PATRICK MCVAY

WRITER

My Musings

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We're Not Gonna Pay

As this is the time of year when we citizens gather up our documents to ascertain whether we have more taxes to pay or are due a refund, it’s only natural for a person to lift his spirits by cranking the tunes during the unhappy process. Classic Rock stations play George Harrison’s “Taxman” over and over on April 15, but to my mind there is a more apropos tax-themed song, especially if you don’t happen to agree with the current administration in power (or didn’t agree with it in 2004, when we were mired in an elective foreign war). Go ahead and find me a better pick-me-up song that this one, by Sharon Jones:

 

 

In a hugely unfortunate stroke of ridiculous bad luck, we humans lost the incomparable Sharon Jones last fall (at just sixty years of age for crying out loud!) to that damnable pancreatic cancer. (Remind me not to get that one, as it’s quick and unforgiving). She was just getting a foothold on the music world; friends of mine had passed up opportunities to see her because they figured that there were plenty of opportunities in the future. Just like there are plenty of opportunities for me to see PJ Harvey. Like two weeks from now. Except, wait, I’ll be in Italy when she next appears in Boston. Why the hell does it never work out?

As much as I pity the world for its loss of Sharon Jones (sorry, you ol’ world), I feel a little worse for the Dap-Kings, who had found the perfect front person for their groovy sound, and now must be scratching their heads about what to do next. If they happen to tour again, with some other front person, or just on their own, I strongly encourage you to see them, as they have a great sound and surely could use a pick-me-up, after having donated so many pick-me-ups of their own over the years.

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Black Joe

You may not believe this, but I’m currently riding a huge emotional high. As I’m well-known for having a gloomy demeanor, to find me walking with a spring in my step must be jarring for the American public. If I’ve taken my fellow citizens out of their comfort level, I apologize. It’s just what happens to me when I see a great rock show.

The obvious question is, what show could possibly have changed my normally dour disposition, even in these trying days of political assininity? The answer is Black Joe Lewis and the Honeybears. (But you knew that!)

First of all, how am I able to see this band for just $17? Does Black Joe have a benefactor or something, allowing people like me to see the show at a steep discount? If not, the ticket price makes no economic sense. I can do almost nothing else in the world for $17, but somehow I’m able to see this great soul/funk band tear it up in the small Middle East club in Cambridge, MA, on the corner of Mass Ave and Brookline Street, where so much great music comes and goes. Since I may be the last person on earth who actually buys physical copies of albums, I don’t think they are making much money from CD or record sales. So what gives?

My friend Tim says bands like this are licensing their work. I suppose. But can they possibly earn enough to make ends meet in this extra large band that Black Joe totes around? I believe there were six Honeybears on stage with him on Friday night, blowing into horns, banging and strumming and so forth. That’s a lot of sweaty guys to put into hotels, feed, and drive around, all because of licensing deals and $17 a ticket in a venue that holds about 350 people.

I’m sure you’re expecting me to review the show in detail, but that would be a waste of your time. All you need to know is that I give it such a huge thumbs up that I’m going to demand that Howard go to Blackjoelewis.com, select the “shows” page, and then buy a low-priced ticket to see the band in Minneapolis. That way, he can finally see them do “I’m Broke” live and in person.

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