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Everything posted by Trindy

  1. I am a little worried that hollies65 is right...that creating the "annex" was part of a strategy the Hall of Fame powers that be have created to eventually move the whole thing lock, stock and barrel to NYC...They will keep making the "annex" bigger and bigger and put more and more stuff in it until it becomes the main attraction, and everyone forgets the "real thing" is in Cleveland...people will stop coming to the Hall in Cleveland because NYC is a more attracive tourist destination and one they're more likely to visit anyway...and thus they will have what they needed, an excuse about the Hall in Cleveland not drawing enough, which will become their excuse to shutter it altogether, build a really really huuuge edifice in NYC as the new Hall, and leave the current one an empty I.M. Pei-designed white elephant on the shores of Lake Erie...a memory of what once was. Oh, and there'll be a huge article in the Plain Dealer: "How We Lost the Hall." Excuse my pessimism, but this is what people do to us in this town. Even when we earn something good fair and square, eventually it gets taken away from us.
  2. Did anyone else notice...Eric's wearing the "Half Cleveland"?
  3. ECatw, I thought "the release of their first album in almost three decades" was a reference to Sunset Strip...at least that's what I assumed...I think there's a danger into reading too much into this stuff. That said, this looks like a must have for Bernie to torture us with until it comes out...
  4. Hmm...I don't recall getting those with MY copy of the Special Edition...how did I miss them?? (To think I have Eric's G-string, but I don't have these??)
  5. OK, I come back here and all heck has broken loose again...I don't know whether it's because I have the audacity to disagree with Eric on something or what, but I do hope not... Let me clarify a few things in what I have said, because it might actually provide greater insight into what I meant. Do I believe some reviewers are full of crap, and can do great and unfair damage? Yes. Do I believe all reviewers are qualified? No. But I am not of the school that believes that it is necessary to be able to do in order to be qualified to criticize. And if you are, you better never watch another baseball game and critique the work of the batter, pitcher, outfield or umpires, nor watch a football game and complain about the quarterback, the rest of the offense, the defense, the kickers or the refs. Etc., etc., etc....at least not unless you yourself have played the game. See what I'm driving at? It's not necessary to have played a sport in order to know whether or not a team or player is any good. To be sure, having played it yourself gives you a depth of insight others may not have, but it's not essential to understanding and judging what you're viewing or the complexity thereof. It's not even essential to sportscasting. If you know the rules, you can do a passing job of it, and if you watch it a lot, you'll be even better. It's not quite as cut and dried as that, but the same is true of any creative work, be it music, art, films, theater, books, what have you. Being experienced in the field and having seen it from the creative end does round you out, and may well make you a better and more informed critic than some others...but it's not a prerequisite, and it's certainly no guarantee that your criticism will be of a higher quality than that of those who never attempted to work in the field themselves. Are educated critics better than uneducated ones? Absolutely. A critic with a depth of experience and knowledge of a given field, even if only academic, is way ahead of the game vs. someone who "doesn't know much, but I know what I like." Then again, if you're choosing, say, a movie to see with a friend or a book to spend some time with on a vacation, it may not really be the advice of a critic that you need. You may be better off solicting the opinion of someone who knows your personal tastes, rather than a critic's opinion--or just choosing for yourself. Because the critic, ideally, should NOT just be expressing a "personal taste"...that really IS purely subjective, and it's not what criticism is supposed to be...criticism is supposed to be fair judgment according to a standard of some kind, not just a matter of whether or not someone personally "likes" something. Ideally, a critic will try to be a fair judge of the quality of whatever it is he or she is reviewing regardless of personal preferences or petty likes or dislikes. Then again, personal preferences, likes and dislikes may be exactly what matter to YOU in a given circumstance--in choosing which band to go hear, or which music to buy, or which play to attend. What a critic says may not matter a damn to you. And that's OK. Because in those circumstances a critic really doesn't matter. You are the judge and jury. If you like something, for whatever reason, to hell with whoever else doesn't. If you hate it, you don't have to like it just because someone else thinks it's great. But it doesn't mean critics do no good. They do. Ideally, they educate us, give us some kind of measuring stick against which to evaluate creative work. If all they deliver is their own personal opinion, they're pointless. Yes, their conclusions are bound to be colored by some of that opinion, but