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Jay Cobb Anderson and his Fruition bandmates have seen their musical stock go through the roof over the last few years, with and recent release, Labor Of Love, captures the band at their newest plateau. Thanks to a relentless touring schedule and a knack for writing songs that strike emotional chords while emitting an irresistible call to boogie, Fruition has found themselves with a nationwide fanbase who are filling clubs coast to coast. Anderson is one third of the songwriting trio, alongside Mimi Naja and Kellen Asebroek, who are creating music that is spreading across the country like wildfire. He’s also quite the focal point of the band’s whirlwind live performances.Our own Rex Thomson caught Anderson on a rare quiet moment in his hectic touring schedule to chat about the band’s rising prominence in the music scene, the difficulties of being in a band with so many prolific songwriters and the joys of a van well packed. We’ve also included three exclusive videos from Fruition’s electrifying set at the Summer Camp Music Festival from earlier this year. Enjoy!Live For Live Music: Fruition features three different song writers with distinct musical perspectives. How difficult is it to blend those outlooks and song writing styles into a cohesive whole?Jay Cobb Anderson: You know, it’s actually not that hard now, since we’ve been foolin’ with it for so long. That’s actually what’s made our sound what it is. The fact that it is three different voices singing together, that is the heart of how we do things. From the very first time we sang together we could feel it, our voices collected well. The way our voices come together…that’s a big part of the whole Fruition sound.L4LM: What about the different songwriting styles. Has it happened that one of you wrote a song that was just too far “Off Model” for the band’s sound?JCA: When it comes to our process…we ALL bring our material to the table. The way we do it is we all just sort of throw our stuff together on the table and then try and envision the ones that lend themselves to the band the most, y’know? For this last record, (Labor Of Love) and the EP before it we had like fifty songs. So we were like “Okay… let’s narrow these down.”It’s one of those things where we don’t ever want to exclude anyone’s material. So we do a lot of picking and choosing before we bring in stuff to everyone. I have a lot of material and I really fight to narrow myself down before I come into the planning sessions. I had like fifty songs and I managed to narrow them down to like twenty-five before we all got together. Kellen had a handful of tunes and Mimi had a handful of tunes. In the end though, we just want to bring the best we have to the band and find the songs that fit our sound.L4LM: Your newest album, Labor Of Love, has been well received by fans and critics alike. How’s it feel to see something you worked so hard on getting so much love? JCA: Ah man..it’s been incredible. I haven’t heard anyone say anything bad about it. I’m kinda worried people are just being nice! I wish somebody had SOMETHING negative to say about it…L4LM: It was too short!JCA: (Laughs) There ya go!Watch the band play their song “Blue Light” at Summer Camp Music Festival.L4LM: When it comes to songwriting, are you able to direct the process, or are you more sort of along for the ride?JCA: Songs are funny. They’re so many ways you can get to where you want to go…and none of them are truly wrong I guess, but some definitely work better for me personally than others. I feel like if you set out to say “I am going to write a song about this thing” you can quickly paint yourself into a corner. You have to be ready to let whatever you’re doing take on its own life and become its own thing. Say…say I’m focused on writing a song about, well…about whatever. And I sit down all focused to write my song about this thing. But while I’m playing with chord progressions I come up with this whole separate idea. I think the best songs just write themselves. There have even been times when I can feel a song coming. I can feel the inspiration coming. It’s really bizarre, and I don’t know where it comes from…but I can sense it coming. At its best, I will just sit down with a guitar or in front of a piano and write multiple songs in one sitting. Sometimes I feel like they are already there and I am just writing them down. For a long time I thought that great songs only came from great inspirations. That’s because I was way into the Bob Dylan style of writing. Then I started thinking about minor tones and sitting on songs for a year, two years even three. And also I’ve been trying to follow and capture more of what i call “Instant Inspiration” songs. That works from time to time. There’s just so many paths to reach so many different directions. In the end, I think it’s really hard to make a great song if you set out to say a very specific thing. L4LM: Do You feel like there is an overall band philosophy that you try and service?JCA: Yes, definitely. The song is the most important thing. That’s something we all agree on. We don’t care about where the solos go, or leaving ourselves room to shred…we care about making the best SONG we can. It’s all about helping the song be whatever it needs to be, and giving each other, and the song, space to do and say what needs to be said. I guess our motto is “We surrender to the song.” Also…no idea is a bad idea. We play a lot with arrangements. We’ll try a song four or five different ways trying to find the way a song sounds best. I may have a way I think it should sound in my head. I don’t play drums, but sometimes I will write a song with a specific beat in mind and I’ll come to Tyler (Thompson) and he’ll be like “Well…what