Posts tagged with "Wall Street journal"

Playing Piano by Mina Tocalini for 360 Magazine

WAEL FAROUK JOINS NEW PHILHARMONIC

ACCLAIMED PIANIST WAEL FAROUK SHOWCASED IN UNPRECEDENTED CONCERT PROGRAM OF RACHMANINOFF PIANO CONCERTOS NO. 1, 2 AND 3

Concert to Be Recorded this April on the MAC’s Belushi Performance Hall Stage, Premieres April 17; Available on Demand Through June 15

Internationally acclaimed pianist, Wael Farouk, joins New Philharmonic, the professional orchestra in residence at the McAninch Arts Center (MAC) for “Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos.” This unprecedented concert program, conducted by Maestro Kirk Muspratt and recorded at the MAC’s Belushi Performance Hall stage, will premiere at 7:30 p.m. Saturday, April 17, then be available on demand through June 15.

The concert will include Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 1 in F-sharp minor, Concerto No. 2 in C minor and Concerto No. 3 in D minor. Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 in D minor is respected, even feared, by many pianists. It has been called “daunting” (Wall Street Journal), “a classical war horse” (New York Times) and “one of the most technically challenging concertos in the classical repertoire” (CMUSE). Piano Concerto No. 1, actually Rachmaninoff’s second attempt at a piano concerto, is very different from his later works. Piano Concerto No. 2, one of Rachmaninoff’s most enduring works, has been hailed as “an unassailably epic work of genius” (Classic FM).

Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No 3 is extremely important to Farouk, who was born with shortened ligaments in his hands. His doctor suggested to his parents that he study the piano to help exercise his fingers. Farouk heard Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 when he was 12 and it fueled his continuing interest in the piano. When he was 13, he mentioned his interest in Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 to his piano teacher, who discouraged his interest in the work, citing that even the best of pianists with large hands found it a challenge so with Farouk’s small hands it was impossible. Farouk took it upon himself to prove the teacher wrong and, at age 19, played Rachmaninoff’s Piano Concerto No. 3 with the Cairo Symphony, as the first Egyptian to ever perform this concerto.

Farouk’s theme for this concert is “Climbing Beyond Everest: 3 Musical Mountains and 3 Systemic Injustices: Discrimination, Oppression, and Persecution.” Farouk sees the upcoming concert as a testament to the enduring strength of the human spirit and ability to overcome what appear to be insurmountable challenges. To prepare for this challenging concert, Farouk will build his stamina by playing the program three times a day leading up to the New Philharmonic concert. Herculean accomplishments are nothing new to Farouk, who was last seen at the MAC performing all five of Beethoven’s concertos in a single program, “Beethoven: Five Piano Concertos | One Pianist” (2018).

Farouk has garnered international acclaim as a concert pianist, performing on five continents in such venues as the White Hall in St. Petersburg, Schumann’s house in Leipzig, and Weill Recital Hall at Carnegie Hall in New York, where his solo debut performance in 2013 was described as “absolutely masterful” (New York Concert Review). Farouk is the Director of the Keyboard Studies Program of Wisconsin’s Carthage College and Piano Faculty at Chicago’s Roosevelt University. Using virtual technology, he instructs students as far away as China and Nigeria, Ukraine and Egypt. He also conducts international virtual lectures seen around the world.

Tickets

New Philharmonic: “Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos” premieres 7:30 p.m., April 17, and is the available on demand through June 15. Tickets are $40 per household. Special $10 tickets available for students with discount code TENTIX. For tickets visit AtTheMAC.org, email themac@cod.edu or call 630.942.4000. The McAninch Box Office is open remotely Monday – Saturday, noon – 5 p.m.

The MAC encourages everyone enjoying New Philharmonic: “Rachmaninoff Piano Concertos” to consider making a donation to support the MAC’s ongoing ability to continue to provide fun, creative and thought-provoking programming. For more information visit AtTheMAC.org or call 630.942.4000.

About New Philharmonic

New Philharmonic, the only professional orchestra based in DuPage County, Ill., has inspired classical music enthusiasts in Chicago and the suburbs for more than 40 years. It continues to thrive with the goal to give innovative treatment to both classic compositions and modern works while striving to make the music accessible to new audiences and youth through a variety of educational efforts. Today, under the direction of Kirk Muspratt, named 2018 Conductor of the Year (Professional Orchestra) by Illinois Council of Orchestras, New Philharmonic consists of more than 60 professional musicians and performs more than a dozen concerts a year, reaching more than 7,500 from the greater Chicago area annually. New Philharmonic was recently honored with the Illinois Council of Orchestras’ 2020 ICO Award in the category Programming of the Year.

About the MAC

McAninch Arts Center (MAC) at College of DuPage is located 25 miles west of Chicago near I-88 and I-355 at 425 Fawell Blvd. It houses three indoor performance spaces (the 780-seat proscenium Belushi Performance Hall; the 236-seat soft-thrust Playhouse Theatre; and the versatile black box Studio Theatre), an outdoor venue, the Lakeside Pavilion, plus the Cleve Carney Museum of Art and classrooms for the college’s academic programming. The MAC has presented theater, music, dance and visual art to more than 2 million people since its opening in 1986 and typically welcomes more than 100,000 patrons from the greater Chicago area to more than 230 performances each season.

