Archive for February, 2010

sam bush gets his footing

sam bush

sam bush

It’s back-to-work time for Sam Bush.

The veteran bluegrass-and-more stylist and Kentucky Music Hall of Famer has spent the better part of the winter – well, all of it, actually – at a locale he seldom sees during the course of the year: home. He has been recuperating from surgery on his right foot to remove bone spurs – or, as a several on-line posts have termed it, “non-clumsiness related foot surgery.”

But the convalescence came at a somewhat precarious time. Bush’s fine new Circles Around Me album was released only a month before the footwork. That meant much of the record’s promotion, along with his usually hearty schedule of touring and recording studio session work had to be put on hold.

“But I’m getting ready to hit the ground running,” Bush said in a recent phone interview. “Literally.”

Bush will be running and then some. His first working itinerary of 2010 looks something like this:

+ a recording session with country star Dierks Bentley.

+ a flight the following morning to Cambridge, Mass. to speak and perform at a bluegrass symposium at Harvard University.

+ a flight back to Nashville before leaving again the next day for California and a series of new grass trio concerts with longstanding pals and fellow acoustic music innovators Jerry Douglas and Edgar Meyer.

+ the kickoff of a midwinter tour with the Sam Bush Band on Thursday at the Grand Theatre in Frankfort.

If the surgery and recoup time weren’t exactly part of Bush’s working agenda, neither was Circles Around Me. Well, making a recording was planned, but not the sound or stylistic direction it took. For an artist that has dabbled in new grass, fusion, funk, folkish country and any number of progressive string music notions on his recent albums, Circles Around Me took Bush and his mandolin and fiddle playing back to his bluegrass beginnings.

“That’s what was so interesting about when we went into the studio,” Bush said. “We had no real plans at all to make something that was so close to a bluegrass-type record that used acoustic instruments.”

But calling Circles Around Me a traditional bluegrass recording misses the mark. “Comprehensive bluegrass” might be a better tag. The recording revisits music Bush cut in the early days of the landmark New Grass Revival (Souvenir Bottles), a bluegrass nugget by the Country Gentlemen (You Left Me Alone), an immensely animated instrumental skirmish with Douglas and Meyer (Junior Heywood) and a recording of a spry duet featuring Bush on fiddle and founding New Grass Revival banjoist Courtney Johnson (Apple Blossom) that sat forgotten in a crate of studio tapes for decades. Johnson died of cancer in 1996.

“That one brought me a big old tear of joy,” Bush said of the newly rediscovered recording.

The traditional side of Circles Around Me is most luminous when two bluegrass standards popularized by Bill Monroe – Midnight on the Stormy Deep and Roll On Buddy, Roll On – come to life with vocal and guitar aid from bluegrass great (and Monroe alumnus) Del McCoury. It’s in these tunes that a strong sense of artistic reflection surfaces. You hear it in the harmonies Bush and McCoury create and the soft, unhurried sway of guitar, mandolin and fiddle.

“I don’t really know if you will find much that’s actually reflective in the lyrics of songs like Midnight on the Stormy Deep or Roll on Buddy, Roll On. But one of the things that may show a bit of reflection is what Del brings to the record.

“It was so funny. We would trade these stories between takes in the studio. Del’s a little older than me. But I’m getting old enough now that I know a lot of these same guys that he’s talking about. On top of that Del has so much energy.

“So this session lasted about five hours. By the time it was over, I pretty much had no voice left. But Del just kept going. He would say. ‘That’s okay. You don’t have to sing. Just play.’ Man, Del just sang me into the ground that night.”

Bush dedicated Circles Around Me to his wife Lynn, who served as executive producer for the album. Fittingly, and with equal lack of planning, the album was released on the couple’s 25th wedding anniversary.

But Circles‘ final dedication is to Tim Krekel, the Louisville songsmith and longtime Bush pal that died of cancer last summer. Bush’s last Lexington performance (save for a WoodSongs appearance last fall) was at the 2008 Christ the King Oktoberfest. As Krekel was also on the bill, the two friends took turns as guests in each other’s shows.

“I met Tim back when I was playing in (the ‘70s era Louisville band ) Bluegrass Alliance,” Bush said. “He was really into The Band at the time. This was before I even knew their music (coincidentally, a cover The Band’s Up On Cripple Creek was a highlight of the Oktoberfest set). I remember going over to his house one afternoon and he said, ‘Today, you’re going to listen to The Band.’ And we remained friends all those years after that.

“He was such a great songwriter, but stayed pretty quiet about it. People accuse me of being bad at self-promotion. Well, Tim really didn’t do much of that at all. He was a friend that I still miss very much.”

The Sam Bush Band performs at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 18 at the Grand Theatre, 308 St. Clair St. in Frankfort. Tickets are $30-$55. Call (502) 352-7469.

Get fit: Workout equipment Q & A

Shape July 1, 2003 | Jhung, Lisa Q Can I throw my stinky athletic shoes in the washing machine to get the smell out?

Tossing your shoes in the washing machine with your workout clothes is unsafe for them, says Amanda Charles, a buyer for the Boulder Running Company in Boulder, Colo. “Hot water can break the shoe down and ruin its support,” she says. “Even cold water can cause damage.” And definitely avoid the dryer. But if the smell is becoming an excuse not to exercise or is tempting you to throw your shoes away before they’re worn out, try basic methods such as airing them out after each workout instead of stuffing them into your gym bag. Charles also suggests cleaning the uppers with carpet cleaner and using a drugstore product like Sneaker Balls, which safely deodorize shoes. go to website boulder running company see here boulder running company

[Author Affiliation] Lisa Jhung, a product tester and senior editor, Adventure Sports magazine Send your workout apparel/equipment questions to

Jhung, Lisa

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critic’s pick 111

You would think the band’s name would say it all. But the Preservation Hall Jazz Band wants to make sure its mission is understood. Therefore, it invited over 20 friends last year to the New Orleans home it terms a “sanctuary” to cut an assortment of jazz and blues standards that beam with irrepressible joy. What other title could it give the resulting album but Preservation?

The recording is a benefit – released on Fat Tuesday, no less – to preserve Preservation Hall. That means upholding its mission of providing a performance home for aging torch bearers of traditional New Orleans music as well as its outreach program that educates younger artists on that tradition.

