IMPACT

VetsAid to Feature Final James Gang Set, Dave Grohl, NIN, Black Keys

The Joe Walsh-led annual VetsAid benefit concert will be a hot ticket for rock’n’roll fans this fall, as it will feature what’s being billed as the final performance of Walsh’s pre-Eagles band James Gang, plus appearances by Dave Grohl, Nine Inch Nails, The Black Keys and The Breeders. The Drew Carey-hosted event will be held Nov. 13 at Nationwide Arena in Columbus, Ohio. Tickets go on sale Friday (Aug. 5). Walsh, who considers Columbus to be his hometown and later became a star amid the late ’60s Cleveland rock scene, curated an Ohio-themed bill for VetsAid, all proceeds from which will be donated to veterans’ services charities in the Buckeye state. Grohl was born in Warren, about an hour southeast of Cleveland, while Black Keys founders Dan Auerbach and Patrick Carney grew up in Akron. ...

Bloom Vol 23: Gratitude at The Gorge

At the intersection of 11th and Fir, I refined my definition of what it means to be liberated as I closed the front door on a rental Chevy Tahoe, tinted windows and black paint dusted by the trails we had traversed. That weekend, I discovered a new source of inspiration to further the excavation of my soul and the connection between us all. The Gorge Amphitheatre was formed by a natural catastrophe almost 50,000 years ago when an ice dam ruptured in what is regarded today as Canada.  A rush coursed across plains, eroding the landscape with ferocity and grace that boomed beyond any human-designed tower of speakers. The natural process of the world carved out a home for what would become known as one of the most beautiful natural venues in North America. Water into wine, in 1980, hundre...

The Newport Folk Festival: Making Mental Health A Priority

On July 16th, a new three-digit helpline, ‘988’, began a service for Americans to call if they were experiencing a mental health emergency. Those three numbers may prove to be the first small step for recovering a healthy mind during a period marked by back-to-back catastrophic traumas. While the pandemic caused layoffs, or gave employees the choice to work from home, it also brought with it a drastic, and barely reported, existential halt to the lives of performing artists. Broadway theaters went dark, every kind of live performance was cancelled or put on hold, opera commissions were stalled, and life was uniquely complicated for musicians. Some production houses and recording studios folded, of course, but more immediately, the pandemic marked the end of income for musicians who lived i...

The Newport Folk Festival: So Much More Than Music

I was a pretty lost and reckless high school student back in the day, but I was lucky, too. I’d managed to get into the High School of Music & Art (one of nine specialized high schools in New York City where you have to pass a test to get in). I was a voice major, which for me meant singing tenor in chorus. And I wrote songs on the piano, which meant an elective composition class on Fridays and bringing a new song in every week. All of us who got into the school knew how lucky we were to be there, which could make us competitive, but also collegial and empathic. And because music was vital to any kid in any high school at that time—a school’s music curriculum would sometimes be their only motivation to go to school at all. My own experience in high school and later, majoring in music (...

Bloom Vol 22: Trust

Thirty-two years it took for me to trust myself. A sliding glass door to an inherent truth–value in my existence. “Stepping into my first dance-music concert was the beginning of opening that door,” I thought to myself, as I walked the grounds of Bloedel Reserve on Bainbridge Island. Standing amongst countless variations of flora and trees, my dad seemed to recite their names by memory. Hundreds of acres of meticulously designed gardens represented their natural surroundings while defining their uniqueness. It was the vision of someone who built an enterprise in timber, trusting themselves to give the community a treasure of reverence. The reserve was a place outside normalcy that ratified reality, like a music festival. I stood still for a second and closed my eyes. Inside of me was both ...

Bloom Vol 21: Music and Emotional Intelligence

Previously, I discussed how making time to “date” ourselves can pave the way for increasing our emotional intelligence. It is a key to understanding “you” as a human. Humans are driven by emotion. Heightening your emotional intelligence improves your ability to respond to different situations optimally. To know why you feel the way you do, without mystery; meaningful action to better your well-being can take place with clarity. Once you’ve been dating yourself for a while, you begin to understand the tiny nuances and narratives in your mind that cause subsects of the emotion you are feeling. Suddenly, you identify the core reasons why you feel the way you are from a trauma-informed perspective that sees the origins of the moment you are in. You understand your triggers, the characters in y...

Bloom Vol 20: Dating Me

Nails on a chalkboard. A semi-truck skidding to a halt on the interstate as its back jack-knifes, sending sparks cascading across rows of cars like the Fourth of July. A never-ending vacuum on a Saturday morning outside of your apartment door. What do these three things have in common? They are all analogous to how I used to treat me when I was alone. Emotional intelligence ultimately falls to us: our ability to regulate our emotions, and perceive our emotions. I had never lived on my own until last year. Be it parents, roommates, or a significant other, I had always had someone around. As a socialite and a former serial monogamous, my adult years have teemed with staggering levels of distraction. Equating external human interactions and connections to distractions might sound harsh. What ...

Bloom Vol 19: Smile

In this ongoing series, DJ and mental-health advocate Alex Wagner shares stories and inspiration to create awareness. I often received remarks on my seemingly perpetual state of happiness in elementary school – a smile that would never leave my face. One time, I happened to eat something most unagreeable with myself, resulting in me spending some time in the main office – my teacher, Ms. Gould, passed through and remarked, “Alex, see, even after throwing up, you’re still smiling – nothing will take that smile from you.” Eventually, time would lessen its presence. As partially defined last week, a significant component of emotional intelligence is our ability to understand, perceive, and control our emotional states. I had forgotten just how powerful a consistent smile could be and how it t...

Bloom Vol 19: Smile

In this ongoing series, DJ and mental-health advocate Alex Wagner shares stories and inspiration to create awareness. I often received remarks on my seemingly perpetual state of happiness in elementary school – a smile that would never leave my face. One time, I happened to eat something most unagreeable with myself, resulting in me spending some time in the main office – my teacher, Ms. Gould, passed through and remarked, “Alex, see, even after throwing up, you’re still smiling – nothing will take that smile from you.” Eventually, time would lessen its presence. As partially defined last week, a significant component of emotional intelligence is our ability to understand, perceive, and control our emotional states. I had forgotten just how powerful a consistent smile could be and how it t...

Bloom Vol 19: Smile

I often received remarks on my seemingly perpetual state of happiness in elementary school – a smile that would never leave my face. One time, I happened to eat something most unagreeable with myself, resulting in me spending some time in the main office – my teacher, Ms. Gould, passed through and remarked, “Alex, see, even after throwing up, you’re still smiling – nothing will take that smile from you.” Eventually, time would lessen its presence. As partially defined last week, a significant component of emotional intelligence is our ability to understand, perceive, and control our emotional states. I had forgotten just how powerful a consistent smile could be and how it ties to my well-being. Growing in my understanding and means to observe the nuances within my behavio...

Bloom Vol 19: Smile

I often received remarks on my seemingly perpetual state of happiness in elementary school – a smile that would never leave my face. One time, I happened to eat something most unagreeable with myself, resulting in me spending some time in the main office – my teacher, Ms. Gould, passed through and remarked, “Alex, see, even after throwing up, you’re still smiling – nothing will take that smile from you.” Eventually, time would lessen its presence. As partially defined last week, a significant component of emotional intelligence is our ability to understand, perceive, and control our emotional states. I had forgotten just how powerful a consistent smile could be and how it ties to my well-being. Growing in my understanding and means to observe the nuances within my behavio...

St. Paul & The Broken Bones Dive Bomb Into The Psychedelic on The Alien Coast

Paul Janeway never wanted to be in a band that had his name in it. But his friend and co-founder of St. Paul & The Broken Bones, Jesse Phillips, changed all that. “I grew up singing in church since I was four years old,” Janeway said during an interview ahead of the band’s recent show at Pappy & Harriet’s. When Paul and Jesse and met, the frontman was pretty innocent, except for a potty mouth that had him quipping he was “baptized with my mouth closed.” That initial innocence led to the nickname of “Saint Paul” — and the rest is history. “Jesse thought it would be funny to call me St. Paul — I didn’t really want my name in the band — and then the first song we ever wrote together was a song called “Broken Bones And Pocket Change.” The band grew from Janeway on vocals and Phillips o...