring your own bottle for a $10 corkage fee. The restaurant is open all day.
* Tix $10 advance, $15 at door. Adv tix at:

* Looking ahead with a couple of events...

Dec 22:
Time tba KEN O'MALLEY with GEORGE CAVANAUGH, RICH CASHMAN and RACHEL GRACE play Brendan's in Camarillo; info at

* An EXTENSIVE feature for New Year's Eve musical options will be forthcoming. For now, here's one that happens very early in the day:

3 pm KEN O'MALLEY plays an early "IRISH NEW YEAR" show to correspond with midnight in Ireland; it's at the Auld Dubliner. Info at



The Guide will return with many more inclusive and inquisitive
and informative and pretty dad-burn interestin' coverage
of all kindsa things, continuing forward and onward
in our next MUSIC NEWS edition,
coming your way soon.

Meantime, check in and let us know what you think about THIS one.

Y'all come back now, y'hear?


See you next time!



As always, we invite you to join us and to let us know what YOU are listening to, and what artists or bands just sent you swooning and need to be shared with others.

Doing our part depends on you doing your part. That way, you'll know that a whole lot more is always coming soon — including fresh MUSIC NEWS, PREVIEWS & REVIEWS, and more additions to our massive guide to the MUSIC FESTIVALS of 2017.

Meantime, we are ALWAYS big advocates of supporting LIVE PERFORMANCE. With everything happening in the big, wide world, and through these festival-packed, waning-of-summer weekends? Go get tuneful!



Boilerplate? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox? Is it Walschaerts or Baker or Stephenson valve gear? Superheated or saturated? Duplex or Standard stoker? Circulators or syphons in the firebox?

What "boilerplate"? Who came up with that goofy term for basic essential informational stuff... geeez... soon as we take water from the tank, top-off the lubricators, and get beans from the Harvey House, we are sooo steamin' down the line...

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Lawrence Wines & Tied to the Tracks.
All rights reserved.
♪ The ACOUSTIC AMERICANA MUSIC GUIDE endeavors to bring you NEWS — and views of interest to artists everywhere — more specifically to musicians and the creative community and music makers and fans of acoustic and Folk-Americana music. That includes both traditional and innovative forms. From the deepest roots to today’s acoustic renaissance, that’s our beat. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues (now undergoing a major update), and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues from the monumentally large to the intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops, conferences, and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kinds o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to bluegrass and pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to all the swamp water roots of the blues and the bright lights of where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Thanks for sittin' a spell. The porch'll be here anytime you come back from the road.


Wednesday, November 29, 2017

INVITATION: Sing with the Stars THIS Sunday, Dec 3, 2017

It's the 36th Annual "New” Old Fashioned Acoustic L.A. Holiday Caroling Festivities on Dec 3, 2017

And if it rains, no problem. Everything is indoors.

AND, if you're not in L.A.? It's likely that one of these is already organized near you, if you're anywhere else in America! (If that's the case, scroll down and get the website link.)

Now, on to the big L.A. event...

The word "New" is in the title because there's a bit of a name change. Though what it's about hasn't changed at all, and YOU are still invited to take part. The event itself is meticulously well organized, draws a lot of music stars (including Grammy noms and winners) and the purpose is to perform for audiences as grateful as any you've ever imagined -- audiences of shut-ins -- and to bring them (and get back from them) a lot of joy.

These shows feature complete "sound reinforcement" stage set-ups -- plug-ins and amplification for instruments and plenty of vocal mics. There's a high standard for the "stage" shows in dining halls at the assisted living facilities where we perform.

Before that, the cast breaks into small groups to stroll and perform, room-to-room, in a nursing home facility for audiences of one or two at a time, because those greeting your musical visits are bedridden. Like everyone's vision of traditional caroling, but all indoors.

As organizer and producer Vincent Leinen says, if you participate, you will "Experience the power, magic, and impact of giving music via Santa’s Caroling Team!"

Each year, the Guide is allowed to extend to our readers "a special invitation to support, promote, and participate in at the 36th Annual Los Angeles Holiday Caroling Festivities."

That's not just because many of our readers are musicians. It's because all our readers love music, love sharing music, and approach music with a joy for live performance.

