A terrific Rock and Roll Hall of Fame class for this next year. The inductees were announced today.
First, there's the Clash. Who really, when we get down to it, were one of the ten greatest rock bands of all time. Perhaps not in albums sold. But in influence -- in vitality -- and in purpose, in merging leftist politics with the merging of styles including reggae and ska with punk. And in recording "Train in Vain," probably recorded one of the ten greatest singles of rock history. Is that hyperbole? Not to me it isn't.
Then, Elvis Costello. One of the most infuriating, inconsistent, but iconoclasting artists of the last 25 years, Costello's lyrics rank among the best ever brought to music. And in the Attractions, also inducted, he had one of the great organ players in Steve Nieve, with a great, loose sound, bringing a pop sense of melody to punk's abandon.
Then, the Police. Never one of my favorite acts, but they certainly sold a ton of records, and "So Lonely" and "Can't Stand Losing You" and songs from their first two records had a lot to offer.
Rounding out the class is AC/DC, who also brought melody to their Australian hard rock, and who always seemed to me the hard rock/heavy metal band that people who didn't like hard rock/heavy metal could still listen to. And then the Righteous Brothers -- I can't believe that they weren't already in the Hall, but they should have been there years ago, for "You Lost that Loving Feeling" alone. Not to mention "Soul and Inspiration," "Little Latin Lupe Lu," and ...
Anyway, a great line-up this year. Well done!
posted by Anon. 12:15 PM
Music film of the year
I've heard terrific advance word about Standing in the Shadows of Motown, the new documentary about the behind-the-scenes session musicians who created the Motown sound. It's coming out on November 15, and depending on how well the Democrats do today, we might be in need of some serious soul healing. Or just a pick-me-up.
posted by Anon. 9:36 AM
Get me out of this
I didn't see it, but apparently the Wednesday Late Show last week, where Dave's sole guest was his pal Warren Zevon, was moving and strange. Zevon played "Roland the Headless Thompson Gunner" and a couple other more recent tracks. Getting a copy from someone at work.
posted by Anon. 9:29 AM
Friday night, a good friend lost a three year struggle against cancer. She was 29 years old. She was lovely, warm, and in the last three years, inconceivably brave. Yesterday, I listened to Nick Drake. I listened to James Taylor's Greatest Hits, of all things. I listened to U2's "The Sweetest Thing."
But most of the day, I listened to nothing except the sounds of traffic and birds outside my windows, as I looked at old Polaroids.
posted by Anon. 8:30 AM