Category Archives: marketing

Sleeping and Music

Standard

 

When people say it is best not to go to bed angry, I can understand

their logic. There is a saying, often quoted, derived from the Bible,

“Don’t let the sun go down on your anger.” I used to have a hard time

sleeping, while young,  if things were unsettled or unresolved in my life.

Recently, I read another way of looking at this,  a different perspective

being:  Why ‘battle it out’ while tired? Instead why not go to bed and

‘sleep on it?’

While we are sleeping, many neurons keep on firing in our brains.

Many people come up with book ideas, song lyrics or other creative

thoughts, along with going, “Ah ha!” and waking up refreshed and

having a whole different outlook on their life or problems. I know a

few people who have had a pad of paper and pen or pencil on their

bedside table, sometimes called a ‘night stand.’ The brain still practices

music, it is still active while we are still and deep in our REM mode of

sleeping. Instincts sometimes keep our mind alive, while we have a little

baby in our care, whether we are a parent, grandparent or babysitter.

Animals are on ‘guard,’ while we may be more sorting through our fears,

re-thinking and processing, our cautions may even become ‘fixed’ and

we may solve a way out of our danger, at hand.

While our bodies are slowing down, our metabolism also is slowing.

We have growth and cell repair sources released while we sleep.

Something scary that researchers are now filling us in on is that

those who are more likely to get Alzheimer’s and dementia are people

who have gone through most of their adult life, lacking sleep, this would

apply to nurses, doctors, air traffic comptrollers and others who have a

busy and hectic schedule, allowing less sleep and rest in their lives.

 

Some positives gathered from several sources gained from our deep and

tranquil sleep:

Mathematicians solve algorithms and problems while sleeping.

Scientists figure our solutions, structures and finish ‘their daily work,’ in

their sleep.

When we make mistakes, our mind rolls the process around in our head,

we are much more cautious, an example given, when we approach a slick

piece of ice on a road, after we have had an accident.

 

We may have our best songs that we sing and our best pieces of art,

while creative minds were finishing their projects, organizing and

composing.

Leading me into the next subject. . .

There is a musical milestone that we past last February: 100 years of

ASCAP.

Many songwriters don’t get the money from our downloading ‘free’

music. This organization was created in 1914, representing currently

over 1/2 million songwriters. It ensures the rights to make money while

others may sing their songs.

I have known two local groups who write their own music, who joined

ASCAP.  Team KNYCE (a trio of rappers with some blues and jazz

influences) and Morgan Treni, who wrote all of her own songs on her

Fall, 2014 release of her Essays album. A group that plays locally folk

songs, whose advice I sought about this subject, also all are members.

 

The American Society of Composers, Authors  and Publishers is a long-

standing organization who has famous members, including Irving Berlin.

This is a world wide organization and it is emphasized by mentors of

musicians to join this, to protect your music. When performers sing the

Irving Berlin song, “White Christmas,” his heirs will get checks. It protects

performers who sing their own songs. Although artists get royalties from

sales of albums, there was a time when famous musical composers would

die, virtually ‘penniless.’

 

Just for your interest, I found out the estimated sales of the song, “White

Christmas” make it the most sung and highest number of all time, as over

50 billion song copies sold , with the second most being Elton John’s,

“Candle in the Wind,” at 33 billion copies sold.

 

The President of ASCAP is the well-respected and likable Paul Williams.

I was amazed when I saw him speaking recently on television of all the

wonderful songs he wrote. I enjoy his sense of humor, along with in the

past, numerous guest starring parts on television shows. Here are just

a few examples of Paul Williams’ songs:

Three Dog Night sings his song, “Just An Old-Fashioned Love Song.”

The Carpenters sang his song, “Rainy Days and Mondays.”

The theme song for “Love Boat” still brings Paul Williams some royalty

checks, as it repeats and reruns on television.

