Friday, October 19, 2012

Sometime near the zenith of American culture

Do you know how awful a feeling it is to be pretty sure you were born a generation too late?

To be enthralled by a time and a popular culture you were born into -- barely -- but which exists no more?

To know there was a time when the grown-ups were in charge of it all, more or less, but to have lived all your life amid the Detereorata and see the barbarians not at the gate, but running the whole show? Today, we have Gaga and Nicki Minaj  -- not to mention Madonna and her pathetic and desperate attempts to remain relevant -- and we think that's entertainment.

Well, it is if you've just sacked and burned the Eternal City, but otherwise not so much.

TO ME, a fossil born 20 years shy of being fossilized enough for my own taste, this is entertainment -- Keely Smith on the Frank Sinatra Show in 1958. Sure, I love my rock 'n' roll, but if there's no room in your soul for something as beautiful and classy as Keely Smith casting a magic spell over a well-written popular song, you'd just as well go pillage, burn, loot and rape with the barbarians, busting a rhyme with Ms. I'm Gonna Cap Yo' Ass, Mariah Carey.

In my humble opinion.

By the way, no 3 Chords & the Truth this week. One, I'm pretty shot -- no sleep will do that to you -- and, two, I'm trying to make a dent in digitizing the 31 LPs and nine CDs I grabbed at The Antiquarium before its sad passing from Omaha's Old Market scene. And then there's the other bunch of LPs and CDs I have in the "Put Onto the Hard Drive" stack.

Unsurprisingly, there's a lot of jazz and classic pop in that number. Ring-a-ding-ding, pally!

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