Dennis Prager: So very close to evil…

Dennis Prager: So very close to evil…

I eschew the religious concept of “evil” as both morally and intellectually lazy and corrupt. In part I hate the concept, because all too often it is meant to demonize opposition without regard the history or process which brought two sides into conflict. hardly does that position ignore, overlook or forgive injustice, corruption or criminality at any level or scale. Understanding process and history offers the best way of rendering judgment and justice, and in preventing, or helping to prevent the mistakes and ignorance-s of the past. That said, Rightwing zealot and political-religious talk show host Dennis Prager leaves me at such a loss for words with his historic dishonesty that I am tempted to use that word to describe him.

Examples perhaps provide the clearest view of a level of, what I can only conclude from the available evidence, dishonesty on the part of the propagandistically pompous and elitist Prager. Take for an example of a harassment lawsuit against Youtube(A private company) by Prager. I say harassment, because we see regularly attacks by the Right against media to force minority, and most often socially abhorrent views on the majority under the auspices of freedom of speech. None of those agitators, like Prager ever make mention that the giant media companies they pander for have purposely and maliciously eradicated, or virtually eradicated Progressive programming from public airwaves. For example, Progressive talk show host Stephanie Miller, when adjusted for the number of stations she is on compared with Sean Hannity, or Rush Limbaugh or Dennis Prager garners more than 20% more listeners, according to Arbitron, than Limbaugh or Hannity. Prager, she leaves in the dust. Miller is on fewer than 50 stations, while the lower rated Limbaugh is on hundreds. It isn’t about money or ratings . It is about saturation of dark and cruel sides of the human heart.

Prager is propped up by a great fraud in the modern consolidated radio business. That is monster Rightwing media companies forcing their message upon the nation. They are pandering to their base while polluting the nation’s more civil, inclusive, forward thinking and moderate voices.

On his show today he attacked feminist men, musing aloud what women want a feminist man. As a Leftist, who owned a weapon, went to war and is an avowed even militant feminist. I am married to, for 25 years, unlike the divorced Prager(Who pontificates on so-called traditional marriage), an unapologetic, strong, brilliant and gorgeous feminist. being a feminist man, Mr. Prager, is an ascension for men. You, Mr. Prager, are propagandizing and selling, a Taliban style of regressive-and might I say, weak masculinity.

He blathers about abortion in America, while portraying the unquestioned allegiance to Israel by American taxpayers as essential. He conveniently ignores that abortion is legal and free in Israel. Although, which brings me to the next example, for an abortion a woman must go before a government termination board. that said, virtually all abortion requests are granted(“It was reported in 2012 that about half of all abortions in Israel were performed in private clinics, i. e., without committee approval. Women who undergo such an abortion do not face criminal penalties, but physicians who perform them face a fine or up to five years’ imprisonment; however, there have been no known prosecutions of physicians for performing non-committee-approved abortions.[6] It was also reported in 2007 and 2011 that about 40,000 abortions take place in Israel every year, about half of the committee approved.” http://www.israeltoday.co.il/NewsItem/tabid/178/nid/22647/Default.aspx).

So, let’s talk about healthcare, which Prager says he fears will be taken over by Communists in America. Are we back in 1964? How about asking a rhetorical question about healthcare? He asked if Americans wanted Canadian healthcare, with a side comment about the wait time for procedures in Canada. he relies on the ignorance and laziness of his audience. I have family in Canada and they would not trade it in a second for US healthcare. The wait time, for the curious, depends upon many factors in both countries. The biggest factor in the US is the penny-pinching and profit motive of insurance companies. I personally waited for more than 6 months, battling an insurance company for approval for neck surgery from an injury. In America!

Moreover, my own father-in-law has had three kidney transplants(two rejections). The Canadian healthcare system not only installed a dialysis machine in his home, but comes weekly for regular maintenance, and arrives within and hour for any emergence repairs. In America, Mr. Prager, a for-profit insurance company would have cut him off years ago, which would have likely led to his death. at the very least it would have bankrupted the family. My father-in-law and his wife were war refugees. Prager would have argued to keep them out of the US, but their daughter went on to graduate with honors sans student debt and now is a contributing member of a civilized society.

