Sweet Birds of Youth (June 21st, 2018, Columbia, MO)

An industrious day of exercise, reading, trip-planning, pretending we were on Bourbon Street, and enjoying rain, breeze, and 70-degree weather (it’s been hot here in Misery). But I had enough time to check out two new live recordings from the vaults, capturing two great acts in their late-girlhood, early womanhood.

Nicole and I always wonder, “Why don’t we listen to Bonnie Raitt more?” A great singer and guitarist, a class act, pretty good quality control, a sense of humor–what’s not to love? To some extent, maybe, she’s so damn consistent she’s either a bit boring or taken too often for granted. The above set, recorded on my tenth birthday, finds her delivering a combo of blues and pop covers, most of which eventually found themselves on her early records, with astounding maturity and command. Her guitar playing is still a shade rough, but it’s passionate. All in all, it might be my favorite Raitt recording, because it’s more alive than her studio output.

I have to admit, I’m not a huge Bangles fan. Their terrific debut, All Over the Place, conveyed garage toughness, featured fetching harmonies and melodies, and exhibited neat rock-historic savvy. For me, though, aside from two great singles and one good-plus corny one, it was all downhill from there. I admire this ’86 live set because it puts all the good-to-great stuff in one place, on a decent night, with just a touch of the toughness gone.

Short-shrift Division:

Revisited two old YouTube playlists from our faux-NOLA frozen-drink cloud:

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