The mission of the MAC is to foster enlightened educational and performance opportunities, which encourage artistic expression, establish a lasting relationship between people and art, and enrich the cultural vitality of the community. For more information about the MAC, visit their website, Facebook or Twitter.

Support for New Philharmonic is provided in part by the JCS Fund of the DuPage Foundation; Sullivan Taylor, Gumina & Palmer, P.C.; the Illinois Arts Council, a state agency; WFMT 98.7 FM, WDCB 90.9 FM and the College of DuPage Foundation.

Established as a 501(c)(3) not-for-profit charitable organization in 1967, the College of DuPage Foundation raises monetary and in-kind gifts to increase access to education and to enhance cultural opportunities for the surrounding community. For more information about the College of DuPage Foundation, visit foundation.cod.edu or call 630.942.2462.

Programs at the MAC are partially supported through a grant from the Illinois Arts Council Agency.

Kael Felix illustrates Joe Biden for 360 Magazine

BIDEN WINS

By Payton Saso

THE OVERWHELMING UNCERTAINTIES

As four years of uncertainty may be coming to a close, there is not the expected sigh of relief we could hope for. As election day takes way, it is hard to ignore all the uncertainties that still loom over America. 

The nation we are living in is something many young voters have not seen before. As big cities board up businesses in preparation for the salient threat of riots and protests following election results, COVID-19 cases are on the rise and the fear amongst Americans is palpable.

Reuters analysis of state and county reports showed that COVID cases have risen 18% and deaths have risen 3%. While 3% may not seem exponential, “Nationally, nearly 5,800 people died of the virus in the seven days ended Nov. 1,” they reported.

The election follows the week in which Amy Coney Barrett [ACB] was confirmed to serve her life-long term on the Supreme Court, making some voters even more concerned regarding the outcome of the election and the fate of their human rights.

In its first hearing since ACB was confirmed, the Court will start its hearings in a case regarding the Catholic Social Services in Pennsylvania. The case follows the suing of the City of Philadelphia by the CSS for not allowing children to be placed in foster care with organizations like the CSS who exclude same-sex couples from being fosters, according to the local news stations NBC 10 Philadelphia.

Originally facing the Supreme Court’s docket when the late Justice Ginsburg still served, the new outcome of the case is truly up in the air. With the addition of ACB, who is conservatively Catholic, it is unclear whether she will side with the Archdiocese of Philadelphia in their claims that their First Amendment rights are being violated. 

It is clear that how ACB votes on this case, will set the precedent for her term and quite frankly how she will vote if President Trump objects to the outcome of the election. 

Which is an evident possibility, seeing that the G.O.P. in Texas has already attempted to get 127,000 votes from Harris County. The county, which is largely Democratic, instilled drive-through ballot drop locations throughout by Harris County clerk, Chris Hollins, the New York Times stated.

Though the case was rejected by the Texas Supreme Court, those in the lawsuit claimed that the locations were illegal and favored Democrats. However, it seems that this is a tactic of voter suppression in hopes to throw out Democratic votes. 

Similarly in Pennsylvania, the Supreme Court ruled last month to reject “Republican request for a stay on a Pennsylvania Supreme Court decision that would allow ballots to be counted up to three days after Election Day,” Politico reported.

This attempted block is another attempt to threaten the validity of mail-in votes to which President Trump has been very vocal about opposing. The use of these absentee ballots; however, are just to yield some relief on the growing pandemic numbers to ease traffic at the polls today.

As of 12:17 EST, the US Elections Project gathered data that 100,611,070 Americans have voted early. With a mass number of votes already cast, it is clear this election will be historical in every way.

BIDEN CAMPAIGN WON’T STOP

Regularly dressed to the nines with his signature Aviator sunglasses, Biden has had to add another signature accessory to this fit, a mask. But that hasn’t stopped him from emanating the vibe of the cool Uncle Joe. His recent Twitter post for one of his campaign videos shows that.

Using the iconic Eminem song “Lose Yourself” from the “Eight Mile” soundtrack, the black and white video was Tweeted alongside the words by Biden, “ We have one shot. One Opportunity. One moment. Don’t miss the chance — vote.”

Appealing to those of all ages, “Lose Yourself” has become a song of triumph relished by sports teams, boxers and just the average joe in need of a confidence boots. The Grammy Award winning song was licensed to the Biden-Harris campaign which, Variety says, is a song rarely allowed by Eminem to be used.

It is no surprise that Eminem is one of the celebrities endorsing the Biden-Harris ticket. In 2017, he rapped a freestyle for the BET Awards that tore into Trump as president and as a human. He then released an album entitled “Revival” that year in which he continued to criticize Trump more. His song “Framed” on the track led the Secret Service to investigate the rapper.

While the Secret Service would not confirm this, “documents obtained through a Freedom of Information Act request confirmed that they did,” Rolling Stone claimed.

However, “One Shot,” regardless of the artist’s own personal hits at the President, encompasses the feeling of the American people in this time. The video depicts everyday people, our essential workers, nurses, doctors, those waiting in the long lines of the polls, and every other demographic Biden says he will work for. 

The power and importance of this election reigns true with the words ‘we only got one shot’ to make a promising change in America.

