New York City, Monday, October 29th 3:45pm: Here in New York City and other parts of the Northeast Coast including New Jersey and Rhode Island we are already feeling the strong winds and rain but are still awaiting the brunt of Hurricane Sandy to hit sometime later today. The massive storm with such a friendly name is expected to wreak havoc here on the Northeast over the next day or more with the worst of it hitting later tonight/early tomorrow morning, according the National Weather Service. Already winds are up near 100 MPH on the Jersey Shore and here in Queens, where I am, some trees have been blown down. Hurricane Sandy, which is arriving in conjunction with a separate severe cold weather system a couple of days shy of Halloween, has been dubbed "Frankenstorm" by the media who are always, it appears, delighted to have some potential apocalyptic disaster to report upon. Most folks here in New York and New Jersey that I know are hoping for the best but preparing for the worst. NYC buses and subways have been out of service since last (Sunday) evening and both JFK and La Guardia airports are shut down with flights cancelled through tomorrow (Tuesday) evening. For up to the minute news on the storm YouTube is live streaming The Weather Channel, while Weather.Com is doing live updates online that you can get on your mobile devices.
On this day in music history: May 14, 1969 - Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere, the second studio album by Neil Young is released. Produced by Neil Young and David Briggs, it is recorded at Wally Heider Studio 3 in Hollywood, CA, in January and March of 1969. Recorded in just two weeks worth of studio time, it is the first to feature Young's backing band Crazy Horse. The album features some of Young's best known material including "Cinnamon Girl" (#55 Pop), "Down By The River," and "Cowgirl In The Sand." Young will write all three songs in one day while sick in bed with a 103 ° fever. "Nowhere" will peak at #34 on the Billboard Top 200 and will be certified platinum by the RIAA.
On this day in music history: May 14, 1971 - Carpenters, third studio album by The Carpenters is released. Produced by Jack Daughtery, it is recorded at A&M Studios in Hollywood, CA in late 1970/early 1971. Coming just nine months after their breakthrough album Close To You, it will firmly establish the duo's pop star status on a worldwide basis. Carpenters will spin off three top five singles including "Rainy Days And Mondays" (#2 Pop), "Superstar" (#2 Pop), and "For All We Know" (#3 Pop). The original LP package is designed to look like a formal party invitation, opening from the top like an envelope with an overlapping flap. Carpenters will peak at #2 on the Billboard Top 200, and to date has sold over 4 million copies in the US.
Been thinking about Karen Carpenter today. Isn't this just the best?
Poor Karen, the submissive misfit in a controlling, perfectionistic family. Here's a frail looking Karen playing a huge drum solo on the Carpenters' 1976 TV special:
In the typically dull world of easy listening, Karen Carpenter really stands out as someone with great talent and passion for music, inserting both pathos and intensity into her singing and playing. She also appears to have been someone who never quite fit into that rigid, clean cut and repressed world and who was emotionally damaged in part by that realization. The sadness and the difficulties she faced seem to have been channeled into her creative endeavors, which no doubt added to her capability and appeal, but anorexia withered her away to the bone and she finally passed away due to its complications in 1983.
There's an interesting documentary about the Carpenters that's available on DVD, Close To You: Remembering the Carpenters, which in my memory is notable for Richard Carpenters' closed-offedness, constant creepy smiling and refusal to admit or recognize much of anything that might have been tragic or difficult throughout the career he and his sister had.