First there was a Man. Then a Woman. Then in quick succession, two cats, a confused dog beast, and two kids. I stay at home with them. I'm the Man

Tuesday, August 3, 2010

Eff Paul McCartney. I've got the Pumpkin Man.

We use Beatles songs as lullabyes here.  Not terribly original, but pretty, effective, and comforting to everyone involved.

The other day I was watching PBS.  I said it.  Does that make me better than you?  More erudite?  More serious about our world?  More likely to get way too involved in an episode of Super Why only to wake up two hours later watching old people television?  It's a question for the ages.

They were running this show called In Performance at the White House.  Paul McCartney was receiving a special award from the president for being the last surviving Beatle.  Zingo!

Lots of great artists played.  Stevie Wonder, Dave Grohl, Elvis Costello, The Jonas Brothers.

The Jonas Brothers were really there.  They have the greatest agent ever in the history of agents.  "Hey Jonas's.  It's Artie.  I gotcha a great gig.  In front of the President.  The President.  Of the United States.  Yeah.  It's the Gershwin award ceremony for (Sir) Paul McCartney.  McCartney.  From the Beatles.  The Beatles.  Right.  They have a game on Rock Band.  Right.  No, you guys are better.  And cuter.  Much cuter.  This is mostly because he's old. I promise.  We'll get you guys one next year.  Right. "

The best thing about the show was that all of the artists were at the top of their respective games.  No one wants to mail it in in front of the President.  Even the Jonas Brothers.  Who still kind of sucked, but they tried hard.

One performance that stood out for me was Corinne Bailey Rae and Herbie Hancock playing Blackbird.  Here is a song we've all heard a thousand times, but they managed to elevate it.  You could feel even through the tv, that something special was taking place.  The artists and the audience were swept up in it together.  We were being treated to one of those moments when art bonds us all together and reminds us of how beautiful a thing it is to be human.

This was especially meaningful to me because Blackbird is one of the songs we sing to our kids.  I dvr'd the show.  When the kids got up the next morning I fed them, and then I plunked them down in the living room, turned on the tv and went directly to the performance or Blackbird.

They were rapt.  Completely engrossed.  Then the P-Man turned.  He looked at me.  He opened his mouth and brayed "BACKBIRD FIE!!  BACKBIRD FIE.  BACKBIRD FIE!  EBAHDAKLEKLENB NIIIIE!

Like being serenaded by a tone deaf crow.  It.  was.  Awesome.

I should mention that my bloggy friend Monica at And I'll Raise You 5 stole this idea and blogged about this first.  She's a telepathic plagiarist.  She recommends Dave Grohl's cover of Band On The Run.  It's really good.

This is the link for the entire show.  Blackbird is somewhere near the 27 minute mark.  If you come in on  Faith Hill giving a laborious and well-meant but ultimately crappy performance of The Long and Winding Road, you're getting close.

Also, keep voting for grant money to cure JM.  They're in 4th place and only need to finish 2nd to get the money.


  1. Did I miss the death of Ringo? Or does he just not count?

  2. Damn. Zingo=Zing Ringo. I was unclear.

  3. Super Why - My son won't look away from the TV when this is on. He only watches Sid the Science Kid and Super Why. He couldn't care less about any other show on TV. Thank God for PBS.

  4. OK, this was funny. From the PBS apologetics (see, I couldn't even admit in my post that is was ON PBS) to the Jonas' agent thing, to your son's rendition: smiles and laughs over here. Thanks for the linky, too.

    GREAT post.

  5. I always thought that the day the Jonas Brothers appeared on a PBS White House special, the universe would implode. My bad, apparently.

    I have never met a parent who said their young children didn't love the Beatles. There's some sort of psychological study here, seriously. Something about the composition of melody/harmony, or song structure, or their voices... but all kids freaking love the Beatles. Unless they're being raised by Devil Nazis, of course.

  6. Gotta love the Beatles! Didn't you see Ringo's 70th Birthday Party???

  7. I'm not a huge fan of the Beatles, but as a bass player, I have to respect the contributions Sir Paul has made to the music community.

    I couldn't believe that the Jonas Brothers were playing though. I saw the commercial for it (I also watch PBS, making me superior to anyone else that comments here) and it boggled my mind that they were playing (also, that PBS would show something that would put them on the screen and tarnish their impeccable reputation as a provider of high quality television shows like Antique Roadshow and that dude that teaches me how to paint).

  8. Christopher-You watching PBS doesn't count. You're from Canada. There is like, PBS and and the Bear channel up there.

  9. I wonder at what age kid's realize they are off key. But, until then we love their throw caution to the wind attitude towards signing.

  10. I too was confused about the whole dead Ringo thing until I checked the comments. I'm glad I didn't miss that story. I'm always the last to know.

    How one falls asleep in front of Super Why! is beyond me. That's the noisiest show ever. Then again, there's only about 3 minutes of original content per show, so yeah.

  11. Never heard a Jonas Brothers song before. It's ok, you can envy me. It's all I've got really.

  12. We are all born having the lyrics to every Beatles song imbedded in our brains. It's a fact.
    But hearing it sung by a tone deaf crow is just an awesome experience.

  13. Ringo Schmingo. As long as no awards are given to Yoko (except for musical torture), I'm down with it.

  14. Beatles suck, but I love me some Corinne Bailey Rae!

  15. I hope Stevie Wonder wasn't sitting out there and singing out loud, ruining every damn song for those around him.


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