New Music Tuesday

The New York City based band Blonde Redhead continue to push their music in different directions while still retaining their homage to the no-wave music scene.

 

Blonde-Redhead "Barragan"

 

I was looking at new releases and found the band Zeus and their album “Classic Zeus”. I thought it odd as I had not heard of them but the title works.  The disc on Toronto’s Arts and Crafts label (home to Feist and Broken Social Scene) is filled what I’m guessing is the classic Zeus sound filled with catchy harmonies and great dance-y hooks that might remind you of Phoenix.  Classic indeed.

 

Zeus "Classic Zeus"

 

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Labor Day

Happy Labor Day.  Let’s celebrate the drone that usually works in sector 7-G

Homer Simpson at work in sector 7G

Homer Simpson at work in sector 7G

That’s Homer Simpsons sir, one of your organ bags from sector 7G.
That’s Homer Simpsons sir, one of your mouth breathers from sector 7G.
That’s Homer Simpsons sir, one of your homo sapiens from sector 7G.
That’s Homer Simpsons sir, one of your drones from sector 7G.
That’s Homer Simpsons sir, one of your carbon blobs from sector 7G.
That’s Homer Simpsons sir, one of your trained monkeys from sector 7G.
That’s Homer Simpsons sir, one of your fork and spoons operators from sector 7G.
That’s Homer Simpsons sir, one of your chair moisteners from sector 7G.
That’s Homer Simpsons sir, one of your time wasters from sector 7G.
That’s Homer Simpsons sir, one of your button jockeys from sector 7G.
That’s Homer Simpsons sir, one of your gastropods from sector 7G.

Remember the hammock is a chore free zone

 

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Free Music Friday

If you’re like me, you’ve been scouring the internet looking for Kate Bush clips from her 22 show run in London.  Videos and pictures have been hard to find because Kate posted on her website

We have purposefully chosen an intimate theatre setting rather than a large venue or stadium. It would mean a great deal to me if you would please refrain from taking photos or filming during the shows. I very much want to have contact with you as an audience, not with iphones, ipads or cameras. I know it’s a lot to ask but it would allow us to all share in the experience together.

I, for one, applaud this choice.  Savages and The Yeah Yeah Yeahs have posted similar messages at their shows.  Let’s hope this is a trend that will gain some steam.

So even though I can’t see something new, there’s always the way back machine aka YouTube. I bring you back to 1979 when a 20-year old Kate Bush performed at the Hammersmith Odeon.  Enjoy!

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Get Out

 

For the first time, Jay-Z’s Made In America concert will play in Los Angeles while it’s also still maintaining its home base of Philadelphia.

Like all ambitious first time festival concerts, the lineup is a mix of mostly alternative rock bands with hip hop and EDM.  Headliners will be Imagine Dragons on Saturay and  Kanye West on Sunday.

As with most festivals it’s always fun to look for bands names that you don’t think are possibly real.  This weekend look for DJ Mustard, A Tribe Called Red and of course Nipsey Hussle.

Expect long lines for food, drinks and bathrooms and poor site lines.  Expect to hear that promoters will promise it will go more smooth next year.  I’m hoping promoters learned some lessons from last week’s FYFest.  I’m also hoping Kanye brings the crazy.  The video has some NSFW language. Enjoy!

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Award Shows

I spent the last two evenings watching Award Shows.

Talk shows post extended interviews and performances online it might be time to relegate acceptance speeches to go online.  I would imagine it would create something interesting, they won’t be played off, it would cut an hour of air time and the memorable speeches would go viral creating an even broader audience.

Strangely enough it was the MTV Video Music Awards that seemed desperate while the Emmys seemed to be having the most fun. I think the reason is the writing and the acting strengths of the performers.  Whether it’s Usher banging his head against Nicki Monaj’s butt or MTV cutting to Taylor Swift to gauged her reaction, it’s just all too manufactured. Many of the MTV artists also seemed just be too green to perform as they looked lost on the big stage.   Besides Jay Pharoah’s witty impersonations and Sam Smith’s welcome understated performance of “Stay With Me”,  the only memorable organic moment was Beyonce’s daughter Blue Ivy enjoying her mom’s performance.

Blue Ivy danced with her father, Jay Z

The Emmy’s had a number of memorable moments including the numerous exchanges between Bryan Cranston and Julia Louis-Dreyfus.  Not only did they do a great pre-show promo skit but they had a number of moments during the show including Bryan’s congratulatory greeting to Julia upon her win.

Jimmy Kimmel and Seth Myers, guys used to performing on a daily basis and having the benefit of great writers flourished when the had the spotlight.  The only thing missing from the Emmys was music, although there was Sara Bareilles’ performance of “Smile” during the In Memoriam section of the show.  Put Beyonce and Sam Smith on the Emmys and there would have been nothing to see at the MTV VMAs.

