Music

What Would The Kinks Say About The Kinks in Obamacare? [With Numerous Awesome Suggestions in the Comments]

Featured image So we’re told now that the “glitches” in the Obamacare rollout are really just “kinks.”  Well that got me to thinking: just what would The Kinks say about this?  Would they complain about the misappropriation of their good name?  Or, perhaps, is their song oeuvre suitable for this situation? So let’s head over to ultimateclassicrock.com, and check out the official list of the top ten list of The Kinks hits, »

This could be the start of something

Featured image Steve Allen was a funny guy. One of his bits that I thought funniest was dramatic readings of fictitious letters to the editor at the end of which he would attribute them to unlikely sources. Rick Santelli’s dramatic reading of Obama’s impassioned 2006 speech against raising the debt limit put me in mind of Steve Allen’s old bit. (I posted Santelli’s reading here.) It’s pretty much exactly the way Steve »

Hotel Healthcare.gov

Featured image The Eagles song “Hotel California” has a nightmarish quality to it. At the Hotel California, the night man explains, you can check out any time you like, but you can never leave. Politico’s Jason Millman and Kyle Cheney provide a sort of Hotel California take on one problem with Obamacare’s Healthcare.gov portal: “Once you finally make it into HealthCare.gov, it’s not clear how you get out. For those who’ve busted »

Who was Doc Pomus?

Featured image It’s been several years since we observed the anniversary of the birth of the great pop songwriter Doc Pomus (Jerome Felder), but Marc Myers provides raw material for celebration in the Wall Street Journal column “From pain, magic moments” (behind the Journal’s jealously guarded subscription paywall). Myers has a related JazzWax post that is accessible under the heading “Who was Doc Pomus?” The occasion of Myers’s attention to Felder is »

Bookmarks

Featured image John Ondrasik, also known as Five For Fighting–it took me a long time to pick up on the hockey reference–has a new album out titled Bookmarks. I bought it on iTunes the day it came out, burned a CD and have been listening to it in my car. It is excellent, even by the high standard of FFF. The sound is upbeat, pop-flavored and accessible. While John’s music is certainly »

Dan Penn returns

Featured image Legendary songwriter Dan Penn returns with his friend Bobby Emmons to the Dakota Jazz Club & Restaurant in downtown Minneapolis for a show this coming Monday, September 30. Penn’s site is here; his bio is here. The show is an almost unbelievable review of Penn’s almost unbelievable career at the heart of soul/rhythm and blues over the past 50 years. I have a pretty good idea what he’ll be doing »

Respect

Featured image Today we observe the anniversary of the birth of the incomparable soul singer Otis Redding. Among other things, Redding was the artist responsible for Aretha Franklin’s breakthrough song “Respect.” Franklin recorded the song in 1967 at her Atlantic recording session in New York City after she returned from her initial Atlantic session in Muscle Shoals. It turned out to be the breakthrough that turned Aretha into a star overnight after »

Strange New Worlds Indeed

Featured image Until someone provides us with the inevitable “Hitler Learns About the Miley Cyrus MTV Stunt” video, this mashup of Captain Kirk and the crew of the Enterprise will have to do: »

Long long time

Featured image Via Rosanne Cash’s Twitter feed yesterday I learned the sad news that Linda Ronstadt has been diagnosed with Parkinson’s Disease. Rondstadt discovered that the disease accounts for the loss of her singing voice. The Telegraph reports the story here. According to the Telegraph story Ronstadt has been experiencing the symptoms of Parkinson’s for the past eight years. We saw her perform at Orchestra Hall in Minneapolis about five or six »

My Favorite Model…

Featured image …has long been Bar Rafaeli, for reasons that require no explanation. When a woman looks like Bar you can forgive anything, even dating Leonardo DiCaprio. But Rafaeli has not been terribly popular in her native Israel, mostly because she dodged service in the IDF and later explained, in a moment of ill-advised candor: I don’t regret not enlisting, because it paid off big time. That’s just the way it is; »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image I saluted singer/songwriter Shawn Colvin in “If these walls…” as she was about to visit the Dakota Jazz Club and Restaurant in Minneapolis earlier this year. By my lights she is a gifted artist. In the video below Shawn is joined by Mary-Chapin Carpenter on Merle Haggard’s “That’s the Way Love Goes.” Haggard is of course a national treasure. He should be named America’s poet laureate while he is still »

People, let me put you wise

Featured image In a long career now spanning more than fifty years, Dion Dimucci has experienced many ups and downs. Through it all, he has maintained a rare purity in his work. At every stage of his career you can hear the blues coming through. I love this guy. Dion arrived in 1958 with the Belmonts, giving vocal group harmony an outrageous Bronx twist in “I Wonder Why,” the Pomus/Shuman song that »

Snowden and the NSA! (With Apologies to the Kingston Trio)

Featured image If you know the old Kingston Trio tune “Charlie and the MTA,” well, it was only a matter of time until someone re-wrote the tune for Edward Snowden.  That someone was me.  Herewith “Snowden and the NSA,” with a rough cut Karaoke version below you can download for your listening pleasure: Verse: Oh let me tell you of a story ‘bout a boy named Snowden on this tragic and fateful »

That’s Everman, not Everyman

Featured image Clay Tarver worked in a grunge-era Seattle band that brought him into contact with Nirvana and Soundgarden on their way up. He therefore crossed paths with Jason Everman, who was a member of each of these bands just before they hit it big. Everman’s musical talent, which must have been substantial, failed to compensate for a quality of moody introspection that made him undesirable in the eyes of his bandmates. »

If the Summer Changed to Winter. . .

Featured image . . . Theirs is No Disgrace indeed.  I first saw Yes at the Hollywood Bowl in 1975, and if you’d asked me then if I ever thought I’d see them nearly 40 years later out in the middle of the oaks and wine grapevines of Paso Robles, I’d have said it was more likely the Soviet Union would collapse in a heap and America would elect a radical black »

Sunday morning coming down

Featured image Solomon Burke — “the King of Rock ‘n’ Soul” — was one of the last great exponents of the pinnacle of Western civilization known as soul music. Burke died in an Amsterdam airport in 2010 at the age of 70. Burke was the surprise hero of Peter Guralnick’s Sweet Soul Music and the subject of a brilliant chapter of the book. (Guralnick named songwriter Dan Penn the “secret hero” of »

There’s something about Proud Mary

Featured image John Hinderaker to the contrary notwithstanding, I have long held that there’s something about “Proud Mary.” Ike and Tina Turner may have ruined the song for many, as they did for John. Marc Myers helps us return to the song with fresh ears in his wonderful Anatomy of a Song column in the Wall Street Journal a few weeks back. Myers checked in with John Fogerty, the composer of the »