maandag 19 juli 2010

Jerry Miller Band

Jerry Miller Band

Jerry Miller is an American musician who has accomplished a great deal since his birth in 1943. As well as being an extremely accomplished guitarist, he sings and has written many songs. Some of these tracks have been for his own solo career, others for either The Jerry Miller Band or Moby Grape which is a band founded in San Francisco the 1960s. Jerry Miller was the lead guitarist, although it was not uncommon for the two other guitarists to also step up and take the lead.

The Jerry Miller band is still very active today with Jerry at the helm, Darin Williams on drums, Kim Workman on Bass and Tom Murphy. There have been many different accomplished musicians that have played with the band over the years.

Through his career Jerry Miller has played with some of the worlds musical great including Eric Clapton and Jimi Hendrix, to name a few. Clapton had said that Miller was the best guitar player in the world. A lifetime of musical memorabilia that belonged to Miller was lost when his house was flooded, this included recordings with Hendrix and also some with Robert plant from the great Led Zeppelin.

zondag 18 juli 2010

Album: Loudon Wainwright III, 10 Songs for the New Depression

Wainwright goes back to his roots. That's all folk!
Reviewed by Simmy Richman
Sunday, 18 July 2010

At a time when anyone playing Coldplay-esque songs on acoustic guitars is labelled "nu folk", it's worth reminding ourselves of the purpose of the genre.

And who better to do this than the original "new Bob Dylan" – although these days Loudon Wainwright III sounds more like the old Bob Dylan than the new Bob Dylan does. Try to keep up.
The problem, of course, is that as soon as you start bandying about phrases such as "the purpose of folk", you run the risk of sounding like that bloke who called Dylan "Judas" for daring to push the envelope. Point is, the times have now a'changed to such a degree that it's nice to hear one of the originals of the 1960s folk scene get back to the idea of making an album that simply and effectively addresses the issues of the day.
10 Songs for the New Depression clocks in at around 30 minutes. In that short space of time (he has never needed more than a couple of minutes to make his point: see "Tonya's Twirls" for proof), Wainwright can make you laugh, nod in agreement, shake your fist in despair and want to sing along to a set of songs as focused as last year's Charlie Poole Project, although clearly written at pace.
"What in God's name is going on?/ All I can do is play this song" he sings on opener "Times is Hard", setting the tone for an album that offers no answers, only songs.

Accompanying himself on guitar, banjo or ukulele, that focus of subject matter finds Wainwright in better lyrical form than he has been in for some time. The songs are funny and sad because they are true. And if anyone is left in any doubt, the sleevenotes add a personal touch. The accompanying text to "House" – about a couple forced to stay together because they can't sell their home – for instance, sees Wainwright admitting he's "remained relatively unscathed by the New Depression though I do own a home in Southern California that I am unable to sell at present". The state of his current marriage he neglects to mention.
Obama, New York Times columnist Paul Krugman and Alan Greenspan all get mentions and, even if nothing else about folk music grabs you, you have to admire LWIII's honesty and humour throughout.

vrijdag 16 juli 2010

Loudon Wainwright - Ann Arbor 15 juli 2010

Prachtig. Geniet ervan:

Rufus Wainwright

Rufus Wainwright in Prospect Park (win tix)

Dedicated to his art as he was, Monet famously painted his wife as she lay dying. I ask [Rufus] Wainwright if, as his mother was dying, he found himself standing back and thinking 'I must tap into this intensely emotional experience creatively'?

'I guess so. I think my mother more than anyone knew the importance of inspiration. If it was occurring, you had to use it. I felt blessed that I was able to be with her in the final month.

'She very much led the way for all of us and it was a lesson in grace and nobility. It's funny because, on the one hand, she didn't really want to hear me practising my new album, because it was making her sad [the album is an elegy to his dying mother].

'She knew she wouldn't be around when I was touring it. It was like: "This is the album he's going to be performing when I'm dead." So she very gently asked me not to play so much.' It is a touching comment: a son's desire to win his dying mother's approval coupled with an endearing lack of self-awareness. [Telegraph]

Rufus Wainwright's July 20th headlining show at the Prospect Park Bandshell is now being billed as "A Family Affair", as Rufus's dad Loudon was added to the bill in June (also don't forget, "This special performance will include a selection of songs from the Judy Garland show performed with piano accompaniment."). Tickets are still on sale for the Brooklyn show and I have a couple of pairs to give away. Details on winning those, with updated Rufus dates, below...

zondag 4 juli 2010

Rocky Erickson

"As one of the original purveyors of garage punk and psychedelic rock, Roky Erickson's status as a true innovator of his generation is already set in stone. As a founder member and main songwriter with The 13th Floor Elevators, his creative zenith may have taken place over four decades ago but the three studio albums bearing the Elevators' name still stands the test of time today."


As one of the original purveyors of garage punk and psychedelic rock, Roky Erickson's status as a true innovator of his generation is already set in stone. As a founder member and main songwriter with The 13th Floor Elevators, his creative zenith may have taken place over four decades ago but the three studio albums bearing the Elevators' name still stands the test of time today.

Indeed, listening back to the likes of 'Slip Inside This House' from 1967's Easter Everywhere (covered by Primal Scream on their Screamadelica opus, though not featured here) and 'Roller Coaster' from its predecessor The Psychedelic Sounds Of The 13th Floor Elevators - likewise re-interpreted by Spacemen 3 on their 1986 debut Sound Of Confusion, it's hard to envisage either of those bands or many others that formed in their wake existing without the influence of Erickson and the Elevators.

Whether by coincidence or otherwise, Erickson's first new material in over a decade has also arrived this month, the Okkervil River accompanying True Love Cast Out All Evil having already received a highly favourable 9/10 on these very pages. Here, the excellent Sonic Cathedral imprint has pulled together an impressive array of artists obviously in awe of Erickson's work to create a startling tribute that collects 13 interpretations of his most feted achievements both with the Elevators and beyond.

The opening 'Roller Coaster', a live performance featuring Erickson himself on guest vocals with The Black Angels ably sets the scene. Although over half of this album is culled from The Psychedelic Sounds... era, very few versions stick to the template of the original recordings. A Place To Bury Strangers turn 'Tried To Hide' into a death disco noisefest while All The Saints' opulent take on 'Don't Fall Down' and Sarabeth Tucek's dreamy vocal throughout 'Splash 1 (Now I'm Home)' gracefully re-evaluate the original songs rather than simply pay homage. Likewise Lower Heaven's 'Fire Engine' and Hush Arbors' 'Dr Doom' (from 1969's Bull Of The Woods) both typify the boisterous spirit of the Elevators whilst taking on a mantle of their own.

It's the introduction of the big guns towards the album's final third though that really set pulses racing. Cheval Sombre's take on 'You Don't Love Me Yet' and Le Volume Courbe's reading of 'I Love The Living You', featuring contributions from Sonic Boom and Kevin Shields respectively, both illustrate the formidable aspects of Erickson's largely underrated solo work. Couple these with Black Acid's (aka Richard Fearless and friends) nine-minute excursion through 'Unforced Peace' and the closing I Break Horses bringing things back into 2010 with their interpretation of recent single 'Goodbye Sweet Dreams' and you're left looking at one of this year's most inspired compilations thus far, that acts not just as a fitting tribute to Roky Erickson, but also a dazzling showcase of the legacy his music has spawned ever since