Archive for March, 2010

Lost Classic! “Peace” by Eurythmics

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on March 17, 2010 by 30daysout

I was at my son’s open house the other night and when we walked into the cafeteria I thought I heard “I Saved the World Today” coming out of the jam box. It turned out to be a  “Muzak” version of “The Sounds of Silence.” Isn’t the hearing is one of the first things to go as you get older?

Anyway, it prompted me to pull out the Eurythmics album, Peace. I purchased it after hearing “I Saved the World Today” at the end of The Sopranos episode where Richie Aprille is gunned down, chopped up and, well, you know the rest. Like many CDs, I never listened to the whole thing. It turns out it was my loss.

I have always been a fan of Annie Lennox. Her solo tune “Why?” is as good as it gets. However, I was never a big fan of the Eurythmics. I liked “Would I Lie To You?” with it’s harder guitar sound, but, to this day, “Sweet Dreams (Are Made of This”) with it’s keyboard-driven sound is not a favorite. What I like about Peace is the songwriting and the lushness of many of the arrangements. Lennox and Dave Stewart wrote fantastic hooks. “Power To The Meek” stands out with its pop edge and Stewart’s catchy guitar lick. Songs like “17 Again,” the aformentioned “I Saved the World Today,” “Lifted,” “Peace Is Just A Word,” and the acoustic driven “Beautiful Child” give Lennox’s outstanding, soulful voice a chance to soar.

The 2005 remastered re-release (available on iTunes) has different versions than the one I have that was released in 1999. More drums were added, along with some acoustic versions. Either way, this is a great album that I am sorry I let collect dust for so long. It makes me wonder what other gems are sitting in the cabinet.  I’ll go through them and let you know.

Annie Lennox Official Website

Dave Stewart MySpace page

SXSW: Andrew W.K.!

Posted in SXSW with tags , , , , on March 16, 2010 by 30daysout

Andrew W.K. (“King of Partying”) is going to play at SXSW – he will make 10 different appearances between Thursday and Saturday.  What a guy!  He also has a double album coming out next week, Close Calls With Brick Walls, his “lost” third album and Mother of Mankind, a second disc of unreleased material.

I realize about 60 percent of the SXSW crowd most likely frowns upon a guy who uses “party” as a verb (that’s so 1980s!) but Andrew W.K. is about fun, and we can always use more of that.  We’re going to see him this weekend – at least once or twice.

Here’s a video for “I’m A Vagabond.”  Party Hard!

Andrew W.K.  official website

Follow Andrew W.K. on Twitter

Not SXSW: The Chevelles in Houston

Posted in News with tags , on March 16, 2010 by 30daysout

The Chevelles, a hoppin’ rock band from Down Under, will perform a free in-store at Houston’s Cactus Music and Video today at 5:30 p.m.  This Australian outfit is on its 20th anniversary world tour, and they’re on Little Steven Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records.  Let Little Steven fill you in:

The Chevelles official website

Listen to the Chevelles on MySpace

SXSW: Texas Tornados, Free and Live!

Posted in SXSW with tags , , , on March 16, 2010 by 30daysout

The Texas Tornados – with Shawn Sahm, Augie Meyer and Flaco Jimenez – will perform in a live, free concert as part of their SXSW experience on Saturday (March 20) at 2 p.m. CDT.

Their show is part of the Global Zone Music Festival happening live in Videoranch3D, a 3D virtual world on the internet, where live musical performances occur in real-time, attended by a virtual audience from all over the world.

To be a part of this concert, you need high speed internet access and a newer computer with Windows on it (Intel Macs work great if Windows is installed).  Go here and click on “Visit Videoranch 3D” in the upper right corner.  Follow the instructions on registering and downloading the software.  Once inside Videoranch3D, you can move around, dance, cheer, see, chat with and meet other members of the audience.  On concert day, the Texas Tornados will be able to see your avatar, talk to you, and read your comments.

If you don’t have Windows or you’re on an old computer you can watch the live feed here.

Read our review of the latest Texas Tornados album, ¡Esta Bueno!

Texas Tornados official website

YouTube: “My Sugar Blue” live at Waterloo Records

SXSW: Emily Long, Rock Vixen/The Watermarks

Posted in SXSW with tags , , on March 15, 2010 by 30daysout

Emily Long

Expect a sweaty dance party scene when Emily Long brings the catchy hooks and anthemic melodies of her debut album When I Was In Love With for a couple of shots at SXSW.  She opens for Ian McLagan and the Bump Band at the Dog and Duck Pub‘s annual St. Patrick’s Day party on Wednesday, then hits the Moose Lodge on Saturday at 11:30 a.m.

Houston’s own the Watermarks are also playing at the Moose Lodge, 10 p.m. Saturday.  The Watermarks effortlessly bridge the gap between rock and electronic music. The band are known not only for their incendiary live performances, but also their D.I.Y. approach to recording, writing, and producing which has yielded two self released EPs.  Indie rock D.I.Y. ethics, noise-pop sensibilities and electronic textures have led the band to craft a unique sound where melody is the main character …a  sound that is danceable and poppy yet full of loud guitars and heavy organic drums.

