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Eligibility, timing in question for PPP loans; $1.2 million went to Pennsylvania unions | Pennsylvania

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(The Center Square) – The federal payment protection program established in 2020 to help small businesses and protect the jobs of their workers was finally allowed to include unions, and millions of forgivable loans ended up with them and other organizations.

Eligibility and timing are in question for many, according to a new report of the Freedom Foundation. Nationally, labor organizations received $36.7 million in P3 funds and $1.2 million ended up in the hands of Pennsylvania unions.

“Disturbingly, the apparently inappropriate PPP loans may have been made due to fraudulent loan applications or other questionable behavior by applicants or private lenders operating under the delegated authority of the SBA,” Maxford wrote. Nelsen, author of the report and director of labor policy at the Freedom Foundation. .

PPP eligibility expanded from small businesses and nonprofits in March 2020 to include unions and construction companies by March 2021. But many unions applied for funding before they could legitimately receive largesse.

Teachers’ unions and state and local government employee unions across the country have received funding, although they have not been affected by the kinds of economic shocks that private businesses have experienced.

“It was a complete breakdown of how the program was supposed to work,” Nelsen said.

In Pennsylvania, the following unions have received funding:

  • IBEW Local 375 ($46,880).

  • Graphic Communications Union Local 4C ($23,100).

  • PA AFL-CIO ($267,762).

  • Teamsters Local #77 ($86,900).

  • Local 66 AFL-CIO Operations Engineers ($180,100 in 2021).

  • Local 66 AFL-CIO Operations Engineers ($180,100 in 2020).

  • IATSE Local 489 ($40,251 in 2021).

  • IATSE Local 489 ($28,400 in 2020).

  • The Training and Education Fund ($187,900).

  • UFCW Local 1776 ($171,822).

Since most unions were not eligible for PPP loans before the law was enacted on March 11, 2021, these were not misclassified documents. They were ineligible for program funds at all during the period in which they applied. Because the documents went through private lenders and not the Small Business Administration, the applications are not publicly available. Thus, it is unclear whether private lenders failed to understand the program’s qualifications or whether unions misrepresented how the funds would be used.

“It has become quite clear in the year since the program’s inception that the SBA did not have appropriate controls in place to ensure funds only went to eligible recipients,” Nelsen said. .

“Loans determined by the loan review process to have been issued to ineligible borrowers will not be forgiven,” SBA Administrator Jovita Carranza wrote after a critical report by the investigator general.

Still, the Freedom Foundation noted that $24.2 million of the $36.7 million in union loans has already been forgiven.

He does break dances. He Pole Dances. He sings like an angel.

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Still, Orlinski said there are costs to being so easily accessible to the public. “Some of them are a little weird,” he said. “There are a lot of DMs on Instagram.” Inappropriate posts? He grimaced. “There was a period when it was happening a lot.”

While his concert and opera schedule is booked until 2024, Orlinski said he is unsure where he will go longer term. “When I look at the list of things I’ve done, I’m like, ‘Wow, that’s crazy. I’m 31,'” he said. “At the same time, I haven’t only 31 years old.”

Following tradition and available repertoire, most countertenors focus on early music, with occasional forays into contemporary repertoire. But, as with so many other things, Orlinski is reluctant to follow formulas.

The new Polish-themed disc — recorded with regular collaborator, pianist Michal Biel, and release in may – features songs by Szymanowski and Mieczyslaw Karlowicz: a sumptuous, late romantic repertoire that most countertenors never come close to.

He wasn’t even sure if he would stay within the classical, or even stay within his current vocal range, he said. “I have already discussed it with my management. I told them right away, ‘I’m not going to be, like, 60 and still singing as a countertenor.’

What else would he do? Maybe organize a music festival or make movies, he said, or maybe he’ll switch to baritone and sing pop. “There are hundreds of open doors.”

Things were moving so fast, he said. “As with the Met and the Royal Opera House, it was so far,” he added, with a trace of disbelief. “I was aware of these projects in 2018, and it’s already gone.”

Drake and Warner Music stole the rhythm from the artist, according to Suit

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By Jasmin Jackson (March 3, 2022, 9:21 PM EST) – Hip-hop artist Drake, Young Money Entertainment, Warner Music Group and other media personalities are facing another copyright lawsuit before federal court in Louisiana from a New Orleans artist who claims they poached his instrumental beat after a similar case was dismissed.

Louisiana musician Samuel Nicholas III, also known as Sam Skully, said in a lawsuit filed Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Louisiana that artists and media companies — which also include producer Grammy-nominated BlaqNmilD and rapper Big Freedia – used his instrumental-only song “Roll Call” without permission.

The costume is linked to a previous…

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Spotify Changes Playlist Rules After Pocket Gods Protest Album

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Following the release of British indie band, The Pocket God’s latest album 1000×30 Nobody makes money anymoreSpotify has finally agreed to change its rules on its playlist considerations.

The album featured a thousand songs, each around 30 seconds long, as a protest against Spotify, as the music streaming giant is notorious for paying artists a very low rate of pay for each time their song is played. In addition to this much decried practice, Spotify only pays when the song has been listened to for 30 seconds.

Besides the length of the songs on the album, their titles also make numerous mocking references to the rules of the playlist. For example, their first track, “0.002,hits directly at the meager amount they get paid each time their song is played on Spotify. how much a stream earns you on Spotify. Some of the songs on the album also called on other artists such as Taylor Swift, Ed Sheeran and Adele to join the protest by creating their own 30-second songs and posting them on the platform.

During an interview with iNews, Pocket God frontman Mark Christopher Lee said it was a 2015 article from the publication, titled “How streaming is changing everything we know about music making”, that gave him the idea to create a protest album.

“I saw the article and it made me think, ‘Why write longer songs when we get paid pretty low for only 30 seconds?’ It is a “work to rule” to raise awareness on behalf of all artists, musicians and songwriters.

Since the release of the album, the album has reached 600,000 streams. Seeing their rapid progress, Spotify praised Lee and his band for being “ahead of the curve”.

“Spotify said we were ahead of the curve because shorter songs are the future – just look at TikTok. They said I could submit 30 second tracks to their playlists for review. I don’t couldn’t do it before because the songs were considered too short, so next week I’m releasing a 30 second single titled Noel Gallagher is jealous of my studio.”

After the single protest and major response to it, Spotify agreed to change its rules to allow short songs to be considered for its official playlists. Its founder Daniel Ek has even contacted the group to arrange a meeting between them and Spotify’s artist relations manager.

As revealed by Lee, Spotify plans to increase its pay rates for artists by increasing its subscription fees for its Premium service, which is currently £9.99 per month.

Sydney musical theater students head to Broadway

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At the Mary Winspear Centre, the next generation of musical theater performers are honing their skills.

“I learned a lot and this group made me feel more comfortable,” says performer Lily Burns.

The group is called Mountain Dream Productions and has been providing musical theater training to young people in the capital region for 30 years.

“We teach musical theater skills, singing, acting, dancing, directing, lighting, stage management, all of those things,” says executive director Rob Forbes.

“What we really teach are soft skills, self-confidence, self-discipline, leadership, teamwork, self-motivation.”

During March Break, seven of those students will travel to New York City for a crash course in all things musical theater at the Broadway Student Summit, an international gathering of theater students organized by the Broadway Teaching Group.

“We basically go to New York, take Broadway workshops and private lessons to learn more about the art of musical theater and we go to Broadway shows,” Burns explains.

For participating students, the experience will be a golden opportunity to learn from some of the best in the business.

“I’m really excited to be able to see Broadway shows and go and meet new people and just be in a place with other people who have the same interests as me,” says performer Charlie Walls.

“It means a lot, I think I could really learn a lot more and I think it would be really fun, especially with all my friends,” Burns adds.

The Broadway Student Summit runs from March 19-20. To learn more about Mountain Dream Productions, visit their website.

Review: ‘Don Carlos’ finally brings France’s Verdi to the Met

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Wait, I know I’ve seen this opera before, you might have thought as you opened your program at Lincoln Center on Monday night. It’s the one with the prince in love with his stepmother, isn’t it? What about his dumbass father, and that great duet with his friend, and the Spanish Inquisition?

But here it is, in black on white: “The premiere at the Metropolitan Opera of Giuseppe Verdi’s Don Carlos. »

Rarely has a single letter been as significant as this final “s”. The opera audiences have seen here – one that has been staged at the Met more than 200 times – is “Don Carlo”, its libretto in Italian. Monday’s performance, however, was given in the work’s original French.

In both languages, it’s Verdi’s greatest and darkest masterpiece – and particularly dark on Monday, as the Russian invasion of Ukraine continued and the evening opened with the audience rising in silence for a performance of the Ukrainian national anthem by the Met Chorus and Orchestra. Center stage was Vladyslav Buialskyi, a young Ukrainian bass-baritone making his company debut in a tiny role, hand on heart.

It is, after all, an opera that opens with the characters yearning for an end to the fierce hostilities between two neighboring nations, their civilians suffering the deprivations caused by the territorial delusions of a tiny few at the top. The geopolitical battles fueling the plot’s private agonies seemed sharper than usual when David McVicar’s new production was unveiled.

A new production, certainly, but a first at the Met? That’s doubtful, since nearly all of the music will be familiar to anyone who’s heard “Don Carlo” in it over the past four decades.

But it is nonetheless a milestone for the company to finally perform the work in the language in which it was premiered, at the Paris Opera in 1867. Verdi worked with inspired diligence to shape his musical lines on metric rhythms subtly different from Italian. For this adaptation of Schiller’s freely ahistorical play, set at the 16th-century Spanish court of Philip II, he painted the sprawling canvas of French grand opera in his own moody colors.

Alas, “Don Carlos” was a mixed success in France, and Verdi continued to revise it over the next two decades as it premiered and was revived in Italy. (And since this was a time when librettos were commonly translated into the language of the public, it was performed in Italian, under the name “Don Carlo”.) The end result was an assortment of versions, including the companies of opera can now freely take elements. .

But as Will Crutchfield recently wrote in The New York Times, these versions essentially boil down to two: “The first is the one created in Paris, more or less a few bits added or cut before and after. The second is the recomposed score created in Milan in 1884, with or without restoration of Act I of 1867 – set in France and introducing the vexed love of Don Carlos and Elisabeth de Valois.

The Met has more or less done the 1884 version since a landmark production in 1950 reintroduced the opera into the standard repertoire after decades of neglect. The play had circulated widely in Italian and was performed in New York exclusively in that language. The big news came in 1979, when a new Met staging restored that 1867 Act I. Hence the five-act form in which “Don Carlo” – with tweaks here and there – was presented since.

And always in Italian. When Yannick Nézet-Séguin directed a new production in 2010, it was in Italian, and when this production was relaunched, it was in Italian — even though the big houses around the world had broken with this tradition.

But Nézet-Séguin suggested that he wanted to direct the play in French. Now, as the company’s musical director, he has. It speaks to his passion for the score that this is the first opera of his still young career at the Met for which he is conducting a third run, and his conception of it – long-breathed, patient, lightly textured – embodies the vast elegance of French grand opera.

These qualities are crucial in supporting a triumphant turn in the title role of Matthew Polenzani, singing Carlos for the first time in either language. Polenzani is not the Franco Corelli-style swaggering, trumpeting tenor usually associated with the part – though he rises, in style, to fiery intensity – but rather a singer of refinement, interiority and melancholy.

And throughout the work, French conveys all this better than Italian. The classic brotherhood duet between Carlos and his friend, Rodrigue, the Marquis of Posa, is a loudspeaker announcement in Italian, as “Dio che nell’alma infondere”. In French, like “God, you semas in our souls”, it seems much more intimate, a cocooned moment that the public watches. Particularly in this performance, with the suave and seductive baritone Etienne Dupuis as Rodrigue, singularly capable of attracting the unfortunate and isolated Carlos.

Like Elisabeth, who is engaged to Carlos before being married to her father as part of the peace agreement between France and Spain, soprano Sonya Yoncheva lacks tonal richness, but her fine and concentrated voice penetrates, and she fits her interpretation of the character as coldly dignified, even chilly, enough to bear the sacrifices she has made.

Mezzo-soprano Jamie Barton, her soaring highs and booming chest voice, with just a slight loss of fluency in between, sings generously and acts vivaciously like Princess Eboli, whose unrequited love for Carlos inspires his revenge, then his contrition. As an implacable Grand Inquisitor, bass-baritone John Relyea has an authority of stone.

The only weak link is bass-baritone Eric Owens as King Philip, his dry, colorless voice and expressionless face and presence, issues that have also plagued his recent Met performances in “Porgy and Bess.” He turns one of the most nuanced characters in opera – a man of enormous power, vulnerability, anger and confusion – into a cipher.

Silky, articulate bass Matthew Rose is a deluxe cast as the monk who – stick with me – could actually be Charles V, Philip’s father, who (at least presumably) recently died. Why doesn’t Rose sing Philippe?

This is McVicar’s 11th safe and reliable Met production, with two more (“Medea” and “Fedora”) coming next season. His “Don Carlos” is uncluttered, simple, largely traditional and largely neutral, dominated by ominously rough, curved and menacing stone walls pierced with semi-circular openings, as if the figures – costumed in richly embroidered black – wander into a catacomb.

I wish McVicar and Nézet-Séguin had restored the opening section of the first act, played at the Met from 1979 to 2006, which shows Elisabeth among the suffering in France. This deepens the conflict she faces soon after, when she is forced to choose between her duty to them—the marriage to Philippe that will end the war—and her love for Carlos.

At least that crucial first act is here. There is reason to do the opera in Italian, as will be the case when this staging is relaunched next season. But this revival will also return, for the first time since the early 1970s, to the four-act version, a dismal decision that the Met should reconsider.

McVicar offers some welcome idiosyncrasies. An acrobatic jester figure, his face painted white as a skull, gives the auto-da-fé scene some of its phantasmagorical character. And, after pitting Carlos’ physical distance from Elizabeth against his closeness to Rodrigue all evening, McVicar ends the opera with a dying Carlos being greeted by his already dead friend, who lowers the prince onto the stage in what seems very close to involve posthumously, well, union.

The moment’s score is the most obvious of the few ways this performance deviates from how opera has been heard at the Met since at least the 1950s. Elisabeth’s voice, has an attraction for red meat, in particular if your soprano has such a high boffo.

But it’s otherwise too thrilling a conclusion to a bitter, ambivalent opera that ends best in the sober calm of the 1867 version, with monks softly chanting that Charles V is reduced to dust. It is the sound of history adrift, beyond all human lives, played and sung here with the delicacy and seriousness that made it a special evening for Nézet-Séguin and his company.

Don Carlos

Until March 26 at the Metropolitan Opera in Manhattan; metopera.org.

BTS is Artist of the Year for the third time at the Korean Music Awards, AESPA and IU win big

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BTS ARMY has yet another reason to celebrate. The septet, consisting of RM, Jin, Suga, J-Hope, Jimin, V and Jungkook, won Artist of the Year at the Korean Music Awards for the third time. In 2018, they made history by becoming the first idol group to win Artist of the Year. They won again in 2019.

ARMY took to Twitter to celebrate the honor. One fan wrote, “BTS won Daesang ‘Musician of the Year’ at the 2022 Korean Music Awards! Well-deserved congratulations! BTS has 65 Daesangs now. Another tweeted, “I will always congratulate BTS because they keep on winning awards, no one does it like BTS.”

BTS will perform in Seoul for their concert, Permission To Dance On Stage from March 10 to 14, which will be their first offline concert in nearly two years. In April, the group should attend the Grammy’s, then host a four-day concert in Las Vegas. ARMY had previously expressed concern for the boys as five of them had contracted Covid and Jimin had undergone surgery for appendicitis. Nonetheless, the band have recovered and are back to rehearsals, going through their recent flood of photos on Instagram.

At the Korean Music Awards, Aespa won a total of three awards, including two major ones (the four major awards that cover all music genres). They won Song of the Year, Rookie of the Year, and Best K-Pop Song for their song Next Level. South Korean singer and actor IU won Best Pop Song and Best Pop Album.

Local businesses kept afloat with PPP loans – Royal Examiner

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Parishioners who arrived at the church on Sunday morning were surprised to find an unexpected guest on February 27, 2022.

Governor Glenn Youngkin and First Lady Suzanne Youngkin arrived unannounced to pray for the people of Ukraine at the Ss Joachim and Anna Ukrainian Catholic Church in Front Royal.

Governor Youngkin’s staff had contacted the parish on Saturday and requested permission to attend and join the church in prayer for the Ukrainian people. He also asked for no advance publicity, which, in the words of a member of the parish council, “indicates authenticity and sincerity. The prayer he offered at the end of our service indicates the same thing.

The Governor and First Lady arrived early and attended the entire Divine Liturgy. The Ukrainian Greek Catholic Church, which is in union with Rome, celebrates the liturgy written by Saint John Chrysostom in the 3rd century. All are welcome to attend Ss. Joachim and Anna, which is located at 1396 Linden Street in Front Royal, www.ssjoachimandanna.org.

Here is the transcript of the Governor’s prayer:

Heavenly Father, we bow our heads this morning and you are just amazing glory. To be gathered here, and see the miraculous meal you offer to those who believe in you to become part of your kingdom. Father, thank you. Father, you promised us that when two or three are gathered in your name, you will be among us, and Father, we invite you here today to be among us.

Father, we rise to you, all Ukrainian people today. We ask you to envelop them with your protective spirit, clothe them with your armor, the armor of God, the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the gospel of truth, your shield of faith, your helmet of salvation and the sword of your Spirit.

Father, protect them; Father, guide them, strengthen them. Jesus, you call us to pray for our leaders. We pray this morning, that world leaders will come together, reunite and feel your inspiration and wisdom on what actions they can take to end this atrocity.

Father, we raise all our world leaders to you. Lord, on a day when we pray for forgiveness, you call us to pray for our enemies.

Father, as difficult as it is, we pray for our enemies. Father, I pray that you would reach into Vladimir Putin’s heart, invade his being and help him see the error of these ways. Father, we pray for democracies around the world, that you will, in fact, allow the voice of the people to continue to be heard.

And Father, we pray for all the Russian people who oppose these actions, protect them and strengthen them on their own. Lord, at a time when we are sometimes at a loss for what to do and what to say, you promise us that we can turn to you.

Therefore, we pray this prayers in the name of your precious son, our Savior, Jesus Christ, Amen. Thank you very much to all.

Governor Youngkin welcomes members of the Fedoryka family after the Divine Liturgy.

Governor and First Lady in the kitchen with the Wallace family before the Divine Liturgy.

The Governor and First Lady speak with Elizabeth Wallace and her daughter as she prepares refreshments for coffee time.

Governor Youngkin and Father Andrii Chornopyskyi

Governor Glenn Youngkin calls for decisive action on Ukraine


‘Mood’ is the new musical drama for ‘Fleabag’ and ‘Chewing Gum’ fans

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New musical drama Mood sees actor, writer and singer-songwriter Nicôle Lecky bring his critically acclaimed play Superhoe on TV. Already earning comparisons to Phoebe Waller-Bridge Flea bag and Michaela Coel Chewing gumit’s a heartfelt and humorous look into the life of Sasha (Lecky) – an aspiring rapper who is thrown into poverty after being kicked out of her home by her mother (played by Jessica Hynes of Space) and father-in-law (game of thrones‘Paul Kaye). She’s couch surfing for a while, but after befriending party girl Carly, Sasha is drawn into a world of social media influence, toxic culture, and online sex work.

We caught up with Lecky to find out all about the new series, which debuts on BBC Three and iPlayer tonight (March 1).

Music is a big part of the show

“I speak directly to the audience with music,” Lecky says of the show’s musical interludes that break the fourth wall and frequently see her burst into song. Lecky grew up in East London listening to “Dizzee [Rascal], Kano, D Double E and more. Lecky explains that the East London scene was a big influence on the show. “There are so many genres in the show, but grime, jungle, garage and a bit of drill are all in there,” she says. “I love Little Simz but also The Smiths – and even Celine Dion! I’m really eclectic in what I listen to based on how I feel and that’s something I explore on this show through my character. An EP was also released to coincide with the show.

Lecky plays an aspiring artist who falls on hard times. CREDIT: BBC

He examines the online dangers for women

Lecky says she was disturbed by how women continue to be exploited online. “I saw this website run by a group of men who usually find women on social media – they’re usually models, singers and actresses – and then they put the women on this website and say that they really are sex workers,” she explains. , saying she was horrified by what she discovered. “They say they’re acting in the public interest, but they’re just shaming them… they’re destroying their lives. I thought that was really disgusting. His research in this area informs a key storyline in the series.

You might struggle with Sasha at first

Sasha’s introduction in Episode 1 isn’t very flattering: she’s snotty, yells at her parents, is self-centered, and seems to be stalking her ex-boyfriend. Lecky says audiences will soon forget that bad first impression.

“I remember performing the play and I always felt the energy in the room change when Sasha started talking about panic attacks and things like that,” Lecky says. “Up until then, she was yelling at her parents and the audience was kind of like, ‘She’s a little too old to do this!’ She swears a lot too and the audience always thinks, ‘Oh my god, we don’t really like her!’

“I think it’s easy sometimes to feel sympathy for someone who’s been victimized, but we have less empathy for people who make mistakes, who maybe aren’t very kind, and I think that’s where you really have to offer empathy to people,” she says. , saying it’s a key message of the show.

It shows how ashamed women are

“As a woman, I think you really have to stand up for your choices,” says Lecky, referring to the issues Sasha faces when making choices about her music. “Whether it’s what you wear, how you move your body, how you create music, what you say in your music.” On the show, Sasha has to deal with issues in her music career similar to those of Cardi B and Megan Thee Stallion following the backlash of their song “WAP.” “It’s unfortunately just the space that we still exist in, in terms of double standards for women and for men,” adds Lecky.

Mood
Carly (Lara Peake) and Sasha (Lecky). CREDIT: BBC

Racing is a big theme throughout

Lecky says the show will examine how sex work is “racialized.” She explains: “Sasha is a Métis woman. You just have to go to a sex work site and you will see that everyone describes themselves by their race. It all depends on your appearance.

….how classy

Sasha spends time in the benefit queue, which Lecky says she had to do too. “There was always a shame attached to my being there,” says Lecky. “I wish people would kind of understand how critical we’ve become in society and how connected people actually are. We’re all really connected…we’re all going through something and going through it. It’s [also] about how social media has really detached us from people’s humanity.

The second season is in preparation

“There is definitely room [for a follow up] where we leave it,” Lecky says, hinting that the season will have a follow-up. “So I guess it’s about you know, if people want it!”

‘Mood’ will premiere on BBC Three at 10.05pm tonight, after which it will be available on iPlayer

Zendaya & Labrinth Release “I’m Fated” For “Euphoria” Season Finale

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Since season 1, Labrinth’s work as a composer for the score of Euphoria contributed to the show’s cultural footprint. The orchestral voice, futuristic production and sound ingenuity accompany the characters’ quest for joy and ecstasy.

Songs like “Still Don’t Know My Name” and “Yeh IF*ckin’ Did It” have found a personal connection with audiences, regardless of their relationship to the show. As a producer and artist in his own right, Labrinth brings a unique approach to songwriting for Euphoria. On TV, stages are traditionally outfitted with established licensed music, such as Episode 1 featuring DMX’s “Party Up”. As he explains in rolling stoneIn “The Breakdown,” Labrinth treats his compositions like licensed music: he creates a track, takes it to the director and editors, and together they find where the sounds best elevate the visuals to their highest potential.

“I produce music and perform as an artist. It’s my forte. So when someone leaves, can you compose the music for this show? I’m gonna make a beat, I’m gonna do something that moves me,” he said. “It doesn’t really feel like an accompaniment. It’s like you’re getting an album, like somebody’s making a real album behind the TV, and I think it’s a different experience than what’s traditional.

Director Sam Levinson’s highly stylized approach carries over into the sounds he envisions to emphasize the characters. Traditional rock sounds like Nine Inch Nails, crooners like Nat King Cole and funk artists like Brothers Johnson are all introduced to the British songwriter and reinvented to exist in the world of Euphoria. This season’s score highlights the strength of the duo’s working relationship, a relationship of trust.

“If you imagine me a bit like a kaleidoscope, Sam [Levinson] shines his idea through me. He says, “I know as soon as I shine funk through Lab, it’s not going to be funk. It’s going to be weird stuff going through him the way he’s inspired. Sam was playing music for me and I was listening to it quickly. I wouldn’t sit too long because sometimes if I sit too long I start trying to look like them or become like them. And so I would just go off into my own space and then I’d just be like, OK, zone in as I can feel the funk. Then move on to the swing thinking, “What would the vibe be like there?” And then I just start writing. So everything is literally instinctive.

Watch Labrinth’s interview for “The Breakdown,” above, for a full picture of how he composed the score for Euphoria.

“We’re serious about the music, but not so serious that we don’t have fun”

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In the roughly two years they’ve been working on their second album ‘Unemployment’, the band H3F have had some serious bad luck in the health department – even by the standards of a global pandemic. The band members caught COVID, and frontman Thepvipat “Gong” Prachumchonjaoren recently battled laryngitis and a torn knee disc after a skating accident.

Not that the H3Fs let that hold them back. When they took part in a Zoom call on a recent Sunday evening to talk about their new record with NME, the Thai indie quartet – consisting of drummer Thakorn “Max” Aunyaphanon, bassist Thanabatr “Mhom” Somboonsith and guitarist Arakarn “Ping” Chantorn – were the epitome of chill, having completed a tour of northern Thailand . They performed sold-out shows to 700 people in Lampang and to an outdoor audience of 2,000 in Chiang Mai, performing on stage as a full live band for the first time since the outbreak of the pandemic, a section trumpet and trombone brass instruments in tow.

“The tour was good. But Gong got COVID,” Max casually reveals as we wait for the singer and lead guitarist, who is currently in his third day of self-isolation in Chiang Mai, to join the call. While on tour, the band snuck away on vacation while scouting locations for a live session, and Gong – who had previously toured on crutches after knee surgery – suspects that’s when caught the virus.

Ending their “Unemployment” tour with a lone bandmate seems kind of ironic, considering the album was born out of their frustrations with COVID from the first year of lockdowns. 2020 was to be a promising time for H3F after the double success of their debut releases, 2018 EP ‘Cheesy Lyrics, Sloppy Groove’ and 2019 album ‘Family Product’, which racked up millions of viral streams and rocketed to the top of the Thai music charts.

The reception was “far from what we could expect,” Gong said, giving them the confidence to book their first overseas tour of South Korea and Taiwan. “But then COVID came along and turned off all the lights. We were on such a high from our debut album and our first gig that being forced to sit at home for almost a year felt like a slap in the face,” the frontman adds.

A single positive COVID test is featured prominently on the artwork, the album titled “Unemployment” to commemorate this dark time for suddenly unemployed full-time musicians. Gong recounts the “very anxious feeling” they had in the album’s opening track “Waste My Time”, repeatedly fuming”I just don’t wanna waste my timeover thumping drums and gritty guitar solos between verses punctuated with fiery expletives.

It’s probably not the go-to track fans expected from the laid-back music majors (they all studied the subject at the same college, except for Max, who read the equivalent of radio and TV communication ) – and certainly not from the band who first called themselves “Happy Three Friends”. Gong laughs and quickly points out, “I know it’s a stupid name, but there were three of us at the time and I couldn’t think of anything cool – I still can’t, that’s why we just had it. minimized.”

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The name change coincided with H 3 F’s decision to recruit another old friend, guitarist Ping, as their fourth member, while adding horns to expand the personality and depth of their sound. On “Family Product,” produced with the support of friends, the quartet settled into their mix of funk, jazz, blues, rock, and pop. Like their EP, the record was filled with easy, catchy melodies that made no apologies for chasing, keeping and losing love.

It’s an approach that 25-year-old Gong – who was forced to take on the role of singer-songwriter so the band could stop playing covers – champions. “From the first EP to the first album, I did my best to write honestly about the things I felt and the things that happened to me. I didn’t care if it was a corny song or a heartbreaking song” , he said.

“But on ‘Unemployment’, because I got anxious for a while, I tried to write stuff that wasn’t just about love anymore. As a band, we took the time to make sure the album sounded like we really wanted it to.

“We were on such a high from our debut album and our first gig that being forced to sit at home for almost a year felt like a slap in the face”

That meant indulging in songs that satisfied a creative itch, even if they didn’t necessarily have pop appeal, like the loungey two-minute instrumental “Interlude.” “It’s one of my favorite songs on the album because we recorded it live. You could still hear my feet tapping on the pedal board,” Gong recalled. “I remember the day we recorded this song, it was so cool. No one had a tense moment. Everyone was just there playing music. I love that feeling.

The track is also a respite for the leader, who had to slow down the vocals due to a swollen voice box. “Laryngitis took me out for about three months, and I was so frustrated because I was already struggling to record vocals,” he says; Gong sang in a higher key than the soft lower register he is used to, even breaking into falsetto throughout the album.

The seven tracks on ‘Unemployment’ may seem skimpy compared to their previous album, but Gong says the time they spent revising each song means the group is less prone to “losing sleep over it.” “I don’t have to wake up thinking, ‘Oh shit, I should have done this or I could have done that’. There was a lot of that feeling on the first album. This one feels a little different.

“We are all struggling. The only thing that can get you through this ordeal is if you’re honest about what you really want.

While H 3 F makes room for songs about chivalry (“It’s Alright”), heartbreak (“Clapton”) and the unflappable nerdy (“Hold Me Close”), the most “different” song in the group is also the most absorbing. On the closer “Make Believe World,” which begins quietly and builds to a jazzy crescendo, Gong sings about feeling lost in a pretentious reality. But then he realizes:It’s up to you to be true to yourself / true to the things that will hold you through / through times of great disguise”.

Gong explains, “When I write songs and make music, I tend to believe in an imaginary world. I think it relates to a lot of people trying to make a living doing what they love, not just musicians. We all struggle. The only thing that can get you through this ordeal is being honest about what you really want.

For now, all Max, Mhom, Ping and Gong really want is “to keep playing music together, to be in the same room, to share the same energy,” Gong says. “I think the most memorable thing about the tour is how we forgot the lyrics, messed up a few things here and there, and then moved on and laughed it off. It was those times when we felt like children again,” he adds.

“We’re serious about the music, but not so serious that we don’t have fun – that’s the best part.”

H3F’s ‘Unemployment’ is out

SBA EIDL disaster loans estimated at $115 billion still available

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SAN FRANCISCO, CA/ACCESSWIRE/February 27, 2022/ The United States Small Business Administration (SBA) Economic Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) continues to process and approve COVID EIDL small business loans in 2022. Eligible businesses wishing to apply for increase or a loan modification to their existing SBA loan (up to $2 million), and small businesses that have received a denial letter in the last six months or less can still access the funds. Recent research indicates that around $115 billion in EIDL funds may still be available.

Good news for eligible small business owners and businesses who can still access SBA EIDL disaster loan funds in 2022. Image credit: 123rf/Rikke.

“After doing extensive research, we have estimated that there may be up to $115 billion in COVID-related SBA EIDL funds still available at the end of February. This is only an estimate based on the data. that we found,” said Marty Stewart. , Chief Strategy Officer Disaster Loan Advisors (DLA).

DLA’s strategic advisory team is SBA Loan Advisors who specialize in assisting business owners with multiple business entities or locations, to help navigate the SBA EIDL loan EIDL maximum qualification program. Businesses that have previously received SBA EIDL loans that require a loan increase or modification (up to $2 million maximum), as well as EIDL loan review applications for companies that have been refused.

Top 5 Questions Small Business Owners Ask About the SBA EIDL Program

  1. Is the SBA EIDL program running out of money?
  2. How many SBA EIDL funds are left?
  3. Are there still SBA EIDL funds available?
  4. How much SBA EIDL funds are available?
  5. What is the latest SBA EIDL funding update?

How much money is really left in the SBA’s EIDL program?

Andy Medici, senior reporter for The Playbook by The Business Journals, a division of American City Business Journals (ACBJ), in a recent article asked this exact question. How much is left in the SBA EIDL program? According to Medici, the SBA one word answer was “a lot”.

“This coincides with research that our DLA strategic advisory team has just completed based on available SBA data and other government data as of February 24. I would say that around $115 billion is still a lot of money available, if that number is correct,” Stewart said.

When Stewart and the DLA’s strategic advisory team did their research to answer this question, there were thousands of pages of SBA and other US government data to sift through.

3 Key Facts Uncovered While Researching the SBA EIDL Program

  • According to the Committee for a Responsible Federal Budget (CRFB), there was a total of $475,000,000,000 in COVID relief funding allocated for Economic Disaster Loans (EIDL).
  • Due to a cancellation of COVID-19 credits by the Infrastructure Investment and Jobs Act, $13,500,000,000 has been permanently canceled of the main Economic Disaster Loan Fund (EIDL).
  • As of February 24, 3,905,904 EIDL loans have been approved for a total of $345,562,336,490 by the SBA.

The calculation appears to add up to an estimated funding of $115,937,663,510 that may still be available (as of 2/24/22) in the EIDL Main Fund, which is separate from the much smaller Targeted Advance Fund.

SBA EIDL $2 Million Loan Modification Increase Requests

Even if on 31/12 SBA Deadline passed for businesses that have never applied for the SBA EIDL program before, many small business owners still have options in 2022, as long as there are funds remaining in the program.

“The first option is to apply for a loan modification or increase. This usually has to be done manually and in letter form. Emailing a few paragraphs won’t be enough. If you want to maximize your chances success, and for the most money your business can claim, you have to do it very strategically and with expert help,” Stewart said.

Maximum loan amounts have changed several times since the popular SBA COVID EIDL loan program launched in March 2020. In September 2021, it was restored to the original maximum of $2 million for small businesses eligible for this loan. Size EIDL. . Another positive change to the program included expanding the allowable use of funds. COVID EIDL funds can now be eligible and used to prepay existing commercial debt and loans, and even to make payments on federal commercial debt.

SBA disaster loan options if your EIDL loan was denied

According to SBA, loan applicants can request a review. An applicant has up to 6 months from the date the SBA application was denied to request a reconsideration.

“The second option is to request a reconsideration within six months of receiving a denial letter from the SBA. Or, if you have been denied again after requesting a reconsideration, you have a final window 30 days to file an appeal. Again, sending a short email will not be persuasive enough. To have the best chance of winning an appeal and getting a yes, you need the help of a strategic expert to get the best results,” Stewart said.

Related SBA Program Updates

In related SBA news, several articles by Bryce Covert that appeared in The Intercept, reported on the latest Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Bank of America is refusing to forgive some PPP loans in full, leaving small businesses little recourse. In reality, JPMorgan Chase, Bank of Americaand ANC the banks have all adopted an SBA policy that would allow small business owners some relief through PPP loan forgiveness to treat.

