Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Bachmann-Turner Overdrive's new release...

High Octane, Baby! They may have only been takin' care o' bidness down at Office Depot (where people push 'n people shove and the girls, they try to look pretty) these past few years, but BTO's legendary twosome, Michele Bachmann and Ted Turner, have reunited - and it feels sooooo good!  "Straight 'N White is the way the country should be and our fans want to hear that from us, so I contacted old Ted and told him to get off his Jane-whipped ass and help me write some new shit," gushed Bachmann while fact-checking her already rock-solid position on Intelligent Design.  "I think these new tunes are going to show everyone that you've got to stop bitching and grow some (wink)."

The playlist:
Jane, You Ignorant Commie Traitor
Go Straight To Heaven (Go Gay To Hell)
America, Please Come Back On Line
Hot White Political Chick Is the New Black
Straight 'N White, Rich 'N Right
Waterloo, Proud Hometown of  Me 'n John Wayne (Gacy)
I'm Not a Scientist (But I Play One In Debates)
Jesus, Rock Me Like a Hurricane
Pilgrims, the First Illegal Aliens?
Health (Doesn't) Care
To Every Thing (Turner, Turner, Turner)
Abstinence, Get a Handle On It

NY Times review of 'Jagger'......

Mick Jagger with James Brown backstage at the filming of the 1964 concert film "T.A.M.I. Show." 
....To his credit, Mr. Spitz knows enough about the Stones’ history to pick good shots and leave out the dull stuff. So this book has a full chapter about “T.A.M.I. Show,” the mind-blowing 1964 concert film in which the Beach Boys, the Stones, Chuck Berry, Lesley Gore, the Supremes, Gerry and the Pacemakers and James Brown (among others) all turned up on the same stage. Mr. Spitz talks to Steve Binder, who directed “T.A.M.I. Show,” and tackles the enduring impression that the Stones almost committed career suicide by following Brown, whose theatrics and fancy footwork on this occasion were arguably his very best. According to Mr. Binder, Brown, when told that the Stones had top billing, just smiled. Then he said, “Nobody follows James Brown.” - (more)

Monday, August 29, 2011

There's got to be a morning after...

Back to Brooklyn on Monday to bring G-Man home to The Heights 'cause no trains be a-runnin'.  Lunch at the Atlantic Chipshop, where we dined on Mac 'n Cheese, Seafood Chowder, Chicken Finger Sandwich (rejected by G-Man upon arrival), viewed cool posters of early Who and Sex Pistols, and listened to Ike & Tina, Dusty Springfield.

Sunday, August 28, 2011

Weekend playlist...

With the annual McGowan Corn Fritter Fry wisely postponed and golf certainly washed out, we must make listening plans for a newspaper-reading, Treme-watching weekend.  Speaking of washed out, AJ Burnett with another splendid performance against the O's.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Giacomo Gates records Gil Scott-Heron tribute album...

Giacomo Gates remembers Gil Scott-Heron (Owen McNally, Htfd Courant)
While the idea of jazz singer Giacomo Gates devoting an entire album to Gil Scott-Heron, the late poet, prophet, singer/songwriter, spoken word performer and social critic, might initially seem a bit of a stretch, the concept actually flourishes on Gates' bold, new CD, "The Revolution Will Be Jazz: The Songs of Gil Scott-Heron."  Planned and set motion before Scott-Heron's death last May at age 62, the idea for this project came from Mark Ruffin, the album producer. Ruffin suggested the project to Gates, the Connecticut-based bebop baron, giving him a wide selection of songs to pick from for this jazz-centered homage to the soul and blues-inspired poet/musician perhaps most widely known for his acclaimed composition, "The Revolution Will Not Be Televised."  Scott-Heron's iconoclastic recordings about poverty, war and racism in the 1970s and '80s have had wide-ranging influence on contemporary pop genres. - (more)

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Let's go - to English class!!

“...and I cannot forget from where it is that I come from.” John Mellancamp

Monday, August 22, 2011

Justin Townes Earle: awesome, baby!...

High expectations can often be harmful to your concert experience (they should put that warning on the ticket), loading you up with images of an epic performance in a perfect little club by someone you've not yet seen (and most of your friends have never heard of). It's disappointing to set the bar so high, then find that he/she/they are mere mortals- good, but, well, just good (I'm looking at you, The Duke & The King).

