Tag Archive | Brian Wilson

Support The Egg – Don’t let the music die!

The New York State Budget proposed by Governor David Paterson this week eliminates funding for The Egg, by far my favorite venue for live music in the Capital Region. I’ve volunteered as an usher at The Egg for several years now, and I can’t begin to count the number of fabulous shows I’ve enjoyed there. These come to mind off the top of my head: David Byrne, Brian Wilson, Ray Davies, Ani DeFranco, Lyle Lovett, Ben Folds, The Tragically Hip, Gregg Allman – and that’s just within the past year!

Brian Wilson

This afternoon the staff at The Egg sent out an e-mail SOS asking volunteers to write or e-mail Governor Paterson and other legislators asking that this funding be restored, and I decided to pass the information along on my blog. The proposed budget contains many disastrous cuts; health care and education are especially affected. Support for the performing arts may appear lower on the list of priorities, but our lives would be bleak indeed without them. The presence of an adventurous venue like The Egg adds immeasurably to the quality of life in the Capital region.

The Tragically Hip

As a volunteer, I enjoy most of these concerts for free. Nonetheless, last spring I was so knocked out by the quality of the programming that I became a paying member of The Egg as well. (This enables me to get first dibs on tickets to newly announced shows, too, in case I want to guarantee myself a seat, kick back and enjoy the concert as a paying patron for a change.)

Other arts organizations that receive my modest donations include the Troy Savings Bank Music Hall, the Arts Center of the Capital Region, and WEXT-FM, aka EXIT 97.7, the alternative rock station that operates under the auspices of the classical station WMHT.

Don’t just pay lip service to the arts – support them in every way you can.

To read the appeal from The Egg, including contact information, please click below.

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My Blog Book Tour – I’m running as fast as I can!

Alice in Wonderland, rabbit“I’m late, I’m late, for a very important date!” I feel like the rabbit in Alice in Wonderland, trying frantically to keep up with my Blog Book Tour. Today I’m on Karen Walker’s blog, Following The Whispers, writing about the tragic saga of my golden retriever Lucky, as well as my shepherd-mix Rishi who stars in Mood Swing.

 

I just sent off a post to Jean Henry Mead for her blog Writing Advice & Good Books, where I’ll be visiting tomorrow. My topic:

First or third person? One voice or many? Julie Lomoe’s musings on point of view.

Fortunately, I’ve already given the topic considerable thought. I moderated a virtual panel discussion about POV for the Poisoned Pen Web Con on October 24, so I’m revisiting some of what I said there. By the way, the day’s proceedings, including my panel, are now free on line through the above link. It’s a real treasure trove of information.

Friday’s stop: Helen Ginger’s Straight from Hel blog 

Brian Wilson nowLast night I heard Brian Wilson of Beach Boys fame at The Egg. Although his voice has coarsened over the years, he had a first-rate band with several singers who created beautiful harmonies. Brian seemed happier than when I heard him at the Saratoga Performing Arts Center several years ago. I’m reminded of the perennial “tortured genius” theme – Brian Wilson certainly qualifies. That in turn reminds me of the “genius is only a step away from madness” theme. I’ll be writing about that  on Helen’s blog, drawing on my personal experience from an acute manic episode. Friday the 13th seems like an appropriate day for that particular piece of personal history.

Thanks to the blog hosts who’ve been so patient and tolerant of my last-minute efforts. And to those hosting me next week: I’m in catch-up mode now, so in the immortal words of Brian Wilson, “Don’t worry baby – everything will be alright.” (I used to sing that gorgeous song as a lullaby for my daughter, and now I sing it to my granddaughters.)

Relishing my freedom on the Fourth of July

Fireworks 4th of July

For me, one of the blessings of being officially retired is the freedom to follow my bliss, as Joseph Campbell recommends. Today I’ll be following it away from my computer and out into my garden. The sky is brighter and bluer than it’s been in many a day. Across the lake, I hear the joyous shouts of children at the beach. Snyder’s Lake is fed by springs, and it’s probably still unseasonably cold, but I’ll check it out if it suits my fancy. Then in a few hours my husband and I will head over to Albany’s Empire State Plaza with our folding chairs, enjoy some greasy carnival food – funnel cake if I’m lucky – and some free entertainment topped off by the great jazz singer Al Jarreau. (His song “Morning” from a couple of decades ago is one of the most transcendently beautiful pop anthems, right up there with Brian Wilson’s “God Only Knows.” And then the fireworks – deafening and spectacular, synchronized to patriotic music, probably including Lee Greenwood’s “Proud to be an American.”

On this Independence Day, I’m grateful to live in a country that enables me to enjoy my freedom in so many ways, thanks in part to the largess of the Social Security system.

Is anyone out here reading this today? If so, stop. Turn off your computer, pour a libation of your choice, and drink a toast to your own freedom, and the liberty to follow your bliss.