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Hundreds of thousands at Obama's inaugural parade
SHOTLIST: WASHINGTON, JANUARY 21, 2013, SOURCE: POOL **NO RESALE for non-editorial purposes** - VAR of presidential motorcade on Pennsylvania Avenue - VAR of Barack and Michelle Obama coming out of their car, walking next to the car, waving at people - VAR of the Obamas arriving in the reviewing stand, watching the parade - VAR of marching bands walking in front of the president ------------------- AFP TEXT STORY: US-politics-inauguration,4thlead-WRAP Obama issues inaugural call for unity, equality by Stephen Collinson =(GRAPHIC+PICTURE+VIDEO)= ATTENTION - ADDS color /// WASHINGTON, Jan 21, 2013 (AFP) - President Barack Obama inaugurated his second term Monday with an ardent call for unity, but warned his foes their "absolutism" must not thwart action on climate, immigration and gun control. Obama was publicly sworn in for another four White House years before a flag-waving crowd of hundreds of thousands, then delivered an inaugural address in which poetic power veiled clear signs of a liberal governing agenda. "We do not believe that in this country freedom is reserved for the lucky, or happiness for the few," Obama said, from the Stars and Stripes-draped West Front of the US Capitol building, the epicenter of America's political divides. The 44th president repeatedly used the "We the People" preamble to the US Constitution to suggest how to reconcile America's founding truths and the current discord and dysfunction of its embittered political system. "Decisions are upon us, and we cannot afford delay," said Obama, flexing the freedom of a leader who no longer needs to face voters, and the urgency of a president who knows that second-term powers soon wane. "We cannot mistake absolutism for principle, or substitute spectacle for politics, or treat name-calling as reasoned debate. We must act, knowing that our work will be imperfect," Obama declared. Obama, America's first black president, took the oath of office with his hand resting on Bibles that once belonged to Abraham Lincoln, the president who ended slavery, and civil rights icon Martin Luther King, Jr. In another echo of history, the inaugural ceremonies took place on the federal holiday marking King's birthday, and a majority of the estimated half a million plus crowd appeared to be African Americans. Later, on a day mixing the pageantry of the presidency with the blunt business of drawing political battle lines, Obama and wife Michelle jumped out of their armored car to greet wildly cheering crowds in the inaugural parade. Though his speech was watched across the globe, Obama sketched over foreign policy, disdaining "perpetual war" and promising diplomatic engagement backed with military steel -- though he did not dwell on specific crises like Iran. "We will show the courage to try and resolve our differences with other nations peacefully -- not because we are naive about the dangers we face, but because engagement can more durably lift suspicion and fear." While reaching for a soaring note of national unity, Obama's address was laced with liberal ideology, and policy certain to enrage Republicans. "Together, we resolved that a great nation must care for the vulnerable, and protect its people from life's worst hazards and misfortune," Obama said. "Now, more than ever, we must do these things together, as one nation and one people. While irking Republicans, Obama's signs of intent on issues like gun control and climate change may also worry Democrats from conservative territory running in 2014 mid-term polls, who may hold the fate of his agenda in their hands. In an apparent bid to frame his legacy, Obama said America must shield the weak, the poor and those lacking health care and demanded equality for all races and gay rights, and security from gun crime for children. "Our journey is not complete until our gay brothers and sisters are treated like anyone else under the law -- for if we are truly created equal, then surely the love we commit to one another must be equal as well," Obama said. "Our journey is not complete until we find a better way to welcome the striving, hopeful immigrants who still see America as a land of opportunity," he said, signaling a policy drive on a deeply contentious issue. And in an oblique reference to his bid to end the scourge of gun violence, Obama said: "our journey is not complete until all our children, from the streets of Detroit to the hills of Appalachia to the quiet lanes of Newtown, know that they are cared for, and cherished, and always safe from harm." The 44th president also vowed to meet the threat of global warming, despite skepticism on climate change among some Republicans and daunting political and economic barriers to meaningful action. Obama's Republican foes welcomed his reach for unity but, like the president, hinted at ideological divides. "The president's second term represents a fresh start when it comes to dealing with the great challenges of our day; particularly, the transcendent challenge of unsustainable federal spending and debt," said Republican Senate minority leader Mitch McConnell. Defeated Republican vice presidential candidate Paul Ryan congratulated Obama saying, "we serve the same country, one that is still in need of repair." Speaking to AFP, Republican senator John McCain, who lost the White House race to Obama in 2008, damned the address with faint praise. "I thought it was an excellent speech, delivery was obviously excellent," McCain said. "I didn't hear any conciliatory remarks associated with it." After his speech, Obama dined on bison and lobster with VIP members of Congress before heading back to the White House on the inaugural parade route. Obama took the oath for a first time Sunday in a private ceremony at the White House because the constitution states that US presidential terms end at noon on January 20. col/sst