 

ASCAP President Paul Williams (composer and singer) says it is very

frustrating how many sources on the Internet ‘try to steal music’ and not

allow the original artist or songwriter to get their ‘cut’ or ‘share of the pie.’

An example of how many songs are streaming was 7 million streams of

one Lady Antebellum song in a short period of time, losing quite a lot of

money for the group and composer, too. Taylor Swift was interviewed

about ASCAP, saying she was pulling her songs off of “Spotify.” Garth

Brooks and Billy Joel were also outspoken while being asked about this

landmark anniversary of the organization. They mentioned Pandora,

as another source which is a concern of theirs, allowing access to songs

without paying for them.

 

So, when you listen to “The Music in Me” (written by keyboardist Bias

Bochell, of the Kiki Dee Band), “New York State of Mind” (Billy Joel)

and Stevie Wonder’s “Dance to the Music,” you may not get these free

anymore.

There are some artists, musicians and composers standing up for their

rights, in the face of the internet. We will see if the songs that are pulled

off, will still reach the popularity level that others which are free and

available.

As fellow bloggers and writers, we must admire their integrity and

believe in their right to having their music kept original and protected.

 

Patricia Cornwell was a 1975 high school graduate. I graduated in 1974

which makes me feel like we could have been friends. My brother, Randy,

was a ’75 graduate so I hung out with a lot of his friends. She is an author

I deeply admire. I was interested in knowing how she reached her level

of writing and productivity. Her most recent book, “Flesh and Blood,”

was published in November, 2014.

 

I enjoy her murder mysteries that often dwell upon the forensics found in

the coroner’s office. Ms. Cornwell says her favorite book for years, one she

carried around everywhere, was titled, “The Inner Game of Tennis.” She

has been a tennis player yet never became a professional tennis player.

She suggests there is much to find in the book about life. She also slyly

mentioned in AARP magazine, that she may not play like a pro, but she

has through her writing and recognition been able to make friends with

Billie Jean King. Timothy Gallwey wrote this book Patricia admired and

studied.

 

Although she does not mention sleep and creativity, I imagine she would

say she discovered some of her best plot lines while sleeping. I contemplate

how rest can prepare you for reaching your own personal goals.

Patricia Cornwell on her personal motivation:

“After reading the book, “The Inner Game of Tennis,” I made it my ambition

to pay attention and not live a fear-driven life. When I sit down to write, I

remind myself to stay in the moment.”

 

J.M. Barrie, author of “Peter Pan,” is often quoted:

“The moment you doubt whether you can fly, you cease forever to be able

to do it.”

 

Sometimes, as in Peter Pan, it is fun to be child-like. In “Downton

Abbey,”

Elizabeth McGovern portrays the character, “Cora,” Countess of Grantham.

In her personal life, she may not be so serious, as exhibited by this quote:

“You’re only young once, but you can be immature forever.”

 

Hmm. . .Or is this possibly a ‘slam’ on those who tend to act immature,

even as adults. . . up to your own interpretation.

Musical Eclectic Tastes: A Quartet of Choices

Standard

When you hear this comment, “Life is sweet,” I bet you would not have pictured it

coming from Billy Idol. He showed gratitude for his family, roots and his fans. I was

in awe of the interview, felt I finally understood him. I remember when I first saw him,

on MTV, seeing his punk hair style and his sneer. I never was repelled by his appearance

and every one of his 14 major hits were beloved by me. I did not see him as ‘sinister’ or

mean looking but saw him as confident and defiant.

I am grateful that Billy Idol lived to reach age 58, which is what I am for another month.

I am so happy he is exploring a ‘comeback,’ which is not quite true, since he never left

the musical scene totally.

Billy Idol was born to middle class roots, in England. He respected his parents but he

could not follow their paths of being a professional, his mother was a nurse nor a

businessman selling power tools, like his father. Instead he decided to chase his dream

of being in a rock band. His comment, which is a little ‘explicit,’ but true of his tastes

goes like this, “If you cross rock and roll with punk rock, you get a cross-pollination

bastard type of music: mine!”