So, on Sunday, December 3rd, 2017, our readers will join about five dozen music stars to perform at three senior care centers located in the West San Fernando Valley area of Los Angeles. As we said, it's all very well organized. We perform 4 pm-7:30 pm, on a "modular schedule," allowing you to arrive and depart at your discretion, or stay for the full event -- which we hope you will. Things move fast, then we -- all the carolers and instrumental musician participants -- get together for a meet-and-greet and to share a meal at the local Hometown Buffet restaurant, which stays open late just for us. (It's at VanOwen and Fallbrook in Canoga Park, from 7:30 pm-9:30 pm.)

Caroling and Carolers

Vincent says, "The festivities include multiple performances at senior care centers scheduled at concurrent time slots which allows us to provide entertainment (happiness and healing) to more needy senior residents and their caregivers."

He continues, "To balance-out the large talent pool and maximize your impact on the senior residents and care givers, we’re continuing the tradition of forming two separate Holiday Caroling presentation teams. That includes 'Santa’s South Route Caroling Team' and 'Santa’s North Route Caroling Team.'"

Music sheets & refreshments are provided for performers.


North or South?

The exact route, including driving directions, is charted-out by time & location. having a printout can be very handy during your whirlwind performance schedule.

Except for those involved in stage set-up and sound checks for the dining hall stage shows, everyone else (both the north and south groups) begin together. Arrive by 3:45 pm to get parking and to be inside for a photo with your new caroling buddies. That'll get your small group launched in time -- with your packet of song sheets (each caroler gets one).

* That first phase is 4 pm-5:15 pm at West Hills Health & Rehabilitation Center (where you perform in a small strolling group, room to room -- with a caroling squad of 6-12 people, including acoustic instrument accompanists, if available.

* West Hills Health & Rehabilitation Center, 7940 Topanga Canyon Bl, Canoga Park, CA 91304.

Then, the participants become two large performing casts, with each individual on either the north or south circuit. Vincent and some of the Grammy noms / winners lead one cast. Grammy nom Lisa Haley (Lisa Haley & the Zydekats), with other Grammy noms and winners, leads the other cast.

At the conclusion of the final performance on both routes, there is a group photo with all participants.

Then it's on to the "Post-Caroling Wrap Party," because, as Vincent says, "The night is young!"

(A special Hometown Buffet discount coupon is distributed at the caroling sites, or you can print one from any of the sites below.)

Vincent Leinen is quite a guy. Each year, his L.A. caroling launches his national tour. He does the same thing, using local talent, all across America, through Christmas Eve, finishing in Iowa.

Across America, he gets rock stars and opera company singers, musical theatre pros and barbershop quartet singers, choir members and folksingers, guitar and banjo pickers and bagpipers. For the L.A. event, he gets them all. Make that, all of us -- the music community, with other artists joining us from Hollywood and Burbank, from motion pictures, television, and radio.

Every place he goes, whether he's taking the show on the road or talking to the Southern California arts community, he says, "All effort given to support, promote, and participate in this heart-warming activity would be appreciated, especially since your contribution, music, and presence would greatly promote the theme and enhance the festivities for all involved."

Then he goes into talking about the audience for whom we perform -- including folks who go an entire year without hearing live music.

We mentioned that our performing cast includes opera stars. The 2017 L.A. festivities will be dedicated in the honor of the late Patrick Ridolfi, L.A. Holiday Caroling Festivities alumni and opera singer from 1996 thru 2016.

Please RSVP to Vincent get your assignment to the north or south route, and if pertinent, provide authorization to use your name on the invitation, website, press release etc.

Vincent adds, "If you're unable to attend and join us this year, you’re encouraged to take your own group or individually visit your local senior centers or shut-ins. This simple act of kindness can make a difference and add true meaning for all involved this holiday season."

For all the details and to register (RSVP) to participate, please go to either of the following:

Or you can call Vincent, at 818-342-9336 or C 818-429-1563.

We'll give Vincent the last word: 'Experience the power, magic, and impact of giving music! Thank you for blessing my life and the lives of others. Happy Holidays!"

-- Vincent J. Leinen, Founder, National Director L.A. Holiday Caroling Festivities

All these performances are hosted in collaboration with

"Giving Music," A Music Charity. Info at:



The Guide'll return soon with more -- inclusive and inquisitive
and informative and pretty dad-burn complete coverage
of all kindsa things, continuing forward and onward
in our next MUSIC NEWS edition,
coming your way soon.