About Disaster Loan Advisors™

Disaster Loan Advisors™ is a team of trusted professionals dedicated to rescuing small businesses and businesses from lost sales, lost customers, lost revenue to help rescue your business from potential financial ruin from the COVID catastrophe -19/Coronavirus, Delta and Omicron variants, and others declared natural disasters.

DLA specializes in assisting owner groups with multiple business entities, multiple restaurants and retail groups, and other complex situations that require expert intervention to assess the situation and create the most appropriate path. strategy to follow.

Has your small business or business suffered financial loss due to COVID, Hurricane Ida, or another natural disaster? Has your SBA loan application been declined for an EIDL loan? Are you looking to increase your existing SBA EIDL loan (up to $2 million) Need strategic guidance before taking your next step?

CONTACT:

Disaster Loan Advisors
Elena Goldstein
Director of Media Relations
877-463-9777 ext 3
[email protected]

Connect with disaster loan advisors via social media:
LinkedIn, Facebook, instagram, Twitterand CrunchBase.

For a strategic exploratory conversation, schedule a free consultation call by visiting:
https://www.disasterloanadvisors.com/contact

THE SOURCE: Disaster Loan Advisors

See the source version on accesswire.com:
https://www.accesswire.com/690598/SBA-EIDL-Disaster-Loans-115-Billion-Estimated-Still-Available

THE SOUND OF MUSIC at the Fulton Theater

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The Fultons The sound of music is by far Lancaster County’s best production since the live theater reopened. The show’s dazzling sets, impressive singing and memorable characters all come together to provide audiences with a spectacular evening of entertainment. The director and choreographer, Marc Robin, is to be commended for overseeing this donation.

Hanley Smith is perfect as Maria. Her smile conveys genuine warmth and happiness, which is contagious to cast and audience alike. Her relationships with the children seem very genuine, and this speaks to her level of commitment. Since Rogers and Hammerstein’s songs are so iconic, it would be easy for a performer to go through the steps, but Smith doesn’t cut corners. She takes ownership of each number and the audience is well rewarded for her talent and effort.

Will Ray is particularly complimentary to Smith as Captain von Trapp. Fulton’s casting is to be commended for selecting an actor who seems a bit younger and more dynamic than the typical actor in the role. This choice is very profitable because the Captain and Maria inevitably find themselves. They look a lot more like husband and wife than “creepy uncle and niece”. Ray also makes good choices with the captain’s behavior. You never feel that his character is a tyrant. He loves his children, but just doesn’t know how to show it. It was a refreshing and positive change.

Speaking of children, The sound of music is a lot – seven to be exact. The Von Trapp Children have been portrayed by Charlie Carroccio, Carly Geiter, Jack Packer, Taylor Quick, Penelope Schulz, Ariana Stambaugh and Lucy Trout. Each actor created a distinct and memorable character. Their countless hours of rehearsals and practice lead to impeccable dialogue, song and choreography.

A chain is only as strong as its weakest link, so this show is remarkably sturdy. The cast and backing chorus were still excellent. For example, Katie Sina plays a multidimensional Frau Schraeder, Blake Hammond is a very funny Max, and Daniella Danni shone in her portrayal of the Mother Abbess.

Any theatrical production The sound of music will inevitably be compared to the film. Comparisons are almost always lower. Can a bit of plywood and canvas ever match the beauty and majesty of the Alps? This answer for Fulton’s production is a resounding “yes”!

Scenographer, Michael Schweikardt has created a beautiful and intricate series of sets both by traditional means and by digital projection. Whether they suggest the majesty of Van Traap Manor or the solemnity of Maria’s Convent, the sets were an important and valuable contribution to the storytelling process.

Ben McNoboe conducts the 12-piece orchestra that expertly and perfectly puts the sound of music into The sound of music. They provided a rich, full sound worthy of the beautiful melodies of Richard Roger.

Although this show has been extended until March 27, I would purchase tickets as soon as possible. Excellent word of mouth and repeat viewing will make sold-out performances inevitable. Get yours from the Fulton website as soon as you can.

Find ‘Funny Girl.’ Ultimately. – The New York Times

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Boyett said an open theater on Broadway accelerated plans before crucial creative decisions could be made. And he was unable to raise the funds for a lavish show that had a budget of $13-14 million at the time.

He brushed off the fact that Ambrose’s casting was the problem, while agreeing that it was part of what was holding investors back. “Some people were holding back because they thought it was a big budget,” Boyett said. “And some people do such an amazing job casting a role the first time around that it’s hard to think they’ll ever be replaced.”

In a 2018 interview, Ambrose remembers the shock. “We were two weeks away from rehearsal,” she said. “Obviously it was a disappointment, but as an actor, really, really, it’s easy going. These things, they come together and they fall apart all the time.

Fairly true. And that year, Ambrose got a shot at another classic plum role, playing Eliza Doolittle in “My Fair Lady” for the Lincoln Center Theater.

She was nominated for a Tony Award. Bartlett Sher was its manager.

Sonia Friedman, now a powerhouse producer in London and New York, learned to appreciate “Funny Girl” by hearing her older sister, Maria Friedman, perform “Don’t Rain on My Parade” in concert.

She made her first rights plea in the late 1990s, she said, offering a “clean” version, for British audiences, that would put the story, not the spectacle, front and center – and would be a vehicle for Maria, then a London theater star.

“It looked like it might happen,” Friedman said, “and then Maria got pregnant. She moved on, I moved on.

“I didn’t feel like an artist in the midst of the tragedy. Now I’m back’

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In the 1990s, Alison Clarkson became a pop-rap sensation with hits such as Doin’ The Do and a larger-than-life alter ego known as Betty Boo.

Ondoner Alison, who had dropped out of school, soon found a teenage fantasy, touring the world, performing on top TV shows, strutting at fashion events and appearing on the covers of high-profile magazines.

Her album Boomania reached platinum status and she landed gongs at the British and our own IRMA awards.

The “Queen of Pop” herself, Madonna, became a huge fan and came calling with an offer for Betty Boo to join her new label.

Sadly, it was around this time that Alison’s world fell apart when her beloved mother was diagnosed with cancer. The singer, who had lost her father a few years earlier, decided to give up music to take care of her mother.

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Alison Clarkson during her Betty Boo heyday in the 1990s

Alison Clarkson during her Betty Boo heyday in the 1990s

As she drops a new single and prepares to hit the festival circuit this summer, Alison opens up about this dark time in her personal life as she chats with Magazine+.

I just wanted to be there for my mom,” she says of her decision to quit music. “I slept in the hospital and was with her the whole time until she sadly died. Then I had to take care of the rest of the family after she left. I had to take care of my grandmother because my mother’s sister, my grandmother’s other daughter, died shortly after, so we had this terrible tragedy in our family.

“It was really horrible for my grandmother to lose two daughters, so taking care of her was my priority then. I also had a younger brother to look after. It was my life. The music is not there. I didn’t even want to go in. I didn’t want to do it at all. We had to support each other. As anyone who’s been there knows, that’s what you have to do.

Alison was still in her mid-twenties at the time and she admits to feeling “confused” and “cursed” at the time. “My father died when I was 17,” she explains. “I was really confused about the whole thing. I thought ‘was it some kind of curse because I was successful? Maybe that’s what’s happening. You can’t be successful without all the terrible stuff as well.”

She had had a strong bond with her father and believes his death inspired her to realize her potential in life. “That could have pushed me to succeed,” Alison thought to herself. “There could be this thing of, ‘I’m going to prove myself, show him, I hope he looks at me.’ He bought me all my records and he played guitar…not professionally, he played the guitar really badly, and I used to sing with him sometimes He taught me sports…how to play cricket, billiards, billiards , ping-pong, all those things.

Looking back, Alison says she doesn’t regret turning down Madonna’s offer. “I couldn’t even think of doing stuff like that back then,” she explains. “I didn’t feel like a recording artist anymore. You have a tragedy and you just have to be there for everyone.

The pop idol then bought her grandmother an apartment near her home and cared for her until her death a few years later. “I just made sure Granny felt safe,” she says.

Alison laughs as she recalls how years earlier she wore her grandmother’s cardigan to an impromptu performance with American rappers Public Enemy after spotting them at a local McDonald’s when she was 17. The encounter was filmed and can be seen today on YouTube today.

“I was 17, I had a cold and I asked my grandmother, who looked after us, if I could borrow her vest,” she recalls. “So I was wearing my grandma’s cardigan that night – not exactly the best ‘look’.”

This chance encounter prompted an invitation to the United States, where Public Enemy’s Professor Griff produced Alison’s debut single, Give It A Rest, with her then band She Rockers.

“This trip was an apprenticeship,” she says. “I left my A-Levels, went to New York and toured with Public Enemy. We were really young and completely fearless. My mom must have been so worried about me.

After her hiatus years later, it was Simon Cowell, then an unknown man from the A&R record company, who brought her back into the music business to mentor his new band, Girl Thing. She wrote a song called Pure And Simple for them – but it would later become a smash hit for Popstars Hear’Say winners.

Alison has also written songs for many big name artists including Rod Stewart, Paloma Faith and Girls Aloud, but during the lockdown she wrote a new batch for her alter ego Betty Boo, including her latest single, Get Me To The Weekend, which is available now.

“I’m going to be 52 on my next birthday,” adds Alison, who always looks gorgeous. “When you were younger, someone that age was like your grandparent – ​​but today I don’t feel any different to when I started. Betty Boo is definitely back.

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Album: Cécile McLorin Salvant – Ghost Song

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When 2020 MacArthur Fellow and three-time Grammy Award winner Cécile McLorin Salvant previewed some of the material from her forthcoming album to a delighted audience at Cadogan Hall as part of the EFG London Jazz Festival in London. last year, you sensed something special was brewing. But the treasure of wonders that is ghost song exceeds all expectations.

Whether it is the unaccompanied fragment of the sean nos song “Cúirt Bhaile Nua” following Kate Bush’s “Wuthering Heights” (recorded in the beautiful acoustics of St. Malachy’s Church, New York), the imaginative fusion of breathtaking “Optimistic Voices” with “No Love Dying ” by Gregory Porter, or the magnificent self-written “Thunderclouds” (inspired by Marcel Carné’s 1945 film, children of paradise), all seven originals and five covers combine to form a moving, imaginative and sometimes hilarious whole in what is Salvant’s most memorable statement to date. Other highlights include the haunting chorus of the tender and conversational title track, the venerably old folk song, “Unquiet Grave” and “The World Is Mean” from The Threepenny Operaa job clearly loved by Salvant.

“When it comes to instruments, I like an underdog nobody likes,” Salvant noted when I interviewed her for The Arts Desk. Not only does the banjo make a welcome reappearance in ghost song – previously featured on his 2013 album WomanChild – Salvant’s endless quest for textual surprise sees the introduction of the lute and theorbo in “Dead Poplar”, which features lyrics taken from a letter written by Alfred Stieglitz to Georgia O’Keefe set to music by Salvant. The brilliant “I Lost My Mind,” on the other hand, is backed by the pipe organ, which delivers an ending so powerful it threatens to dislodge your light fixtures and a tile or two from your roof. I predict the hurdy-gurdy and the trumpet marine next time.

@MrPeterQuinn

Listen to the title track:

What to see and experience in New York this spring

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‘CYRANO DE BERGERAC’ There is no shortage of variations on Edmond Rostand’s 19th century play “Cyrano de Bergerac”, in which the brilliant but big-nosed Cyrano writes beautiful love poems that his handsome but – let’s say less brilliant – comrade Christian passes on for his own. to impress Roxane, a woman whom Cyrano himself loves. Next is the Jamie Lloyd Company’s “Cyrano de Bergerac,” adapted by Martin Crimp and directed by Lloyd, which will come to Brooklyn after a critically acclaimed tour in London. It’s a slick, modern version, with Cyrano using rap and spoken word as a means of seduction. As Cyrano, James McAvoy, who often seems to alter his very foundations – his voice and his mannerisms, his energy, his entire physical presence – for a role. Maya Phillips
Previews begin April 5; opens April 14 at the Harvey Theatre, Brooklyn Academy of Music.

‘A CASE FOR THE EXISTENCE OF GOD’ Samuel D. Hunter built a rich body of work from fertile ground: the Idaho landscapes of his youth. His deceptively quiet pieces (“Lewiston/Clarkston”, “A Bright New Boise”, “Greater Clements”) explore faith, desire, sex and loss, in dialogue tuned to the rhythms of ordinary speech. The MacArthur Foundation recognized her ability to create “dramas that explore the human capacity for empathy and confront the socially isolating aspects of contemporary life across the American landscape.” This new play, directed by David Cromer, is again set in Idaho – and is perhaps the most intimate he has written. He has only two characters, men who struggle to understand what the world owes them and does not owe them. Although Hunter often prefers characters from what he calls “the losing end of American life,” he promised that this new play brings hope. ALEXIS SOLOSK
Previews begin April 12; opens May 2 at the Signature Theater in Manhattan.

‘WISH YOU WERE HERE’ The vagaries of postponements and rescheduling now offer us two almost simultaneous opportunities to discover the world of Sanaz Toossi, a young first-generation Iranian-American playwright from Orange County, California. Following on from “English” (at the Atlantic Theater Company), which looks at a small group of Iranians preparing for the English as a Foreign Language test, “Wish You Were Here” follows five young women in Karaj, a suburb from Tehran. (Actress Marjan Neshat appears in both shows.) They are around 20 years old when the play begins, in 1978, and we stay with them until 1991 as they navigate not only their friendship, but also their sense of belonging and belonging. A revolution unfolds, followed by a war with Iraq; life-changing decisions have to be made. Toossi reunites with Gaye Taylor Upchurch, who directed last year’s audio version for Williamsburg Theater Festival and Audible. ELIZABETH VINCENTELLI
Previews begin April 13; opens May 2 at Playwrights Horizons, Manhattan.

‘WEDDING BAND’ Alice Childress was a force to be reckoned with in theater, even if she didn’t always get her due. After all, she would have been Broadway’s first black playwright had she not refused to compromise on her work. It would be the first was his play “Trouble in Mind,” which finally premiered on Broadway last fall. How lucky we are to have his sequel to “Trouble,” “Wedding Band,” a rarely produced play about an illicit interracial relationship in the South during World War I. Awoye Timpo directs this, only the second New York production, with modern racial politics – including the Black Lives Matter movement – ​​as the issue in mind. Maya Phillips
Previews begin April 23; opens May 1 at the Polonsky Shakespeare Center, Theater for a New Audience, Brooklyn.

‘THE WETTER’ Sorry, “Urinetown,” you’re not the only musical about a certain bodily function anymore. Subtitled “Stories of Redemption, Courage, and Wee,” Sarah Silverman’s 2010 memoir is candid, vulnerable, and, of course, brutally funny. Chances are those qualities are present in this musical adaptation, since Silverman herself wrote the book with playwright Joshua Harmon (“Prayer for the French Republic”), as well as the lyrics, with composer Adam Schlesinger. . The show is bound to be bittersweet: Schlesinger, who is best known for his scores for Broadway’s “Cry-Baby” and the TV series “Crazy Ex-Girlfriend,” died of complications from coronavirus in April 2020, at around the time “The Bedwetter” was originally slated to premiere. ELIZABETH VINCENTELLI
Previews begin April 30; opens May 23 at the Linda Gross Theatre, Atlantic Theater Company.

Oakland woman who spent PPP loans on Louis Vuitton bags and private jets gets three years in federal prison

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A 32-year-old Oakland woman who was arrested and charged last year in connection with a scheme to defraud the federal government out of $4.5 million in pandemic relief funds has just been sentenced to three years in prison and will have to pay more than a million dollars in restitution.

Christina Burden, who resided in Oakland but was arrested in Austin, Texas, in February 2021, is an accountant by trade, and federal prosecutors found she set up several front companies in 2020, including one called “Blessing Box Co LLC” and one called “Burden Consulting Group LLC”, and applied for millions of dollars in Payroll Protection Program (PPP) and Economic Disaster Loan Program (EIDL) loans. Although she is self-employed as an administrative and accounting consultant, Burden claimed in forged documents to have 89 employees and a monthly payroll of $700,000.

In total, she applied for 10 loans totaling $4.5 million and successfully received over $1 million, including $992,291 in fraudulent PPP loans. Investigators found that instead of using the funds to keep real businesses afloat, Burden spent the money on lavish travel expenses like private jets and hotels, and $124,000 was spent on shopping for luxury at Louis Vuitton, Neiman Marcus and Nordstrom. Another $150,000 was spent on three vehicles, including a Mercedes Benz and a Land Rover.

According to a statement released Thursday by the Justice Department, Burden pleaded guilty to two counts of bank fraud and two counts of money laundering.

United States District Judge Yvonne Gonzalez Rogers sentenced Burden to 36 months in federal prison plus three years of supervised release. In addition, she will have to pay $1,143,191 in compensation to the federal government.

The maximum sentence Burden could have faced was 30 years.

“Those who wish to defraud programs designed to help those in need should know that the FBI and our partners will pursue every investigative tool at our disposal to ensure the integrity of these programs and that they remain available to small business owners in our community,” said Craig Fair, FBI special agent in San Francisco, when Burden’s charges were first filed.

The PPP and EIDL programs stem from the CARES (Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security Act) Act, passed by Congress in late March 2020, just as pandemic-related lockdowns shut down large swaths of the US economy, causing difficulties on many levels. . The PPP program issued a total of $800 billion in loans, all of which could be forgiven if companies maintained their workforces at pre-pandemic levels and spent 60% of the funds on payrolls – the rest on mortgages, rent, utilities, and other qualifying expenses.

An academic working paper released last August suggested that 15% of loans granted, or $76 billion, had at least one indicator of potential fraud. The study singled out the fintech companies that helped administer the program loans for displaying the highest possible fraud rate in their loan records.

The DOJ pursued several major cases of alleged fraud, including four individuals in Richmond and Sugar Land, Texas, who obtained $18 million in fraudulent PPP loans and requested a total of $35 million in loans. These four people were charged in December.

Photo: Giorgio Trovato

Tencent’s QQ Music upgrades Smart Score feature – Pandaily

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The smart score function on China’s QQ Music digital content platform, which became the domestic industry’s first such feature when it was launched in November last year, has undergone yet another upgrade. In addition to the new version 2.0, it is reported that smart score functions suitable for PCs and Macs will be launched later.

The update brought a series of changes, including the types and amount of music supported. This new version not only launched a large number of sheet music covering Chinese, English, Japanese, Korean, French, Italian, German and Russian music, but also added ukulele sheet music to meet various music preferences and tastes. its users.

Platform users can click “More – View Music Score – Smart Score” in the song playing interface, then select “Guitar/Ukulele” in the lower left corner of the page. It is reported that this feature will continue to increase the supported instrument types.

In addition to the massive amount of ukulele sheet music, the app has also upgraded its smart sheet music feature. At the bottom of the smart score interface, users can find the newly updated “AB repeat” function, so that they can select specific paragraphs of the score to practice repeatedly to reduce the difficulty of practice and become familiar with the phrases in the sections.

In addition, users can click the upper right corner to enter the music score editing page. Here, they can correct errors in the score, as well as modify chords and notes according to their preferences or habits, to improve the adaptability between musical scores and their style.

SEE ALSO: Tencent Music Entertainment reshuffles, involving QQ Music and WeSing

On November 9, 2021, Tencent Music Entertainment Groupthe owner of QQ Music, released its unaudited financial report for the third quarter ended September 30, 2021. The company posted revenue of 7.81 billion yuan ($1.21 billion) and profit net non-IFRS of 1.06 billion yuan ($165 million). .

In the third quarter, Tencent’s revenue Music’s online music service grew 24.3% year-on-year, while its online music subscription revenue grew 30.2% year-on-year to 1.9 billion yuan ( $295 million). The number of its paid online users reached 71.2 million, a year-on-year increase of 37.7% and a net increase of 5 million from the previous month. The company’s payout rate reached 11.2%, up from 8.0% in the same period last year and 10.6% in the second quarter of 2021.

Here are the gigs: the artists are on tour and local venues like the Fox, Mechanics Bank Arena, are booking them again

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BAKERSFIELD, Calif. (KGET) – The pandemic devastated the live music industry in 2020 to the tune of $30 billion worldwide, and while things got a little better in 2021, it continued to be difficult with soft ticket sales and canceled shows. In California, where the rules were particularly rigid, things were even worse.

But, now, at least in Bakersfield and in many parts of the country, things are starting to look up.

Big-name bands are hitting the road again, from Elton John to Bakersfield’s KORN, which opens a new tour next week from Missouri.

Local concert halls across the city are suddenly full of bookings – a welcome relief. Fox Theater Foundation President T Johnson still shakes her head at the confusion of that initial shutdown.

“It was just when Covid started,” she said. “I believe it was two thousand (2020) – see, when we have to start saying years now – two years ago at Fox, we had to have our board meeting to decide, that do we do We are in uncharted territory.

But Fox Theater is leading the way now. The downtown landmark just announced guitarist Don Felder, formerly of the Eagles, paired with Dave Mason, formerly of Traffic. Also coming soon: Bakersfield Sound fan Dwight Yoakam and comedian John Mulaney.

Is this the entertainment breakthrough we’ve been waiting for?

Steve Eckerson, general manager of Mechanics Bank Arena, Theater and Convention Center, says that might be the case.

“Artists are starting to spin,” he said. “We are still seeing postponements. But more and more artists are coming out and working. The challenge has been the West Coast, where we’re a little more restrictive in the guidelines than maybe the Midwest and Florida and some of those places, so we’re a little behind.

Mechanics Bank Arena just announced Snoop Dogg fresh off the Super Bowl halftime show, scheduled for May 21, followed by Matchbox Twenty on May 25 and Chris Stapleton on June 16.

World Records’ No Stinkin’ Cover Charge Blues series has the Special EFX All Stars on March 25, Rodney Crowell on April 2, and Carolyn Wonderland on April 9. Pat Evans, whose cozy little room behind the record store can seat 600 people, says it was important for people to feel that all of this is behind them.

“People are going to feel more and more safe to go out and enjoy the live music again,” he said, “which we all need.”

The Bakersfield Music Hall of Fame, which specializes in musical impersonation groups, is hosting tribute shows for Rod Stewart, Creedence Clearwater, Aerosmith and Fleetwood Mac this spring.

The Well Comedy Club, in the space once occupied by B Ryders, is riding the momentum of its recent Darrell Hammond appearance. The venue has a packed schedule of stand-up shows coming up in the coming weeks.

Buck Owens’ Crystal Palace is the only one still taking time, with house bands on deck. But Johnny Owens, the founder’s youngest son, will perform two nights this weekend.

Ready to rock? Ready to laugh? Ready to take two steps? A lot of people in Bakersfield are quite prepared to do these things, and the people running the sites are counting on it.

Tony & Grammy Winner Anaïs Mitchell Talks New Self-titled Album, “Hadestown” & More

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As funny as it may sound, Anaïs Mitchell has spent the last 15 years in a kind of hell. Ok, not real hell, but the multi-faceted world of Hadesvillea musical project she started in Vermont in 2006 that has become a Tony-and Grammys-an award-winning Broadway phenom with touring editions that now delight audiences as far away as South Korea.

She was named to TIME’s prestigious 2020 TIME100 list, and her first book, Working on a Song – Hadestown Lyrics was published by Penguin/Plume the same year.

Dubbed by NPR as “one of the greatest songwriters of his generation”, Mitchell’s new self-titled album is produced by Josh Kaufman. It was made with close collaborators Bon Iver, The National and his own band Bonny Light Horseman, and is Mitchell’s first collection of all-new material under his own name since 2012. Young man in America. Mitchell will debut the new songs on her 2022 tours of the United States and Europe, during which she will be accompanied by performers from the album.

BroadwayWorld’s Kevin Pollack recently sat down with Mitchell to talk about the new album, Hadesville and Bonny Light Horseman.

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BWW: Tell us how this new album was born?

When the pandemic hit New York, I was *just* about to give birth to our second child, and we made the 11th-hour decision to move to my family’s farm in Vermont to have the baby. . The baby was born a week later, and then we all moved into a little house on the farm that belonged to my grandparents when they were alive (my parents and my brother’s family also have houses on the farm). Suddenly we were there, in this extraordinary immobility. I started writing songs again and got into a flow I hadn’t felt in years. All but one of these songs were written in the summer and fall of 2020.

BWW: What influences did you have for your new album?

I think most of the time the stillness and rediscovery of what is is to write a song that can be whatever it wants to be i.e. doesn’t have to do too advance the plot or develop the character. I also think these songs are influenced by my work in my collaborative (and when we started, traditional) band Bonny Light Horseman. My bandmate Josh Kaufman produced it, he uses a lot of open tunings, and the main band is also made up of the same people who played on our BLH record. So there’s a bit of a sonic cachet there.

BWW: Where does the concept of Hadestovn the beginning, and what was the whole process like?

I was in my twenties and just starting out as a singer-songwriter when I started working on Hadesville. I was curious to use songs to tell a longer story, and so when I was driving from gig to gig and some lines fell from the sky that seemed to be about the Orpheus + Eurydice myth, I just started working on that . I contacted my first collaborators Michael Chorney (who remained orchestrator and guitarist until Broadway) and Ben t. Matchstick, the first director of the series. We asked all of our friends to play the characters and put on the show for two years in a row in Vermont. It was a very DIY community theater situation, and the show was much shorter and more abstract at the time. The next thing that happened was I did a studio recording with producer Todd Sickafoose (who became our other orchestrator!) and all these guest musicians and singers, so the whole show went completely moved into the music business for a few years as we were making and touring with this record Then I moved to New York, met Rachel Chavkin and the lead producers who helped develop the show for Broadway, and I started a phase that lasted another six years, as we prepared the show for off-Broadway, Edmonton, London and finally Broadway. So it was a long, slow, organic journey for us…

BWW: In your opinion, what makes Hadesville different from any other musical out there?

Well, it’s definitely a show that came out of the music world first and foremost, and I think you can feel that in the songs, the orchestrations, and also the way the music pointed the way to certain sets and staging ideas…sort of De, the show culture, which Rachel was very adamant about, had to straddle the worlds of music and theater.

BWW: Which song from the new album means the most to you and why?

There’s a song called “Revenant” which is kind of dreamy and hazy, it’s still mysterious to me and I think that’s why it means so much. It’s a bit about my grandmother, my childhood memories in and out of my grandparents’ house, it’s also about me kind of “seeing” the child that I was and want to kiss her, tell her that I receive her, this mysterious encounter between me at the age that I have and me as a child.

BWW: What are your musical influences?

I’m very influenced by the kind of verbose, epic ‘songwriters of songwriters’ like Joni Mitchell, Townes Van Zandt, Dylan, Leonard Cohen, the folk ballad of the British Isles. I also fell in love with Rickie Lee Jones, Ani Difranco, Tori Amos at an impressionable age. In terms of songwriting, I would say Wretched, Sweeney Todd, The Threepenny Operawere all very important to me.

BWW: You released an album with Bonny Light Horseman. How did you get involved in this group?

I started working with Josh Kaufman when we were both living in Brooklyn, playing traditional music. Josh brought his friend Eric into the band which really got me excited as I had recently discovered and fallen in love with his band Fruit Bats. I think I was looking for something COMPLETELY different from Hadesville, and that’s what Bonny Light Horseman was, at least in the beginning. We have now made a second album, which is made up of co-written original songs rather than traditional material, and it will be released later this year!

BWW: What do you think will be the future of musical theatre?

I’m very impressed with how flexible and fluid Broadway seems to be becoming in terms of embracing shows that come through unusual channels, potentially coming from all corners of the music world. I think people are discovering how to tell stories using all kinds of music and it’s so exciting. I also think that with live captures and many musicals adapted for cinema, it forces us to seriously think about what makes a live performance in a theater different, moving and essential, and to look at the magic of that…people together in a room…that’s what the concert experience has always been.

BWW: Now that you have a Grammy and a Tony Award, is film and TV next?

I would love to work in film and television if the right project crossed my path and if I had the time and space to do it! I find the combination of music and film/TV so moving. But I haven’t quite found my way yet.

BWW: What awaits you on the horizon?

I’m currently on tour with this self-titled record, but I also have an album coming out later this year with my folk band Bonny Light Horseman! So we’re going to shoot this record as well. I’m having so much fun writing and recording right now…and collaborating!!

American tour

2/4 – Iowa City, IA – Englert Theater

2/5 – Eau Claire, WI – Pablo Center at Confluent

2/7 – Ann Arbor, MI – The Ark

2/8 – Cincinnati, OH – Longworth-Anderson Series at Memorial Hall

2/10 – Springfield, OH – Kuss Auditorium

2/11- North Bethesda, MD – The Strathmore Music Center

2/12 – Princeton, NJ – McCarter Theater Center

2/14 – New York, NY – Webster Hall

2/15 – Hanover, NH – Hopkins Center for the Arts

2/16 – Tarrytown, NY – Tarrytown Music Hall

2/17 – Portland, ME – Merrill Auditorium

2/18 – Boston, MA – Berklee Performance Center

2/19 – Burlington, Vermont – Flynn Center for the Performing Arts

2/20 – Kingston, NY – Old Dutch Church

2/23 – Roanoke, Va. – Jefferson Center

2/24 – Charlotte, NC – Knight Theater

2/26 – Athens, Georgia – Hugh Hodgson School of Music

2/27 – Auburn, AL – Auburn University Jay and Susie Gogue Center for the Performing Arts

2/28 – Greenville, SC – The Peace Center

4/28 – Evanston, IL – Space

4/29 – Milwaukee, WI – Shank Hall

5/01 – Minneapolis, MN – Lawn Club

5/04 – Seattle, WA – The Crocodile

5/05 – Portland, OR – Revolution Hall

5/07 – San Francisco, CA – The Chapel

5/09 – Los Angeles, California – Masonic Lodge at Hollywood Forever

To learn more, please visit www.anaismitchell.com

Talents from the Phoenix Musical Theater Community perform AT THE BALLET, April 24

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Talent from the Phoenix musical theater community came together to present an evening of Broadway cabaret in support of Convergence Ballet and its outreach programs.

AT THE BALLET – The Broadway Cabaret will take place April 24 at 6 p.m. at the Ballet Theater of Phoenix, 6201 N. 7th St. All funds raised will go to support Convergence Ballet and its PLIES program, which provides ballet training to students of Title 1, including full tuition, transportation, dancewear and costumes.

Headlining AT THE BALLET is Valley actor Seth Tucker, known for his award-winning roles including “Leaf” in The Phoenix Theater’s The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (ariZoni and Encore Award winner), as well as Jacob in La Cage aux Folles for Broadway Theater Arizona and cabaret master of ceremonies for Fuse Productions.

Tucker will be joined by other top talents from Phoenix’s musical theater community, including Brenda Jean Foley, Taylor Hudson, Christopher Elliott, Shani Elise Barrett, Marlene Gerstman, Molly LaJoie and Chris Chavez. Lincoln Wright, the musical director of Gilbert’s Hale Center Theater will accompany on the piano.

Tickets are $50 and are on sale at ballettheatreofphx.org or convergenceballet.org.
For more information on PLIES, visit convergenceballet.org/plies.

This Is Going to Hurt soundtrack features nearly 30 catchy songs

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The music for a movie or TV series can often help or hinder the success of the project, as the choice of songs can add just the necessary emotional weight to each scene.

For a comedy series that can be incredibly hard-hitting, This Is Going to Hurt makes excellent use of music to help viewers get into Adam Kay’s mindset as he struggles with shifts. exhausting days and relentless 90-hour work weeks.

But what songs are on the This Is Going to Hurt soundtrack?

It will hurt | Trailer | BBC

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It will hurt | Trailer | BBC

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This Is Going To Hurt release date and synopsis

This Is Going To Hurt races on BBC One and iPlayer in the UK on Tuesday 8th February 2022.

Starring Ben Whishaw, the series tells the story of Adam Kay, a young doctor who rises through the ranks of the hospital hierarchy.

Told through a comedic lens, the series explores the ups and downs of Adam’s relentless shifts, crippling 97-hour work weeks, and the terrifying life-and-death decisions that must be made in the blink of an eye. eye.

BBC

It’s Gonna Hurt Original Soundtrack

Over its seven episodes, This Is Going to Hurt uses nearly 30 songs, both licensed and original.

The songs featured in the show’s soundtrack are:

Episode 1

Episode 2

Episode 3

BBC

Episode 4

Episode 5

Episode 6

Episode 7

BBC

This Is Going to Hurt airs weekly on BBC One and is available to stream in full on BBC iPlayer.

How does a Fed rate hike affect SBA loans?

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Image via Wikimedia Commons.

Jerome Powell, Chairman of the Federal Reserve.

logo seedcopa

While talking about the Federal Reserve raising interest rates starting in March, Seedcopa is asked: How would Fed rate hikes affect the SBA 504 and other government-backed loans?

I’ll leave the heavy lifting to those with the title of “Chief Economist”, but what I can tell you is this: with the 10-year Treasury yield rising and the Treasury discussing the increase in the federal funds rate in March, we are heading towards higher SBA 504 interest rates. But I expect it to be a controlled change. We know that SBA 504 rates are not directly tied to the 10-year Treasury, but historically they track the same. Take a look at the chart below from Eagle Compliance, the SBA’s fiscal agent, which is responsible for the marketing, pricing, and sales of the 504 Debenture Pool.

The yellow line and the light blue line show the SBA 504 rates (20- and 25-year effective rates) from February 2019 to November 2021. Although they are still a few percentage points higher than the 10-year Treasury, they follow the progress of the Treasury. pretty close. It’s not a fixed spread, but it’s a similar path except for the start of the pandemic.

So yes, I expect we are headed for a rising interest rate environment, albeit a controlled one. I don’t see us jumping from an interest rate of 3.22% to 7.22% overnight. Instead, I see us going from rates that were hovering around 2.75% to rates that were hovering around 4%. For borrowers who became interested in SBA 504 loans when rates were at historic lows, this is a substantial increase. But an interest rate around or just above 4%, fixed for the entire 25-year life of the loan, is still historically very attractive.

We should also always be aware that the 504 debenture is its own investment, and capital market investors decide their investment amount and appetite for rate of return monthly based on their own research and portfolio needs. I don’t see a shortage of investors at this point, and I don’t expect it.

For those who want a deeper understanding, I encourage you to read Eagle Compliance’s weekly market commentary (the SBA tax agent I mentioned above) and its Feb. strong + stricter policy = higher rates.”

In the meantime, I’ll leave you with this: in times of uncertainty, government-backed loans like the SBA 504 offer reliable, cost-effective solutions when we need them most. Last year, borrowers were able to take advantage of fee waivers and the lowest interest rates in US history. This follows covered payments just after the pandemic began, allowing borrowers to pay rent and other major expenses until PPP funds kick in. I’ve never been prouder to offer this US business loan product.