MTV blew up their format of playing music to creating shows for the 12-24 set.  It ‘s time to blow up their award show for something more innovative.

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New Music Tuesday

If the name Shovels & Rope sounds ominous, you should hear the music.  This husband and wife duo from Charleston, South Carolina Michael Trent and Cary Ann Hearst aren’t afraid to talk about those deep, dark thoughts that sometimes creep into our heads.  They remind me of another husband and wife band called The Handsome Family (you might know them from the theme song to True Detective).  But Shovels and Rope are digging new ground.  It’s interesting to hear couples harmonizing together and playing off each other as you sometimes sense there’s a little more weight to the lyrics they’re singing to each other.  Give a listen “Evil” and “The Devil Is All Around” and you’ll hear subtle nuances that make the music even more compelling than if it was just sung by one person.

Shovels & Rope Swimmin' Time

Nothing makes me more happy than to hear that Dinosaur Jr’s J. Mascis is putting out a solo record.  Sure the screaming guitars from the band are still thrill but but I love when J straps on an acoustic guitar in that lazy drawl.   I can’t get enough of it and he’s still as droll as ever as witnessed by this interview.

J Mascis "Tied To A Star"

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Kate Bush

It’s the return of Kate Bush!  Tuesday night she will play the first of 22 (!!!) shows at the Evertim Apollo (formerly the Hammersmith Odeon) in London.  She last played there in 1979 when she was 20. …she has not performed since…that’s 35 years between gigs, people!

1979 was ten years before Taylor Swift was born and before Taylor was dropping “sick beats” on the public, Kate was dropping music and performances that did not seem of this world.  if you love the The Smiths or Peter Gabriel or Radiohead or Coldplay or Cocteau Twins or Toria Amos or Madonna or yes, even Taylor Swift than you have a lot to be thankful for Kate Bush gracing us with her music.

Kate has not disappeared from recording.  She has released a total of ten albums and is the first UK female artist to have a top 5 record in 5 decades.  Her last being 2011′s 50 Words For Snow.

She retired from performing because of her own personal reasons, partly to escape the music industry, partly to raise a family but mostly to protect her privacy and maintain a normal private life.

So for now welcome back to the stage Kate and let’s hope she can make it out to the States very soon.

Here are a few of my favorite performances.

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Free Music Friday

The Strokes

The Strokes

In celebration of The Strokes coming to town for the FYF Fest check out this MTV concert from 2002 when the band was THE BAND.  Hard to believe 12 years have already passed since “Is This It?” hit the streets…when CDs still hit the streets, iTunes had just been released earlier that year, YouTube was still four years away and MTV was still a taste maker of music.  This will be the best 30 minutes of your day.

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Get Out

Followers of Let’s Not Get Carried Away will know that one of my favorite songs and one that I re-post every new year is The Zombies‘ “This Will Be Our Year”.

 

Thursday, The Zombies take over The Santa Monica Pier for The Twilight Series.  Hearing “Tell Her No”, “She’s Not There” “Time Of The Season” with the backdrop of the Pacific Ocean should make for a perfect summer evening.

The Zombies with Colin Blunstone & Rod Argent

The Zombies with Colin Blunstone & Rod Argent

Head downtown on Friday to 7th and Figueroa to see The Belle Brigade.  Brother and sister duo Ethan and Barbara Gruska have been pulling down double shifts of late opening up for Ray Montagne and then performing as part of his back up band.  This Friday will be all theirs as they perform in their hometown.   The next time they come to town it will be to open for Ray at the Greek so go tonight and make it all about the Belle Brigade.  I’m sure they’ll  feature a number of songs from their outstanding album, “Just Because

Fig at 7th Downtown LA

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Ferguson

In times of troubling events we often turn to music to help us understand the situation.  A song can be very effective when the singer takes the role of the oppressed to help us to understand.  Neil Young (with Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young) brilliantly summed up the Kent State tragedy:

“Gotta get down to it Soldiers are cutting us down
Should have been done long ago.
What if you knew her
And found her dead on the ground
How can you run when you know?”

Frank Zappa uttered the sentiment that many of us feel in the song “Trouble Every Day” upon watching the Watts Riots.

“I’m not black but there is a whole lots of times I wish I could say I’m not white”

In describing the LA Riots, Sublime summed it up in “April 29, 1992 (Miami)” that it wasn’t about Rodney King

‘Cause everybody in the hood has had it up to here
It’s getting harder, and harder, and harder each and every year”

J. Cole has stepped up and released a song to help in the still on going situation in Ferguson, Missouri.  The song is called “Be Free”

It’s a powerfully, honest song in which he simply states “All We Wanna Do Is Take The Chains Off” and asking the question “Are We all alone, fighting on our own?”  He’s not asking for vengeance, but just the chance “to be free”.

Click on the photo below if you’d like to make a donation to the St. Louis area food bank to help feed kids in Ferguson and surrounding areas.

Feed the Students of Ferguson

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