We’re having typical early January weather thus far in 2019: gray, gloomy, foggy, damp, and chilly. Some days I’m not sure if we should run the AC or heater. The cats prefer heat but they don’t have a vote.
I’m still warding off the lingering effects of the Broccolini cold. It was a whopper and I’m not referring to the candy. I wonder if that qualifies as a Malteser, which is the brand name for malted milk balls in the U.K. I should probably do some form of penance for that joke but I’ll get on with the post instead.
I realize that it was a bit creepy that I included a Captain & Tennile album cover in my Gone To The Dogs post earlier the same day that Daryl Dragon died. If you think I have premonitive powers, you’re barking up the wrong tree. I barely have first sight, let alone second sight.
I’ve been listening to a lot of Boz Scaggs lately. Boz deserves the sort of revival that his fellow “blue-eyed soul” singer Daryl Hall has gotten. Hall & Oates never recorded an album as good as 1976’s Silk Degrees, after all.
This week’s theme song, What Can I Say, is the opening track of the aforementioned album. What can I say? I like it.
Now that I given you silk degrees in lieu of the second degree, let’s jump to the break.
We begin our second act with another Boz Scaggs tune and a brief Adrastos-Zelig story.
Boz Scaggs and his music were a daily fact of life for me as a tadpole in the Bay Area. Boz came to San Francisco with the Steve Miller Band, went solo, stayed in the area, and made it big.
The only time I ever met Boz was in New Orleans at my first Jazz Fest. The exact date escapes me. I was wandering the Fairgrounds alone when I saw Boz seated on a blanket at the Fess Stage. I did a double take but decided to say hello. I introduced myself as a former San Franciscan so he invited me to sit a spell.
I don’t recall most of what was said but I was struck by what an unpretentious and nice guy he was. I asked if he planned to play Jazz Fest. He nodded and said, “All they have to do is ask.”
Fast forward to 1990. Dr. A and I saw Boz play the Gentilly Stage at Jazz Fest. He went on right before Stevie Ray Vaughan. I recall being surrounded by heavily tattooed biker types who were there to see Stevie Ray. They also liked Boz. I recall the bikers singing along with Lowdown. I think they liked it because the word dirty is in the song.
While we’re on the subject of Boz Scaggs and New Orleans, here’s his version of Steely Dan’s Pearl Of The Quarter:
I’ve only got one article to share this week but it’s a doozy.
How Mark Burnett Resurrected Donald Trump: Survivor is one of my guilty pleasures. I am, however, relieved that there’s no such thing as smell-o-vision when I sit on the sofa watching it.
In addition to backstabbing, deceit, and treachery, Survivor has something else in common with the Trump regime: creator Mark Burnett. Burnett took a washed up tabloid celebrity and gave him a new identity as the ultimate American tycoon. Burnett’s monster stole the 2016 election with the help of Russian intelligence and continues to torment the country. Much like Victor Frankenstein, Burnett has washed his hands of his creation but the stink lingers.
Patrick Radden Keefe has the details at the New Yorker.
Speaking of the New Yorker, this end of the year cover by Barry Blitt received many plaudits:
Is there anyone less like the erratically brilliant cokehead Sherlock Holmes than Bobby Three Sticks? It’s another Mittbot-Hendrix thing. Mueller is a methodical, thorough, and by the book investigator. Sherlock not only refused to read the book, he set it on fire just to torment Watson and Mrs. Bridges. I do, however, like the Trump-head pipe.
After you put that in your pipe and smoke it, we’ll move on to some regular features
The Weekly GV: Gore Vidal’s father Gene was a force of nature: West Pointer, pioneering pilot, co-founder of Pan Am, and FAA honcho under FDR. One of GV’s finest essays was about Gene Vidal, flying, and his father’s relationship with Amelia Earhart. Here’s one of many money quotes from that classic piece:
My father had a deep and lifelong contempt for politicians in general (“They tell lies,” he used to say with wonder, “even when they don’t have to”).
“On Flying,” 1985
That’s truer than ever in 2019.
Saturday GIF Horse: Tracey Ullman is one of the funniest women in the world. This week, we feature two GIFS from her current HBO show. First, Tracey as Dame Judy Dench whose status as “a national treasure” makes her a scofflaw.
Here’s Tracey as Angela Merkel having her lips glossed or some such shit:
Weekly Vintage Music Video: The world was full of surprises before the internet. I had no idea that Yes had reformed until I saw this video on MTV:
I raced out and bought the album. Once I recovered from being shocked by the poppier sound, I decided I liked the band’s new incarnation. It *is* a different band, which is why hardcore fans call them Yes West.
Let’s shut things down with some more music.
Saturday Classic: Our Boz Scaggs theme continues with one of his best records. Silk Degrees was also a monster hit, which one heard everywhere one went in 1976. That’s the dirty lowdown on this album.
That’s it for this week. The last word goes to (who else?) Boz Scaggs.