Inside Rising Appalachia’s Socially Conscious Approach To Live Music

first_imgSisters Chloe Smith and Leah Song, along with percussionist Biko Casini and bassist/guitarist David Brown, have created a grassroots musical revolution with their band Rising Appalachia. The band’s folk-driven melodies are backed by a dedication to affecting positive change, using their nationwide touring to work with local communities across the country. It was Leah who coined the term “Slow Music Movement,” the campaign by which Rising Appalachia is able to give back and inspire real social change.We had the opportunity to check in with the band as they continue their battle against the wastefulness of touring, hitting like-minded festivals including the upcoming Symbiosis Gathering, which runs from September 22-25 (more info here). As Symbiosis co-owner Kevin KoChen explains, “we are participants in a movement that skews away from products and services owned by multi-national corporations. It’s common sense and a central tenet of permaculture, ‘earth care, people care, and fair share’.” Read on to learn all about the Movement, and everything going on with Rising Appalachia!L4LM: How were you inspired to create the “Slow Music Movement”? Was there a particular moment, or was it something that grew after spending years on the road?Leah: The Slow Music Movement was a term that I coined while I was prepping for a Ted X talk a little while ago. I wanted to discuss our ways of touring and moving through 12 years of music. Alternative touring has always been a priority of our music project. We tour independently and creatively, have remained self-managed, and have ALWAYS had a relationship with local communities on the ground as often as we can, but when we gave a voice and a title to that intention it became much more powerful. Hence the Slow Music Movement.The Slow Music Movement is an effort to bring in local outreach to each event, reduce single-use waste at shows, source farm-to-table food for backstage, and continue to create and promote sustainable touring practices within the music industry. It’s our effort to take the glitz and glam out of the music industry and bring performance back to its roots – that of public service- where musicians are not just part of a fast-paced entertainment world, but instead influence the cultural shift of communities as troubadours, activists, story tellers, and catalysts of justice.L4LM: Do you see this as the natural progression from your recent tour via train?Leah: Sustainable and alternative travel has been a part of our greater mission from the get go of Rising Appalachia… How can we create a music that reaches beyond the stereotypical bar and club scene and create a way to make music a social service and a public affair… Rail travel was such a natural extension of our investigations in alternative transit… Can rail travel in the US be a sustainable option, and can we use a resource that already exists to launch into a more reliable and publicly available mass transit option? That’s what the train tour was all about. David, our guitarist, got deeply invested in the research and leg work to actually make the tour possible.David: We have toured in other parts of the world via rail and have loved it immensely. We didn’t really know that train travel in the states was a real option until I read a Harper’s article about passenger trains a couple years ago (ironically, while on layover in an airport). Trains appeal to us because we want to ‘walk our talk’ – we have messages about “scaling down” in our music, encouraging folks to drive less, build local relationships, etc, and we want to keep it real as we become a better known and sought after band. The amount of driving and flying that most bands do is really unappealing to us, so its cool to find a means of travel that suits our values more. Pursuing a train based tour really seemed like a powerful step for us towards the kind of world we want to be living in.Biko: Our intentions in undergoing the rail tour was to see for ourselves what rail touring was like. Is it a feasible method of transportation? What does it feel like? This nation was originally built by rail, but most people alive today do not remember traveling the nation by train. If the young people of today are going to be inspired to ride trains, it will be because it seems like trains are a step forward… not because they are looking nostalgically backwards. The challenge facing the passenger rail industry today is to capture peoples imagination by how green rail travel is, and the implications it will have on our experience of travel in the future. We aim to inspire people with what rail travel is, and what it can be.L4LM: Tell us about some of the logistics behind the Slow Music Movement. What work is being done on the ground, and how does it happen?Leah: We work in strong partnership with a multitude of activist organizations…We have continued involvement in important campaigns along our touring routes, such as the “Love Water Not Oil” campaign with Winona LaDuke and the Ojibwe tribe last year working to educate the nation on pipeline proposals at the headwaters of the Mississippi river. We have worked for years with the School of Americas Vigil which is working to close down a federally funded para-military institute in Columbus, GA, tied to human rights abuses around the world. We have toured and worked in partnership with Mountain Justice initiates (putting an end to mountain top removal), dam removals, restorative justice work, and international arts education…among many other things. The lists are lengthy and we each have our own personal politics, but I think the main crossroads for us is using music as a tool and a catalyst for betterment in our communities, and as a platform for dialog around justice issues in our world. That means that the music is always available to be a resource for social change.And yes, we do see progress…in that Slow Movement kind of way. We see progress on a one-on-one basis, when a mountain is saved, or a new song learned, or a return to a landscape is written about. We see progress when someone comes up after a show and says “I want to use my voice for things I believe in” or “thank you because I haven’t danced like that for a long time because I was sick, and its powerful to feel my body move again” or “I decided to quit my job and go into at-risk-youth counseling and I thank you for the courage to make a difference”… or any of the myriads of things that we learn from our powerful fans about how they are each touched to make changes in their own lives. We all need that momentum from each other to live in a fully integrated way. That is the most valuable kind of progress.L4LM: What is the best way for someone to get involved with the Movement?Chloe: Reach out to us if we are coming to your town and lets get the conversation going early about what is happening locally. What initiatives are being pushed. What environmental or social justice movements need to be voiced or gathered around. If you are a local nonprofit or organizer, we want to hear from you ! We are also always looking to source local fresh farm food and apothecaries around our concerts in order to sustain our own health and wellness on the road, so send suggestions ! Rising Appalachia is invested in creating a larger network around our music that helps this massive burst of energy we create with music stay grounded and in service to things much larger than ourselves… which means all hands on deck.L4LM: How do you want to see the Slow Music Movement project grow from here?Leah: We hope for the Slow Music Movement to become a platform that will grow around our intentions to continue pushing music into many realms of grassroots organizing and old school public service, and will also provide a blue print for other artists to utilize for alternative music industry options. Alternative transportation options like trains, boats, horses, bicycles. Food that is sourced locally and grown with care and intention. A platform to share ideas and give voice to the many interwoven global concerns of justice and protection of all things wild. We hope that it will grow much bigger than us.L4LM: Musically speaking, what is your next step for RA after the success of ‘Wider Circles’? Is anything in the works?Leah: We are very content to still be playing the music in our collection, and it is still very fresh and inspiring to pull onto the stage. We are slowly cooking up new ideas with influence from trip-hop, hip-hop, and transformational funk.Currently, Arouna Diarra, an amazing folk musician from Burkina Faso, has been performing more and more frequently with us. He is one of the teachers of Biko who met him in Africa and studied with him here in the states. Diarra is amazing holder and curator of music and we look forward to artistically collaborating more and more with him. He’ll be with us at Symbiosis!Chloe: Collaboration will be key in the coming years. There is talk of remix collaborations in the future as well as EP’s with some favorite folk artist friends. Right now it is less about producing more Rising Appalachia albums and more about opening up our artistic circles and seeing what we can co-create with other artists. Wider Circles is indeed a potent album for the times still and we are loving diving into the depths of its sound and finding the hidden gems inside.last_img read more