if we try it like this?” And I’ll say “I probably won’t like it but let’s hear what you got.” And the when we try it out I’m like “Okay dude…that is better than what I had in mind for sure.” It is all about stripping away egos and shit and getting down to what really matters…the song.You have to be ready to admit to yourself that you were wrong, but also able to know when to fight for something. It’s all got to be about making the song the best it can be.L4LM: You guys have been regulars on the Sirius satellite network and are high on radio station programming charts across the country. I was curious to hear if you had noticed any kind of response from all that airplay.JCA: Absolutely! The first time we started doing anything with the Jam On station…that was like three years ago, it was crazy. Almost everywhere we went people would come up to us and say “We heard you on Jam On” or We heard you on the radio so we had to come to your show!” Especially now…I can’t even imagine how much it’s helping us. There are people out there we’ve never met, whose cities we still haven’t made it to, who are huge fans of our band. It just blows my mind.I can’t thank them enough for the love and support they’ve shown us. It’s amazing.Watch the band play their song “Bent” at Summer Camp Music Festival.L4LM: Fruition is a great example of what hard work and committing to a shared ideal can accomplish. How many shows would you say you average per year?JCA: Oh god…I just have no idea! Wow. I couldn’t even…I guess I could just go back and count, but just the thought of that scares me. (laughs) It seems like we’re always working…or playing…whichever you want to call it. (Laughs) It’s basically a full time job for us. Most people work forty hours a week, and that’s basically what we do. But our lives are flipped. Most people get the weekends off, but that’s when we work the hardest. But it’s for something we love, something we live for.L4LM: Everybody wants to be a rock star…but so few people understand what being a travelling musician is really like. How often to you get fans saying they wish they had your job?JCA: It’s funny when you get people saying “You’re living the dream! It must be amazing! You’re like a rock star!” And I’m like “…uhhh…it’s not really like that.” Real rock stars kinda died out in the seventies and eighties. Real rock stars own planes…we drive around in a van. Some folks ideas of what it’s like to be a musician…they definitely only have a vision of the fun aspects of this life, the things they think are cool. But it’s something that you end up giving your whole life to. You still have a bit of a normal life to an extent, but it just eats everything. Music is all I do. Writing, playing, travelling somewhere to play…music rules my world.But the playing is what makes it all worth it. The challenges are all the other stuff. The driving, the preparing, the promoting…the business side of this life. It’s important today to pay attention to social media and promotion…that part of this life has become essential. But then, in the middle of all that, you have to still find a chance to think like an artist, y’know. But yeah, it’s funny how some people perceive our life sometimes. They’ve put their mental image of our life up on a pedestal, and it’s just not what they think. It’s a full time job.L4LM: So it’s not all groupies and destroying dressing rooms?JCA: (Laughs) Not at all.L4LM: You’re out of Portland, Oregon. There’s not only a strong music scene there and the Pacific Northwest in general, but a bit of a similar spirit amongst some of the bands these days. Earnest, exploratory and idiosyncratic. How much would you say the region itself is an influence on you and your songwriting?JCA: I definitely feel like the Northwest has affected my outlook and songwriting. I’m from northern Idaho, but I’ve lived in Washington and Oregon for most of my life. I lived on the east coast for about three months or so in Massachusetts, but other than that this is where I call home in my mind and my heart. But I definitely feel that growing up in the Northwest, being part of the music scene out here…it’s definitely had its effect on me. Just travelling from show to show…you see such incredible scenery out the window, y’know?I think the variety of bands that have come out of the area are so different too. From all the grunge stuff, to bands like Sonic Youth and The Wailers…not the Bob Marley Wailers but the punk band…bands like that and Mudhoney and Nirvana… that spirit… rock and roll is at the heart of my music love.Watch the band play their song “Labor of Love” at Summer Camp Music Festival.L4LM: You guys give some pretty exhausting performances. Have ever just been too wiped out to pack up and leave when you’re done?JCA: No…you HAVE to pack up and leave. The thing is…after a show I am just so pumped up that the exhaustion doesn’t phase me. The only real exception to that is if somebody is sick. If one of us is sick then as soon as the show is done we tell them “Go away!” We don’t all wanna be sick too. It’s hard not to end up sharing every cold on the road. So that’s like, a rule. We don’t want any of us to be sick, we want them to go and take care of themselves.One thing that is kinda fun to us when we go to festivals is the super helpful crews there ready to move all your gear for you. The crews help you load in and load out. Up until it comes to the pack job. That’s all us. Me, Jeff (Leonard) and Tyler…we’re the packers. We take pride in it. We’ve been known to take pictures of especially good pack jobs.L4LM: It’s good to take pride in accomplishments! Well, thanks for taking time to chat with us sir! Good luck out there on the road, and thanks for for all the wonderful music!JCA: You’re welcome! Happy to do it.
