Friday, December 31, 2010

be gone with ya 2010! be gone!

Tuesday, December 28, 2010

World Music News Wire #36

GRAMMY Nomination Shines Light on an Untold Story: Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon’s Soul Call Creates a Community “Totally Lost” in Song


When the GRAMMY nominations were announced earlier this month, a light shined on the untold story of a singer little-known in the music scene. This is the tale of a woman who scoured every corner of the planet in search of soulful music, while climbing the elite ranks of business circles. After years of intense study, she is taking an ancient song form normally sung on streets and in homes, and sharing them in service to others. Her name is Chandrika Krishnamurthy Tandon and her album, Om Namo Narayanaya: Soul Call has been nominated for a GRAMMY in the Best Contemporary World Music Album category, alongside musical greats like Béla Fleck, Bebel Gilberto, Angelique Kidjo, and Sergio Mendes.

Soul Call is more than music. The eight songs were composed around a single eight-syllable chant that is over six thousand years old. Chandrika composed each song to follow a different Indian raga. She recruited global sarod maestro Tejendra Narayan Majumdar to create arrangements using over 30 acoustic Indian classical, folk, and Western instruments including the vibraphone, acoustic guitar, and bass. It features renowned, master Indian musicians recorded in Calcutta and New York.

Chandrika_cover The eight syllables of this chant—Om Na Mo Na Ra Ya Na Ya—are believed to form a protective armor around the body. “These syllables are literally vibrations from the ancient Vedic tradition handed down from generation to generation,” explains Chandrika. “Many traditions have incredible healing mantras whether in Africa, Brazil or Tibet. I can’t tell you in detail how they work; some things are beyond explanation. You have to experience it yourself.”

“The beauty of Chandrika’s music comes from her focus on excellence in everything she does,” says Soul Call’s engineer John Kiehl, co-founder of NYC’s legendary Soundtrack Recording Studios, who has worked with Roberta Flack, LL Cool J, and Mariah Carey. “Soul Call is barrier-breaking. Of course, this album is rising to the top.”

For years, music was in Chandrika’s soul, but not in her cards. “As a child, I sang in school music choirs and won awards, but it was not ‘proper’ in my family to pursue a career in music. In business school in India, I would finish my coursework and go into a music room stocked with just a few albums,” Chandrika remembers. “My yearbook says ‘She killed us softly with her song,’ because I would listen to Roberta Flack, Neil Young, or Sergio Mendes albums ten times in a night, until three in the morning.”

Chandrika has come a long way since her arrival in New York 30 years ago. She showed up with only 24 dollars in her pocket, hired by McKinsey, America’s most prestigious management consulting firm. With her first paycheck, she went out and bought a Martin Guitar and a great hi-fi, so she could finally hear her favorite music in stereo, sleeping on the floor for six months till she could finally afford furniture.

But all that changed. Her career flourished, she was elected a company partner (the second woman to do so), and she formed her own company winning many accolades. She traveled the world constantly, from Australia to Amsterdam; from festive Brazil to war-torn Beirut. In each culture, Chandrika would seek out local musicians, learning the local language through music. In Salvador, Bahia, she followed Carnaval bands on the streets. In Beirut, she traveled miles to attend the Baalbeck International Festival, held among Roman ruins. In London and Paris, she pored over record stores' bins. Back home in New York, she attended her favorite concerts two or three days in a row. She worked in numbers and strategies; she dreamt in music.

The intense yearning for music was bursting to get to center stage in Chandrika’s life. “I woke up one day when my daughter was starting high school and realized that, though I had reached many measures of business success, I had not connected with my deepest self, my life’s purpose,” says Chandrika. “I went on a journey going back to who I am. I asked myself what makes me happy. And it struck me that all of my happiest moments in life go back to music! I needed to pursue my passion for music and share it with everyone.”

Chandrika began seeking out extraordinary music teachers and performers; anyone that resonated that could give her a rigorous grounding in classical Indian music. She’d travel to India for a week at a time to learn with a great maestro. One year she’d wake up at 4 am every weekend to drive from New York to Wesleyan for master classes with a Carnatic music professor, and be back by 10 am when her young daughter awoke. “I was a music seeker. I found ways to learn from the greats, whenever and wherever they would teach me.”

