culture

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 …

Workingman’s Dead ::: Re-Mastered Re-Viewed

Short version: You want this recently-released three-disc set if you like this album. Version version: They did a great job. The songs sparkle and crackle, they weep, they moan, they get naked, they twist, and shout. On the CD, I don’t like the way the bass is managed for Uncle John’s Band. Other versions that are less …

Magical Mystery Tour Is The Beatles Best Album

The Beatles were such incredible tunesmiths that it would be specious to assert that they ever put out a bad album, British or US versions notwithstanding.  But Magical Mystery Tour in fact has more of what was great about the Beatles in its grooves than any of their other releases.  It is the only album …

ONE WORLD: TOGETHER AT HOME – – – APRIL 18, 2020

    As was said during the day’s One World: Together at Home program, the world must act as one now. May the abdication of national leadership in the United States mark the ascendancy of a truly great international power that compels intelligent governance, something we’ve never had worldwide. The One World: Together at Home …

Western Michigan Station WZZM / Channel 13 Recommends “Disruptive Play”

Thank you, WZZM! This is the link > My West Michigan < is a fun, local, daytime TV show that found Disruptive Play a worthy enough hoot to recommend it to readers throughout Western Michigan. This COULD have an impact on our upcoming elections   (cue Goudoud’s Funeral March of a Marionette, theme song from Alfred Hitchcock Presents). …

Superior Dead in the Studio

The rock impresario Bill Graham famously said of the Grateful Dead They’re not the best at what they do, they’re the only ones that do what they do. And There is nothing like a Grateful Dead concert. True that, on both counts, and the many shows I went to, in particular between 1968 and 1973, …