Then again, sometimes you hesitate to declare an experience 'the best' until the adrenaline rush eases and a perspective is reached.  None needed here. Justin Townes Earle at the Iron Horse Music Hall last night- best show of the year so far!

Son of the legendary Steve Earle, JTE has been on my radar for awhile.  G-Man saw him open for Dan Auerbach and raved about him.  I bought Harlem River Blues and loved it.  Various YouTube clips whetted my appetite for seeing him live.  Articles about him noted he has struggled with many of the same demons as his famous father.  Hold on, I know what you're going to say, that I have an affinity for talented, tortured singers, who eventually let me down by destroying themselves.  I'm hoping not.

None of our friends want anything to do with this venture, so The Reet and I deftly pick our way through the Hartford rush hour traffic I91 north to Northampton, arriving about six for the 7 o'clock show.  We are seated upstairs at a table for four along the front rail, paired up with a Northampton area couple who originally hailed from CT.  They attend shows at the Iron Horse often, but came tonight without knowing much about JTE; heard very good things about him, knew of his pedigree and thought they'd check him out. 

Shovels & Rope open.  I know- WTF is that?  It's Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent, a young South Carolina married couple, each of whom is a literal one-man band (well, Cary Ann isn't a man, but you know what I mean), sometimes playing drums, harmonica, tambourine, cymbals and singing, while the OTHER played guitar!  Quirky, but with substance.  Very entertaining, playing for about forty-five minutes.  Intermission.

I accompany The Reet down two flights to the basement bathrooms (hey, Justin- passing us on his way up from the basement dressing rooms), where I leave her in the LONG line to the two unisex bathrooms and go back up to wait by the bar in the back of the main level (hey, Justin- passing me as he goes back down to the dressing room).  Justin is going for the hip-geek look tonight, dressed in jeans, loafers, no socks, very tight plaid jacket with blue button-down shirt and skinny tie.  I'm taken by how skinny he is!

Finally, around eight, JTE comes on stage with an acoustic guitar, flanked by two gals, a cute redhead on fiddle and a sassy looking  brunette on standup bass. Earle greets us with some self-deprecating humor that just heightens that underlying feeling of angst for him, then gets to it.  My fears of just good vanish.  He's great.  He can play and sing anything.  Blues. Folk. Swing. Gospel.  The fiddler is wonderful and you've GOT to love a chick who can slap around a standup bass!  He introduces One More Night in Brooklyn, telling of living in a shithole section of the borough some years ago.  Some of his songs are painfully beautiful to hear.  He acknowledges his demons ("I apologize for missing the radio interview today, but I'm a bit fragile when not consuming vast amounts of alcohol.  I promise to make up for it."), but is pretty upbeat, all things considered (Well, THAT was depressing, let's try this!").  A call out from the crowd for Wanderin'; he smiles, but does something else, then comes back to the request a few songs later, laughing.  Great guitar picker!  The harmonies are wonderful.  A couple times, he sends his bandmates off stage for a rest while he does some solo.  A new album is to be recorded in October, he says, before giving us one of his new songs.  Near the end, he brings out Shovels & Rope for the chorus to Harlem River Blues.  Great! (I've envisioned a very large gospel choir singing grandly, "Lord, I'm going uptown, to the Harlem River to drown, muddy water gonna cover me over, and I'm not gonna make a sound."  Think about it.)  A two-song encore, Midnight at the Movies is especially good.  Prolonged ovation. Perfect night, JTE!

He went for the hip-geek look tonight
Pre-show view from our balcony seats

Monday morning notes...

Justin Townes Earle tonight at the Iron Horse in Northampton with The Reet.  His latest, Harlem River Blues, is highly recommended.  G-Man saw him open for Dan Auerbach of the Black Keys (see comment).

Vin/Marcia going up to the Calvin  in Northampton on 9/22 to see Marcia's crush, Keb Mo.  The Carolina Chocolate Drops are there on January 28.

Sharie is chomping at the bit to see Brandi Carlile. Ms. Carlile is at Town Hall (sold out) in NYC on 9/23 and at the Life Is Good Festival (with Ray Lamontagne, Levon Helm, Raphael Saadiq, Robert Randolph) in Canton, MA on 9/25.