Even while she was getting a rigorous grounding in classical Indian music, Chandrika’s heart was always drawn to simple songs based on classical Indian scales; songs that made the joy of music reachable to more people. When she could not find what she wanted to sing, she started composing; hundreds of joyous compositions in classical scales, but with all the global music that was part of her spirit. “My soul is uplifted when I can sing with others.” Now she gets many calls to lead participatory singing events at yoga, meditation, and community service gatherings, and conducts musical choirs; all efforts to share music with love.

Chandrika has taken this mission of sharing one step further with her non-profit, deciding that all of the proceeds from her album are being donated to benefit organizations in the fields of community building, arts, and spirituality.

“This CD is about creating a circle of love,” says Chandrika “We are reaching out to each other; we are reaching each other’s hearts and souls through the beautiful sounds that the universe has given us a chance to create. Music breaks boundaries easier than words.”

Being a newcomer to the music industry, Chandrika extends this philosophy to her GRAMMY nomination. “This is about a shared celebration of music among musicians; I have met so many musicians that I now admire, they are such mind-blowing talents. I feel utter gratitude to those that took the time to listen, to share feedback, and to support an unknown like me.”

But it is not only musicians in the GRAMMY community listening to Chandrika’s voice. The Soul Chants Music fan page on Facebook which started with a trickle six weeks ago, is teeming with spontaneous testimonials from new fans worldwide—now over 12,000—each with their own story of listening to the album or how they integrate this music into their life.

“I am hearing your voice for the first time and am totally lost. Grammy or no Grammy your voice is like soothing balm on the soul,” wrote one fan. “I heard you sing last summer and was moved by the depth of your voice and what it evoked inside of me,” commented another. “This song has truly left me enchanted. I begin my day listening to this soulful song as it keeps me energized,” says a fan.

Where now? What next? Chandrika says, “I live by a two-line quotation from a Sufi mystic: ‘When I was there, the divine was missing; When I left, the divine took over.’ My quest is to lose myself.”

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Musician killed in botched burglary
Homeowner killed, intruder shot Monday morning
* Chris Sadeghi and * Erin Cargile
Updated: Monday, 27 Dec 2010, 8:48 PM EST
Published : Monday, 27 Dec 2010, 3:48 PM EST

AUSTIN (KXAN) - Local drummer Bill Maddox, who once played with guitarist Eric Johnson, was killed in his home during a burglary in Southwest Travis County on Monday morning.

Two men were shot and one killed during a home burglary in southwest Travis County early Monday, according to the Travis County Sheriff's Office. According to the most recent details released by the Sheriff's Department, the intruder attempted to break into the house. Both Maddox and his wife were home at the time. During a struggle between Maddox and the intruder, both were shot.

Maddox, 54, was pronounced dead at the scene. Details of an autopsy were being withheld by the Sheriff's Department.

The surviving victim, John DeBrecht, was taken by StarFlight to University Medical Center Brackenridge with injuries, authorities said. The condition of Debrecht, 63, was critical.

Maddox and Johnson were members of the Electromagnets, a popular jazz-rock fusion band that debuted at the Nickel Keg in San Marcos. According to a website on the band , Electromagnets was influenced by Weather Report and Chick Corea. Most of their material was instrumental.

Maddox went on to play with various bands, including reunions of the 'Magnets, in the Austin area. He also played with Johnson in Alien Love Child during the 1990s.

Travis County Spokesman Roger Wade said the homeowner called 911 and said the home was being burglarized around 7:30 a.m.

The shooting and alleged burglary happened in the 9200 block of Rock Way Drive. It is in a rural neighborhood off Highway 290 in between Oak Hill and Dripping Springs.

Neighbors said the homeowner is a familiar face.

"He’s a really nice guy," said Nathan Hille who lives a couple of houses down from the house on Rock Way Drive. "He walks around here all the time. He's always smiling and waving at us when we drive by."

Crime tape is strung across the gravel driveway. At noon, detectives were still inside the home.

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Monday, December 27, 2010

Congrats to the ITM Warrior Football for being named the Daily Times' Sports Story of the Year for 2010 . . .

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

family foibles . . . of a sort . . .

