Saturday, August 20, 2016

Laura Nyro (and Melissa Manchester)


I got fury in my soul
Fury's going to take me to the glory goal.
In my mind I can't study war no more.
Save the people!
Save the children! 
Save the country now!
-- "Save The Country," written by Laura Nyro, first shows up on her NEW YORK TENDABERRY album.

Britney e-mailed to note Aaron Goldstein (AMERICAN SPECTATOR) had written about Laura Nyro:

Many performers from the 1960s and 1970s have inspired tributes in the form of cover bands, the recording of new interpretations of their material and even Broadway shows. Of course, there are hundreds, probably thousands of tributes to the Beatles. But it is certainly not limited to the Fab Four. Led Zeppelin, Carole King, the late David Bowie and the Eagles (featuring the also recently departed Glenn Frey) immediately come to mind.
Then there’s the case of Laura Nyro. Unlike the other acts mentioned, Laura Nyro is not a household name. I suspect that many music fans who were around during the ’60s and ’70s probably never even heard of her. But those who come to know Nyro’s music are a devoted lot who remain fans for life.
Born in the Bronx in 1947, Nyro (originally known as Laura Nigro) grew up in a musical household with a father who was a jazz trumpeter who supported himself by tuning pianos. It was in this environment that she taught herself how to play piano and began composing songs at the age of eight. Nyro was equally influenced by Debussy and doo-wop. During her teenaged years, she would spend her evenings harmonizing in the neighborhood with other teenagers bitten by the rock ’n’ roll bug.

By the time Nyro was 21, she had recorded three albums, More Than a New Discovery (later re-released as The First Songs), Eli & The Thirteenth Confession and New York Tendaberry. While critically acclaimed, these albums were not commercially successful. But they would get the attention of other artists. Groups as diverse as Three Dog Night (“Eli’s Coming”), The Fifth Dimension (“Stoned Soul Picnic” and “Wedding Bell Blues”) and Blood, Sweat & Tears (“And When I Die”) would each have hits with Nyro’s songs. Ironically, Nyro nearly succeeded Al Kooper as lead singer of Blood, Sweat & Tears, but was dissuaded by her then manager David Geffen from joining the group. Ultimately, it would be David Clayton-Thomas who would sing Nyro’s words on “And When I Die.” While Nyro made her reputation on her songwriting, she would return to her love of doo-wop and record an album of ’50s & ’60s covers in 1971 called Gonna Take a Miracle with Labelle serving as her backup singers.

Britney wondered if I'd ignored the article because it's from a right-wing publication?

I didn't know about the article, sorry.

I wish everyone wrote about music.

I especially wish they wrote about artists like Laura Nyro.

I love Laura's music.

COUNTERPUNCH is so disappointing.

Every year they publish six or so pieces on Bob Dylan and then on this man or that man but they never cover women in music.

They never write about Laura or Joni Mitchell or Roberta Flack or Carly Simon or Tori Amos or Tracy Chapman or . . .

In June, Rashod Ollison (VIRGINIAN-PILOT) wrote about Laura's fifth album GONNA' TAKE A MIRACLE:

On “Gonna Take a Miracle,” her 1971 classic, Nyro explored the soul music of her teen years – the blue-lights-in-the-basement songs of early Motown and uptown soul , those unabashedly romantic ditties girl and boy groups harmonized on street corners and in the halls of the Brill Building in her native New York City. Produced by the legendary duo Kenny Gamble and Leon Huff, “Gonna Take a Miracle” is a covers album that feels fresh because of the passion recharging the material. And it certainly didn’t hurt that Nyro called on her friends, Labelle, to back her up in the studio.

"Don't Cry Out Loud," "Midnight Blue" and "You Should Hear How She Talks About You" are some of Melissa Manchester's hits and:

She’ll be coming to Provincetown, with concerts at 7 p.m. Saturday through Monday at the Sage Inn and Lounge, 336 Commercial St., Provincetown. ($50-$150;

That's from Natalie McKee's 21 questions for THE CAPE COD TIMES as is this:

My favorite song, album or musician:
In this moment, “As time Goes By” (song); “Eli and the Thirteenth Confession” by Laura Nyro (album); Oscar Peterson (jazz pianist, for musician)

I love Eli but really think CHRISTMAS AND THE BEADS OF SWEAT is my own favorite Laura album.

Closing with C.I.'s "Iraq snapshot:"

Friday, August 19, 2016.

Starting with the US presidential race . . .

4.7m children in need humanitarian assistance - that’s almost 1 in 3 children in the country


When are candidates going to have to answer how to address this issue?

Especially anticipating Hillary Clinton's response since she voted for the Iraq War and supported it for years as a US Senator and then came back around to supporting it as a Secretary of State.

Where are your answers, Hillary?

You unconvincingly use terms like "regret" and "sorry" -- briefly use them -- but where is the act of contrition, Hillary?

