The Oxford Dictionary of National Biography (ODNB) is launching an online exhibition to mark the 40th anniversary of the Beatles’ Sgt Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band album. The exhibition features the lives of over 40 people who appear on the album cover. The iconic cover includes famous individuals such as Karl Marx, Marilyn Monroe and Lewis Carroll. The collection of biographies is available throughout June and July, alongside around 56,000 articles on influential figures in British history.
Phife Dawg, a core member of the legendary hip hop group A Tribe Called Quest, has passed away today. He was 45 years old. According to reports in Rolling Stone, Phife Dawg had suffered from Type 1 Diabetes for years, and underwent a kidney transplant back in 2008 for the condition. Still, that doesn’t make his loss any less heartbreaking.Phife was a founding member of A Tribe Called Quest with childhood friend Q-Tip, alongside members Jarobi and Ali Shaheed Muhammad. The group started in 1985, but it was their 1991 album, The Low End Theory, that set them apart from their contemporaries. Low End, along with Midnight Marauders in 1993, are ranked among the top albums of all time.The group’s ability to blend socially conscious lyrics with hip hop rhythms and jazz accompaniment set them in a league of their own. ATCQ broke up in 1998, but reunited a handful of times in the years following. RIP Phife Dawg, you will be missed.Update 12:45 PM. 3/23:Phife Dawg’s family has shared the following statement:“We regret to share the news that on Tuesday March 22nd, 2016, Malik has passed away due to complications resulting from diabetes.Malik was our loving husband, father, brother and friend. We love him dearly. How he impacted all our lives will never be forgotten. His love for music and sports was only surpassed by his love of God and family.”Dion Liverpool, his manager adds, “While I mourn the loss of my best friend and brother, I also will celebrate his incredible life and contribution to many people’s ears across the world. Even with all his success, I have never met a person as humble as he. He taught me that maintaining a positive attitude and outlook can conquer anything. Now my brother is resting in greatness. I’m honored to have crossed paths with him. Riddim Kidz 4eva.”The family asks that their privacy be respected at this difficult time.
Widespread Panic has already broken the record for most consecutive sold out performances at Red Rocks Amphitheatre, but that won’t stop them any time soon! The beloved Southern rockers are returning to the storied Morrison, CO venue from June 24-26, and of course, all three shows are sold out.If you can’t make your way to Colorado, fear not. Widespread Panic has you covered with a nugs.tv webcast for all three shows! The band will be streaming in both HD and SD formats, so you can tune in all weekend long and catch some Panic on the Rocks!Head here for more information!
One of the most intriguing groups to come out of 2016 has been Electric Beethoven, an improvisational take on the music of famed composer Ludwig van Beethoven. Normally, a name like Beethoven isn’t associated with improvisation, which underlies the beauty and uniqueness of the new project. Conceived by bassist Reed Mathis, Electric Beethoven already has a handful of performances under their belts, and will release their debut album Beathoven on September 30th via Royal Potato Family.Listen to Beathoven, streaming in full via Spotify.The music of Electric Beethoven has a unique energy to it, contrasting the perceived regimented nature of Beethoven’s 3rd and 6th Symphonies with pure improvisational freedom as musicians. While the album features a number of special guests (including Page McConnell, Mike Gordon, Joe Russo, Stanton Moore and more), the band that Mathis assembled for the live shows is a force unto itself. With Jay Lane, Todd Stoops and Clay Welch, this is Beethoven like you’ve never heard before. It’s classical dance music in the truest sense of the words.With so many exciting performances on the horizon, including shows at Catskill Chill, Brooklyn Comes Alive and headlining performances in Manhattan, Las Vegas and more, the anticipation is high for this great ensemble. We sat down with Mathis to get the full story behind Electric Beethoven, and to get a taste of what we should expect when we see them live soon!L4LM: Let’s start from the beginning. Where did the idea for Electric Beethoven come from?RM: The groundwork was me as a three year old, putting on the vinyl of 6th Symphony, building a little fort around the speakers and listening to it in my little fort. I loved it so much, especially the scene by the river when I was really little. We didn’t have rock and roll or folk music in my house. My parents are conductors, and my grandfathers are conductors, and all of their friends were classical musicians. I didn’t end up doing that, but I was around it all the time.If there’s one thing I’ve learned from studying the masters of every genre is that the greats all learned through osmosis and apprenticeship, not through lessons or school. Beethoven didn’t take lessons, he didn’t go to music school. Neither did Jimi Hendrix. Neither did Louis Armstrong. Neither did John Lennon. Neither did Thelonious Monk. Neither did Miles Davis. Neither did Thom Yorke. These people, they did study hard, but they studied themselves. Most importantly, they studied who they were around. Their context and their audience.Because I got such an inside exposure to that music without being forced to study it, or be instructed in it, I was just around it all the time, I feel like I actually got a unique perspective into it that almost has had in 200 years. Everybody who knows that music well was forced to study it.I really didn’t like classical music. As I grew up, I got into Led Zeppelin and Metallica and Jimi Hendrix, and a couple years later Coltrane, Miles Davis, Charlie Parker, Weather Report, and then Aphex Twin, Radiohead, Bjork. There would be a tugging in me when I would hear certain music. I would be like, “That’s the