Archive for November, 2012

Video Du Jour: Coldplay

Posted in News with tags on November 30, 2012 by 30daysout

Every year we look up from our daily routines and say “Wow, is Coldplay still here?” Well, not really – but this band has produced five studio albums since 1999 and has pretty much toured constantly since then.

Touring after their 2011 monster Mylo Xyloto, the band hit a peak of sorts. Now they reside in that small fraternity of rock acts who are known and embraced worldwide. So, just in time for Christmas, the band has released a live DVD appropriately titled Live 2012.

Here’s “Paradise” from the new DVD.

70 Years Out: Jimi Hendrix

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

Jimi Hendrix would have been 70 years old today.

A few weeks ago, during his concert in Houston Paul McCartney paid tribute to his friend Jimi Hendrix. At the end of “Let Me Roll It,” McCartney’s churning rocker, he appended some surprising lead guitar work in the form of “Foxey Lady.”

How awesome is a musician who has earned a tribute even from a Beatle? When Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood toured together, the finale of their show was a fiery guitar duel on Hendrix’s “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)” and ZZ Top’s Billy Gibbons regularly rips into “Hey Joe,” in the style of his mentor.

Hendrix was, as you can see, a musician’s musician. He was only in the spotlight for a short time – he gained international fame in 1967 at the Monterey Pop Festival and died in 1970 – but the recordings he made have influenced thousands of other guitar players and songwriters.

Had he lived, it’s inconceivable what Hendrix would be like today. It’s also hard to fathom what rock music would be like today as well, because wherever Hendrix went, music followed.

Jimi Hendrix would have been 70 years old today. Happy birthday, Jimi!

YouTube: “Voodoo Child (Slight Return)”

YouTube: Jimi Hendrix interviewed in England just seven days before his death in September 1970.

Jimi Hendrix official web site

Video Du Jour (X2): The Rolling Stones

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

Yep, the Rolling Stones are back. They played the first of their 50th anniversary shows in London last night, and the grizzled Stones were joined onstage by former band members Mick Taylor and Bill Wyman, along with the ubiquitous Jeff Beck.

Save your pennies – the Stones are threatening to tour. Meanwhile you can amuse yourself with the official video for “Doom and Gloom,” featuring Swedish actress Noomi Rapace (Prometheus, the original Girl With The Dragon Tattoo). By the way, there’s some nudity in here, so it’s not safe for work!

Bonus: The Rolling Stones performing “Honky Tonk Women” in London on 11/25, apparently with Bill Wyman on bass.

The Rolling Stones official web site

A Treasure Trove of Houston – and Texas – Rock History

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

Rockin’ Houston is one of the best rock photography web sites ever.

You probably have a favorite place where you have seen many or most of your rock shows – a venue, or even a city. We were lucky to grow up in or near Houston – ever since the 1950s, the city has been a host for the greatest acts in rock history.

For example: when Paul McCartney played in Houston’s Minute Maid Park last week, he did not mention the times he’s played Houston before. It was his sixth visit to the Bayou City – the first was in 1965, at the Sam Houston Coliseum with that other band of his (not Wings). How many cities can say they once hosted the Beatles? So you see, rock fans in Houston consider themselves very privileged indeed.

Now along comes a new web site, RockinHouston.com, that celebrates Houston’s glorious rock history. Consisting of thousands of photographs taken by rock fans and professionals alike, the site brings to life the heyday of places like the Texas Opry House, Liberty Hall, the Houston Music Hall and other local rock meccas. There are shots from the Astrodome, the old Summit (now Joel Osteen’s Lakewood Church), even some choice pics from other Texas cities (Sex Pistols at Randy’s Rodeo in San Antonio, 1978? Check.).

One of the many shots you’ll find on RockinHouston.com.

RockinHouston.com was created by Bruce Kessler, who shot photos at virtually every Houston rock concert since the early 1970s. He started as a fan who simply bought a ticket and took photos from his seat, but as he became more proficient he was able to gain closer access from local promoters. Soon Kessler was the official photographer for the Agora Ballroom and later, the house photographer for the Summit. He also went to work as a staff photog for Pace Concerts, which eventually got bought out by SFX then Clear Channel and so on.

Kessler hung up his cameras in 2005 but he eventually was asked to catalog and inventory the archives of fellow Houston photographers Larry Lent, Ray Fetterman and James Townsend, who between them shot many more concerts in the area. Like Kessler, Lent and Townsend started out as fans who eventually earned closer access – Fetterman was at one time a shooter for the now-defunct Houston Post.