From NH Register SOUNDOFFWhat was your worst concert experience?  Some funny stuff.
  • Billy Joel - He was drunk and sluring the words!
  • It was definitely at a Foghat concert, which is where I met my ex-wife.
  • I met this hot girl at a Pink Floyd concert, wrote her number on my hand, and without thinking, I washed it off in the men’s room. I never saw her again.
  • The night I saw Jimi Hendrix, took three hits of acid and woke up with my wife.
  • Having to listen to The Five Satins sing the theme from “The Love Boat” 
  • Milli Vanilli at Lake Compounce

    Sunday, August 21, 2011

    Sunday afternoon dirty dancing...

    (From Wikipedia, so it must be true) Raphael Saadiq (born Charles Ray Wiggins in Oakland, California; May 14, 1966) is an American singer, songwriter and record producer. Saadiq has been a standard bearer for "old school" R&B since his early days as a member of the multiplatinum group Tony! Toni! Toné! He also produced songs of such artists as TLC, Joss Stone, D'Angelo, Mary J. Blige, and John Legend. He and D'Angelo were occasional members of The Ummah, a music production collective, composed of members Q-Tip and Ali Shaheed Muhammad of A Tribe Called Quest, and the late Jay Dee (also known as J Dilla) of the Detroit-based group Slum Village.

    Saadiq's critically acclaimed album, The Way I See It, released on September 16, 2008, featuring artists Stevie Wonder, Joss Stone and Jay-Z, received three Grammy Award Nominations and was voted Best Album on iTunes of 2008. His fourth studio album, Stone Rollin', was released on March 25, 2011. For the album, Saadiq worked with steel guitarist Robert Randolph; former Earth, Wind & Fire keyboardist Larry Dunn; Swedish/Japanese indie rock songstress Yukimi Nagano (of Little Dragon fame); plus hip hop newcomer Taura Stinson. 

    Stone Rollin' - Saadiq's 2011 album Stone Rollin' was released to great critical acclaim. "He’s always had a boyish enthusiasm for performing, and a flexible, naturally joyous voice that suggests a young Stevie Wonder," wrote Greg Kot of The Chicago Tribune, "but with his latest album, Saadiq finds a new gear. The album and his current tour demonstrate that there’s a big difference between retro and classic, and the artist consistently finds himself on the right side of that divide."  Critic Jim Derogatis called it "a stone cold gas of a party disc."

    I love you, man (it's good to be a redneck for a day)!...

    "I say Marshall, you say: Dillon!  No, okay, let's try again.  I say Marshall, you say: Faulk!  I say Marshall, you say: Mathers!  Okay, okay, one more chance.  I say Marshall, you say:  Tucker! "   Oh, I get it, Mr. WPLR guy, Marshall Tucker Band! 

    Holy shit, it's a HOT afternoon in this pen-like concert area in downtown Milford for a show by the Marshall Tucker Band at the Milford Oyster Festival!  Golf in the morning, then a quick shower and Keith/Sharie, looking renewed from their Hawaii vacation, pick us up.  We're to meet Vin/Marcia, then rendezvous with Rant-On/Joann at the Fest.  A bit of a 'situation' at the Milford Mall shuttle station when a shuttle bus driver decided to pickup people in the middle of the very-long line, much to the chagrin of Keith, who may have offered that such bus driver was an asshole as he drove away (Pablo Picasso was never called an asshole).

    But we finally make our way through the dense, sweaty, heavily-tatted crowd inside the roped off concert area and spot Rant On & Joanne about halfway back just as the show is starting.  "I say Marshall, you say....."  The grizzled front man thanks us for keeping the Marshall Tucker Band around for 41 years.  Personally, I cannot share in the credit because, although I loved them back in the day, I didn't know they still existed.  But we are all invited down to Myrtle Beach for a beer.  Rick makes a note to self to cash in on that.  Vin copies Rick's note.
    (Per Wikipedia, so it must be true) The "Marshall Tucker" in the band's name does not refer to a band member, but rather a Spartanburg-area piano tuner. While the band was discussing possible band names one evening in an old warehouse they had rented for rehearsal space, someone noticed that the warehouse's door key had the name "Marshall Tucker" inscribed on it, and suggested they called themselves the "Marshall Tucker Band," not realizing it referred to an actual person. It later came to light that Marshall Tucker, the blind piano tuner, had rented the space before the band, and the landlord had yet to change the inscription on the key.
    Heavy on the good 'ol boy shit in the between songs banter.  One theme becomes obvious, the old guy doing lead vocals can't come close to reaching any notes, so there's a lot of the crowd singing the choruses ("Heard it in a love song, heard it in a love song, heard it in a love song, can't be wrong.").  But that's okay.  They spread the vocals around to some of the younger members (who weren't born when the songs were hits).  Good people watching while the band goes on extended jams.  The young flute guy is up to taking on the signature instrument of the MTB and sings a mean tune to boot.  Take the Highway, Fire On the Mountain...the hits keep coming.  It's fucking hot out here!  They play for over two hours.  "Gonna take a freight train, all the way to Georgia" gets the crowd pumped.  Fist pumpin' pumped!

