SEARCH the Guide, by date, band, artist, event, festival, etc. (in addition to the sidebar)

Sunday, July 12, 2020

With added "Extra!" news items up-top... past mid-July already, without attending a single "Concert-in-the-Park." Sunday, July 12 edition 2020.

Dispatch from hiatus... Wednesday, July 29th quickie...

Mars "Perseverance" lander launch is Thursday,
July 30, 2020 at 4:50 am PDT

Online Participation opportunities are today and Thursday.

Launch is bright and early tomorrow! Be sure to log-on a bit early to catch the countdown and make sure all your systems are go.

The broadcast will start at 4:00 am Pacific and is available here:

There’s still time to catch some of today’s interaction opportunities and ask questions live or watch the replays here:

Get access to more, share with friends, family, or your nerdy space enthusiast pals you haven't seen face-to-face since March. NASA tells us, "We're happy to have them. Just forward them the Virtual Guest web page to start."

That link is:

The size of an automobile, this lander incorporates improvements from lessons learned
 -- plus it has its own helicopter!
Think drone scenes over concerts are cool, and you're a fan of the "Aerial America" tv show?
Wait'll you see aerial Mars, courtesy of Perseverance's own helicopter!
Thursday morning is the launch, and this is what it will produce when
Perseverance reaches the Red Planet. Pretty sophisticated A.I. eh?

See why it's a big deal? And a hopeful escape from excruciating times?

See ya when the countdown goes to internal power.

___   ___   ___

A dispatch from hiatus... Sunday, July 26th:

Fed paramilitary forces in Portland and other city streets -- illegal, period?

The Trump administration placed armed paramilitary federal agents in the streets of Portland, Oregon, where they fired tear gas, smoke grenades, and rubber bullets into crowds of protesters who were exercising their Constitutional rights -- Freedom of Speech, Freedom of assembly -- and attacked reporters there covering the story, depriving them of their Constitutional right to cover the developments.

People who were peacefully protesting have been hauled away -- seemingly arrested -- in unmarked rented vans. The mayor of Portland was tear gassed.

There has been widespread outrage at these developments, and a White House threat to send more camo-clad, assault weapon armed agent/troops into more American cities. 

On Friday, we published this photo of one of the federal agents as Benghazi on the Willamette, with the caption below.

Uninvited Fed robocop agent in a scene his presence helped to create in Portland, Oregon.
24 hours earlier, the city's mayor was teargassed by these paramilitary agents.
Photo is in this morning's Washington Post. 
Is there a legal premise for Trump to do any of this? Or is he flying in the face of American juris prudence in doing it, apparently just to gin-up fervor within his base?

The founder of the California Legal Rights Foundation, Geo. McCalip, sent us the following on Friday night. We put him in touch with other media, since we are on hiatus and this needs to be verified and pursued by major media. Nevertheless, once we found he had put the first version on social media the middle of the week, we thought you should see it here.

Geo. writes:

"The federal officers are in Portland under the authority of the Secretary of Homeland Security per 40 USC 1315.

"The interesting twist is this: Chad Wolf is the Acting Secretary of Homeland Security and has not been approved by the Senate.

"In most cases, that would be no big deal because an Acting Secretary has all of the authority of a confirmed Secretary.

"This case is different because Mr. Wolf assumed office on November 13, 2019 and, per 5 USC 3346 he may serve as an Acting Secretary no more than 210 days. That means that since June 10, 2020 he has had no legal authority.

"Actually, it’s even worse than that. The clock starts ticking on the 210 day limit 'beginning on the date the vacancy occurs.' For the record, the vacancy occurred when the last Senate-appointed DHS Secretary, Kirstjen Nielsen, stepped down on April 10, 2019.

"By the time Chad Wolf took office as the Acting Secretary he had no legal right to do so per 5 USC 3346.

"In other words, he has never had the legal authority to do anything as Acting Secretary. Everything happening now in Portland, and soon in other cities, is an unauthorized criminal use of force."
Still, with US Attorney General William Barr, a Trump devotee, as the nation's head law enforcement officer, who will stop it?


While we're here with you...

THOUGHTS FOR TODAY from one born on this date

"After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music."

"Facts do not cease to exist because they are ignored."

"You shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you mad."

"Technological progress has merely provided us with more efficient means for going backwards."

"To travel is to discover that everyone is wrong about other countries."

"There's only one corner of the universe you can be certain of improving, and that's your own self."

"Every man's memory is his private literature."

"Words can be like X-rays if you use them properly -- they'll go through anything. You read and you're pierced."

"Man is an intelligence in servitude to his organs."

"My father considered a walk among the mountains as the equivalent of churchgoing."

"Maybe this world is another planet's hell."

~ Aldous Huxley, English author, writer and philosopher. He wrote nearly fifty books --including the dystopian classic, Brave New World. His influential works ranged through novels and non-fiction works, wide-ranging essays, narratives, and poems. He was born on this day in 1894. He died of cancer on November 22, 1963 -- just hours after President John F. Kennedy was assassinated in Dallas. The rest of the story? When cancer brought him to his death bed, he asked his wife to inject him with "LSD, 100 µg, intramuscular." He died later that day. Three years later, LSD was officially banned in California. For more on this fascinating man, see Garrison Keillor's tribute, below.

Happy birthday today to

Mick Jagger, English singer-songwriter, producer, and actor, and leader of The Rolling Stones

Iron & Wine, American singer-songwriter

Kris Searle, American singer-songwriter

Dave Baksh, Canadian singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer

Jim Lindberg, American singer and guitarist

Angela Hewitt, Canadian-English pianist

Betty Davis, American singer-songwriter

Dorothy Hamill, American figure skater; Sandra Bullock, American actress and producer; Kate Beckinsale, English actress; Nana Visitor, American actress known for her "Star Trek" character; Helen Mirren, English actress; Peter Hyams, American director, screenwriter, and cinematographer.

In memoriam to departed artists and influencers born on this date 

Olivia de Havilland (1916-2020), French-British-American actress, two-time OSCAR winner, last surviving cast member ("Melanie") of 1939's "Gone with the Wind," and Errol Flynn's costar in "Robin Hood," died today at her home in France at age 104. She had been named "Dame Commander of the British Empire" at the age of 101. Her cinematic career spanned from 1935 to 1988, during which she appeared in 49 feature films as one of the leading actresses of her time.

George Bernard Shaw, Irish playwright and critic, Nobel Prize laureate (1856-1950)

Aldous Huxley, English author, writer and philosopher, And source if today's quotes (1894-1963)

Dobie Gray, American singer-songwriter and producer, famous for singing "Drift Away" (1940-2011)

Franz Xaver Wolfgang Mozart, Austrian pianist, composer, and conductor (1791-1844)

Erskine Hawkins, American trumpet player and bandleader (1914-1993)

Jim Foglesong, American record producer (1922-2013)

Serge Koussevitzky, Russian-American bassist, composer, and conductor (1874-1951)

Stanley Kubrick, American director, producer, screenwriter, and cinematographer, the genius behind filming "2001: A Space Odyssey" (1928-1999)

George Catlin, American painter, author, and traveler whose paintings of the American wild and still-natural west and its Native American inhabitants at the zenith of their cultures are still stunning, and still references for what was lost (1796-1872)

Jason Robards, American actor (1922-2000); Blake Edwards, American director, producer, and screenwriter (1922-2010); Vivian Vance, American actress and singer, Lucille Ball's "Lucy Show" sidekick (1909-1979); Gracie Allen, American actress and comedian, spouse and foil of George Burns (1895-1964); Carl Jung, Swiss psychiatrist and psychotherapist (1875-1961).

Our focus piece comes from Garrison Keillor, in his daily missive, "The Writer's Almanac":

Today is the birthday of English author Aldous Huxley (books by this author), born in Godalming, Surrey (1894). He was the grandson of Thomas Henry Huxley, a scientist and man of letters who was known as "Darwin's bulldog" for his defense of the theory of evolution. Huxley wrote a few novels that satirized English literary society, and these established him as a writer; it was his fifth book, Brave New World (1932), which arose out of his distrust of 20th-century politics and technology, for which he is most remembered. Huxley started out intending to write a parody of H.G. Wells' utopian novel Men Like Gods (1923). He ended by envisioning a future where society functions like one of Henry Ford's assembly lines: a mass-produced culture in which people are fed a steady diet of bland amusements and take an antidepressant called soma to keep themselves from feeling anything negative.
Brave New World is often compared with George Orwell's Nineteen Eighty-Four (1948), since they each offer a view of a dystopian future. Cultural critic Neil Postman spelled out the difference in his 1985 book Amusing Ourselves to Death:
"What Orwell feared were those who would ban books. What Huxley feared was that there would be no reason to ban a book, for there would be no one who wanted to read one. Orwell feared those who would deprive us of information. Huxley feared those who would give us so much that we would be reduced to passivity and egoism. Orwell feared that the truth would be concealed from us. Huxley feared the truth would be drowned in a sea of irrelevance. Orwell feared we would become a captive culture. Huxley feared we would become a trivial culture. ... In short, Orwell feared that what we fear will ruin us. Huxley feared that our desire will ruin us."

Back to our hiatus.

Stay sane, stay healthy, don't be a Maskhole, avoid maskless aggregations of Branch Covidians, and be careful out there.

___   ___   ___

Dispatch from our continuing hiatus, Saturday, July 25:

Covidology 101 update  -- money edition

by Larry Wines

There have been 52 million unemployment claims filed in the US since March 20.

Today the "extra $600" per week of federal unemployment benefits expires. Democrats in the House of Representatives passed the Heroes Act weeks ago, with its provision to extend the $600 through January 2021. But it remains stuck in the Republican-controlled Senate, along with dozens of pieces of other legislation the House has passed.

Prior to shutting down and leaving for the weekend, some Senate Republicans were considering several of their party's own proposals for a partial reinstatement of lesser amounts for a shorter time.

Republicans are obsessed with their own notion that $600 a week is more money than somebody can earn by working, and the lazy are cashing-in by doing nothing.

One GOP idea calls for no unemployment support, but a $450/week "return-to-work" payment in addition to whatever the job pays. As if everyone could simply go back to work despite the continuing reason they were laid-off in the first place.

That fantasyland seems intended as an interlocking corollary with the Trump administration's demand for prompt full reopening of public schools. Since most American parents rely on schools as free daytime child care, returning to work requires someplace to dump the kids.

Meanwhile, with the positivity rate for kids in Florida in the double-digits, many large urban school districts nationwide have already announced they will resume instruction only as distance learning this fall. Meaning students will remain at home. The Trump administration counters with threats to withold unspecified federal funding from any state that refuses full physical return of all students to classrooms.

Anger, frustration, and desperation are rising for those who want to know right now how they will feed their kids and keep a roof over the family without the extra unemployment benefit. Today begins a drop from the expired federal $600 per week plus an amount from their state that typically varies from $118 to $224.

As of today, only the latter, smaller, amount is there. And in some states, it, too, is expiring, based on the number of weeks of eligibility.

Along with that, many recipients began in a hole because the flood of applicants overtaxed unemployment compensation systems and it took weeks to get logged into application filing to establish qualification for benefits. Remember, the agencies who determine and process eligibility were universally using, and some still use, employees who were shifted to work from home. That means working in blind parallel, rather than together in offices where they were each others' support, information, and backup systems, and urgent claims could be hand-carried to cashiers' windows.

That's not all. Federal protections for suddenly unemployed renters are also expiring. Once again, that's because the Senate is not acting on extensions passed by the House. Renters who couldn't pay were protected from eviction if the landlord received any federal money for his rental property, like Section 8 housing funds for low income tenants or those with disabilities.

