“Hope” can be a foreign concept to those in the midst of severe or suicidal depression. Yet, the book “Shades of Blue” offers just that – hope. Thirty-five essays written by individuals with different backgrounds and histories share diverse issues, and how they have managed to, if not overcome them, learned to manage them. Three of the contributing essay authors read excerpts from their essays at the independent bookstore, The Avid Reader, in Davis, California.
Charles Mitchell Vineyards and pizza
In the picturesque Sierra Foothills in Northern California, irascible adventurer Charles Mitchell not only offers award-winning wines at his Charles Mitchell Vineyards, but also pizza, Maine lobster, popcorn, and bocce ball. He has also joined the fight against breast cancer, creating “The Cure Series” wine, with 30% of the proceeds going directly to breast cancer research.
Todd Morgan & The Emblems and music appreciation
It would be easy for Todd Morgan & The Emblems to follow the often tread cover band path, but it has raised the bar with songwriting influenced by rockabilly, jazz, Big Band, and rock. Todd Morgan discusses his influences, and the band’s third recently released CD, “Sweet Pretender.”
The Outlander Podcast and time travel
Diana Gabaldon’s “Outlander” book series has so strongly resonated with the masses, it segued into a popular television series, and an ever-growing fandom, including Summer and Ginger, who launched The Outlander Podcast before the television show even aired. Time travel, romance, and Scotland’s beautiful landscapes – what’s not to love?
Independent radio and education
Corporate radio is struggling, and for good reason. Listeners are demanding variety, and finding it online or via satellite. How can people hear their favorite types of music (with unlimited artists), and support their local community? Dennis Newhall of Sacramento’s K-ZAP and Joe Parente of Process Theater, Inc. discuss their joint effort in bringing back a local favorite radio station of pub rock and blues into non-profit status, and assisting students with learning the evolving craft and technology of radio, and what the media has to offer in the future.
Cigar box guitars and ukeleles
Cigar box guitars are a blast to build and play, from actual cigar boxes to jello molds to auto parts. Will King of Cigar Box Nation talks a little cigar box guitar building 101.
Writers and bellies
Want an honest, frank opinion? Ask a writer. Over the decades, newspaper columnists have freely offered their (mostly) uncensored opinions every week, to the delight of readers who enjoyed discussing them over their morning coffee, or the office water cooler. Today, readers have the additional option of leaving comments on on-line publications, such as iPinion Syndicate. All media publishers, including iPinion, know that any given subject can be approached from many angles. I met with a few iPinion contributing columnists – David Weinshilboum, Debra DeAngelo, Kelvin Wade, and Carolyn Wyler – to demonstrate iPinion’s diverse personalities behind the columns. I asked them a variety of questions about a single non-political topic: bellies. The result is an intelligent, insightful, and humorous discussion.
Dr. Ernie Bodai and the breast cancer postage stamp
Pushing the envelope … well, pushing the stamp on the envelope … Dr. Ernie Bodai went where no man had gone before in funding breast cancer research: a fundraising postage stamp. Although it originated in the United States, it is now raising funds in over 70 countries. Today, you’ll meet Dr. Bodai, his long-time friend Joe Whalen, and Breck Philip of the Blue Gaucho Project (who will be performing at Blues for the Stamp), another strong supporter of the global breast cancer postage stamp campaign.
Prison blues and kazoos
Why should real prisoners have all the fun? Captain Rufus T. Whizbang (Neil Hillel) and the Ophir Prison Marching Kazoo Band and Temperance Society, Ltd. have entertained thousands of people around California and Nevada with their wacky musical presentations and skits. Rubber Ducky, anyone?
INDIEBlush and artists
A great talk with Christina Marie, the creative force behind INDIEBlush magazine – Burning Man, body issues, digital media, creating and investing in indie collectives.