Archive for April, 2009

Swine Flu Alert!

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 30, 2009 by 30daysout

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Seems like we have a little swine flu problem on our hands.  Now you know what to do: call in sick, even if you don’t feel too bad.  No use taking any chances.  Turn on the TV, that will certainly help to calm you down.  Fox News Channel is particularly calming – according to them, it’s all Obama’s fault for not building that wall along the Rio Grande.

OK, you know what the symptoms are.  Fatigue.  Fever.  Chills.  Nausea.  Vomiting.  The same things you get from watching Fox News Channel.  You can’t get it from a pig, you can’t get it from bacon, but you can get it from Barbara Bush (even though she has a pig valve in her heart).  You can also get it from your wife, your kids and all of your friends.  Cover your mouth when you sneeze, listen to all of these songs, take two aspirin and call us in the morning.

MP3: “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” by Huey “Piano” Smith & the Clowns

MP3: “I’m So Tired” by the Beatles

MP3: “Chest Fever” by the Band

MP3: “Calling Dr. Love” by Kiss

MP3: “Shakin’ All Over” by the Swingin’ Blue Jeans

MP3: “Comfortably Numb” by Pink Floyd

MP3: “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” (live) by the Grateful Dead

MP3: “Fever” by Elvis Presley

MP3: “Dear Doctor” by the Rolling Stones

MP3: “Ambulance Man” by the Felice Brothers

MP3: “I’m A Hog For You” by Clifton Chenier

MP3: “Rock and Roll Doctor” by Little Feat

MP3: “Rockin’ Pneumonia and the Boogie Woogie Flu” by the Flamin’ Groovies

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention swine flu facts

And from our friends in Mexico, the “Swine Flu Cumbia.”  Gracias!

Lost Classics! Lone Justice/Maria McKee

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

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In the 1980s, Los Angeles was the birthplace of a curious genre called cowpunk, a mashup of punk rock with roots music.  Among the more famous practitioners were the Beat Farmers, the Blasters, Los Lobos, Green on Red and of course, Lone Justice. 

Lone Justice came together in 1982 under the guidance of guitarist Ryan Hedgecock and singer Maria McKee, an L.A. singer whose half brother was Bryan McLean from the psychedelic band Love.  In their early days, Lone Justice was a hot band in the L.A. area – thanks in part to having famous champions and fans like Linda Ronstadt and Benmont Tench, Tom Petty’s keyboardist and Maria McKee’s boyfriend.

Geffen Records put out Lone Justice’s self-titled debut album in 1985 and although a few songs (most notably the Tom Petty-penned “Ways To Be Wicked”) got radio airplay, the album didn’t sell as well as everyone hoped it would.  Maybe Lone Justice wasn’t really a true cowpunk band – the first album showed evidence of ambition beyond the boundaries of the genre.  To my ears, Lone Justice sounded more like a California-style U2 rather than the other bolo tie bands that were out at the time.

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Review: “Quiet Nights,” Diana Krall

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

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Lets just start off by saying Elvis Costello is one lucky MF. His wife, Diana Krall, is not only an extremely talented piano player and singer, but she’s so sexy it’s ridiculous. She could just stand there with no makeup, her hair in curlers, singing names out of the phone book and it would still be sexy as hell. On her latest release, Quiet Nights, she uses her smoky, sensuous vocals to give new life to some old standards.

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“The Devil You Know,” by Heaven and Hell

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on April 28, 2009 by 30daysout

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For my heavy metal money, Black Sabbath were there first and they still are among the best practitioners of the form.  Ozzy Osbourne is long gone, and the group is thriving with lead singer Ronnie James Dio under the moniker Heaven and Hell.  The Devil You Know is the first studio album under the Heaven and Hell name (to differentiate from the band led by Ozzy) and guess what – it’s ominous, plodding, and occasionally rocking.

