DISPATCH 07-17-11 LOS ANGELES

07-17-11

1041 hrs. The regular blur of the week was punctuated by two really great shows that I was lucky enough to attend.

Last Tuesday night, I went to the Echo and saw Omar Souleyman. This may be the old man in me but the best things about the show for me was the fact that it was sold out and that there were so many young people at the show. I believe in the power of music and to see a Syrian man onstage rocking out with a bunch of youth bouncing up and down, I think the future is bright. Perhaps I am too naïve at times but it was great to see that. The show itself was very cool. Onstage, it was Omar, who looks exactly like he does on all his albums along with a keyboard player who was triggering all the samples, etc. It was like a Syrian version of the band Suicide. Even though I had to get up early in the morning, I stayed to the end, totally worth it.

Wednesday night, it was the Malian band Tinariwen at the Troubadour. I have seen the band a few times in American and in Africa and it’s always a great show. Again, another sold out show and a very appreciative audience. For the most part at least. I had the unfortunate location to have to endure two too cool types who insisted on talking through all the quite parts and checking their cell phones every five seconds but I still had a great time. Great to see such a turn out. Sad to find out later that the band was turned away at the Canadian border and apparently, their Canadian date was canceled. Way to go Canada!:

http://www.vancouversun.com/entertainment/Folk+festival+rejigs+schedule+after+music+group+denied+entry/5112766/story.html

Otherwise, there is this one thing I have been thinking about all week and this article I read online only made me think more about it:

http://www.nytimes.com/2011/07/16/business/budget-cuts-to-sec-reduce-its-effectiveness.html

I think this is a worthwhile read and a solid bit of writing by James Stewart. It says a lot about where we’re at and where it’s going. This is the future that a lot of people say is in the best interests of America. Those who scream so loudly for deregulation at all turns might not like what they get. Not everyone will have a good outcome in this environment. It will come down to what options you have because of what you have in your wallet. This is basically how it’s been since they invented wallets and something to put in them, of course but we are now in a very harsh have or have not world where those who seem to want this will be the ones treated with the most disinterested brutality. Some will get through, some won’t.

This is not the kind of irony that holds any interest for me.

I have been getting lots of letters from people in the UK asking me what I think about what’s happening with Rupert Murdoch, Rebekah Brooks, News Corp. and their alleged activities. This is how the game is played and sometimes the blood on your sleeves is your own, that’s what I think. In lieu of having all the facts, the arrest, inquiries, etc., I guess we’ll know more as they roll out more information. I don’t think it will change anything in our lives. We still have to get up tomorrow and be amazing. It will, however, provide some interesting reading, although I don’t think anyone can really be all that surprised at what the outcome will be, no matter how it all plays out.

It’s Sunday, there’s a lot of music to listen to, words to hurl forth and absorb and so, I will take my leave to get into all of that. Thanks for reading this. Henry

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