‘I’ve discovered things’: John Oates on the benefits of a lengthy career with Hall and Oates

‘I’ve discovered things’: John Oates on the benefits of a lengthy career with Hall and Oates

April 20, 2014

Over the course of a record-smashing, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career with Hall and Oates that began in the early 1970s, many things changed — and, John Oates says, that’s a good thing.

‘It’s bittersweet’: Induction didn’t come soon enough for Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici

‘It’s bittersweet’: Induction didn’t come soon enough for Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici

April 16, 2014

E Street Band member Nils Lofgren admits that their induction last week into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was a bittersweet experience — because it came too late for fellow long-time Bruce Springsteen collaborators Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici.

‘He left a heritage’: Garth Hudson, Amy Helm, Steve Berlin and Jimmy Vivino on Levon Helm

‘He left a heritage’: Garth Hudson, Amy Helm, Steve Berlin and Jimmy Vivino on Levon Helm

April 19, 2014

Levon Helm, who died on April 19, 2012, continues to serve as a source of inspiration to those who knew him — principally through his recordings, both with and without the Band. Then, there were those who spent time with him personally — sidemen, collaborators and family.

Nel Cline Singers – Macroscope (2014)

Nel Cline Singers – Macroscope (2014)

April 20, 2014

Amazon.com Widgets The Nels Cline Singers’ identity has always been elusive thing to pin down, which is kind of the point of the band.

WTF?! Wednesdays: Eugene Chadbourne, “Electric Rake” (2005)

WTF?! Wednesdays: Eugene Chadbourne, “Electric Rake” (2005)

April 2, 2014

My introduction to guitarist/raconteur/wise ass Eugene Chadbourne came out of a short stack of records borrowed from a co-worker. This would have been back in the early 90s. There were things like Dinosaur Jr., Sebadoh, and Henry Kaiser in that pile.

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “September Fifteenth” (1981)

(Cross the) Heartland: Pat Metheny, “September Fifteenth” (1981)

April 19, 2014

In interviews, I’ve seen Lyle Mays speak of how music has it’s own “language and syntax.” He wasn’t necessarily talking about music’s technicalities — harmony, melody, and the like.

‘It’s bittersweet’: Induction didn’t come soon enough for Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici

‘It’s bittersweet’: Induction didn’t come soon enough for Clarence Clemons, Danny Federici

April 16, 2014

E Street Band member Nils Lofgren admits that their induction last week into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame was a bittersweet experience — because it came too late for fellow long-time Bruce Springsteen collaborators Clarence Clemons and Danny Federici.

‘It will never look the same twice’: Adrian Belew offers a sneak peek at Flux

‘It will never look the same twice’: Adrian Belew offers a sneak peek at Flux

April 15, 2014

Now that Adrian Belew has returned from an extensive tour with the Crimson ProjeKCt, he’s focusing again on his inventive on-going solo project Flux.

‘If it ever comes down to it, I am Kiss’: Paul Stanley says he would continue by himself

‘If it ever comes down to it, I am Kiss’: Paul Stanley says he would continue by himself

April 16, 2014

Paul Stanley acknowledges that Kiss’ 1990s reunion with Ace Frehley and Peter Criss helped the band roar into a new century, despite the subsequent rifts. Also, that his issues with Gene Simmons were greater perhaps than anyone knew.

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Black Cowboys” (2005)

Sparks Fly On E Street: Bruce Springsteen, “Black Cowboys” (2005)

April 21, 2014

I’ve got to admit that I can’t really imagine living in the circumstances portrayed in “Black Cowboys.” While I’ve known people who’ve had to deal with such things (including my own sister), the idea of living with the constant pressure of stray bullets and wasted lives?

Deep Cuts: The Yardbirds, “The Sun Is Shining” from Where the Action Is! (1966)

Deep Cuts: The Yardbirds, “The Sun Is Shining” from Where the Action Is! (1966)

April 3, 2014

Recorded at the BBC and included on … Where The Action Is!, a two-disc set released in 2000, “The Sun Is Shining” captures the Yardbirds in their element with jaw-dropping results.

Little Feat – Live in Holland (2014)

Little Feat – Live in Holland (2014)

April 21, 2014

We’ve heard Little Feat live, of course. Grooved along on 1978′s Waiting for Columbus, and let it all hang down with the Rockpalast Live set recorded during the same 1977 jaunt. But neither captured the long-gone Lowell George at the peak of his powers

A Budokan bash: Deep Purple filmed its April 12 show in Tokyo for future release

A Budokan bash: Deep Purple filmed its April 12 show in Tokyo for future release

April 15, 2014

Time for another legendary Budokan show? Following in the footsteps of Bob Dylan, Cheap Trick and, actually, the Ian Gillan Band, Deep Purple filmed and recorded its April 12, 2014 show in Tokyo for future release.

Shows I’ll Never Forget: Chicago, January 28, 2014

Shows I’ll Never Forget: Chicago, January 28, 2014

January 30, 2014

At Symphony Hall in Chicago: I have a bone to pick with Chicago bassist/vocalist Jason Scheff. Scheff is an excellent player and fine singer, having been with the band for almost 30 years. Unfortunately, he almost caused the death of my best friend Joe.

