Archive for the ‘Music that doesn’t suck’ Category

‘I Remember Everything’

June 12, 2020

Said to be the last song John Prine recorded. He wrote it with longtime collaborator Pat McLaughlin.

Me, I don’t remember much. And a lot of what I do remember I’d like to forget.

But I don’t ever want to forget John Prine.

R.I.P., Little Richard

May 9, 2020

“A wop bop alu bop, a wop bam boom!”

Rolling Stone called it “what has to be considered the most inspired rock lyric ever recorded.” Some may disagree; it is a high bar to hop. But Little Richard was most definitely inspired, and one of a kind, a true trailblazer.

As Jim Dodge noted in “Not Fade Away”:

“Little Richard had returned to the Church, but because he was wearing lipstick and eye shadow the Church wasn’t sure what to do with him.”

Now he’s gone on ahead. That Big Band Beyond best have its game on. Wooooooo!

Stay away

April 25, 2020

R.I.P., John Prine

April 7, 2020

That Next World Orchestra just keeps getting bigger and better.

I met John Prine once, at the Nitty Gritty Dirt Band’s 20th-anniversary show at Denver McNichols Arena in 1986, and don’t I wish I could have a do-over for those few moments.

My guitar and I were butchering a few choice selections from his first, self-titled album and “Sweet Revenge” just this afternoon.

Well, mostly it was me. Wasn’t the guitar’s fault. Sure as shit wasn’t John Prine’s fault. Plenty of people — poets, musicians, authors, and journalists — would call it a career after writing a line as good as “There’s a hole in Daddy’s arm where all the money goes.” He wrote whole albums that good and just kept on writing them.

Condolences and peace to all who loved him. This ol’ man has finally gone to town. Here’s The New York Times obit. And here’s a note from John’s wife, Fiona.

Getting some ZZs

March 20, 2020

Just a lil’ ol’ band from Texas that’s been around for a half-century.

When I was allegedly attending college at the University of Northern Colorado in Greality we enjoyed a weekly bit of low-key debauchery called the Friday Afternoon Club (or FAC).

A Netflix documentary — “ZZ Top: That Little Ol’ Band from Texas” — brought this weekly skull-flush to mind. And this morning I dashed right on over to the Apple Music store and scored a digital copy of a 1973 album I already own in vinyl, “Tres Hombres.”

There. Global economy rescued by Your Humble Narrator. You’re welcome.

If you’ve shut yourself away and need something to do, why not try tapping your toes? Join the club!

Year of the Plague

March 13, 2020

Everyone’s world is getting just a little bit smaller.

Has everyone settled in to The New Normal yet?

Herself had to make a supply run to Herself the Elder’s assisted-living home yesterday, but since she forgot her biohazard gear and breathing apparatus, she had to leave the goodies on the porch. The joint is on lockdown, with the drawbridge up and the moat full of gators, piranha fish, and plugged-in toasters.

She managed to snap a selfie at mom’s bedroom window, though. And of course, when you can’t get actual facetime, there’s FaceTime.

Elsewhere, the noobs are trying to figure out how to work from home. Lucky for me, I have a black belt in social distancing, which I have been practicing since 1991, when after 15 years in the Petri dish of daily journalism it was suddenly just me, my Mac SE, and a Hayes modem, in a spare bedroom.

Also, as a geezer with a broken ankle and the Socialist Insecurity due to start rolling in next month, I don’t have much to do or a pressing need to go somewhere to do it.

So I got that going for me, which is nice.

The hard part, for me and for thee, is the temptation to go all COVID-19, all the time. Don’t do it. Send a daily hate mail to the White House and then call it a day.

Watching this lame reboot of “A Day at the Races” ain’t doing it for me. There are more horses’ asses than horses in this one, and I don’t think the fat fuck playing Dr. Hackenbush is even a vet, much less an MD.

And now, today’s musical selection:

 

R.I.P., Neil Innes

December 30, 2019

The Urban Spaceman has blasted off. He was 75.

Neil Innes worked with The Bonzo Dog Doo-Dah Band, The Rutles, a.k.a. “The Prefab Four,” and of course, Monty Python.

His abrupt departure via heart attack is both surprising and unwelcome. God keeps repo’ing the comics and leaving us with the jokes.

The NYT has an obit here. Here’s Neil performing three of his greatest hits in an NPR Tiny Desk Concert back in 2011. And here’s an extensive BBC obit that includes a few video clips.

“I’ve suffered for my music, and now it’s your turn.” How sweet, this idiot.

Father Christmas, give us some money

December 25, 2019

My Christmas caroling tends to wander far afield from the norm. This one does have a little drummer boy in it, though.

Pah-rum-pah-pum-pum, bitches. Give us some money.

‘A musical warlock’

December 14, 2019

Frank Zappa’s “Hot Rats” is 50 years old. Great googly moogly!

Read all about it here, and scope out a six-disc anniversary boxed set of the work at Zappa.com.

Writes Jim Farber at The Guardian:

The dense and raucous jams that inspired the final cuts have been fully restored, and assembled in an order that makes the development of the official versions clear. “It provides context for the final product,” said Ian Underwood, who played a plethora of instruments on “Rats” and who is the only musician, besides Zappa, who appeared on every track. “Like ‘process art,’ you can hear all the things leading up to a track, so you get a feel for how it arrived at the end. It’s also interesting to see what didn’t work out along the way.”

Willie the Pimp would be s’proud.

• Editor’s note: This constitutes our official observance of Zappadan 2019.

Happy birthday, Tom Waits

December 7, 2019

Himself turned 70 today. Many more to him. You really gotta hold on, Thomas me lad.