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Monday, January 27, 2020

Monday: an international day of remembrance, a time to consider our world. January 27 2020

News and events within. If you recall our recent dissertation on context, that concept is on display.

Today, January 27th, is "International Holocaust Remembrance Day." It marks the series of discoveries and liberations of survivors of Nazi atrocities by Allied forces on both the Eastern and Western Fronts of World War II in its final months, 75 years ago. 

     Despite the world's pledges of "Never Again!" the same kind of torture and murder on massive scales has in fact repeated, in Rwanda, Cambodia, the former Yugoslavia, the Horn of Africa, and the deserts of the Middle East.

     At today's commemoration at Auschwitz, the survivors and international assemblage of political leaders from 61 nations opened their ceremony with a haunting violin solo. The indominitable power of music, the zenith of human creations, to yet speak to the hearts. And to the depths of the soul. One person, playing a single instrument, symbolizing the worth and dignity of each individual in the face of incomprehensible numbers of persons murdered.

     As survivors took the podium to eloquently speak of the unspeakable, to challenge us all going forward, those violin strings still seem to echo as the touchstone connecting our sensibilities to an incomprehensibilty.

     Auschwitz was just one of the Nazis' slave work camps and extermination centers. It measured 15 square miles. Over 1.1 million prisoners -- most of them abducted civilians -- were killed at Auschwitz alone between September, 1941 and January, 1945. The murders continued until a few hours before liberation. And the hell of Auschwitz was only part of a systematic network of slave and death camps where millions were murdered within an hour of their arrival. Over 12 million human beings of all ages were murdered in the Holocaust. Six million were Jews, killed simply because they were Jewish. The other murdered victims included homosexuals, all dissidents, Roma (Gypsy) peoples, peace advocates, and Soviet prisoners of war.

     It seems incredible that today's world holds a Holocaust denial movement. Even after Gen. Dwight Eisenhower, Supreme Commander of Allied Forces on the Western Front, ordered that every possible member of the Allied military, down to the rank of private, be routed through the liberated death camps "so that the world can never doubt or deny that this really happened."

     Incredibly, extreme right-wing political movements are on the rise, worldwide. Some are cloaked in nationalism. Some are cloaked in the fear of "others" who are "different." Many proclaim religious or other purity as justification for intolerance and atrocity. All advocate some kind of strong authoritarian "leadership" with power to override bothersome minorities, or obstruct their access to voting, or to intimidate or dismissively brush others aside.

     There is more than irony that today is also the birthdays of icons of culture. Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart, Austrian pianist and composer, and one of the greatest musical prodigies and geniuses who ever lived. Lewis Carroll, English novelist, poet, and mathematician, best remembered for "Alice in Wonderland."  Mikhail Baryshnikov, Russian-American dancer, choreographer, and actor. William Randolph Hearst Jr., American journalist and publisher, son of both the builder of Hearst Castle and founder of a newspaper empire that was a prototype of today's mega-media conglomerates that manufacture public opinion by presenting a single point of view.

     Knowing history is not a satisfying intellectual luxury. It is an absolute necessity in a complex, contentious world where wealth seeks power for its own greedy, manipulating, ultimately controlling, purposes.

     Even Israel, the nation born from the ashes of the Holocaust, born for Europe's dispossessed Jews, has emerged in our time as an intolerant nation that disenfranchises and dispossesses its own non-Jewish Palestinian citizens. 

     History is filled with lessons we arrogantly, often righteously, fail to heed. Intolerance in any form, regardless of motive, is always a danger to a free society. The American Civil Liberties Union knew that when they represented the American Nazi Party in the 1970s, to win the hate group its right to march in Skokie, Illinois, a community where Holocaust survivors had settled. It massively cost the ACLU its membership. 

     But standing for principle, for transcendent values, is not a popularity contest. Denying rights to any is denying rights to all. College administrations and student governments that, of late, have banned speaking appearances by illiberal individuals and organizations would do well to remember Skokie. All those who shout-down others should know that is, itself, an act of intolerance, and yes, fascism.

     If we fail to know history and its lessons as the basis for our advocacy and desires, then each of us bears responsibility for perpetuation of darkness.

    At the risk of inciting the wrath of those whose blinders allow only a focus on their agendas, still more begs to be said. We would do well to consider the accelerated pace of another and ongoing Holocaust -- of the Earth's necessarily diverse plant and animal species. Our planet is now experiencing an actual great extinction through the apocalypse of climate change and the cycles of widespread drought and wildfires it brings, along with insect infestations that resultingly weakened plants cannot endure; and polluted water due to extraction of resources for the economic gain of the few; and poisoning of soil and crops by toxic pesticides and herbicides; and poisoning of livestock by growth hormones and megadoses of antibiotics; and ultimately genetic damage and induced susceptibility to neurological and other disorders, in our own human species, as a direct result. And yes, it is absolutely relevant because once again, we are allowing insidious self-serving interests to control life and death. And thus, perhaps for what will unavoidably become the final time, we are all too tragically doing it to ourselves.


THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date...

"Find what you really care about and live a life that shows it."


"Love is born in fire, is planted like a seed. Love cannot give you everything, but it gives you what you need."

-- Kate Wolf (b. 1942, d. 1986), American singer-songwriter and guitarist for whom the annual "Kate Wolf Music Festival" in Northern California is named.

Ironies abound, always. Inherent in them is the challenge for life to go on.

Happy birthday today to these music artists...

⊙ Tracy Lawrence, American country singer.

⊙ Pat Wictor, American blues and folk musician, slide guitarist, singer-songwriter recording artist.

⊙ Mikhail Baryshnikov, Russian-American dancer, choreographer, and actor.

⊙ Nedra Talley, American singer.

⊙ Mike Patton, American singer, composer, and voice artist.

⊙ Ashley Grace, American singer-songwriter.

⊙ Katy Rose, American singer-songwriter and producer.

⊙ Tamlyn Tomita, Japanese-American actress and singer.

⊙ Seth Justman, American keyboard player and songwriter.

⊙ G. E. Smith, American guitarist and songwriter.

⊙ Bibi Gaytán, Mexican singer and actress.

⊙ Michael Kulas, Canadian singer-songwriter and producer.

⊙ Margo Timmins, Canadian singer-songwriter.

⊙ Jean-Philippe Collard, French pianist.

⊙ Nick Mason, English drummer, songwriter, and producer.

⊙ Janick Gers, English guitarist and songwriter.

⊙ Roberto Paci Dalò, Italian director and composer.

⊙ Patrick van Deurzen, Dutch composer and academic.

In Memorium to these departed musicians and other notables...

● Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart (b. 1756, d. 1791), Austrian pianist and composer, and one of the greatest musical prodigies and geniuses who ever lived.

● Lewis Carroll (b. 1832, d. 1898), English novelist, poet, and mathematician, best remembered for "Alice in Wonderland."

 Edward Smith (b. 1850, d. 1912), English captain with the White Star Line, his final assignment before retiring was intended as a reward for his service: he captained RMS Titanic on her first and only voyage, and was among those who died in the icy North Atlantic when his ship sank after hitting an iceberg.

● Jerome Kern (b. 1885, d. 1945), American composer and songwriter.

 William Randolph Hearst Jr. (b. 1908, d. 1993), American journalist and publisher, 
son of both the builder of Hearst Castle and founder of a newspaper empire that was a prototype of today's mega-media conglomerates that manufacture public opinion by presenting a single point of view.

 Elmore James (b. 1918, d. 1963), American singer-songwriter and guitarist.

● Skitch Henderson (b. 1918, d. 2005), American pianist, composer, and conductor.

● Ross Bagdasarian Sr. (b. 1919, d. 1972), American singer-songwriter, pianist, producer, and actor, created Alvin and the Chipmunks who won the first "Comedy Song GRAMMY" in 1959.

● Helmut Zacharias (b. 1920, d. 2002), German violinist and composer.

● Fritz Spiegl (b. 1926, d. 2003), Austrian flute player and journalist.

● Bobby "Blue" Bland (b. 1930, d. 2013), American blues singer-songwriter.

● Fred Åkerström (b. 1937, d. 1985), Swedish singer-songwriter and guitarist.

● Kate Wolf (b. 1942, d. 1986), American singer-songwriter and guitarist for whom the annual "Kate Wolf Music Festival" in Northern California is named.

● Maki Asakawa (b. 1942, d. 2010), Japanese singer-songwriter and producer.

● Björn Afzelius (b. 1947, d. 1999), Swedish singer-songwriter and guitarist.

Broadcaster birthdays...

 Keith Olbermann, American journalist and author.

 Ed Schultz (b. 1954, d. 2018), American radio and TV talk show host, sportscaster, journalist, news anchor, he left corporate cable tv news (MSNBC) so he could research and report on corporate abuses, anchoring RT America's evening news until his sudden death. He is greatly missed in an industry with little tolerance for the work he did.

Here are today's events.

“MOMENTS,” a solo photography exhibition by LINDA ANN DETWILER BURNER, goes on view in the El Camino College Library, 16007 Crenshaw Bl, Torrance CA
*  It includes a photo essay entitled “Sunny Side Up at the Tot.”
*  Reception Fri, Jan 31, 5 pm-7 pm in the library lobby.
*  Runs Jan 27 through February.

Mon, Jan 27:
 7 pm - "SONGWRITERS SERENADE" presents a rare Monday night show (no show on its regular Tuesday this week), at Matt Danny's Ale House, 145 E Huntington Dr, Arcadia CA 91006; 636-462-0250
*  It's a big deal that recording artist and leader of globally-touring band NEW WEST leads a strong lineup: come see MICHAEL ("MIKE") FLEMING. Here's the full list of performing songwriters:
⊙ J.C. Hyke, performing host / series booker / supplier of art for this listing.
⊙ Mike Fleming
⊙ Dave Clausen
⊙ Christopher Lockett
⊙ Mario Rojas
⊙ Charlie B. Roberts
⊙ Tisa Adamson
⊙ Calvin Joe
⊙ Randy Miller
⊙ Kathy Sanders
*  Ordinarily this is a weekly Tuesday night affair.
*  Venue has full menu and full bar. Music is in the fully enclosed heated patio room, so be sure you get seated in the right place.
*  No cover, but It's awkward if you don't order something.

Mon, Jan 27:
7:30 pm-11:30 pm - JULIANA HATFIELD singer-songwriter from Cambridge, Mass, plays the Echoplex, located below the Echo, enter through the alley at 1154 Glendale Bl, Echo Park / Los Angeles, CA 90026; 213-413-8200
Juliana Hatfield (photo,

*  Juliana and her band will perform their fan favorites from her solo catalog and most recent album "Weird," along with select covers from the recent "Juliana Hatfield Sings Olivia Newton-John" and "Juliana Hatfield Sings The Police."
*  TIX, adv $16 (+$7.36 fee); day of show $21 (+$8.27 fee), at:

Mon, Jan 27:
8 pm - ERIC ANDERSEN featuring SCARLET RIVERA play a rare intimate-venue show at the Coffee Gallery Backstage, 2029 N Lake Av, Altadena CA 91001
* This is one of those listings when you say, "Oh, somebody made a big mistake! HE isn't playing THERE!" Well, he is, honest and truly.
*  ERIC ANDERSEN’S voice, songs, guitar and piano-playing created a career that's spanned over 45 years. He has recorded 25 albums of original songs, and made numerous tours of North America, Europe and Japan.
Eric Andersen (image,
*  His songs have been recorded and performed by world-renown artists including Ricky Nelson, Judy Collins, Sandy Denny, Fairport Convention, The Kingson Trio, Peter Paul & Mary, Linda Rondstadt, Johnny Cash, The Grateful Dead, Linda Thompson, Mary Chapin Carpenter and Francoise Hardy, and many others in Europe, Australia, England and Japan.
*  “Andersen is the most elegant of singers.” ~ ROLLING STONE
“ERIC ANDERSEN is a great ballad singer and writer.”  ~ Bob Dylan.
“A singer and writer of the first rank.” ~ New York Times.
“Didn’t that guy write ‘Thirsty Boots?’" ~ Overheard in a Detroit sports bar.
SCARLET RIVERA burned a hole in the fabric of rock history with her pioneering electrified violin sound. Based in classical roots,  she became the rebel bending capabilities of accepted norms by playing all styles of music. From the Jazz of Ornette Coleman to the robust innovation of a violin amid a 17 piece cuban band, Scarlet was a revolutionary at the start, an iconoclast of '70s rock sound.
Scarlet Rivera
* Her discovery by Bob Dylan in 1975 set in motion the tapestry of a new sound and era, leading the way for strong female voices in instrumentation and paving the highway for the acceptance of strings in rock music.
*  Bob Dylan recognized her genius and unique vision and use of the violin much like a lead guitar. Their first collaboration was the legendary 1976 album ‘Desire’, and the rest is history.
*  TIX, $20 (THAT's not a mistake, either!); make reservations PROMPTLY, as in RIGHT NOW; 10 am-10 pm 7 days, at 626-798-6236.
*  THEY ALSO PLAY McCabe's Sat, Jan 25, 8 pm; see listing.

OF COURSE, the rest of January is still there for you. Click the link for our Jan 21 edition and spin your scroller like a slot machine to find the dates of interest. It's right here: January won't end when the calendar page turns.


LINKS to recent editions
including NAMM news (so far)

(Much more NAMM news is forthcoming... give us time!)

☆  Jan 21: January won't end when the calendar page turns.


☆  Jan 19: "Top honor for Joni Mitchell amidst 35th annual NAMM Tech Awards' comprehensive recognitions"

☆  Jan 17: "News from NAMM, day one"

☆  Jan 12: "A week of concerts and events, before the news from NAMM" (A very photo-heavy edition)

☆  Jan 8: "Special edition: We're Already Against the Next War."

☆  Jan 8: "2020: Ch-ch-ch-changes, and what's happening out there in the land of Musica Acoustica"

...a here are a few from our fully-archived December editions...

☆  Dec 25: "Merry Christmas. A few words. A few pictures."

☆  Dec 11: "Greta Thunberg named 'Person of the Year.' Special edition"

☆  " Impeachment: What it is, what it means, where we go from here. Dec 10 2019 special edition"

☆  THE ENTIRE CATALOGUE of all past editions of The Guide is available (and searchable!) FREE, in our archive. If you don't see the navigation pane on the left side of your screen, just click "view web version" and it'll magically appear (along with the correct photo, art, and page formats that you've been missing if you don't see that left-sidebar.)


We have lots of MUSIC NEWS
features in the works, and they'll
be along as we get them dressed,
shoes tied, cowlicks combed down,
bowties cranked straight, 
and strings tuned.

Find a comfortable spot by the 
wood stove, play a round or two 
of checkers, and we'll be along...

On to the necessary boilerplate...

Boilerplate? What "boilerplate"? Where's the main pressure gauge? And the firebox?

Who came up with that goofy term for the basic essential informational stuff...

Alright already, it's right down there...



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Lawrence Wines & Tied to the Tracks.

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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 cyber porch'll be here anytime you come back from the road.

We'll be back again soon with music news and more "News of the Non-Trumpcentric Universe." (c)

Til we catch ya again on the flip side 
in this new decade...
as Buford the Wonder Dog looks on 
and in our best Kathy Baker
"Hee Haw" voice: "THAT's all!"


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