Conspiracy Theories! Marilyn Monroe, JFK, RFK, Nixon, Giancana and more!

Posted in History and Politics on March 24th, 2013 by byronkho

Marilyn Monroe only ever made a handful of memorable movies, but somehow she has managed to go down in history as Hollywood’s most famous starlet. Perhaps it was her connection with everybody that made the 50s and 60s so glamorous and dangerous: Frank Sinatra, Joe DiMaggio, the Kennedy brothers, Bobby Darin, Dean Martin, Sam Giancana, Jimmy Hoffa, Tony Curtis, Ella Fitzgerald, George Raft, Laurence Olivier… or perhaps it was the mysterious way in which she died.


Marilyn Monroe.

The Blonde Bombshell was found dead on August 4, 1962 due to an overdose on barbiturates. Dr. Thomas Noguchi, of the LA medical examiner’s office, found 8mg of chloral hydrate and 4.5mg of Nembutal in her blood, a dose enough to kill 15 people. This would have required at least 120 tablets, a feat of consumption that is highly unlikely for most people – and even more so because there was no glass in the room and the water in her bathroom was temporarily off due to home repairs, meaning that she would have had to either swallow all the tablets without water, or swallow them elsewhere in the house and make it back to the bedroom to die on her bed. All these points were found to be moot when the autopsy revealed no tablets in her stomach. There were many bruises on her body, suggesting a violent struggle before death, which could have pointed to the application of an enema or the hiding of an injection site. Before this could be cleared up, many of her tissue and body samples disappeared – leaving a mystery that has never been resolved.

Due to her sexual relationships with so many powerful people, it was a practicality for certain interested parties to spy on her. Which she was, of course: a later owner of the Monroe house found a gigantic amount of surveillance equipment and wiring behind the walls of the bedroom during renovations. She was involved with both Jack and Bobby Kennedy, who were themselves involved with mobster Sam Giancana, singer Frank Sinatra and other corrupt and criminal elements that plagued and entertained the nation’s elite. Her bedtime talks with Bobby Kennedy were often recorded by Marilyn herself in notebooks, and recorded for posterity by whoever was doing the audio recording in her rooms and on her phones.


Marilyn Monroe and John F. Kennedy.

Her connections made her an immediate security risk: she had links to Communists and left-wing political parties through her second husband Arthur Miller and a lot of her actor friends, and her increasingly hysterical pursuit of Jack and Bobby Kennedy could both embarrass them socially and become an actual danger to national security. She had firsthand knowledge of the Kennedys’ connection to the Mob and could have known intimate details of their and the CIA’s involvement in the attempted assassination of Fidel Castro and the invasion at the Bay of Pigs, all of which could seriously effect foreign affairs. Indeed, she was intimate with – and spent her last night on this planet with – Sam Giancana, who organized the assassination attempts for the CIA. At the time of her death, Bobby Kennedy, as Attorney General, was heavily cracking down on organized crime and becoming a pain for both Giancana’s crew and Jimmy Hoffa, the leader of the Teamsters Union, the most powerful labor union in the country.

As for her Communist links: the FBI noted that she was a close friend of Frederick Vanderbilt Field, an extremely rich plutocrat that fervently supported Communism. Field, in turn, hosted meetings of Soviet spies (including Elizabeth Bentley), the head of the US Communist Party (Earl Browder) and the heads of various Comintern front companies used for Soviet espionage activities. In 1951, the editor of the main US Communist newspaper testified to Congress that Field was a spy; this was also confirmed by Soviet spy Whittaker Chambers to the Tydings Committee, who revealed that his NKVD handler – one of the leading Soviet agents in the US from 1935 to 1945 – had told him about Field’s espionage activites in 1937. In any case, Marilyn met with Field several times and stayed at his house in Mexico during her trips there. Field was under close surveillance by the FBI and internal notes reveal that the FBI was worried about the implications of contact between Marilyn and one of the most influential Soviet spies.


Marilyn Monroe and Frederick Vanderbilt Field.

Many of the leading theories regarding her death read like the plotpoints of particularly excitable thrillers. Possible suspects?

1) The CIA, to prevent Marilyn revealing their use of violent and criminal assets to the general public. They had too much public visibility after the Bay of Pigs fiasco and CIA head Allen Dulles was also having internecine battles with Hoover’s FBI. After Cuba, JFK laid the blame solidly on the CIA and promised to completely reform the Agency. Dulles was forced to retire and the rest of the CIA was tasked with dealing with further changes by Kennedy and continuing fallout from their policy of toppling unfriendly states – and getting found out. Shutting up Marilyn was shutting up a security risk for the country and for the Agency itself.


Allen Dulles with John F. Kennedy.

2) The FBI, like the CIA, to prevent an ongoing security risk but also, just possibly, as additional leverage against the Kennedys. This theory is particularly interesting: FBI head J. Edgar Hoover had a notorious set of files used to extort and blackmail leading politicians, and Kennedy had considered removing him but ultimately decided the political cost wasn’t worth it. Hoover also had completely ignored the Mafia until 1957, when NY law enforcement – without the help of the FBI – made their largest Mafia raid ever in cozy Apalachin, NY, netting over 60 Mafia bosses. (Curiously, Giancana became a boss that same year, growing his empire after the free for all that resulted from the raids.) Media coverage following that event were scathing about Hoover’s FBI, which had ignored the top criminal entity in the US for decades. And yet, after such staggering incompetence, no president was able to remove him from office. Hoover hated Kennedy and used his resources to garner swaths of material that could be used to compromise either of the Kennedys, some of which was destroyed by Hoover’s successor, Clyde Tolson, and some of which is being slowly released under Freedom of Information Act requests. Additionally, after JFK’s death, Hoover did a shoddy job investigating the assassination. In 1979, the House Select Committee on Assassinations later characterized the FBI as reluctant to investigate the possibility of a conspiracy to assassinate the President. Based on internal notes, the FBI – under the orders of Bobby Kennedy himself – were watching Marilyn and Giancana 24/7 and were possibly the sources of the taps on her phones and in her walls, but they later claimed to have no knowledge of her death or any of the circumstances surrounding her death. They weren’t even the ones to reveal her meeting with Giancana the night before she died.


The Kennedys with J. Edgar Hoover.

