Archive for December, 2012

2012 in review

Posted in Uncategorized on December 31, 2012 by 30daysout

The stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

About 55,000 tourists visit Liechtenstein every year. This blog was viewed about 340,000 times in 2012. If it were Liechtenstein, it would take about 6 years for that many people to see it. Your blog had more visits than a small country in Europe!

Click here to see the complete report.

Happy New Year Again – Live with the Grateful Dead

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


We started a tradition of sorts last year when we offered some live Doors music for a New Year’s Eve party. Let’s keep it going: this year, we can all dig the Grateful Dead.

When the Grateful Dead were walking the earth, it was a tradition too that they played New Year’s Eve some place, usually some place in California. They shut down the Winterland Arena in San Francisco in 1978, playing the venerable venue’s last show ever (with the Blues Brothers).

The Grateful Dead’s legendary live shows, with large chunks of improvised performance, are noteworthy for their sheer passion and depth of virtuosity, if not also for their length. When you hear today about some guy or some band playing a three or four-hour show,  just know that long51lruRJsA8L._SL500_AA300_ ago The Grateful Dead did it first.

The band wrote a lot of its own music and many of those songs – including “Sugar Magnolia,” “Estimated Prophet” and “Fire On The Mountain” – are classics. But they knew how to play those cover versions too.

Many people are not fans of The Grateful Dead, that’s for sure. But for every one of those there has to be at least four or five devoted fans – surely the Dead have one of the largest and most loyal fan bases in all of rock and roll.

This is a pretty decent audience recording, from Dec. 31, 1980, at Oakland Coliseum. What you have here is only a part of the show – the last part – and if you want the whole concert you can go here and download it. Thanks to the Internet Archive for the loan of the downloads.

MP3: “China Cat Sunflower”

MP3:  Countdown to Midnight

MP3: “Sugar Magnolia”

MP3: “Scarlet Begonias”

MP3: “Fire On The Mountain”

MP3: “Estimated Prophet”

MP3: “The Other One”

MP3: “Wharf Rat”

MP3: “Around and Around”

MP3: “Sunshine Daydream”

MP3: “(I Can’t Get No) Satisfaction”

MP3: “Brokedown Palace”

Happy New Year!

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , on December 28, 2012 by 30daysout

new year pin-up1

Here’s hoping you had a fine 2012 … and that you will experience a great 2013. See you in the new year.

Here’s a little New Year’s Eve playlist, complete with a few apocalyptic “over the cliff” tunes tossed in.

MP3: “Happy New Year Baby” by Johnny Otis & His Orchestra

MP3: “New Year’s Eve” by Tom Waits

MP3: “Happy New Year” by ABBA

MP3: “What Are You Doing New Year’s Eve” by The Head and the Heart

MP3: “New Year’s Resolution” by Otis Redding & Carla Thomas

MP3: “Don’t Drink and Drive, Duh”  Public Service Announcement by Pee Wee Herman

MP3: “Queer For The New Year” by Blowfly (NSFW)

MP3: “Happy New Year” by Lightnin’ Hopkins

MP3: “Funky New Year” by the Eagles

MP3: “Auld Lang Syne” by Rod Stewart

YouTube: New Year’s Eve Countdown/”Sugar Magnolia” by the Grateful Dead, 1980

MP3: “Life During Wartime” (live) by Talking Heads

MP3: “Soylent Green” by Carbon/Silicon

MP3: “Dancing With Myself” by Billy Idol

MP3: “Party At Ground Zero” by Fishbone

Best, Worst & Whatever of 2012

Posted in Rock Moment on December 26, 2012 by 30daysout

What kind of music did YOU listen to this year?

Well, Happy New Year. We got to the end of another one – there were some twists and turns along the way, and a few nasty surprises, but we managed to make it here once more.

This is the place where we should name our “best of” list and stuff, but we should say up front … there was a lot of good music this year and a handful of really good albums. Despite the headline above, we won’t deal with the worst – who cares?

And we won’t bore you with what we think is the best – we don’t know ourselves – but here are some things we listened to (and read, and watched) this year. All highly recommended, of course.

