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Posted by on Mar 6, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 0 comments

Announcing — #iVoted

 

#iVoted Initiative to Break All Records with Election Night Virtual Concerts

 

The Non-Partisan Effort To Get Out the Vote Projects Over 1,000 Acts Performing Via Webcast

 

(New York) August 6, 2020 Emily White, founding partner of Collective Entertainment and co-founder of #iVoted, which she established along with Mike Luba and Wilco’s Pat Sansone for the 2018 election, is proud to announce their November 3, 2020 Election Night digital concerts. The goal is simple – to get out the vote, particularly for millennials and x and y Gen voters. The list of performers is growing daily with over 225 committed thus far with many notable artists and another 700-900 more acts to be confirmed, making this the largest single night digital concert ever. The list to date can be found at iVotedconcerts.com.

Politics are set aside for this non-partisan initiative. All voters have to do is RSVP with a selfie taken outside their polling place or at home holding their blank voting ballot for access to all the free entertainment they can squeeze into one night. “We don’t know people’s political beliefs – and don’t want to – we just want people civically engaged in the democratic process,” according to White. Fans under 18 can RSVP with a video, letting #iVoted know what election they will be 18 for, and why they’re excited to vote. International fans can RSVP simply to enjoy the talent.

The acts invited to perform were largely determined by statistics provided by Chartmetric’s data, pinpointing the favorite artists of key geographic areas that are vital in the polling process, from swing states to those that reflected low voting numbers for this demographic in the last elections.

#iVoted has attracted a dynamic all-volunteer team from all facets of the entertainment community. Kevin Lyman, founder of the Warped Tour and numerous other mega- successful festivals and tours, is one of the impressive members of the burgeoning non-profit’s board along with Lawrence Peryer ( Lyte, formerly Amazon, Warner Music Group), attorney Joyce Dollinger, Kennita Hickman (Imagine Milwaukee’s Director of Artist Outreach), Kevin Ray (Walk the Moon), Rebecca Kennedy (WNYC), MIT tenured economist Jon Gruber, Kyle Frenette (ex-Bon Iver, 46 for 46 Founder), veteran booking agent Steve Ferguson, and analytics strategist Talia Borodin.

Sponsorships and endorsements are being spearheaded by Kate Truscott, General Manager of the Kevin Lyman Group and Lisa Tenner, President of Tenner & Associates. In fact, 100% of the executive volunteer staff are women and 70% of the diverse #iVoted team are women and non-binary.

White and her co-founders have a long-range view of this project. They began for the 2018 midterm elections for which they provided more than 150 live concerts in 37 states with acts including Billie Eilish and Good Charlotte. The initiative began in swing states and expanded exponentially from there. The digital concerts this year will enable greater national impact. White says, “We want to do this every national election day from now on.”

ivotedconcerts.org ● ivotedconcerts.com ● https://facebook.com/ivotedconcerts ● twitter.com/ivotedconcerts ● instagram.com/ivotedconcerts

Media contacts:

Jo-Ann Geffen/Samantha Waranch, JAG PR (818) 905-5511

jgeffen@jagpr.comsamanthaw@jagpr.com

Sarah Curtiss, Rock Paper Scissors PR

sarah@rockpaperscissors.biz

Sponsorships/Endorsements:

Kate Truscott kate@klgroup.agency (303) 807-2969

Lisa Tenner ltenner@aol.com (702) 496-3286

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Posted by on Mar 6, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Personal | 1 comment

Thirty Years Ago Tonight

 

Nolan Dalla and Marieta Dalla 1990 Bucharest Romania

 

Today marks an anniversary, of sorts.

Thirty years ago tonight, March 6, 1990, I went on my very first date with Marieta.

I went on a blind date with a Romanian girl named Marieta Petre. She lived across the street from the national soccer stadium in central Bucharest. I picked her up at 6.