TRUMP PROMOTES THE AMERICAN DREAM

With the final push for votes occurring, both candidates are Tweeting out new campaign videos in hopes to still appeal to undecided voters.

President Trump Tweeted today a video that appeals to the masses who are patriotic and believe American is the greatest country. Playing to the idea of the American Dream, which he has made a prominent stance on, the video shows masses of Americans rallying together waving Trump flags and signs.

The images of American Flag sliced into images of the Armed Forces cheering and standing at attention, are overlaid with the words of President Trump. “America is the place where anything can happen. America is the place anyone can rise,” Trump asserts. 

The immensely patriotic video comes the day after President Trump announced his American Dream Plan. “President Trump recently released the American Dream Plan to reaffirm his commitment to fight for Hispanic prosperity and opportunity for all to achieve the American Dream,” The White House announced.

This final appeal to voters goes along with Trump’s campaign slogan, “Make America Great Again” where he says he will create a country completely independent of China, create job opportunities and create an environment where the American Dream can be accomplished. 

This video is in contrast to his opponent’s, Joe Biden, recent campaign video by using B-roll and music that is simple and might appeal to older voters, while Biden’s campaign used music and video editing that might appeal better to younger voters. 

Regardless of who the candidates are trying to appeal to, hopefully these campaign videos help some undecided voters to choose who they believe is best for our country.

ELECTION PREDICTIONS

The results of this election are being awaited anxiously by Americans everywhere. Because of so many people using mail-in ballots, the final results may take longer than usual to be confirmed. Many predictions have been made about who the winner may be.

Primary Model predicts that Trump will take the win and gives him a 91% chance of doing so. They predict Trump will get 362 electoral votes while Biden will only get 176. Since Primary Model was created in 1996, they have correctly predicted all but one presidential election.

It is predicted that voter turnout will surge this year. “The intensity of the electorate is without recent precedent,” Tom Bonier, the CEO of TargetSmart, a Democratic political-data firm, said in The Atlantic. It was predicted last year that 150 million Americans would vote this fall.

A historian and professor at American University, Allan Litchman, has predicted every presidential election correctly since 1984. Litchman explained on Fox News his prediction model called “The 13 Keys to the White House.” He explained Trump was in the lead to win until the coronavirus pandemic hit America.

“My prediction is that Donald Trump will become the first sitting president since George H. W. Bush in 1992 to lose a reelection bid, and Joe Biden will become the next president of the United States,” said Litchman.

Henry Olson also gave his prediction in The Washington Post. He predicted that Biden would win the popular vote with 52.5% of votes. He believes Biden will conclude with 350 electoral college votes while Trump will conclude with only 188.

AFTER ELECTION NIGHT

It is no surprise that results for this election are taking longer to finalize. With more early and mail-in votes due to the pandemic, some states are still counting ballots on November 4.

As of 3 pm on November 4, Biden is in the lead with 237 electoral college votes compared to the 213 Trump has. Six states are still undecided including Alaska, Nevada, Michigan, Pennsylvania, North Carolina and Georgia. Michigan and Nevada are currently leaning blue while the other remaining states lean red.

President Donald Trump seems dissatisfied with the fact that ballots are still being counted. “We are up BIG, but they are trying to STEAL the Election. We will never let them do it. Votes cannot be cast after the Polls are closed!” tweeted Trump at 12:49 am on November 4.

He also tweeted, “They are finding Biden votes all over the place — in Pennsylvania, Wisconsin, and Michigan. So bad for our Country!” The Trump campaign has also filed a lawsuit to stop vote counting in Michigan.

Candidate Joe Biden has been more positive on his Twitter account. At 1:03 am on November 4 he tweeted, “We feel good about where we are. We believe we are on track to win this election.”

THE WAIT FOR A WINNER

As of Friday morning, Biden has taken over Georgia and Pennsylvania. Georgia is 99% reporting and Biden is winning with just over 1,000 votes. Pennsylvania is 98% reporting and Biden has a slightly greater advantage than in Georgia.

The last time a Democrat won Georgia was almost 30 years ago when Bill Clinton won over his opponent George H.W. Bush in 1992. Georgia’s secretary of state, Brad Raffensperger, has already announced there would be a recount due to the small margin.

Nevada is at 84% reporting and Biden remains in the lead. Trump is leading in North Carolina and Alaska.

The Trump campaign continues to protest the results. They plan to sue in Nevada and claim that votes are being counted for people that have moved or died. According to Daily Mail, Trump plans to sue every battleground state that Biden has won.

This election is being compared to the 2000 election where George W. Bush and Al Gore had an incredibly tight race. This election lead to the supreme court decision to stop the recount known as Bush v. Gore. Bush ended up winning Florida by only 537 votes. In 2000 the winner wasn’t determined until December 12th and Americans everywhere are strapping in for what could be another long battle for the election results.

Joe Biden has passed 270 votes as of Saturday morning. Vice Presidential candidate Kamala Harris posted on her Twitter in celebration.

To keep up with the most recent election results click here.

