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These Days: Wednesday, April 5th, 2017

Death: Joe Harris, Illustrator behind Underdog and Trix Rabbit, Dies at 89. Two of the biggest animated heroes, both bumblers of a sort, and both beautifully drawn with Disneyish features but also a caricature, an agent for commercialism and also a don’t be deceived by appearances hero. Look, even your shoeshine boy can be a hero.

Opera: The US superstar soprano, Renee Fleming, has announced her retirement after a final run of Richard Strauss’ “Der Rosenkavalier,” a signature role for her. She is 58 years of age and looks 35, so quite why she feels the need to retire in the (late) prime of her career. In January of this year, her new album All Is full Of Light was released with four (count ‘em) Bjork covers… so let’s see how far she goes.

Oldies: I started the day on a Beach Boys kick, going to the endlessly inventive and clever and endlessly Endless Summer, and then doubled back to some favorite Hold Steady songs.

New Music: With Tremaine at # 3 in the Billboard album charts, I went back for another listen to the album I’d loved so much and didn’t love it nearly as much. All that take your panties off and roll on the bed stuff bores me to death and despite some gorgeous music, it drags after awhile (Grade: B)

The Trump Doctrine For Idiots: one part “It don’t make any difference to me what a man does for a living, you understand…” and one part “You and your friends should show me some respect. You should let me wet my beak a little” In other words, the US is the Mafia and feel free to do whatever you want as long as we get our cut.

Sports: Yankees win 5 – 0. CC Sabathia shut the Rays down for the old timers, Ronald Torreyes, replacing an injured Didi Gregious and batting 9th, provided the power.

Concerts: Craig Finn wasn’t bad, wasn’t great. His band was great and some of the songs were spectacular but the audience weren’t enthralled by the set which was mostly his last album, some of the one before that and a really real oldie. Craig seemed a little laid back and the show sagged her and there (Grade: B)

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