ideally, more than that alone will guide what they do. Also, more than the tastes and trends of their own time will guide them; they won't just follow fads, they'll be able to discern what's most likely to stand the test of time. (That doesn't mean critics' views of things never change, but the ideal critic has vision that extends beyond the present.) Eric said: "I believe Roger Ebert's 'claim to fame,' prior to becoming a film critic, was that he wrote the screenplay for Russ Meyer's 'Beyond The Valley Of The Dolls.'" True. But what he was "famous" for doesn't necessarily tell us about what value he had as a critic when he started out, nor does it tell us anything about his value as a critic today. Who knows? Maybe Ebert has done a better service to the world as a critic than he ever could have as a screenwriter. Maybe criticism was where he found his true talent. I do know I respect him more today than I did back in the early days of "Sneak Previews." I think he's gotten better, and more thoughtful and eloquent. To judge him by a long-ago screenplay would be like judging Eric solely on the quality of, say, "Light the Way." (Note to Eric, lest he feel picked on: I chose that one randomly out of a hat, as an example of your long-ago work. I haven't even heard a single version of it. So rest assured, it's not meant as a slam on that song!) The only reason I got into this discussion in the first place was that I don't believe it entirely fair to slam critics and their occupation whole cloth. Are some of them uneducated? You bet. Do some of them stink? Sure. Are some of them failed creatives who get the only jollies left to them out of being able to rip apart what they can't do themselves? Probably. Do some get drunk on their power to destroy? No doubt. But others are good and worth giving attention. And while I don't know enough about classical music to be able to judge who has the most legitimate beef in the Donald Rosenberg-Plain Dealer-Cleveland Orchestra flap, I'm not inclined to side against Rosenberg just because he's a critic. I would have to know enough about classical music to be able to judge what kind of a critic I thought he was. And to do that, I'd have to also attend a lot of concerts and put my judgment of them up against his. (I also suspect he's a much better critic than the ones I used to read in other places I've lived. I recall this one critic in Binghamton who would review the Binghamton Philharmonic--don't laugh, they're damn good, or at least I thought they were--probably in part because of the Ithaca College/Eastman music school influence--and if they played a certain Rachmaninoff symphony, she would write in the paper about how she couldn't even judge that one movement because all it did was remind her of that horrible Eric Carmen song so she couldn't stand to hear it. Remembering her, I'll take Rosenberg!) I don't feel qualified to judge classical music critics who sound like they actually know what they're talking about. I admit that the fact of the matter is that anytime I go to a Cleveland Orchestra concert I'm probably going to feel blown away--and not just because they ARE one of the best, if not the best, orchestra in the world. Unless somebody really hits a sour note, I'm not going to come away with a serious opinion about whether or not the pieces were played well, conducted well, which musicians were on and which were a bit off, the interpretation, the acoustics, etc. I'm just not well educated enough to do that. But that doesn't mean I'm incapable of enjoying the music. Now, if I read in the paper the next day that the performance was subpar according to a critic, I'm probably going to say "Wow, I sure couldn't tell!" and move on. It's no skin off my nose--just like if someone gives the Raspberries a bad review--F 'em, I had a good time, who cares? But I can see how the orchestra might feel that its very reputation hangs on every word written by the local critic, because his word is taken seriously, and if he says they're going downhill, or that a certain soloist isn't sounding so great, it will be believed. I can see how they'd be frightened of that, if they thought it was unfair. At the same time, I can also see how they'd be frightened of it if it were TRUE. So, who's right? I don't know. All I know is, I don't automatically take the orchestra's side, and I don't automatically take the critic's. And that's my long way of expressing my opinion. Typical me. But I think it's pretty respectful--of both sides of the equation. Please, let's not forget, I saw some pretty nasty reviews of our 'Berries back in the day and my teenage heart was pretty outraged by some of the crap I read. Nowadays I'm older and wiser (I hope), and more likely (I also hope) to recognize a bad criticizer (thanks, Wally) when I see one. At the same time, I can say "OK, this one is probably right, but so what? Who cares?" Oh, and to answer Eric's question, I'm a marketing writer in the legal field. Who writes fiction on the side, hoping to actually finish and sell it someday. I admit, one of the hardest things about fiction is stifling the internal critic long enough to even get it done, and no, I don't relish what kinds of things I might see written about my work if it did go out there. But I also realize that a certain degree of thickness of skin is pretty much requisite for anyone who does anything in public.
