Archive for September, 2009

Review: “Can’t Slow Down,” Foreigner

Posted in Review with tags , , , on September 30, 2009 by 30daysout

Front

After 1970s rock heroes Journey made a successful comeback with their Wal-Mart-only deal last year, Foreigner hopes to hit it similarly big with their new one, Can’t Slow Down.  Of course it’s available only at Wal-Mart (unless you want to download it), and of course it sounds like the old Foreigner.  And of course, there’s a new lead singer.

That’s Kelly Hansen and although he’s no Lou Gramm, he is certainly no slouch.  The title song has the pole position on the first CD (there’s two CDs and a DVD) and you should know it’s some kind of NASCAR tie-in.  No matter: it accelerates out of the gate, propelled by the guitar work of Mick Jones, Foreigner’s only remaining original member.

Even better is “In Pieces,” a cruisin’ song that they don’t make any more.  By the time you get to the third song, “When It Comes To Love,” you know you’re locked in.  Hansen’s voice feels just right, and the sax work (by Tom Gimbel) is just the right hook for this 21st century power ballad.

The rest of the album moves along in a nearly rockin’ mode, offering highlights “I’ll Be Home Tonight,” which sounds like it could have part of Foreigner’s back catalog, and the rocker “Too Late,” which appeared on another Foreigner collection last year.

Continue reading

McCartney’s Live NYC shows coming to CD/DVD

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

mccart

On Nov. 23, Sir Paul McCartney will issue live CD/DVD packages of his July performances at New York’s Citi Field.  Good Evening New York City will include two CDs and a DVD in a standard set but a deluxe edition will feature an additional DVD featuring McCartney’s performance atop the Ed Sullivan Theater sign for the “Late Show With David Letterman.”  The standard version of  Good Evening New York City will be available at participating Starbucks company-operated locations in the U.S. and Canada.

At Citi Field McCartney played old songs from Wings and the Beatles, recalling when the Fab Four played Shea Stadium in 1965.   Referring to the fans’ screaming back in the ’60s, McCartney said this year’s gigs were “even more exciting because this time round you could hear us!”

YouTube: Paul McCartney on “Late Show With David Letterman,” July 16, 2009

// <a href=”http://www.quantcast.com/p-c4o3JsfzdTxY6″ mce_href=”http://www.quantcast.com/p-c4o3JsfzdTxY6″ target=”_blank”><img src=”http://pixel.quantserve.com/pixel/p-c4o3JsfzdTxY6.gif” style=”display: none;” border=”0″ height=”1″ width=”1″ alt=”Quantcast”/></a>

New Stuff: Texas

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on September 30, 2009 by 30daysout

texas2

This weekend, Austin opens its doors to tens of thousands of people who will attend the big three-day Austin City Limits Festival.  Kings of Leon, Dave Matthews Band, Pearl Jam, Levon Helm and many others will play … but we’re not gonna go.  Tickets are a little pricey, and it’s been sold out for months anyway.  So we’re just gonna sit back and enjoy some new music from around the Lone Star state.  You can join us: pull up a chair, and it’s free.

The best songwriter in Texas, hands down, is Guy Clark.  His new album is Sometimes The Song Writes You, and all I can add to that is “Amen, brother.”  If you ever wanted to know (or not), Guy likes to write his songs on graph paper – you know, the kind with little blue squares.  “It’s just the tactile part of it, I guess,” he says.  “I write in longhand, on graph paper. It kind of keeps you in a straight line.”

MP3: “Sometimes The Song Writes You” by Guy Clark

The second-best songwriter in Texas – and he’ll readily agree with that – is Robert Earl Keen.  His newest is called The Rose Hotel, and it has lots of great playin’, nice singin’ and guest appearances by Greg Brown and Billy Bob Thornton.  Robert’s songs are funny and sometimes very insightful but they’re always keen.  Sorry.

MP3: “The Rose Hotel” by Robert Earl Keen

Continue reading

The Faces To Reunite in London?

Posted in News with tags , , on September 29, 2009 by 30daysout

FacesHoles

Checking Ian McLagan’s calendar for his appearance in Houston and discovered … October 25?  What?  Well, he’s going to play Discovery Green in Houston about 10 days before that!

Ian McLagan’s Tour Calendar from his official website

YouTube: “Stay With Me” (1972)


R.I.P.: Lucy Vodden, Inspired “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds”

Posted in News with tags , , , , , on September 29, 2009 by 30daysout
Lucy In the Sky

"Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds" from the movie 'Yellow Submarine'

Lucy O’Donnell, the woman who inspired the classic Beatles song “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds,” has died at age 46.  Julian Lennon was four years old when he drew a picture of his classmate Lucy.  He took the drawing home and showed it to his dad, saying “This is Lucy in the sky with diamonds.”   John Lennon’s song appeared on Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band in 1967.  For many years she kept her connection to the Beatles secret because she often heard the song was really about LSD – and it may well could have been.  But the song, like most of the magic created by the Beatles, had a very simple and real inspiration from everyday life.

Story from the London Daily Mail

MP3: “Lucy In The Sky With Diamonds” by the Beatles (mono)

YouTube: Clip from the movie Yellow Submarine

Song of the Week: “The Fixer” by Pearl Jam

Posted in News with tags on September 28, 2009 by 30daysout

Pearl Jam has just released its ninth studio album, Backspacer.  “The Fixer” is the first single, and the video was directed by Cameron Crowe (Jerry Maguire).

Pearl Jam official website

Sampler Daze: The WB/Reprise Loss Leaders, Part 11

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , on September 26, 2009 by 30daysout

cookbook limo

By 1977 Warner Bros. had quite a stable of artists producing R&B, soul, funk and dance music – or disco, in the parlance of the time.  That is what sold and what managed to get on the radio, but in truth the Warner R&B artists were as varied as the label’s underground acts just eight years before.  Cook Book, a two-LP sampler focusing mainly on the WB/Reprise R&B acts (“black” music, in the parlance of radio programmers) had a little bit of everything: pop artists (Dionne Warwick), jazz artists (George Benson), gospel soul shouters (Candi Staton), Motown alumni (Undisputed Truth, Lamont Dozier) – all put into duty in service of the Great and Powerful Disco.

I must admit, I do not own Cook Book so I cannot judge its worthiness or faults.  The four cuts included here did appear on the sampler, however.  You know, I’m not sure how these Loss Leaders samplers were marketed in the mid-1970s.  I did see ads for some of the earlier albums in comic books and in Rolling Stone;  and truth to be told, I spotted an ad for one of the later Loss Leaders and after purchasing that one I filled in the missing back copies in my collection from a coupon printed on an inside sleeve of the record.

So let’s move on to Limo, also from 1977.  Ostensibly a return to the diversity of the earlier Loss Leaders, Limo transported the usual suspects (Ry Cooder, Van Morrison, Jesse Winchester, Jesse Colin Young, Little Feat, Bonnie Raitt, Emmylou Harris), chart-topping singles (“Tonight’s The Night” by Rod Stewart; “You Make Me Feel Like Dancing” by Leo Sayer; “Dreams” by Fleetwood Mac) as well as a collection of oddities and novelties (The Gabby Pahinui Hawaiian Band).  Another novelty was the sprightly British group Deaf School, brought to Burbank by the Beatles’ faithful press agent Derek Taylor.  Gary Wright followed his big hit “Dream Weaver” here with “Phantom Writer,” which to my ears sounds a little like “Love Is Alive.”

Continue reading