Utopian Turtletop. Monsieur Croche's Bête Noire. Contact: turtletop [at] hotmail [dot] com

Thursday, July 01, 2004


I heard one of the lengthy 1930s Benny Goodman recordings of the Louis Prima song “Sing Sing Sing” on the way to work today. Gene Krupa keeps it cookin’ hot and Benny and the horn players wail. Krupa’s solos get repetitive, the same tom-tom figure over and over, but it’s a great figure & it works. “Always glad to hear about that kind of carrying on.”

On the way home it was the Beatles, “A Day in the Life,” which I hadn’t heard in years. I remember having liked Ringo’s drums, but this afternoon they almost brought tears to my eyes -- Lennon’s beautifully textured vocals, and Ringo’s drums the most melodic instrument in the song, answering every phrase of Lennon’s with a sense of epic sorrow and comprehensive compassion. George Martin’s tremendous orchestration deserves its raves, and the song as a whole, including McCartney's interlude, is huge. But Ringo’s drums -- they’re IT.


If you're in Seattle Tuesday night, I'll be playing a few songs at the Sunset Tavern on Ballard Avenue, a few doors south of Market Street. My friends John de Roo and Jake London will be on the bill -- I've played with John since we were 15 and Jake since we were 18, and they're two of my favorite musicians in the world right now. John's a poet; one of maybe a handful of songwriters going now who writes lines that make me wanna holler, "I wish I'd written that!" Jake is a superbly imaginative guitarist and beautiful singer with a melodic gift. There are a couple other people on the bill (whom I don't know but whom Jake, the organizer, vouches for); we'll get started around 9. Should be a treat, especially since John lives in Tucson and hardly ever makes it up to these parts.

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