Prager and his ilk would take us in the opposite direction. But that isn’t the worst part, and brings me back to the original premise. Either he knows he is selling America’s cancer of hate as an elixir, or is so fundamentally misguided as to be dangerous to be allowed on the public  airwaves. My conclusion is that he represents to messaging end of what is emerging as cult of control. In that regard he is doing it because a dirty company like Salem is paying him enough to compromise of sell his soul. I am also in radio, but there is nothing and no one who could ever compel me to sell my soul to the detriment of my neighbors and community. That he does it behind the guilty veil of religion is just, well, as close to evil and I can conceive.

I have top guests on my show and I have challenged Prager and others on the Right to debate. I have offered to sweep my schedule clean. They refuse to debate me, because they don’t care for debate. When was the last time they truly had a debate, a sustained real debate, not talk radio circus-playing with a substantial member of the opposition? they have no interest. It isn’t Prager’s job to honestly debate, but rather push the message he’s told to sell.

Australia’s Aaron Beri’s Naked…

Australia’s Aaron Beri’s Naked…

Once upon a time I gave advice to a friend on dating. Never leave home without Sade’s Stronger Than Pride Album. The album, in my humble opinion is the musical equivalent of  Cyrano(My wife thinks The Cure’s Disintegration is a close second).  Add to that playlist newcomer Aaron Beri’s new single “Naked”. Aaron’s recently released Naked: The Remixes has scored number 6 on the UK club commercial Pop chart. On the heels of  Aaron Beri’s first single, “What If I Do,” his latest powerhouse single “Naked” is the measure of pure gold  Electric Pop.  

This is R&B at its best, at once sumptuous and heartbreaking; Blues  with Funk. “The inspiration behind Naked,” Beri says, “was to take the nostalgic sound from 90’s R&B music and melt it with today’s current pop sound; to create something smooth, sensual and sexy.

This is Aaron Beri’s second single. “What if I do,” Beri’s first single renders him firmly in the genre The Artist is fast establishing himself as a master of the genre. Not bad for a kid from humble beginnings.

Born into a northern English village of fewer than 2000 people, Aaron’s childhood was spent daydreaming in country fields. He jammed out to his mother’s old record collection, absorbing artists like Steve Winwood, Aerosmith, Michael Jackson and the great soulful singer songwriter Diane Warren. Warren, some will recall penned songs like I Learned From The Best or You`ll Never Stand Alone , sung by Whitney Houston.

Flash forward to the present day. That music informs and lives beneath every note of “Naked”. For Naked, Aaron teamed up with award winning producer Audius. After several successful years of working as a high fashion model in New York City, a stint in a London law school and a move to Australia, Beri is now working on his debut album.

Watch and share the music video (which has garnered 35,000 + views) on Youtube.

Stream, playlist and share “Naked” via Spotify.

Learn more about Aaron Beri at his Website. Like him on Facebook and follow him on Instagram and Twitter. Naked and What if I do are available on Bandcamp and Soundcloud

 

 

“Something” The New Single from Alternative Folk/Soul Pop Singer/Songwriter Lillimure

“Something” The New Single from Alternative Folk/Soul Pop Singer/Songwriter Lillimure

Arrived is the first word that comes to mind about  New York ‘s Lillimure on the heels of her new single “Something”. this immensely talented 19 year old singer/songwriter is destined for far greater things. Shades of Amy Winehouse, Regina Spektor or Cat power. Lillimure carries the moody depth of Cat Power, with all the quirky devil-may-care playfulness of Spektor or Jason Mraz. There is something more here, a glimpse of an emerging talent, whose latest offering would be a destination for an average Artist. Instead “Something” feels like a talent of immense proportion is about to break.

Fans will note the confidence in the new single. Earlier songs from Lillimure like “Close Second” and “Cigarette Love” anchor that emerging sound. “Something” feels like a culmination…

“This song was inspired by a series of events that made me feel helpless,” Lillimure says of “Something”. It’s about finding what resonates with you the most to push through and knowing that there is an educational value to every situation. I hope this song can break the stigma about success- for every notable win, there are more unseen ‘losses’ and true success comes from overcoming the obstacles you face to do what you love.”