Meantime, check in and let us know what you think about THIS one.

Y'all come back now, y'hear?


See you next time!



As always, we invite you to join us and to let us know what YOU are listening to, and what artists or bands just sent you swooning and need to be shared with others.

Doing our part depends on you doing your part. That way, you'll know that a whole lot more is always coming soon — including fresh MUSIC NEWS, PREVIEWS & REVIEWS, and more additions to our massive guide to the MUSIC FESTIVALS of 2017.

Meantime, we are ALWAYS big advocates of supporting LIVE PERFORMANCE. With everything happening in the big, wide world, and through these festival-packed, waning-of-summer weekends? Go get tuneful!



Boilerplate? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox?

What "boilerplate"? Who came up with that goofy term for the basic essential informational stuff...

Direct to the Guide's current editions /


editions.... all load quickly at
CONTACT US at / send Questions / Comments to:

Tiedtothetracks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
Contents copyright © 2017,
Lawrence Wines & Tied to the Tracks.
All rights reserved.
♪ The ACOUSTIC AMERICANA MUSIC GUIDE endeavors to bring you NEWS — and views of interest to artists everywhere — more specifically to musicians and the creative community and music makers and fans of acoustic and Folk-Americana music. That includes both traditional and innovative forms. From the deepest roots to today’s acoustic renaissance, that’s our beat. We provide a wealth of resources, including a HUGE catalog of acoustic-friendly venues (now undergoing a major update), and inside info on FESTIVALS and select performances in Southern California in venues from the monumentally large to the intimately small and cozy. We cover workshops, conferences, and other events for artists and folks in the music industry, and all kinds o’ things in the world of acoustic and Americana and accessible classical music. From washtub bass to musical spoons to oboe to viola to banjo to squeezebox, from Djangostyle to new-fangled-old-time string band music, from sweet Cajun fiddle to bluegrass and pre-bluegrass Appalachian mountain music to all the swamp water roots of the blues and the bright lights of where the music is headed now.
The Acoustic Americana Music Guide. Our cyber porch'll be here anytime you want to sit a spell, when you're looking for some inspiration or a new tune to pick 'n grin, or when you come back from the road and need to catch-up.


Friday, November 24, 2017

Friday night TV has "GRAMMYs® Greatest Stories." And there's more. -- Nov 24 2017

There's some good stuff, especially if you still have relatives lingering in the house, and you can't afford to take them out, and you really don't want to hear them talk about a buncha blah-blah-blah for another entire evening. So we're riding to your rescue, and you're welcome.

Now, we're not jumping back into covering TV on a regular basis. But since we're telling you about the special Grammy thing that's on your screen tonight, we don't want to shortchange the other good stuff that's competing with it. Especially if that special is too damn pop-music-ee for you, and you need a dose of Americana music.

So here ya go.

# 1 news feature...

"GRAMMYs® Greatest Stories: A 60th Anniversary Special" airs tonight On CBS

Tonight, GRAMMY® Award winners John Legend and Carrie Underwood co-host "GRAMMYs Greatest Stories: A 60th Anniversary Special." It's being promoted as "an all-encompassing retrospective packed with epic moments from the past 59 years of GRAMMY history, including new anecdotes directly from the artists on how their GRAMMY performances came to be."

The primetime special will be broadcast tonight from 9-11 pm ET/PT, on the CBS Television Network.

The broadcast features rare archival footage, exclusive interviews, and special appearances by multi-GRAMMY winners and nominees Christina Aguilera, Mary J. Blige, Celine Dion, Dave Grohl, Elton John, Alicia Keys, Bruno Mars, Chris Martin, Ricky Martin, Paul McCartney, P!nk, Ed Sheeran, Blake Shelton, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Justin Timberlake, U2, Underwood, and Keith Urban.

The TV special builds on the annual and acclaimed "'In Memoriam' Tributes to Fallen Musicians," the performances honoring late music legends that have become an inseparable part of the annual GRAMMY Awards. But tonight, it gets its own show.

Brian Haack explains, "A new tradition began at the 45th GRAMMY Awards in 2003, when the curtain rose on an all-star lineup of musicians assembled to perform a special tribute to the late Joe Strummer of the Clash."

