… but I digress

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Cover Battle – “Something” February 14, 2014

 

In honor of the 50th anniversary of The Beatles coming to America (via The Ed Sullivan Show) I decided to do one of their classics. Also last Sunday I saw part of a special on CBS celebrating the anniversary and this one really spoke to me.

 

This song has been covered, by, like, a billion talented, well-known artists so it’s maddening to figure out who to include and who to ignore. There are plenty of covers I don’t like by people I do like. Seal, Ike & Tina Turner, and Bruce Springsteen, for example, but I’ve put in a couple others as well. (Whoever put up the Springsteen one set it over scenes from Cinderella, which I don’t get the connection at all.)

 

Something” is absolutely one of the most beautiful, romantic songs I’ve ever heard. The original is so simple and straightforward yet so powerful and passionate. The depth of feeling and love in this composition is amazing. It acknowledges that’s everything’s not all butterflies and roses, and there could be doubt, but it’s still hopeful and devoted. It’s bloody brilliant.

 

We get to hear the song done live by George Harrison and Eric Clapton. The enduring friendship of these two men is astonishing, given everything they’ve gone through together. The video itself is a fan made piece in honor of Mr. Harrison, so watching it and hearing him live is a bit melancholy. Although I love Paul McCartney, George Harrison was my favorite Beatle crush.

 

The Lauryn Hill performance on David Letterman – wow. I’m not going to say it’s better than the original, but the full backing band and the whole bluesy-rock interpretation is audacious. She took this classic timeless song and just put her own unique stamp on it. As the video fades out you can even hear the awe and admiration from Dave and his band leader, Paul Shaffer. And it’s richly deserved.

 

Another truly unique rendition comes from James Brown. George Harrison actually stated that this was his favorite version. It’s funky and rhythmic, and unlike any other take I’ve gone through. It’s so far out of the realm of how you think of this song that you really have to work hard to open yourself up to it. I’m trying, a bit, and the more I listen the more I can appreciate James’ vision of the song.

 

I don’t really think I’m feeling the studio version by Dame Shirley Bassey. Great singer, powerful voice, full orchestration in the background, but – meh. Now, conversely, I can actually enjoy the live version better. Could be because there seems to be less unnecessary fluff and gimmicks to it, maybe.

 

Frank Sinatra is awesome. He truly shows the versatility of the songwriting involved. It’s modern and it’s old-school classic romance, all at the same time. It’s universal. During the performance you can even see Frank getting lost in the beauty of the song

   


   

 

I’m gonna need a minute here … February 2, 2014

 

 

I’m watching part 1 of a performance of Waiting for Godot, written by Samuel Beckett, on YouTube. It’s directed by Beckett himself. I’ve never seen it performed nor have I ever read the play. I consider myself a fairly intelligent, literate individual, capable of comprehending literal and figurative meaning, subtext, explicit and implicit connotations. But good grief, my head is spinning right now.

 

After 45 minutes I’d already taken two breaks. I don’t know if it’s age or the internet that’s ruined my attention span. Or the play itself. (Probably some combo of all three). Not sure I could sit still for the actual theatre production, with Sir Patrick Stewart and Sir Ian McKellan, that’s currently on Broadway, or even a recreation of a much earlier staging with Steve Martin and Robin Williams in the principal roles.

 

Why did I suddenly decide to explore the play? Well – I saw a clip of Bill Murray on Letterman. He was dressed as Peter Pan and he was flying on wires over the stage and I just got the thought ‘I’d love to see Bill Murray and James Spader in Waiting for Godot‘ ????? Where the heck did that come from?

 

As I said I’ve never seen this on stage or even read it, but hey – a crazy idea from a fractured mind is a terrible thing to waste. Or something like that, so I went with it. I was going to find the text online and read that but then the idea of YouTube came to me and I found a few hits.

 

I’m writing this in the (self-imposed) intermission of parts one and two. I need a definite break before diving into the remaining hour.

 

This is definitely a play you need to see and read and ruminate on. There’s no real plot – just two guys waiting for some dude name “Godot”. A couple of things happen, but mostly nothing happens. Yet there’s a bunch of stuff going on. Kind of mind blowing and really thought-provoking. And – head spinning. I can just tell this is going to be in my head for a good while.

 

It’s probably better that I’m seeing this, for the first time, at home, at my own pace, with actors I don’t know. I’d probably be too enthralled by the lovely British of SirPatStew and Sir Ian. *swoon*


 

   

Waiting for Godot (Part 1)

Waiting for Godot (Part 2)

Waiting for Godot text (Guttenberg Project)

Beckett Directs Beckett

   

 

RIP: Jonathan Winters April 12, 2013

 

Legendary funny man Jonathan Winters passed away on Thursday night. The man was absolutely brilliant: hysterical and crazy and just amazingly original. He was a serious artist, and a very serious thinker who suffered from depression. He even used this in his comedy. He was much loved, and he will be greatly missed.

 

   

   

Comedian Jonathan Winters dies at 87

Jonathan Winters at wiki

Jonathan Winters at imdb

Jonathan Winters’ official site