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Saturday, October 10, 2020

Tuneful relief for a stone-bruisin' Rocky-tober. Oct 10 edition 2020

It's called perseverance, and it's the story of 2020 for all of us, from the inescapably serious to the merely annoying, every day in every way.

Here at The Guide, we are contending with the unworkable format changes and lack of publishing tools imposed on the platform by Google. (Needlessly, ridiculously, destructively imposed by Google.) Until we have time to move The Guide to a new site (after 13 years here), we continue to post a few things, and not as often. We pledge to bring you good stuff wherever we are, or to just go away if we can't.

There is no table of contents for whatever we can include in this edition. 

We'll stuff it as full as we can before it refuses to allow us to add more. (Without the platform's former suite of tools and with the large capacity for each edition now gone, we will do what is possible here.)

Let's get started!


Today is Saturday, October 10th. 

We have two items from Garrison Keillor

It's the birthday of singer-songwriter John Prine, born in Maywood, Illinois (1946). He got a job working at the post office in his hometown, and he started playing in coffee shops, but no one paid any attention to him. Then one day, the film critic Roget Ebert went to see a movie that he didn't like very much, so he walked out of the theater early and headed down the street to get a beer instead. He happened to go to the bar where Prine was playing as background music. And so instead of writing a movie review that week, Ebert wrote a review called "Singing Mailman Delivers the Message," and suddenly John Prine had a full house every time he played.

John Prine died of complications from COVID-19 on April 7th, 2020.


... it was on this day in 1935 that Porgy and Bess had its premiere in New York City. George Gershwin wanted to adapt DuBose Heyward's novel Porgy to the stage, and so he went down to South Carolina with his brother Ira, and they spent weeks there trying to learn about African-American Gullah culture.

George Gershwin was so pleased with what he called his "folk opera" that he said, "I think the music is so marvelous, I don't believe I wrote it."

One of its most famous songs is "Summertime," with the lyrics:

And the livin' is easy
Fish are jumpin'
And the cotton is high

Your daddy's rich
And your ma is good lookin'
So hush little baby

Don't you cry

(Both those items are copyright Garrison Keillor, from today's edition of his "Writer's Almanac.")


Re-Broadcast TODAY (Sat, 10/10):

FAR-West Virtual Membership Meeting & Livestream Concert

Folk Alliance Region-West (FAR-West)
FAR-West Virtual Membership Meeting and Livestream Concert 
will be Re-Broadcast in it's entirety TODAY, Saturday, Oct 10th beginning at 11:30 AM PDT on our YouTube channel: 
If you missed us when we were live this past Thursday, 
you can see the whole thing today. 
Play Song"Everyone's Welcome Here" (FAR West) by Kerry Patrick Clark from "What A Show"


Baritone Justin Birchell Sings Live 

Tonight at 8 pm PDT

Justin Birchell, baritone

Up next in the Pasadena venue's "Emerging Artist Series" is baritone Justin Birchell. Justin will be joined by pianist and emerging artist mentor Brent McMunn for a program of contemporary stunners.

This concert will be LIVESTREAMED tonight (Oct 10) at 8PM on Boston Court’s new platform. The Emerging Artist Series is free, but registration is required.

Can't watch tonight? This concert will be available for one week following the live premiere.

Already registered? Simply click the "watch" button below. 

The Emerging Artist Series is generously supported by the Lazy L Foundation.


This weekend is your last chance to watch pianist Andrew Anderson.
Don't miss this astonishing concert.
BOX OFFICE, 626-683-6801
11AM - 5PM, TUE - FRI


Some News from The Alternate Root


Concert In Your Living Room - 

Tonight (Saturday) 8 pm PDT🎵



Two chances to tune in
in October

Jody Mulgrew keeps his promo short and sweet. He says:

"I’m streaming a 45-minute concert tonight for you folks at home. I have a request from last month’s show to play some mandolin, so I’ll come equipped. 

"If you’ve got a request for tonight, there’s a link for the virtual tip jar in the description of tonight’s show on YouTube:

"See you tonight, at 8 pm California Time."

The Guide endorsed Jody a few years back. We're still enthusiastic.


The word from "No Depression"

ND says, "If you're already a subscriber, thank you! More great roots music reading can be found in our past single issues in our store. If you're interested in becoming a subscriber so that you never miss a quarterly issue, you can become an annual subscriber now for as little as $6/month (billed annually or quarterly) and you'll start with our upcoming Winter 2020 "All Together Now" issue, which will begin shipping in only a few weeks.

"Again, thank you for being a valued member of our community!"


Subscribe to No Depression


Signs & Symbols: of and for now

Every day, more happens that is wholly unpredictable, and even more unwelcome. Fact is, the unbelievable has become a numbing normal. News reporting has taken the place of bestsellers on the fiction rack, because nobody can make stuff up that holds a candle to what is being orchestrated by the egomaniacal poster child for abnormal psychology and his lapdog minions.

Most everyone in the country -- and the city, and every other country -- is way beyond wanting the insanity to just stop, and its purveyor to just go away.