All three have since died, and Kessler was asked to inventory Lent’s and Townsend’s files. He was authorized to keep a handful of photos as a token of friendship, and their work also appears on RockinHouston.com.

In a segment titled “Why the Website” Kessler said “Recalling the excitement of sorting through the Townsend and Lent collections and all of the memories that their work brought back, Bruce realized that it would be a shame to let all of the accumulated images and memorabilia go to waste and that it was finally time to share them. Having never exhibited any of his work, this website serves as a massive photo exhibition recalling Houston’s concert history.”

We asked Kessler if he could estimate how many photos he took over the years.  “After months of editing it feels like millions,” he replied, “but I am sure it is just in the tens of thousands … perhaps 30-ish (thousand).” He supposes one could count how many photos he’s uploaded to the site so far, but he adds “I am not even at the halfway point!”

Check out RockinHouston.com when you have a few hours – you won’t want to leave!

Texas Thanksgiving – Live from the Armadillo

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , on November 18, 2012 by 30daysout

Armadillo World HQ poster by Jim Franklin

Editor’s Note: This is a blog post that originally appeared in 2010, repeated here in case you can’t get home to the Armadillo this holiday season.

Long as I can remember, the corner of Riverside Drive and Barton Springs Road in Austin, Texas,  has been a Thanksgiving Day oasis.  Today of course that’s the location of Threadgill’s World Headquarters, a down-home restaurant with killer chicken-fried steak and the best tattooed waitresses in town.  And yes, they are open on Thanksgiving Day: usually the place is packed by 11 a.m. and although no reservations are necessary you can expect to wait at least an hour before being seated.

Doug Sahm in the 1990s (Photo by Scott Newton/KRLU)

This Threadgill’s is also the living descendant of the legendary Armadillo World Headquarters, the city’s top music venue in the 1970s and the spiritual heart of the Austin music scene.  Many of the top touring acts of the era played there, as well as Lone Star legends like Willie Nelson, Asleep at the Wheel, Joe Ely, Janis Joplin, Stevie Ray Vaughan, Jerry Jeff Walker, Delbert McClinton and many more.  One of the house favorites was Doug Sahm, the unofficial State Musician of Texas.

In 1972 Sahm decided to look up some of his friends and play a giant Thanksgiving show at the Armadillo.  He enlisted a who’s who of Austin musicians and added ace keyboardist Leon Russell.  Then he learned the Grateful Dead would be in town for a gig the night before; Sahm and the Dead went back a ways, so he gave them a call too.

Armadillo World HQ, back in the day (Photo by Steve Hopson)

So on November 23, 1972, Doug Sahm and his all-star band – including the Dead’s Jerry Garcia on steel guitar and Phil Lesh on bass – took the stage at the Armadillo and delivered a sonic feast of country, R&B, early rock ‘n’ roll, honky tonk, blues, bluegrass and Bob Dylan.  Somebody in the house had the foresight to roll tape from the soundboard, the recording of that show has been a sought-after souvenir for many years.

Thanks to a number of sources (mainly the excellent blog The Adios Lounge) you can download and hear the entire show here.  Think of it as a little thank-you gift to you, our loyal readers.  Being a soundboard recording from the early 1970s, the sound isn’t perfect but it’s a great way to celebrate a holiday.  The full set list is included in the download, and we’ll give you a few samples so you can decide if you want the whole meal.

Thanksgiving Jam samples

MP3: “Wild Side Of Life”

MP3: “Me and Bobby McGee”

MP3: “Swingin’ Doors”

MP3: “Roll Over Beethoven/Good Golly Miss Molly”

The Full Show (ZIP file)

MP3: Doug Sahm’s Thanksgiving Jam, 11/23/1972 entire show (269 MB)

Armadillo photo by Steve Hopson – here is his website

From “Armadillo Comix” by Jaxon

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: Arlo Guthrie & ‘Alice’s Restaurant’

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , on November 17, 2012 by 30daysout

Editor’s Note: From a blog post appearing originally in 2010. This is a classic! The album, not the blog post.

We have dusted off some of our own all-time favorite albums from our own collection, and today we want to share one that’s perfect for the Thanksgiving holiday – Alice’s Restaurant, from Arlo Guthrie.

The title song is of course an American classic – and a song played by many radio stations on Thanksgiving Day.  It’s a true story about a 1965 Thanksgiving when Arlo, the son of legendary songwriter and folksinger Woody Guthrie, and his friends were arrested for littering.  He eventually turned the tale into a story-song that ends with a timely protest sentiment, and … well, I’m sure you have heard it.