3) The Kennedys, to get her to shut up about the affairs and their links to the Mob and anything else incriminating she may have wanted to say. They may have even involved other parties in the subsequent coverup. Her meeting with Giancana before her death was part of an “intervention” staged at Frank Sinatra’s Cal-Neva Ledge in Lake Tahoe, an infamous still-in-operation casino straddling the Cali and Nevada borders. Sinatra was loaned the money for the casino by Giancana so that Giancana could run operations and host guests without falling afoul of the law in whatever state was pissed off at him at the time; he just made sure himself and/or the gaming tables were on the right side(s) of the room. Giancana, Sinatra, Peter Lawford, Bobby Greco and Lawford’s wife – Patricia Kennedy, JFK’s sister – reportedly spent the evening attempting to persuade MM/ZZ to stop her “crazed” infatuation and increasingly hysterical attempts to win a marriage with either of the Kennedy brothers. When that failed, she flew home the next morning. During that afternoon, Bobby Kennedy went to visit her at her house. JFK was the last call she made that day, using the phone that was found beside her. Marilyn died that night.

4) Joe DiMaggio, Marilyn’s third husband. During the famous photoshoot from the Seven Year Itch – in which she stands over a subway grate and her skirts are blown up and around her – Joltin Joe, her then-husband, was visibly furious and later hit Marilyn in their hotel room. Several days later, she reappeared on set with visible bruises on her arms and shoulders, caught on camera via on-set stills. Her personal makeup artist, Whitey Snyder, was called upon (reportedly not the first time) to help cover up the bruises. There were also rumors that the plastic surgeon who did her first rhinoplasty, Michael Gurdin, helped with some fixer-upper procedures. Shortly thereafter, Marilyn applied for and won a divorce from Joltin Joe, but maintained only emotional abuse. Surprisingly, during her bout with drug and alcohol addiction in 1961, she turned to Joltin Joe for emotional support. DiMaggio called her on the afternoon of her death, and then sat vigil with her body after it was found until the time of burial. Until his death 20 years later, he had roses placed by her grave every year. Deep and devoted love? Jealousy? Guilt? All of the above?


Marilyn Monroe and Joe DiMaggio.

5) Sam Giancana and Jimmy Hoffa. They were both under investigation by Bobby Kennedy and needed ways of stopping the threat to their livelihoods. Giancana had been conspiring against the Kennedys for some time and knew about most of the Kennedys’ dalliances. He also was a close confidante of Marilyn and through her, JFK and the CIA connection, probably knew a whole lot about matters that could ruin the Kennedys. It is possible that Giancana considered the death of a movie star and a Kennedy floozie was the easiest way to send the right message to the Kennedys. Giancana was both incensed that the Kennedys could turn against him so solidly after he raised them to power, and that JFK – by holding back air support at the Bay of Pigs – could so thoroughly embarrass and discredit him in front of Florida mob boss Santo Trafficante and his Cuban allies. Allies who wanted their share in the management and profits of the Havana casinos Giancana had been promised by Dulles.


Sam Giancana.

In the end, all theories tend to lead to the Kennedys. Marilyn was only a real problem in relation to what she knew about the Kennedys and what she could do with that information. Get her, and one would have a great bargaining chip against the Kennedys. It is extremely probable that Marilyn’s death was closely tied to JFK’s later assassination, and that so many of the major events of the 1960s were a shadowy chess game played between the Presidency and all its erstwhile allies and enemies, including the CIA, FBI and the Mob.

JFK’s assassination in Dallas on November 22, 1963, was an extreme shock to the nation but an idea that had been bouncing around in powerful circles for years. Though there are numerous conspiracy theories surrounding that particular death, one of the most interesting involved Richard Nixon and Lyndon Johnson. Nixon, as VP under Eisenhower, had been chief in planning training camps for Cuban exiles that were later used by Kennedy in the Bay of Pigs fiasco. Johnson, as Senate Majority Leader, was well aware of these activities and Eisenhower’s general push to discredit or oust Castro – knowledge of which wasn’t lost on JFK, who was appointed to the Senate Foreign Relations Committee by Johnson in 1957.


A serious candid of Richard Nixon.

The CIA during this time was refining and building on Cuban invasion plans that were to have been governed by Nixon during his expected election victory; this was thrown off by Kennedy’s surprise win, which enraged Nixon. During the Bay of Pigs invasion, a vital phone call by national security advisor McGeorge Bundy to Deputy Director of the CIA Charles Cabell – the CIA officer running air support for the action teams – disallowed air strikes and doomed the invasion to failure. The Cuban Study Group, which reviewed the invasion, later revealed that Bobby Kennedy and Allan Dulles had agreed to unanimity on support for the invasion, and that JFK had not ordered the call. General Walter Bedell Smith, CIA director during Truman’s administration, was interviewed by the Cuban Study Group and quoted him as saying “a democracy cannot wage war” and that “it’s time we take the bucket of slop and put another cover over it” in response to “do you think you should take covert operations from CIA?” Kennedy learned from this and decided that the CIA could not be trusted to oversee large-scale foreign military operations and in a 1961 action memorandum, declared that the Joint Chiefs would heretofore be his go-to group for combining “all assets in a unified, effective pattern.” During this time, Nixon – despite backing the Castro assassination plans and assisting in planning for the Bay of Pigs – constantly referred to Kennedy’s failure at the Bay of Pigs. JFK chose not to deny responsibility though he was perfectly able to prove his assertion and also implicate Nixon. Instead, JFK used the opportunity to lay the blame on the CIA and begin his dismantling of the program. Shortly after, Dulles, Cabell and chief Bay of Pigs planner and DD/Plans Richard Bissell were forced into retirement.


John F. Kennedy with portrait of Castro.

On the day of the assassination, Giancana, Hoffa and Nixon were all in Dallas. Nixon claimed he couldn’t remember what he was doing that day, though the rest of the country prided themselves on knowing where they were “when JFK was shot.” Giancana, before his death, claimed that Nixon and Johnson “knew about the whole damned thing” and that the conspiracy went “right up to the top of the CIA” and included “half-a-dozen fanatical right-wing Texans, Vice President Lyndon Johnson, and the Bay of Pigs Action Officer under Eisenhower, Richard Nixon.” Furthermore, he claimed that the CIA-trained patsy Lee Harvey Oswald was part of the setup: “They’d already laid the groundwork to make him look like a Commie nut, by goin’ to Russia and with all of that pro-Castro shit. He was perfect… he acted like a Commie … he smelled like a Commie … so they figured it would be no problem to convince people he WAS a Commie.” Giancana also claimed that he had been posted to Dallas that day to supervise the entire operation against Kennedy.


Jimmy Hoffa.

