zondag 5 februari 2017

Van Dyke Parks: Songs Cycled – exclusive album stream Have a listen to the composer's first new album in 24 years and let us know your thoughts Van Dyke Parks Recycling the American dream … Van Dyke Parks Shares 0 Comments 11 Monday 29 April 2013 16.21 BST It's been 24 years since Van Dyke Parks last released an album of new material. The composer, who turned 70 at the beginning of this year, may have teased us with the occasional soundtrack or live album, but it's still a thrill to hear his first new music since 1989's Tokyo Rose. Reading on mobile? Click here to listen. Songs Cycled (a nod to his 1968 debut album Song Cycle) features cover versions, re-recordings and a whole host of brand new compositions. Several songs go behind the facade of the American dream to tackle subjects such as the Iraq war (Dreaming of Paris) and the financial crisis (Wall Street). It's no surprise, then, that Van Dyke Parks describes the record as the sound of "a maverick on the loose". So what do you think? Have a listen using the player above and let us know your verdict in the comment section below. Since you’re here… …we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but far fewer are paying for it. And advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian's independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to pay for it, our future would be much more secure.
Van Dyke Parks: 'I was victimised by Brian Wilson's buffoonery' He co-wrote the Beach Boys' Smile and now works with everyone from Rufus Wainwright to Skrillex. But don't dare to call him quirky, says Van Dyke Parks ‘I walked away from that funhouse’ … Van Dyke Parks with Brian Wilson. ‘I walked away from that funhouse’ … Van Dyke Parks (right) with Brian Wilson. Shares 190 Comments 56 Dorian Lynskey Thursday 9 May 2013 18.30 BST With his snowy white hair, neat moustache and spectacles that sit low on his nose, Van Dyke Parks may look like a kindly shoemaker from a fairytale but don't mistake him for a soft touch. Between songs at the Borderline in London, the 70-year-old mocks rock critics who apply words such as "smarmy, quirky, idiosyncratic: adjectives that have lost their special charm to me". When we meet in an empty hotel dining room the next day, he peers over his glasses and says: "Inevitably you will want to use the word eccentric in your writing. If you run out of quirky." Parks falls prey to such reductive shorthand because his career defies categorisation. He is best known for co-writing the Beach Boys' ill-fated Smile with Brian Wilson in 1966, an album that wasn't completed for another 38 years. Aficionados cherish his troubled 1968 fantasia Song Cycle, which established a lifelong pattern of huge acclaim and modest sales; his new compilation of seven-inch singles, Songs Cycled, has some of that earlier album's expansive magic. Younger listeners have discovered him via glowing endorsements from Joanna Newsom, Fleet Foxes and Grizzly Bear. Everyone else has probably heard his arrangements without knowing it, from The Jungle Book's The Bare Necessities to U2's All I Want Is You. He has often been around fame and wealth – he tells self-deprecating anecdotes about encounters with Bob Dylan and John Lennon – without accruing much of either commodity himself. He thinks that's probably for the best. "When somebody blew John Kennedy's brains out in the face of his fame, I realised there might be value in anonymity," he says. "Celebrity did not have the maddening, fawning dysfunction it has now, but I saw clearly that fame could be an inconvenience and time has borne me out." Van Dyke Parks: 'I saw that fame could be an inconvenience and time has borne me out.' Van Dyke Parks: 'I saw that fame could be an inconvenience and time has borne me out.' Compressed quotes can't give the full flavour of Parks's raconteurish charm; his fondness for looping tangents, pungent opinions, historical trivia, useful quotes, deadpan puns, colourful aphorisms and mischievous asides. He's like a well-loved college professor whose classes are lessons in far more than the subject at hand. At one point he gives me a business card which reads: "Mr Van Dyke Parks apologizes for his behaviour on the night of ————— and sincerely regrets any damage or inconvenience he may have caused." ADVERTENTIE inRead invented by Teads Advertisement Parks was born in Mississippi in 1943 (you can still hear a creamy Southern twang), a psychiatrist's son, and moved to Princeton, New Jersey at the age of nine, where he attended the American Boychoir School. One day Einstein visited and Parks sang in German while the professor played violin. He was also a child actor who appeared alongside Grace Kelly in 1956's The Swan. A lively childhood, all told. Parks studied composition at Pittsburgh's Carnegie Tech, where he was taught by Aaron Copland and conducted by Toscanini, but became bored with contemporary classical music ("It ran the gamut from ebony to slate grey") and moved to Los Angeles in 1962 to join his older brother Carson in a coffee house folk group. Within months of his arrival two life-changing events occurred: the mysterious death of another brother, Ben, who worked for the US state department in Germany, and his first professional job, arranging The Bare Necessities. "It paid for us to go to our brother's funeral and buy some black suits," says Parks. "That first cheque, with Mickey Mouse waving a three-fingered glove at me, was my introduction to music as a profession." Parks fitted in everywhere and nowhere. He was well-connected enough to get Carson's song Something Stupid recorded by Frank and Nancy Sinatra. He was briefly in Frank Zappa's Mothers of Invention but quit "because I didn't want to be screamed at". He bonded with the likes of Randy Newman and Harry Nilsson, fellow members of what he calls "the counter-counterculture". He still prefers classical music to most rock. "I listened to all the waltzes of Chopin on the flight over. Oy! It beats fellatio in my book, and that's saying something." What should have been his big break came when Brian Wilson invited him to work on Smile, but it was doomed by Wilson's drug-damaged fragility and the bullying hostility of Beach Boy Mike Love. Parks brings it up unprompted, then wishes he hadn't. "It's a dull issue," he growls. "I hope it doesn't need any further elaboration. To have been victimised by Brian Wilson's buffoonery." The words "victimised" and "buffoonery" seem somewhat harsh in the context of Wilson's mental illness, but Parks doesn't care to elaborate, other than to say: "It just got too much for me. It was an expensive decision for me not to continue my association with the most powerful artist in the music business at the time, but I made the only decision I could. I walked away from that funhouse." He concentrated instead on his solo debut, Song Cycle. His instincts were partly political, delving into America's musical history in order to shed light on the era of civil rights and Vietnam. He remains inspired by his old friend, the late protest singer Phil Ochs. "I still think the song form is the most potently political tool that we have in our kit. Learning from the past demands that music have a retrospective aspect and it must migrate what we know into the future through a contemporaneous lens. Creating that perfect lens is the songwriter's dilemma." He grins. "Doesn't this sound hifalutin?" Skrillex. Skrillex. Photograph: Bruno Postigo But Song Cycle also stemmed from grief and emotional torment. "It's fair to say that I was in psychological collapse – not so evident, perhaps, as the one Brian Wilson was in but I had to work my way through it. It's good work for a 24-year-old boy. We're not talking Bach here but then again it's not Andrew Lloyd-Webber. It's an entirely individual effort, and I think terrifically entertaining, but you can hear that it's highly troubled. You cannot accuse a songwriter of being guarded. In spite of his or her best intentions, the song is so fucking transparent." Advertisement He's still furious with Warner Brothers copywriter Stan Cornyn, who made light of the album's commercial failure in a notorious press ad titled: "How we lost $35,509.50 on 'The Album of the Year' (Dammit)". "I believe the music was beyond Warner Brothers' comprehension and flippancy was the only conclusion that they could come to," snaps Parks. "And it hurt." Bruised, he edged towards the sidelines. Although he has released seven solo albums since, including 1972 calypso travelogue Discover America and 1984's Brer Rabbit-inspired Jump!, he's been much busier as a producer (Randy Newman, Ry Cooder, Joanna Newsom), arranger (Rufus Wainwright, Saint Etienne, Scissor Sisters) and composer for film and TV("By being 10ft from the mic I found some startling perspective. I see greater definition in twilight than I see in Hockney light."). Even so, it was still surprising to hear of him working with US dubstep kingpin Skrillex last year. "I had two choices," he recalls. "One is to remember that I'm above this kind of shit, and the other is to remember that I'm not above this kind of shit and what I have to do is serve this man who represents people who couldn't give a rat's ass about an orchestra. I've never had a harder job. It was the most fascinating, epiphanic, transformative experience that I've ever had." Skrillex is hugely successful but generally Parks is drawn to tales of valiant failure. He scored The Company for Robert Altman, who drily told the orchestra: "My only regret is that more people played on this picture than will see it." In the mid-90s, he reunited with a reclusive Brian Wilson for the album Orange Crate Art. "When I found him he was alone in a room staring at a television. It was off. It took three years and $350,000. The record came out and sank without a trace." But during a promotional interview Parks mentioned his love for long-forgotten French group Les Compagnons de la Chanson and later received a thank-you letter from one aged member. While telling the story, Parks's voice trembles and he removes his glasses to rub his moistening eyes. For the first time he looks all of his 70 years. "Goddammit!" he rasps. "That's why I did that record." Parks admits a higher profile would be nice because he'd love to play more concerts if the demand was there. "Robert Frost said an empty auditorium is a poet's nightmare. I understand what he's saying." Other than that, he thinks he got what he wanted. "Anonymity has been pretty good to me," he says, knitting his fingers together. "I think of old age as the same twilight – a value in being relieved of light pollution. You start to see the fundamentals in the sky. And that's where I am now. I can see the constellations." Songs Cycled is out now on Bella Union Since you’re here… …we have a small favour to ask. More people are reading the Guardian than ever but far fewer are paying for it. And advertising revenues across the media are falling fast. So you can see why we need to ask for your help. The Guardian's independent, investigative journalism takes a lot of time, money and hard work to produce. But we do it because we believe our perspective matters – because it might well be your perspective, too. If everyone who reads our reporting, who likes it, helps to pay for it, our future would be much more secure.

