Archive for August, 2008

Got Them Ol’ Gustav Blues

Posted in News with tags , , on August 29, 2008 by 30daysout

Well, here we go again – a storm is threatening Louisiana (or Texas – who knows?).  This week is the anniversary of Katrina’s visit to New Orleans three years ago; let’s hope our Republican friends gathering up in Minnesota next week remember to pay attention to the little sprinkle someone along the Gulf Coast is bound to get.

Here are some reminders:

MP3: “Talkin’ Bout New Orleans” by The Meters

MP3: “Cast Your Fate To The Wind” by Allen Toussaint

MP3: “What’s Going On” by Dirty Dozen Brass Band with Chuck D

MP3: “Fortunate Son” by the New Orleans Social Club

MP3: “Hurricane” by Levon Helm

MP3: “God Forsaken Town” by Reckless Kelly

MP3: “Children Of The Storm” by Mudcrutch

MP3: “Louisiana 1927” by Randy Newman

Preview: “Rock n’ Roll Train” by AC/DC

Posted in News with tags , on August 29, 2008 by 30daysout

Stream the new single, “Rock n’ Roll Train” from AC/DC at their website.  It rocks!  It’s from the album Black Ice, to be released October 20 at a Wal-Mart and Sam’s Club near you.  Or, check out the above mentioned website for pre-sale bundles with T-shirts, caps and other good stuff.

AC/DC official website

Review: “Join The Band,” Little Feat

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on August 29, 2008 by 30daysout

If you don’t know Little Feat, you don’t know jack.  All but forgotten in the increasingly moldy museum of Classic Rock Radio and seemingly remembered only by hardcore old-timers, Little Feat was arguably the best band of the 1970s.  In an era when artists aggressively pigeonholed and categorized themselves (Led Zeppelin = Hard Rock; Journey = Arena Rock, etc.) Little Feat staunchly maintained their outsider status throughout the peak of their run.

That run was, of course, the years that the band was led by the brilliant Lowell George.  A great songwriter, singer and (maybe) guitar player as well as a hopeless junkie who flamed out and finally died in 1979, Lowell George was the cracked heart and soul of Little Feat.  The best albums he made with the Feat – Sailin’ Shoes (1972), Dixie Chicken (1973) and Feats Don’t Fail Me Now (1974) – are essential additions to any rock library.

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Review: “One Kind Favor,” B.B. King

Posted in Review with tags , , on August 28, 2008 by 30daysout

Hands down the best blues album of the year, and one of the year’s best in any genre, One Kind Favor is a triumphant return to form for one of American music’s classic artists.  At age 82, B.B. King returns to his blues roots and offers 12 covers of songs that influenced him in his early years.  Produced by T-Bone Burnett (John Mellencamp, Robert Plant/Alison Krauss), the album is certainly a highlight for the venerable King.  They tried to make it sound like an album recorded in the 1950s and the band – including Jim Keltner on drums, Dr. John on piano and Nathan East on standup bass – provides solid backup while not stealing the spotlight from B.B. and, of course, Lucille.  It’s tough to pick out highlights on an album this strong, but “Blues Before Sunrise” (from John Lee Hooker) has a nice groove and “How Many More Years” (Howlin’ Wolf) is a rousing stomper, while “See That My Grave Is Kept Clean” (Blind Lemon Jefferson) bobs along with a jaunty second-line beat.   King’s not afraid to slow it down with “Get These Blues Off Me” or “My Love Is Down.”  Like Buddy Guy’s current Skin Deep, B.B. King has produced an unexpectedly strong album in his twilight years.  One Kind Favor is an essential addition to any serious collection of American music.  Highly recommended.

MP3: “Blues Before Sunrise”

MP3: “Get These Blues Off Me”

B. B. King official website

Live Alert: The Cute Lepers, Houston

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

If you were around in the days of punk and New Wave, this publicity photo of The Cute Lepers is a throwback.  And so is the band’s music: “Terminal Boredom” has the herky-jerky quality of the quirkiest punk and New Wave.  They walk the walk and dress the part.  And because their song is so, ah, cute … we’ll let you know that the Seattle-based band is appearing in Houston on Wednesday (August 27) at Walter’s on Washington, 4215 Washington Ave.

They are touring to support the new album Can’t Stand Modern Music on Blackheart Records (yes, Joan Jett’s label).  Alternative Press raves, “Catchy and crisp, it’s just raw enough to tart the sweetness.”  OK … but if you still wear skinny ties and checkered deck shoes, this is the show for you.  Ten bucks cover, three other bands on the bill, music starts at 8 p.m. and this is an all-ages show. 

