Saturday, January 28, 2017
NAMM Report (part 3), Reviews, Previews, Shows, & Lotsa Music News -- Jan 28 2017 ed.
Happy Chinese New Year!
This edition's big list of all the feature stories -- "Contents / In This Edition" -- is just below. First, a quick hello, how are ya, we're fine, just back from NAMM, yes it was exhausting but inspiring, and of course we brought you sumpin', and wait for it, 'cause here's a lil' intro.
What a week just past. We live in amazing times. But don't worry -- that isn't a launchpad for another one of the angst-ridden espousals you can't seem to get away from everywhere else. This is a safe zone. Not Ollie-Ollie-oxen-free, where all the nuts can come out. A real safe zone, where, if you're allergic to nuts, you're safe. So, relax. Deep breath. Hi! Yeah. We know.
We've got PLENTY of music news awaiting you!
So much, in fact, that you prob'ly noticed that "Part 3" in the title. We'll need the next few editions to bring you all the reports of the enormous annual NAMM Show and our explorations there. We always provide in-depth coverage and lots of gear reviews, and that always requires multiple parts.
And while every edition of The Guide is timely? This one allows late seating.
We assure you that some of what's in this edition will be just as fresh if you arrive tardy -- like after you get back from the SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL. It's happening through this weekend in Park City, Utah, with all its late-night and all-day-on-the-weekend music performances. (Hot tips for attendees are in "Notes from the Feature Film World," our # 2 feature story.)
If you're in Southern California, where we publish The Guide, you're basking in post-rain sunshine. But wherever you are, we're all smackdab amidst a couple of weeks packed with crowded hours for music and the arts and culture. There's so much that requires un-piling. We brought our spatula. And the good hot sauce. An' our lil' bottles of seasonings. And the big glass frying pan lid so you can see what's cookin'. Tuck the bib into your collar (no, you can't use the tail of the tablecloth) and get ready for a feast. We saved you a chair at the big kids' table. You'll need to behave. Keep an eye on the bass player.
CONTENTS / IN THIS EDITION
1) NAMM & Things that Matter: Across the Rhetoric & the Rancor, there's the Music
2) Notes (Musical & Otherwise) from the Feature Film World
3) Catch the 5th Annual "WINTER HOOT" Live ONLINE, Feb. 3-5, from Ashokan
4) CRYSTAL GAYLE Inducted into Grand Ole Opry by Sister, Opry Legend LORETTA LYNN
5) Top 25 Songs Honoring Women, but Timed for the Womens March?
6) LIVE OAK MUSIC FESTIVAL Tix Go on Sale Monday; 1st Performers Announced
7) Entries Open: 57th Annual TOPANGA BANJO•FIDDLE CONTEST & FOLK FESTIVAL
8) GRAMMY MUSEUM's Upcoming Programs: Banjo, Hawai'ian, More
9) NAMM Featured Speaker: Tech Expectations, or a Dystopian Future Ahead?
10) 22nd Annual HOLLYWOOD PERFORMANCE MARATHON, Jan. 28th
11) FREE "Night on Broadway" Arts & Musical Fest Brings 10 Stages, Jan. 28th
12) TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT, Legendary Eagle & Poco Member, Playing January Dates
13) Grammy nominated Cajun/Zydeco band, THE REVELERS, play Caltech, Jan. 28
14) Superb Folk-Americana & Celtic Coming to San Pedro's Grand Annex
15) Tribute to LANGSTON HUGHES: Stories, Poems, Jazz & Blues, on Feb. 4th
16) Hot Tuna to Join Tedeschi Trucks Band “Wheels of Soul” Summer Tour
17) Grammy Museum® and the Recording Academy® Announce Plans to Develop Grammy Museum in China
18) USC's "Visions & Voices" Series Has Wide Range of Quality Events
Let's get started!
# 1 news feature...
NAMM & THINGS THAT MATTER: ACROSS THE RHETORIC & THE RANCOR, THERE'S THE MUSIC
We always provide major coverage of the NAMM Show. We maintain our commitment for many reasons. They reach beyond the obvious desire to bring you quality journalism with reports on the innovative new gear, signature instruments, and crazy-capable software that lets you create orchestrations for your songwriting and compositions. It's about more than the performances by endorsed artists of the instrument makers, too.
Does that make us feel like a business journal? No. We don't need to wear selective blinders to see beyond the essential commerciality arrayed in a vast showplace. A component of art IS business. When it comes to NAMM, we acknowledge that the scope and scale creates its own universe. It can seem to be bewilderingly tangled, a three-dimensional crossroads of innovators and marketers from every continent except Antarctica.
But something vital transcends all that: there is the essential and unique reason why each individual chose to get into music in the first place. And therein is the magic.
This year, the NAMM Show's four days happened to coincide with peak political punditry surrounding a certain quadrennial and Constitutionally-mandated event in Washington, D.C.
That event was 3,000 miles from NAMM, happening simultaneously on the ice cold Capitol steps. It occurred on a raised platform above the same spot where the Marine Band entertains tourists on warm summer evenings, when winter's bare trees framing the Capitol are lush and green. Realization of that contrast of seasons, and the thought that the same site hosts relaxed music and momentous history, are enough to be a bit jarring, anytime. Last Friday, and through the weekend, things transcended the ordinary contrasts. While thousands sampled music and tried instruments at NAMM, the weekend brought more rancor and divisiveness than any inauguration since Abraham Lincoln's in 1860.
Meanwhile, in the cavernous Anaheim Convention Center? If, shall we say, the thoughts of others outside those walls being "otherwise focused" bothered anybody, it sure wasn't apparent on the exhibit floors at NAMM.
But then, music always has the power to create an alternative universe.
We're not suggesting a lifestyle of being oblivious to the world around you. It seems obligatory to say here that we often acknowledge people in the arts have a different mechanism for establishing perspectives. For some artists in the last few days, it seems individual perspectives produced crazy inappropriate statements -- passion didn't allow popping the clutch on the brain before putting the mouth in gear. For others, whether attending NAMM or otherwise being focused on music, the essential magnet remained facilitation of creativity.
We have a feature story in this edition on music that celebrates women. It originally ran in another publication where it was very intentionally timed to celebrate last Saturday's "Women's March." Is running that story now a political statement, or a timely celebration of women? However we choose to characterize it, folks will see it as they wish. Some will be happy it's here, others will see nothing but the timing as the context.
In any times that command heightened awareness, some folks instantly relate to a piece of music in terms of how it informs events. That, of course, becomes historical. A song or a tune becomes inseparable from the era it informed for an individual or for a "them." Whether or not they would consciously describe it that way. Neil Young's "Ohio" comes to mind as the signature song of how Vietnam protests sparked push-back from a scared system. Long-gone FM radio station KMET even assembled a multiday narrated music production called "The Nixon Years" which aired years after the fact. Splendidly produced, there are treasured fragments of it in a few audio libraries. MTV has periodically run specials from the era when it began, tied to the Reagan years. Some folk artists still conjure emotions with songs of the Civil War.
All the while, through all the good and bad? Inspirational moments and tragic times are memorialized, enjoyed or lamented, informed in some way by music. Music from the contradictory parade of events that each one of us sees. Omnipresent music, through all the years that anyone who hears it has been alive. Who, among us, does not have a sense of a soundtrack of the times of our own sentient existence?
Even with music that "belongs" to the past, each new generation ascribes its own meaning. The obvious example is classical music by long dead composers. And it's no less real in songs about steam trains and paddlewheel steam boats, log flumes, cattle drives and square-rig sailing ships. Or six layers of petticoats, big feathered hats and high-button shoes. Always, music is made fresh by rediscovery, words and music are rediscovered, and past events are reinterpreted.
That gives birth to efforts, whether scholarly or as social phenomena, to impart specific meanings to modern times, to this afternoon, or a place you're decided to go that may entail life-changing risk. In music, there is a connection with others and with the infinite. Songs of physical bondage find new life with those battling banksters and crooked financial systems.
Nor is music free from exploitation. It can bring agendas from those who seek to manage the messages, or to hijack embedded emotional capital for commercial purposes, as when classic recorded riffs callously try to sell you something on TV.
Music, more readily than other forces, can always cast things in different lights.
Of course, the best of new music enables everyone who hears it to make associations. Perhaps more readily in this era of psychologically crafted imagery, an intended image becomes a hated earworm. Our time could use another "I'd Like to teach the World to Sing," or "We Are the World," or "All we are saying is give peace a chance." Across generations, willingly or not, we find meaning in lyrics, in chord changes, in the hard-driving or liltingly evocative melodies, in the tempo and arrangements, and in the compelling humanity, the heart and soul conveyed in the essential individuality of the performance.
Sometimes, music retrospectively stirs a sense of "We got through it together." Though that isn't what comes to mind as we share the day-to-day uncertainties, the kaleidoscopic time passages on our spinning blue planet.
At its best, music brings us together for good when nothing else can. It allows people of different perspectives to find common values, shared hopes and dreams. For some, getting to a better place requires overt lyrical recognition of hard times, and even of oppression or corruption that needs to be exposed and stopped. For others, staying motivated and focused on a goal of what can be achieved, keeping their eyes on the prize, and believing in themselves, their band, their own individual and collective creativity and work ethic, is central.
Circuitously, perhaps improbably, that brings us full circle with how and where and why individual creativity meets commerce. And why covering NAMM is important.
The hopes of designers and marketers, instrument-crafting luthiers, and a universe of manufacturers, from the relatively large to the back-bedroom small, to achieve commercial success? It is, after all, based on acceptance and embrace by individual musicians and mixers and engineers and music consumers. And amidst it all, there is, still, that common awareness, that shared language, the higher plane of resonance that musicians and artists and fans share, whenever they gather.
That is fundamentally what's on display at the NAMM Show, as much as any attractive array of instruments or products. Anyone involved professionally in music is, along with whatever else, an appreciative fan, grateful and thrilled by the special space where music happens. It manifests in the synergistics and the camaraderie. Just as it does backstage at a big music festival where artists compare preamps and pedal boards. It's true in your neighborhood music store, when you interact with the staff and instructors, and with the bright-eyed or tentative students laying hands on instruments new to them. And it's just as present in the verbal swap meet of esoterica that holds court in your local record shop, if you're fortunate enough to have one.
