Archive for November, 2009

in performance: corey harris/ashley cleveland

corey harris.

corey harris.

The promoted menu last night at the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour at the Kentucky Theatre was the blues.  But what unfolded was an unexpectedly specific avenue of blues music, namely a spiritual inspiration ignited by traditional and contemporary gospel.

In the case of blues journeyman Corey Harris, such spiritual inclinations span the globe. His collaborators have included the renowned West African guitarist Ali Farka Toure and New Orleans pianist Henry Butler. His five-song WoodSongs leaned more to the former.

In terms of generalities, the solo setting Harris performed in last night regularly summoned a hushed, lean sound that Toure favored on his best recordings. As a result, a seemingly natural spirituality emerged when Harris dressed a Delta gem like Skip James’ Special Rider Blues with mantra-like guitar phrasing that came right out of the book of Toure.

But the sense of faith was just as profound (and equally unforced) when Harris took to steel guitar for Blind Willie Johnson’s By and By I’m Going to See the King. Here, vocals became a clear, stately howl that more than matched the wiry whine of Harris’ playing.

The remaining three songs – So Good to Me, Blues (a medley that referenced, among others, W.C. Handy and Jimmie Rodgers) and the Carribean-inclined Conquering Lion – came from Harris’ new album, a record that veers closer to contemporary secular soul. But within the solo acoustic framework, last night’s versions sounded wilder, looser and vastly more accepting of the program’s spiritual blues vibe.

ashley cleveland

ashley cleveland

Grammy/Dove winning Nashville song stylist Cleveland, accompanied by husband/guitarist Kenny Greenberg, has regularly rubbed shoulders with such rock vets as John Hiatt and Steve Winwood. But her own spiritually based recordings operate from more contemporary blues terrain, as suggested last night by Don’t Let Me Fall and a rugged take on Samson and Delilah.

Still, the title tune to her new God Don’t Ever Change album threw a kind of righteous curve ball into the program that brought the ageless spiritual Wade in the Water to mind.  Precious Lord Take My Hand, on the other hand, sought out gospel in a vocal spin that recalled such present day blues revivalists as Rory Block.

The music may have had its head and heart in the heavens. But the sense of soul dominate in these performances was full of a blues fire that couldn’t help but sound gloriously earthy.

an evening for paul k

Few Kentucky artists conjure music more socially stirring, darkly poetic or, when the mood is called for, jaggedly electric than Paul K. And few have been as prolific over the past two decades, whether it was through the indie cassettes and vinyl slices that seemed to pop up every few months during the ‘80s to more detailed and, dare we say it, refined works like 1997’s Love is a Gas album.

I used to run into the artist known offstage as Paul Kopaz on rare occasions. We would chat briefly at a concert (one he was in attendance for, not performing at). There was also a short, appreciative message years ago that came my way from him after I wrote a short commentary following the death of Texas songwriter Townes Van Zandt.

In recent years, with Kopaz spending less and less time in Lexington, I kept up with him through his writing. Aside from being a wicked songsmith, he was an immensely literate film and music critic, whose work regularly was featured in LEO Weekly, Louisville’s alternative newspaper.

Kopaz has faced some health issues of late. In typical Paul K fashion, no one seems to know the details. The only official word he gave regarding them was online. On his website, Kopaz mentions “a somewhat life-threatening, month-long hospital stay. Rumors of death, however, are premature.”

Regardless of the diagnosis, a month’s worth of hospital bills when you possess the type of insurance policy adopted by most working musicians – meaning none – is serious enough. So to offset the expenses, some of Lexington finest and most appreciative musicians – and even an out of town guest – are pulling together for a benefit tonight at Cosmic Charlie’s, 388 Woodland Ave., in Paul K’s behalf. Showtime is 7 p.m. Admission is $10.

The Tall Boys, The Fazed Cookies, Tula, Andy Mason, Slo-Fi, The Yonders, Gnarly Love, Ancient Warfare and Neva Geoffrey will be on hand. Very likely late additions will be added to the bill. One of them is already confirmed: the acclaimed New England-turned-Nashville songwriter David Olney.

Kopaz will be on hand, as well, offering a reading and possibly a song. It should prove a great night of celebration and support for an undeniably vital Kentucky music hero.

motown 50-50

Some late night channel surfing over Thanksgiving weekend turned up a PBS documentary on the heyday of Motown Records – a none too subtle reminder that 2009 is the 50th anniversary of the landmark pop-soul label.

Motown’s hitmaking legacy extended for decades. But what it accomplished between 1961 and 1973 forever shifted the perception of black music in white America.

Though decidedly pop oriented when compared to more regionally specific soul labels like Stax and Atlantic, Motown had a remarkably deep roster of talent, including a number of artists that would make huge strides as producers and songwriters.

