Happy birthday, Paul! (with a few notes on style)

By |2014-07-01T10:18:27-07:00June 18, 2014|1966, 1970s, birthdays, books, Linda McCartney, McCartney family, Paul McCartney, Photos|

Where can I find that jacket? DEVIN McKINNEY  •  Today is Paul McCartney’s 72nd birthday. He shows no signs of slowing, save for the current illness which his spokespeople will identify only as “a virus” and which has forced him to cancel several dates on his world tour—a contingency unprecedented, as far as I know, in his career. (Surely it’s ironic in some way that he’s taking his rest in Tokyo, cite of his traumatic 1980 pot bust.) What can you say on Paul’s birthday but “Happy birthday”? What can you ask but the same question you’ve asked on every [...]

Beatles in Austin

By |2014-06-03T07:39:49-07:00June 3, 2014|Beatle-inspired, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Sgt. Pepper|

"We're coming to take you away -- FOREVER!" "Yoko, I've a feeling we're not in Manhattan anymore." NANCY CARR * My recent stroll down South Congress in Austin proved again that the Beatles are everywhere. I especially liked Sgt. Pepper's Day of the Dead Club Band at the Mi Casa folk art shop. The prize for sheer oddness goes to the St. Vincent De Paul thrift shop, which has John Lennon, rendered in chalk,  presiding over the linen department. And "smile even if you don't want to" strikes me as one of the mottoes Paul McCartney lives by. [...]

Imagine Beatles chocolates

By |2014-04-22T09:51:50-07:00April 22, 2014|Beatle-inspired, Beatles merch, Paul McCartney, Ram, The White Album, Uncategorized|

Linda, I need another chocolate stat!   NANCY CARR * Spring is finally here, and the holy people are out smelling the grass in the meadow. It’s the perfect time to have a Monkberry Moon Delight chocolate, courtesy of the folks at Imagine Chocolate. Appropriately, it has plenty of nuts. And it's part of the "Sir Paul" assortment, of course. If you're not feeling that much sweetness, you could try something from the White Album assortment. But you'll have to have them all pulled out after the Savoy Truffle. [Note: I found these by happenstance while looking up the lyrics [...]

The Fab Files, Pt. 2: Beatle Traces in the Mid-Atlantic Conference

By |2014-04-05T06:25:09-07:00April 5, 2014|1969, alternate history, Beatle-inspired, Beatles fiction, comedy, Fab Files, Paul Is Dead (PID), Paul McCartney|

“We’ve never seen the body.But we know he’s there.” DEVIN McKINNEY  •  Having written about the McCartney death rumor in Magic Circles, I knew that campus papers in the Middle West and Near East were the seedbed of the whole thing. For several weeks in the autumn of 1969, student editors, reviewers, lit majors, and budding gag-writers scrambled to co-opt, rip off, outdo, or otherwise find their place on the bandwagon begun by University of Michigan student Fred LaBour’s seminal satire-dissertation, “McCartney Dead? New Evidence Brought to Light,” printed in the Michigan Daily of October 14. Lately I’ve been researching [...]

“Chaos and Creation in the Backyard”: Or, music to confront a small-scale void by

By |2021-08-28T00:19:53-07:00February 18, 2014|Paul McCartney, solo|

NANCY CARR *  Never was an album more aptly named. Chaos and Creation in the Backyard finds McCartney facing the void and trying to wrest something positive from the encounter—but in a modest, domestically-focused way quite different from Lennon’s or Harrison’s more cosmic grapplings. Based on my experience, it may be just the thing if you’re staring down a garden-variety void yourself. This album has grown on me as few others have. On initial hearings I thought it was all right but nothing special, and now I rank it among my favorite McCartney albums. More than his other albums, I think the [...]

Paul McCartney: Screwed by life

By |2015-01-03T15:06:35-08:00December 17, 2013|McCartney: Man of the People, Paul McCartney|

Didn't want the bloody thing anyway MIKE GERBER • Paul McCartney was at last night's Nets-76ers game, and came this close to nabbing a t-shirt from one of those slingshots. So the next time you think, "Geez, some people have all the luck," remember, not all of it. Some people become world-famous billionaire geniuses, and others get a free t-shirt. PS—The shirt reads: "I sat near Paul McCartney and all I got was…" PPS—THINK OF THE ODDS! First, you have to go to the game, and Paul has to go to the game. Then, out of all the combinations of [...]

Cries and Whispers, Crashes and Flutters: 10 Favorite Beatles Musical Micro-Moments

By |2016-12-03T07:44:13-08:00November 27, 2013|1963, 1965, 1966, 1967, 1968, 1969, John Lennon, Lennon, McCartney, Paul McCartney, Ringo, Ringo Starr|

Recording "Real Love," 1994:Gut genius at work. DEVIN McKINNEY  •  We all know you can take the Beatles to the outer limit and upper extremity of significance—Best thing in universal history—and then narrow that unit to its subordinate but still-impressive absolutes:  Best miracle of the 20th century; best socio-cultural force of the 1960s; Best group of the “rock era.” Having accepted all of that, you can, and we all have, then go superlative in descending levels of specificity: Best album; best song; best vocal performance—John; best vocal performance—Paul; best bass playing; best guitar solo; best everything else. But have we [...]

McCartney and Thackeray: “Queenie Eye” and “Vanity Fair”

By |2014-12-30T21:29:35-08:00November 21, 2013|"New" album, Paul McCartney, Victorian literature|

NANCY CARR * I believe that—probably without being aware of the parallel himself—Paul McCartney has written, in “Queenie Eye,” a version of Thackeray’s prologue to his 1847 novel Vanity Fair. And I think this reveals some interesting things about how McCartney thinks about performing and his relationship with fame. You’ll remember that I’ve called McCartney the Dickens of rock. In general, I’m increasingly convinced that there are strong strains of Victorianism in his sensibility. I don’t mean the Puritanism that often gets associated with the Victorians, God knows, but the exuberant love of spectacle and the (often sentimental) affection for domesticity. On [...]

McCartney, “New,” and “generic genius”: rebutting Ben Greenman

By |2013-10-16T15:34:36-07:00October 15, 2013|Paul McCartney, Uncategorized|

The new McCartney album, "MEM." NANCY CARR • The "New" album is the occasion for Ben Greenman of The New Yorker to opine about Paul McCartney's "generic genius." That's very much "generic" as in "bland and undistinguished," not as in "genre-spanning." Greenman asserts that the album's title is "almost comically inaccurate," but appears unaware that his own critique recycles cliches about McCartney that are drastic oversimplifications when they're not flat-out false. Now, I haven't heard the whole album yet, so I'm not going to speak to Greenman's assessment of it. What I want to discuss are his sweeping statements about McCartney's [...]

Three Ways: Beatles write about landscapes

By |2013-09-09T08:15:53-07:00September 7, 2013|1967, George Harrison, John Lennon, Paul McCartney, Strawberry Fields|

NANCY CARR  *  In the late 60s the Beatles had three strong songwriters (and really, was that fair to other bands?), and thus three distinctive ways of treating the subjects they wrote about—landscapes, love, drugs, etc. (That's without getting into the significant variations within each songwriter's work). This time, I want to consider what Lennon, McCartney, and Harrison saw when they looked at landscapes. Lennon: "Strawberry Fields Forever" (released February 1967) The physical Strawberry Field, in Woolton Inspired by the grounds of the Strawberry Field children's home in Woolton, this song proved so powerful that Lennon's memorial in New York City's Central [...]

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