Rock And Roll Hall of Fame 2017

Time to play this year’s Hall of Fame Game.

Here’s the (pre-selected) list of performers I had choose from — five selections.

Bon Jovi

Kate Bush

The Cars

Depeche Mode

Dire Straits

Eurythmics

J. Geils Band

Judas Priest

LL Cool J

MC5

The Meters

Moody Blues

Radiohead

Rage Against the Machine

Rufus Featuring Chaka Khan

Nina Simone

Sister Rosetta Tharpe

Link Wray

The Zombies

So … who did I vote for? (Hint: I got at least one selection into the Hall this time.) Bonus question: who on the list was I absolutely least likely to pick?

 

Neil, the Answer Is Tonight

Oh Alabama
The devil fools
with the best laid plan.
Swing low Alabama
You got spare change
You got to feel strange
And now the moment
is all that it meant.

Alabama, you got
the weight on your shoulders
That’s breaking your back.
Your Cadillac
has got a wheel in the ditch
And a wheel on the track

Oh Alabama
Banjos playing
through the broken glass
Windows down in Alabama.
See the old folks
tied in white ropes
Hear the banjo.
Don’t it take you down home?

Alabama, you got
the weight on your shoulders
That’s breaking your back.
Your Cadillac
has got a wheel in the ditch
And a wheel on the track

Oh Alabama.
Can I see you
and shake your hand.
Make friends down in Alabama.
I’m from a new land
I come to you
and see all this ruin
What are you doing Alabama?
You got the rest of the union
to help you along
What’s going wrong?

Expert Witness Comment for the Week

On the stereo: Now That’s What I Call 90s Pop 

VERY useful collection, not only because exquisitely entertaining sequence of tunes, but because I can dump at least three CDs I was keeping for only one number (Will Smith, Christina Aguilera, Sheryl Crow).

 

PS: That posted, I have to say the sequence isn’t brilliant enough to make me like Boyz II Men and Ricky Martin and … well, I donno how often I will throw this on. But the contexting work is a keeper.

Tip About Buddah’s Hand

These “uses” seem eccentric to us, but the information about the fruit is valuable and yeah, the smell is wonderful. The price cited is way exaggerated by now — about $5 a pound is more like it. Ours goes out about a week after New Year’s and here’s a tip about making sure yours lasts until that time —

when you buy a Buddha’s Hand, make sure there is no hint of a black tip on any of the “fingers” — because that means it’s old and will not last more than a couple weeks before rotting. If we do it right, ours has black tips when we chuck it, but the perfume is still working.

 

R.I.P.: Sunny Murray

Every aspect of Albert Aylers’ Spiritual Unity (ESP) changed my listening life, but the biggest shift came from Sunny Murray’s drum work. I understood free jazz and I understood drum improvisation (I thought), but I still had incorrect notions about drums and time-keeping. Murray took nonstop equal-footing intermingling improvisation to a level I had never imagined. I suddenly realized drums could be melodic. That there could be intuitive mutual timekeeping. For some boneheaded reason I never picked up this obviously crucial disc.

Error corrected.

Oliver Sacks From Beyond the Grave

I’m so insanely behind in my reading that I don’t dare get this yet — but it is on the must list.

A book I ran across when all I had to do at night in Cambridge was drink or read was Sacks’s Awakenings and I didn’t put it down for a moment after I got home from work until I was finished and went back and re-read the most intense accounts. A report from a world I had only encountered in glimpses. Few years later he tripled down with The Man Who Mistook His Wife for a Hat and I was a fan for good. Search “Oliver Sacks” in this blog and you’ll see he comes up more than I might think.

 

Trio of Praises

I’ve done only one (very casual) Best of 2017 Albums list, so I’m not the least surprised that I just now ran across a couple of releases I should have added to it …

 

Bob Dylan, Triplicate (Columbia) (that’s what he gets for releasing vinyl-only so it could get lost behind a passel of Thelonious Monk albums I brought up for a marathon obit-tribute)

Kendrick Lamar, Damn (Alternative/Innerscope). Crap, I put a selection from this on my Best of the First Half of 2017 mixdisc, but this got switched to a different pile for some unknown reason. Anyway, terrific.

This morning I re-listened to the soundtrack of Linklater’s Boyhood for the first time in a very long while and again marveled at his skill for picking and sequencing songs, in particular making me love tracks (in context) from groups I don’t like at all (The Flaming Lips, for instance).