The Disco Biscuits, Spafford, & Organ Freeman To Take Over Red Rocks This Summer

first_imgThe Disco Biscuits will return to Colorado this May for the jamtronica act’s annual Bisco Inferno run. This year, the run will see the group play three nights at Denver’s Ogden Theatre from May 24th to 26th ahead of their headlining performance at the iconic Red Rocks Amphitheatre on Sunday, May 27th. Joining the Biscuits for the final act of this four-part musical adventure will be two of the most exciting “next-gen” bands in the jam scene: the Arizona-based up-and-comers of Spafford and Los Angeles’ jazz-funk trio Organ Freeman. It’s undeniable that the Disco Biscuits have been on a tear at this particular juncture in their 20-plus-year career. With some of the most patient, consistent, and innovative jams they’ve played in years and creative setlist decisionmaking, the Biscuits are having their own renaissance of sorts. Most of the die-hard, ardent Bisco faithful overwhelmingly agree that it’s a good time to be a fan of the Philly trance-fusion act, as the quartet of bassist Marc Brownstein, guitarist Jon Gutwillig, keyboardist Aron Magner, and drummer Allen Aucoin continue their musical evolution. After a recent run in Washington, D.C., at the 9:30 Club (review and video here) and the capitol’s brand-new venue, The Anthem—along with upcoming New England and Philly runs prior to their return to the Rocky Mountains—the Biscuits are primed and ready for what is sure to be a memorable 2018. Red Rocks is going to be straight fire, you can count on that. The Disco Biscuits – Set 2 – The Anthem – Washington, D.C. – 01/13/2018[via The Disco Biscuits]After almost a decade of plugging away tour after tour, the last two years have seen Spafford enjoy a meteoric rise in popularity, quickly becoming one of the music scene’s most-buzzed-about live bands. The Arizona-based quartet—composed of Brian Moss (guitar/vocals), Jordan Fairless (bass/vocals), Andrew “Red” Johnson (keys/vocals), and Cameron Laforest (drums/percussion/vocals)—has become known for their brilliant improvisation, genre-bending sound, and energetic live performances. The Biscuits and Spafford are no strangers to one another either, as Aron Magner sat in with the up-and-comers for an exploratory journey through their own “Mind’s Unchained” > “Mad World” at this past year’s Suwannee Hulaween.Spafford with Aron Magner – “Mind’s Unchained > Mad World”  – Suwannee Hulaween – 10/28/2017[via SpaffordMusic]The buzz surrounding Organ Freeman is palpable. The explosive instrumental jazz-funk fusion trio out of L.A. recently completed their biggest year yet, releasing a brand-new sophomore LP, Respect My Art, to overwhelmingly positive reviews. The trio of guitarist Erik Carlson, drummer Rob Humphreys, and organist/key bassist Trevor Steer are actively changing the shape of the game and becoming one of the most dynamic live acts around. It’s full steam ahead for Organ Freeman!Organ Freeman – “Go by Richard, Not By Dick”  – The Capitol Theatre – Port Chester, NY – 11/25/17[via Organ Freeman]Tickets for the Bisco Inferno run—with three nights at the Ogden Theatre and a Red Rocks Amphitheatre performance with Spafford and Organ Freeman—are currently on-sale and can be purchased here. For event updates and additional information, join the Facebook Event page.last_img read more

Flu vaccination benefits for elderly called modest

first_imgSep 23, 2005 (CIDRAP News) – Researchers who reviewed 64 studies report that influenza vaccination is only modestly beneficial for elderly people overall, with nursing home residents benefiting more than people living on their own.”Our findings show that, according to reliable evidence, the effectiveness of trivalent inactivated influenza vaccines in elderly individuals is modest, irrespective of setting, outcome, population, and study design,” says the report by Tom Jefferson and four colleagues, of the Cochrane Vaccines Field, based in Alessandria, Italy. The study was published online yesterday by The Lancet.The researchers found that flu vaccines, when well matched to circulating flu strains, reduced the risk of hospitalization for flu or pneumonia by 45% for elderly (65 or older) nursing home residents. For people living at home, flu vaccines were 26% effective in preventing hospitalization for flu or pneumonia. However, vaccination didn’t significantly lower the risk of laboratory-confirmed influenza in either group.The team searched five databases for studies of the effectiveness of flu vaccine in preventing influenza, flu-like illnesses, and related hospital admissions, complications, and death. They found 64 studies from the past four decades, including five randomized trials, 49 cohort studies, and 10 case-control studies, that met their criteria.For elderly residents of nursing homes who received vaccines well matched to circulating flu strains, the vaccines yielded risk reductions of 23% for flu-like illness, 46% for pneumonia, 45% for hospitalization for flu or pneumonia, 42% for death from flu or pneumonia, and 60% for death from any cause. However, vaccination yielded no significant benefit when the match with circulating flu strains was poor or unknown.The benefits were smaller for elderly people living in the community, according to the authors’ analysis of 20 cohort studies. Vaccines didn’t significantly reduce the participants’ risk for flu, flu-like illness, or pneumonia. With well-matched vaccines, risk reductions were 26% for hospitalization for flu or pneumonia and 42% for all-cause mortality. Vaccines did not reduce the risk of hospitalization for heart disease or the risk of death from respiratory disease.However, vaccination looked somewhat more beneficial for community dwellers when the authors adjusted for confounding variables, including sex, age, smoking, and other illnesses. In that analysis, vaccines reduced the risk of all-cause mortality by 47% and lowered the risk of hospitalization by 24% for heart disease and 22% for respiratory diseases.The authors write that no firm conclusions could be drawn from the five randomized controlled trials they analyzed. However, in analyzing the two trials that had “adequate” randomization and blinding, they found that vaccines were 43% effective in preventing flu-like illness and 58% effective against flu in community-dwelling older peopleThe study’s main findings show somewhat smaller benefits than those cited by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Information on the CDC Web site says that for older people in nursing homes, flu immunization can be 50% to 60% effective in preventing flu-related hospitalization or pneumonia and 80% effective in preventing flu-related death. Also, the CDC says that community dwelling older people who get flu shots can lower their risk of hospitalization for pneumonia or flu by 30% to 70%.In response to the new study, the CDC issued a statement today emphasizing that vaccination remains the best way to protect older people from flu and its complications. The agency acknowledged that flu vaccines are not 100% effective and that older people and those with chronic diseases may develop less immunity than healthy young adults.The CDC said the finding that flu vaccination is more effective for nursing-home residents than for community-dwelling older people “is unexpected and not consistent with other data, including information on immune response to vaccination.”The study authors write that on the basis of their findings, “We believe efforts should be concentrated on achieving high vaccination coverage in long-term care facilities coupled with a systematic assessment of the effect of such a policy. One possible way to improve this strategy might involve the vaccination of carers [caregivers] in an effort to reduce transmission.”The federal government took steps in that direction last month, announcing that nursing homes that serve Medicare recipients would be required to offer flu shots to residents. The government also wants to increase vaccination coverage for nursing home staff members, but there are no plans to require vaccination for them.The new report was published little more than a week after the CDC urged older people and others in high-risk groups to get their flu shots soon. The agency has recommended that flu shots be reserved for the high-risk groups until Oct 24.Jefferson T, Rivetti D, Rivetti A, et al. Efficacy and effectiveness of influenza vaccines in elderly people: a systematic review. Lancet 2005;Sep 22 (early online pubication)See also:CDC information on efficacy and effectiveness of flu vaccinehttp://www.cdc.gov/flu/professionals/vaccination/efficacy.htmlast_img read more

Man City register interest in Arsenal, Barcelona target Upamecano

first_img City are adamant about signing a top class centre-back in the summer. They want to find someone to partner Aymeric Laporte, with names such as Caglar Soyuncu, Pau Torres and Kalidou Koulibaly previously suggested. Read Also:FFP war: Man City demand damages from UEFA for ‘unlawful activities’ Upamecano is the latest to be linked. FacebookTwitterWhatsAppEmail分享 Loading… Manchester City are emerging as another possible destination for RB Leipzig defender Dayot Upamecano. Man City supremos are hitting back hard as they fight for the Champions League future of Pep Guardiola’s men The talented young centre-back is a much wanted player this summer. He is the subject of long term interest from Arsenal, and most recently, Bayern Munich and Barcelona. And now the Manchester Evening News suggests that Upamecano is a priority for City.Advertisementcenter_img Promoted Content7 Truly Incredible Facts About Black HolesUnderappreciated Movies You Missed In 2019Birds Enjoy Living In A Gallery Space Created For ThemEver Thought Of Sleeping Next To Celebs? This Guy Will Show YouYou’ve Only Seen Such Colorful Hairdos In A Handful Of AnimeFans Don’t Know What She Looks Like Now6 Most Overpowered Live Action Disney CharactersThe Very Last Bitcoin Will Be Mined Around 2140. Read MoreWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?7 Of The Wealthiest Universities In The WorldWho Earns More Than Ronaldo?8 Scenes That Prove TV Has Gone Too Farlast_img read more

Safer opioids needed to stem epidemic of overdoses top publichealth doctor

first_imgOTTAWA — Canada’s chief public health officer says the need to increase access to a “safer supply” of opioids is being reviewed with provinces and territories — a move encouraged by a number of public health experts.Tam’s comments come as the Public Health Agency of Canada releases data that says in the first half of 2018, opioid drugs were a factor in more than 2,000 deaths. That’s a higher death rate than the previous year.Tam says a toxic drug supply is causing a key part of this epidemic.Fentanyl, a drug more powerful than heroin, is often mixed into opioids sold on the street, meaning users can’t know the potency of the drugs they take.Tam says the country must “double down” on its efforts to address the opioid crisis, stressing the need for escalated treatment.The health agency found more than 9,000 lives were lost in Canada between January 2016 and June 2018, suggesting the country has not been able to turn the tide on the crisis. The Canadian Presslast_img read more