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Allen Stone - Allen Stone
While the buzz was building in early 2014 about the Internet of Things, Allen Stone was recording in his rustic Washington State cabin and extolling the virtues of an old-fangled kind of connection – the one that exists between people playing music together. The 26-year-old soul singer, praised as a “pitch-perfect powerhouse” by USA Today, was working on the follow-up to his self-titled breakthrough album, which he released digitally on his own stickystones label in late 2011. Sure, he acknowledges, he could have written and recorded his new set of songs alone on a laptop – but that wouldn’t have been nearly as much fun. “I’m a social person and, to me, the greatest energy that you can cultivate is a collaborative energy. It feels better when you’ve got somebody to bounce ideas off of,” explains Stone. While he’s not keen on creating music with computers, Stone nevertheless considers technology to be an enormous blessing. In fact, he might have never met his co-producer, Swedish musician Magnus Tingsek, if he hadn’t been digging around online for new music. “I was like his number one fan for three years,” recalls Allen. At that point, things started exploding for Stone. His self-titled album shot into the Top 10 of Billboard’s Heatseekers chart and entered the Top 5 of iTunes’ R&B/Soul charts shortly after its release. Soon the unsigned artist was appearing on shows like “Conan,” “Jimmy Kimmel Live,” “Last Call with Carson Daly” and “Live from Daryl’s House.” NPR’s Ann Powers hailed the album as “meant for those of us who like our R&B slightly unkempt and exceedingly feelingful” and Forbes ran a feature focusing on his remarkable success as an independent artist. The New York Times’ Jon Pareles praised Stone’s live show, noting, “his music reached back four decades to the late 1960s and early ’70s, when songwriters like Stevie Wonder, Marvin Gaye, Donny Hathaway and Bill Withers brought introspection and social commentary to soul music.” A partnership with indie label ATO Records, which later released the album physically, opened new doors. Stone was voted one of mtvU's "Freshman 5" and named a VH1’ “You Oughta Know” artist. He opened for Al Green and Dave Matthews and performed on “Late Show with David Letterman,” “The Ellen DeGeneres Show” and “The Tonight Show with Jay Leno.” With an 85-date headline tour planned and two out of three openers selected, Stone asked his manager, “Why don’t we see if Tingsek will come?” Tingsek, who had never toured outside of Scandinavia, agreed and the two became good friends as they traveled across North America and throughout Europe. “My number one joy is playing live, so when I write records I really just think of what song I could write that would be really fun to play live,” says Stone. “Basically my job is to throw a party for people every night when we’re on tour.” The non-stop pace of touring and promotional appearances makes it tempting to “set the cruise control a little too high,” Allen notes, which can take its toll over time. After doing nearly 600 shows in two years, Stone was ready to turn from touring to recording. He moved from Seattle back to his hometown of Chewelah, WA – population 2,606. “To find the balance I was looking for, I needed to move out to the middle of nowhere – where I have no distractions whatsoever,” he says. As he considered who he might like to collaborate with, Tingsek came to mind. Stone flew to Malmö, Sweden in November of 2013 and, after just a day in the studio with Tingsek, he knew it was the right pairing. “Magnus is like Prince – he plays everything! He’s like one of those Swiss Army knife musicians,” says Stone. “He hears music completely different than I do. I’m more like a classic soul/classic blues kind of singer and he is able to hear music in this new, weird, disco jazz nuance that totally challenges me to broaden my ear and my vocality.” They wrote and recorded some tracks in Malmö and, in early 2014, reconvened in Chewelah so they could work with members of Allen’s band. Stone is a big fan of recording with real – rather than virtual – instruments. “The computer’s such a nice tool that it’s starting to take the human element out of art. So where’s the line? If the computer is doing 85% of the work, then whose record is it?” he asks. “Every instrument on the new record is all real.” Seeing the preponderance of DJ acts at the festivals he has played has been a little unsettling. “I kind of feel like the clerk who’s been working at the grocery story for 20 years and all of a sudden they start bringing in these self check-out stands. And you’re like, what the hell are they gonna need me for?” says Allen, laughing. As his music makes abundantly clear, Stone isn’t likely to be replaced by a laptop anytime soon. After all, he’s got something that still can’t be simulated: soul.
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