zondag 1 januari 2017


Fall 2016 Country Music Preview: 25 Must-Hear Albums


zaterdag 31 december 2016

The Band: Music From Big Pink

http://www.rollingstone.com/music/albumreviews/music-from-big-pink-19680810 By Al Kooper August 10, 1968 Every year since 1963 we have all singled out one album to sum up what happened that year. It was usually the Beatles with their double barrels of rubber souls, revolvers and peppers. Dylan has sometimes contended with his frontrunning electric albums. Six months are left is this proselytizing year of music; we can expect a new Beatles, Stones, Hendrix, perhaps even a mate for J W Harding; but I have chosen my album for 1968. Music from Big Pink is an event and should be treated as one. Very quietly, for six years, a band has been brewing. They'd pop up once a while behind Ronnie Hawkins or on their own as the Hawks or affectionately called "the Crackers," but it was sort of hip to know who they were outside of Toronto. They left Toronto three years ago to tour with Dylan. But when the concerts were over, and the boos had turned to standing ovations, what was to become of these nameless faces? They came home to Woodstock with Dylan and put down firm roots for two-years. It was Dylan's "out of touch" year and they began to spawn this music, this hybrid that took its seeds in the strange pink house. Whereas the Dylan "sound" on recording was filled with Bloom-fielding guitar, Kooper hunt and peck organ and tinkly country-gospelish piano, a fortunate blending of the right people in the right place etc., the Big Pink sound has matured throughout six years picking up favorites along the way and is only basically influenced by the former. I hear the Beach Boys, the Coasters, Hank Williams, the Association, the Swan Silvertones as well as obviously Dylan and the Beatles. What a varied bunch of influences. I love all the music created by the above people and a montage of these forms (bigpink) boggles the mind. But it'salso something else. It's that good old, intangible, can't-put-your-finger-on-it "White Soul." Not so much a white cat imitating a spade, but something else that reaches you on a non-Negro level like church music or country music or Jewish music or Dylan. The singing is so honest and unaffected, I can't see how anyone could find it offensive (as in "white people can't pull this kind of thing off".) This album was made along the lines of the motto: "Honesty is the best policy." The best part of pop music today is honesty. The "She's Leaving Home," the "Without Her's," the "Dear Landlord's" etc. When you hear a dishonest record you feel you've been insulted or turned off in comparison. It's like the difference between "Dock of the Bay" and "This Guy's In Love With You." Both are excellent compositions and both were number one. But you believe Otis while you sort of question Herb Alpert. You can believe every line in this album and if you choose to, it can only elevate your listening pleasure immeasurably. Robbie Robertson makes an auspicious debut here as a composer and lyricist represented by fourtunes. Two are stone knockouts: "The Weight" probably the most commercial item in the set with a most contagious chorus that addicts you into singing along... "take a load off Fanny, take a load for free, take a load off Fanny and... you put the load right on me..." "To Kingdom Come" starts out smashing you in the face with weird syncopations and cascading melody lines and then goes into that same groovy bring-it-on-home chorus that earmarks "Weight." Individually what makes up this album is Robby Robertson whose past discography includes "Obviously Five Believers" on Blonde on Blonde, the "live" version of "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" and the much ignored Dylan single, "Crawl Out Your Window." Rick Danko, on bass and vocals, is one of the more outgoing people in the band, he can be depend upon to give you a lot of good matured shit whenever you see him; he of the new breed in bass players, the facile freaks like Harvey Brooks, Jim Fielder and Tim Bogert. He is only different from these three in his tasteful understating. Richard Manuel is affectionately called "Beak" or was at one time; a deft pianist with a strong feeling for country-gospel bigpink music. A strong contributing composer: "Tears of Rage," "In A Station," "We Can Talk," and "Lonesome Suzie." Garth Hudson is one of the strangest people I ever met. If Harvey Brooks is the gentle grizzly bear of rock and roll then Garth is the gentle brown bear. He is the only person I know who can take a Hammond B3 organ apart and put it back together again or play like that if it's called for. While backing Dylan on tour he received wide acclaim for his fourth dimensional work on "Ballad Of A Thin Man." Levon Helm is a solid rock for the band. He is an exciting drummer with many ideas to toss around. I worked with him in Dylan's first band and he kept us together like an enormous iron metronome. Levon was the leader of the Hawks. John Simon, a brilliant producer-composer-musician, finally has this album as a testimonial to his talent. The reason the album sounds so good is Simon. He is a perfectionist and has had to suffer the critical rap in the past for what has not been his error, but now he's vindicated. These are fiery ingredients and results can be expected to be explosive. The chord changes are refreshing, the stories are told in a subtle yet taut way; country tales of real people you can relate to (the daughter in "Tears of Rage") the singing sometimes loose as field-help but just right. The packaging, including Dylan's non-Rembrandt cover art, is apropos and honest (there's that word again). This album was recorded in approximately two weeks. There are people who will work their lives away in vain and not touch it.

zondag 20 november 2016

The 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival

50th Anniversary of the  Summer of Love  May - September 2017 Celebrate the 50th anniversary of the Summer of Love in Monterey! Several musical performances, art exhibitions and special events are scheduled throughout summer 2017 all aiming to honor the 50th anniversary of the Monterey Pop Festival that changed music history forever. The 1967 Pop Festival is credited as one of the beginnings of the “Summer of Love” and the festival served as a template for future outdoor concerts. Click here to see a video from the iconic original Pop Festival. Join in on the celebration and mark your calendar for the main event, June 16-18, 2017! The 50th Anniversary Monterey Pop Festival event will be held during the same exact weekend and at the same exact venue as the original. The Monterey County Fair & Event Center will be full of retro and modern day artists throughout the three-day music festival. Monterey Summer of Love 50 Years Later…Looking Back on the Monterey Pop Festival 18th Annual Monterey Cowboy... 11/18/2016 - 11/20/2016 Summer of Love Events The 1967 Monterey International Pop Festival The Monterey International Pop Festival was the first commercial American rock festival held on June 16-18, 1967, at the Monterey County Fairgrounds in Monterey, California. The Pop Festival would later become the inspiration and model for subsequent music festivals including the iconic Woodstock Music Festival two years later. The idea for the Pop Festival started with promoters Alan Pariser, who attended the Monterey Jazz Festival in 1966, and Ben Shapiro. The two men approached John Phillips and Lou Adler to inquire about hiring The Mamas and the Papas to headline the concert. Phillips and Adler ended up stepping in and organized a board of directors that included famous music makers and producers Paul Simon, Donovan, Mick Jagger, Paul McCartney, Johnny Rivers, Terry Melcher, Andrew Loog Oldham, Smokey Robinson, Brian Wilson, Roger McGuinn and Paul Simon. Within 7 weeks, they produced the non-profit festival with an eclectic lineup of nearly three dozen groups and artists from up-and-coming acts to established stars. It was at this festival that a number of legendary careers were made including Jimi Hendrix, Janis Joplin, The Who and the Grateful Dead. Approximately 200,000 people attended the three-day groundbreaking festival, traveling from San Francisco, Los Angeles and across the country. The 1967 Musical Line Up Friday, June 16: The Association; The Paupers; Lou Rawls; Beverley; Johnny Rivers; Eric Burdon and The Animals; Simon and Garfunkel Saturday, June 17: Canned Heat; Big Brother and the Holding Company (with Janis Joplin); Country Joe and the Fish; Al Kooper; The Butterfield Blues Band; Quicksilver Messenger Service; Steve Miller Band; The Electric Flag; Moby Grape; Hugh Masekela; The Byrds; Laura Nyro; Jefferson Airplane; Booker T. & the MGs; Otis Redding Sunday, June 18: Ravi Shankar; Blues Project; Big Brother and the Holding Company; The Group With No Name; Buffalo Springfield; The Who; Grateful Dead; The Jimi Hendrix Experience; Scott McKenzie; The Mamas and the Papas Music Festivals Explore

