Posts Tagged ‘music’

The day before Father’s Day, my parents-in-law suggested that we might want to meet them for a strawberry festival in a small town about an hour from Albany. Since we weren’t going to see each other on the actual holiday, it seemed like a nice idea.

We got our strawberries, biscuits and whipped cream and sat on chairs in the shady part of the church lawn. I also split some Brooks barbecue chicken, a staple at church dinners around here, with my wife. And it was a good thing I bought it when I did, because when my FIL went back to get some chicken, it had sold out.

There were a number of vendors set along the main street. The Daughter wanted to go to the one just across the street, so we did. Some unnecessary knickknacks, such as bracelets. But what’s that – some Confederate flag paraphernalia? OK, we can just go.

Then I see in the corner of my eye a bunch of hats with “We don’t call 911” stitched on the brim and a gun here a logo might be. Yes, we’re in “no sale” territory. My wife wanted to know if we found anything to buy. The Daughter and I gave a curt “no.”

Eventually we came upon a yard sale, evidently run by three women. I spent a whole dollar in one seller’s column, two sets of four coasters in the design of playing cards, which I’ll use for my annual hearts game next March, if I can still remember where they are by then.

We listened to a concert in the church, a group of 14 women and 5 men, plus conductor and pianist. They sang a half dozen tunes, New York, New York; Somewhere from West Side Story, in honor of the centennial of Leonard Bernstein’s birth; a religious tune I didn’t recognize; and finished with a version of God Bless America that incorporated both a musical version of the spoken intro and a piece of America the Beautiful. The group, that has been around for 32 years, wasn’t bad.

The town is building a newly-refurbished library in the building that used to house a small performance theater. The old library, next door, will be where they sell books that are currently stored in the dingy and inaccessible basement. They plan to move the books from one building to the other via a bucket brigade early this autumn.

It was a hot day, so we went to the local Stewart’s Shops, ubiquitous in the region, for refreshment.

Right across the road was a hand-painted sign for a guy running for town supervisor. Adjacent to that was a large message, almost the size of a billboard: “Town Supervisor [name] and town board are [sic] panning to build a town building in a flood plain. DUMB ASSES.”

We drove home, and as is likely to be customary on such an oppressive day, I took a nap.

You can’t compromise with bs

Is Trumpism becoming a new religion?

When The White House Can’t Be Believed

The 2017 Comprehensive Plan For Reorganizing The Executive Branch is codified in the June 2018 Delivering Government Solutions in the 21st Century. They’re DOING all of it, or trying to. (HT, Steve Bissette)

Family Separations: Should we be horrified, relieved, or just confused?

This Isn’t the First Time the White House Attempted to Cut the Dept. of Ed.

The corporate tax cut will never trickle down

Space defense will be a major concern for the U.S., but the “Space Force” is not the answer

Browser extension to fix the NYT’s squeamishness about calling him a liar

Reporter is raising her daughter to speak three languages; a stranger demanded she ‘speak English’ to her

Living While Black

More than one percent of Oklahoma’s population is in the slammer

Last Week Tonight with John OliverXi Jinping

We could use some more social justice when it comes to fandom

Father’s Day for children of abusive fathers

“In moral crisis” or “immoral crisis”?

Judge tosses Kansas law that disenfranchised thousands of eligible voters, orders KS Secretary of State Kris Kobach to take remedial law classes

Sales tax: Different items are taxable in different states

You don’t really know who Bernie Sanders was in the 1960s

Anthony Bourdain interviewed on The Daily Show, January 2018

RIP Dan Ingram

A natural gas power plant with no carbon emissions or air pollution

How does Disney World control mosquitoes?

‘I had to guard an empty room’: the rise of the pointless job

The Curious Origins of 16 Common Phrases

Now I Know: The Radio Reporter Who Found a New Voice, Literally and Why Is it Named Idaho? and The Tractors that Turn Farmers into Hackers and the Sound of Sneezes and The Man Who Takes Apostrophes Very Seriously and the National Animal of Scotland

The patron saint of the tacky

The LESLIE Chronicles

This is the picture of my sister’s bicycle after her accident on June 4; you can’t really tell that the handlebars are sheared off.

Leslie’s still in the hospital, getting incrementally better. Great strides in the past week, actually. She’s had a fourth surgery this week, on her palate. She has a coterie of friends tending to her, besides the hospital staff.

Most notably, I was able to talk with her this week! She has these different colored caps that cover the trachea incision that allows her to be audible. She was tired but coherent and rational. THAT is a very good sign.

If she were not wearing a helmet, there almost certainly would have had have been a different outcome. So if you are riding a motorcycle or bicycle or scooter, wear the damn helmet.

MUSIC

We’re Not Gonna Take It – Dee Snider (stripped down version)

77 Cover Songs – “Weird Al” Yankovic

Art of the song parody

Still A Friend Of Mine – MonaLisa Twins

99 Luftballons – Kaleida (Atomic Blonde Soundtrack)

Whitney Avalon sings again!

Anema e core – Pier Angeli

Just A Song Before I Go – Graham Nash (original demo)

John McElrath of the Swingin’ Medallions died at 77

Why Modern Music Is Awful

There’s a performer you’ve probably never heard of named Rebecca Parris who died at the age of 66 this week. She grew up in the Boston area and the Globe described her as a jazz singer of uncommon range and emotional depth. “Ms. Parris wove together jazz inflections, freewheeling scat singing, andan endless palette of vocal shadings into something all her own.”

The New York Times explained her “problem” back in 2000. “She’s a New England favorite who hasn’t quite been able to develop a national constituency. And that’s unfortunate, since the veteran… singer has quietly evolved into a highly skilled jazz artist… Parris sang a set of familiar standards with the confident musicality of a performer with both the talent and the imagination to fully express her ideas.”

