Well, Gawrsh, Batman! THIS EDITION is CHOCKFUL, like in the glory days when there was live music everywhere and Google hadn't screwed-up our publishing platform yet! (Our cyber guru is finding ways around their limitations, so you get a really classy edition LOADED with good stuff!)
Yes there was a new edition just a few days ago and lots of what's in that one is still good stuff.
So why more, so soon? Well, there's more, and there's HUGELY more.
Okay, for starters, the Batman thing -- today is "National Superhero Day." (Yes, really. So you might see somebody in a cape as well as a mask. Now you know not to get a net.)
Of course there's more than just that. Like, f'rinstance, visions of a fun folky MAY DAY! And reviews, an' previews, an' weekend music, an' a summer music retreat, an' bunches of news features, an' the Americana music charts, an' The Guide's new award, an'... let's get started, shall we?
First up, here's some cool short stuff you'll find worth sharing...
THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date
"There is a rumor going around that I have found God. I think this is unlikely because I have enough difficulty finding my keys, and there is empirical evidence that they exist."
~ Terry Pratchett, novelist (born April 28, 1948, died in 2015)
◇ Word reached us this morning that Michael Collins has died at age 90. He was Command Module Pilot of Apollo 11, who stayed alone in orbit around the Moon while the Lunar Module made the first human landing on the surface.
He was known as an especially thoughtful man. We wonder what he thought, all these decades, about being a novelty when he expected to be a pathfinder. Because were it not for the "austerity" crowd, an active space program would have held through all these years, and landed astronauts on Mars way back in 1987. (That was indeed the timeline using the long-lost Saturn V launch vehicle that was supposed to be waaay more than the "Moon rocket.")
◇ The world is beginning to comprehend the horror of COVID in India, as variants run amok, more than 350,000 new cases a day are reported, there are no remaining hospital beds, and oxygen cylinders that go for $80 are $10,000 on the black market if they can be had at all. Cremations of the dead have exhausted all wood supplies and all trees in parks are at risk.
◇ Right now, federal investigators are catching-up with the brown meltdown man, aka the Trump attorney who tried -- on camera -- to seduce Borat's daughter, aka the ex-NYC mayor whose every phrase was a noun, a verb, and 9-11, aka ex-federal prosecutor, Rudy Giuliani. The scrutiny has extended into the files and electronic devices in his office and apartment, looking at potential violations of foreign lobbying laws and his role in the January 6th insurrection against the government by Trump supporters. (You may recall it began the same way with previous Trump attorney Michael Cohen, and they found more than enough to put him away and turn him state's evidence.)
◇ It came out today that AT&T donated $800,000 to the portion of Republican holders of elective office who support voter suppression bills.
◇ Tonight President Biden addresses a joint session of Congress on the eve of his 100th day in office. At stake? Whether we FINALLY get Congress to spend money on our own country to repair and modernize collapsing infrastructure. (On all the channels, 6 pm Pacific.)
◇ European space scientists are conducting an exercise to deal with a fictional asteroid impact on Earth. (Can you say, "Hey, Stegosaurus, what was that?")m
◇ National Park Week ends April 30th; go now while specials are running.
◇ Seattle is in the midst of a Japanese-style ready-to-eat wooden "Bento box" meals. (Will it come to L.A.? Can we learn to use chopsticks while driving?)
Depending who you ask, today is:
• National Workers Memorial Day (the nurses are on board)
• National Prime Rib Day (Black Angus is on board)
• National Superhero Day (nobody "on board," because they're all buzzing around somewhere. "Look! Up in the sky! It's a bird! It's a plane! It's..." -- he cut off when the pigeon poop nailed him in the eye.)
Now, an item from Garrison Keillor's daily missive, "The Writers Almanac" for today, April 28th...
(This one will grab you and hold on -- especially if you're thinking about Michael Collins)
Today is the birthday of geologist and astronomer Eugene Shoemaker, born in Los Angeles in 1928. He graduated from the California Institute of Technology at the age of 19, and he earned his master's degree a year later. He went to work for the United States Geological Survey, and studying the Earth sparked in him an interest in the moon. He tried to convince the USGS that he should do a geological map of its surface, and would have loved to go there himself, but he was diagnosed with Addison's disease in 1963, which put an end to his astronaut aspirations.
He was particularly interested in the formation of meteor impact craters and so, with the help of his wife, Carolyn, he studied asteroids that had the potential to crash into planets or moons. He discovered 32 comets, which now bear his name, and was thrilled when, in 1994, one of those comets, Shoemaker-Levy 9, crashed into Jupiter — the first collision of two solar system bodies ever observed.
