Sunday, October 19, 2014
A New Form of Protest: Taking Note - The Editorial Page Editor's Blog ‘Chant Down the Walls’ of the Metropolitan Detention Center By Lawrence Downes
Immigrant-rights advocates are singing in protest in downtown Los Angeles, outside the Metropolitan Detention Center, a federal lockup where noncitizens are detained by Immigration and Customs Enforcement. They are protesting the Obama administration’s aggressive deportation policies and the lack of action on immigration reform.
The idea arose after a group of about 200 day laborers marched to a protest at the prison in August, and heard pounding on the windows above them. A day-laborer band, Los Jornaleros del Norte, turned its loudspeakers toward the building, and serenaded the detainees with cumbias about migrant empowerment. The band was there earlier this week and plans to be there every Monday afternoon, from now until whenever.
Friday, October 10, 2014
As a member of the avant-garde artist collective Fluxus, Yoko Ono gained notice in New York’s underground art scene in the 1960s for her conceptual art that synthesized a wide variety of media and traditions. After gaining international fame as John Lennon’s wife and collaborator, she weathered controversy to prove herself a legitimate and enduring artist and musician. She has released numerous solo albums since the 1970s, and continues to showcase her art in exhibitions, performances, and retrospectives.
John Lennon was the center of a famous U.S. immigration case decades ago that continues to be discussed.
Thursday, October 9, 2014
From the Bookshelves: "I Hear America Singing": Folk Music and National Identity by Rachel Clare Donaldson
"I Hear America Singing": Folk Music and National Identity by Rachel Clare Donaldson
Folk music is more than an idealized reminder of a simpler past. It reveals a great deal about present-day understandings of community and belonging. It celebrates the shared traditions that define a group or nation. In America, folk music—from African American spirituals to English ballads and protest songs—renders the imagined community more tangible and comprises a critical component of our diverse national heritage.
In "I Hear America Singing," Rachel Donaldson traces the vibrant history of the twentieth-century folk music revival from its origins in the 1930s through its end in the late 1960s. She investigates the relationship between the revival and concepts of nationalism, showing how key figures in the revival—including Pete Seeger, Alan Lomax, Moses Asch, and Ralph Rinzler—used songs to influence the ways in which Americans understood the values, the culture, and the people of their own nation.
As Donaldson chronicles how cultural norms were shaped over the course of the mid-twentieth century, she underscores how various groups within the revival and their views shifted over time. "I Hear America Singing" provides a stirring account of how and why the revivalists sustained their culturally pluralist and politically democratic Americanism over this tumultuous period in American history.
Tuesday, September 30, 2014
If you only know Mathangi "Maya" Arulpragasam -aka- M.I.A. from her 2012 Super Bowl performance where she infamously extended her middle finger to the camera, you're missing out. M.I.A. is the daughter of a Tamil activist who spent her early years hiding from the Sri Lankan army and, ultimately, ended up a refugee in London. Her music makes a great accompaniment to immigration law.
It’s about people driving cabs all day and living in a s—ty apartment and appearing really threatening to society. But not being so. Because, by the time you’ve finished working a 20-hour shift, you’re so tired you [just] want to get home to the family. I don’t think immigrants are that threatening to society at all. They’re just happy they’ve survived some war somewhere.
Clever listeners will realize that Paper Planes samples from The Clash's 1982 "Straight to Hell," another immigration anthem.
Friday, September 26, 2014
The prolific and enduring songwriter Paul Anka began his career as a teenager, scoring his first No. 1 hit with the single “Diana,” which he wrote and performed, in 1957. After a number of hits, he turned to songwriting, composing for Buddy Holly, Connie Francis, Frank Sinatra, and penning the Academy Award-nominated theme for the 1962 film The Longest Day, in which he also appeared. In the mid-1970s, Anka returned as a recording artist with the single “(You’re) Having My Baby” and others. He remains active as both a songwriter and recording artist.
Saturday, September 20, 2014
Friday, September 5, 2014
After studying dance in Africa and Europe, and teaching at the Duncan Centre Conservatory in Prague, Michel Kouakou formed his own dance company, Daara Dance. With this group he performs internationally, while also continuing to teach in Europe, Asia, and the U.S. He has stated that he strives to build an “artistic bridge” through dance between Cote d’Ivoire and his adopted country. In 2012, he was awarded the Vilcek Prize for Creative Promise in Dance.
Wednesday, September 3, 2014
CNN reports that Justin Bieber was arrested on assault and dangerous driving charges stemming from an alleged fight after his ATV collided with a mini-van in Canada last Friday. As previously reported on ImmigrationProf, Bieber has had a number of criminal problems that ultimately cause him immigrtaion problems in teh United States.