While we perhaps best remember the more innocent sound of singles fashioned by and for The Supremes, Martha and the Vandellas and The Miracles in the ‘60s, Motown’s unsung triumph was its ability to adapt to the social fabric of a changing generation in the late ‘60s and early ‘70s.

Motown’s credo, almost from its onset, was The Sound of Young America. But when Young America began to mature and open its eyes and ears to a troubled world, Motown’s finest grew up, as well. The Norman Whitfield-produced Temptations albums, along with a string of superlative records by Marvin Gaye and Stevie Wonder, kept Motown’s often-proclaimed “golden age” alive until the early ‘70s.

If you grew up during the Golden Age of Motown, the label’s music was everywhere. If you didn’t, here is a primer sampler of essential Motown singles, the majority of which were No. 1 hits on pop as well as R&B charts. Actually, a proper list would be twice as long. But limiting it to 50 seemed to best fit the occasion.

And so, Happy Anniversary, Motown. Here are 50 of your finest hits to toast 50 years with.

 1. Martha and the Vandellas: Dancing in the Street (1964)

 2. Marvin Gaye: What’s Goin’ On (1971)

 3. Stevie Wonder: Living for the City (1973)

 4. The Temptations: My Girl (1965)

 5. Diana Ross and the Supremes: You Keep Me Hangin’ On (1966)

 6. The Four Tops: It’s the Same Old Song (1965)

 7. Jimmy Ruffin: What Becomes of the Brokenhearted (1966)

 8. The Temptations: Papa Was a Rollin’ Stone (1972)

 9. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles: The Tracks of My Tears (1965)

10. Junior Walker and the All Stars: Shotgun (1965)

11. Stevie Wonder: Uptight (1966)

12. Marvin Gaye: Ain’t That Peculiar (1965)

13. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles: I Second That Emotion (1967)

14. The Temptations: Cloud Nine (1968)

15. Stevie Wonder: For Once in My Life (1968)

16. The Four Tops: Reach Out I’ll Be There (1966)

17. The Temptations: I Can’t Get Next To You (1969)

18. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell: Ain’t Nothing Like the Real Thing (1968)

19. Gladys Knight and the Pips: If I Were Your Woman (1970)

20. Diana Ross and the Supremes: I Hear a Symphony (1965)

21. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles: Shop Around (1960)

22. The Temptations: Ball of Confusion (1970)

23. Marvin Gaye: Inner City Blues (1971)

24. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles: The Tears of a Clown (1970)

25. Stevie Wonder: Superstition (1972)

26. The Temptations: Get Ready (1966)

27. The Four Tops: Baby I Need Your Loving (1964)

28. Edwin Starr: War (1970)

29. Marvin Gaye: Let’s Get It On (1973)

30. Diana Ross and the Supremes: Stop! In the Name of Love (1965)

31. The Marvelettes: Please Mr. Postman (1961)

32. The Four Tops: I Can’t Help Myself (1965)

33. Marvin Gaye: Mercy Mercy Me (1971)

34. Mary Wells: My Guy (1964)

35. The Jackson 5: I Want You Back (1970)

36. The Temptations: Psychedelic Shack (1969)

37. Diana Ross and the Supremes: Reflections (1967)

38. The Four Tops: Bernadette (1967)

39. Smokey Robinson and the Miracles: Ooo Baby Baby (1965)

40. Gladys Knight and the Pips: I Heard It Through the Grapevine (1967)

41. Marvin Gaye: I Heard It Through the Grapevine (1968)

42. Diana Ross and the Supremes: Someday We’ll Be Together (1969)

43. The Jackson 5: The Love You Save (1971)

44. Stevie Wonder: Higher Ground (1973)

45. Junior Walker and the All-Stars: What Does It Take (1969)

46. Marvin Gaye and Tammi Terrell: Ain’t No Mountain High Enough (1967)

47. The Temptations: Masterpiece (1973)

48. The Jackson 5: ABC (1970)

49. Marvin Gaye: Trouble Man (1972)

50. Diana Ross and the Supremes: Where Did Our Love Go (1964)

Stolen property recovered in Alameda, but questions linger

Oakland Tribune July 7, 2011 | Janet Levaux An Alameda resident recovered a stolen bike trailer just two days after it was taken recently, thanks to the efforts of a local resident. Other items found with the trailer, though, apparently were not handled correctly by Alameda police, prompting a review of the matter by the department.

Mary Grace Basco realized her bike trailer — but not her bike — was missing from her condominium courtyard on June 24. She then went to a local flea market and several recycling centers with a photo of it. “I had a hunch that someone might use it for their kids, sell it or use it to for hauling,” she said.

Basco also posted a notice on the Internet-based Alameda Parents Network, through which she found out that Alamedan Jennifer Solomon had her bike taken from the driveway of her home on June 25. “I sent her a photo of my trailer,” said Basco.