In the 2008 financial crises there were 860,000 foreclosures and homelessness permanently rose. This time, 13 million Americans face imminent eviction, with more of the 52 million unemployed being added each week.

America needs an FDR New Deal. Instead it gets a pile of legislation trapped in the limbo of Mitch McConnell's desk, a sudden dramatic drop of finances needed to pay rent, a necessary shift to eating ramen noodles, and an eviction notice posted on the door.

All flying in the face of a proven myriad of medical findings that psychological and emotional stress, inadequate shelter, and inadequate nutrition harm the body's immune system and greatly increase the likelihood of getting sick.

In the middle of a deadly pandemic. Where low income people have proven the most susceptible to infection.

While we're here with you...

On this day

Our thanks to Garrison Keillor for all three items of today's history, which appear in his daily "Writer's Almanac."

It was on this day in 1788 that Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart entered into his catalog the completion of one of his most beloved works, Symphony Number 40 in G Minor (sometimes called "The Great G Minor Symphony"). It was written in the final years of Mozart's life, when things were not going well. An infant daughter had died a few weeks earlier, he had moved into a cheaper apartment, and he was begging friends and acquaintances for loans. But he wrote his last three symphonies, in the summer of 1788: Symphony Number 39 in E-Flat, Symphony in G Minor, and the Jupiter symphony. It is not known for sure whether Mozart ever heard any of these symphonies performed.

It was on this day in 1897 that Jack London(books by this author21 years old, set off for the Klondike Gold Rush. He developed scurvy and severe muscle pain, and he didn't make any money. But he was inspired by the adventurous lifestyle and wrote about it. Five years later, his book The Call of the Wild (1903) made him suddenly famous.

On this date in 1956the SS Andrea Doria sank off of Nantucket Island. The Italian ocean liner was a source of pride for Italy, still trying to rebuild itself after World War II. The ship was bound for New York; at about 11 p.m., she collided with the eastbound Swedish-American ship, the SS Stockholm, while traveling in a fog bank.
The Andrea Doria remained afloat almost exactly 11 hours after the collision, though she listed badly to starboard, which meant the lifeboats on the port side were too high in the air to be usable. Out of the more than 1,700 people aboard, only 46 died, no thanks to the ship's crew, who took the first three lifeboats off the sinking ship. The Stockholm, which remained afloat, and several other ships in the area came to the aid of the stranded passengers. A French liner, the SS Ile de France, heard the distress call and turned around, and they accommodated most of the survivors. By morning, the Andrea Doria had been evacuated. Because the two shipping companies settled out of court, no official determination of fault was made.

Back to our hiatus.

Stay sane, stay healthy, don't be a Maskhole, avoid maskless aggregations of Branch Covidians, and be careful out there.

___   ___   ___

Friday, July 24: latest dispatches from hiatus...

A couple nights ago, Stephen Colbert opened "A Late Show" with a very funny parody music video. No word yet from Dolly Parton.

Check out "Karen"


So, what music genre would you call this?

TAYLOR SWIFT just did a middle-of-the night debut -- a few hours ago -- of a music video for her surprise new CD and vinyl release album, which is titled "Folklore." 

In fact, the vid opens with imagery that's about as deep backwoods roots folk genre as you can get. But just when you expect to hear fiddle and mandolin and banjo? Well, you be the judge of what you get instead.

Visually you get a trip Through the Looking Glass to see Rose after the Titanic sank, with truly "flowing" piano and sylvan green fantasy along the way. It already had over 3 million views in its first five nocturnal hours.

Likewise out in the middle of the night as Thursday had vanished into Friday, was a missive from Brian Stelter, who talked about the album and the vid just before it was available for him (or anybody else) to hear it. His piece is just below:

Taylor Swift's surprise album
Alternate text
Taylor Swift's surprise album is out now... As is her music video... I haven't listened to it yet, so I don't have much to say in terms of content. But it will be interesting to see how many albums Swift is able to move. In the streaming-era, her last album, "Lover," fell short of a million sales in its opening week. Prior to that, her previous four albums exceeded that mark.

Swift is trying to juice sales by releasing a bonus track that is only available on CD and vinyl versions of the album. And Swift has made eight different versions of the CDs and deluxe albums available for the opening week. So we'll see what kind of numbers "Folklore" does...

Covidology 101 quickie:

New York Times reporter Lauren Leatherby charts the countries with the worst known coronavirus outbreaks now. The top five: Oman, Bahrain, Panama, South Africa, and the U.S.

With shockingly awful numbers going vertical off the top of the graph (see yesterday's entry) the Trump administration is playing an extreme version of his favorite game:

Divert and distract to take attention away from what you deny.

Thus, we get...

Benghazi on the Willamette

Uninvited Fed robocop agent in a scene his presence helped to create in Portland, Oregon.
24 hours earlier, the city's mayor was teargassed by these paramilitary agents.
Photo is in this morning's Washington Post. 

ONLINE WATCHABLE, word from this morning's New York Times...

Watch something … hopeful

A screening of “Good Trouble” last week at the Brooklyn Army Terminal.Stephanie Keith/Getty Images
A suggestion from Gilbert Cruz, The New York Times’s Culture editor:
At a moment when it often seems like the best things we can do are small but meaningful actions (like wearing a mask when you’re around other people), it’s good to be reminded what it’s like when individuals put their lives on the line to effect change.
The documentary “John Lewis: Good Trouble” was released two weeks before the Georgia congressman and civil rights leader’s death on July 17 at the age of 80. And even if you’ve read the obituaries and remembrances, nothing compares to seeing the archival footage of a very young Mr. Lewis marching, riding and organizing voters through the American South in the 1960s. More recent footage, filmed during the 2018 midterm elections, shows the lawmaker late in life, slower in step but no less committed to the idea of a more equitable America. It might even make you feel a glimmer of hope.

While we're here with you...

THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date

"There's no money in poetry, but then there's no poetry in money, either."

~ Robert Graves, poet and novelist (born July 24, 1895, died 1985)

Happy birthday today to

Kristin Chenoweth, American actress and singer

Pam Tillis, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and actress

Gallagher, American comedian and actor

Pat Oliphant, Australian cartoonist

In memoriam to departed artists and other influencers born on this date

John Newton (1725-1807), writer of "Amazing Grace," one of the world's best-know works of vocal music and a classic on both the organ and the bagpipes. The ex-slave ship captain had himself, early in life, been flogged by the British Navy. He became one of Britain's leading and most diligent abolitionists, and was instrumental in bringing an end to slavery in the British Empire, just a few months before his death.

Alexandre Dumas (1802-1870), French novelist who wrote swashbuckling adventure novels that include The Three Musketeers and The Count of Monte Cristo, both published in 1844.

Amelia Earhart (1897-1937), American pilot and author, celebrated in song as the "First Lady of the Air," she disappeared on an attempted 'round the world flight.

Billy Taylor (1921-2010), American pianist and composer.

Back to our hiatus.

Stay sane, stay healthy, don't be a Maskhole, stay away from maskless aggregations of Branch Covidians, and be careful out there.

___.  ___.  ___

Thursday, July 23: a few dispatches from hiatus...

Major League Baseball's opening day schedule is here

ESPN will carry the Yankees at the Nationals at 4 pm Pacific and the Giants at the Dodgers at 7 pm Pacific.

Check out the full broadcast schedule at the link here.

Why are WE the ones bringing you a link for all the schedules? Well, the ballpark's organist might be the first live music performance you've heard in months, unless you play an instrument or sing in the shower. We don't know if someone will sing the National Anthem live before the game, or lead the at-home singing of "Take Me Out to the Ballgame" -- perhaps with appropriately modified lyrics.

Dodger fans paid for seats to make themselves virtually present at the ballpark. 
At Dodger Stadium, lifesized cutouts of fans will adorn the stands, and cameras will get zoom-in shots of players arrayed in the first few rows, since crowding together in dugouts is definitely out. C'mon, it'll be historic to see these pampered millionaire athletes not spitting all over the landscape. Though we doubt they'll refrain from their other dugout pastime of scratching their crotch.

"Thursday's games will take place in a nation hungry for normalcy. And while this truncated season is not 'normal' at all, it is like a gift basket for millions of people who want to see live sports back on TV," notes CNN's Brian Stelter.

Wait. Stelter isn't a sports reporter. No, but he is the guy who examines what the media is doing. And the big bucks, no-spectator, broadcast sports back story is THE entertainment biz news.

So we are sending this note from our hiatus with the news that he sent us. Stelter says:

"The MLB is the latest league to resume play with lots of covid-related adjustments."

Right away, Stelter asks whether there really is "Pent-up demand?"

"TV networks have high hopes for a mostly homebound audience. Ratings for the recent preseason games were strong. 'Nobody knows if a pent-up demand of sports viewers actually exists, but MLB advertisers are banking that it does, and have been flocking to the regular season at an unprecedented pace,' SBJ's John Ourand wrote Wednesday.

"Fox Sports said that ads in its regular-season package are 90 percent sold out already. And Disney Advertising Sales described 'high demand:' A spokesman said 'we are sold out of inventory for the opening week and the rest of the regular season.'

"A caveat in Brian Steinberg's story for Variety: 'Advertisers continue to worry over whether the leagues will be able to guarantee player health and complete their seasons. Once teams get on to the field, however, sponsors seem eager to play...'

Stelter singles out some "Great advice."

"Per Ourand's subscribers-only newsletter, 'MLB Network President Rob McGlarry had one main message when he met with his channel's on-air talent this afternoon, on the eve of Opening Day. "We’re already in the middle of the season," McGlarry said. "We don’t have time. We have to hit the ground running. We only have 60 games."'

"McGlarry's advice can apply to all of us, pandemic or no pandemic: 'Do as much as we can in the limited time that we have.'

Of course "limited" time isn't the way a lot of folks see things right now. For most people these days, it's been a question of what to do with all this time off. Though we, here at the Guide, are willing to bet that when this whole corona'd epoch is behind us all, there will be a lot of folks lamenting how they used, so poorly, all that never-to-be-had-again time. And that'll give rise to a new thing -- rationalizing about all the reasons why you couldn't learn a new language or learn to play a new instrument. There are imposed limitations and there are self-imposed limitations. Just sayin'...

Great L.A. dichotomy: in gluten-free, vegan-obsessed Southern California, an absolute favorite
cuisine is the Dodger Dog. Any fan of the Blue Crew will hasten to add, go to the vendors
that broil 'em, not boil 'em. Of course that trivia is moot this season. Except to unemployed

folks who make their livings as techies, support staff, ticket takers, security, and vendors at 
all the events and concerts that aren't happening in 2020. And all the idle venue operators.
Back to baseball. Stelter also notes this miniaturized season brings "Limited access for reporters."

"'As U.S. team sports prepare to resume,' the AP's Joe Reedy wrote recently, 'journalists are facing the same reckoning that their colleagues who cover politics and entertainment have encountered -- coming up with new approaches despite reduced access.' Reedy noted, 'Many journalists worry that less access can mean less oversight...'"

Boy, do we get that concern. When you can't confront your subjects, they do tend to do wacky things as if they can just get away with 'em. Like sending camo-clad storm troopers into your town to tear gas your mayor. (Ask Portland. Of course asking is something the feds did NOT do. And how come the Trumpist conspiracy theory addicts aren't looking for the black helicopters NOW, when those are the only things missing? See why we're on hiatus?)

Gad-effing-zooks, play ball. Enjoy your peanuts and Cracker Jack -- if you're at home where you can drop the mask to eat 'em. And since we continue to be on hiatus, we might actually have time to watch a ball game -- and enjoy the ballpark organist's performance -- too.

Our thanks today to Brian Stelter.

Covidology 101 quickie:

It has taken only 15 days for the US to go from 3 million infections to 4 million infections.