Sharing, exploring, learning, being open to innovation, getting excited about bringing something new on stage or trying it on a recording. It's a theme worthy of celebration. Let's hear what a cross-section of others in music have to say on this broad and essential subject. We've selected a few quotes from the NAMM Show, and more from other musical environs. Enjoy.
"I don't know if I'd ever have had the exposure to the roots and world music... folk, blues, classic jazz, Gypsy, Celtic, African, Latin, had it not been for combing the racks of the local independent record stores in the Cambridge/Boston area when I was in college and the years since. Those 'mom and pop' stores and small chains, like radio, provided the rich soil from which so much of my passion and education sprang. Having the ability to linger and talk about selections with a staff person who really knew their stuff and was able to illuminate why certain albums by a given artist were better than others, or steer me to new exciting finds I never would have discovered without their help, is another reason why preserving these independent record stores is so crucial. It's the personal connection, the vastly more extensive collections, and being part of the community of like-minded music fans, that makes such a difference. I loved striking up conversations or just spending hours reading notes on vinyl record covers and having the visceral experience of being surrounded by so much history and variety. Nothing like it. So much of what I love about music of all kinds and eras was hatched by just this kind of discovery and choice. The decisions about what to carry and the overall service of these stores is what has made so many of us who we are as musicians and people. Indelible, irreplaceable... and a treasure to protect."
- BONNIE RAITT.
Info at: www.bonnieraitt.com - (The quintessential American blues singer-songwriter, musician, and activist plays the Terrace Theater at the Long Beach Convention Center, Long Beach, CA, on Feb 15; the Fantasy Springs Resort & Casino, Indio, CA, Feb 18; and the Fred Kavli Theatre at the Thousand Oaks Civic Arts Plaza, Thousand Oaks, CA, on Feb 23. Tix are still available for all three local concerts).
"NAMM is not for us, it’s for them, the people we get to speak to face to face. Everyone is here because of a common connection on how to express ourselves. It is about having some sort of tool or process to express yourself."
- JIM DEBARDI, Moog.
Info at: https://www.moogmusic.com - (two of their instruments were nominated in the 32nd annual TEC Awards held at NAMM. To see who won, check that feature story in this edition).
"NAMM is a great way for us to meet people who would play our instruments and others in the industry that we could possibly do business with. It also gives us the opportunity to see people play our instrument, as well. This year we released a brand-new product for The NAMM Show, so it’s been a great way to see how consumers play it, what their feedback is, and how we could work with them."
- JON SIMPSON, Director of Dubreq.
Info at: www.dubreq.com - (Dubreq Ltd. is a British company dedicated to making exciting products in the musical instrument and toy industries. They are the creators of the original Stylophone, which has a huge cult following in the UK, and its own website, at: www.dubreqstylophone.com).
"Independent record stores are much more than the name suggests. They are an international community and platform where music has an outlet and an opportunity to grow over the long term, in a way that sincerely connects with community and culture. They are also a magnificent mob of highly opinionated musical bandits which I am proud to call my pals! Bill, keep that Indian ring shining for me. Matt, I'LL meet you in the morning for breakfast. John, we'll always have Paris. Rhino... straight outta Claremont!"
- BEN HARPER, multi-instrumentalist musician.
Info at: www.benharper.com - (The world-touring musician and leader of BEN HARPER & THE INNOCENT CRIMINALS grew-up in the Folk Music Center & Museum in Claremont, CA. His parents, also musicians, will greet you when you stop by to peruse gear or a new guitar).
"We make a truly fine product line, don't get me wrong. But I'd rather focus on being an ambassador and an advocate for my instrument, the banjo. It doesn't really matter who built it, it matters much more who wants to learn to play it. When I was learning to play as a young man, it really was terribly disappointing when a family member or friend was rather blasé or not very encouraging when I would play the banjo in a family setting. They were often comparing me to the professionals… And they convinced me by their lack of approval to compare myself to professionals, as well. As I got older, I began to see that everyone experienced these kinds of disappointments in feedback from friends, family, acquaintances, etc. I also began to see that while some of these 'observations by interested persons' were offered innocently and without any intention of being malicious or cruel, they were rather heartbreaking, nonetheless. On the positive side, they could also be used to spur me on to greater development: if I did not treat them as the final word of judgment, of my skill level, or innate ability. So perhaps one of the most important techniques to practice is to practice the sheer joy that comes from playing the banjo. After all, a person who can play with magnificent technique but who is not enjoying the playing because they are 'waiting for a great moment of achievement' is no happier than a beginner who is also waiting to 'be able to play'."
- BARRY HUNN, Worldwide Sales Manager, Deering Banjos.
Info at: https://www.deeringbanjos.com - (Barry Hunn has toured and performed with many of the greats. The Deering Banjo Company, founded in 1975 by Janet and Greg Deering, has grown to become the largest manufacturer of banjos in America. Their NAMM booth is a beehive of live performances by their endorsed artists.)
"NAMM is the center of the music world. The Boutique Guitar Showcase is a wonderful opportunity to bring in boutique luthiers in a way that fits our needs, and people love it. It allows us to showcase and interact with people who appreciate what we do. It’s a great opportunity for our business to come to NAMM and exhibit at the Boutique Guitar Showcase."
- MICHAEL & TANIA SPALT, owners Spalt Guitars.
Info at: https://www.spaltinstruments.com - (electric guitars and basses created by expert luthier Michael Spalt. Not be confused with the Gypsy Spalt Acoustic Guitar, also on display at NAMM, made by Luna Guitars - www.lunaguitars.com).
Additional NAMM related features are in this edition, and more will follow over the next several editions, with plenty of reviews of new gear that debuted at the 2017 Winter NAMM Show.
# 2 news feature...
NOTES (MUSICAL & OTHERWISE) FROM THE FEATURE FILM WORLD
This covers two topics. We're entering awards season, and we have short reviews of nominated films you haven't seen, because it's tough to find the feature-length documentaries unless you make a concerted effort to track them down.
But first, we have some quickie guidance if you're at the Sundance Film Festival this weekend.
The annual SUNDANCE FILM FESTIVAL has some fun live music gigs. It's happening through this weekend in Park City, Utah. there are late-night and all-day-on-the-weekend music performances. And we have some hot tips for attendees.
At the top of every hour this weekend, you'll see different performing artists at the "Access Film Music Showcase" at the Spur Bar & Grill, 352 Main St, Park City, UT; 435-615-1618. Be sure to catch CHE ZURO there, 3-3:50 pm Saturday.
Not Utah bound? Great! Keep going to the next paragraph.
We spent all day on a recent Saturday, into the night, at the Director's Guild in Hollywood. With lengthy, hour-and-a-half breaks between each one, we saw four of the top-award-nominated full-length documentary films on the big screen.
There are two you must see:
✔ "THE EAGLE HUNTRESS," which is our editor's pick for top honors.
✔ "13," which is the intersection of our dysfunctional culture traced to history and politics, coherently, thoroughly, accessibly, and scathingly presented.
"THE EAGLE HUNTRESS" was filmed entirely in Central Asia. It's the story of a nomadic family in the remote Altai mountains, where some trappings of modern culture and technology are being adopted. The traditional life-ways of "the eagle hunter" are how the people kept from starving for centuries amidst vast expanses of barrenness. In each family, the culture has been based on bird-napping a young eaglet from the nest and raising the raptor as the partner of the male head-of-household, the horse-riding hunter. The biggest prize of any hunt is a large fox, and every part of the animal is used -- meat and fur play essential roles in survival where winter temps are often 40 below, Fahrenheit.
A key aspect of the culture requires that the bird be held in its hunting role no more than seven years. Then it must be literally and ceremonially returned to the wild. It gets a parting gift of a freshly-slaughtered lamb. With the man expressing gratitude to the bird, this takes place on a high hilltop, far from any settlement. Then the man and horse ride away from the fully un-tethered eagle. The bird, while happy for the sumptuous meal, seems at first bewildered, experiencing life without leg restraints or a hood for the first time since its capture. In practical terms, freed eagles mate with others who were always wild, assuring the survival of the species.
The actual hunting is playing an ever-diminishing role in the lifeways of the culture. But there are annual eagle festivals that date way back, and now attract foreign visitors. In these, the man-bird-horse team competes in feats of derring-do.
Enter into all this the 13-year-old daughter of an eagle hunter. She wants to be an eagle hunter. Not because of some determined to defy all culturally-mandated roles for women, but to fulfill her love for the noble birds and continue her family's lineage of champion eagle hunters.
Because we want you to see it, that's as much of the story as you get. Except to emphasize that the cinematography is crisp, majestic, expansive and beautiful, with some of the best use of camera drones, ever. The soundtrack is enriched by appropriate music that is just right at every moment. And there are one-shots of faces of all the elders, as the girl pursues her dream. The captured facial expressions are priceless. Everything works cinematically throughout, on the macro and micro levels. Look for this film. Share it with the young people in your life.
The second film is required viewing for every American's cultural literacy. Its title, "13," stands for the 13th Amendment, the one that abolished slavery at the end of the Civil War. Except there is an escape clause in the amendment: you can still enslave anyone convicted of a crime. The movie examines and exposes the manifestations of all that. It explains how and why the US, with five percent of the world's population, has one-quarter of the Earth's incarcerated persons. It stays with you. Go see it. It's had a lot of commercials advertising availability on Netflix.
The other two films?
One is "I AM NOT YOUR NEGRO." Depending on your perspective, it's either just another retelling of America's race relations of the past 60 or so years, or it really gets inside your head, whatever your piece of the American experience. It's told, as much as possible, from the perspective of the late author James Baldwin. We are among those who liked it and appreciated the perspective of its message, from the experience and viewpoint of the late author.
The last film of the night was one we just will not recommend, despite its status as a top award contender. It's titled, "A FIRE AT SEA." It's the oddest, most incongruous bunch of juxtapositions we've ever experienced on the screen -- outside something intended to be slam-cut as some kind of "art film."
It's about a small Italian island in the Mediterranean between Africa and Sicily. The serious, grueling part is about the endless stream of big, leaky, beat-up wooden boats that are each overloaded with refugees. Many of these boats sink at sea. Those that achieve rescue by the Italian Navy or the island's fishermen are never more than partially successful in saving those crammed aboard the always-sinking boats; the boats always have a lot of dead women and children aboard, and others whose lives may be saved with immediate iv bottles or other medical intervention.
But... that is one of four story lines that just randomly dance in and out of one another. The primary story, in terms of screen time, is about a kid of about 11 or 12 who lives on the island and remains totally oblivious to the refugees, through the entire story. He's actually quite an annoying kid. And, along with endless slow pans of the family kitchen and other inconsequential interiors, the filmmaker gives us about four minutes of the kid loudly sucking spaghetti -- not in strands, but in wads of noodles. The first time or two, some in the audience laugh. By the time that dinner table scene ends, there is a sigh of relief.
Another of the crashed-together story lines is the radio deejay who plays 1950s Italian pop music for the town, taking listener requests, and once a day doing a news report on how many dead refugees were fished-out by the navy after they couldn't find the sinking boat in time. Over 15,000 people have died at sea, trying to get to that island. For those who succeed, it's a 48-hour stopover before the navy gets them to Europe. Though we never see anything of their experiences beyond the island. The desperate plight of these people is never more than a detached adjunct to life on the island. Hence, we discuss them in terms of the daily radio report.
Then there is a fat guy in a wet suit who dives for clams off the island's rocky coast. The first time we see him, there's interest generated by how the hell he can get down the cliffs to the sea. But as his little mash-up diving segments continue to make their random appearances, even the pretty underwater photography can't keep you from wanting to see something happen. A shark, anything.
Godot never shows up.
It's doubly sad because the filmmaker was present for the screening and introduced his film. He was nowhere to be seen after, though, which was merciful.
It made for a late night. I'm still bothered by that film. How anyone could have made such a goofy mash-up. I mean, the intimacy of the camera with the refugees, in so close with them... where the subtitles had the rescuers' words about how so many of them stank of fuel oil that had seriously burned their skin (we saw that, clearly, not from combustion, but from contact)... and how everyone involved in rescuing, helping, feeding or processing the refugees was wearing a heavy mask for breathing, to keep the stench of the dead from making them ill, as well as for protection against diseases. Yet the horror was no more humanizing than scenes of liberation of anonymous concentration camp survivors.
While I suspect the intended message was about settled life on a little outpost of Europe, where spoiled-brat kids can afford to be oblivious, and radio is used for '50s semi-operatic pop rather than education about culture, and where the kids in school learn a little English rather than Arabic... all the while, the reality for these "other" people whose plight and flight is geographically intersecting the island, it is not interacting with the island dwellers' lives. I'm sure that's what's intended. And the idea of these different storylines crashing into each other without being interwoven is intended to emphasize that message. But you must be patient and forgiving to make that determination.
The entire project was done by that one guy who introduced his film. If anyone ever needed a production team, or post-production team, he's the guy. It must have been nominated because no one else made a film about refugees, and we are in the midst of the greatest refugee crisis since just after WW II. But, seriously, it is such drudgery to watch that film that it doesn't leave you in any space that helps inform your thinking about the refugee and their tragic circumstances.
Go see "13" and "The Eagle Huntress" when they arrive where you can see them. And you might appreciate the James Baldwin-perspective of "I'm Not Your Negro."
# 3 news feature...
CATCH THE 5th ANNUAL "WINTER HOOT" LIVE ONLINE, FEB. 3-5, FROM ASHOKAN
Thanks to the thoughtful planning of hosts MIKE + RUTHY, the annual "Winter Hoot," February 3-5 at The Ashokan Center, will largely be available online. It's a biannual down home celebration of music, food, and community in the Hudson Valley, presented by Mike + Ruthy.
Take a look at the Saturday Lineup: NATALIE MERCHANT, DAN BERN, ELIZABETH MITCHELL & YOU ARE MY FLOWER, JAY UNGAR & MOLLY MASON, HOME REMEDY, PAUL RISHELL & ANNIE RAINES, STORY LAURIE, and hosts THE MIKE + RUTHY BAND.
For those who physically attend, there's a Friday dinner and screening of a documentary film, Jon Bowermaster's "Hudson River at Risk." Friday also brings special musical guest SARAH LEE GUTHRIE, and her performance may also be ONLINE.
There's a Sunday singalong, and activities all weekend for all ages. If go, you can still volunteer to get in free, or buy your tix at the link below. In person or with your virtual presence, Mike + Ruthy invite you to "Support Your Hoot!"
They continue, "Warm your soul at this much-needed, mid-winter, multi-generational get-together where music and nature hold the space for us to be ourselves and to appreciate the good in each other. Let's HOOT!"
What makes "The Winter Hoot" special: there are so many things to do, and for the middle of winter in a snowy region, that's rather astonishing. There are all-ages crafts with FiberFlame, kids activities, blacksmithing, square dancing, snow-tubing, hiking (weather permitting), filmed mini-sets in the Pewter Shop, an Instrument Petting Zoo, jamming, singing, local food, and local beer & wine.
They're especially excited about something new this year, and it's one other festivals should jump to emulate. ("Emulate" is a nice way of saying "steal.")
It's "The Holler!" Attendees can sign-up to record "a poem or song for our times" Saturday afternoon in Sycamore Lounge. The Holler playlist will be uploaded and shared after the Hoot. How do they do it? They are thanking Telefunken Elektroakustik "for the beautiful microphone" and "local radio partners Radio Woodstock 100.1 and 98.1 KZE for spinning one of the Holler tracks in the springtime."
Mike + Ruthy add, "We can't wait to hear what folks come to share. Sign up in advance! All voices welcome! All Hoot attendees welcome to lend their voices and share a song or poem for the times — we‘ll record up to two takes for each performance. Then, the recordings will be compiled into a Winter Hoot playlist that’ll be shared with the whole community. Recording will happen between 1 and 4 pm on Saturday, Feb 4, and is generously supported by microphone sponsor Telefunken Elektroakustik.
"Sign up by visiting ebsm.co/holler
"Come join in (and tag your friends who might want to perform)!
AND, for online listeners? It appears you can become participants, layering your voice into some part of this. See the link above.
Storytelling on hand
STORY LAURIE was named "best children's performer" by Hudson Valley Magazine. Her socially conscious songs and stories engage all ages. We don't know if either of the two online presences will roam from stage to stage. She performs Saturday at 4:30 in the Kids Zone.
Wanna go, for reals? Ticket Info, Lodging & Food...
If advance tickets sell out they will "still have plenty of 'pay what you want' day passes at the door - suggested donation $30."
Tix at: http://hoot.love (almost gone)
Follow @homeofthehoot on social media for updates. That includes knowing if they've filled up the parking lot.
$50 bunks are still available in the Women's, Men's, Early Birds', or Night Owls' longhouse rooms. Bed with pillow provided. BYO bedding and toiletries. Sat/Sun breakfasts are included with purchase of a bunk.
Saturday lunch/dinner are vended by Ashokan & Veggie Oasis. Friday night dinner is by reservation only.
On Site and Online...
Saturday night at the Winter Hoot 2017, starting at 6:30 pm (3:30 pm PST). Hosts Mike + Ruthy let loose with their full band and rock the house with their special blend of folk, blues, roots and more. Be there, one way or the other.
ONLINE: TWO OPTIONS for those who can't make it to the Hoot
*** (a) LISTEN ON MIXLR, live from Friday at Noon PST 'til Sunday at 9 am PST, "you can feel like you're right here with us! Listen while you clean your house or make dinner, hey you might find yourself waltzing with your spoon," say Mike & Ruthy. The magic address is:
*** (b) WATCH ON FACEBOOK. Mike & Ruthy tell us, "When inspiration strikes and bandwidth allows we'll be streaming live video on The Hoot's Facebook Page." Tune in at:
(Note that MIXLR is sound-only, but promises a LOT more of the festival.)
The Guide has reported on several festivals that feature web simulcasts of some or all events. We hope that festivals reaching global audiences becomes a universal trend, and congratulate all those who employ the technology and go the extra mile to do this.
# 4 news feature...
CRYSTAL GAYLE INDUCTED INTO GRAND OLE OPRY BY SISTER, OPRY LEGEND LORETTA LYNN
By Scott Adkins
NASHVILLE, Tenn. (January 21, 2017) – Grammy®-winning songstress CRYSTAL GAYLE was inducted into the Grand Ole Opry® this evening at the Ryman Auditorium by her sister and Opry legend LORETTA LYNN. Gayle made her Opry debut 50 years ago on the Ryman stage, singing the country classic “Ribbon of Darkness” at age 16. She had been publicly invited to join the Opry by member CARRIE UNDERWOOD in November.
“We’ve been together a long time, honey. And we’ve never had a fight,” Lynn said. “It was the greatest moment of my life when they made me a member of the Grand Ole Opry in 1962. I know she is just as happy as I was then.” “Being a member of the Opry is just incredible,” Gayle beamed. “It’s really hard to comprehend. I have felt like a part of the Opry for all these years. Now, I’m official.”
Grammy-nominated duo DAILEY & VINCENT is set to be formally inducted into the Opry on Saturday, March 11.
