I know I jump at every opportunity to feature the music of The Band, but that’s partially because I figure everyone can find something to love in their performances, which are rightly classified, despite the Canadian origins of all but one member, as “Americana.” A lot of the stuff from the late 1960s and early 1970s that I now revere I learned about later, but not these guys, who remained in my personal pantheon from the first notes I heard from Big Pink as performed by some of my high school friends. And Robbie Robertson, a brilliant guitarist and even more brilliant songwriter, crafted most of their immortal songs, with an archivist’s care for the many musical traditions on which he drew.
Here are some more quotidian midday news/views snacks:
* GOP Senate on course to confirm lowest number of judicial nominations since 1969.
* Sean Trende pours some cold logical water on floodgates arguments that marriage equality will soon produce legalized polygamy.
* If Iranian nuke deal reached, congressional approval may have to proceed on highly accelerated timetable.
* Quote of the day, from Paul Waldman, on Mike Huckabee’s rush to protect marriage-equality-opposing conservative evangelicals: “You may not have heard stories about the roving gangs of gay toughs beating up Christians, but Huckabee is on the case.”
* Learned something new from Andrew Schocket’s op-ed on “Founding Fathers:” Warren G. Harding first pol to use that term, now beloved by Republicans everywhere.
And in non-political news:
* In case you somehow missed it, US women’s soccer team won World Cup yesterday, defeating Japan 5-2 after early hat trick by Carli Lloyd.
As we break for lunch, here’s my favorite collaboration between Robertson the songwriter and Rick Danko the vocalist (with Levon Helm on harmony): “It Makes No Difference,” as performed in The Last Waltz. The longer studio version from Northern Lights/Southern Cross is, if possible, even better.