Women’s March LA – 2018

I arrived at the Women’s March VERY early with my staff because it was important to show support for what women, minorities and immigrants are facing in this country. While I was chatting with all of the wonderful men and women who came to march and protest, my god-daughter sent me a text that she and her friends were somewhere in the madness at 20 strong. I was more than proud of her because millennials are the group that will be negatively impacted the most with this administration’s policies. I was also proud of all the women, men, teens and younger kids gathering to make this year’s march a success, as well as to make their voices heard, not just in this country, but around the world.

If my mom were still alive, that first sign above referencing the 1960s, is the one she’d be holding. She believed in equality, was a staunch feminist and would have been at this march, or some march across this country. But she also would have been thoroughly pissed-off that we’re back at square one. But believe this, we’ll make it right mom, one day soon! We cannot and must not continue to allow history to keep repeating itself.

Today women and our allies, came together across this nation and around the world for the Women’s March. Let’s get something done. Rallies and protests are great, but we need to come together as a cohesive unit every single day and not just one day out of the year. I don’t want my nieces, god-daughter or any young girl in and outside of this country, to still be fighting the same fights we’re fighting today, and the fights our ancestors thought would be in my generation’s rearview mirror, against an extremist, patriarchal government who wants to have total control over women, our reproductive rights and how high up the ladder of success we can go. Our gender should NEVER be a deciding factor on any achievement in our lives, and our bodies and what’s inside of them, are our own to govern. The Handmaid’s Tale is a work of fiction and we should never EVER allow something like that to become a life imitating art moment.

As for immigration, everyone should be welcome in this country no matter what race, creed, ethnicity or religious affiliation. The Statue of Liberty says: Give me your tired, your poor, Your huddled masses yearning to breathe free, The wretched refuse of your teeming shore. Send these, the homeless, tempest-tossed to me, I lift my lamp beside the golden door!”

There’s no caveat in that statement which says you’re only welcome if you’re White. This is only one of a multitude of reasons why we’re marching, protesting, resisting and signing people up to vote. The very heart and soul of this country is dependent upon reclaiming our right to call ourselves decent and moral people. We cannot and will not allow a small group of racist oligarchs and kleptocrats to reverse the progress we’ve made in the US regarding race, religious freedom, immigration and women’s rights just because they long for a bygone era of White Male Supremacy. The buck stops with each and everyone one of us and by now, we should have all had ENOUGH!

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The Hypocrisy of #WhyWeWearBlack at the Golden Globes

 

 

Today journalists and Hollywood celebs will be at the Golden Globes and the celebs have this “movement” of #WhyWeWearBlack. Everyone is supposed to show up in Black to show support for women (and some men) who have been victims of sexual harassment, assault, rape and gender inequality . But here’s why I call bullsh*t…they all knew this behavior has been going on for decades and sat idly by, and said nothing and did NOTHING while collecting their millions. They watched other women suffer some of the most heinous indignities a woman could suffer. The few brave women who DID speak up, and risked their livelihoods, had their reputations sullied and their careers ruined.

Rose McGowan has been screaming about Harvey Weinstein for well over a decade, but not one of these women in the industry came to her defense. Meryl Streep, who has been in the industry for 40 years, feigned ignorance and guess what, many of us didn’t buy a damned thing she was selling with that Pollyanna routine. But here we are, on the backs of regular brave women and a few non-A listers, celebs such as Eva Longoria, Jessica Chastain, Reese Witherspoon, Kerry Washington, Tracey Ellis Ross, Ashley Judd, Brie Larsen and others, have come up with this idea of wearing all black to the Golden Globes and want other women across the globe to post videos of themselves wearing black to show solidarity. I call even more bullsh*t.

This is just another feel-good cause célèbre. Ordinary women such as Tarana Burke, who started the #MeToo movement, have been fighting the good fight against sexual harassment for decades. But on cue, here comes these celebrities piggy-backing off her hard-work, and had it not been for those on Twitter calling out Melissa Milano for her appropriation, Tarana Burke wouldn’t have gotten her due. As it is, Time didn’t even have the decency to put her on the cover for a movement being honored that she started. Throughout history, it’s never been celebrities who made significant changes to laws and mindsets in this country, it was regular people like us.

It really pisses me off that celebrities attach themselves to important issues like this, and use them as another avenue for publicity…for themselves of course. Yes they have a platform, but they should have been using that platform a long time ago. This has now became nothing more than the latest “Birkin bag” to them. If they truly wanted to send a message to Hollywood and to all of the victims in and outside of the US, then how about not showing up to the award shows this season? Not continuing to contribute to the pomp and ceremony, would have spoken louder than any black gown worth thousands. But realistically speaking, we all know that would never happen because they’re far too addicted to walking red carpets. Some have said they wouldn’t protest or boycott the show entirely because many of their friends and colleagues were nominated. So in essence, they don’t mind throwing some support in the direction of victims, as long as it doesn’t preclude their night of patting each other on the back.

Shonda Rhimes and 300 other prominent women in the entertainment industry are behind the Time’s Up initiative aimed at eradicating abuse, harassment, marginalization and under-representation in the work place, which on the surface appears to be a good thing. But let’s take a wait and see on what it is they really accomplish. Afterall, celebrities start initiatives and foundations all the darn time and some are successful and others are suspect. But in the end, us hardworking regular women are the ones who will ultimately create the environment we want to live and work in, while celebrities are comfortable in their bubbles, only peeping out from behind the gates to see if they can get something out of our hard-work, dedication and determination to end this rape and harassment culture that’s infected our society for way too long.

