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Raoul’s Two Cents: June 2, 2023

POWERFUL GIFT OF MUSIC

I practiced with my band last Monday. Yup! Believe it or not, I have a band. We play popsy-folksy-Christian-classic rock. To be honest, we aren’t good. We’re tolerable. Our common love for music brought us together. Despite our lack of talent, we’re very ambitious. We take on difficult songs from popular performers like Chicago, The Eagles, Rondstat, James Taylor, Carole King — and after all our practicing, we get to perform at the local Art Gallery whenever they have a big event. No sane person would pay good money to hear us so this is our sneaky way of getting an audience. Suckers!

Music. What a wonderful, powerful creation of God that swells up colorful emotions that remind us what it is to be alive. It brings tears to the country music lovers; joy during Christmas and birthdays; anger to the neighbors of a teenage rock band. It gets feet dancing and hearts pounding. It even returns memories to the lonely prisoners of dementia. Like many of God’s gifts, it can be a blessing or a curse.

One beautiful example of how music unites people across cultures and political divides is a Russian band called “Leonid & Friends.” In the heart of the impoverished communist regime, Leonid grew up with American music of the 70s. His parents discouraged a career in music but Leonid never lost his passion and kept in touch with like-minded musicians. He transcribed the notes and the arrangement of his favorite band – Chicago. Just picture this: in a freezing and tiny room during the cold war, in the middle of winter, this young Russian is listening to a U.S. band from his hard-earned expensive record player. His thoughts aren’t about the enemy but of the enemy’s music.

Leonid & Friends

In his retirement years he decides to form the band he had always dreamed of. Go to Youtube.com and search for Leonid & Friends to listen to his band perform Chicago and Earth Wind and Fire favorites. Many say his band sounds even better than the original. They’re amazing. Tens of millions of people all over the world think they’re amazing. Today they have concert tours all over the world. Tickets at $80 a pop isn’t cheap.

At the very end of most of their videos you see them rejoice knowing they accomplished something amazing. What an inspiration to the free world. It reminds us that dreams can come true no matter what age and that, even amidst a world tainted with political disparity, God’s gift can still unite us in a language we all understand.

TGIF people!

Raoul

JOKE OF THE WEEK

Thanks to Tina of Whittier, CA

Art by Raoul Pascual


Videos of the Week

Thanks to Maling of New Manila, Philippines

What did the doctor say about your pain?

DeepFake Tom Cruise

This Tom Cruise impersonator is stirring up the internet artificial technology. In a blink of an eye we can no longer tell the difference between real and fake videos. Scary.

Parting Shots

Thanks to Art of Sierra Madre, CA

Thanks to Tom of Pasadena, CA

I found these

The Traveling Boy

My good friend (and jokester) Terry and I came up with these.

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6 Comments

  1. Jacqueline

    June 2, 2023 at 12:02 pm

    Love it. We are never old. It is how we feel. Keep on playing your music. We might invite you to play for an event here in Pasadena.

    Thank you for all the TGIF,

    Blessings,

    Jacqueline

    Reply

  2. Heather

    June 2, 2023 at 12:03 pm

    Music is a gift from God.

    Reply

  3. Tom

    June 2, 2023 at 12:19 pm

    Thanks Raoul, Great stuff today. Loved Amos and Andy. Back when comedy was appreciated and Racism had not been so designated. Great topics indeed. Tom

    Reply

  4. Oscar

    June 2, 2023 at 12:21 pm

    TGIF!
    You’re still a Rock Star to me!

    Reply

  5. Larry

    June 2, 2023 at 12:30 pm

    Where do you get off sayingour band has no talent? Come on. We do pretty well for an amateur outfit. You greedy band leader you!

    Reply

  6. Noel of the Philippines

    June 2, 2023 at 5:19 pm

    Hi Raoul. I have seen Leonid and friends on youtube many years back and had seen their concerts in US bars and bigger places..Kahit {even though} non English speaking native, it is hard to suspect hindi americano yung singers {the singers are not Americans) ..But I love them more for their very sexy female led singer who I understand is a model and is multi lingual pa {also} …But I guess she is too old for me now LOL!!

    Reply

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