Archive for May, 2008

With A Little Help For Their Friends

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on May 26, 2008 by 30daysout

Between 1963 and 1969 the songwriting team of Lennon/McCartney produced 21 songs for other artists, who took some of them to the upper reaches of the British pop charts.  These songs were never officially recorded or released by the Beatles, although some “bootleg” versions have surfaced over the years. 

In the early days most of these artists who recorded Beatles originals were artists signed by Brian Epstein, the Beatles’ manager.  Usually Epstein gave away “leftover” songs to these artists, most of these were written by McCartney alone.  Some of these were big hits and “World Without Love,” by Peter & Gordon, was a No. 1 U.K. and U.S. smash in 1964.

Cilla Black, a British TV star of the time, had a couple of hits with McCartney-penned songs, as did Mary Hopkin, who recorded for the Beatles’ Apple Records in the late 1960s.  Billy J. Kramer & the Dakotas had four U.K. hits with McCartney songs.  Lennon, for his part, wrote songs for British group The Fourmost.

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Happy Holiday – Comments Welcome!

Posted in Rock Rant with tags on May 24, 2008 by 30daysout

Let’s all take a few days to observe the great sacrifice our fighting men and women have made toward the protection of our freedom, including our sacred freedom of expression.  This freedom is best when it’s exercised, so here’s a reminder that we welcome your expression in the form of comments.

We love the music as much as you do.  And we love to hear from our reader(s) when something we post inspires, interests or irritates you.  Some weeks back 30 Days Out experienced some lively traffic from Peter Gabriel fans when we posted some unreleased material, and we appreciated hearing from all of you both stateside and from Europe. 

Just the other day we compared Death Cab For Cutie to the Beatles, and nobody commented.  Doesn’t anyone want to argue?  It’s OK if you like just like to read and would rather not comment – everyone’s welcome.  But if you have an itchy trigger finger, let it fly.  Is there anybody alive out there?

See ya next week!

Dancin’ Into The Holiday Weekend

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , on May 23, 2008 by 30daysout

For your weekend viewing pleasure, Billy Squier’s 1984 video for “Rock Me Tonite.”  Although the song was his biggest hit, the video was utterly horrible.  Squier later admitted that this video was responsible for destroying what was until that point a fairly successful rock career.  Take one look and see why.

YouTube: “Rock Me Tonite” by Billy Squier

MP3: “Rock Me Tonite” (if you’d rather not see Billy dancing)

Review: Iron Maiden, Houston

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on May 23, 2008 by 30daysout

 

Oh man, Iron Maiden is real metal.  The venerated British band roared through Houston’s Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion Thursday night and played to a fevered and appreciative crowd.  What can you say … they kicked it off with a film of Winston Churchill and “Aces High,” and we were off to the races.

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Friday is Boss’ Day: Springsteen’s TV Performances

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , on May 23, 2008 by 30daysout

Once upon a time, television and rock music were nearly total strangers.  Despite the Beatles, Elvis, etc. on the “Ed Sullivan Show” and groundbreaking appearances by people like Bob Dylan on the variety shows by Johnny Cash and the Smothers Brothers, rock musicians were fairly hard to find on TV.  Then along came “Don Kirschner’s Rock Concerts,” “In Concert” on late-night ABC, “The Midnight Special,” “Saturday Night Live,” and the obstacles started to fall.

By the 1980s and the advent of MTV, rock musicians and their handlers knew the way to sell more records was to get a video on the air.  Already established stars like Bruce Springsteen didn’t jump on the video bandwagon right off – Springsteen’s first official music video was “Atlantic City” in 1982 but he didn’t appear in it.

