Video to follow on my YouTube page.
If interested in audio of any of the above shows, feel free to email me.
~ Red Tess
Video to follow on my YouTube page.
If interested in audio of any of the above shows, feel free to email me.
~ Red Tess
While I’ve uploaded several photos so far to my Twitter page following the nearly 3-hour show, I had neglected to post this short essay regarding two of my favorite Beatles‘ songs he played that night.
Given the controversial verdict in the Trayvon Martin case, announced seven days ago it seemed all too relevant to post this today. While the national public gather to commemorate and protest the ending of a young man’s life, consider these words written for a history & culture class I took at a couple years ago.
1968 might be only 45 years ago, but it might as well have just been yesterday. Is there another sea change coming? Has America had enough?
Discussion Question Provided by Instructor:
When assessing late twentieth-century U.S. political history, why do many historians mark 1968 as a pivotal year in the transformation from liberal dominance to conservative ascendancy?
“Blackbird singing in the dead of night,
Take these broken wings and learn to fly,
All your life, You were only waiting for this moment to arise […]”
(Blackbird. Lennon & McCartney, 1968, Track 2:3)
“Helter Skelter […] / Look out! ‘Cause here she comes […]
Well will you won’t you want me to make you / I’m coming down fast but don’t let me break you […]”
(Helter Skelter. Lennon & McCartney, 1968, Track 3:6)
Leave it to musicians to have their fingers on the pulse of America – and British musicians at that! These are just two sets of song lyrics from the 32-track, 19-times platinum “White Album” released in November 1968 by The Beatles. “Revolution 1” could also be added to the list; in fact, entire papers could be written (and have) about this album. Why music? Up until this point, the 1960s was about peace, love, drugs, experimentation, rock music, and transcendence. Artists, writers, and musicians translated what the emerging counterculture movement was thinking and delivered it to the masses. It’s been argued – and even noted by McCartney himself – that “Blackbird” was about the civil rights struggle of the African American population in the South. Merriam-Webster’s Online Dictionary literally defines helter-skelter as “in undue haste, confusion, or disorder; in a haphazard manner.” The shift from America’s animated hippies proclaiming ‘don’t trust anyone over 30’,” to voting “the brilliant if uninspiring” (and dishonest) Richard Milhous Nixon the nation’s 37th President seems extremely incomprehensible – or does it (Isserman & Kazin 228).
The overarching themes of 1968 are violence, confusion, and breakdown (politically, socially, and economically). Historically, when “radical” has become too radical – when transformation has become so severe – the public has typically moved in the complete opposite direction. Isserman and Kazin cited revolutionary movements in western and central Eruope in 1848 and in Italy, Germany, and Hungary in 1919, as well as the fall of the Berlin Wall and European Communism later in 1989 (210). Just take a look at recent history with President George H. W. Bush and the election of the first African American President Barack Obama. Today is no exception. It’s interesting to see how the current status quo is mirroring that of the turbulent 1960s. “The New Deal order broke down for good reasons – the economic system changed, and government did not adjust to new realities or challenge the counterattack from the right in 1970s,” as noted by William Greider in a January 2011 article in The Nation. He acknowledges that the “structure of economic life has changed again,” but the “government and political parties are largely clueless about how to deal [with it].” After the passive aggressor & civil rights champion Dr. Martin Luther King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, presidential candidate Senator Robert F. Kennedy pleaded that the nation unite – because a nation divided can’t survive – eventually, something’s got to give.
1968 was truly “the year the dream died,” (Witcover). And it wasn’t just in America. It “was the year in which politics seemed to begin with violent events in a small country 12,000 miles away, to go into the streets at home, and finally to reach the conventions themselves,” (Witcover). The year’s timeline was a grim one. January marked the Tet Offensive in Vietnam. March marked the student protest against Dow Chemical recruiters and President Lyndon Johnson’s renunciation of the bid for re-election. April brought the aforementioned assassination of Dr. King, followed by riots, and the Columbia University student-led strike. In May, French students protested in Paris. June brought the assassination of the beloved RFK. In August, the historic Chicago Democratic National Convention brought anti-war protestors head-to-head with police. Finally, in November, Nixon (and the Republican party) won the election.
