Saturday, August 11, 2018
Meteors, Music, and News that Really Matters. -- Fri, Aug 10 2018 edition
This weekend, the annual Perseid Meteor Shower hits its peak. It's especially good this year. It'll be at its best Sunday night. If you can find a place that's dark, where the sky isn't filled with light pollution or blocked by fire smoke, you'll see more shooting stars than you can count.
That's not all. The planet Mars came closer to Earth than any time in the last 15 years, back on July 31, and it still looks big and bright. The Red Planet -- which looks orange because of the smoke in our atmosphere -- won't be as close again until 2035. So you get a free bonus, just for looking up.
There are a few good live music events this weekend, and we've got them here for you, plus a ticket alert, following this intro.
Then we get to some news. Starting with some MUSIC NEWS and other shorts.
Then our feature story.
So why do we presume it's okay to look at news, beyond music news, on our cyber pages?
"If you think adventure is dangerous, try routine. It's lethal."
-- Red Steagall, quoting "an old vaquero saying."
More to the point, did you know this?
From 1940 to 2010, the US interfered in 81 elections in 45 countries. That does not take into account the coups d'etats we have perpetrated, nor does it show anything of the past eight years. These figures were determined in a rather thorough Carnegie-Mellon University study.
See our point? When have you seen corporate mainstream media mention that in their daily diatribe-with-no-evidence about "election interference"-?
As for the feature story?
We can be smartasses and tell you that it's "News of the non-Trumpcentric Universe," because it is. And frankly, with corporate mainstream media fixated on the Trumpian singularity to the exclusion of 'purt near everything else, there's PLENTY we could cover that's important in the world.
Yep, important, though there's a hefty list of things corporate Big Media won't talk about, at all, or that it contextualizes to the point of minimalization that allows dismissal from the singularity of "the narrative."
Clandestine military and intelligence community bases to facilitate clandestine wars; dozens of active drone wars; proxy wars in which US weapons are killing civilians and causing people to face disease epidemics and mass starvation; and blockades of ports that prevent food and medical supplies from reaching children who die as a result.
And then there are all the reasons why mainstream media won't "out" itself by touching those issues. Those include: the integration of wealth with power that co-opts high tech and provides development capital for runaway data gathering, which puts golden chains on tech giants and addicts them into the military-industrial-cybersecurity complex; and the role of broadcast Big Media's number-one advertiser, Big Pharma, in enriching itself by integrating with the Pentagon's endless redeployments of traumatized troops who are thrown out and given addictive drugs when they become too damaged to deploy again.
And there's the underlying, puppetmaster role of Wall Street and the cynical profit-taking of the banksters who exploit everybody and everything.
And the dozens of other issues that are defining our nation and our time on this Earth without anyone noticing, because they don't report it -- or if they do, they intentionally give it low visibility to minimize the impact.
And we didn't even get to the fact that the science of global warming and measurable impacts of climate change get no daily reinforcement with empirical verification to get the entire human race to demand an end to fossil fuels, extractive economies, and unsustainable economic practices.
Huh, we still didn't include the fact that no one in corporate mainstream media ever notes that arts and music education that used to be for every student in all of our schools is now, at best, the province of the few. Those few who qualify for S.T.E.A.M program schools with their "special emphasis" on Science-Technology-Engineering-Arts-Math. And arts were shoehorned into what had been STEM schools that required special funding. Just to provide what taxpayer's dollars used to enable every school to have for every student.
Hence, we are compelled to serially resurrect Andy Rooney's old question: Why is that?
Because with all that, and plenty more that corporate-paradigm "news" neglects, there are lots of topics, including too damn many critically important, media-neglected places we could go.
This time around, we chose something you'll see as our feature story. It's a rather expansive consideration of the future, as it relates to the contextualized coverage of events happening this very weekend. And it's something that effects and affects whether we can hope to return to a society with civil discourse and Constitutional rights. Those are two things that are slipping away rapidly, things we used to take for granted. Not anymore. We look at why, and what it means.
Let's get started!
LIVE MUSIC THIS WEEKEND...
Saturday, August 11
Sat, Aug 11:
Time tba - WHISKEY SUNDAY plays the Celtic Arts Center concert series at the Mayflower Club, 11110 Victory Bl, North Hollywood, CA 91606
Sat, Aug 11:
Noon & 2 pm - LA VICTORIA plays their Mexican folk music for the summer weekend music series at the Skirball Cultural Center, 2701 N Sepulveda Bl, Los Angeles, CA 90049; 310-440-4578.
