Though I've presented on The White Album several times, I had never done so collaboratively before yesterday. With its 30 stylistically diverse tracks, it is particularly well-suited to multiple interpretations and perspectives. And last night at the Arthur J. Miller library in Warren, MI, I paired up with Beatles expert Bob Koski to discuss and debate the merits of all 30 songs, before letting the audience decide by vote which half to keep and which half to discard.
When it was all said and done, here are the 15 tracks the audience voted to keep:
That means they threw out these 15:
After the final tally, one audience member said, "I think I'd prefer the album of rejects!" And indeed, that's one of the points of the exercise: In forcing ourselves to throw out half of the music, we come to better understand that The White Album genuinely needs to be a double album - you can't get rid of half the music without fundamentally altering the nature of the album!
Since 2018 is the 50th anniversary of The While Album, I'll be delivering this program several more times this summer. I plan to keep track of each vote, and after the final presentation I'll total up the tallies to see which tracks are the most and least popular.
Meanwhile, however, I'll be presenting a relatively new program tonight in Ortonville...
Wednesday, 6 June 2018, 6:30-8:00 p.m.
Brandon Township Public Library, 8636 304 South St, Ortonville, MI
The History of Popular Music in America
As the United States developed into an international superpower in the mid-Twentieth Century, so too America's music grew into an international force. This 90-minute multimedia presentation will trace the development of popular music in America from the conclusion of World War II to the present. Artists discussed will include Elvis Presley, The Beatles, Michael Jackson, and Eminem, among others.
... and returning to an old favorite I've done a couple hundred times on Saturday in Caro:
Saturday, 9 June 2018, 2:00-3:00 p.m.
Caro Area District Library, 840 W Frank St, Caro, MI
The Beatles: Band of the Sixties
Explore the music of the Beatles in this 60-minute multimedia presentation (part history and part musical analysis) spanning the full 1960's: beginning with the band's seminal visits to Hamburg, continuing through Beatlemania, and concluding with Abbey Road. The program will be supplemented with audio clips of music and excerpts from interviews with the band members.
This blog is a workshop for developing my analyses of The Beatles' music.