More than 3 months elapsed for the number of cases to reach its first million. Here are the milestone numbers and how many days elapsed, since the previous event, to reach the next one:

     Days:         Millions of US COVID-19 cases:

       99                           1

       43                           2

       28                           3

       15                           4

Researchers from several studies are finding that extreme narcissists are the ones most likely to refuse to wear masks AND to hoard all the toilet paper and hand sanitizer. They may even be the ones who hoarded the N-95 respirator masks that front line health care workers needed. Even though they refuse to wear masks. Some people need to be slapped up 'side the head. Seriously.

There were more than 71,000 new cases overnight in the US. That one-day number for newly-detected infected Americans is more than the total cumulative numbers for some countries to date, since the virus arrived.

413,000 cases are in California, as the Golden State rapidly closes on New York State's all-time number which has climbed very slowly from its peak in April.

While we're here with you...

Happy birthday today to

Ronny Cox, American actor, singer-songwriter, guitarist. (Great trivia question: He is the "Star Trek " captain of the Enterprise that nobody ever gets...)

Ron Sarfety, American concert series and music for charity events presenter, videographer, and music vid producer.

On this day

Today in 1903, the Ford Motor Company sold its first car, a two-cylinder Model A. It was bought by a Chicago dentist for $850. The world has struggled with the blessing and the curse of the automobile ever since, with its attendant curse of oil addiction, pollution, suburban sprawl, and gridlocked roads and freeways.

THOUGHTS FOR TODAY from one born on this date

"The most durable thing in writing is style, and style is the most valuable investment a writer can make with his time. It pays off slowly, your agent will sneer at it, your publisher will misunderstand it, and it will take people you have never heard of to convince them by slow degrees that the writer who puts his individual mark on the way he writes will always pay off."


"At least half the mystery novels published violate the law that the solution, once revealed, must seem to be inevitable."

~ Raymond Chandler, American writer (born July 23, 1888, died in 1959). in 1939 he published his first novel, The Big Sleep. In addition to his short stories, he wrote seven novels that were all narrated by a wisecracking private eye named Philip Marlowe.

One more. This just in...


Back to our hiatus.

Stay sane, stay healthy, don't be a Maskhole, stay away from maskless aggregations of Branch Covidians, and be careful out there.

___   ___   ___

Wednesday, July 22 -- a quickie from our time on hiatus

Last two nights (Wed & Thu) to see the comet before the Moon gets too bright. It's in the vicinity of the Big Dipper, a bit below it.  You'll need a dark sky, without urban "light pollution."

Here's the report from ESA:

22-07-2020 01:40 PM CEST
Video: 00:06:01

Discovered in March 2020, Comet NEOWISE became visible to the naked eye in July, gifting observers in the northern hemisphere with the first 'great comet’ in over 20 years. The comet, which is on an almost parabolic orbit and had its closest approach to the Sun, or perihelion, in early July, reaches its closest point to Earth on 22–23 July, before zipping back towards the outer Solar System.

In this video, ESA Research Fellows Rachana Bhatawdekar and Sandor Kruk share their experience and explain how to observe and image the comet in the sky. Next, ESA Research Fellow Charlotte Götz tells us more about comets and their tails, and how ESA’s future Comet Interceptor mission, to be launched in 2028, is going to wait for such a ‘great’ comet that has not been discovered yet. The spacecraft will sit in a parking orbit around the Lagrange point L2, 1.5 million kilometres away from Earth, until an interesting ‘pristine’ comet visits the inner Solar System. It will then intersect the comet's orbit to study its nucleus, gases, dust, and plasma environment.

Image credits: Rachana Bhatawdekar, Sandor Kruk, Mark McCaughrean, Kai Noeske (2020)
Preview image: Courtesy Mark McCaughrean, 12 July 2020 (Wassenaar, The Netherlands)

Comet images...

These are from "EarthSky"

Comet in the sky above a lake, also reflecting in the lake.
This image is from Bob King – aka AstroBob – in Duluth, Minnesota. He wrote: “My first view of Comet NEOWISE at dusk instead of dawn from a lake near Duluth on July 11. Comets and water naturally go together as they’re thought responsible in part for delivering water to the early Earth.”

Long exposure images show even more details:

While we're here...

THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date

"Life is not lost by dying; life is lost minute by minute, day by dragging day, in all the thousand small uncaring ways."

~ Stephen Vincent Benét, American poet (1898-1943), best known for his Pulitzer Prize winner for Poetry, "John Brown's Body," a long poem he wrote while in Paris in 1928. It's an epic in eight sections and tells the story of the Civil War, beginning with John Brown's raid on Harper's Ferry and ending just after Lincoln's assassination. He also remains remembered for his short stories "The Devil and Daniel Webster" and "By the Waters of Babylon."

"Between the years 1928 and 1943, Stephen Vincent Benét was one of the best-known living American poets, more widely read than Robert Frost, T.S. Eliot, William Carlos Williams, or Wallace Stevens and as well respected in book review columns. He was a rarity among 20th-century authors, a poet whose books sold in the tens of thousands and who was honored in the poetry workshops and lecture halls of prestigious universities." ~ from his Poetry Foundation listing.

And now, back to our much-needed, well-deserved hiatus.

___   ___   ___

We've previously sneaked these "extras" to you from our otherwise ongoing time off...

July 20th...
We are still on hiatus, though we have shared a few posts on major events over the weekend just past. Today will be the first time in years that we have not advocated for a "National Space Day" holiday on this date. But with the idiotic militarization of space over the past year, things now require contextualization before that advocacy can continue.

In addition to this being the day that humanity first set foot on another celestial sphere (in 1969), we wish to celebrate two very talented musicians share birthdays today. One is American singer-songwriter and soaring vocalist Sabrina Scheppat. The other once said:

"The most valuable possession you can own is an open heart. The most powerful weapon you can be is an instrument of peace."

~ Carlos Santana, Mexican-American musician, singer-songwriter, composer, guitarist (born July 20th)

Also born today...

Radney Foster, American singer-songwriter, guitarist, and producer

Kim Carnes, American singer-songwriter

Gisele Bündchen, Brazilian model, fashionista, and businesswoman

Edmund Hillary, New Zealand mountaineer and explorer (1919-2008), half of the first pair to climb Everest (in 1953) and return to tell of it. And after being knighted and having the money to do it, philanthropist who put rural schools in remote high places in Nepal.

Oh, and 2,375 years ago -- Alexander the Great, Macedonian king who conquered most of the world then-known to Greek civilization (356-323 BCE)

HAPPENING TODAY -- SpaceX launch at 2 pm Pacific 

Always a fun diversion amidst Pandemonium in these Trumpestuous times.

And today being the anniversary of the first time humans set foot on another celestial sphere, it's appropriate to take note of what we used to be able to do, and can't anymore.

Falcon 9, Block 5, with recoverable boosters that land tail-first on a barge, mid-ocean.

$50 million mission, using the 70m tall vehicle (220 feet).
Payload is a Korean military satellite built by Lockheed Martin.

Liftoff set for 2 pm Pacific, so tune-in earlier.

Watch it go up, and the boosters come back, live:

___  ___   ___

EXTRA: posted Sunday, July 19th, from beyond our continuing hiatus...

"Sing Gently as One" Eric Whitacre's virtual choir of 17,000+ global voices 

Premieres Sunday, July 19th on YouTube 

Stunning music vid goes up at 10:30 am PDT, at:

Eric Whitacre is the Grammy-winning composer who, in 2010, created what’s considered the very first virtual choir, amassing, to date, 6.4 million views. But THIS one, written in April 2020 for choir and piano -- and attracting over 17,000 performing voices -- sets the world record for participating singers, by far.

The exact numbers? 17,572 singers, ages 5–88, in 129 countries, who individually recorded and submitted their vocal solo (soprano, alto, tenor, and bass) videos, and one piano track recorded by Sam Glicklich, a student at the Colburn School in Los Angeles -- all combined to form "Virtual Choir 6," with  collaborative participation from the Colburn School and the NAMM Foundation. All during the COVID pandemic. 

Portraits of every one of the 17,572 singers, plus the pianist, are stunningly grafted together
into maplike images along their joinable edges, forming islands, continents, even rivers along
the lines where sections meet. (Image: DC Metro Theatre Arts)
Whitacre was inspired to write the piece by the breadth of the pandemic and its effect on society, turning him, and what became many thousands of paeticipants, to music as solace.

"Together, they found strength in the simple, collective initiative of the project and saw it as a way to not only replenish from within but also to offer hope and relief for the sadness and suffering of others... 'Sing Gently' marks Whitacre’s largest Virtual Choir to date since his first more than ten years ago. The film will include videos from each of the participants, unified in a unique collection, which serves as a testament to diversity, accessibility, and inclusivity to be much more than a musical project, it’s a community," writes "Music & Sound Retailer" magazine.

“People write to me and ask, ‘How do we make one?’” he says. “I say, ‘Just don’t. Please. Your life will be so much better without this,’” Whitacre said in a techno geek piece published June 20.

"Rising to the technical and creative challenge of combining 17,000+ audio and video files is the Tony & Olivier award-winning 59 Productions (filmmakers) and BAFTA-winning, Floating Earth (audio engineers). The copyright is administered by Boosey and Hawkes, and the sheet music will be available from Hal Leonard later in 2020," reports "Music & Sound Retailer."

To mark the premiere, "CBS Sunday Morning" aired a David Pogue segment today, titled "All Together Now: the largest virtual chour ever assembled" about how it was done. The shows promo read: "What to do when choir practice has been cancelled because of COVID-19? David Pogue has the answer and explores the very first virtual choir with its creator Eric Whitacre, just as Virtual Choir 6, the largest of its kind (with over 17,000 singers) makes its premiere after our Sunday Morning broadcast."

The segment is on Whitacre's website, but the traffic load today may result in a lot of time percolating:

Pogue's story, in the full episode of "Sunday Morning" -- and all recent editions of the very arts-friendly show -- are available to watch on demand on, and CBS All Access; that includes availability on Apple TV, Android TV, Roku, Chromecast, Amazon FireTV/FireTV stick and Xbox.

There are teasers to hear the "Sing Gently as One" soundtrack without the stunning visuals:

But the links to all the streaming outlets won't work until the magic moment when the YouTube track goes up.


"How to Make Your Virtual Jam Session Sound—and Look—Good"


SPECIAL ADDITION (Friday night, July 17th) from beyond hiatus, added to our previous edition:

TWO FESTIVALS online Saturday, July 18th. The editor asked us to get this out to readers, even though we are on hiatus:

First up... it's the "Mid-Summer Fog Virtual Music Festival" with amazing artists from all around the world, including our mega talented friend Amanda Abizaid. Post and share with your friends for a virtual music festival party! They're using the hashtag #midsummerfog. Remember to set a reminder about the event on the official YouTube page by just clicking on the image below. It's the link to stream the event LIVE SATURDAY JULY 18TH:


AND, a folk classic...

WoodyFest 2020

5 pm-9 pm PDT  / 7 pm-11 pm CT / 8 pm-12 am ET at
It's the 23rd Annual--and first VIRTUAL--Woody Guthrie Folk Festival for a Saturday night sets!

Saturday, July 18th 
Hosted by Jaimee Harris
Performances by: Jared Tyler, Paul Burch, BettySoo, Chris Buhalis, Graham Nash, Crys Matthews, Seth Glier, Gregory Page, Samantha Crain, Tom Breiding, Matt Harlan, Bonnie Whitmore, Jacob Tovar, Branjae, B.J. Barham, Emma's Revolution, Jamie Lin Wilson, Josh Okeefe, Tim Easton, Brennen Leigh, Seth Bernard, Raye Zaragoza, John Fullbright, Glen Hansard, Mary Gauthier, Jason Mraz, Jaimee Harris, Jimmy LaFave, and faves from the festival's archive

"The celebration of the acclaimed singer, songwriter, poet, & activist will commemorate Guthrie’s 108th birthday with musical performances by artists inspired & influenced by Woody as well as educational seminars."

