Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Fleetwood Mac to tour again soon

(AP)  LOS ANGELES — Fleetwood Mac could be back on the road soon.

Lindsey Buckingham says the band is considering another tour and even recording a new album in the near future.

The guitarist, songwriter and producer says there have been "a lot of rumblings" about another Fleetwood Mac tour, but that nothing is on the books yet. Stevie Nicks has also hinted at future Fleetwood Mac concerts. The band reunited for an international tour in 2009.

Buckingham is set to begin a solo tour next month to support his sixth solo album, "Seeds We Sow," which is set for release Sept. 6.

Tuesday, August 30, 2011

New Music Tuesdays: Red Hot Chili Peppers-I'm With You

With the release of the Red Hot Chili Peppers’ tenth studio album, I’m With You, many longtime fans wondered how the exit of guitarist John Frusciante would change the band’s sound.  Some even wondered if this was the beginning of the end for the Chili Peppers.. 

While I’m With You is a departure of sound from the band’s earlier body work,  Josh Klinghoffer firmly establishes himself as a welcome addition to the band and the Pepper’s sound. 

Most guitarists would have been content to become a clone of Frusciante, but Klinghoffer brings a new sonic edge to the Peppers, along the lines of The Edge (pun intended) and Andy Summers.

Flea, Chad Smith, and Anthony Kiedis  also perform well on I’m With You with new signs of life and direction not heard since their breakthrough album, Mother’s Milk.  With that said, don’t expect to hear ‘Subway To Venus’ or ‘Magic Johnson’ retreads here, as the band displays a developed maturity throughout the 14 tracks of I’m With You.

There is a little something for everyone as the band offers a variety of styles on  I’m With You from ballads to garage rock, and ‘70s disco to their version of funk. 

I’m With You may take some time for some die-hard fans to get used to, but the album certainly grows on you with each repeated listen. 

-Will Fisher
The Showbiz Kids

The Showbiz Kids Rating: 8.5 out of possible 10

Monday, August 29, 2011

Happy Birthday Michael Jackson

Today is just another day...the world keeps spinning,but we honor and miss our childhood music hero on his 53rd birthday.  Happy Birthday Michael.

Michael Jackson website

Remembering Michael Jackson on vh1

The ShowBiz Kids

Phish: Live Bait Volume 06

The latest installment of Phish’s free live download series is now available. Live Bait Vol. 06 was compiled by the band’s archivist Kevin Shapiro and includes 15 songs. The collection focuses on Colorado performances in honor of the group’s upcoming appearances at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO. The earliest track is a version of “McGrupp And The Watchful Hosemasters” which appeared on the group’s Colorado ’88 release, while the most recent is a paring of “The Moma Dance” and “Limb By Limb” from February 10, 2003 at Denver’s Pepsi Center. 

Track Listing:

The Curtain > (1996-08-06 Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO)
Tweezer (1996-08-06 Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO)
Split Open And Melt (1994-06-11 Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO)
It’s Ice > (1993-08-20 Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO)
The Wedge (1993-08-20 Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO)
Mike’s Song > (1995-06-10 Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO)
I Am Hydrogen > (1995-06-10 Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO)
Weekapaug Groove (1995-06-10 Red Rocks Amphitheatre – Morrison, CO)
The Moma Dance > (2003-02-18 Pepsi Center – Denver, CO)
Limb By Limb (2003-02-18 Pepsi Center – Denver, CO)
McGrupp And The Watchful Hosemasters (Roma Bar – Telluride, CO – Colorado ’88)
Ghost (1997-11-17 McNichols Sports Arena – Denver, CO – LivePhish11)
David Bowie (1990-11-02 Glenn Miller Ballroom, University of Colorado – Boulder, CO)
Wilson > (1993-03-13 Balch Fieldhouse, University of Colorado – Boulder, CO)
Run Like An Antelope (1993-03-13 Balch Fieldhouse, University of Colorado – Boulder, CO)

