SEPTEMBER HAPPENINGS

by David "Cat" Cohen
Published: 2014-10-18
Greetings!  I hope you all had a productive and enjoyable summer.  I’m resuming this communication after taking a couple of months off.  I spent part of the summer being a beach bum to get out of the desert heat and part of it immersed in a creative project (see below).

 

Here are this month’s weather news, entertainment listings, pop music buzz, chicken soup recipe, restaurant review, and alumni and colleague music industry postings.  Feel free to forward this newsletter to anyone you think may enjoy it.

 

Summer heat and humidity has been a tiresome guest that came early and doesn’t seem to want to leave early

High temperatures arrived in late May and haven’t abated since.  The only relief we’ve gotten in this long, hot summer has been the arrival of monsoon conditions when the cloud cover pushed the temps down but replaced it with oppressive moisture, hence no relief.  It used to be that monsoon weather was a two or three week phenomenon here in the desert.  This year, it felt more like Florida than California most of the time.  Even now as September turns into fall, remnants of Mexican hurricanes and high dew points keep this sticky situation lingering much longer than usual.  Often monsoons bring much needed rain.  However, thunderstorms are a hit and miss event when it comes to delivering rainfall.  In my area, one neighborhood gets a deluge while most others nearby hardly receive a drop.  Despite countless appearances of huge dark clouds accompanied by dramatic lightning and thunder, the dry creek in the rear of my property turned into a wet one only once the whole summer.

 

The drought and unusual weather this year produced no fruit on my peach, plum, apricot, nectarine, and cherry trees.  However, the pomegranate, Granny Smith apple, and apple pears did bear some harvest, though not as much as last year.  My eucalyptus and desert pine trees needed to send their roots deeper and several made it to the water table below, so they’ve shot up like gangbusters, half a dozen flowering eucalypti attracting lots of bees.  Also the profusion of blooms from annuals such as petunias in my windowsill flowerpots have summoned lots of hummingbirds.  Because I have my own well, I am able to provide my plants with plenty of water.  Thankfully, my little desert rancho over time is becoming an increasingly green oasis.

 

Here are some happenings in my desert turf, a few personal projects, and several from the folks in my ever-expanding creative community of fellow musicians, songwriters, and authors.

 

Coachella Valley Entertainment

Agua Caliente - 

Peter Frampton – September 19th

Beach Boys – Oct 3rd

Creedence Clearwater Revisited– Oct 17th

 

Fantasy Springs

Diana Ross – Sept 20th

Cheech & Chong/War – October 24th

Reba McEntire – Nov 1st

 

McCallum Theatre

Lee Brice – Oct 20th

Ray LaMontagne – Oct 21st

Cheyenne Jackson – Nov 1st

 

Morongo Casino

Englebert Humperdinck - Sept 19th

Los Lobos – Nov 7th

 

Spotlight 29 Casino

Englebert Humperdinck - Oct 11th

Stevie Nicks – Nov 1st

 

Pop Song Spotlight – “Rude” by Magic!

This summer’s top hit was a refreshingly original song, “Rude” by the Canadian reggae-pop band Magic!  The lyric is a poignant story of a young man whose romantic intentions are denied by his girlfriend’s father and he resolves to marry her anyway.  This is set to a lively tuneful melody that is well structured with several sections.  In contrast to many of today’s recordings that are monotonously looped and flatlined, this one has highs and lows with varied phrasing that gives it staying power.  The reggae groove is very infectious.  Aimed at a sophisticated young adult audience, “Rude” really hits the mark.  I’ll soon post a full review in the Anatomy Of A Hit section on my website at www.catcohen.com.  You can listen to it at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PIh2xe4jnpk.

 

I’ll Be Teaching and Mentoring Songwriters At This Year’s TAXI ROAD RALLY Once Again

I’ve been asked to return to the Road Rally this year and I’m once again doing some 1-to-1 and group mentoring to up and coming songwriters.  Because of my jazz, R&B, and musical theater background, I usually get writers in these genres to counsel.  In addition, I’m also teaching a “Driver’s Ed” class Defining Your Songwriting Genre/Marketing Your Brand.  This will take place at the Westin Hotel near LAX at 6300 Century Blvd on Friday through Sunday Nov 7-9.  The Road Rally is attended by several hundred songwriters and music creators from all across the US and around the world, and I always enjoy helping and fraternizing with many of them.