On June 26, as Solomon finished crossing the Park Street Bridge, she spotted a bike trailer matching Basco’s and called Basco and the police. Basco identified the trailer and pressed charges against a woman who had been sitting near it in a parking lot on Blanding Avenue. Police identified the woman as Dianna Ware, 25, a transient. “We made the arrest, and she was charged with possession of stolen property,” said Lt. Sean Lynch, head of the investigations bureau. see here bike trailer site bike trailer

Basco and Solomon soon realized that bags of miscellaneous items found with the trailer had been left behind. “We found lots of stuff, including some controlled substances — prescriptions,” said Solomon, so she called the police. The police returned and took a bag of medicine.

Solomon visited the area on June 27 and June 28, only to find that many items — including a new cell phone — had not yet been removed.

“I then took what I considered to be stolen property to the next City Council meeting to share my concerns.” Lynch said the police department is reviewing the matter. “Our policy regarding the handling of property, recovered or stolen, was apparently not followed,” he said. “We are taking administrative action, which includes the appropriate training and discipline.” In general, the police department’s policy is designed to ensure that recovered property is “properly handled and documented,” Lynch explained. “We do our best to handle each call to the best of our abilities,” he said. “If we fall short, we will take corrective steps to meet up to the standards.” Solomon says the police and residents could benefit greatly from a community meeting. Advice on how to avoid having items stolen and the importance of keeping track of serial numbers is always helpful, for instance, she and Basco say. “If there’s more we can do to help the police, we would like to do it,” said Solomon.

Lynch says the department already has resources and activities in place for community-oriented policing. “We try our best to inform the public and get public input on these issues. We take them seriously,” he said.

For her part, Basco says she appreciates the help she received in recovering her bike trailer. “This experience showed me that you need cooperation to move ahead.” Janet Levaux

who's super

roger daltrey and pete townshend of the who

roger daltrey and pete townshend of the who

At halftime of the Thanksgiving trouncing of the Oakland Raiders by the Dallas Cowboys came word of another halftime – specifically, confirmation of the featured rock act at the 2010 Super Bowl halftime: The Who.

The veteran British band, with founding members Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey, will be the latest in a string of warhorse marquee names to be paraded as part of the NFL championship game following the fallout caused by the Justin Timberlake/Janet Jackson “wardrobe malfunction” of 2004. Funny how a split second flash of flesh is deemed controversial but once-hardline rock acts like The Who, The Rolling Stones, Prince, Tom Petty and even Bruce Springsteen are now deemed family entertainment.

The latter pack, though, are all part of a rock history that made reputations out of decades of serious songcraft and musicianship, not cheap, exploitative dance routines like the one that made Justin and Janet appear more clownish than offensive.

But Townshend and Daltrey will have a tough Super Bowl act to follow in Springtseen, who delivered the goods with good humor and tireless rock ‘n’ roll zeal last winter.

Daltrey performed on his own up at the Horseshoe in Elizabeth, Indiana on Halloween night. While hardly the most prestigious of gigs, he still sounded commanding when singing Squeeze Box, I Can See for Miles, My Generation and Young Man’s Blues back-to-back. But taking on a medley of Johnny Cash tunes later in the show? Ooh, that hurt.

Townshend, one of rock’s champion sourpusses, can still make mirrors rattle and crack with his guitarwork, but his compositions are what continue to define and validate The Who as an artistic enterprise.

So moved, in fact, was Denver Broncos/Baltimore Ravens tight end-turned-CBS commentator Shannon Sharpe at the Who news that he broke into the Townshend Quadrophenia classic Love Reign O’er Me, much to the groans and chuckles of his broadcast mates.

The date for The Who on Super Bowl XLIV from Miami’s Dolphins Stadium will be Feb. 7, 2010. The game and the performance will be broadcast live on CBS, the network that just happens to use three Townshend songs as themes for its CSI programs. What a coincidence.

Antioch Police Calls

Oakland Tribune July 22, 2009 | Anonymous The following calls were among those handled by the Antioch police July 8-14 according to information provided by the Antioch police department. Police did not provide the week’s remaining calls- for-service in time for deadline. go to website 2000 honda accord

July 8 Fraud: At 2:56 p.m. two males tried to deposit a check into a closed account at the Washington Mutual Bank on the 3200 block of Delta Fair Boulevard.

— Robbery: At 3:22 p.m. a female on the 1900 block of Mokelumne Drive reported that her daughter and two friends were robbed while walking home.

— Vehicle theft: At 10:10 p.m. it was reported that a Kawasaki Ninja 500 motorcycle was stolen from East 16th Street.

July 9 Vehicle theft: At 7:15 a.m. it was reported a black 2000 Honda Accord was stolen from the 5000 block of Vista Grande Drive sometime during the night.

