Saturday, March 3, 2012

News & Notes: Grammys to Glasgow

As this blog enters a second year, and the televised awards season has washed over us, it seems appropriate to do a little reflecting on recent events and past posts. Let's start with The Grammys, which, despite the politics and the pandering (why do so many TV stars and sports guys get to present music awards?) and the endless commercials, still manages to put on pretty good show. For a show that gives aural accolades, it does some stunning production numbers and eye-catching visuals. You gotta love the slide shows of waves and surfboards behind the Beach Boys songs and how pale the setup bands seemed when compared to the real thing. “Good Vibrations” still sounds like a work of genius and it was touching to see Brian back with the band after all these (50) years. (See April 14, 2011 post).
It was a night for us seniors and those even older who were still performing. What a contrast between the simple solo of Sir Paul McCartney and Tony Bennett’s duet with the complicated production numbers of Taylor Swift and Katy Perry. Speaking of Taylor, didn’t she look fetching in her shredded dress plucked from a Tobacco Road shack? She sure looked different in the Cover Girl Ad that followed later! And it was ironic to see Sir Elton John in a Pepsi spot and not on stage.
The tribute to Glenn Campbell (Blog Post Feb. 21) seemed just a year too late as he stumbled a bit and the set-up bands made me want to reach for the original versions by Glenn and John Hartford. It was still a grabber when the Rhinestone Cowboy sang,
“There’s a load of compromisin’ on the road to my horizon.” One heck of a long road.
One other line deserves mention from the humble Bonn Iver, winner of Best New Artist, when he said, “I want to thank all the nominees and the non-nominees.”

Between glitzy award shows we spent a lovely afternoon watching sets from the performers at a memorial tribute to the late financier Warren Helman. It was streamed from the Hardly Strictly Bluegrass site ( and was great fun to see as well hear favorites like Steve Earle. Gillian Welch and David Rawlings wore matching red and white satin, rhinestone studded outfits that seemed as sassy as their line from Miss Ohio, “I want to do right but not right now.”

The folk songs sounded especially good coming out of the vintage KLH 17 speakers that are still strong after all these years. (A tip of the hat to my daughter who insisted we needed a cable so she could listen to her computer collection when she is here visiting).

One other note from the concert (which may still be up and streaming along with the service for Warren) came from the Dry Branch Fire Squad who announced that they had CDs for sale in the back. However they only had 12 of the Dry Branch Fire Squad Thought Repellent Hats left. “The one man looking at them must be a Hoosier and we appreciate his support.”

Speaking of daughter Jessica, her latest parttime job is being a minder for two boys, ages nine and ten, who are playing the young Tommy in the Rock Musical, “Tommy” (Blog Post December 25) which the graduate students at the Royal Conservatoire in Glasgow are presenting. She still has a tee shirt from the Broadway production of “Tommy” we took her to when she was too young to appreciate anything but the music.

Finally, a RIP to Davey Jones (Blog Post January 22), who was on the Ed Sullivan Show the night the Beatles appeared and said it changed his life from stage to singing. I have been amazed at the media attention his passing received and wonder if it is because of his young age (a boomer plus one) or perhaps just all the fun he created on screen that we wish we had back.

1 comment:

  1. OK, call us seniors if you must, but we prefer boomers. Glad you made note of Brian back with the 'boys. You can not say enough about his creative influence on 20th and 21st Century music.

    Those KLH speakers look good and the pic brings back memories-as does your record rack.

    Oh, for those days of the playfulness characterized by Davey Jones and the Monkees.