He continues, "Whether it's the electric 'Strummer' tribute, [or] Adele honoring George Michael, or Lady Gaga paying homage to David Bowie, these powerful performances in the 15 years since have served as a complement to the annual GRAMMY Awards 'In Memoriam' segment, which serves as a moment of reflection for the artists, technicians, executives, and other music professionas who passed away during the prior year."

Bruce Springsteen, Dave Grohl, Elvis Costello, No Doubt's Tony Kanal, and Steven Van Zandt joined forces for a rendition of "London Calling." And Ed Sheeran's GRAMMY Duet With Elton John will be part of "GRAMMYs Greatest Stories."

We all know that Folk-Americana gets short shrift, with most Grammy categories being variants of pop, rap, and hip-hop awards. But the energy of live performances enables us to recommend tonight's TV show.


# 2 news feature...

ELSEWHERE on TV tonight...

Listed by channel / network.

On PBS So Cal / KOCE:

8:30-11 pm "Great Performances" airs a new 2017 edition, "Irving Berlin's Holiday Inn -- The Broadway Musical."


8-8:30 pm "Sun Studio Sessions" repeats a 2014 edition with JD McPherson.
(Re-airs 3-3:30 am.)

8:30-9 pm "Bluegrass Underground" airs a 2017 show with the McCrary Sisters.
(Repeats 3:30-4 am.)

9-10 pm "Austin City Limits" repeats the 2017 special "ACL Presents the Americana Music Festival 2017" from this year's honors and awards ceremony.
(Repeats 4-5 am.)

10-11 pm "Front and Center" continues its "CMA Songwriters Series" in the show's season 7 finale with Jennifer Nettles, joined by Brandy Clark and Amos Lee.
(This one doesn't repeat.)

TCM (Turner Classic Movies):

10:15 pm-12:30 am "Network" (1976) is the four-star Best Picture nominee with Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, and William Holden. Everything you need to know to understand the BS and baloney of today's corporate mainstream media, with its relentless game of obfuscation and distraction? It's all here, presciently presented way back in 1976. This movie is a must-watch for anyone who hasn't yet realized that we're all being conned to accept perpetual war and a surveillance state, and especially for anyone who believes that Fox or MSNBC actually present news.

On KCETL, aka Link TV:

6:30-8 pm "Burt Bacharach's Best" is a 2013 PBS special that always get trotted-out at pledge break time, like all public TV music shows, because they're cash cows for pledges.
(Repeats 9:30-11 pm on KCETV.)

8-10 pm "Carpenters: Close to You / Christmas." From 2016. The note just above applies here, too.

10-11:30 pm "Santana IV" from 2016 features Carlos Santana with the original Santana band.
(Repeats 1-2:30 am on KCETV.)


6-6:30 pm "Music Voyager" from 2017 is, unusually, an America-based episode, "Atlanta: Atlanta's Stage."

6:30-8 pm "Joe Bonamassa at Carnegie Hall" from 2016 features the guitar wizard and some stellar musical guests.
(Repeats 10-11:30 pm on KCETL.)

9:30-11 pm "Burt Bacharach's Best" is a 2013 PBS special that always get trotted-out at pledge break time, like all public TV music shows, because they're cash cows for pledges.

11 pm-1 am "Carpenters: Close to You / Christmas." From 2016. The note just above applies here, too.

1-2:30 am "Santana IV" from 2016 features Carlos Santana with the original Santana band.


Copyright (c) 2017, Acoustic Americana Music Guide. All rights reserved.

Contact us at: tiedtothetracks (at) hotmail dot com

Much more coming soon, with massive amounts of MUSIC NEWS -- we're preparing it all now for publication.

Thursday, November 23, 2017

For us? Friday isn't "Black Friday." It's "Buy Nothing Day" -- early edition for Nov 24 2017

Whatever our place in the Great American Schism of tribal politics, each of us seems to have been brainwashed (if seemingly benevolently) by the same desire. It's the notion that, to validate ourselves, we must affect a certain level of materialistic elitism. You don't have the LATEST iPhone? You're making-do with that OLD thing? You can't unlock your door by voice command from YOUR phone? Well!

