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April 20 - May 20 Taurus
It’s that time again, Taurus cowpunks and all zodiac zydecats. Time for the Ponderosa Stomp! The 8th Annual P-Stomp pulls into New Orleans next week on Tuesday 4/28 and Wednesday 4/29. The lineup includes Wanda Jackson, Howard Tate, James Burton, Dan Penn and Bobby Emmons, Howard Tate, Otis Clay, The Hi Rhythm Section, The Remains, Question Mark and the Mysterians, The Legendary Stardust Cowboy, Kenny and the Kasuals, Deke Dickerson and the Eccofonics, and 75-year-old Lazy Lester, the patron saint of the P-Stomp, whose instrumental 1966 track for Excello Records provided the festival’s namesake. And that’s only a few of the musical acts. By the by, Flamin’ Groovies Cyril Jordan and Roy Loney haven’t played a full set together since 1971, but will perform this year at the P-Stomp, backed by the A-Bones! It’s the biggest P-Stomp to date, with an expanded 3-day conference and a Stomp-curated exhibition at the NOLA’s Louisiana State Museum at The Cabildo. The 2nd Annual Music Conference and Exhibit is presented in partnership with The Louisiana State Museum and The Rock + Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. From our friends at Norton Records: A daytime conference has been added to the Stomp. There will be interviews and panels with and about the music and artists featured on the festival. The conference happens at the beautiful Louisiana State Museum at the Cabildo. Much anticipated at Norton HQ is a Peanut buttery Tom Snyder style Q&A starring Question Mark with his biggest fan Miriam Linna firing questions at the Arsenal! (April 29 2:00 - 3:00 PM ) More info here. Schedule here. Tickets here. And New Yorkers, hearken unto this: the P-Stomp is pulling into Lincoln Center for 3 dates in July.

May 21 - June 20 Gemini
I know Geminis are mindful that Mother’s Day is coming up very quickly on May 10. Because you twin people love your mamas! As it should be! Heads up for a really great deal on the perfect Mother’s Day Gift from One Meaning Couture, a new jewelry and apparel company. All OMC designs are based on the words “I love you” - 8 letters, 3 words, 1 meaning.  The numbers 813 form a butterfly shape– the symbol of change and renewal, and now, love. Company owners Karen Chesleigh and Ingrid Hobbs believe that love really can change the world. That change starts with their policy to give back 8.13% of all sales to a different highlighted charity each month. As OMC grows in sales, so will its charitable contribution – one day they hope to donate 81.3% of all proceeds to a deserving organization each month. During the month of May, in honor of Mother’s Day, OMC is donating 8.13% of all proceeds to the Get in Touch Foundation, which encourages girls and women of all ages to “get in touch” with their bodies in the crusade against breast cancer. Weekend Horoscoop* readers are invited to take 10% off their orders between now and May 10. Enter the word “horoscoop” at checkout and you’ll receive a 10% credit off your total purchase price!

June 21 - July 22 Cancer
As the Tribeca Film Festival pulls into town, it reminds us that we must support independent film every way we can, especially in these dark financial times. I know that those born under the sign of Cancer, the Crab, like to support quality, first-run independent film, n’est-ce pas? Well, pull up a chair and let’s talk about Gigantic Digital – a website committed to making these films available to everyone, everywhere, anytime. Employing the latest digital video technologies, their goal is to even the playing field for independent filmmakers. Throughout the history of independent film distribution, theaters that show them have been few and far between. The bigger problem is that only a tiny percentage of independent films are ever released at all. The cost of traditional film distribution is just too high for film companies to take a chance on unknown filmmakers, films without high-profile festival pedigrees or films without movie stars. Which is why you should buy tickets for the Tribeca Film Festival if you’re able to. And no matter where you are geographically, you can watch three days of indie productions at Gigantic Digital for a mere $2.99 – on your computer! Now playing: David Kaplan’s Year of the Fish, Wayne Price’s The Doorman, and Morgan DewsMust Read After My Death. Also, feel free to watch your fill of the site’s free content which they add to regularly. Thanks to Kathryn B. for this tip!

July 23 - August 22 Leo
I don’t think I know any Leos who aren’t rock & roll animals, so this one’s for you. Did you know about the Ravin’ Wire, a commercial free, not for profit project created and maintained by San Francisco-based filmmaker Bob Sarles? Sarles regularly posts fascinating articles about popular culture, music, film, television, new media, emerging technologies, obituaries, humor, politics, and anything else that strikes his interest at any given moment. Today on the site he’s spotlighting Greg Kot’s Chicago Tribune piece Why the Grateful Dead live on; a review of Ayelet Waldman’s book Bad Mother: A Chronicle of Maternal Crimes, Minor Calamities and Occasional Moments of Grace; and an article about the new Bruce Springsteen exhibit at Cleveland’s Rock + Roll Hall of Fame and Museum. More about Sarles and his production company Ravin’ Films here. Mr. Sarles welcomes comments on posted articles; submissions for original and referred articles are encouraged. Please feel free to submit any articles for the Wire, or send feedback to Join Ravin’ Wire on Facebook here.

August 23 - September 22 Virgo
Virgos tend to be know-it-alls. You know what I’m talking about. Well us tribal members call such folks yentas. And a certified yenta / veteran celebrity assistant from L.A. has taken it upon herself to start a great website called The Yenta Report. Loren Elkins, said Yenta, has assisted luminaries such as Faye Dunaway, Nathan Lane, Ellen Barkin, and Matthew Perry, to name a few. After many years of people asking her advice on where to find this, or how do I do that, she decided to start this fabulous online resource which dishes out advice on all kinds of L.A.-specific topics. Features include The Yenta Review (a weekly L.A. insider profile); Ask the Yenta (every week Loren answers three submitted questions in her weekly email newsletter); and The Yenta List (where to shop, eat, rent cars, and find cool stuff in the L.A. area). There’s even a blog. Thanks to Janice N. for this fabulous tip. Love you, mean it!

September 23 - October 22 Libra
Urbane, polished Librans love to be on the cutting edge of everything, including viral video. With that in mind, may I present to you one David Wain, comic genius / boy wonder. Wain was a member of the multiheaded sketch troupe that was behind MTV’s The State. Wet Hot American Summer, a summer camp comedy cult classic, was directed by Wain in 2001. Wainy Days, his hilarious web series, is both directed by Wain and also features him as the star. The storyline is about an oversexed, nebbishy Brooklynite who continually gets his heart broken in a series of really bad dates. Season 4 debuts on May 7 at My Damn Channel – be there or be square, as the saying goes. If you’re in or near New York City, you are so in luck. Wain will host Wainy Days Live at 92YTribeca (200 Hudson St.) featuring musical performances from past and upcoming episodes along with a passel of series cast members. Tickets are $15 in advance and can be purchased here.

October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
I know Scorpios are often drawn to the dark side, the monsters that lurk under the bed, horror movies, et de plus en plus. Possibly because Halloween falls within your birth sign. Well, folks, have I got a museum for you! How about a trip to Springfield, Illinois to visit The Museum of Funeral Customs? Talk about a once in a “lifetime” experience. Alas, the museum is under severe budget restraints at the present time and is only open by appointment. But make an appointment and go, because I’m absolutely positive you’ll be enthralled by this place. Among other things, the museum has a replica of the coffin that carried Abraham Lincoln from Washington to Springfield in 1865. Also on view are a 1920’s horse-drawn hearse, Victorian era mourning clothes, an embalming supply cabinet from the 1920’s, and prosthetics for preparing bodies in the mid-20th century. There’s also a one of a kind gift shop that sells coffin shaped key chains and chocolates. The museum explores death-related customs in different cultures. The Museum of Funeral Customs is located at 1440 Monument Ave. in Springfield, Illinois, a stone’s throw from Lincoln’s final resting place at Oak Ridge Cemetery. Call to make an appointment at 217-544-3480.

November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Sagittarians are friendly folk. You make a great friend and you love to make new friends. Well surprise, surprise – it turns out that making and keeping friends is good for your health. The New York Times reported this week that a 10-year Australian study found that older people with a large circle of friends were 22 percent less likely to die during the study period than those with fewer friends . .  And last year, Harvard researchers reported that strong social ties could promote brain health as we age. The Times article cites a new book called The Girls From Ames: A Story of Women and a 40-Year Friendship (Gotham), in which author Jeffrey Zaslow recounts the story of 11 childhood friends originally from Ames, Iowa, who eventually settled in eight different states. Despite the distance, their bond has stayed strong through the years. Two of the women recently found that they have breast cancer. One of those women is a high school teacher in Minnesota who found it easier to discuss her illness with her friends rather than her doctor, and maintains that her friends were instrumental in her treatment and recovery process. Turns out that a 2006 study of nurses with breast cancer found that women who had no close friends were four times as likely to die than women with ten or more friends. Karen A. Roberto, director of Virginia Tech’s center for gerontology, told The Times that “People with stronger friendship networks feel like there is someone they can turn to . . . Friendship is an undervalued resource. The consistent message of these studies is that friends make your life better.”

December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
Our album of the week is a new release from the brilliant Ian McLagan, Never Say Never on 00:02:59. CBS Sunday Morning’s Bill Flanagan, music critic and rock writer, had this to say: Never Say Never mixes mischief and heartbreak, dancing on the bar and crying in your beer, in perfect proportion. The album is a collaboration with Glyn Johns, Mac’s old pal from Small Faces and Faces days. The self produced and directed album features McLagan’s award winning Bump Band: ‘Scrappy’ Jud Newcomb, Don Harvey and Mark Andes. Patty Griffin graces Never Say Never with her soulful vocals, and both Patty and the Tosca Strings can be heard on the final track, the heart wrenching When The Crying Is Over. If I know Capricorns like I think I do, you’ll enjoy this great new set of songs from an old friend. You can catch him doing some live shows in the next couple of weeks on the west coast. Tour dates here.

January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
Times are tough for everyone. We know this. I also know that Aquarians are very responsive to new, unique ways to solve problems. So I have a unique way for you to approach this depressing, scary, sad financial meltdown that’s reached it’s evil tentacles into the lives of all of us. It’s going to surprise you. But I ask you to give it a try. You’ll be amazed. What is this trick? It is learning how to be thankful. Re-learning the lost art of gratitude. Karen Krakower Kaplan writes in the Health Leader, the online wellness magazine of the University of Texas Health Science Center: Gratitude is the gentle recognition, rediscovery or “re-remembering” of the simple abundance around you . . . Gratitude is noticing the extraordinary in the ordinary. And then taking the nanosecond to feel it. Kaplan gives us 7 steps to connecting to gratitude and, through gratitude, abundance. Honestly, it works. I’ve tried it; I know. Even if you think you have nothing to be grateful for, make a list – you will find something – and it will turn your life around.

February 19 – March 20 Pisces
The Pisces of the Week is Sir Michael Caine, who is back in the spotlight with a new film; John Crowley’s Is Anybody There? Caine plays a retired magician who has been shunted off into a rest home as he experiences the slow darkness of the mind that is Alzheimer’s. Caine, now 76, says it is one of his favorite roles in his long career of over a hundred films (two Oscars, mind you). And this is from the man who starred in The Ipcress File, The Man Who Would Be King, The Italian Job, Educating Rita, Zulu, Billion Dollar Brain, Alfie, etc. etc. etc. Caine was born Maurice Joseph Mickelwhite, Jr. on March 14, 1933. He is also known for his wickedly funny asides, like “The best research for playing a drunk is being a British actor for 20 years” and “I’m a sort of boy next door. If that boy has a good scriptwriter.” The British ska band Madness included a song called Michael Caine on their 1984 release Keep Moving. At the urging of his daughter, a fan of the band, Caine contributed vocal samples to the song. The music video can be seen here.

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