TRACKLIST FOR #05500:00 - 1. Christina Aguilera Feat. Redman - "Dirrty" (Mauve Mix) [BMG] 07:40 - 2. Enrique Iglesias - "Hero" (Mark!'s New Classic Mix) [Interscope]  12:17 - 3. Filur Presents Magnum Coltrane Price - "I Want You" [Disco Wax]  16:44 - 4. Bellagio - "The Trick" [Virgo] 20:19 - 5. Tim Deluxe - "It Just Won't Do" [Underwater]  25:23 - 6. Layo & Bushwacka! - "Love Story" (Tim Deluxe Remix) [XL]  30:27 - 7. X-Press 2 Feat. David Byrne - "Lazy" (Norman Cook Remix) [Skint]  34:44 - 8. Tiga & Zyntherius - "Sunglasses At Night" [City Rockers] 39:49 - 9. Kylie Minogue - "Love At First Sight" (Scumfrog's 'Beauty & The Beast' Remix) [Parlophone]  45:16 - 10. Moony - "Dove" (Full Intention Remix) [Positiva] 49:16 - 11. Shakedown - "At Night" (Kid Creme Remix) [Defected] 54:00 - 12. Sophie Ellis-Bextor - "Murder On The Dancefloor" (Phunk Investigation Remix) [Polydor] 59:08 - 13. Coloursound - "Fly With Me" (Ashley Beedle's Air America Vocal) [City Rockers] 01:03:24 - 14. The Scumfrog vs Bowie - "Loving The Alien" [Positiva] 01:08:49 - 15. Lighthouse Family - "Happy" (Rui Da Silva Mix) [Wildcard] 01:13:58 - 16. Underworld - "Two Months Off" [JBO]  01:19:34 - 17. FC Kahuna - "Glitterball" [City Rockers] 01:24:18 - 18. Ferry Corsten - "Punk" [Positiva]  01:28:41 - 19. Fischerspooner - "Emerge" (Junkie XL Remix) [Capitol Records] [200201:33:02 - 20. Spooky vs Underground Resistance - "Belong Transition" (Steve Callaghan Bootleg) 01:37:15 - 21. Sasha - "Bloodlock" [BMG] 01:40:37 - 22. Weekend Players - "Into The Sun" (Riva Remix) [Multiply] 01:45:28 - 23. Solid Sessions - "Janeiro" (Armin Van Buuren Remix) [Positiva] 01:49:03 - 24. DB Boulevard Feat. Moony "Point Of View" (Lange Remix) [Positiva] 01:53:45 - 25. Ian Van Dahl - "Reason" (Lange Mix) [NuLife] 01:57:21 - 26. Scooter - "Ramp! The Logical Song" [Sheffield Tunes]02:02:26 - 27. Bigfella Feat. Noel MCcalla - "Beautiful" (Coast 2 Coast Remix) [NuLife] 02:06:23 - 28. Lasgo - "Something" (Kenny Hayes Remix) [Positiva] 02:09:48 - 29. Girls Aloud - "Sound Of The Underground" (Kenny Hayes Remix) [White] 02:14:23 - 30. Armin Van Buuren Feat. Ray Wilson - "Yet Another Day" (Rising Star Remix) [Armind] 02:18:55 - 31. 4 Strings - "Diving" (Hive & Hammer Remix) [Zeitgesit] 02:24:02 - 32. Sinead o Connor - "Troy (Phoenix From The Flame)" (Push Remix) [Zeitgeist] 02:28:21 - 33. Plastic Boy - "Silver Bath" [Bonzai] 02:32:38 - 34. Oakenfold Feat. Carla Werner - "Southern Sun" (DJ Tiesto Remix) [Perfecto] 02:37:27 - 35. Rank 1 - "Awakening" (Ferry Corsten Remix) [ID&T] 02:41:09 - 36. Solar Stone - "Solarcoaster" (Midway Remix) [Lost Language] 02:45:57 - 37. Cygnus X - "Positron 2002" (Armin Van Buuren Remix) [Bonzai Trance Progressive] 02:48:42 - 38. Gouryella - "Ligaya" (Original Instrumental Mix) [Tsunami] 02:54:41 - 39. DJ Tiesto Feat. Nicola Hitchcock - "In My Memory" (Airwave Remix) [Magik Muzik] [200202:59:38 - 40. Solar Stone - "Seven Cities" (Armin Van Buuren Remix) [Lost Language] 03:04:03 - 41. Raiden - "Fallin" [Renegade Hardware]  Follow Me: linktr.ee/stevecallaghan
Learn to travel for "free" utilizing the best credit card welcome offers. Travel to Vegas and anywhere else! Check out this free tool that we highly recommend. Travel Freely (free sign-up) Episode Description: As a reminder you can watch this show as well at: http://www.YouTube.com/milestomemories It was a busy weekend in Vegas with a huge fight, Mexican Independence Day and the city celebrating its first major league championship. We'll talk about the festive atmosphere and the crowds plus how the Las Vegas Aces took home the WNBA Championship! In other news the LVCVA released a list of all of the new projects coming to Vegas in 2023, 2024 & beyond. We'll dive into what you can expect on your next trip. Plus Station Casinos is already demolishing 3 closed properties, Bellagio's fall display is a winner, snow is coming to the Vegas Strip and how to get top shelf cocktails with only a little play. About the Show Each week thousands of people tune into our MtM Vegas news show at http://www.YouTube.com/milestomemories and now we bring you the MtM Vegas podcast where we can spend a little more time sharing our best Vegas info, tips, reviews and stories plus talk to some of the most interesting people in Vegas. Enjoying the podcast? Please consider leaving us a positive review on your favorite podcast platform! You can also connect with us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or by searching "MtM Vegas" or "Miles to Memories" in your favorite podcast app. Don't forget to check out our travel/miles/points podcast as well!
Episode one hundred and fifty-three of A History of Rock Music in Five Hundred Songs looks at “Heroes and Villains” by the Beach Boys, and the collapse of the Smile album. Click the full post to read liner notes, links to more information, and a transcript of the episode. Patreon backers also have a sixteen-minute bonus episode available, on "I Had Too Much to Dream Last Night" by the Electric Prunes. Tilt Araiza has assisted invaluably by doing a first-pass edit, and will hopefully be doing so from now on. Check out Tilt's irregular podcasts at http://www.podnose.com/jaffa-cakes-for-proust and http://sitcomclub.com/ Resources There is no Mixcloud this week, because there were too many Beach Boys songs in the episode. I used many resources for this episode. As well as the books I referred to in all the Beach Boys episodes, listed below, I used Domenic Priore's book Smile: The Story of Brian Wilson's Lost Masterpiece and Richard Henderson's 33 1/3 book on Van Dyke Parks' Song Cycle. Stephen McParland has published many, many books on the California surf and hot-rod music scenes, including several on both the Beach Boys and Gary Usher. His books can be found at https://payhip.com/CMusicBooks Andrew Doe's Bellagio 10452 site is an invaluable resource. Jon Stebbins' The Beach Boys FAQ is a good balance between accuracy and readability. And Philip Lambert's Inside the Music of Brian Wilson is an excellent, though sadly out of print, musicological analysis of Wilson's music from 1962 through 67. Catch a Wave: The Rise, Fall, and Redemption of the Beach Boys' Brian Wilson by Peter Ames Carlin is the best biography of Wilson. I have also referred to Brian Wilson's autobiography, I Am Brian Wilson, and to Mike Love's, Good Vibrations: My Life as a Beach Boy. As a good starting point for the Beach Boys' music in general, I would recommend this budget-priced three-CD set, which has a surprisingly good selection of their material on it, including the single version of “Heroes and Villains”. The box set The Smile Sessions contains an attempt to create a finished album from the unfinished sessions, plus several CDs of outtakes and session material. Transcript [Opening -- "intro to the album" studio chatter into "Our Prayer"] Before I start, I'd just like to note that this episode contains some discussion of mental illness, including historical negative attitudes towards it, so you may want to check the transcript or skip this one if that might be upsetting. In November and December 1966, the filmmaker David Oppenheim and the conductor and composer Leonard Bernstein collaborated on a TV film called "Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution". The film was an early attempt at some of the kinds of things this podcast is doing, looking at how music and social events interact and evolve, though it was dealing with its present rather than the past. The film tried to cast as wide a net as possible in its fifty-one minutes. It looked at two bands from Manchester -- the Hollies and Herman's Hermits -- and how the people identified as their leaders, "Herman" (or Peter Noone) and Graham Nash, differed on the issue of preventing war: [Excerpt: Inside Pop, the Rock Revolution] And it made a star of East Coast teenage singer-songwriter Janis Ian with her song about interracial relationships, "Society's Child": [Excerpt: Janis Ian, "Society's Child"] And Bernstein spends a significant time, as one would expect, analysing the music of the Beatles and to a lesser extent the Stones, though they don't appear in the show. Bernstein does a lot to legitimise the music just by taking it seriously as a subject for analysis, at a time when most wouldn't: [Excerpt: Leonard Bernstein talking about "She Said She Said"] You can't see it, obviously, but in the clip that's from, as the Beatles recording is playing, Bernstein is conducting along with the music, as he would a symphony orchestra, showing where the beats are falling. But of course, given that this was filmed in the last two months of 1966, the vast majority of the episode is taken up with musicians from the centre of the music world at that time, LA. The film starts with Bernstein interviewing Tandyn Almer, a jazz-influenced songwriter who had recently written the big hit "Along Comes Mary" for The Association: [Excerpt: Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution] It featured interviews with Roger McGuinn, and with the protestors at the Sunset Strip riots which were happening contemporaneously with the filming: [Excerpt: Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution] Along with Frank Zappa's rather acerbic assessment of the potential of the youth revolutionaries: [Excerpt: Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution] And ended (other than a brief post-commercial performance over the credits by the Hollies) with a performance by Tim Buckley, whose debut album, as we heard in the last episode, had featured Van Dyke Parks and future members of the Mothers of Invention and Buffalo Springfield: [Excerpt: Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution] But for many people the highlight of the film was the performance that came right before Buckley's, film of Brian Wilson playing a new song from the album he was working on. One thing I should note -- many sources say that the voiceover here is Bernstein. My understanding is that Bernstein wrote and narrated the parts of the film he was himself in, and Oppenheim did all the other voiceover writing and narration, but that Oppenheim's voice is similar enough to Bernstein's that people got confused about this: [Excerpt: Inside Pop: The Rock Revolution] That particular piece of footage was filmed in December 1966, but it wasn't broadcast until April the twenty-fifth, 1967, an eternity in mid-sixties popular music. When it was broadcast, that album still hadn't come out. Precisely one week later, the Beach Boys' publicist Derek Taylor announced that it never would: [Excerpt: Brian Wilson, "Surf's Up"] One name who has showed up in a handful of episodes recently, but who we've not talked that much about, is Van Dyke Parks. And in a story with many, many, remarkable figures, Van Dyke Parks may be one of the most remarkable of all. Long before he did anything that impinges on the story of rock music, Parks had lived the kind of life that would be considered unbelievable were it to be told as fiction. Parks came from a family that mixed musical skill, political progressiveness, and achievement. His mother was a scholar of Hebrew, while his father was a neurologist, the first doctor to admit Black patients to a white Southern hospital, and had paid his way through college leading a dance band. Parks' father was also, according to the 33 1/3 book on Song Cycle, a member of "John Philip Sousa's Sixty Silver Trumpets", but literally every reference I can find to Sousa leading a band of that name goes back to that book, so I've no idea what he was actually a member of, but we can presume he was a reasonable musician. Young Van Dyke started playing the clarinet at four, and was also a singer from a very early age, as well as playing several other instruments. He went to the American Boychoir School in Princeton, to study singing, and while there he sang with Toscaninni, Thomas Beecham, and other immensely important conductors of the era. He also had a very special accompanist for one Christmas carolling session. The choir school was based in Princeton, and one of the doors he knocked on while carolling was that of Princeton's most famous resident, Albert Einstein, who heard the young boy singing "Silent Night", and came out with his violin and played along. Young Van Dyke was only interested in music, but he was also paying the bills for his music tuition himself -- he had a job. He was a TV star. From the age of ten, he started getting roles in TV shows -- he played the youngest son in the 1953 sitcom Bonino, about an opera singer, which flopped because it aired opposite the extremely popular Jackie Gleason Show. He would later also appear in that show, as one of several child actors who played the character of Little Tommy Manicotti, and he made a number of other TV appearances, as well as having a small role in Grace Kelly's last film, The Swan, with Alec Guinness and Louis Jourdain. But he never liked acting, and just did it to pay for his education. He gave it up when he moved on to the Carnegie Institute, where he majored in composition and performance. But then in his second year, his big brother Carson asked him to drop out and move to California. Carson Parks had been part of the folk scene in California for a few years at this point. He and a friend had formed a duo called the Steeltown Two, but then both of them had joined the folk group the Easy Riders, a group led by Terry Gilkyson. Before Carson Parks joined, the Easy Riders had had a big hit with their version of "Marianne", a calypso originally by the great calypsonian Roaring Lion: [Excerpt: The Easy Riders, "Marianne"] They hadn't had many other hits, but their songs became hits for other people -- Gilkyson wrote several big hits for Frankie Laine, and the Easy Riders were the backing vocalists on Dean Martin's recording of a song they wrote, "Memories are Made of This": [Excerpt: Dean Martin and the Easy Riders, "Memories are Made of This"] Carson Parks hadn't been in the group at that point -- he only joined after they'd stopped having success -- and eventually the group had split up. He wanted to revive his old duo, the Steeltown Two, and persuaded his family to let his little brother Van Dyke drop out of university and move to California to be the other half of the duo. He wanted Van Dyke to play guitar, while he played banjo. Van Dyke had never actually played guitar before, but as Carson Parks later said "in 90 days, he knew more than most folks know after many years!" Van Dyke moved into an apartment adjoining his brother's, owned by Norm Botnick, who had until recently been the principal viola player in a film studio orchestra, before the film studios all simultaneously dumped their in-house orchestras in the late fifties, so was a more understanding landlord than most when it came to the lifestyles of musicians. Botnick's sons, Doug and Bruce, later went into sound engineering -- we've already encountered Bruce Botnick in the episode on the Doors, and he will be coming up again in the future. The new Steeltown Two didn't make any records, but they developed a bit of a following in the coffeehouses, and they also got a fair bit of session work, mostly through Terry Gilkyson, who was by that point writing songs for Disney and would hire them to play on sessions for his songs. And it was Gilkyson who both brought Van Dyke Parks the worst news of his life to that point, and in doing so also had him make his first major mark on music. Gilkyson was the one who informed Van Dyke that another of his brothers, Benjamin Riley Parks, had died in what was apparently a car accident. I say it was apparently an accident because Benjamin Riley Parks was at the time working for the US State Department, and there is apparently also some evidence that he was assassinated in a Cold War plot. Gilkyson also knew that neither Van Dyke nor Carson Parks had much money, so in order to help them afford black suits and plane tickets to and from the funeral, Gilkyson hired Van Dyke to write the arrangement for a song he had written for an upcoming Disney film: [Excerpt: Jungle Book soundtrack, "The Bare Necessities"] The Steeltown Two continued performing, and soon became known as the Steeltown Three, with the addition of a singer named Pat Peyton. The Steeltown Three recorded two singles, "Rock Mountain", under that group name: [Excerpt: The Steeltown Three, "Rock Mountain"] And a version of "San Francisco Bay" under the name The South Coasters, which I've been unable to track down. Then the three of them, with the help of Terry Gilkyson, formed a larger group in the style of the New Christy Minstrels -- the Greenwood County Singers. Indeed, Carson Parks would later claim that Gilkyson had had the idea first -- that he'd mentioned that he'd wanted to put together a group like that to Randy Sparks, and Sparks had taken the idea and done it first. The Greenwood County Singers had two minor hot one hundred hits, only one of them while Van Dyke was in the band -- "The New 'Frankie and Johnny' Song", a rewrite by Bob Gibson and Shel Silverstein of the old traditional song "Frankie and Johnny": [Excerpt: The Greenwood County Singers, "The New Frankie and Johnny Song"] They also recorded several albums together, which gave Van Dyke the opportunity to practice his arrangement skills, as on this version of "Vera Cruz" which he arranged: [Excerpt: The Greenwood County Singers, "Vera Cruz"] Some time before their last album, in 1965, Van Dyke left the Greenwood County Singers, and was replaced by Rick Jarrard, who we'll also be hearing more about in future episodes. After