Posted in Events

New Year’s Eve

In the Gregorian calendar, New Year’s Eve takes place annually on 31 December which is the seventh day of the Christmas season and is the last day of the year. In many countries, New Year’s Eve is celebrated at evening social gatherings, where many people dance, eat, drink alcoholic beverages, and watch or light fireworks to mark the new year. Some Christians attend a watchnight service. The celebrations generally go on past midnight into New Year’s Day, 1 January. Samoa, Tonga and Kiritimati (Christmas Island), part of Kiribati, are the first places to welcome the New Year while American Samoa and Baker Island in the United States of America are among the last.

In the United States, New Year’s Eve is celebrated with formal parties, family-oriented activities, and other large public events. The most prominent celebration in the country is the “ball drop” held in New York City’s Times Square. Inspired by the time balls that were formerly used as a time signal, at 11:59 p.m. ET, an 11,875-pound (5,386 kg), 12-foot (3.7 m) diameter Waterford crystal ball located on the roof of One Times Square is lowered down a pole that is 70 feet high, reaching the roof of the building sixty seconds later to signal the start of the New Year. The event has been held since 1907, and has seen an average attendance of 90,000 yearly. The popularity of the spectacle has inspired similar events outside of New York City, which often use objects that represent a region’s culture, geography, or history—such as Atlanta’s “Peach Drop”, representing Georgia’s identity as the “Peach State”, and Brasstown, North Carolina’s controversial lowering of a live opossum in a glass enclosure.

Radio and television broadcasts of festivities from New York City helped to ingrain them in American pop culture; beginning on the radio in 1928, and on CBS television from 1956 to 1976 with ball drop coverage, Guy Lombardo and his band, The Royal Canadians, presented an annual New Year’s Eve broadcast from the ballroom of New York’s Waldorf-Astoria Hotel. The specials were best known for the Royal Canadians’ signature performance of “Auld Lang Syne” at midnight, which made the standard synonymous with the holiday. Following Lombardo’s death in 1977, the competing program New Year’s Rockin’ Eve (which premiered for 1973 on NBC before moving to its current home, ABC, for 1975), succeeded the Royal Canadians as the dominant New Year’s Eve special on U.S. television. Its creator and host, Dick Clark, intended the program to be a modern and youthful alternative to Lombardo’s big band music. Including ABC’s special coverage of the year 2000, Clark would host New Year’s Eve coverage on ABC for 33 straight years.Sadly Dick Clark Suffered a stroke in December 2004 so Regis Philbin guest hosted for 2005. Clark retired as full-time host of the special for the 2006 edition, and was succeeded by Ryan Seacrest. Clark continued to make limited appearances on the special until his death in 2012.

Other notable celebrations include those on the Las Vegas Strip, where streets are closed to vehicle traffic on the evening of New Year’s Eve, and a fireworks show is held at midnight which spans across multiple buildings on the Strip. Los Angeles, a city long without a major public New Year celebration, held an inaugural gathering in Downtown’s newly completed Grand Park to celebrate the beginning of 2014. The event included food trucks, art installations, and culminating with a projection mapping show on the side of Los Angeles City Hall near midnight. The inaugural event drew over 25,000 spectators and participants. For 2016, Chicago introduced an event known as Chi-Town Rising. Alongside the festivities in Times Square, New York’s Central Park hosts a “Midnight Run” event organized by the New York Road Runners, which culminates in a fireworks show and a race around the park that begins at midnight. Major theme parks may also hold New Year’s celebrations; Disney theme parks, such as Walt Disney World Resort in Florida and Disneyland in Anaheim, California, are traditionally the busiest during the days up to and including New Year’s Eve.

In the Roman Catholic Church, 1 January is a solemnity honoring the Blessed Virgin Mary, the Mother of Jesus; it is a Holy Day of Obligation in most countries (Australia being a notable exception), thus the Church requires the attendance of all Catholics in such countries for Mass that day. However a vigil Mass may be held on the evening before a Holy Day; thus it has become customary to celebrate Mass on the evening of New Year’s Eve. (New Year’s Eve is a feast day honoring Pope Sylvester I in the Roman Catholic calendar, but it is not widely recognized in the United States.)

Many Christian congregations have New Year’s Eve watchnight services. Some, especially Lutherans and Methodists and those in the African American community, have a tradition known as “Watch Night”, in which the faithful congregate in services continuing past midnight, giving thanks for the blessings of the outgoing year and praying for divine favor during the upcoming year. In the English-speaking world, Watch Night can be traced back to John Wesley, the founder of Methodism,who learned the custom from the Moravian Brethren who came to England in the 1730s. Moravian congregations still observe the Watch Night service on New Year’s Eve. Watch Night took on special significance to African Americans on New Year’s Eve 1862, as slaves anticipated the arrival of 1 January 1863, when Lincoln had announced he would sign the Emancipation Proclamation.

The most prominent New Year’s celebration in England is that of Central London, where the arrival of midnight is greeted with the chimes of Big Ben. In recent years, a major fireworks display has also been held, with fireworks launched from the nearby London Eye ferris wheel. On New Year’s Eve 2010, an estimated 250,000 people gathered to view an eight-minute fireworks display around and above the London Eye which was, for the first time, set to a musical soundtrack. The celebrations in London continued into 1 January, with the New Year’s Day Parade, held annually since 1987. The 2011 parade involved more than 10,000 musicians, cheerleaders and performers. Other major New Year events are held in the cities of Birmingham, Manchester, Liverpool, Leeds, and Newcastle.

In Scotland, New Year’s is celebrated as Hogmanay. This involves several different customs, such as First-Footing, which involves friends or family members going to each other’s houses with a gift of whisky and sometimes a lump of coal. Edinburgh, the Scottish capital, hosts one of the world’s most famous New Year celebrations. The celebration is focused on a major street party along Princes Street. The cannon is fired at Edinburgh Castle at the stroke of midnight, followed by a large fireworks display. Edinburgh hosts a festival of four or five days, beginning on 28 December, and lasting until New Year’s Day or 2 January, which is also a bank holiday in Scotland. Other cities across Scotland, such as Aberdeen, Glasgow and Stirling have large organised celebrations too, including fireworks at midnight. BBC Scotland broadcast the celebrations in Edinburgh to a Scottish audience, with the celebrations also screened across the world. STV covers both worldwide New Year celebrations, and details of events happening around Scotland.

In Wales on New Years day (Calennig) The Welsh have a tradition of giving gifts and money on New Year’s Day (Welsh: Calennig) is an ancient custom that survives in modern-day Wales, though nowadays it is now customary to give bread and chees. A Mari Lwyd is also Traditionally carried from door to door during Calennig in Wales in Cardiff Thousands of people descend to enjoy live music, catering, ice-skating, funfairs and fireworks. With Many of the celebrations taking place at Cardiff Castle and Cardiff City Hall. The Nos Galan road race (Rasys Nos Galan), a 5-kilometre (3.1 mi) running race, is also held in Mountain Ash in the Cynon Valley, Rhondda Cynon Taf, South Wales. The race celebrates the life and achievements of Welsh runner Guto Nyth Brân. Founded in 1958 by local runner Bernard Baldwin, it is run over the 5 kilometre route of Guto’s first competitive race. The main race starts with a church service at Llanwynno, and then a wreath is laid on Guto’s grave in Llanwynno graveyard. After lighting a torch, it is carried to the nearby town of Mountain Ash, where the main race takes place. The race consists of a double circuit of the town centre, starting in Henry Street and ending in Oxford Street, by the statue of Guto. Traditionally, the race was timed to end at midnight, but in recent times it was rescheduled for the convenience of family entertainment, now concluding at around 9pm. Over the years This has grown, and the proceedings now start with an afternoon of street entertainment, and fun run races for children, concluding with the church service, elite runners’ race and presentations.

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Saint Sylvesters Day

Saint Sylvester’s Day, also known as Silvester (also spelled Sylvester, Szilveszter, or Sylwester) or the Feast of Saint Sylvester, is celebrated annually on December 31. It is the day of the feast of Pope Sylvester I, a Roman Christian who served as Pope of the Western Church from 314 until his death in 335 and oversaw both the First Council of Nicaea and Roman Emperor Constantine I’s conversion to Christianity. Among the Western Christian Churches, the feast day is held on the anniversary of Saint Sylvester’s death, 31 December, a date that, since the adoption of the Gregorian calendar, has coincided with New Year’s Eve. For these Christian denominations, Saint Sylvester’s Day liturgically marks the seventh day of Christmastide. Eastern Orthodox Churches celebrate Sylvester’s feast on a different day that the Western Churches, 2 January. Saint Sylvester’s Day celebrations are marked by church attendance at Midnight Mass or a Watchnight service, as well as fireworks, partying, and feasting.

Pope Sylvester witnessed the divisions between Christians caused by the rise of Arianism, a doctrine concerning the nature of Christ, so he sent two representatives to the Council of Nicea. Convened by Emperor Constantine, the Council debated and rejected Arianism.  Under the reign of Pope Sylvester I, several of the magnificent Christian churches were also built, including Basilica of Saint John Lateran, Santa Croce Church, and Saint Peter’s Basilica, among others. During the papacy of Saint Sylvester, the Nicene Creed, which is recited by communicants of the vast majority of the world’s Christian denominations, was formulated. Saint Sylvester is said to have healed, in the name of Christ, the emperor Constantine the Great of leprosy. After dying, Saint Sylvester was buried on December 31 in the Catacomb of Priscilla.

Saint Sylvester’s  day was established on 31 December 1227 by Pope Gregory IX for symbolic reasons for, Just as December 31 ushers in a new year, so, too, did the conversion of the emperor Constantine usher in a new epoch in the history of Christianity.

Many European Countries celebrate St. Sylvester’s Day Including Austria, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Croatia, Czech Republic, France, Germany, Hungary, Israel, Italy, Liechtenstein, Luxembourg, Poland, Slovakia, Switzerland, and Slovenia. In Kraków, Poland they celebrate Saint Sylvester’s Day with a fireworks display, while in Vienna the capital of Austria, people walk pigs on leashes for their Saint Sylvester’s Day celebration in hope to have good luck for the coming year. Many Christian households in Germany mark the Saint Sylvester’s Day by practicing the custom of Bleigiessen using Silvesterblei (Silvester lead), in which Silvesterblei is melted over a flame in an old spoon and dropped into a bowl of cold water; one’s fortune for the coming year is determined by the shape of the lead. If the lead forms a ball (der Ball), luck will roll one’s way, while the shape of an anchor (der Anker) means help in need, and a star (der Sterne) signifies happiness

Christians of Belgium have a tradition that a maiden who does not finish her work by the time of sunset on Saint Silvester’s Day will not get married during the coming year. Elsewhere In Brazil they celebrate St.Sylvester’s day with exploding fireworks, and the Saint Silvester Road Race also takes place, this is Brazil’s most oldest and prestigious running event, and is dedicated to Pope Sylvester. In Israel, there is a belief among some that conflates the Soviet tradition of Novy God with this feast day, contributing to the belief that it is a celebration of an anti-Semitic pope who convinced Constantine to prohibit Jews from living in Jerusalem and promoted anti-Semitic legislation. A possible source of this belief is the fact that the feast day was known by many immigrants from Europe who came to the country around the time it became a Jewish state. In Italy lentils and slices of sausage are eaten On Saint Sylvester’s Day, because they look like coins and symbolize good fortune and the richness of life for the coming year. In Switzerland during the morning of Saint Sylvester’s Day, the children of a Christian family compete with one another to see who can wake up the earliest; the child who arises the latest is playfully jeered. Men have, for centuries, masqueraded as Silvesterklaus on Saint Sylvester’s Day.


Events Holidays and happenings occurring on 31 December

Banished Words List Day
Make Up Your Mind Day
National Champagne Day

Posted in music

Donna Summer

The late great Queen of Disco Donna Summer was born LaDonna Adrian Gaines on 31st December 1948 in Boston, Massachusetts. Summer’s performance debut occurred at church when she was ten years old after being invited to perform by the local pastor. Summer attended Boston’s Jeremiah E. Burke High School where she performed in school musicals and was considered popular. She was also something of a troublemaker, skipping home to attend parties, circumventing her parents’ strict curfew. In 1967, just weeks before graduation, Summer left for New York where she was a member of the blues rock band Crow.

Summer auditioned for a role in the musical, Hair. When Melba Moore was cast in the part, Summer agreed to take the role in the Munich production of the show. She moved to Munich, Germany after getting her parents’ reluctant approval. She achieved fame after signing as a solo artist to the pioneering disco label, Casablanca, in 1975 and her soaring voice and effervescent stage presence helped to propel her first single “Love to Love You Baby” to No 4 in the UK charts and ignited the disco craze of the 1970s, which was defined by sex, drugs and extravagant clothes. She participated in the musicals Ich bin ich (the German version of The Me Nobody Knows), Godspell and Show Boat and moved to Vienna. In 1968, Summer released her first single, a German version of the title “Aquarius” from the musical “Hair,” followed in 1971 by a second single, a cover of The Jaynetts’ “Sally Go ‘Round the Roses”, in 1972 she released the single “If You Walkin’ Alone” and married Austrian actor Helmuth Sommer in 1973 and had a daughter, Mimi, the same year. Sadly she later divorced Sommer Citing marital problems caused by her affair with German artist (and future live-in boyfriend), Peter Mühldorfer. However She kept his last name, but anglicized it to “Summer”.

