Being an illusionist generally takes years to perfect in order to entertain hundreds of people during shows. For 13-year-old Tyler Raciti, however, magic has come naturally to him since the age of 8, when he and his father, Richard, began performing acts under the name Amagicnation.
They are the only father-and-son magic act in the nation, making their shows all that more unique. Their shows have become increasingly popular, as they have been performing weekly at resorts in the Poconos and at upstate New York’s Rocking Horse Ranch. They also perform at private parties and country clubs throughout Long Island. No matter the size of the gig, the Raciti magic act will find a way to accommodate their customers.
Making a difference is much easier said then done especially in the world we live in today. However, 17-year-old Tyler Cohen found a way to help others one step at a time, and make a small act of kindness have an enormous result. Caps Count!, a charitable project that collects gently used caps, hats and visors to ship them to orphanages around the world, was created and started by Cohen when he was just 16 years old. What started off as a good-hearted thought developed into something that mattered to many different individuals.
The August after his junior year at Herricks High School, a trip to Modell’s Lake Sucess store changed everything when the Albertson resident brought up the idea to place a donation box outside of the store so people could drop off unwanted caps to send to underprivileged kids in different countries. Executive of Modell’s, John Borrelli, took interest in Cohen’s initiative, and helped put Caps Count! on the map by linking him and Modell’s on Facebook, placing donation boxes in five different stores throughout Long Island and Queens, followed by a generous donation of 1,000 caps as proceeds for the charity. Modell’s continues to work with the teen in efforts to continue Caps Count! and help it evolve into something greater.
It all started with a dusty piano. Nikki Egna, a student at Paul D. Schreiber High School in Port Washington, was visiting Sands Point Nursing Home with her synagogue when she couldn’t help but notice it. “I saw a piano in the corner of the room that looked really dusty,” she said. “I thought it was a shame that no one had been putting it to use.”
Egna decided to sit down at the piano and provide some music for the residents herself. What started off as a whim became much more when she saw how everyone around her reacted to the music. “I just saw how happy the residents became when they started hearing my piano,” she said.
Howlin’ Wind (Mercury) – Produced by Nick Lowe, Graham Parker’s 1976 outing is arguably one of music’s greatest debut efforts. With The Rumour firing on all cylinders, Parker draws from the same well as Van Morrison and The Band all infused with a pub rock swagger. From the opening notes of the horn-soaked “White Honey,” the singer-songwriter sneered his way through the rockabilly-influenced “Back to Schooldays” and acquitted himself confidently on the Stonesy swagger of “Soul Shoes.” He effectively created the template for what Elvis Costello would be doing a year later with My Aim is True. And as far as Parker is concerned, “No act was doing anything like that and it was really pointing to a future that was coming down the line a year or so later.”
The late Thomas Wolfe once wrote that you can’t go home again but apparently Graham Parker wasn’t listening. The English singer-songwriter reunited with his old band The Rumour after 31 years apart and in the process recorded Three Chords Good, a dozen songs that hit on disparate topics ranging from abortion to Afghanistan’s failed foreign policy. Not unlike Elvis Costello’s Attractions, The Rumour are the kind of well-oiled machine that were a hand-in-glove compliment to Parker’s crisp and cutting songwriting and were, not coincidentally, co-conspirators in creating some of his best work. What has become one of this year’s more anticipated reunions initially started out as a joke by Steve Goulding, the band’s drummer, who was brought aboard to work on the new album along with Rumour bassist Andrew Bodnar.
“[I’d mentioned wanting] to do something different and Steve made a joke about [getting together with] the rest of the band,” Parker explained. “I foolishly emailed them and he was just making a joke and that’s all it was. It wasn’t something thought through. There were no mercenary tactics. I didn’t really feel that it was any big deal until I’d done it. Then I realized that it is quite a big deal after 30-plus years actually. So I scrambled and got a studio and got my engineer/co-producer Dave Cook, who I’ve worked with before, and got it all booked because I had to strike while the iron was hot, otherwise I would have started thinking about it and worrying.”
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