thing! What is that thing? What does Led Zeppelin and John Coltrane have in common? Why does this sound similar to me?” A lot of early Phish hit me that way.I eventually figured out that the reason Jimi Hendrix and John Coltrane sounded so similar to me is that they were really sounding like Beethoven to me. Not copying it, obviously, not consciously. It’s archetypes. You don’t have to have heard that music to have it come out of you. It’s the sound of our organs. You can listen to a mother soothing a crying baby in any country in the world, and they’re basically going to make the same sound. They’re still going to be saying, like, “Aww… aww… aww.”We have these archetypes that are just in our bodies, we’re just born with them. The truly great timeless artists, in my opinion, are tapped into that, and are coming from that. They’re sourcing from that. When that’s true, everyone can relate to the music. Not only that, you can do anything with that music and it will still work. You can do anything with John Lennon’s music and it will still work. They are indesctructible because they’re not opinions. They are archetypes. They are facts about what it means to be a human.Eventually, I figured out that what in stuff had in common, especially the real aching transcendent angry stuff, and the spiritual (as opposed to the religion); all of that stuff, I starting realizing that it all sounded like Beethoven to me.L4LM: So it all comes back to Beethoven.RM: Exactly. After I started putting this together, in my late teens, I went out and got the box set I had grown up with on vinyl and got it on CD. I started re-listening to the stuff for the first time since I was a kid, and I was like, “Goddammit, that is exactly what it is.” This sounds like Led Zeppelin to me.If you don’t think of the orchestra, you don’t think of the room that it’s in or the people that look like that, or the people that go to those concerts, or what it takes to learn it. If you erase all of the cultural context and you just hear it as a guy expressing his feelings. One guy saying his truth to you, directly to you. Not across 200 years but directly, now, to you. If you can hear it that way, it will change your goddamn life, because it’s some of the most profound and insightful and courageous shit.The guy went from being super poor, self-taught in a small town, and then he’s orphaned at 15 with two little brothers. Then he’s just Bob Dylan, he moves to the big city. He comes up with a fake name and a fake back story so he can talk his way into gigs. And then his whole shtick was improvising. He would get up at the piano and he would play back anything anybody else had played that night. He would improvise on other people’s songs, and just basically blow everybody’s mind.Nobody had ever played like that. Piano was a pretty new instrument around then. Before that it was like harpsichord and organ. Piano was like a drum compared to harpsichord and organ. Piano was the drum set of that day. Nobody had ever played that rhythmic. Nobody had ever played power chords like that. Nobody had ever played downbeats and backbeats like that in the white world, at least. Beethoven started really getting into the Bhagavad Gita, which had just been translated into German. He was getting into African mysticism, which was popular around that time in Austria.And then, all of a sudden, he starts to go deaf. He hides it for a few years, and then eventually he can’t hide it anymore. He wrote a suicide letter to his little brother, he was 34. He never mailed it – they found it later in his files. When he came back to the city after trying to figure out what to do with himself, he had this unsent suicide letter and the 3rd Symphony. The 3rd Symphony is recounting of the death of what he thought his life was going to be back at that point. It was how he got through it. How he was able to be like, “well, I’m not going to be a pianist, I’m not going to be famous, I’m not going to be able to hear. Ever.” It’s either kill my body, or kill that ego. He had to be willing to let Beethoven the pianist die, and he did, and then he managed to be born anew as a composer. “I can have a career writing.” He gave himself a second life in his early 30’s.In the 3rd Symphony, the first movement is called “In Memory Of A Great Man.” Well guess who that is? And then the second movement is the “Funeral March,” the third movement is the “Rebirth,” and the last movement is just the “Triumph.” But, at the end of the finale, the Funeral March melody comes back all of a sudden at the end, like he’s tempted with suicide one more time. And then it explodes, and the symphony is over.L4LM: What a story. No wonder you were so inspired.RM: It’s an amazing story! You don’t even need to know all that. If you just listen to those four instrumental songs, in order, as he wrote them – and we’ve played them as he wrote them, in my opinion – you’ll get that. That will come across, because he’s speaking in archetypes. He’s speaking in the same chords Thom Yorke uses. The same chords Bob Dylan used. The same riffs that we still dance to, all of them are in there.So, as soon as I threw all of that together – that was in 1996, when I kind of had this revelation – I said someday I’m going to fuckin’ do that.The core of who Beethoven was is an improviser, so I want to do it that way. I want to see how personal we can make this music, and have it still be his story.L4LM: So once you had this idea, how did it transform into a reality? RM: When I started working on it, it was 2008 when I got the score for the whole symphony – the full orchestral score – and started learning it just in my head and on guitar. But that year I was also in Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, Tea Leaf Green, and the Marco Benevento Trio. All three bands made albums. All three bands were on the road semi-full time. So that was kind of a hectic year.Then I quit Jacob Fred, I quit the Marco band, and I went into my buddy’s studio and I made demos of the full symphony, with me on all instruments. Drums, guitar, bass. I wanted to see if the songs would hold up