Bono Walks On Together With Aung San Suu Kyi

Amnesty International
Amnesty International (Photo credit: AslanMedia)

Aung San Suu Kyi delivering a speech following her release in 2010

It is a blessing that Aung San Suu Kyi of Myanmar will finally be feted with the honors due her as a tribute and testimony to her strong will and testament.  She suffered a lengthy internment  of house arrest for 15 years (19xx-20xx). She was previously awarded the Nobel Prize in 1991 and Amnesty International‘s Ambassador of Conscience award in 2009, but could not accept either in person because she was under house arrest for 15 years.

I first learned of the heroism of Aung San Suu Kyi when I became a devout listener of U2’s album, All That You Can’t Leave Behind (2000).  The most powerful song on that recording was “Walk On”. I became further attuned to the plight of Aung San Suu Kyi through the efforts of Amnesty International and the global blogging community.

The full meaning and impact of “Walk On” took place for me in June, 2001 when I saw Bono and U2 perform “Walk On” live at the Hartford Civic Center. As Bono sang and U2 played under the video image of Aung San Suu Kyi her immediacy and grace became etched upon my heart.

Bono and Aung San Suu Kyi finally get to meet for the first time after many years of support from Bono, U2, Amnesty International and millions of world-wide fans. This is a significant historical, personal event that is taking place in Dublin, Ireland the day after Aung San Suu Ky receives her Nobel Peace Price.  The mere fact that Aung San Suu Kyi is travelling outside Myanmar and the compound she was held in says freedom to all who love and support injustice. She is expected to visit Dublin solely to be guest of honor at the concert, called Electric Burma.

“It’s so rare to see grace trump military might, and when it happens we should make the most joyful noise we can,” Bono said in a prepared statement. “Aung San Suu Kyi’s grace and courage have tilted a wobbly world further in the direction of democracy. We all feel we know her, but it will be such a thrill to meet her in person.”

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Los Lobos, “Kiko Live” Drops On August 21, 2012

I have deeply loved and admired the music of Los Lobos these past 40 years. Their sound has matured to such interesting depths of woven texture and synergy. It’s been great evolving with them over time as I never find their music boring or repetitive to listen to.

When we last saw them on tour in April, 2012 at The Ridgefield Playhouse, Louie Perez mentioned that their next music project would be a reissue celebrating the twentieth anniversary of Kiko (1992). Many people hail Kiko as Los Lobos’s watershed recording. Watershed is defined as a crucial dividing point, line or factor, a turning point (Merriam-Webster). Looking back on that period of Los Lobos’s career I would agree. 1992 is the halfway point in this cohesive group’s evolution.

Kiko LiveLos Lobos will be adding to the original studio album with previously unreleased early and alternate takes of several songs. Simultaneously, a document of the band’s 2006 performance of Kiko in its entirety will be released separately on CD, DVD and Blu-ray, with both Kiko projects coming Aug. 21.

The CD also includes three tracks the band recorded live at Capitol Records in Hollywood for a “Hollywood House Party with Los Lobos” special that aired in 1992 on National Public Radio. The album reissue and the “Kiko Live” DVD/Blu-ray are being released by the Shout! Factory reissue specialty label. Los Lobos: Kiko Live (Blu Ray/CD) [Blu-ray]

“Kiko Live” has never been released or broadcast, and includes interviews with the band members and others about the making of the album. In 2006, Los Lobos did a series of live performances focusing on it in its entirety. Here is exclusive video of the group’s performance of “Kiko and the Lavendar Moon.”

http://www.latimes.com/videogallery/69959812/Entertainment/Exclusive-Los-Lobos-perform-Kiko-the-Lavender-Moon

Instead of “segregating our influences, treating them parochially,” as band member Steve Berlin described the band’s approach before “Kiko,” for that album “whatever our unconscious minds’ response was to the stimuli, that was what we wanted. We let our imagination take over and didn’t try to control it.”

You can place a pre-order for  both the Los Lobos Audio CD and the BlueRay DVD on Amazon Here.

Keep it going my Los Lobos brothers.

Peace, Ese 😉

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Neil Young & CrazyHorse Preview on Rolling Stone Magazine’s Web Site

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Occupy This Album Review: Disk 2

Occupy This Album Disk 2 begins with the premier vocal track by Michael Moore, “The Times They Are A-Changin”. I am very taken with his singing voice, he has nice tonality. I especially like that they interspersed part of his bullhorn speech from Zucotti Park into the mix.

Occupy This Album Disc 2:

Copyright 2012 Music for Occupy, Inc.

22. Ace Reporter – “The World Is on Fire”

This band rocked. Their collective energy grabbed my attention as they poured their hearts out on stage.

23. The Middle Eight – “Latter Days”

24. Chroma – “Turn The Lights On”

Chroma was impressive. Articulate with lots of positive energy.

25. Ani DiFranco – “Which Side Are You On?” *

26. Tao Rodriguez-Seeger – “Well May The World Go”

27. Thievery Corporation – “Unified Tribes” *

28. Thee Oh Sees – “Robber Barons”

29. Mike Rimbaud – “Saving Up to Go Bankrupt”

30. Nanci Griffith – “Hell No (I’m Not Alright)” *

Nanci Griffith was fervent in her support for Occupy. She extended her performances at City Winery by hanging out to support and contribute to Occupy. Loved her devotion to the cause.

31. Joseph Arthur – “We Stand as One” *

32. Girls Against Boys – “Cash Machine”

33. Junkyard Empire – “Rebellion Politik”

34. Anti-Flag – “Nothing Recedes Like Progress”

35. Fear Nuttin Band – “Rebel”

Copyright 2012 Music for Occupy, Inc.

36. Jill Sobule with John Doe – “Under the Bridge” 3

7. Stephan Said – “Take a Stand”

38. UNKLE – “The Answer”

39. Tom Morello(The Nightwatchman) – “World Wide Rebel Songs”

Tom Morello continues to grow large in my heart as an artist, a man of conviction to the cause. He has been such an ally to the Occupy movement. His track enters your heart and you can’t help but feel motivated and involved.

40. Third Eye Blind – “If There Ever Was a Time” *

*previously unreleased

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Occupy This Album Review: Disk 1

I have watched with pride and admiration the evolution of the Occupy This Album projectI got on-board early as a  supporter of Jason Samel’s, Music For Occupy vision. I have written on this blog about the need for a musical outlet for Occupy. Occupy This Album is finally here and you owe it to yourself to plug into the sounds, spirit and activism of the Occupy movement. The avarice and greed of the 1% is imperiling the 99%.

 Which Side Are You On?

Occupy This Album is four discs with 99 tracks by 99 artists for the benefit of the 99%!

I am breaking this monumental recording into four separate reviews to do justice to the musicians united in common cause. My wife and I attended the Occupy This Album launch party at the City Winery in NYC on May 8th. We got to see many of the artists who have contributed to this album. I’ll point them out as this review unfolds over the next four days.

Occupy This Album, Disc 1

Copyright 2012 Music For Occupy, Inc.

1. Something’s Got to Give, Matt Pless

Matt Pless opened the record launch party on May 8th and his energy was infectious. It is also his art that illustrates the Occupy This Album cover. He is a modern-day Bob Dylan if you want my opinion. Great first song to kick it all off.

2. Come On, Come On, Come On, Jackson Browne

Jackson Browne has long been an advocate of human rights causes. He contributes an unreleased track with an infectious chorus.

3. Occupation Freedom, George Martinez & The Global Block Collective

We loved seeing George Martinez and the Global Block Collective perform “Occupation Freedom” on stage May 8th. They have a vivacious move your body, engage your mind track going on.

4. People Have The Power (Live In Marseille), Patti Smith

I feel very strongly that Patti Smith’s song of protest, “People Have The Power” should be the theme song for the Occupy movement. This live rendition has an electricity and passion that ignites your sentiment, as you pump your fist in the air at the 1% who are controlling everything.

