Late Night FDL: Heart of The Sunrise

Yes – Heart of the Sunrise

Yes has a new album out, Like It Is — Yes at the Mesa Arts Center…

On July 10, Yes will release Like It Is — Yes at the Mesa Arts Center, a two-CD/DVD collection that was recorded on their most recent U.S. tour. You can watch “Heart of the Sunrise” from that performance above.

The video captures their Aug. 12 stop in Mesa, Ariz. On that tour, Yes performed two of their most successful albums, 1971′s Fragile and 1972′s Close to the Edge, in their entirety. But for some reason the video begins with the later album. You can see the full track listing below.

“That evening in Mesa, Ariz., was a great one,” bassist Chris Squire notes in a press release announcing the DVD. “The audience was fantastic. They loved the music and really made it a very special night for us. And we were in top form. The music sounded great and we could have played all night. Like It Is brings the magic and wonderful music of that evening to fans everywhere, and we’re sure they’ll enjoy listening to it as much as we did performing it.”

This summer, Yes will embark on a five-week co-headlining tour with Toto. Tickets also went on sale yesterday for their third annual Cruise to the Edge, which will run from Nov. 15 – 19 and feature Marillion and Martin Barre of Jethro Tull this year.

I’m on Oahu for my Daughter’s wedding…! What’s on your mind tonite…?

Late Night FDL: Love Is Your Name

Steven Tyler has jumped genres…

Love Is Your Name, the first country single Steven Tyler, begins with the downward strum of an autoharp.

The stringed instrument, rarely heard on country records these days, is often associated with the Carter Family’s Mother Maybelle Carter and her daughter June Carter Cash. For the Aerosmith frontman, though, there’s another association: The Lovin’ Spoonful.

“When I was a kid, I used to go down and see those guys; they had a huge hit with Do You Believe in Magic,” Tyler says. With other songs, most notably Nashville Cats, the ’60s folk-rock group helped young rock fans of that generation think differently about country music.

Tyler, who has signed with Nashville’s Big Machine Label Group to record a country solo album, says he was already into the music. The singer’s lifelong infatuation with country music began when he stole the Everly Brothers singles that belonged to his older sister. Around that same time, he turned a long wire into a radio antenna up an apple tree near his house and began picking up the signal from a country station in Ft. Wayne, Ind. “That’s how I grew up listening to all that stuff,” says the singer, who counts the Everlys, Patsy Cline and Dan Hicks and His Hot Licks among his early country favorites.

The harmony-rich Love Is Your Name doesn’t sound quite like anything else on country radio at the moment, nor does it sound like what Aerosmith fans might expect from the group’s singer. “It’s a little bit between Steven Tyler and Mumford & Sons and the Everly Brothers,” Tyler says…

What’s on your mind tonite…?

Coups, Massacres And Contras: The Legacy Of Washington’s New Point Man In Latin America

Mark Feierstein, former associate administrator for USAID and Washinton’s new point man on Latin America, testifies on Capitol Hill in Washington. Feierstein’s legacy of covert regime change has many Latin American leaders questioning Washington’s intents.

Despite shifts on Cuba and Venezuela, the Obama administration’s appointment of a man who’s been involved in the overthrow of leftist governments since the 1980s, to head the White House’s top agency on Latin American affairs shows little may have really changed.

By Sean Nevins

The Obama administration announced in December that it would immediately re-establish diplomatic relations with Cuba, a policy shift that ended 54 years of isolation. In another move that was diametrically opposed to this policy shift, it then imposed economic sanctions on Venezuela in March.

Mark Weisbrot, co-director of the Center for Economic and Policy Research and president of Just Foreign Policy, argues that Obama realized his administration made a mistake implementing the sanctions, and so attempted to back-pedal by stating: “We do not believe that Venezuela poses a threat to the United States, nor does the United States threaten the Venezuelan government.”

Weisbrot added: “And then he did something that no U.S. president has done since 1999, when Hugo Chávez was president-elect of Venezuela: he met with Venezuela’s head of state. This was arguably as important for hemispheric relations as his meeting with Raúl Castro.”

But with the appointment of Feierstein, Weisbrot told MintPress News that he believes U.S. policy toward Latin America may not have changed at all.

“Feierstein’s been involved in campaigns against left governments since the U.S.-backed war against the Sandinistas in the 1980s,” Weisbrot told MintPress, adding that he can’t understand why nobody has reported on Feierstein’s appointment yet.

