Disruption! Mid-Terms Eve – The Music Indicator/Paul Simon’s Last concert (Protest)/Nobel Prize Harmonica Playing Texan (Texas Senate Race)/Cheesy Music

It is the eve of the Mid-Term elections in the USA, which take place on November 6, an event heavily anticipated by all walks of life. It is the first time, I have experienced such an intensity going into mid-term elections including perhaps 1994 when many say this partisan culture was born, giving Newt Gingrich the credit (see video link below to Cranberries song-Zombie) and then again in 2010 as Barack Obama faced a rather huge and some would say, malicious, resistance from the Republicans who were victorious. Early this year in July, IAV published a piece on The Music Indicator (link) wondering if we can tell which way politics is going by the reigning popular music. It toyed with the idea that baby-boomers going full circle, flashing back to the 60s and the 70s as they actually turn 60 and 70! The 60s and 70s were a time of anti-establishment rebellion, social experimentation and liberation. America was at war, there were protests and now there seems to be a battle over our values and many believe the outcome of tomorrow’s election will set a (new?) direction, a trend. We shall see!

Below are a series of links featuring the magic of music and its influences on politics, on the music business, on science and combatting cancer with immunology by a Harmonica playing Nobel Prize winning Texan (think Texas Senate race tomorrow), and …. on the flavor of cheese.

Paul Simon gave his very last concert in July. He represents quite appropriately the times when he started (the 60s) and now. This review from The New Yorker by Amanda Petrusich captures it nicely. She brings us back to those times of protest, when Richard Nixon was re-elected and with the reminder that America has endured threats and cultural upheaval before and survived.


Also in July, Vivendi announced their decision to sell up to half of Universal Music Group (Variety Link)

Universal Music Group is benefiting from the down-streaming disruption trend and gives Vivendi a premium valuation according to market experts. Is Vivendi selling at the top or is the disruptive trend in music just starting its commercial appeal? (July 31)

One of the predominant ways for music artists to really earn money nowadays is to give concerts and through events, the music industry can promote their talent with tours and festivals. Event management still is a tough business and yet it is one way to defy digital disruption as the musicians play live their music to a live audience! Here is a podcast link from the BBC describing the challenges of putting on a commercially successful music festival! Something the music industry and their artists are determined to make work!


From Wired.com: MEET THE CAROUSING, HARMONICA-PLAYING TEXAN WHO JUST WON A NOBEL FOR HIS CANCER BREAKTHROUGH  https://www.wired.com/story/meet-jim-allison-the-texan-who-just-won-a-nobel-cancer-breakthrough/ (WORD)

The description of Jim Allison below illustrates his passion not only for fighting cancer through immunology research, but also for music. He characterizes what is probably more Texan than many realize. It also is perhaps relevant to the Texas Senate race these mid-terms!

“THE STRETCH BETWEEN 1965 and 1973 were peak years if you were young and musical in Austin, when the little university town was just beginning its metamorphosis into the tech and freak capital of a cowboy state—Texas enough to two-step, hippie enough to do it stoned, and smart enough to work the newly relocated tech mills of Texas Instruments, Motorola, and IBM. Jim Allison fit right in.

“He had outgrown his hometown of Alice, Texas, when the high school failed to offer an advanced biology class that dared mention Charles Darwin. He turned to correspondence courses from the University of Texas at Austin. and after graduation he enrolled full-time, a 17-year-old bound to be a country doctor like his dad. Back then, the 2018 Nobel Prize in medicine wasn’t even a twinkle in the young Texan’s eye.

“If you sold beer in Austin and had a surface flat enough to put a bar stool on, you were a music club, and Jim Allison played the blues harp well enough that he was in demand. He could sit in at the honky-tonks in town or play for Lone Stars in Luckenback, where the new breed of outlaw country players like Willie Nelson and Waylon Jennings roamed the earth. Either way it was a lot of fun; premed, meanwhile, wasn’t proving to be that interesting. Allison wasn’t drawn to memorizing what others had found out. He wanted to arm himself with skills to do the finding himself, so in 1965 he switched tracks and traded memorization for a laboratory, working with enzymes toward a biochemistry PhD.

“BY 1973, AFTER eight years spent getting his BA, MS, and PhD in Austin, Allison wanted to stretch his legs and find somewhere new and “first-rate” for his immunology research, and that took him 1,300 miles west into California and a postdoc program at the prestigious Scripps Institute. He was married now, doing lab work by day and playing harmonica with a country-western band a couple nights a week. “Our band got pretty famous in what was called the North County,” Allison says. ‘People think it’s all like LA or something, but that part of California’s pretty redneck.’

“Fights were brief but frequent. ‘Usually, it’d start because one cowboy that’s doing a two-step would swing too widely and bump into a guy, and the guy would say, “Don’t do that again.” But, that’s just the way the guy danced, you know? He danced big. So it happened again. Pretty soon there’s beer and fists everywhere.’

“Allison was the only one in the band with a day job, but playing with full-time musicians put him quickly into the local music scene. Plus, Allison was the guy with the VW microbus. “So we’d go to these parties. There was one up the road in Del Mar—we walk in, I don’t know anyone. It was a pretty magnificent party by the way,” Allison says, “with Waylon Jennings and Tammy Wynette doing a few songs each, then Willie Nelson—turns out it was a celebration of his Red-Headed Strangeralbum.” The two Texans got to talking and partying, and next thing Allison’s got Willie and some of his band in the back of the microbus, on the way to open-mic night at the Stingray.

“’Man, they sold a lot of beer that night,’ Allison says. Willie had taken the mic, asking, ‘You all mind if I stand in and play a few?’ then played for four hours. ‘I never had to pay for another one in that bar again,’ Allison says. Afterward he took the band back to the hotel. ‘Yeah, that was good,’ Allison says. ‘And somehow we managed to avoid getting arrested.'”


and …. on the flavor of cheese. You will for now on wonder why your cheese tastes so special. Is it the music? “Music can create feelings, reaching inside people and stirring their senses into a fondue of emotions, in ways that can make people smile, cry or jump in elation.”

Cheesy music: Swiss experiment with sound to make cheese tastier

“The project—”Sonic cheese: experience between sound and gastronomy”—hopes to show that the power of music can influence the development, characteristics and even flavour of the cheese.

“‘Bacteria is responsible for the formation of the taste of cheese, with the enzymes that influence its maturity. I am convinced that humidity, temperature or nutrients are not the only things that influence taste,’ Wampfler told AFP.

“‘Sounds, ultrasounds or music can also have physical effects,’ he insisted.

“The thought of playing rock ‘n’ roll music to influence the flavour of cheese may make some scientists cringe.

“But parts of the scientific community have spent years analysing the effect of sound on plants, and some mums-to-be believe playing classical music to their unborn child makes them smarter.

“Is potentially testing whether Roquefort is a fan of hard rock or Queso a follower of flamenco really so completely far-fetched?”
Read more at: https://phys.org/news/2018-11-cheesy-music-swiss-cheese-tastier.html#jCp

PROTEST: The Cranberries released their protest hit, “Zombie” in 1994 — all about the horrors of Northern Irelands  conflict–markets were set to recover in 1994.

POP: Wannabe Video from the Spice Girls came out in 2002 – Very upbeat and timed as the stock market was bottoming…


IAV-Invest-a-Vision, Berlin GERMANY


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