    Gonna take a freight train
    Down at the station, Lord
    I don't care where it goes
    Gonna climb a mountain
    The highest mountain
    Jump off, nobody gonna know

    Can't you see, whoa, can't you see

    What that woman, Lord, she been doin' to me
    Can't you see, can't you see
    What that woman, she been doin' to me

    After we heard what that woman, Lord, was doing to them, we said goodbye to MTB, hoping that it won't be another 41 years before we meet again.  Jimmy's at Savin Rock for dinner.  What better post-show spot than hangin' in West Haven with a bunch of Westie Punks, although Sharie was a bit miffed when her request for a salad-for-chowder switch is rebuffed by our waitress.  Rules, Sharie, rules.  If they had none, there would be chaos.  Rick with a nice move for a round of drinks.  Marcia got the crabs...drum roll, please....but didn't let that get in the way of a delicious meal!  Ducking pigeon droppings in the parking lot, we all bid adieu.  We love you, man!

    Friday, August 19, 2011

    This is for you, partner...

    My golf (not life) partner, Jim H, went to school in West Virginia during the height of the Southern Rock period.  Big Marshall Tucker fan.  Here's a little Wet Willie for y'all, bro...

    You're just hangin out in a local bar,
    And you're wonderin who the hell you are
    Are you a bum or are you a star?

    Keep on smilin through the rain, laughin at the pain
    Rollin with the changes til the sun comes out again
    Keep on smilin through the rain, laughin at the pain
    Rollin with the changes, singin this refrain

    Just musing on a Friday...

    Word on the street has it that the Pool Hall Studs had a flashback moment  by being crushed in a Friday golf challenge match..... just a rumor?  I think not.

    I swear I heard Green Onions by Booker T. & the MGs in a Depends ad! (kinda nasty if you really want to dwell on it)

    Those intolerant bastards, Zero Tolerance, appear (and presumably play) tonight at City Sports Grille in Bristol.

    Takin' the highway to the Milford Oyster Festival after golf on Saturday to see the Marshall Tucker Band.

    The Reet (kicking and screaming) and I plan to catch Justin Townes Earle at the Iron Horse Music Hall in Northampton, MA on Monday night.

    Thursday, August 18, 2011

    Phil Spector, babe magnet...

    Just another pretty face
    Purchased Tuesday at
    • Dedicated (Steve Cropper) $9.99
    • Laughing Down Crying (Daryl Hall) $13.50
    • The Duke & The King (The Duke & The King) $12.28
    • Straight 'N White (Bachmann-Turner Overdrive) $15.99
    • V*Vow (Sharie & the Little Guy) $15.99
    • What Is Too Hip?  (Marcia V & Vinnie) $15.99
    • Coupla Broads Chillin' (The Reet 'N Judy) $5.99
    • Tall, But Sensitively So (Gutowski) $.99
    • Last of the Red Hot Gumbos (Johnny Gumbo Party Band) $3.99

    Amy channeling her inner Ella - very nice:

    She looks like a real person back in 2005 on Jooles Holland:
    More early stuff. Okay, I'll stop.

    Tuesday, August 16, 2011

    Very cool...

    Velvet Underground Revisited featuring Leslie Feist doing Femme Fatale:

    Til Tuesday...

    Elvis Presley celebrated the 34th anniversary of his death with a big 'ol stack at Denny's....

    The Duke & The King self-titled album out today; streaming below:
    The Duke & The King by CBSIMG

    Monday, August 15, 2011

    Monday morning Lucinda...