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

World Music News Wire #35

The Café at the Edge of the World: The pickPocket ensemble Waltzes, Swings, and Stomps in Global Acoustic Intimacy


The pickPocket ensemble could be playing in some midnight café, as patrons smile with nostalgia. Or they could be gliding down a shadowy cobblestone street, as passersby kick up their heels. Or you might have caught them at the very beginning, when a refugee from experimental electronic music started to waltz through practice sessions on a mountainside overlooking the San Francisco Bay.

The cinematic, polyglot charm of what pickPocket’s founder Rick Corrigan calls “café music” moves from the pensive, bittersweet Memory, the group’s latest album, to rousing and playful dance numbers swaying in odd meters. With two upcoming shows in Berkeley in November and December, the quintet promises an intimacy and immediacy that borrows gleefully from Balkan boogies, Arabic ornaments, wry French musette, and just about anything else they can get their hands on.

Memory front cover “Café music is almost like the inversion of folk,” exclaims Corrigan. “Folk music is something deep and particular to a region or people. Café music is just opposite: We come from all the places we come from and meet in the middle.”

Free to play with any and all elements that catch their ear—North African blues, whirling Balkan beats, elegant Middle Eastern melodies played on the banjo, old-school waltzes—the pickPocket ensemble aims not to resemble, but to reassemble music into a new acoustic form. The group sounds like the house band at intimate night spot, where a Paris street corner, the outlines of the Atlas Mountains, or a Mediterranean village square magically flash past the windows in quick succession.

This is no gimmick; it’s the way pickPocket hears the world. “You’d go into a record store and in the “world music” section everything used to be Balkanized—excuse the phrase—into countries: Greece, France, Turkey. But most musicians don’t think that way,” Corrigan explains. “They mix with anyone whom they can communicate with, which is why we like to talk about café music. It’s not about nations; it’s about intimacy, about just you and me, interacting face to face.”

This face-to-face feeling and disregard for ethnic and genre boundaries give audience members from across the globe the eerie feeling they’re listening to music from their childhood. “We often have fans tell us that they love a certain song, that it reminds them of music they heard as a child. The funny thing is, it’s never the same song twice and never the same place twice,” muses Corrigan.

pickPocket prides itself on crafting musical narratives from disparate elements. The resultant pieces sound just a breath away from the film soundtracks that inspired many of the members growing up. Yet the guiding principle that brings it all together is simplicity. Corrigan and fellow members often spend rehearsal time, not finessing the sinuous melodies or spitfire 11/8 time signatures but figuring out how to get rid of extraneous notes, until just the perfect polished essence remains.

The result: “I remember a recent show, seeing a family of children, their parents and grandparents all getting into it,” guitarist and banjo player Yates Brown recounts. “And we’re playing this intricate tune in 9, and these kids are dancing to it. It’s deep music, but I think that's a telling example of how it invites people in.”

To manage this feat, the group draws on diverse past experience—from klezmer (violinist Marguerite Ostro) and Balkan music, to Latin (percussionist Michaelle Goerlitz) and jazz (Berklee grad and double bassist Kurt Ribak). Brown cut his teeth on Middle Eastern and North African music playing with a traditional Arabic orchestra he met through the clinic where he works and where many of the patients are of Arabic heritage. “Next thing I know I’m bringing in the banjo to see how an oud [Arabic lute] melody might sound on it,” Brown laughs. “I think that spirit of exploration and integration is very much in keeping with what I do now in pickPocket.”

Corrigan, in his journey from the cerebral realms of electronic music to this vibrant and visceral vision of café music, grasped the importance of inclusive, seductive simplicity early on. “I wanted music that you just pulled out of your pocket, something very simple and direct,” he explains, referring to the band’s curious name. “It felt so liberating after years behind banks of wires and keyboards.”

After walking away from music for an entire year in his frustration with electronic music, Corrigan woke up one day and picked up the accordion. “I used to play under a tree on Mt. Tamalpais, squeezing back and forth until I connected with the instrument,” Corrigan recalls with a smile.

But he knew that to really get good at his newfound interest, he needed a gig. He pitched the idea to the owner of a local Hungarian restaurant and soon found himself playing every Tuesday evening, drawing kitchen staff out to listen and inviting musician friends to join him. This seat-of-the-pants approach transformed into a stable ensemble. The group has slowly honed its sound over ten years, led by Corrigan’s sensibilities and quest for a slower, more intimate music.

