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Archive for the ‘Thanksgiving’ Category

20000 SOUNDTRACK: LOU REED-“A Gift” (1976).

reedThis “soft rock” song features a slow guitar song with shuffle beat as Reed speaks his mind.

There’s not a lot to the lyric (most of which are repeated a few times), but they are either really funny or really obnoxious depending on your take:

I’m just a gift to the women of this world

Responsibility sits so hard on my shoulder
Like a good wine, I’m better as I grow older, and now –
I’m just a gift to the women of this world
It’s hard to settle for second best
After you’ve had me, you know that you’ve had the best
And now you know that– I’m just a gift to the women of this world.

This song comes from his 1975 album Coney Island Baby. Apparently, many of the album’s songs were inspired by and dedicated to Reed’s girlfriend and muse at the time, a trans woman named Rachel Humphreys.  Well done Lou!

[READ: September 10, 2019] “The Women of This World”

Dale and Nelson are married and are living in a house while its owners, a philosophy professor and his wife, are in Munich until next year.  They chose this place away from it all because Nelson is writing a book.

It’s Thanksgiving and they are hosting Nelson’s stepfather, Jerome, and Jerome’s new girlfriend Brenda.

They did not come on Thanksgiving day became Jerome’s ex-wife (Nelsons mother), Didi was coming on Thanksgiving and they’d rather not see each other.

Nelson loved Jerome and felt indebted to him for arriving when Nelson was five and saving him from the life that Didi has planned for him.  Nelson admired Jerome and they still got along very well. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACK: MASEGO-Tiny Desk Concert #870 (July 24, 2019).

Naturally when I saw this guy’s name, I assumed Massive Ego.  And he does seem to have a massive ego.  But he totally earns it.  And I’ll agree with this allusion:

Imagine for a moment if Cab Calloway, the Cotton Club’s exuberant bandleader, was reincarnated in the 21st Century. Now imagine if he was dropped in the middle of the music world of today. He’d no doubt be a tall and slender, silky-wearing goof ball with a moisturized braid-out, instruments inscribed as knuckle tattoos and a penchant for genre-blending. Yes, the spirit of Cab lives on in Masego, the singer, producer and multi-instrumentalist who surprised NPR’s Tiny Desk audience with a zany sense of showmanship and a demonstration of his own genre, TrapHouseJazz.

Masego gets five songs (and over 20 minutes…come on!), but the whole set is fun and flows really nicely with Masego acting as the great frontman he is.

First, before opening with the jazzy “Tadow,” Sego pulled off a quick, mini-prank by sending his friend, comedian Lorenzo Cromwell, up to the mic before stepping forth himself.

Cromwell wears a Michael Jackson glove and plays a fake saxophone (the credits state: comedic saxophone).  But Masego plays a proper saxophone, smooth and jazzy.  Then he starts singing and he has a nice smooth voice too.  Lex Nelson adds some nice call and response backing vocals.

Throughout the song, Maxwell Hunter plays some excellent grooving sliding five string bass.

This next song, “Nayhoo” he says “white people love it.”  It opens with some fantastic guitar work from Melanie Faye–she plays amazing guitar licks throughout the show.

Next, Sego tossed up 100 dollar bills with his face on it and beckoned the crowd into a call-and-response of “hi-di-hi-di-hi-di-ho.”  (There’s the Cab Calloway).

Up next, is “Queen Tings.”  He points to Jon Curry and says “You.  Show me that junk you showed me yesterday.”  Curry stars playing a nice beat.  Masego says, “Now gimme that shoulder” and Curry starts swaying his shoulder into it.

Midway through the song Masego plays a saxophone solo.  Then keyboardist Dan Foster picks up a saxophone and plays a solo as well.  Then the two play together and it sounds fantastic.

Before the fourth song he says, “there’s black people here, I got a song called ‘Black Love.'” Then he points to the keyboards.  “You.  Play some keys for me.  This is Dan Foster.  He has a flower tattoo.”  The melody of this sounds a lot like the melody for “Careless Whisper.”

All these instruments you see here are tattoos on my knuckles because I can play them all.  That’s why he wrote this song, “I Do Everything.”  This song is pretty good but the best part is when he introduces Melanie Fay and she plays a ripping guitar solo.  I wonder what else she’s been in.