As such, Preservation enlists such varied celebs as Tom Waits, Buddy Miller, Dr. John, Steve Earle, Pete Seeger, Angelique Kidjo, Brandi Carlile, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Del McCoury, Ani DiFranco, Yim Yames and others to sing and celebrate with the PHJB. What results is music full of unvarnished jubilance. There is not a single selection out of the record’s 19 songs (25 if you include the extras included on a bonus disc edition) that won’t put a smile on your face.

Some of these delights are fairly expected. The humid vocals of New Orleans maestro Dr. John are, understandably, can’t-miss compliments for the PHJB’s muted trumpets and snare drum struts on Winin’ Boy. Similarly, employing the regal harmonies of The Blind Boys of Alabama and a suitably churchy organ blast on There is a Light produces a gospel service so sweaty you can all but see the paper fans waving.

But how about My Morning Jacket’s Jim James (using his Yim Yames alias) singing through a megaphone on Louisiana Fairytale, Andrew Bird crooning like Maurice Chevalier on Shake It and Break It and Buddy Miller channeling Louis Prima and Hank Williams on I Ain’t Got Nobody?

And how cool is Del McCoury, with his high mountain tenor exploring a new shade of blue on the soft shoe shuffle of After You’ve Gone or Tom Waits taking the party to the streets with the Mardi Gras funk of Tootie Ma was a Big Fine Thing? All are riotous testaments to the traditions Preservation seeks to honor.

There are also two huge surprises. The vocal track from a 1962 recording of Rockin’ Chair provides a duet-of-sorts between the PHJB and Louis Armstrong that bears none of the cheap sentimentality that usually surrounds such posthumously designed projects.

The other is a real stylistic leap – Afropop empress Angelique Kidjo taking on Edith Piaf’s signature crooner La Vie En Rose with help from modern day New Orleans trumpet great Terence Blanchard.

Such is the magic that occurs when innovation, tradition and Preservation happily collide.

mo' the merrier

keb' mo'

keb' mo'

There are two things one needs to accept when exploring the career of Keb’ Mo’. One deals with his music, the other with how he now makes it.

The first hasn’t changed since the life long Los Angeles artist born Kevin Moore turned the world on to his brand of the blues over 15 years ago. The second is absolutely new.

Let’s begin with the constant – the music. Read a review or peruse a bio profile, and you discover Moore is a bluesman. And, most certainly, his acceptance by the blues culture has been so complete that in 1998, he portrayed Delta blues legend Robert Johnson in the documentary film Can’t You Hear the Wind Howl?

But listen to the half-dozen or so Sony distributed albums that Moore released as Keb’ Mo’ beginning in 1994, and you hear something more expansive. It’s a blues sound made cosmopolitan with sleek echoes of soul, country blues, pop and gospel-esque resolve. Then we have the songs, the majority of which Moore has written. While they may sometimes reflect the hard times that are standard fare with the blues, the mood dominating such Keb’ Mo’ concert faves as Am I Wrong, She Just Wants to Dance and Change offers the blues an unexpectedly sunny and hopeful cast.

“I always wanted to make hopeful music,” Moore said recently by phone from Los Angeles. “So I look at the blues from the hopeful side of things. Those are the parts of the music I always connected with, not the doom and gloom parts. I may deal with a doom and gloom song, but that’s not what I hear.

“I suppose everybody hears something different when they listen to any kind of music. What I get is the sharing side of life. That’s what I hear.”

Part of Moore’s broad based blues view comes from living in L.A. Obviously, it’s not the blues capital of the world. But the city is a major songwriting metropolis that easily drew Moore in during his youth.

“Musically, I was raised in a songwriting environment,” he said. “There’s a huge songwriting culture in Los Angeles.”

There were also a few musical giants that helped mentor Moore not so much in the ways of the blues as in the means of making music for a living. Among his first serious musical employers was Papa John Creach, the electric violinist who plugged into a young, psychedelic-enriched audience through his work with the latter day Jefferson Airplane and early Hot Tuna. Moore joined Creach in the early ‘70s while still in his early ‘20s.

“Papa John was really great,” Moore said. “He gave me my first real musical experience, my introduction to touring and being on the road. And his music was always done with a real freshness. All of us in the band were really young. But Papa John broke us in. He got us ready for life.”

Last year, that life brought Moore to the next phase of his artistic development. After a working as a major label act for over a decade – an alliance that earned him Grammy Awards for his albums Just Like You (1996), Slow Down (1998) and Keep It Simple (2004) – Moore became his own boss and formed a record label called Yollabelle International. His first indie release, a concert/studio combo recording called Live and Mo’, was released in October.

“For me, this is the beginning of a new era where the playing field between the artists and the music business has been leveled a little bit. I’m now an independent, but I’m not independent in an environment where major record labels are healthy. I’m independent in an environment of change and new ways of doing business.

“We’ve yet to see what’s really going to happen. Musically, though, I am able to do what I want by myself. I can also experiment and see what’s possible in terms of doing business on my own. The roles of the major labels are different now. The roles of the artists are changing. It’s really an exciting time.”

While the methodology of making music has changed significantly of late for Moore, the art of making it onstage has not. Last fall, upon the release of Live and Mo’, he toured extensively with his band, fleshing out his music’s suave pop-soul contours. When he returns to Lexington on Thursday to play the Kentucky Theatre, the performance setting will be the one many fans enjoy best – solo. Onstage, it will be only Moore, his guitars and his many shades of the blues.

“I love it. When you’re performing solo, there’s a connection, a conversation that’s happening. Sometime it’s a thrill. Sometimes I’m scared to death by it. But it’s always an experience that you’re sharing with people.”

Keb’ Mo’ performs at 7:30 p.m. Feb 18 at the Kentucky Theatre, 214 E. Main. Tickets are $38.50, $44.50. Call (859) 231-7924.

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peas and thank you

the black eyed peas: fergie,, taboo and photo by dimitri daniloff.

the black eyed peas. from left: fergie,, taboo and photo by dimitri daniloff.

The album was called The E.N.D. – short for “the energy never dies.” And judging by the visibility it provided the Black Eyed Peas over the past year, the recording has easily lived up to that credo.

