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These Days: Sunday, March 21st, 2017

Trump In Saudi Arabia: Pre ’79, the States had the entirely reasonable Middle East concept, to be best friends with Shi’ittes and Sunnis. But they have been floundering ever since. Obama’s entirely reasonable reset concept with Iran hasn’t worked so Trump decided to pick a side and he picked the Sunnis. An entirely reasonable concept. If you think the Saudis are terrible, how do you want to talk to the Sunnis? Or don’t you? If you hate the Shi’ites AND the Sunnis, which Arabs in the Middle East do you wanna talk to? I don’t think there are enough Coptic Christians to form an alliance with. The response to Trump in Saudi has been borderline racist and anti-Arab.

The Middle Class: any country without a strong middle class will decline and fall, Saudi know this and have the richest per capita.  The GDP per Capita, in Saudi Arabia, when adjusted by Purchasing Power Parity is equivalent to 283 percent of the world’s average, the US have forgotten it and better remember fast. There is no income or business tax…

POTUS: Just because he is usually wrong doesn’t mean he is always wrong.

Concerts: I complained about three people talking over the music, I mean having a full scale conversation at the top of their lungs sitting behind me during Sampha’s set last night, they said it wasn’t a movie theatre they could speak if they wanted to and the usher agreed. “The music is loud,” she said. “They have to shout to be heard.” Write your own punchline.

More Concerts: The xx were about as average as a really good band can be. Not bad at all but rote, we even got hip hop’s latest cliche: “Last night we had one of my favorite shows but I think tonight is going to be even better,” Jamie xx claimed. I don’t wanna pick on them because the entire experience was unpleasant (it was also cold) but how do you separate the resstless audience and feeling discomfort from the music? The band playing while the Titanic sunk might have been good but so what…?

Death: Richard Walls, Creem Magazine’s brilliant critic at large, has died. rock nyc’s Steve Crawford writes: I believe Walls was the only person who contributed to Creem during the magazine’s entire run – writing about television, film, popular music, and even jazz reviews. Richard Riegel once mentioned that you could open a book of film criticism, point to any entry, and Walls could name the director. His writing was much more about analysis than the self-promoting/moralistic pans and raves that were so typical of that era”

New Music: I missed the new Aldous Harding (produced by John Parrish) but listening to the mood folk New Zealander now, it would have been among the best of the week. “Imagining My Man” is excellent, moving, and she has a quietly expressive voice plus a way with words.

Old Music: As I tend to do, I went back to Marshall Crenshaw last night -my favorite songwriter bar Lennon.

Sports: The Yanks are no longer in first place and are on 3 – 10 run. Maybe it’s right to be nervous now? Meanwhile, on another planet, LeBron James was ignored for MVP and responded by burying the Celtics 130 – 86 -that means th Cavs are up 2 – 0 and the Celtics had HOME FIELD ADVANTAGE. In these playoffs the Cavs are 13 – 0. On another planet.

Theatre: I am off to the final performance of “Amelie” this afternoon.

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