Music

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 »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image This is an entirely personal note on Shawn Colvin’s residence concluding last night at the Dakota Jazz Club. I did not intend to return to the subject after my post last week. These comments are prompted by the fact that I can’t find any reviews of Shawn’s shows in Minneapolis online this time around. This is for the record! The Star Tribune’s Jon Bream overlooked Shawn this week in favor »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image Shawn Colvin settles in for four nights at the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant in Minneapolis this coming Wednesday. I’m attending in support of my anger management therapy; I bought tickets for all four nights. If you’re within shouting distance of the Twin Cities you might want to pay us a visit. Shawn is a singer/songwriter/interpreter who achieved stardom with the Grammy-winning pop hit “Sunny Came Home” on A Few »

And Now for Something Completely Different…

Featured image I’m sure many of our faithful readers are fans of the geniuses behind “Bad Lip Reading” on YouTube, but Garren Lazar does them one better by applying their technique to . . . Peanuts cartoons! Behold, Peanuts crossed with progressive rock—a nice interlude for a three-day weekend. Enjoy: There are several more like this on Garren Lazar’s YouTube page: Peanuts signing Heart’s “Barracuda,” the Bee Gees’ “Stayin’ Alive,” and even »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image Albert O spins the tunes on WUMB’s four-hour Saturday morning show featuring music of the ’60’s and 70’s. The show takes its name from Bob Dylan’s album Highway 61 Revisited — that’s the name of the show. Dylan is the show’s tutelary spirit. Albert observes Dylan’s birthday each year by devoting the show to Dylan’s songs, mostly as performed by others. The show can’t help but prompt one to reflect »

Thoughts from the ammo line [with comment by Paul]

Featured image Ammo Grrrll revisits the soundtrack of her road trip and gets real about those PROMISES, PROMISES! She writes: Regular readers know that I recently made a long road trip. But, it really doesn’t matter if I’m only driving two miles to the Walmart — basically, I cannot drive without music. My eclectic driving soundtracks range from Brahms’ Second Piano Concerto to Broadway show tunes to Toby Keith’s sensitive love ballad, »

Not dark yet, cont’d

Featured image Bob Dylan is first and foremost a songwriter. He somehow absorbed the folk, rock, country and blues traditions as a precocious young man and then recapitulated them in his own voice many times over while adding a twist of modernist poetry to the mix. On his birthday, I want to take the liberty of reposting some notable cover versions of great songs you may not have heard before, at least »

Not dark yet

Featured image Today is the birthday of Minnesota native son Bob Dylan; he turns the ripe old age of 77. 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 »

Sunday Morning Coming Down

Featured image I have wanted for a while to note a thematic thread in a few of my favorite Beatles’ songs, but the songs were not available on YouTube in their original versions. For the moment that has changed. I want to seize the day to offer my note on these early Beatles’ songs written by John Lennon. I have only this weak excuse. These songs have always resonated with me. My »

Love Me, I’m a Liberal—Trump Version

Featured image We’ve taken note before of the endless ways Phil Ochs’s classic tune from the 1960s, “Love Me, I’m a Liberal” can be adapted to changing times (such as my Harvey Weinstein version from a few months ago). Power Line reader Michael Kochin points us to a new version adapting the idea for the time of Trump from someone going as LessThree. Worth a quick view: »

The Latest Battle In the Statue Wars: Stephen Foster

Featured image A famous statue of Stephen Foster, often referred to as the father of American music, has stood in Pittsburgh for more than 100 years. (Foster was a native of Pennsylvania.) It was sculpted by Italian emigre Giuseppe Moretti: Today Moretti’s statue of Foster was carted away by Pittsburgh authorities: A 118-year-old statue of the “Oh! Susanna” songwriter was removed from a Pittsburgh park Thursday after criticism that the work is »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image I’ve written about Chris Hillman several times over the years. He has a new disc out with his long-time friend and musical partner Herb Pedersen (Bidin’ My Time, produced by Tom Petty and Herb). Chris and Herb came through town this past Thursday to play at the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis, where we saw them up close. I snapped the photo at right from our table. »

Prog Rock Vindicated!

Featured image It’s been a while since I indulged here my deplorable taste for prog rock, but as I’ve been inhaling second-hand pot smoke for the last two days in Boulder, CO, I think I have a legitimate excuse. Also, because it allows me to employ some perfect social science confirmation bias. The Economist this week includes a story about a pair of social psychologists who have attempted an empirical study of »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image The mind-numbing stupidity of the news of the day prompts me this morning to take a look back at Mel Tormé. I think Tormé was simply one of the all-time great American artists, too little known and vastly underappreciated. Permit me this salute in the interest of frolic and detour for a few hours and in the hope that I might interest you in deepening your familiarity with his work. »

Spring Can Really Hang You Up the Most

Featured image In the interest of anger management therapy on a day that calls for it, I’m taking the liberty of reposting this tribute to a great song with an unusual story behind it. From Ella Fitzgerald to Fran Landesman to T.S. Eliot and Geoffrey Chaucer, here we go: There are a few torch songs that lament the coming of Spring. This time of year, if you’re tuned to one of the »

Stormy…Monday, that is

Featured image They don’t call her Stormy Monday, but come on. If she’s going to pick a stage name beginning with Stormy, I would like to express my preference for “Monday” rather than “Daniels” as the last name. “Stormy Monday” is one of the great blues songs of all time. Composed by Aaron Thibeaux “T-Bone” Walker, the song was released as a single b/w “I Know Your Wig Is Gone” (or vice »

Try to Remember

Featured image The composer Harvey Schmidt died last week in Houston at the age of 88. Richard Sandomir captures the drama of his professional life in the excellent New York Times obituary. Most notably, Schmidt wrote the music for The Fantasticks. I learn from Sandomir that Schmidt said he wrote the melody to “Try to Remember,” the signature song of the show, in a rehearsal hall in five minutes. Even though I »