My new “Think Again” column is called “Something is Happening and You Don’t Know What it is, Do You, Ms. Dowd?” and it’s here. Guess who and what it is about.
My Daily Beast column was called “Obama’s next budget deal cave in” and that’s here.
I will be speaking on April 27 on “Kabuki Democracy” at Town Hall in Seattle, to make up for the gig that was cancelled in January, due to snow. More info here. (Also, Katrina and I will be on a panel on Obama’s first year on Saturday morning, April 30, at the LA Times Festival of Books, which is at USC this year. I believe the panel begins at 10:30 am.)
I apparently discuss the book here, on the radio.
Oh and all honor to David Byrne, conqueror of “Doctor Atheist von Gay, The French Celebrity Abortionist.’”
I was lucky enough to be in Rose Hall last Friday night to see Eric Clapton join Wynton Marsalis and the Jazz@Lincoln Center Orchestra for a once (actually three times) in a lifetime opportunity. Joined by Taj Mahal, who did a short solo set and then came back at the end, they picked songs from what Wynton said were over 2,000 that Eric had compiled as possibilities : The setlist went as follows:
Ice Cream (Howard Johnson / Robert King / Billy Moll)
Forty-Four (Chester Burnett)
Joe Turner’s Blues (W.C. Handy)
The Last Time (Bill Ewing / Sara Martin)
Careless Love (W.C. Handy / Martha E. Koenig / Spencer Williams)
Kidman Blues (Big Maceo Merriweather)
Layla (Eric Clapton / Jim Gordon)
Joliet Bound (Kansas Joe McCoy / Memphis Minnie McCoy)
Just A Closer Walk With Thee (Traditional)
Corrine Corrina (Bo Chatman / Mitchell Parish / J. Mayo Williams) – encore
It was much more of a jazz show than a rock or even a blues show. Everybody including Eric wore suits and ties. Everybody sat down quietly for the entire performance, both onstage and in the audience. Eric looked thrilled to be there, but truth be told, more than a bit intimidated. There was no rocking out, not even any breaking out. But there was virtuosity a- plenty, as well as reverence in abundance for music that deserves it, but does not necessarily benefit from it. I wouldn’t have missed it and the night before, at the gala at the at Rose Theater in Frederick
P. Rose Hall, they say they raised $3.6 million dollars for Jazz at Lincoln Center’s performance, education and broadcast events. And hey, there will be a DVD, more evidence of what a fine fellow Eric has turned out to be. For more, visit Jazz at Lincoln Center.
Speaking of fine fellows, I guess this would a good time to mention Wynton Marsalis will launch a two-year performance and lecture series on April 28, with an appearance at Sanders Theatre. I’m doing this even though I recently gave a talk at Harvard, and not too many people thought that was worth getting all excited about. Then again, I’m willing to bet Eric Clapton has no interest in doing much of anything with me either Wynton will be lecturing on a variety of topics, they tell me, “to illuminate the relationship between American music and the American identity and he’ll be bringing his band on occasion. It’s really more than those Harvard punks deserve. The first one will be April 28 is titled “Music as Metaphor” and will feature Ali Jackson (drums), Dan Nimmer (piano), Walter Blanding Jr. (tenor sax), Carlos Henriquez (bass), James Chirillo (guitar and banjo) and Mark O’Connor (violin). Tickets are here.