My new 'Think Again column is called "Republicans Ignore the Evidence About Higher Taxes on the Wealthy," and it's here.
Alter-reviews: Peter Wolf, The Mavericks and WHN
So, Monday night I stopped by Hill Country Barbeque for some excellent guess-what and to listen to a bunch of radio old-timers reminisce about the good old days when New York had an AM country radio station, WHN, which it did between 1973 and 1987. I originally discovered the station looking for Mets games, but it turned out to be the best thing on if you were in a car and didn't have an FM radio. The panel, moderated by Ed Salamon, former WHN Program Director and author of the new book WHN: When New York Went Country was pretty good humored, and most of the audience was made up by former employees of the station, and everyone had a nice cozy feeling. One problem: Alan Colmes was on the stage, but none of the other people seemed to know him.
I had to leave early before the music started because hey, THE MAVERICKS are back together with their first album in seven years, and were playing an insanely crowded show at the Bowery Ballroom. They are really too popular for such a small hall, though not as popular as they should be, because well, okay, the music's great and fun, but Raul Malo has one of the greatest voices of any singer alive and most singers before that. I think he sounds a lot like Elvis. Others say Roy Orbison. The new album is called In Time, and what can one say, it's a Mavericks album. Act now.
The night before I went to City Winery to see Peter Wolf, for the first time since I saw J. Geils with Scott and Paul and the Palladium and we all smoked pot for the first time in 1975. (It's okay, my kid doesn't read this.) We actually didn't get too far with the pot, as we heard something about cops when we were in the bathroom and flushed it down the toilet. Anyway, they were among the greatest live bands ever and Peter Wolf remains a charming, energetic entertainer and storyteller. Sunday night he paid tribute to his roots which stretch from John Lee Hooker to Sonny Rollins to Merle Haggard. One of the world's great DJs, he is an awesome storyteller. One of them actually ended with Hooker watching Lassie and telling the teenage Wolf: "Man, that is one smart motherfucking dog." The band had nice chops and the solo material is first rate, even without Jagger, Haggard and Shelby Lynne, et al. The most recent one got a real workout. It's called Midnight Souvenirs.
So Reed told he wouldn't have anything this week owing to deadline pressure, and I didn't want anyone to feel they had come here for (next) to nothing, so in honor of Ted Cruz, I, too, made a bunch of lists. Mine's not of Harvard commies but a patriotic list of some of the things that make this country great; at least if you're me. I'm sure I forgot stuff, so don't yell at me. (They are not in any particular order.)