Small world Palo Alto style

Nothing says “world music” like 20 white people singing doo-wop

I agree with @Watson that the Palo Alto music scene, including events co-sponsored by or produced by The City of Palo Alto and using City facilities, featured more music from Africa, Brazil, sung in Spanish or Portuguese, using interesting poly-rhythyms or broadening our world view, but in this case, as @MA Midtown points out, we use “World Music” only in the sense that we are loosely following a model of a French event “Make Music Day” which in many countries is doing something similar, especially on The Solstice.


It would be nice if the ‘world music’ of Africa could also be performed and heard throughout the weekend festival.

The primitive tribal dances and rhythms of the Mandinka and Bantu tribes are intoxicating and send out the haunting global message that we all originally came from the saharas and jungles of Africa. 

Cecilia Watson, of Stanford


@CatherineMcMillan, Palo Alto World Music Day has been in existence for over a decade, started by Claude Ezran, you can read all about this history and larger context here (link)

Due to COVID this year we had to re-imagine how we could still bring 40+ performances to Palo Alto. Spreading it out over a month and situating musicians close to dining and shopping is what we decide to go with this year! Hope you’ll come enjoy the music sometime this month!

(Karla Kane article in Weekly about music series on Sat and Sun downtown and Cali Ave, from 5 to 7 and 12-2 replacing World Music Day, comments — and mine was automatically deleted)


I took some vines of the chorus singing “Sh-Boom” and then my dog barking at other dogs as I strolled looking for the second stage.


and1: It is sort of on my schedule that a young woman named Ryann Barnes from Menlo Park will perform under this banner at Cali Ave, tommorow aft. She is the daughter of a former UCLA football hero and quarterback named John Barnes. Maybe someday he will be known as Ryann Barnes’ father. 


andand: In a related matter, Delbert Anderson a Navajo trumpet player in New Mexico, wrote to say he will be in the Festival of New Trumpet, curated by Dave Douglas — he and Dave are both part of my Lions With Wings online new music project. Here is a partial list of FONT 2021 players:

Rounding out the exciting program is a workshop with British-Bahraini trumpet player Yazz Ahmed, which will be shared with Seattle JazzEd, El Paso Jazz Girls, Jazz St. Louis and other educational institutions from around the nation.

The final program will be announced on July 1st, 2021 and includes Axel Doerner (Germany), Verneri Pohjola (Finland), Suzan Veneman (Netherlands), Lukas Frei (Switzerland), Sheila Maurice-Grey (UK), Balkan Paradise Orchestra (Spain), Hermon Mehari (France/USA), Delbert Anderson and Indigenous Contemporary Arts Group (New Mexico), Lina Allemano (Canada), Mary Elizabeth Bowden (USA), Adam Cuthbert (USA), Emily Kuhn (USA)


andandand: A story on Delbert Anderson on Grammy Dot Com juxtaposes a story on Stanford grad Jen Shyu who is a singer, bandleader, composer and musician. Jen would fit in a world music series. I also just read that in lieu of the canceled Chili Cook off, city of Palo Alto is producing a free concert featuring a cover band called Radio City All Stars — they are people of color, if that figured into the booking, but it is far from inspired. “World Music Day” in Palo Alto, especially this years model, is a hackneyed attempt to use music to help the local economy, but it also exploits the musicians – -who are unpaid — and it potentially displaces Palo Alto’s actual buskers. It’s hard to tell if lack of a draw was a reason, a twisted type of “split-the-baby” thinking, which follows from the whole “Make Fake Fate World Wide Music Day Series Festival” saga. If we taxed Tesla we could earmark $100,000 per year for music in the parks, on the stages, that people would like. In 2022, after Covid goes away. At least some of the Peninsual Harmony Chorus were wearing masks. 

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Doctored balls in MLB

Wall Streer Journal reports
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Jim Harbaugh and Michigan assault case

Gilvanni Johnson, age 57, pictured above, was a receiver and special teams player for Michigan Wolverines football circa 1985, three seasons, 36 games, a teammate of Jim Harbaugh the current coach and the former Palo Alto Viking three-sport star.
On the field he had a total of 45 touches 400 yards and one touchdown.

But what it is in the news today and what brought him to my attention is that he also told his coach Bo Schembechler that he was sexually assaulted by the team doctor, sometimes referred to as Dr. A and by a sling of other nicknames. The coach reportedly told the player to ignore or forget the experience.

Thirty- six years later, Jim Harbaugh who is roughly 3 months younger than Johnson and one month older than I told a television reporter from Grand Rapids that he thinks that the Bo Schembechler that we knew would have intervened and stopped Dr. A if such stories were true.

