Monday, August 29, 2011

Oh Brother

A brother suing a brother because of bad things one said about the other.  Oh, those wacky Gallagher bros.  Oasis were in a creative down spiral anyway, so breaking up now is no big loss.
But the history of Brother acts getting on each other's nerves is a long one.
You've got the Everly Brothers, the Davies of the Kinks, the Fogerty's and how about the latest ones, the brothers of Kings of Leon.  And the tragedy of the Troutman brothers from Zapp.

What's with these brother acts?

Saturday, August 27, 2011


It's easy to dismiss Katy Perry's Billboard chart achievement of 5 #1's from one album, tying Michael Jackson's 1987 Bad album.  The charts are so fragmented now that what Billboard is charting at #1 doesn't always jibe with what I think is at the top.
But the bigger picture is career.  Hits are big,  Perry has now dropped 2 albums with plenty of them.  She'll need to do it again for album #3.  If she can she'll be around  longer than her critics think.  Music critics don't take people like Perry seriously because she's a Pop singer, and most don't listen to Top 40 radio anymore.  But she can write catchy songs and they sound good on the radio, which is all that matters.

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Hair Metal

A lot of Hair Metal bands thought the party would never end.  Hit records, big tours, plenty of girls and booze and drugs forever.  When it did most were left looking around wondering what happened.  Then they saw Grunge make a mockery of their era, and they got mad and disillusioned.
Some hung in there.  Others cleaned up.  Most went their separate ways.  The ones who are still out there today consider themselves survivors.
But for those that still watch those Metal shows and VH1 Classic, you would have thought it was the greatest time to be a musician.  But once the video ended, dark times were ahead.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Playlist for 8/24

Capitol Sings series:
Harold Arlen
Sammy Cahn
Irving Berlin
Cole Porter
Johnny Mercer
Rodgers & Hart
Hoagy Carmichael
George Gershwin

Monday, August 22, 2011

Nick Ashford

Nick Ashford, along with his wife Valerie Simpson, didn't just write great songs for Diana Ross, Marvin & Tammi, Gladys Knight, Chaka Khan and others, they also made some great R&B albums as a duo.
Their best albums played like scenes from a marriage.  It was a tight songwriting partnership.  The endurance of life and romance always bubbling beneath the melodies.
Both are very underrated as singers.  Go find their albums, preferably late 70's ones.  All still in print.

Jerry Leiber

Along with Mike Stoller, Leiber helped shape what was Rock 'n' Roll and what it could become.  Although their work with Elvis Presley brought them fame, it was their work for others that also shone bright, especially with the Drifters, Coasters, Ben E. King and many more.
It's hard to think of one without the other, that's how tight the bond is, and how remarkable the name Leiber and Stoller stands in Rock History.

Sunday, August 21, 2011

Roy Trakin Hall Quote

RRHOF Nominating Committee member Roy Trakin makes an interesting comment regarding how the committee does its yearly meeting
" In this day of advanced technology, shouldn’t the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame at least teleconference with its west coast membership when its nominating committee meets in September?"

Robert Hilburn said that he just sends in his list of nominees.  That's it.  No debating, just some names.
And we wonder why the whole process is so screwed up.  

Friday, August 19, 2011

Jani Lane

The death of Warrant lead singer Jani Lane had me thinking about how Hair Metal did indeed make a comeback in the last decade.  Grunge or Nirvana supposedly wiped these bands off the face of the earth.  Real, good Rock and Roll was back.  Even the Hair Metal bands did grunge albums.  But grunge didn't last, and when it faded look who was still standing.  Yeah, the Hair Bands.
Jani Lane never really got over the way his record company treated his band at the height of the grunge era.  There were no TV comebacks like Brett Michaels pulled off.  But endless airings of Metal shows on VH1 and VH1 Classic, including repackaged Hair Metal compilations on TV kept Warrant's music alive.
In the end, it wasn't enough to keep Lane away from his own demons.

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

Elvis 34 Years Later

Elvis died August 16, 1977.

Here's the Elvis song of the moment, one you may not have ever heard:

Indescribably Blue  1967

Monday, August 15, 2011

Playlist for 8/15

Fountains of Wayne - Sky Full  of Holes
Drive By Truckers - Greatest Hits
Joss Stone - LP1
Rave On Tribute to Buddy Holly
Little Dragon - Ritual Union
Roseanna Vitro - Music of Randy Newman

Sunday, August 14, 2011


Two books I can recommend:

Simon Reynolds - Retromania
In which Reynolds argues that music has become too entrenched with past sounds that anything new is irrelevant.

David Browne - Fire and Rain
Underrated music critic Browne looks at the year 1970 and makes a good sense for its pivotal role in music history.

To be honest, not many music books this year have interested me.

Friday, August 12, 2011

More MTV

Another thing I've noticed is how much vitriol there is for MTV nowadays, amongst those (including me) who made it required viewing in the 80's.  But realize this:  thanks to the internet and smart phones, MTV is no longer needed for your video fix.
They stopped being a video channel after the last boy band era of the early 2000's.  MTV2 was supposed to be the video alternative, but it too is useless.  The same will happen when we celebrate a VH1 anniversary.  That channel isn't about music anymore, either.  VH1 Classic is a little better, but not much.
In other words, go online or go to your cell for videos.

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

MTV At 30

MTV turned 30 this month.
Yeah, I know.  MTV?  Used to required viewing.

Monday, August 08, 2011

Playlist for 8/8

Yardbirds - Over Under Sidways Down
Rolling Stones - Goat's Head Soup
Stephen Bishop - Careless
Amy Lavere -Stranger Me
Donovan - Sunshine Superman
Real Bahamas Vol. 1 & 2
Grin - Very Best of

Friday, August 05, 2011

Early Legends

The recording legacy is scarce.  Two albums, and a handful of guest appearances.  Maybe something in the vaults, demos or unreleased new stuff.
But that's not going to damper her new-found legacy.  She'll be a new Jeff Buckley, who also met a similar fate, but is now mentioned by those who bought his album in the 90's as an inspiration.
The same will happen to Amy Winehouse.

Wednesday, August 03, 2011

Spotify Pt. 2

Well, you can't find everything.  Maybe European Spotify users can.  I went deep on some things and came up empty.  And why are some tracks available but not others?  It's free for 6 months so I should shut up.  But after 6 months if things don't improve?  That's the one to mull over.

Monday, August 01, 2011

Playlist for 8/1

Blake Shelton - Red River Blue
Ida Maria -Katla
Teddybears -Devil's Music
Garland Jeffreys -King of In Between
Civil Wars -Barton Hallow
Ashton Shepherd -Where Country Grows
Kasey Chambers -Little Bird
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