Music Consumption in the MP3 Era
Music Consumption in the MP3 Era

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Name: uao
Location: California

uao is also a contributor to Blogcritics.org, Rhapsody Radish. and FIQL.com.

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Feel free to dig through the Deep Freeze for more, but stuff dated before mid-March 2005 is still formative and impressionistic, and not really worth the effort.

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I grew up reading Robert Christgau, Village Voice, and Lester Bangs, Creem, Punk, various others.

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Note: the copyrighted audio material on this site is for listening only, and is not downloadable. It is provided as illustrations to the articles, and to interest people in the legal purchase of these artists' material. Any copyright holder who would like their material removed should contact me, and I'll remove it.

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Sunday, February 06, 2005
 

When I'm 64

Paul McCartney plays at Super Bowl XXXIX Feb. 6, 2005I was snoozing on the sofa, like I always do when the Super Bowl is on, and I had a dream in which I was chilling with Paul McCartney. McCartney looked like he did in his Wings days, and seemed like a nice enough guy, but he kept bursting into song every time I said something to him. He was being nice about it, but he wouldn't let me get a word in edgewise.

When I awoke, there he was onstage at the Super Bowl halftime in the middle of doing "Drive My Car"

McCartney took all kinds of crap from Beatles fans after the group broke up. His albums were routinely panned, people made fun of his wife, they compared him unfavorably to the sainted John Lennon. Through it all, McCartney managed to maintain his dignity and keep on working. He stayed with his wife until she left him on her deathbed, he took the Lennon comparisons with grace, and he even managed to record some interesting music.

His live shows are exercises in nostalgia, and the halftime set, which also included "Get Back", his solo hit "Live And Let Die", and a truncated "Hey Jude" was an almost perfect capsule summary of what to expect when he tours America this September. Arrangements that are faithful nearly to the note of the original recordings, some of his always awkward stage patter "Thank you Super Bowl!!" very little in the way of jamming. What matters is that he's Beatle Paul, the only living link to history (unless Ringo Starr's oldies revue counts), and the music is secondary to simply seeing him live at all. He turns 63 this summer, and won't be around forever.

Although McCartney hasn't had a top-10 hit in twenty years, his slow-selling albums of the 90's and 00's have represented a sort of creative renaissance for him. Freed from having to churn out a hit every year, or keep up with the times, he's gotten looser, more experimental, even jamming on his records.


Paul McCartney: Flaming Pie (1997)  Paul McCartney: Run Devil Run (1999) Paul McCartney: Driving Rain (2001)  Wings: Wings Greatest (1978)


None of those latter day discs will win him any converts, but old fans who tuned out after Wings might want to check out the strange, lengthy, quasi-mystical "Riding into Jaipur" from Driving Rain, his sweet singalong "The Song We Were Singing", from Flaming Pie, and (especially) his somber, sad, but resolute version of the Vipers' "No Other Baby" from Run Devil Run, his first release following Linda McCartney's death. Novices can start with his early 70's output, which wasn't as bad as the oldtimers say.

Hell, he put on a better show at the Super Bowl than either Janet Jackson or Aerosmith. Didn't even have to flash a tit.

Jam Tags, 1-5 stars:

Paul McCartney: No Other Baby *****
Paul McCartney: Riding Into Jaipur ****
Paul McCartney: The Song We Were Singing ****
 
Comments:
I agree.. He put on a great show! I really liked the whole setup they had. Great lighting effects for the stage.
 
George was always my favorite...
 
Nobody but Sir Paul McCartney could have gotten me to turn on whatever-station-that-was today. I thought he looked and sounded darn good for a man in his early 60s. Drive My Car was a nice surprise, certainly not one of his usual blasts from the past.

Afterward, I said something about Paul being our greatest living composer. My husband, John, said, "Well, of course. Who else is even in the running?" I could have said something about Jagger and Richards, maybe Townsend, but really, for sheer numbers of unforgettable, unstoppable great songs, a legacy of experimentation across genres and subgenres and technologies, and massive cultural impact, other rock legends just don't measure up to what Paul McCartney has accomplished in the last 40+ years. The only serious competition he had has been dead for nearly half of that time.

Lately I've been listening to Run Devil Run and Pipes of Peace, of all things. When John dubbed our commercial VHS tape of Give My Regards to Broad Street onto DVD recently, I couldn't stop singing along. Oh, yeah, he's done a lot of interesting things since Wings. Bless 'im!
 
Dude. One word. "Freedom."

Regretfully, that defines McCartney for me. I can't forgive that.
 
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