Finally, to have a few more moments of fun after “I Do Everything” — and to prove he really does do everything — Sego juggled water bottles to the rhythm of the luscious music his band providing.

Masego is a lot of fun and I enjoyed his set a lot more than I expected to.

[READ: July 31, 2019] “Three Days”

I enjoyed the way this story started but hated the way it ended.  I hope it’s an excerpt, because there’s so much more that could be done with all of this and yet so much was wasted on a dead horse.

Beatrice is walking to her mother’s house from the bus station.  The house is actually a farm, but not a working farm. It is the only remaining farm in the area, since all the other farms sold out to to the box stores.

The farm is in disrepair.  I like this detail:

There are some withered Duane Reade Easter decorations–a hip-high bunny rabbit and a bright-green egg–wired to the front porch.  It is Thanksgiving.

Her parents weren’t farmers and as soon as they both agreed they didn’t want to farm, they gave up and got proper jobs.  Beatrice’s mother loved her work.  She was employed by “Mythologic Development, which turned myths and sometimes history into marketable packages used for making new products and ideas more digestible to the consumer public.”

I love this idea and want to learn more about it. Although the examples her mother gives about Atlantis and Montezuma are disappointing. (more…)

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SOUNDTRACKRHEOSTATICS-Le Colisee, Quebec City QC (November 30 1996).

This is the 16th night of the 24 date Canadian Tour opening for The Tragically Hip on their Trouble At The Henhouse Tour. This is the same show that the Double Live version of Saskatchewan was taken from. It is also the show Dave wrote about in On A Cold Road.

The site has recently added a DAT version of the show in conjunction with the existing fan-recorded version (which is quite different and an interesting perspective).

The show opens with a recording of (maybe) a French-language hockey game?  I love how the opening guitars of “Saskatchewan” just start during the cheering.

Obviously this is a great version if they chose it for their live album.

It segues right into “Fat” which opens a little funky.  It runs to about seven minutes with the rocking ending being fun as usual.  “Fat” segues into a quiet and beautiful “Digital Beach” with great guitars from Martin and then, surprisingly into “Claire.”  Martin’s solo sounds very different–single notes played in a unusual (for him) style.  I like the change and it works well for the song.

Dave asks: Whats the shouting?  more shouting.  Martin: WHAT!?  (on the other recording you can hear that some guy is shouting: “Bad. Time. To. Be. Poor.”  The guy then deliberately shouts: “We came here to see you guys.”  Shame it’s not acknowledged).

Dave says, “We’re gonna do four songs in one from our new album, The Blue Hysteria.  Thanks to the whistling bats over there.”

“Four Little Songs” is goofier than usual.  And then Don, ever the salesman says “this next song is the current single from our brand new record which you can buy here at the venue.”  When they do play “Bad Time to Be Poor,” (those guys must have gone nuts), it sounds great.

Dave: “Thanks very much.  Save a bit for The Tragically Hip.  I don’t want you to….”

On “Sweet Rich, Beautiful, Mine,” Martin hits a slight wrong note before the roaring midsection which is kind of shame, but he recovers fine and the rest of the song is spot on.

A lovely “Dope Fiends” ends the show with a cool acoustic guitar and drum middle.  Martin has some fun with the “dark side of the moon” ending growling it somewhat and Dave says “By Pink Floyd.  Side two.”  Just before Martin roars his awesome guitar ending.

The song and show ends with Martin playing and then singing “You Are Very Star.”  It’s a very sweet ending.

[READ: June 2018] Start Without Me

I really enjoyed this story.  It was funny and dark and played with all kinds of twisted family portraits.

As the book opens Adam wakes up in the house he grew up in.  But in the basement.
A young child sizes him up, “Who are you?”
“I’m Adam.  Uncle Adam.”
The boy shakes his head. “My uncle’s Travis.  He lives in Texas.”
“I’m your other uncle.”
“Why are you on the couch?”

Indeed, why is it?  It is Thanksgiving.  One of his siblings or their offspring is in his old room.  They weren’t sure if he would show.

Finally it dawns on the boy, “Are you the uncle who smashed the pinata?”
“Jesus, that’s what you remember?”  Did he actually owe apologies to the kids, too? (more…)

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