Indeed, a quick review of Feierstein’s track record in Latin America reveals that the new senior director for Western Hemisphere Affairs at the National Security Council has played an integral role in facilitating destabilization of South American countries since the 1980s.

Feierstein will replace Ricardo Zúñiga, who negotiated the Cuba deal, along with deputy national security adviser Benjamin J. Rhodes.

Massacre in Bolivia

In 2010, Feierstein was appointed assistant administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean at the U.S. Agency for International Development (USAID). This caused considerable friction between Bolivia and the U.S. because Feierstein acted as a campaign consultant to former Bolivian President Gonzalo Sánchez de Lozada (1993-1997; 2002-2003). Sánchez de Lozada, who is also known as “Goni,” is infamous in Bolivia because 64 people were allegedly killed under his orders for opposing the liberalization of the country’s gas resources during the notorious “Black October” incident. He currently faces charges of genocide in Bolivia, but has fled to the United States.

In 2006, Feierstein expressed no regret to getting Sánchez de Lozada elected. He said: “You know, we are proud of the role that we played in electing Goni.”

Coup in Paraguay

Feierstein was assistant administrator for Latin America and the Caribbean at USAID in 2012, when the country’s opposition legislature executed a coup d’etat against leftist President Fernando Lugo, allegedly for mishandling the violent eviction of peasant farmers in the Curuguaty region. (more…)

Late Night FDL: Save Me Now

Billy Idol – Save Me Now

Vevo released Billy’s Western-Themed ‘Save Me Now’ Video today…

Billy Idol’s redemption anthem “Save Me Now” gets a fitting tribute with a new video from frequent Muse collaborator Thomas Kirk, featuring a priest, a cop, and (of course) Idol himself…

The California desert is the setting for this story. The archetypal characters head for a roadside confession in a stolen cop car, courtesy of Idol’s longtime guitarist Steve Stevens. “I went for a concept which very much took the lyrics of ‘Save Me Now’ and turned them into a surreal story that I felt was as true to the very visual lyrics as possible,” Kirk says of the video. “I loved the image of a bruised cop and a priest trapped inside a car.”

The single, which was co-written by Idol, Twin Shadow, and Greg Kurstin, comes courtesy of Kings & Queens Of The Underground, the British rock legend’s first studio album in almost a decade. He’s currently on the last leg of his world tour to support the album (which was released last fall) with North American dates wrapping June 4, followed by a run of shows in Europe this summer. He’s be back in the U.S. this fall, including stops at Outside Lands and Austin City Limits.

What’s on your mind tonite…?

FBI Spied ‘Beyond Its Authority’ on Keystone XL Opponents

No Tar Sands, Y'all

New investigation reveals agency’s actions amounted to ‘substantial non-compliance’ with its own rules

By Nadia Prupis

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) broke its own internal rules when it spied on Keystone XL opponents in Texas, violating guidelines designed to prevent the agency from becoming overly involved in complex political issues, a new report by the Guardian and Earth Island Journal published Tuesday has revealed.

Internal documents acquired by the outlets through a Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) request show how the FBI failed to get approval for launching investigations into Houston-based protesters, whom the agency labeled “environmental extremists,” and held a bias in favor of the controversial tar sands pipeline—currently awaiting federal approval—extolling its supposed economic benefits in one document which outlined reasons for spying on its opponents.

“Many of these extremists believe the debates over pollution, protection of wildlife, safety, and property rights have been overshadowed by the promise of jobs and cheaper oil prices,” the file states. “The Keystone pipeline, as part of the oil and natural gas industry, is vital to the security and economy of the United States.”

The Guardian reports:

Between November 2012 and June 2014, the documents show, the FBI collated inside knowledge about forthcoming protests, documented the identities of individuals photographing oil-related infrastructure, scrutinised police intelligence and cultivated at least one informant.

….However, the partially redacted documents reveal the investigation into anti-Keystone activists occurred without prior approval of the top lawyer and senior agent in the Houston field office, a stipulation laid down in rules provided by the attorney general.

Additionally, the FBI appeared to have opened its file on the Keystone XL opponents in 2013 following a meeting between officials from the agency and TransCanada, the company building the pipeline.

“For a period of time—possibly as long as eight months—agents acting beyond their authority were monitoring activists aligned with [direct action climate group] Tar Sands Blockade,” the Guardian writes.

Dozens of activists were arrested in Texas in late 2012, although none were accused of violent crime or property damage, according to key Tar Sands Blockade organizer, Ron Seifert.