Shoemaker was killed in a car accident in 1997 and, at the suggestion of one of his students, his cremated remains were placed aboard the Lunar Prospector, an orbiter on a mission to map the moon. When its battery ran out at the end of its mission, the orbiter crashed onto the surface of the moon, and there his ashes remain in a capsule engraved with a quote from Romeo and Juliet:
And, when he shall die,
Take him and cut him out in little stars,
And he will make the face of heaven so fine
That all the world will be in love with night,
And pay no worship to the garish sun.
The Guide presents
the An•noise Award
In the midst of awards season, THIS is the one you really would NOT want to receive. So, except for the, uh "winner" and the dishonorable mentions given to all nominees, welcome to the Acoustic Americana Music Guide's 2021 An•noise Award presentation.
Here's the premise.
With everyone home for a year, numbers of tv watchers went through the stratosphere. So did exposure to tv advertising. Things that simply blew-by in previous times became inescaple bogs, mired us in, got on our last nerve, and put our flat screens in danger of thrown objects.
Seems incredible now, but the pre-premiere tv promos for the original "Star Wars" were simply a black screen with white letters, a teaser like "coming soon," and an audibly dramatic few notes of John Williams' score, centered around a crescendo.
Alas, today the masterfully focused minimalist moment is as dead as the dodo.
Instead we get saturation bombing from all quarters -- in stampedes of mixed herds, wave after wave every fifteen to thirty seconds -- occasionally interrupted by, "Oh, now I remember" snippets of what we seem to recall going there to watch. It's even worse when commercial-makers refuse to budget for musicians, choosing the dubious ability of someone on-board to compose some aggravating ditty on their phone, believing that looping a latter-day one-two-buckle-my-shoe makes it an irresistible ear worm.
Not even YouTube or online news streaming is safe. It's all given to pummeling us all into buying something purveyed with blaring incongruity, even outright cacophony. The idea is to keep you off balance so you'll notice them as you curse the eleventeenth commercial in a row. Or maybe this break is only one commercial, so you won't think it's safe to go in the bathroom. The only regularity to any of it? It's video Metamucil, purging whatever we thought we'd digested from the show we dimly recall watching.
To protect our tv -- and yours -- from airborne loose objects, we devised this prize to, well, "get even" with the annoying bastards who bombard us with excruciatingly stupid crap. In addition to wasting millions of dollars of tv time, they engender entrenched alienation. Add those factors and it's all we need.
Plus, we see that it does no good when we vow never to buy a damn thing from those determined to irritate us. Even in this age of ubiquitous cyberspying -- when they know favorite colors, blood types, political predisposition, shoe size, other size, and how much store time you spend in front of which can of soup, box of cereal, and hygiene product -- they don't know, or defiantly don't care, when they make us quietly resolve to hate them. Hence, time for the An•noise Award.
🙁 1) That eight-note, endlessly repeated loop of whistled motif that drones on and on, ad nauseum, backing the Dupixent commercial. We are too annoyed to know what their pill, or whatever it is, does, and we don't care.
😣 2) That sound effect of taking a wire brush to a boulder every time somebody says rapper Ice T's name. It happens on the commercial for the car protection plan that's advertised 20 times a day on L.A. tv, but isn't available in California.
🤤 3) Every Big Pharma ad that weasels-out of responsibility for the long-as-your-arm list of side effects they cause, by saying particular forms of stupor, incoherence, or excruciating death "have happened" (or "have occurred") to an undisclosed number of those who took the esoteric chemical cocktail with its platinum alloy pricetag. (Around here, lightning-fast channel changing "has happened.")
😩 4) Deliberately ignorant mispronunciations to attract attention. There's the low-ball buyer oligarch with the perpetual four-day beard from "so'jers advantage dot com" who has nothing special for veterans. There's the club-insider female millennial goofyspeakers who jamwordstogether then warp and stretch one, as in "financingsavedmealotof mun'yeee." They use six "e's" to say "me" and five "a's" to say "that" and turn all pivotal consonants to an "h," as in "dih'nt" and "impor'hant." And the bane of our existence, the constant search for validation by people who turn every declarative sentence into a question, and follow it with "Rye-eat?"
😞 5) That Allstate ad with the singing hood ornament. Even the classic voiceover from Dennis Haysburt can't redeem this one. Somebody's got looks, somebody's got brains, so they're going to make lots of money, complete with hard-pounding sexual grunting. Thing is, they set it in a pristine desert landscape, perpetuating the tragic notion that the desert can always be torn-up and paved-over to enable the making of money. And what the hell does any of that greed imagery have to do with car insurance?
😝 6) LiMu's entire tv ad campaign. From a mangy ersatz Big Bird puppet accompanied by a grating actor sidekick who you never want to see in any role, ever again; to a dufus selling drenched stuff animals; to a lamer encased in a cell phone who leaps into a giant bowl conveniently labeled "rice" (we were rooting for a battery explosion); to other hopelessly lame satire you'd pay to avoid seeing again, ever, ever, never again... to the fact that Liberty Mutual is the only major insurance corporation that still funds all the nasty tar sands pipelines, rain forest deforestation developments, and other environmental travesties.
