Inauguration RSVPs

Image result for inauguration party invitation 2017Booking any show is a logistical nightmare. Besides trying to find appropriate talent there are scheduling concerns, artist demands, production costs, backline (instrument) needs, etc.  The worst nightmare is cancellations and this party being thrown in Washington DC has had to deal with a whole mess of them.

For those keeping score at home, here is who RSVP’d to perform and those that rescinded and/or did not accept said invitation

Sadly something suddenly came up for the following:

Jennifer Holliday-Citing a “lapse in judgement.” Holliday said she will “stand with the LGBT Community” and not perform for any of the inauguration festivities.

B Street Band (Bruce Springsteen cover band): We had to make it known that we didn’t want to seem disrespectful … to Bruce, his music and his band

Garth Brooks: Conveniently added two more tour dates in Cincinnati, which clashes with the inauguration.

Paul Anka: After agreeing to perform a tailored-for-Donald Trump version of his classic pop hit My Way at a presidential inaugural ball Anka has pulled out of the gig.

“The president-elect is an old friend of mine for 50 years, there was a dialogue to do it,” Anka, a naturalized U.S. citizen, “But the back story of it is, is that I’ve been in a custody battle for two years for my son Ethan, and we have a new schedule now and I’m unable to do it.”

Welcoming celebrations on Thursday, Jan. 19

  • Toby Keith

Sample lyric of why he was invited comes courtesy of “American Ride”

“Gotta love this American ride.
Both ends of the ozone burnin.
Funny how the world keeps turnin.
Hot dog, Hot damn.
I love this American ride.”

  • 3 Doors Down : Also played the RNC and sang this song “One Light”

“Come with me, let’s take this world and make a change
We’ll give this, more than we can take away
And we’ll see this, through eyes we always thought were blind
If we could find, just one light to shine
Just one light to shine”

  • The Piano Guys: The Utah based piano quartet had to release a statement explaining appearance in part saying “We’re still doing what we’ve always done — playing for anyone who will hear our musical message with the hope that it persuades its listeners to love others.”
  • Lee Greenwood, who also performed at the inaugurations of Presidents Ronald Reagan, George H.W. Bush and George W. Bush
  • DJ Ravi Drums:  He appeared on the Episode 5 of Dog Eat Dog hosted by Brooke Burns and one-time musical director for  Howie Do It (2009).  He also claims on his website to have invented the “live re-mix.

  • The Frontmen of Country

Tim Rushlow (Little Texas 1991-1997)

Larry Stewart (fronted Restless Heart 1984-1993)

Richie McDonald fronted Lonestar 1992-2007

  • Military and local high school bands

Inauguration ceremony on Friday, Jan. 20:

  • Jackie Evancho, the 16-year-old who placed second on “America’s Got Talent” in 2010, will be at the U.S. Capitol, singing “The Star-Spangled Banner” at the inauguration ceremony. Evancho has performed in front of President Obama and his family before, singing in 2010 at the National Christmas Tree Lighting and in 2012 at the National Prayer Breakfast.
  • The Missouri State University Chorale, which accepted an invitation to perform at the inauguration in October, will sing at the ceremony. Republican Sen. Roy Blunt, the chair of the committee on inaugural ceremonies, invited the choir.
  • The Mormon Tabernacle Choir is scheduled to perform at the inauguration. There have been internal divisions within the 360-member chorus over its performance and at least one member has quit over the issue. Jan Chamberlin announced she was leaving the choir in a Facebook post saying, “I only know I could never ‘throw roses to Hitler.’ And I certainly could never sing for him.”
  • The Radio City Rockettes will join the inauguration lineup, despite its own internal conflicts over the performance. At least one Rockette voiced her dissent last month in an Instagram post tagged with #notmypresident. “Finding out that it has been decided for us that Rockettes will be performing at the Presidential inauguration makes me feel embarrassed and disappointed,” Phoebe Pearl wrote. Later, the company that owns the Rockettes said the dancers can sign up “voluntarily” to perform before the president-elect.

Enjoy the show!



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2 for 2uesday: Inauguration week

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They say tumultuous times makes for great music.

This week should jump start the Creatives.  Here are two songs that get the ball rolling.

Green Day “Troubled Times”

An interpretive singing of Gloria Gaynor’s “I Will Survive” as performed by:

Emma Stone, Anya Taylor-Joy, Natalie Portman, Alden Ehrenreich, Andrew Garfield, Michelle Williams, Joel Edgerton, Chris Pine, Hallee Steinfeld, Greta Gerwig, Michael Shannon, Dakota Fanning, Amy Adams, Taraji P Henson, Felicity Jones, Dev Patel, Ruth Negga, Mahershala Ali, Lucas Hedges, Naomie Harris and Matthew McConaughey

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Aaliyah on MLK Day

Image result for aaliyah anastasiaAaliyah would have only been 38 today.  So in her honor on this MLK day and the beginning of what promises to be an insane week I would like to play her contribution to the movie Anastasia.