that album, the group split up, but Carson Parks would go on to write two big hits in the next few years. The first and biggest was a song he originally wrote for a side project. His future wife Gaile Foote was also a Greenwood County Singer, and the two of them thought they might become folk's answer to Sonny and Cher or Nino Tempo and April Stevens: [Excerpt: Carson and Gaile, "Somethin' Stupid"] That obviously became a standard after it was covered by Frank and Nancy Sinatra. Carson Parks also wrote "Cab Driver", which in 1968 became the last top thirty hit for the Mills Brothers, the 1930s vocal group we talked about way way back in episode six: [Excerpt: The Mills Brothers, "Cab Driver"] Meanwhile Van Dyke Parks was becoming part of the Sunset Strip rock and roll world. Now, until we get to 1967, Parks has something of a tangled timeline. He worked with almost every band around LA in a short period, often working with multiple people simultaneously, and nobody was very interested in keeping detailed notes. So I'm going to tell this as a linear story, but be aware it's very much not -- things I say in five minutes might happen after, or in the same week as, things I say in half an hour. At some point in either 1965 or 1966 he joined the Mothers of Invention for a brief while. Nobody is entirely sure when this was, and whether it was before or after their first album. Some say it was in late 1965, others in August 1966, and even the kind of fans who put together detailed timelines are none the wiser, because no recordings have so far surfaced of Parks with the band. Either is plausible, and the Mothers went through a variety of keyboard players at this time -- Zappa had turned to his jazz friend Don Preston, but found Preston was too much of a jazzer and told him to come back when he could play "Louie Louie" convincingly, asked Mac Rebennack to be in the band but sacked him pretty much straight away for drug use, and eventually turned to Preston again once Preston had learned to rock and roll. Some time in that period, Van Dyke Parks was a Mother, playing electric harpsichord. He may even have had more than one stint in the group -- Zappa said "Van Dyke Parks played electric harpsichord in and out." It seems likely, though, that it was in summer of 1966, because in an interview published in Teen Beat Magazine in December 66, but presumably conducted a few months prior, Zappa was asked to describe the band members in one word each and replied: "Ray—Mahogany Roy—Asbestos Jim—Mucilage Del—Acetate Van Dyke—Pinocchio Billy—Boom I don't know about the rest of the group—I don't even know about these guys." Sources differ as to why Parks didn't remain in the band -- Parks has said that he quit after a short time because he didn't like being shouted at, while Zappa said "Van Dyke was not a reliable player. He didn't make it to rehearsal on time and things like that." Both may be true of course, though I've not heard anyone else ever criticise Parks for his reliability. But then also Zappa had much more disciplinarian standards than most rock band leaders. It's possibly either through Zappa that he met Tom Wilson, or through Tom Wilson that he met Frank Zappa, but either way Parks, like the Mothers of Invention, was signed to MGM records in 1966, where he released two solo singles co-produced by Wilson and an otherwise obscure figure named Tim Alvorado. The first was "Number Nine", which we heard last week, backed with "Do What You Wanta": [Excerpt: Van Dyke Parks, "Do What You Wanta"] At least one source I've read says that the lyrics to "Do What You Wanta" were written not by Parks but by his friend Danny Hutton, but it's credited as a Parks solo composition on the label. It was after that that the Van Dyke Parks band -- or as they were sometimes billed, just The Van Dyke Parks formed, as we discussed last episode, based around Parks, Steve Stills, and Steve Young, and they performed a handful of shows with bass player Bobby Rae and drummer Walt Sparman, playing a mix of original material, primarily Parks' songs, and covers of things like "Dancing in the Street". The one contemporaneous review of a live show I've seen talks about the girls in the audience screaming and how "When rhythm guitarist Steve Stillman imitated the Barry McGuire emotional scene, they almost went wiggy". But The Van Dyke Parks soon split up, and Parks the individual recorded his second single, "Come to the Sunshine": [Excerpt: Van Dyke Parks, "Come to the Sunshine"] Around the time he left the Greenwood County Singers, Van Dyke Parks also met Brian Wilson for the first time, when David Crosby took him up to Wilson's house to hear an acetate of the as-yet-unreleased track "Sloop John B". Parks was impressed by Wilson's arrangement techniques, and in particular the way he was orchestrating instrumental combinations that you couldn't do with a standard live room setup, that required overdubbing and close-micing. He said later "The first stuff I heard indicated this kind of curiosity for the recording experience, and when I went up to see him in '65 I don't even think he had the voices on yet, but I heard that long rotational breathing, that long flute ostinato at the beginning... I knew this man was a great musician." [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Sloop John B (instrumental)"] In most of 1966, though, Parks was making his living as a session keyboard player and arranger, and much of the work he was getting was through Lenny Waronker. Waronker was a second-generation music industry professional. His father, Si Waronker, had been a violinist in the Twentieth Century Fox studio orchestra before founding Liberty Records (the label which indirectly led to him becoming immortalised in children's entertainment, when Liberty Records star David Seville named his Chipmunk characters after three Liberty executives, with Simon being Si Waronker's full forename). The first release on Liberty Records had been a version of "The Girl Upstairs", an instrumental piece from the Fox film The Seven-Year Itch. The original recording of that track, for the film, had been done by the Twentieth Century Fox Orchestra, written and conducted by Alfred Newman, the musical director for Fox: [Excerpt: Alfred Newman, "The Girl Upstairs"] Liberty's soundalike version was conducted by Newman's brother Lionel, a pianist at the studio who later became Fox's musical director for TV, just as his brother was for film, but who also wrote many film scores himself. Another Newman brother, Emil, was also a film composer, but the fourth brother, Irving, had gone into medicine instead. However, Irving's son Randy wanted to follow in the family business, and he and Lenny Waronker, who was similarly following his own father by working for Liberty Records' publishing subsidiary Metric Music, had been very close friends ever since High School. Waronker got Newman signed to Metric Music, where he wrote "They Tell Me It's Summer" for the Fleetwoods: [Excerpt: The Fleetwoods, "They Tell Me It's Summer"] Newman also wrote and recorded a single of his own in 1962, co-produced by Pat Boone: [Excerpt: Randy Newman, "Golden Gridiron Boy"] Before deciding he wasn't going to make it as a singer and had better just be a professional songwriter. But by 1966 Waronker had moved on from Metric to Warner Brothers, and become a junior A&R man. And he was put in charge of developing the artists that Warners had acquired when they had bought up a small label, Autumn Records. Autumn Records was a San Francisco-based label whose main producer, Sly Stone, had now moved on to other things after producing the hit record "Laugh Laugh" for the Beau Brummels: [Excerpt: The Beau Brummels, "Laugh Laugh"] The Beau Brummels had had another hit after that and were the main reason that Warners had bought the label, but their star was fading a little. Stone had also been mentoring several other groups, including the Tikis and the Mojo Men, who all had potential. Waronker gathered around himself a sort of brains trust of musicians who he trusted as songwriters, arrangers, and pianists -- Randy Newman, the session pianist Leon Russell, and Van Dyke Parks. Their job was to revitalise the career of the Beau Brummels, and to make both the Tikis and the Mojo Men into successes. The tactic they chose was, in Waronker's words, “Go in with a good song and weird it out.” The first good song they tried weirding out was in late 1966, when Leon Russell came up with a clarinet-led arrangement of Paul Simon's "59th Street Bridge Song (Feeling Groovy)" for the Tikis, who performed it but who thought that their existing fanbase wouldn't accept something so different, so it was put out under another name, suggested by Parks, Harpers Bizarre: [Excerpt: Harpers Bizarre, "Feeling Groovy"] Waronker said of Parks and Newman “They weren't old school guys. They were modern characters but they had old school values regarding certain records that needed to be made, certain artists who needed to be heard regardless. So there was still that going on. The fact that ‘Feeling Groovy' was a number 10 hit nationwide and ‘Sit Down, I Think I Love You' made the Top 30 on Western regional radio, that gave us credibility within the company. One hit will do wonders, two allows you to take chances.” We heard "Sit Down, I Think I Love You" last episode -- that's the song by Parks' old friend Stephen Stills that Parks arranged for the Mojo Men: [Excerpt: The Mojo Men, "Sit Down, I Think I Love You"] During 1966 Parks also played on Tim Buckley's first album, as we also heard last episode: [Excerpt: Tim Buckley, "Aren't You the Girl?"] And he also bumped into Brian Wilson on occasion, as they were working a lot in the same studios and had mutual friends like Loren Daro and Danny Hutton, and he suggested the cello part on "Good Vibrations". Parks also played keyboards on "5D" by the Byrds: [Excerpt: The Byrds, "5D (Fifth Dimension)"] And on the Spirit of '67 album for Paul Revere and the Raiders, produced by the Byrds' old producer Terry Melcher. Parks played keyboards on much of the album, including the top five hit "Good Thing": [Excerpt: Paul Revere and the Raiders, "Good Thing"] But while all this was going on, Parks was also working on what would become the work for which he was best known. As I've said, he'd met Brian Wilson on a few occasions, but it wasn't until summer 1966 that the two were formally introduced by Terry Melcher, who knew that Wilson needed a new songwriting collaborator, now Tony Asher's sabbatical from his advertising job was coming to an end, and that Wilson wanted someone who could do work that was a bit more abstract than the emotional material that he had been writing with Asher. Melcher invited both of them to a party at his house on Cielo Drive -- a house which would a few years later become notorious -- which was also attended by many of the young Hollywood set of the time. Nobody can remember exactly who was at the party, but Parks thinks it was people like Jack Nicholson and Peter and Jane Fonda. Parks and Wilson hit it off, with Wilson saying later "He seemed like a really articulate guy, like he could write some good lyrics". Parks on the other hand was delighted to find that Wilson "liked Les Paul, Spike Jones, all of these sounds that I liked, and he was doing it in a proactive way." Brian suggested Parks write the finished lyrics for "Good Vibrations", which was still being recorded at this time, and still only had Tony Asher's dummy lyrics, but Parks was uninterested. He said that it would be best if he and Brian collaborate together on something new from scratch, and Brian agreed. The first time Parks came to visit Brian at Brian's home, other than the visit accompanying Crosby the year before, he was riding a motorbike -- he couldn't afford a car -- and forgot to bring his driver's license with him. He was stopped by a police officer who thought he looked too poor to be in the area, but Parks persuaded the police officer that if he came to the door, Brian Wilson would vouch for him. Brian got Van Dyke out of any trouble because the cop's sister was a Beach Boys fan, so he autographed an album for her. Brian and Van Dyke talked for a while. Brian asked if Van Dyke needed anything to help his work go smoothly, and Van Dyke said he needed a car. Brian asked what kind. Van Dyke said that Volvos were supposed to be pretty safe. Brian asked how much they cost. Van Dyke said he thought they were about five thousand dollars. Brian called up his office and told them to get a cheque delivered to Van Dyke for five thousand dollars the next day, instantly earning Van Dyke's loyalty. After that, they got on with work. To start with, Brian played Van Dyke a melody he'd been working on, a melody based on a descending scale starting on the fourth: [Plays "Heroes and Villains" melody] Parks told Wilson that the melody reminded him vaguely of Marty Robbins' country hit "El Paso" from 1959, a song about a gunfighter, a cantina, and a dancing woman: [Excerpt: Marty Robbins, "El Paso"] Wilson said that he had been thinking along the same lines, a sort of old west story, and thought maybe it should be called "Heroes and Villains". Parks started writing, matching syllables to Wilson's pre-conceived melody -- "I've been in this town so long that back in the city I've been taken for lost and gone and unknown for a long, long time" [Excerpt: Brian Wilson and Van Dyke Parks, "Heroes and Villains demo"] As Parks put it "The engine had started. It was very much ad hoc. Seat of the pants. Extemporaneous values were enforced. Not too much precommitment to ideas. Or, if so, equally pursuing propinquity." Slowly, over the next several months, while the five other Beach Boys were touring, Brian and Van Dyke refined their ideas about what the album they were writing, initially called Dumb Angel but soon retitled Smile, should be. For Van Dyke Parks it was an attempt to make music about America and American mythology. He was disgusted, as a patriot, with the Anglophilia that had swept the music industry since the arrival of the Beatles in America two and a half years earlier, particularly since that had happened so soon after the deaths both of President Kennedy and of Parks' own brother who was working for the government at the time he died. So for him, the album was about America, about Plymouth Rock, the Old West, California, and Hawaii. It would be a generally positive version of the country's myth, though it would of course also acknowledge the bloodshed on which the country had been built: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Bicycle Rider" section] As he put it later "I was dead set on centering my life on the patriotic ideal. I was a son of the American revolution, and there was blood on the tracks. Recent blood, and it was still drying. The whole record seemed like a real effort toward figuring out what Manifest Destiny was all about. We'd come as far as we could, as far as Horace Greeley told us to go. And so we looked back and tried to make sense of that great odyssey." Brian had some other ideas -- he had been studying the I Ching, and Subud, and he wanted to do something about the four classical elements, and something religious -- his ideas were generally rather unfocused at the time, and he had far more ideas than he knew what to usefully do with. But he was also happy with the idea of a piece about America, which fit in with his own interest in "Rhapsody in Blue", a piece that was about America in much the same way. "Rhapsody in Blue" was an inspiration for Brian primarily in how it weaved together variations on themes. And there are two themes that between them Brian was finding endless variations on. The first theme was a shuffling between two chords a fourth away from each other. [demonstrates G to C on guitar] Where these chords are both major, that's the sequence for "Fire": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Mrs. O'Leary's Cow/Fire"] For the "Who ran the Iron Horse?" section of "Cabin Essence": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Cabinessence"] For "Vegetables": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Vegetables"] And more. Sometimes this would be the minor supertonic and dominant seventh of the key, so in C that would be Dm to G7: [Plays Dm to G7 fingerpicked] That's the "bicycle rider" chorus we heard earlier, which was part of a song known as "Roll Plymouth Rock" or "Do You Like Worms": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Bicycle Rider"] But which later became a chorus for "Heroes and Villains": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Heroes and Villains"] But that same sequence is also the beginning of "Wind Chimes": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Wind Chimes"] The "wahalla loo lay" section of "Roll Plymouth Rock": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Roll Plymouth Rock"] And others, but most interestingly, the minor-key rearrangement of "You Are My Sunshine" as "You Were My Sunshine": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "You Were My Sunshine"] I say that's most interesting, because that provides a link to another of the major themes which Brian was wringing every drop out of, a phrase known as "How Dry I Am", because of its use under those words in an Irving Berlin song, which was a popular barbershop quartet song but is now best known as a signifier of drunkenness in Looney Tunes cartoons: [Excerpt: Daffy Duck singing "How Dry I Am" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ap4MMn7LpzA ] The phrase is a common one in early