Curing this condition won't be easy, because no one wants to admit they're self-afflicted with something malevolent. But this is the one day out of the year when it's easiest to identify it.

You know. Instinctively, you know, because it happens every year, on this day after Thanksgiving -- all that "Door-Buster!" stuff prominently previewed on the 11 PM Thursday TV news and the local and network morning shows. Making acquisition-obsessed people famous for their 15 seconds (sorry, nobody gets 15 minutes anymore) because they camped-out all night, lined-up in some corporate retailer's parking lot. To get that all-important leg-up on the competition. Because, come Friday morning, it's game-on for America's most important national obsession. The annual post-turkey human demolition derby, complete with sharp elbows, football-style broken-field runs, and fixations on beating everyone else to buy something before someone else's grip is too tight to wrestle it from their clutches. It doesn't matter a whit that it's all driven by stuff you don't need. And driven by crappy behavior to obtain more crap.

Sadly, you know exactly what I'm talking about, and you know it gets worse, every year.

The irony is appalling -- the day after you paused to reflect on an ever-so-brief moment, to take stock of what you have. (And to support the methane-making machine of animal agriculture by demolishing a massive turkey.) And, yeah, okay, Thanksgiving is a day to test your own good will by putting-up with that bombastic relative of a dinner-guest, the one from the other tribe with the toxic politics.

But you did survive. And it's just one day later. So now, you're supposed to forget your attitude of gratitude, your fleeting moment of reflection. Yep. Just, suddenly, forget about all your blessings. Think no longer on all you have, and how much debt you incurred to get it. Because now you must become freshly obsessed with buying more.

More baubles. More bling. More ostentatious expressions of your ability to buy expensive stuff you can't afford, but that you must buy to show the Joneses you're ahead of them in the pecking order of consumerism. You work hard, and by god, everybody is going to know it because you're proving it with your purchasing power. Just put aside every shred of thoughtful intellect and clear the decks for action -- a daylong orgy of buying a bunch of overpriced flimsy crap that's all made in some sweatshop overseas. All to maximize the profit margins of the fat cats who control all the levers -- everything necessary to make you believe you can't live without buying more of their crap.

This is where the cowboy used to ride-in and shout, "Whoa-up there for a minute," and add, "Think about the trail you're fixin' to ride, afore you end-up with the varmits."

But cowboys with helpful messages went out when the Marlboro Man died of lung cancer. So you'll have to settle for us, instead. We're here to advocate something, our way: showing the middle-finger salute to the banksters and the self-serving advocates who are determined to use all means to sell you an endless amount of "more!"

We're spending our Friday celebrating "Buy Nothing Day," and in our best Huell Howser parody, "We invite you to join us on this adventure."

For all those acquainted with the purposeful performance art of Reverend Billy and The Church of Stop Shopping, you have a good idea where this is going. Though -- while this is very much like his ongoing message -- this isn't one of his events.

Still, it's all about asserting your importance as a free-willed human being, able to "just say no" to the billions of dollars the corporatocracy spends to get you addicted to what they want you to do. Which is, to part with all your money and go deeply into evermore debt, in their carefully crafted "Black Friday" orgy of addiction to consumerism.

"Economy" used to be about how you made your decisions not to buy things you didn't need, so you'd have that money for things that really mattered. But now it means exactly the opposite. Everything from big-money corporate-owned social media to the six megagiant corporate entities that control all major mainstream media outlets, are allied. They work together to disseminate the "messages" of an empire of corporate consumer-based profitability. They use every tool of psychology to decide -- for you -- what is necessary to have. As in, what you must have to be trendy and hip, and why you deserve to be ostracized and ridiculed unless you buy all of their featured "it" items.

When was the last time you went a whole day without buying anything?

In this day and age, is it actually possible to buy nothing for twenty four hours?

Supporters of "Buy Nothing Day" think it is. And what’s more, they think we should all try it.

At its core, "Buy Nothing Day" is a targeted protest against, not simply against the hype and bad behavior of "Black Friday," but against the consumerism that drives what's destroying the planet. We are confronted with this mathematically impossible notion of endless "economic growth," that prosperity can only be measured in stock dividends and housing starts that pave agricultural lands, all resulting in a never-ending "more" that's somehow necessary for prosperity.

