Archive for Neville Brothers

(More Than) 40 Years Out: Tranquility Base Here

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 20, 2012 by 30daysout

Buzz Aldrin on the moon, 1969.

On this day in 1969, man set foot on the moon for the very first time. Looking at the photographs the astronauts shot that day, the moon seems like a fairly peaceful place. In fact, they called the landing site “Tranquility Base.”

Back on Earth, things weren’t so tranquil. Americans marched on Washington, D.C., to protest our involvement in the Vietnam War. The story of the My Lai massacre, where women and children were lined up in a ditch and shot, broke in the news. British troops were deployed to try and calm tensions in Northern Ireland. And so on.

It seemed like, on that one Sunday afternoon and evening, everything and everyone in the world just kind of stopped – if only for a few minutes, while two humans kicked up dust on the lunar surface. Many of us watched the shadowy figures on TV, live and in glorious grainy black and white.

Probably nobody really stopped what they were doing, but a teenager in Texas back then thought it would have been really cool if they did. And if we would have paid attention for a while, maybe we would have stopped fighting and yelling long enough share a little bit of wonder and pride in human accomplishment.

For just a minute or two … then we could get right back to killing each other. Which is what happened anyway.

Maybe one day we’ll go back to the moon, but many people will tell you there are infinitely more important ways to spend our time and money. And I suppose they are right. Still, somebody is going to get back there eventually. Tranquility Base will always be there, ready and waiting for us to start dreaming again.

MP3: “Moonlight” by Bob Dylan

MP3: “Bad Moon Rising” by Creedence Clearwater Revival

MP3: “Yellow Moon” (live) by the Neville Brothers

MP3: “Armstrong, Aldrin and Collins” by The Byrds

MP3: “Silver Moon” by Michael Nesmith & the First National Band

MP3: “Halo ‘Round The Moon” by Steve Earle

MP3: “Moon Dawg” by The Beach Boys

MP3: “Man On The Moon” by R.E.M.

MP3: “Moonlight Drive” (live) by The Doors

MP3: “Armstrong” by John Stewart

MP3: “Blue Moon” by Elvis Presley

MP3: “Kiko and the Lavender Moon” by Los Lobos

MP3: “Bark At The Moon” by Ozzy Osbourne

MP3: “Mountains Of The Moon” (live) by The Grateful Dead

MP3: “Brain Damage/Eclipse” by Pink Floyd

Mardi Gras Time

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , on February 11, 2012 by 30daysout

The season of Mardi Gras, the final big blowout before the period of fasting and sacrifice called Lent, begins this weekend.  Feel free to party as you please; here’s some music to help you on your way.

These are some Louisiana-style tunes to spice up your Mardi Gras mixtape. Play ‘em loud, play ‘em often and play ‘em all year – make every day a Mardi Gras Day.

MP3: “Between Eunice & Opelousas” by Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys

MP3: “Zydeco Et Pas Sale” by Clifton Chenier & His Red Hot Louisiana Band

MP3: “Grow Too Old”  by Bobby Charles

MP3: “Shake Your Tambourine” by the Neville Brothers

MP3: “Ooo Poo Pah Doo” by Trombone Shorty

MP3: “St. James Infirmary” by Allen Toussaint

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

MP3: “My Indian Red” by Dr. John

MP3: “It’s You I Love” by Fats Domino

MP3: “Tip On In (Part 2)” by Slim Harpo

MP3: “Give Him Cornbread” by Beau Jocque & The Zydeco Hi-Rollers

MP3: “Hot Tamale Baby” by Marcia Ball

Your Sister’s (Record) Rack: The Meters/Neville Brothers

Posted in Lost Classics! with tags , , , , , , on February 8, 2010 by 30daysout

Guess everyone’s talking about New Orleans today.  So in honor of the Saints in the Super Bowl, and Mardi Gras, let’s take a brief look at two albums with virtually the same title:  Fire On The Bayou by the Meters, and Fiyo On The Bayou, by the Neville Brothers.

The Meters are, of course, one of the greatest bands ever.  That they aren’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame is one of the true injustices in this world, and proof positive that the people running that Hall are trend-chasing lackeys who are more interested in selling tickets to tourists rather than honoring and preserving the history of great music.  Formed in 1965, the original quartet included drummer Zigaboo Modeliste, guitarist Leo Nocentelli, bassist George Porter Jr. and keyboardist extraordinaire Art Neville.  They had a few R&B instrumental hits including “Cissy Strut” and “Sophisticated Cissy,” and by 1972 they were the most sought-after players in New Orleans.  Becoming the house band for Allen Toussaint’s Sansu Records, they played on hits from Dr. John (“Right Place, Wrong Time”), Labelle (“Lady Marmalade”), Ernie K-Doe and many others.

In 1974 Paul McCartney asked the Meters to play on his album Venus and Mars, then they played the album’s release party aboard the Queen Mary.  Mick Jagger was blown away by the Meters, so he invited them to tour with the Stones that year.  That leads to 1975, and the album Fire On The Bayou.  Produced by Allen Toussaint, this classic unveiled the now classic title cut as well as a new, fifth band member: little Neville brother Cyril, on vocals and percussion.  “Fire” showcases what the Meters were all about: some really tasty riffs on top of a spicy, funky little rhythm.  “Talkin’ About New Orleans” and the extended groove “Middle Of The Road” are more of the same.

But there are two cuts that stand out above the rest: “Mardi Gras Mambo” is actually a cover, the original was cut in 1953 as a country song but the next year a New Orleans band, the Hawketts, made it their own.  The Hawketts were led by then-17-year-old Art Neville, and the song became a Mardi Gras standard.  The Meters’ version substituted Neville’s keyboards for the tasty sax on the Hawketts’ record, but it rocks anyway.  And then there’s “They All Ask’d For You,” a tune with some local catchphrases and an insanely catchy melody.  The Meters claimed writing credit on it, but there’s evidence at least some part of this song has been handed down among New Orleans musicians over the years but no matter – I remember going to New Orleans for Mardi Gras in 1976 or so and it was everywhere.

Continue reading

Yeah You Right ! Mardi Gras Day

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2009 by 30daysout

mardi-gras

Not much to say today: it’s Fat Tuesday/Mardi Gras day, and it’s the final big blowout before the period of fasting and sacrifice called Lent.  Feel free to party as you please; here’s some music to help you on your way.  Play ’em loud, play ’em often, and play ’em all year – make every day a Mardi Gras Day.

Don’t forget: You can tune in to real-time live webcams for your window on some Mardi Gras parades in New Orleans.  NOLA webcams

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

MP3: “Mardi Gras Mambo” by the Hawketts

MP3: “Big Chief” by Professor Longhair

MP3: “Mardi Gras In New Orleans” by Fats Domino

MP3: “Shake Your Curios” by the Snake Oil Stompers

MP3: “Cajun Honey” by the Tail Gators

MP3: “This Night Of Sin” by the Iguanas

MP3: “Soul Soul Soul” by the Wild Magnolias

MP3: “Voodoo” by the Neville Brothers

MP3: “Iko Iko” by Dr. John

MP3: “His Eye Is On The Sparrow” by the Blind Boys of Alabama w/the Preservation Hall Jazz Band

MP3: “Carnival Time” by the Rebirth Brass Band

MP3: “They All Ask’d For You/Hey Pocky Way” by the Meters (live 1977 broadcast on WNOE-FM)

MP3: “When The Saints Go Marchin’ In” by the Preservation Hall Jazz Band

Thanks to L.A. correspondent Randy Fuller for his contributions to this post.

 

Walkin’ To New Orleans: Let’s Go To The Mardi Gras!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on February 23, 2009 by 30daysout

bourbon-street1

Ah yes, Mardi Gras.  If this is your first time, welcome.  I remember my first Mardi Gras in New Orleans, back around 1978 or so.  I spent three days and nights there, and when I left I wondered “What the hell just happened?”

Mardi Gras is a party for the best of reasons: to have a party.  Catholics say it’s to get all the deviltry and mischief out of your system before Lent sets in but if you go to New Orleans you get the impression most of these partygoers aren’t worried about sinning, church and stuff like that. 

At Mardi Gras, you drink a lot.  You stand around to yell and grovel for someone to toss you cheap colored beads and worthless coins.  You drink some more.  Women walk up to you and lift up their shirts, and their breasts are painted like big eyeballs.  Prostitutes hit on you, transvestites hit on you, middle-aged male tourists from Des Moines hit on you.  You need to drink some more.

So, as a public service, on the other side of the jump we give you the official 30 Days Out Mardi Gras Party Kit.

Continue reading

It’s Time To Enshrine The Meters/Neville Brothers!

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , on February 23, 2009 by 30daysout
nevilles

The Neville Brothers

If there is anyone who deserves to be in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it’s Art Neville.  He should have been one of the first guys to get in there.  Art is the cornerstone of two of the greatest bands of all time- both of which should have been in the Rock Hall a long time ago.

Of course, Art Neville is the keyboardist and singer of The Meters (sometimes known as the Funky Meters), simply the finest bunch of musicians to ever come out of New Orleans.  The Meters – guitarist Leo Nocentelli, drummer Joseph “Zigaboo” Modeliste, bass player George Porter Jr. and Art Neville – collaborated with the great Allen Toussaint on landmark recordings.  They appear on “Right Place, Wrong Time” by Dr. John, “Lady Marmalade” by Labelle, “Listen To What the Man Said” by Paul McCartney and Wings, and countless other hits.

The Meters also made their own records, and they are great.  They worked as a mostly instrumental unit in the late 1960s and early 1970s, cranking out such funky standards as “Look-Ka Py Py” and “Cissy Strut.”  But in 1972 they signed with Warner Bros./Reprise and added Art’s little brother Cyril on vocals and bongos, and kicked off a creative period that included the classic albums Rejuvenation (1974) and Fire On The Bayou (1975).  “Hey Pocky Way,” the monster track from Rejuvenation, kicks off with an Art Neville piano lick that virtually defines New Orleans music.

meters20101

The original Meters

In 1976 George “Big Chief Jolly” Landry began recording an album of New Orleans Mardi Gras music with his Wild Tchoupitoulas “Indians” (a social group known for its elaborate costumes during Mardi Gras).  The one trouble was, the Tchoupitoulas weren’t musicians.  But Landry just happened to have a few nephews who were – they were all named Neville.  So the Meters served as the Tchoupitoulas rhythm section and for fun they invited brother Aaron Neville to sit in.  They covered “Hey Pocky Way” again (the Nevilles would also do it later).

Continue reading