The AARP remains a powerful force in our society. They allow old people to drive and strictly enforce laws mandating "early bird" specials in most parts of the country. They offer tax breaks to seniors who accidentally run over children and they keep our medical establishment thriving by encouraging old people to visit their doctors regularly. Old people also own a piece of the music industry and insist on making music and releasing albums long past retirement age. As Randy Newman said, "Each record that I'm making is like a record that I've made--just not as good." Well, roll over Randy Newman and tell Paul McCartney the news.
Here are five old people who've recently put out new records for us to give to our grandparents for Christmas.
Joni Mitchell: She swore off the music business, wrote endless (and I mean endless) songs about how society sucks and everyone is corrupt and then she signs with the Starbucks label where they don't even let a lifelong chainsmoker like Joni light up inside. She's still complaining. She still plays in weird tunings. And for some reason, she's still obsessed with Big Yellow Taxis! Someone buy this woman a horse.
John Fogerty: I imagine John's penmanship is pretty neat. He's so orderly. When he was with the Creedence Clearwater Revival, fighting for Bayou rights and the unlawful oppression of the alligator, he knew how to write three minute songs that would always go to #2 on the Billboard Pop Charts. Then times changed and those same three minute songs he kept writing didn't go up the charts and he got annoyed. Can't say I blame him. Damn people.
Robert Wyatt: Apparently the Canterbury scene is on back on the rise. How else to explain the sudden re-emergence of both Robert Wyatt and Kevin Ayers within a few months of one another? Clearly someone's been IM'ing someone somewhere. And with Comicopera, Wyatt returns with his usual batch of good cheer and happy politics where the world might end unless the communists get the capitalists to hand over some peace, land and bread to those who'd like to eat.
Kevin Ayers: Much like his compatriot Robert Wyatt, Kevin Ayers named his album as one big run-on The Unfairground. But unlike Mr. Wyatt, Ayers has not declared his political affiliation, though one supposes he would be against a "lax tax," penalizing musicians who put out albums sporadically. If such a tax were to take hold, Mr. Ayers would be screwed. Or else would have to make an album more than once every 17 years. Some say he is odd. The man is a locust.
Charlie Louvin: With Porter Wagoner passing at 80 to hillbilly heaven, Charlie Louvin takes over the mantle for oldest country dude still cutting albums and performing them live. Louvin makes friends in the weirdest places, adding the guys in Lambchop to his buddy list along with other "alterna" guys who usually go dateless on Saturday nights. Guess it beats cruising the bingo halls!
- Randy Newman
- Robert Wyatt
- Kevin Ayers