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Sherwood Robbins is the managing director of Seedcopa, an affiliate of the Chester County Economic Development Council that was ranked number one by the US Small Business Administration for securing the most SBA 504 loans for small businesses in Eastern Pennsylvania. He can be reached at [email protected] or 610-321-8241.

Tribute concert to Joni Mitchell as part of Dawna Hammers’ musical journey

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Dawna Hammers believes that music has a special power.

“Music is very deeply healing and sacred and people really have no idea of ​​the immense power of good music,” she says. “It can change the vibrations of our world.”

Hammers has done his part to try and change the vibes of the world for the better by getting involved in various forms of music from across the sonic spectrum, whether it’s Native American songs, lounge jazz, or a tribute concert. to Canadian singer-songwriter Joni Mitchell.

Music fans will get to see the self-proclaimed ‘music medicine’ in person when she performs “Back to the Garden” Joni Mitchell Tribute Show Sunday at the Cape Cod Cultural Center. “Back to the Garden” has “evolved organically” over the past few years, Hammers says, and she can’t wait to perform it again in front of a live audience.

Why Joni Mitchell?

Hammers is a multi-instrumentalist who considers the piano her main choice, but her Joni Mitchell show began when Hammers was busking in Burlington, Vermont with her guitar, playing Mitchell’s songs on the street.

“She’s just the queen of all songwriters and she’s just phenomenal in every way,” Hammers says of Mitchell. “She’s a real artist. Her voice – if you see the previous videos on YouTube – she was so pure, innocent and spiritual.

Mitchell rose to prominence in the 1960s and was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, eight-time Grammy Award winner, and is considered one of the great songwriters of all time, writing the songs ‘Big Yellow Taxi’, ‘Woodstock’ and many more.

More music: ‘I live for this’: ‘Reverend’ Josh Peyton on the road with new songs written during the pandemic

In addition to physically resembling her, Hammers says passers-by have also told her that she also resembles Mitchell.

“People started hearing (the songs) and started saying ‘Oh my God, you sound like her’ and kept cheering me on. So I just kept building the repertoire bit by bit,” says Hammers She also got a boost from her musician friends who urged her to keep building her knowledge of Mitchell’s catalog of songs.

Her first Joni Mitchell tribute show was in 2015 at Radio Bean in Burlington as part of the Discover Jazz Festival, and she has since brought the show to Cape Town where she now lives. She’s performed sold-out shows in Woods Hole and Falmouth, and recently performed outdoors last summer at the Cotuit Center for the Arts.

Typically, Hammers is accompanied by a backing band, but will play most of the cultural center show solo with her piano, along with guitarist Gregg Sullivan sitting on a few songs. Hammers likes to start his performance with Mitchell’s more folksy tunes and will “mix” from there with some of the artist’s more jazzy tunes, like “Blue Motel Room.” Mitchell’s extensive song catalog is another similarity Hammers says the two share, although that might be an understatement on Hammers’ part.

A dilemma and a new path

Originally from Weymouth, Hammers now lives in Falmouth and divides his time between writing and performing music, teaching music and caring for elderly people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

She grew up in a musical household with her father, a saxophonist and clarinetist who played in Cape Town, and her mother who was “Irish and always sang”.

Hammers turned to the piano, in part because her family already had an old one in their basement, and she also loved painting. In the end, she had to choose between the two when it came to college.

“Joni had that dilemma too, but she’s a much better painter than me,” Hammers says. “I chose the music. (The piano) is just a beautiful instrument to write on.

More music: ‘Good to be Bad’: Grateful George Thorogood band remain ‘in demand’ as tour hits Hyannis

After two years at Berklee College of Music, she was done with it and in her own band.

“When I went in 1978 and 1979, it was strictly jazz – very intense jazz – and it was 90% male,” she says. “It was a bit daunting and although I was inspired by it and loved my dad’s jazz, I was already a pop songwriter and really didn’t want to learn about all of that tension. I enjoy them, but it just wasn’t my thing.

She became a member of a soft rock trio called Polaris (her mother chose the name) and played lounges across Connecticut and Springfield. The band also performed weekly at the Flying Bridge Restaurant in Falmouth.

Hammers eventually found a way to teach music at Montessori and private schools in Massachusetts and Vermont that didn’t require him to have a teaching license. She also gave music lessons from her home and then online during the pandemic. Recently, she has been involved with daycares in Woods Hole.

“Children are beautiful,” she says. “I love them.”

But the music has no age limit, and Hammers makes sure to get it to whoever needs it.

The healing power of music

Hammers has combined her talents to help people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease, providing them with music therapy as an independent caregiver.

“It’s a beautiful thing because these people can’t even talk, but when you start singing they light up and start dancing,” she says.

Before the pandemic, she also sometimes brought her students to nursing homes to perform in front of residents.

Hammers calls the music her own “medicine” and says she is very spiritual and often sings in churches. Besides playing music, Hammers’ father was a pharmacist and her great-grandfather was a minister, so she says she put her line together “like the pieces of a jigsaw puzzle.”

Future : Wellfleet Theater is back inside, honored ‘Persisters’ artist, 3 years of Beach Road Weekend. Here are the artistic novelties.

Hammers studied with Native American and African American spiritual teachers and recorded his Native American-inspired chanting on his album “Look Into the Fire.” She plans to add Native American and African drumming to the Mitchell show on Sunday. Hammers also produced seven other albums of mostly original music.

“I really love inspiring people and helping them connect with their own hearts and feelings,” Hammers says. “Music has helped me a lot to connect with my feelings and I think I can help people through that.”

Hammers are also set to play this spring at Main Street Gallery in Falmouthfrom 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. on March 13 and April 10.

Tribute to Dawna Hammers’ Joni Mitchell

What: “Return to the Garden”

When: 3 p.m. to 5 p.m. Sunday

Or: Cape Cod Cultural Center, 307 Old Main St, South Yarmouth

Tickets: $25

Reservations and information: https://www.cultural-center.org/events-main

Small business owners struggle to get loan approval: Fed

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Less than a third of small business owners who sought traditional financing last year received all the financing they wanted – a sharp drop from before the pandemic, new Federal Reserve research shows. Bank.

In 2019, some 51% of U.S. small businesses received the full financing they sought from their bank, according to Fed survey data released Tuesday. That number fell to 36% in 2020 and just 30% last year.

“Access to finance is definitely lower now than it was,” a Fed official who worked on the investigation said in a call with reporters.

The latest data supports the hypothesis that underwriting standards for commercial customers diverge based on their size, as banks grapple, two years into the pandemic, with the risks they are willing to take. take. In a separate survey conducted by the Fed earlier this year, more bank senior loan officers reported relaxing the standards for large and medium-sized businesses than for smaller ones.

The survey released on Tuesday included results from 11,000 small business owners, more than half of whom said they were in fair or poor financial condition last year. Tighter access to credit was one reason, Fed officials said.

Lenders often look at a small business’ performance over the past two years before making a loan decision. As banks receive applications this year, underwriters are struggling to weigh the effects of the pandemic, even on small businesses with good credit ratings, officials said.

According to the survey, 38% of small businesses considered low credit risk received all the funding they sought last year, up from 45% in 2020.

“Our survey reveals that many companies, especially those with good credit ratings, felt that lenders were too strict in their criteria,” said one of the Fed officials who worked on the survey. .

Small businesses that applied for loans under the federal Paycheck Protection Program last year were also less likely to receive all the funding they sought compared to the previous year. Some 67% of PPP applicants received all the funding they were looking for in 2021, up from 76% in 2020, the survey found.

As small businesses find it more difficult to obtain financing, their reasons for applying for loans have changed. About 63% of small business owners who applied for a loan last year said they were trying to cope with higher operating expenses, such as rising wages and inventory prices, the survey found. from the Fed. In 2019, only 43% of respondents cited this reason.

And just 41% of survey respondents said they were looking to use a loan to grow their business, compared to 56% who cited growth plans as their reason for applying in 2019.

The Fed survey also found strong racial differences among small business owners. According to the Fed, about 14% of Black and Asian business owners and 19% of Hispanic business owners received all the financing they requested from their lender last year, compared to 34% of business owners. whites.

In 2019, 26% of black small business owners, 32% of Hispanic small business owners, and 34% of Asian small business owners received all the financing they were looking for, compared to 54% of white small business owners.

“It’s not an easy road for all businesses,” one of the Fed officials said.

When is Kendrick Lamar releasing a new album?

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Go ahead and rank Kendrick Lamar’s upcoming album as perhaps the most anticipated album not just in hip-hop, but in all genres of music right now. The last time Lamar released an album was in 2017, when DAMN. debuted at No. 1 on the Billboard 200 chart and won a Pulitzer Prize for Music in addition to the Grammy Award for Best Rap Album. The years since have been filled with rumor after rumor about Kendrick Lamar’s next album, including confirmation that his next release will be his final album with the TDE Records label he’s been with since day one. And with each subsequent piece of information, we get closer to knowing when that long-awaited release will arrive.

When is Kendrick Lamar releasing a new album?

Last August, Kendrick Lamar posted a note on his website oklama.com, where he said: “As I produce my last TDE album, I feel joy to have been part of such a cultural imprint after 17 years.” This rekindled enthusiasm for the new album, which was later fueled by Lamar’s Spotify avatar change in October. It was the first time since the avatar change in 2017 (the same year DAMN. came out of. Coincidence?) Then at the Day N Vegas festival in November, he closed his performance by telling the crowd, “Vegas until next time! And when I say next time, I mean very soon.

As 2022 arrived, a new batch of rumors swirled, including that he would be debuting new music ahead of his Super Bowl Halftime Show performance. This turned out to be an unsubstantiated report pushed by radio host Ebro Darden. But the latest Kendrick Lamar news is the juiciest: Italy’s Milano Summer Festival posted on its Instagram page (in Italian, of course) that not only will Lamar be performing at the June 23 festival, but that he’ll be “playing the tunes of the new album, long awaited by fans. We speak now.

Depending on how you look at this statement from the Italian festival, chances are he’s performing there before the album is released. Which would mean we’re looking at a summer release. That would keep Lamar eligible for the 2023 Grammys, as the deadline is usually late September.

Meanwhile, Lamar is currently down Pimp a butterfly on Spotify The Big Hit Show Podcast. While TDE’s Terrence “Punch” Henderson shared that he felt like Lamar was “ready to build his own thing,” following his latest TDE album.

Turnpike Troubadours will play The Mother Church, Ryman Auditorium

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The Turnpike Troubadours continue to reveal their 2022 comeback tour itinerary, which has included many famous locations like Red Rocks in Colorado, and places important to their origin story like Cain’s Ballroom in Tulsa. But no country music venue is as touted as country music’s mother church, the Ryman Auditorium in Nashville.

There’s arguably no better place to see your favorite artist perform, from the world-class acoustics, to the privacy of the 2,300-seat venue, to the lingering ghosts. behind the scenes and the history witnessed by the walls. . And now the Turnpike Troubadours and a handful of lucky fans will be able to enjoy the experience on July 29 and 30.

“It’s special for us” the group said. “The Ryman is a venue we’ve wanted to play for a very long time.”

If you thought it was hard to get tickets to the 9,500-capacity Red Rocks, or even the 6,000-capacity Billy Bob’s Texas in Fort Worth, wait till you see the frenzy ensuing food for these passes. And as Saving Country Music reported in December, ticket seller AXS — which has angered many Turnpike fans for its handling of Red Rocks shows — is who now takes care of the Ryman Auditorium box office as well as.

In other words, great measures of patience, and probably a large amount of luck, will be required to secure tickets for this event. Fans trying to secure tickets for Tunpike’s latest announced show at Houston’s White Oak Music Hall reported seeing more than 17,000 people in the queue trying to get through, even after the venue held an exclusive event where locals could get pre-sale tickets.

Don’t be surprised when tickets sell out immediately for these two Ryman shows if an extra show or two are added in the future, like what happened at Red Rocks.

Tickets go on sale Friday, February 25 at 10 a.m. CST.

See all of Turnpike’s currently announced shows below.

April 8 – Cain’s Ballroom – Tulsa, OK – SOLD OUT

April 9 – Cain’s Ballroom – Tulsa, OK – SOLD OUT

April 21th – Billy Bob’s – Fort Worth, TX – SOLD OUT

April 22 – Billy Bob’s – Fort Worth, TX – SOLD OUT

April 23 – Billy Bob’s – Fort Worth, TX – SOLD OUT

MAY 6 – John T. Floore Country Store – Helotes, TX – SOLD OUT

MAY 7 – White Oak Music Hall – Houston, TX – SOLD OUT

MAY 14 – Red Rocks Amphitheater – Morrison, CO – SOLD OUT

MAY 15 – Red Rocks Amphitheater – Morrison, CO – SOLD OUT

JUNE 24 – Jackalope Jamboree 2022 – Pendleton, OR

JUNE 25 – Gordy’s HWY 30 Music Festival 2022 – Filer, ID

JULY 15TH – Under the Big Sky Festival 2022 – Whitefish, Montana
JULY 29 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN
JULY 30 – Ryman Auditorium – Nashville, TN

JULY 31 – FloydFest 2022 – Floyd, Virginia

AUGUST 4 – Windy City Smokeout 2022 – Chicago, Illinois

Black Leaders Detroit Launches Interest-Free Business Loans and One Month Grants to Local Nonprofits

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Since our beginnings in 2019, Black Leaders Detroit has worked to introduce real capital for Black-owned businesses and nonprofits to the city. There are systemic barriers that persist for Black entrepreneurs, even long-time business owners, and nonprofit leaders when it comes to accessing money for their organizations. These may look different over the years, but even in a predominantly black city, they are still there.

At BLD, we focus on breaking down these barriers. In less than two and a half years, we’ve donated more than $400,000 exclusively through grants to Black-owned businesses and nonprofits operating in Detroit. We were able to provide financial support to 132 organizations and businesses responsible for over 450 jobs, most of which are filled by Detroit residents. We’re happy to help put money directly into the hands of people running jobs and nonprofit leaders who understand the problems they’re trying to solve and provide real solutions and impact. and measurable.

In January, we launched our interest-free loan program. We’re really excited about it. Detroit-based Black-owned businesses can apply for a loan of up to $20,000 through our website. We have received applications, which we will start processing on March 15. Funding permitting, we hope to increase our maximum loan amount to $50,000 by the fourth quarter. Our goal is to send between $400,000 and $500,000 in loans this year.

In honor of Black History Month, BLD donated a minimum of $2,000 per business day to a nonprofit organization founded and run by Black people in the city. I feel like I have the best job in the world, being able to encourage and even surprise these leaders with support. You can learn more about the hard work each of these organizations do for the Detroiters from the short celebration videos on our Facebook page.

What is really significant is that each of these organizations was nominated by our members. One of our core values ​​at BLD is to share power, as well as resources. Our members know black leaders doing important work here that needs funding. We asked them to guide some of the decision-making within our organization in recommending these nonprofits, as they recommended others in need of emergency assistance during the pandemic.

BLD members are everyday people who want to be part of a fair solution for Detroit. One way we fundraise, and how we see ourselves fundraising long-term, is to ask individuals to donate $1 or more per week for our work. We know they are concerned and give people willing to donate $52 a year for real solutions that already exist, or to create access to capital for people in the for-profit sector through an interest-free loan. Our goal is to change the face of the hero, and increase this number to one million partners.

We were lucky enough to raise over $92,000 and we count on it. But we’ve also been fortunate to receive grants from places like the Ford Foundation, Kellogg Foundation, Huntington and Flagstar Banks, Hudson-Webber Foundation, McGregor Fund, Pathways, and others. We value people who are in a position to help bring equity in a real way and who are willing to put the action behind the word equity.

When it comes to black leadership, I think we’ve all been conditioned to guess. In my opinion, the only way not to do that is if you’ve done some internal work to overcome the messages we’ve been getting about black people and black leadership here. In some credit institutions, we now have leaders who want to solve the problems they inherited. But they often learned their trade in these institutions, so the desire to change it and the ability to change it are two different things.

At BLD, we weren’t raised in the institutions that historically kept us in and out. So we have already done the work. When we see black leaders in the for-profit and nonprofit space, we assume they have the same abilities and abilities as our white colleagues when leading similar businesses or institutions. I think it’s a big difference to have a pot of money that’s controlled and managed by other black leaders who are in Detroit. We don’t believe we are the only solution, but we believe we have a part of it, and we hope to continue to earn the trust of our community.

In the near future, we would like to see a portion of ARPA (American Rescue Plan Act) dollars go into our interest-free loan program. Readers who believe in our work can support us by joining our $1/week subscription and contacting the mayor’s office and their congressman or senator to recommend that we be considered for a portion of those dollars, particularly because ‘Much of it will be focused on the small business community.

I’m afraid we’re not being seriously considered, and a study five years from now will show the low percentage of black entrepreneurs who have had access to those dollars, much like we’ve seen with PPP loans. We end up taking care of it much too late.

BLD is able to help those programs and those dollars succeed right now. Aid is often presented as one-sided, and while we could certainly use funds for our program, I think our government could really use our aid to figure out what to do with those dollars. It’s frustrating because there’s a lot of money being spent looking for things that we as black people talk about in the barbershop, the beauty supply store, and around the dinner table. We understand it because we live it. But we take that frustration and use it to motivate and inspire us to be great.

We’re trying to build something that’s sustainable and sustainable here, something that we think will be very beneficial to other cities with large black populations as well. We want to iron out any issues and learn as much as we can over the next two years so we can share this model.

Dwan Dandridge is the CEO and Founder of Black Leaders Detroit. This entry is part of our Non-profit journal project, an initiative inviting leaders of nonprofit organizations in Metro Detroit to share their thoughts via journal entries on how COVID-19, heightened awareness of racial injustice and inequality, Climate change issues and more affect their work – and how they respond. This series is made possible through the generous support of our partners, the Michigan Nonprofit Association and Co.act Detroit.

Providence St. Mel student gets perfect ACT score, shattering ‘idea that people on the west side can’t be successful’

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GARFIELD PARK — A student at Providence St. Mel School on the West Side scored a perfect score on the ACT’s standardized admissions test.

The perfect score of 36 is the highest a student has achieved on the test in the prestigious private school’s 42-year history.

The student, Mario Hoover, is a bright and ambitious junior born and raised on the West Side. He studied hard to score high because he dreams of being a neurosurgeon and he “knows what [he’s] able to,” he said.

He hopes his accomplishment encourages others in the neighborhood to recognize that they are capable of excellence, Hoover said.

“That means not only can I achieve it. But others can too. It shatters the idea that people on the West Side can’t be successful,” Hoover said. “I hope people look at me and think they can do it too.”

Although Hoover excelled academically, he also triumphed outside of the classroom, volunteering weekly at the MLK Boys & Girls Club at 2950 W. Washington Blvd., and singing in the All State Chorus. He hopes to pursue his love of singing in college by studying music as a minor.

“He’s got a great voice. He’s very talented,” Providence St. Mel manager Tim Ervin said. “He’s a great boy from a great family. Just a joy to be around. Very positive attitude about everything.

Credit: Provided
The exterior of Providence St. Mel School.

Providence St. Mel is well known on the West Side as a school with an excellent track record in guiding students. Students are known to attend some of the best universities in the country, and the school boasts that 100% of graduates since 1978 have received college scholarships, Ervin said.

“It’s about preparing for PSM that will prepare students for success in college and beyond,” Ervin said.

But while several students earn ACT grades of 34 and 35 each year, Hoover is the first to earn a perfect 36, Ervin said. Hoover has a mature outlook and knows what it takes to prepare for a successful future and excel on the difficult ACT exam, Ervin said.

Providence St. Mel’s tough academics were a major reason Hoover’s mother, Zippora Collins, enrolled him in the school. She attended school for a year in high school, so she knew it would push him to stay on top of his classes and homework.

“It’s very rigorous. The course is much more demanding. It’s faster. They learn a lot more in the time they are given in a day,” she said. “He really had to get the job done.”

Hoover started at Providence St. Mel in third grade. He transferred there after his previous school, Mary Mapes Dodge Elementary Renaissance Academy, was closed by then-Mayor Rahm Emanuel, along with 49 other schools, mostly in black neighborhoods.

Dealing with the school closure “was tough because we had no idea what was going to happen,” Collins said.

When the city shut down Dodge, the district assigned Hoover to a school on the edge of Humboldt Park. Hoover’s mother grew up on the West Side, so navigating different gang territories is a concern she’s all too familiar with. To save her son from getting caught between warring gangs on his commute, she pulled him out of public school and enrolled him in Providence St. Mel, which is closer to their home.

“I know gangs are different. That’s what I thought because I’ve lived here all my life. You work on this block and these guys work on this block and they don’t get along,” she said. “I didn’t think it was safe enough.”

Moving to a private school with a fast-paced schedule was a tough change for Hoover. It was especially hard to let go of the friends and teachers who supported him at Dodge, he said.

“Dodge really felt like home. I was there for a long time and bonded really well, especially with the teachers. But Providence eventually became home too,” Hoover said.

It took Hoover a while to acclimate to Providence St. Mel in third grade, but “once he made that adjustment, he started to soar,” his mother said.

Its success is proof that when young people are encouraged and given quality resources and opportunities, they can go above and beyond, Hoover said.

“Not everyone has the best access to education. But once equipped with these tools and resources to succeed, many people have the potential to do so. I see potential everywhere when I walk around my neighborhood,” Hoover said.

Hoover is aiming for the Ivy League and hopes to go to Columbia University in New York. His hard work has paid off and he has already been contacted by the school, his mother said.

“I’m moved because it’s a great accomplishment,” she said. “It’s a great achievement for our neighborhood and for our family.

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reels: Music in the Age of Reels: Artists weigh in on the popularity of the short and viral format | Hindi Movie News

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When Aurangabad-based composer Yashraj Mukhate proposed
Hand itni sundar hoon hand kya karoon, a 30-second music reel that went viral, he didn’t expect it to be viewed worldwide and Milind Gaba and Parampara Tandon to come up with a song of their own! But with Instagram Reels giving us viral dance challenges and music tracks to support every mood, 30-60 second music videos have become the norm for content creators and social media users. The globally trending Tik Tok videos and challenges also found their way to the gram after the app was banned in India. We talk to musicians whose songs have gone viral thanks to reels and they tell us why this could be the future of music in India.

“Change is the only way forward”
It could be the hook step, the addictive beat, or a melodious cover of a popular song that catches your eye as you scroll through your feed. Singer Jubin Nautiyal, whose song Raatan Lambiyaan has found favor around the world, said, “With changing times, we have to evolve and use it as another way to showcase our talent. Short videos are like movie teasers. I always say that music is a universal language and anyone in the world can connect to it. Her thoughts are echoed by Guru Randhawa, whose Dance Meri Rani went viral due to a dance challenge. “Everyone will get the most out of new and impactful technologies. I think it’s a good space to showcase your talent on a global platform,” he says.

Will this format stay?
As with trends, they come and go, but with this format, musicians think it might not just be a “trend”. Jonita Gandhi, another singer whose music has become popular with Reels, says, “Ensuring that your song clips are available for abridged content is already industry standard. I’ve even heard of people composing music specifically for short-form content, after release. Singer Nakash Aziz is convinced that this format will change the way musicians not only promote, but make music. “It will become ideal, even for mainstream music. I think it’s basically about the expansion of the music industry, and we can be positive about that,” he says.

Jonita Gandhi

“There is no perfect recipe for commitment”
Since the popularity of the short format is so high, you might think singers would have cracked the formula by now. However, artists believe it is yet to be explored. “In any given format, I believe there is no secret recipe or ingredients for success. It is the honest approach and the effort and hard work that counts. whether it’s a short or a big video or a song, you have to do your best to hit the right chord,” Jubin believes. Singer Shilpa Rao believes that music should touch the heart. people and the format doesn’t matter.” It could be a reel or a radio edit or a full song or something on stage; as long as we genuinely create it and it finds its way into the heart people, the format doesn’t matter,” she says.

Shilpa Rao

Bane or boon?

The industry seems to be divided on the benefits of the short format. On the one hand, Shilpa thinks: “It could do good business, from a commercial point of view. But for music or art, it’s useless. I don’t think the whole point of making music is to create reels. At the same time, Guru opines, “I think everything has a lifespan and innovations happen every day. There should be no dependency on any specific technology or format. As artists, we should always continue to create good music.

Guru Randhawa

Global Reach of Artists

For many artists, the Reels or TikTok short format has worked well in terms of numbers. Jubin Nautiyal’s Raatan Lambiyan, who has 7.3 million reels on Instagram, has garnered 450 million views on Youtube. Likewise for Guru Randhawa’s Dance Meri Rani which has 234K reels, managed to score 600 million views on Youtube. Speaking of global reach, Jubin adds, “I always say that music is a universal language and anyone across the world can connect to it. With platforms like Instagram or TikTok, people like Kili Paul in Tanzania and Dutch artist Emma Heesters could not only listen, but create covers for the song.

Nakash Aziz

Unforgiven PPP loans to small businesses total over $28 billion

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Small businesses are about $28 billion in debt under the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP). Persistent debt includes loans made to small businesses since 2020 under the unforgiven COVID-19 relief package.

The unforgiven debt is part of more than $800 billion doled out over two years by the government to help small businesses stay afloat. The loans require small businesses to spend the money on payroll and other qualifying expenses within a set time frame.



$28 billion in unforgiven PPP loans still outstanding

About 11.7 million low-interest unsecured loans have been issued for more than $790 billion. Of which approximately $673 billion has been canceled in whole or in part, representing 82% ($9.36 million) of all PPP loan cancellation requests.

The Small Business Administration (SBA) and lenders have worked to provide more than 11.7 million loans totaling nearly $800 billion in relief to more than 8.5 million small businesses. Last year alone, the SBA approved more than 6.5 million loans totaling more than $275 billion. The average loan size was around $42,000 to $101,000 in 2020. Of total loans issued, 96% of loans went to businesses with fewer than 20 employees, compared to just 87% in 2020.

However, the $28 billion debt burden continues to pose challenges for small businesses that have taken out loans and are struggling to repay the loan. Small businesses that have rebounded after receiving PPP loans include those in wholesale, manufacturing and construction. While businesses that have been severely impacted by the pandemic and are experiencing a slow recovery include those in transportation and warehousing, educational services, and arts, entertainment and recreation.

Last year, payroll services firm ADP noted that small businesses lost more jobs in the spring, but have since gained more. And overall, in 2020, they lost 4.8 million net jobs, compared to 5.3 million jobs lost in large companies.

How PPP loans are canceled

Millions of small businesses across the United States have applied for and obtained loans through PPP. Loans can be entirely forgiven if companies spend 60% of them on payroll as well as paying interest for the mortgage, rent and utilities. Small businesses that have taken out PPP loans can apply for forgiveness once all of the loan products for which the small business is asking for forgiveness have been used.

They can request a forgiveness at any time up to the maturity date of the loan. If small businesses do not apply for forgiveness within 10 months of the last day of the covered period, PPP loan payments are no longer deferred and they will begin making loan payments to their PPP lender.

Image: Depositphotos


More on: PPP Loans

83% of pandemic business loans that helped pay 112,600 Greater Cleveland workers have been canceled

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CLEVELAND, Ohio — More than 83% of Small Business Administration Paycheck Protection Program loans have been canceled in Greater Cleveland, meaning at least that share of businesses accepting the loans have held their promises to maintain their payroll, according to data through Feb. 13 from the SBA.

The agency issued 14,675 loans to small businesses in Greater Cleveland in 2020 and 2021 to help keep them operating throughout the pandemic. The combined companies have more than 112,600 employees and have received more than $2.5 billion in loans.

Most PPP loans issued were below $150,000 with a 1% interest rate. To qualify for the rebate, companies had to maintain employee and compensation rates, with 60% of the requested money going towards payroll and the rest going towards other operational costs.

Most of the Cleveland businesses receiving the loans were small – 80% listing eight or fewer employees on loan applications. On the high end – with 500 employees each – were Educare Medical Staffing, Comet Glass and Appletree Books.

Borrowers have up to 10 months after the last day of the covered period to apply for the rebate. Many companies that have not repaid their loans in full or applied for forgiveness are still within this grace period.

More than 70% of loan cancellations occurred in the last three months of 2020, with Cleveland businesses benefiting from a collective cancellation of $1.75 billion, or 70% of the total loan amount in the Greater Cleveland, as defined as Cuyahoga, Geauga, Lake, Lorain, Medina, Portage and Summit counties.

To qualify for PPP loan forgiveness, a business can apply after all loan proceeds have been used, within 10 months of the last day of the covered period.

Data is not available for when borrowers applied for loans, but experts have suggested applications died down after the initial announcement in 2020, accounting for the bulk of loans canceled at that time . Loans taken out at the end of the program in May 2021 are still within the 10-month period.

Loans are not automatically canceled in full, as partial forgiveness is possible at the discretion of the lender. Currently, 76% of Cleveland’s PPP loans have been fully repaid.

Those numbers are higher than in the rest of Ohio, with just 77% of its loans at least partially canceled and 65% of loans repaid in full.

The state as a whole has received more than $23 billion in loan forgiveness, or about 3% of funds issued across the country, which is Ohio’s population share. According to SBA data, the United States has seen more than 84% of PPP loans forgiven.

Ohio received 81% of its overall discount in 2020, above the national average of 75%.

Previous data news

As Northeast Ohio U-turns on COVID-19, check out the latest case rates for your ZIP code

Here are the 10 deadliest months for coronavirus in Ohio

31 straight days of snow on the ground in Cleveland Hopkins ends as 3rd longest streak on record

At Billie Eilish’s Arena Show, the only show is herself

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Billie Eilish’s latest album, “Happier Than Ever,” is a pretty low-key affair — acoustic ballads, fluttery, crooned tunes, even a hushed bossa nova number — so it was worth wondering how such material would translate into arenas the 20-year-old pop phenom performs on his Happier Than Ever: The World Tour. But the nearly 20,000 frenzied fans screaming with every word at her triumphant concert at Madison Square Garden on Saturday night proved that, at least when performed live, there is no quiet Billie Eilish song.

In this second of two back-to-back garden shows, Eilish commanded every inch of the stage like a hyperactive court jester. During the most macabre hits of his 2019 album, “When we all fall asleep, where do we go?” seats. Eilish wore her jet black hair in high buns and, to facilitate her near-constant pogo, wore sneakers, bike shorts and a punky oversized graphic tee. The effect was a cross between Harley Quinn, Minnie Mouse and Glenn Danzig.

At the start of the set, she stated the only ground rule of the night: “Have fun, bitch.” She then expressed her gratitude that the crowd was present and alive, but never directly mentioned the pandemic. For nearly two hours, the arena was an escape where the only hidden dangers were the powerful figures that haunt Eilish’s songs – men she easily disarmed while the crowd chanted every word of the barbed kiss “By therefore, I am” and sat delighted as she strummed “Your Power”.

The set was sparsely ornate — the only other musicians on stage were drummer Andrew Marshall and Eilish’s multi-instrumentalist brother, Finneas — but visually compelling, and digital projections transformed it from a nighttime highway into a landscape. of flaming hell. It’s thanks to Eilish’s charismatic stage presence that she’s rarely needed such augmented realities to make an impact. She danced and launched a narrow catwalk that divided the floor of the area and strutted down the center of the stage, which became an inverted plane that she dropped like a playground slide at the end of the show.

But Eilish’s most impressive feat was how she enlivened and electrified some of the more low-key elements of “Happier Than Ever.” “Goldwing,” one of the album’s sleepiest moments, turned into a kinetic call-and-response number. The understated tracks “I Didn’t Change My Number” and “Lost Cause” became hard-hitting, crowd-pleasing bangers. Even the subtly sultry “Billie Bossa Nova” turned into a libidinous hater, as several fans threw bras onto the stage and Eilish threw one over her shoulder.

The video projections accompanying this song included a series of dancing, faceless, scantily clad bodies – a sexualization in the abstract, rather than centered on the performer herself. Last May, Eilish ushered in the ‘Happier Than Ever’ phase with what appeared to be an image transformation, dyeing her hair blonde and posing in a skin-tight corset on the cover of British Vogue. It’s notable, then, that she ditched that aesthetic during the promotional tour for the same album, once again opting for the inky hair and baggy figure that was characteristic of the “Bad Guy” era. allows you to move freely on stage.

Throughout the night, Eilish led the crowd like a swearing-loving yoga instructor. She told us when to sit down, when to put our phones down to fleetingly live in the moment (a recent arena pop concert trope), when to “go crazy.” The staging’s only weak point came when it was lifted via a hydraulic crane towards the back of the arena for a few songs. It may have given some audience members a closer look at her, but it also restricted her movement and proved how integral Eilish’s jumping leaps are to her show’s infectious energy. Some of her older tracks, especially the 2017 ballad “Idontwannabeyouanymore,” felt awkwardly slotted into the set list, even as they reminded her of how quickly and precociously she honed her talents in just a few short years.

The night ended without an encore on an explosive note, as Eilish wisely saved the shifting title track of “Happier Than Ever” for last. The song is perhaps the most dramatic example in Eilish’s catalog of her interest in playing with volume and dynamics. “Happier Than Ever” begins with a sweet ditty played on the ukulele – made even more dreamlike by the confetti slowly falling from the garden rafters – then turns into a thunderous and cathartic emo-opera.

But an even more piercing moment came during a much quieter song. As Eilish sang the opener to her latest album, “Getting Older,” a montage of home videos documenting her and Finneas’ childhood played on the big screen at the back of the stage. On the second verse, her voice cracked and she burst into tears. “You all just saw me cry, it’s embarrassing,” she said after the song ended. “Seeing me as a baby and seeing Madison Square Garden just made me cry.” But it was far from embarrassing, and indeed an expression of the cunning relationship Eilish has cultivated with her fans: such intimate expressions of emotion are, after all, a big part of what keeps them all busy. these seats.

Happier than ever: around the world
Billie Eilish will perform at the Prudential Center in Newark, NJ on Tuesday; billieeilish.com/tour.

A heartfelt musical that goes beyond the original

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This is a spoiler-free review.

In a year filled with live musicals (In the heights, Dear Evan Hansen, tick, tick… BOOM!), It suits that West Side Storya retelling of a classic story without a tinge of modern cynicism, serves as an exclamation point in 2021’s great musical resurgence.

This version doesn’t lose sight of what made the original 1961 film and the 1957 Broadway adaptation of Romeo and Juliet in Manhattan in resonance. He remains sentimental about the power of love and the madness of finger-snapping gangs dancing in the streets.

The golden age of musicals that captivated audiences from the 1930s to the 1950s is etched in film history. The musicals brought out colorful costumes, vivid production designs, and spirited performances. This era was marked by a charming aesthetic that rarely emphasized realism and serious social issues.

