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These Days: Sunday, April 30th, 2017

Old Music: Popdose’s Ken Shane noted that HBO edited out David Letterman’s comment at the Hall Of Fame Ceremony: “I can’t even begin to tell you what an honor and a … I hope to come back here for the induction for my friend Warren Zevon.” Zevon, who died at 56 years of age from cancer, was the greatest singer-songwriter and the apex of So Cal world conquest. Randy Newman meets the Eagles, with a pop sensibility that never stopped in the slightest (God bless Linda Ronstadt for bringing Zevon into the mainstream), and a lyrical acumen that found Bob Dylan covering him. I only saw Warren live once, at Irving Plaza in 1995, but this was the post-drunk Zevon and sitting behind a piano he was magnificent.   In some ways Zevon was the Letterman of pop, a showbiz sneer without peer. To paraphrase the great man, we are  tied to Warren like the buttons on our blouse. Here is the unedited induction of Pearl Jam by David.

New Music: The Mary J. album  (Grade: A-) is a straightforward answer to her cheating ex-husband that will brook no denial, her best since 1997’s Share My World. Gorillaz isn’t as terrible as I made out, it is solid if unexciting with lots of interesting bits and pieces (Grade: B)

Television: Speaking of shows on TV I missed (the RNR Hall Of Fame), I didn’t catch the White House Correspondents’ Association dinner, I didn’t catch Not the White House Correspondents’ Dinner, I didn’t catch Trump’s rally in Harrisburg… because I was at the Diana Ross gig.

Concerts: Diana Ross was just fine at City Center last night (Grade: B+), the conclusion of a five night residency. I have quibbles with the setlist, why would she make “I Will Survive” her big finale? And if I was Diana I would tour behind a set of Billie Holiday covers because she killed two of them last night. And why no “Remember Me”? Shouldn’t she have ended the evening with that? The review will be up at some point in my life.

More Concerts: Next week looks like a goodie, first Tim McGraw and Faith Hill and then Barbra Streisand.

The World: As authoritarian regimes take over the world, including aspects of the USA, resistance is beginning everywhere, including Russia, where it can end badly (of course, that’s part of the definition of authoritarian regimes) and Slovakia, and Turkey… and… it sure hits me as though we fought for democracy and democracy lost. We live in a world where China looks reasonable.

Definitions: Physics is about how, geography about where, history about what, biology about who, psychology about why, theology about what happens after.

Sports: The Rangers are down 0 – 2 going into Tuesday’s first home game. They lost in alarming fashion yesterday. The Yanks are alone in first, and the Mets have beat the Nationals two games in succession.

Movies: The cast of the Godfather, maybe the greatest movie of all time (I know II might be considered better but the original had Marlon Brando so, no, sorry), were at Radio City Music Hall to close the Tribeca Film Festival, last night.

Death: Now that Aaron Hernandez is gone, the story plays like a tragedy for all concerned. His victims first and foremost but also Hernandez’s inability to get out of the way of his past as a teen thug, and also the reason the LBGTQ are doing such important work. That Hernandez would murder before coming out as bisexual is insane. Sexual preference is NORMAL, it is not the new normal, it is normal normal. It is a stupefyingly normal part of all living creatures including homosapiens. To kill in order to hide your bisexuality is like killing to hide you like both wheat and white toast.


  1. Jack Phillips on April 30, 2017 at 5:11 pm

    I had the good fortune of meeting and talking to Warren after one of his last gigs at The Fillmore in San Francisco on July 26, 2001. We chatted about how he went to high school in my home town. His show was probably one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. He only performed 10 more shows afterwards and then his farewell performance on David Letterman.

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