Fortune Cookie Blog (u break it / u own it)

 

The warlord must abide by the Pottery Barn Rule: “you break it, you own it!”
When war breaks out, it’s his duty to minimize collateral damage within the
civilian populations; to maximize his warriors’ safety whenever it’s possible.
Once hostilities cease, it is his moral obligation to clean up his whole effing
mess / rebuild the war-ravaged countryside; to nurture any fledgling peace.

 

 

 

 

 

A Timeless Appeal ~ Vid of the Day

It’s not often that a cover artist’s interpretation can do full justice to a folk/rock classic, but Peter Benson’s dulcet voice and strumming fingers have fully captured what song composer Chet Powers had had on his mind and in his heart and soul.

Alas… their shared appeal for peace and brotherhood is so easily expressed in the spotlight… yet… such wisdom is so seldom acted out, upon the world stage.

 

C’mon people now
Smile on your brother (and sister)
Everybody get together
Try to love one another right now!

 

 

 

 

 

 

The Woodstock Nation: RIP? Or just MIA?

From August 15th thru 18th, 1969… while festival goers were reveling within their newly established Bethel, NY, Woodstock Nation… I was stuck at home… back in Michigan… stuck in my early teens, too. The only way I could’ve ever counted myself amongst Woodstock’s estimated 500,000 souls, would’ve been to run away from home, hitchhike and… upon my eventual return… REALLY face the music… a.k.a. parental repercussions / getting “grounded for life”. Bummer! <—Now, there’s a word in desperate need of carbon dating!

Mom and dad’s (understandable) protectionism… in a sense… had already been grounding me… and for doing nothing wrong, too. Over the past half century… just for fleeting moments… I’ve oft wondered. What would I have had to lose had I flown the coup for about a week? Well, here’s what I actually did lose by nearly always being the obedient son: The ability to treasure the lifelong memories of having actually been there.

Of course, even from afar, I did manage to catch this monumental music event’s sense of belonging, anyway. Funny how that sort of “buzz” was fully capable of bridging that 1000km gap. How so?

The Woodstock Nation-State was just as much
a state of mind. And in my mind, it still is.

The Woodstock state of mind does transcend the music, too. From my perspective, it is to believe in enriching society with essential liberty, peace, love, tolerance, equality, inclusiveness, diversity, ecological sensitivity and fiscal sobriety.

But, to transition back to the music… ultimately… I did finally get to hear a portion of what I had missed, thanks to [1] the tireless, audio engineers, who had kept the onsite tape recorders rolling, [2] Cotillion / Atlantic Records for releasing these performances as a 139 minute duration, vinyl triple album on May 11, 1970, and [3] the progressive rock, FM radio DJs, who kept on playing these LPs in heavy rotation. BTW, as a young teen, my parents would not permit me view the R-rated Woodstock motion picture so, to me, this festival had remained heard but not seen.

Eventually, in a manner of speaking, I did get to “time travel” for a virtual visit to Bethel, too! This was courtesy of a local band performing at one of my high school’s Friday night dances. These four musicians covered… no it was much more than that… these showmen had all faithfully recreated Sly & The Family Stone’s Woodstock performance of I Want To Take You Higher. Their frontman’s spirited pep-talk adeptly mimicked / echoed Sly Stone’s style / sentiments. And that energized / encouraged us to shed our inhibitions… to participate in a hip, sing-along where we repeatedly sang / chanted “I want to take you higher”, while enthusiastically, joyously, rhythmically waving our peace sign, gesturing hands high in the air!

Oh, how both the times and crowd mentality have changed these past fifty years. How so?

• Instead of upraised arms to revel in our freedom, lately, within the political arena, we’ve been witnessing arms upraised in thinly veiled salutes to fascism.

• Instead of the index and middle fingered gesture of benevolence / peace… lately, nearly everywhere we look… absent the index finger… this becomes the gesture of malevolence / hatred. And, far worse, within ubiquitous pop up war zones, the index fingers too frequently get routinely repurposed as trigger fingers.

• Instead of chants that take us to a higher plane of existence, currently, rallies become the venue for rowdy crowds to chant “campaign slogans” such as  “Send them back!”, “Send her back!” and “Lock her up!”

