Month: June 2011

Listening booth — Kiss at the Cow Palace, 1977

Listening booth — Kiss at the Cow Palace, 1977

Listening Booth, Music
As the Fourth of July approaches, I felt it only right to dedicate an edition of the Booth to one of my favorite all-American bands -- Kiss. This show captures the original foursome during a stop on their Love Gun tour, August 16 at the Cow Palace in San Francisco. Fans will note that this setlist is nearly identical to that found on Alive II. A few noticeable differences are the order of the songs and the fact that Peter Criss's "Hooligan" is in this set. Oh yeah, and this recording wasn't completely doctored and fabricated. I'd say that Kiss was still firing on all cylinders at this point, although history tells us that the end wasn't too far away. Although Alive II continued the band's hot streak later in 1977, they were just a year away from the commercial fiasco of the four solo al...
Sunday Jazz: Mulatu Astatke – “Mulatu’s Mood”

Sunday Jazz: Mulatu Astatke – “Mulatu’s Mood”

Music, Sunday Jazz
I've posted about my new-found love of Ethiopian jazz before, but maybe that wasn't enough to convince you to give it a try. So let's try again! Here's a phenomenal cut from Mulatu Astatke's great 2010 release for the Strut label, Mulatu Steps Ahead. It's "Mulatu's Mood," and I can't think of a better way to start your Sunday than to let this music just help you drift away to another world. The beauty of this arrangement is how it sounds completely modern and yet timeless at the same time. It's got that insistent beat, but still manages to feel laid back. Amazing. Enjoy "Mulatu's Mood"! Related articles Mulatu Astatke album i koncert (zokstersomething.wordpress.com) Vintage Crates Episode #99: Mind Trip- Ethiopia (astralprojectsrecords.wordpress.com) Mulatu Astatke (cacaopow...
Listening booth — Wings, “Must Do Something About It”

Listening booth — Wings, “Must Do Something About It”

Listening Booth, Music
Today's listening booth is inspired by a recent posting on Popdose, which highlighted Denny Laine's gems during his solo career and his time with Paul McCartney's Wings. One of the gems mentioned was "The Note You Never Wrote," which is indeed one of the best cuts from Wings at the Speed of Sound. But I'd like to focus on a non-Laine number now. Tucked away on the lesser second side of the album is a rather doleful pop ditty called "Must Do Something About It." Although Macca wrote it, he handed lead vocal duties over to drummer Joe English, whose less polished delivery lent the song the extra bit of pathos it needed. English, who had joined Wings in 1975, left the group during the recording sessions for 1978's London Town. So anyway, enjoy "Must Do Something About It." I sure do. ...
Remembering the Big Man, Clarence Clemons

Remembering the Big Man, Clarence Clemons

Music, People
As an adult, early childhood memories often seem like a blurry haze, but there are always a few that hang around.  When I was 3 years old I was fascinated with my parents’ turntable.  Any chance I got I would fiddle around with it, either playing their albums or one of my many Sesame Street records.  Music made me feel alive and I know my lifelong passion for it started then. One of the albums that I literally wore out was Born to Run.  I played that over and over again, until my parents were forced to buy me my own turntable, and another unscratched copy for themselves.  I scribbled on the cover over Bruce and Clarence and memorized the lyrics, even though I was far too young to understand them.  Before I even knew why, I fell deeply in love with Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band
Why the Hell Should I Like… post-‘Thriller’ Michael Jackson?

Why the Hell Should I Like… post-‘Thriller’ Michael Jackson?

Music
“Why the hell should I like… ?” is an experiment of sorts between Popblerd and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. What we’re going to attempt to do is to pick 10 songs from our favorite artists — one for which the other has professed dislike or disinterest — and show them why they’re wrong. On June 25th, 2009, the world lost one of the greatest entertainers of all time -- Michael Jackson. Although recent history had not been kind to Michael, after his passing it seemed like a light switch went on in the collective mind of the American public and they began to view him with respect again. Because let's face it, despite his obvious issues, the man was a one-of-a-kind talent. A fantastic singer, a great dancer, a solid songwriter and producer, and, if you look over the current pop mu
Graphicity: What’s next for Harry Potter fans?

Graphicity: What’s next for Harry Potter fans?

Funny Stuff
Related articles Daniel Radcliffe Says He's Done With Playing Harry Potter, Unless... (huffingtonpost.com) Second 'Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows: Part 2' trailer released (csmonitor.com) Harry Potter Author J.K. Rowling Launches Mysterious New Website (paidcontent.org) New website hints at Harry Potter return (hollywood.com) What in the World is PotterMore? (meetthemagic.com)
So fresh — 10 Steely Dan songs that will never get old

So fresh — 10 Steely Dan songs that will never get old

Music
Steely Dan is one of those bands that evokes an instant response from people -- usually a big, goofy grin or wretching noises of some sort. There really seems to be no middle ground for people once they've been exposed to the unique and acerbic brand of jazz-rock practiced by Donald Fagen and Walter Becker. Like a lot of others, I figured that the Dan was all about "Reelin' in the Years" and "Black Cow," and not much else. Boy how wrong was I! Here's ten shining examples of what this great band has to offer beyond the classic rock radio staples, if only you'll come along for the ride. 1 -- "Fire in the Hole" (from Can't Buy a Thrill, 1972) No need to go any further than the band's debut LP to find evidence of their greatness. And if you're ever going to appreciate Fagen's earnes...
Why the Hell Should I Like… Rush? (The Rebuttal)

Why the Hell Should I Like… Rush? (The Rebuttal)

Music
“Why the hell should I like… ?” is an experiment of sorts between Popblerd and The Man in the Gray Flannel Suit. What we’re going to attempt to do is to pick 10 songs from our favorite artists — one for which the other has professed dislike or disinterest — and show them why they’re wrong. So, first of all, I've gotta give props to Mr. Gray Flannel Suit, not only for agreeing to collaborate with me on this series but also for rocking a gray flannel suit in the heat of summer. That's dedication. I don't dislike Rush. I just don't know much about them. Prior to listening to the list of songs that was selected for me, I had exactly ONE Rush song in an iTunes library that just recently crossed the 43,000-song mark -- "Tom Sawyer." No excuses -- I was brought up on Top 40 (and urban)