Friday, February 6, 2009

Friday potpourri

Entertainment Weekly recently interviewed Paul.

The Washington Times' tribute to Buddy Holly.

An interview with Ralph Castelli of the tribute band Rain.

Random Youtube: perhaps my favorite Beatles song at the moment and perhaps their most sinister.

Wednesday, February 4, 2009

More thoughts on Paul at Coachella

Paul might find himself in a tricky spot with Coachella. If he was to focus his set around Electric Arguments , his well-regarded and most recent album, he could reasonably present himself as having operated within the spirit of the festival, i.e. playing artful and somewhat experimental music that's askew of the mainstream. I mean, what's more hipster than a 66 year-old Brit serving up varied electro-pop? At the same time, if I was an average Coachella-goer (and not, for the sake of argument, a Beatlemaniac), I could imagine thinking that if I'm going to see The Paul McCartney play, I might as well get a healthy fix of Beatles songs. Sure, Paul isn't as dynamic of a performer as he once was; and sure, those renditions of Fab Four classics that consist of a single Beatle flanked by nameless musicians never really come together as you'd hope. So what? It's Paul McCartney, one-fourth of pop's greatest-ever group. How about some "I Saw Her Standing There" or "Eleanor Rigby" or "Why Don't We Do It in the Road" just so you have the chance to partake of all that history and grandeur (even if it's in a qualified form). This desire would generally seem stronger and more widespread than any tendency to squirm about Paul's age or style or the apparent disconnect between his music and what the other Coachella acts have to offer (and I don't mean a disconnect in terms of the broad sweep of pop music history). Maybe Paul can put together a set list that accommodates both sides of what I've discussed here and avoids the hazard of a disjointed or uneven feel. It's a danger that lurks in the task of bringing together songs separated by multiple decades. Let's then conclude by saying, perhaps obviously, that Paul and the minds behind Coachella should want to figure out ways they can creatively assemble and manage this performance. After all, Paul is an icon, and he's almost certainly more "important" than anyone else slated for this mammoth festival.

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

The Beatles Anthology, disc 4

Random thoughts and bits of commentary:

- I imagine that Joan Didion (among others) would agree with George's sober assessment of the late '60s Haight-Ashbury scene: "horrible, spotty drop-out kids on drugs."

- The coda to "Hello Goodbye" really elevates that song.

- It's quite a pleasure to hear some of the audio from the "White Album" sessions, which includes snippets of band interaction and song takes that differ considerably from their final versions.

- Another reason to appreciate the superlative individual that Sir George Martin seems to be: his casual and unaffected use of the phrase "the bee's knees."

- Ringo rocks that Raiders ball cap.

- Ranking The Beatles' wives by their level of hotness in the "Something" video (I realize how shallow and immature this is):

1) Patti
2) Linda
3) Maureen
4) Yoko

- Ringo's poignant summation of The Beatles: "...four guys who really loved each other. It was pretty sensational."

- Finally, it's interesting that John's murder never directly comes up. And even the indirect references are barely there.

Sunday, February 1, 2009

Flashback to Super Bowl XXXIX

Macca at the halftime of Pats-Eagles.

Part 1:


(If the embedding is disabled, go here)

Part 2:


(Ditto - go here)