Old Believers by Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons – We caught this act at SXSW, and we fell in love with Chisel’s heartfelt singing and songwriting, as well as with keyboardist/backing vocalist Adriel Denae. Great campfire music!

YouTube: “I’ve Been Accused” by Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons

Men Without Women Live by Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes – Beloved Jersey shore band performs an entire album by another band – Southside Johnny pays tribute to Little Steven & the Disciples of Soul. Great party music!

MP3: “Forever” by Southside Johnny & the Asbury Jukes

Celebration Day (live) by Led Zeppelin – The rock juggernaut’s first non-compilation album in many years is a live one, recorded in 2007 in London. This is a multimedia affair appearing in CD, DVD/Blu-ray and accompanying theatrical movie release. When the three original members were honored recently at the Kennedy Center, reunion rumors blazed once again.

YouTube: “Kashmir” from Celebration Day

Wrecking Ball by Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band – Angry, and slightly behind the times, Springsteen’s State of the Union address hit hard nevertheless. Punctuated by a keynote speech and concert at SXSW and a never-ending tour schedule, the Boss rode this album throughout the year and continues into 2013 with no end in sight.

Blunderbuss by Jack White – Blues, R&B and country intersected best on this album from the former White Stripe backed by two bands – one all male, the other all female. Also a live highlight this year, we caught him at the Austin City Limits festival and at his taping for an upcoming “Austin City Limits” episode (airing Jan. 5).

YouTube: “Blunderbuss” by Jack White

The Rest of Our Favorite Albums of 2012

Tempest – Bob Dylan

The Lumineers

Rebirth – Jimmy Cliff

Babel – Mumford & SonsThe_Beach_Boys_-_That's_Why_God_Made_the_Radio_Album_Cover

St. Peter & 57th – Preservation Hall Jazz Band and guests (click on link to download “St. James Infirmary”)

Slipstream – Bonnie Raitt

Carnaby Street by The Michael Des Barres Band

Tomorrowland by Ryan Bingham

Delta Spirit (click on link to download “California”)

That’s Why God Made The Radio – The Beach Boys

Heroes – Willie Nelson

Blak and Blu – Gary Clark Jr.

Our Favorite Live Performances of 2012

Paul McCartney, Houston Minute Maid Park

Neil Young & Crazy Horse 2

Neil Young & Crazy Horse at Austin City Limits Music Festival

Neil Young & Crazy Horse, Austin City Limits Music Festival

Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, South by Southwest, Austin

Willie Nelson, Houston Free Press Summer Fest

Eric Burdon, South by Southwest, Austin

The Beach Boys, Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion, Houston

Van Halen, Houston Toyota Center

Mumford & Sons, University of Texas, Austin

Jack White, “Austin City Limits” taping

Rock and Roll Reading List for 2012

Roll Me Up And Smoke Me When I Die by Willie Nelson

Waging Heavy Peace by Neil Young

Making Rumours: The Inside Story of the Classic Fleetwood Mac Album by Ken Caillat

Who I Am by Pete Townshend

Happy Holidays from 30 Days Out: Peace On Earth

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


REPOST from 2008 (with slight updating): – I remember when the Apollo 8 astronauts went into space, right before Christmas in 1968. That was a rough year – Martin Luther King and Robert F. Kennedy were shot, Vietnam was a bloody stain on the other side of the world. Violence boiled over into the streets. As Christmas week opened, three men in a little metal capsule hurtled through space toward the moon.

The astronauts of Apollo 8 were the first humans earth-riseto reach the orbit of another planetary body. As they streaked across the dark side of the moon on Christmas Eve, they turned on their TV camera. A live audience of millions heard the astronauts read from the Book of Genesis while we saw our bright blue planet rise gracefully above the lunar surface. We looked so fragile, so small – how can we not find a way to live together?

Today we have family and friends in the military, fighting wars on the other side of the world. In nearly every corner of the world, there are people who dream of making war.  In our own country, mistrust and prejudice are alive and well. We end the year on a note of unspeakable tragedy, burying small children whose lives were cut short.

As we face a new year and new challenges, perhaps we can look at ourselves once again and learn a small lesson from the past.

So on Christmas day, this day of hope and promise, we leave you with Apollo 8 astronaut Frank Borman’s signoff from that night more than 40 years ago:  “Good night, good luck, and a Merry Christmas to all of you – all of you on the good Earth.”

