25 April 2014

Warren Zevon: "The Wind" (2003): 'Fending Off Death Naturally Through the Transition from Immortality'

Warren Zevon's last record was released two weeks before he died. The CD arrived in yesterday's mail.  I give this masterpiece five stars with a bullet. Nonetheless, greater minds than mine have evaluated this record. Robert Christgau has been the quintessential rock 'n' roll critict, to my mind, since I first discovered him in 1972 and way before that. Here's Christgua on Zevon's The Wind:
The Wind (Artemis, 2003) Naturally he fends off death-the-fact the way he fended off death-the-theme -- with black humor. "I'm looking for a woman with low self-esteem" is how he sums up the succor he craves, and he finishes off a painful "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" with impatient cries of "Open up, open up, open up." But "El Amor de Mi Vida," "She's Too Good for Me," "Please Stay," and "Keep Me in Your Heart" mean what their titles say. Only by hearing them can you grasp their tenderness, or understand that the absolute Spanish one seems to be for the wife he left behind, or muse that while the finale addresses his current succor provider, it also reaches out to the rest of us. Everyone who says this isn't a sentimental record is right. But it admits sentiment, hold the hygiene, and suggests that he knows more about love dying than he did when he was immortal. A-
 That's an A+ analysis, but, in my humble opinion, I disagree on Christgua's rating. This essential "facing death" record gets an A.

Disorder in the House (w/ Bruce Springsteen)

21 April 2014

Ruben "Hurricane" Carter Passes

The StoryHirsch, James (2000) 
Hurricane: The Miraculous Journey of Rubin Carter
New York: Houghton Mifflin Company

The Song:
Bob Dylan lays this travesty of justice raw
during The Rolling Thunder Revue Tour
with his song Hurricane, from the album Desire (1975).
(Above is an alternate master.)

From the Wikipedia Contributors: "Rubin 'Hurricane' Carter (May 6, 1937 – April 20, 2014) was an American middleweight boxer who was convicted of murder and later freed via a petition of habeas corpus after spending almost 20 years in prison."

Rubin Carter, Requiescat in Pace.

18 April 2014

Gabriel Garcia Marquez' "One Hundred Years of Solitude", Redux

Gabriel García Márquez

This giant of modern writing passed away April 17th -- yesterday -- at the age of 87.
Señor Márquez, Requiescat in Pacehttp://www.bbc.com/news/world-latin-america-27073911

A good cure for thinking the United States, capitalism, and magical realism are correctly called American is our fine, current Latin American literature. Garcia Marquez' masterwork should be a fixture in every library -- at home and for the public -- in North and South America. Truly a masterpiece and object lesson for nortes'. Verdaderamente instructivo.

13 April 2014

Carolyn Wonderland at Skipper's Smoke House: Texas Burnin', with a Cherry Red Custom Telecaster and a Lone Star Lady Singin' the Blues

Carolyn Wonderland at Skipper's Smoke House (April 8, 2014)

Carolyn blew my socks off. Carolyn was on fire, Texas style. Here's a little recent evidence:

TEXAS BURNING with Carolyn Wonderland: I Live Alone With Someone

04 April 2014

An Event that Changed America on April 4, 1968: "Shot rings out in the Memphis sky"

At 6:01 p.m., April 4, 1968, a shot rang out as [Reverend Dr. Martin Luther] King stood on the second-floor balcony of the [Memphis motel where he was staying while he supported] black sanitary public works employees ... who had been on strike since March 12 for higher wages, [pay equity with white employees] and better treatment. From the Wikipedia Contributors on Martin Luther King, Jr. 

Reverend King was assassinated on April 4, 1968, on the balcony of the Lorraine Motel in Memphis, Tennessee -- the wreath marks the spot where King fell, mortally wounded. 
One man come in the name of love
One man come and go
One man come, he to justify
One man to overthrow
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
One man caught on a barbed wire fence
One man he resist
One man washed on an empty beach.
One man betrayed with a kiss
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
In the name of love
What more in the name of love
(nobody like you...)
Early morning, April 4
Shot rings out in the Memphis sky
Free at last, they took your life
They could not take your pride
In the name of love
What more in the name of love

In the name of love

What more in the name of love

In the name of love

What more in the name of love 

(U2, Pride (In the Name of Love), The Unforgettable Fire (1984)