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Month: August 2007

Kala Good

M.I.A.

I respectfully defer to Wayne when I say: “Schwingg!”

Her follow up to her very successful debut, Arular, was released a couple weeks ago. It’s called Kala, and I have to say, I’m enjoying it even more than her first. I love cool sounds. This album has ’em. She had originally planned to get in the studio with Timbaland for this album, but problems with her visa blocked her for a few months (he did end up producing one of the tracks: “Come Around”.

So, she took the label’s money and did some globe trotting to pull in some tasty sounds. One of my favorites is her collaboration with Australian aborigine hip-hop group Wilcannia Mob, who are barely in their teens (if even that). That one’s called “Mango Pickle Down River”, and features a wicked didgeridoo.

She’s also cool enough to incorporate the Clash into a song. “Straight to Hell” sets the tone on the Diplo-produced “Paper Planes”.

Here’s the album opener. “M.I.A.’s coming back with Power Power!” Crank it up and enjoy. Great album… tasty beats, bangs, and zooms. And she’s hot to boot.

I’ll be checking her out live in two weeks at the Austin City Limits Music Festival. Who’s in?

M.I.A. Bamboo Banger (mp3)

Buy: Kala (Amazon) | M.I.A. - Kala

Links: Her Seizure-Inducing Official Site | MySpace

Come Over to Jeb’s Yard, Get Your Heaven Right Here

I heard another older song a few weeks ago that’s brand spanking new to me, courtesy of Sirius (where Steve Earle now has his own radio show on Outlaw Country – yipee!). This one is by Jeb Loy Nichols. Jeb made a unique musical journey from Austin, Texas to New York City to London. He’s been based out of the UK for some time now. In 2000, he traveled to Jamaica to record Just What Time It Is, a fusion of soulful pop, reggae, and a little country. The studio engineer was Stephen Stanley (Buju Banton, Burning Spear).

The song will reel a lot of you right in with its infectious sing-along chorus: “come ooon over to my yaard.” La la la la la… It’s a nice one!

Of the song, Jeb writes on his site:

I wrote this after the bulk of the album was already finished. Lorraine and I were cycling through Wadebridge, in North Cornwall, the lyrics came in a tumble, the whole thing was written in twenty minutes. I was pleased with the day, happy to be out of London, I’d recorded a record I liked and I was counting myself lucky. Things were looking up, I was doing what I wanted to do with people I admired, I was out of one thing and into another.

Take a listen (and don’t crap out before the chorus)…

Jeb Loy NicholsHeaven Right Here (Come Over to My Yard) (mp3)

Buy: Just What Time It Is (Amazon) | Jeb Loy Nichols - Just What Time It Is

Linkage: Official Site | MySpace

Whatever Happened to Terence Trent D’Arby?

sananda1

Why, he changed his name to Sananda Maitreya in 2001 after a series of dreams and moved to Italy. Duhh.

But seriously, he did. And he’s still active on the scene. You can cruise over to Sananda’s web site and see what he’s been up to.

One of the things you’ll find is a link to a full 2010 concert in Basel, Switzerland, including this one, “It Ain’t Easy”…

This song is one of TTD’s biggest hits from his great debut, Introducing the Hardline According to Terence Trent D’Arby, and takes top billing as my favorite TTD tune. Enjoy. And go show Sananda some love.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Xmi_qbUGCKo&w=420&h=345

Check out Terence on Terence Trent D'Arby.

Sananda Maitreya’s Official Site | Facebook

First Listen: Marcus Miller – Free

Marcus Miller

I’ll be honest here, I did not know much about Marcus Miller before I decided to write this piece. I only knew him as the bass player for Miles Davis. Let’s see what Wikipedia has to say:

… a jazz musician, composer and producer, perhaps best known as a bass guitarist with Miles Davis, Luther Vandross and David Sanborn. Miller is classically trained as a clarinetist, and also plays bass clarinet, keyboard, saxophone, and guitar, and is a capable singer.

Well hot damn! He’s won a Grammy for his solo efforts and has played with a veritable “who’s who” of Jazz and Blues musicians. I stumbled upon his latest release while browsing through my Miles Davis links. It immediately grabbed me with it’s raga-inspired lead off track “Blast” and held me down tight delivering funk, soul and some of the tightest bass licks I’ve heard. Here’s a sample of the soulful side of this record featuring the beautiful Corinne Bailey Rae covering the 1977 Deniece Williams track “Free”.

Marcus Miller (feat. Corinne Bailey Rae)Free (MP3)

Buy: Free (I highly suggest checking your local jazz/soul shop first!)
Link: Official Site | MySpace

Springsteen Tour Dates and FREE Radio Nowhere on iTunes

We got tour dates! And it looks like I’ll will be heading out to L.A. to catch the October 28th show. It looks like there’s still room in there to schedule a Phoenix date, but who knows? So L.A., here I come….

TOUR DATES:

October 2 Hartford, CT
October 5 Philadelphia, PA
October 9-10 East Rutherford, NJ
October 14 Ottawa, ONT
October 15 Toronto, ONT
October 17-18 New York, NY
October 21 Chicago, IL
October 26 Oakland, CA
October 28 Los Angeles, CA
November 2 St Paul, MN
November 4 Cleveland, OH
November 5 Auburn Hills, MI
November 11 Washington, D.C.
November 14 Pittsburgh, PA
November 15 Albany, NY
November 18 Boston, MA

November 25 Madrid, SPAIN
November 26 Bilbao, SPAIN
November 28 Milan, ITALY
November 30 Arnhem, NETHERLANDS
December 2 Mannheim, GERMANY
December 4 Oslo, NORWAY
December 8 Copenhagen, DENMARK
December 10 Stockholm, SWEDEN
December 12 Antwerp, BELGIUM
December 13 Cologne, GERMANY
December 15 Belfast, IRELAND
December 17 Paris, FRANCE
December 19 London, UK

FREE ON iTUNES and THE GUARDIAN: Be sure to head over to iTunes to get your free download of “Radio Nowhere” (in m4a) , and to pre-order the album for only $8.99. And thanks G. for letting me know that the UK paper The Guardian is offering a DRM-free MP3 on their site.

