The Beatles Get Worst to First Treatment

Note first, Bill Wyman wrote this.

He’s a rock critic, not the Rolling Stones bassist. But does that matter?

I immediately check out the end and find Good Morning in last place. Geez. I like that tune, not in a rock sense, but in a music and attitude sense, it’s pretty powerful. So, I disagree.

And then it gets worse and better and worse, and there’s not reason to think about the ranking. This is an internet click bait thing, Wyman is a pretty decent critic, and does a good job of navigating through the ranks.

Which are totally wrong. Discuss.

A Bob Lefsetz Anecdote about Gregg Allman

I’ve quoted Bob Lefsetz’s newsletter before. He’s a former music industry guy who, in his later years writes about a range of topics in an energetic and provocative way. Provocative mostly because he states his opinions directly. You can read and subscribe to his stuff here. In a post this week he wrote a history of the Allman Brothers and Gregg, and his first personal encounter with Gregg. I quote:


My favorite cut on the “I’m No Angel” album, there’s a moment, after the break, when Gregg Allman reaches down deep and at the top of his lungs screams…ANYTHING GOES! It’s at 3:20in the song if you wanna check it out, and it’s moments like these that are personal, that keep you going, putting one foot in front of the other, so when we were hanging out before the show…

Yes, I ain’t got no money, but I’m rich on personality, and that has allowed me to meet all my heroes, get e-mail from them, it thrills me, and about an hour before they took the stage at the Greek I was introduced to Gregg and I had to ask him, about that emotive explosion.

Now you’ve got to understand, they’re not like you and me.

First and foremost, he was wearing his boots, the original American rockers never got over the Beatles. And he’s towering above me, and he leans down to my ear, his long hair almost falling on my shoulder, and he starts whispering, telling a story, sotto voce, like we’re the only two people in the universe, like he’s gonna reveal a deep dark secret.

“I can’t hit that note every night. But there are certain evenings, when I’m sitting on the piano bench, and I reach over to hit a note and my left nut gets caught under my leg and I yell ANYTHING GOES!”

I swear to god, just like that, that’s about an exact quote.

And he backs off, stands straight, but gives me a poker face, and I’m not sure if he’s making fun of me, pulling my leg, putting me down, or initiating me into the ways of the road, making me an honorary insider, but one thing’s for sure, he was still COOL!

I don’t know. You be the judge. I remember this album, and it seemed Gregg modernized and wrapped in frou frou. Not terrible, his was a great voice, but this was not music from our roots.

But if Gregg explained this moment to Bob this way, it’s very swell, no matter if it is actually true. A fine ad lib. Check it out:


Jens Lekman, What’s That Perfume You Wear?

Jens has a new elpee out. My first time through I was disappointed. Seemed a little pro forma Euro disco.

But in fact, after a few listens, there are some other great songs here beside Evening Prayer.

I think this is the single. There is a real video. Secretly Canadian is promoting this. Good for them.

Rolling Stone’s Top 40 Punk Albums of All Time is Alt Fact!

When it comes to pissing matches and irreconcilable pluralism, no one does it better than Rolling Stone magazine.

They decided to make a list of the 40 best punk rock albums of all time. But, they limited each band to one elpee.  While I can see the reason for the limitation, I think having decided upon it, they should have realized that calling it the Top 40 Punk Albums of All Time was a falsehood.

Also, should compilation records qualify? Singles Going Steady was almost contemporaneous, sort of, but the Bikini Kill singles album came out way later. Terminal Tower was kind of Pere Ubu’s Kinks Kronikles, but does that make it chartworthy?

Might not be a bad idea for us to play around with our own Top 10s, with as many elpees from any band as you feel is warranted in, in the comments. Think I’ll invite Dave Marsh to contribute. I’m sure he’s got a Bob Seger record in mind.

So here it is. Sharpen your knives. Have fun.

While reading, listen to this, ponder (and read fast).



The Inaugural Theme Song

The President Elect has selected his theme song for the big day, an old chestnut first made famous by Frank Sinatra, whose daughter Nancy thinks would not have supported Donald Trump.”Just remember the first line of the song,” Nancy Sinatra tweeted on Wednesday (Jan. 18) in response to a fan’s question about whether the family was okay with the Trumps dancing to the song at Friday night’s (Jan. 20) Liberty Ball. “And now, the end is near.”

Here it is:

Obit: Prince Rogers Nelson (1958-2016)

Details are still spilling in and vague, but the iconic artist known as Prince has passed away at age 57.

To say this is shocking does not do the story justice, but Prince belongs up there with Bob Dylan, Neil Young, Joni Mitchell, Stevie Wonder, The Beatles, and the Stones in my view as a brilliant artist who had vision and who dared us to join him on his musical/artistic/spiritual journey.

As in, Prince could probably have just redone his brilliant Purple Rain soundtrack/album over and over in variations of funky rock’n’soul over the past 30 years, but he didn’t. Rather Prince challenged and reinvented himself over and over and though the results might not have been as tuneful or accessible as Purple Rain, the results were those of an artist and performer who would not be compromised, and that is the essence of art in my view.

Since I don’t know much more at this point, not sure what else can be said? I was looking for a YouTube of Little Red Corvette, my favorite song by the artist which features great and clever lyrics, a fantastic melody, and a great production, but I could not find one.

So, off to the ether with an equally wonderful tune, Purple Rain.

Cannot believe you are gone Prince. As usual, earth will miss the void you left.


Lucinda Williams, Dust

I knew Lucinda Williams had a new album coming out, but I guess it’s already in stores (as if there were stores).

Bob Lefsetz wrote a glowing piece about the song Dust, which he found on Spotify in a recommended playlist. It’s a typical Williams rant of woe (inspirational lyric “Even your thoughts are dust”), and she does these darkly and with a sonic charge on all her albums since Essence, maybe, and while it’s hard for me to get fired up by them any more (even though I’m sure this is about the death of her father, a great poet, who died last year), Lefsetz is right that the two guitar parts are gorgeous and compelling, and the song is incantatory.

Plus, the drumming is fantastic and so important.

The guitarists are the great Bill Frissell and a guy named Eric Leisz, who has played in Clapton’s band. Here’s the song:

Nice, right?

Lefsetz’s glowing piece doesn’t stay glowing, because he discovered that if he wanted to hear the rest of the album he would have to buy a CD, and who does that (apart from Moyer)?

And he’s right. No album on Spotify. I subscribe to Google Music, and the album isn’t there either. This seems so backward!

But I wonder if Lefsetz gets the position of artists like Williams (and Iris Dement, too, who has a new album out only available as CD or downloaded files–for the same price). They have toured long and hard and in support of deep and solid bodies of work. Their audience is old, like me, and the chance of them having a big airplay hit that racks up Spotify plays are pretty small.

The business is in transition, and it kind of makes sense to me for artists like this to hold onto the old model, not stream right away, and see if they can make a go getting the physical media fetishists to pay real cash for their CDs.

They’ll have plenty of time to collect the tiny residuals checks from the streaming services later.