Wednesday, February 28, 2007

The Affair comes to Cafe Nine Friday night....

From The Affair's MySpace website:

New York City’s The Affair pounces onto the scene with their debut album Yes Yes To You. Since Kali Holloway (vocals, lyrics), Nelson Dellamaggiore (bass), Neel Arant (keyboards/guitar), Josh Leeman (lead guitar) and Marc Pattini (drums) first stepped on a stage together, the band has garnered respect and praise in both local and European music journals.

The Affair caught the attention of Vice Records, which in July 2004 released their first single, Honey, a song which showcased their ability to meld proto-punk and new wave allegiances with keen pop sensibilities. After a couple of years spent trolling through NY nightclubs, the band reappeared earlier in 2006 with a new single, Andy, on UK buzz label Marquis Cha Cha. Absolutely Kosher signed the band after chasing them around Austin at this year’s SXSW.

Lately, the streets of rock and roll seem cluttered with matching mod dresses filled with Swedes and Brits with their hair in bangs and Phil Spector in their lockets. The Affair tear through them like a flame. There might be girl groups in their rearview mirrors, but there are knives in their hands and lightning in their eyes. Faux finishing school poses and demure, wistful cooing have been demolished by soulful defiance. The “my boyfriend’s back and there’s going to be trouble” of yesteryear has been appended with “because I’m going to kick his ass for leaving.” Kali’s voice is bruised and angry but triumphant on Dead Letters, playful and sassy on Jailbait Date and positively flawless on Left At The Party. Her own lyricism is at once coy with a wink, but full of piss and vinegar. There’s not a vocal turn on the record where she doesn’t deliver. "Happy endings never interested me," she wails on Swallow the Nights. If early press is any indication, the world might not abide her.

With a swagger in their sound that could only come from the five boroughs, the band channels bits of New York acts like the Shangri-La's, The Ronettes, and Blondie. Throw in dashes of the Cars and the Runaways and distill them in gin and thorns, it give them a distinctly modern voice. The Affair personifies their very name, at once dangerous, timeless, immoral and ecstatic, illicit and sultry, conflicted and pure. This is one Affair in which you won't mind getting caught.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

Goodbye, Ruby Tuesday......

Do all these people REALLY want to see the Police? You can have my seat in East Hartford. - article

Rave reviews still raining in about last week's Mardi Gras at Anthony Jack's - more pics

And a belated HAPPY 60th BIRTHDAY to JUDY H!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

NY Times suggestions for the boys in Brooklyn....

IKE REILLY ASSASSINATION (Thursday) An eloquent wiseguy whose songs evoke Bob Dylan and Paul Westerberg, Mr. Reilly, a former bellhop and gravedigger from Chicago, has the kind of high-energy, hook-heavy folk-rock sound that turns every head in a bar, while his nasal vocals are unsparingly sardonic: “The friends that you rely on are the train tracks that you lie on.” At 9 p.m., Mo Pitkin’s, 34 Avenue A, near Third Street, East Village, (212) 777-5660,; $15. (Sisario)

TIBET HOUSE BENEFIT (Monday) The 17th annual concert for Tibet House, an organization in New York that has among its aims housing a library and art collection for eventual repatriation, features Philip Glass, Laurie Anderson, Sigur Ros, Ray Davies, Deborah Harry, Lou Reed, Patti Smith, Michael Stipe and Ben Harper. At 7:30 p.m., Carnegie Hall, (212) 247-7800,; $30 to $85. (Sisario)

Sunday, February 25, 2007

It doesn't get much worse than Oscars music....

I love ya, James Taylor, Randy Newman, Melissa Etheridge, but this music sucks.

Music from political films win Oscars (Reuters)

Music from politically themed films scored top Oscars on Sunday, while the winners used their moment of glory to push issues ranging from global warming to gay marriage.

Melissa Etheridge's global warming anthem, "I Need to Wake Up," took home the gold at the 79th annual Academy Awards for best original song, beating out three separate nominations in that category from "Dreamgirls," as well as Randy Newman's "Our Town" from the animated film, "Cars." Hers was the second big victory of the night for "An Inconvenient Truth," the big-screen adaptation of former U.S. Vice President Al Gore's slide-show lecture on the perils of global warming, which won a documentary feature Oscar. After thanking various people involved in making the film, and, "my incredible wife, Tammy," and her four children, Etheridge -- one of the country's best known lesbians -- thanked Gore. - complete article

Saturday, February 24, 2007

The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster.....the buzzzzzzzzz

If there is possibly a bad thing about having tickets to see Lucinda Williams at the Calvin Theatre on Sunday, March 25, it's that I will miss Ruthie Foster that night at Cafe Nine. She is touring to support her hot new album, The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster, which is getting big-time reviews.

For example, This Is Texas Music says....." Ruthie Foster fans, brace yourselves. The longtime Austin fixture is reinventing herself with The Phenomenal Ruthie Foster. Needing a creative spark, Foster gave in to the urgings of producer Malcolm "Papa Mali" Welbourne, set aside her acoustic guitar in favor of a Wurlitzer, and recorded a full-blown blues/soul revival album. While her style has long blended blues and soul, any edge generally has been softened by a folk sensibility. But here there's no relief from the groove. On tracks like "'Cuz I'm Here," "Mama Said," and the Maya Angelou poem turned song "Phenomenal Woman," Foster delivers such a gritty vocal tension and sustained passion that one can't help but compare her to Aretha Franklin. And the heartbreaking "I Don't Know What to Do with My Heart" is a signature song in the making, sure to pop up in playlists of the lovelorn for years to come. The results of Foster's metamorphosis are nothing short of, well, phenomenal. We're just six weeks into 2007, but it's never too early to crown a frontrunner for the year's best album."

