A Homage to the Legendary Jimi Hendrix

Text by Bruce Gallanter (Downtown Music Gallery)

Jimi Hendrix1983, A Merman I Should Turn to Be – Composed & Performed by the Jimi Hendrix Experience
Recorded for Electric Ladyland, 2 LP set released in October of 1968

Hurrah, I awake from yesterday
Alive, but the war is here to stay
So my love, Catherina and me,
Decide to take our last walk through the noise to the sea
Not to die but to be reborn,
Away from lands so battered and torn
Forever, forever

Oh say, can you see it’s really such a mess

Every inch of Earth is a fighting nest
Giant pencil and lipstick tube shaped things,
Continue to rain and cause screaming pain
And the arctic stains from silver blue to bloody red
As our feet find the sand, and the sea is …
Straight ahead, straight up ahead

Well it’s too bad that our friends,

Can’t be with us today
Well it’s too bad
The machine that we built,
would never save us’, that’s what they say
That’s why they ain’t coming with us today
And they also said
It’s impossible for a man to live and breathe underwater
Forever, was their main complaint
And they also threw this in my face,
they said: Anyway…
You know good and well it would be beyond the will of God,
and the grace of the King (grace of the King) (Yeah, yeah)

So my darling and I make love in the sand,

To salute the last moment ever on dry land
Our machine, it has done its work, played its part well
Without a scratch on our bodies and we bid it farewell
Starfish and giant foams greet us with a smile
Before our heads go under we take a last look at the killing noise
Of the out of style, the out of style, out of style …oooh…

I can vividly remember the first time I heard a song by Jimi Hendrix on the radio (FM radio, mostly). It was the Spring of 1967 and the song that erupted from my speaker was “Purple Haze”. That opening two-note riff and the chorus of “Scuse me while I kiss the sky” were almost too much for my 13 year old mind to deal with.

I was astonished by it and felt like Jimi Hendrix had come from another (psychedelic) dimension or planet! I became a Hendrix fan-addict right then & there and remain that way more than 50 years later! The Jimi Hendrix Experience (with Noel Redding & Mitch Mitchell) recorded just three albums in around two years before Mr. Hendrix’s untimely demise in September of 1970, just before his 28th birthday.

For me and many Hendrix fans, all three albums are essential masterworks. Aside from being one of the most singular, pioneering and brilliant electric guitarists of all time, Jimi Hendrix was also a great songwriter, singer, producer and performer.

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Plastic People of the Universe

An Amazing Story: The Plastic People of the Universe and Why All Musicians Should Know Them

Text by Joe Yanosik

The Plastic People of the Universe

Copyright of image: The Plastic People of the Universe

The Plastic who of the what?  Never heard of them and I’ve been playing music for decades, you might say.  Well, it’s not your fault.  Even on the other side of the Atlantic Ocean where they’re from, the Plastic People (actually from Czechoslovakia, not the Universe) remained obscure.  In America, fans of alternative music may simply know them as a cult band who made weird, experimental music.  In fact, the Plastic People of the Universe were one of the greatest rock groups to emerge from Central Europe during the Communist era and their incredible history should be known far and wide by everyone who plays music for a living.  

Formed in Czechoslovakia in 1968 shortly after the Warsaw Pact Invasion in which Soviet tanks and troops crushed the liberal period known as the Prague Spring, the Plastic People of the Universe endured two decades of persecution from the Communist regime simply because they refused to conform to the Soviet “normalization”.  Since the era of Stalin, the Communists knew the importance of controlling the art in a society and they used art as propaganda to promote their own fake reality.  They were fully aware of the power of music and art and couldn’t let it be created freely for fear that the truth would escape.  

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“MFM Speaks Out” EP 29: Alina Bloomgarden on Bringing Jazz to the Classical Music World and Music to the Prisons

“If one person’s sense of value as a human being is renewed, their family, their community, all of us are affected by it in a positive way. We all benefit”

In this episode of MFM Speaks Out, our guest is Alina Bloomgarden. Alina was the original producer of Jazz at Lincoln Center (JALC), the Lincoln Center Reel to Real series, and Director of Visitors Services for 23 years, where she received the Directors Emeriti Award for outstanding achievement. Proposing that jazz had a rightful place at America’s preeminent performing arts center, she invited Wynton Marsalis to participate as Artistic Advisor. She produced the first critically-acclaimed seasons of Jazz at Lincoln Center. Alina is also the founder and executive director of Music On the Inside (MOTI), an organization that works with professional musicians to bring the transformative power of music education and mentorship to people who are incarcerated, facing the challenges of re-entry or impacted by incarceration.

Music featured on this episode:

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Book Review: David Belmont “World Gone Zoom”…Musician Flexes his Poetry Skills

David BelmontAuthor: David Belmont
Titel: World Gone Zoom – Notes from the American Epicenter
Publisher: The Poetry Box
Buy here: https://thepoetrybox.com/bookstore/world-gone-zoom?mc_cid=390686209d&mc_eid=88475f6457

Book Review by Dawoud Kringle

The fact that musicians also delve into other art forms is nothing new (Miles Davis and Yusef Lateef were painters, for example). So, in May 2021, when David Belmont released a book of poetry titled World Gone Zoom, it was clear that another dimension of a talented musician was brought to the light of day.

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MFM Presents: “Music Is Essential” ZOOM Webinar #5 with Banning Eyre on Bringing African Music into the American Music Scene

Date: Thursday, July 15, 2021
Time: 6pm to 7:30pm (ET)
Venue: ZOOM
Ticket: free

Please register here: https://us02web.zoom.us/meeting/register/tZYud-GtpzorEtU2zBhZA4kaF2uOecvtk13c

Webinar description:

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