For the majority of 2009, the Los Angeles-bred quartet, already one of hip-hop’s most popular crossover acts, commanded the airwaves with a pair of monster hits from the record. First came a blast of beat crazy electro pop called Boom Boom Pow. It stayed atop the Billboard Hot 100 chart for 12 weeks, more than any other single last year – save one. The E.N.D.‘s second hit, a bounteous summertime serving of straight up dance pop titled I Gotta Feeling, remained No. 1 on Billboard for 14 weeks.

Think of that. One group released two singles in 2009 that stayed at No. 1 on the nation’s most prestigious music chart for nearly half of the year.

But here’s the wild thing. It wasn’t until two weeks ago that the Black Eyed Peas began taking all of that riotous success on the road. Oh, there was roughly a month’s worth of shows last fall in Japan, Australia and New Zealand. But between now and June, the foursome –, Fergie, Taboo and – will embark on a massive tour that will play throughout North America (with a stop at Rupp Arena on Wednesday) and Europe.

So in that respect, The E.N.D. was really the beginning.

“We’re just excited that The E.N.D. has become our biggest album to date,” remarked Taboo (born Jaime Luis Gomez) in a phone interview last week. “That’s encouraging considering record companies are not as dominant as they used to be and record sales are not as dominate as they used to be. You can’t even go into a Sam Goody’s or a Tower Records to buy a tangible CD because those places don’t exist no more.

“So we just try to stay on top of our game and enjoy every moment in this day and age of music.”

For most groups, approaching the construction of an album like The E.N.D. might produce a degree or two of artistic and commercial pressure. After all, the Black Eyed Peas’ third and forth albums, 2003’s Elephunk and 2005’s Monkey Business became major international hits selling a combined total of over 40 million copies worldwide. They also molded the group’s hip hop groove into more of a multi-cultural dance pop sound.

The diversity you can chalk up to the group members’ personal roots. Taboo is of Mexican-American and Native American descent. (Allan Pineda Lindo) comes from the Phillipines. Fergie (Stacy Ferguson) and (William James Adams, Jr.) are California natives. But can a willing combination of cultures settle the nerves when the time arrives to record a follow-up to two multi-platinum albums?

“I think we were all just excited to do something new,” Taboo said. “We knew with this album that we were going to have a lot of fun performing these songs onstage. As long as we’re happy with them, that’s what matters. We’re not trying to please critics. We’re not trying to please people who don’t want to evolve with us.”

Now we have the road show – the living E.N.D., if you will. It’s not a mere concert, mind you, but a full blown production complete with a two story stage, dancers, lasers, pyrotechnics and even a full DJ set by (who will journey to Buster’s after the Rupp performance to man the turntables again at an after party show). Rolling Stone magazine described the Peas’ opening night concert on Feb. 4 in Atlanta as “Buck Rogers meets (British punk/new wave fashion designer) Vivienne Westwood.”

“This is really a bigger kind of production for us,” Taboo said. “In the past, we’ve relied on a lot of raw energy. It was just us with no bells and whistles. But now we want to bring more of a club environment to the arenas. We want to bring a lot more to the table.

“But what you also see is still a pop group made up of three nationalities coming together as best friends to create music”

As it turned out, the Peas had a nice tour send off. Four days prior to the opening, the group picked up three Grammy Awards for Best Pop Vocal Album and Best Pop Performance by a Duo or Group (both for I Gotta Feeling) and Best Short Form Music Video (for Boom Boom Pow).

Taboo is appreciative of the honors, but said the Peas’ attention is now focused on making sure the energy, indeed, doesn’t die as the band tours two continents over the next four-plus months.

“We looked at the Grammys as an opportunity to be with our families for the last time before we went on tour. The Grammys were nice. But seeing 20,000 people a night? The reward is that for us. The reward is that, not some monetary trophy or even the accolades of our peers. It’s the accolades of our fans that make us happy.”

The Black Eyed Peas, Ludacris and LMFAO perform at 7:30 p.m. Feb. 17 at Rupp Arena. Tickets are $19.50, $39.50, $60.50, $80.50. Call (800) 745-3000 or 233-3535. will also perform an aftershow DJ set at Buster’s Billiards and Backroom, 899 Manchester. Doors open at 9 p.m. Feb. 17. Tickets are $20 advance, $25 day of show. Call (859) 368-8871.

ISP speed pledge Thirty-two internet service providers have signed a code of practice promising greater clarity on what broadband speeds subscribers can expect, regulator Ofcom has announced. However, there was an immediate call from the Internet Service. in our site isp speed test

Personal Computer World July 10, 2008 ISP speed pledge Thirty-two internet service providers have signed a code of practice promising greater clarity on what broadband speeds subscribers can expect, regulator Ofcom has announced.

However, there was an immediate call from the Internet Service Providers’ Association (ISPA) for the voluntary code to be extended to wireless operators offering mobile broadband.

The ISPA said it supported the code of practice and had helped to draft it. However, it warned: “Every single broadband connection’s speed will be different. Even neighbouring houses supplied by the same provider can receive different speeds.” 1 100,000 Fonners BT’s share-your-link Fon Wifi service has signed up more than 100,000 users since its launch last October, according to the company. go to website isp speed test

Subscribers allow their fixed broadband connection to be available to fellow Fon users via a secure channel on their wireless router, thus creating a network of free links. The Fon scheme will be extended to businesses later this year.

1 [pounds sterling]49 USB modem Vodafone has cut the price of its broadband-on-the-move USB modems by [pounds sterling]50 to [pounds sterling]49 for users on 30-day contracts.

Contracts currently start at [pounds sterling]15 a month for 3GB of usage for those signing up for 12 to 24 months, going up to [pounds sterling]25 a month for 5GB on a 12- to 24-month deal, while 30-day contract users pay [pounds sterling]20 a month for 3GB of usage.

In May, 3 cut the price of its [pounds sterling]99.99 ZTE and Huawei E220 modem dongles to [pounds sterling]49.99 on pay-as-you-go deals.


current listening 02/13/10

+ Crowded House: Temple of Low Men (1988) – Somewhat underappreciated in the wake of Crowded House’s mighty 1986 debut, Temple of Low Men stands today as a near perfect pop album. It places Neil Finn’s seamless sense of songcraft within what might well be producer Mitchell Froom’s finest studio settings. The hapless radio hit Better Be Home Soon and the neo-psychedelic strings engulfing Into Temptation stand as proof.

