Talk about a case of be careful what you ask for, because you might get it. I complained about a non-fiction book I recently reviewed, saying that it ran wild with unverified facts and the author’s opinions substituted for historical truth. Well, those are not among the faults to be found in Andrew Grant Jackson’s new book “1965: The Most Revolutionary Year in Music.” Whether it has other faults depends upon how seriously a reader takes the subject of popular music. This book is footnoted and indexed. It also contains the best four-page summary of the Vietnam War I have ever read. If you are a music freak with a love of rock music and the soul of a librarian you will enjoy Jackson’s work. For those who hated school and couldn’t wait to escape back to the stereo in their bedroom or to the garage band practice space, I’d say check out something else.
I admit to bias on this question. I’m one of the garage band kids. But they gave me this book to review, and I’m going to review it. I also enjoy the study of history, and as I said, the author’s non-musical thumbnail sketches of events like Vietnam are excellent. I won’t argue about Jackson’s ‘Most Revolutionary’ subtitle, either. I could, and if I did, I’d use one of those 1950’s years that contained Little Richard, Wanda Jackson, Elvis, Chuck Berry, and Jerry Lee Lewis all making music at the same time. But the year 1965 included Dylan’s “Like A Rolling Stone,” and that song by itself brings a lot of weight to the argument. Besides, if you’re talking decades instead of years, the 1960’s wins the revolutionary award hands down, and ‘65 is as good a year to select from it as any.
“1965” is well-written and packed with information. It will help you in your next ‘best of’ argument with a fellow music geek. You know: who’s the best band, best guitarist, best vocalist. I’d look forward to a future book from Mr Jackson titled “Most Revolutionary Performer”. My vote would go to Little Richard, with runner-ups Elvis, David Bowie, and Lou Reed. I say this to encourage Mr Jackson. But lighten up a little next time around.
(Host of The Haunted Cabaret on RI Free Radio)
Vermin Supreme is best known as the internet meme/ wizard with a boot on his head. Since the eighties, he’s been campaigning on a platform of time-travel research, mandatory tooth-brushing and free ponies. He’s also a well-known activist.
During the 2016 Primaries, Vermin started bumping into Rod Webber, who became known for singing and praying with candidates like Jeb Bush and calling out Trump to his face. Supreme featured heavily in Webber’s documentary about the election “Flowers For Peace,” but soon Vermin needed a documentary of his own.
Supreme chases after Ted Cruz, Chris Christie and other political figures, challenging them to debate, and cornering them on their positions regarding free ponies and toothbrushing. At the conventions, Webber is raided by the FBI. Black Bloc clash with the alt-right, and things are tense. But Supreme and Webber patrol the streets making mirth and merriment, to deescalate.
By the end of the movie they find themselves in the middle of some very dangerous
situations at Standing Rock. As part of his campaigning, Supreme asks Sean Astin and Elijah Wood from “Lord of the Rings” to participate in a faux campaign commercial in which Narnia would wage war on Middle Earth.
“This Is Vermin Supreme” is a documentary about the man, the myth, the legend… Vermin
Supreme. In part, a follow-up to “Who is Vermin Supreme,” directed by Steve Onderick, the new film was culled together from footage pulled from Rod Webber’s “Flowers For Peace”
documentary covering the 2016 election.
For the uninitiated, Vermin Supreme is a political activist and satirist who rose to fame in 2012 after sprinkling glitter dust on his opponent at a debate during the New Hampshire primaries. He did so while wearing a boot on his head. Since the late 1980s he’s been campaigning on a platform of time-travel research, mandatory tooth-brushing laws and free ponies.
Aside from spurring countless memes, the glitter dust incident was made into a song by Joseph GordonLevitt and Songify The News, which only increased Vermin’s popularity, and has lead to appearances in indie films and seemingly non-stop news coverage during election years-- because, what better punchline than “Vermin Supreme?”
When the 2016 Primaries rolled along, Vermin started bumping into Rod Webber with his weird outfits and flowers in his beard, who became known for singing songs and praying for peace with the likes of Jeb Bush, Lindsey Graham, John McCain and John Kasich. Webber, it so happened, was filming a documentary, in which Supreme became a part. However, there was so much footage of Vermin, that it was decided he needed his own documentary.