Bill Broad, Senior died in August, they had made peace and there was no animosity

between them. He had not financially supported his son, Billy, but he did love him.

It was mutual respect, shown in the interview, which captured my interest. Also, his

mentioning the power of what a teacher said to him, negatively, that impacted his

famous name, “Billy, why do you have to be so idle?” He just changed the spelling,

with a positive twist, becoming an ‘Idol’ in more than name only.

My favorite song is, “Eyes Without a Face,” since I could slow dance to this, while

thinking about its meaning. The other ones you will recognize, include:

“Rebel Yell”

“White Wedding”

“Dancing with Myself”

Re-make of “Money, Money” which he made his own a great rendition.

What happened to him during the 90’s?

He had a serious motorcycle accident in 1990.

This brought him down. Far down.

In 1994, he overdosed at a night club. This bad action on his part, saved his life, ultimately.

It brought him back on the path to recovery. It made him want to have purpose.

I will look forward to hearing new songs, since Billy Idol has always been in my eyes,

a True Showman.

 

 

Another person who has caught my interest lately, is Jenny Lewis. She is age 38, many of

you have already heard of her, let alone heard her unaware it was she delivering the music.

She has a fun style, light-hearted style of singing. She is familiar in many ways, since she

has been around for awhile. One recent radio song, “Just One of the Guys,” makes me smile.

It became a big hit almost instantly, according to a DJ on my way to Cleveland over Labor

Day weekend.

Her life has been all about music, being a ‘backstage daughter’ to a group that performed

in Las Vegas, “The Voyagers.”

When she was young, she was the cute, attractive girl who had her first kiss in a movie

called, “Wizard,” with Fred Savage. She admits, they were just kids and grew up together.

 

When you used to hear the song  for Toys-R-Us, there was a popular upbeat lift to the song,

with Jenny Lewis singing that she was a Toys-R-Us ‘kid.’

In her live shows, she likes to build rapport, she has a lyrical tone to her voice, reminiscent

to some of my all-time favorites like Carly Simon, Carole King and Joni Mitchell.

Jenny sings like popular and current,  beautiful voices found in Colbie Caillat and Ingrid

Michaelson.

In Jenny Lewis’ ‘wheelhouse,’ there will be one you will relate to. I liked “She’s Easy, But

She’s Not Me.” It is not the way you think of ‘easy,’ she is defining it as not very deep.

So Jenny is saying in her lyrics, ‘I may not be easy to understand but I am worth it.

The other girl may be easier to figure out; but she’s not Jenny.’

Her album, “The Voyager,” is worth a peek. Here are the two rcent girls

I recommend, “Colbie Caillat’s songs, “Bubbly” and “Try.”

I recommend, “Girls Chase Boys” and “The Way I Am.”

 

With the name of “Keb’ Mo,” you could possibly mistakenly picture a rapper or a

younger man, but this man is a three time Grammy winner who plays the Blues!

What inspired his newest album, at the age of 62? Marriage counseling! He and his

wife were going to therapy and he realized, while thinking on the way home from

a heavy session, how love is a struggle and you have to keep putting work into it.

In his deep thought, you can find his heartfelt passion for his wife. He feels that

love is important after all to fight for, continue but it is typical blues material,

when you hear that “Love hurts.” Marriage has been a ‘battle field’ subject matter

before but this man’s interpretation was ‘new’ and interesting to me.

Keb’ Mo and his wife, Robbie Brooks Moore live in Nashville. They participated

in an intense weekend of counseling. This became the theme for his new album,

“BLUESAmericana.”

He addresses commitment, love, pain, changes, and forgiveness. Relationship

‘stuff’ that he admits they had avoided for years, in an “AARP Magazine” article.

When Keb’ Mo started out singing, he used the name of Kevin Moore. He adopted

his bluesy stage name in his early 40’s to allow listeners to see his dedication to

the subject of the Blues. He is not changing hit style, just created a whole new

batch of songs with, “If Somebody Hurt You,” a gospel-driven tune with zappy

sound and divulging roots of pain.