MP3: “Sleigh Ride” by the Ventures

MP3: “(I Saw Santa) Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by the Beach Boys

MP3: “Natal” by Cesaria Evora

MP3: “I Believe In Father Christmas” by Greg Lake

MP3: “The Chanukkah Song” by Neil Diamond

MP3: “In The Quiet Of Christmas Morning” by the Moody Blues

MP3: “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” by the Crystals

MP3: “2000 Miles” by Scala & Kolacny Brothers

MP3: “Mambo Santa Mambo” by the Enchanters

MP3: “The Rebel Jesus” by the Chieftains with Jackson Browne

MP3: “Fairytale Of New York” by the Pogues with Kirsty MacColl

MP3:  “We Wish You A Merry Christmas” by the Weavers

MP3: “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” by John Lennon & Yoko Ono

What’s More Powerful Than A Gun?

Posted in Rock Moment on December 17, 2012 by 30daysout

It’s been a painful weekend for many people. So much heartbreak, so much pain and the deeper we go the worse it gets.

We offer here a flip side, a shinier and more hopeful side of the coin. We offer a little true story that happened in New York City, and we offer a prayer – that most people instinctively are good and will do the right thing.

Watch, and believe: yes, that is all you need. God bless you, John Lennon.

Repost: (Less Than) 30 Days Out from Christmas: Jingle Bell Jazz

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , on December 16, 2012 by 30daysout


Jingle Bell Jazz was one of the coolest albums of Christmas music ever.  Originally released in 1962, this unassuming little compilation featured an all-star cast of jazz luminaries like Miles Davis, Dave Brubeck, Duke Ellington and others.

It was reissued on vinyl but now it has disappeared into the mists of time. The original Jingle Bell Jazz was issued by Columbia in 1962 (its cover featured a red Santa sack with gifts) and the reissue from 1980 (cover pictured above) only appeared on vinyl LP.

In 1985, the label combined Jingle Bell Jazz with another album God Rest Ye Merry Jazzmen, and the resulting CD entitled Jingle Bell Jazz is a distillation of both.

Aficionados prefer the original vinyl-only versions of the album, probably because the CD reissue leaves out some crucial artists. So, as our Christmas gift to you, here are some new digital files from the original Jingle Bell Jazz, plus some other cool jazz Christmas tunes.

MP3: “Jingle Bells” by Duke Ellington

MP3: “White Christmas” by Lionel Hampton

MP3: “Winter Wonderland” by Chico Hamilton

MP3: “Rudolph The Red Nosed Reindeer” by Pony Poindexter

MP3: “Santa Claus Is Comin’ To Town” by the Dave Brubeck Quartet

MP3: “Blue Xmas (To Whom It May Concern) by Miles Davis

MP3: “Deck The Halls” by Herbie Hancock

MP3: “Rockin’ Around The Christmas Tree” by Marlowe Morris

And some other nice jazz holiday tunes:

MP3: “Greensleeves” by John Coltrane

MP3: “The Christmas Song” by Dexter Gordon

MP3: “Let It Snow” by Wynton Marsalis

(Less Than) 30 Days Out From Christmas: Yuletide Tales

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2012 by 30daysout


In the weeks before Christmas, it’s kinda tough to get the kids calmed down. They’re rabid with anticipation, giddy with thoughts of Santa – more likely, fueled by so much caffeine and greed they could stay awake until Memorial Day.

So why don’t you gather them around for a little story? It doesn’t have to be a spoken word story – plenty of Christmas tunes tell their own little tales. But a good, long tale … why, that’s enough to send even the toughest kid into Dreamland.

MP3: “The Night Before Christmas” by Bob Dylan

MP3: “Father Christmas” by The Kinks

MP3: “The Old Man’s Drunk Again” by Jimmy Martin

MP3: “The Meaning of Christmas” by C3-PO and Friends

MP3: “It Came Upon A Midnight Clear” by Frank Sinatra

MP3: “Frosty The Snowman” by Steve “Lips” Kudlow, Bumblefoot, Chris Chaney & Kenny Aronoff

MP3: “Santa Claus and His Old Lady” by Cheech & Chong

MP3: “Christmas In Prison” by John Prine

MP3: “Snoopy’s Christmas” by the Royal Guardsmen

MP3: “The Bizarre Christmas Incident” by the Ben Folds Five

MP3: “.22 Rifle For Christmas” episode of “Dragnet” radio show

Very Superstitious: Can You Actually Help Your Team Win?

