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Take A Knee

TAKE A KNEE

“Take a little trip to Valley Forge in January. If you don’t know where that is, just Google it from the sidelines. Hold a musket ball in your fingers and imagine it piercing your flesh and breaking a bone or two. There won’t be a doctor or trainer to assist you until after the battle, so just wait your turn. Take your cleats and socks off to get a real experience. Then take a knee.

Then, take one at the beach in Normandy where man after American man stormed the beach, even as the one in front of him was shot to pieces…the very sea stained with American blood. The only blockers most had were the dead bodies in front of them, riddled with bullets from enemy fire.

Take a knee in the sweat soaked jungles of Vietnam. from Khe San to Saigon… Anywhere will do. REAL Americans died in all those jungles. There was no playbook that told them what was next, but they knew what flag they represented. When they came home, they were protested as well..and spit on for reasons only cowards know.

Take another knee in the blood drenched sands of Fallujah in 110 degree heat… Wear your Kevlar helmet and battle dress… Your number won’t be printed on it unless your number is up! You’ll need to stay hydrated but there won’t be anyone to squirt Gatorade into your mouth. You’re on your own.

There’s a lot of places to take a knee. Real Americans have given their lives all over the world. When you use the banner under which they fought as a source for your displeasure, you dishonor the memories of those who bled for the very freedoms you have. That’s what the red stripes mean. It represents the blood of those who spilled a sea of it defending your liberty.

While you’re on your knee, pray for those that came before you, not on a manicured lawn striped and printed with numbers to announce every inch of ground taken…but on nameless hills and bloodied beaches and sweltering forests and bitter cold mountains…every inch marked by an American life lost serving that flag you protest.

No cheerleaders, no announcers, no coaches, no fans…just American men and women…delivering the real fight against those who chose to harm us…blazing a path so you would have ‘the right to take a knee.’

You haven’t an inkling what it took to get you where you are; but your ‘protest’ is duly noted. Not only is it disgraceful to a nation of real heroes, it serves the purpose of pointing to your ingratitude for those who chose to defend you under that banner that will still wave long after your jersey is issued to another…

If you really feel the need to take a knee, come with me to church on Sunday and we’ll both kneel before Almighty God. We’ll thank Him for preserving this country for as long as He has. We’ll beg forgiveness for our ingratitude for all He has provided us. We’ll appeal to Him for understanding and wisdom. We’ll pray for liberty and justice for all…because He is the one who provides those things.

And there will be no protest. There will only be gratitude for His provision and a plea for His continued grace and mercy on the land of the free and the home of the brave It goes like this…”

GOD BLESS AMERICA!

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Who Put The Jazz in Newport & Miles Davis on the Stage

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NEWPORT JAZZ CELEBRATES 60th ANNIVERSARY OF HISTORIC MILES DAVIS DEBUT ON “STORYVILLE” STAGE

Fort Adams, Newport, Rhode Island USA – Summer 2015
article by Doug Hall

NEWPORT JAZZ FESTIVAL

Miles Davis was not yet a household name in jazz in 1955 when he first appeared at the Newport Jazz Festival. In fact he wasn’t even scheduled to play. But history has now told of the incredible influence and wide reach of his trumpet playing and musical experimentation that led into all the different folds of jazz. This year’s program celebrates the 60th anniversary of the late jazz legend’s historic debut. But who put the jazz onto this stage and made it the internationally renowned music venue it is today? The name is George Wein, the founder of the Newport Jazz Festival.

Without George Wein there would not have been the Newport Jazz Festival or a launching point for many jazz musicians, with an opportunity to feature their talents to a wider audience. He was not only passionate about jazz, playing professionally in his early career in Boston, but he loved the musicians and the “beautiful sound” they made in the variations of their instruments. His belief and love of this form of genuinely American music, during the 1950’s particularly, when jazz was still waiting to come-out to a larger audience, helped create a central venue for hosting what is now a 60th year tradition in Newport, Rhode Island.

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Behind the Song with Alice Cooper

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Today in 1972, Alice Cooper was at No.1 on the UK singles chart with ‘School’s Out’.  Here he reflects on what this song meant to him as we go ‘Behind the Song’ with Alice Cooper.

What inspired you to write this song?

What’s the greatest three minutes of your life? There’s two times during the year. One is Christmas morning, the next one is the last three minutes of the last day of school.

How did you feel about it when it was ready to be released?

 Out of the 14 Top 40 songs we’ve had, ‘School’s Out’ was the only song I was ever sure of. I said ‘If this isn’t a hit, I don’t belong in this business.’ It had every element — it was released right when school was letting out, it was a summer song, it had that hook, it had the lyric and I would have been shocked if that wasn’t a hit.

What was your experience with school?

Essentially I was Ferris Bueller, and I basically ran the school. We had girlfriends doing our homework, and the teachers loved us because we made them laugh. So school was like a piece of cake for me. Not that I ever did anything, I was just the class clown. When I wrote the song, I was like, ‘Jeez, this doesn’t apply to me at all! I love high school, I’d spend the rest of my life here!

Words of wisdom for those still in school…

I think many students graduating today wish they could stay in school, too – but for different reasons. It is a hard job market and I have watched my own son struggle within it – after graduating college with honours. 

So I say start wherever you can and be the best you can be. Specialized skills are more valuable than general knowledge. Make yourself indispensable… If you’re in the general work pool, you’re gonna get lost – even if you’ve got a degree. You have got to be the guy or the gal.

And I say make some noise, will ya? Someone I once knew used to say ‘The squeaky wheel gets the oil.’

