Thanks HypeMachine, Soundcloud and 3Hive

Sunday, September 14, 2014

Saturday, September 13, 2014

Zappa Plays Zappa...

How lucky we are to have the music of one of history's most ingenious and infamous musical artists available to us through the tireless efforts of his son, Dweezil.  I, of course,  am talking about the late, great Frank Zappa.  A pioneer in the truest sense of the word, Zappa developed ways in which music of all genres, from rock jazz and funk to electronic and orchestral could be written by his own hand and shared by himself and his bands. That was just how brilliant and prolific he was.  Oozing with musical talent and a penchant for dirty humor, satire and perfectionism, Frank Zappa also fought on the front lines against attempted censorship by the wretched Tipper Gore and The Parents Music Resource Center.  Their goals consisted mainly of slapping "Parental Advisory! Explicit Language" stickers on albums deemed unsavory for the virgin ears of our nations youth in the mid 80's.  

Sadly, at the age 53, he succumbed to Prostate Cancer in 1993.  Fortunately, he left behind a sizable portion of talent with his son Dweezil and volumes of music and projects which are readily available to fans old and new.  Dweezil Zappa, created a group dedicated to keeping the music and legend of his father alive by touring the world performing his shows comprised of Frank Zappa songs from all corners of his musical history.   Zappa Plays Zappa returned to The Lincoln Theater last night and, to no ones surprise, it was simply amazing.  Highlights included: "Zoot Allures", "Dirty Love", "Son of Suzy Cream Cheese", "Cosmik Debris", "Camarillo Brillo", "Montana" and, a personal favorite, "Dinah-Moe-Hum."

The Players:

Sheila Gonzalez - Saxophone, Flute, Keyboards, vocals
Dweezil Zappa - Guitar, Vocals,
Ben Thomas - Vocals
Chris Norton - Keyboards
Kurt Morgan -Bass
Ryan Brown-drums

Wednesday, September 10, 2014

Hopscotch 5

Hopscotch 5 has come and gone Leaving Raleigh's music-loving community blown away and hungry for more. Unfortunately, I was only able to catch Aaron Freeman ( formerly Gene Ween) with his new band, Freeman.  Without letting my undying love for Ween come pouring out all over the page, I will simply say that the new band, featuring Raleigh's Chris Boerner, is quite spectacular.   Now clean, sober and taking life by the balls, Aaron Freeman is talking his new found clarity to stage and studio with intensity and fervor, mixing songs of his rowdy past with Ween, songs by Ween and songs about his newly found sobriety.  Chris Boerner performed as if he'd written the songs himself and effortlessly shredded through each solo.  Everyone in attendance shared a communal feeling which, if it had appeared in thought bubble form, would have  read "this is fucking great". 

This is a Ween song called "The Grobe" from a show earlier this year:

Wednesday, August 27, 2014

The Grateful Dead @ Cameron Indoor Stadium, 4-12-78 / Leonard Cohen's new offering

Many fans of the Grateful dead, including myself, agree that the late nineteen seventies was an epic time for the band., both musically and experimentally.   This show from Durham in 1978 essentially proves that thought to be quite valid indeed.

Grateful Dead @ Cameron Indoor Stadium, Durham, NC 4-12-1978


I count myself as lucky for many many reasons.  One of which has to do with my father introducing  me  to the  darkness and brightness of Leonard Cohen.  Along with pop songs of the day, I could recite the lyrics to Cohen's "First We Take Manhattan",  "Everybody Knows" and plenty more. This, by the way, was at age 8,   Years later, I had the unique pleasure of seeing Leonard live at the DPAC and can say, most wholeheartedly, that the performance  was as close to a religious experience as I care to get.   Cohen is the consummate singer, poet, thinker, writer and performer, among other things.  His new offering, Popular Problems,  is set for release September 23.

"Famous Blue Raincoat"  

 "First we Take Manhattan, the we Take Berlin"

Monday, August 25, 2014

David Byrne on Jimmy Fallon

The always impressive and worldly David Byrne performs "Fantastic Man" by African singer  William Onyeabor

Hangry moments from Clickhole:  Cities Need Traffic Laws Recognizing Cyclists as the Most Important People in the World

America's finest news source, The Onion,:  God Knocked Unconscious by Direct TV Satellite!

Tuesday, August 19, 2014

Ptchdork doles out the top 100 records of 2014 so far / Something fresh from Athens' Futurebirds / Kimock

Pitchdork tells us the top 100 Best albums of the decade this far!

Real Estate's 2014 release, "Atlas", placed 86th.  These gentleman are on the proper trajectory heading straight to the sky.   They should have placed higher.  Oh well...

Something new from Athens, GA darlings, Futurebirds.


Excellent footage!  "Tongue and Groove"  from 2013


Sunday, August 17, 2014

Sunday Reading

If you are between the ages of twenty three and twenty eight and your folks are still kind enough to take you on vacations, use this handy article from ClickHole.   I would like to ad Montreal to this list.  About 8 years ago, my brother and I, sharing a brain as we so often do, simultaneously requested heading there with our sweet mother.   We soaked in the culture and a wonderful time was had by all.  No one was arrested or deported.

