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Friday, November 08, 2013

VIDEO: The Carpenters - "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing"

OK, it's wacky Friday, so excuse us.

Here's a very trippy, retro cover of the Buffalo Springfield's "Nowadays Clancy Can't Even Sing" by The Carpenters.

The Carpenters were siblings Karen and Richard Carpenter who were big on soft rock, easy listening and adult contemporary genres way back in the 1970s.

Karen Carpenter died tragically at the age of 32 of eating disorders.

From Wikipedia:
In Coleman's The Carpenters: The Untold Story, Richard stressed repeatedly how much he disliked the A&M executives for making their image "squeaky-clean", and the critics for criticising them for their image rather than their music.
I got upset when this whole "squeaky clean" thing was tagged on to us. I never thought about standing for anything! They (the critics) took Close to You and said: "Aha, you see that number one? THAT's for the people who believe in apple pie! THAT's for people who believe in the American flag! THAT's for the average middle-American person and his station wagon! The Carpenters stand for that, and I'm taking them to my bosom!" And boom, we got tagged with that label.

A critical re-evaluation of Carpenters occurred during the 1990s and 2000s with the making of several documentaries produced in the United States, Japan, and Great Britain, like Close to You: Remembering the Carpenters (United States), The Sayonara (Japan), and Only Yesterday: The Carpenters Story (Great Britain). It's been said that Karen's signature vocals helped spur more contralto singers into pop music such as Anne Murray, Rita Coolidge, and Melissa Manchester. In 1990, the alternative rock band Sonic Youth recorded "Tunic (Song for Karen)", which depicted Karen saying goodbye to relatives as she got to play the drums again and meet her new "friends", Dennis Wilson, Elvis Presley and Janis Joplin.[64] Despite contentions that their sound was "too soft" to fall under the definition of rock and roll, major campaigns and petitions exist toward inducting Carpenters in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.[65]

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At 11/08/2013 08:06:00 PM, Anonymous doubter said...

I gotta think Shatner could do better.

Im up in TO. "No hold barred brother. He dies or I die." Raging with the mayor.."I'm gonna kill that (expletive) guy. I'm telling you, it's first-degree murder," the visibly agitated mayor shouts. "Have I tried crack ? yes, probably in one of my drunken stupors" I hope all the late night comedians send this guy drugs as a thank you for the material.

At 11/08/2013 09:08:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since it's "wacky Friday" here's another interesting clip: George Harrison talking about Neil (at 14:00). Let's just say he wasn't a fan.


At 11/09/2013 07:22:00 AM, Anonymous Jeff Hitz said...

Never saw that Harrison before - thanks.

At 11/09/2013 12:22:00 PM, Blogger Mr Henry said...

The genesis might be "Whacky Friday", but this is actually a very nice piece and a tribute to music that meant much more than a lot of folks will ever realize. It sure was much easier back then to love all kinds of music--I'd listen to The Carpenters and happily sing along while heading home from a concert by The Dead or The Allmans, then play some Dylan followed by Miles and maybe then The Monkees, falling asleep listening to Coltrane or Neil or Van Morrison.

But I'm sure there are many, many young music fans today who are doing their own variation. As a friend of mine (who also happens to be an amazing jazz and blues guitarist) said once, "it's always good to have big ears" when it comes to your music listening and appreciation. Or in the words of William Shatner, " boldly go etc".

Karen Carpenter's story is so sad. How much wonderful music has come out of abusive childhoods? Karen, The Cowsills, Brian interesting they all made beautiful pop music as the antidote for the miseries of life. Actually, that's not at all surprising when you think about it, is it?

And I wouldn't worry too much about the George Harrison comment (which, full disclosure, I haven't actually heard yet). It's pretty common knowledge that George had two personas: enlightened Bodhisattva and grumpy curmudgeon (I'm kinda like that too). Maybe his mood wasn't so great at the time (again, I'll need to check it out and might be totally off base), and Neil made many friends and a few enemies back in the day. But the past is the past--he has mellowed perfectly over the years, and every decade has gotten the Neil Young it needed.

Dreaming of a girl like me
Hey, what are you waiting for?
--Sonic Youth

My thoughts and prayers are with those suffering from Haiyan and its horrible aftermath...Gott Schutze Dich.

"For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust alike."
Matthew 5:45

At 11/09/2013 12:47:00 PM, Blogger Thrasher Wheat said...

Thanks Mr H, as always for your thoughtful comments.

Yes, wacky Friday. The Carpenters were of our era and we can certainly understand Richard's frustration in the comment above about being typecast by The Man.

Don't all major artists encounter typecasting by their benefactors and fans?

We are a labeling culture and its killing us all. That said, we love the sentiment "enlightened Bodhisattva and grumpy curmudgeon" and can relate.

The Harrison clip is indeed insightful. Altho, it behooves one to listen in full context.

If you start a conversation talking about ARC/WELD (45 mins of feedback), well, what do expect someone to say about Neil?

So not really too representative of probably Harrison's true opinion.

Altho, sadly, we'll never know until we get to the great gig in the sky.


At 11/09/2013 12:51:00 PM, Anonymous doubter said...

I remember Bob Fest and what Harrison is talking about. Ron Wood is next to Harrison and giving the "cut it" signal to Neil Young. I was embarrassed for Young. All that enormous talent on one stage and he felt he could hog much of the sound being produced. That being said, he gave one of the best performances of the night with Tom Thumb's Blues and Watchtower.

At 11/09/2013 02:15:00 PM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

Harrison says he likes Neil's songwriting, but not his guitar playing or his voice. Sounds pretty representative to me.

At 11/10/2013 09:35:00 AM, Anonymous Anonymous said...

George Harrison is not just talking about Arc. I'm a bit surprised to hear he doesn't like Neil Young.

For what it's worth, Young totally outplays Clapton during that Dylan tribute. I'll take any Neil Young solo over Claptons fancy solos anytime.

At 11/11/2013 12:21:00 PM, Anonymous Duluthfinest said...

THX for posting this fantastic George video.

I was at BobFest personally. My first really big live thing. 21 at that time and I never saw Neil live. So I got a ticket by Sony Music Germany (thanks Walter!) and flew over to NYC.
I was really f****** nervous to see my hero the first time.
evening went fantastic. all the big stars from my record collection. Al Kooper. Lou. June and Johnny Cash. Willie. Who invited Sophie B Hawkins ????
Then Sinead O'Connor came on stage. Everybody booed and I had no idea why ?! Anyway - she went off stage and Kris Kristofferson said "bastards" to the audience and I'd known from the schedule that Neil was next. The break was long and longer and I really was scared they would cancel the whole show ... !
Willie made the announcer and then Neil with the two killers of the evening. man, I was exploding when he played watchtower ! On the original schedule he has been also for "forever young" but he dropped it.
the rest of the fest was all downhill from then. sure there were fantastic outstanding things to come: clapton, the band, petty, mcguinn and: george harrison.
and the funny thing about the video here is for me: he was the worst of all the big shots on stage and he was definitively overdubbed in the later release. his voice was so fragile and weak and he couldn't strike the right note when he was singing.
the more funnier is to learn the backstage artists point of view about all this incredible night !

At 11/11/2013 07:47:00 PM, Anonymous doubter said...

Just prior to Bob Fest Sinead had torn up a photo of the pope on Sat Night Live. You can hear Kristofferson say to her "don't let the bastards get you down". I always felt it was the way she did it rather it being the pic of the pope. although that was part of it for sure. That was the outrage from the audience. She was really in your face about it. So she goes on with a spoken word Bob Marley song (poem?). Man, you saw one great show ! I think it was a PPV here.


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