Friday, August 15, 2014
Tuesday, August 12, 2014
Regina Spektor is an American singer-songwriter and pianist. Her music is associated with the anti-folk scene centered on New York City's East Village.
Spektor was born in Moscow, Soviet Union, in 1980 to a musical family. Growing up in Moscow, Regina learned to play the piano. She grew up listening to classical music and famous Russian bards like Vladimir Vysotsky and Bulat Okudzhava. She was also exposed to rock-and-roll bands such as The Beatles, Queen, and The Moody Blues. The family left the Soviet Union in 1989, when Regina was nine. Regina had to leave her piano behind.
Wednesday, August 6, 2014
Nadja Salerno-Sonnenberg is known worldwide for her unorthodox style and stage presence. Her professional career began in 1981, when she won the Walter W. Naumburg International Violin Competition, and she has received many awards and honors since, including the Avery Fisher Prize in 1999. The documentary Speaking in Strings, which focused intensely on Salerno-Sonnenberg’s life, was nominated for an Academy Award in 2000. In addition to her work on stage and in the recording studio, Salerno-Sonnenberg has won praise for her role as music director of the New Century Chamber Orchestra, in San Francisco.
Sunday, July 27, 2014
A member of various bands since his teenage years, rock star Peter Frampton was a session musician and had an overlooked solo career before hitting it big with the release of his 1976 album Frampton Comes Alive!, which eventually sold more than 15 million copies worldwide. Recently staging a major comeback, he won a Grammy Award for Best Pop Instrumental for his 2006 album Fingerprints, considered by some to be his best studio album.
Frampton has lived in London and the USA, including Westchester County, New York, Los Angeles, and Nashville. He moved to Indian Hill, an eastern suburb of Cincinnati, Ohio in 2000. ] Frampton cites the events of September 11 as hisreason for becoming a U.S. citizen. He currently lives in Nashville, Tennessee.
Friday, July 18, 2014
Sheena Easton began her singing career when she worked for a band in the evenings while studying to be a speech and drama teacher at the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Dance. It was after graduating that she won a BBC-sponsored singing competition. This led to her being featured in the BBC documentary series The Big Time, in 1980, which followed her quest to become a pop star. Her first U.S. single, “Morning Train,” topped the charts in 1981 and her eponymous debut album went gold. Shortly after, she performed the theme song to the James Bond film For Your Eyes Only and won the 1981 Grammy award for Best New Artist. In 1984, she reinvented her image and gained renewed popularity with two risque and controversial singles, “Strut” and “Sugar Wells,” the latter of which was written and produced by Prince. Later in her career, she began to focus on acting, appearing in the television series Miami Vice and the Broadway play Man of LaMancha.
Thursday, July 17, 2014
Friday, July 4, 2014
Wednesday, June 4, 2014
Today is the 30th anniversary of the release of Bruce Springsteen's album Born in the USA. A critical and commercial success, the lyrics of songs on the album expressed signs of hope in the daily fight of ordinary people pursuing the American Dream. The title track adresses the negative effects of the Vietnam War on Americans, but often is misunderstood to be a patriotic or nationalistic anthem.
Sunday, April 27, 2014
USA Today reported earlier this week that, according to various news reports, Justin Bieber was released after being questioned by U.S. Customs and Border Protection officers for nearly four hours in Los Angeles. He was returning from a trip to Asia.
Bieber has had some legal challenges: "He's scheduled to go on trial in Miami in July on charges of driving under the influence and resisting arrest. A misdemeanor assault case in Toronto is awaiting trial, and in Los Angeles, prosecutors are considering whether to bring a felony vandalism case against him over eggs thrown at a neighbor's house."
Sunday, February 23, 2014
CNN reports that Maria von Trapp, the last of the singing children immortalized in the movie musical "The Sound of Music," died last week at her Vermont home of natural causes. The native of Austria was 99.
The von Trapp family fled Austria after the German annexation and came to the United States in 1938 and settled in Vermont in 1942
Maria became a naturalized U.S. citizen in 1948 and lived at her family's lodge in Stowe, Vermont. She was the last survivor of the seven original von Trapp children.
Thursday, February 20, 2014
Right wing rocker Ted Nugent, with his choice words for President Obama's ancestral background, has caused a stir in Texas as he campaigns for Republican candidate for Governor Greg Abbott. One can only hope that Democratic candidate Wendy Davis will benefit.
Makes you wonder who is in a Stranglehold now.