We’ve got a new “Think Again” column called “Who’s JailingJournalists?”here inwhich we wonder, aloud, why the United States has joined the alleged Axis of Evil in jailing journalists without charge.
And I did a piece for the Daily Beast on “The Death of the Neocons” here.
Alter-reviews: Eric on Madeleine Peyroux; Sal on George Harrison.
Eric: I saw Madeleine Peyroux with Bruce Cockburn at Town Hall lastweek. She is an odd, but beautiful bird. A bohemian style chanteuse whowas born with a voice that somehow combines Billie Holiday with PatsyCline, she has now become an interesting songwriter as well. Her new CD, Bare Bones (Rounder), attempts to move her into the territoryoccupied by Norah Jones with songs co-written by the likes of LarryKlein and Walter Becker, and wonderful lyrics like “I remember what mydaddy taught me ’bout how warm whiskey is in a cold ditch/And one morething about good and evil: you can’t tell which is which” She had afine acoustic band with her which sounded like no other band I know andsings in French too, which is always a plus. You can find all kinds ofstuff, including some pretty fun video of her here. Bruce Cockburn warmed her up, solo. He was his mystical, rather than rocket-launcherself. A matter of choice, I suppose, but it wouldn’t be mine.
Sal: Writing about the new George Harrison collection, Let It Roll:Songs By George Harrison, is akin, for pathetic critics like myself, toshooting fish in a barrel. Give a Beatle fanatic an opportunity to rant,in an age when he is still watching a Betamax version of Let It Be andlistening to the classic catalogue on CDs mastered when Nina Blackwoodwas the face of music television, is not a good idea.
“Give me love, give me peace on Earth.” HA!! Give me something otherthan some hastily slapped together collection of tunes, that everyBeatles fan has heard a thousand times and more and we got ourselves aballgame…except…this collection really works.
Let It Roll, by practical measures should have included the killer,stray single “Bangla-Desh,” and explained somewhere in the otherwisebrilliant and moving liner notes by Warren Zanes, the inclusion ofinferior live versions of “Something” and “While My Guitar GentlyWeeps.” Those complaints aside, Let It Roll is a joyous occasion. Itplays like the mix-tape that YOU would have made…except for theexclusion of “Bangla-Desh” and the inclusion of…well…see above.