I’m fascinated by the creative process. Watching unfiltered talent in the raw and witnessing art evolve can be far more intriguing than sampling the perfectly-polished end product. Sometimes, it’s just as interesting to watch the baker at work than to taste the cake.
Sir George Martin baked up and frosted as many rock n’ roll masterpieces as anyone else during the 1960’s, and that’s quite a statement given what a creative period that was in popular music. As the longtime producer for The Beatles, Martin consistently infused the group with new sounds and unprecedented methods of instrumentation which had never been used before by pop musicians. Some of the techniques would have been unthinkable were it not for The Beatles’ own curiosities matched with Martin as the perfect tutor of influence. The lanky and straight-laced Martin looked more like a barrister than the megaphone for the counterculture. Martin consistently pushed the Fab Four to new creative heights, obliterating old precedent with each new album release, which sometimes mystified the groups fans and risked proven commercial formulas.
If you were around last year at this time, you witnessed one of the most impressive instances of special events handicapping in quite some time.
Matt Lessinger, who has appeared here frequently as my guest on this site (usually giving out picks on boxing, Mixed-Martial Arts, Oscars, Grammys), successfully rattled off an astoundingly perfect night at the 2015 Grammy Awards, picking several winners including a 10-1 shot as “Album of the Year.” That’s as amazing a feat as you will see on a public forum and is far better analysis than anything which appears on the conventional entertainment programs which tout “expert advice.” This is just one reason Lessinger appeared on National Public Radio (NPR) a few years ago, evaluating all the major categories.
“I’m an introvert in a business of extroverts….which is kinda’ a big problem.”
— Van Morrison
Van Morrison’s concert on the night of January 15th, 2016 at the famed Shrine Auditorium on the University of Southern California campus in Los Angeles was terrible. And, I loved every single note of it.
The deaths of those we grew up watching and listening to, frequently regarded as obelisks for the people we ultimately become and much of what we believe, are creeping reminders of our own looming mortality.
Musicians and moviestars, poets and politicians, scientists and sports figures, artists and authors — each passing of someone famous who was important in our lives etches yet another inescapable stanza of tablature towards the last note we ultimately play, although it’s unbeknownst to us when or where the final curtain shall fall. Alas, the tablature of the true greats are signposts and lighthouses left behind to guide and inspire.
Capitalism has kidnapped Christmas, blindfolded it, and stuck a sock in its mouth.
Indeed, we’ve become hostages to crass materialism, wild spending sprees, and ultimately end up as slaves to crushing consumer debt.
So, how did we stray so far adrift from the intended spirit of holiday tradition of earlier and much simpler times? What happened to sharing? What happened to caring? What ever became of goodwill towards all? Those noblest of virtues were trampled weeks ago, the moment all the stores opened up on Black Friday.
The single constant reminder of the true meaning of the holidays remains the enduring spirit of our most beloved Christmas carols. Music fills our hearts with joy. Songs bring us good cheer. But hidden in between the lyrics, might there be something far more profound?
Consider some of our favorite holiday songs, which are posted below. Might these lyrics have have messages that were inspired by none other than Karl Marx? Check it out. My theory isn’t as crazy as it sounds: