Tom Hamilton is a busy man. Somehow, in between performances with Joe Russo’s Almost Dead, Electron, Billy and The Kids, and releasing a new album with his band, American Babies, Hamilton was able to put together a tribute to Bruce Springsteen – a beloved rock and roll legend who doesn’t generally get much attention from the jam band world. Acting as the band leader, Hamilton conducted the American Babies along with guest appearances from a slew of musicians – Jackie Greene, Ross James, Katie Jacoby, and the Superslick Horns – through a spot on musical impersonation of Springsteen throughout the night.Many of Springsteen’s songs sound like simple and straightforward rock songs, but there are a lot of moving parts involved. It was really fun watching Hamilton conduct the entire ensemble while also doing a Springsteen impression on the mic. At times, he put down the guitar to walk around stage and sing like The Boss, although there was no power slides or crowd surfing. You could tell these songs had been rehearsed – most songs sounded pretty close to the album versions, and the older Springsteen loving crowd seemed to approve of renditions by dancing and singing a long.It’s tough to find places to really provide true jams within Springsteen’s catalog. The solos are iconic at this point, there’s not much space to truly go off and improv. But, when given the chance, these musicians all know how to do it, providing some of the night’s highlights. The Ghost of Tom Joad, which works well as a jam vehicle, was probably the best of the night, including some incredible interplay between Hamilton and violinist Katie Jacoby, who really stole the show and came across as a star. The Boss and the E Street Band aren’t the easiest band to replicate on stage, but through Hamilton’s tight conducting and dedication to the material, this show worked extremely well. With more shows to come, hopefully the band takes some of these songs into new directions and really owsn them. Hopefully this project will continue to evolve and take a life of its own in the future.Check out videos below, and a full audio stream can be streamed via taper Eric McRoberts. The Ghost Of Tom JoadBadlands Load remaining images
The European Commission must act to ensure all pension funds are exempt from having to “unnecessarily” pay value-added tax (VAT) on contracted management services, according to two major pan-European advocacy organisations.In a joint paper, PensionsEurope and the European Association of Paritarian Institutions (AEIP) called for EU legislation to be amended as it did not contribute to the equal treatment of pension schemes within the bloc and undermined “the freedom of contract of pension providers and paritarian institutions”.Paritarian institutions are institutions jointly established and managed by employers and trade unions on the basis of collective agreements, and generally for the purpose of social protection.AEIP and PensionsEurope called for all pension fund participants, regardless of the character of the schemes or the member states in which the services were received, to be freed from “unnecessary VAT burdens”. They emphasised that the exemption of management services to pension plans must be clear and that non-discriminative policies were vital for maintaining a level playing field within the EU.Under the current interpretation of the VAT Directive, the Brussels-based lobby organisations said, similar pension schemes in different countries were being treated differently for tax purposes with regard to the management services they procured.The current regime also did not provide enough guidance for increasingly commonplace hybrid pension plans, PensionsEurope and AEIP said.Alexandra Kaydzhiyska, permanent representative from AEIP, said the VAT Directive had not kept up with developments in the pensions landscape.“It is time to update the rules to ensure that all pension funds are exempt and that they respect the principles of non-discrimination and neutrality,” she said.PensionsEurope CEO Matti Leppälä suggested the current situation was at odds with efforts to boost funded retirement provision in Europe.“Saddling pension funds with an unnecessary and arbitrary VAT burden makes them less attractive and ultimately undermines the objective of achieving adequate and sustainable pensions across Europe,” he said.ECJ case law problemsAEIP and PensionsEurope argued that, without amendments to the VAT Directive, pension providers and paritarian institutions faced having to go to court in order to prevent VAT burdens, when other considerations should prevail.The ECJ case law, said AEIP and PensionsEurope, “ultimately results in distinctions between pensions plans and its providers that are explainable from the lack of political decision making and judgment on a case by case basis but are by no means derived from proper and thoughtful decision making”.There have been several landmark decisions by the European Court of Justice (ECJ) in recent years relating to pension fund VAT claims: in 2013 it ruled on a case relating to UK workplace defined benefit schemes and in 2014 on one involving Denmark’s ATP in its capacity as a provider of defined contribution plans.Further reading:Lack of VAT guidance for DB pension funds ‘beggars belief’Dutch government rules out easing pension fund VAT rules
COLLEGE FOOTBALL-OBIT-MALONEYFormer Syracuse football coach Frank Maloney dead at 79SYRACUSE, N.Y. (AP) — Former Syracuse University head football coach Frank Maloney has died. He was 79.Maloney played center and guard at Michigan from 1959-61 and served as an assistant coach at his alma mater before being hired at Syracuse to succeed Hall of Famer Ben Schwartzwalder.Maloney inherited a team that had finished 2-9 in Schwartzwalder’s final season and guided the Orange for seven seasons. His teams went 32-46 from 1974-80. He resigned after the 1980 season and served 27 years as director of ticket operations for the Chicago Cubs until retiring in 2010.,Tampa Bay Lightning advance to face Dallas Stars in Stanley Cup finals, beating New York Islanders 2-1 in OT in Game 6 April 1, 2020 Associated Press The All England Club announced Wednesday after an emergency meeting that the oldest Grand Slam tournament in tennis will not be held in 2020.Wimbledon was scheduled to be played on the outskirts of London from June 29 to July 12. It now joins the growing list of sports events scrapped in 2020 because of the COVID-19 outbreak. That includes the Tokyo Olympics, the NCAA men’s and women’s college basketball tournaments and the European soccer championship. The last time Wimbledon was called off was 1945.In other developments related to the pandemic:— Major League Baseball has canceled a two-game series in London between the Chicago Cubs and the St. Louis Cardinals because of the coronavirus pandemic. The teams had been scheduled to play at Olympic Stadium on June 13-14. Baseball Commissioner Rob Manfred made the announcement in a memorandum sent to MLB employees on Wednesday. MLB said March 19 that it had scrapped series in Mexico City and San Juan, Puerto Rico. Opening day was to have been March 26, and MLB has delayed the start of its season until mid-May at the earliest.— NFL teams are having to adjust to a new normal as they prepare for the NFL draft in three weeks without being able to visit prospects for in-person evaluations and interviews. The league is responding to the global coronavirus pandemic by forbidding teams from hosting prospects or traveling to interview them as they normally do. The pandemic also scuttled many college pro timing days that prospects were hoping to use to make impressions on NFL scouts. The Broncos say teams will have to rely on game film more than ever. The NFL still plans to open the season as scheduled on Sept. 10. Share This StoryFacebookTwitteremailPrintLinkedinRedditVIRUS OUTBREAK-SPORTSWimbledon canceled for 1st time since WWIIUNDATED (AP) — Wimbledon has been canceled for the first time since World War II because of the coronavirus pandemic. Update on the latest sports TENNIS-PLAYER SUSPENDEDUnranked British tennis player suspended, fined for gamblingLONDON (AP) — A 24-year-old unranked British tennis player was suspended Wednesday for at least three months and fined at least $500 for betting on six matches involving other players.The Tennis Integrity Unit said if Patrick Keane commits another breach of its rules, he will wind up with a six-month ban and $5,000 fine.Keane’s discipline was reduced based on his cooperation, admission and the fact that none of his wagers were on his own matches. He is not allowed to compete in or attend any sanctioned tennis event until June 29. — The NHL has extended its self-quarantine recommendation for players and staff to April 15. Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly confirmed the extension in an email to The Associated Press. The league had previously sent out a memo recommending self-quarantining until April 4. So far, four NHL players have tested positive for COVID-19. The league and teams are hoping to get players together to skate in small groups once the isolation period is over. State, provincial and local lockdown regulations across the U.S. and Canada could push back the opening of team facilities.— Prominent orthopedic surgeon Dr. James Andrews has temporarily halted Tommy John operations at his Florida medical center in the wake of the coronavirus pandemic. Some have questioned whether a reconstructive elbow surgery for a ballplayer is an essential procedure. Stars Chris Sale, Noah Syndergaard and Luis Severino are among the pitchers who have had Tommy John surgery since spring training started, performed by different doctors.— The Olympic flame will be on display until the end of April in Japan’s northeastern region of Fukushima. The public will have limited access to view the flame. Organizers hope to limit the crowd size because of restrictions in place for the coronavirus. The flame arrived in Japan from Greece on March 20 and the torch relay was to have started last week. The Fukushima region was devastated in 2011 by an earthquake, tsunami, and the subsequent meltdown of three nuclear reactors. Olympic officials have postponed the Tokyo Games until next year with the opening now set for July 23, 2021.— A German soccer club is raising funds amid the coronavirus pandemic by selling tickets for a fictional game. The third-division club (Uerdingen) hopes to virtually sell out its 34,500-capacity Grotenburg Stadium in Krefeld with the offer of souvenir tickets for fans. Tickets start at 5 euros ($5.46) and go all the way to 19.05 euros ($20.80) for VIP tickets. The club says “panic buying for friends and family is definitely allowed.” The club, which was one of the powerhouses of German soccer in the 1980s, hasn’t played a game since March 8 because of the virus outbreak.— Being stuck at home didn’t stop a British man from running an outdoor marathon. James Campbell spent his 32nd birthday doing 6-meter shuttles from one end of his small backyard to the other after promising to run a marathon if a Twitter message he sent last week received 10,000 retweets. Campbell completed the marathon in just over five hours and raised more than $22,000 for Britain’s National Health Service in its effort to battle the coronavirus pandemic. His effort was live-streamed and neighbors poked their heads over the backyard fence to give Campbell encouragement.