See WoodyFest's Facebook page for the 
full schedule of events runs 
Tues July 14th
Sun July 19th.
___   ___   ___

Also added Saturday morning, July 18th...

Overnight Friday night / Saturday morning...

Within hours, two pivotal people died. Both are giants in American history.

C.T. VIVIAN was a Civil Rights pioneer who led opposition to Southern racial segregation as far back as the 1940s, and who somehow survived the often murderous backlash suffered by proponents of equal rights. Both blatant institutional racism and violent suppression of all efforts to achieve equality persisted from the end of Reconstruction in 1877 through the 1960s. C.T. was there as a mentor to pave the way for Dr. Martin Luther King Jr and others who became leaders through the heart of the struggle for voting rights, equal treatment under the law, and full rights of citizenship for all Americans. And C.T. marched and stood with that succeeding generation, living through it as others lost their lives in that struggle.

He is featured throughout PBS's acclaimed documentary "Eyes On The Prize" (1987 & 2006). As late as 2012, C.T. said, “Nonviolent, direct action makes us successful. We learned how to solve social problems without violence. We cannot allow the nation or the world to ever forget that.”

U.S. President Barack Obama awards the Presidential Medal of Freedom to Vivian in the East Room at the White House in November 2013 (Win McNamee/Getty Images)
JOHN LEWIS, Congressman from Georgia, was 17 years old when he first wrote to Dr. King and then followed him into the marches for equality in the 1960s. Those were the "demonstrations" most infamously attacked by police, police dogs, fire hoses, and more. On the date known as "Bloody Sunday," John Lewis had his skull fractured by a nightstick-wielding policeman while marching across a bridge named for a racist former governor of Alabama who headed the Ku Klux Klan. (The band U2 would write their song "Sunday, Bloody Sunday" for an incident in Northern Ireland, but it has always had so much resonance for Americans looking back over our own divisive history that it has often been atrributed to what happened on that bridge in Alabama.)

On America's  "Bloody Sunday" in 1965, a very youthful Lewis and his fellow marchers were peacefully protesting to gain the right to vote. In 2018, John Lewis returned to that bridge and was interviewed by CNN's Dana Bash, in what she calls one of the most memorable moments of her career. Watch it here.

Today there is an effort to change the name of that bridge and rename it for John Lewis, who was nearly killed on it. He was born the son of impoverished sharecroppers, and he rose to become one of the most respected members of Congress. Lewis died of pancreatic cancer at the age of 80, but he was still -- until his final days -- vitally seeking to get himself into, as he proudly called it, "Good Trouble."

Across America, every living former president promptly released a statement honoring John Lewis and citing his role in making America more equitable for all its citizens. Odd man out was the current White House resident, who spent the day golfing and was conspicuously absent from the abundance of tributes. But nationwide, political leaders of every stripe -- even those who have been actively blocking Congressman Lewis's efforts to re-instate the Voting Rights Act -- issued statements honoring him. That includes LGBTQ leaders, because John Lewis was one of the first members of Congress to publicly and legislatively declare that an equitable society is inclusive of the rights of, and guaranteed opportunities for, all its citizens.

Tiffany Muller, president of Let America Vote, notes, "He was arrested over 40 times while helping lead the movement. He had done more to better our country by the time he was 30 than most of us could hope to do in a lifetime."

She continues, "He was elected to Congress in 1986 and he quickly became known as the Conscience of the Congress as he relentlessly pushed to create a more just society. He led House Democrats in a sit-in after the Pulse Nightclub massacre to urge action on gun control measures. And just last month, continued to support global demonstrations against police brutality and systemic racism while fighting his own battle against cancer."

Rev. Al Sharpton commented, "Dr. King used to say there are two kinds of leaders: those who are thermometers and those who are thermostats. A thermometer tells the temperature. A thermostat determines the temperature. John Lewis was a thermostat."

Watching the coverage of the passing of these two heroes -- who used peaceful protest in direct action to fight for fulfillment of the promise of the American Dream -- there were many famous voices, some impassioned, some humble, going on record. Their meeting in commonality was the remembrance of commanding presences of two people who had been their friends, inspirations, and mentors.

Again speaking of John Lewis, "His words in 2019 on the House floor serve as an important reminder to us all that we share a moral responsibility to stand up and act in the face of injustice, notes Tiffany Muller.

As John Lewis said that day, “When you see something that is not right, not just, not fair, you have a moral obligation to say something. To do something. Our children and their children will ask us, ‘What did you do? What did you say?’ For some, this vote may be hard. But we have a mission and a mandate to be on the right side of history.”

Lewis takes us through his life experiences in the moving autobiobraphy he titled Walking with the Wind.

He reached a far larger and younger audience when, with two colleagues, he authored a best-selling series of graphic novels titled March, to chronicle his life with powerful imagery.

There is plenty in his words, and those of C.T. Vivian, to foster inspiration. But what really got us was the guest who, immediately after she was introduced, broke into song, belting-out a Civil Rights anthem whose promise still has not been completely fulfilled. That's what put us in tears.

Once again, the power of song transcends all other forms of communication. Here are two renditions of the song she sang live on a news broadcast. Both these performances are backed by historic images that look, hauntingly and powerfully, like scenes of 2020's efforts to finally achieve the promise.

The song is, "Ain't Gonna Let Nobody Turn Me Around." One performance is by The Roots, and has wonderful cameo comments of movement leaders, including Harry Belafonte, here. The other is by Sweet Honey in the Rock and its full soundtrack is just their singing backed by images, here.

That's the perfect place to look to the larger context.

Heroes need not look like us. They need not share our brief moments of time on this Earth. They need not speak the way we do to speak to us, across time and distance and unfulfilled promise and promises. But what they must do, and what makes them heroes, is very simple: they must act to extend and protect the promise of what each of us must have as a safeguarded guarantee, as our undeniable birthright -- to fulfill our unique gift of potential, and in so doing, to advance humankind.

Because heroes are about brave and selfless acts that give the rest of us a chance. There must therefore be equal access to opportunity. Only then can we -- each of us, regardless of race, religion, ethnicity, creed, or things that make us passionate -- fulfill our individual promise and allow our individual gifts to advance human freedom, human society, and human understanding. Only then can we reach out, together, to expand the frontier into the vastness of the outer, and the complexities of the inner, universe.

And so to C.T. Vivian and John Lewis, we say, thank you for sacrificing to bring us all closer to those elusive goals that our own failings have made contentious. And with that thanks, we humbly add, "Well Done."

~ Larry Wines, editor, 7-18-20

How America saw the marchers on the bridge in 1965.
That's John Lewis in the gray trench coat at the front.

John Lewis being beaten by state troopers with night sticks. His skull was fractured. 
Retreating demonstrators, maintaining their nonviolence, were tear-gassed.
Lewis doesn't remember who carried him off the bridge into a church.
He said, "I thought I was going to die on that bridge." 

Throughout his long career in politics, John Lewis always spoke of hope and reconciliation,
as he did when returning to the bridge. NBC News photo. 
Then-President Barack Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama  clasp hands with Congressman
John Lewis as they lead others -- including survivors of "Bloody Sunday" -- for a return to the bridge.
(This feature was picked-up and ran elsewhere, too, though without our photo gallery.)
___   ___   ___

 ♡    ♡    ♡
___   ___   ___

Before the special additions above, here's the last word going into hiatus...

Tuesday's updates include a click-to-see-and-hear musical gallery of songs by tuneful luminaries about Billy the Kid, on this, the date he was killed; and today's update of our "Covidology 101" series; and the news features following the daily bits for Tuesday.

All are here, and are intended to leave plenty for you to peruse and enjoy, as they are the last word for a few days. 

We are now on hiatus.

Monday's ONLINE EVENTS were updated through the day, and include NEWS OF NEW RELEASES. So take a gander. Or two. Or three. "Covidology 101" was updated for Monday at 9 am PDT. 

When this was first published, it went like this...

Here's a new edition for Sunday. As we bring you fresh music news herein, please remember that our two most recent previous editions are loaded with news that's still current.

Both those editions are still easy to access.

So don't be bashful. When you have your way with us here, you can still give them a whirl.

Covidology 101


"Ignorance is never better then knowledge."

~ Enrico Fermi


This is a new regular feature. It was launched with several detailed entries in our previous edition.

Tuesday, July 14

•  Not a "respiratory disease" but a multi-organ failure syndrome? Data from autopsies on COVID victims shows blood clots that cause organ failure are not just in the lungs, but in multiple organs, including the heart, liver, and kidneys. There are even questions of the disease getting past the blood/brain barrier, AND of it killing T-cells, particularly in younger victims. What tissues can recover / regenerate post-COVID, and what does not ever come back? Are COVID survivors at increased risk of other diseases, including cancers, because their immune systems are compromised? Will dementia strike them at a young age? Watch for more research on some of this. Other aspects will take years to become clear. For now, there is no single source to click -- doctors and researchers throughout the world are sharing anecdotal findings, and no one has had time to do a peer-reviewed compilation paper with referenced studies. Point is, it CERTAINLY isn't "just the flu."
•  1 pm PDT live: Dr. Anthony Fauci Discusses COVID-19 With Georgetown University.  Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases at the National Institutes of Health and a White House Coronavirus Task Force member, discusses COVID-19 during a virtual event hosted by Georgetown University, live online & on C-SPAN2 &
•  The two largest public school districts in California -- Los Angeles Unified and San Diego Unified -- announced late Monday that they will NOT REOPEN their campuses this year, and will do only distance learning due to the pandemic. Both Trump and his Secretary of Education, private-school millionaire investor Betsy Devoss, had spent the weekend threatening to withhold federal funds from any state that refuses to "fully reopen its schools." 
•  California is reversing most of its "reopenings" and closing bars, indoor dining, and other environments that present clear vectors for transmission of the virus; Gov. Gavin Newsom came under immediate fire from pro-business groups, but was gaining relieved praise from the medical community.
•  In San Diego, the out-of-control fire consuming the USS Bonhomme Richard is burning at nearly 1,000 degrees F. It is consuming the ship's contents, threatening a million gallons of fuel on board, burning-through the vessel's hull plating, and filling the air with so much toxic smoke that Navy and civilian firefighters went on rotation to expose themselves to 15-minute increments before retreating a distance away to fresher air. But questions are arising about toxic smoke weakening lungs of San Diegans and making the entire population more susceptible to contracting COVID.
•  Citing the threat from COVID, these pro athletes have chosen not to play this year, regardless of how much money they lose:


C Buster Posey, San Francisco Giants

SP David Price, Los Angeles Dodgers

1B Ryan Zimmerman, Washington Nationals

SP Joe Ross, Washington Nationals

OF Nick Markakis, Atlanta Braves

SP Felix Hernandez, Atlanta Braves

SP Mike Leake, Arizona Diamondbacks

C Wellington Castillo, Washington Nationals

OF/1B Ian Desmond, Colorado Rockies

SP Tyson Ross, free agent

RP Jordan Hicks, St. Louis Cardinals

SP Michael Kopech, Chicago White Sox


G Victor Oladipo, Indiana Pacers

C DeAndre Jordan, Brooklyn Nets

F Wilson Chandler, Brooklyn Nets

F Trevor Ariza, Portland Trail Blazers

G Avery Bradley, Los Angeles Lakers

F Davis Bertans, Washington Wizards

C Willie Cauley-Stein, Dallas Mavericks

F Thabo Sefolosha, Houston Rockets


Rebecca Allen, New York Liberty

Liz Cambage, Las Vegas Aces

*Natasha Cloud, Washington Mystics

*Tiffany Hayes, Atlanta Dream

Jonquel Jones, Connecticut Sun

*Renee Montgomery, Atlanta Dream

Chiney Ogwumike, Los Angeles Sparks

LaToya Sanders, Washington Mystics

Kristi Toliver, Los Angeles Sparks

*Cecilia Zandalasini, Minnesota Lynx

*Maya Moore, Minnesota Lynx (announced in January)

Asia Durr, New York Liberty


Carlos Vela, Los Angeles FC

Ike Opara, Minnesota United FC

Lucas Cavallini, Tosaint Ricketts, Fredy Montero and Andy Rose, Vancouver Whitecaps FC

Nedum Onuoha, Real Salt Lake

Robbie Robinson, Inter Miami CF


Travis Hamonic, Calgary Flames

Roman Polak, Dallas Stars

Sven Baertschi, Vancouver Canucks

Mike Green, Edmonton Oilers

Steven Kampfer, Boston Bruins

List, by Steve Gardner, originally appeared on USA TODAY: "Players from major professional sports leagues in North America who have opted out of playing 2020 seasons" at:


Monday, July 13


Global cases:     12,946,000
Global deaths:         570,000

US cases:               3,308,000
US deaths:                 135,000

•  The US continues to have one-fourth of the world's cases, with only one-twelfth of the world's population.

•  Florida's daily new infections again set a daily record, along with a one-day record for any of the 50 US states, yet Disney World reopened on Saturday in Orlando.

•  The cumulative US totals for the first two months do not equal the current one-day totals from just four states. There is a word for believing "We have this under control," and that "It will soon go away," and that "Wearing a mask is a good idea sometimes, but I don't think I'll do it." That word is "delusional."

•  The US government's Cabinet-level Departments -- those whose heads are appointed by the president -- launched, this morning, what appears to be a coordinated attack aimed at undermining the credibility of Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the nation's Coronavirus response efforts and one of the world's most respected virologists and epidemiologists. God help us.

Thinking of heading to a National Park or California State Park?

The New York Times has good advice this morning about that:

Campgrounds in 80 state parks are currently open, and most of California’s national parks are open to visitors, with limitations.
Californians are still discouraged from traveling significant distances for recreation, so it’s best to also choose a park that’s close to home.
Before embarking on a trip, Gloria Sandoval, the deputy director of public affairs for California State Parks, advises first checking the park’s website to make sure it’s still open, as things change quickly. State park rangers are working hard to keep information on their website up to date. People can visit the Reserve California website to make a reservation or check to see if previous reservations still stand. Visitors whose reservations were canceled because of the pandemic were notified by phone or email.
Once you are settled into a campsite, be prepared for limited access to services, like barbecue pits, picnic areas and playgrounds. State park restrooms are open and are being cleaned more frequently. Visitor information centers and museums remain closed, for the most part.

The rest our Covidology 101 report today is about the state of affairs for RENTERS in the midst of, and as a result of, the plague.

COVID Emergency Brings Renters' Assistance Funding in Los Angeles

The City of Los Angeles opens applications this morning for the largest COVID rent relief program in the U.S.

It is open only to residents of the giant sprawling city of Los Angeles, and applications are open through July 17th.

Successful applicants will have up to $2,000 per month of their rent paid directly to their landlord for the next two months. This is a subsidy program that allocates $103,000,000 to Los Angeles City renters "impacted by the COVID-19 health pandemic" and is anticipated to assist 50,000 Los Angeles households.

Those who think they are eligible can apply at:

But don't panic. This is NOT one of those first-time, first-served small pots of funds. Everyone who applies anytime during the period will get an equal chance, because every applicant will be screened for meeting the same eligibility criteria, then put in a lottery with all the eligible applicants.

This won't cover back rent. In March, L.A. Mayor Eric Garcetti announced the city’s eviction moratorium was indefinite and renters would have 12 months to catch-up paying back rent once the COVID-19 emergency declaration is lifted.

Looking to existing laws for help gets crazy, convoluted, and excruciatingly complicated. Your rental unit may be subject to the City's Rent Stabilization Ordinance (RSO), but probably only if the property was built on or before October 1, 1978. Units constructed after July 15, 2007 that replace demolished RSO rental units may also be covered under the RSO. The RSO regulates rent increases and evictions. But it's not the only place to look.

The City of Los Angeles has investigated thousands of complaints of landlords illegally raising rents during the pandemic. To learn about what are the allowable criteria for rent increases, you go to the City's Housing Services, and check the Los Angeles Housing and Community Investment Department's criteria for handling of building code violations for multi-unit rental properties, and the Department of Building and Safety's handling of Code Enforcement violations for condos, single-family homes, and hotels. The portal for all that is:

County Program

We were talking about the City. The geographically much larger County of Los Angeles also offers assistance.

Back on April 14, the Los Angeles County Board of Supervisors voted unanimously to allocate up to $100,000 per applicant in a program that included paying up to $1,000 per month for three months of rent for those in need. It was deemed "additional emergency funding to assist struggling renters and expand tenant protections during the coronavirus pandemic." But those three months have run out. Beyond that? “The eviction moratorium we have in place has provided some relief, but many families are going to struggle to pay back the rent they owe after this crisis is over,” said County Supervisor Janice Hahn.

The Los Angeles County Department of Consumer and Business Affairs (DCBA), administers rent matters at the county level. With the COVID shutdown, that agency closed to the public at its walk-in all service locations, including its headquarters in the Kenneth Hahn Hall of Administration in downtown Los Angeles.

But you can call them for free help, at (833) 223-RENT (7368). You'll reach a counselor Monday through Friday, 8:30 am to 5:30 pm. One of their functions is to help you make a payment arrangement through the County's Rent Resolution process. There, "tenants and landlords can work out payment arrangements for any unpaid rent or alternative solutions during and after the moratorium period." But they warn, "Tenants must give proper notice. If you cannot pay rent because of the emergency, notify your landlord in writing using this template" which is one of the many things on their site:

But the county's help is mostly as an information resource. Their bailout cash, unlike the billions in federal bailouts enjoyed by airlines and Wall Street banksters, was limited, and it's gone.

Other Places to Turn, Anywhere in America

You can find online listings like "Renters: How to Get COVID-19 Rent Relief." Most are based on CARES Act Tenant-Based Rental Assistance. In terms of help with paying your rent, the CARES Act provides the Department of Housing and Urban Development an additional $17.4 billion to help American businesses, and in some cases, individuals. The June 22 Investopedia article cites numerous Federal programs and things the government is required to do by its own code sections. So it offers more than social media's shoulder-crys, hand-wringing, and unvetted, sheepdipped political bloviation. It's at:

Where Will This Go Next, for All of Us?

The standard advice of investment counselors has, for decades, been consistent on one point: no one should spend more than one-quarter of their income on rent. Yet, in some major cities, including Seattle, San Francisco, New York, the D.C. Metro area, and Los Angeles, it is impossible for most people to find adequate rental housing for anything less than half their income, and that easily ranges up to more than 70% of a single person's income going to rent. It has been a primary factor in the gig economy pushing people into second, third, and fourth jobs that have individuals violating the terms of their automobile insurance policies to use their cars as pseudo-taxicabs or delivery vehicles.

The City acknowledges that its program's $103,000,000 isn't enough to help all who are desperate for assistance in the greedily overpriced Southern California housing market. Indeed, hundreds of thousands of renters are facing eviction, with their jobs on indefinite hiatus during the pandemic.

But federal relief bills passed by the US House of Representatives weeks ago have been stuck ever since in the US Senate, where Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell (R, KY) refuses to allow them to come to votes. One of those trapped bills -- "pending legislation" -- is a $2 trillion stimulus bill that would provide a direct $1,200 check to most adult U.S. citizens. But It's trapped in the GOP Senate's undrained swamp.

Thus, economic survival is now a mosaic of trips to the pawn shop, selling your car, taking to eBay to sell personal possessions, and home-sewing cloth masks and selling them in store parking lots.

And where they exist, applying for every kind of state, county, and municipal program. All as piecemeal measures in various parts of America.

All part of what is, for far too many who never imagined themselves in such circumstances, the only games in this quasi-quarantined Twilight Zone that passes for "living through this," without becoming homeless in an already record-hot summer.


Sunday, July 12th

The news of spread, stats that look like vertical lines on the graphs in the majority of states, record-breaking numbers of cases, and the death toll of the virus in the U.S. -- a nation that is supposedly "leading the world in response," can be summed up in one word: awful.

And today the mainstream media is enamored with the Orange Imbecile's first public wearing of a mask -- yesterday, for the first time. Which he clearly indicated may not happen again, and which he described as "a good idea because these wounded troops just had surgery." Always an escapism, denialist rationalization. We're with David Axlerod's comment on that: "A mask? If he's going to Walter Reed [joint military hospitals Walter Reed Army / Bethesda Naval Hospital], he should wear a bag over his head."

We're just too disgusted to add more.

Saturday's entries have our usual factual presentation on the state of the pandemic.

That one day's extensive entries are reprinted below from the last edition.

for Saturday, July 11th, 2020.

Today's stats

•  The total number of COVID-19 cases in the US is now greater than the population of 17 states.

•  Today's increase in COVID cases is 66,000, including overnight increases in Florida and Texas of 10,000 in each state.

•  As much as 40% of those infected with COVID may display no symptoms and may be "silent spreaders," unknowingly infecting others with the disease. That's the finding of a new study by the National Academy of Sciences. They conclude -- if their interpretation of the data is correct -- far more widespread testing, with prompt or immediate results that allow for effective contact tracing, will be essential to produce a significant reduction in new cases. More about the study here. See the full study here.

•  As Major League Baseball returns to its ballparks for intramurals, the star Yankees closer has been diagnosed with the virus. Aroldis Chapman, a four-time All-Star, has symptoms and a fever. Meanwhile, at least six players of the NBA's New Jersey Nets have tested positive.

The CDC Predicts Deaths Will Soar in 12 States

The nationwide death toll is rising again, and the CDC just released its new list of where fatalities will rise. "This week's national ensemble forecast predicts that there will likely be between 140,000 and 160,000 total reported COVID-19 deaths by August 1st," reports the agency.

A copyrighted feature in "Eat This, Not That!" is presented as one of those annoyingly endkess slide shows, but it does a good job of listing those states with notes covering "why," so we consolidated it in one straiggt-read-through for you. It begins, "The state-level ensemble forecasts suggest that the number of new deaths over the next four weeks" will rise in these twelve states:

1. Arizona: With 113,000 cases and 2,047 deaths, Arizona is wracked with coronavirus—and an upcoming heat wave won't help. "Arizona is currently suffering from one of the worst outbreaks of Covid-19 with the highest daily reported cases per capita in the country," reports Vox. "Meanwhile, Phoenix hit a high of 109 degrees Fahrenheit in recent weeks…From hampering surge capacity plans for hospitals to increasing people's likelihood of getting exposed to the virus while sheltering indoors from the heat, heat can make things harder." Meanwhile, Republican "Gov. Doug Ducey did not announce significant new measures to slow the spread of COVID-19 in Arizona on Thursday despite pleas for aggressive action from doctors, mayors and some state lawmakers," reports AZ Central.

2. Alabama: Causing 49,174 cases and 1,068 deaths, coronavirus has already claimed at least one official. "A longtime mayor in Alabama has died of the novel coronavirus (COVID-19). He was 84," reports People. "Billy Joe Driver, the mayor of Clanton, Alabama, was diagnosed with the contagious respiratory virus last month." Meanwhile, another official said he'd like to see more people catch the disease. "I'm not as concerned as much as the number of cases—and in fact, quite honestly—I want to see more people, because we start reaching an immunity as more people have it and get through it," State Senator Del Marsh, a Republican, said. He's on the state's coronavirus task force.

3. Florida: "Mickey, Minnie and Goofy are going back to work Saturday as Disney World is pushing ahead with plans to reopen even as Florida continue to rack up a near-record number of new coronavirus cases," reports NBC News. "The 11,433 new COVID-19 cases reported Friday was the state's biggest daily increase since July 3, when 11,458 cases were recorded. Additionally, the state health department reported 435 more hospitalizations—the state's largest single-day increase. Florida also reported 93 additional deaths Friday, bringing the statewide COVID-19 death toll above 4,100." "There's no need to be fearful," Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis said Monday.

4. Idaho: "Citing an 'incredible surge' in confirmed COVID-19 cases, Gov. Brad Little, a Republican, announced Thursday that Idaho will remain in Stage 4 of its coronavirus rebound plan for at least two more weeks," reports Idaho Mountain Express. "There were a total of 8,969 cases statewide as of Thursday afternoon, according to the state's dedicated coronavirus website—more than double the 3,399 cases that had been reported by June 13, when Idaho first advanced from Stage 3 to Stage 4." The state has seen 101 deaths.

5. Montana: "Montana state health officials reported 127 new COVID-19 cases on Friday, a new single-day record, according to the Montana Response COVID-19 tracking map. The previous single-day record for COVID-19 cases in Montana was 96 which was set on Thursday," reports KPAX. "Friday's data shows the total number of cases in the state now stands at 1,632." Montana has 25 deaths.

6. North Dakota: "The North Dakota Department of Health on Friday, July 10, announced 84 new cases of COVID-19 on another high-testing day," reports Inforum. "There are now 573 residents of the state known to be infected with the illness—more than double the number of active cases on North Dakota's recent low point of June 22." The state has had 4,074 confirmed cases and 89 deaths.

7. Nevada: "Bars in Clark County and some additional counties in Nevada will reclose on Friday after health officials warned Gov. Steve Sisolak," a Democrat, "that the number of COVID-19 cases could surge," reports Eater. "He says federal health officials warned of a new potential surge in cases that would cause a strain on hospitals. The governor also recommends that restaurants should encourage outdoor dining and no longer serve more than six people at a table." Nevada has had 25,055 cases and 574 deaths.

8. Ohio: "Ohio has seen a spike in the number of confirmed coronavirus cases across the state over the last few weeks. Twelve counties have now been placed on the state's COVID-19 risk alert system," reports Fox 8. "There were 62,856 total confirmed and probable cases of COVID-19 in the state, which is an addition of 1,525 cases and the highest daily cases reported in Ohio since the pandemic began. The virus has also resulted in a total of 3,032 deaths (up 26 from Thursday) across the state."

9. South Carolina: South Carolina has 50,691 cases and 905 deaths, and a 400%+ increase in cases for young adults since June 1st. "We're going to be worse than New York," one Charleston ER nurse told The Daily Beast, which notes that the state is reporting more cases per capita than most countries. "But at least in New York, people took the virus seriously. Here, we're in a war zone that people refuse to accept." Folks are partying, there are bike shows and beach fests. "We've completely lost control of the situation," one doctor told the Beast. Republican Gov. Henry McMaster reiterated he won't issue a mask mandate.

10. Tennessee: "The Vanderbilt COVID-19 Report for Tennessee expects the state to keep with previous projections and reach 1,000 hospitalizations in the next two weeks," reports Fox 17. "The report cites a number of concerning indicators as the state sees more positive cases, hospitalizations, and a growing rate of spread." The state has had 56,941 cases and 700 deaths. Republican Gov. Bill Lee extended the state of emergency.

11. Texas: "As COVID-19 cases, hospitalizations and deaths continue surging throughout Texas, Gov. Greg Abbott said Friday there are no plans for an imminent economic shutdown as long as Texans are able to reduce the spread of the virus," reports KSAT. "Let me be clear about this because a lot of people are asking about that question," Abbott, a Republican, said. "There are rumors out there that there will be an imminent shutdown and that is not the case." He has mandated face masks and shut down bars.

12. West Virginia: COVID-19-related hospitalizations in West Virginia grew to 56 Friday, the highest number since May 1. Hospitalizations have more than doubled in the past week. "State Coronavirus Czar Dr. Clay Marsh said during a Friday appearance on MetroNews 'Talkline' those numbers could go up even more because hospitalizations tend to lag behind the reporting of positive cases," according to WV Metro News. "Over the last two weeks we've seen about a doubling of the number of active cases, so we know that COVID is spreading (in WV) and we know that there is a delay between when the positives happen and the hospital stuff starts to really jump," Marsh said. The state has 3,882 confirmed cases and 95 deaths.

How to Stay Healthy in Your State

Avoid crowds, don't go indoors with large groups, wear your face mask, social distance, wash your hands frequently, monitor your health, and to get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.

© Provided by Eat This, Not That!

Dr. Fauci Just Blamed These States for Coronavirus Outbreak

He says they are responsible for 50% of all the new infections.

This week, Dr. Anthony Fauci, the country's top infectious disease expert and a member of the White House Coronavirus Task Force, has been doing a media tour, sounding the alarm as coronavirus cases rise at a worrying rate; we are nearing 60,000 cases a day, and the country hit another daily record, it's sixth in ten days. 

In an interview with Anna Rothschild, on FiveThirtyEight's Podcast-19, he spoke about what's most urgent today—including which states are to blame.

1)  On the Big Coronavirus Surge

"I know what's going on there because it's pretty obvious is that in some of the States, the governors or the mayors essentially jumped over the guidelines and the checkpoints and opened up a little bit too soon. And they were not prepared to deal with the resurgences that they saw in other States, [where] the governors and the mayors actually abided by the guidelines and the restrictions—but the people in the state, particularly the young people threw caution to the wind and you see the films of people, very densely congregated at bars and in areas where they're getting together, not looking at social distancing, not wearing a mask. So I think what we're seeing right now are the results of that in those States, those four States that are accounting for about 50% of all the new infections"— Arizona, California, Florida and Texas —"that we're seeing in the United States."

2)  Did Some States Open Too Quickly?

"You know, I think in some respects, in some cases, they did not always. But I think that that certainly is contributing to that. Certainly Florida I know, you know, I think jumped over a couple of checkpoints."

3)  Can the Surge Be Blamed on Politicians Not Following Guidelines and People Not Following Orders?

"Yes. It is both. I mean, it's not a unidimensional thing. It's complicated. There are some governors and mayors that did it perfectly correctly. They stayed exactly. They wanted to open up, so they went through the guidelines of opening up their state. But what happened is that many of the citizenry, said, 'You know, well, I'm either going to be locked down or I'm going to let it all rip. And you could see from just looking, documented on TV and in the papers of still photos of people at bars and congregations, which are a perfect setup, particularly if you don't have a mask. Yeah, then there are some times when despite the guidelines and the recommendations to open up carefully and prudently, some states skipped over those and just opened up too quickly."

4)  How the U.S. is Doing Overall?

"Well, let me say there are parts of the United States, like where you live right now [in New York], that are doing really well, that you've been through something really bad and you have things under control. And you have a governor and mayor in the city who understand what it means to go by the guidelines for the gateway, phase one, phase two, phase three. So you're doing well. Other cities are doing well. But as a country, when you compare us to other countries, I don't think you can say we're doing great. I mean, we're just not. We plateaued at 20,000 for weeks and weeks and weeks. And now the last couple of weeks, we've gone back as high as 50,000 new cases per day. And now like yesterday, it was 43,000, but 43 and 50 is twice what your baseline is. I don't think we should be congratulating ourselves about how well we're doing."

5)  Does Partisanship Make Things More Difficult?

"You know, I think you'd have to admit that that's the case. We live, I mean, you have to be having blindfolders on and covering your ears to think that we don't live in a very divisive society now, from a political standpoint. I mean, it's just unfortunate, but it is what it is. And you know, from experience historically, that when you don't have unanimity in an approach to something, you're not as effective in how you handle it. So I think you'd have to make the assumption that if there wasn't such divisiveness, that we would have a more coordinated approach."
As for yourself: To get through this pandemic at your healthiest, don't miss these Things You Should Never Do During the Coronavirus Pandemic.
This feature originally ran in "Eat This, Not That!" © Provided by Eat This, Not That!

They tell us:


Sunday, July 12...

We open by turning to Garrison Keillor, from his daily "Writer's Almanac," for our eerily resonant note about today:

"It's the birthday of (Gaius) Julius Caesar, born in Rome around 100 B.C. He was the great military leader who managed to capture for the Roman Empire most of what became France and Great Britain.
"In a series of dispatches from the battlefield, Caesar became his own war correspondent. Unlike many of the Roman poets and historians of the era, Caesar wrote short descriptive prose that was easy for ordinary people to understand. His stories of military victories turned him into a national hero, but the Roman Senate increasingly saw him as a threat. It passed legislation requiring him to lay down his military command and return to Rome.
"But Caesar realized that he had the largest and most battle-tested army in the empire under his command. And if he returned to Rome, his political opponents would end his career. And so, on January 10, 49 B.C., Caesar crossed the Rubicon River with his army, directly challenging the authority of the Senate. The result was a civil war. Though he was outnumbered in many of the major battles, Caesar won the war. And he was extremely merciful with captured military leaders, because he wanted them as his allies. That might have been his biggest mistake, since it was a group of those men he spared that began to conspire against him.
"He was an absolute dictator of Rome, with ambitious plans to redistribute wealth and land. But a group of senators, led by Brutus and Cassius, wanted to bring back the old republic. So they organized an assassination on the steps of the Senate.
"The Roman republic never returned. Instead, Rome would be ruled by a series of emperors for the rest of the empire's existence."

When this was published Sunday, the day's listings and the "Covidology 101" led right into the news features. Since then, the added daily listings got between here and the feature stories.

Just poke around so you don't miss anything.

Monday, July 13...

THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date

"The man dies in all who keep silent in the face of tyranny."

~ Wole Soyinka, Nigerian playwright, poet and essayist, Nobel laureate (born July 13, 1934). He was awarded the 1986 Nobel Prize in Literature, the first sub-Saharan African to be honoured in that category.

(our thanks to A.Word.A.Day for the quote)




MONDAY, JULY 13, 2020
The Ronald Reagan Presidential Library told us Monday morning, "Please join us for a virtual conversation with New York Stock Exchange Chief Commercial Officer and Vice Chairman John Tuttle.  Mr. Tuttle will be discussing how the NYSE handled the onset of the COVID19 pandemic in March, including temporarily closing the trading floor, as well as the market outlook for the rest of 2020. This event is free and will be livestreamed on our YouTube channel." (

John Tuttle leads the NYSE’s global listings, capital markets, and exchange-traded products businesses. He also manages the Exchange’s relationships with more than 2,200 NYSE-listed companies and with the investment banking, private equity, venture capital, and legal communities. 

Mon, Jul 13:
5 pm Pacific -- 

Online concert tonight at 5 pm, new video today from Cidny Bullens

The former Elton John guitarist continues a socially relevant solo career

Cidny writes, "TODAY is the official release of the first single from my forthcoming album Walkin' Through This World 'The Gender Line.' The track will be available on all digital platforms (Spotify, Amazon Music, iTunes etc) to listen to and to buy. The video of 'The Gender Line' is now on my Youtube and it's starting to get some great reviews."

"My friend Sir Elton John told me he will be featuring the video on his Youtube show 'Rocket Hour'I'll let you know when!"