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Track election results here

Eric Clapton × Pedrito Martinez – My Father’s Eyes

Today sees widely respected Latin percussionist Pedrito Martinez release a reimagined duet version of Eric Clapton’s My Father’s Eyes” – featuring a collaborative performance with the guitar legend himself. Having the opportunity to work closely with Eric Clapton is the fulfillment of a longtime dream for Pedrito that had its roots at New York City’s Guantanamera restaurant, where Pedrito’s group got started, and where Eric was a frequent guest.

Inspired by getting to know one another, Pedrito had the idea in early 2019 to put together a re-imagined version of Clapton’s deeply personal song “My Father’s Eyes” and send it to the three-time inducted Rock & Roll Hall of Fame member for his thoughts. . Upon receiving the initial recording, Eric Clapton invited the innovative Cuban percussionist to London last year to work together , where he added his own vocals and guitar to My Father’s Eyes and additional guitar contributions to two more tracks that will also be included in Pedrito’s upcoming album, Acertijos, expected to be released in early 2021.

“Pedrito is a genius…working with him has been a revelation to me.” – Wynton Marsalis

“…dizzying rhythmic webs, songs within songs, and the thrill of real Cuban rumba transformed into something as hip and irresistible as great pop.” – Larry Blumenfeld, Wall Street Journal

Violence Spikes in Major Cities

By Eamonn Burke

Last month, 65 people were shot in New York City and 87 in Chicago over the course of the 4th of July weekend. Six children were killed that weekend as well. The holiday may have been a peak in homicides, but numbers of shootings and deaths have been trending upward as the nation handles a pandemic and a historic recession. The amount of shootings in NYC from January to July exceeded the total for the entire year of 2019. Other major cities are experiencing high rates of gun violence as well, such as Philadelphia, where more than 240 people have been killed this year and which now has the 2nd highest homicide rate in the nation. Chicago saw a violent July, with 584 shootings and 105 deaths. Even smaller cities like Pheonix and Omaha are seeing rises.

As a whole, homicides are up 24% in the nation since last year. Data shows homicides and shootings trending upward sharply since late May in major cities across the US. However, as a national study shows, gun violence was creeping upward even before the pandemic began.

President Trump blames the rise in violent crime to “radical” Democratic politicians , such as Major Bill DeBlasio, despite signs that this is a bipartisan issue. DeBlasio himself blames the shootings on the virus, among other factors such as the BLM protests and faults in the criminal justice system that have recently been exposed. The Council on Criminal Justice also concluded that the virus is the root issue, and that it must be stopped first in order to reduce homicides. A chart of homicides in Chicago does in fact show a major spike after the beginning of the protests, and the BLM protests in 2014 and 2015 had a similar effect on gun violence. However, further analysis of police data instead points to a decrease in gun-related arrests as a potential cause, as well as the increase in gun purchases in recent months.

Police say that many of these crimes are gang related, and a shortage of staff due to the virus have made it harder to crack down on crime. DeBlasio was adamant about getting back on top of the gun crisis through the courts: “Our courts not only need to reopen, they need to reopen as fully and as quickly as possible.” Chief administrative judge Lawrence Marks fired back, saying the blame of courts was “false, misleading and irresponsible.”

A strange finding amongst this gun crisis is that rates of other crimes such as burglaries have not followed the same trend, and have even decreased in some cases. As this is extremely odd, it’s possible that it’s a matter of what is getting reported given the complications of COVID-19 and the BLM protests on policing.

Facebook Ad Boycott

By Eamonn Burke

The social media platform Facebook is making policy changes after Unilever has removed ads from the site, as well as Twitter. They join a group of corporations such as Honda, Verizon, Ford, Clorox, and Denny’s, who have come together to boycott the site, as called for by the NAACP and the Anti-Defamation League as a way to pressure tech conglomerates to make change. Some companies are pulling ads indefinitely, and some have pledged to pull them for the month of July.

These new policies involve designating posts that are in violation of existing policies but still “newsworthy”. Twitter has already adopted this method, allowing them to label some of President Trump’s tweets as violations. Facebook claims that it allocates a large budget to keeping content safe and removing hate speech using AI that is 90% effective, and also that the company never makes policy changes based on money. However, a group called Stop Hate For Profit, who called for the boycott, want to see more change:

“We have been down this road before with Facebook. They have made apologies in the past. They have taken meager steps after each catastrophe where their platform played a part. But this has to end now.”

Unilever supplied upwards of $42 million dollars of revenue for Facebook in 2019, so it is no doubt that their absence will be damaging. Facebook is also a huge source of profit for the companies themselves, so it is an impactful decision to stopping putting ads on the site. Shares of Facebook and Twitter have already gone down more than 7% as of Friday. Other massive companies like Procter and Gamble have pledged to do the same in the face of discriminatory content.

Molly Tuttle × New Album

Compass Records is proud to announce an extraordinary new album from award-winning songwriter-guitarist Molly Tuttle. …but i’d rather be with you arrives everywhere on Friday, August 28. A collection of 10 striking covers recorded during quarantine, …but i’d rather be with you is heralded by her timely version of The National’s epic song “Fake Empire.” Tuttle made a compelling companion video that fiercely challenges the song’s fear of indifference and portrays a society that can no longer afford to be apathetic to the realities of our time. Both are available today.

