Archive for July, 2011

Concert for Bangladesh is now digital

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , on July 27, 2011 by 30daysout

George Harrison at the Concert for Bangladesh, 1971.

To celebrate the 40th anniversary of The Concert for Bangladesh, George Harrison’s Grammy-winning album is now available at the iTunes Store, 40 years after the historic concert event on August 1, 1971. The concert featured Harrison, Ringo Starr, Eric Clapton, Leon Russell, Bob Dylan and others to benefit the country, hit by a typhoon and ravaged by war.

In the altruistic spirit which gave birth to The Concert for Bangladesh, each download will benefit the George Harrison Fund for UNICEF — helping to provide immediate emergency relief for children in famine and drought-stricken regions in the Horn of Africa.

Visit TheConcertForBangladesh.com to find out about The Concert and the George Harrison Fund For UNICEF.

The Concert for Bangladesh feature film will stream in its entirety in a 72-hour online event. The free video stream will be available worldwide from Saturday, July 30 through Monday, August 1 on iTunes as well as TheConcertForBangladesh.com and GeorgeHarrison.com.

A 5-minute video trailer for the album and a 49-minute radio program about The Concert for Bangladesh are also now available for free streaming on iTunes.com/TheBeatles.

MP3: “A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall” by Bob Dylan, George Harrison, Leon Russell and Ringo Starr

YouTube: “Jumpin’ Jack Flash/Youngblood” by Leon Russell (dig that outfit!)

YouTube: “Here Comes The Sun” by George Harrison w/Pete Ham of Badfinger


Southeast Texas singer Dave Shaw, R.I.P.

Posted in News with tags , on July 27, 2011 by 30daysout

We got to know singer Dave Shaw last year, when he received a heart transplant in Houston. So we were saddened to learn that Dave died on Tuesday, at the age of 61.

He was lead singer of the band Eazy, which played numerous gigs around Texas and Louisiana. Their music is a gumbo blend of rock and roll, R&B and a bit of rockabilly made spicy with some Cajun seasoning, otherwise known as swamp pop.

Beaumont Enterprise obituary on Dave Shaw

More Monday Blues

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , on July 25, 2011 by 30daysout

Sonny Boy Williamson II

In most places it is still probably way too hot to feel good about gettin’ up and goin’ to work on a Monday. So let’s blow some blues today.

MP3: “Fattening Frogs For Snakes” by Sonny Boy Williamson

MP3: “Tell Me Mama” by Little Walter

MP3: “Boom Boom” by John Lee Hooker

MP3: “Midnight Special” by Odetta

MP3: “Who Do You Love” by Bo Diddley

MP3: “Evil (Is Going On)” by Howlin’ Wolf

MP3: “Trust In Me” by Etta James

MP3: “I Ain’t Gonna Do It No More” by Jimmie Vaughan

MP3: “Floating Bridge” by Gregg Allman

MP3: “Whipping Boy Blues” (Swamp mix) by Whitesnake

Back from NYC: A Rock and Roll Tour

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , , , on July 24, 2011 by 30daysout

An iconic wall of stickers and fliers, preserved under glass at what used to be CBGB's.

Remind me never to go back to New York City in the dead of summer: walking along the city’s sidewalks as the sun sizzled temperatures to near 97 was just as hellish as any August day in our hometown of Houston. But it wasn’t just the heat that reminded us of Texas – it seemed everywhere you turned, there was music in the big city.

The summertime is perfect for live music in New York, and there are plenty of “canned” live music events to satisfy any tourist, including but not limited to the Friday-morning TV-ready “concerts” staged for the network morning news shows. We didn’t do those anyway – we had our hands full with all the other things going on.

New York City is of course a cradle of rock and roll history. You can go to about 100 places that have some significance in music history, from the Brill Building to the Iridium Club (where Les Paul used to play live on a weekly basis) to the Strawberry Fields-John Lennon memorial in Central Park (along with the adjacent Dakota apartment building).

Hard Rock Cafe exhibit is a reminder of our great recent loss.

