Monday, April 6, 2009

Paul McCartney & Friends: Change Begins Within (a Benefit Concert for the David Lynch Foundation)

My pal Stephen visited New York from Austin this weekend, and we wanted to do three things:
  1. See the Cubs and Yankees break in the new Yankee Stadium.
  2. See the Raptors play the Knicks at Madison Square Garden.
  3. See the David Lynch Foundation benefit concert at Radio City Music Hall, featuring Paul McCartney, Ringo Starr, Donovan, Sheryl Crow, Eddie Vedder, Moby, Ben Harper, Paul Horn, Jim James, Bettye LaVette, and Angelo Badalementi.
Who'd'a thunk that #2 would be the one we wouldn't get to see?

Here's the play-by-play review of what is arguably one of the four or five best shows I've seen this April*:
  1. Angelo Badalementi - "Falling (Twin Peaks Theme)" Badalementi plays the music in most of Lynch's films, so it was nice to see him open with this piece.
  2. Moby with Bettye LaVette and The T.M. Choir - "Natural Blues" I'm not sure how exactly Moby got a record deal. His live performance leaves quite a bit to be desired. LaVette's vocals on this song were good.
  3. Moby with The T.M. Choir - "Stars" An unnecessary performance of an unnecessary song written by an unnessary musician. yawn.
  4. Bettye LaVette with Moby - "Close as I'll Get to Heaven" Great performance by LaVette, and good job by Moby not getting in the way too much.
  5. Sheryl Crow - "Riverwide" Haven't heard this song in about ten years when I bought The Globe Sessions, and I forgot how much I liked it. Crow's voice live is strikingly good.
  6. Sheryl Crow with Ben Harper - "My Sweet Lord" Great selection. Crow introduced the song with the first of what would become many comments that George "may not be here with us physically, but he's here in spirit." Great work on the lapsteel by Harper.
  7. Jerry Seinfeld. A surprise guest! Did a solid eight minutes. Mostly new stuff, filled in by the bit about a cab driver having the chemical symbol for boron in his last name (I hate that joke--the chemical symbol for boron is B, not Ø!).
  8. Eddie Vedder - "Far Behind" Poignant song with Vedder alone on an acoustic. Vedder's set absolutely blew me away. I had no idea he was this good musically.
  9. Eddie Vedder - "Rise" Vedder on a mandolin. Beautiful song.
  10. Eddie Vedder - "Arc" Vedder loops his own vocals in this a capella piece not unlike Freddie Mercury in the middle of "The Prophet's Song." I had no idea Vedder could perform such dextrous vocal acrobatics.
  11. Ben Harper & Relentless7 with Eddie Vedder - "Indifference" Harper is as good as advertised. That is to say that he delivers great performances of music that I don't like.
  12. Ben Harper & Relentless7 - "Fly One Time" See above.
  13. Ben Harper & Relentless7 with Eddie Vedder - "Under Pressure" This one got a very wealthy crowd on its feet. I seriously hope this one's included on the DVD. It was amazing. Harper took Mercury's part, and Vedder, Bowie's.
  14. Mike Love is reduced to tears in his own speech about the possibility of transcendental meditation leading to world peace. I was distracted by the fact that this sonofabitch will wear--with a designer tuxedo--a baseball cap that says "The Beach Boys" on it as if we don't know he's bald.
  15. Donovan with Jim James - "Hurdy Gurdy Man" Great to see Donovan! Love this song!
  16. Donovan with Jim James - "Wear Your Love Like Heaven" Another piece of healthy ear candy from Donovan, and I still have it in my head.
  17. Donovan with Sheryl Crow and Moby - "Season of the Witch" An average-at-best song made awful by Donovan's attempt at dancing with Sheryl Crow.
  18. Donovan with Paul Horn - "Isle of Islay" Great duet with jazz flautist Horn.
  19. Paul Horn - "Meditation" Beautiful flute piece that mixes both eastern music with the blue notes of American jazz.
  20. Howard Stern. Another surprise guest! Stern delivered a jab or two at himself before saying "Mike Love greeted me backstage by saying, 'Howard, you are living proof that you don't have to be a pussy to be into transcendental meditation.'" He followed with a sincere anecdote about how meeting Maharishi Mahesh Yogi saved his mother's life. It will go down as one of the great discomforts of my life: to see Howard Stern not be a dick.
  21. Ringo Starr with Ben Harper & Relentless7 and Eddie Vedder - "It Don't Come Easy" At 9:52 Eastern Daylight Time in New York, I first laid eyes on a Beatle, the first Beatle ever born. And he was out of tune and nervous, as usual. A real treat.
  22. Ringo Starr with Ben Harper & Relentless7 and Eddie Vedder - "Boys" Not sure why he felt the need to play the worst and gayest of all Beatle covers.
  23. Ringo Starr with Ben Harper & Relentless7, Sheryl Crow, and Eddie Vedder - "Yellow Submarine" Would have preferred "Octopus' Garden," but this'll do. Gear!

    Paul McCartney
    I had no idea how truly good this guy is live, and at the age of lxvi.
  24. "Drive My Car" My favorite of Paul's Beatle tunes.
  25. "Jet" Great song played live.
  26. "Got To Get You Into My Life" My least favorite Beatle plays my least favorite Beatles song. Damn you, James Paul McCartney.
  27. "Let It Be" Decent.
  28. "Lady Madonna" M'eh.
  29. "Blackbird" Paul plays this one alone on an acoustic. It was nice.
  30. "Here Today" This is a song Paul wrote to John shortly after John's death. Not many dry eyes in the house.
  31. "Band on the Run" My favorite Paul solo song.
  32. "Can't Buy Me Love" Overrated. I hate this song.
  33. Paul McCartney with Ringo Starr - "With a Little Help From My Friends" How many times have more than one Beatle played together onstage since the rooftop? Wow!
  34. Paul McCartney with Ringo Starr and all performers - "Cosmically Conscious" A song that Paul wrote in 1968 in Hrishikesh, the most enlightening and spiritual time for the Beatles, yet you'd be surprised at how shitty and typical of Paul it is.
  35. David Lynch with Donovan and Ringo Starr - "A Poem of Unknown Origin" Ok.
  36. Paul McCartney with Ringo Starr and all performers - "I Saw Her Standing There" There are two people who have ever lived who can harmonize this song correctly. One is John Lennon; the other is me.
Oh, and here's the Knicks/Raptors box score in case you need that.

* This is a joke. It's the best show I've ever seen.


Lady M said...
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