Supreme, a master troll chases after Marco Rubio, Ted Cruz, and other political figures,
challenging them to debate him, and cornering them on their positions regarding free ponies. At one point, Webber and Supreme serenade Chris Christie with a cover of “Born to Run,” who as a result is afraid to come off of his tour bus. The next day, Christie dropped out of the race.
When the primaries wrapped up, Vermin came in fourth place just behind Hillary Clinton and Martin O’Malley. At the conventions, things get tense. 5000 police are militarized for the RNC, and on the third day, Webber is raided by the FBI. The Rev-Coms and Antifa clash with the alt-right, and militia groups on a the tail of the Dallas shooting bring another layer of tension. But, this is not Vermin Supreme’s first rodeo. He patrols the streets making mirth and merriment, and de-escalates what would have otherwise been dangerous situations. Amidst the flag-burnings, (which seemed to happen around the clock), Vermin got his hands on an American flag hat, and set it ablaze, declaring, “it’s not a flag, it’s just a hat.”
As part of his absurdist campaigning activities, Supreme put Webber to the task of tracking down Sean Astin and Elijah Wood from “Lord of the Rings” to ask them to participate in a faux campaign commercial in which the fictional land of Narnia would wage war with the people of Middle Earth. Supreme asked them to reprise their roles from the film series. Sean Astin very enthusiastically participated.
Music. It is something we all enjoy. On a daily basis. Its lyrics stay with us forever. Not to mention the beat. It is everything. It can affect our mood, our way of thinking and the decisions we make. For sure. We all know that music has a great effect on our mood. But, how does music affect our mood actually? Why does it even happen? Keep on reading and learn more about this phenomenon!
When did it all begin?Have you ever asked yourself this question? When was music invented? And by who? How did it sound in the beginning?
The origin of music:
Music is something that connects every known culture, and each and every one of us. Even the smallest tribes have their own version of music and ways of producing it. And that is exactly what makes scientists think that music has been present in the ancestral population prior to the dispersal of humans around the world. It sounds logical when you think about it. It really does. But, is there any truth to that statement? We can never be sure. What we can be sure of is that music is a major part of our lives. It is almost as if it was a part of us.
The exact origin of music is unknown, but scientists believe that it stems from sounds and rhythms that occur in nature. The origin of music might be in repeating these sounds in patterns. And as you can already imagine – the first instrument was quite simple. It was human voice. There were no instruments we know today. People used what they had. But, it seems like it was enough to start. Music spread very easily and was accepted in all parts of the world. Why wouldn’t it be? It affects our mood in the most beneficial way there is – it helps us cope with stress, get through hard times and enjoy the ones that make us smile. It is the help you need when moving, the sound you hear when your alarm sets of, your companion when driving and something you sing to your child to help it fall asleep. It is inside of us, and everywhere around us.
But, how does music affect our mood?Therapeutic and mood boosting benefits of music are something we all know about. Happy music brings joy, and sad music brings the feeling of comfort. It doesn’t matter what you need – music will provide you with it. But, the most important thing that makes it so easy for music to affect our mood is that we never have to be alone. We all have music on our team and by our side, always. Even when everything else falls – music is still there.
No matter if you are about to celebrate your new promotion, and your friends are not around or if you just got divorced and are quite unhappy with the fact you’ll have to go through life alone from now on. Because you won’t have to. Not when you have music by your side. It can bring you joy, comfort, happiness, help you go through hard times and sadness. It is always available and there for you. And that is the biggest effect music has on our mood. It makes us feel confident when we need it to.
Is it healthy?
Of course it is. But, if you misuse music – it can affect your mood in a bad way. Or you can damage your hearing by listening to loud music for extended periods of time. But, as you already know – balance is the key to everything. The same thing goes for music.
When you are sad
Music can cause us to feel comfort, relief, and enjoyment. On the other hand – it can make us feel sad. Very sad. It can cause negative feelings of profound grief, make us feel even more sad and blue. That is why you need to be careful. Make sure you choose your music carefully. Maybe today is not the right day for all these sad songs? You are the one that knows the answer to this question, so make sure you pick the sound and rhythm that will boost your mood, not make you feel even worse.
