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Tuesday, May 31, 2011

THERE IS ACTUALLY SOMEONE SANE IN GOVERNMENT!

Environmental Community Applauds and Supports NY Attorney General Schneiderman’s Lawsuit on Gas Drilling
 
 
New York, NY.  Environmental leaders applaud the announcement by the New York Attorney General, Eric T. Schneiderman, that today his office has filed legal action to ensure a full Environmental Impact Statement and review is completed before natural gas drilling regulations for the Delaware River Basin are finalized.  The Delaware Riverkeeper and the Hudson Riverkeeper, along with their supporting organizations, have vowed to intervene in the litigation to ensure a full hearing in the courts.
“The Delaware River is the largest water supply in the Mid Atlantic region, and is the foundation of our healthy environment and economy.  Considering the catastrophes gas drilling is inflicting on the waters, air, fish and wildlife, human communities and jobs across vast areas of our country, it is shocking that the Delaware River Basin Commission and its federal commissioner, the Army Corps of Engineers, would even consider evading and avoiding the laws that mandate a full environmental impact analysis of drilling before drafting regulations that would allow it to occur in our region,” says Maya van Rossum, the Delaware Riverkeeper.

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

MEMORIAL DAY WEEKEND WITH THE GINSENG ROOTS BAND



Memorial Day Weekend with Uke Jackson & the Ginseng Roots Band


Saturday Night -- The Buckwood Bistro Pig Roast -- 7 pm 'til midnight

Our good friend Chef Jean-Louis, formerly of Le Cirque in Manhattan, is slow roasting an organic pig from his farm to celebrate the opening of the Buckwood Bistro Tiki Bar. Can you say luau?

For you foodie Vipers, this is as local as it gets!

Of course, the Buckwood Bistro's entire delcious menu
http://www.buckwoodbistro.net/dinner_menu.htm will be availble to order from.

Or you can just come by for drinking and dancing along the river under the stars. We promise to feed your soul with hot roots tunes and sweet croons, as always.


Saturday May 28, Buckwood Bistro PIG ROAST

7 pm – Midnight

Buckwood Bistro
84 US Highway 46
Delaware, NJ 07833

(908) 475-5777

Free leis for all Vipers! No cover! Rain or shine (everything will move indoors in the event of precipitation.)

Chris McMillan and his wife are having a baby earlier that day, so the line up of musicians for this gig is Uke Jackson on ukulele, guitar, vocals; JJ Peppers on bass and soprano saxophones, and contrabass clarinet; Lee Thuderstix Scott on monkey skulls percussion; and Mike Green on cornet and flugelhorn (Mike is pictured standing on the left in the photo at the top of this email. Thanks to Lynn Redmile for the use of the photo!)

Big congrats to the McMillans on their impending new arrival!!!!


Sunday Afternoon -- Sangria Sunday at Cherry Valley Vineyards -- 1 pm - 5 pm

This is the first of several monthly appearances at the Sorrenti family's Cherry Valley Vineyards http://cherryvalleyvineyards.com/cherryvalleyvineyards/Home.html We'll be appearing as a trio -- Uke, JJ, and Thunderstix -- in their covered pavillion.

Sangria and light fare such as cheese platters will be served. There are also wine tastings and tours of the winery. This is a wonderful way to pass a Sunday afternoon.

The grounds are lovely and go on forever, and all of Cherry Valley was recently declared a national wildlife refuge.

The wine is tasty and locally grown and produced right where you'll be drinking it (unless you take home a few bottles).

We'll be doing all our popular saloon set numbers, and there's plenty of room for dancing. And remember -- you'll have all day Monday to recuperate.


Sunday May 29, Cherry Valley Vineyards

Sangria Sunday

1 pm – 5 pm

Cherry Valley Vineyards
Saylorsburg, PA 18353
570-992-2255

The line up of musicians for this gig is Uke Jackson on ukulele, guitar, vocals; JJ Peppers on bass and soprano saxophones, and contrabass clarinet; Lee Thuderstix Scott on monkey skulls percussion.

Friday, May 20, 2011

WEEKEND MUSIC

This weekend it's one of my songs, the title song in fact, from the show Terry Waldo wrote with me: Ukulele Land! It was posted here in the past, but why not? That's what it's all about for me this weekend -- playing ukulele.