The Cute Lepers MySpace page

YouTube: “Terminal Boredom”

 

Holy Headbangers! Rattling the Metal Bucket

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , on August 26, 2008 by 30daysout

A big bucket o’ stuff from the metal end of the spectrum today, to help shake loose the remaining aftereffects of our encounter with the Masters of Metal tour last weekend.

Mötorhead hits stores today with a new album, Mötorizer.   It’s the 24th album for this venerable metal trio, led by bassist/head growler Lemmy Kilmister and aided and abetted by mainstays Phil Campbell (guitar) and Mikkey Dee (drums).  Lemmy is 62 years old, but he hasn’t slowed down – if you know anything about Mötorhead, you know their rock is basic, straightforward and in-your-face like a Pittsburgh Steelers lineman.  Mötorizer, energized by tunes like “Rock Out” (an anthem) and “Runaround Man,” is out of control like a Harley on a kindergarten playground.

MP3: “Rock Out” by Mötorhead

MP3: “Runaround Man” by Mötorhead

Black Ice, the first studio album in eight years from AC/DC, goes on sale Oct. 20 exclusively at Wal-Mart, Sam’s Club and the AC/DC website.  No word yet on what extras the package will contain, but it’s likely one bundle will include a DVD with a 1996 show from Madrid.  And a few weeks later, the Scottish-Australian rock unit will mount a world tour, their first since 2001.  We couldn’t get our hands on any downloads, but the AC/DC website has some tantalizing snippets from Black Ice.

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Bruce and Bon Jovi sing for Obama

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , on August 25, 2008 by 30daysout

Published reports say Bruce and Bon Jovi are set to play this Thursday when Democratic Presidential nominee Barack Obama accepts the party’s nomination. Read the full story.

Texas Music Spotlight: Fondue Monks

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on August 25, 2008 by 30daysout

 

Houston’s Fondue Monks play “Texas Funk” with a groove true to their Lone Star State roots. Driven by a dedication that borders on obsession, the “Monks” are married to the beat and know how to whip the crowd into a frenzy. Their live performances are a combination of raw energy, emotion and a funky vibe that is captivating and infectious.

The group, consisting of Denver Courtney on vocals, Steve Olson on guitar, Ronnie Zamorano on drums and Roz Zamorano on bass, are all highly-skilled musicians who have been been kicking it around Texas since 1991. The highlight of the band is bassist Zamorano. He’s uses the bass as solo instrument, as well as a rhythm instrument, in a way that is not annoying and very entertaining to watch.

The band, who has put out three discs including a live offering, has won the Houston Press “Best R&B, Funk, Soul Band” award for the past three years. They do the majority of their work in the Houston area, but they do get out and play the occasional out-of-town gig. So if you’re looking to hang out and a have good time with a great band, I recommend a night with the Fondue Monks.

MP3: So It Seems (Live) 

MP3: Breathe It In (Live)

MP3: Mojo Rising (Live)

Fondue Monks Official Website

DVD Review: “Live in Concert,” Journey

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on August 24, 2008 by 30daysout

 

Let me just start out by saying Journey guitarist Neal Schon absolutely kicks ass. This guy has never received his just-do. He has some of the best solos in rock history, yet you never hear him mentioned with the greats. Now that I’ve got that out of the way, on to Live in Concert.

This DVD comes with the new CD, Revelation, and features new singer Arnel Pineda belting out hits like “Don’t Stop Believin’,” “Faithfully,” “Lights,” “Wheel in the Sky,” and “Be Good to Yourself” along with two excellent new songs “Never Walk Away,” and “After All These Years.”

Now when a mega-band like Journey gets a new singer the new versions of the songs usually pale in comparison to the originals. However, that’s not the case here. Pineda is just as good, if not better, than Steve Perry and I think Perry was one of the great rock singers of his generation.

Pineda sings these very complex songs with relative ease, he has incredible stage presence and you can tell the rest of the guys in the band are really energized by him. Drummer Deen Castronovo is not only excellent behind the kit, but he also lends his lead vocals to a blistering version of “Mother, Father.” Keyboardist Jonathan Cain is solid as always and bassist Ross Valory looks like actor/comedian Denis Leary’s dad. Keep in mind, Leary is 50.

This DVD shows a band that has been re-energized by a hot new singer after more than 30 years on the road. It was well worth the $10.72 I paid for it….only at Walmart and Sam’s Club. Don’t Stop Believin’.

YouTube: Don’t Stop Believin’ (w/Arnel Pineda)

Journey Official Website

Review: Masters of Metal, Houston

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on August 24, 2008 by 30daysout

 

It was a beautifully metal moment: at the same moment guitar god Tony Iommi begins his bone-chilling solo in the song “Time Machine,” a bolt of lightning slashes across the sky above the Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion.  The Masters of Metal tour rolled through Houston Saturday night (Aug. 23) and despite this impromptu effect, most of the pyrotechnics were on the stage.

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