5. Love Anthem (Only Love), My Pet Dragon

My Pet Dragon performed at the record launch party. They had a legion of fans in attendance and we got caught up in their excitement.

6. The Panic is On, Loudon Wainwright III

The true folkie makes a classic contribution to the Occupy cause.

7. Occulture, Cosmonaut

8. Save Us, Paper Cranes (feat. Rain Phoenix)

9. Smile (Get Up and Sing), Jay Samel

The musician behind Music For Occupy lends his voice to the fray, I am favorably impressed with Jay Samel’s vocal and guitar playing abilities.

10. This Is What America Looks Like, Tenderflex (DJ Logic & David Maurice) feat. Dynasty Electric, Ayler Young and Jay Rodriguez

Spin it and flip it for Occupy.

Copyright 2012 Music For Occupy, Inc.

11. Big Little Wolfs, Aeroplane Pageant

12. Agent 99, Alex Emanuel

13. Safety In Numbers, Deborah Harry

A unique track for Deborah Harry that is lilting and poignant.

14. Hey, can I Sleep On Your Futon?, Richard Barone

He performed this track for us at the record release party. He is a very capable and forthright artist.

15. Occupy Wall Street “Here Here Here”, Black Dragon

16. White Gold, Ladytron

17. Greed, Gabriel Aldort

18. Against The Machine, Taj Weekes & Adowa

I loved the reggae sound of Taj Weekes & Adowa. They made a strong contribution to the evening and the album.

19. The Young Idealists, Lloyd Cole

20. A Peaceful Solution, Willie Nelson

It wouldn’t be complete without Willie Nelson adding his voice to the cause.

Mama Told Me Not To Come, Etc. ;)

I was thinking about what to write for today’s music blog post when the song, “Mama Told Me Not To Come” sung by Three Dog Night and written by Randy Newman started playing on the turntable in my mind.

“Mama Told Me Not To Come”, I was surprised to learn was originally written by Randy Newman for Eric Burdon and the Animals in 1966. It was released on the album, Eric Is Here, by Eric Burdon and Animals on MGM in 1967.

From 1969-1974, nobody had more Top 10 hits, moved more records, or sold more concert tickets than Three Dog Night!

Three Dog NightWhen I was first dating my wife Rosemary, Three Dog Night was OUR band. I purchased every vinyl LP they recorded. Our song was “One”, their first Top 5 hit in 1969. “One” was written by Harry Nilsson. I learned from Wikipedia that the reason Harry Nilsson wrote the song after calling someone and getting a busy signal. He stayed on the line listening to the “beep, beep, beep, beep…” tone, writing the song. The busy signal became the opening notes of his version of the song.

I have an interesting personal story to tell you about Randy Newman and Livingston Taylor that happened to me in 1973. I was attending the University of New Haven in West Haven, Ct. in those days. I had made arrangements as a DJ on WNHU-FM to interview Livingston Taylor before the concert. I was asked to conduct the interview with another on-air personality. I warned this person NOT to mention James Taylor during the interview because I had read it infuriated Livingston Taylor to hear those comparisons. That person swore to me he would not do so.

So we get to the locker room and Randy Newman is such a nervous Nellie before the show. He paced that locker room like you wouldn’t believe. He stood off to the side as we interviewed Livingston Taylor. Randy Newman was actually the opening act for Livingston Taylor that night. Don’t you know the asshole I am doing the interview with asks Livingston, “So what’s it like to have a famous brother like James? Livingston looks at him and then me and says, “Sorry, interview is over.” I pushed that stupid idiot DJ off the bench, telling him, “Thanks for screwing this up for the station.” Randy Newman said, “Hey guy, you really blew it for your buddy there.” That was how I met Randy Newman. I recall he played “Mama Told Me Not To Come” that night on a beautiful white Steinway piano.

I mentioned this story years later to Livingston Taylor (who we have seen perform and spoken with many times) and we had a big laugh over that memory.