“Less than a month after TransCanada showed the FBI a PowerPoint claiming that people opposed to [Keystone XL] need to be watched, Houston’s FBI office cuts corners to start an investigation; it’s not surprising but it is revealing of who they really work for,” Seifert told Common Dreams on Monday. “The FBI has been harassing and actively repressing communities of organizers for decades.”

Yet more records show that the FBI associated the Tar Sands Blockade, which organizes peaceful protests, with other “domestic terrorism issues.”

Other documents suggest that the Houston-based investigation was only one of a larger probe, possibly monitoring other anti-Keystone XL activists around the country.

“We’re not surprised,” Seifert continued. “We’re also not deterred. Movements for climate and environmental justice are activating people from diverse political backgrounds to take direct action to defend themselves from threats like [Keystone XL]. People are stepping out of the blind alleys of electoral politics and building grassroots power, and that’s scary for people who want a monopoly on power.”

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Victory for Grassroots as Fast Track Goes Down in Crucial Senate Vote

‘We know the forces pushing the job-killing TPP won’t stop here, and they should know, neither will we,’ says Democracy for America

By Deirdre Fulton

Update (3 pm EDT):

In what was immediately heralded as a victory for the grassroots, Senate Democrats on Tuesday stymied President Barack Obama’s corporate-driven trade agenda by voting to prevent the chamber from taking up Fast Track legislation.

According to news reports, a cloture motion to cut off a filibuster and proceed to debate fell short of the 60 votes necessary to pass(52-45). Sen. Tom Carper, of Delaware, was the only Democrat to vote yes.

Civil society groups lauded Tuesday’s outcome and what it could mean for future trade votes.

“The Fast Track train went off the rails today,” cheered Lori Wallach, director of Public Citizen’s Global Trade Watch division. “The U.S. Senate vote was supposed to generate momentum for Fast Track in the U.S. House of Representatives, where it’s in deep trouble, with almost every House Democrats and a significant bloc of GOP opposing it.”

Still, now is not the time for the grassroots to become complacent, warned Democracy for America executive director Charles Chamberlain in a statement released just after the vote.

“While we celebrate today’s failed Fast Track vote for the job-killing Trans-Pacific Partnership, the hundreds of thousands of grassroots activists who have united behind Senators Warren, Brown and Sanders to defeat the TPP will not rest until it’s dead, buried, and covered with six-inches of concrete,” Chamberlain said. “Today, the army of corporate executives and industry lobbyists who wrote the Trans-Pacific Partnership by and for themselves failed to secure support for the Fast Track legislation they know they need to ram their bad trade deal through Congress.”

However, he added, “We know the forces pushing the job-killing TPP won’t stop here, and they should know, neither will we.”

And Sen. Bernie Sanders (I-Vt.), who has been a vocal opponent of Fast Track and gave a stirring speech on the Senate floor prior to the vote on Tuesday, added: “The Senate vote today was an important first victory in what will be a long battle.”

“Today was a good step forward,” he said, “but much more needs to be done.”

Earlier… (more…)

Late Night FDL: Face on the Bridge

Asia – Face on the Bridge

Asia is releasing their last live concert…

Asia have confirmed the launch of a live set recorded in the US in 2012, before Steve Howe bowed out of the band. And they’ve released a clip in which they perform their track Face On The Bridge.

Axis XXX Live In San Francisco MMXII will be available in DVD/2CD and Blu-ray editions on July 3, after its original broadcast by AXS TV in the States.

Frontman John Wetton says: “It’s a journey through Asia’s history, from Alpha to Omega and more, in the beautiful setting of the Regency Ballroom, San Francisco, California.

“Much newer material is aired, plus the band’s vintage hit songs, performed by all four original members of Asia. It’s an unmissable treat for any fan, new or old.”

Frontiers Music add: “This is a historical document of where the band was at the time – a snapshot of their musicianship, camaraderie and passion.

“This is one of the very last shows featuring the original lineup of Geoff Downes, Steve Howe, Carl Palmer and John Wetton, in your face and for your viewing pleasure.”

Guitarist Howe left Asia two months after Axis XXX was filmed to focus on Yes and solo work. He was replaced by Sam Coulson, who debuted on 14th album Gravitas.

Tonite’s my last nite slinging hash for the next two weeks, with my Daughter’s wedding on Saturday…! What’s on your mind tonite…?

