Archive for the 'music mondays' category

Music Mondays: Five songs I really love

Mar 28 2011 Published by under music mondays

It's been a while since I've done one of these, so I thought I'd highlight some of my more recent musical discoveries.

  • Long Way Home by Kelley Hunt. So. A month or so ago I'm browsing on the second floor in a local used bookstore and some really cool bluesy music is on their sound system. I really like it but I sorta think it's Bonnie Raitt. A guy browsing nearby asks the universe, "Who is that? It's really great?" I respond, on behalf of the universe, that it sounds like Bonnie Raitt to me. He wasn't so sure. In retrospect, I guess I should have Shazam'ed it to find out for sure. Anyways, we went downstairs and asked the guy at the cash who it was and he said Kelley Hunt. This was just before her new CD (Gravity Loves You) dropped so I waited a little bit and ordered it from Amazon using some of my Affiliate funds (Thanks!). Wow, great stuff. Give it a listen and you'll really be impressed. I'm for sure on the hunt for the rest of Kelley Hunt! Dear universe: used bookstores are the best music recommendation systems.
  • Floating Bridge by Gregg Allman. Of course, Gregg Allman's been around forever so it's hard to make a case that this his most recent solo album is a "discovery" but his recent album Low Country Blues is a seriously excellent old-school blues album which I have to say I wasn't quite expecting.
  • Human Mud by Ross Neilsen and the Sufferin' Bastards. Ross Neilsen was a great discovery a few months ago. We had a family dinner at a local BBQ joint and totally unbeknownst to us, they had live music scheduled for the evening. Low and behold, it was Ross Neilsen and the Sufferin' Bastards. They play the kind of raucous blues rock that I really love so I took to them right away. At their break I immediately bought copies of all the CDs they had on hand -- one of the best ways to actually support bands these days is to buy their merch at concerts. Redemption is their latest.
  • Slave to the Rhythm by Bachman & Turner. Some more Canadian content, this is a great track from the recent Bachman & Turner CD by Randy Bachman and Fred Turner, most famous for Bachman Turner Overdrive back in the day. Once again, this is a "discovery" in the sense that I wasn't expecting to like it as much as I did.
  • The Great Divide by Black Country Communion. "Super Groups" can be a bit of a disappointment, to say the least. This recent collaboration between Glenn Hughes (Deep Purple, Black Sabbath, Iommi/Hughes), Joe Bonamassa, Derek Sherinian (Dream Theater) and Jason Bonham is certainly an exception to the rule. They rock pretty hard and I really appreciate the blues/funk/metal vibe. Their first CD, Black Country Communion, was great and apparently a second CD is on the way shortly. I can't wait!

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Music Mondays: Forty-Four Blues

Sep 06 2010 Published by under music mondays

Forty-four or 44 Blues is a fairly well know blues standard and is certain a song that I really love. I was first introduced to it during an Eric Clapton concert a number of years ago, during his From the Cradle tour. It wasn't part of the album, but he did perform it live. It actually took me a while to figure out what the song was and to get a few versions of it. I don't believe it's ever appeared, live or studio versions, on an official Clapton album.

And in the tradition of the One Song I Really Love post I did for Soulshine a while back, I thought I'd give a quickie for 44 for a holiday Monday.

Here they are, five versions of one song I really love:

Not quite as well known as Soulshine, there don't seem to be as many versions of 44 Blues on Youtube, although there are a lot. Between that and my not being in an archivist mood today, we'll have to settle for just the five.

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Music Mondays: Five songs I love: John Entwistle

Aug 23 2010 Published by under music, music mondays

The Who is pretty well my favourite band of all time. Without a doubt. Way back in the seventies (yes, I'm that old) when everyone else was arguing about whether the Beatles or the Stones were the greatest rock 'n roll band in the world, I always argued it was The Who. Townshend, Daltry, Moon were the noisy ones, the famous ones, the crazy ones. But the bassist, John Entwistle, he was The Quiet One. The one who held it all together.

So, over the years I've collected a fair big of Who music, but also solo stuff by Pete Townshend and a bit by Roger Daltry. But also John Entwistle, who's dark humour has always really appealed to me. Most Who albums had one or two tracks written by him, sometimes more. He usually only sung one of them as he realized early on if he wrote more for Daltry's style he'd get more songs on the albums.

Anyways, here we go. Five by The Ox.

  • Too Late the Hero, from his 1981 solo album of the same name.
  • 905, one of my favourite Who songs, an obscure track from the Who Are You album. This version is performed by the John Entwistle Band.
  • My Wife, one of Entwistle's darkest and most misanthropic songs. From Who Are You.
  • Heaven and Hell. A Who song, one of my favourites, again darkly humourous.
  • The Real Me. While this Quadrophenia song was written by Pete Townshend, it really showcases Entwistle's bass playing. Here's a JEB version.

