Game of Throwns Away

I can’t deny it … “Game of Thrones” has entered a wrap-it-up-quick-and-dirty phase since expanding beyond the end of the book sources. The quest to nab a wight was fun enough to watch, but was a grindingly obvious plot-pusher from the start. The revelation that wights collapse when their maker is killed an apt surprise — but then doing in the Night King becomes such an obvious game-ender that it’s obnoxious it doesn’t happen. My favorite zinger — the undead bear. A truly cool monster and a nice foreshadow that animals get to walk the night, too.

R.I.P.: Dick Gregory

I’ll be honest — comedians, even social-activist ones, are off my screen. The only funny-stuff albums I own are by Jonathan Winters, the Firesign Theater and Richard Pryor. And I almost never play them. So I know way more about Dick Gregory after reading his obits. Confirms my long-held belief that it’s possible to be an admirable figure and a crank at the same time.

R.I.P.: Sonny Burgess

He outlasted the scene, the studio, and about everybody else. (As always, there is the apparently immortal Mr. Lewis.)


Start of tonight’s soundtrack. It’s all nonfanatics would need. But you must have it if you are serious about (Sun) (rockabilly) (rock and roll), hell, popular music of the 20th century. Adam Komorowski’s vivid, informative liner notes are a serious bonus. Noted: “Truckin’ Down the Avenue” and the killah, “Mama Loochie.” Guy’s got a yowl that perfectly evokes a Raven at sunset in the South.

My #1 for Gonna-Be Overlooked Album of 2017: Peter Perrett

Tipped off by an ace review from Peter Margasak*, I was wowed to hear this was a rock and roll record precisely because, as Langdon Winner once said, it “comes from where no one is looking.” The forms and phrases and even licks may sound familiar — the title track is the latest fever re-dream of “Sweet Jane,” for instance — but the fresh angles and juiced emotions confirm, this is only because Perrett speaks rock and roll. Essential plus: frequent funny lines.

Seek this out.

*About 85% of the time, Peter and I are riding the exact same wave of music. The rest of the time I understand and appreciate his arguments, even if I don’t hear them.

Zeshan B: Screen and Stage

Chicagoan Zeshan B’s performance of “Cryin’ in the Streets” on Colbert got quite a ripple going last week. For good reason. I bet the majority of the small crowd at Zeshan’s Boston debut last night at the new venue Sonia in Central Square had seen the TV show.

Let me say right off that the Colbert segment and the live performance I saw does more justice to the man and his backup than the uneven and rather muffled studio album, Vetted. Even with a stripped-down five piece group, Zeshan splashed charm all over the room, confirmed that he had a feel for soul and a resonant voice suited to a beefy Chicago-rhythm-section. On record and on stage, standouts included the non-English original romper “Ki Jana?” and the plaintive devastation of  William Bell’s “You Don’t Miss Your Water,” done with just Zeshan singing and piano by Lester Snell.

You’ll be there the next time this outfit comes around, right?