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Review: “Lay It Down,” Al Green

Posted in Review with tags , , , on May 22, 2008 by 30daysout

Al Green follows the template for veteran artists (Billboard magazine calls them “Heritage” artists) who have released new albums with some version of their classic sound.  Much like Springsteen, Fogerty, Steve Winwood, et. al. before him, Green follows the basic pattern of his 1970s albums and produces a semi-satisfying blend of old and new.  Lay It Down finds the Rev. Green indulging in pleasures of the flesh with guests like the comely Corinne Bailey Rae on “Take Your Time,” and mellow John Legend on “Stay With Me (By The Sea). ”  If anything, the youngsters labor to keep up with this veteran Soul Man.  Otherwise, everything’s here – the Memphis-style horns, the strings, the mellow soul vibes – but Green’s voice is the main attraction.  His singing elevates the average material onto a new plane, and he needs no guest star help to turn a song like “Just For Me” into something special.  So if you’re in the mood for some panty-droppin’ soul music slip into the new Al Green … it may not be groundbreaking but it’s very, very comfortable.

MP3: Just For Me by Al Green

Al Green official website

Review: Texas Music (Summer Edition)

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on May 21, 2008 by 30daysout

Don’t know about you, but here in the Lone Star state the weather is telling us summer’s here.  Time to clean the pool, dust off the barbecue grill and pop a few tops (of Lone Star Beer, naturally).  We understand gasoline is 4 bucks a gallon so we won’t be too offended if you don’t visit over the Memorial Day weekend.  So here’s some freshly minted music from Texas, as a little holiday gift to you.

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Rock Moment: Sir Douglas Goes New Wave

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , on May 21, 2008 by 30daysout

 

One of the most influential figures in Texas music was the late, great Doug Sahm. Even though he was somewhat underappreciated on a national scale, he nonetheless put together a body of work whose range surpasses even that of Willie Nelson.

Beginning with the seminal Sir Douglas Quintet in the mid-1960s, Sahm’s music encompassed British Invasion pop, Gulf Coast blues and spicy Mexican conjunto to form a joyous blend that resulted in the hits “She’s About A Mover” and “Mendocino.”  Later in his career Sahm would show he was equally at ease with country, 1960s psychedelia and big-band blues and pop.

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Review: “Stop, Drop and Roll,” The Foxboro Hot Tubs

Posted in Review with tags , on May 20, 2008 by 30daysout

 

By this time only your grandmother probably doesn’t know that the Foxboro Hot Tubs are really Green Day, taking a vacation from doing their faux-1970s punk rock thing by doing a faux-1960s punk rock thing.  Actually, Stop, Drop and Roll isn’t too bad, but anyone of a certain age (or anyone who listens regularly to “Little Steven’s Underground Garage”) has heard it all before.  The music here is basically in the style of 1960s garage rock and it’s all pretty peppy.  “Mother Mary” is a fine single, as is “The Pedestrian,” and “Pieces of Truth” actually has some decent British Invasion guitar.  “Alligator” recalls the Kinks, “Dark Side Of Night” has a flute swiped from the Mamas and the Papas, and so on.  I shouldn’t complain too hard – this has way more energy and craftsmanship than most releases by young rock bands these days.  Green Day released some of the songs as free downloads earlier, you can probably find these if you looked hard enough.  And the Foxboro Hot Tubs are playing tiny Emo’s in Austin this week (Thursday, May 22) … good luck getting in.  Ticket info at their website.

MP3: Mother Mary

MP3: The Pedestrian

The Foxboro Hot Tubs official website  

It’s Time To Enshrine The Faces!

Posted in Rock Rant, Uncategorized with tags , , , , , on May 20, 2008 by 30daysout

So nice to see that Madonna is now a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame & Museum – now that’s out of the way, let’s get down to some serious business.  Like placing the great Faces in the Hall of Fame.

The Faces rocked the late 1960s and early 1970s like no one else, including the Rolling Stones.  First known as the Small Faces, the core group of keyboardist Ian McLagan, bassist Ronnie Lane and drummer Kenney Jones found themselves at a crossroads when lead singer Steve Marriott left the group.

Salvation came in the form of two new members: guitarist Ron Wood and singer Rod Stewart.  So in 1970 the Small Faces became simply the Faces, and they came on like a bunch of rowdy boozers who just happened to be great musicians.  With Lane (and sometimes McLagan) the group already had strong songwriting, but Stewart and Wood contributed some great numbers too, like the classic “Stay With Me.”

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