without good musicians, you know what I mean? You’re not even allowed to play that music unless you’re like a pedigree music school whatever. I can’t play drums and I can barely play guitar. So if I can play these two symphonies in their entirety on drums and guitar, with no ability or technique, and it still sounds emotional, then this is going to work. So I did that, and it fucking worked.And then I put it aside for a few years. But I started thinking about, “I want to do something else…” As much as I love the Tea Leaf Green guys, they were a band for 12 years before I ever met them. We were very different creatures, it’s part of why we were so attracted to each other. There was a lot of who I am that just didn’t belong there. I was in Jacob Fred for 15 years; I was in high school when we started that band.So I started thinking, what else could I do? And I said, “Oh yeah, that Beethoven shit!”L4LM: How did you go about putting the Beathoven album together from there?RM: I started making a list of musicians that I admire, that I thought would fit. I could put together a bunch of different people in different cities that would suit the color of each song. One of them was acoustic-feeling and happy, so I’ll go to Nashville and I’ll record some of my boys there. This one’s super dark and heavy, so let’s do that one in Seattle. This one’s bright and funky, I’m definitely doing that one in New Orleans.The artists were put together like that. I contacted people, and everybody I asked said yes, and I started booking studios and flights. It took me almost two years to record the nine songs, but that’s not two years of working every day. That’s like two weeks a year, and a lot of traveling. That was a fun thing in and of itself. I knew so many brilliant musicians. I was like, “if I’m going to make a record, I really don’t want it to be a dork bass album. I don’t want it to be about me, I want it to be about the songs and the project.”I really set out to feature everybody, and really play up what I consider to be their strengths. And it fucking worked! I think it worked. I think everybody’s really featured. If you want to hear Joe Russo, fuckin’ put on “In Memory Of A Great Man.” I’ve never heard him play like that. So ferocious. He was bleeding. He was bleeding by the end of the session. Him and Gordon together, it was the darnedest thing I’ve ever seen. Russo didn’t even use the chart I made him, he just memorized the fucking thing. It was ridiculous. Ri-diculous.When I asked Stanton Moore if he wanted to be a part of it, he was like, “it’s so funny you asked me that, I was just talking about Beethoven today in the drum clinic I was giving. Beethoven was the first white musician to play the second line.” I was like, “What? Come on!” And then he starts singing some Beethoven riff to me, and I was like, “well sure enough, there it is.”He was the first European musician to study Indian music in Africa, so it’s starting to make sense. And then, wait a second, jazz came to New Orleans but what was the most popular music in New Orleans during the Civil War? Oh, it was Beethoven. What happened right after the Civil War? Suddenly all of the black musicians that had been playing Beethoven couldn’t get work, outside the whore houses. So that’s how this dialect got into jazz and therefore into rock and roll. Not by accident, Beethoven’s music went to New Orleans, where it became illegal for black people to play it, so they started mutating it. So that’s fucking real.That backed up what I’d always believed about why I liked Led Zeppelin and John Coltrane and Jimi Hendrix. I thought I’d imagined that, but his music actually did get into our music via New Orleans. So, boom.Yeah, I did all that, and the record was sitting there and I was out of money. So I let it sit there for a minute, saved up some money, and I went and got it mastered and got artwork done. I talked some beautiful, gullible people into thinking it was a good idea to work with me, and… boom, we’re a business.L4LM: Tell us about these gullible people then. How did you form Electric Beethoven, the band?RM: That was the thing. Obviously I can’t take the people on the record, because they’re all touring musicians themselves, and all those guys only had to learn one song. I was like, “okay, well what do I need?” I don’t need shredders. What I need is brave people who are willing to go for it, for real, as improvisers.A lot of people think improvising means soloing, but that’s like kindergarten improvising. Real improvising is what you and I are doing right now. We’re both in the mix. I don’t know what you’re about to say, I don’t know what I’m about to say. I’m pretty sure it’s going to work. When we look back on it, it will look like it was organized the whole time. So that’s real improvising.My manager Benjy [Eisen] loves Phish, and he talks about Type-I jams and Type-II jams. So I’m talking about type-II. I’m talking about when there’s not a clear soloist and nobody’s playing a scripted part.So, the opposite of that is what orchestras do. Nobody’s improvising and everybody’s playing a scripted part. If we can take these songs and do the exact opposite of what people normally do, we will have something. And, it can be dance music the whole time. Not cheesy like “Fifth of Beethoven” disco, but straight funky. So that was what I needed.The first person I asked was Jay Lane. I became friendly with Les Claypool many years ago. Jacob Fred Jazz Odyssey, we opened for Claypool a bunch like ten years ago. I got to know Jay pretty well, he sat in with us every night on the road during our opening set. He was the coolest, and I grew up on Primus. And he and I are still in this band, the Golden Gate Wingmen. He and I have this amazing rapport, we play so well together. We get along great, which is crucial. I’d rather play with someone I love than the greatest musician in the world – Jay happens to be both. I was nervous to ask him, but he bought it right away.Then Todd Stoops hired me to do some Grateful Dead nights like a year ago, I want to say, and I’ve known Stoops for a long time. I remember RAQ and Jacob Fred doing shows together back in 2002. Both Jay and Todd are familiar with Jacob Fred, so there’s a whole lot there that I already don’t have to explain. They already know where I’m from, musically. Todd, also, doesn’t have a full-time project right now, so he was like, fuck yes, I’m in. He didn’t know anything about Beethoven, neither did Jay, and they both fell completely in love with this shit. They’d text me at four in the morning about it!Then I needed a guitar player, and there’s no one around here who really fits the bill. So many of my friends are guitar players, but that fucking instrument… I realized, all of a sudden, in a flash, that there was only one guy who could do it, and that was Clay Welch from Tulsa, OK where I grew up. He is a virtuoso guitarist who somehow made it to his late 20’s without ever hearing Jimi Hendrix or Led Zeppelin or The Grateful Dead or Phish. Last year I gave him some Hendrix, and he was like, “I’ve heard of this guy a lot, so this is that guy?” Clay’s been playing guitar for 15 years, and he’s incredible – the best I’ve ever seen – and yet he’s like “Led Zeppelin, right I’ve heard of these guys. Which one should I check out first?” I’m like, “start with Led Zeppelin I.” And he’s like “wow I really like it! It’s really good.” Yeah, I know it’s really good.He loves Radiohead, Do Make Say Think, Mogwai… he loves a lot of more modern shit, but he never did the whole classic rock thing. That is why I love it, because almost every other guitar player I know only did the classic rock thing. They don’t know any music before 1964, and they barely know anything since 1980, stylistically.So I actually talked Clay into moving out to the Bay Area, and I hope that he never regrets it. And that’s my band!L4LM: What were the first shows like with the new band? I know you played Terrapin Crossroads and Outside Lands Festival.RM: They were fucking incredible. We had Outside Lands booked, and we had rehearsals booked. Everybody was doing great in the rehearsals but I wanted everybody to dig in a little deeper. It didn’t feel risky enough. Everybody was playing it real safe. Unfortunately, they’d all studied the album I’d made, and so a lot of them were really trying to play like the album, even down to the drum fills and stuff. That is literally the exact opposite of what I wanted to do.I want to be completely making this shit up from note one. Not leaving the story, Beethoven’s narrative, but I want you to make up your part. I don’t want you to be like, this song has this beat. I want a brand new beat every time. It could be in a different time signature if you want. Just something new, every time. And it took some doing.I think it was Benjy’s idea, really – let’s book a show and have it the day before Outside Lands, and not even tell the band. So we did it, and the day before the gig, I was like, “hey guys, we’re not going to rehearse at the studio tomorrow, we’re going to rehearse at Terrapin, and then we’re going to open the doors and let people in.” And they were like, “whaaat?” Yep, we’re going live. People are going to hear it. I didn’t know if anyone was going to come on 24 hours notice but the place was packed. It was a Monday or something. I gotta say, it was possibly the greatest night of music making in my life. It was so phenomenal.It was rough, we were definitely flying by the seat of our pants, but that was part of why I felt like I had to do it. To show everybody in the band what it’s really going to take. It’s one thing to sit in the rehearsal room and do this shit, it’s another thing to charge people money and get up on stage, and do it. You gotta get your balls out.It was definitely scary for everyone, but everyone was so thrilled, and the audience was dancing the whole time. Dancing the whole fucking time. It was unbelievable. Some people were crying. I saw a couple of people on their knees in some sort of prayer yoga thing while we were playing. Stuff was going on in the room, it felt like a habitat.That’s what I wanted to have happen; that was my theory all along. The archetypes in Beethoven’s are like magic spells, like incantations. If you come, we will build it.Then we did it for some friends the next night, and instead of doing both Symphonies in one night, we did one of them way long. It was fucking incredible. In-credible. That one was not recorded and only a handful of people heard it, but it was very special.And then we went to Outside Lands – that was okay, a little chaotic. We had a lot of friends there who hadn’t seen the other two, and they all loved it, but as the performer I felt like that was our worst showing. That’s how it goes. As soon as you get the big festival gig, you suddenly suck.Regardless, everything has turned out great, everyone is so frickin’ stoked, and we’re heading out on the road next week. I can’t wait!L4LM: We can’t wait either! I know Catskill Chill and Brooklyn Comes Alive are going to be a ton of fun, and you have some other dates scheduled as well, right?RM: We’re doing an East Coast run in September and another one in October, starting with Brooklyn Comes Alive. This month we’re doing Burlington, Northampton, Buffalo, Cleveland and DC, and then in October we’re doing BCA. [See the full lineup here] Then we’re doing two nights in Manhattan with a bunch of guests, because in New York I can hopefully get some of the people from the record. The night before Halloween we’re playing after Phish in Vegas, and that’s free! I can’t fucking wait. Someone sent me a picture they took on their phone – somebody that was in Vegas yesterday – there’s a billboard with my picture on it already. Crazy.Then November we’re looking at Colorado, Chicago – stuff like that. Unless we totally tank, I want to do this for a couple years. If we really do our job well and really improvise with courage, at the top of our game, if everybody plays better than they ever have, every night, which is what I want us to do, then there’s no reason why – in a year – we’re not playing Carnegie Hall and Berlin Jazz Festival and Bonnaroo. The power inherent in this music and in this