Global Beatles Day 2020

By |2020-06-24T07:30:04-07:00June 24, 2020|Uncategorized|

Tomorrow–June 25–is Global Beatles Day. Begun in 2009, this is a day "honoring and celebrating the phenomenon and ideals of the Beatles,  collectively and individually, for their gifts to the world including their promotion of peace and love, of truth and youth, and of the expansion of human consciousness." This specific day was chosen because it's the anniversary of the Beatles' performing "All You Need Is Love" live on the BBC program Our World, in 1967, using the first live satellite TV link. If we ever needed a time to promote peace, love, truth, youth, and the expansion of human consciousness, I'd [...]

Up Against It: BBC Radio Play from 1997

By |2019-05-16T12:18:28-07:00May 16, 2019|Uncategorized|

Being a fan of both The Beat Brothers and doomed playwright Joe Orton, Up Against It has always been interesting to me. Brian Epstein rejected it, of course he did; Orton's outlaw sexuality was a total wrong fit for the Beatle-buying public circa 1967—but the mixing of two such strong, really important flavors from Swinging London is fascinating. In 1997, BBC Radio 3 presented a 90-minute adaptation of Up Against It. The cast included such luminaries as Leo McKern and Fawlty Towers' Prunella Scales. Having stayed up until 2am listening, I can attest that the finished product is grippingly strange. The segments [...]

Critic Amanda Marcotte: Sgt. Pepper’s made rock “music for men”

By |2020-09-10T11:22:31-07:00June 1, 2017|Uncategorized|

Amanda Marcotte, critic and politics writer for Salon. Yeah, no surprise that the 50th anniversary of Sgt. Pepper's has everybody out there opining. But I find Amanda Marcotte's take in Salon worth calling out, if only to say that as someone who considers herself a feminist I'm thoroughly tired of this kind of facile, oversimplified finger-pointing. Her claim that Sgt. Pepper's "was the point when rock stopped being the music of girls and started being the music of men" is potentially defensible. Certainly the critical reception the album received made it clear that popular music could be considered serious art. If Marcotte stuck to analyzing what critics at the time said about the [...]

Critic Richard Goldstein’s 1967 pan of Sgt. Pepper

By |2017-05-22T13:23:45-07:00May 22, 2017|Uncategorized|

Richard Goldstein, back in the day. The Washington Post has published this intriguing piece about how a 22-year-old critic came to write a negative review of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band for the New York Times when the album was originally released. Richard Goldstein, the critic in question, has the complete review on his website: you can read it here. Although he was a young freelancer at the time, Goldstein was an important figure in 1960's music criticism. Robert Christgau says that Goldstein "invented rock criticism. He was the first rock critic. I mean, it turns out Paul Williams was publishing his [...]

Did Monoculture Make The Beatles?

By |2016-09-19T10:09:16-07:00September 18, 2016|Uncategorized|

December 21, 1967: John, Paul and Ringo at the party celebrating the BBC's transmission of "Magical Mystery Tour." This morning, as I was shaving -- a marvelously quick operation now that I have a beard -- "Breakfast With the Beatles" played a blast-from-the-past radio ad touting the then-new LPs Magical Mystery Tour and Wild Honey. (So we can date the spot to late December 1967/early 1968). I suddenly felt a very warm feeling, a pang of entirely comfortable longing. How nice it would be to hear something like this on contemporary radio, something that I understand fully, by artists I [...]

Starostin re-reviews Sgt. Pepper

By |2016-05-02T15:09:50-07:00May 2, 2016|Uncategorized|

Online reviewer George Starostin has just posted another review of Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, this time as part of his working down the list of the RateYourMusic site's "Top Albums of All Time" list. (Pepper is currently at #18). I love the whole review, but here are a couple of my favorite song-by-song comments: ʻLovely Ritaʼ - oh, that triumphant cry of "RITA!" leading into the piano solo break. It's one of McCartney's most Pythonesque numbers ever, a hilarious send-up of, let's say, "traditional British values", and the exuberant piano chords of the break are the climactic peak. Although the [...]

Hello Goodbye: The first crack?

By |2015-10-17T14:29:38-07:00October 17, 2015|Uncategorized|

Linda S. got in touch with the ol' Dullblog this morning with a thought too interesting not to share. "I was startled the first time I viewed the video piece for "Hello Goodbye," Linda wrote. "John seemed strangely subdued. I wasn't sure what I was sensing, only that it made me feel very uneasy. Still does. There is the coda, of course, the jokey dancing, where John seems more himself. Was it all in my head? Has anyone else ever been given pause by that video?" Actually, I've felt the same thing, but always assumed it was caused by John's many disparaging [...]

Flaming Lips’ “With a Little Help from My Fwends”: Sgt. Pepper’s through a 21st century blender

By |2014-11-03T10:09:08-08:00November 3, 2014|Uncategorized|

Watch up for that blue goo--it really gums up the songs. NANCY CARR * With a Little Help from My Fwends, the Sgt. Pepper’s tribute album from the Flaming Lips and a bunch of their buddies, is a frequently painful listening experience that is also revelatory. It’s just that much of what it reveals leads to depressing conclusions about how the 21st century is shaping up. This is a true cover album, in the sense that Booker T. and the MG’s McLemore Avenue is, and that Mojo magazine compilations of various people doing songs from Revolver or Yellow Submarine aren’t. [...]

1967 Brian Epstein Interview with Murray the K

By |2014-07-27T18:57:57-07:00July 27, 2014|Uncategorized|

http://youtu.be/_0kHAqfGnfQ Taking a moment on this lazy Sunday to pass along a mildly interesting recording I found last night: the infamous 1967 Brian Epstein interview with WOR-FM's Murray Kaufman ("Murray the K") from March 1967. Brian was in the US announcing the addition of Robert Stigwood (and Stigwood's acts The Cream and The Who) to his company NEMS. The coolest bit comes at the 15:00 mark, where Brian mentions turning "Sgt. Pepper" into a TV show. Is this what became "Magical Mystery Tour"? Could be -- according to this page, MMT began in April, shortly after this interview. Of course we know [...]

Go to Top