Jump right in -- things are happening today through the holiday weekend. And beyond. We're publishing with a LOT for you to enjoy! Plus, we'll let you know right up-top (above this intro) if we add more. Yes, we are offering a late nod to Canada Day, eh?
"We must dissent from the fear, the hatred, and the mistrust. We must dissent from a nation that buried its head in the sand waiting in vain for the needs of its poor, its elderly, and its sick to disappear and just blow away. We must dissent from a government that has left its young without jobs, education, or hope. We must dissent from the poverty of vision and timeless absence of moral leadership. We must dissent, because America can do better, because America has no choice but to do better."
~ Thurgood Marshall, ~ US Supreme Court Justice, 32nd Solicitor General of the United States (born July 2, 1908, died 1993)
E Pluribus, but clearly not Unum...
Lest anyone think California is devoid of redneck racists, here's a post from the "Neighborhood" site. The context? It was a thread about reporting illegal fireworks in dangerously dry semi rural areas where a wildfire could explode into something major.
And then THIS comment appeared:
_ _ _
Re: Fireworks (I'm telling on yall)
Great idea bc I read a FB post these are Antifa pre-tests to numb public to explosions! Burning home & killing white people on the 4th... See more
_ _ _
"See more"-? Of THAT?! No, we've seen quite enough.
On this day
Historic & huge benefit concerts...
Today in 2005, the "Live 8" benefit concerts took place in the G8 states and in South Africa. More than 1,000 musicians performed and were broadcast on 182 television networks and 2,000 radio networks.
July 4th vs July 2nd...
There's a lot of discussion about this, so let's straighten it out. Today in 1776, the American Revolution went beyond dissent over British laws and became a fight for independence. That happened because the Continental Congress adopted a resolution that severed ties with the Kingdom of Great Britain. But the wording of the formal Declaration of Independence was not published until July 4th... but hold on... because it took time to hand-set type so a document could be printed for distribution, the people didn't see it until several days after that.
Human freedom & civil rights...
(1) Thirty-five slaves are hanged in South Carolina today in 1822. They included Denmark Vesey, all put to death after being accused of organizing a slave rebellion.
(2) As dramatized in the Hollywood movie named for the ship, today in 1839, twenty miles off the coast of Cuba, 53 rebelling African slaves led by Joseph Cinqué took over the slave ship Amistad.
(3) Today is the birthday of Medgar Evers (1925-1963), American soldier, hero of D-Day, and civil rights activist murdered by a KKK operative.
(4) Today in 1964 the U.S. Civil Rights Movement achieved one of its greatest milestones when President Lyndon B. Johnson signed the Civil Rights Act of 1964 meant to prohibit segregation in public places.
U.S. President James Garfield was shot and fatally wounded by a frustrated office seeker on this day in 1881. Garfield would "die of complications from his wounds" on September 19 -- or more accurately from stupid unsanitary medical probing of the wound, by finger after finger of doctor after doctor, over and over, trying to find the bullet. Ironically, a revolutionary new machine called the x-ray was being displayed and demonstrated not far from where he was shot, but it was not used, and could easily have found the bullet -- and he likely would have lived.
It shoulda lasted...
Today in 1890 the U.S. Congress passed the Sherman Antitrust Act to prevent the bloated rich from controlling everything with monopolies. Where oh where did it go? Gradually eroded and withered by bought politicians who allowed their rich campaign donors to become oligarchs.
Today in 1897 in London, British-Italian engineer Guglielmo Marconi obtained a patent for radio. When the Titanic was sinking, the first-ever use of "SOS" went onto the airwaves from the ship's "Marconi."
Speaking of patents... Thomas Savery patented the first steam engine today in 1698. But every book you can find credits Richard Trevithick and/or James Watt as inventors of the steam engine, both of whom came many years later, in the following century. (Ya gotta have a good publicist!)
She disappeared and assured her place as a legend...
On this day in 1937, Amelia Earhart and navigator Fred Noonan are last heard from over the Pacific Ocean searching for remote Howland Island while attempting to complete the first equatorial round-the-world flight.
The mystery of her disappearance has never been solved, though many a bluegrass band has performed the classic song written about her last flight. (Check out three very different versions: The Country Gentlemen, the Greenbriar Boys, and a Western Swing version by Kinky Friedman, live in concert. There's also the Joni Mitchell song, "one woman pilot to another," inspired by the idea of Amelia.)
ALSO NOTE: Friday, 1-2 pm, KCET re-airs the excellent "American Experience" episode about Amelia Earhart.
Postscript... today in 2002, billionaire adventurer Steve Fossett became the first person to fly solo around the world nonstop in a balloon. We don't know of a song about that one, though.
We open our feature section with a fresh visit to a periodic & continuing series: Our take on these times...
Franz Kafka is spinning in his grave.
More Americans are going to theirs.
by Larry Wines
All of us are beyond believing it can't get worse, or more tragically absurd. But it does. Relentlessly.
|Face in the crowd, impersonating Trump (credit: The Conversation)|
But does demonstrably incurious Oblivious Trump care about anything beyond troweling his orange makeup and leaving equal-sized pink eye holes? And accomplishing that daily feat between when "Fox & Friends" finishes and making his tee time? And being an intransigent maskhole because wearing one would smear his makeup?
|Meryl Streep's Trump impersonation even nailed the pink eye holes. (Credit: Us magazine)|
"DOD Statement attributable to Chief Pentagon Spokesman Jonathan Hoffman [Monday evening, 8:44 pm EDT]:
'The Department of Defense continues to evaluate intelligence that Russian GRU operatives were engaged in malign activity against United States and coalition forces in Afghanistan. To date, DOD has no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations found in open-source reports. Regardless, we always take the safety and security of our forces in Afghanistan — and around the world — most seriously and therefore continuously adopt measures to prevent harm from potential threats.'"
And yet... US officials briefed UK officials about the GRU paying bounties to kill US and UK soldiers. Wait. When there was "no corroborating evidence to validate the recent allegations" it was still worth briefing the UK. But if Orange Sgt. Schultz -- who might better now be characterized as Agolf Twitler -- is to be believed, it was not worth briefing the president or vice president.
Former National Security Advisor (and guy who never misses a chance to advocate launching a retaliatory military action) John Bolton has said he, personally, briefed President Donald Trump on Russia paying the Taliban to kill American soldiers. And he says he did it back in March of 2019. Too bad he didn't tell that to the House or Senate in January, when it could have been stopped.
Of course it isn't only Americans who are dying because the leader of the free world is actively abdicating that role. While the diversion, distraction, obfuscation, clutter, noise, transference, denials, bearing false witness, and assorted paranoid ramblings and Trumpertantrums may capture the bulk of the non-covid news cycle in America, they do more. It all serves as a great smoke screen for others to get away with their own atrocities.
As in, meanwhile, mister "Nobody is tougher on Ghina than me" has been woefully, and perhaps willingly, oblivious to Beijing reasserting its old hard line authoritarianism and officially extending it where they specifically agreed they would not. We're not referring to the Chinese military base on the manufactured island, placed to control international waters in the middle of the ocean -- though we could be.
No, we're citing how the attic bookcases of officially-approved literature will be slid aside and Hong Kong's pro-democracy movement will vanish into the concentration camps along with the Uighurs. Because that's where refuseniks and malcontents and others who must have mental disorders go. Until the bodies are carried out, beneath the Work Makes You Free signs, to the unmarked graves. To disappear with the guy who stood in front of the tank -- and his fellow Tiananmen Square protesters. Whispered about, by some who pass by a field where nothing grows, until new construction rises over the bones at microwave oven speed to glorify the Communist Party.
Not that they have a monopoly on selective exclusion and glorification of an official narrative. I had a pro-Trumper tell me two weeks ago that he supports the Orange Imbecile because his hero "is the only one who has ever been tough on China and he is rebuilding our neglected military."
Franz Kafka is spinning in his grave like a rotisserie chicken.
This was intended to end with that line. It can't. Whether or not bitter sarcasm registers with you, circumstances require shifting to a deadly serious consideration: to think about what's going on in the homes that have lost an American member of the armed services in these endless wars, and specifically, in Afghanistan. And to the dignity afforded those dead as they go to their graves. For that essential perspective, let's turn not to a stop-the-war advocate, and not to a prominent voice of opposition from the Democratic Party, but to longtime Republican political strategist Steve Schmidt. Because the most powerful, most thoughtful, most moving thing you'll experience all week are these words from him, right here.
(This, written by the Guide's editor, originally appeared in the LA Progressive (with different art) on June 30, 2020.)
THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date
"A book must be an axe for the frozen sea inside of us."
~ Franz Kafka, novelist (born July 3, 1883, died 1924)
Here's an excerpt from today's edition of Garrison Keillor's "Writer's Almanac":
... Not much of Kafka's work was published during his lifetime. Kafka had instructed his friend Max Brod to set his manuscripts on fire upon his death, but Brod refused, and instead edited and published Kafka's work.