concept and in this team is staggering. We’re going to have to really fuck up to have this not work. I honestly think that this is the beginning of the most exciting and rewarding music of my life so far.L4LM: That’s really great to hear. It’s so evident when musicians bring that enthusiasm into the live setting.RM: One of the other things that all of these players have in common is that we’ve all been doing lots of gigs that don’t use our full skill sets. Like Jay Lane plays in RatDog, which improvises, but it’s real chill the whole time. And then he also plays in Primus, which is rowdy but with no improvising. Todd Stoops plays in lots of dance projects and EDM stuff, but he can do so much. He’s got all of music history under his fingers.Clay has played a lot of jazz, and as a guitar player he winds up playing a lot of – in Oklahoma they call it “Red Dirt Music.” Sort of like Willie Nelson, Emmylou Harris… not really country, more like alt-country. That uses like 5% of who he is as an artist. I’ve been playing in Tea Lea Green and Marco Benevento and Bill Kreutzmann and all of these incredible projects that also use a very small part of my skill set.So all four of us are finally in a position to actually do our best. That, to me, is maybe the most exciting part of the whole thing.L4LM: Is that what motivated your recent decision to leave Tea Leaf Green?RM: Umm… yes. That is definitely a prime motivator.As with most personnel changes, music is usually a very small part of it. They’re in really good places in their lives, they just have a really different relationship to their instruments and to music itself. I’m not exactly sure how, but they’re all not playing. They’re doing other stuff. They’re doing farming and graphic design, and I’m down with it. I think it’s beautiful, and they all seem very happy, but I can’t get them to hang out with me.Nobody wants to do gigs. I want to do gigs, I want to do five gigs a week, and I have been. If my band doesn’t want to play, that forces me to do pick up stuff and super jams and all-star weekends. I want to go deep, man. I don’t want a one-night stand, I want the real thing.I mean, of course, I’m not arrogant. If you get me with Roosevelt Collier or Page McConnell, I’m down. That’s not going to be a band. I want to be in a band. I want to be in a gang, honestly. I want to feel like, when we go into a festival, we’re rolling in to tear shit up. I want to feel like a posse.L4LM: The Electric Beethoven Gang!RM: It sounds so dorky! Whatever, I’m a nerd.But yeah, those guys are not in that place with music right now. It’s taken a back burner role in their lives, and in a way it’s a very, very beautiful thing to do. But that’s not my relationship to music. Music is my lifeline, it’s my source of nutrition. I don’t take a break from having arms and I don’t take a break from playing music. It’s just there.I love those guys and I’m sure I’ll make music with them again. It’s the same thing that happened with Jacob Fred after 15 years. The schedules get too hard to work around for everybody, and then it comes down to priorities. So, there you go.L4LM: Well thank you so much for taking the time to speak with us, Reed. Best of luck with everything and we’ll see you soon!Reed Mathis’ Electric Beethoven will hit the Catskill Chill Music Festival this weekend, and plays a handful of dates throughout the East Coast before their album Beathoven drops on September 30th (pre-orders available now). From there, the band plays at Brooklyn Comes Alive on October 22nd, featured in a lineup with musicians like Joe Russo, Oteil Burbridge, Jason Hann, Marc Brownstein, Aron Magner and so many more across three Brooklyn venues. (More info here). The band will also play two intimate club shows in New York at The Cutting Room and DROM (Oct. 25th and 26th), where they’ll be spotlighting an extended version of one symphony each night! (More info here).[Photo credit Josh Miller]
Today, Jurassic 5 announced they will play a double-bill Jazz Fest after-show with fellow ’90’s hip-hop stalwarts Blackalicious at The Howlin’ Wolf in New Orleans on Thursday, May 4th. Tickets for the show go on sale tomorrow, March 22nd at 10:00 a.m. Central Time. You can purchase tickets here when they go on sale.The show joins the already long and diverse list of after parties around New Orleans during Jazz Fest, which is set to begin on April 28th and wrap its second weekend on May 7th. Live For Live Music is excited to be presenting a variety of talent-packed Jazz Fest late nights at the Howlin’ Wolf and elsewhere around the city this year, including:Break Science Live Band & The Russ Liquid Test plus The Werks @ The Howlin Wolf, 4/29Karl Denson’s Tiny Universe @ One Eyed Jacks, 4/29The Nth Power‘s “WAKE UP & LIVE: The Music of Bob Marley” with special guests @ One Eyed Jacks, 4/29“Fu*K 2016: A Tribute To Musicians We Lost” featuring members of Turkuaz and The Motet @ The Howlin’ Wolf, 4/30“Earth Wind & Power” featuring special guests with All Brothers Band (featuring Oteil and Kofi Burbridge & Neal and Alan Evans) and Organ Freeman @ The Howlin’ Wolf, 5/2“Allen Toussaint Jukebox” featuring members of Turkuaz, The New Mastersounds, and more @ The Howlin’ Wolf (In The Den), 5/2“The Daze Between Band” featuring Oteil Burbridge, Eric Krasno, Duane Trucks, Scott Metzger, and Danny Louis @ One Eyed Jacks, 5/3“Zigaboo Modeliste‘s Funk Revue” and “MJ vs. Stevie” featuring members of Lettuce, Prince‘s band, and more, plus Organ Freeman (In The Den) @ The Howlin’ Wolf, 5/7In addition to our long list of exciting late nights, Live For Live Music is partnering with “Crawfish King” Chris “Shaggy” Davis to host the second annual NOLA Crawfish Festival during the days between the two Jazz Fest weekends, from May 1st – 3rd at Central City BBQ. The event will feature all-star musical collaborations by George Porter Jr., Eric Krasno, Jon Cleary, Nigel Hall, John “Papa” Gros, John Medeski, Ivan Neville, Cris Jacobs and more, in addition to craft beers and Shaggy’s world famous crawfish! For more information, or to purchase tickets, head to the event’s website.
