Adam Schlesinger

Adam SchlesingerSince listening to Adam Schlesinger‘s new music project Fever High, which he produced, I’ve been going down the Adam Schlesinger rabbit hole.

For a guy that makes pop music that always puts a big smile on my face, this guy hardly smiles at all.  Google it and you’ll see how dour he usually is.  I don’t care how he looks as long as he continues to make music in all formats possible.  This guy is  going to an EGOT,  Strangely, he’s only a Grammy nominee for Fountain of Wayne’s “Stacy’s Mom”.  He’s won 2 Emmy’s with Neil Patrick Harris in 2012 for Outstanding Music And Lyrics for their song “It’s Not Just For Gays Anymore”, and the same in 2013 Emmy Award for “If I Had Time” as the closing number of the 66th Tony Awards telecast. He was nominated for his music in “That Thing You Do!” and was nominate for a Tony for “Cry Baby” in 2008.  He’s also co-wrote with former Daily Show writer David Javerbaum, the closing song in Javerbaum’s An Act Of God currently on Broadway.

Here’s another favorite he co-wrote with Javerbaum as well as a few other favorites I’ve been enjoying lately.   Keep doing that thing you do, Adam!

Colbert and Costello

A Colbert Christmas – Elvis Costello/Stephen Colbert Duet from AdamSchlesingerMusic on Vimeo.

Katy Perry covers Fountains of Wayne’s “Hackensack”

Katy Perry Unplugged – Hackensack from AdamSchlesingerMusic on Vimeo.

A song from Crazy Ex-Girlfriend

Crazy Ex-Girlfriend – Settle for Me (feat. Santino Fontana) from AdamSchlesingerMusic on Vimeo.

The Monkees with Adam “Our Own World”

And because it’s summer here’s “The Summer Place” by Fountains Of Wayne

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2 For 2uesday

Jake Bugg

Jake Bugg

Jake Bugg‘s first two records had a distinctive Dylan sound to his music.  I think Jake got tired of the comparison because like Dylan (oops, still comparing) he’s reinventing his sound and changing up his vocal sneer in the song “Bitter Salt”, but the bitterness is still there as he yells at his partner “It’s getting old and it’s all your fault”  It’s part pop, part rock, part vintage 60s.  It’s on!

Whenever I see the name Adam Schlesinger attached to a project I pay attention.  No one knows his way around a pop song like Adam.  He’s one of the songwriting partners in Fountains Of Wayne,  he’s responsible for the music in the film, “That Thing You Do”, he writes the music for Crazy Ex-Girlfriend and he just produced an EP for the band Fever High which contains the summer infused song “Spit It Out”.  You’ll immediately think Bananarama and like all of Schlesinger’s work, it’s hard to resist.

 

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Bernie and Ralph

Bernie Worrell and Ralph Stanley both passed away last week.

Both innovated their respective instruments.

Bernie Worrell did not invent the Moog synthesizer but you might as well credit him from creating a whole genre with Parliament/Funkadelic.  He made the keyboard funky.  Hip-Hop took notice and borrowed liberally from his handy work.  Those keyboards you hear on Dr. Dre’s “Let Me Ride” are sampled from Bernie’s work on “Mothership Connection (Star Child)”.  In fact, according to the website Who SampledMothership Connection has been sampled 54 times.

It’s a good excuse to post classic 1976 Parliament.  Enjoy!

 

Ralph Stanley wasn’t sampled, his banjo style known as the claw-hammer, or two-finger was imitated but never quite duplicated.  He was called one of the founding fathers of bluegrass but in actuality he sang was classified as the High Lonesome Sound Mountain Sound. Ralph wouldn’t call this music hip-hop but Ralph’s themes of rambling men and trouble and his music, rough and honest could be compared to similarly to tales of the urban streets today.

 

Bernie Worrell 1944-2016

Bernie Worrell 1944-2016

Ralph Stanley 1927-2016

Ralph Stanley 1927-2016

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True Sadness

Seth Avett True Sadness letterIn case you’re wondering what the new Avett Brothers album is going to sound like, Seth Avett wrote you a letter.

Since you might be like me and can’t read a lick of the small font, the key paragraph is at the bottom where he lists the influences for this album.

They are as follows:

Queen, Sister Rosetta Tharpe, Jimmie Rodgers, Tom Petty, Nine Inch Nails, Gillian Welch, Aretha Franklin, Walt Disney, Pink Floyd, Kings of Convenience, calypso of the 1950s and country of the 1930s. Rock and roll is here, as always.

You can click on the letter to get to the actual site and read the whole thing.

It sounds like quite bouillabaisse and one that could be a complete mess.  I’m thinking many loyal Avett Brothers fans but be disappointed but I can hear at least four to five of the listed influences in “Satan Pulls The Strings” and if you enjoy the ride the Brothers are taking you on, it kind of works.

For those that like the traditional sound of The Avett Brothers can find it in “Divorce Separation Blues”

 

True Sadness comes out today.

 

The Avett Brothers "True Sadness"

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Greek Theatre

case-lang.veirs_680x400.jpg

They might have new promoters and you can’t subscribe for summer shows and there is a new URL for the venue but the Greek Theatre is still a beautiful place to see a show.

The first show of the summer  starts with the power trio of Neko Case, kd lang and Laura Veirs aka  case/lang/veirs.

Their tour is just getting started but I’m sure besides playing songs from their excellent new album, they’ll do the CSN&Y formula of playing their solo work.

It should be a memorable night under the stars.

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Stairway to Taurus

You listen to “Taurus” by Spirit and Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway to Heaven”  back to back and you think like Stephen Colbert, “They’re screwed”

Springsteen said it at the 2012 SXSW keynote.  He played the Animals “We Gotta Get Out Of This Place” and admitted it’s every song he’s every written.  At 5:24 he says “youngsters, watch this one.  I’m going  to tell how it’s done right now” and launches into The Animals “Don’t Let Me Be Misunderstood” and segues into “Badlands” as he says, “It’s the same fuckin’ riff, man!” “This is how successful theft is accomplished”.

 

A defense expert testified at the copyright trial that the main similarity was a common descending chord sequence used as a musical building block for 300 years.  It’s also been determined that  Chim-Chim Cher-ee from Mary Poppins,  The Beatles “Michelle” and the aria Dido’s Lament by Henry Purcell composed in 1688 share similar musical DNA as “Stairway”

Eric Burden does not have a writing credit for “Badlands”.  The band, Spirit should not have a credit for “Stairway to Heaven”.

Stairway to Heaven has garnered over $550 million dollars since its release.

Here’s one more song that’s in the public domain that shares music DNA with Stairway to Heaven and “Taurus”

 

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2 For 2uesday

2 artists playing traditional music and yet still expanding on the form.

Sarah Jarosz

Sarah Jarosz

Sarah Jarosz “House Of Mercy”

Charles Bradley Photo by: Cortney Armitage

Charles Bradley

Charles Bradley “Changes”

 

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Song Of The Summer

It’s the first day of summer and so we can officially track the “Song Of Summer”. I’m not sure when this became a thing.  Billboard has tracked the summer song since 1985. It’s the songs that are on the charts from Memorial Day to Labor Day, For those of you that are curious the first official song of summer was “Shout” by Tears for Fears.   Last year, OMI’s song “Cheerleader” took the #1 spot.

 

This year, Drake’s “One Dance” featuring Kyla & Wizkid seems to have the inside track to winning the honor.

Honestly though the summer song can be anything that hearkens back to memories of youth and love and doing nothing and cruising in your car and hanging out with friends and just reminds you of a place and time in your life when you felt carefree.

If I had to pick a summer song for 2016 it would be Tegan and Sara‘s “Boyfriend”

 

Happy Summer!

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The Power Trio

No, I’m not talking about the 100% Canadian Power Trio, Rush.  I’m talking about the All-American Power Trio of Parton, Harris and Ronstadt.

Neko Case, kd lang, Laura Veirs case/lang/veirs

Neko Case, kd lang, Laura Veirs case/lang/veirs

Case Lang Veirs - case/lang/veirs LP

Nobody is going to beat the way those ladies harmonize but there is a strong contending threesome that is 33% Canadian and that would be Neko Case, k.d. lang and Laura Veirs.  Collectively they’re going as case/lang/veirs.  You never know what you’re going to get with 3 strong voices but voices blend well together and they support each other well.  You can practically see the smiles on their faces as they each take turns with lead vocals.  This should be a can’t miss show this summer as they trek across the US.

 

Just so you remember, here’s the original super trio. A three CD collection of their work will be released on September 9

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Hollywood Bowl summer season is back

It seems like there are shows all year long at the Bowl but it’s not officially a Los Angeles Summer until the Hollywood Bowl opens up for the season.  This year, I plan to see Chicago, ELO and Kraftwerk.  How can you go wrong with that?

Steely Dan

It all starts this Saturday with Steely Dan.  It should be fun to hear those familiar jazz infused pop songs with strings attached…that would be the Hollywood Bowl Orchestra.  I’m looking forward to hearing the arrangements for “Peg”,”Any Major Dude” and “Reelin’ In The Years”.  It’s the first time Steely Dan has played the Bowl.   I’m ready for my “everlasting summer”.  Hopefully it won’t be “fading fast”

 

Bonus: Donny & Marie “Reelin’ In The Years”

 

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