The singer experienced some physical ailments, making it hard to sing while standing up early in the century, but as this 2006 Globe story suggested, ‘It’s been a drag,’ but it’s spring, again, for Parris.

From a November 2007 review in the New York Times: “If Rebecca Parris … who is playing a rare New York engagement at Birdland, were a blues-rock artist, she would belong to the school of gutbucket mamas whose delivery is the vocal equivalent of wielding an ax. Her voice, a rich contralto with a baritone resonance, is so commanding that when a song’s attitude is combative, she can scare you. But when the mood is playful, she can also enfold you in a musical bear hug.

“Most revealing was a rendition of the old Doris Day hit “It’s Magic,” in which Ms. Parris’s stressing of the words “the magic is my love for you” transformed a girlish swoon of enchantment into the narrator’s grown-up awareness that she is creating her own happiness.”

I have two of her albums, My Foolish Heart and It’s Another Day.

Listen to:

My Foolish Heart

Over The Rainbow

Rebecca Parris On Piano Jazz (with Marian McPartland, NPR, 2008, 56 minutes)

Guitar Player, 1977

As I am a big fan of the eclectic, I love the music of Todd Rundgren.

I discovered Nazz, or the Nazz, his first, Philadelphia-based band after the group had already broken up. “‘Open My Eyes’ gained belated recognition thanks to its inclusion in Nuggets (1972), the genre-defining anthology of American 1960s garage punk and psychedelia.” He put out many albums, under various band monikers, reportage of which is a task too convoluted to note here. Check the Wikipedia.

Nor am I going to get into all the albums he produced for other people, including for Badfinger, Grand Funk Railroad, Meatloaf, the New York Dolls, Patti Smith, and XTC – look here.

Here’s somebody’s list of The 10 Best Todd Rundgren Albums To Own On Vinyl, FWIW.

Listen! All by Todd Rundgren, unless otherwise indicated; chart action is from Billboard Top 100:

Open My Eyes – Nazz, #112 in 1968
Hello It’s Me – Nazz, #71 in 1969, #66 in 1970 – these songs were the flip sides of each other
Loosen Up – Nazz, parody of Archie Bell and the Drell’s Tighten Up

We Gotta Get You a Woman – Runt, #20 in 1971; it’s unclear if this was a real band or just Todd

I Saw the Light, #16 in 1972
Hello It’s Me, #5 in 1973

Love in Action – Utopia, 1977
Can We Still Be Friends #29 in 1978 – I always find this song extraordinarily sad

Bang The Drum All Day, #63 in 1983; based on his comments playing this with Ringo Starr’s All-Starr Band, Todd thinks this is a really dopey song

Coverville 1222: The Todd Rundgren Cover Story II

Now we get to “the albums that Roger owns on vinyl” section of this post:

Deface the Music – Utopia (1980) – “The concept of the album was to pay homage to The Beatles and create songs which sounded very similar to the Fab Four’s tunes throughout the various stages of their career.” If you appreciate the Rutles, you should get this album.
I Just Want To Touch You
Life Goes On
Everybody Else Is Wrong

Swing to the Right – Utopia (1982)
Swing to the Right
One World

A Cappella (1985)
Something To Fall Back On
Pretending To Care
also
Real Man, from the “A Capella” tour

People ask a lot of questions about The Beatles on Quora. Seeing that it’s Paul McCartney’s 76th birthday – I get Macca’s newsletter every month – I thought I’d steal a few. You’ll find other, sometimes contradictory, answers as well, at the links.

Are there any Beatles songs that were written solely by Paul McCartney that were sung solely by John Lennon, and vice-versa?

Alex Johnston: “‘Every Little Thing’, on Beatles For Sale, was written entirely by McCartney but sung by Lennon, with backing vocals from McCartney and Harrison.”

What did the Beatles think of the Rolling Stones?

Alexander Chiltern: “Yes, they were friendly… A more attentive reading has suggested me that they had envy of each other, but specially The Beatles were very, very envious of the Stones.”

Which classic rock band has aged most embarrassingly?

Stanton Nicholas: “I’m going to commit a cardinal sin among Beatle-philes by suggesting that Paul McCartney is about ready to join this group if he doesn’t stop touring soon.” I saw him in 2014 and I thought he was great, FWIW.

Is there any band artistically better than the Beatles at any time?

Rosalind Mitchell: “The Beatles more or less wrote the rules for bands. It is also that no band has ever been do versatile.”

What are John Lennon’s favorite songs by Paul McCartney?

David Sylvester: “In John Lennon’s interview with Playboy in September 1980, he singled out several Paul songs for praise. These include:
All My Loving (‘it’s a damn good piece of work’)
Things We Said Today (‘Good song’)
For No One (‘one of my favorites of his’)
Yesterday (‘well done’)
Got To Get You Into My Life (‘one of his best songs’)
Hey Jude (‘one of his masterpieces’)
Why Don’t We Do It In The Road (I enjoyed the track’)
Oh Darling (‘a great one of Paul’s that he didn’t sing too well’)
Fixing A Hole (‘writing a good lyric’)
The Fool On The Hill (‘proving he can write lyrics’)

“In the post-Beatles years, John acknowledged some appreciation for the Band On The Run album, the song Monkberry Moon Delight, and notably Coming Up, which he fixated on in the summer of 1980.

I’m occasionally tempted to answer some of these queries, but time and, usually, a sufficient extant answer dissuades me. For instance, there are always questions about whether the Beatles will be remembered decades from now. There is no telling the future, but the preponderance of evidence, such as the sheer number of cover albums of their music being produced each year, suggests the answer is YES.

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