— Vehicle theft: At 9 p.m. it was reported a dark green 1992 Acura Legend was stolen from the 3900 block of Gentrytown Drive.

— Grand theft: At 2:34 p.m. it was reported an air conditioner unit was stolen from a model home on the 39000 block of Warbler Drive.

July 10 Vehicle theft: At 9:16 a.m. it was reported a red 1992 Acura was stolen from the 2400 block of Hazelnut Court.

— Malicious vandalism: At 7:39 p.m. after paying for fuel at a gas station on A Street, a customer in a blue Ford ripped off the nozzle from the gas pump and fled the scene.

— Fraud: At 8:21 p.m. a female passed a counterfeit $20 bill at Romi’s Food and Liquor on 18th Street and refused to leave without getting the money back. here 2000 honda accord

July 12 Assault: At 1:07 a.m. Sutter Delta Medical Center advised police that a gunshot victim was in the emergency room after being shot in the thumb at a party.

— Burglary: At 2:58 p.m. a resident on the 3500 block of Stone Place arrived home and discovered the residence has been burglarized.

— Grand theft: At 7:14 p.m. a golf cart was stolen from the grounds of an apartment complex on the 2200 block of San Jose Drive.

July 13 Public intoxication: An intoxicated male was discovered laying on the sidewalk by the 7-Eleven store on Hillcrest Drive at 10:24 a.m.

— Graffiti: At 11:12 a.m. it was reported that graffiti was painted on the sound wall at the intersection of Dallas Ranch and Stonecrest drives.

— Grand theft: At 12:26 p.m. an employee arrived at a worksite on Sweet Water Street and discovered the auger had been stolen off a Bobcat utility machine.

— Nan Hargis Anonymous

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seeing red

king crimson's 1974 studio album "red" has been reissued this fall.

king crimson: red

I took a spin the other night with an old friend – a 1974 studio recording by prog rock champion King Crimson titled simply Red.

Specifically, it was a spruced up “40th Anniversary” edition of the album (the anniversary being that of the mighty Crim’s formation and obviously not of Red itself). As such, the album was presented in five digital surround and lossless stereo mixes that were unthinkable when Red was first unleashed upon the world. There were a few unreleased treats, too, including live-in-the-studio recordings and some DVD footage of Crimson on French TV around the time of Red‘s release – all of which were enough to make junkie fans like myself purchase another edition of an album we already owned.

But digging into Red again with Thanksgiving at hand underscored something I never expected, but should have. While all the extras were a blast, what I kept listening to over and over again was the original album – five tracks and 40 minutes of blissful, electric music that was dark and pensive but also open and often very free in its improvisatory approach. Witness, for instance, Providence, the concert instrumental that underscored what a crafty set of improvisers these Crimsons were.

The power chords from guitarist Robert Fripp still pack a wallop 35 years later while the drum fills of Bill Bruford remain full of propulsive muscle, as does the warmer, more playful shades of his percussive spirit. Finally we have the raw bottom end bass from vocalist John Wetton.

king crimson, circa 1974: robert fripp, david cross, bill bruford, john wetton.

king crimson, circa 1974: robert fripp, david cross, bill bruford, john wetton.

Fripp and Bruford sounded immediately thrilling from the first time I heard Red played as an import recording on a Fort Knox radio station in the fall of 1974. But as time goes by, Wetton’s contributions shine all the more. It’s a testament to the new edition’s mixes that his ominous, sweaty bass phrasings are given new prominence on Red.

I mention all of this not as a form of a review, but as a bit musical comfort. Sure, it’s great to hear one’s favorite albums remastered on a level that takes full advantage of the newest sonic technology. But what is really inspiring about when an album like Red resurfaces is the prospect of how its renewed but very temporary visibility might attract a new and perhaps younger ear.

Undoubtedly that was a hope when The Beatles’ recordings were re-issued with shiny new sound in September. So if it takes a new, spruced up edition to give Red a momentary new day in the commercial sun, so be it. Same goes for Crimson’s groundbreaking 1969 debut record, In the Court of the Crimson King (which has also been re-released) and 1971’s Lizard (which will resurface early in 2010).

Those were the splendid works of entirely different (save for Fripp) King Crimson bands. But Red was the last record made by the Crimson I came to know first. It sounded great then. It sounds better now. And if you’ve never heard it, it’s going to sound too insanely cool for words.

critic’s pick 99

tom waits: glitter and doom

tom waits: glitter and doom

Near the halfway point of Glitter & Doom Live, the third official concert recording from the ever mercurial Tom Waits (but his first in over 21 years), a deep, swampy blues called Dirt in the Ground is unleashed. Its melody is haunting but warm, its vocal performance is frighteningly caustic but still immensely human and its lyrics… well, its lyrics are as simple as life and death, a point hammered home in a chorus line Waits delivers like a sly carnival barker: “We’re all gonna be dirt in the ground.”

