Ithaca Blog

Thursday, April 30, 2009

GrassRoots Performers For 2009

GrassRoots has announced its performers list for the 2009 festival.

Among the new headliners are Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings, Bela Fleck, Oumou Sangare, Pine Leaf Boys, and Toots and the Maytals.

The full, current list can be seen at The actual schedule is not yet done.

Tomorrow, Friday 1 May, is the final day for the "Early Bird" ticket price of $75 for the four day event. Afterwards, the Advance price is $95.

Tickets are available here at Small World Music, 614 W. State St., down the driveway. We're here 11 a.m. - 6 p.m. Please bring cash or check for ticket purchases.

Steve Burke
for Small World Music and Ithaca Blog

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Pete Seeger Birthday Bash in Ithaca, Sunday 3 May

Music lovers in Ithaca are staging a party to celebrate Pete Seeger's 90th birthday this weekend.

The event is at the Small Pavilion in Stewart Park, from 12 to 6 pm. It is sponsored by the Cornell Folk Song Society, the Bound For Glory radio program, and others.

Pete will not be there in person. We are happy to say he also will not be there in spirit, in the expression that people use about someone dead. Pete is live and kicking, and he will be feted that night by a group of stellar musicians at Madison Square Garden.

Here at Small World Music, we have Pete's autograph on an Ithaca Hour note on our wall. We got it when we traveled to Beacon a few years ago at Pete's request to talk to a community group there about starting their own local currency.

The note is not for sale, but Pete's CDs are, including his release from earlier this year. We also have a number of collectible Seeger LPs at very reasonable prices.

Happy birthday to a great musician, American, and world citizen.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca Blog

Last Week For GrassRoots "Early Bird" Tickets

This is the final week for discount "Early Bird" tickets to the GrassRoots Festival.

On May 1, the Early Bird price of $75 for the 4-day festival ends, and the cost goes up to $95, until the day of the show, when it again rises.

Tickets are available at Small World Music. We're here from 11 a.m - 6 p.m.

GrassRoots does not give us credit card capacity, so please bring cash or check for payment.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca Blog and Small World Music

Friday, April 24, 2009

Plenty of Music, April 24 - 26

It's practically supernatural that, on a weekend when temperate spring emerges, there are so many places to go to hear music and socialize.

Fri. 4/24: Bayou Road Krewe brings the sounds of the southern swamp to the swinging State Street scene of Felicia's happy hour. 5:30 pm.

Andy Culpepper palys flamenco guitar at the Smart Monkey Cafe, 6:30.

John Brown's Body at Castaway's. SOJA is a pretty respectable opening act. 8 pm.

A GrassRoots preview with reggae from the Overtakers, and fiddle tunes from John Specker. At the Rongo, 9 pm.

A big quadruple bill at the Lost Dog: Urban Horse Thieves, Hee Haw Nightmare, ZipWire, and Steve Gollnick. 9 pm.

* * *

Sat. 4/25: Emma's Revolution in a Cornell Folk Song Club show at 165 McGraw Hall, 8 pm. Discount advance tickets available at Small World Music.

Boy With A Fish at the Chapter House, 10 pm.

* * *

Sun. 4/26: "Healthy Food For All" benefit at Castaways, 3 pm, with Hee Haw Nightmare, Evil City String Band, The Talktomes, and Thousands of One.

have fun -
Steve Burke
for Ithaca Blog

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Of Course, Obama Wants To Prosecute Cheney

As a partisan, patriot, decent person and, especially, as the one who has to clean up the horrific messes of the Bush administration around the world, there is probably no one who would like Dick Cheney prosecuted more than Barack Obama.

But, as a politician, he knows the last thing he should do is even hint at that.

In baseball, they call it tipping your pitch. In boxing, telegraphing your punch.

President Obama's job is to build the case, quietly. No doubt his able and energetic inner circle is at work on it.

Obama went to the CIA to publicly absolve the underlings who carried out the Bush/Cheney orders for torture.

This does not relax Cheney and his cohorts. Just the opposite. If the new administration were concerned with expediency rather than justice, it would go after a few little guys, and wrap it up.

That isn't happening.

Obama's adminstration will spring when the time is right. The time is right when the public makes it right.

Keep up the pressure. Obama will strike when he can say he has no choice.

Steve Burke
for Ithaca Blog

Thursday, April 16, 2009

Record Store Day at Small World Music

This Saturday is National Record Store Day. At Small World Music (physical home of Ithaca Blog), we don't have any events per se, but we do have a sale.

