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Monthly Archives: August 2007

LSU 45, Mississippi State 0

Winning, Santana

 
4 Comments

Posted by on August 31, 2007 in lsu, lsu football, lsu stadium

 

DA DA DAAAAA DA…..

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It’s here!!! College Football. SEC Football. LSU Football.

We are huge, and I mean huge, College football fans and particularly for the Fightin’ Tigers of LSU! Tonight, LSU takes on Mississippi State in Starkville, MS for the annual Hall of Fame Game on ESPN to kick off the 2007-2008 season. My Tigers are currently ranked #2 in the nation and we’ve got really high hopes for a memorable season.

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LSU has many great traditions including a live Bengal Tiger mascot. Last year, our beloved Mike V passed away at the age of 17. It was announced on Sunday that Mike VI has arrived at the 15,000 square foot, $3 million dollar, air-conditioned Tiger Lair from a non-profit animal rescue in Indiana. While Mike the Tiger has been a formidable symbol for LSU, the Tigers actually got their name from the name of a couple of Confederate Army units, hence “The Fightin’ Tigers”.

Like food and alcohol, music plays a large part in LSU fandom. LSU music invokes pride, competitive fire and that certain joie de vivre. During the world class party that is LSU tailgating, the sounds of cajun, zydeco, country and classic rock can be heard throughout the campus. But, the best music and one of the most intense of game day traditions is the entrance of the Golden Band from Tiger Land coming over the hill next to the stadium, stirring the crowd to fever pitch emotion with the LSU Rally Cry:

Gives me goosebumps…..Hold that Tiger is used to whip the crowd (who’ve been tailgaiting for two days) into a frenzy and it accomplishes that task each time. It is repeated right before the game starts when the band takes the field to play the national anthem and usher in the Tigers. They turn and face each corner of the stadium, invoking cheers from each section. It is LOUD and it is PROUD.

There are many songs played by the band and accompanied by the crowd, during the game. Hey Fightin’ Tiger is a staple:

Of course, everybody sings along. One of my particular favorites is Hey Baby:

The student section, in particular, like Neck:

But perhaps the most fun with the band comes on each first down, defensive stand and touchdown. The crowd, nor the band, ever miss a beat.

First Down – Geaux Tigers!!

There are several others, like the Chinese Bandits Anthem, played after a 3rd down defensive stop, and of course the world famous Tiger Rag.

I. AM. SOOOOOOOOOOOOOO. FIRED. UP.

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DA DA DAAAAAA DA
GEAUX TIGERS!!!

 
10 Comments

Posted by on August 29, 2007 in lsu

 

Radio Nowhere

ETA:  Lefsetz redeems…I love this guy.  Hell yeah, music should be FREE!

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The Boss is back….with the E Train Band.  And today only, a track from his CD scheduled for release October 2nd is FREE for downloading from iTunes and here.

Thanks to Bob Lefsetz for the heads up on this one.  Seems that Bruce is trying to make a statement?

Radio Nowhere

I was trying to find my way home,
But all I heard was a drone.
Bouncin’ off a satellite
Crushing the last long American night.
This is radio nowhere.
Is there anybody alive out there?
This is radio nowhere.
Is there anybody alive out there?
I was sitting around a dirt dial
Just another lost number in a file.
Been in some kinda dark cove
Just searching for a world with some soul.

This is radio nowhere.
Is there anybody alive out there?
This is radio nowhere.
Is there anybody alive out there?
Is there anybody alive out there?

I just want to hear some rhythm.
I just want to hear some rhythm
I just want to hear some rhythm.
I just want to hear some rhythm.

I want a thousand guitars.
I want pounding drums.
I want a million different voices speaking in tongues.

This is radio nowhere.
Is there anybody alive out there?
This is radio nowhere.
Is there anybody alive out there?
Is there anybody alive out there?

(Sax solo)

I was driving thru the misty rain
Yeah, searching for a mystery train.
Bopping thru the wild blue
Trying to make a connection with you.

This is radio nowhere.
Is there anybody alive out there?
This is radio nowhere.
Is there anybody alive out there?
Is there anybody alive out there?