Wednesday, May 18, 2011

FIRE ANDREA MITCHELL!!

Andrea Mitchell has about as much business calling herself a journalist as any resident of an Alzheimer's patient facility. Today viewers of MSNBC got to watch the wife of Alan Greenspan, one of the architects of deregulation for Wall Street and everybody else's financial problems, lob softball pitches to T. Boone Pickens, the wrinkled old energy billionaire behind the race to poison our water and air through natural gas drilling. Mitchell let Pickens lie his sorry butt off without once challenging his prevarications.

When Ms. Mitchell asked Pickens about the chemicals being used when fracking for natural gas, Pickens said that he has personally fracked 800,000 wells out west without ever polluting any drinking water. Personally? Really?

The old bovine excrement artist might be a geologist but he's not superman and he might look like Methuselah but he's not. If Pickens successfully fracked 10 wells a day -- again, personally?, really? -- it would take over 200 years for him to reach 800,000 wells.

Poobah Pickens also said that the only complaints were coming from eastern Pennsylvania, where I live. Obviously, neither Pickens nor Andrea Mitchell saw the Academy Award nominated documentary GASLAND by Josh Fox. If they did see it, they don't care about truth -- which is no surprise. The film maker documented more problems in the western USA, where the mighty Pickens drilled like John Henry hammered -- 800,000 wells, personally! -- than in Pennsylvania.

What information is available to anyone with half a brain and a few minutes of time to do some research is this: in 2005 Dick Cheney wrote what is called the "Halliburton loophole" in the the United States energy bill that year. It allows the natural gas industry to operate outside the regulations of the Clean Water Act and Clean Air Act. So, since 2005 the game has changed.

Fracking has been around since the 1940s. Then it was rightly called hydrofracturing -- water being hydro. Now it should be called chemofracturing -- because benzene and many other known cancer-causing chemical are the biggest part of what's making the drilling dangerous.

T. Boone knows this but he won't say it because it doesn't fit with his self-mythologizing, in which he saves America from the terrorist Arabs. (Oh yeah, he said being against natural gas is supporting terrorism and Mitchell looked very concerned.) Is T Boone willing to return to the pre-Cheney protections, when presumably he personally drilled the bulk of those 800,000 wells? Andrea Mitchell sure didn't ask him that.

As far as the rest of the blather between these two elitists, take a look at the recent Cornell University study that lays it out -- as an energy source, natural gas is dirtier than coal, and that's pretty damn dirty.

How could that be? T. Boone Pickens says natural gas clean. And he's John Henry. Andrea Mitchell? Who knows what she is other than a flack for the wealthy one per cent who are willing to poison all the rest of us to make their bank balances bigger.

Tuesday, May 17, 2011

DANCERS! MORE GIG PHOTOS!

Okay. The word is out. You can dance to the music of the Ginseng Roots Band. Check out Lisa and Mike, who simply showed up at the Pattenburg House this past Sunday after clicking our band page on Face Book. Big thanks to photog Lynn Redmile for the snaps!


 Ths couple was seriously swinging!

Meanwhile, Lady Ellen Marie showed up and did some whistling along with the band, and some dancing, too:


Mike Green joined us us on the band stand for the first time, but certainly not the last. His cornet and flugelhorn playing a nuanced and sweet. He's going to be with us on several gigs, including our upcoming Memorial Day PIG ROAST at the Buckwood Bistro. on Saturday May 28. Mike Green is standing on the left in these photos:







Here are some cool shots of Mr. Bass Saxophone himself -- JJ Peppers:




Mike Green with band member Chris McMillan -- where else do you hear double flugelhorns:

Here's Lee "Thunderstix" Scott on monkey skulls, cymbals, cow bell, and pots and pan lids. This is our "secret sauce":


Between the bass sax and Thunderstix on our original percussion kits (designed by JJ Peppers and Uke Jackson) we got the novelty music thing going on -- all day and all night!


And here's the Unknown Playwright on brass resonator ukulele and vocals:



Thanks again to the Pattenburg House for having us, and many many thanks to the dancers for turning out, to Lady Ellen Marie for whistling, and to Lynn Redmile for the photos! .