When you are happy
As you already know, people who listen to upbeat music could improve their mood and boost their happiness. You have experienced this feeling before, for sure. Everyone has. And it can come in handy. It really can. And for many reasons. So, if you need it - music can provide you with some therapeutic properties. All you have to do is to use it wisely. And if you are already happy – why not make it into even better experience?
Set your alarm and choose its sound wisely. Use your favorite song as your ringtone. Bring some joy into your life. Choose the best radio station there is for your bath time routine. Use your music in a way that will make your life better and your every day even more enjoyable.
Music has many properties. And one of them is that it can boost your productivity. By far. Our friends at JP Urban Moving say that music is a part of their everyday working routine. And that it helps a lot. Especially when dealing with hard, complex and time-consuming tasks such as moving house or even business facilities. Music has a way of making things better and more enjoyable. And it can make even the most dreadful tasks into positive experiences. So, stay tuned and enjoy our top picks!
NYC electro-punk-rock duo Dirty Heretics dropped a new single "Hey Kevin" today. The track comes as a follow-up to the band's debut self-titled EP, released earlier this spring, and showcase to their quickly developing hybrid sound. Full of layered guitar riffs and soaring, powerful vocals, "Hey Kevin" provides an intense and emotional outcry against the suppression of one's own identity. It premiered on Live A Little Bit Louder.
The band shared, "While “Kevin” was inspired by a real person, he really represents working for The Man and loathing every minute of it. It’s perhaps our most punk message ever, don’t put up with anyone telling you how to wear your makeup, or put their words in your mouth. Own your freak, and don’t give a shit if anyone else feels uncomfortable with it."
The single comes as a follow-up to the band's debut release and self-titled EP, released in April. The band carefully curated four tracks for their first release, as a dynamic introduction to the duo's sound. "Our songs are always a hybrid of genres such as breakbeat and dark funk, electro and punk, industrial and thrash. We try to go for a sound that does not sound like anything else, and to make timeless songs." As with "Hey Kevin", the band recorded all tracks in their home studios. For the EP, they turned to Richard Salino of Studio G in Brooklyn for mixing and had it mastered by Ladytree Studios in Philadelphia, PA.
The band also released their debut music video in April, for the track "Black and Blue". It was directed and filmed by Alexo Wandael, and shot in Brooklyn. Starting in a slow and haunting pace, the track utilized sonic elements of industrial, funk, Turkish folk and breakbeat for a unique and ethereal sound before kicking into high tempo. Grabbing the listeners attention, both song and video have a strong message to relay. "The subject matter is dark, uncomfortable, and unfortunately very real, as it is based on a family friend, Sterling Spiers who passed away in 2015 from a heroin overdose. After seeing the heartbreak he and his family suffered at the hands of addiction, we knew we had to shine a light on the opioid epidemic, and do our part to further awareness of this issue."
The band's EP Dirty Heretics, and new single "Hey Kevin" are available everywhere today including Spotify and Apple Music.
When looking for an environment to live in, for many of us it’s important to know what kind of art is facilitated by the locale. And for art lovers of all sorts, it’s important to keep up with the events in many different communities. That’s why we’re going to showcase one of the most forgotten, but steadily rising, art communities in America - the New Jersey art scene! If you want to learn all about the local culture of New Jersey, you’re in luck!
New Jersey Performing Arts Center - the local art hub:
To start off this tour of the artistic melting pot that is New Jersey, let’s take a look at one of the most well-known local staples - the New Jersey Performing Arts Center. Even though you may not expect this from New Jersey, it’s actually quite famous for NJPAC. After all, we’re talking about one of the biggest centers dedicated to performing arts in the entire country - so you definitely don't want to miss it. Also, it is the home venue of the New Jersey Symphony Orchestra – so, lovers of quality music will find themselves right at home here. And NJPAC isn’t just there as a venue - it’s also got many arts education programs for young people who may become budding artists in time. And if you’re a young artist moving to New Jersey, take a look at www.vectormoversnj.com/!
The Crossroads Theatre - a staple of African American culture:
For our next highlight, let’s move away from big venues and focus on something that’s the backbone of every art community - the niches. And the New Jersey art scene has no shortage of those! For example, did you know that the city of New Brunswick hosts one of the most influential African American theatres in the country?
Since its founding back in 1978, the Crossroads Theatre has become a staple of African American culture. The theatre has put on many notable productions - for example, the famous Flyin’ West by Pearl Cleage had its world premiere right here! And the theatre has been recognized as important by many public officials and artists. In fact, in 1999 it won the Tony Award for Outstanding Regional theatre!