Sunday, August 28, 2011

On the turntable this Sunday...So Far

So Far is the fourth album by Crosby, Stills & Nash (their third as Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young), and the first compilation album released by the group. Shipping as a gold record and peaking at #1 on the Billboard Top Pop Albums chart, it was the band's third chart-topping album in a row.
Compiled from a stand-alone single and two studio albums, Crosby, Stills & Nash and Déjà Vu, it is the only place where that single's flip"Find the Cost of Freedom" can be found on one compact disc. The A-side "Ohio" can also be found on Neil Young's 2004 Greatest Hitsalbum, as well as his earlier Decade compilation.
Capitalizing on the highly publicized and anticipated reunion tour of CSNY in 1974, the album consisted of eleven studio tracks from a group that had only issued twenty-two to date. Five of the songs had been Top 40 hits, and such was the demand for any sign of activity from the quartet that So Far topped the charts. Graham Nash later insisted that the group was against the album's release, calling the concoction of a greatest-hits album from two LPs and one non-LP single "absurd."
The cover art was painted by the group's friend and colleague Joni Mitchell, who also wrote "Woodstock". The album was reissued for CD on October 25, 1990, and again after being remastered at Ocean View Digital using the original master tapes on September 20, 1994.

Saturday, August 27, 2011

Talking Heads to release live Chronology in October

The forthcoming Talking Heads Live DVD, Chronology, will draw together live performances from throughout the band’s career. The earliest footage will include some of the group’s storied performances at New York City’s CBGB. The most recent performance will be a take on “Life During Wartime” from the 2002’s Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall Of Fame induction ceremony. Eagle Rock Entertainment will release Chronology on October 18, with a limited edition version accompanied by a 48 page hardcover book full of photos and essays.
Chronology track listing
1. With Our Love
2. I’m Not In Love
3. The Girls Want To Be With The Girls
4. Don’t Worry About The Government
5. Dressing Room Fan Footage – Found a Job
6. Thank You For Sending Me an Angel
7. Warning Sign
8. Artists Only
9. Take Me To The River
10. Animals
11. Love to Building on Fire
12. Cities
13. Burning Down The House
14. Life During Wartime
15. The Big Country
16. Who Is It
17. Psycho Killer
18. Air

Friday, August 26, 2011

Room To Fall: The Showbiz Kids' Exclusive Interview with Erick Baker (Encore Edition)

If you were only granted a first impression of Erick Baker to determine his profession, you would quickly come to the realization that what he defines as his "nine to five" is a whole lot cooler than what you and I do for a living. However, after your first conversation with Erick, you can also quickly come to the realization that in addition to his 'star quality', he is one of the most appreciative, genuine, compassionate, and non-pretentious people you will ever meet.  Erick graciously opened the doors of his Knoxville home to us and spent the better part of his Friday afternoon discussing his humble beginnings, career highs and lows, love, family, music and what the future holds for this talented singer, songwriter, musician, and family man.

It's a grand understatement to say that Erick Baker has certainly come a long way from playing in front of a meager audience of only seven people, which consisted mostly of family, friends and two bartenders, to selling out venues such as the Bijou in such a relatively short span of time.  Last year alone, Erick released his first full length album, Holding The Pieces in Place, released a live CD/DVD of his first sell-out crowd at the historic Bijou Theatre, released a second acoustic DVD, Stay Awhiletoured the country opening for rock veterans, Heart, and was found singing with the praise and worship band at Cokesbury's West campus on any given Sunday, not to diminish his most important role of being a loving and dedicated husband and father.  How does he balance it all?  More importantly, how does he remain so levelheaded and down to earth after watching his career take off in such a short period of time?

If there was an over-arching theme that summarizes the hours we spent with Erick and the message that permeates through his songs and music, it's love.  After graduation from the University of Tennessee with a degree in Public Relations, Erick's parents lovingly supported his decision to follow a career in music.  (I can only imagine what my parents reaction would have been if when I finally graduated, I told them I was planning to write songs and pursue my dreams. But then again I wasn't born with the natural talents and abilities that Erick Baker was born with either.) Erick has never had a single voice or guitar lesson.  Watching him perform you would think he was literally born on a stage somewhere but, truth be told, he didn't play guitar or sing until his later college years at UT during various open ‘mic’ nights in Knoxville.  

