Saturday, October 30, 2010

That Shrinking Feeling

The only time I go to Best Buy or Target to look for a CD is when a big name release is out. No use looking anymore for obscure titles. They have shrunk their CD racks. Best Buy was especially sad the last time I went there. Soon the only place to get CD's will be online or at Indie stores or Book/CD ones. But even Borders and Barnes & Noble are phasing out product. And I rarely buy from them, or Indies, because of high prices.

Thursday, October 28, 2010

The Promise

What's really fascinating about The Promise, which is the documentary of Darkness on the Edge of Town is how music meant everything to Bruce Springsteen and the E Street Band during the making of the album.

In their late 20's, and as Little Steven points out, wives and girlfriends didn't matter, their life was the music. I don't think they every felt the same again. Darkness was a pivotal one for Bruce, even though it didn't get the accolades the follow-ups did.

The Promise is must-see for the behind-the-boards look at how Springsteen arrived at the next phase in his life. He's growing up right before you.

And becoming the artist he always wanted to be.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010

Playlist for 10/26

Robbie Williams - The Greatest Hits
Antony & the Johnsons - Swanlights
Brandon Flowers - Flamingo
Peter Cooper - Lloyd Green Album
Eric Brace & Peter Cooper - Master Sessions
Aloe Blacc - Good Things
Raul Malo - Sinners & Saints

Saturday, October 23, 2010

Best Music Writing Books

The great thing about the yearly Best Music Writing 2010 (Da Capo) series of books is that they manage to give you a good overhaul of writings from various sources, meaning Magazines, Newspapers and of course the Internet.

The latest volume which covers writings from 2009 , edited by Ann Powers, keeps up the good work. Some of these I was familiar with especially the New Yorker and Rolling Stone pieces, but others from Vibe and Billboard escaped me.

Look, even if you think the Internet is all you need to keep up with your music fix, you will still find these volumes of interest.

Tuesday, October 19, 2010

Playlist for 10/19

Neil Young - Le Noise
Santana -Guitar Heroes
Nellie McKay - Home Sweet Mobile Home
Mark Ronson - Record Collection
Justin Townes Earle - Harlem River Blues

Monday, October 18, 2010

Happy Birthday Mom!

A big Happy Birthday to my Mom, the Greatest Mom in the World, who turns a very young 81 today.

I love you, Mom!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010


When it comes to the Rock Hall Nomination and/or Inductees announcements, you get a few days worth of opinions, and then nothing.

This happened late last month when the Hall announced its latest set of nominees. Lots of people (including me) weighed in and then everyone disappeared. So, until December, when the inductees are announced, there won't be much to speculate about.

I write this because after the nominees were announced I did my usual Internet searches and most of the commentaries went typically like this: "Isn't the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame" supposed to be inducting Rock artists?" "What's with Rap, Soul and Disco artists getting nominated?" And of course the usual, where is Rush threads.

But some were smart enough to figure out that the Hall's mission from the beginning was to induct a wide range of musical styles. And that's what they will always do.

The best Twitter response came from someone saying that Rush/KISS aren't even the biggest snubs, they just have the loudest fans. And that person is 100% correct. There are better, more important names that deserve to get in before them. In fact, 2 come from the same genres of Prog Rock/Hard Rock: Deep Purple and Yes.

I might blog on big snubs at a later date, but whoever wrote that also should know that what both Rush/KISS have over Deep Purple and Yes are more rabid fans. Both bands are still active (KISS with 2 other members), so they are still in their fans sights.

That's why I expect Rush to get nominated in a year or two and KISS to get back on the ballot as well.

Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Playlist for 10/12

Phil Collins - Going Back
Eric Clapton - Clapton
Seal - Commitment
Grinderman 2

Sunday, October 10, 2010

Solomon Burke

Redemption came late for Burke. His comeback began with his long overdue induction into the Rock Hall in 2001. Burke's problem was that he was always compared to the Soul icons of the 60's: Otis, Wilson, Sam, Jackie, etc. And on that level he didn't always reach them, but many Soul fans (like me) never forgot, so it was good to see him reaching critical acclaim with the albums he put out in the last decade.

He was just enjoying all this new found attention when he died at age 70. These types of deaths by our R&B icons always saddens me. There aren't many left from the Golden Era of Soul. Solomon Burke, fittingly, was one of the last ones standing.

Saturday, October 09, 2010

Lennon at 70

A Favorite John Lennon hit from an okay album:

"Mind Games" peaked at #18 in 1973 (from Mind Games)

American Idol Reboots

The best way to reboot American Idol? Get rid of Ryan Seacrest and Randy Jackson. As for Lopez and Tyler, I remain skeptical. But the big problem with the show is that the winners have been forgettable, save for Kelly Clarkson and Carrie Underwood.
Look at their track record. The biggest names have come from non-winners. Now we wonder if anyone will tune in beyond the first few days. The real test for the new judges will be when the elimination rounds begin. But if no one steps up and criticizes bad performances, will anyone stay with the show?

Frankly, I'm waiting for Simon's American version of X Factor in late 2011.

Tuesday, October 05, 2010

Playlist for 10/5

Maroon 5 - Hands All Over
Jamey Johnson - Guitar Song
Zac Brown Band - You Get What You Give
John Legend/Roots - Wake Up

Sunday, October 03, 2010

Dick Griffey

Dick Griffey, who died this week, was one of the unsung heroes of 70's/80's R&B. He founded Solar Records, and cultivated a roster that included Shalamar, Whispers, Lakeside, Midnight Star and the Deele, which gave birth to Kenny "Babyface" Edmonds.

With the label in Los Angeles, Solar's R&B had a bright sound that stood out from what was being played on R&B stations at the time.

I've always wondered why there was no Solar compilation. There was one released in the UK, but Griffey's Solar sound deserved much more respect from our reissue labels.

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