The instant I laid eyes on her, I thought I stood no chance. There was no way this was happening. She was too beautiful. I suppose it was that sense of having nothing to lose that made me relax and somehow carry on a dinner conversation that was good enough to keep her interested, leading to a second date.

Our first date was at Pescarus (which is still in business). But, thinking my chances of developing a serious relationship were at best a longshot, our second date wasn’t until after Easter, in late April.

The most interesting thing about our unusual courtship was that it all took place just as Eastern Europe’s Iron curtain was falling and the future was uncertain. Bucharest was in chaos for six months after the revolution, with marches, protests, and sporadic outbreaks of violence.

We “dated” almost every day. I got off work at the Embassy around 5. Marieta, who worked for the nearby office at Manufacturers Hanover, got off about the same time. We met up at the daily protests at University Square, which were filled with 5,000-10,000 people every single day.

One afternoon, the provisional government which was fragile and struggling to hold power, tried to break up the protests and sent in the Army. Thousands of troops tried to clear the streets. That caused the crowd to riot, torching vehicles and breaking lots of windows.

Someone took this photo of us during one of the riots. It’s our first photo together.

After the riots, that just made the protests grow larger. Crowds were so large that it was often difficult to find Marieta. So, we made a pact that we’d meet at the burned-out Army truck each day at 5;30. I think this burned Army truck sat in the streets for three months.

I have lots more fun stories to share and the old photos are fun to go back and look at — and remember. I’ll share a few more over the next few months.

Thirty years ago tonight — our first date.

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Posted by on Mar 5, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Politics | 2 comments

A Message to the Bernie Bashers

 

 

Though Bernie Sanders is correct on virtually all the issues of this election, his presidential aspirations now appear to be fading over the horizon,  His ideals are a setting sun of hopes and dreams.

But before Democrats and Biden supporters and Bernie haters in the tens of millions rejoice and pile on about Sanders’ shortcomings (and they are many), it’s worth just a moment — no, make that TWO MINUTES of your time — to remember exactly who has been there for progressive causes for nearly SIXTY FUCKING YEARS.

Yeah, I’m pissed. I’m pissed because piling on about Bernie Sanders is disgraceful.

Evidence: Watch this clip.

 

Do you think ANY OTHER CANDIDATE would stand up and take on flagrant bigotry like this?

Virtually everyone in political office was a bigot, or a fraud, or a gutless coward 25 to 35 years ago. All of them.  Certainly every Republican, and most Democrats, too. NO ONE defended gays or took on unpopular social causes. Not Biden. Not Clinton. No one.

Except for Bernie Sanders, who has been there in the trenches. Since the early 1960s. While other candidates were fellating so-called “traditional values” and cowering to hate, SANDERS has been on the front lines making enemies. Fighting the fight.

When it comes to certain issues of human rights, let me say this as clearly as I can — fuck your mainstream moderate politics.

Now — do I want Sanders to continue battling for the nomination once it’s apparent he can’t win?

No.

But a little FUCKING RESPECT during this primary process would be nice.

I guaran-damn-tee you there are ZERO clips os Biden or others in the race who stood up for things that weren’t popular 30 years ago. ZERO. NONE. NOTHING.

So, think about that next time you tear Sanders from his flesh on social media for being “too ideological” or “too extreme.”

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Posted by on Mar 3, 2020 in Blog, Essays, Restaurant Reviews | 0 comments

Big B’s Texas Barbecue (Review)

 

 

 

BIG B TEXAS BARBECUE (REVIEW)

Big B Texas Barbecue is located on the far south side of Las Vegas. It’s adjacent to South Hills Medical Center on Fort Apache. It took over the Chef Jose Andres spot (which I loved) after the french bistro closed down last year. It’s also a few doors down from where Khoury’s (Lebanese) used to be before they relocated to Village Square.

Las Vegas is stacked with several average-to-good barbecue joints. Most are serviceable. Barbecue is either hit or miss, with not much in-between, but can be great comfort food. I’ve tried most of them here in town.

