Tag Archives: Tuneage

Musical palate cleanser, Big Star tribute edition

Per Rolling Stone,

In April 2016, an all-star band featuring R.E.M.‘s Mike Mills, Wilco‘s Jeff Tweedy and Pat Sansone, and many more gathered onstage at Glendale, California’s Alex Theatre to perform Big Star‘s classic Third/Sister Lovers in its entirety.

A live album and concert film from that performance will be released April 21st as Thank You, Friends: Big Star’s Third Live … and More. Ahead of the concert film’s premiere at the SXSW Film Festival on March 16th, Rolling Stone presents the supergroup’s take on Big Star’s #1 Record classic “In the Street.”

A labor of love, and it shows.

By the way, Third/Sister Lovers is one of the strangest great albums I’ve ever listened to.  Alex Chilton had written a bunch of incredible songs, which he then proceeded to deconstruct out of some weird sense of disgust with the music industry and Big Star’s fate (not that it wasn’t understandable).  It literally got to the point where he was told by the producer to shut the record down after he pulled a drunk off the street to help record a song.

That notwithstanding, Third/Sister Lovers is also one of the most compelling albums I’ve ever listened to.  The paranoia and love wound together and expressed in “Nightime” give me chills every time I hear the song.

Yeah, I’ll have to see the movie.

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Musical palate cleanser, birthday edition

Someone emailed me with a MPC request to celebrate Elton John’s 70th birthday.  I confess I’ve never been much of a fan, but I’ve always had a warm place in my heart for this scene from Almost Famous, set to “Tiny Dancer”, so enjoy.

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Musical palate cleanser: Chuck Berry is dead, and I don’t feel so good myself.

He was 90, but, still, damn, just damn.

Chuck Berry, who with his indelible guitar licks, brash self-confidence and memorable songs about cars, girls and wild dance parties did as much as anyone to define rock ’n’ roll’s potential and attitude in its early years, died on Saturday. He was 90.

The St. Charles County Police Department in Missouri confirmed his death on its Facebook page. Mr. Berry died at his home near Wentzville, Mo., about 45 miles west of St. Louis. The department said it responded to a medical emergency and he was declared dead after lifesaving measures were unsuccessful.

While Elvis Presley was rock’s first pop star and teenage heartthrob, Mr. Berry was its master theorist and conceptual genius, the songwriter who understood what the kids wanted before they knew themselves. With songs like “Johnny B. Goode” and “Roll Over Beethoven,” he gave his listeners more than they knew they were getting from jukebox entertainment.

His guitar lines wired the lean twang of country and the bite of the blues into phrases with both a streamlined trajectory and a long memory. And tucked into the lighthearted, telegraphic narratives that he sang with such clear enunciation was a sly defiance, upending convention to claim the pleasures of the moment.

Or to put it more succinctly,

“The big beat, cars and young love,” Mr. Chess outlined. “It was a trend, and we jumped on it.”

The coolest thing about Chuck Berry is this:

And Mr. Berry’s music has remained on tour extraterrestrially. “Johnny B. Goode” is on golden records within the Voyager I and II spacecraft, launched in 1977 and awaiting discovery.

That may not be immortality, but it ain’t bad.  Nor was Saturday Night Live’s take on it.

Meanwhile, back on earth, it’s hard to beat Ron Wood’s tribute on his passing.

Chuck Berry will be missed, but never forgotten.

Hail, Hail, rock ‘n roll.

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Musical palate cleanser, drunk love is the best love edition

In honor of Saint Paddy’s Day, here are the Dropkick Murphys with a live version of their ode to uninhibited male ego, “Kiss Me, I’m Shitfaced”.

Let’s face it, fellas.  We’ve all been there at least once in our lives.

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Musical palate cleanser, country pickin’ edition

From the Johnny Cash Show, check out Johnny, Derek and the Dominos (!) and Carl Perkins laying into Perkins’ “Matchbox”.

Pretty great, hunh…  especially the hair.

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Musical palate cleanser, sex and guns and rock ‘n’ roll edition

A good friend of mine alerted me to this sordid tale of crime in my fair city.

Rock ’n’ roller Rick Derringer is 40-some years past his 1970s’ All American Boy phase. His flowing golden locks and shiny silver jacket is replaced by a short-cropped cut and a conservative business suit.

Derringer was dressed like that last week because he was appearing at the federal courthouse in Atlanta to plead guilty to a misdemeanor charge of trying to bring a loaded gun through airport security…

The aptly named Derringer got caught last month at Hartsfield-Jackson International Airport after returning from Cancun, Mexico. Transportation Security Administration officials found his Kel-Tec pistol in his carry bag after he left Customs and he went back through security to fly home to Florida.

Yeah, Derringer, gun, I get it.  But that’s not the best part of the story.  This is.

I asked Derringer, a diminutive and pleasant fellow, how he found Bruce Harvey to be his attorney.

“The FBI recommended him,” Derringer said. “The FBI agent was a fan.”

Sometimes you really gotta love this country.  Anyway, here’s a slice of seventies magic — live, with Edgar Winter, it’s “Rock and Roll, Hoochie Koo”.

Lawdy mama, light my fuse, indeed.

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Musical palate cleanser, on cassette and 45 edition

Here’s a song that shuffled up on my iPod this weekend — one of those tunes when you haven’t heard it in a while, you wonder why you’ve ignored it — from Spoon’s brilliant Gimme Fiction, “I Summon You”.

There’s something about the way the percussive acoustic guitar work drives the song that really appeals to me.

By the way, if you’re interested, GF is a great album, one without a single weak cut on it.

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