CRYSTAL GAYLE is an award-winning country music icon whose reign in the music business includes 20 No. 1 country hits, six albums certified Gold by the RIAA and the first female artist in country music history to reach platinum sales with her 1977 album, We Must Believe in Magic. Her her 1977 country-pop crossover hit song, "Don't It Make My Brown Eyes Blue,” became an iconic staple and solidified her as one of the top female vocalists during the 1970s and 1980s. Her list of platinum and gold was to be matched only by her awards and accolades. CMA's "Female Vocalist of the Year," for two consecutive years, she became a Grammy Award Winner for "Best Female Vocal Performance," thanks to her beloved "Brown Eyes" - a song that she today admits she has never grown tired of singing. Crystal swept the Academy of Country Music Awards for three of their "Top Female Vocalist" statuettes. She is the recipient of three "American Music Awards," voted by the nation as America's "Favorite Female Artist." Perhaps nothing sums up Crystal's career achievements as well as being awarded with a star on the fabled Hollywood Walk of Fame in October 2009. Also famous for her nearly floor-length hair, she was voted one of the 50 most beautiful people in the world by People Magazine in 1983. She is the younger sister (by 19 years) of singer Loretta Lynn, and a distant cousin of singer Patty Loveless. Gayle also has a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame near Lynn's star. In August 2016, the Academy of Country Music honored Crystal with the Cliffie Stone Pioneer Award during the 10th Annual ACM Honors.™ For more information, visit crystalgayle.com
The Grand Ole Opry® is presented by Humana®. Opry performances are held every Friday and Saturday of the year, with Tuesday Night Opry shows beginning on February 14. To plan an Opry visit, call (800) SEE-OPRY or visit opry.com. The Opry presents the best in country music live every week from Nashville, Tenn. Marking more than nine decades of entertainment, the Opry can be heard at opry.com and wsmonline.com, Opry and WSM mobile apps, SiriusXM Satellite Radio, and its flagship home, 650 AM-WSM. The Grand Ole Opry is owned by Ryman Hospitality Properties (NYSE: RHP).
More info at: www.opry.com.
# 5 news feature...
TOP 25 SONGS HONORING WOMEN, BUT TIMED FOR THE WOMENS MARCH?
This week, "The Alternate Root" (www.thealternateroot.com) selected their choice of the "Top 25 Songs Honoring (the) Women's March." There's plenty of great music in their list. The idea of selecting songs in honor of special people is always a good notion, because it makes us more mindful, on an ongoing basis. But the timing of this raises some issues. Is it honoring or exploiting when a list of songs is tied to an event that has overt political overtones that transcend its announced purpose?
The Alternate Root wrote, "Women and their supporters took the first steps of protest on Saturday, January 21, 2017 as marchers took to the streets in all fifty states in the U.S., and continued the line around the world. The universal message was clear no matter what the numbers say as marching feet took on the role of fingers and fists raised in defiance. The power of the people served the government notice... we are here and we are watching. Pink was the color of the day for hats as all races came together to take a stand."
There are words in there that are unambiguously confrontational: "fists," "protest," "defiance."
Not exactly the words we would choose to honor anyone, or to celebrate women in song. Still, we chose to bring you the list of the songs, and the link to go hear them. We do that because the music is good, even if the introductory words are not. And because any dialog created by the context and timing of the presentation are, if they produce some mindful contemplation and reflection, a good thing.
Here's the list:
1 Aretha Franklin - Respect (from the album 30 Greatest Hits)
2 Lucinda Williams – Awakening (from the album Blessed)
3 Nikki Lane – Highway Queen (from the album Highway Queen)
4 Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings - I Learned the Hard Way (from the soundtrack album Miss Sharon Jones)
5 Amanda Shires – My Love (The Storm) (from the album My Piece of Land)
6 Indigo Girls – Closer to Fine (from the album Indigo Girls)
7 Calico the band – High Road (from the album Rancho California)
8 Margo Price - Four Years of Chances (from the album Midwestern Farmer’s Daughter)
9 Ruthie Foster – Keep Your Big Mouth Shut (from the album …First Came Memphis Minnie)
10 Mary Chapin Carpenter - The Things That We Are Made Of (from the album The Things That We Are Made Of)
11 Mary Gauthier - Oh Soul (from the album Trouble and Love)
12 A Traveling Song – Alice Wallace (from the album Music, Memories, and Pride)
13 Shelby Lynne – Be in the Now (from the album I Can’t Imagine)
14 Gretchen Peters - Woman on the Wheel (from the album Hello Cruel World)
15 Melissa Etheridge – All American Girl (from the album Yes I Am)
16 Anne McCue – Broken Promise Land (from the album Broken Promise Land)
17 Bettye Lavette - You Don’t Know Me at All (from the album The Scene of the Crime)
18 Allison Moorer - Gonna Get It Wrong (from the album Down to Believing)
19 Julie Christensen and Stone Cupid - Shed My Skin (from the album The Cardinal)
20 Joan Jett – You Don’t Own Me (from the album Bad Reputation)
21 Amelia White - River of My Dreams (from the album Old Postcard)
22 Fanny – The First Time in a Long Time (from the album First Time in a Long Time)
23 Trio (Dolly Parton, Emmylou Harris, and Linda Ronstadt) - I’ve Had Enough (from the album Trio)
24 Ashleigh Flynn – How the West Was Won (from the album A Million Stars)
25 Sisters Are Doin’ It for Themselves – Eurythmics featuring Aretha Franklin (from the album Be Yourself Tonight)
Listen to any or all of the songs, see a photo of each artist or band, and/or order a copy of the CD that holds each song, at:
# 6 news feature...
LIVE OAK MUSIC FESTIVAL TIX GO ON SALE MONDAY; 1st PERFORMERS ANNOUNCED
Tickets Go on Sale Monday, January 30th; Early Bird ticket pricing through Friday, March 17th
A Central Coast favorite in the hills above Santa Barbara for 29 Years, and a benefit for KCBX Public Radio, this one is a perennial favorite and family-friendly festival. With three days of music and dancing and live performances on three stages that encompass Folk, Blues, Roots Rock, Gypsy Jazz, World Music, Funk, Singer-Songwriters, and Alt Country, it offers an eclectic range with something for everyone. Plus, as the proven way to fund a public radio station without all those excruciating pledge drives, it just can't be beat.
This Father's Day weekend festival celebrates the love of music, dancing, nature, food, beverage, arts, crafts and good old fashion family fun. Get up and dance or just relax in the shade. You'll fit-in.
Telluride has its "Festivarians." Live Oak has its frequently updated "Oakie News" and online interaction with all the other "Live Oakies," plus its Facebook page, Twitter and Instagram.
"Every year it gets better and better. I love all the music Live Oak offers. I am always excited to hear a new band or artist I would have never discovered on my own."
— Ann, Live Oakie since 2007.
Confirmed acts so far:
JACKIE GREEN (Friday, June 16th); soulful singer-songwriter and multi-instrumentalist; plays American roots styles in "timeless, personally-charged music."
THE PAUL THORN BAND (Sunday, June 18th); Southern roots rock and blues from Nashville direct to the Live Oak Main Stage.
SAM OUTLAW (Sunday, June 18th); California Country, steeped in the music, mythos, and classic vibes of everything from '60s Bakersfield honky-tonk to '70s Laurel Canyon troubadour.
JOE CRAVEN & THE SOMETIMERS (Friday, June 16th); crazy good pickin' & so much fun, featuring longtime Live Oak emcee and mega-multi-instrumentalist JOE CRAVEN, with BRUCE MacMILLAN and JONATHAN STOYANOFF. Their analog/power tool box includes both upright and electric bass, various guitars, Dobro, lap steel, mandolin, octave mandolin, fiddle, "more cowbell," and who knows what else.
THE TIPSY GYPSIES (Friday, June 16th); retro funky jazz, blues and pop from this outfit who started as a gypsy jazz group over 5 years ago and evolved into a full electric group playing a lively repertoire of Blues, Jazz, and Pop music from the 1910s to the 2010s.
MOONSHINER COLLECTIVE (Sunday, June 18th); soulful and upbeat folk rock from San Luis Obispo-based multi-instrumentalist singer-songwriter DAN CURCIO & co., drawing from a diverse range of Folk, Rock and Americana influences.
THE TURKEY BUZZARDS, alt-country duo
WORDSAUCE, hip-hop funk band
SOMETHING RIDICULOUS JUGGLERS: "...no matter where our career takes us, there is a reason we will always keep Father's Day Weekend open for Live Oak: the community and experience of this festival are one of a kind." — Something Ridiculous Jugglers.
MORE PERFORMERS to be announced soon. Stay tuned to the festival's website.
THREE DAYS OF CAMPING available: Camp or join your friends and family for a day outing.
JAMMING: Musician jams and kids laughter fill the air at the Live Oak Campground. Under the oak trees there is music for all.
MUSICIAN WORKSHOPS are scheduled in addition to the main stage acts.
TALENT SHOW and KIDS ACTIVITIES: there is no shortage of activities for the kids, little and big. Every generation can join in the fun of building a musical instrument, listening to a storyteller, learning to juggle, or do silk painting, crafting pottery, face painting, tie dye, wood craft, and the very popular Talent Show.
FOOD, BEVERAGE, ART, family and friends: many artists showcase their talents in a fun-to-visit artists village. That's joined by a nice selection of food and beverage vendors including wine and craft beers. With the music as the main event, all make for a great atmosphere for families and friends to join up. You can get a ticket for the day or camp for three days under the stars and among the beautiful Live Oaks in the Santa Ynez Mountains.
"Excellent. So much fun! It's almost like magic how several thousand people can come together and be an instant community for 3 days"
— T.Hopkins, San Luis Obispo
Tickets go on sale January 30th. Early Bird ticket pricing runs through Friday, March 17, 2017.
Before purchasing tickets, review the info online, because you need to get familiar with some esoteric details. If you need assistance, call their office, at: 805-781-3030, Monday-Friday, 9 am-5 pm.
Call 805-781-3030 or online at: http://www.liveoakfest.org/tickets
Additional info on the festival: http://www.liveoakfest.org
# 7 news feature...
CALLS ISSUED: 57th ANNUAL TOPANGA BANJO•FIDDLE CONTEST & FOLK FESTIVAL
Thing is, dawdling can mean you don't get organized until after the quotas are full for the category in which you want to compete. That applies to becoming a contestant. It can also leave you flatfooted if you drag your soles in submitting your graphic art design.
The best one-day music festival in Southern California just published a notice that reads, "Calling ALL CONTESTANTS, VOLUNTEERS and GRAPHIC ARTISTS." Now, it says registration for the contests opens February 1. And you really need to look at that opening date, and not the close-of-entries date. Because the deadline date won't mean a thing if your instrument category fills-up. That applies to all the things that fill-up early, like the Band Competition and the Singing Competition, too.