Monday, May 16, 2011

2011 VILLAGE VOICE OBIE AWARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCED

 

 WAKA WAKA were the winners of a $2,500 Village Voice Obie Grant. Pictured here, a scene from BABY UNIVERSE

2011 VILLAGE VOICE OBIE AWARDS WINNERS ANNOUNCED

New York, NY – The 56th Annual Obie Awards were given out at a ceremony tonight at Webster Hall in Greenwich Village. The event was co-hosted by S. Epatha Merkerson and David Hyde Pierce, and the awards were presented by Alec Baldwin, Andrew Rannells, Arian Moayad, Frank Wood, Jim Parsons, John Larroquette, Liev Schreiber, Lin-Manuel Miranda, Mamie Gummer, Margaret Colin, Nina Arianda, Patina Miller, and Rose Hemingway. Anthony Rapp, of the original cast of the Obie Award-winning musical RENT and his band from the musical WITHOUT YOU performed at the ceremony.
The Obies were judged by a committee of six, chaired by Michael Feingold, chief theater critic of  The Village Voice. Joining him were Voice critic Alexis Soloski and four guest judges: Critic Hilton Als of The New Yorker; playwright David Henry Hwang, a three-time Obie Award winner for his plays F.O.B., Golden Child, and Yellow Face; director Evan Yionoulis, an Obie award winner for her production of Richard Greenberg’s Three Days of Rain; and critic Andy Propst, of TheaterMania AmericanTheaterWeb.com (also a frequent Voice contributor), who served as secretary to the committee.
THE ELABORATE ENTRANCE OF CHAD DEITY, by Kristoffer Diaz, received the Obie Award for Best New American Play, which is accompanied by a $1000 check. Repertorio Espanol and its co-founder and artistic director, René Buch, received the Obie Award for Lifetime Achievement. A complete list of awards is given below.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

WEEKEND PROTEST MUSIC

PETE SEEGER:



WOODY GUTHRIE:

VAMPIRE FRACKERS

Creative Commons License
VAMPIRE FRACKERS by Uke Jackson is licensed under a Creative Commons Attribution-NoDerivs 3.0 Unported License.
Based on a work at www.youtube.com.

Okay, so I took the music to Vampire Bankers and wrote new words:


VAMPIRE FRACKERS words and music by Uke Jackson

COME ON, LET’S GIVE IT TO THE FRACKERS
LET’S GIVE THEM EXACTLY WHAT THEY NEED
COME ON FOLKS, GAS IS NOT THE ANSWER
THAT WILL ONLY FURTHER FUEL THEIR GREED

Refrain:
LET’S THROW A SHOE OR TWO
WE’LL ALL SHOUT SCREW YOU
AND DRIVE WOODEN STAKES RIGHT THROUGH THEIR HEARTS

VAMPIRE IS A FRACKER’S MIDDLE NAME
THEY’LL DRILL FOR OUR BLOOD BEFORE TOO LONG
LET’S PUT AN END TO THEIR NASTY GAME
FRACKING – WELL IT’S JUST PLAIN WRONG

REFRAIN

TOM CORBETT IS GOVERNOR OF DEATH
WANTS TO LET THEM FRACK ‘TIL WE ALL DIE
GET CLOSE YOU’LL SMELL BLOOD ON HIS BREATH
TOM CORBETT, YEAH HE’S A FRACKIN’ GUY

REFRAIN

FRACKING -- IT MAKES ME REAL NERVOUS
IT’S COMMONWEALTH, NOT COMMON THIEF
DRILLERS THINK DEATH’S A PUBLIC SERVICE
YOU KNOW IT’S ALL GOT TO END IN GRIEF

UNLESS WE THROW A SHOE OR TWO
AND ALL SHOUT SCREW YOU
AND DRIVE WOODEN STAKES RIGHT THROUGH THEIR HEARTS
AND DRIVE WOODEN STAKES RIGHT THROUGH THEIR
GREEDY
STINKING
AVARICIOUS 
BLACK
NASTY
THIEVING
EVIL  . . . HEARTS

Friday, May 13, 2011

GINSENG ROOTS BAND SUMMER SCHEDULE

GINSENG ROOTS BAND SUMMER SCHEDULE 

Here's the band's schedule (so far) for Summer 2011. As you will see, July has lots of dates still open. If you're thinking about booking us for a lawn party or other event, please book now.

Monthly schedules will be posted to the right, as usual. Thanks to all the Vipers!