The trail of death didn’t end there. In 1968, Bobby Kennedy was murdered by a Palestinian Arab Christian named Sirhan Sirhan who believed RFK was supporting Israel against the Palestinians. However, evidence in the case suggested that David Morales – the chief of the CIA’s Covert Ops department, the chief of operations of JMWAVE (the CIA’s main anti-Castro station in Miami), the second in charge of ZRRIFLE (the CIA plot to kill Castro) and the recruiter of Sam Giancana – along with his chief of maritime operations and chief of psychological warfare operations, were present at the death. All three were known to Nixon, who had contact with all officials planning for the Bay of Pigs, and were already understood to be vehemently anti-Kennedy following the CIA purge. The theory of Sirhan Sirhan being a patsy was led further credence by a coroner’s report – filed by the same coroner who examined Marilyn’s body, Dr. Thomas Noguchi – that suggested a second gunman who fired the shots that actually killed RFK. Before his death, RFK was placed prominently and expected to win the presidency; with his removal from the scene, Nixon was able to become president.


Robert F. Kennedy, after being shot.

Coincidentally (or not), Nixon was friendly to the Mafia while in office. He discontinued use of the word “Mafia” by the Justice Department, and also prided himself on meeting the head of the Supreme Council of the Sons of Italy – an Italian-American fraternal organization that frequently served as headquarters and criminal enterprises for the Mob and who traced lineage to members of the Sicilian Mafia – in the Oval Office. During his time in office, he also halted FBI surveillance of known Mob figures and interfered with prosecution of other Mob bosses.

It was years later, in 1972, that Nixon was caught as the mastermind who ordered the burglary of the DNC offices in the Watergate office complex. One of the burglars, E. Howard Hunt, happened to be a top official of Nixon’s 1972 presidential campaign and was an ex-CIA agent who was involved in the planning for the Bay of Pigs invasion. In order to stop the FBI probe, Nixon blackmailed CIA director Richard Helms to assist by bringing up reference to “the Bay of Pigs.” Nixon aide Harry Robbins “Bob” Haldeman suggested that this terminology was actually a reference to the JFK assassination, and others believed it was the CIA plots against Fidel Castro – which was not public knowledge at the time. Nixon even told Haldeman how to play the cards against Helms: “Hunt knows too damned much . . . If this gets out that this is all involved . . . it would make the CIA look bad, it’s going to make Hunt look bad, and it’s likely to blow the whole Bay of Pigs thing . . . which we think would be very unfortunate for both the CIA and the country . . . and for American foreign policy.” Haldeman later implicated the CIA in a coverup that “literally erased any connection between the Kennedy assassination and the CIA.” Another Nixon aide, John Erlichman later wrote a novel about a president and a CIA chief blackmailing each other over an assassination plot they had both been involved in.


H.R. Haldeman.

On September 8, 1974, President Gerald Ford granted former president Richard Milhous Nixon an unconditional pardon for all federal crimes that he “committed or may have committed or taken part in” while in office. On the face of it, Ford insisted that it was done to move America toward recovery and away from finger-pointing. However, it was also clear that a prolonged examination of Nixon and CIA involvement in the Watergate incident would bring to light many troubling items that could endanger national security or implicate many others still in the administration. It might have been a quid pro quo from Nixon. He would resign, and be rewarded with complete non-liability for all criminal activities he had committed that were known or unknown. And happily for all, no one would find out about the dark and murderous games they had all played.

On June 19, 1975, Sam Giancana was gunned down in his kitchen the night before he was to testify to a Senate committee on the supposed CIA and Cosa Nostra plots to assassinate JFK. At the time, he had also been cooperating with the FBI and his snitching certainly caused worry amongst the Mob higherups and CIA folk, though then-CIA-director William Colby disavowed any participation. The most likely suspect was Santo Trafficante, partner with Giancana and Johnny Roselli in planning the Castro assassination. This possibility was made more likely by the discovery of Johnny Roselli’s body, stuffed in a oil drum and set adrift at sea – murdered under orders from Trafficante. Roselli had already testified to Senate committees regarding the Castro assassination attempt, Operation Mongoose, and the Kennedy assassinations. When he was called to testify again in 1976, he had been missing for three months.

Not long after Giancana’s death, Jimmy Hoffa went missing and was presumed killed. The most likely suspects were Giancana’s own outfit. They had had Hoffa under their nail by making sure Hoffa won the presidency of the Teamsters Union, and had been using money from the Teamsters Defense Fund to finance their Vegas casinos. His disappearance might have been linked to his attempts to stop the Mafia from poaching any more funding from his organization. However, it’s possible that this death might have been linked to Nixon. Hoffa had been suspiciously pardoned by Nixon, bypassing the usual methods used for presidential pardons. Tapes made in the Oval Office pointed to considerations made for help in the 1972 re-election campaign. They also included quid pro quo with Hoffa’s successor, Frank Fitzsimmons, who then had assurances that Hoffa would not be able to get his old job back. Hoffa had been unbelievably generous with Nixon, donating hundreds of thousands of dollars to Nixon’s campaign funds both legally and illegally. At the time of his death, Hoffa was unsuccessfully fighting Fitzsimmons in court and causing problems for the Teamsters. Since they were being helpful to Nixon at “discouraging” anti-Vietnam war protests and with votes on labor and price controls, Nixon had reason to want to either help out or turn a blind eye to removing Hoffa’s troublesome activities; Fitzsimmons was keeping the Teamsters out of the AFL/CIO, which would have stopped the dark funding and political shenanigans they were able to commit on the quiet. Hoffa was making too many waves and could have exposed Nixon’s relationship with the Teamsters and organized crime, and surely Nixon sighed with relief when Hoffa was gone.

A couple other interesting points not germane to conspiracy theories:

- Marilyn Monroe loved traveling under the name Zelda Zonk, a pet name that Frank Sinatra used to call her. She first used the name, officially, on a LA to NY flight in 1954, the year she filmed the Seven Year Itch.

- Marilyn Monroe loved Ella Fitzgerald’s singing and lamented Ella’s long-time relegation to the small club circuit, as she was overweight and lacked enough sex appeal to break out as a major headliner on her own. Excited about such promising talent, Marilyn got in touch with the owners of the Mocambo – one of the top Sunset Strip clubs – and had them hire Ella for a week. The Mocambo gig was Ella’s ticket to the big time and launched her career.


Marilyn Monroe and Ella Fitzgerald.

- Joe DiMaggio and Frank Sinatra, who were good friends, wanted dirt on Marilyn’s affair with Hal Schaefer, her musical coach and sometime lover, once she had split from Joltin Joe. While Marilyn and Hal were ensconced in the apartment of Schaefer’s neighbor and friend – for privacy and security reasons – Joe and Frankie broke into Schaefer’s apartment, just down the hall. Hearing the crashes and broken door, Marilyn and Hal crept out the bedroom window and stole back to her house. The “wrong door raid” was only revealed much later, after an investigation of corrupt private investigation firms by the California legislature revealed that Joltin Joe had tracked her to Hal’s place – and just got the wrong door. It was later insinuated that perhaps Sinatra had sat in the car, the PI had kicked in the door and DiMaggio had just watched, but that can’t be confirmed as all the witnesses are long dead.

