Get Out

Sunset Strip Music Festival 2014

I love the idea of promoting the music scene on the Sunset Strip and that’s exactly what’s going to happen this weekend as the Strip between Doheny and San Vicente will be shut down for the Sunset Strip Music Festival.  Bands will play in the clubs and on the streets, dogs and cats will be living together….MASS HYSTERIA!  It’s a pretty good lineup too with a mixture of styles from bands both old and new.  The scary thing  is  the many children coming down from the mountain to see headliners Jane’s Addiction were not even born when their album “Nothing’s Shocking” was released in 1988.  They will perform that album in its entirety and it still packs a wallop.


If that’s all little too intense for you may I suggest the Tarfest 2014.  First off it’s FREE.  Second, they’ll be a wine bar and food trucks.  Third is the music featuring LA-based headliner Hunter Hunted.  Groove on those summer sounds and harmonies.  It should be a great day of music, food and tar. Enjoy!

Tarfest 2014

Tarfest 2014 featuring Hunter Hunted

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Cover Songs

The Cure and James McCartney cover "Hello Goodbye"

The Cure and James McCartney cover “Hello Goodbye”

I’m generally not a fan of cover songs.  They’re good to hear as a curiosity but then easily forgettable.  Occasionally an artist will hit the nail on the head and reveal something different in a song, introduce me to a new artist I’d previously never knew or cover the song with such joyous abandon that it makes you remember why you loved the original song in the first place.

Lately I’ve come across a number of cover songs that fall into one or more of those categories.

The Cure with Paul’s son James McCartney on Keyboards cover The Beatles”Hello Goodbye”

Miley Cyrus covers Led Zeppelin’s”Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You”

Panic! At The Disco cover Queen’s “Bohemian Rhapsody”

Ed Sheeran covers Beyonce’s “Drunk In Love”

Yusef covers Edgar Winters “Dying To Live” (A new music discovery for me .  I’m so glad I know this song exists now)


Jose Gonzalez Covers Arthur Russell’s “This Is How We Walk on the Moon” (Another great artist and song discovery)

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New Music Tuesday

My Brightest Diamond  "This Is My Hand"

My Brightest Diamond “This Is My Hand”

For those of you thrilled that Kate Bush has returned to the stage but are disappointed that she does not currently have any new material, look no further than Detroit resident Shara Worden aka My Brightest Diamond.  Like Kate Bush, you can hear traces of classical,  cabaret, jazz and pop music in each song.  The latest album, This Is My Hand is the first in three years from My Brightest Diamond and this album really emphasizes the pop.  Her first single with its driving bass and introductory marching band snare  reminds me of Florence & The Machine.  I think this song may actually have a chance to break through to the mainstream.

Paolo Nutini "Caustic Love"

Paolo Nutini “Caustic Love”

It’s always great to be at a show and be reminded of why you liked that artist when you first discovered him. This is what happened when I had the good fortune to see Paolo Nutini last month.  Scottish born Nutini’s voice and sound strives to hit the peaks of 60s era Van Morrison blended with the 70s groove that seems to find its way on to Quentin Tarantino movies. This is evidenced by his first single which cleverly uses a Bettye LaVette sample as a vocal duet. You can feel the yearning and pain in his vocals as he begs his partner to “Let Me Down Easy” I hope Quentin places this song in his next film

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Mercury Prize 2014


Mercury Prize 2014

Looking for some great new music?  A great way become aware of the finest on the other side of the Atlantic is the Mercury Prize.  This list of 12 albums salutes the  best music released by British and Irish artists between September 10 2013 and September 8,  2014.   Primal Scream “Screamadelica” won the first award in 1992 and last year James Blake’s “Overgrown” took the title.  I look forward to this list every year as it always introduces me to a number of new artists and this year is no exception.  Here are the 12 nominees.  The winner will be announce on October 29.

Anna Calvi - One Breath

Bombay Bicycle Club -- So Long, See You Tomorrow

Damon Albarn -- Everyday Robots

East India Youth -- Total Strife Forever

FKA Twigs -- LP1

GoGo Penguin -- V2.0

Jungle -- Jungle

Kate Tempest -- Everybody Down

Nick Mulvey -- First Mind (Only one song available on Spotify)

Polar Bear -- In Each And Every One

Royal Blood -- Royal Blood

Young Fathers -- Dead

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Free Music Friday

Aziz Anzari as 50 Cent "Get Rich And Die Tryin'

In honor  the chucklefest known as the  Oddball Festival this weekend.  Here are a number of comedians singing or talking about songs just for you.  Be warned these are comedians that have potty mouths so this is NSFW.  Enjoy!

Sarah Silverman

Louis CK

Aziz Anzari

Hannibal Buress

Bill Burr

Reggie Watts

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Get Out

The Simpson at The Hollywood Bowl September 12-14, 2014

Comedy is thy name this weekend or more accurately as Bart Simpson accurately pointed out “Comedy, Thy name is Krusty” (go to 2:30 to hear the quote or better yet, just watch the whole thing)

Yes, this weekend The Simpsons invade The Hollywood Bowl.  What does that mean?  I don’t know, but I do know there is going to be a lot of talented people on the stage, including Weird Al Yankovic and a wise man once said “He who’s tired of Weird Al, is tired of Life

There’s too many Simpson songs to fit on one show but here’s 5 songs that if we’re lucky we’ll get to hear.

Saturday and Sunday you can head to the most unfunny place on Earth, Irvine, California for the Funny Or Die: Oddball Comedy and Curiosity Festival”

It’s actually quite an impressive lineup.  I’m not quite sure how well comedy translates to 12,000 seat amphitheatres but it does seem tough to pass up.

Here’s Aziz Anzari dropping some mad R&B fla-vas with Reggie Watts. Enjoy!

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U2 Gets It

U2 "Songs Of Innocence" LP September 9, 2014

U2 “Songs Of Innocence” LP September 9, 2014

It’s a game of one upmanship. It started with Radiohead allowing listeners to name their price to Beyonce announcing on Instagram the release of her new album  to Tom Petty giving away his album with each concert ticket purchase and now U2 just giving their music to everyone that owns a computer.

I was actually quite excited when I heard the album I’ve been reading about for the past year which apparently had  no new release date in site.

I think U2 named this album “Songs Of Innocence” because they’re not sure what they’re entering into by just releasing music this way.  Because it’s free will it be consumed once and forgotten immediately?  Will this make streaming the accepted way to listen to music and finally bury the CD?  I’m sure there’s some truth to both questions.

In case you wanted to pay for the music, there will alternate ways to consume this album.  The official release date is October 13.  The physical release of Songs of Innocence comes with a 24-page booklet. A deluxe, gatefold double album, contains an acoustic session of songs from the album and four additional tracks: Lucifer’s Hands, The Crystal Ballroom, The Troubles (Alternative version) and Sleep Like a Baby Tonight (Alternative Perspective Mix by Tchad Blake)

The album will also be available as a gatefold, double white-vinyl LP with an exclusive remix of “The Crystal Ballroom”.

Bono has already hinted that “Song of Experience” is on the way

And of course this is all hype for their upcoming concerts in 2015.   I imagine tickets will go on sale very soon with the band holding hands with Apple and Beats Music.

But is the album any good?  “Songs Of Innocence” is just that.  They are songs about their musical influences, first loves and first time experiences.  It might win some fans who have not heard U2 before but I don’t think it’s going to win back any fans that might have fallen by the wayside since the days of Actung Baby and Zooropa when they were experimenting and reinventing the sound of the band.  It might seem plausible that since they were reaching out to a billion people this free music sampler that they would make the most traditional sounding U2 record possible.  This is unfortunate news for those that still hold on hope they will  re-invent themselves again like all great artists need to do.  In the meantime I’ll hold on hope that “Song Of Experience” will be their call to arms.

Although not my favorite, the album is free so what have you got to lose?  With my first listen, “Song For Someone” is now my current favorite.  It’s a plaintive ballad about first love. It starts acoustically and then kicks in with a trademark solo from The Edge.

Larry Mulliins Jr., Adam Clayton, Bono & The Edge from U2 2014

Larry Mulliins Jr., Adam Clayton, Bono & The Edge from U2 2014

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New Music Tuesday

Robert Plant "lullaby and...The Ceasless Road"

Robert Plant “lullaby and…The Ceasless Road”

You can’t mention Robert Plant without mentioning Led Zeppelin….Okay now that that’s done let’s talk about lullaby and…The Ceasless Roar.  Now 32 years of  truly wonderous solo work, I am truly surprised that Robert Plant is not in the Rock Hall yet.  Can we get that fixed already?

I’m reachin’ for the stars
In the sky above
Oh, I will bring their beauty home
The colors of my love
And I will be a rainbow
Now your storm is gone
And I will bring my song to you
And I will carry on

This song “Rainbow” could be a love song for someone in need or that person in need could be Robert himself searching for that muse to bring his songs to the world.  Robert is restrained and the slightly nuanced song works it’s magic with a simple howl and a promise to “carry on”.


Although nowhere near the scale of Zeppelin, Ryan Adams had to escape the shadow of Whiskeytown.  One of the pioneering bands of the Alt Country scene Adams has spent the better part of his solo work marching to his own drummer, sometimes acknowledging the past but mostly looking to create his own body of work.  The results have been a mixed bag with hits and misses but always interesting attempts to create a unified body of work.  This may be why Ryan Adams is simply self-titling his new record.  This album can be proudly placed along with “Gold”, “Cold Roses” and “Easy Tiger” as some of his best work.  He now seems to be comfortable in his own skin and is no longer restless creating some heartfelt songs like “Gimme Something Good” which reminds me of a long lost Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers cut.

Now please enjoy the bizarre humor of Ryan Adams

Ryan Adam

Ryan Adams

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Banned From Saturday Night Live

The Replacements January 18, 1986

The Replacements January 18, 1986

The Tonight Show posted a teasing video of the last time The Replacements played at the 30 Rock address on January 18, 1986.

They played Bastards Of Young.  I’m not quite sure but I think alcohol may have had a part in their performance not to mention their dress

And I think because the wheels seemed to come off the bus on that first song, they decided to play  “Kiss Me On The Bus” for their final song.  Chris Mars starts counting off and the band is clearly not ready.

Glad to hear the Mats are coming back but there are others that need to get an invite back:

Fear sing Beef Baloney and New York’s Alright If You Like Saxophones in 1981. John Belushi suggested they play the Halloween episode and the band and fans did over $200,000 worth of damage

Cypress Hill-Light a joint on stage

Sinead O’Connor infamously decided at the end of her song that the Pope is the real enemy to the shock of the audience

Sadly, Frank Zappa never returned to SNL.  Apparently the staff was shocked…shocked  to learn that hosts depend on cue cards and they banned Frank from the show.

Frank Zappa SNL October 21, 1978

Frank Zappa SNL October 21, 1978


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Joan Rivers Late Show Show Music Guests

The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers

The Late Show Starring Joan Rivers

I will always admire Joan Rivers ability to adapt to the changing times.  Her comedy material for over forty years relied on the theme  “I’m not pretty and I can’t compete against these other women” but she worked that theme to a tea moving from stand-up, to Grammy winner, to best selling author to talk show host to fashion commentator.    Joan knew her strengths and the audience loved it.  Here’s Joan killing it on The Ed Sullivan Show in 1967.

The Late Show with Joan Rivers aired from 1986-1987.  Not a long time.  But because she had to compete against The Tonight Show, she took chances on booking artists that Johnny Carson would have never put on his show.  Thankfully, we now have YouTube and we can re-live some of these amazing performances. We’ll start with one of my all time favorites with The Beastie Boys

This is almost too unbelievable, but Husker Du was on her show

Wendy O. Williams & The Plasmatics singing her ode to anal sex. I doubt this would be allowed to be sung on TV today.

Oingo Boingo (can’t get more 80s than this)

Crowded House with probably one of their first television appearances

Good job, Joan!

Joan Rivers

Joan Rivers 1933-2014

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