Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Big Al Anderson New Year's Eve......

JFK and I were watching Vince Gill perform stuff from his new album These Days on Imus last week and I THOUGHT I recognized a familiar face (and shape) on the guitar player in the band, but Vince didn't introduce him during the time I was watching. But my suspicions were confirmed this morning in Eric Danton's article on Big Al Anderson, the former Wild Weeds/NRBQ singer/guitarist/songwriter who appears tonight for two shows at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton. I saw this booking months ago and thought, "What a GREAT way to usher in the New Year!" According to Danton's article, Anderson (not to be confused with diminutive, but equally talented, Southington resident Keith Anderson) co-wrote 14 songs on Gills new 43-track album and played with him on a whirlwind 27 show/35 day tour recently. Well, it seems that Big Al has a new album out too! It's a rock album called Pawn Shop Guitars, a change from the wonderful low-key, country After Hours, and he is touring behind it with his new band The Balls. Pawn Shop Guitars is available online at bigalanderson.com.

Read Eric Danton's article on Al Anderson in today's Hartford Courant. I will post a link as soon as I find it.

Saturday, December 30, 2006

Chicago jazz mecca closes doors, perhaps forever
By James B. Kelleher (Reuters)

CHICAGO - In a city that lost several beloved institutions in 2006, the sound coming out of Chicago's jazz scene is providing a year-end coda no one wants to hear. The Jazz Showcase, this jazz-drenched city's oldest club dedicated to the musical form and the second-oldest U.S. jazz venue after New York's Village Vanguard, is closing its doors this weekend after 59 years. A New Year's Eve "last blast" featuring saxophonist David "Fathead" Newman and Henry Johnson's Organ Express will be the final show at the club, which for six decades presented artists like Charlie Parker and others working out of the tradition associated with legendary players like John Coltrane and Sonny Rollins.

This fall, the club lost its lease and despite help from the city of Chicago, its owner and founder, 80-year-old Joe Segal, still has found no new digs. The uncertainty surrounding the venerable club's future serves as a depressingly apt final note in a year that saw a number of Chicago landmarks -- including the Marshall Field's department store on State Street, the Berghoff restaurant, and the scruffy City News Service -- pass from the scene. - complete article

Say it loud and there's music playing, say it soft and it's almost like praying.....

A quick Friday morning trip north with G-Man yielded a bunch of new music:
Ashgrove (Dave Alvin)
Departure (Gary Burton & Friends)
Self-titled (Souther, Hillman, Furay Band)
Close to You Alone (Stanley Cowell Trio)
The Hissing of Summer Lawns (Joni Mitchell)
Low Budget (The Kinks)
West Side Story (Soundtrack)
Flowers (Rolling Stones)
Kinda Kinks (The Kinks)
Sorry to be American (White Stripes)
Kick Out the Jams (MC5)
Teaser and the Firecat (Cat Stevens)
Their Satanic Majesties Request (Rolling Stones)

Friday, December 29, 2006

Grammy blues...

Love the choices in this year's Traditional Blues Album category, with James Hunter's People Gonna Talk being my absolute favorite (is R&B traditional?), but acknowledging the others to be great alternatives. Saw Ike Turner perform a fabulous set in the Blues Tent at 2005 JazzFest with Mark, Barry and Gumbo.

Traditional Blues Album
  • Brother to the Blues (Tab Benoit)
  • Bronx in Blue (Dion)
  • People Gonna Talk (James Hunter)
  • Guitar Groove-A-Rama (Duke Robillard)
  • Risin' With the Blues (Ike Turner)

  • Contemporary Blues Album
  • Live From Across the Pond (Robert Cray Band)
  • Sippiana Hericane (Dr. John)
  • Suitcase (Keb' Mo')
  • Hope & Desire (Susan Tedeschi)
  • After the Rain (Irma Thomas)
  • Harlem fans honor 'Godfather of Soul'....

    By Larry Neumeister, Associated Press Writer

    NEW YORK - Pallbearers lifted the gold casket carrying the "Godfather of Soul" into a horse-drawn carriage Thursday for a procession through Harlem to the historic Apollo Theater, where thousands of fans waited to pay their respects to the late
    James Brown. As the carriage began rolling, people followed in the street singing the chorus of Brown's anthem, "Say it Loud — I'm Black and I'm Proud."

    Brown, who died of heart failure Christmas morning at 73, will lie in repose from 1 p.m. to 8 p.m. Thursday on the stage where he made his 1956 debut. As Norman Brand waited outside the theater for the procession to arrive, the 55-year-old recalled hearing Brown's anthem for the first time in his native Alabama. "It really changed the attitude of most black people. It was like a wake up call. Before that, if you were called black, it was like an insult," Brand said. "Just one song and one word can change a whole situation."

    The Rev. Al Sharpton, Brown's close friend, raced through the night in a van with the casket, arriving about three hours late, but vowing to make sure the R&B star did not miss his date. "He was a superstar for common people, and I wanted to make sure that common people got to see him one last time," Sharpton told The Associated Press late Wednesday, at the start of his journey from Georgia to New York. Sharpton said the road trip was necessary because logistical problems had made it impossible to catch the last flight of the evening. -complete article

    Thursday, December 28, 2006

    Whatcha got on your iTunes???....

    Eric Danton's list of Most-Listened-to CDs For 2006 in today's Hartford Courant got me thinking what have been my most-played this year. Here is Danton's most-listened-to ten:

    1.The Hold Steady, "Boys and Girls in America"
    2.Neko Case, "Fox Confessor Brings the Flood"
    3.Centro-matic, "Fort Recovery"
    4.Clipse, "Hell Hath No Fury"
    5.Cat Power, "The Greatest"

    6.Lady Sovereign, "Public Warning"
    7.Arctic Monkeys, "Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not"
    8.Gnarls Barkley, "St. Elsewhere"
    9.Art Brut, "Bang Bang Rock & Roll"
    10.The Flaming Lips, "At War With the Mystics"

    Since I have neither the time nor the responsibility to listen to all new music, my listening listing contains albums that may be old hat to some:
    1. James Hunter, "People Gonna Talk" - or as G-Man says, "The new Sarah Borges." This Van Morrison protege's latest release is a gorgeous mix of Sam Cooke, James Brown, Clyde McPhatter-type R&B; his concert at the Iron Horse in November was classic.
    2. Sarah Borges, "Silver City" - released in 2005, but still a favorite in 2006 as I spread the word with evangelical zeal. We (for various reasons) are looking forward to her new album due out this Spring.
    3. Big Al Anderson, "After Hours" - The former Wild Weeds/NRBQ singer/songwriter/guitarist quit everything to move to Nashville to write songs. Here he sings them too and I like it more with each listen.
    4. The Animals, "The Complete Animals" - I heard this playing at Turn It Up in Northampton and HAD to have it. This is an amazing compilation of an underappreciated British Invasion band.
    5. Cat Power, "The Greatest" - A family-wide hit; this album has a strange feel, like we're listening to someone who has been to hell and back, but jeez it sounds great.
    6. Amy Rigby, "Diary of a Mod Housewife" - I started listening to this in anticipation of seeing her at Cafe Nine for her 10th anniversary tour. I never made the gig, but loved the cd, so I'm the better for it. Maybe I'll catch the 20th anniversary.
    7. Bob Dylan, "Modern Times" - I haven't been able to see what Rolling Stone and others see as its greatness, but I like this latter day, damaged voice version of The Jester.
    8. Jake Brennan & the Confidence Men, "Love and Bombs" - Discovered these guys by way of Sarah Borges because they shared a common rhythm section; great album by this Beantown hotshot.
    9. Jerry Lee Lewis, "Last Man Standing" - The old bastard put out one hell of an album with lots of guest stars who deferred to Lewis' lead - and it worked fabulously!
    10. Corrine Bailey Rae, "Corrine Bailey Rae" - Dangerously close to ear candy, but I got hooked early; the hit "Put Your Records On" has gotten old with overplay, but I still come back to this album regularly.
    11. The Little Willies, "The Little Willies" - Norah Jones and the boys started out as a Monday night jam session at the Living Room in NYC, but got so popular they had to put in down on vinyl (ok, really on disc).
    12. Reconteurs, "Broken Boy Soldiers" - Big hype and not what many felt it could be, and not REALLY a collaboration because Jack White dominates the band, but good stuff nonetheless.