She provided backing vocals on producer-keyboardist, Veit Marvos’ 1972 Record Nice to See You. Summer then met German-based producers, Giorgio Moroder and Pete Bellotte while at a recording session at Munich’s Musicland Studios and The trio began collaborating on songs together. Summer’s first album, Lady of the Night contained the songs “The Hostage” and “Lady of the Night”. Summer and Morodor then released the song love to Love You and an American label requested that Moroder produce a longer version for discothèques. So Moroder, Bellotte and Summer returned with a 17-minute version. The song generated controversy due to Summer’s moans and groans and some American and European radio stations, including the BBC, refused to play it. Despite this “Love to Love You Baby” became incredibly successful And was followed by “Try Me, I Know We Can Make It”, “Could It Be Magic”, “Spring Affair”, and “Winter Melody”, she released The albums love Trilogy and Four Seasons of Love and Then In 1977, Summer released the concept album I Remember Yesterday, which included the song “I feel Love”.

She released Another concept album, Once Upon a Time and In 1978, released “MacArthur Park” and “Heaven Knows”. In 1978 Summer married Bruce Sudano & acted in the film Thank God It’s Friday playing a singer determined to perform at a hot disco club. This contained the song “Last Dance” which won a Grammy Award. In 1979, Summer performed at the world-televised Music for UNICEF Concert, joining ABBA, Olivia Newton-John, the Bee Gees, Andy Gibb, Rod Stewart, John Denver, Earth, Wind & Fire, Rita Coolidge and Kris Kristofferson for a TV special that raised funds and awareness for the world’s children. Summer’s next album Bad Girls became a huge success spawning the hits “Hot Stuff”, “Dim All the Lights”. With “MacArthur Park”,“Bad Girls” and the Barbra Streisand duet “No More Tears (Enough is Enough)”, these together with the songs. “Heaven Knows”, “Last Dance”, “Dim All the Lights” and “On the Radio” (from her upcoming double-album). “Hot Stuff” later won her a second Grammy in the Best Female Rock Vocal Performance.

in 1979 Summer released On the Radio: Greatest Hits Volumes I & II, her first (international) greatest hits set, Which featured A new song “On the Radio”. Summer signed with Geffen Records in 1980 Summer’s first Geffen album, The Wanderer, featured an eclectic mixture of sounds similar to Bad Girls combined with rock, rockabilly, new wave and gospel music. And contained the Singles The Wanderer, “Cold Love” and “Who Do You Think You’re Foolin’,”. Eventually, though Moroder, Bellotte and Summer left Geffen and hired top R&B and pop producer Quincy Jones to produce Summer’s next album, Donna Summer which contained the songs “Love Is in Control (Finger on the Trigger)” “State of Independence” and “The Woman in Me”.

Summer’s next album featured the song She Works Hard for the Money. This became a major hit & garnered another Grammy nomination as well as “Unconditional Love” & “Love Has A Mind of Its Own”. Donna Summer’s next release. Cats Without Claws included the Songs “There Goes My Baby”, “Eyes” and “I’m Free,” . On January 19, 1985, she sang at the 50th Presidential Inaugural Gala before the second inauguration of Ronald Reagan. then In 1987, Summer returned with the album All Systems Go, featuring the singles “Dinner with Gershwin,” and “All Systems Go”. For Summer’s next album, She teamed up with Stock Aitken Waterman (or SAW), who had incredible success writing and producing for such acts as Kylie Minogue, Dead or Alive, Bananarama and Rick Astley, , entitled Another Place and Time, The album featured the singles “This Time I Know It’s for Real” “I Don’t Wanna Get Hurt” and “Love’s About to Change My Heart”. Then In 1990, the compilation, The Best of Donna Summer, was released. In 1991 Summer released the album Mistaken Identity containing the song “When Love Cries” and in 1992 Summer embarked on a world tour to promote the album and later that year received a star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame. In 1993, the two-disc set The Donna Summer Anthology was released, containing 34 tracks. In 1994 Summer released the Christmas album Christmas Spirit which included renditions of classic Christmas songs such as “O Holy Night” and “Joy to the World” together with Summer-penned songs. Then Summer released Another hits collection, Endless Summer: Greatest Hits, featuring eighteen songs that were single cuts of the songs differentiating from the Anthology set, on which fuller length recordings were featured.

In 1992, she reunited with Giorgio Moroder, to record the dance song “Carry On”, which won Summer the first Grammy given to anyone in its dance category, then In 1995 she released the dance tune “Melody of Love (Wanna Be Loved)”. Summer was also offered a guest role on the sitcom Family Matters as Steve Urkel’s (Jaleel White) Aunt Oona, making a second appearance in 1997. Summer received a Grammy Award in 1998 for Best Dance Recording, after a remixed version of her 1992 collaboration with Giorgio Moroder, “Carry On”, was released in 1997. Then In 1999, Summer taped a live television special for VH1 titled Donna Summer – Live and More Encore, Featuring the songs “I Will Go with You (Con te partirò)” and “Love Is the Healer”. In 2000, Summer participated in VH1’s third annual Divas special, dedicated to Diana Ross, singing her own material and In 2003, Summer issued her autobiography, Ordinary Girl: The Journey, and released a best-of set titled The Journey: The Very Best of Donna Summer. In 2004, Summer was inducted into theDance Music Hall of Fame alongside the Bee Gees and Barry Gibb as an artist. In 2004 and 2005, Summer released the songs “You’re So Beautiful” and “I Got Your Love”. Summer also claimed that whilst living in Manhattan she had a premonition concerning The September 11 Attacks one month before they occurred

In 2008, Summer released her first studio album of fully original material in 17 years, entitled Crayons, which contained the songs “I’m a Fire”, “Stamp Your Feet”, “Fame (The Game)”,”The Queen is Back”,the ballad “Sand on my Feet” and “Mr. Music” with J.R. Rotem and Evan Bogart, the son of Casablanca Records founder Neil Bogart. On December 11, 2009, Summer performed at the Nobel Peace Prize Concert in Oslo, Norway in honor of American President Barack Obama, backed by the Norwegian Radio Orchestra. In August 2010, she released the single “To Paris With Love”, and also appeared in the PBS television special Hitman Returns: David Foster and Friends. In it Summer performed with Seal on a medley of the songs “Un-Break My Heart / Crazy / On the Radio” before closing the show with “Last Dance”. On September 15, 2010, Summer appeared as a guest celebrity singing alongside rising star Prince Poppycock on the television show America’s Got Talent. On October 16, 2010, she performed at a benefit concert at the Phoenix Symphony. On June 6, 2011, Summer was a guest judge on the show Platinum Hit in an episode entitled “Dance Floor Royalty”. In July 2011, Summer worked Paramount Recording Studios in Los Angeles with her nephew, the rapper and producer Omega Red, producing the song “Angel”.

