Roots Report: Hair on Fire: Music and comedy help to douse the flames

Okee dokee folks… Thank you to the folks who voted last Tuesday. Fortunately some things hopefully will change a bit come January. To decompress after the election, I went to see Lewis Black at PPAC. He had a solution for folks who get worked up about politics and the constant stupidity of the orange idiot and his minions. He said that instead of turning the news on when you wake up, you should turn the burner of your stove on and lay your head on it. When your head catches fire, dump some water on it to put it out. It will irritate you but at least you will have enough control to pour the water on your head and put out the fire instead of having virtually no control over the news. But I think that we should get worked up and continue to try to do something about it. Voting was just part of it. The Cheeto in Chief has thin skin, and a constant barrage of retaliation directed at him from any source will hopefully get under his epidermis and burrow deep enough to cause him to snap and the the 25th amendment may be able to be invoked. I say ramp up the rhetoric leveled at Drumpf!

Black’s opening comedian, John Bowman, picked up his ukulele and sang part of a song he wrote about the dotard. Protest songs had a hand in changing things in the ’60s and now, more than ever, we need this kind of music. It bonds people together against something and we need to be united in our commitment to flush the festering turd from the White House in 2020 if not before. Maybe it’s time for a compilation album of anti-tRump songs? (hint, hint, hint) Read on…

In December of last year, Pat DiNizio, lead singer, guitarist and songwriter of the band The Smithereens, died at age 62. The Smithereens have had hits with songs such as, “Blood and Roses,” “Only a Memory” and “A Girl Like You.” DiNizio’s untimely passing was not only an emotional blow to the band, but it put their future in jeopardy. In January of this year, they turned an already scheduled show into a tribute to DiNizio. At that concert, several guest vocalists/musicians joined the band and among them was Marshall Crenshaw. He is known for his hits “Someday, Someway” and “Whenever You’re On My Mind.” Crenshaw will fill the vacant vocalist spot along with the surviving members of The Smithereens, Dennis Diken, Jim Babjak and Mike Masaros, when they come to the Greenwich Odeum on Sunday, November 17. I spoke with drummer Dennis Diken about what has been going on with the band. You can read that interview at motifri.com/dennisdiken. Also at the Odeum is Vanilla Fudge, Tony Funches, Darlene Love, Dark Desert Eagles, Edwin McCain and more. For more about the Smithereens and other shows, “Gotti” over to GreenwichOdeum.com

When people think of Fleetwood Mac they generally think about Stevie Nicks. Yes, I used to be infatuated by the gypsy queen, but time fades crushes and you realize where the true talent is. Lindsey Buckingham is the true genius of Fleetwood Mac. Listen to the Buckingham Nicks album that was the impetus for them to join Mick, John and Christine to form the legendary line-up. Well, The Mac will be in Boston some time next year and without Buckingham. They have replaced him with two very talented musicians, Neil Finn and Mike Campbell, but they could try anyone and without Buckingham it will not be the same. Fortunately, Lindsey Buckingham is not forgetting his fans and will be out on tour to show folks who has the real FM talent. He will be hitting the Garde Arts Center in New London, Connecticut, on Thursday, November 29. It’s an easy drive and a beautiful theater — don’t be lame, Rhode Islanders! For more, “Holiday Road” to GardeArts.org

I am a big fan of stand-up comedy, but I am very particular about what I like. One comedian I have always liked is Paula Poundstone. She will be taking the stage at the Narrows Center for the Arts on Sunday, November 25. Last week I spoke to Poundstone about her life and comedy, and you can read the full interview at motifri.com/paulapoundstone. Also coming up at the Narrows are Southside Johnny, Crash Test Dummies, Coco Montoya and many others. For more, Search for Human Happiness at NarrowsCenter.org

The Empire Revue at AS220 presents their December installment on Sunday, December 2, at 8pm. This time around it will be the Toy Show. If you have never been to Empire Revue you are missing one of the best shows anywhere. Keith Munslow and the Sparkling Beatniks put together something new and hysterical every time. Get there and laugh! For more, Toy Story to AS220.org

On a sad note, The Providence Folk Festival and the Downtown Sundown Series are now homeless and without funding, and their future is very uncertain. After a 9-year run at Roger Williams National Memorial, The National Park Service has decided to “move in a different direction” for next year’s programming. The event producer, Hear In Rhode Island, is now considering new locations from Providence to Portsmouth. The Sundown Series will more than likely be retired as finding homes and sponsorship for two events is extremely difficult. If anyone out there has ideas for locations and financing, Hear In Rhode Island would love to hear from you. For more, cock-a-doodle-doo over to HearInRhodeIsland.com

That’s it for now.  Thanks for reading. JohnFuzek.com

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