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…

 

 

 

 

 

 

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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.

 

 

September BlogCast ~ A Heartfelt Plea for Harmony

 

My greetings to all of my WordPress blogging colleagues, followers and visitors! If you’re just here to hear the music, scroll down and start clicking away… these four selections will amply communicate my intended sentiments, which I’ll now further expand on… i.e., should you choose to read onward…

Initially, I found it tough to set the proper mood for this installment of our monthly musical get-together. I had to scuttle my original “hot fun in the summertime” theme… deeming it insensitive and inappropriate in the wake of all the death and destruction caused by Hurricane Harvey… considering how life may never fully return to normal for the millions of flooded out, uprooted survivors in Texas. My heartfelt condolences to folks who lost loved ones and hopes that you, who have survived, can restore your lives as much as possible and can find happiness again.

I’d have to ditto my mood barometer reading regarding all who were recently maimed and slaughtered during the eerily similar, vehicular ISIS terrorist attacks against Barcelona and Cambrils, Spain AND Nazis / Klansmen terrorist assaults against Charlottesville, Virginia. My wholehearted condolences to the all the good people who lost their loved ones and best wishes that the surviving victims recover speedily and as completely as possible. Hopefully, someday soon, happiness will be yours once more.

As if those meteorological and ideological storms weren’t bad enough, already, we, of good conscience, have also been deeply in mourning over the loss of the American presidency. And by saying “presidency” I’m referring to the monumental, leadership vacuum that’s been sucking the air out of the Oval Office… sucking the life force out of my homeland and our global community… all perpetrated by an ethically barren, morally bankrupt, avaricious and vicious, Orwellian, stick-figure figurehead.

In times of trouble, a nation’s citizenry should be able to count on their leader for a comforting pep talk… an FDR-esque, folksy fireside chat as it were… but… alas… long sigh…

Folks, it’s downright depressing and disgusting to observe the cannibalistic, parasitical, so-called prez…

  1. Feeding off the post-hurricane apocalypse’s human suffering… just to sate his voracious narcissistic hungers… just to erect a smokescreen to enshroud his nefarious, fascist political agenda.
  2. Feasting off the ISIS terrorist attacks in Spain just because that’ll wrongfully validate his flat-out hatred of all Muslims1. It is stunning how… practically in the same breath… he lavishes praise upon un-american [sic] Nazis and Klansmen… sucking up to them just so they’ll help reelect him in 2020.

Net effect, the so-called prez, has wildly emboldened these domestic terrorists. Left unchecked, these co-conspirators… the pathetic “prez” and his deplorable pals… will violently subvert all that the real America stands for. We’re likely witnessing the rebirth of Nazi Germany.

So what the hell does that make the so-called prez? An Adolf Hitler / David Duke hybrid? Did some nefarious, eager beaver recombinant DNA scientist mutate him? Did a psychotic psychosurgeon lobotomize / reprogram him? Or was he “merely” born and/or reared that way? Whatever the cause of his mental illness/illnesses, we can only wish him a speedy, complete and permanent recovery. In this modern medical era, no one should be condemned to live out one’s life bouncing off the rubberized walls… be they real or hallucinated.

The real America’s survival… indeed the survival of the whole world… depends on a sane presidency and sound minded leaders elsewhere, too. How else could we ever hope to see our global population live in harmony?

That plea for harmony is from where I now take my musical cue… set the tone for this month’s BlogCast.

Folks, I find the negativity of what I just blogged… to say the least… disturbing. What else can I conclude than negative leaders bring out the worst in me, indeed, in every like-minded, warmhearted, ethical patriot who truly gives a damn? And that has got to change… starting with the legal, orderly and peaceable ouster of such negative entities.

But, until the day that becomes reality… I believe the following music will provide an ear and eye opening… a mind expanding and mood elevating experience.

Accompanying only my sparse, supplemental commentary, I’ll now let the songwriters’ and singers’ sentiments speak for themselves.

Ray Stevens ~ Everything Is Beautiful

Admittedly, I would’ve preferred this track’s religious undercurrents to have been more inclusive of faiths other than Christianity… but… when we consider the less globalized era in which this song was first composed and recorded, would not genuine believers of all religious stripes be forgiving? Additionally, I sincerely believe one can also be agnostic and still be fully capable of concurring with the overall message of unity. Oh, btw, you can also give a listen to an alternate track featuring a duet performed by Ray Stevens and another of this month’s BlogCast featured artists, Glen Campbell.

The New Seekers ~ I’d Love To Teach The World To Sing

Many decades ago a slightly, lyrically modified, abridged version of this song became the soundtrack to a Coca Cola™ commercial, which you can view here.

Glen Campbell ~ Try A Little Kindness

I joyfully rediscovered this track just one week ago upon purchasing the late Mr. Campbell’s greatest hits CD… after finding it while grocery shopping at my local supermarket superstore. I first heard Campbell perform on the late Sixties era, “Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour” TV show… a program with a distinctly, politically progressive POV… from where I derived own liberal attitude. Campbell died just a few short weeks ago on August 8, 2017. You can access a video tribute.

Peter, Paul & Mary ~ Weave Me The Sunshine

Peter Yarrow will now introduce this BlogCast finale… thusly…

“‘Weave Me The Sunshine’  became a very big hit in South Africa and in Brazil and ultimately of course it’s a song that has found it’s way into many churches and synagogues.”

