Archive for the Roots

The What If? Files – Fantasy Rock Team-ups

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , , on February 22, 2013 by 30daysout
Gary Clark Jr.

Gary Clark Jr.

I love those new apps for the smartphone, especially the ones that let you listen to terrestrial radio anywhere in the world. Lately I’ve been digging WDST-FM, Radio Woodstock, operating out of the New York town that shares its name with the festival.

WDST is one of those rare stations whose DJs will say something like “Boz Scaggs has a new album out …” and they will actually play a song from that new Boz Scaggs album. Amazing – you don’t usually hear that on those big-box corporate radio stations. It’s an awesome radio station.

Janis+Joplin

Janis Joplin – a teamup with Gary Clark Jr.? Hmmm …

Anyway, the other day a Radio Woodstock DJ on the morning show – Ron VanWarmer, I believe – said something intriguing. He’d just spun a song from Texas guitar wonder Gary Clark Jr. and after giving the background info on the tune, added: “Wish we could pair him up with somebody like Janis Joplin … that would be so cool.”

He never explained what would make this particular fantasy pairing so great, aside that they’re both Texans and represent a certain authenticity in the music from different eras, but it was a provocative thought nevertheless.

So today we thought we’d carry Ron’s idea a bit further, and suggest a few more fantasy team-ups that would most certainly result in some great music. If only …

Levon Helm with Mumford & Sons – A father of modern folk music and one of America’s greatest singers (and drummers) fronting a foursome of English folk strummers and pickers would be a happy experience for fans on both sides of the Big Pond. Levon in his prime would anchor the Mumford boys with his Arkansas accent on vocals – and Helm’s steady backbeat on the drums would give Marcus Mumford’s right foot a serious break, not to mention a run for the money. If Levon had held on for just a few more years, this dream pairing may have actually taken place. Ah, Levon – we miss ya.

YouTube: “Ophelia” by Levon Helm

Stevie Ray Vaughan with Bruce Springsteen – This could have happened, but sadly never did. They both recorded for the same label, and both worked with the legendary producer John Hammond Sr. Such a New Jersey-Texas connection could have blown anyone else off the stage, and once Stevie Ray warmed up on guitar he probably would’ve left even the Boss in the dust.

Iggy Pop with the Sex Pistols – Another one that might have taken place had the stars been right. Hell, the Pistols even covered the Stooges’ “No Fun.” How much fun would it have been with Iggy on vocals for that one?

YouTube: “Search and Destroy” by Iggy and the Stooges

Jim Morrison with the Flaming Lips – Two different departments of the psychedelia branch, surely this matchup would make heads explode. Or implode – guess it depends on the drugs.

MP3: “When The Music’s Over’ (live) by The Doors

Pee Wee Herman with the Beatles – Think about it. Some of the Beatles’ best songs were so simple as to be nearly childlike, and how cool would it be to hear Mr. Herman warbling along to “Yellow Submarine” or “Octopus’ Garden” or “I Want To Hold Your Hand”? OK, maybe that last one would be really creepy.

Jim James with the Jefferson Airplane – Never thought about it till now, but possibly Mr. Yim Yames is this generation’s Marty Balin.

YouTube: “Know Til Now” by Jim James

Otis Redding with the Roots – A no brainer. These guys share the stage, and it could make heads explode AND blow the roof off the sucker. For that matter, wouldn’t you like to hear Janis Joplin wail a few with Questlove and company? Somewhere up in snowy New York state, Ron VanWarmer’s head is exploding.

MP3: “I Can’t Turn You Loose” (live) by Otis Redding

YouTube: “I’ve Been Loving You Too Long” by Otis Redding

Austin City Limits Music Festival – For Free!

Posted in Rock Moment with tags , , , , , , , , on October 4, 2012 by 30daysout

Austin City Limits Festival, where you can let your inhibitions go. (Photo by Steve Wrubel/Courtesy ACL Festival)

The Austin City Limits Music Festival kicks off next Friday (Oct. 12) in Austin, celebrating its 10th year as one of the country’s premier music parties. This year more than 130 acts will play for three days for about 70,000 people per day.

And don’t even ask about tickets, they’ve been sold out for months. So who’s playing? Glad you asked: The Black Keys, Florence + the Machine, Jack White, the Roots, Neil Young & Crazy Horse, The Avett Brothers, Iggy & the Stooges and the Red Hot Chili Peppers, among many more.

We’ll be there for one day – Saturday, when we have to choose between Jack White and Neil Young, who play at the same time. We’ll let you know how that goes.

Wish you were here, and you can be. Tune in to the ACL Festival live stream on YouTube beginning Friday afternoon; the lineup of artists they have scheduled isn’t too shabby: Asleep at the Wheel, Delta Spirit, Tegan and Sara, the Alabama Shakes, The Black Keys, The Shins, Bassnectar, The Roots, Jack White, Two Door Cinema Club, Steve Earle, The Avett Brothers, Gary Clark Jr. and the Red Hot Chili Peppers.

It’s a good deal – it’s free. Check out the full schedule for the ACL Festival live stream and tune back on Friday for the performances.

YouTube: Teaser Trailer for the ACL Festival live stream

In other ACL Festival news, organizers announced the festival will expand to two weekends in October 2013. Many people think it’s going to work a lot like Coachella, where the same acts play basically the same sets both weekends.

Festival producers C3 Presents say that scenario is possible, but there may be one weekend where more local acts are booked. Many of the top artists playing the fest will likely stick around for the week in Austin, possibly playing small sets at the city’s many bars and venues and generally creating havoc for 10 consecutive days.

If you want to go to any part of this festival next year, we suggest you sign up for the Official ACL Festival E-list, like ACL Fest on Facebook and follow it on Twitter. About a week after this year’s festival concludes, organizers will put some sweet 3-day passes on sale for $50 apiece. But you have to be quick, and very lucky, to score any of these. Knowing about this stuff ahead of time is really helpful, if you catch our drift.

Austin City Limits Music Festival official web site