From Rutland Weekend TV (1975) with Eric Idle introducing the show’s special guest, Lonesome George Harrison. Inexplicably, you get a few seconds’ worth of credits before the sketch.
Archive for February, 2009
Last week we featured our opinion of the worst nude album covers. This week here are some of the best…This post contains nudity, all photos after the jump are NSFW.
“Whipped Cream & Other Delights” – Herb Alpert and the Tijuana Brass – Hands down the best cover of all time.
This cool little compilation has, at its heart, a pretty interesting idea: take a handful of legendary singers/bands and ask them to identify a current artist to perform cover versions of their songs. The result is War Child Presents: Heroes, a 16-track disc that aims to benefit children affected by war. Although the album is a bit uneven, it rocks in its best parts. So Beck’s garage-rock dismantling of Bob Dylan’s “Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat,” the Kooks’ faithful rendering of “Victoria” by the Kinks, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs channeling the Ramones in “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” are successful because each of these artists understand the context (and the era) that fuels these classics.
When the performer imposes too much of his or her personality on a song, the result is less satisfying: Rufus Wainwright turns a medley from the Beach Boys’ Smile into a long whine, and Duffy’s too-sultry reading of “Live And Let Die” drains all the excitement out of the song. And a few choices couldn’t be more right: Bruce Springsteen is dead-on with his choice of The Hold Steady to do “Atlantic City” and TV On The Radio is a perfect fit for David Bowie’s “Heroes.” I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by this album – try it and you will be too.
Quite a few people have been eagerly anticipating U2’s No Line On The Horizon, particularly because it’s been five years since the Irish uber-rock band released their last studio effort. And this new album is pretty good; at times it’s “Magnificent” (to steal the title from one of the highlight songs) but falters a bit in the middle.
The good news first: U2 has reunited with Brian Eno and Daniel Lanois, the producers who helped them to their greatest successes (The Joshua Tree, The Unforgettable Fire, etc.). Although the band recorded some music with Rick Rubin, they have shelved that work in favor of a more textured sound with Eno-Lanois. The first four songs are brilliant: from the title track that kicks off the album to the radio-ready “Magnificent” and “Moment Of Forever” and the breathtaking Edge guitar solo that closes out “Unknown Caller.”
Alejandro Escovedo is the greatest musician working out of Texas today. For more than 20 years, he has been a premier songwriter and a crack bandleader. But his roots go back even farther – he comes from a musical family. His father was a musician, his brother Coke (died 1986) was a member of Santana and the rest of his brothers are also musicians. Alejandro was a member of seminal punk rockers the Nuns, who opened for the Sex Pistols’ last show in 1978, and alt-country pioneers Rank and File as well as the True Believers.
As a solo performer Escovedo has earned many kudos: No Depression magazine named him its “Artist of the Decade” in 1998 while last year’s Real Animal was atop many “best of” lists last year and it was Escovedo’s first effort to chart on the Billboard album lists. He has worked with some of the biggest and most interesting names in music, and he recently took a few minutes to speak to us from his home near Austin.
30 Days Out: You had a pretty good year in 2008 … how do you turn around and top that?
Alejandro Escovedo: I try not to top it, actually. Just go ahead and keep playing gigs and enjoy the warm glow of last year and just try to write good songs, you know?
Not much to say today: it’s Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras day, and it’s the final big blowout before the period of fasting and sacrifice called Lent. Feel free to party as you please; here’s some music to help you on your way. Play ’em loud, play ’em often, and play ’em all year – make every day a Mardi Gras Day.
Don’t forget: You can tune in to real-time live webcams for your window on some Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans. NOLA webcams
Thanks to L.A. correspondent Randy Fuller for his contributions to this post.
Ah yes, Mardi Gras. If this is your first time, welcome. I remember my first Mardi Gras in New Orleans, back around 1978 or so. I spent three days and nights there, and when I left I wondered “What the hell just happened?”
Mardi Gras is a party for the best of reasons: to have a party. Catholics say it’s to get all the deviltry and mischief out of your system before Lent sets in but if you go to New Orleans you get the impression most of these partygoers aren’t worried about sinning, church and stuff like that.
At Mardi Gras, you drink a lot. You stand around to yell and grovel for someone to toss you cheap colored beads and worthless coins. You drink some more. Women walk up to you and lift up their shirts, and their breasts are painted like big eyeballs. Prostitutes hit on you, transvestites hit on you, middle-aged male tourists from Des Moines hit on you. You need to drink some more.
So, as a public service, on the other side of the jump we give you the official 30 Days Out Mardi Gras Party Kit.