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

Tuesday, January 17, 2023

The Folk Music that changed history; current stuff, too. Jan 16 edition, 2023


Note: For "CONCERTS / RESOURCES / PLACES TO FIND LIVE MUSIC PERFORMANCES and other selected events" see the final feature before the sign-off.

Welcome to this edition! You'll find several features, each with a big enough title to find your way around. But no Table of Contents this time. Just explore and enjoy!

       Let's get started.


The Folk Music that Powered Change 

Since the era of recorded music began with the first Edison wax cylinders, music has continued to shape its times and alter culture. Much of the world was never the same after those first mass-produced phonographs' windup-springs powered leather belts, and sounds emanated from attached curved-funnel horn bells.

It was a true revolution that multiplied the dimensions of everyday life. Enjoyment of music was no longer dependent on someone being there with an instrument they could play. Beyond enjoyment came meaning. Being moved by a stunningly adept performance on a violin (or fiddle), or a guitar or mandolin or banjo -- or by an entire brass band or symphony orchestra became an experience one could experience at home, without recruiting a jam session for the porch. The arrival of recorded music at the turn of the 20th century was a great democratizer across cultures, no less than Guttenberg's invention of moveable type had been, when it enabled books and newspapers to reach the masses in the 1500's. Recorded music -- without regard to what it was --  became the first-ever virtual experience. It brought a world that previously could only be imagined.

Early recorded sound was big on hymns and church music, on chamber ensembles, and the traditional songs and tunes that comprised the American songbook at the end of the 19th century. Before anyone imagined applying terms like Bluegrass or Americana or Country to music, Americans spun cylinders of "The Arkansas Traveler," "Suwanee River," "Yankee Doodle," of Civil War songs like "Tenting Tonight (on the old camp ground)," "When Johnny Comes Marching Home," "The Battle Hymn of the Republic,," "Eating Goober Peas," and "Dixie." Popular minstrel tunes of the time -- some we would find irreconcilably racist -- were among the available recordings. And many people in rural areas had their only experience of classical music -- Bach, Mozart, Beethoven's Fifth, the Ode to Joy -- in those early recordings.

Today we live with the unresolvable contradiction that nothing has the power to inspire us as music can, but we assert that in a throwaway culture whose economics depend on rapid disposition of everything from gadgets to fashion to relationships to digital devices that hold digital music created by virtual instruments with roboticized human voices.

Still, we can't let go of the knowledge that music can be eminently meaningful.

Despite the invasions and intrusions of A.I., of cars with speakers that vibrate everything else on the road; of elevator music / canned soundtracks in stores and malls; of TV commercials with excruciatingly annoying pseudo-music soundtracks interspersed with mangy bird puppets and pharmacological Wierdwordia nobody can afford; and countless other discordant and atonal annoyances, we know, deep down, that music can change the world.

That brings us to a time when it did. There is a storied volume in the Folk-Americana catalog that lent purpose, gave strength and resolve. It rallied and gave resolve to the voices of the oppressed. And yes, it even brought solace and comfort when some of its singers were felled by violence and fire hoses and beatings and church bombings and bus burnings and lynchings and billyclubs and bullets.

Some of its anthems are resurrected from time to time. Whether because the need still exists or because someone imagines we can keep memories in the cultural consciousness. Or impart understanding or renew hope by voicing "We Shall Overcome" or one of its musical companions. Indeed, in this time of book banning -- including award-winning children's books about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr, Rosa Parks, and struggles from the time of slavery -- the need to put the music to work once again is clear.

 Meanwhile, an effort appears quite far along to sanitize -- some say to "make palatable," or "to Disneyfy," the life and work of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. In our time, we are quite likely to hear "We Shall Overcome" used to narrate a view of Dr. King that is devoid of his essential radicalism. It is inaccurate to see him as a gentle spokesman for equal rights. It isn't reasonable to see him as "A warrior for peace." 

Nope. He was a warrior for justice who was committed to nonviolence. He took the fight to the most dangerous places because that's where it needed to be. He openly opposed the war in Vietnam, even though that cost him potential allies. He did not compromise, because he lived in an unjust society unable to right its wrongs because of a hundred years of post-Civil War compromise that placated a white apartheid class who had lost that war, but demanded to rule by right of their race.

It is not easy for us, in our time, to comprehend the universality of inequities, humiliations, separations and insults that the Civil Rights Movement sought to rectify.

For some -- but not those steeped in Folk-Americana -- rap anthems, wallowing in grievance and insufferable negativity, have taken the place of the anthems of equal opportunity and social justice. But the two genres are as different as embracing the love of humanity vs the desire to bring retribution.

Certainly, we can believe that Dr. King would have continued to promote the former and decried the latter. Still, it is not difficult to see the nature of angry rap as a response to the assassination of Dr. King and ongoing efforts to undo the gains of the Civil Rights era.

And so it is up to us -- as those living in this present time -- to assign some kind of meaning to the past. That is never easy. In Alabama and Mississippi, Monday's federal MLK Day of Service doubles as "Robert E. Lee Day," honoring the military commander of the defeated Confederacy. Nothing is too incredible to be true. Which is a good reminder that we must always be watchful. Just as we must be to keep from being gerrymandered out of equitable representation, and to bring about a society where the rich must pay their fair share of taxes like the rest of us.

When music exists of a momentous time, we have that music as a cultural armature to enable our efforts at understanding. The music can inform courageous acts and keep them in our cultural memory.

Such iconic music can make real the fabric of a shockingly painful past. It has the power not just of the past, but again in our time to help us see resuscitated evils.

Clearly there is racist intent rising in some quarters, today, to revert to those times of second-class citizenship for some of our fellow Americans. To be sure, new anthems are needed to refute bigotry's remanufactured, imagined justifications. And the best of those powerful new songs will take their place alongside the most meaningful songs in all of Folk-Americana -- the songs of justice and brotherhood that still challenge America to live up to its promise. To our shared promise.

~ Lawrence Wines

The best feature on the Music of Civil Rights -- by Dan Rather

We share with you this powerful piece by Dan Rather. Dan covered the assassination of President Kennedy as a reporter in Dallas on November 22, 1963. He went on, as a CBS newsman, to cover, on the scenes, all the significant events of the Civil Rights era. The words of the songs sung by the marchers have resonated in him ever since, as you can tell by reading his piece.

Music Of A Movement

A Reason to Smile


January 14, 2023

 The civil rights movement was driven by marches and sit-ins, lawyering and politicking, speeches and legislation. But it was also fueled by music — songs of oppression and hope, resilience and survival.

This weekend, as we celebrate the birthday of Dr. Martin Luther King Jr., we felt it would be fitting to honor the power of that music. These are melodies and lyrics that stirred the soul of a nation, referencing the ugliness of its history to suggest a new path of greater empathy and justice. Nearly 60 years later, we are reminded that this journey remains one very much in progress.

In honor of Dr. King, let us start at the 1963 March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom (the full name of the event deserves its due). Right before Dr. King delivered his “I Have A Dream” speech, the crowd was treated to another performance for the ages, by his favorite gospel singer, the peerless Mahalia Jackson. She sang a pair of hymns, including the one we are posting here: “I've Been Buked and I've Been Scorned.”

Listen to the music and the power of her voice. And look at the faces of that crowd, all ages and races, standing in rapt attention.

 * Music video (historic Civil Rights) link 

"I've Been Buked and I've Been Scorned" -- Mahalia Jackson, on the steps of the Lincoln Memorial

Jackson is also credited for inspiring what came next. As Dr. King was reading from his prepared text that day, she yelled out to him, "Tell them about the dream, Martin! Tell them about the dream!" He apparently looked at her, slid his notes off to the side, and began to speak extemporaneously. The rest, as they say, is history.

To capture this special bond between singer and preacher, we found this clip of Jackson and Dr. King at a church in Chicago. She launches into a rendition of “Joshua Fit The Battle Of Jericho”; the look on his face is priceless.

 * Music video (historic Civil Rights) link:

Mahalia Jackson singing & Martin Luther King Jr. preaching at Church together

Finally, no song is more closely identified with the civil rights movement than the iconic “We Shall Overcome.” There are too many great versions to count, so here we share (not for the first time) one of our favorites. It is courtesy of the Morehouse College Glee Club.

Part of the power of this performance lies in the strength of the voices and the arrangement for a capella. But it also moves us to see new generations channel the struggles and victories of the past in order to build a brighter future.

As our nation continues to wrestle with its injustices and inequalities, and with the goal of a more perfect union remaining illusive, these powerful songs resonate once more. They are a testimony that progress is possible. And in that may we find a reason to smile.

 * Music video (historic Civil Rights) link:

Morehouse College Glee Club -- "We Shall Overcome"

Subscribe free to Dan Rather's "Steady" at:

© 2023 Dan Rather

Musical musing from the Muck -- performance vids included

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center is an Orange County institution in both the physical and philosophical realms. Their concert series and live-music-themed festivals have received coverage in The Guide through the long-ago heydays of our crowded coverage of events.

Now, given our love of historical and cultural preservation -- from traditional music and its context to vanishing architecture, steamboats, sailing ships, steam locomotives and the great gleaming stainless-steel "streamliner" passenger trains -- we declare what follows as a must-share.

Thus, we present a piece on two very different piano icons of American music, written by Farrell Hirsch, "The Muck's" CEO. Enjoy.

Mr. Hirsch begins,

"Representing all that is good about pianos we... [had] Dr. Monica Lee, the head of the department at Fullerton College, who... [Was here] to accept the James A. Young Arts Education Legacy Award from the Muck.

"You should really... [know about this] for two reasons.

"First⁠ — because the program exists to honor those special individuals who have spent a career enriching YOUR community.  They've given a life to you, give them back one night.

"Second⁠ — because Monica Lee is a lovely, talented, dedicated, cherished, brilliant professor, player, and pedagogist. Here she is is giving her Ted Talk."

Mr. Hirsch continues,

"Representing the other side, the not so nice side of the piano, is Jerry Lee Lewis.

"He shared an instrument and an overlapping name, but nothing else with Dr Lee. 

"There were very few indications during his life that he was a "nice" man.  Take, for instance, this small passage, presented without edit, from his New York Times obituary:

" 'Reporters discovered that the young girl traveling with him, Myra Gale Brown, was his 13-year-old bride—and his cousin—and that Mr. Lewis had still been married to his second wife when he recited the vows for his third marriage.

" 'Asked by reporters if 13 wasn’t a little young to be married, Ms. Lewis said: 'Oh, no, not at all.  Age doesn’t matter back home.  You can marry at 10 if you can find a husband.'

" 'His fourth wife, Jaren Pate, drowned in a friend’s swimming pool in 1982.  His fifth wife, Shawn Michelle Stephens, died after taking an overdose of methadone in 1983.

" 'In 1985, after doctors removed half his stomach to correct a bleeding ulcer, Mr. Lewis slowly began to settle down.

" 'His marriage to Kerrie McCarver ended in divorce in 2004.

" 'He is survived by his wife, Judith Coghlan Lewis.'

"Safe to say that he wasn't put on this earth to lead a moral crusade.  His purpose and his gift was this."

Jerry Lee Lewis, in a signature performance. 

-- Farrell Hirsch, CEO, Muckenthaler Cultural Center

Keep up with all the performances, events and exhibitions, and learn about art classes, the sculpture garden and permanent galleries at the Muckenthaler Cultural Center, at:

The Muckenthaler Cultural Center is located at
1201 West Malvern Ave, Fullerton, CA 92833

A unique road trip: the ghost of Yosemite's "Fire Fall"

For decades, visitors oohed and ahhed at a decidedly un-natural phenomenon produced nightly in Yosemite National Park. The spectacle even had its own song. It was the coordinated shoving of tons of burning pinecones off the granite rim of Glacier Point, mimicking one of Yosemite's famous waterfalls, but in glowing embers.

The spectacle ended in the late 1960's, never to return, as the National Park Service reiterated ethics of its original mission.

But it turns out nature produces its own fire fall in Yosemite -- for a few days every winter, IF the setting sun is not obstructed by clouds, AND the water is falling.

The phenomena at Horsetail Fall has become its own cause celeb, prompting the Park to enact "February 2023 Reservation Requirements."

It seems a lot of people have figured out that "Horsetail Fall can glow orange when it's backlit by sunset, which can make it appear to be on fire," as the Park's website says. It continues, "This unique lighting effect happens only on evenings with a clear sky when the waterfall is flowing and when the sun is at the right angle in mid– to late February. This event attracts many visitors to a small area, causing traffic congestion, parking issues, safety concerns, and impacts to natural and cultural resources."

In order to manage this event, reservations are required for entry to Yosemite on:

February 10–12, 2023
February 17–19, 2023
February 24–26, 2023

But if you can go midweek between any of those weekend dates, you can just pay the entry fee and position yourself for nature's show. Or any of nature's many other wonders there.

Info & reservations:

COVID -- is it over?

Sadly, no. But it's complicated. It is entering its fourth year. We'll sort tjings out for you, and offer a better picture of where things are, relative to concerts, festivals, and events.

The latest numbers show US cases are down, a bit, but...

Worldwide, there is a 41% increase in deaths, though cases have decreased.

The US average is now 18 cases per 10000 per day. US covid deaths are up 78%. There are 60,863 cases per day, and smaller rural communities report higher numbers. But wastewater tests tell the story best, because home tests, being unreported, are not included in case numbers. Those numbers are slowly dropping, overall.

But it is a rapidly changing picture with new variants

US cases of the BA.5 variant were 95%of total COVID cases in October, but is now down to just single-digits of the total, 1.5% overall. Of course it varies by state. The Carolinas, New Jersey, and Mississippi have the largest numbers of daily average cases:

State: daily avg cases: Per 100,000:
RI                    336              32
NC                3232              31
SC                 1562             30
NJ                 2653             30
MS                  825             28

US                60863           18

Source: N.Y. TIMES

New variants continue to arise, finding fertile ground for mutation in the unvaccinated. The general trend is that each new variant is more infectious, and more resistant to vaccines and boosters as the mutations take the virus farther and farther from what the vaccines and boosters were designed to stop.

The new XBB.1 accounts for 43.9% of new cases, and with XBB.1.5, the two are the cause of 85% of new infections overall. But neither variant has yet penetrated in Southern states, where death rates have been higher due to lower vaccination rates.

Hospitalization numbers are rising.

The rate of transmission and high rates of spread of these newest variants are alarming epidemiologists and hospitals.

Today, there are 43,307 covid patients in America's hospitals, equating to 13 hospitalized cases per 100,000 population. Here again, raw numbers in specific places are very different from numbers per 100,000 of population -- but the raw numbers show just how far hospitals are again being pressed beyond limits.

Washington, DC has 265 hospitalized COVID patients but the rate is 38/100k.

North Carolina has 2,570 hospitalized COVID patients with a rate of 2,570/100k.

New York has 3,953 hospitalized COVID patients with a rate of 20/100k.

Covid mutation patterns display rapid genetic shift. Early on, fears centered on WA1, the original Wuhan strain, then to D614G and GD-Pangolin. In recent weeks, the chief variants of concern have ranged from BA.1/BA.1.1, to BA.2, BQ.1, BQ.1.1, BA.4, BA.4, BA.5, to the current juggernauts, XBB/XBB.1.

The XBB/XBB.1 variants are especially alarming because they appear to be resistant to innate immunity from prior covid infection.

It's important to view these numbers in the context of US "Excess Deaths," from pneumonia, flu and covid. Numbers from the National Center for Health Statistics Mortality Surveillance System (as of Jan 12, 2023) show a rapidly climbing red line of deaths per week (over 10,000) that is far above the line defined as an "Epidemic Threshold" (about 5,700 deaths) AND much higher than that above the "Seasonal Baseline" (about 5,600 deaths) for pneumonic illnesses and flu outbreaks.

Incredibly, other numbers have not changed in months. 68% of Americans are Fully Vaccinated, but only 34% of Americans have received any kind of covid booster in addition to their basic vaccination. 80% have received only one dose of the two-dose vaccine, but that is thought to provide little or no benefit after several months. The gold standard is still the Bivalent Booster which anyone can get now. But, its efficacy against XBB/XBB.1 is suspect.

Those in long-term care facilities are essentially the only Americans still getting vaccinated.

Now, let's look at death rates of the vaccinated vs those refusing vaccination. A recent report compares 537,000 vaccinated people who did NOT receive the Bivalent Booster with 85,000 individuals who DID receive the Bivalent Booster. The rates of protection vs show a FIVE-fold reduction in hospitalization and a SEVEN-fold reduction in deaths for those receiving the Bivalent shot.

Antivaxxers are abuzz over a study that shows an increase in strokes within 21 days of receiving a vaccine injection. That study gas not been peer-reviewed, and numerous other studies contradict it.

A very large study looked at death from all causes, by age group, comparing all causes against COVID deaths AND deaths of vaccinated individuals. The numbers of deaths among those who were vaccinated is (a) insignificant in absolute terms, and (b) insignificant when compared to life-altering and disabling effects of Long COVID.

There IS a political dimension, too. Far more Republicans have died, and continue to die, from COVID than Democrats. What will likely balance that to a more equal ratio is the overall amount of screenings and routine tests and health care during the pandemic.

Dr. Jeffrey Gold, Chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical School reports, "We are seeing far more late-term cancers because the cases were not caught in screenings earlier."

Dr. Gold co-hosts the best show on TV for the latest COVID information. It airs live on RFD-TV every Monday, 3-4 pm Pacific time, and welcomes live viewer call-in. All the statistical data cited in this article was presented by Dr. Gold on the January 16th, 2023 edition.

So, is the pandemic over, or, uhh, "over enough" to resume concert-going, and buying passes and campground spots for spring music festivals?

For OUR part, we still mask-up to go in stores. We have chosen to avoid airports (the planes have HEPA filters once their APU jet engine is powered-up, but NOT when at the gate!)

We say, pay attention to the SCIENCE and responsible medical advice.

SO, as things Now stand, we plan to:
• GO
• masked-up
• taking a pocket bottle of hand sanitizer
• washing hands frequently
• being mindful of things randomly touched by who-knows-how-many people, like door handles, restaurant table condiments, gas pump handles and windshield squeegees, drink dispenser levers, ATM buttons...
• and keep your boosters current!

~ Lawrence Wines 

We note that The Guide provided one of the FIRST comprehensive, science-based features on the then-coming pandemic, in early February, 2020. The only thing we got "wrong" was the expectation that masks would be ineffective. That was based on the micron size of the virus. It took a few weeks for epidemiologists to realize that the virus would not stay viable when airborne except when traveling in moisture droplets that ARE easily screened-out by masks.

and other selected events...


Live Folk-Americana, usually acoustic, sometimes with electric strings or keyboards, has permanent performance homes at:

■  The Coffee Gallery Backstage in Altadena, CA, oft-cited as the best intimate acoustic music venue in L.A. (it's actually just above Pasadena). ALWAYS bunches of shows here; check their website:

■  McCabe's, the famous concert hall in back of the guitar shop in Santa Monica, CA. Extensive listings of concerts on their website:

■  The Fret House, in Covina, CA
The only current listings are for monthly Open Mic nights:

■  The Folk Music Center & Museum in Claremont, CA
220 Yale Av, Claremont, CA 91711
909-624 2928
☆  Janet Klein and her Parlor Boys
Sat, Feb 11, 7-9:30 pm; doors at 7; $25
☆  Joel Rafael with The Citrus Sisters
Sat, Mar 11, 7-9:30 pm; doors at 7; $20

■ Random find that looks good...

Jan 19, 5-7 pm
Joei plays the Coruce Vineyards and Winery, 1055 W Columbia Way (Ave M) Suite #105, Lancaster, CA 93534
"...some of the AV's best wine paired with some live acoustic music. Bring some snacks and bring some friends.:

■  Crazy J Ranch Concert Series, Topanga Canyon, CA, Season 2

Sun, Feb 26, 2 pm
Joe Newberry and April Verch, “masters of tradition,” kick-off the 2023 outdoor stage concert series with traditional fiddle and banjo music, hot step dancing and great vocals.
     Their concerts this Spring, all at 2 pm, are:
Mar 19, Tim Kliphuis & Jimmy Grant: Djangostyke gypsy jazz.
Apr 30, The Transatlantic Guitar Trio: Djano Reinhardt meets Chet Atkins and Jerry Reed.
May 14, John Reischman & The Jaybirds: mandolin master with a stunning acoustic string ensemble.
     Reserve seats by email:

■  Pacific Symphony series, Pops & Classical

*  features "The Roaring 20s" themed concert, May 11-13

This award-winning Symphony is based in OC, with most performances at the Segerstrom Concert Hall in Costa Mesa, CA. Upcoming events:

Respighi & Beethoven with Shunta Morimoto      Jan 22
Lunar New Year                                                            Jan 28
Bronfman Plays Schumann                                       Feb 2-4
Romeo & Juliet                                                             Feb 5
Valentine's Day with The Righteous Brothers       Feb 10-11
California Connections                                               Feb 12
O.C. Lantern Festival 2023                                         Feb 18 (FREE tix)
Tchaikovsky & Strauss                                                Feb 23-25
The Great Outdoors                                                     Feb 25
Tchaikovsky's Fourth                                                  Feb 26

March through June concerts are now on sale:

☆ POPS (Friday series)

Tony & Emmy winner Kristin Chenoweth                Mar 10
Disco Queen Gloria Gaynor                                         Apr 14
Music of The Rolling Stones                                      May 5
Broadway star Renée Elise Goldsberry                    Jun 9


Conrad Tao Plays Mozart                                          Mar 16-18
Verdi's Rigoletto                                                          Apr 20, 22, 25
The Roaring 20s (including Rhapsody in Blue)    May 11-13
Rhapsody in Blue (Sunday Matinee)                       May 14
Grieg's Piano Concerto                                               Jun 1-3
Cathedrals of Sound                                                   Jun 15-17

Need assistance? Call their box office, 714-755-5799, M-F, 9 am-5 pm.

■  Les Salon de Musiques Chamber Music Series

This series enters its 13th year with up-close seating that "allows you to enjoy chamber music the way it was meant to be shared." Following the concert, meet the artists and fellow concert-goers while sipping champagne and savoring a buffet of French cuisine. After 11 years at the Music Center in Los Angeles, its nine 2023 season events are based at the historic La Jolla Women's Club, north of San Diego.

■  Caltech Series

Features music, arts, science, space & cosmology, physics, more.

Many non-arts events can be attended in person OR via livestream at or on Caltech's YouTube channel.

All events on (or from) the Caltech campus, Pasadena,  CA

Series info:

■  Caltech MUSIC events

Jan 22, 3 pm
Caltech Chamber Music Concert; Student Group Performances
Dabney Hall, Lounge

Jan 22, 3:30 pm
Pražák Quartet, Coleman Chamber Music Series
Beckman Auditorium

Jan 28, 8 pm
Caltech Jazz Band Concert with Guest Artist Bob Mintzer; Student Group Performances
Beckman Auditorium

Jan 29, 3 pm
Caltech Chamber Music Concert; Student Group Performances
Dabney Hall, Lounge

Feb 11, 8 pm
Caltech Wind Orchestra Concerts; Student Group Performances
Ramo Auditorium

Feb 12, 3 pm
Caltech Wind Orchestra Concerts; Student Group Performances
Ramo Auditorium

Feb 25, 8 pm
Caltech Orchestra & Choir Concert with Student Soloists; Student Group Performances
Ramo Auditorium

Feb 26, 3 pm
Caltech Orchestra & Choir Concert with Student Soloists; Student Group Performances
Ramo Auditorium

Feb 26, 3:30 pm
Coleman Chamber Music Series
Wu Han, Philip Setzer, and David Finckel
Beckman Auditorium

Apr 16, 3:30 pm
Academy of St Martin in the Fields Wind Ensemble; Coleman Chamber Music Series
Beckman Auditorium

Apr 30, 3:30 pm
Calidore String Quartet; Coleman Chamber Music Series
Beckman Auditorium

■  OTHER Caltech events of interest

Jan 18, doors at 7 pm; event 7:30-8:30 pm
"When Earth Breathed Deeply" -- Earth's climate has not been constant throughout history. Oxygen levels in the atmosphere, for example, have increased by many orders of magnitude over time, profoundly affecting biologic and chemical cycles at the surface of the earth.These changes in Earth's climate can be traced through the imprints left behind inside the planet. This lecture will explore how such shifts in atmospheric oxygen concentrations altered Earth's inner workings. Presented by Claire E. Bucholz, Assistant Professor of Geology; Biedebach Memorial Lecturer; attend live at Caltech's Beckman Auditorium OR online, free.

Jan 20, 10 am
Science Journey presents "Conformational Changes"
Online Event

Feb 3, 7 pm
TACIT Storytelling & Improv; Student Group Performances
Hameetman Center 206 - Frautschi Rehearsal Hall

Feb 8, 7:30 pm
Watson Lecture: "Galactic Paleontology with JWST: Finding Living Fossils in the Ancient Universe"
Online and In-Person Event
Chuck Steidel, Lee A. DuBridge Professor of Astronomy, Division of Physics, Mathematics and Astronomy, Department of Astronomy

Mar 1, 7:30 pm
Watson Lecture: "Enigma of the Heart"
Online and In-Person Event
Morteza (Mory) Gharib (PhD '83), Hans W. Liepmann Professor of Aeronautics and Medical Engineering; director and Booth-Kresa Leadership Chair of the Center for Autonomous Systems and Technologies (CAST); director of GALCIT, Division of Engineering and Applied Science

Apr 19, 7:30 pm
Watson Lecture: "Electrifying and Decarbonizing Chemical Synthesis"
Online and In-Person Event
Karthish Manthiram, Professor of Chemical Engineering and Chemistry; William H. Hurt Scholar, Division of Chemistry and Chemical Engineering

May 10, 7:30 pm
Watson Lecture: "Making Wearable Materials Smarter"
Online and In-Person Event
Chiara Daraio, G. Bradford Jones Professor of Mechanical Engineering and Applied Physics; Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator

Resources / Navigation / Contacting us / finding what you want in current, recent, or archived Guide editions 


editions load quickly at

Or at

On mobile devices, click "view web edition" to bring-up the left side bar with navigation tools. That gives you direct access to click your way to all recent editions. It's easy to bring-up month-by-month archives to everything -- last year, a decade ago, so far this year, and each previous year.

It's all there, since we first moved The Guide (with its former name) to Blogspot. 

Does that mean you need to find Marty and Doc's DeLorean time machine? 

Because, geez, THAT was back when Rin-Tin-Tin hadn't gotten his second "tin" from Tin Pan Alley

... and you watched TV on a big box that bombarded you with non-ionizing radiation from its cathode ray tube if you sat close to it, instead of like nowadays, getting your inescapable non-ionizing radiation from 5g, wherever you sit

... and 

... and "the pandemic" meant 1918

... anyway, The Guide has been around a LOOOOONNNNNGGGG time! So you can escape into the musical wonderments of this current edition, AND/OR you can go far enough back to escape whatever is the current lunacy du jour, and explore MANY THOUSANDS of feature stories, musical explorations, band and artist descriptions, and assorted fascinating items we have published through the years for your perusal and enjoyment.

HINT: We often get feedback like this regarding the archive:

"We were talking about how we first met. We disagreed about who was playing that night. We were pretty distracted by each other. So we deep dived in your archive and we found everything about that night!!! It even let us figure out a bunch of our important dates--most of them were musical and it sure was fun to relive those times!!!"


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

news-events-perspectives (at) outlook (dot) com



Entire contents copyright © 2023

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 a masked safari to fetch your groceries, or get a hankerin' for a real or a virtual tuneful sojourn at (or from) a quality venue, or whatever version of hittin' the road for the festival circuit or a tuneful tour.


Monday, November 7, 2022

The Slick, Soundtracked, November Surprise. Monday Nov 7 2022

The Most Slickly-Produced Extravaganza of the Season

Sorry, OSCARS, EMMYS, GRAMMYS, Americana Music Awards. You didn’t win. But wait’ll you see what did.

In American politics, there is always breathless worry over some game-changing revelation, or simply allegation, or anything regarded as a sociocultural bombshell, in the last weeks before an election. Almost always, it is later regarded as no-big-deal, but if it hits an emotional chord long enough for people to vote, it matters not how important or even how true or false it is.

Forget the October Surprise. I just experienced a November Surprise.

First, some quick context. You may recall us saying that RFD-TV — in addition to its roots-Americana music programming — has been doing an outstanding job with no-BS coverage of COVID. It's centered on their weekly live show with the Chancellor of the University of Nebraska Medical School, Dr. Jeffrey Gold. And that world-renowned doc brings guests, including, three times, his old friend Anthony Fauci.

It truly has been solid science and it’s probably saved a lot of lives among their predominantly rural audience.

Okay, let’s get to the now.

How fast something can turn. I watch a lot of RFD’s programming. And given my background in Los Angeles media, including broadcast radio, I have sufficient experience to evaluate how well something is written and produced. And, as a viewer with that background, I can assess what's the typical and the highest levels of RFD’s production paradigms. I know who their best writer is, and she is also their best host.

Sunday night, two days before the election, they aired the best-written, best-presented, highest-production-values hour I have ever seen on RFD. It was heavily promoted for two weeks in advance, which is very unusual for them. 

So guess what it was?

How about this: filled with every positive superlative word and phrase you can imagine, and repeatedly subjecting you to how morally righteous their subject is — including multiple points of what a lover-of-Jesus he is — and, with a mood-driving perfect musical score, trumpeted sunrises and American flags, plus get-on-the-bandwagon-effect, man-in-the-street, fawning hero worship... it was a full hour to celebrate the perfection of the human being -- in the form of one Herschel Walker.

I’ll give you a moment to be stunned. Because yes, we ARE talking about “Head Injury Herschel.”

I have seen a number of those slickly-produced films from top advertising and image-making Madison Avenue and K Street firms. They are best summarized as the stirring promo short that introduces a political party’s Presidential nominee at their televised political convention, which is itself a production of magnetic propaganda. Those films have always been as good as it gets to deify a human being. THIS was that effectively done. Leni Riefenstahl would have been proud.

I mean, this thing was SO effective that if Herschel wins, the Goppers have RFD-TV’s founder, Patrick Gottsch — who executive produced this— and their most charismatic, popular host, Christina Loren — to thank for putting a babbling, insufferably self-righteous moron in the United States Senate.

This morning, I heard Joe Madison say, “Let’s review. What is Herschel Walker’s resume’? Good at football. Holds the single-season record for impregnating women.”

Madison’s quips go to the essence of the hopelessly flawed candidacy of Herschel Walker. Yet the RFD hour gave smooth rides around his lies, multiple hypocrisies on wanting to ban abortion yet paying to abort multiple pregnancies he has caused, and refusing to be involved in the lives of at least eight children he has fathered by different mothers.

Were any questions about any of THAT featured in the RFD hour? Not even a mention, between all the careful edits of Herschel asserting that he is holier than thou.

If I wasn’t overexposed to “Head Injury Herschel” and all his “What the Hell Herschel” moments, RFD would have me believing he is the greatest statesman since Cicero. Except… each time more newly-found children, fathered by him with so many random women who he couldn't convince to get an abortion, reality collides with irreconcilable images. 

But, if I was someone who spent all my hours at work or stuck in a long commute, and that made me a “low information voter” — I would believe, after watching this slick RFD production, that Herschel-the -Holy-Running-Back is God on a White Horse who belongs in the White House. YES, media IS that powerful in its crafted ability to wholly determine false reality.

Oh, and by the way. In seamlessly welding their performance-production-propaganda hour, RFD didn’t miss ANYTHING. They even include a tidbit for the white racists: Herschel, in one quick segment, is wearing a “Cassius Clay” sweatshirt. Have you EVER seen, or even known of, a garment like that?

Except maybe before Muhammad Ali took the new name by which the entire world would know him, and white racists would always try to deny him.

Gads, now I will wonder if I can sleep at all before the election, given the possibility of dream images of the "incredibly inspiring" greatest athlete who ever lived. Which according to RFD, is not Ali, but Herschel. Who, by the way, likes to be interviewed in barns with cows, and likes to talk about how much he loves rodeo. And barbecue. And Jesus.

And, likewise, according to the RFD hour, Herschel as the most universally beloved athlete of all time, "vows to bring his dedication and fortitude" to fix everything that’s wrong in DC.

If you aren’t ready to scream or puke, you haven’t been paying attention.

One final note: since the RFD show exceeded the production values of anything they have ever done, and did so by a vast margin…where did the money come from to make that show? Since the Supreme Court protects “dark money” in politics, we may never know. But it is one more reason why the “For the People Act,” passed as the FIRST piece of legislation in 2021 by the US House of Representatives, should NEVER have been allowed to silently die from a “memo” filibuster in the US Senate.

If you read all this, what more motivation do you need to vote Tuesday?

Rovember 8th. You can let the obstructionists pursue their only agenda, of Big Money running roughshod over all of us and our political system. Or you can say 

“No. Need must prevail over greed. Intelligent, thoughtful, fiscally responsible compassion must determine how we govern ourselves. Those who have no agenda but grievance based on lies and demands for insatiable power must never get their hands on power again.”

If that sounds like an impossibly ambitious aspiration in the face of powerful media that creates heroes from dimwits, ask yourself just one thing:

 Will I make it better by not voting?

You can ask yourself any follow-up question you like: will Music and Arts education return to every public school for every student if I don’t vote? Will Climate Change be reversed if I don’t vote? Will democracy itself long endure if I don’t vote? Will morbidly rich, bloated billionaires, continue to overconsolidate and concentrate wealth and power until they have it all, if you don’t vote? Add your own questions.

I’ll see you at the only poll that matters: the one where you cast your vote.

~ Lawrence Wines, editor
Acoustic Americana Music Guide
November 7, 2022

Copyright of this edition is granted without fee provided no use deriving from said use edits the foregoing content to alter its intent from the clear message in the original.

(c) 2022, Acoustic Americana Music Guide, Tied to the Tracks, and Lawrence Wines.