“I am a huge fan of The National,” Tuttle says. “THE BOXER is probably my favorite album by them. This song has a super cool four-over-three polyrhythm throughout. The piano part is super fun on guitar if you can train your thumb to play in three and your index and middle fingers to play in four!” Watch Tuttle’s cover of “Fake Empire” by The National HERE.

“We created the Fake Empire video by projecting footage of activism in mid 20th century America onto me while I played the song,” Tuttle continues. “We contrasted that footage with forest fires, stars and dreamlike images. We wanted to leave the meaning of the video somewhat up to interpretation, just like the lyrics of the song. Matt Berninger commented that the song is about ‘where you can’t deal with the reality of what’s really going on, so let’s just pretend that the world’s full of bluebirds and ice skating.’ Right now a lot of people in our country are waking up to the realities of police brutality, racism, and bigotry all around us. I hope that people, like myself, who have the privilege to turn a blind eye to these injustices, can maintain this awareness and action to create a better society.”

 In March 2020, the Nashville-based Tuttle experienced the devastating tornado that tore through much of East Nashville, followed by the global pandemic. While sheltering at home, she found solace by revisiting favorite songs in an attempt to “remind myself why I love music.” An idea for an album emerged, to be recorded with Los Angeles-based producer Tony Berg (Phoebe Bridgers, Andrew Bird), despite being over two thousand miles apart.

Tuttle taught herself how to use Pro Tools and then recorded and engineered all of her parts alone at home before sending them to Berg in Los Angeles. The renowned producer enlisted a number of legendary session musicians – including drummer Matt Chamberlain and keyboardist Patrick Warren – to add instrumentation from their respective home studios, with guest vocals contributed by Dawes’ Taylor Goldsmith and Old Crow Medicine Show’s Ketch Secor. “This is how the astronauts do it!” Tuttle recalls Berg saying as they sent the files back and forth.

The result is a surprising and inventive collection of songs that cross the musical spectrum and the decades, from iconic artists spanning FKA Twigs to Cat Stevens, Rancid to Karen Dalton, all united by Tuttle’s clear, true voice, astonishing range, and incredible musicianship. With its remarkable scope and adventurous creativity, …but i’d rather be with you presents a further progression of Tuttle’s distinctive talent and musical ambition while hinting towards what is yet to come.

“I have been working on writing for another original album and am still planning to record that this year,” Tuttle says, “but in the meantime I wanted to share these covers that have lifted my spirits, in hopes that you’ll find some much-needed joy as well.”

A virtuosic, award-winning guitarist with a gift for insightful songwriting, Molly Tuttle has garnered worldwide applause for her amazing flatpicking guitar technique and confessional songwriting. Since moving to Nashville in 2015, the native Californian has been welcomed into folk music, bluegrass, Americana, and traditional country communities – even as her own music pushes against the limits of those genres. A series of awards and accolades followed, including two consecutive International Bluegrass Music Awards as “Guitar Player of the Year” – the first female artist to achieve that historic honor.

Crowned “Instrumentalist of the Year” at the 2018 Americana Music Awards on the strength of her acclaimed RISE EP, Tuttle affirmed her signature sound with last year’s boundary-breaking debut album, WHEN YOU’RE READY.

Produced by Ryan Hewitt (The Avett Brothers, The Lumineers), the album was hailed by NPR for its “handsomely crafted melodies that gently insinuate themselves into the memory,” noting, “Tuttle applies remarkable precision to her pursuit of clarity. That’s even a central theme of her lyrics: consciously reckoning with indecision or intuition, honestly acknowledging incompatibility, cultivating intimacy based on people seeing each other for who they are.”

“The bluegrass virtuoso’s first solo album blends emotional preparedness and long-demonstrated knowhow,” wrote the Wall Street Journal, while American Songwriter raved, “The production, playing and songwriting coalesce into a striking statement that shows an already developed artist well on her way to the next level of her still nascent career.”

Follow Molly Tuttle: Instagram | Twitter | Facebook | Youtube

How Big Tech Is Destroying Our Press

Ahead of today’s House Judiciary Hearing, the Save Journalism Project held a press call with Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11); journalists Laura Bassett, laid off by HuffPost; and John Stanton, laid off by BuzzFeed; and Neil Chase, CEO of CalMatters and former executive editor of The Mercury News and East Bay Times.

The monopolistic power of big tech companies like Google, Facebook, and Apple is destroying the economic model of the entire journalism industry, whether its traditional circulation newspapers or digital news outlet.

 This week’s hearing on how digital platforms affect news organizations marks the much-needed return of congressional antitrust scrutiny to big tech companies, which have gained a monopolistic position that lets them dominate the digital advertising marketplace and distribute massive amounts of content from news publishers on their platforms without paying to produce the content. 

Rep. Mark DeSaulnier (CA-11) said, “I don’t think there’s anything more important right now than this issue. Being from the Bay Area, I have been to every big tech company. After meeting with them, I think it’s time to make it easier for licensing like the music and movie industries have done. We are members of Congress, you are journalists, and we have to keep an appropriate Constitutional distance, but there are policy proposals in our legislation that protect the freedom of the press and are necessary to keep the industry alive. When I was first elected to the Concord City Council there was a reporter who was consistently in the front row keeping officials accountable. His presence made local government work, and it is vital that we protect the journalism industry to make sure leaders are kept accountable and communities are informed.”

