Monthly Archives: February 2012

Davy Jones Joins The Light

I received an e-mail this afternoon from the LA Times informing me that Davy Jones of  The Monkees was dead. It hit me like a ton of bricks. The Monkees were my youth. They represented a child like innocence with a magic all its own.

Davy Jones possessed a smiling face with a boyish charm.  I feel like part of my youth is gone….sigh…our heart goes out to Davy Jones, his family and fellow Monkees, Peter Tork, Mickey Dolenz and Mike Nesmith. Rock and Roll Heaven just got a great singer and tambourine player. We’ll miss you Davy.

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Significant Santana News to Share

I am happy to share with readers of this music blog there is major activity to report from the Santana camp.

The first news item is that Santana has signed a two-year run of unique performances at the House of Blues in Las Vegas. The host property will be the Mandalay Bay Resort and Casino on Las Vegas Boulevard South. The show is called, An Intimate Evening with Santana: Greatest Hits Live — Yesterday, Today & Tomorrow

House of Blues Las Vegas has been specially reconfigured for the special Santana show. Fans within a few feet of Carlos can select from several intimate locations within the venue, from a limited number of exclusive VIP packages including meet and greets, limited edition photos, specialty dining/beverage packages and stage-side specialty dining.

The two-year residency kicks off on May 2 with a series of shows taking place throughout the months of May & June. The residency will then resume in September and play through 2013.

We saw the first rock ‘n’ roll resident show, Supernatural Santana, A Trip Through The Hits several times during its two-year run at The Joint at the Hard Rock Hotel and Casino in Las Vegas. They were delightful, memorable evenings for us. We are curious how the shows will differ at the House of Blues venue. Perhaps there is another Santana Las Vegas trip in our future 😉

The second news item to share is that Santana will finally be releasing the album, Shape Shifter sometime in May.  It features one song with vocals and then all the rest are spiritual instrumentals. According to a recent interview Carlos conducted with MusicRadar.com he describes Shape Shifter like this:

It’s not one of those guest-vocalist kinds of records. So people will get to hear Carlos Santana all by himself!

The record is basically directed to honor the American Indians. As you know, the people in New Zealand collectively agreed to give an apology to the Aborigines in Australia, and for me, whatever we do here in America to honor the American Indians, the Chinese, African-Americans and everybody else is a big step. So I created a CD, Shape Shifter, and it’s dedicated to the American Indians.

The third new item to report is that the DVD and Blue ray edition of Santana Greatest Hits Live at Montreux 2011 is now available for order. It is a three-hour concert filmed at the historic Montreux Jazz Festival. You may have seen the PBS Special that has some of this concert when it aired in December 2011.

The fourth news item is not substantiated by Santana management yet. It appears that Santana will be touring the East Coast of the United States in the July/August time frame. No venues are announced yet but Santana usually plays Mohegan Sun Casino Arena and/or the Oakdale Theater (or whatever they are calling it these days…) in Wallingford so we have our fingers crossed for a live Santana show near us in Connecticut this summer. 🙂

So how’s that for some great Santana news everyone? Viva Santana!

The Beach Boys In Concert, Now and Then

We bought tickets to see The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour concert at Mohegan Sun Casino Arena, May 12th, 2012. The event is already sold out.

The last time we saw The Beach Boys live in concert was July 2, 1971 in Central Park. They headlined a star studded evening that was filmed for ABC television. The show included the Boz Scaggs Band, Kate Taylor, Carly Simon, the Ike and Tina Turner Revue and The Beach Boys. The show was called Good Vibrations from Central Park. All those great groups for $2, can you believe that?

Digging around on the Web I am able to find video clips of Boz Scaggs,  Carly Simon and The Beach Boys segments. It appears that the ABC show is available as a 51 minute DVR (probably bootleg). I’d love to see it again as we last watched it on ABC television in August of 1972. I think an EBay purchase may be in order here after Lent 😉

 

Jukebox, the Fifties and the Flower Show

We went to the 31st Annual Connecticut Flower  & Garden Show held in Hartford at the Connecticut Convention Center. It was the first time we have been to either situation.

I always manage to find a music association or reference when I am out and about. The highlight for the flower show was the Federated Garden Clubs of Connecticut design & horticulture competition based on the theme “Fabulous Fifties”. The event area featured a parquet dance floor that led up to a neon bubble jukebox. The jukebox was free to play and you could select your own songs. The jukebox sounded excellent.

I loved the nostalgic memories that a jukebox with a song selector brought back to me. I conjured up a vision of the soda fountain shop where you could drink a thick malted milkshake and listen to your favorite 45 r.p.m. hits on the mini-jukebox in your booth.

Haven’t you always wanted a jukebox for your den or family room? This would be such a cool jukebox to have and to program for music.

I thought this flower display captured the fifties very well. We spent a nice relaxing morning with friends of ours at the flower show.

StagePage – I Love This App!

This is the app I have waited for! I have attended live concerts for 43 years now. So wish I had the StagePage iPhone app from the beginning 🙂

I read about StagePage at evolver.fm. If you are into music apps (and you know you are…) you must follow the evolver,fm Web site. It is published by the definitive cloud music metadata borg, the.echonest.com 

Now I can complete my long overdue task to document all the concerts I have witnessed. It’s just the tool I have looked for to get r done.