Those who conceived "Buy Nothing Day," we along with them, are motivated by global warming and resource depletion and the societal and environmental costs of a mentality of extraction and development and a culture based on spending money on stupid crap. Because we're just plain running out of time. Meaning it's necessary to pause and take stock, to change our consciousness, to reckon with the true cost of endlessly enriching the exploiters. Isn't it time for each of us to assess the impact and ask ourselves the question, "Do we really need to live in a society governed by the need to 'have evermore things'?"

Of course, you haven't seen any ads for "Buy Nothing Day" on TV, and none in the thickest- of-the-year newspaper editions, filled with stacks of "Black Friday" advertising inserts. You won't see anything there to discourage you from joining the melee, because the wholly-owned media subsidiaries of the megagiant corporations refuse to run ads that say "Stop and think!" Even though a consortium of environmental groups made those ads for "Buy Nothing Day" and had them ready to go.

As commentator and social satirist Lee Camp observes, and we'll paraphrase, you can see ads for weapons-systems-makers, the merchants of death who make endless war possible. You can see ads for Big Pharma, whose profitability is based on addicting you to chemicals that can kill you (as in their creation and ongoing obfuscation and subterfuge for the national addiction to opioid drugs). You can't see ads opposing the toxic chemicals and drugs and steroids and hormones that dangerously pollute our water after they pass-through each critter that gets overdosed in animal agriculture, because the federal "Animal Agriculture Protection Act" makes it illegal to do or say anything that may result in diminished profit for animal agriculture. You can see ads for Big Oil, whose massive uses of toxic fracking chemicals poison the groundwater we need to drink and to grow crops that are free from chemical-laden irrigation. And you can see ads for all the Nestle-owned water bottlers -- plastic-bottle bottlers -- while Nestle is a company whose chairman says, "There is no human right to clean water. Water should be privatized and sold." And you can see ads to buy stock in toxic mining companies, whose extractions poison the planet with heavy metals and cyanide.

"But," concludes Lee, "You can't be allowed to see an ad that might make you question the sanity of a system that has allowed the exploiters to seize control of everything, including whose message can get out."

(Check out comedian Lee Camp's "Redacted Tonight VIP," the Thursday TV interview edition's episode 86 from Nov 16, with "Reverend Billy Talen." He's the leader of "The Church of Stop Shopping." It's here:; while you're at it, catch the satiric but damned serious coverage in a couple of Lee's comedic Friday shows. There's the "Secret Family Profiting from the Opioid Crisis" plus more about who profits from drugs, in episode 170 of "Redacted Tonight," titled "Rx, Drugs and Rock 'n Roll," from Friday, Oct. 21, 2017. It's here: And finally, catch the show's most recent episode, # 172, "RT America A Foreign Agent, Tax Deductible Sexual Abuse, & More," here:

"Buy Nothing Day" was founded in Vancouver, Canada by artist Ted Dave in September of 1992. It is celebrated each year on the Friday after American Thanksgiving, as awareness spreads in spite of the corporate alliance to keep you from finding out about it. Yes, it's very intentionally aimed at the day infamously known to drive the herd into chain stores, shopping malls, and into the ever-growing multi-billion-dollar empire of corporate e-commerce -- all in an orgy of spending and assurance that consumer debt will be inescapable. All promoted by the entire corporatocracy and their bankster empire as "Black Friday."

Anyone who has ever seen what happens throughout North America during "Black Friday" sales knows to expect poster children for bad behavior on the evening TV news -- examples, not unlike parodies of Roman gladiators. It's greed tuned to aggressively violent behavior. Don't we all understand, all too well, why it is high time that we take a step back and look at ourselves, our behavior, our humanity? Isn't it an acid test, whether we have any real desire to save the planet -- and contemplate the meaning of all of the "Black Friday" madness?

Soon after "Buy Nothing Day" was created in Canada, campaigns to have a similar day of reflection started appearing in the United States, the United Kingdom, Israel, Austria, Germany, New Zealand, Japan, the Netherlands, France, and Norway.

More than 65 nations currently participate in it.

But the corporatocracy will do it's Borg Collective best to make sure you never hear about it.

Adbusters, a company responsible for the initial promotion of Ted Dave’s idea for Buy Nothing Day, states that the day “isn’t just about changing your habits for one day," but "about starting a lasting lifestyle commitment to consuming less and producing less waste."