“People think of what we do as old-fashioned,” confides Corrigan. “We invoke a world where people gather in close together, and the acoustic quality enhances that. One fan told me our music brought her back to a place of slow conversation that she’d never known and that she missed. That’s what we’re trying to do.”

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Sunday, December 19, 2010

Congrats to Tivy's Johnny Manziel, the Associated Press Texas Player of the Year!

Cibolo Steele, beaten by 4A Tivy earlier in the season, won the 5A State Championiship . . . just sayin'

Saturday, December 18, 2010

it's hard to believe, but sometimes just the right things happen . . . because it's right

Thursday, December 16, 2010

RIP Blake Edwards . . .

RIP Bob Feller

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

World Music News Wire #34

Unexpected Trends, Emerging Hybrids, and Edgy Roots: globalFEST Returns to NYC with 13 Artists on Three Stages, January 9, 2011



Unexpected trends are the new cutting edge: the hard-hitting Afro-Cuban percussionist quietly attracting rock icons to his shows; the expressive young vocalist invoking ancient sacred traditions with surprising immediacy; the cultural communities rich with unheralded, powerful sounds.

globalFEST (, the preeminent springboard for global music in North America, has been exploring and presenting a deeply rooted, sonically diverse world to influential North American arts professionals and avid music fans for eight years. Keen to find global performers—both veterans and newcomers—perfectly poised for wider notoriety, globalFEST throws one of the year’s best international music parties while expanding the horizons of musicians and audiences alike.

Globalfest_marquee_2011_495x260.full This year’s globalFEST comes to New York City’s Webster Hall (125 E. 11th St.) on January 9, 2011 at 7pm. The one-night festival includes three U.S. debuts and one New York debut. Tickets are $35 if purchased by November 30, $40 thereafter, including at the door. ($35 for members of World Music Institute) ( or by phone through World Music Institute box office: 212-545-7536).

globalFEST 2011 Lineup:

-Chamber Music: Ballaké Sissoko & Vincent Segal (U.S. debut)
-Creole Choir of Cuba
-Diblo Dibala
-Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole (NY solo debut)
-Mustafa Özarslan (U.S. debut)
-Orquestra Contemporânea de Olinda
-Pedrito Martinez Group
-Red Baraat
-Rhythm of Rajastan
-Yoro Ndiaye (U.S. debut)

Though globalFEST often highlights hip and vibrant hybrids emerging from music hotspots—represented this year by Novalima’s Afro-Peruvian electronica, RAM’s interweaving of Haitian vodou spiritual song with rock sensibilities, and Red Baraat’s funky brass band-does-Bollywood extravaganza—this year, organizers Isabel Soffer of World Music Institute, Bill Bragin of Acidophilus: Live and Active Cultures, and Shanta Thake of Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, noticed something new in the air: a passion for tradition.

“I recently met a presenter who specializes in experimental music,” recounts Bragin. “And even he was more and more interested in traditional music. He said that he was finding a freshness in tradition that felt less homogenized than many of the so-called musical ‘experiments’ he encountered. We’ve seen a similar response to previous globalFEST performers who represented lesser-known musical traditions from global ethnic minorities.”

This freshness pops out of performances by the Creole Choir of Cuba (who have toured previously in the U.S. as Desandann), who for generations have passed down songs in Cuba’s Haitian community with roots going back to the turn of the 19th century. Or in the stunning songs of youthful native Hawaiian artist Kaumakaiwa Kanaka'ole (NY solo debut), whose family has carefully tended the spiritual and sonic heritage of the islands for more than a century.

Many interpreters of deep and edgy roots have gained the respect of audiences and aficionados, yet still managed to fly below the radar. Pedrito Martinez, the Thelonious Monk International Jazz competition-winning percussionist and former Yerba Buena member, has been quietly playing a Manhattan restaurant gig three times a week. It’s attracted the likes of Eric Clapton and Roger Waters, while honing his Pedrito Martinez Group’s telepathic communication with music that ranges from traditional batá-rumba to Cuban jazz, son and timba.

