I wrote about my life-changing first encounter with his work. That transcendent jolt was followed by I Have No Mouth But I Must Scream, Dangerous Visions, “A Boy and His Dog,” and so many others …
Just a thought — a year that includes outstanding albums from deluxe veterans Yo La Tengo, Amy Rigby and John Prine underscores the waste and tragedy of Elvis stuck in unknown territory and pushed down the wrong path. Then gone, gone, gone.
I pray the Graceland footage includes the rooms they don’t allow tourists to visit. The place is an unmatched decorator-timescramble.
For some of us, this is what being on the cover of TIME is supposed to be like.
The show now has a vivid pop-culture eruption forever attached to it. Still, though this is hardly a consistent position for me to take, I kinda preferred the show back when it was more of a cult hit.
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.
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?
Suppose I’ll have to grab this “Bob’s Burgers” thing, as much of a longshot as it seemed. After all, it was 20 years ago this year I had similar surrender to “the Simpsons” on CD.
And I do have to note that it was “The New Adventures of Mighty Mouse,” two years before the Simpsons, that finally picked up that a main thing missing from latter-day cartoons was zippy, unforgettable music themes.
(Incidentally, I’m with Bob on the value of the cartoon itself — really has its moments, approve of overall intentions, but can’t remember a time I actively sought it out.)
Best album (only one I have): Bobby Gentry and Glen Campbell
Only vocal performance I really treasure: “Wichita Lineman”
And, sorry, Johnny Cash had my country TV show in high school.
Also, N.B.: Number of Campbell listings in John Morthland’s The Best of Country Music: 0
Now, that said, I will let my memorial be a quote from the preternaturally fair-minded Bill C. Malone in his Country Music U.S.A.:
Campbell, from Delight, Arkansas [a plus in itself], finally moved from undeserved obscurity when he made his very popular recording in 1966 of John Hartford’s “Gentle on My Mind.” Campbell had spent much of his life as a session musician in Los Angeles, where he contributed to the fame of other people. In the summer of 1968 he became the summer replacement for the Smothers Brothers, and he charmed his viewers with an easy, relaxed personality, a supple tenor voice (sharply honed through a short stint with the Beach Boys), and his guitar virtuosity. Campbell’s singing was pop-oriented, and he gravitated toward structurally sophisticated songs such as those written by Jim Webb (“By the Time I Get to Phoenix,” “Wichita Lineman,” “Galveston”), but he maintained a down-home atmosphere with his high-pitched country laugh and patter, and through the occasional guest appearance of his charming parents, who were indeed rural and folksy. Campbell’s own show in 1969 was smooth, fast-paced and countrypolitan in mood. Whatever the misgivings some country fans might have had about the style of music heard on the Glen Campbell show, most were probably delighted at the success that one of their own had attained.