Laura Bassett, a reporter who was laid off by HuffPost, commented, “In the first few months of 2019, I was one of about 2,400 journalists and media staffers who lost our jobs. Even though I was aware the cuts were coming, it was still shocking to be laid off after nearly a decade in my newsroom. The reason for the mass layoffs, I found out, was that Big Tech companies like Google and Facebook are dominating the digital ad market, swallowing about 60 percent of all revenue and making it difficult for journalism to survive. News publishers are being forced to give a cut of their ad revenue to these companies- revenue that would otherwise go to hiring journalists. Because a well-funded news media is vital to a healthy democracy, the public needs to be aware of Big Tech’s death grip on publishers. At the House Judiciary Hearing today, lawmakers in Congress need to address this bipartisan issue and find legislative solutions that regulate tech giants and restore fairness to the digital ad market. Journalists are taught not to be the story, but as Big Tech’s digital ad monopoly benefits off of our revenue streams, it’s incumbent upon us to fight for the future of our industry. One or two companies should not have the power to cripple the free press.”

“After 20 years of covering Congress and the White House for BuzzFeed, I found out layoffs were coming in a tweet from the Wall Street Journal,” said John Stanton, former Buzzfeed Washington Bureau Chief before being laid off. “Despite the great work my colleagues and I were doing for the publication, there simply wasn’t enough money. Because stories that lead to changes in state and federal law, jailing of criminals and exposing wrongdoing — cost money. Money that is increasingly gobbled up by Google and Facebook. To try to survive, slashes had to be made. To entire desks. The reason advertising revenue has fallen so steeply is that Google and Facebook dominate the digital ad market, consuming more than 60 percent of all revenue. And their share is growing, because they devour nine out of every ten new dollars that are spent on digital advertising. Big Tech’s monopoly has a death grip on publishers. Congress needs to be discussing how to regulate this imbalance and restore competitive fairness in the digital market.”

Neil Chase, CEO of CalMatters and former executive editor of The Mercury News and East Bay Times, added, “We all believe journalism is central to democracy. Newspapers have experienced a decline not in the past five years, not in the past ten or fifteen years, but in the past seventy-five years. Newspapers have been declining since World War II. The problem is that we are essentially sitting on a 200 year-old product, but are trying to compete with new and changing technologies. Newspapers have maintained a monopoly for over 200 years. This is how people historically gained all their information; how they found where to buy clothing, where to buy their groceries, and where they got their news. With the change in how society works, all we have is the news. In order to solve this problem, we need a multi-pronged approach. We need to engage in philanthropy, which my company is already focused on this aspect. We need newspapers with benevolent leaders, not the leaders that we have at some major news organizations now. We need support from legislators. And, we need people paying for the news. We need a lot of support from a lot of different places in order to make this work.”

Free Philie

“Real 40 Year-Old Virgin “Bachelor” continues search for his one true love in America this Spring, 2019”

In this day and age it seems that romance has become an Instagram ideal; everyone striving to become the illusive “#goals” that are seen in the media. Since the birth of dating app Tinder in 2012, the dating world has been changed forever and social media has taken a strong hold over how we interact with others. Some may think real romance is a thing of the past or something that can only be seen on ABC’s The Bachelor. Shows that have fallen under the large umbrella of the Bachelor Nation have gained notoriety over the years for their strict formula of creating “true love.” Just last week football player Colton Underwood ended his search for love, seemingly as well as his reputation of being a virgin.

Philipp Hebestreit, a German 40 year-old “real-virgin bachelor,” hopes to follow in Colton’s footsteps by taking his search for love to the states. He launched his initial campaign “Free Philie” ten years ago, making headlines in his attempts to enlist the public in his search for the one. To launch his search in America Hebestreit will begin his search in New York City’s Time Square district later this month.

“My parents are my inspiration and the reason I began this campaign to find my one true love,” said Hebestreit. “They have been deeply in love for several decades and it’s the kind of everlasting love you just don’t see anymore.”

“Most Romantic Man in the World…” – Marie Claire

“Free Philie,” one of the largest searches for love in the word, began in 2008 with a lonely plea on Hebestreit’s personal blog. His post garnered the attention of a multitude of women and sparked his curiosity in expanding his search even further. He then took to the streets of several German cities with flyers and large posters. His efforts became even more elaborate with newspaper advertisements, recorded video messages, bulletins and cars equipped with “Free Philie” flags.

He began going even bigger with his attempts and traveling further in order to reach a wider audience. He donned a full body shield in Hamburg, sent out thousands of messages in bottles into the North Sea, advertised on electric boats in the canals of Amsterdam, placed speaking stands in London’s Piccadilly Circus, placed an inflatable Frog at the Eiffel Tower, and even more international exploits for love. Philipp Hebestreit has spread his “love art” as far as Austria, Switzerland, Norway and Italy.

“A phenomenon that is conquering the hearts of women around the world…” – Wall Street Journal

Hebestreit is one of the very few virgin men turning to the public in order to enter his first relationship. This aspect of his sexuality is what drew most of the attention to his search as Philip is amongst just 10% of European men of his age to remain virginal. Those choosing celibacy often keep this fact to themselves to avoid social backlash. As for Philip, he tackles this topic with pride sparking public discussion. It is through his “Free Philie” campaign that Philip has attempted to tackle the belief that male virginity in the Western world should be something to be ashamed of.

