March 21 - April 19 Aries
The Center for Jewish History (15 W. 16th St. in Manhattan) presents a fascinating panel discussion with four Jewish fathers of Punk Rock on Thursday, June 11 at 7pm. Loud Fast Jews Tommy Ramone, Lenny Kaye, Chris Stein, and the Handsomest Man in Showbiz, Handsome Dick Manitoba, will discuss the glorious heyday of NYC punk, their individual career arcs, and the impact their Jewish experience has had on their music. Tix are way reasonable ($18 for the public, $12 for students) and this promises to be a fascinating evening for yids like me and non-yids alike, not to mention those of the Aries persuasion and non-Aries folks too. More info here. Tickets can be purchased here or call 212 868 4444.
April 20 - May 20 Taurus
Avast ye Taurean souls, you foodies, you lovers of great prose. Have your cake and read it too with Nancy Mehagian’s recent book Siren’s Feast, An Edible Odyssey (Cielo Press). Mehagian quotes Parisian designer Elsa Schiaparelli in her forward; “A good cook is like a sorceress who dispenses happiness.” And a good writer who is also a good cook, and Mehagian is both, dispenses a tome that is hard to put down. A first generation Armenian-American, Mehagian left her Phoenix home to travel the world, bedded a Bedouin gypsy, established Ibiza’s first vegetarian restaurant, was jailed in London (with her newborn child) for over a year, was a cabaret dancer in Syria, and is now settled in L.A. making a living as a massage therapist. Her life reads like a novel, and the book is sprinkled liberally with over forty recipes. It’s a feast of the senses. And Quincy Jones sums it up best: “A spicy brew of recipes and adventures. I don’t know whether to eat this book, smoke it or make love to it.”
May 21 - June 20 Gemini
It’s time for all Geminis to celebrate the occasion of their birth. Yes, the spotlight’s on you, twin people. Here’s something you might want to work into your weekend; how about an orgasm? (Yes, all of us can benefit – not just Geminis). You’ll really want to bait the hook, charm the cobra, play couch hockey for one, or any other synonym you prefer for having one off with yourself or with a loved one, after watching author Mary Roach’s extremely appealing speech on the subject at a recent TED conference. Roach, a freelance writer and humorist, presents 10 fascinating claims about the subject of sexual climax. It’s definitely the most interesting 16 minutes and 37 seconds you’ll spend this weekend. Watch it here. And be good to yourself. Because you deserve it!
June 21 - July 22 Cancer
While we’re on the subject of loud fast rules, as we were a few signs ago in Aries-Land, leave us not forget to thank the universe that Miriam Linna has entered the blogosphere, my Cancer moonchild brethren. Yes, it’s finally happened. If you – like me – are addicted to Miriam’s scribing style in the Norton Records email newsletters and website, you’ll be throwing out hosannas left and right when you dial in to Kicksville 66. Mir started up the blog with a lengthy and fascinating autobiographical piece about moving to Manhattan when she was 20 and becoming the first drummer of seminal band The Cramps: It was a lifetime ago– everything’s changed, and nothing’s changed. Like when you spin around real fast and stop, and you’re digging your heels in, and everything around you is a whirling blur. This woman has had a life most of us can only dream of – but we can now read about it in loving detail – with photos and posters! – on her blog. And we can hope some enterprising agent realizes that she should write her memoirs. I’m already waiting at the bookstore for that. Also check out Nortonville – the official blog of Miriam and husband Billy Miller’s label, Norton Records.
July 23 - August 22 Leo
Leo, your sign is ruled by the Sun and is the epitome of hellzapoppin’ fierceness. I know you truly value the importance of your local library, especially as we lose independent bookstores every day in this rancid financial climate. Perhaps you did not know that New York City’s Mayor Mike Bloomberg wants to cut funding from the New York City public library system. Each of NYC’s three public library systems are facing budget cuts in excess of 22 percent in the coming fiscal year. With an unemployment rate higher than 8 percent in the city, more people than ever before are turning to libraries to make use of their job-hunting resources and to improve their professional skills. Get off your ass and sign this petition now. Go into your local library and browse. Pay your overdue fines (this one’s for me). Email your city council member. And if you can, throw a few extra bucks out there to help save the endangered library system. Even $10 can help.
August 23 - September 22 Virgo
The Virgo of the Week is Leonard Norman Cohen, born September 21, 1934 in Quebec. I recently had the chance to see Mr. Cohen play a concert at New York City’s Radio City Music Hall, and I’m here to tell you that it was a transcendent experience. I hadn’t seen him perform since I was in college, back in the days when I never missed a Leonard Cohen show and used to call him music to kill yourself by. Oh, but he’s that and so much more! Apparently in the last few decades his popularity has grown to crazy proportions and now he’s certifiably cool and hip (um, I was there first on this one). Cohen was born into a middle-class Canadian Jewish family and studied with poet Irving Layton in high school. He first became known as a published poet in the early sixties, and moved to the U.S. in 1967 where he was signed by famed talent scout John Hammond to Columbia Records and released his first album, Songs of Leonard Cohen. He’s gone in and out of the public consciousness ever since like a silver stitching needle of love and pain and beauty (sorry, he just brings out the poet in moi). Suffice it to say that to see him in concert now is a life-affirming and wondrous experience and his band is absolutely top-notch. I don’t want to spoil anything for you, but take a look at these videos and start counting your change for when he’s next in town. And do not miss it. And thank you, Kati M.
September 23 - October 22 Libra
Librans love the pleasures of the aesthetic, beauty and harmony and all like that. Combine that with your occasional penchant for crazy sixties ephemera and it’s a safe bet you could be entertained for hours watching Scopitones on the fabulous World Wide Web. A Scopitone is actually a film jukebox invented in the early 1960’s from surplus World War II airplane parts as well as the short music films which were played on such machines. And the whole thing happened in France. Bien sur. N’est-ce pas? De rigeur. There are hours of fun that await you, mes cheres! Check out Fiesta Hippie by Les Ballets Jackson for a taste. Or perhaps you’d like to enter the Web of Love by Joi Lansing, or catch the adventures of these cute English College Girls here. This site tells it all and has links to where you can buy your own DVD copies so you can have these things playing on the TV monitor at your next big party. Once you’ve seen the glory that is Scopitone, there’s no going back.
October 23 - November 21 Scorpio
There are candles, and there are candles. And then there are candles by Cire Trudon. Established in 1643 by Claude Trudon, Cire Trudon is France’s most famous wax producing factory. You can light one up while scoping your French scopitones and enjoy two fab French experiences at the same time! I know a few Scorpios, and I must say that they are very fond of candles. These beautiful works of art are 100% paraffin-free and devoid of any secondary materials derived from petrochemicals. Cire Trudon uses a secret mix of palm oil, rice, soy, and coprah with wicks of pure cotton. The candle glass was made in Italy by master craftsmen. The embossed gold labels on each candle were made exclusively by the oldest champagne label maker in France. Choose from Spiritus Sancti (flickers of crimson, gold, and olibanaum), Dada (a touch of tea and vetiver, dressed up with crumpled mint leaves and eucalyptus), Revolution (the delicious scent of hot and crusty bread right out of the oven), Carmelite (top notes of orange and armoise; heart notes of rose, spices and iris), and many more.
November 22 - December 21 Sagittarius
Our Sag friends love travel, adventure, and the arts. I’m thinking that you, like me, will be thrilled at my new web discovery, Virtual Vintage Postcards, E-Cards & E-Greetings. Perhaps you, like me, have trolled the internet for cool images to send to your friends or decorate your blogs or what have you. Wander no more, because this site has it all: everything from themed cards for Christmas, Thanksgiving, and Navy Day (October 27), broken down by graphic genre (baseball, fine art, romance, World War II), and regional groupings as well (New England, Old England, etc.). You’re all set for a year of holiday e-cards, get your clicking finger ready.
December 22 - January 19 Capricorn
A while back we told you Capricorn kids (and everyone else) about the incredible Green Book of Songs, the Thematic Guide to Popular Music, where you can look up lists of songs about any subject instantly. This book should be on the shelf of every radio programmer and television producer. The fine folks at GBOS have now started their own blog, and it totally rocks, of course. This week’s post is about Five Songs of Nuclear Destruction. I’m a little crushed to see that Barry McGuire’s Eve of Destruction is not among them, but it’s a good list – Metallica, Black Sabbath, Slayer, Def Leppard and Anthrax. A couple of weeks ago they posted a list of the Top 10 Songs about Unemployment: ten songs that tell it all — the frustration, the anger, the despair. These songs reach all the way from the Great Depression to the current crisis, from steel mills and auto assembly lines to coal mines and farms, and show in ways statistics never can that some things about job loss are timeless.
January 20 - February 18 Aquarius
The Aquarian mind is keenly intelligent and highly unorthodox, which makes you a very fascinating character. I know you’ll truly dig The Big Sur Spirit Garden, an International Arts and Cultural Center located between the Santa Lucia Mountains and the ocean in the Big Sur Valley. The Spirit Garden provides world-class production and mult-cultural education programs, hosting artists from across the globe. Tomorrow and every Sunday you can participate in a Capoeira and Afro Brazilian Drumming Class from 12 noon to 2pm. June 12th through 14th they host an African Music and Arts Festival, a native herb walk is planned for June 21st, and the First Annual Festival of Ethnobotany and Plant Medicine will take place here from September 18th to the 20th, among many other interesting events. Check it all out here and get thee to Big Sur.
February 19 - March 20 Pisces
James Tiberius Kirk will be born on March 22, 2233, making him a Pisces. Yah, mon. So, let me just say this. I am not one to go to blockbuster movies. In fact, when I was younger, I eschewed books and movies that were big sellers like the plague. My feeling was, if the masses liked something, well it just couldn’t have any merit. I’ve softened a bit on this front, and I trotted myself out to see Star Trek because it just looked so good on the commercials - and because J.J. Abrams was responsible for it. And you know what? It is well worth seeing, whether or not you know anything about the original series or not. It’s really kick ass awesome. My favorite actors were those who played McCoy (Karl Urban), Scotty (Simon Pegg), Uhura (Zoe Saldana) (wow! breakout great feminist character!), and Sulu (John Cho). Spock (Zachary Quinto) and Kirk (Chris Pine) were great too, of course. Here’s some great trivia from the original 1966 TV series; tubes marked GNDN can be seen in the hallways of the Enterprise. Those initials actually stood for “Goes Nowhere Does Nothing.”