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My new Nation column is called “A New Documentary Profiles Liars for Hire,” and it’s about a film called Merchants of Doubt that I saw at the New York Film Festival.
I don’t have a lot to report this week. I saw The Fortress of Solitude at the Public this weekend, but I need to wait for opening night to tell you how much I enjoyed it. I did see a wonderful show by The Fab Faux at the Beacon that I previewed last week; it was the “John vs. Paul” show and while watching it, it reminded me, oddly I know, of the series my friend Abby Pogrebin is doing for The Forward about Jewish holidays. You can find that here. Why? Because a hall like the Beacon is kind of a temple and having it full of people enjoying, appreciating, and singing and dancing (though not too loudly and annoyingly) to the music of the Beatles played reverently and imaginatively (especially since the post-1966 stuff was never played live) is a damn near religious experience. It supplies the feeling, at least for this Jew, that both Abby and I cannot locate in a Yom Kippur service. They had a horn section and a string section for the Beacon, so I can’t guarantee they will be as great when you see them, but if you want to take my advice, here is their schedule.
What else? On the old fart Blu-ray/DVD/cd release front, we have:
YES—Songs From Tsongas contains two different concerts from YES’s 35th Anniversary Tour in 2004, the last tour to feature the classic line-up of Jon Anderson, Steve Howe, Chris Squire, Rick Wakeman and Alan White. In addition to the originally released Songs From Tsongas show, on Blu-ray and a three-CD set is packed with an additional 70 minutes of never-before-released highlights from Lugano. I still love YES, even though a lot of people think that is a sign of lameness. And indeed, much of the later stuff is lame, but the great stuff is all here and the guys don’t look so bad.
Genesis has a three-CD box set called R-KIVE. I have no idea why it’s called that. This is the first time I have tried to like Genesis, though I do like a lot of Peter Gabriel and some Phil Collins. This collection spans 42 years, and has 37 tracks in historical order the band's compiled, alongside selections from the solo careers of Tony Banks, Phil Collins, Peter Gabriel, Steve Hackett, and Mike Rutherford/Mike & The Mechanics. It made me order a copy of The Lamb Lies Down on Broadway, so I guess it did the trick. I also got a Blu-ray called Back to Front: Live in London from Peter Gabriel on June 24, 2014 at London’s O2 and features a performance of the So album. Another ZZ Top Blu-ray also turned up. This one, Live at Montreux 2013, reminds me a lot of the last one, so if you don’t have that, you might want this.