Monday, July 09, 2007

Around the Horn

Useless statistic for the day: today is one of only two days on the American calendar where no major sports league has a game scheduled. (The other is Wednesday- the days before and after the baseball All-star game) A good day to crow about the hometown Red Sox, 10 games ahead of the next comer in the standings, early favorites for another trip to the World Series, even with their two best hitters not hitting and their #2 pitcher on the DL. I know, famous last words.

Anyway, batting cleanup on the interweb:

Mwanji reports on still more squabbles on the jazzosphere. TIG asks about postmodern jazz. I'll try to get back to this one... (BTW, I don't talk up, or read, The Improvising Guitarist enough. Always a keeper.) And Taylor Ho Bynum revels in an aesthetic fistfight.

From the Grey Lady, Murakawi on jazz and his novels, and the Public Editor on Iraq coverage. Both must reading for very different reasons.

Matana Roberts on Woman as Artist, Artist as Woman.

Ethan Iverson with an exhaustive look at Tom Baker as Dr. Who and Buffy. I grew up on Tom Baker- I was the fourth Doctor for Halloween when I was seven or so. Not to be outdone, his wife Sarah parses the feminine in male devotional poetry (and Kanye) and John Cage's rules. I still need to get Sarah's new book.

One addition to the "shining lights" portion of the linksroll- Yogahope, a non-profit based here in Boston that offers free classes to individuals living in homeless and battered women's shelters. Sue, who is the director of the program, is a Baptiste friend, as are many of the teachers there. (I may try to teach or assist with them in the fall) It is a wonderful, ground-up organization, (currently in a fundraising drive, hint hint) doing phenomenal work.

Finally, the other big talk of the weekend was, of course, Live Earth. I'm all for the cause (duh), and it reminded me of a few practical things I should be doing to reduce my wasteful ways, so if it did that times several million, I'd call it a success. Even if the nicest thing I can say about the music is "wildly uneven". High point for me, oddly enough, John Mayer's press conference. See 3:55. When does cynicism win? His set wasn't bad either. I didn't see a whole lot of it- like the Police, didn't love 'em, loved Kanye West's set, though his star turn with the Police at the end was, er, silly. My brother liked Genisis, but he has a real soft spot for even the "Invisible Touch" Genesis. Other thoughts/highlights/links? One disquieting thought I had- look at just about evey prime time act at every venue- Crowded House, Bon Jovi, Madonna, The Police, even Roger Waters dug up from the grave. Every one at least twenty years into their careers, and most at least ten years past their prime. That doesn't bode well for the music industry. I vaguely remember Live Aid way back when, and one of the striking things was how many (fairly) very current, newly established bands were featured- the Eurythmics, U2, a young Madonna, and a lot I'm forgetting. Where were the likes of them this weekend? Mayer, Kelly (yuk, I can't believe I'm saying this) Clarkson, The Killers, maybe, but I'm not sold, even on my man-crush Mayer. (Don't tell me Fall Out Boy and Shakira, sheesh...) Wasn't somebody willing to take a chance on Arcade Fire, or Esoteric, or some other cool band I don't know yet? That doesn't bode well. Well, at least we had Spinal Tap.


Mwanji Ezana said...

Don't tell me you don't like Shakira! Seriously...

pat said...


You read me wrong- I don't care for her, except maybe to look at. A grudging respect for her producers, perhaps, but that's about it. My point was to highlight the huge gap in talent and, to use a sports term, "upside", between the performers at Live Aid and those two weeks ago.