We're never sure what day it is -- Orange Imbecile day, Orange Abomination day, or Orange Consciousness day. Or if circumstances will deal us the need to invent another.

The vice presidential candidates' debate could have -- and dammit, should have -- put an end to a good part of this. It didn't, and that was inexcusable. Here's the story our editor filed within hours after that debate: 


Lost opportunity: the veep debate needed Jeff Goldblum

by Larry Wines

Perhaps the TV talking heads were trying to sound like historians. Of course they had to mix lowering expectations with big hype to encourage viewers and ratings. But given the advanced age of both party's ticket-toppers, the veep debate was one that promised meaning.

What was delivered? Not much.

I found Pence's calm sincere lying excruciating. But Harris really blew it, not pushing the White House COVID cluster, and with Pence in charge of the task force. She also should have pushed him on whether he would ban abortion in his state. She asked and he sidestepped, lime he did everything, and she let him off the hook every time.

This was not the Kamala Harris that attacked Biden when they were running against each other, when she brought the "I was that little girl" line. She allowed Pence to mansplain and talk way past his time every time he spoke, except one. By then, when she said, "Mr. Pence, I'm speaking," it was too little, too late. The pattern was established that he could get away with it.

Harris could have clobbered him, even with his constant talking and Susan Page being utterly ineffective. 

Hypothetical examples:

"Mr. Pence, you just said you and Mr. Trump are proud of your handling of the COVID pandemic and the task force you are heading. That's hard to figure, considering your maskless superspreader cluster in the White House has more people sick than some entire countries have had."


"Mr. Pence, since you head the White House task force, let's talk about Mr. Trump saying he wants the exotic cocktail of experimental drugs-- that only he has received -- to be available free to everybody. Is Mexico going to pay for that?"


"Mr. Pence: Your boss says he wants stimulus money to help the American people suffering in the pandemic. Your ally Mitch McConnell refuses to make any money available because he won't allow a bill to come to a vote in the Senate. Why don't you ask Mr. Trump to arbitrarily raid the military budget like he did to build his total of four miles of wall?"

Those are just three that come to mind. She coulda kicked his ass. She wimped out.

Susan Page was awful as a moderator. She would say, "Thank you. Thank you," at six to ten second intervals when his time was up and he kept talking. Which wasn't nearly enough to make him stop talking. You can't say that he steamrolled Page, because he didn't have to. He rolled-up Susan like a tortilla.

A fly landed on Pence's head and stayed there for two minutes three seconds. I wish I had seen the fly. Everybody had fun with the fly, including Stephen Colbert, Jimmy Kimmel and the BBC. There's even a Biden tweet with Joe holding a flyswatter. But my eyesight or my screen wasn't up to seeing the fly and I had no idea it was there.

Pundits are having fun that it "was symbolic" (use your imagination). Some say it emphasizes Pence's robotic nature because he never reacted to it.

The fly now has its own Twitter account, posting that it will be getting COVID testing. 

And somebody remembered an old interview with Barack Obama when a fly got in the act. The video reemerged. The interviewer had said, "That's the most persistent fly I've ever seen." Obama said quietly, "Wait a minute," then with lightning reflexes caught and killed the fly with his bare hand. That got posted after the Pence thing as "How a real president deals with a fly."

Monica Lewinsky tweeted:
"One fly on the cuckoo's nest."

"Lord of the lies" was another Twitter comment.

Biden's campaign website merch briefly offered a blue flyswatter printed with "Truth over flies." It's already sold-out.

Instant polls showed something like 60% of women thought Harris won, and that was reversed with men. I saw him winning on style with that calmly emphatic sincerity -- if you didn't know he was lying about everything. Those who gave her major points for facial expressions while Pence drones on seemed attuned to something esoteric. Harris just didn't stop his time-stealing when he first revealed it as his prime tactic. And she didn't attack any of the many times she needed to -- exacerbated by Susan Page's utter failure as a traffic cop.

Page's best moment was probably her final question, which came from a girl in the 8th grade. The kid asked how America could ever be unified with everything so partisan and everybody constantly attacking each other. While it was not the proper summation for the tone of the night, it surely harkened back to the Trump-Biden debacle. But neither Harris nor Pence had enough momentum going into that question to make their reply memorable, so that, too, was a fizzle.

I saw it as wasted opportunity for both campaigns and a lost chance for Harris to look decisive and presidential. The infamous Trump "low information voter" was likely energized. Any progressive seeking relief from Biden's relentlessly corporate conservatism was left empty handed. It still isn't about voting "for" anybody. Except maybe the fly.


We wanted and intended to bring you more. The changed format of this platform won't let us. It is playing its new game of locking up with a blank page after much has been entered and saved. It percolates frozen or blank, and leaves us wondering if it will ever return so we can publish what we know (make that what we knew) it had accepted. 

So for this edition, this is the end of the train. 

We had more to send you and the engines had full steam and good crews. But the switch to the mainline won't take any more boxcars. (Maybe because you jam the tracks with phantom empty spaces and 5-second delays for each character typed.)

Google, this is a helluva way to run a railroad.

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

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...

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