(PLEASE NOTE: This schedule does NOT include daytime gigs for Uke Jackson's and JJ Peppers' appearances at retirement communities and rest homes )


MAY 2011

Sunday, May 15, Pattenburg House

3 pm – 7:30 pm

Pattenburg House
512 County Road 614
Asbury, NJ 08802-1342 (take the Pattenburg exit off route 78)


Saturday May 28, Buckwood Bistro PIG ROAST

7 pm – Midnight

Buckwood Bistro
84 US Highway 46
Delaware, NJ 07833
(908) 475-5777


Sunday May 29, Cherry Valley Vineyards

Sangria Sunday*

1 pm – 5 pm

Cherry Valley Vineyards
Saylorsburg, PA
570-992-2255
*This is a duo gig featuring Uke Jackson on ukulele and vocals and JJ Peppers on saxophone and bass clarinet. We are the Working Class Bohemians. Other band members will likely join us, then we’ll be Uke Jackson & the Ginseng Roots Band. Either way – all Vipers welcome!


JUNE 2011

Friday June 17, Gazebo Concert

7 pm – 9 pm

Blairstown Branch of Warren County Public Library
Route 94
Blairstown, NJ 07825


Sunday June 26, Cherry Valley Vineyards

Sangria Sunday*

1 pm – 5 pm

Cherry Valley Vineyards
Saylorsburg, PA
570-992-2255
*This is a duo gig featuring Uke Jackson on ukulele and vocals and JJ Peppers on saxophone and bass clarinet. We are the Working Class Bohemians. Other band members will likely join us, then we’ll be Uke Jackson & the Ginseng Roots Band. Either way – all Vipers welcome!


JULY 2011

Saturday, July 2, Private Party

Full band 

Friday, July 22, Porter’s Pub

 10 pm – 1 am

Porter’s Pub
700 Northampton Street
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 250-6561

AUGUST 2011

Thursday August 4, Clinton Library Concert

7 pm – 8:30 pm

North Branch Hunterdon County Library
65 Halstead Street
Clinton, NJ 08809


Saturday August 13, Frenchtown Borough Park

6:30 pm – 8:30 pm

Borough Park
Frenchtown, NJ 08825


Saturday, August 13, Porter’s Pub

 10 pm – 1 am

Porter’s Pub
700 Northampton Street
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 250-6561

Saturday August 20, PIG ROAST Cherry Valley Vineyards

6 pm – 9 pm
Cherry Valley Vineyards,
Saylorsburg, PA

Query Cherry Valley Vineyards for ticket info 570-992-2255


SEPTEMBER 2011

Saturday September 3, Frenchtown Riverfest

2 pm – 3:30 pm main stage

Bridge Street
Frenchtown, NJ 08825


Sunday September 18, Cherry Valley Vineyards

Sangria Sunday*

1 pm – 5 pm

Cherry Valley Vineyards
Saylorsburg, PA

*This is a duo gig featuring Uke Jackson on ukulele and vocals
  and JJ Peppers on saxophone and bass clarinet. We are the Working Class Bohemians. Other band members will likely join us, then we’ll be Uke Jackson & the Ginseng Roots Band. Either way – all Vipers welcome!



Saturday, September 24, Porter’s Pub

 10 pm – 1 am

Porter’s Pub
700 Northampton Street
Easton, PA 18042
(610) 250-6561

LOTS MORE TO COME!

(Working Class Bohemians' daytime gigs at retirement homes are not listed. Please query Uke Jackson for more info.)

Wednesday, May 11, 2011

2011 Obies Presenter Rose Hemingway profiled

ROSE HEMINGWAY

Rising star Rose Hemingway will soon be illuminated under Broadway's big lights, starring as Rosemary Pilkington in the highly anticipated revival of How to Succeed in Business (Without Really Trying), opposite Daniel Radcliffe.

Directed and choreographed by Rob Ashford (Promises Promises), and co-starring John Larroquette, Tammy Blanchard and Christopher J. Hanke, the revival celebrates the 50thanniversary of Frank Loesser's 1961 musical. The original Broadway production went on to win seven Tony Awards and became one of only nine musicals to win the Pulitzer Prize for Drama.

The show begins previews February 26 at the Al Hirschfeld Theatre, with Opening Night set for March 27, 2011.