Sat, Aug 11, ON TV:
3-4 pm - "JOHNNY CASH MUSIC FESTIVAL" on RFD-TV, runs as an episode of the "Gaither Gospel Hour" series. But don't let that scare you off. There are performances by Kris Kristofferson, Rosanne Cash, John Carter Cash, George Jones, Dailey & Vincent, and more. We've seen it already. Lots packed into an hour.
Sat, Aug 11:
7 pm - TALL MEN GROUP, that ensemble of accomplished performing songwriters, plays the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena, CA 92675; reservations by phone only, 10 am-10 pm, 7 days, at 626-798-6236.
Sat, Aug 11:
8 pm - PHIL SALAZAR & THE KINFOLK play Russ and Julie’s House Concerts in Oak Park (Agoura Hills/Westlake Village area). Reservations get directions, at 818-707-2179 or by email to email@example.com
Sat, Aug 11:
8 pm - MIKE OSBORN, plus BOBBY BLUEHOUSE & THE ABC ALL-STARS play the Arcadia Blues Club, 16 E Huntington Dr, Arcadia, CA; http://www.arcadiabluesclub.com
* MIKE OSBORN is billed as a "Bay Area sensation."
* advance tix online always save substantially over door price.
Sat, Aug 11:
8 pm - EL VEZ plus PHRANC play the "Grand Performances" free summer concert series outdoors at California Plaza, atop Bunker Hill at 350 S Grand Av, Los Angeles, CA 90071; 213-687-2020.
Sat, Aug 11:
8 pm - THE SONORAN DOGS play Boulevard Music, 4316 Sepulveda Bl, Culver City, CA 90230; 310-398-2583.
Sat, Aug 11:
8 pm - JAMES INTVELD plus BRIAN WHELAN play the concert hall in back of McCabe’s Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica, CA 90405; 310-828-4497.
Sat, Aug 11:
8 pm - PETER FELDMANN & THE VERY LONESOME BOYS bring their traditional and modern bluegrass to their favorite venue, the Santa Ynez Valley Grange Hall, 2374 Alamo Pintado Av, Los Olivos, CA 93441; 805-688-9894.
Sunday, August 12:
Sun, Aug 12, FESTIVAL:
Noon - "JAZZ IN THE PINES FESTIVAL" with multiple stages of music, including Lisa Haley & The Zydecats on the French Market Stage, 52500 Temecula Rd, Idyllwild, CA 92549
Sun, Aug 12:
8 pm - ROY ZIMMERMAN plays the concert hall in back of McCabe’s Guitar Shop, 3101 Pico Bl, Santa Monica, CA 90405; 310-828-4497.
Sun, Aug 12:
9 pm - THE SALTY SUITES play Seven Grand, 515 W 7th St #200, Los Angeles, CA 90014.
Fri, Sep 14:
8 pm - ANDY & RENEE & HARD RAIN play "The Music of Carole King's Tapestry" in a special performance at the Grand Annex in San Pedro.
* The South Bay's favorite folk-rockers (named "Best Band" several years in the annual local poll) return with their band Hard Rain for a tribute to Carole King's multi-platinum album, Tapestry.
* This'll sell-out. Don't dawdle.
news short # 1...
Two Anniversaries in Music, and Context
One of two...
Belinda Carlile's first band, the Go-Go's, are celebrating their 40th anniversary together. The first all-female band to write all their own hit songs and play all their own instruments recently took the stage on Broadway to play with the cast of the hit musical that uses their million-seller songs. The band's milestones and firsts overcame countless door-slams from big music execs. And that's never quite ended. They still aren't in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Two of two...
Billy Joel is marking the 40th anniversary of his first hit, "My Life," and his first show at Madison Square Garden in 1978.
A few weeks ago, he played his 100th show at the Garden, having performed a monthly residency there and selling-out every one of those appearances since January 2014 -- 54 straight shows, over two million tickets, most with guest stars. His 100th show featured Bruce Springsteen.
Billy Joel has written 33 top 40 hits, and on the other side of things, he has experienced drinking binges and depression.
But he'll tell you to never underestimate the power of another artist. He found a Neil Diamond quote that he says enabled him to turn things around:
"I've forgiven myself for not being Beethoven."
