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These Days: Friday, July 7th, 2017

Old Music: In my search for the beginnings of Frank Sinatra, I’ve return to da Bing Crosby, with immense pleasure but then I’ve always admired him. But now I am stepping just a little bit further back in time to listen to Enrico Caruso, the difference between Caruso and Crosby is not opera versus pop, but acoustic versus electric: the great tenor belted them to get them across and recorded hundreds of songs between 1902 – 1920. He was the exact precursor to modern pop and its distribution, a huge sea change. I never quite got him back when I was in my twenties and thirties, but listening to him today Caruso sounds like high culture for the masses: a modern day popstar using 20th century technology to spread his fame.

New Music: Usually the new week of releases asserts itself and begins to have a specific personality, this week there isn’t enough going on. Jay-Z goes into wide release, and Haim try for a 21st Century Rumors but can’t pull it off… quite (Grade: B). After that you’ve got 21 Savage, Broken Social Scene, and Toro Y Moi (the best of Chillwave), Chris Bell and Alex Chilton have compilations out… but it is a strangely flavorless week.

Concerts: I went to the James Taylor gig at Prudential last night and got stuck in Newark because of a train derailment at Penn, this is getting to the place where I am worried about how to get home at night. I ended up spending over a hundred bucks on a cab.

More Concerts: Tickets for Mellencamp at Forest Hills are changing hands at $11 (that’s eleven) plus handling fees.

POTUS: I feel as though I am unfair to Trump but have no idea how to be rational about a man who can neither speak nor read. I abhor everything he says and does and so much so that even if I might, in theory, approve of an action here and there (for instance, it isn’t enough to claim that knocking off ISIS helps Iran, it is still the Trump administration who are knocking off these dangerous to Western cities Islamic extremists and we want it done…), it sticks in my craw. There must be a way to look at him rationally but I am clueless to what it might be…
More POTUS: Trump to Putin: “It’s an honor to be with you…”

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