Tomorrow Never Knows: Saturday, December 29th, 2018
New Music: It dropped on December 23rd and somehow or the other, I completely missed it It being Bad Bunny’s eagerly anticipated debut album, X 100PRE. Talk about state of the art. It is more than an exclamation mark for a year that found him featured or starring on hits with Cardi B (the humongous “I Like IT”), Drake, the new superstars of Latin pop like Ozuna, J. Balvin (who blew him offstage at United Palace last March here). My own relationship with Latin pop comes from on the side aware of the biggest stars, to a Merengue fixation in the 90s, indifference to reggaetón in the early 00s, and then indifference to bachata in the early 10s. But the decision to see the MEGA summer blast with DJ Alex Sensation was a revelation (here) and I have listened to a great deal. But mostly singles, my top fifty albums of 2018 shows only two Latin pop albums, one of which is the genre blurring, mood and click track X 100PRE, which seems to mix and match everything the 24 year old King Of Latin Pop can get his hands on. Grade: A
Death: As an outsider, my take on “Laverne and Shirley” (and “Happy Days” come to that) was a mix of sitcom pleasure and precise exotica. I didn’t have the slightest idea where they were or what they were singing about: instead the working class girls seemed to be a form of post-feminism, in a mythic world called Milwaukee -a place I’d only heard of in a country song. But the sad sack goofiness, and tenacious last vestiges of the sixties meets the me-generation doin’ in our way gave it a true appeal outside of the world we come from. Laverne was performed by Penny Marshall. She died last week.
Sports: Is it too early to complain about everything to do with sports in New York City. I have never been to less games in a year since the early 90s. I used to attend dozens of Yankee games, and 10s of Knicks games. Plus at least two games a year for the Jets and the Giants. Who wants to pay $250 to see these lifeless turkeys flaying around? It took less time to rebuild West Berlin than it has taken to rebuild the Knicks. No, just no.
Dance Little Sister: Mick Jagger’s ballerina girlfriend, Melanie Hamrick, is taking a leave of absence from the American ballet to choreograph her first ballet to “You Can’t Always Get What You Want,” “Paint In Black,” and “She’s A Rainbow. Its US debut will be April 18th at Lincoln Center.
Concerts: So, it is now set: my first concert of 2018 will be New Power Generation at Sony Hall. The second? Ten days later, King Princess at Irving Plaza… this is the year I hope to sincerely cut back. Why? 1) financially and 2) energy. I would like to remain at no more than one a week whenever possible…
More Concerts: LA’s fine, and on January 13th there is a gigantic line-up for Clive davis Aretha Franklin Tribute at the Shrine Auditorium. The last time I saw Aretha in concert was at Radio City for Clive’s “The Soundtrack Of Our Lives” premiere in April 2017. I wrote (here): “The end of the evening was just two songs by Aretha Franklin, one of the greatest singers of all time, and she gave us a superb “(You Make Me Feel Like A) Natural Woman” with a shattering emotionally piercing power than belied the warning that she had an upper respiratory infection. The evening ended with “Freeway Of Love”.”. There is a great line up, but it won’t be comparable: ” Céline Dion, Patti LaBelle, Jennifer Hudson, John Legend, Kelly Clarkson, Alicia Keys, Janelle Monáe, SZA, Common, Alessia Cara, Yolanda Adams, Shirley Caesar, BeBe Winans, Brandi Carlile, Chloe X Halle, and H.E.R.”
Television: The new episode of “Black Mirror” has a change your own ending – well, that’s one way to keep the world happy. meanwhile, I can’t say I am thrilled by “The Little Drummer Girl” -the one with Diane Keaton was much better. The problem is the leads aren’t right. Michael Shannon is great but Alexander Skarsgård isn’t and Florence Pugh isn’t. I don’t expect softness but I do expect the leads to be easier to empathize with, look at Diane Keaton, she is a complete wreck and yet you care so much for her. Pugh is really difficult to root for but you have to root for her or the series becomes unlikable. Look at Shannon, essentially the least likable character in the entre (Grade: C+)
Impeachment: I was reading an Op Ed in NYT by Elizabeth Drew about the possibility of Trump being impeached in which she claimed ” The frivolous impeachment of President Bill Clinton helped to define it as a form of political revenge.” Yes and no -the actual act of adultery, despite the despicable #metoo ramifications of the most powerful man in the world hitting on an intern, I agree. And if Clinton had admitted his guilt instead of barefaced lying “I did not have sexual relations with that woman” spouted in complete indignation, I would agree even more. But leaving his young mistress out to dry and only admitting his guilt when his sperm was discovered on her dress is an act of a loathsome human being… is that impeachable? Monica is an unsung hero who had her life turned inside out and STILL NEVER RATTED HIM OUT.