Just one “American Idol” pop-culture note before we get to the meaty stuff: Kellie Pickler has passed her sell-by date, and in fact did so several weeks ago. She is starting to stink up the room. Also, as though I needed even more evidence that I am 12,000 years old, Elliott Yamin referred to “A Song for You” as a Donny Hathaway song, and no one corrected him. That’s because only six graybeards in the audience watching at home could say, with authority, that it’s a Leon Russell song.
Reader, I have the album. Recorded in 1969, when I was just starting to pay attention to such things. (I bought it for “Roll Away the Stone,” which I distinctly recall hearing first on prog-rock radio, more proof that I’m older than Lazarus. Radio playing obscure Leon Russell? That’s crazy talk!)
I wonder if Leon watches “American Idol.” I wonder what he thought when he heard one of his best songs assigned to a performer, not a songwriter. And what’s Leon up to these days? Of course Professor Google knows. Speaking of graybeards…
Oh, but I have to stop talking about the music of my youth. It’s just a straight shot from here to the iTunes Music Store, to spend away Kate’s college fund. I’m way too suggestible about these things. Do you know that after a Sopranos episode wrapped up with a Pink Floyd song a few weeks ago, I immediately ran over there and downloaded it? I did — “One of These Days.” Which isn’t a terrible song, but I sort of have a wall up between myself and Pink Floyd, which has been there since I gave away my copy of “Dark Side of the Moon” and vowed that if I never heard it again for all eternity, I still would have heard it once too often. “One of These Days” is from “Meddle,” but still. I was never much of a Pink Floyd fan; the band always seemed to be solid evidence that marijuana really was a dangerous drug. A gateway drug, in fact — it led to Pink Floyd records.
Did I say meaty stuff was following? Well, I lied. Bloggage is following:
Who has the best corrections in the newspaper business? I’d nominate The Guardian: We said that the vertical drop of the Stealth ride at Thorpe Park was the fourth steepest in the world (Crowds force closure of theme park, page 11, April 17). Nothing can be steeper than vertical. What was meant was that the launch acceleration – 0-80mph in 2.3 seconds – was the fourth fastest.
What do firefighters do when they’re not fighting fires? Sometimes they pull naked guys out of chimneys. Jon Carroll explains.
Some weeks back, after Rosa Parks was laid to rest, there was some disapproving talk about how the niches nearby in her Detroit mausoleum were suddenly carrying much larger price tags; apparently the rule of “location, location, location” applies after death, too. Well, time has wielded its scythe and Mrs. Parks has a new neighbor. And as they say, there goes the neighborhood.
More later. Discuss.