In “Move” and “I’m Gonna Be Your Man,” you will see how love made him a

renewed and changed man, with upbeat tempo, good lyrics. These songs

include Moore playing a variety of guitars and includes some organ ‘grooves.’

Sam Chamon’s song, “That’s Alright,” will be familiar to you. The rest are all

new and exciting. I have to laugh at his attitude, when his wife worried what

“people might think.” He said so aptly, “Honey, this is not a business for caring

what people think!” Humor, gospel, upbeat, sad and you have Keb’ Mo’s music.

 

If you don’t know Patty Griffin, you need to listen to her! She has a relatively

new album called, “American Kid,” on New West Records. She is one you can

easily listen to again and again. I am confident, if you are like me, who embraces

a wide variety of musical tastes, you will enjoy this one! Patty is bluegrass and

country, a combination that is a pleasure to listen to.

You also have heard of her long-time boyfriend, Robert Plant. He is embracing

his “mountain roots,” while accompanying Patty Griffin on this album. Plant

co-wrote, “Highway Song” and added musical touches and arrangements to

“Ohio.” This is a great combination of two musical talents. (If you wish to

listen to Robert Plant check his popular songs, “Net Worth” and “Rainbow.”)

If you want to know a song that is unique and has a lot of character, try:

“Wild Old Dog.” It is about the sad story of someone dropping off a mangy

old dog on the side of the road. If he had turned around and looked at the

car leaving him behind, it may have reminded you of “Old Yeller,” Chuck

Yarborough, of the Cleveland Plain Dealer, music critic fame says. No,

instead there is a different way of taking this song:

“He tore off running

Like we’d set him free

And just disappeared right in front of me.

God is a wild old dog.”

(Which reminds me of an English high school teacher, weirdly enough, who

had us write a poem about dogs and God.)

Can you believe this prolific artist, Patty Griffin, probably already has another

album out called, “Silver Bell?”

 

Dave Mason played with the group, Traffic. In 1967, the band was formed with

Steve Winwood, Jim Capaldi and Chris Wood. Dave is a songwriter/artist whose

song, “Only You Know and I Know,” for his newest album. In the old days, he

had written, “Feelin’ Alright” for Joe Cocker. What a great song that was!

He has played with Paul McCartney and Jimi Hendrix, among many other

legendary musician icons.

His group while recently featured on a talk show includes first name basis

singers, he introduced simply as, “Debby, Bonnie and Friends.”

Check out the songs, “Sad and Deep As You” and “Dear Mr. Fantasy.”

I enjoyed this philosophical perspective in his saying, (I did not use a tape

recorder, so this is the ‘essence’ of what I heard him say):

Quite simply, the songs are about human relations and that’s never going to

change. Colors change, seasons change, clothing styles and time passes.

This changes, that changes.

But leave that shirt in the closet long enough, it’ll become fashionable again.”

 

What are you listening to, lately?

 

Connections: the past with the future

Standard

When I heard that there were two days in a row, celebrating subjects of interest

to me, I was determined to make a ‘big stretch’ and connect the dots. The first day

is based on an animated cartoon t.v. series about the future. It was shown awhile

back, where some of the inventions and special effects have come true. The second

day is one celebrating how we separate our words, making our sentences flow by

using special symbols to separate the words. I think this form of language is swiftly

diminishing, since so many people text, rather than email. While computer emails

have replaced fashioned letters. I am hard pressed to figure out how the celebration

of the first Jetson’s animated cartoon series and the subject of punctuation go together.

 

Traveling into the future with the Jetsons. . .

 

Happy September 23rd: Celebrating the Jetsons!

 

Today, September 23, 2014 is the 52nd Anniversary of the original premiere of the

futuristic, science fictionalized cartoon with child Elroy,  dog Astro, the maid Rosie,

the teen-aged girl named Judy being raised by their parents, Jane and George Jetson.

