Archive for January, 2009

Lost Classics! – The Reivers

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , on January 30, 2009 by 30daysout

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Fitzgerald’s is a crusty old dive in The Heights section of Houston.  The white wood on its facade falling apart, the upstairs floor so weak you always felt like you were going to fall through, “Fitz” has seen its share of acts since opening its doors in 1977.  ZZ Top, Etta James, David Allan Coe. and even the “Godfather of Soul” James Brown are just a few who lit up the stage.

In the mid-80s, I was playing drums for The Surrealtors.  We were asked by the brass at Fitzgeralds to open for a band called The Reivers, a four-piece pop band from Austin.  We immediately went out and purchased their debut CD for Capitol Records called Saturday.  From the opening track, “What Am I Doing?,” I was hooked.  The rough male voice of lead singer and writer John Croslin, mixed with the beautiful soaring vocals of Kim Longacre, made for a unique and unforgettable blend. The songs had a lot of melody, jangly guitars and a raw energy reminiscent of early R.E.M.  I saw them about 10 times during a two-year period and every show was better than the last one.

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The Ads You Won’t See on Super Sunday

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 30, 2009 by 30daysout

You will NOT see these ads during Sunday’s Super Bowl telecast:

 

John Lydon (in a bathrobe) hawking Country Life butter

These videos and much more at AdFreak.com blog

Springsteen and the E Street Band talk Super Bowl

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , , on January 30, 2009 by 30daysout

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Bruce and the band actually did a press conference yesterday. One of the reporters brought up the fact that it was the first one Bruce has been a part of since the Human Rights Now Tour in 1988. Anyway, a few things we found out were that the Working On A Dream Tour will apparently continue in the U.S. after the Aug. 2 gig in Spain and that Bruce knows nothing about football. He said when he hears the words Pittsburgh Steelers he still thinks about Terry Bradshaw. What he does know is music and he promises a rockin’ 12-minute show on Sunday. Check out the press conference here. Also, check out Bruce on “Mad Dog Radio” on Sirius/XM Radio.

Video: “Kingdom of Days,” Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , on January 29, 2009 by 30daysout

Here’s the video for “Kingdom of Days,” another excellent track off Working On A Dream.

Rock Moment: Roger Miller

Posted in Rock Moment with tags on January 29, 2009 by 30daysout

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The work of Roger Miller always seems, to me, a product of its place and time; so that’s why he’s a “Rock Moment.”  Miller was a singer and songwriter in the mid-1960s, and for lack of a better description he was a country artist.  But his music wasn’t that easy to pigeonhole.  He first hit the charts in 1964 with a ditty called “Dang Me,” which was a Top 10 pop and country hit.  He always looked pretty straight for the times, but songs like “My Uncle Used To Love Me (But She Died)” were really out there.

Of course, his biggest hit was “King Of The Road” in 1965, and it was an unusual song for its time and place.  Miller’s song is about a bum who nevertheless feels like a king because he has his freedom.  The song’s irony and humor is natural and unforced, and Miller painted a vivid character sketch in just a few simple phrases – just the sort of thing that writers like John Lennon, Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and Bruce Springsteen would be heralded for in later years. 

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Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist dies

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , on January 28, 2009 by 30daysout

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Lynyrd Skynyrd keyboardist Billy Powell died last night at age 56. The cause of death is unknown. Powell went from roadie to keyboardist for the mega-popular southern rock band from Jacksonville, FL. He got the gig after late lead singer Ronnie Van Zant  heard him play “Free Bird.”  

No matter what you think about Lynyrd Skynyrd, Powell’s keyboard work was great on the aformentioned “Free Bird,” “Sweet Home Alabama,” “What’s Your Name?” and tons of other hits. He will definitely be missed.

The band will have more information later today on their website.

YouTube: “Free Bird” – Lynyrd Skynyrd

YouTube: “Sweet Home Alabama’ – Lynyrd Skynyrd

Read the Rider, and the Beach Boys Are Yours!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , on January 28, 2009 by 30daysout
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Editors’ Note: The following was written by our L.A. correspondent Randy Fuller, who has worked in radio for nearly three decades.  We have tacked on a few tunes from the Beach Boys’ late period and a rare radio promo from Brian Wilson.

Summer Classics ’85 was the name of a big promotion run by my radio station of the time back in Southeast Texas. Well, that was the short name.  In the whorish halls of radio, everything that’s not bolted to the floor gets sold, and this promotion was sold to a soft drink manufacturer.  The KKMY Dr. Pepper Summer Classics.  We didn’t refer to it as “85” since we had never done one before, hence no reason to distinguish it.  That would come in ’86, but that’s another story.

To the listener, Summer Classics ’85 amounted to a three-month long binge of promotional announcements, songs and commercials strung between remote broadcasts.  The whole thing culminated with a big outdoor concert by the Beach Boys at the college football stadium in Beaumont, Texas.  Following are a few of the stipulations, requests and outright demands made by the Kings of Summer Fun in their contract rider.  My memory was never much good, and presently it ain’t what it used to be, so I am relying on the memory of an insider at the time who shall remain nameless.  We’ll call him “Deep Golden Throat.”

The contract that brought the Beach Boys to Beaumont was a pretty standard affair, with some peculiar particulars. I understand this is the norm in the rock and roll concert bidness.

