January Rambling: looking for good news

Ever confuse palate, pallet and palette? I did this month.

attemptedmurder Arthur’s article Why we think the news is worse than it is. This led to a thread that I wrote about finding good news amongst the bad which are here and here and here.

People I know personally, at least one an artist, seemed really irritated that a Norman Rockwell painting fetched a record price last month. This antipathy seemed to be tied to the notion of Rockwell as artistic pablum. Another view of the artist Continue reading “January Rambling: looking for good news”

Up on a rooftop, Beatles, quick.

I just figured out that the rooftop concert was on the 16th birthday of my good friend Fred Hembeck

BeatlesAcrossPage495Only recently did I realize that today is the 45th anniversary of the Beatles rooftop concert above Abbey Road studios. This was performed and recorded as part of some album/movie project, both of which would eventually be called Let It Be.

Here’s the 20-minute performance until the cops shut things down.

Of course, as Beatles junkies know Continue reading “Up on a rooftop, Beatles, quick.”

Rooting interests

Mu sisters live in San Diego, CA and Charlotte, NC, so I’ll root for their NFL teams, unless another loyalty wins out.

RichardShermanThe team you root for in sports is, of course, entirely irrational. In football (NFL variety, not soccer), I support the New York Giants because, when my father was teaching me about how to watch football, we used to watch the Giants every autumn Sunday on our Binghamton, NY affiliate, WNBF-TV, Channel 12. Even went to a couple exhibition games in not-too-distant Ithaca, NY.

Who do you root for, though, when your team isn’t there? The Giants were a mediocre 7-9 this past season, starting 0-6, and failed to make the playoffs. Continue reading “Rooting interests”

C is for the Carpenters

It was the version of Superstar by an unknown singer named Bette Midler that caught Richard Carpenter’s attention.

Some of the albums I own that came out in 1971, the year I went to college, include Sticky Fingers – Rolling Stones; Pearl – Janis Joplin; Aqualung – Jethro Tull; What’s Going On – Marvin Gaye; Every Picture Tells a Story – Rod Stewart; Who’s Next – the Who; Santana (III); Led Zeppelin (IV); Hunky Dory – David Bowie. And, oh yeah, Carpenters, the eponymous third album put out by the sibling duo of Karen and Richard Carpenter.

Talk about uncool! These are the artists who took one of the Beatles’ hardest rockers, Ticket to Ride [LISTEN], and turned it into a ballad on their first album. (I rather liked it.) I loved Karen’s voice, though, and I thought they performed some lovely songs.

Side 1
The “tan album” begins with Rainy Days and Mondays [LISTEN], written by Roger Nichols and Paul Williams, which I swear radio DJs at the time referenced every time there was precipitation on the first day of the work week. The Carpenters* had recorded the Nichols/Williams tune We’ve Only Just Begun [LISTEN] on their previous album. Both songs went to #2 on the US singles charts.

Richard Carpenter was a great arranger for himself and his sister, and a decent keyboard player, but often wrote drippy songs, with a person named Bettis, and, worse, sang them. Saturday at least was only eighty seconds long.

Let Me Be the One was yet another nice Nichols/Williams song.

(A Place To) Hideaway was a lovely song by someone named Randy Sparks

For All We Know [LISTEN] was another hit single Continue reading “C is for the Carpenters”

Video Review: Muppet Treasure Island

I think Kermit the Frog is better suited playing himself or a variation of same.

The Daughter went to the library and got out the video of the 1996 Muppets movie adaptation of the Robert Louis Stevenson novel Treasure Island. She really liked The Muppets (2011) in the theater, as did The Wife and I. I’ve also enjoyed some of the early Muppet movies and that classic TV program, The Muppet Show.

Tim Curry as Long John Silver was great. Yet this story Continue reading “Video Review: Muppet Treasure Island”