That is why West Side Story The exploration of juvenile delinquency, xenophobia and the lived experiences of Puerto Ricans in America was then considered groundbreaking – it departed from the conventional musical formula.

That’s not to say the original film was perfect. It was littered with controversial decisions such as casting non-Latin characters for Puerto Rican roles and dangerous portrayals of gang violence and gender identity. Behind the scenes, Natalie Wood and George Chakiris, despite being white actors, were made up in brown face to represent their main Latin characters. The only Puerto Rican actor in the main cast was Rita Moreno, who notably won an Oscar for her supporting role as Anita, becoming the first Latina to win the award.

Sixty years later, Steven Spielberg takes the director’s chair and frees himself from harmful ethnic representations. Basically, the Sharks are all Latin actors, and the Puerto Rican identity is brought to the fore in several of the film’s significant moments. Although there is still much to be desired in giving more writing and leadership powers to Puerto Ricans, it is clear that there were now conscious choices, which were previously absent, to distance Latin culture and language from a purely white imagination.

Steven Spielberg reinvents

The unique sensitivity to story and milieu that envelops its diverse cast of characters is where the film’s strength lies. Instead of opening with aerial shots of the vast New York City, the camera hovers over what remains of San Juan Hill after its buildings were bulldozed to make way for the real Lincoln Center for the Performing Arts. The image of debris and rubble not only juxtaposes the bustling ballet dances, but also recalls the constant threat of displacement and the policies of exclusion imposed on impoverished communities.

Among the undesirables in the eyes of the law are Riff (played by Mike Faist) and Bernardo (played by David Alvarez), the leaders of the Jets and Sharks respectively. Tony Kushner, who adapted the play for this film, reinterprets the gang conflict with more racist undertones, as seen in the Jets explicitly vandalizing the Puerto Rican flag in the opening. In doing so, the tension between the two groups seems more concrete and relevant.

In the eye of the storm are star-crossed lovers Tony (played by a controversial Ansel Elgort) and Maria (played by Rachel Zegler), who surprisingly pulled off the romance this time around. The love story in the original unfolds too quickly, and while that’s still somewhat true here, there are at least attempts to bring out their meet-cute and sprinkle in some much-needed chemistry. Zegler scores the best performance between the two actors, but Tony’s writing carries most of Elgort’s weight.

Anita (masterfully played by Ariana DeBose), arguably the film’s standout character, is wonderfully effusive and charismatic as Bernardo’s feisty girlfriend. DeBose, along with Zegler, boldly proclaim themselves as the singing anchors of this film with their versatile vocals, heard most notably in the tearful “A Boy Like That / I Have a Love” duo.

Among the many changes from the original is the inclusion of Valentina (played by the iconic Rita Moreno), the elderly Puerto Rican shop owner who mentors Tony. She sings the song “Somewhere”, adding a bittersweet tone that comments on the futility of racial conflict preventing Maria and Tony’s romance. Her character also converges with Anita, the role Moreno played all those years ago, in a grueling and heartbreaking moment that makes her presence in the film all the more meaningful.

Anybodys (played by non-binary actor Iris Menas), a tomboy seeking acceptance into the Jets, is reimagined as a trans man in this version. In the original, the Anybodys persona was just a way to achieve sexist jokes. Here, his primary motivation is to be understood and validated as a man, not just as a gang member. This small change adds a layer of nuance to a character living in a transphobic society that would otherwise be an afterthought in lesser films.

David Newman arranges Leonard Bernstein’s legendary composition to ensure that the timelessness of the songs is never lost. The music sounds punchier and Stephen Sondheim’s lyrics retain their festive energy. Justin Peck’s choreography is much more explosive, sometimes even a little too much, and adds a kinetic verve that can only be combined with the jaggedness of Manhattan.

Rearranging and adding some scenes works, but some of them drastically change the mood of the scenes in a negative way. For example, the earlier placement of “Cool” reinvents the dance number into a more intimate and creative game of catch-me-if-you-can between Tony and Riff. However, the placement of “I Feel Pretty”, a joyful song about Maria falling in love, is shocking because it comes after a terribly tragic moment.

Without a doubt, the film’s most notable musical number is “America,” essentially an argument between Bernardo and Anita over whether to stay in America or return to Puerto Rico. During this performance, the entire Puerto Rican diaspora comes alive to generate an infectious celebration of geographic and cultural identity. This scene alone is worth it.

West Side Story shows that it’s possible to revisit decades-old musicals to enhance ideas that already existed. Despite all the original’s flaws, it remains notable for its refusal to convey only the “good, true and beautiful” in the slums of New York. Spielberg focuses on the good without ignoring the flaws. The result is a dynamic, socially conscious and empathetic musical with an entirely different flavor, which can catapult the genre to new heights. – Rappler.com

Ryan Oquiza studies at the University of the Philippines Diliman. He is the Chief Film Critic of SINEGANG.ph and one of the podcast hosts for the movie “Sine Simplified.”

Canadian blues guitarist and singer SUE FOLEY earns three Blues Music Award nominations for her Blues Foundation CD Pinky’s Blues

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Pinky’s BluesStony Plain Records’ new album from the award-winning blues guitarist/singer Sue Foley, earned three nominations from the Blues Foundation’s recently announced nominees for the 43rd Blues Music Awards. Foley earned nominations for “Album of the Year”, “Traditional Blues Album”, and “Traditional Blues Female Artist”.

“I’m thrilled with these three Blues Music Award nominations,” Texas-based Sue Foley said after hearing the news. “What an incredible honor to be recognized in Memphis. On behalf of everyone who helped create Pinky’s Blues, I’m proud to have made a true blues album and thrilled that people love it.

Blues Foundation members are invited to vote for the Blues Music Awards. Voting will be open to current Blues Foundation members only until 11:59 p.m. CT on Friday, March 18, 2022. To vote, log into your Member Portal and once logged in, the link to the BMA ballot will be available at the top of the page.

To become a member of the Blues Foundation, visit www.blues.org and click the Join button to learn more about the different membership levels and how to easily and securely register online. Upon confirmation of membership, New Members and New Members will receive instructions on how to access the 2022 Blues Music Awards ballot.

Featuring several Sue Foley originals, plus songs from some of her favorite blues and roots artists, Pinky’s Blues features Sue Foley (guitar, vocals), accompanied by Chris “Whipper” Layton (drums), Jon Penner (bass) and Mike Flanigin (Hammond B3 organ), who also produced the album. Joining legendary Jimmie Vaughan is a special guest on rhythm guitar on the track “Hurricane Girl.”

Pinky’s Blues is the sequel to Sue Foley’s award-winning album The Ice Queen (2018). Foley’s new album is raw electric guitar playing through the back roads of Texas blues, with Foley’s signature pink paisley-patterned Fender Telecaster, “Pinky,” at the wheel.

Foley won “Best Traditional Woman (Koko Taylor Award)” at the 2020 Blues Music Awards in Memphis, was nominated for a Juno Award (Canadian Grammy) and she won “Best Guitarist” at the Toronto Maple Blues Awards . . Over the past few years, Foley and his band have maintained a rigorous touring schedule across the United States, Canada and Europe. Some highlights were appearances at Love Rocks NYC (with Cyndi Lauper, Dave Mathews and Tedeschi Trucks) at the Beacon Theater (NYC), guest appearances with Jimmie Vaughan (opening for Eric Clapton) at the Royal Albert Hall in London, London Jazz Festival Montreal, Ottawa Bluesfest (with Buddy Guy), Moulin Blues (Holland), NPR’s Mountain Stage (with Bela Fleck) and The Jungle Show (with Billy F Gibbons and Jimmie Vaughan) in Austin, Texas.

Sue Foley Tour Itinerary

February 19 Continental Club – Austin, TX

February 20 Blue Jay Listening Room, Jacksonville, FL

February 21 Keeping the Blues Alive at Sea – Miami, FL

March 3 Zebulon – Los Angeles, CA

March 4 Hop Monk Tavern, Novato, CA

March 5 Delta Blues Festival – Antioch, CA

March 6 Moe’s Alley, Santa Cruz, CA

March 10 Mary Lim Theater – Kelowna, BC

March 11 Rio – Vancouver, BC

March 12 Hermann’s Upstairs – Victoria, BC

March 13 The Queens – Nanaimo, BC

March 14 – 20 SXSW – Austin, TX

March 25 Bugle Boy – Le Grange, TX SOLO EXHIBITION

April 6 Natalie’s Grandview – Columbus, OH

April 7 Sportsmen’s Tavern, Buffalo, NY

April 8 Abilene, Rochester, NY

April 9 City Winery, Boston, MA

April 11 Iridium, New York City, NY

April 13 Paradise Theatre, Toronto, Ontario

April 14 Empire Theatre, Belleville, Ontario

April 22/23 Arts Commons, Calgary, Alberta

Additional dates to come….

Meet Noblegram (Noblebwoy), the Artist Who Makes Emo Trap Music Move Like Juice Wrld and Trippie Redd

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We talk to the Nigerian-born artist about his creative process, working with his new sign artist Kodded Wrld who recently signed with his label FourTwenty Entertainment, and how Juice Wrld motivated and mentored him.

Nigerian-born Sheriff Olamide Akintunde, also known as Noblegram or Noblebwoy, understands the influence of art on music. With his precise and clever designs, he has become a voice in the cover art space and the fashion space.

He already works with artists like Sirking and hopes to work with Playboi Carti and Coi leray. Arriving on the scene just a few years ago, Noblegram took his music on the cultural path with an intense run throughout his home country and then brought his talents from Africa to the world, where he embraced the media who took a liking to his music and were captivated by his life story.

What is the relationship between you and Juice wrld?

For me, I will say Juice Wrld is an amazing mentor to me. Juice wrld motivates me to do better. Everything you see me doing depends on his motivation to push me to do my best.

Can you tell us how you found kodded wrld

I found his freestyle interesting online, I was so interested in his talent that I contacted him to get a music deal on my label and that’s how it started, we’re working together on a project musical

Follow him on instagram.

Posted on February 19, 2022

Album Review: Trentemøller – Memoria – mxdwn Music

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Sixth studio album by Danish electronic artist Trentemøller, Memory, follows his 2022 EP titled “No More Kissing In The Rain”. Trentemøller’s EP “No More Kissing In The Rain”, demonstrated Trentemøller’s potential to infuse ghostly vocals with his already established ambient sounds. The tracks featured on “No More Kissing In The Rain” sparked listeners’ curiosity, as Lisbet Fritze’s voice complemented the electronic sounds, creating a fantastic mix of electronic dream pop music. While Trentemøller’s latest fourteen-track album features all the songs from “No More Kissing In The Rain”, it sticks closely to Trentemøller’s atmospheric sounds.

Memory does not deviate from minimalist techno and atmospheric sound throughout its hour of performance. This minimalist sound can both hinder and work for the album as a whole. Some tracks seem too simple and fragmented compared to others to feel special. The lack of change from track to track begins to show in the latter part of the album. The track “Darklands” uses a stagnant electronic snare rhythm as a backbone that’s too scared to do anything else. The running time of “Darklands” makes me want more and the muted sounds associated with the layered piano don’t engage me enough or inspire any real feeling. “Drifting Star” elicits interesting space-influenced inspiration but lacks diversity. “Veil Of White” suffers from the same consistency, and although the ghostly vocals attempt to transport the listener into a euphoric dreamlike state, it falls short of the necessary level of weirdness. Voices throughout Memory can layer perfectly above the electronic backdrop or seem overly simplistic in both lyricism and subject matter. “All Too Soon” suffers from its simplicity, as it falls into a forgettable dreamy pop sound that mellows too long to leave an impression.

Tracks like “When The Sun Explodes” seem too tame for its bold title and too limited to surprise listeners. The bass at the beginning of the track followed by some interesting sound samples invite an explosion of chaotic electronic fusion. When the sun finally explodes, it’s too hollow and too late in the trail to feel a sense of satisfaction. The rhythm change within the song does not vary enough, leading to a disappointing showcase for Trentemøller’s mixing abilities. Rather than being a showcase for creativity and experimentation, “When The Sun Explodes” becomes a rather boring continuation of sounds previously found in Memory.

Memory really shines when it embraces a full atmospheric tone or presents an energetic electronic sound. Musically, tracks like “No More Kissing In The Rain” and “Dead Or Alive” embrace a dance-inspired sound that’s filled with fast, punchy electronic styles guaranteed to excite. “Dead Or Alive” has an infectious hook that’s blended to perfection. Distorted lyrics, a great bassline and background dance elements bring an otherwise slow album to life. “No More Kissing In The Rain” is a fantastic dream pop that imbues Lisbet Fritze’s voice with a romantic touch. A burst of chimes and low bass builds on a rhythmic drum beat that seems to evolve over the four-minute track.

Trentemøller’s atmospheric expertise is demonstrated in tracks like “Glow” and “A Summer’s Empty Room”. “Glow” feels particularly unique in the track listing, as the song builds a unique blend of alien sounds and space influences. “Glow” being the longest track on the disc, it never lingers too long and forms over the six minutes of listening. There’s a layer beneath every sound that merges together to create a dreamy experience in “Glow.” “A Summer’s Empty Room” is a simplistic relaxing lounge track that uses choral and spatial noises to develop a bright sound. The track never exceeds its limits, but it exceeds what it is supposed to do.

In its entirety, Memory is an album that doesn’t excite when it should and surprise when it shouldn’t. The vocals on the album seem to match better with the EP released earlier this year. As they have their defining moments inside Memory, they can get a little lost. There’s serious potential for a pop-inspired album, though. Memory isn’t brave enough to decide what he really wants. The tracks that stand out drive the album forward while some of the ambient sounds slow its growth. Trentemøller’s latest project ultimately needs variety and to indulge in its canned sounds, its success is demonstrated when it can build on the basic electronic elements.






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Playing ‘monumental’ lead role for new Anne of Green Gables actor

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After a two-year hiatus due to COVID-19, Anne of Green Gables — The Musical is set to return to Confederation Center this summer with a new actor in the title role.

Kelsey Verzotti, who was born in Calgary and lives in Toronto, has been cast as Anne Shirley.

She said she became emotional when her agent told her she had landed the role.

“It’s a role I was told once in school that I would never do because I’m Asian,” she said in an interview with Mainstreet PEI host Angela Walker.

“And so getting the role is really, really special. I can’t really put it into words. It’s just monumental to me personally.”

Played Diana Barry

Verzotti previously played Anne’s best friend and soulmate, Diana Barry, in a 2019 production at the Thousand Islands Playhouse in Ontario.

Emma Rudy, who played Anne when the musical last performed at the Charlottetown Festival in 2019, will return to play Diana. Verzotti and Rudy went to acting school together.

“I already have that kindred spirit,” she said.

Prior to the pandemic shutdown, production had taken place every year since the festival launched in 1965 and is recognized in the Guinness Book of World Records as the world’s longest running annual musical.

“So many people can relate”

Verzotti said part of the appeal of Anne is that the story is universal and it doesn’t matter who plays the role. She noted that Anne of Green Gables is very popular in Japan, for example.

“So many people can relate to feeling different or not fitting in,” she said.

“It would be great for kids to see, maybe Asian kids as well, to see an Asian artist play that part. It’ll kind of open all those doors for them because I know when I was growing up, I didn’t always seen Asian lead roles in musicals when I went to see shows with my parents.”

Anne of Green Gables – The Musical begins previews on June 18, with opening night scheduled for June 25. Production will continue until September 3.

Small businesses still face $28 billion in unforgiven PPP loans

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According to a Bloomberg News analysis of Paycheck Protection Program data, nearly 350,000 loans issued to small businesses in 2020 during the COVID-19 pandemic were unforgiven, and most of them are less than $25,000.

This lingering debt – about $28 billion, according to the analysis – is creating a burden for smaller businesses, many of which are run by minority entrepreneurs, according to advocacy groups, community leaders and business owners. . Many are struggling with the process of applying for forgiveness under the loans program that has handed out more than $800 billion over two years.

Angela Thompson, owner and general manager of a Jacksonville, Florida-based home improvement company, first filed for forgiveness on her $172,000 PPP loan in December 2020. Over a year and over 100 calls to loan providers later, she has received several notices saying she is obligated to start paying off the debt.

Initially, she asked for forgiveness through Kabbage, the online lender who gave her the loan. But when American Express Co. bought Kabbage in August 2020, it didn’t acquire its pre-existing loan portfolio.

Instead, his loan lived with another provider, K Servicing. Thompson did not receive a link to their PPP pardon website until August 2021. She immediately submitted her request. But in December, she received a bill for $22,000 for her monthly loan repayment; then another in January and another in February.

K Servicing customer service told him to ignore the notices, but the Small Business Administration, the federal agency that administers the program, still listed his loan as unforgiven in its latest data update on Jan. 3. you telling me to ignore a bill?” Thompson said in an interview. “It stresses me out.”

K Servicing told Bloomberg News that the majority of its PPP loans have been forgiven and it continues to work with clients who have outstanding loans.

Lawyers led by the Center for Responsible Lending on Thursday called on the SBA, the US Treasury and Congress to take action to help small business owners with outstanding PPP loans, including automatically canceling those for $25,000 and less.

The National Urban League, National Association for Latino Community Asset Builders and National Coalition for Asian Pacific American Community Development are among more than 50 advocacy groups, minority business associations and minority-focused lenders that have signed the letter.

They say small business owners, some of whom are sole proprietors, including drivers, cleaners and landscapers, have a harder time documenting payroll, expenses and income. This is especially true if businesses are cash-based, lack professional accountants, or face technology and language barriers.

“We need to come to the aid of the most vulnerable,” said Aracely Panameño, former director of Latin American affairs at the Center for Responsible Lending.

Advocates are also calling on the SBA to rescind a rule denying forgiveness to borrowers who have made honest mistakes and eliminate “gotcha” denials of loan forgiveness due to sudden rule changes.

“Borrowers are desperate. Small businesses thought they were doing everything right. Now they’re being told their loans aren’t forgiven,” said Tracy Ward, director of the Self-Help Ventures Fund, a nonprofit lender. based in North Carolina.

A small business owner said Bank of America Corp. refused forgiveness of a $15,000 loan because she did not have a specific payroll document. She spent nine months pleading her case with the bank and local elected officials to no avail. His first reimbursement bill for $2,000 came in October.

“PPP applicants were responsible for determining their own eligibility under the program’s complex rules,” the letter from the advocacy groups read. “While eligibility for SBA loan programs is typically determined by the lender and the SBA, for PPPs that burden has shifted to the small business borrower.”

The SBA declined to comment on future policy decisions. The agency announced last month that borrowers could request an SBA review of partially canceled PPP loans.

While the vast majority of the 5.14 million PPP loans approved in 2020 were canceled – and many borrowers had a smooth process – at the start of January there were 349,372 uncancelled loans and another 380,000 that were partially canceled. cancelled.

The SBA has approved more than 11.4 million PPP loans since 2020; the pardon process is still ongoing for some of those issued last year.

Many of the problems faced by business owners seeking forgiveness also made it difficult for them to obtain loans during the first phase of the program. In the first tranche of PPP loans, lenders distributed an inordinate number to white neighborhoods. Minority-owned businesses tend to be smaller, and smaller businesses more often don’t have existing relationships with traditional banks and accountants to help with paperwork. And most don’t have formal employees.

Even for those who get approval, getting forgiveness can be difficult, said Dennis Huang, executive director of the Asian Business Association. The Los Angeles-based nonprofit secured a PPP loan of around $38,000 in February 2021.

Huang, who holds an MBA, said it was difficult to find basic forgiveness information from his lenders Northeast Bank and ACAP Fund, now called Newity. Application forms were buried deep in websites, timelines were unclear, and customer service was poor. “ACAP had a phone tree going around in circles. I couldn’t find a living person to help us,” Huang said. Finally in November 2021, the SBA listed the loan as canceled.

The process was “awful”, Huang said. “I don’t know how small businesses do it.”

Woman accused of fraudulently raising over $800,000 through PPP and SBA loans

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A woman has been accused of fraudulently raising more than $800,000 through the Small Business Association’s Paycheck Protection Program and loans.

Patricia Ann Gilroy was charged with wire fraud in federal court in Colorado on Wednesday.

Court documents allege that from at least April 2020 to at least April 2021, Gilroy controlled 10 shell companies that had not been active with employees, gross receipts or cost of goods sold in the 12 months prior to the 31 January 2020. The companies were also not in service on or before February 15, 2020 February 1, 2020.

According to court documents, Gilroy submitted eight false and fraudulent PPP applications to lenders on behalf of six of these front companies. Three of the requests were approved, resulting in a total of $518,135 being sent to bank accounts controlled by Gilroy, according to court documents.

In all eight applications, Gilroy allegedly made false statements about each shell company’s average monthly payroll, number of employees, loan eligibility and intent to use the loan. She also submitted fraudulent supporting documents, including false tax forms, according to court documents.

Under the second round of PPP loans, Gilroy would have applied for and received loans for two of the shell companies, which would have earned him an additional $59,916.

Gilroy is also accused of filing bogus Economic Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications for six of the front companies. Two of the applications were approved and funded by the Small Business Association, according to court documents, which resulted in $294,300 being sent to bank accounts controlled by Gilroy.

She is scheduled to appear in court on February 23.

Why didn’t Alexandra Trusova get gold? Skating Score, Explained

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Alexandra Trusova, the 17-year-old Russian prodigy, won the free skate on Thursday after attempting five quadruple jumps in the most ambitious technical program in the history of women’s Olympic figure skating. But she had to settle for the silver medal and appeared extremely upset afterwards. So what happened?

It is important to remember that the result of a skating competition is the combined score of the short program and the long program. Trusova landed a triple axel – the most difficult triple jump – of the short program and finished fourth. Quad jumps are not permitted for women in the short program. Trusova has never landed the triple axel in competition. It has a base value of 8 points when done cleanly, but Trusova only received 3.20 points after its fall.

She started the free program more than five points behind her training partner, 17-year-old Anna Shcherbakova, the eventual gold medalist. Shcherbakova skated more conservatively in the short program, finishing second after performing a double axel instead of a triple and receiving no point deductions for imperfect jumps.

The difference in short program scoring was 80.20 points for Shcherbakova to 74.60 points for Trusova. So while Trusova narrowly won the free skate with 177.13 points to Shcherbakova’s 175.75 points, Trusova couldn’t close the gap in the short program. Shcherbakova won the gold medal with 255.95 points overall to Trusova’s 251.73 points.

Plus, skating involves more than jumping. The result rewards complete performance. In addition to a technical score for jumps and spins, a skater receives a component score. This is basically a score for art. The component score judges elements such as skating skills; footwork and other transition movements between jumps; the structure and unity of a program and the ability to translate music and choreography into performance.

The technical score and the component score are added to give the total score for the skaters in the short program and again in the long program.

Jumping, not art, is Trusova’s forte. On Thursday, she received the highest technical score by winning the free skate, but only recorded the third highest score, leaving potentially game-breaking points on the table.

The 5.67 point advantage Trusova had over Shcherbakova in the technical free skate score was eroded by a 4.29 point deficit over Shcherbakova in the component score. Shcherbakova had the highest component score of any competitor in the free skate. Trusova’s component score also lagged the leaders in the short program.

Finally, while Trusova attempted five quads in the free skate, she only landed three cleanly. Two others – a toe loop and a lutz – received deductions from their base point values ​​by the judges. These quadruple deductions amounted to 3.43 points. Trusova received another slight deduction, about half a point, for a faulty double axel-triple toe combo jump.

Shcherbakova only attempted two quads in the free skate, but landed them both cleanly and received no point deductions for the technical elements of her routine.

All of these reasons, taken together, resulted in Shcherbakova’s gold medal and Trusova’s silver.

Afterwards, Trusova was seen on camera saying, “I hate this! I don’t want to do any figure skating with my life! Everyone has a gold medal and I don’t.

Later, her eyes red from crying, she told reporters, “I’m not happy with the result. There is no happiness.”

Richmond artist raises mental health awareness with visual album

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RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) – A Richmond artist is raising awareness of the importance of mental health through music and film.

Myles Brown created “Journey”, a visual album from his own process of grieving and healing.

“A visual album is a compilation of songs accompanied by a series of music videos. Music videos are optical mechanisms used to illustrate the narrative throughout each song. “Journey” is a visual album exploring the human experience from the director’s perspective, Myles (MYLO) Brown. The project follows Brown in Richmond as he comes to terms with personal struggles following the loss of his beloved friend, John Lodge Fergusson. As Brown navigates his hometown, he realizes that introspection is necessary to achieve a sense of closure. “Journey” contains seven original songs/music videos and five conversations. Each chapter takes place in a unique location in Richmond, Virginia.‍”

Journey’s music is currently available for download on multiple streaming platforms. Brown says he’s been working on the project for nearly a year and will premiere the entire visual album on Feb. 25 at the Byrd Theater.

Copyright 2022 WWBT. All rights reserved.

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Feds: Maryland twins used fake $1 million loans to trade crypto and buy sports car

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A pair of twin brothers from Maryland are facing federal charges for fraudulently obtaining $1 million in COVID-19 loans, authorities have announced.

Jerry and Jaleel Phillips, 24, of Temple Hills, submit bogus Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) loan applications, Economic Disaster Loan (EIDL) applications and unemployment insurance claims to get the money, United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Erek L, Barron said.

The Phillips brothers created pseudonyms, used the personal identifying information of real people, and used fake businesses or legal entities to apply for EIDL and PPP loans, as well as unemployment benefits, Barron said citing the affidavit.

They created several financial and email accounts under pseudonyms, including “Kenneth Williams”, “Allen Gator” and “Jamal Hopkins”, which were backed by fake Maryland driver’s licenses, social security numbers and dates of birth, federal officials said.

The brothers used the funds to buy a 2020 Camaro, furniture, home improvement items and services, and did more, authorities said.

Significant funds were also transferred between the various financial accounts established in the names of the pseudonyms.

The Phillips used several fraudulent Maryland driver’s licenses to create multiple accounts on popular digital currency exchanges, authorities said.

The brothers face federal charges of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft; and Jaleel Phillips, 24, of Temple Hills, Maryland, for wire fraud, in connection with an alleged scheme to illegally obtain COVID-19 relief loans and unemployment benefits, Barron said.

If convicted, the Phillips brothers face a maximum sentence of 20 years in federal prison for wire fraud. Jerry faces an additional two years in federal prison consecutive to any other sentence imposed for aggravated identity theft.

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Album Review: The Butts: So It Goes – Music

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We last heard from local pop-punk transplants the Butts three years ago, with their sublime Nightmare in Area 51 PE. In the meantime, local punk MVP Will Prewitt replaced Nathan Holman on guitar. Their musical ambition also grew. They’ve already filmed the melodic pogo rock of more commercial bands with enough boozy irreverence to utterly destroy pop-punk’s normally well-maintained facade. And bassist Kevy Bergman’s louder vocal style has always provided perfect harmony and counterpoint to frontman Kurt Koegler’s rawer approach. Now his innate musicality has burst across the surface of their third album in polished fashion, with his well-placed keyboard overdubs reinforcing many of the tracks.

With their huge, raspy Hüsker Dü guitars and demure intellectual humor, the Butts can’t help but bring to mind the smart punks deep underground in Minneapolis’ Dillinger Four. How could you hate a band that composes a song that so successfully disrupts the aging process as “I’m Getting Old,” with a throwaway line as brilliant as “Scully and Mulder didn’t understand exactly what they had“? But the most moving and ambitious is “The Final Text Exchange”, a rhythmic piano ballad whose lyrics depict a child and a parent exchanging messages during a school shooting. With samples from the Presidents Clinton and Obama reacting to previous events is chilling and believable.

****

Pantochino Teen Theater Brings ‘Bat Boy, The Musical’ to Milford

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Pantochino Teen Theater presents ‘Bat Boy, The Musical’ for three performances starting February 25 at the MAC, Milford Arts Council, building in Milford town centre.

Inspired by a supermarket tabloid story, this contemporary rock-infused musical is written by Keith Farley and Brian Flemming, with music and lyrics by Laurence O’Keefe of the movie “Legally Blonde.”

The story follows a half-boy, half-bat creature that was discovered in a cave in West Virginia and taught to behave like a “normal” boy.

Bat Boy is content with his new life, but when he naively tries to fit in with the narrow-minded community, a struggle for acceptance ensues.


“This is a unique opportunity for our teenage company members to learn a unique style of musical theater,” play director Bert Bernardi told Hearst Connecticut Media.

“It teaches tolerance, acceptance and compassion,” he said.

Sponsored by The Milford Bank, “Bat Boy, The Musical” features a cast of 27 young actors from Milford, Stratford, Orange, West Haven, East Haven, Trumbull, Shelton, Woodbridge, Ansonia, Branford, Seymour, Bethany and Killingworth.

The Pantochino Teen Theater offers young actors the opportunity to work with professional directors and designers outside of the academic setting, on a schedule that matches that of the professional summer theater.

The show was cast, learned and rehearsed in 10 immersive rehearsals.

Bernardi directs the show with Justin Rugg as musical director and Becki Arena as choreographer.

The show features set design by Von Del Mar, costumes by Jimmy Johansmeyer, lighting by Megan O’Brien and sound by Tobias Peltier.

Sherri Alfonso serves as stage manager.

Performances of “Bat Boy, The Musical” will take place on Friday, February 25 at 7:30 p.m., Saturday, February 26 at 5:30 p.m. and Sunday, February 27 at 2 p.m.

The reduced-capacity Milford Arts Council building is located at 40 Railroad Ave., Milford.

Parking is free in the car parks at Milford Station during show times.

For more information and tickets, visit pantochino.com.

Attendees must present proof of vaccination or a negative COVID-19 test at the door within 72 hours of each performance.

People must also wear masks that cover their nose and mouth during the show.

How Jonathan Larson taught me to be a better critic

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I watched “Tick, Tick…Boom!”, Netflix’s film adaptation of Jonathan Larson’s musical, four and a half times in the span of three weeks. I listened to the soundtrack three times, except for the opening song, “30/90”. Which I have listened to at least ten times.

When you replay a song this often, entire verses begin to sink into your memory. You begin to see beneath the surface, digging up the bones of the music: a change in key, a change in tempo, a bluesy bass line that appears and disappears in an instant.

When I talk about Larson’s work, I get romantic. It’s been that way since I was 15, thanks to his Pulitzer Prize-winning musical “Rent,” and now, thanks to “Tick, Tick…Boom!” But there’s a key difference in how I engaged with his work then compared to now: Back then it was as a fan who was just beginning to discover an art form that would shape his personal and professional life; now it’s as a critic who better understands the possibilities of musical theatre.

But I still have a long way to go – I’m continually learning how to be a better theater fan and critic, and 26 years after his death, Jonathan Larson is my unlikely mentor.

“Tick, Tick… ​​Boom! ,” Larson’s precursor to “Rent,” is a musical about the playwright’s attempts to get his dystopian rock musical, “Superbia,” produced. His ambitions and anxieties create tension with his girlfriend and his best friend, whom he pushes aside.

Although Larson’s show stars a composer named Jon and is largely autobiographical, the film – written by Steven Levenson and directed by Lin-Manuel Miranda – bridges the gap between the writer and his work, making Larson himself the protagonist. We switch between his staging of “Tick, Tick…Boom!” and the correlative events of his life.

The film takes a loving look at Larson’s life and legacy. Larson (Andrew Garfield, who was recently nominated for an Oscar for the role) is an innocently aloof but also intimately present performer, transparent to audiences through his songs, which seem to burst from the top of his head in an effervescent burst of rhythm. .

Garfield bounces across the screen with the energy of a child on a trampoline; his downright kinetic performance is a flurry and flurry of gestures, limbs jerking and flailing in all directions. In some scenes, Larson pauses to consider a thought or phrase; his head tilts to the side and his jaw relaxes slightly, as if to make room for new words to fly. It’s crazy. And endearing.

As this is the world that Miranda is building: a bespoke version of 1990 New York for theater nerds, where André De Shields strolls as a haughty patron at the Moondance Diner, where Bernadette Peters has her coffee and where three of the The original “Rent” cast (Adam Pascal, Daphne Rubin-Vega, Wilson Jermaine Heredia) are bums who sing in the street.

If I even recognize so many of these faces, it’s thanks to Larson.

I’ve written before about my love for “Rent,” a love I share with my mother – how it provided a bohemian fantasy that could be the repository of my teenage insecurities, anxieties, rages and woes. I also discovered the musical when I was taking small steps to become a critic, writing art articles for my high school newspaper.

Larson taught me that the constellation of notes in a score has enough space to contain immense sorrow and irrepressible delights. That a musical doesn’t have to be airy and carefree, or campy and dated. It could be bold and contemporary, even tragic. Or equally weird and subversive – “Rent” is full of sex and drugs, bonkers performance art and mentions of BDSM – just like any art form.

The musical, I have come to appreciate, has an interlocking structure: the book is the backbone, and each song in the score contains its own micro-narrative, its own voice, conveyed through the music.

I still love “Rent” like I did when I was 15, but as my affections for him have aged, they’ve taken on the sepia tone of nostalgia.

I’m not the same person I was as a teenager anymore, thankfully. I’ll raise my glass to bohemian life but won’t stay that long with the eclectic crowd at Life Cafe.

Watch the “Tick, Tick…Boom!” film for the first time, I immediately fell for “30/90”, which seemed to me adapted from my own experience. Long before becoming a critic, I was an artist and I always worked with a self-imposed sense of urgency; When I was a child, I expected to be a famous poet, journalist and novelist at 25.

When I turned 30, in the middle of our first pandemic summer, I had a month-long existential crisis. Reaching that milestone age, as Larson sings about in “30/90,” means “you’re no longer the ingenue.” I still worry unnecessarily about time and mortality, clinging to the same clichéd, self-important worries about his legacy as so many artists, including Larson.

At one point, as I was rewatching the movie after an anxious and depressed afternoon, I remembered how I was doing the same thing with “Rent.” Again, Larson helps me, not only in those moments of joyless mental panic, but also in the moments of joy, when I sing “Boho Days” from the new movie while cooking dinner, strolling on the kitchen counter.

It’s love.

But I have to admit, “Tick, Tick…Boom!” gave me pause when Larson’s work is being studioed by Stephen Sondheim and a theater critic. Sondheim recognizes the potential in Larson and the play, while the reviewer quickly dismisses it. Seeing the narrow-mindedness and the pretentious posture of the critic, I asked myself: Did I do this? Did I miss a work of art the same way?

“Tick, tick… Boom!” did not enlighten me on the creative and economic difficulties of the artist; I’ve gone through enough poems, nominations, and submissions to know that well enough for myself. But it allowed me to enter the mind of a director: the way he develops musical motifs; knits the songs together into a narrative (the missing song in “Superbia” which becomes “Come to Your Senses” in the film); and draws inspiration from other works (Larson’s love of “Sunday in the Park with George” happily turns into a dinner scene).