- Dr. Thomas Noguchi performed autopsies not only on Marilyn and RFK, but also on Janis Joplin, John Belushi, Natalie Wood and Sharon Tate. He’s still alive and wrote a tell-all called “Coroner to the Stars.”

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2007-13 Concert Schedule.

Posted in Personal on March 12th, 2013 by byronkho

Just thought I should keep a running tally of all the shows I’ve seen and will see. The 2012-3 list is most complete but still definitely missing a couple shows. Going back further, there are a LOT of missing shows as I failed to notate what I had seen back then. And I never did the “save all your concert ticket” thing that so many other people do.

Passed

Jan 22, 2007: Pussycat Dolls at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas.
Nov 6, 2007: Spamalot in NYC, DJ Rob Base and Turbo at Pacha.
Jan 16, 2008: Blue Man Group at the Venetian, Las Vegas.
May 18, 2008: Les Miserables at Walnut Street Theater (Maliha).
Aug 9-10, 2008: Cat Power, KT Tunstall, Duffy, The Swell Season, Lupe Fiasco, Bloc Party, The Offspring, Chuck Berry, Wilco, Ferry Corsten, Foo Fighters, Soulwax, Hollywood Undead, Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Paramore, She & Him, Deadmau5, Lil Wayne, The Black Keys, Stone Temple Pilots, Nine Inch Nails and Kanye West at Virgin Mobile Festival in Pimlico.
Aug 15, 2008: Paramore, Jack’s Mannequin, Phantom Planet and Paper Route at Festival Pier.
Oct 11, 2008: The Philadelphayinz at Medusa (Alexis, Brenna, Caitlin).
Aug 21, 2009: Amy Regan and Ryan Tennis at Fergie’s Pub.
Sep 6, 2009: Armin Van Buuren, ATB, Benny Benassi, David Guetta, Ferry Corsten, Kaskade, Lindstrom, Robbie Rivera, Roger Sanchez, Deadmaus, Paco Osuna, Tiga and Yuksek at Electric Zoo (Brian K).
Jan 15, 2010: In the Heights in NYC.
Apr 24, 2010: The Beauty Queen of Lennane at Penn.
Mar 3, 2010: Black Eyed Peas, LMFAO and Ludacris at the Wachovia Center (Brian).
Mar 5, 2010: Max Raabe and the Palastorchestre at the Merriam Theater.
May 26, 2010: Janelle Monae, Bilal and Erykah Badu at the Tower Theater.
May 27, 2010: Imogen Heap at the Tower Theater.
Jun 11, 2010: Sally Seltmann at World Cafe Live.
Jun 16, 2010: Imelda May and April Mae and the Junebugs at Johnny Brenda’s.
Jun 21, 2010: The New Pornographers at the Trocadero.
Jun 23, 2010: Samantha Crain and Frontier Ruckus at World Cafe Live.
Jun 25, 2010: Amy Regan and Jer Coons at Tin Angel.
Jul 4, 2010: The Roots, Goo Goo Dolls and Chrissette Michele at the PMA.
Jul 9, 2010: Memphis in NYC.
Aug 1, 2010: Katie Herzig, Larkin Poe and Paul Dempsey at World Cafe Live.
Aug 2, 2010: Arcade Fire and Spoon at the Mann (Jess).
Aug 4, 2010: Paramore, Tegan and Sara, New Found Glory and Kadawatha at Festival Pier.
Aug 7, 2010: Keane, Bess Rogers, Fran Healy and Ingrid Michaelson at the Mann.
Aug 15, 2010: Nick Catchdubs and the Philadelphayinz at Medusa (Alexis).
Sep 4, 2010: A-Trak, Afrojack, Armin van Buuren, Avicii, Axwell, Benny Benassi, Boys Noize, Diplo, Dirty South, Fedde Le Grand, Joachim Garraud, Kaskade, Major Lazer, Pete Tong, Pretty Lights, Rusko, Richie Hawtin, Steve Aoki, Wolfgang Gartner and Errol Alkan at Electric Zoo (Brian K).
Sep 21, 2010: Next to Normal in NYC.
Sep 23, 2010: Andrew Belle, Paula Valstein, Joey Ryan, Amber Rubarth and Jay Nash at World Cafe Live (Jess).
Sep 25, 2010: Donizetti’s The Elixir of Love by Center City Opera Theatre at DiBruno Bros in the Italian Market (Jess); Gabriela Martinez and the Chamber Orchestra of Philadelphia at the Mann.
Sep 30, 2010: Stars at the Trocadero.
Oct 8, 2010: K’naan at the TLA.
Oct 23, 2010: Phoenix at the Tower Theater.
Oct 29, 2010: Shad, Astronautalis and K-Os at North Star Bar.
Nov 9, 2010: La Roux at the Trocadero.
Nov 11, 2010: Avi Wisnia and Curtis Peoples at the Tin Angel (Alyssa, Julie, Cory).
Nov 16, 2010: Curtis students at Curtis.
Dec 4, 2010: Rockettes Xmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall (Christine, Sylvia).
Dec 9, 2010: West Philly Orchestra at Tritone.
Dec 10, 2010: Sour Mash at the Institute.
Dec 12, 2010: Nellie McKay at World Cafe Live.
Dec 16, 2010: Liz Phair at the TLA (Jess).
Jan 8, 2011: Jessi Teich at North Star Bar.
Feb 4, 2011: Jessi Teich, Don McCloskey and Mike Pinto at World Cafe Live.
Feb 5, 2011: June Divided at Kung Fu Necktie.
Feb 6, 2011: Jolie Holland at North Star Bar (Jess).
Feb 14, 2011: Hilary Hahn and the Curtis Symphony Orchestra at the Kimmel.
Feb 15, 2011: Jessi Teich, Rooney and Eisley at TLA.
