Robert Baird

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Robert Baird Posted: Nov 26, 2008 2 comments
Perhaps the most interesting thing on satellite radio has been Bob Dylan’s Theme Time radio show on XM, where he uses big themes like “baseball” or “eyes,” and builds shows around music that somehow connects to the theme. The idea for this show, which is worth listening to if only for Dylan’s raspy–voiced patter, may have come from a previous Forties–era radio program hosted by one of Dylan’s heroes, Woody Guthrie.
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Robert Baird Posted: Feb 09, 2009 2 comments
The mini–dustup over Etta James saying she “can’t stand” Beyonce and was gonna “whip” or “whoop” her ass is a hoot. First of all, Etta’s legacy is in no danger. No one will ever top her rendition of “At Last.” That performance, her greatest single track, is in no danger of being superseded.
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Robert Baird Posted: Jan 20, 2012 2 comments
Publishing has a way of keeping you humble. Many years ago, after a scheduled show by her had been abruptly canceled, a club owner told me that Etta James had died.
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Robert Baird Posted: May 11, 2012 10 comments
Many if not most of the world’s most admired albums attained their fame slowly. In the case of Exile on Main Street which was released forty years ago on May 12, 1972, it took years for its ragged, bluesy charms to percolate into the collective psyche and eventually emerge as if not the best, then one of the contenders in the Stones catalog.
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Robert Baird Posted: May 08, 2008 4 comments
It drives me nuts when people, some of them intelligent and not prone to idiotic statements, say things to me like a colleague did the other day: "Do you ever hear a good record anymore?"
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Robert Baird Posted: Jun 22, 2006 1 comments
This just in:
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Robert Baird Posted: Apr 06, 2007 0 comments
Why rage against an ill wind? I realize that complaining incessantly about the ongoing plundering of rock, classic and otherwise, by Madison Avenue ain't gonna make it stop but is there no one who can resist the allure of cash?
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Robert Baird Posted: Aug 22, 2006 1 comments
I've always been a huge Pixies fan. I was so excited at 2004's reunited tour that I practically needed a minder to get me to the gig. But Frank Black solo, now there's a whole other experience.
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Robert Baird Posted: Aug 07, 2009 2 comments
They were quite a couple. Like a pair of Octopi in heat. First, he was grabbing her ass. Then he had his hands up the back of her shirt. Then, up the front. Then he had his hands down the back of her pants. Then, down the front. Both hands and about half of his forearms. Her only reaction was to smile, swoon and stick her tongue in his mouth. I'm damned impressed that she was able to keep her clothes on during this determined assault upon her New Jersey virtue. Best of all, during this entire spectacle, they were simultaneously kissing and falling down at the same time. Groping does not begin to get what was happening in my section on Thursday night at the Beacon Theatre.
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Robert Baird Posted: Jul 18, 2008 6 comments
Calling anything “IMPORTANT,” particularly a record, often sucks the life out of it and dooms it to a kind of overly academic hell to be debated by talking heads and those that “were there.”
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Robert Baird Posted: Oct 16, 2008 1 comments
I live by the axiom, “So many records to listen to, so little time.” That’s not an excuse; just reality. And it has nothing to do with being a music writer. If you’re a voracious music fan, there’s no way, no matter how many records per day you slug through, that you can hear it all. If today, I started listening to just my Beethoven Symphony cycles, it would literally be months before I could come up for air.
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Robert Baird Posted: Sep 24, 2010 1 comments
Berlin was a much smaller market yet there were some interesting music stores, headed by Mr. Dead & Mrs Free which sells only new vinyl. Nearby was Rock Steady Records (pictured above) which had a decent selection of used vintage vinyl. I hear the flea market by the Brandenburg Gate has a number of vinyl dealers but somehow I never made it there.
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Robert Baird Posted: Aug 02, 2014 3 comments
It’s clearly time for a complete rethink of the musical biopic format.
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Robert Baird Posted: Jan 03, 2008 1 comments
I was saddened today to read about the December 22 passing of Ruth Wallis, a singer from the 40's through 60's who specialized in creative naughtiness. Born in Brooklyn (where else?), she sang with Benny Goodman and owned her own record label, but it was her risque tunes like, "The Dinghy Song" ("He had the cutest little dinghy in the Navy") that brought her the most fame and which became the basis for an unlikely 2003 Broadway hit, Boobs! The Musical: The World According to Ruth Wallis. Here are a few classic couplets from the Wallis-penned title tune: "You've gotta be filled Two fried eggs will never grab him like grapefruits will (And they're both breakfast foods) But listen girls, don't try to fool your lover Remember, he can go to Good Year if he wants rubber" "Just think if all us girls had boobies with fluorination We could take the cavities out of the whole damn nation A nibble a day keeps the dentist away" "Some push 'em up Some stick 'em out And some keep 'em flappin' in the breeze Some tie then down because if they don't They would hang down to their knees Just you tease"
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Robert Baird Posted: May 16, 2006 2 comments
Being addicted, or even just a fan of The New York Times means you have to suss out the necessary assumptions and become expert at translating what's really going on there. Even overlooking the woeful sports section and regular incidents of pathetic pandering—a recent travel piece by Robert Kennedy Jr. comes to mind—the institutional psychoses and attitude, subtle as they may be, that the paper infuses, again ever so delicately, into everything is quite amazing.

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