In the film, Larson is troubled by the critic’s criticism of his musical’s distribution of themes and styles (“I’m lost. I don’t know what the show is,” the critic says. “Is it rock, is it Broadway, is it both? Is it neither? He continues to write an equally varied musical, but which nevertheless blends into an adventurous but always coherent work.

Repeated viewings of “Tick, Tick…Boom!” left me with pattern recognition; I noticed how his songs bear the first imprints of “Rent”. “Johnny Can’t Decide” has the same emotional qualities as “One Song Glory”. The harmonies of “30/90” are reminiscent of “What You Own”. And every time I hear the guitar riff at the start of “No More,” for a brief second, I think I’m hearing the intro to the title track of “Rent.”

Before Larson, I never listened to show tunes; Over the past few weeks, I’ve not only listened to the soundtrack for the new movie, but also the scores for “Company” and “Six.” Before Larson, I loved musical theater but underestimated its depth; I now attend musicals with an open mind and, hopelessly sweet as it sounds, with an open heart.

Larson taught me another lesson. Every time I encounter his work, it forces me to face head-on the most futile job that defines my craft: finding a language to describe art. As an artist, I hope my work will exceed definition, but as a critic, I must do it to the best of my ability. Hopefully, the critic evolves with the critic, as new works constantly challenge her to grow and adapt – and as new works refresh her love for the genre.

At least that’s the lesson I have today, on my sofa, with a scene from “Tick, Tick… Boom!” once again frozen on my screen. There’s Garfield, as Larson, standing in the middle of the Moondance Diner during Sunday brunch as everything around him slows down.

He looks around and the restaurant is transformed by his imagination. And just like that, he writes a new song. Who knows what else Larson will offer me when I raise tomorrow?

Loss leads to music in vibe artist Patricia Wolf’s new album, “I’ll Look For You In Others.”

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On local ambient artist Patricia Wolf’s Twitter page is one of the last photographs of her mother-in-law, Kathleen Karle, before her death in 2019.

Wolf and Karle stand together at the foot of a hill as the long shadows of twilight begin to fall. In the background, dozens of curious structures, superficially resembling flowers, but clearly artificial: lights installed by artist Bruce Munro in Paso Robles, central California.

“All the little lights made me think of people’s spirit and energy,” says Wolf, who gets audibly emotional as we talk on the phone. “I made such an important spiritual connection with him.”

The same installation adorns the cover of his new album, I will look for you in the others, released this month on Indianapolis vibe label Past Inside the Present. It’s calm, patient and instrumental, consisting mostly of wordless vocals, field recordings and synths.

Still, its contrast of gorgeous ambient sweep and minor-key introspection reflects the emotional beats Wolf experienced following the death of his stepmother, and she hopes it will connect with listeners dealing with loss in the same way. that Munro’s lights connected with her.

“I like to communicate something that I think will connect with other people, even if it’s just a small group,” says Wolf. “I was hoping that maybe other people who are in the same place could find some sort of refuge or understanding there.”

While this is technically Wolf’s debut album, she’s not a new face on the Portland avant-garde. She first rose to prominence in the local music scene as a DJ, and from 2017 to 2019 she ran and lived above the Variform gallery on the border of the Old Town and the Pearl District, hosting performances by local and international experimental artists.

Still, even outside of Karle’s 2017 breast cancer diagnosis, the past few years have been tumultuous for Wolf. She closed Variform in 2019 due to concerns about crime in the neighborhood (“I would feel really bad if someone came for an event and ended up getting shot or something”), and when the pandemic arrived in Portland, she found herself barely able to work at all. Much of the music during this period did not feel “right” to listen to, and his tastes began to lean towards ambient music.

“We changed our lives to be there for family and away from social activities,” she says of herself and her husband, Max Wolf, who masters her music and designs some of her works. “So the music got a little more introspective and thoughtful and slowed down and thoughtful. When you’re going through a lot of grief, you don’t feel like dancing in a club.

During this period, Wolf found herself tweaking old recordings, abandoning her aversion to digital processing and running her synths through plug-ins. “It was good to get me out of my head a bit,” she said of that material, which makes up the bulk of I will look for you in the others.

Wolf is not touring behind the album, but she will be playing her first public DJ set since the pandemic began on March 28 at Holocene, opening for German guitarist Fennesz and rising Kenyan ambient artist KMRU. Don’t expect a party: “I haven’t done a dance DJ set since 2018.”

She has also recorded a new album, which has no name or release date yet, but will be released on the Balmat label run by Portland-born DJ and electronic music specialist Philip Sherburne. She describes it as light compared to I’ll Look For You in Others.

“I’m really proud and happy about this, because it took me a lot of time and treatment to get to this point,” she says. “Things are improving. You will still carry that loss and sadness with you, but you can get back to a state where you don’t feel so heavy about things and feel light and cheerful again.

SEE : Patricia Wolf performs at Holocene, 1001 SE Morrison St., 503-239-7639, holocene.org. 8 p.m. on Monday, March 28. $27. I’ll Look For You in Others is available now at pasinsidethepresent.com.

Actress Lola Kirke launches into music with ‘Lady for Sale’

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PARK CITY, UTAH – JANUARY 27: Lola Kirke of ‘Lost Girls’ attends the IMDb studio at Acura Festival Village on location at the 2020 Sundance Film Festival – Day 4 on January 27, 2020 in Park City, Utah.

Photo: Photo by Rich Polk/Getty Images for IMDb, Stringer/Getty Images for IMDb

Lola Kirke’s acting credits go back over a decade, but the music has always been there too. His father, Simon Kirke, is a drummer who played in Free and Bad Company. His sister, Domino, has a band. And the “Mozart in the Jungle” star has been releasing music herself for several years, with an EP, an LP and a few singles to her name. But she’s looking to take a bigger step with “Lady for Sale.” The album’s 10 songs are intricately assembled – confessional yet opaque – and elegantly arranged in an album about the wobbly legs of a potentially problematic new love.

The album caught the attention of Third Man Records, based in Nashville and launched by Jack White, who will release it in late April. Kirke and the producer found an interesting groove for the singer-songwriter, lending his songs country, country underpinnings with enough room for a danceable beat every now and then. Kirke, who plays Warehouse Live on February 18, presents the new songs on tour with Elle King.

Q: I keep coming back to the song “Pink Sky”, with the “no rush, no rush”. It felt like a fulcrum for the record: I felt like there was a narrative thread throughout and it reached out to time and the ways we connect.

A: I appreciate that comment. I hadn’t thought of the song as a point of support, as you say. But I can definitely see it now. The record, in many ways, is about falling in love with someone you’re not supposed to fall in love with. And explode your life to be with that person. And then how romantic, realistic, and unromantic it can be. I think “Pink Sky” is about that non-romantic part. Love is still love, but it can be disappointing and scary. Life will remain life. This song reminds me of the end of “The Graduate”. You are both on the bus. (Laughs.) What now?

Q: Some of the tone on the record reminds me of Juice Newton’s work. I like that it’s comfortable to find a space between pop and country.

A: I’m glad it dropped. Juice Newton was often brought up when we were talking about references for the record. There was a lot of that, “Is that country or isn’t it?” And a lot of time with (producer/guitarist) Austin Jenkins before recording. Many of them were written as sad, eerie ballads. And he’s so brilliant. He told me that there are a million ways to do this or that song. It was almost intimidating to hear what he had come up with. But he saw the best in me. At my best, I’m a fun, warm, irreverent, sometimes drunk person. I spent a lot of time trying to cut that heat. I think hot, as far as our culture is concerned, is the opposite of cool. And I wanted to be cool. But he encouraged me to embrace those other parts of my personality and put them into the music. I’m so thankful for that. So Pam Tillis was a big inspiration, “Maybe it was Memphis.” That weird song, “Nobody.” . . Who was it?

Q: Sylvia? I was just watching her the other day.

Elle King, Lola Kirke

When: 8 p.m. February 18

Or: Warehouse Live, 813 Emanuel St.

Details: $30-$35; 713-225-5483, livewarehouse.com

A: Sylvia! It’s such a weird little song. Dan Fogelberg. His music has been called cheesy, but I don’t know. I think he’s the hippest. We thought about the Tanya Tucker/Glen Campbell duos, how they captured the rawness of her voice. I really love this kind of country.

Q: People have always complained about country pop, including these artists. But this record seems much more aligned with them than with what we call country today.

A: Now, I think country has a lot of purely pop or hip-hop features, and a lot of rock comes into it. But there are still people who think about it regionally. Austin is from Texas. Players always identified where they came from. Someone would say, “I’m a guy from Houston.” But it was interesting for me to know all these people who were not from the Northeast. What they heard on the radio growing up was so different from what I heard. In New York we had Chris Gaines but not Garth Brooks. We have the hits of Shania and Faith Hill. But it’s only been in the past two years since moving to Nashville that I’ve discovered what my friends have been listening to since they were kids. And I appreciated that. I love this music so much.

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  • Andrew Dansby

    Andrew Dansby covers culture and entertainment, both local and national, for the Houston Chronicle. He came to The Chronicle in 2004 from Rolling Stone, where he spent five years writing about music. He had previously spent five years in book publishing, working with publisher George RR Martin on the first two books in the series that would become “Game of Thrones” on television. photos you’ve never seen. He has written for Rolling Stone, American Songwriter, Texas Music, Playboy and other publications.

    Andrew dislikes monkeys, dolphins, and the outdoors.

A new musical piece, “The Artificial Woman”, will have its world premiere at UC Santa Cruz this month

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The astonishing and true story of Austrian artist Oskar Kokoschka’s tumultuous love affair with composer Alma Mahler and the obsession that would drive him to commission a life-size doll in her likeness after their breakup is the basis of a new musical that will have its world premiere in February March 25-6 at the eXperimental Theater at UC Santa Cruz.

Presented by the Department of Performance, Acting, and Design, led by UCSC Permanent Lecturer Kirsten Brandt, and co-written by poet Amy Gerstler and composer Steve Gunderson, The artificial woman sheds a feminist light on this chronicle of infatuation and fetishism set in the artistic and intellectual hotbed that was Vienna just before the First World War.

“This story hasn’t left me alone since I stumbled across it in graduate school,” says Gerstler, who pitched it to Gunderson for their first collaboration on a work of historical fiction. “It’s fascinating, captivating and raises so many questions about gender roles, women as muses, obsession and objectification, artistic creation. The list continues. Whenever I talk to people about the young star of avant-garde art Kokoschka and the widow of Gustav Mahler, they say “No!” This couldn’t have happened! Then I googled one of four existing photographs of the original doll, and it came as a total surprise to everyone.

The doll, which Kokoschka dressed, took to parties and used as a studio model, plays a central role in The artificial woman as a feminist center and narrator, speaking directly to the audience in Gerstler’s lyric poetry to question everything he observes.

A lot of The artificial woman is set to song. Gunderson composed over 20 original pieces for the genre-defying play.

“I wanted to create a unique musical universe for it because it exists in a space between fantasy and history,” says Gunderson. “Sometimes it leans towards opera and sometimes towards musical theatre. It’s a new musical world and not easy to play, but the student performers were brilliant and really rose to the challenge. We got so much insight into this game from them.

The artificial woman was significantly reworked and refined through a quarter-hour development workshop with UCSC Theater Arts students in the spring of 2021. The process has been eye-opening for playwrights.

“The students had such important questions about the play and their characters,” says Gunderson. “It showed us so much about what would and wouldn’t work, and we made some big changes as a result.” Gerstler adds: “The level of professionalism among the students is very high. What they came up with taught us a lot about what the coin is. It’s a gift to develop something like this with bright, active, committed, talented and inquiring minds.

Brandt, who led the workshop process, notes, “It’s really great for our students to be working with something brand new. They see how the process works, which is rare. It’s joyful to wrestle with new material and be the first to make discoveries. And there’s a wonderful complication to this show that makes the work so invigorating. The students really savored the whole experience.

Joining the eleven UCSC cast on stage will be a live band made up of UCSC music students on piano, synthesizer, double bass and drums. Doctoral student Michael Blackburn is the musical director.

The premiere of The artificial woman runs from February 25 to March 6. Tickets can be purchased online.

Holocaust victim’s opera stored for years in a vault finally premieres | Germany

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An opera score salvaged from a basement in San Francisco had its world premiere in a German theater, exuberantly enlivened by more than 150 musicians and performers nearly 80 years after its composer was assassinated by the Nazis.

Grete Minde, a late romantic opera of 1920s jazz-inspired melodies and grand orchestral sounds, was the work of Eugen Engel, a Jewish textile trader based in Berlin in his day job, who gave his handwritten score her daughter to look after when she escaped to the United States in 1941.

He waited in vain for permission to follow her but was killed at the Sobibor extermination camp on March 26, 1943, at the age of 67, after his arrest in Amsterdam.

“We kept his papers in a trunk for years, but it was too painful for my mum to get them out, so we never really engaged with them, although I always knew there was a opera score there,” said Jan Agee, Engel’s granddaughter.

Eugen Engel in Berlin, date unknown. Photography: handout

She only realized their significance after the death of her mother Eva in 2006, when she was contacted by the Jewish Museum in Berlin seeking material for its archive.

Agee traveled with his brother and daughter from California to eastern Germany and to the Magdeburg Theater for the first live performance by Grete Minde, a lively show that oscillates between comedy and tragedy and which has won critical acclaim.

“It has everything you could want from an opera, involving the whole ensemble, a breathtaking story evoking the dream of a better and fairer life against the dogma and bigotry of bourgeois society. , accompanied by beautiful sounds and driving beats,” wrote Die Zeit music critic Hannah Schmidt.

Speaking backstage after the show, which received standing ovations, Megan Agee, Engel’s great-granddaughter, said: ‘It’s quite overwhelming to see these sleeping written words and notes come to life for so long. It’s like Eugen Engel planted a seed back then, but until it was played, we didn’t know exactly what it was. We are amazed and grateful for the abundance of what has emerged.

His uncle Claude Lowen, Engel’s 84-year-old grandson, said: “These musicians today give voice to my grandfather and to all the many other musicians who were murdered, including many were cut before they could show their full potential.”

The opera has further performances in Magdeburg in February and March and the family said they hope it will be performed elsewhere in the world, with several concert halls having already contacted the German theatre.

Engel's American family visiting Charlottenstrasse, the street in Berlin where he lived
Engel’s American family visiting Charlottenstrasse, the street in Berlin where he lived. Photography: handout

Jan Agee, 74, said her mother never got over feeling she had ‘abandoned her father’. She said: “She had an upright piano waiting for her when it finally arrived in the States. But he never did, and it was his greatest wish to have his music performed. My biggest regret is that she is no longer there to experience this.

Anna Skryleva, a Russian conductor who became general music director of the Magdeburg Theater in 2019, first became interested in Engel during a performance of some of his works at the unveiling of an engraved brass plaque brief details of his life and death. the Stolpersteinor “stumbling block”, is engraved on the sidewalk of Charlottenstrasse 74, his Berlin address, which was destroyed during a bombardment.

She took a copy of the piano arrangement from the opera home and played it. “I was immediately captured,” she said. “It is full of interesting harmonious expressions and stylistic phrases. I was struck by his touches of Wagner, Strauss and Korngold, by the confidence of a layman to write such an ambitious work.

Engel's stumbling block
Engel’s Stolpersteinor “stumbling block”. Photography: handout

The musicians — a large ensemble including an organ, two harps, strings and brass, a female choir and solo singers — were enthusiastic supporters of the project, Skryleva said. “We all strive to do justice to Engel, seeing him as the representative of the many composers we have never known.”

Little is known of Engel’s life or how he learned to compose. His larger body of work includes chamber music, lieder and quartets. Working on the opera was a sideline as he made money as a buyer of fabric for women’s coats for a Berlin department store.

He was friends with prominent musicians in Berlin, including composer Engelbert Humperdinck and conductors Bruno Walter and Leo Blech, as noted in numerous letters between them found in the trunk. Engel scoured music stores with his daughter and regularly took sheet music with him to study line by line at opera concerts.

The dozens of thin paper letters he sent to his daughter after she left for the United States are some of the family’s most prized possessions.

“He typed them; then, when he was forbidden to buy typewriter ribbon, he continued them by hand,” Agee said. In the last, via the Red Cross, dated March 20, 1943, he wrote: “My dear children, I am well and I often think of you.

The cover of Engel's score of his opera Grete Minde
The cover of Engel’s score of his opera Grete Minde. Photography: handout

Skryleva and Ulrike Schröder, Chief Dramatic Advisor of Theater Magdeburg, oversaw the painstaking transcription by external experts of more than 40 individual voice and instrument parts, taking advantage of the pandemic shutdown. The entire production cost more than €110,000 to direct.

“We believe he spent nearly 20 years composing the opera, working on it in his spare time,” said Schröder, who has attempted to piece together as much of Engel’s life as possible. “The libretto was written in 1914 and that could have been the starting point.”

By the time he had finished the opera in 1933, the Nazis were in power, but he kept trying to get him on stage even when his life was in danger. “Even if he hadn’t been Jewish, it would have been difficult for him to get on stage as a non-professional, but the rise of Hitler made that absolutely impossible,” Schröder said.

Engel was one of 13 siblings, most of whom were believed to have been murdered by the Nazi regime. But Schröder said she would be careful not to read too much into Engel’s choice of source material – Grete Minde, by writer Theodor Fontane, which is based on the 16th-century true story of a young woman who is deprived of her rightful inheritance by officials. in her hometown and takes revenge by setting fire to it and burning herself and her child.

Still, she said, a modern audience watching the city go up in flames could not avoid drawing parallels between the plight of Grete Minde, who is treated like an outsider, and the decimation of the Jews.

Album review: Zeal & Ardor’s new self-titled album is the genre mashup you didn’t know you needed

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There are very few bands that can take various elements from a multitude of musical styles and mix them together in a way that creates something new and irresistible. Swiss experimental metal duo Zeal & Ardorcomposed of a leader and a multi-instrumentalist Manuel Gagneux and drummer Marco Von Allmen, are part of. Their self-titled third studio album – released on February 11 – is a testament to their exceptionally original craftsmanship.

The band’s unique sound can best be described as soul-infused blues and black metal – styles not usually associated with each other. Across the 14 tracks, stomping grooves and articulate blast beats coincide with elegant keys and programmed percussion. Searing riffs and heavy chugs sit comfortably with wet melodies and pulsating synths. Versatile vocals switch effortlessly between inflected cleans and brutal growls, with rap-influenced rhymes of justifiable rage and empowerment.

The eerie title track immediately grabs the listener with screaming synths and distorted reverse guitar strumming. Gagneux’s commanding voice over distant chants incites rebellion, with the song acting as a call to arms for the oppressed to take control. The next track ‘Run’ sounds like it doesn’t even belong on the same album as the first, with its low squeals and searing riffs, but earns its place and acts as a musical bridge between the opener and the third track, ‘Death to the Saint’.

The instrumental piece “Emersion” envelops the listener in an atmospheric soundscape of glitchy synths and lush programming. Out of nowhere, it catapults you into a triumphant onslaught of layered guitars and pounding drums into a wall of sound. The song ends with a cheerful melody over delicate keys before leading into the hissing and chosen guitar intro of “Golden Liar”. The cinematic tom fills and swirls crescendo harmonies in a whirlwind of tense vocals and overdriven strums, then abruptly ends before the album’s highlight verse “Erase” hits next.

The demanding lyrics of “Bow” are bolstered by call-and-response gang vocals and beats from the hit movie’s trailer. This battle cry cements itself midway through the track listing as a focal point in the album’s narrative of submission and uplift. The dynamic cut “Feed the Machine” offers an unparalleled sound journey, switching between different grooves and time signatures while juggling bluesy songs and chaotic passages. Next, “I Caught You” is one of the more technical tracks and features some of Gagneux’s best screams on the record.

The unique and most accessible final track, “Church Burns”, cleverly mixes soft guitar melodies and bright piano chords with fat guitar chords and syncopated drum patterns. The lyrics demonstrate meticulous calligraphy down to the harsh rhyme scheme and syllable count, reminiscent of conscious hip hop. The demonic cut “Götterdämmerung” sees Gagneux go biblical, with a combination of German and English lyrics belted from the depths of his soul with ferocious instrumentation and an eerie chorus.

Photo credit: Georg Gatsa

Towards the end of the album, “Hold Your Head Low” begins with a slinky reggaeton vibe characterized by prominent basses and colorful cymbals. It offers glimpses of powerful vocals, smashing percussion and frantic guitars, receding for each verse until the charged finale and gently plucked outro. The last two tracks, “JMB” and “AHIL” respectively, seem short and musically disjointed rather than a fusion of styles. It evokes a prolonged feeling that could otherwise have been avoided by closing with their predecessor.

In all, Zeal & Ardor have compiled a generous helping of relatively short songs for a more punctual message and brighter burn. Although some stand out much more than others, the melodies and grooves of these inventive tracks resonate long after the album has run its course. The band’s self-titled effort explores the angst of a society conditioned with their namesake and inspires change through unity. There’s no doubt you’ll be hearing a lot more about these guys and their undeniable potential.

Zeal & ArdorZeal & ArdorZeal & ArdorZeal & Ardor

FOUR STARS (OUT OF FIVE)

Zeal & Ardor is out now

You can keep up to date with Zeal & Ardor on their website, Facebook, Instagram and Twitter

Maria Friedman: “Sondheim was a nice man, but God, he could be very direct” | Musical comedies

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Maria Friedman, 61, is a singer, comedian and director with a natural musicality (her parents were classical musicians) and knows how to get inside a song and make it hers – and ours – with precision emotional. Eight-time Olivier nominee (she has won the prize three times), she is known for her interpretations of Stephen Sondheim’s songbook, and is preparing to celebrate him and composers Marvin Hamlisch and Michel Legrand in Heritage, a show at the Menier Chocolate Factory in London. Friedman is married to actor Adrian Der Gregorian and has two sons.

Tell me about the first time you met Stephen Sondheim…
I was in my early 20s and attending a gala to fill in for a singer who had the flu. I had two days to learn Broadway Baby [from Sondheim’s Follies]. The lyrics fit me like a glove: it was about a girl with aspirations who wanted to get a great job and not work in cafes or live in a room with no money. Everyone considered the Broadway song Baby Elaine Stritch [she was also on the bill that night]. The music started and a spotlight came on in the middle of the stage. I took a deep breath and was about to start my song when, from the height of the gods, someone shouted, “Come down, we want Elaine!” I had tears in my eyes but I dug very deep into those lyrics. That’s what I’ve done since. Sondheim’s work is extraordinary: when you trust him and live in him, he protects you. The place has gone crazy. Sondheim was in the audience; at the party that followed, he asked, “Who was that girl?”

How was he as a character?
He came to see me later in Ghetto at the National, and that’s after I was cast as Dot in sunday in the park With George. Sondheim was the most curious person I have ever met. His intelligence was dazzling, but what I loved the most was his ability to laugh, to keep busy and to Listen.

So was the nuanced bittersweet quality of his music highlighted in the man himself?
Life is bittersweet and his music reflects that. He wrote about people’s complexities and savored them. There has never been a judgment on fractured people. He was a kind and loyal man, but my God, he could be very…direct.

I take it he was godfather to one of your boys?
He was godfather to my son Toby and mentor to my youngest son, Alfie.

How do you interpret a song?
It’s progressive. You have a smell, a feeling about your connection. You feel it getting closer and closer until it becomes part of your marrow and suddenly it belongs to you. Sondheim’s genius was that he left room for each actor to stage their own life – he was open to new interpretations and burst out laughing when you came up with something he hadn’t thought of.

Tell me about your show at the Chocolaterie, which will celebrate not only Sondheim but also the American composer Marvin Hamlisch and French composer Michel Legrand
I worked with both of them and traveled the world with them. I sang at the Marvin Hamlisch memorial with Aretha Franklin, Barbra Streisand and Liza Minnelli. Michel Legrand came to see me in one of my shows and actually played the piano, which was amazing. I also sang at his memorial.

Friedman in rehearsals for Sondheim’s Merrily We Roll Along at the Menier chocolate factory in 2012. Photography: Tristram Kenton/The Guardian

So it’s in memory of absent friends?
It’s about legacy, about celebrating three people I miss. Sondheim had this idea that everything had to stay fresh. And so during the pandemic, I’ve had a lot of young recent graduates send me tapes and audition them, and they’re participating. It wasn’t out of sympathy but because they are amazing.

Your father, Leonard Friedmanviolinist of the Royal Philharmonic Orchestra, left the family when you were five. How has this influenced your life?
Look at the men I mentioned: three old Jewish men…we don’t need a psychiatrist to tell us about it [laughs]. I realized something about my dad recently. I barely knew him but he took me up to the Isle of Mull for one of his festivals. He promised me the world – cellos and violins and all – but I ended up opening my show with little pipes and a banjo, for f’s sake. He was doing a concert on the road. Then, little by little, all the musicians came in and started making music, and that was the show that ended at the Donmar because Caro Newling, who is Sam Mendes’ producing partner, was in trip on foot with her mother and came to see my little cabaret. I got my first Olivier award for this show. And it was because of my father.

Your sister is the leading West End producer, Sonia Friedman. What are your other siblings doing?
My brother is a solo violinist and was the conductor of the Royal Ballet…he’s amazing. Sarah is a computer scientist and way smarter than all of us. And the wonderful Benjy was the director/producer of Pastry shop and is now a documentary filmmaker.

When you look back on your life, what played the bigger role – luck or hard work?
Not knowing the rules meant we got into situations that someone with more upbringing and a conventional upbringing might not have been able to get into. The lack of formality in our family meant that we would either drown or manage to stay afloat. I have spent months of my life underwater with a small snorkelcorrect manager. But in terms of luck, I feel blessed that music is part of my life. I worked hard on it but I love what I do so it doesn’t feel like work.

catch cancer in 2005 was obviously unlucky. How has this changed your perception of your life?
A lot of people say cancer made them bolder, but that scared me more. I quit the industry – no one believed I would – and did gigs and jobs that weren’t going to stop me from putting my kids to bed. I was 45 years old. There are big consequences if you leave the industry, but I had no choice. It was the right decision, but a part of me got lost. It’s good now because I’m coming back.

How old are your sons, and does being a mother get easier over time?
Toby is 27 years old and graduated in inclusive performance. He works with an autistic child at Chickenshed [theatre company]. My other son, Alfie, is 19 and a brilliant actor. He just got a big role in Peter Kosminsky’s new TV series. The undeclared war with Mark Rylance and Simon Pegg. As for being a mother… it does not gets easier over time!

Which Sondheim song would you choose to get through the toughest times?
Switch from sunday in the park With George – “Stop worrying about where you are going… The choice may have been wrong, the choice was not. You have to move on.” It’s about taking a small step forward. Life changes and things pass. You can’t stand still.

What is the happiest song you sing?
The way you look tonight [by Jerome Kern]. It’s about capturing the moment when you know you’ll love someone forever and grow old with them if you’re lucky. I used to sing this to my little grandma and know she was thrilled when she was young dancing with her handsome husband. She was 96 years old and she was beautiful. I love this song.

This article was last modified on February 13, 2022. Maria Friedman’s image during rehearsals does not include Stephen Sondheim, as an earlier caption noted.

  • Heritage is at the Menier Chocolate Factory, London, from March 3 to 20

Black Artist Database and Ableton Offer Series of Free Masterclasses for Black Music Producers – EDM.com

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Black Artist Database partners with Ableton to offer up to 1,200 black artists free music production master class.

Black Artist Database, a crowdfunding platform dedicated to supporting black artists, labels and music producers, previously offered free courses in partnership with the popular digital audio workstation company in October 2021.

The volunteer-powered organization has grown to provide rapid coverage across four continents. Formerly known as Black Bandcamp, Black Artist Database existed only as a spreadsheet in its earliest form, but has since grown to centralize the work of thousands of music industry professionals. black music.

In their upcoming series of artist-led masterclasses, AceMo, Kessler, Suzi Analogue and Zvrra will cover a wide range of music production essentials and techniques. Running from February to May, the program kicks off with a general production seminar from AceMo followed by a session on drum programming and creative production techniques led by Kessler. Analogue will then give a course on the art of remixing before Zvrra conducts one entitled “How to make techno music”.

The calendar of monthly classes is set respectively for February 22, March 15, April 19 and May 3. Each course has 300 places available and you can reserve a place for free by registration before February 14.

Learn more here.

How to save money on stickers, planners, coloring books and calendars

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Sometimes you want to fly by the seat of your pants and see where the winds take you. When venturing into a new area, improvisation can take you to great new places. This philosophy falls flat in the workplace, however.

Preparation is key when printing important documents, whether it’s for work or a private project. That’s because misprints are expensive. If you randomly print something you need without preparation in advance, it’s a waste of ink, time and money.

That’s why we here at Komando HQ like to leave our print models to the pros. Instead of trying to create our own calendars, spreadsheets, and business cards by hand, we like to use some of these free resources to get started on the right foot. Here are our favorite designs that you will use time and time again, presented by our sponsor Epson.

1. The ideal starting point for budding planners

Now, this is a great site full of freebies. We’ve bookmarked it, and you should too.

day designer is on a mission to keep you organized. He is so committed to this goal that he offers a library of free printable planners. Whether you need a planner for the day, week, or month, this helpful printable collection has you covered.

This website is a great place for anyone who wants to be more focused and productive. Browse its pages and you’ll find a ton of other helpful resources. For now, though, check out its simple and clean planner designs. They will be of great help in the coming year.

2. Face the music

No matter what instrument you want to play, 8notes got you covered. This website offers free sheet music for piano, guitar, recorder, trombone and other instruments. It even has sheets for the most amazing instrument of all – the voice.

Oh, and it has specific sheets for classrooms and mixed groups. It’s super easy to navigate and has specific filters that allow you to search by artists and styles. In addition to all this, you will also find some useful resources. Free stuff like this sounds like music to the ears!

3. What’s better than stickers? To free stickers!

Canva is one of our favorite websites for designers. This is because this site offers a ton of high-quality content for free. You can get free resources here no matter what you need to do.

Want to design your own book cover? Canva has you covered. Do you want to create a colorful and dynamic CV? Canva has you covered.

If you want to create adorable stickers just in time for Valentine’s Day — you know it — Canva a thistoo much. Here are lots of free printable stickers you can use to start your next DIY session.

4. Best place for free printable calendars

It’s all there in the name. free-printable-calendar.com has a great library of free resources that you can send straight to your printer.

Whether you want a simple calendar or combine these templates with your artwork to create custom calendars, this is a great place to start. There are many templates you can use for a 2022 calendar. It’s never too late to start planning the rest of the year!

If you want to get a head start on 2023, Flanders Family Homelife has you covered. Tap or click here to download a free printable 2023 calendar.

The Flanders Family blog has a litany of super useful free printables. For example, check out this handy checklist below!

5. Use this comprehensive spring cleaning checklist for a perfectly clean home

Make your rooms spotless with this detailed cleaning list. It covers everything from your kitchen and bathrooms to porches and entryways. If you tend to get distracted during a deep clean, this well-organized document will hold you accountable.

It’s black and white, so you don’t have to worry about losing color when you print. There’s even a cute little drawing in the corner. Simply attach it to a clipboard, put on your cleaning gloves, and get ready to apply some elbow grease!

6. Kids color for free with Crayola

You don’t have to buy a fancy Barnes N’ Noble coloring book to inspire your child’s creative side. Crayola wants all kids to have fun with color, which is why it has an extensive library of free printables for you to choose from.

Whether your kids want to color Disney characters or their favorite animals, this free collection has plenty of coloring pages. Crayola’s coloring collection even has resources for adults who want to relax and enjoy art.

BONUS: Make your own door hanger

Maybe the locks in your house aren’t working. You try to put socks on the door when you sleep, but they fall off and people break into your room anyway. Maybe you want to start your own hotel or even turn your extra bedroom into an Airbnb rental.

Door hangers are a useful way to send a message without words. With a simple placement of this hanger on your doorknob, you can let people know to stay outside…or if it’s okay to stay inside. Your kids might like it too – and it’s much more pleasing to the eye than a bold cautionary tape or a warning sign saying to stay out!

Fortunately, Reprint has what you need. You can download them for Adobe Illustrator, Photoshop and Acrobat. Or you can find a JPEG template or one that works with Microsoft Publisher.

Now that you know What to print, here’s how actually, you know, to print

We mentioned earlier that misprints can be costly. That’s because traditional ink cartridges cost an arm and a leg. Eventually, Kim got tired of paying too much for her ink refills.

After searching for a better solution, she discovered the Epson EcoTank, which puts a whole new spin on the print. Instead of relying on bulky cartridges that run out too quickly, these printers use large jugs of refillable ink. Using this printer can save you a ridiculous amount of money over time.

Epson EcoTank printers come with a ridiculous amount of ink straight out of the box. You get enough ink to print 6,000 color pages. So if you want to upgrade your printer, try the Epson EcoTank!

Check out Epson EcoTank printers at a Best Buy, OfficeMax or Office Depot store near you, or shop online at Epson.com/EcoTankKim.

Shiye Prepares To Impress True Music Lovers With Her New Album “Gotham”

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Bosnian music artist and producer Shiye has been working on his upcoming album, Gotham. This artist has garnered a lot of attention because he’s not afraid to push boundaries and create raw music. For him, a great album doesn’t have to be number one on the charts. It must have real lyrics that tell a story from the artist.

Every song Shiye has written for this new album is a true expression of the artist. With this album, he breaks down the walls and shows more of his true emotions. He’s not afraid to sink into some Gotham tunes and show his fans another side of his music.

Shiye’s Anticipated New Album “Gotham” Features Real Music Lyrics

One thing that sets Shiye apart from other artists in the industry is that he is more driven to write that expresses his talent than to get it on the charts. It doesn’t really matter to this artist how often his songs are played on popular radio stations.

He is interested in telling a story through his music and giving his audience a glimpse into his mind. While Shiye loves how uplifting a catchy song can be, he appreciates the importance of using music to express himself. Every song this artist releases is a story he wants to tell.

Shiye has always said that music shouldn’t be a financial drain. That’s why he approaches his lyrics and instrumentals very precisely. However, it is not limited to just one type of sound. Shiye has a range of different tracks on this album, from dark and emotional tracks to fun club bangers. People can prepare to hear many sides of him with this album.

New team, new sound

When planning songs for Gotham, Shiye had a very specific vision. He was fortunate to partner with a great professional team that was able to help him achieve this vision. This team helped him push the boundaries and create an album that will take his career to the next level.

This Bosnian artist has already released two studio albums, Silhouette and Equinox. His music has reached people all over the world, with fans in several countries elated by Gotham’s release.