By bringing attention to the conversation of virginity, “Free Philie” gained international attention in the form of letters, packages, texts and emails from celebrities and other public figures from over 100 countries. He received gifts such as lingerie and nude photos to a “Medal of Knightliness,” and a 5 foot teddy bear that caused his P.O. box to be terminated.

While stateside, ten years after the campaign’s inception, Philip will begin in New York City and continue his travels with teasers on his whereabouts on his “Free Philie” social media accounts.

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Kandace Springs

“Prince’s protoge spreads her wings on breathtakingly eclectic second album

An accomplished pianist with a sensuous, smoky voice”

MOJO

the soulful pianist and vocalist is self-assured, distinctive and strikingly contemporary.

WALL STREET JOURNAL

Singer and pianist Kandace Springs has released her remarkable second album Indigo (Blue Note), a 13-track LP of originals and choice covers that showcases the full breadth of Kandace’s artistry from smoldering R&B (People Make the World Go Round , 6 8) to gorgeous jazz ballads (Unsophisticated, featuring Roy Hargrove) to the pop songcraft of “Breakdown” and Don’t Need The Real Thing. All but two tracks are produced by drummer/producer Karriem Riggins (Common, Erykah Badu) with additional production by Jamie Hartman (Rag’n’Bone Man), Jimmy Hogarth (Amy Winehouse, Corinne Bailey Rae), Jimmy Harry (Madonna, P!nk), and Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken (Rihanna). Indigo is available on vinyl, CD, download, and streaming services.

For Kandace it boils down to a question that connects past to present: “What would Nina Simone do if she had the technology of today? You could never put Nina in a boxߞshe would do a blues followed a classical piece, a jazz standard and then a Beatles cover. This LP took a lot of inspiration from that it’s a mix of everything that I am.” Indigo offers a fairly plausible answer to that impossible query: songs that swirl classical composition with quiet-storm cool, jazz poise with hip-hop swing, tropical warmth with soulful depth, and earthen groove with airy psych.

Given that diverse palette, Karriem was exactly the right person to work with Kandace to catalyze the best parts of various interests into something new. “I love crossing genres and the direction on Indigo was to marry all the different things to tell her story”, says Karriem, who tracked his drums at various studios while on the road with Diana Krall, and chopped and reassembled his and Kandace’s recordings into what you hear. “It sounds organic because everything was built around the songwriting. She says so much on the piano, and her voice is amazing it’s the focal point of the whole sound.”

* * *

Kandace will embark on a U.S. headline tour beginning September 28 that includes album release shows in Los Angeles (Troubadour, October 1), New York (Sony Hall, October 28), and a hometown Nashville show (City Winery, November 4), followed by performances in Europe and Asia. See below for a full list of tour dates and visit kandacesprings.com for ticket info.

Kandace Springs ߝ Tour Dates:

September 28 Musical Instrument Museum Phoenix, AZ

September 29 Voodoo Room @ House of Blues San Diego, CA

September 30 – The Parish @ House of Blues Anaheim, CA

October 1 The Troubadour Los Angeles, CA

October 2 Swedish American Hall San Francisco, CA

October 4 The Jack London Revue Portland, OR

October 5 Benaroya Hall Seattle, WA

October 7 – Vancouver International Jazz Festival Vancouver, BC

October 24 City Winery Boston, MA

October 25 Daryl’s House Club Pawling, NY

October 27 – Iron Horse Music Hall Northampton, MA

October 28 – Sony Hall New York, NY

October 29 World Cafe Live Philadelphia, PA

October 30 The Hamilton Washington, DC

November 2 Stage Door Theater Charlotte, NC

November 3 City Winery Atlanta, GA

November 4 City Winery Nashville, TN

November 13 Forum Leverkusen Leverkusen, Germany **with WDR Big Band**

November 16 New Morning Paris, France

November 17 Queen Elizabeth Hall London, England

November 19 Paradiso Amsterdam, Netherlands

November 20 Quasimodo Berlin, Germany

November 27 Tokyo International Forum Tokyo, Japan

November 28 Sankei Hall Breeze Osaka, Japan

December 1 Blue Note Beijing Beijing, China

December 2 Blue Note Beijing Beijing, China

* * *

Prince once said that Kandace “has a voice that could melt snow.” The music icon heard her cover of Sam Smith’s “Stay With Me” online in 2014 and invited her to perform with him at Paisley Park for the 30th anniversary of Purple Rain, becoming a mentor to the young singer and pianist. Kandace’s 2014 self-titled EP turned even more heads and led to performances on Letterman, Kimmel and Fallon, as well as the Afropunk and Bonnaroo festivals. Okay player called her as “a vocal force to be reckoned with” and Afropunk dubbed her “a versatile and vital artist”

Kandace draws much of her musical inspiration from her father, Scat Springs, a respected session singer in Nashville. It was due to him that Kandace grew up surrounded by music, and he encouraged her to take piano lessons after he watched her peck out melodies on the instrument when she was 10. Yet as a girl, she was equally interested in other creative outlets, especially visual art and, more unexpectedly, automobiles. “My dad gave me a Matchbox car, and my mom gave me a Barbie,” she says. “I drew a mustache on the Barbie and never played with it again, and I still have the Matchbox car.” (Her obsession with cars, which she collects, rebuilds, and resells, continues to this day.)

