Ickmusic’s Friday Five: June 27, 2008

Dude, You're Getting a Shuffle!

The post lunch dip is kicking in boys and girls and I need something to push me through the next two hours. The finish line for the week is in my sights and I’m ready to shuffle up and deal! Last week we covered everything from Travolta to Arquette, here’s hoping that this week uncovers yet more gems in my music library.

For those who have not played along yet here’s the scoop, open up whatever provides you with tunes and hit the shuffle button and let the music take you where it will and if you feel so inclined share the results with the rest of the musical voyeurs in the comments section.

So let’s see what comes up this week…

Here are this week’s tracks:

1. The Jimi Hendrix Experience – Manic Depression (from Live at Winterland)

While I do love me some Hendrix, this particular performance is, to me, a mess. The rest of the recording is stellar and the performance is inspired, but this track just seems to meander too much for my tastes.

2. Kiss – Beth (from Double Platinum)

Boy, two stinkers in a row. Don’t get me wrong, I kinda like Beth, for what it’s worth but it’s just not doing much for me at the moment. Thankfully it’s short.

3. America – Tin Man (from History: America’s Greatest Hits)

Have I died and ended up in Jason Hare’s shuffle? Again, don’t get me wrong, I actually love the mellow gold of America, but it’s not exactly helping in my plight to stay awake. This is a great song though.

4. Green Day – Jesus of Suburbia: I. Jesus of Suburbia / II. City of the Damned / III. I Don’t Care / IV. Dearly Beloved / V. Tales of Another Broken Home (from American Idiot)

I give Green Day a ton of credit for managing to stay “punk” by pulling the most un-punk career moves time and time again. Let’s face it, it rings true that living well is the best revenge and they’ve certainly done just that. Clocking in at just over 9 minutes this is a great tune with more twists and turns then a roller coaster. Five individual movements make up the sum that is “Jesus of Suburbia”, each with its own tone and tempo.

5. Incubus – Stellar (acoustic) (from When Incubus Attacks, Volume 1)

I guess we’re wrapping on a very chill note again. I’m going to have to start setting some conditions for my Friday shuffles to get some boogie back in the Five.

So that’s mine for this week, what’s carrying you out to the car?

The Time in Vegas: Go to the Flamingo, do The Bird

Taking a cue from their old boss, Morris Day and the boys have taken up a residency at a Las Vegas hotel/casino to kick out the jams for a couple of months. Last year, Prince took over the Rio for a few months of very well received shows at his makeshift club, 3121 (complete with his own “jazz cuisine” restaurant).

Well it’s 2008, and after getting back together to jam with Rihanna at the Grammys earlier this year, the boys are ready for more. Starting last Tuesday, and running through August 2nd, the “classic” Time lineup (sorry, St. Paul Peterson) will be performing a series of shows at the Flamingo Hotel/Casino in Vegas.  We’re talkin’ Morris Day, his sidekick Jerome Benton, Jesse Johnson, über-producers Jimmy Jam & Terry Lewis, Monte Moir, and Jellybean Johnson.

Check out this AP article for an interview with the boys. Might be worth a weekend getaway this summer. Who can babysit?

Running to Aceyalone: Sound Gun

I’m finally in the routine of running again. My single favorite part about running is getting to focus on the quality tunes blasting through my iPod, powering me through those 30 minutes on the treadmill (hey, it’s 105+ out there, gotta go with the treadmill).

Nice moment today, courtesy of this tune from Aceyalone’s great album, Lightning Strikes. Do check it out. And add it to your playlist, just like I added it to my special “Run Motherf**er Run” playlist. Hop to it!

AceyaloneSound Gun (mp3)

Buy: Lightning Strikes

Prince continues to make friends, says “No Way, Norway!”

Our purple friend is at it again. This time, his sights are set on Norway’s C+C Records, who organized a tribute box set made up of 50 artists doing covers of Prince tunes. Tip # 1, C+C Records: next time, don’t contact Prince’s people to try to send him a free copy. Odds are he won’t say “Thanks.”….

In a rare defense of the purple one, how wise is it really to put together a box set of Prince tunes without making any legal arrangements at all? Even if you are giving it away for free?

