EMAIL PAGE ONE
COLUMN NINETY-FOUR, JULY 1, 2003
(Copyright © 2003 The Blacklisted Journalist)
ABOUT MARIANNE FAITHFUL
Subject: good one
Date: Sat, 31 May 2003 18:14:10 EDT
Marianne Faithful blusters her way through Bob Dylan's "Gotta Serve Somebody" like a drunk aunt who stole the mike from the wedding singer, Holland gamely tickles his ivories along. ##
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ABOUT GARTH HUDSON
Subject: Garth Hudson
Date: Sat, 31 May 2003 18:06:35 EDT
Last I hear about this guy he was going bankrupt for the fourth time and had lost his farm....
At the Top o' the Senator
in Toronto on Tuesday
Keyboardist Garth Hudson shuffled into the Top o' the Senator in Toronto on his unsteady gait for a six-night residency with nothing to prove. He's been a kind and generous sideman to many more famous than him, including Grammy-Award winning vocalist Norah Jones.
But his Tuesday show was not so much a performance, as an extended and overly indulgent boogie-woogie/Tin Pan Alley jam that lurched from piano to synthesizer to accordion like a pickup truck with intermittent brakes. Hudson managed to keep it on the road, but just barely, with the help of his vocalist wife, Maud Hudson.
The 65-year-old veteran sideman found fame with the rock-and-roots legends The Band, spawned in Toronto as the Hawks under the iron fist of the iconoclastic Ronnie Hawkins. Only a block away from the Top o' the Senator is where Friar's Tavern once stood, where the Hawks first gunned the amps on a restless Bob Dylan in 1965, a meeting that would shake up the stodgy folk world.
Hawkins is a taskmaster famous for horsewhipping his members into utter submission. Had he seen Hudson on Tuesday, the Hawk might have been tempted to lay an Arkansas ass-kicking on his former prot?g?, such was his disdain for discipline and showmanship. It was an ugly display, mitigated only by Hudson's lovable, curmudgeonly banter, but even that got tiresome after the first hour.
The first of Hudson's two sets began in Tom Waits fashion, with Hudson pounding out a succession of cabaret-troubadour flourishes on the grand piano, improvising at will with no sense of direction or timing. Hudson has always parked on the fringes of the avant-garde as a performer, but a little respect for the audience would have been in order.
Hudson's drawl, picked up over decades as a resident of Woodstock, N.Y., hides a vicious wit, hamming up a segment of God Bless America by adding "and God Bless Canada, too," before uttering, "I ought to send this to Nashville. The writers down there will take it further." The only identifiable song from start to finish was
My Old Kentucky Home, making it clear that Hudson has no need for set lists.
It wasn't long before Hudson resembled an oddball uncle in front of his adoring, yet exceedingly patient, family at Christmas. The 50 fans politely chuckled and applauded as he muffed chords and timing for cheap laughs. I would have expected a little more for the $20 cover than the autistic haze Hudson could pull off in his rec room any night of the week.
Order was brought to the table in the second set as Maud Hudson joined her husband on stage. Wrapped in a pair of earthy shawls and perched in a wheelchair due to back trouble, Maud struck the stoic figure of a Queen Victoria of the Catskills. She had her own odd habits, such as a laptop requirement, presumably to follow her husband's sprawling jazz arrangements.
Maud, who was much more focused, captured the smouldering torch of Ann Ronell's 1932 Willow Weep for Me, bringing a desperately needed groove to guide the manic Hudson. He was not finished branching off into Gershwin medleys, synthesized oriental skirmishes or accordionized East European celebrations, but with much less indulgence, perhaps proving that, like all overly creative men, he needs a good wife around to keep him in line.
The Hudsons were eloquent jazz interpreters of Bob Dylan's Blind Willie McTell, and brought the temperature up with the country-gospel testimonial Stand by Me, before ending off with a sombre interpretation of the Band's hit The Weight.
But wading through Garth Hudson's myriad of tangents and eccentricities requires more patience than most audiences should be forced to give.
Garth Hudson plays the Top o' the Senator in Toronto until Sunday. ##
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ABOUT PHIL OCHS
Date: Sat, 31 May 2003 18:50:30 EDT
Never saw him sing live but I was at a protest rally in 69 or 70 (with Darlene) and there was Phil and Allen Ginsberg. We walked right beside 'em.....Where was Peter? Shtupping Luminous? Incidentally Darlene hated Och's music. She called him "The Bitcher"..Turn that bitcher off....I must admit...the guy had one complaint after another.
"Ah, these clean, quick, short-attention-span wars! They never produce any good music, and they always make me miss Phil Ochs. During the 1960s the concept of 'protest music' and 'protest singers' arose and was usually applied to singers like Bob Dylan. But for purists, the only real protest singer was Ochs," charlies
writes. "Suprisingly, 27 years after his suicide-by-hanging he has a number of shrine web sites, retrospective concerts including one coming up April 17, and while he only made 7 albums during his life, thru the magic of recuts, concert tapes, and songs not pressed, there are now 21 albums available in a variety of formats. "Mostly he protested the Vietnam War and racism. Unlike Bob Dylan, Ochs actually participated in many demonstrations, including the awful times in Chicago in 1968. His political involvement limited his career and air play, but assured him of sales of about 50,000 per album among purists and activists. His concert banter was as good as his music. At one of his first concerts, immediately after the U.S. 'police action' to take over the Dominican Republic in 1965, he remarked that the U.S. did these things occasionally, '...killing a few people here and there. Mostly there. Not very many here.' There is something vaguely disquieting, though, about the use of his haunting 'When I'm Gone' for promoting a real estate agency (about 1/3 down the page, in the Paul Wellstone reference)." ##
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Subject: Re: [AGALIST] COLUMN NINETY-TWO
Date: Sun, 8 Jun 2003 00:40:44 EDT
Howz it going? I am looking forward to reading some of the new stuff. I see you have my favorite in this month. I was skimming a bit and came upon this:
Half an hour later, the plumber---I never asked his name---was naked, except for
A Jewish plumber? A religious one no less.....
You Da man
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ABOUT DUMB DUMBYA
Subject: Re: pretty good
Date: Sat, 14 Jun 2003 14:16:48 EDT
In a message dated 6/14/2003 9:33:46 AM Central Standard Time, email@example.com writes:
in the u.s. only redneck dummies like you are gonna believe him....
hahahahahaaa! I love it. Watch him get reelected. The Dems are going to implode from the left. They never fucking learn. It's going to be another McGovern like fiasco and Dubya will sneak right back in for a second term...hahahahahaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa! ##
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