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These Days: Thursday, February 23rd, 2017

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Concert: “I don’t have much money but boy if I did…” Billy Joel sang last night at MSG -the 38th show of ihs residency, in a somewhat mean spirited parody of Elton John’s drawl. He stopped mid-song and went “YOU DON’T HAVE MUCH MONEY?” fake aghast. Funny except when Bernie Taupin wrote the lyric he was an eighteen year old kid and he didn’t much money. I’d decided to take my fourth look at Billy at the Garden, and he was pretty darn good (Grade: B+) except that was really all he was, the exemplary Christmas show had the help of the seasonal music to glue it together, this one was all over the place. His “The Longest Time” didn’t happen and the “Take It Easy” cover was overwrought. Or maybe we’re spoiled.

Oldies: With album # 51 for Elvis Presley reviewed and posted (here), coming up next is Prince’s 3121  (thank you Mark Reichenbach for the copy you forwarded), Sir Paul’s Pipes Of Peace, and Elvis’ Aloha... The 3121 is the second revelatory NPG Club compilation. I somewhat remember it from back in the 00s but it has improved with time.

Newies: As the week turns, it is time for the reset with another major grime album, this time by rising superstar (I mean in the UK) Stormzy’s new album waiting patiently in the wings.

Speaking Of The UK: At the Brit Awards, David Bowie won for best album and Little Mix’s awesome “Shout Out To My Ex” won for best single. Beyonce didn’t show to receive “Best International Artist Female”. Didn’t send film either. She was probably too busy being an asshole…

POTUS: say whatever you will about Trump but somehow he will always find the time to give the disenfranchised in our society a thorough kicking. Trump has rescinded the order that allowed transgendered students to use the toilet that they identified with.

Transgendered toilets: At the time of the order I thought it was much ado about nothing but now I’ve seen my error. When I caught Against Me at the Bowery Ballroom, I wondered why the lead singer would want to go from being a handsome man to a very butch woman. But two things I didn’t take into account: 1 -Laura Jane Grace identified as female, that was her deepest need. and 2 – it takes time for the operation to fully take hold. At the time of the toilet order I wasn’t empathizing properly. Public toilets are social segregation for the most part. If every part of you feels like you are a certain gender, then you are a certain gender. And if this public fulfilment of your greatest wish helps you, and is a very personal right, then who does it hurt?  BUT even if I think it is a silly order, I think it is stupider decision to repeal it. Shouldn’t the Government be going about its business of destroying the lives of entire families for the shits and giggles?

Literature: I’ve been trying to get around to reviewing Bruce Springsteen’s autobiography “Born To Run” (Grade: A-) for three months now. Stylistically,  his overuse of preacher time litany’s drag, he still hasn’t explained why he doesn’t pay taxes on his farm, and…. I guess that’s it for complaints. An honest and well written story of a man and his son coming to terms with each other. The son just happens to be one of the biggest rock stars ever. I’ve also, at rock’s backpages Mark Pringle’s instigation, finished Matt Taibbi’s “Insane Clown President”. Pretty darn good (Grade: B+) except I disagree with his conclusion that the battle for the US is about racism, the battle for the US is the same as the business of the US: it is about money.

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