MP3: “Anyone Else” by Emily Long

Emily Long MySpace page

Emily Long Facebook page

The Watermarks

MP3: “I Used To Be Your Rock and Roll” by the Watermarks

The Watermarks official website

The Watermarks MySpace page

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: The Runaways

Posted in Rock Classics! with tags , , , , on March 15, 2010 by 30daysout

Thought we’d give this one a spin before the mythology kicks in a few weeks from now: The Runaways, from 1976.  The movie of the same name is supposed to start soon, and needless to say, it’s going to paint the real story in big, bold colors.  The Runaways were an all-girl rock band that came out of L.A. around 1975, put together by veteran L.A. producer Kim Fowley, they were 16- and 17-year-olds who could really play their instruments.

Joan Jett was a guitarist and the main songwriter, guitar player Lita Ford, bassist Jackie Fox, drummer Sandy West and pretty blonde lead singer Cherie Currie.  Many people are saying THIS is the first real all-girl rock band – don’t believe it.  Check out Fanny, which broke up the same year the Runaways got together – actually Goldie and the Gingerbreads were the first all-female rock band to sign to a major label (1960s) and Fanny was the second (1970s).

Anyhow – The Runaways.  Like any red-blooded young American male of the era (OK, I was 20 years old), you weren’t cool if you didn’t own a copy of this album.  “Cherry Bomb,” the group’s only big hit, kicks off the album; like many of the other songs, it was written by Joan Jett and Kim Fowley.  Currie had a throaty, husky singing voice and her delivery gave the band’s music a bit of toughness that the overly polished musicianship didn’t really sell.  Probably she was a little extra pissed off when she cut the vocal for “Cherry Bomb” – apparently Jett/Fowley wrote the song about her.

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SXSW Interview: The 88

Posted in SXSW with tags , , , , , , , on March 14, 2010 by 30daysout

No rock band around exemplifies the marriage of old and new like The 88, a foursome from Los Angeles. Vocalist/guitarist Keith Slettedahl, keyboardist Adam Merrin, bassist Todd O’Keefe and drummer Anthony Zimmitti formed the unit in 2002 and they play catchy power pop that reminds one of the heyday of the British Invasion.

But they’re completely 21st century – The 88 have used the internet to market their three indie releases and their sole major-label album Not Only … But Also. And they’ve gotten their music where people can hear it, which is on TV and in the movies. Their songs have appeared on “The OC,” “Grey’s Anatomy,” “Laguna Beach,” “Gossip Girl,” “Weeds” and “One Tree Hill” among others.

The 88 also wrote and recorded the theme song for NBC-TV’s comedy series “Community.”   Their song “Coming Home” has been used for national TV spots by Sears and Target, and their music has appeared in movies like Failure To Launch , You, Me and Dupree and Ira and Abby.

Currently they’re touring behind rock legend Ray Davies of the Kinks, and the 88 (with Davies) will perform at a SXSW showcase on Thursday at La Zona Rosa.  Davies usually does an acoustic set then The 88 joins him to perform Kinks classics.  We caught up with Adam Merrin:

30 Days Out: You guys seem to be one of the hardest-working bands around … can you tell me a little about how you got noticed, and what were the biggest obstacles you faced in getting started?

Adam Merrin: When The 88 first started playing live, we booked as many shows as we could around the Los Angeles area. We put up fliers and posters at all the local coffee shops, record stores and restaurants. One thing that worked extremely well for us was making CD samplers that we would hand out at local shows. We would also include fliers for our next show inside the CDs which definitely helped bring people out to see us play. We made thousands of those, and they were a lot more fun to give to people than fliers that would get thrown on the ground.

Continue reading

Party Hard! Time for SXSW

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on March 12, 2010 by 30daysout

Andrew WK is going to be all over Austin this week

A few years ago, I made the mistake of taking my wife and kids to a free “side party” at South by Southwest (SXSW) in Austin.   It was a band from Canada, Priestess … and as they came on stage, before anyone strapped on an instrument, even before the introduction, one of the band members said, “We are going to fuck you!”  At that moment, my wife and daughter decided to wait in the car.

So here we are again, at the beginning of another big SXSW week in Texas, with an estimated 3,000 (lowball estimate) music acts set to perform, the city of Austin is beckoning.  When you get close enough, when you can smell the barbecue and almost taste the beer, the city leans in and whispers in your ear: “We are going to fuck you.”

Ho ho.  So we are going to jump right in.  We hope to see those crazy British rock-and-rollers the Jim Jones Revue, and we would kind of like to see Japandroids, Surfer Blood, The xx, Oh No Ono, Fucked Up, Dr. Dog or any of the other “buzz” bands appearing but realistically we may wind up seeing only one from the list above.  When I mean “we,” I mean my 15-year-old son and myself, plus my college-freshman daughter and her boyfriend.   That will tend to limit the field substantially.

