On Paul McCartney’s Album of Standards

A week from today, Paul McCartney’s new album, Kisses on the Bottom, comes out. When it was first announced a few months ago, it was described as an album of standards, the songs that McCartney grew up with in the 1950s that inspired him and John Lennon as they were forming the Quarry Men andContinue reading “On Paul McCartney’s Album of Standards”

On Christmas Day Music Musings

Like many atheists, I love Christmas. Richard Dawkins, for instance, says that he’s “culturally Christian” when he’s asked why he does Christmas things — the Christmas celebrations are part of the cultural DNA. Elizabeth Cornwell wrote an essay for the Washington Post about her own “Very Atheist Christmas” and it hits a lot of myContinue reading “On Christmas Day Music Musings”

On Favorite Beatles Songs

This weekend at Shore Leave, on Saturday evening at 5 o’clock, I’ll be moderating a panel on the Beatles. It’s an odd topic for a panel for science-fiction convention, and I admit I put it down on my list of suggested topics as a kind of a lark, and I still have no idea whatContinue reading “On Favorite Beatles Songs”

On The Beatles’ The Lord of the Rings

In 1963, when the Beatles agreed to make A Hard Day’s Night, the film, they signed a three-picture deal with United Artists. In 1964, they made A Hard Day’s Night. In 1965, Help! By and large, though, they didn’t like making films. Too much work. And so, when the idea was floated of an animatedContinue reading “On The Beatles’ The Lord of the Rings”

On You Never Give Me Your Money

Over the past twenty-odd years I’ve read a lot of Beatles books. My studies have ranged from Mark Lewisohn’s books on their recordings to biographies of the band like Philip Norman’s Shout! and Bob Spitz’s The Beatles to analysis of the music in Mark Hertzgaard’s A Day in the Life and Ian MacDonald’s Revolution inContinue reading “On You Never Give Me Your Money”

On Let It Be, Forty Years On

Forty years ago today, The Beatles’ Let It Be arrived, and an era came to an end. The band had already disintegrated in the summer of ’69. Paul McCartney announced that he had left the band in April, before the release of his solo album McCartney. It wasn’t just a Beatles album, it was theContinue reading “On Let It Be, Forty Years On”

On My Present Musical Mood

I’ve recently been on a Beatles kick. These things go in cycles for me; I’ll listen to the Beatles hardcore (or Lennon solo, or McCartney solo, or Harrison solo, or even Starr solo) for a month, and then I’ll not touch the Beatles for six months or so. Recently, the cycle kicked in. I can’tContinue reading “On My Present Musical Mood”

On Rethinking “Hot As Sun”

Last night, WAMU, the public radio station in Washington, broadcast a documentary entitled The Beatles: One More Album, which examined what another Beatles album, after Abbey Road, might’ve been like. It wasn’t definitive in any way, but it was interesting. The early solo music of the four Beatles was discussed, from songs they tried outContinue reading “On Rethinking “Hot As Sun””

On an Upcoming John Lennon Biopic

A friend of mine, Michael Schuster, pointed me to this, the trailer for Nowhere Boy, an upcoming biopic about the teenage years of John Lennon: Aaron Johnson, whom I’ve never heard of, plays the young Lennon, and Thomas Sangster plays Paul McCartney. While Sangster doesn’t look especially much like McCartney, Johnson, particularly when he putsContinue reading “On an Upcoming John Lennon Biopic”

On the Week That’s Been

Six weeks ago, give or take, I decided that I didn’t have to write a blog post every day. I’d written something every day from the end of March 2007 to April 2009, a run of some 750 straight days. I can’t promise that every day was quality, but every day had something. Ever sinceContinue reading “On the Week That’s Been”