Though hot on the salsa scene thanks to clever originals and quirky covers like the “Pantera Mambo” (based on Mancini’s Pink Panther Theme), Colombia’s La-33 made their first limited U.S. tour this past summer, selling out Lincoln Center’s Midsummer Night Swing in the process. Likewise, Turkey’s Mustafa Özarslan, a singer from the Alevi Sufi community, has a passionate following back home thanks to his wide-ranging and effortlessly executed Turkish and even Kurdish musical styles, but has yet to be heard live in North America.

Senegal’s Yoro Ndiaye, making his U.S. debut, finds the more introspective sweet spot of dance-oriented mbalax, the glittering Afropop style made famous by Youssou N’dour, enjoying a renewed, ballad-driven popularity in Dakar. And guitar master Diblo Dibala, the eminence gris of Congolese soukous, will reveal why he earned the nickname “Machine Gun,” as his band and dancers offer a fast-paced invitation to boogie.

Other groups reframe tradition in striking ways, including Rhythm of Rajasthan, which takes the diverse music and dance from the birthplace of Gypsy culture (Rajasthan) and transforms it into an engaging and energetic burst on stage. Making their first U.S. appearance, Chamber Music (U.S. debut) entwines the cello of Bumcello’s Vincent Segal and the masterful kora of Ballaké Sissoko (who has previously collaborated with Toumani Diabate and Taj Mahal), into an elegant, organic dialogue of string virtuosi.

In only their second trip to the U.S., Orquestra Contemporânea de Olinda includes an all-star collaboration from Northeast Brazil’s red-hot mangue beat scene and offers a dialogue of a different sort, between the brassy horns of Pernambuco’s carnival frevo music and funk and rock.

“Because globalFEST’s primary mission is to present cutting edge music to presenters in town for the annual Arts Presenters conference whose performance spaces range from cabarets and clubs to major performing arts centers and outdoor festivals, we program globalFEST to fit this range of venues, while creating a great experience for the general public too” explains Soffer. “That’s why Webster Hall is an ideal place to see these musicians,” adds Thake. “Its three diverse stages allow audiences to experience artists in spaces best suited to their sound and energy.”

And that’s also why globalFEST, along with launching dozens of careers, has become the most influential world music showcase festival in North America, year after year, as well as an engine for cultural change and international connections.

“Global citizenry is a priority for France, and we continue to support globalFEST even in lean times, in hopes of sharing the multicultural musical heritages of francophone artists and beyond," says Emmanuel Morlet, Director of the Music Office at the French Embassy, the festival’s founding sponsor. “From increasing understanding to the real economic role the festival plays for emerging performers, now more than ever globalFEST plays a great role in connecting people across political boundaries.”

globalFEST, Inc. is a not-for-profit production presented in association with World Music Institute, Joe’s Pub at the Public Theater, Acidophilus: Live & Active Cultures and The Bowery Presents. Support for all eight editions has been provided by The Cultural Services of the French Embassy with additional support from the French Music Export Office, recognizing France’s pre-eminent role as a hotbed of global music activity. The globalFEST media sponsors are WNYC Radio, and Flavorpill. Artist visa services are provided courtesy of Tamizdat. Publicity services are provided by rock paper scissors, inc.

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Monday, December 13, 2010

research bingo on this part though . . . "Big Dave and Little Dave got a place to stay while the investigation was under way. Santa Monica police put them in a hotel room to keep them out of sight, Big Dave said. "They gave us two pizzas, a 12-pack of beer and a bottle of San Jose (tequila)," he said. "I love them.""

research fail at CNN -- "The criminal complaint accused Cruz of trying to hire David Carrington and David Walters -- homeless men who go by the street names Little Dave and Big Dave -- to murder Campbell. It was not immediately clear who was Little Dave and who was Big Dave."

OBT: Chris Hawkins

Chris Hawkins, 29, of Kerrville, went to be with the Lord on Thursday, Dec. 9, 2010. He was born on May 30, 1981 to Craig and Becky Hawkins. He attended high school in Harper, TX and moved to Kerrville shortly after graduation where he resided ever since.

Chris was a hard worker since his teen years. He was a fast learner and became a very skilled carpenter at an early age and he and his father worked hard side-by-side for many years.

He was always full of life. Being with his family and many friends is who he enjoyed being around and he knew his quick wit would always put a smile on their faces and that’s what he was all about. Very funny, outgoing, caring, loving, kind and understanding made him the man he was. Chris always lived life first.

The memory that he leaves us with is his bright smile, sensitive eyes, and his humorous personality.