Hemingway previously appeared in the Donmar Warehouse production of Parade at the Mark Taper Forum in Los Angeles. She also recently starred as Sophie Sheridan in the national tour of Mamma Mia!, and appeared in The Snow Queen at the Prince Music Theatre.

Originally from Philadelphia, Hemingway currently resides in New York.


Tuesday, May 10, 2011

THE DIGITAL PIT CLAMORS "NO MORE MUSHROOMS!"


Thomas Cott’s “You’ve Cott Mail” today includes quite a bit about technology and the presentation of artistic performance. A wide range of viewpoints are covered, from the Grateful Dead’s free seats for tapers policy to a jazz musician who refuses to record and is only interested in engaging live audiences with his music. (The jazz musician’s position is one that rings true to me on an artistic level. However, there’s nothing like having folding money in my pocket. Selling CDs – and books – at gigs is a sure avenue to having some walking around dough. But that’s a whole other topic.)

I clicked the link to a discussion with the artistic director of the Steppenwolf in Chicago weighs and an arts “researcher”. I’m going to restrain myself from ranting about the topsy turvy top down admin-heavy cultural institutions and grants-making process and stick to the topic as it was presented

One of the most interesting things on that link was a photo from the rear of an auditorium somewhere that was labeled “Tweet seats”. That really struck me as exactly what cultural institutions need these days. “Tweet seats” or even better “Tech Seats” are the 21st century equivalent of “the pit” in Shakespeare’s day.

Most of the big cultural institutions ban the use of mobile devices such as cell phone cameras (still or video), texting, tweeting and so forth. While my personal approach is to avoid Twitter and FaceBook, when I sit on the bandstand in a saloon playing music and see someone holding up their cell phone and video taping or snapping pix, a big smile breaks out on my face. Text us, tweet us, share us! We love it!

While the technology isn’t for me, personally, I understand that this is how young people spread the word. “Word of mouth” is spread by handheld technology and it includes photos and videos. I want people to tweet about the band, to send or post photos of us, to post videos of our performances on YouTube. I want young people to turn out for our music, and to drink and eat and get stoned and so on – in other words, enjoy themselves.

When (should I say "if"?) "Ukulele Land" ever gets the production it deserves,  I will cajole, beg, demand -- whatever it takes to allow people to spread the word by using their handhelds during performances. This is a musical for everyone, but especially for audiences who consider the 21st century their century.

People are tired of the mushroom approach to culture. The mushroom approach is, basically, stick the audience in a dark room and have them sit quietly while they absorb whatever is being presented (ie., “the bullshit”) on stage. There’s the rub, as the saying goes. The greatest plays in literature were created by Shakespeare. (I would argue for including Moliere in that statement but, for this discussion, let’s stick with the guy who’s plays are the most performed on the planet.)

In Shakespeare’s day there was a pit – an area in front of the stage where audience members stood and drank, ate, cat-called and so on throughout the performances. These were the cheap seats – or lack of seats, as it were.

Shakespeare, in his writing, had to play to the pit. He had to win them over with story and language, as did his contemporaries.

Somewhere along the line, some admin (theater manager) came up with the idea of selling the seats closest to the stage to the uptight rich folks for top dollar. The rest, as they say, is history. (And soon it might really be history!)

Today’s young audience members tend to be respectful when they get respect. My experience is that if you engage them with your performance, they will be riveted, and they will want to share the experience. Sometimes, people will rush right over to to the joint and increase the crowd factor as a result of receiving a digital message. While that might work for a saloon, theater performances admittedly are more structured and require ticket sales and so forth. However, word of mouth is word of mouth, and young people today have their own way of sharing and it is technological.

Theater admins will argue that theater unions won’t allow their members performances to be electronically recorded, etc etc. Just the term itself “electronically recorded” is so outmoded that somebody’s got to come up with a joke about it soon. Theatrical unions have to come into the 21st century as much as theaters do. It is up to the the unions' younger  members to demand changes to their contracts that allow for digital word of mouth, a digital pit, if you will..
 
Otherwise, theater admins and theater union admins may find themselves looking for work sooner rather than later. Wouldn’t that be an interesting turn of events?

Monday, May 9, 2011

GIG PHOTOS

Here are some shots from our Friday night gig at Porter's Pub in Easton, PA. They were taken by our good friend Chaz deBourbon of BGAstudios.com. Many thanks, Chaz!

