Archive for Norah Jones

Video Du Jour: Norah Jones w/Cory Chisel

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , on September 19, 2012 by 30daysout

We caught both of these acts at SXSW this year – Norah Jones with her country-roots band The Little Willies, and Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons.  It’s absolutely no surprise they are now touring together.

Chisel played an excellent country rock set at a celebration of Gram Parsons and the Foundation established in his name – Cory was aided most ably by singer Adriel Denae and a band belonging to his friend Brendan Benson. Although we didn’t see it, Jones also performed a pop set featuring tunes off her latest, Little Broken Hearts. Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons have also released a new album, Old Believers.

Here are Chisel and Denae joining Jones onstage in Italy to perform the Gram Parsons classic “Hickory Wind.”

SXSW Ripples: We’ve Heard Some Of This Before

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

Jimmy Cliff leads the list of SXSW 2012 performers with new music out.

We had a great time at the SXSW event this past March in Austin, we got to meet some fine folks and experience some truly strange times. The coolest thing, though, is all of the music out now that we got a preview of at the conference. Let’s go through some of it:

Jimmy Cliff, a member of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, gave us a taste of his new album Rebirth. It’s his first album in eight years, and certainly a return to form for the reggae master. Produced by Rancid frontman Tim Armstrong, songs like “One More” and “Ship Is Sailing” embraces Cliff’s classic sound while snapping it right up to date. This album is just one great moment after another: from the righteous “World Upside Down,” to the scathing “Children’s Bread,” to the soulful “Cry No More.” Jimmy hits a peak on his cover of The Clash’s “Guns of Brixton,” which name checks Jimmy Cliff’s own masterpiece The Harder They Come.

YouTube: “I Can See Clearly Now” by Jimmy Cliff at Waterloo Records

Norah Jones

We kinda fell in love with Norah Jones (again) at SXSW, when we saw her play with her roots-country band The Little Willies. We didn’t get to see her solo showcase, which previewed her new pop album Little Broken Hearts. While the songs explore the hurt and confusion of a fractured relationship, the sound is dark but very rich. Thank Norah’s co-producer/co-writer Danger Mouse and Norah’s own adventurousness for push-the-envelope gems like “Miriam” and “Happy Pills.”

Let’s call out a fresh talent now: Cory Chisel fronted a band he calls the Wandering Sons at a show for the Gram Parsons Foundation, but most of the players were apparently on loan from Cory’s musician friend Brendan Benson. We did like backup singer-keyboardist Adriel Denae, and she’s prominent on Chisel’s new Old Believers. Hailing from Minnesota, Cory has a winning roots-country sound that isn’t afraid to ride rough and rock out.  “Times Won’t Change” was a crowd favorite, and “This Is How It Goes,” which kicks off the album, has a lovely vocal turn from Adriel. Best of the lot are “I’ve Been Accused” and the rousing come-to-meeting stomper “Over Jordan.” Cory Chisel and the Wandering Sons are on tour right now, opening for Norah Jones – we strongly suggest you get out and catch this killer ticket.

YouTube: Cory Chisel & the Wandering Sons “This Is How It Goes/I’ve Been Accused” on “Late Night With David Letterman”

We took some of Austin’s awesome Hey Cupcake! pastries to PUJOL because they are so cool, they are great rockers and frontman Daniel Pujol helped us get in to see Jack White’s showcase. Be that as it may, PUJOL’s first full-length LP United States of Being is a fine effort, front-loaded with rockers like “DIY2K” and “Providence.” Don’t miss “Black Rabbit,” Daniel’s tribute to his real-life pet, and “Each And Every Day,” which would be a radio hit if such a thing still existed.

YouTube: “Black Rabbit” by PUJOL

We gotta give some love to our friend and SXSW regular Alejandro Escovedo, for his rockin’ new album Big Station. Al played some of the most popular gigs at SXSW this year, nearly shutting down traffic on South Congress when he played in the parking lot of the San Jose Hotel and opening a show at ACL Live for some guy named Springsteen. Also, a shout out to Hacienda, who we saw at the San Jose in 2011; they have a new out too. It’s called Shakedown, and it’s produced by Black Keys guitarist/singer Dan Auerbach.

YouTube: Hacienda sizzle reel for Shakedown

Finally, a couple of faves from past years at SXSW … We caught The Gaslight Anthem under a tent in a parking lot in 2007, and since then they’ve carved out a great rock and roll niche for themselves. Their new album is Handwritten and it’s chock full of rockers (the great “Howl”) and passion (the title cut).

