Feb 082013

This 1970 performance of “Signed, Sealed, Delivered I’m Yours” by Stevie Wonder shocked me on a few levels. First, it never occurred to me that the song was released in 1970. I grew up with that song and all of Stevie’s big hits, but as a greatest hits/anthology-type Stevie Wonder fan I’ve never gotten to know the ins and outs of individual studio albums. I would have pegged that single for a couple of  years earlier, like 1967 or 1968, the era when Smokey Robinson & the Miracles were cranking out similarly sleek, driving productions like “Tears of a Clown.”

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Sep 042012

I had to spend 2 hours tonight sitting through a yearly league meeting for coaches in the youth soccer league in which I coach. As always, it was hell. As always, it was a 150-(mostly) man example of the fact that a good deal of kids don’t so much grow into adults rather than grow into oversized kids. One coach brought up the pettiest complaint of the night, saying that his club’s field does not have enough sideline room to allow the coaches to stay a minimum 6 feet from the playing field. He took the most pindick attitude I’ve witnessed in a good 35 years (“pindick” being a term I haven’t thought to utter in that same span), ending his whine by staring straight ahead, without blinking, and asking the league’s board of stressed-out volunteers, “So what are you gonna do?”

“Give you a wedgie,” I muttered from a few rows away, loud enough for my club’s fellow coaches to hear.

Yes, my newfound perspective on maturing is evident when I look in my own mirrors.

Thankfully I got home just in time to watch the one bit of the Democratic National Convention that I’d hoped to catch: Michelle Obama‘s speech. Without delving into my half-assed political views, I’ll simply say that Michelle blew me away. Has anyone ever spoke so freely about love from the podium of a party’s national convention? It was like Woodstock in there.

Musically, I got a charge out of hearing her walk out to Stevie Wonder‘s “Signed, Sealed, Delivered.” We’re a music blog. As we did for the Republicans, it’s important we keep a keen eye on the musical proceedings at the Democrats’ convention. What other musical moments did I miss? What’s coming in the next couple of days? I’m going to need your help, because there’s only so much of these pep rallies I can handle. Thanks.

Jun 132007

Real simple question: Are there great soul albums from the 1960s? We all take for granted that the art of album making didn’t really come into being until Rubber Soul et al, but beside James Brown’s Live at the Apollo, not a lot of great soul albums spring to mind if you discount hits collections and other live albums, such as Otis Redding’s excellent and fast-paced Live in Europe lp. I don’t own Aretha Franklin‘s Lady Soul, but that’s often a ’60s soul album that’s thrown into the mix when people list greatest albums of the ’60s. I know some of the songs from multiple hits collections of Aretha that I own. Is the album itself actually great and unified, or is it a typical collection of singles and cover tune filler?

Someone’s bound to suggest a Ray Charles album, and be my guest. I find his music boring in long stretches, but I’ll take your word for the genius of Ray Charles. Surely I am missing a truly great soul album that was recorded as an album in the 1960s! I think of soul album making beginning with Marvin Gaye‘s Let’s Get it On and Stevie Wonder‘s first mature works of 1970 and beyond. Surely I’m overlooking some earlier keepers. Make me feel stupid, Rock Town Hall!

Not really related…more of the fabulous Joe Tex after this jump! Continue reading »


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