Guitar strapped around her shoulders like a forever-young Jewel. Abbey with her infectious smile and mounds of blond hair that can never grow old and the repertoire of standards. "Oh, You Beautiful Doll," "Alexander's Ragtime Band." "A Bicycle Built For Two." She channeled the spirit of tenor Billy Murray yelling upwards into an archaic microphone circa 1906. There was a woman in the audience at Still Waters Nursing Home not even born in. She was born in 1909, making her 106. Abbey went to the slumber-esque piano. "School Days, school days, good old golden rule days..."
I first saw Scissor Sisters on Late Night with Conan O'Brien singing that outing yourself song, "Take Your Mama Out Tonight." My God! Early '70s Elton and honky cat Southern Rock. I heard it all in that song. I want to see neon, jewel encrusted glasses. (How did we never guess they were gay in the 70s) and hot Roxy Music-Tops of the Pops rebellion. Scissor Sisters -- they're now. Contemporary as we say in 2015 versus '70s lingo. One way or another, gay marriage will be legal. And does this song not remind you of Leo Sayer's "You Make Me Feel Like Dancing"?
Meaghan Trainor's novelty hit, that irresistible, somewhat retro-pop ear candy known as "All About That Bass" was all over the place for awhile. Consequently, it was ripe for parody. A lot of those parodies you find on You Tube are forgettable. At least I hope they are. But this one is clever. An accentuated, Meaghan Trainor look-a-like battling writer's block, stringing out ridiculous rhyming words until she hits on gold by singing about her big butt -- it's appealing. The digs at the pop industry and references to obesity and diabetes add to the fun.
Here's my good friend -- musician, singer and actress Nyssa Duchow. From Dubuque, Iowa, Nyssa has never lost her Midwestern values. She has natural effervescence, an affable quality that comes across in her stage performances or just when you're hanging out, talking to her. Don't think she's not tough, though. Nyssa had the guts to strike out on her own in New York where audition after audition, regardless of whether she gets chosen, she perseveres. She also plays a badass violin.
Walking in the dreary coolness this morning. I was thinking of the life of Brian Wilson & wishing there there was one small space in the sky for a bit of sun. And thinkin' 'bout California CALIFORNIA dream of Californication ...California. The tortured genius of Brian Wilson as I walk on such a fall-like day in May. The chewing sound in this song is Paul McCartney eating celery. This song makes me never want to eat a cheeseburger again.
The hairs on the back of your neck will stand erect and there will be screaming and rocks through windows and...the Fire next Time. Don't think about the young rioting blacks called thugs. For this minute, see the mass of white men, women & children gathered around a black body swinging from a tree by a rope. It was a long damn time ago. Why you gotta make everything about race? If you don't do what a cop says, don't be surprised if you get killed. Has nothing to do with race. Why can't they fix their communities? Why keep themselves down? Merry Clayton is an unsung hero of the music of our time. Listen to her stirring cover of Neil Young's "Southern Man." She sang background on the Rolling Stones' "Gimmie Shelter." Here her cover here.
One of my favorite record albums is Sonny and Cher's 1972 All I Ever Need is You chartbuster. I love their cover of this song, which was part of a great soundtrack to the 1991 film, My Girl, set in the early 1970s and staring then child-star Anna Chlumsky. Who cannot love the early '70s? Who cannot love CBS's The Sonny and Cher Comedy Hour? Corny jokes. Guests like California Gov. Ronald Reagan, Flip Wilson and Tom Jones? Sonny and Cher are a huge part of what made the '70s great.
1927. Two men. One cock teasin' woman married to another man. Shots rang out at the old sawmill that night. Then it was all dead man blues, I'm telling you. Young Richard Morris Guy worked at the store owned by the man. Fella' got killed one day. Next day, Ol' Rich Guy got a job at the store across the street. Rich Guy taking his girl to see Marshalls and the rest on a hot Saturday night when the Marshallville Municipal Band would "march from the band shelter to the graveyard." I wonder if he was always yappin' even back then. I like to think of him as naive and so, so sprightly. Late nights the real parties started, shooting dice & Poker games on the Negro side of town where the dixieland band played music the Marshallville Municipal Band never touched. 1922. Trixie Smith records "My Man Rocks Me (With One Steady Roll) for Harlem based Black Swan records.
Such a perfect song for the scrawny, poetic punk rocker who yelled, "Jesus died for our sins, but he didn't die for mine," who sang the Springsteen-penned "Because the Night." Here she sings an old standard, a buxom heartbreaker that made the rounds -- sung by the likes of Julie London and Peggy Lee. Patti Smith. I listen. I know she's known heartbreak.