The Jersey Shore Music Festival - summertime fun incoming!
Speaking of outstanding - no article on the New Jersey art scene is complete without mention of the Jersey Shore Music Festival. Really, this is one of the most unapologetically fun music festivals you can see anywhere in the United States. It typically starts in May, giving a kick-off to the summer season of festivals. It’s jam-packed with awesome performances by tons of artists - in fact, every year it sees over 300 artists coming to Jersey from the entire world!
And it’s not just music you can experience there either - there are also many other fun activities. You can participate in everything from skate shows to monster truck rides. There’s really no telling what kind of adventures you’ll have in Jersey Shore once the festival starts! It’s one of the reasons many people are moving to New Jersey. And if you’re one of them, contact professionals if you need some assistance for your move.
The New Jersey Folk Festival - a keeper of tradition:
Speaking of festivals, there’s a different one that should garner your attention, too. If you happen to be in NJ, check out the annual New Jersey Folk Festival. Right away, you should know that this is a very special event. It dates back to 1975, and it’s actually the product of a student exercise in leadership and management. But it has grown from its inception as the work of just two students. And it isn’t just about music, like the Providence Folk Festival!
Right now, it is an important cultural festival on the New Jersey art scene. It’s a folk festival that focuses on local culture. So, you can hear artists performing traditional music! And there are also workshops with traditional crafts. Besides all that, the festival organizes cooking using local recipes. Each year, you can also find a heritage area. Here, you’ll see exhibits that highlight a particular geographical or cultural theme. And the theme changes every year, so you’ll always find something new and interesting here.
Newark Museum - the biggest museum on the New Jersey art scene
It’s time to move on from theatre. After all, it’s important to mention that New Jersey is not just appreciative of performing arts. In fact, its museum collections are the envy of the regions! And it’s only natural to mention the most important local one - the famous Newark Museum! This fantastic place dates back to 1909. A local librarian founded it. Since back then, its purpose has been to raise interest in arts and sciences. And we can really say it has served that purpose well! The core of the original museum was actually a collection of Japanese exhibits, courtesy of a local pharmacist. But the museum isn’t just dedicated to art collections - as we’ve mentioned, it also appreciates the beauty of natural sciences. For example, its Dreyfuss Planetarium is very famous in the region!
Montclair Art Museum - the first of its kind:
Lastly, we’d be really remiss not giving a shout out to the Montclair Art Museum, for a number of reasons. First of all, this is one of the pioneers of the New Jersey art scene. How so, you ask? Well, Montclair is the first museum in New Jersey to be open to the public! As in, not just being a private collection. However, since its founding in 1914, its funds have been coming from private sources. This shows the growing love for art in the area. Also, the Montclair Art Museum focuses on American cultural tradition. On the one hand, it has one of the best collections and exhibits of Native American culture in the entire country. But on the other, it also has modern American art, from the 18th century onwards!
Gwendoline Christie is best known for portraying the First Order stormtrooper Captain Phasma in Star Wars The Force Awakens and Star Wars: The Last Jedi, as well as the warrior Brienne of Tarth in HBO's Game of Thrones.
In addition to these roles, Gwendoline also appeared in The Hunger Games: Mockingjay - Part 2 in the role of Commander Lyme, as well as The Darkest Minds as Lady Jane. She is slated to appear in The Personal History of David Copperfield in the role of Jane Murdstone.
On television, Gwendoline played the main role of Lexi in Wizards vs. Aliens, and Top of the Lake as Miranda Hilmarson.
Gwendoline also voiced the character of Captain Phasma in the video games Lego Star Wars: The Force Awakens and Star Wars: Battlefront II, and in an episode of Star Wars Resistance.
To buy tickets to the RI Comic Com, visit www.ricomiccon.com
Check out The Tony Jones Show #201 - With music from:
The Callouts, The Components, Castle Black, Legendary Shack Shakers, Deadpan Sally, 1031, Sasquatch and the Sick-A-Billys, Tammy LaForest, The McGunks, The Devil Makes Three, The Dead South, Only On weekends
Have something to say?
-Anyone is welcome to submit a blog-article to RI Free Radio.