Saturday, December 27, 2008


Ho! Ho! Ho! Well, another Christmas has come and gone, with lots of music and books left in its wake. Just before the big day I picked up copies of the deluxe Electric Ladyland CD + DVD and Brad Paisley's Play both of which tell you plenty about the Fender guitar! Wow! Can those guys play! My brother sent me Steve Winwood's new disc which is his best album in a long time. I heard some recordings of his New York show with Eric Clapton, and have to say that they haven't lost their touch!
Reading the Philip Norman biography of John Lennon I've found quite a few new details to the story that has been told over and over again. Add to that Pete Best's memories (captured on the Best of the Beatles DVD and it makes another Beatles' Christmas, just like when I was a youngster!
Revolutions in Sound is a celebration of 50 years of music at Warner Brothers-Seven Arts Records, and it's a beauty. Large scale, colour pictures, and reminiscences from all the usual (and unusual) suspects it tells the history of how the label went from Frank Sinatra and soundtracks to Neil Young, Alice Cooper and Frank Zappa! Fascinating.
My brother Steve and his girlfriend gave me a gift card which I spent on a couple of DVDs. Pete Seeger Power in Song which is a great way to spend 2 hours, interviews with Arlo, Dylan, Baez, the Boss and more all celebrating nearly 90 years of Seeger's career. Lots of concert footage and bonus homemade films from Pete and Toshi make this a fine piece!
The other DVD is Orson Welles's Touch of Evil, a film from the beginning of Charlton Heston's career and the end of Marlene Dietrich's! Spooky, creepy, film noir...not to be missed!
Went to see The Spirit last night, and while Frank Miller really turned Will Eisner's Spirit into Frank Miller's Spirit...he did manage to pay tribute to the humour and style of Eisner's classic creation. Sure it looks a lot like Sin City but that was one of the most stylish films I had seen in a long is The Spirit!
Well...Happy New Year everyone...see you in 2009!

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Pattie Boyd

Went to see the Pattie Boyd photography exhibition last Friday. That's right! It's HER photographs. Now I'll bet you didn't know that she had studied with photographers like David Bailey! It's true! And her pictures are a delight. Not just the polaroids of Eric and George and Ronnie and Keith and all the others...but the new photos of Africa are stunning! I understand the show is moving across the country to Calgary, then Vancouver and back to Montreal. Curator Peter Miniaci held court with Rich and I for a good half hour sharing stories and laughs. Don't miss Through the eyes of a muse if it comes to a gallery near you! And...this shot of George is one of my faves!

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

now what?

I've bought a few new CDs this past week and a half, and although I haven't really settled in with them, I do have an opinion. What a shock!
The Blackie & the Rodeo Kings best of collection (Swinging From the Chains of Love) is still getting lots of play. Nickel Creek's best of (Reasons Why) is a knock out! A beautiful sounding, wonderfully played selection of material. And it has a DVD of videos too. A signed copy of the David Byrne & Brian Eno album arrived from Newbury Comics. OK it's only signed by Byrne, but the album is excellent, and considerably "poppier" than I expected. A neat package, I might add!
Speaking of neat packages...The Fireman's electric arguments is the best of their three albums, and will actually get played again. The Fireman is Youth and Paul McCartney, and their previous 2 ambient dance thingys did nothing for me. But this one, is Macca's most interesting work in a long time. He should take chances like this more often! JD Souther's first album in 20-something years is a new direction. No more Eaglesish country rock, JD gives us melodic tunes, great singing but in a jazzier context. Kudos to the horn players on here!
And then there's Neil Young's latest archive project, as we get ready for the mega-release next year, Sugar Mountain. It's a CD+DVD set of a very early club date after Neil left Buffalo Springfield. All acoustic, just Neil and his Martin. He sounds impossibly young. His stories are innocent, even naive. A fascinating document. I haven't watched the DVD yet, because it won't play on my computer. Not sure what the issue is...but tonight I'll try it in the DVD player.
Lots of books to read. I have to finish The Grapes of Wrath, then the new John Lennon bio, Ian Thomas's new novel The Lost Chord and then Mick Wall's biography of Led Zeppelin When Giants Walked the Earth. I'm glad Christmas is coming, I'll have some time to read!
Last night I read the cover story on Britney Spears in the new Rolling Stone...ahhh, poor baby!