+ David Sanborn: Only Everything (2010) – On his second tribute album devoted to the great sax sound Hank Crawford and David Newman designed for Ray Charles’ classic soul records of the ‘60s, alto sax star Sanborn creates a warm, organic R&B fabric with the great B3 organist Joey DeFrancesco and drummer Steve Gadd. Vocal cameos by Joss Stone and James Taylor fall flat. But when Dave, Joey and Steve swing, Brother Ray’s spirit shines.

+ Steve Miller Band: Anthology (1972) – Happily purchased at a truck stop just outside of Nashville on a frigid January afternoon was this full CD version of a Miller collection that stops just shy of his 1974 pop breakthrough. That means it ignores all of that Rock’n Me nonsense. Instead, Anthology sports the kind of semi-acoustic, blues-accented psychedelia many fans never knew Miller had in him. A remarkable pre-stardom portrait.

+ Dave Liebman: Lookout Farm (1974) – Reading that saxophonist Liebman will be jamming in New York this weekend with members of his multi-cultural fusion band Lookout Farm for the first time in ages prompted a renewed listen to the ensemble’s only recording – a warm and wonderfully textured vehicle for Liebman’s snakecharming soprano sax leads (and improvising) and Richie Beirach’s exquisite Rhodes piano work.

+ Simple Minds: Once Upon a Time (1985) – I don’t get nostalgic for ‘80s pop too often. Even on this album, which marked Simple Minds’ brief commercial heyday, the drum and synthesizer gloss is as overcooked as Jim Kerr’s dying-to-be-Bono posturing. Still, the songs, every last one of them, are gems. Sanctify Yourself and Alive and Kicking create icy drama out of pure production excess. A surprising testament to soul over style.

Gonadal protection by a gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist depot in young women with Hodgkin’s disease undergoing chemotherapy

Gynecological Endocrinology May 1, 2005 | Franke, Henk R; Smit, Wim M; Vermes, Istvan Abstract Objective. To explore the effects of a gonadotropin-releasing hormone (GnRH) agonist depot (goserelin acetate) in women with Hodgkin’s disease receiving chemotherapy while taking a continuous combined estrogen-progestin preparation as addback on the prevention of premature ovarian failure (POF).

Methods. In a prospective pilot study, five premenopausal women with Hodgkin’s disease received a GnRH agonist depot plus add-back until polychemotherapy was completed. Every 4 weeks during treatment and thereafter, a hormonal profile (follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone, 17?-estradiol, progesterone and inhibin B) was measured until resumption of menstruation or the development of a hypergonadotropic state (2 ? FSH > 30 U/1).

Results. All patients reached prepubertal status during treatment. After discontinuation of goserelin acetate, one patient developed a hypergonadotropic state and four patients resumed menstruation. One of those patients became pregnant and delivered a healthy son. this web site hodgkin s disease

Conclusions. The effectiveness of GnRH agonist plus add-back on the prevention of POF during polychemotherapy in women with Hodgkin’s disease needs further elucidation in randomized controlled trials. The results of our pilot study are promising.

Introduction Among patients with Hodgkin’s disease, treatment with chemotherapy has reached almost maximum response rates. However, one major long-term sideeffect that can seriously interfere with quality of life in both men and women is sterility due to gonadal damage [1-3]. In women of reproductive age, chemotherapy is an established cause of the condition known as premature ovarian failure (POF). The incidence of POF in women treated with six courses of the classical MOPP (mechlorethamine, vincristine, procarbazine and prednisolone) scheme for Hodgkin’s lymphoma is approximately 40-70%. Certain cytostatic drugs such as mechlorethamine, cyclophosphamide, procarbazine and bleomycin cause more gonadal damage than others and some have dosedependent effects [4-12]. It is unknown whether dose reductions or recent modifications in the chemotherapy schemes used in patients with Hodgkin’s disease will result in a reduction of the incidence of POF.

Two mechanisms for chemotherapy-induced damage have been proposed. Early studies showed that alkylating drugs might cause apoptosis of ovarian follicles by irreversible damage to the proliferating granulosa and theca cells, which are the main components of developing follicles [13-15]. second, alkylating agents lead to a reduction in the number of ovarian follicles in mature rats. This has been proposed to occur initially by the destruction of large follicles and after prolonged treatment by the loss of primordial follicles as well [16].

At the present time, oocyte donation, embryo cryopreservation and in vitro fertilization are the established options available to patients at risk of developing POF. Ovarian tissue cryopreservation prior to treatment and subsequent autografting may be a promising avenue for the future. However, there may be a simpler way of preventing POF for patients at risk, i.e., by deliberately inducing a state of temporary, reversible medical castration during chemotherapy. It has been noticed that prepubertal children receiving chemotherapy are more likely to maintain gonadal function than are young adults [17,18]. This led to the hypothesis that inhibition of the hypothalamic-pituitary axis by gonadotropinreleasing hormone (GnRH) agonists may result in quiescent gonads, simulating the prepubertal milieu, and thus rendering the gonads less susceptible to cytotoxic treatment.

This hypothesis was first tested in a murine model and it was found that concurrent administration of D-leu-des-Gly-NH2, proethylamide GnRH with cyclophosphamide, prevented testicular atrophy [19]. However, the same GnRH agonist failed to improve fertility rates significantly in a group of young adult males [20]. Another GnRH agonist, leuprolide, prevented the loss of ovarian follicles in adult female rats [16]. The mechanism proposed was deprivation of the follicles of gonadotropins and interference with the process of recruitment of follicles from the quiescent pool into the chemotherapy-sensitive pool of maturing follicles. These findings were later supported by additional data from a study where the GnRH agonist goserelin suppressed the rat ovarian tissue uptake of [3H] thymidine [21]. Since such uptake is considered an index of mitotic activity in rat ovary, it was consistent with the proposal that chronic GnRH agonist therapy could inhibit follicular development [16].

Promising results were achieved in a clinical study where a synthetic GnRH agonist was administered to young women with lymphoma during standard combination chemotherapy regimes: 93.7% of the women experienced resumption of ovarian function after termination of treatment [12]. Thirteen patients with early-stage estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer received a GnRH agonist depot during adjuvant chemotherapy. All patients resumed menstrual periods after completion of chemotherapy [22]. In a long-lasting non-randomized study, a GnRH analog was administered before and during polychemotherapy. It demonstrated an enhanced ovarian function and preservation of adolescent fertility [23].