Something – many things – finally gave. It was like a series of dominoes, falling one, by one, by one; a series of serendipitous events that led to the collapse of the “insurrectionary ‘Movement’,” that seemed to have so much hope and promise (Isserman & Kazin 211) just years earlier. While “helter-skelter” may not have “come down fast” (it was most certainly eight or so years in the making) it did come down hard.
The “Official” music video for The Beatles’ “Blackbird”
The “Official” video of The Beatles performing “Helter Skelter” at their studio
Greider, William. “The End of New Deal Liberalism.” The Nation. 5 Jan. 2011. Web. 15 Apr. 2011. http://www.thenation.com/print/article/157511/end-new-deal-liberalism
Szatmary, David P. Rockin’ In Time: A Social History of Rock-And-Roll. 4th ed.NewJersey: Prentice Hall, 2000. Print.
The Beatles. (1968) The white album. [Record], London: Apple.
Witcover, Jules. The Year the Dream Died: Revisiting 1968 in America. New York: Warner Books, 1997. Print.
Want to know more?
Join us to in honoring the life of the intrepid Jaff – who died last year at age 55 after battling Crohn’s disease for nearly forty years – and help raise money for a great cause.
Team McCready is a nonprofit Pearl Jam fan organization. As part of The Wishlist Foundation, the grassroots effort honors the legendary guitarist Mike McCready – who has had the incurable and inconvenient disease since he was 21 – and raises money for chronic illness.
NEW JERSEY CHAPTER – March 23rd from 1 to 6 p.m. All AGES.
209 4th Ave
Asbury Park, NJ 07712
The band NO CODE – “North America’s Longest Running Tribute to Pearl Jam” – will be performing two sets (2 p.m. & 4 p.m.).
Rock Memorabilia Auction & Raffle.
Donation: $15 (all cover charges will be donated to The Wishlist Foundation).
LOS ANGELES CHAPTER – March 23rd from 3 to 8:30 p.m., 21+
4089 Lincoln Boulevard
Marina Del Rey, CA 90292-5613
No cover, but donations welcome. There will be merchandise, an auction, and a raffle. All proceeds support APCI.
The band Xs & ARROWs will be playing two 40 minute sets (4:15pm and 6pm).
I covered last year’s event in New York and had the privilege of meeting and interviewing Ms. Jaff. Ironically, right after that weekend I embarked on my own “medical mystery tour”; finding out in June that I had a chronic illness of my own – fibromyalgia. Given that, my life (school/freelance work/etc.) was largely put on hold. My story for the past year has been one of “overcoming,” so this cause is near and dear to my heart.
The interview (along with one I did with Lisa Cressman) are NOT going to waste. I plan on covering today’s New Jersey event and writing a comprehensive piece about them both.
Meanwhile – try and make it to one of the bi-coastal Team McCready Global events (there was one in Seattle last night and the UK one takes place May 4th). More information to come! Please check back in.
Burning cabins, bipartisan fist-bumps, and the opportunity of viewing an “enhanced version” of President Obama’s second term first State of the Union had no chance in upstaging the fanciful, awe-inspiring talent that is Rufus Wainwright. More to come…
As of late, the news has been a stream of reports on one tragedy after another. There are many reactions to catastrophic events, which I’ll elaborate on later. The purpose of this brief post is to display a photo collage. Two days ago Guinness Heir & socialite Tara Browne ran through a traffic stop at high speed, crashed his Lotus Elan into a parked truck, and died the next day at the age of 21. A month later, John Lennon read about the final coroner’s report in London’s Daily Mail and incorporated it into a song:”A Day in the Life,” Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band, 1967 (Capital Records).
Having been an obituary writer for several years, I’m intrigued by how people choose to live their lives. Clearly Browne made an indelible impact on pop culture in the short years he spent on this earth. I intend to write more later, because the story behind Browne is interesting and even includes Paul McCartney-related conspiracy theories. Until then, here is the abstract composition I created in homage to the late Mr. Browne.
