Dolly in Holly

In honor of Dolly Parton playing at The Hollywood Bowl this weekend, I give you my 10 favorite songs not named “Jolene”, “I Will Always Love You” or “9 to 5”.

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Computer Love


My old timey desktop computer went down and is in the shop so I’m texting this on my phone while enjoying “Computer Love” by Ohio based band Zapp.

I love the old timey computer sounds and talk box vocals of this song and since it’s from the 80s there’s also a sax solo.

The song made it up to number 8 on the R&B charts in 1986
The vocals are by Charlie Wilson of The Gap Band. It was written by Shirley Murdock along with band members Roger and Larry Troutman and was produced by Roger.

Tragically, the family band ended in a horrifying murder/suicide in April 1999 when Larry took Roger’s life.

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2 for 2uesday


How hot is it in LA? Too damn hot. Just ask Ella and Robin.

Ella Fitzgerald “Too Damn Hot”

Robin Williams “Damn Hot”

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Springsteen photos out in the street

As most every Springsteen fan knows, his autobiography “Born To Run” is coming out on September 27.

I look forward to reading it and perhaps learning a little bit about what drives, insprires and motivates the man.

His concerts are well known, epic experiences and there are many memorable concert photos of Bruce and the E Street band but many favorites of Springsteen and the band have always been the one’s where they are simply, as is the title of a song from The River goes, out in the street.  It’s just a bunch of guys hanging out.  They don’t look like rock stars by any stretch of the imagination.

I never really knew exactly why I loved these photos until this week when I heard photographer Frank Stefanko talk about the photo used for the book cover.  There he is sitting on the hood of a car.  There’s the front porch in the background.  It’s the song Thunder Road come to life!  The doors open but the ride it ain’t free.  The way Frank describes it, it was just a beautiful mistake.  I suggest taking the 2 minutes to hear him talk about the shooting of this photo.

I’m also posting a number of my other favorite Bruce Springsteen and the E Street photos.  Enjoy!

Image result for bruce springsteen out in the street

Image result for bruce springsteen 1970

Image result for bruce springsteen 1970

Image result for bruce springsteen 1970

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Image result for bruce springsteen out in the street

Image result for bruce springsteen out in the street

 

 

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New Music Friday

Bruce Springsteen Chapter and Verse

Bruce Springsteen‘s autobiography, “Born To Run” comes out on Tuesday.   The accompanied album is called Chapter and Verse and it comes out today.  It’s basically a greatest hits package but the carrots are five songs Bruce recorded prior to his debut.

You can feast on these songs two songs by The Castiles with Bruce and understand why E Street member Steve Van Zandt has a show called Underground Garage

“Baby I”

 

“You Can’t Judge A Book By The Cover”

I love how this Instragram promo flips the pages from right to left like it’s the Talmud.  I’m going to treat it that way, as I can’t wait to discover little morsels of Bruce knowledge.

 

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Get Out

Summer may be gone but the music festivals go on and on and on.

Go to Long Beach if you love the 80s.  Go to Irvine if you love the 90s

Music Tastes Good 2016 Long Beach

The city of Long Beach jumps into the music festival scene with a nice music and food lineup and they are calling it Music Tastes Good

Headliners at this 3 day block party festival include Iron & Wine, The Specials, De La Soul, Living Colour, Dr. Dog and Squeeze.

There will also be Farm to Taste Experiences. 

The nice thing about this festival is the price point.  $25 for Friday $75 for Saturday when the majority of bands are playing and $35 for Sunday. $120 to go to all 3 days.

It should be worth checking out.

 

JACK

Jack-FM has their 11th show on Saturday.  It’s one of your very last chances to see a show at Irvine Meadows before they turn the venue into condos.

All of these bands have played Irvine Meadows before so it’s a good chance to reminisce about that time you did that crazy thing and your friends lost you and you totally missed that band that did that thing that you can’t believed you missed.  Good times!

Jane’s Addiction
The Cult
Garbage
Violent Femmes
Everlast with House of Pain

 

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Why rank music?

Image result for top 200

I once had a Classic Rock Program Director tell me that when he compiled his stations Top 200 songs of all time,  he put “Comfortably Numb” in the #1 spot ahead of “Stairway to Heaven” just to mess with this audience.

I can see how some people might be up in arms with this minor tweaking of whose #1 but the purpose of well thought out lists is music discovery.

I recognize this now as I’ve been listening lately to Pitchfork’s The 200 best songs of the 1970s   There are four David Bowie songs but not one single Bee Gees song.  Rod Stewart is nowhere to be found nor is “My Sharona” or “American Pie”.

That’s no big deal as I know these songs.  The fun has been re-discovering songs I had not listened to in awhile or appreciated during its heyday.  I’m talking to you, Disco.  “Don’t Leave Me This Way”, “Haven’t You Heard” and “For The Love Of Money” sound  better than I ever remember.  It’s also fun to listen to “Summer Madness” by Kool and The Gang and think of Will Smith and Jazzy Jeff using it for “Summertime” or “Can You Get To That” by Funkadelic and think of Sleigh Bells “Rill Rill”.

David Bowie’s “Life On Mars” is the #1 song.  Surprising?  Sure.  Deserved? Perhaps. But it’s intriguing enough to discuss with other music fans.  At least it’s better than the #1 song of the decade according to Billboard, Debbie Boone’s “You Light Up My Life”.  That’s one song I know I never have to revisit.

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2 for 2uesday

Good news for those fans of 80s fringe bands Fishbone and Rank and File,  Angelo Moore of Fishbone and Alejandro Escovedo formerly of Rank and File are still kicking and still putting out vital creative work.

The Brand New Step Angelo Moore

Angelo Moore is still kicking with Fishbone but with this new project Angelo teams up with Bay Area musicians and producers Jim Greer and Kris Jensen to form The Brand New Step.  Fishbone always like to mix up genres of music to create something frenetic. The Brand New Step mixes up genres and creates something that will still move your dancing feet but is a little more subdued.

Alejandro Escovedo Something Beautiful 2016

Alejandro Escovedo may be almost 25 years into a solo career but I’ll still have a soft spot for the amazing blending of country and rock on the album “Sundown”.  His aim is still true as Alejandro combines talents with 2 more 80s indie faves Pete Buck (R.E.M) and Scott McCaughey (Fresh Young Fellows and R.E.M. tour mate).  Pete is the  the co-writer and co-producer of Escovedo’s new album, Burn Something Beautiful, which is out October 28.

Lyrically on this first single, Escovedo may be wisful singing “I miss my friends” but musically this 65 year old Austin musician is still looking forward with a driving beat and a yearning vocal.  You can’t ask for much more.

Just for fun, I’m posting vintage Fishbone and Rank and File videos with both with legitimate 80s dancers.

 

lexicon alpha

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Skepta Konnichiwa

Skepta Konnichiwa

Skepta Konnichiwa

If you are like me, you saw these two names above and thought it’s probably the name of a Japanese woman.

That is of course, false.  This is why I depend on the Mercury Prize to help me find exciting new artists from across the pond.

This year’s winner is Grime artist, Skepta. He beat some of the UK’s biggest artists, including Radiohead, Bat for Lashes and even what I thought would be a lock; David Bowie’s final album Blackstar.

Grime is a genre of music that emerged in East London in the early 2000s. It is primarily a development of UK garage, hip hop ragga and jungle. It’s the inner city music scene of London. Dizzee Rascal would be the Beatles of this format.  The new kid in this genre and moving it into the mainstream is Skepta.

Skepta,is of Nigerian descent. Konnichiwa is his fourth record and peaked at number 2 on the UK charts.  He was scheduled to play Coachella this year but his application for a work visa was denied by U.S. authorities.

 

Lastly, here’s Michael C Hall performing Lazarus from the musical of the same name at The Mercury Prize Awards Show. The song was featured on Bowie’s album, Blackstar, as well as the off-Broadway version of the musical in which Hall starred in New York. Hall also worked with Bowie on Lazarus before the rock icon’s death in January

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New Music Friday

Summer is nearing an end which is the only reason I can think why there are three releases with “die” in their name or title of the album.

The good news is all three “die” titles are tied to amusing records.

Cape Town, South African hip hop electronic  artists Die Antwood are releasing their new album “Mount Ninji and da Nice Time Kid”.  The bands name is Afrikaan for The Answer.  What the question is, I’m not sure.   Their over the top first single (think Sascha Baron Cohen) “Enter The Ninja” has almost 50 million views on YouTube.

Their new single “Banana Brain” has 7.5 million views…and 16,000 thumbs down so you know this is a band that you either love or hate.  There is no in-between.

“When the Tequila runs out, we’ll be drinking champagne” is the amusing refrain from Dawes.  This prolific band from the San Fernando Valley is releasing their 5 album in 8 years and judging from the reception, their latest record “We’re All Gonna Die” promises to be the biggest one yet.

Mount Ninji and da Nice Time Kid [Explicit] Dawes "We're All Gonna Die"

Last but certainly not least is George Carlin.  ”I Kinda Like It When a Lotta People Die” was recorded over the course of two nights at the MGM Grand in Las Vegas on September 9th and 10th, 2001.  This never-before-released material was to be the source for Carlin’s twelfth HBO® special. Howver, following the attacks on 9/11, Carlin removed and reworked much of the content into what ultimately became ”Complaints and Grievances.”

Listen to this clip and you can immediately recognize why this recording was shelved.

George Carlin I Kinda Like It When A Lotta People Die (Parental Advisory)

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