Thanks again to all the great folks who turned out from near and far! Thanks to those wild young ladies dancing, whomsoever they were. And thanks to the owners and staff of Porter's Pub. We hope they will have us back there soon.

For the record, JJ Peppers was wearing a seersucker jacket that evening. For some unexplained reason, he decided to take it off shortly before Chaz decided to start snapping. Oh well. It was still a good night in a great town!

Meanwhile, here's Lee "Thunderstix" Scott on percussion.


Here's Chris McMillan on flugelhorn. (Chris also did some mighty playing on both cornet and melodica.)


Here's The Unknown Playwright on resonator ukulele:


JJ Peppers with both curved soprano sax and bass sax:


Here's the band:

:

Saturday, May 7, 2011

GINSENG ROOTS BAND LEADER ARRESTED!

Well, it wasn't exactly an arrest. But the Easton PD sent 5 squad cars to quell the crowd at Porter's Pub last night and dragged me -- Uke Jackson -- out into the street. The coppers said next time they would charge me with inciting a riot.

It all started when we were toward the end of our second set. We'd just finished "Love Potion # 9" and the crowd was getting boisterous. Actually, maybe it began when we played "My Bucket's Got a Hole In It" and people were singing along and shoutin g for more. Either way, there's no question that the gang at Porter's really got going when we did "If Youse a Viper".

Then we were half way through our second set closer -- "My Girl's Pussy" -- when the raid took place. As the saying goes, all hell broke loose. Gals were being smooched. Guys were being slapped. Beer was being downed and the crowd was howling for more. In came the boys in blue to shut it all down.

Photos to follow.

On other fronts, have you got your Kentucky Derby picks yet? I'm going with Shackleford to win. But I'm boxing Shackleford with Archarcharch and Nehro in the exacta. It will be the first time in five years without me betting on Calvin Borel's mount. Good luck to all!

(FULL DISCLOSURE: Five squad cars did show up while we were in the middle of doing MGP and the crowd was loving it. But it was because some woman upstairs had thrown out her old man, and was throwing all his belongings out the window and down onto the sidewalk below. I love Easton! And we love Porter's Pub. It's a great room -- built into the side of the hill, it's like a cavern with huge rocks protruding onto the back of the band stand area. Very cool space. Great room, great acoustics. Great to make new friends for the band, and to see some old friends! Thanks to Porter's Pub for having us! Thanks to everyone who turned out!)

Friday, May 6, 2011

GINSENG ROOTS BAND -- PORTER'S PUB TONIGHT

JUST A REMINDER -- TONIGHT WE'RE AT PORTER'S PUB, 700 Northampton Street, Easton, PA from 10 pm - 1 am. Porter's Pub http://www.porterspubeaston.com/ has one of the best selections of beer in northeast PA, so there's that to look forward to in addition to the music.

ON ANOTHER NOTE: We may be adding a pig roast -- ina Tiki bar no less! -- for Memorial Day weekend. Details next week if it happens.. Meanwhile, a recap of the the upcoming events for the Merry Month of May (so far).

Uke Jackson and the Ginseng Roots Band provide an evening of novelty music played on a unique line up of instruments, including ukulele, bass saxophone, flugelhorn, and a percussion kit that would fill the late great Spike Jones with envy and awe. The band’s motto is “Good time music all the time!” and their song list consists of Tin Pan Alley novelty tunes from the 1920s and 1930s, jug band music, traditional New Orleans style jazz (with vocals), and a handful of originals. Dressed in their trademark seersucker, ice cream suits, and Panama hats, this band delivers a delightful mix of hot roots tunes and sweet croons.

In addition to Uke Jackson on vocals, ukulele and guitar, the line up of multi instrumentalists includes JJ Peppers on saxophones, contrabass clarinet, and slide whistle; Chris McMillan on cornet, flugelhorn, trumpet, melodica, and guitar; and Lee "Thunderstix" Scott on cymbals, drums, lids from pots and pans, gongs, and a 1920s set of Mongolian monkey skulls salvaged from a pawn shop in New Orleans years ago.