"Hamilton," one the most successful Broadway musicals, goes online for one day
Subscribers to Disney Plus can watch it July 3rd, starting at midnight when the day arrives. Lin Manuel reassembled the original Broadway cast for this video version, and spent three days shooting the full production, plus two more days getting closeups and re-recording songs. You'll see a mix of late 18th century and contemporary costumes and hear the rap/hip-hop soundtrack.
Watch on . You will need to create an account to access the webcast movie, and the cost is $6.99/month.
Frankly, we've never understood the "Hamilton" phenomenon. Sure, he was a Revolutionary War combat hero in the war's last big battle. But beyond that? The real Alexander Hamilton would be easy to vilify in our time, given that he was the principal advocate and string-puller to assert the new American republic as a big-money capitalist-dominated power structure, to which everyone else was financially subservient. Yet the character as mega-hero, in Miranda's hands, eclipses every other Founding Father for devotees of this alternative telling.
State-by-state, who's grilling what, this July 4th
Friday, July 3, online...
All-star benefit virtual concert, 5 pm & 8 pm Pacific
TO SUPPORT FEEDING AMERICA’S COVID-19 RESPONSE FUND
B.J. THOMAS, LISA LOEB, GEORGE THOROGOOD, COREY TAYLOR ALONGSIDE GAVIN ROSSDALE, MYLES KENNEDY/ALTER BRIDGE, LZZY HALE & JOE HOTTINGER/HALESTORM, DON FELDER (A FORMER LEAD GUITARIST OF THE EAGLES), FILTER, CHRIS ROBERTSON/BLACK STONE CHERRY, BRANDON SALLER/ATREYU + MORE TO PERFORM; + TALENT INTERVIEWS BY ALICE COOPER & JOE SATRIANI, and APPEARANCES BY PETER FRAMPTON AND ADAM GONTIER/SAINT ANSONIA
New York, NY, July 2 — B.J. Thomas, Lisa Loeb, George Thorogood, Corey Taylor alongside Gavin Rossdale, Don Felder (a former lead guitarist of the Eagles), Myles Kennedy (Alter Bridge),Lzzy Hale & Joe Hottinger (Halestorm), Jesse Hasek (10 Years), Filter, The Dead Daisies, Chris Robertson (Black Stone Cherry), Starset, Brandon Saller (Atreyu), Ricky Byrd, Bobby Whitlock & CoCo Carmel, Joe Grushecky, Kathy Sledge, Bones Owens, Danielia Cotton, Matt Bigland (Dinosaur Pile-Up) and more set to perform during United Stations Media Networks and Storic Media Podcast Network present “Rock For Relief” benefit concert supporting Feeding America’s COVID-19 Response Fund on July 3 at 8pm ET and again at 11pm ET broadcasted here.
United Stations Media and Storic Media are teaming up with Feeding America to raise awareness and donations for families in local communities across the nation. The “Rock For Relief” benefit show will be hosted by Lou Brutus and Riki Rachtman and talent interviews conducted by Alice Cooper and Joe Satriani with appearances by Peter Frampton and Adam Gontier of Saint Ansonia.
Feeding America estimates that an additional 17.1 million people could be food insecure in 2020 as a result of this crisis – for a total of 54.3 million people, or 1 in every 6 people. This is a 46% increase over the 37.2 million people who were food insecure prior to the COVID-19 crisis. “Many people are struggling with hunger during this unprecedented time, including children, families and seniors. Feeding America member food banks are on the ground helping to address the increased need in their communities,” said Dan Nisbet, Vice President of Development at Feeding America. “We are so grateful for United Stations Media Networks and the talent involved in the ‘Rock for Relief’ benefit concert, which will raise funds to provide meals to people who need them most.”
“We are so pleased to put on “Rock For Relief” in order to give back to our fellow Americans during such a tumultuous time,” said Kristin Verbitsky, Director of Storic. “I want to thank the incredible talent who graciously donated their time to make this happen. I know that music lovers are missing live concerts, myself included, and I’m hoping we can fill that void just a little bit this July 4th weekend and raise funds for Feeding America.”
About United Stations Media Networks & Storic Media Podcast Network
USMN is the country’s largest privately held full-service audio content company. It syndicates national radio shows and creates compelling multi-platform audio and video entertainment. Over the past 40+ years, USMN has produced hundreds of programs and thousands of hours of music, entertainment, and information content. Our targeted networks and podcasts have national reach, allowing us to execute powerful audio campaigns that drive exceptional brand awareness and new business for our advertising clients.
United Stations was founded in 1981 by radio pioneer Dick Clark and his partner Nick Verbitsky, a veteran radio executive and former COO of Mutual Radio. USMN is headquartered in New York City, with regional offices in Chicago, Dallas, Washington, D.C., and Nashville.
Started in March 2020, The Storic Media Podcast Network is a podcast production and advertising company within United Stations Media Networks. It offers a wide-range of podcast subjects including originals, narrative, crime, thriller, lifestyle, fan-casts, comedy, comedy-thriller, mystery, drama, music, and children’s content. For the latest on Storic, please visit: Website | Instagram | YouTube |
About Feeding America
Feeding America® is the largest hunger-relief organization in the United States. Through a network of 200 food banks and 60,000 food pantries and meal programs, we provide meals to more than 40 million people each year. Feeding America also supports programs that prevent food waste and improve food security among the people we serve; educates the public about the problem of hunger; and advocates for legislation that protects people from going hungry.
Watch the preview here.
Watch the concert at:
We have brought you word of JOLYNN J. CHIN several times since she stopped us in our tracks, performing at the NAMM show. Here are some opportunities for you to learn, for yourself, why.
Friday, July 3, on TV,
with more online for the 4th...
Watch Pacific Symphony’s National Broadcast on PBS
The PBS series "Great Performances" and Pacific Symphony, led by Music Director Carl St.Clair, celebrate the historic American immigrant experience with a special Independence Day weekend program. It's composer Peter Boyer’s GRAMMY-nominated contemporary classical work, “Ellis Island: The Dream of America.” Tune in Friday, July 3 at 9 pm, nationwide. In L.A., it's on KOCE, aka PBS SoCal -- broadcast, cable, satellite, and if you hunt for it, on the web at 9 pm on some PBS affiliates livestream in whatever time zone.
Using texts from the Ellis Island Oral History Project and historic Ellis Island images in combination with an original orchestral score, “Ellis Island” features seven, first-hand stories of immigrants dramatically interpreted by guest stars Barry Bostwick, Camryn Manheim, Michael Nouri, Lesley Fera, Lucas Near-Verbrugghe, Samantha Sloyan, and Kira Sternbach.
Over 40 percent of the U.S. population can trace their ancestry through Ellis Island, and immigration remains at the forefront of global news. “Ellis Island” captures the emotions, elation and uncertainties of America’s epic immigrant experience.
The special was recorded by "Great Performances" at the Renée and Henry Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, California, in 2017 during Pacific Symphony’s 17th "American Composers Festival" (it was in the Guide at the time). It was performed and recorded before capacity audiences, including nearly 40 recipients of the Ellis Island Medal of Honor. Peter Boyer’s composition, “Ellis Island: The Dream of America,” premiered in 2002 to great acclaim. It has since received nearly 200 performances by more than 80 orchestras and earned a Grammy nomination for "Best Classical Contemporary Composition" in 2005.
Zoom to join composer Peter Boyer talking about his composition, "Ellis Island"
Enjoy a special Independence Day weekend discussion with composer Peter Boyer talking about the making of this musical work. Click here to register for the Zoom event, brought to you by the Orange County Jewish Community Scholar Program.
☆ ☆☆ ☆
And then, on July 4th... ☆ ☆☆ ☆
Catch the "Virtual Independence Day Concert"
Though we’re not able to enjoy the Fourth in a crowd in the great outdoors, Pacific Symphony invites you to join them online for patriotic favorites, fireworks and musical festivities. Music Director Carl St.Clair has re-imagined the Fourth, creating a streaming 50-minute program to celebrate America’s birthday.
The program, hosted by Music Director Carl St.Clair and Principal Pops Conductor Richard Kaufman, opens with video footage of a rousing rendition of St.Clair conducting Pacific Symphony musicians in “The Star-Spangled Banner” at Angels Stadium last summer. Richard Kaufman conducts John Williams’ “Midway March” from the soundtrack to the classic World War II motion picture “Midway.” The program continues with “76 Trombones” from Meredith Willson’s “The Music Man,” and Kaufman will read the results from this year’s Nathan’s Famous Hot-Dog Eating Contest, the traditional annual competition that takes place on Coney Island every Fourth of July. Selections from Peter Boyer’s “Ellis Island: A Dream of America” follow as well as a musical salute to the armed forces. Renowned country music star, Lee Greenwood, who was the headliner for last season’s popular “Hail to the Heroes” concert, makes a guest appearance with a special message and song selection specifically for Pacific Symphony audiences.
The concert concludes with a moving mosaic video featuring members of Pacific Chorale and American Feel Young Chorus singing “America the Beautiful,” accompanied by Pacific Symphony.