Here are some interesting facts I found out about this cartoon television series. Did

you know the first two years of “The Jetsons” were shown during “prime time t.v.?”

During 1962 and 1963, this was shown after dinner, after the news during that coveted

time slot of “prime time.” The number of shows totaled 75 episodes and three full-length

feature films. While my children were babies, during the years of 1985-1987, additional

Jetsons cartoons were produced. They are syndicated and repeated over many years after

their original showings.

 

The cartoon series was based loosely on the family in the comic strip, “Blondie.” The father

is drawn tall, lanky and has a tyrant of a boss, named “Mr. Spacely.” Of course Dagwood

Bumstead had a cranky, short-tempered boss, too. I had not put these two together, so

there is another ‘connection,’ that will form a new impulse from one brain wave to another.

(Or one synapse to another!) The setting for the creative cartoon is an imaginary time in

the future, when there would be space vehicles from home to work, transportation, when

there woud be pollution, so there would be little outdoor activities, along with moving

sidewalks (glad we know we have those, at least) and robotic maids. (We have some

versions of automation that could resemble the work provided by Rosie.)

 

The Jetsons family lives in a place called, Skypad Apartments. Their city is called, “Orbit

City.” George’s workplace is called “Spacely’s Space Sprockets.” The apartment building

was designed to remind you of the Seattle Space Needle. There are vague references to

how one gets in and out of the atmosphere, which is supposed to have air pollution.

The people wear space helmets while transporting around the city and various other

buildings. You probably may remember George’s space vehicle turning into a brief-

case.

 

In promotional information provided for the setting and relationships in the scripts,

the ages and some of the individual interests and details are given. This is something I

was not aware of, since I don’t think we knew their ages. The plots of the shows may

have revealed many of this, but my mind was intrigued with the idea of an actual

script and characteristics given for each character.

 

By the way, “T.V. Guide’s list of the 25 Greatest Science-Fiction Legends” considers

“The Jetsons” to be one of those famous influences and includes them in the top 25.

 

George is 40 years old, while going to work he wears a suit and tie, similar to some of

our fathers representing the period that the series was shown on television. Occasionally

at home, the family wears leisure suits that resemble jogging suits with some interesting

shoulder pads.

Jane’s outfits always seem very ‘hip’ with some points on her cuffs and shoulder pads.

Jane is given the age of 33 years old. She portrays an active homemaker participating in

clubs such as the Galaxy Women’s Historical Society.  Jane’s details include liking and

enjoying artwork. Her favorite artists are “Leonardo de Venus” and “Picasso Pia.”  Judy

is a ‘typical’ depiction of a teenager of 15 years old. She attends Orbit High School,  likes

to shop, likes talking about clothes and is often on her telephone. There is a cool futuristic

‘digital’ diary she has; which reminds me of today’s cell phones and computers. Elroy

attends Little Dipper School. He is 6 1/2 years old and is studying some serious subjects.

He studies Space History, Astrophysics and Star Geometry. He enjoys playing with his dog,

Astro, who talks without his “r” sound.

Later during the 80’s additional series, there was an interesting creation of an alien, who

is named, “Orbitty.” Elroy’s playmate has spring-like legs since there were some robotics

involved in this guy who changes colors with his moods.

 

 

 

Moving on, possibly the way the world revolves. . .

to September 24, 2014.

 

Traveling into the distant past. . .

when punctuation was important to use. . .

 

This is the Tenth Anniversary of one of my personal favorite subjects:

Happy National Punctuation Day!

 

There is a man who was concerned about our nation’s ability to spell,

use proper grammar and punctuation. His name is Jeff Rubin. He has

had for some time, wanted people to let him know when they hear of

punctuation errors in their every day lives. He also wishes that the various

spokemen and women, along with newscasters, would be more aware of

their correct usage of these.

