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MAR 4, 2014 - The David Lynch Foundation, an organization that promotes daily meditation to youth to bring about a more positive world, honored the great musical producer Rick Rubin last month with the "Lifetime of Harmony" award. Rubin is behind all the great songs you have heard for years, and as the director David Lynch described Rubin in a Variety article, "He has the ability to tune into each artist's talent and bring out the best they've got. The list of bands and artists that worked with Rick is so long, it'd be morning if we read out all the names. And it is a heavy duty list. Rick Rubin has great ears and a great mind between them." Russell Simmons, who founded Def Jam Records with Rubin and uses meditation in his daily life and stresses the use of meditation in public schools in his new book, "Success Through Stillness", is a great friend of Rick Rubin. In talking about Rubin he said in the same Variety article, "I'm amazed that he is willing to accept any accolades. He's never taken his Grammys. I don't know where the fuckin' Grammys are. You can sell them, give the money to the David Lynch Foundation." Simmons talks about when he first met Rubin and said, "All of us are trying to calm the noise. At the time I had one route and it was through drugs. I couldn't relate to anybody who was sober because they had so much noise, except Rick, who was totally sober, but he exuded the kind of freedom that I was seeking. He seemed to have a stable and lasting hold on it." Simmons credits daily meditation by Rubin to be the key in this and his own success and stresses you can achieve success too with daily meditation. Rubin was also in instrumental in helping the Dixie Chicks with their career after reactionaries attacked their free speech, and they were on hand for the event and performed one of their very few U.S. shows in the last few years. No video yet but JTMP will post them if they come out.
Read more about meditation and visit the David Lynch Foundation website. Start your first meditation session right now with Rick Rubin and Alison Chemick in a short film titled "Music and Spirituality" from NOWNESS on YouTube below. Read more about Rick and the event on Variety.com here.
FEB 26, 2014 - JTMP is excited to announce we are getting involved in raising awareness about a great new film called "Parents of the Revolution" from director Dana H. Glazer and Dane-Gramp Productions documenting the Occupy protests that sprang up in Zuccotti Park that follows three sets of parents that bring their children along to teach them about activism and changing the world, and the hurdles and troubles they face along the way. Their children face danger as the police attacks grow more violent, and criticism from people for "using their children as human shields". The filmmakers hope the film creates a national conversation about how we can get our children more involved in civic events such as protesting peacefully, speaking out, voting and getting involved.
Check out the Parents of the Revolution website here, and watch the Trailer below. JTMP will be helping out in the screening of the film, so check back. The film will make its debut in all formats on May 15, 2014. If your organization is interested in screening this film visit http://parentsoftherevolution.com/host-a-screening/.
FEB 26, 2014 - Chinese activist-artist-musician Ai Weiwei will be bringing his new activist-art exhibit, "Ai Weiwei: According to What?" from April 18 through August 10, 2014 to the Brooklyn Museum. His exhibit will speak out about his illegal incarceration by the Chinese authorities for 81 harsh days with six iron boxes, and other pieces not seen in North America, and some pieces have never been seen before. Read more about the exhibit on the Brooklyn Museum website here. (photo credit: Hafenbar/CC)
FEB 20, 2014 - The members of Pussy Riot, after being detained by police at the Sochi Olympics, staged a free speech action and protested against Putin and were attacked by Cossacks. People were pepper sprayed, beaten and whipped. See pics and read more on HuffPo here.
FEB 1, 2014 - Maria Alyokhina and Nadezhda Tolokonnikova from the activist-musical art band Pussy Riot that were recently freed from prison have been detained in Sochi, Russia and falsely accused of a crime, and are being detained and questioned without a lawyer. They had planned on an anti-Putin song free-speech action at the Sochi Olympics, and apparently Putin must have got wind of it because he shut it down. Read more on CNN.com here.
FEB 3, 2013 - Greg Deering, founder of Deering Banjo Company and good friend of JTMP, has commented on the recent passing of Pete Seeger and his legacy:
"Pete Seeger greatly influenced me as a music hero. He also influenced all the other music heroes I have. To a great deal I am a banjo maker today because of his influence and contribution to the world. I will miss him. We all miss him. Whether or not he would agree, I know he is now in a new place which he will also make better." - Greg Deering
(photo credit: Dxede5x/CC)
JAN 31, 2014 - The heavy metal band Skinny Puppy found out that the US government was using their music to torture detainees in Gitmo and they were pissed. So pissed in fact they sent an invoice to the US government and billing them for their "musical services". Read more on Independent.co.uk here. (photo credit: zimpenfish/flickr/cc)
JAN 28, 2014 - JTMP is in shock and in mourning today, for we woke up to the news that we lost American folk music legend and Great Grandpa Musical Activist that started it all, Pete Seeger. Pete is a personal inspiration, for I attend a "Sing Out Jam Out" folk music circle (find one on MeetUp.com!), and we use the "Rise Up Singing" song book that he helped out with and contains many of his songs. His passing will affect millions and he will have an impact on America and the world for years to come.
Pete was born in New York in 1919, and died in New York in 2014, at the age of 94. His musical career started in the 1940s and 1950s and he enjoyed a successful musical career, and even performed with the band the Weavers, who were blacklisted during the McCarthy era. He is considered by many to have started the activist folk music scene in the 1960s, and Pete and his music became a staple of protests and rallies from the 1960s to today.
JTMP joins the mourning of the passing and celebration of the life of the American activist folk music legend, Pete Seeger. Below is Pete and the Weavers reunited for a concert at Carnegie Hall singing the folk classic, "Wimoweh", or "The Lion Sleeps Tonight", and read about this amazing man on NPR.org here. Rest in Peace Pete, we will carry on the struggle for civil rights! (photo credit: LOC/CC)
JAN 27, 2014 - Amnesty International's "Bringing Human Rights Home" benefit concert will be live streamed on the Internet worldwide on February 5th, and to gear up for it, Amnesty International volunteer Kristin Hulaas Sunde wrote a blog on Amnesty's "Livewire" site, where she reminisces about how she was awakened and her activism for social justice really started back in 1988 at the Human Rights Now! concert in Philadelphia. Pete Gabriel, Bruce Springsteen, Sting, Tracy Chapman and more all played to a huge throng of 75,000 activists. Read Kristin's cool blog on LivewireAmnesty.org here, and make sure you catch the Bringing Human Rights Home concert on February 5th next month. The concert will feature the Flaming Lips, Tegan and Sara, Lauryn Hill, Cold War Kids, and others; and the recently freed members of Pussy Riot, Nadezhda Tolokonnikova and Maria Alyokhina, will be there also. Find out more about the concert here.
JAN 24, 2014 - Do elections matter? JTMP thinks so, and to prove the point just look at Virginia's 2013 Attorney General election. By 900 people going out and doing their civic duty of voting, thousands of gay Virginians will not get their inalienable civil right to pursue happiness trampled on by a conservative Attorney General. The new progressive Virginia Attorney General, Mark Herring, has announced that he will not defend the state's ban on same-sex marriage. Mark Herring won his election by a mere 907 votes, which shows one not only needs to vote, but also pay attention to your local elections. The Governor often appoints State Supreme Court Justices FOR LIFE, and Attorney Generals can trample all over the rights of gay people if the wrong one is elected. So, JTMP reminds everyone to register to vote, vote in primaries and local elections, and pay attention to these rascals. You would be surprised at how much they influence your life. Read more about Mark Herring's startling announcement on NPR.org here.