Photo credit: Vince Novo @novophotos on Instagram
I recently read through various astrological predictions for 2020 that were written before this year even started. The reason so many astrologers and psychics were paying attention to 2020 is that Jupiter, Saturn and Pluto were coming together for “the Great Transformation”—a planetary alignment not seen in 2000 years. Everything I read pointed to something really BIG about to happen; a tectonic shift in political, financial, and personal realms.
One blog post in particular grabbed my attention because it was written in 2018—and to read it now is eerie. This blogger, known as Astro Drew, wrote these thoughts in 2018 (and I’m only listing the things that stood out):
“The conjunction of Pluto, Jupiter, and Saturn, is a mind-blowing sound of change. This is the energy shifter of all energy shifters. It will be a time of restructuring values. Many Americans values — and the world’s values — will be called into question. The upheaval will have incredibly strong economic consequences. Good luck to the stock market. China, interestingly enough, may have some new role to play in the fray. Something paranormal / difficult to explain will occur that will shift the public consciousness and add weight to the question of what is meaningful in life. The aspects are so strong that I’m worried about massive earthquakes and ground-shaking phenomena. I worry about the loss of life. Something on an alien level may occur, with some sort of revealing of other life forms not previously known.” (note: think Covid-19 for the “previously unknown life form.)
It’s pretty amazing, isn’t it, to think that was written in 2018.
Okay, so YES, we’re in a major transformational period. The human race just got a sharp smack in the face. This is our loud and unpleasant wake up call. All of a sudden we’re in a metamorphosis of sorts and, as we know, transformation is no easy thing. Think of the major alteration that caterpillars go through to turn into butterflies. It’s their power to change so radically that has made them symbolic of the human spirit. Around the world, people view the butterfly as representing endurance, change, hope, and resurrection.
Isn’t it uncanny then, that we’re all locked in our homes right now—our cocoons. It’s like the universe is forcing us to examine ourselves, and compelling us to morph into the more beautiful “butterfly” version of ourselves. And just so you know, while inside a chrysalis, a caterpillar’s body digests itself from the inside out. The same juices it used to digest food as a larva, it now uses to break down its own body! So yeah, we’re digesting our own selves right now, whilst sitting in our own muck.
In a way, this virus is showing us what we’re made of and who we really are. We see our government rushing to roll back EPA protections, basically to give the major polluters a free pass during this pandemic even though this is the complete opposite of what should be happening. We see the senators guilty of insider-trading and dumping stocks after coronavirus briefings. We see hoarding and xenophobia, and people who refuse to stay home because they want to party. This is the ugly side of human nature—the greedy, self-centered, uncaring, dishonest side.
BUT, we’re also witnessing the incredible courage of doctors and nurses everywhere; the bravery of the frontline workers; the kindness, caring and solidarity emerging as people lift each other up. There’s the creative spreading of love, like the children’s stuffed bear hunt that’s going global, and the Italians singing to each other from their balconies. People everywhere offering to sew face-masks; families, celebrities and businesses donating whatever and however they can. Suddenly we understand how much we need each other and how incredibly precious life is.
So…how will this pandemic transform you? The choice is yours.
I’m a big fan of Willy Porter and was thrilled to get to watch him perform at the renowned McCabe’s Guitar Shop in Santa Monica. From the first note, Willy Porter, a contemporary American rock musician and singer-songwriter from Mequon, Wisconsin, had his audience mesmerized. Porter has a unique finger-picking, guitar thumping-slapping-hammer-on style, uses tunings of all manners, and sometimes even places two capos on his fret board at once. The magical tone of his guitar and his soulful lyrics mixed in with his heartwarming humor make his show something pretty damn special. At one point, on strumming his guitar, Porter pointed out that all the other stringed instruments hanging on the walls of McCabe’s were resonating. It’s called Synchronized Resonance or Sympathetic Vibrations. I love that, as I think “sympathetic vibrations” describes Porter’s music and his being quite succinctly.
As Porter performs you feel like you’re hanging with a good friend. A warm, sincere, decent fellow that you cherish as a rare find. His music wraps you in a loving blanket that invites you to relax and join in.
After talking about the importance of good stewardship of mother earth, he invited the audience to sing along to “Akasha Winds”, a song penned by L.J. Booth. The song is included on Mnemonic, Porter’s latest CD. Not that Porter usually does cover songs, he’s a prolific songwriter, with 12 CD’s released. He makes songwriting appear easy, so easy in fact, that he co-write a song on the spot with the audience. “Call out some ideas”, he encouraged. We ended up with a song that included the words: hitchhiking, Ramen noodles, cheese curds, kittens, hypocrisy and folk alliance. Tricky words to slip into a song, but Porter did it artfully while making us all laugh.
Porter was described to me as: not only a consummate musician, but one of the most genuine, truly wonderful people on the planet, who performs molecule-rearranging shows. Now, doesn’t that sound like someone you’d like to hangout with? Well, you can because Willy will be leading a tour to Ireland in August 2020 (bring your instruments) – you can find more info on that at www.willyporter.com You can also find Porter’s most requested guitar tunings at his site. How cool is that!
I got to ask Willy some questions and below are his answers – enjoy!
1) Your guitar sounds so full and rich. What guitar are you using and how many different tunings are you dealing with?
I’m currently playing a Jason Kostal 6-String. It is a remarkable instrument for its overall tonal balance, intonation and playability. I tune down a whole step, D to D, then open-tune from there. So a very familiar open-tuning fro many guitarists, “DADGAD” for me is CGCFGC. From there I’ll use a lot of different variations on Bb, F, and combine open-tunings with partial capos, etc. I use medium gauge strings (.013-.56), so the really low tunings are still fairly stable to work with. I’ll go through about 6 or 7 different tunings in the course of a night, but it all depends on where the night goes musically.
2) How old were you when you first picked up a guitar?
I started playing when I was 12.
3) What’s your craziest on stage experience?
Sound-checking in Texas while Paul Simon was on-stage watching and asking me questions about what I was doing was probably the craziest moment for me.
4) What song of yours is your favorite?
The one I just finished, whatever that might be. I do like to play “Bears Ears &The Great Law” a lot these days though.
5) Which musician would you go to see perform if you could (dead or alive)?
6) Has your songwriting style changed over the years, and how many CD’s do you have available to date?
I think I’m more patient with the process of writing than I was when I started. Some music takes a long time to write, other songs happen very, very quickly. Through time and effort I’ve learned to let that process be what it is in the moment.
7) If you were interviewing you, what question would you ask?
I’d ask “When was the moment that music really spoke to you for the first time?” And it was hearing my dad play the piano.
8) What’s next for you?
I’m looking forward to working and writing with drummer Dave Schoepke and bassist Eric Madunic. We’ve had fun as a trio and I think we have some nice musical terrain ahead of us. I’m excited to see where the music might take us.
Photo Credits: Cover photo by Leeann Flynn
Insert B&W photo by Mark Waite
COME CELEBRATE NATIONAL MARGARITA DAY AT TREJO’S TACOS/TREJO’S CANTINA
$3.99 OG Margaritas All-Day! What a deal!
Who: National Margarita Day at Trejo’s Tacos/Cantina.
What: Trejo’s will be offering $3.99 OG Margaritas all-day!
When: Saturday, February 22nd, 2020
Where: At all Trejo’s locations.
Dance the Night Away at a Leap Day Silent Disco in Downtown Santa Monica
Enjoy a free silent disco, dueling DJs and leap day birthday treats from Carlo’s Bakery at Third Street Promenade
Saturday, February 29 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
Dance like no one is watching in Downtown Santa Monica
during a free Leap Day Silent Disco
on Saturday, February 29 from 6 – 9 p.m at Third Street Promenade. Celebrate February’s extra day with friends, families, and loved ones making memories that last a lifetime while enjoying unlimited dancing, dueling DJs, free treats and Carlo’s Bakery
cupcakes for all the leap day babies.
Grab your dancing shoes and get your groove on to one of three live DJ sets with a personal light-up headset at this exciting leap day festivity. Attendees celebrating their leap day birthday will be given a free cupcake and birthday treats from Carlo’s Bakery
, as featured on Cake Boss, with valid Photo ID. No matter your age, all are invited to experience a fun evening dancing under the night sky on Third Street Promenade to bring in 2020’s long awaited extra day.
Saturday, February 29 from 6 p.m. – 9 p.m.
1300 Block of the Third Street Promenade
Parking is widely available in the downtown structures including the Santa Monica Public Library or Parking Structures 9 and 10 just north of Wilshire Boulevard. Biking, walking and public transit are encouraged.
Leap Day Silent Disco is free and open to the public. A photo ID is required to use the headsets. For more information, visit www.downtownsm.com/
or follow along on social media on Facebook
, or Instagram
Cover photo: provided courtesy of Downtown Santa Monica, Inc.