It was only after Harbaugh made that statement that Johnson went public and identified himself as one of the 800 former students and athletes mostly male some female who reported that over a four decade period they were assaulted by this doctor.

As Michigan’s coach and as Johnson’s former teammate and leader as a quarterback –he threw the ball to him likely each of those six receptions –you would think Harbaugh would do better than to essentially gaslight his teammates and these other reported victims.

For some reason I suspect Jim Harbaugh was also a victim of these assaults —my only qualifications for guessing search besides reading through much of the report by Wilmer Hale and having met him briefly when we were both in high school — to be continued — but I preserved the gist of it in a set of screen captures on my handheld. IROs means individual with reporting obligation: if Harbaugh knows about sexual assualts, includng firsthand or to himself, he is obligated to report such. 



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Goodbye, pork pie plate

Fond memories of shrimp and grits, and spotting indie rock royalty, at Crook’s Corner of Chapel Hill, 1992-2004.

Lane Wurster also took me to meet Clyde Jones once.


not that i woujd try this at home but craig claiborne in 1985 in the times iffers this:

Shrimp With Cheese Grits #3 1/2 cups water 3/4 cup regular grits (do not use instant quick-cooking grits) Salt to taste #1 pound fresh shrimp in the shell #12 drops Tabasco #6 ounces finely grated sharp Cheddar cheese #3 tablespoons butter #2 1/2 ounces finely diced bacon, about 1/2 cup 1/4 cup corn, peanut or vegetable oil #1 cup finely chopped scallions, including green part #6 ounces mushrooms, thinly sliced, about 3 cups #1 clove garlic, finely minced Juice of 1 lemon 1/4 cup finely chopped parsley. 1.

* Bring the water to boil and gradually add the grits, stirring. Add salt. Cook uncovered, stirring often, about 15 minutes. Cover closely and continue cooking over low heat for 25 minutes or until done. 2.

* Meanwhile, shell and devein shrimp and put in a bowl. Set aside. 3.

* When grits are cooked, remove from heat. Stir in 6 drops of Tabasco sauce, the cheese and butter. 4.

* Place two heavy skillets on the stove. Add the diced bacon to one skillet; pour the oil in the other. Cook the bacon, stirring, until it starts to brown. Add the shrimp and cook, tossing and stirring so that they cook evenly, about 3 minutes. Add scallions and cook briefly. 5.

* As the shrimp cook, put the mushrooms in the hot oil in the other skillet and cook, tossing and stirring, until the mushrooms give up their liquid. Add the garlic and cook briefly, stirring. Add the lemon juice and stir. 6.

* Combine the shrimp and mushroom mixtures in one skillet and sprinkle with parsley and the remaining Tabasco. Stir to blend. 7.

* Spoon equal portions of the cheese grits onto six hot plates. Spoon equal portions of the shrimp and mushroom mixture over each serving. Serve immediately. Yield: 4 servings.


andand: Lane himself may have done the website, for Splinter group. He was a waiter in the salad days of Mammoth.

Originally, a herd of wooden critters by local folk artist Clyde Jones convened upon the rooftop, but with the years they decomposed and are gone. A few of Clyde’s critters still hide among the bamboo, as well as a multicolored dog near the front door.  One critter, Pink Elephant, is a permanent resident at the end of the bar and was given to Gene by Clyde’s Mother.
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Weird beer commercial featuring reggae music and a woman unhooking her bra

New association for the term pressure drop
Edit to add a couple days later: I shortly after was thinking about and sussing out something about Proverbs 27:17 “iron sharpens iron” which is actually a lyric in Corey Harris Zion Crossing “arc of the covenant”. Robert alter meanwhile the professor of literature and Bible studies at UC Berkeley claims that the original Hebrew it would be more like magnetizing iron or iron clings to iron which makes more sense in the context of the ensuing lines about friendship. And better would be tempering by fire or tempering by pressure. Steel. But I got there in the dispute between the football coach at Palo Alto high Mr. Gifford and his counterpart at gunn Mr. Miller. And they’re on and off date for September 3. Why aren’t gunn and Paly going to clash in football? Go now has Sequoia the Vikings have Serra and Mr. Gifford rather than explaining his stance said something about Proverbs. 
maybe Mr. Gifford should try to schedule the Pittsburgh Steelers.


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Your karma ran over my dogma: Palo Alto’s corrupt leadership

Dont tread on me, bitch

Council will deliberate Tuesday an agenda item about term limits for commissioners, boards and committees- sometimes called “BCCs”. Generally speaking, leadership in Palo Alto comprises elected council members (seven, although it was nine until 2014), appointed BCCS (forty, although it was 44 until 2016) and paid staff. My qualifications to comment here include being a recent candidate for the Public Art Commission — in fact I have been candidate for commission or board a total of nine times since 2010. 