    Ten obscure covers found here  (the gem is Mama, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys):
    Postively 4th Street (Bob Dylan cover)1993 - You Don't Have Very Far To Go (Merle Haggard cover)1993 - Main Roads (Victoria Williams cover)1993 - Here in California (Kate Wolf cover)1998 - Cold Cold Heart (Hank Williams cover)2001 - Nothin' (Townes Van Zandt cover)2001 - Lately (Greg Brown cover)2002 - Hang Down Your Head (Tom Waits cover)2003 - Mamas Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys (Willie Nelson & Waylon Jennings cover)2008 - Marching the Hate Machines (The Flaming Lips & Thievery Corporation cover)2008

    Sunday, August 14, 2011

    Go listen to the Sawtelles here (and there)!...

    Aug 19- Javapalooza, Main Street, Middletown, CT
    Aug 27- New Caanan Farmers Market, New Caanan, CT
    Sep 3- Milford Downtown Farmers Market, Milford, CT
    Sep 6- Spring Glen Farmers Market, Hamden, CT
    Sep 16-Javapalooza, Main Street, Middletown, CT
    Sep 30- Buttonwood Tree, Main Street, Middletown, CT
    Oct 4- Spring Glen Farmers Market, Hamden, CT
    Nov 4- Crown & Hammer Restaurant, Collinsville, CT

    Hip, Hip JORGE!!!!!!...

    Sunday golf rained out after a soaking nine.

    New Feist - How Come You Never Go There

    k.d. lang in Seattle (Seattle Times)
    Concert review:  It's one thing to hear the great Canadian singer k.d. lang. It's somethin' else to watch her sing.  In her jubilant sold-out concert at the Woodland Park Zoo on Wednesday, the pride of Consort, Alberta, was a treat to hear — and a hoot to behold.  Fronting her new five-man backup group, the Siss Boom Bang, lang dashed onstage in an all-white, celestial-cowboy sort of outfit. And she stayed in motion throughout her ample set of new material, older hits and choice covers.  Barefoot (as usual), the strapping diva danced with quirky abandon; skipped and marched and shimmied; flirted with, wooed and gently sassed the crowd.  Strapping on a banjo to sing the countrified "Sorrow Evermore" (from her strong 2010 album, "Sing It Loud"), one of pop music's first lesbian icons signaled to her female fans to gather around the stage.  "It turns out that the banjo," she announced with deadpan panache, "is a real chick magnet."  The woman knows how to put on a show, sure enough. What's remarkable is how she maintains the focus and breath control to sing so sublimely while working the stage like a whirligig. (more)

    Saturday, August 13, 2011

    Happy Birthday, G...

    Saturday nights are made for fighting...

    Willie Nelson's Farm Aid starting at noon today in Kansas City, KS:  The lineup this year includes the annual board members who always play - Nelson, John Mellencamp, Neil Young and Dave Matthews - plus Jason Mraz, Jamey Johnson, Jakob Dylan, Lukas Nelson & Promise of the Real, Will Dailey & the Rivals, Billy Joe Shaver, Robert Francis, Ray Price, Rebecca Pidgeon, Hearts of Darkness, John Trudell and The Blackwood Quartet. (website)

    Gregg Allman cancels tour, including appearance in Windsor, for health reasons (story) - Melissa (at 2011 JazzFest)

    Marshall Tucker Band to headline this year's Milford Oyster Fest on August 20 - Take the Highway

    Thursday, August 11, 2011

    I was dancing in the lesbian bar...

    Well I was dancing at a night club one Friday night
    And that night club bar was a little uptight
    Yeah, I was dancing all alone a little self conscious
    When some kids came up and said, "for dancing come with us."
    And soon...I was dancing in a lesbian bar, oh, oh.
    I was dancing in a lesbian bar, oh, oh, oh.
    Jonathan Richman at FTC Stage One in Fairfield on Wednesday, October 19
    Graced with an unprecedented childlike glow, Jonathan Richman is a brilliant songwriter and a one-of-a-kind performer of insanely creative proportions. You literally walk away from a Jonathan Richman show believing that everything is life is beautiful and wonderful and you’ll have a hard time shaking that sentiment for days and days.

    His beginnings are with the band Modern Lovers, a highly influential pre-punk rock band popular in the ‘70s and ‘80s. Owing much of their success to the popularity of the Velvet Underground, Richman sings with a trademark loungey, smirky pop flare not unlike early Lou Reed. His solo career broke him into genres like country, pop, Spanish songs and folky story-based love songs. His cult following is unmatched today and he does not have an official website. You may have seen/heard him in There’s Something About Mary, in which he played half of an on-screen narrating band, as well as Fever Pitch and Kingpin, all by the Farrelly Brothers. Conan O’Brien is also a huge fan of Richman’s careful and mysteriously comedic nature and has featured him on his shows frequently. He often performs alone or with a single drummer and always gets the whole audience into the show, with his sincere and loving approach to showmanship. Nobody even comes close to Jonathan Richman when it comes to making a crowd happy about music.