By Sharon OmahenUniversity of GeorgiaMother Nature appears to be cutting Georgia farmers some slack sofar this year. And a new, three-state Web site can help themprepare for whatever the weather offers.”Now’s the time to prepare for rough weather,” said Joel Paz, anExtension agrometeorologist with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences. “We’re havinga normal-weather year this year. When you’re experiencing an ElNiño, you have to have your contingency plans ready.”Paz is on a multi-university team of researchers who havedeveloped the Web resource to help farmers stay ahead of theweather. The site can help them prepare for many weatherconditions driven by the El Niño-Southern Oscillation (ENSO)phenomenon.ForecastsThe Southeast Climate Consortium issues quarterly forecasts tohelp farmers in Alabama, Florida and Georgia manage their crops.The forecasts are on-line at www.agclimate.org.The SECC Web site uses data collected from university resourcesand the National Climate Data Center. It’s based on more than 50years of weather data. And it provides monthly rainfall andtemperature forecasts for Alabama, Florida and Georgia counties.It offers advice, too, for neutral, El Niño and La Niña ENSOphases. Florida State University’s Center for Ocean-AtmosphericPrediction Studies produces the SECC climate forecasts.At the Tallahassee center, researchers monitor surfacetemperatures in the Pacific Ocean near the equator to predictpotential weather effects in the southeastern United States.Periodic warming or cooling of those ocean surfaces, known as ElNiño or La Niña, can affect U.S. weather patterns. El Niños bringincreased winter rainfall. La Niñas have the opposite effect.Neutral phasePacific Ocean surface temperatures are near normal now, or in aneutral phase.Farmers make many business decisions based on unknown weatherconditions, Paz said. They decide whether to buy crop insuranceor grow a particular crop.The AgClimate Web site allows them to select their county, soiltype, irrigation method and past yields. The site creates apersonalized prediction of the farmer’s yields based on hisfields, the climate forecast and planting dates.The site has data for peanuts, potatoes and tomatoes. The teamplans to add cotton and other Southeastern vegetable crops soon.The site covers cold weather factors, too. Farmers who growpeaches, blueberries, strawberries and other fruits will benefitfrom the chilling-hours data.”There’s a big difference between climate data and weather data,”Paz said. “Weather information is used day-to-day. Climateinformation affects farmers’ future decisions, including varietyselection and management regimens.”More than farmersThe Web site was designed for farmers. But Paz says many othergroups will find the climate information useful.”We’re starting to target the information to government agencieslike the emergency management agencies,” he said. “And we’vefound that water-resource managers also find the data quiteuseful.”The Web site data predicts the likelihood of wildfires, too. Itforecasts little chance of wildfires this summer, due to recentheavy rains, the likelihood of a wet summer and the end of theSoutheast’s traditional wildfire season, which runs from Januarythrough early June.The SECC’s fall outlook, due in early September, will indicatewhether the neutral phase is continuing, Paz said.As with most weather and climate projects, there’s always amargin of error.”We look at probabilities based on history,” he said. “Our Website is accurate. But you’ve always got to give yourself somewiggle room.”SECC member universities, besides UGA, are Auburn,Alabama-Huntsville, Florida, Florida State and Miami.The SECC is funded by the National Oceanic and AtmosphericAdministration’s Office of Global Programs, the U.S. Departmentof Agriculture’s Cooperative State Research, Education andExtension Service and the USDA’s Risk Management Agency.(Sharon Omahen is a news editor with the University of GeorgiaCollege of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)
Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York By the end of next month, Long Island will have held three special elections—each on a different day—to fill two vacant seats in the Nassau County legislature and one in the Suffolk County legislature.The first special election happens next Tuesday for Nassau’s 12th Legislative District, followed two weeks later by the special election for the 19th Legislative District. The Suffolk County special election for the 12th Legislative District is in six weeks. Two of the six candidates are named Kennedy—and they’re both Republicans, although one’s a man, the other a woman.From a political standpoint, the outcome of Nassau’s two special elections could be more significant than what happens in Suffolk, where the Democrats already hold a commanding margin in the county legislature. If the Republicans can win both Nassau special elections, then they would need to gain just another seat in the Nassau Legislature to control a super majority of 13 votes—they now have 10 of the 19 legislative seats—and that margin would enable the GOP to approve borrowing measures without needing Democratic support. The Nassau Interim Finance Authority, which is the state-imposed fiscal control board, has projected that the county is facing a $150 million budget deficit.In the Suffolk legislature, Democrats currently hold 10 of the 18 seats, the Republicans have five, the Working Families Party and the Independence Party have one each, and the remaining vacant seat is up for the special election at the end of March.The first special election will be on Feb. 24 to fill the vacancy created by former Legis. Michael