News in Review: The Who, Michael Jackson, Kate McGarrigle, Leonard Cohen
First Appeared in The Music Box, February 2010, Volume 17, #2
Written by John Metzger
Fri February 19, 2010, 06:30 AM CST
The Who Smashes Expectations, Not Instruments
Could 2010 be the year of The Who? With a major tribute concert scheduled at Carnegie Hall in March and rumors swirling that a new album is imminent, the outfit used its high-profile appearance at the Super Bowl in Miami to make a major statement. There is no doubt that without Keith Moon and John Entwistle, The Who has lost some of its thunder. Nevertheless, augmented with a flashy stage design, complete with lasers and assorted pyrotechnics, the group managed to keep its part of the bargain.
The Who’s Super Bowl set might not have been as zany as Bruce Springsteen’s or as intense as Prince’s, but the outfit still managed to look more animated than it has in years. Pete Townshend strummed propulsive rhythms and unleashed his trademark, windmill-style power chords, while Roger Daltrey, his voice fresh from a recent slate of solo dates, roared ferociously through the lyrics. Tempered only by its professionalism — no instruments were harmed during the performance — the band squeezed five songs — Pinball Wizard, Baba O’Riley, Who Are You, Won’t Get Fooled Again, and the familiar "See me, feel me" theme from Tommy — into its 12-minute time slot. The material might have been edited, but the show felt complete. There’s definitely some life left in this outfit. Hopefully, it won’t be squandered on another half-baked endeavor.
Charges Brought Against Michael Jackson’s Personal Physician
It took some time to assemble a case against Dr. Conrad Murray in the death of pop star Michael Jackson, however, on February 8, the physician was charged with involuntary manslaughter. He pleaded not guilty and was released after posting $75,000 in bail. Murray had been providing Jackson with medication to help him sleep. His actions allegedly caused Jackson’s death. If Murray is convicted, he could face up to four years in prison. Meanwhile, La Toya Jackson criticized the prosecution for not pursuing a murder charge against Murray.
Kate McGarrigle Dead at 63
After a four-year battle with cancer, Kate McGarrigle passed away on January 18 at the age of 63. Since the mid-1970s, McGarrigle has teamed with her sister Anna to perform material that is rooted in folk tradition. Their collaborative career gained a significant boost when Linda Ronstadt covered Heart Like a Wheel in 1974. The McGarrigles issued their self-titled debut the following year. The sisters’ tightly knit harmonies, a product of their upbringing, imbued their work with richness and intimacy. Six weeks before her death, McGarrigle made her final public appearance when she joined her children Martha and Rufus Wainwright at a benefit concert in London.
Leonard Cohen Nixes European Tour
After suffering a back injury while exercising, Leonard Cohen was forced to postpone all of the dates on his upcoming tour of Europe. He will have to undergo several months of physical therapy, but the music legend is expected to recover fully. The shows are being rescheduled for fall. In recent years, Cohen has made a triumphant return to the stage, earning immense accolades for his expansive, career-spanning concerts. His most recent endeavor Live in London depicted Cohen at the top of his game as he performed before a sold-out crowd in 2008.
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