This year's event is SUNDAY, MAY 21, 2017, from 9 am–6 pm. The event returns as guests of the National Park Service, at its longtime home, in the Old West town movie set and adjacent meadow and oak tree forest at:
Paramount Ranch, 2903 Cornell Rd, Agoura Hills, CA 91301
All the entry info -- and the prize info, including how to win the honoraria as this year's GRAPHIC ARTIST for the official T-shirt and other art, AND, how to be one of the VOLUNTEERS who gets-in FREE -- all that essential stuff -- isn't just available around the cracker barrel or the pot belly stove down at the general store. It has a Cyberian presence at:
And you can talk to a live human at:
Or get the deets on the frequently-updated hotline, at: 818-382-4819
One of the sponsoring organization's longtime directors, JOY FELT, asked to speak to you directly. And she arrived prepared to do that by the numbers. So, take it away, Joy...
"WE’RE GOING TO CELEBRATE OUR 57th YEAR!!
"All links to information below can be found on our Home Page
*** (1) Save the Date: Sunday, May 21, 2017
*** (2) Contestant Registration: February 1 through April 15, 2017.
*** (2a) The ON-LINE Registration Form will be available on 2/1/17.
*** (2b) FLATFOOT Dancing continues as a competitive category.
*** (2c) Special Dulcimer presentation and workshop are featured this year.
*** (3) NEW RULES for Intermediate Level Instrument Contestants are under the 'Contestant FAQ’s.'
*** (3a) MID-MORNING COMPETITION for Banjo Fiddle, Mandolin and Flat-picking Guitar
*** (4) ADVANCE TICKET PURCHASE: Begins Feb 1, 2017 – Save money / avoid long lines
*** (5) GRAPHIC DESIGN AWARD: Submissions due by March 15, 2017 ($650 Design Award)
*** (6) NOMINATE MUSIC LEGEND AWARD: Submissions due by March 15, 2017
*** (7) SIGN UP FOR EMAIL LIST - link on our the festival's Home Page
*** (8) SIGN-UP TO VOLUNTEER and enjoy a FREE Admission. A Contest and Festival of this high quality does not just happen. Could you be our next decision maker? What would you love to do the most? What are your talents? Tell us what interests you would like to pursue while working with an experienced mentor.
*** (9) DISTRIBUTE INFO -- Want to get “Save the Date” Postcards out there? Contact Joy at the “info” address below for details on that and getting Free Admission.
*** (10) LIKE the Contest/Festival on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/topangabanjofiddle
*** (11) FOLLOW the event preps on Twitter: https://twitter.com/TopangaContest
"ALL INFORMATION can be found on the website at: www.topangabanjofiddle.org
"Call the hotline (818-382-4819) or email Joy at email@example.com "
-- Joy Felt, Board of Directors,
57th AnnualTopanga Banjo•Fiddle Contest & Folk Festival
Paramount Ranch, May 21, 2017
Looks like Joy 'purt near covers it. We'll be there, as always, in the thick o' things. The Guide's editor has a longtime gig as an emcee. Drop by the Railroad Stage and say howdy.
# 8 news feature...
GRAMMY MUSEUM'S UPCOMING PROGRAMS: BANJO, HAWAI'IAN, MORE
The museum offers plenty, and we are fortunate they're located in L.A. They always have more programs than we list here. We tend to restrict our write-ups to the things of interest to Folk-Americana musical tastes.
The mission of the GRAMMY Museum is to explore and celebrate the enduring legacies of all forms of music; the creative process; the art and technology of the recording process; and the history of the GRAMMY Awards®, the premier recognition of recorded music accomplishment.
Tix and info, call 213-765-6800 or online at www.grammymuseum.org
Visit the museum to enjoy its unique galleries and exhibits. It's located at 800 W Olympic Bl (entrance around the corner on Figueroa, and it's part of the "LA LIVE" complex, near the Staples Center), Los Angeles 90015. Museum hours are Mon-Fri 10:30 am-6:30 pm, Sat & Sun 10 am-6:30 pm.
Spotlight: Sierra Hull
Presented by American Express
In conjunction with the Americana Music Association & 88.5FM KCSN
Wednesday, February 1, 2017; 8 pm
The GRAMMY Museum is thrilled to welcome rising folk singer/songwriter and mandolin player Sierra Hull to the Clive Davis Theater for an intimate conversation on her career and GRAMMY-nominated album, Weighted Mind (for Best Folk Album), moderated by Scott Goldman, Vice President of the GRAMMY Foundation and MusiCares. The conversation will be followed by a performance.
Icons of the Music Industry: Ken Ehrlich
Tuesday, January 31, 2017; 8 pm
Ahead of the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards, please join us as we welcome back legendary television producer/director, and longtime GRAMMY Awards Executive Producer, Ken Ehrlich to the Clive Davis Theater as we profile his impressive four-decade career. This program is free. GRAMMY Museum members receive priority seating.
We Are Friends: A Lifetime Party of '70s Hawaiian Music - A Mele Mei in L.A. event
Wednesday, February 8, 2017; 8 pm
Join us for an intimate concert in the Clive Davis Theater featuring performances by Henry Kapono, Johnny Valentine, Alx Kawakami, Blayne Asing, Malani Bilyeu, Gaylord Holomalia, GRAMMY nominee Kalani Pe'a, and more! Taking place the week prior to the 59th Annual GRAMMY Awards, the special event will be held in conjunction with the opening of the Museum's latest exhibit, We Are Friends: A Lifetime Party of '70s Hawaiian Music.
Homegrown: Silversun Pickups
Presented by American Express
Wednesday, January 25, 2017; 8 pm
Spotlight: Eric Hutchinson
Presented by American Express
Thursday, January 26, 2017; 8 pm
"Project Angel Food Benefit" featuring The Groovy Rednecks, The Ingrates, Talkin Treason & Ryman Rails
Friday, January 27, 2017
Project Angel Food is nonprofit organization in Los Angeles County which provides free and nutritious meals for men and women too sick to shop and cook for themselves. The mission is to feed and nourish the sick as they battle and are disabled from critical disease or illness such as cancer, congestive heart failure, COPD/emphysema, diabetes, end stage renal failure, HIV/AIDS, stroke/cardiovascular accidents and other myriad serious diseases. Nutritionally-balanced meals are cooked and delivered at no cost to the client directly to their home. They have served over 9 Million meals since 1989. Driving the truck and delivering these meals is Tex Troester, singer of the outlaw country band The Groovy Rednecks. Formed in 1991 in Hollywood, The Groovy Rednecks have been delivering old school country rock music with punk rock novelty lyrics in the tradition of Bobby Bare, Kinky Friedman, The Hickoids, and Shel Silverstein for 865 shows across LA in the last 25 years. The Groovy Rednecks and their friends The Ingrates, Talkin Treason, and Ryman Rails perform this benefit where 100% of the door goes to Project Angel Food. Cafe NELA is 21 and over.
"A Celebration Of The Ash Grove" with Ed Pearl Featuring Special Performances by Bernie Pearl, Barbara Morrison, Claudia Lennear, Jackson Browne, and Get Lit Teen Poetry with Rhiannon McGavin
Monday, January 30, 2017; 7:30 pm
SOLD OUT (We told you about this one, weeks ago.)
# 9 news feature...
NAMM FEATURED SPEAKER: TECH EXPECTATIONS, OR A DYSTOPIAN FUTURE AHEAD?
Let's be clear up front: we don't understand anyone who doesn't harbor suspicion for the Brave New World of cyber-connected everything. Largely, that's because we've researched and reported in various publications, over some period of time, on how every app you download is a delivery vehicle for spyware.
And how that spyware joins more of the same that came with your smartphone. And how your cell phone carrier, by being bribed to allow only a "mandatory Google operating system" has joined Google in making a ton of money by infesting you with spyware that you cannot shut-off or opt-out of.
We have reached the point of ubiquitous spyware whose chief function is to collect data on your every move so it can be bundled and sold to whomever wants to buy it. Granted, they must buy it in bulk; but everything that identifies and cross-connects you as an individual is included. Even though the people who know everything about you are not paying you for the privilege of spying on you -- you are the one paying for the privilege of being spied-on.
And it keeps multiplying and being justified, like the premise that soon, you will be warned of any impending health challenge. Like a heart attack, or habits that lead to diabetes.
Of course, there is no mention that all that data is bundled and sold with everything else. Meaning that a potential employer might refuse to hire someone because they don't like something about the person's health profile that the person, him or her self, doesn't even know.
If you've just read that with amusement, thinking it's no big deal, you need to spend some time reading those 70+ page "user agreements" that come with every new app, and that pop-up with all those "mandatory upgrades." It's all in there, in gobbledegook legalese. That's how they make it lawful to violate your Fourth Amendment rights and spy on you. You have given them your permission.
So, when the annual NAMM Show booked a NAMM U Breakfast Session speaker, among its daily variety of speakers, to inform and delight the audience with word of all the interactive cyber-based marvels that are just around the corner? Marvels that will connect everything about a music student or musician customer with everything that's known (somewhere, in some cyberian cloud) about their every whim and preference and experience?
We were not amused at what we heard.
Oh, there's no question the speaker is a qualified expert in the field. He is business expert Larry Ballin, and he is well versed on what's out there now, being applied in some esoteric role, and how it will soon be adapted and marketed for more universal applications. And he shared some of his knowledge of what's under development, and how that will revolutionize some aspect of something, or change everything about everything. Given all that, it seemed odd that his topic had the almost innocuous title of, "20/20 Vision: Future Proof Your Business."
That "20/20" in the title is a bit of dual entendre. Mr. Ballin envisioned for his audience numerous aspects of how the world of the year 2020 will be markedly different than what has already outpaced our ability to comprehend current implications as we begin 2017.
