Worst Christmas Songs Ever: “Baby, It’s Cold Outside”

Posted in Christmas with tags , on December 12, 2013 by 30daysout

Songs that are supposed to put you in a festive mood can sometimes have the opposite effect when you are exposed to them 24/7 on the radio or at the store when you are busy running up your credit cards buying gifts that people will most often forget about come January. That being said. I really like Christmas music. “The Andy Williams Christmas Album” (the red one) and anything by Frank Sinatra, Nat ‘King” Cole, Perry Como, Jerry Vale, etc  all put me in the holiday mood. The Trans-Siberian Orchestra is also a favorite and their yearly trek to Houston has become a family tradition. But there are those songs that, whenever you hear them, make you want to throw the radio out the window. One of those at the top of  my list is…Baby, It’s Cold Outside.

The tune was written in 1944 by Frank Loesser, who also gave the world “Guys and Dolls” and “How to Succeed in Business Without Really Trying” just to name a few.  The song has been recorded by everyone from Dinah Shore to Ella Fitzgerald to Zooey Deschanel to Leon Redbone to Dean Martin. Every time I hear it, it’s like a needle in the eye. I just want to take both people, throw them outside, and lock the door. It’s like “just do it” already. She clearly doesn’t want to leave. He doesn’t want her to leave, so get after it. Gets some wine, curl up by the fire and do what needs to be done. Forget about the “maybe just a cigarette more” and just heave-ho.

Below is quite possibly the worst version ever by Rod Stewart and Dolly Parton.

New Song Alert! “Marley Jane” by Duane Dulane

Posted in Uncategorized on September 4, 2013 by 30daysout

“If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound?”

There comes a time when you no longer give a shit what people think. I have finally reached that point when it comes to my musical ability.  “Will they like it?” is a phrase that will no longer permeate my mind or my soul. Here it is. You either like it or you don’t. You either want to listen or you don’t. I’m throwing it out there whether you like it or not. Trying to please everyone but yourself is a useless exercise. It’s very tiring and not very productive.  Am I a great guitar player? Far from it. Am I a great singer? Far from it. Am I a great songwriter? Far from it. However, all three make me happy, so I will continue to try and get better everyday.

This rant is not about any single person, group, place or thing. This is all about me. It’s me telling the demon who tries to bring me down every minute of every day that enough is enough. I will no longer listen to you about anything, especially music. Crawl back to your hole and bother the millions of others who call you friend. I have no use for you.

Now that I got that out of the way….the video above is for a new tune called “Marley Jane.” It’s a tune about watching your daughter grow up and realizing how much time you wasted not enjoying it more. Pursuing this, pursuing that. Missing the little things while you chased things that lead down the path to nowhere. Looking at her picture and saying to yourself…”when did you become this beautiful young woman?” “Where was I?”

The song pretty much wrote itself. It’s easy to write about a blessing. My daughter is a blessing to everyone she meets. She takes after her mother. I got lucky twice.

If you get a chance, let me know what you think. Enjoy!

Friday is Boss’ Day: The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle (Live in Rome)

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , , , , , , , on July 12, 2013 by 30daysout

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Sounds like it was a magical night in Rome last night as Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band’s “Wrecking Ball”  tour continues to storm its way across Europe. After a roaring version of “Kitty’s Back,” Bruce broke out side 2 of The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle complete with strings. I have included the rarely played gem, “New York City Serenade,” and “Incident on 57th St.” from last night’s set list that also included “Lucky Town,” “Roulette,” and the underrated, “Bobby Jean.”

Backstreets Magazine

“New York City Serenade” (Live in Rome) by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

“Incident on 57th St.” (Live in Rome) by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band

Cover Me: “Real World” by Georange

Posted in Bruce Springsteen, Cover Me with tags , , , , , , , on July 9, 2013 by 30daysout

I know “Cover Me” is not a very creative title, but I could care less. It’s the best title for this weekly segment that will feature Bruce Springsteen covers performed by unknown artists. I plan to scour the web looking for the best versions of great Boss tunes. There are so many great musicians out there who are never heard and I plan to use this blog to help some of them find an audience.

I know this is shameless, but up first, is me. I am the lead singer of the Houston rock band, Orange Is In. Back in 2010, I did my first ever solo gig at a place called Bohemeo’s in Southeast Houston. It was a small Mexican restaurant/bar that had a great vibe and great owners. On the setlist that night was “Real World,” an excellent love song from Springsteen’s Human Touch album. While the album version is a little over produced, the acoustic version from the 1990 Christic Institute show is beyond amazing. That is the version I tried to capture on that hot July evening.

Feel free to send links to Springsteen covers you would like to see featured in this weekly post. We welcome all comers.

“Real World” by Bruce Springsteen (1990 Christic Institute Show)

“I Heard It On TV” – Finding More New Music on the Tube

Posted in News with tags , , , , , , , , , , on July 5, 2013 by 30daysout

By George Kovacik

A couple of years ago I discovered I could find better songs watching television than I could listening to the radio. Songs I would never have come across otherwise are now in power rotation in the car and on the iPod. Songs like “Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down” by Robert Plant and Band of Joy from the ill-fated, but incredible Starz drama Boss, the gruff “This Life” and the poignant Product Details“John the Revelator” from the excellent Sons of Anarchy, performed by 90s “Sunny 99.1” artist Curtis Stigers and the Forest Rangers. SOA also introduced me to other gems such as “Alesund” by Sun Kil Moon, “Our Last Flight” by Scala & Kolacny Brothers, the incredible “Mary” by Patty Griffin, “This Charming Life” by Joan Armatrading, “Into Thy Hands” by The Celtic Rangers Family Singers, “Big Fella” by Black 47 and “Dad’s Gonna Kill Me” by the incomparable Richard Thompson.

Before it went off the air, One Tree Hill, contributed “The Sun” by the Naked and the Famous and “Secret Crowds” by Angels and Airwaves. The great Friday Night Lights left us with “Skull and Bones” by A.A. Bondy and “When the Night Comes” by Dan Auerbach among many others. NBC’s Parenthood is a great resource for new music. The Lennings do an outstanding cover of “You’re the One that I Want” from Grease. James Blake covers the Joni Mitchell tune “A Case of You,” and thank you for Donovan’s excellent “Catch the Wind.” The canceled Damages contributed Greg Laswell’s great solo piano version of “Girls Just Wanna Have Fun,” while HBO’s Big Love introduced me to “Home” by Engineers.

Who says watching too much TV is a bad thing?

“Satan Your Kingdom Must Come Down” (From the Starz drama “Boss”) by Robert Plant and Band of Joy

“This Life” (From “Sons of Anarchy”) by Curtis Stigers and the Forest Rangers

“Alesund” (From “Sons of Anarchy”) by Sun Kil Moon

“Skull & Bones” (From “Friday Night Lights”) by A.A. Bondy

“The Sun” (From “One Tree Hill”) by The Naked and the Famous

“Girls Just Wanna Have Fun” (From “Damages”) by Greg Laswell

“Home” (From “Big Love”) by Engineers

“Mary” (From “Sons of Anarchy”) by Patty Griffin

Happy “4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)”

Posted in Bruce Springsteen with tags , , on July 4, 2013 by 30daysout

By George Kovacik

Today is a day where we here in the United States celebrate our freedom, eat hot dogs and watch fireworks. Just for you, here is a great summer tune from one of America’s greatest treasures, Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band. It’s one of the last songs the band ever played with original member, “Phantom” Danny Federici. Have a safe holiday!

“4th of July, Asbury Park (Sandy)” by Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band (Live in Indianapolis, 2008)

CD Review: “That’s It” by The Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , on July 3, 2013 by 30daysout

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By George Kovacik

My wife and I get 48 hours a year to be together all by ourselves and we usually spend that time around our anniversary in the great city of New Orleans. Our nightly trek usually starts at the legendary Pat O’Brien’s. We enter off of Bourbon St., walk through the crowd, get a blast of hot air from the big fire pit in the middle, and then make our way to the back and order a hurricane (a drink so powerful you only need one). We then stand around for a few minutes and people watch,  and when we are ready to leave, we walk out the back past the long line of people waiting to get into to see the Preservation Hall Jazz Band in the infamous Preservation Hall.

Preservation Hall was founded in 1961 by Allan and Sandra Jaffe as a way to preserve New Orleans Jazz. The building in the French Quarter was once a tavern in the War of 1812 and to this day has never received a “facelift.” Even though it has no air conditioning or any other modern day luxury, it’s packed every night by people eager to bop along to music played by some of the finest musicians in the Crescent City.

In the band’s illustrious 50-year history, it has never recorded an album of all original material…until now. That’s It, produced by Jim James of My Morning Jacket and director Ben Jaffe (son of the Hall’s founders) was recorded in the famed venue and is quite a delight.  Drummer Joe Lastie kicks the album into high gear on the album’s first track “That’s It,”  which also features stellar tuba work by Jaffe and a very creative trumpet solo by Mark Braud. “Dear Lord (Give Me Strength) is pure New Orleans dance music with a great gospel vocal. “Sugar Plum” almost sounds like it could have a rap over it like many of the songs on HBO’s Treme’ soundtrack.  “Rattlin’ Bones” has a Dr. John vibe, “I Think I Love You” and “Come With Me,” both sung by the legendary Charlie Gabriel, are as cool as the other side of the pillow, and the sultry “August Nights” is one of those ballads that would have been cool to here Frank Sinatra belt out with the band.

I will have to admit I am not a jazz connoisseur by any stretch of the imagination, but I really love the stuff that comes out of that little old building at 726 St. Peters. This new album, which comes out on Tuesday, is a fun, spirited collection of originals that will have you dancing and wanting to lift up your shirt for some beads. Okay, maybe that last part is just wishful thinking.

“That’s It” (NPR First Stream of entire album)

The Making of “That’s It”