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Springsteen finalizes “Working On A Dream” tour dates

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , on January 27, 2009 by 30daysout

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Bruce Springsteen and the E Street will start off in North America April 1 and wrap up the four month jaunt in Spain on Aug. 2. The band makes a return visit to the Toyota Center in Houston on April 8. Here are the rest of the dates:

April 1: San Jose, Calif. (HP Pavilion at San Jose)
April 3: Glendale, Calif. (Jobing.com Center)
April 5: Austin, Texas (Frank Erwin Center)
April 7: Tulsa, Okla. (BOK Center)
April 8: Houston, Texas (Toyota Center)
April 10: Denver (Pepsi Arena)
April 15: Los Angeles (LA Memorial Sports Arena)
April 21-22: Boston (TD Banknorth Garden)
April 24: Hartford, Conn. (XL Center)
April 26: Atlanta (Philips Arena)
April 28-29: Philadelphia (Wachovia Spectrum)
May 2: Greensboro, N.C. (Greensboro Coliseum)
May 4: Hempstead, N.Y. (Nassau Veterans Mem. Col.)
May 5: Charlottesville, Va. (John Paul Jones Arena)
May 7: Toronto (Air Canada Centre)
May 8: University Park, Pa. (Bryce Jordan Center)
May 11: St. Paul, Minn. (Xcel Energy Center)
May 12: Chicago (United Center)
May 14: Albany, N.Y. (Times Union Center)
May 15: Hershey, Pa. (Hersheypark Stadium)
May 18: Washington, D.C. (Verizon Center)
May 19: Pittsburgh (Mellon Arena)
May 21, 23: E. Rutherford, N.J. (Izod Center)
May 30: Landgraaf, Holland (Pink Pop Festival)
June 2: Tampere, Finland (Ratinan Stadion)
June 4-5, 7: Stockholm, Sweden (Stockholm Stadium)
June 9-10: Bergen, Norway (Koengen)
July 2: Munich, Germany (Olympiastadion)
July 3: Frankfurt, Germany (Commerzbank Arena)
July 5: Vienna (Ernst Happel Stadion)
July 8: Herning, Denmark (Herning MCH)
July 11: Dublin (RDS)
July 16: Carhaix, France (Festival des Vielles Charrues)
July 19: Rome, Italy (Stadio Olimpico)
July 21: Turino, Italy (Olimpico di Torino)
July 23: Udine, Italy (Stadio Friuli)
July 26: Bilbao, Spain (San Mames Stadium)
July 28: Benidorm, Spain (Estadio Municipal de Foietes)
July 30: Sevilla, Spain (La Cartuja Olympic Stadium)
Aug. 1: Valladolid, Spain (Estadio Jose Zorrilla)
Aug. 2: Santiago, Spain (Monte Del Gozo)

For more information on the upcoming tour, check out Backstreets magazine.

In other E Street news, Little Steven will be one of the featured speakers at this year’s South By Southwest Music Conference (SXSW) in Austin, TX on March 20. Here’s hoping he brings his boss and they make their way over to Waterloo Records to do an in-store. You never know.

Review: “Working On A Dream,” Bruce Springsteen

Posted in Bruce Springsteen, Review with tags on January 27, 2009 by 30daysout

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On the cover of Magic, from 2007, Bruce Springsteen’s scowling mug photographed in harsh light suggested that the songs inside might be a little serious – and sure enough, they were.  So if the cover is a clue, what do we learn from a first look at the cover of the new Working On A Dream?  Well, it’s a nice night out, Bruce is dressed up and he looks like he might be … nodding off. 

You can’t blame him for being tired, after creating Magic and touring for nearly a year.  Maybe that affected his new album: Working On A Dream is more uneven than its predecessor but if you are patient you can find some good stuff here.  It’s a pop album, for lack of a better description, and some of its best songs could be hits on the radio (if that sort of thing existed any more).

Where Magic expressed disillusionment and restlessness, most of the songs of Working On A Dream seem more personal and hopeful.  The title song paints an optimistic picture, even while cautioning: “Though trouble can feel like it’s here to stay/I’m working on a dream/Our love will chase the trouble away.”  After being battered by the world and life itself, Bruce is trying to pick up the pieces of his shattered soul.   So it’s no accident that the gentle “Tomorrow Never Knows” is followed by the pensive “Life Itself,” where Springsteen sings “Why do the things that connect us slowly pull us apart?”  

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Heroes, Villains and Bob Dylan

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 26, 2009 by 30daysout

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Bob Dylan has written many songs about real people – some good, most bad.  We take a second look at some of the real-life characters who’ve populated Dylan songs over the years; this is kind of a sequel to an earlier post which addressed the same subject.  Thanks to writer and fellow blogger Ken Shane for encouraging this further exploration.

Emmett Till was a 14-year-old black kid from Chicago who went to stay with his uncle in Mississippi in 1955.  He supposedly made some lascivious remarks to a white woman.  Her husband and his half-brother beat the boy, gouged out an eye and shot him.  They dumped the body in the Tallahatchie River, but authorities captured the murderers.  Of course, they were acquitted by an all-white jury even though they admitted they killed Till.

MP3: “The Death Of Emmett Till”

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