There’s nothing quite as affirming as hearing Waits singing like the devil, whether it’s in the deathbed croon of I’ll Shoot the Moon, the wheezy and whispery jazz serenade Green Grass, the scorched earth blues confessional Make It Rain or, for that matter, most any of the album’s 16 songs pulled predominantly from the more recent half of Waits’ 37 year recording career.

Compiled from performances given during a summer tour in 2008, Glitter & Doom is a two disc set. The first half centers on tunes with a theatrical flair that often bridge the seemingly disparate worlds of Kurt Weill and Captain Beefheart. With a band that includes two of his sons (Casey on drums and, in cameos, Sullivan on winds), Waits drenches his tunes with a kind of Brecht-ian bravado that has been suggested on past studio albums. But it boils over here during the beatbox gospel of Ain’t Goin’ Down, the dirty funk grind of Metropolitan Glide and the noir tango of Trampled Rose.

For my money, though, the show stealer is saved for last. On Lucky Day (a tune originally from the 1993 operetta recording of The Black Rider), Waits sings of leaving a life of trouble behind. He dreams of schoolmarms, pool sharks and sage-like advice from his father (“When you get blue and you’ve lost all your dreams, there’s nothing like a campfire and a can of beans”). A joke? Not really. It’s all bittersweet in a very operatic way – or, depending on your viewpoint, the other way around.

Disc two is a 35 minute assemblage of spoken yarns (Tom Tales, as Glitter & Doom titles them) recited when Waits performed at the piano. Among the selected topics: the dining habits of vultures, the number of omelettes that can be prepared from an ostrich egg (“14… that’s a lot of omelettes”), art portraits made out of Spam and the mating practices of spiders.

“It’s hard to find people here as interested in these things as I am,” Waits confides. Don’t bet on that, Tom. Such exquisitely scattered storytelling is a major bonus. It’s recorded proof that, on this darkly enchanting concert album, all that glitters isn’t doom.

simply shocking

michelle shocked flashing them pearly whites on the cover of her "soul of my soul" album. shocked performs back-to-back downtown shows tonight.

michelle shocked flashing those pearly whites on the cover of her new "soul of my soul" album. she will perform two downtown shows tonight.

We will start your Monday with a reminder that the great folk baroness Michelle Shocked will be in town tonight for back-to-back downtown performances. Well, actually they’re just across the street from each other.

First up will be a featured guest spot on the weekly 7 p.m. taping of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour at the Kentucky Theatre, 214 E. Main. The Canadian folk duo Dala will round out the bill. As of Sunday, the WoodSongs reservation line did not list the taping as being sold out. But expect a full house nonetheless. Tickets are $10. Call (859) 252-8888.

After the broadcast winds up, Shocked will venture across the street for a full evening performance at Natasha’s Bistro, 112 Esplanade. Tickets are $19. Showtime is 9:30 p.m. Call (859) 259-2754 for ticket availability.

Getting to see Shocked in such an intimate environment should be a thrill. But it will also be interesting to see how the more rockish jabs from her new Soul of My Soul album will work with a sit down crowd. Shocked has long been a prolific recording artist, so veteran fans have come to expect a wealth of new material at her concerts. But she never neglects the devotees. Career defining tunes such as Anchorage and When I Grow Up almost always find their way into a Shocked show.


States News Service September 28, 2009 WASHINGTON, DC — The following information was released by the U.S. Department of Education, Federal Student Aid:

Summary: This letter announces the availability of a revised Perkins MPN and an Addendum to the current Perkins MPN, and provides guidance on the implementation of these documents.

Dear Colleague:

The Office of Management and Budget (OMB) has approved a revised Federal Perkins Loan Program Master Promissory Note (Perkins MPN) under OMB Control Number 1845-0074. The revised Perkins MPN, which has an expiration date of 08/31/2012, replaces the current Perkins MPN that has an expiration date of 06/30/2009. The revised Perkins MPN has been updated to reflect changes to the terms and conditions of Perkins Loans that were made by the College Cost Reduction and Access Act of 2007 (CCRAA) (Pub. L. 110-84) and the Higher Education Opportunity Act of 2008 (HEOA) (Pub. L. 108-315).

In addition, the Department of Education (the Department) has developed an Addendum for use by schools to explain the changes made by the CCRAA and the HEOA to borrowers who sign the current Perkins MPN before the revised MPN is implemented, or who previously received Perkins Loans under an MPN or promissory note that was signed before the Addendum was made available. The statutory changes reflected in the revised Perkins MPN and Addendum include the following:

Change in the number of consecutive monthly payments required for loan rehabilitation from twelve to nine.

Change in forbearance requirements to allow for oral forbearance requests.

Changes to the active duty military deferment provisions and addition of a new post-active duty deferment.

