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Dressed for (Post) Success

There was always something about The Rolling Stones I couldn’t stand. It was confusing, because I love the music.

Now I know what it is.

Forget Jagger — the front guy has to dress up (and even his Bar Mitzvah MC get up is a bit subdued). It seems that the rest have decided to just show up and play rock and roll. That’s far better than the posturing, studied coolness and self-reverence that always characterized the band. It was okay in, say, 1970. But it got dumber, more embarrassing and finally a bit creepy as times changed and decades passed.

Now The Stones finally look like what they are: Old guys who still know how to rock. There is nothing wrong with that. Just ask Neil Young. It’s kind of funny: After about 1980 The Rolling Stones became the world’s best Rolling Stones tribute band (probably). Maybe they actually can become creative again. The new song, Doom and Gloomis good.

Above is Sympathy for the Devil from the November 25 show with the great Mick Taylor on lead.

Here’s What’s Here

The Daily Music Break explores every genre of music, from hip hop to opera. It's simple: Boundaries are dumb. It's all good. Here is more about the site and here is our index:

--A Tribe Called Quest to The Dick Hyman Trio (In other words, A to H)

--Indigo Girls to Queen Ida (I to Q)

--Radiohead to ZZ Top (R to Z)

Reading Music

The stories of the great bands and musicians are fascinating. Musicians as a group are brilliant, but often troubled. The combination of creativity and drama makes for great reading.

Here are some books to check out.

Duke Ellington brought class, sophistication and style to jazz which, until that point, was proudly unpolished and raucous. His story is profound. The author, Terry Teachout, also wrote "Pops," the acclaimed bio of Louis Armstrong. Click here or on the image.

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What else is there to say? Here is the story behind every song written by The Beatles. Click here or on the image.

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The Grateful Dead don't get enough credit for the profound nature of its lyrics. Many of the band's songs are driven by a deep and literate Americana ("I'm Uncle Sam/That's who I am/Been hidin' out/In a rock and roll band" and "Majordomo Billy Bojangles/Sit down and have a drink with me/What's this about Alabama/Keeps comin' back to me?").

David Dodd's exhaustive study tells the story, song by song. Click here or on the image.

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