And the Guide's 2021 An•noise Dishonor goes to...
😲 Liberty Mutual, for an entire campaign of multiple excruciations. Not only for the mangy "LiMu emu" and their endless drivel of other crap, but because they use it all to hyperannoyingly distract from what they do with their corporate assets and clients' money to degrade the planet.
Of course the other five nominees get dishonorable mentions.
All nominees get these dishonorable mentions... covering them and the colic horse they rode in on.
Granted, numbers 3 and 4 were nominated for entire trends we want to see ridiculed into extinction, rather than specific ads. So -- while we most wanted to give chief dishonors to both -- they are moving targets. Sorta like malevolent shape-shifters of bad '50s drive-in movies that escaped the nitrate film-can fires. They have the ability to waft toxic fumes every time a show goes to commercial.
If we missed one that has you ready to scream and climb the walls, let us know. We could always come back with a "Readers' Choice An•noise Award."
John Fogerty & Dan Rather:
Music performance-interview tonight / this week
Multi-platinum music legend John Fogerty dishes on his latest quarantine side project, a family band. Dan Rather joins John and his children, otherwise known as Fogerty's Factory (a play on the the famous Creedence Clearwater Revival album, "Cosmo's Factory") on "The Big Interview." Watch the full interview Wednesday, April 28th at 8/7 C on AXS or the AXS YouTube channel.
Plus, on AXS...
How the music happened, how Eric was influenced by others, and how he evolved his own style. Get an intimate look at Eric Clapton's rise to fame with Eric Clapton: The 1970s Review streaming NOW on the AXS TV app and website. (Click here to stream.)
Music THIS WEEKEND:
Rick Shea and a music store venue, both back in action
Saturday, May 1st, 5 pm PST, Rick goes "Live from The Fret House in Covins, CA, AND It's watchable by all via FaceBook Live.
Rick tells us, "I'm doing shows on the first and 3rd Saturday of the month, instead of every Saturday as I'd been doing since last March. Also this coming month I have a Live show with my band The Losin' End at Last Name Brewery in Upland CA on Sat May 22nd from 5 -8 pm. It's outdoors and all safety and distancing protocols will be observed, more info at the link below.
"Thanks to all for your continued support, stay safe."
Facebook link for this Saturday's show:
You can see the archived April 17th show at:
Always more at:
Still more this weekend
Reviews, Previews, & News
Americana Radio SINGLES Chart -- Week of 4/27/21
Americana Radio ALBUMS Chart -- Week of 4/27/21
Rhonda Vincent's Latest Single "Like I Could" Premieres on People.com
By Jeremy Westby
“I feel like I’ve discovered the best way to find songs to record. Just get in a limo with a Grand Ole Opry Star, ride around Nashville and enjoy having them sing the latest songs they’ve written. It sounds like a fairy tale, but that’s exactly how I found “Like I Could;” Jeannie Seely sang me the newest song she had written, along with Erin Enderlin and Bobby Tomberlin. I loved it instantly, and couldn’t wait to record it.” shares Vincent.
Due to pandemic restrictions, Vincent had to bring her album to a halt, but the “Queen of Bluegrass” is coming back in full swing with the release of “Like I Could” and her upcoming album. Vincent’s high-spirited energy is clearly present through her soaring vocals, blend of new tunes, and fresh arrangements of classics such as the first-ever recorded bluegrass version of the classic, “Unchained Melody.” Fans will not want to miss what Rhonda Vincent has in store for the coming months!
For more information and to keep up with everything Rhonda Vincent, visit her website and follow her social channels below.
About Rhonda Vincent:
The Grammy-winning Queen of Bluegrass Rhonda Vincent began her professional music career at the age of five, singing with her family’s band, the Sally Mountain Show. She picked up the mandolin at eight and the fiddle at twelve, performing with the family band at festivals on weekends. Rhonda struck out on her own, singing with the Grand Ole Opry’s Jim Ed Brown. Her opportunity eventually led to a deal with Rebel Records. Her work caught the attention of Giant Nashville’s president, James Stroud, who signed Vincent to record two contemporary country albums. After Giant, she signed with Rounder Records where her passion for traditional bluegrass music flourished. With the release of her debut album “Back Home Again,” “The Wall Street Journal” crowned Rhonda Vincent the New Queen of Bluegrass. She’s a multi-award winner, with a Grammy for Best Bluegrass Album (2017), Entertainer of the Year (2001), Song of the Year (2004), and an unprecedented 7 consecutive Female Vocalist of the Year awards from the International Bluegrass Music Association (2000 – 2006). Her powerful vocal style transcends the boundaries of bluegrass music, as evidenced in her collaboration with Dolly Parton on the Elton John / Bernie Taupin Tribute Project “Restoration” 2018. Rhonda Vincent’s lifelong dream came true when she was invited to be a member of the Grand Ole Opry on February 28, 2020.
