Wednesday, July 16, 2008

Music and Comedy

Yeah, to me they go together like peanut butter and jelly, bacon and eggs, beer and nachos - you get my point (hopefully). First up, some comedy from the recently departed George Carlin. Agree or disagree with some, most, or all of his politics, to me he was one of the funniest people I can remember. Here is one I put up last year, but it is still so relevant that I feel compelled to put it up again. This is George on "The Planet is Fine." Now, I don't think anybody in their right mind is "in favor" of poluting our environment willy-nilly; we all have to breathe and have clean water to drink and uncontaminated soil to grow food. That is not what George is talking about here. He is satirizing the over-the-top, self-important environmentalists out there, hell-bent on trying to save the planet and dictate to the rest of us how we should live. I always use a varied version of what he says here when debating moonbats, telling them, "Let's be clear, here. We are not really interested in saving the planet, per se, but rather saving our own little place in it." When I hear all the nonsense about "preserving bio-diversity" I just have to laugh. This vain attempt to preserve the environment - to freeze it in time - is absurd and arrogant. The planet is always changing. That's what it does, and it will do it with or without our help. That's all. Here's George:

As for music, here's something a little different. I'm sure you're all familiar with the song "What a Fool Believes," a HUGE hit for the second incarnation of the Doobie Brothers from their 1978 album "Minute by Minute" with Michael McDonald as the new front man. My friend, Scott, refers to McDonald as "the voice that killed the Doobies." He has that effect on some people - most either love it or hate it. While I am partial to earlier Doobies stuff from the Tom Johnston era, I also like some of the stuff from the second era. I enjoy McDonald's unique vocal qualities, especially as a back-up singer - he can be heard backing other artists from Rickie Lee Jones ("Youngblood" on her 1979 self-titled debut album), Steely Dan (multiple albums and as a member of their "live band" when they briefly toured in the early 70's), to Little Feat, which is where, by the way, he first came to the attention of Patrick Simmons (co-lead singer and guitarist from the older incarnation of the Doobies) when they met for the first time in the studio to sing back-up on "Red Streamliner" on the 1977 Little Feat album "Time Loves a Hero." The rest, as they say, is history; but I digress.

What you may not know, though, is that "What a Fool Believes" was co-written by McDonald and Kenny Loggins, and was actually released earlier in 1978 on Loggins' "Nightwatch" LP (most known for a big Top 40 hit, a duet with Stevie Nicks entitled "Whenever I call You Friend"). McDonald rearranged the song a bit, and it was, as I stated above, a HUGE hit for the Doobies later that year. The following is Loggins and McDonald doing the song together in a 1992 Loggins concert that was released on his 1993 album "Outside: From the Redwoods." As the title suggests, it was an outdoor concert in a beautiful Redwood forest setting, perfectly complementing this version of the song which has a very laid back, soft jazz feel, quite different from that of the staccato syncopation that drove the Doobies version. There is lots of space and understatement from a terrific back-up band with a soulful alto saxophone solo towards the end, and Loggins' and McDonald's voices work very well together. I really like it, and I hope you do, too.

While we're at it, here's the Doobies, once again reunited with founding member, Tom Johnston, in a live recording of "Clear as the Driven Snow" (originally found on their 1973 album "The Captain and Me") from the 2004 DVD release "Live at Wolf Trap." This features Pat Simmons on lead vocals and acoustic guitar and a rousing electric guitar solo from Johnston, getting that clear, powerful sound and trademark sustain from his Mesa/Boogie amplifiers (first made famous by Carlos Santana on the "Abraxas" album). The guys are tight and sound awesome! It's hard to believe they're well into their 50's! Enjoy!



Anonymous Sulis said...

You write very well.

8:07 AM GMT+13  

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