University of Georgia scientist Wayne Hanna has received his share of awards, but he says there’s something extra special about the Lifetime Achievement Award he received at the National Association of Plant Breeders (NAPB) annual meeting on Wednesday, Aug. 28.“I think the biggest satisfaction that comes from winning the award is that the efforts in Tifton are recognized and acknowledged,” Hanna said.Hanna has served as a part-time professor in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences on the UGA Tifton campus since 2003. This followed a successful 32-year career as a research geneticist and research leader with the U.S. Department of Agriculture Agricultural Research Service (USDA ARS) in Tifton, Georgia.Hanna, whose specialty is crop genetics and plant breeding, has authored or co-authored more than 670 scientific papers. He’s developed and released 31 cultivars and 35 parental lines, inbreds and improved germplasms of turf, ornamental and forage genera; this includes 27 plant patents and four plant patents in final review. His cultivars are planted across the world as forage for summer grazing and on landscapes, golf courses and athletic fields — including those staging the World Cup and Olympics.Hanna was well deserving of the award, according to Jim McFerson, professor of horticulture at Washington State University and chairperson of the NAPB Awards Committee.“For more than 50 years at both the USDA ARS and the University of Georgia, Dr. Hanna has assembled and distributed forage and turfgrass germplasm, developed and released highly successful turfgrass varieties, published hundreds of papers on breeding and genetics, and trained numerous graduate students and postdocs,” McFerson said. “Dr. Hanna is exactly the kind of scientist, mentor and human being the NAPB seeks to honor with its prestigious Lifetime Achievement Award.”A native of Texas, Hanna earned a doctorate in genetics from Texas A&M University in 1970. During the first 32 years of his career, Hanna studied male sterility systems, reproductive and chromosome behavior, radiation and plant improvement, hybridization, gene action, linkage and inheritance analyses, alien germplasm transfer, and forage quality components.Over the past 16 years, he has developed seed sterile ornamental grasses, ornamental peanut, cold tolerant citrus, and coneless pine trees.Hanna is a member of the NAPB, Golf Course Superintendents of America, Georgia Golf Course Superintendents Association, Turfgrass Producers of America, American Society of Agronomy and the Crop Science Society of America.He has received multiple awards during his illustrious career, including induction into the Georgia Agricultural Hall of Fame in 2011 and into the Agricultural Research Services Science Hall of Fame in 2006. He was named Inventor of the Year by the UGA Research Foundation in 2003, the same year he received the C. Reed Funk Achievement Award from the Turfgrass Breeders Association.These awards recognize his impressive body of work, but Hanna is most proud of the impact his career has made on consumers.“Say, a lady calls me from north Atlanta and says, ‘Wayne, ‘TifBlair’ has given me the prettiest lawn I’ve ever had.’ That’s the best award you can get,” Hanna said. “Or you have a cattleman from Texas that says, ‘This grass that you developed has made me more money than anything I’ve ever done.’ Those are really good feelings.”
Training to deal with natural disasters and other emergencies and to provide medical care paid off for the Colombian Armed Forces on June 22. Sharpening skills and bolstering cooperation “The exercise’s objective is to share the FAC’s 50 years of experience, strengthen operational abilities in the various air crews, be at the forefront in the techniques used to provide humanitarian aid, and improve the close ties of cooperation and interoperability that exist among the participating countries to conduct joint operations intended to save lives at the national and international levels,” the FAC’s Communications Department told Diálogo. The training program will be managed by the FAC’s National Center for Personnel Recovery (CNRP) and led by Lieutenant Colonel Rodrigo Zapata Romero, FAC’s director of Special Air Operations. Ángel de los Andes, an initiative by the Colombian Air Force (FAC), provides an opportunity for “air crews and aviation medical personnel, as well as operational and logistics personnel, to train in a simulated environment on Combat Search and Rescue (CSAR), evaluations and medical airlifts, and putting out forest fires,” the FAC’s website stated. The FAC’s goals in hosting the training program are to help Air Force service members sharpen their search, rescue, and medical skills, in addition to improving cooperation among partner nations. The Air Forces of 12 countries in the Americas will gather from August 17-28 in Colombia to conduct search and rescue exercises during natural disasters and other emergencies. “During this meeting, all the participants demonstrated commitment, bravery, and camaraderie as they prepared to save lives anywhere in the Americas,” the FAC CACOM 5 reported. The following month, on July 16, the Caribbean Air Group used a C90 medical-equipped aircraft, known as the “Guardian Angel of Colombia’s Caribbean Coast,” to transport a 62-year-old man from Providencia Island to the Amor de Patria Departmental Hospital in San Andrés Island, 90 km south, after suffering a traumatic brain injury. Members of the FAC will share their knowledge and experience with their counterparts from other participating countries. During the 10 days of Ángel de los Andes, 230 Colombian Air Force members will train with 60 others from partner nations in search, rescue, and recovery of an ejected crew and persons affected by an attack on a Military convoy; practice planning, supervision, and control skills; and learn about the best ways to provide medical treatment during emergencies and disasters, such as earthquakes. “Sharing experiences is a tradition among the world’s Armed Forces; there is a very strong esprit de corps among Military institutions,” Rubén Sánchez, a security analyst at Colombia’s University of Rosario, said. Such humanitarian missions “rendered by the Air Force and the Army in each nation is critical for many communities located in inhospitable areas,” Sánchez said. The FAC CNRP units have also rendered humanitarian aid in countries such as Chile, Peru, and Haiti. Multiple roles for Colombian Armed Forces By Dialogo August 18, 2015 warm The FARC guerilla forces went and took out the seismic company ecopetrol congratulations for the partnership between friendly nations. Much success I think it’s very important that the Minister of Defense should be someone with a lot of military experience. Heartfelt regards to all the members of the Armed Forces of my Colombia for the great work they do for us Eight days later, on June 30, the 7th Air Combat Command used an Angel UH-60 helicopter outfitted with a Bambi Bucket that held 640 gallons of water mixed with liquid fire retardant to fight a blaze in the municipality of Pradera in Valle del Cauca. Colombia, Chile, Ecuador, Jamaica, Panama, Honduras, Peru, Mexico, the Dominican Republic, Brazil, the United States, and Canada will attend Ángel de los Andes at the 1st Air Combat Command (CACOM 1) in the department of Cundinamarca, and at the 5th Air Combat Command (CACOM 5) in the department of Antioquia. “This is an excellent opportunity for the institution and for the country to demonstrate the Colombian Air Force members’ skills and training, which have allowed them to stay at the forefront of personnel recovery operations and providing treatment in emergencies and disasters,” the FAC said. The training program will include lectures by national and international speakers arranged by the Office of the Chief of Air Operations and the National System for Disaster Risk Management (SNGRD). Participants will also engage in discussions regarding rescue techniques using examples of successful recoveries of victims during disasters carried out by Colombian security forces and U.S. combat pilots. Military authorities have planned for this event for several months, beginning in October 2014. The FAC and U.S. Air Force members also met at the end of June 2015 to train together prior to the exercise. On that day, the helicopter crew of a UH-60 FAC 4103 Angel aircraft rescued Staff Sergeant Elver Alberto Santana, 38, who was suffering from acute coronary syndrome and extreme dehydration. The helicopter crew airlifted him from the municipality of Murindó to the Medellín Military Hospital.
10SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,Jeff Vossen Jeff Vossen is Senior Vice President of Origination and Operations at TruHome Solutions, a Credit Union Mortgage Service Organization, providing a full range of private label services to credit unions (… Web: www.truhomesolutions.com Details TRID (TILA-RESPA Integrated Disclosure) is at the forefront of every mortgage lender’s thoughts right now as everyone in the industry prepares for the impending form changes taking effect Aug. 1. While there’s no shortage of literature currently available about how lenders should prepare and what this means for their business, the potential effect on the borrower’s experience is less explored.Let me paint the picture for you. It’s spring home buying season and the housing market is red hot. Homeowners who’ve sat on properties for years are now looking to take advantage of improved home values and prospective buyers are aggressively house-hunting while interest rates remain low. Imagine a young couple, for example, buying their second home- the one they hope to settle down in and perhaps start a family. They’ve called their trusted realtor, let them know what they’re interested in and are at the table prepared for this exciting move. Except this may not be like their first home purchase for a number of reasons.Don’t Hold the Phone Following an application, the lender will still have three days to send a loan estimate. However after Aug. 1, disclosures must be delivered and acknowledged by the buyer three days prior to closing. While past experiences offered the buyer more flexibility when receiving and digesting this information, missing this step restarts the clock and could change the terms and rates they receive, as well as delay the process. To avoid this, the borrowers need to be educated early on to ensure they are an active participant in the process and understand their accountabilities.Delayed Closings Today, it’s not uncommon for small transaction changes to occur during the contract and negotiation process that can quickly be rectified at closing. Soon, with the new regulations, borrowers may be shocked that there’s little room for error since all closing documents must be complete, delivered and acknowledged by the borrower three days prior to closing. This means that if any changes do occur, it could potentially delay the closing process, creating complications for buyers. This is heightened in a competitive market with buyers lined up for desirable properties. Since most buyers begin making financial adjustments, hiring movers or making temporary living arrangements based on a set move date established in their contract, complications like this can create a negative impression.Communication & Education Among PartiesWhile borrowers are typically immune to any last-minute, unpredicted issues that may occur between lenders, title companies, realtors, etc., this may not be the case following Aug. 1 when it comes to buyer expectations. While smart lenders are proactively educating their trusted parties on what these changes mean, don’t leave out the borrowers. As with any change, there will be growing pains that may expose the buyer to new issues. Until the complexities and responsibilities are fully understood by all parties, the borrower could be put in strained or awkward situations for the first time.While these scenarios leave much to be desired, the truth is, the forms will likely simplify things for the buyer in the long run as intended. However, borrowers will only reflect upon their experience. While first-time home buyers may not notice a difference, second-time buyers or those refinancing in years to come will need re-education.While the impact of TRID is real, lenders that have done their due diligence to invest in compliance, ensure that their technology software up to speed, train staff, educate industry contacts and add staff will likely weather the changes just fine. For financial institutions that don’t have the necessary resources available, these changes are significant and they may have to forego offering mortgages. That’s why Credit Union Service Organizations (CUSOs) can provide relief by way of compliance expertise, trained staff, a top-notch technology platform and deep experience working directly with their clients’ customers or members every step of the way.While you’re not alone in working to prepare for TRID, you may be in a situation where extra support is needed to ensure your members are happily packing their moving truck in route to their dream home this summer. Not only will they appreciate having a positive experience, they will think of their trusted lender who made it all possible for them.