I will begin by using it tonight at the Lionel Loueke Trio concert at Wesleyan University.

I should soon know how close I am to achieving that 500th concert. 😉

Great job on this app Alexcel!

Neil Young’s Greatest Hits

I find myself reaching for Neil Young’s Greatest Hits recording  due to the simplicity of how it is put together.

Neil Young was methodical in his approach to his greatest hits. He long resisted the urge of Reprise Records to publish a greatest hits recording until 2004.   The sequence of his hits has such a natural, evolutionary flow. It’s a prime example of how effortless a greatest hits recording should be for the listener.

I can’t wait to play it again on the way home from work today 🙂

Bob Lefsetz, Memphis and the Annual Folk Alliance International Event

Thanks to the Bob Lefsetz‘s LefsetzLetter I received in my G-Mail Inbox today,  I am actively learning about the annual Folk Alliance International event in Memphis, Tennessee. Prior to Bob’s e-mail I wasn’t aware of this folk music conclave at all. I am thankful for the perpetuation of folk music as an art form industry that such an assemblage viably exists and thrives. 2012 marks the Folk Alliance International 24th annual get together.

FolkAlliance-logo.pngAs a fellow music blogger I have deep respect and mutual admiration for Bob Lefsetz’s contributions. He is insightful, as he is judicious with his music analysis and reporting. Lefsetz has a keen intuitive sense for marketplace conditions, worthiness of musicians and keeping the record companies accountable in their business practices.

A recent article I read about Bob Lefsetz,  “Who the Fuck is this Guy?” (authored by Brian Raferty) in Wired Magazine issue 20.03 makes me proud to see a music blogger have such klout and prowess. Granted he can be a controversial catalyst but fresh, no-holds barred journalism begs for and should receive such dynamics.

Illustration: Boneface

Like most music bloggers, Lefsetz posts frequently and verbosely, unlike most music bloggers, he has actually gained the interest of the music industry, so much so that even Lefsetz’s most casually tossed off missives get noticed.

It just so happens Bob Lefsetz is the keynote speaker for the Folk Alliance this year, go figure, right 😉 I am hoping his keynote speech makes it onto YouTube to further our awareness for folk music 🙂

Visiting Memphis, Tennessee and attending the Blues Foundation, Blues Music Awards is high on my bucket list 😉 Which reminds me to look into the status of my Blues Foundation membership so I can vote for the awards before the March 1st deadline…

Memphis is a music city with a rich heritage of country, rock and roll, blues and soul music.

The Folk Alliance International Web site will be the closest I get to Memphis for now. There are so many great genres of music and so little time to appreciate them all. I haven’t given folk music deserved attention and that is my mistake I try to correct.  Fortunately the activities of the folk alliance organization are rekindling my love of this native art form. I hope it awakens an interest in your explorations as well.

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Quicksilver Messenger Service – Just For Love

My favorite Quicksilver Messenger Service recording is Just For Love. It’s a trippy, surrealistic series of songs that say flower power, Haight-Ashbury and psychedelia to me.  I am especially fond of the cover art as displayed in this vinyl fold out image.

Real Time White House Celebration of the Blues, Tune In On the Web Via Facebook

Derek Trucks and Susan Tedeschi, as well as Mick Jagger, BB King, Jeff Beck, Buddy Guy, Warren Haynes, Gary Clark Jr. and many more artists will perform at the White House TONIGHT as part of a celebration of Blues music. Click the link below at 7:20pm EST for live streaming video of the concert at the White House.
You can also participate in real time collaboration with the White House, these great blues artists and fans all over the world on Facebook here.
This historic blues concert will be part of the “In Performance at the White House” series that airs on PBS. Tonight’s event is designed to recognize Black History Month and will be broadcast on Feb. 27 on PBS stations and aired later on American Forces Network.

Blue Cheer, Pioneers of Heavy Metal

I recall those halcyon days of pulsating hard rock in 1968  pounded out by the band Blue Cheer. I must admit that I could only tolerate so much of their sound at a time. It’s interesting what the mind rejects but the universe accepts.

Vincebus Eruptum MONO LIMITED EDITION CD

Looking back on what Blue Cheer established has helped me to appreciate their role in the annals of rock music. Sprung from the loins of the psychedelic era in San Farncisco, the band is said to have been named after a street brand of LSD and promoted by renowned LSD chemist and former Grateful Dead patron, Owsley Stanley.

Blue Cheer clearly established heavy metal way before it had a moniker.

Vincebus Eruptum, Blue Cheer’s landmark 1968 debut, is widely regarded as ground zero of the heavy metal explosion. The album, featuring the classic Blue Cheer lineup of guitarist Leigh Stephens, bassist/vocalist Dickie Peterson and drummer Paul Whaley, includes the trio’s mind-melting reading of Eddie Cochran’s “Summertime Blues,” which became a Top 20 single.

You can find the mono edition of Vincebus Eruptum at a very cool record emporium, Sundazed Music. Long live Blue Cheer and vinyl!