March 3rd, 2012
From Sir Paul’s website, this newsy blog post about his few days in Los Angeles recently, getting honored as MusicCares person of the year, going to the Grammy Awards, attending the unveiling of his star on the Hollywood Walk of Fame, chatting up Neil Young, and more.
December 22nd, 2011
Paul McCartney on Tuesday returned to his roots in Liverpool for a concert at the Echo Arena on the dockside along the Mersey River. Read one fan’s report on the concert and hometown atmosphere from the a very active website devoted to McCartney, The Beatles, and their friends. For the obsessives among us, the report includes set lists for the soundcheck and concert, including two encores, and a click-able slide show. The man is 69 years old.
This past fall, a delegation of business and tourism folks from Liverpool visited Lowell to see how our older post-industrial city was making a go of it through innovative use of its distinctive heritage, red-brick factories, worldly culture, special urban development tools, and higher education.
Here’s the Liverpool Echo review of the concert. The reader comments are interesting and varied, not all full of praise for the local guy made good.
July 10th, 2011
I can’t write about this yet. I’m still processing the impact of experiencing The Fab Faux’s performance of Beatles music last night at Boarding House Park in the Lowell Summer Music Series. Late Friday, after the Flecktones concert I wrote that the Series is becoming a “Can you top this?” operation. For me, The Fab Faux topped the “this” of Fleckdom, as fantastic as the banjo guru and his masterful mates were on Friday. The Fab Faux turned Lowell’s cultural village green into the church of JPG&R and gave the congregation a glimpse of heaven.
It is high art. It is deep pop. It was something new for most of us. In literary art, or any art for that matter, one of the main commandments is “Make It New.” There was a lot of new last night if you consider that most of us had never witnessed live the playing of “Being for the Benefit of Mr. Kite!” and “Tomorrow Never Knows” and many other immortal compositions. This material comes out of a northern English kids’ rock club turned Gothic cathedral turned off-road juke joint turned soaring skycraper turned galactic audio laboratory. And it got packaged for mass consumption. And it is not going away. The two surviving Beatles fill performance venues worldwide. Check on the web for the tour schedules of Paul and Ringo. The faithful flock to the personal appearances. This is history as it happens. The Fab Faux gave us a very enjoyable history lesson last night amid the pulsing colored lights on the pergola stage set against the Front Range of the Boott Cotton Mills.
I can’t write about this yet. I’ll get back to you.
If you are missing these peak musical experiences at Boarding House Park, you should consider looking at the schedule for the rest of the summer. Pick something that looks good, and pack your blanket and folding chair.
April 1st, 2011
The folks at Middlesex Community College threw a party for more than 500 people at Lowell Memorial Auditorium last night with the best music that could be ordered up, All-Beatles-All-the-Time. On stage was the top Beatles tribute band in this part of the country, Beatlejuice, whose players served up note-perfect versions of songs that are the classical music of the past 50 years. The LMA was set up like a music club with a large dance area in front of the stage, round tables on the floor, and additional seating in the mezz level. The audience ranged from kids and lots of college students to a large contingent from the Veterans of Band Battles of the ’60s. If Sgt. Pepper is the Guy Lombardo of the Baby Boomers, we’ll take him. Roll up for the Mystery Tour, and bring on Billy Shears. What creative leaps from “Love Me Do” to “I Am the Walrus” to “Paperback Writer.” Kudos to LMA and MCC for giving us three hours of fun and music, and nothing but fun and music (with a nod to Max Yasgur).
March 25th, 2011
Don’t forget the fab fabs band BeatleJuice is coming to Lowell Memorial Auditorium on Thursday, March 31, a special program of Middlesex Community College. Here’s a taste of music and words from thebeatles.com
February 24th, 2011
In July 1964, The Beatles released “Something New,” their fifth album in the U.S. Today’s NYTimes includes an article about Paul McCartney composing music for the New York City Ballet. The man is 68 and still giving us “something new” — a wonderful example of an artist pushing the boundaries of his creativity. He’s moved beyond rock and pop before with classical compositions, a book of poems, and exhibitions of his paintings. Read the article by Daniel J. Wakin here, and get the NYT if you want more of this kind of cultural reporting.
December 4th, 2010
Next week will mark 30 years since the death of John Lennon, so it’s worth reflecting on the lasting goodness of his legacy as an artist and the endurance of The Beatles’ music. T-Mobile in April 2009 organized a meet-up/flash mob in Trafalgar Square, London, for a “Hey Jude” sing-along. People were told it would be a dance event, but were surprised when they arrived. Here’s the video, forwarded to us by one of our regular readers, John Wooding.
(web photo courtesy of saatchikevin.com)