My favorite Cleveland band, mr. Gnome, have premiered their DIY video for “House of Circles” on NPR’s All Songs Considered blog. The song is rad, and the video is a tribute to the multiple talents of this band. West African musician Bombino is raising funds to build a community rehearsal space in Niamey, Niger. As the fundraising page states, “Following the end of the Second Tuareg Rebellion in 2008 (during which guitars were banned) the music scene in Niger has been blossoming. However, in Niamey fully equipped rehearsal spaces are virtually non-existent and certainly not accessible to most musicians and would-be young musicians.” The Elbo Room in San Francisco, California, will be hosting a Norton Records benefit concert on December 16. As many of you know, Norton’s warehouse was hit hard by Sandy and many rare recordings have been endangered. Stupefaction has a very worthy John Lurie two-fer: First, a full concert from Lurie’s wonderful “fake jazz” band the Lounge Lizards, recorded in Berlin, Germany, in 1991. Then, a playlist of Lurie’s top 20 songs. Steve Kilbey, most famously of Australian band the Church, has been guest editing Magnet Magazine. He’s covered everything from One Direction to the Gormenghast … Continue reading
Blues piano great Pinetop Perkins has passed away at the age of 97. Perkins played with Robert Nighthawk, Earl Hooker, Muddy Waters, was the oldest Grammy winner and toured until the end. The Dead Milkmen have released their first album of new material in 16 years. You can listen to song samples and download The King in Yellow at their website. Arthur is dead, long live Arthur. While music and culture mag Arthur has gone on “indefinite hiatus”, they have begun archiving their back issues online. While it’s a work-in-progress, there’s already a lot to dive into. The Twilight Singers will be hitting up Letterman on April 26. Even though Couch by Couch West is over, one of the advantages it has over SXSW is that you can still experience all the music – and see the hipper-than-humans dog and cat contingent – on the CXCW Tumblr. And you should. Great performances from Conrad Plymouth, Doc Dailey, Tim Lee 3, Two Cow Garage, The Imperial Rooster, Neko Case (that’s right – Neko Case. In bed. You didn’t get that at South By) and so many more talented folks. Can’t wait to do it again next year.
Craig Wedren Given my long-standing love for Greg Dulli (generally referred to in my world by his proper name: Greg fucking Dulli), it was a given that I would jump on tickets to this special acoustic show, Dulli’s first solo tour. When it was announced that Craig Wedren of Shudder to Think would be opening, my eyes nearly rolled back in my head. In the later 1990s, before bands began breaking up and band members died, my holy triumvirate of music was topped by the Afghan Whigs with Morphine and Shudder to Think anchoring the other corners. I was fortunate enough to see each of these bands play before tides turned, and I cherish the memory of those shows. To be able to check in with the frontmen of two of those bands in one night was a special treat. Wedren looked exactly as I remembered seeing him back in 1997 when Shudder to Think toured in support of 50,000 B.C.: fresh, lean and handsome with a spectacular smile and a sparkle in his eye. Mixing his solo and film work (including a song from his project Baby) with a few Shudder to Think favorites – like the ubiquitous “Red … Continue reading
I find myself drawn to the music of Ohio artists. It could be some innate loyalty to or a sharing of basic ideas with my fellow Ohioans. Or it could be that Ohio turns out more excellent music per capita than the rest of the world. I may be biased, but I’m going with option B. Die, Sloopy, Die is a tribute to great Ohio bands of the past and present. The name is an anti-tribute to our official state rock song “Hang On, Sloopy” by the McCoys because, while it is awesome that we were the first state to declare an official state rock song (and, so far, we are one of only two states to do so, Oklahoma having declared the Flaming Lips’ “Do You Realize??” their official state song), we chose one of the lamest songs it was possible for us to choose. The Afghan Whigs “Ladies, let me tell you about myself…” The facts: The Afghan Whigs formed in Cincinnati, Ohio, in 1986 with Greg Dulli on vocals/guitar, Rick McCollum on guitar, John Curley on bass and Steve Earle (no, not that Steve Earle) on drums. They were the first band not from the American northwest … Continue reading
The big freaking news for me personally this week is Greg fucking Dulli’s (in my world, this is his actual, legal name) first solo tour. “An Evening with Greg Dulli” will be making the rounds in the U.S. and Europe in October and November. Afghan Whigs songs are promised, as are brand new Twilight Singers tunes. The Alan Lomax Archive now has a YouTube Channel with footage of R.L. Burnside, Sam Chatmon and more. Our friends at Buddyhead have a new Grinderman song for you, “Heathen Child”, along with the scary and possibly not-safe-for-work cover art. The charming Futurebirds release Hampton Lullaby today, and you can take a listen at Spinner. Bonnie “Prince” Billy and Cheyenne Mize have released a sweet and mellow EP of covers called Among the Gold. You can listen here and download here.
Moving forward in time for this edition of Rebirth of the Cool, our origin song of the day is “Wolf Like Me” by the incredible TV on the Radio. This was one of the first TVOTR songs I heard (along with “Providence” and “Dry Drunk Emperor”) when a savvy friend recommended them to me back in 2007. It was love at first listen. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=apAqPlcQVqo] (Sidenote: Kudos to Jimmy Kimmel for bringing the feel of an intimate concert hall into the studio, thus encouraging better performances.) Local H – whose cover of Britney Spears’ “Toxic” helps me feel less guilty about liking that song – took a crack at “Wolf”. They imbue the song with their characteristic immediacy and bring the emotional center of the song from the hips up to the chest. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3aBl3bnRv3g] Then along came Dulli. Greg Dulli has long been a purveyor of fascinating, gorgeous, twisted covers, from Paul K. and the Weathermen’s “Amphetamines and Coffee” to “The Temple” from Jesus Christ Superstar to Al Green’s “Beware” to Prince’s “When Doves Cry” to all sorts of others in between. His take, with the Twilight Singers, of “Wolf” strips it down to its raw core. [youtube=http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=pZq-8Tiiey4]