“While you’re busy making other plans,” sang the late John Lennon in his tribute to son Sean in “Beautiful Boy (Darling Boy).” It’s the seventh track off his last studio album Double Fantasy [New York, New York: Geffen] recorded at The Hit Factory with wife Yoko Ono and released November 17, 1980. What’s sadly ironic is that Lennon – who took nearly five years off from music and the limelight to raise his second son, Sean (his first – Julian – was with first wife Cynthia Powell) – never got to fully realize the words he penned. This record has strong domestic overtones and the lyrics to that specific song are heartfelt and meant to quell any fears of his son’s life and future. “The monsters gone, he’s on the run and your daddy’s here [...] Every day in every way, It’s getting better and better.” Three weeks later, on December 8, 1980, he was fatally shot at the entrance to The Dakota (a co-op apartment building at 1 West 72nd St. & Central Park West).
What’s my point? Despite having the best intentions, LIFE DOES GET IN THE WAY. Monsters are everywhere. Unforeseen events take place that derail whatever arrangements you might have made and sometimes there is simply nothing you can do about the resulting situation. That is the case with me and the past several months – well, more like half of 2012.
As many of you know I started a 3-month-long “Medical Mystery Tour” in April – just a month after launching my business, Red Tess Freelance, LLC. After dozens of tests/MRI’s/ENG’s/X-rays and doctor/specialist visits I was diagnosed with fibromyalgia in June. I had no control over that – it was my “monster” – life happening while I was desperately trying to accomplish what I was put on this earth to do – write, create, and communicate. I had to surrender. In doing so I somehow became stronger.
With summer and fall came dozens of concerts, festivals, weddings, and other events that I covered – handed out business cards, networked, etc. Burning the candle at both ends led to a couple weeks of strep throat followed by a month of bronchitis. Somehow I powered though it all and remained on top in terms of photographing, interviewing, and note-taking, forging ahead without canceling any obligations. However, there was no actual follow through with posts. The fact of the matter is, I’ve been writing blog posts every day and privately publishing until they are properly edited. I realize now that isn’t very effective and moreover, it’s easy to continue doing that and never get anything officially online. My audience is expecting material and I want to & WILL deliver.
In an effort to show potential employers my intrepid approach to news coverage, I decided to spend several days covering Hurricane Sandy. When the bulk of the storm hit Annapolis, I was out – camera in hand, documenting Mother Nature’s destruction – and fell in Spa Creek at the height of the storm. After saving myself from a watery grave and thanking my lucky stars, I ended up in the ER with a concussion, several fractured ribs, and a right leg that rivaled those of the horse of a different color from the Wizard of Oz.
While I’m working as hard as I can to put my own “ding in the universe” (as said by the late Steve Jobs) as a writer, I did not realize the cosmos already had enough “dings” – and so did my head. It wasn’t until I cheated death that I finally heard what the powers that be (and my body) were telling me: slow down; catch up; heal thyself; and REST – all words and concepts that are not my modus operandi. Change is a necessary “monster,” but if you embrace it and learn from it’s offerings you can grow – and I have exponentially. I’m stronger and more determined than ever to finish what I’ve started. “It IS getting BETTER and BETTER.”
Given that, I have over 5,000 photos and over 40 videos to edit and upload in order to publicize my drafts. For instance, just last Tuesday night not only did I see Social Distortion at the 9:30 Club, but upon learning of President Obama’s re-election I headed over to the White House to revel in the celebration (camera and recorder in hand).
The past two days I’ve spent “with” The Who, both at The National Press Club for a luncheon to discuss Teen Cancer America and the Verizon Center for their Quadrophenia Tour. I’ve met both Roger Daltrey and Pete Townsend, as well as networked with fans and other photographers and writers.
In the next several days I will be uploading all of the content (most current first) I’ve compiled for you my followers and for my own personal portfolio.