She will, however, be performing at the following area venues, so perhaps all is not lost:
Wed 03/21/07 New York, NY Knitting Factory
Fri 03/23/07 Windsor, CT Northwest Park
Sat 03/24/07 Fall River, MA Narrows Center For The Arts
Sun 03/25/07 New Haven, CT Cafe Nine
Tue 03/27/07 Westbrook, ME Chicky's Fine Diner
Wed 03/28/07 Somerville, MA Johnny D's

Caught on the tube (well, not a tube anymore)....

Ramsey Lewis had a pop hit with an instrumental version of The In Crowd, with which we could all identify (I'm in with the In Crowd, I go where the In Crowd goes), in the 1960's. Commencing in April 2006, Lewis has hosted a weekly PBS series of half-hour jazz performances featuring specific themes or groupings. On Friday night, I caught the episode The Golden Horns with trumpeters Clark Terry, Roy Hargrove and Chris Botti exchanging rather banal chitchat with Ramsey, but then each playing a jazz number in his own unique style, then all playing together with Lewis for the finale. Very pleasant. And, of course, there are various CDs and DVDs available to purchase- here.

Friday, February 23, 2007

Everything is everything....

The Donny Hathaway Story at the Yale Cabaret
Book by Ken Robinson / Music by Donny Hathaway
Directed by Tea Alagic
February 22 - 24

The Donny Hathaway Story is a new musical based on the life of the legendary musician. This surreal journey reveals the true story of Donny's life, complex friendship with Roberta Flack, struggle with his sexuality, and tragic suicide at age 33. Featuring such soul classics as "The Ghetto" and "Someday We'll All Be Free," The Donny Hathaway Story celebrates the musical legacy of this extraordinary artist.

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Fat Tuesday at AJ's.....

The food was deliciously spicy, the D. Smith Blues Band was HOT and Johnny Gumbo wore his famous PIANO SHIRT Tuesday night at Anthony Jack's Wood-fired Grill for the 2007 Southington Rotary Mardi Gras fundraiser.


Interesting note, Robert Orsi, D. Smith Blues Band lead singer, played in the legendary Scratch Band with Christine Ohlman and SNL's G.E. Smith in the 1970's.

The smart-looking couple at left traveled up from Trumbull to take part in Tuesday evening's festivities.

Johnnyk and Johnny Gumbo together again!

Sunday, February 18, 2007

Peter to Rickie: You can lose that number now....

After a late Friday of Mercy Brothers soul and blues, Peter is off to Cambridge to see Tom waits' ex-soulmate rickie Lee Jones, recently cleaned up and sporting a new CD. A report:

After a warmer day the streets are not as nasty as they were Friday night for the Brothers K tour, making logistics much easier. My friend D and I find a parking spot on Mass Ave and walk a couple of blocks....well maybe three or the Temple Bar for a quick supper. Sit next to Paul and his guitar case. He's warming up with a beer or maybe a few for an annual Fat Tuesday gig at TT The Bears (not tried yet...Paul says not if you are over 25).

Parking is the curse of Cambridge. I'd even spring for a lot, but there are none....just empty locked up Harvard parking garages. Driving down Mass Ave, pass up a questionable one, try to squeeze into a short one, can't do it. About to start a second pass when, hey that big-ass Mercedes is pulling out! Brakes, reverse, got it! This is probably the spot on Mass ave with the shortest possible walk to Memorial Hall.

Sanders Theatre in Memorial Hall is spectacular. 1,100 seats, all in the round, tightly stacked balcony, great views and every seat close to the stage. We are center balcony, excellent seats. Memorial Hall also houses a main dining it's in the same role as Woolsey Hall at Yale, but Harvard wins this one. This building is a cathedral celebrating the wealth and confidence of late 19th century Boston. Everything shines...incredible massive woodwork, grand chandelier, richly painted walls.

The crowd is middle aged Cambridge casual....we're a little over-dressed, but we look good.

Rickie Lee Jones comes out pretty much on time. With little banter, she sits down at the grand piano. Then about 20 minutes of agonizing wails and complaints in her whiny little girl shriek voice...and can't understand a word. I know we are both thinking, this is torture!

Then the band comes out and things brighten up. She does a mix of older stuff I don't recognize....the loyalists in the audience seem to...and her new Biblical theme DVD. Still can't understand more than two words per song, but the band is great, and the new music is engaging, smart. They seem to be doing a lot of innovating. Drummer plays almost the whole show with mallet sticks. You sense rather than hear clearly what he is doing. The bass player uses a violin bow on his guitar with amazing results. Junior, the lead guitar, is doing a bunch of electronic stuff that keeps his hands, eyes, feet flying through every song. Meanwhile it's hard to tell if Rickie Lee is bullying, flirting with her handsome young band guys, or just playing/being a crazy lady.

