disruptive play

International Trickster Day is January 17!

This year, we observe the Rev. Martin Luther King, Jr.’s birthday on January 17th. May that transcendent leader for civil rights and spiritual growth continue to inspire. But EVERY year, January 17th is International Trickster Day (I hereby declare). No less than five of history’s great tricksters were born on this day, so “Happy Birthday” …

21st Century Beatles: I’m a Fan! [part 1]

Part 1 — Get Back: Not since Dallas, or at least The X-Files, have I seen anything approaching a water cooler moment like the way a diverse crowd of folks responded to the nearly eight hours* of Peter Jackson’s documentary Get Back, starring The Beatles. With the bevy of reviews and articles, and in online …

21st Century Beatles. I’m a Fan! [part 2]

Part 2 — Reissues: The film coincided with the latest re-release in deluxe form of Let It Be, a child of the same sessions. One can’t deny that the nostalgia machine revved up yet again, a desperate monster feeding off Baby Boomers like me who fork over gobs of money. Desperate because they want our …

21st Century Beatles. I’m a Fan! [part 3]

Part 3 — Revolver: There’s everything that came before Rubber Soul, albums with one dazzling hit song after another, from Please Please Me to When I Get Home, I Feel Fine, Eight Days a Week and Ticket to Ride, to name a few of my faves. But I’m not sure how their first three years …

21st Century Beatles: I’m a Fan! [part 4]

Part 4 — But What Does It All Mean?: The main point: The Beatles are still with us, the arc of their career and legacy is an ongoing process that WILL reach an end at some point. But whether it’s making America twist and shout to an Isley Brothers tune or laying it all out …

It’s Shaping Up to Be a Great MLB Playoff Season

BRING IT ON! My home team, the Seattle Mariners, avoided relegation and made their best effort in years at making the postseason. They hold the record for the longest postseason drought of ANY North American professional sports team. Go M’s! They exited at the right time as the Angels played spoilers, leaving with their dignity …

Beethoven and Bill Evans: Thinkin’ about Tomorrow

It’s Not Too Late and We’re Not Done Yet. Don’t. Stop. Thinking about Tomorrow. I’ve been listening to various chamber groups play the late Beethoven quartets—Quartets numbered 12, 13, 14, 15, and 16—the last pieces of music he wrote, in 1825 and 1826. He died the following year, at the age of 57, probably from …

Not funny.

Not funny. Yet in the late 1970s, a trickster comedian, Richard Pryor (the Trickster Force was strong with him) made us laugh while describing this very crime against humanity, against unarmed Black Americans. Pryor’s seemingly amoral humor made an impact on the American psyche, such that forty years later, our perspective and our behavior, our …

American Beauty ::: Re-Mastered Re-Viewed

Commercial and artistic triumph Workingman’s Dead established Garcia as the defining voice of the Dead. Don’t take that for granted, as Pigpen’s rave-ups and the more ambiguously authored jams make leadership and the Dead a slippery proposition. But Jerry Garcia/Robert Hunter songs WERE Workingman’s Dead, save for Easy Wind. He continued the proliferation of mournful …

The Clown

No matter the Election Day results, the broader cultural malaise, a divided America, will persist. Elections have consequences. But resolving the culture wars is what will bring about a rebirth of American ideals and unity. Let’s play the long game, if just for a moment. One way to grasp our cultural zeitgeist is to look …