Saturday, April 28, 2007
Still, after that first line it moves on to Paul-only land and the more I hear it the more I like it. Listen for yourself here:
EDIT (4/30/07) See some official words from McCartney about the new album here.
Friday, April 27, 2007
Monday, April 23, 2007
There is no way that you can enjoy this book and not be thought of as a total dork by your friends. First of all, if you enjoy this book you probably have copies of even the obscure and not great
He does a nice job of highlighting
So, Leng’s book is certainly one that you will want to read if you’re a real Beatles Dork. But, surprisingly, Leng’s writing is crisp enough and the story is interesting enough that even the more casual fan will enjoy many parts of it. I certainly have enjoyed it and I’m guessing that most Beatles fans will – even those who don't own Gone Troppo.
Sunday, April 15, 2007
Saturday, April 14, 2007
On the one hand, the title I quickly selected is right on target using both my name and a made up word which refers to blogging. But now I'm wondering if I should try to come up with something better. The word "bloggery" sometimes strikes me as somewhat silly and I think that maybe I should find a better name. Something artsy and cool rather than, you know, pedestrian and uncool.
So, dear readers, what do you think? Should I try to find a new name or is "Bob's Bloggery" probably the best I can do?
EDIT (4/20/07) - Well, after a week with nary a comment I can assume one of two things, either nobody but me cares or people care but have no better titles for me. (I suppose it is also possible that nobody read this post so if that's the case then it REALLY doesn't matter what I call the blog.) So, unless I come up with a title that I can't resist, Bob's Bloggery will continue to be called that.
Friday, April 13, 2007
I’m actually working my way through a couple of things at the same time right now – Heart’s entire catalog (see my reflection on Heart), the Emerson Lake and Palmer’s boxed set Return of the Manticore and McCartney’s solo work. This particular trip through McCartney’s work started a couple of weeks ago when I felt like listening to Ram (his second solo album) and decided to go from there. So the next stop on my listening tour was the much maligned Wild Life, the first album with McCartney’s new band, Wings. This album is generally considered the weakest in the whole McCartney catalog (which, by the way, is a
Reason #1: The recording. McCartney loves to try gimmicks in recording his albums. Band on the Run was recorded in
Reason #2: The band. Sorry, I have to say it; this band wasn’t good enough to make an album this quickly. Linda’s vocals were never great but on this album they’re really poor and pretty high up in the mix, giving many of the songs a slightly out-of-tune feel to them. The combination of Paul, Linda and Denny’s voices gave Wings its unique sound but at this point they just aren’t together and it doesn’t work. The playing is, for the most part, uninspiring. Even Paul’s vocals on songs like the title track are weaker than almost any other album.
Reason #3: The songwriting. This is perhaps the weakest collection of songs that McCartney has released on an album over his entire career. “Mumbo,” the opener is just a jam that was recorded. “Bip-Bop” is as trite as it sounds like it might be from the title. Some of these songs could have been salvaged with better production – for example, there is a fully produced and arranged bootleg version of “Tomorrow” floating around that is quite nice. But overall these songs just don’t cut it. The
So I think this album deserves the poor reviews it gets. The good news is that Paul fixed almost all of these problems with his next album, Red Rose Speedway, which is better in every way and is a delight to listen to. It also featured the mega-hit “My Love” so Paul not only made a better album; he got back on track commercially. I loved it in 1973 and I love it now. I think I’ll listen to it a few more times before I move on to the next one.
Tuesday, April 10, 2007
As you can see, I was happily sitting at around 700 or so hits a month until the first of the year. Then I shot up dramatically to more than triple that. How do I explain this? One word - Beatles. Actually two words - Beatles and U2. It seems that some time over the past little while one of the Beatles pictures that I used in one of my posts got picked up by the Google image search engine and I got listed as the number 2 pic if you typed 'Beatles.' I also have, for a long time, had a fair number of U2 hits because I list them in this blog often too. So in a sense I'm remarkably popular. In another sense I'm just a storage unit for a picture lots of people want to see. Most of the people don't stick around very long but some do and some read a bit of what I have to say which is nice.
I also should note that this week my latest George Harrison post was linked to by a Transcendental Meditation site. How about that!
Sunday, April 08, 2007
I did notice two errors, both involving George Harrison: he mentions “Everybody’s Tryin’ to Be My Baby” as a song Harrison wrote (he only sang it, I believe it is a Carl Perkins song) and said that George embraced traditional Christianity at a point late in his life which, I think, is just plain wrong. It’s my understanding that George remained a Hindu. I’d love for someone to give me confirmation one way or the other regarding this.Now today, looking at a recent post in an email list that I used to be part of I saw this in a posting:
But I was chatting with a guy I know who is a professional musicianSo, it appears that I may have been wrong about that. But how do we explain, some of the lyrics on George's last album, Brainwashed? One way is to recognize that George wrote these songs over a period of about ten years and that they may not all reflect his thinking at the end of his life. Plus, I'm willing to bet that IF (still a big if in my book) George did indeed convert to Christianity that it was more of a "hey this sort of makes sense to me" kind of conversion rather than a "throw everything else I ever did or thought overboard" kind of conversion. I'll leave it to the reader to decide if that still "counts." Actually, I'll leave it to God - he's better at that anyway.
and who did some consulting for Beatlemania. He told me about a book
by Bob Spitz (The Beatles: The Biography) which makes that point on
"Later in life he would become vegetarian, consult an astrologer,
and devote himself to Transcendental Meditation before embracing
When my friend contacted Bob Spitz about his source for that fact,
the reply included the following excerpt:
"As for the source of George's return to traditional Christianity,
the source was the man himself, conveyed to me some months before he
died. Because of agreements with the Harrison estate, I was unable
to list him as a source." [note - this is slightly edited from the longer post which you can find here.]
I'm also, frankly, a little skeptical that the source is George but he "couldn't t list him as a source ." Why can he tell this now? On the other hand, I've been in correspondence with another Beatles book author who was able to tell me some things that did not get in the book (which I'm not telling) so it could be true that Spitz knows things that he was unable to write but yet is willing to tell people personally. So, the jury is out but Spitz got so much right in his book that I'm leaning toward admitting that he was right about this too.
But I'm still convinced that Carl Perkins wrote "Everybody's Tryin'..."
Tuesday, April 03, 2007
However, there have been a few exceptions - albums that grab me so quickly that I can't resist writing about it. Case in point - the new Over the Rhine album, Live from Nowhere Vol 2 arrived in the mail today and it is a delight. The Live from Nowhere series is a now yearly collection of live recordings from various venues which so far have included some new and different live recordings of OTR songs and some killer cover versions that haven't shown up on any of their studio albums. This is a chance for OTR to put out an album for fans with as sort of scrapbook of the year's tours - including the Christmas tour that came through Holland, MI in December that Lynnae and I saw together (where her Over the Rhine infatuation really took hold.) This is a limited edition release that is signed and hand-numbered (I got number 2600! - the exclamation point has been written there too on my CD case.)
The first thing I noticed about the new album was how amazingly clear the recording is - it seems like Linford and Karin are right in the room with you. But the performances - they just jump right out of the speakers and into your heart. The album opens with one of the more stunning songs from Drunkard's Prayer, "I Want You to Be My Love" and the song sets the tone for the whole album: intimate, flawless and compelling. I haven't heard it enough to even have picked a favorite yet but the vibe brings me right back to the fourth row at the Knickerbocker Theater for the outstanding show they gave. But the violinist they have on a few of the songs wasn't on that tour with them and, whoever it is, is fabulous!
This album is great. It's a small band playing great tunes with a remarkable vocalist. It doesn't get much better than this. Order it before they sell out! (Live from Nowhere Vol 1 ended up on itunes so there is still hope if you miss out.)
Monday, April 02, 2007
This was just what I needed for the lesson I am doing tomorrow so I printed one of the posts and copied it for my students and sent Sarah a comment letting her know how much I appreciated her blog. Within an hour I had a comment back from Sarah and – guess what – she’s a former student of mine!!!!!!!!!!!! I commented back to her and she wrote me a nice email giving me an update on her life and profession. This was so cool! The internet must be a lot smaller than I thought it was.
Sunday, April 01, 2007
Anyway I’m realizing that as good as Lost was in the first season it got even better in the second season. I especially like the way that the producers give us new insight into things that happened in the past. The flashbacks of course are a big part of the charm of the show but we learn things about what happen earlier on the island as well. They really flesh out the characters and the mysteries keep piling up. It's nice to finally be getting at least some answers in Season three!
So people on the internet can complain all they want (and they do) but I think it’s a great show – I hope I finish watching season two by the time season three ends. While I sometimes think some of the online fans can never be happy I’ve really enjoyed the Lost Easter Eggs website and find it a lot of fun and worth checking out.