James Bay

Now I understand why James Bay is so popular. Give him a listen. He’s got that infectious sound.

Anticipating his debut album, Chaos and the Calm which drops on March 24th.

Once again the British Music sound conquers America, Cool!

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Jethro Tull – The Rock Opera

TullIan Anderson celebrates the life and times of the English Agricultural inventor, Jethro Tull, with the announcement of a new series of concert tours beginning September 2015.

The shows tell the story of the original Jethro Tull’s life, reimagined as if in the near future and illustrated with Anderson’s best-known songs from the rock band Jethro Tull’s repertoire.

The performance is in a quasi-operatic structure with virtual guests on video and some additional newly-written songs to round off the elements of the story. Heavy Horses, Farm On The Freeway, Songs From The Wood sit alongside Aqualung, Living In The Past, Wind-Up, A New Day Yesterday, The Witch’s Promise, Locomotive Breath and other favourites – often with slightly re-written lyrics to better tell the tale.

Accompanied by David Goodier (bass), John O’Hara (keyboards), Florian Opahle (guitar), Scott Hammond (drums) and surprise virtual guests, Ian Anderson begins the touring schedule in the UK followed by Russian, European and South American dates before the end of the year.

Tour dates to be confirmed soon!

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Thoughts from Ian Anderson

The repertoire of Jethro Tull has been a huge part of my life over the last forty-seven years so it is great fun to find a new way to present some of my best-known songs in a different and fitting context.

As a tribute to the original 18th Century agriculturalist whose name our agent “borrowed” back in February 1968, I have imagined a scenario where the pioneering pursuit of improved crop-growing and farming methodology might apply to the world of today and tomorrow. (Yawn, yawn but who else is going to feed the planet?)

When this notion first occurred to me last Summer, I had no inkling that, when I examined all of my song material – especially the lyrics, there would be so many perfect fits in regard to song subject and references.

The life story of the original Tull (in as much as we have recorded historical detail of it) has so many interesting and workable parallels. Wind Up, Heavy Horses, Aqualung, Back to the family, Farm On The Freeway and Songs From The Wood amongst others were natural inclusions. A few others were bent into shape with a slight re-write of lyrics and five new songs round off the intended setlist.

Some of the material will be accompanied by brief performance inserts of our “virtual guests” on the big HD video screen. Instead of spoken introductions to the songs in the show, there will be the use of that operatic device, the “recitative”, where the links are made by short sung vocal segments in a usually-simple musical backdrop, making it a little easier and more entertaining for non-English-speaking audiences.

No Pier Pressure – Brian Wilson

I love the double entendre implied in the album title by Brian Wilson of The Beach Boys. The first meaning I readily see is that Brian Wilson’s album, No Pier Pressure means “No peer pressure” from his cousin Mike Love or Bruce Johnston. The songs on No Pier Pressure were written and designed for continuing The Beach Boys 50 Year Anniversary band. The split between Brian, Al Jardine and David Marks with Mike Love is clearly evident. Just like Brian Wilson I have animosity with Love and Johnston for heading back out on the road as The Beach Boys without Brian, Al and David. I won’t ever go see Mike Love’s Beach Boys. His band and ego hold no fascination for me. Especially after seeing The Beach Boys 50th Anniversary Tour live at Mohegan Sun in 2012.

The second meaning of No Pier Pressure is the pier effortlessly standing tall enduring the pressure of the ocean’s waves every day in California’s Pacific Ocean. Brian Wilson epitomizes the pier with no pressure in terms of his superlative song writing and genius production skills in the face of nature.

I look forward to owning this recording after Lent. No Pier Pressure will drop on April 7th, 2015.

Here is the first track from the album and man is it sweet, “The Right Time”. Check out Don Was on bass in the studio with Brian, Al and David.

Duets: Re-Working The Catalogue – Van Morrison

Van Morrison
Van Morrison (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

DUETS: RE-WORKING THE CATALOGUE is Van Morrison’s 35th studio album. It is due for release in the US & WW on March 24th.