And if you missed our interview with rock royalty Michael Des Barres, you should not pass up on Carnaby Street, his new album. It’s our favorite album of the summer – with the blistering title track, the soul rockin’ “Forgive Me,” and Texas steamy “Hot And Sticky” you can’t go wrong. Mike and his expert band sound a bit like Rod Stewart fronting the Rolling Stones, and on “My Baby Saved My Ass” they manage to out-rock even those geriatric superstars. If you like your rock and roll old school and below the belt, Des Barres is the man for you.

YouTube: “Obsession” by Michael Des Barres at SXSW 2010

Video Du Jour: Norah Jones

Posted in News with tags , , on April 23, 2012 by 30daysout

Norah Jones

We kinda sorta fell in love with Norah Jones during SXSW. We saw her play with her countryfied cohorts the Little Willies, and we were just taken with her voice and her shy-but-not-so-shy stage presence.

What we didn’t do was catch her evening SXSW set, where she showcased songs off her upcoming album Little Broken Hearts. This is a solo pop effort, produced with the help of Danger Mouse … it’s coming out May 1 and the first single is “Happy Pills.” Catch Norah on “Late Night With David Letterman” on May 2.

Norah Jones official website

SXSW Day Two: The Big Names Take Over

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

Tom Morello rips it up as the Nightwatchman.

AUSTIN – First off, our apologies today for all the up-and-coming acts that we were supposed to spotlight – Thursday at the South by Southwest music conference, the big names took over.

Everywhere we looked, there seemed to be one superstar or another under foot. We couldn’t help but stumble into a show with a familiar voice or two.

We started the day in a parking lot: namely the front lot of the great independent record store Waterloo Records, celebrating its 3oth anniversary this year by hosting 30 acts for SXSW. First up was Blitzen Trapper, a Portland-based quintet led by the potent combination of frontman/songwriter Eric Earley and keyboardist/guitarist Marty Marquis. Touring behind their latest album American Goldwing, the Trappers offered a mellow Grateful Dead vibe that threatened to become the Dead’s “St. Stephen” on at least four of their songs.

At roughly the same time, Mississippi-born-and-bred Bass Drum of Death commanded one of the four stages at the Spider House, a coffeehouse/night spot near the University of Texas campus. This trio launches a blowtorch rock sound that blows the hair back; they had an awful lot of energy for a bleary-eyed SXSW morning.

Richard Julian and Norah Jones of the Little Willies.

And then, it just seemed the familiar and the famous took over. Back at Waterloo Records, the accomplished chamber country act The Little Willies tuned up their acoustics. In the land of the “Big Willie” (that’s Nelson to you non-Texans) the Little Willies are as adept and entertaining as they come – led by singer/guitarist Richard Julian and guitarist Jim Campilongo, these Willies kick it up a notch with their “chick singer”: Norah Jones.

Jones’ clear-as-tequila vocals, with a hint of Texas twang, poured honey all over country standards like Loretta Lynn’s “Fist City,” as well as Hank Williams’ “Lovesick Blues.” Then they infused “Jolene,” the Dolly Parton classic, with a ton of smoldering sensuality. Just sublime. In 2002 we saw a still unknown Jones perform in a Starbucks parking lot; a few years and a shelf-load of Grammys later she has traded up her SXSW venue to one with a little more car space. But seriously, Jones gives the Willies a rest Saturday as she previews her newest solo album Little Broken Hearts, a collaboration with Brian “Danger Mouse” Burton.

Then we traded up venues ourselves, this time to Threadgills’ restaurant which stands on the hallowed ground of the beloved Armadillo World Headquarters. The Armadillo was razed in 1980 but Threadgills offers a cozy little beer garden which hosted a private party for New West Records, the indie/Americana label based in L.A., Austin and Athens, Ga.

We caught part of a set by The Mastersons, the Texas duo that’s been backing Steve Earle, and a spacey set by Ponderosa, whose music reminds me of a cowboy riding his horse off a precipice and floating off into space. Then came the headliner, Tom Morello in his guise as the Nightwatchman, who packed an electrifying jolt of jagged rock and militant populism.

Bruce Springsteen and Eric Burdon.

Fists pumped along to his aggressive anthems “Whatever It Takes” and “Union Town,” then Morello unleashed his guitar pyrotechnics on a fiery version of Bruce Springsteen’s “Ghost of Tom Joad.” Citing the 100th birth year of folk pioneer Woody Guthrie, Morello invited a shy Shooter Jennings onstage to romp through an acoustic singalong of “This Land Is Your Land.”

