music

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 …

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 …

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 …

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 …

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, …