All new items are 10% off. All used items are 20% off.

For all you vinyl people (many have been writing us about this Day), the 20% level includes all our vinyl. We have hundreds of LPs at $1 each. We also have collectibles and hard-to-finds, from rock and roll to blues, reggae,, folk, bluegrass, jazz, international, etc.

Small World Music is down the driveway at 614 W. State Street. Hours are 11 - 6, Tuesday through Saturday. Phone is 256-0428.

Steve Burke
for Small World Music and Ithaca Blog

Saturday, April 11, 2009

NY Times Poll: Grateful Dead Show At Cornell Best Ever

The erstwhile Grateful Dead are touring again - now known simply as the Dead, with the death of Jerry Garcia (though logically, perhaps they should be the Grateful).

It might not be a big deal to a lot of people, but it apparently is to NY Times readers, who have made the Dead story the paper's #1 e-mailed feature.

If you go to the story, you can vote for the Grateful Dead's #1 show of all time. Even if you don't know or care, you can do a civic act by voting for their show at Cornell on 8 May 1977. Currently, in fact, that show is polling #1 by a comfortable margin.

Here on Ithaca Blog, you can also read the fascinating story (a first-hand account) of how one could gain admittance to that show with a sandwich from Tennessee. Just go to the "Search Blog" space at the top of this page, and search for "Tennessee sandwich." You'll see the posting, from the 30th anniversary of the show, May 2007. (You'll also see this posting again, as we just used the phrase "Tennessee sandwich" here. Twice.)

Steve Burke
for Ithaca Blog

Thursday, April 09, 2009

Easter Joke

This is one of our favorite theological anecdotes. (Ellen Grady's, too. )

It actually takes place on a Holy Thursday, which is today.

It's 5 o'clock and St. Peter is wrapping it up for the day at the gates in Heaven. He checks in with God.

"Well, busy day," St. Peter says. "We were hoping to get out of here on time, with the holiday and all. Then, a minute ago, three guys show up from Brooklyn.

"They're wiseguys. Professional hitmen. Hundreds of murders. They're here because they were setting a bomb on a guy's car and it blew up on them.

"I think we can knock this one right out. Open-and-shut, straight consignment to Hell." He looks at his clipboard. "Any problem?"

God says, "Well, I understand you wanting to get home, with the big weekend, but I'm feeling especially merciful today, with Easter here.

"So, I tell you what let's do. Not to keep you too long, just ask these guys one question: 'What Is Easter?' If even one of them can I.D. it, he has an inkling of redemption, and we'll save their souls."

"You're the boss," says St. Peter.

St. Peter heads back to the gate, where the three guys are waiting. "Alright," he says, "you guys are getting a break like you wouldn't believe. If one of you can explain what the holiday of Easter is, you're all saved."

The first guy, Tony, steps forward. "Hey, I know what Easter is. It's a big holiday every winter. This big fat guy flies around the world in a cart with reindeers and gives out presents to the good little girls and boys."

"Wrong," says St. Peter.

The next guy, Fat Tony, steps up. "Hey, hold up, I know Easter. It's a holiday every summer, and everybody has hots dogs and hamburgers and lights off firecrackers."

"Sorry," says St. Peter.

"What are yous, nuts?," says the last guy, Big Fat Tony. "You're getting us killed here. I know what Easter is. They take a guy and nail him up on a big cross. Am I right?," he says.

"Keep going," says St. Peter.

"Yeah," says Big Fat Tony. "So the guy dies and they bury him in a cave. He stays in there three days. Then, on the third day, it turns out he's okay, and he comes out."

"Good," says St. Peter.

"Yeah," says Big Fat Tony. "He comes out of the cave, and he looks around. And then, if he don't see his shadow," ...

Steve Burke
for Ithaca Blog

Saturday, April 04, 2009

Binghamton Shootings: Easy Guns

With the shooting deaths yesterday in Binghamton, there has been much media speculation about the mental state of the killer, but little to how he got the guns.

The Brady Campaign to Prevent Gun Violence rates New York State only 51 on a scale of 100 for safe gun policies.

Except for New York City, with its stringent controls, handgun registrations are permanent, not renewed - unlike, for instance, car registrations and driver's licences.

Records are kept on handgun sales, but there is no state system to automatically identify a gun owner who has committed a crime or otherwise become ineligible to possess a gun.

New York City leads the way in controlling access to murder weapons, with its re-registrations, and its policy of needs assessment for handguns. The rest of the state is overdue in following.

Stephen Burke
for Ithaca Blog