Tuesday, April 28th, 8pm - 11pm: Martin Short Martin Short has been responsible for some of the greatest comedy over the last three decades - so tune in tonight to hear him call into The Best Show On WFMU to talk about Clifford, Ed Grimley, Clifford, his one-man show, Clifford, the Queen Haters and Clifford. Also, tonight is the debut of The Mike Show, which has its own weird surprises.
“I mean, first everyone just loved freaking out about West Nile virus and then when that fell out of fashion, there was SARS and then avian flu got its own show and now the Next Big Thing is swine flu. Our culture is so disposable that even our diseases are trendy, for fuck’s sake. Really, the whole process has become not unlike watching the rise and fall of some indie band, except more people briefly care about what happens with these diseases. (It’s true! In fact, I can correlate which band rose and fell in sync with which disease: West Nile Virus = Radio 4; SARS = Hot Hot Heat; Avian flu = Black Kids; Swine Flu = Wavves)”—Kali Holloway, totally on the money over at Live Wrong and Prosper (via perpetua)
“My Sweet Lord (Live at the Concert for George)” - Billy Preston (Words/music: George Harrison, available on The Concert for George, Warner Brothers 2003)
When I first delved into the story behind George Harrison’s “My Sweet Lord,” I was puzzled by the idea that he originally gave the song to Billy Preston. I wasn’t surprised about giving it to Preston specifically, as Harrison and Preston collaborated frequently, but rather I was surprised that Harrison would give the song away at all. In a way, I always heard “My Sweet Lord” as a personal song – one detailing Harrison’s quest for finding enlightenment based on his studies of Hinduism. Maybe this seemed strange because I only knew Harrison’s version, complete with the “Hare Krishna” mantra from his backing singers. By comparison, Preston’s gospel call-and-response take on the song on his Encouraging Words album flipped the song around; while Harrison sounded like someone searching for a connection, Preston and his choir reveled in their unity. Maybe this is why, as someone who doesn’t practice religion yet still has spiritual moments, I’m drawn towards the yearning and searching rather than the “come and join with us” feel in Preston’s arrangement.
At the concert celebrating George Harrison’s life and music, an older Billy Preston sang “My Sweet Lord” with George’s band with the result somewhere between his version and Harrison’s recording. When the backing vocals chime in, they sing strong and vibrantly, yet Preston’s vocal performance seems more in line with Harrison’s version. Like the former Beatle, Preston sings the first verse on his own before the choir comes in, and even when the choir comes in, he remains the central figure rather than serving as the leader to set up the choir. After all, it’s this main vocal line – the one yearning for unity with the higher power – that’s central to the song, with the mantra (whether it’s the Judeo-Christian “hallelujah” or the Hindu prayer) playing the secondary role. Preston’s original version of the song flips these around, and even if I prefer it the other way, I imagine that speaks to a lot of people. Still, I identify more with Harrison’s version, reading it as the quest for enlightenment being the important part – it’s not about finding the one right answer, but rather finding your own best path to enlightenment, whether it’s through Christianity, Hinduism, or whatever else. Perhaps I’m projecting too much of my own beliefs onto the song, but it’s this strand of self-discovery and personal nirvana that’s made an incredibly beautiful song even more beautiful.”
Man, I can’t get enough of George Harrison these days, and Billy Preston knocks this truly.fucking.classic song outta the park.
Follow the link for a fine episode of NOVA that gives a history of the Western world’s quest to understand the hieroglyphic script of the Mayan people, a civilization whose history was nearly completely wiped out by the Spanish conquistadores and the Catholic Church.