Tag Archives: Tuneage

Musical palate cleanser, gettin’ back edition

Dunno about you, but this pretty much looks like must see TV for me.

Fans of The Beatles were in a bit of shock on Wednesday when the trailer for Peter Jackson’s upcoming Disney+ docuseries Get Back dropped with never-before-seen footage of the legendary band.

The Beatles: Get Back three-part special will showcase the Fab Four’s fascinating songwriting process, friendship and struggles. The crystal-clear restored footage was gathered from the band’s January 1969 recording session and subsequent final live performance in London.

Helmed by the Oscar-winning Lord of the Rings director, the Disney+ docuseries shows how close the four musicians were while also displaying the cracks in their relationship which would ultimately lead the group to break up in 1970.

In addition to the studio songwriting process, the docuseries will show how The Beatles conceived and pulled off their last public performance, which took place Jan. 30, 1969, on the rooftop of their Apple Corps headquarters.

Tasty looking trailer:

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Musical palate cleanser, another one (sigh) edition

Well, shit.

Gotta go live here with the tribute, because that’s the best way to appreciate those guys.  From 1973,

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Musical palate cleanser, rasta, mon, edition

From Bob Marley’s website:

In 1973 Bob Marley and the Wailers found themselves stranded on the West Coast of the United States after being asked to leave the Sly & The Family Stone tour for outperforming them every night. To make the best of the situation the band made their way to Los Angeles

The scene is Hollywood. Bob Marley and The Wailers were filmed in a closed door session at The Capitol Records Tower on October 24 by famed producer Denny Cordell, who received the blessing from Marley to capture the band recording 12 songs. Shooting with four cameras and mixing “on the fly” to a colorized tape, this footage, has been painstakingly restored, resulting in an incredible presentation of this unseen live session.

I just got this, so I haven’t watched the DVD yet, but the CD is terrific from an audio and musical standpoint.  Here’s “Stir It Up”, one of my favorites of his:

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Musical palate cleanser, rock opera edition

Reading this (make sure you read Isbell’s entire chain)…

… got me to this.

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Musical palate cleanser, what a drag it is getting old edition

Sigh.  I can tell it’s gonna take a while to get over this.

Honestly, I thought briefly of posting the entire Stones catalog as today’s MPC.  Hell, there isn’t a song of theirs that you can’t point to Charlie’s skill on — this morning’s NPR obit played a short instrumental clip from “Gimme Shelter” as if to prove that exact point — but, yeah, that might be a tad excessive.  So, I’ll rein it in a bit.

If there’s ever a Stones song that makes me play air drums, it’s “Rocks Off”, from Exile.  Listen to the way Watts announces his presence three seconds in and then proceeds to lay it down and drive the song along.

I love that fill after “I was making love last night…”, but what really kills is how he steps back in after the druggy “It’s all mesmerized, all that inside me” to propel Mick’s “The sunshine bores the daylights out of me”.  It’s as if he gave the band a chance to catch their collective breaths, and then bam!, off to the races again.  But it’s never out of control because Charlie never did out of control.

I suppose all roads lead back to the quintessential “Honky Tonk Women” and there, for me, after the combination of Mick’s sleazy strutting, the guitars, the absolutely wonderful horn play, it all comes together at the end with a perfect conclusion from Charlie.

That whap! whap! whap! at the end is the exclamation point to Mick’s “Whooo!”  There’s no other way it could have finished.

I’ll leave you with a live version of “All Down The Line”, from Martin Scorsese’s Shine a Light.  It’s a jaw dropping exercise from a man in his sixties.

Whew!

You can use this video to nerd out on Charlie’s legendarily spartan Gretsch drum kit or his mythological technique: the grip changes, the snare hits closer to the logo than the center, or Steve Albini’s observation that Charlie never hits the snare and the high hat at the same time, which “moves the focus away from the pulse and onto the gait of his playing.” (Steve is unverified, but he starts out by describing Charlie as “the only good thing about the Rolling Stones,” so it’s him.) Or you can thrill to the fleeting and blurry antics of Mick and Keith, who peacock in and out of the frame, first-name-basis pantheon rock stars who nonetheless clearly defer to their far more stoic pantheon rock star drummer. “Charlie Watts has always been the bed that I lie on musically,” Keith notes in his 2010 memoir Life, reviewing 1963 diary entries in which he marvels as his outlandishly stylish new drummer morphs from a Jazz Guy to a Rock ’n’ Roll Guy who still swings with the magnificent swagger of a Jazz Guy.

Or you could just watch the boys blaze through all five minutes of “All Down the Line” and marvel that Charlie himself, comically regal and already long past retirement age in the late 2000s, is never out of breath, even if he allows himself one puffed-cheek sigh when the song’s over, which might be the only time I’ve ever seen him acknowledge the Herculean effort of anything he’s ever done.

Damn.

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BREAKING: bummer

Saying this sucks doesn’t do it justice.

Needless to say, it’s not hard to figure what the subject of tomorrow’s MPC will be.

RIP, Charlie.

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Musical palate cleanser, comes in colors edition

If you watched this week’s episode of Ted Lasso, you know why I’m playing this.

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Musical palate cleanser, pick a number edition

Mine:

Yours?

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Musical palate cleanser, the king is dead, long live the king edition

Yesterday marked the 44th anniversary of Elvis Presley’s death, and every time I see a clip from his 1968 comeback special, like this one…

… I’m reminded of Steve Simels’ observation that everyone who thinks Robert Plant is a great vocalist needs to listen to Elvis to find out how it’s really done.

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Musical palate cleanser, another RIP edition

A pure voice is stilled.

Nanci Griffith, a Grammy-winning singer and songwriter who kept one foot in folk and the other in country and was blessed with a soaring voice equally at home in both genres, died on Friday. She was 68.

Her death was announced by her management company, Gold Mountain Entertainment. Its statement did not say where she died or give a cause of death, saying only, “It was Nanci’s wish that no further formal statement or press release happen for a week following her passing.”

While Ms. Griffith often wrote political and confessional material, her best-loved songs were closely observed tales of small-town life, sometimes with painful details in the lyrics, but typically sung with a deceptive prettiness.

She was as well known for her covers of other artists’ works as her original material.  Her take on Townes Van Zandt’s “Tecumseh Valley” is stunning.

She told The New York Times in 1988: “When I was young I listened to Odetta records for hours and hours. Then when I started high school, Loretta Lynn came along. Before that, country music hadn’t had a guitar-playing woman who wrote her own songs.”

One of my favorite songs of hers was a roundabout tribute to Loretta Lynn, “Listen To The Radio”.  Here’s a live version:

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