Caught for a few minutes before his set, Morello explained how “This Land Is Your Land” is more relevant than ever as the Occupy movement has given people in this country a new voice. “I got in last night, checked in to my hotel and was actually in bed when I got a phone call,” he said. “They were going to have a flash mob for Occupy Austin and they wanted me to be a part of it.” So Morello jumped out of bed and within minutes was out on the street.

“Put your cameras and phones away,” he shouted from Threadgills’ stage, “and live in the moment!” He then invited everyone to join him onstage and so we did – for a rousing singalong of “World Wide Rebel Songs.” Leaving the crowd rocked and sated, he hopped into a car for his next gig about a mile away.

That would be the big Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band show at brand-new ACL Live at the Moody Theater. Earlier in the day, Springsteen gave a classroom lecture on the history and the inspiration of rock and roll; last night he gave a demonstration that was so epic that the lucky few who witnessed it in person are still in disbelief.

Thundering into “We Take Care Of Our Own,’ Springsteen leaned heavily on tunes from his new album Wrecking Ball before wheeling out a dazzling list of guest performers: Morello for “Death To My Hometown” and “Jack Of All Trades,” as well as yet another awesome version of “Ghost Of Tom Joad.” Reggae great Jimmy Cliff joined Bruce for “Many Rivers To Cross” and two more, other guests who crossed the stage included Texas music legends Joe Ely and Alejandro Escovedo, New York boy Garland Jeffreys and three members of Arcade Fire.

But the greatest guest spot, and a towering highlight among many, was a guest appearance by the Animals’ Eric Burdon. Where Springsteen only talked about the Animals’ “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” at his keynote, Burdon tore into the song with a ferocity that belied his age (70 years old).

Meanwhile, out in the streets, the young and the hopeful were lugging their instruments from gig to gig, one band even played on a school bus while it tooled around in the traffic. Inside the ACL Live theater, Bruce Springsteen gave life to a brilliant past while just steps away many others were breathing life and fire into a new future.

We’re editing our photos as fast as we can, and posting them to our special SXSW Flickr account. Go there and take a look!

Interstellar Transmissions, playing on the move.

With Tom Morello, onstage for "World Wide Rebel Songs."

Live: Austin City Limits Festival, Day Three Wrap-up

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , on October 11, 2010 by 30daysout


ACL 2010 - Best weather ever!


The Austin City Limits festival has now passed into history, with postcard-perfect weather for perhaps the first time in its nine-year history.  Our correspondent Lily Angelle had to attend class today, so she asked me to convey that the three-day festival was so worth it for unsurpassed performances by the Strokes, the Flaming Lips and the Black Keys, among others.


Wayne Coyne and the Bear


So the Lips captured many hearts with their Sunday show in the fading daylight – Wayne Coyne sang most of “Silver Trembling Hands” from the shoulders of some dude wearing a bear outfit (or a real bear wearing Wayne Coyne).  The Lips’ frontman also rolled into the audience inside his “space bubble” while the band swirled through one of the Flaming Lips’ psychedelic favorites.

Our reporter and her companion also caught some of the set by Texas favorite Robert Earl Keen, and managed to score an autograph from Norah Jones.  They also enjoyed the psychedelic indie-thump of Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes, whose set-closing “Home” detonated the most explosive response from the sun-saturated crowd.

The duo wanted to catch at least one iconic tune from Sunday’s headliners the Eagles, and they didn’t have to wait long: “Hotel California” was programmed as the third song in the set, and all but the die-hards headed for the exits.   Her last bit of info was not intended for general readership, but y’all may be interested: “early bird” tickets for the 2011 Austin City Limits festival go on sale in a couple weeks.

YouTube: “Hotel California” by the Eagles at ACL 2010

Video wrapups of each festival day at Austin City Limits festival website

Coverage on KUT-FM, Austin

Coverage on KGSR-FM, Austin

Get yer Free ACL related MP3s from

SPIN magazine’s 10 must-hear artists at the ACL festival

SPIN magazine’s free ACL mixtape (e-mail required)

ThinkIndie’s free 2010 ACL artist sampler (registration required)

More photos after the jump

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Review: New Stuff … Just In Time for Holiday Shopping!

Posted in Review with tags , , , , on November 20, 2009 by 30daysout

Guess this is the sort of stuff you will find under the tree this Christmas – if you have been bad.  I’d rather have a gift card, you know?  Anyway – here are some new efforts from Big Superstars who are still trying to get your hard-earned money this holiday season, although you need it way more than they do.

Norah Jones has sold a zillion albums but she has really put out only four, and The Fall is certainly her liveliest album to date.  She’s kinda wanting to put that “chick with the smoky voice sitting at the piano plunking out ballads” thing behind her but on The Fall she only halfway manages that.  This stuff doesn’t rock, not by a long shot, but “Stuck” starts out with a guitar plucked from Neil Young (or John Lennon) and finds Norah kinda cranky about breaking up with her boyfriend (she really did, with songwriting collaborator and bass player Lee Alexander – make that former collaborator and bass player).  “You Ruined Me” has a nice little country skip, and “Man Of The Hour” closes everything out with Norah’s best vocal yet.  Nice, especially if you’re a fan, but nothing really revolutionary.

MP3: “Stuck” by Norah Jones

When I saw the cover of John Mayer‘s Battle Studies I thought for moment he was a young Morrissey.   And that’s who he kinda sounds like here: the fadeup into the first song “Heartbreak Warfare” lets you know you’re in for tough sledding through 11 slabs of Mayer-iffic mood mud.   It’s all pretty much like the John Mayer boilerplate stuff we’ve heard before, with maybe a few more Dave Matthews rips tossed in.  Mayer even tries a cover of “Crossroads” (using the Cream model) but that’s pretty namby-pamby too – if this guy would just cut loose on guitar he might be pretty great.  The obligatory big single, “Half Of My Heart,” a duet with flavor-of-the-month Taylor Swift, is OK but instantly forgettable and “War Of My Life” sounds like it was recorded right after John listened to a U2 album.

MP3: “Half Of My Heart” by John Mayer w/Taylor Swift

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30 Days Out (From Christmas): Holiday Clearance!

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on December 20, 2008 by 30daysout


Day 25 – Only four shopping days left till Christmas, and we’re huffing into the homestretch of our holiday music marathon.  Today we’ll pick up some of the leftovers that have been left on the cutting room floor.  You got a little of everything: some WTF? (Tiny Tim), something new (Hives, Sheryl Crow) some rock and roll (Gary Glitter), Zappa, Belafonte and a full Christmas episode of Jack Webb’s “Dragnet” radio show from the 1950s.  My advice to you is to make like the couple in the photo above – pop a few bottlecaps (of Schlitz? … That woman looks a little drunk) and cue up the tunes.   Thanks and a big “Merry Xmas” to L.A. correspondent and radio personality Randy Fuller, who shared some of his library for this ill-advised project.

MP3: “Peace” by Norah Jones

MP3: “Another Rock and Roll Christmas” by Gary Glitter


Captain Kangaroo

MP3: “Merry Christmas Baby” by Sheryl Crow

MP3: “The Littlest Snowman” by Captain Kangaroo

MP3: “Santa Claus Has Got The AIDS” by Tiny Tim

MP3: “Sleigh Ride” from A Star Wars Christmas

MP3: “A Christmas Duel” by the Hives with Cyndi Lauper

MP3: Gene Simmons Holiday Message   

MP3: “Trim Your Tree” by Jimmy Butler 

MP3: “Santa Claus Is Freaking Me Out” by Lord Weatherby

MP3: “Feliz Navidad” by the Zydeco Playboys

MP3: “Poor Mr. Santa” by Andre Williams

MP3: “Jingle Polka” by Thurl Ravenscroft with Marie Vernon & the Mellomen

MP3: “Overture To A Holiday” by Frank Zappadragnet-xmas-story-a

MP3: “The Christmas Story”  radio episode of “Dragnet” Part 1

MP3: “The Christmas Story” radio episode of “Dragnet” Part 2

MP3: “Mary’s Boy Child” by Harry Belafonte

MP3: Brian Wilson Holiday Announcement

MP3: “Silent Night” by Brian Wilson

All In The Family

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , on July 19, 2008 by 30daysout

If you’ve been on vacation recently, you probably noticed how much your family gets on your nerves.  C’mon admit it – you love ’em but sometimes …  We know.  To help restore your interest in your family, today we present some current music from artists who have familiar familial connections.  Oh, brother – and sister.

Aimee Mann is the Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter married to Michael Penn, himself no slouch in the singing and songwriting department.  And Michael is the brother of Academy Award-winning actor Sean Penn … nevertheless, Aimee’s new album is @#%&*! Smilers, from which comes the toe-tapping “Freeway.”

Teddy Thompson made a name for himself by playing with his father, British guitarist extraordinaire Richard Thompson and his mother, singer Linda Thompson.  He also played in the band of Rosanne Cash, daughter of you-know-who.  But back to Teddy – he frequently plays with his close friends Rufus and Martha Wainwright who … this is out of control, let’s just say Teddy’s new album is A Piece Of What You Need.

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