Archive for January, 2010

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Badfinger

Posted in Rock Classics! with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 29, 2010 by 30daysout

Still riffling through those records I got from my sister’s cool boyfriend, who works at an FM rock radio station.  Today we have something of interest to Beatles fans … by a group that managed to get three of the Fab Four involved with them over different points in their existence.

That’s Badfinger of course, and today’s record is Magic Christian Music, released on the Beatles’ Apple Records imprint in 1970.  Badfinger performed some of the songs in a movie, The Magic Christian, but the album isn’t an official soundtrack because the song “Something In The Air” by Thunderclap Newman that appears in the movie isn’t on the Apple label.  The real soundtrack appeared on another label, but mainly in England – so Apple put out today’s record to at least get Badfinger exposed to American audiences.

Badfinger is, of course, the British group led by singers Pete Ham and Tom Evans, who were also the group’s main songwriters.  They were called the Iveys when they were “discovered” by Mal Evans, the Beatles’ roadie and the dude who did a lot of the heavy lifting for Apple Records.  Evans signed the Iveys to a recording contract in 1968 and released a few singles to lukewarm success.  Paul McCartney was asked to write a song for the soundtrack of The Magic Christian movie, and when he did he asked the Iveys to record it.  While they were recording McCartney’s song “Come and Get It” (the session was also produced by McCartney), the group changed its name to Badfinger.

The Magic Christian was a satirical movie written by Terry Southern, also known for penning the script for Easy Rider.  It was first a novel, then the screenplay was adapted by Southern along with the film’s star Peter Sellers and two young British comedians, Graham Chapman and John Cleese (later to become famous as part of Monty Python’s Flying Circus).  Sellers played Guy Grand, an eccentric billionaire who adopts a homeless man (Ringo Starr) and together they begin playing nasty practical jokes on people.  The movie’s satiric message is that people would do just about anything for money, and each prank progressively gets wilder than the one preceding it.

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Song of the Week:”Charcoal Sky,” Chip Taylor

Posted in News with tags on January 29, 2010 by 30daysout

Chip Taylor has spent a lot of time around Austin the past decade or so, but his roots go back much farther: he wrote the hits “Wild Thing” and “Angel of the Morning” way back in the late 1960s-early 1970s.  He has a new album, Yonkers, NY, with an autobiographical look into  into the life of a young man learning about music, horses, girls and family.

Raised by a father that worked as a golf pro (although he managed to convince his youngest son for years that he was also an FBI agent) along with his two brothers, actor Jon Voight and renowned scientist Dr. Barry Voight, on the album Taylor assumes the character of young Jamie – as Taylor was known back then – and the trials, tribulations, and triumphs of a young man finding his way, occasionally beset by fate, and some particularly wily siblings.

Stream the entire Yonkers, NY album here

MP3: “Bastard Brothers”

MP3: “No Dice”

Chip Taylor official website

Who Dat? Football Fever In New Orleans

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , on January 27, 2010 by 30daysout

Like New Orleans needs an excuse to party.  Mardi Gras will be about two weeks early, starting this weekend right after the Pro Bowl.  The New Orleans Saints are in the Super Bowl for the first time, and although the Vegas money is on the Indianapolis Colts you gotta like the Saints.  By the time the big game rolls around (Feb. 7 in Miami), the entire country will have been sucked into the giants Saints party.

Expect to see a line of cars heading east along Interstate 10 out of New Orleans toward Miami, like that evacuation that probably should have happened in 2005.  Mayor Ray Nagin could get on the phone to FEMA and angrily demand an emergency federal airlift of beer and liquor … no, let’s not go there.

I guess the point of this is, you gotta love the Saints.  They’re underdogs, they’re scrappers, and they represent an American city that has taken its share of abuse the past few years.  Come Super Bowl Sunday, the only person in the world who may not love the Saints deep down will be Archie Manning.  But New Orleans will always love Archie.

What else?  Are they gonna sell the Who … Dat? t-shirts?  By the way, the Who at halftime – they’ll probably tee it up with “Baba O’ Riley,” segue into “Pinball Wizard,” then “See Me, Feel Me” then wrap it up with “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”  Or maybe “Who Are You” and “I’m Free” and “We’re Not Gonna Take It.”  They can string about 15 songs together, like they did at Woodstock.  Who knows?  Yeah you right.

So let’s get the party started, shall we?

YouTube: Original “Who Dat?” video from 1983

MP3: “Let’s Get Fired Up” by Zigaboo Modeliste

MP3: “When The Saints Go Marching In” by Louis Armstrong

MP3: “I Like This Kind of Party” by Sam Spence (NFL Films)

MP3: “Meet De Boys On De Battlefront” by the Wild Magnolias

MP3: “They All Ask’d For You” by Milton Batiste & the Mardi Gras Big Shots

A veritable buttload of Saints fight songs from the New Orleans Times Picayune

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Lightnin’ Hopkins

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , on January 27, 2010 by 30daysout

Still flippin’ through the stack of records my sister’s boyfriend gave me … they all came from the radio station where he works.  Guess they’re not playing these albums if I have ’em!