He continues, "This is an exciting (and a bit of a scary) time for me. Obviously, I know the subject matter of the song is not in everyone's daily vernacular. My hope is to create more understanding, or at least more awareness that being a transgender person is a real physiological thing. But even more, if I can help one other human being honor who they are and even more, allow themselves to BECOME ALL of who they are--that is my wish."

Some readers may remember seeing Cidny performing on stage in those giant arena shows, or as a member of the folk trio, THE REFUGEES, as Cindy Bullens.

Cidny continues, "I'm a lucky one. I have support. I have unconditional love from my family and friends. I have a community who buoys me up. I have access. And I want to make a difference."

"Let me know what you think of the song and the video. I'd love to hear.  Please share it if you know someone who might benefit from seeing/hearing it. Thank you!"

Tonight's online concert

Cidny's latest "MONDAY NIGHT MOJO" Facebook Live Concert is TONIGHT, MONDAY July 13, at
5 pm Pacific.  
•  this time it's coming from Cidny's BAND/ARTIST PAGE, at

Also, you can pre-order the new Walkin' Through This World CD now, at 

"Click on the CD and you got it -- signed!" says Cidny, adding, "I will be sending them out as soon as I receive the shipment. While you're on my website -- peruse around and take a look. I've changed the look, the pictures, the substance. I continue to add more individual songs in the track listings (many more coming including my very first albums). I've added the credits and lyrics for all my albums from 1999 through today."

Sounds like it's time for a look-see and a listen to all that fresh content from an artist with stellar talent. 

EXTRA: all the people attempting to watch Cidny's show crashed Facebook. 

So we decided to bring you more information in cyber print. 
Here ya go:

This two-time Grammy nominee’s career began auspiciously-- working with Elton John, Bob Dylan, Gene Clark, Rod Stewart, The Alpha Band, and Pop producer/writer Bob Crewe, and singing three lead vocals on the movie soundtrack of "Grease", to having eight critically acclaimed solo albums, including the 1999's "Somewhere Between Heaven and Earth", featuring appearances by Bonnie Raitt, Lucinda Williams, Bryan Adams, Beth Neilson Chapman, Rodney Crowell, and a haunting duet with her elder daughter, Reid--written after the tragic death of Cidny’s 11-year old daughter Jessie to cancer in March of 1996. The CD received the Best Rock Album award in 2000 by the AFIM Independent Music Association.
Cidny has received worldwide attention from press, radio, and television, including NBC's Today Show, CBS This Morning, Conan O'Brien Late Night, The New York Times, People Magazine, Rolling Stone and many more.

Albums "Neverland" (featuring Steve Earle, John Hiatt and Emmylou Harris) and "dream #29" (featuring Sir Elton John on piano, Boston Red Sox ace kunckleballer Tim Wakefield, and a duet with Delbert McClinton) followed and were co-produced with Cidny by Steve Earle’s Twangtrust partner Ray Kennedy. Most recent CD "Howling Trains and Barking Dogs" (featuring some of Cid’s Nashville co-writes) was regarded as as one of the top Americana albums of 2010. Cidny has co-written songs in Nashville, with several charting Country singles including Radney Foster’s hit “Hammer and Nails”. From 2016-18, Cidny performed his multimedia one person show Somewhere Between: Not An Ordinary Life--about his life between 1974 and the present--around the country to rave reviews. He plans to the show again starting in 2021.
In September 2019, a documentary short about Cid’s life “The Gender Line”, directed by TJ Parsell and produced by Bill Brimm premiered at the Edmonton Film Festival and won Best Documentary Short. The film has since screened at two dozen film festivals, winning several more awards, around the world and counting.
In August, 2020 Cid’s new album, and first as “Cidny”, will be released worldwide. Elton John says: "Walkin' Through This World" ... A musical journey of the miracle that is Cidny Bullens. He HAD to do this. He had to musicially tell his story. And it is SO moving. "The Gender Line", "Walkin' Through This World", "Call Me By My Name" are killers! The playing and the sound are fabulous! Cidny has laid himself bare and the results are wonderful. Sir Elton John, June 2020
The first single, out on July 13, 2020, is the compelling and heartfelt song “The Gender Line”. The accompanying video was brilliantly shot by Scot Sax in Nashville.

Cid’s quote about “The Gender Line”: No one who isn't transgender understands it. How can you? People who aren't don't ever have to ask the question: what am I? You just are. Well, we just aren't. We aren't the body we were born into. We aren't what you see, what you hear, what you think. Some of us figure it out early, some later, some have carried it to their grave. Others have been killed because of it. Sometimes the gender line is hard, for others it is fluid. But it exists. It is very real. "Are you a boy or are you a girl? It's an easy answer in a binary world.” —Cidny Bullens

Mon, Jul 13:
5 pm Pacific -- 

Guitar wizard Muriel Anderson

Tune in to at 5 pm PDT for her weekly FB Live.
This week she will be playing a new waltz - in process.

Plus, later this week...

Livestream with Muriel: Friday, July 17th
7:30 pm PDT (10:30 pm EDT) this Friday,  a live-streaming multimedia concert with stunning visual backdrops that will transport you to different times and countries. In the second half, she will perform tunes from "Acoustic Chef," featuring music from around the world and a cookbook of recipes and stories to go with each tune. Guaranteed to make you smile.

Any size donation in the online tip jar (now or during concert) will enter you into a raffle for "Acoustic Chef" & other fun things.  50% of donated funds will go to support the beautiful Auburn State Theatre and 50% to Muriel. 

Tune in to her YouTube channel. (You can subscribe and hit the bell so you can make comments.) Prepare to be happily transported to different times and places.

Mon, July 13:
6 pm Pacific --
MARCIA BALL and DONN ADELMAN are sitting in with Chris at Donn's Depot

Streaming on the artist's website at:
Streaming on Facebook at:
•  Tip jars:
PayPal app:
PayPal web:
Venmo: @Chris-Gage-10

NOTE: some combination of ALBERT & GAGE & friends will do another online show this week:

On Friday, July 17, 2020 at 6 pm PDT. Same url's.


Mon, July 13:

A live stream. From youtube. : )
I try to do them daily but not sure...changes are up coming...

But if  want to SUBSCIRBE! : )
Piano man MARC BOSSERMAN does a daily live show and takes requests,  but he never manages to tell us in advance WHAT TIME. You can enjoy replays, on demand, like this one:

Watch at:


Mon, July 13, on TV:
8 pm-11 pm -- "CMA BEST OF FEST"
is a three-hour compilation of 16 years of concerts at the Country Music Association's annual shindig. Granted, CMA is all about Nashvulle pop country and seldom makes room for trad, alt, or roots performances. But it is a cavalcade of live performances back when there were real audiences. It airs on ABC network stations.


Tuesday, July 14...

THOUGHTS FOR TODAY from two born on this date

"There's several ways of saying what's on your mind. And in states and counties where it ain't too healthy to talk too loud, speak your mind, or even vote like you want to, folks have found other ways of getting the word around. One of the mainest ways is by singing."

"The note of hope is the only note that can help us or save us from falling to the bottom of the heap of evolution, because, largely, about all a human being is, anyway, is just a hoping machine."

"Any fool can make something complicated. It takes a genius to make it simple."

"I hate a song that makes you think that you're not any good. [...] Songs that run you down or songs that poke fun at you on account of your bad luck or your hard traveling. I am out to fight those kinds of songs to my very last breath of air and my last drop of blood."

"This Machine Kills Fascists" -- a slogan he inscribed in his guitar in the early 1940s, which continues to inspire subsequent artists.

~ Woody Guthrie, American singer-songwriter and guitarist, writer of "This Land Is Your Land," a voice of the common people during the Great Depression and the Dustbowl, and a whole lot more (1912-1967).

And, from our second voice born on this date...

"The power to define the situation is the ultimate power."

"The individual who signs the check has the ultimate power."

"The backseat produced the sexual revolution."

"The problem with fame is that you get frozen in one frame and nothing you can do can alter the nature."

~ Jerry Rubin, American activist, author, member of the "Chicago Seven" put on trial and blamed for protests at the 1968 Democratic Convention, and incongruently enough, eventually a businessman (1938-1994).


On this day

Today is Bastille Day, the holiday in France that celebrates the storming of the military fortress and prison called the Bastille. That happened on July 14, 1789, in a violent uprising that helped usher in the French Revolution.

Like the killing of George Floyd at the hands of police in our time, it was not the arrest of a famous person or the leader of a movement that brought the masses into the streets to finally say "enough!" to the imprisonment and brutal treatment of the dispossessed.

In France, it was too many straws on the camel's back, under the repressive rule of the rich elitist Bourbons and the French monarchy. It was living in want and fear, and a sense of irreconcilable inequity, and the realization that, for most people, no amount of hard work would be enough to raise oneself from the certain poverty of a growing wealth gap.

Thus came the French Revolution, with its murderous excesses, and Napoleon.

Oh, and "Bastille Day" is the common name given in English-speaking countries to the national day of France. Which is always celebrated on the 14th of July, each year. But in French, it is formally called "Fête nationale" (pronounced [fɛt nasjɔnal]; "National Celebration") and commonly and legally le 14 juillet (French pronunciation: [lə katɔʁz(ə) ʒɥijɛ]; "the 14th of July").


Billy the Kid was shot and killed by Sheriff Pat Garrett on this date in 1881 in New Mexico Territory in the final chapter of the Lincoln County War. Whether he was a traumatized young man who became righteously vengeful against murderous abuse of power or simply a psychopathic killer, his life and death have inspired numerous books, starting with the one written by the man who killed him, Pat Garett. (It's amazing how few people have found the motivations for THAT account self-serving and therefore dubious.) 

There have been novels, poems, dozens of movies, and a great many and vast array of songs. 

The musical legacy is enormous, with the most notable songs here for you to click and see 'n hear -- by:
Woody Guthrie;
Bob Dylan who wrote his song for a movie's opening titles; 
Dylan's song, "Billy," performed very differently by Gillian Welch & David Rawlings
and by Los Lobos
another original by
Marty Robbins
Charlie Daniels with his later (acoustic version) and the thrilling original (electric version), both wonderful;
the unlikely contribution to the Western Music genre by Billy Joel
and the must-hear Dave Stamey, with the most historically accurate entry, his multiple-award-winning "Skies of Lincoln County"; 
plus the iconic orchestral ballet-suite by the dean of American composers, Aaron Copland.


And with that -- and today's update to "Covidology 101," and the news features published below in the next section --

  we are taking a few days off.

Trevor Noah and Stephen Colbert are both freshly returned from their times of hiatus, so we feel we are picking a good time to disappear for a while -- and certainly we will take a much shorter time than they get to be away and recharge.

Which reminds us of a Woody Guthrie quote we left out, above:
"Take it easy, but take it." We are.

So, for now, Choi, Arrivaderci, Bon Chance, Adieu, 
Auf Wiedersehen, Toodles, and Aloha!

Catch ya on the flip side.

News feature stories

Acoustic Eidolon's recent "Drive Up Car Concert" brings a mini documentary

Entertaining small successes as lessons in our creative world

Hannah and Joe, the (usually) touring duo that is Acoustic Eidolon, is making focused use of online shows. In their latest email, they tell us, "We seem to have a car theme going... because we miss all our days spent touring and traveling... so in addition to the Drive Up Concert link, here are some 'Concerts in our Car' for you in these recent months."

It's innovative, attention-grabbing, and the kind of thing that creates a quasi-quarantine trademark.

Take a look.

Acoustic Eidolon's recent Drive Up Car Concert...a mini documentary


It really is a clever theme.