In the present prospective pilot study, we studied the efficacy of a GnRH agonist (goserelin acetate) in five premenopausal women with Hodgkin’s disease receiving polychemotherapy on the prevention of POF. Treatment effects were assessed by measuring the hormonal profile, consisting of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH), luteinizing hormone (LH), 17?estradiol, progesterone and inhibin B. Inhibin is a heterodimer, a protein comprising two different polypeptide chains, ? and ?, secreted by granulosa cells and known to selectively inhibit FSH secretion in the pituitary. Inhibin A is a product of the dominant follicle, whereas inhibin B reflects the size and/or activity of the cohort of developing primary and early antral follicles in a given cycle [24].

Methods In this prospective pilot study, five premenopausal women treated for Hodgkin’s disease with chemotherapy (schemes according to the European Organisation for Research and Treatment of Cancer (EORTC) trials 20884 and H 9) (Table I) received a subcutaneous depot formulation of goserelin acetate 3.6 mg (Zoladex?®; AstraZeneca, Zoetermeer, Netherlands) 1-2 weeks before initiation of chemotherapy and every 4 weeks thereafter. In one patient a depot formulation of goserelin acetate 10.8 mg was given every 12 weeks. During treatment a continuous combined estrogen-progestin preparation as addback was administered every day to relieve the symptoms of estrogen deficiency and to reduce the impact on bone mineral density of the GnRH agonist depot [25]. In patients A and B the add-back consisted of 1 mg 17?-estradiol and 0.5 mg norethisterone acetate (EN) (Activelle?®; NovoNordisk, Alphen aan de Ryn, Netherlands), while patients C, D and E received 20 ?g ethinylestradiol and 150 ?g desogestrel (ED) (Mercilon?®; Organon, Oss, Netherlands). Treatment with the GnRH agonist plus addback was continued until the chemotherapy was completed.

At baseline and every 4 weeks during treatment and thereafter, the profile of FSH, LH, 17?-estradiol, progesterone and inhibin B was determined until resumption of a normal menstrual cycle or the development of a hypergonadotropic state (2 ? FSH > 30 U/L with an interval of 4 weeks). Blood samples were collected by venepuncture. Immunoreactive FSH, LH, 17?-estradiol and progesterone concentrations were measured with a commercially available microparticle enzyme immunoassay using an AxSYM(TM) random access, immunoassay analyzer (Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL, USA). Immunoreactive inhibin B levels were measured by using an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (Oxford Bio-Innovations Ltd, Oxford, UK).

No institutional review board approval was necessary because it reflects only clinical observations.

Results The age of the patients ranged from 15 to 26 years and all had a regular menstrual cycle or used oral contraceptives. After chemotherapy all patients received involved field radiotherapy and reached complete remission of the underlying disease.

Prepubertal status was reached in all patients within 4 weeks after the first GnRH agonist depot was administered.

Figure 1a shows serum FSH levels during treatment and thereafter until resumption of menstruation or the development of a hypergonadotropic state. In four patients, menstruation resumed 4-40 weeks after the last injection of goserelin acetate was given (Table II). Patient B, treated with eight courses of MOPP/ABV (doxorubicin, bleomycin, vinblastine) polychemotherapy, developed a hypergonadotropic state.

As shown in Figure 1b, serum estradiol levels during estrogen-progestin add-back demonstrate adequate substitution only in those patients with EN add-back.

Figure 1c shows the levels of inhibin B during treatment, demonstrating the recovery of normal ovarian function in four of the five patients. Patient D became pregnant and delivered a healthy son 4 years after the completion of chemotherapy.

Discussion The treatment of Hodgkin’s disease with polychemotherapy in women is complicated by POF in 4070% of patients [4-12]. Although the subject of the present EORTC studies, it is not known whether dose reductions or the recent modifications in chemotherapy schemes will reduce the incidence of POF. The use of oral contraceptives may not protect the ovaries sufficiently from follicular destruction by a chemotherapeutic regimen [26,27].

FSH has a predominant role in the development of immature follicles and the selection and maturation of the dominant follicle [28,29]. Until recently, it was generally believed that follicle growth until the selectable phase was a gonadotropin-independent process. However, there is growing evidence that FSH, although not obligatory, facilitates the initiation of follicular growth or stimulates early follicular development in a complex cooperation with other largely unknown factors. If true, high FSH levels are expected to accelerate depletion of the follicle pool by stimulating resting follicles to start growing, thus advancing reproductive events, including menopause. In contrast, low or undetectable FSH levels may delay reproductive events by inhibiting follicle depletion.

GnRH agonists act directly on breast, ovarian, endometrial and prostate cell lines to inhibit their growth. The GnRH receptors in extrapituitary tissues have similar if not identical properties to those of the pituitary gland [30]. The administration of a GnRH agonist may also have a direct protective action on the ovaries resulting in the suppression of apoptosis of follicles by inhibiting the maturation of the dividing oocyte, producing involution and thus avoiding the deleterious effect of polychemotherapy on the dividing cell [23].

The results of our pilot study are promising, demonstrating normalization of the hormonal profile and resumption of menstruation in four out of five patients and subsequent pregnancy and delivery in one patient; however, randomized controlled trials are urgently needed.

Preferably the add-back should consist of estradiol, instead of ethinyl estradiol, combined with a progestin to ensure adequate serum estradiol levels.

Although the number of our patients is limited, we have demonstrated that the use of a GnRH agonist during chemotherapy protected the ovaries of four premenopausal women with Hodgkin’s disease. These results are comparable with the findings of Blumenfeld and colleagues [9]. The simultaneous administration of GnRH agonists is well tolerated and did not interfere with the start of chemotherapy. Because of the limited follow-up period, however, no prediction can be given on long-term fertility and subsequent development of POF in the future.

[Reference] References 1. Kumar R, Biggart JD, McEvoy J, McGeown MG. Cyclophosphamide and reproductive function. Lancet 1972;1:1212-14.

2. Uldall PR, Kerr DNS, Tacchi D. Sterility and cyclophosphamide. Lancet 1972;l:693-4.

3. Rose DP3 Davis TE. Ovarian function in patients receiving adjuvant chemotherapy for breast cancer. Lancet 1977;!: 1174-6.

