On a Lighter Note…

Billboard’s Highest Paid Musicians of 2020: The Top Ten


From Failures Come Pop Successes

(via Culture Sonar) by Mark Daponte

One of the more bizarre sayings (and something parents of an infant shouldn’t have to say to the nanny) is “Don’t throw the baby out with the bathwater.”  This advice, meaning don’t throw away something good in the course of throwing out something bad, was heeded by a number of rock stars who found gems amongst musical projects they had thrown out.

The most noteworthy salvage job was Pete Townshend’s unfinished sci-fi rock opera film called Lifehouse which started as a story written around several songs.  Pete recalled: “The essence of the storyline was a kind of futuristic scene.  It’s a fantasy set at a time when rock ’n’ roll didn’t exist.  The world was completely collapsing and the only experience that anybody ever had was through test tubes. In a way, they lived as if they were on television. Everything was programmed.  The enemies were people who gave us entertainment intravenously and the heroes were savages who’d kept rock ‘n’ roll as a primitive force and had gone to live with it in the woods.  The story was about these two sides coming together and having a brief battle.”

Read more: From Failures Come Pop Successes – CultureSonar

Are You Relivin’ the Years?: How Steely Dan Became a Cult Favorite for Millennials

Even as younger generations seem to be at war with baby boomer ideals, there is one relic of the ’70s they can get behind: the soft-rock sounds of Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. How did a band known for its love of jazz and songs populated with down-on-their-luck characters become popular all over again?

(via The Ringer) by Derek Robertson

To look at American society over the past decade—from its memes, to its cultural criticism, to even its electoral politics—one might surmise the nation is consumed by a bitter and Manichean generational struggle, where no quarter is given and none taken over the power baby boomers wield as they cling to institutional power.

Maybe so. But there are notable exceptions, and perhaps the most notable comes from the medium through which the boomers shaped America’s cultural identity for decades: classic rock. Steely Dan, the jazz-rock combo whose musical and lyrical checkpoints include those most boomer-ish of pursuits such as cool jazz, hot guitar licks, tiki drinks, and expensive cocaine, have become an object of millennial obsession, spawning viral tweetsmash-ups, and even a custom run of streetwear emblazoned with their album art. John Mulaney and Nick Kroll wrote a bit based on Steely Dan for their hit Broadway show Oh, Hello. David Crosby, a fellow Boomer icon who’s become a Twitter favorite in his own right, earned blog press with a new Dan-inspired (and cowritten) tune. The list goes on…

Read more: How Steely Dan Became a Cult Favorite for Millennials – The Ringer

Al Franken’s Gene Simmons Story

Al Franken describes his delightful encounter with Gene Simmons at the racquetball club.

Lyric of the Weak: Daft Punk–“Around the World”


Songs You May Have Missed #702

Don McLean: “Mountains O’Mourne” (1973)

From Playin’ Favorites, his collection of folk and rock ‘n roll covers from 1973.

McLean’s gentle, affecting rendition of “Mountains O’Mourne” actually reached #2 on the Irish singles chart.

Its lyric is in the form of a letter from an emigrant laborer in fashionable late nineteenth-century London to his love back home in County Dublin.

Its tone is both whimsical and sad, as the narrator’s heart is clearly more in the natural beauties of his homeland than his stylish but artificial surroundings.

Nobody does melancholy like the Irish.

Oh, Mary, this London’s a wonderful sight
With people here working by day and by night
They don’t sow potatoes nor barley nor wheat
But there’s gangs of them diggin’ for gold in the street
At least when I asked them, that’s what I was told
So I just took a hand at this diggin’ for gold
But for all that I’ve found there, I might as well be
In the place where the dark Mourne sweeps down to the sea

I believe that when writin’ a wish you expressed
As to how the fine ladies of London were dressed
But if you’ll believe me, when asked to a ball
They don’t wear no tops to their dresses at all
Oh, I’ve seen them myself and you could not in truth
Tell if they were bound for a ball or a bath
Don’t be startin’ them fashions now, Mary McRee,
In the place where the dark Mourne sweeps down to the sea

There’s beautiful girls here, oh, never you mind
Beautiful shapes Nature never designed
Lovely complexions of roses and cream
But let me remark with regard to the same
That if at those roses you venture to sip
The colors might all come away on your lip
So I’ll wait for the wild rose that’s waitin’ for me
In the place where the dark Mourne sweeps down to the sea

You remember young Denny McClaren, of course
Well, he’s over here with the rest of the force
I saw him one day as he stood on the strand
Stopped all the traffic with a wave of his hand
As we were talking of days that are gone
The whole town of London stood there to look on
But for all his great powers, he’s wishful like me
To be back where the dark Mourne sweeps down to the sea

See also: Songs You May Have Missed #399 | Every Moment Has A Song (edcyphers.com)

See also: Songs You May Have Missed #69 | Every Moment Has A Song (edcyphers.com)

On a Lighter Note…

Video of the Week: Harpo Marx Plays Serious

See also: Video of the Week: Chico Marx Plays Beer Barrel Polka | Every Moment Has A Song (edcyphers.com)

Video of the Week: Chico Marx Plays Beer Barrel Polka

See also: Video of the Week: Harpo Marx Plays Serious | Every Moment Has A Song (edcyphers.com)

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