After playing mostly cover songs with various local Knoxville musicians, his wife, Mandy, who was his girlfriend at the time, encouraged him along with the rest of his family to perform the many songs he had penned in front of an audience.  His debut gig was special to the modest crowd of only seven people who witnessed Erick’s departure from playing cover songs and the birth of a career playing his unique "blood on the floor" brand of passionate, romantic, and original songs at the World Grotto in Knoxville. 

Erick cited his experience of opening for R&B singer, John Legend, in 2007 as a major breakthrough moment and one that even made him a believer in his choice to create music for a living.  It was so early in Erick’s career that he had no CD or merchandise to sell, so after his opening act concluded, Erick met all of his newest fans, and had nothing more to offer than a handshake and a slip of paper that read “Erick Baker-Album Coming Soon.” With the confidence he gained from his opening slot at the TN Theatre, Erick booked some studio time and recorded his debut EP, It's Getting Too Early To Say It's Late

The better part of 2008 and 2009 was spent touring behind the release of his EP and building a strong and diverse following of fans along the way.  By the end of 2009, Baker could make the claim that he had shared the stage with artists such as: Natasha Bedingfield, Gavin DeGraw, and James Blunt, not to mention playing in front of a crowd of several thousand people at Bonnaroo.  
Erick Baker's career continued to take off exponentially in 2010.  The endless touring and live performances culminated the release of his first full-length album, Holding The Pieces in Placein which Erick's growth as an artist and songwriter is noticeably apparent.  The collection of songs on Holding The Pieces in Place capture the brutal honesty and range of emotions that Erick so effortlessly displays when he performs his original music in a live setting.  For his CD release, Baker sold out the Bijou Theatre in Knoxville, TN on April 9th, 2010 and everyone in attendance, myself included, witnessed a special evening of music.  Undoubtedly, one of the highlights of that night came during the encore when Erick strolled back onto the stage with an acoustic guitar and the sold-out crowd participated in a sing-along on the fan-favorite, 'My Two Left Feet.'  Watching Erick soak up that moment, I couldn't help but think that all of this success couldn't be happening to a nicer and more deserving guy.  When asked about that evening at the Bijou, Erick did admit that the encore was one of those 'validating moments' of his career and created 'happy memories' that he will never forget. 

The success and growth over the last year also included Erick opening for rock veterans, Heart, in addition to releasing his first live recording, Live At The Bijou, two live DVDs, and continued songwriting and preparing for his second full-length album which is slated to be released later this year.  Aside from all of that Erick has accomplished professionally, the glimpse into his life that we were able to see revealed that he is most importantly a devoted family man-a loving husband and father who lives a pretty normal life in the suburbs of Knoxville. Erick continues to be grateful and appreciative of the many ever-growing fans that continue to fill the venues he plays yet remains approachable and down to earth without letting any of the success change the person that he is.   

There is no doubt that Erick Baker's star is rising.   He is going to make it in an industry that is very difficult to thrive and be successful in, and it couldn't happen to a nicer, more genuine guy.  To be continued...

-Will Fisher, The Showbiz Kids

Widespread Panic’s Raves and Faves (Relix)