Red Tess Freelance is and always will be an extension of an 18-year-old hobby (music & entertainment coverage, photography, and design). Its establishment has given me a forum to showcase my writing style and stay current with my craft while looking for work and provided something physical to present to people at professional, social, academic, and other networking events. There’s nothing worse than a missed opportunity! Hopefully this entity has also aided my effort to stand apart from the myriad of other writers/designers currently seeking employment. Hopefully a full-time job or paid freelance work is what “happens” while I’m busy making other plans as Red Tess.
“Conversation in real life is full of half-finished sentences and overlapping talk. Why shouldn’t painting be too? “
(Hilaire-Germain-Edgar De Gas July 19, 1834 – September 27, 1917)
I guess it’s only appropriate that one of my favorite artists enjoyed music and dance, and was dubbed an “old curmudgeon” later in life by writer and dabbler in la vie Boheme George Moore.
In the April 2003 issue of Smithsonian magazine, Paul Trachtman reported that Degas shared the following thoughts with Parisian art dealer Ambroise Vollard: “People call me the painter of dancing girls […] It has never occurred to them that my chief interest in dancers lies in rendering movement and painting pretty clothes.”
Like one of his most legendary contemporaries – Henri de Toulouse-Lautrec – he painted what he saw, in snapshot form, capturing a single moment in time as it happened, no matter the subject. His ability to crop images and portray movement with such purpose inspires.
Below is a bronze cast (with satin & gauze) of one of my favorite sculptures: “Little Fourteen-Year-Old Dancer,” aka “La petite danseuse de quatorze ans.” The 3-foot girl was originally executed in wax and cloth circa (1878-82), this is one of 28 editions cast in bronze between 1920-23 after Degas died.
Complete information regarding this piece of art can be found at the Boston Museum of Fine Art.
The full background on the original version on view in the Mellon Collection at the National Gallery of Art in Washington, D.C. is located here.
Bloomberg News reported in February 2009 that one of the bronze casts sold for a record-breaking 13.3 million pounds ($19.2 million) at Sotheby’s London. In comparison, another version sold $12.3 million at Sotheby’s New York in 1999.
My other favorite piece by Degas is “Four Dresses,” oil on canvas, circus 1899. The original painting is also on view at the National Gallery of Art, but part of a different collection of Chester Dale’s.
I have an 11″ x 14″ print in my powder room and as my desktop wallpaper (yes I know it’s a PC, don’t chastise me! I’m waiting on the new iMac’s to debut). Photos are below:
What I could afford is a piece by a mixed-media sculptor Donna McCullough. Part of me wonders if this feminine tin can and mesh statue entitled “Auburn” was inspired at all by Degas and his ballet dancers. Since McCullough is local, I plan on reaching out to discover the answer. [I do know that he did influence his female friend, American painter Mary Cassatt.]
Upon looking at both the painting and the statue together, it makes sense now that it must have been my subconscious screaming out to me as I passed it on my daily walk to work in 2008. The colors and style are similar, however McCullough’s is clearly more modernist. Self-processed appreciator of fashion, she does note the following in her artist statement:
“My inspiration arose from contemplating the dichotomy between the perception of women as fragile, delicate creatures, and the reality that most women are defined by resiliency and steely resolve. I employ a juxtaposition of extremes such as lightness and gravity, suppleness and intransigence, to convey feminine sensibilities.”
There isn’t a better artist representation of myself that I could ever envision, which is why I simply had to acquire it (which is bizarre, since I have never met McCullough) from the Zenith Gallery. It personifies me in every manner and sits in a place of prominence at my home.
Maybe that’s what Degas meant when he said, “Art is not what you see, but what you make others see.”
Links to other celebrations of Degas today:
Today was considerably trying in regard to physical and emotional relationships with members of the opposite sex. After drinking a glass of pinot grigio with dinner, my plan was to curl up in bed with J. Taraborrelli’s “The Secret Life of Marilyn Monroe,” but several pages in I felt incensed and inspired. (*NOTE* Make sure to scroll down and click on the online dating article written & published in my early 20s.)
It’s been brought to my attention that the stronger you are in your convictions, the less attractive you are as a mate. Are men intimidated by me – by a successful woman?