New loan cancellation provisions for attorneys employed in a defender organization, firefighters, tribal college or university faculty, librarians, and speech-language pathologists.

Expansion of teacher cancellation to include teachers who perform qualifying service at a school or location operated by a low-income educational service agency.

Expansion of Head Start cancellation to include full-time staff members in a pre-kindergarten or child care program that is licensed or regulated by the State. go to site federal perkins loan

Increase in the maximum amount that may be cancelled for military service from 50 percent to 100 percent.

For more detailed information related to the military deferment changes, schools should refer to the October 23, 2008 final regulations that were published in the Federal Register. Final regulations implementing the other changes listed above will be published later this year.

In addition to the changes described above, the revised Perkins MPN includes, on page 1, a new authorization that allows for the use of automated telephone dialing equipment or artificial or pre-recorded voice or text messages to contact the borrower regarding his or her loan request or loan(s) at any current or future number for a cell phone or other wireless device that the borrower provides. This is consistent with similar authorizations that have been added to the MPNs used in the Federal Family Education Loan Program and the William D. Ford Federal Direct Loan Program.

Effective date for use of the revised Perkins MPN. website federal perkins loan

As of October 1, 2009, schools may no longer distribute the Perkins MPN with the June 30, 2009 expiration date to borrowers. Only the revised Perkins MPN included with this Dear Colleague Letter may be distributed to borrowers on or after October 1, 2009. However, if a school has already sent the Perkins MPN with the June 30, 2009 expiration date to a borrower before October 1, 2009, that MPN remains valid for making loans. Similarly, if a school uses the Perkins MPN as a multi-award year promissory note, students who previously signed the Perkins MPN with the June 30, 2009 expiration date may continue to receive loans under that MPN for future award years and are not required to sign the revised Perkins MPN.

Use of the Addendum.

Schools must attach a copy of the Addendum to each Perkins MPN with the June 30, 2009 expiration date that is provided to a borrower after the date of this Dear Colleague Letter and before October 1, 2009. The Addendum is not required once a school begins distributing the revised Perkins MPN with the June 30, 2012 expiration date.

In addition, schools should provide a copy of the Addendum to all borrowers who previously received or who may receive Perkins Loans based on an MPN or promissory note signed before the publication date of this Dear Colleague Letter, in order to inform these borrowers of the new terms and conditions governing their loans. The Department is not prescribing the timing or method a school must use to provide the Addendum to this group of borrowers. Schools may mail the Addendum, distribute it during exit interviews, include it with billing notices for borrowers who are entering repayment or who are already in repayment, or use other methods to ensure that borrowers receive the Addendum. Note that regardless of whether or not a borrower has received an Addendum, a school remains responsible for complying with the program changes resulting from the CCRAA and the HEOA, and the borrower is entitled to the benefits provided by these laws.

Document formats for the revised Perkins MPN and Addendum.

A school may not change the presentation of the Perkins MPN or the Addendum, nor may a school change, delete, or add to the text of the MPN or Addendum, except that any text on the MPN enclosed by “[ ]” may be deleted at the option of the school. Consistent with past guidance, the addition of coding (for example, bar coding for filing or processing purposes) is permitted.

If you have questions about this letter, please contact Brian Smith at (202) 502-7551.

Sincerely, Jeff Baker, Director Policy Liaison and Implementation Federal Student Aid U.S. Department of Education Attachments/Enclosures:

Federal Perkins Loan Program Master Promissory Note in Microsoft Word Format, 71KB, 4 Pages Federal Perkins Loan Program Master Promissory Note in PDF Format, 63KB, 4 Pages Addendum to the Federal Perkins Loan Program Master Promissory Note in Microsoft Word Format, 34KB, 3 Pages Addendum to the Federal Perkins Loan Program Master Promissory Note in PDF Format, 21KB, 3 Pages

a green weekend

the deadstring brothers from detroit perform saturday at the green lantern.

the deadstring brothers perform saturday at the green lantern.

The Green Lantern kicks the weekend into gear tonight with the return of the Cincinnati cowpunk brigade 500 Miles to Memphis. The band rocks heartily with guitar crunch, country commiseration and hook-happy tunes from its 2007 album Sunshine in a Shot Glass.

This is supposedly 500 Miles’ last show of the year. Of course, its website claimed a Friday the 13th bash at the Southgate House in Newport was going to close out road work for 2009. Regardless, you won’t have 500 Miles to kick around after this weekend. The band plans to get busy this winter on a new album with eyes toward a February release.

The very fine West Virginia string band The Fox Hunt will open tonight’s show

The club follows up on Saturday with The Deadstring Brothers, a band that poses this intriguing rock ‘n’ roll query: What if the Rolling Stones, especially as they existed in their honky tonk glory of the early ‘70s, hailed from Detroit in instead of England?