The film is an adaptation of the legend of Grand Duchess Anastasia Nikolaevna of Russia, which claims that she, in fact, escaped the execution of her family.

Its basic plot—that of an eighteen-year-old amnesiac orphan named Anya who, in hopes of finding some trace of her family, sides with con men who wish to take advantage of her likeness to the Grand Duchess.

Substitute the Con Men for Putin and Anya as a certain PEOTUS and the similarities are purely coincidental.


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7 and 7 is 2007

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Albums are dying in 2007 so I found this a hard year to find 7 albums I still enjoy in 2017.

In Rainbow Radiohead Their grand internet distribution experiment of pay your own price worked especially well because this was such an amazing body of work.

Raising Sand Robert Plant and Alison Krauss Robert Plant finds a better foil to his wail than Jimmy Page’s guitar and that’s the sweet timber of Alison Krauss

For Emma, Forever Ago Bon Iver What a great introduction to an amazing talent.

Kala M.I.A. As much as I enjoyed looking inward listening to Bon Iver, I enjoyed M.I.A. block party vibe

The Reminder Feist The first album that both my daughters and I could enjoy together

Graduation Kanye West Before Kayne went over the top there was this album. It’s good to listen to remind yourself of how witty, thoughtful and focused he could be

The Shepherd’s Dog Iron & Wine Sam Beam expands his horizons and makes his intimate songs bigger and fuller. Instead of thinking of this as just background music, it made me focus on the strength of his song craft and realize what an amazing talent he is.

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7 and 7 is 1997

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And the album era is slowly coming to an end, still there were 7 albums that kept my attention.

OK Computer Radiohead – Radiohead makes their Pink Floyd masterpiece and then moves on.  I still miss mid 90s guitar era Radiohead but I’m glad they progressed.

The Fat Of The Land The Prodigy – Just like The Sex Pistols created and destroyed punk rock with one album, The Prodigy does with EDM.

Ladies and Gentlemen We Are Floating In Space Spiritualized I don’t take drugs. Instead, I listen to this album.

Dig Your Own Hole The Chemical Brothers Like peanut butter and jelly Electronica meets psychedelia. It’s two greats tastes we never knew go so well together


Time Out Of Mind Bob Dylan Prior to 1997, The 1990s saw the release of two folk music cover albums from Dylan. That’s fine, Dylan had a good run, let him release whatever he wants and we’ll give it a cursory listen before tossing it aside for something new and exciting. Who knew in 1997 the something new and exciting would be this album. He reinvents himself yet again as the old man ready for death but yet still has plenty of fight in him. This is still one of my favorite Dylan records and that’s saying quite a lot.

Urban Hymns The Verve In the year Oasis crashed with Be Here Now, The Verve took the steering wheel as the leaders in Brit Pop.  Unfortunately, The Verve took the wheel, crashed and burned but at least we have this album to remember them.

Homogenic Bjork With a mixture of Electronica, Trip Hop, Alternative and Art Pop, this is probably the most 1997 album and the most beautifully conceived.  All of Bjork’s quirks hit its mark and it’s her best solo record.


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7 and 7 is 1987

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Time to explore the top 7 of 1987

The Joshua Tree U2 I’m actually disappointed the band decided to look back and tour this album this summer.  That said, in 1987 there was not a finer or more exciting album,  The band’s tour that year is the one where they finally realized they weren’t some college rock band and could expand their reach to the mainstream.

Appetite for Destruction Guns n’ Roses It hasn’t lost it’s impact since the day it was released.  It’s the reason they can play stadiums 30 years later based solely on the music on this album.  Everything that came afterwards paled in comparison.

Sign O’ The Times Prince – Each individual song is brilliant and each song adds a unique element (stylistically, vocally, musically ) to make for a stunning album and the probably the only double CD that should be a double CD.

Please To Meet Me The Replacements Their previous albums were all amazing bratty punk rock with a few earnest songs mixed in.  This was their first ROCK album all the way through and it still rocks.

Faith George Michael His death only makes these songs all the more poignant.  “One More Try” might just be one of the finest vocal performances ever.

Yo! Bum Rush The Show Public Enemy – The first album. This wasn’t a pop/rap like Run DMC and it changed hip hop forever. As Chuck D said, “They were the CNN for the ghetto.” Witout this album leading the way, there would not be an NWA, 2PAC, Biggie or Jay-Z.