maandag 5 september 2016

50 Best Bob Dylan Covers of All Time

As we began to compile this list of the 50 Best Bob Dylan Covers of All Time—asking for input from Paste readers, writers and editors—someone suggested that it might be easier to compile a list of artists who haven't covered Dylan. I've listened to literally hundreds of Dylan covers over the course of the past week, trying to weigh choices like, "Who's version of 'Tomorrow Is a Long Time' is better, Nick Drake or Nickel Creek?" But I don't mean to make it sound like grueling work. My biggest take-away from this exercise is that going to Dylan for source material generally elevates whatever artist is tackling it. There are so many transcendent moments in these 50 songs. Antony's trembling tenor veering "Knockin' on Heaven's Door" into a completely new direction. Beck making "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" sound like he wrote it. I could put this playlist on repeat, and it'd be a long while before it grew old. official releases or studio versions. There are several rumored songs we wish we could have heard and considered (like Gillian Welch and David Rawling's "Idiot Wind"), and I'm sure there are songs you love that we just didn't know about. No artist has likely been covered as much as Dylan, so while this list is pretty well researched, it's far from exhaustive. Let us know your favorites in the comments section below. A special thanks goes out to Michael Dunaway, Kate Kiefer, Andy Whitman and Steve LaBate who helped compile this list and who wrote many of the blurbs below. And thanks to all of Pastebrand-new discoveries for us. Here are the 50 Best Bob Dylan Covers of All Time: 50. Cowboy Junkies - "If You Gotta Go, Go Now" Give the Junkies credit for tackling the greats. On the band's U.K.-only live album, In the Time Before Llamas, Margo Timmins sings Dylan, Lou Reed, Robert Johnson and Gram Parsons. Opting for a rocking blues version of "If You Gotta Go," Margo's smoky vocals make for a lovely send-off. If not the Junkies, then... we like The Flying Burrito Brothers' sunny country rave-up. 49. The Ramones - "My Back Pages" A decade earlier, The Replacements’ hilarious, drunken Dylan parody “Like a Rolling Pin” proved that there should be no sacred cows in rock ’n’ roll. But this sped-up Ramones cover of one of Dylan’s finest is delivered without a hint of irony. Every bit as simultaneously nostalgic and forward-looking as the original, it does what most punk covers of non-punk songs fail to do—it pays genuine heartfelt tribute to the original. If not The Ramones, then... we like The Hollies. 48. Chrissie Hynde - "I Shall Be Released" Another gospel-soul arrangement, but Hynde lays surprisingly jazzy vocals on top for the verses. That's jarring enough given her classic rock-chick voice, but more voices join her on the chorus to turn the song into a pure anthem. If not Chrissie, then... we like Kevn Kinney's version with Warren Haynes and Edwin McCain. 47. Sufjan Stevens - "Ring Them Bells" Stevens' tasty arrangement includes horns bursting into subtle piano and guitar that make it absolutely his own. If not Sufjan then... we like Joe Cocker's earnest growls. 46. Ani DiFranco - "Hurricane" There's hardly a better song for channelling DiFranco's cool invective than the story of Rubin "Hurricane" Carter. If not Ani, then... we like... um... anyone beside Vanilla Ice. 45. Nick Drake - "Tomorrow Is A Long Time" Creek's version is lovely, but despite an early misstep on the lyrics, Drake's gentle crooning does a better job of capturing the song's loneliness. If not Nick, then... we'll take Nickel Creek's bright pickin' and grinnin'. 44. Neil Young - "Just Like Tom Thumb's Blues" guitars, driving rhythm, and those indescribable vocals—it's classic Neil Young. The key to his great performance here is his utter comfort inside the song, as if he was born singing every word. If not Neil, then... we like Nina Simone. It's like sitting down with someone over whiskey and soda in the middle of the afternoon and hearing their life story. 43. Rage Against the Machine - "Maggie's Farm" We're pretty sure Bob never envisioned the song this way, but we'll bet he approves. Zack De La Rocha's vocals build from soft resentment to outrage, while the instruments maintain a menacing low rumble. The fact that they never quite catch up to his energy shouldn't work but somehow does. If not Rage, then... we like Vigilantes of Love. Bill Mallonee and his group of many years play it straight. Recorded just at the end of their punk-folk period, this largely acoustic gem is more driving and gripping than most bands fully plugged in. Mallonee's whispered "everybody wants me to be like them" is especially eerie and powerful. A cocksure statement of confidence from a band hitting its stride. 42. M. Ward, Conor Oberst & Jim James "Girl From the North Country" The September issue of British magazine Mojo featured a sampler of Dylan covers. Ward, Oberst and James traded verses on "Girl from the North Country." Since then, they've periodically been discussing a "Monsters of Folk" album. If not these guys, then... we like John Gorka. 41. Norah Jones - "I'll Be Your Baby Tonight" Every note out of Jones' mouth feels like a caress, making you believe she will indeed be your baby tonight. If not Norah then... Michelle Malone may have the best voice you've never heard. 40. Yo La Tengo - "Fourth Time Around" Arrangement-wise, Yo La Tengo’s cover of “Fourth Time Around” is pretty faithful to the original—even the organ they use sounds 1960s-ancient. But what completely sets their version apart is the dreamy, Vince Guaraldi-esque piano playing and Georgia Hubley’s absolutely entrancing vocal. If not Yo La Tengo, then... we like Calexico's version. 39. Susan Tedeschi - "Lord Protect My Child" Tedeschi takes you back to church—like Aretha singing with Duane Allman rocking out on the dobro (in fact, Tedeschi is playing with husband Derek Trucks here, whose uncle is Allmans drummer Butch). The production is perfect—just enough of every element, with nothing out of place. And the "oohs" alone are worth the price of admission. Gospel blues at its best. If not Susan then we like... The Lost Dogs. 38. Stephen Malkmus and The Million Dollar Bashers - "Ballad of a Thin Man" Shelley and Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Tony Garnier (Dylan), Tom Verlaine (Television) and Smokey Hormel (Johnny Cash, Tom Waits and um... everyone). If not Malkmus... then you have to go back to the original version. 37. George Harrison - "If Not For You" The Quiet Beatle makes it sound like he wrote this song himself. The layered slide guitars are a brilliant touch, and there's just a hint of harmonica, as if in tribute to the author. If not George, then... we like Richie Havens. 36. Joan Baez - "Farewell Angelina" We have to be honest; we don't always love the sweet, plaintive Dylan covers of Joan Baez. But her approach fits tunes like "Farewell Angelina," that sound as if they were written by the hills of Appalachia themselves. If not Joan, then... we like Jeff Buckley's soulful version despite the horrible sound quality of the recording. 35. Jerry Garcia Band - “Simple Twist of Fate” “Simple Twist of Fate” is Dylan’s best song about unrealized love. Listening to it on his legendary divorce record Blood on the Tracksmusic waxing as cloudy as a Hollywood flashback while his uniquely phrased guitar licks pirouette atop Melvin Seals’ shimmering organ and John Kahn’s dreamy bass playing. If not Jerry, then... we like Jeff Tweedy's version from I'm Not There. 34. Cat Power - "Stuck Inside Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again" For her cover of this Blonde on Blonde highlight, Cat Power’s Chan Marshall uses the same soul band that backed her on her masterful album The Greatest. These authentic Memphis horns add a whole new layer to “Memphis Blues Again,” the tune crooned so coolly by Marshall that you can picture her laying down her vocal from behind a barricade of Dylan-esque Ray-Ban Wayfarers. If not Chan, then... we like Catbird Seat. 33. Wendy Bucklew - "Buckets of Rain" Even with the bass guitar and backing vocals, you'd swear it's just Wendy alone on the balcony of her apartment at 3 a.m., the night's last cigarette in front of her, memories churning in her brain. It's pensive, tender and heartfelt. And she sings the hell out of it, too. not Wendy... then we like Neko Case's twangy pedal steel, walking basslines and trademark vocals—half cocksure and half plaintive. Lots of fun. 32. Lou Reed "Foot of Pride" Reed's 10-minute talking roadhouse blues gives new life to this seldom-covered track. If not Lou, then... we have to pick a new song because we've never heard anyone else tackle it. 31. Joan Osborne - "Man in the Long Black Coat" / Relish One of the best songs off of Osborne's Grammy-nominated album Relish was her gorgeous rendition of this Dylan cut from Oh Mercy. If not Joan, then... we like Mark Lanegan. 30. Doc and Merle Watson “Don't Think Twice, It's Alright” With guitars flying around the melody, the Watson boys' bluegrass version is absolutely satisfying. If not the Watsons, then... we like Billy Bragg. 29. The Flying Burrito Brothers - "To Ramona" Just after the departure of Gram Parsons, Chris Hillman released 1971's The Flying Burrito Brothers, which included this country-rock cover. If not the Burrito Bros. then we like... David Gray. 28. Van Morrison and Them - "It's All Over Now Baby Blue" There's not a false note in one of the finest of Van Morrison's many legendary performances with Them. As an added bonus, Beck built one of his best songs around a sample the organ part.If not Van, then... we like Echo & Bunnymen's version, notable if only for its ballsiness; not many New Wave bands had any interest in covering their parents' songs, especially those of Dylan. But the band's underwater-shimmery sound and Ian McCulloch's out-on-a-limb vocals are a great fit for "Baby Blue." 27. Mitch Ryder - "Like a Rolling Stone" Garage rocker Mitch Ryder's cover of Dylan's definitive anthem doesn't improve on the original (how could it?), but it annexes a Godfather of Soul funk groove that totally reinvents the song. "How does it feel?" is transformed from a righteous sneer into a call to get up off your ass and dance. If not Mitch, then... we like The Rolling Stones, in part, because it becomes a theme song. We couldn't find Ryder's version online, so here's the Stones: 26. Nina Simone "The Ballad of Hollis Brown" With nothing but acoustic guitar for accompaniment, Simone's version sounds more like something passed down through the ages than a Dylan cover. If not Nina, then... we also like the Neville Brothers. 25. Calexico/Iron & Wine “Dark Eyes” (I'm Not There) Sam Beam's Iron & Wine collaborated with Calexico for the 2005 EP In the Reigns. The two bands reunited to record "Dark Eyes" for the I'm Not There soundtrack, and the result is a dark, haunting ballad. If not Sam, then... we like Patti Smith. 24. Sam Cooke - "Blowing in the Wind" his genius. Cooke's is better than Stevie Wonder's soulful take, and that's saying something. If not Sam... then we love Peter Paul & Mary's more famous version. So square they're hip, PP&M are a Wes Anderson soundtrack away from being the next big thing in 2009. Some of the most beautiful harmonies of the 20th century are theirs—veritably dripping with sincerity and urgency. 23. Shawn Colvin - "You're Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go" Colvin closes her Cover Girl album with a live version of this Dylan nugget, and its a lovely outro. If not Shawn, then... we like Elvis Costello's cut off the reissue of 1995's Kojak Variety. 22. Patti Smith - "Wicked Messenger" The "Godmother of Punk" hangs with the Dylan original, snarl for snarl. If not Patti, then... we like both the The Black Keys and The Faces. 21. Pearl Jam - "Masters of War" With an authoritative wail, Eddie Vedder leads a 2006 crowd in a timely rendition of Dylan's response to the "military-industrial complex." If not Pearl Jam, then... we like Lucinda Williams' twangier approach. 20. Nico - "I'll Keep It With Mine" Dylan wrote this song specifically for Nico, and it's a beautiful pairing. A string section compliments the Warhol collaborator's unusual voice. If not Nico, then... we like Marianne Faithfull. 19. Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds - "Wanted Man" Johnny Cash's version is so definitive that he's more identified it with it than Dylan himself, but Cash gets his due further up the list. And Nick Cave is more believable as a wanted man—a criminally deranged one at that—in this relentless version. If not Nick, then... we're quite happy to listen to Johnny Cash. 18. Jason and the Scorchers - "Absolutely Sweet Marie The Scorchers strip out the groove and turn the song into a straight rocker, with one of Jason Ringenberg's best surly vocals. You'll never so completely believe you're in a rocking roadhouse deep somewhere in the Texas countryside. If not Jason then we like... the Flaming Groovies. 17. The Band "When I Paint My Masterpiece" Maybe it's not fair to include Dylan's longtime collaborators on songs they know so well, but The Band puts its experience to good use on "When I Paint My Masterpiece," complete with some sweet, sweet accordion. If not The Band, then... The Grateful Dead gets the nod over Elliott Smith on sound quality alone. 16. Tracy Chapman "The Times They Are A-Changin'" Chapman's voice is nearly as unique as Dylan's and carries a similar heft for a song that needs it. If not Tracy, then... Simon & Garfunkel are no slouches either. 15. P.J. Harvey - "Highway 61 Revisited" A crazy punk-blues-industrial version with Harvey alternately whispering and screaming the vocals. A primal, brilliant cry. If not Polly Jean, then... Johnny Winter's classic electric-blues version of the song. It reminds you—forcefully—of the underlying roots of the chord structure. 14. Sixteen Horsepower - "Nobody 'Cept You" This song should really be heard in the context of the whole Secret South album for full effect. Like every Sixteen Horsepower album, it's haunted and haunting, with Appalachian instrumentation and apocalyptic visions of guilt, remorse and confusion emanating from David Eugene Edwards' hypnotic and manic tent-meeting delivery. The Dylan song is a hard-won moment of transcendence and faith, nearly triumphant in its assurance. If not 16HP then... we heard that The Waterboys do a great cover, but we couldn't find it. 13. Jim James & Calexico - "Goin' To Acapulco" Dylan and The Band first released this sad-eyed ballad on The Basement Tapesscrub-covered canyon—does just this, with the help of Calexico’s geographically perfect Southwest horns. If not Jim then... we like Bonnie "Prince" Billy. 12. Indigo Girls - "Tangled Up in Blue" An unapologetically worshipful rendition of one of the most epic Dylan story songs, and the Girls' utter sincerity really sells it. If not Amy and Emily... Dickie Betts turns in a countrified take on "Tangled" and, no surprise, adds a beautiful, extended guitar solo to the middle of it. It's a version to drink cold beer to on the back porch as the sun goes down. 11. Patti LaBelle "Forever Young" In 1985, during the Live Aid concert, Patti LaBelle went absolutely huge on this song, doing vocal gymnastics on just about every line. Bombastic? Certainly. Still awesome? Absolutely. If not Patti, then... we like The Pretenders. 10. Beck - "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat" The blues have come a long way from Lightnin' Hopkins to Beck's fuzzed-out interpretation of "Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat." The chord progressions and harmonica are still there, but it's been broken down and reassembled, and the results are sublime. Plus it's for a good cause as part of the impressive War Child presents Heroes album. If not Beck, then... we'll settle for John Mellencamp. 9. The White Stripes - "One More Cup of Coffee" On The White Stripes' debut album, the song of a man departing his unrequited love is rubbed absolutely raw. If not Jack & Meg, then... we like Roger McGuinn's recent version with Calexico. 8. Fairport Convention - "Percy's Song" After the British folk band heard a preview of Dylan's then-unreleased Basement Tapes, bassist Ashley Hutchings said, "this strange, kind of mish-mash of styles and drawled lyrics came out of the speakers. It sounded kind of subterranean; there was this strange cloak of weirdness covering them. We loved it all. We would have covered all the songs if we could." That adoration comes through on Fairport's cover of "Percy's Song" from Unhalfbricking, one of only two albums to feature both Sandy Denny and Richard Thompson. If not Fairport Convention, then... we like Arlo Guthrie. 7. Emmylou Harris - "Every Grain of Sand" / Wrecking Ball The queen of Americana lives at the complete opposite end of the vocal spectrum from Dylan, and with producer Daniel Lanois at the helm, her angelic singing floats above atmospheric clouds of music. If not Emmylou, then... we like Derek Webb's sincere approach. 6. Buddy Miller - "With God On Our Side" The fiddles soar. The drums march. And the depth and power of Miller's voice deliver both passion and gravitas at a time when the song's message mattered as much as ever. It's an epic moment on Miller's best album Universal United House of Prayer. If not Buddy, then... we like Manfred Mann. 5. Richie Havens "Just Like a Woman" (Mixed Bag, 1967) Wonderfully phrased and tenderly sung, Havens adds a level of empathy missing from the original. If not Richie, then we love both Nina Simone's understanding version and Jeff Buckley's subtle one. 4. The Byrds “You Ain't Goin' Nowhere” Roger McGuinn and the rest of The Byrds pretty much made it their job to cover every new Dylan song they heard. This California-country shuffle—the opening track on The Byrds' Sweetheart of the Rodeosteel adds a whole new layer to the song, as do The Byrds’ harmonies, with Mcguinn, Parsons and Chris Hillman creating an un forgettable vocal blend. It's every bit as beautiful as their cover of "Mr. Tambourine Man." If not The Byrds, then... we like Glen Hansard and Marketa Irglova's version on the I'm Not There soundtrack. 3. Antony & The Johnsons - "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" Antony Hegerty pours his otherworldly soul into this version until it's completely spent. When he sings, "I feel like I'm knocking on heaven's door," he sounds like he's actually knocking on heaven's door—though it's unclear whether he's an angel of darkness or light. If not Antony, then... we also bow at the feet of Guns N' Roses. 2. Johnny and June Carter Cash - "It Ain't Me, Babe" Though Dylan was coming from the countercultural folk movement and Cash was part of the more conservative country-music world, they were huge admirers of each other’s work, and actually ended up doing a loose, off-the-cuff (probably drunk and stoned) session together in 1969 that was never formally released. Five years before that, though, Cash’s cover of the Dylan classic “It Ain’t Me Babe” transformed the song completely. While a master songwriter, Dylan’s voice and trickster persona never lent themselves well to sincerity—listeners were always left wondering exactly where Dylan stood, and whether he really meant what he was singing. Cash, on the other hand, is sincerity personified, and with his booming, sure voice (and June Carter’s harmonies making things even more poignant), he imbues the bittersweet song with more power and tough honesty than any singer before or since. If not Johnny & June, then... we also adore Nancy Sinatra's take on the song. 1. Jimi Hendrix - "All Along the Watchtower" Dylan’s folky, foreboding original version—from his stripped-down John Wesley Harding album—is an interesting character study of two men living outside the law, on the fringe of society. But from the opening notes of Hendrix’s otherworldly cover, the whole tune comes alive, seedy but enlightened protagonists the Joker and the Thief jolted to life like hobo Frankensteins by Hendrix’s supercharged guitar playing and desperate vocal delivery. If not Jimi, then... we like XTC's gutsy reworking.