Well, Andrew WK is playing about seven different venues during SXSW,

Court Yard Hounds

including a (scheduled) 3 a.m . show Saturday morning at the South by South Mess festival.  We’re gonna be there for that.  Jakob Dylan, with Neko Case and Kelly Hogan singing backup, will play a few spots including Rachael Ray’s big party at Stubb’s.  Pop folkie darlings She & Him, Justin Townes Earle and Bob Schneider are also on that bill – along with Andrew WK.  We’ll try and hit that one too.  Some other big names – like the Court Yard Hounds (two-thirds of the Dixie Chicks), Alejandro Escovedo, Ray Davies, Harper Simon (son of Paul) and Muse – are gonna play too. We have no chance in hell of seeing any of those (except for Escovedo, who will bring his Orchestra to play a big free South by San Jose show Friday night).  There’s a big outdoor gathering, the Mess with Texas party, and Saturday’s lineup includes over-the-top cartoon rockers Gwar, Crystal Antlers, Japandroids and our partyin’ buddy Andrew WK.  Yeah!

Tell you what – we’re gonna hit some of those, take a few photos and maybe some video and get back to you Saturday and Sunday.  If you’re coming down, go here or here or here to get a lineup of all the free stuff.  If not, check out our SXSW preview:

MP3: “Basic Space” by The xx

MP3: “Swim (To Reach The End)” by Surfer Blood

MP3: “No Epiphany” by Fucked Up

MP3: “Delight” by Court Yard Hounds

MP3: “Shooting Star” by Harper Simon

MP3: “In The Sun” by She & Him

MP3: “Nothing But The Whole Wide World” by Jakob Dylan w/Neko Case & Kelly Hogan

MP3: “Art Czars” by Japandroids

MP3: “Ladykiller” by Priestess

MP3: “Rock and Roll Psychosis” by the Jim Jones Revue

MP3: “Party (You Shout)” by Andrew WK

Official SXSW website

30 Days Out’s SXSW survival guide

New “Orange Is In” tune available on iTunes

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on March 11, 2010 by 30daysout

“Someone Came To Help Me,” a new tune by Houston rockers Orange Is In is now available on iTunes. The song was inspired by transplant patients and donor families. If iTunes isn’t your cup of tea, it’s also available on Rhapsody, Lala, Limewire, Napster, Nokia, Zune and eMusic. Bassist Jeff Balke and vocalist George Kovacik will perform the song at the following events during Donate Life Month in April:

April 15 – LifeGift Donate Life Month event – Texas Medical Center Commons, Houston – 11:30 a.m.

April 16 – The Methodist Hospital Transplant Center event – Marriot/Texas Medical Center, Houston – 11 a.m

For more information on organ donation, check out The Methodist Hospital Transplant Center in Houston, LifeGift Houston and Donate Life America.

Orange Is In Facebook page

Orange Is In MySpace page

Review: “San Patricio,” The Chieftains & Ry Cooder

Posted in Review with tags , , , on March 11, 2010 by 30daysout

The first few songs on the brilliant new album San Patricio are the musical equivalent of opening a surprise gift on Christmas Day.  A delicate Mexican flavored tune happily strummed on guitars suddenly takes on the flavor of an Irish reel, and singers in Spanish begin this unique musical journey.

This album is by the revered Irish band the Chieftains, known for their evocative instrumentals and all-star collaborations (The Long Black Veil, and the Christmas album The Bells of Dublin), and roots music curator and stellar guitarist Ry Cooder.  San Patricio tells the musical story of Irish immigrants who left their homeland during the Potato Famine of 1845 to begin a new life in America.  Some were drafted into the U.S. Army, fighting in the Mexican-American War only to encounter the same sort of injustices they left behind in Ireland.  Thus was born the San Patricio Battalion — Irishmen fighting alongside Mexicans against Americans.

The music on San Patricio (Spanish for “St. Patrick”) is continually astounding and engaging – guest singer Linda Ronstadt lends her tequila-clear voice to “A la Orilla de una Palmar,” to contrast the husky bolero “Luz de Luna” sung by 91-year-old ranchera singer Chavela Vargas.  Cooder’s weathered voice and shimmering guitar enhance “The Sands Of Mexico,” and even Oscar-nominated Irish actor Liam Neeson turns up, talk-singing on the stirring “March To Battle (Across The Rio Grande).”  The cast of guest performers includes legendary arranger Van Dyke Parks, Mexican singer Lila Downs, Moya Brennan from Clannad and Latin Grammy winners Los Tigres del Norte.

San Patricio is more than a musical history lesson or a curiosity for the NPR crowd.  It’s a treasure chest of surprising and engaging music and a tribute to the brilliance of Chieftains leader Paddy Moloney, who came up with the idea for this project more than 15 years ago.  It’s a great album, also perfect for St. Paddy’s day.

MP3: “La Iguana” (featuring Lila Downs)

MP3: “The Sands of Mexico” (featuring Ry Cooder)

The Chieftains official website

Ry Cooder fan page


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