Something deeper in the young musician was sparked when she heard Norah Jonesߣ 2002 Blue Note debut, Come Away With Me. “The last song on the record is ߢThe Nearness of Youߣ and that song really inspired me to learn to play piano and sing. It was just so soulful, simple and stripped down. That really moved me and touched me. It’s when I realized, This is what I wanna do.”

Kandace began gigging around Nashville, and eventually an early demo she recorded caught the ears of Evan Rogers and Carl Sturken, the production team who have written hits for Shakira, Christina Aguilera, and Kelly Clarkson, and are best known for discovering Rihanna as a teen and signing her to their production company SRP. Rogers flew to Nashville with an offer to sign Kandace. Still only 17 years old at the time she and her family decided that it wasn’t the right time to pursue a recording career, instead taking a job at a downtown Nashville hotel where she valet parked cars by day and sang and played piano in the lounge at night.

A few years later, Kandace was talking about going to automotive design school, but her mother suggested that she get back in touch with Rogers and Sturken. She instead moved to New York and started working seriously on new songs and demo recordings. She eventually landed an audition with Blue Note President Don Was at the Capitol Records Tower in Los Angeles, winning him over with a stunning performance of Bonnie Raitts “I Can’t Make You Love Me” (the original of which he had coincidentally produced).

If you listen closely to Indigo, you’ll hear a nod to Prince in the lyrics of “Fix Me” but the best tribute she could pay to him, Ms. Simone, and the humble legacy of the man who introduced her to music, her father, is by, as Karriem words it, “creating something that adds to the art form.” With Indigo, an album that couldn’t have been made by anyone but her, Kandace Springs does exactly that.

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BRAVO x SERHANT

BRAVO MEDIA CLOSES THE DEAL IN NEW SERIES “SELL IT LIKE SERHANT” PREMIERING WEDNESDAY, APRIL 11 AT 10PM ET/PT

‘MILLION DOLLAR LISTING’ STAR RYAN SERHANT PUTS HIS SALES SKILLS TO THE ULTIMATE TEST

Bravo Media is stepping up its sales game with top New York City realtor Ryan Serhant in the new docu-series “Sell It Like Serhant,” premiering Wednesday, April 11 at 10pm ET/PT. It doesn’t matter what you’re selling – if you know your client and your product, a good salesperson can sell anything to anyone, and no one exemplifies this better than Ryan Serhant, the leader of one of the top real estate teams in the United States. In this new series, Ryan answers the call of struggling salespeople across multiple industries who are on the brink of losing their jobs and are desperate for his expertise. With some tough love and humor, Ryan will give underperforming employees a head-to-toe business overhaul and turn them into sales machines.

In each episode, Ryan takes a deep dive into each protégé’s world, using every trick in the book to become their bootcamp instructor, friend, teacher and even customer, to help them reach their full potential. Ryan goes all in, often hilariously so, as he learns the ropes of different industries that are somewhat foreign to a “Million Dollar” broker – from learning to sell services in a waxing salon, to learning the world of high stakes hot tub sales, he will push his students, and himself, to the limit. As he tries their products and tests their sales skills, he gets to the root of what’s troubling each salesperson, breaking them down and building them back up with expert knowledge and newfound confidence. Ultimately, employees will be put to the test each week when he or she will showcase their new skills in full view of their bosses and hopefully prove they can “Sell it Like Serhant.”

Meet Ryan Serhant

Ryan Serhant’s first day in the real estate business was on September 15, 2008, the day Lehman Brothers filed for bankruptcy in the wake of the subprime mortgage collapse. While the real estate sector has slowly recovered, Serhant has become one of the most successful brokers in the world, with agents under his leadership in New York City, Los Angeles, Miami and the Hamptons. Ryan is known to audiences all over the world as one of the stars of Bravo’s Million Dollar Listing: New York. Serhant is recognized as a real estate powerhouse. His team at Nest Seekers International sold just under $1B in real estate in 2017 and consistently ranks in the top five real estate teams nationwide in the Wall Street Journal Real Trends annual review, with Serhant consistently the youngest team leader in the top ten. As a real estate expert he is a frequent contributor to CNN, CNBC, The Today Show and Bloomberg TV, and is often quoted in The New York Times, Forbes, and the Wall Street Journal. He is the real estate correspondent for Daily Mail TV, a nationally syndicated television show and he recently launched his own vlog. Serhant is an active supporter of nonprofit organizations including DKMS, Operation Smile, Save the Children, Make a Wish, the Human Rights Campaign, Ronald McDonald House, Habitat for Humanity, Pink Agenda and UNICEF, among others. After graduating Hamilton College in 2006 with twin degrees in English literature and theatre, Serhant headed to New York City to pursue an acting career before becoming a successful real estate broker. He currently lives in New York City with his wife Emilia.

“Sell It Like Serhant” is produced by World of Wonder with Fenton Bailey, Randy Barbato, Tom Campbell and Danielle King serving as Executive Producers along with Ryan Serhant and Rob Bola as Co-Executive Producers.