After 9/11, PenFed built a strategic plan to transform our business within a decade to be 95% remote and only 5% brick and mortar. Over the years, our branches have encountered challenges (like hurricanes in Puerto Rico and blizzards in Nebraska), but the coronavirus pandemic has been the greatest test of our business model to date.What we have learned is that the model works – largely because we were prepared for what was to come, and we spent a decade rehearsing for it. By March of this year, 80% of our transactional business was already conducted through our mobile or web platforms (versus through phone calls or in branches). Our employees already had the capability to work from home and transitioned quickly at the onset of the virus. In our branches, we shifted to drive-through only. We have been holding our board meetings remotely, and earlier in the month we held our annual meeting virtually for the first time in our 85-year history.Year to date, our volumes are up nearly 30% from 2019. We reached 2 million members and have surpassed $26 billion in assets. This was the result of long-term preparation by our board of directors and senior leaders and the hard work of exceptional employees. Strategy, Focus and Execution has been our mantra.PenFed is just one data point. But I hope our experience with a remote business model will be helpful to other credit unions. As our economy reopens, here are five tips for credit unions to consider when preparing for the future:Take care of your employees first and foremost. The best way to prepare for the unexpected is to focus on your employees. My second week at PenFed, when I was the chief administrative officer, two female executives came into my office. They had each worked their way up from teller to executive vice president over many years and had the trust and respect of everyone who worked with them. “No matter what you do here, take care of your employees,” they advised me. I will never forget it, and it has proven to be true. “People helping people” isn’t just about helping members. It’s a chain philosophy. If you take perfect care of your employees, they will take perfect care of your members.Develop guiding principles. Develop a guide for a safe return-to-office plan that can be applied or adapted to different scenarios. At PenFed, our guiding principles are: ensuring the safety of employees; accomplishing our mission and goals; and building to “better” (always striving to add more value in our products, services and infrastructure).Be physically prepared. In his foresight, Frank Pollack, my predecessor as president and CEO, spearheaded the planning for a variety of crises. For years, we have made sure to have stocks of meals ready to eat (MREs), water, generators and masks. We have made significant investments in the physical technology that enables remote work.It’s dangerous to be wedded to an idea. Sometimes the best thing you can do is let go of that “great” idea. What you don’t do is as just as important as what you do. For example, does building another branch align with your strategic vision of becoming remote? Do you need that ATM in that location, or should you wait until you have a location that’s frequented by more members? We all have limited resources, and for every decision there is an opportunity cost. In the hard times, you will be glad you didn’t overspend, overreach or stray from your vision in the good times.Be agile. When I was in high school, I always worked several jobs at one time. I would go from a manufacturing job to mowing grass to my job as a teller at a financial institution. It taught me to focus on agility within our institution. If leaders and employees are able to move seamlessly from one task or demand to another and remain levelheaded and flexible in responses, the credit union as a whole will be better prepared to handle new challenges.In our work to ready our credit unions for future challenges, don’t lose sight of the big picture. We realize “success” for a credit union isn’t all about profit – it’s about helping people. Real success is inspiring others to do better. Remember that “many hands make the load light.” Within the credit union, when teams and people go out of their way to help each other succeed, the organization is stronger. We’ve got to stick together. 1SHARESShareShareSharePrintMailGooglePinterestDiggRedditStumbleuponDeliciousBufferTumblr,James R. Schenck James Schenck is President and CEO of PenFed Credit Union, headquartered in Tysons, VA. PenFed is America’s second-largest federal credit union, serving more than 2 million members worldwide with … Web: https://www.penfed.org Details
The official start of summer on the island of Lošinj was marked by the opening of a new Japanese restaurant at the Bellevue Hotel, the only restaurant with Japanese cuisine on the Croatian islands.On Sunday, June 24, a gala dinner was organized at the Matsunoki restaurant, where a menu consisting of Japanese delicacies, such as salmon sashimi, nigiri sushi and gyoza – Japanese pasta stuffed with black Slavonian pork – was presented. The Matsunoki menu was created by the restaurant’s chief chef Saša Pribičević together with his team, and great emphasis was placed on the combination of local ingredients and herbs.The newly opened Matsunoki (Croatian pine) is a fusion restaurant of traditional Japanese cuisine in which original Japanese ingredients are combined with quality and fresh Croatian ingredients from local organic farming. The guiding principle of the team of chefs led by the main chef of the restaurant Saša Pribičević was to offer guests the best Croatian and foreign flavors, based on fresh, seasonal ingredients from organic farming that hotel guests and villas of the hotel brand Lošinj Hotels & Villas especially appreciate. Matsunoki Restaurant covers 240 m2 and can accommodate about 70 people, has a prominent sushi bar and an open kitchen so guests can see the food preparation. “All guests of LH&V and the island of Lošinj, lovers of Japanese cuisine and boaters who are in the Cres-Lošinj area on the menu of the Matsunoki restaurant can find oysters with granite from wine and herbs, maki sushi, beef teriyaki, chicken carrage, matcha ice cream with sweet azuki bean paste and sesame crumble and other famous Japanese dishes with a touch of Lošinj. In addition, Matsunoki makes homemade udon pasta on its own, which is paired in a wok with aged beef steak, young beans and teriyaki sauce. Top Japanese delicacies by chef Saša Pribičević are further complemented by a special offer of whiskeys from renowned distilleries from Japan, such as Nikka Taketsuru, The Yamazaki, Hakushu and Hibiki”Point out from LH&V. All in line with luxury tourism and the top offer developed by Lošinj Hotels & Villas, and Lošinj Bay Čikat has been very popular with gourmets and lovers of top wines for several years. By the way, it is important to point out that LH&V prepares gastronomic specialties using products and groceries from over 90 Croatian family farms from all over Croatia. Related news: THE COMBINATION OF “BLUE” AND “GREEN” CROATIA – DOES IT SOUND TO YOU?