Perhaps it's important to remember that the NAMM audience is primarily comprised of people who don't get the parade of corporate "motivational speakers" and "seminar experts" to which big employers subject everyone in their work force. The stalwart members of NAMM own music stores and instrument making shops or importing offices with some warehouse space. If they're on the electronics end, their specialty products are mostly from small companies with a limited number of employees. Sure, there are the Sonys and the Yamahas, and they're well represented at NAMM, with fine wares on display. But in terms of being big enough to book the specialists on the speaking circuit into their shops or offices? Very few NAMM members are in that league.
So, many of the people in that breakfast session were getting one of their three mornings of annual exposure to a professional speaker who does presentations with projected slide frames of charts and graphs.
That said, we have arrived at the second thing we need to make clear: we are not being critical of NAMM for booking Mr. Ballin, nor do we doubt the likelihood of the predictions he made. Actually, we appreciate him and NAMM for presenting something that we're still thinking about. Even though it's something that bothers us to the core.
What we don't like, and what we advocate everyone question and resist, is whether there is really a need for the kind of universality of interconnected everything.
That, and what else it made us realize: we believe we are seeing a lemming-like populace who is ignoring the admonition to "not go gently into that good night" -- one that will be fraught with nightmares.
Have you ever encountered the topic in a modern discussion, or in the original 19th century essay, "The Voluptuary of the Future"-?
It dates from about the 1880s. It predicted the kind of future that we saw on full, detailed, dystopian display at that NAMM breakfast session. Drones delivering everything from one or another mega-warehouse where all orders are taken and filled by robots. "E-buttons," a whole matrix of them, affixed to every shelf in your home and workplace, anywhere you keep anything you consume. Literally, those buttons encompass everything -- so that, as the speaker said, "When you take the last roll of toilet paper off the shelf, you just push the e-button with the right logo on that short portion of that shelf, and in 45 minutes, a drone delivers a six-pack of Charmin. No wasting time doing mundane things like going to the store."
At that moment, we thought, "Yeah. No mundane things like having jobs with UPS or at Ralphs or Vons. No competitors. Just one 'We Supply Everything' hall of robotics owned by a mega-giant corporation."
Part of Mr. Ballin's presentation included "two invisible robots that live inside two computers." One took a freeform lead on fake violin and the other, listening to the first, improvised a fake cello. Yes, virtual creativity, in reactive collaboration.
We couldn't get "The Voluptuary" out of head. That ancient book has that rather provocative title because it foresees a time when you won't need to attract the opposite sex. You just signal the voluptuary with the proscribed thought, and your, uhh, "needs" are handled. By automation.
The concept has been recurrent in academia, particularly in philosophy, and sometimes in bioethics. Much derives from "Well-being and the Priority of Values," with discussions of "truth-adjusted" attitudinal hedonism, wherein the goal is happiness, not well-being. Sometimes, the conflict of "biases" with "cultural norms" is considered, as in "Feeling happy (but not too happy) ...not necessarily elated or ecstatic."
J. J. C. Smart gets to the essence of the original concept of "the voluptuary of the future" in describing a person with "a number of electrodes protruding from his skull, one to give the physical pleasure of sex."
Uhh, you have seen the tech publications' reviews of implanted chips that facilitate interactive devices, haven't you?
Do you have the creeps yet? We sure as hell do.
And if you don't? Remember that we told you the "mandatory Google operating system" in your smartphone is spyware? We tried to Google the phrase, "Voluptuary of the Future." No record. Though the ixQuick.com search engine gets results.
Currently, the number-one bestseller on Amazon is George Orwell's 68-year-old novel, "1984." It's about a dystopian, high-tech future where everyone is surveilled so all actions and activities can be controlled, and the language has been re-formed to meet the needs of the masters. If our mention of that book leaves you wondering what the devil we're talking about, you really need to read it.
# 10 news feature...
22nd ANNUAL HOLLYWOOD PERFORMANCE MARATHON, JAN. 28th
This is a multi-venue and multifaceted affair. Starting at 3 pm, and continuing until MUCH later that same night...
It's the 22nd annual "HOLLYWOOD PERFORMANCE MARATHON" at Theatre of NOTE -- also on Saturday Jan 28. Comedic nu-folk artist PHIL WARD tells us, "I'm in this almost every year and it's the damnedest thing you'll ever see. It starts at 3 pm; $20 gets you in (it's a big fundraiser for NOTE) and you can come and go all day and night. Usually wraps up around 2 am on Sunday. I'll take the stage sometime between 10 pm and midnight and play a couple of songs. But don't come for me; come for the unparalleled extravaganza of eclectic performances, including (in past years) juggling, poetry, storytelling, improv, song, dance, comedy, performance art, genuine celebs and more. 1517 N Cahuenga, Hollywood, 90028. Come on, get crazy!"
And who should we hear from again but PHIL WARD. He tells us, "It's our second appearance as a boffo double header! I'll do a full set, followed by THE SECRET GARDENERS, who will rock and roll all people in the sanctuary and some on the sidewalk outside. It's all part of the 'CITY ROOTS CONCERT SERIES,' presented by the untamable Alexia Salvatierra at 7 pm at Hope Lutheran Church, 6720 Melrose Av, 90038. (Hollywood? West Hollywood? You decide.) $15 suggested donation (but no one will be turned away for lack of funds), and you get food! Lots of food! Great food! Trust me on this. Plenty of free street parking, or run into the church and grab a parking pass that allows you to park in the neighborhood without interference from The Man, and I think we all know who The Man is as of Jan 20."
# 11 news feature...
FREE "NIGHT ON BROADWAY" ARTS & MUSICAL FEST BRINGS 10 STAGES, JAN. 28th
(From L.A. Weekly's "Things to Do")
The 3rd annual Night on Broadway festival, Saturday Jan. 28, 2017, from 4-11 pm, highlights entertainment, art, food and nighttime fun along Downtown L.A.'s Broadway from 3rd St. to Olympic Blvd. in celebration of the 9th anniversary of Councilmember José Huizar’s Bringing Back Broadway initiative.
Enjoy – for free – 10 stages of live entertainment, including six beautiful historic theatres, featuring hundreds of acts - from local talent to national stars, and a mile long stretch of Broadway filled with art installations, food trucks and interactive experiences.
L.A. is a mecca for creative talent of all kinds, and Night on Broadway is where it all shines. Plan your own, unique #NightOnBroadway. On Jan. 20 download the Night on Broadway mobile app with all you need to navigate the event, plus enjoy a built-in augmented reality gamified event experience like none other.
# 12 news feature...
TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT, LEGENDARY EAGLE & POCO MEMBER, PLAYING JANUARY DATES
Announces tour of critically-acclaimed new solo album; Spring dates are all East Coast and Midwest, starting April 18
With a critically-acclaimed new solo album, "Leap of Faith," out now via Benowen Records, legendary musician TIMOTHY B. SCHMIT is essentially choosing Southern Cal and Vegas to preview what the rest of the country will see this spring.
And his new album is a winner, all around. Back on Sep. 23, Rolling Stone called it, "a soundtrack for that sort of pitch-perfect American landscape, mixing bluegrass, Cajun, rock, Seventies soul and California country..."
In the midst of his current January West Coast run of shows, Schmit announced Friday, January 27, that he has booked a spring East Coast and Midwest leg in support of "Leap of Faith," his new 12-track solo album, available now via Benowen Records as a 180 gram 2-LP vinyl set, CD, and digitally.
For the East Coast run which kicks off April 18 in Chicago, the groundbreaking vocalist, songwriter and bass player from the legendary rock groups EAGLES and POCO and his band will perform songs from Timothy's four-decade long career. More tour dates will be announced in the coming weeks, but no assurance he'll get back to L.A. anytime soon.
The Orange County Register reviewed Timothy's sold-out show on January 7 at the Coach House in San Juan Capistrano, with writer Tony Saavedra noting:
"There's no mistaking that voice, that crystal voice, cutting through the harmonies, soaring on solos. The backbone of the Eagles' sound. The voice of Timothy B. Schmit. His songs, including 'I Can't Tell You Why,' 'I Don't Want to Hear Anymore,' and 'Love Will Keep Us Alive,' were the gems of the Eagles' last couple of albums. They're the songs that make an audience collectively swoon. Be it on background or lead vocals, Schmit - like his predecessor in the Eagles, Randy Meisner -- is a jewel. And he shined Saturday, fronting his own band, playing his own music, at a sold-out Coach House in San Juan Capistrano... his own songbook, taken from the past 40 years, is a strong and lively mix of life-affirming country-rock and funk. At times playful. At other times soulful, but always engaging. While pleasant enough in their recorded form, these songs need to be experienced live. They take on a whole new energy and a charm that can only be lent by the graceful Schmit, who at 69 still has that boyish wonder belying his rock star persona. He started off Saturday with 'One More Mile,' a swampy, backwater piece of Americana that shows off Schmit's skill on acoustic guitar and set the tone for the show. Schmit quickly brought out his secret weapon, the DOOBIE BROTHERS' JOHN McFEE on guitar, fiddle, pedal steel, and the list goes on. McFee traded blistering guitar solos through the night with Waddy Wachtel-lookalike HANK LINDERMAN. The vocal harmonies were especially tight on 'My Hat' and the knee-slappin' 'Red Dirt Road.' Both are featured on Schmit's new CD, 'Leap of Faith.' One highlight of a night full of them was the Poco tune 'Keep on Tryin',' done with only an acoustic guitar and a handful of voices. Just pure, unembellished talent. Schmit dedicated 'Tequila Sunrise' to his comrade GLENN FREY, who died one year ago this month. 'Wonder why the right words never come,' he sang. Oh, but sometimes they do. And in this case the right words are 'pure joy.' Onstage and in the audience."
Back on December 12th, Timothy joined Steve Jones of the Sex Pistols for an in-depth interview on his "JONESY'S JUKEBOX" show. You can listen to the archived interview and hear "What I Should Do," the latest single from the new album. That link is at the bottom of the page at:
Bass Player magazine wrote in its December issue, "...veteran Eagles bassist/vocalist Timothy B. Schmit spins some memorable yarns on his sixth solo outing -- all delivered within his folk-rock, country-rock, yacht-rock, and rock & roll wheelhouse. The reggae-tinged 'Slow Down' and 'All Those Faces' establish Schmit's overall preference for rich, minor-chord colors. Downstairs, his bass leads the backbeat pulse of 'What Should I Do,' while 'You're So Wild' starts with a country two feel before Schmit's upper-register riffing provides the subhook in the edgy chorus. Closing matters is the horn and accordion-infused ballad gem, 'This Waltz'."