4. Warne GL, Fairley KF, Nobbs JB, Martin FL. Cyclophosphamide induced ovarian failure. N Engl J Med 1973; 289:1159-62.

5. Lu CC, Meistrich M. Cytotoxic effects of chemotherapeutic drugs on mouse testis cells. Cancer Res 1979;39:3575-82.

6. Chapman RM, Sutcliffe SB, Malpas JS. Cytotoxic-induced ovarian failure in women with Hodgkin’s disease. I. Hormone function. J Am Med Assoc 1979;242:877-81.

7. Horning SJ, Hoppe RT, Kaplan HS, Rosenberg SA. Female reproductive potential after treatment for Hodgkin’s disease. N Engl J Med 1981;304:1377-82.

8. Rivkees SA, Crawford JD. The relationship of gonadal activity and chemotherapy-induced gonadal damage. J Am Med Assoc 1988;259:2123-5.

9. Blumenfeld Z, Avivi I, Linn S, Epelbaum R, Ben-Shahar M, Haim N. Prevention of irreversible chemotherapy-induced ovarian damage in young women with lymphoma by a gonadotrophin-releasing hormone agonist in parallel to chemotherapy. Human Reprod 1996;11:1620-6.

10. Blumenfeld Z, Haim N. Prevention of gonadal damage during cytotoxic therapy. Ann Med 1997;29:199-206. go to web site hodgkin s disease

11. Blumenfeld Z, Ritter M, Shen-Orr Z, Shariki K, Ben-Shahar M, Haim N. Inhibin A concentrations in the sera of young women during and after chemotherapy for lymphoma: correlation with ovarian toxicity. Am J Reprod Immunol 1998;39:33-40.

12. Blumenfeld Z. Preservation of ovarian function in young women undergoing chemotherapy. Gynecol Endocrinol 1999;13(Suppl 1):abstract 66.

13. Miller JJ, Williams GF, Leissring JC. Multiple late complications of therapy with cyclophosphamide, including ovarian destruction. Am J Med 1971;50:530-5.

14. Schilsky RL, Sherins RJ, Hubbard SM, Wesley MN, Young RC, DeVita VT. Long-term follow-up of ovarian function in women treated with MOPP chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s disease. Am J Med 1981,71:552-6.

15. Ataya KM, Pydyn EF, Ramahi-Ataya AJ. The effect of ‘activated’ cyclophosphamide on human and rat ovarian granulosa cells in vitro. Reprod Toxicol 1990;4:121-5.

16. Ataya KM, McKanna JA, Weintraub AM, Clark MR, LeMaire WJ. A luteinising hormone-releasing hormone agonist for the prevention of chemotherapy included ovarian follicular loss rats. Cancer Res 1985;45:3651-6.

17. Pennisi AJ, Grushkin CM, Lieberman E. Gonadal function in children with nephrosis treated with cyclophosphamide. Am J Dis Child 1975;129:315-18.

18. Wallace WH, Shalet SM, Tetlow LJ, Morris-Jones PH. Ovarian function following the treatment of childhood acute lymphoblastic leukaemia. Med Pediatr Oncol 1993;21:333-9.

19. Glode LM, Robinson J, Gould SF. Protection from cyclophosphamidc-induced testicular damage with any analogue of gonadotrophin-releasing hormone. Lancet 1981;i:1132-4.

20. Johnson DH, Lindc R, Hainsworth JD, Val W, Rivier J, Stein R, Flexner J, van Welch R, Greco FA. Effect of a luteinizing hormone releasing hormone agonist given during combination chemotherapy on posttherapy fertility in male patients with lymphoma: preliminary observations. Blood 1985;65:832-6.

21. Ataya KM, Palmer KC, Blacker CM, Moghisi KS, Mohammad SH. Inhibition of rat ovarian 3H-thymidine uptake by LHRH agonists: a mechanism of preventing damage by cytotoxic agents. Cancer Res 1988;48:7252-6.

22. Fox KR, Ball JE, Mick R, Moore HC. Preventing chemotherapy-associated amenorrhea (CRA) with leuprolide in young women with early-stage breast cancer [abstract]. In: Granberg SM, editor. Proceedings of the Thirty-seventh Annual Meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology; 2001 May; San Francisco: American Society of Clinical Oncology; 2001. Abstract 98. 25ap.

23. Pereyra Pacheco B, Mendez Ribas JM, Milone G, Fernandez I, Kvicala R, MiIa T, Di Noto A, Contreras Ortiz O, Pavlovsky S. Use of GnRH analogs for functional protection of the ovary and preservation of fertility during cancer treatment in adolescents: a preliminary report. Gynecol Oncol 2001; 81:391-7.

24. Burger HG, Cahir N, Robertson DM, Groome NP, Dudley E, Green A, Denncrstein L. Serum inhibins A and B fall differentially as FSH rises in perimenopausal women. CHn Endocrinol (Oxf) 1998;48:809-13.

25. Franke HR, van de Weijer PHM, Pennings TMM, van der Mooren MJ. Gonadotropin-releasing hormone agonist plus ‘add-back’ hormone replacement therapy for treatment of endometriosis: a prospective, randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind trial. Fertil Steril 2000;74:534-9.

26. Chapman RM, Sittcliffe SB. Protection of ovarian function by oral contraceptives in women receiving chemotherapy for Hodgkin’s disease. Blood 1981;58:849-51.

27. Whitehead E, Shalet SM, Blackledge G, Todd I, Crowther D, Beardwell CG. The effect of combination chemotherapy on ovarian function in women treated for Hodgkin’s disease. Cancer 1983;52:988-93.

28. Raff M. Social controls on cell survival and cell death. Nature 1992;356:397-9.

29. Scheffer G. Assessment of reproductive aging in normal women [thesis]. Utrecht: University of Utrecht; 2000.

30. Kakar SS, Grizzle WE, Neill JD. The nucleotide sequences of human GnRH receptors in breast and ovarian tumors are identical with that found in pituitary. Mol Cell Endocrinol 1994;106:145-9.