Certainly there is a passing shade of Mick Jagger in the singing of Kurt Marschke – although it is mostly a reflection of Jagger during the roots rebellion days of Exile on Main St. Those accents, along with an occasional nod to Faces-style looseness, fuel such Deadstring albums as 2007’s Silver Mountain. But expect boozy country blues to also abound on tunes the Brothers are bound to play Saturday from the forthcoming Sao Paulo record, which is due out on Chicago’s famed Bloodshot label in February.

Opening on Saturday will be fellow Motor City country stylists Whitey Morgan and the 78s. Morgan’s crew, however, seem to steer closer to the traditional. Its cover of Bruce Springtsteen’s I’m on Fire sounds like pre-outlaw era Waylon Jennings in a heady Western mood.

500 Miles to Memphis performs at 10 tonight; The Deadstring Brothers perform at 10 Saturday. Both performances will be at The Green Lantern, 497 Third St. Cover charge each night is $5. Call  (859) 252-9539.

critic’s pick 98

On one team we have Dave Rawlings, longtime performance mate of Americana idol Gillian Welch who now leads his own project with Welch reverting to the support role. On the other is Rosie Flores, the long proclaimed “rockabilly filly” who returns after a few years as a thoroughly independent act to team with punk vet and alt-country maestro Jon Langford – producer, co-writer, duet partner and even cover artist for her newest album.

dave rawlings machine: a friend of a friend

dave rawlings machine: a friend of a friend

For Rawlings and Welch, the new A Friend of a Friend employs the relaxed folk settings of their concerts as a springboard in terms of performance attitude and repertoire. Initially, the Dave Rawlings Machine was designed as a cover band project that worked in a few original tunes penned for other artists with  instrumental fortification from members of the renegade string band Old Crow Medicine Show.

As such, A Friend of a Friend resurrects a near decade-old tune – To Be Young (is to be Sad, is to be High) – Rawlings co-wrote with Ryan Adams. This version is more of a hoedown with all of the Crow Show in tow. Curiously the song’s modestly wistful melody also reveals a slightly Dylan-esque cast.

From the covers corner comes a 10 minute medley of Conor Oberst’s Method Acting and an elegiac reading of Neil Young’s Cortez the Killer performed only with Welch.                               

Rounding out the record’s stylistic breadth is Bells of Harlem, one of several newer Rawlings/Welch tunes that again recalls Dylan, but in his more ambient, Time Out of Mind-era guise.

rosie flores: girl of the century

rosie flores: girl of the century

Girl of the Century benefits from Langford’s pub-style demeanor. But his Pine Valley Cosmonauts largely stay out of the way of Flores’ rootsy intimacy. Sure, rockabilly still figures into the fun, especially in the effervescent update of This Little Girl’s Gone Rockin’, a 1956 Bobby Darin-penned hit for Ruth Brown, and a raucous, riff-heavy This Cat’s in the Doghouse.

But the album shines just as generously as a vintage country affair, whether it’s through the 1969 Ernest Tubb/Loretta Lynn hit Who’s Gonna Take Your Garbage Out? with Langford adding a touch of Welsh vitriol to the flames or the fiddle driven swing of a recent Paul Burch serenade, Little Bells.

The outside inspirations are no match for Girl of the Century‘s Flores-penned title tune, though. It’s a torchy work of dark folk reflection and border town strings bolstered by a voice that booms clear to the next century and back again.

in performance: klang

james falzone. photo by jeff meacham.

james falzone of klang. photo by jeff meacham.

Judging by its fine two-set performance last night at Al’s Bar, the Chicago quartet Klang seemed quite content to be a conduit between worlds of jazz tradition and new frontiers of free improvisation.

Led by clarinetist James Falzone, Klang played from a number of stylistic bases. Some celebrated swing, but not always the standardized tempos associated with it. The opening G.F.O.P., for instance, let swing and blues accents accelerate, fracture and unite for some impressively rugged harmonic passages.

Other compositions – many of which were pulled from Klang’s indie debut album, Tea Music – made ample use of Falzone’s accomplices. For Still Life, drummer Tim Daisy played hushed rumbles with mallets before offering an arsenal of percussive shots on small gongs and cymbals, all of which created a merry klang indeed.

But it was the way clarinet mingled with the vibraphone work of Jason Adasiewicz that seemed to open the most stylistic doors. During Lament on Ash Wednesday, the mood was cool but restless with Adasiewicz playing the vibes not with mallets but with a bow. The resulting sound – thin but eerie – equally played off the bowed bass work of Jason Roebke. But on Memories Of You, modeled on Benny Goodman’s version of the Eubie Blake tune, the vibes emitted a rich, lyrical glow.

It’s perhaps an easy and obvious reference, but it was hard not to hear the inspiration of vibes great Gary Burton in Adasiewicz’s playing, from his sometimes deeply percussive attack to the way he appropriated attractive shades of blues into his playing during the original tune I Hope She is Awake.