twentieth century music, especially folk and country, as it's made up of notes in the pentatonic scale -- it's the fifth, first, second, and third of the scale, in that order: [demonstrates "How Dry I Am"] And so it's in the melody to "This Land is Your Land", for example, a song which is very much in the same spirit of progressive Americana in which Van Dyke Parks was thinking: [Excerpt: Woody Guthrie, "This Land is Your Land"] It's also the start of the original melody of "You Are My Sunshine": [Excerpt: Jimmie Davis, "You Are My Sunshine" https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=yYvgNEU4Am8] Brian rearranged that melody when he stuck it into a minor key, so it's no longer "How Dry I Am" in the Beach Boys version, but if you play the "How Dry I Am" notes in a different rhythm, you get this: [Plays "He Gives Speeches" melody] Which is the start of the melody to "He Gives Speeches": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "He Gives Speeches"] Play those notes backwards, you get: [Plays "He Gives Speeches" melody backwards] Do that and add onto the end a passing sixth and then the tonic, and then you get: [Plays that] Which is the vocal *countermelody* in "He Gives Speeches": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "He Gives Speeches"] And also turns up in some versions of "Heroes and Villains": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Heroes and Villains (alternate version)"] And so on. Smile was an intricate web of themes and variations, and it incorporated motifs from many sources, both the great American songbook and the R&B of Brian's youth spent listening to Johnny Otis' radio show. There were bits of "Gee" by the Crows, of "Twelfth Street Rag", and of course, given that this was Brian Wilson, bits of Phil Spector. The backing track to the verse of "Heroes and Villains": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Heroes and Villains"] Owed more than a little to a version of "Save the Last Dance For Me" that Spector had produced for Ike and Tina Turner: [Excerpt: Ike and Tina Turner, "Save the Last Dance For Me"] While one version of the song “Wonderful” contained a rather out-of-place homage to Etta James and “The Wallflower”: [Excerpt: “Wonderful (Rock With Me Henry)”] As the recording continued, it became more and more obvious that the combination of these themes and variations was becoming a little too much for Brian. Many of the songs he was working on were made up of individual modules that he was planning to splice together the way he had with "Good Vibrations", and some modules were getting moved between tracks, as he tried to structure the songs in the edit. He'd managed it with "Good Vibrations", but this was an entire album, not just a single, and it was becoming more and more difficult. David Anderle, who was heading up the record label the group were looking at starting, would talk about Brian playing him acetates with sections edited together one way, and thinking it was perfect, and obviously the correct way to put them together, the only possible way, and then hearing the same sections edited together in a different way, and thinking *that* was perfect, and obviously the correct way to put them together. But while a lot of the album was modular, there were also several complete songs with beginnings, middles, ends, and structures, even if they were in several movements. And those songs showed that if Brian could just get the other stuff right, the album could be very, very, special. There was "Heroes and Villains" itself, of course, which kept changing its structure but was still based around the same basic melody and story that Brian and Van Dyke had come up with on their first day working together. There was also "Wonderful", a beautiful, allusive, song about innocence lost and regained: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Wonderful"] And there was CabinEssence, a song which referenced yet another classic song, this time "Home on the Range", to tell a story of idyllic rural life and of the industrialisation which came with westward expansion: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "CabinEssence"] The arrangement for that song inspired Van Dyke Parks to make a very astute assessment of Brian Wilson. He said later "He knew that he had to adhere to the counter-culture, and I knew that I had to. I think that he was about as estranged from it as I was.... At the same time, he didn't want to lose that kind of gauche sensibility that he had. He was doing stuff that nobody would dream of doing. You would never, for example, use one string on a banjo when you had five; it just wasn't done. But when I asked him to bring a banjo in, that's what he did. This old-style plectrum thing. One string. That's gauche." Both Parks and Wilson were both drawn to and alienated from the counterculture, but in very different ways, and their different ways of relating to the counterculture created the creative tension that makes the Smile project so interesting. Parks is fundamentally a New Deal Liberal, and was excited by the progresssive nature of the counterculture, but also rather worried about its tendency to throw the baby out with the bathwater, and to ignore the old in pursuit of the new. He was an erudite, cultured, sophisticated man who thought that there was value to be found in the works and attitudes of the past, even as one must look to the future. He was influenced by the beat poets and the avant garde art of the time, but also said of his folk music period "A harpist would bring his harp with him and he would play and recite a story which had been passed down the generations. This particular legacy continued through Arthurian legend, and then through the Middle Ages, and even into the nineteenth century. With all these songs, half of the story was the lyrics, and the folk songs were very interesting. They were tremendously thought-driven songs; there was nothing confusing about that. Even when the Kingston Trio came out -- and Brian has already admitted his debt to the Kingston Trio -- 'Tom Dooley', the story of a murder most foul 'MTA' an urban nightmare -- all of this thought-driven music was perfectly acceptable. It was more than a teenage romantic crisis." Brian Wilson, on the other hand, was anything *but* sophisticated. He is a simple man in the best sense of the term -- he likes what he likes, doesn't like what he doesn't like, and has no pretensions whatsoever about it. He is, at heart, a middle-class middle-American brought up in suburbia, with a taste for steaks and hamburgers, broad physical comedy, baseball, and easy listening music. Where Van Dyke Parks was talking about "thought-driven music", Wilson's music, while thoughtful, has always been driven by feelings first and foremost. Where Parks is influenced by Romantic composers like Gottschalk but is fundamentally a craftsman, a traditionalist, a mason adding his work to a cathedral whose construction started before his birth and will continue after his death, Wilson's music has none of the stylistic hallmarks of Romantic music, but in its inspiration it is absolutely Romantic -- it is the immediate emotional expression of the individual, completely unfiltered. When writing his own lyrics in later years Wilson would come up with everything from almost haiku-like lyrics like "I'm a leaf on a windy day/pretty soon I'll be blown away/How long with the wind blow?/Until I die" to "He sits behind his microphone/Johnny Carson/He speaks in such a manly tone/Johnny Carson", depending on whether at the time his prime concern was existential meaninglessness or what was on the TV. Wilson found the new counterculture exciting, but was also very aware he didn't fit in. He was developing a new group of friends, the hippest of the hip in LA counterculture circles -- the singer Danny Hutton, Mark Volman of the Turtles, the writers Michael Vosse and Jules Siegel, scenester and record executive David Anderle -- but there was always the underlying implication that at least some of these people regarded him as, to use an ableist term but one which they would probably have used, an idiot savant. That they thought of him, as his former collaborator Tony Asher would later uncharitably put it, as "a genius musician but an amateur human being". So for example when Siegel brought the great postmodern novelist Thomas Pynchon to visit Brian, both men largely sat in silence, unable to speak to each other; Pynchon because he tended to be a reactive person in conversation and would wait for the other person to initiate topics of discussion, Brian because he was so intimidated by Pynchon's reputation as a great East Coast intellectual that he was largely silent for fear of making a fool of himself. It was this gaucheness, as Parks eventually put it, and Parks' understanding that this was actually a quality to be cherished and the key to Wilson's art, that eventually gave the title to the most ambitious of the complete songs the duo were working on. They had most of the song -- a song about the power of music, the concept of enlightenment, and the rise and fall of civilisations: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Surf's Up"] But Parks hadn't yet quite finished the lyric. The Beach Boys had been off on tour for much of Brian and Van Dyke's collaboration, and had just got back from their first real tour of the UK, where Pet Sounds had been a smash hit, rather than the middling success it had been in the US, and "Good Vibrations" had just become their first number one single. Brian and Van Dyke played the song for Brian's brother Dennis, the Beach Boys' drummer, and the band member most in tune with Brian's musical ambitions at this time. Dennis started crying, and started talking about how the British audiences had loved their music, but had laughed at their on-stage striped-shirt uniforms. Parks couldn't tell if he was crying because of the beauty of the unfinished song, the humiliation he had suffered in Britain, or both. Dennis then asked what the name of the song was, and as Parks later put it "Although it was the most gauche factor, and although maybe Brian thought it was the most dispensable thing, I thought it was very important to continue to use the name and keep the elephant in the room -- to keep the surfing image but to sensitise it to new opportunities. One of these would be an eco-consciousness; it would be speaking about the greening of the Earth, aboriginal people, how we had treated the Indians, taking on those things and putting them into the thoughts that come with the music. That was a solution to the relevance of the group, and I wanted the group to be relevant." Van Dyke had decided on a title: "Surf's Up": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Surf's Up"] As the group were now back from their tour, the focus for recording shifted from the instrumental sessions to vocal ones. Parks had often attended the instrumental sessions, as he was an accomplished musician and arranger himself, and would play on the sessions, but also wanted to learn from what Brian was doing -- he's stated later that some of his use of tuned percussion in the decades since, for example, has come from watching Brian's work. But while he was also a good singer, he was not a singer in the same style as the Beach Boys, and they certainly didn't need his presence at those sessions, so he continued to work on his lyrics, and to do his arrangement and session work for other artists, while they worked in the studio. He was also, though, starting to distance himself from Brian for other reasons. At the start of the summer, Brian's eccentricity and whimsy had seemed harmless -- indeed, the kind of thing he was doing, such as putting his piano in a sandbox so he could feel the sand with his feet while he wrote, seems very much on a par with Maureen Cleave's descriptions of John Lennon in the same period. They were two newly-rich, easily bored, young men with low attention spans and high intelligence who could become deeply depressed when understimulated and so would get new ideas into their heads, spend money on their new fads, and then quickly discard them. But as the summer wore on into autumn and winter, Brian's behaviour became more bizarre, and to Parks' eyes more distasteful. We now know that Brian was suffering a period of increasing mental ill-health, something that was probably not helped by the copious intake of cannabis and amphetamines he was using to spur his creativity, but at the time most people around him didn't realise this, and general knowledge of mental illness was even less than it is today. Brian was starting to do things like insist on holding business meetings in his swimming pool, partly because people wouldn't be able to spy on him, and partly because he thought people would be more honest if they were in the water. There were also events like the recording session where Wilson paid for several session musicians, not to play their instruments, but to be recorded while they sat in a pitch-black room and played the party game Lifeboat with Jules Siegel and several of Wilson's friends, most of whom were stoned and not really understanding what they were doing, while they got angrier and more frustrated. Alan Jardine -- who unlike the Wilson brothers, and even Mike Love to an extent, never indulged in illegal drugs -- has talked about not understanding why, in some vocal sessions, Brian would make the group crawl on their hands and knees while making noises like animals: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Heroes and Villains Part 3 (Animals)"] As Parks delicately put it "I sensed all that was destructive, so I withdrew from those related social encounters." What this meant though was that he was unaware that not all the Beach Boys took the same attitude of complete support for the work he and Brian had been doing that Dennis Wilson -- the only other group member he'd met at this point -- took. In particular, Mike Love was not a fan of Parks' lyrics. As he said later "I called it acid alliteration. The [lyrics are] far out. But do they relate like 'Surfin' USA,' like 'Fun Fun Fun,' like 'California Girls,' like 'I Get Around'? Perhaps not! So that's the distinction. See, I'm into success. These words equal successful hit records; those words don't" Now, Love has taken a lot of heat for this over the years, and on an artistic level that's completely understandable. Parks' lyrics were, to my mind at least, the best the Beach Boys ever had -- thoughtful, intelligent, moving, at times profound, often funny, often beautiful. But, while I profoundly disagree with Love, I have a certain amount of sympathy for his position. From Love's perspective, first and foremost, this is his source of income. He was the only one of the Beach Boys to ever have had a day job -- he'd worked at his father's sheet metal company -- and didn't particularly relish the idea of going back to manual labour if the rock star gig dried up. It wasn't that he was *opposed* to art, of course -- he'd written the lyrics to "Good Vibrations", possibly the most arty rock single released to that point, hadn't he? -- but that had been *commercial* art. It had sold. Was this stuff going to sell? Was he still going to be able to feed his wife and kids? Also, up until a few months earlier he had been Brian's principal songwriting collaborator. He was *still* the most commercially successful collaborator Brian had had. From his perspective, this was a partnership, and it was being turned into a dictatorship without him having been consulted. Before, it had been "Mike, can you write some lyrics for this song about cars?", now it was "Mike, you're going to sing these lyrics about a crow uncovering a cornfield". And not only that, but Mike had not met Brian's new collaborator, but knew he was hanging round with Brian's new druggie friends. And Brian was behaving increasingly weirdly, which Mike put down to the influence of the drugs and these new friends. It can't have helped that at the same time the group's publicist, Derek Taylor, was heavily pushing the line "Brian Wilson is a genius". This was causing Brian some distress -- he didn't think of himself as a genius, and he saw the label as a burden, something it was impossible to live up to -- but was also causing friction in the group, as it seemed that their contributions were being dismissed. Again, I don't agree with Mike's position on any of this, but it is understandable. It's also the case that Mike Love is, by nature, a very assertive and gregarious person, while Brian Wilson, for all that he took control in the studio, is incredibly conflict-avoidant and sensitive. From what I know of the two men's personalities, and from things they've said, and from the session recordings that have leaked over the years, it seems entirely likely that Love will have seen himself as having reasonable criticisms, and putting them to Brian clearly with a bit of teasing to take the sting out of them; while Brian will have seen Love as mercilessly attacking and ridiculing the work that meant so much to him in a cruel and hurtful manner, and that neither will have understood at the time that that was how the other was seeing things. Love's criticisms intensified. Not of everything -- he's several times expressed admiration for "Heroes and Villains" and "Wonderful" -- but in general he was not a fan of Parks' lyrics. And his criticisms seemed to start to affect Brian. It's difficult to say what Brian thinks about Parks' lyrics, because he has a habit in interviews of saying what he thinks the