He is preceded in death by uncle, Corey Hawkins, aunt, Rachel Juarez, and grandfather Salvador Monroy.

Those left to cherish his memories are his mother, Becky Hawkins, father and stepmother, Craig and Rhonda Hawkins, sister and brother-in-law, Sabra and Chad Holmes, nephew, Tanner Holmes, grandparents Eva Monroy and Carl and Diane Hawkins, and numerous uncles and aunts, Johnnie and Kathy Hawkins, Chuck and Kim Hawkins, Freddie and Chaille Hawkins, Jimmie Hawkins, Salvador Monroy, Romeo and Susan Dominguez, Ruben and Esper Monroy, Robert and Tina Hobratschk, and Raymond and Carolina Conklin.

A rosary for Chris will be recited on Tuesday, December 14, 2010 at 6:00 p.m. at Grimes Funeral Chapels with Deacon Charles Dominguez officiating.

A funeral mass will be celebrated on Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 9:30 a.m. at Notre Dame Catholic Church with Msr. Mike Boulette, celebrant. Interment will follow in Garden of Memories.

Pall Bearers will include Chad Hawkins, Michael Hawkins, Corey Hawkins, Justin De Los Santos, Sean Rotge, Nathan Batchelor, Robbie Turley and Josh Clark.

Honorary Pall Bearers include all of his beloved cousins Justin Hawkins, Ashley Henry, Hunter Hawkins, Matthew Hawkins, Carroll Schuler, Cady Hawkins, Bryce Hawkins, Taylor Hawkins, Krystal Monroy, Romeo Dominguez, Danny Dominguez, Javier Dominguez, Charo Monroy, Sonia Monroy, Sabrina Lee, Victoria Juarez, Mohammad Al-Aride, and Omar Al-Aride.

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Thursday, December 09, 2010

Correcting an error in the post comments below about Olivia Navarro Young . . . the correct address to send donations to is
Olivia Young, PO Box 1172, Ingram, Texas 78025

RIP Egon Wiedenfeld

Wednesday, December 08, 2010

Von Miller, Butkus Award winner!!!

ATH: Michel Platini

Platini As Player, Coach, And President
By J Hutcherson, US National Team Players Association

One has to wonder which version of Michel Platini decided to comment on the French National Team strike during the 2010 World Cup. Is it the president of UEFA? The former coach? The former player?

Teasing that out goes a long way towards explaining the need to call the member of the France squad that sided with Nicolas Anelka "bloody fools" and calling the strike action "pathetic." He took the next step, telling So Foot magazine that he would've banned all of them for life.

Ok then, we're all clear that Platini has a problem with what happened in South Africa. Why becomes a very good question. After all, we could be talking about the former French international, the former French National Team coach, the current head of UEFA, or some combination. What's interesting is this particular definition of fair play.

It's nothing new for France in particular to have star players disagreeing with their National Team coach. Eric Cantona is the classic example, getting what was advertised as an indefinite ban for insulting his coach in 1988. Guess who was hired to replace that coach and reinstated Cantona? Yep, Platini. So it's a fair assumption that Platini the coach was a bit more forgiving. Platini the player was a genius, full stop. Platini the European soccer bureaucrat has shown a fondness for planning and reevaluating concepts that were taken for granted.

There's a theme in international soccer that Federations represent everybody but the players that wear the shirt on the field. In this view, the players are a problem. In most cases they're not directly employed by the Federations. They might even be represented by a labor union. Their actual employers, the clubs, might have differing views on player management. Into this mix is added the National Team coach, normally a Federation's highest paid employee. It can be a difficult interplay between all parties, especially when there's the added pressure from fans and media questioning a basic setup.

Raymond Domenech had been working in the French coach setup as the Under-21 coach since 1993 before taking over as National Team coach in 2004. He was in charge for the run to the final in 2006, cementing the French Federation's initial choice to give him the job. Still, he faced criticism that only grew louder on the road to the 2010 World Cup. That included a disappointing Euro 2008 and the Ireland handball to get to South Africa.