  6. I guess if what Eric says about critics is true, and people agree with it so much...well, if you've never played music yourself, you'd better never criticize musicians or any kind of music again. You're not allowed to express an opinion, because you haven't done it yourself and thus have no basis upon which to judge. What about that last movie you saw? Are you a screenwriter, a director, a producer, an actor? No? If not, forget about expressing your opinions on movies. The same goes for TV shows...You can't judge whether anyone did their job well unless you've done it yourself. Oh, and if you ARE a former screenwriter, director, producer, actor, etc., well, you're not allowed to say anything negative about the work of others, because it's just sour grapes from a person who failed... The list goes on...extend it to painting or anything else you want... Suffice it to say that I disagree with Eric on this point...I think it's perfectly possible to judge and criticize a piece of work done by someone else. We all have eyes and ears and that's all it takes to judge whether we like or don't like something. A little more education may make us better judges of whether it's actually of good quality or not, but the fact is, nobody has to be able to DO something in order to criticize how someone else does it. And dismissing all negative criticism as "the envy of the failed" is just too simplistic. That doesn't mean critics are right or justified all the time. It just means that there are good ones and bad ones, and there are also good ones who don't correctly call everything the way it ultimately gets viewed over the long term.
  7. Definitely not "Grazing in the Grass." Know that one too. Thanks to all who have tried, but so far, no one has it...at least not anything remotely in the neighborhood. And there HAS to have been something like this that hit the charts between '65 and '75...sometime in '71 would be my best guess. But I've even tried combing the charts of songs played on "IT" (the retrospective XM Radio did annually pre-merger, in which they attempted to play every Top 40 hit from back in the '30s to today...didn't succeed, of course, but they were amazingly comprehensive), but I can find nothing that looks from the title or artist like it even MIGHT be it... Damn, this is frustrating!
  8. Oh, and it's also not "Jungle Fever," which I already know.
  9. To respond to what's been said so far... No, it's absolutely not "They're Coming to Take Me Away." First, I know that one, second, I told you it was a MELLOW song, third I told you the vocal sounded female... It's also not "Muleskinner Blues." First, I told you it was a MELLOW song, second, the "Ha-Ha-ha-HA" part really IS "Ha ha" and not "Haw haw"--it's not countrified at all. In fact, you'd probably find it to be a very bland, vanilla kind of song. Another thing: I never said it had "hardly any lyrics." It does--three out of four lines in the stanzas have lyrics, even if they're very simple, one-syllable lyrics. It's the chorus that doesn't have any lyrics, that is just an instrumental line. And that instrumental line isn't a bugle, or anything that rousing--it's a casual, mellow trumpet. No one has any idea, huh? This is going to be tougher than I thought. Too bad I decided not to get an iPhone until they offer a wider variety of phone service and a bill that isn't so big it comes in a box.