Then the grand finale: a spectacular fireworks extravaganza on your screen, orchestrated to “The Stars and Stripes Forever” by John Philip Sousa.
This July 4th Celebration is dedicated to frontline healthcare workers, who, as the symphony says, "inspire us with their strength and bravery in caring for their fellow Americans." They continue, "The program also recognizes two great Americans, Charlie and Ling Zhang, for the countless ways they have supported Pacific Symphony and the advancement of music education."
HOW TO WATCH:
Beginning July 4 at 6 pm PDT, the concert goes-up online and can be viewed by signing-in with an email address at the dedicated page on the Pacific Symphony concert webpage, here.
It will remain available on demand for 45 days after that.
July 4th music extravaganzas on TV
With the order in Los Angeles County to cancel all public fireworks displays due to concerns over public gatherings amidst 150% increases in COVID-19 infections, TV is the place to be. Especially because the music performances are broadly based, inclusive, coming from all over the country, and the sound should be good.
Here's what's on tv Saturday evening:
■ PBS offers "A CAPITOL FOURTH" with the new 2020 edition airing on KOCE from 8-9:30 pm and repeating immediately, 9:30-11 pm. It also airs edited-down to one-hour on KCET at 11 pm, repeating at midnight.
■ NBC airs "MACY'S 4th OF JULY" from New York City, 8-10 pm, then airs a pared-down repeat 10-11 pm.
■ ABC airs "4th OF JULY BLOCK PARTY" 7-8 pm.
■ CNN gets the prize for the most music performances, with coverage starting at 5 pm Pacific and running until 9 pm.
■ Also remember the PACIFIC SYMPHONY "VIRTUAL JULY 4th SPECTACULAR" online at 6 pm Pacific (see the feature above).
◇ If you opt for something else, do it safely. California does not need another wild fire caused by some zealous dimwit determined to have fireworks.
Fire Department hot line number to report illegal fireworks:
Re-broadcast this weekend...
"The Brothers," the four-hour, sold-out, March 10 concert at Madison Square Garden celebrating 50 years of the music of THE ALLMAN BROTHERS BAND
The Allman Brothers Band played their first show on March 26, 1969 and went on to embark on a Hall Of Fame career, which came to a close with their final performance on October 28, 2014 at the Beacon Theatre in New York City. Until this show.
In time for the Fourth...
Home Free, Lee Greenwood & The United States Air Force Band collaborate on a special take of "God Bless The U.S.A."
July 12 -- Accelerating Change: Music to Life House Concerts
Red Hen Press Poetry Hour
The Broad Stage and esteemed local publisher Red Hen Press return with an enhanced and compelling series, moderated by award-winning actor/writer Sandra Tsing Loh. Watch as performing artists and poets come together to explore social justice themes central to works featured in The Broad Stage's 2020/21 Season. Join us monthly July through December via our online programs portal The Broad Stage at Home.
Women's Audio Mission to launch first-ever WAMCON Virtual Recording Arts Conference, July 24-25
We hesitated with this one...
The eagle isn't wearing a mask, and there has been no shortage of intransigently maskless Maskholes and Branch Covidians invoking "Constitutional rights" to recklessly infect others.
But we see this as an opportunity to remind them of something:
Their rights to drive on public highways require them to wear a seat belt and drive a safe distance from others on the road. So their right to wander around in public spaces during a deadly pandemic can certainly require they wear a mask and keep a safe distance.
Or they might recall another age-old American principle: your right to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.
God bless America.
Closing thought... wearing lots of hats, above your mask...
Remember Marianne Williamson, who was running for President?
Artists readily identify with playing whatever role is needed to pay the bills between gigs, concert tours, or if we're lucky, residencies, or getting parts in something recurring. Of course no one expected such a long stint with Uber or Door Dash or whatever is putting scarey amounts of mileage on the car.
For some, new skill sets have been developed during quasi-quarantine. Like learning to play a new instrument, or mastering new cyber skills that let you produce Brady box performances on Zoom -- or even just participate in such things. Some have mastered podcasts and built followings in a time when overall numbers of podland viewers has declined.
We thought you'd enjoy seeing what someone else is doing. Someone who is a public figure and performer of another kind.
In addition to returning to her role as writer, author, lecturer, and spiritual guru / encourager of those who need it, Marianne Williamson has retained a role in the political arena where she impressed so many. In addition to all the other things she does, Marianne has undertaken a series of interviews with political office holders and seekers -- asking questions and pursuing topics that are not the standard line of partisan contentiousness. Here's the info & link for the latest one:
in this new dec