 

Sister Podcast, The Chatter at Latin Sounds -LACMA, Featuring Opa Opa

 

 

Every Saturday at the Los Angeles County Museum (LACMA) on Wilshire, they host Latin Sounds. It’s a free weekly outdoor concert on Satudays at 5:00 pm. At this performance was Opa Opa! They feature a distinctive blend of tich percussive rhythms, unique vocals and brassy horns that differentiates their band from other salsa bands. They’ve perfomed with Celia Cruz Willie Colon, Ruben Blades, El Gran Combo de Puerto Rico and Charlie Palmieri. Saturday, June 17, 2017.

Link to video: https://youtu.be/MUaUg0LHQ8g

 

Weekend Jamz….First up – Evanescence

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Just to get this party started and send you on your way to a fun-filled weekend, I’m racking up one of favorite groups, Evanescence. I was watching Underworld:Awakening with Kate Beckinsale, who is one of the best ass-kicking actresses in Hollywood. As the credits were rolling, I forgot that Evanescence was on the soundtrack.

And for those who aren’t familiar with their music, they formed in 1994 with original band members Amy Lee and Ben Moody. By the time they finally found the right combination in 2002 with guitarist John LeCompt, bassist Will Boyd and drummer Rocky Gray, they signed with Wind-up Records and released their first album Fallen. By the spring of 2003, Fallen had proven to be a full-blown success thanks to the hit single “Bring Me to Life” and followed quickly by “My Immortal” which reached Billboard’s Top 10 in the US.

Because of their success, Evanescence won two Grammys, one for Best New Artist and Best Hard Rock Performance. But as with many bands, there were out of control egos and discourse within the group and the line-up changed. It wasn’t until October of 2006 that they released their sophomore album, The Open Door which  débuted at number one on the Billboard chart. After finishing their tour for the album, there was yet another shake-up.

And it took another five full years before Evanescence released their third album in October 2011 and as with the prior two, it also débuted at the top of the charts.

So here we go with Evanescence’s My Immortal, Made of Stone and Going Under. Enjoy!

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Throwback Music Friday – The Smooth Sounds of the Whispers

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I’ve been on a break because I had surgery but today I’m feeling better and particularly nostalgic. I remember back in the day when music soothed your soul, got you on the dance floor and your parents didn’t have to worry about the message in the lyrics. The message was clear, love ruled and raunchy wasn’t even on the radar.

Today, I know some of you probably haven’t heard of this group but not too long ago, their songs were the “baby-making” music of a generation. A slick soulful group comprised of twin brothers Wallace and Walter Scott, Leaveil Degree, Nicholas Caldwell and Marcus Hutson who died in 2000. Of course anyone who is into R & B would know the fabulous and dynamic Whispers.

Their career started back in the 1960’s but I became aware of their sound in the 80’s with such hits as In the Raw, Just Gets Better With Time, In the Mood, Rock Steady, And the Beat Goes On and It’s a Love Thing. 

With an over 40 year career under their belts, they were inducted into The Vocal Group Hall of Fame in 2003. They were given The Rhythm and Blues prestigious Pioneer Award in 2008. And with an overwhelming popular vote, they were inducted into the SoulMusic Hall of Fame at SoulMusic.com in 2012.

Here you go, I’m overloading you with my boys…Just Gets Better With Time, In The Mood, In The Raw, It’s A Love Thing and a surprise…who knows what song number 5 will be, but I guarantee it’s as sweet as honey, The Whispers yall!

Throwback Music Friday is Rolling Along!

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Thanks to everyone who’ve enjoyed my Throwback Music Fridays. Today’s featured artist is the incomparable Eric Clapton…born Eric Patrick Clapton in Ripley, Surrey, England.

At thirteen, Eric received his first acoustic guitar, a Hoyer made in Germany. But the inexpensive steel-stringed instrument was difficult to play and he briefly lost interest. Two years later Clapton picked it up again, started playing consistently and that was the beginning of his long and illustrious career in music.

Eric Clapton is the only three-time inductee to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. Once as a soloist and twice as a member of the groups The Yardbirds and Cream. He has often been referred to as one of the greatest, most important and influential guitarists of all time.

As a Blues enthusiast from a young age, he cites B.B. King, Albert King, Freddie King, Buddy Guy and Hubert Sumlin as his guitar playing influences. But Clapton stated that Blues musician Robert Johnson was his single most important influence. In 2004 as an homage, he released CD’s and DVD’s titled Sessions for Robert Johnson featuring Clapton covering Robert Johnson songs using electric and acoustic guitar.

So here’s an ol’ skool  Clapton three-fer; from 1977’s Slowhand, the controversial Cocaine. 1970’s Layla from Layla and Other Assorted Love Songs and lastly, taking you back to his days with Cream, 1968’s White Room from the album Wheels of Fire.

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Throwback Music Friday….It’s Baaaaaaaack!

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Last Friday I was unable to post my favorite ol’ skool jams because I was in meetings about a new docu-series I’m writing and producing. But I’m back this week with a two-fer…one of my favorite bands of the 80’s and 90’s, Depeche Mode.

Depeche Mode is an English Electronic Music group formed in 1980 in Basildon, Essex. The original line-up included Dave Gahan, Martin Gore, Andy Fletcher and Vince Clarke. Clarke left in 1981 and was replaced by Alan Wilder until his departure in 1995. The band continued as a trio with Gahan, Gore and Fletcher.

Depeche Mode has sold over 100 million albums and singles worldwide making them, arguably, the most successful electronic music  band in history.

This week they released a single from their new album of the same name Heaven. So here it is,  Depeche Mode’s haunting new single Heaven.

As a bonus track, I’m including my sentimental favorite, Policy of Truth from 1990’s Violator.