Gene Wilder Singer Extraordinaire

Gene Wilder

The best singers are the ones that put their personality into the song revealing elements of themselves.  Gene Wilder would not be considered a traditional singer but every since I was a kid I’ve loved the wonder Gene injects into “Pure Imagination” and nothing makes me laugh more than Gene’s duet with Frankenstein and trying to get through “Puttin’ On The Ritz”.

In honor of Gene Wilder, I present these 2 for 2uesday songs.

 

One bonus song, Gene explains the origins of why he loves song “Ohio”.

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MTV videos 2016

Image result for mtv vma 2016

We all know that no one cares about the show but of course there will be talking points that everyone will discuss this week. There are five nominations for Video of The Year and they are worth watching. There is  Drake awkwardly dancing in a cube and Bieber’s dancers awkwardly trying to work together.  There is Drake’s cell phone and Adele’s flip phone and everyone in Kayne’s bed and Beyoncé showing why she’s the true innovaotr, these five songs are arguably the perfect microcosm of everything that was discussed in 2015-2016 in pop music.

 

Beyoncé “Formation”

Justin Beiber “Sorry”

 

Adele “Hello”

Drake “Hotline Bling”

Kanye West “Famous”

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New Music Friday

Old school rap is back this week.

Every four years since 1996 Tom Morello has raged in protest to candidate(s) during each US Presidential election.

In the past, Tom had has band, Rage Against The Machine or solo acoustically as The Nightwatchman.

This time around he’s got Chuck D of Public Enemy, Cypress Hill’s B-Real and his RATM compadres Tim Commerford, guitarist and drummer Brad Wilk to let us know the party’s over.

Clear the way, as here come the Prophets Of Rage.

On the opposite spectrum is De La Soul.  Nearly 30 years ago they ushered in The Daisy Age. When they decided to pair up with a rock band, they chose Scottish indie pop band Teenage Fanclub for “Fallin‘”

For his new album, they’ve teamed up with a number of artists including this smooth jam with Usher.

 

Here’s a nice match up with Snoop Dogg

 

Prohets Of Rage The Party's Over De La Soul and the Anonymous Nobody

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Get Out

It must be the end of summer because all the big outdoor music festivals are this weekend.

FYF Fest 2016: ft. Kendrick Lamar, Oneohtrix Point Never, Julia Holter, and the dream of reasonably priced bottled water

FYF Fest at Exposition Park.  13th annual. In existence since 2004

Saturday Headliners: Kendrick Lamar, Tame Impala,Air, Grimes, Hot Chip

Sunday Headliners: LCD Soundsystem, Grace Jones, Beach House, Father John Misty

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Ohana Music Festival at Doheny State Beach.  1st year in existence

Saturday Headliners: Eddie Vedder, Elvis Costello, Band Of Horses, X

Sunday Headliners: Lana Del Rey, City And Colour, Cat Power Corinne Bailey Rae

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Dave Mathews Band at Irvine Meadows  Face it, The DMB is a festival onto itself.  In existence since 1991

Saturday Headliner: The Dave Mathews Band

Enjoy!

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Keith Moon would have been 70

Keith Moon
Keith MoonIf Keith Moon were alive today he would be dead.  Some people live long,fruitful lives, others live to burn the candles at both ends and then slice it in half and blow it up and that was Keith.  He lived life the way he played the drums, kind of all over the place and yet it all made sense.   A perfect example is Keith Moon’s isolated drum track on Pinball Wizard.  It sounds like it’s lagging, painfully slow and the fills seem random. It sounds like someone just learning how to play the kit and yet it, works perfectly.  The drums kick in at :49

 

Here are a few of my favorite Moon antics.

The infamous appearance on The Smothers Brothers show.  Keith Moon puts an inordinate amount of cheery bombs in his drum kit, causing a transmission breakdown, a flying cymbal slicing through Keith’s arm and Pete to lose hearing in one ear.

 

Keith Moon tells the story of encountering a water bed in a hotel room.

 

Keith demonstrating how to properly destroy a hotel room with Steve Martin narrating.

Keith accepting a Grammy on behalf of The Beatles

Keith and Ringo introduce Sparks

Keith playing the Fashion Designer for Mae West in the horrible movie “Sextette”. Mae would pass away in 1980 outliving Keith who passed away the year this movie came out in 1978

Of course, it all comes down to the music. So here’s The Who ripping it up in 1975.

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2 For 2uesday

I’ve got two welcome returns from artists that I love.  The songs are both low-key bluesy, funky jams that still manage to showcase their amazing talents.

Gary Clark Jr. contribution to the upcoming film Deepwater Horizon about the biggest oil spill in US history.  The song is a gospel tinged blues jam that downplays his guitar prowess while still conveying the pleading nature of the song to “take me down South”.

 

After a three year hiatus, Madeleine Peyroux returns with a vengeance as she declares that “Everything I Do Gonh Be Funky (From Now On)”.  Judging by the spelling of the song, I kind of figured, she did not write this tune.  I was correct. The legendary Allen Touissant penned this one and Madeleine brings it to life.   Her new album Secular Hymns comes out on September 9.

 

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Make It With You

Summertime music for me has become a nostalgic trip of days gone by and of a time a long, long ago that I don’t remember but somehow resonates with me.  This is one of the reasons I love Yacht Rock.