zondag 4 september 2016

Redwing concert te Amsterdam, 2 december 1972

Ik was er bij. Voor een verslag van het concert vna Redwing op 2 december 2016 verwijs ik graag naar: http://www.delpher.nl/nl/kranten/view?coll=ddd&identifier=ddd%3A011236253%3Ampeg21%3Aa0101 Ik was een van de gelukkige aanwezigen.

zondag 29 mei 2016


PETER LEWIS - THE REBEL HANGS TEN IN HOLLYWOOD http://www.terrascope.co.uk/MyBackPages/Peter_Lewis.pdf You know Peter Lewis. He's the dapper guy in the upper left-hand corner of that first Moby Grape sleeve, set apart from the rest of th e band by those Warren Beatty/Jan Berry/Mark Lindsay good looks Hollywood is always scramb ling after. And he's the man who penned the stunning "Fall On You" from the Grape's classic first album. Lewis stuck it out through all the peaks and the valleys, the backbiting and the pers onnel changes of a band that, over the years, has become synonymous with the label unrealised potential. As Marlon Brando says, in On The Waterfront , they "coulda been a contender." Hell, they could have been champ. Lewis resides now in the tiny Danish town of Solvang, halfway down the California coast between San Francisco and Los Angeles. Comfortabl y settled into an upmarket tract home on the outskirts of this little gingerbread encrusted vi llage — whose main appeal seems to lie in its windmills and tourist-clogged gift shops — Lewis s eems at peace with his legend, and with that of his former band. He'll theorise for hours with the ze al of a graduate student on just about any topic, but his eyes shine brightest when he gets going on the Grape, past, present and (possibly) future. And how it all fits into the big picture. Raised in Beverly Hills by his mother , legendary film goddess and Academy Award winner, Loretta Young (Best Actress for 1947's The Farmer's Daughter with Joseph Cotten) and his dad, screenwriter Tom Lewis, Peter admits at on e time he "had it all." His birthright, however, never stopped him from seeking his own path. "My ex perience in life has been starting out on top and then walking downhill," he muses. His older sister, Judy, recently published her autobiography, Uncommon Knowledge, publicly revealing what Hollywood insiders have known for years, that she was fathered by Clark Gable while he and Young worked on a film together. It's probably not surprising that Peter wound up in what one would loosely refer to as the entertainment business. What's noteworthy is th at he would gravitate to San Francisco — home of "the new generation with a new explanation" and always fiercely anti-Hollywood — to prove himself in a musical crucible where his backgr ound meant nothing. Rambling and contorted enough to occupy a volume of this magazine by itself, the Peter Lewis saga comes in two instalments. As they still say in Tinsel Town, "Always leave 'em begging for more." PT: What was your childhood like, Peter, grow ing up as the son of a famous film star? PL: It was good until I was about eleven. It was like paradise. We lived in a place called Doheny Ranch, 365 acres in the middle of Beverly Hills before it was all developed. Did you go down to the studio to watch your mom making movies? Yeah, sure. But it took me a long time to figure out she was a movie star. When I was in military school, in the fourth grade (age nine) somebody asked me, "Is your mother Loretta Young?" and I said, "Yeah." Then they started treatin' you differen t, but before that kids don't care. We went to school with Michael Reagan (son of Ronald) and Mia Farrow's brother. It's funny, y'know. It's not like you did anything to deserve that. The way a kid interprets it, it's almost like there's something wrong with you. A lot of people say, "You had everything," and in a sense we did. But when I was eleven my parents got divorced, and my dad took my brother Chris and me to live in New York. We had been going to a military school that was too difficult for me. I was the kid who wanted to compete and be involved, but at that point we'd already been to nine different schools. And now there's this tremendous upheaval in the family. How did you cope with New York? There were seven kids in my class in the school I was going to, and they'd been taking Latin and French since the first grade. And I had a panic resp onse to it. Because I'd always been the new kid, I could hang in there. Academically I was pretty good. But here I had one hand tied behind my back. I didn't understand these foreign languages, so I started freaking out, and it built up inside me. The next day I went completely nuts and ran out of the classroom into the streets of New York City. I had a nervous breakdown, this really profound thing. I spent that night in Grand Central Station. The next morning I found my way back to my dad's apartment. They found me on the roof, trying to get up enough guts to jump off. What did they do with you? My dad didn't know what to do. He'd taken a job as a vice president of an advertising agency, so he was always busy. He turned me over to this behavioral psychologist who wanted to put me in a mental ward. He told me, "This is where you stay un til you go to school." They didn't care if you were well. They just wanted you to behave. That's what it was like back then. If you let the ghouls through the gate, you had to be whipped back into shape. They tricked me into going to the psychiatric hospital by telling me I was getting a physical exam. And when I got there they shot me full of Thorazine and locked me up until I prom ised to go to school. I was completely screwed up. Every day you had to go to this place fo r work therapy, making little plastic ropes. God, that sounds like something out of Dickens. How did you survive? There was a guitar in there, and I grabbed that. An d they had a TV in there too, and that's where I saw Ricky Nelson for the first time on the Ozzie and Harriet Show every week. I hooked onto Ricky Nelson. I hated this place, but I learned that if I just held onto the guitar people would stay away from me because I'd look occupied. In a weird way that whole experience was responsible for me starting to play the guitar. Ricky Nelson gav e me this thing: "I want to be like that guy." And I latched onto it. How long did you spend in that place? I managed to talk my way out of it after a wh ile. Two years later my mom came through New York — I was thirteen now — and asked my brother and me if we wanted to go to Hawaii with her for a vacation. My parents were fighting over us. I went with her, and my brother didn't. When we got to Hawaii, Ricky Nelson was there to do a show. My mom knew that the Nelsons were staying in the same hotel as us. So that ni ght I got to sit between Ozzie and Harriet to watch Ricky play. Two years earlier I'd been watching the guy in a mental ward, and now I'd met him. Did you see him much during his Stone Canyon Band days in the 1970's? I thought they were great live. I went to see him again, after Moby Grape, at the Palamino (a mostly C&W club in LA's San Fernando Valley). His roadie saw me wandering ar ound and said, "Peter, does Ricky know you're here?" And I said, "No, I didn't even know if he 'd remember me." So I went backstage, and it was cool because he knew about Moby Grape and really liked the band. He knew I was a really big fan, and then he liked what I did — a real cool thin g. I heard stuff later, because I used to go out with Kris Harmon, his wife, before she married him. After he died she told me they had problems with drugs, but everybody did back then. Even though he wasn't much older than the guys in Moby Grape, Ricky seemed to come from a different era. Yeah, he was a product of the 50's. The 60's was more like when the musicians themselves, not the stars, took over, and they were street people with a different mentality. They were tougher, in a sense. The thought that Ricky re ally liked the 60's stuff and really wanted to write again, and that he thought that drugs were a necessary part of it was sad. That's what got him. He had everything. So, what happened to you after your mom brought you back from Hawaii? I stayed with her in Los Angeles. The New York thing was always too highbrow for me. For some reason my brother was always better at that sort of thing. I had my own thing in California, and there had always been a lot of sibling rivalry with Chris who's eleven months older than me. My first year at Loyola high school I met up with th e son of one of the guys from the original, radio version of Amos 'n' Andy, Charlie Correll — same name as his dad. He lived in Beverly Hills. I was a sort of semi-juvenile delinquent type guy. I ran away. They caught me in Las Vegas once at age thirteen. I was disturbed. Before New York I'd been into sports, a real straight shooter. But that thing about my mom doing the TV show ever y week with my dad — it was just too much incoming energy, and it just blew the thing apart. Although I talked my way out of it, I never really recovered from that New York place. The kids ridiculed you back in school, just like before, but now you're more afraid to do anything that 'll get you put back in the mental ward. Had you seen the film Rebel Without A Cause at the time? It sounds similar to the plight of James Dean. Yeah, I guess I just needed attention, so I did things like run away. The cops would throw me in juvenile hall, and my mom would leave me there fo r a couple of weeks. So, when I met Charlie Correll, my first year at Loyola, he took me over on a Saturday night to where he was playing with (television game host) Art Linkletter's son, Bob. And it was Bob who got me into the electric guitar. Bob died later in a car accident. This, I take it, was the birth of the Cornells, your surf band? Yeah, but we didn't call it that at first. We st arted off as the Tornados, but then we heard about those guys who'd done "Telstar." We were doing Duane Eddy and Johnny & the Hurricanes material. I was just learning how to play the guit ar, and Link (Bob) showed me some stuff. He had built his own electric guitar. He was very inventive. It had a shitty action, but he let me play it. Then we got some of their friends — guys who also went to Black Fox Military Academy — Jim O'Keefe on tenor sax and Tom Crumplar on bass, and we had a band. Somehow we learned enough stuff so we could go play, like at school s. We must have played every weekend for four years. Back then you could do that if you wanted . Our first gig was at the Westlake School For Girls, which I though was pretty cool, because that 's where Candy Bergen went. I'd met her that summer in Hawaii and been dating her off and on. She was only thirteen, but even then she was so beautiful. You actually cut an album in 1963 for Garex Records. How did that come about? We had a manager, Steve Jahns, and he took care of that deal. He was also the one who came up with the name, the Cornells. We'd always make fun of ourselves, and we wanted a corny name. We made up those song titles on the album as we went (laughs) —"Stompin' After Five." Nobody paid any attention to that. When it was time to do the next song, we'd just think it up right there and do it. It was all done in three days. Nobody sang. There were lots of bands in those days where nobody sang. When the British Invasion stuff hit the next year, it was like going from silent movies to talkies. My mom did that, and so did I. She started (in films) when she was five — Laugh, Clown, Laugh with Lon Chaney. Where did your mom come from, since practically nobody back then was a native Californian? They came from Salt Lake City. They had some problem with their grandfather, Earl Young. Somehow he was an unfaithful guy, and he left. So my grandmother and her three daughters and one son, Jack Lindley, who's David Lindley's father, by the way — so David's my cousin — they all moved to LA and used the grandfather as this whipping boy, the reason to carry on, that they weren't going to be destroyed by this thing. My grandmother's brother was an accountant in a movie studio, and my mom and my aunts, because th ey didn't have any money, would go over to the film lot and just stand around as extras. There was a more important part available, so they called my older aunt. But my mom, who's real aggressive, answered the phone and said, "Let me do it." (Silent film leading lady) Mae Murray wa s in the scene, and my mom ingratiated herself with her. So my grandmother even let my mom go stay with Mae Murray — in those days rich people would do that, kind of like in the musical "Annie." My mom soaked it all up like a sponge. She saw what it was like to behave like a movie star and sort of put it on like a coat and wore it for the rest of her life. And she always had the looks for the part. Well, she made herself look like that. She had bu ck teeth, but she had this rational metaphysical thing. Nothing from the outside was gonna get my mom. She has this idea how things work and believes in it with a faith beyond reason. I see my mom all the time. Of course, now that my sister's book has come out, she's really pissed off about it. But secretly she's really enjoying it. She calls up and says, "It makes me sick." But sh e's really savouring the whole thing. So, where did the Cornells play after the Cotillion balls and sock hops? We played a lot at Gazzari's, which was definitely th e least cool of the Sunset Strip clubs. And we did I've Got A Secret (panel quiz network television show) with Garry Moore back in New York. "What's your secret?" "We're all movie stars' sons." Then we did The Les Crane Show. By this time (1964) we were actually singing. I sang lead on "Sweets For My Sweet" and "Every Time You Walk In The Room." We had just got into the English thing. I was about to go to Purdue (University) because they had a professional pilots' program th ere. So Les Crane asked me after we did our songs, "Are you gonna do this for a living?" And I said, "No, I'm gonna go to school and be a pilot." Bob (Linkletter) got really pissed off at me for sa yin' that. We were supposed to play Bob's dad's show the next week, The Art Linkletter Show, but after Bob got mad at me I don't know if they played it or not. He was really pissed off. I know that this book came out listing personnel for surf bands, and I'm not listed as one of those guys. What was the music scene like in LA just before th e Beatles hit? Did you ever go see (surf guitar pioneer) Dick Dale play? We saw Dick Dale at the Rendezvous Ballroom in Balboa. And Dick was okay, but I always preferred Freddie King. To me, surf music was okay, but Freddie was funky. I used to hang around with Henry Vestine, who was in a blues band calle d Hial King and the Newports. I played lead with the Cornells, but I also hung around with th ese other musicians. There were two other surf bands in LA at that time that, along with the Cornells, were the top three: the Renegades and Mike Adams and the Red Jackets. But, really, surf music didn't impress me musically very much. I got some side gigs playing sessions for Jan and De an at Gold Star Studios. They had some guys from the Guillotines there too. Ja n could never really sing all that well, but they didn't really give a shit. They were just these good looking guys more into, like, being the coolest guys on