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Marlan Warren is a free-lance publicist who promotes entertainers and book authors (Roadmap Communications and Book Publicity by Marlan, respectively). She is also a film maker (Roadmap Productions), Reiki Master/Teacher (Light Hands Reiki Studio and Institute), Screenwriter, Novelist, PhotoJournalist, Tai Chi practitioner. 

L.A. NOW & THEN

You can check out but you can never leave...

WHAT'S THIS ABOUT?

My life, your life, our lives inside and outside of Los Angeles and its angels.

Wednesday, March 15, 2017

UCET Conference Presenter Colvard Learning Offers Free Trial Apps for Utah Schools




On Friday, March 17 at 8:45 a.m., Melinda Piña, Director of Implementation and Professional Development of the Los Angeles-based edtech publisher, Colvard Learning (CL), will take the podium at the annual Utah Coalition for Educational Technology (UCET) on the University of Utah campus to introduce the startup’s successful early-literacy interactive apps: “Pup’s Quest for Phonics®” and “Professor Pup’s Phoneme Farm®.”

Throughout the two-day conference, which begins Thursday, March 16, Piña and the CL team—which includes Robert Ketterer, CEO—will be on hand at the Colvard Learning booth to meet and greet UCET attendees and answer any questions.

“We are excited to offer all Utah School Districts the opportunity to try both of our early-literacy curricula on a free trial period through the end of this school year,” said Ketterer. “Over 30 years of studies show literacy education needs a breakthrough technology, and our blended curricula engages visual, auditory, and kinesthetic learners by using cutting edge technology.”

“Pup’s Quest for Phonics®” features voice and handwriting recognition software and Colvard Learning’s patented “Touch Text to Sound”— that enables a set of letters to blend sounds into a word when a finger moves across them.

Six years ago, Michael Colvard, M.D.—a practicing eye surgeon who grew up in the rural South—teamed up with early-reading specialists, animators, songwriters and programmers to build “Professor Pup’s Phoneme Farm.®”

“We start by teaching kids to recognize the 44 individual sounds of English called ‘phonemes,’” said Colvard. “Then we teach them to associate these sounds with combinations of letters that make words, and that’s where the ‘phonics’ comes in.”
Colvard sees decoding as essential to the early-literacy process: “We’ve found the decoding approach is easily understood and effective. So kids don’t see English as a chaotic mess, but a code that can be mastered.”

For the past four years, the Colvard Learning programs have been successfully utilized in private and public schools. “Their lessons are lively and enjoyable,” said Catherine Carvalho, Principal of St. Bruno School in Whittier, Calif. “They eliminate distractions for the children because they are so engaging."

Dr. Colvard, who was named Super Doctor by “L.A. Magazine”, regularly takes leave from his Encino practice to treat African tribespeople who might otherwise go blind from cataracts. Now he sets his sights on helping children to read, no matter what their economic background.

"Studies show that many children from disadvantaged homes come to kindergarten with a 'word poverty,'" said Colvard. "For various reasons, many are not exposed to the same number of words as children from upper class homes, so they are behind the 8-ball when they start school."

Ketterer will be personally reaching out to Utah school superintendents and welcomes all inquiries from administrators, as well as teachers and parents: “We’re here to help.”

For more information: 

2017 Utah Coalition for Educational Technology Conference
March 16-17, 2017
University of Utah Campus
Salt Lake City, UT
Website: UCET Conference Website

Contact Colvard Learning:
E-Mail: info@colvardlearning.com
Website: Colvard Learning

#UCET #UtahEducaton #ColvardLearning #EdTech #Early Literacy

Friday, February 24, 2017

Spotlight on "Friggin' Whatever" Roots Rock Vet Ron DeSaram: "He even pees like Keith Richards!"

Ron DeSaram with his Les Paul Guitar [Photo by Greg Fontenot]
The year is 1980. In the photo that remains, Ron DeSaram can be seen bent over his guitar, massive hair flying in unruly waves against the night sky, anger written across his face in defiant happiness. He looks like he’s wearing all-white, but no way to be sure in this black & white action shot.

“That’s the night they shut the power down on us,” explains Ron, 37 years later, “July Fourth celebration in Lake Worth, Florida. Noise ordinance. Every time they’d tell us to turn the volume down, we’d turn it up.”

His wife, Nancy DeSaram, adds: “They turned off the power, started up the fireworks and then the palm tree next to the stage caught fire.”


This is just one of a lifetime of rock musician memories that Ron DeSaram totes along with him everywhere he goes. Tonight, when he steps onto the stage at 8 p.m. with Monty Warren & The Friggin’ Whatevers at Oakland Park’s Alligator Alley Native Florida Tap Room and Gastro Pub, a lot of folks at the popular music venue may not realize the intense bass player with the wild licks and silvery locks brings decades of rock and roll history and experience to each note he plays.

Like many professional lifer musicians, DeSaram started off playing in a band in high school. Since then, he’s led the devoted life of a passionate rock musician, playing with various groups and currently plays lead guitar with his main band, The Cravens, in the Palm Beach, Fla. area.

In the 90s, DeSaram joined up as lead guitarist with Crossfire Choir, the house band at the time for the iconic New York City club, CBGB’s. An alternative pop rock band, Crossfire Choir was managed by CBGB’s owner, Hilly Kristal.

We caught up with Ron and Nancy before Ron’s gig tonight with Monty, and scored the following Q&A:

Tonight you’ll be playing as a “Friggin’ Whatever” with Monty Warren at the Alligator Alley gig. You also played with him last year there, and will be playing on his Album No. 4. What is it that you appreciate most about Monty’s music?
I’m so stoked to be playing with Monty. Monty’s music is pure Roots Rock. Straight ahead real rock and roll. His songs appeal to me because they’re first class arrangements with well written melodies and harmonies so catchy that each one could be a single.

Monty Warren (L) Ron DeSaram (R)

What’s the weirdest thing that ever happened to you at CBGB’s?
As the house band, we ended up playing for Black Rock Coalition Night which was all about black bands. We were the only white guys in the house that night. The audience was not exactly “receptive.”

What was your most memorable moment at CBGB’s?
Thanks to Hilly, we’d gotten signed with Atlantic Records. At CBGB’s, we’re getting ready to record, and Hilly tells us to grab some tapes from the basement to record over. So here’s what we found: Those tapes contained recordings by Television, The Shirts, Talking Heads…

You play lead and bass, depending on the gig. Bass players are notorious for “getting the groupies.” Would you say that’s true in your case?
Nancy DeSaram: The groupies still want him, even though he’s married now!

Why would you say a good bass player is essential to any band?
In any song, you’ve got your vocals, your drums, your guitar melodies, but the bass player really has to know that song to hold it all together. When the bass is no good, it all falls apart.

Let’s talk bass guitars. Any favorites?
I have eight bass guitars, some rare and collectable. All of them are special. I’ve got a Les Paul bass that is quite heavy, but it just sounds and plays so well. And I’ve got two Aria Pro Twos from the mid-80s, early 90s. Their tone is just incredible. I also love my Ibanez Destroyer, which is pretty rare these days. This one’s from 1984. It’s got these sharp angular lines. It’s the longest—from head to base—bass guitar I own, and physically it’s the most comfortable.

Nancy: The Les Paul is named Blackie because it’s mostly all black. Ron names all his guitars.

Any advice for young aspiring bass players?
A lot of practice and a certain way of listening to focus on how the bass is played in music. When I first started, I listened to the bass line exclusively.

If you could describe in one word what it’s like to play with Monty as a “Friggin’ Whatever,” what would that word be?
“FEEL.”

Okay, can you elaborate on that one word, please?
There’s deep feeling in the way Monty’s songs are executed. The “FEEL” is so important and specific to his music. It’s hard to explain. Emotion infuses each song and makes it come alive for us when we’re playing. Some of Monty’s songs get us really pumped up, others are more serious. But it’s the “feel” that drives the music.

You’ve lived your whole life in Music. What would you say are the four best things about being an Indie Rock Musician?
1. Freedom to record.
2. Freedom to perform.
3. Freedom to evolve musically.
4. Freedom to experiment with sounds and textures.

Your Facebook shows a lot of photos taken by your wife Nancy, which include your gigs, as well as your cat. What’s the deal with that cat?
It’s The Triangle: Nancy my wife, Suzi Q my cat and myself. It gives me the strength to be the best musician I can.

Nancy: Suzi Q is very involved with Ron’s music. She’ll put her paws on his shoulders or sit on an amp listening to him. Other times, she sits next to me while he practices at home. We call it “The Triangle.”



Q: How long have you been married?
Nancy: Two years. But we met in 1990 at CBGB’s, got together then, and then got separated for decades. I was living in L.A. when Ron discovered me through social media and sent me a message that said: “I’ve been trying to find you for 23 years.”

Q: What were you playing when they turned the power off at the July Fourth Lake Worth concert in 1980?
I think it was probably “Careful with that axe, Eugene.”

Q: Have you ever been compared to Keith Richards?
There are similarities, except for our different lifestyles and the number of zeroes on our paychecks.
Nancy: There was this one time when Ron was on tour and he needed to get off and relieve himself on the side of the road. You could hear his bandmates yelling: “He even pees like Keith Richards!”


Wednesday, February 22, 2017

Florida Roots Rockers Monty Warren & The Friggin' Whatevers Return to Alligator Alley Pub (2/24) (Oakland Park, FL)

Monty Warren (R) Ron DeSaram (L)

PALM BEACH, FLORIDA PEEPS!
On Friday, Feb. 24 at 
8 p.m., roots rockers Monty Warren & the Friggin' Whatevers (MWFW) return to Oakland Park’s Alligator Alley Native Florida Tap Room Pub to heat up the house before Ian Hammond Band takes the stage. 

This will be the group’s first Alligator Alley appearance at the popular music venue since celebrating the launch of MWFW’s third album, Far Out Close Up, last October.

With the exception of Monty Warren (who writes and sings the roots rock-inspired original tunes, and plays rhythm guitar) the "Whatevers" tend to be...whatever. This time around, the lineup will include East Coast music scene veterans William Meredith on drums, lead guitarist Roderick Kohn, and Ron DeSaram on bass.

In addition to Far Out Close Up, MWFW released two earlier albums, Trailer Park Angel and Let’s Go to Therapy. All three have been named to The Palm Beach Post’s annual Best Music List.

“I always look forward to these gigs with Monty,” said Ron DeSaram, who played in the CBGB House Band, Crossfire Choir, in New York during the '90s. “He stays true to his rock roots while continuing to reach for new ground.” DeSaram also plays lead guitar with his main group, The Cravens, in the Palm Beach, Fla. area.

Indy Week stated that Monty Warren & The Friggin' Whatevers "retroactively bridge the gap between '70s pub rock/power pop and the arrivals of Tom Petty, Graham Parker and Elvis Costello."

“Putting together the albums has its own rewards,” said Warren. “But nothing can take the place of the high-octane giving-out and giving-back that happens with a live audience.”

Warren comes to Alligator Alley fresh from playing with Phil Wolff and his We R Comin’ band in Spain. “Phil is a first-class musician. I’m really pleased to be collaborating with him on a new album.”

When asked if any of the new Warren-Wolff tunes will be heard Friday night, Warren just smiles:

“All I can say is…wait and see.”


Venue:

Alligator Alley Native Florida Sub Pub & Tap Room
830 E. Oakland Park Blvd., #101
Oakland Park, FL 33334
Phone: (954) 226-2371
Website: http://www.alligatoralleyflorida.com

Press Kit (More Info, Music Videos and Photos): http://montywarrenmediakit.blogspot.com

Monty Warren E-Mail: monty60@icloud.com
Twitter: @montymonty60
Facebook:  Monty Warren & The Friggin' Whatevers Music


All MWFW Albums are available on iTunes, Spotify, CD Baby, Sound Cloud and Amazon.

Wednesday, February 15, 2017

Tuesday, February 14, 2017

L.A. WOMEN'S MARCH 2017 - MY PHOTOS OF THIS LANDMARK EVENT

Happy Valentine's Day!

At last, I've figured out how to put my Flickr photos from the L.A. Women's March 2017 in a slider on this blog. My apologies that I have not figured out how to not have my other photos on here, which will be included in my documentary, "What did you do in the War, Mama?: Kochiyama's Crusaders."

The film is about human rights activist Yuri Kochiyama and the Women's Movement she started while behind the barbed wire of a Japanese American internment camp during World War II. The photos you'll see here that reflect that film are from a performance of the Purple Moon Project at the Japanese American National Museum and there's one of the wonderful woman we interviewed who was 11 years old when she participated in Yuri's movement.

The beginning photos are the March. I'm sure you'll figure it out.

"Power never concedes without a Demand. It never has and it never will."


Created with flickr slideshow.



Monday, January 9, 2017

L.A. Photo Blog

Master Au, Chinatown L.A.
Neuvo Generacion Mariachi

Archangel Raphael (LACMA)

Fumito Nagasu, Sushi Guy (Ai)

Ai Japanese Restaurant

Saturday, January 7, 2017

Yuri Kochiyama Interview 2009 Segment: "What did you do in the War, Mama...

For the first time since I've been working on this film (since Dec 2008) I was finally able to find a way to post a segment to YouTube (7 min.) that shows the actual video. Very grateful to the Movie Maker software I've been able to put onto this aging computer--although there's no way for me to actually edit the footage yet., This helps anyone who is interested or has donated $ to see what the film would include. Here Yuri at age 87 reads missives from the correspondence campaign she led at age 20 from behind the barbed wire of a U.S. concentration camp, to lift the morale of soldiers and in so doing, lift the morale of herself and the women & girls who participated during their World War II incarceration. Won't you please take a look, leave a comment, donate or whatever moves you to do. Thank you! Many blessings! 
Movie Website:
http://tinyurl.com/YuriFilm

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