By Erik Andersen
GRAMMY Museum reopens May 21st
After being closed for more than a year, the GRAMMY Museum announced Tuesday they will reopen to the public on Friday, May 21, 2021. Additionally, the Museum will provide free admission to first responders, healthcare workers, and essential workers through June 2021.
A spokesperson told The Guide, "We look forward to welcoming you again with three new major exhibits, Dave Matthews Band: Inside and Out (on view through fall 2021), Y Para Siempre... Marco Antonio Solís (on view through spring 2022), and the previously announced Motown: The Sound Of Young America, presented by City National Bank (on view through winter 2021). More info about each exhibit to be announced soon. Additionally, the Museum's This is Nat King Cole exhibit has been extended through fall 2021."
During the first phase of reopening, the GRAMMY Museum will follow guidelines provided by L.A. County for museums and open at limited capacity to maintain social distancing.
The Museum adds, "To enhance visitor engagement, we're taking active measures to maintain a safe environment for guests including new health and safety protocols such as limited capacity, advanced timed-entry online ticketing, required face mask wearing, mandatory temperature check, a touchless visitor experience, enhanced and more frequent cleaning and sanitizing protocols, one-way paths through the Museum floors, social distancing marks, hand sanitizing stations, and more."
To find information about the reopening measures and their visitor code of conduct, and for the latest information regarding making your visit, go to:
If you have questions, call their Guest Services team at (213) 765-6800.
The GRAMMY Museum is located at 800 W. Olympic Bl, Suite A245, in the Staples Center/ L.A. Live Complex, Los Angeles, CA 90015. Entrance is actually around the corner on Figueroa.
Brett Perkins Listening Room "Idyllwild Retreat & Festival" returns July 25-31
Brett tells us, "Spring has begun delivering warmer days and long awaited sunshine here in Denmark, along with continued re-opening of the country which thankfully includes a return to performing.
"My greatest focus and inspiration at the moment is a return to Idyllwild to once again lead a group of songwriters in a week of 'Community Through Co-Writing' July 25-31, followed by presentation of a day long, free to the public 'Idyllwild Songwriters Festival' Saturday, July 31st, featuring The Brothers Landau, Mia Sera, select co-written songs from retreat participants and many more feature artists tba.
|Enjoy festival coverage from 2019|
"A fine group is forming for the retreat, including special pro guest participant Alan Roy Scott, [whose songs have been] recorded by Celine Dion, Ray Charles, Cyndi Lauper, Notorious B.I.G., Luther Vandross, Patti LaBelle, Roberta Flack, Cher, Neville Bros., Sheena Easton, Johnny Mathis and many more."
Learn about this hugely accomplished songwriter at:
Brett continues, "A limited number of participant spots remain available to join us in the beautiful arts community of Idyllwild, 5413 feet and two hours above the Summer heat of the Southern California basin, where all recommended protocols will be followed and retreat participants required to provide proof of Covid-19 vaccination and/or recent negative test results to ensure a safe working environment.
"Join us in the Listening Circle of songs!"
Registration is now open at:
Running on a cultural flat tire
Superman had his insidiously debilitating Kryptonite. We get toxic Carlsonite. You don't even want to do a Buzz Aldrin and shove one of his intrusive loudmouth lemmings out of the way, because the oaf would oof and breathe god-knows-what all over you.
John King didn't say it, but it makes ya wonder: whatever happened to the "freedom" argument from these Branch Covidians, since they are now being told to coerce others who are (safely) minding their own business? Seems they're going to harass you if YOU want the freedom to protect yourself from the Typhoid Marys of Foxorangitudinal-Refucklicant-fascism.
I'm all for buying the intransigent disease-deniers -- at least the ones who harass your kids -- one-way tickets to India. We can start with Tucker "Explosive Diarrhea" Carlson.
They can be pack mules to carry oxygen bottles on the plane, surrendering them at the arrival gate so the subcontinent's desperate hospitals can save lives. No other carry-ons. No forty-dollar toilet water. Use it right from the bowl when you get there. After all, nobody who consumes the finite resources of this little blue planet should be allowed to take and bully and demand privilige and harass people whose behavior protects everybody, including the loudmouth dispensers of malevolence. Certainly not without giving something for others.
I'd love a chance to deliver that message to a covey of Carlsonites. It would conclude, "Got that, you 'freedom-loving,' child-accosting, intransigent, uneducable, pathetically disoriented/displaced Limbaugh-refugees-become-Carlsonites?"
I know. I'd need to be in a Kevlar moon suit. Or they'd use me like the U.S. Capitol.