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Saturday, August 29, 2020

All-Star Guitar Night, major talent, online show, TONIGHT. August 29, 2020

Here's a quickie edition to let you know about something wonderful happening today, Saturday, August 29, 2020.

We'll return with more -- until the new publishing paradigms imposed by those who bought this platform make it impossible to do what we do here. (As we have already told you, we are looking for a new site / platform. But we will not jump around like a frog. We've been here, serving an international readership, well into what would have been our 13th year. And we don't want to move more than once.)
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Muriel tells The Guide:

"Hi! I’m back on dry land after an adventure, now JOIN US THIS SATURDAY at 6 pm PACIFIC (8 pm CDT)

"Yes, we’re doing it! The All Star Guitar Night is back and this time we're going virtual! Now EVERYONE, anywhere can have a front row seat. You can chat live with this amazing lineup of players. Please register for the event, donate if you wish, and we will send you the broadcast information plus cool premiums and a door prize drawing.

"For a VIP ticket you can save over $100 on a year-long All-Access Pass to TrueFire, have a backstage hang with the artists, see the show, and support music for kids all at the same time! Yowza."

This year's lineup includes musical innovators such as David Broza, Laurence Juber, Stanley Jordan, Larry Mitchell, Christie Lenée, Rory Block, Andrew York, Alex de Grassi, Vicki Genfan, Makana, Peter Sprague with Fred Benedetti, Stephen Bennett and the Harp Guitar Orchestra and Muriel Anderson.
Join us on Saturday August 29 at 6 pm Pacific / 8 pm central / 9 pm Eastern time, for the event's first-ever online version. 

Proceeds will benefit "Guitars in the Classroom" and "Music for Life Alliance," supporting music programs for students in need.

Tickets are available HERE with donation options and cool perks.

What an adventure, on Bryan's 1974 Grampian sailboat, from Long Island to Maine.
You can follow along on Muriel's Captain’s Log.

Guitar players: Learn directly from the great Muriel Anderson, at her TrueFire Channel

That's all for this edition. (Told you this one was quick.)
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Here's The Guide's boilerplate as you're accustomed to seeing it.
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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 world of the improbable unknown...


Wednesday, August 19, 2020

Escaping-the-Conventions edition: News & Events from The Guide. (The platform's publishing tools still work, so we're still here -- for now.) August 19 2020

This is no longer the most recent edition. There is at least one that's newer. That doesn't mean you won't find good stuff in here. Just that it's not getting any more updates.

LAST update and final word in THIS edition was made at 5:05 pm, THURSDAY, August 27th: reality check.

(Wednesday's update gets excitingly spacy on ya!)

(Tuesday's update includes TWO news stories we never expected to bring you. Monday's update includes the ELIZA GILKYSON special, announced to the press the same day.)

     Periodic updates added since this edition was originally published on Wed, Aug 19; feature stories & items herein include a CD REVIEW...

So, this summer's quadrennial political party conventions are less blah-blah and no hoop-la. They are still scripted, and this time, the psychologists are doing the writing. Congratulate yourself that you're escaping the Operant Conditioning, virtual values realignment, and general brainwashing inherent in both conventions. Their solutions to everything are flawed plans put forth by flawed human beings, dependent on flawed judgements by voters to pick the one that's less terrifying. Which probably isn't the one who assures us that miracles will replace the need for action because he thinks he's perfect.

Events & News have been added since this edition was published. We will continue to add a more during the interim while we can still access the platform's old posting tools.

Late NEWS is up-top, after the cover photo. Added EVENTS follow. 

Big news about The Guide's impending move is in our previous edition.

The "New Normal"-- will Dodger Stadium's cutouts catch on?

The current New Yorker cover.
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News features
Followed by events
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Thursday updates, August 27, 2020

First, a quick update:

Yesterday's feature story, "Night launch, BIIIIG rocket" left you looking at the big launch vehicle sitting on the pad. The Launch Director delayed it. They'll try again at 11:04 pm PDT August 28th (which is 2:04 am Aug 29 Eastern time.) Use the same link (see the details in Wednesday's story), and here's a nice photo of what to expect.

New today, in three parts...

Covidology 101: status for August 27th...

"US and UK are bottom of the pile in rankings of governments' handling of coronavirus pandemic" is a new report, just out this morning. Among its findings...

•  In the US, fewer than two in 10 people (18%) said the country is more united now.

•  The embarrassing signature characteristic in America continues to be that science is trumped by politics. With 5% of the world's population, the US has consistently had between one-quarter and one-third of the world's COVID-19 cases, and far and away, tops the world in deaths from the virus, with 180,000.

•  Three quarters (76%) of Republicans and Republican-leaning independents said the government has done a good job. Only one quarter (25%) of Democrats and Democratic-leaning independents agree.

•  Those public appraisals of governmental competence come from a Pew Research Center survey of 14 advanced economies in North America, Europe and Asia. The Washington, DC-based think tank interviewed 14,276 adults by telephone from June 10 to August 3.

"Covidology Tonight" should be the title of this tv show...

Tonight, a maskless crowd of 1,000 will be in attendance when Donald Trump makes his acceptance speech for the Republican nomination to run again.

That gathering of unmasked Branch Covidians will conclude tonight and is set to be repetitively consistent with all four days of the Republican Convention.

That event has been characterized by:

■ attempting to foment fear among suburban homeowners that "the Democrats" would invade their neighborhoods with high-density housing projects filled with poor minorities and free-roaming illegal immigrants bent on committing crimes, all while defunding police and leaving you at the mercy of criminals that only Trump would protect you from

■ claiming the pandemic is over, that Trump conquered it, and that "the Democrats" are destroying the economy and ruining your children by refusing to allow "the economy to reopen," "the schools to reopen," and "America to reopen"

■ ignoring record wildfires in California (because saying anything might contradict their denial of Global Climate Change)

■ ignoring the strongest hurricane ever to hit Louisiana (because saying anything might contradict their denial of Global Climate Change)

■ ignoring the record 90° water in the Gulf of Mexico and the record 80°+ water in the Atlantic Ocean that spawned that hurricane and is already spawning more potentially-record storms (because saying anything might contradict their denial of Global Climate Change)

■ ignoring the (latest) shocking police shooting of a young black man, this time in Kenosha, Wisconsin, this time who was shot in the back seven times at point-blank range

■ mischaracterizing peaceful protestors across America as looters and rioters who are coming to get you

■ claiming that demonstrators -- for social justice -- (who don't look like you) were the ones who spread the virus (after Trump somehow stopped it and "stood up to China") yet ignoring the fact that their Republican Convention has featured, and is concluding with, mass gatherings of maskless demonstrators -- for Trump

■ ignoring the under-age 17-year-old white murdered who shockingly shot peaceful demonstrators in Kenosha, Wisconsin, killing two of those demonstrators, and was ignored by police in their tanks even while he had his assault rifle murder weapon dangling across his chest

■  ignoring the fact that the Kenosha killer left the scene because he was ignored by police, and was eventually arrested at his home in a different state

■ ignoring the fact that the killer is associated with a white militia group of Trump supporters who demanded they be deputized by the Kenosha County Sheriff and deployed as an armed presence "to stop demonstrators"

You cannot make this stuff up, and we didn't.

Beyond Pandemic Politicization

Only twice in American history has a presidential campaign been based on fomenting fear and needing that candidate to protect you and yours from "the other," the "them," with a ruling paradigm of "you must vote for ME if you want to be protected, if you demand law and order."

The two times everything was based on that "law and order" message were the Nixon administration and the Trump administration. They are THE ONLY two administrations that saw more of their own senior officials indicted for federal crimes than any other governments in America at any level (federal, state, or local) in our history.

And over a dozen federal and state prosecutors' ongoing investigations are not yet done with the Trump administration's lawbreaking.


Wednesday updates, August 26, 2020

(Two items today)

Cartoonist's perspective...


Wednesday's news item...

(If you see a blank field below, tap the center of it to see the photo. As we reported, this platform is messing with tried-and-true publishing parameters and needlessly making life difficult.)

Night launch tonight, BIIIIG rocket

It's a "Delta IV Heavy" launch, live tonight from Cape Canaveral. Night launches are always dramatic, and this thing is a 'uge "triple wide." Payload is a super secret giant NSA spy satellite, sure to increase international tensions. But hey, you might as well enjoy watching them spend your money (and see the capability of these launch vehicles to feed your dreams of peaceful planetary exploration).

This is the 12th mission for a Delta IV Heavy, the second most powerful launch vehicle in the world today. By itself, the rocket is a $350 million per-launch proposition. The NSA is spending $440 million to send up whatever they're sending up that looks back down. And that's before you get to what the if-we-tell-you-we-have-to-kill-you, city-bus-sized satellite costs. 

The rocket has two stages, with the first stage having two strap-ons (i.e., "triple wide"). Each of those first stage cylinders is 16 ft wide, making the whole thing 49 feet across on the launch pad. It is 72 meters (236 ft) tall and will generate 9,411 kN (2,115,676 pounds) of thrust for this mission -- which is higher than the vehicle's advertised total thrust. The fiery plumes of both stages are fueled by eco-friendly liquid hydrogen and liquid oxygen -- ironically, the same atomic ingredients as distilled water.

•  Pacific time, the coverage starts at 10:50 pm, with launch set for 11:12 pm.

Go on early, because the last-minute lookie-loos can leave you percolating.


LATE UPDATE on that "Biiig Rocket Launch"...

Flame. Fury. For uh, a few inglorious seconds. Watch ULA abort it at the last possible moment.

The team had even declared "liftoff." There was "a hot fire abort" at T-minus 3 seconds...

Go to the video screen at the bottom of the link. It's labelled as "live." Tap it open and give it about 30 seconds. If necessary, tap it again to get the scroll bar. Slide it across to 1:50:53 or thereabouts and wait for it to load. Worth the short wait.


Tuesday updates, August 25, 2020

(Two today...)

When we titled this edition, we did not expect to do anything but escape from the two big corporate political parties' quadrennial conventions. But neither did we expect the delegates to one of those conventions would themselves escape -- as in, escape from their responsibilities to those who sent them, and their responsibilities to the nation in the upcoming election. They did, and we're calling them out for doing it.

Republican Convention: Making America Grate

by Larry Wines

Monday, the GOP Convention's delegates irrevocably failed their first fundamental task, and they did it willfully, on Day One. They will not reveal a platform. They won't even write one for their internal guidance.

That de rigueur document -- a party platform -- is always the only verifiable indication that voters have. It's what a party says their candidates will do if we hire them to run the country. Instead, this bizarre crop of unrecognizable new Trumpublicans has simplistically pledged their party to back whatever Trump wants to do. Which, from his record so far, will all be based on sudden, reflexive, usually disconnected and incongruous transitory whims driven by seeking retribution.

Producing no plan is not just simplistic failure of fiduciary responsibilty to their party and the nation. Nor the theme of simplistic, given that he is a simpleton. Though that alone should scare the hell out of you.

A party with no guiding principles, no platform, has no precedent in America. Here, we are accustomed to every public servant taking an oath to a document and never to an individual. Upon assuming the presidency in the wake of Nixon's resignation, Gerald Ford reassured the nation, "Our Constitution works. Ours is a government of laws and not of men."

You have to look elsewhere to find regimes where people take (or infamously took) an oath to support an individual, by name. Finding one means encountering a head of state who eventually freed himself from all public statements of what he intended to do, and tolerated n hint of constraints on his behavior. This time, it's all up-front. And it's not like you can get out your divining rod to anticipate this one's policy, on anything. Even if he were not arbitrary, capricious, volatile, vindictive, and prone to trademark Trumpertantrums, the fact that his team has no playbook -- and no rulebook -- is wholly inappropriate in a government of the people, by the people, for the people.

No platform. No plan. No accountability.

At best, the Republicans are selling the prerecorded, carefully produced sounds of inauthentic sizzle when they have no promise of obtaining, much less delivering, any steak. The incompetent handling of the COVID shutdown leaves America's governments at all levels devoid of revenues for even emergency services. That, as over 560 wildfires now rage in California alone, where 14,000+ exhausted firefighters are expensively attempting to contain them. There are hundreds more fires in Colorado, and still more throughout the West.

On top of that, there are 30 million+ Americans unemployed and that number is growing, with a million+ Americans filing new unemployment claims in each of the last 20 weeks. Median estimates say 30 million+ Americans are facing imminent eviction from their homes due to inability to pay rent or mortgages. And 80,000+ small businesses -- the largest and most diverse sector of the employment economy -- closed since March, are now throwing in the towel with no hope of ever reopening. 

Like picking the kids up from school, the allegorical sizzle and steak are both a more distant memory, even a pipe dream from what seems an unrecoverable past.

So it's no surprise that Day One of the Trump Reality Network's miniseries fantasy, The GOPper Show, went with ignoring COVID and shouting socialist at the painfully conservative Democratic duo.

Not long ago, Republican Convention delegates held signs aloft proclaiming "Character Counts." They gushed with espousals of morality and condemnation of "situational ethics" that allowed you to rationalize anything. And they, the God-fearing Republicans, were morally superior. Because there are absolutes and those things derive without compromise from the very text of the Ten Commandments. And their opponents were tearing down this country by removing the Ten Commandments and manger scenes and the big lighted crosses from the courthouse lawns. Because you need the constraints of the written Word, and its literal text, with no vascillating interpretation, to avoid temptation and falling into the trap of The Deceiver. You need the written Word, the written rules of the road, as the rudder for your society and the anchor for your principles. Those were the days when you rolled your eyes at the "Leave it to Beaver" Republicans.

But now that same party is ruled by one who doesn't value written words because he does not read. Thus that same party flippantly dispensed with written rules for its own guidance and behavior to appease one who likes to make it up as he goes, pulling it out of his anal orifice, acting on unstudied whims. Like his advocacy for ingesting disinfectant and bleach.

Having no platform means no outline for how anything is prioritized or funded, from pesky potholes to hoaxy pandemics that kill more Americans than World War I, Pearl Harbor, and 9/11 combined.

When winter returns, the first wave of the tsunami of evictions will have hit America. A far larger number of homeless people than those sent wandering by the Great Depression will be competing for fewer functioning sidewalk grates. That's an existential concern for those who have nothing else. Those warm oases are highly coveted as the only places on frozen city streets where some amount of heat emerges from hidden systems in adjacent buildings. At least, from those buildings where commerce still occurs. 

I wonder if the world, in seeing that unspeakable disgrace, will note that the ruler and his personally obedient party -- who are equally devoid of accountability because they have no policy -- have, in fact, made America grate.

A slightly different version of the above story was published Tuesday morning in the L.A. Progressive.


Sad and shocking, as reported this morning in No Depression 

Remembering Justin Townes Earle

Hearing about the death of Justin Townes Earle at age 38 was a terrible jolt to start the week. For more than a decade, Earle’s one-of-a-kind songs were covered via words and pictures at No Depression, and they touched and thrilled so many who heard them. Read our remembrance of Earle here, [contents from that link are republished below; use the link for more on other topics at No Deoression - Guide ed.] and we hope you can take time to revisit or seek out his music and let it remind you that we’re not alone, even in hard times.

— ND Assistant Editor Stacy Chandler

Country-Folk Singer-Songwriter Justin Townes Earle Has Died at 38

Justin Townes Earle in 2017 (photo by C. Elliott)

A social media post on Justin Townes Earle’s artist pages Sunday evening stated that the singer-songwriter has passed away at 38 years old.

The statement remained brief, concisely informing fans and followers “of the passing of our son, husband, father and friend Justin.” It continued, “So many of you have relied on his music and lyrics over the years and we hope that his music will continue to guide you on your journeys,” and closed with a lyric from “Looking for a Place to Land,” off his 2014 album, Single Mothers.

At the time of writing, representatives from his publicity and record label (New West Records) have not yet responded to requests for further information or comments.

But comments poured in on social media, mourning the enormous loss. Fellow roots musicians like The Head and The Heart and Samantha Crain expressed their grief, as did beloved authors like Stephen KingTyler Mahan Coe, son of songwriter David Allan Coe and creator/host of esteemed podcast Cocaine & Rhinestones even divulged that Earle had helped come up with the name of the show.

Earle grew up in Nashville, Tennessee, with formidable musical influences — his father, country-rock icon Steve Earle, and his namesake, country-folk singer-songwriter Townes Van Zandt. Raised primarily by his mother, Carol Ann Hunter Earle, he spent his younger years wandering, skipping school, touring, and experimenting with drugs and alcohol.

These themes, along with his contentious and complicated family relationships, informed each of his eight solo albums and debut EP, culminating with last year’s The Saint of Lost Causes, which appeared on No Depression’s Best of the Year list.

In fact, Earle was a longtime friend to No Depression. As my predecessor, former Editor in Chief Kim Ruehl remembered, “He was game enough to do our 1st/only live artist chat on ND [in 2009] and was easy to get along with the few times our paths crossed.”

To carry his visceral, oftentimes brutally honest, lyrics, Earle blended a range of roots styles — country, bluegrass, folk, and even punk. From the earliest acoustic set of his 2007 debut, Yuma, to the breakthrough concept record of 2010’s Harlem River Blues, the pedal steel-fueled journey of Nothing’s Gonna Change the Way You Feel About Me Now, and the twinning Single Mothers and Absent Fathers of 2014 and ’15, respectively, his styles evolved and blended over time. One constant, though, was his inimitable picking technique — he once explained that the sledgehammer tattoos over his right thumb were inspired by Guy Clark’s description of his two-finger style.

Near the end of Side A of his 2009 album, Midnight at the Movies, sits a honky-tonk ballad called “What I Mean to You.” Ostensibly a love song, Earle sings with a gruff, yet desperate swagger, “I need to know right now just what I mean to you.”

Luckily, I was able to tell him what his music did mean to me, just once in my career. After leading an intimate in-studio session with Earle in 2017, I thanked him profusely and bashfully, saying him that his songs probably saved my life a few times. He looked me dead in the eyes and replied, “Me, too.”

Earle is survived by his parents, wife, and daughter.
[Update 11:35 p.m. EST: Bloodshot Records co-founder and co-owner Rob Miller has shared the following statement.]
My emotions are raw right now, please forgive any awkwardness in my expression of them at this time. 
It is with a sadness I fear will take some time to settle into the concrete reality of loss, that we learn of the passing of our dear, dear friend Justin Townes Earle.
The hearts of our entire Bloodshot family go out to his immediate family — especially his daughter, his vast and close network of friends, and his fans at this time.  
From the first time I saw Justin perform, I wanted to work with him.  I could not take my eyes off him as he commanded the stage. He always seemed to be staring — or glaring — at something off in the middle distance — a drive, a goal, a determination. It was exhilarating. When he stayed at my house in the early days — before hotel rooms or tour buses were an option — he’d rummage through my records and we’d end up listening to Meade Lux Lewis albums until entirely too late. Or too early. Time became a bit fluid.
That he entrusted his first few stellar recordings to us is a source of continual pride. To be up close and watch his confidence and his talent grow at that stage of his career was a thrill. That he was able to move between styles so effortlessly never failed to hold my interest and my admiration. I, and so many others, was looking forward to a long career of compelling music, to watching a craftsman ply his trade at a higher and higher level. I am so saddened at the music we are now denied.   
Be well, stay safe, and take care of each other.
Rob Miller
Bloodshot Records
Here is a selection of photos of Earle performing from No Depression‘s archives.


Monday updates, August 24, 2020

Eliza Gilkyson special Facebook Live Birthday show TODAY, Monday, 5 pm PDT (all request!)

Someone’s having a milestone Birthday on August 24!  Two-time Grammy nominee ELIZA GILKYSON is spending part of her 70th birthday doing what she loves — performing.

She’s inviting everyone to tune-in to her special all request birthday livestream on Monday, August 24th at 5 pm PDT/8 pm EDT.

"My 70th birthday is coming up August 24 and I have decided to greet it head-on with a livestream show, my first in a couple of months. We have relocated to beautiful Taos, New Mexico for the summer, and my Adobe Garage studio (which has to be at least as old as I am) is set up for streaming. Please join me Aug 24th at 7 pm central time on Facebook ( All requests!"

~ Eliza Gilkyson


Covidology 101

Update for Monday morning, August 4th, from CNN at 9 am PST..

Researchers say Hong Kong man is first confirmed to have Covid-19 twice — but more research is needed

From CNN Health's Jacqueline Howard

A 33-year-old man living in Hong Kong had Covid-19 twice this year, according to preliminary research out of China. 
The pre-print study — which the University of Hong Kong said on Monday has been accepted to publish in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases — found that the man’s second case of Covid-19 occurred 142 days after the first. 
The study also noted that in the first case, the man showed symptoms but in the second case he was asymptomatic, in that he did not show any noticeable symptoms. 
During his first episode of illness, the patient had a cough, sore throat, fever and headache for three days, according to the study. He tested positive for Covid-19, the disease caused by the novel coronavirus SARS-CoV-2, on March 26. 
Then during his second episode, the patient was returning to Hong Kong from traveling in Spain via the United Kingdom, and he tested positive during his entry screening at the Hong Kong airport on August 15, according to the study. The man was then hospitalized again but remained asymptomatic. 
For the study, researchers at the University of Hong Kong and various hospitals in Hong Kong analyzed specimens collected from the patient 10 days after his symptoms emerged in the first episode and then one day after hospitalization for the second episode. They analyzed genetic material in those specimens. 
The genetic analysis showed that the first infection was from a strain of the coronavirus most closely related to strains from the United States or England, which were collected in the spring, and the second was most closely related to strains from Switzerland and England, which were collected in July and August. 
“This case illustrates that re-infection can occur even just after a few months of recovery from the first infection. Our findings suggest that SARS-CoV-2 may persist in humans as is the case for other common-cold associated human coronaviruses, even if patients have acquired immunity via natural infection or via vaccination,” the researchers wrote in their study. 
“In summary, reinfection is possible 4.5 months after a first episode of symptomatic infection. Vaccination should also be considered for persons with known history of COVID-19,” they wrote. “Patients with previous COVID-19 infection should also comply with epidemiological control measures such as universal masking and social distancing.” 
Some context: The researchers called this the “first case” of re-infection of Covid-19 in their paper, but other experts are calling for more research before naming this case truly the world’s first. 
“What I think is really important is that we put this into context,” said Maria Van Kerkhove, the World Health Organization's technical lead for coronavirus response and head of the emerging diseases and zoonoses unit, during a media briefing in Geneva on Monday. 
“There’s been more than 24 million cases reported to date. And we need to look at something like this on a population level. And so it's very important that we document this and that, in countries that can do this if sequencing can be done that would be very, very helpful. But we need to not jump to any conclusions,” Van Kerkhove said. “Even if this is the first documented case of reinfection, it is possible of course because with our experience with other human coronaviruses, and the MERS coronavirus and the SARS-CoV-1 coronavirus, we know that people have an antibody response for some time but it may wane.” 

As for original reporting from The Guide for Monday morning?

We tried to watch some of the Republican Convention coverage. We figured, if nothing else, it would be good for mining quotes for laughter and ridicule. 

We really did try. Really. Until we felt the bile rising in our throats. 

Now that we have this time set aside and we're in front of the cable tv, are there any Lucy reruns on? Three Stooges? Twilight Zone? Dr. Pimple Popper?

We sent that very message to our retired daily newspaper editor friend. He replied with this meme:
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Reported here over the weekend...

California Wildfires and Climate Change 

With one of the world's last remaining Climate Change Deniers as the current resident of the White House, and a primary campaign season that saw strong advocacy by Bernie Sanders, Elizabeth Warren, and others for American leadership to reverse Global Climate Change, the Dems could have owned the issue. But they blew it (again).

(This story republished Friday, August 21, 2020, from L.A. Progressive.)

Democrats Fiddle While California Burns

Democratic Party Platform Fails to Deliver on Climate Emergency

Face-to-face with a rapidly growing climate crisis and the threat of a second term of President Trump, one might assume the Democratic Party would be rallying around bold and urgent climate action in their party platform. One would be wrong.
On Saturday, the National Weather Service issued a fire tornado warning in California, as hundreds of wildfires exploded across the state, leading to Governor Gavin Newsom declaring a statewide emergency and mobilizing the National Guard.
The next day, the highest temperature recorded on earth with modern instruments — a blistering 130 degrees Fahrenheit — was recorded in California’s Death Valley as the western half of the United States is baking under a record-breaking, climate change-fueled heat wave.
On Tuesday, mere hours before the start of the Democratic National Committee Climate Crisis Council at the Democratic Party National Convention, HuffPost reported that the DNC had shockingly removed language from the party platform that called for an end to fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks.
The removed language reads: “Democrats support eliminating tax breaks and subsidies for fossil fuels, and will fight to defend and extend tax incentives for energy efficiency and clean energy.” Notably, this is the exact same language that was included in the previous party platform, as written by author and climate activist Bill McKibben.
The original rough draft of the climate platform was released for review on July 21st. Amendments were drafted and proposed by both the Biden and Sanders teams over the following days. The proposed amendments included the fossil fuel subsides language, duplicated from the 2016 platform.
All non-controversial amendments went into the Manager’s Mark — a ledger of party demands voted on as a single package — which was then approved by the platform committee. This included the fossil fuel subsidies amendment. However, in the final draft of the party platform circulated Monday, the subsidies language disappeared.
A DNC spokesperson claims that they discovered the fossil fuel subsidies language in the Manager’s Mark, and that it had been “incorrectly included”. The DNC removed the language, but the removal was never approved by the platform committee. No procedural consent was given for removal. If the inclusion was simply an error, why did the DNC quietly remove previously approved language without following procedure or notifying the committee responsible for drafting the platform?
Unsurprisingly, outrage from environmentalists and the activist community exploded across social media.
“Yet another shocking development in the Democratic Party Platform, the DNC quietly dropped an amendment that declares support for ending fossil fuel subsidies & tax breaks. In the midst of a climate emergency, this is an outrage. #EndFossilFuelSubsidies”, Bernie Delegates Network stated on Twitter.
“WTF?! what. the. hell. did. you. just. do???” said RL Miller, DNC delegate and founder of Climate Hawks Vote.
Removing the subsidies language is even more perplexing when one considers both Joe Biden and Kamala Harris call for an end to fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks in their climate policy proposals. Biden is not exactly seen as a climate champion within the environmental movement. His initial climate policies during the presidential primary received low scores from environmental groups such as Sunrise Movement and Greenpeace, and a steady flow of protests from activists have called him out for refusing to ban fracking, among other positions seen as intentionally incremental in nature.
Greenpeace released its analysis and ranking of the DNC climate platform today, giving the party platform an underwhelming C+. This is lower than the updated B+ rankings the organization gave to both Biden and Harris’ climate plans.
“The Democrats have an opportunity to galvanize millions of young voters with an ambitious, visionary climate platform, but they’re making a mess of it,” said Charlie Jiang, a climate campaigner at Greenpeace USA. “This platform is a step backwards, and we deserve better.”
As climate activists responded in outrage on social media, Biden’s spokesperson responded on Twitter, saying “Joe Biden continues to be committed to ending U.S. fossil fuel subsidies & then rallying the rest of the world to do the same — as was outlined in his climate plan last year. Here at home, he’ll use those dollars to instead invest in a clean energy future and create union jobs.”
Not only does Biden’s climate plan call for the United States to end fossil fuel subsidies and tax breaks, it goes even further, demanding “a worldwide ban on fossil fuel subsidies” and stating that “there is simply no excuse for subsidizing fossil fuel, either in the United States or around the world”. His plan pledges to cut fossil fuel subsidies his first year in office, and to “secure a global commitment to eliminate fossil fuel subsidies by the end of his first term.”
All of which raises serious questions about the DNC platform. Biden is considered a centrist Democrat by most political observers, so why would the party create a climate platform to the right of a centrist?
Voters overwhelmingly support bold climate action, with 87% of Democrats and 60% of independents supporting the Green New Deal based on a poll from Data for Progress. Voters also strongly support ending fossil fuel subsidies, with a net favorability rating of +52% for Democrats and +30% net favorability for independents.
The world is in a time of crisis from the climate emergency, and the only way to avoid catastrophic societal destruction will be through bold and urgent action. If the Democratic Party cannot bring itself to put non-binding language into the party platform, how can Americans trust the party to take the steps necessary to avoid a global climate disaster? The world is fast approaching tipping points that will unleash irreversible feedback loops, locking us into a future of climate cataclysm.
ben hauckIntentional incrementalism and catering to the fossil fuel industry is immoral, irresponsible, and downright unacceptable. It is time for the Democratic establishment to lead — or get out of the way.
Ben Hauck
Republished with the author’s permission.
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About Ben Hauck

Ben Hauck is an organizer and activist focusing on environmental justice and progressive politics. Ben is a assembly district delegate with the California Democratic Party. He is also a lead organizer with Public Bank LA, Divest LA, California Public Banking Alliance and Revolution LA. Ben is member of Democratic Socialists of America and an unapologetic supporter of Bernie Sanders.

Surprising what one Democratic Convention delegate had to say...

"My name is Brian McLain, and I'm a union worker from Iowa, a Bernie delegate to the DNC, an Our Revolution member and former long-time Republican.

"The only reason that I am a Democrat today is because of Bernie, Our Revolution, and the pro-worker policies they champion.

"I’ve been watching the parade of Republicans — like Michael Bloomberg and former Ohio Gov. John Kasich — speak at the DNC. I understand why the Democratic establishment invited them to be in the spotlight. But it makes me wonder which side is the Democratic Party on? Regular working class folks like me — or anti-worker, pro-corporate Republicans?

"I was a Reagan supporter and a believer in free market economics. I was a county RNC delegate for Ron Paul in 2008 and 2012. Then I was introduced to Bernie Sanders. Bernie was the first Democrat who talked to me like a human being and helped me understand his side of the argument. He didn’t move over to my side — he moved me over to his side. And I am not the only Republican working class voter that Bernie converted.

"Since the Democratic Party isn't willing to do the work to talk to voters like me, I'm so grateful that Our Revolution is all over America doing the organizing necessary to prevent a dictator-like second Trump term.

"This movement is here to stay.

"In solidarity,"

Brian McLain
DNC Delegate & Our Revolution Member

You can learn about or contact Our Revolution at


Between the Conventions...


THOUGHT FOR TODAY from one born on this date

"There can be a new tomorrow / There can be a brighter day / There can be a new tomorrow / Love will find a way."

~ Jackie DeShannon, singer-songwriter (born August 21st).


Watching live streaming performances just got complicated

Added very early morning Wednesday...

Rotating Power Outages During the California Heat Wave

With record high temps three days in a row in many places, the power grid is overloaded. Throughout most of California, both local governments and utilities managers -- through CAISO, the California Independent System Operations -- are telling everyone not to use any unnecessary electricity from 3 pm to 10 pm all this week.

Here's how to find out if your power will be shut-off to prevent the whole system from crashing.

How customers can know if they will be affected (with maps and info links):

  • As soon as the CAISO notifies SCE of a pending outage, we will post the information online on our website.
  • You can view the Rotating Outage Groups and determine if and when you might be affected.
  • Your Rotating Outage Group number is located on your bill or if your bill is not readily available you can search by location here.
  • Summary Bill customers will find this information on the upper right-hand side of their bill.
  • We encourage customers to sign up for alerts/notifications and download the CAISO app on their devices. Please follow this link to the CAISO notification site:


Covidology 101 (our ongoing series) for August 19th...

No COVID vaccine, but calls to get this one...
It’s more important than ever that you get a flu shot, explains Purdue University nursing professor Libby Richards. "And tell your friends to do the same." She explains how the vaccine works, why it’s safe and when’s the best time to get one. Public health officials are warning of personal disasters as well as overloaded hospitals and more overworked health care workers if the flu is worse than usual this year. (From The August 19th edition of "The Conversation," a publication with "Academic Rigor, Journalistic Flair.")
Who’s Following the Mask Rules?
     To reduce the spread of COVID-19, all Californians are required to wear a mask in public. Failure to do so is a misdemeanor under an order issued in June by Gov. Gavin Newsom.
     But enforcement has been lax and individual maskless Maskholes and groups of Branch Covidians have resisted and needlessly and arrogantly endangered others. 
     It’s unknown how widely the public adheres to the rule, so the L.A. Times decided to find out. Last month (reported today), over the course of a week, their reporters observed passersby in three locations in Los Angeles and Orange counties. Here are the results of their sampling.

Real promise, not bleach...

     Leronlimab, an HIV drug, is showing great promise in clinical trials against COVID-19. A patient at UCLA Geffen went from a ventilator to out of the hospital and riding her bike three weeks later. With other patients still desperately short of breath months after Coronavirus, that is remarkable. Now the trials will determine if it works for everyone, or for enough patients -- without adverse side effects -- to become part of widespread treatment regimens. ("CBS2 This Morning" Los Angeles.)

But elsewhere, retreat...

     "Breaking News: An emergency approval to use blood plasma on virus patients is on hold after federal officials intervened, saying the data on treatment was too weak." (Bulletin from today's New York Times.) 
     Hey, science is like that. When it's doing it's job, the quote from the late Carl Sagan applies: "The only Great Truth science has is there are no Great Truths. Everything must be subject to scrutiny, review, and proof."

Getting tough on "Party Houses" because they're "Super Spreaders"

     It's been two weeks since the announcement that utilities would be shut-off to any address doing that. So far, it's an empty threat. Now, Los Angeles is considering cutting power to at least three houses for violating coronavirus-related rules against social gatherings, according to police and city officials (L.A. Times story link).

Meanwhile, in China...

     The first music festival in the world in months was held last weekend as a massive pool party in Wuhan, China, where the global Coronavirus outbreak began. Wuhan has had no new cases in two months. The festival was electronica, so we don't figure we missed anything.

Compared with the sitch in America...

     There is zero hope of live music venues opening any time soon. Even as other nations began returning sectors of their economies to "modified normal," the U.S. -- still with no national plan -- took only 17 days to go from 4 million to 5 million cases, and deaths from the disease soared to nearly one and a half dead Americans every single second of every minute of every hour, day and night.

Reopening America's schools, from K-12 through colleges...

     As many as 40% of incoming freshmen, nationwide, will opt NOT to attend their first year of college this fall due to myriad uncertainties of Coronavirus or already announced online classes. 42% of four-year institutions are set to be online, 32% plan to be in-person in classrooms, and 22% will function in some kind of hybrid. (CBS "This Morning.")

     L.A. County has issued strict rules for colleges reopening during the coronavirus crisis, virtually banning in-person classes. The announcement has scuttled the plans of some area schools.  (L.A. Times.)

     As K-12 schools across the U.S. choose whether to teach in person or online during the pandemic, researchers have clarified that kids can in fact get sick with the coronavirus and spread it to others. Phyllis Sharps and Lucine Francis from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing share 10 tips that could help lower the risks of at-school learning for everyone.  (From The August 19th edition of "The Conversation," a publication with "Academic Rigor, Journalistic Flair.")

     Reopening in person maximizes revenue,  if it can be sustained. But this week so far Georgia Tech, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and the University of Notre Dame were all forced to reverse their plans for in-classroom learning due to outbreak clusters of the virus.

     America's schools and colleges say the shutdown -- and no tickets to attend football, basketball and other sports -- "is costing them... at least 120 billion [and potentially more]... tens of billions of dollars" (CBS "This Morning.")

And if they can't get their violence on the gridiron...

     Domestic violence has risen during the coronavirus lockdowns — and injuries are dramatically more severe, a new national study finds.

Stopping the assault on the US Postal Service

The author, Geo. McCalip, is a contributor to the Acoustic Americana Music Guide. The story appears here as it ran in today's L.A. Progressive.

Saving the Post Office: Time to Take the Gloves Off

Saving the Post OfficeIt’s time to take the gloves off and go after Trump & Co. if we are going to save the Post Office.
Trump is trying to use mail in voting to divide us. There is much chatter on Twitter about having the Attorneys General and DAs enforce state laws against election interference to make Postmaster DeJoy and the Postal Service Board of Governors assure timely delivery of ballots. This is playing into Trump’s hand. He already has his base riled up about election fraud and will use any action to ensure a fair election as grounds for destroying (i.e., privatizing) the Postal Service.
We can completely blindside him by making this about the Vets not the votes. To that end, I have been contacting Democratic Attorneys General via their websites and Twitter  with the following:
The Postmaster General is selected by, and serves at the pleasure of, the Board of Governors of the Postal Service. Those are the people, not Trump, who can save the Post Office by firing DeJoy.
I think I may have a way to make them do it.
The policies put in place by DeJoy are resulting in the mail being delivered later and later. This is a blatant violation of 18 USC 1701 and 1703. But that is a federal crime and there is no way I am going to believe that U.S. Attorney General Bill Barr is going to enforce it.

Any action threatening a person’s health can be prosecuted as reckless endangerment. If the person dies because of that action, the charge becomes negligent homicide/involuntary manslaughter.

Our solution appears to lie in state law. Delaying the mail is having a serious negative impact on people who receive their prescription drugs by mail. BTW this includes almost all prescriptions filled by the VA for our vets (330,000 prescriptions mailed per day).
Any action threatening a person’s health can be prosecuted as reckless endangerment. If the person dies because of that action, the charge becomes negligent homicide/involuntary manslaughter. Further, if the people responsible for the delay of delivery of the prescription drugs knew it could result in death, the charges could be increased to voluntary manslaughter/second degree murder.
We need to have our state Attorneys General, as well as our local DAs, issue a notice to DeJoy and the Board of Governors that they have one week to be in compliance with 18 USC 1701, or they will be investigated for, charged with, and prosecuted for reckless endangerment and/or manslaughter. These letters will serve as constructive notice and justify increasing the charges from involuntary to voluntary manslaughter.
This could obviously be prosecuted as felonious conspiracy. If minutes, official records, testimony, or his own statements establish that slowing the mail was done at Trump’s request, or with his knowledge and approval, he can be charged as a conspirator.
Of course if a state AG does bring state charges, there isn’t anything Trump can do about it.
I also sent this out to a few other people including Laurence Tribe, only to find out that he had already tweeted:
“Grand juries all over the country could speak softly but carry a stick too big for these six dudes [the Postal Service Board of Governors] to ignore. Just a thought for any state or local prosecutors who might be reading my tweets . . . And PS: Trump’s pardon power can’t reach state crimes.”
Tribe’s tweets have been about enforcing state laws against election interference. I had heard about this but could not find a California code section that could be used, so I took a slightly different tack and realized we need to make this about the Vets, not the votes.
No DA or state AG can directly enforce a federal law (e.g., 18 USC 1701 and 1703) but they do have the authority to accomplish the same end by enforcing state laws while making this about the Vets, not the votes.
Geo. McCalip
  • 18 U.S. Code § 1701. Obstruction of mails generally
    Whoever knowingly and willfully obstructs or retards the passage of the mail, or any carrier or conveyance carrying the mail, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than six months, or both.
  • 18 U.S. Code § 1703. Delay or destruction of mail or newspapers
    (a) Whoever, being a Postal Service officer or employee, unlawfully secretes, destroys, detains, delays, or opens any letter, postal card, package, bag, or mail entrusted to him or which shall come into his possession, and which was intended to be conveyed by mail, or carried or delivered by any carrier or other employee of the Postal Service, or forwarded through or delivered from any post office or station thereof established by authority of the Postmaster General or the Postal Service, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
  • Please note that we can only apply 1703 to DeJoy and the Board of Governors if we can establish that the delays are unlawful, hence we would need to start with 1701.
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About Geo McCalip

While not an attorney, Geo. McCalip is widely recognized as a leading authority on California traffic law, and has for two decades run his pro bono site,, to help people fight California’s tickets for revenue scam. Additionally on the legal front he has co-authored a two volume set on wills and trusts. He has worked with computers professionally for almost 50 years. Currently he is working to bring to market cutting edge technology he has developed. For hobbies he writes and performs protest songs on ukulele, and draws on his experience as an editorial cartoonist to create memes and T-shirt designs.

Earth has a Maxwell Smart moment 

"Missed it by THAT much..."

This illustration shows asteroid 2020 QG's trajectory bending during its close approach to Earth

The circled streak in the center of this image is asteroid 2020 QG
This illustration shows asteroid 2020 QG's trajectory bending during its close approach to Earth. The asteroid is the closest known nonimpacting asteroid ever detected. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech
› Larger view

An SUV-size space rock flew past our planet over the weekend and was detected by a NASA-funded asteroid survey as it departed.

Near Earth Asteroids, or NEAs, pass by our home planet all the time. But an SUV-size asteroid set the record this past weekend for coming closer to Earth than any other known NEA: It passed 1,830 miles (2,950 kilometers) above the southern Indian Ocean on Sunday, Aug. 16 at 12:08 a.m. EDT (Saturday, Aug. 15 at 9:08 p.m. PDT).
At roughly 10 to 20 feet (3 to 6 meters) across, asteroid 2020 QG is very small by asteroid standards: If it had actually been on an impact trajectory, it would likely have become a fireball as it broke up in Earth's atmosphere, which happens several times a year.
By some estimates, there are hundreds of millions of small asteroids the size of 2020 QG, but they are extremely hard to discover until they get very close to Earth. The vast majority of NEAs pass by safely at much greater distances - usually much farther away than the Moon.
"It's really cool to see a small asteroid come by this close, because we can see the Earth's gravity dramatically bend its trajectory," said Paul Chodas, director of the Center for Near-Earth Object Studies (CNEOS) at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Southern California. "Our calculations show that this asteroid got turned by 45 degrees or so as it swung by our planet."
Zipping along at almost 8 miles per second (12.3 kilometers per second) - a little slower than average, Chodas noted - 2020 QG was first recorded as just a long streak in a wide-field camera image taken by the Zwicky Transient Facility. The image was taken six hours after the closest point of approach as the asteroid was heading away from Earth. A sky-scanning survey telescope funded by the National Science Foundation and NASA, the Zwicky Transient Facility is based at Caltech's Palomar Observatory in San Diego County. NASA's Near-Earth Object Observations Program funds data processing for NEO detections.
Asteroid 2020 QG enters the record books as the closest known nonimpacting asteroid; many very small asteroids impact our planet every year, but only a few have actually been detected in space a few hours before impacting Earth. On average, an asteroid the size of 2020 QG passes this closely only a few times a year.
In 2005, Congress assigned NASA the goal of finding 90% of the near-Earth asteroids that are about 460 feet (140 meters) or larger in size. These larger asteroids pose a much greater threat if they were to impact, and they can be detected much farther away from Earth, because their rate of motion across the sky is typically much smaller at that distance.
"It's quite an accomplishment to find these tiny close-in asteroids in the first place, because they pass by so fast," Chodas said. "There's typically only a short window of a couple of days before or after close approach when this small of an asteroid is close enough to Earth to be bright enough but not so close that it moves too fast in the sky to be detected by a telescope."
A division of Caltech in Pasadena, JPL hosts CNEOS for NASA's Near-Earth Object Observations Program in NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office. More information about CNEOS, asteroids and near-Earth objects can be found at:
For more information about NASA's Planetary Defense Coordination Office, visit:
For asteroid and comet news and updates, follow @AsteroidWatch on Twitter:

Not this year for one of L.A.'s musical institutions ...

"...due to the closure of the Music Center in regards to the ongoing situation with the COVID-19 pandemic,  I deeply regret to inform you that our Salon de Musiques Season 2020-2021 has been canceled.

"This situation is difficult and sad for so many of us. In the face of this challenge, we really look forward to welcoming you for our upcoming 2021-2022 season.  Although the exact schedule will be confirmed as soon as possible,   

our program will remain the same as our canceled 2020-2021 season.

"Thank you very much for your understanding.
"Wishing you safety and good health!
Francois Chouchan
Founder & Artistic Director
Le Salon de Musiques"

(310) 498 0257

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Here's what's out there to see, hear, virtually experience, or otherwise enjoy

Events, etc. -- to which we will ADD MORE until we are no longer able to access the platform's old posting tools (which is any day now) -- will appear below until replaced by a fresh edition (somewhere out there in cyberspace)... 

Andy & Renee have two shows this week...

Wednesday, August 19th:
Andy & Renee Livestream #41
4:30-6pm PDT (7:30-9p EDT)
Watch on Youtube at:
SundayAugust 23rd:
Andy & Renee Livestream #42
Watch on Youtube: 5 pm PDT
Make requests from their list of 470 songs, and they'll get to as many requests as possible. See the list, and send your requests to before the show. 

"As you know, all our "In-Person" gigs have been cancelled for the last several months. We turned to doing Livestream shows to make a living and deliver the music to you. The shows are free to watch, but the option to tip us will be there for those who are in a position to do so if you are enjoying the music." 
You can tip at, PayPal ( or Venmo ( 
A portion of the proceeds goes to the Los Angeles Midnight Mission. 
Andy & Renee say, "We are sustained by the generosity and support of the fans who love the music, and who tip as they are able."

THREE online live concerts from McCabe's:
    (Just announced Tuesday at 5 pm)

McCabe's in Santa Monica, California, tells us, "We are thrilled to present THREE fantastic VIRTUAL shows this month! We kick it off with
Christine Lavin this Friday
followed by 
Alice Howe & Freebo on Saturday
then next Saturday we wrap it up with
 the wonderful Jeff Daniels!"

"While you are waiting to check out our 'McCabe's Presents Virtual Concerts' why not stroll on over to our Concerts Page to watch highlights from past shows?!"

McCabe's Guitar Shop Presents:
Fri, Aug 21st at 8:00pm PST
Christine Lavin is a singer/songwriter/guitarist/recording artist/author/videographer who has been working as a musician based in New York City since 1984. Her 23rd solo album, SPAGHETTIFICATION, charted at #5 for the month of September 2017 on the International FolkDJ charts.

Her 22nd album, CHRISTINE LAVIN & FRIENDS LIVE AT McCABE'S GUITAR SHOP was produce by Hillary Rollins, and includes five stellar LA performers (Gary Stockdale, Pat Whiteman, Cynthia Carle, David Lucky, and MaryJo Mundy), and the revered British singer/songwriter, Daniel Cainer. Christine sings seven songs on this album; it is now into its second pressing.
Christine Lavin - &quot;The Password Song&quot;

McCabe's Guitar Shop Presents:
Sat, Aug 22nd at 8:00pm PST
&quot;Angel From Montgomery&quot; by John Prine | Freebo and Alice Howe

Alice Howe and Freebo present a unique study in contrasts, bringing together a venerable music icon and a talented newcomer. Each a compelling performer in their own right, they both lead and support each other in their well-crafted songs with flawless harmonies and tasteful instrumentation.

A rising voice in modern folk, singer and songwriter ALICE HOWE offers a modern love letter to 60s and 70s folk and timeless blues. Originally hailing from Boston, MA, now living in Los Angeles, Alice released her critically acclaimed debut album, Visions, last May. A young artist discovering her own power, Alice pays homage without succumbing to imitation.

FREEBO is a genuine folk, rock and blues icon who, after over 40 years of recording and touring with many of the great artists of our time (Bonnie Raitt, CSN, Maria Muldaur, John Mayall, Ringo Starr, Dr. John, Neil Young, & many more) is regarded as one of the most gifted singer-songwriters of today. A multi award winner and finalist in numerous songwriting contests, Freebo was also recognized as the 'Best Folk Artist 2007' by the Los Angeles Music Awards. He has appeared on SNL, The Muppet Show, The Midnight Special, and in concert with the legendary Spinal Tap.

McCabe's Guitar Shop Presents: JEFF DANIELS
Sat, Aug 29th at 8:00pm PST

Join Emmy award-winning actor, director, singer/song-writer Jeff Daniels for an intimate concert experience full of original songs, personal stories from his stage and movie career that only he can tell - and plenty of smiles.

Stick around for a 15-30 min audience Q&A following the show. The questions submitted will be reviewed, with some then passed along to Jeff for reply.


Monday, August 17, 2020 at 6 pm PDT

Friday , August 21, 2020 at 6 pm PDT

Streaming on Facebook at

(HOPEFULLY) Streaming on their website at

This delightful duo says, "Thank you for your support! You all are really helping us all get through this bizarre time. Thank you, thank you, thank you for the donations."

PayPal app:
Venmo: @Chris-Gage-10
Mail: Albert & Gage | PO Box 41021 | Austin, TX 78704


Drive-in Concerts in the OC
August 20 & 27

Caro Pierotto Drive-In Concert

Thursday, August 20
Gates open 6pm; Concert 7:30pm

"Your first glimpse of Caro might have been when she sat in with our house band at the Muck Gala.  She was stunning both visually and vocally that night.  She’s back, accompanied by her All-Star Band. The Brazilian born songstress will stun you all over again."


Adam Pascal Drive-in Concert

Thursday, August 27
Gates open 6pm; Concert 7:30pm

"If you're a fan of the musical RENT, you'll recognize Adam as the original Roger on Broadway and in the film adaptation. He was also the original Radames in Broadway’s AIDA. Don't miss this rare opportunity to see a Broadway giant, in his prime, in a solo show."


Farrell Hirsch, CEO, Muckenthaler Cultural Center, says:

"Do you remember how Sesame Street used to announce that, 'Today's show was brought to you by the letter R and the number 6?'

"Today's announcement is brought to you by the letter V.

"We'll start with the VOICE of OC, which published a very kind article about how the Muck has had some VICTORIES while adjusting to the Corona VIRUS before a VIABLE VACCINE emerges.

"Here's a link to VIEW it VIRTUALLY.

"This Thursday, I hope you come by to see the VIVACIOUS VIRTUOSO Caro Pierotto in concert.  I have seen her perform twice.  The first time was in VEGAS.  In fact, I so completely VOUCH for her being...VONDERFUL, that this show comes with my VEHEMENT and VENERABLE money back guarantee.  If you don't think she's amazing, you get your money refunded.  

"Here's a VIDEO to show you why I'm so excited.  (and why my offer is VIABLE)

"Remember, while you are free to be VOCIFEROUS at our Drive ins, please do so from your VEHICLE.

"And to the one VOLATILE gentleman in our audience who is emailing VOLUMINOUSLY to say that I should stop telling people how great a singer Caro is, and start telling them how attractive she is, well...that doesn't go over well in the 21st century VERNACULAR.  But if this were the 20th Century, I would VOLUNTEER that "she has VIRTUES beyond her VELVETY VOICE". 

"We also have a gallery exhibit opening today.  Our guest curator, Mr Sunook Park has done VALIANT work pulling together work by eight contemporary Korean Artists including our very own Young Shin Kim.  The works have such a VISUAL VITALITY that I think the show will be VENERATED by VIRTUALLY all who VIEW IT—which you can do only by appointment.  CLICK HERE.

"In fact let me VEX you with a challenge.

"If we can get 100 VEHICLES here to see Caro's performance on Thursday, The Muck will use that cash to hire a professional VIDEOGRAPHER to create a stunning CinemaVERITE piece to share with all of you, which will include a VOICE-OVER.  So even those with some apprehension about a gallery visit can experience this gorgeous exhibit VICARIOUSLY. 

"I think that's VIABLE, don't you?"

Muckenthaler Cultural Center
1201 West Malvern Ave
FullertonCA 92833


information about their performances, galleries, special events, classes, 
or to purchase tickets
 call them at 714-738-6595 or email

Sunday, August 23...

The BIG Monterey Care-A-Thon Concert  
is almost here!
Don't miss the first online "Care-A-Thon Concert" produced by musician and promoter Kiki Wow and media producer Destination 831

This important concert airs 

Sunday, August 23, from 6 to 9 pm,

featuring local Monterey Bay musicians, interviews with restaurant owners, and appeals to donate to the cause via Gofundme

The concert link will be available on Facebook

Join in, and be sure to share the concert with your friends on Facebook

PREVIEW:  Haley Jane is featured in the "Care-A-Thon" line up. Catch her backyard concert here. Haley grew up in Pacific Grove is about to release a new CD. 

On-demand events additions ...

The wonderful series in Marlboro, Vermont, had to go virtual this year. On what would have been their season series closing concert, they left us with music to enjoy at our convenience.

Their spokesman, Brian Potter, tells us:

"On what would have been the final day of our 2020 summer season, we celebrate Marlboro music-making with a special digital program and tribute to the traditional Beethoven Choral Fantasy.

"We also celebrate our musical community, which we have convened virtually over these past seven weeks. While nothing can substitute for the in-person experience of being together here in the Southern Vermont hills, our artistic directors, senior artists, young participants, and staff have successfully collaborated on dozens of unique virtual events for our participants over the course of the summer.

"From deep dives into masterworks of the repertoire (Schoenberg’s Wind Quintet, Schubert’s Octet, Schumann’s Trio in G Minor, Mozart’s Da Ponte Operas, and Haydn’s string quartets, to name but a few) to curated listening sessions and discussions, Feldenkrais classes, and community-building activities, these events have enabled our gifted young musicians to receive invaluable lessons and mentoring, and the opportunity to be engaged and connected with one another and this art form that we all love.

Marlboro Music

A Special Musical Program

"If you're missing Marlboro performances as much as we are, our latest digital program is bound to boost your spirits. Curated by Co-Artistic Director Mitsuko Uchida, it features three more treasured recordings from recent summers—including a very special performance by Jonathan Biss and Mitsuko Uchida of Schubert's Divertissement à la Hongroise, D. 818, which we share with their very best wishes.

Schubert Viola

Schubert: Viola, D. 786

Lucy Fitz Gibbon, soprano; Evren Ozel, piano
Performed August 5, 2018


Britten String Quartet

Britten: String Quartet No. 3, Op. 94

Tessa Lark, violin; YooJin Jang, violin; Jonathan Chu, viola; Christoph Richter, cello
Performed August 11, 2018

Mitsuko Uchida and Jonathan Biss

Schubert: Divertissement à la Hongroise, D. 818

Mitsuko Uchida & Jonathan Biss, piano
Performed July 10, 2019

A Choral Fantasy Celebration

"To conclude this summer the Marlboro way, we invite you to enjoy a video tribute to the traditional, season-ending Choral Fantasy. We hope that you find joy and inspiration in these images of memorable Choral Fantasy performances and in the vital 1981 Rudolf Serkin recording that accompanies it.

Watch their Choral Fantasy photo montage

Stream the full recording

Looking Ahead to 2021

"We look forward to seeing you next summer—open rehearsals and performances will take place from July 17 through August 15, 2021—as well as at our Musicians from Marlboro tour performances scheduled for February through May, 2021.

"For our musicians and the entire Marlboro staff, I send very best wishes for a safe and fruitful fall season."



Mike Glick’s New Music CD


‘We all want to be fellow travelers’: Mike Glick’s new CD

We all want to be fellow travelers” is not the title of singer-songwriter Mike Glick’s new CD, but his song “Fellow Travelers” kicks off the collection, prefacing and summing up its greater content.
“When this CD was finished,” the New York City-based artist writes, “I realized that it was inspired by the struggles and lives of our musical and other ancestors. They fought racism, anti-communism, blacklisting, and more. Yet they still lived with great joy. And Pete, Leadbelly, Aunt Molly, Woody, and others had their ancestors too. People like Joe Hill, and just plain everyday folks trying to live their brief time on this earth with dignity and justice.”
Other musical figures cited are Chilean singer-songwriter Víctor Jara and Paul Robeson—in fact, Glick brings them both together in “The Dream” as Robeson sings the Chilean’s majestic “Hymn to a Worker (Plegaria a un labrador).
Alternative Facts & Other White Lies recalls many of the names and movements of the past as a backdrop to current mass struggles that are roiling our nation, not only economic and racial justice struggles, but the fight to preserve democracy itself.

Alternative Facts & Other White Lies recalls many of the names and movements of the past as a backdrop to current mass struggles that are roiling our nation, not only economic and racial justice struggles, but the fight to preserve democracy itself.

“Just when I thought that no one could be worse than Nixon, Reagan or the Bushes—along comes the SeriaLiar-In-Chief and he starts turning our first world nation into a third-rate one,” Glick writes in the generous program notes that accompany the CD. In “Alternative Facts” the lyricist damns the rumor, myth, distortion, and lies that occupy center stage of the present administration. The cleverness of juxtaposition and rhyme make a listener think of the great songster Tom Lehrer, or the currently active Roy Zimmerman. I wonder if in 50 years listeners will know what the hell he’s talking about, but listeners today sure will:
Alternative facts, alternative facts,
don’t worry ’bout scruples, or walking it back.
Say it with brass, cover your ass,
with enough double talk you might not leave tracks.
Feel free to say “wrong!” when you hear your own quotes,
Say it like it’s “honest and true”
As long as it gets you just enough votes,
and you lie about the numbers so they favor you.
Glick tears into the false prophets of religion in a couple of strong numbers, one the classic Joe Hill song, “The Preacher and the Slave,” delivered in emphatic strophes that echo the bass drum (which Glick also plays here). The other is a 2018 original tune called “Let’s Build a Wall Around Jesus,” whose catchy chorus limerick goes like this:
Let’s build a wall around Jesus—
We don’t want no immigrants here.
He was a dark skinned Jew
and I’m sure he smelled too
and I bet that he even liked queers!
(Which conforms with a theory I have about Jesus myself, but we’ll leave that for another day.) In the verses, he doubles down on preachers of the prosperity gospel, and how they manipulate their followers, not neglecting to mention the racist underpinning of much (not all, of course) of the evangelical movement:
Ya know I got me a proper preacher—
Even flies around in his own jet.
I give him my money so my life stays sunny
and heaven’s the reward I’ll get.
Though I’m not living too high, I’m still gettin’ by,
and I can feel good about myself.
I was not born brown so I can still look down,
on somebody else.
In his program notes Glick mentions how he researched what Jesus might have looked like—surely not “white with blue eyes,” in fact, “the latest image actually looks remarkably like Colin Kaepernick.” Another discovery he made had to do with the role of incense in the church. “It was there to avoid offending the clergy’s sensibilities, and masked the overwhelming stench of the ‘great unwashed.’ Today, of course, the real smell comes from all those SOBs sucking poor people out of the few dollars they have, while preaching the gospel of wealth. Really, there oughta be a law….” As I said, he’s subtle.
Yet, he also has the worthy progressive sense to recognize good religion when he sees it. He has created an anthemic ode to labor, “We Poor Are Strong,” set to the lyrics of United Church of Christ minister and poet Don West, whose daughter, the singer Hedy West, also set some of his poems. A kind of new “Internationale,” with nods to the Depression Era classic “Brother, Can You Spare a Dime?” (by Yip Harburg and Jay Gorney) and “He Built the Road” (words and music by Earl Robinson), it foretells a future of justice:
So pity not the humble poor
Who struggle daily for their bread
For they shall live forever more
To take the world for which they’ve bled.
“Come By Here,” co-written with his fellow musician Lindsey Wilson, who sings so expressively on over half the tracks, is a modern-day salute to the “Lady of the Harbor,” and to immigrants who have come to American shores to help prosper the land. At first, it seemed a bit risky to release a song with that title, as the “peace and love” song “Kumbaya,” which derives from those words, has become an object of liberal scorn. Yet it stands on its own, tenderly and appreciatively, summoning the geist of the original African-American spiritual, with its almost lullaby-like chorus. Still, it packs a punch, delivered square to the jaw of global neoliberalism:
That land where we were born—
We felt its sun and rain.
A land that we once loved—
a land that brought us pain.
We gathered your fresh fruit—
picked your coffee beans.
But when we wanted fair pay,
you overthrew our dreams. Come by here, come by here….
On this track, Glick managed to recruit the world-famous musician-composer David Amram to add his Irish double D low whistle.
Tackling the current fight for “15 An Hour” (can you believe in many states the minimum wage is still the federally mandated $7.25, unchanged from 2009?!), Glick writes a song that undoubtedly has found its way onto many a picket line. On the page, the lyric sounds a little soap-boxy, but it works as a song. Nowhere else have you heard words quite like these set to music:
Yes, it’s a huge game of misdirection,
manufacturing welfare cheats.
Poor folks have little protection,
when there’s corporate welfare for the real deadbeats.
Is it too much to ask for, or too much to hope
for enough to make ends barely meet?
For me, the hit tune of the CD is track 5, “If You’re Not Outraged (You Are Not Listening),” which the composer himself admits could have taken up the whole album with all the assaults that have been dealt out to the American people over the last few years and could have been itemized. How he squeezes into 3’39” as much as he does is nothing short of a miracle. He says, “Writing it has been good therapy and has saved me a few bucks in psychoanalysis. Say no more, the song speaks for itself, but you could save a few hours on the couch yourself, if you sing along. Maybe the neighbors will hear and join in. And you might even organize an ‘If You’re Not Outraged Chorus,’ and help put the whole criminal DC gang out of business too!” Again, subtle.
In a final tribute to Joe Hill, Glick provides his own version of the Wobbly poet’s moving last and final will. There have been other versions—and why not? I can’t say I have a favorite, just the one or two I’ve become accustomed to, but this one is appropriately touching and authentic.
One unexpected standout on the album is an oldie but goodie, namely, the highly popular number by Chet Powers (aka Dino Valenti) “Let’s Get Together,” whose undying message is, sadly, still potently relevant. When will we ever learn?—to quote another oldie of the same period.
Come on people now, smile on your brother
Everybody get together try to love one another right now.
The CD proper ends with Glick’s hopeful “We Shall Be Free,” which lies somewhere between the humanistic John Lennon-Yoko Ono anthem “Imagine”  and the Communist Manifesto (“from each according to their ability….”).
When every child is cherished and never neglected
And you can choose who to love and not be rejected
When no one fights ’bout religion or where you are from
And there’s no more war, and no need for guns. Then we shall be free….
When the least of us can grow as much as the most
With good food, a home, and warm and clean clothes
When the sick and the dying all get love and care
That’s when we’ll know we’re finally there. Then we shall be free….
The CD closes with a rousing reprise of “Let’s Build a Wall Around Jesus” recorded at the Great Labor Arts Exchange, where it won first prize in one of the song categories.
Other performing artists on the CD include Mike’s son Aleksi Glick on lead guitar, Cole Quest Rotante, Mattheus Verardino, Mike Mullhollan, Rave Tesar, Jeanne Fox, Si Kahn, Luci Murphy, and Steve Deasy.
Mike has been an important part of the folk music/protest scene since at least the 1970s, and it’s great to have him back again in the limelight, with his still youthful, clear, articulate voice and the wonderful musicians he’s gathered around him. A video of “The Dream” performed by Mike, Aleksi, and Lindsey at New York City’s Peoples’ Voice Cafe can be viewed here.
One way to acquire the CD is by downloading it here. Being a little old-fashioned, I like having the whole physical package, with the liner notes (and Marina Gutierrez’s charming ink drawings). Order it here.
Eric A. Gordon
People’s World

(Reproduced from L.A. Progressive, August 18, 2020)


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