interviewer wants to hear, and the whole subject of Smile became a touchy one for him for a long time, so in some interviews he has talked about how dazzlingly brilliant they are, while at other times he's seemed to agree with Love, saying they were "Van Dyke Parks lyrics", not "Beach Boys lyrics". He may well sincerely think both at the same time, or have thought both at different times. This came to a head with a session for the tag of "Cabinessence": [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Cabinessence"] Love insisted on having the line "over and over the crow flies uncover the cornfield" explained to him, and Brian eventually decided to call Van Dyke Parks and have him come to the studio. Up to this point, Parks had no idea that there was anything controversial, so when Brian phoned him up and very casually said that Mike had a few questions about the lyrics, could he come down to the studio? He went without a second thought. He later said "The only person I had had any interchange with before that was Dennis, who had responded very favorably to 'Heroes and Villains' and 'Surf's Up'. Based on that, I gathered that the work would be approved. But then, with no warning whatsoever, I got that phone call from Brian. And that's when the whole house of cards came tumbling down." Parks got to the studio, where he was confronted by an angry Mike Love, insisting he explain the lyrics. Now, as will be, I hope, clear from everything I've said, Parks and Love are very, very, *very* different people. Having met both men -- albeit only in formal fan-meeting situations where they're presenting their public face -- I actually find both men very likeable, but in very different ways. Love is gregarious, a charmer, the kind of man who would make a good salesman and who people use terms like "alpha male" about. He's tall, and has a casual confidence that can easily read as arrogance, and a straightforward sense of humour that can sometimes veer into the cruel. Parks, on the other hand, is small, meticulously well-mannered and well-spoken, has a high, precise, speaking voice which probably reads as effeminate to the kind of people who use terms like "alpha male", and the kind of devastating intelligence and Southern US attention to propriety which means that if he *wanted* to say something cruel about someone, the victim would believe themselves to have been complimented until a horrific realisation two days after the event. In every way, from their politics to their attitudes to art versus commerce to their mannerisms to their appearance, Mike Love and Van Dyke Parks are utterly different people, and were never going to mix well. And Brian Wilson, who was supposed to be the collaborator for both of them, was not mediating between them, not even expressing an opinion -- his own mental problems had reached the stage where he simply couldn't deal with the conflict. Parks felt ambushed and hurt, Love felt angry, especially when Parks could not explain the literal meaning of his lyrics. Eventually Parks just said "I have no excuse, sir", and left. Parks later said "That's when I lost interest. Because basically I was taught not to be where I wasn't wanted, and I could feel I wasn't wanted. It was like I had someone else's job, which was abhorrent to me, because I don't even want my own job. It was sad, so I decided to get away quick." Parks continued collaborating with Wilson, and continued attending instrumental sessions, but it was all wheelspinning -- no significant progress was made on any songs after that point, in early December. It was becoming clear that the album wasn't going to be ready for its planned Christmas release, and it was pushed back to January, but Brian's mental health was becoming worse and worse. One example that's often cited as giving an insight into Brian's mental state at the time is his reaction to going to the cinema to see John Frankenheimer's classic science fiction horror film Seconds. Brian came in late, and the way the story is always told, when he was sat down the screen was black and a voice said from the darkness, "Hello Mr. Wilson". That moment does not seem to correspond with anything in the actual film, but he probably came in around the twenty-four minute mark, where the main character walks down a corridor, filmed in a distorted, hallucinatory manner, to be greeted: [Excerpt: Seconds, 24:00] But as Brian watched the film, primed by this, he became distressed by a number of apparent similarities to his life. The main character was going through death and rebirth, just as he felt he was. Right after the moment I just excerpted, Mr. Wilson is shown a film, and of course Brian was himself watching a film. The character goes to the beach in California, just like Brian. The character has a breakdown on a plane, just like Brian, and has to take pills to cope, and the breakdown happens right after this: [Excerpt: Seconds, from about 44:22] A studio in California? Just like where Brian spent his working days? That kind of weird coincidence can be affecting enough in a work of art when one is relatively mentally stable, but Brian was not at all stable. By this point he was profoundly paranoid -- and he may have had good reason to be. Some of Brian's friends from this time period have insisted that Brian's semi-estranged abusive father and former manager, Murry, was having private detectives watch him and his brothers to find evidence that they were using drugs. If you're in the early stages of a severe mental illness *and* you're self-medicating with illegal drugs, *and* people are actually spying on you, then that kind of coincidence becomes a lot more distressing. Brian became convinced that the film was the work of mind gangsters, probably in the pay of Phil Spector, who were trying to drive him mad and were using telepathy to spy on him. He started to bar people who had until recently been his friends from coming to sessions -- he decided that Jules Siegel's girlfriend was a witch and so Siegel was no longer welcome -- and what had been a creative process in the studio degenerated into noodling and second-guessing himself. He also, with January having come and the album still not delivered, started doing side projects, some of which, like his production of tracks for photographer Jasper Daily, seem evidence either of his bizarre sense of humour, or of his detachment from reality, or both: [Excerpt: Jasper Daily, "Teeter Totter Love"] As 1967 drew on, things got worse and worse. Brian was by this point concentrating on just one or two tracks, but endlessly reworking elements of them. He became convinced that the track "Fire" had caused some actual fires to break out in LA, and needed to be scrapped. The January deadline came and went with no sign of the album. To add to that, the group discovered that they were owed vast amounts of unpaid royalties by Capitol records, and legal action started which meant that even were the record to be finished it might become a pawn in the legal wrangling. Parks eventually became exasperated by Brian -- he said later "I was victimised by Brian Wilson's buffoonery" -- and he quit the project altogether in February after a row with Brian. He returned a couple of weeks later out of a sense of loyalty, but quit again in April. By April, he'd been working enough with Lenny Waronker that Waronker offered him a contract with Warner Brothers as a solo artist -- partly because Warners wanted some insight into Brian Wilson's techniques as a hit-making producer. To start with, Parks released a single, to dip a toe in the water, under the pseudonym "George Washington Brown". It was a largely-instrumental cover version of Donovan's song "Colours", which Parks chose because after seeing the film Don't Look Back, a documentary of Bob Dylan's 1965 British tour, he felt saddened at the way Dylan had treated Donovan: [Excerpt: George Washington Brown, "Donovan's Colours"] That was not a hit, but it got enough positive coverage, including an ecstatic review from Richard Goldstein in the Village Voice, that Parks was given carte blanche to create the album he wanted to create, with one of the largest budgets of any album released to that date. The result was a masterpiece, and very similar to the vision of Smile that Parks had had -- an album of clever, thoroughly American music which had more to do with Charles Ives than the British Invasion: [Excerpt: Van Dyke Parks, "The All Golden"] But Parks realised the album, titled Song Cycle, was doomed to failure when at a playback session, the head of Warner Brothers records said "Song Cycle? So where are the songs?" According to Parks, the album was only released because Jac Holzman of Elektra Records was also there, and took out his chequebook and said he'd release the album if Warners wouldn't, but it had little push, apart from some rather experimental magazine adverts which were, if anything, counterproductive. But Waronker recognised Parks' talent, and had even written into Parks' contract that Parks would be employed as a session player at scale on every session Waronker produced -- something that didn't actually happen, because Parks didn't insist on it, but which did mean Parks had a certain amount of job security. Over the next couple of years Parks and Waronker co-produced the first albums by two of their colleagues from Waronker's brains trust, with Parks arranging -- Randy Newman: [Excerpt: Randy Newman, "I Think It's Going to Rain Today"] And Ry Cooder: [Excerpt: Ry Cooder, "One Meat Ball"] Waronker would refer to himself, Parks, Cooder, and Newman as "the arts and crafts division" of Warners, and while these initial records weren't very successful, all of them would go on to bigger things. Parks would be a pioneer of music video, heading up Warners' music video department in the early seventies, and would also have a staggeringly varied career over the years, doing everything from teaming up again with the Beach Boys to play accordion on "Kokomo" to doing the string arrangements on Joanna Newsom's album Ys, collaborating with everyone from U2 to Skrillex, discovering Rufus Wainwright, and even acting again, appearing in Twin Peaks. He also continued to make massively inventive solo albums, releasing roughly one every decade, each unique and yet all bearing the hallmarks of his idiosyncratic style. As you can imagine, he is very likely to come up again in future episodes, though we're leaving him for now. Meanwhile, the Beach Boys were floundering, and still had no album -- and now Parks was no longer working with Brian, the whole idea of Smile was scrapped. The priority was now to get a single done, and so work started on a new, finished, version of "Heroes and Villains", structured in a fairly conventional manner using elements of the Smile recordings. The group were suffering from numerous interlocking problems at this point, and everyone was stressed -- they were suing their record label, Dennis' wife had filed for divorce, Brian was having mental health problems, and Carl had been arrested for draft dodging -- though he was later able to mount a successful defence that he was a conscientious objector. Also, at some point around this time, Bruce Johnston seems to have temporarily quit the group, though this was never announced -- he doesn't seem to have been at any sessions from late May or early June through mid-September, and didn't attend the two shows they performed in that time. They were meant to have performed three shows, but even though Brian was on the board of the Monterey Pop Festival, they pulled out at the last minute, saying that they needed to deal with getting the new single finished and with Carl's draft problems. Some or all of these other issues almost certainly fed into that, but the end result was that the Beach Boys were seen to have admitted defeat, to have handed the crown of relevance off to the San Francisco groups. And even if Smile had been released, there were other releases stealing its thunder. If it had come out in December it would have been massively ahead of its time, but after the Beatles released Sgt Pepper it would have seemed like it was a cheap copy -- though Parks has always said he believes the Beatles heard some of the Smile tapes and copied elements of the recordings, though I don't hear much similarity myself. But I do hear a strong similarity in "My World Fell Down" by Sagittarius, which came out in June, and which was largely made by erstwhile collaborators of Brian -- Gary Usher produced, Glen Campbell sang lead, and Bruce Johnston sang backing vocals: [Excerpt: Sagittarius, "My World Fell Down"] Brian was very concerned after hearing that that someone *had* heard the Smile tapes, and one can understand why. When "Heroes and Villains" finally came out, it was a great single, but only made number twelve in the charts. It was fantastic, but out of step with the times, and nothing could have lived up to the hype that had built up around it: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Heroes and Villains"] Instead of Smile, the group released an album called Smiley Smile, recorded in a couple of months in Brian's home studio, with no studio musicians and no involvement from Bruce, other than the previously released singles, and with the production credited to "the Beach Boys" rather than Brian. Smiley Smile has been unfairly dismissed over the years, but it's actually an album that was ahead of its time. It's a collection of stripped down versions of Smile songs and new fragments using some of the same motifs, recorded with minimal instrumentation. Some of it is on a par with the Smile material it's based on: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Wonderful"] Some is, to my ears, far more beautiful than the Smile versions: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "Wind Chimes"] And some has a fun goofiness which relates back to one of Brian's discarded ideas for Smile, that it be a humour album: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "She's Going Bald"] The album was a commercial flop, by far the least successful thing the group had released to that point in the US, not even making the top forty when it came out in September, though it made the top ten in the UK, but interestingly it *wasn't* a critical flop, at least at first. While the scrapping of Smile had been mentioned, it still wasn't widely known, and so for example Richard Goldstein, the journalist whose glowing review of "Donovan's Colours" in the Village Voice had secured Van Dyke Parks the opportunity to make Song Cycle, gave it a review in the New York Times which is written as if Goldstein at least believes it *is* the album that had been promised all along, and he speaks of it very perceptively -- and here I'm going to quote quite extensively, because the narrative about this album has always been that it was panned from the start and made the group a laughing stock: "Smiley Smile hardly reads like a rock cantata. But there are moments in songs such as 'With Me Tonight' and 'Wonderful' that soar like sacred music. Even the songs that seem irrelevant to a rock-hymn are infused with stained-glass melodies. Wilson is a sound sculptor and his songs are all harmonious litanies to the gentle holiness of love — post-Christian, perhaps but still believing. 'Wind Chimes', the most important piece on the album, is a fine example of Brian Wilson's organic pop structure. It contains three movements. First, Wilson sets a lyric and melodic mood ("In the late afternoon, you're hung up on wind chimes"). Then he introduces a totally different scene, utilizing passages of pure, wordless harmony. His two-and-a-half minute hymn ends with a third movement in which the voices join together in an exquisite round, singing the words, "Whisperin' winds set my wind chimes a-tinklin'." The voices fade out slowly, like the bittersweet afternoon in question. The technique of montage is an important aspect of Wilson's rock cantata, since the entire album tends to flow as a single composition. Songs like 'Heroes and Villains', are fragmented by speeding up or slowing down their verses and refrains. The effect is like viewing the song through a spinning prism. Sometimes, as in 'Fall Breaks and Back to Winter' (subtitled "W. Woodpecker Symphony"), the music is tiered into contrapuntal variations on a sliver of melody. The listener is thrown into a vast musical machine of countless working gears, each spinning in its own orbit." That's a discussion of the album that I hear when I listen to Smiley Smile, and the group seem to have been artistically happy with it, at least at first. They travelled to Hawaii to record a live album (with Brian, as Bruce was still out of the picture), taking the Baldwin organ that Brian used all over Smiley Smile with them, and performed rearranged versions of their old hits in the Smiley Smile style. When the recordings proved unusable, they recreated them in the studio, with Bruce returning to the group, where he would remain, with the intention of overdubbing audience noise and releasing a faked live album: [Excerpt: The Beach Boys, "California Girls [Lei'd studio version]"] The idea of the live album, to be called Lei'd in Hawaii, was scrapped, but that's not the kind of radical reimagining of your sound that you do if you think you've made an artistic failure. Indeed, the group's next albu
Clint goes deep in the 15,000 gtd Texas Card House tournament 2 days before the Vegas trip. He then goes over sessions at Bellagio and Aria, and Tyler goes over a hand that might be well played or a huge blunder, you decide.