This is the second single for Lillimure’s upcoming album to be released in June 2019. It’s jazzy and playful with a dance vibe. There are hip-hop flavors, but “Something” is all Lillimure. “They say everything happens for a reason, I don’t know if I believe it, but I need something to hold onto,” Lillimure tells us in the refrain with a lighthearted fatalism. It is that depth that sets her apart. Her presence in the song is so powerful  a great band accompaniment almost goes unnoticed. Credit belongs to Jake Lasz for production. The band is Sam Caldwell on Keyboards, Dawson Abdurahman on Guitar, Henry Mermer on Drums and Jason Robbins Bass.

Stream, playlist and share”Something” via Spotify.

Lillimure is a 19-year- old Singer/Songwriter from Westchester, New York. Her music follows her honestly through her experiences, creating an intimate vibe with the listener. Combining hip-hop music’s fast-paced lyricism , folk music’s storytelling, and soul music’s intimate vocals, Lillimure offers a brand new, personal sound. She hopes her music can make people laugh, cry, and feel everything in between. 

Lillimure has been writing and singing songs since as long as she can remember. She never considered songwriting her career path until a life-altering gymnastics injury. After tearing a ligament in her wrist, she found that making music was the only thing that emotionally satisfied her. Her experience includes gigging locally and nationally in venues such as The Bitter End (NYC), Rockwood Music Hall (NYC), The Viper Room (LA) and The Bistro (SF).

Fast forwarding to the present day. Lillimure is working hard recording her first full-length album! She currently has her debut EP “Canvas” on all digital platforms music is sold/streamed. Apart from her recent projects, Lillimure is pursuing her passion full-time in New York, gigging locally throughout Westchester and the City. Be sure to follow her on all social media @lillimure for all the latest updates!

Visit Lillimure’s Website and Youtube Channel. Like her on Facebook and  Instagram, and follow her on Twitter. Stream and download “Something ” and more of Lillimure’s music at Soundcloud and on Spotify

Contact Details
Artist Contact: lillimure@gmail.com
Press Contact: james@independentmusicpromotions.com

 

 

Seattle’s Sundogs: Far more than Legends in Their Own Minds

Ever have one of those albums that just grew on you after a couple listens? Sundogs’ second album, Legends in Their Own Minds, is one of those albums. I’ve been with this album the better part of a month now, and it just gets stronger with each spin, so to speak. Although, Legends in Their Own Minds would be prime turntable material. A few hisses and pops ubiquitous to vintage vinyl and Sundogs would transport you back to a  smokin’ riffs, big hair and hammering drum lines.

Oh, yeah, there is something about good old fashioned Rock music without pretension. That is exactly what you get with Seattle-based Sundogs’ new album, Legends in Their Own Minds. Twelve solid classic Rock tunes released in March as an audio and video album.

Musically the Sundogs touch on blues, jazz and pop rock of the late 70’s and 80’s reminding you of a time when groups like Steely Dan and Tom Petty ruled the Billboard charts. This is Rock for a smoky bar circa 1985 between 10 and midnight on a Saturday with a cold mug of beer. This is Rock out the back of a car with big speakers and a pick up football game. The opening track, Fallen Hero, is an ode to the late Tom Petty

Sundogs is Stan Snow, Songwriter and Producer on Vocals and Guitars, and Jed Moffitt: Songwriter, Co-Producer, also on lead vocals and Keyboards. Snow and Moffitt’s diverse writing styles approach their songwriting from different angles. They typically alternate vocal tracks throughout the album broadening the album’s gritty texture. Moffitt’s Alive Tonight is the epitome of the classic Rock ballad channeling a hint of Randy Newman accompanied by Snow’s blistering Rock guitar chops.

 

Their approach is simple. “Sundogs music is inspired by the days of Classic Rock and Jazz Fusion. It is written to satisfy the music fan within. If it sounds good to us, and we like listening to it over and over again, then that is the driving force behind whatever we decide to release. We are doing it for the pure joy of it, and because of that, the music and the videos are authentic.”