S. Victor Aaron’s Top Unreviewed Jazz and Fusion Records of 2013: Ivo Perelman, Frank Rosaly

S. Victor Aaron’s Top Unreviewed Jazz and Fusion Records of 2013: Ivo Perelman, Frank Rosaly

December 31, 2013

So many great records to rave about…and so little time to rave. Last year I started a new tradition with a “just one more list before we’re done with lists” kind of list.

One Track Mind: Dave Mason, “Dear Mr. Fantasy” from Future’s Past (2014)

One Track Mind: Dave Mason, “Dear Mr. Fantasy” from Future’s Past (2014)

April 12, 2014

Dave Mason has returned, after too long away, to his birthright in Traffic — but, interestingly, not from the typical nostaglic perspective. Instead, he’s reworked “Dear Mr. Fantasy” as a searing blues rumination, steering the psychedelic Traffic classic in a completely different direction.

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Mystery Train”  from Moondog Matinee (1973)

Across the Great Divide: The Band, “Mystery Train” from Moondog Matinee (1973)

April 17, 2014

Coming as it did during a fallow creative period for the Band, the covers-focused Moondog Matinee could be fairly seen as a placekeeper album — an aperitif before the next statement of purpose. But it wasn’t without its moments of creative and emotional spark

One Track Mind: Dolly Parton, “Don’t Think Twice,” from Blue Smoke (2014)

One Track Mind: Dolly Parton, “Don’t Think Twice,” from Blue Smoke (2014)

April 18, 2014

Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice,” with its sad acceptance of life’s strange twists set to a plucky finger-picked cadence, always seemed well suited for a country-music makeover.

‘I’ve discovered things’: John Oates on the benefits of a lengthy career with Hall and Oates

‘I’ve discovered things’: John Oates on the benefits of a lengthy career with Hall and Oates

April 20, 2014

Over the course of a record-smashing, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame career with Hall and Oates that began in the early 1970s, many things changed — and, John Oates says, that’s a good thing.

The Sleepwalkers – Lost My Mind In Stereo (2014)

The Sleepwalkers – Lost My Mind In Stereo (2014)

April 4, 2014

As a quick frame of reference, Wisconsin band the Sleepwalkers could be filed under that general, umbrella-like category called power pop. That’s a pretty big category, which describes a lot of artists and songs

Gimme Five: Hits uncharacteristic of the bands that made ‘em (KISS, Queen, The Pointer Sisters, The Hollies, Bread)

Gimme Five: Hits uncharacteristic of the bands that made ‘em (KISS, Queen, The Pointer Sisters, The Hollies, Bread)

March 30, 2014

They’re objects of music chart intrigue: those left field hits, songs that aren’t really typical of the bands who recorded them and become hits, anyway.

The Friday Morning Listen: AC/DC – If You Want Blood You’ve Got It (1978)

The Friday Morning Listen: AC/DC – If You Want Blood You’ve Got It (1978)

April 18, 2014

What with the rumors flying earlier this week about the health of AC/DC’s Malcolm Young, I was pretty sure I’d be writing an obit/appreciation piece by now.

Steely Dan Sunday, “I’m Not The Same Without You” (2012)

Steely Dan Sunday, “I’m Not The Same Without You” (2012)

April 20, 2014

“I’m Not The Same Without You” is a fine leadoff single from Sunken Condos. The song reached number 12 on the Billboard 200 and charted well in Japan in Europe as well.

Worst Beatles Song Ever?: ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’ (1969)

Worst Beatles Song Ever?: ‘The Ballad of John and Yoko’ (1969)

April 14, 2014

John Lennon and Paul McCartney recorded “The Ballad of John and Yoko,” a bluesy retelling of Lennon’s marriage to Yoko Ono, between 2:30 and 9 p.m. on April 14, 1969 — and released it later that May. Was it, in fact, the worst Beatles song ever?

Into the Great Wide Open: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Mystery Man” (1976)

Into the Great Wide Open: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers, “Mystery Man” (1976)

April 15, 2014

Tom Petty sets the record straight with Paul Zollo in Conversations With Tom Petty, concerning a very particular label that is often cast upon the Heartbreakers: “We’re always referred to as a Southern band,” he says.

One Track Mind: Dolly Parton, “Don’t Think Twice,” from Blue Smoke (2014)

One Track Mind: Dolly Parton, “Don’t Think Twice,” from Blue Smoke (2014)

April 18, 2014

Bob Dylan’s “Don’t Think Twice,” with its sad acceptance of life’s strange twists set to a plucky finger-picked cadence, always seemed well suited for a country-music makeover.

Forgotten series: Boeing Duveen and the Beautiful Soup, “Jabberwock/Which Dreamed It” (1968)

Forgotten series: Boeing Duveen and the Beautiful Soup, “Jabberwock/Which Dreamed It” (1968)

April 21, 2014

Claiming no connection to the aircraft enterprise, Boeing Duveen and the Beautiful Soup was actually a pseudonym for Sam Hutt.

On Second Thought: Joni Mitchell – Dog Eat Dog (1985)

On Second Thought: Joni Mitchell – Dog Eat Dog (1985)

April 16, 2014

I mentioned last week in my look back at Joni Mitchell’s Wild Things Run Fast that it was her first album for Geffen Records — and one which left a major impact on me.