Where is your effort to fix what you have done wrong?

The children of Iraq suffer.

They suffer by living in the continued illegal war that you helped unleash.

The children of Iraq suffer from birth defects from the chemicals used in the war.

The children suffer by becoming refugees.

By losing one or both parents.

What is your answer, Hillary?

What is your proposal as Iraq has become a country with one of the youngest median ages in the world?

What is your proposal as children suffer?

It takes a village?

I guess pushing your responsibilities off on a collective is one of avoiding your mistakes/crimes.

Resilience of people in is being stretched to breaking point. Thousands who fled are still displaced


But you're running for president and you should be able to answer basic questions like what are you going to do about the refugee crisis in Iraq?

8 months pregnant in an airport shelter, the fate of one


You're going to change the world for women and girls -- that's what Gloria Steinem and other idiots keep insisting.

So what are you going to do for the women and girls above?

Gloria's not doing a damn thing for them.  She doesn't care about them.

Can we assume the same of you, Hillary?

Or how about Phyllis Bennis.

Phyllis has been the great dabbler when it comes to Iraq.

She picks it up from time to time as though it's a seasonal sport.

She went on DEMOCRACY WHEN? this week to say Hillary is right about Donald Trump.


When she's attacking Donald Trump for failing to aid in creating a new Red scare?

(Considering Phyll's politics, I am surprised.)

When he's saying we don't need to be involved in all these wars?

When, Phyllis, when is Hillary spot on in her criticism of Donald?

Phyllis then wanted to crib from this site and pick up the point I've been making for months, Hillary needs to answer questions about Iraq that go beyond her 2002 vote and address what she would do today.

Thanks for cribbing, Phyllis, but next time call me so I can walk you through the points you haven't put in the time to brush up on.

To defend Hillary, a new push has emerged: "Rape is okay!!!!"

Writer Liza Featherston (author of FALSE CHOICES: THE FAUX FEMINISM OF HILLARY RODHAM CLINTON) notes this disgusting and disappointing trend in a series of Tweets and reTweets:

  1. Yup. I thought they'd just ignore the Bill rape stuff, not create a "woke rapist" trope.
Sometimes I think ppl in One PIerrepont Plaza must read these media apologetics, snicker: CAN YOU BELIEVE WE ARE NOT EVEN PAYING THESE PPL
I expected Woke Tim Kaine. Nothing HRC does is shocking, it's the creative intellectual gymnastics of her supporters that continue to amaze.
I did not expect that to get behind idea of defeating Trump, we'd be asked to believe in crazy Russian conspiracies, rape apologetics.
These people recoil at "lesser evil" frame. Offended by the very idea Clintons could be "evil" and will not stand for it.
I expected to often agree with Democrats, once primary was over. Hey, Trump sucks amiright? But still with the most ridiculous commentary!
What's the single most reactionary position we can get Hillary supporters to defend before the primaries end?
I predict...male prerogative to rape and still be a feminist. Throwing poor women off welfare. War. OH WAIT...
How to be a male feminist ally: schedule a post-rape phone call to unpack & apologize.
Feminism is a big tent. But I didn't know it had seating section for rapists.
If you're writing think pieces saying that it's OK if Bill Clinton is a rapist pls ask yourself where you went wrong in your life.

Liza's got the Tweet of the week with the last one:  "If you're writing think pieces saying that it's OK if Bill Clinton is a rapist pls ask yourself where you went wrong in your life."

On Iraq, again, what would Hillary do?

After driving Sunni is out of their homes gov.t left them with no shelter no water no food

This is an ongoing war and people are suffering.

Presidential candidates need to be discussing this and laying out plans.

Turning to violence, Thursday, the US Defense Dept announced:

Strikes in Iraq
Attack and fighter aircraft conducted five strikes in Iraq, coordinated with and in support of Iraq’s government:

-- Near Mosul, four strikes struck three ISIL tactical units and destroyed 38 ISIL oil tanker trucks, five ISIL vehicles and six ISIL assembly areas and denied ISIL access to terrain.

-- Near Ramadi, a strike destroyed two ISIL vehicles and an ISIL shelter.

Task force officials define a strike as one or more kinetic events that occur in roughly the same geographic location to produce a single, sometimes cumulative, effect. Therefore, officials explained, a single aircraft delivering a single weapon against a lone ISIL vehicle is one strike, but so is multiple aircraft delivering dozens of weapons against buildings, vehicles and weapon systems in a compound, for example, having the cumulative effect of making those targets harder or impossible for ISIL to use. Accordingly, officials said, they do not report the number or type of aircraft employed in a strike, the number of munitions dropped in each strike, or the number of individual munition impact points against a target. Ground-based artillery fired in counterfire or in fire support to maneuver roles is not classified as a strike.

And bombs in Baghdad (not dropped from on high) killed 5 people and left nine more injured.