But… it’d be a bummer to end this post on such a sad note… especially on the 50th Anniversary of Woodstock.

“I want to take you higher” was / still is Sly Stone’s goal… and mine too…

 

 

 

 

 

 

BlogCast ~ Our Pleas For Peace, Love & Understanding

 

So glad you’ve been able to safely and sanely survive the holiday rush and, yet, find some time to spend here for our holiday get-together.

Giving credit where credit is due, my thanks to Elvis Costello because a portion of one of his song titles inspired my blog title. My undying thanks and mega-kudos to all the YouTube recording artists, videograhphers and contributors who have cast their creative, brilliance upon my Holiday BlogCast. Obviously, my show could not glow without YOU!

Since this DJ’s philosophy is to let the music speak for itself, we’ll get to the music shortly. However, I could not resist briefly sharing with you the backstory of this program’s grand finale track.

While performing my musical reconnaissance over @ YouTube, I thought to myself…

 

Gee… I sure wish someone would do a mash up of Joy To The World with Ludwig van Beethoven’s Ode To Joy

 

Well… what did I have to lose? I typed in those search parameters and… Lo and Behold… a passing thought of mine materialized right before my very ears and eyes. The Magic of the Season! My Christmas wish came true!

May the Magic of the Season and your Christmas / Holiday wishes come true, too! And may my song selections be music to your ears.

 

The two sides to a long distance relationship…

 

The Carpenters ~ Merry Christmas Darling

Al Martino ~ I’ll Be Home For Christmas

 

Our heartfelt pleas for harmony, tolerance and peace…

 

Bryan Adams ~ Christmas Time

Josh Groban ~ Happy Xmas (War Is Over)

 

Our Ode To Joy / Joy To The World best wishes…

 

The Florin Street Band ~ My Favourite Time of Year

The Piano Guys ~ Ode To Joy To The World (With Choir & Bell Ringers)

I thank you for your listenership and cordially invite you to check out the remainder of my Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas… where I’ll be presenting select holiday classics… one-a-day… from now until we reach #1 on the 25th. I’ll be posting later today and, of course, tomorrow.

You’re also cordially invited to click back here for my regular monthly BlogCast… one that typically features anywhere from 3 to 5 songs that, when segued, transform everything into an appealing theme… this program slated to hit the www “airwaves” on Monday, January 1, 2018.

Till next time…

 

I wish you all the best life has to offer throughout the holidays…

and in all the years to come!

 

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you’ve enjoyed this post, don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.

 

 

BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 16

 

Feel good family traditions… most of us do remember them fondly. They tend to emerge around birthdays, anniversaries and the holidays… particularly the end of year holidays / holy days.

To be sure, we are in a season of scenes, sounds and even scents.

Familiar scenes remind and connect us to our Christmases past. I know that whenever I admire my family heirloom ornaments (backdated to 1958) dangling and sparkling on my Christmas tree each year, I suddenly, almost find myself feeling 2 feet shorter and 6 decades younger. Admittedly, it’s on such occasions that I can practically feel the presence of my parents and sister standing behind me… imagine them as they appeared on all of those long ago December days. Of course, such memories will have to suffice since both Mom and Dad passed through Earth’s exit signs decades ago and my sister now resides thousands of miles westward.

Familiar sounds can also afford us that same connectivity… I’m sure most of us have our favorite Christmas carols, songs and ditties. In my case, I’m recalling how I used to play the music of today’s featured recording artist… organist Jesse Crawford… on my very first Zenith phonograph.

And this being a Sunday, I deemed my BlogCasting of his superb rendition of O Holy Night to be quite apropos. If you haven’t done so already… click play and enjoy!

All of that duly noted… I now thank you for stopping by today to listen to my “Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas”. My plan is to get as many of us into the holiday spirit as is possible. Towards that future, I’ll continue presenting faves from my vast, ever expanding Christmas music library… classics all… counting ‘em down one-a-day… from now until we reach #1 on the 25th.

In my musical mix, you can expect spiritual content, social commentary, secular tunes…and yes… there will be one or two selections that qualify as downright cutesy / silly.

