Monday, June 23, 2008

TVD Remembers | George Carlin

Bob Lefsetz in an email that just arrived, "It's funny when a guy like Carlin dies. Because he still lives. Not only all those HBO specials and records, but the routines in our minds. He's changed our lives. You see, Carlin's comedy never got dated. Because being human never really changes.

But now Carlin is gone. Kinda weird, because he was an inspiration, a beacon for all us wannabe truth tellers. If Carlin could do it, maybe we could too. Now, the path is only illuminated by his legacy, there will be no more new words, no more new routines. No more appearances on late night TV where he questions the conventional wisdom, where he states he doesn't vote because it doesn't make a difference. I'm a big believer in casting my ballot, but I can see that George is right. The fat cats win no matter what. The little guy is squeezed out. George was not a star who wanted to live above the fray, he never forgot his roots, he was interested in the little guy, and the little guy loved him for it.

Everybody I know who interacted with Carlin said they had a conversation. His stardom did not eviscerate his humanity. But his poor heart stopped him cold.

Seventy one is too young to die. Seems old, but when you get there, or see that a man running for President is that age, you realize that as a septuagenarian, you've still got a lot of living to do. Hopefully.

George's candle has been snuffed out, but his memory will live on. If I think of my pantheon of inspirations, I put him right up there with Tom Wolfe and Frank Zappa. Wolfe the observer and Zappa the questioner. That's what George Carlin was. An observer who was not afraid to question the status quo. I will be continued to be inspired by him. Hopefully, you will too."

George Carlin - Seven Words You Can't Say On TV (Mp3)

George Carlin - Ten Commandments (Mp3)

TVD's Daily Wax | Les Enfants "Touche'"

I guess it shouldn't surprise me that after a random list of songs like last Friday's, there's always a shout-out in the comments section for one or two in particular. Either they evoke the hallowed "back-in-the-day", or just fond memories, or recollections of a particular show, or even sometimes someone's hearing something for the first time and chimes in with the "wow - cool!"

And I appreciate all of that, but lately have been struck by the fact that availability and access have been the undercurrent of not just my taste in tunes but my record and CD collection as a whole. Sure, I might have liked some particular song when played on the radio and may have even made a point of seeking it out, but very often that 12" Import didn't make it into said Import Bin at my local record stores. So I did without, only to either track them down later on ebay or download the material amidst the family of music blogs that I read each day. And if the comment section reveals anything, it's that I'm not alone in this -- availability and access.

But then there were the LPs that did indeed make their way to New Jersey and later DC--many of which I had the luxury of setting aside for myself as a record store employee upon their delivery to the store. (It's a fact folks, the record store employees get first dibs.) So, this week I offer some dubious 'set-asides' or some lucky finds from the era when yes, you could have heard a song on the radio (or catch the video on something new called the "MTV") and find yourself a number of hours later tearing off the shrinkwrap.

All of this week's LPs are sitting on my shelves as I type this, but as an added nuance, the vinyl rips have been downloaded from the aforementioned family of bloggers who, I was surprised to take note of last week, over time have recreated a collection of LPs I sought out, put into semi-constant rotation, then just as easily cast aside. But they do evoke the hallowed "back-in-the-day", or just fond memories, or recollections of a particular show. For better or worse. You guys decide which...

Screaming from the radio back in, oh--was it '84?--came Ireland's Les Enfants. Sort of U2-y, Alarm-y--and chock full of hooks and bluster. The always awesome New Wave Outpost is to be thanked for this Blast o' The Past and the greatly missed Yesterday and Today Records in Rockville, Maryland is responsible for the vinyl version of this in my library.

Les Enfants - Shed A Tear (There You Go) (Mp3)
Les Enfants - Dreaming Of You (Mp3)
Les Enfants - Funny (Mp3)
Les Enfants - Nothing Has Changed (Mp3)
Les Enfants - Slipaway (Mp3)