the beach. Their attitude was, "Can you believe we get paid for doing this?" Did the Cornells re-tool the concept enough to su it the British Invasion crowds, or did you just fold up your tent? Our peak shows were opening at the Hollywood Bowl for (comedian) Soupy Sales and playing the LA Sports Arena with Bobby Freeman, the Coasters and Wayne Newton. But the band never really did call it quits. When I'd come home from Purdue, I just didn't think of calling those same guys. I guess, by then, I was looking for someth ing more long-hair. I liked the Beatles and the Stones okay, but I didn't think there was anything th ere worth dedicating your life to. But the first time I saw the Byrds, at the Long Beach Arena, I couldn't stop focusing on the harmonies, the Dylan songs and that sound. Surf music was okay, but when I sa w the Byrds, it was just like when Mr. Toad found the motor car. PT: Okay, give me the dates for your folk/rock band, Peter and the Wolves. PL: It was only for a year — 1965 through 1966. But that's when I met Johnny Barbata and Lee Michaels, while I was playing with Peter and the Wolves at Gazzarri's — definitely the uncoolest club on the (Sunset) Strip. It was mostly people there with sharkskin suits and th eir hair slicked back, and you knew if you had long hair you had to be cool or they'd kick your ass. It was a different kind of place. A lot of the places Peter and the Wolves played were owned by these sub-mobsters, local enforcers. It was hard to get your money. But they were making the effort to get some of the people in there who were hanging out at the Whisky and the Trip to see Love and the Byrds. Was there an end to Peter and the Wolves, or did it just kind of peter out? (laughter). Well, there was this band called the Joel Scott Hill Trio — He later wound up in the Burrito Brothers and Canned Heat — and Joel was as talented as Bob (Mosley) except he was a guitar player and a really good looking guy. And a really talented sing er with that blues voice. He could play like BB King, but he looked like John Lennon. At this po int the Joel Scott Hill trio was Joel, Bob Mosley and Johnny Barbata. Up in Sacramento the Trio ran into Lee Michaels, and Joel wanted to add Lee to the group, so Bob quit. He didn't want to play in a four-piece band, because they weren't making that much money anyway. So Bob started playing with these guys, the Frantics (with Jerry Miller and Don Stevenson) and finally wound up in Hollister (south of San Jose) playing acoustic guitar in this bar. Then Johnny Barbata and Lee Michaels came up to Gazzarri's to see Peter and the Wolves. They were looking for a folk/rock thing to add a different vibe to the Trio, and they'd heard we were pretty good. Did you finally play with Joel Scott Hill? I sat in for Joel one Sunday down at the Action with Johnny and Lee. And right after that Johnny got the job with the Turtles, and my dru mmer went with Joel Scott Hill. That's sort of what broke up Peter and the Wolves. I hadn't been really satisfied with it anyway, because I was starting to write songs, but nobody else was. I wrote "Fall On You" during th at time, and we played it live with Peter and the Wolves. But I wanted to be a part of a band — no t with me as the leader — just to be a part of something really bitchin.' That's what was cool about the sixties. It wasn't just one guy running the boat. Finally the drummer called me and told me that Joel wanted to play with me to get this folk/rock thing going. So they came over, but we didn't have a bass player. And Joel said, "I know this really great bass player, Bob Mosley, but he's nuts." And I said, "Well, shit man, nuts is happening." Do you remember the first time you met Mosley? I went to pick him up — he was flying in from Ho llister — and I was looking around the bar in the LA airport, lookin' for some hippie guy, and all I could find was this guy in Bermuda shorts and sneakers with white socks, with a goatee and sunglasses and his hair combed back, looking like one of these tough guy musicians. And it was Bob. I had be ll-bottoms and my hair was really long, and I was thinking, "We ain't gonna get along" (laughs). He got in my car, and he didn't say a goddamned thing. When we got halfway up to my hous e, he turns to me and says, "I can play like a motherfucker and sing anything up to high C. What the hell can you do?" How was Mosley live? As good as advertised? I'll never forget the first time I heard him. He sang "Big Boss Man." And his bass playing was just whatever he felt at the time. It wa s just this fuckin' noise. It wasn't Paul McCartney, y'know. And he was looking right at me, singing like I was "big boss man" and "you ain't so tough." I didn't know what to think of Bob. I just knew I had to find him a plac e to stay, because I didn't want him staying with me (laughs). You had the feeling that if you left your wi fe alone for five minutes he 'd be fucking her in the bathroom (laughs). He was really unchai ned. That thing that he does, that voice comes from a certain place inside him. He had a lot of anger. He may be the toughest guy I ever me t. I had a fight with him one time. We were in a hotel room, and somebody was calling us to tell us it was time for the gig. And we were both wandering around wi th towels around us, after taking a shower. And Bob told the guy, "Call back in twenty minutes." And I told him, "Hey, man, we gotta go." So the phone rang again, and we both fought over the phone for about five minutes. It was really shitty. Bu t he was so strong. Once he got a handle on you, it's over. Were you guys doing psychedelics at this point? Right about then we went up to some guy's place in the Hollywood hills to drop acid and see if we could write some cool music. First time for me, but I don't know about Bob. They had their own little scene, and they were superimposing me on their scene, and I felt like just an obse rver. Joel came up to me and told me, "Don't take any of that stuff, just let Bob and Ken (Dunbar, the drummer) take it, and we'll just check 'em out." Joel was li ke a real manipulator. He had this way of acting like a lion tamer, and Bob was the lion. Bob started getting high an d getting confused, and Jo el would lead him on. That's how Bob paid the price for not driving the bo at. See, Bob wasn't aware of the Byrds or any of this folk/rock stuff. He was just this guy. So, just when Bob wa s the most fucked-up and the dawn started breaking, I started to play this Rickenbacker twelve-string. And I saw Bob latch onto it like a log to a guy that's drowning. And he just listened to this stuff he'd never hea rd before. The jangling got in there, and he started to sing, and it was like the Byrds, but with the blues on it. And that was "Bitter Wind." And that's when we realized we had this different thing. It was happening. Who was next in the Grape's cast of characters to appear? Ken Dunbar quit to play with Noony Ricket (in a later version of Love with Arthur Lee) so our other drummer came back, and he had met this guy Ma tthew Katz somehow, so he brought Matthew around. That's when Joel bailed, because Matthew wanted to sign us and Joel didn't like Matthew. Uh-oh. Maybe Joel was right. Well, he was and he wasn't, because we got on the map and Joel didn't. And we never formed that bloc like the Airplane did. They just closed ranks on the guy and he was out. They got Bill Graham and Matthew didn't fuck with the Airplane after th at, or Bill Graham would have fuckin' killed him, or made it impossible for him to walk around . That's the way Bill Graham did business. You mentioned that Matthew had a good side as well. Yeah, well, the ambience he created, that you were already a star, beca use he had a couple of Jaguars, himself. I never knew how he made his money. But even then, he didn 't really treat you like you were worth much. He tried to devalue you at the same time — buying cheap and se lling high. And by the 60's that kind of usury was old hat. Nobody want ed to be managed by a guy like that any more. We're the band, we're making the music, so we're go nna decide. Matthew's main function at first was just as a way to get from LA to San Francisco. LA wa sn't the place to put a band together at the time. It was too locked in. The Mamas and the Papas ran LA. But San Francisco was still wide open. So it was Matthew who got up to San Francisco? He asked us, "Do you want to go to San Francisco an d put a band together?" So Bob and I went with the drummer, and Joel didn't go. When we got there we met Skippy (Spence) beca use he'd just left the Airplane to go with Matthew. And we played together and started halfway looking around for another guitar player, for some reason. I hadn't b een playing lead. It's some thing you've got to do incessantly to be really good. An d I hadn't been doing it because I got locked into the Byrds thing, which is sort of a lead thing, but it wasn't the kind of thing those guys were us ed to. Bob was used to a lead guitar like B. B. King — or Je rry Miller. I don't know if I was rea lly into the extra guitar thing. At that point it wasn't like I was trying to mould the group musically, it was just knowing in my own guts that there was something big happening, and I wanted to be a part of it. It was the new values of the 60's to me: the whole being greate r than the sum of the parts, and a willingness to go beyond the ego to get something great out of it. You could just hear it in a song like "Lay Down Your Weary Tune" by the Byrds. I mean, maybe they came from differen t backgrounds — and Moby Grape came from even more diverse backgrounds — but to put that aside and play music together, to some degree, they had the solution. It didn't take you long to get the final lineup together. For some reason Skippy and Bob didn't like th e drummer, Bob Newkirk from Peter and the Wolves, and Bob said he knew this guy named Don Stevenson (from the Frantics) who could play drums. And that's how Jerry (Miller) got in th ere. Jerry came with Don when Do n came to audition. Jerry jammed with us, and about half an hour into it we looked at each other and just went , "Fuck!" And we really liked each other. And two months after that we wound up getting the biggest contract Columbia'd ever given anybody. Not through Matthew Kates, ei ther. We had already fired him. We couldn't play the Fillmore because he was our manager, and nobo dy liked the guy. He'd used all his credit up. He was an asshole, and it was anachronistic for hi m to be that way — He was real greedy — in the context of the 60's with people trying to be peaceful and love each other. How did you give him the sack? Matthew had arranged for us to play at this plac e in Sausalito called the Ark, which sort of became our club. Up until that point he'd been really cool, but that thing with the Airplane (his firing) was dogging him like an albatross. So I made the deal for us to play the Fillmore, because they wouldn't deal with Matthew. All the local counter-culture icons came to see you at the Ark, didn't they? The word got out really fast — because Skippy was in the band — that we were really good, and Jerry Garcia and Big Brother came around to see us . And that's the place I first met Neil Young and Steven Stills. They'd met Skip wh en he was in the Airplane, and the guy at the Ark pointed out me as being in the band. So I spent the afternoon trading songs with those guys. We had these two songs we were doing. One of them was (Stevenson/Miller number) "Murder In My Heart For The Judge" and the other was one of my songs called "Stop" (sings) "C an't stop/Can't you hear the music ringing in your ears." So later when they came back to play the Aval on, Steven told me, "Hey man, we just cut this song, and when we were done we realized it was two of your songs stuck together ." And ("For What It's Worth") was a combination of those two: "Stop" an d "Murder In My Heart Fo r The Judge." And "Mr. Soul" was "Fall On You" put in E instead of A with a little bit of "Satisfaction" a dded to the lick. And it was really cool. The Springfield were really good at juggling things around. I just told 'em, "Who cares." It wasn't a case, like now, of "I'm gonna su e your ass." Some of my happiest memories of those days were of sitting around Mo sley's apartment in Mill Valley with Steven and Neil and Richie (Furay), smokin' dope and playing each other our songs. Did you foresee the problems the Springfield were to have with Neil coming and going so many times. Well, yeah, but I did that too with Moby Grape. Ne il and I were a lot alike. He and I hung around together a lot. I really loved him. And I saw this similarity in the wa y we were treated in our bands. Neil was like this rich kid, and the other guys were treating him like he didn't know shit because they were "street-wise." And they held it over him. The same way Moby Grape treated me. How does Moby Grape as a collection of pe ople seem to you after all these years? It was a coalition of guys who were multi-talented, except for me . I mean, I hadn't written any songs yet. I could play guitar okay. I had this style of playing that fit be cause of the 60's folk thing. And Skippy was just like me, a talented kinda odd guy to make it sound like more than a club band. But those other three guys were really super musician s — hardened club musician s. And that's kinda what I'd done with Peter and the Wolves. You've gotta go out th ere and get your head banged around to be able to write "Fall On You." And then so mehow "Sitting By The Window" shows up and then "He" and you document your life. But you don't write in a vacuum. How was Skippy in those early days? No problems? He was fine, man. No problems. He was just sort of this punk-ish, impish guy. But he was always real talented. Why did you do the deal that haunts you to this day, signing away th e Moby Grape name to Matthew Katz? (Sighs) We'd signed this management deal with hi m already. Bob and Skippy had come up with the name, the punch-line to the joke, "What's eight to ns, purple and floats in the sea?" Matthew was renting an apartment for Skippy and Bob on Sacram ento Street for a lot of money, back then, two hundred and fifty dollars a month, which enabled Bo b to stay there and do his thing. And he was taking care of Jerry and Don too. I didn't need it, because I had this insurance policy that gave me ten thousand dollars when I turned twenty one, so I could get out of Hollywood and not be Loretta Young's son any more, but Peter Lewi s. And it was my money that kept the band from having to get other jobs to survive. But Matthew wasn't sensitiv e enough to see what was happening. You can't just barge in there or you're the one th ey're gonna get rid of. He was t oo much of a prima donna to be a manager. He didn't control himself well. At one point, when Matthew was ou t of the picture and we were playing the Matrix, Paul Rothchild — before he signed the Doors — came backstage and told us, "We want you on Elektra Records. I'll give you anything you want." They offered us fifty percent of the stock in the company. And that's the only labe l where we could have made it. But that started this feeding frenzy, all these labels after us. So they started calling Matthew instead of us, and that's