Big B appears to be independently run (I did no research on this, so some things might be incorrect). It’s one of those old-fashioned open-air kitchen places with giant slabs of pork and beef, with a standing line where customers order over the counter. Meals are served on wax paper on plastic trays. The whole place smells like smoke. This is probably ideal for the neighborhood and is a quick take out, though plenty of tables are available for dining in.

The barbecue was very good. I’d rate it 8/10. We enjoyed a platter of smoked ribs, pork, and brisket. Platters come with two sides and are priced around $10-15. Quality was a high thumbs up.

Where I think Big B missed the target was entirely a matter of personal taste. I don’t like hoagie rolls and that’s how sandwiches are served. I much prefer a butter crusted shiny bun, lightly toasted. Hoagies are cold, doughy, and are simply too much bread for the barbecue. I don’t like hoagies. But hey, that’s me.

I was also unimpressed with the sauces. Big B offers sweet, mustard, and spicey. I found out the sauces are all homemade, which I appreciate. Unfortunately, none of the three were the right match for my taste. I’m far more inclined towards a Worcestershire flavor with a thick ketchup-like texture. These house sauces didn’t work for me and given how vital moisture is to a mix of mead and bread, this was a strikeout. I stress, my tastes might be different from yours. Others might like Big B’s hoagies and homemade sauces.

The sweet barbecue beans were also annoying, but this too is a matter of personal taste. I don’t like sweet food, certainly not on my barbecue, but others may disagree.

Big B’s was busy during my lunch visit. It appears to be doing well.

Let me add that I hope Big B’s succeeds. A man I presume was the owner came by and was very attentive. He brought us silverware, re-fills, and genuinely enjoyed his role as host. I like “hands-on” ownership and admire people who pay attention to details. I only wish I could give Big B’s a higher recommendation.

Unfortunately, my criticism of this authentic Texas barbecue joint was entirely based on my own tastes and expectations. Others might have different ideas. So, I don’t want to dissuade anyone from trying this place, at least once.

Final grade: This wasn’t suited to my tastes, but you might think otherwise. The quality of meat and hands-on ownership alone is enough to make at least one visit worthwhile.

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Posted by on Mar 2, 2020 in Blog, Essays | 0 comments

A Bridge to the Ugly Past and an Even More Shameful Reminder of the Present

 

pettus bridge

 

I wish I could say I’m amused. But I’m not amused.

I wish I could say I’m shocked. But I’m not shocked.

I wish I could say I’m done writing about ignorance and stupidity in America. But I’m not done writing about ignorance and stupidity in America.

Today marked the 55th anniversary of the Selma civil rights march, which turned into America’s “Bloody Sunday.”

It happened at a bridge named after Edmund W. Pettus — a Confederate general and head of the Alabama Ku Klux Klan. Perhaps we can forgive naming a bridge after this traitorous racist scumbag during the 1920s, a time when Dixie was misty-eyed for the Old Confederacy. Perhaps we can overlook that historical blight and simply do the right thing now by taking a couple of gallons of white paint and slapping a fresh new coat over that dead rebel’s disgraced name.

But we can’t. Look! There it is. The decomposed bigot and favorite son of Alabama — he’s still with us today. Every time someone drives on that bridge and passes under that name, he’s remembered, when he should be buried and long ago forgotten.

It’s 2020 folks — tell me why THIS FUCKING BRIDGE hasn’t been renamed? I did some research that renaming a bridge on a state highway requires approval by Alabama State Legislature. So GET OFF YOUR RACIST ASSES, bigots. Do something.

Yeah, I know. You’re White. You’re nice to Black people. You even have a Black friend or two. There’s no way you’re a racist. Heavens, no.

So, you’re sick of hearing about racism in America? Yeah, me too — I’m sick of hearing about it. I’m sick of writing about it.

As long as we see shit like this, it’s pretty hard to say we’ve made enough progress since that sad day in 1965.

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