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  • feedwordpress 08:01:56 on 2019/05/19 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , Don Norman, , , , , My Generation, Peter Townsend, rock, The Who,   

    “The afternoon knows what the morning never suspected”*… 


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    populationmap

    Change in population aged 65 and older, 2010-2023. [Screenshot: ESRI]

     

    We’re all getting older. It’s the one thing that every single person alive right now has in common. But we’re also getting older as a population, with Americans both living longer and having fewer children. Census projections show a major demographic shift already underway and accelerating in the years to come.

    At the same time, populations are not aging evenly, and issues related to aging will impact individual communities in vastly different ways, boosting economic opportunity in some areas while putting a strain on social services in others.

    For instance, real estate developers that invest in progressive senior housing projects now could benefit down the road as demand for modern facilities that cater to active seniors grows. Similarly, American tech companies will see opportunity in developing innovative high-tech solutions for senior care, such as health-monitoring devices, ride-share services aimed at seniors, and care-bots. (Take a look at how Japan has embraced high-tech solutions for its aging population for more on how that might play out in the United States.)

    On the flip side, social safety nets are likely to face increasing financial challenges with the continued retirement of America’s Baby Boomers, the youngest of whom will reach 67 by 2031. As that happens, rural counties—where people on average rely on Social Security as a larger portion of their overall income—may disproportionately feel the economic effects of aging.

    One way to sort out who will be most impacted by aging is to look at age demographics across the country and how they will change over time…

    America is aging, but not evenly: “7 maps that tell the incredible story of aging in America.”

    See also this essay by Don Norman, the 83 year-old dean of user-centered design (author of The Design of Everyday Things and a former VP at Apple): “I wrote the book on user-friendly design. What I see today horrifies me.”

    * Robert Frost

    ###

    As we stand up to senescence, we might recall that it was on this date in 1965 that Peter Townsend wrote “My Generation”– inspired by the Queen Mother, who’d had his 1935 Packard hearse towed off a street in Belgravia because she was offended by the sight of it during her daily drive through the neighborhood.  The song was released as a single later that year and became first a hit, then an anthem.

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:45 on 2019/05/10 Permalink
    Tags: Carol Kaye, , Mark Volman, , rock, studio musicians, The Turtles, Tricia Nixon, Turtles, , , Wrecking Crew   

    “In our world of big names, curiously, our true heroes tend to be anonymous”*… 


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    Carol Kaye2

    Carol Kaye, in a Wrecking Crew session

     

    Beginning with “La Bamba,” [Carol Kaye], best known as a bassist with the Wrecking Crew [see here], played on more hits than you can name: sessions with the Beach Boys (Pet Sounds), Ike & Tina Turner (“River Deep, Mountain High”) and Simon & Garfunkel (“Feelin’ Groovy”), soundtracks with Quincy Jones, and the theme songs for Mission: Impossible, Batman, Shaft, and M*A*S*H...

    See also this remarkable interview with Carol:

    [TotH to the ever-illuminating The Morning News]

    * Daniel J. Boorstin

    ###

    As we give credit where credit is due, we might recall that it was on this date in 1969 that The Turtles played a formal White House ball at the request of their fan, President Nixon’s elder daughter.  The New York Times reported:

    Tricia Nixon covered her face with a white lace mask, shimmering with crystals and held like a lorgnette, to greet some 450 of Washington’s prettiest, handsomest, slimmest 20-to-30-year-olds at a masked ball tonight, her first White House party.

    It was likely one of the stranger social gatherings in the recent history of that august home.  The Turtles’ web site recounts:

    Kids with obvious SDS connections were passing out literature, while Tricia was dashing around with all the genuine charm of a Cinderella. Despite the fact that the tipsy [Mark] Volman kept falling off the stage and was challenged by Pat Nugent because Mark was trying to pick up on Lucy Baines Johnson,

    Still, the Turtles were a big enough hit to be asked by one of the guests, the daughter of the president of U.S. Steel, to play at her coming out party.

    Tricia Nixon dances with her date, U.S. Rep. Barry Goldwater Jr., at her masked ball

    The Turtles on the cover of their 1969 album “Turtle Soup.” (Mark Volman, second from left)

    source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:00 on 2018/09/27 Permalink
    Tags: Don Kirshner, Don Kirshner's Rock Concert, , , , rock, , ,   

    “One of These Days”*… 


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    Velvet Underground

    The Velvet Underground at The Record Plant on May 6, 1969, during a session for VU. L to R: Doug Yule, Lou Reed, Maureen Tucker, Sterling Morrison, engineer Gary Kellgren

     

    The Velvet Underground album VU is the binding agent in a career of releases that differ so dramatically one from another as to be almost artistic reversals. VU has the dark majesty of The Velvet Underground & Nico, the neurotic strut (if not the head-wrecking dissonance) of White Light/White Heat, the tenderness and emotional insight of The Velvet Underground, and the pure pop sensibility of Loaded. In its 10 tracks, it contains refined versions of what the band did well during the four years they lasted. The irony is that VU wasn’t released until more than a dozen years after the Velvet Underground disbanded.

    Recorded primarily in 1969, after the ouster of multi-instrumentalist John Cale, and later cannibalized by principal songwriter Lou Reed for his solo career, the recordings that make up VU were shelved for 16 years. They stayed in the MGM vaults, mostly unmixed, until discovered during the process of reissuing the band’s catalog in the early 80s. As a result, VU benefitted from much improved audio technology and was released to a world not only better prepared for the Velvet Underground, but one that had largely absorbed its lessons. The album made a beautiful tombstone for the band’s career, at a time when all the members were alive to see it…

    The story of an epic album that almost never was: “Shelved: The Velvet Underground’s Fourth Album.”

    * Lou Reed (title of one of the cuts on VU)

    ###

    As we slip on the headphones, we might recall that it was on this date in 1973 that Don Kirshner’s Rock Concert premiered on U.S. television, featuring a performance by the Rolling Stones. It ran until 1981.

    Don-Kirshner-logo-red-SM-v1 source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:35 on 2018/09/14 Permalink
    Tags: 1968, counterculture, , Harper Valley PTA, Hey Jude, , , , , rock,   

    “Take a sad song and make it better”*… 


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    A rehearsal of the musical <i>Hair</i> at the Shaftesbury Theatre, London, September 1968

    A rehearsal of Hair.  Premiered in late 1967; photo taken, 1968

     

    Certain years acquire an almost numinous quality in collective memory—1789, 1861, 1914. One of the more recent additions to the list is 1968. Its fiftieth anniversary has brought a flood of attempts to recapture it—local, national, and transnational histories, anthologies, memoirs, even performance art and musical theater. Immersion in this literature soon produces a feeling of déjà vu, particularly if one was politically conscious at the time (as I was).

    Up to a point, repetition is inevitable. Certain public figures and events are inescapable: the tormented Lyndon Johnson, enmeshed in an unpopular, unwinnable war and choosing to withdraw from the presidential stage; the antiwar candidacies of Eugene McCarthy and Robert Kennedy; the intensifying moral challenges posed by Martin Luther King; the assassinations of King and Kennedy; the racially charged violence in most major cities; the police riot against antiwar protesters (and anyone else who got in their way) at the Democratic National Convention in Chicago; the emergence of right-wing candidates—George Wallace, Richard Nixon—appealing to a “silent majority” whose silence was somehow construed as civic virtue. And the anticlimactic election: the narrow defeat of Hubert Humphrey by Nixon, who promised to “bring us together” without specifying how.

    What togetherness turned out to mean was an excruciating prolongation of the war in Vietnam, accompanied by an accelerating animosity toward dissent. The effort to satisfy the silent majority by exorcising the demons of 1968 would eventually lead to the resurgence of an interventionist military policy, the dismantling of what passed for a welfare state, and the prosecution of a “war on drugs” that would imprison more Americans than had ever been behind bars before.

    Revisiting this story is important and necessary. But difficulties arise when one tries to identify who those demons actually were…

    Rutgers professor Jackson Lear considers several attempts to distill the lessons of the late 60s: “Aquarius Rising.”

    Special bonus: film critic J. Hoberman on why, in 1968, an especially rich year for cinema, Night of the Living Dead was his pick for best movie.

    * The Beatles, “Hey Jude”

    ###

    As we Let The Sunshine In, we might recall that on this date in 1968, our post’s title source, “Hey Jude,” sat at #2 on the pop chart– just ahead of “1,2,3, Redlight” by the 1910 Fruitgum Co. at #3 and The Rascals’ “People Got To Be Free” at #4… and just behind that week’s #1, “Harper Valley P.T.A.” by Jeannie C. Riley.

    jeannie-c-riley-harper-valley-pta-1968-a source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:03 on 2018/05/02 Permalink
    Tags: Dance Rally 4 Peace, , , , rhythm and blues, rock, The #PurpleSyllabus, , University of Minnesota   

    “I like to open people’s eyes”*… 


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    The #PurpleSyllabus presents essential topics, readings, and multimedia related to Prince. Prince’s impact and influence spreads across nearly all aspects of society and culture. This syllabus presents works written by scholars and journalists across diverse topics. Our hope is that this syllabus will serve as a resource for teachers and curriculum designers looking to infuse their classrooms and courses with Prince content.

    Created by Prince fans affiliated with the University of Minnesota Libraries in conjunction with the Prince From Minneapolis Symposium

    Dive deep at “The #PurpleSyllabus.”

    * Prince

    ###

    As we acclaim The Artist, we might recall that it was on this date in 2015 that Prince staged a Dance Rally 4 Peace at Paisley Park to pay tribute to Freddie Gray, a 25-year-old African-American who died in police custody after his arrest in Baltimore, and to show support for the activists protesting his death.  With his backup band 3RDEYEGIRL, Prince performed a 41-minute concert including his protest song “Baltimore,” which was inspired by Gray’s death.

     source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:03 on 2018/04/29 Permalink
    Tags: artists, David Bowie, , , Mick Ronson, , rock, Spiders from Mars, superstitions, ,   

    “Superstition is the poetry of life”*… 


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    Charles Dickens
    Slept Facing North

    Charles Dickens (1812–1870) carried a navigational compass with him at all times and always faced north while he slept—a practice he believed improved his creativity and writing.

    Nine other personal peculiarities at “Ten Superstitions of Writers and Artists.”

    * Johann Wolfgang Goethe

    ###

    As we knock on wood, we might spare a thought for Michael “Mick” Ronson; he died on this date in 1993.  A guitarist, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, arranger, and producer, he is best remembered as the foil to David Bowie in his breakout years, the leader of the Spiders from Mars.  But Ronson also served as arranger and occasional producer on Bowie’s work.  He went on to a successful career as a session musician recording with the like of Ian Hunter, John Mellencamp, Elton John, and Morrissey, and as a sideman in touring bands with Van Morrison and Bob Dylan (Ronson was the anchor of the Rolling Thunder Revue band).  He wrote and recored successful solo albums, and produced albums for acts including Ellen Foley, Roger McGuinn, Morrissey, and many others.

    Ziggy and the Spider

    source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:27 on 2018/04/04 Permalink
    Tags: Belfry, , , , , , rock, , , web comics   

    “In comics, we’re all weird together”*… 


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    Your correspondent is heading out into the middle of the Pacific for about 10 days, so (Roughly) Daily will be on hiatus.  Regular service should resume on or around April 14…

    To keep readers occupied in the meantime, via the ever-illuminating Warren Ellis, “this extremely 1998 webcomics index page.”

    * G. Willow Wilson

    ###

    As we dig for treasure (of which, there’s plenty), we might recall that it was on this date in 1977 that CBS Records UK began distributing the eponymously-titled first album from The Clash.  (It was officially released four days later.)  Featuring such anthems as “White Riot,” “Police & Thieves,” and “London’s Burning,” it is widely regarded as one of the greatest punk recordings of all time, and ranks high on essentially every “best album” list.

    Deeming the material “not radio friendly,” CBS in the US refused to release it until 1979 (on their Epic label, but even then dropped some of the more virulent songs).  Meantime, Americans bought over 100,000 imported copies of “The Clash”, making it the best-selling import album of all time in the U.S.

    Cover of the UK release

    source

     

     
  • feedwordpress 09:01:57 on 2017/11/28 Permalink
    Tags: Adundance, , , , Peter Diamandis, Philharmonic Hall, , rock, Ron Delsener,   

    “The test of our progress is not whether we add more to the abundance of those who have much it is whether we provide enough for those who have little”*… 


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    When I published Abundance: The Future is Better Than You Think in February 2012, I included about 80 charts in the back of the book showing very strong evidence that the world is getting better. Over the last five years, this trend has continued and accelerated.

    This page includes charts and graphs that you can share with friends and family to change their mindset. We truly are living in the most exciting time to be alive…

    In “answer” to yesterday’s excursion into dystopia, a collection of evidence from Peter Diamandis that things are on the upswing: “Evidence of Abundance.”

    * Franklin D. Roosevelt

    ###

    As we look on the bright side, we might recall that it was on this date in 1968 that Jimi Hendrix played Philharmonic Hall in New York.  The concert, “An Electronic Thanksgiving,” was originally planned for Carnegie Hall, but the managers there got cold feet, fearful of a rowdy audience.  Promoter Ron Delsener scrambled:

    I had to convince Louise Homer, who was the Director of Philharmonic Hall,
    that I had to ‘marry’ Rock and Roll to classical music (eclectic music). I then moved the event to Philharmonic Hall… I had to do everything to convince them. I had to hire The New York Brass Quintet and a harpsichord virtuoso (therefore, an eclectic evening). Both would play during the first half of the program. They would be joined by one or two of Jimi’s musicians on several selections.

    I informed Michael Jeffery, as well as the attorney, Stevens Weiss, that Noel and/or Mitch must play during the first half of the program for several numbers with a classical group. Naturally, the show went on sale, sold out, and no one wanted to play the first half of the program with the classical musicians.

    I begged Mitch Mitchell to please sit in and ‘fake it’ as best as he could, which he did much to the delight of the audience. To Mitch, it was a ‘goof,’ to me it was a lifesaver. To the ushers at Philharmonic Hall, it was a frightening experience because everyone stood in front of their seats for the entire show and clogged all the aisles leading to the stage. [source]

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:59 on 2017/09/14 Permalink
    Tags: , , , , , post-truth, rock, tutti frutti,   

    “All that is solid melts into air”*… 


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    The end of ‘The End of History’ arrived together with the end of belief in reality. The Cold War world was a world of warring ideologies; in the twenty-first century, both American capitalism and post-Soviet oligarchy employ the same public relations specialists catering to gangsters with political ambitions. As Peter Pomerantsev described in Nothing is True and Everything is Possible, in the Russia of the 2000s, distinguishing between truth and lies became passé. In this world of enlightened, postmodern people, ‘everything is PR’.

    Reality television has rendered obsolete the boundary between the fictional and the real. Truth is a constraint that has been overcome; ‘post-truth’ has been declared ‘word of the year.’ In Washington, the White House shamelessly defends its ‘alternative facts.’ At the beginning, American journalists were taken off-guard: they had been trained to confirm individual pieces of information, not to confront a brazen untethering from empirical reality. The New Yorker captured the desperation with a satire about the fact-checker who passed out from exhaustion after the Republican debate. He had to be hospitalized; apparently no one replaced him…

    Postmodernism was conceived largely by the Left as a safeguard against totalizing ideologies. Yet today, it has been appropriated on behalf of an encroaching neo-totalitarianism of the Right. Is French literary theory to blame? And can a philosophy of dissent developed in communist eastern Europe offer an antidote?…

    (Some of) the ironic roots of the situation that we’re in: “A pre-history of post-truth, East and West.”

    * Karl Marx

    ###

    As we consult the Wayback Machine, we might recall that it was on this date in 1955, at J & M Studio in New Orleans, that Richard Wayne Penniman– better known as Little Richard– recorded the song (that he co-wrote with Dorothy LaBostrie) that became his first hit: “Tutti Frutti.”

    A wop bop alu bop, a wop bam boom!

     

     
  • feedwordpress 08:01:12 on 2017/08/29 Permalink
    Tags: , Botswana, Candlestick Park, , , , , metal, , rock,   

    “Why would heavy metal ever go away?*… 


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    Metalheads all the world over can agree on one thing: its culture, just like its music, eschews pretense. Nowhere is this better reflected than in Dumisani Matiha, lead singer and rhythm guitarist of Metal Orizon, one of Botswana’s heaviest outfits.

    On an unseasonably warm afternoon, the 41-year-old is taking time out of his day job as a farmer to explain what distinguishes this metal movement from other scenes spread out across the globe.

    “We see ourselves as warriors and poets,” says Dumisani. “This is a calling. We use metal to speak to our social conditions as Africans: the struggles, the climate we operate in… It might be cheesy to you but, to us, metal is just another way of speaking about romance. To us, love is hardcore, yo!”…

    Botswana is 70 per cent desert and most of its metalheads dress in old-school biker gear – made even heavier with studs, chains and all kinds of trinkets – topped off with leather cowboy hats. They are a throwback to a purer time, an era when no heavy metal fan would have dreamed of Metallica and Lou Reed making an album together, let alone calling it Lulu.

    Musically speaking, the metal scene in Botswana is neither heavy nor metal. It’s a combination that sounds impossible when articulated: a mix of African hard riddims, mid-70s Manchester punk, cacophonous dub, psychedelic swamp music, free-wheelin’ progjazz and some sped-up Ohio funk thrown in for good measure…

    Far beyond driven: “The hell bangers of Botswana’s underground metal scene.”

    * Scott Ian (founding member and lyricist of Anthrax)

    ###

    As we celebrate the shred, we might recall that it was on this date in 1966 that the Beatles said “thank you, and goodnight” for the last time– at the end of their last public concert, at Candlestick Park in San Francisco. (This is, of course, not counting the 1969 impromptu performance on the roof of Apple Records headquarters in London — the Beatles’ last public appearance together.)

    source

     
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