Category Archives: Uncategorized

Guess who turns 79 today?

You realize he’s gonna outlive everyone reading this post, right?


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Musical palate cleanser, couple of good ol’ boys edition

Ladies and gentlemen, “Country Honk”, 55 or so years later…


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Musical palate cleanser, Classic City edition

Athens supergroup the Bad Ends pack a lot of punch. In the collective are: Mike Mantione of Athens staples Five Eight (guitar/vocals), Dave Domizi (bass/vocals), Geoff Melkonian (keys/vocals), Christian Lopez (guitars, mandolin), former R.E.M. drummer Bill Berry. In fact, this will be Berry’s first band since his R.E.M. days. Today, the Bad Ends are announcing their debut album, The Power And The Glory, out January 20 via New West Records. They’re also premiering a rollicking lead single, “All Your Friends Are Dying,” which comes with a video directed by Lance Bangs.

The “All Your Friends Are Dying” video also features cameos from friends of the band such as Mike Mills of R.E.M., Vanessa Briscoe Hay from Pylon, Jody Stephens of Big Star, producer David Barbe, and more. The band will also play their first-ever show on November 27 (the Sunday after Thanksgiving), which will be at Nuci’s Space — constructed at the site of St. Mary’s Church, where R.E.M. played their first show in 1980.

All pretty cool, but what really caught my ear from the single was this:

Here’s what Mike Mantione had to say about “All Your Friends Are Dying”:

The song and the video are a celebration of Athens. The song is also a tribute to Big Star and The Glands. I’m really singing it to a friend who missed this special performance of the Big Star Third album and I’m warning my friend not to miss stuff because life doesn’t last very long. We thought there was only cell phone footage of the show, but our friend Dan Jordan ended up having three cameras rolling that night. We were able to grab shots of Jody singing ‘Thirteen’ and Frank playing his guitar (which was a telecaster that night, which is why he plays an SG in the van, as namechecked in the song).

He had me at “Big Star”.

Here’s the single.  The surroundings might look familiar to you.



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Musical palate cleanser, reactionary edition

Haven’t done one of these in a while, so here’s a little power pop from Cheap Trick’s Robin Zander.

“Well, baby, have a bitchin’ summer, see ‘ya next fall” is a killer line.


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Musical palate cleanser, six guys in a subway station edition

This is a hoot.  Enjoy.


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Musical palate cleanser, living legend edition

Good news, blues fans.

Buddy Guy has a new album coming out on September 30 through RCA/Silvertone, titled The Blues Don’t Lie, and the doyen of Chicago blues has been good enough to share its first single.

The track, Gunsmoke Blues, is a two-hander between Guy and Jason Isbell, with each trading electric guitar licks and vocals, and a cri de cœur with a clear message against gun violence.

The Blues Don’t Lie is the 34th studio album of Guy’s storied career and is the follow-up to 2018’s The Blues is Alive and Well. It also features guest spots from Elvis Costello, Mavis Staples, James Taylor and others, and was produced by longtime collaborator, the esteemed songwriter and drummer Tom Hambridge.

Great album title!  Here’s the single:


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Musical palate cleanser, legend passes edition

And when I say “legend”, I mean effing legend.

Lamont Dozier, the prolific songwriter and producer who was crucial to the success of Motown Records as one-third of the Holland-Dozier-Holland team, died on Monday at his home near Scottsdale, Ariz. He was 81.

Robin Terry, the chairwoman and chief executive of the Motown Museum in Detroit, confirmed the death but did not specify a cause.

In collaboration with the brothers Brian and Eddie Holland, Mr. Dozier wrote songs for dozens of musical acts, but the trio worked most often with Martha and the Vandellas (“Heat Wave,” “Jimmy Mack”), the Four Tops (“Bernadette,” “I Can’t Help Myself”) and especially the Supremes (“You Can’t Hurry Love,” “Baby Love”). Between 1963 and 1972, the Holland-Dozier-Holland team was responsible for more than 80 singles that hit the Top 40 of the pop or R&B charts, including 15 songs that reached No. 1. “It was as if we were playing the lottery and winning every time,” Mr. Dozier wrote in his autobiography, “How Sweet It Is” (2019, written with Scott B. Bomar).

I’m not sure calling Lamont Dozier a giant does him justice.  Check out this list:

My Gawd.

I could post MPC’s of just their songs for a month, with room to spare, but let’s just settle for this beauty today.

Sublime.  Rest in peace, brother.  You earned it.


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Musical palate cleanser, “you got it, buddy” edition

I almost went with “Knowing Me, Knowing You” as the header for yesterday’s Dan Lanning post, but decided to save the song for an MPC today — except instead of posting the ABBA original, I’m giving you a live cover by the great Marshall Crenshaw.  Enjoy.


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Musical palate cleanser, birfday boy edition

Mick Jagger turned 79 yesterday.  To honor that, let’s give a listen to my favorite cut on the Live at the El Mocambo 1977 album, the Stones’ cover of that hoary chestnut “Route 66”.

The band, razor sharp through the whole show (remarkable, considering the circumstances), is especially on for this song.  The guitar interplay between Ron and Keef is electrifying — I say that as a big Mick Taylor fanboy — and Charlie Watts just drives everything.  Mick’s having a blast, too.


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Musical palate cleanser, new blues edition

Here’s a great Washington Post piece on Christone “Kingfish” Ingram, the 23-year old blues guitarist from Clarksdale, Mississippi that’s definitely worth your time to read.

Christone “Kingfish” Ingram was wailing on guitar. Eyes shut and head thrown back in the emblematic pose of the guitar hero in ecstasy, he wrung screaming bent high notes and dense, fluid runs from his purple-and-black prototype Kingfish-model Fender. Just seconds into “She Calls Me Kingfish,” the opening song of his set at the Berklee Performance Center in Boston in March, fans were already well on their way up the stairway to guitar-solo heaven, nodding and smiling and shaking their heads in that mmh-mmh-mmm way that guitar freaks fall into when potent stuff starts flowing into their systems through their ears. The Berklee College of Music houses one of the planet’s greatest concentrations of high-end guitar freaks, and they were out in force to hear the 23-year-old phenom from the Mississippi Delta widely hailed as “the future of the blues.” The students in attendance made for a considerably younger turnout than a blues show typically draws. Out in the lobby before the show, I had overheard one long-haired dude saying to a fellow cool-nerd, “He’s, like, my age. It’s nuts.”

And here’s a clip sponsored by Fender (the guitar is gorgeous) of Ingram’s cover of “I Put A Spell On You”:


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