‘Climate Denial, Plain and Simple': Feds Approve Shell’s Arctic Drilling Plan

Budapest Shell gas station in July 2012 to protest the company’s plans to drill

“Not only does it put the Arctic’s pristine landscapes at a huge risk for oil spills and industrial development but it’s utterly incompatible with President Obama’s rhetoric to address the climate crisis.”

By Nadia Prupis

The Obama administration has given conditional approval to Shell to start drilling for oil and gas in the Arctic this summer, dealing a major blow to environmentalists who have sought to protect the vulnerable Beaufort and Chuchki Seas from fossil fuel exploration.

“Arctic drilling is climate denial, plain and simple,” Jamie Henn, co-founder of climate activist organization 350.org, tweeted after the announcement. “Shameful decision by [President Barack Obama] to allow Shell to drill.”

Abigail Ross Hopper, director of the Interior Department’s Bureau of Ocean Energy Management, said in a statement on Monday, “As we move forward, any offshore exploratory activities will continue to be subject to rigorous safety standards.”

However, environmental activists have long warned that there is no way to fully protect against the dangers of offshore drilling, particularly in areas that are hard to reach by emergency vessels. Not only does fossil fuel exploration harm endangered species which rely on the Arctic’s pristine ecosystems to survive, but an accident in those remote waters could be more devastating than the 2010 Gulf of Mexico oil spill which killed 11 workers and poured millions of barrels of oil into the Atlantic Ocean, activists say.

Furthermore, green groups point out that the only way to avoid climate catastrophe is to leave untapped reserves of coal, oil, and natural gas unexploited.

Calling Shell’s drilling scheme “the largest, loudest and dirtiest exploration plan ever proposed in the American Arctic Ocean,” Friends of the Earth said the Interior Department’s approval “is unconscionable given that the latest science says Arctic oil must be kept in the ground in order to have a chance at keeping the planet safe.”

The White House first granted drilling approval to Shell in the summer of 2012, but that project was derailed by numerous safety and operational problems. According to the New York Times, the Interior Department’s new approval (pdf) of the plan “was conditional on Shell’s receiving approval of a series of remaining drilling permits for the project.”

That was of little comfort to environmental groups which say that the oil giant has not demonstrated it can drill safely in the ecologically delicate region.

“Once again, our government has rushed to approve risky and ill-conceived exploration in one of the most remote and important places on Earth,” Susan Murray, a vice president of Oceana, told the Times. “Shell’s need to validate its poorly planned investment in the U.S. Arctic Ocean is not a good reason for the government to allow the company to put our ocean resources at risk. Shell has not shown that it is prepared to operate responsibly in the Arctic Ocean, and neither the company nor our government has been willing to fully and fairly evaluate the risks of Shell’s proposal.”

Henn later tweeted, “Giving Shell ‘conditional’ permission to drill in the Arctic is like giving a drunk keys to your car and asking them to please drive safe.”

“It’s deeply troubling to see the Obama administration give the oil industry the green light to drill in the Arctic,” Rebecca Noblin, Alaska director at the Center for Biological Diversity, said in a statement on Monday. “Not only does it put the Arctic’s pristine landscapes at a huge risk for oil spills and industrial development but it’s utterly incompatible with President Obama’s rhetoric to address the climate crisis.”

Noblin continued:

The Interior Department bent over backward to rush Shell’s permit through the regulatory process so it could move its drillships into the Arctic this summer. Considering Shell ran its drillship aground in Alaska in 2012, it’s hard to fathom how the federal government can rationalize rubber-stamping Shell’s second try at Arctic drilling.

Arctic drilling is a step in the exact wrong direction. Scientists tell us that if we want to avoid the worst effects of climate change, we need to keep Arctic oil in the ground. Arctic drilling gives us a 75 percent chance of an oil spill and a 100 percent chance of climate catastrophe. Interior should send Shell packing.

Erik Grafe, a staff attorney with environmental legal nonprofit Earthjustice, added, “This decision places big oil before people, putting the Arctic’s iconic wildlife and the health of our planet on the line. The agency should not be approving such threatening plans based on a rushed and incomplete environmental and safety review. Ultimately, Arctic Ocean drilling is far too risky and undermines the administration’s efforts to address climate change and transition to a clean energy future. These fossil fuels need to remain in the ground.”

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Late Night FDL: Never Gave Nobody Trouble

Leonard Cohen – Never Gave Nobody Trouble

Leonard Cohen has a new live album due out soon…

Leonard Cohen is to release a live album recorded during his Old Ideas world tour later this month, it’s been confirmed.