[Author Affiliation] HENK R. FRANKE1, WIM M. SMITT, & ISTVAN VERMES3 1 Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, Medisch Spectrum Twente Hospital Group, Enschede, The Netherlands, 2 Department of Internal Medicine, Medisch Spectrum Twente Hospital Group, Enschede, The Netherlands, and 3 Department of Clinical Chemistry, Medisch Spectrum Twente Hospital Group, Enschede, The Netherlands [Author Affiliation] Franke, Henk R; Smit, Wim M; Vermes, Istvan

major lucero


lucero. clockwise from bottom left: brian venable, roy berry, john c. stubblefield, rick steff, todd beene and ben nichols.

The story is familiar. A band brought up through the indie ranks, earns critical favor and mounts enough of a commercial fanbase outside of home turf to warrant the inevitable attention of the major record labels.

Thus Lucero – after a decade of forging a reputation for beautifully scrappy live shows with a rootsy, raw immediacy, as well as recordings full of enough poetic street serenades to bring early Bruce Springsteen music to mind – signed to the mighty Universal Music Group.

Now we have the first UMG album (technically, it’s on Universal Republic) by the Memphis rock ‘n’ roll brigade. And guess what? The resulting 1372 Overton Park is not a sellout.

Sure, the sounds are brassier, thanks to veteran Memphis sax man Jim Spake, who has designed similar horn accents for Al Green, John  Hiatt and Solomon Burke. But the album’s 12 songs – penned, as usual, by singer/frontman Ben Nichols – are still filled with love, loss, hope and, in the wonderfully unsentimental album-closer Mom, gratitude.

Overall, 1372 Overton Park is a move toward the vintage soul sound that has long echoed throughout Memphis. But there is an even broader scope to some of the music. The band’s still-bawdy drive is not slicked up one bit by the brass, making songs like What Are You Willing To Lose? (which employs full use of the horns) and Johnny Davis (which forgoes them) sound less like Springsteen and more like the rough-cut post punk of the latter day Replacements.

There is also a meaty wheeze in Nichols’ vocals during songs like the soul-savvy Darken My Door that sound like Steve Earle meeting Wilson Pickett.

Ultimately, 1372 Overton Park is all Memphis and all Lucero. Even the album title – the address of the Memphis loft where the four founding Lucero members once roomed – is a reflection of band and city.

On Saturday, Lucero, with horns in tow, return to Lexington for its first outing at Buster’s. The Murfreesboro, Tenn. soul/country barroom rock troupe Glossary, whose new Feral Fire album was just released on Lucero’s indie Liberty & Lament label, will open.

Lucero and Glossary perform at 9 p.m. Feb. 13 at Buster’s Billiards and Backroom, 899 Manchester St. Tickets are $12 in advance, $14 day of show. Call (859) 368-8871.

the fruits of a winter storm

Sorry we’ve been away these last few days, especially with the weather being so ghastly and all. But The Musical Box has been busy and fruitful during the week’s winter storms – so much so that we will have several blasts of sunshine for you next week by way of interviews with The Black Eyed Peas, Keb’ Mo’ and Sam Bush. Their concerts converge on Central Kentucky next Wednesday and Thursday.

We’ll be back Friday with a few words about our favorite rocking Memphis outfit, Lucero, which will play Buster’s on Saturday right around the time the UK-Tennessee game lets out at Rupp Arena (that gets my vote for traffic jam of the weekend). Our parade of interviews will begin Sunday. Stay warm until then.

critic’s pick 110

patty griffin: downtown church

patty griffin: downtown church

On their respective new albums, Americana songstresses Patty Griffin and Allison Moorer wrestle with two very different notions of salvation.

For Griffin’s Downtown Church – named for the fact the record was recorded, in part, at Nashville’s Downtown Presbyterian Church – that means returning to a spiritual well the Texas-transplanted singer has generously drawn from for years.

For Moorer’s Crows, the salvation is more personalized with very torchy songs of heartbreak and loss that curiously brighten as the songs deepen.

Downtown Church begins with an earthy harkening to judgment day by Hank Williams (House of Gold) that comes wrapped in Griffin’s clean, confessional vocals and the ambient guitar twang of longtime pals Buddy Miller (Church‘s producer) and Doug Lancio.

It’s a meditative preface to a recording that steers into gospel quartet soul (Move Up), a portrait of elegant Spanish spiritualism with Raul Malo (Virgen de Guadalupe) and a slice of churchy 1920s mountain gospel sung with Shawn Colvin and Emmylou Harris (We Shall All Be Reunited).

Though an esteemed songwriter, Griffin relies predominantly on interpretative strengths here. Little Fire (a duet with Harris) and Coming Home to Me (sung with Julie Miller), are the only originals. But Downtown Church summons its most serious spirits when it warps traditional contours.

On Death’s Got a Warrant, Griffin sings in testimonial terms with sisters Regina and Ann McCrary. The primary accompaniment is percussion by Jay Bellarose that sounds like chains being dragged on a hardwood floor. “God’s got your number,” Griffin sings over the fervor. “And he knows where you live.” And in less than two minutes, Downtown Church has shared its most emotive sermon – an unadorned blast of spiritual fire that is invigorating, unmovable and a touch frightening.

allison moorer: crows

allison moorer: crows

Crows, just by the name alone, would seem the antithesis of Downtown Church. But through its often dark self-examinations, a faith is revealed that is as resolute as Griffin’s. The song titles are equally revealing: The Broken Girl, When You Wake Up Feeling Bad, and It’s Gonna Feel Good (When It Stops Hurting). Only Just Another Fool reverses from the course. It’s a warning to those wary males that seek to heal or invade the hurt.

Producer R.S. Field lovingly constructs arrangements that enhance every deep, stoic color in Moorer’s voice, even when the album turns unexpectedly sunny on Early in the Summertime and The Stars & I (Mama’s Song), two patiently warm childhood recollections. If you know the back story of Moorer’s youth (the murder-suicide of her parents), the affirmations in these tunes become all the more striking. Even if you don’t, they form a sense of surprising solace on an album anchored by pervasive loss.

rock of ages: the who at the super bowl

roger daltrey and pete townshend of the who performing last night at the super bowl in miami. photo by mark j. terrill/associated press.

roger daltrey and pete townshend of the who performing last night at the super bowl. photo by mark j. terrill/associated press.