  10. I heard it in the bank the other day, and it was obviously part of some "oldies set" of recordings they were playing (I heard the Temps' "Just My Imagination" right before or after it, which might give us a clue as to how old it is--late Sixties or very early Seventies, is my guess). I have absolutely no idea who did it or what it's called, and because I don't know music I can't give you the notes for it (although I could probably sing them for you, badly, if I could put a sound file on this), but I'm wondering if any of the pop-music mavens can ID it from my description alone. Here it is: It's not "rock-y," it's calm and mellow and casual. It doesn't build to a crescendo of any kind, just sort of plugs mellowly along until it fades out. The lead vocal is either female or a rather high-pitched male. There are no backing vocals--just the one voice. The lyrics are either all one-syllable words, or they're enunciated that way. Sadly, I don't remember any of them except for the third line of each, so when I outline a stanza below, I'll fill the words in with "Hmm." It alternates stressed and unstressed syllables very methodically, and the third line of each stanza is either "Ha-HA-ha-HA" or "Hee-HEE-hee-HEE." So each stanza goes like this: "Hmm HMM hmm HMM, Hmm HMM hmm HMM, Ha-HA-ha-HA (or "Hee-HEE-hee-HEE"--those are the actual words) Hmm HMM, hmm HMM, hmm HMMMMMMMM..." The chorus? It has no lyrics at all--it could best be described as a mellow little trumpet line, a squiggly little meandering thing with a guitar strumming rhythm somewhere in the back. Yes, it's one of those rare pop songs where an instrumental line is actually more memorable than a chorus. Kind of like Gerry Rafferty's "Baker Street": what you remember of it when you think of it is not the choruses, but the repeated saxophone line. Well, in this one, you think of the "Ha-HA-ha-ha" or "hee-HEE-hee-HEE" and the squiggly little trumpet line. At least I do. Who can help me here? Anyone?? Bueller??
  11. Thanks, Eric, and I hope you had a good one too! And all of you!
  12. I've got to agree that it's hard to stick to a limit when choosing favorite Motown songs. "This Old Heart of Mine" is definitely near the top of the list, and yes, Ira, Rod Stewart's cover sucks. Sorry Rod. "Just My Imagination" is incredible all the way around...the music, the lyrics, the vocal and, oh, the instrumental arrangement. The way it's all clear as a bell down to the nth detail. Just amazing. You wanna talk Ruffin brothers? I have to put in a word for David and his 1975 hit "Walk Away From Love." That one's another heartbreaker and it's beautifully done. I understand Van McCoy did the production, and it shows. Disco-y but not too disco-y. Love "My Whole World Ended" too. "I Want You Back" by the Jackson 5 has to be one of the great debuts ever made by any group (rather like GATW)...and as I have said here a million times before, one of the greatest grabber intros of any song ever recorded...it's what DJs think of as a show-starter... "Sir Duke" by Stevie Wonder is just such damn fun, and I'm partial to it because my favorite skater performed to it a few years ago... "Walk Away Renee" by the Four Tops...just may be one of the greatest covers ever... And I would be remiss if I didn't include, even though it doesn't technically count, one of the greatest "mock-Motown" songs ever, "Forever" by Little Steven and the Dsiciples of Soul...they recorded this in about 1982 or '83 and I fell in love with it back then, and got an mp3 of it from a kind soul not long ago...I call it "the absolute best Smokey Robinson and the Miracles song that Smokey didn't write and the Miracles didn't record." Now, shall we talk the glories of Philly Soul? Ah, those orchestral arrangements...mmmm...
  13. For the record, Barack Obama quit smoking too...sorry Tony...it's one vice you can't stick him with anymore, as much as you'd love to. Besides, it wouldn't matter if you told me Jesus Christ himself smoked, it wouldn't change my mind about it...I have personal reasons as well for not wanting to be exposed to other people's smoke, that I won't go into here publicly, but let's just say it has to do with "Been there, done that--don't want to go there again if I can help it..."
