Chanticleer just finished our run of concerts at a few of the California Missions. I took the photo above just after our show in Fremont last month. We wrapped up this set with a special event in Sacramento at the historic Mission where we had an intimate group of faithful supporters who came to honor Eric Alatorre, our lowest bass, who will be retiring in a few months, after 28 years of singing with us.
Also, last month, Chanticleer sang in New Orleans for the first time in its 40-year history. You can imagine we were all very excited to explore the city and its glorious food. I fear there may still be powdered sugar haunting me somewhere from all of those magnificent beignets!
We've spent some time this month having a glance at a few pieces on our next program, which we're presenting in June. But in the meantime, we hit the road again in a week. This time we're headed to Southern CA for a couple of days then over to the east coast: Manhattan, Brooklyn, Philly, DC, CT, and Boston. Come say hello!
Things are heating up in the world of music legislation and Advocacy. In addition to substantial progress in federal legislative efforts (which I'll write more about next month), we here in California are making a push for Arts Education to reach more public schools.
Read my recent blog post about all that and get involved here:
Support Arts Education in California!
New Music Friday
My NMF project is trucking along, and I'm practically drowning in good music. Here's a playlist of my favorites from last month:
March 2018 Favorites
Tangentially related, April holds something called Record Store Day. Started 10 years ago, this is a day to celebrate your local independent record stores, and geeks like me, all around the country get excited to check out the special limited releases that can only be found in those stores on that day.
Recently, I visited a local independent shop in Ashland, OR, and I was flooded with the memories of working in and visiting countless stores like it in my teens and my early 20s. I got halfway through the store and just stopped. I was shockingly overwhelmed. I don't know why this particular store reminded me so much of all those years I spent flipping through bins of CDs and records, but I stood in the middle of the store, literally doing nothing, for a few minutes. I'm sure the owner thought I'd lost my mind. But we had a great conversation, and I was happy to walk around and explore like I had for so many years.
I think Record Store Day began as a way to bring focus to these types of independently owned retailers who were competing against the big-box stores and enormous corporations who had been trying to put them out of business for at least the entire previous decade. Funny that now it seems the only places you can go to find actual physical CDs and records are mostly these independent stores because the internet destroyed the gigantic monsters. I won't really cry about that. Anyway, go check out your local record store on April 21, or really, anytime. Maybe it'll bring back some good memories. And maybe you'll find some new music or some old favorites. Those are good, too.
Record Store Day Website
My tax-time ritual
Of course, April is Income Tax time. But did you know that Federal Income Tax didn't exist until the 16th Amendment to the Constitution was ratified in 1913? There was a brief moment for income tax during the Civil War, but aside from that, nothing until the citizens of the United States agreed to tax themselves.
At the beginning of World War II, Irving Berlin wrote a few propaganda/patriotic songs, including "I Paid My Income Tax Today," which was obviously meant to encourage American citizens to take pride in paying up to support the war efforts. It's a funny little ditty.
I include two different recordings because I think the first one is charming, and I love it. The second, with superstar Gene Autry has a few extra lyrics that I think are fascinating.
Either way, "You see those bombers in the sky? Rockefeller helped to build 'em, so did I!" remains my favorite line (you'll understand when you hear it). There's nothing really funny about war or bombers, per se, but something about the charm of the '40s makes it all seem so lighthearted in such an absurd way. If you haven't heard it, it's worth a listen.
Thanks for all of the support and your kind replies and messages. If I don't quite have time to reply to all of them immediately, it probably means being on the road got in the way. Please know I read every single message, and I love connecting with you all. Enjoy the rest of your April!