Guthrie debuted “Alice’s Restaurant” at the Newport Folk Festival, then he played it on NYC public radio station WBAI in the spring of 1967.  The station was flooded with requests for replays of the song and played it more often than anything else – later, during their annual fundraiser, station personnel promised to play it if a certain amount of money was pledged and later, to NOT play it if a certain amount was pledged.

Anyhow, Guthrie himself tinkered with the format of the song and even occasionally performed a “sequel” – titled “The Alice’s Restaurant Multi-Colored Rainbow Roach Affair,” he played it a few times live on WBAI.  Reprise Records officially released the LP Alice’s Restaurant in 1967 with the original “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree,” recorded live someplace.   The song clocks in at over 18 minutes and takes up the entire Side One of the record.  Even though hip FM stations played it, Reprise inexplicably released a shorter version on single.  Titled “Alice’s Rock and Roll Restaurant” and produced by Van Dyke Parks, this one took a few verses from the song and placed it over a generic blues-rock beat and completely changed the feel and intent of the song.

Flip over the album and there are six songs that are if not more conventional, at least they fit the folk rock style of the era.  “Chilling of the Evening” is a ballad with instrumentation more typically found on an album by any of the then-current pop singers of the day, like maybe Glen Campbell or Jim Nabors.  “I’m Going Home” and “Highway In The Wind” are both songs with a Byrds-like feel, and “Ring Around A Rosie Rag” is a bit of hippie jug-band nonsense but good fun nevertheless.   And of course, there’s the first chapter of “The Motorcycle Song,” which had its own sequels (including one on the 1968 followup LP Arlo).

Shortly after Guthrie appeared at Woodstock in 1969, he showed up in the Arthur Penn-directed movie Alice’s Restaurant.  None of the performances on the original Alice’s Restaurant album were in the movie, but the film and the ensuing soundtrack featured a full-length studio version of the title song.  In 1995, Guthrie re-recorded the entire Alice’s Restaurant album, complete with an updated (and even LONGER) version of the title song.

Guthrie only occasionally performs “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” live these days, but on Thanksgiving Day you can almost certainly find a radio station playing that original version.

So let’s enjoy some of the other incarnations of “Alice’s Restaurant” as well as a couple other tunes off the original album.  Now Arlo has been nice enough to record many versions of his most famous song – we are thankful for that and don’t want to be greedy on Thanksgiving … so we’re going to stream most of ’em.  That way you can hear them all!

Listen: The original “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” (1967)

MP3: “I’m Going Home”

MP3: “Ring Around A Rosie Rag”

MP3: “Highway In The Wind”

HOLIDAY BONUS: A harvest of “Alice’s Restaurant” versions and sequels!

MP3: “Alice’s Rock and Roll Restaurant” (1967 single)

MP3: “The Alice’s Restaurant Multi-Colored Rainbow Roach Affair” (1967 radio performance)

Listen: “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” (studio version) (1969)

MP3: “Alice’s Restaurant (30 Years Later)” (1995)

Listen: “Remembering Alice” (2004)

Listen: “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree (40th anniversary)” (2005)

Arlo Guthrie, remembering “Alice’s Restaurant” on NPR’s “All Things Considered”

YouTube: The Group W bench from the movie Alice’s Restaurant

Arlo.net – The official Arlo Guthrie website

Blog tributes

The great music blog Aquarium Drunkard pays tribute to “Alice’s Restaurant”

Wow, That’s A Good Song: Arlo Guthrie – “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree” from the blog How’s My Living?

From the movie.

Vinyl Tap Radio reviews the 1967 album

Squidoo has an illustrated version of the original “Alice’s Restaurant Massacree”

Marketing Calls has the printed lyrics

Hippie Chick tells the story in great detail

Suite 101 gets to the truth behind the story of “Alice’s Restaurant”

Video Du Jour: Mumford & Sons (on “Austin City Limits”)

Posted in News with tags , , on November 16, 2012 by 30daysout

This weekend, tune into the music series “Austin City Limits” for a rollicking encore episode featuring Flogging Molly and Mumford and Sons. The 60-minute show airs on PBS stations nationwide (check your local listings).

Flogging Molly are the Celtic punk rockers from Los Angeles led by singer Dave King, who also writes or co-writes much of the material with other band members. Mumford & Sons is of course the Grammy-nominated British folk rockers whose second studio album Babel is currently atop the Billboard charts.

Here’s “The Cave” from this weekend’s “Austin City Limits.”

And, as a bonus, a behind-the-scenes look at this weekend’s episode.

Austin City Limits official web site