I just want to hear some rhythm (you swoon.)
I just want to hear some rhythm (you swoon.)
I just want to hear you swoon.
I just want to hear you swoon.
I just want to hear you swoon.
I just want to hear you swoon.
I just want to hear you swoon.
I just want to hear you swoon.

http://www.brucespringsteen.net/

 
14 Comments

Posted by on August 28, 2007 in music, Music Today, Springsteen

 

The Eagles….”How Long” has it been?

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Ahhh, yes. The Eagles. Good times. Good times.

I came of age with Take it to the Limit, Desparado, Hotel California, Take it Easy and so many of the great Eagles’ hits of the mid to late ’70s. I adored the wonders of The Long Run album (The Greeks Don’t Want No Freaks was a sort of personal anthem back in the day) and was even mildly interested when the came back together for Hell Freezes Over.

Admittedly, it’s been a while since I had the pleasure of enjoying Don, Joe, Glen and Tim with the exception of my Ultimate Class Rock playlist on my iPod. However, help is on the way….At a June concert, Don Henley announced a new CD that will be coming out this October. Then, a few days ago, they released the single How Long.

Here it is:

How Long, The Eagles

Now, Lefsetz has some pretty harsh criticism of the fact that this song was originally done by J.D. Souther in 1972. Never the subtle one, Bob laments the fact that this is a 35 year old cover. However, The Eagles publicist, Larry Solters, vehemently disagrees with Lefsetz’s assessment. While I generally am in total alignment with ole Bob, I have to go with Larry on this one. Larry’s basic point is that this song is actually exactly what Bob has been lamenting is missing — a good, solid song PERFORMED by musicians (who are certainly proven).

You can’t talk out of both sides of your mouth, Bob.  I respect what Larry says about the song being “performing” music and the lack of reliance on supped-up editing. After all, that is Lefsetz’s rally cry. Perhaps Bob just genuinely dislikes the song itself, and that’s ok, but sometimes he just might miss the mark of the intention and intelligence of an artist or group.  I think he got a little carried away with the fact that the first song (of 20 scheduled for the CD) is “cover”.  Forget that nobody actually knows that and the general public will only know that it’s a pretty good song from a band that’s in their fourth decade of solid music making.

Damn, those heroes fall hard.

As for my personal assessment of How Long??  Maybe I’m still in The Wilburys frame of mind, but this old, new song bears striking resemblance to that “sound”. It looks like they’re having a great time and it will fit nicely in my library — under REAL MUSIC.

BTW, here’s the website: http://www.eaglesband.com/

 
9 Comments

Posted by on August 27, 2007 in classic rock, Music Today

 

Sweet Harmony…a la Colette

Colette has another thoughtful submission on one of my favorite musical subjects….HARMONY.

har·mo·ny[hahr-muh-nee]: Music. the simultaneous combination of tones, esp. when blended into chords pleasing to the ear; chordal structure, as distinguished from melody and rhythm. A/K/A “Modulation”.

I love the sweet sounds of harmony and one of my absolute favorites is Seven Bridges Road by The Eagles:

I particularly enjoy acapella harmony but still like the acoustic guitars, as well. I must also include this as one of the most moving harmonies I’ve heard.

I Shall Not Walk Alone, Ben Harper & the Blind Boys of Alabama

So utterly soothing…and there is a distinct difference between male harmonies, female harmonies and “mixed” harmonies. Colette gives us some wonderful thoughts on the former.

   

Recent scientific research suggests that basic elements of musical sound, especially harmony, can have a potent physiological effect on our brains.

Given how my own being responds to beautiful harmony, I don’t doubt that. Listening to beautiful vocal harmony, or singing harmony parts with others, are almost spiritual experiences for me. Not to get woo-woo, but there’s a lushness, a richness, a sonic purity about intricate vocal harmony that can be ecstatic. It’s also interesting how singers without outstanding solo voices, can sometimes harmonize gorgeously with others.