And so, for 12 minutes at last night’s Super Bowl halftime show, Pete Townshend and Roger Daltrey were The Who again. Looking and sounding grizzled, worn, but still up for a decent performance fight, the two re-assembled the better known fragments of a storied rock ‘n’ roll career built on anarchy but now fueled by nostalgia.

It wasn’t a bad performance, just not an especially thrilling one. Daltrey was in surprisingly sharp vocal form and Townshend sounded suitably scrappy on guitar. A harmony band, of course, The Who wasn’t, as it showed in the duo’s wildly disconnected singing on the set-opening Pinball Wizard. But Baba O’Riley still sounded full of tireless fire, sparked by the drumming of Zak Starkey (Ringo Starr’s son, believe it or not) and the audience’s hail-hearty vocal backup on the song’s “teenage wasteland” refrain.

Of course, one couldn’t help but notice the corporate, co-opted slant of Baba O’Riley, Who Are You and the set closing Won’t Get Fooled Again, all of which were performed in severely abbreviated versions. The songs today serve as the theme songs for the three CSI shows that are programming staples of CBS, which just happened to be the network broadcasting the Super Bowl.

The verse or two Daltrey slipped in of See Me, Feel Me possessed the set’s least frilly and most honestly impassioned drive. Overall, though, this was a cursory outing by The Who – a bite-sized sampler of hits played with appealing but obviously aged gusto. But then, compare the performance to Carrie Underwood’s flat tire delivery of the national anthem at the onset of the game and the sound of some long-in-the-tooth British rockers merrily bashing away didn’t seem so deflating.

For those who remember the band’s glory years, there was an undeniable sweetness last night that came from just knowing Daltrey and Townshend were still around. Anyone under 30, however, likely viewed the pair as living fossils. To them, I say, introduce yourselves to Live at Leeds, The Who’s immortal 1970 live album. It remains one of rock music’s most truly terrifying concert documents.

Nearly 40 years on, it’s unfair to still expect that kind of vitality from The Who. What they presented last night was credible but a little cryptic – a worn snapshot of a band that once proclaimed “Hope I die before I get old” – and then did the latter.

of ghosts and guests

brandi carlile. photo by jeremy cowart.

brandi carlile. photo by jeremy cowart.

It’s difficult to view the still-young career of Brandi Carlile and not be tempted to name drop a bit.

Sure, the Seattle area songstress has fortified a substantial national following over the course of three Columbia albums with a pop sound that reflects considerable folkish introspection. Her songs, not to mention the commanding clarity of her singing voice, possess a personal mark that borders on the confessional.

But look at the guest list on her new Give Up the Ghost album. It was produced by Rick Rubin, cut at the Hollywood studio (Sunset Sound) where The Doors and Led Zeppelin once recorded and features help from drummer Chad Smith (of the Red Hot Chili Pepper), pianist Benmont Tench (from Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), vocalist Amy Ray (from the Indigo Girls) and a fellow pop stylist by the name of Elton John.

That’s some mighty company. But before plans were firmed up on how to best utilize her musical pals, Carlile had a more personal mission – to create songs that were as emotive, fresh and absorbing as those on her self-titled 2005 Columbia debut album.

“I wanted to make a third record that sounded like a first record,” said Carlile, who performs Monday at the Kentucky Theatre for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. “Certainly life itself writes your first record. You have first love, loss and coming of age. You have the big question of what you’re going to do with the rest of your life. All of these things are fodder for a great first record. Then you have a tour bus and the happenings of the road, which is fodder for a second record. The trouble there is while that may be really exciting to someone living that life, to everyone else it is sort of an unobtainable topic.

“So at that point I had to kind of pop into an exercise in songwriting. I had to find a way of writing about bigger and deeper things in our environment at the moment. Although I’m a proponent of internalized songwriting, I also come from a school of thought that a great lyricist connects with the best audience. Take Bernie Taupin, who is my favorite lyricist of all time. He writes story songs – works of fiction. It takes a deep writer to actually pull from something that’s outside of yourself.”

For Carlile, such a quest began on her second Columbia album, 2007’s The Story, which was produced by Americana entrepreneur T Bone Burnett. There we go with the name dropping again.

“T Bone was kind of this vibe facilitator,” Carlile said. “At that time he was also choosing the music for the Robert Plant/Alison Krauss record (the multiple Grammy winning Raising Sand). He had this library, this plethora of bluegrass and delta blues music that we kept listening to, even if it had nothing to do with the music we were about to play. It was always setting the mood.

“T Bone Burnett was kind of a picture taker. He documents what’s there and tries to shine the best possible light on it. Rick was more of an extractor.”

Rick, of course, is Rick Rubin, the veteran producer who has handled, just in recent years, recordings by everyone from Metallica to Neil Diamond. And by “extractor,” Carlile meant that Rubin attempts to bring a performance out of an artist that she said “may or may not be there.”

Rubin also brought Smith and Tench, among others, to the sessions. But Elton John, a lifelong pop idol? Carlile went after him herself. Recruiting the veteran piano man for the light, honky tonk-ish tune Caroline on Give Up the Ghost proved surprisingly easy.

“I wrote him a letter asking him if he would play on it and he responded that he would. It was that simple. I reached out to him and he agreed.

“Elton John is my greatest hero. And Caroline was so reminiscent of the piano style that he used on those great early albums like Tumbleweed Connection.”

The Elton John connection didn’t stop there. Another Give Up the Ghost song, Pride and Joy, boasts a string arrangement by Paul Buckmaster, who scored all of John’s hit albums from the early ‘70s.

“Everybody throws around that word ‘genius’ all the time. It can be nauseating. But Paul is the reason that word applies. To get to work with him on this record was more that just the realization of a dream. It was an experience greater than anything I could have hoped for.”

Making music with personal heroes is one thing. But the voice on Give Up the Ghost still very much belongs to Carlile. Now her mission is to show off her own music with her own band, just as she has done since playing Seattle clubs while still in her teens.

“It’s all about tenacity,” Carlile said about taking Give Up the Ghost on the road. “It’s all about the fact that we want to do this. And so we do. If you want something bad enough and work at it hard enough, eventually you will get what you need out of it.”

Brandi Carlile and Matt Morris perform at 7 p.m. Monday at the Kentucky Theatre, 214 E. Main for the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour. Tickets are $20. Call (859) 252-8888.

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