vrijdag 22 april 2016

Roky Erickson & The Hounds of Baskerville perform the music of The 13th Elevators - locatie: Paradiso Noord, Tolhuistuin 17 april 2016 Roky Erickson werd op 15 juli 1947 geboren als Roger Kynard Erickson en behoort tot één van de meest kleurrijke figuren uit de Amerikaanse popmuziek. Als zanger van de invloedrijke band The Thirteenth Floor Elevators, stond hij in de jaren zestig aan de wieg van de psychedelische rock, scoorde hij hits met nummers als 'You're Gonna Miss Me' en de plaat ‘The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators’ van deze band wordt als een heuse klassieker gezien. In een aantal zeer turbulente jaren die daarop volgden ging het niet zo goed met Erickson. Veel drugsgebruik en psychische problemen zorgden ervoor dat hij uit de publiciteit verdween en een legendarische status ontwikkelde. In de jaren tachtig maakte hij echter een comeback met Roky Erickson And The Aliens, waarmee hij Stones-achtige, forse rock maakte met nachtmerrie-achtige teksten vol vampiers, zombies en demonen. Het blijft echter een wat grillig muzikaal bestaan met verschillende tegenslagen, rechtszaken en verplichte opnames. Nu, op zijn oude dag, is Roky Erickson echter weer helemaal terug. Samen met The Hounds of Baskerville speelt hij muziek van zijn zo geliefde eerste band The Thirteenth Floor Elevators.

Europa en de Dixie Chicks hebben elkaar gevonden

Europa en de Dixie Chicks hebben elkaar gevonden 20 april 2016 'Kom gauw naar Alabama!' roept een Amerikaanse fan vanaf de voorste rij naar de Dixie Chicks, op het podium van de HMH. Door: Menno Pot 20 april 2016, 15:53 Volg de Volkskrant Elke avond om 20.30 het laatste nieuws en alvast zes artikelen uit de krant van morgen in uw mailbox? Schrijf u in voor onze gratis nieuwsbrief. Hoho, niks Alabama: de 'Chicks' zijn eindelijk eens een avondje van óns, ja? De VS doorkruisen ze al twintig jaar (27 wanneer je de 'oertijd' vóór de komst van frontvrouw Natalie Maines meetelt) en de 30 miljoen verkochte albums zwerven ook vrijwel allemaal rond in Amerikaanse huiskamers. Hier waren ze alleen een keer voorprogramma van de Eagles. Maar nu: twee uitverkochte avonden Amsterdam voor de vrouwen uit Texas, die zelfs ná de politieke rel van 2003 (kritiek op George W. Bush en zijn Irak-oorlog, met volkswoede als gevolg) een Amerikaanse miljoenenband bleven die grote arena's vult, zelfs al verscheen sindsdien nog maar één album (2006). Toch opvallend, zoveel belangstelling voor een band die in Nederland nooit een hit had. 'Eindelijk zijn we dan in Amsterdam,' zei Maines. 'Het heeft maar zo'n twintig jaar geduurd.' Podiumdebuut ‘Dixie Sluts’ 'Wij zijn tégen deze oorlog en dit geweld,’ zei Natalie Maines op 10 maart 2003 tijdens een optreden in Londen. ‘We schamen ons dat de Amerikaanse president uit Texas komt.’ Conservatief, countryminnend Amerika ontplofte. Radio- en tv-boycot. Doodsbedreigingen. Bulldozer over een berg cd’s. ‘Fuck you, Dixie Sluts!’ Steun was er ook, van Madonna en Bruce Springsteen. Maines maakte geschrokken excuses, maar de groep besloot al snel kleur te bekennen, wat veel fans kostte maar ook nieuwe opleverde. De verkoopcijfers kelderden, al kwam dat ook door online ‘piraterij’. De drie albums vóór de rel (1998-2002) gingen zes tot ruim tien miljoen keer over de toonbank; Taking The Long Way (2006) nog altijd twee miljoen keer. Op die plaat staat Not Ready To Make Nice, waarin Maines van zich afbijt: ‘It’s too late to make it right/ I probably wouldn’t if I could/ ‘Cause I’m mad as hell/ Can’t bring myself to do what it is you think I should.’ Het lied was in Amsterdam toegift. Wat volgde, was het Amsterdamse podiumdebuut van een door de wol geverfde countrypopgroep die een stadionproductie uitrolde en de HMH eerder klein dan groot zal hebben gevonden. Om negen uur schoven drie poortjes in het decor open en daar wandelden ze synchroon, al spelend de bühne op: Maines (41) en de zussen Emily Robison (43, vooral banjo) en Martie Maguire (46, vooral viool). Met hun begeleidingsband maken ze muziek die je nu eens in de hoek van Shania Twain en Ilse DeLange kunt plaatsen, maar op andere momenten verrassend stevig rockte. De twee uren verliepen ongeveer zoals je zou verwachten: een tot in de puntjes verzorgde greatest hits-show met alle plus- en minpunten die Amerikaans perfectionisme met zich meebrengt, van de kreukloosheid en het gebrek aan spontaniteit tot de muzikale vakbekwaamheid en de uiteindelijk toch behoorlijk hoge amusementswaarde. Een 'intiem, akoestisch intermezzo', vraagt u? Jazeker, natúúrlijk was dat er: de 'Chicks' plus band, met zijn achten vooraan op het podium, voor onder meer een feestelijk stukje bluegrass. Niets alles bleef overeind Europa en de Dixie Chicks hebben elkaar gevonden © In de VS vinden ze álles wat de 'Chicks' doen prachtig, maar in een Hollandse zaal met zittende, voor Dixie Chicks-begrippen gereserveerde Europeanen, bleef toch niet alles overeind: in songs als Favorite Year of de Patty Griffin-compositie Top Of The World werd het wel erg zoetig en in zijn behaagziekte ook wat non-descript. Van de vlakke Lana Del Rey-cover Video Games werd ook niet helemaal duidelijk waarom hij zo nodig in de set moest. Daar stonden verrassend sterke momenten tegenover, die gaandeweg toenamen in aantal en kwaliteit: de dampende countryrocker Lubbock Or Leave It, meeslepende composities van Bob Dylan (Mississippi) of weer Patty Griffin (Don't Let Me Die In Florida). Op die momenten stond een uitstekende band uitstekend repertoire te spelen, gedragen door drie mooie, elegant met elkaar dansende vrouwenstemmen. Maines De boel werd gedragen door Maines, die veel in haar mars heeft Waar de twee schone zusjes Erwin zich hoffelijk en onbewogen door de avond heen glimlachten, werd de boel gedragen door Maines, die veel in haar mars heeft. Ze verscheen ten tonele als een wonderlijke kruising tussen Caroline Tensen en een gedrongen Lara Croft (stoer zwart jack, blote benen) en toonde zich een krachtige zangeres, die de volle HMH met gemak twee uur bij de les hield, al emotioneert ze nooit écht, zoals Emmylou Harris dat kan. Natuurlijk was er een plaagstoot onder de gordel van Donald Trump, die een keer met duivelshoorntjes op de schermen verscheen en een keer als een soort gekke Henkie met tong uit de waffel, in de bontgekleurde parodie op de verkiezingscampagne tijdens Ready To Run. Degelijke popshow, Trump de gek aansteken; Europa en de 'Chicks' hebben elkaar gevonden. Kom gerust vaker langs. Setlist The Long Way Around Play Video Lubbock or Leave It Play Video Truth #2 (Patty Griffin cover) Play Video Easy Silence Play Video Favorite Year Play Video Long Time Gone Play Video Video Games (Lana Del Rey cover) Play Video Top of the World (Patty Griffin cover) Play Video Goodbye Earl Play Video Video Interlude: Ace of Spades (Motörhead cover) Play Video Acoustic Travelin' Soldier (Bruce Robison cover) Play Video Don't Let Me Die in Florida (Patty Griffin cover) Play Video White Trash Wedding Play Video Instrumental Bluegrass (Medley) Play Video Electric Ready to Run Play Video Mississippi (Bob Dylan cover) Play Video Landslide (Fleetwood Mac cover) Play Video Silent House Play Video I Like It Play Video Cowboy Take Me Away Play Video Wide Open Spaces Play Video Sin Wagon Play Video Encore: Not Ready to Make Nice Play Video Better Way (Ben Harper cover) Play Video 3 setlist.fm users were there