We got the tourist stuff out of the way first, heading to the big Hard Rock Cafe in Times Square which is an attraction not for its food but for its rich store of rock memorabilia. No shortage of Beatles stuff here – from the actual doors from the Abbey Road studios, to early Beatles matching stage costumes, to beautiful album art covers autographed by all four Beatles, it’s a Fab Four mother lode.

We were lucky enough to sit right under a Bruce Springsteen exhibit with a Boss guitar, a Little Steven guitar and a Clarence Clemons saxophone. We paid tribute once more to the Big Man – a great, great artist. Did you know that the Hard Rock is located in what used to be NYC’s Paramount Theatre, where rock and roll pioneer Alan Freed staged some of his seminal shows back in the day? It’s also the place where Elvis’ first movie Love Me Tender had its world premiere in 1956.

We also walked into Greenwich Village, and in Washington Square park there were at least seven bands playing for tips along the sidewalks. Soon we were on Bleeker headed for the former location of CBGBs on Bowery St. The seminal punk club closed in 2006, and virtually overnight the owners uprooted just about anything that wasn’t nailed down for a possible rebirth of the club someplace else.

I’d never been in the neighborhood before,  it didn’t seem the kind of place that hordes of mohawked and safety-pin-pierced punks would frequent, but I understand many things have changed since 1977. Right now the old CBGBs is an upscale fashion boutique ($800 for a leather jacket, and not a cool one at that!) and pretty much the only concession to history are some patches of wall that still sport hundreds of stickers and fliers from the punk daze, protected under a clear glass window.

Pretty much everywhere you turn in Greenwich Village, you see written on the subway walls and tenement halls two words of graffiti: “Lou Reed.” In one three-block stroll on the way to the former CBGBs, I think I must have seen that name scrawled at least 100 times. I surmised that the graffiti had been created by Lou himself, after some sort of guerilla-marketing brainstorm (or a six pack). No matter – Lou Reed is perhaps the No. 1 rocker that comes to mind when I think of New York City.

Like I said: it's written everywhere in Greenwich Village.

Lou is also the unofficial King of Coney Island (King Neptune), and the next day we found ourselves on the D train headed for Brooklyn and Coney Island. There was a free concert on Coney Island the night before, with San Antonio’s Girl In A Coma and Joan Jett and the Blackhearts headlining, but nobody wanted to ride the subway back late at night. So we arrived on the Boardwalk right about high noon, and there were smells of suntan lotion, hot dogs and cologne everywhere. I looked around for Lou, but no luck; I did, however, catch a few bars of “Coney Island Baby” emanating from Cha-Cha’s Bar & Cafe.

Later that night, back in Manhattan, we cleaned up and attended “Spider Man: Turn Off The Dark” on Broadway. Although Bono and the Edge were rumored to be in town for an appearance on David Letterman, they were no-shows at the play. We particularly enjoyed one scene, where Peter Parker and Mary Jane dance in a club to U2’s “Vertigo.” It is the best song in the show.

Then, finally, the next night we headed for the Bronx to see some guy sing Beatles songs in Yankee Stadium. You can read all about that below; even the part about the guest walk-on by Billy Joel, who Paul McCartney called “a friend of New York.” I would have to agree with that – mostly. Nobody asked me, but if you want Mr. Rock and Roll New York, go down to Greenwich Village and read the graffiti.

MP3: “Coney Island Baby” (live) by Lou Reed

Live: Paul McCartney, New York City

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on July 17, 2011 by 30daysout

Giant video Paul flanks himself, that little white dot in the middle of the stage.

New York City is arguably the world’s biggest stage for any music artist, and when a legend like Paul McCartney wants to kick off a tour in the Big Apple he needs an outta-site venue, the best of the best. So McCartney took over brand-new Yankee Stadium for a two-night stand over the weekend and launched his “On The Run” tour, which right now has scheduled stops in only four more U.S. cities.