The new 12-track solo album was recorded in his own Los Angeles studio with co-producer an engineer HANK LINDERMAN. "Leap of Faith" marks the culmination of Schmit's unhurried, yet inspired reflections of life. Illuminated by an array of fine musicians and singers, the new album plays like a multicolored corona around Schmit's distinctive artistry. From the jaunty opening track "My Hat" to the soaring harmonies and heartfelt reflections of "This Waltz," this is more than just another album in a great artist's catalog.
Writing and recording between touring with the EAGLES, the songs on this album have a broad compass. "Slow Down" is a note to self on escaping life's pressures, coasting along on a reggae pulse sweetened by jazz giant GARY BURTON's vibraphone, while "What I Should Do" has a Muscle Shoals feel; steamy, funky, and sensual. On "Goodbye, My Love," he takes us deep down into traditional country with PAUL FRANKLIN's glistening steel guitar layered over the changes. And on "It's Alright," his most intimate song, Schmit needs only his own acoustic guitar to express profound love.
Timothy B. Schmit's new album, "LEAP OF FAITH" is available on CD or as a 180 gram 2-LP vinyl set. Those items alone, and exclusive bundles are available at:
LOCAL TOUR DATES:
Thu, Jan 26, 8 pm (6 pm doors), WITH JACK TEMPCHIN, in Hermosa Beach, CA, at Saint Rocke; tix: http://www.saintrocke.com/event/1371945-timothy-b-schmit-eagles-hermosa-beach/
Sat, Jan 28, 8 pm, in North Las Vegas, NV, at Aliante Casino; tix:
Sun, Jan 29, 9 pm, in Pasadena, at The Rose; tix:
His SPRING TOUR DATES starting April 18th are all in the East. Catch him in January in Southern Cal or Vegas.
# 13 news feature...
GRAMMY NOMINATED CAJUN/ZYDECO BAND, THE REVELERS, PLAY CALTECH, JAN. 28
THE REVELERS, the great Cajun/Zydeco band from Lafayette, Louisiana, perform in Ramo Auditorium at Caltech, Saturday, January 28 at 8 pm. This band is the result of melding together members from two great Cajun bands, the PINE LEAF BOYS and the RED STICK RAMBLERS, who acted and performed music in HBO's New Orleans epic television show, "Treme."
The new band's CD, "Get Ready," was nominated for a Grammy Award in 2016. THE REVELERS feature BLAKE MILLER (accordion & vocals), CHAS JUSTUS (guitar & vocals), DANIEL COOLIK (violin), GLENN FIELDS (drums & vocals), ERIC FREY (bass), and CHRIS MILLER (saxophone). This show is going to be tons of fun.
At the series website, www.pasadenafolkmusicsociety.org, you can listen to their song, "Toi, Tu Veux M'voir," and a few more songs from a session at KEXP radio.
Doug Loach of Songlines Magazine wrote, "If you've ever been nagged by the feeling that all Cajun and zydeco music was starting to sound a bit too much like the same old thing, The Revelers will toss that notion back on your ears. This is Louisiana-bred party music sustained by the sonorous signature of its native milieu, but perked up the an injection of contemporary pop, rock, and R&B."
This show is on the Caltech campus in Ramo Auditorium, south of Beckman Auditorium (Big Beckman). That's southeast of Beckman Institute (Little Beckman), where the series usually has its shows. They'll post signs to guide you.
Tickets for this show are $25 for adults, $5 for children, and they can be obtained by calling the Caltech Ticket Office at 626-395-4652 Monday- Friday between 9 am and 4 pm. You can also buy tickets in person at the Ticket Office in Winnett Student Center, near the intersection of San Pasqual Street and Holliston Avenue, with no service charge. Give them a call before you go and they can tell you exactly where they are. You can also buy tickets online at the link below, and at the door.
Find out about the series' other shows at:
Tix for this show at:
Map to venue (Ramo Auditorium) at:
# 14 news feature...
SUPERB FOLK-AMERICANA & CELTIC COMING TO SAN PEDRO'S GRAND ANNEX
We've told you all about the Grand Vision Foundation. How they saved the glorious old movie palace, the Warner Grand. How they maintained the momentum and established a more intimate venue two doors away. And that they book lots of fine Folk-Americana acts at the latter (where these three events will happen).
In FEBRUARY, they'll outdo themselves. Have a look and a listen, then jump on some tix before they're gone with the wind.
WILLIE WATSON (formerly of Old Crow Medicine Show) plays Saturday, Feb 11 at 8 pm. Folksinger, multi-instrumentalist and songwriter, Willie Watson is a leading pioneer in the renaissance of traditional and old-time music. Opening for Willie is the delightful Jessica Fichot, one of our local faves (when she's not galavanting on a big tour somewhere).
Listen to Willie play "Dry Bones" (Live at SXSW 2014) at:
THE FIRE burns with Celtic intensity on Friday, Feb 3 at 8 pm. It's high-energy Scottish music with world class fiddling, bagpipes, guitar, bodhran, whistle & bouzouki. Scottish Fiddle Champion REBECCA LOMNICKY, piper DAVID BREWER, and guitarist ADAM HENDEY are joined for this concert by guest singer CHRISTA BURCH.
Listen to them performing "The Panda Set" at:
ROSE'S PAWN SHOP plays Saturday, Feb 18 at 8 pm. A little bit bluegrass, a little bit alt-country and a whole lot of rock n' roll. Known for watertight musicianship, soaring harmonies and deeply melodic songwriting, "Rose's Pawn Shop will knock your socks off! " says Grand Annex booker Taran.
Listen to them performing "The Arsonist" at:
Hmm. Didja notice? THE FIRE doesn't perform "The Arsonist"-? ROSE'S PAWN SHOP performs "The Arsonist." Somebody needs to get the memo. Or just tell 'em when you go see their shows.
All three dates are at the Grand Annex, 434 W 6th St, San Pedro 90731; tix at: 310 833-4813 or www.grandvision.org
# 15 news feature...
TRIBUTE TO LANGSTON HUGHES: STORIES, POEMS, JAZZ & THE BLUES, ON FEB. 4th
The venue might throw you. They're presenting a fine event. Forest Lawn Presents "A Wordtheatre Tribute to Langston Hughes: Stories, Poems, Jazz and the Blues," on February 4, 2017, at 7:30 pm.
It's at Forest Lawn Hollywood Hills, indoors, in the Hall of Liberty, 6300 Forest Lawn Dr, Los Angeles 90068.
Free admission & free parking.
# 16 news feature...
HOT TUNA TO JOIN TEDESCHI TRUCKS BAND “WHEELS OF SOUL” SUMMER TOUR
By Cash Edwards
Tedeschi Trucks Band has announced the third installment of their wildly popular Wheels of Soul Summer Tour. The 12-piece ensemble led by husband and wife Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks will be supported on all dates by longtime friends and collaborators Hot Tuna (Jorma Kaukonen, Jack Casady and drummer Justin Guip) and masters of soulful folk, The Wood Brothers. The tour is scheduled to hit many of the country’s premier outdoor venues on the most ambitious Wheels of Soul tour to date July 1 through 30, 2017. For the latest ticket on-sale information, please visit: www.tedeschitrucksband.com.
With an incomparable live show that embodies the vision of a large touring family bound by music, the Wheels of Soul summer dates are a favorite among fans and critics alike. The Oakland Press deemed Wheels of Soul “the best musical hang of the season…a celebration of kindred creative spirits,” while Denver Westword calls TTB’s summer package “a wall of talent on stage.”
When asked about joining Wheels of Soul this year Jorma offered excitement and praise, “Tedeschi Trucks is arguably one of the greatest band in the world today. It is an honor for me and my Hot Tuna brothers to be part of this great tour.” Jorma Kaukonen of Hot Tuna crossed paths with Derek and Susan early in their careers and their mutual admiration and kinship grew as Jorma supported TTB on select shows this past year.
For more than four decades, Hot Tuna has played, toured, and recorded some of the best and most memorable acoustic and electric music ever. From their days playing together as teenagers in the Washington, DC area, through years of inventive Psychedelic rock in San Francisco (1996 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Inductees), to their current blues sound, no one has more consistently led American music for the last 50 years than Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady, the founders and continuing core members of Hot Tuna. At the 2016 Grammys, Jorma Kaukonen and Jack Casady were honored with Lifetime Achievement Awards. The two boyhood pals have never wavered in one of the most enduring friendships in Rock history. They are a force in American music.
The annual Wheels of Soul summer run has become more than just a fan favorite; it has become a highlight for the headliners as well. “It’s been great to develop this tour into an annual event where we get a chance to hit the road and share the stage with fellow musicians we love and respect. Each year we try to find bands that share our musical vision while bringing their own unique talents to this traveling circus,” says Susan.
Derek adds that this tour offers a unique opportunity for both the musicians and fans, “Every year as the tour rolls along the collaborations between all the musicians grow and grow. It inspires and challenges us in new ways and I think that really translates to the audience when they see how much fun we’re having with our friends.”
The "Wheels of Soul Summer Tour" 2017 launches July 1 in Gilford, NH, and is set to conclude
July 30 at Red Rocks Amphitheatre in Morrison, CO. Currently, there are no California dates.
Follow Hot Tuna's Escapades:
# 17 news feature...
GRAMMY MUSEUM® AND THE RECORDING ACADEMY® ANNOUNCE PLANS TO DEVELOP GRAMMY MUSEUM IN CHINA
In partnership with Beijing SEEC Culture Media Co., Ltd., Sanya Municipal People's Government, and China Music Vision, "GRAMMY Museum China" is expected to open within the next three years, marking the Museum's first international expansion
On January 9th, simulcast in its Los Angeles home base, the GRAMMY Museum® joined with the Recording Academy®, Beijing SEEC Culture Media Co., Ltd., Sanya Municipal People's Government, and China Music Vision to announce their partnership to develop the first-ever GRAMMY Museum in China, expected to open within the next three years. The announcement was made during a ceremony in Beijing that was attended by GRAMMY Museum Executive Director Bob Santelli, Deputy Executive Director Rita George, Mayor of Sanya Mr. Yanjun Wu, SEEC CEO Boming Wang and President Li Wang, and China Music Vision CEO Mingzhang Sun and Director Ling Yan.