  14. This is interesting. But I'm still waiting for a cappella groups to get into the Raspberries and EC stuff. In my past and most recent working-at-a-university life, there was a strong campus a cappella culture--many groups who sang songs their members had especially arranged in which they not only sang the vocal parts but the rhythm and percussion lines (thumping out beats on their chests if necessary) and, at times, the sounds of certain instruments. And they didn't just sing traditional a cappella or oldies--current or recent pop music was just as likely to be part of the mix, and some of them specialized in a particular era (the group I knew best did only '80s songs). This is big in lots of colleges today, with contests in various categories. The school I worked for had about 10 a cappella groups, each specializing by genre, gender, etc. I keep waiting for one of these bands to come up with a killer arrangement of what would be the ultimate Raspberries a cappella song--"Overnight Sensation." Hope one of them gets the hint someday!
  15. Blackhawkpat, I remember it well, and I'll post a separate thread about my memories, in honor of Thanksgiving week!
  16. Everyone loves a good trainwreck...that's why.
  17. Wish I could have gone. But the weather was looking nasty and in the end, I decided against trying to go and see if I could scare up a ticket for a sold-out show. Sounds like it was wonderful.
  18. And FOX is the network of everyone in the right wing.
  19. The Olbermann impression didn't work for me at all. Wasn't anything like the real him... As for what Tony calls "the worst thing about Obama winning"...that's what I'd call "one of the BEST things about Obama winning." The means used were fantastic...and so was the end. As for Tony...you better learn to deal.
  20. I find myself relating a great deal to what Eric says...so I won't repeat it here, because he said a lot of what I feel...and to what Ecstasy says about the role of women in religion (which is where I part ways with Eric, as I tend to on many religious topics). Religion is sexist only if one makes it so or allows it to be...for one example...Jesus wasn't a sexist, but many of his followers were and are! Too bad they haven't paid more attention!
  21. Oh, for crying out loud. Right now, Eric is making more sense than a lot of people here who are crying in their beer because The Evil Obama got elected...and we all know it's just because of his skin color, don't we? And/or because people were just sick of how much Bush sucked, even though "everyone" "loved" Reagan (message to Darlene: I didn't "love" Reagan, I despised him). It can't POSSIBLY be because of anything having to do with what kind of a president people thought Obama would make based on other factors. Also couldn't be because they saw him as preferable to a doddering old half-senile man and his terminally stupid religious nutbar runningmate who was supposed to be the trump card who would win his vote from the "God, guns and gays" coalition... Nah...couldn't be...And, of course we know half of what Bush did wasn't really what Bush did, it can still all be blamed retroactively on Clinton and the Democrats...or on the people around him...Please, give me a BREAK!!!! *sigh* Sorry, I guess this stuff is just getting my dander up. I'll try to be more civilized from now on, but right now I'm not in the mood. I can only listen to so much right-wing "logic" before my head starts to explode.
  22. Guys, Eric speaks wisdom here. If only more would listen.
  23. Sherberries, where did Eric post that--do you recall? As for Paulie and Gman...I do recall Eric saying in several interviews that his smoking was part of a deliberate attempt to "rough up" his voice so it didn't sound too smooth...but I always thought it was a terrible technique to use. I mean, if your house has termites, you could blow it up and that would get rid of the termites, but jeez...
  24. Not really a question...an observation. I'm sitting here listening to Handsome Dick Manitoba's show on Little Steven's XM Sirius channel, Underground Garage, and what does he play but IWBWY! When he finally identifies the set, he talks about how he went to one of the BB King's Raspberries shows in '05 and sat at Little Steven's table, then went backstage afterward. He was going on and on about how Eric "sings like a bird, man...and he's back there smokin' cigarettes." "I can't smoke anymore," says Handsome Dick. "I'm afraid I'll get sick or something. And here's this guy, he's gotta be close to sixty, late fifties, sings like a bird. And he SMOKES!" Obviously, Handsome Dick wishes it were otherwise, or can't figure out why it is. So there you have it. Handsome Dick Manitoba things Eric "sings like a bird"...and doesn't want to see him ruin that.
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