Chris' pick from this millennium is the 2001 heist movie, Ocean's Eleven. With a superstar ensemble cast of George Clooney, Matt Damon, Andy García, Brad Pitt, Julia Roberts and many more. If you enjoy the show we have a Patreon, become a supporter. www.patreon.com/thevhsstrikesback Plot Summary: Danny Ocean wants to score the biggest heist in history. He combines an eleven member team, including Frank Catton, Rusty Ryan and Linus Caldwell. Their target? The Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand. All casinos owned by Terry Benedict. It's not going to be easy, as they plan to get in secretly and out with $150 million. email@example.com https://linktr.ee/vhsstrikesback --- Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/thevhsstrikesback/support
The boys are back after a 4 week break. Kush is off galavanting all 50 states of the USA, meaning we pre-recorded a whole heap of episodes before his leave of absence. In typical TCB fashion however, we miscalculated the number of episodes we needed to pre-record and thus the 3 wise men (Migs, Ro and Sen) once again lace up the boots. Bit of rust in this episode, but we begin regardless with a riveting update to Ro's intriguing dynamic with his downstairs Spanish neighbours, which includes the purchase of some coca-cola. We also retell the story of Rohit's house party from a few weeks ago which led to some very unfortunate results. We have a new game this week, courtesy of TikTok, called “The Connection Game,” where we see who has the best connection between the lads. The game is actually quite simple in theory - a word association game where the boys must keep saying words until they land on the same word, however in practice this proves to be too difficult for these chimps. This may or may not be a new segment, but in “Is It Worth It?,” we discuss the value of events or objects. In this (maybe) first edition we discuss the Contender Experience at the Mayweather Gym in Las Vegas, amongst other musings regarding a certain individual's Instagram as well as discussing Shaq's recent visit to Sydney and other extracurricular's surrounding him. Also this week: Bankstown, nangs, Bellagio, Floyd Mayweather Senior and Kobe. Segments this week: The Logue: Tired of reaching around each other (at least on the podcast), the boys have instead decided to reach around the week's news stories, events and viral trends. The Connection Game: A word association game, similar to Codenames, where the boys have to keep naming words until they both reach the same word. Is It Worth It?: Being the judgemental people we are, we discuss and decide whether certain things are worth their price tag. ___________________________________________________ SPONSORS
Topic begins at the (0:20:25) mark: Former teen actor Grayson Hunter Goss accused of scamming poker player Ethan "Rampage" Yau, YouTuber Ludwig, several others.... (1:46:38): Las Vegas property manager accused in court of requiring struggling mom to sign "sex contract" before moving into the home she rented.... (2:07:35): Political betting site "PredictIt" in hot water with US government, likely to go down in February 2023.... (2:55:58): Three poker players arrested, charged in idiotic scheme to bend cards at Las Vegas table game.... (3:10:56): Mojave Desert & Las Vegas History: The frequent flooding of The Linq parking lot is intentional -- and dates back over 60 years.... (3:49:10): Las Vegas man charged with defrauding bettors in $8.5 million sportsbetting handicapping scheme.... (4:00:16): Bellagio security rescues puppy trapped in hot car in garage for 2 hours, arrests owner.... (4:15:29): Gambler mugged after flashing $54k win in Florida.... (4:28:06): FBI violated warrants in order to seize contents of private safe deposit boxes in Beverly Hills.... (4:49:10): WSOP.com to allow Pennsylvania and Michigan players to join some Nevada/New Jersey tournaments in the fall.
Maximize your credit card cashback earnings and sign-up bonuses with Cash Freely a new free tool from the makers of Travel Freely. Find the best offers to travel to Vegas and anywhere else free of charge. Cash Freely (cash back cards) Travel Freely (travel rewards cards) Episode Description: As a reminder you can watch this show as well at: http://www.YouTube.com/milestomemories My wife and I recently completed a stay at Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas to see if the hotel holds up after being sold to MGM Resorts. We'll talk why Cosmo has the best rooms in Vegas, some of the unique aspects of staying there and whether or not anything has changed under the new ownership. Is Cosmo still Cosmo? In other news we learned that Vegas casinos have reported record earnings for the 2nd quarter. MGM, Caesars and Wynn all reported very strong earnings with MGM setting record numbers. We also discuss new 50 foot showgirls coming to town, a Top Golf competitor, why the current Bellagio display is the best, $35 Korean BBQ on the Strip & how a local restaurant owner is going to jail for not reporting sales. About the Show Each week thousands of people tune into our MtM Vegas news show at http://www.YouTube.com/milestomemories and now we bring you the MtM Vegas podcast where we can spend a little more time sharing our best Vegas info, tips, reviews and stories plus talk to some of the most interesting people in Vegas. Enjoying the podcast? Please consider leaving us a positive review on your favorite podcast platform! You can also connect with us anytime at firstname.lastname@example.org. You can subscribe on Apple Podcasts, Google Podcasts, Spotify or by searching "MtM Vegas" or "Miles to Memories" in your favorite podcast app. Don't forget to check out our travel/miles/points podcast as well!
"I have been reading Wendy Steiner since the publication of her 1996 book The Scandal Of Pleasure. Imagine my astonishment that I actually got to speak with her on this podcast after so many years. If I had to describe Wendy Steiner's contribution in arts and letters I would discuss her first as one of the very best public intellectuals.In her case, one who writes books for a general readership on the subjects closest to my heart. For her art and beauty are essential and very real things in the world, never abstractions or options that come after necessities. The ways she weaves examples into her prose from both popular and non- commercial works and, above all, HOW she writes of them - with great erudition and wisdom - seems to me so rare in today's world. And I look forward to her next book on beauty - even if I must wait a year. Only recently did I discover that she is a part of the world of opera in writing librettos.I have been learning from her for decades and I hope you can feel my enthusiasm at being able to discuss my favorite subjects in the world with her in this dream come true episode." Bio: Wendy Steiner is the author or editor of fourteen books on aesthetics and cultural criticism, including The Scandal of Pleasure: Art in an Age of Fundamentalism (NY Times “100 Best Books of 1996”); Venus in Exile: The Rejection of Beauty in Twentieth-Century Art (2001); and The Real Real Thing: The Model in the Mirror of Art (2010). At the University of Pennsylvania, she was the Richard L. Fisher Professor of English and Founding Director of the Penn Humanities Forum (now the Wolf Center). A Guggenheim, ACLS, Bellagio, and NEH Fellow, Steiner received a NYSCA Individual Artist's Grant for her photography-opera-hologram installation in the 2022 Venice Biennale, Upon Reflection: An Opera in Ten Images (composer, Frances White). For the 2019 Biennale, Steiner co-designed Traces on the Farther Side (with Andrew Lucia), a “digital visualization” of an earlier composition by White. Steiner is the librettist of four operas with composer Paul Richards, two of which premiere in 2022: Mondo Novo, in the Vienna Summer Music Festival; and A Braided Light, commissioned by White Snake Projects in Boston. Steiner lives in New York, where she is at work on a new book, “The Beauty of Choice: Aesthetics and the Agency of Women.” Links to Wendy's beautiful works: Website: https://web.english.upenn.edu/~wsteiner/ Links to Wendy's Books: https://www.amazon.com/Wendy-Steiner/e/B000APVXBA%3Fref=dbs_a_mng_rwt_scns_share A recent webinar about Wendy's Venice Biennale project, Upon Reflection: An Opera in Ten Images: https:// www.youtube.com/watch?v=YdrplK6Zkgk --- Send in a voice message: https://anchor.fm/mitch-hampton/message Support this podcast: https://anchor.fm/mitch-hampton/support
This week, Chris & Josh discuss the following topics (and so much more): * Our betting strategies * Our pressing strategies * Put bets * Regression strategies * Bellagio host levels * Teaser offers * Youtube contest winners * New merch store! Want to contact us? Email: email@example.com Twitter: @VegasDuffy @SmallWhale13 For more information, please visit our webpage at https://www.crapvegas.com/
Abandoning the idea of one God leads to the invention of other gods, because the invention of meaning must happen. And if you can invent gods and meaning, then you can invent anything. This slope becomes slippery fast, like a Minnesota sidewalk on the first autumn sleet when the temperature hovers around 30 degrees: you may be falling down soon. Once you reject a singular God and make a golden statue or animal or mascot into a god, then it's no longer something to be taken seriously. Why? Because a statue or animal is ridiculous as an object of power. Yes, an eagle or cougar or lion is cool because they are strong and wild, but that doesn't give them divine powers. It just means they are good hunters for fish and rabbits and wildebeasts and it's fascinating for us to watch them. They cannot ponder ideas like justice or mercy or the best way to organize an economy. The idea of God as something contained in this world is too small and not worthy of worship. It's a completely different concept of God from the idea of “being itself” or the creator of the universe. This is why when Moses asks what is God's name, he gets the answer, "I AM WHO I AM." God is. He is existence itself. I guess the Bible translators like to put that in all capital letters, because without him nothing else exists. There is nothing before God. We are only because he said so, and he can unsay so whenever he wants, too. We don't believe that Zeus really exists. We just wink and repeat the tale because it's a fun story. But Zeus is more like a mascot, because he doesn't demand anything from his “followers.” In fact, Artemis in Ephesus is basically like the modern day worship of the Bulls in Chicago or the Giants in New York. It's funny that many of the modern team mascots can be mapped to old world idols or myths. These small gods are much like the sports teams of the ancient world, or you could say our sports teams are much like the idolatry of the ancient world. Sports fans today give as much time and energy to their animals and icons as the old world did to lower case gods. I'll probably do a future episode on this because sports teams and mascots match up too well to old city-state idolatry. We even have statues and clothing and rituals for our worship of these sports franchises and teams that represent our cities and schools. The problem with these small gods is this: if you can make a statue into a god, then a trophy or a diploma or a team or a house or a woman or a drug can just as easily become the object of worship, the giver of meaning. Many say that Catholics worship statues, so I should point to a correction here. We don't worship statues, we have sacred art and pray for intercession, but rather than get derailed, here's a good article about statues in Catholic churches. The point of all sacred art is to elevate the one true God, the Trinity. The object has no power or force or spirit, but aids in worship.What about spirits? What about the attacks and spiritual combat and all that jazz? Isn't this just about monotheism versus polytheism? If there is only one God, then what's with the spirits and demons and angels? It's not just a word game if the one true God is real. Both the Apostle's Creed and Nicene Creed begin with words about believing in God, which means it is the most important statement of faith, as it leads the charge for the remainder of the creeds. Since the cultures surrounding Israel tell the tales of other gods, its like there are warring propaganda campaigns happening. Just as the the Bible argues for the one god, the Egyptians and Greeks and others argue for the many. It is critical that the Israelites protect and worship the correct God, otherwise they will fall into the trap of those cultures around them. And that's exactly what happens whenever they fall for idols; once in the trap, they tumble into disorder. The story of Noah is about falling into mayhem, sin, and disorder. The Golden Calf incident happens when the people abandon the one God. The book of Judges is full of these cycles of order, disorder, and re-order as the people believe, then rebel, and then return to the one God. It's the story of the Prodigal Son on repeat, but instead of one man it's a nation.The whole story of the Bible is a re-assertion of the proper order where the Most High God, the one God, rules over the people and all creation. The story of Jesus is the story of the one true God, the one power of the universe, coming back to reclaim his creation from the lesser gods, to steer the whole thing back to the start, to the simple beginning. The "turning away" from God reached all nations. The city-states and tribes believed that this was the proper state of affairs. For example, the Greeks had statues of Athena in Athens, as she was the patron goddess of the city. As should come as no surprise, Athens saw itself as wise and strong, like Athena. The city modeled itself after its selected gods. Athens and Athena do a spiritual mirroring, just as the 115th Psalm explains to us how idols work. The creator of the idol becomes like the idol. “Their makers will be like them, and anyone who trusts in them.” (Ps 115:4-8) Corinth, a sea-port city, venerated Poseidon. Not exactly a shock, since a port city hugs the sea. Rhodes had it's famous giant named Colossus and worshiped Helios, the sun god. A more interesting story around the old world of patron gods is Ephesus, a city that is in modern Turkey. Ephesus held Artemis as the goddess. St. Paul shows up and causes a riot when he starts converting people to Christ, away from Artemis. Interestingly, the local silversmith is upset because he will no longer be able to sell trinkets and worship material if everyone becomes a Christian, so the riot is more about money than devotion. (The silversmiths probably didn't realize they could start selling all kinds of new souvenirs, as people today like to buy and sell Christian souvenirs, and I'm not going to dive into that question right now, but I will say I am all-in on sacred art.) The riot upsets the balance of the city, as there is a perceived order around the goddess Artemis. Introducing a new centerpiece of faith and culture scares the people because they are already settled into their existing structure. Where there is order, any hint of disorder will cause worry, and when the riots begin the disorder has arrived. When the anchors for our life are in place and the wind is calm, we don't want to pull up anchor and move. In the case of Ephesus, the city was comfortable in its undemanding idolatry. You can see this happening today. A power struggle between those who believe in one God is underway. There is a third column in the battle with those of no god, but they were certainly present in the past as well. The gods of modernity are not as obvious to us, but they are there. This is the story of human history. You can read about it in the mythology of peoples, just like you can read an allegorical unfolding of it in the novel, Lord of the Flies. The first humans, when we first stood up in the Africa savanna, in that first garden, we became aware of our difference from the other animals. We had to discover how to live, how to act, and how to rule. Eventually, we had to figure out what to worship. We had to spend a lot of time mulling over the idea of origins. Most importantly, we had to decide if there were no gods, many gods, or one God, because only one of those things could be true. We have tried all three options. In thirty thousand years of human drama, the experiments surely happened more than once and maybe several hundred times. The story of the Bible is the story of a nation that has cast their vote for the one God, while the story of the Greeks, Romans, and Babylonians is the story of nations that followed many gods. Surely the claim sounds dramatic. To say that every nation but one has fallen prey to the devil or spirits makes the claim extreme. But that is exactly the claim. That is what the story of the Tower of Babel describes, as the scattering of the peoples of the world led to the invention of strange gods. The reason the Tower of Babel is the last story before Abraham's entrance in the next scene is because the scattering explains the world that Abraham is born into, which is the pagan world of many gods. In the Tower of Babel story, God withdrew from people when they attempted to pull him down to earth, which is just a way of saying that they tried to become God. They wanted to become god or make a deal with God. When neither of those plans worked, they turned from god and the nations were born. With the nations came the lesser gods. That is how the first half of Genesis concludes, which leads to Abraham. This is where things start to get interesting, if the ancient language and lists of names don't make your eyes glaze over. I can quickly lose focus when I dive into the begat, begat, begat paragraphs and miss the gold in them “begats.” I'll do a brief and possibly bad retelling of Abraham's life, hitting only the important points that may help me tie this together with Uranus. Abraham lived in a place called Haran, named after one of his own relatives. Haran is believed to have been a place of a moon-cult, meaning Abraham's family likely worshiped a god of the Mesopotamian or Sumerian pantheon. In other words, Abraham is born in a world that is fully pagan and worships many gods. His people are not believers in the one true God. No, his people are like everyone else. They have rejected the one true God. That is why Abraham's story is so important in the Bible. When Abraham is born, Uranus and Osiris and all of the other primary pantheon gods have been overthrown by child gods. There are god and goddesses and idols all over the place. The rebellion has already occurred and the one true God is not in the ballgame. Abraham is living in the age where mythology is everywhere. These events occur somewhere around 1800 or 1600 B.C. The story of Abraham begins when he is called by God to venture out from his home, leaving his relatives, his country, and his father's house, which includes leaving the old familiar moon-god behind, too. When called, he goes without questioning the call, in a kind of “drop the nets” move like that of Peter and Andrew when the call from Jesus happens, or like Mary's Fiat when the angel Gabriel visits her. This break from Abraham's family starts a new life for him, one of total trust in the one God that he hears speaking to him. This is a radical change from the human pride that happened just one chapter earlier in the Tower of Babel story. Without a doubt, this marks a turning point of Act I of the Bible. Since the word repent means to “turn” you might say that this the point of repentance, the return to the one God. There is much to go into on that, but I only want to go into one more thing here about Abraham. The reason why Abraham is the Patriarch, the big P, is because he represents the return of worship to the one true God. No one else is doing this. It's not cool or trendy at all. So God promises Abraham land, descendants, and fame. Abraham sojourns in Canaan, Egypt, and Bethel. After various adventures and material success, he gets caught up in a local war. We learn that he has some money and a small army by now, as he takes his soldiers into battle to save his nephew. With only 318 men, he defeats four local kings. Victorious, Abraham returns from the war with all kinds of loot, not to mention glory. Local kings come to meet him. A mysterious king arrives, the king of Salem. Now wait a minute, I've heard of Salem before. Where have I heard this? There is Salem, the setting for Days of Our Lives, the soap opera, where Bo and Hope live. Then there is Salem, Massachusetts where the famous witch trials happened and the setting of Henry Miller's play, the Crucible. But wait, no, I've heard of Salem in another place before, but part of a larger word: Jerusalem.Not only do we have the one God coming back into the game of human life, but we have the city of Jerusalem being introduced. Oh, and what's this? He's brought food and something to drink. But he hasn't brought the usual barbecue pot-luck goat or bull, he's brought something different to this celebration. He has brought bread and wine. Yes, bread and wine. Now we have Abraham in Jerusalem with a king that brought bread and wine and it's starting to feel eery and weird because we know all of these elements from the life of Christ, but that happens nearly 2,000 years after this event. Then it gets weirder and more eery. This king lived in the time when a king was also a priest. Those job titles were one and the same, so even more interesting, he comes to meet with Abraham and offer this bread and wine as a sacrifice. (This might begin to raise the hairs on your neck at this point if you haven't heard this before.) But that's not all that's interesting about this dude with the long name of Melchizedek. He is not just a priestly king, he is a priestly-king of the “God Most High.” This is important. He is not a priest of a moon-god, no, he is said to be a priest of the one God, the true God, the only God, which is referred to in the passage as the '“Most High God” or “God Most High.” And if that were not enough, there is more to this little verse, something that my blind eyes passed right over every time I saw this passage, is that this God Most High is directly referred to as the “creator of heaven and earth.” In other words, this ain't Uranus. This isn't Osiris. This isn't Odin, or the moon-cult, or Hawaiian Pele, or the Spirit Horse, or the Great Pumpkin. This isn't any of the primary gods of any pantheon. This is clearly a reference to the God of Genesis, Chapter 1, Verse 1. This guy came to Salem with bread and wine and he wants to praise the one God. This priest-king of Salem just shows up out of the blue, and he is either one of the last people on planet earth along with Abraham that speaks of the “Most High God,” or, perhaps he is God himself visiting Abraham. I don't know what to make of it, but that is one option for interpretation. Some people believe this is a theophany, an event where God reveals himself, like in the burning bush or in the Transfiguration. I'm not sure about that so I'll leave it to the experts and many centuries of more well-versed thinkers. Either way, whether Melchizedek is an ordinary man or a manifestation of the God Most High, this is the moment where Abraham is blessed and where Jerusalem becomes the sacred site of the chosen people. (Note: he's still called Abram at this point, not yet Abraham)Melchizedek, king of Salem, brought out bread and wine. He was a priest of God Most High. He blessed Abram with these words:“Blessed be Abram by God Most High,the creator of heaven and earth;And blessed be God Most High,who delivered your foes into your hand.” (Gen 14:18)This is huge. I know it probably doesn't seem like it, but this is huge. This is the moment where Jerusalem becomes tied into everything to follow, where bread and wine become important for future references regarding sacrifice, and where we hear this interesting term, God Most High. There's more here too. There's always more. Briefly, I need to point out this last line where Melchizedek blesses Abraham and praises God, saying he “delivered your foes into your hand.” This battle that took place is the compelling event that brings Melchizedek to make this blessing. Interestingly, the battle was a rescue mission. Abraham's nephew is Lot, who lives near the infamous cities of Sodom and Gomorrah, which have not yet been destroyed. Earlier on in chapter 13, Lot and Abraham went separate ways. The buddy movie ended when Lot moved to the fertile Jordan Valley, which is the best land, and Abraham takes Canaan. But later, the local tribes invade Lot's land and he is captured. This is the first of three times that Lot finds himself in deep water. Abraham's entry into the war is for the purpose of saving Lot and his people, which he does. After saving the people and goods of Lot and Sodom, Abraham refuses to receive a reward, having sworn to the “Lord God Most High, maker of heaven and earth” that he will not profit from this war, and instead Abraham gives ten percent of his property to God. This means that Abraham went to war, won the war, received nothing, and ended up giving away his own property. Immediately after Melchizedek brings out the bread and wine and makes the blessing, Abraham becomes generous and magnanimous. When Melchizedek states that it was God that delivered the foes, Abraham seems to be changed because generosity flows from him. I'm just going to leave this episode with this thought: Lot chooses the easier path and ends up suffering for it. The land he chose was fertile and lush, but it leads him to a hard life and eventually his own kidnapping. All that glistens is not gold, it seems. Abraham must save him, but only wins the battle with God's help. The cities that Lot occupies return to corruption and lawlessness, as does he. Abraham pleads with God for another rescue, for mercy, but this time God obliterates the people and the cities. This is the angry God, the hellfire God. The rescue mission for the sinners of Lot's world happens only once. Mercy has already been shown with the rescue mission, and in the second round comes judgement. That is food for thought. The hard thing about reading the Bible is that you can so easily pass over something like a phrase, “God Most High” because we're thinking in the 21st century instead of 1600 B.C. That little phrase refers to the God that was first and foremost and came before anything that existed, including Uranus. This is the one God, before Uranus or anyone or anything else. Nothing exists without this God speaking up and saying so. (Literally, God spoke and made all things.) Reading mythology can get confusing real fast. Each ancient storyteller has a slightly different take on the tale, along with different motives. The mythologies of the ancient past can lead into endless caves of exploration because it becomes complicated, as the family trees and interactions cross into one another. Then there is war and culture clash, which leads to re-writing and re-purposing conquered gods and neighboring heroes into the dominant myth, and of course the dominant myths of the ancient world were Greek and Roman and Egyptian, but even those mythologies are extremely complicated. There is a overarching theme of might makes right, of the powerless overthrowing the powerful, like a food chain or pecking order that keeps changing and squirming around. This leads me to a point that I've taken far to long to arrive at, but it's a quote by a famous physicist named Richard Feynman, which goes like this: You can recognize truth by its beauty and simplicity. When you get it right, it is obvious that it is right—at least if you have any experience—because usually what happens is that more comes out than goes in.... The inexperienced, the crackpots, and people like that, make guesses that are simple, but you can immediately see that they are wrong, so that does not count. Others, the inexperienced students, make guesses that are very complicated, and it sort of looks as if it is all right, but I know it is not true because the truth always turns out to be simpler than you thought.This is exactly how it feels to discover, or re-discover, the “one God” theory. The one God makes sense, while the mess and tangle and overcomplicated tales of mythological systems lead to confusion and endless searching. There is a restlessness, like that of Odysseus, a constant searching and changing and shape-shifting. If you go down the rabbit-hole of mythology, you can spend a lifetime digging for the truth and be as confused in the end as when you started. I'm not saying myths are bad, because they exist as stories because we like stories. We are all people defined by stories. There is a story and a myth for everyone. We each have one that fits us. However, the myth that suits us will change over the five act play that makes up our life. The myth that describes you in your childhood will not be the same myth that describes your teens, and the myth that fits will shift again in your twenties. This happens with every decade of life, as the view changes when you change roles. But these stories we use to explain ourselves are still only stories. They are explanations but they are not the truth. The truth is always simple and pure and beautiful. That is what the one God provides. The creator of heaven and earth is simple and beautiful and gives you rest. Why? Because the one God is the only explanation that can cut through all the decades and give focus. What we lack is focus, which is a central point, a point of concentration where all rays of light meet. We need something simple and beautiful to look through, something clear of cobwebs and dust and grime. The myths are confusing and changing. The one God cleans up and gives meaning to all of creation and all of time, because only the one God is the God that can make sense no matter what part of the five act play you are in. A child, a teenager, a twenty-something, a worker, a father or mother, a grandparent, a retiree, and especially someone on their deathbed: all of these stages of life can understand what the idea of one God means. You cannot do that with Uranus. Simplicity and beauty: Einstein and Feynman knew that the truth had those qualities, and these were scientists, some of the finest ever. The Big Bang Theory is oddly simple. More odd still is that the Big Bang Theory was discovered by an astronomer who was also a priest (of all people). Oddest of all, what really takes the cake here, is that this same theory supports the universe being “created,” and by that, I mean it points to the universe having a beginning which fits with the cosmology of Genesis. When you consider the Big Bang Theory versus the complicated instructions that come along with string theory or the multiverse, it's clear that the Big Bang is far more simple and beautiful. After awhile those other explanations begin to look like Uranus' family tree.Yes, we are small and finite and cannot know the mind of God, nor fully understand, I get that. But we can recognize beauty and truth and goodness. We can see those things in a baby, in a tree, in a bird nest, in Einstein's equations, in Shakespeare sonnets, or in the simple and humble carpenter who showed up two thousand years ago and offered us some bread and wine. (Kind of like Melchizedek, huh? Right? Right? Who's with me?!)The thing about our minds is that we fall. We fall. We hide. We lie. We cheat. We do all of the things that go against what is simple, true, and beautiful when we serve our selves. Our default setting is to sin, to turn away from the one God and the truth. What the simple stories of the Garden of Eden and the Tower of Babel are trying to convey is how we find ourselves always returning to a state of sin. That's it. What the rest of the Bible is attempting to tell us is how to get out of the muck. The good news is that the devil always overplays his hand, because he has to bluff. He has no real power over God, so the spirits try to destroy God's creation, which means us. The humbling