Nobody knows that better than you Alice and your noise and colour is playing on today. Catch him on the road in a city near you with Motley Crue / All Bad Things Tour throughout 2015.

A L I C E   C O O P E R   T O U R 

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Jenni Alpert – Los Angeles, CA

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Do what you love, love what you do and enjoy every minute of it. Bringing soulful songs and lyrics from the heart Jenni Alpert is living proof that  dreams are made possible if you try. Always the best part of what we do, discovering new music and good people behind it. 

Fresh Independence

“I write songs and I sing them from the deepest part of my existence and I hope they connect with the deepest part of yours.”

– Jenni Alpert

 Name: Jenni Alpert

Where are you writing this: At the moment, I am writing this from my West Coast Home located in Los Angeles, CA.

  

 Home is where your story begins, please tell us about yours

For the first three and a half years of my life I was in the foster care system in Los Angeles County where the fate of my future was being determined for me. It was in one of those homes that I first discovered music and the piano and I believe a very important part of how I have come to be my self and become an artist both musically and artistically spooking (I paint and take photos as well as write and record music with equal fervor). I would say that those early years shaped my ability to be committed to growth, resilient to change, and free spirited impassioned by creativity, freedom, and honesty.  I started composing music and writing songs by the time I was ten, picked up a guitar at 14, and continued to develop my skills in musicianship, songwriting, and performance at UCLA under the wing of Kenny Burrell and his then newly founded four year Jazz program. Since then, I have recorded and released 6 independent albums, 1 vinyl record with a team of people out of Italy, toured and performed worldwide in over 14 countries, have had a few songs placed in TV shows such as Castle and CSI Miami, and continue to pen songs and perform them in US cities often as I can.   

 

 How did music find you

The second I was introduced to a piano at the age of almost 3, music and I became fast life long friends.

 

 Best describe your musical style

Eclectic soulful jazzy pop singer songwriter 

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What is the song writing process like for you

When I am constructing songs, I feel that I myself am an instrument in the process where music and lyric tend to unfold simultaneously. I make efforts to stay present, open, and aware enough to sense that a song is about to develop, and I often feel that I myself am a witness to the creation. In listening to all types of music, especially world music for education and inspiration, this maintains my writing skills.

 

 Tell us about the inspiration behind your album ‘Take It All’

Take It All was a conglomeration of songs partly co-written partly self penned over the course of a six month period when I was going through a cathartic personal growth spurt. The songs were like moments of healing for me, discovering meanings of relationships, coming of age, healing, and shedding parts of ourselves that we wish to outgrow while discovering the wonders of love in the world. It was recorded mostly live over the course of a three day period with producer Mikal Blue and polished over another week or so with overdubs from some of my favorite session musicians. Take It All was me exploring my pop side of songwriting and I am very proud of that body of work.  

 

 Which are your favorite lyrics thus far and tell us the story behind them

Most all of them.

 

 Such rich history, what was it like recording at Sun Studios in Memphis

Amazing every moment. Google and I became fast friends that day. My most excited moment was standing on the x where Elvis sang wondering if the acoustic in the room were the same as back then. It was a very special opportunity to get to record there and experience working with Matt Ross-Spang. 

 

 Shout out to your favorite band or artist at the moment

I don’t pick favorites in this category for I love songs and to many to single one out, so for all you songwriters out there…. keep em comin!  

 

What does a lazy Sunday look like to you

Not lazy. Probably like any other Monday in London. 

 

 The greatest book ever written is…

The one with the least amount of pages? Just kidding. I love to read and haven’t picked a favorite, but I notice that I am inspired by true stories. 

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 My all time favorite movie is…

Tough call between: The Big Lebowski, As Good As It Gets, Buffalo 66, and The Notebook  

 

 Aside from communication, while on the road what is the one thing you can not live without

Coffee and humor

 

Jenni Alpert is hosting a dinner party!

      Album on replay

Nick Drake – Pink Moon      

 Menu

Skirt Steak, collard greens, sweet corn, corn bread with honey, a large dark green salad with goat cheese, fresh strawberries, red onions, tomatoes, and cucumbers, and dark chocolate peanut butter bars for dessert.  

 4 people past or present on the guestlist that would make for stimulating conversation

Steve Jobs, Einstein, Marie Curie, and Lou Adler. 

Which game would you play

Taboo – hands down. 

 

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 Your most memorable musical moment thus far

I choose to live in the moment as often as I can so any opportunity to perform and connect with music listeners is really what I consider memorable. 

  

 The prettiest thing I have ever seen…

Sunsets over the ocean 

 

 Being a young woman in a sometimes plastic world do you feel a sense of responsibility or example for the girls coming behind you

Be honest, have integrity, learn yourself, observe others, and never compromise your values to get ahead anywhere. Do your best and be realistic and as you build it, it ill become. 

 

Jenni Alpert 

 Your dream marquee would read…

Let them all think you are nuts, yet while they are distracted, create the best damn peanut butter known to man. – Peanut Butter, the best thing since sliced bread. 

 

One quote or piece of advice that always goes with you

“The way I see it, if you want a rainbow, you gotta put up with the rain” #Dolly Parton 

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 True Love is…

The willingness to listen, be patient, give forgiveness, and have understanding even if another’s point of view isn’t clear yet with the ability and willingness to take care of one’s self.  

 

 What can we look forward to with Jenni Alpert over the coming year

A batch of fresh honest self penned soulful songs recorded on a new album with a tour in Europe to boot. 

JENNI ALPERT

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