Goodman and another clarinet giant, Jimmy Giuffre, were compositional models for the performance, as shown by the band’s deft mix of blues cool and improvisational bursts during a version of Giuffre’s Me Too. But as the second of two sets progressed, free improvisation gained more ground, whether it was in the Zappa-like animation of #32 Busonius or the jagged rhythmic turns, and the wonderful moments of quiet they often paved the way for, on China Black.

The evening’s only sore spot was the bar chatter at Al’s. It was light enough to be dismissed during the first set. But in the second, the idle, uninvolved bar speak became very intrusive. Al’s is an intimate setting. Voices carry. On some beer soaked Saturday with indie rock in the spotlight, it wouldn’t matter. On a rainy Tuesday where a small but attentive audience was soaking in all it could from Klang, such empty chatter was a rude and distracting annoyance.

Obituary: Lucienne Bloch

The Independent (London, England) April 3, 1999 | Nick Caistor BORN IN Switzerland in 1909, living most of her long life in the United States, the artist Lucienne Bloch is best-known internationally for her friendship with a Mexican couple.

The first record of Lucienne is as a small child in her birthplace Geneva, photographed with her brother and sister by her father, the composer Ernst Bloch. Bloch was also a photographer and taught Lucienne how to develop photographs as a child. In 1917, Bloch sailed with his family across the Atlantic to take up a position in New York, and a few years later became director of the Institute of Music in Cleveland and then, from 1925, of the San Francisco Conservatory of Music. He had a somewhat tempestuous relationship with his wife, who after a few years took her children back to Paris. detroit institute of arts

Lucienne studied at the Ecole des Beaux Arts in Paris, and spent a year making glass sculptures in Amsterdam. Returning once more to the United States, it was in 1931 that she both held a one-man show of her glass in New York and first met the formidable Mexican painters Diego Rivera and Frida Kahlo. In her diary, Bloch recalled that this was at a dinner in Rivera’s honour in New York, where she was seated next to the great man, much to the irritation of the jealous Kahlo, whose first words to the bemused young Swiss woman were: “I hate you.” Soon though, Kahlo became satisfied that Bloch was not infatuated with her husband, and over the next few years, she became Kahlo’s faithful companion, accompanying her during the difficult loss of her child, and the death of her mother, and even travelled to Mexico with her. On one occasion, in August 1932, Bloch wrote in her diary: “We took cold chicken in a little basket and went to Belle Isle dragging Diego with us at the last instant. It did him good to go out. He was so surprised at the beauty of the trees when lying down in the grass. He says trees are ugly and nature is hokum, but he can’t help admiring it when he’s in it.” Bloch herself was a talented sculptor – Frank Lloyd Wright offered her the post of sculpture director at his school in Wisconsin. But she was particularly impressed with the public murals that Diego Rivera was busily creating in Mexico and the United States, and instead became Rivera’s assistant. She also fell in love with his chief plasterer, the Bulgarian Stephen Dimitroff. She helped on Rivera’s most controversial projects, at the Detroit Institute of Art, and on Man at the Crossroads, for the Rockefeller Center in New York. Nelson Rockefeller had commissioned the 1,000sqft work, but the Rockefeller family was horrified when it discovered that Rivera intended to make it a paean in praise of Communism, with Lenin as the great spiritual leader of mankind. Rivera was quickly paid off, and armed guards moved in while the mural was covered with screens. Bloch attempted to defend it, even going so far as to scrawl on the whitewashed windows of the Rockefeller Center: “Workers unite! Help protect Rivera M-” – at which point, she was dragged away. She returned however, on 8 May 1933, with Dimitroff and Kahlo, and while Kahlo distracted the guards, Bloch climbed up on the scaffold and with her camera managed to capture the only images of the mural to survive. Throughout the 1930s, Bloch continued to work as a muralist and sculptor in glass and terracotta. She and Dimitroff married and became an artistic fresco team, he handling the plaster and she the painting on around 50 projects around America. Her photographs of Frida Kahlo were widely shown, but she also took photos for Life magazine, again demonstrating her strong political convictions, as in the series of striking carworkers in late 1930s. Dimitroff became a union organiser until the couple moved to California in the 1960s. Towards the end of her life, there was a renewed interest in Lucienne Bloch’s work. The singer Madonna, researching for a film project about Frida Kahlo, talked with her at length and set up a fund to preserve the best of her murals, The Evolution of Music, in the George Washington High School in New York. From 1965 Bloch lived in Gualala, California, and it was here that the first exhibition of her photographs of Frida Kahlo was recently held. Lucienne Bloch, muralist: born Geneva 1909; married Stephen Dimitroff (died 1996; two sons, one daughter); died Gualala, California 13 March 1999. see here detroit institute of arts

Nick Caistor

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