Archive for The Kinks

The Day We Took the Giant Step

Posted in Rock Rant with tags , , , , , , on July 20, 2009 by 30daysout

I remember I was in ninth grade … and the pictures came in black and white on TV.  The men on the moon jumped, worked and shuffled through the lunar dust.  They placed a flag on the moon and left behind a plaque with their names and the name of the President of the United States.  So someday some space traveler will find some pristine junk on the airless lunar surface with the names of the three great explorers – and Richard M. Nixon.

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Rockin’ the Jukebox

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , on June 16, 2009 by 30daysout

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Lenny Bruce once said, the one machine made only for fun is the jukebox.   It doesn’t cut anything, or mash anything, or staple anything together, it just plays music.  When I was a kid we used to go over to visit my grandmother in Louisiana, and she operated a small pool hall in Catahoula, deep in the swamps.  I was fascinated with the jukebox – how it found the record you selected, placed it just so on the turntable and guided that needle with precision right to the first notes of the music.  When the record man came every once in a while to change out the 45 rpm platters, she gave the old ones to me and my brothers.  My musical tastes for the rest of my life were influenced by that handful of records from a forgotten jukebox in swampland Louisiana.

If you see a jukebox nowadays, it’s usually a relic stuck away in some corner of a bar.  It could play CDs or it could be one of those new digital models stocked with thousands of downloads (like my laptop).  Or you might find one in the rec room or basement bar of some guy’s house that you’re only going to visit once.   Jukeboxes seem to be disappearing, or at least morphing into something other than the machine that Lenny Bruce romanticized or the motherlode of forbidden music from my childhood.  Let’s drop a coin in the slot and celebrate the jukebox today.

MP3: “Juke Box Music” by the Kinks

MP3: “Let The Jukebox Keep On Playing” by Carl Perkins

MP3: “A-1 On The Jukebox” by Dave Edmunds

MP3: “Turn The Jukebox Up Louder” by Porter Wagoner

MP3: “Jukebox Man” by Dick Curless

MP3: “You’re Still On My Mind” by the Byrds

MP3: “Stoned At The Jukebox” by Hank Williams Jr.

MP3: “A-11” by Buck Owens

MP3: “Jukebox Charlie” by Johnny Paycheck

MP3: “Little Queenie” by Chuck Berry

MP3: “I Love Rock and Roll” by Joan Jett & the Blackhearts

MP3: “Juke Box Hero/Whole Lotta Love” (live) by Foreigner

Review: “War Child Presents: Heroes”

Posted in Review with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on February 26, 2009 by 30daysout

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This cool little compilation has, at its heart, a pretty interesting idea: take a handful of legendary singers/bands and ask them to identify a current artist to perform cover versions of their songs.  The result is War Child Presents: Heroes, a 16-track disc that aims to benefit children affected by war.  Although the album is a bit uneven, it rocks in its best parts.  So Beck’s garage-rock dismantling of Bob Dylan’s “Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat,” the Kooks’ faithful rendering of “Victoria” by the Kinks, and the Yeah Yeah Yeahs channeling the Ramones in “Sheena Is A Punk Rocker” are successful because each of these artists understand the context (and the era) that fuels these classics. 

When the performer imposes too much of his or her personality on a song, the result is less satisfying: Rufus Wainwright turns a medley from the Beach Boys’ Smile into a long whine, and Duffy’s too-sultry reading of “Live And Let Die” drains all the excitement out of the song.  And a few choices couldn’t be more right: Bruce Springsteen is dead-on with his choice of The Hold Steady to do “Atlantic City” and TV On The Radio is a perfect fit for David Bowie’s “Heroes.”  I must admit, I was pleasantly surprised by this album – try it and you will be too.

MP3: “Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat” by Beck

Stream songs from War Child Presents: Heroes at this MySpace page

30 Days Out (From Christmas): Rockin’ Stocking 1970s

Posted in 30 Days Out (From Christmas) with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 18, 2008 by 30daysout

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Day 22– Don’t know about you, but I spent half of the 1970s still in shock from the 1960s.  The one thing you could hold on to was the music – it hadn’t yet gone into the toilet.  Musically, what defined the decade of the 1970s?  Artists who became famous in the previous decade ruled, of course.  Three of the Beatles popped up with holiday songs – one is a classic, one is OK and one is pretty much the worst Christmas single ever, if not one of the worst songs ever committed to vinyl (and CD).  Do I need to point them out for you?  Here’s a clue: two of them are posted here.

In the Seventies there was also black pop, disco and punk.  It was one of those all-inclusive decades.  So why am I so paranoid?  Anyway, today’s post reflects a little of everything, like the 1970s decade its own bad self. 

MP3: “(Gonna Have A) Disco Christmas” by Disco Beat

MP3: “Father Christmas” by the Kinks

MP3: “All I Want For Christmas Is You” by Foghat

MP3: Drive Safely PSA by George Harrison

MP3: “Ding Dong, Ding Dong” by George Harrison

MP3: “Thank God It’s Christmas” by Queen

MP3: “Christmas Must Be Tonight” by the Band

MP3: “It May Be Winter Outside” by the Love Unlimited Orchestra

MP3: “Step Into Christmas” by Elton John

MP3: “The Little Drummer Boy” by the Salsoul Orchestra

MP3: “I Saw Mommy Kissing Santa Claus” by the Mistletoe Disco Band

MP3: “Silent Night” by the Dickies

MP3: Good For Joey’s Nerves radio spot by the Ramones

MP3: “Merry Christmas (I Don’t Wanna Fight Tonight)” by the Ramones

MP3: “Peace On Earth/The Little Drummer Boy” by Bing Crosby & David Bowie

MP3: “Run Rudolph Run” by Keith Richards

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

MP3: Peace Message from John and Yoko (1970)

MP3: “Happy Xmas (War Is Over)” (Demo) by John Lennon

Welcome to Hurricane Season

Posted in Uncategorized with tags , , , , , , , , , , on May 31, 2008 by 30daysout

 

The first day of June is the beginning of hurricane season, and once again most of us who live along the Texas Gulf Coast collectively say: “Who the hell cares?”

Oh, we realize this is serious business.  But it’s hard to take it too seriously, especially after the fiasco of Hurricane Rita in 2005.  The storm hit about 125 miles east of Houston but in the days leading up to landfall many residents of the nation’s fourth largest city jammed every highway out of town to create the biggest traffic jam and cluster fuck in this country’s history. 

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Rock Moment: When Radio Was ‘Live’

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on May 5, 2008 by 30daysout

 

Once upon a time, radio was the great communicator.  Radio was totally of the moment – in the late 1950s through the earthshaking times between 1967 and 1970 – and it conveyed an immediacy, an urgency, that seismic changes were taking place in the culture.  Television, on the other hand, was more uptight and conservative and born to follow.  Today, radio’s preeminence has been eclipsed by the internet.

Some radio programmers were not content to merely play the latest hits.  They wanted their music live, so they went to the source and plugged right in.  The British Broadcasting Corp. (BBC) in the 1960s pioneered this practice, inviting top-of-the-pops groups like the Beatles, the Kinks and the Moody Blues to perform in their studios with little or no overdubbing.  The live-to-tape shows were then broadcast as a package later.

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