Eliot at Wired’s Listening Post blog has the story:

Fifty artists who recorded Prince covers in honor of his purpleness’s 50th birthday on June 7 have been slapped with a lawsuit by the short-tempered star, whose lawyers demand that all copies of the tribute, which had reached number eight on Norway’s album charts and received several popular reviews by the Norwegian press, be destroyed.

It’s perfectly legal to record and sell cover songs of someone else’s material, so long as you pay the compulsory licensing fee of about ten cents per song. To sell their five-disc set of 81 Prince cover songs, they would have to remit around $8 per unit sold to Prince under a compulsory mechanical license.

However, Norway’s C+C Records distributed 5,000 of the box sets for free earlier this month, and claim that no one made any money from the giveaway. As a result, they didn’t think they owed Prince anything except maybe a free copy.

C+C Records owner and Prince fan Christer Falck contacted the purple one’s people to try to send one to Prince, and that’s when the trouble began [bold text by Ickmusic], according to the Norwegian newspaper Dagbladet (now offline, via Daily Swarm), one of many publications to post positive reviews of the collection.

For now, all 81 songs can be previewed for free on C+C Records‘ website, and some are also available on MySpace in streamable medley form.

When this giveaway first began, there were 5,000 copies of this compilation in circulation. Thanks to Prince’s lawsuit and the publicity it will generate, we expect that number to balloon significantly in the coming weeks.

Review: George Michael in Phoenix, June 22

You know what’s entertaining to me? The looks I got from people over the last couple of months – some of them close friends of mine – when they found out I was going to see George Michael in concert. Say what you will friends, but like a lot of people, George’s music has been a part of my life for over 20 years.

Thinking back, I was never a huge fan of the Wham! stuff. It wasn’t until 1987, when George released Faith, that I would call myself a fan. Four words reeled me in: I – Want – Your – Sex.

Insert Expletive Here

By blogging standards, it has been a shitty 24 hours. My site was suspended last night by the copyright police for having Duffy’s “Warwick Avenue” on my server. So, I was asked to remove that, and all other copyrighted material in order to get the site back up & running. Alright, done.

Now, I just spent the last hour writing up my review of George Michael’s excellent show in Phoenix last night, and I fat fingered a key and closed the browser tab I was working in. It usually auto-saves, but guess what? – it decided not to auto-save tonight. So fuck it, I’m going to bed. Eat it, internet age…

Ickmusic’s Friday Five: June 20, 2008

Double the Pleasure, Double the Shuffle.

Tomorrow is officially the first day of summer, the longest day of the year, but today it’s time to sit back, relax and enjoy a fine slice of Friday Five! Last week I let the Junior Pantherz take over in the kitchen, but I’m back this week to take the reigns. The Fivers have been representing in droves and as always I’m amazed at the range of music that appears in the comments. We must be doing something right here at Ickmusic to get such a diverse crowd together. For those who have not played along yet here’s the scoop, open up whatever provides you with tunes and hit the shuffle button and let the music take you where it will and if you feel so inclined share the results with the rest of the musical voyeurs in the comments section.

Here are this week’s tracks:

1. John Travolta – Greased Lightnin’ (single version) (from Grease – The Original Soundtrack From the Motion Picture)

Seriously, vividly remember being a kid running around singing “You that no shit, we’ll be getting lots of tit” and “I ain’t bragging she’s a real pussy wagon” and no one batting an eye.

2. Jellyfish – The Man I Used to Be (from Bellybutton)

They may have only released two records, but I’ll be damned if they were not two of the best slices of power pop to come out in the early 90’s. While I prefer Spilt Milk to Bellybutton, this is just a matter of splitting hairs. If you’ve not ever experienced Jellyfish I cannot recommend doing so enough. Sure they dressed as if they were stuck in the cover of Sgt. Peppers Lonely Hearts Club Band and sound like an amalgam of The Beatles and Queen, but since when is that a bad thing?

3. Dave Matthews Band – Lie in Our Graves (from Warehouse 8, Volume 3)

This reminds me that I need to write up my review of last weeks show! This is a great version from the ’95 tour with a stellar sax solo from Leroi Moore. As much flack as these guys can sometimes take (which I’ve never understood) for being ‘frat guy’ rock they really are an amazing group of musicians who’ve managed to make a living doing what they love and compromising very little (except maybe for every summer vacation for the last 15 years).