Vocal harmony has been central to sacred and folk music for eons, and in American pop music I’m realizing how prominent and essential it’s been also. So I began to search for the harmonized pop music that moves me most, and found some stunning examples from a boundless ocean of them.

I’ve sharing some in two sets. The women’s set will come sometime later. But following in Music Maven’s current jones for male pipes, I’m going to the guys first.

A lot of black pop harmonizers got their “ear training” directly from the church. So let’s start with one of the great 1950s male gospel groups, the Swanee Quintet, which added electric guitar and bluesy verve to their plush gospel harmonies:

“New Mood” — The Sewanee Quintet (1950s)

Harmonizing in unearthly glory with the equally great Soul Stirrers (Sam Cooke‘s an alum) in Bob Telson’s brilliant 1980s musical, “Gospel at Colonus” are the inimitable Blind Boys of Alabama. This fusion of black gospel and Greek myth, seen on Broadway and around the world, is thrilling even on DVD. Here Clarence Fountain & Blind Boys (white coats) are collectively playing the dying Oedipus, and the Soul Stirrers (in purple and orange) are King Creon. Talk about your singing matches:

“Stop, Do Not Go On” — Five Blind Boys of Alabama and the Soul Stirrers

The gospel sound fed right into the secular pop music of the 1950s, when many black doo-wop groups put out classic ’45s. I heard this one as a little kid, and it’s been with me ever since. That opening phrase –” dom, dom, dom/ dom-be-do-be…….” Legend has it, the adolescent Paul McCartney and John Lennon were singing this song together they first time they met. If it’s not true, it should be:

— “Come and Go With Me” — The Del Vikings

White harmony-fueled acts derived more from the bluegrass/rockabilly harmonic strain, of Buddy Holly et al, also burst forth in the 1950s — including those Kentucky princes of harmony, the Everly Brothers, Phil and Don. No question that they directly influenced the Beatles and many others.

Here’s the impossibly young Everly boys on Julius LaRosa’s TV show in the 1950s:

“Bye Bye Love” — The Everly Brothers (ages 18 and 20)

Slightly older, and more poised, on British TV singing two of their dreamy best:

— “All I Have to Do Is Dream” and “Cathy’s CLown”

Leaping ahead to the early 1960s, and building on the Everly sound, one of the greatest vocal bands ever: The Beach Boys. Teen genius Brian Wilson formed the group with brothers Carl and Dennis, cousin Mike Love and friend Al Jardine. They sang about a teen fantasy of the California Good Life: surfing, cars, and girls, girls, girls. But it’s those high, transporting harmonies that stay with you. Instead of conventional 1-3-5 chord structures, Brian experimented and innovated with different vocal layerings, and his own amazing falsetto. Good early live clips of the original Beach Boys (before Brian stopped performing live) are hard to come by — their lush sound was partly a studio creation, and without onstage monitors or decent amplification, their elecrified sound was tough to record outside the studio. But some great footage on youtube recently has made me a “little surfer girl” wannabe again.

My favorite BB hit, playing on an oldie radio station as I drove across the Golden Gate Bridge, the day I got my driver’s license! Dig the high riff from Brian in the finale:

— “Fun, Fun, Fun” — The Beach Boys

A classic BB ballad, lusciously harmonized:

— “Surfer Girl” — the Beach Boys

And another fave — they could rock it! (“Yeah, the bad guys know us/And they leave us alone”)…..

— “I Get Around” — the Beach Boys

The Beatles were very respectful of, and competitive with, the Beach Boys — and vice versa. They were also wildly inventive themselves in their harmonies — a big part of their magic. Think of “Paperback Writer,” “Nowhere Man,” the list goes on and on.