How many of us, in striving to be the best "me," are actually trying to achieve the impossibility of being someone else?
Along the way, many of Billy Joel's songs that were not hits at the time have become standards. That includes "Piano Man," an audience favorite that he now plays, by long-standing audience demand, at every one of his gigs, large or small.
Billy will admit he's not crazy about his first Grammy winner, "Just the Way You Are," because he wrote it for the woman who was his wife at the time.
Joel maintains the same comfortable honesty that a friend describes him having when they met before he was famous. Then, "Piano Man" was new, and just hit the radio. He played it because three people asked him to, and they were the only ones there, between sound check and the doors opening for the show.
That earned him three new fans who have followed him ever since.
news short # 2...
Are We in a Post-Rock Era?
A friend and I were swapping text messages about music.
I noted that a lot of late is passing for rock, with dubious claims to the genre.
He said, "As long as there's 'Classic Rock,' rock isn't dead."
That bothered me. Without all the context, you may have trouble figuring why, but... I saw it as an assumption like Humphrey Bogart's line to beautiful young Ingrid Bergman, that "We'll always have Paris."
So I replied to him.
"Weeeell, I have a qualifier to that. Most 'classic rock' radio has a playlist with about 350 songs in heavy rotation, and another 150 or so in light rotation. And that's it. The same 500 tunes. Over and over, ad infinitum and ad nauseum. So anybody who wasn't alive at the time has no idea what 'aor' (album-oriented-rock) was.
It's like saying Bethoven's Fifth was all his music anybody needs to know. As if his Ninth, with 'Ode to Joy,' didn't matter.
So the Eagles are 'Hotel California,' but never again will they be 'Midnight Flyer.' John Fogerty is 'Proud Mary,' unless that's assigned to Ike Turner. But Fogerty and Creedence will never again be 'Put a Candle in the Window.'
Chuck Berry is only 'Johnny B. Goode.'
You get my point. Real rock in its heyday was a rich stewpot. Now, what passes for a representation of it has become compressed, condensed, minimalized, trivialized, and to someone under 40, it's just a limited litany of the same-ol', same-ol' that's been done to death and they just don't wanna hear it anymore.
Which is a profound shame. Because, just for one of the many reasons? That current pathetic thudding that's accepted as music needs to be put up against the drum solos of Iron Butterfly's "In a Gadda da Vida," and Rare Earth's "Get Ready." (Along with drum maestro Gene Krupa from the Big Band era.)
I know, that sounds like Get off of my lawn. But I'm really arguing against one-size-fits-all mass-market corporate-dominated, short-attention-span-dictated, post modern cultureless culture.
But in terms of music in general and real rock in particular? I argued, at the rate we're going with non-human generated electrocution electronica, that in 30 years, only a few music wonks will want to know about rock's legends and their music, on par with society's portion of fans of Tchaikovsky.
I relinquished the soapbox, but he hasn't jumped back in yet. Feel free to send us your comment.
news short # 3...
A Very Brady Real Estate Bonanza
The Brady Bunch house from the TV show is a real home in Studio City. It went up for sale in July. It still looks very 1970s. The big difference? The asking price was close to two million dollars, and the buyer, HGTV, spent an unknown but substantially greater amount than that to beat singer Lance Bass.
The price when it last sold in 1973? $60,000.
One more proof there is no affordable housing anymore in L.A.
news short # 4...
A CBS "Sunday Morning" feature story began with the results of a poll: are people more polite or less polite now than five years ago? 6% said more polite. 69% said less polite.
They had a still photo of a little child holding a handmade sign: "Make America Kind Again."
Constitutional lawyer Alan Dershowitz appeared in the piece: "Civility is the basis for dialog."
He went on to criticize the notion that "in these times, we must" do something we would otherwise find repugnant. "In these times, we must incarcerate Japanese Americans, in these times, we must -- what? There is nothing extraordinary about 'these times' that justifies treating our fellow citizens badly."
The same show did a feature on comic Sebastian Manescalco. His routine is based on exasperation with modern life, from intrusive selfies to man caves.
No, not the angry exasperation of a Lewis Black. Manescalco has a gentler approach.
Of his material, he says, "I don't even have to write it."
Manescalco's three HBO specials have been based on his free range observations of absurdities, and on his life moments from his Italian family. Of which he says, "I couldn't rip them to shreds on stage if I didn't love them."