    Ok, I've rambled on enough, what do you have?

    Wednesday, December 27, 2006

    All things must pass....

    1/6 Lou Rawls, 72. Velvet-voiced singer of such hits as "Love Is a Hurtin' Thing."
    1/19 Wilson Pickett, 64. Fiery soul music pioneer ("Mustang Sally.")
    3/25 Buck Owens, 76. Flashy rhinestone cowboy who shaped country music ("Act Naturally.")
    4/5 Gene Pitney, 66. The Rockville Rocket; singer with a string of hits ("Town Without Pity.")
    4/11 June Pointer, 52. Youngest of hitmaking Pointer Sisters ("I'm So Excited.") Cancer.
    6/6 Billy Preston, 59. Singer-keyboardist ("Nothing From Nothing"); played with the Beatles. Heart infection; kidney failure.
    11/10 Gerald Levert, 40. Fiery R&B singer ("Casanova.")
    11/23 Anita O'Day, 87. One of most respected 1940s jazz vocalists.
    12/9 Georgia Gibbs, 87. Hitmaking 1950s singer ("Kiss of Fire," "Dance With Me, Henry.")
    12/14 Ahmet Ertegun, 83. Founder of Atlantic Records; popularized Ray Charles, Aretha Franklin.
    12/25 James Brown, 73. The pompadoured dynamo of music for a half-century; classic singles included "Papa's Got a Brand New Bag" and "I Got You (I Feel Good)."

    New household music this Christmas...

    No Need to Argue (The Cranberries)
    To the Faithful Departed (The Cranberries)
    461 Ocean Boulevard- Deluxe Edition (Eric Clapton)
    Leave Home (The Ramones)
    Funhouse (The Stooges)
    Boys and Girls in America (The Hold Steady)
    Artist's Choice (Joni Mitchell)
    Feast of Wire (Calexico)
    The Village Green Preservation Society (The Kinks)
    Return to Cookie Mountain (TV on the Radio)
    Myra Lee (Cat Power)
    Tea for the Tillerman (Cat Stevens)
    Rubber Soul (Beatles)
    All Things Must Pass (George Harrison)
    Wasted Again (Black Flag)

    In addition, several music DVD documentaries:
    Dylan Speaks- The legendary 1965 press conference in San Francisco
    End of the Century- The Story of The Ramones
    The Clash- The Ultimate Review

    Tuesday, December 26, 2006

    More odes to James Brown....

    Whooooaaa!
    I feel good, I knew that I would, now
    I feel good, I knew that I would, now
    So good, So good, I got you - lyrics

    Eric Danton (Hartford Courant)- ...He was known by many names: Soul Brother No. 1, the Hardest Working Man in Show Business, the Godfather of Soul, Mr. Dynamite, Butane James. Whatever you called him, Brown was no mere icon. He was a pompadoured revolutionary, a one-man musical insurrection in a fur-trimmed cape and high-gloss shoes. complete article

    Jon Pareles (New York Times)- ...James Brown and the Famous Flames toured nonstop through the 1960s. They were filmed in California for the “The T.A.M.I. Show,” released in 1965, which shows Mick Jagger trying to pick up Mr. Brown’s dance moves. By the mid-1960s Mr. Brown was producing his own recording sessions. In February 1965, with “Papa’s Got a Brand New Bag,” he decided to shift the beat of his band: from the one-two-three-four backbeat to one-two-three-four. “I changed from the upbeat to the downbeat,” Mr. Brown said in 1990. “Simple as that, really.” complete article

    Sarge (email to johnnykmusic)- Let's put it simply, the man was, as Hank Ballard said in 1972, "a living legend. A real live living legend....It's James Brown's world. World of music." I love James Brown, and Get on the Good Foot might be the greatest soul album ever recorded. Peace, Sarge

    Monday, December 25, 2006

    I heard the news today, oh boy...

    I was just listening to his Christmas album around midnight while driving from Framingham to Woburn.

    An Associated Press article posted around that time stated:....ATLANTA-James Brown was hospitalized with pneumonia on Sunday, but he hopes to be able to perform again next weekend, his agent said. Brown, 73, was admitted to Emory Crawford Long Hospital, said his agent, Frank Kopsidas of Intrigue Music. A hospital spokesman refused to confirm whether Brown was a patient, citing privacy laws. The Godfather of Soul canceled shows this week in Waterbury, Conn., and Englewood, N.J., but Brown should be ready to perform on Saturday at the Count Basie Theatre in Red Bank, N.J., Kopsidas said.

    Then, while fixing my coffee in the lobby of the Comfort Inn this morning, the sad news came over the television. James Brown, Godfather of Soul, dead at 73- article We will have to play that album again today. Rest in peace, James Brown.

    Per All Music Guide...""Soul Brother Number One," "the Godfather of Soul," "the Hardest Working Man in Show Business," "Mr. Dynamite" -- those are mighty titles, but no one can question that James Brown has earned them more than any other performer. Other singers were more popular, others were equally skilled, but few other African-American musicians have been so influential on the course of popular music. And no other musician, pop or otherwise, put on a more exciting, exhilarating stage show; Brown's performances were marvels of athletic stamina and split-second timing.

    Through the gospel-impassioned fury of his vocals and the complex polyrhythms of his beats, Brown was a crucial midwife in not just one, but two revolutions in American black music. He was one of the figures most responsible for turning R&B into soul; he was, most would agree, the figure most responsible for turning soul music into the funk of the late '60s and early '70s. Since the mid-'70s, he's done little more than tread ...more

    Sunday, December 24, 2006

    Beantown bound for Christmas....

    We are off to the Land of Aaaaah this morning for a day of family cheer in Framingham, where Peter will host the annual gift opening ceremonies this evening. It is imperative that we arrive by one o'clock so that G-Man can agonize over his beloved NY Football Giants against the Saints while Peter/Andy have a somewhat less-stressful viewing of the Pats/Jags contest. Lots of channel switching. JFK/JAK will not be able to see our beloved(?) Brownies torture us at Slider's Sports Bar.

