One of our elders left us this week. Suzette Haden Elgin was a writer of science fiction, a professor linguistics, the founder of the Science Fiction Poetry Association, and a feminist, among many other things. Continue reading
I had planned to post at least one Weird Al Yankovic video this morning in honor of his new album coming out last week. All the videos I’ve seen have been outstanding and super funny. Also, as @davisac1 tweeted last week:
However, there’s been a death in my musical family again, so it seems more important to honor that event instead.
Pete Seeger was a part of my life for as long as I can remember. I don’t mean to say I ever met the man. Unfortunately, I never got that chance. But he was a fellow traveler on this planet since long before I was born, and, I kind of assumed, he would be there long after I was gone. He seemed immortal to me, a force for good that would always be.
So, I heard that Janelle Monáe was not nominated for any Grammys this year.
My first reaction to that was “Woah. People still pay attention to the Grammys?” They’ve been screwing people out of awards since I was a kid. When Ani only ever gets nominated for album design, you know the system’s rigged.
But still, it’s kinda obvious that Ms. Monáe blows Taylor Swift, Justin Timberlake, or fucking Robin Thicke out of the water and her not being nominated is just stupid. So, here’s a track from this year’s album that I haven’t shared with you yet: “PrimeTime.”
Yeah, so Lou Reed died yesterday. He was, wow… he’s been one of my favorite musicians for a long, long time. Probably since I first heard “Walk on the Wild Side” on the AM radio station that the place I worked in high school used to play. So, we’re talking late-1970s.
And it still amuses me to no end that “Walk on the Wild Side” got played an AM radio back then. Could no one in a censorship position understand the lyrics? But that’s beside the point.
So, videos. First up, here’s Lou with a reunited Velvet Underground in the 1990s, performing my favorite VU song, “Rock and Roll.”
Okay, I couldn’t not post this version of “Perfect Day.” It’s just so strange. Who knew Lou Reed and Luciano Pavarotti ever performed together?
The person who posted this next video to YouTube labeled it the best live version of “Sweet Jane.” I gotta say it’s pretty good.
And to finish up, my favorite solo Reed tune, “Satellite of Love.” I couldn’t find a live performance that I liked as much as the studio recording, but I did find this odd little thing. I’m guessing the film footage is something shot by Warhol back in the day.
There are so many other songs. Goodbye, Lou. You will be missed.
So, last Saturday was Night Out in Northampton day. There was the unmet desire to investigate open crypts, buttered tea, Tibetan dumplings, and meeting new, cool people (well, new to me; they’re not, like, new to the planet or anything [I think.]), and then it was time for church.1 Frank Turner & the Sleeping Souls at the Pearl Street Club! Fabulous show, even though the club’s sound sucked rocks. I mean, really, I can put up with how cold you keep the building and a crowd that just doesn’t get the idea of either personal space or how steps really work, but when I can’t hear the singer when the band is playing? You’re plucking my last nerve.
Still, it was awesome to see Turner again. I’m not sure how much longer he’ll be able to play these small venues, as he’s getting way popular here in the states, and justifiably so. He puts on a great show, and you should all go see him.
See, even I’m sabotaging the small venue option!
Anyway, part of the fun was hearing several songs from the new album that’s due out next month. They were all super, and there’s a video for one of them. I’m quite fond of it. What do you think?
1. Music is the only religion that delivers the goods. —Frank Zappa
It’s the last Monday of 2012. And New Year’s Eve. Whaddaya know? It’s been a fun year for music, as they always are. I’ve really enjoyed having this blog so I can subject people to the tunes I like. (I’m a lazy recapper, sorry to say. Although if I have to pick favorites out of that group, I’d go with Bad Romance: Women’s Suffrage, State Radio: Calling All Crows, and Kristin Andreassen: Crayola Doesn’t Make A Color For Your Eyes.)
That said, today’s video is my new total favorite. As many of you know, I’m a huge Frank Turner fan. Seeing him at the Ottobar in Baltimore in 2011 was glorious. If you ever get the chance to see him live, I highly recommend making that happen. He and his band the Sleeping Souls are electric. As a Xmas present to their fans, they just released a couple of new tracks from their upcoming album for folks to download for free.
And there’s a video. Turn it up and enjoy! And Happy New Year! I hope there are many opportunities for dancing in 2013 for all of us.