These Days: Monday. February 27th, 2017
Album Release Party: My probable best album of the year so far (it is between it and Ryan Adams), Freedom Highway, had its release party at Sing Sing Correctional Facility where Rhiannon Giddens sang for the inmates (via the Carnegie Hall’s Musical Connections program). A great idea and a perfect album for the program. When one in every four black males could end up in prison (there has been a 20% drop in incarceration), freedom’s highway starts on the exit ramp from Sing Sing. “Better Get It Right The First Time” was inspired after Giddens was invited to a concert there in 2016 noted how many of the people in the audience were black.
Concerts: ZZ Top was announced before Luke Bryan, both performing this Wednesday. So I bought ZZ Top. But I know ZZ Top and while I actively dislike Luke Bryan, two years ago he was the single biggest country act and I wanted a closer look. SO after dithering for weeks, I pulled the trigger last night and bought a ticket for Luke.
The Oscars: I missed it of course. Still, nobody misses anything in 2017 so two thoughts 1- When did Justin Timberlake become the most annoying man on earth? Why sell that crappy song quite so hard. And talk about feigned excitement. 2 – While you may not know your movie history, the Academy sure does. So why on earth would they honor “La La Land” -a not bad movie at all but not close to the musicals of old. I’m not claiming “Shall We Dance” is vastly superior, that goes without saying, I’m saying “Love Finds Andy Hardy” is vastly superior. No joke and no exaggeration.
Oldies: I’ve been listening to Luke Bryan and try as I might, I can’t get past the production.
Newbies: Playing catch up from Friday’s release, Sick Scenes , Los Campesinos new release is such a disappointment. One of the best shows I’ve ever scene was Titus Andronicus opening for Los Campesinos at Bowery Ballroom in 2009. Neither band lived up to that performance in the long run (TA had The Monitor still to come, LC had already peaked). Even so, Grade: B-
Death: Popular actor Bill “Big Love” Paxton gone too soon at 61, the people’s judge on the first iteration of The People’s Court, Judge Wapner (immortalized in “Rain Man”), dead at 97.
Sports: So will the junior Yanks pull em out? Maybe next year.