    There is always a wealth of great music exchanged. This year I've bought Dave Alvin, Springsteen's Seeger Sessions, The Hold Steady, early Beach Boys, a 3-CD ZZ Top, Booker T & the MG's, a classic Dusty Springfield, Kronos Quartet, Wilson Pickett, Ramones, Stooges, Mark Knofler/Emmylou Harris among others. It will be fun to see what other music will be in our ears.

    PEACE ON EARTH to all from johnnykmusic!

    (and to The Donald, please forgive Miss Nevada)

    Friday, December 22, 2006

    Rolling Stone's top 50 albums of 2006....

    Is Rolling Stone's choice of Bob Dylan's Modern Times an astute observation of current music or is it just the hero worship of an aging, out of touch rock icon? Curious about your thoughts.

    The top 5:
    1. Modern Times Bob Dylan
    2. Stadium Arcadium Red Hot Chili Peppers
    3. Rather Ripped Sonic Youth
    4. Return to Cookie Mountain TV on the Radio
    5. Fishscale Ghostface Killah
    The second 5
    6. The Greatest Cat Power
    7. Hell Hath No Fury Clipse
    8. Boys and Girls in America The Hold Steady
    9. Blood Mountain Mastadon
    10. Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers and Bastards Tom Waits

    Jon Cleary says hey......

    Jon Cleary sends a personal email to yours truly announcing his schedule for early 2007. Well, maybe I overstated it a bit, because I signed up for automatic email notification from JC&AMG. I first saw Jon at Oakdale opening for (and subsequently backing) Bonnie Raitt and loved his band. Saw him again with Johnny Gumbo at the Maple Leaf Bar in New Orleans during the 2005 Jazzfest, the night of the infamous fish buritto incident.

    UPCOMING JON CLEARY & ABSOLUTE MONSTER GENTLEMEN SHOWS!
    2/09/07 Grant St. Dance Hall - Lafayette, LA
    2/10/07 Maple Leaf Bar - New Orleans, LA
    2/14/07 Wolf Trap - Vienna, VA
    2/15/07 Eight by Ten Club - Baltimore, MD
    2/16/07 Stephen Talkhouse - Amagansett, NY
    2/18/07 Bayou/NY - Mt. Vernon, NY
    2/19/07 Iron Horse Music Hall - Northampton, MA
    3/16/07 Sheldon Concert Hall - St. Louis, MO

    Wednesday, December 20, 2006

    Hey, kids, it's another list!......

    Pitchfork Magazine's The 200 Greatest Songs of the 1960s is of interest to me because it spans the music of my formative high school and college years. It was a decade that begin with the last gasps of Elvis/rockabilly/doo-wop through early Dylan folk, girl groups, Beach Boys/surfer music, the Beatles/British Invasion, Dylan 'going electric', Motown and finishing with a wild few years where just about every influence imaginable (music and otherwise) was used to create the popular music of the day. One could argue (and many aging boomers do ad nauseum) that it was the greatest decade of rock. But beyond that, Pitchfork provides a brief overview for each entry and puts the listing in perspective. Here are the top ten:

    10. Desmond Dekker & The Aces: "Israelites" - (Desmond Dekker) 1969
    9. The Who: "I Can't Explain" - (Pete Townshend) 1965
    8. Johnny Cash: "Folsom Prison Blues (Live at Folsom Prison)" - (Johnny Cash) 1968
    7. The Beach Boys: "Wouldn't It Be Nice" - (Tony Asher/Brian Wilson) 1966
    6. The Ronettes: "Be My Baby" - (Jeff Barry/Ellie Greenwich/Phil Spector) 1963

    5. The Beatles: "A Day in the Life" - (John Lennon/Paul McCartney) 1967 Chart info: U.S. (N/A), UK (N/A) Available on Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band

    The Beatles had attempted ambitious mosaics before ("She Said She Said", "Tomorrow Never Knows"), but Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band's epic finale catalogues every explosive element of the Fab Four. George Martin's production revolutionized pop music with its avant-garde opulence. Lennon and McCartney's aural bricolage elevates and parodies itself, and their lyrics distance the group from naiveté and Summer-of-Love idealism. Lest we forget, the opening line notes how someone "blew his mind out in a car" and finds Lennon cackling at corpses, media saturation, and humanity's natural disposition toward violence. When paired with hailing folk and piano, Lennon's portion is as wry and poignant as rock is ever likely to get. In fact, "A Day in the Life" is pretty much the archetype for the Lennon/McCartney duality, firmly distinguishing John as a nightmarish narcophilosopher and Paul as a pragmatic businessman with a schedule to keep. But with its startling juxtaposition of pop melodies and flowery experimentalism, "A Day in the Life" consolidates all of the group's audiences. Here is a song for preteens and acidheads, surrealists and Sinatra fans, the Monkees and the Manson family. That final crescendo, with all its disembodied screams and orchestral terrorism, is surely the most famous-- and strident-- ending of any song in the last 50 years: a caterwauling assemblage of Zen humming, instrumental flairs, and three monolithic pianos stacked on top of one another. Somehow the world's greatest musical icons closed their most famous album with a solid 30 seconds of morbid textural sculpture. By the time the dust settled, Paul was dead, atonalism had gone pop, and four Liverpudlian rockers became high-art heroes. --Alex Linhardt

    4. Bob Dylan: "Like a Rolling Stone" - (Bob Dylan) 1965 Chart info: U.S. (#2), UK (#4) Available on Highway 61 Revisited

    From its first double-drum crack (which Bruce Springsteen later described as the sound of someone "kicking open the door to your mind"), to its mythical opening couplet (a perfectly seething "Once upon a time..."), "Like a Rolling Stone" is one of Dylan's strangest and most enthralling moments, a big, shambling statement that hovers on the verge of total dissolution, threatening to shimmy your record player (and, potentially, your entire life) off the shelf and onto the floor. One minute in, when Dylan finally hits the chorus, glibly hollering "How does it feeeel?" to an unnamed subject (or possibly himself), his sneer is so convincing it's difficult not to feel deeply ashamed of everything you've ever done, but still desperate for five more minutes of lashings. It's hard to overstate the cultural heft of "Like a Rolling Stone", which puttered to #2 on the pop chart (the first song of its length to do so) and hovered there for nearly three months. In 2005's Like a Rolling Stone: Bob Dylan at the Crossroads, Greil Marcus exhausts 200 pages dissecting the socio-political context and lyrical nuances of "Like a Rolling Stone", ultimately christening the track "a triumph of craft, inspiration, will, and intent," and, more importantly, "a rewrite of the world itself." Certainly, the song transforms every time it's played, expertly adapting to new generations and new vices, just wobbly and amorphous and dangerous enough to knock us over again and again. --Amanda Petrusich

    3. Sam Cooke: "A Change Is Gonna Come" - (Sam Cooke) 1964 Chart info: U.S. (#31), UK (N/A) Available on The Man and His Music

