Tuesday, November 30, 2010

Flying Burrito Brothers - Christine's Tune

I've been reading Keith Richard's autobiography the past few days and it got me thinking about Gram Parsons.  You have to admit, without him (and also the Band) the entire Americana movement would in all probability not exist.  Go back and listen to The Flying Burrito Brothers "The Gilded Palace of Sin" or his two solo albums.  Truly wonderful music.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Levon Helm at the Beacon

So last night it was off to the Beacon to see Levon Helm and Bettye LaVette.  I am late to the party with Ms. LaVette but I have to say I enjoyed her latest Interpretations: The British Rock Song Book.  She has a great soul singer kind of voice and can still belt it out at 65.  In particular I found Isn't It a Pity and Love Reign O'er Me to be excellent.  The uptempo numbers were good, but she's a bit too old to be shaking it in my opinion.  Just a touch creepy.  Other than that she was very good.

Levon Helm is a throat cancer survivor.  He's lucky to be talking much less singing but has still made two excellent albums over the past few years.. Dirt Farmer and Electric Dirt.  The latter is a big favorite of my son so I took him last night.  I posted back in July about his show with Willie at Radio City and how much I enjoyed it and this was no different.  Great night of music all around.  Levon only sang on a few cuts (he has had throat issues  for the past year or so which are not cancer related) opening with Ophelia as well as parts of Deep Elem Blues, Blind Willie McTell (duet with Larry Campbell), the Weight (everyone sings) and the closer I Shall Be Released with his daughter Amy.

In between you get some really great music.  Some Band, some Dead, it's different every night as it should be. The band is very tight and also freaking huge at 12 counting Levon.  At one point during the encore there were 15 people on stage.

The Band played Americana before anyone knew what it was.  They were the great American band of the 60's.  Levon Helm continues to bring this great music to folks 35 years after they broke up. I hope he continues and am planning on attending a Midnight Ramble some time this summer.  I love this stuff...

Pictures courtesy of Larry Dell'Erba.

Saturday, November 27, 2010

Wille Nelson Busted for Possession

From the AP:
SIERRA BLANCA, Texas – A U.S. Border Patrol spokesman says country singer Willie Nelson was charged with marijuana possession after 6 ounces was found aboard his tour bus in Texas.
Patrol spokesman Bill Brooks says the bus pulled into the Sierra Blanca, Texas, checkpoint about 9 a.m. Friday. Brooks says an officer smelled pot when a door was opened and a search turned up marijuana.
Brooks says the Hudspeth County sheriff was contacted and Nelson was among three people arrested.
Sheriff Arvin West didn't immediately return a phone message left at his home Friday, but he told the El Paso Times that Nelson claimed the marijuana was his. The singer was held briefly a $2,500 bond before being released.
Nelson spokeswoman Elaine Schock declined to comment when contacted via e-mail by The Associated Press.

This is probably not a surprise to anyone.  Do the border guards not know Willie? Imagine that, his bus smelled like Weed.  Let the old man be...he's an American institution for goodness sake.

Isle of Wight 2010

I was watching some of this earlier and all that really sticks is that this stuff sucked in the 80's.  I am woefully and thankfully out of touch with pop music 2010 as I was in 1984.  Didn't like it then, don't like it now.  Vampire Weekend, Feeling Fires and oh shit Spandau Ballet is back.  Fucking yippie.  And here comes Blondie again.  Please just go away.

Fuck pop, let's rock...

And don't get me started about My Chemical Romance.  A friend of mine says I'm a hater, not open to new music.  I say that is wrong.  There's loads of great music and 2010 was a banner year in my opinion, but the state of modern pop music is at an all time low.  At least that's how I see it.

Free Music Alert - Suburban Home Records

I really like a lot of the artists on Suburban Home Records.  How could you not?  Drag the River, Two Cow Garage, Tim Barry.  Good stuff here.  Suburban Home does things the right way.  Cool vinyl pressings for far less than the majors charge.  Great give aways, auctions and other merch and mix tapes.  Right now you can download for FREE two mix tapes and selections from their 15th anniversary show from their site.  Follow the links below, download them and enjoy.  Oh yeah, how about you pick up something and support the artists as well.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Record Store Day

Head on down to your local indie retailer today and grab some of the great Record Store Day Black Friday exclusives.  Looney Tunes in West Babylon, NY has some very cool stuff including a Metallica double 10 inch Live at Grimey's, George Harrison's All Things Must Pass numbered on 180 gram vinyl, some cool Springsteen & Dylan 45's, U2 Live ep and other stuff.  Grab the re-release of Frank Sinatra's Jolly Christmas on vinyl and start your holiday's off early!  For a full list of releases and to find a store near you head on over to the Record Store Day website.

Thursday, November 25, 2010

Happy Thanksgiving

Happy Thanksgiving to all from the entire Rockr family!
OldRockr, MaRockr, and the little Rockr's

Wednesday, November 24, 2010

Bruce Springsteen - The Promise: The Darkness on the Edge of Town Story

 So I've been waiting a bit to write about this one.  Favorite record by my favorite artist so as you can imagine I've been looking forward to this for a while.  A serious price tag is rewarded with one of the better box sets that I have seen.  3 CD's and 3DVD's in a replica of Bruce's notebook from the sessions is everything this type of release should be for the fan. 

CD1 is the remastered Darkness on the Edge of Town.  Sony has done a shit job with the original CD's and to date have only remastered Born to Run.  The sound quality is greatly improved, sort of like taking some ear plugs out.  There is a vibrancy missing from the original CD's, more in line with the original vinyl releases.

CD's 2 and 3 are The Promise which features 21 unreleased tracks from the era, many of which are making their first appearance on official releases.  It makes for a great listen but one that is very much different than Darkness.  I think Bruce releases the right album at the time.  With a little more space, Because the Night and the Promise would have fit, but most of the others are of a different sound altogether.  Some were recorded by Southside Johnny and the tracks have that 60's rockin' soul sound for the most part which sound far too "light" compared to what was released in 1978.  A great listen for sure, just don"t compare the two.

DVD 1 is the full Promise documentary.  DVD 2 has the entire Darkness album performed on 2009 by the E. Street Band as well as some videos recorded in the studio and the 4 existing tracks from the Phoenix 1978 show that generated the Rosalita video.

The third DVD is the motherload...a full show from Houston in 1978.  As far as I am concerned the best tour he ever did (although this past decade saw some great shows) is finally available as a complete show on this "offical bootleg".  The sound and video quality are fine and seeing the E. Street band in their youthful prime is just so good.  It brings back those early days when I became a fan and blows away my Passaic 1978 boot.

All in all this is a great box set that will please the fans.  As there are no real wishy-washy Bruce fans that means just about everyone who ever listened and liked.   Grab it for someone this holiday season.

Sunday, November 7, 2010

Truckstop Darlin'

Here's one for you folks that love the Drive-By Truckers.  Well, maybe that's not fair but I can hear the influence on this one for sure.  I wasn't quite sure what to expect, but I have to say I really like this one.  it's kind of sleazy, alt-country inspired, kickin' rock & roll actually.

Truckstop Darlin' is out of the Pacific Northwest and they have all the prerequisites you would expect in this genre.  Gritty vocals, some pedal steel, a little bit of jangly guitars.  You've heard it before but it really works for them.  I found myself digging this one pretty fast.  The album starts out with a killer 1-2 punch of Tired Old Prom Queens and Bluegrass State and keeps barreling on from there.  These guys must be great live.  Makes you just wanna drink some beer and raise a little bit of hell.

Good stuff here that comes highly recommended for fans of the Drive-By Truckers, Lucero, Slobberbone, etc.  Go on out and grab this one, crack a beer and give 'em a chance.  You won't be disappointed.  You can download the mp3's at CDBaby.

Tired Old Prom Queens

Bluegrass State

Friday, November 5, 2010

Social Distortion with Lucero & Frank Turner

I was really looking forward to this show last night at the Roseland Ballroom.  I have never seen Social Distortion before and I am a big Lucero fan so there was high level of anticipation going in.  My son's favorite band is Lucero (go figure a 16 year old kid on LI loves Lucero) and he also really likes Frank Turner.  These past couple of years have been great going to shows with him, the excitement level is definitely up when he goes.

First up was Frank Turner who hails from Winchester in the UK.  I liked the two albums I had heard (Love Ire & Song and Poetry of the Deed) but I have to say that live he was even better.  Loads of energy, great songs and a band that really kicks.  A short but great set where you can hear his influences from Billy Bragg to the Clash.  Frank Turner wants to rock, we should.  The crowd up front was really into it and more people began to congregate as the set went on.

Lucero was up next.  I love this band, but was disappointed when I saw them earlier this year. I think the whiskey sometimes gets in way.  Last night was a shorter set (about 45') but let me tell you Lucero was really, really good last night.  We got a couple of horns to augment and they tore through the set with a fire that was missing at Williamsburg.  Kiss the Bottle, Sixes and Sevens, Bikeriders and about 7 others made for a short but very tight set.  You had to see the look on my kids face...priceless. 

Social Distortion are truly legendary in the punk world.  In fact they are one of the few bands (Rancid is another) that really carries the torch from the old days.  Hell, they are pretty much the old guard now.  Mike Ness and crew sounded great.  I mean fucking huge.  That might be the problem for me.  They were so tight that it felt a bit...off.  And a bit dull.  I am probably in the minority, and it didn't suck by any means, but it only left me a bit bored.  Ball and Chain was great, Mommies Little Monster, some of the new songs were really good.  Everything was good, just not great.  Bands like this need a shorter set as the genre lends itself to repetitiveness which can wear on you a bit.  At least it does me.  Lucero at 45' was tight and focused.  Lucero at 2 hours was sloppy.  Here it was a case of too tight and too slick.  An hour set full of rage works better than a longer set.  At least for me.  Don't get me wrong, it was far from bad, just not as good as I'd hoped.

Thanks to Larry Dell'erba for the pictures.