Sadly After having a glittering career that spanned four decades, Donna Summer tragically passed away on 17th May 2012 in Florida, while attempting to put the finishing touches to her 24th album after having a short but acute battle with lung cancer which she beleived was the result of inhaling toxic dust from the collapsed Twin Towers of the World Trade Centre in the aftermath of 9/11 terror attack. Donna was announced to be one of the 2013 inductees to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and was inducted on April 18, 2013, at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theater. During her incredible music career Summer made 24 albums putting the disco into discography, won five Grammys and in 2012 she was a nominee for the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, to celebrate her extraordinary life,long-lasting career and her continuing legacy.

Posted in music

Tom Hamilton (Aerosmith)

Tom Hamilton, The Bass Player with rock Band Aerosmith celebrates his birthday on 31st December. Sometimes referred to as “The Bad Boys from Boston” and “America’s Greatest Rock and Roll Band.” The band was formed in Boston, Massachusetts in 1970. Guitarist Joe Perry and bassist Tom Hamilton, originally in a band together called the Jam Band, met up with singer Steven Tyler, drummer Joey Kramer, and guitarist Ray Tabano, and formed Aerosmith. In 1971, Tabano was replaced by Brad Whitford, and the band began developing a following in Boston, Their style, which is rooted in blues-based hard rock, has come to also incorporate elements of pop, heavy metal, and rhythm and blues, and has inspired many subsequent rock artists. They were signed to Columbia Records in 1972, and released a string of multi-platinum albums, beginning with their 1973 eponymous debut album, followed by their 1974 album Get Your Wings.

In 1975, the band broke into the mainstream with the album Toys in the Attic, and their 1976 follow-up Rocks cemented their status as hard rock superstars.The band released two more albums, toured extensively, and charted a string of Hot 100 singles. By the end of the 1970s, they were among the most popular hard rock bands in the world and developed a loyal following of fans, often referred to as the “Blue Army”. However, drug addiction and internal conflict took their toll on the band, which resulted in the departures of Perry and Whitford in 1979 and 1981, respectively; they were replaced by Jimmy Crespo and Rick Dufay. Aerosmith released the album Rock in a Hard Place, which went gold but failed to match their previous successes. Perry and Whitford returned in 1984 and the band signed a new deal with Geffen Records. After a comeback tour, the band recorded Done with Mirrors, which won some critical praise but failed to come close to commercial expectations. It was not until the band sobered up and released 1987′s Permanent Vacation that they regained the level of popularity they had experienced in the 1970s.Throughout the late 1980s and 1990s, the band scored several hits including Dude, looks like a lady Walk this Way (Featuring RUN DMC) and “love in an elvator“, and won numerous awards for music from the multi-platinum albums Pump, Get a Grip, and Nine Lives.

The band also became a pop culture phenomenon with popular music videos and notable appearances in television, film, and video games. Their comeback has been described as one of the most remarkable and spectacular in rock ‘n’ roll history. Additional albums followed in 2001 and 2004 including the songs Crazy (Featuring Alicia Silverstone & Liv Tyler) and I don’t Wanna Miss a Thing, from the film Armageddon. After 42 years of performing, the band continues to tour and record music. Their latest album, Music from Another Dimension, was released in 2012. Aerosmith is the best-selling American rock band of all time, having sold more than 150 million albums worldwide,including 66.5 million albums in the United States alone. They also hold the record for the most gold and multi-platinum albums by an American group. The band has scored 21 Top 40 hits on the Billboard Hot 100, nine number-one Mainstream Rock hits, four Grammy Awards, and ten MTV Video Music Awards. They were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 2001, and were included among both Rolling Stone’s and VH1′s lists of the 100 Greatest Artists of All Time.

Posted in music

Danny McNamara

Danny McNamara, the lead singer with the indie rock band Embrace was born 31st December 1970. Embrace are an English band from Bailiff Bridge, Brighouse, West Yorkshire and consists of brothers singer Danny McNamara and guitarist Richard McNamara, bassist Steve Firth, keyboardist Mickey Dale, and drummer Mike Heaton.The band was begun in a small outbuilding at the bottom of a garden in Bailiff Bridge in 1990. A bass player joined the McNamara brothers, Richard playing guitar and Danny singing. The three of them started creating songs, with the aid of a cassette recorder, and soon a drum machine was added. In 1992 The band recorded a three track demo in a 16 track recording studio in Huddersfield which was sold at concerts.A single, “All You Good Good People” was released in February 1997. their debut album The Good Will Out was released on 8 June 1998 and went to number 1 in the UK Albums Chart. In 27 March 2000 the band released Drawn from Memory. the album was supported by an acclaimed tour, during which they were supported by then-fledgling Coldplay.

Afterwards they recorded their third studio album If You’ve Never Been, which was released on 3 September 2001. In 2004 they released the album Out of Nothing, which reached number one in the UK in 2004 and contained The single “Gravity”, which had been written by Coldplay’s Chris Martin. Danny McNamara and Martin having become friends after Coldplay had supported Embrace in 2000. In October 2005, the band released their first b-side compilation, called Dry Kids: B-Sides 1997–2005, featuring b-sides from their previous album and including many fan-favourites such as “Blind” and a live rendition of D12′s “How Come”.

The band’s fifth studio album, This New Day was released on 27 March 2006, with the single “Nature’s Law”. The band then had a break during much of 2007 until 2010. Albums released so far by Embrace include The Good Will Out (1998), Drawn from Memory (2000), If You’ve Never Been (2001), Out of Nothing (2004), This New Day and the self titled album Embrace which was released in 2014. Embrace’s latest album “Love is a Basic need” was released in 2018.

Posted in music

Andy Summers (The Police)

Andy Summers, British guitarist with rock band The Police was born December 31st 1942. Formed in London in 1977.The Police consisted of Sting (lead vocals, bass), Andy Summers (guitar) and Stewart Copeland (drums). The Police became globally popular in the late 1970s and are generally regarded as one of the first New Wave groups to achieve mainstream success, playing a style of rock that was influenced by punk, reggae, and jazz.

They made many great albums including Regatta de Blance, Zenyatta Mondatta and Their 1983 album, Synchronicity, which reached number one on both the UK Albums Chart and the US Billboard 200, and sold over 8 million copies in the US. Sadly The group disbanded in 1986, however they reunited in early 2007 for a one-off world tour lasting until August 2008. The band has won a number of music awards throughout their career, including six Grammy Awards, two Brit Awards—winning Best British Group once, an MTV Video Music Award, and in 2003, were inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The Police have sold more than 50 million albums worldwide, and became the world’s highest-earning musicians in 2008, thanks to their reunion tour.

THE POLICE GREATEST HITS – http://m.youtube.com/playlist?list=PLarJd9RZ0sKcG8H8R4gHV-8o87vEZIUlV

Posted in Art

Henri Matisse

French artist Henri Matisse was Born 31 December 1869 in Le Cateau-Cambrésis, Nord, he is known for his use of colour and his fluid and original draughtsmanship. Matsse was a draughtsman, printmaker, and sculptor, but is known primarily as a painter commonly regarded, along with Picasso and Marcel Duchamp, as one of the three artists who helped to define the revolutionary developments in the plastic arts in the opening decades of the 20th century, responsible for significant developments in painting and sculpture. Although he was initially labelled a Fauve (wild beast), by the 1920s he was increasingly hailed as an upholder of the classical tradition in French painting. His mastery of the expressive language of colour and drawing, displayed in a body of work spanning over a half-century, won him recognition as a leading figure in modern art.

Matisse was also recognized as a leader of an artistic movement known as Fauvism which began 1900 and continued beyond 1910. The leaders of the movement were Matisse & André Derain; who were friendly rivals, each with his own followers. Other members were Georges Braque, Raoul Dufy and Maurice de Vlaminck. The Symbolist painter Gustave Moreau (1826–1898) was the movement’s inspirational teacher who pushed his students to think outside of the lines of formality and to follow their visions. In 1905, Matisse and a group of artists exhibited together & The paintings expressed emotion with wild, often dissonant colours, without regard for the subject’s natural colours. Matisse showed Open Window and Woman with the Hat at the Salon. Matisses’s fondnes for bright and expressive colour became more pronounced after he spent the summer of 1904 painting in St. Tropez with the neo-Impressionists Signac and Henri Edmond Cross. In 1904 he painted the most important of his works , Luxe, Calme et Volupté. In 1905 he travelled southwards again to work with André Derain. His paintings of this period are characterized by flat shapes and controlled lines, and use pointillism in a less rigorous way than before.

Around April 1906 he met Pablo Picasso, & The two became lifelong friends as well as rivals and areoften compared; one key difference between them is that Matisse drew and painted from nature, while Picasso was much more inclined to work from imagination. The subjects painted most frequently by both artists were women and still life, . Matisse and Picasso were first brought together at the Paris salon of Gertrude Stein and her companion Alice B. Toklas, who became important collectors and supporters of Matisse’s paintings during the first decade of the 20th century. They also collected many paintings by Renoir, Cézanne, and Picasso at the Salon and Gertrude Stein’s two American friends , the Cone sisters Claribel and Etta,also became major patrons of Matisse and Picasso, collecting hundreds of their paintings. The Cone collection is now exhibited in the Baltimore Museum of Art.In 1917 Matisse relocated to Cimiez on the French Riviera, a suburb of the city of Nice. His work of the decade or so following this relocation shows a relaxation and a softening of his approach. After 1930 a new vigor and bolder simplification appeared in his work. American art collector Albert C. Barnes convinced him to produce a large mural for the Barnes Foundation, The Dance II, completed 1932; the Foundation owns several dozen other Matisse paintings. This move towards simplification and a foreshadowing of the cutout technique are also evident in his painting Large Reclining Nude.In 1941, he underwent surgery and started using a wheelchair, and was cared for by , Lydia Delektorskaya who was formerly one of his models, Then With the aid of assistants he set about creating cut paper collages, often on a large scale, called gouaches découpés. His Blue Nudes series feature prime examples of this technique he called “painting with scissors”;

during World War II Matisse, was shocked to learn that his daughter Marguerite, was active in the Résistance and had been captured & tortured in Rennes prison and sentenced to the Ravensbrück concentration camp, but avoided further imprisonment by escaping from the Ravensbrück-bound train and survived in the woods until rescued by fellow members of the Resistance. In 1947 Matisse published Jazz, a limited-edition book containing about one hundred prints based on his colorful paper cutouts accompanied by his written thoughts. In the 1940s he also worked as a graphic artist and produced black-and-white illustrations for several books and over one hundred original lithographs at the Mourlot Studios in Paris. Matisse was much admired and repeatedly referred to by the Greek Nobelist poet Odysseas Elytis. Elytis was introduced to Matisse through their common friend Tériade, during the work on the Cutouts. Matisse had painted the wall of the dining room of Tériade’s residence, the Villa Natacha in Saint-Jean-Cap-Ferrat,In 1951 Matisse finished designing the interior, the glass windows and the decorations of the Chapelle du Rosaire de Vence, often referred to as the Matisse Chapel. This project was the result of the close friendship between Matisse and Sister Jacques-Marie’ He had hired her as a nurse and model in 1941 before she became a Dominican nun and they met again in Vence and started the collaboration, .

In 1952 he established a museum dedicated to his work, the Matisse Museum in Le Cateau, and this museum is now the third-largest collection of Matisse works in France. Matisse’s final work was the design for a stained-glass window installed at the Union Church of Pocantico Hills near the Rockefeller estate north of New York City. “It was his final artistic creation; the maquette was on the wall of his bedroom when he died on November 3rd 1954 after having a heart attack at the age of 84. He is interred in the cemetery of the Monastère Notre Dame de Cimiez, near Nice . German media have also recently revealed th discovery of Nazi plundered art worth €1bn in Munich, including lost works by Picasso and Matisse.

Posted in films & DVD, Science fiction, Television

The Three Doctors

The First episode of the classic science fiction series Doctor Who episode The three doctors broadcast 29 December 1972. It features William Hartnell, Patrick Troughton and Jon Pertwee. It begins when A powerful superluminal signal is beamed to Earth, carrying with it an unusual energy creature that cause chaos. Meanwhile Gallifrey the homeworld of the Time Lords is also under siege, with all power being drained through a black hole. Trapped and in desperation, the Time Lords summon three incarnations of Doctor Who.

Unfortunately, the First Doctor gets trapped in a time eddy, However the Second And Third Doctor are able investigate the origins of the creature and the black hole, while UNIT headquarters faces an attack by gel-like alien creatures. The black hole turns out to be a link between universes and The two Doctors  Dr Tyler, Jo Grant, Sergeant Benton and Brigadier Lethbridge-Stewart (Nicholas Courtney) then find themselves drawn into an antimatter universe.

Once in the Anti-Matter universe They are then captured by more gel-like alien creatures and are taken to meet a legendary Time Lord named Omega. He was a former Solar Engineer for the Time Lords who created the Supernova which powers Time-Lord Civilisation but was thought by the Time-lords to have perished in the supernova.

However instead of perishing he has managed to survive in the Anti Matter Universe by using his immense scientific knowledge to create a domain for himself. Unfortunately though he is trapped in the world of Anti-Matter and is very angry that the Time Lords abandoned him to his fate and wants to escape and get his revenge on the Time Lords. It is then up to the three Time Lords to stop Omega’s villainous plan, however all does not go quite according to plan….

Posted in Events, Food

National Bicarbonate of Soda Day

National Bicarbonate of Sada day occurs annually on 30 December. The origins of Bicarbonate of Soda go back to 1775, when the French Academy wanted to promote the production of much-needed sodium carbonate from inexpensive sodium chloride and offered a prize to anyone who could invent a process whereby soda ash could be produced from salt.

In 1791, Nicolas Leblanc succeeded in producing sodium carbonate by using salt, limestone, sulphuric acid, and coal. He did so by using a 2-step process. In the first step, sodium chloride is mixed with concentrated sulfuric acid at temperatures of 800-900 °C; hydrogen chloride gas is evolved, leaving solid sodium sulfate. In the second step, the sodium sulfate is crushed, mixed with charcoal and limestone and again heated in a furnace. His own plant was eventually producing 320 tons of soda ash per year.

Bicarbonate of Soda/ Sodium bicarbonate/ sodium hydrogen carbonate is a chemical compound commonly known as baking soda, with the formula NaHCO3. It is a salt composed of a sodium cation (Na+) and a bicarbonate anion (HCO3−). Sodium bicarbonate is a white solid that is crystalline, but often appears as a fine powder. It has a slightly salty, alkaline taste resembling that of washing soda (sodium carbonate). The natural mineral form is nahcolite. It is a component of the mineral natron and is found dissolved in many mineral springs.

Because it has long been known and is widely used, the salt has many related names such as baking soda, bread soda, cooking soda, and bicarbonate of soda. In colloquial usage, the names sodium bicarbonate and bicarbonate of soda are often truncated; forms such as sodium bicarb, bicarb soda, bicarbonate, and bicarb are common. The word saleratus, from Latin sal æratus meaning “aerated salt”, was widely used in the 19th century for both sodium bicarbonate and potassium bicarbonate. It is known as one of the E number food additives E500.

The prefix “bi” in “bicarbonate” comes from an outdated naming system and is based on the observation that twice as much carbonate (CO32-) per sodium IS in sodium bicarbonate (NaHCO3) as in sodium carbonate (Na2CO3). The modern chemical formulas of these compounds express their precise chemical compositions (which were unknown when the names sodium carbonate and sodium bicarbonate were coined) and show the same ratio the other way around: half as much sodium percarbonate is in NaHCO3 as in Na2CO3 (disodium carbonate).

The LeBlanc process, however, is now obsolete and is superseded by the extremely profitable and convenient Solvay process. The Solvay process or ammonia-soda process is the major industrial process for the production of sodium carbonate (soda ash, Na2CO3). The ammonia-soda process was developed into its modern form by Ernest Solvay during the 1860s. The ingredients for this are readily available and inexpensive: salt brine (from inland sources or from the sea) and limestone (from quarries). The worldwide production of soda ash in 2005 has been estimated at 42 million metric tons, which is more than six kilograms (13 lb) per year for each person on Earth. Solvay-based chemical plants now produce roughly three-quarters of this supply, with the remainder being mined from natural deposits.

The name “soda ash” is based on the principal historical method of obtaining alkali, which was by using water to extract it from the ashes of certain plants. Wood fires yielded potash and its predominant ingredient potassium carbonate (K2CO3), whereas the ashes from these special plants yielded “soda ash” and its predominant ingredient sodium carbonate (Na2CO3). The word “soda” (from the Middle Latin) originally referred to certain plants that grow in salt solubles; it was discovered that the ashes of these plants yielded the useful alkali soda ash. The cultivation of such plants reached a particularly high state of development in the 18th century in Spain, where the plants are named barrilla; the English word is “barilla”. The ashes of kelp also yield soda ash, and were the basis of an enormous 18th century industry in Scotland. Alkali was also mined from dry lakebeds in Egypt.

By the late 18th century these sources were insufficient to meet Europe’s burgeoning demand for alkali for soap, textile, and glass industries. Although the Leblanc process dominated alkali production in the early 19th century, the expense of its inputs and its polluting byproducts (including hydrogen chloride gas) made it apparent that it was far from an ideal solution.

It has been reported that in 1811 French physicist Augustin Jean Fresnel discovered that sodium bicarbonate precipitates when carbon dioxide is bubbled through ammonia-containing brines – which is the chemical reaction central to the Solvay process. The discovery wasn’t published. As has been noted by Desmond Reilly, “The story of the evolution of the ammonium-soda process is an interesting example of the way in which a discovery can be made and then laid aside and not applied for a considerable time afterwards.” Serious consideration of this reaction as the basis of an industrial process dates from the British patent issued in 1834 to H. G. Dyan and J. Henning. There were several attempts to reduce this reaction to industrial practice, with varying success.

In 1861, Belgian industrial chemist Ernest Solvay turned his attention to the problem; he was apparently largely unaware of the extensive earlier work.His solution, a 24 metres (79 ft) gas absorption tower in which carbon dioxide bubbled up through a descending flow of brine. This, together with efficient recovery and recycling of the ammonia, proved effective. By 1864 Solvay and his brother Alfred had acquired financial backing and constructed a plant in the Belgian town of Charleroi. The new process proved more economical and less polluting than the Leblanc method, and its use spread. In 1874, the Solvays expanded their facilities with a new, larger plant at Nancy, France.

In the same year, Ludwig Mond visited Solvay in Belgium and acquired rights to use the new technology. He and John Brunner formed the firm of Brunner, Mond & Co., and built a Solvay plant at Winnington, near Northwich, Cheshire, England. The facility began operating in 1874. Mond was instrumental in making the Solvay process a commercial success. He made several refinements between 1873 and 1880 that removed byproducts that could slow or halt the process.In 1884, the Solvay brothers licensed Americans William B. Cogswell and Rowland Hazard to produce soda ash in the US, and formed a joint venture (Solvay Process Company) to build and operate a plant in Solvay, New York. By the 1890s, Solvay-process plants produced the majority of the world’s soda ash.

Posted in music

Mike Nesmith (The Monkees)

Michael Nesmith from 60’s pop band The Monkees was born 30th December 1942in Houston, Texas. his parents, Warren Audrey Nesmith and Bette Nesmith Graham, divorced when their son was four. He and his mother moved to Dallas to be closer to her parents, sister, aunts, and grandmother. Bette took temporary jobs ranging from clerical work to graphical design and developed very good secretarial skills, including shorthand and, auspiciously, touch typing. When Nesmith was 13, his mother invented the typewriter correction fluid later known commercially as Liquid Paper. Over the next 25 years she built the Liquid Paper Corporation into a multimillion-dollar international company, which she finally sold to Gillette in 1979 for US$48 million. She died a few months later, aged 56.

Nesmith was enrolled in the Dallas public school system in 1949, aged 6. Describing himself as an indifferent student, he participated in choral and drama activities during his years at Thomas Jefferson High School in Dallas. He also began to write verse poetry. When he was 15 he enrolled in the Dallas Theater Center teen program. Without graduating from high school, Nesmith enlisted in the United States Air Force in 1960. He completed basic training at Lackland Air Force Base in San Antonio, was trained as an aircraft mechanic at Sheppard Air Force Base in Wichita Falls, Texas, and then was permanently stationed at the Clinton-Sherman Air Force Base near Burns Flat, Oklahoma. While in the Air Force, Nesmith obtained a G.E.D. and was discharged under honorable conditions in 1962

After a tour of duty in the Air Force, Nesmith was given a guitar as a Christmas present from his mother and stepfather. Learning as he went, he played solo and in a series of working bands, performing folk, country, and occasionally rock and roll. His verse poems became the basis for song lyrics. He enrolled in San Antonio College, a community college, where he met John Kuehne (later to be known as John London) and began a musical collaboration. The duo won the first San Antonio College talent award, performing a mixture of standard folk songs and a few of Nesmith’s original songs. He met another SAC student, Phyllis Ann Barbour, whom he married in 1963

Nesmith moved to Los Angeles with Phyllis and John London, so he could pursue his songwriting and singing career and began singing in folk clubs around Los Angeles and had one notable job as the “Hootmaster” for the Monday night hootenannies at The Troubadour, a West Hollywood nightclub that featured new artists. Here Nesmith met, socialized, and performed with many different members of the burgeoning new L.A. music scene. Nesmith began his recording career in 1963 by releasing a single on the Highness label. He followed this in 1965 with a one-off single released on Edan Records followed by two more recorded singles; one was titled “The New Recruit” under the name “Michael Blessing”, released on Colpix Records. Nesmith’s “Mary, Mary” was recorded by the Paul Butterfield Blues Band, while “Different Drum” and “Some of Shelly’s Blues” were recorded by Linda Ronstadt and the Stone Poneys. “Pretty Little Princess”, written in 1965, was recorded by Frankie Laine and released as a single in 1968 on ABC Records. coincidentally Davy Jones, was also on the Eden Records label although they did not meet until the Monkees formed.

Randy Sparks from the New Christy Minstrels offered Nesmith a publishing deal for his songs, and it was while Nesmith was at this publishing house that Barry Friedman, also known as the Rev. Frazier Mohawk, brought the ad for auditions for a new TV series, The Monkees, to Nesmith’s attention And Nesmith landed the role as the wool-hat-wearing guitar player “Mike” in the show, which required real-life musical talent (writing, instrument playing, singing, recording, and performing in live concerts as part of The Monkees musical band). Nesmith played a Gretsch 12-string electric guitar while he was performing with The Monkees. The Monkees television series aired from 1966 until 1968, and has developed a cult following over the years.

When the TV series ended in 1968, Nesmith enrolled part-time at the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) and studied American History and Music History. Michael and Phyllis’s second son Jonathan was born in February 1968. Nesmith’s third son Jason was born in August 1968 to Nurit Wilde, whom he met while working on The Monkees. In 1969, Nesmith formed the group First National Band with Kuehne, John Ware, and Red Rhodes. Nesmith wrote most of the songs for the band, including the single “Joanne” which received some airplay and was a moderate chart hit for seven weeks during 1970, rising to number 21 on the Billboard Top 40. The First National Band has been credited with being among the pioneers of country-rock music. The songs, “Some of Shelly’s Blues” and “Propinquity (I’ve Just Begun to Care)” were made popular by the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band on their 1970 album Uncle Charlie & His Dog Teddy. In 1970, Nesmith was approached by John Ware of The Corvettes, a band that featured Nesmith’s friend John London, who played on some of the earliest pre-Monkees Nesmith 45s as well as numerous Monkees sessions, and had 45s produced by Nesmith for the Dot label in 1969. Ware wanted Nesmith to put together a band. Nesmith said he would be interested only if noted pedal steel player Orville “Red” Rhodes was part of the project; Nesmith’s musical partnership with Rhodes continued until Rhodes’s death in 1995.

The new band was christened Michael Nesmith and the First National Band and went on to record three albums for RCA Records in 1970 and recorded the singles “Joanne,” “Silver Moon” “Nevada Fighter” “& “Propinquity”. Sadly the First National Band broke up so Nesmith followed up with The Second National Band, a band that, besides Nesmith, consisted of Michael Cohen (keyboards and Moog), Johnny Meeks (bass), jazzer Jack Ranelli (drums), and Orville Rhodes (pedal steel), as well as an appearance by singer, musician, and songwriter José Feliciano on congas. The album, Tantamount to Treason Vol. 1, was a commercial and critical disaster. Nesmith then recorded And the Hits Just Keep on Comin’, featuring only him on guitar and Red Rhodes on pedal steel.

Nesmith also became more heavily involved in producing, working on Iain Matthews’s album Valley Hi and Bert Jansch’s L.A. Turnaround. Nesmith was given a label of his own, Countryside, through Elektra Records, as Elektra’s Jac Holzman was a fan of Nesmith. It featured a number of artists produced by Nesmith, including Garland Frady and Red Rhodes. The staff band at Countryside also helped Nesmith on his next, and last, RCA album, Pretty Much Your Standard Ranch Stash. Countryside folded when David Geffen replaced Holzman, as Countryside was unnecessary in Geffen’s eyes.

In the mid-1970s, Nesmith briefly collaborated as a songwriter with Linda Hargrove, resulting in the tune “I’ve Never Loved Anyone More”, a hit for Lynn Anderson and recorded by many others, as well as the songs “Winonah” and “If You Will Walk With Me,” both of which were recorded by Hargrove. Of these songs, only “Winonah” was recorded by Nesmith himself. During this same period, Nesmith started his multimedia company Pacific Arts, which initially put out audio records, 8-tracks, and cassettes, followed in 1981 with “video records.” Nesmith recorded a number of LPs for his label, and had a moderate worldwide hit in 1977 with his song “Rio,” the single taken from the album From a Radio Engine to the Photon Wing. In 1983, Nesmith produced the music video for the Lionel Richie single “All Night Long”. In 1987, he produced the music video for the Michael Jackson single “The Way You Make Me Feel”.

In 1972, Nesmith started the record label Countryside Records with Jac Holzman, the founder of Elektra Records. Nesmith and Phyllis also divorced and he moved to Carmel-by-the-Sea, California. In 1974, Nesmith started Pacific Arts Records and released what he called “a book with a soundtrack”, titled The Prison, as the company’s first release. In 1976, he married Kathryn Bild. Nesmith won the first-ever Grammy Award given for (Long-form) Music-Video in 1982, for his hour-long Elephant Parts and also had a short-lived series on NBC inspired by the video called Michael Nesmith in Television Parts. Television Parts included many other artists who were unknown at the time but went on to become major stars in their own right. Jay Leno, Jerry Seinfeld, Garry Shandling, Whoopi Goldberg, and Arsenio Hall all became well-known artists after their appearances on Nesmith’s show. The concept of the show was to have comics render their stand-up routines into short comedy films much like the ones in Elephant Parts. Nesmith assembled writers Jack Handey, William Martin, John Levenstein, and Michael Kaplan, along with directors William Dear (who had directed Elephant Parts) and Alan Myerson, as well as producer Ward Sylvester to create the show. The half-hour show ran for eight episodes in the summer of 1985 on NBC Thursday nights in prime time. In 1988, following the ending of this second marriage, he returned to Los Angeles where he met Victoria Kennedy. They moved to Santa Fe, New Mexico, in 1992 and then returned to Carmel, California, in 2000. They were married in April 2000 in Monterey, California. They separated in 2011 and Kennedy filed for divorce.

In 1986 The Monkees had a 20th anniversary reunion however Nesmith did not participate in the Monkees’ 20th-anniversary reunion. However, he did appear during an encore with the other three members at the Greek Theatre on September 7, 1986. Nesmith appeared again in 1989 with Dolenz, Tork, and Jones when the Monkees received a Hollywood Walk of Fame Star. In 1995, Nesmith was again reunited with the Monkees to record their studio album (and first to feature all four since Head), titled Justus, released in 1996. He also wrote and directed a Monkees television special entitled Hey, Hey, It’s the Monkees. To support the reunion, Nesmith, Jones, Dolenz, and Tork briefly toured the UK in 1997. The UK tour was the last appearance of all four Monkees performing together. In 2012, 2013, and 2014, after Jones’s death, Nesmith reunited with Dolenz and Tork to perform concerts throughout the United States. Backed with a 7-piece band that included Nesmith’s son, Christian, the trio performed 27 songs from The Monkees discography (“Daydream Believer” was sung by the audience and played by the band). Despite not touring with Dolenz and Tork for The Monkees’ 50th anniversary reunion in 2016, Nesmith contributed vocally and instrumentally to the Monkees album Good Times!. Nesmith additionally contributed a song, “I Know What I Know” and was reportedly “thrilled” at the outcome of the album.

In1974 Michael Nesmith formed the Pacific Arts Corporation, Inc to manage and develop media projects. Pacific Arts Video became a pioneer in the home video market, producing and distributing a wide variety of videotaped programs, although the company eventually ceased operations after an acrimonious contract dispute with PBS over home video licensing rights and payments for several series, including Ken Burns’ The Civil War. The dispute escalated into a lawsuit that went to jury trial in Federal Court in Los Angeles. On February 3, 1999, a jury awarded Nesmith and his company Pacific Arts $48.875 million in compensatory and punitive damages, prompting his widely quoted comment, “It’s like finding your grandmother stealing your stereo. You’re happy to get your stereo back, but it’s sad to find out your grandmother is a thief.” PBS appealed the ruling, but the appeal never reached court and a settlement was reached, with the amount paid to Pacific Arts and Nesmith kept confidential. Nesmith’s current Pacific Arts project is Videoranch 3D, a virtual environment on the internet that hosts live performances at various virtual venues inside the Ranch. He performed live inside Videoranch 3D on May 25, 2009.

Nesmith was the executive producer for the films Repo Man, Tapeheads, and Timerider: The Adventure of Lyle Swann, as well as his own solo recording and film projects. In 1998, Nesmith published his first novel, The Long Sandy Hair of Neftoon Zamora. It was developed originally as an online project and was later published as a hard cover book by St Martin’s Press. In 1992, Nesmith undertook a concert tour of North America to promote the CD release of his RCA solo albums (although he included the song “Rio”, from the album From a Radio Engine to the Photon Wing). The concert tour ended at the Britt Festival in Oregon. A video and CD, both entitled Live at the Britt Festival were released capturing the 1992 concert. Nesmith’s second novel The America Gene was released in July 2009 as an online download from Videoranch.com. Nesmith also teamed up with satirist P.J. O’Rourke to ride his vehicle Timerider in the annual Baja 1000 off-road race. This is chronicled in O’Rourke’s 2009 book Driving Like Crazy. During the 1990s, Nesmith, as Trustee and President of the Gihon foundation, hosted the Council on Ideas, a gathering of intellectuals from different fields who were asked to identify the most important issues of their day and publish the result. The Gihon ceased the program in 2000 and started a new Program for the Performing Arts. Nesmith also spent a decade as a board of trustees member, nominating member and vice-chair of the American Film Institute. Nesmith continues to record and release his own music. His last album, Rays, was released in 2006. In 2011, Nesmith returned to producing, working with blues singer/guitarist Carolyn Wonderland. Nesmith produced Wonderland’s version of Robert Johnson’s “I Believe I’ll Dust My Broom” on her album Peace Meal. Wonderland married writer-comedian A. Whitney Brown on March 4, 2011, in a ceremony officiated by Nesmith.

In 2012, Nesmith briefly toured Europe prior to re-joining The Monkees for their tours of the United States. Intermixing the Monkees concerts, Nesmith also launched solo tours of the U.S. Unlike his 1992 U.S. tour, which predominantly featured music from his RCA recordings, Nesmith stated his 2013 tour featured songs that he considers “thematic, chronological and most often requested by fans”. Chris Scruggs, grandson of Earl Scruggs, replaced the late Red Rhodes on the steel guitar. The tour was captured on a forthcoming live album, Movies Of The Mind. In 2014, he guest-starred in Season 4, Episode 9 of the IFC comedy series “Portlandia” in the fictitious role of the father of the Mayor of Portland, Oregon.