On 9/24/04, the first annual National Punctuation Day came about!

There is still an ongoing debate whether or not, Punctuation and even,

Spelling are current and relevant. Currently, with texting, few uses of

full sentences and other forms of communication, using ‘short-cuts,’

slang and abbreviations it may seem to be a ‘lost art.’ One that parents

and teachers alike, may just give up on!

 

But definitely not on September 24th!

 

Teachers usually like to be ‘sticklers’ for these since they were made to,

while young and in school. In college, there was a debate about the

Spelling book, whether lists to be memorized were worth the time and

sometimes crying children, who were just not born spellers. There are

a few natural spellers, a few natural history or social studies ‘geniuses,’

along with those who can understand all levels of mathematics, including

algebra and trigonometry. In each classroom, the strengths and weaknesses

are easily determined by testing, but sometimes figuring this out, may create

biases. We need to make all subjects of learning interesting and bring the

‘fascination’ back into each subject. Games can be played, along with other

means of making learning ‘hands on’ and more ‘experiential.’

 

One suggestion in Rubin’s request in how you may celebrate punctuation

is to get an old-fashioned newspaper and circle the punctuation forms, by

children. They may like taking a red crayon and circling all the commas, periods,

exclamation marks, colons and semi-colons. Adults may be excited to circle the

misspellings and the mistakes made in usage of punctuation.

 

I have seen misspellings in the schools listed on snow days and the political polls’

results shown below the television shows. I have heard poor grammar on t.v.

shows. It upsets me most when the newscasters use either poor grammar or

show a lack of understanding what they are reading on their teleprompter.

Mispronunciations occur across all levels of education, due to possibly lack

of using the dictionary and reading the way the words are supposed to be

pronounced.

 

The Huffington Post had a great article to celebrate this holiday last year,

9/24/13. It was called, “6 Common Punctuation Mistakes that Drive Us

Crazy.”

Here they are with no details given here, I see that I am over my 1000

words again… This article had me laughing out loud, they composed a

funny article and you must try to look it up:

“1. The misused apostrophe.

2. The ubiquitous exclamation marks.

3. The crazy comma.

4. The misplaced semi-colon.

5. The quotation marks.

6. The blurring of ‘text talk’ with real writing.”

 

 

Okay, not going into how, but  I am guilty of #s 2, 3 and 5.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Reasons to Celebrate

Standard

On August 29th, we are to celebrate games and the rules of cards, while enjoying

According to Hoyle Day! It is simply crazy to imagine the fact that Edmond Hoyle,

the “Master of Games,” was originally a tutor for students. When lessons were

completed, they would play card games, such as “Whist.” They did not have any

books with the rules for them, back in the 1740’s so Hoyle made a booklet to

pass out amongst his students, friends and family. He eventually published the

book, “A Short Treatise on the Game of Whist.” Edmund Hoyle lived almost to

97 years of age, which reminds us all to~

Play More, Enjoy More! Live Longer!

One thing led to another and soon, we all know this expression,

“According to Hoyle. . .”

Another reason to celebrate it today is Friday!!

It is the beginning of some lucky people’s three day holiday weekend!

Last but not least, a new way to package a well known product just came out on the

market. . .

Have you heard of the new 99 Cans of Beer? (You may purchase this for only $99!)

It takes two burly men or three or four average men to pull this long carton of beers

out of the store’s cooler.

Then, guess what?

You may not fit this into your car.

It was not easy to put it into a truck, in the advertisement shown on the television

news show I was watching this morning!

But, remember this, it would be perfect for gatherings of over 21 years old age,

since they may be able to consume it before it warms up!

(Imagine having to transport, unload, then find place to put this elongated package!)

There is no pre-requisite to having to sing several stanzas of:

 

“100 bottles of Beer on the Wall,

Now take one down and pass it around, 99 bottles of beer on the wall!”

 

Now are you laughing?

I am and so is the guy who suggested this in his beer company’s marketing meeting!