The Trouble With Trump (And Everything Else)

The Trouble with Trump.

Here is my post on the debate for Billmoyers. com, "The GOP is MIA"

Here are my most recent Nation Columns:


1) Jazz@Lincoln Center piano celebration:

The season-opener for this year's schedule by the Jazz at Lincoln Center Orchestra with Wynton Marsalis was called "HANDFUL OF KEYS: A CENTURY OF JAZZ PIANO." The program ranged in age from Dick Hyman, who is a spry 89, and the amazing Joey Alexander who is now 13 but who has been amazing for four years already. Dan Nimmer, who is the regularly amazing pianist for the orchestra began the show and was followed by Helen Sung, Isaiah J. Thompson, Myra Melford, and Larry Willis, along with the above. there. It was an inventive program--Wynton's father, Ellis Marsalis is a pianist and a much beloved teacher in New Orleans and the son of a jazz pianist himself. The compositions, on the night I went were a lot of Monk, some Bill Evans, Wynton Kelly, McCoy Tyner and others. (No Duke, alas.) Old tunes, new arrangements, moments of transcendence. It was all there. Now that the Allman Brothers are no more, the Jazz@LC Orchestra may be the most dependable musical night there is. At least it is for me. The band is about to go on tour in California and there's lots more stuff going on. You can find it here. The next Rose Hall show is called "The Jazz Age: Untamed Elegance." See you there.

2) Preview: The TTB at the Beacon: The Allman Brothers Band is Dead (for the time begin). Long live the Tedeschi Trucks Band. If I had to pick the best rock guitarist working now, it'd be Derek Trucks. (Also if I had to pick the worst beard on any rock guitarist.) He and his wife Susan Tedeschi lead 12-piece band/circus, that like the ABB, plays music based in blues, but also rock, jazz and country, and they throw in some world music I can't always identify. This year they are doing six shows at the Beacon Theatre where they have been holding court since 2011. I think two of the shows have sold out so far, but you can catch them with openers Amy Ray (9/30), Dave Mason (10/4), and Jorma Kaukonen(10/5). The other nights it will be just TTB performing two full sets with no openers. Expect some "Mad Dogs and Englishmen" and also, if one is fortunate, some Sly.

Their most recent cd 'Let Me Get By' is their first post-ABB record, and you can pick it up if you can't see them on the road. Or watch them on
NPR's Tiny Desk Concerts or Clapton"s "Anyhow" Live in Studio

3) Preview: The New York Film Festival. It's also time for the 54th New York Film Festival. It begins September 30 and runs through October 16 at the Film Society of Lincoln Center. Most of the movies have been seen at smaller festivals (though not always in exactly the same form) and so it's possible to read up on them to see if you want to go before buying tickets. , arrives just in time to remind those of us who've forgotten that size and budget have

Of those I've seen so far, I' ve very much enjoyed Jim Jarmusch's Paterson, in which Adam Driver plays a New Jersey bus driver and poet who is simply a good, simple man living a good simple life. Its lack of plot makes an episode of Seinfeld feel like Godzilla but it leaves one with respect and admiration for the quiet heroism of everyday life. Jarmusch's movie about Iggy Pop and the Stooges, "Gimme Danger," which is saying quite something because I would never voluntarily put on a cd by either one. Betrand Tavernier is one of my favorite directors and so his 190 minute documentary "My Journey Through French Cinema," while a challenge, timewise was a real treat and very much worth the investment. The best film I've seen so far, however, was "Neruda" in which Gael Garcia Bernal plays the Communist poet on the run from hapless Chilean authorities in the late 1940s. That was, as the critics say, "a delight from start to finish," and if this film is to be believed, so was Neruda. You can find the whole schedule here

4) New David Bowie Box Set: Box set season is beginning and so far the big news is part II in the completist David Bowie dream. It's called "David Bowie: Who Can I Be Now? (1974-1976)" and is a follow-up to "David Bowie, Five Years, 1969 - 1973"

It's a12-CD box (or 13-LPs) and its big news is the inclusion of unreleased album from 1974 called The Gouster. It also includes Diamond Dogs, David Live (in original and 2005 mixes), Young Americans, and Station To Station (in original and 2010 mixes) as well as The Gouster, Live Nassau Coliseum '76, and a new compilation entitled Re:Call 2, which is a collection of single versions and non-album b-sides and two mixes of the previous released David Live (original and 2005) among many, many other goodies.

Most of it has been out before and in these mixes, though the Re:Call 2 cd has lots of stuff that was scattered all over. (Who already has the Australian single edit of "Diamond Dogs?") The Gouster, which hasn't was recorded at Sigma Sound, Philadelphia in 1974 and produced by Tony Visconti. What happened was that after the record was finished, Bowie went to New York to do some work with John Lennon, among others, and the result was Young Americans. The Gouster contains three previously unreleased mixes: "Right," "Can You Hear Me," and "Somebody Up There Likes Me." Tony Visconti oversaw the mastering

The cd version comes with an 128 page book with previously unpublished photos by photographers including Eric Stephen Jacobs, Tom Kelley, Geoff MacCormack, Terry O'Neill, Steve Schapiro, and many others as well as historical press reviews and technical notes about the albums from producers Tony Visconti and Harry Maslin. The cds are in original mini-vinyl covers, with the discs in gold rather than silver. It's wonderful, and Bowie fans may already have much of it, and it'll cost you, but it'll also make you happy.

5) More Old Fogey Releases:
Other potentially important releases for old fogies like yours truly include:

a) The "Totally Stripped" cd/dvd by the Stones includes a newly-revised version of the documentary that was originally made to coincide with the release of The Rolling Stones Stripped album released in November 1995. It tells the story of the two studio sessions and three live shows that made up the Stripped project. I have to say I kind of hate it. I just want to see the Stones play in small halls, especially acoustically. I don't want to hear them (and others talking about it over and over and over and saying the same damn thing.) The cd, which is a companion to the terrific "Stripped" cd, is quite good, though it loses focus when it goes electric and becomes just another live Stones cd. Still they were still a great live band in 1995 and it's more than worth having. Amazon is selling an expensive version that has what I want, which is dvds of three full shows, but I didn't get that one--having more Stones on DVD than I can handle already) and so I have mixed feelings about the single cd/dvd release.

b) Led Zeppelin, The Complete BBC Sessions: This collection builds on the original 1997 release and adds a third cd with eight previously unreleased performances. It includes the include the debut of a long-lost radio session with their only recorded performance of "Sunshine Woman." If you're like me you'll have to press "skip" on Stairway" which is just as annoying as ever, though perhaps less so than the "Does anyon remember laughter?" version. But the extended "Whole Lotta Love" is almost worth the whole package. Also included are two unreleased versions of both "Communication Breakdown" and "What Is And What Should Never Be." It's also got an excellent "Immigrant Song," which is my official song of the 2016 election.

c) Finally, you may have heard about four lads from Liverpool, back in the news with
The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years, which is currently on Hulu and in some theatres and will be out on Blu-ray and DVD, plus 2 Disc Special Edition on both formats from November 18th. Timed with it is a cleaned-up and expanded re-release of
The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl, a new album that captures the joyous exuberance of the band's three sold-out concerts at Los Angeles' Hollywood Bowl in 1964 and 1965. A companion to The Beatles: Eight Days A Week - The Touring Years,Academy Award®-winner Ron Howard's authorized and highly anticipated documentary feature film about the band's early career, The Beatles: Live At The Hollywood Bowl. I bought it 39 years ago when it first came out and it sounds just as great, though also much better, technically speaking, as it is directly sourced from the original three track tapes of the concerts and then, of course, remastered Abbey Road Studios, wth plus four previously unreleased recordings
You Can't Do That
I Want To Hold Your Hand
Everybody's Trying To Be My Baby
Baby's In Black

What's not to love?

I should also say that all three of these releases are nicely packaged, which is important in Old Fogeyville.

And finally, finally, Bruce's book is amazing, and while I'm still in the beginning, the parts about discovering the Beatles are beyond great. It's just crazy how he could also be such a great writer, but I promise you, he is.

ps: These came after I was done writing this, but Rounder has released a 2cd/dvd package of last year's "Dear Jerry" show, featuring lots of people doing Jerry compositions. The players are: Phil Lesh & Communion, Bob Weir, Bill Kreutzmann's Billy & the Kids, Mickey Hart, Eric Church, Jimmy Cliff, The Disco Biscuits, Peter Frampton, David Grisman, Jorma Kaukonen, Los Lobos, Buddy Miller, Moe., O.A.R., Grace Potter, Allen Toussaint, Trampled By Turtles, Widespread Panic, and Yonder Mountain String Band. Also, David Bromberg, who has put out nothing but great and near-great albums since his return from retirement has graced us with "The Blues, The Whole Blues and Nothing But the Blues." The cover design looks like the old-timey newspaper reminscent of John Lennon's "Some Time in New York City." Sad to say about John, but I'm pretty sure without even hearing this album that it's much better. It's from my friends at Red House.