1 You know that scene in “High Fidelity” where Dick and Barry are sitting in the record store, listening to a song, with these pained, sad, difficult expressions because they can’t believe that the shoplifting skatepunks could make something that good? “I know . . . it’s really good.” Well, that’s how I feel about “Has Been,” the stunning collaboration between William Shatner and Ben Folds, with support from the likes of Joe Jackson and Aimee Mann. I was originally bemused that Shatner, whose rendition of “Rocket Man” is so classically awful, would venture back into the musical world, even with the little bit of cred he saved up from the Priceline commercials. And while not a major fan by any means, I do get that Ben Folds does some interesting stuff. But I still couldn’t imagine how anyone could take such a collaboration seriously. Then I heard a couple of the tracks on WEQX, the true alternative station that I rediscover every couple of years, and I was intrigued. Then I got “Common People” stuck in my head, and it was all over. Downloaded the whole thing from the Apple Music Store, and I’m sorry to report, it’s truly some kind of masterpiece. Scorching, funny, intensely personal (hey, you sing about your wife who drowned and the children you abandoned, and do it without getting even a little maudlin). It’s really good. Sort of like a “Songs for ‘Drella,” something you’ll have to listen to a few times a year, just because it exists. Damn. Who knew he could do that?
2 Came home with an intense need to hear “Come On Eileen,” and I don’t mean the original, but instead the No Doubt version. The “confession” part is that I have it in my library.
3 I love Morrissey’s “I Have Forgiven Jesus,” which would be a typical Morrissey dirge — but somehow it’s not, and it’s not just that it’s a touch sacrilegious. Though that never hurts, to my way of thinking.