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A Guestbook for a Whale

January 8 2007 06:13 PM ET (Permalink) (Comment)

Gotta admit that the last couple of weeks were kind of odd, given several high-profile passings.

I caught part of James Brown's funeral on CNN, and there were a few moments that stood out. If you didn't see any of the footage from the funeral, Brown's casket was positioned in front of the stage, opened, and his band, plus a few semi-notable guests, performed behind him. Hammer got up on stage at one point and threw in a few of his signature moves. Reminded me of 1990.

Front of
Tue, Jan 2, 2007
Michael Jackson was there. They tried to woo him on stage to perform, but he declined. The highlight, however, was when he spoke. He used his real voice, not that helium-enhanced, "I wish I were still 12" voice that we usually hear. I was amazed - he sounded lucid and like an actual human being. [YouTube]

But I think the hands-down highlight was when his band played "Get Up". For most of Brown's career, he had that guy that came around behind him and threw a cape over him. During the last note of "Get Up", that guy pulled the cape out, flung it into the air, and laid it over Brown's body, one last time. I happened to see that piece live, and the surprise of it just nailed me. It just seemed like the perfect tribute, simultaneously uplifting yet bittersweet.

The Ford tributes were nice, but it just seemed like way too much. In particular, CNN interviewed a bunch of people waiting in line for the viewing at the Capitol, and it was odd to see a couple of 12-year-old kids being asked about why they were there. One kid made his best effort to sound like it was something he really wanted to see, though I suspect the real answer was: "My parents brought me." I guess what struck me: I can't imagine lining up for a viewing for a person I didn't personally know. Especially the concept of "Hey, Billy, let's go to Washington, DC, and check out the body of President Ford!"

Almost as odd as signing a guestbook for a whale.

Then again, Lenin's tomb is still open, eighty years later.

Clip for Today

Thought I might try adding something like this to each post as an experiment.

It's hard not to notice the general absence of females in alternative rock these days. And I suppose it's been true for the better part of a decade, save for occasional "hot bass chick". But in the early-to-mid 90s, there were a number of girl-fronted rock bands (Belly, Lush, Eve's Plum, Scheer, etc). I'm specifically referring to actual rock bands, but there seems to be an overall lack of women currently on alternative radio, which used to regularly spin songs by Tori Amos and Sarah McLachlan. I've got a longer rant about this, but I'll leave it there for now.

This was a 1992 single by a band called The Darling Buds. 99x had this in regular rotation in early 1993. I heard it a lot back then, and dug it, but haven't heard it on the radio since. I didn't realize there was a video for it until yesterday.

The Darling Buds - "Please Yourself"

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