zaterdag 5 maart 2016

Joanna Newsom / Robin Pecknold Twee invloedrijke artiesten uit de hedendaagse folk. 27 februari 2016, Oosterpoort, Groningen Tekst: Maurice Dielemans Beeld: Bob de Vries Publicatiedatum: 29 februari 2016 Joanna Newsom houdt van bijzondere tourtraktaties. Eerder werd de zingende harpiste door de Britse folkmuzieklegende Roy Harper op reis vergezeld. Deze keer is het aan niemand minder dan Robin Pecknold [bovenste foto], de zanger van Fleet Floxes uit Seattle, om tijdens het optreden in de Oosterpoort het ijs te breken. Met deze twee invloedrijke artiesten uit de hedendaagse folk op het programma is de avond op voorhand gedenkwaardig te noemen. Het titelloze debuut van Fleet Foxes uit 2008 heeft de zeskoppige band nooit meer weten te evenaren. Na de opvolger, Helplessness Blues uit 2011, volgt tot de dag van vandaag een lange stilte. Pecknold verkoos het afmaken van zijn studie boven roem. Nu in z'n uppie en door gitaren en effecten omgeven, keert hij weer terug naar de creativiteit van de slaapkamer. Na een valse start met overstemde gitaren vindt de jonge zanger steeds meer zijn weg terug naar de dromerige folk. Hoewel het beslist niet perfect is, lukt het Pecknold om een intrigerende performance neer te zetten, waarbij hij je nieuwsgierig maakt naar de toekomst. Anders dan Pecknold is Joanna Newsom [overige foto's] een pietje-precies. Dat ze niets aan het toeval zal overlaten, wil niet zeggen dat er voor het publiek geen verrassingen zijn. Net als haar laatste en ongrijpbare plaat, Divers, sleurt de sprookjesachtige muziek je ook vanavond als Alice door een konijnenhol naar een ander universum. Haar imponerende stemgeluid en virtuoze harpspel vangen de meeste aandacht. Toch zijn het ook de muzikanten, bestaande uit een drummer, twee violisten en gitarist Ryan Francesconi, die eerder ook met Alela Diane samenwerkte, die Newsoms unieke sound verbinden met de verfijnde werelden van klassiek en jazz. Vanaf opener 'Bridges and Balloons', dat afkomstig is van het debuut The Milk-Eyed Mender uit 2004, tot en met de toegift 'A Pin-Light Bent', het tiende nummer van de nieuwe plaat, weten Joanna Newsom en haar begeleiders met veel subtiliteit en stilte een verpletterende indruk te maken. Het publiek luistert aandachtig.

dinsdag 22 december 2015

TV On The Radio - 3/7 - Paradiso

VERSLAG: TV On The Radio - 3/7 - Paradiso VERSLAG: Marleen de Roo TV On The Radio - 3/7 - Paradiso TV On The Radio heeft een heftige periode achter de rug met veel tegenslagen. Met als belangrijkste gebeurtenis de dood van de jonge bassist Gerard Smith. Vanavond staat het viertal in Paradiso, samen met Intergalactic Lovers. Een avond vol mooie muziek en het vergeten van pijn en verdriet. De Belgische indieband Intergalactic Lovers mag de avond openen en doen dat met een intieme set. De geweldige zangstem van Lara Chedraoui weet meteen te overtuigen. De indierockers maken rustige en ontroerende nummers. Vooral 'Delay' is een nummer die blijft hangen. De set biedt nog weinig diversiteit, maar is wel van hoge kwaliteit. De gitaristen mogen alleen nog wat meer in beweging komen, ze staan nu als steunpilaren op het podium, hoewel dit wel passend is bij een frontvrouw als Lara. TV On The Radio heeft geen steunpilaren nodig, ze zijn individueel al sterke mensen. Dat blijkt alleen al uit het feit dat ze ruim 2 maanden geleden de bassist Gerard Smith hebben moeten begraven, maar vrij snel weer op het podium te vinden waren. Tv On The Radio bewijst in de studio al jaren dat ze veel stromingen en sounds aan kunnen. Op het podium hebben ze echter niet zo’n goede reputatie. Toch is Paradiso afgeladen met fans vol goede hoop. En gelukkig krijgen ze waar voor hun geld. Hoewel het harde zaalgeluid pijn doet aan de oren, is de kwaliteit duidelijk hoorbaar. 'Wolf Like Me ' en de nieuwste single 'Will Do ' krijgen enthousiaste feedback, maar vooral nummers van het gewaardeerde album Dear Science passeren de revue. De band heeft in het begin van de set nog wat moeite om constante kwaliteit te leveren. De contrasten zijn in het begin te groot, ze wisselen te makkelijk de snellere nummers af met de dynamische, bijna psychedelische slowsongs. Dat haalt het tempo uit de set. Gelukkig komt daar tijdens het tweede deel van het optreden verandering in. Vooral het nieuwe album Nine Types of Light brengt meer vrolijkheid en meer tempowisselingen dan de duistere songs van eerdere albums. Dat werkt aanstekelijk bij het publiek die steeds meer begint te bewegen. Tunde Adebimpe, Kyp Malone, David Andrew Sitek en Jaleel Bunton zijn goede muzikanten, waarbij vooral Kyp indruk maakt met zijn sterke zang en muzikaliteit. Maar ook de gastspeler op de trombone verdient een pluim voor zijn goedgevulde longen en timing. Helemaal gezellig wordt het tijdens twee (!) toegiften, als zelfs een hele colonne aan gastmuzikanten op het podium verschijnen met slaginstrumenten om het nummer ‘A Method’ te versterken.

dinsdag 8 december 2015

The 60 greatest female singer-songwriters of all time Previous slide Next slide 1 of 60 View All Canadian Sarah McLachlan 60: SARAH MCLACHLAN Canadian Sarah McLachlan is best known for her emotive, glacial ballads, but she complements her songwriting with an impressive sideline in charity work. The 47-year-old was signed to Vancouver-based label Nettwerk while still at college, before she had even written a single song. Her career peaked with Grammy-winning 1997 album Surfacing. Since then she has continued to write and has raised a staggering sum, in excess of £20m, for various charities. Credit: Rex Features/Startraks Photo http://www.telegraph.co.uk/music/artists/the-60-greatest-female-singer-songwriters-of-all-time/

dinsdag 24 november 2015

Article Townes Van Zandt At The Ash Grove 1996 by Sandy Carter November 17, 2015 (Log In or Sign Up to Follow this Contributor) Back in the summer of 1996, I had the good fortune of booking Townes Van Zandt for one of his last performances in the United States. Earlier in the year, Ed Pearl, the founder of the Ash Grove, the legendary roots music venue in Los Angeles, had asked me to join a team of “entertainment managers” coming up with the musical programs for a relaunched Ash Grove on the Santa Monica Pier. The original Ash Grove, over the course of fifteen years from 1958 to 1973, became a landmark countercultural space presenting music as a voice of the lived experience of communities ignored and censored by mainstream media. At the Ash Grove, listeners heard blues, folk, country, and bluegrass performers who seldom performed outside the South. And in the music of Bill Monroe, Doc Watson, Flatt and Scruggs, Lightnin’ Hopkins, Mance Lipscomb, Mississippi John Hurt, and Muddy Waters, younger musicians such as Joan Baez, Bob Dylan, Phil Ochs, Jerry Garcia, Bonnie Riatt, and Buffy Sainte-Marie, Ry Cooder, and Taj Mahal, found blueprints to voice feelings and beliefs of their own lives. Unfortunately after a series of fires, likely started by anti-Castro Cubans upset with the music and political events at the club, the Ash Grove closed its doors. In reopening the Ash Grove, Ed Pearl’s mission was to extend the vision of the old Ash Grove to contemporary times while still giving voice to the histories, culture, and music beyond the eyes and ears of mainstream USA. In that regard, Townes Van Zandt certainly fit the bill. Although a couple of his tunes, “Pancho and Lefty” and “If I Needed You,” had achieved big-time commercial success in cover versions by Emmylou Harris, Willie Nelson and Merle Haggard, Van Zandt’s dark ballad blend of county, folk, and blues, was not a body of work built for mass appeal. The art of Townes Van Zandt came from an open, gentle heart searching out life’s most tender and bitter truths in quiet lyrical poetry and lonesome blues. Though Townes balanced his performances with a quirky Texas sense of humor and tunes of uplift, his songs also intimately reflected his struggles with bipolar depression, alcohol, and drugs. Through visionary rhyme and a spare hypnotic delivery, he confronted a darkness too grim and scary for wide commercial success. In 1996, Townes Van Zandt remained a relatively obscure cult figure revered by a small audience of passionately devoted fans and a few acclaimed singer-songwriter performers such as Bob Dylan and Neil Young. In Texas, however, his songs carried special weight. In Austin, Dallas-Fort Worth, and Houston, Van Zandt’s songs influenced and set standards for a host Texas songwriters including Steve Earle, Guy Clark, Lyle Lovett, Rodney Crowell, Nanci Griffith, Joe Ely, Butch Hancock, and Jimmie Dale Gilmore. In Texas song lore, Townes Van Zandt remains the unquestioned Poet Laureate. Although transplanted in Northern California, I grew up in the panhandle of Texas in Amarillo and Lubbock and felt a special kinship with Texas songwriters. And at the Ash Grove, one of my first booking goals was to bring west the best of the Lone Star State’s writer-singers, beginning with Townes Van Zandt. The new Ash Grove on the Santa Monica Pier opened in July of 1996 with a stirring string of shows featuring Spider John Koerner, John Hammond, Long John Hunter, Rosie Flores, Peter Case, Dave Alvin, Katy Moffat, and Tom Russell. But for me, the most eagerly, and anxiously, anticipated event was the August 16th double bill, opening with Butch Hancock and closing with Townes Van Zandt. While the show loomed as a sell-out, the Ash Grove’s limited promotion budget made attendance largely dependent on word of mouth. The biggest worry, however, was the mental and physical health of Van Zandt. Long past his prime, Townes in 1996 was physically and emotionally frail. His pristine fingerpicking was now reduced to simple, rhythmic strumming and his singing more solemn recitation. While his performances could still be brilliant, on any given night they could also stumble into disaster. With that worry in mind, I anxiously awaited the arrival of Townes for an afternoon soundcheck. About 4 PM, I received a phone call from the manager of the hotel where Butch and Townes had rooms reserved. “Would you happen to know a Mr. Townes Van Zandt?” “Yes, we have him booked for a show tonight?” “Well, a car, evidently belonging to him, is blocking the drive to our guest parking area. The car is running and the keys to the car are locked inside the car. Can you please try to locate him or others in his party to move the vehicle?” “I’ll be right over.” The hotel being only a few blocks from the Santa Monica Pier, I raced over by foot to track down the missing musicians. When I arrived minutes later, I was told the matter had been resolved by Mr. Van Zandt’s manager who had found another set of keys and moved the car. Upon returning to the Ash Grove, I was greeted by Townes, Butch, and road manager Harold Eggers, who had arrived for the soundcheck. After a brief run through of the night’s schedule, Eggers, self-described as “Townes’s caretaker,” pulled me aside for private conversation. He explained that Townes was not well, but rest assured, he would give a solid performance. He also asked if I could spend some time with Townes engaging him in conversation and making sure he did not get his hands on anything to drink. A few minutes later, in a darkened and quiet Ash Grove, Townes and I sat down at a table to talk. Thin, unsteady on his feet, his hands and body trembling, the Townes before me was clearly a fragile man. I could not see how he could possibly go on stage and artfully share his soul a few short hours later. Nonetheless, as we talked, Townes seemed fully present and focused in the moment. It helped, I think, that I was from Texas. That gave us an immediate starting point for conversation that led into humorous and bittersweet memories of the Panhandle, Fort Worth, Houston, and Austin. Things turned more serious, however, as Townes probed to know more about my family, wife, and daughters. As I shared, he gradually reached out his hands to hold mine and began talking of his own family and children. These reflections, both beautiful and sad, brought us both to tears. Following a brief soundcheck and meal, Townes returned to his hotel to rest up before the show. By 8:30 about 300 people had made their way into the Ash Grove and taken seats for the Saturday evening show. About a half hour later, Butch Hancock launched an opening and warmly received set showcasing his dry flatland vocals and witty wordplay in memorable tunes such as “West Texas Waltz,” “If You Were a Bluebird,” and “Boxcars.” In the break following Hancock’s set, the tension in the house began to rise. Townes did not often play LA and his most recent studio album, No Deeper Blue (Sugar Hill), released in 1994, contained his first new collection of songs in seven years. Indicative of his deteriorating health, on No Deeper Blue, Townes overdubbed his vocals and played guitar on only one song. It seemed clear the Ash Grove show would be a rare if not final appearance of Townes in California. One could only hope that Townes would be up for two sets and a full house. Eggers was right, however, Townes would rally. Following a brief introduction and a hearty greeting of hoots and hollers, Townes steeped on stage loose and confident. A few icebreaker dumb jokes and he kicked into a spellbinding set of harrowing and melancholy tunes that stilled the room. Although Townes laced his sets with uptempo blues and finely crafted love ballads, the bulk of his material carried a weight of sorrow. Sometimes that sorrow came bittersweet and somehow inspiring. Other times, more like a prayerful cry against life’s indifference. And in moments of the most crushing despair, it descended to a resigned acceptance of hopelessness. The causal fans who came mainly to hear “Pancho and Lefty” and “If I Needed You” were soon squirming in their seats or headed out the door. In any Townes set list, the consistency of the material is mind boggling. This night was no exception as masterworks like “To Live Is To Fly,” “No Place To Fall,” “Mr. Mudd and Mr. Gold,” “Tecumseh Valley,” “White Freight Liner Blues,” “Highway Kind,” “ Nothin,” “Lungs,” and “Tower Song,” followed one another with devastating affect. But this was also an evening to introduce songs from the more recent No Deeper Blue. Recorded in Dublin with a solid group of studio players, No Deeper Blue shows that Townes’s still had it as a songwriter, but the album’s production tends to overwhelm the mood and meaning of the minor key ballads. On stage solo, however, Townes invested these tunes with their full emotional depth and somber beauty. Three of these songs, “The Hole,” “Marie,” and “A Song For,” are enduring late life gems to be put on a shelf beside his greatest work. “The Hole” is a spooky tale of Townes confronting his depression in the form of a green eyed demon with a smile “just like the grave.” In a lighter twist, he manages an escape and advises “Don’t go sneakin’ ‘round no holes/There just might be something down there/Wants to gobble up your soul.” “Marie,” reflecting his life long concern for the downtrodden, delivers a stark, journalistic narrative telling the story of a homeless couple sleeping in missions and under bridges while seeking work and unemployment checks until the pregnant Marie “just rolled over and went to heaven/My little boy safe inside.” The evening’s most direct revelation of Townes’s state of mind came in “A Song For.” Unfolding lines both desperate and beautiful, Townes transfixed his audience with what seemed a final farewell that concludes: No words of comfort No words of advice Nothin’ to offer a stranger Gone the love, gone the spite It just don’t matter no longer My sky’s getting far The ground’s getting close My self going crazy The way that it does I’ll lie on my pillow And sleep if I must Too late to wish I’d been stronger This kind of honesty, translated through an extraordinary command of poetic language, is what made Townes Van Zandt great. He was never afraid to speak his truth no matter how uncomfortable it made us. Knowing the heaviness of his material, Townes balanced the mood of his performances with tunes showing other sides of his nature, on this night: “Katie Belle Blue,” a love song to his daughter, “My Proud Mountains,” longing for Colorado and “Brand New Companion,” a languid Lightnin’ Hopkins influenced blues. Still, it is the performance of “A Song For” that has stuck with me through the years. In the lyrics Townes let us know quite clearly his time was almost done. Four and half months later on New Year’s Day 1997, Townes Van Zandt, at the age of 52, died of a heart attack following hip surgery. On Sunday March 2, the Ash Grove presented a six and a half hour musical tribute to Townes featuring Peter Case, Steve Young, Bob Neuwirth, Victoria Williams, Kimmie Rhodes, David Olney, Jimmy LaFave, Dan Bern, Greg Liesz, Butch Hancock, and Townes’s 27 year old son John Townes Van Zandt sharing songs and stories in warm remembrance. Thankfully on this mournful occasion these reminiscences also included recollections of Townes’s peerless humor. One choice sample, Kimmie Rhodes recalling the Townes wisdom—“You can throw a hillbilly in jail, but you can’t keep his face from breaking out.” In another moving and light-hearted moment, young JT Van Zandt sang “The Shrimp Song,” a goofy ditty that his dad sang for him in his childhood, about a shrimp being lured by a newspaper ad to split from home on a free trip to New Orleans in a fisherman’s net. Still even as stories, song selections, and jokes rendered a three-dimensional Townes Van Zandt, there was no escaping the sense of loss. For me, it hit hardest during a mid-show break. On an empty stage free of performers, Townes’s guitar sat wreathed in flowers. A screen slowly unfurled from the stage rafters and a video of “A Song For” began to roll. The room hushed in reverent silence.

zaterdag 7 november 2015

Opgewekte Bob Dylan maakt in Carré zelfs een voorzichtig dansje (****) 06-11-15 10:51 uur - Bron: Het Parool Bob Dylan tijdens een concert in 2011. Bij het optreden in Carré mochten gisteren geen foto's worden gemaakt. © epa Recensie Bob Dylan heeft een krankzinnig grote catalogus om uit te kiezen bij optredens, maar in Carré speelt hij vooral songs van albums die hij deze eeuw uitbracht.. Bob Dylan Ons oordeel: ★★★★☆ Gehoord: 5/11 Waar: Carré Nog te zien 6-7/11, aldaar Hij praat! Net voor de pauze zegt hij luid en duidelijk: 'Thank you.' Wat hij daarna zegt is met de beste wil van de wereld niet te verstaan, maar dat hij überhaupt rechtstreeks het woord tot het publiek richt, mag bijzonder heten. Bob Dylan geldt als de meest mysterieuze aller popsterren. Dat imago koestert hij ook tijdens het eerste van drie concerten in Carré zorgvuldig. Aan lulpraatjes of zelfs maar aankondigingen van songs doet hij niet. Op het podium is het aanzienlijk donkerder dan gebruikelijk bij popconcerten. En de hoed die Dylan draagt, werpt bijna voortdurend een schaduw over zijn gezicht. Krankzinnige catalogus Nukkig? Dat was hij tijdens concerten heel lang. Je had als bezoeker toch vaak het idee dat hij met tegenzin optrad. Maar de laatste jaren heeft hij er duidelijk lol in, dat kan zelfs al die geheimzinnigheid niet verhullen. Het hervonden enthousiasme lijkt vooral te maken te hebben met het loslaten van zijn oude werk. Dylan heeft een krankzinnig grote catalogus om uit te kiezen bij optredens, maar hij lijkt zelf wel zo'n beetje klaar te zijn met zijn repertoire uit de jaren zestig en zeventig. In Carré komt het overgrote deel van de gespeelde songs van albums die hij deze eeuw uitbracht. Vooral ballads Ruime aandacht is er voor Shadows in the Night, zijn dit jaar verschenen album met covers van vooral door Frank Sinatra bekend gemaakte songs. Het voormalige boegbeeld van de tegencultuur dat zich stort op liedjes van de zanger die door velen juist behoudenheid symboliseerde? Nogal wat verstokte Dylanfans hebben het er moeilijk mee, maar Shadows in the Night is de zoveelste voltreffer in de zo creatieve, in 1997 met het album Time Out of Mind ingezette, late fase van zijn carrière. Het is niet Sinatra's swingwerk waar Dylan zich op Shadows in the Night aan waagt. Hij richt zich op de ballads, zoals Sinatra die zong toen hij net was doorgebroken. Ook in Carré geeft Dylan daar een heel eigen draai aan. Mede door de royale inzet van een pedalsteelgitaar worden de liedjes uit The great American songbook de kant van de country opgetrokken. Koket hand op de heup Opvallend is dat Dylan in de uitvoering van dit soort repertoire heel anders zingt dan we van hem gewend zijn. Niet dat de valse kraai ineens een lijster is geworden, maar hij blijkt wel degelijk 'gewoon' te kunnen zingen. En dat vindt hij overduidelijk leuk om te doen. Als een zanger in de jaren veertig of vijftig staat hij achter wel drie heel ouderwets ogende microfoons. Vaak zet hij koket een hand op zijn heup en soms maakt de 74-jarige zelfs een voorzichtig, héél voorzichtig dansje. Een gitaar raakt hij niet aan, wel zit hij veel achter de vleugel. En soms pakt hij er, tot groot genoegen van het publiek, een mondharmonica bij. Bijvoorbeeld voor een lange solo in jarenzeventigklassieker Tangled up in Blue, een van de weinige oude Dylansongs op de setlist. Blowin' in the Wind Top zijn de vijf muzikanten op het podium, die veel meer dan strikt begeleiders zijn. Een zacht zoemende contrabas, met brushes bespeelde drums en vooral die prachtige pedalsteel zorgen voor een melancholiek maar ook een beetje spooky sfeertje; het is muziek die niet zou misstaan in een film van David Lynch. Wordt in Carré helemaal niets gespeeld uit de jaren zestig? Toch wel. Helemaal aan het begin van de show zit het relatief onbekende She Belongs to Me (van het album Bringing it all Back Home) en in de toegiften zit zowaar ook Dylans állerbekendste song. Waar hij zo te horen zelf echt he-le-maal klaar mee is; hij lijkt er echt zijn best op te doen Blowin' in the Wind zo idioot mogelijk te laten klinken. Love Sick (van Time Out of Mind) klinkt daarna zo fel en verbeten, dat je zou zweren dat hij eerder op de dag nog is verlaten door een vrouw. En nee, die bloemen die een medewerkster van Carré hem na afloop wil aanbieden, hoeft hij niet.. (Door: Peter van Brummelen)