 

I now invite everyone to click back here tomorrow for more select holiday music

and wish you all a joyous, peaceful Christmas season.

 

Oh, BTW… also stay tuned for my regular monthly BlogCast… the next installment is slated for Sunday, December 24, 2017.

 

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you enjoyed this post don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.

 

 

BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 17

It’s oft been said that the voice is an instrument… an attribute, which the Pentatonix singers amply demonstrate with their lavish, spirited, multilayered harmonies. No further set up for this joyous holiday classic is required… save to say…

 

Celebrate the season!

Embrace the diversity!

Add your voice to the harmony!

And enjoy this amazing performance!

 

I thank you for stopping by to listen and invite you to stay with me throughout this entire holiday season. My plan is to get as many of us into the holiday spirit as is possible. Towards that future, I’ll continue presenting faves from my vast, ever expanding Christmas music library… classics all… counting ‘em down one-a-day… from now until the 25th.

You can expect my future tracks to contain a mix of spiritual content, social commentary, secular…and yes… even a few songs will be downright silly.

 

Till the next time we meet… again… my heartfelt thanks for listening.

I wish you all a joyous, peaceful holiday / Christmas season.

 

Hope you’ll be stopping by, daily, to hear out my entire Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas, as well as give a listen to my regular monthly BlogCast, slated for Sunday, December 24, 2017.

 

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you enjoyed this post don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.

 

BlogCast: Tom’s Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas: Song 18

 

My timing is no accident. I cannot think of a more appropriate moment for a playback of Maroon 5’s fine cover of the John Lennon composition: Happy Xmas (War is Over). After all… it was on this very day, back in 1980, that a stalker / assassin opened fire to slaughter the totally unsuspecting Lennon.

One thing was certain… that year, there’d be no Happy Xmas for Lennon’s family, friends and fans. And when we consider how such a freethinker… a mega talented vocalist, lyricist, musician had been so abruptly, tragically silenced, well…

It’s safe to say that there are still millions of us, who loved all the good he stood for… who have yet to fully recover from our decades-old communal mourning.

I know I haven’t… my eyes did well up, briefly, a couple of times this day… first while playing “Imagine” on my piano at dawn and, later on, in the typing of this blog. Folks, it’s just that my memories of learning of John’s death still play out so vividly in my mind. Long sigh… moving on…

Lennon’s key Happy Xmas lyric, here, does remind us that “War is over if you want it”… yet… even though so many of us do want all war to end… the powers-that-be who are supposed to represent our wishes refuse to do so. The no-win war on terror rages on and on… and… ever since Inauguration Day ’17… the entire world has become threatened… more than ever before… by the prospects of nuclear war… i.e., because two bellicose, crybaby so-called leaders cannot manage to scrape up two sane braincells (between them) to rub together.

I could go on, but will reserve any further commentary for another blog… another day. Hopefully we’ll all survive long enough to witness its arrival.

For the moment, let’s focus more upon some fun, feel good stuff re the above vid. Particularly noteworthy is spotting America’s last, truly legitimate President of the United States, Barack Obama, seated in the audience along with his lovely family.

No Christmas would be complete without giving a listen to John Lennon’s original version of Happy Xmas (War is Over). And for any of you who’ll be attending parties and would like to try singing along, check out this Karaoke arrangement.

I invite you to stay with me throughout this entire holiday season. My plan is to get as many of us into the holiday spirit as is possible. Towards that future, I’ll continue presenting faves from my Christmas music library… classics all… counting ‘em down one-a-day… from now until the 25th. You can expect some of my future tracks to contain spiritual content and social commentary… others will be secular. And yes… a few will even be downright silly.

 

Till the next time we meet… let me echo Mr. Lennon’s lyrical sentiments as I… as we… wish you all…

 

A very Merry Christmas
And a happy new year
Let’s hope it’s a good one
Without any fear!

Hope you’ll be stopping by, daily, to hear out my entire

Top 20 Countdown “2” Christmas,

as well as give a listen to my regular monthly BlogCast,

slated for Sunday, December 24, 2017.

 

FYI, my past musical presentations are archived within my BlogCast and music categories.

If you enjoyed this post don’t forget to like, follow, share and comment.