Friday, November 30, 2007

Wake up, people....Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings...

I finally bought 100 Days, 100 Nights at Borders this afternoon as I shopped for the family grab bag present (iPod Shuffle $79 at the Apple Store at Westfarms). Playing Sharon and the Dap-Kings, from Brooklyn's Daptone Records, as I write this, getting a serious groove on. The Dap-Kings were the backing band for Amy Winehouse on her terrific Back to Black album and the arrangement on the first cut of 100 Days, 100 Nights is strikingly similar. This is a wonderful disc! Here's Eric Danton's (Htfd Courant rock critic) album review .

Thursday, November 29, 2007

Post 'em up, Van....

One good thing about not knowing how to 'remote' well is you sample all the shows on your trip to your destination channel. Celtics beating up on the Knick by fiddy, so I'm off to check out football and I find Van Morrison appearing on Austin City Limits on PBS. Love Van. Yes, even in concert, you naysayers. He played a mighty tasty sax on St. James Infirmary and finished up the hour show with Brown-Eyed Girl and his first hit with Them, Gloria.

For all you Bosox fans...

Stephen King ranks year's best music (AP)

Stephen King's taste in music is more eclectic than scary. The best-selling author reveals his seven picks for the "best albums of the year" in Entertainment Weekly's Dec. 7 issue. "In truth, your Uncle Stevie was disappointed with this year's new music, very disappointed indeed, and his year-end list reflects that," King writes. "I could only find seven albums I wanted to mention ..."

His No. 1 pick is Steve Earle's "Washington Square Serenade," followed by Wilco's "Sky Blue Sky," Mika's "Life in Cartoon Motion" and Lyle Lovett and His Large Band's "It's Not Big It's Large." Of Lovett's album, King says: "This is a terrific Texas swing album, but of course not everybody likes Texas swing (or even knows what it is). What makes it special is Lovett's vermouth-dry vocals and his equally dry wit." King's fifth choice is Ozzy Osbourne's "Black Rain" — "finest heavy metal record of the year; a true speaker-buster" — followed by John Fogerty's "Revival" and Southern Culture on the Skids' "Countrypolitan Favorites."

johnnykmusic comment: Stevie, to round out your list to an even ten albums, may I suggest The Reet 'N Judy's Doin' Sixty, Catch Us!, Diamonds in the Dark by Sarah Borges and the Broken Singles and 100 Days, 100 Nights by Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Naomi Sommers at Cafe Nine on a Sunday eve...

It's a good day. The last of the leaves are raked in the early morning chill, the Browns come back from an early deficit to beat the Texans, bringing their record to a very respectable 7-4, one game behind the Pittsburgh Steelers, so, why not go for the trifecta and catch Naomi Sommers' early show at Cafe Nine!

I had not heard of Naomi Sommers before a concert blurb on the Cafe Nine concert schedule and a followup article in the Hartford Courant piqued my curiosity. According to her mySpace page, she "...plays guitar, banjo, flute and sings. She plays in solo and with a few bands: Gray Sky Girls, The Sommers-Rosenthal Family Band, The Broken Dreamers, Phil Rosenthal and Bluegrass Union."

I find a vacant parking space in a dark, eery spot at the end of State Street about a half-block past The Nine and walk back, wondering if my car would be available for my return trip home. My concert buddy, Johnny Gumbo, has left us for the Great Northwest and is unavailable for bodyguard services. The pleasant young man with a red Mohawk and huge nose ring takes my $8 and I sneak past the already performing Ms. Sommers to find a seat against the bar. Kerouac looks down at me as I strain my eyes to order a beer. I quickly point to the green tap and turn my attention to the performance, solo folk guitar stuff. Nice. I love this place. Usually, though, I must invest most of the night to catch a show here. The occasional early Sunday evening shows are appreciated. A different vibe tonight from other gigs here, everyone seated, more of an academic, coffeehouse atmosphere. Lots of family present to lend support.

WHOA! After tasting my brew i squint to read the lettering on the green beer-tap - Woodchuck Draft Cider! Okay, nice job. Naomi's dad, Phil Rosenthal, joins her onstage to accompany her on mandolin/vocals. A few songs later, another guest is introduced (name missed) to play lap slide guitar. The songs range from folk to blues to bluegrass, nothing very uptempo, but quite tasty. She closes the first set with a lovely version of Dylan's You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go from Blood On the Tracks.

After the break, a late-arriving, tall, beret-topped fiddle player, Dan Tressler, joins the crew. His delivery is understated, very tasty. Phil loses his banjo pick and must stay with mandolin to support his daughter's expressive, melodious vocals, but it works out fine. Sommers closes the show with a reluctant encore request from her mom. Mama's House is an unrecorded song written pre-Katrina after visiting a girlfriend in New Orleans. Good request, Mom, it's a wonderful, very moving end to the evening.

I pick up a copy of her Flying Through album on the way out. And my car is still available. Perfect.

A history of hip-hop icons: The Reet 'N Judi...

Rising from the dangerous streets of Da Maple Hood, The Reet 'N Judi blew up the hip-hop scene in 1992 with their debut album, Maplewood 'Ho Down. The band's latest album, Doin' Sixty, Catch Us!, blends Judi H's singular rhymes with The Reet's funky bass lines to generate an album teeming with feel-good summer jams. With standout tracks like Bitches Shoppin', Ain't Droppin' and Gettin' Our Skinny On at Applebee's, the music of The Reet 'N Judi appeals to hip-hop fans and non-hip-hop fans alike.

Harry Connick Jr: renewing New Orleans...

Hurricane Katrina almost killed the New Orleans music scene. Now many of its players are coming back – to a musicians' village in the heart of the city. Angus Batey talks to its co-founder, Harry Connick Jr. Photographs by Misty Keasler

Harry Connick Jr sits on the front porch of his friend and mentor Bob French's new home and looks around him, grinning. As a six-year-old, the New Orleans-born piano player would sneak into gigs by French's band and demand a chance to play on a couple of songs. Today, French has a home because Connick made it happen. 'Man, never in a million years would I think I would be at this place, lookin' at these houses that I had somethin' to do with,' Connick says, as though the realisation of the difference he has made to the rejuvenation of his home town is only now sinking in. 'It's really overwhelming.'

French's new home is in the Upper Ninth Ward of New Orleans. Though not as badly affected as its neighbour, the Lower Ninth, the Upper still felt the full force of Hurricane Katrina's near-miss on 29 August, 2005, and suffered considerably from the ravages of the flooding that followed, when the sunken city's levee system failed and the waters above and around New Orleans rushed in to its below-sea-level bowl.

Across the street are some houses that survived. One gleams with fresh paint, lovingly restored by its owners. Next door, renovation has yet to begin, but the occupiers have moved back, and are living in the driveway in a 'Fema trailer' – a caravan supplied by the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The house still bears the crude symbols spray-painted on by rescue workers as they conducted house-to-house searches after the flood. A large 'X' divides four pieces of information, the zero in the lower quadrant signifying that, here at least, no bodies were found.

To either side of where Connick sits, the picture changes dramatically. New homes, constructed in the same traditional wood-frame and clapboard style, have been put up. Each is raised on breeze-block foundations to above the level of the flood: each is painted, many in bright colours. The new buildings have transformed six adjacent blocks of the Upper Ninth. Today, the ground was 'broken' on a community centre that will sit at the heart of this new development, dozens more houses are under construction, and another 200 lots in the surrounding area have been acquired to extend the building programme beyond this core area.

The homes, built by the non-profit organisation Habitat for Humanity using volunteer labour, are being sold at cost to low-income owners on zero-rated mortgages. Post-Katrina, the average rent on a three-bedroom flat rose to more than $1,200 per month, but these homes attract a monthly fee of about half that, with insurance and property taxes included. The owners, whom Habitat refers to as 'partners', do not pay a deposit, but must complete 350 hours of 'sweat equity', working on their own and their new neighbours' homes. complete article

Saturday, November 24, 2007

Goodbye, Cliff Wagner and the Old #7...

Plodding on toward the finish with the Next Great American Band. If you tape it, the show takes but a half-hour to watch, so after the Celtics took care of Kobe, G-man and I (jfk REFUSES to even consider watching) click on. Tonight, the remaining bands had to select/perform a Rolling Stones (Jagger/Richards) song; still not doing any originals. Stupid.

Tres Bien gets picked first, a mild surprise, and do a decent version of Get Off of My Cloud, but mess up the ending a bit. Could showcase the other members more, guitar solos and such. Denver and the Mile High Orchestra are the next surprise, not because they aren't good, but this genre isn't very mainstream. They have given solid, sometimes very funky performances, but I don't really like their take on I'm Free. Something didn't work. Denver, who looks like Danny Ainge, gets into it with Johnny Goo Goo Doll. Sixwire is next, selecting This Will Be the Last Time and pretty much nailing it. No question, these guys are polished, talented, if middle-of-the-road Nashville (and Sheila E was flashing some serious cleavage just for the lead singer). Next are the dreaded cute kids from Light of Doom doing a heavy-metal Jumpin' Jack Flash. Not their best because, as Sheila E points out, the key was too low for the lead singer. They will still continue forever, unfortunately.

Down to three bands. Next, the Clark Brothers deliver an absolutely stunning take on Gimme Shelter (see below), earning a standing ovation from the audience and the judges. Best performance of the competition, prompting Ms. E to declare them the band to beat. Not sure about that, for taste is not always the criteria for voting. Final two. Jesus, you just know that the dreadful Dot Dot Dot is going to win over poor Cliff and the boys. Yep. Tearful (not really) goodbyes from host/judges. Boy, I cannot stand Johnny Goo Goo Doll! Trey Dot, to my dismay, actually gives up a pretty good Let's Spend the Night Together despite the lead singer's (Adam, I think) need to constantly vamp it up. God, the chick on guitar can play! Now, the really bad news - next week: Rod Stewart songs (okay, I'll grant you Maggie May!) - RealityTV article

The list:
  1. Clark Brothers
  2. Tres Bien
  3. Sixwire
  4. Denver and the Mile High Orchestra
  5. Dot Dot Dot
  6. Light of Doom

Previously, on The Next Great American Band:
  • Episode #1 Opening selection show
  • Episode #2 Bob Dylan week
  • Episode #3 Elton John/Bernie Taupin week
  • Episode #4 Billy Joel week
  • Episode #5 Leiber/Stoller week

    The Clark Brothers, Gimme Shelter:
  • Thursday, November 22, 2007

    to all you turkeys
    from the management and staff at johnnykmusic

    By the way, is anyone else a little creeped out by Neil Diamond revealing that Sweet Caroline is about Caroline Kennedy, who was about nine years old when he wrote it? (article) Are you Red Sox fans gonna feel a little queasy singing along (so good, so good, so good! Go Ped Sox!!) during the 7th inning stretch from now on? Probably not. Great song, though. Here's the "touching me, touching you" man doing a medley of his hits on VH1 Storytellers:

    Tuesday, November 20, 2007

    Is that a dove crying?....

    In a companion publication to this week's (11/26/07) New Yorker called Movies Rock (apparently from the editors of Vanity Fair) is The List: 50 Greatest (mostly) Rock Soundtracks of All Time, ...."from Prince's purple masterpiece to Eminem's defining battle, to Elvis's spin through Sin City, these are the soundtracks that opened our ears and smashed our assumptions." Or not, you make the call. In addition, it gives the top 5 soundtracks for punk (Blank Generation-1980), jazz (Elevator to Gallows-1958), cult films (Expresso Bongo-1959), documentaries (Eat the Document), and unreleased soundtracks (Harold and Maude-1971). - article

    Here are the top ten; I'm searching for the listing online to post here.
    1. Purple Rain (1984)
    2. A Hard Day's Night (1964)
    3. The Harder They Come (1973)
    4. Pulp Fiction (1994)
    5. The Graduate (1967)
    6. Superfly (1972)
    7. Trainspotting (1996)
    8. Saturday Night Fever (1977)
    9. American Graffiti (1973)
    10. The Big Chill (1983)

    Notable among the rest are:
  • #44 High Fidelity (a big favorite!)
  • #45 This Is Spinal Tap
  • #40 Rock 'N Roll High School
  • #13 Blues Brothers
  • Thanksgiving weekend live music options...

    A query from Carolyn B, the Beantown beancounter (shown with best buddy Herbie Hancock), prompted a look at the area possibilities:
  • Szechuan Tokyo, located just off the South Main Street exit of I84, has a Pre-Thanksgiving Bebop Bash with Andy Breskin on Wednesday (7:30pm), the Eric Frazier Ensemble on Friday night (7:30pm) and guitarist/vocalist Patricia Tuite's ensemble, The Boilermakers, on Sunday at 6pm.
  • Cafe Nine has its Saturday afternoon (4:30-7:30, no cover) jazz jam, this week featuring Guitar George Baker, and this cowboy is seriously considering folk singer/guitarist Naomi Sommers' early Sunday show (7pm).
  • And right here on West Center Street in Southington, Smokin' With Chris has Dan Stevens on Friday night (7:30pm) and the Matt DeChamplain Trio Featuring Atla Conlon on Saturday night (7:30pm).
  • Monday, November 19, 2007

    Gumbo Across America....a man and his shit arrive home

    The very latest in reality programming - Johnny Gumbo, friend/ festival co-ordinator/ Ph.D./ Rotarian/ Nascar aficionado/ snakecharmer/ philosopher/ rogue, is leaving Connecticut and is making his way to the Great Northwest in a sleek rented UHaul. Stay tuned for reports EXCLUSIVELY on johnnykmusic....

    Final episode- Well, I've been travelin' down the road, just to loosen my load:
    With trumpets blaring and the streets lined with curious onlookers, the mighty trio of jg, Hattie and Flat Stanleyette rolled into Spokane late Sunday afternoon welcomed by a smiling and happy "JD" (jg's dad). The trip through western MT and the panhandle of ID crossed mountain passes and high river gorges with rain and snow testing the driving skill of jg, affectionately known to his trucker buddies on the CB as "rental guy".

    The seven day trip 'cross country covered 3,070 miles through 11 states and took in some spectacular and lesser known sights (see previous episodes) that usually don't get mentioned in the flashy travel journals. Leave it to jg and his crew to go the unorthodox route. jg even picked up a possible job opportunity next summer coordinating the Testicle Festival at the Rock Creek Lodge just outside Missoula, MT. They say you can really have a ball there.

    Some observations along the way:
  • trains don't have cabooses anymore,
  • when you're older, you take advantage of stopping at most rest stops,
  • parakeets and paper stick figures make great traveling companions and don't cost much to entertain,
  • Cheyenne is the largest city in WY and has only 10,000 more people than Southington,
  • when you drive 'cross country, you don't get jet lag,
  • once you get past IL, there are more pick-ups on the road than SUV's,
  • rental trucks use a lot of gas,
  • it's pretty lonely driving when you can't pick up an FM or AM radio station, and
  • never, ever minimize the importance of having good friends.

    The trio hopes you enjoyed following along on this trip. Thanks to jk for hosting the blog and adding some flair. And if you ever get out to the great Northwest, be sure to let us know. "We'll keep the light on for ya."

    Previously, on Gumbo Across America:
  • Prologue
  • Episode #1 Headin' out
  • Episode #2 Gumbo rolls into Indiana; citizens warned to approach with caution
  • Episode #3 Just point it west and drive
  • Episode #4 High plains drifter
  • Glimpses of Johnny Gumbo on the road

    View Larger Map
  • Sunday, November 18, 2007

    Sunday morning iPod shuffle, rakin' leaves...

  • Lupita (The Iguanas)-Super Ball
  • Fool For a Lonesome Train (Ben Harper & the Innocent Criminals)-Lifeline
  • Time Tough (Toots & the Maytals)-Best Of Toots & the Maytals 1968-1973
  • Doin' Bad Feelin' Good (Jon Cleary)-Pin Your Spin
  • As I Went Out One Morning (Bob Dylan)-John Wesley Harding
  • No Smoke Without Fire (James Hunter)-People Gonna Talk
  • My Dear Country (Nora Jones)-Not Too Late
  • Where Or When (Dion & the Belmonts)
  • All I Really Want To Do (Bob Dylan)-The Bootleg Series Vol 6
  • To Kingdom Come (The Band)-Music From Big Pink
  • Sur: Regresso Al Amor (Yo-Yo Ma)-Soul of the Tango
  • Baby, It's Cold Outside (Barry Manilow)-Because It's Christmas
  • Trying To Get to Heaven (Bob Dylan)-Time Out of Mind
  • You Made a Man Out Of Me (Otis Redding)-The Very Best of Otis Redding
  • Summertime (Mongo Santamaria)-Summertime
  • Flesh And Blood (Solomon Burke)-Don't Give Up On Me
  • The New Symphony Sid (Van Morrison w/ Georgie Fame)-How Long Has This Been Going On
  • Moon Love (Nat King Cole) The Billy May Sessions
  • Before the Night Is Over (Jerry Lee Lewis)-Last Man Standing
  • Get Down Over (The La's)-Lost La's 1984-1985: Breakloose
  • I Want to Take You Higher (Sly & the Family Stone)-The Esstential Sly & the Family Stone
  • 'Round Midnight (Miles Davis)-'Round About Midnight
  • Johnny Was (Bob Marley & the Wailers)-Rastaman Vibration
  • You Betta Be Sure (The Casualeers)
  • Big Noise From Speonk (The Lovin' Spoonful)-Daydream
  • 100 Years Ago (Rolling Stones)-Goats Head Soup
  • Don't Let the Stars Get In Your Eyes (k.d. lang)-Shadowland
  • Love Is All I Need (Checkmates)-Phil Spector Back to Mono
  • Trigger (Calexico)-The Black Light
  • Naked If I Want To (Cat Power)-The Covers Record
  • Carl Perkins' Cadillac (Drive-By Truckers)-The Dirty South
  • Make Me a Pallet On Your Floor (Lucinda Williams)-Ramblin'
  • Sanity (Phish)-Junta
  • Gumbo Across America....a man and his shit goin' home

    The very latest in reality programming - Johnny Gumbo, friend/ festival co-ordinator/ Ph.D./ Rotarian/ Nascar aficionado/ snakecharmer/ philosopher/ rogue, is leaving Connecticut and is making his way to the Great Northwest in a sleek rented UHaul. Stay tuned for reports EXCLUSIVELY on johnnykmusic....

    Episode #4- High Plains Drifter
    jg, Hattie and Flat Stanleyette settled into their luxurious room at the Comfort Inn in Livingston, MT, for their last nite on the road. Dinner was one of the best steaks jg's ever had (outside AJ's) at the Montana Rib & Chop House, where all the guys at the bar either had handle-bar mustaches and wore cowboy hats or had full beards and wore cammy baseball hats. The women....well, let's just say they would keep you warm at night.

    Traveling across the plains of western NE, eastern WY, and central MT over the past two days, the trio got a full dose of "Big Sky" country. The scenery (some would call it stark desolation) was awe inspiring, going on and on with great horizons, spectacular sunsets and lots and lots of nothingness but sage brush, plains grass, antelope herds, corn fields, slow elk (cattle for you easterners), and small towns with such names as "Big Timber", "Lodge Grass", "Buffalo", "Gothenberg", and "Chugwater". And the sights..."Museum of the Prairie Pioneer", "Great River Bend Archway Monument" (in case you don't want to stop, they built it right over I-80), the "Heartland Museum of Military Vehicles", "Buffalo Bills Ranch site", the "Little Bighorn Battlefield", and "Prairie Dog Town State Park". Thankfully, the speed limit across the plains is 75 so you have to take in the sights quickly. And they did get a chance on Saturday to grab a beer at the Mint (Cowboy) Bar in Sheridan,WY, and see the end of the Ohio State - Michigan game (go Buckeyes).

    Sunday will begin the ascent into the Montana Rockies for the final descent into Spokane. The snow covered mountains are now very visible and majestic. Let's hope the trio can negotiate the mountain passes without any problems. But then again, they are without fear. They're "truckers". Catch you on the flip side! (....singin', altogether now, "Six days on the road and we're gonna make it home tonight.")

    Previously, on Gumbo Across America:
  • Prologue
  • Episode #1 Headin' out
  • Episode #2 Gumbo rolls into Indiana; citizens warned to approach with caution
  • Episode #3
  • Just point it west and drive

    Saturday, November 17, 2007

    Glimpses of Johnny Gumbo on the road again...

    View Larger Map

    The Next (not-so) Great American Band....

    It's like being in line for three hours at Sally's in New Haven for a large pie with everything on it; once you pass a certain point, there's no leaving, you've got too much invested in the waiting. The difference here, though, is that at Sally's you have the best pizza in the world (some would argue, with reason, for Pepe's just down Wooster Street) waiting at the end of the experience. No such luck with The Next Great American Band. And the wait is getting very boring.

    The initial draw to the show, for me, was a bunch of new bands with a diversity of styles playing original music; if they had to perform a few covers along the way, no big problem. And that is how the format was originally presented. But the weekly Friday night (indeed, a no-respect timeslot) show has been pared to one hour, leaving time for only one song per band, and they perform a cover! It's lame! And the judges, Johnny Goo Goo Doll, Sheila E and Dicko Dickson (although he did name-drop Sharon Jones & the Dap Kings) are becoming horrendous, either fawning over a performance with no insight as to why or dismissing it with disgust. I think Sheila wants to screw the lead singer of Sixwire. Oh, soooo Paula Abdul! Strange.

    This week each band performed a song written by Jerry Leiber/Mike Stoller, whose 50's/60's music was the basis for the Broadway hit, Smokey Joe's Cafe. Nice songwriters, but not very relevant to showcasing a hip, new band. And the worst was the elimination of Franklin Bridge, the funk band from Philly, arguably the best of the bunch!

    But, like waiting in line at Sally's Apizza, I will continue. I've invested too much to leave now. - RealityTV recap

    Previously, on The Next Great American Band:
  • Episode #1 Opening selection show
  • Episode #2 Bob Dylan week
  • Episode #3 Elton John/Bernie Taupin week
  • Episode #4 Billy Joel week
  • Friday, November 16, 2007

    Gumbo Across America....a man and his shit goin' home

    The very latest in reality programming - Johnny Gumbo, friend/ festival co-ordinator/ Ph.D./ Rotarian/ Nascar aficionado/ snakecharmer/ philosopher/ rogue, is leaving Connecticut and is making his way to the Great Northwest in a sleek rented UHaul. Stay tuned for reports EXCLUSIVELY on johnnykmusic....

    Episode #3 - Just point it west and drive
    After picking up a hitch hiker in Indiana (jg agreed to take his niece's cut-out paper doll, Flat Stanleyette, along for the ride and take pictures of her crossing the country for a class project), jg and Hattie set sail on I-80 across IL & Iowa. jg negotiated one slight turn to the right and a half turn to the left over the course of 600 miles of flat, straight hiway. Some of the day's highlights included passing such notable sights as the MidEast Conflicts Memorial Wall off Exit 97 in IL, Exit 45 ("take the road to Ronald Regan's birthplace" - wherever that is), and the Herbert Hoover National Historic Site in Iowa as well as crossing two of our land's greatest rivers, the Mighty Mississip and the wandering Missouri.

    But the big event of the day was pulling into The World's Largest Truckstop in Walcott, Iowa, or as it's known to truckers around the world, "Iowa 80". Acres and acres of big rigs and a shopping mall complete with showers, a movie theatre, library, 5 restaurants, trucking accessories of all kinds, gift shops, jewelry shops, complete maintenance facilities, truck scales, and even an on-site dentist. They've even got three 18-wheelers on display inside the mall. It doesn't get any better than that.

    The crew finally made it to Omaha, NE, and scarved down a chicken dinner at the Mullberry Roadhouse before retiring for the night. Tomorrow, more "just point it west and drive" all the way across NE to cowboy country

    Previously, on Gumbo Across America:
  • Prologue
  • Episode #1
  • Episode #2
  • Thursday, November 15, 2007

    Gimme a big 'ol bowl...

    Unconfirmed rumors have the trendy new bistro soon to open its doors in downtown Southington featuring Johnny Gumbo's Sweet Louisiana Gumbo, described thusly:

    "Like its namesake, this offering consists of nothing inherently good for you, yet its first-rate ingredients make it irresistible to the taste."

    And speaking of gumbo....

    Neville Brothers return to New Orleans Jazz Fest
    by Stacey Plaisance (AP)

    The Neville Brothers are returning to New Orleans next year to assume the role they held for more than a decade — the closing act of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. It will be the group's first hometown performance since Hurricane Katrina struck Aug. 29, 2005, flooding 80 percent of New Orleans and scattering the four brothers across the country. Art, 69, is the only one living in New Orleans since Katrina. Charles, 68, is living in the Northampton, Mass., area; Cyril, 59, is in Austin, Texas; and Aaron, 66, is in Nashville, Tenn. - complete article

    Maybe I shouldn't try to see her before she dies...

    Winehouse in the doghouse after 'atrocious' tour debut (AFP)

    Troubled soul singer Amy Winehouse kicked off her 17-date tour with a shambolic performance that saw fuming fans booing and marching out, reports said Thursday. The concert at the National Indoor Arena in Birmingham, was a chance for the 24-year-old to get back to singing and put her woes behind her. Winehouse has had "health issues" -- widely reported to be drug and alcohol abuse -- and her party-loving husband Blake Fielder-Civil is being held on grievous bodily harm and conspiracy to pervert the course of justice charges.

    But Wednesday's gig at the NIA, which can hold up to 13,000 people, was slammed by angry fans as a "disgrace" after she turned up late and stumbled about the stage. When punters started jeering, Winehouse snapped: "Let me tell you something. First of all, if you're booing, you're a mug for buying a ticket. "Second, to all those booing, just wait till my husband gets out of incarceration -- and I mean that." - complete article

    Below is a YouTube clip of our girl singing "Valerie":

    Perhaps this cowboy will run into Johnny Gumbo...

    Cowboy tours country to find good news by CARL MANNING (AP)

    FREDONIA, Kan. - When rancher Bill Inman decided to show there's more to America than the gloom-and-doom on the nightly news, he hopped on his horse and started riding. And riding, and riding. Some 1,700 miles later, he's burning through his family's life savings as he collects stories of hardworking, honest everyday people in rural America. The scenery in America is changing and I'm really proud we're taking a snapshot at slow motion of this time period, because 20 years from now it will be different," he said. Inman soaks it all in atop Blackie, a 16-year-old thoroughbred-quarter horse mix who's averaging 20-25 miles a day along backroads from Oregon to North Carolina. - complete article

    Wednesday, November 14, 2007

    Gumbo Across America....a man and his shit goin' home

    The very latest in reality programming - Johnny Gumbo, friend/ festival co-ordinator/ Ph.D./ Rotarian/ Nascar aficionado/ snakecharmer/ philosopher/ rogue, is leaving Connecticut and is making his way to the Great Northwest in a sleek rented UHaul. Stay tuned for reports EXCLUSIVELY on johnnykmusic....

    Episode #2 - Gumbo rolls into Indiana; citizens warned to approach with caution

    jg and his trusty sidekick, Hattie the Parakeet, motored into Ft. Wayne, Indiana, on the second day of their cross country trek. He was stopping off to visit his sister and her family who always welcome him affectionately when he visits, nod their heads, and wonder "What is Crazy Uncle John up to now?".

    With a big plate of biscuits and gravy under his belt and Johnny Cash on the CD, jg began his push further into the "Heartland" on Tuesday with high hopes of seeing "what this great land of ours is all about". He was not disappointed. Passing such memorable sights along the way such as the The National Bicycle Museum and the home of Charles Kettering, the inventor of the automobile self-starter, jg only wished he had more time to stop and take it all in. But the life of a cross country trucker is always driven by the clock and sentimentality takes a back seat. Maybe someday.

    There was one moment of "high anxiety" on the day's trip. Uncharacteristically, jg found himself on a lone stretch of US 30 in western Ohio with a gas gauge approaching empty. He and Hattie (pictured at right) had been immersed in listening to a local CW radio station and had failed to perform the mandatory instrument cross check that all professional drivers do automatically. With no fuel stops in sight on the highway, he was forced to take a side road off the beaten path and ended up at a Marathon gas station (one of only two in town) in Van Wert, OH. The locals took him in, as well as his $100 gas bill, wished him well and sent him on his way.

    jg and Hattie will stay in Ft. Wayne for a day, happily indulge his neice and nephew, and then head out on Thursday for a two day trip across the great abyss of Illinois, Iowa and Nebraska on the way to visit an aunt and uncle in Cheyenne, WY (yes, there are real cowboys there, and the sheep are really scared). 'Til then...."On the road again, just can't wait to get on the road again....

    Previously, on Gumbo Across America:
  • Prologue
  • Episode #1 -
  • Tuesday, November 13, 2007

    Sarah in Nashville...

    New video of Sarah Borges & the Broken Singles(Binky, Mike Castellana, Robert Larry Dulaney) Halloween night in Nashville, with John Doe joining onstage for Come Back to Me. Catch SB&BS at the Bank Street Cafe in New London, CT on Dec 8th. - MySpace page

    Big Boss Rumor....

    According to Eric Danton, Hartford Courant rock critic, Bruce Springsteen will be performing again in Hartford in early 2008. More details coming on Wednesday. Danton's column

    Monday, November 12, 2007

    Gumbo Across America....a man and his shit goin' home

    The very latest in reality programming - Johnny Gumbo, friend/ festival co-ordinator/ Ph.D./ Rotarian/ Nascar aficionado/ snakecharmer/ philosopher/ rogue, is leaving Connecticut and is making his way to the Great Northwest in a sleek rented UHaul. Stay tuned for reports EXCLUSIVELY on johnnykmusic....

    Episode #1 - After somewhat of a late start Monday morning, jg transgressed (not to be confused with transgendered- not that there's anything wrong with that) CT, NY, and all of PA without incident before settling in for the nite at a little roadside motel, aptly named the "Sleep Inn", outside the Tire Capital of the World, Akron, OH. He and his trucker buddies traded leads with their convoy stopping only once for gas ("Yes sir, that's right. $84 for a fill-up) and needed only 2 meals (breakfast: short stack, 2 scrambled, side sausage, OJ & coffee; dinner: chicken-fried steak with gravy, mashed pots, deep fried okra and cornbread). His traveling companion, Hattie the Parakeet, provided some harmony when jg would burst out in song to one of the several CD's played along the way (The Best of the Eagles, Vol. I, getting a double play) and seemed only slightly dazed at the end of the day's ride. Can she go the distance?

    All in all a good start. And thanks to his packing buddies, Steve "Gotta stop for a smoke" Parsons, Ronnie "Let's pack it this way" Klein and Johnny "Just get it in the truck, gotta a Browns' game to go to" Kennedy, the load stayed put. One down, six to go. - Prologue

    Sunday, November 11, 2007

    Student’s Ad Gets a Remake, and Makes the Big Time...

    New iPod commercial - NY Times article

    Cool song from the iPod commercial, Music Is My Hot, Hot Sex, from the Brazilian band, CSS, here's the video:

    Friday, November 09, 2007

    This thing is getting lame...

    Rocket and the Muggs (here's a welcome home from the Detroit Free Press) were shown the door (no surprise, they had the weakest singers), but tonight's show was only one hour, with each band only doing Billy Joel covers, no originals. LAME! This eliminates the one element separating this from the other reality music shows. The karaoke format also plays to the pop bands, so Franklin Bridge's funk and Tres Bien's retro-British invasion style didn't translate well. On the other hand, Cliff Wagner overcame the problem with a great performance. The judges are getting weaker as the show progresses. This was VERY disappointing.

    1. Clark Brothers (She's Got a Way)
    2. Sixwire (She's Always a Woman)
    3. Cliff Wagner & the Ole #7 (You May Be Right)
    4. Franklin Bridge (Big Shot)
    5. Tres Bien (Movin' Out)
    6. Denver and the Mile High Orchestra (Tell Her About It)
    7. Light of Doom (The Stranger)
    8. Dot Dot Dot (Pressure)
    Who should go next: DotDotDot/Light of Doom
    Who will: Denver&MHO/Cliff Wagner&Ole#7

    wikipedia site - buddyTV recap

    Freaky Friday....

    "My bad," the Sawtelles email- After having been called on certain issues, the Sawtelles realize they gave some misleading information recently. They also now understand that a twelve-day lead-time does not cut it in the news and information world when fourteen days minimum is required of them. The free weekly papers of the world have a hard enough job to do without being misrepresented by the likes of us. Rock on.

    During last night's UConn-Buffalo game, Bob Picozzi referenced Todd Rundgren to make a basketball point. Not to be outdone, Andy Katz offered that music discussions begin and end with Van (The Man) Morrison. Then, this morning, renown guitarist and sometimes baseball analyst Peter Gammons claimed he was becoming ill hearing Mike & Mike in the Morning's discussion of Abba.

    Will Rocket get off the launching pad tonight on The Next Great American Band? Let's hope not. The eight surviving bands will play an original (their third so far) and a Billy Joel song.

    My-My Kind of a Girl...

    When I saw you on 8th street
    You could make my life complete, baby
    Yeah, yeah, yeah
    You're my-my kind of a girl

    And when I saw you by
    The jukebox, ow-ow
    You put a quarter in and played
    My favorite song too, baby
    Yeah, yeah, yeah
    You're my-my kind of a girl

    I think we'd look pretty good together,
    Walking through a winter wonderland
    And this time I think it's forever
    I hope your parents understand
    When I saw you by the Peppermint Lounge
    You were lost but you've been found, baby
    Yeah, yeah, yeah
    You're my-my kind of a girl

    Arrest in NYC ex-punk manager slaying (AP)

    The personal assistant of Linda Stein, at the epicenter of the punk rock scene and later the "Realtor to the Stars," has been arrested in Stein's fatal bludgeoning at her Fifth Avenue apartment. Formal charges were pending against Natavia Lowery, said police spokesman Paul Browne. She "made statements implicating herself" in the killing, he said. Stein's daughter found her body the night of Oct. 30 face down in the living room of her $3 million apartment, where she lived alone. There were no signs of a break-in or robbery. An autopsy found that Stein, 62, died from blows to the head and neck.

    Stein was a pioneer in New York's punk music scene, becoming a fixture at the legendary CBGB club in Manhattan and co-managing the influential punk band the Ramones. She was the ex-wife of Seymour Stein, the former president of Sire Records, the launching pad for the Ramones, Talking Heads and Madonna. Stein co-managed the Ramones during the band's heyday and is credited with bringing the group to England. She was dubbed a broker to the stars in the years after she quit rock 'n' roll for real estate, with celebrity friends and clients who included Madonna, Sting, Billy Joel, Steven Spielberg and Angelina Jolie. - additional story

    Sarah Borges & Broken Singles appearing on Acoustic Cafe...

    Sarah and the boys taped a show recently for the national radio show Acoustic Cafe. To hear the interview and in-studio performance, go here.

    SB&BS upcoming shows

    Wednesday, November 07, 2007

    A concerted effort...

    As we strolled down the 17th fairway toward my tee shot nestled perilously close to the bunker (which I then pulled into the greenside bunker, blasted JUST out, chipped ten feet past the pin and sank a downhill putt for my bogie en route to a season-ending 77- yes, I shot The Strip), Keith asked what concerts were out there for us to consider. Let's see...

    Iron Horse Music Hall, Northampton, MA
  • Nov 11 (Sun) Marcia Ball/David Jacobs-Strain $22.50
  • Nov 12 (Mon) Marc Cohn/Amy Corriea $42.50
  • Dec 31 (Mon) Big Al's New Years featuring Al Anderson (2 shows) $75/$50
    Calvin Theater, Northampton, MA
  • Mar 16 (Sun) Los Lobos/James Hunter Band $45/$35/$25
    Cafe Nine
  • Nov 25 (Sun) Naomi Sommers $10 (7pm show)
  • Jan 5 (Sat) Christine Ohlman & Rebel Montez $8
  • Fresh from The Raveonettes' press machine to my email box...

    Vice Music is ecstatic to announce their newest signing, The Raveonettes. With three critically acclaimed releases under their belt and over 170,000 records sold in the US, the Danish rock duo will release Lust Lust Lust in early 2008, with a US tour to follow. The Raveonettes' Sune Rose Wagner and Sharin Foo met in Copenhagen in 2001 and recorded their first EP, Whip it On. Soon after, Rolling Stone's David Fricke discovered them at Denmark's SPOT festival and his high praise gained the attention of major labels and magazines. Chain Gang of Love, the band's first full-length record, was released in 2003 and the follow up, Pretty in Black, in 2005.

    The Raveonettes are recognized and praised for their signature blend of two part harmonies, lo-fi garage sound and 60s noir aesthetic. Comparisons have been drawn to everyone from the Jesus and Mary Chain, the Velvet Underground and Suicide to Buddy Holly, the Shangri-Las and Ronnie Spektor. In 2003, the Raveonettes' won a Danish Music Award when Whip It On was named "Best Album of the Year".

    Please reply with all requests for interview, music, bio, and art.

    (jk note: Is EVERYONE now being compared with the Shangrilas and Ronnie Spector??? JFK discovered these guys a few years ago. He and G-man caught their show at Southpaw in Brooklyn earlier this year. I'll get my questions together as quickly as possible for the interview)

    Saturday, November 03, 2007

    Don't forget, people!

    Spring Back, Fall Forward!

    Saturday nights are alright for fightin'....

    Feist is the musical guest tonight on SNL...

    Mandy's birthday bash featuring The Jellyshirts and The Sawtelles at 7pm tonight at Neverending Books on State Street in New Haven (near the flashing speed limit sign). Sawtelles are bringing brownies and rice+beans and heard Critelli is bringing the finest in brewskies and have on good authority other fine foods will be available. Bring a couple bucks donation for the store.

    Amy Winehouse, assuming she can stay not dead, is ready to record her third album, the followup to the wonderful Back to Black. - article here

    Three hundred people in Nebraska say fuck you, Hatch....

    Those heartless heartland bastards apparently voted Brooklyn's The Hatch and The Likes of You off The Next Great American Band, leaving us to suffer through two songs by Rocket and Dot Dot Dot! The lead singer of The Hatch did not endear himself to middle America by offering, when asked how they felt about being axed, “I would like to say that America’s spoken, but I can’t really say that that’s really true. I think about three hundred people in Nebraska have spoken.” Graciously stated. He has a point. The ratings for this show suck, proving that it must be decent (although, with a Friday night timeslot, you really have to tape it and watch it later).

    This week, the bands each played an original and an Elton John/Bernie Taupin song. Sixwire is giving the judges orgasms, but I just can't get into their style. Actually, Judge Johnny Goo Goo Doll is getting on my nerves, taking this mentoring thing WAY too seriously. AMAZING! Tres Bien was good again. The lead's voice is thin, but he deals well with it. Good, catchy retro-Yardbirds stuff. Franklin Bridge is baffling Dicko with overarranged performances. I think it is to deemphasize the lead's mediocre vocals. Very funky, love them. Cliff Wagner & Ole #7 made the cut and might have some shelf life after another solid performance, especially on Honky Cat. Another surprise, Denver and the Mile High Orchestra made a comeback with a very good performance as the LAST band to make it (they didn't say who the bottom vote-getters were). I was most disappointed with the Muggs, who may have sealed their fate with a brutally bad (they called it Muggsified) version of And That's Why They Call It the Blues and the judges killed them for the lack of good vocals (talk about a kick in the balls, Dicko told them the needed to become a foursome, "It's time to get a lead singer". OUCH!). Light of Doom was, of course, cute and will be on there forever. Dot Dot Dot is just annoying and Rocket's lead singer, Lauren Clark, just cannot sing. They try to sound and look hot, but she has one of the worst voices imaginable. wikipedia site - BuddyTV recap of show

    My rankings after the second week:
    1. The Clark Brothers (Country Comfort)
    2. Franklin Bridge (Philadelphia Freedom)
    3. Tres Bien (Love Lies Bleeding)
    4. Sixwire (Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me)
    5. Cliff Wagner & the Ole #7 (Honky Cat)
    6. Denver & the Mile High Orchestra (I'm Still Standing)
    7. The Muggs (I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues)
    8. Light of Doom (Saturday Night's All Right For Fighting)
    9. Dot Dot Dot (Your Song)
    10. Rocket (Rocket Man)
    Who should be voted off: Rocket/Dot Dot Dot
    Who will be voted off: The Muggs/Rocket

    Friday, November 02, 2007

    No, I don't wanna be Bob Dylan, I wanna be David Bowie...No, no, wait, make that Elton John/Bernie Taupin!

    The Next Great American Band eliminates two (my guess Denver & the Mile High Orchestra/Cliff Wagner & the Old #7) of the twelve finalists tonight before the performances start. The remaining ten perform an original and a David Bowie song.

    Well, I was wrong on all counts. The Likes of You and The Hatch were voted off, while everyone did Elton John/Bernie Taupin songs, not David Bowie. Boy, Rocket sucks.

    Go find a jukebox and see what a quarter can do....

    Found this site a while back and put a link to it because this guy really knows his music. Each day, he posts ten tasty, eclectic songs from, I assume, his music collection. Check out his site here.

    Cahl's Jukebox, 11-2-07 The daily mix:
    1) Elvis Presley: "Burning Love"
    2) Tony Joe White: "Old Man Willis"
    3) Dion: "King of Hearts"
    4) Mark Knopfler: "Boom, Like That"
    5) Dave Alvin: "Abilene"
    6) Alejandro Escovedo: "I Was Drunk"
    7) Jim Lauderdale: "Divide and Conquer"
    8) Lucero: "Coming Home"
    9) Steve Earle: "Here I Am"
    10) Billy Bragg: "Never Had No One Ever"

    Cahl's review of Lucinda Williams' West - West