Saturday, January 31, 2015

Live Bob Seger System, 1970

From Barry Richards' Turn-On TV show in DC. You just can't beat the System.

ADDENDUM: Sadly, it appears the vids have been taken down from YT. Pity; they were pure excitement, and testimony to the power of the early Seger. Somebody -- Bob? His management? -- seems to disdain this period in his career. I still maintain that they're leaving money on the table by not reissuing his pre-"Beautiful Loser" catalog, from Cameo-Parkway singles like "East Side Story" and "Heavy Music" to LPs like Mongrel and especially Back In '72. Quick, before the boomers that remember 'em pass on!

Friday, January 30, 2015

Mark Blake's "Pretend You're In A War: The Who and the Sixties"

Just what the world needs: Another book about the 'orrible 'oo.

But, as the man that brought me here and my buddy Phil Overeem have both pointed out, the Who are the one band I truly love -- my first teenage enthusiasm, which was age-appropriate for a kid growing up in the Long Island wilds in the '70s. And reading made me a Whofan: first an excerpt from Lillian Roxon's Rock Encyclopedia that ran in some Scholastic rag I got at school around the Tommy time, then Nik Cohn in Rock From the Beginning and his NYT pre-release hype for Live At Leeds, then John Mendelssohn and his advocacy for the Who (and the Small Faces, and the Move) in Rolling Stone (when he wasn't hyping his own band).

Mark Blake, a former Q and Mojo scribe who's also written well-regarded books about Pink Floyd and Queen, isn't as compelling a writer as Roxon, Cohn, or Mendelssohn, but he has a journalist's spare style and lots of primary source materal (he interviewed Townshend, Daltrey, Entwistle, and ex-Who manager Chris Stamp, as well as a plethora of participants/eyewitnesses to the saga), and he synthesizes a lot of previously-pubbed material (including Townshend's Who I Am, as well as Blake's acknowledged cornerstone references -- Richard Barnes' Maximum R&B, Dave Marsh's Before I Get Old, Tony Fletcher's Keith Moon bio Dear Boy, and Andy Neill and Matt Kent's beautifully designed doorstop Anyway Anyhow Anywhere).

Best of all, this is the least Townshend-centric account of Who history you'll find, reminding the reader that this was originally Daltrey's band and containing POV from a well-balanced selection of observers. The author also chooses to end his narrative around the time I came in (e.g., with Live At Leeds), but he has his cake and eats it, with an afterword focusing on the Who's impending 50th anniversary tour.

Put this tome together with Richie Unterberger's Won't Get Fooled Again: The Who from Lifehouse to Quadrophenia and you have a pretty complete, well-researched account of the Who when they were still interesting. And you don't need to be reminded of "Eminence Front."

Monday, January 26, 2015

Pat Metheny shreds

Sunday, January 25, 2015

Queen of England's drum solo

Thursday, January 15, 2015

Will Sullivan plays Captain Beefheart's "Peon"

I've been trying to play this song for 20 years and this kid appears to have nailed it. Happy berfday, Don.

My statistically insignificant Village Voice critics' poll ballot here. Probably my last rodeo, too, as I'm not taking any new writing assignments this year.

Saturday, January 03, 2015

Stuffs 'n' such

1) A few years ago, I lost a bet with my sister and had to eat a whole box of ice cream sandwiches, and provide photographic proof on Facebook. As it eventuated, the original 2009 "Facebook Gluttony Challenge" Quicktime vid was too grande for FB back then, so a buddy in upstate New York put it on his personal website long enough to serve as verification. Recently, we tried uploading it to FB again, only to be informed almost immediately that it had been removed for copyrighted material (e.g., the soundtrack -- "The Rock" from Quadrophenia). Since it is apparently OK to include such material on Youtube as long as it's attributed, Matt Hickey (bless him) uploaded it there, and I'm reposting it here so I'll be able to find it in another five years (assuming Blogger still exists then). So there.

2) While I'm posting stuff here so I won't forget it, here's "Early Warning" by Standing Waves, which I heard performed live once, while living in Austin for a minute in mid-1979, and remembered for 35+ years, specifically the line "We were born on the New Frontier" (which, back then, meant "We're young" -- kinda like the Police's "Born In the '50s" -- and now means "We're old"). I was reminded of this song last night when I heard Nervous Curtains frontman Sean Kirkpatrick deal with a heckler at the Live Oak who took umbrage at Sean's mention of the city from which his band hails, before the Curtains tore into a song that contained the line, "We come from the City of Hate / Now we live in a bloody red state." A moment that will live in my memory next to seeing Mike Haskins from the Nervebreakers having his guitar removed from his hands by a Fort Worth police officer that memorable night at Tootsie's in August '79 (right before I moved to Austin), and hearing Conor Oberst open Bright Eyes' set with a song about walking away from a fight the night before the U.S. invaded Iraq. But I digress...Ladies and gentlemen, "New Wave"-era Austin's finest, the Standing Waves!