Patti Smith – Mark My Words – Hartford, CT

Thursday night we attended Patti Smith in Conversation: A Mark My Words Event. The event was held at the Immanuel Congregational Church in Hartford, Ct. presented by  The Mark Twain House & Museum.

I constantly revel in the connections that formulate with Patti Smith, most notably historic and literary contemporaries.

The first parallel I drew was two famous authors connecting on one stage in front of 700 people, Patti Smith and Mark Twain.

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The Immanuel Congregational Church is a magnificent edifice. I found myself in awe of the mosaic above the altar that depicts the parable of “The Sower.”

I serve as a lector in my church and have read this parable during mass readings. It is especially meaningful as our son’s name is Matthew. The second parallel drawn. 🙂

From Matthew 13.4 (NRSV):
“Listen! A sower went out to sow. And as he sowed, some seeds fell on the path, and the birds came and ate them up. Other seeds fell on rocky ground, where they did not have much soil, and they sprang up quickly, since they had no depth of soil. But when the sun rose, they were scorched; and since they had no root, they withered away. Other seeds fell among thorns, and the thorns grew up and choked them. Other seeds fell on good soil and brought forth grain, some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty. Let anyone with ears listen”

From Matthew 13.18 (NRSV):
“Hear then the parable of the sower. When anyone hears the word of the kingdom and does not understand it, the evil one comes and snatches away what is sown in the heart; this is what was sown on the path. As for what was sown on rocky ground, this is the one who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet such a person has no root, but endures only for a while, and when trouble or persecution arises on account of the word, that person immediately falls away. As for what was sown among thorns, this the one who hears the word, but the cares for the world and the lure of wealth choke the word, and it yields nothing. But what was sown on good soil, this is the one who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and yields, in one case a hundredfold, in another sixty, and in another thirty.

Colin McEnroe was the interviewer,  a radio personality with a daily WNPR show, The Colin McEnroe Show. He is a weekly columnist/blogger for The Hartford Courant and a contributing editor at Men’s Health.

The event was recorded for Connecticut Public Radio. Colin McEnroe estimated the podcast to be available in November or December.

Patti took a special interest in the Tiffany mosaic. She shared that the mosaic is made entirely of glass and that it reminded her of Johnny Appleseed sowing seeds for mankind.

I reflected on Patti Smith sowing the seeds of creative consciousness in our midst.

I liked the nature of the third connection. Patti was asked her thoughts were of her friend Bob Dylan being awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature. You could sense her joy and satisfaction. She stated Dylan deserved the accolade by mentioning such songs as “Sad Eyed Lady of the Lowland” and “Desolation Row”. Her special connection with Bob Dylan was heartfelt. For me this was the third parallel drawn.

Patti Smith has revealed songs by Bob Dylan that I was unaware of. She gives them special purpose as a poetess and singer/songwriter. She has a talented ear for the power and the beauty of his work. I found this to be the case on her album Twelve when she covered  “Changing of the Guard” from Bob Dylan’s Street Legal.

But what I really love is the song, “Dark Eyes” from Dylan’s Empire Burlesque. It is one of those gems that gleams more brightly via her duet with Bob Dylan on Patti Smith’s comeback tour in 1995.

The fourth parallel drawn was through her longtime admiration for William Blake. She took up her guitar and performed, “My Blakean Year” for us. I always feel William Blake through Patti.

Once again an auspicious evening of spiritual connection with Patti Smith in a pastoral setting.

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Born to Run: Bruce Springsteen

You’d have to be living under a rock not to know that Bruce Springsteen has a new autobiography, Born to Run and a companion recording, “Chapter and Verse”.

Bruce Springsteen is our American music living legend. He has one of the strongest and most committed fan  bases in music today.

He is presently on a book promotion tour. Yesterday he sat down with Eddy Cue, Senior VP of Internet Software and Services at the Apple SoHo Store for a 45 minute interview. Jimmy Iovine, Apple Music top executive and the producer of Springsteen’s Born to Run and Darkness on the Edge of Town albums was in also in attendance.

I find it interesting that Eddy Cue chose Facebook Live as the medium for the Webcast. I thinking Eddy Cue would have preferred to utilize Apple’s network (Beats 1) but they don’t have that capability yet. (Outsource vs. insource)

Here is the video link from last night’s interview. Enjoy.

 

 

Marty Balin and Jefferson Airplane Honored

Last night Jefferson Airplane was honored with a Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award at the Dolby Theater in Los Angeles. The event also recognized Earth Wind and Fire, Herbie HancockRuth Brown, Celia Cruz, Linda Ronstadt and RUN DMC. Additionally, John Cage, Fred Foster and Chris Strachwitz (Arhoolie Records) received Trustees Award honorees. The award ceremony was filmed for a future PBS Great Performances show titled Grammy Salute to Music Legends. I look forward to that broadcast when it airs later this year.

It was unfortunate that Marty Balin was unable to join the festivities. His doctor ordered that he not attend. I respect putting your health first. Balin issued a press release on Friday April 22nd assuring everyone that he is doing well and that he looks forward to resuming his 2016 tour in the near future. Tour updates are found at  http://martybalinmusic.com/ I’m considering seeing him at The Iridium in NYC if its feasible.

