Pondering Onerous Opinions Personally, ‘07

Got retired in October and though I’ve yet to find a groove for myself, I’m just being and having fun looking and listening for that groove. Here’s a few I’ve heard.


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Eilen Jewell – Letters from Sinners and Strangers
Think a choice set list from Dylan’s radio Theme Hours and you’ve got Eilen’s sound.


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Emmylou Harris – Songbird
Three songs into this five disc set and I knew this was top notch PoOp material. I can still get little epiphanies from Dylan, Springsteen, etc, but Emmylou lets me to cry.


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Charles Mingus Sextet – Cornell 1964
Keith Jarrett, Gary Peacock, & Jack DeJohnette – My Foolish Heart
I haven’t had this much fun with one, let alone two jazz sets in God knows how many years!


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Neil Young – Massey Hall
4 words: Classic Neil. Long overdue.


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Maria Muldaur – Naughty, Bawdy, and Blue
Oh, if only Clapton and Raitt could learn to make blues records like Maria.


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Rachel Ries – Without A Bird
A haunting throwback to when the music mattered. Contemporary rusticity at its finest.


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Ani DiFranco – Canon
Ani looks back and the world gives thanks.


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Warren Zevon – Preludes
Though too many of the greats have gone ahead, I find myself missing Warren more than most.


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Michael Brecker – Pilgramage
Brecker’s final bow could have just as easily been entitled: Endurance.


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Ornette Coleman: Sound Grammar
As daring an elder as he was a lion in his youth.


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Lucinda Williams – West
Not her best but way, way better than most.


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Wilco – Sky Blue Sky
Think ‘American Beauty’ with bits of Bowie and the Beatles. Cool thinkin’, eh?


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Bruce Springsteen – Live In Dublin / Magic
Well, okay, but only because it’s Bruce. . . ‘Live. . .’ has a different but no less visceral exuberance than the U.S. shows. ‘Magic’ has some great songs ‘Girls In Their Summer Clothes’ among them, but the mix sucks.


MUST READ BOOK: The Greatest Story Ever Sold – Frank Rich
Read this then meet me on Main Street to take our country back!


Shows ‘07

Early on I had the sneakin’ suspicion ’07 was going to be the year of the great little show. For instance:

Eilen Jewell (Rosendale Café, 2/07 & Turning Point, 5/18) – Watching and listening to a star ascend.
Gandalf Murphy & The Slambovian Circus of Dreams (Rosendale Café, 3/07 & Turning Point, 5/12) - Packed to the rafters both nights with an ‘Alice In Space’ for the ages at Rosendale
Carrie Rodriguez (Rosendale Café, 3/21) – Too cute on the cusp of opening for Lucinda. Another star rises.
Ahmad Jamal Trio (Blue Note, 2/21) – In a word: Whoa!
Well, it’s not exactly the smallest of shows but. . . The Beatles – LOVE (Cirque de Souliel, The Mirage, Las Vegas) BLOTTER AT ITS BEST!!!
Roy Hargrove and His Big Band (Bardavon, 6/8) – Explosive swing and wiry arrangements as wiry as Roy.
Lucinda Williams (Radio City, 3/23) – Be it a broken heart or breaking balls, the lady’s a force of nature. Short show, though.
Jim Coyle (Howland Cultural Center, 5/19) Great songs for us working stiffs.
These ain’t a small ones either, but. . . Bruce & the E Streeters (Asbury Park, 9/24 & Albany, 11/15) – Poopers know I don’t cotton kindly these E Street extravaganzas, but ‘Candy’s Room / She’s The One’ was a ’78 rip both nights. As suspected, the ‘Magic’ songs are so much better live, though some of the E Street subtlety is getting sacrificed for sheer volume. Both encores, featuring ‘Thundercrack/BTR/Darlington County/ Dancing In The Dark/American Land’ kicked all ass! Get well, Danny.

Honorable Mention:

Eric Andersen – Blue Rain
Paul McCartney – Memory Almost Full
Ricki Lee Jones – Sermon on Exposition Boulevard
Eddie Vedder – Into The Wild
Ronnie Earl & The Broadcasters – Hope Radio (some heavily channeled SRV)
Levon Helm – Dirt Farmer



Zevon, Sly, ‘n Cohen


All The Fuss For What?

Patti Smith – Twelve
Neil Young – Chrome Dreams II


Goodbye & Good Riddance:

To ever seeing Dylan, Neil, and Van Morrison in concert again. I will not give these bastards another deflated, beaten, exorbitant penny that they’ll trade in for euros. If you haven’t got enough money by now without hawking Esplanades or charging a kidney and/or our first born, fuck you. If Springsteen can keep tickets under $100 (just barely w/surcharges) so can you greedy sons-of-bitches.


Teach Your Children:

MP3 sucks!