Hmmm. Civility, and love. Not exactly the themes you see very often in America's mainstream media.
news short # 5...
If Mainstream Media Keeps You Informed, then How Come...
So. How many Americans would have any idea what you're talking about if you cite the culpability for income disparity and name the neo-feudalists, oligopolists, and the kakistocracy?
Add Charlottesville to Chancellorsville, Gettysburg, Shiloh -- a Battlefield of the New Civil War
by Larry Wines
This Sunday, Charlottesville, Virginia, will again surrender its identity. A genuinely chilling, downright creepy gathering is descending on Washington, DC, and will partly reprise in Charlottesville.
The event is called "Unite the Right 2." The name is seemingly benign. Its participants and their purpose are not. Their gathering is inclusive of a nationwide self-selected swarm of malconents, social misfits, and advocates who believe their ilk should rule by privileged entitlement with no regard for knowledge, science, facts, or the rights of others. Whether all are zealots, they are there to hear and to cheer the zealots of their proclaimed movement.
We know that because they showed us who they are, the first time they did this, one year ago, in Charlottesville.
Thus, the news of the day and the consciousness of our time will be impacted by yet another polarizing presence in the nation's capital -- and its dangerous sideshow in historic, charming Charlottesville.
And once more the shady green mountain home of the University of Virginia, with its iconic buildings designed by Thomas Jefferson, will teeter on the brink. While the city of Charlottesville issued no permit for a gathering this time, they acknowledge knowing that it's coming. And they have greenlighted its participants to carry handguns.
The raw wounds are reopened.
32-year-old Heather Heyer was murdered while protesting the "Unite the Right" gathering one year ago in Charlottesville. She was in a group that was mowed down by a maniac, a driver deliberately using a car as a weapon of mass destruction.
When exactly the same thing happened in France and Britain, we called it terrorism. But when a right-wing whacko does it here, it somehow does not qualify as terrorist act.
More than a dozen others were seriously injured. The driver, there in the uniting of ideologies, turned words being shouted into the most blatant of violent manifestations.
The victims of that driver shared only one thing with what they were protesting -- they had come from across the nation. As one in the group of counter-demonstrators, Heather Heyer was there to stand against what had become a massive gathering of white supremacists, Ku Klux Klansmen, actual latter-day Nazis, and allied neo-nazis.
It was all supposed to be about something else. Suddenly, the public debate over Civil War statues and monuments in public spaces was hijacked.
The "Unite the Right" rally revealed itself. It was taking advantage and exploiting an excuse. It was all about uniting cadres of religious bigots, machine-gun advocates, and white supremacists. It was about turning tonsils inside out, embracing fear-based values based on hate, and evoking intimidation of anyone and anything different. It was a bizarre and pathetic attempt to reject the multicultural, multiethnic, multi-origin, multiracial reality of America. And as such, it was an un-American gathering.
America's communities never got the chance for a dialog over monuments to history. That was stolen by the gathering storm of hate-driven malcontents, claiming to be the rightful guardians and last hope of putting things as they ought to be.
We need to keep that in mind as we enter this weekend, this one-year-later redux.
It was more than one person, behind the wheel of one car, who was saturated in the fear-based message of hate. It manifested a year ago in one cowardly person, who took protective enclosure inside an automobile to use it as a deadly weapon on an unarmed crowd of protesters.
And we saw, in one horrific moment, blood and mangled bodies take the place of any hope for dialog and discourse. We saw on our TVs the carnage, in the midst of which, Heather Heyer was dead.
It would be months before the trail of tears of school shootings led to one in Parkland, Florida. The one where its survivors -- other young people, fed-up with growing-up in fear of violence and with mealy-mouthed, bloviating politicians who kowtow to dark forces for campaign cash -- would confront all of us to say, to challenge, and to demand, that this stops here. Those high school students went global with their March for Our Lives. And prominent on their list of "other" reasons why is the one-word item, Charlottesville.
Even before that, Heather Heyer's mother, Susan Bro, had founded the foundation that bears the name of her late daughter. It came about when a quarter-million dollars amassed in online donations to pay for Heather's funeral.
Bro said in an interview with Newsy, "I don't see it as promoting one cause. I see it as promoting a human cause for all of humanity. Anytime anybody is marginalized, we all are."
Last year was the first time that Bro did any public speaking. Now she is sought for the essence of her message and the power of her oratory. That began at Heather's memorial, where her moving speech concluded, "They killed my daughter because they wanted to silence her. Look at all the voices they empowered, that they can't silence now."
