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These Days: Saturday, May 27th, 2017

Manchester Benefit: Ariana Grande has announced a benefit concert in Manchester for the family of the victims at the terrorist attack last Monday (no news as to when or tickets).  At first, Ariana was so in shock that her friend Taylor Swift sent her private plane and whisked her out of the country. Then radio silence. Now, along with her manager Bieber’s redoubtable Scooter Braun, she has pulled herself together and after the benefit, she will continue her tour.

Meanwhile: A bomb exploded in Afghanistan yesterday killing 50 people and terrorists attacked a bus in Egypt killing 28 Coptic Christians,.

However all put to shame by: “Almost 1,000 civilian non-combatant deaths have already been alleged from coalition actions across Iraq and Syria in March — a record claim,” Airwars, a non-profit organization that monitors civilian deaths,  said in a statement. “These reported casualty levels are comparable with some of the worst periods of Russian activity in Syria.” You can’t be outraged by Manchester and not be outraged by this, it isn’t possible to be that hypocritical. Why are the US killing innocent people in Syria?

New Music: A new Ranchero album by Banda El Recodo has spectacular moments, the new Lil Yachty is a s great as a debut album gets, last week’s David Banner -13 years is gestation, improves with every listen, while last week’s Misterwives has worn off fast.

Old Music: I’m ready to write the Prince Indigo Nights review but can’t seem to find the time…

Politics: Hillary Clinton has twice proven her inability to be elected President, she is not the leader of the Democratic Party, maybe it is time for her to leave the world stage to a new generation.

Making Lists: It may be a guy thing, but I like best of lists and with that in mind: best musicians of the modern age, say post 1917:

Louis Armstrong

The Beatles

Elvis Presley

The case for Armstrong is self-evident right? Louis Armstrong’s Grandmother was a slave, his mother a prostitute, he was born 35 years after the civil war, so a generation after slavery and dealing with a country that hasn’t been able to fully integrate people of color to this date. From there he invented not just modern pop music, not just the intentional improvisation, he didn’t simply play for and was embraced by white culture, he all but invented modern recording techniques (in a warehouse in Chicago with the Hot Five), and swing and jazz and made it through to the other end without getting murdered. The single most gifted musician I am aware of (again, MODERN): Presley and The Beatles, and Jay Z, may owe nothing to jazz but they still owe everything to Armstrong. I wait patiently for somebody to archive his recorded output. Both James Brown and Louis Armstrong must be preserved as the highest form of human civilization artistry.

Death: New York Times: “Zbigniew Brzezinski, the hawkish strategic theorist who was national security adviser to President Jimmy Carter in the tumultuous years of the Iran hostage crisis and the Soviet invasion of Afghanistan in the late 1970s, died on Friday at a hospital in Virginia. He was 89.”

Concerts: Security was air tight at MSG on Thursday for Billy Joel’s concert. Though how they can maintain that is beyond me.

Sports: All pitching all the time! We got Tanaka back and DeGrom got into the ninth…


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