The musicianship, production and engineering on the entire album are exceptional. The album is both presented in audio and visual form with video footage shot in the studio using a green screen and put together post recording along with the collection of songs mixed for the album. Snow and Moffitt’s primary goal in music is to satisfy the music fan within.   “If it sounds good to us and it’s something that we like listening to over and over, that is the driving force in how we write, arrange, produce and record. We are doing it for the pure joy of it”.

Stan Snow and Jed Moffitt lived a storied music career. Growing up in Fremont, California, they honed their songwriting, production and musicianship, releasing their second album – “Legends In Their Own Minds” – produced at Magellan Creek Studios in Seattle, WA. Stan Snow’s guitar playing has been influenced by Robben Ford, Larry Carlton, Jimmy Page, Jeff Beck, Pat Metheny, Steve Morse, Lee Ritenour, Steve Howe, Carlos Santana, Chuck Berry, BB King and Eric Clapton. Jed Moffitt’s keyboard playing has been influenced by Bill Evans, Bruce Hornsby, Keith Jarrett, McCoy Tyner, Oscar Peterson, Lyle Mays, Bud Powell, Herbie Hancock, Chick Corea, Benmont Tench and Roy Bittan.

Johnny is the  stand out on the album, a natural classic Rock bad boy tale of woe. The Sundogs’ own “I fought the Law and the Law Won”:

Johnny, you’re lookin’ for trouble
Dumber than a bag of hammers, you got a heart made of lead
You drive down to the local church
All riled up, you’re gonna blow it up instead

There’s something, twisted in your head
You think you’re preachin’ righteousness, but that ain’t what you’ve been fed
Burnin’ down a house of faith
You’ve been seriously misled

 For those of you who grew up scouring the back of LPs for their liner notes take heed. Liner notes, lyrics, credits, videos and tracks are all posted on their website
http://sundogsmusic.com. No pretense here. Just good old fashioned Rock and Roll, and that’s a good thing.

Stream “Legends In Their Own Minds” via their website

Like Sundogs on Facebook and down load the album on Spotify, iTunes,Amazon and CDBaby. Also, find them on their Youtube Channel

 

 

My Mom. Tough Years

My Mom. Tough Years

My brothers and I, we grew up poor. I’m talking living in an old abandoned farm for a time. Mom had an old washing machine and clothes needed to be wrung dry by running them by hand through rollers by a crank on the side. I’ll tell you how poor we were, I wore a lot of hand-me-downs. I was the oldest of three boys! Who was handing them down?

Dad drank a lot those years. Cheap beer mostly. An inexpensive diversion for a blue collar guy who could see his life stretched before him as endless midnight shifts, and overtime when he could get it to help make ends…Well, ends rarely met. My parents worked budgets like Stravinsky. Still, there were a lot of tough years in the beginning for mom and dad.

Things got better. They had each other, having found one another in a chance meeting at Chicago’s old Riverview Amusement Park. The date was May 9th, a Tuesday. It was a cool evening, the temperature in the mid 60’s. The Cubs were away at Milwaukee for a game. John F. Kennedy was president, sworn in just a few months before. Just a week earlier Astronaut Alan Shepard became the first American in space. Squeaking by narrowly, amid doomsayer protests that it would crash the economy and cost jobs, the Federal minimum wage rose to $1.25. The date, May 9th, is important.

Marriage is an odd thing.  Two people really don’t become one. Most often it is a constant negotiation between two autonomous people, with side negotiations between each person’s head and heart. Many times a marriage helps save a person from themselves. That was always the impression I had about my parents marriage. Add three headstrong and very different boys to that equation and all bets are off (Add to that assorted dogs, cats, parakeets, chameleons, fish turtles, snakes, hamsters, crayfish, spiders and a hermit crab.)

There were tough years, like the year my brother Philip witnessed a terrible tragedy, the recession in the 70s in which dad feared being laid off or the day a car slipped off the jacks and fell on dad nearly crushing him. Money was always an issue. Paychecks seemed to evaporate as quickly as they were printed. We ate a lot of tuna casseroles. I learned how working families manage to stretch zero money to go even further.