4. Toto – Rosanna (from Super Hits)

This song is the only good thing that any Arquette has ever contributed to this world.

5. Counting Crows – Colorblind (from This Desert Life)

Well this is no way to end an otherwise upbeat Friday Five. Not to say that this is not a brilliant song. I’ve always been a huge fan of Adam Duritz‘s more intimate moments.

(Just as an aside, the very next tune to pop up on the shuffle was “Delicious” by Catherine Wheel, now that’s the proper kick off into the weekend!!)

So what’s kicking off your summer?

Two from Rickie Lee

Howard Stern had a great interview this morning with Carly Simon. Howard drilled down into her icy relationship with ex-husband James Taylor. Their mutual son – Ben Taylor – was in the studio as well, which made for an interesting dynamic. Long story short, Howard and Ben are joining forces to talk some sense into JT and at least get the former couple talking again. Howard is a great shrink, I’m telling ya.

Hearing Carly Simon made me think of Rickie Lee Jones. Natural progression, right? I don’t know why, but I just associate one loosely with the other. Now let’s go back 15 years, shall we? I have exactly one Rickie Lee Jones album: Traffic From Paradise. It was her last record with Geffen, released in 1993. There’s some wonderful collaborations on the album with the likes of Leo Kottke, Brian Setzer, David Baerwald and Ickmusic hall of famer David Hidalgo. Kottke especially pervades the album, playing 6-string, 12-string, and slide acoustic guitar. Master of the session drummers (and drummer for the Traveling Wilburys) Jim Keltner pounds the skins.

Two songs stand out on the album for me. The first is the crushingly beautiful “Beat Angels”. The background vocalists you hear are Hidalgo, Setzer, and Syd Straw. Hidalgo is also on eight string electric guitar.

The second track is the Jones/Kottke-penned “Running From Mercy”. Providing backing vocals here are Lyle Lovett, Kottke, Teresa Tudury, Sal Bernardi, and John Leftwich. Another one that reaches down into the soul…

Traffic from Paradise (click to check it out)

Rickie is still going strong. Check out her tour dates along the East Coast this June and July, and check out her latest, The Sermon on Exposition Blvd.


Levi Goes *Pop*

I was recently implored to check out Pop Levi, whose music was described to me as “Bowie meets Prince.” Ummm…sign me up!

Only a year after his first full length, The Return to Form Black Magick Party, Liverpool’s own Levi Pop is set to release a follow up this summer, titled Never Never Love. Surprisingly, the Bowie meets Prince descriptor is somewhat accurate, although there’s a good helping of electro pop thrown in as well. It also reminded me a bit of what I’ve heard from Alan Wilkis.

I’ve listened to the album a few times now, and continue to enjoy it more with each listen, particularly the dance-oriented tracks. Here are two of my favorites:

Pop Levi – “Wannamama”

And the video for the title track, Never Never Love:

Never Never Love is slated for a July 15 release, but it appears that it will only be available as an import for now. But keep an eye out – I’m sure a US release (digital or physical) will follow.

Levi Pop (MySpace)

Set List: Tom Waits at the Orpheum Theater, June 17

Because I’m super geeky about this kind of stuff, here’s the set list from tonight’s Tom Waits show at the Orpheum Theater in Phoenix. The first on his Glitter and Doom Tour, and my very first Waits experience. Much more to come in a future post, but wanted to pass along the set list…

Doesn’t get much better than a 8th row seat to a Tom Waits show…

Tom Waits
The Orpheum Theater, Phoenix, Ariz.
June 17th, 2008

* This was the set list as I took it down that night. Any corrections? Hit me in the comments…

Lucinda / Ain’t Goin’ Down to the Well
Hoist That Rag
Come On Up to the House
Jesus Gonna Be Here
Black Market Baby
Rain Dogs
Trampled Rose
Goin’ Out West
Murder in the Red Barn
Anywhere I Lay My Head
Cemetery Polka
Get Behind the Mule
Eyeball Kid
Christmas Card From A Hooker In Minneapolis [TW on piano]
Picture in a Frame [TW on piano]
Invitation to the Blues [TW on piano]
Innocent When You Dream [TW on piano]
Lie To Me
Chocolate Jesus
Make It Rain

Way Down in the Hole
God’s Away On Business

Tom Leaves the stage (click for a larger image). Not too bad for iPhone pics.