Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Live Music

It used to be, live albums were nothing more than louder, faster versions of the original album music, with screaming (Cheap Trick at Budokan comes to mind).

There's a new crop of live albums that I'm loving, the latest being "Live Music" by the Joe Jackson Trio.
Jazzed-up versions of classics such as "Sunday Papers" and interesting covers including the Beatles' "Girl" (which I've heard him do in concert) and Ian Dury's "Inbetweenies" (which I haven't).  I've got four live Joe albums now, including "Summer in the City" and "Two Rainy Nights" plus the double live album (which is the weakest of the four). Now if we can only get him back in Chicago (he's avoiding the US for its anti-smoking laws).

Artists (at least the ones I'm buying live albums from) seem to be able to take more liberties with their own music on today's live sets.  Try Glen Phillips' "Live at Largo" for some stripped-down, pure singing.  Try "Katie Todd Live" for some of the best, jammin' versions of her early works (and I was there at Milwaukee Summerfest during the recording). Try "Try" by the John Mayer Trio :)

Thursday, May 05, 2011

I should've made him diagram that sentence, a lot. You're darn tootin'.

OK, since Dave Barry isn't doing it anymore, I hereby nominate myself Mister Language Person.

Today, it's all about typing on the Internet...
...and how most of you out there suck at it.

I'm talking about grown adults who don't know the differences between "your" and "you're." If it's too much work to type "you're" then please type "ur" -- at least then I know you're abbreviating and not pig-ignorant.

A lot of you people seem to think that "alot" is a word. Here's a hint: No, it isn't. "Allot" is a word, but it's a verb.  I anticipate I'll have to teach this lesson a lot.

Lately, though, there seems to be a new language epidemic of "of" where it doesn't belong. The English language has these wonderful little contractions that have been around for centuries. They can confound immigrants and androids, but you'd think high school graduates could remember that "should've" is the contraction for "should have" and not "should of." The latter isn't shorter, and makes absolutely no sense.  "Should" is what my third-grade teacher called a "helper verb" and needs a verb to help.  "Of" isn't that verb. "Of" is a preposition, and needs a prepositional phrase, like "of mice and men."

Is that too much for today? I'll deal with "too" next time.