Friday May 6, Porter’s Pub

10 pm – 1 am

Porter’s Pub
700 Northampton Street
Easton, PA 18042

Friday, May 13, Fernwood Resort

6:30 pm - 9:30 in the Victorian Room

We play before and after the 7 pm screening of GASLAND
a community service gig
STOP THE FRACKING!

Fernwood Resort
U.S. 209
Bushkill, PA 18324


Sunday, May 15, Pattenburg House

3 pm – 7:30 pm

Pattenburg House
512 County Road 614
Asbury, NJ 08802-1342 (take the Pattenburg exit off route 78)


Sunday May 29, Cherry Valley Vineyards

Sangria Sunday*

1 pm – 5 pm

Cherry Valley Vineyards
Saylorsburg, PA

*This is a duo gig featuring Uke Jackson on ukulele and vocals and JJ Peppers on saxophone and bass clarinet. We are the Working Class Bohemians. Other band members will likely join us, then we’ll be Uke Jackson & the Ginseng Roots Band. Either way – all Vipers welcome!

Thursday, May 5, 2011

TOM CORBETT SAYS "GET FRACKED!"

"Get fracked!" That's Governor Tom Corbett's message to the people of Pennsylvania. He's decimating the budgets of public school systems from kindergarten thru college and refusing to fund public workers' pension funds. His answer to everything? Drill for natural gas. Fracking is going on. Sadly, it is no joke. Corbett's answer to everything?..."He wants schools to drill for natural gas right on their campuses. This despite the devastating effects on people's health and the environment where ever fracking is going on. Corbett's answetr to everything? Get in deeper with the drillers. He even refuses to tax them or charge a user fee for all the damage their trucks and rigs are doing to our roads. We should call him "Creepy Corbett the Crony".

Hey Governor, Pennsylvania is a commonwealth. That means the resources belong to all of its citizens, not some international energy giants. Let me repeat, that's common wealth -- not common thief!

If there were any decent rich people left in the world, someone would be funding a recall drive against this criminal fascist.

Meanwhile, the Delaware River Basin Commission, a body set up by U.S. Supreme Court decree to protect and administer the resources of the Delaware River watershed, is trying to pull another fast one on behalf of the energy companies.

In case you've missed it in the past -- Hydraulic fracturing (fracking) for natural gas was exempted for the Clean Air and Clean Water Acts by a special loophole created by Dick Cheney in the 2005 energy plan. This is not the same hydraulic fracturing that has gone on since the 1940s. Now, energy companies pump tons of proven carcinogenic chemicals (including benzene) into the ground. Onl;y 10% of the gas released is captured for use. The rest escapes into the air, causing air pollution and massive ozone depletion.   

Here's the news from Catskill Citizens United for Safe Energy, and then from the Delaware Riverkeeper:

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

From the Dept. of Random Thoughts -- Aging, or not

Some people allow themselves to get old in their sixth decade. I've become authentic.

BROADWAY VAMPIRE -- new chapter posted

A new chapter in the blog serial of BROADWAY VAMPIRE -- Chapter Thirty Four -- is now posted. All thirty four chapters and the prologue are now available for you to read FREE.

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

R.I.P. Ira Cohen

“Sometimes when I pick up my pen, it leaks gold all over the tablecloth.”Ira Cohen, poet, philopher, film maker, friend (1935-2011).

The NY Times had a very sweet obit on Sunday. We first met in the East Village around 1981when we were both published in the same small press magazines a couple of times. Over the years, we ran into each other at various "scenes". He was purely an original. May he rest in peace.

Monday, May 2, 2011

From the Dept. of Random Thoughts -- OBL

From now on, whoever pees in the ocean pisses on OBL's grave. Take me to the beach!

THE OBIES ARE COMING! THE OBIES ARE COMING!

The 56th ANNUAL VILLAGE VOICE OBIE AWARDS CEREMONY

MONDAY, MAY 16, 2011 AT WEBSTER HALL, NYC

Co-Hosted by:

DAVID HYDE PIERCE & S. EPATHA MERKERSON

         The Awards Will Be Presented By:
 
ALEC BALDWIN
ANDREW RANNELLS
ARIAN MOAYED
JIM PARSONS
JOHN LARROQUETTE
LEE PACE
LIN-MANUEL MIRANDA 
MAMIE GUMMER
MARGARET COLIN
NINA ARIANDA
PATINA MILLER
ROBERT SEAN LEONARD
ROSE HEMINGWAY
 
*
Entertainment
A special performance by
ANTHONY RAPP
 
From the original cast of Rent.
 Performing songs from Rent and his musical Without You
 
The Village Voice, the nation’s largest alternative weekly newspaper, announced that the 56th Annual Obie Awards will take place on Monday, May 16, 2011 at Webster Hall in the East Village (125 East 11th Street). The awards will be co-hosted by S. Epatha Merkerson and David Hyde Pierce.
 