For more information on the release of this album, follow Shiye on https://instagram.com/djshiye

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Banks with advanced technologies granted more PPP loans

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For banks, especially smaller community banks, the key to weathering economic turmoil may lie in technology.

The Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC) stated in a report titled “Banking Technology and the COVID-19 Pandemic” that “the conventional view of the comparative advantage of small bank business models centers on relationship lending.”

According to the report, this conventional wisdom means that smaller financial institutions (FIs) can acquire “soft” information about potential lenders that would not normally be visible on a loan application.

Indeed, according to the FDIC, at the end of 2019, small banks were responsible for 31% of small business loans, even though they held only about 15% of assets.

“Yet the increase in data availability, advances in statistical classification methods to identify risk, greater computing power and the rise of fintech companies have the potential to erode the advantages that small banks derive from their comparative advantage in collecting soft information,” the FDIC said.

Technology expands customer list

The study focused on how banks’ technology investments could impact their ability to at least maintain and even grow their business in the wake of the pandemic.

Generally speaking, the FDIC found that the more the bank had its “coverage of products installed in non-bank FinTech businesses” (resulting in a “FinTech similarity score”), the more loans it made from the protection program. paychecks (PPP) as measured in the second quarter of 2020 – around 9% higher in volume.

“Furthermore, advanced technology allows banks to provide PPP loans outside of their branch market area, although these more geographically dispersed loans do not crowd out loans in the market. Thus, technology-intensive banks, which appear to operate as a hybrid between physical traditional banks and less physical non-bank FinTech lenders, can effectively compete for financial products that are less reliant on relationship lending,” the study found.

Separately, traditional FIs are indeed embracing new technologies to alleviate various issues (far beyond lending limits) faced by their corporate clients. Many FIs are changing their view of technology and looking for specific technical solutions. These innovations include, but are not limited to, automated account validation and digital safes.

Digging a little deeper, 42% of FIs consider invoice reconciliation to be a significant issue for corporate clients who pay suppliers. Sixty-six percent of FIs think the ability to offer digital payment solutions is very important to their customers.

Read more: How 311 FI is using technology to solve B2B invoicing and cash frictions

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NEW PYMNTS DATA: 70% OF BNPL USERS USE BANK PAYMENT OPTIONS, IF AVAILABLE

On: Seventy percent of BNPL users say they would prefer to use the installment plans offered by their banks – if only they were made available. PYMNTS’ Banking On Buy Now, Pay Later: Installment Payments and the Untapped Opportunity of FIssurveyed over 2,200 US consumers to better understand how consumers view banks as BNPL providers in a sea of ​​BNPL pure-players.

Abbey Players plans 24-hour spring festival of music and plays – The Saint Anselm Crier

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After capping off the fall semester with a student-led festival of one-act plays, the Anselmian Abbey Players are back for the spring semester with a busy schedule. Events include a lineup of Fun Fridays, a 24-hour play festival and a production of the musical The theory of relativity. The 24-Hour Game Festival is a highly anticipated throwback event from last year, and Fun Fridays have been happening regularly since the fall semester, but plans for the spring musical have changed since it was originally announced.

In the fall semester, Stephen Sondheim killers was announced as the spring show. killers tells the stories of every person who has ever attempted (successfully or not) to assassinate a President of the United States. However, as the auditions approached, it became apparent that the initial choice of Abbeys might no longer be the best choice, and killers was replaced by Neil Bartram and Brian Hill’s The theory of relativity .

When asked to comment on this, Daniel Bird Tobin, director of the Abbey Players and head of the creative team for the Spring Musical, said: “killers was a musical about division and violence. We thought it would be a more rewarding experience for everyone involved to do a show like Theory of relativity, which is about finding joy and connection.

Regarding the reasoning behind the abrupt change of plans, Tobin said, “There are always a ton of considerations when choosing a show – when choosing in the fall, we focused on one thing. Now, in another time, it seemed important to find a show that everyone could find joy and meaning in,” and added that it would be “nice to do a festive musical in a time like this. “.

The theory of relativity is described by licensing company Music Theater International as “a joyous and moving look at our surprisingly interconnected lives”. MTI’s website states that “Through a seemingly unrelated collection of songs, scenes and monologues The theory of relativity features a compelling cast of characters experiencing the joys and sorrows, the liaisons and the losses, the inevitability and wonder of human connection.

The Abbey Players are also delighted to produce a 24-hour festival of play as part of a process which will take place on February 25 and 26. About this event, Tobin said: “For anyone who hasn’t experienced it: in 24 hours a whole lot of new plays are going to be written, staged, memorized, learned and performed. I think it’s a blast for the participants and the audience members.

Abbeys’ Fun Friday events will also run throughout the semester, starting January 25 with a playwriting workshop. These usually take place on Friday afternoons from 3:30 to 5:30 p.m., and according to Tobin, events scheduled for the rest of the semester include everything from parties to opportunities to learn various aspects of acting.

Clearly, COVID-19 still presents a widespread challenge for theater makers. The Abbey Players will continue to follow College guidelines, requiring masks for all rehearsals and performances until policies change. Regarding The theory of relativity, Tobin said that “if things go wrong and the numbers change, we could be unmasked for the performances, but that decision will be made with members of the administration” and closer to the time of the performances.

When asked for his final thoughts on the Abbeys spring semester, Tobin expressed his excitement to dive into The theory of relativity, describing it as “a fun, fresh and dynamic show about stories that people care about”. From the springtime musical to the 24-hour festival of plays to the ongoing Fun Fridays, the Abbey Players look forward to sharing the events of the semester with members of the public and attendees.

Company accused of receiving multiple PPP loans settles lawsuit

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ARLINGTON, VA – An Arlington business agreed in federal court on Friday to pay approximately $31,000 in damages and civil penalties to settle allegations that it violated the False Claims Act and obtained more than one Paycheck Protection Program loan in 2020, according to court documents.

J. Bryan Quesenberry had filed a lawsuit against Zen Solutions Inc., which provides staffing services, under the whistleblower provision of the False Claims Act. This provision allows individuals to sue on behalf of the federal government. As part of the settlement, Quesenberry will receive a portion of the recoupment.

Quesenberry’s lawsuit alleged that Zen Solutions received more than one PPP loan in 2020. In the settlement, the company agreed to repay the loan in full to its lender. As federal security for the predatory loan, the US Small Business Administration was liable to the lender for approximately $192,000. The settlement removes liability from SBA.

Find out what’s going on in Arlington with free real-time Patch updates.

“PPP funds have been set aside by Congress to assist Americans in desperate need as a result of the global pandemic,” Jessica D. Aber, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia, said in a statement. “Misuse of these funds prevents them from going to those who really need them and wastes public funds at the expense of American taxpayers. Therefore, prosecuting PPP loan fraud is a top priority for our office.”

Congress established the PPP Loan Program under the Coronavirus Aid, Relief, and Economic Security (CARES) Act of 2020 to provide emergency financial support to millions of Americans facing the economic effects of the pandemic.

Find out what’s going on in Arlington with free real-time Patch updates.

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All the catchy songs from the Tall Girl 2 soundtrack explored

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The music for a movie or TV show can often make or break the final product, as the choice of songs can add just the right feeling to each scene.

That’s especially important in teen rom-coms like Netflix’s newcomer Tall Girl 2, where emotions run high and love is in the air.

But what songs are in the Tall Girl 2 soundtrack?

Big Girl 2 | official trailer

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Big Girl 2 | official trailer

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Tall Girl 2 release date and synopsis

Tall Girl 2 arrived on Netflix on Friday, February 11, 2022, two and a half years since the first film was released.

After the events of the original film and her inspirational speech at the homecoming dance, Jodi is no longer seen as the “big girl” at school.

She has a loyal group of friends, a loving boyfriend, and even lands the lead role in the upcoming school musical.

However, not all of Jodi’s insecurities have been banished as new relationships emerge, old friendships struggle, and the world she has built begins to crack under the weight of mounting pressure.

netflix

Tall Girl 2 soundtrack

Like many teen rom-coms before it, Tall Girl 2 is packed with catchy tunes, many of which are original songs created for the movie itself.

The songs featured in the Tall Girl 2 soundtrack are:

netflix

Listen to Ava Michelle’s new single

To coincide with the release of Tall Girl 2, Ava Michelle and Jacaranda’s song, be yourselfwas released as a single.

The track, which features a moving vocal performance from the Tall Girl star, is available to stream now on Spotify and Apple Music.

Be who you are the release comes after the song stand up straight from the first film Tall Girl was also released as a single in 2019.

Tall Girl 2 is available to stream now on netflix after its release on February 11, 2022.

In other news, Love and Leashes hits Netflix just in time for Valentine’s Day

This is how a Delhi Mehendi artist paid tribute to music legend Lata Mangeshkar

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Legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, who was adored by billions of fans around the world, left for her heavenly home on the morning of February 6. His death left a void in the hearts of many, but his music will live long. The singer has touched millions of souls with her melodious voice, and one of those people is Vijay Kumar, a Mehendi artist from Delhi. On various occasions, happy or sad, we have seen artists express their happiness and sorrow through their works. Likewise, Vijay also paid tribute to the singer in his own style. He drew a portrait of the late singer with henna on his wife’s hand.

In the clip, a phone is placed next to a hand, on which Vijay draws the portrait. He draws the exact same picture with heena on his wife’s hand and the details are unmissable. Along with the pic, Vijay also wrote “RIP” with heena making it one of the most heartfelt tributes. Posting the clip via his Instagram handle, he captioned it – “RIP Queen of Voice, Lata Mangeshkar will forever be alive in our hearts.” Vijay even added the popular and much-loved song Lata ji Lag Ja Gale in the background of the video.

Watch the video that shows him drawing a very intricate portrait of Lata Mangeshkar:

Netizens are loving Vijay’s tribute to the veteran singer, and his clips have now gone viral on social media. People were amazed at the detail he brought to the mehendi and all praised the artist for capturing the portrait of the legendary singer so perfectly.

In a chat with Hindustan Times, Vijay shared that just like billions of his fans, he was also saddened when he heard the news of Lata Ji’s passing.

https://www.hindustantimes.com/trending/mehendi-artist-in-delhi-country-unique-homage-to-legendary-singer-lata-mangeshkar-101644500208228.html#:~:text=Legendary%20singer%20Lata %20Mangeshkar%20was,in%20his%20own%20unique%20style.

Vijay mentioned that he grew up listening to his songs so he was extremely saddened to hear the disheartening news. The only way, he said, “that I could think of to honor her was by drawing a portrait of her on my wife’s hand.”

Read all the latest news, breaking news and updates on coronavirus here.

Chicago rapper Saba talks about his new album “Few Good Things”

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But the curtains have been replaced with ragged plastic. The house is vacant, another sign of a bygone era.

Gentrification, financial stability and survivor’s guilt are at the heart of Saba’s new album, her first since critically acclaimed “CARE FOR ME” nearly four years ago. But where this album found him dealing with grief in the wake of his cousin’s murder, “Few Good Things” finds him taking stock of the life he’s accumulated and the pressures that put him there. accompany. Yet he doesn’t just celebrate fame and the padded bank account; he is grateful but circumspect, remembering those who have not made it this far.

“I think losing people early, people who are close to you, you always wonder what you could have done differently to change that,” the 27-year-old rapper says on Zoom from his home in Los Angeles. “You can feel survivor’s guilt and it doesn’t even require death. It’s based on grief like, “Not everyone’s going to go through what I’m going through.” It ends up sticking with you in a way that’s damn unhealthy.

The album comes after the death of another friend of his entourage. In August, Squeak – a DJ, producer and member of the Pivot Gang rap collective with Saba – was gunned down on a street in Chicago’s West End. He was 26 years old.

“I lose someone close to me every time I go out,” Saba says sadly. “And I know that’s part of aging in general, but it leaves a bad taste in your mouth when it’s not natural.”

Born Tahj Malik Chandler, Saba was raised on Chicago’s West Side by his grandparents; his parents were around and active in his life. When he was 5, his father, an R&B singer and producer named Chandlar, moved to New York to pursue his music full-time. In 2004 he released the album “Strong Emotion” to little fanfare, but this led to performance opportunities with Jaheim and Missy Elliott on the road. “That’s where the idea for the music was presented to me, really,” says Saba. “And I think that’s also where the idea of ​​the fearlessness that comes with being a musician was introduced to me, because I saw my dad give up everything he had in Chicago. “

Saba grew up in a family of musicians. His younger brother made beats; his grandmother and paternal relatives were singers. He listened to rap artists like Pharrell and Dipset when he was 6 and became a fan of rap group Bone Thugs-N-Harmony after hearing “Notorious Thugs”, their 1997 song with the Notorious BIG, on a burned CD. . “I listened to this song in a row…like nonstop,” he says. “And then I thought, ‘Oh, I need to hear more of their music. I must listen to him. ”

It was then that Saba realized that rap music could be anything; it didn’t have to sound one way. “It’s a canvas,” he said. “You can do whatever you want with it. When I heard that song, it was like, … ‘Oh, okay, now I can do it.’ ”

Saba took piano lessons soon after. “My mother taught me to play ‘Mary Had a Little Lamb’ on a toy piano,” he laughs. “I went to my great-grandmother’s, where she had a real piano. I played it and she was so impressed that she ended up giving me this piano. He lasted three years with the instrument. Although he could play back what he was hearing, he couldn’t read the music: “It was so overwhelming I just wanted to stop.” He took what he had learned to play the piano and started making beats. “I was playing classical recitals, but I didn’t want to do that,” says Saba. “I was just trying to learn how to play an instrument so I could use what I learned in the studio.”

Rapper MFnMelo met Saba when he was a precocious 13-year-old who already had a keen ear for musical arrangement. He would hang out in the budding musician’s basement and rap over the instrumentals being created. The seeds of what would be Pivot Gang were planted.

And Melo knew Saba would be special. “He’s just very sure of himself,” he says. “Even when he’s not sure about something musically, he’s sure he can figure it out.”

Pivot Gang performed in open mics all over the West Side and quickly became popular. “We were screaming Pivot and everyone was saying s—back,” Saba recalled. “Do you hear that? It does something. We’re teenagers, so hear the power and the Last name of our collective, we knew we had something.

Over the next three years, Saba released two well-received mixtapes (“GETCOMFORTable” and “ComfortZone”), was featured on Chance the Rapper’s breakthrough mix tape, “Acid Rap,” and released his debut album, ” Bucket List Project,” to wide acclaim. It plummeted in 2016 amid a flurry of notable releases from the city’s up-and-coming talent: Noname, Smino, Jamila Woods, Ravyn Lenae and Mick Jenkins. Then “CARE FOR ME” came out and raves were almost universal. Suddenly Saba was a rising star. “The way everyone sees him now is like I saw him when I was 13,” Melo says.

On “Few Good Things,” Saba looks back with a slight smile, not a frown. By his own admission, “CARE FOR ME” was dark (“You had to be in the right headspace on a Sunday night with headphones on,” he jokes). Here he wanted a lively record that made the subject matter more palatable. While the tracks “Come My Way” and “If I Had a Dollar” actually predate the release of the previous album, much of “Few Good Things” premiered in 2020 at the height of the pandemic. . Initially, Saba was going to release a mix tape – “just a collection of fun songs”, he says. But when the world shut down due to the coronavirus, the music he planned to release didn’t fit the mood. It was much more celebratory and didn’t tell a story, so he reworked the album, recorded the song “Fearmonger” on Zoom last year, and came back with a more honest project that represents the era.

Family is also a dominant theme in “Few Good Things.” On the cover, his grandfather, Carl, sits against a chain-link fence outside his mother’s house, his face peering through pastel-colored flowers. Saba checks her grandfather’s name on the opening track, “Free Samples”, and includes a phone call with him for the promotional film.

In the short, against a slow mix of abstract scenes, Carl and Saba discuss the house in question and why they sold the house in the first place. “I had those savings to fix it,” Carl told his grandson. “I wanted to keep it… for 40 years or 50 years, everyone was coming into the house.” It wasn’t just his mother’s house; it was a respite for people in the neighborhood who needed a safe haven.

The house becomes a character in “Few Good Things” and an asylum for Saba himself. That’s why he looks at him with so much affection: he raised the people who raised him.

“I want people to walk away with something,” Saba says of the album. “What you feel is up to you, but feel Something. It’s a lot of emotions. There were many worlds we entered and exited. It’s the culmination of everything.

PPP loans do not need to be reported as taxable income on tax returns

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At the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, the US government implemented a loan relief program to help small businesses affected by the crisis.

Businesses were able to use these Paycheck Protection Program loans to maintain payroll, rehire employees who may have been laid off, and cover applicable overhead costs.

More than 11.4 million loans totaling nearly $800 million have been sent out, according to the Small Business Administration. The loans are offered at low interest rates and with the possibility of forgiveness.

Some social media posts are confusing the tax implications of these loans.

“PPP LOANS MUST BE REPORTED ON THE TAX RETURN because the GAME just changed!!” said a message on Facebook.

The post was flagged as part of Facebook’s efforts to combat fake news and misinformation on its News Feed (learn more about our partnership with Facebook).

Comments on the post show that people interpreted it in at least two ways:

  1. Businesses must acknowledge on their tax returns that they have received a loan.

  2. Businesses must now report loan proceeds as taxable income.

Individuals with questions or concerns about their particular situation should speak to a tax professional for advice. But here are some general facts about PPP loans.

First, it should be noted that there is a difference between loan proceeds and canceled loans.

Since a loan means you borrow money from a lender or a bank, it is not considered income and therefore not taxable.

Generally, for loans that are canceled, canceled or canceled, the canceled debt is taxable. But that’s not the case for PPP loans, which are tax-free whether or not the loan has been forgiven.

TaxAct, a tax preparation software company, explained that canceled PPP loans are not considered debt forgiveness income, so such proceeds should not be reported on tax returns.

This applies to all taxpayers, whether sole proprietorship, single person LLC, partnership, multi-member LLC, corporation or any other entity type.

When it comes to reporting loans, companies are generally not required to report that they have received the loan. However, they would have to report certain information if the loan was canceled, said Eric Smith, spokesman for the Internal Revenue Services.

Smith pointed to IRS filing instructions that say, “PPP loan forgiveness creates tax-exempt income, so although you don’t need to report your PPP loan forgiveness income on Form 1040 or 1040-SR, you do so must report certain information about your PPP loan.”

Reporting can occur in different ways depending on how the business is organized. Some businesses, such as sole proprietors, must file a Schedule C tax form with their tax return to report profits or losses. This is where the loan information would go if the business deducted related expenses.

Additionally, with the passage of the Consolidated Appropriations Act of 2021, expenses paid with PPP loan proceeds are tax deductible whether or not the loan has been forgiven.

Shinedown plays sold-out Moore Theater

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Michael Baltierra Shinedown at the Moore Theater (Photo: Mike Baltierra)

Jacksonville, Fla.-based rock band Shinedown played theaters and smaller venues on the West Coast of their tour. They brought their exceptional showmanship to the Moore Theater in Seattle. The venue sold out soon after tickets went on sale, and the band’s fans were out early and in full force.

The band brought their usual full arena production with them and somehow they were able to get the pyrotechnics, large LCD screens and lighting they were known for during their career.

The band are a well-oiled machine and that night they were at the top of their game from start to finish with their 100-minute set which covered their biggest hits and some deep cuts, plus the performance of their latest single. , “Planet Zero”.

The band, consisting of Brent Smith (vocals), Zach Myers (guitar), Eric Bass (bass guitar) and Barry Kerch (drums), continues to improve over time and this night was no exception. Shinedown opened their set with “Cut The Cord” before moving on to “Unity”. The band then returned to their debut album for “Fly From The Inside”, which featured a large amount of flashing strobes and bright lights that illuminated the entire theater.

Smith asked the crowd to look at the person to their right and left, then say hello, clap or shake hands, and live and enjoy the moment. He also explained that the evening was all about rock and roll, that rock and roll is a way of life and that we were there to enjoy life as one big rock and roll family.

The band literally set fires during “If You Only Knew” and “Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom),” as there were numerous concussion bombs and large flames.

The group then played their latest single “Planet Zero”, which received a great response. This is the title track from their upcoming album which will be released on April 22, 2022.

The group closed their performance with three of their most popular songs, which had everyone singing along. “Second Chance,” a cover of Lynyrd Skynyrd’s “Simple Man” and fan-favorite “Sound of Madness.”

It’s been a few years since Shinedown performed in the Seattle area, and the band have promised they’ll be back soon.

Taking the stage with no introduction or fanfare, Seattle’s Ayron Jones kicked off the night with their raunchy “Boys From The Puget Sound” and performed their other singles “Supercharged” and “Mercy.” Ayron Jones also performed Nirvana’s “Breed” which fired up the crowd. Jones didn’t say much between songs, but he let the music do the talking and won over new fans.

List of shiny sets
Cut the rope
Unity
Fly from within
State of my head
If only you knew
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Diamond Eyes (Boom-Lay Boom-Lay Boom)
Planet Zero
I will follow you
enemies
Devil
How do you like
Get up
bully
Monsters
Second chance
simple man
sound of madness

Man who applied for fraudulent relief loans gets probation | Where is

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PROVIDENCE, RI (AP) — A Rhode Island man who, along with an accomplice, fraudulently applied for hundreds of thousands of dollars in coronavirus pandemic relief loans for struggling small businesses has avoided jail and has been sentenced Wednesday to three years probation.

David Andrew Butziger, 53, of Warwick, is to spend the first six months of his sentence under house arrest and was also ordered to pay a $5,000 fine, according to a statement from the office of Rhode Island U.S. Attorney Zachary Cunha.

Butziger and his accomplice, David Staveley, 54, of Andover, Massachusetts, sought to defraud the Paycheck Protection Program by soliciting more than $500,000 in forgivable loans by claiming to have dozens of employees in three restaurants and a communications company, when in fact there were no employees at any of them.

They were the first people in the country charged with fraudulently applying for PPP loans when they were first charged in May 2020, prosecutors say.

Butziger pleaded guilty in October 2020 to conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Staveley, who faked his own death after his initial arrest and fled for several months before being arrested, pleaded guilty last May and was sentenced in October to almost five years in prison.

Copyright 2022 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed without permission.

Nathan Chen Plans To Skate To ‘Rocketman’ Soundtrack As He Goes For Gold

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The men’s free skating playlist at the Beijing Olympics, which is scheduled for Wednesday night Eastern Time, reveals that it was all inspirational. The right musical choice can make all the difference when it comes to winning a medal in the free skate, which is meant to be an emotional as well as an athletic performance. It can also unconsciously influence the judges.

“The Olympics are a bigger, bigger audience. You want people to recognize that,” Carol Lane, coach and choreographer, told CBC Canada. “You want the judges to fall in love with you and the audience as well.

“Music can put you above. In the end, if you have nine judges who squint their eyes and press the 5 button, you’ve done it right.

Don’t be surprised to hear Daft Punk, “Fly Me to the Moon,” the theme to “Schindler’s List,” and “Jesus Christ Superstar” during the free skate. But entertainment is only a secondary goal.

“The free skate is always a bigger job,” said Canadian skater Madeline Schizas. “It’s four minutes. You have to choose something serious enough, in general, that can hold everyone’s attention.

Nathan Chen, the American chasing a gold medal after his world-record performance of 113.97 points in the short program, took piano lessons until he was 12, and he s he looked to England for inspiration as he hopes to clinch a gold medal medal. He’ll be skating to a medley from Elton John’s biopic, “Rocketman,” according to the official playlist. For his short program, he skates to “La Bohème” by singer and lyricist Charles Aznavour.

Japan’s charismatic and youthful skater Yuma Kagiyama had the crowd, limited as they were by coronavirus restrictions, cheering during the short program as he skated to that old “When You Smile” ditty. He had an outstanding performance, but Chen’s was nearly perfect and Kagiyama is in second place with 108.12 points heading into the free skate, for which he chose the music from the movie “Gladiator.”

Maurice Ravel’s “Bolero” gained popularity among skaters after Jayne Torvill and Christopher Dean skated to its dramatic beats during a 1984 gold medal performance in Sarajevo. Kamila Valieva, the 15-year-old competing for the Russian Olympic Committee team, used it in her performance in the team event this week, and it’s the pick of Japan’s Shoma Uno, who sits third place in the men’s competition with 105.90 points. , in free skating.

Yuzuru Hanyu, the 2018 and 2014 Olympic champion, had a disappointing short program that left him in eighth place with 95.15 points, well behind the top three. Yuzuru’s musical choice for the free skate was not released in advance by Olympic officials.

‘Queen of the BRITs’ Adele wins big at British Music Awards

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LONDON, Feb 8 (Reuters) – Chart-topping superstar Adele won the top three BRIT Awards on Tuesday, in the first genderless edition of the annual British pop music honors.

Dubbed ‘Queen of the BRITs’ by host Mo Gilligan, the London-born singer-songwriter won the night’s top prize – song of the year – for her single ‘Easy on Me’, topping charts.

The track was the first to be released from her comeback album ’30’, a record Adele said she made to explain her divorce to her young son. It won album of the year.

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“I would like to dedicate this award to my son, and to Simon, to his father. This album was our whole journey, not just mine,” Adele said in tears, referring to her ex-husband Simon Konecki.

“I’m very proud of myself for holding on and releasing an album that was about something that was so personal to me (because) not many people would do stuff like that anymore.”

The 33-year-old also won Entertainer of the Year, a now genderless category in which rappers Little Simz and Dave, along with singers Ed Sheeran and Sam Fender, were also nominated.

“I understand why the name of this award has changed, but I really love being a woman, being a female artist,” Adele said.

“I’m really proud of us.”

Following in the footsteps of other awards shows or events that have removed gender classifications, BRIT organizers said in November that there were removal of female and male categories from 2022.

Back in her hometown, Adele, who lives in Los Angeles, also performed at the ceremony.

Despite only being released in November, ’30’, Adele’s fourth studio album, was Britain’s best-selling album of 2021, selling over 600,000 copies in just six weeks.

The singer thanked Inflo, named Producer of the Year, for helping her with the record.

Other winners included rock band Wolf Alice, who won Best Group, while rapper Little Simz was named Best New Artist.

Sheeran was named Songwriter of the Year.

American singers Billie Eilish and Olivia Rodrigo won Best International Artist and International Song for “good 4 u” respectively.

International Group of the Year went to American R&B duo Silk Sonic, made up of singer Bruno Mars and rapper and singer Anderson .Paak.

Showcasing a range of musical styles, four new genre awards were also introduced this year, the 42nd edition of the awards, with Sam Fender winning Best Alternative/Rock Group and Dave named Best Hip-Hop/Grime/Rap Group. The award for Best Pop/R’n’B Act went to singer Dua Lipa, while Becky Hill took home the award for Best Dance Act.

All four were voted on by the public.

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Reporting by Marie-Louise Gumuchian; Editing by Leslie Adler and Rosalba O’Brien

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FDIC researchers say tech-savvy banks outperformed on PPP loans

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Banks that operate more like fintechs are outperforming more traditional competitors on certain financial products, researchers from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp have found.

The study used a new measure of technology adoption in banks to look at Paycheck Protection Program lending volumes in the second quarter of 2020. Banks in the top 15% for technology adoption tech made more loans than similarly sized competitors by 9 percentage points — and they won customers outside their usual markets more often, the data shows.

Researchers from the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. found that banks that adopt fintech-like technology fare better during the pandemic. Photographer: Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

Andrew Harrer/Bloomberg

The results prove the importance for community banks to adopt technologies used by fintechs, such as cloud computing and online loan applications. In response to the findings, analysts say banks that have not integrated these technologies should devise a strategy to do so.

The authors, senior financial economist Mark Kutzbach and Jonathan Pogach, head of the Financial Modeling and Research Section at the Center for Financial Research, named their measure of technology adoption the Fintech Similarity Score and used a database created by Aberdeen, a marketing intelligence firm headquartered in Massachusetts, to calculate it.

Aberdeen tracks which banks and fintechs are using which technology products – for example, keeping tabs on who is using IBM’s latest line of mainframes, Oracle’s server operating systems and various virtual private network solutions. The authors considered categories of technologies rather than specific products – for example, looking at the use of digital advertising in general rather than the use of Google AdWords specifically.

In their calculations, the authors took into account factors already known to influence a given bank’s ability to distribute PPP loans, including the number of branches, the number of employees, the base deposits, the number of cases of COVID-19 in areas served by the bank and the report’s economic impact of the pandemic in counties where the bank had branches. The adoption of technology has again made a considerable difference.

“We find that these investments in the reach of technology banks have improved borrowers large and small, and especially borrowers outside of their branch network,” the authors wrote. “This expanded reach does not appear to come at the expense of lending to closer borrowers.”

The finding builds on previous research that showed pre-pandemic spending on technology adoption correlated with higher PPP loan volumes and higher growth in deposits and research on which products fintech leaders tend to prefer.

“Community banks with larger technology investments reported larger increases in loan growth in 2020, primarily due to participation in the Paycheck Protection Program,” said a 2021 quarterly report from the FDIC. . “These banks also reported larger increases in deposit growth in 2020 than banks with less investment in technology.”

Tom Andreesen, managing director of technology consultancy Protiviti, said adopting technology can give community banks a “leverage point” and a “competitive edge” because it makes them more responsive to the desires of consumers. clients.

“The challenge will be how these capabilities replace or fit into legacy technology environments, which can be complex,” he said.

Rutger van Faassen, head of product and market strategy for financial services consultancy Curinos, said some technologies create great customer experiences, but only in limited circumstances, and highlighted integration as a key concern. .

Van Faassen identified two key areas where banks could focus their investments in new technologies: financial planning and point-of-sale.

With POS, van Faassen said banks need to look at ways to get their products in front of customers as and when they need them, like offering someone a car loan when they buy a car. car rather than relying on a customer to remember the bank. ad about auto loans.

With financial planning, van Faassen said, community banks need to ask themselves, “How can I be sure I’m there for a customer when they’re planning financial decisions?” He cited tools like Mint and Credit Karma as examples of products that collect information about customers and turn that data into insights that help them plan.

“It aligns pretty well with small and medium banks because that’s usually where they excel – they usually still have those personal relationships because they’re part of the community,” he said.

The authors said they identified 42 product classes used by fintechs. However, the Aberdeen data used in the study is proprietary and the authors did not cite any particular product categories correlated with higher loan volumes.

Regarding examples of community banks successfully leveraging technology, van Fassen highlighted the Citizen Bank of Edmondwho teamed up with Mark Cuban to build an online application for the Paycheck Protection Program loan forgiveness, as the “poster child” of a community bank successfully leveraging technology to reach a broader market.

Some technologies offer banks a more guaranteed return. Both Andreesen and van Faassen said that cloud computing and storage are vastly preferable to on-premises and hosted solutions for community banks. Van Faassen said even “laggards” now recognize the superiority of cloud computing over hosted computing.

Kutzbach and Pogach said they could not assess whether having a stronger tech portfolio caused some banks to disperse more loans or if the effect was simply correlation, although they said many Future research could examine whether banks can “catch up” to industry leaders with technology adoption. .

“Although we do not claim causal identification, our results demonstrate a significant relationship between pre-existing technology investments and outcomes in banking during the COVID-19 pandemic,” they wrote.

Nathan Chen scores world record 113.97 points in men’s short program at Beijing Olympics

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Four years after what he called a “disastrous” Olympic debut, Nathan Chen continued his mission of redemption on Tuesday with a dominating, world-record performance in the men’s short program in Beijing and holds a sizable lead after the first day of competition.

Just like he was in 2018, Chen is a favorite for gold at these Olympics, but this time there were no signs of nervousness or pressure. The 22-year-old put in a nearly flawless performance – which included two quadruple jumps and a triple axel – and recorded the best score of the day at 113.97, also the highest short program score in history. figure skating.

Even the normally stoic Chen couldn’t hide his emotions at the end of his routine by throwing a passionate punch.

“I was thrilled,” Chen said in an interview on the NBC show. “At the last Olympics, the two short programs didn’t go the way I wanted and to finally have the opportunity to skate the programs the way I wanted – that’s really good. It means a lot.

Just days after finishing first in the men’s short program in the team event, helping the Americans win a silver medal, Chen made it clear he was no longer haunted by what happened at Pyeongchang, where he had fallen in the short program of both competitions. .

Since then he has won three world championship titles, and now only free skating – and a pair of Japanese skaters in Yuma Kagiyama and Shoma Uno – keep him from securing a coveted Olympic gold medal.

Kagiyama, 18, took a surprising second place in the short program with a score of 108.12, and Uno, who won silver in 2018, is currently in third place.

Yuzuru Hanyu, the reigning double gold medalist who also hails from Japan and had the previous world mark in the short program, was expected to be Chen’s fiercest contender for the top spot on the podium, but he blew his first quadruple salchow — resulting in zero points for the element — and he’s in eighth place after the first day of competition. His score of 95.15 was his lowest in a short program since 2019. Still, Hanyu is expected to attempt a quadruple axel in his free skate – something that has never been done before – and that could make him an overseas contender. for a medal. .

Hanyu appeared devastated at the end of her performance. He later explained that his skate got caught in a hole in the ice and he couldn’t take off for the jump. But he remained optimistic about his chances.

“I have one more chance,” Hanyu told reporters. “I have a lot of time with music and a lot of jumping into it, so I [can] be my best.”

Jason Brown was the only other American to compete on Tuesday after Vincent Zhou had to withdraw due to a positive case of COVID-19. Brown scored a personal best 97.24 and currently sits in sixth place. The 27-year-old is taking part in his second Games, but his first since 2014. He was a substitute in 2018 and remains a fan favourite.

“I couldn’t ask for more,” a visibly emotional Brown said during an interview on the show. “I gave it my all. It was a long time coming, eight years of trying to get back to this stage, and to be able to put in such a performance is great.”

Tuesday’s top 24 skaters qualified for Thursday’s free skate at Capital Indoor Stadium. That includes Mexican figure skater Donovan Carrillo in a first for the country.

Chen had the highest score in the free skating portion of the men’s competition in 2018, but was unable to make up the shortfall after the short program and finished in fifth place. This time he is hoping for a different outcome and has put himself in the best possible position for the gold.

Amir Locke wanted a musical career in Dallas – NBC 5 Dallas-Fort Worth

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Before being shot by a Minneapolis policeman, Amir Locke had made plans.

The 22-year-old black man had filed paperwork to start a music business and had already designed a logo, his mother said. Next week, he planned to move to Dallas, where he would be closer to his mother and – he hoped – build a career as a hip-hop artist, following in his father’s musical footsteps.

His death in a Minneapolis apartment where police were serving a search warrant early Wednesday renewed calls for police accountability and justice for black people who are too often victimized. It also left Locke’s close-knit family, friends and community mourning the life he was unable to live.

“Amir was a shining light, and he deserves to be able to shine,” his father, Andre Locke, said at a news conference on Friday.

Many questions remain about the events leading up to Locke’s death. But police body camera video shows officers entering the flat without knocking and an officer kicking the couch where Locke’s family said he was sleeping. In the video, he is seen wrapped in a quilt, starting to move, gun in hand just before an officer fires his weapon.

Locke’s family said he had no criminal record and had a license and concealed carry permit for the gun, which they said he had for protection because he worked in Minneapolis/St. Paul as a driver for a food delivery service. His family includes several people from law enforcement and the military, and his parents and a cousin said they often speak with Amir and other young black men in the family about how to handle interactions. with the police: keep your hands visible, don’t make sudden movements.

They believe Amir, who they say was a deep sleeper, was startled when the officer kicked the sofa in his cousin’s apartment and didn’t know who was inside when he grabbed his gun.

Those close to him have repeatedly described him as “a good boy”.

The murder of Amir Locke by police in Minneapolis draws attention to no-knock warrants, after police body camera footage showed a SWAT team entering an apartment and shooting Locke, who was under a blanket on the couch. “There’s not a lot of announcement in terms of the time between them entering the premises and the start of the gunfire,” said MSNBC legal analyst and former prosecutor Charles Coleman Jr.

“You took a good boy who was trying to make the most of his environment and outdo it and succeed and he was doing it,” said Reginald McClure, a close cousin of Andre Locke who works in the forces of the order in Texas. “He was discovering life, but he was doing it safely.”

Amir Locke was born in the St. Paul suburb of Maplewood, his mother Karen Wells said, with “a head full of curly hair.” He grew up in the suburbs, where he played basketball in middle school and tried out for his high school football team.

“But he broke his collarbone, so it didn’t last,” Wells recalled.

His real passion was music, and he had a natural talent for it, his mother said. Locke loved hip-hop and was about the “realities of what’s happening in the neighborhoods,” said Andre Locke. He also wanted to work with young people, his mother said.

McClure also recalled that Amir Locke had “a big heart”.

When his grandmother died last year, Amir didn’t want to see her body in the casket, so he stayed outside in the parking lot during the funeral, McClure said. After the funeral was over, Andre Locke and the funeral director arranged for Amir to enter through a backdoor so he could be alone with his grandmother.

“We have these photos with him, and he’s standing there and he’s saying goodbye to his grandmother,” McClure said. “And here comes the crazy part. The same funeral home he was heartbroken to go to see his grandmother because of the greatness of her heart, is the same one he is going to be in.

Is Camila Cabello releasing an album? An encrypted message makes the Internet say: “Is this a threat?”

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Camila Cabello, it seems, is completely fired up for her new project as the singer-songwriter teased her fans over the weekend with some new music that may be hitting the internet soon. The ‘Havana’ hitmaker, who has nearly 60 million Instagram followers, lip-synced to seemingly one of her new singles while looking stunning in a selfie video.

The 24-year-old crooner also shared an encrypted message from what appears to be her phone where she hinted that her new album might be finished. Social media users, however, seemed less interested in the singer’s new music, as many dubbed her a “flop”, adding that her days were over and she could thank them by not posting the music. Camila’s new album is reportedly titled “Familia” and is expected to hit major streaming platforms in 2022. An official release date has yet to be revealed.

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Is Camila Cabello releasing a new album?

To make the weekend more special for her loyal fans, Camila Cabello first shared a screenshot of a document from her phone that read “ALBUM THANK YOU” hinting that she might have finished recording for his album. In another Instagram Story which she also shared as a post on her wall, the singer was seen having fun in her car while lip-syncing to what we assume is one of the singles from his next album. She didn’t add any captions to the post, but social media users quickly learned that she might be releasing new music soon.

In 2021, the singer had released a first single from her third album titled “Don’t Go Yet”. Camila’s second album titled “Romance” was released in 2019 while she dropped her 2018 debut with a self-titled project. The former Fifth Harmony band member has also made news for her love life. Camila had been dating singer Shawn Mendes since 2019, but the couple split in November 2021. While Shawn and Camila jointly announced their separation on Instagram, they never really shared the reason behind the decision. However, the duo were delighted to spend time together the first week of January, which sparked speculation that they could have gotten back together.



“She can thank us by not releasing him”

Reacting to Camila Cabello’s cryptic posts, social media users flocked to Twitter and clowned on the singer about her new project. “She’s in her flop era, unfortunately,” one user said as another chimed in, “We don’t want that” in reference to her new album. Another user said, “This is a critical level threat,” while another added, “We don’t care, I promise.” One user tweeted, “She can thank us by not posting it.” Meanwhile, one individual shared, “We don’t care about this flop.” One posted, “Coming to the flop like her career” while another concluded, “She’s threatening us.”













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BORN TO SPARKLE to play at the Desert Rose Theater

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Palm Springs The Musical: Born To Sparkle

Premieres at the Desert Rose Playhouse from March 24 to April 10, 2022

Featuring 20 jaw-dropping original tracks, book and lyrics by Robbie Moss Manning and Alyce Haskell Berard, and music by composer and music producer Jonathan Baer, PALM SPRINGS MUSIC: Born To Sparkle revolves around a deathbed promise to bring back The fabulous follies of Palm Springs which closed in 2014. The songs are edgy and fun, with numbers like the upbeat Casino I’ll be there, and the disaster Former Skelder. Aadditional songs written by John Baer and John Manning.

The clever score and lyrics are backed by a book telling us a love story; a crisis of faith and redemption; and above all a wondrous mustachioed twirling villain with a corrupt sidekick, a Ratchet-like nurse who together attempt to thwart the ladies’ reassembly of the Follies, in an effort to keep their noses out of the shady nursing home that they work.

Eight years of preparation PALM SPRINGS MUSIC: Born to Sparkle is slated to premiere March 24, 2022 at the Desert Rose Playhouse in Palm Springs and directed by Robbie Wayne. Wayne is the winner of the Desert Theater League’s Most Inspirational Michael Grossman Award in 2019, and also for Outstanding Director of the Desert Rose Playhouse staging of The sugar witch the same year. Company and play also won for Outstanding Props and Special Effects.

The Desert Rose Playhouse is located at 611 S. Palm Canyon Drive, Suite 15, Palm Springs, CA 92264. For tickets, call the box office at (760) 202-3000 or purchase online here.

Desert Rose Productions is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that seeks to inspire, nurture, challenge, educate and empower theater artists and audiences, to make the Coachella Valley a more mindful and compassionate community. .

Born to Sparkle Productions is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization whose mission is to inspire, through the performing arts, an opportunity for healing to benefit those facing chronic and life-threatening illnesses.

Politicians and musicians pay tribute to the legendary singer

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Tributes poured in from political leaders, musicians and film personalities for legendary singer Lata Mangeshkar, who died Sunday morning in Mumbai.

Prime Minister Narendra Modi said on Twitter that he was “anguished beyond words” and that Mangeshkar’s death has left a void in the country that cannot be filled. “Generations to come will remember her as a pillar of Indian culture, whose melodious voice had an unparalleled ability to mesmerize people,” he said.

“Lata Didi’s songs brought out a variety of emotions,” Modi noted. “She has witnessed the transitions of the Indian film world firsthand for decades. Beyond films, she has always been passionate about the growth of India. She has always wanted to see a strong and developed India.

Congress leader Rahul Gandhi said Mangeshkar has remained India’s most beloved voice for many decades. “His golden voice is immortal and will continue to resonate in the hearts of his fans,” he said.

President Ram Nath Kovind said generations have found expression of their innermost emotions in Mangeshkar’s vast array of songs. “A born artist once in centuries, Lata-didi was an exceptional human being, full of warmth, as I found every time I met her,” he said. “The divine voice is silent forever but its melodies will remain immortal, resounding in eternity.”

Union Home Secretary Amit Shah said Mangeshkar has filled the lives of generations in India and around the world with the sweetness of Indian music. “It’s impossible to describe his contribution to the world of music in words,” Shah said.

“Saraswati is gone”

Several personalities from the world of music and cinema have also paid tribute to the singer.

Composer AR Rahman posted a photo of himself with the singing caption to pay tribute to him.

Composer Lalit Pandit told Times Now that an artist like Mangeshkar can never be seen again. “Yesterday we celebrated Saraswati pooja and today the Saraswati is gone,” he remarked.

Mangeshkar had recorded several songs composed by Rahman, Lalit Pandit and his brother Jatin Pandit in the 1990s and 2000s.

Composer Vishal Dadlani said “the source of our music, the very notes of the music itself fell silent” with the death of the legendary singer. “So grateful for all that Lata Mangeshkar ji has taught me and all musicians in India, and that I was able to thank her in person,” he said on Twitter.

Singer Palak Muchhal quoted lines from Mangeshkar’s 1966 song “Mera Saaya” to pay tribute to him.

Actor Akshay Kumar said he was deeply saddened to learn of Mangeshkar’s death and quoted lines from his song “Naam Gum Jaega”.

Director Boney Kapoor stated that Mangeshkar “leaves behind a huge legacy of songs that will be treasured for generations to come”.

Mangeshkar had been hospitalized on January 8 following a diagnosis of pneumonia and Covid-19. Although she recovered from both illnesses, she continued to be under observation at Breach Candy Hospital in Mumbai.

Her health deteriorated Saturday evening and she died Sunday at 8:12 a.m.

Daryl Hall records new solo music with Dave Stewart

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Daryl Hall is in a better place this winter, hanging out in the Bahamas. But it’s a working holiday, as Hall dives deep into writing with producer and friend Dave Stewart.

He has a long history with the co-founding member of Eurythmics, who is well known as a producer with Tom Petty, Mick Jagger, Bob Dylan and others. They first collaborated professionally on Hall’s second solo album, 1986 Three hearts in the Happy Ending Machine, but their friendship goes back further.

More than one song album is currently taking shape, Hall said in a Zoom chat with UCR from Stewart’s house. It was clear that they really appreciate having the chance to explore new creative avenues.

Meanwhile, the April 1 release of his BeforeAfter retrospective will give fans a chance to catch up on the solo side of the Hall and Oates frontman’s career. He will hit the road the same day with his colleague and friend Todd Rundgren for a tour that promises shared moments on stage, in addition to their own sets.

You are working on new solo music with Dave Stewart. How did it start?
I’ve known Dave since the 80s. He and I made this album, Three hearts in the happy ending machine, in 1986. We have been friends ever since. I mean, we did a lot of things together. He took pictures of me and we wrote songs together and did stuff on various albums. I mean, it’s a long relationship. I had a house here in Harbor Island, where I am. Dave came here because of me and I sold the house. [Laughs.] Dave is here and I don’t have a home here now!

So I stayed at his guesthouse and we just hung out. You know, we write songs and he has a recording studio he built here. I’m very good. It’s really just the two of us making music with an engineer who’s kind of a multi-instrumentalist engineer from Nashville, who came [to work with us]. It’s really good homemade.

How would you describe the music?
Boy, in his own way, it’s kinda like the three hearts stuff I did with Dave. We have a certain writing style that we do. It’s a bit in that direction.

How did you meet initially?
I don’t remember, if you want the truth. Over the years I have lived in London and spent a lot of time there. Somehow someone said we should get together. I don’t remember who or why. Maybe he knows. I do not remember. [Laughs.] But I ended up going to his house. The first time I met him physically, we immediately started writing songs. We just sat down and started like we’ve known each other forever.

You mentioned earlier that Robert Fripp will be involved in this project in some way. So you’ve stayed in touch over the years since you worked together on the sacred songs album?
Yeah! And again, this is a situation where Robert and I were friends before we collaborated together, in the 70s. We stayed in touch over the years. Recently I emailed him, it was as simple as that. He was really happy to hear from me and said “Let’s do something together”. I was supposed to go to England and the pandemic ruined everything. But I’m going to go in a few weeks and see Robert, and let’s see what comes of it. You know, there will be some kind of music.

It seems like you thrive on the collaborative side of what you do – and like a lot of collaborations, what comes out of it is something you might not have done if you had left it to your own devices.
Yeah, I like collaboration; I like interaction. It’s more than the sum of its parts. I thrive and it stimulates me. That’s why I do it so much. I’m not that kind of one-man band, where I sit in the studio and play all the parts myself and don’t talk to anyone. [Laughs.] I need interaction.

When we were talking about 2020, you were working on songs for a Hall and Oates album project with Jett Rebel. Looks like those songs went on the shelf. What’s the latest?
Funny, I’ve just been in email contact with Jett for the past few days. We’re going to pick up some things and revisit them. We will review some of the songs and continue them. I have a great relationship with him and I feel the same as when I spoke to you last time. He is a truly talented and gifted musician. It will somehow fit into whatever it is [project] is that I create here. I don’t know how yet, but he will be there.

Top 100 Rock Albums of the 80s

UCR takes a chronological look at the top 100 rock albums of the 80s.

‘The Band’s Visit’ performs at the Smith Center

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The goal of each actor is to understand the character he is playing. But from his very first introduction to Tewfiq, his character in ‘The Band’s Visit’, Sasson Gabay instinctively understood the leader of the Egyptian police ceremonial band who, along with his colleagues, makes an unscheduled nighttime visit to a small town. Israeli.

The award-winning Israeli actor originated the role of Tewfiq in the non-musical film version of ‘The Band’s Visit,’ which served as the basis for a subsequent musical adaptation that won 10 Tony Awards, including the 2018 award for Best Musical , as well as a Grammy for Best Musical Theater Album.

This musical retelling of the story of finding a human connection in unexpected circumstances arrives at the Smith Center February 15-20. Tickets start at $30 (thesmithcenter.com).

The story revolves around a troop of policemen who are members of an orchestra who, because of a verbal mispronunciation, arrive unexpectedly in a small isolated town in the desert of Israel. Temporarily blocked, they are invited to stay with the townspeople.

“They accept this kind offer,” Gabay says, and the story explores “the different interactions between people.”

At its heart, “The Band’s Visit” is about human connection. “Everyone learns something,” says Gabay, as gang members and townspeople “open up to each other.

“That’s the theme of the film, the connection between (the cafe owner) played by Janet Dacal, who is wonderful, and Tewfiq, played by me, and all the other characters. Everyone meets locals and learns from each other and learn something about themselves.

“Sometimes when you meet a stranger you are more open to them than the people you see every day. You don’t have to hide things or worry about how people will look at you.

Gabay originated the role of Tewfiq in the 2007 non-musical film version of “The Band’s Visit”. In 2018, after the adaptation of the film into a musical, he found the character on Broadway. He is now reprising the role in the production’s touring company. Gabay says he understood Tewfiq immediately after being asked to read a description of him and a synopsis of the film’s script.

“I said, ‘I don’t mind auditioning, but I know this man. I feel it,” says Gabay. “I know him. I’m very connected to him. Tewfiq has “a certain contradiction. He’s rigid and formal (on the outside) but inside he’s an artist. orchestra. I like this contradiction between its facade that it shows on the outside and what it has on the inside”, says Gabay.

“Also, he faces a tragedy in the past with his family, so he protects himself with formality. I like the contradiction between its formality, or its supposed formality, and the delicate soul that hides inside.

Gabay remembers shooting the film in 2007. It was “this low-budget film that we shot in 21 days in a very remote town” near Tel Aviv, he says. “We all understood that we had something really special on our hands, a very modest, discreet, very simple film and a plot that penetrates the heart of the public.”

The film won several awards. Gabay recalls that when producer Orin Wolf asked him what he thought about adapting it into a musical, “it seemed like a very strange idea to me, to take a very simple story and make it into a musical comedy”.

But, he says, “I think they’ve done such a good job of turning this low-key, low-key film into a sweet, low-key musical that people appreciate and feel touched.”

The show premiered off-Broadway in 2016 with Tony Shalhoub as Tewfiq and was a hit on Broadway.

“Then, after about six months, the producer asked me if I wanted to replace Tony Shalhoub, who had to leave. I had to finish my own theatrical engagements in Tel Aviv and moved to New York for a year with my family, and that was really one of the great high points of my career. Every actor dreams of performing on Broadway, let alone an Israeli actor. I had a wonderful year in New York.

Transitioning from film to theater and from drama to musical hasn’t been difficult for Gabay, whose credits include work in a variety of projects ranging from comedy to drama and theater to film and television.

“All my life I’ve basically been a stage actor,” he says. “I’ve been lucky enough to work all the time doing things that I love, love and enjoy. At the same time, I’ve worked in a lot of TV and film. I love both media a lot.

“I need a live connection with the audience, the process (that) you go through on a two hour journey physically, with your body and emotionally, and having an audience sitting there and connected to you. On the other hand, I like cinema and television. You can do more delicate things with more emotion. Fortunately, I did both.

Gabay is thrilled to reunite with a favorite character in a play that “has turned out to be one of the major pillars of my career. I find myself for the third year, intermittently, to play this part, this role, and it is very gratifying.

“First of all, it’s my way of making a living. But to see new audiences appreciate this modest film, this very modest play (without) car accidents, without girls (or) this dazzling musical, I appreciate the role because it is different and something unique.

“This musical is very entertaining, very fun,” says Gabay. David Yazbek, who wrote the music and lyrics, “combined (Arabic) music with American jazz. It’s a truly wonderful blend. We speak Hebrew, English and Arabic. So it’s not a typical Broadway musical.

Gabay hopes audiences take away from “The Band’s Visit” the play’s simple yet powerful message of shared humanity “and our need for each other. We are all alike and need each other in many ways.

Contact John Przybys at reviewjournal.com. or 702-383-0280

To follow @JJPrzybys on Twitter.

Report claims unions circumvented rules to receive PPP loans | national news

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(The Center Square) – The Paycheck Protection Program administered by the Small Business Administration has paid millions of dollars to ineligible unions, according to a new report published by the Freedom Foundation.

The Freedom Foundation investigated the SBA’s PPP loan database and found that approximately 226 loans totaling $36.7 million were distributed to unions and affiliated organizations. The first round of PPP loans explicitly states that these entities were not eligible for public funds before March 11, 2021.

“The Small Business Administration was aware as early as July 2020 that Paycheck Protection Program loans were approved for unions that were ineligible to receive the funds,” said Maxford Nelsen, director of labor policy at Freedom. Fund, at The Center Square.

Nelsen, author of the report, titled “Profiting from a Pandemic: How Ineligible Unions Collected Millions in Federal Covid Relief Funds,” continued: “As far as I know, the SBA has simply neglected to do anything about it. . It continued to provide loans to unions, including second loans in some cases, and to cancel loans previously granted to ineligible unions. Hopefully the Inspector General investigates what went wrong and the agency takes action to recover the funds.

The FF report also discovered:

• 181 loans totaling $32.6 million to labor organizations under § 501(c)(5) whose applications were approved before March 11, 2021;

• 23 501(c)(9) loans totaling $2.9 million to union-operated voluntary employee beneficiary associations whose applications were approved before March 11 2021;

• 3 loans totaling $208,000 to union-run construction companies under § 501(c)(2) whose applications were approved before March 11, 2021;

• 3 loans totaling $179,000 to public employee advocacy organizations operating under § 501(c)(4) that never qualified;

• A loan of $76,400 to a syndicate registered under § 501(c)(6) whose application was approved before December 27, 2020; and,

• 15 loans totaling $749,000 to unions and affiliated organizations whose eligibility is questionable due to an apparent lack of filings with the IRS showing nonprofit status, lack of filings income with the IRS for several years, using a residential address not associated with a union or organization on the PPP loan application, or obtaining tax status unsuitable for a union.

According to Nelsen, SBA records currently indicate that at least $24.2 million of the $36.7 million in union-related loans identified by the Freedom Foundation have now been forgiven.

Among the unions that applied for a PPP loan before March 2021 was the Michigan Education Association, a state-based teachers’ union affiliated with the National Education Association. The MEA applied for and received more than $6.4 million in PPP loans, the highest amount discovered by the Freedom Foundation.

As reported by Lansing State Journal last June, the MEA returned the funds.

“When the MEA applied for the Paycheck Protection Program, there was tremendous uncertainty as to whether public school educators would continue to be paid during the pandemic,” spokesman David Crim said in a statement. press release quoted by the LSJ. “Had payment to educators been halted, they would have been unable to pay the necessary dues to MEA to support our educators and help them provide a world-class education to our students.

“Once it was clear that educators would continue to be paid, MEA repaid the loan in full because it was the right thing to do,” Crim added.

Nelsen said the MEA was right to return the money, but noted that it should not have applied for the loan because SBA guidelines made it clear the union was not eligible to receive the money.

“It’s quite troubling that politically active unions have received taxpayer subsidies for which they were not legally eligible,” Nelsen said. “But it gets worse when you realize that some eligible small businesses, which were being crushed by government shutdowns advocated by government unions, have been unable to access the tens of millions of dollars in aid that unions have inappropriately received. .”

Nelsen noted that at least a dozen other teachers’ unions and advocacy groups have received PPP loans totaling $6.8 million. Another dozen unions representing government employees — including the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees (AFSCME) — received $1.5 million.

“It only adds insult to injury to know that teachers’ unions were receiving federal funds while trying to keep schools closed, and that labor groups who primarily engage in political advocacy were getting taxpayers’ money to do it,” Nelsen said in a press release. “The fact that hundreds of unions have received tens of millions of dollars in federal COVID relief for which they were legally ineligible represents a failure on so many levels.”

Beneficiaries of Teachers Union PPP Loans/Advocacy

union

Amount of the loan

Michigan Education Association/NEA

$6,420,500

Memphis-Shelby County Educational Association/NEA

$107,525

California Retired Teachers Association

$72,617

American Federation of Teachers, Local 1796

$38,765

Ohio Retired Teachers Association

$36,665

American Federation of Local Teachers 1904

$32,612

American Federation of Teachers, Local 6025

$20,872

American Federation of Teachers, Local 2274

$20,054

Kean Federation of Teachers/AFT Local 2187

$19,297

American Federation of Teachers, Local 2275

$17,736

Virginia Beach Educational Association/NEA

$10,877

Westminster Education Association/NEA

$8,355

Total

$6,805,875

“The unions should not have asked – probably fraudulently – for aid for which they were not eligible,” Nelsen said. “Lenders, themselves affiliated with unions in some cases, should have done their homework or not looked the other way when approving union applications. And the Small Business Administration should have implemented better controls to ensure that only eligible organizations were approved for loans.

In his report, Nelsen blames the loan applicants, the lenders who processed the loans, and the SBA. He said the Freedom Foundation submitted its findings to the SBA’s Office of Inspector General and the Department of Justice’s National Disaster Fraud Center for further investigation.

Don Broco marks his first UK number one album with ‘Amazing Things’

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Don Broco scored his first UK number one album with the new LP ‘Amazing Things’.

The Bedford rock band’s new record, which arrived last week (January 28), debuted at number one just 1,500 copies ahead of The Weeknd, whose latest album, ‘Dawn FM’, landed at number two after its release in physical formats.

“Wow, our very first number one album on the official UK charts!” Don Broco said after receiving news of his achievement. “Thank you so much to our fans for supporting us this week; we honestly couldn’t have done it without you. This one’s for you guys!

They added: “After so many hiccups along the way with the release of this album, finally releasing it and getting that Official Charts UK Number One album award means so much.”

With 98% of their total coming from physical sales, the group also topped the official vinyl album chart and record store chart.

‘Amazing Things’, the band’s fourth studio album, marks Don Broco’s third UK Top 10 album. Their second LP, 2015’s “Automatic,” peaked at number six, while their third, 2018’s “Technology,” landed at number five.

You can watch the group’s acceptance speech below:

“Amazing Things” was one of two new releases to enter the Top Five, alongside Jamie Webster’s second album, “Moments.” The Liverpool singer-songwriter’s new record was the most downloaded album this week in the UK, earning him the top spot in the official album downloads chart.

Ed Sheeran’s ‘=’ (Four) and Adele’s ’30’ (Five) round out the rest of the Top Five.

Other new entries saw Welsh rockers Scarlet Rebels land seventh with “See Through Blue”, marking their first Top 40 album. Jethro Tull landed his first Top 10 in 40 years, entering the chart at number nine with his 22nd studio album “The Zealot Gene”.

Meanwhile, on the UK singles chart, ‘We Don’t Talk About Bruno’ by the cast of Disney’s Encanto continued its dominance, settling for a third consecutive week at number one.

The rest of the Top 5 includes: Firebox DML and “Peru” (Two) by Ed Sheeran, “ABCDEFU” (Three) by Gayle, “Surface Pressure” (Four) by Jessica Darrow and “Where Are You Now” by Lost Frequencies with Calum Scott (Five).

Artist-in-Residence Kathryn Calder leaves a legacy of calm and joy

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Kathryn Calder’s musical collaborations will continue to bring joy and calm even as her tenure as Artist-in-Residence comes to an end.

The musician, songwriter and recording studio owner has had a busy two years doing everything from hosting concerts online to collaborating with community members from young to old in from creating resources for teachers, to co-creating a calm helpline that residents can call when they need a little lift on a hard day.

Calder was unanimously chosen as Artist-in-Residence by the selection jury in 2019, due to her solid reputation as an artist and collaborator in various disciplines, and her proven track record of working on community projects.

During her residency, Kathryn worked collaboratively with City staff and the community to identify and develop creative artwork and capital projects. Some of the highlights include:

Youth mobilization
Kathryn met with students from three schools to discuss their ideas for Victoria’s music community. This led to the creation of the online youth songwriting program Opening Act and the non-profit community group Space Blanket Society, a youth-led, artist-run collective.

Opening act
Opening Act is an online songwriting and performance program for young people aged 14-24. Through an open call, 29 participants were selected to attend online workshops with special guests and one-on-one sessions with Kathryn.

Be calm
Kathryn, in collaboration with Emily Hamel, created 1-877-2BE-CALM — a toll-free hotline to bring calm and joy to your day. The project featured soothing stories and soundscapes from artists, poets, elders, youth and animals from Victoria and across Canada. These recordings can also be enjoyed here.

Intergenerational learning
Kathryn worked with a group of elders and elementary school students from James Bay Community School, sharing their knowledge, singing songs and answering questions about their lives. A learning guide, created with professors Leigh Pharis and Lynda Fraser, is available here for other educators to use.

Patched, Lee Mong Kow way
This light and sound art installation, located along the walkway between Centennial Square and Fisgard Street, was inspired by the early days of the global pandemic when the urban environment fell silent and the voices of songbirds became more audible. The project is a collaboration between students and teachers at Victoria Chinese Public School and artists Jesse Campbell and Meghan Hildebrand, computer programmers Andrew Schloss and Duncan MacConnell, and musicians Marek Tyler and Eddie Mau.

City of Victoria Music Strategy, as part of Create Victoria
Kathryn chaired the city’s Music Advisory Committee, which included local musicians and music industry professionals, to create the city’s first-ever strategy dedicated to promoting and supporting a music industry. growing music.

The City of Victoria’s Artist-in-Residence program aims to “keep art in mind”, providing the opportunity for a professional artist to work in collaboration with City staff and the community to identify and develop original works of art. art and creative projects over a two-year period. The aim is to provide a unique creative and collaborative approach to enhancing the value and aesthetic appeal of upcoming capital projects in Victoria, while expanding community participation in the arts. The next call for artists in residence will be launched this spring.

See and listen to all of Kathryn’s Artist-in-Residence projects here.

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Economic stability does not come from IMF loans: Sherry

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ISLAMABAD: PPP Senate House Leader Sherry Rehman says economic stability does not come from IMF loans.

Commenting on the finalization of the IMF loan, she said that previous governments had also taken loans from the IMF, but the IMF did not have such staggering influence over Pakistan’s economic policies. “The past three and a half years of the PTI government will become a historic case study in failed economic policies that led to soaring inflation and impossible debt,” she said.

She said that instead of taking responsibility for the state of the country, the government continues to blame the opposition as a distraction tactic to hide the daily tariff bombs and the debt this country has accumulated. She said the total debt of Pakistan is 50.5 trillion rupees and more than 20.7 trillion rupees has been added by the PTI government, which is an increase of 60%.

She said a billion dollar loan that fuels the government’s self-gratification media tour will cost the people of this country billions of rupees in taxes. Inflation has steadily increased throughout this fiscal year and for the month of January, inflation stood at 13%, the highest in 24 months. Despite this, she said, the government has passed the Mini Budget Bill which will tax a myriad of essential goods to the tune of 17% and further worsen the plight of people who are already struggling to get by. provide basic amenities such as food, fuel and medicine.

She indicated that for the month of January, food inflation was recorded at 13.3% in cities and 11.8% in villages, while non-food inflation was recorded at 12.8% and 13.9% respectively. The price of fuel increased by 32% during this fiscal year. She said the year-over-year price of cooking oil is up 54%, pulses 41% and electricity 56%. “Even the price of paracetamol has been increased by 5% by the DRAP,” she said.

She said what this government does not understand is that economic stability does not come from IMF loans but from progressive economic policies which, due to its incompetence, the government does not have. She said the future of the State Bank of Pakistan is shrouded in ambiguity and it looks like people will have to look to the IMF to implement economic policies.

MÅNEGARM announces album Ynglingaättens Öde, release of single and music video “Ulvhjärtat”

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Swedish folk metal stalwarts Månegarm have made a name for themselves on the international scene releasing nine albums since their debut, Nordstjärnans tidsålder, in 1998. times long forgotten. on 2019’s chart-topping successor Fornaldarsagor with their upcoming 10th studio album, Ynglingaättens Öde (EN: The Plight of Ynglinga Parents), released April 15 via Napalm Records.

In their multi-faceted sound world, Månegarm incorporates pagan-inspired lyricism based on the Old Norse poem Ynglingatal, which describes the fate of an ancient Norse dynasty – the House of Ynglinga. Ynglingaättens Öde offers balanced variety and atmosphere, breathing new life into ancient myths.

To sink deep into this once-in-a-lifetime occasion and to keep the Viking flame alive, the trio have just released their stunning new track, titled “Ulvhjärtat” (EN: the Wolfheart), complete with a gripping official music video. An acoustic introduction acts as a prelude to a driving but catchy anthem with hard riffs, engaging drums and anthemic melodies, as Månegarm once again underlines his spearhead position in the world of Viking metal.

Månegarm on ‘Ulvhjärtat’: ”Ulvhjärtat’ is about Ingjald Illråde, who was the last king of the Ynglinga dynasty that ruled Uppsala and Svetjud. As a young boy, Ingjald was weak and frail but during a great feast, the midvinterblot, Ingjald was advised by his adoptive father, the blind Svipdag, to eat the heart of a wolf to gain strength. Ingjald took the old man’s advice, but the result was not only that Ingjald became hardened and stronger…he also took on the wolf’s spirit and temper.

Ingjald grew to be an ambitious king determined to grow his kingdom, but his mind grew increasingly dark. His treacherous spirit caused him to invite nearby kings just to burn them alive and expand his kingdom, his fierce and ruthless rule contained betrayals and oath breaking and he was eventually styled ‘Ingjald the Illruler’…”

Watch the official video for “Ulvhjärtat” below.

On Ynglingaättens Öde, singer Erik Grawsiö tells the stories of kings, warriors and battles with a clear voice and contrasts them with sinister growls and fierce battle cries! With the uncompromising ten-minute opus “Freyrs blod”, Månegarm takes the listener deep into antiquity. The track spans a wide arc between elements of black metal flowing into more melodic parts and even acoustic interludes with guitar and violin tunes, only to once again morph into thunderous soundscapes. With this majestic opening, Månegarm show why they are rightly considered pioneers of the Swedish genre, as they manage in an inimitable way to combine vicious black metal bases with classical and Viking folk elements. Along the way, acoustic intros echo, like on “Stridsgalten,” serving as preludes to intense metal songs with hard riffs and engaging drums, underlined by anthemic melodies. “Stridsgalten” marks another highlight of the album, as it features outstanding contributions from distinguished guests Jonne Järvelä (Korpiklaani), Robse Dahn (Equilibrium) and Pär Hulkoff (Raubtier/Hulkoff). All recognized in the folk and pagan metal scenes, together they proudly present a track telling the story of a bloody battle to honor Odin. “Vitta vettr” features black metal marks like blast beats and chilling riffs, creating a darker atmosphere. On the other, the ballad “En snara av guld”, transporting melancholy through the soft vocal harmonies of Lea Grawsiö Lindström (daughter of singer Erik Grawsiö). This very sublime moment lines up with powerful tracks like the pounding “Auns söner” and the heroic “Adils Fall”. The album ends with the acoustic “Hågkomst av ett liv”, evoking an atmosphere of sitting in front of a warm, sparkling fire while listening to tales of days gone by, formed by the haunting vocal duo of singers Ellinor Videfors and Grawsiö. With Ynglingaättens Öde, Månegarm once again underlines its position as a spearhead of the Viking metal world and continues pagan traditions, even after 25 years of existence.

Månegarm on the album: “Thousands of hours of work have gone into this beast – our new album, Ynglingaättens Öde. We really think this album is our strongest and most complete album to date and despite the dark days of the pandemic, we have created a concept album that is 100% Månegarm and filled with strong melodies, powerful riffs and choruses. This time, we explore an ancient Swedish dynasty of Norse rulers where we detail their deeds, reign, and most importantly – their deaths.

So join us on this journey and meet the destiny of Yngliga parents!

Ynglingaättens Öde will be available in the following formats:

– Wooden Box (incl. Digipack, 7″ Single, album cover flag, logo patch) – limited to 500 copies worldwide
– 1LP Gatefold Marbled Gold & Black – limited to 300 copies worldwide
– 1LP Gatefold BLACK
– Shirt and digipack set
– CD Digipack
– Complete digital album

Pre-order here.

Ynglingaättens Öde track list:

“Freyr’s Blood”
“Ulvhjartat”
“Adil falls”
“In snara av guld”
“Stridsgalten”
“Auns soner”
“Vitta vet”
“Hågkomst av ett liv”

Video “Ulvhjärtat”:

Månegarm are:

Erik Grawsiö – vocals and bass
Markus Andé – guitars
Jakob Hallegren – drums

(Photo – Isak Skagerström)

‘Come From Away’ Comes to Ohio Theater, Shares True Story of Kindness and Community

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The cast of the first North American touring company of “Come From Away” reunites in song. Credit: Courtesy of Matthew Murphy

The latest Broadway musical to come to theaters in Ohio tells a true story meant to inspire all, from near and far.

The touring production of “Come From Away,” which opens Tuesday and will run through Feb. 13, takes place directly after 9/11. It follows 7,000 airline passengers who were stranded in a small town in Newfoundland, Canada, after US airspace was closed, said Lisa Minken, director of Broadway marketing for the Columbus Association for the Performing Arts.

Minken said the musical follows passengers’ interactions with locals and serves as a celebration of the community they have formed.