reality is that we are children taken hostage in a larger battle, or like pawns in a cosmic game of chess. We are attacked by temptations and face spiritual combat all the time. Spirits seek our attention in many ways, with strategies and tactics. They can steer us at any time toward the wrong choice, as free will gives us ample opportunity to stray.You can see this happen in the chosen people, where the nation declares its position of fidelity to God, but individuals stray and often the whole nation wanders. Even leaders cannot uphold the belief when tested, such as Solomon who builds temples for his pagan wives. Yes, Solomon, the wisest king, even makes the classic blunder. But there is always the remnant who remain, who believe, and who follow the Commandments. To declare belief in one true God is easy, but to live out that statement of faith is difficult. This is exactly why people leave the one God, because sticking with the demands of God is difficult. Why did Adam and Eve turn away? Because the fun things drew them away, tempted them. They wanted to be like gods, as advertised by the shiny one. Most of the “fun” things are not allowed, but the problem is not the rules but what you consider to be “fun.” The problem is in the heart. Jesus could not be more clear about this, but everyone skips over these parts where he forbids something to get to the “fun” part of “judge not” where he appears to affirm the exact sins he denies. We really want the hippy Jesus because that version is more like Zeus and Dionysus and Eros. Obviously Jesus teaches forgiveness, but he most certainly does not say, “Boys will be boys!” or “Here's some money for beer, have fun” or “A little pornography never hurt anyone” or “Ignore those Puritans, sex is no big deal.” We want the undemanding version of Christianity, we don't want the actual Christianity that has difficult requirements. The reality is that we all turn from God because we have favorite sins. It's going to happen, it will happen, and anyone who pretends it hasn't happened or that they have risen above it are spewing pride like the Bellagio dancing fountains in Vegas. We all decide somewhere in life, often daily, that it is easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for permission, because Jesus does not grant permission. He knows this, knowing that we would rather reign in hell than serve in heaven. He knows our hearts have a problem and he even lists the problems out for us. “From within people, from their hearts, come evil thoughts, unchastity, theft, murder, adultery, greed, malice, deceit, licentiousness, envy, blasphemy, arrogance, folly. All these evils come from within and they defile.” (Mk 7:18-23)Perhaps it has always been this way, but America in the 21st century chooses to ignore these difficult sayings of Jesus. It's pretty safe in most groups to bring up the cool version of Jesus. But mention quotes like this and you may get the stink-eye. People don't want the hard sayings, because that's where the going gets tough. If you stick to the forgiveness parts, you make more friends. Yes, Jesus forgives sins. Yes, we will sin because we are fallen. Yes, we must turn back to him to receive the forgiveness. But nowhere does it suggest, in any terms, that the laundry list of sins that he mentions are to be blessed or affirmed. What he is trying to tell us, in metaphor, in teachings, in literal words, and in his life itself is that you must recognize that you are a sinner, that your interior self has a fatal flaw, which is why you sin. Somehow we twist this around and say there is no such thing as sin, which is the opposite of what Jesus is trying to say. We're just so good at finding arguments to eat of the fruit of the garden and inventing reasons to build the Tower of Babel. This is the point. It's the point of Israel preserving the faith in one God and the point of Jesus as the one God coming here to straighten us out. He has to chase out the bad spirits, because they are everywhere and reigning supreme. These spirits harass and bother us in order for them to have power over God's creation. Since they can never defeat God, they try to destroy us, God's most beloved creatures. For a long time, as the mythologies openly tell us, the powers of the world had turned away from the "Most High God," and only by the path of the chosen nation did we return to worship of the one true God. Without Israel we would be engaging only in tree worship and building golden calves.The story of Israel is literally the story of a people setting their faces like flint and stepping into a storm of slings and arrows to return the true God to glory in this world. His glory was never lost in reality, but the nations, the "powers and principalities," had distracted us from the truth. The salvation history of Israel is a noble story of suffering and hope, a fight for truth, against an onslaught of falsehoods and cruelty. Yes, the Israelites committed many war crimes themselves in this journey, which is why all of it is recorded. They slaughtered and were slaughtered, but all of this history was for the greater glory of the God that the world wanted to kill once and for all.What God accomplished through the people of Israel is so powerful that I have yet to fully appreciate it, because it is a long and forbidding act of faith, hope, and love for the one true God that allowed for the savior to come to us, and while I know the will of God obviously guided it to completion, much heartache and suffering traveled with them in those many years of swimming upstream. The real ending to the story, as I see it, is this:The cultures surrounding had already moved on from the one God. He was considered dead, something from the past, an artifact of history. Only one group of people knew that he was real, that he was still present, that he was alive, and that he was tending to his sheep. The world wanted to kill God, just as many do today, and the declaration of Nietzsche that "God is dead" is as false when he wrote those words, as it was in the desert of the Exodus, as it is today with the New Atheists claim. The truth is that people who have rejected God want the comfort of believing that God is dead. Those in rebellion desire certainty that God is dead. Oddly enough, the Pharisees who were trying to protect the one true God, also wanted God dead, and in the twist of all twists, the chosen people and the pagan polytheist Romans banded together to do just that. They literally killed God.Or they tried. They tried so hard. They nailed the incarnated one true God to a cross and then to be certain he was dead, they ran a spear into his side. They got what they wanted.But that's the funny thing about getting what you want. In the end it's what you want the most that will purify you, will burn you, will leave you empty, will destroy you, and finally will set you free. Because just when the Romans and Pharisees got what they wanted, in killing God, they wiped their hands and considered the task taken care of once and for all. Three days later, they discovered that they could not kill God.Getting what they want did not play out as expected, because it never does. Instead, like it always does, it purified them. The Romans, hoping to avoid religious disputes and stick with the easy, non-demanding false gods, were complicit in God's murder and soon after were converted away from their polytheism, back to the one true God. The death of Jesus unwound thousands of years of false idols. The Pharisees, thinking they would gain power, saw the temple destroyed 40 years after the crucifixion, and with it their power and influence faded away. Those who converted, like Saul who became Paul, found new life. The rule always holds. What you desire most, if you get it, will take you somewhere very unexpected. This is a public episode. If you would like to discuss this with other subscribers or get access to bonus episodes, visit www.whydidpetersink.com
It's monsoon season in Las Vegas. Storms have caused damage inside some of the hotel casinos. We have a recap. Plus, U2 is announced as the first residency at the MSG Sphere when it opens in 2023. The $1.8 billion arena sits next to the Venetian. Bellagio's Conservatory and Botanical Gardens is now offering a dining experience like no other! Details about the debut of The Garden Table. Calvin Harris is making a one time appearance at XS nightclub at the Wynn Las Vegas. Toca Madera opens at Aria and could be the next celebrity hot spot. Lisa Vanderpump's new restaurant and lounge at Paris is bringing in the crowds! Dayna checks out Gordon Ramsay Steak. In tips, Sean hits a vintage record store and Dayna has dessert at the bar at Mon Ami Gabi. Support the show
Crunchy? Chewy? A pristine hole? Hand-rolled? And what about the water? They're all questions that have surrounded the quest for, and snobbery about, the perfect bagel. Few in Vegas know bagels better than Sonia El-Nawal. After working in top kitchens on the east coast and in Vegas, Sonia ran Rooster Boy in Summerlin - where she developed what she calls the Bodega Bagel. And that's the name of her new shop that's set to open this fall in Henderson. Al, Rich, and guest host Symantha Gemini Stevens dive into bagel talk - and literally into bagels as they record at Sadelle's in the Bellagio. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
In this week's episode of Living in the Sprawl: Southern California's Most Adventurous Podcast, host Jon Steinberg shares his list of 10 destination resorts to satisfy any long weekend in Las Vegas. His list includes: New York, New York, Resorts World, Golden Nugget, MGM Grand, Caesar's Palace, The Mirage, The Wynn, The Venetian, The Cosmopolitan and the Bellagio.Instagram: @livinginthesprawlpodcastEmail: firstname.lastname@example.orgWebsite: www.livinginthesprawlpodcast.comCheck out our favorite CBD gummy company...it helps us get better sleep and stay chill. Use code "SPRAWL" for 20% off. https://www.justcbdstore.com?aff=645Check out Goldbelly for all your favorite US foods to satisfy those cravings or bring back some nostalgia. Our favorites include Junior's Chessecakes from New York, Lou Malnati's deep dish pizza from Chicago and a philly cheesesteak from Pat's. Use the link https://goldbelly.pxf.io/c/2974077/1032087/13451 to check out all of the options and let them know we sent you.Use code "SPRAWL" for (2) free meals and free delivery on your first Everytable subscription.Support the podcast and future exploration adventures. We are working on unique perks and will give you a shout out on the podcast to thank you for your contribution!Living in the Sprawl: Southern California's Most Adventurous Podcast is on Podfanhttps://www.buymeacoffee.com/sprawlSupport the show
A Bunch of Leprechauns, Knife Play, and the Fountain at the Bellagio.Enjoy this montage episode featuring extra interview segments from Billy Procida, PootieXXX, Dr. K, and Annabelle! Learn about in-shower enemas, sex trading cards, orgasming upside down, and more Sybian Trivia! I also have a very important announcement at the beginning of the episode.Didn't make sense not to live for... supporting Sexie Show.www.patreon.com/sexieshow
Florida Governor Rick DeSantis is upset that parents brought their children to a drag brunch in Miami club R House. DeSantis wants to stop this activity and is using a 1947 court ruling that says men who impersonate women in a suggestive way can be considered a public nuisance. Equality Florida is fighting back. Then, Raul Carbajal left his three-month-old Siberian Husky puppy in the car with his mouth taped shut while he gambled at the Bellagio. It was 113 degrees when police rescued the puppy and arrested Carbajal when his luck ran out. Finally, more and more retailers are locking up everyday goods to stop theft.Apple Podcasts: apple.co/1WwDBrCSpotify: spoti.fi/2pC19B1iHeart Radio: bit.ly/2n0Z7H1Tunein: bit.ly/1SE3NMbStitcher: bit.ly/1N97ZquGoogle Podcasts: bit.ly/1pQTcVWPandora: pdora.co/2pEfctjYouTube: bit.ly/1spAF5aAlso follow Tim and John on:Facebook: www.facebook.com/focusgroupradioTwitter: www.twitter.com/focusgroupradioInstagram: www.instagram.com/focusgroupradio
Eugene Katchalov is a World Series of Poker winner and World Poker Tour champion with more than $9.2 million in career live tournament earnings. The Ukrainian-born and New York-raised pro won the 2007 Doyle Brunson Five Diamond World Poker Classic for a massive $2.5 million and also the 2011 $1,500 stud event at the WSOP for his bracelet. The 41-year-old has come close to earning the Triple Crown title on a few occasions, most notably taking third at EPT Barcelona and also finishing runner-up at EPT Deauville. He does have three EPT side events wins, including a $1.5 million payday in the $100,000 Super High Roller at the PokerStars Caribbean Adventure. He's also played in some of the biggest cash games in the world, including the infamous Molly's Game. Katchalov has spent the last few years focusing on Qlash, his esports company with fellow poker pro Luca Pagano, and moved back to Kiev with his wife. In February of this year, however, he was forced to flee his home following Russia's invasion of Ukraine.Highlights from this interview include leaving the Soviet Union, having a professional gambler for a dad, the symbolic freedom of Coca Cola, speaking Russlish, NYU business school, day trading, watching Antonio Esfandiari get felted, running well at Bellagio, buying a place for his grandparents, a $400k pot with a record label exec, beating Daniel Negreanu for a sponsorship, Korea trips with ElkY, misreading his hand in a high roller, Robin Williams and Angelina Jolie, and onion phobias.
Russell Crow is a big fun tub of goo. Doxing Dunaway's dealer. Use the Same Hole. He's Hot blooded, boosted and see, got a fever of 103. The Same Caan Text. The Vegas Booster. Sweaty Lyft driver, where can I take you? The Age of These Kids are the Stranger Thing. Upside Down Cats. Too Much Vax, Not Enough Wax. It's mostly the cocaine. Put the Mental Condom On. MGM has the best streaming unless you count the fountains at the Bellagio. Minor Spoilers From MajorSpoilers and more on this episode of The Morning Stream.
Russell Crow is a big fun tub of goo. Doxing Dunaway's dealer. Use the Same Hole. He's Hot blooded, boosted and see, got a fever of 103. The Same Caan Text. The Vegas Booster. Sweaty Lyft driver, where can I take you? The Age of These Kids are the Stranger Thing. Upside Down Cats. Too Much Vax, Not Enough Wax. It's mostly the cocaine. Put the Mental Condom On. MGM has the best streaming unless you count the fountains at the Bellagio. Minor Spoilers From MajorSpoilers and more on this episode of The Morning Stream.
Join Joyce & Mary Pipher, psychologist and writer, for a casual conversation you can walk to. This beautiful conversation reminds us that there's always a way to find light, especially when you pay attention. And though we may walk through sunlight and shadows, there is impermanence in it all. About MaryMary Pipher graduated in Cultural Anthropology from the University of California at Berkeley in 1969 and received her Ph.D. from the University of Nebraska in Clinical Psychology in 1977. She has worked most of her life as a therapist and she has taught at the University of Nebraska and Nebraska Wesleyan University. She was a Rockefeller Scholar in Residence at Bellagio and has received two American Psychological Association Presidential Citations, one of which she returned to protest psychologists' involvement in enhanced interrogations at Guantanamo. Mary is the author of ten books, which include three New York Times best sellers. Her most recent book, A Life in Light, was just recently published.Connect with MaryWebsite: https://marypipher.com/Book: A Life in Light: Meditations on Impermanence
There's been a drought in Arizona, so people need flood insurance. How to make Vegas' Bellagio fountain into a water-saving device. Turi vs the DMV. So far the DMV is winning. Chicagoans sound like geese. Marci's name presents problems. The joy of a new air conditioner.