The Village Voice is proud to welcome two-time Village Voice Obie Award winner and Detroit native S. EPATHA MERKERSON back to the Obies as the co-host of this year's ceremony. She's an Emmy, Golden Globe, SAG, and NAACP Award winner and has earned critical acclaim for her brilliant work in theater, film, and television. During her 16 years on the show Law & Order, for which she won multiple awards for her flawless portrayal of Lieutenant Anita Van Buren, Epatha appeared in more episodes of the series than any other cast member during the show’s run. 
 
On stage, Merkerson was last seen on Broadway in Come Back Little Sheba, and she reprised her role for the L.A. production in 2007. Off Broadway, she has mesmerized us with her performances in plays that include Suzan-Lori Parks’s F**king A, August Wilson’s Pulitzer Prize­–winning play The Piano Lesson, the Young Playwrights Festival’s production of I’m Not Stupid (Obie Award), The Old Settler, and Cheryl West’s play Birdie Blue (Obie Award, Lucille Lortel nomination for Outstanding Lead Actress, and Drama League Distinguished Performance Award).
 
She recently completed production on a comedy film, We the Peeples. Her other memorable films include Lackawanna Blues, The Rising Place, Radio, Jersey Girl, Random Hearts, Terminator II: Judgment Day, Jacob’s Ladder, Navy Seals, Loose Cannons, Black Snake Moan, Slipstream, The Six Wives of Henry Lefay, and Mother and Child.
 
And who could be more perfect as a co-host than a valiant and versatile actor who will soon be seen in a film released in May by Magnolia Pictures called The Perfect HostDAVID HYDE PIERCE.

Sunday, May 1, 2011

THE MERRY MERRY MONTH OF MAY WITH THE GINSENG ROOTS BAND

Aloha Vipers!

The Merry Month of May was a pagan festival from first day to last. Music was made and maids were made, in the Days of Yore. Everybody slept with whomever they damn well pleased under the May moon. We don’t advise such behavior but we wouldn’t condemn it either.In fact, we would head right over to Yore if we knnew where it is.

Instead, we promise Good Time Music All the Time! So, please come to as many of these gigs as you can. You know the music will be outstanding and the people absolutely wunderbar! You know we love you, Vipers! But you gots to be there if you wants to be a Viper!

First, we have Porter’s Pub in Easton this Friday, May 6, from 10 pm – 1 am. Porter’s Pub is a room musicians love to play. Yes, the acoustics are reputed to be excellent. However, the beer list is amazing! Come check it out! In addition to our usual tune list, we’ll be introducing some racy new material. This is our Easton debut, so we’ll probably play ‘til they throw us out! They also serve from an extensive menu which can be found by clicking here.

Here’s the complete calendar for the month:

Friday May 6, Porter’s Pub

10 pm – 1 am

Porter’s Pub
700 Northampton Street
Easton, PA 18042

Friday, May 13, Fernwood Resort

6:30 pm - 9:30 in the Victorian Room

We play before and after the 7 pm screening of GASLAND
a community service gig
STOP THE FRACKING!

Fernwood Resort
U.S. 209
Bushkill, PA 18324


Sunday, May 15, Pattenburg House

3 pm – 7:30 pm

Pattenburg House
512 County Road 614
Asbury, NJ 08802-1342 (take the Pattenburg exit off route 78)


Sunday May 29, Cherry Valley Vineyards

Sangria Sunday*

1 pm – 5 pm

Cherry Valley Vineyards
Lower Cherry Valley Road
Saylorsburg, PA 18353

*This is a duo gig featuring Uke Jackson on ukulele and vocals
  and JJ Peppers on saxophone and bass clarinet. We are the Working Class Bohemians. Other band members will likely join us, then we’ll be Uke Jackson & the Ginseng Roots Band. Either way – all Vipers welcome!