Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Once I Got Past the Weird Visual....

I don't sit up to watch the Grammys anymore. Not only does it run on after my bedtime, it's a true statement before the phrase that begins with 'after...' but music is a young person's game.

Someone, probably a different young person, forgot to tell that to Sir Paul McCartney who collected, I have been told, his 1,287the Grammy Award Sunday night for an album of songs your mother should know, though that's not on the record, Kisses on the Bottom.

This is my favorite song from that album (an album, completist that I am I bought and listened to twice. My fault, Sir Paul, not yours) and it has a lot to do with how I feel about Natalie Portman and my ability to forgive the strain in His Lordship's voice because while I, too, believe in Yesterday, it's been a long time since then and the wear is evident.

A lot of rock and roll people who made the music I grew up listening to have made albums like Kisses on the Bottom. I concede I cannot imagine Springsteen ever doing one of these, or Kings of Leon or Porcelain Raft but that's because I think some of us remember better than others that rock and roll started out as the music your parents love to hate. And now we're grandparents.

Rod Stewart makes these records all the time-I buy none of them as there's just so many American Songbook albums I need to own and somehow, none of the material he's done since walking away from Mercury has excited me in anyway. And we both know of whom I think when someone says Excitable Boy.

I would submit the best of these albums was a done a lifetime ago by Harry Nilsson at the peak of his pop music career, to the abject bewilderment of his audience, the consternation of his record company and the despair of his management. The artist didn't care. He recruited Gordon Jenkins, then in his 80's I think, to arrange all the music and devoted hundreds of hours to recording it.

The album, A Little Touch of Schmilsson in the Night went plywood in Indiana, as they say. I suspect Harry did it so the good citizens would have enough light to watch the return to glory of their college basketball team. It's been a hard day's knight.
-bill kenny            

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