    It is appropriately rare to catch a Jonathan Richman show, never mind in such a setting as StageOne. Come out and do yourself a favor. See this show.

    “Richman renewed your faith in humanity and relief that there are people out there like him—geeky, honest, vulnerable underdogs with a sophisticated wit who can tell us things about themselves and ourselves at the very same time.”  “His wide-eyed goofiness endears because it is tempered by good-humored irony and an understanding of people that allow him to discuss moments and emotions that are universal but usually kept private (even from ourselves sometimes). At one point he sings “I didn’t need to be loved; I needed to love,” and the audience is for a moment hushed in empathy.” –
    venue: Stage One
    date: Wed 10/19
    doors: 7:00 PM, show: 7:30 PM

    price: $22, member discount: $5, 

    Wednesday, August 10, 2011

    New CD release from Sharin', but no new lease on life for Keith...

    The ever-growing cult following that just can't get enough of Sharie & the Little Guy will be intrigued by V*Vow!, the pop husband/wife duo's latest on Nashville's Butternut label. The clever word play on wow and vow stems from the couple's recent ultra-secret retreat to Hawaii, where they cut their long awaited followup to the iconic, Dinner With Elvis, while at the same time (allegedly) renewing their wedding vows on the beach at sunset.  The formula is familiar, Sharie's perky vocals backed with a funky bass line, mixing in tasty keyboards and (Little Guy) Keith's acoustic guitar ramblings - but it again works very well.  Maybe Tomorrow is a desperate cry to stave off the inevitable, set to a heavy reggae beat (with help from rapper Rant On), while the incendiary ballad Teed Off expresses frustration over one's true love- the links.  Zip Gliding Away  was inspired by Little Guy's zipline adventure over the Umauma River gorge.  The disc closes on a curious (and somewhat frightening) note with a (foreshadowing?) cover of the Righteous Brothers' You've Lost That Lovin' Feeling.  Trouble in paradise?  Perhaps, but it inspired Sharie & the Little Guy to their best effort yet.  With a scheduled September release and Fall tour dates to follow (

    Tuesday, August 09, 2011

    Mid morning walk at the Cape mix...

    Little By Little (D Smith Blues Band) Monkey Time
    El Camino (Amos Lee) Mission Bell
    Forecast (The Sawtelles) Dime Museum
    Love Me (Johnny Ray) A Proper Introduction to...
    Giant Steps (Kirk Lightsey) Jazziz Jan05
    Hello Josephine (Taj Mahal) Maestro
    If the Moon Turns Green (Gary Burton) It's Another Day
    I Am a Town (Mary Chapin Carpenter) Come On Come On
    Monday Monday (Mamas & Papas) California Dreamin'
    Last Train (Allen Toussaint) The Allen Toussaint Collection
    Silver Rider (Robert Plant) Band of Joy
    Broadway Jungle (Toots & the Maytals) Best Of...
    My Man (Ella Fitzgerald) The Early Years
    Handsome Johnny (Richie Havens) Mixed Bag
    David Watts (Ray Davies) See My Friends
    Star Dust (Errol Garner) The Complete Savoy Masters

    Sunday, August 07, 2011

    CC didn't get it done, but Simi did...

    The Reet says she is up for it, a Saturday in NYC with the Boys of Brooklyn, catching Johnnyk's new fav band, The Duke and The King featuring ex-Felice Brother (well, he's STILL a Felice brother, but you know what I mean) Simone Felice at the City Winery on Varick (between Spring and Vandam). This cd release (Long Live The Duke & The King) gig will be the last East Coast appearance of the group for awhile.  G-Man gets the tickets, selecting a table for four midway back and to the right of the stage from the seating chart on the website.  Looks promising. (City Winery performer list 2009-10)

    Being the caring environmentalists that we are, we decide to drive into the city, park near the Winery and meet the boys mid-afternoon for some Yankees-Sox before the show.  The two-hour trip (Merritt/Hutch/West Side Hwy) is a breeze on a Saturday (light traffic and, geographically, all downhill).  We arrive about 4, get our very special $35 parking rate (and assurances that we can retrieve our car after midnight), meet the boys on Varick in front of the venue.  Perfect timing.  Over to Bleeker to the Red Lion on an overcast, soon-to-be-rainy afternoon.
    Celebrating its 25th historic year on Bleecker Street, the world famous Red Lion is still the destination location for New York City music royalty and tomorrows next big thing. Born in the Summer of Love, built on 80s rock, nested comfortably along side a multitude of other legendary night clubs such as the Village Gate, the Bottom Line, CBGBs and Wetlands, the Red Lion has navigated its way into 21st Century as one of the last true music venues. 
    Quickly subtracting 25 years from 2011, I confirm that the Summer of Love was 1986.  Or MAYBE  Red wasn't on Bleecker in 1967.  I'll leave that discussion to the historians.  We grab a table over in the corner of the barroom (not close enough to the Yanks/Sox for The Reet).  Just small pockets of people here and there entertained by a gravelly-voiced, acoustic guitar playing gent with a pretty, pretty good song catalog (nod to the Tom Waits selection).  The food is faux-English Pub fare, so I order the Cod & Chips along with a Smithwicks from our over-the-top friendly, but underattentive server.  Between our Wild Rover's sets, Amy Winehouse blasts out of the speakers, sparking a debate amongst us as to her true musical stature, I giving her elevated billing, while JK and G-Man are skeptical of her originality.  Unresolved.  Cool item in men's room:  a wall full of old 45 rpm records behind a glass casing.  If G-Man would send me his camera photo of it, I would post.  It's approaching 7:30.  Walk back to the corner of Spring & Varick for the eight o'clock show.

    Cool place. Our table is sandwiched between two other tables for four, making The Reet a bit cranky, but it's all good.  She orders a little pizza, but baffles our server with a no cheese request.  Looking forward to the show.  Besides Felice, TDATK consists of Bonnie 'Bird' Burke, Nowell  'The Deacon' Haskins and Simi Stone and added a soul element to the Felice Brothers' raucous country punk.  They hit the stage- Simone in a tight wife-beater, showing off his ample arm tattoos, Simi in a short dress, big Afro (looking great), Bird in a trucker hat and a #87 Aeropostale shirt (not cool).  Where's the Deacon????  Not sure.  A lead guitar player, a drummer and a banjo player round out tonight's lineup.  I think the people at the table in front of the stage won the free tickets contest because they are way too happy.  Why didn't we win?  What's up with that, Larry? Simone Felice is the (self-appointed?) star, taking lead vocals and strumming on acoustic guitar, flanked by Simi (violin) and the Birdman (bass).  I'm waiting to be blown away, but I'm not quite.  Entertaining.  Best song of the night is Simi Stone's No Easy Way Out. Fabulous. Other highlights are Shaky, the Iraq war vet song that is my pick for the catchiest song of the Summer ("cause we were just babies, when the Jackson Five grew up so fast, baby, just come shake that country ass") and the soul/gospel Union Street. Some guy-guy kissing that got a bit distracting. Where's The Deacon (never answered)? For the encore, they tapped Neil Young's Helpless and Dylan's Knocking On Heaven's Door. Very good, but curious. Gotta close with your own stuff, no? Very good, not quite great, show.

    Farewell to the Boys of Brooklyn and home by midnight.

    G-Man forwards this clip of Simi's performance:
    Encore: Helpless

    Saturday, August 06, 2011

    The Duke and The King at the City Winery in NYC Saturday night . Goin' with the Sons of Brooklyn ( I think)...

    (seating chart)

    When old friends Simone Felice and Bobbie ‘Bird’ Burke retreated to their studio/cabin deep in the Bearsville woods just across the creek from the grave of Bob Dylan’s notorious manager Albert Grossman, they had but one aim; to heal some wounds by recording a collection of emotional new songs on two-inch tape. Little did they know where this next bend in the river of life would take them. And so commenced an unlikely journey that saw these intimate tales transported from their minds and souls and into the hearts of people all over the world. (more)

    Wednesday, August 03, 2011

    Wednesday morning trail mix...

