Can't Get It Outta My Head








                A Baby Boomer


       Muses on The Music

Musically, It Was ‘Beautiful’

Does the Carole King Musical live up to its name? “Beautiful,” or at least the national touring version of the Broadway show, was for the most part beautiful, at least musically. Jeanne and I celebrated our 30th anniversary Sunday by taking in the musical, at the Overture Center in Madison. The musical, which debuted four years ago in San Francisco and has been staged on Broadway since 2014, is the story of the early career of the singer-songwriter King. But it more than that — it’s also the story of her ex-husband and songwriting partner, Gerry Goffin, and their friends and fellow songwriters, Barry Mann and Cynthia Weil. But it’s also the story of the music that foursome made, which seems

What I Really Don’t Like

I listen to a lot of music from the 1960s through the ’80s, and I like a lot of what I listen to, otherwise I wouldn’t. But there is plenty of music from that time period that I don’t like, and artists and groups that I won’t listen to — I switch SiriusXM channels when they come on, or fast-forward if I’m listening to an on-demand show. The prime offenders for me are Aerosmith, Queen and Rush. The first of those I was down on even before I (very, very briefly) saw Steven Tyler on whatever reality show he was on. And it’s not only that I don’t particularly like Tyler’s voice; the band’s music seems calculating and contrived, inauthentic. Queen I might have liked at first, but the histrionics

It Was 50 Years Ago Today …

Actually, it was 50 years ago last week, but why split hairs over a major cultural happening? I am here referring to the release (in the United States — it had come out a week earlier in the United Kingdom) of “Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band,” by the Beatles. You’d have to have been living in a cave the past half-century to know nothing about this album. Or to have been unaffected by the musical and cultural changes it sparked: it marked a revolution in studio recording techniques, popular songwriting and rock music, and was the semi-official opening of the “Summer of Love” cultural coming-out of 1967. I was 17-about-to-turn-18 at that time and, 50 years on, I try to put myself back i

Him An Angel?

Remember that Righteous Brothers song, “Rock and Roll Heaven”: “If there's a rock and roll heaven/Well you know they've got a hell of a band”? Well, if that’s the case, some would say they’ve now also got the drugs-and-alcohol-addled, his-life’s-a-soap-opera, rat-on-the-roadie train wreck. But maybe also an under-rated lyricist and vocalist. Gregg Allman checked outlast week, a life ended early likely, in some measure, because of self-indulgence and hard living. The deceased was, of course, one of the eponymous founders of the Allman Brothers Band, among the titans of 1970s rock, particularly of the Southern variety. It’s easy, particularly for me, to write him off as the aforementioned trai

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