FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail

Playlist

by DAVID VEST

Last Man Standing, by Jerry Lee Lewis (Artist First)

After bouncing around a handful of labels, and having its release date
postponed repeatedly, the latest Lewis comeback effort finally appears.
(Remember when the movie bio was supposed to resurrect the Killer’s career? Unfortunately, Dennis Quaid took all the sting out of the project by playing the most dangerous man in the history of rock as a rube and a yokel.) Like that movie, this album should have been doomed from the start, with its everybody-but-Bono parade of duet partners, most of whom had more to gain than Lewis by appearing on the CD. Fortunately, the whole thing is mostly redeemed by the fact that for once you can actually hear Lewis’ piano playing on one of his records. Believe me, he can still play. Always anunder-rated if careless singer, Lewis can also still hit the notes when he wants to. And it sounds like he wanted to here. What John Halverson brilliantly called “Jerry Lee’s basic no-goodness” has always been a big part of the attraction, and the Ferriday Fireball, even at 70-whatever, still knows how to embarrass himself with the best of them: singing “Old Glory” with Toby Keith may be the nadir of a career full of rock bottoms. But if he didn’t make you cringe one minute and sit up straight the next, he wouldn’t be the Killer, would he?

Antony and the Johnsons, by Antony and the Johnsons (Secretly Canadian)

The debut CD by one of the great new voices in American pop, featuring the anthemic “River of Sorrow” and other classics. Like most people who hadn’t been in the loop, I discovered Antony through his amazing performance of “If It Be Your Will,” in the film “Leonard Cohen: I’m Your Man.”


I am a Bird Now
, by Antony and the Johnsons (Secretly Canadian)

Never have guest vocals been more unnecessary than the drop-ins by Rufus Wainwright, Boy George, and Lou Reed on this band’s second CD. Not that the contributions aren’t good, but you’d rather hear Antony sing any of these songs by himself, if you’re familiar with his voice at all. Compare the duet with Boy George on “You Are My Sister” with Antony and his band’s brilliant unaided performance on Letterman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=_R3CYVLcYZw

And while you’re tubing, dig Antony’s cameo in the French film, Wilde Side, singing “I’m In Love With A Dead Boy“.


Black Dialogue
, by The Perceptionists (Definitive Jux)

The CD that contains my favorite antiwar song since the invasion of Iraq, “Memorial Day,” with its grunt point-of-view refrain: “Where are the weapons of mass destruction? We been lookin’ for months and we ain’t found nothing. Please Mr. President, tell us something!”

Marsalis Plays Monk (Standard Time, Vol. 4), by Wynton Marsalis (Sony)

When I visited with Marsalis, backstage at Rockefeller’s in Houston, in the 80s, I asked him to play something by Monk, expecting to get “Blue Monk” or “Straight No Chaser” or at best “Well, You Needn’t” for my troubles. He played “Raise Four” — raising my eyebrows and sending me scrambling back to the LP collection to see what other Monk tunes (such as the seldom-played “Work,” for example) I’d been overlooking. At a time when nothing could seem more uncool than listening to Marsalis, whose fall (into the depths of the Establishment) from the heights of jazz fashion has been stupefying, try his Monk tribute CD. Well worth the trouble, though I don’t see why Wynton’s fine versions of “Think Of One” and “Crepescule with Nellie” couldn’t have been included in the set.

DAVID VEST can be reached at: davidvest@springmail.com.

His CDs includes Serve Me Right To Shuffle and Way Down Here (Live).

 

 

 

DAVID VEST writes the Rebel Angel column for CounterPunch. He and his band, The Willing Victims, have just released a scorching new CD, Serve Me Right to Shuffle. His essay on Tammy Wynette is featured in CounterPunch’s new collection on art, music and sex, Serpents in the Garden.

February 09, 2016
Andrew Levine
Hillary Says the Darndest Things
Paul Street
Kill King Capital
Ben Burgis
Lesser Evil Voting and Hillary Clinton’s War on the Poor
Paul Craig Roberts
Are the Payroll Jobs Reports Merely Propaganda Statements?
Fran Quigley
How Corporations Killed Medicine
Ted Rall
How Bernie Can Pay for His Agenda: Slash the Military
Neve Gordon
Israeli Labor Party Adopts the Apartheid Mantra
Kristin Kolb
The Great Bear Rainforest Agreement? A Love Affair, Deferred
Joseph Natoli
Politics and Techno-Consciousness
Hrishikesh Joshi
Selective Attention to Diversity: the Case of Cruz and Rubio
Stavros Mavroudeas
Why Syriza is Sinking in Greece
David Macaray
Attention Peyton Manning: Leave Football and Concentrate on Pizza
Arvin Paranjpe
Opening Your Heart
Kathleen Wallace
Boys, Hell, and the Politics of Vagina Voting
Brian Foley
Interview With a Bernie Broad: We Need to Start Focusing on Positions and Stop Relying on Sexism
February 08, 2016
Paul Craig Roberts – Michael Hudson
Privatization: the Atlanticist Tactic to Attack Russia
Mumia Abu-Jamal
Water War Against the Poor: Flint and the Crimes of Capital
John V. Walsh
Did Hillary’s Machine Rig Iowa? The Highly Improbable Iowa Coin Tosses
Vincent Emanuele
The Curse and Failure of Identity Politics
Eliza A. Webb
Hillary Clinton’s Populist Charade
Uri Avnery
Optimism of the Will
Roy Eidelson Trudy Bond, Stephen Soldz, Steven Reisner, Jean Maria Arrigo, Brad Olson, and Bryant Welch
Preserve Do-No-Harm for Military Psychologists: Coalition Responds to Department of Defense Letter to the APA
Patrick Cockburn
Oil Prices and ISIS Ruin Kurdish Dreams of Riches
Binoy Kampmark
Julian Assange, the UN and Meanings of Arbitrary Detention
Shamus Cooke
The Labor Movement’s Pearl Harbor Moment
W. T. Whitney
Cuba, War and Ana Belen Montes
Jim Goodman
Congress Must Kill the Trans Pacific Partnership
Peter White
Meeting John Ross
Colin Todhunter
Organic Agriculture, Capitalism and the Parallel World of the Pro-GMO Evangelist
Ralph Nader
They’re Just Not Answering!
Cesar Chelala
Beware of the Harm on Eyes Digital Devices Can Cause
Weekend Edition
February 5-7, 2016
Jeffrey St. Clair
When Chivalry Fails: St. Bernard and the Machine
Leonard Peltier
My 40 Years in Prison
John Pilger
Freeing Julian Assange: the Final Chapter
Garry Leech
Terrifying Ted and His Ultra-Conservative Vision for America
Andrew Levine
Smash Clintonism: Why Democrats, Not Republicans, are the Problem
William Blum
Is Bernie Sanders a “Socialist”?
Daniel Raventós - Julie Wark
We Can’t Afford These Billionaires
Enrique C. Ochoa
Super Bowl 50: American Inequality on Display
Jonathan Cook
The Liberal Hounding of Julian Assange: From Alex Gibney to The Guardian
George Wuerthner
How the Bundy Gang Won
Mike Whitney
Peace Talks “Paused” After Putin’s Triumph in Aleppo 
Ted Rall
Hillary Clinton: the Good, the Bad and the Ugly
Gary Leupp
Is a “Socialist” Really Unelectable? The Potential Significance of the Sanders Campaign
Vijay Prashad
The Fault Line of Race in America
FacebookTwitterGoogle+RedditEmail