These Days: Thursday, April 20th, 2017
New Music: Prince’s first posthumous release Deliverance, a six song collaboration with George Ian Boxill, an engineer and producer who had worked often with Prince, has been pulled everywhere. The EP was available on a website, the “Deliverance” song available on ITunes and Apple Music, and the EP meant to drop on Friday everywhere. Well, they’ve been pulled though I managed to get it before it was pulled and let me tell you, it ain’t bad. The title track is a great slow burner and “Sunrise Sunset” an odd amal;gram of pop and art with a terrific middle. “I Am” is a terrific funk workout reprised at the end, “Touch Me” a disappointment, and altogether as good if not better than anything he was releasing at his death. Grade: B+. The new Joe Grushecky single, “That’s What Makes Us Great” is anti-Trump rhetoric as bar band rebel rousing. Joe’s buddy Bruce Springsteen takes a verse,the selling point of course, and the song has its moments, “I never put my faith in a con man a crook” kinda says. It isn’t bad, it’s as good as anything Bruce has released solo in the 2010s, but it isn’t much more. It’s the chorus that sinks it. That and a sound so generic it could be anything. Grade: C+
Old Music: Speaking of comfort food, Simon And Garfunkel’s Greatest Hits, the one from 1972 I listen to for comfort. I was fourteen at the time but I consider 1972 the final year of my youth, soon after I was pushed into adulthood so when I listen to it it takes me back in a flash. It is not that it takes me back to a happy time, nostalgia is not really missing stuff that makes you happy but missing stuff that is no longer there. The album is terrific, a smart handpicked early hits album just post-Bridge. Thank Clive Davis, who insisted upon its release.
Concert: Speaking of which, I went to the Tribeca Film Festival’s premiere screening of Chris Perkel’s Clive Davis: The Soundtrack of Our Lives at Radio City Music Hall last night. An overlong infomercial but not terrible, anybody who knows Davis knows he is a monster of epic proportions and a bully -among many other things, of course. Some people manage people below them by screaming at them, that’s Davis. I’ve known others and some are good guys and some not so much, but they act monstrously. The concert that followed it was an hour plus of top tier oldies, Barry Manilow, Earth, Wind And Fire, Kenny G, Aretha Franklin, Dionne Warwick and Carly Simon. Jennifer Hudson did a fine Whitney Houston tribute. But the songs were essentially all songs Davis was involved with so… Kudos to Whoopi Goldberg for a fine job of MCing. Grade: C+
Television: The new Adam Sandler movie on Netflix, “Sandy Wexler,” about a Danny Rose like manager and poor Jennifer Hudson is more or less unwatchable, which, of course, makes it his best work in 20 years. Grade: C
More Television: O’Reilly for dummies: he wasn’t fired for sexually harassing women, he was fired because his sponsors pulled their commercials.
Sports: Yanks win, Mets win… That makes the Yanks for one playing .800 ball.
Death: Aaron Hernandez couldn’t get out of the hood and killed himself just the way he murdered others, dead at 27, Ruth Sulzberger Holmberg, publisher of the Chattanooga Times and yeah that Sulzberger, dead at 96, Clifton James, the Sheriff in Dukes Of Hazzard, dead at 96.
4-20: Hey New York, legalize it already.