Can’t Forget: A Souvenir Of The Grand Tour will launch on May 15 via Sony Music Entertainment.

The 10-track album contains a selection of rare songs recorded during his 470 shows between 2008-2013 and is his first release since last year’s Popular Problems.

The live set is described as having “the immediacy, spontaneity, and thrilling intimacy of the best studio recordings made in the white heat of live performance and Cohen’s legendary sound checks.”

Happy Mother’s Day…! What’s on your mind tonite…?

Echoes of the Original Mother’s Day Proclamation at Home and Abroad

By Frida Berrigan

“From the bosom of the devastated earth a voice goes up with our own. It says ‘Disarm, Disarm! The sword of murder is not the balance of justice.’”

Julia Ward Howe wrote these words 145 years ago, just after the end of the U.S. Civil War. Her proclamation calling for mothers of all nations to come together to settle wars has morphed into the flower and greeting card fest that we will celebrate this weekend.

Let us honor our mothers (and Julia Ward Howe) by listening to the voices of mothers from some of the world’s 28 active war zones. Women are still calling for an end to bloodshed in every corner of the globe.

The war in the Central African Republic pits brother against brother, Christian against Muslim. Madame Kamouss raised her sons in Saidou, a poor community of cinderblock homes, and found herself mediating between her two sons, who had chosen different sides in the conflict. She hid one and reminded the other of how he had been raised to respect people of all faiths. “Do you want to hurt your brother?” she asked, before her other son came out of hiding. They reunited warily, but did not fight any longer, as a long article in Slate magazine last August reported.

Over 100,000 people died in a decades-long war in the Philippines before negotiations ended the conflict in 2013. The work of repairing, healing and restoring goes on even as violence continues to mar the peace. Froilyn Mendoza grew up in a small Mindanao village as a member of the Teduray tribe. Her parents pushed for her to be educated, even though many women from her tribal group remained illiterate. The Teduray nominated Mendoza to represent indigenous voices in peace negotiations between the Filipino government and the Moro Islamic Liberation Front and she became part of the Transition Committee.

“When I hear my children praying that my meetings will end soon, I explain to them that I am serving our people,” she said. “We’ve had 40 years of war, we’ve not developed because we’ve always been confronted with the conflict. I now want my children to live without fear.”

Shereen named her youngest daughter Ayenda, which means future. She and her two daughters live in a refugee camp in Kawergosk, Iraqi Kurdistan. They fled Syria in the early days of the violence, which has now killed upwards of 300,000 people. More than 2 million children are displaced like Ayenda and her sister Yasmine. Their mother’s wish and plea for the future is simply peace and to go home. Resistance continues inside Syria too, and women are at the forefront of trying to resist the regime through nonviolent means.

It is not just in far flung war zones, however, that mothers are calling for peace and justice. In our own cities and towns, grieving women demand that violence and bloodshed cease. For Gloria Darden, the pain is almost too much for words. “I got a hole in my heart,” the mother of Freddie Gray tells NBC News. Gray died on April 19, after being beaten and brutalized by Baltimore police officers on April 12. The six officers involved in death have been criminally charged, but this is just the beginning of the change that is needed.

Gwen Carr is the mother of Eric Garner, the Staten Island man who was choked to death by police officers in July 2014. The man responsible for her son’s death, Daniel Pantaleo, has not been held accountable. Carr spoke to the thousands who took to the streets to protest her son’s death, calling on them to “keep on doing it, but do it in peace.”

Valerie Bell is asking us for more. Her son, Sean Bell, was killed by New York City police officers on the eve of his wedding in 2006. She weeps with Mrs. Darden and Mrs. Carr and so many — too many — more mothers. She says no more. As the founder Mothers of Never Again, Bell is helping to organize a demonstration at the U.S. Department of Justice on Saturday, May 9, demanding justice and racial equality in the names of their slain children.

“This Mother’s Day,” Bell pleaded, “let’s come together to demand an end to this cycle of violence, this society of institutionalized racism and police militarization. We are healers, teachers, caretakers, givers of life, and so much more. Mothers are powerful; if we come together, we can be unstoppable.”

You can hear the echoes of Julia Ward Howe in her words. So, in the spirit of the original Mother’s Day Proclamation, and on behalf of our mothers, in the names of the victims of war, let us join Valerie Bell and so many others in working for true and lasting peace, which is built on justice.

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Frida Berrigan, a columnist for WagingNonviolence.org, serves on the board of the War Resisters League and organizes with Witness Against Torture.