Apr 10, 2011: KT Tunstall at the TLA.
May 4, 2011: Lucy Woodward at World Cafe Live.
Jun 12, 2011: Next to Normal at the Academy of Music.
Jun 18, 2011: Black Dub at the TLA.
Jun 22, 2011: Questlove, Gary Bartz, Christian McBride, Booker T and Eric Krasno at the Blue Note, NYC.
Jul 13, 2011: Katie Costello, Nick Howard and Rachel Platten at Burlap and Bean, Newtown Square.
Jul 22, 2011: Alison Krauss and Union Station at the Academy of Music.
Jul 23, 2011: Carmina Burana and Italian Symphony by Philadelphia Orchestra at the Mann.
Jul 28, 2011: Cirque de la Symphonie with the Russian National Orchestra at the Mann (Brian).
Jul 29, 2011: The Decemberists at the Borgata (Jess).
Aug 20, 2011: Verdi’s Requiem by the Grant Park Orchestra and Chorus, Chicago (Norvia, Tans, Nancy, Ta, Chak).
Aug 22, 2011: Doug E. Fresh (Elissa, Crystal), Catch Me If You Can in NYC.
Sep 21, 2011: The Big Bang at Innovation Theater (Lorna).
Sep 30, 2011: Carmen by OCP at Independence Mall (Jess, Corinn).
Oct 9, 2011: Apollo e Dafne and Miss Donnithorne’s Maggot with Alize Rozsnyai and Anna Davidson.
Oct 11, 2011: Curtis students at Curtis.
Oct 23, 2011: Curtis students at Curtis.
Nov 16, 2011: Katie Herzig and Butterfly Boucher at Johnny Brenda’s.
Nov 18, 2011: Marc Silver and the Stonethrowers at JJ Tiziou’s house party.
Nov 20, 2011: Faust by the Curtis Opera Theater at Curtis.
Dec 11, 2011: Jaime Laredo at Curtis.
Dec 19, 2011: Messiah singthru with Tim Ribchester and Andrea Clearfield (Jess).
Jan 8, 2012: Nelly at Rio, Las Vegas; LMFAO at the Cosmpolitan, Las Vegas (Dora, Ori).
Jan 25, 2012: Curtis students at Curtis with Jose Garces.
Feb 12, 2012: Andrea Clearfield’s Salon (Jess).
Feb 18, 2012: Glee Club 150th Anniversary Gala.
Feb 23, 2012: Marit Larsen and Teitur at Johnny Brenda’s (Nicole).
Mar 2, 2012: Max Raabe and the Palastorchestre at the Merriam Theater (Jess).
Mar 9, 2012: Drew Nugent at Farmer’s Cabinet (Steve, Sean, Meade, John, Greg, Julia).
Mar 11, 2012: Jeffrey Barg’s Salon.
Mar 19, 2012: Eisley, Tallhart and Say Chance at Union Transfer.
Mar 29, 2012: The Joy Formidable, A Place to Bury Strangers and Exitmusic at Union Transfer.
Apr 2, 2012: Simon Page at Fergie’s (Melissa).
Apr 6, 2012: A Silent Film, Empires and Find Vienna at Union Transfer.
Apr 12, 2012: The Hill and Wood at West Philly house party (Diana, Judith).
Apr 13, 2012: Reptar at Kung Fu Necktie (Diana, Kate).
Apr 14, 2012: The Really Cooks and Fantastic Planet at the Grape Room (Judith, Diana).
Apr 17, 2012: University of the Arts jazz band on Broad St.
Apr 18, 2012: Mayer Hawthorne & The County and The Stepkids at Union Transfer.
Apr 20, 2012: First student concert recreation at Curtis (Anne Marie, Amy).
May 8, 2012: Santigold and Theophilus London at the Troc (Cliff, Diana).
Jun 9, 2012: Rachel Platten and Madi Diaz at the Fire.
Jun 11, 2012: Grouplove at the TLA (Diana).
Jun 15, 2012: Michael Kiwanuka at World Cafe Live (Judith, Lucia, Diana).
Jun 17, 2012: Marvelous Wonderettes by 11th Hour Theatre (Madeline).
Jul 9, 2012: Neon Trees and Penguin Prison at the TLA (J.C.).
Jul 12, 2012: K. Flay and Hank & Cupcakes at North Star Bar.
Jul 20-22, 2012: The Killers, The Black Keys, Jack White, Death Cab for Cutie, Bassnectar, Modest Mouse, the Flaming Lips, Passion Pit, Lupe Fiasco, Cake, Silversun Pickups, Michael Franti & Spearhead, Tinie Tempah, AWOLNation, Grouplove, Chiddy Bang, Mayer Hawthorne & the County, Ra Ra Riot, Walk the Moon, Polica, Allen Stone, J Roddy Walston and the Business, the Knocks, Reptar, Imagine Dragons, Kids These Days, Penguin Prison and Charles Bradley & the Extraordinaires at Firefly Festival in Dover, DE (Chelsea, Ed, Dana, Diana).
Aug 2, 2012: Tim Stop and Austin Charles at Orpheus.
Aug 3, 2012: Private performance from Our Lady Peace at 104.5.
Sep 1, 2012: Axwell, Benny Benassi, Wolfgang Gartner, Martin Solveig, Sander van Doorn, Bingo Players, Morgan Page, Rusko, Nervo, Claude VonStroke, Felix Cartal, Datsik and Sleepy & Boo at Electric Zoo on Randall’s Island, NYC (Cliff).
Sep 2, 2012: Pearl Jam, Drake, Jill Scott, RunDMC, Afrojack, Alesso, The Hives, DJ Shadow, Betatraxx, Santigold, Rita Ora, The Knocks and Gary Clark Jr. at Made in America Fest in Philadelphia, PA.
Sep 10, 2012: Sondre Lerche at World Cafe Live.
Sep 13, 2012: Dragonette and the Knocks at Union Transfer.
Sep 14, 2012: Samantha Crain at Underground Arts.
Sep 24, 2012: Allen Stone, Tingsek and Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds at World Cafe Live (Mippy, Faye).