For this next one they say, "Welcome to Episode 4 in our "Concert in the Car" series! It's time for 'One Old Wreck' in our Toyota Sienna minivan... as well as some general banter as we play this old fave!" The link, so you can share easily, is

Concerts in the Car - Acoustic Eidolon's "One Old Wreck" Episode 4


Here's Episode 3 in their "Concert in the Car" series. Hannah says, "Let the music take you away... to Hawaii with this Acoustic Eidolon original tune."

Concerts in the Car - Acoustic Eidolon's "Ala Makai" Episode 3


If you've seen 'em perform, it won't surprise you that their delightful acoustic rendition of Led Zep's "Stairway to Heaven" was Episode 2 in their "Concerts in the Car" series.

Concerts In The Car - Acoustic Eidolon's version of "Stairway to Heaven" - Episode 2


Hannah tells us, "...we miss traveling in our tour van," which plenty can say.

These two are a model for using the time off.

First, she says, "The silver lining of our quarantine is that we're deciding to embrace this time as a sabbatical, and are recording our 13th CD. It's a cello-heavy CD, with a warm scattering of brand new vocals and pieces that take you from the Faroe Islands to Utqiagvik (Barrow), Alaska, and through our lives in between. We can't wait to share some of this brand new music with you all soon!"

Yeah, well, they're hardly the only ones to cut a new record in the midst of pandamania. 
     But what about that when she adds this:

"We get to take LOTS of walks as we stay home in these crazy times. We're also taking bike rides and kayaking, playing music and brainstorming more ways to get our music out to all of YOU.

"We've found that reaching for our creativity and each other has helped us hold onto hope and light and moments of peace in these times."

Damn. Here at the Guide, nobody's escaped to go kayaking. Or even done enough long bike rides (okay, the last part isn't appealing because it's just too hot).

You've gotta love the spirit of these two. They close with, "Stick together, stay healthy and keep listening to music!  We'll weather this together... and we'll see you on the other side of all of this."


You can check-out and subscribe to Acoustic Eidolon's YouTube Channel (you know the drill: if you hit the little bell next to the subscribe button, you'll receive notifications of new vids when they post):

Their full site is:

30th Quarantine Livestream for California duo happens today

Andy & Renee, who lead award winning Hard Rain & host "Dylanfest," still delight with online shows

Youtube Sunday, 5 pm PDT / 8 pm EDT; Facebook Live on Wednesday, July 15th, 7 pm PDT / 10 pm EDT is # 31

"Can you believe we've been doing the Livestreams since March 19th?" asks Renee Safier, half of the always exciting duo with the encyclopedic catalog. She adds, "Well, be have reached a milestone! It's our Youtube Livestream # 30!"

Sunday, 5 pm Pacific.
•  Watch at:

She adds, "As you know, our 'In-Person' gigs have been cancelled for the last several months. We turned to doing Livestream shows to make a living and deliver the music to you. The shows are FREE TO WATCH, but the option to tip us is there (for those who are in a position to do so) if you are enjoying the music."

You can tip at:
•  PayPal:
•  Or Venmo:

"A portion of the proceeds goes to the Los Angeles Midnight Mission. We are sustained by the generosity and support of the fans who love the music, and who tip as they are able," says Renee. She continues, "If you haven't tuned in to one of our live-streaming shows, we hope you will soon. They are a lot of fun, and you can interact with the other viewers in the 'Chat Room.' Put the show on your Smart TV or watch on your computer, phone, or tablet!"

Plus, who else offers THIS, with such a deep song mine in which to dig:

Make requests from their list of 470 songs, and they get to as many requests as possible.

See the list HERE, and send your requests to before the show.


Catch up with their "Canada Day" show, recorded July 1st, with all songs written by Canadian artists.

"Dylanfest 30 -- The Virtual Edition" marked the 30th year of the best tribute festival around. If you missed it or want to give back in, watch any or all of the Dylanfest 30 Videos HERE.

The entirety of the 3 Live shows is there, all free to enjoy, including (or plus) the 6 Hard Rain videos, the 40 individual performer videos, and the Dylanfest Historical videos. Enjoy these wonderful performances on-demand.

As Bob Dylan said, "Always do for others, and let others do for you". Peace.

Austin roots music mainstays

Hot Club of Cowtown 20-year member departs 

Well, there WAS that hiatus, a few years back, when Elana took off to be the fiddle player for BOB DYLAN's very lengthy 'round-the-world tour. And there were the days when Whit returned to New York City to lead an impossibly big band. But the bonds among the three members of the HOT CLUB OF COWTOWN had always seemed as tight as the none-better music they've brought the world, including live performances in more countries than you can count.

Until word came July 9th from Elana James & Whit Smith -- two-thirds of the classic trio that has made music for twenty years with Jake Erwin. They tell us:

"First and foremost, we have heard from Jake that he is going to be moving forward into his own new adventures. 

"As you are -- and have been for decades in some cases! -- our loyal fans, we wanted to share this news with you first, here, today, and will soon of course make it public as well. 

"This is certainly the end of a magnificent era, but by no means the end of the band."

Here's a note from Jake:

"Hello Dear Hot Club of Cowtown Friends and Fans!

    "This is Jake Erwin, your long time bass player and backing vocalist, and I'm writing now to say goodbye to you all. 

     I've been with this mighty band for about 20 years now and after much consideration, I have decided to leave the stage professionally and take a new path into the future. 
     I count myself very fortunate and am truly honored to have been a part of what I believe is a unique and special group in the world of the musical arts and entertainment.
     I will always cherish my memories of traveling the world and playing for all of you wonderful folks and I Thank You very sincerely for all the many years of kind attention and enthusiastic support. 
     I hope that I will get to see many of you again from a smaller stage perhaps or in some other regard altogether but for now, I wish the band and all of you my very best and hope that we all may have a healthy and happy future!

- Jake Erwin 07/06/2020”

Here at the Guide, that threw us for a loop. After all, the trio had planned a very full summer tour schedule together. But as we all know, this contemplative time is bringing many of us to choosing changes, including life-changing and hopefully life-affirming ones.

Elena and Whit commented, "What more can we say? The nature of life is change! Jake has given us two decades of his life and we have only gratitude for that. You can leave a note for him or us in our Guestbook, on our facebook page, or even respond directly to this email (we will forward any and all replies or messages directly to Jake)."

But there is still their incomparable hybrid of Western Swing, Bob Wills, and Djangostyle Gypsy Jazz.  Which brings us to their latest LIVE SET

And their assurance, "Today marks the 120th day of our unexpected sabbatical! But the show goes on! And to that end, you can find our recent live set from a few weeks ago here where we are joined by the wonderful Kevin Smith on bass (Willie Nelson's, High Noon and Heybale) and Damien Llanes (Marcia Ball, Hot Club of Cowtown:) on drums. 

"We wanted to quickly share with you today are our recent one-and-only facebook live set (a work in progress!), in case you’d like to grab a cold drink and join us in Elana’s backyard for an hour from a few weeks back.

They add, "If you are compelled to donate to our facebook live set, we would be thrilled. The best link is here or you can copy and paste this link:

"We’ll likely do another live set in early August and will keep you posted about that and would love to have you join us in real time. In the meantime, you can always log onto Whit's facebook page and Elana's facebook page as we continue to experiment and broadcast our own stuff, if you'd like to join us there for whatever we come up with!"

Screen shot from the trio's live set "teaser" of Right or Wrong. Click to watch
Click here to watch their one-hour live set from Elana's backyard.
You can also contribute to the cause here:
Click here to watch Elana's 20-minute solo set from home for Dustbowl Revival's Sway at Home Festival from a few weeks back. And because some of you have asked!.....

Collector alert...

They have partly re-done their website with a new gift shop page. And hidden in their word about that is a chance to grab a surefire collectible. Check it out:

"...we finally moved all our merch over to a new format and website, where there is a TON of autographed stuff, as well as at least one thing we’ve never been able to sell online: our limited-edition, signed "White Buffalo" poster. So please come and visit our new Gift Shop and let us know how you like it. We have also pulled Wild Kingdom from the created world for now and will re-release it once we are able to tour again. That said, there are still copies available at our new merch store—and they are signed by all three of us!"

Personal reflection...

There were a couple of late night chats with Jake, in addition to their live performance on the L.A. broadcast radio show with web simulcast that we hosted. And there was the deliciously memorable jam that brought the three of them to join a piano player we knew, an astounding musician whose repertoire  featured a couple thousand of the same songs they knew... making for one night of musical valhalla into the wee hours in the California desert.

And thus, to Jake, we wish you the sincerest Happy Trails. And to Elana and Whit, we'll be seein' ya up around the bend, pards!

The Alternate Root magazine offers new tunage

Click album cover for their album reviews with
music from Bob Dylan, The Chefs, Libby Rodenbough, Town Meeting, Louise Goffin, Tad Overbaugh and the Late Arrivals



The Band



Alasdair Fraser and Natalie Haas

 IN CONCERT| Scottish Music for Fiddle and Cello
9 am-10 am Pacific, ONLINE

FRASER & HAAS. Photo by Irene Young.
Alasdair Fraser has long been regarded as one of the greatest Scottish fiddlers playing today. His duo with Californian cellist Natalie Haas has helped reconstruct and revive the Scottish tradition of playing dance music on violin and cello, incorporating driving rhythms and improvisation into their interpretation of Scottish melodies.

Fraser has a concert and recording career spanning over 30 years, with a long list of awards, accolades, radio and television credits, and feature performances on top movie soundtracks, including Last of the Mohicans and Titanic. In 2011, he was inducted into the Scottish Traditional Music Hall of Fame. 

Haas, a graduate of the Juilliard School of Music, is one of the most sought after cellists in traditional music today, and has performed and recorded with Mark O'Connor, Natalie MacMaster, Irish supergroups Solas and Altan, Liz Carroll, Dirk Powell, Brittany Haas, Darol Anger, Laura Cortese, and many more. 

Together, the duo of Fraser & Haas has toured internationally for over 18 years, to great acclaim at festivals and concerts worldwide. They have released five critically acclaimed and award winning albums.  Though they are physically separated for now, they will play together for Homegrown through the magic of technology.


A free noon concert series (Eastern time) presented by the American Folklife Center and the Music Division of the Library of Congress. Due to the COVID 19 pandemic, the 2020 concerts will stream on the American Folklife Center’s Facebook page, Wednesdays from June 24-September 30. Artists will be present in the chat area to say hello and answer questions during the concert and for a few minutes after it ends. Video will also be posted online here and on the Library of Congress YouTube channel-- NO TICKETS REQUIRED.


Oh, by the way...

Our challenge still stands to any big media organization with a deep video or photo archive that goes back through 2009.

It's simple:

(1)  Go to your archive and get images from your reporting on Americans' reactions when the overseas SARS and EBOLA outbreaks were reported and quickly contained, all during the previous administration.

(2)  Specifically, get images of all those panic-fomenting protesters holding signs reading "Obama will kill us all!"

(3)  Use your biometric software on those images and on your current images of pro-Trump zealots loudly claiming that their constitutional rights are being violated by masks and social distancing in the middle of a pandemic. It'll be easy to do, since the latter are the only ones not wearing masks.

(4)  Then prove our hypothesis is wrong, when we say those people are the same ones. The ones who were terrified of dying from a disease until a real one was called "A hoax" by their ochre ogre.

Resources / Navigation / Contacting us / 
Direct to the Guide's current editions 


editions load quickly at

Or at

CONTACT US -- Post Comments / Send Questions / say Howdy at:

Tiedtothetracks (at) Hotmail (dot) com
OR USE THE COMMENTS FUNCTION on the Blogspot site.

Entire contents copyright © 2020, 

Lawrence Wines & Tied to the Tracks.

All rights reserved.

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

We'll be back again soon with music news and more "News of the Non-Trumpcentric Universe." (c)

Til we catch ya again on the flip side 
in this new world of the improbable unknown...


No comments: