Lou Reed and Arnold Plotnick

Lou Reed and The Leather Jacket

On this date in 2013…Lou Reed died. A few years ago, the New York Times sponsored a silent auction to benefit the Actors Fund. One of the items on auction was a leather jacket given to Lou Reed by President Bill Clinton, as a thank you for playing at the Clinton/Gore inauguration. Inside the jacket is an embroidered presidential seal,…

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The Beacon by Brad Reason, Inspired by "The Outlaw Ocean" by Ian Urbina

“The Beacon” by Brad Reason – A Five-Track Electronic Musical Journey Inspired by “The Outlaw Ocean”

ART + AWARENESS = ACTIVISM! Many of you know that I’ve been friends with Brad for 27 years, since he was a little boy. Brad is 41 now, and I have gotten to see him jump into many unique and creative projects using his talents: computer whiz (his company, Ravelong, has been providing growth-hack outside-the-box digital marketing since 2006.). He’s…

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Remain in Love: Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Tina

Quick Book Review: “Remain in Love: Talking Heads, Tom Tom Club, Tina” by Chris Frantz

I breezed through this very enjoyable, very readable book.  Chris Frantz takes you back to the art school origins of Talking Heads, the heady, exciting early days of New York punk (lots of cool stories about CBGBs), the exhilarating early European tours where they toured with bands like the Ramones and XTC.  He describes the creative process that gave rise…

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The Heatwave Festival – A New Wave Concert for the Ages (Summer of 1980)

Just about 40 years ago, on a hot summer Saturday, I attended one of the best concerts ever.  Despite the incredible lineup of performers, it still remains relatively obscure.  In the early summer of 1980, I was told about an outdoor concert that was to take place in Toronto in August.  Billed as a “Punk Woodstock”, “New Wave Woodstock”, or…

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"Rockonomics: A Backstage Tour About What the Music Industry can Teach us About Economics and Life" by Alan B. Krueger

Quick Book Review: “Rockonomics: A Backstage Tour About What the Music Industry can Teach us About Economics and Life” by Alan B. Krueger

I’m a huge music fan, but I’ve never thought much about the music industry and how it actually works: who makes the money, how they make it, and how much they actually make.  This book was loaded with interesting facts about the music business and how it has radically changed over the past few years.  Rock musicians used to make…

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Notes from the Velvet Underground: The Life of Lou Reed

Quick Book Review: “Notes from the Velvet Underground: The Life of Lou Reed” by Howard Sounes

Two years ago, I read “Waiting for The Man”, Jerry Reed’s biography of Lou Reed.  The book covered Lou’s life pretty well, with the focus mainly on his albums.  Last year, I read Anthony DeCurtis’s biography, “Lou Reed: A Life”, which some people think is the definitive biography.  It was an excellent balance of music analysis as well as interesting…

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Mission Rabies Ghana – Chapter 8: Halfway Through the Adventure

Today marked the end of the first week.  I woke up this morning with my bite wound looking great.  There was no oozing overnight, no swelling, no pain, nothing.  I shaved and showered, and put on a band-aid, and that was that.  Tomorrow I don’t think I’ll even need a bandage on it.   This morning at our base, we stocked…

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"Hal Ashby and the Making of Harold and Maude" by James A. Davidson

Quick Book Review: “Hal Ashby and the Making of Harold and Maude” by James A. Davidson

I go through phases where I don’t think about the movie Harold and Maude very much, and then I become obsessed with it again.  It’s my favorite movie; I find the humorous bits hilarious and the philosophical bits poignant and uplifting, and whenever there’s some kind of crisis (like 9-11 or the current corona pandemic), I find myself immersed in…

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"Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña" by David Hajdu

Quick Book Review: “Positively 4th Street: The Lives and Times of Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Mimi Baez Fariña, and Richard Fariña” by David Hajdu

A well-written and detailed account of the intertwined lives of four prominent, larger-than-life fixtures of the folk music scene of the early 60s.  The book very effectively transports you back to those heady, exciting days of the Greenwich Village music clubs and cafes.  I really knew nothing about Joan Baez’s sister Mimi, nor anything about her enigmatic, fascinating husband, Richard…

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"Dayglo: The Poly Styrene Story" by Celeste Bell and Zoe Howe

Quick Book Review: “Dayglo: The Poly Styrene Story” by Celeste Bell and Zoe Howe

Back in the late ‘70s, when punk music was all the rage, I became fanatically obsessed with it.  I especially loved British punk and was very into The Sex Pistols, Clash, Stranglers, Buzzcocks, Jam, and countless other punk bands. One major favorite, though, was the band X-Ray Spex, led by the brilliant, talented singer Poly Styrene (born Marion Elliott). Poly’s…

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