Songs About Fucking Big Black. Without Steve Albini showing the way, there wouldn’t be a Nirvana or Nine Inch Nails to show them how to take a perfect pop song and then fuck around with it to make it almost unrecognizable. And these are pop songs. Trust me.


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7 and 7 is 1977

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We continue the top 7 of  each year ending in 7.

1977 was another electric year for new sounds that might not have been top sellers the year they were released but influential for many years to come.

Never Mind the Bollocks, Here’s the Sex Pistols: The Sgt. Pepper album of 1977.  You will hear its influence for years to come

Television “Marquee Moon” Some…actually most people prefer Steely Dan’s Aja.  I’ll take this every time.

Elvis Costello ‘My Aim Is True” An album title has never been more on target

Talking Heads ’77 The debut album.  The blueprint is set for the next 10 years as the band explores, poly rhythms, world music and challenging lyrics and somehow makes it palatable to a mainstream audience

David Bowie “Low” : I also wanted to include Kraftwerk and Wire on this list but this album combines all the elements of those two bands while putting on Bowie’s unique stamp.  Like all great albums, it slowly reveals itself with each additional listen.

The Damned “Damned Damned Damned” Produced by Nick Lowe it is arguably Nick Lowe’s greatest contribution to pop music and that’s saying something.

Queen “News Of The World” -Overblown and pretentious and everything the above mentioned artists were fighting…you bet! It also rocks and it hit me at a very influential age. I still listen this album from front to back to be reminded that it was okay for a band to know they were fucking rock stars and should make albums that reflected that attitude.


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7 and 7 is 1967

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I was reminded on January 4, the 50th anniversary of The Doors debut that 1967 was a pretty amazing year for music. I then thought that so was 1977, 1987…and so on. So this week in honor of 7,  I give you my favorite 7 albums that came out in a year ending in 7.  We kick off the proceedings with Love’s “7 and 7 is” released in, of course, 1967 1966.

The Beatles “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Heart’s Club Band” – A given but you’ve got to constantly be reminded as some people think it’s overrated which is far from true. Citizen Kane has fallen off #1 movie of all time because people took it for granted. Do not take this album for granted. It’s as brilliant today as it was in 1967 and is still The Beatles finest album.

The Velvet Underground & Nico-Word is if you bought the album in 1967 you immediately started an indie band

Songs Of Leonard Cohen-The debut album. Word is, if you bought the album in 1967 you immediately started a poetry journal.

Kinks “Something Else” A forgotten classic. Humorous, social commentary from Ray Davies and creative arrangements that hold it all together.

Frank Zappa “Absolutely Free” It’s a work that perfectly encapsulates that feelings of the Laurel Canyon crowd. No matter how silly it gets, it feels like a snapshot of 1967, the ideas behind the music are still relevant.


Captain Beefheart “Safe As Milk” Cream’s Disraeli Gear also came out but I prefer this blues jam

Bob Dylan “John Wesley Harding” – I consider this Dylan’s first country album, but like most Dylan records, the more you get into it, the more questions arise. Thus, making it a better record with each listen,

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Van and Otis in LA

Not much with new releases this week but I think I failed to mentioned last year two epic releases.

One is Otis Redding performing a three-night run at the Whisky A Go Go on the Sunset Strip—seven sets, recorded April 8-10, 1966—even the between-song banter. Presented in chronological order, this 6-CD set includes all of Otis Redding’s seven sets.

And then there’s Van Morrison, “It’s Too Late To Stop Now.. Volumes II, III, IV & DVD”  A 3-CD/1-DVD collection of previously unreleased live concert recordings from Van Morrison’s mythic 1973 tour with the Caledonia Soul Orchestra, .  Originally recorded at three venues: The Troubadour in Los Angeles, the Santa Monica Civic Center, and The Rainbow Theatre in London.

Van carries the soul torch left after Otis Redding’s death.

Otis Redding "Live At The Whisky A Go Go: The Complete Recordings"

Van Morrison "..It's Too Late to Stop Now...Volumes II, III, IV"


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The Smell’s 19th Anniversary


Great show for a great all ages venue on their 19th anniversary.  On January 8, 1998 the club opened at the intersection of Magnolia and Lankershim in North Hollywood.  When the cost of rent rose during the NoHo Arts District boom in 1999, the venue relocated to cheaper Downtown Los Angeles. Now it looks like the building where The Smell is located will soon be demolished.  They are looking for a new location and proceeds to this show will go to their relocation fund.  You can’t beat their admission price of $5 for most shows! There is not a more DIY club in LA.  Support it!

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