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150: Matti Caspi, ‘Not Good, A Man Being Alone’

Did you know that God created Womb-Man as “a help against” her Man? Here Matti Caspi dons a white tux, sits down at a white grand piano in a cowshed, and serenades a very fetching Elsie in the funniest video I’ve ever seen.

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146: Hamilton Camp, ‘Pride of Man’

In 1964, Hamilton Camp described in a spookily prophetic song how civilization’s greatest tower is laid to waste, turned to dust by terror in a flash of fire, brought about by the ‘Pride of Man’. Both September 11 and Rosh HaShana fall this week. Somehow, they’re all connected.

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144: Fleet Foxes, ‘Montezuma’

In which Jeff philosophizes about life, music festivals, old age, and jingoism; writes an advice column together with an Aztec king; and enjoys the indie band Fleet Foxes.

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118: Brian Wilson, ‘Surf’s Up’ (“SMiLE”)

The Beach Boy’s unreleased 1966 “SMiLE” was rumored to be Brian Wilson’s unfinished masterpiece. Its legend grew larger than the Loch Ness monster, more beautiful than Shangri-La, more elusive than the Yeti, richer than El Dorado, more profound than the Shroud of Turin, more holy than the Grail. Now it’s been reassembled and issued, 37 years later. Was it worth the wait?

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111: The Byrds (David Crosby), ‘Everybody’s Been Burned’

David Crosby’s best songs with The Byrds employed a psychedelic sensibility – floating, meandering, precious, delicate, shimmering, as unfettered and fragile as a soap bubble wafting in a marijuana cloud above a Tribal Gathering. ‘Everybody’s Been Burned’ is one of his finest. It has the weight of melody and lyric content and meaning and emotion and passion, and yet it still floats.

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108: Michael McDonald/Luciana Souza, ‘I Can Let Go Now’

Here’s another pair of sublime/shlock treatments of a heartwrenching/heartburning ballad. I’m far too snobbish to admit that I swoon over both –’I Can Let Go Now’ by both its writer, light-heavyweight Michael McDonald, and by the regal Luciana Souza.

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066: Rickie Lee Jones, ‘Skeletons’

Hope you’re enjoying the new format of SoTW. Please do leave comments – always glad to hear from you. Thanks to David Rubin for the great photos from Eilat. I had the good fortune last week to attend the Red Sea Jazz Festival in Eilat as a member of the press, representing the Jerusalem Report. […]

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050: The Rolling Stones, ‘Gimme Shelter’ (Kent State)

Forty-two years ago, the day after the Kent State shootings, I walked onto my completely abandoned and unearthly silent campus, and experienced a musical hallucination of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Gimme Shelter’. In the minds of me and my friends and the entire Woodstock nation, it has become emblematic of that terrible time when American soldiers killed American citizens.

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