The Onion takes a look at the "Ice Bucket Challenge".  a massively popular fundraising tactic for ALS awareness.

That's right, folks!   Paul "Pig-Vomit" Giamattie, set to portray manager, Jerry Heller, in N.W.A Bio-pic, "Straight Outta Compton" (coming in 2015).     - Spin Magazine. 

Little Richard performing "Caledonia" when he was very...little.


Friday, August 15, 2014

TEARS OF A CLOWN? / Happy Friday

It's often said that the best comedic artists in the world draw their humor from darkness, pain, and sorrow.  I believe this most wholeheartedly.  King of deadpan delivery and perfect timing, Steven Wright, is also a gut twisting writer of sad songs.

Happy Friday!

Van Morrison : Live at The Hollywood Bowl

Wednesday, August 13, 2014


I proudly consider myself a fan of Phish. As of late, my admiration for them has increased quite intensely. "Sand", to me at least, is a real treat which has become the object of my obsession. Here's why:

Monday, August 11, 2014

Rest in Peace Robin Williams

Stitches V Riff Raff

These days we have white rappers like Eminem and...that's about it.    That being said, the welcome mat for a new breed of gangster honkey's who happen to be of the Caucasian persuasion is rolled out and ready to receive.   I'm not sure who came first, Riff Raff or Stitches.  What I am sure of is the fact that these gentlemen are, indeed, positive roll models and artists of the highest ilk.  Let's take a look at both and decide which one would make the best dinner guest/new boyfriend.

First we have Stitches.  A tender soul who wears his heart on his sleeve, Stitches begs the question; "do I get high on my own supply?"  My answer is yes, Stitches!  You go right ahead and
do what makes you you!

Now, Riff Raff is, for lack of a better term,  a Renaissance man (with a capital R).  He once played World of Warcraft for 48 hours straight, had his hair transformed into cornrows,  missed his court date for sodomy charges, and smoked "like a ton a weed yo" all in one week.  If Riff Raff isn't a catch, please tell me who is!

Thursday, August 7, 2014

Adam Cohen

Leonard Cohen's son Adam performing "So Long Marianne" which he's made quite his own.


Tuesday, August 5, 2014

The Incredible Criss with two S'S Angel

I'm not really one for magic.  Never have been.  Well, that's not entirely true because I really enjoyed hating The Incredible Burt Wonderstone.  For those who have seen it, you have to remember Jim Carry's character,  Steve Gray, an obvious parody of Criss Angel, Mindfreak. Well, check out this clip of Criss ( love the spelling! So mysterioso!) Angel mindfucking a group of innocent bystanders.

Monday, August 4, 2014

Papa's Got a Brand New Film

James Brown is the godfather of soul. Unless you have been living in the Gobi Desert, you know that already. But did you know he is the creator of funk, soul and groove music? If not, save enough money to feed a family of four in Nigeria for a week and go see  Get on Up, the new film that delivers  the whole  story of James Brown the artist, business man and soul/funk/groove hero.

Brown’s life story has more sadness and hard knocks than your average musician has to endure. Reared by an abusive alcoholic father, and then a mistress in a house of ill repute, Brown learned to rely on himself at a very young age.   His troubled upbringing surely contributed to his desire to prove himself, with the result he is known as a consummate professional -  and might explain why he began referring to himself in the third person as an adult. But hey, the British Royal Family does that so why not the king of soul?

Actor Chadwick Boseman, working with director Tate Taylor, is known mostly for his work on the small screen, rose to the occasion and pulled off the look, sound, and countenance of James Brown, both young and old, quite effectively.  So well that, at times, I wished subtitles were provided to clarify what Brown was saying.

Over the years, rumors of  erratic behavior, and abuse of both drugs and womeplagued his reputation. One of my favorites alleged that Brown threw, wait for it, a kitchen sink at one his wives.  This alleged incident was reprised by Boseman in a scene depicting Brown nearly launching a telephone at his second wife.  PCP was a drug of choice for James Brown and, according to historical fact and the film, he was high on this substance while involved in a high speed chase with the Georgia Highway Patrol that ended in gunfire. 

Something I hoped would be covered in the two - hour plus biopic was the role of the JB's, Maceo Parker  and  Pee Wee Ellis  who, in the late sixties, played horns in Brown's band.  My wish came true when Parker, played by actor/comedian Craig Robinson was made out to be the doubter who led the JB's away from Brown due to his domineering and controlling grip on the band.  Maceo Parker went on to make his own mark in music as a highly respected sax player with Parliament Funkadelic and as a solo artist   Pee Wee Ellis, identified in the movie by name, went on to tour and record with legendary musicians such as George Porter, Medeski ,Martin & Wood and Van Morrison.   Bassist Bootsy Collins was also name checked  in the film , and like Maceo, he went on to play with Parliament Funkadelic.   

The film is excellent rock history and a penetrating saga of an authentically American music genre.  Get On Up and go see it.