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Saturday, April 21, 2018

A Weekend of FESTIVALS (the best one is FREE!) plus Benefit Shows & Earth Day News. April 21 & 22, 2018

Let's jump right in. We include some benefit concerts, too. Some of the FESTIVALS are both days, some are Saturday OR Sunday only. As always, we try'n list things chronologically. But by the time you see Sunday listings, remember to go back to the beginning for the Sat AND Sun events.

Then we follow the listings with a special NEWS FEATURE for EARTH DAY:
"LAST OF THE ATLANTIC WHALES? Not a single whale calf seen this year -- Seismic Air Guns, Oil, and Greed may Un-Do Decades of Conservation Efforts"

You'll want to bookmark it before you venture forth, seeking fun.

First, the Fests! Giddyup!


Sat & Sun, Apr 21 & 22, FREE FESTIVAL:
25th annual "SANTA CLARITA COWBOY FESTIVAL" is FREE Saturday & Sunday, April 21 & 22 at Wm. S. Hart Park in Newhall (Santa Clarita) CA
* The big news is, this year the festival's main events are FREE! Now, the full scope of the 25th annual festival includes ticketed evening concerts and off-site events that began Wednesday in multiple venues, and all that is at their website.
* This is one of the finest events in Southern Cal for lovers of traditional Americana music, everything from fiddles and mandolins and six-and-twelve strings to Native American flute, from 150-year-old cowboy ballads deriving from old Irish tunes to contemporary Western music -- which has nothing to do with today's so-called "country" music.
* That item just above? Well, as Don Edwards says, "Western music is still outdoor music. Country music has become indoor music." The Guide adds that Western music does NOT utilize "thet fahke ackk-scent" that is indigenous only to "a seeks-block stretcha Muuuuusic Row in Nashvul" -- and Western music is not about dogs, cheatin' and divorces, and pickup trucks. Western music is about life on the land, being out in the elements, the splendor of the sunrise, and celebrating just being alive.

Sat & Sun, Apr 21 & 22, FREE FESTIVAL:
"L.A. TIMES FESTIVAL OF BOOKS" all day, both days, at USC University Park Campus, Los Angeles.
* This is so much more than books. There are 211 sessions with speakers, mostly authors, and a dozen featured music performances.
* Okay, last year we published "the most comprehensive Guide" we had ever published for this event, "Geared for the interests of our readers," making it "a lot easier to find what interests you than it is to use the event's official site and bring-up a separate page for each letter of the alphabet to see what's appealing." But nobody sent nice comments or appreciative words, so we decided to save ourselves the four hours it took to that last year. You can see that we're telling the truth without exaggeration. Go look at last year's edition:
* Oh, it's still a wonderful event, filled with speakers and panels and arts and entertainment and opportunities for Q&A with writers and researchers, and chances to get bargains on the latest books. But you're on your own to learn more about it this time around.

Sat, Apr 21, FREE FESTIVAL; not music, but cool:
10 am-2 pm 6th annual "MOJAVE EXPERIMENTAL FLY-IN AND PLANE CRAZY SATURDAY" is FREE at the Mojave Air and Spaceport, Mojave, CA
• Event is a fly-in and static display, with a rare chance to see unusual and one-of-a-kind aircraft, flying machines and space vehicles.
• Awards for Best Effort, Best Design, Best Test & Build, and Best Overall.
• There will be a talk by Bill Norton, an instructor at the National Test Pilot School at 11:00 am (note, you need to RSVP and a donation is requested for the talk, see the MTM website).
• The Voyager restaurant is on the field and opens at 7 am.
• There is a banquet Saturday evening with a talk by Zach Reeder, past fly-in award winner and Scaled Composites Project Engineer and Test Pilot. 5 pm Social Hour, 6 pm Dinner. Tickets available at reduced cost on the MEFI website (link below). Pre-Sale $25, Day of $30.
• Includes the North America Europa Fly In and Europa 25th Anniversary Celebration.
• New for 2018 — Indoor RC Flying at Stu Witt Center, noon-5 pm.
• Local newspaper feature at:
• Full info on one or the other of two sites:

Sat, Apr 21, FESTIVAL:
11 am-4 pm 6th Annual "SIERRA PELONA VALLEY WINE FESTIVAL" is a charity benefit at Reyes Winery, 10262 Sierra Hwy, Sierra Hwy, Santa clarita, CA 91390.
* Live music from several local bands, including "Just Us."
* General public admitted at noon, VIP tix entrance at 11 am.
* Fiddle music and more, with local winemakers including Golden Star Vineyards, plus breweries and spirit producers from across Southern California.
* This area is among California's burgeoning newer winemaking regions.
* Festival goers are treated to gourmet food pairings from highly acclaimed Los Angeles area chefs and artisanal food makers.
* A featured art exhibit displays local artists and craftsmen.
* A raffle includes Wine-and-Dine gift certificates, wines, gift baskets, and a variety of other items.
* The Zonta club of Santa Clarita Valley will benefit from this year‘s wine festival.
* Complete details at the festival website:

FESTIVAL - Sat & Sun, Apr 21 & 22:
10 am The 2018 "CALIFORNIA POPPY FESTIVAL™" at the recently renamed Sgt. Steve Owen Memorial Park, formerly Lancaster City Park, next to the 14 Fwy at Ave L, Lancaster, CA.
* Whether or not the state flower has yet bllomed, or is gonna bloom this year, or already has done its thing for spring, THIS festival purports to celebrate the image of oceands of poppies bursting forth in a sea of orange, blanketing the hillsides -- that is, the hills that haven't been covered in tract houses and pavement, or vast acreages of solar photovoltaic panels.
* This annual event brings two days of music, art, food and fun, especially for the kids, with the new sea mammal show -- yes, in the desert.
* The event's roots are colorful in another way. Years back, politicians in the ultra-conservative Antelope Valley couldn't stand the idea that local organizations were celebrating "Earth Day." But, being opportunistic capitalists, they weren't about to shut it down altogether. So they created this with a replacement focus, since the California Poppy State Park is 20 miles west of town.
* This festival kicks-off spring before the Antelope Valley gets brutally hot for the summer.
* It features an eclectic array of music, dance, magicians, and other performers and events, along with typical carnival food offerings.
Sun, 1:30 pm - HULA FROM THE HEART, Primrose Stage
Sun, 2:30 pm - SAVANNAH BURROWS, a songwriting acoustic musician fresh from playing as an evening featured act at the Santa Clarita Cowboy Festival. She does a 45-min set on the Poppy Stage
Sun, 4 pm - CHRIS LANE, joined by TORI KELLY, play modern Nashville country on the Poppy Stage
Plus there's a Sunday-only CAR SHOW, promising over 100 "classic cars from the 1920s through the 1970s."
* All ages.
* Tix: Adults (ages 13-61) $10; Children (ages 6-12) $5; Children (age 5 & under) FREE; seniors (age 62+) $5; discounts for active/retired military; available at gate, cash or credit card, or in advance at:

2:30-5 pm HONEYSUCKLE POSSUMS, that delightful all-women acoustic roots ensemble, plays a "special fundraiser with all proceeds going to the Unity Shoppe to support those affected by the recent disasters," hosted by St. Andrews Presbyterian Church, 4575 Auhay Dr. Santa Barbara, CA 93110.
* Suggested donation, $15. All-ages show.
* This is to "benefit long-term recovery efforts in Santa Barbara from the devastating fire and mudslide."
* Check out their music at:

FESTIVAL - (well, sort of)... THIS WEEKEND & NEXT... Thu, Apr 19 - Sun, Apr 29:
"THE COMPLETE WORKS OF WILLIAM SHAKESPEARE (ABRIDGED)" runs 7-9 pm evenings, with 2-4 pm Sat & Sun matinees - it gives the Bard a comedic treatment at the Arbor Court Community Theatre, 858 W Jackman St, Lancaster, CA 93534.
* IF YOU JOURNEY TO THE "EXPERIMENTAL AIRCRAFT FLY-IN" festival in Mojave, or the "POPPY FESTIVAL" in Lancaster, this is the perfect add-on event.
* For many years, the Palmdale Playhouse produced a highly reputable Shakespeare Festival. Sadly, that's long gone. But in its place (sort of) is this event in neighboring Lancaster.
* This is billed as a "hilarious presentation of everything Shakespeare ever wrote in 90 minutes. With such a monumental feat you can imagine that things are bound to go wrong... very wrong."
* Watch the three actors in each show "buffoon their way through The Complete Works of William Shakespeare... er... (Abridged)."
* Ask one of the cast members or creative team for a coupon to receive $5 off.
* Caution - The front row of the audience is a splash zone.
* There are quite a few innuendos, and non-kids friendly humor. Recommended for audiences 13 and up. Or really really mature 10 and up.
* Adults over 18 will enjoy if you are less mature. And fans of William Shakespeare will be rolling in hysteria.
- - -
Sat, Apr 21 - 2 pm: Rob O'Brien, Marco Aguilar, Joan Williamson
Sat, Apr 21 - 7 pm: Rob O'Brien, William J. Swartzbaugh, Joan Williamson
Sun, Apr 22 - 2 pm: Rob O'Brien, Marco Aguilar, Joan Williamson
- - -
Thu, Apr 26 - 7 pm: Dan Swaney, William J. Swartzbaugh, Joan Williamson
Fri, Apr 27 - 7 pm: Dan Swaney, William J. Swartzbaugh, Joan Williamson
Sat, Apr 28 - 2 pm: Rob O'Brien, William J. Swartzbaugh, Joan Williamson
Sat, Apr 28 - 7 pm: Dan Swaney, Marco Aguilar, Joan Williamson
Sun, Apr 29 - 2 pm: Rob O'Brien, Marco Aguilar, Joan Williamson
- - -
* Doors 30 minutes before show time.
* Tix:

Sat, Apr 21:
8 pm (EDT) PACIFIC SYMPHONY, OC's resident wonderful orchestra, takes center stage at CARNEGIE HALL IN NYC for its much-anticipated debut there, capping Carnegie's year-long celebration of composer PHILIP GLASS' 80th birthday. The Guide adds our congratulations to the Irvine-based organization of musical excellence for earning the featured presence there.
* The video about it, by Pacific Symphony Music Director CARL ST.CLAIR, is on YouTube, titled. "We're going to Carnegie Hall!" at:
* Several hundred fans have traveled from Southern Cal to New York to partake of the musicality and cheer-on the orchestra musicians in person.
* If your device is infested with social media spyware, you can follow their journey using the hashtag #PSTourCarnegie, or better yet, escape the spies and check-out the Pacific Symphony Blog, where Writer-in-Residence Timothy Mangan is also reporting from New York, at:
* All the deets on their local season, concert tix in our necka th' woods, and more info, are at:
* Tix for upcoming Southern Cal shows in their usual venues are available at their box office, 714-755-5799 or


There are numerous EARTH DAY events throughout Southern California. Look for one in your area by using your favorite non-spying, non-tracking browser (we like StartPage, ixQuick, and DuckDuckGo).

We Feature some NEWS FOR EARTH DAY, but first, we recommend one Earth Day event that is kinetic and participatory:

Sun, Apr 22:
9 am-4 pm "CicLAvia - Heart of the Foothills" is a brand new route for 2018, as the massive FREE bicycling-and-human-powered-propulsion event rides again to celebrate Earth Day.
* This route connects the cities of San Dimas, La Verne, the Pomona, and Claremont.
* Streets are closed to cars and open to cyclists, pedestrians, runners and skaters to use as a recreational space.
* This always features live music and entertainment at several rest stops, watering holes, and placves where participating communities want to provide a memorable experience.
* Getting there includes newly-established "Feeder rides" and walks on their website, and an invitation to add your own via email
* CicLAvia is not a race. There is no starting point or finish line - begin where you like and enjoy the day your way. CicLAvia is two-way traffic, just like regular traffic.
* General event info available at 213-355-8500 or
* Complete info, routes, safety tips, etc, are on their site at:



A Guide Earth Day Special NEWS FEATURE...

LAST OF THE ATLANTIC WHALES? Not a single whale calf seen this year

Seismic Air Guns, Oil, and Greed may Un-Do Decades of Conservation Efforts

The North Atlantic Right Whales are facing extinction. It's that simple. No exaggeration. No Chicken Little "sky-is-falling" hype. Just fact.

For the first time in decades, no new calves have been seen during the recent breeding season for the critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whale population.

The numbers tell an alarming story: Only 100 females of breeding age remain. Only five calves were born in 2017. And at least 17 right whales died last year.

The "right whale" didn't get that name from swimming on one side -- they don't. They were named by whalers who hunted them two centuries ago, because they were the species that yielded the most whale oil, in a time when industrial expansion hadn't yet discovered that petroleum could be exploited instead.

North Atlantic Right Whales barely survived that era. They barely survive at all, now. And they need our help – they need YOU.

A well-respected organization, Oceana, is running an urgent campaign to protect these whales from the growing and new threats that include seismic airgun blasting and offshore drilling. Indeed, the very survival of these critically endangered whales may hang on prompt and specific intervention to stop seismic airgun blasting and offshore drilling.

We cannot expect any help from traditional allies in our federal government's regulatory agencies. For the first time in decades, there are no active campaigns to regulate anything that rich interests want to do, no matter how destructive to the planet and the animals and planets who share it with us. In fact, traditionally monitored and long-regulated generators of poisons, pollutants, and reckless land use for short-term greedy aims are getting free passes and get-out-of-jail-free cards.

We could tell you about dozens of issues that have become critical. National Monuments, under the aegis of the National park Service, that we all believed were protected forever. But that are being given-over to exploiters who will destroy habitats along with the scenery, digging for toxic uranium or leaving cyanide in the poisonous extraction of gold. And the fact that policy based on science is absent because it cuts into somebody's desire to extract profits.

But the crisis these whales face is as urgent as it gets: The Trump administration is moving quickly to green-light seismic airgun blasting and new offshore drilling. This could happen in a matter of days.

During the process to locate oil and gas deposits below the seafloor, seismic airguns shoot dynamite-like bursts -- loud blasts of compressed air -- in our ocean every 10 seconds. This goes on 24 hours a day, for days to weeks on end. Once blasting begins, there’s nowhere for these animals to hide.

Since long before humans appeared on Earth, whales have communicated with sounds -- we call them whalesongs -- that carried for hundreds of miles through the medium of their liquid world. We know from research on ship navigation sonar and military signals that artificial sounds are damaging and can even drive marine mammals to commit suicide by beaching themselves just to get away from the sound pressures that can drive them crazy.

Seismic airgun blasts are so loud that they could cause serious injury or death, outright, and disturb vital behaviors of critically endangered North Atlantic Right Whales in particular, including impacting their ability to communicate, locate their young or hunt for food.

Alex Gray, Director of Digital Engagement for Oceana, says, "We must all refuse to stand by while oil and gas exploration companies and the Trump Administration subject Right Whales to this attack."

As we prepared this story, it occurred to us that if you already belong to an environmental organization, you can ask what they are doing to protect the few remaining whales of this species. Or look into supporting Oceana ( which is leading this fight.

Despite the expansion of scientific understanding and unprecedented ability to monitor ocean currents, dissemination of pollutants, climate, weather, migrations, and everything from plastic junk to noise in the oceans, environmental organizations are up against more than at any time since the first Earth Day was observed in 1970. They are challenged in expensive nuisance suits and their work is ridiculed, despite solid science that drives most of their agendas. Grey tells us about the current gains by campaign organizers at Oceana. They have:

• Encouraged more than 15 state governors to state their opposition to offshore drilling activities along their coasts.
• Activated over 1,200 local, state and federal bipartisan officials to oppose the expansion of offshore drilling.
• Helped organize alliances on both the East and West Coasts representing over 40,000 businesses and 500,000 fishing families.

In addition, we found news features about more.

A seven-year Oceana-led campaign built a groundswell of public support to keep Belize’s waters oil-free. Last December, Belize became the world’s first country to reject all offshore oil.

A recent NPR report cites the efforts of Oceana, in "Fishing Boats 'Going Dark' Raise Suspicion Of Illegal Catches."

The organization is claiming a major victory for another of its campaigns in the announcement by Chile of a dramatic expansion of protected areas in its seas. More than 25 percent of that nation's long coastal ocean zones is now protected, in waters that comprise more than half the entire west coast of South America and around the turbulent seas of the continent's southern tip.
Another of their global campaigns aims to prevent the extinction of the Orca, before its situation becomes as desperate as the Right Whale.

And Oceana is sounding the alarm over the Trump administration's plan for hugely expanded offshore drilling, with facts that show new drilling leases would threaten our nation’s vibrant coastal economies including more than 2.6 million jobs and nearly $180 billion in lost GDP.

All these are points of successful activism that are encouraging. But individually and collectively, they have not yet proven to be enough to save the once numerous Right Whale, now one of the rarest of cetacean species. Saving the species, like any effort, is severable from public sentiment and economic facts in the face of greed and the propaganda and fear campaigns it mounts to protect its insatiable quest for profits. And ultimately, any preservation campaign is only as strong as the support it can muster and sustain -- in the face of Big Oil and a Big Money corporatocracy that funds politicians' election campaigns and re-election war chests.

Washington, D.C.-based Oceana gets a four-star rating from Charity Navigator. You can sign-up for their news and alerts for free, by texting JOIN to 50555 (standard message and data rates may apply, as determined by your phone plan).

Of course, Oceana is not alone. We have more news, with late-breaking developments, about the activities of another effective organization, this one called Climate Hawks Vote.

Last September, the cities of San Francisco and Oakland sued the world’s biggest oil companies for damages related to global warming. Despite increasingly desperate attempts by the polluters to stop the case, it’s moving forward. See "Climate science on trial as high-profile US case takes on fossil fuel industry," in the Guardian. (

A month ago, on a Wednesday near the end of March, there came an action that could have game-changing repercussions. The judge in the case, William Alsup, convened a formal “tutorial” on climate science. It made the Columbia Law School's Law Review. (

On behalf of the two California cities, esteemed climate scientists Myles Allen and Don Wuebbles presented the science-based data of human-made climate change.

The lawyer for Chevron emphasized climate change “uncertainties.”

That's "a classic tactic from the denier playbook," asserts Brad Johnson, spokesman for Climate Hawks Vote. McClatchy News Service reported it in "Big Oil lawyer emphasizes climate change ‘uncertainties’ in wonky court tutorial." (

Lawyers for ExxonMobil, Shell and BP, and the other oil companies being sued, remained silent.

"It seems [those] companies could not find any scientists to make their case," says Johnson.

He continues, "In the age of the Kochs and Trump, we need local officials to be our climate champions. This lawsuit is a reminder of the potential power that every single elected official has. But too many are beholden to climate-polluter campaign dollars."

That’s why his organization is pushing politicians at all levels of government to sign the "No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge" — so that we can all know they will fight with us against the influence of big polluters in our political system. Or at least, not be beholden to fight against us and the health of the planet. That multi-organization campaign is detailed in "Tell Our Leaders: Take the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge." (

You can check-out Climate Hawks Vote and their work at

Johnson says, "Chevron’s tactics are all too familiar. Calling the science 'unsettled' is the go-to defense of climate-denying politicians who are bought out by companies like Exxon, Chevron, Shell and BP. And they’re not going to get away with subverting reality for their corporate donors anymore."

As to how to achieve that? "Our plan to confront fossil-fueled politics is simple: if the 200,000 members of Climate Hawks Vote get candidates at all levels across the country to take the No Fossil Fuel Money Pledge this year, we can build the fossil-free electoral might we need to fight Exxon and the Koch brothers," says Johnson.

We live in a world saturated with breathless hype. It's the fulfillment of the old song lyric, "Sign, sign, everywhere a sign, Blocking out the scenery, breaking my mind, Do this, don't do that, Can't you read the sign?"

Political protest and activism often proves transitory and ultimately unfulfilling because it leaves us with a sense that we've been exploited by those who say what we want to hear to elect them. And terms of office are short and suck money like a vampire needs blood. Resulting in a political system with no ability to meaningfully address any long-term problem that interferes with some fat cat's short-term profit-taking.

Meanwhile, saving the planet remains an incomprehensibly big task. But saving habitats for individual creatures and plants, and protecting them from destruction in their habitats, is the necessary first step in saving the ecosystems that give the Earth a complex, interdependent, web of life. While stopping pollutants from fouling "the commons" -- the air we all share, and the waterways and oceans that enable life on Earth -- are among the very few the things that require us to do something that isn't simply a nice feel-good thing, or "trending today," or
here until we click the next disposable item. Some things are not optional. Though they have been successful for many thousands or even millions of years, whether they survive human activity in our time is in question.

Thus, we can stay distracted and watch the latest outrage over the latest Trump scandal and allow the corporate interests to laugh all the way to the bank. Or we can act as citizens of planet Earth to save our fellow passengers, the North Atlantic Right Whale. And if we choose the former, the only thing we'll know about a species of whale is what we glean from pictures, read in books and websites, or see in a museum alongside displays of dead dinosaurs and extinct dodo birds.


See you soon with a TRULY HUGE and brand-new mega mondo MUSIC NEWS EDITION!



Boilerplate? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox?

What "boilerplate"? Who came up with that goofy term for the basic essential informational stuff...

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


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