    Filtered through a vessel of honest hurt, message and moment meet modern gospel. Suffering from the recent death of his 18-month old son Vincent and troubled by the omnipotent specter of racism, Cooke caught the unsteady temperament of a nation. Struck by Bob Dylan's "Blowin' in the Wind", the Mississippi native detected the folk movement's crucial sense of understanding; they "may not sound as good but they people believe them more," he once said. Sam Cooke sounds pretty great on "A Change Is Gonna Come". After Martin Luther King was assassinated, Rosa Parks listened to "A Change Is Gonna Come" for comfort. The spiritual synergy between King's preaching and the song's painful vignettes is powerful. Both are battered, bruised but vigorous. Rene Hall's classic arrangement, bolstered by French horns, timpani, and a flowering orchestra is pure Hollywood magic but Cooke subverts the Disneyland pomp with anguished realism: "It's been too hard living, but I'm afraid to die/ 'Cause I don't know what's up there beyond the sky." "A Change Is Gonna Come" was released as part of a single only after Cooke's murky murder. He never felt its rapturous reception. Yet, as long as change aches for resolution, the song will stand. --Ryan Dombal


    2. The Jackson 5: "I Want You Back" - (Berry Gordy, Jr./Alphonso Gizell/Freddie Perren/Deke Richards) 1969 Chart info: U.S. (#1), UK (#2) Available on Diana Ross Presents the Jackson 5

    Writers and producers Freddie Perren, Fonce Mizell, and Deke Richards originally envisioned this as the backing track for a Gladys Knight and the Pips song, but Berry Gordy had other ideas. With a little rewriting he heard it as the perfect vehicle to introduce five kids he'd just signed from Gary, Indiana. And as was so often the case throughout the 1960s, Gordy was right. What is it about this song that cuts through generations and trends and cynicism and makes everyone within its range prick up ears and loosen hips? I once thought my age had something to do with my deep love of this song (it hit the Hot 100 two months and a day after my birth) but here Pitchfork writers up to 15 years my junior heard something special just as clearly. Some of it is Michael Jackson's voice reaching beyond its years, some of it is the Five's supportive backing. But really I think it's the song's most basic structure, possibly the best chord progression in pop music history. The descending bit on the chorus is joy reduced to its molecular level: I / IV / vi / iii / IV / I / ii / V / I. --Mark Richardson

    1. The Beach Boys: "God Only Knows" (Tony Asher/Brian Wilson) 1966 Chart info: U.S. (#39), UK (#2) Available on Pet Sounds

    I'm sure you've read these: "the world's greatest song," "Brian Wilson's masterpiece," "the most beautiful piece of music ever recorded." Yes, the initiation into the Museum of Western Popular Music is always rough, as credible historians rush to summarize our collective experiences in short phrases. But for better or worse, "God Only Knows" is the kind of song that's almost impossible for me to talk about divorced from the way it makes me feel: sad, in love, honestly grateful, but also a little hopeless. Even in mono, it's like being swept up by a wave of compassion but still getting bruised. The first words Carl Wilson sings, "I may not always love you," are already uncertain, so if you need a tie into the legacy of 1960s youth culture, glance no further than the naïve but strained optimism locked inside this song. Yet, Carl made this uncertainty sound gorgeous. The voices that sail behind his might just as well be a quartet of violas and cellos playing counterpoint that'd already been obsessed over a few times before they got it. "God Only Knows" is so ideally conceptualized and realized, critics can't help but support it. Somehow, even that can't turn it into an art exhibit; its humanity resists the attempt. To me, this song is a goodbye to being a kid, and hoping that love actually is the answer. And almost nobody knows if it is. --Dominique Leone

    Tuesday, December 19, 2006

    Sorry you got screwed all those years, so here's a Grammy for ya (but don't come on stage to get it)....

    Legends for honorary Grammys (Reuters)

    INFLUENTIAL rock bands The Doors and the Grateful Dead will receive lifetime achievement Grammy Awards next year, along with jazz saxophone player Ornette Coleman and the late opera singer Maria Callas, organisers said today. Others to receive awards include folk singer Joan Baez, soul musicians Booker T & the MG's, and late country music icon Bob Wills.

    The statuettes will be handed out during a ceremony leading up to the main Grammy Awards, which take place in Los Angeles on February 11. The lifetime achievement awards generally allow organisers of the music industry's most prestigious event to give belated recognition to acts who were snubbed during their heyday.

    The only act to win a competitive Grammy was Booker T & the MG's, in 1995. The group's guitarist, Steve Cropper, won a 1969 award for co-writing Otis Redding's (Sittin' on) The Dock of the Bay. Coleman, 76, just received the first Grammy nomination of his career for his first album in 10 years. Baez has received six nominations, but no trophies. The honours are too late for some recipients. Doors singer Jim Morrison died in 1971, the Grateful Dead's Jerry Garcia in 1995, Callas in 1977, and Wills in 1975. Booker T & the MG's drummer Al Jackson, Jr also died in 1975, murdered by an unknown assailant in his Memphis home.

    The twelve days of a musical Christmas....

    a work in progress, but...

    12. Twelve 'Lil Drummer Boys drumming (pa rum pum pum pum)
    11. Eleven Sandpipers piping (Top Ten hit with Guantanamera in 1966.)
    10. Ten My Sweet Lords a-leaping (or is it He's So Fine?)
    9. Nine Barenaked Ladies dancing
    8. Eight Pretty Maids a-milking
    7. Seven swans a-swimming
    6. Six geese a-laying
    5. Five Golden Earrings (you remember Radar Love, don't you?)
    4. Four calling Byrds (look eight miles high)
    3. Three french hens
    2. Two Turtle doves (who else, but Flo & Eddie?)
    1. A Partridge Family in a pear tree

    history

    Monday, December 18, 2006

    In the "I knew it was too good" category.....

    Led Zeppelin, Doors members sue concert video site
    By Yinka Adegoke (Reuters)

    Some of rock 'n' roll's biggest names have teamed up to sue the owner of a Web site that specializes in streaming rare concert recordings. Wolfgang's Vault offers thousands of recordings of rare audio and video music performances collected over 30 years by Bill Graham, a famous concert promoter who died in 1991. On Monday, major rock names including Grateful Dead Productions, Carlos Santana and members of Led Zeppelin and The Doors, sued the current owner, claiming it was illegally offering recordings to stimulate sales of other products.

    Wolfgang's Vault representatives were not immediately available for comment. The site, wolfgangsvault.com, also sells T-shirts, pictures and memorabilia such as vintage concert posters and tickets. The recordings were made at concert performances by a wide array of artists from Bob Marley to Bob Dylan. The site's collection has been described by some industry watchers as one of the most important groupings of rock memorabilia and recordings ever assembled in one business. - complete article - previous posting

    A Reed grows in Brooklyn....

    Sentimental Journey: A Return to ‘Berlin’
    By JON PARELES (NY Times)

    Lou Reed’s album “Berlin,” a song cycle about a romance doomed by drugs, promiscuity and violence, was one of his career’s grand anomalies when it was released in 1973. Instead of the stripped-down rock that made punk archetypes of Mr. Reed’s best-known songs, the sound of “Berlin” was not primal but theatrical, with strings and horns and touches of cabaret. The album was either dismissed as pretentious and overwrought or hailed for its ambition; it didn’t sell, but it garnered some lifelong fans. After 33 years, it had its first staged performance at St. Ann’s Warehouse on Thursday night. There, “Berlin” was less startling but no less ambitious or, in the end, touching. complete article

    Sunday, December 17, 2006

    'Red Hash' Reborn...

