Archive for January, 2012

Posted in Uncategorized on January 29, 2012 by 30daysout

30 Days Out

Well, here we are.  Mardi Gras, for all intents and purposes, is New Orleans.  The parades, the beads, the coins, the crowds, the costumes, the bare breasts … ahem, that’s Mardi Gras in New Orleans.  Many places celebrate Mardi Gras around the country – and of course they celebrate “Carnival” in other parts of the world.

My favorite Mardi Gras is the old-timey party they throw in Mamou, Louisiana, a small town in “northern” Cajun country (north of where Interstate 10 crosses the town of Crowley).  They have the traditional Mardi Gras celebration, consisting of a big dance on the Monday before Ash Wednesday, then a “courir de Mardi Gras” the next day.  That’s a sort-of procession where men (traditional) dress up in wild-ass costumes and ride horses (mostly) around to farms in the area, gathering food items for a big community gumbo that night.

My Uncle Harold (Champagne, from near St. Martinville)…

View original post 477 more words

Video Du Jour: George Harrison/The Beatles

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , on January 27, 2012 by 30daysout

Here are Beatles producer George Martin, his son Giles and Dhani Harrison (son of George) listening to a mix of “Here Comes The Sun.” At one point Dhani turns up a channel with a forgotten electric guitar solo for the song that gives it a totally different feel. Fascinating.

Live: The Kills/JEFF the Brotherhood, Austin

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on January 26, 2012 by 30daysout

Jamie Hince (left) and Alison Mosshart of The Kills

Editor’s Note: Austin correspondent Lily Angelle kicks off our live music season with a dispatch from Austin.

Following a morning of apocalyptic rainfall in Austin, people gathered at a puddly, muddy Stubb’s BBQ to see The Kills, although it’s safe to say about 90 percent of the crowd just wanted to see front woman Alison Mosshart. My cohort and I, however, were there primarily to see the opening band that we’ve been obsessing over for months: JEFF The Brotherhood, a garage-rock outfit from Nashville.

The night opened with Hunters, a rock group from Brooklyn whose lead guitarist and front woman reminded me all too much of Nick Zinner and Karen O of The Yeah Yeah Yeahs- their hair, dance moves and mannerisms were seemingly a carbon copy of the great indie rock band, which makes sense since I read somewhere that Nick Zinner mixed some of their material. Their bratty rock ‘n roll lacked originality and left much to be desired, as they appeared to rely on image and band aesthetics alone to earn them cool points.

JEFF the Brotherhood

Next, JEFF The Brotherhood took the stage to a fair amount of applause, although I was shocked that no one else was as excited to see them as my cohort and I, especially after their explosive SXSW sets last year which garnered them much attention and earned them the title of a “must-see act.” They kicked off their 8-song set with “Country,” a tune of theirs I had never heard up until then.

Guitarist and vocalist Jake Orrall slammed away on his three-string clear guitar, with drummer Jamin Orrall keeping the energy up with his eager and fast-paced hits. Off their sophomore album We Are The Champions, they played “Shedder,” “Diamond Way,” which they recently performed on “Late Night with Jimmy Fallon,” and “Stay Up Late.” If there is one word to describe JEFF’s music, it most certainly is driving.

Alison Mosshart of The Kills

The Kills took the stage shortly after JEFF’s set, busting out with “No Wow,” Mosshart slinking quickly back and forth across the stage like a feral cat. Guitarist Jamie Hince and Mosshart both looked like fashionable English rockers in their leather jackets and snazzy accessories.

Mosshart’s new bleached, pink hair was a shocking difference from her usual goth black hairstyle. Although we definitely didn’t get to see the demonic, savage Mosshart that fronts The Dead Weather alongside Jack White, she certainly had an enrapturing stage presence full of fierce fervor, especially in “Fuck The People” and “Nail In My Coffin.”

Although they did have their softer moments, like when Hince and Mosshart jumped atop opposite speakers to perform a calm cover of Patsy Cline’s “Crazy.” Off of their latest effort Blood Pressures, The Kills returned to the stage to start their encore performance with the slow and heartfelt “The Last Goodbye.” The night ended with “Monkey 23,” proving that The Kills are definitely a sight to see live and up close.

The Kills never need to worry about a crowded stage.

The Kills official website

JEFF the Brotherhood official blog

Funky New Orleans: The Meters Live

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , on January 26, 2012 by 30daysout

Editor’s Note: This is a repost of an item we ran a couple of years ago, reappearing here to help get everyone in that Mardi Gras mood. The links have been updated and the Meters are still not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

Radio used to be magic.  When the stars aligned, and the right artist played the right venue and radio was there, it could be just beautiful.  Here’s one of those moments: January 1977, at the Showboat Lounge in the Fat City entertainment district of Metairie, which is a suburb of New Orleans.  January in New Orleans is carnival season, and WNOE radio in the Crescent City marked the occasion with an hour-long live show by the always incredible Meters.

The band – featuring Art Neville on keyboards and vocals, Zigaboo Modeliste on drums, George Porter Jr. on bass and Leo Nocentelli on guitar (Cyril Neville may or may not have been an official member of the band, and he wasn’t at this gig) – ripped through some of their Mardi Gras anthems and some seriously greasy second-line funk.

In 1977 the Meters were about as big as they were gonna get: they had put out four albums on Warner Bros., they had opened for the Rolling Stones on their big 1975-76 world tour, they played Paul McCartney’s Venus and Mars party on the Queen Mary in 1974 and later in 1977 they were going to appear on “Saturday Night Live.”  But here they are, in a small joint doing shout-outs on local radio.  Only in New Orleans, and only in that era.  Unfortunately, later in 1977 the Meters would also break up.

This recording captures one of American music’s great bands, tight as high-tension wire but playing as loose and funky as humanly possible.  The recording has amplifier hum as well as that weird FM noise and a really smooth DJ cuts in every once in a while to let you know who dat.  There are also a couple of very minor skips and hiccups (toward the end of “Hey Pocky Way”), but nothing can take away from this great music.

As Art Neville says, “It’s Mardi Gras time all the time, as far as we’re concerned.”  Cook up some red beans and rice or cue this up in the car … and wonder why these guys aren’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.

MP3: The Meters live at the Showboat Lounge, WNOE-FM, January 1977 (70 minutes)

Song order: “Just Kissed My Baby”/ “Big Chief”/ “Jungle Man”/ “They All Ask’d For You”/ “Hey Pocky Way”/ “People Say”/ “Ain’t No Use”/ “Po Boy Jam” /”Feel Da Groove”

The Original Meters official website

Video Du Jour: Miley Cyrus

Posted in News with tags , , , on January 24, 2012 by 30daysout

Why Miley Cyrus? Well, today marks the release of Chimes of Freedom, a 4-CD, 76-song set featuring various artists doing the songs of Bob Dylan. It’s all to benefit Amnesty International, the human rights organization, on the occasion of its 50-year anniversary.

The likes of My Morning Jacket, Tom Morello, Ziggy Marley, Flogging Molly, Joan Baez, Maroon 5, Queens of the Stone Age, Steve Earle and many more show up for this event, which makes one wonder why they chose Hannah Montana doing “You’re Going To Make Me Lonesome When You Go” as the first video. Some people are saying they love this, others claim she defiles the song. You decide. (By the way, Amnesty International points out that at age 19, Cyrus is the youngest artist here while the oldest, at age 92, is Pete Seeger. Of course.)

Highlights include Johnny Cash duetting from the grave with the Avett Brothers on “One Too Many Mornings,” Mexican pop star Ximena Sariñana emoting “I Want You,” Paul Rodgers and Nils Lofgren settling into “Abandoned Love” and My Morning Jacket sounding for all the world like Rick Danko and his Band mates from Woodstock. The jury’s still out on stuff like Ke$ha, rasping her way through “Don’t Think Twice, It’s All Right,” which has earned her some good press – but I don’t hear it.

Go here to listen to all 76 songs. You can buy individual tracks on iTunes – which may be a good idea – and Starbucks is supposedly putting out a truncated 2-CD version for the overcaffeinated ADD freaks among us.

YouTube: “You’re Going To Make Me Lonesome When You Go” by Miley Cyrus and Johnzo West

Amnesty International USA official website

Video Du Jour: The Stooges

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , on January 23, 2012 by 30daysout

Iggy Pop, Mike Watt and Ron Asheton of the Stooges

A little Austin-tacious memory for you: Iggy Pop and the re-formed Stooges playing an in-store at Waterloo Records during SXSW 2007. The four-song set was as rambunctious as the preshow process – limited by fire marshals to a maximum of 250 people, Waterloo employees had to juggle a line of about 1,000 people before letting just some of those inside.

We got in, luckily, but hundreds more stood in the parking lot and peered through the record store’s windows. Iggy didn’t forget them, he jumped off the stage and performed a few bars of a couple songs in the parking lot. And we got to see the great Ron Asheton on guitar. R.I.P. It was a great show. What a day.

Here’s a bonus video from the same day. Look closely and you can see us in line!

And here’s a couple of my own short videos:

Iggy and the Stooges official website

Bonus: Earlier that day, the Stooges performed the same four-song set and gave a raucous interview with Seattle’s KEXP-FM. They have put together a podcast of the whole show that you can download and hear.

MP3: “Trollin’/ATM/My Idea of Fun/She Took My Money” by the Stooges

Yeah it's blurry but it's so punk!

Video Du Jour: Street Sweeper Social Club

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , on January 22, 2012 by 30daysout

While we begin the big buildup to this year’s South by Southwest conference/festival/brain fry in Austin, we want to fondly recall a few of our past experiences. This one took place in 2010, with Tom Morello, Boots Riley and the Street Sweeper Social Club. They’re doing “The Oath,” a standout from the band’s first album.

SXSW music conference official website

Etta James, R.I.P.

Posted in News with tags on January 20, 2012 by 30daysout

Etta James

Completing the macabre trilogy this week for R&B artists, singer Etta James has died. She suffered from dementia, kidney problems and leukemia and was just short of 74 years old. Her hits included “The Wallflower,” “Something’s Got a Hold on Me” and the wedding favorite “At Last.”

CNN obit on Etta James

MP3: “The Wallflower (Dance With Me Henry)”

MP3: “At Last”

Watch Etta James on “Austin City Limits”

Jimmy Castor and Johnny Otis: R.I.P. (and N.S.F.W.!)

Posted in News with tags , on January 20, 2012 by 30daysout

Jimmy Castor

Rough week for fans of raunchy R&B: we lost both Jimmy Castor, creator of the timeless “Troglodyte,” as well as the highly influential Johnny Otis, best known for “Willy and the Hand Jive.”

Saxophonist Jimmy Castor, who headlined the Jimmy Castor Band, and whose biggest hit, 1972′s “Troglodyte (Cave Man)” has been sampled by the likes of Madonna, Kanye West, the Wu-Tang Clan, N.W.A., Christina Aguilera and Blackstreet, died Monday in Las Vegas. He was 64.  Castor’s songs were known for featuring a recurring cast of characters including a caveman who chants “gotta find a woman, gotta find a woman,” and the irrepressible, full-figured dancer Bertha Butt.

The title track of his 1972 album It’s Just Begun was prolifically sampled for a dance sequence in the 1983 movie Flashdance and later by a range of performers including 2 Live Crew, the Spice Girls and actor Mark Wahlberg during his earlier career as Marky Mark. Other Castor records have been sampled by Kanye West and Mos Def.

Washington Post obit on Jimmy Castor

MP3: “Troglodyte (Cave Man)”

MP3: “Bertha Butt Boogie”

MP3: “The Return Of Leroy (Part 1)”

Johnny Otis

Johnny Otis was an influential, singer, writer and record producer and was known as the “Godfather of Rhythm and Blues.” He died Tuesday in Los Angeles at the age of 90.  Otis wrote and performed the 1958 smash hit, “Willy and the Hand Jive.”  He is credited with discovering and nurturing R&B stars such as Little Richard, Jackie Wilson, Little Esther Phillips, Etta James and Hank Ballard. His son Shuggie Otis, a great guitarist, is also known for writing the 1977 hit “Strawberry Letter 23.”

Despite his mainstream success, Otis was not afraid to go “blue”: in 1969 he released an album under the name Snatch and the Poontangs filled with not for broadcast language and included songs such as “Two Girls In Love (With Each Other)” (you can guess what that’s about – despite the lack of actual lyrics) and “The Pissed Off Cowboy” about a cowboy who smells like horse shit. Of course, his classic in this genre is “The Signifying Monkey,” which is probably played nightly by some crazed, drunken bar band somewhere.

San Francisco Chronicle obit on Johnny Otis

MP3: “Willy and the Hand Jive”

MP3: “The Signifying Monkey (Part 1)” (Not Safe For Work!)

MP3: “Two Girls In Love (With Each Other)” (Not Safe For Work X 2!)

New Springsteen single drops – “We Take Care of Our Own”

Posted in News with tags , on January 18, 2012 by 30daysout

The new Bruce Springsteen album is called Wrecking Ball and the new single is “We Take Care of Our Own.” The album will be available March 6. In addition, Bruce is set to speak at SXSW on Thursday, March 15, and there are reports that he plans to perform there.

Marking his 17th studio album, Wrecking Ball features 11 new Springsteen recordings and was produced by Ron Aniello with Bruce Springsteen and executive producer Jon Landau.

Bruce is ready to hit the road. (Photo by Danny Clinch)

1. We Take Care of Our Own
2. Easy Money
3. Shackled and Drawn
4. Jack of All Trades
5. Death to My Hometown
6. This Depression
7. Wrecking Ball
8. You’ve Got It
9. Rocky Ground
10. Land of Hope and Dreams
11. We Are Alive

A special edition of ‘Wrecking Ball’ will also be available including exclusive artwork and photography and two bonus tracks:

12. Swallowed Up
13. American Land

Said long-time manager Jon Landau, “Bruce has dug down as deep as he can to come up with this vision of modern life. The lyrics tell a story you can’t hear anywhere else and the music is his most innovative of recent years. The writing is some of the best of his career and both veteran fans and those who are new to Bruce will find much to love on ‘Wrecking Ball.'”

While this morning’s press release does not specifically address U.S. tour dates, it does confirm: “Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band will be touring extensively in the US and Europe in 2012.”