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I have seen various social media photographs from last night’s awards in my Facebook stream.

 

 

 

 

 

 

I liked this shot of  (left-right) Jack Casady, Grace Slick (wearing Paul Kantner’s hat), Cathy Richardson (who sang for Grace) and Jorma Kaukonen.

 

Patti Smith – SVA Theatre, New Yorker Festival

Last night we attended the New Yorker Festival to see Patti Smith interviewed by David Remnick (Magazine, Editor-In-Chief).

We lined up early at the School of Visual Arts Theater on West 23rd Street in the Chelsea section of New York City. We watched as Norman Lear, sporting his classic straw hat was assisted to his SUV (he was interviewed prior to Patti).

Our seats turned out fantastic as we ended up sitting fourth row center.

Patti Smith lovingly read us a chapter “Clock with No Hands” about her adventures with Fred Sonic Smith. It was her first public reading from M Train her latest book (out on 10/6/15).

The Guardian covered the event. I refer you to their synopsis here. I found it very representative of how we felt about the event.

The special surprise was when David Remnick stepped out of character and performed on electric guitar to back Patti Smith on “Because The Night”. Our favorite song 🙂

 

Have I doubt when I’m alone
Love is a ring, the telephone

 

The Ponderosa Stomp #12

New Orleans is widely known as the birthplace of Jazz. When it comes to music festivals in the crescent city many people think of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival held the last weekend of April and the first weekend of May.

But not many people know about The Ponderosa Stomp. I just discovered this event from a print advertisement in the Fall 2015 issue of Oxford American magazine. The Ponderosa Stomp #12 (wow I have some catching up to do here) will take place October 1-3 2015, in New Orléans, LA. It is a two-day concert with the best music you’ve never heard. In addition it is a conference, record show and HIP Drop…Wish we could attend.

The menu is an all-you-can-eat platter of classic rock ‘n’ roll, Chicago and Mississippi blues, New Orléans R&B, Memphis and Motown soul, hellacious rockabilly, blistering garage rock, and Louisiana swamp pop. Old favorites like Warren Storm, Barbara Lynn, Billy Boy Arnold, and Roy Head are appearing, along with some very special artists making their Stomp debuts. The Stomp is especially proud to present, for the first time, an all-star revue of San Antonio’s Chicano soul legends from the 1950s and ‘60s.

The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation is the primary organization behind this eclectic festival.

The Ponderosa Stomp Foundation (PSF) is a 501(c) (3), not-for-profit educational organization dedicated to celebrating the legacy, revitalizing the careers and preserving the history of American music and musicians.

Les Paul’s BIG SOUND Experience

I was driving home from work this afternoon, stopped in the third lane on I-95 due to traffic problems. I happened to look across the jersey barrier to the northbound side and glimpse this 53′ tractor trailer truck with a way cool multi-color design stating that it was Les Paul‘s 100 Birthday.

When I got home I looked it up on the Internet. I discovered that Les Paul’s Big Sound Tour was bound for the Hard Rock Cafe Foxwoods in Ledyard Connecticut. It will be on exhibit there June 17th and 18th.

Les Paul the father of modern music and the solid body electric guitar would have been 100 years old June 9, 2015. A special 100th Anniversary Celebration was held on June 9th at the Times Square Hard Rock Cafe in New York City. Rolling Stone Magazine covered this historic event.

(L to R) Journey’s Neal Schon, Joe Bonamassa, Johnny A, Warren Haynes, Steve Miller, musical director GE Smith, Joe Satriani and Steve Vai

The Les Paul Foundation is sharing his creativity, innovative spirit and love of sound in an intriguing mobile exhibit.


• Step into 1,000 square feet of entertaining and inspiring interactive experiences.
• Explore sound, music and technology innovations.
• Mix and share music.
• Discover Les Paul’s personal story.
• Experience Les Paul’s never-ending search for a unique musical sound.
• Learn from generations of musicians who call Les Paul their mentor.
• Witness how Les pushed the limits of audio technology.
• Marvel at the performing techniques that made Les Paul a legendary pop music icon.
• Enjoy live musical performances by local artists.

Take a look at the Les Paul Tour Calendar to see if this mobile tour is coming to a city near you this summer.

Dennis Dunaway – Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs!

I am eager to get an autographed copy of Dennis Dunaway‘s forthcoming book, Snakes! Guillotines! Electric Chairs! 

I’m trying to decide if I attend the official launch at the Strand Book Store in the East Village of New York City on June 9th. This event will feature co-author Chris Hodenfield, live music from Blue Coupe the angry orphans supergroup of Dennis Dunaway (Alice Cooper), Joe and Albert Bouchard (Blue Oyster Cult) and Manic Panic, Tish and Snooky.

Or attend the July 16th book signing event in Westport, CT at the Barnes & Noble. The pros of the Westport event is it’s much closer, just a car ride of 30 mins without traffic, train and subway fare.. It appears there might be acoustic music that night but probably not the same order of magnitude of the Strand event.