About all I could possibly add, here, (as is true with nearly all folk music) it’s nearly impossible not to sing along with this upbeat and uplifting tune. And I recommend that we all add our voices… sing it loudly… sing it proudly… trump all of those negative vibes. Let us all spread outward its unifying, harmonizing message (indeed, the messages from all four of these songs) to all four corners of our world.

Thank you for listening on this day. If you LIKE what you heard, click back here

for my next BlogCast on Sunday, October 1, 2017.

Past programs are archived in my BlogCast and music categories.

 

 

 

1 We, who still can and do think clearly, fully realize that ISIS has mutilated and muddied true Islam and now exploits it just to justify their deadly, bloody attacks.

 

 

 

Еще четыре года? (Translation: Four More Years?)

 

DISCLAIMER: Google’s online English to Russian translator is responsible for my above headline… I hope it’s correct.

Historically speaking, the GOP’s evil elite has long resorted to the gerrymandering of legislative district boundary lines to make it difficult, if not impossible, for Democrats to win elections. These Republicans also resort to vile, voter suppression tactics to disenfranchise minorities who typically vote for Democrats.

That “1-2 punch” means far too many Americans no longer have any say in who will represent their best interests… while ironically… Russia’s cyberattacker, Vladimir Putin, gets to freely choose who will represent his best interests (e.g. #45).

Elections devoid of ethics and ethnic diversity are what conspired to establish last November’s one party rule… i.e., the GOP domination of the executive, legislative and judicial branches. Republican legislators, now drunk with absolute power (which corrupts absolutely), have marginalized and muzzled their Democratic counterparts to the point where the latter party might as well not even show up for work anymore.

Liberal lawmakers can expect whatever valuable input they have to offer to get summarily rejected by conservatives who’ll flat-out refuse to even take sixty seconds to hear them out. If things were any more petty than they already are… well… here’s a for instance…

If a Democrat were to ever exclaim, “Wow! What a beautiful sunshiny day it is!”… even when there’d be irrefutable visual evidence that the sun was indeed out… a Republican would still snarl, “Oh shut the F up! It’s raining outside because I say it’s so!” And he’d next likely further punctuate that by sticking out his tongue, thumbing his nose and/or whipping, upward, one or both middle digits.

Hmm… hardly seems fair when we consider how liberals comprise roughly half of the electorate. In other words… no one is representing us… addressing even the tiniest of our concerns, anymore.

Since Inauguration Day, #45 and his team of coconspirators, in flagrant violation of the U.S. Constitution / Bill of Rights’ 1st Amendment have been skulking off in the shadows and working overtime to intimidate and muzzle liberal investigative journalists, bloggers and protestors who, after all, are “just” doing their patriotic duty.

“The Admin” has also been plotting to expand the radius of the rightwing propagandists… namely, via repeal of the Johnson Amendment to the U.S. Tax Code which prohibits all 501(c)3 non-profit organizations (e.g. churches) from endorsing or opposing political candidates. If successful, “preachers” (without losing tax exempt status for their respective churches) could legally use their pulpits as bully pulpits.

The net effect… rather than theologians lecturing on spiritually uplifting topics such as peace, love and tolerance… a.k.a. brotherhood… their Big Brother dictated “sermons”, would become the echo chambers for the FOX “News” / noise machine. Parishioners would be forced to earwitness preachers pontificators delivering seething, scathing tirades that’ll unjustly slam the more cogent, fair-minded Democratic agenda, while, simultaneously, promoting rightwing greed, environmental terrorism, racism, misogyny and intolerance towards non-Christians and the LGBTQ community. No doubt these religious charlatans will also be donating a hefty percentage of each Sunday’s collection plate… not to help the hungry and homeless… but to reward the already wallowing in wealth, Godless, GD GOP!

Oh, btw… a heads up for Americans… (in violation of the 1st Amendment) expect church attendance to become mandatory… after all… Big Brother would never permit anyone to escape hearing his “alternative facts” and other such crap.

Perhaps the most disheartening and horrifying aspect of America’s downfall is the total disconnect we’ve been hearing whenever some broadcaster shoves a microphone in front of the mouth of any of #45’s diehard supporters. Just the way they invariably gush forth their absolutely indefensible, unshakable and amoral adulation for him, it’s obvious how they’ve become oblivious to all the (perhaps) irreparable damage their “king” is doing on their behalf.

Seeing how nearly half of our electorate is aboard #45’s crazy train… and with all due respect to true Americans who’ve been protesting with words and deeds… in their attempts to derail it… it would appear that #45’s overthrow of America has far deeper, freedom choking ramifications than many liberals have even begun to suspect.

Within our near future, that is, if #45 doesn’t first Tweet the U.S. into a nuclear war, ONE of these THREE outcomes to occur…

  1. He will so thoroughly muck up domestic and international affairs that he’ll tuck tail and run like hell for the nearest exit signs… after which the GOP will gladly dump the whole disgusting mess unto a Democrat’s Oval Office desk (a situation akin to how President Barack Obama wielded a pooper scoop to clean up after W’s herd of stampeding elephants).
  2. He will run for reelection in 2020, at which time we can expect the cheering, “Four More Years” Putin to “vote” AGAIN! At that point, if truly patriotic American liberal dissenters have not all been rounded up and imprisoned in his concentration camps, a second American Revolutionary War may be the only way to restore the vision of America’s Founding Fathers.
  3. My predictions will prove to be dead wrong. America’s Founding Fathers will have written sufficient protections into the U.S. Constitution so, in spite of the current crop of political sots, We The People will be able to sober them up, survive and “secure the blessings of liberty to ourselves and our posterity.”