Today I have a true rarity: Freeform Patterns, a 1968 album by bluesman Lightnin’ Hopkins.  Hopkins, the Texas bluesman, spent most of his life living in Houston and often played nightclubs there as he came up in the late 1940s and the 1950s.  At the peak of the early 1960s folk revival, national audiences began to discover and dig Lightnin’s music, highlighted by his all-time classic “Mojo Hand” which he cut in 1960.

By 1968 Lightnin’ was playing festivals, folk clubs and college campuses around the country then would return home to play beer joints in Houston’s Third Ward.  The Houston-based International Artists label signed Lightnin’ to a contract and producer Lelan Rogers (yeah, Kenny’s brother) hooked him up with a backing band that included drummer Danny Thomas and bassist Duke Davis from the 13th Floor Elevators.  (The psychedelic 13th Floor Elevators were in a state of flux at that time, due to lead singer Roky Erickson’s drug problems.   In 1969, Erickson was committed to the Rusk State Hospital rather than face jail time for a felony marijuana charge, and the group officially broke up.)

The resulting album was Freeform Patterns, cut on one February day in 1968.  It opens with a long spoken word intro to the song “Mr. Charlie,” with Hopkins telling the story of a poor little kid who stuttered so bad nobody wanted anything to do with him.  The story had no punch line, other than the fact that the kid could apparently enunciate clearly only when singing the blues, or something.  Better, and more characteristic, is “Mr. Ditta’s Grocery Store,” about an apparently real store Lightnin’ frequented at the “corner of Bastrop and Hadley,” which is about a block west of Dowling Street, where Hopkins lived.

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30 Days Out Exclusive Interview: Colin Blunstone of the Zombies

Posted in News with tags , , , , on January 26, 2010 by 30daysout

One of the most distinctive voices of the British Invasion belonged to Colin Blunstone, lead singer of the Zombies.  Hits like “She’s Not There,” “Tell Her No” and the international smash “Time Of The Season” were perfect showcases for Blunstone’s soaring, soulful singing.

In addition to Blunstone, the Zombies included drummer Hugh Grundy, guitarist Paul Atkinson, bassist Chris White and keyboardist Rod Argent.  Argent wrote “She’s Not There” (1964), as well as the U.S. hit “Tell Her No” (1965), which brought the group stateside in the wake of Beatlemania.

The Zombies

In 1967, the group recorded the psychedelic album Odessey and Oracle, with songs written by Argent and White and powered by Blunstone’s remarkable tenor.  This was the album that contained “Time Of The Season.”  But even as that song climbed the charts, time for the Zombies had already run out – the group broke up a year before their biggest hit.

Odessey and Oracle (the first word misspelled by the album cover’s designer) was released in 1969 to commercial and critical indifference, but over the years it has come to be recognized as a masterpiece of the era.  Songs like “Care of Cell 44” and “Friends Of Mine” have been covered by many artists and of course the Argent-penned “Time Of The Season” has appeared in a number of movies and TV shows.

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Springsteen part 2 on “Spectacle: Elvis Costello with..” set for Wednesday on Sundance

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , , , on January 26, 2010 by 30daysout

Bruce Springsteen and Elvis Costello sat down for a little four hour chat and played a few tunes last September. Last week’s first episode was a little laid back, however, it did feature an excellent acoustic version of “American Skin (41 Shots) and a lot of insite into The Boss’ early days and songwriting technique.

Part 2 features Bruce and Elvis rocking the Apollo Theater.  The first five minutes of Part 2 are amazing – and people from Houston will especially like one of the numbers. He talks about his kids, Elvis does a Patti song and if you’re a fan of the song “Seeds,” you are in for a treat.  The Spectacle season finale airs this Wednesday at at 9 p.m. CST on The Sundance Channel with repeats throughout the week.

We want to thank all of you who took part in our “Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…” contest last week.

The question was…what Bruce Springsteen song did Elvis Costello record and release?

The answer: Brilliant Disguise

The winner: David VanDyke, Louisville, KY.

Keep coming back because we will have more contests in the future.

“Spectacle: Elvis Costello with…” Official Website

Who Dat? A Slew of Saints Songs

Posted in News with tags , , , on January 25, 2010 by 30daysout

Photo from the New Orleans Times Picayune

The New Orleans Saints are going to the Super Bowl, and it’s going to be a great game.  The Saints are gonna have to step it up if they hope to beat the Peyton Manning-Colts juggernaut, but I have a feeling they will … kick it up a notch, that is.

How they can they help not doing that, with all the fight songs there are to cheer on the Saints?  Follow the link to the New Orleans Times Picayune, where they’ve collected all of the Saints fight songs.  You are in for a shock – there’s about 50 of them!

New Orleans tribute songs playlist at the Times Picayune