“The kindness this community has shown to all these strangers from such different backgrounds and beliefs is incredible,” Minken said. “They welcomed them and treated them as their own. I think it’s something we can all appreciate and the world could use a little more of today.

“Come From Away” not only follows real events, but also features characters based on real people, Minken said, making it a unique experience for audience members. The show uses a cast of 12 actors to portray about 100 characters, said Julia Knitel, who plays Janice and others in the musical.

Knitel said “Come From Away” is also unique in that its musical score was influenced by its location in the small Canadian town of Gander.

“Many years ago – when there were a lot of Irish people immigrating to North America – the people who settled in Newfoundland really brought their sense of music, and it sort of crossed with other Canadian folk songs and styles,” Knitel said. “So there are some really cool instruments that you don’t hear every day in the average musical.”

“Come From Away” is the fourth show to come to Columbus during Broadway’s 2021-22 season in Columbus, according to its website. Minken said the association is excited to bring the theater back to the city after a series of postponements due to the pandemic.

“Bringing the theater back has been pretty amazing,” Minken said. “When we opened our season with ‘Hadestown,’ you could feel the excitement in the theater. The energy was palpable.”

The theater’s return to Columbus did not come without the implementation of COVID-19 safety precautions, Minken said. Members of the public are required to provide proof of a negative test taken within 24 hours or proof of vaccination for guests aged 12 and over, and all guests are asked to wear a face covering over their noses unless they are actively eating or drinking, she said.

“While COVID has definitely added a few layers of steps needed for theater to happen, I think people are more than happy to oblige with these regulations we’ve put in place to make sure that not only actors and the team are safe, but also the public,” said Minken.

Knitel said she was thrilled to bring “Come From Away” to Columbus because she thinks the theater has tremendous value.

“Theatre has the same effect on you as travel does, you know, you go to a new place, you meet different customs, you try different foods and you come home changed,” Knitel said. “And I think theater has a way of doing that, no matter where you see it. You just need to walk into a room not too far from where you live and experience something that you can only experience for those 100 minutes in that room.

She said she hopes audiences will leave the theater with a desire to spread kindness around them.

“I think it’s a difficult time that we live in when it comes to human kindness and caring for your fellow man, woman, man or person, you know, caring for your fellow man,” Knitel said. “And I think what ‘Come From Away’ reminds us of is that it doesn’t take much to change someone’s life.”

Tickets for “Come From Away” are still available for purchase starting at $39 on the Broadway in Columbus website.

FBI charges $1.2m Central Florida couple with bogus PPP loans

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A Florida couple are accused of obtaining at least a dozen fraudulent loans worth more than $1.2 million to manipulate a government program to help small businesses during the pandemic, according to new court documents .

Pretending to be long time business owners, Level and Rachelle Harris received the money between May 2020 and April 2021 and bought two homes in central Florida, according to documents filed by the US government as it seeks to seize the Apopka and St. Cloud properties.

the Paycheck Protection Program (PPP) was born from the CARES Act and provided more than $600 billion in loans to help small businesses survive economic hardship during the coronavirus pandemic. Forgivable loans were supposed to keep businesses going and employees on the payroll. But without sufficient oversight and government resources, the situation was ripe for fraud. The government has investigated several people who posed as business owners, lied about their business finances in their loan application or used the funds to live lavishly.

For the Harrises, their scheme began when they applied for loans “on behalf of six companies of the same name from at least seven lenders,” according to federal court documents.

All the different companies sounded the same.

One loan request was for Harris Faith Investments. Another, HFI Harris Faith Investment. And Level Harris Faith Investments. And Rachel Harris Faith Investments. Other trade names were simply called Levelle Harris or Rachel Harris.

“Of these businesses, only Harris Faith Investments, LLC is an incorporated business,” court documents said. “Additionally, some of the apps list the exact same employees, although the apps are for different companies.”

What caught Levelle Harris on the FBI’s radar was a complaint from one of the lenders he applied for several loans from, but was turned down.

Each time an application was denied, it requested another, changing information, such as a different social security number or EIN.

During the federal investigation, it appears authorities had no trouble finding flaws in the Harris claims.

The business addresses for their applications either did not exist or were located in one-story houses that appeared unlikely to be a business where 10 people worked as the Harrises claimed and had no apparent connection to the couple.

The Harris Faith Investments website touted the organization launched in 2011 to help small businesses get financing. Federal authorities noticed that the website’s copyright date was 2020. Today, the website appears to no longer work.

Authorities said there was no evidence that Harris Faith Investments was a real business and was generating income. The Harrises submitted either fake Social Security numbers or numbers that did not match their “employees” on the loan applications.

And upon request, Harris submitted what appeared to be an amended letter from the IRS. The Employer Identification Number (EIN) and date of the letter were written in a different font than everything else.

“Finally, all but one of the funds from the loans were deposited into the same bank account, and not into multiple business accounts as one would expect from separate, legitimate businesses,” it said. court documents.

The couple got 12 loans ranging from nearly $21,000 to $142,000 each.

Between March 2021 and August 2021, Harris used money from his PNC checking account to buy a car and $40,000 in real estate, court records show.

“The overwhelming majority of deposits came from fraudulently obtained PPP loans. There do not appear to be any deposits from gainful employment or business income. Indeed, Florida wage and income records for Harris showed that in 2019 he received salaries from a real estate company totaling $16,078.30. In 2020 and 2021, Harris’ salary was $763.75. Harris’ wife has not had a salary since 2018,” the court filing said.

In U.S. District Court, the government filed documents to seize two homes — 3124 Cherokee Road in St. Cloud and 2132 Majestic Woods Blvd. to Apopka – which authorities say were bought mostly with money linked to wire fraud through bogus loans. The St. Cloud home was owned by Harris Faith Investments, while Levelle Harris’ name appeared on title to the Apopka property.

The government investigated PPP fraud, which led to at least 122 people being charged with a crime, the US Department of Justice said in March 2021.

“The cases involve a range of conduct, from individual business owners who inflated their payroll expenses to obtain larger loans they otherwise would not have qualified for, to serial fraudsters who revived dormant companies and purchased fictitious companies with no real operations to apply for multiple loans falsely claiming they had a large payroll, to organized criminal networks submitting identical loan applications and supporting documents under the names of different companies,’ the press release from the DOJ. “Most of the defendants diverted loan proceeds for prohibited purposes, such as buying homes, cars, jewelry and other luxury items.”


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John Legend co-founds new NFT platform to ‘reshape the music industry’

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Another day, another NFT platform launches into music.

But this one, OurSong, comes with some interesting twists: for one thing, multi-platinum artist and songwriter John Legend (who recently sold his catalog of songs to BMG x KKR) is on board as co-founder and Chief Impact Officer.

The other three Legend co-founders in the company are also very well qualified: Kevin Linco-founder of Twitch; Matt Chen, founder of Cherubic Ventures; and Chris LinCEO of music streaming service KKBOX, headquartered in Taiwan.

Our song is the first mobile app from Our Happy Company, whose mission is to “build blockchain technology for the creator economy”.

OurSong’s watchword is accessibility, for both buyers and sellers. The company’s goal, more than anything else, is to take away collectors’ and creators’ apprehensions about how to trade (and make money with) NFTs.

As the company puts it: “While many platforms require complicated and expensive processes for creating and owning NFTs, OurSong does not require users to hold a separate cryptocurrency wallet outside of app and NFTs can be created, shared or purchased for as little as a few dollars.It offers an easy-to-use mobile experience that makes NFT ownership, and the accompanying social and digital benefits, as simple as few clicks on a phone.

“I helped found OurSong because I believe NFTs can change the way creators are discovered, improve how they serve their biggest fans, and reshape the industry as a whole.”

john legend

John Legend thinks the company could be a game-changer for artists in various industries that may have delayed the NFT craze to date.

“NFTs hold so much promise for ushering in the next generation of singers, songwriters, photographers, artists and more,” said John Legend.

“I helped found OurSong because I believe NFTs can change the way creators are discovered, improve how they serve their biggest fans, and reshape the industry as a whole. It starts with building a platform that serves all creators, whether they have a hundred fans or a hundred thousand.

Chris Lin, Co-Founder and CEO of Our Happy Company added, “As things stand, navigating the NFT landscape is incredibly confusing. It’s only for such a small subset of users,” said “We hope to democratize this technology and make it as mainstream as social media, streaming or any other technology we take for granted today.

“Our platform is intentionally designed to make NFT ownership as accessible as possible, so anyone previously intimidated by technology can access it.”

NFTs on OurSong are branded “Vibes”. The platform allows creators to associate content and privileges with each NFT, including access to music, chat rooms, augmented reality experiences, and more.

The company says it offers “creators, including musicians, artists, and photographers, a fairer way to generate digital creations, monetize their work, and build communities around them.”

Kevin Lin commented, “NFTs can be so much more than a digital collectible. OurSong shows how technology can be the next wave of change for digital interactions, content-driven communities, and more.

The OurSong mobile app is available in English, Traditional Chinese, Bahasa Indonesian and Japanese on the Apple App Store and Google Play.

The founding team of Our Happy Company is based in Singapore, Taipei and Los Angeles.The music industry around the world

CBN extends N23.2 billion loans to 28 beneficiaries as new policy begins

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The ultimate goal of the policy is to reverse the country’s dependence on imports by creating a feedback system that targets and supports good companies and projects.

Sir Godwin Emefielethe CBN Governor, speaking at the inauguration, said the initiative was designed to stimulate investment in Nigeria’s priority sectors with the main objective of boosting production and productivity.

Emefiele said the initiative would contribute to efforts to spur greater economic growth and opportunity.

He added that the program would create access to cheap credit for new and existing production businesses.


“Under this initiative, every 100 days, manufacturers in critical industries looking to engage in Greenfield projects or expand their existing facilities will have access to cheaper forms of credit at single-digit rates as well as than foreign currencies to buy factories and machines.


“This program has the potential to dramatically accelerate manufacturing output, promote greater diversification of our economy, and enable faster growth in non-oil exports,” he said.

He added that the PPP initiative would boost productivity in agriculture, health, manufacturing, logistics, services, trade-related infrastructure and renewable energy.

Emefiele said 100 eligible companies in priority sectors would be selected to receive funding from the apex bank every 100 days starting in November 2021.

He said 28 companies were deemed eligible and selected for funding in the first instance, with projects valued at N23.2 billion.

Also speaking, the Minister of Labor and Productivity, Dr. Chris Ngiesaid the program was evidence of the apex bank’s commitment to spearheading initiatives that would boost productivity and economic growth in Nigeria.


“Productivity is the foundation of everything we do. Coming up with such an initiative that benefits all key sectors means that CBN has understood the fact that we need to produce,” he said.

The Secretary of the Government of the Federation, Mr. Boss Mustaphasaid the policy comes at a time when economic diversification and local production of finished goods and services are needed.

In a speech delivered on his behalf by Dr. Hadiza LawalPermanent Secretary of the Ecological Project Office, Mustapha commended the CBN for meeting expectations in formulating interventions that can grow the economy.


“Over the years, the CBN has demonstrated its ability to model and push through programs and initiatives that will facilitate the achievement of its core mandates of ensuring financial system stability and promoting economic policies and strategies,” he said.

For his part, Mr. Albert Wigwethe managing director of Access Bank, pledged the support of the depository banks for the initiative.

SEBASTIÁN YATRA DEBUTS AT NO. 1 ON THE SPOTIFY GLOBAL DEBUT CHART AND IN THE US FOR NEW MULTI-PLATINUM ALBUM “DHARMA”

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THE 17-TRACK GENRE PROJECT INCLUDES CHART-TOUGHING STORIES, LATIN GRAMMYS-NOMINED FAVORITES AND A SINGLE “TACONES ROJOS” THAT ENTERS SPOTIFY’S GLOBAL TOP 50 TODAY

MIAMI, February 2, 2022 /PRNewswire/ — Colombian singer-songwriter tops the charts Sebastien Yatra (@SebastianYatra) released their 17-track third studio album, ‘Dharma‘ last week with multi-platinum certifications, 2.3 billion streams combined, and today overall work ranks #1 on Spotifyit is Debut album in the United States and worldwide graphics. the 47th most listened to The YouTube artist is building mainstays for Latin music through his massive single releases, including the current powerhouse single (“Tacones Rojos‘) who enters Spotify’s Global Top 50 today as the only song by a Latin pop soloist, the 8x platinum to hit (“Pareja del Año“), his 4x turntable smash (“Chica Ideal“), and the Latin GRAMMYs nominated ballad”Goodbye‘ – all released last year! Sebastián Yatra’s platinum single ‘Tacones Rojos‘ continues to prove the hitmaker’s strength in creating music, standing tall as a top pop song among a genre otherwise dominated by reggaeton, with +271.7 million streams and growing exponentially on the global streaming and radio charts. Sebastián Yatra’s album ‘Dharma‘ showcases the music maker’s continued versatility across all styles of music. Both the album and the title track are inspired by the word. Dharma is part of the journey of life.” Sebastian Yatra writes. “He is destiny. He is Natural. It flows and that’s what it’s supposed to be. It’s about accepting reality and receive life for what it is.”

stream hereSebastianYatra.lnk.to/Dharma

“Sebastián Yatra is on a winning streak.” – LATIN BILLBOARD

“Only Sebastián Yatra can pack a 17-track album with rock, cumbia, reggaetón and a Jonas Brothers collaboration The Colombian singer’s third studio album, Dharma, is a versatile record that’s sure to get fans on their feet.”
ROLLING STONE

“…Colombian singer-songwriter Sebastián Yatra positions third studio album Dharma as a deep and satisfying dive into his artistry and point of view…Across 17 tracks, Yatra takes chances with his brand of pop Latin, from the emotional ballad of “Tarde” to the sunny dance of “Tacones Rojos” to the boisterous pop-punk of “Las Dudas”, and emerges as a natural star in all of them.” – BILLBOARD

“There is a new sense of serenity and gratitude in Sebastián Yatra.”
ENTERTAINMENT TONIGHT

“From reggaeton, to ballads and boleros, to flamenco, to rock and roll, the Colombian singer-songwriter hasn’t held back with this new album.”
FLAUNT

“Sebastián Yatra refuses to be put in a box.” “Dharma marks Yatra’s third studio album and is a refreshingly daring take on open-concept music – the album does not respect genre constraints.” – REMEZCLA

“…Yatra scratches that nameless itch we all have for a little heat and a little dance. Dharma is a third-album blockbuster…. Yatra continues his pop fusions, occasionally leaning into the ballads of his early career, making Dharma a diverse earworm.” – DJ booth

Sebastián Yatra’s ‘Dharma’ album is his most ambitious work to date.”mitu

“Right now, life is a dream for rising Colombian-born superstar Sebastián Yatra. He has a stunning new album, Dharma, and is featured in the hit Disney film Encanto as the voice of Mariano and on the soundtrack. original… and it will be featured in a Netflix movie coming out in March. It is indeed a very good time to turn 27…” -FORBES

“Sebastián Yatra has a busy year ahead of him – and he intends to soak up every minute.” – PEOPLE

In addition, the interpretation of the song by the talented Colombian singer-songwriter DOS ORUGUITAS” (“TWO TRACKS”) from The Walt Disney Animation Film “ENCANTO” is highlighted on the shortlist for a Oscar appointment alongside appointments to the golden globes and Critics’ Choice Movie Awardpaying homage to the acclaimed composer’s original work Lin-Manuel Miranda. The song unlocked a new career milestone for Sebastián Yatra with a first Spotify US Chart Top 50 at #45 as the only Spanish language song on the chart.

The versatile music orchestrator Sebastien Yatra will also embark on its “Dharma World Tour” to February 23 with additional cities and countries added regularly to its website: https://sebastianyatra.com. North American dates should be announced very soon!

Sebastián Yatra is also nominated for 4 Premio Lo Nuestro prize, including “Premio Lo Nuestro Artist of the Year,” “The perfect mix of the year,” “Solo Pop Artist of the Year,” and “Pop Collab of the Year.” Fans can vote for these awards on their website: https://premiolonuestro.com/vota/.

Sebastien Yatra Dharma” → [stream here]

1. Basically
2. Dharma with Rosario and Jorge Celedón
3. Airplane mode
4. Quererte Bonito with Helen Rose
5. Tacones Rojos
6. Amor Pasajero
seven. Regrese with Justin Quiles & L-Gante
8. Si me la Haces with Lenny Tavárez & Mariah Angeliq
9. Delayed
ten. Melancolicos Anonymos
11. Las Dudas with Aitana
12. Goodbye
13. A Donde Van with Alvaro Diaz
14. OTC with Rauw Alejandro & Manuel Turizo
15. Chica Ideal with Guaynaa
16. Run away with Daddy Yankee, Natti Natasha ft. Jonas Brothers
17.Pareja del Año with Myke Towers

Follow Sebastián Yatra on
instagram
Facebook

Twitter

SOURCE Universal Music Latin Music Entertainment

In the blink of an eye, anyone can play music

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Eye Harp / YouTube

While many say the eyes are the windows to the soul, a Greek music teacher sees them as the windows to soul music… or rock, electro or jazz.

Zacharias Vamvakousis is the creative brain behind EyeHarp, and although he missed the chance to call it “EyeTunes”, his new digital musical instrument is enabling hundreds of quadriplegics to create music using only their eyes.

With a doctorate. in music technology and with expert computer skills, Vamvakousis made the field of disabled music a specialty after a friend suffered a motorcycle accident that impaired his ability to play the guitar.

EyeHarp is currently in its fifth iteration, and Vamvakousis started the EyeHarp Foundation in 2019 to try to bring his instrument to more people.

Notes appear on screen in a color-coded wheel set to pentatonic or heptatonic scales, and are selected for sonication by the user’s gaze. The same note previously selected will remain on screen for a quick power riff, or another can be chosen.

FOLLOWING: New Film Tells Inspirational Story of World’s Fastest Blind Man – WATCH ‘Untethered’ Trailer

To help students learn, a visual aid in the form of a circle will glide across the screen to direct the eye to the next correct note, but can be turned off so people with disabilities can get through the rigors of practice that any anyone trying to learn an instrument has to suffer.

Much like the Guitar Hero video game, EyeHarp comes with accuracy scores and other playful metrics, as well as an option to silence errors.

“Playing music is a process that requires studying and having music lessons,” Vamvakousis told the Christian Science Monitor. “So if we want it to reach a lot of people, we have to reach the music teachers first.”

650 people currently use EyeHarp, including Joel Bueno, a Spaniard with cerebral palsy and the center of the Christian Science Monitor feature, who wanted to play music with his older brother.

RELATED: These students built an epic stroller for a new wheelchair-bound dad

EyeHarp is a very important instrument for my life because I always wanted to play music,” Bueno explains. “It’s an innovative instrument; excellent and very fresh.

“We knew that certain activities like playing soccer or making music would be impossible for Joel,” says Ms. Bueno. “When EyeHarp came out, we were like, god, if we can do this, we can do anything.”

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A Harvard student wrote an entire musical about a Disney-style Korean princess. Now it’s going viral

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Written by Amanda Florian, CNN

After realizing there were no Koreans in Disney’s pantheon of iconic princesses, 22-year-old Julia Riew set out to create one herself, complete with a musical.

The Harvard student, who grew up in St. Louis, Missouri, has been writing and composing for years. But with her seventh full-length musical to date, “Shimcheong: A Folktale,” she tapped into her Korean roots and went viral on TikTok where the story and songs resonate with people around the world.

“For the first time, I felt such a strong sense of community and belonging, which I always dreamed of,” Riew said in a video call. “I never imagined that something like TikTok…could take me to a place where I feel such a warm sense of belonging.”

The first song fans discovered Riew on TikTok, “Dive,” garnered nearly a million views, with fans performing their own renditions on an instrumental version. The uplifting lyrics encourage listeners not to be afraid and not to let anything hold them back.

“Now all the fish in the sea can’t stop me,” Riew sings in the Extract of 41 seconds, using a filter to transform into a Disney-style animated character. “All the waves in the world can’t rock me. I’m on a mission and damn it, watch me go!”

The one-act musical tells the story of a brave young woman named Shimcheong who falls to the depths of the ocean trying to save her father. She enters the magic kingdom of dragons without any exit. Ten years later, she plots an escape, risking everything to find her way home. It is only at the end of the story that the volunteer Shimcheong earns the title of princess, and like any good fairy tale, this one is filled with adventures, a prince and an evil Queen Dragon. Riew posted short snippets of the Prince and Dragon Queen songs on TikTok, but eager fans will have to wait to hear all 16 tracks in their entirety.

The musical is an adaptation of the Korean folk tale “The Blind Man’s Daughter”, in which a girl sacrifices everything for her blind father whom she loves dearly. Riew, a third-generation Korean-American, began working on the musical more than a year ago for her senior thesis project, but said she didn’t expect it to take off in line. Her dream, she says, is to inspire others with stories that put “good in the world”.

“I think stories are so important to kids,” she added. “Especially as someone who, as a young person, never saw themselves represented in the media, in film, on television or on stage – it’s something I always dreamed of.”

Julia Riew snaps into character on TikTok. Credit: Courtesy of Julia Riew

Growing fan base

When it comes to musical theater in the age of Covid-19, TikTok and Gen Z have proven a powerful combination. In 2020, the creators of TikTok joined forces to produce “Ratatouille: The Musical” after a teacher’s squeaky 15-second video about beloved Disney Pixar rat Remy went viral. The collaborative production, which came together in a matter of weeks, was online for 73 hours and was streamed by 350,000 people – an audience figure equal to a year-long broadcast at a show sold-out Broadway.
Other TikTokers, like Katherine Lynn-Rose, got into the songwriting scene by composing songs for “Avatar: The Last Airbender“or the Netflix hit”squid game“as if they were musicals.

For Riew and other creators, the platform extends far beyond lip-syncing and dance videos. Fans of her fully scripted musical have also created fan art featuring her characters, and although Riew initially imagined Shimcheong’s trusty sidekick Lotus as a dragon, she loved fans’ suggestion that Lotus could be depicted as a “gumiho” or nine-tailed fox, instead.

Artist Victoria Phan draws the princess alongside a gumiho, or nine-tailed fox, named Lotus.

Artist Victoria Phan draws the princess alongside a gumiho, or nine-tailed fox, named Lotus. Credit: Courtesy of Victoria Phan (Instagram: @Vdoodles)

Riew’s fans – which include parents, children and Disney enthusiasts around the world – say they would love to see the story on the big screen.

“(The buzz) started in America and then it started trending on Korean Twitter,” Riew said, adding, “Even beyond producer contacts is when parents say to me, ‘J I have a 5-year-old or 3-year-old or 9-year-old child – I know they would love to see this film on screen, and we have listened to your songs. It’s really the thing that warms my heart the most.”

Although she began writing musicals at the age of 15, Riew was unsure whether to pursue a career in musical theater and she first enrolled as a pre-school student. medicine.

“I was afraid to be an artist. I was afraid to embark on a career that didn’t seem to be sustainable,” she said. “I think a lot of it came from my desire to fit in with the Asian American community. I didn’t really see a lot of other Asian students taking acting at the time, but a lot of things have changed over the years.”

Artist MiJin imagines what Shimcheong would look like dressed in traditional hanbok.

Artist MiJin imagines what Shimcheong would look like dressed in traditional hanbok. Credit: Courtesy of MiJin ([email protected])

During her freshman year, Riew participated in Harvard’s “First-Year Musical,” which gives freshmen the opportunity to create and produce a musical. During auditions for the show, however, she was discouraged by the lack of Asian representation.

“It kind of made me feel like, ‘Oh maybe that’s not the thing for me, but, at the same time, it fueled my desire to want to create more space for students. Asians on campus who might not have discovered theatre.”

Riew changed her major to musical theater the summer after her sophomore year, and since then her shows have been staged at the American Repertory Theatre, Farkas Hall and the Agassiz Theater at Harvard University, ‘UNC-Greensboro School of Theater and more.

Membership search

The writing process for “Shimcheong: A Folktale” was difficult but meaningful, Riew said, as it allowed her to confront many aspects of her identity. After her grandfather passed away and her grandmother moved in with her, Riew found herself wanting to connect with her Korean heritage.

“My inspiration definitely came from a lot of different places,” she said. “I would say it comes first and foremost from my journey of finding belonging. I’ve been thinking a lot lately about identity and how that intersects with the art and the stories we choose to tell. I I was really inspired by my grandparents, and my college experience – and that’s kind of how I found my way to ‘Shimcheong’.”

Riew, a Harvard student, has been writing musicals since she was 15.

Riew, a Harvard student, has been writing musicals since she was 15. Credit: Courtesy of Ramona Park

When she made her first trip to Seoul, South Korea, at the age of 18, she discovered things about herself and her own history that helped shape the musical.

“It was an exciting time. But in many ways it was an eye-opening moment when I realized that this place that I always looked to and imagined myself to belong to was far more different than what I felt myself to be. was waiting,” she said. “And I was a lot more of an underdog than I thought I was.”

Although Riew and her family celebrate both Korean and American traditions, she was not surrounded by a large Korean community growing up. In recent years, she has strived to learn more about her Asian roots, whether through Korean classes at school or through her music. Now, she hopes people of all ages can be inspired by Shimcheong’s story.

“I’ve always dreamed of walking down the street and hearing a kid sing my song,” Riew said. “I feel like I’m almost living that dream right now seeing the duets of all kinds of people singing the song. It was amazing.”

Disney may not have picked up the script yet, but Riew has already heard from producers and filmmakers interested in bringing the story to a wider audience. For now, she’s working with an agent to determine what’s next.

“It’s probably been the craziest three weeks of my life, but it’s a really, really exciting time,” she said. “And honestly, I’m really, really grateful.”

Gawvi dropped by Reach Records label after allegations – Billboard

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Reach Records announced Monday (January 31) that the label has dropped Christian hip-hop producer and artist GAWVI following allegations that he sent unsolicited explicit photos to women while married. He was also dropped from the label’s upcoming We Are Unashamed tour.

To explore

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Gawvi

See the latest videos, graphics and news

See the latest videos, graphics and news

“Due to behavior inconsistent with our core values, we have terminated our professional relationship with GAWVI,” the label wrote in a statement. “It was a difficult decision for us because of the level of complexity and because we invest in our artists not only for their talent, but also as brothers and sisters in Christ. This is something we’ve been dealing with for over a year and wondered what would be the right way forward. New details provided to us made it clear that today’s decision was necessary. We also want our actions to reflect love, care and concern for those who fail and those affected by our failures. Each of us needs God’s grace and we invite you to pray for the families and individuals whose lives are affected. It’s not a chance to throw anyone. We continue to hope that restoration will be the result.

Over the weekend, Gawvi revealed that his marriage to his wife Brianna Azucena ended in 2020. I felt healthier,” he wrote in a since-deleted Instagram post shared by The crew. “There’s no scandal to tell, just 2 adults who made decisions that led to this point. And if you know me, you know I hate divorce and I’m not here to promote it .

Following his announcement, visual artist and designer Cataphant took Twitter to defend her friend Azucena. “Years ago I made album covers for @gawvi,” she tweeted on Saturday. “For my next project, I’m going to make a collage of all the unrequested photos he sent to women while he was still married.”

The following day, Cataphant further clarified the situation surrounding Gawvi’s divorce and why she chose to speak out after sharing her statement. “It wasn’t a rash, thoughtless reaction,” she wrote of her original tweet. “I have known about his actions for at least a year, maybe more. WE ALL DID IT. He was not good at covering his tracks. Who did I learn all these things from? Everyone.

“Second, EVERYONE confronted him,” she continued. “I want to stand up for all my friends because I KNOW they’ve tried and tried. When someone is unaccountable and a textbook narcissist, there’s no ‘going private’ .

She concluded her series of tweets by writing: “I did this because I am defending my friend who was misrepresented in this false statement which painted a false picture of why Gawvi left his wife for someone. another. Divorce is bullshit, it happens. But Gawvi, if you’re reading this… you’re a fucking liar.

As of press time, Gawvi had deleted all posts from her Instagram page, including the statement announcing her divorce. He has yet to publicly comment on the Cataphant allegations.

the We are without shamewhich kicks off March 17 in Austin, TX, will move forward with Lecrae, Andy Mineo, Trip Lee, Tedashii, 1K Phew, Wande, WHATUPRG and Hulvey

Why We Don’t Want James Corden in ‘Wicked’ Movie | Arts

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On November 4, director Jon M. Chu announced that Cynthia Erivo and Ariana Grande had been cast in the upcoming film adaptation of the Broadway musical “Wicked.” Erivo and Grande were cast in the lead roles of Elphaba and Glinda, respectively. The casting announcement drew both praise and criticism from fans.

“Wicked,” which tells the story of the Wicked Witch of the West from “The Wizard of Oz,” is one of Broadway’s best-loved and longest-running musicals. For most stage shows that achieve this level of fame – like “The Phantom of the Opera” and “Les Miserables” – the inevitable next step is a film adaptation, thus extending the film’s reach beyond the isolated world. of live theater and strengthening its position in the public consciousness.

But despite being released more than fifteen years ago, “Wicked” has never been adapted for the cinema, even if it is not for lack of having tried. A film adaptation of “Wicked” was first confirmed in 2015, and since then the production has encountered several hurdles. With a release date constantly pushed back, a changing creative team, and no casting announcements in sight, fans grew skeptical of making a “Wicked” movie, until the cast of Erivo and Grande was announced. confirmed earlier this month.

The casting of Erivo, a Tony Award-winning actress and singer, was widely positively received. Erivo already has experience on both stage and screen, having starred in “The Color Purple” on Broadway as well as the lead character in the movie “Harriet.” Her resume, along with her impressive vocal skills, make her a clear choice for the iconic role of Elphaba.

Grande’s casting, on the other hand, drew mixed reactions. While performing on Broadway as a teenager, playing a small role in the musical “13,” Grande spent most of her career as a pop star. Although Grande is clearly a talented singer, a number of Glinda’s songs call for a classically influenced sound – a vocal style that Grande has rarely, if ever, exhibited. It’s certainly possible that she has the ability to pull it off, but since there are hardly any recordings of her singing in a lyrical style, she’ll have to prove it.

However, all of the attention during the “Wicked” casting announcement wasn’t on Grande. Less than four days after the official release, a Change.org Petition was launched to keep James Corden out of the “Wicked” movie. The “Late Late Show” host’s appearance in seemingly every new musical — including “Cats,” “The Prom” and “Cinderella” — led audiences to quickly tire of him.

“James Corden should not be in or near the production of Wicked the Movie in any way,” the petition reads. By November 18, it had collected more than 94,000 signatures.

This massive and vehement dislike of James Corden is an interesting development. It was long believed that musicals had to hire well-known Hollywood actors to generate enough public interest for the film to be a success. For example, Julie Andrews was passed over for Audrey Hepburn in the film version of “My Fair Lady”, although Andrews originated the role on Broadway, as Hepburn was more of a household name than Andrews at the time. Hepburn could not sing her role properly, and her voice was dubbed in the film by Marni Nixon.

“Wicked” appears to work on a similar principle — casting a well-known celebrity to boost sales — by casting Ariana Grande, one of the world’s biggest pop stars, as opposed to a professional Broadway actress. But this petition against James Corden shows that people just aren’t as receptive to celebrity casting as the creative team might think. A famous name on a movie poster isn’t a draw if the chosen celebrity isn’t someone the audience likes.

So what led to this preemptive backlash against the potential casting of James Corden? People are ultimately annoyed with how casting celebrities in musicals seems like a quick cash grab, especially when such casting doesn’t make any sense. For example, “Cats” had a cast of starry and frankly confusing names, from Taylor Swift to yes, James Corden, and that didn’t stop it from suffering from rushed CGI, poor box office sales, and the ridicule of the general public. In fact, bad casting arguably made the movie worse. Movie musicals have largely become a vehicle for celebrity hubris, which is disappointing given the genre’s potential for rich, authentic storytelling.

If anyone had to understand why musicals don’t need celebrity castings, it would be director Jon M. Chu. Its 2021 adaptation of the musical “In the Heights” largely avoided stunts, instead relying on elements such as Lin-Manuel Miranda’s set design, choreography and musical score, and the film was well received. — which is why Grande’s casting in “Wicked” is so singularly frustrating. “Wicked” doesn’t need to be associated with a celebrity name to be successful.

Adelaide musicians call for a safe return of the public to revitalize the city’s live music scene

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Husband and wife Zkye Compson-Harris and Damien Steele-Scott used to play in several bands – now they only have each other.

“It’s lucky we can do this with just the two of us, because I think I might have had two band gigs this year, and that’s lucky,” Mr. Steele-Scott said.

Ms. Compson-Harris has had to sideline her rock, blues and country bands because venues can only afford solo artists or duos playing in front of their COVID-restricted crowds.

“There’s no band anymore…basically, when there’s no dancing and no stand-up, it’s very difficult,” she said.

After nearly two years of the pandemic, full-time musicians consider themselves lucky to continue to earn a living, even though they’ve gone from seven gigs a week to two or three.

Ria Loof is the Music Coordinator at the Wheatsheaf Hotel in Thebarton. (ABC News: Eric Tlozek)

Concert halls, such as the popular Wheatsheaf Hotel in Thebarton, say they cannot afford to host bands with the current restrictions.

“Unfortunately, we haven’t had a show since just before Boxing Day – we had to shut everything down,” Wheatsheaf music coordinator Ria Loof told the ABC.

Without music, owners of venues like this don’t believe they’ll be able to keep trading any longer.

“Our whole philosophy is about live music, brewing our beers and sharing,” Mr. Loof said.

The government has just raised capacity restrictions to 50%, but has yet to say when dancing and standing drinking will be allowed.

“We want to lift these restrictions, however, but do so in a safe and sustainable way,” Prime Minister Steven Marshall said on Saturday.

The restrictions – in place since Boxing Day – mean musicians are among the few industries unable to work even if there is no lockdown.

Adam Page – one of Adelaide’s best-known musicians and recording studio owner – said this meant the local music scene was gone.

The loss of live music doesn’t just affect those who play it.

A man playing the saxophone
One of Adelaide’s best-known musicians, Adam Page, says the local music scene has disappeared.(ABC News: Eric Tlozek)

Artists and venues alike fear the loss of culture and connection associated with live performances.

“It’s not just the artists,” Mr. Page said.

With the number of COVID-19 cases declining, live music may return, but it will need an audience that feels safe to come out and listen.

Ms Compson-Harris and Mr Steele-Scott want the government and local councils to provide better access to public spaces, such as parks, for outdoor concerts, to encourage the public to return safely.

“The outside is the new inside,” Ms. Compson-Harris said.

“That’s where the venues have to adapt… using all these amazing parks we have, even having the street performance we did with Adelaide City Council in the winter.

“It was amazing. It helps a lot of musos get by.”