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Guess I’m Dumb

14 Jun

Last night I was privileged enough to be invited to see Brian Wilson perform Gershwin songs.  What this meant in Brian Wilson’s world was that I was privileged enough to see Brian Wilson perform a slew of Beach Boys songs (most notably God Only Knows and Caroline, No) and a handful of Gershwin songs which sounded precisely like Beach Boys songs.  Don’t take that as a criticism.  It was stunning and I still have the harmonies of “Rhapsody in Blue” in my head.

As luck would have it, I’ve already done a post on the Beach Boys – one of their lesser known songs, but one of my favorites and hopefully now one of yours.  I’m still not sure if I will be able (or want to) stick to my premise of not repeating artists and Brian Wilson is certainly someone who deserves more space.  But be that as it may, for the time being I am staying the course.

And for this specific post with this specific song, I can give you something just as good.  You know I mean business when I say something is equal to Brian Wilson in any context.

Let’s go back to 1964.  It was the eve of a tour and Brian Wilson had a nervous breakdown.  He decided he couldn’t take the stress of touring and decided to stay home and concentrate on writing and producing.  A super talented (and handsome!) session musician was selected to take his place.  And so, for a short time, Glen Campbell became a Beach Boy.

As a thank you for stepping in so quickly,  Brian gave Glen one of the songs which he had written for the Beach Boys’ next album.  In doing so Brian gave us all a huge gift.  It is hands-down the best Beach Boys song never recorded:   “Guess I’m Dumb” by the impressive (and handsome!) Glen Campbell.

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It’s All Too Beautiful

13 Feb

Here’s how my mind works:  it was really hot earlier, crazy hot, and I was flipping through heat songs in my head.  As I was doing so, I got tired and decided to rest.  And then I thought, maybe Small Faces “Lazy Sunday” would be a good call.

But then, because I am hoping not to repeat artists (although I haven’t yet committed to that), I thought, “Well, if I’m going to do Small Faces, I’d rather share ‘Itchykoo Park,’ since I love that song more.”

And so, without further ado, “Itchykoo Park.”  Don’t just download the song here.  Also watch the video.  Priceless.

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Adrift

12 Feb

Today, still far away from New York, I had “The Sea” by Morcheeba in my head.  And just now, as I was writing this, I discovered that they’re playing tonight in NYC at Irving Plaza.  Weird.

Not the sea I saw today, but the sea I see everyday in my mind.

If you have a seashell in your house, put it up to your ear.  I think you’ll hear this.

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A Night at the Opera

15 Jan

I saw Tosca at the Met last night.  Let me clarify:  I saw Tosca from 4th row center seats at the Met last night.  It was that controversial Luc Bondy staging that apparently tore the opera community to pieces last year.  I’m guessing it is only controversial to the most traditional of opera enthusiasts.  I don’t understand why people would be outraged that the sets were pared down and the situations more modern.

Munich also staged this version and here’s a trailer from their production.  Tosca is sometimes dismissed as being too melodramatic and boy does this clip embrace that.   A telenovela for the upper crust!

This doesn’t do it justice.  See it if you’re able; it’s wonderful.  And here’s Tosca’s greatest hit for your downloading pleasure.  It really is one of the most beautiful arias ever.

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