At Radio City, Paul and Ringo together again

Glenn Gamboa
Newsday (MCT)

At Radio City, Paul and Ringo together again

Paul McCartney and Ringo Starr sang "With a Little Help From My Friends" into the same microphone as part of their most significant collaboration in decades Saturday night at New York City's Radio City Music Hall. The former Beatles, who also performed by themselves, played three songs together - with "Cosmically Conscious" and the finale "I Saw Her Standing There," backed by an all-star band that included Sheryl Crow, Eddie Vedder, Donovan, and Beach Boy Mike Love - to cap the "Change Begins Within" benefit organized to raise funds to teach Transcendental Meditation to 1 million children around the world. Though McCartney and Starr have appeared together only a handful of times since The Beatles disbanded in 1970 and performed together even less - most recently in 2002 at "A Concert for George," a tribute to the late Beatles guitarist George Harrison - they seemed at home together, even vamping to see who would get the most applause. Starr has said a full Beatles' reunion would be too painful after the murder of John Lennon and Harrison's death from cancer. However, he and McCartney did join forces Saturday night to support the director David Lynch, whose David Lynch Foundation is trying to further the cause of bringing meditation to children. McCartney credits Transcendental Meditation, learned from its founder Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, as "something to stabilize us at the end of the crazy '60s." The McCartney-Starr collaboration was the biggest of the night's big-name pairings. Pearl Jam's Vedder and Ben Harper teamed up for a fiery, passionate version of Queen and David Bowie's classic "Under Pressure." Crow and Harper delivered a gorgeous version of Harrison's "My Sweet Lord." It may have been comedian Jerry Seinfeld, though, working solo, who drew the biggest non-Beatles ovation. "Don't meditate on me," said Seinfeld, adding he has meditated for 37 years. "I've got some jokes to tell here." Howard Stern was serious in his appearance, explaining how meditation saved his mother's life, though he also enjoyed the moment. "I grew up in Roosevelt, Long Island," Stern said. "If you would've told me that one day I'd be on the same stage as them, I wouldn't have believed you."

The year in song reflected the state of the world around us. Here are the 70 songs that spoke to us this year.

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"Vanishing. It's a powerful word, that"

Northern Ireland, Rural Derry, 1981, nighttime. The local ringleader of the Irish Republican Army gun-toting comrades ambushes a priest and tells him that the body of one Seamus Carney has been recovered. It is said that the man had spent a full ten years rotting in a bog. The IRA gunslinger, Muldoon, orders the priest to arrange for the Carney family not to utter a word of what had happened to the wretched man.

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The album cover, in a way, tells you everything. It's simple: a cardboard box with two pieces of tape: one from the box's original packing, the other haphazardly slapped on. They imply two separate states–ordering and reordering, original state and redefined context. The Perfect Nothing Catalog, the debut recording from Alaska-born, Brooklyn-based composer Conrad Winslow, invokes this very idea of objects and ideas placed, shuffled, and replaced, provoking questions of how arrangement shapes meaning.

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In 'Downsizing' Shrinking Means Big Money and Bigger Problems

Matt Damon and Jason Sudeikis in Downsizing (2017) (Photo by Photo credit: Paramount Pictures - © 2017 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved.) (IMDB)

Being the size of a dog's chew toy might not be to everybody's taste, but it's certainly a shortcut to a kind of upper middle-class luxury unobtainable for most of humanity.

Just imagine you're a character in Alexander Payne's circuitous and occasionally perceptive new comedy Downsizing: You were pre-med, but you dropped out of school to take care of your mother. Now you're an occupational therapist at Omaha Steaks. You and your wife are treading water both economically and in your relationship. But still, you face every day with just enough gee-whiz optimism that life never quite turns into a grind. But then, something happens. Some Swedish researchers figured out a way to shrink the average human down to a mere five inches tall without any adverse side effects. There are risks to avoid, like not leaving metal fillings in during the shrinking process (exploding heads, you know).

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