Rickie Lee is good as her word that they won't do an encore. So it's a mixed review....great band, interesting eclectic sound, but very frustrating to not hear any words clearly. D sums up..."I liked that girl we saw at Fireflies better." That would be Sarah B.

Daytona? Oh, just go down and take a left.....

Listening to Lucinda's new West after reading reviews that range wildly from love to hate.....Her latest lyrics are getting "America's best songwriter" in trouble with the purists, but I like the album very much.....a couple duds, but solid overall and has an attitude....the added strings give it a little different feel.....Lucinda must be one tough chick in the sack:

I'm so over you, you don't even have a clue, all you did was make me blue, you didn't even make me - come on!

You're so self-involved, you're in some kind of fog, you're hung up on your hog, you didn't even make me - come on!

You think you're in hot demand, but you don't know where to put your hand, let me tell you where you stand, you didn't even make me - come on!

(btw, one reviewer was right, Animals-like organ background. Also, the violin makes me think of Scarlett Rivera in Dylan's old band.) article on Lucinda

Saturday, February 17, 2007

Mercy, Brothers!.....

It's a blustery, frigid walk with Joe and Peter (after dueling with a Saab cowboy for a Walgreen's parking spot) over to Redbones BBQ in Davis Square early Friday evening, needing to fill up on catfish sandwiches 'n Smuttynose IPA before heading to Sally O'Brien's. The Mercy Brothers are there tonight. Crowded as hell in the Redbone's bar as we squeeze into some open slots against the wall. But not to worry, Peter's got cred here, so our orders come lightning quick. And we've got Nancy's $10 certificate - life is good!

I know I'm going to pay for this tomorrow, having appointments starting at 8AM, but that's okay. The drive from CT was a breeze until we hit Framingham, then a crawling hour until we hit 128. Met up with Peter at brother Joe's Somerville estate, where we split into boys/girls activities - girls (Mary, Pammy, Nancy, Brenda, Reet) opting to dine out.

There's a couple dozen people inside as we enter Sally O'Brien's, a neighborhood pub with a band stage and some cocktail tables in an adjoining room separated from the bar by a half-wall. We dock at the bar, giving us a great view of the stage while maintaining arm's length access to our next brew. A tough looking chick chats it up with Peter and Joe, while I watch a shirtless Freddie Mercury work his way through Bohemian Rhapsody (Mama, just killed a man. Put a gun against his head, pulled the trigger, now he's dead....) on the big screen behind the bar.

Peter took in a performance of the Mercy Brothers last month in Framingham when they were just Barrence Whitfield on vocals and Michael Dinallo on guitar, but it looks like there will be a full band tonight. Peter knows Barrence (real name Barry White -NOT kidding!) through Derek Houston of the Iguanas, who is married to Kiki, the daughter of close friends/former neighbors (yes, there will be a quiz). Barrence suddenly appears at the bar and introductions are exchanged, then it's showtime. Sally's has filled in a little more as the band kicks off with some Percy Sledge that sounds familiar. Joe thinks it's something middle 1960's. As the set moves along, the band gets into high gear with Buddy Holly looking/sounding Dinallo's guitar playing counterpoint to the deeper, bolder 2nd guitar (sorry, no names on the uniforms, so I didn't get all the players). The baseball-capped Whitfield mixes in screechs and wails with his tasty soulful delivery. All this complimented with a very cool standup bass and a weathered drummer and we've got us a damn good band here! They finish up the first set with a SMOKIN' version of Johnny Cash's Folsom Prison Blues with Barrence wailing Johnny's lament in between, around and through some really fine extended guitar solos. I like it - alot.

Hey, Ron's here, just in time for the second set! And a phone call from Reet and Nancy tells us they are stopping by, too. Meanwhile, a tipsy older dude in a beat up fedora and scarf is making out with our tough looking chick. Reet, Nancy and Peter don't like him, but I think he's fine and certainly not hurting anyone. Once the music starts again, Mr. Suave slides onto the dance floor for some too-smooth-for-the-room moves. Very entertaining. And then Peter is hauled onto the hardwood by a very attractive woman whose boyfriend apparently chooses to sit. Barrence is really cooking now and the band is right there with him. Nancy grabs my camera and takes a few shots of them in action, but has it on 'movie' by mistake; so if anyone wants some 3-second snippets of the band, we've got 'em!

Very enjoyable evening. The Mercy Brothers and the company were outstanding. We should do this again. And Barrence should come down to CT to play Cafe Nine! Perhaps they will notice? Hey, Johnny Gumbo, you should check them out for the Apple Harvest Festival!

Friday, February 16, 2007

And it was a freezing Friday in February....

Off to Somerville tonight to meet up with Peter (possibly Joe, Kay, Andy, Carolyn, Ron) to see the Mercy Brothers featuring Barrence Whitfield at Sally O'Brien's. Of note, Somerville defeated the supremely talented Bristol CT American Legion squad in the 1962 American Legion NE baseball championship game in Keene, NH.

Reviews for Lucinda's West range from flawless to flawed, but generally paint it as dark, but redeemingly beautiful in various degrees. Rolling Stone gave it 4 stars, but felt that her songwriting has "dropped half a notch." I haven't had time, but intend to give a good listen this weekend.
  • Eric Danton, Hartford Courant - review
  • Thom Jurek, All Music Guide - review (loves it)
  • Andy Whitman, Paste Magazine - review (whoa, takes Lucinda to task)
  • Robert Christgau, Rolling Stone - review

    I now read Sports Illustrated for its music-themed swimsuit edition articles. This year's shoot was at the Rock 'N Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland (rocks!). Here is the Jimmy Buffett SI swimsuit edition video. For Tim Hardaway, they have the old Burt Reynolds Playgirl centerfold shot in there. BTW, nice job, Tim. And just what were you thinking? It's curious that someone famous for his "killer crossover" would say such things.

    Hanson at Toad's Place. Don't miss it!
  • Wednesday, February 14, 2007

    What Grammys, here are the Brit Awards.....

    Winners 2007:

  • British Male Solo Artist- James Morrison
  • British Female Solo Artist- Amy Winehouse
  • British Group- Arctic Monkeys
  • MasterCard British Album- Arctic Monkeys “Whatever people say I am, that’s what I’m not”
  • British Single- Take That “Patience”
  • British Breakthrough Act- Fratellis
  • British Live Act- Muse
  • International Male Solo Artist- Justin Timberlake
  • International Female Solo Artist- Nelly Furtado
  • International Group- The Killers
  • International Album- Killers “Sam’s Town”
  • International Breakthrough Act- Orson
  • Outstanding Contribution to Music- Oasis
  • Happy Valentine's Day.....

    Give A Date With John Waters to your loved one:

    Album notes: Recording information: 1935 - 1999.
    Filmmaker John Waters spent his career refining the idea of bad taste to the point where it actually became good. A DATE WITH JOHN WATERS--the follow-up to the delightfully odd holiday compilation CHRISTMAS WITH JOHN WATERS--is in many ways the musical equivalent of one of his movies. Like his sleaziest masterpieces, this Valentine's Day mix-tape features both Mink Stole ("Sometimes I Wish I Had a Gun") and Edith Massey ("Big Girls Don't Cry"); it's funny (John Prine and Iris Dement's "In Spite of Ourselves"), a bit kinky (Elton Motello's "Jet Boy Jet Girl"), a bit gay ("Johnny Are You Queer" by Josie Cotton), and at times uncomfortably bizarre ("Tonight You Belong to Me" by Patience and Prudence ). However, like all of Waters's best work, A DATE WITH also contains its strokes of pure genius. In this case, it's his inclusion of Ike & Tina Turner's show-stopping live version of "All I Can Do Is Cry."

    Track listing
    1. Tonight You Belong To Me - Patience & Prudence
    2. Jet Boy Jet Girl - Elton Motello
    3. Ain't Got No Home - Clarence "Frogman" Henry
    4. I'd Love To Take Orders From You - Mildred Bailey
    5. Inspite Of Ourselves - John Prine/Iris DeMent
    6. All I Can Do Is Cry - Ike & Tina Turner
    7. Big Girls Don't Cry - Edith Massey
    8. Imitation Of Life - Earl Grant
    9. Sometimes I Wish I Had A Gun - Mink Stole
    10. Johnny Are You Queer - Josie Cotton
    11. Right Time, The - Ray Charles
    12. Hit The Road To Dreamland - Dean Martin
    13. If I Knew You Were Comin' Id've Baked A Cake - Eileen Barton
    14. Bewilder - Shirley & Lee

    Hey, come listen to us....

    An email from Up the Empire:

    My name is Dan Hewins and I'm with a band called Up The Empire from Brooklyn, NY. I wanted to let you know that Up The Empire is coming back to New Haven to play at Cafe Nine on Wednesday, Feb 21. We'll be playing with SSM and it's gonna be a great show. We just played a sold-out show at New York's Mercury Lounge and are heading out to Providence, Pittsburgh, and Philadelphia this weekend. We're happy to be coming back to New Haven. Up The Empire will be releasing "Light Rides The Super Major," our first full-length on May 8. Here's the first track from Light Rides The Super Major: Volcano

    Tuesday, February 13, 2007

    A new sound coming to downtown Meriden....

    Jazz club Essence Lounge will replace Club Impulz
    by Adam Wittenberg, Record-Journal staff

    MERIDEN — The signs are up, and it’s only a matter of weeks before the sounds of jazz will be heard downtown. Floresia and Greg Allen are slated to open Essence Lounge later this month at 16 N. Colony St., the former home of Club Im­pulz, which had its final night Saturday. The lounge will feature a mix of jazz and blues, and will cater to an adult crowd. “The city deserves to have a place where we can go and sit,” Floresia Allen said Monday. “Hopefully, we can turn things around and make it work.”

    Allen, who owns Allen’s Asbestos LLC, had hoped to open Essence above her 23 N. Colony St. office. She obtained zoning and liquor permits and planned to open in early 2006, but soon found the renovation work too expensive. Allen knew Linda and Lucio Ruzzier, who owned Club Impulz, and eventually they agreed to work together on Essence. “We decided to put it across the street instead,” Allen said. “I got a bigger area at a better price.” Inside the building that has housed a va­riety of clubs over the last decade, a pic­ture collage still hung Monday with the words “Club Impulz Memories,” but it won’t be there when Essence is unveiled with its new look. “We’re trying to brighten the place up,” said Greg Allen, who was replacing lights and ceiling fans. “We want everybody to come out and have a good time.” New rugs, tables and renovations to al­low natural light are in the Allen’s plans, but vestiges such as the dance floor will re­main. “We’re going to incorporate a Latin Jazz night,” Floresia Allen said, “and we’re go­ing to have stepping, so we need a dance floor.”

    The lounge doesn’t plan any teen nights like Impulz and its predecessors had, but Allen said the venue would invite youth to showcase their artistic talents. Local poets and artists also will have chances to use the space. That could coincide with art produced at nearby Gallery 53, and eventually with artist housing planned by developer Ross Gulino on West Main Street. At least two other live music venues are planned for downtown. Developer Paul Ed­wards is working on a restaurant at 13-17 Colony St. with a banquet and events facil­ity next door at 9-11 Colony St. featuring a piano bar and ballroom/cabaret style en­tertainment. That venue could open this spring. And last month, the former owners of Club 290 in Plainville applied to open a lounge downstairs at the former Cabin Restaurant on North Colony Street, with an upstairs night­club.

    The Zoning Board of Ap­peals next month will consider the special exception applica­tion, which is required for all nightclubs. The Allens said they don’t fear competition, but hope the venues feed off one another to bring more people to down­town. Chip Geriak, member servic­es representative of the Greater Meriden Chamber of Com­merce, welcomed news of the lounge. “Floresia’s had a longtime dream to have a jazz club downtown,” said Geriak, whose offices are across the street from Essence. “It’ll give anoth­er option for people to go to downtown.

    New Lucinda out today....

    Lucinda steering beyond `Car Wheels' by DAVID BAUDER, AP writer

    The album "Car Wheels on a Gravel Road" is the work that introduced Lucinda Williams to most of her fans. It won a Grammy. Rolling Stone and Spin called it one of the top discs of the 1990s. It has sold twice as much as anything else she's done.

    An undeniable career highlight, it's been a straitjacket for its creator, too. "Ever since `Car Wheels' I've been struggling with where do I go now? What do I do?" she told The Associated Press. "I was defined by `Car Wheels' and everything I've done since gets compared to `Car Wheels.'"

    "West," released Tuesday and her third collection of new music since that 1998 landmark, may be the disc to set her free. Produced by Hal Willner, it's a sonic departure with tight writing and experimental song structure. Williams' weathered voice and depressing subject matter sound familiar, but it's miles away from the gravel road.

    Frozen by the pressure of following up her signature disc, Williams went nearly five years without writing a thing. She kept touring, playing the same songs over and over. Like so many other songwriters, she took a specific inspiration from Bob Dylan — in this case his late-career resurgence started by the 1997 "Time Out of Mind" album. Williams, 54, saw it as Dylan moving forward and not worrying about topping classics like "Blood on the Tracks" or feeling he had to write in the same way. - complete article

    Sunday, February 11, 2007

    Watching the Grammys.....

  • I've never been a big fan of the Police.....ok, now I've seen them again after 20 years, I'm fine for another 20.....the performance exposed Roxanne as pretty thin stuff
  • Jamie Fox tried....
  • Stevie Wonder gets bigger each time I see him....Tony Bennett thanked Target!
  • Dixie Chicks were pretty good....I bet they wanted to say "Fuck off, George"....and Nashville....they were introduced by Joan Baez....oh, I get it!...REBELS!
  • Prince introduced Beyonce...I wish it were the other way around
  • Jesus Christ won another Grammy....He's got the touch
  • Loved the Corrine Bailey Rae/John Legend/John Mayer set.....Mayer killed with his guitar solo....Mayer, who rose from the ghettos of Fairfield County, won for best pop vocal album
  • The Don Henley thing must have made the other Eagles feel a bit pissed...
  • Ike Turner won the Grammy for Best Traditional Blues Album, for 'Risin With the Blues,'...beat our boy James Hunter
  • Christina Aguilera makes a good stand in for James least Jamie Fox seemed to think so

    Grammy recap article - Eric Danton's take on the Grammys
  • JFK arriving home from weekend in Boston....

    His grab from Newbury Comics:

  • Swagger (Flogging Molly)
  • Whiskey on Sunday (Flogging Molly)
  • The Singles Collection, Vol 1 1996-97 (Dropkick Murphys)
  • Super Black Market Clash (The Clash)
  • Sandinista! (The Clash)
  • Global A Go-Go (Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros)
  • Rock Art and the X-Ray Style (Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros)
  • She was a damn good dancer, but not that good of a girlfriend....

    Listening to The Hold Steady's Boys and Girls in America on a Sunday morning. VERY good. The title refers to a line in Jack Kerouac's 1957 novel On the Road, which is made explicit in the opening line of the album: "There are nights when I think Sal Paradise was right: Boys and Girls in America have such a sad time together." SO early Springsteen, when he was young and energetic and not so important. Touches of Counting Crows.

    DAILY NUGGETS from G-Man in Brooklyn on Norah Jones and Regina Spektor.

    Indie music article gets front page Hartford! (go figure)....

    Pumping Up Indie Music by ERIC R. DANTON, Courant Rock Critic

    Classic rock is king in Connecticut, but there's a subtle insurrection afoot. Outside the arenas and theaters crammed with nostalgia acts, and the rock clubs plying heavy metal and teen-centric pop-punk, fans of independent rock 'n' roll have traditionally had few options beyond traveling to Boston or New York to see buzz-worthy, new groups or underground acts whose tour itineraries rarely include stops in this state.

    That's changing, thanks to local music fans in central and southern Connecticut who are circumventing more established live-music gatekeepers and hiring the musicians they want to see in concert - groups whose followings are often too small to play rooms like Toad's Place in New Haven or the Webster Theatre in Hartford. Bands like The Hold Steady, Aberdeen City and Protokoll are playing Masonic lodges in Hamden, bars in Hartford and American Legion halls in Manchester, booked by music lovers who see no reason the Land of Steady Habits can't shake its somnolent attitude and build a vibrant indie-rock scene. - complete article

    More Farquahr memories....

    EGKG has left a new comment on your post "My eggs don't taste the same without you...":

    I had the pleasure last summer of meeting Bob McGowan (the band member that "anonymous", above, forgot). Nicest guy I've met in a long time. He took the time (probably close to an hour) out of his busy day to show my wife and I some of the Farquahr memorabilia he had at his shop. My parents, who both grew up in CT, spent a lot of time at Mount Snow in the late sixties, and were evidently friendly with the Farquahr. Seems that they had tons of friends! My dad had a habit of whistling, and more often than not I'd hear him whistling My Eggs Don't Taste The Same Without You or Teddy Bear Days. I have a few 45s that I found on Ebay. If you're lucky, you might be able to find their CD, "From the Top", which includes most of the old favorites and some newer music. I only wish I'd been old enough to have seen them play live!

    Best traditional blues album goes to.....

    We made a sacred pact at Hot Basil (very good, btw) on Friday night: Keith would get the James Hunter (Iron Horse) and I would get Norah (Oakdale). Keith picked up tix for James Hunter's current tour at the Iron Horse in Northampton on Monday, April 2nd. Early show, so we should be back at a reasonable hour. Reet is opting out. Interestingly, the date is not on Hunter's mySpace tour dates, but a Sunday gig at the Wolf Den at Mohegan Sun is. Good luck to James tonight at the Grammys. No Norah, as it turns out. Conflicting arts commitments.

    Friday, February 09, 2007

    A humble admission....

    Yes, contrary to all previous reports, it was I who fathered Anna Nicole Smith's baby. Yes, it was wrong, but I was caught up in the now you know....

    We're invited!!!!.....

    The L Magazine, Lost Highway Records & Banjo Jim's

    Release Party as part of


    In Stores: 2/13

    WED FEB 14 9PM


    So I was dancing in the lesbian bar, oh, oh, oh......

    Concert report from G-Man...

    Last Saturday I went to see Jonathan Richman at the Knitting Factory in NYC. It has taken a week to write this and that’s the kind of effect the performance had on me. I was entertainted, but saw more of a comedian than a musician…don’t jump to conclusions on me yet though…I enjoyed myself…The Knitting Factory was a small venue (approx. 200 peeps there), a pretty cool place to see live music, most of crowd was mid-30s-40s…all that thought JR was hilarious…however, as funny as we think he is, we showed up to hear his music…recognizable songs for me were “Dancing at the Lesbian Bar” and “Pablo Picasso” (‘never called an asshole’)…both two very funny songs, but JR isn’t Adam Sandler and we listen to these songs for the music and then additional chuckles…JR was joined only by a drummer…we’ll call him “boy” and he didn’t add much…and unfortunately JR’s instrumentation didn’t either……playing off the crowds enthusiasm for comedy, JR spun his g-tar around often, doing some comical dances…I don’t give out thumbs or anything, but I’ll just say I don’t know the last song JR played or whether he got a encore…I left before that could happen…after I finished my 6 buck Boddingtons…I will certainly check out future bands playing at the Knitting Factory again…and would like to eventually see Jonathan Richman with a band…

    8:00 PM LIVE! ON STAGE JONATHAN RICHMAN Featuring Tommy Larkins on the Drums With Special guest direct from Spain: KIKO VENENO.

    G-Man saw Jonathan Richman at the Knitting Factory last night and phoned Jonathan (his brother, not JR, for he, Richman, was performing) with Dancing in the Lesbian Bar blaring in the background, but JFK was sleeping. This was Richman's third night of a four-night gig at the Factory. Waiting on a concert report.

    Artist profile:
    Jonathan Richman is an American proto-punk icon and one of the progenitors of "indie rock." He is known for his wide-eyed, near-childlike lyrical outlook, and music that, while rooting in 50's rock and roll structures, can be wildly eclectic. Jonathan Richman has been writing songs, making records and performing live for most of his life, winning fans and making friends around the world with his guileless honesty and playfully catchy compositions. He's revered by countless fellow artists, and has built a remarkably loyal international audience through his tireless touring. His deceptively straightforward songs embody timeless qualities of humanity, optimism, emotional insight and a boundless sense of humor, untainted by cynicism or transient notions of hipness.

    Jonathan Richman is undoubtedly the coolest of the uncool in popular music. For three decades now Jonathan Richman has enjoyed cult status amongst the lonely, misunderstood, sentimental and sad romantics amongst us.His anti-rock stance and lo-fi attitude has made him an unlikely punk hero.

    Thursday, February 08, 2007

    James Hunter coming back to the Iron Horse....

    Browsing the Iron Horse Music Hall concert schedule this evening, noting that Sarah Borges will be there on March 11 with Shannon NcNally, when, EUREKA, I see that JAMES HUNTER will be returning for a Monday night show on April 2! MUST GO!

    Hunter is up for a Grammy on Sunday night in the Best Traditional Blues Album (Vocal or Instrumental.):
  • Brother To The Blues- Tab Benoit With Louisiana's Leroux [Telarc Blues]
  • Bronx In Blue- Dion [Razor & Tie / The Orchard]
  • People Gonna Talk- James Hunter [Go Records/Rounder]
  • Guitar Groove-A-Rama- Duke Robillard [Stony Plain Records]
  • Risin' With The Blues- Ike Turner [Zoho Roots]

    James Hunter at Iron Horse November 21
  • Sawtelles are out and about in February.....

    Per the Sawtelles monthly email: - re: FEB Flings

    We've got a pretty busy month lined up, with a spot at Ken Safety's open mic tonite, and another double-gig nite coming up tomorrow nite, FRIDAY, one in b'port and one at the Nine. we are also going to be performing on tv as part of Chad and Tamara's live on CTV wedding extravaganza, hitting a beatnik, and then also checking out INITY and the Furors at various locations. P has been coming up with some new songs as part of a songwriters series which will become our new record.

    A good o/m to check out is at the Red Door in Watertown, just off rt 8 past wattaberry. We went for the first time this past tues and the talent was really awesome. We met up with someone we hadn't seen in a few years and made some new myspace friends. this is a bar only, no food, and there is NO charge to play. The guy running it keeps things on schedule and does not hesitate to pull the plug if you've gone over your five-minute warning. You get a 15 min slot so if you're a fast setup you can def pull off 4 or 5 songs if you don't jam too long.

    ok, onto the info:

  • 8 thurs: o/m slot at ken safety's thirsty thursday over at cj sparrow's on rt 10 in cheshire. this is hal klein's b'day (part of the parkers tangent outift which includes our very own Grimfacts Ed, guitar/bass slinger. everything starts at 9pm.
  • 9 fri: double gig nite. first over at the NEST in b'port. At the bottom is the info about the whole thing. we'll be on somewhere in the first three slots performing safety patrol music as we've gotta book it over to the Nine for the Beatnik Anniversary show.
  • 9 fri: second part of the nite @ cafe nine beatnik celebration. your faves all nite long. we're on approx 10:30. you never know what you'll see at a beatnik.
  • 12 mon: beatnik 15 min slot. we'll try to pull out all of the lovey-dovey songs to celebrate valentine's day.
  • 14 wed: live on CTV as part of the Chad/Tamara (the Simple Pleasures folks) wedding. they want you to go to their wedding as they'd love a whole room full of people to witness the event. plus there will be some food/beverage action. wedding. valentine's day. music. dress-up in your most awesome rock star apparel. music!
  • Tuesday, February 06, 2007

    Ground control to Major Tom....

    I'm stepping through the door
    And I'm floating in a most peculiar way
    And the stars look very different today

    I'm sorry, but this is TOO funny!

    Sarah Borges signs with Sugar Hill Records...

    Confirming what Sarah and bassist Binky related to me at their Cafe Nine gig in December, Sugar Hill Records has just announced the signing of Sarah Borges. Per the company's website:

    Roots label Sugar Hill Records is happy to announce the signing of rising songstress Sarah Borges. The venerated indie label, a place where the traditional has always been interpreted with contemporary vision, is a great fit for Borges -- a talent that Paste Magazine called “the most convincing honky-tonk chops in recent memory.”

    “We’re very excited to have Sarah on Sugar Hill,” says Kevin Welk, president of the Welk Music Group. “We are eager to expand on her already enthusiastic base and bring her music to a larger audience.” The onetime honors scholarship recipient is a lifelong devotee of theater and performance, and she channels this experience into her music. The result is a genre-defying style that lies between classic country songwriting and an 80s punk mentality. Audiences have lauded her exuberant, engaging and sometimes raucous live shows which have won fans as well as the attention of both indie and major labels.

    “I'm so happy to become a part of the Sugar Hill roster,” says Borges. “The band and I are excited to be introduced to folks who are already fans of Sugar Hill artists, and we're looking forward to bringing our brand of rock'n'roll to the label’s vast catalog of exceptional music.”

    Sugar Hill will release her label debut this year. Borges will go back into the studio with Paul Q. Kolderie, the Boston-based producer of her acclaimed 2005 album, Silver City (Blue Corn). Kolderie has more than 300 records under his belt as producer and engineer, including acts like Hole, Radiohead, Morphine, and scores of others. Borges says the new record will be “a take-home version of our live show - full of energy and heartfelt songs, with a nod to the music that's come before us and an eye on our indie rock heritage.”

    Sarah and her band, The Broken Singles, have toured extensively throughout the US and look forward to adding new cities and venues to their road diary in 2007. The band will revisit many of the clubs they have played in the past as well as new ventures including festivals in Ireland and Vancouver, BC. For more information on Borges and her tour dates, check and

    Sugar Hill Records is owned by the Santa Monica-based Welk Music Group, who also owns the prestigious and historical Vanguard Records. The company boasts a novel independent distribution system that bypasses outside distributors and sells WMG titles directly to accounts while joining the marketing, sales and promotional forces. - Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles tour dates

    Sunday, February 04, 2007

    Is it halftime yet?....

    VERY good show under trying circumstances, Prince, despite not singing Red Corvette (and despite not performing in your ass-less pants). Not sure why you threw Proud Mary in there, but Purple Rain was the perfect ending. What band was it, Hurricanes?

    Billy Joel is slated to sing the National Anthem. Here's hoping 'ol BJ doesn't have to drive out to the ballpark. My goodness, Billy was wet and pretty lame, but at least he got it done quickly.

    Keith purchased the new Norah Jones, but is underwhelmed. Sharie is less underwhelmed.

    We tried to order Sliders' wings for the Super Bowl, but they are SOLD OUT! Settled for delivered Chinese.

    Met an interesting couple last night at Leo/Kathy's housewarming (propane) party last evening. Big blues aficianados, huge fans of Tab Benoit and frequent attendees of blues concerts at the Iron Horse in Northampton and Black-eyed Sally's in Hartford..

    Peter's barstool tour of Cambridge music, edition II....

    Toad on Friday night. Josh Lederman y los Diablos. Hard driving guitar, fiddle, accordion, country Tex Mex...and oh yeah, couple of klezmer numbers. They were very good.

    Saturday at The Cantab Lounge in Central Square. The web site, or someplace, maybe a sign over the bar, says in business since 1938. This place is a time machine. it's a 1950s neighborhood bar in a not so great neighborhood. Music at 9:30, but I did not plan very well and got there a little before 9:00. This place is grim. Two or three guys at the bar.....they are probably younger than me, but they look old and only a step or two from homeless....guy working very slowly on a beer that went flat half an hour ago, keeping a good foot grip on the bar stool just in case gravity cuts in unexpectedly, hoping one of the other inmates gets a windfall and buys a round. The wine selection is a sure sign these guys are a couple of decades in calendar debt.....a dozen airline style split-size bottles on the back bar. You were hoping for maybe a nice South Australia Shiraz? Yikes, I don't think I can hold out until 9:30.

    The reason I came at all was that I noticed the other night walking by...another story....that Shirley Lewis sings here sometimes. She's terrific, so I thought maybe the other music would be OK. Finally the band comes on at a little past 9:30. Middle aged guys on lead and sax, couple of younger guys on bass and drums, great blues sound....Fatback Band ....I suspect just a name for a basically pickup crew. Sax player is terrific....burly guy with a big white beard, kangol cap on backwards, bowling shirt...probably a conservatory prof by day. And by 10:30 the place is transformed. Bar packed, dance floor full, white, black, young, old. Elegant 60ish Cambridge lady dancing next to absurdly skinny high fashion multitasking African American girl who is dancing, drinking, talking, and snapping pix with her cell phone. Definitely worth the trip. Next time wait til 10:00....

    Saturday, February 03, 2007

    A one and a two and.....

    Southington's true Renaissance Man, John Ryan, has done it again, composing a polka to celebrate Super Bowl Sunday. Ryan plans to perform his piece at 2pm at Anthony Jack's Wood-Fired Grill on Center Street. Reservations are encouraged.

    Thursday, February 01, 2007

    The Oakdale anyone?....

    NEW YORK (Billboard) - With her new Blue Note album, "Not Too Late," poised to debut next week at No. 1 on the Billboard 200, Norah Jones has announced the dates for her spring North American tour. The outing begins April 13 in Wallingford, Conn., and will wrap May 12 in Montreal. Jones also will play April 28 at Jazz Fest in New Orleans. Tickets for all shows except Jazz Fest go on sale February 14. Also on tap for Jones and her band is a February 7 appearance on NBC's "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and a February 9 in-store performance at Amoeba Records in Los Angeles. "Not Too Late" was the most pre-ordered album in the history of, which does not disclose specific sales information.

    Here are selected Norah Jones' tour dates:
    April 13: Wallingford CT (Chevy Theater)
    April 14: Boston (Orpheum)
    April 15: Portland, ME (Merrill Auditorium)
    April 17: Providence, RI (Performing Arts Center)
    April 18: New York (Madison Square Garden)
    April 28: New Orleans (Jazz and Heritage Festival)

    Mercy, mercy me, things ain't what they used to be....

    A quick, mid-week trip to Northampton:
  • What's Going On (Marvin Gaye) - I've been hunting for this classic recording to replace my vinyl; loved it when it came out and still love it each time I hear it.
  • Horace Silver (Horace Silver Trio) - recorded in 1952-53 at WOR Studios, NYC
  • Down in Birdland (Manhattan Transfer) - 2-disc anthology spanning nine albums
  • Selected Recordings (Carla Bley) - recordings from 1961 to 1989 of this really fine jazz pianist.
  • Wait 'Til Spring (Jim Lauderdale w/ Donna the Buffalo) -
  • Naked Songs (Rickie Lee Jones) - Peter to see her in Boston; this is a live, acoustic album