You can see why that's a shockingly dangerous idea in a system based on the impossible concept of endless growth on a planet of finite resources.

How to Celebrate "Buy Nothing Day"

Anyone who wants to participate can, beyond the obvious, do any of many things to persoanlly express objection to our consumer-based culture.

* You can simply stay home with friends and family, and actually share each others' companionship, rather than going shopping.

* There are some organized actions. Those whose idea of meaningful fun goes to the theatrical can look for web posts for “zombie walks.” In these, all of the participating “zombies” lurch around stores, supermarkets and shopping malls aimlessly, buying nothing, and staring ahead blankly. This is used to raise awareness about the meaning of "Buy Nothing Day" and to shock obsessed spenders into their own internal confrontation with their values. It happens until the “zombies” are inevitably asked what they are doing and why, whereupon they can proceed to explain their point of view. Until store security throws you out for obstructing the buying orgy.

* You can simply take advantage of your boycott of shopping and avoiding being part of the mooing herd, and use the time for something that will make the day memorable for YOU. The weather in Southern California will be warm, so go celebrate nature and the immense amount of beauty it offers us -- it's free of charge! This can be done by spending the day in the countryside or the mountains, or even in a park, resting in the sunshine and enjoying the breeze.

* Some participants choose to stand in a shopping mall with a pair of scissors and a poster that advertises help for people who want to put an end to their mounting credit card debt and shopping addiction "With one simple cut." Though you should have a "Plan B" for the rest of the day, 'cause you'll get kicked-out tout suite.

* A strategy employed by a group of participants in the 2009 "Wildcat General Strike" was to not only refrain from shopping, but also: keep all of their electric appliances shut-off during the entire day; not travel anywhere by car; and, not use their cell phones. All an effort to cut-down on the enormous use of natural resources for the electric power grid and fossil fuels for transportation amidst the orchestrated mass hysteria of stampeding "Door Busters."

While proponents argue that "Buy Nothing Day" can be the start of a life-changing lifestyle commitment, others claim it’s meaningless, contending that its observers simply buy more the following day. But if that's what happens, those who succumb to it are proving their addiction to support whatever is "trending" without exercising independent thought.

Full disclosure time: we very much DO support "Small Business Saturday," which occurs during this weekend and each year. That's always on the day after the corporatocracy's "Black Friday," which we think should be declared "Personal Indebtedness Advocacy Day." We will spend a few bucks supporting the cause of mom-and-pop-owned small businesses on Saturday -- using money we consciously reserve specifically for that purpose.

Now, back to the central message of "Buy Nothing Day" -Friday.

One participant from last year, picks up the point, commenting, "Either way, there’s no doubt that going without buying anything for an entire day is quite a challenge in the modern world, and will serve to make you think about what your life is really about."

At this point, you are expecting a link for the "Official Site for 'Buy Nothing Day.'"

But a not-so-funny thing happened on the way to the browser. It seems that the obvious domain name, buynothingday dot org, has been BOUGHT by a self-proclaimed "e-commerce web developer." And, while he offers-up a couple paragraphs that pay lip service to the cause, they're all part of a continuous-scroll site that's trying to (you guessed it) SELL you all sorts of things.

So it's up to us. Each of us, and all of us.

We are, each of us -- as always -- the only ones who can change society away from the exploitive path of corporations-take-all. We can turn from the path that's depriving future generations of resources they'll need, but won't have because we used them up making shoddy and silly disposable junk that we randomly buried in landfills until we drowned in toxic trash.

Are you up for it, down with it? We can change the mentality of "Black Friday" away from planet-destroying mindless corporate consumerism. (We can even choose to reject the need for silly colloquial expressions that seem de rigueur in all popular dialog.) And we can reject the infatuation with "having more and more stuff" and declare "Power to the People" and "Protection of the Planet" -- while we still can. While there's still a chance that we can tell the difference between what WE want and what "they" want us to want.

Feel free to share this and the link for others to read it.

_ _ _

Copyright (c) 2017, Acoustic Americana Music Guide. All rights reserved.

Contact info: tiedtothetracks (at) Hotmail dot com

Much more coming soon, with massive amounts of MUSIC NEWS -- we're preparing it all now for publication!