Although I am curious to hear the debate, more to the point I would like to know if the current composition of appointed leaders was enacted within the rules of the Brown Act, to protect transparency in government in California. Or is there a significant and disturbing amount of illegal and backroom lobbying for certain types of BCC’s at the expense of more qualified, more representative and more receptive leaders?

A bit more personal testimony: when I applied to HRC in 2012 I got a call from Tom Dubois who asked “What did you say to Pat Burt?” If I understood the question, and if I recall the conversation, Pat Burt had contacted Tom Dubois to lobby against my appointment to commission. I immediately contacted, in person, Karen Holman, to share this anecdote. I received two votes, from Dubois and Greg Schmid, and was not seated. (Mr. Burt, for whatever reasons, abstained from the interview session that included me).

So the obvious question would be: to what extent did Pat Burt lobby against me, in violation of the Brown Act, in the recent selection process? 

More fundamentally: do some BCC members get seated specifically to thwart or displace the potential Council candidacy of other more qualified and capable candidates? 

Who decided to limit commissions from 44 to 40 persons? (meaning, what non-elected power told current leadership to consider such?)

Who decided to limit Council from 9 to 7 members?

Who decided to move elections from odd to even years (i.e. to limit debate, even if it, arguably, encourages participation)?

Why don’t we tax corporations? The San Jose Business Journal reported recently that San Jose gets $70 in business taxes (and $30m in TOT); arguably, we would make at least $50m per year if we had a business tax. 

To the extent we don’t make our best efforts to train leadership, is it any wonder that in Palo Alto, children and adults step in front of moving trains, police dogs bite sleeping innocents, the police beat people of color, two current electeds supported a racist rebuttal by petition to a lawsuit by the NAACP, several more council members said they opposed the NAACP lawsuit but for reasons other than their racism, and builders do what they will  — the County Assessors office says that Palo Alto has more than $50 Billion on the tax rolls — does that imply that an organized cartel of such special interests spend millions each year lobbying council and leadership, and dictate everything from their density bonuses to my role in the arts here? A recent Grand Jury Report — during Burt’s previous term but not that of Dubois — implies that they do. 

Does the fact that trillions of dollars worth of ‘created wealth” in high tech, IPOs and SPACs indicate that democracy suffers here? Are capitalism and democracy inconsistent here?

I think PAC should a) expand back to 7 not 5 members and add myself and Shiraaz Bhabha to their ranks; b) delete private development and Stanford Industrial Park from the Percent for Art programs; and c) add performing arts such as concerts to the PAC charter: Palo Alto Public Arts Commission sic. We don’t need term limits for BCCs; we need sunshine. As a disinfectant. 

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Life as strange as fiction in ‘Last Picture Show’

You have to be the son of and the son of a son of a car dealer to search the name of the Chevy dealer in the background as Sonny and Dwayne fight in last picture show: Murphy Chevrolet. Vincent Murphy senior. Circa 1999. The movie takes place in 1952 and 1971. More to the point for a plastic alto post would be a breakdown of the use of music and jukeboxes radios. I mention that Larry McMurtry’s grandson Played Cafe Zoe in Menlo Park?


i did not know until just now that Texas oil man and Dartmouth basketball legend Edward Leede was actually from Queens, and died in Denver: see above 

Part three I would not claim to know Katie Lee dartmouth  ‘85 but it would’ve been difficult to be at all social for three years in school with her and not notice her. Jackbox says she is a successful interior designer in New York and Los Angeles but also sends field reports from Paris and England like this:

I had always wanted to visit Blake’s Hotel in South Kensington, so was delighted to learn that we’d actually get to stay there for the remainder of our trip, while we tore around town taking in the design and art fairs, antiquing, going to museums and of course, eating, drinking and carousing along the way.

So this has nothing to do with Sybil Shepherd and Larry McMurtry and Peter bag down a bitch. Or class and sex  






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Is Rachel Kushner the only one who wants to debate Joan Didion on whether Jim Morrison of The Doors wore pants of vinyl or leather?

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B.J. Thomas VS Mickey Thomas

Mickey Thomas, b. 1949

This had me fooled for a second yesterday.
B.J. Thomas, raindrops kept falling on his head;
Mickey Thomas, fooled around (with Elvin Bishop) fell in love.
Elvin Bishop played this hit at Mitchell Park in December, 2019 that is, about 18 months ago, with the drummer from his big fun trio singing the lead.

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Andrew Yang is not Jerry Yang, report claims

Ranked choice voting blamed for confusion
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