Once again, the Beatles as artists were way ahead of live concert recording technology. But here’s a good live example of the uniqueness of their harmonies. Consider how Paul & John slip in and out of singing the same melodic line, and then suddenly there’s a gaping blend that verges on dissonace. It’s just smashing:

— “Ticket to Ride” — The Beatles live

The boys (with a nod to the Everlys) harmonizing on “I’m a Loser” (OK, so I’m impartial to John, the greatest rock singer ever IMO):

— “I’m a Loser” — Beatles, live in Paris (bonus cut: George sings lead on “Everybody’s Trying to Be My Baby”)

The Beatles Anthology” showed the Beatles were a spectacular road band whose sound was cemented by years of gigs in the UK & Europe. (For the best live audio recordings, get “Beatles at the BBC”.) The mingling of their voices was wondrous to the end, in this cut from “Let It Be,” from an impromptu concert on the London rooftop. The Beatles didn’t knpw it would be their last performance as a foursome — they were still talking about touring again. Ah, what might have been!

— “Don’t Let Me Down” — The Beatles

Flipping back to California, the folk-rock wave of the ’60s and ’70s brought more harmony. The pioneers in this idiom were the Byrds, and the fantastic, fleeting Buffalo Springfield. If the latter didn’t last long, their members had after-lives in great spin-off bands: Poco, Loggins & Messina, Neil Young‘s various groups and of course, Crosby, Stills & Nash. Her’es a very rare live TV clip of a classic Buffalo Springfield song, inspired by Janis Joplin. Wow, do they look young and sound great, especially Stephen Stills:

— “Rock ‘n Roll Woman” — Buffalo Springfield on “The Flip Wilson Show”

From the ashes of Buffalo Springfield rose the Eagles, the LA ’70s super-group formed by sidemen for Linda Rondstadt. The Eagles weren’t favorites of mine in their heyday, probably because their gazillion hits were so popular you couldn’t escape them. Also, what San Francisco rock freak would admit LA bands could be as good or better than our’s? OK, I was wrong! The Eagles wrote fabulous songs, and are still consistently excellent musicians and harmonizers. From a 1973 BBC appearance, intro’d with some a capella harmonizing:

— “Take It Easy” — The Eagles

A couple decades later, from a reunion tour (they’re putting out a new studio album this fall) — Glen Frye on lead (man, has he aged well!), Don Henley, Joe Walsh and the guys:

— “Tequila Sunrise” — The Eagles

So where do we go from there? Briefly back into the lineage African American harmonizers. On the a capella front, the terrific and still-touring Persuasions are role models for a lot of younger groups — here are Jerry Lawson and the fellas on a funky 1970s cover of (yeah!) the Everlys:

— “All I Have to Do Is Dream” — The Persuasions

After The Persuasions came some dynamic inheritors of the tradition, including the late and much-missed 14 Karat Soul:

Sesame Street tune, 14 Karat Soul

Still active are the successful Boyz 2 Men and others, but I prefer Take 6 for the originality of their modulating vocal arrangements and depth of their musicianship. I love what they do with this soulful Bill Withers classic:

— “Grandma’s Hands” — Take 6

Let’s close with a white boy band I’m learning to love belatedly — their first mega-hit live, and bringing it all back home with a Beach Boy classic (I posted this earlier, but it deserves an encore in this context). Those Backstreet Boys can really sing harmony! If only they had a Brian Wilson writing all their material they’d really soar….

“I Want It That Way” — Backstreet Boys live

– “When I Grow Up to Be a Man” — Backstreet Boys (at a tribute to Brian Wilson)

 
3 Comments

Posted by on August 25, 2007 in dudes, music

 

R.I.P. Rosie

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“Rosie”

2006-2007

Just a small tribute to a sweet little friend who succumbed to injuries from a tragic accident.


Mamas And The Papas – Spanish Harlem

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 25, 2007 in that's life

 

The Right Place, The Right Time…

Welcome Back to Alabama, Taylor! Hope Dothan was good to ya!

I just don’t get tired of this song. Here’s to finding the “right” place….

 
6 Comments

Posted by on August 23, 2007 in Soul, Taylor, taylor hicks

 

“Been workin’, so hard….”

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Footloose

 

Monumental day. Today, I made the whole day in “regular” shoes and only one crutch…even made some of the day without a crutch at all. You see, yesterday was nine weeks that I took that fated fall that broke my leg. I am making good progress and have been diligently working at therapy three days each week to shuck my “boot” and begin the trek back to normalcy.