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , on December 8, 2012 by 30daysout

Arian Foster (23) of the Houston Texans is pretty good.

The answer to the question posed in the headline is: no. But it’s fun to think that maybe, there’s an all-powerful force somewhere guiding the universe and making sure the planets revolve around their life-giving or death-dealing stars, who says “Yeah, if Bubba doesn’t brush his teeth on game day his team will win.”

However, on every game day for every sport, there are probably thousands of people who believe that something that they may do or not do, something they may say or not say, or even something they may think or not think, will help their team win. Or lose.


What do you think? This?

The most casual observer – usually a non-sports fan – would most likely say people who nevertheless have  sports superstitions are just plain nuts. Yeah, but it’s fun and it takes our minds off that nasty day in November when our candidate would have won if we’d just worn our red sweater to the polls.

So, on Monday, our hometown team the Houston Texans are gonna face the mighty New England Patriots in cold Foxboro, Mass. The gamblers and pundits will tell you the upstart Texans are underdogs, despite having the better record (11-1) vs. the Patriots’ record (9-3), etc. The Texans haven’t lost a road game this season, but they will play in a place where a visitor hasn’t won in December since 2002.

You will hear the TV announcers say that on Monday night. Of course, if you place too much stock in that stuff then you are really no better off than those guys who think that red sweater is a key to their team’s victory.

Super Bowl

Or this?

Naturally we want our hometown Houston boys to win, but we realize (hope) it’s gonna be a heck of a game either way. So this morning we’re at the supermarket to purchase some adult refreshment for the weekend and we see our team’s logo on a famous brand of beer. It doesn’t help that this particular company is running a commercial about fans and their stupid superstitions … to hell with that, let’s drink that stuff on Monday night!

Ha, we’re gonna help our boys win! We’re going to overcome that formidable Patriots mystique with some Texas mojo of our own.

But wait, just down the aisle there’s another display – the same brand of beer, with a different logo: Super Bowl XLVII (what number is that? Somebody please email the answer)! Hmm, what would be a better choice? Drinking a beer with my team’s logo, or swilling the same exact beer with an ever more hopeful Super Bowl logo?

Well, we bought our beer and really, we’re gonna have it all gone by Monday night. So we have to make this brutal choice again on Game Day. Life is hell sometimes.

MP3: “Superstition” by Stevie Wonder

MP3: “The Autumn Wind” with John Facenda

MP3: “Lombardi” with John Facenda

MP3: “Pain Is Inevitable” with John Facenda

MP3: “Be Savage Again” with John Facenda

MP3: “A Golden Boy Again (Up She Rises)”

MP3: “November” with John Facenda

MP3: “The Pony Soldiers”

MP3: “75 Seasons Suite”

Our own Texans fight song, by George Kovacik and Jeff Balke of Orange Is In, this blog’s house band.

MP3: “What It Was, Was Football” by Andy Griffith

MP3: “Backfield In Motion” by Mel & Tim

MP3: “Flyin’ Helmets” by Kyle Turley

MP3: “All My Rowdy Friends Are Coming Over For Monday Night Football” by Hank Williams Jr.

And do you remember Faith Hill? Of course you do. Sorry, we love this!

Christmas Video Du Jour: Dropkick Murphys

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags on December 6, 2012 by 30daysout

A new Christmas song and video from our (second) favorite band from Boston, Dropkick Murphys. Like any good Christmas celebration, it has smoking, drinking, gambling, mischief and skanky women. Santa falls off the roof, the Padre pays a visit and a couple of rotten kids leave an unexpected gift in the stockings.

“The Season’s Upon Us” will appear on the Murphys’ new album SIGNED and SEALED in BLOOD, due out Jan. 8. You can get an immediate MP3 download of the song by pre-ordering the album at the Dropkick Murphys official web site.