council

Pittsburgh City Council Honors Gregg Gillis

Today, Tuesday, December 7, Pittsburgh City Councilman, William Peduto, presented a proclamation from City Council honoring Gregg Gillis (aka Girl Talk) for his work and support of his hometown, Pittsburgh, and declared today "Gregg Gillis Day" in the City of Pittsburgh. An official ceremony for the reading of the proclamation was held this morning at the City Council Building. It was open to the public, and aired live on City Channel Pittsburgh (Comcast channel 13 and Verizon channel 44).
Girl Talk played two sold out shows this past weekend, Friday, December 3 and Saturday, December 4 at Pittsburgh's brand new amphitheater, Stage AE. These were the first two performances at this venue.
Girl Talk's new album, All Day, is available for free download here.

Great American Taxi Donates Track to Coal Miners Relief Fund

Just in time for Earth Day (April 22), Great American Taxi, whose current album Reckless Habits is climbing the Americana radio airplay charts, has donated a free download of a song, “Appalachian Soul” culled from its debut album Streets of Gold, to raise awareness of the plight of coal miners and their communities in West Virginia. The track is offered free to radio stations that agree to direct listeners to GreatAmericanTaxi.com, which in turn links to West Virginia Council of Churches website, which collects donations for the miners.

GAT frontman Vince Herman, who grew up in West Virginia, comments: “Great American Taxi sends our thoughts out to the families and communities effected by the mining disaster at the upper big branch mine. We hope that their unconquerable Appalachian spirit and families can help them navigate these difficult times. The country and the world share in their grief. We need coal.  We need our miners to be safe. We need understanding on all sides of this contentious issue of our national energy policy. We would like to make Taxis' tribute to that  Appalachian spirit available as a download here and suggest a donation to the WV council of churches to assist  the families of our fallen brothers. Let's all come together and honor the families who have paid that ultimate price for our energy needs and hope that this is the last such disaster we must face.”

In the past five years, Great American Taxi has become one of the best-known headliners on the jam band circuit, their uninhibited sound a swinging concoction of swampy blues, progressive bluegrass, funky New Orleans strut, Southern boogie, honky tonk, gospel and good old fashioned rock ’n’ roll. That loose, anything-can-happen feel is the hallmark of Reckless Habits, the band’s second album, which was recorded in Loveland, Colo., with producer Tim Carbone (from Railroad Earth) bringing the feel of an onstage performance to the recording process. The new album was released through Thirty Tigers on March 2, 2010.

Blurt called Reckless Habits “a giddy combination of boogie, blues, bluegrass, nu-grass and honky-tonk, it's as readily infectious and genuinely freewheeling as its eclectic content might imply. Hopefully this Great American Taxi will continue to take listeners along for similarly spirited rides in the future.”  Country Standard Time called it  “a well rounded album that fully pays homage to Gram Parsons and his vision of a cosmic American sound that incorporates all the pages of the American Roots songbook.”

When banjo player Mark Vann of Leftover Salmon died of cancer in 2002, that band desolved. Salmon singer/guitarist/mandolinist Vince Herman had a few rough years and survived a broken neck before joining keyboardist Chad Staehly for a superstar jam to benefit the Rainforest Action Group in Boulder in March 2005. “We put together a dream band of the best local musicians for a one-off gig,” Herman recalls. “It worked so well we had to do it again, and again, and again.” And so Great American Taxi was born. The current lineup includes Herman, Staehly, guitarist Jim Lewin, bassist Brian Adams and drummer Chris Sheldon.

Santa Barbara Celebrates Earth Day's 40th Anniversary with Earth Day Festival

On April 17-18, thousands of communities around the world will celebrate the 40th anniversary of Earth Day. On the California Central Coast, the community of Santa Barbara, together with regional not-for-profit Community Environmental Council, lays claim to sparking the Earth Day movement forty years ago.

This year, 20,000 will gather for Santa Barbara’s Earth Day 40 Festival (www.SBEarthDay.org) on April 17-18. Under the apropos 2010 theme “Bringing It Home,” the celebration recognizes not only Earth Day’s 40th Birthday, but also the community’s own legacy of environmental stewardship.

For four decades, Santa Barbara has harnessed its mindful community members, innovative leaders, and abundant access to renewable energy resources to help lead the environmental movement. Today, with the ongoing support of the Community Environmental Council and its aggressive “Fossil Free by ’33” initiative, the community continues to serve as a model for how to move an entire region away from fossil fuels.

In 1969, the devastating images of a massive oil spill from an oil platform off Santa Barbara’s coast galvanized California into action and caught the attention of the rest of the nation, including Senator Gaylord Nelson, founder of Earth Day. The resulting swell of outrage and concern gave rise to the first Earth Day in 1970, as well as to the creation of the Community Environmental Council – the largest and most established environmental organization in the region, and the host of Santa Barbara’s Earth Day 40 Festival.

Today, the Community Environmental Council (CEC) is leading a campaign to move Santa Barbara County away from fossil fuels in one generation – Fossil Free by ’33. This bold, regionally driven blueprint seeks to head off a nearly perfect storm of energy-related concerns, including rapidly diminishing oil supplies (“peak oil”), growing concern over our national security because of our dependence on foreign oil, volatile fuel prices, and climate change.

The Fossil Free campaign is particularly timely following the climate talks in Copenhagen last December, in which international leaders noted that more than half of the actions needed to address global warming will be led not by national or international policies, but through local initiatives and leadership.

“Copenhagen will likely be a central theme as communities around the world prepare for the 40th anniversary of Earth Day,” says CEC Assistant Director Sigrid Wright, noting that the collective international Earth Day events are expected to touch over a billion people. “We believe that climate change is the responsibility of every community to address and that Santa Barbara and California are out in front on this issue.”

In downtown Santa Barbara, the Santa Barbara Earth Day 40 Festival will offer real-world solutions, with participation by approximately 250 emerging green businesses, cutting edge technology vendors, and regional and national environmental organizations. Other features will include:

• a two-day amateur Green Shorts Film Festival,
• the largest known private
Green Car Show in the country, and
• a Green Home Pavilion – a re-enactment of a 1,200-square foot home, featuring the latest green construction materials, home décor products, and energy-saving appliances and technologies.

Earth Day brings us together to celebrate, recharge and focus our energies and resources on ending our dependence on fossil fuels,” says Wright.

“This is a pivotal time in history for the environmental movement because for the first time ever, being free of fossil fuels is actually within reach," says Wright. “The CEC and the community of Santa Barbara are committed to reaching this goal by 2033. The region has unique access to renewable energy resources – particularly the sun, wind and ocean. And, as history has shown, the size of the community – small enough change course with relative speed, yet large enough to matter when those changes are made - makes us poised to lead the charge."

British Music Embassy Announces SXSW Lineup

In the 1960s, bands like The Beatles and The Rolling Stones put British popular music firmly on the international map. They were joined in later decades by artists as diverse as Led Zeppelin, David Bowie, The Sex Pistols and Oasis, making British music a distinctive international brand. British Music is thriving, both at home and overseas, because it continually renews itself, fusing cultural commentary, fashion and politics in a heady mix.

The Natural Resources Defense Council says get prepared for the worst..

- for the Grateful Web

Dear NRDC BioGems Defender,

"What's going to happen if President Bush is reelected?"

That's a question I heard a lot last month. My answer was simple: we'll be shell-shocked for a day, and then NRDC will come out fighting for the like there's no tomorrow.

Well, the shock has set in. We've spent the better part of four years publicizing and challenging the president's assault on our forests, western wildlands and wildlife habitats. As a tax-deductible organization, NRDC could not oppose or support a candidate for president. But a lot of hopes were pinned on the ballot box as the fastest way to terminate the Bush administration's giveaways to logging, timber and mining companies.

Those hopes were dashed yesterday. The president prevailed, despite his horrific environmental record, which remains at odds with the views of the overwhelming majority of Americans.

We're stunned not so much by the outcome itself. After all, President Bush was a slight favorite to win this election. No, the look of distress on faces all around NRDC's offices today is true alarm at what lies ahead. As sweeping as this administration's attack on the environment has been, things are about to get worse. Perhaps much worse.

It was only the threat of the ballot box - of answering to the American people - that caused the Bush administration to backburner many of its most destructive plans. The White House has already signaled that the attacks of the past four years are but the leading edge of a much broader assault that will come in a second term.

Look for it to begin over the next few weeks with new attempts to auction off vast stretches of our Alaskan rainforest for clearcutting . . . open Greater Yellowstone and other beloved wildlands to oil and gas drilling . . . and hand over the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to giant oil companies.

So, yes, take one full day for feeling shell-shocked.

But prepare yourself. Tomorrow the battle will be joined. And we must be ready.

You can take heart in this: thanks to your support, NRDC and our BioGems campaigns have succeeded in stalling, blocking or sinking the worst of President Bush's attempts so far to exploit and destroy our last wild places.

And let me tell you, the second Bush administration will have to contend with an NRDC that now wields the most potent combination of grassroots activism, courtroom power and media outreach ever assembled by one public interest organization.

That impressive operation - one million Members and BioGems Defenders, scores of attorneys, the best rapid response operation in the business - will be focused like a laser on stopping the onslaught to come.

Failure is not an option. Everything we have fought for and achieved over the past 35 years is at stake. In the weeks ahead, I will be reporting to you in more detail on NRDC's action plan for defending our last wild places during President Bush's second term.

But I can share one key element of that plan right now: you. We're counting on you to stay the course with our BioGems campaigns. We need your outrage. We need your activism. If we have those, we are going to prevail.

Sincerely,

John H. Adams
President
Natural Resources Defense Council

BioGems: Saving Endangered Wild Places
A project of the Natural Resources Defense Council
http://www.savebiogems.org