The current Relix cover story on Widespread Panic also includes a sidebar in which the band members share their favorite moments from over the years…
Santa Fe, NM 4/22/92
Favorite Song
It’s almost always one we’ve really truly raised from the ground up collectively. An old tune that reflects that is “Contentment Blues.” We were all sitting around and wrote that thing in the kitchen together. “Papa’s Home” was written the same way.
Favorite Show
The very first show! And the first show that we played at Tipitina’s [7/31/90]—that definitely was a big deal.
Favorite Tour
It’s kind of a blur, but when we did that spring tour semi-acoustically in the ski towns. [Sit-n-Ski, 1996]
Favorite Album
I really don’t have one, so as a tie-breaker, I’ll say Til the Medicine Takes because of the album cover.
Bozeman, MT, 7/10/99
Favorite Song
I would have to say “Space Wrangler.” Also: “Don’t Tell the Band,” “Dyin’ Man,” “One Arm Steve,” “Her Dance Needs No Body,” “Saint Ex,” “Thin Air (Smells Like Mississippi),” “Fishing” and “May Your Glass Be Filled”— just to name a few.
Favorite Show
Madison Square Garden [10/31-11/01/03] and being onstage with Carlos Santana at the Greek Theatre [10/14/01].
Favorite Tour
H.O.R.D.E. [1992]
Favorite Album
Til the Medicine Takes
San Francisco 11/28/97 with Merl Saunders
Favorite Song
I never get tired of “Chilly Water.”
Favorite Show
New Year’s in 2000 was really special. Definitely one of the highlights of my life was October 30th [2010] when Dr. John sang “Dream Warrior” and “Right Place Wrong Time” with the band.
Favorite Tour
Sit-n-Ski [1996]
Favorite Album
Space Wrangler

Thursday, August 25, 2011

Steve Jobs Resigns as Apple CEO


Apple founder and technology icon Steve Jobs has resigned as the company’s CEO effective immediately. Reasons stated include an inability to meet the duties and expectations required of the position, following his recent health issues. Former chief operating officer Tim Cook has been named CEO in his absence, and will immediately assume all responsibilities associated with the job.
“I’d always said if there ever came a day when I could no longer meet my duties and expectations as Apple’s CEO, I would be the first to let you know,” Jobs stated earlier today in a letter to Apple’s board and community. “Unfortunately, that day has come.”
For many industry watchers though, the resignation fails to register as a complete surprise, as Jobs’ health has long been a subject of much debate by consumer electronics pundits. Having previously battled with pancreatic cancer and undergone a liver transplant, he’s taken three medical leaves of absence in recent years, including one which he’s been on since January of this year. Recent public appearances for the high-tech executive have also been few and far between, with his increasingly rare cameos confined to gala events such as the iPad 2’s March unveiling.
A polarizing figure in the high-tech world, Jobs, who will remain as chairman of the board, was responsible for revolutionary products from the Apple II to Macintosh, iPad, iPhone and iPod digital music player. Also a pioneer in digital music distribution, iTunes, the industry-leading online service he co-founded, was responsible for the mass popularization of the MP3 format, and generated over 10 billion song downloads since debuting in 2001. Since translated into 19 languages, and a commonly-cited catalyst for physical albums’ declining sales, its popularity is indirectly responsible for the success of breakout Internet artists from Soulja Boy to Rebecca Black.
Predicting Jobs’ impending departure, many have questioned Apple’s ability to function without its charismatic leader, given such a storied legacy. Others say the firm has long been able to command the spotlight without standing in its founder’s admittedly long shadow. Regardless of Jobs’ actual hands-on role in the company’s day-to-day operations though, he remains a legendary figure in the eyes of many Apple fans and technology enthusiasts. Investors apparently agree, as Apple stock, which recently hit an all-time high trading at about $400 a share, was down 5% today after the market’s closing.
Whether Apple can retain its creative edge in the coming years, and remain capable of meeting growing challenges on both the increasingly contentious smartphone and tablet PC fronts, appears to be of paramount concern. But succeed or fail, proponents on all ends of the spectrum can agree on one thing. For both everyday electronics shoppers and titans of the technology industry alike, Jobs’ departure truly marks the end of an era.

Wednesday, August 24, 2011

Nick Ashford, Songwriter and Singer, Has Died

Ashford and Simpson wrote "Ain't Nothing Like The Real Thing" for Marvin Gaye and Tammy Terrell, "Reach Out and Touch (Somebody's Hand)" for Diana Ross and "Solid as a Rock" for themselves.