"When we opened the first GRAMMY Museum outside of Los Angeles in 2016 in Cleveland, Mississippi, we knew it was only the beginning," said Santelli. "The opportunity to take the Museum experience internationally is truly a dream come true for me and my staff, and we couldn't be more excited to begin our international expansion in the beautiful city of Sanya, China. We know how passionate the people of China are about American music, and we look forward to bringing its storied history to the country."
Neil Portnow, President/CEO of The Recording Academy stated, "We are proud to celebrate our relationship with SEEC by bringing the GRAMMY Museum's first-ever international expansion to China, a country with a rich history in the arts that places a strong emphasis on the cultural value of music." Portnow also serves as Chair of the GRAMMY Museum Board.
He added, "Advancing The Recording Academy's work and mission internationally is a priority for us, and one that has been particularly welcomed and supported by China, so it makes perfect sense for us to expand the Museum first to this region of the world. We look forward to a bright and successful future in Sanya and beyond."
The first GRAMMY Museum in China is expected to open within the next three years in Sanya, a resort town on the southern end of China's Hainan Island, and will feature approximately 40,000 square feet of exhibit space that includes a temporary exhibit gallery and a theater. The GRAMMY Museum in China will share the focus of the Los Angeles Museum in exploring and celebrating the history of the GRAMMY Awards®, the premier recognition of recorded music accomplishment, through artifacts and exhibits that tell the story of the industry's premiere awards and the artists who have been honored by them.
The GRAMMY Museum is an independent, 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created as a partnership between The Recording Academy and AEG. Paying tribute to music's rich cultural history, the 21st century Museum explores and celebrates the enduring legacies of all forms of music, the creative process, the art and technology of the recording process, and the history of the GRAMMY Awards.
The Los Angeles GRAMMY Museum features 30,000 square feet of interactive permanent and traveling exhibits, with four floors of dynamic and engaging multimedia presentations, and is located within L.A. LIVE, the downtown Los Angeles sports, entertainment and residential district. Through thought-provoking and dynamic public and educational programs and exhibits, guests experience music from a never-before-seen insider perspective that only the GRAMMY Museum can deliver.
You can get information on the museum's programs, temporary exhibits, and concert series at 213-765-6800 or at www.grammymuseum.org
For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @TheGRAMMYMuseum on Twitter and Instagram, and like "The GRAMMY Museum" on Facebook.
Established in 1957, The RECORDING ACADEMY is an organization of musicians, songwriters, producers, engineers and recording professionals dedicated to improving the cultural condition and quality of life for music and its makers. Internationally known for the GRAMMY Awards — the preeminent peer-recognized award for musical excellence and the most credible brand in music — The Recording Academy is responsible for groundbreaking professional development, cultural enrichment, advocacy, education and human services programs. The Academy continues to focus on its mission of recognizing musical excellence, advocating for the well-being of music makers and ensuring music remains an indelible part of our culture. For more information about The Recording Academy, please visit www.grammy.com. For breaking news and exclusive content, follow @RecordingAcad on Twitter, "like" Recording Academy/GRAMMYs on Facebook, and join The Recording Academy's social communities on Google+, Instagram, Tumblr, and YouTube.
BEIJING SEEC CULTURE MEDIA CO., Ltd. is an affiliate of SEEC Group. SEEC, the abbreviation of Stock Exchange Executive Council, initiated and played the important role in the designing and development of China's capital market in early1990s. With the corporatization reform, SEEC started its media business with the publication of series magazines, including CAIJING, Securities Market Weekly, Real Estate, Sports Illustrated, TimeOut and Grazia. As of today, SEEC has become one of the largest media group in China, under which there are more than 20 branded magazines as well as online media such as HEXUN.com., the largest financial portal and CAIJING.com.
CHINA MUSIC VISION Ltd. is the exclusive partner of The Recording Academy in the Greater China for GRAMMY-branded entertainment and educational initiatives. CMV endeavors to bring the top-tier musical experience to the local markets while foster the cultural exchange between the East and West.
Learn more at: www.grammymuseum.org
18) USC's "VISIONS & VOICES" SERIES HAS WIDE RANGE OF QUALITY EVENTS
The Guide celebrates this series, which mixes live music with a variety of arts, cultural, and topically historical programs. Nearly all events are FREE, but reservations are required, and most events fill-up long before the date when they happen.
"500 YEARS OF UTOPIA: UTOPIAN REPRESENTATIONS" is
Tuesday, February 7, at 5 pm, in Doheny Memorial Library, Room 240, on the USC campus.
Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP at
The concept of utopia has provoked the Western political imagination for 500 years, since the term was coined by Sir Thomas More to describe the ideal metropolis. But how do we envision utopia in the context of a 21st-century megacity like Los Angeles, with its particular environmental, social, and economic challenges? In a multimedia conversation, archivist and cultural historian Megan Prelinger will discuss these questions with USC Libraries Discovery Fellow Geoff Manaugh.
"BYZANTIUM 2.0: ACOUSTIC TIME TRAVEL" is
Thursday, February 9, at 7 pm, at Saint Sophia Cathedral, 1324 Normandie Av, Los Angeles 90006. Reception to follow.
Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP at
Enter a dark space and take a journey across time to medieval Byzantium. Using cutting-edge immersive-audio technologies, we will recreate virtual ancient acoustic spaces in this fascinating event featuring performances by award-winning chanters Spyridon Antonopoulos and Dimos Papatzalakis and Paz Lenchantin, the current bassist for the Pixies. The performance will be followed by a conversation exploring technology and the implications of recreating ancient spaces.
"SOLEDAD BARRIO AND NOCHE FLAMENCA: ANTIGONA" is "A Visions and Voices Signature Event," Wednesday, March 1, at 7:30 pm, in Bovard Auditorium on the USC campus.
Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning Monday, January 30, at 9 a.m. RSVP at
Don’t miss Antigona, Martín Santangelo’s stunning flamenco interpretation of Sophocles’ Antigone, performed by Noche Flamenca, a company celebrated around the world for its spellbinding performances. The production stars Bessie Award–winning flamenco superstar Soledad Barrio as a disenfranchised woman struggling against patriarchal authority. At its heart, the story of Antigone resonates with the roots of flamenco, which is based on the strength of family. Antigone’s story is her humanity and her quest to bury her brother regardless of the circumstances.
"SOUND MAZE" is "A Visions and Voices Signature Event" running
Friday, March 3 through Wednesday, March 8
Opening Reception: Saturday, March 4, from 5 to 7 pm.
USC Fisher Museum of Art
Admission is free. Reservations requested for the opening reception. RSVP beginning Wednesday, February 1, at 9 a.m. RSVP at
Listen, play, and discover sound anew as you improvise with more than a dozen newly invented musical instruments in Sound Maze, an interactive installation created by composer and instrument inventor Paul Dresher. Designed for all ages, all levels of musical experience, and all types of minds, this remarkable hands-on installation lets you experiment with extraordinary inventions to discover new ways of creating sound and music, unleashing the musical creativity in everyone.
"CYBER WARS AND GLOBAL POLITICS: FRED KAPLAN AND GENERAL DAVID PETRAEUS IN CONVERSATION" is "A Visions and Voices Signature Event"
Thursday, March 9, at 7 pm, in Bovard Auditorium, 3551 Trousdale Pkwy, on the USC campus 90089.
Admission is free. Reservations required. RSVP beginning Wednesday, February 8, at 9 am, at:
Best-selling author Fred Kaplan and USC Judge Widney Professor, General David Petraeus, will come together for a fascinating and timely conversation on cyber wars, national security, and global politics.
Fred Kaplan is a best-selling author and Pulitzer Prize finalist who spent 20 years at the Boston Globe. Kaplan is currently the “War Stories” columnist for Slate. He is the author of several books, including The Wizards of Armageddon, an inside history of nuclear strategy; Daydream Believers, about American foreign policy in the early 21st century; 1959: The Year Everything Changed; The Insurgents: David Petraeus and the Plot to Change the American Way of War; and, most recently, Dark Territory: The Secret History of Cyber War.
General (Ret.) David Petraeus is a partner at KKR, chairman of the KKR Global Institute, and a Judge Widney Professor at University of Southern California. Prior to joining KKR, General Petraeus served over 37 years in the U.S. military, including command of coalition forces in Iraq, command of U.S. Central Command, and command of coalition forces in Afghanistan. Following his service in the military General Petraeus served as the Director of the Central Intelligence Agency. General Petraeus graduated with distinction from the U.S. Military Academy and subsequently earned an MPA and Ph.D. degree in international relations from Princeton University’s Woodrow Wilson School of Public and International Affairs. General Petraeus has received numerous U.S. military, State Department, NATO, and United Nations medals and awards, and he has been decorated by 13 foreign countries. General Petraeus is also a Visiting Professor of Public Policy at the City University of New York’s Macaulay Honors College, a Senior Fellow at Harvard University’s Belfer Center, Co-Chairman of the Woodrow Wilson Institute’s Global Advisory Council, Senior Vice President of the Royal United Services Institute, and a member of the boards of the Institute for the Study of War, the Atlantic Council, and seven veterans service organizations.
Presented by USC Visions and Voices: The Arts and Humanities Initiative.
Stay tuneful! See you next time!
LEGALESE, CONTACTING US, 'N SUCH...
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...
Pssst – Hey, kid. Yeah, YOU: It won't be so "basic" when we add all the links for the global network of music news / music education sites that we're joining; THAT'LL be here very soon, as an ESSENTIAL COMPONENT of the Guide returning to being a MUSIC NEWS journal!
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♪ 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.