 

So, in tribute to two shoes, here’s the classic Footloose, immortalized by the incomparable Kevin Bacon. While I’m not quite back to stepping as lively as the Beaumont contingent, I’m well on my way….

 

 

 
10 Comments

Posted by on August 22, 2007 in that's life

 

Thy Wilbury Done

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Volume 1.

  1. “Handle with Care” – 3:20
  2. “Dirty World” – 3:30
  3. “Rattled” – 3:00
  4. “Last Night” – 3:48
  5. “Not Alone Any More” – 3:24
  6. “Congratulations” – 3:30
  7. “Heading for the Light” – 3:37
  8. “Margarita” – 3:15
  9. “Tweeter and the Monkey Man” – 5:30
  10. “End of the Line” – 3:30

Volume II.

  1. “She’s My Baby” – 3:14
  2. “Inside Out” – 3:36
  3. “If You Belonged To Me” – 3:13
  4. “The Devil’s Been Busy” – 3:18
  5. “7 Deadly Sins” – 3:18
  6. “Poor House” – 3:17
  7. “Where Were You Last Night?” – 3:03
  8. “Cool Dry Place” – 3:37
  9. “New Blue Moon” – 3:21
  10. “You Took My Breath Away” – 3:18
  11. “Wilbury Twist” – 2:56

In June, Rhino Records released the complete recordings of The Traveling Wilburys, complete with bonus tracks, video footage and both wonderful volumes that the Wilburys put out these 15 odd years ago. For $30 ($19.99 on iTunes), you can own the basic set or $45 gets you a nice, bound linen bound edition complete with a 40-page book outlining TTW “experience”.

 

The beauty of The Traveling Wilburys was the total spontaneity of its creation. Back in 1988, George Harrison of Beatles fame was working on his album, Cloud Nine, with co-writer and producer, Jeff Lynne of E.L.O. They had been working on this album for 5 years and were finishing up the album. Warner Bros. asked for a B-side to accompany George’s This is Love single and wanted it quickly. George decided to write a new song with Lynne’s help but, as the story goes, his guitar was at Tom Petty’s house. Jeff Lynne had also been working with Tom Petty and they invited Petty to come along for the ride and assist on the song. Lynne had also been putting off his work on Roy Orbison’s new album, so he and George took Roy to lunch where they discussed “doing” the new song with Petty. Orbison then volunteered to sing on the new track. Since they needed a studio in such a short time, George called up his buddy, Bob Dylan to see if they could use his garage studio. Dylan obliged and ended up sitting in with the motley crew. They ended up sitting around picking guitars and wrote a catchy tune that they all liked and named it after a box in Dylan’s garage titled, Handle with Care.

The music and lyrics came so easy for this group and they all loved working together so much that Petty, Lynne, Harrison and Dylan agreed that they should try to complete an album. Only two “challenges”…Dylan was leaving in 10 days on tour and they needed to convince Roy Orbison. They drove up to Anaheim to Orbison’s concert and reportedly George Harrison got on his knees after the concert to recruit Oribson. He readily agreed.

Lynne and Harrison had been referring to the recording gremlins and glitches as Wilburys, referring to after recording editing of “we’ll bury them” in the mixing. They originally came up with Trembling Wilburys but the group decided that Traveling Wilburys was more catchy. They even made up a story about the Traveling Wilburys as nomadic minstrels who were all half brothers with the common father of Charlie T. Wilbury. The Traveling Wilburys comprised of:

Nelson (George Harrison)

Charlie T. Jr. (Tom Petty)

Lucky (Bob Dylan)

Otis (Jeff Lynne)

Lefty (Roy Orbison)

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They gathered in the kitchen of Dylan’s producer, Dave Stewart, because they really liked the atmosphere. Over the next week or so, the group collaborated on 12 songs — 10 that made the Volume 1 compilation and two that remained unfinished. For the recent re-release, George’s son, Dhani — known on the Wilbury records as Ayrton Wilbury (a nod to the Harrison’s love of Formula 1 racing) — completed his Dad’s work on Maxine and The Last Ship, 19 years after they were started.

