Song Saves the Day: Dori Freeman’s “I Want To See the Bright Lights Tonight”

I was driving along, enjoying Freeman’s new Letters Never Read when her cover of this tune jumped out and spun my head around. Immediately brought back the moment when, the third or fourth time I had listened to the song, I realized it was not merely an excellent hooray-for-the-weekend number, but a more profound reflection on the human condition and the need for release and freedom. And Linda Thompson flat incarnated the number. (Linda and Richard’s son Teddy Thompson plays guitar on this “Bright Lights,” produced the album, too). The Dori Freeman debut slipped past me last year. Now I will have to check it out.

Newspapers in Trouble; Likewise Newspaper Delivery

We’ve had more screw-ups with a Sunday Only Times this year than ever before by a huge margin. Today was a beaut — fractions of the Globe and NY Times scrambled together.

As I’ve said before, no young’un could ever imagine what a glorious medium newspaper comics were once upon a time if all they had to look at was today’s examples. Only “Mother Goose & Grimm” made me smile — and it got a slightly grotesque joke right. Other strips trying to be “edgy” were more strange and crude. And some are so sloppy and slight with the artwork as to sicken me. Like I say, if you want a prime example of an extinct form …

Expert Witness Comment for the Week

Sounds in the air today: Umphrey’s McGee, Zonkey

Initial brilliant stroke: the title.

Very clever again and again. First three tracks in particular. Those insanely in love with their record collections will be most appreciative. For ages I hoped there would be one more grand mashup album, and this is a performance, not studio sorcery.

Most pointed “joke”: Mutual strangulation of Ted Nugent and the Beastie Boys (at least someplace I can enjoy the guitar structures without guilt/fury).

Sad reminder: the weakest numbers by far are the originals.

Unfunny Animals

Just saw as much of the rebooted “Duck Tales” as I could tolerate (about half an episode). Pure franchise exploitation. At least Carl Barks isn’t around to see this.

[Edit] I think the strong difference of opinion between me and most reviews I’ve scanned depend on when you bought your ducks. See, I thought the original series was a cheap-down of the comics, so …

Day of the Doddering Dodo

This morning I think, “Hell’s smells, the last print issue of the Village Voice will hit town today, so why don’t I cruise over to Harvard Square — and specifically Out of Town News — where I grabbed acres of publications when I first moved here — and pick up a copy if any are left.”

So I get there and look around and no nuthin’ nowhere. Adding to my flightless and   clueless condition I ask: “Has the Village Voice sold out already?” Manager looks at me like I’m wearing paisley shorts with hair down to my butt and says “We haven’t got the Voice for four or five years!” “Well, the last print edition was yesterday.” “Ended for us a long time ago.”

So I go to the still-prime Newbury Comics and buy a couple CDs.

I attend an excellent free class on digital marketing of your brand. I am informed that Twitter analytics exists, which is serious news to me. Now I can see what’s going on over there a lot more. Might help me ask question to improve blog traffic,even.

 

 

 

Michael Jackson: On the Cross or Off the Hook?

In the process of retiring summer wear, now-skinnier me was able to wear the T-shirt I picked up when I covered the first performance of Michael Jackson and the Jacksons’s Victory Tour. Like so much associated with these performers, the shirt itself was a contradiction: beautifully designed and printed, but made of oddly thin, fragile fabric.

MJ

(Mine has red sleeves.)

MJ really was the king of pop then. Ten times more alive than even excellent performers on stage, he turned into an enigma the second he walked off. Now I thought how far he had rumbled down and never quite climbed out of the rubble. How it was impossible to have settled feelings about him.

This is a good examination of the whole story, which, to coin a cliche, should be in the dictionary next to “sordid.”

What saddened me most this time, however, is that Michael Jackson has become a King Donald-type symbol.

OF COURSE he was a wicked, guilty monster who bribed his way out of it.

OF COURSE he was an emotionally stunted superstar who showed disgraceful bad judgement and was attacked by evil extortionists because of it.

But either way, on the cross or off the hook, he ain’t gonna be resurrected into the Victory-era life he knew anytime soon.