There's a tribute DVD that was released a couple of years ago that's really fantastic. It has interviews, appreciations and quite a bit of concert footage: John Entwistle: An Ox Tale. Left for Live: Deluxe and So Who's the Bass Player: The Ox Anthology are great introductions to Entwistle's music.

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Music Mondays: David Gilmour on Chopping up Albums

Jun 21 2010 Published by under kids today, music mondays, social media

Yes, that David Gilmour.

Anyways, there was a post on Gilmour's blog a few months ago that provoked quite a little storm: Chopping up albums.

Basically, the point Gilmour makes is that many albums are really meant to be listened to as a whole and shouldn't be split into individual tracks at record companies' whims. Read the whole thing to get the full sense of his argument, but I think the excerpt below gives a good sense:

I'll go first: Blood on the Tracks' frenetic 'Lily, Rosemary and the Jack of Hearts' by Bob Dylan. There, I said it. (Forgive me, Bob.) More often than not, it gives me an instant headache. As does Don Henley's 'Man With a Mission' (from Building the Perfect Beast). But I can skip these songs when my head is feeling particularly delicate and they remain part of two of my favourite albums regardless. Granted, when purchased, there was no option to pick and choose each song, nor to preview them freely at leisure. However, I still feel that today's wider choice is mostly irrelevant to me when it comes to downloading music, and surely this should be all the more true when it comes to concept albums.

In fact, of Pink Floyd's more obvious concept albums, you'd be hard pressed to find a track that does not segue at either its beginning or end.

Can you imagine 'Sgt Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band' not turning into 'With a Little Help from My Friends'? Or 'Overture' from The Who's Tommy not concluding with the joyous announcement that 'It's a Boy'?

I'd enjoy sharing your examples of the perfect song segue, if you care to.

So, lots of questions to end the week with and perhaps to aggravate you well into the weekend, but I have (almost) managed to refrain from asking whether we should condone public flogging as the only punishment befitting the heinous crime of savagely butchering Dark Side of the Moon.

Now, there's a thought... Dare I suggest that maybe EMI got off lightly?

On the other side, is Cory Doctorow:

No one thinks about albums today. Music is now divisible to the single, as represented by an individual MP3, and then subdivisible into snippets like ringtones and samples. When recording artists demand that their works be considered as a whole -- like when Radiohead insisted that the iTunes Music Store sell their whole album as a single, indivisible file that you would have to listen to all the way through -- they sound like cranky throwbacks.

The idea of a 60-minute album is as weird in the Internet era as the idea of sitting through 15 hours of Der Ring des Nibelungen was 20 years ago. There are some anachronisms who love their long-form opera, but the real action is in the more fluid stuff that can slither around on hot wax -- and now the superfluid droplets of MP3s and samples. Opera survives, but it is a tiny sliver of a much bigger, looser music market. The future composts the past: old operas get mounted for living anachronisms; Andrew Lloyd Webber picks up the rest of the business.

Personally, I still buy CDs, I still like albums that have a unified sound. But...you'd have to pry my iPhone/iTunes out of my cold dead hands.

How about you? Gilmour or Doctorow or can they somehow coexist?

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Music Mondays: Five Ronnie James Dio songs I really love

May 17 2010 Published by under music mondays

Yesterday was a very sad day in the hard rock/heavy metal community as Rainbow/Black Sabbath/Dio/Heaven & Hell vocalist Ronnie James Dio died at the age of 67.

I've been a big fan of Ronnie James Dio ever since way back in 1980 I heard the song Neon Knights, the first big song he did with Sabbath.

Five (ok, six) songs to remember him by.

BW&BW are collecting a lot of the reminiscences that are appearing around the net.

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Music Mondays: "How Can I Be Ruling The Rock World 40 Years After My Death?"

Apr 12 2010 Published by under music mondays

A nice interview with Jimi Hendrix's sister Janie on the Bravewords.com site. It's talking about the latest collection of unreleased Hendrix material to hit the stores, Valleys Of Neptune.

Janie Hendrix: "He's probably laughing."

BraveWords.com: Yeah, he must be laughing, going, "how can I be ruling the rock world..."

Janie Hendrix: "40 years after my death. 'Yes, all right!' Well, it's interesting because, yes, he did have the talent and it seems like he kind of knew in some ways that he didn't have a whole lot of time left here to create what he needed to create, so here we have decades of music that he created in four years. And it is kind of interesting because when he was alive it really hurt him that people didn't get him, that they didn't understand his music. People would say, 'oh he plays rock.' And he's like, 'please don't label my music. You'll just frustrate you and you'll frustrate me, because it's not a label.' And I think that here we are forty years later and I think people now are more accepting of that. Before it was like, where do you fit in? Do you fit in on the hard rock station, do you fit in on the blues station, do you fit in on the R&B/soul station? Where do you fit in these six little boxes, where now we have Sirius Radio. We have channels and channels and blue collar comedy. Who would have thought that there'd be so many different choices of things that you listen to. BOB DYLAN has his own station, so I think that it's just a different generation that accepts, 'okay, if you don't want to be titled, fine, it's Jimi and we love it.' So I think that's a great evolution we've landed to."