We caught Sir Paul’s second night in NYC, and the 69-year-old former Beatle turned in a musical marathon performance that would make Bruce Springsteen proud. McCartney played Beatles classics, Wings favorites and some choice selections from his recent past, doing about 36 songs during a three-hour show. Opening with “Magical Mystery Tour,” McCartney was in fine voice and only three songs in, he rekindled Beatlemania with a rousing version of “All My Loving,” from 1963.

You didn't have to be close to feel like you were.

Jesus, are these songs really about a half century old? That didn’t stop the audience – including an awful lot of kids born after Wings, not to mention the Beatles – from singing along. McCartney pulled out “The Night Before,” from Help!, which he explained he hasn’t performed live until this tour.

“Paperback Writer” rocked, and even the Wings warhorse “Let Me Roll It” spiraled into a short instrumental cover of “Foxey Lady,” which McCartney dedicated to Jimi Hendrix.

Sir Paul also didn’t forget to remember his fallen bandmates, following a sublime “Eleanor Rigby” with George Harrison’s “Something,” which got one of the biggest ovations of the night. McCartney also remembered his dear friend John Lennon with “Here Today” and a rousing “A Day In The Life,” morphing into “Give Peace A Chance.”

If there was a surprise for the night, to me it was the five songs from the Beatles’ White Album: “Back In The U.S.S.R.,” “Ob-La-Di, Ob-La-Da,” “I Will,” “Helter Skelter” and “Blackbird,” which McCartney explained was written in response to the U.S. civil rights movement during the 1960s. He also did five more from another album, Band On The Run: the title song, “Let Me Roll It,” “Jet,” “Mrs. Vanderbilt” and “Nineteen Hundred Eighty Four.”

The encore guest shot by Billy Joel on “I Saw Her Standing There” was a surprise only if you believed the beer-line rumors of appearances by Elton John, Bono and the Edge or even Bruce Springsteen. Wishful thinking, but McCartney didn’t need any help.

Armed with easily the greatest catalog in the history of rock, McCartney could have sleepwalked through this show and still given everyone their money’s worth. But he came out rocking, never leaving the stage even while his younger bandmates took a few breaks, playing a dizzying variety of instruments and hitting pretty much every note like it was 1969 all over again. In fact, I thought he was in much better voice than he exhibited on the 2009 live CD/DVD Good Evening New York City – simply amazing.

By the time the full moon started to peek over the upper bleachers of Yankee Stadium, McCartney’s show was nearing its third hour with the standards “Let It Be,” “Hey Jude,” “Get Back” and the fireworks exploding around “Live And Let Die.”

With the final song lyrics “And in the end, the love you take is equal to the love you make” still echoing in our ears, we hit the subway to go from the Bronx back to Manhattan. And there in the Herald Square subway station, playing their hearts out after midnight, was a live band doing “I Want To Hold Your Hand.” A nice end to a great night of rock and roll.

Hollywood Reporter‘s roundup of reviews for McCartney’s Yankee Stadium shows

WCBS-FM review of McCartney’s second night show, with setlist and more photos

Rolling Stone review of the second night

YouTube: “Maybe I’m Amazed” from Yankee Stadium

YouTube: “I Saw Her Standing There” with Billy Joel

Paul McCartney official website

A special t-shirt was created for the NYC concerts.

It was a great night to be in NYC.

Video Du Jour: Texas Tornados

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , on July 9, 2011 by 30daysout

Taking a little break here, yeah it’s vacation but it’s also gonna be a wild week in New York City. Surely we’ll find something that is worth posting about next week …

In the meantime, please feel free to enjoy this version of “Mendocino,” the Sir Douglas Quintet classic covered by the beloved Texas Tornados with Augie Meyer, Flaco Jimenez and Sir Doug’s very own son Shawn Sahm. Best enjoyed under a big Texas summer moon, but any way is great.

Happy Birthday, Ringo!

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , on July 8, 2011 by 30daysout

Ringo Starr celebrated his 71st birthday on Thursday, and a former bandmate paid tribute to him. Ha, this is just great.

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