Sometimes I wonder why my parents raised me to be a proud, independent woman of the world capable of doing whatever I put my mind to; but then I remember that they truly wanted what was best for me and couldn’t have been more correct in their guidance. Marriage wasn’t even to be considered until I reached 30, since they imparted on me that people change considerably during their 20s (and some not for the better). Additionally, kids – while very much welcomed – required that I had at least an extra $1,000 a month to spend, which during my 20s was non-existent. All extremely sage advice from a couple married just over 40 years, with the most important being, “Above all, NEVER settle.”
Granted, at least a quarter of my friends are bitter divorcees with mortgages (not ALL of them) but for the better part, many are happily married with children. The barrage of questions regarding my singledom is inevitable at public, private, and familial functions. “But you’re so pretty….you’re so smart…you’ve accomplished so much!” Trust me, I’ve heard it all and it’s getting VERY old. Just two days ago, sitting across from my brother and cousin, I realized we were the last several unmarried cousins of nearly two dozen.
Newsflash! “Single is NOT a sickness. There is NOTHING wrong with me,” (courtesy a colleague, J. Brown).
This also brings to mind April 2012′s absurd CNN coverage regarding tips on how to “eat alone in public.”
Caity Weaver of the widely-read and terribly amusing media blog Gawker posted the following tongue-in-cheek reaction which I whole-heartedly stand by: “If Women Stop Eating Alone Whom Will We Pity in Restaurants?”
Double standard much? Or has the culture we’ve been raised in fostered this kind of self-loathing behavior among females? Coming from an all-girls private high school just outside the capital of the free world, I find this incredibly disturbing and just plain sad. What’s so ironic here is that these women are only “alone” because they are on business trips. If they are on said trips, they must be successful (i.e. they have careers, travel, expense accounts, etc.). Given that, why are these women who confidently climbed the corporate ladder so terrified of alone time with a meal in front of them?
In the infamous words of pop icon, entrepreneur, actor, author, singer, and professional “diva” RuPaul: “Honey, if you can’t love yourself, how the hell you gonna love someone else?…..Can I get an Amen?”
AMEN! But I digress. While this post focuses on independent business women finding love, such as myself, it doesn’t necessarily have anything to do with eating alone.
Over the past 17 years, I’ve dated men in five different major cities (Washington, D.C., Baltimore, Annapolis, NYC, and Boston) and on one other continent. I’ve dabbled in nearly every online dating site since the concept’s inception. Here are examples from two specific forays into the technological relationship minefield. After filling out a 45-minute survey/personality questionnaire, eHarmony’s system informed me there were “No matches for me at this time.” I received this response twice – once in 2005 and again in 2007. Match.com boasts being “the number one destination for online dating with more dates, more relationships, & more marriages than any other dating or personals site.” Once my first six months with Match.com ended (in a new city) and after complying with all the “rules” outlined below, I received an additional six months free because of their “Find Love Guarantee.”
Six months came and went and with no successful unions to show for it, I called customer service and spoke with a representative. The male agent informed me – and I’m not kidding here – that it would behoove me to move if I wanted to find love (despite most of the places I’ve called “home” being listed as best cities for women’s well-being by a 2012 “Measure of America” report). His exact words were: “Men in those cities are just looking for the next best thing. They’re never satisfied.” YES, a Match.com representative passed on that recommendation to a paying client. Despite having one close friend who found his wife on the site, every time one of their ads appears on TV, I laugh and yell “LIES!” at the screen.
So what’s an attractive, smart, fun, worldly girl to do with information like this and similar reports noted by WTOP?
I guess I’ll revel in the fun I had in my 20s and provide you with this golden nugget written for my alma mater’s newspaper, Emerson College’s “Berkeley Beacon.” The last gentleman mentioned is now married and has a son, and we’re still friends. The following link will take you to a digital PDF of the amusing piece.
So WHAT IS LOVE? The tagline from Cameron Crowe’s 1992 “Singles” movie poster is “Love is a game. Easy to start. Hard to finish.” It’s one of my favorite films and is featured in the below image of one of my guest room walls.