Maxine

Amazingly, the process was filmed. So, you can see the fantastic creative supernova that was The Traveling Wilburys, directly from the mouths of Nelson, Charlie Jr., Otis, Lefty and Lucky.

History of the Traveling Wilburys, Part I.

History of the Traveling Wilburys, Part II.

History of the Traveling Wilburys, Part III.

Very illuminating about the wondrous creativity of these talented artists who jumped into the fire, wrote these songs AND recorded them in 10 days. Six weeks later, the album was complete and a remarkable part of music history. The Traveling Wilburys was vintage Rock & Roll with a new sound…or maybe it was the amalgamation of these bright pulsars coming together in a bright, shining moment that shone so brightly. Or perhaps it was the “compression” of the short timeframes and the unexpected death of Roy Orbison that ended up producing that wonderful diamond. Regardless, The Traveling Wilburys is one for the ages.

The Wilburys completed Volume 1 and filmed the awesome, previously referenced video of Handle with Care. They were a few days from filming End of the Line, when Roy Orbison passed away from a heart attack in early December, 1988. The video is sans Orbison but the Wilburys manage to include Roy by showing a guitar in a rocking chair as well as his portrait while his voice is heard on the recording. The song is a fitting end and tribute for the great Roy Orbison.

While the second volume was another great compilation, the lack of Orbison seemed to be hauntingly noticeable. The remarkable talent does shine through, however, through several wonderful tracks:

She’s My Baby

Inside Out

As if it weren’t hard enough to realize that Roy Orbison and George Harrison are gone to that big stage in the sky, this wonderful video of The Wilbury Twist features the great, John Candy:

Wilbury Twist

These particular artists were cornerstones of the music industry over several decades and those still living continue to be. Will there ever be another compilation to rival The Traveling Wilburys? It seems that today’s artists are more about their individual accomplishments to give their egos a rest and put a group like this together, you know, for the music.

However, if you were to wave a magic wand and bring artists together to create similar type group, who would it be? For me, my Wilburys would be:

Taylor Hicks, Harmonica & Guitar

James Taylor, Guitar

John Mayer, Guitar

Eric Clapton, Guitar

Van Morrison, Sax & Guitar

I know, I know….but a girl can dream.

 

 

 

 

 

 
14 Comments

Posted by on August 19, 2007 in Good Stuff, Influences, Music History

 

My Favorite Elvis

I guess it’s evident that I dig Elvis…..always. While I certainly enjoy all of Elvis’ traditional performances, I like quite a few that are “off the beaten path”. So, to wrap up the Music Maven Elvis Week, here are some of my more obscure Elvis favorites….

The previous post addresses the best Elvis ever of If I Can Dream, so I won’t subject you to it again. However, here are a few that rival that one:

Good Rockin’ Tonight

Kentucky Rain

Guitar Man

Rubberneckin’

Elvis’ background and early years were steeped in the Blues. Elvis was accepted across many genres, but Blues was a special home:

Mean Woman Blues

Hard Headed Woman

Steamroller Blues

Mess of Blues

Feels So Bad

Trouble

Jackie Wilson said about Elvis:

“A lot of people have accused Elvis of stealing the black man’s music, when in fact, almost every black solo entertainer copied his stage mannerisms from Elvis.”

Elvis felt very at home with all kinds of musics from all kinds of artists, but perhaps where he kun-NECK-ted the most was R&B of the day:

I Got A Woman

Lawdy, Lawdy Miss Clawdy

A Little Less Conversation

However, where Elvis shines above all is Gospel. Truly. It is so ingrained in him and so genuine when delivered, that he really is inspiring. Some of Elvis’ OUTSTANDING gospel tunes are:

You Gave Me a Mountain

Oh Happy Day

Take My Hand, Precious Lord


Crying in the Chapel

In the Garden

How Great Thou Art

Lastly, this is the bossest morph of Elvis from cradle to grave:

So again, The King is Dead…..Long Live the King.

 
9 Comments

Posted by on August 16, 2007 in Elvis, Music History

 
 
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