    One Kiss Can Lead To Another: Girl Group Sounds Lost & Found (disk#3)
    (All Music Guide)  The importance of the girl group sound of the early '60s is often overlooked in the traditional telling of the history of rock & roll. In most accounts, after the first wave of rockers either died (Buddy Holly, Eddie Cochran), quit (Little Richard), went into the army (Elvis), or married a cousin (Jerry Lee Lewis), hordes of one-named teen idols (Fabian, Frankie, Dion) and smoothies (Bobby Rydell, Paul Anka) took over and rock music withered away until the Beatles rescued it. This narrow-minded opinion leaves …  » Read more
    1. The Trouble With Boys (Little Eva)
    2. Lookin' For Boys (Pin-Ups)
    3. Dream Baby (Cher)
    4. Condition Red (Goodees)
    5. Should I Cry (DeShannon)
    6. I'm Blue (Ikettes)
    7. I've Been Wrong Before (Black)
    8. Love's Gone Bad (Clark)
    9. Nightmare (Whyte Boots)
    10. She Don't Deserve You (Honeybees)
    11. Will You Be My Love (Four J's)
    12. Take Me For a Little While (Sands)
    13. Funnel of Love (Jackson)
    14. I'm Gonna Destroy That Boy (What Four)
    15. Terry (Twinkle)
    16. Untrue Unfaithful (Rossi)
    17. Sophisticated Boom Boom (Goodies)
    18. Saturday Night Didn't Happen (Reparata & the Deltrons)
    19. Don't Ever Leave Me (Francis)
    20. Don't Forget About Me (Lewis)
    21. Wanna Make Him Mine (Emeralds)
    22. Only To Other People (Cookies)
    23. Big-Town Boy (Matthews)
    24. Daddy, You Gotta Let Him In (Satisfactions)
    25. After Last Night (Rev-Lons)
    26. How Can I Tell My Mom & Dad (Lovelites)
    27. Too Hurt To Cry (Darnells)
    28. Up Down Sue (Luv'd Ones)
    29. When I Think of You (Twiggy)
    30. Good Good Lovin' (Blossoms)

    Tuesday, August 02, 2011

    One cannot but hope to make sense of the melismatic stylings of the Pool Hall Studs...

    Word up from Johnny Gumbo...always the wordsmith as well as the partysmith, Gumbo offers his word for the day:

    melismatic \mi-liz-MA-tik\, adjective:
    Characterized by the singing of several notes to one syllable of text, for emotional impact, as in blues and other musical styles.
    His blues are pure Texas and in an older style with thumping bass notes in the guitar playing and breathy melismatic singing.
    -- American Folklore Society, Journal of American Folklore
    It almost sounds as if he's making it up as he goes, ending each verse with a melismatic flourish.
    -- Camille DeAngelis, Petty Magic: Being the Memoirs and Confessions of Miss Evelyn Harbinger
    Melismatic finds its source in the Greek melisma, "music."

    Gene McDaniels (wrote: try to make it real, compared to what?) dead at 76...

    Eugene McDaniels in 1994.
    (NY Times article)   Eugene McDaniels, whose mellifluous voice brought him high onto the Billboard charts several times in the early 1960s, and who wrote “Feel Like Makin’ Love,” which Roberta Flack took to the top of the charts in 1974, died on Friday at his home in Kittery Point, Me. He was 76. He died after a brief illness, his wife, Karen, said. With his four-octave range, Gene McDaniels, as he was first professionally known, hit No. 3 in the spring of 1961 with “A Hundred Pounds of Clay” and No. 5 later that year with “Tower of Strength.” He last hit the Top 40 with “Spanish Lace” in late 1962.  Mr. McDaniels’s songs, including those he wrote for other artists later in his career, jumped from jazz to blues to ballads to gospel and could be peppered with cultural criticism and political protest.

    The lyrics of his bluesy up-tempo song “Compared to What,” recorded live at the Montreux Jazz Festival in 1969 by the pianist and singer Les McCann and the saxophonist Eddie Harris, include:

    “The president, he’s got his war
    Folks don’t know just what it’s for
    Nobody gives us rhyme or reason
    Have one doubt, they call it treason” 

    A classic!

    Monday, August 01, 2011

    Gussy ball...

    It's always a pleasure to tour the fairways with legendary Westie Punk Gussy P and Sunday was no exception, trading golf-induced music name checks, such as:

    Sneaking Sally through the alley (Robert Palmer)
    Close To the edge, down by a river (Yes)
    We know a cat who can really do the Cool Jerk (Capitols)
    Are you with me, Dr. Wu? (Steely Dan, who were just at Foxwoods on Friday night!)