Fast forward to the actual World Cup, and France was back to their 2002 vintage seemingly unable to pull it together in the group stage. After their 2-0 loss to Mexico, it was Nicolas Anelka's turn to pull a Cantona, with the French Federation once again dealing with a star player letting a coach know what he thought. And once again action was swiftly taken. Anelka was sent home, his teammates responding by not showing up for practice. Cue the FFF responding as expecting, and France fielding a team in their final group game against South Africa.

It's worth remembering how that one ended, with Domenech side-stepping the post-game handshake in his final on-field moments as the coach of the French National Team. For those keeping score at home, the French Federation took action against the player (an 18-game ban for Anelka), the coach (Domenech lost his job), and indirectly the squad (Domenech's replacement didn't call any of them in for the first post-World Cup friendly). What wasn't called into question, at least at the same level, was the bureaucracy. It seldom is.

World soccer has a tendency of downplaying the administrator role and playing up the coach and the players, especially when things don't go as expected. Since technically the soccer bureaucracy represents all involved, it's an interesting choice. Whether or not it was Platini the soccer bureaucrat advocating those lifetime bans, the thinking behind it is in line with what's expected from the politics of soccer. It's also an easier solution than actually working to determine why a situation was ever allowed to get to that point.

Platini has earned a lot of credit from some for his plans. Call them ambitious, since in practice they would change how European club soccer operates. Yet there's still the feeling that the real aim is what it always is with soccer's governing bodies. Control, and only for them.

Regardless of intent, Platini's "ban them all for life" rhetoric is an indicator. Especially for someone who can rightly be considered the second most powerful person in world soccer as the head of the most powerful Confederation. One that represents all of European soccer including the players.

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hit play

RIP Rudolph . . .

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Congrats to Campbell Trophy winner Sam Acho, Texas DE!!!

World Music News Wire #33

The Warmth and Mirth of an Irish Christmas: Fiddler Eileen Ivers, Tricky Wrens, and Troublesome Cakes on U.S. Tour



Recalling the roaring hearths and roars of laughter that are part and parcel of Christmas in Irish families, virtuoso fiddler Eileen Ivers interweaves age-old Wren Day songs, beloved American carols, and even a jigging Bach in An Nollaig: An Irish Christmas. With her signature warmth, Ivers invites listeners in for a tuneful, soulful celebration that’s as comforting as a favorite carol and a slice of Christmas cake.

Ivers and her ensemble will take the festivities across the U.S. this December, with a final gala performance at Walt Disney Hall in Los Angeles. Whether teaming up with local orchestras or with community dancers and singers, Ivers presents a vision of Christmastide that embraces the friendliness of a family gathering and the supreme musicality of a seasoned, skilled master.

A_AnNollaig_big “There is so much joy in the season, and I wanted to bring that out to welcome listerners in,” explains Ivers with a smile. “Just like ornaments on a Christmas tree, the tunes in An Nollaig have been lovingly passed down through the generations as well. Some are hundreds of years old—some are new.”

In Ivers’s capable hands, “Hark the Herald Angels Sing” becomes a playful jig, and the 20th-century classic “Do You Hear What I Hear?” becomes a rousing reel. Even Bach takes on an Irish lilt, as Ivers transforms “Jesu, Joy of Man’s Desiring,” giving the 9/8 piece a striking feel of an Irish three making dancing irresistible, much to the delight of conductors and classical musicians when performed with orchestra.

This clever rethinking of Christmas chestnuts comes naturally to Ivers, who is equally adept at bringing ancient Irish traditions to life. She explores the curious traditional celebration on December 26, the feast of St. Stephen, which is also known as Wren Day in Ireland. Ivers draws on songs sung by young village boys who would decorate a wren and go from door to door, as well as on the Irish legends surrounding the wren, as betrayer of St. Stephen’s hiding place to the Romans, or as the sly winner of a contest among birds.

Ivers also touches on a sensitive Yuletide topic: the dreaded fruitcake. Though Ivers recalls her family’s luscious porter-and-whiskey-soaked version, she recounts the quirky adventure of the hapless Miss Fogarty, whose Christmas cake leads not to merriment, but to food poisoning (“Miss Fogarty’s Christmas Cake”).

Ivers has performed with a myriad of pop icons and world-class orchestras, yet for An Nollaig, she invites local Celtic dancers and choirs to join her ensemble in sharing the stage and the fun. Presenters get into the act, too, bringing in Christmas trees, fireplaces, rocking chairs—anything to make the stage merry and bright. “We’re involving the community as we go around to theaters. It’s always a delight and creates this special connection to the show,” Ivers says.