Yacht Rock is a combination of soft rock, adult contemporary music, blue-eyed soul and smooth jazz.  There’s usually a saxophone involved as well as the singing of Michael McDonald and/or Kenny Loggins. I imagine myself listening to this music on a boat, in my flip flops and enjoying a Zima.

One of the first songs to achieve this mellowness was the band Bread.  There is not a trace of saxophone but the stings are a perfect substitute.  Lead singer/songwriter David Gates strikes the perfect balance of getting it on and climbing on rainbows.  It’s probably the song that killed that killed the 1960s.  That said, it’s a perfectly produced record and it’s no wonder the song hit #1 on this day in 1970.

Enjoy!

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New Music Friday

Two new albums from two of Country Music’s finest (new and old school) singers.

Dolly Parton "Pure & Simple"Let’s start with the woman known as

The Smoky Mountain Songbird

The Backwoods Barbie

The Queen of Nashville

or pure and simple DOLLY

Pure and Simple
is the name of Dolly Parton’s new album and there’s a reason for it.  It’s written and produced solely by Dolly and features recordings of “Tomorrow is Forever,” originally recorded as a duet with Porter Wagoner in 1970 and then again with Solomon Burke in 2006, and “Say Forever You’ll Be Mine,” which Dolly originally recorded with Porter Wagoner in 1975.

Here’s the title track and just for reference, here’s Dolly and Porter back in the day singing “Tomorrow is Forever”

Lydia Loveless Real Album Art Bloodshot Records

 

I’d like to think that if Dolly was 25 again and it was the year 2016, she would be making music similar to Lydia Loveless because Lydia is certainly following in Dolly’s footsteps.  Lydia may be unfortunately labeled alt-country but to me she sounds like she could fit in with that famous trio of Dolly, Emmylou and Linda.  She’s tough and yet vulnerable and, as is the title of her album Real You can hear it in her first single entitled “Longer” and in the harder edged “Same To You”.

 

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Guns N’ Roses 25 years after The Forum

If you live in LA and you love hair metal this is your weekend to relive the glory days.

As you all know, Guns N’ Roses have put aside their differences and are raking in millions reliving their glory days and will play two nights at Dodger Stadium with The Cult.

Good news is the band adheres to its set time so don’t be late.  Bad news it’s not dangerous rock and roll anymore.

Fun fact, it was 25 years ago this month that Guns N’ Roses played four nights at The Forum.  The closing night on August 3, 1991 was the longest one on the whole Use Your Illusion world tour lasting three hours, 36 minutes and 19 seconds long. The show starts with Sid Vicious’ version of “My Way” as an intro, Perfect Crime is the first song and Paradise City ends the set.

Guns N' Roses ticket stub from Aug 2, 1991“Double Talkin’ Jive” is dedicated to “some asshole at CBS News who likes to call me a punk”.

Shannon Hoon makes guest appearances on Don’t Cry and You Ain’t The First. Sebastian Bach joins the band for You’re Crazy.

You can hear the bootleg of the show on YouTube.  It’s pretty amazing and marks. in my mind at least, the end of an era.  Nivana’s video for Smells Like Teen Spirit had just been added to MTV essentially ending hair metal and Guns N’ Roses dominance.

Guns N’ Roses essentially broke up after The Use Your Illusion tour ended in Buenos Aires, Argentina, on July 17, 1993. The tour set attendance records and lasted for 28 months, in which 194 shows were played. The show in Buenos Aires marked the last time that that Slash performed with Axl Rose until 2016.

Talk about Olympic glory, check out this gold medal performance at Rock in Rio circa 1991.  Better yet, check out Axl’s infamous USA biker shorts.   This was probably their peak in all their shirtless splendor.

 

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Having Fun With Adele On Stage

FaceTiming on stage with Adele Los Angeles, CA August 13, 2016

FaceTiming on stage with Adele

I saw Adele‘s show last week.  She played 16 songs.  The songs averaged about 5 minutes in length for about 90 minutes worth of music.  There was no intermission and yet the entire show was over two hours.  The reason is that Adele  has a lot on her mind.  Sure, we all want to hear these songs that mean so much to so many people but Adele performs these songs like it’s a friends night out and she just wants to share in the gossip.

“Have you all been watching the Olympics?”  “Are you all from California?  “No way you’re from Tottenham!” “Speaking of rumors, I am not pregnant”  “I am not playing the Super Bowl” “Have you all been to Bristol Farms?  I love their cheese” “Would you like me to Facetime with your friends”

We were all sitting at the same table with Adele, albeit a large 18,000 seat table but we were all drawn in to her life and wanted to hear what was on her mind because it was also on the mind of her audience.

Bruce Springsteen has talked about a continuing dialogue with his fans and Adele is doing the exact same thing.  Taylor Swift may feel the need to continually stay in the public eye through social media but I think Adele’s honest conversation with her fan base is essential in keeping her audience interested in her work.  She can go off the grid and live her life and return when she’s ready to bring everyone up to date with her life and we want to hear it because we will have similar experiences. It’s one of the reasons she can disappear for four years and still maintain her audience.   It’s a rare skill for a singer and her stage banter is just a like a stand up doing crowd work.  She shares it all with her audience.

 

Elvis Presley once released an album called “Having Fun With Elvis On Stage”  it consisted entirely of him talking on stage. And now that we have YouTube, someone can post all of Adele’s banter.  This is from a show in Berlin. It’s 30 minutes long and totally enjoyable.

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