Guitarist Tony Iommi and bass player Geezer Butler snap into wicked grooves or slow it down to a dinosaur pace (think brontosaurus trudging through ten miles of mud) while the voice of the 67-year-old Dio rides over the top of it all.  I actually listened to the lyrics: mostly they tell of some experience with a sometimes-real, sometimes-metaphorical devil, but are sufficiently murky enough not to alienate God-fearing headbangers as well as devout demon worshipers.

Who really listens to this shit for the lyrics, anyway?  The Devil You Know is marred a bit by a sluggish first half, but Iommi’s guitar atmospherics and Dio’s old lady choirmaster quiver save the day.  All hail Black Sabbath!  And Heaven and Hell too!

MP3: “Follow The Tears”

Heaven and Hell official website (stream entire album free)

Review: “University a capella” – Ben Folds

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2009 by 30daysout

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Ben Folds has always written very catchy pop songs with clever lyrics, but he’s never reached the commercial success that he deserves. Sure, he’s had a couple of minor hits, but why this guy is not selling millions upon millions of records is mind-boggling. He’s never been an artist who is afraid to take chances and release anything he wants. This takes us to his latest effort….University a capella.

Folds traveled to college campuses all over the country and found the best a capella groups to record some of his best songs. He recorded them live in recital halls, rehearsal rooms, living rooms, dorm lounges, lecture halls and campus television stations and what he came away with was a stellar collection.

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The Texas Top 10?

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 27, 2009 by 30daysout

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Austin public radio station KUT has announced that it’s determined the best songs about Texas, as voted by its listeners.  Asleep At The Wheel leader Ray Benson openly campaigned for votes on his MySpace page, so it figures that the group would be No. 1.  Here’s the list:

“Miles And Miles Of Texas” by Asleep At The Wheel

“New San Antonio Rose” by Bob Wills & the Texas Playboys

“Waltz Across Texas” by Ernest Tubb

“Deep In The Heart Of Texas” by Gene Autry

“London Homesick Blues” by Gary P. Nunn (w/Jerry Jeff Walker)

“El Paso” by Marty Robbins

“Luckenbach, Texas” by Waylon Jennings (w/Willie Nelson)

“That’s Right (You’re Not From Texas)” by Lyle Lovett

“La Grange” by ZZ Top

“Amarillo By Morning” by George Strait

Nice list, but we tend to think it leaves a little to be desired.  After the jump, we offer some of our own suggestions; they, too, are pure Texas and sound great at any weekend barbecue.

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Review: “Together Through Life,” Bob Dylan

Posted in Review with tags , , , on April 26, 2009 by 30daysout

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There has been a lot of “news” surrounding the release of Together Through Life, Bob Dylan’s 33rd studio album: he wrote most of the songs with the help of sometime-Grateful Dead lyricist Robert Hunter; Dylan recorded this album in somewhat of a hurry; and one song, “Life Is Hard,” is the fuse that lit this firecracker (Dylan wrote it for an upcoming movie and since he was in the mood, he cut the rest of this album).

Well, whatever.  Phone rings.  “Hi, Robert?  This is Bob.  Dylan, not Weir.  Hey, I was thinkin’, I want to record a new album in a hurry, and do you wanna write some songs with me?  OK?  Robert? Robert?”  I’m sure it went something like that, Hunter’s bootheels were a wanderin’ right to Dylan’s door before Bob had a chance to hang up.  Who wouldn’t want to work with Dylan?

And I gotta tell you, after all that news I didn’t expect Together Through Life to be any good.   But, like Neil Young’s Fork In The Road and even Bruce Springsteen’s Working On A Dream (two other recent efforts popularly reported as hurry-up jobs), Dylan’s new album is one that rewards repeat listenings.  On first impression you get an image of a tired old guy too burned out to write some new tunes: “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’,” the album opener, recalls “Black Magic Woman,” while “My Wife’s Home Town” is a blatant rip of Muddy Waters’ “I Just Want To Make Love To You,”  and so on.  And on first listen the ballad “Life Is Hard”  is definitely wince-inducing – what kind of movie is this for, some French art film?  (Uh-huh: Oliver Dahan’s My Own Love Song.)

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