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.

Live: Steve Earle w/the Dukes & Duchesses, Houston

Posted in Review with tags , , , on July 7, 2011 by 30daysout

Steve Earle and band onstage at Houston's House of Blues.

With a career spanning close to four decades, Texas singer/songwriter Steve Earle has grown into quite the renaissance man. Not only is he a musician and performer of the highest caliber, he can also claim to also be an accomplished author, playwright, actor and political commentator.

Even though Earle’s appearance at Houston’s House of Blues Wednesday night (7/6) was as a musician and bandleader, evidence of his other interests couldn’t help but creep in.

He was backed by a fine band called the Dukes and Duchesses which includes Earle’s wife Allison Moorer, guitarist Chris Masterson, violinist Eleanor Whitmore (Masterson’s wife), bassist Kelly Looney and drummer Will Rigby.

They opened with a series of songs from Earle’s new album I’ll Never Get Out Of This World Alive, including the mandolin-driven “Molly-O” and hatin’-on-Bush screed “Little Emperor.” Earle’s “The Gulf Of Mexico,” about last summer’s Gulf oil spill, concluded with Earle declaring “Fuck BP!”

The first half of the show focused mainly on acoustic-based songs and it concluded with a three-song set from Moorer, who did her Academy Award-nominated “A Soft Place To Fall” (from the movie Horse Whisperer) and a soulful version of Sam Cooke’s “A Change Is Gonna Come.”

Roaring into the second half with “Copperhead Road” and the Irish jig “Galway Girl,” Earle displayed his deep catalog. He also talked a bit about his new novel, which has the same name as his new CD, and performed the Hank Williams song that gave both their titles. He also did a great version of “This City,” which closed out the first season of HBO’s series Treme, in which Earle did some acting.

It was at this point, nearly two hours into the show, when crowd chatter got so loud that it drowned out the between-song talking from the stage and a bit of the music. I’ve seen this before in Houston and I continue to be mystified by the number of assholes who pay a cover charge ($20 and up) just so they can go into a venue and talk while musicians perform live music.

Steve Earle (Photo by Ted Barron/New West Records)

Is this just a Houston phenomenon? Probably not – I’ve experienced it recently in Austin, where you wouldn’t expect this to happen. It just seems that otherwise reasonable adults go to these venues only to be “seen” and not to listen to music.

Anyhow, Steve Earle gave plenty of nods to the time he spent in Houston paying his dues – he did a fine cover of his mentor Townes Van Zandt’s “Pancho and Lefty” as well as a rousing version of “Telephone Road” after telling how he came to see ZZ Top headline a show (with the likes of Willie Nelson, Fleetwood Mac and the Doobie Brothers as openers) in H-town’s Jeppesen Stadium.

Then, for the second encore, Earle plugged in and the band roared through a version of ZZ Top’s “Francene” and followed that with Earle’s own “Home To Houston,” a Creedence soundalike.

In all, Earle and the Dukes and Duchesses played a little longer than two and a half hours and left the audience (at least those who came for the music) still wanting more. After this show, I’m convinced that Steve Earle is the best roots rocker on the road right now – go see him play this summer, if you can.

Steve Earle official website (with tour dates)

“Austin Music Minute” on KUT-FM, Austin

Article: “Is Steve Earle America’s greatest living songwriter?”

Steve Earle instores at Cactus Music & Record Ranch reviewed here and here

YouTube: “Every Part Of Me” from House of Blues show (thanks to


“Telephone Road”

“Francene”/”Home To Houston”/”The Unrepentant”

Backyard Fireball: Fourth of July Food!

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , on July 3, 2011 by 30daysout

What you eatin’ this Fourth of July? Grillin’ hot dogs and burgers out on the patio? Mm-hmmm, me too.

Gotta get that grill good and hot, preferably just this side of a thermonuclear conflagration. Throw on them weenies, a few burgers, and forget about ‘em until they’re good and black.

And you gotta have a cold beer or two (or seven) with that! Enjoy the Fourth, and keep on rockin.’

MP3: “Hot Barbecue” by Brother Jack McDuff

MP3: “Hamburger” by J Randall

MP3: “Hot Dog and a Bottle of Pop” by Harold Burrage

MP3: “Cole Slaw” by Jesse Stone

MP3: “Chicken Backs” by The Carpets

MP3: “Give Him Cornbread” by Beau Jocque & The Zydeco Hi-Rollers

MP3: “Southern Fried Chicken 2″ by Bill Thomas & the Fendells

MP3: “Two Triple Cheese, Side Order of Fries” by Commander Cody & the Lost Planet Airmen

MP3: “Fried Neck Bones and Some Home Fries” (live at Woodstock) by Santana

MP3: “Barbecue Blues” by Barbecue Bob

MP3: “Beer Ain’t Drinkin’ ” by Mojo Nixon

MP3: “Beer Drinkers and Hell Raisers” by ZZ Top

More barbecue songs at our springtime Backyard Fireball post

Celebrate Your Freedom

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , on July 3, 2011 by 30daysout

We are taking a few days off to celebrate our country’s birthday and if you are an astute reader, you will know this is simply last year’s July 4 post with a few extra songs tossed in.

Wherever you are, take a few moments to appreciate your freedom – and remember there are still places in the world where armed thugs can kick down your door and drag you away just for reading this blog.  Celebrate freedom this weekend, and let it ring around the world.

You are welcome to enjoy the enclosed music at your summer party.  See ya!

MP3: “Star Spangled Banner/Purple Haze” (live at Woodstock) by Jimi Hendrix

MP3: “American Idiot” (live) by Green Day

MP3: “Do You Remember the Americans” (alternate track) by Manassas

MP3: “Red, White and Blue” (live) by Lynyrd Skynyrd

MP3: “Promised Land” by Chuck Berry

MP3: “Freedom” by Richie Havens (2009 version)

MP3: “Simple Song Of Freedom” by Tim Hardin (live at Woodstock)

MP3: “Every Hand In The Land” by Arlo Guthrie (live at Woodstock)

MP3: “I Shall Be Free” by Bob Dylan

MP3: “Back In The U.S.A.” (live)  by Edgar Winter’s White Trash w/Rick Derringer

MP3: “American Tune” by Paul Simon

MP3: “America, Fuck Yeah”  by Team America, South Park or whatever

MP3: “Living In America” by James Brown

MP3: “U. S. Blues” by the Grateful Dead

MP3: “Spirit Of America” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “Momma Miss America” by Paul McCartney

MP3: “Rockin’ In The Free World” (live) by Neil Young & Crazy Horse

MP3: “Free and Freaky (In The U.S.A.)” by the Stooges

MP3: “Fourth of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band

MP3: “Last Night I Had The Strangest Dream” by Johnny Cash


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