Venditto (R-Massapequa) winning his race to the New York State Senate. Venditto, whose father, John Venditto, is Oyster Bay town supervisor, had won his seat in the county legislature thanks to a special election held in 2012 after Republican Presiding Officer Peter Schmitt (R-Massapeuqa) suddenly died in Nassau County Executive Ed Mangano’s office. Interestingly, the Republican candidate in this special election is Schmitt’s son-in-law, James Kennedy, 42, whose mother-in-law, Lois Schmitt, is running his campaign. Kennedy serves on the Nassau Board of Elections. His Democratic challenger is Joseph Stufano, 53, a biomedical engineer who is also from Massapequa.The other Nassau special election will be held on March 10 to fill the 19th Legislative District seat left vacant by former Legis. David Denenberg (D-Merrick), who resigned after pleading guilty of charging more than $2 million worth of legal services over eight years that he never provided. This special election pits Rita Kestenbaum, 56, who’s running on the Democratic and Working Families party lines, against Steven Rhoads, 46, who has the Republican, Conservative and Independence party lines and the Tax Revolt party designation. Kestenbaum, a former member of the Hempstead Town Board, is a Bellmore resident who became a gun control activist in 2007 after her 20-year-old daughter was shot to death on the night of her birthday outside her off-campus apartment in Tempe, Arizona, by a disturbed young man who then turned the gun on himself. Afterwards, Kestenbaum set up a foundation and has worked closely with the Long Island Crisis Center. Rhoads, also a Bellmore resident, is a personal injury attorney who twice tried to unseat Denenberg.In Nassau’s Legislative District 12, 46 percent of the 56,625 registered voters are Republicans (25,813 voters) and 26 percent are Democrats (14,710 voters). In Nassau’s Legislative District 19, 41 percent of the 54,355 registered voters are Republicans (22,304 voters) and 31 percent are Democrats (16,708 voters).The third special election, in Suffolk’s 12th Legislative District, will be help on March 31 to fill the seat held by former Legis. John M. Kennedy Jr. (R-Nesconset), who won his bid to become Suffolk County comptroller last November. He’d previously been overwhelmingly re-elected as a legislator with 83 percent of the vote. In the comptroller’s race, Kennedy’s Democratic challenger, James Gaughran, had tried to make an issue out of Kennedy’s hiring his wife, Leslie, on his staff in 2007 as an aide and promoting her over the years. But the voters didn’t buy it, perhaps as Kennedy himself frequently said publicly, his wife works just as hard—if not harder—than he does in serving their legislative district which mostly covers Smithtown but has a sliver of Brookhaven. Now Leslie Kennedy, 58, will be running for the seat herself.Kennedy’s Democratic challenger, Deborah Monaco, 55, is reportedly not going to run “an active campaign,” according to Suffolk County Democratic Chairman Rich Schaffer, due to time constraints and other factors. She has been the secretary of the Suffolk Democratic Committee and has a job at the Suffolk Board of Elections. In this Suffolk district, Republicans have 20,202 registered voters compared to the Democrats’ 14,563 registered voters.In all these special elections, turnout will definitely be a huge factor, magnifying the impact of any voter who braves the weather and goes to the polls. Last February, only 4.29 percent of the registered voters in Nassau Legislative District 2 turned out for the special election which Legis. Siela Bynoe (D-Westbury) won against Republican Pepitz Blanchard.—With Jamie Zahl and Timothy Bolger
The New York-based United Nations was founded at the end of the war in 1945 and has 193 member states.”A stronger and more effective response… is only possible in solidarity if everybody comes together and if we forget political games and understand that it is humankind that is at stake,” Guterres added.More than 40,000 people have been killed so far as the disease spreads across the world, and causes economic devastation.”We are far from having a global package to help the developing world to create the conditions both to suppress the disease and to address the dramatic consequences,” Guterres warned, pointing to unemployment, the collapse of small firms and vulnerable people in the informal economy. “We are slowly moving in the right direction, but we need to speed up, and we need to do much more if we want to defeat the virus.”The UN on Tuesday created a new fund to help developing countries after last week appealing for donations for poor and conflict-hit nations.Beyond traditional aid from rich countries “we need to have innovative financial instruments,” so that developing nations are able to respond to the crisis, Guterres said.He warned that the coronavirus outbreak could return from poorer countries, especially in Africa, to hit wealthy countries again, and that millions could die. The coronavirus pandemic is the worst global crisis since World War II, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres said Tuesday, expressing concern that it could trigger conflicts around the world.Guterres said that the scale of the crisis was due to “a disease that represents a threat to everybody in the world and… an economic impact that will bring a recession that probably has no parallel in the recent past.””The combination of the two facts and the risk that it contributes to enhanced instability, enhanced unrest, and enhanced conflict are things that make us believe that this is the most challenging crisis we have faced since the Second World War,” he told reporters. Topics :