Full Track Listing

Some Peace of Mind with Bobby Womack
Lord, If I Ever Needed Someone with Mavis Staples
Higher Than The World with George Benson
Wild Honey with Joss Stone
Whatever Happened to PJ Proby
Carrying a Torch with Clare Teal
The Eternal Kansas City with Gregory Porter
Streets Of Arklow with Mick Hucknall
These Are The Days with Natalie Cole
Get On With The Show with Georgie Fame
Rough God Goes Riding with Shana Morrison
Fire in the Belly with Steve Winwood
Born To Sing with Chris Farlowe
Irish Heartbeat with Mark Knopfler
Real Real Gone with Michael Bublé
How Can A Poor Boy with Taj Mahal

50 Years of the AACM Celebrated in NYC Concerts – By JazzTimes — Jazz Articles

This is a follow up piece from Jazz Times in reference to the blog post I wrote last month about the AACM 50th Anniversary Celebration. It outlines the 50th anniversary concert series to be held in Manhattan and Brooklyn.

Jazz Articles: 50 Years of the AACM Celebrated in NYC Concerts – By JazzTimes — Jazz Articles.

Saturday Night Live. The Book

Saturday Night Live (season 1)
Saturday Night Live (season 1) (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Wow has it been 40 years since Saturday Night Live premiered on late night NBC television. Amazing. We love SNL. It is a Saturday night tradition for us. We have been watching since the beginning show on October 11, 1975.

Taschen the art book publisher has published the ultimate tribute to the show, Saturday Night Live: The Book. Author Alison Castle was given not only full access to SNL’s archives, but also the rare opportunity to watch the cast and crew at work. She spent the better part of Season 39 in the trenches, learning how everything comes together in just six days for the live performance. Part encyclopedia and part behind-the-scenes tour, Saturday Night Live: The Book covers both the making of the show and its remarkable history.

Features include:

  • Over 2,300 images from SNL‘s archives, many previously unpublished
  • An illustrated breakdown of the 6-day week at SNL through the years, with an expanded section for the live show
  • Seasons reference guide with complete cast, host, and musical guest lists
  • Exclusive interview with founder and executive producer Lorne Michaels

Boozoo Bajou 4

“A spirituality at peace with the turmoil it contains.” – Robert Christgau:Expert Witness, CuePoint on Medium

The above Christgau quote refers to the duo, Boozoo Bajou‘s latest album, ‘4’.

I like their dub and trip-hop sound. It’s just far enough in the weeds without getting lost.

I am keen on the mix Boozoo Bajou made with Tony Joe White, “Keep Going” on the Dust My Broom album in 2005. It plays up the Cajun swamp thang.

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Going Into The City By Robert Christgau

NYU's Tisch School of the Arts
NYU’s Tisch School of the Arts (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Two years ago I attended the Experience Music Pop Conference 2013 New York at the NYU Tisch School of the Arts. My major goal that day was to attend a session, Rock and Roll Was Here to Stay with Robert Christgau.

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It turned out ideally to be an intimate conference room setting.  I sat to the adjacent left of Robert Christgau. I was jazzed to be in the company of the Dean of American Rock Critics. I have appreciated and respected Mr. Christgau’s album/book reviews for four decades. I loved his energy level coupled with his feisty, articulate nature. Robert Christgau read to us from his memoir-in-progress, Going Into the City. I couldn’t wait to learn more about Robert Christgau’s past and New York City.

ChristgauBook

I noticed when I went to follow Robert Christgau on Twitter that he was promoting that book as being available next month.

If you happen to be going into the city, Robert Christgau will be interviewed by Rolling Stone Magazine‘s Rob Sheffield at The Strand Bookstore on Wednesday, February 25th from 7-8 p.m. The event will be located in the Strand’s 3rd floor Rare Book Room at 828 Broadway and 12th Street in Manhattan(NYC).

I can’t attend due to a conflict but I did the next best thing I pre-ordered a signed copy to add to my music library.