The spirit of sharing has led Ivers to donate some of the proceeds of CD sales on tour to the Salvation Army. “It’s a full circle,” she notes. “We give back to people who don’t have the same blessings. That’s what Christmas means to us, and that makes this one of my favorite times of the year to perform.”

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Many of you know Tony and Olivia Young. For those who don't, Tony is a sound master who has done much volunteer work over the years for The Point Theatre, Guadalupe Stage Quartet and the ITM Thespians. In addition he devotes an incredible amount of his time to teaching music to kids at the Hill Country Youth Ranch. His lovely wife Olivia teaches at the Ranch's Cailloux Charter School where she is beloved for her huge, caring heart and her ability to calm and work with the most difficult children. In the past year, Olivia has broken her legs and ankles three times through a ridiculous series of accidents, the last time so badly that she has required several surgeries. The impact on them financially has been catastrophic. In addition to the huge medical bills, because it denies her mobility Olivia has been unable to work for long periods at a time and the loss of her paycheck during those times has been overwhelming. So, a few of us have put together a benefit in order to help ease their burden. We're throwing a musical event at Roddy Tree Ranch next Thursday, December 16th, at 5:30pm. We're asking for a modest $10 donation to get in, and there will be food available for purchase, as well as beer and wine, and we've arranged for some of Tony's musician buddies to provide an evening of music, and there will be a silent auction too. We know that Christmas time is a hard time to ask people to make contributions, but even if you can't attend, maybe you have a nice item you could donate to a silent auction to help benefit them. Or if you're a musician/singer maybe you'd like to join in the music-making. We'd love to have you come, but understand if you can't. If anyone would like to help out, please contact me for more info.

Monday, December 06, 2010

RIP Don Meredith

Sunday, December 05, 2010

RIP James Gambrell & Ed Wilbourn

Thursday, December 02, 2010

Thanks Mike --

Drew Brees -- 2010 Sportsman of the Year

World Cups 2018 & 2022 . . . Russia and Qatar . . . huh?

Wednesday, December 01, 2010

Thanks Susan! --

ATH: Two goals v Man U!

Congrats Jonathan Spector!!!

VERY CHOICE magazine art director position open at TPWD --

ATH: Check out Matthew Willis!!!

Matthew Willis!!!


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OBT: Margie Adams

Marjorie Valentine Adams

Marjorie Valentine Adams Dec. 7, 1913 - Nov. 16, 2010 Marjorie
Valentine Adams noted birder, writer, and artist, graduated from
Austin High School with scholastic honors. At the University of Texas
she studied as an art and English major. She married Louis Taft "Red"
Adams February 14, 1933. They had been married 72 years. She worked
for stations KNOW and KVET with Jake Pickle, Ed Syers, Bob Phinney,
and John Connally. She was editor of The Texas Builder magazine. Her
feature stories appeared in LOOK, POST, and READER'S DIGEST. Her
weekly column BIRD WORLD was published in numerous Texas newspapers.
She and Red were pioneers in Austin's film industry. Their films Where
Should a Squirrel Live and What Good Is a Warbler, received many
national awards. Marjorie was active in the Texas Outdoor Writers
Assoc., Writers' League of Texas, Travis Audubon Society, and she
served as a Regional Director of the Texas Ornithological Society.
"Margie and Red" helped establish the Wild Basin Wilderness Preserve.
She was a founding life-member of the American Birding Association.
Marjorie's book, BIRD-WITCHED, was published in Nov. 2005. Marjorie is
survived by daughter, Zilla Adams, son, Lew Adams and wife Louise,
grandchildren Melynda Smith and husband Joe, Kelly Zabcik and husband
Bob, Adam Witherspoon and wife Jessica, Alethea Anthony and husband
Dennis, nine great grandchildren, and cousins June Smothers, James P.
Davis and Elizabeth Kelley. Marjorie and her husband Red were founding
members of the First Unitarian Universalist Church of Austin. A
memorial service will be held at 4700 Grover Ave., Austin, TX, 78756,
Sunday December 5, at 2:00 p.m. In lieu of flowers, donations may be
made to the Travis Audubon and/or the First Unitarian Universalist

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