Monthly Archives: October 2013

Live Performance of the Week: “Yer Blues” by The Dirty Mac

Most supergroups have short lifespans, not lasting beyond a couple albums. This particular ensemble wasn’t together for more than five minutes.

The 1968 TV special, The Rolling Stones Rock and Roll Circus, brings together members from four of Britain’s top rock bands: Cream’s Eric Clapton on guitar, Jimi Hendrix Experience’s Mitch Mitchell on drums, and the Stones’ own Keith Richards on bass, all under the direction of John Lennon, who at this time was a Beatle by contract only. Lennon wrote and recorded “Yer Blues” for the recently released White Album, a disjointed double album featuring mainly solo compositions from the four Liverpudlians. Lennon’s disinterest in the Beatle identity is clear here; his debut of a new song with an all-star lineup of guest musicians does little to mask John’s apparent refusal to perform with his bandmates.

If anything, he was more fed up with the entire music scene. “Yer Blues” mocks what Lennon saw as the cheap output of the multitude of white British bluesmen in the late 60s, at least in relation to the authentic works of black artists in the earlier part of the centry. Even his new group’s name, The Dirty Mac, takes a jab at Fleetwood Mac, which established itself as one of the premier blues groups at the time, long before it would sell out with the pop travesties of “Gypsy” or “Don’t Stop.”

Still, “Yer Blues” is better as a standalone work than a parody of blues imitators. It’s angry Lennon at his finest, along with many of his closest musical friends. Best of all, he gets through the entire song without a Yoko Ono interlude. Enjoy.

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A Special Birthday Request

Dear friends and family,

On this eve of my birthday, I expect that many of you will flood my Facebook with posts of well-wishing and good cheer. But it is very likely that your messages to me will be no different that the hundreds of others that you’ve typed out over the years. Our social media, which we claim brings us closer together, serves only to promote self-isolation and a devaluation of individual worth. We are all just automatons of the technological age. When was the last time that you actually said “Happy Birthday,” and meant it, anyway?

I say it’s time to bring compassion and effort back into the realm of human communication. It is for this reason that I ask you to take a minute out of your day, and send me five dollars. Just five dollars from each of you. Five dollars to represent a commitment to the betterment of our species, mailed to 200 Winthrop Mail Center. You don’t even have to write a card; I’d just throw it out.

Birthdays are more than just another day out of the year. They represent a promise to make mature decisions in the future, like not borrowing large amounts of money from people who disrespect you or threaten to “shove a broken lightbulb down your fucking esophagus.” Let’s all make a promise to change, and to start appreciating each other for what we really are. Thank you.

-Dan

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“Stand-Up Students”

“Stand-Up Students”

This week The Crimson did a great profile on stand-up comedy at Harvard. I hope you’ll all enjoy it and learn a bit about the formation of good comedians. There are also some sexy headshots to look at if all those words are too confusing.

https://i2.wp.com/static.thecrimson.com/images/seal.jpg

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A Special Columbus Day Announcement

A Special Columbus Day Announcement

The Danopticon wishes you a very happy Columbus Day–whatever that may mean.

Special thanks to cartoonist Nora Garry.

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