Wednesday, July 4, 2012

Weekend happenings

This past Saturday, I saw the Walkmen in concert at "the house that Prince built." Superb show. The Walkmen are among my favorite American bands, and they happen to have an interesting tie-in with The Beatles. In 2006, they put out a song-for-song re-creation of Harry Nilsson's 1974 album Pussy Cats, which was produced by John during his debaucherous but fertile "Lost Weekend." Ringo, a close friend of Nilsson's, contributed as well; he was one of the featured drummers. Furthermore, as stated on Wikipedia, "On the first night of recording, March 28 (1974), Paul McCartney popped into the studio unexpectedly. Bootleg recordings from this session were later released as the album A Toot and a Snore in ’74." All told, the original Pussy Cats is smeared with The Beatles' fingerprints. In fact, John co-wrote my favorite song on the album, "Mucho Mungo," which I described here as a "shimmering coral treat." If you go here, you'll find two versions of the song: one by Nilsson and one by John. Below is the Walkmen's faithful cover.
(If the video is removed, go here.)
. . .
Then on Sunday, I watched The Last Waltz, Martin Scorsese's renowned rock doc about The Band and their farewell concert, which took place on Thanksgiving Day, 1976. Included in the large number of special guests who performed at the show was Ringo. He played drums on Bob Dylan's "I Shall Be Released" (see below) and took part in a jam session that, frankly, didn't suit his style at all. Ringo wasn't the improvisational, soloing type. He was more of a minimalist who thrived in the controlled environment of a studio.
(If the video is removed, go here.)

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