Armando Besio"Zelbio Cult"Torna Zelbio Cult e festeggia la sua quindicesima edizione con la sua formula ben riuscita: sul palcoscenico salgono protagonisti del teatro, della letteratura, dell'arte, del giornalismo, tutti invitati a dialogare con il curatore e con il pubblico nel teatro comunale di Zelbio, un suggestivo paese di 200 abitanti a 800 metri di altezza tra i monti e i boschi che guardano il lago di Como.Armando Besio, con gli amici del Comitato cultura di Zelbio, e con il sostegno della Pro Loco e della Biblioteca comunale, ha costruito un vivace calendario per l'edizione in arrivo. L'apertura di quest'anno è sabato 9 luglio con lo spettacolo - reading: “Dora pro nobis”: tratto dal libro Malamore di Concita De Gregorio, Federica Fracassi (voce) e Lamberto Curtoni (violoncello, autore delle musiche) duettano sulla tumultuosa relazione tra Dora Maar, grande fotografa esponente del Surrealismo, e Picasso. A lei – sua musa ispiratrice - si deve tutta la documentazione fotografica sulla realizzazione del quadro Guernica: la loro travagliata relazione durò 10 anni, e Dora ne uscì devastata, pagando un prezzo altissimo con la reclusione in una clinica per la salute mentale. Protagonista di primo piano della scena teatrale italiana, Federica Fracassi interpreta Dora con grande intensità e sensibilità, accompagnata dal violoncello di Lamberto Curtoni, con cui dà voce a Picasso. Venerdì 15 luglio si continua con la lectio magistralis di Flavio Caroli in cui racconta le sette rivoluzioni che hanno segnato l'arte del secondo dopoguerra, partendo dall'ultimo saggio “I sette pilastri dell'arte di oggi. Da Pollock alle bufere del nuovo millennio” (Mondadori). Dopo averci fatto innamorare delle opere d'arte del passato, il noto storico dell'arte torna a Zelbio per raccontare il suo “colpo di fulmine con il genio del Duemila”, di cui individua le fondamenta da cui partire per apprezzare l'arte di oggi. All'origine dei tanti linguaggi dell'arte contemporanea, Caroli identifica sette rivoluzioni maturate a partire dagli anni della Seconda guerra mondiale. L'avventura non può che cominciare con l'Action Painting e le tele di Jackson Pollock per arrivare a Marina Abramovic e a Kapoor, passando per la Pop Art e l'Arte concettuale. Una serata che mescola l'arte con i ricordi personali e gli aneddoti del professor Caroli, accompagnati dalle immagini dei capolavori degli ultimi settant'anni. Si parla di fumetti sabato 23 luglio con Michele Masiero, direttore editoriale della Sergio Bonelli, “mitica” casa editrice che pubblica TEX e che quest'anno compie 80 anni. L'eroe più popolare del West e il più conosciuto di sempre per gli appassionati di fumetti western è stato creato da Giovanni Luigi Bonelli nel 1948 e ha appassionato intere generazioni. Ancora oggi l'unica definizione per Tex Willer è “una leggenda”, anche perché è il più longevo personaggio del fumetto italiano e – insieme a Superman e Batman – uno dei più duraturi del fumetto mondiale. Avventure, aneddoti e segreti del personaggio che ancora oggi ha centinaia di migliaia di affezionati lettori. Domenica 24 luglio si conferma l'appuntamento con la musica classica in collaborazione con il Festival di Bellagio e del Lago di Como con il concertoBellagio Festival Orchestra, il solista Raffaele Trevisani (flauto) e con musiche di Luigi Boccherini, Gaetano Donizetti e Saverio Mercadante (questo appuntamento è alle ore 17.00 nella Chiesa di San Paolo Converso).Si passa poi al tema “Lo sport, che passione” nell'incontro di venerdì 29 luglio con Giorgio Teruzzi: giornalista sportivo e scrittore di fama, autore di testi per il teatro e per il cinema, ha cominciato a lavorare con Beppe Viola presso l'agenzia Magazine. Da allora, ha seguito e raccontato il mondo dello sport. Una serata con una carrellata di storie e personaggi che hanno toccato il cuore raccontati da un campione del giornalismo italiano. Sabato 6 agosto al centro della scena c'è Fëdor Dostoevskij: nel 2021 cadeva il duecentesimo anno dalla sua nascita e le sue opere sono state celebrate ovunque con convegni, incontri e pubblicazioni ad hoc. Quest'anno la figura del più grande scrittore russo è rimasta impigliata nella polemica relativa al conflitto Russia-Ucraina. Parlare di Dostoevskij adesso significa quindi gettare uno sguardo sugli angeli e sui demoni russi, e a farlo è Fausto Malcovati, uno dei più autorevoli slavisti italiani, docente di Lingua e Letteratura russa proprio dell'Università statale di Milano, autore del recente saggio “Un'idea di Dostoevskij” (Cuepress). I romanzi di Dostoevskij sono popolati da personaggi potenti: in taluni casi per la loro straordinaria forza interiore e profonda spiritualità, in altri per la loro arroganza, la perversione, la violenza. Il conflitto tra il bene e il male, tra volontà di superare le proprie contraddizioni e la fragilità con cui ci si abbandona ai propri vizi è costante in tutti i romanzi. È faticoso il cammino della rettitudine, è faticoso assumersi fino in fondo la responsabilità dei propri atti: ma questo è il cammino che deve intraprendere chi vuole raggiungere la maturità, la saggezza. C'è dunque il cammino degli angeli e quello dei demoni: siamo dotati di libero arbitrio, ci dice Dostoevskij, sta a noi scegliere. Sabato 13 agosto si parla di “Un mondo unico al mondo” (Cinquesensi editore), ovvero del lago di Como: a raccontare la realtà lacustre meno evidente e scontata, il particolare più identificante tra immagini e aneddoti, uniti dal filo rosso dell'amicizia che li lega da anni, sono il fotografo Carlo Borlenghi, lo scrittore Andrea Vitali e l'editrice Sara Vitali. Le immagini di Borlenghi, firma della fotografia internazionale e noto per gli scatti della vela a livello internazionale, immortalano una terra – la sua – che si identifica con l'acqua. Dopo aver girato il mondo seguendo regate e coppe veliche, si è fermato a casa – forzatamente negli anni della pandemia – e ha scelto di raccontare il Lario come una narrazione d'impressioni sulla potente natura di questa terra che suscita ammirazione, spesso sorpresa, talvolta emozionata riflessione. A chiudere, venerdì 19 agosto la serata che unisce le immagini e i racconti di Pietro Del Re, inviato per le pagine degli Esteri di Repubblica, specialista del continente africano e sempre in viaggio con la Leica. Titolo dell'incontro: “Mille Afriche. Dal Sahara allo Zimbawe, dal Mali al Mozambico” e ha come punto di partenza il suo ultimo libro, intitolato “Un po' più a Sud. Racconti africani” (Edizioni Iod), composto da immagini scattate in Africa nel corso di reportage realizzati per Repubblica. Il libro contiene 40 fotografie, tutte accompagnate da brevi racconti che descrivono conflitti, pestilenze e disastri ambientali, ma anche scene di vita quotidiana. Il libro contiene anche testi di Lucio Caracciolo e Denis Curti. Nella serata verrà anche presentata la onlus milanese Okapia, attiva in Rwanda e nella Repubblica Democratica del Congo. Il curatore della manifestazione Armando Besio: Genovese di nascita, giornalista, si è laureato in Storia dell'Arte con il professor Corrado Maltese presso l'Università di Genova, è stato cronista del Secolo XIX, inviato speciale del Lavoro, caposervizio del Venerdì di Repubblica e delle pagine culturali milanesi di Repubblica. Collabora con Il Venerdì di Repubblica, la Milanesiana di Elisabetta Sgarbi e il Circolo dei Lettori di Milano diretto da Laura Lepri. IL POSTO DELLE PAROLEascoltare fa pensarehttps://ilpostodelleparole.it/
Danny Ocean wants to score the biggest heist in history. He combines an eleven member team, including Frank Catton, Rusty Ryan and Linus Caldwell. Their target? The Bellagio, the Mirage and the MGM Grand. All casinos owned by Terry Benedict. It's not going to be easy, as they plan to get in secretly and out with $150 million - wait, no - It's like this but with Jennifer and the cast of SitcomDnD. Starring: Erin Keif, Waleed Mansour, Elizabeth Andrews, Sean Coyle, and Ben Briggs. Theme Song by: Arne Parrott Artwork by: Waleed Mansour Edited by: Sean Meagher Follow us on Twitter: @SitcomDnD Follow us on Instagram: @SitcomDnD Advertise on SitcomD&D via Gumball.fm Support our Patreon at Patreon.com/Sitcomdnd Like the show? Rate SitcomD&D 5 stars on Apple Podcasts and leave a review. See omnystudio.com/listener for privacy information.
Nick Schulman is an American professional poker player and poker commentator. He has won 3 WSOP gold bracelets so far; as well as a WPT title in 2005, at the time, the youngest player ever to do so. Overall, he has over $13 million live tournament cashes, which puts him in the top 100 on the worldwide all-time money list and in the top 50 on the US all-time money list. He's also a regular in the world's most famous super high stakes cash game room, Bobby's Room at the Bellagio. Schulman is also known as a frequent commentator for ESPN's World Series of Poker coverage. In 2019, his offhand remark about the level of play in the WSOP Main Event caused some controversy in the online poker community. Listen to this latest episode of Winning The Game Of Life where Dan talks with Nick Schulman to discuss all things poker and taking the good in front of you. Making a living hustling at the pool table Similarities between poker and pool Learning poker through repetition and feel Garnering respect with an aggressive style of play Playing with no attachments and bringing your hutzpah Being yourself at the poker table and flowing how you flow Bad winners and bad losers as one in the same Finding the good in other players and taking it with you going forward Personal growth away from the poker table and the way of the samurai I hope you find this episode as informative and as exciting as we have. Nick Schulman is winning the game of life and his positive spin on things can help others win as well! Please let us know your thoughts about the episode! Connect with Nick Schulman: Facebook: @NickSchulman Instagram: @NickSchulman Twitter: @NickSchulman Connect with Dan Cates: Website: https://www.dancatesfoundation.com/ Instagram: @thedancates Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Joe Buscaino / Abortion Rights Rally – fireworks // Protests / Daytime Emmys / The Man from Toronto / Freddie Freeman Ring // DTLA Protests / Las Vegas Saving 10 billion Gallons of water // Bellagio Water Installation – During a Drought
Fast forward to February 2023 the expedition will have delivered ‘an approach to leadership that resonates with women'. This week we celebrate the expedition launch. In the huge global jigsaw, the expedition is only a tiny piece. But it's a critical one. Without it many of the other pieces will not achieve their potential. Because we need a mass of women the world over say ping “if that's leadership, I'm in”. When the expedition members meet together to work on the expedition collection - books, poems, music, film, talks,essays, paintings of every sort - we will be at Bellagio, guests of the Rockerfeller foundation on the shores of lake compo in northern Italy. What a glorious place to be together, thank you Deepali Khanna for your passion for the expedition and for making this happen. In this podcast I also interview Jude Kelly who with WOW is one of the biggest jigsaw pieces, my first question is why will the success of our tiny jigsaw piece be so crucial. I also interview Jude because she is one of my oldest and most inspiring friends. I could not possibly launch and lead and expedition without Jude's input
In this episode, Mary is joined by her long-time friend Jenn McCarron, Director of Legal Operations and Technology at Netflix. The pair discuss Jenn's career trajectory, the growth of legal ops, and the massively successful CLOC event they attended recently. Jenn takes us through the timeline of her career. Starting from when she was a child and wanted to be a cartoonist all the way to her present role as the director of legal operations at the world's largest streaming platform. Jenn provides great insight into the benefits of creativity in the legal ops space. She also shares how her own creativity has helped her in her career. Mary and Jenn also walk through the recent, in-person, CLOC event they attended in Las Vegas and discuss what it was that made it such a success. Jenn describes how they filled the Bellagio hotel to capacity with their attendees and Mary goes into detail about how the event moved people to tears. If you enjoyed today's show, please leave a 5-star review. You can find more information, as well as the resources mentioned in this episode, at ironcladapp.com.
This week the guys are all back together! Steve survives Vegas and may be going back sooner than later with plans for and engagement. Shout out Peppermint Hippo! Katie emails the pod to confess a bird-like Cheez-it sandwich. Cousin Lenny writes in to weigh in on how he eats an Oreo and the guys are onboard. Zack from Vaulted Wallets chimes in on Baseball vs Football, and going grey vs going bald. Talking Snack is back and it's bringing Taco Bell's Mexican Pizza (00:34:12). The Piazza Club at Citi Field blows Ben's B's off! Shout out Lago and Cafe Gelato inside of the Bellagio. Tom Brady gets 375 million reasons to hang it up from FOX. Pay Aaron Judge what he wants! Shoot your shot, Drew Smith! Mets fans have epic assist on twitter! Unofficial Links: Instagram - https://www.instagram.com/unofficial_pod/ (@unofficial_pod) Website - https://www.unofficialpod.com (www.unofficialpod.com) Email - Hi@uipodcast.com https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCxb295LgOPGf3AnpMnVwz8g (UI Podcast on YouTube) Unofficial Sponsors: https://www.amazon.com/Aluminum-Minimalist-Integrated-Expanding-Capacity/dp/B09L49NFY3/ref=mp_s_a_1_1?m=A1CSRHDH2QPKAY&marketplaceID=ATVPDKIKX0DER&qid=1649779502&s=merchant-items&sr=1-1 (Vaulted Wallets) https://www.shopzealcbd.com/ (Zeal CBD)
This week on the Honest AF Show: Daniella goes to Vegas where Frankie plays a crazy Punk rock club and on the way, hits the famous “Le Cirque” at the Bellagio followed by a “Cirque Du Soleil” show. Next, Daniella takes Frankie to a sex shop and comes back with a gift for Barbaranne. Meanwhile, the eclipse messes with Barbaranne's world when Zakk has his first show in San Diego since the pandemic and gets into a bus accident. (He's fine, but the bus had to be replaced) Daniella must pass up watching her friend play polo with Prince Harry and has a new TV show recommendation. (Sorry, you must listen to find out) The girls discuss how to Organize your home and of course, stand by for an amazing Barb's bag of tricks. Learn more about your ad choices. Visit megaphone.fm/adchoices
Snuff Bullet: Thanks to our Amber Heard doing drugs on the stand video we learn about the SNUFF BULLET! This is a real thing that is readily available!Evil Dead: The Game: Jim hopped on the Evil Dead videogame launch, add him if you got it! And Mike has tales of the Playdate console.Bus People In Real Life: Mike has tales of running into bus people without having to be on the bus!CAMP BLOOD!, CRAZY RALPH!, DEATH CURSE!, FRIDAY THE 13TH!, NBA JAM!, SHOOT THEM HOOPS!, COVID FREE!, 4 ADDED SOUNDS!, TWITCH!, NEW EMOTES!, KNUCKLES!, MOONFALL!, MOON CYCLES!, PERIOD!, WAVE!, COMPLIMENTS!, SOUTH SHORE BAR STYLE PIZZA!, TACO PIZZA!, HAMBURGER PIZZA!, SPENCER'S PIZZA!, LYNWOOD CAFE!, JOHNNY DEPP!, AMBER HEARD!, DOING COKE IN COURT!, COKEHEADS!, DEBATE!, CONTROVERSY!, TISSUE!, CLICK!, SNUFF BULLET!, AMAZON!, COKE ADDICT!, BUMP!, HOLLYWOOD TRICK!, MAKE HERSELF CRY!, COCAINE CLICK!, WRESTLING!, SNORT DISPENSER!, JORDAN!, VOICEMAIL!, DIE YOUNG!, THE ABORTED GOON!, GONNA BURN!, EVIL DEAD: THE GAME!, FRIDAY THE 13TH!, DEAD BY DAYLIGHT!, SUMMON A BOSS!, DEMON!, SURVIVOR!, EVOLVE!, TEXAS CHAIN SAW MASSACRE GAME!, THE PLAYDATE CONSOLE!, CHIP SHORTAGE!, DELAYS!, HANDHELD!, PORTABLE!, CRANK!, INDIE GAMES!, NO BACK LIGHT!, PC GAMING!, STEAMDECK!, NVIDIA SHIELD!, NINTENDO SWITCH!, NEW CONSOLE!, SHRINKFLATION!, APPLIANCES!, LOGISTICS!, SUPPLY CHAIN!, LIGHT AT THE END OF THE TUNNEL!, VENDOR!, BOSCH!, HOME DEPOT!, LOWES!, COVID!, ISLAND RANGE HOOD!, RAY TRACING!, IN N OUT!, ONIONS!, ANIMAL STYLE!, HOMELESS!, CRAZY!, BOTTLE TRICKS!, COCKTAIL!, TRASH THROW!, BETTER THAN I THOUGHT I WAS!, GAS STATION!, TACO BELL!, KNOWS YOUR NAME!, THROW CANS AWAY!, ASK FOR MONEY!, TATTOOS!, TANGLED!, LAS VEGAS STRIP!, SHOWGIRLS!, SUPERHEROES!, DISNEY CHARACTERS!, BELLAGIO!, WATER SHOW!, SHAMELESS!, EYE CONTACT!, BEGGING!, HARASSED!, PANHANDLING!, CHEAPENS THE VEGAS EXPERIENCE!, PSYCHOPATHIC TOUR!You can find the videos from this episode at our Discord RIGHT HERE!
Our guest today is an entrepreneur and inventor with multiple patents. He is the Founder and CEO of COCO TAPS, a Las Vegas company that is the first to ever have been certified as a ZERO-WASTE company. He invented a tap device to turn a raw coconut into a drinkable & resealable container! It has been called the Tesla of coconut water. His product is sold on cruise ships and theme parks in Miami, Jamaica, Puerto Rico, and many other places including over 20 Las Vegas resorts like Aria, Bellagio, Caesar's Palace, Wynn, Waldorf Astoria, Cosmopolitan Las Vegas, over 60 restaurants, and 40 convenience stores. He was featured on the hit TV shows SHARK TANK and THE PROFIT. He competed in two Ironmans in Hawaii. He plays the ukulele and the piano, and brings unmistakable energy anywhere he goes. Our topic? DISTINCTION. Brad and Coco Vinny discuss how to have skills with both things and people, living congruent with your values and beliefs, being respected and trusted, presenting yourself with strength and dignity, and being effective in leadership.