Shot Of Rhythm

[ Saturday, December 24, 2005 ]

 

A bit of holiday cheer

Something to warm your heart this holiday season:

http://www.msnbc.msn.com/id/10592932/

On top of everything else (and oh BOY is there some "everything else"), the arrogance of the Bush administration is pretty overwhelming.

On the box right now: Tinariwen, RADIO TISDAS SESSIONS. A friend turned me on to this group, another one of a surprising number of African artists who make deep, moody music that seems a close cousin to Delta blues. Anybody who mourns Junior Kimbrough and R.L. Burnside, but doesn't know about Tinariwen, Ali Farka Toure or Amadou et Mariam is doing themselves a disservice.

Peace...

Dove With Claws [7:55 AM]

[ Thursday, December 22, 2005 ]

 

Take a peek

I thought I'd shamelessly self-promote a recent article I wrote for ISTHMUS on Pupy Costello and his Big City Honky-Tonk. I'm proud of it, and the band deserves all the press and praise they can get. See here:

http://www.thedailypage.com/going-out/music/news/managedit.php?intmusicnewsid=591

On the box right now: Various Artists, CRAIG WERNER'S 2005 MIX, DISC 1. It's that time of year again.

Peace...

Dove With Claws [9:14 PM]

[ Tuesday, December 20, 2005 ]

 

If there's any justice...

...in this cold world, the following things would happen:

-the domestic-spying scandal would bring down George W. Bush and his administration...

-Bono would stop acting like a messiah and make more records like U2's recent collaboration with Mary J. Blige on "One," as good a rock/R&B summit as in quite some time...

-Ryan Adams would wait until he has more than two good songs to release another album...

-somebody would pants Bill O'Reilly on live TV...

-Blixie would go platinum in 2006...

-THE BOONDOCKS and ARRESTED DEVELOPMENT would be the highest-rated shows on television...

-the Democratic party would pull its thousand heads into one workable model, and then remove it from its own ass...

On the box right now: Mary J. Blige, THE BREAKTHROUGH. Her best in years, with the aforementioned U2 duet.

Dove With Claws [7:13 PM]

 

Don't even think about it, punk...

I think the record companies are getting serious about this whole copy-protection thing...

I'm reviewing the new Donald Fagen solo album for HARP magazine, and I got sent an advance from Reprise Records. While the bundle of promo stuff (including a twenty-page promo packet that actually impressed me in its self-indulgence) came in your standard mailer, the disc itself came in a sealed slipcase, the color of crime-scene tape. On the outside of the case were the friendly letters WARNING!, below which there was an extended, legal-ese discussion of the protections the record company's invoking to avoid illegal distribution. These include watermarking the disc, so each is different and copies can be traced back to me, and the stencilling of my name on the actual disc, so that if I were to try to sell it, it could also be traced back. Now, while I did get a small, strange kick out of seeing my name printed on a disc (albeit next to Donald Fagen's, who - though I like him - wouldn't be my first choice for collaborator), I couldn't help but feel the iron hand of the big music business cocked in a fist next to my head. Even the disc had the admonitions all over it, making it look more like a "contract disc." (Bad pun, I apologize.) By opening the slipcase, I was agreeing to the terms. I felt like my lawyer should be there.

On top of all that, they then had the gall to address the cover letter to "Dearest music writer." Yeah, now you're gonna be all nice to me. I get the picture...

On the box right now: Anthony Hamilton, AIN'T NOBODY WORRYIN'. This guy is becoming the Dwight Yoakam of neo-soul: always reliable, always good, always affirming.

Peace...

Dove With Claws [7:56 AM]

[ Monday, December 19, 2005 ]

 

Picture this

Last night, for reasons that'd take too long to explain, I ended up text-messaging my female cousin, who was sitting in the same room as me, the following:

"Don't you wish your girlfriend was hot like me?"

I'm a weird guy...

On the box right now: Various Artists, KAYLEE WERNER's 1990s MIX.

Peace...

Dove With Claws [8:17 AM]

[ Sunday, December 18, 2005 ]

 

Jukebox heroes

Recent favorite tracks:

-"Crying In The Streets"-Buckwheat Zydeco (w/Ry Cooder, Jim Dickinson and Jim Keltner), from OUR NEW ORLEANS: A BENEFIT. Pure soul music, beautifully sung and played.

-"12-Step Program To Quit You Babe"-Eric Ambel, from LOWE PROFILE: A TRIBUTE TO NICK LOWE. The flat-out best-sounding rock and roll records are produced/mixed by this guy, and he applies his technique - as well as his Keith Richards-style voice and guitar - to one of the great man's best rockers.

-"You Got The Look I Like" - Terry Anderson and the Olympic Ass-Kickin' Team, from LOWE PROFILE: A TRIBUTE TO NICK LOWE. Another secret hero of rock and roll (and Eric Ambel's comrade in the Yayhoos) does a similar Stones/Faces-style thing to another one of Nick's minor gems.

-"Be Without You" - Mary J. Blige from THE BREAKTHROUGH. Mary J.'s best-sounding single in years, makes me really excited for the album.

-"I Don't Want To Cry" - Chuck Jackson, from GREATEST HITS. One of those great R&B records from the early 1960s that somehow hasn't joined inferior records at the heart of the soul-music canon. (This record even bests Jackson's other masterpieces, like "Any Day Now.") New York R&B at its sweetest, saddest, and most mysterious.

-"Hazel Eyes" - The Darkness, from ONE WAY TICKET TO HELL...AND BACK. Someday, I'll figure out why I love this bombastic, indulgent track, when really it should have self-destructed before my ears in about 10 seconds.

-"Suds In The Bucket" - Sara Evans from God knows what. See the previous entry...

On the box right now: Various Artists, OUR NEW ORLEANS.

Peace...

Dove With Claws [1:50 PM]