My parents’ marriage was hardly sunny. It wasn’t bad. They recognized life was a struggle. They were a team and they loved one another. When my dad lucked out of midnight shifts for a 4am to noon shift, I would hear my mom and him talking through the wall night after night. It takes a great deal of affection for someone to wake up at 2 in the morning for a bit of couple time. They were partners. My brothers and I wanted everything, but were want for nothing, really.

For years Mothers Day really wasn’t about mom as much as it was about the circus of three dopey boys screaming, “look, mom, we made you a picture!” or “Mom, we got you flowers!” Often they were wild flowers, including dandelions with leaves and tall grass(For texture), or a neighbor’s garden would suspiciously be missing every other tulip. And once they came from a nearby cemetery. I know. I know. In my defense I was 7 years old!

Dad would make breakfast, if he wasn’t working. A few days mom got breakfast in bed, usually as my brothers and I bounced on the bed like chimpanzees. Dad would make dinner, if he didn’t have to work. We might picnic at a forest preserve, or at least drive to one. My brothers and I would burst from the car to explore, play or climb trees. It was, after all, mom’s day! Years later, it was an obligatory phone call. Rarely it was some Hallmark Channel emotional recollection of the years gone by, instead, and too often it was meaningless chatter about the weather, dad’s health, her aches and pains, animals or the family.

Recall the date, May 9th, 1961, the day my dad told buddies in the car he was in that he would marry the girl on the sidewalk. These last few years dad battled cancer, eclipsing mom’s arthritis. Too often, when she was hurting, we brushed it aside to ask how dad was doing. She never complained.

Dad died suddenly at home May 9th 2018, days before Mother’s Day. I spoke with Mom that day, but don’t recall saying the words “Happy Mother’s Day”. It wasn’t. The shock of dad’s passing was too much.

Then something interesting happened. the last year became all about mom. In the wake of dad, the focus became about her safety and well being. It became even more important to pick up that phone for fear she might be lost or lonely or frightened. This year the day still feels a bit painful, but the desperate commodity of time, rushing ever faster supersedes that pain. It is about mom now. Not just this one day, but every day, for as many days as we still have left to us.

There will be more tough years. When I think back on the tough years when I was a kid the truth is that the family was always stronger together. Mom was woefully outnumbered by testosterone in our house, but she was our anchor. That’s my lesson this day, is fully, finally recognizing that simple and fundamental truth.

Happy Mother’s Day, mom. I love you.

“Love and Change” the new Album from Todd Warner Moore.

“Love and Change” the new Album from Todd Warner Moore.

Some months back I previewed Spark, the last album from folk-rock singer-songwriter Todd Warner Moore. Exemplary in every way, Spark featured a clever tune titled Noodles, which was both a recipe and a love song. Spark was his second full-length album in 2018.  There are laudable comparisons here to Dylan and the softerside of bands like Poi Dog Pondering. The wildly prolific Moore is back lightening fast with a brand new album entitled ‘Love & Change’

Moore’s strength is in weaving potent and thoughtful lyrics with effortless melodies. Backed by Leah Hart’s vocals “Love and Change” is more than a reflective and satisfying collection of songs. William Stewart on Violin and Viola, and Daniel Gonzálezon Cello strengthen already tight compositions. It is an album that becomes an ensemble best heard front to back. Pieces like Song Universal stand out and showcase Moore’s poetic economy…

Born and raised in Kansas City, Kansas, in the good ole U.S.A., Todd Warner Moore co-wrote songs and toured with Acoustic Juice through the American Midwest. He pulled up stakes and took to the road, the long road. That road took him Budapest, Hungary, where he performed solo melodies in tea houses, where his expat band Tea Thieves would come to life. Over several years, the energetic band would release three albums. Before leaving Hungary, he nished his album titled Long Days. Todd has lived on Lamma Island in Hong Kong for the last eight years, where he plays at small festivals and pubs.

