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Sunday, November 1, 2020

Music and the candidates, the best cartoons, and why we're in for a long seige for results. Nov 1 edition 2020

Sometimes it isn't the statistic that threw you back on your heels. And not every week imprints a doe-eyed child, or the cops or some nut shooting somebody.

The one that stuck all this past week? Alec Baldwin's Trump on SNL: "We've turned the corner on the virus, turned the corner, turned the corner, so now we've gone all the way around the block and we're right back where we were in March."


Did any of us believe this election would ever come? It all started ridiculously early, then insinuated its tentacles into every aspect of life. Watching the news in America became a disgraceful immersion in ethnocentricity that ignored the affairs of the world. Except for the pandemic. There was plenty from some quarters about the pandemic being "the fault" of a country its accuser called "Ghina." 

Was it the blame game, constantly played against some nation, some racial or ethnic group, or some "other" political party -- or more commonly, against all at the same time -- that prevented any effective response to COVID-19 in the U.S.? Almost uniquely in the U.S., among the world's nations? With a mere 5% of the world's human population, the U.S. has consistently had one-fifth of the world's cases of the virus and one-fifth of all deaths from it. Nations with far less sophisticated medical care have maintained far lower death rates and total infections and deaths that are a tiny fraction of what Americans have suffered.

Between now and Tuesday is your chance to do something about it.

We know, most Americans just want it be be effing over. That's proven by, as the New York Times characterizes it, "the astonishing numbers of early voting and vote by mail ballots already received."

Just remember that all those "down-ballot" elective offices AND all those ballot propositions can be decided by just a few votes. So be sure YOU vote -- or be prepared to explain yourself forever to kids and grandchildren why you didn't

Want witty, irreverent election night coverage?

Lee Camp, host of "Redacted Tonight," tells us, "Tuesday - Election Day - I will be livestreaming with Eleanor Goldfield from 4:30 pm to 5:30 pm Pacific (7:30 pm to 8:30 pm ET) only at"



Music and the candidates

The Trump campaign continues to flaunt demands from musicians, bands, songwriters, music publishers, and record labels that it stop using their music at his maskless Maskhole, Branch Covidian rallies. There have been lawsuits, court orders to cease-and-desist, impassioned pleas, and when the frustration gets nowhere else, scathing vilifications by the artists of Trump himself for stealing their creative product for his own promotional purposes.

Mostly classic rock tracks have been at issue, with songs by and complaints from Elton John, the Rolling Stones, Heart, Queen, the Beatles, James Taylor, John Fogerty, and many more.

Fogerty even did an interview on CNN, perfectly playing the baffled "I-don't-get-it" character. Seems the Trump campaign had been making heavy use of Fogerty's old Creedence Clearwater Revival classic, "Fortunate Son." 

"Thing is," said Fogerty, "I could have written that song today, about a very contemporary 'fortunate son' who uses privilege and a sense of entitlement to avoid paying his taxes."

"It goes, 'Some folks are born silver spoon in hand,' but 'when the taxman comes to the door, the house looks like a rummage sale.' It speaks to a pretty obvious con, to somebody trying to take advantage of the rest of us."

The Trump campaign, when it replies at all to the offended musicians, usually claims "fair use," which it isn't, or says it paid a music bundler for the use of everything in a package of recordings, so like it or not, they're covered. 

Why the Trumpertarians can't just stick with Kid Rock and Hank Williams Jr, who both support him, is anybody's guess.


Over on the Biden side, prominent artists have been happy to supply music for smaller, socially-distanced, often drive-in rallies.

Taylor Swift, Immediately upon being contacted, granted her first-ever blessing to having a song used for political purposes.

Watch the new video for Taylor's song, "Only the Young, Our Future Is Worth Our Fight":

And, as "Reliable Sources" reports...

Bruce Springsteen boosts Biden


Biden's campaign ran a new campaign ad featuring Bruce Springsteen during Saturday's game between Ohio State and Penn State on ABC.


Dan Merica and Veronica Stracqualursi writes: "The 60-second ad -- titled 'Hometown' and featuring Springsteen's song 'My Hometown' from his 1984 album 'Born In The U.S.A.' -- includes the Boss touting Biden's ties to Scranton, PA... The ad alludes to the ongoing Covid-19 pandemic, showing footage of Biden, first responders and restaurant workers all with masks..."

Letter To You film, Bruce's 20th studio album featuring the E Street Band, is available everywhere now.

Watch the Letter To You film, directed by Thom Zimny, on AppleTV+ now.


We wish we had time to bring you a more complete round-up of all the musicians lending support of their creative product and performing talent to propel the effort to bring change through this election. But our own involvement limits how much effort we can expend reporting about that aspect.

So we bring you the following and then move on to our other topics.


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MUSE: "My Vote, My Voice, My Right"
7pm ET/4pm PT on the MUSE websiteRegister for this free event

We're thrilled to be included in this latest virtual rally from MUSE: Cincinnati's Women's Choir, "My Vote, My Voice, My Right"! MUSE was founded by our friend, Dr. Catherine Roma, and has performed in "colleges, schools, churches, prisons, temples, hospices, street events, conferences and workshops promoting peace, equality and justice" since 1984.

Here's what MUSE has been doing during the COVID-19 pandemic:

Since May 2020, MUSE: Cincinatti's Women's Choir has been exploring novel ways to connect with our audiences and provide a space for expression, education, inspiration, and healing. On November 1 at 7pm EST, we proudly present the culmination of the last six months of virtual choir work. During this event, host Marie Elyse Krulewitch-Browne will take you on a journey with videos from the year, focusing on the 100th anniversary of women’s suffrage, the intersectionality of Black women’s experiences, youth voter participation, income inequality & barriers to voting, and LGBTQ rights. The evening will feature MUSE’s world-premiere video, The Revolution, and special guests Emma’s Revolution.

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Dump the Trump: A Voters Kick-him-out Sing Along Session
5pm PT/8pm ET on Zoom & Facebook Live
Email Irina for Zoom link

Join in for this virtual collaboration between Queer Arts Center and Rose Street House of Music, including: Irina RivkinLisa SandersBlackberri & Cadence Myles.

Check out the virtual songbook. More songs to come.

Donations welcome to Queer Arts Center, a grassroots, interdisciplinary collaborative of Oakland, California based Black, Indigenous + Brown LGBTQ+ identified artists and wellness practitioners serving a global community.

To join as an artist, or to volunteer, please email Irina and organizers are especially seeking volunteers to type captions, and/or to copy and paste the lyrics into the close-captioning on Zoom.


Last Minute ZOOM Pre-Election Rally & Concert

Hear Garret Swayne and Terry Okey perform songs of protest and solidarity. They say, "Seriously… we gotta get this guy out of the White House before he destroys the nation entirely!  So we’re holding a virtual Rally!  And it’ll feature a bunch of good old-fashioned Protest songs! (Except they’ll be new, original protest songs, applicable to the current political landscape!)"

Sunday evening Nov 1, 2020 at 7 pm Pacific Time.

All you gotta do is stay safe at home and login on Zoom.  Here are the login details:

Topic: "Songs of protest - vote Trump out!"

Time: Nov 1, 2020 07:00 PM Pacific Time (US and Canada)

Join Zoom Meeting

Meeting ID: 861 7620 2389

Passcode: 024389

One tap mobile

+16699009128,,86176202389#,,,,,,0#,,024389# US (San Jose)

+13462487799,,86176202389#,,,,,,0#,,024389# US (Houston)

Dial by your location

        +1 669 900 9128 US (San Jose)

        +1 346 248 7799 US (Houston)

        +1 253 215 8782 US (Tacoma)

        +1 646 558 8656 US (New York)

        +1 301 715 8592 US (Germantown)

        +1 312 626 6799 US (Chicago)

Meeting ID: 861 7620 2389

Passcode: 024389

Find your local number:


“This isn’t forever, but it is for now”

Guest editorial by Andy Hill, co-leader of the award-winning band Hard Rain that hosts the annual "Dylanfest." our dejection, we remind ourselves not to allow temporary disappointment to rationalize behaviors and attitudes that may have permanent consequences. 

One day, we will have a vaccine. One day this will be over, and covid-19 maybe more like the flu, and who knows maybe less deadly. Science and medicine will get us there. Not deflection, understandable desperation, and certainly not callous ideological posturing. 


   It’s important for all of us to come to terms with the fact that there is no choice available not defined by sacrifice and loss. The hundreds of thousands of Americans who have lost an irreplaceable family member don’t need us to explain that.  But there is a choice that holds as our highest ideal safety and the respect of others. Higher, for example, than personal liberty – in exactly the same way we temporarily suspend our personal liberty by agreeing to drive on the right side of the road, when the left side has fewer cars on it. 


We’d like to close with a quote by Dr. Bonny Henry. 


She was a family doctor and is a specialist in public health and preventive medicine in my home province of British Columbia. In view of her handling of the COVID-19 pandemic in B.C. the New York Times called her "one of the most effective public health officials in the world". 


In the words of Dr. Henry; 

“This isn’t forever, but it is for now”. 


   Please go out and vote. 


   We’ll see you [in our live online concerts] and someday we will see each other on the other side of Covid. Until then, be especially gentle and kind with others in your physical cohort, who are feeling all the same pressures and disappointments as you. We are each other’s support system. Good night. We love you.

~ Andy Hill


Politically attuned new tuneage


DEAD ROCK WEST Releases Politically Charged Song and Video

 “Revolution In The Garden,” out Oct 23 on the Blackbird label

Very electric track, written 30 years ago and just released, speaks across the gulf to our time and circumstances

Watch it:


 New song for pandemic times, from Cindy Kallet and Grey Larsen

 - a fund-raiser for nurses

Grey says, "Cindy Kallet and I have just released a brand new song, 'Sense of Number [328,500],' which addresses, in a heart-centered way, the pandemic and election season we are going through. Cindy wrote the song as an attempt to make sense of the vast number of people who have died, and will die, from COVID-19. I feel that it captures, with beauty and compassion, the emotional shock and struggle that many of us are feeling right now.

"You can listen to this new song for free by going to this page and clicking on the (very small) play button.

"Please consider purchasing a download or CD of “Sense of Number.” When you do, half of your payment will go to the American Nurses Foundation Coronavirus Response Fund for Nurses. Nurses everywhere are bearing a terrible burden, and their stresses increase daily as the pandemic surges once again. Many public health officials are being undermined and are even facing threats of violence. We need to lend our support to health care workers.

"The other half of your payment will help support Cindy and me during these very difficult times for working musicians. I realize many of us are making multiple donations of time and money these days. We appreciate your generosity so much."

There's more.

Grey continues, "Two months ago Cindy and I released another new song of hers, which we combined with a traditional Irish air: “Letter to America/The Green Fields of Canada.” That recording, which portrays the plight of refugees, has so far generated $3300, half of which goes to The National Immigration Law Center and Refugees International. If you haven’t heard this music yet, I urge you to go here and give it a free listen. Then, if you purchase a download or CD, know that you are helping refugees and immigrants, many of whom are children, find a better life, while at the same time helping Cindy and I earn something for our creative work while the pandemic prevents us from touring.

"One way to encourage your friends and family to vote this week is to gift them these two new songs, which embody, emotionally, issues that will be greatly impacted by our votes. You can buy them a gift card here, and encourage them to use it in our online store to buy these new songs (or anything else in our store - CDssong downloadsbooks and more). When you buy a gift card, you can include a personal message to your recipient."


The GRAMMY Museum has a plan:
" Make Your Voice Heard At The Ballot Box"

"Music has an impact on us, but now it's time to impact the world with your vote," asserts the L.A.-based GRAMMY Museum. They continue, "We partnered with Los Angeles Urban League to create an opportunity for different artists to share their personal opinions on important topics shaping the 2020 Presidential Election. Follow us on social media to watch artists such as Laura Marano, Brandon Stansell, Gloria Trevi, JuJubee and more share their thoughts on the importance of voting. Make a plan to vote today by clicking the button below!"



Cartoons -- the best we've seen, before their shelf life expires

Editorial cartoonists prove every day that the old saying is true: "A picture is worth a thousand words."

First, though, a photo: pet Halloween in the Seattle P.I.


I know this guy. You know this guy.


Another photo. 


Which historian was it who said, "History does not repeat itself, but it rhymes"-?


Are you kidding? Not 'til 2021?


Not going gently into this good night


Ya gotta love the on-screen network logo


Trump driving 


The way he's behaved, this is too easy to visualize.


Where is she when you need her?


SCOTUS & the Trump health care "plan"

Entitled, by stealing


Let's help Canada do this, and screw the corporations that screw us




Here, we turn to other sources we have read and found valuable.

First up: this Oct 27 "Vanity Fair" piece by William D. Cohan is kind of long, but it's an essential read to get a real grasp on major underreported sectors of what's going on. US Senator Sheldon Whitehouse is a hero of mine for myriad reasons. He sent the link. Take the time to read this. You'll discover the Koch Brothers are part of a deep bench on a very scary team:

Next, here is Alan Alda in the Oct 29 Washington Post, ,

In a moment, we turn to Brian Stelter, host of the weekly CNN series "Reliable Sources." 

His daily internet publication does a fine job exploring and explaining why the media is likely to frustrate viewers with an inability to tell you who won.

In fact, we may not know for days. Which was absolutely typical in the 18th and 19th centuries. But when 20th century communication technology was established as universal infrastructure, we forgot about those earlier times. Well, with pandemic-driven remote voting, welcome back to the future.

Here's Brian Stelter.

Special edition: Pack your patience; Sunday's events; cable news coverage; the latest polls; Trump's closing argument ad; Springsteen's support for Biden
CNN Reliable Sources

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