Rose Named After Bette Midler

Aw, hell, I’m enough of a fan I’m gonna post the whole announcement:

The New York Botanical Garden
Names Special Rose in Honor of Bette Midler
‘The Divine Miss M Rose’ Celebrates
The 40th Anniversary of Midler’s Iconic Film Debut in The Rose
The New York Botanical Garden has named a special rose ‘The Divine Miss M,’ in honor of one of the world’s most versatile entertainers and legendary performers Bette Midler. ‘The Divine Miss M’ rose will be planted in The Peggy Rockefeller Rose Garden on Thursday, April 11 inside the New York Botanical Gardens. The planting of this special rose celebrates the 40th anniversary of Midler’s iconic film debut in the 1979 film The Rose.
‘The Divine Miss M’ rose is described by The New York Botanical Garden as “a huge dollop of whipped cream with overtones of antique white with a slight golden hue and fragrance of myrrh and lime.” Like Bette Midler herself, the rose is “totally decadent.” To view the rose, please click HERE.
‘The Divine Miss M’ rose will be unveiled when it’s in full bloom at the New York Restoration Project (NYRP) annual Spring Picnic on June 19. The New York Restoration Project is an open space conservancy and private land trust founded by Bette Midler in 1995. NYRP is dedicated to protecting and preserving community gardens and other green spaces throughout all five boroughs. NYRP owns and manages 52 community gardens, maintains over 80 acres of parkland, and works with the city and other partners to transform green, open space at NYCHA housing developments, community centers, schools, and other places of need. Mrs. Midler recently graced the cover of Variety Magazine and was honored at Variety’s Power of Women event for her work on behalf of NYRP.
Bette Midler continues to defy categorization and garner accolades across all facets of show business. She was most recently seen on Broadway in Hello, Dolly!, and her iconic 1972 debut album, The Divine Miss M: Deluxe Edition, was re-issued in 2016.

Stuff in the Air That Came Out of Speakers Today #70: “The Last Temptation of Elvis”

Yeh, dug this 1990 compilation out the depths in the basement for a workout soundtrack. Pretty damn good and a must for fans of the Pelvis. Esp. since it takes on the always-wobbly notion that his movie numbers were tripe.

Here’s the scoop on it.

Starts out with the Boss doing an absolutely tone-right and funny as hell “Viva Las Vegas,” and Sydney Youngblood way beating the odds with a tone-right reading of “(Let Me Be Your) Teddy Bear.” Not everything works (Holly Johnson, “Love Me Tender,” PU) but there’s only about four subpar tracks and the set reminds you how much ferocious energy and badass rock-and-roll-timing bands like Fuzzbox and the Cramps could have. The final track selection and presentation is perfection. I would argue part of why the collection works is that, far as I know, all the players were alive and well and apprehending Elvis when he was King. You know what to do.

Stuff in the Air That Came Out of Speakers Today #69: Electrorganism 2010

Mixdisc I made that I ran across in that pile of books and CDs on the floor of the office. I particularly like the slow-build numbers at the start, then the program gets rather wacked-out before calming down for the finish. But at any rate, it’s Very Me and here it is:


1. K. Leimer, “Aerial” (1980)

2. Supernatural Hot Rugs Not Used, “Spa World”

3. Earthmonkey, “The Breeder Belt Tar Hogs”

4. Ghost, “Motherly Bluster”

5. Giant Squid, “Megaptera in the Delta”

6. Zodiak, “Sermons”

7. Nels Cline, “Dirty Baby, Pt. 3”

8. Mofongo, “Tumbao”

9. Miriodor, “La Roche”

10. F/I, “Observation (The Eye on Top of the Pyramid)” (1986)

11. Bola, “Versivo”


Number 10 is a special goodie for “Gravity Falls” fans.


Tax-Time Therapy Soundtrack

These are the albums we used to soothe jangle first in the morning and last at night while struggling with the yearly accounting challenge (alphabetical order):

Biosphere, Patashnik (Biophon, 2016)

Carla Bley/Andy Sheppard/Steve Swallow, Trios (ECM, 2013)

Carla Bley/Andy Sheppard/Steve Swallow, Andando el Tiempo (ECM, 2016)

Stephan Crump’s Rosetta Trio, Thwirl (Sunnyside, 2013)

Delerium, Spiritual Archives (Hypnotic, 1997)

Erik Friedlander, Block Ice & Propane (Skipstone, 2007)

Personally Complex First Listens

So, we have Kid Creole & the Coconuts Live in Paris 1985 (Rainman). Written about Dr. Buzzard and this band, well, more than once. On this blog, even.

Then we have a new studio album from Michael Gregory Jackson Clarity Quartet, WhenUFindItUWillKnow (self-released). He’s been a captivator since I heard his debut way back in the day and I know I’ve done at least one piece about him, but cannot track it down online. Perhaps lost in the vanished mysts of

Exciting to simply make up my mind about these.

R.I.P.: Peter Tork

I enjoyed episodes of the TV show, though I have no desire to re-view them. Thought Headquarters was a necessary statement. And long ago concluded the Monkees had occupied precisely the right amount of cultural space. I was pleased to see Mr. Tork agreed in the final graph of his NY Times obit.

Like many artists, Mr. Tork concluded that happiness came simply from doing the work. “It’s about getting to play the music full time,” he told The Los Angeles Times in 1992. “It’s not about the following anymore, the fame game. A little bit of fame is fun, but I’ve had enough, thank you.”

PS: What’s the matter with my head? I forgot to add that the Super Secret (kinda) Insider Pick is the Head soundtrack. (The one time I watched the movie itself made my titular body part hurt.)


Stuff in the Air That Came Out of Speakers Today #68: Master Musicians of Jajouka

A latter-day release I did not have until recently: The Source (Le Son Du Marquis, “Recorded in 2010”). I pick up whatever I run across by this, uh, “outfit,” because, as much as any performers I know, their works all sound the same but the more you listen the more each has its own language. Obvious this was worked on and worked on, until leader Bachir Attar says, “Let’s go — this is a set.” (And who can resist titles like “Hadra of Sidi Amed Sheik (music for healing sick people on Friday at the tomb of the Saint)”?)

Nearly every time I listen to the Master Jajoukas, I think of the late pioneering music critic and musician Robert Palmer, because the one time I met him, he was sitting next to us at a Jajouka concert in Harvard’s Saunders Theater (incredible acoustics, what a treat). After the show, I introduced myself and tried to ask him about not just Jajouka but his recent Rock & Roll: An Unruly History and even Deep Blues, one of the most profound and enlightening books about the South and that more-defiant-than-sad music from there. He was pretty grunt-and-nod in a sadly too-short exchange, but I now understand he was quite ill by then (did not last all that long after) and wanted to get backstage to talk to the musicians. Sorry, Bob Palmer, that I did not get to tell you how much Insect Trust and Hoboken Saturday Night changed my life.