Believe it or not, Ashford told NPR five years ago he never expected that song to get big. "I was shocked — surprised — when 'Solid' became a hit," he said. "I wasn't sure I thought — I loved the song but didn't think it would rise to the heights it rose. It was just interesting to me. And now it's like our anthem. We can't leave the stage before we sing that."
When Ashford met Simpson at a Harlem church, she was a 17-year-old music student and he was a down-on-his-luck dancer, the son of a construction worker from Michigan. Their first big hit began as a joke when they started working with a major music publisher.
"We came into his office one day and he said, 'You guys got a song for us?'" remembers Ashford. "And we said, 'Oh, yeah, we wrote this great song.' But it was a song we went out the door singing when we couldn't write any songs. We would say, 'Let's go get stoned.'" The song became a hit for Ray Charles, who was then fresh from rehab.

"Let's Get Stoned" got the attention of Motown, where the two became star staff writers, penning hits for the likes of Smokey Robinson and Aretha Franklin. Over the course of their entire career, generally speaking, Valerie Simpson wrote the music, Nick Asford wrote the lyrics.
Source: YouTube

"You could argue that he wrote one of the most important and meaningful feminist pop anthems of all time," says music scholar Jason King, about Chaka Khan's 1978 hit, "I'm Every Woman." They wrote it after they left Motown.

On a dime Ashford and Simpson could turn around and generously express a man' s experience in a song like "Is It Still good to You," with Teddy Pendergrass. "It's all about intimacy in a relationship, and what happens when it starts disappearing. And it's all about a man's fears about that disappeared intimacy," says King. "So it's very touchy subject matter, but it's dealt with with incredible lyrical sophistication."

King says as a lyricist, Ashford was a master of economical storytelling. He'd use just a few words to convey a huge, powerful story in a four-minute song. "Which is not easy to do," says King. "There's characters presented, there's drama, there's suspense, there's tension, there's conflict — and that's his lyrical skill."

A skill that King believes says puts Nick Ashford in the ranks of Ira Gershwin, Billy Strayhorn and Smoky Robinson. It's in his expansiveness, his brevity and his generosity of vision.

Tuesday, August 23, 2011

Tom Waits' Private Listening Party

A few bad apples...and they ruin it for everyone. Classic.

It's a bit of a wait - October 25th to be exact - for his first album featuring new material since Real Gone in 2004(!), but you can get the first single, "Bad As Me" today.

I'm starting a countdown now.

New Music Tuesdays: The Eagles' 'Hotel California' SACD

If you are part of the small population that embraced the Super Audio Compact Disc (SACD) format before it became a rarity, then you are in for a treat today. 

The Eagles are re-releasing their fifth studio album, Hotel California in SACD format. 

Hotel California was the first Eagles album without founding member Bernie Leadon and the first album with Joe Walsh. It is also the last album featuring original bass player and singer Randy Meisner. The album became the band's highest selling studio album with over 16 million copies sold in the U.S. alone. The album topped the charts and won the band two more Grammy awards for "Hotel California" and "New Kid in Town". The album was nominated for album of the year but lost to Fleetwood Mac's Rumours.

The album yielded three Top 20 singles, "New Kid in Town", "Hotel California", and "Life In The Fast Lane". "New Kid in Town" and "Hotel California" both topped the Billboard Hot 100, and "Life In The Fast Lane" reached #11 on the charts. The album was ranked #37 on Rolling Stone's list of the "500 Greatest Albums Of All Time". 

The album further established the group as the most successful American band of the decade, making the Eagles household names. The song "Hotel California" is considered by many to be one of the greatest rock songs of all time, it was ranked #49 on Rolling Stone's list of the "500 Greatest Songs Of All Time". The guitar duet at the end of the song was performed by Don Felder and Joe Walsh. The album also features "Wasted Time", "Victim Of Love", and "The Last Resort".