Quantcast

Million Dollar Duet | The Nation

  •  
Eric Alterman

Eric Alterman

Well-chosen words on music, movies and politics, with the occasional special guest.

Million Dollar Duet

My new "Think Again" column is called "Mainstream Media to Conservatives: 'Thank You, Sir, May I Have Another?'" It's about right wing narratives being swallowed in re: Acorn, Climate Change, and now the Tea Party. That's here .

And my Nation column is about Bill Moyers' retirement, and that's here.

I saw "Million Dollar Quartet" on Broadway last week. It was nice, fun, harmless entertainment appropriate both for children and for Japanese tourists. It does not hew terribly close to the historical record of the now famous meeting between Elvis, Jerry Lee, Carl Perkins and Johnny Cash, but it strikes me as pretty true to each one's personality and all the actors pull off their parts with humor and charm. I kept thinking it would be hell on the people who really knew these people since what you are seeing is surface impressions of them that are transposed to private behavior, where obviously we are all quite different. One person to whom I would not recommend it, for instance, would be the daughter of one of the principles, despite the respectful portrayal of said father. I happened to send a note to someone who happened to be such a daughter that night, thinking myself ahead of the curve for being so, and guess what I got back? A quick email saying "Bruce sang 'Sea of Heartbreak' with me in Durham. Thought you'd want to know..." Boy, who won that one, huh? (Scroll down to April 16). Still I'm recommending the show, so long as you're going in with managed expectations. Tonight I'm taking the kid to "American Idiot" on Broadway and I'll try to have something to say about it tomorrow.

One thing I won't be seeing, darn that dream, is this weekend's first ever Rascals reunion. I got this in the mail a few minutes ago: "RASCALS TO REUNITE AT KRISTEN ANN CARR FUND BENEFIT.

"Hall Of Fame members The Rascals will perform with all four original members for the first time in forty years at the Kristen Ann Carr benefit this Saturday April 24th at Robert DeNiro's restaurant Tribeca Grill in downtown Manhattan. For Stevie Van Zandt, who along with his wife Maureen is being honored at the annual fundraiser, it's a lifelong dream come true and the culmination of thirty years of discussions."

I love the Rascals and this is surely a good cause, but with things being what they are around The Nation, I don't have the spare $2500. Maybe you do. There's info here http://sarcoma.com/ (The Kristen Ann Carr Fund was founded in 1993 by Bruce Springsteen's co-manager Barbara Carr and her husband, Dave Marsh, after Sarcoma claimed the life of their daughter, 21-year-old Kristen Ann Carr. Honoring the life of this extraordinary young woman, The Fund has established a comprehensive sarcoma laboratory at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center and provides sarcoma fellowships in both surgery and oncology at MSKCC and supports programs designed to help teenagers and young adults with cancer and other serious illnesses).

While I'm plugging good guy/old fart causes, I see that for their current tour, Carole King and James Taylor are selling seats onstage for their shows to benefit charities like the Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) and Alliance for the Wild Rockies. The tickets come with a bunch of extras and you can read all about it here www.ticketsforcharity.com. (I see Legacyrecordings.com has just released a two CD Essential Carole King compilation. The first side is her solo work, eighteen songs, (only four from Tapestry) and it includes something I got from Napster years ago, and had never seen before, which is a duet with JT on "Will You Love Me Tomorrow", "Some Kind of Wonderful", "Up on the Roof" and a second CD of the hits King wrote, mostly with her first husband, Gerry Goffin, for other people including the Drifters, the Everlys, the Righteous Brothers, the Monkees, Dustly Springfield, the Byrds and Billy Joel. I'd pretty much have to insist on it being a must have if all you have now is Tapestry. (If you don't have Tapestry, well, you'll have to get that too.)

Have you noticed that almost everyone is incompetent in their job lately? I feel like I spend 2/3 of my time doing stuff I shouldn't have to do if people did their job in the first place. Today's entry, in the "how hard is your job in the first place" sweepstakes is the email below from ABC World News with Diane Sawyer under the hed "Breaking News." Just what the hell is so important? Well as you can see from below, which includes the entire body of the email, absolutely nothing. Sheesh. And these neocon morons thought we could run Iraq...

"ABC World News with Diane Sawyer Breaking News from ABCNEWS.com:

Like ABCNews.com? Like Facebook? Check out our new integration here.

For more on this and other breaking news go to ABCNews.com:

World News with Diane Sawyer: watch weeknights on ABC. Connect with Diane:

On the go? Go to ABC News Mobile:

This week on Moyers:

The Internet has transformed business, politics, and culture - but will a corporate agenda kill freedom of the Web? With radio and television dominated by mega-corporations, more and more Americans have turned to the Internet for news - but a recent court ruling gives Big Telecom more control over broadband. Bill Moyers talks with FCC commissioner Michael Copps to discuss the future of 'net neutrality', the fight for more democratic media and the future of journalism in the digital age. And, as President Obama makes the case for strong financial reform, Bill Moyers sits down with veteran regulator William K. Black, who says Wall Street has already been breaking current rules.

The mail.

Name: Don Hynes

Hometown: Portland, OR

Hi Eric,

Your comments on CNN are spot on. What plagues me in this supposed "balanced" network and with the right side of the aisle in general is how little they really seem to care about anything.

There's a supersize helping of demagoguery with every Glenn Beck happy meal and many tearful rejoinders about "our country" in Congress as our governators happily endorse war and unlimited military spending while fighting to the teeth against helping their fellows get a break at the hospital when they need it most.

I'm not intending to stereotype here, because I do think Naomi Wolf has it right when she points to the Tea Party as evidence of a portion of the population waking up and not to be so easily mocked. But in listening to portentous conservatives like Bennett, Kristol, Palin et al, I really don't hear they give a rat's ass about anyone once you boil away the froth and that's an extremely troublesome message to our electorate.

I could go on but I put some thoughts together here under "Empire and Energy" that you might enjoy.

Name: Michael Green

Hometown: Las Vegas, NV

Has anyone noticed that the louder a news organization claims to be absolutely fair and balanced, the less fair and balanced it usually is? I don't think that Larry King having Bill Maher on a couple of times a year makes up for the conservatives and right-wingers constantly interviewed on CNN every day.

Name: T. O'Dell

Hometown: Port Angeles, WA

Hey now, I am Grateful for your continuing Dedication to the boys. I agree that the band as a whole was at their peak in the mid to late '70s (I went to the Springfield, MA show in spring '77 so I'll have to check out To Terapin thanks for the tip) but I can't help but think that Garcia's soloing reached new heights near the end. When I listen to "Victim" or "Crime" on Without a Net it makes me think: this is what Coltrane would do if he were a guitarist. All the more impressive for someone that taught himself how to play guitar again after a severe coma... He's Gone but will Not Fade Away.

Before commenting, please read our Community Guidelines.