BACKSTREETS INTERVIEW: Backstreets had a chance to chat it up with the Boss in a phone interview. Check it out.

“Everywhere like such as”

This has absolutely nothing to do with music, but I had to share this nugget of wisdom from a Miss Teen U.S.A. contestant.

You can just hear the crickets chirping between her ears.

Review: Debbie Harry’s ‘Necessary Evil’

Gonzo takes the wheel for a review of Debbie Harry’s new album. – Pete…. 

(2007, Five Seven Music)

I have to begin by admitting two things. First, I’m a big Blondie fan. I have all of their albums on vinyl, minus the contract-filling Hunter. I’ve often said that New York City in the mid-late 1970s is my favorite music ‘scene’ of all time. Along with the Talking Heads, Patti Smith, The Shirts, Television and the Ramones, Blondie is one reason for my view. Secondly, I confess that I haven’t followed Debbie Harry’s solo career with any level of depth. That said, I was intrigued when given the opportunity to review Harry’s latest solo disc, Necessary Evil.

The album’s opening tracks set the tone for the rest of the album. In general, the songs on Necessary Evil retain Allen’s roots in the new wave and pop music of the late 1970s/early 1980s. Whether this is conscious or not, this aspect of Harry’s most recent work fits in well with the current trend of retro-new wave acts such as The Killers. Yet in addition to recalling Harry’s most well known work with Blondie, the album combines this aesthetic with contemporary conventions of indie rock and electro dance music. The result is admittedly not anything to write home about. While Harry is able to bridge the past with the present, the product of this marriage is sadly not particularly unique or groundbreaking. Still, that’s not to say that the songs are without merit.

However, the failure of the album is its lack of brevity. At 17 tracks, the disc gets to be a bit tedious. While I doubt that it would create a landmark album, trimming some of the fat on Necessary Evil could at the very least have led to a more solid and enjoyable disc.

In short, Necessary Evil is enjoyable for what it is. It isn’t earth-shattering, but it shows that Harry has maintained her competence in form and execution. Overall, I give it a solid ‘C’ grade.

Necessary Evil hits the shelves on 9/17 in the US.

Debbie Harry – Official Website
Debbie Harry on Myspace (featuring songs from the upcoming album)

The Boss Live at the Roxy, 1978 (Part Three)


August 24th, 1978 cover, photo by Lynn Goldsmith

You’re a patient bunch, but it’s worth the wait, don’t ya think? Tonight, we finish off Bruce and the band’s legendary 7-7-78 show at the Roxy

Part Three

Independence Day
Born to Run
Because the Night
Raise Your Hand
Radio Comments
Twist and Shout

Extras:
Thunder Road – Roxy, 10-17-75
Goin’ Back – Roxy, 10-17-75
Pretty Flamingo – Cleveland, 12-31-78
The Fever – Cleveland, 12-31-78
The Promise – The Record Plant, 11-77 thru 4-78

Part One | Part Two | Part Three

Here’s an excellent accompaniment to show. It’s an interview of the Boss, just days before this Roxy show!

Steve Earle performs City of Immigrants on Letterman

We’ll see how long this stays online, but in the meantime, here’s Steve with his Wire look. Any Wire watchers out there? Have Steve’s episodes began yet? And can anyone tell me if the backup singer on the right is Allison Moorer (Steve’s wife)?

Update: Um, yeah – judging by the kiss after the song, yeah, that’s Allison (I didn’t catch that the first couple times).

Check out Steve on  Steve Earle

The Boss Live at the Roxy, 1978 (Part Two)


photo by Bob Minkin

Bruce’s new tune, “Radio Nowhere” leaked yesterday. It’s a straight-ahead rocker. One of my Boss Forum posters said it’s reminiscent of “867-5309” as performed by Pearl Jam [Edit: Tommy Tutone’s song as Pearl Jam would perform it – that wasn’t clear the first time around]. It’s true, you can definitely hear a tinge of it in the tune. Good stuff! You can check it out over at the Hype Machine.

So on to part two of this classic show. If you have the Live 1975-1985 box set, then you’ve heard quite a bit of part two. Six of these songs appear on the box set in edited form (Adam, Paradise, Growin’ Up, Saint, Backstreets, and Rosalita), which goes to show what an amazing show this truly is. The box set doesn’t include Bruce’s comments before “Paradise by the C”. Here, you’ll hear Bruce kick off the song with: “All you bootleggers out there in radio land, roll your tapes!”…

The very next night, Bruce and the band headed over to my neck of the woods to play Veteran’s Memorial Coliseum in Phoenix. The video footage of “Rosalita” that made its way on to the Video Anthology DVD was taken from that night.

So here’s part deux my friends. Enjoy!

Part Two

Paradise By The ‘C’
Fire
Adam Raised A Cain
Mona
She’s The One
Growin’ Up
It’s Hard To Be A Saint In The City
Backstreets
Heartbreak Hotel
Rosalita (Come Out Tonight)