 

My “One Man Orchestra” Continues to Play Shows At Hi-Desert Continuing Care Center and Santa Fe Assisted Living

 

I play regularly at Joshua Tree’s Hi-Desert Continuing Care Center and will be there again on Monday September 29th at 2 pm.  I ran into some nurses who work there while attending a local Buddhist temple.  They told me how many patients who usually wear a perpetual frown break out in smiles when they are listening to and singing along with my performances.  I seem to have a loyal following of well over a dozen regular residents at this nurturing rehab center plus many who are there short-term.

 

In addition, I gave another well-attended performance for the residents of Santa Fe Assisted Living in Yucca Valley on August 25th.  A follow-up is scheduled on September 22nd.  A “Sing-Along With Cat” segment has become a regular part of my show.   Because many of these residents are memory impaired, I give them a quiz in the spirit of “Name That Tune’ and also ask them who recorded the song and what movie it was featured in.  This has helped make my appearances here a welcome experience for them.

.

I’ve participated in the Speakers’ Bureau of the Palm Springs Writers Guild

During the hot summer months, most of the Guild’s activities are put on hold.  However, I did attend a couple of meeting of the Speakers’ Bureau and in a small way helped them to get off the ground.  A dozen or so of us will soon be representing the Guild speaking to organizations and groups in various locales in the area.

 

Finishing touches continue on my novel THE LONGER ROAD HOME as well as major rewrites my musical, OH SHIT I’M GOING TO LIVE!

 

My novel, THE LONGER ROAD HOME, is the story of Sam Freberg, a gay, bohemian, Jewish musician and recovering addict whose black female mentor launches him on a decades long quest of self-discovery in 1960s Los Angeles. Attempting to turn around a life filled with dysfunctional sex, drugs, and gambling, he gains personal insights through therapy, support groups, and spiritual study.  It will be soon released as a self-published book (also in an e-book version).

 

I’m also been updating and revising OH SHIT, I’M GOING TO LIVE!, an edgy, dark, outrageously funny musical comedy that I wrote over 15 years ago.  I’ve gotten encouraging feedback from several theater people and am now woodshedding the show with a musical theatre professional friend of mine with an eye towards a local production here in the desert.  Having written several musicals in the past that were produced and presented to various audiences in the past, I am well aware that this type of project is one that takes months if not years of concerted effort and collaboration, so I am gearing myself up for a long haul.  I’ll keep you posted.

 

Here’s another recipe from my book Chicken Soups From Around The World

My international cookbook of chicken soup recipes covers cuisines of 13 states and 39 countries and is sold in many bookstores.  It is available at amazon.com http://www.amazon.com/Chicken-Soups-From-Around-World/dp/1615847693 or directly from me.  This month’s recipe is one of my favorites, the national dish of Portugal.  It is a hearty soup that combines nutritious kale with savory linguica and rib-sticking beans.  As the brisk days of fall approach, it is a welcome warming dish.

 

CALDO VERDE WITH KALE, LINGUICA & WHITE BEANS (Portugal) [v]

Many consider this hearty soup to be the national dish of Portugal.  It is not difficult to make, yet impressive enough to serve guests.  A glass of Portuguese rose would only embellish this great dish.

Ingredients

1 oz olive oil

2 linguica sausages, sliced

1 onion, chopped

3 cloves garlic, diced

3 cans broth

4 large potatoes, sliced

1 can navy or cannellini beans

1 lb kale, coarse stems and veins removed, chopped thinly.

Salt & pepper

Directions

In a large soup pan, saute the sausages, onion and garlic in olive oil about 5 minutes.  Add the broth and potatoes, bring to boil, then cover and simmer for 15 additional minutes.  Put the canned beans and chopped kale into the soup pot and cook 5-10 minutes more.