    Heartwarming story by Eric Danton in today's Courant about singer/songwriter Gary Higgins' album Red Hash, released in 1973 while he was in prison for a drug sting, and rediscovered/re-released on CD recently, selling over 10,000 copies.

    ....In October 1972, Higgins and a former high school classmate were charged with selling hashish, and Higgins faced time in prison. His impending sentence awakened in him a sense of now-or-never urgency to document his music. t seemed like it was time to get these songs down or they might never get down," Higgins says.

    His musical partners in Random Concept and Wooden Wheel helped flesh out his songs for "Red Hash," which they recorded in a mere 40 hours at a studio in Harwinton. "When Gary's bust came up, there was sort of an outpouring of support for him, like, let's get his stuff on an album, we don't know how long he's going to be away," says Terry Fenton, 64, who played keyboards with Random Concept and contributed to "Red Hash."

    ...Eventually, a burned-CD version of the album made its way to a publicist at Drag City Records, a hip independent label in Chicago. Intrigued by the sound of the long-lost recording, he tracked down Higgins with the intention of re-releasing the album. In June 2005, 32 years after its debut, Drag City issued "Red Hash" for the first time on CD, to glowing write-ups from Entertainment Weekly, The New York Times and Mojo magazine. - complete article -

    On the ctnow.com article site you can also listen to three cuts from the album. All Music Guide gives Red Hash 4 stars, saying ".....there's a laid-back feel that seems two or three years out of time (or behind the times), like an exhausted hangover from the wilder peaks of the psychedelic era. Relative to this collector-oriented genre, however, the record's very much above average."

    Tour dates:
    Friday, January 19 New York, NY Mercury Lounge
    Friday, January 26 New London, CT Oasis
    Saturday, January 27 Providence, RI AS220

    Saturday, December 16, 2006

    And in the category of WTF, here's SI.....

    This has nothing to do with music ('cepting she likes country), and I know the annual swimsuit issue is borderline not-sports, but what the hell is the point of Sports Illustrated doing a cheerleader of the week? How does one qualify?

    Jody Reeves, a senior at Alabama, is a Secondary Math Education major. She enjoys laying on the beach, country music and the Atlanta Braves. But her first love is cheerleading, especially for the undefeated Crimson Tide.

    I bet those Habitat-for-Humanity volunteering, gangsta rap-loving, pre-med cheerleaders from Harvard are, like, SO pissed!

    But if Jody decides to go pro, she will find that it's a jungle out there - here

    Dancing fools...


    A classic Johnny K & The Reet music video created, produced and directed by Adam Housman. We just ask that you wait patiently until the elevator arrives at the top floor. Thank you.

    A site for sore ears.....

    Yes, there are other music websites that deserve your attention, especially one whose motto is "We listen to lousy records so you won't have to." Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews is funny, self-effacing and opinionated - and vast, covering popular music from the 1950's through the present. So, who the heck are Wilson and Alroy? Let them answer that:
    David Bertrand Wilson, born in 1967, is a college dropout, songwriter and all-around unsavory character who programs computers and subverts capitalism on the rare occasions that he isn't at home listening to records. (DBW)

    Dr. John Alroy, born in 1966, is the last person you would ever want around in the case of a medical emergency. He lives in Santa Barbara, and works every once in a while as a research biologist. His scientific work is in ecology, systematics, macroevolution, and paleobiology (yeah, that means fossils). (JA)

    How can you not like a site that has lists like Best Songs Promoting Polyamory:
    Isaac Hayes - Moonlight Lovin' (Menage Á Trois)
    Chef - Simultaneous"
    Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young - Triad
    Rick James - 1, 2, 3 (U, Her & Me)

    Take a look at this impressive Fleetwood Mac page, which gives a history of the band and its members using album reviews as the vehicle. On the main page, they have random (changing each visit) album picks/pans of the moment. Enjoyable and informative. Check them out.

    G looking for Dylan in NYC...

    Email from G-Man 12/15/06

    Bob Dylan's American Journey, 1956-1966

    No, Bob has not passed away, despite what the title of the Morgan Library & Museum's exhibition on the man might lead you to believe. And this is where I found myself this Friday afternoon, after another morning of being neglected by NYC's sub service. I arrived at Grand Central, after a 45 or so minute trip from Bay Ridge, Brooklyn. It was 2:30, belly empty, mouth parched, so I stopped at Midtown's Bar (I think? We'll have to get a ruling on the exact name). Started with an appetizer of Guinness, followed by their version of the chicken sandwich, and two Buds.

    On to the actual exhibit:

    You're first hit with some video of Bob, one being footage of him in the streets of London talking about how he needs a place that will bathe his dog, buy his bath, burn his bird and give him cigarettes. Or something like that. Showcasing Bob's humor, which is what made me truly interested in his music. What is funnier than him snapping pictures of photographers snapping pictures oh him. Rhetorical.

    This was followed by Bob's high school yearbook, a pic of lil' Zimmerman, and a quote of him saying, "follow Little Richard".

    The focus of the exhibit was about his admiration for Woody Guthrie, his journey to NYC, leading to the making of his first six albums (Bob Dylan, Freewheelin' Bob Dylan, The Times They're A-Changin', Another Side of Bob Dylan, Bringing It All Back Home, Highway 61 Revisited, Blond on Blonde). Yes, you counted 7 albums; however, the exhibit didn't say much about his first album (self titled, and didn't sell very well until Freewheelin' was released).

    There's more to the exhibit, but my favorite parts were seeing his first acoustic guitar and handwritten lyrics. Bob traded his electric guitar for the acoustic shortly after he discovered Guthrie. So does this mean he wasn't a bastard, he didn't sell his soul, or sell-out - or whatever those crazy bohemian kids thought of him when Bob went electric for the first time(?) at the Newport Folk Festival in 1965? And seeing the handwritten lyrics was the most classic. Little pieces of paper with scribbles of lines that developed into such songs as Like A Rolling Stone and Blowin' in the Wind. There were also two poems he wrote in high school; Bob describing one as "a good poem", and the other as "a bad poem" - although if he didn't label this one as "bad", I'm sure most fans would marvel over it anyways because not many people really know what he's talking about in these songs. But everyone still loves them, and will after he really passes away. - G

    (Morgan Library and Museum - 225 Madison Ave. @ 36th St.)

    Friday, December 15, 2006

    So this nerve rock group walks into a bar.....

    Last minute gig announcement via email from The Sawtelles:

    At 8:30pm at Jitters on Route 10 on the Southington/Plainville line.

    This is comedy nite; we go on til about 9:15, then it'll be comics...
    then we'll be back for another set after they are done, prob after about
    45 mins. Who knows, you might even laugh once or twice (and not at us
    for once).

    We will try to keep a rein on P's ukelele this time.

    When Black Friday comes, I'm gonna dig myself a hole; gonna lay down in it 'til I satisfy my soul....

    A Friday fact courtesy of songfacts.com:

    Black Friday by Steely Dan from the album Katy Lied (1975)- lyrics

    When Black Friday comes
    I'll stand down by the door
    And catch the grey men when they
    Dive from the fourteenth floor

    This is about Friday, September 24, 1869. It is known as "Black Friday" in the US because of a failed ploy that left many wealthy investors broke. The investors tried to corner the market on gold, buying as much of it as they could and driving up the price, but when the government found out, they released $4 million worth of gold into the market, driving down the price and clobbering the investors.