*snip*

BraveWords.com: Can you elaborate on what else we can expect with this catalog project with Legacy?

Janie Hendrix:
"You can expect two projects a year. You can expect to see concert footage that you've never seen before, that we've been able to acquire. And you can expect different forms of Jimi's music. We have an anthology project, Jimi's own words, that will be in CD and DVD form, also it will be on A&E and the BBC. We have, gosh, so many projects coming your way, and then of course our tribute concert (Experience Hendrix Tribute Tour) that we bring Jimi's music to people, inspired by other artists. But definitely more CDs, more DVDs, more documentaries and within this next eight years, the bio, the movie. We have Guitar Hero out already and now we are working on Rock Band."

I have Valleys Of Neptune and it's quite good, especially the bluesier numbers like Red House. Is it for the non-Hendrix-completest? Well, I'm by no means a Hendrix fanatic and I found it quite worthwhile.

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Music Mondays: Five songs I love

Mar 29 2010 Published by under music, music mondays

Another list of songs I really love, this time leaning a bit on the heavy side.

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Music Mondays: Five songs I love

Jan 25 2010 Published by under music mondays

It's been a while since I did one of these fairly general entries in the "Five songs I love" series:

  • Forget about Me by Mem Shannon. A great blues/soul/R&B singer, Mem Shannon is terribly underrated. I love his great story-telling ability, of which Forget about Me is a great example. Live: A Night at Tipitina's and I'm From Phunkville are both really terrific.
  • Suite Madame Blue by Styx. The obligatory cheese. Anyways, Styx was the first rock band that I really loved as a young teen, way back in the early-mid 1970's and Suite Madame Blue was the song that did it for me. I still have a soft spot for Styx and especially this song.
  • Toujours Vivant by Gerry Boulet. Boulet was the voice of the legendary Quebec blues rock band, Offenbach, and this is a great song from his all-too-brief solo career.
  • Who Do You Love by George Thorogood & The Destroyers. Not much to say about this one except that this is a great version of a great song.
  • The Real Me by The Who. I've always loved John Entwistle on bass and this song has always really showcased his abilities. I like the comment on the on the Youtube page: "that was probably the most insane explosion of spontaneously awesome rock the world has ever seen, or probably ever will." I'll second that. The John Entwistle Band also does a great version here.

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Music Mondays: BraveWords.com top 30 hard rock & heavy metal albums of 2009

Jan 11 2010 Published by under music mondays

Bravewords.com is featuring their annual top 30 hard rock & heavy metal albums of the year. It's a pretty good list from a very good year. I like their list because it mixes mainstream and extreme very nicely, with Cheap Trick & Kiss on the same list as Immortal and Napalm Death. It was a pretty good year for me as I have 5 of the 30 albums listed (Chickenfoot, Mastodon, Heaven and Hell, Slayer and #1 Megadeth with Heaven and Hell as my favourite of the bunch) and I'll probably end up getting a few more as well.

Let's take a look at the top 10, in descending order to #1:

  • VOIVOD - Infini (Sonic Unyon/Relapse)
  • HEAVEN & HELL - The Devil You Know (Rhino)
  • ALICE IN CHAINS - Black Gives Way To Blue (Virgin)
  • NILE - Those Whom The Gods Detest (Nuclear Blast)
  • HYPOCRISY - A Taste Of Extreme Divinity (Nuclear Blast)
  • BEHEMOTH - Evangelion (Metal Blade)
  • SLAYER - World Painted Blood (Sony)
  • NAPALM DEATH - Time Waits For No Slave (Century Media)
  • IMMORTAL - All Shall Fall (Nuclear Blast)
  • MEGADETH - Endgame (Roadrunner)

I have to say I was a bit surprised not to see Them Crooked Vultures on the list as I thought it was a pretty strong debut.

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Music Mondays: Allman Brothers guitar summit

Dec 21 2009 Published by under music mondays

Every year The Allman Brothers Band hold court at New York's Beacon Theatre for an extended run and 2009 was a very special year for them as it was the 20th anniversary of the event.

And being a jam band, they celebrated with a wide array of guests each night. Perhaps most notable were two nights with Eric Clapton -- notable because given the ties between the Allmans and Clapton and both their propensities for collaboration, they'd never appeared together on stage before.

Check out here for tons of Youtube coverage and directly for the songs with Clapton: Little Wing, Dreams, Why Does Love Got to Be so Bad, Layla, In Memory of Elizabeth Reed and Stormy Monday. Each song has multiple version on Youtube, some truncated, some continued over multiple videos, so you might have to hunt around a bit for the best version.

For me, one of the coolest things about these performances is that we get to see three generations of great players together on the same stage: Clapton, Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks, all three amongst Rolling Stone's 100 greatest guitarists. Clapton is #4, Haynes is #23 and Trucks is #81. Also related to the ABB, Dicky Betts is #58 and the late Duane Allman is #2.

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