Skip to main content

I post a weekly diary of historical notes, arts & science items, foreign news (often receiving little notice in the US) and whimsical pieces from the outside world that I often feature in "Cheers & Jeers". For example .....

SEPARATED at BIRTH - the guy from the Go Daddy Super Bowl commercial and Corner Guy - an aide-de-camp to .... your-friend-and-mine.

   

OK, you've been warned - here is this week's tomfoolery material that I posted.

ART NOTES - the first exhibition in the United States of works by Basque painter Carmelo Ortiz de Elgea is at the Nevada Museum of Art in Reno to January 5th.

NEXT WEEK - if you receive a phone call from a Professor Staffan Normark, take the call .... for he will be telling you (in his Swedish accent) that you have won a Nobel Prize ... in either physics or chemistry.

THURSDAY's CHILD can be found at the Café des Chats - France's first cat café - home to a dozen felines in the heart of the capital's Marais district.

BRAIN TEASER - try this Quiz of the Week's News from the BBC.

OF NOTE - Portugal is the latest of several European countries to start selling visas to foreign investors: with the right to live and travel within the European Union. (A passport often follows a few years later).

FRIDAY's CHILD is Ernie the Cat - who works at the Bealton Library in Virginia.

CONGRATULATIONS to the author Philip Roth - who has been awarded the Legion d'Honneur (Legion of Honor), France's highest decoration.

I WILL BE ON THE ROAD for much of today (to attend a wake of a somewhat distant family relative) and thus won't be available to respond to comments until much later. Will catch up this evening.

OLDER-YOUNGER SISTERS? - model Christy Turlington and TV star Jessica Biel.

   

......and finally, for a song of the week ............... while I had other bands that were my favorite in my youth: certainly The Doors were part of the soundtrack of that era. Even with them, however, I was something of a contrarian: having less interest in the hit singles (save Light My Fire, of which I wrote about recently) and some of the more epic-length tunes.

And one major exception I took was to The Soft Parade - the band's fourth album. Many fans besides myself liked it, of course, though not without exceptions. There is even a Doors tribute band that adopted the name "Soft Parade".

However, the critics were fairly united: with reviews ranging from average-to-poor. These included Slant Magazine, All Music's Richie Unterberger as well as Robert Christgau and Rolling Stone as well.

One reason in particular was the album's use of both string sections and horns - which in 1969 was often seen as selling-out. The band's two follow-up efforts (Morrison Hotel and L.A. Woman after that) garnered much more critical praise.

Yet I always had an attraction to the Soft Parade: partly (as already noted) due to the contrarian nature of my youth ... but also because I admired the sophistication of the album. It had one hit single Touch Me - which reached #3 in the US charts, but had some more unusual tunes, as well.

One of them was Runnin' Blue - a tribute to Otis Redding, who died in a plane crash in December, 1967 (The Doors were scheduled to play with Redding three weeks later) that featured guitarist (and the song's composer) Robby Krieger singing the chorus. He also wrote Tell all the People while Jim Morrison contributed more common Doors material such as Shaman's Blues and Wild Child - which was the "B" side of the "Touch Me" single. Jim also contributed the album's title track - another epic-length song that wasn't among my favorites, though it has held up better (on a re-listen) than I gave the tune credit for.

Over the years, I hadn't listened much to the album, but six years ago I had a pleasant surprise: a favorable review of it by a music critic. Dan Ouellette is a freelance music reviewer, who has written for Billboard, Stereophile, the New Yorker, San Francisco Chronicle and other publications. He specializes in jazz - and has a project featuring tribute interviews to retired record executive Bruce Lundavall (a former president of both Columbia as well as Blue Note Records) - but Dan has long written about other types of music.

He has long been a contributor at Downbeat magazine, which has album reviews not only in the Jazz category ... but also Blues, Historical, Re-Issues and the "Beyond" category - where reviews of pertinent rock, folk, soul and other music can be found.

In reviewing the 40th anniversary remixes of the six Doors album - forty years after the band's debut - Dan Ouellette (photo right, below) gave this album Downbeat's highest award (5 stars) along with their debut album. He felt it was "the apex" of the band's creativity, along with some other laudatory praise (which, alas, is not posted online) and these reviews formed the entire "Beyond" reviews for that particular month's issue.

I e-mailed him to thank him for this nearly unique review (and received a prompt and courteous reply). I did tell him his line about "every song's a gem" was overdone (as "Do It" and "Easy Ride" sounded pedestrian) which he nonetheless defended. Still, I appended a line to the Wikipedia review citing him by name along with his review ... and it remains there to this day.

   

Of all of the songs on the album, easily my favorite is Robby Krieger's Wishful Sinful - which the New Age musician George Winston has a nice solo piano version of. And below you can hear the original Doors version.
Wishful crystal
Water covers everything in blue
Cooling water
Wishful sinful
Our love is beautiful to see
I know where I would like to be
Right back where I came

Magic rising
Sun is shining deep beneath the sea
But not enough for you and me and sunshine
Love to hear the wind cry

Wishful sinful
Our love is beautiful to see
I know where I would like to be
Right back where I came

Wishful, sinful, wicked blue
Water covers you
Wishful, sinful, wicked you
Can't escape the blues


Poll

Excluding (arrgh) the shutdown ... Who Lost the Week?!?!

7%3 votes
14%6 votes
0%0 votes
4%2 votes
2%1 votes
33%14 votes
0%0 votes
16%7 votes
0%0 votes
4%2 votes
2%1 votes
2%1 votes
7%3 votes
2%1 votes
2%1 votes

| 42 votes | Vote | Results

EMAIL TO A FRIEND X
Your Email has been sent.
You must add at least one tag to this diary before publishing it.

Add keywords that describe this diary. Separate multiple keywords with commas.
Tagging tips - Search For Tags - Browse For Tags

?

More Tagging tips:

A tag is a way to search for this diary. If someone is searching for "Barack Obama," is this a diary they'd be trying to find?

Use a person's full name, without any title. Senator Obama may become President Obama, and Michelle Obama might run for office.

If your diary covers an election or elected official, use election tags, which are generally the state abbreviation followed by the office. CA-01 is the first district House seat. CA-Sen covers both senate races. NY-GOV covers the New York governor's race.

Tags do not compound: that is, "education reform" is a completely different tag from "education". A tag like "reform" alone is probably not meaningful.

Consider if one or more of these tags fits your diary: Civil Rights, Community, Congress, Culture, Economy, Education, Elections, Energy, Environment, Health Care, International, Labor, Law, Media, Meta, National Security, Science, Transportation, or White House. If your diary is specific to a state, consider adding the state (California, Texas, etc). Keep in mind, though, that there are many wonderful and important diaries that don't fit in any of these tags. Don't worry if yours doesn't.

You can add a private note to this diary when hotlisting it:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from your hotlist?
Are you sure you want to remove your recommendation? You can only recommend a diary once, so you will not be able to re-recommend it afterwards.
Rescue this diary, and add a note:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary from Rescue?
Choose where to republish this diary. The diary will be added to the queue for that group. Publish it from the queue to make it appear.

You must be a member of a group to use this feature.

Add a quick update to your diary without changing the diary itself:
Are you sure you want to remove this diary?
(The diary will be removed from the site and returned to your drafts for further editing.)
(The diary will be removed.)
Are you sure you want to save these changes to the published diary?

Comment Preferences

Subscribe or Donate to support Daily Kos.

Click here for the mobile view of the site