Some of us find empowerment in Bro's message, turning scars into stars.
But what awaits this time, in DC and in Charlottesville?
It begs the larger questions: What is ahead for a society where intolerance and shouting and tribal adherence have taken the place of civil discourse?
And, are efforts to silence that which we offensive just as dangerous as their message of intolerance?
A recent poll revealed 56% believe social media should be required to determine what is fake news and to remove it.
Further, 27% of Americans polled believed it would be a good thing if the news were censored by the President.
Dismiss those at your peril. Repeated polls show public distrust, or worse, of the overmerged corporate mainstream media, and general belief that everything is biased. Any time the polls go deeper and ask more, results include statistically significant belief that what we see is deliberately structured in behalf of an agenda that is probably hidden.
Does the removal of Alex Jones' "Infowars" site from Facebook make us safer, or less safe because the next round of censorship may gore our ox?
Does the national Democratic Party's request to Facebook for data on who looks at what news and political sites make us "safe"? Presumably, the corporate Democrats want to know who to target for re-education.
For a party fixated on Russia-Russia-Russia, that revelation is right out of Stalin's playbook.
So, how do we make sense of things, when ones who want protect us from oppression would themselves oppress us?
We should all start by reading the first ten amendments to the Constitution, to see that it doesn't square with the cybersecurity state.
Mostly, it requires more time than ever before -- and spending that time with non-mainstream media and lots of foreign-based media -- to get respite from the Trumpcentric singularity and gain exposure to the news the rest of the world finds important.
Whatever happens in Charlottesville this time, corporate mainstream media is primed to sensationalize it. Strife, especially tragedy, will allow purposeful exploitation that enables diversion and distraction while wholly engaging emotion.
And that will result in more cheers when Facebook banishes (and, in the traditions of Argentina and Chile, "vanishes") more contrarians. In the digital world's equivalent of the Egyptians chiseling names off their monuments. Or the Germans burning books with disagreeable content.
Because we shouldn't be expected to tolerate anything with which we disagree. So follow Maxine Waters' admonition and bring whistles to drown-out everything someone else tries to say. If you might find it intolerable, no one else should be allowed to hear it. Or if you forget your whistle, somebody surely brought their car keys.
Insanity isn't contagious without facilitators.
There are groups with positive messages, too. The Heather Heyer Foundation. March for Our Lives. Amnesty International. Doctors Without Borders.
But who and what does corporate mainstream media let us see? CBS chairman Les Moonves infamously told corporate stockholders, "Donald Trump may not be good for America, but he's damn good for CBS."
Now Moonves is the only major corporate head in the past year who remains in power in the face of multiple accusers who say he sexually harrassed them. As a financial wizard, he's damn good for CBS, so rewrite the news agenda. More diversionary outrage. More Trump tweets. More of Jan Brady's Marsha, Marsha, Marsha, as Russia, Russia, Russia.
Diversion. Distraction. Carefully crafted outrage. Give the people what they want -- after you decide for them what that is. And you have plenty of "B" roll to keep reinforcing it. With repetition every hour. On cult-of-personality cable news show.
Just censor-out anybody who won't reinforce the narrative. Bring the whistle. And the car keys. And the B-roll.
Welcome to world of seemless integration of perpetual marketing and tastemaking propaganda. Where you celebrate removal of everything outrageous. Or disagreeable. Or annoying. Or -- different from your echo chamber.
There may be a loosely defined movement calling itself "The Resistance," but it seems woefully unprepared to protect the First Amendment. Or to investigate voter disenfranchisement, vote fraud, putting the fix in the 2016 primary elections, or the lack of a paper trail in states that use the most widespread voting machines.
Or perhaps that's more consistent with wanting all the demographic data from Facebook for voting-age users, matched with a list of political and news sites viewed and how long and how often each of us looks at whatever we look at.
Democrats who lead that party can tell you plenty of other things (not just what, but who) they're against. But they're not against corporate control of our lives. And they can't manage to tell you, in any comprehensive, coherent way, what they're for.
That's all for now.
We'll be back again soon with music news and more "News of the Non-Trumpcentric Universe." (c)
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...
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Entire contents copyright © 2018,
Lawrence Wines & Tied to the Tracks.
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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 cyber porch'll be here anytime you come back from the road.