September has been a treasure trove of CDs releases. Here are a few I'm going to get from the library.
The Beatles – Live at the Hollywood Bowl
The latest Fab Four release is a remastered collection of songs taken from the three concerts they did at the Hollywood Bowl in 1964-65. The disc includes four, never released versions of their tunes.
Bon Iver – 22, A Million
My first Bumbershoot was in 1989. The highlight was Ry Cooder with David Lindley, Nick Lowe and Flaco Jimenez. It was in Key Arena with a very small crowd and I was in the center with my Bumbershoot buddy John, leaning on the stage barriers.
I’ve been to many, many Bumbershoots since, mostly attending all three days. The weather doesn’t always cooperate. I remember it raining so hard one afternoon that I signed up for a Seattle Times subscription just so I could get the free umbrella, which inverted on the first moderate gust of wind. Oh well.
Neil Young may not have been the best guitar player in super group Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young (that would be Stephen Stills) or the best singer (that would be David Crosby), but he was one of their best songwriters and has the solo success to prove it.
When I was growing up we had an old Ford station wagon that my mother would fill with kids in the summertime and drive to Biscay Pond for swimming lessons. The car had an 8 track player and we had three tapes, Glen Campbell - Gentle on My Mind, Paul McCartney - McCartney I (Cherries) and Herb Alpert – Fresh Cream, and an AM radio. Between the 8 tracks and the Top 40 sounds from WRKO in Boston we had music.
We’ve recently lost some very talented folks from the music industry.
David Bowie in January, the androgynous prince of Glam Rock who had us rocking out in the 70s and 80s
Merle Haggard in early April, the prince of hard-knock, Country & Western music who graced the airwaves over six decades
And Prince (Rogers Nelson), the androgynous prince of suggestive lyrics crossing nearly all genres of music
Music to My Ears: Bob Dylan
I saw the Boss with the E Street Band a couple of times in the 70s and then again a few years ago during Clarence Clemmons last tour with the band. No pyrotechnics, no multi-media show, no fluff, just straight-ahead, high energy, no apologies Rock ‘N’ Roll performed by one of the best songwriters of the latter 20th with a tight combo of the hardest working musicians in show business.
The Eagles were one of the most successful bands to come out of Southern California in the 70s. This was due, in no small amount, to the crossover sound for which they were known, great Pop hooks and nicely crafted harmonies in their Country Rock approach. Their influence can be heard today, more so in the songs of the Indy music scene and on Country radio than your standard Top 40 fare.
Led Zeppelin was a happy accident that gave us one of the most commercially and critically successful bands of the 20th century (in truth, initial reviews of Zeppelin’s albums were tepid at best, but the critics warmed eventually).