    While the song is about events in the US, it mentions a town in Australia: "Fly down to Musswellbrook." Musswellbrook is a rural town 2 hours North of Sydney that is full of kangaroos (thus the line, "Nothing to do but feed all the kangaroos"). it is believed that Walter Becker and Donald Fagen selected the name of Musswellbrook from an atlas, mainly because it worked well with the next line, "I'm going to strike out all the big red words from my little black book." They also wanted a place far away from Los Angeles

    Play songfacts.com Lyrical Pursuit here!

    Thursday, December 14, 2006

    Tom needs a nap....

    Troubadour Chris DuBose performs his 60th birthday tribute to the ever-weary Tom LaBella last Saturday night. Wish the old guy birthday greetings in the comment section here.

    Wednesday, December 13, 2006

    Low Fidelity.......

    While hustling through Penn Station yesterday, I motioned to a poster for the new musical High Fidelity, based on Nick Hornby's book and the neat, quirky movie with the fabulous soundtrack, and said, "Hey, we should go see that!". Well, THAT's not going to happen - it's closing after only 14 performances! - story

    We're walkin', yes indeed.....

    If there is anything worse than guys driving around clueless but refusing to ask for directions, it's guys WALKING around clueless yada, yada, yada. I was in Manhattan for a seminar at the Hotel Pennsylvannia and G-Man accompanied me, settling in at Border's directly across the street. He could have opted for an audience spot at the Maury Povich Show being taped at the hotel (9:00am and 12:00pm), but he declined. At three o'clock we set out walking to find somewhere to have some dinner, a couple beers and some music - all without an ounce of a plan. On the way, got a call from Kay, looking for The Reet. We walked all the way to the Village before we stopped at a little corner bar to assess our options over a couple Boddingtons- and decided to ask the barkeep for help. Ended up walking back uptown to 27th/3rd to the Rodeo Bar & Grill, where we had dinner, but couldn't wait around for the Whiskeyhounds, slated to perform at ten (went onto their myspace site; they seem pretty good). Cool place, but should have gone to a 7:30pm show at Ace of Clubs to see CasHank Hootenanny Jamboree, a semi-monthly open classic country jam session dedicated to the music of Hank Williams, Johnny Cash & more - for the Christmas show. Next time, a little planning.

    I'm waiting for my man.....

    Velvet Underground rarity sells on eBay
    By Verena Dobnik (AP)

    NEW YORK - Forty years after it was made, The Velvet Underground's first recording has become a financial hit — in cyberspace. Bought for 75 cents four years ago at a Manhattan flea market, the rare recording of music that ended up on the influential New York band's first album, "The Velvet Underground & Nico," sold on eBay for a closing bid of $155,401. The buyer is a mystery, only identified by the eBay screen name: "mechadaddy." But a greater mystery endures: How did the 12-inch, acetate LP end up buried in a box of records at a flea market?

    "We cued it up and were stunned — the first song was not 'Sunday Morning' as on the 'Velvet Underground & Nico' Verve LP, but rather it was 'European Son' — the song that is last on that LP, and it was a version neither of us had ever heard before!" Isaacson wrote.- complete story

    Sunday, December 10, 2006

    SB & BS share new music at Cafe Nine...

    I know that when I was nine years old, I didn't have some hot chick with a guitar singing to me about a hooker, but Josh from Staten Island had the experience (and probably some interesting post-show dreams) courtesy of Sarah Borges at Cafe Nine Saturday night. Lucky boy!

    Sarah and her Broken Singles, fresh from their East-coast tour opening for Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, played for about and hour and a half showcasing some new songs (complete with clever little hooks), reworking some of their Silver City gems and even throwing in a tasty Charlie Pride number. They sounded great and seemed to be relaxed and having fun with it all. And Josh was singing right along, first from his side-window sill perch and then front and center at the base of the stage. Sarah playfully chided the young man for being dressed up in New York Yankees gear while enjoying the Red Sox-loving band. Between songs, bassist (and Sarah's on-stage foil) Binky informed us that this is their last live show of the year and, interestingly, the January Cafe Nine show was their first of 2006. "It's nice to be back in the Rock 'N Roll Living Room (Cafe Nine bills itself as the 'musician's living room'). Let me tell you, we've played in alot of rock 'n roll bathrooms." Another solid, entertaining show. I've emailed Sarah for a set listing and will post if I get it.

    I can only imagine Josh's interpretation of the audience-participation chorus "Turn your love light on, open up your back door." Some day in the future he will look back at this night - and smile.

    Talking briefly with Binky and Sarah after the show before their two-hour trek back to Boston, they explained that they will now hunker down to practice the new songs and hit the studio in January to record the new album. If things go smoothly, it will be released in April or May on the Sugar Hill label.

    Singer/guitarist Bryan Rud and a talented guitarist named Josh (no, not Staten Island Josh) played a very entertaining opening set.

    Since I am completely spastic with my camera, I screwed up a video from last night's gig. So, instead, I'm presenting a YouTube video (courtesy of ssbvideo) of one of their new songs from last month's show at Johnny D's in Somerville:

    Saturday, December 09, 2006

    New Lucinda album near!!!!!!!!..........

    Lucinda Williams shares heartbreak on new album by Wes Orshoski (Reuters)

    NEW YORK (Billboard) - Loss and loneliness are at the core of
    Lucinda Williams' largely down-tempo album, "West," the singer/songwriter's first release since 2003. The disc, slated to be released February 13 via Lost Highway, finds the Grammy winner coping with another painful breakup and the passing of her mother, whom she reminisces in songs like "Mama You Sweet" and "Fancy Funeral." In such songs as "Come On," "Learning How to Live" and "Everything Has Changed," Williams again deals with heartbreak.

    "The songs deal with a chapter in my life and they definitely tell a story," Williams told Billboard.com. "It's probably been the most prolific time in my life as a writer. I'd been through so many changes -- my mother's death and a very tumultuous relationship that ended badly -- so obviously there's a lot of pain and struggling, but it ends with a look toward the future." - complete article

    And in the "idiots come to their senses" category........

    Ryan likely to return in a dual Apple Harvest Festival role
    by Robert C. Pollack, Record-Journal staff

    SOUTHINGTON — John Ryan has been offered the dual position of 39th Apple Harvest Festival coordi­nator and sponsorship coordinator — subject to approval by the Town Council. That approval is expected Mon­day. The Apple Harvest Festival Com­mittee made its selection Thursday and Ryan said its chairman, Town Councilor Chris Palmieri, called him with the news. “He didn’t tell me how many other appli­cants they had, but I was really happy that I will back to manage the festival,” Ryan said. “It’s a great event and I have been working with outstanding people. The volunteers are amazing.” Ryan wanted to obtain sponsors while serv­ing as festival coordinator because first, it was related to his new com­pany, Ryan Event Productions, and second, “because the coordinator is in a better position to get sponsors, because he or she knows the event so well.” Ryan will earn the same $25,000 he made as coordinator last year, with an additional 10 percent of the fee paid by returning sponsors and 20 percent for any new sponsors he recruits. At first, he told the committee he would not accept the coordinator position unless it was coupled with the sponsorship recruiting job. But he later softened his position and said that while he wanted both, he would accept the coordinator’s job alone, if offered.

