Monday, January 23, 2012

Wilco/Charles Wright

I am more than excited for tomorrow night's Wilco concert at the Palladium. This will be the second time I have seen the group and they do not disappoint. I think the reason I loved seeing this band live is I know their catalogue very well, I am after all a fan. I think the experience of seeing your favorite band live and being able to sing the lyrics with fellow fan is the most rewarding concert experience. To me it is far more meaningful than any sort of theatrics or gimmick. I've been going through all their albums this past week and I stumbled on their live album Kicking Television. Wilco close out the show with a cover of Charles Wright & The Watts 103rd St. Rhythm Band's "Comment (If All Men Are Truly Brothers)" I found it to be a very poignant note to end a concert on. I have posted Wilco's cover as well as the original.  
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Wilco - Comment (If All Men Are Truly Brothers)
Charles Wright - Comment (If All Men Are Truly Brothers)

Friday, January 20, 2012

RIP Etta

Etta James 1938-2012.

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Seven Day Fool

Friday, January 13, 2012

Dr. Dog

Dr. Dog's 2010 record Shame, Shame has blossomed into one of my favorite records of recent years. From start to finish it is a record of perfectly constructed McCartney-esque pop rock. So it makes me extremely excited to hear that in a few weeks their followup Be The Void will be released. Dr. Dog are a group that I can take comfort in knowing that they will not disappoint. Yesterday, a track from the new record leaked out out into the web by the band's label. It's called "That Old Black Hole." What I love about Dr. Dog is you can't really tell what they're album is going to sound like after listening to one song, because they take so much pleasure in varying different styles in their music.

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That Old Black Hole

Monday, January 9, 2012

Late Discoveries: Sleater-Kinney

 ** Late Discoveries is a periodical on ST&SP. because we're only human and can't possibly hear every band that comes along, sometimes we miss a truly great album or artist.**
If anything the first part of 2012 for me will go down as the time when I discovered the magic of Sleater-Kinney. It's impossible to keep up with every band on the face of the planet, but when I first listened to The Woods it was like a bomb had been dropped on my ears. They are everything I want in a band to be. They have a simple enough setup, two guitarists and a drummer, but when they plug in they are a indomitable force to be reckoned with. I have a huge crush on Carrie Brownstein in particular. Not only is she one of the greatest guitarists currently performing, her comedy show Portlandia on IFC is some of the freshest comedy I've seen in awhile as well. Though they have gone through a few drummers, Janet Weiss could be the female version of John Bonham, she strikes her kit with such tenacity and purpose it's impossible to ignore. Lead singer and guitarist Corin Tucker lets her voice flail with a Janis Joplin banshee like quality to it. Her voice plays its own unique role in their music. I always hate to lump female bands into their own unique pile, because it really doesn't matter what sex you are to be able to create rock music. Sleater-Kinney have shown that they rock harder than most other bands period. They are on a current indefinite hiatus but rumor has it they might make another record with in a few years. If the band ever does perform again, I will be first in line with my twenty bucks. Until then, I guess we still have the Corin Tucker Band and Carrie and Janet's side project Wild Flag to fill the void with.

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Jumpers (from The Woods)
You're No Rock & Roll Fun (from All Hands On The Bad One)

Friday, January 6, 2012

The Gun Club

Went to The MOCA to catch the "Under The Big Black Sun" exhibit the other day, it was for the most part a very inspiring collection of California art, well worth the $5 while it is still in town. One of the main pieces they had was a room dedicated to the art surrounding the Los Angeles punk scene of the 80s. The exhibit featured show posters, still pictures, and live videos of bands like The Dead Kennedys, Black Flag, X, and Flipper. One band in particular that I have always been a fan of were The Gun Club. They were a post-punk band that blended punk,blues, and rockabilly together. They released a few iconic records including Miami, and Fire of Love. I love the stop and go fury of "Preaching The Blues." For me, The Gun Club were a standout group from this scene.
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Preaching The Blues (demo version)

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Patti Smith

I am an absolute novice to the music of Patti Smith's music, so to rectify that I decided to pick up a copy of Easter. On it is the controversial "Rock & Roll Nigger." Now before you get your civil right's panties in a bunch you need to realize what this song is about. One line from this song is:"Jackson Pollock was a nigger." Smith is taking the traditional meaning of that word and showing that it is not limited to the color of one's skin. In fact society often looks down on certain groups of people in disgust in the exact same way. Artists for one have undergone much prejudice for who they are. Now, I am by no means the most qualified person to draw such conclusions, and a much better man than I might be able to delve deeper into the implications of this song, but what Patti Smith has done here was step into an uncomfortable place, somewhere where few artists are brave enough to go and make a stand stating that in terms of being mistreated, we're all in this together.  It's a powerful, controversial song that many people will draw opposing opinions about.
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Rock & Roll Nigger