Those three simple sentences might entice potential viewers, but they leave me with little hope. Don’t get me wrong, I’m a team player, but I’ve never found much use for games in the realm of love. Maybe that’s my problem. I’m too straight forward…too honest.
Quotes from visual pop artist and Hollywood scenester Andy Warhol also appear framed next to the aforementioned poster. While I cannot change the past or the present situation, and most certainly will not allow what’s happened to dictate my future. In Mark Wrenn’s “Andy Warhol In His Own Words,” the legendary figure states:
“When people are ready to, they change. They never do it before then, and sometimes they die before they get around to it. You can’t make them change if they don’t want to, just like when they do want to, you can’t stop them.”
I refuse to change myself for anyone, but moving forward I have resolved to not let the minutiae of life – mainly men – determine my happiness. The majority of my life has been spent in academia, communications, music, the arts, volunteerism, and building a career for myself. What is meant to be will be, and I’m at peace with that for now. Why you might ask? Because the most important person you should love is yourself and I do.
“Any minute you will show / And I’m wondering where did you go? / Where’d you go? / Where’d you go? / I wanna know . . .” (The MMB, 1991)
That seems to be what everybody has been asking since I launched my business in March, covered four events in three different cities, and then dropped off the map.
Well here’s the answer – the extremely abbreviated version:
Nearly 3 months ago, my neck gave out during one of my web design classes at Boston University’s Center for Digital Imaging Arts in Washington, D.C. Since then, I’ve been on what I like to playfully call my personal “Medical Mystery Tour,” in reference to the 1967 EP released by The Beatles.
During these last several uncertain months, a trusted mentor reminded me of the following:
“The strongest and most healthy coping skills in you that I have noticed are your ability to find, or squeeze out, some portion of humor in every situation and your ability to frame your experiences in larger contexts that include an understanding for the sufferings, great and small, of all humans.”
The late great Mark Twain said: “The secret source of humor itself is not joy but sorrow.” It’s true. The ups and downs I’ve experienced from enduring a seemingly endless battery of diagnostic tests, MRI scans, injections, and the revolving door of various doctors and specialists, left me feeling not just frustrated and angry, but hopeless and impotent. Humor – among other things like introspection, perseverance, and alternative medicine – is what kept me going and inevitably led to my being cured.
Given that, today marks the official re-launch of my blog, Facebook & Twitter pages, and freelance business! Additionally, my main website will be fully operational by the end of August.
Here’s a taste of what to expect article/post-wise in the next couple weeks:
Thank you fans for your support and for asking, “Where’d You Go?” because it makes me feel so much more valued upon my return.
If you haven’t already, please subscribe and comment!
Celebration of grooved wax discs need not one day for celebration – but 365. Analog life is one filled with sounds robust and artwork aplenty. 78, 45, 33 & 1/3, spin! With less than five minutes left to the 5th Annual Record Store Day, I’d like to share with you the tiny corner of my universe dedicated to all things vinyl.
**The bonus fold-out posters above the Sony receiver & record player came from two vintage albums – part of the collection inherited from my parents – 1978′s Peter Frampton & The Bee Gees “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart Club Band Soundtrack (art by the late Birney Lettick) and 1969′s Rolling Stone’s “Let It Bleed” (poster design Victor Kahn) – which, incidentally, is going for $164 on eBay right now! The Beatles’ “White Album” odd-shaped poster insert will soon be joining these two rare finds once it’s framed.**
Hopefully, you had a chance to visit a record store today or at least play some of your own at home. Keith Richards, et al. might not be known for sage life advice, but they’ve outlived many of their rock and roll peers, and they’re rumored to even have a 2013 tour in the works! Clearly they’re doing something right. Take heed to these liner notes: “THIS RECORD SHOULD BE PLAYED LOUD.” Turn it up – heck, make ‘em “go to 11!”
Any Saturday-morning-cartoon-watching kid knows “Knowledge is Power!” Educate yourself and become part of the conversation. To learn more about Record Store Day & the albums and artists mentioned above please visit: