Tuesday, March 30, 2010

No way you should spend more than a thou...

Voyeur West Hollywood: GOP Spent Funds At Club, Lavish Hotels [UPDATE]
The Daily Caller's Jonathan Strong has basically won the morning with a story about RNC Chairman Michael Steele's lavish lifestyle on the road. Strong reports that Steele "once raised the possibility of using party money to buy a private jet for his travel," and has run up some substantial tabs at some of our nation's nicest hotels. But if you ask me, he sort of buried the lede... probably strategically! Because look what awaits you in paragraph six:
Once on the ground, FEC filings suggest, Steele travels in style. A February RNC trip to California, for example, included a $9,099 stop at the Beverly Hills Hotel, $6,596 dropped at the nearby Four Seasons, and $1,620.71 spent [update: the amount is actually $1,946.25] at Voyeur West Hollywood, a bondage-themed nightclub featuring topless women dancers imitating lesbian sex.

Oh, wow, awesome. Note that Strong's done his due diligence on the amount spent. As of this writing, Voyeur's website is not loading, probably because every single staff member of the Democratic National Committee is currently on the site, looking for images of Steele in the champagne room. But check out some of the Yelp testimonials:

The girl at the door sent us in right away and told us to go to a table by the bar and get some free Champagne. Seriously. This club is amazing. There are topless "dancers" acting out S&M scenes throughout the night on one of the side stages, there's a half-naked girl hanging from a net across the ceiling and at one point I walked to the bathroom and pretty much just stopped dead in my tracks to watch two girls simulating oral sex in a glass case.

Really understated elegance here. Also, Lindsay Lohan was at our table at one point. - more


Sunday, March 28, 2010

So, you are Jack White's ex-model wife and you want to make a record...

Karen Elson Is Dressing the Part, and Singing It (NY Times)
There she was Monday night at Le Poisson Rouge in the West Village, performing songs from her debut album in a voice that can go from retro-breathy chanteuse to rootsy belter in a few notes. It was the fourth stop in a whirlwind mini-tour that included Nashville, where she and Mr. White live with their two children, and Austin, Tex., where she played at the South by Southwest music festival. The shows were intended to introduce Ms. Elson as more than just a pretty face, or even a pretty voice, but as an artist in her own .

Mr. White was not there — he is touring in Australia with the Dead Weather, some of whose members also moonlight for Ms. Elson. Her bandmates include Mark Watrous (who has also played with the Raconteurs, another of Mr. White’s bands) on fiddle and pedal steel guitar, and Jackson Smith — son of Patti and husband to Meg White — on electric. The video for the album’s title song, in which Ms. Elson alone sings and strums while her band stands around in the shadows, has already racked up more than 54,000 YouTube views.  - (complete article).

Saturday, March 27, 2010

Front and center (10th row) for Norah Jones at MGM Friday night...

Set list

1. I Wouldn't Need You
2. Tell Yer Mama
3. Light as a Feather
4. Chasing Pirates
5. Even Though
6. It's Gonna Be
7. Rosie's Lullaby
8. Waiting
9. Sunrise
10. Cold Cold Heart
11. Back to Manhattan
12. Sinkin' Soon
13. Bullrider (Johnny Cash cover)
14. Carnival Town
15. Man of the Hour
16. Don't Know Why
17. Young Blood
18. Come Away With Me
19. Strangers (Kinks cover)
20. How Many Times Have You Broken My Heart (Hank Williams cover)
21. Stuck

Htfd Courant's Eric Danton:
Given that grand pianos have become a fixture on stage when Norah Jones performs, it was a little startling to see her without one Friday night at MGM Grand at Foxwoods Theatre.  Then again, there wasn't so much piano on her latest album, either.  That record, last year's "The Fall," provided a sizable chunk of her set list, along with a smattering of songs from Jones' three earlier records and a cover or two.  The de-emphasis on piano wasn't the only change: members of her old touring band have scattered, and she performed with a new crew, including singer and multi-instrumentalist Sasha Dobson and guitarist Smokey Hormel, who has played with Tom Waits and Johnny Cash. -more

The City Billies- recommended by G-Man after seeing them at the Sullivan Hall in Brooklyn...

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Twisting by the pool....

I've recently had to listen, via email, to the revisionist rantings of one of the Pool Hall Studs regarding our annual Jazz Fest pool competition.  In part "...AARP gents failed attempt every year at pool.  And I believe its now up to 5yrs and the PHS's are still victorious.  This might be your year if JR isn't running back & going to bed every night at 9:30pm..."

It was 2005, pre-Katrina, in the Warehouse District after a long day at the Fairgrounds.  I really didn't know these two guys Gumbo (actually, it was also pre-'Gumbo') traveled south with, but we stopped at Polynesian Joe's for a couple beers before dinner.  Pool?  Sure, why not.  It was either that or the beach volleyball pit and my back was still killing me from sleeping on the floor each night (yeah, JR didn't want me in his pullout couch-bed).  Rack 'em, I'll take JR.  Play for beers.  CRUSHED 'EM.  No big deal, friendly game.  Thanks for the beer, boys.  Cheers!  Sure, we got lucky, rack 'em up again.  CRUSHED 'EM.  Beers.  Rack 'em, CRUSHED 'EM.  No thanks, still working on all the other beers you bought.  Hey, JR (soon to be Johnny Gumbo), I'm getting the feeling that these guys are all pissed off because we CRUSHED 'EM.   And the big Ron Burgundy guy is saying something about us taking advantage 'cause they're wasted.  What's up?  Personally, we wouldn't be whining if we'd just been CRUSHED, but maybe they're really good and this hurts their pool hall cred.  Maybe, they fancy themselves POOL HALL STUDS!

Johnny Gumbo leaves sad news on the doorstep...

Gospel, blues artist Marva Wright dead at 62 (AP)
NEW ORLEANS – New Orleans blues and gospel singer Marva Wright died Tuesday at age 62, her former manager said. Adam Shipley confirmed that Wright died of complications from a stroke she suffered last year. She sang traditional jazz and gospel standards but was better known for sultry, sometimes bawdy blues songs. Among her best known songs were "Heartbreakin' Woman" and "Mama, He Treats Your Daughter Mean." She released a series of albums on local and international record labels, and frequently performed in Europe and at blues festivals around the country. With her band, the BMWs, she drew large crowds for performances at the New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival.

As a child, Wright listened to her mother sing and play piano at church. Among her childhood memories were visits to Chicago, the adopted home of New Orleans gospel great Mahalia Jackson, who had grown up with Wright's mother. "My mother would go to the national Baptist convention," Ms. Wright once said, according to an account in The Times-Picayune newspaper. "When it convened in Chicago, Mahalia would say, 'Girl, you don't need to get no hotel. Stay with me.' That's what my mother would do. I met Mahalia when I was 9 years old, but I never realized she was that popular until I got older." But Wright didn't start singing professionally until she was almost 40, according to a biography on her Web site. Wright was hospitalized last June after suffering a serious stroke following a gig at the CoCo Club on Bourbon Street. Relatives said then that she had just recovered from an earlier, less serious stroke.

Sunday, March 21, 2010

Excellent New Yorker article by John Colapinto profiling buzzworthy jazz bassist Esperanza Spaulding (read as I watched an anti-climactic K-State/BYU matchup)...

ABSTRACT: PROFILE of musician Esperanza Spalding. Not long ago, Esperanza Spalding, the prodigiously gifted bassist, singer, and composer, performed at Yoshi’s, a sushi restaurant and jazz club in Oakland, California. Spalding, twenty-five years old, was playing bass with the pianist McCoy Tyner, who, as part of the John Coltrane Quartet in the early sixties, helped create some of history’s most influential jazz music. Also performing with them were Ravi Coltrane and Francisco Mela. Female instrumentalists have been a rarity in jazz. Spalding, a slender, light-skinned black woman with a natural Afro, produced bursts of booming fragmented notes that drew gasps from the crowd. After the concert, she said, the performance “kind of reaffirmed my understanding of the music... Idol worship doesn’t help this music in any way.” In 2008, Spalding released her major-label début, “Esperanza,” which she recorded as a twenty-three-year-old instructor at the Berklee College of Music, in Boston. While the music was indisputably jazz, it suggested an almost bewildering array of influences—fusion, funk, soul, R. & B., Brazilian samba and Cuban son, pop balladry, chanted vocalese—with lyrics sung in Spalding’s three languages, English, Portuguese, and Spanish. It was jazz for the iPod age, and it rose quickly to No. 3 on the Billboard jazz chart, and stayed on the chart for sixty-two weeks. The freshness and excitement of her approach has led to her being called the “new hope for jazz.” Certainly, she arrives on the scene after a long period of conservatism and stagnation. Mentions Wynton Marsalis and the Young Lions movement. Spalding is passionate about trying to push the music into the future, to bring in fresh influences and voices, to prevent jazz from becoming merely a “museum piece.” (more)

This week’s issue includes my Profile of the bassist, singer, and composer Esperanza Spalding. (Subscribers can read the full text online; others can pay to access the issue.) When I visited her home in Austin, Texas, I asked if I could shoot some video of her explaining how a song gets written and arranged. She happily obliged me by talking about the creation of an as-yet-untitled song:

Saturday, March 20, 2010

Suggestion from Marcia (Marcia, Marcia) V...

Check out The Chieftains with Ry Cooder -San Patricios-and celebrate our Celtic/Spanish heritage - the O'Sullivan clan has a Spanish king in our family tree!

(Boston Globe)-  In a surprise teaming that is likely Grammy bound, the Chieftains’ Paddy Moloney and Ry Cooder coproduced this cultural landmark disc. Their focus is the Saint Patrick’s Battalion, known as the San Patricios, composed mostly of disaffected Irish immigrants who deserted the US Army and fought for Mexico in the Mexican-American War of 1846. Some had been conscripted right from Ellis Island, and many objected to their mistreatment in the Army, Others simply didn’t want to shoot fellow Catholics. The story is told in Cooder’s original song, “The Sands of Mexico,’’ and in Liam Neeson’s guest narration on another track. But most of the record is a thrilling dip into traditional Mexican music by the likes of the exceptional Lila Downs, Los Folkloristas, Los Tigres del Norte (nailing the famed immigrant song “Canción Mixteca’’), Los Cenzontles, and 92-year-old vocalist Chavela Vargas, offering the weepily transcendent “Luz de Luna.’’ Linda Ronstadt also shows up with a song from her Mexican grandfather. Moloney plays tin whistle on many tracks, and he and Cooder emphasize the Irish/Mexican fusion by noting the 6/8 time signatures that are the same as Irish jigs. This project may be too esoteric for some, but it’s a vital reminder of a history long forgotten. STEVE MORSE

Friday, March 19, 2010

I just called to say I love you...

- OK, I would like to have a threesome with you and another girl you trust.
- I want to treat you rough, throw you around, spank and slap you
- Have you ever had a golden shower done to you? ... just morbid curiosity.
- You are my f**king whore. Hold you down while I choke you
(Read more Tiger sweet talk here)

Thursday, March 18, 2010

Day one: And I picked Villanova to win it all? Nice job!...

Fess Parker dies at 85- The Ballad of Davy Crockett
Ron Washington- Drivin' that train, high on cocaine (mom would be proud, kids)

Lonely days are gone, I'm a goin' home, my baby, she wrote me a letter........

Influential Big Star member Alex Chilton dies


Alex Chilton, the singer and guitarist who had a No. 1 hit as a gravel-voiced teen with "The Letter" and went on to influence a generation of musicians through his work with Big Star, died Wednesday in New Orleans. He was 59. ALEX CHILTONThe Memphis, Tenn., native died at a hospital after experiencing what appeared to be heart problems, said his longtime friend John Fry. Chilton had his first taste of fame with the Box Tops, the band he and his friends started in Memphis. He was 16 but sounded much older when "The Letter," which opens with the lines "Gimme a ticket for an aeroplane. Ain't got time to take a fast train ..." hit the top of the charts in 1967. Their other hits were "Soul Deep" and "Cry Like a Baby."

It was Chilton's work with a second Memphis band, Big Star, in the early 1970s that cemented his legacy as a pioneering voice for a generation of kids looking for something real in the glossy world of pop music. The band was never a commercial success, but R.E.M. counted Chilton as an influence, the Replacements name-checked him with their 1987 song "Alex Chilton," and his band still provides a template for musicians today. "In my opinion, Alex was the most talented triple threat musician out of Memphis — and that's saying a ton," Paul Westerberg, the former Replacements frontman, said in an e-mail to The Associated Press. "His versatility at soulful singing, pop rock songwriting, master of the folk idiom, and his delving into the avant garde, goes without equal. He was also a hell of a guitar player and a great guy."

Chilton's influence was widely felt in the 1980s and 1990s, when a generation of listeners looked to songs like "Thirteen," "I'm in Love With a Girl" and "In the Street" (widely known as the theme song for "That '70s Show") because they perfectly captured teen angst and relayed sometimes-dark emotions that were universal. - (complete article)

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

All we are is dust in the wind...

Please excuse the sometimes strange music, but here are my Final Four picks...

Kansas- Dust In the Wind v Pittsburgh- The Pittsburgh New Music Ensemble

West Virginia- The 1st class of the West Virginia Music Hall of Fame v Villanova- The Philly Soul of the Intruders' Cowboys to Girls

Kansas- Eva Cassidy's Somewhere Over the Rainbow v Villanova- Some live Philly Soul from Billy Paul, Me & Mrs. Jones

Villanova- Neil Young's Philadelphia

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Pre-madness trail mix...

Prove Your Love (Fleetwood Mac) Heroes Are Hard To Find
Failure (The La's) The La's
Changed The Locks (Lucinda Williams) Live at the Fillmore
Try (John Mayer Trio) Live in Concert
Just For the Fun of It (Nat King Cole) The Billy May Sessions
Speak For Me (Cat Power) You Are Free
Province (TV On the Radio) Return to Cookie Mountain
Speeding Motorcycle (Mary Lou Lord) Mary Lou Lord
Honky Tonk (Doug Sahm) The Last Real Texas Blues Band
Golden Slumbers (The Beatles) Abbey Road
No Pointing Arrows (The Heartless Bastards) All This Time
Cry a While (Bob Dylan) Love and Theft
When I Was a Young Girl (Feist) Let It Die

Monday, March 15, 2010

Beware the Ides of March!...

I'm the friendly stranger in the black sedan, won't you hop inside my car.  Great God in Heaven, you know I love you:

Get those brackets fine-tuned on this Ides of March ! (ESPN, part of the GO network)
Final Four prediction:
Kansas (looking pretty awesome these days, Dorothy)
Kentucky (except Calipari blows the big ones)
Pitt (my sleeper, even though they usually choke in NCAA)
Duke (not really buying this one, though)

Sunday, March 14, 2010

Yes, it's official, despite Joe Lunardi's best efforts - the Huskies are NOT dancing...

Wake up, you lazy bastards!...

We've been waiting for you, you are an hour late!....  Bought a Club Trillion tee-shirt this morning.  Read Mark (The Shark) Titus' blog, it's cool.....  Ruthie Foster to appear (and, I assume, play) at Joe's Pub in NYC on April 13th.....

Interesting article by Sasha Freer-Jones in the New Yorker about Bill Withers: "“Ain’t No Sunshine” gave Withers his first gold record, earned him a Grammy, and, with later hits such as “Lean on Me” and “Use Me,” forms the cornerstone of a small but indispensable section of the American songbook. A new documentary about Withers, “Still Bill,” is an unshowy, confident attempt to render the personality of a man who wrote so well and then walked away, in 1985, adding only a handful of songs to his legacy since then." - (a conversation with Bill Withers)

Thursday, March 11, 2010

Nothing but a heartache...

The Quinnipiac University Bobcats were rudely denied an invite to THE DANCE despite famous attendees at the Cathouse Wednesday night. Even ESPN bracketologist Joe Lunardi's presence couldn't help, although he did say that the UConn Huskies were still on the bubble. 

Tuesday, March 09, 2010

ESPN's Joe Lunardi just called, says the Huskies are back on the bubble...

The Huskies (bastards) begin their quest for the Big East title this afternoon (see Marky G for tickets, since he was so effective last year);  if you are looking for a silver lining, bet the probability factor since UConn hasn't won a Big East game in like ten years!  Looking for Stanley Robinson to have a breakout game (coughing).

The Huskies (bitches) continue their quest for Bill Walton (where did HE disappear to?) v West Virginia (can you be a Mountaineer and still be a lady?) this evening.

But MOST important is tomorrow night's Quinnipiac Bobcats game for BRACKETOLOGY history at the Bob Katz Center (aka the Cathouse) v Robert Morris.  The boys will be there.  Counting on Steve the Bod for some home cooking on the 35-second clock.

This is for Stanley (Styx) Robinson:

Monday, March 08, 2010

No way I'm going to eat those sandwiches after hearing this!...

D'Angelo accused of soliciting prostitute in NYC

NEW YORK – Authorities say D'Angelo was caught in New York City trying to pay $40 for sex with an undercover cop posing as a prostitute.   Police said Monday that the 36-year-old R&B singer was arrested early Saturday while behind the wheel of his Range Rover. D'Angelo's real name is Michael Archer. He says in a statement that he pleaded not guilty and plans to fight the charge. The statement says the singer hopes the public will "allow the American justice system to resolve the matter before jumping to any conclusions."

Saturday, March 06, 2010

No, seriously, if the Huskies win the first game in the Big East tournament, I think they're in...

Post-game walkin' blues:
Secret Agent Man (Johnny Rivers) Greatest Hits
Your Love Is So Doggone Good (Esther Phillips) Jazz Moods
Same Kooks (The Hold Steady) Boys And Girls In America
Ancient Arms (Donna the Buffalo) Live From the American Ballroom
Dirt Road Blues (Bob Dylan) Time Out of Mind
Poor Ellen Smith (Laura Cantrell) Humming By the Flowered Vine
Bald Head (Professer Longhair) A Proper Introduction to...
Diggin' the New (Joe Strummer & the Mescaleros) Rock Art & the X-Ray Style
La Dicha Mia (Celia Cruz) The Mambo Kings
Love Is All We Have (Jesca Hoop) Kismet
Empty Room (Rob Stone & the C-Notes) Just My Luck

Wonderful dinner and conversation with Bonnie & Gene at Fratelli's in Wallingford to ease the pain of the Huskies.

Friday, March 05, 2010

Cat Power (and who is Bob Katz?)...

Gliding into a VIP parking area that only HOF clout could get (if truth be told, a tip of the hat to Billy Mecca, famed QU sportscaster and just-a-teenie-weenie-bit-below-athletic director, for the seats and the parking pass), we were amped up to watch the Quinnipiac University Bobcats (second best college hoops team in CT; nod to UConn women Huskies) take on the Monmouth Hawks in the first round of the Northeast Conference tourney at the Bob Katz Center (they no longer play at the Kahn Dome).  And we were still amped up after the parking guard told us to get the hell out of the VIP lot and go back into the semi-VIP lot.  No problem, officer, but I wish you would give QU icon Gene Zurolo a little more respect.  Inside, Steve (The Bod) Signor was, after serving a suspension for conduct unbecoming a 35-second clock operator, back at his appointed courtside station.  His signature move, leaving the table immediately after an under 35-seconds to go possession change (both halftime and gametime), is now history.  The place was electric, albeit low-voltage electric.  WE WIN, despite being T'd up for some asshole students throwing little promotional basketballs on the court in a tied ballgame!  For a split-second, I thought Gene was the culprit, but then I remembered that he could never throw that far.  Two to go for the first NCAA bid!  Sunday, 2PM at the Cathouse.