Prep Time             15 minutes

Cooking Time      30 minutes

Portions                2 main courses or 4 first courses

Taste Meter          4 - Worth repeating

Health Meter      2 - Fairly healthy

Calorie Meter      2 - Moderate

Budget Meter                  2 -  Moderately cheap

Ease Meter            - Fairly easy to make

Exotic Meter        2 - Right down the middle of different

 

 

Restaurant Spotlight Rasbhog(Indian)

As a restaurant reviewer in a past life, my first book co-authored with Avry Budka back in the 80s was DIVING OUT IN LA, a guide to the best cheap eats in Greater LA.  It sold over 5,000 copies and was favorably reviewed in several local publications.  I still regularly review eateries for Trip Advisor and Yelp.

.

Rasbhog an Indian vegetarian buffet restaurant at 18511 Pioneer Blvd in the Little India district in Artesia (near Cerritos and Long Beach) is quite an adventure.  At $7.49 for either lunch or dinner, it is also a real value.  After pre-paying, one can help oneself to a wide array of vegetarian dishes, some vegan, some not, most in a Punjabi street vendor style.  Every time I’ve visited, there were different combinations of dishes in the twenty or so bins, some very spicy, some less so.  I especially liked the saag (spinach), paneer (cheese), the cauliflower, and garbanzo offerings.  These veggie dishes are so tasty, I don’t miss having any meat.  Naan and rice are offered as accompaniments as well as a full salad bar with several chutneys.  A couple of sweet items make a welcome dessert.  Service is minimal and I’ve heard that the cooked to order food can be slow.  However, the buffet is my kind of immediate gratification.  For an exotic informal budgetary meal, this place gets two thumbs up (4 out of 5 stars).

 

I’m still consulting for songwriting clients in person in LA and over the phone 

Contact me at 818-645-4078 or 760-363-3371.  I commute to LA every other week to meet with clients, usually on Wednesdays and Thursdays.  But if we can telecommute on this, I offer discounts since I don’t have travel time or gas expenses to deal with.  

 

CAT COHEN ALUMNI & COLLEAGUE BULLETIN BOARD

 

Jan Linder-Koda is offering an ACTING FOR SINGERS – PERFORMANCE WORKSHOP for teens on 4 Saturday afternoons from Oct 11 to November 1st. 2-4pm at her Angel Diva Music Studio.  For more info contact her at [email protected].

 

Yasmine Vine will be performing Friday night 9/26 at 7:30 pm at an Elixir The Show!! at the Federal Bar in North Hollywood!! There will be burlesque, pole dancers, comedy, live music and of course, Ms. Vine, herself.

Jorgen Ingmar Alof invites all to L.A.vation-The World's Greatest Tribute to U2's event:

L.A.vation at The Jam @ LP in Orange, California

Friday, October 3 at 7:30pm at La Purisima Church

 

Buster Baker of Rose And Buster’s Wine Bar in Yucca Valley is hosting a party Saturday night September 20th to celebrate the return from a trip to Indonesia of Art Fx entrepreneur Carlos Fuentes aka “ The Mayor of Old Town Yucca Valley.”  This event will take place 55834 Twenty Nine Palms Highway from 6 to 9pm and all drinks will be 10% off.

 

Joy Weiser is launching a Kickstarter campaign to help raise funds for her Debut Album.? Take a minute to visit the link, watch her video, and make a donation if you would like to support her project. Those who donate will receive updates on the progress on the CD.  She’ll also share video of the rehearsals and recording process??https://www.kickstarter.com/projects/1753592266/1077480158?token

 

Anne Parenti is hosting a Thred Series of Jazz Concerts on Sundays at 2;30 at Historical Fifth Street School in Las Vegas, NV.  The next one features the John Abraham-Steven Lee Project on September 21st.

 

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Keep sending me emails with your events and accomplishments and I’ll try to post them in future newsletters.  Keep making this a joyous, creative, and fulfilling 2014!

 

Ciao and meow for now,

 

[David] Cat Cohen (& Stella)

 


 

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