    Ryan has been festival coordinator for the two years it has been managed by the town after 36 years in which is was un­der the management and spon­sorship of the Greater Southington Chamber of Com­merce — the last two of those under management of Daniels Productions. Committee member Cheryl Lounsbury said “the selection was easy because of John’s past performance and knowledge of the festival. “We had no trouble with giv­ing him both jobs, but the com­mittee felt it had to make it an open process, which we did. We only had a few other appli­cants and John was our clear choice. “We are hopeful that the 39th festival will be more suc­cessful than ever. The value of this event is that not only has it put Southington on the map, but it allows a lot of nonprofits to earn enough money to do good works in town the rest of the year. “What John has been able to do is to show the vision of what a local festival could be. It was becoming too regional before the town took it over.”

    OK, I believe them. Right. The real explanation is - "The selection was easy, but we felt we had to bust his balls a little because he was getting more attention than the committee." Let's hope the committee doesn't now try to micro-manage the festival.

    Friday, December 08, 2006

    It's Friday, People!.....

    Well said, from seattlepi....
    Happy birthday, John Lennon - If a crazed fan hadn't murdered him in 1980, and barring other unforeseen disasters, today would have been John Lennon's 64th birthday. For Beatles' fans, even casual Beatles' fans, the number has a musical ring. One of the great songs from the Paul McCartney/John Lennon songbook is titled "When I'm Sixty-Four." If you were there when the song came out, you might remember feeling that 64 was as distant as the North Star. "When I get older losing my hair, Many years from now. Will you still be sending me a valentine, Birthday greetings, bottle of wine?" Here's a valentine to you, John.

    Little Steven starts own record label by Larry McShane (AP)
    NEW YORK - It's not like Steven Van Zandt doesn't have enough to keep him busy. There's his job as host of his nationally syndicated "Underground Garage" radio program, with more than 1 million listeners in 200 markets. And his position as head of his own channel on Sirius Satellite Radio. And his role as consigliere Silvio Dante on "The Sopranos." Oh, and he's the guitarist with Bruce Springsteen's E Street Band. Yet this week, Van Zandt added another line to his rapidly expanding resume: head of his own record label. In a deal with Best Buy stores, he rolled out the first six records on his rocking new label. - story

    Subway serenade - G-Man, taking the subway to Manhattan earlier this week, encountered a group of passengers who broke into some pretty entertaining a capella doo wop singing for the folks.....

    Grammys announced - The 49th annual Grammy Awards nominations have been announced. - complete listing

    Did I mention that Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles will be at Cafe Nine on Saturday? Oh. - Sarah pics at flickr

    Wednesday, December 06, 2006

    Live at the Fillmore West.....

    Thanks to a Rolling Stone Magazine article, Classic Shows Free Online (issue 1015) by Steve Knopper, we can now listen to over 300 rare concert recordings made by the late promoter Bill Graham at wolfgangsvault.com. You must register to listen, but it's free. There seems to be concern by the musicians involved that they should be getting compensation from this venture, which brings traffic to a site that sells concert posters, tee-shirts, etc., so this may be a temporary pleasure. Each concert has an interesting summary giving performers/perspective.

    I listened to a wonderful Van Morrison concert (11/1/78) at the Bottom Line last night:

    Concert Summary

    Van Morrison - lead vocals, guitar, piano, sax
    Bobby Tench - guitar, backing vocals
    David Hayes - bass
    Peter Van Hooks - drums
    Pete Bardens - keyboards
    Pee Wee Ellis - saxophones
    Katie Kissoon - backing vocals
    Ann Peacock - backing vocals

    Van Morrison was enjoying a commercial renaissance with this tour and the album he was promoting at the time. Always a consummate performer, Morrison delivered a stunning performance in New York's intimate Bottom Line club, the venue that launched the careers of both Bruce Springsteen and Billy Joel, among countless others. Opening with a jazzed up version of "Moondance," the show provided a healthy mix of material from his then-new LP, Wavelength, and all the best-loved Morrison classics.

    The band was lava-hot and provided the perfect compliment to Morrison's free form vocal stylings. In the line-up was Pete Bardens (who also played keyboards in Morrison's 1960s British Invasion band, Them) and former Jeff Beck Group vocalist/guitarist, Bobby Tench. Because he had such a great band, in the course of one show Morrison successfully mixes up hot jazz, blazing blues, romantic and melodic ballads, and gospel-fevered rock 'n' roll. By the time he shakes it up on the closers - "Wild Night" and "Caravan"- the audience is completely in the palm of his hand.

    "Crazy Love," "Tupelo Honey" and "Into The Mystic" faithfully bring the listener back to his classic early ‘70s Warner Brothers Records period, when he was the darling of the pop music press. "Kingdom Hall," "Checkin' It Out," and the aforementioned "Wavelength" were new songs at the time, but were just as well received, since it was clear to the audience that Van Morrison had just released one of his best albums in years. Still, it was Morrison's earliest solo hit, "Brown Eyed Girl" that first brought the audience to its feet.

    Although the audience did not know it, this show almost didn’t happen. Minutes prior to going on stage, Morrison got into an altercation with his then-road manager, Mick Brigdon. Both had been drinking and after being held down, Morrison told the promoters he would not go on if Brigdon was even on the same street, let alone inside the venue. Brigdon was asked to leave, and Morrison eventually went on to perform this memorable show. Maybe all the excitement had pumped him up for a more energetic performance. For that Bottom Line audience, and now for all of us, this show remains a classic.

    So give it a try. Here's a sample of the concerts available:

    Muddy Waters Blues Band 11/06/1966 Fillmore Auditorium
    The Who 04/06/1968 Fillmore East
    Quicksilver Messenger Service 06/07/1968 Fillmore East
    Steppenwolf 08/27/1968 Fillmore West
    Sly & the Family Stone 10/05/1968 Late Show Fillmore East
    Jimi Hendrix Experience 10/11/1968 Early Show Winterland
    Terry Reid 12/15/1968 Fillmore West
    Led Zeppelin 01/11/1969 Fillmore West
    Taj Mahal 09/18/1969 Fillmore West
    The Sons of Champlin 10/24/1969 Winterland
    Neil Young & Crazy Horse 03/06/1970 Early Show Fillmore East
    Miles Davis Quintet 03/07/1970 Fillmore East
    Laura Nyro 06/20/1970 Fillmore East

    Tuesday, December 05, 2006

    Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles Saturday night at Cafe Nine...

    Sarah and the BS, fresh from their tour with Big Sandy & His Fly-Rite Boys, return to Cafe Nine in New Haven this weekend. Per Cafe Nine's website, "....Beautiful roots songstress Sarah Borges crafts pretty songs with heavy bottoms. Critics have said she is a cross between Pat Benatar and Patsy Cline with a stage presence to win them all."

    Not sure about the heavy bottoms (see below), but a must-see! I shall be tardy, however, arriving from good friend Tom L's 60th birthday party in Middletown. Rumor has it that Sarah will be playing some great stuff from her new release expected out in the Spring. There you have it - great band and a great venue. No excuses accepted, be there! Aloha.

    Heavy bottoms.....reminds me of that Spinal Tap classic Big Bottom songfacts.com:

    The bigger the cushion, the sweeter the pushin, that's what I said.
    The looser the waistband, the deeper the quicksand, or so I have read.
    My baby fits me like a flesh tuxedo.
    I love to sink her with my pink torpedo.

    Big bottom, big bottom, talk about bum cakes, my gal's got 'em.
    Big bottom, drive me out of my mind.
    How can I leave this behind?

    I saw her on monday, twas my lucky bun day, you know what I mean.
    I love her each weekday, each velvety cheekday, you know what I mean.
    My love gun's loaded and she's in my sights
    Big game's waiting there inside her tights

    Big bottom, big bottom, talk about mud flaps, my gal's got 'em.
    Big bottom, drive me out of my mind.
    How can I leave this behind?

    Monday, December 04, 2006

    Joanna Newsom????

    "Joanna Newsom's performance Wednesday night was easily the strangest show I've ever seen at Toad's... it was odd to see rows of chairs set up for the audience, and even weirder that Wednesday's featured attraction plays harp, an instrument not often associated with grimy rock clubs. Nor is Newsom's music, for that matter. It's best classified as part of the freak-folk movement, and her sprawling songs are more like mini-suites, full of stream-of-consciousness pastoral imagery and eclectic arrangements performed by a group of scruffy hipsters on banjo, accordion, tambura and other instruments well suited to, say, traditional Bulgarian music." - Eric Danton (Hartford Courant) - concert review

    "The cover of Joanna Newsom’s new album, “Ys,” is an oil painting by the California artist Benjamin Vierling. Newsom is depicted with plaited blond hair, wearing a billowing blouse and a garland of flowers. She is seated at a window on a thronelike chair, holding a sickle in her right hand and a tiny gilt-framed painting of a moth in her left. A blackbird perches on the windowsill, a cherry in its beak; beyond lie valleys and hills. A press release issued by Newsom’s record label, Drag City, says that Vierling “did the cover painting old-master style, with layers of egg-tempera and glazes. Strictly 16th-century processes, just like the recording of the album.”

    The Renaissance references may be a joke, but a careful, almost precious husbandry of the past is characteristic of Newsom’s work. Newsom, who is twenty-four, is a classically trained harpist, and “Ys”—pronounced “eess”; it’s the name of an island in Breton mythology—is a series of complex, through-composed songs that have more in common with Kurt Weill’s long-form ballads than with contemporary pop music. Yet Newsom tends to perform in rock clubs, not concert halls, and many of her fans—including the novelist Dave Eggers, who praised her “bare and unflinching” music in Spin—are devotees of independent rock. Moreover, the songs on “Ys” feature lush, intricate orchestral arrangements by the pop composer Van Dyke Parks. (Parks, who was a child actor, worked on Rufus Wainwright’s 1998 début record and on “Smile,” the legendary album by the Beach Boys, which was begun in 1967 but not completed until 2004.)

    Newsom is sometimes lumped with a group of acoustic musicians called “freak folk” or “free folk.” They include the bands Tower Recordings and Feathers and the warbling singer and songwriter Devendra Banhart, with whom Newsom shares a fearlessness and a deceptively childlike air. In essence, however, folk describes simple songs that are universally accessible and performed on cheap instruments, if any. (Rap easily qualifies as folk music.) Newsom uses antique words that many English speakers won’t recognize, and plays an expensive and heavy instrument that you couldn’t bring on a camping trip, and some of her recent songs are almost as long as American sitcoms (average length: twenty-two minutes, without commercials)." - Sasha Freer-Jones (New Yorker) album review

    2006 Billboard Music Awards....

    LIVE from Las Vegas!......I took a look on the program website and was completely underwhelmed by tonight's performers - I will not be watching.

    Sunday, December 03, 2006

    The Music of Cold Case...

    Episode: Forever Blue (1968); Sunday, December 3, 9pm et/pt

    Lilly and the team re-open the 1968 killing of a local cop suspected of being gay. The word on the street is that Coop was involved in a drug bust gone bad, but Lilly secures information that indicates that Coop may have been romantically involved with his partner, Jimmy, which did not sit well with the rest of the force. Lilly and the team must now open old wounds and track a killer, even if it is one of their own.

    “Happy Together” - The Turtles
    “Love Me Two Times” - The Doors
    “Pictures of Matchstick Men” - Status Quo
    “Slip Away” - Clarence Carter
    “White Room” - Cream
    “My Back Pages” - The Byrds

    Music listing from previous shows - here

    Rural rapper's star on the rise after Internet debut...

    MARLY-GOMONT, France (AFP) - A black rapper from a backwater village is rapidly becoming a media sensation in France after a tongue-in-cheek video of him singing about his rural experience debuted on the Internet. Kamini, as he is known, has been thrust into the spotlight since his tune about his home town (population 423) of Marly-Gomont first hit the web in September. He has been interviewed on television, sung on a talent show, and been fought over by record labels who see him as a new entertainer offering a rap wrested free of the urban angst common to the genre. complete story - website - But I must warn you, it is in French......and, as you well know, those French have a different word for EVERYTHING!

    Friday, December 01, 2006

    The latest grab.....

  • The Road to Escondido (JJ Cale/Eric Clapton)- much-hyped; listened to it on the drive home; started slow, but then got very good - nothing groundbreaking, but a good first impression
  • The Wanderer (Dion & the Belmonts)- 18 original hit recordings 1958-1963; love do-wop and late 50s streetcorner stuff and Dion was one of the best; he's still out there doing some pretty good blues
  • In the Right Place (Dr. John)- his big commercial success, but I will not apologize for loving it - it's good
  • Electric Rodeo (Shooter Jennings)- Waylon's boy, who has another cd titled Put the O Back in Country
  • No excuses Friday....

    It's the end of the week. You've worked hard, or at least feigned working hard, so reward yourself with some local entertainment. You will be doing both you and the local music scene a favor, for if you don't, who will? And will it be there for you when you decide you want it. So, here are some options for a Friday night:
  • Smokin' With Chris welcomes blues guitarist Dan Stevens for an 8pm show after you've sucked down some smoked ribs.
  • Jitters Coffeehouse - The Sawtelles bring their 'nerve rock' to town (actually it was already in town)
  • New Britain Museum of American Art presents Tony Harrington and Touch Band for its First Friday series. From 5:30 – 8 p.m. each month, First Friday features live jazz music performed by local and nationally-known musicians, an opportunity to view the Museum’s premier permanent collection of 300 years of American art, a chance to mix and mingle with other art and jazz lovers, a selection of light hors d’oeuvres, and wine, beer, and soda. The cost is $7 for Museum members and $12 for non-members and includes two drink tickets with a cash bar thereafter.

  • On Saturday at 3pm, there will be live jazz at Integrity 'N Music, the BEST jazz store (34 years of jazz) around. The lineup is Sean Clapis (guitar), Matt Warner (piano), Seth Lewis (bass), Jake Goldbas (drums)

    Just do it. Now, if I can only follow my own advice.....