Wednesday, March 03, 2010

Damn you, Huskies!....

Let's see, if they beat South Florida, then beat....

Mush you Huskies; running out of time!...

Well, Vin and Keith failed miserably to bring home a 'W' on Senior Saturday, opting to forego their barechested NO/ON (see previously posted) in favor of UC (first half) and the curious, but foreshadowing, CU in the second (again, so aptly put by Keith, switched seats).

Kevin (aka The Big Right-hander) M, one of the few ESPN employees not currently suspended for various indiscretions,  checked out Ludicrous and the Blackeyed Peas last weekend, but has failed to file a report with johnnykmusic.

Meanwhile, the surging Quinnipiac Bobcats (nee Braves) will host the NEC post-season men's hoops tourney in its quest for an NCAA bid.  By capturing a share of the regular season championship (and owning the tie-breaker because of its win over Robert Morris), QU has already qualified for an NIT bid, something the Huskies have not yet accomplished.  A couple of notable baseball stud alumni will be in attendance Thursday v Monmouth; Gene and I also plan to be there.

Johnny (It's All About Me) Gumbo pens:
Sorry, the weather is so bad there in the Northeast. Just ain't fair. It was a little hazy here today in PV (or Puerto Vallarta to the the tourists) but the tan is lookin' good.  Back at you, big guy, JohnnyK & The Reet with friends Connie & Jeff in Hilton Head (circa 1979):

Monday, March 01, 2010

Tom "T-Bone" Wolk (he was a cool dude)...

T-Bone playing with Daryl Hall and Nick Lowe on Live at Daryl's House:

T-Bone Wolk, bass player for Hall & Oates, dies  (Hall/Oates statements)

LOS ANGELES – Tom "T-Bone" Wolk, who performed with scores of musicians but was best known as the longtime bass player for the band led by pop-rock stars Daryl Hall and John Oates, has died. He was 58. Wolk died Sunday in New York, hours after completing a recording session with Hall, who was working on a solo album, the duo's manager, Jonathan Wolfson, said Monday.   Wolfson said the cause of death was believed to be a heart attack.

Wolk had been scheduled to appear Monday night on "Late Night With Jimmy Fallon" with Hall and Oates.   A busy session musician, he appeared on literally scores of recordings with such varied artists as Bette Midler, Billy Joel and Avril Lavigne. He played bass on several of Elvis Costello's recordings, accordion on Robert Palmer's "Heavy Nova" and guitar on Carly Simon's "Coming Around Again."
He was also the bass player in NBC's "Saturday Night Live" house band from 1986 to 1992 when it was led by guitarist G.E. Smith.

On his Web site, Wolk described himself as "that guy with the hat" who people had seen performing with Hall & Oates since 1981. In later years he also became the band's music director. "Daryl used to refer to him as the ampersand in Hall & Oates," said Wolfson, adding both members of the duo were crushed by the loss.
"It's not if I will go on, but how," Hall said in a statement. "T-Bone was one of the most sensitive and good human beings that I have ever known." Oates called him "peerless." "Any instrument that he touched resonated with a sensitivity and skill level that I have never experienced while playing with any other musician," Oates said. "He possessed an encyclopedic knowledge of styles and musical history which he referenced to support all the artists that he played with over the years. "He became our band's musical director over time, leading by example and by the deference and respect that everyone who played alongside him so rightfully accorded him. He made everyone he played with better." - (complete article)
Another clip with T-Bone/Nick Lowe/Daryl Hall singing Lowe's Cruel To Be Kind