Golden Life stands out. It’s a bright and upbeat song about karma. Everybody Sings is pure Dylan. Wide Open is a standout with shades of The Decemberists. Right On Time is moody and tight…

Goodbye on a Sunny Day channels Nick Drake and Donovan. Move in is pure Roots country. “Love & Change” contains dashes of Folk, Americana, 70s Singer/Songwriter, Classical, Jazz, and Gipsy music.

I spent time in Budapest in the 80s and 90s. There is a good chance I ran across Todd Warner Moore in a coffee shop in Buda, or across the Danube River in the Octagon in Pest. For years I thought the best lens for my American roots was looking in from the outside. “Love and Change,” by Todd Warner Moore proves the point.

Check out Todd’s Website and follow him on Twitter, Bandcamp and Soundcloud. And subscribe to his Youtube Channel

 

The Blistering New Album from San Francisco Psych Prog Rockers “The General Maynard Band”

The Blistering New Album from San Francisco Psych Prog Rockers “The General Maynard Band”

Hits you between the eyes. That was my first impression of the self-titled album from San Francisco psych prog rockers “The General Maynard Band“.  Originating from the Bay area these rock veterans coalesce a classic Rock sound with shades of Ginger Baker, the Allman Brothers Band and a hint of Frank Zappa’s often sardonic style. “The General Maynard Band  is the cure to every Classic Rock lover who wished their favorite icon had recorded during the digital age. GMB’s sound is clean and crisp while sacrificing none of the energy implied in their classic heritage. Musically this guitar and vocal driven album incorporates hints of funk and soul, but manage to keep their feet firmly planted in Classic Rock. Fans of bands such as Gov’t Mule, Living Color and King’s X will enjoy “The General Maynard Band“.

Sinner” steals the show. A power funk Rock classic in the making. Try not to air drum or air guitar. The blistering Rock ballad “Trouble is My Business” showcases Will Kyriazis on piano, with Pat Shields bringing it on drums. In a perfect world “Can’t Stop Rockin“, with echoes of Sammy Hagar, should be an AOR staple.

Quite frankly, this album has some of the best damn guitar work to come out of American rock in a long time. The album was recorded at Jingletown Studios, Oakland California and engineered by Lee Bothwick, mixed by Jaimeson Durr and mastered by Justin Weis.  Last month I reviewed the latest album from the Psych Rock band Crooked Flower . “The General Maynyrd Band” began when Crooked Flower guitarist Dan Ingberman accumulated “classic/southern rock” songs that just didn’t fit with Crooked Flower’s repertoire.  Bassist Daniel Erik and drummer Pat Shields suggested that they put together a side project with sometime Crooked Flower  guitarist Drew Southern

They had all had all played in various combinations with keyboardist Will Kyriazis, who in addition to playing on various Crooked Flower albums, was in another band called Hibbity Dibbity with slide guitarist Tom Relling .

Drew also co-founded another classic rock band called Stang with Dave Combs (vocals), who like Tom was friends with everyone and had made music with many.
Since everyone had other obligations, we needed to record this album efficiently.  We “started with” a few of Dan’s pre-existing songs, including “The Type” and “Sinner,” which he wrote after the first time he heard Dave Combs perform.

“Started with” is an important caveat.  All these songs went through a serious process of “arrangement” which fleshed out the songs with everyone’s ideas. Everyone acquired a nickname during the rehearsals.

Dan was “Professor,” because he really is a professor, and also due to his love of music theory.  Daniel was “Shep” – due to his business acumen, he was named after Shep Gordon.  Pat was “Thumper” because his pounding drums are the heartbeat of the band.  Drew was “Coach” because he was a quarterback/wide receiver in high school and college and explained everything in terms of football.  Tom was “T-bone” because, well, just because. For years they had been calling Will “Maynyrd” (as in Maynard Ferguson) because of his deep knowledge of every aspect of every genre of music, music theory, performance, etc.  Will was “General” because – although they all contributed – he was the “musical director.” And “The General Maynyrd Band” was born!

At the end of the day, “The General Maynyrd Band” is a blast, which is what great Rock and Roll is meant to be!

Check out their Website, like the band on Facebook and download the full album at Soundcloud