Plus, Resorts' new Rewards Program partnership with Mohegan Sun, the Album of the Week (The Wallflowers) and Drew Toonz.
Stockton Fannie Lou Hamer Symposium
Prior to the passing of the late great Gil Scott-Heron in 2011, the legendary singer-songwriter spoke to Atlantic City Weekly (first, in the fall of 2009) a few times with regard to his then-new studio album I’m New Here and his upcoming book (The Last Holiday, published posthumously earlier this year). During these conversations, this writer and the singer-songwriter spoke about Fannie Lou Hamer, the American civil rights leader who fought to get blacks the right to vote during the 1960s. Scott-Heron even wrote a song for her — 1977’s moving “95 South (All of the Places We’ve Been)” from his stellar Bridges album — and often dedicated it to her during his live shows. When Scott-Heron heard that Richard Stockton College held an annual Fannie Lou Hamer Human Rights and Civil Rights Symposium, he was very excited and said he wanted to come. He never made it down from New York to the Pomona campus of the college, but the event — like Scott-Heron’s words and music — lives on. On Tuesday, Oct. 9, Stockton hosts the 9th annual symposium (2:30pm, Performing Arts Center), with the theme: “Erasing the Double Standard: Enduring Social Obstacles to Equality and Social Justice.” Says the college’s Distinguished Professor of Social Work and Africana Studies, Pat Reid-Merritt: “This year’s event is especially significant as we join with others around the nation to celebrate Ms. Hamer’s 95th birthday and the dedication and unveiling of the Fannie Lou Hamer Memorial Statue Monument in Ruleville, Mississippi.” Find out more event details at stockton.edu. Don’t forget to vote. — Jeff Schwachter
Resorts to Share Rewards Programs
With the recent announcement that the Mohegan Tribal Gaming Authority (MTGA) became a minority owner and principal operator of Resorts Atlantic City came the news that the company will be sharing rewards programs between Resorts and the two other properties it owns — Mohegan Sun in Connecticut and Mohegan Sun at Pocono Downs in Pa. The three properties now offer a cross-marketing promotion that allows guests to use their rewards points at any or all of the three for things like shopping, dining, rooms and entertainment by presenting their rewards card. Rewards points will be used at a one-to-one ratio, meaning that one point will be equal to one dollar. “Our approach has always been focused on the guest experience,” said Mitchell Etess, MTGA’s chief executive officer, in a media release. “With the addition of Resorts, we are now able to expand and augment our unique offerings to include an iconic beachfront destination.” During a Sept. 27 luncheon of the Atlantic City Hotel & Lodging Association, Resorts new president/CEO Gary Van Hettinga alluded to the new cross-marketing program and also mentioned that sprucing up Resorts’ interior and exterior will soon be forthcoming, including remodeling the Boardwalk side of the façade in a Margaritaville theme carrying a $35 million investment, and scheduled to open in May 2013. — Ray Schweibert
‘Glad All Over’ (Columbia)
Jakob Dylan has regrouped his band the Wallflowers just in time for the band’s 20th anniversary of recording. The new rockin’ album, Glad All Over, speaks to the main influences of the band, especially Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, the Clash and the Boss. The Clash’s Mick Jones appears on the jumpy and effective Sandinista!-era cut, “Reboot the Mission,” while the rest of the album tracks leave no room for filler. The band’s best album since its sophomore release, Bringing Down the Horse, Glad All Over could — and should — lead to as many singles and hits as that 1996 album did (with “One Headlight,” “Sixth Avenue Heartache,” “The Difference,” “Three Marlenas”). Jake and the boys — including original Hammond organ player Rami Jaffe back in the fold — have come a long way since their self-titled 1992 Virgin release and the songwriting on Glad proves that good songs run in the Dylan-family blood. — Jeff Schwachter
“We decided we were only going to have young people in the audience, young people on stage and young subject matter. Young people, by definition, are much wilder in their lives, much more open. And the show started to go crazy.”
Newly named president and CEO of Resorts Atlantic City, Gary Van Hettinga, makes it clear that Atlantic City's oldest casino is an "asset that has a lot of potential."
Plans were in the works to try to get Scott-Heron to perform in Atlantic City this summer, for one of the city=sponsored concerts at Gardner's Basin. I also suggested to the organizers of the Dave Matthews Band Caravan festival coming to Atlantic City June 24-26, to reach out to Gil to have him as one of the dozens of artists on the bill.
On Gil Scott-Heron’s first new studio album in 16 years, I’m New Here, out Tuesday on XL Recordings (Radiohead, White Stripes), the rust-voiced revolutionary sounds as vital as ever. He’s been recording the haunting album—a mix of spooky futuristic blues; strange, drenched-in-synths soundscapes, poignant odes to his family and a few extraordinary covers—for the past few years with XL Recordings head Richard Russell, who first met Scott-Heron in 2006 when he visited him at Rikers, where he was serving 90 days for DUI.
Technology Instructor, Boys & Girls Club of Atlantic City Dafiq is a graduate of Atlantic City High School and a current freshman at Rutgers University in Camden. He is studying to become a high school history teacher. As the technology instructor at the Boys and Girls Club in Atlantic City, he teaches children technology, emphasizing life skills, mathematics and the arts. During the fall, Dafiq volunteered for the Barack Obama campaign and recently served on the Historically Black Colleges and Universities Inaugural Gala Committee. He has been the recipient of various awards and scholarships for his advocacy and service within the community including the United Way G.I.V.E. Award, an Assembly Resolution, and the Fannie Lou Hamer Ordinary People/Extraordinary Deeds Award. Dafiq has been an influential voice and a prominent role model for the youth in Atlantic City and is also a candidate for one of the City Council at-Large seats in Atlantic City....
Even these days, when poet-singer-songwriter-keyboardist Gil Scott-Heron, one of the greatest songwriters of the past 40 years, performs his song “95 South (All of the Places We’ve Been),” he prefaces it with a dedication to the woman who inspired the 1977 song, which is included on the album Bridges.
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