Oct 4, 2012: West Philly Orchestra at Underground Arts (Diana, Ed, Rachel, Sarah).
Oct 11, 2012: Mayer Hawthorne and Cheers Elephant at Penn (Diana, Kate).
Oct 14, 2012: Jerry Springer the Opera by OperaDelaware (Jess, Liz), Shakey Lyman and Perseverance Jazz Band at Fiume (Steve).
Oct 16, 2012: Tim Stop at WCL (Mitchell), Silversun Pickups at Tower Theater (Dana, Chris).
Oct 17, 2012: Nneka at WCL.
Nov 2, 2012: Freelance Whales and Geographer at Union Transfer (Kelly).
Nov 4, 2012: Jessica Lennick solo concert in Ardmore, Leslie Stevens and the Milk Carton Kids at the Tin Angel (Marie).
Nov 9, 2012: Clara C and David Choi at World Cafe Live (Steve).
Nov 10, 2012: Jessica Lennick, Madeline Adams, Amy Miller and Francesco Cafiso performing at my salon.
Nov 16, 2012: Yeasayer and Sinkane at Union Transfer (Kelly).
Nov 29, 2012: Passion Pit and Ra Ra Riot at Electric Factory (Diana, Ed).
Dec 1, 2012: Kingsley Flood at JJ Tiziou’s house party.
Dec 4, 2012: Marina and the Diamonds and Icona Pop at Union Transfer.
Jan 1, 2013: Kelly DiMattio and Monique Chabot in the Mummers’ Parade; Jessica Lennick, Elizabeth Zell, Billy Handy, Steven Ujifusa and Jeffrey Barg perform at my salon.
Jan 14, 2013: Joachim Garraud at Marquee, Las Vegas (Jaimmie, Dora, Ori).
Jan 24, 2013: Guards and Ra Ra Riot at Union Transfer (Josh).
Jan 26, 2013: Matt & Kim, June Divided and Tegan and Sara at Winter Jam in the Piazza (Diana, Chelsea, Ed, Gabe, Kate, Ben).
Jan 27, 2013: Andrea Clearfield’s Salon (Kat, Krista, Steve).
Jan 29, 2013: Curtis students at Curtis.
Feb 12, 2013: The Wild Bohemians for Mardi Gras Fat Tuesday at World Cafe Live (Marie, Jenny).
Feb 13, 2013: Silent Night by Opera Philadelphia (Kat).
Feb 25, 2013: Amy Regan at World Cafe Live.
Mar 1, 2013: Curtis 20/21 and Stephen Stucky at Curtis (Annie, Amy, Anne Marie).
Mar 2, 2013: Priscilla, Queen of the Desert at the Academy of Music; Drew Nugent and the Midnight Society at Mud Island Speakeasy in Fort Mifflin (Kat).
Mar 13, 2013: Owen Wingrave by Curtis Opera Theatre at the Kimmel (Jenny).
Mar 16, 2013: Kreisler’s Apple Blossoms at AVA; Mendelssohn’s A Midsummer’s Night Dream, PA Ballet, Academy (Alex, Victoria, Allie, Jason, Heather, Abigail, Samantha, Sam)
Mar 19, 2013: Addams Family at the Academy (Amelia).
Mar 21, 2013: alt-J and Hundred Waters at the TLA (Allison, Dave, Doug).
Mar 22, 2013: Anberlin, Paper Route and All Get Out at Trocadero.
Mar 23, 2013: Fedde Le Grand, dBerrie and David Vaux at Lit Ultrabar.
Mar 25, 2013: Sigur Ros at Madison Square Garden (Amy).
Mar 26, 2013: Nicki Bluhm at World Cafe Live.
Mar 27, 2013: Boy and Miko and the Musket at World Cafe Live (Steve, Scott, John).
Mar 29, 2013: Adventure Club at Starlight Ballroom.
Apr 3, 2013: Caitlin Rose and Andrew Combs at Milkboy (Marie).
Apr 4, 2013: The Stone Foxes, John the Conqueror and Black Stars at Milkboy (Marie).
Apr 10, 2013: Ryat, Beam&Deem and Les Professionnels at Silk City (Marie, Umer).
Apr 13, 2013: Jeff Thomas’ All-Volunteer Army Horn Extravaganza and Chelsea Reed and the Fairweather 5 at Milkboy (June).
Apr 14, 2013: Jamie Lidell and Empress Of at Union Transfer.
Apr 17, 2013: Matt Costa and Vandaveer at Johnny Brenda’s and Curtis at World Cafe Live (Amy, Bobby, Marija, Trish, Diane).
Apr 18, 2013: Perseverance Jazz Band at Farmer’s Cabinet (Marie).
Apr 19, 2013: John Legend and Train at Penn Park, Sander van Doorn at Soundgarden Hall (Chelsea, Diana, Alex, Samuel, Mike T, Jess, Doug, Julie, Marissa, Tom).
Apr 20, 2013: The Drowsy Chaperone at Holy Ghost Prep, and Olly Murs at the Trocadero (Jess).
Apr 21, 2013: Kathryn Guthrie and Rufus Wainwright at the Kimmel (Jess).
Apr 25, 2013: Bess Rogers, Kristen Ford, Hannah Winkler, Matthew Santos and Leila Broussard at Tin Angel (Marie).
May 2, 2013: West Philly Orchestra and Johnny Showcase and the Lefty Lucy Lounge at Underground Arts (Marie, Umer).
May 4, 2013: Deap Vally and Free Energy at North Star Bar (Marie, Katie, Susie, Doug, Jess).
May 8, 2013: NeedToBreathe and Drew Holcomb & the Neighbors at Electric Factory.
May 12, 2013: The Mighty Mighty Bosstones, Phoenix, Paramore, Passion Pit, Silversun Pickups, the Airborne Toxic Event and Twenty One Pilots at Susquehanna Bank Center.
Jun 4, 2013: Merrily We Roll Along at Harold Pinter Theatre (London).
Jun 5, 2013: The Minister’s Cat at Henry’s Cellar Bar (Edinburgh).
Jun 6, 2013: Noises Off! at King’s Theatre (Edinburgh).
Jun 13, 2013: Mates of State and Clap Your Hands Say Yeah! at Underground Arts.

