Music

Fanfare for Manny Laureano

Featured image Manny Laureano is the founder of the Minnesota Youth Symphonies and the principal trumpet in the Minnesota Orchestra. We got to know him when our number two daughter played under Manny’s direction for five or six years in the MYS. He is a gentleman and a scholar as well as an American patriot whose political views were altered by 9/11. Do you need to be a conservative to be disturbed »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image Folk singer Tom Rush performed at the Dakota this past Thursday evening. He brought his young sidekick Matt Nakoa along to accompany him on piano and spell him briefly during the two sets he performed over more than two hours. My cousin DeeDee and our friend Mike Frost joined us for a trip down memory lane with the sempiternal Mr. Rush. We sat next to my old Faegre partner Jim »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image With the coming of Halloween on Tuesday, it may be an opportune moment for a diversion. If you listen to the right radio stations at this time of the year, you will hear a few songs associated with the holiday. Probably foremost among them is “I Put a Spell on You” by the artist known as Screamin’ Jay Hawkins. I’d like to take the liberty of revisiting the song this »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image Paul Simon turned 76 this past Friday. Simon has taken his place in the roster of songwriters in the pantheon of the Cosmic American Music. I’ve been a fan for a long time. Simon of course made up one-half of Simon & Garfunkel, the duo that became famous overnight when producer Tom Wilson grafted electric guitar, bass and drums onto “The Sound of Silence” and rereleased it as a single. »

Shocker: Most Country Musicians Support the Bill of Rights

Featured image Liberals are obtuse: they really don’t understand why, whenever there is a mass shooting incident, conservatives don’t demand repeal of the 2nd Amendment and gun confiscation. A case in point is today’s Associated Press article titled, “Many in country music mum over gun issues after Vegas deaths.” Yes: that is because many in country music, like Americans generally, don’t think that the depraved actions of a murderer should be seized »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image Boz Scaggs played with a hot touring band before a packed house last night at the State Theater in downtown Minneapolis. We’ve seen Boz there a few times before, but this performance was special. The appreciation of the audience was so intense you could feel it. Something was different. I couldn’t figure out what it was was. Even in the several lesser known blues numbers that he interspersed among the »

Notes on the Ken Burns version

Featured image I want to add a few notes to Paul’s comments as well as my own on the gargantuan Ken Burns/Lynn Novick PBS documentary The Vietnam War. I think it warrants more informed commentary than my own, but let me these offer notes while we wait for knowledgeable observers such as Mackubin Owens, Victor Davis Hanson and James Robbins to weigh in. As of this weekend, we do have George Veith’s »

Looking back at “Don’t Look Back”

Featured image On Thursday evening Turner Classic Movies played a set of rock documentaries including the TCM premiere of D.A. Pennebaker’s Don’t Look Back (1967). As cinéma vérité, the film captures Bob Dylan on tour in England in 1965, where he had already become a pop star. It’s an entertaining film populated by intriguing characters, foremost among whom is Dylan himself, of course, but also Dylan’s manager, Albert Grossman, Dylan’s then girlfriend, »

Glen Campbell, RIP

Featured image Glen Campbell died yesterday in Nashville at the age of 81 of complications from the Alzheimer’s disease with which he had been struggling for the past six years. Obituaries in the New York Times and the Washington Post do a good job covering the full scope of his life and career. The length and breadth of Campbell’s career are remarkable. He excelled as an instrumentalist on guitar sufficiently to make »

At the Grateful Dead meet-up

Featured image Taking a break from the news, I attended the so-called Grateful Dead Meet-Up at our local suburban multiplex last night. The Meet-Up featured a showing of the Dead’s previously unreleased July 12, 1989 concert at RFK Stadium in Washington, D.C. The film preview and setlist are posted here. I think it was the best attended film playing at the theater last night. That’s a guess. The audience for the show »

Light My Fire at 50

Featured image If you are still cruising for news, you probably know that Mooch has been fired and are up to speed on the Awan scandal. If you are looking for something completely different, you have come to the right place. Fifty years ago today, the Doors’ “Light My Fire” topped the rock and roll charts. It was the Doors’ first and biggest hit, and one of the classics of that, or »

Tony the Moocher

Featured image A popular meme that went around immediately after the appointment of Anthony Scaramucci channeled the question from the old Queen hit: Can he do the Fandango? The answer is a plain No: Scaramucci is neither Bohemian nor rhapsodic. Since our new communications director goes by “The Mooch,” perhaps the better pop culture comparison is the classic Cab Calloway tune, “Minnie the Moocher.” So with apologies to Cab Calloway, here’s the »

Let’s fall in love with Lee Wiley

Featured image Scott handles the music beat around here. Having little to offer on the subject, I rarely weigh in. On Saturday, however, I had the pleasure of listening to about an hour of music by Lee Wiley, a jazz singer prominent in the 1940s with whom I was familiar only by name. Her singing blew me away. She gave the lyrics their full due but added a layer of quiet sensuality »

Color Him Father

Featured image I wrote this on Father’s Day a few years ago. It is a post that struck a chord with at least a few readers. I am taking the liberty of reposting it today in honor of the day. My father was a thoughtful man in his own way. In the last years of his life he recited for me the things for which he was most grateful. In retrospect I »

Vindication!

Featured image It’s been over two years since I last tortured Power Line’s readership with one of my preposterous excursions in to the greatness of 1970s progressive rock—and especially Gentle Giant, one of the most obscure acts from that period—but the publication of Dave Weigel’s new book on progressive rock, The Show That Never Ends: The Rise and Fall of Prog Rock, gives me an excuse to inflict new punishment. In particular, »

Gregg Allman, RIP

Featured image Gregg Allman died yesterday at the age of 69. I was a big fan of the original Allman Brothers Band. “Whipping Post” isn’t my favorite Allman Brothers song, but I think it best exemplifies Gregg Allman as a blues singer. Below are (1) a studio recording of “Whipping Post” and (2) a performance of it at the Fillmore East in 1970. »

Not dark yet

Featured image Today is the birthday of Minnesota native son Bob Dylan; he turns the ripe old age of 76. It’s not dark yet, but it’s getting there. We’re going to celebrate him as long we’re both still around to enjoy the occasion. He is a remarkable artist, self-invented, deep in the American grain. A few years back I visited Dylan’s old home at 2425 7th Avenue East in Hibbing. The house »