Upcoming

Jun 15, 2013: Rebirth Brass Band, Sister Sparrow & the Dirty Birds, New Sound Brass Band at the Blockley.
Jun 17, 2013: The Postal Service and Ra Ra Riot at the Mann.
Jun 18, 2013: Selah Sue and Bushwalla at World Cafe Live.
Jun 21-23, 2013: Red Hot Chili Peppers, Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, Yeah Yeah Yeahs, Calvin Harris, MGMT, Ellie Goulding, Kendrick Lamar, Alabama Shakes, Edward Sharpe & the Magnetic Zeros, Azealia Banks, Jim James of My Morning Jacket, Matt & Kim, Public Enemy, The Joy Formidable, Japandroids, Toro y Moi, Django Django, Dragonette, Action Bronson, The White Panda, ZZ Ward, St. Lucia, A Silent Film, Twenty One Pilots, The Neighbourhood, Sister Sparrow and the Dirty Birds and The Spinto Band at Firefly Festival in Dover, DE.
Jun 27, 2013: Macy Gray and David Murray Infinity Quartet at Vogue Theatre or Courtney Pine at Performance Works, Granville Island.
Jun 28, 2013: UBC Opera presents Rossini Italian Girl in Algiers, 6344 Memorial Rd at UBC.
Jun 29, 2013: Nikki Yanofski at Vogue Theater. RAC at Fortune Nightclub.
Jun 30, 2013: Herbie Hancock at the Queen E. Eric Prydz at the Commodore.
Jul 9, 2013: She & Him and Camera Obscura at the Mann.
Jul 10, 2013: Belle and Sebastian and Yo La Tengo at the Mann.
Jul 19, 2013: FUN. and Tegan and Sara at the Mann.
Jul 23, 2013: Fantasia at the Mann.
Jul 24, 2013: The Script at Susquehanna Bank Center.
Jul 25, 2013: OAR at Festival Pier or Sandi Thom at World Cafe Live or Zelda at the Mann.
Jul 26, 2013: Red Baraat, Kat Edmonson, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Aaron & The Spell, The Districts, Alo Brasil and Michael Kiwanuka at XPoNential Music Festival.
Jul 27, 2013: Matt Pond, Wake Owl, Polica, Fleeting Ends, Dr. John, Brett Dennen, The Stray Birds, The Last Bison, Lord Huron, Trampled by Turtles, John Butler Trio, The Lumineers, Dr. Dog at XPoNential Music Festival.
Jul 28, 2013: Jose James, Phosphorescent, DRGN KING, Kopecky Family Band, Justin Townes Earle, Lianne La Havas, Dawes at XPoNential Music Festival.
Jul 31, 2013: Ted Leo and the Pharmacists at Morgan’s Pier.
Aug 1, 2013: Van Cliburn Tribute at the Mann.
Aug 2, 2013: Rodrigo y Gabriela at Electric Factory.
Aug 5, 2013: Beth Orton at World Cafe Live.
Aug 11, 2013: The Black Crowes and Tedeschi Trucks Band at the Mann.
Aug 21, 2013: The Dropkick Murphys at the Mann.
Aug 30 – 31, 2013: Avicii, Above & Beyond, Alesso, Knife Party, Martin Solveig, Benny Benassi, Tiesto, David Guetta, Bassnectar, Madeon, Bingo Players, Sander van Doorn, Hardwell and Madeon at Electric Zoo, Randall’s Island.
Sep 1, 2013: Queens of the Stone Age, Calvin Harris, Deadmaus, Empire of the Sun, Imagine Dragons, Wiz Khalifa, Kendrick Lamar, Macklemore & Ryan Lewis, Public Enemy, Solange, ASAP Rocky, Nero, Wolfgang Gartner, Emeli Sande, Haim, Alunageorge, Rudimental, Jesse Rose and Mord Fustang at Made in America Fest.
Sep 13, 2013: Dustin Lynch, Keith Urban, Little Big Town at Susquehanna Bank Center.
Sep 17, 2013: Nabucco by Opera Philadelphia at the Academy.
Sep 18, 2013: City and Colour at Electric Factory.
Sep 21, 2013: Steely Dan at the Mann.
Sep 22, 2013: Sirah, Icona Pop and K. Flay at TLA.
Oct 9, 2013: Emeli Sande at TLA.
Oct 31, 2013: Drew Holcomb and the Neighbors at World Cafe Live.
Feb 7, 2014: Fountain of Tears by Opera Philadelphia at the Academy.
Mar 5, 2014: Dialogue of the Carmelites by Curtis Opera at the Kimmel.

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Taking videos of cops on the street is illegal?

Posted in Opinion on March 7th, 2013 by byronkho

Aside from the obvious police brutality issues in this article, this “recording the police or other public officials while on duty in public” fracas is one that needs to be resolved on a national level (since state and city governments pay for their police and will likely not be motivated to make decisions that may raise their expenses in the long-term). High court decisions involving citizens filming police have stated that “there is nothing in the Constitution which guarantees the right to record a public event.” Apparently, if it isn’t in the Constitution, then we can’t have that right. That’s how we end up with a whole lot of silly and excessive laws.

Personally, I believe the limitation should be if civilians are profiting off filming in public without notifying the parties being filmed. However, if there is no money being made on it, or if it is used as evidence in a legal suit, then it should be allowed. After all, there are already cameras installed everywhere and our pictures are being taken dozens of times a day in various public venues. Those trying to make public police filming allege that it’s about privacy rights, but that’s bunkus. We don’t have privacy in public. And back to the Constitution: a right to privacy is not enshrined in the Constitution anywhere, so why is that so protected but public safety isn’t? I like my privacy but I also like public safety to be accountable.

Why CAN’T we film the police when they’re in public? I don’t assume they’re committing on-the-job felonies all the time, but they ARE public officials getting paid with my tax dollars and therefore I deserve to be able to survey the portion of their duties that are in the public. Bottom line is that if they are patrolling a public street and interacting with citizens out in the open, people can see it already and THAT’s not considered a crime. Why would a video be a crime then? It would compliment eyewitness testimony, and is actually more truthful than often unreliable witnesses who may lie.

The only reason I can see is that the police and city and state governments want to avoid expensive lawsuits, excessive auditing of their staff and procedures due to increased public scrutiny, and PR fiascos that can’t be managed by discrediting witnesses. It’s hard to discredit videos without showing how it’s done – and all that would do is increase suspicion of the police. To put it simply, they want to avoid responsibility for what they are being paid to do.

LINK: http://www.citypaper.net/cover_story/Police_Brutality_in_the_iPhone_Era.html

A few historical notes about the 1930s-60s.

Posted in Uncategorized on March 6th, 2013 by byronkho

Did you know?

- Labor strikes during WWII were the largest the US has ever seen throughout its history. More than during the Great Depression, during the Homestead Strikes or the Industrial Revolution. The main reason was war profiteering: bosses were making huge leaps in profit due to the war demand and taking home larger pay as reward, but workers’ pay was completely stagnant and didn’t move at all. Unfortunately for workers, the White House tended to side with bosses as they needed the war materiel to keep coming. Labor unions started to do some massive organization during this period. Some of the union riots devolved into racial riots, especially in northern states that had employers willing to hire black people who had fled unfriendly states like South Carolina. White workers would refuse to cross the picket line, claiming they”d rather see “Hitler rule the world than work next to a n*****.” Besides the obvious racist connotations, they believed that black people were working for cheaper wages and thus preventing white workers from getting more money.

- Sir Winston Churchill was a veiled white supremacist, an extension or perhaps the reason for his defense of British imperialism. Henry Wallace, the VP under FDR, was extremely critical of worldwide imperialism and urged a worldwide movement against this behavior in a speech about “the decade of the common man” – a speech reminiscent of Leon Trotsky’s “worldwide socialist revolution” against European imperialism. During a lunch meeting between Wallace and Churchill, Wallace noted that Churchill, while drunk, had said “why be apologetic about Anglo-Saxon superiority, that we were superior, that we had the common heritage which had been worked out over the centuries in England and had been perfected by [the American] constitution.” Churchill, privately, told his secret agents to spy on Wallace.

- Adolf Eichmann, though banned from most Middle Eastern ports (as they were British-controlled), was able to negotiatd with the Irgun and the Grand Mufti of Jerusalem in a Middle Eastern trip in 1937. At this time, Eichmann was a Zionist and was able to attract support from radical Jewish groups in America as well as the Irgun, a virulently anti-British commando group that had splintered off the Haganah. The reasoning behind the support was that, despite their abominable behaviors, the Nazis would end up driving a large amount of Jewish people out of Europe and into Palestine, swelling the numbers and making the survival of Israel a demographic possibility. In the end, the Grand Mufti offered a better deal. He also hated the British, but because they were tolerant of a possible Jewish state – and so, he offered his support via continued inflammation of anti-British feeling and the recruiting and training of the Muslim Nazi SS Hansar Brigades that fought for Hitler throughout the Balkans.

- Central Park and Madison Square Garden, among many other famous gathering places, were the sites of enormous Nazi-support rallies in the 1930s that attracted tens of thousands of supporters. The events were supported by the German American Bund, supremacist groups like the KKK, and regular “family” organizations like the Boy Scouts and various large Christian denominations. In general, there was a lot of American support for Nazi, anti-Jewish and anti-foreign groups throughout the 1930s – a major reason why it took so long for the US to get into WWII. People just didn’t care. The Great Depression had caused such widespread suffering that people needed a target to blame, and this became a double-tiered racism with easy targets: against black people, who supposedly stole jobs from whites, and against the international Jew, who had crushed the economy with their greed. In this they were similar to the German people, who had made the exact same charge. America did a great job painting themselves as the moral hero, but that was never true.

- The Cold War was always a looming possibility given Stalin’s character, but not a definite result if not for international blunders. Roosevelt, in order to win concessions from Stalin at various conferences, allowed a belittling of Churchill in order to win his favor. Privately, Roosevelt offered Stalin concessions that hurt the UK. Along with his VP’s hatred of imperialism, it was increasingly a matter of US and Russia vs. the UK. Pressed for survival, Churchill had no way but to go along with the charade. Despite the US anti-imperialist stance, there was a continued discussion of how to split up occupied territories much as a colonial power conference would have went in, say, the Anglo-Dutch Wars. The “naughty document” showed visible proof of tolerance for this kind of talk. Roosevelt’s successor, Harry Truman, knew nothing about foreign policy, and unfortunately, tried to remedy this by recruiting Jimmy Byrnes as Secretary of State. Byrnes would have been the Democratic VP and presidential successor instead of Truman, had he not been in disfavor with organized labor. In his new position, Byrnes promoted an implacably hard line with Russia with no room for negotiation, forcing them out of Iran as the first major confrontation in the Cold War and the beginning of increasingly bitter and recalcitrant relations between the US and Russia. And too bad for Truman – Byrnes paid no attention to Truman (despite their positions aligning) and to his own people in the State Department, and finally, Truman was forced to freeze him out such that he resigned before the term was over. JFK inherited the Cold War at its height and only fanned the flames. Soviet military capability was crumbling, and the only effective deterrent in Russian armories were nuclear missiles – which the Soviets were unwilling to use given their lack of ability to defend from any land invasion. Knowing this, JFK decided to further antagonize the Russians anyways by installing missiles in Turkey. As this was a public slap in the face, the Russians were forced to call their bluff by moving missiles into Cuba, and thus the Cuban Missile Crisis began.

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Ashley Monroe.

Posted in Music on March 5th, 2013 by byronkho

I haven’t been a fan of country for very long. I used to hate it as hokey, cheesy music… but that was ignorance speaking. In fact, there are a lot of complexities in all its various forms, there is a distinct style all its own that can turn a song with the same chords from pop to country (and they can’t quite be both at the same time) and is hard to replicate (especially with the instrumentation and arrangements), and it’s the roots of a lot of other types of music. You can’t enjoy folk and bluegrass and blues and Southern rock without appreciating the sensibility that country brings to all of it. Plus, their ballads are beautiful. The Civil Wars, now broken up, had a great melancholy folk country thing going. Vandaveer and their latest album of murder folk country ballads (Pretty Polly is such a magnificent first single off an album). On the other end, Rascal Flatts and their Walmart-mass-produced-plasticky sound which can still tug at the heartstrings while watching, say, a NASCAR race.

I should mention that I’m listening to this lovely song from Ashley Monroe while watching burned zombie bodies on The Walking Dead. Perfect juxtaposition.

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At long last, some more music!

Posted in Music on March 5th, 2013 by byronkho

Well here’s to the Orpheus hopefully sounding halfway as good as the King’s Singers doing Arthur Sullivan’s beautiful “The Long Day Closes.”

“Le Concert,” a 2009 French crowd-pleaser. Also one of very few popular movies using classical orchestras as a setting. Naturally, that wouldn’t be an American movie. Also, to be Melanie Laurent’s violin!

Jascha Heifetz, the NY Phil and a fantastic version of the Allegro Moderato of Tchaikovsky’s Violin Concerto in D Major, Op. 35, the centerpiece of “Le Concert.”

Love the sound from Clairy Browne and the Bangin Rackettes. Lots of great stuff out of Australia. In a few days, I’ll be seeing a thematically similar (but way more brass) band – Sister Sparrow.

Some electro dubstep from Nero and Calvin Harris? Don’t mind if I do.

I absolutely love Foxes. Especially when on such a hot progressive house track with remix assistance from Vicetone.

Which is the more culturally important video? This Southern dub trap rap gem from Diplo?

Or Die Antwoord killing it as usual with their Zef South African gansta weirdo hick greatness?

Change of pace. Kree Woods – Nashville indie pop singer/songwriter. Calming.

Love the college rappers. K. Flay from Stanford. Still awesome live, hooked to her laptop nonstop. Probably does most of her production herself on one. At least I like to think so. Hot rhymes and relevant topics for someone in her unique position. And she’s a good female rapper without having to play totally uber-ghetto. (Sirah is great but man, her person is just too wack. Lil Kim hardly counts but have you seen her lately? Ms. Jade was decent but didn’t get around much. Jean Grae perhaps, but her career and positioning way way way too underground.)

Kingsley Flood. Saw him at a house concert last year.

Laura Marling, Mumford and the tabla/sitar/Punjabi stuff in some sort of mass bluegrass raga bliss. I need to go pound beers now with a Rajasthani out of Dublin by way of Lexington, KY.

And I’m gonna end this post on a sad number from Nataly Dawn, formerly of Pamplemousse.

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