Monday, April 30, 2012

Bob Weir pays tribute to Levon Helm

Last Thursday night, Bob Weir performed at Charlottesville, VA’s Jefferson Theatre as part of his first ever solo acoustic tour. For his encore, Weir honored Levon Helm with a cover of The Band classic “The Weight.”

Before the song, Weir said, “I don’t have to tell you who this one’s dedicated to.” “On the other side of the country, Grateful Dead partner Phil Lesh also paid tribute to Helm with covers of The Band’s “Acadian Driftwood” and Elton John’s “Levon” at Terrapin Crossroads.

During the performance, Weir also offered a solo take on the recently revived “My Brother Esau” and explained how members of The National persuaded him to rework the long-shelved song for The Bridge Sessions.

Here’s a look at last Thursday’s setlist via

Thursday, April 26, Jefferson Theatre, Charlottesville, VA
Set I: Hell in a Bucket, My Brother Esau, Blackbird>Maggie’s Farm, El Paso, Liberty, Dear Prudence>Let It Grow
Set II: Mexicali Blues, Twilight Time,Money For Gasoline, Peggy-O, Bird Song, Most of the Time, Sugar Magnolia
E: The Weight

Sunday, April 29, 2012

Showbiz Kids Mixtape, Vol 6.

Some new (well, mostly new) tracks bode very well for the state of music for the remainder of the year.  This looks to be a great summer of music. Here's hoping this trend continues.


On the turntable this Sunday...New Traditionalists

New Traditionalists is the fourth studio album by the New Wave rock band Devo. It was produced by Mark and Bob Motherbaugh, and Gerald and Bob Casale, and was released in August of 1981 on Warner Bros. Records. It features the minor hits "Through Being Cool" and "Beautiful World." The sound continued in the vein of the previous album Freedom of Choice, with synthesizers moved to the forefront and guitars more subdued. Some of the tracks feature drum machines for the first time on a Devo record. In addition, the lyrics are frequently dark and vitriolic.

With the success of "Whip It" and its associated album Freedom of Choice, Devo attracted a new, more pop-oriented audience that was less interested in Devo's artistic theories and intelligent lyrics. In response, New Traditionalists was aimed to be a much darker, deeper and serious album. The lead-off track, "Through Being Cool," is a direct attack at Johnny-Come-Lately fans who didn't understand Devo's message.

As with every Devo album and tour, the band developed a new look for the album, eschewing the Energy Dome headgear, and replacing it with the plastic "New Traditionalist Pomp," modeled after the newly-elected Ronald Reagan's conservative hairstyle. On stage, Devo wore what were called "Utopian Boy Scout Uniforms," consisting of a gray button down shirt, gray slacks, and black patent leather shoes. They also wore a blue V-neck tee shirt with the New Traditionalists logo on the black sleeves. This can be seen on the US and Australia album covers. On the European cover, Devo wears a "Sleeveless Maxi-Turtleneck Sweater." The t-shirts, turtlenecks, and plastic versions of the pomps were available through Devo's fan club catalog.

Most of the songs on the album are very dark with the lyrics lacking the irony and wit that Devo was known for. The exception to this is "Beautiful World." At first listen, the song seems very upbeat and happy, until the line "It's not for me," which reveals the more cynical side of the song. This is made much clearer by the song's video. On "Enough Said," Devo becomes political, making fun of world leaders and the political process: "Take all the leaders from around the world / Put them together in a great big ring / Televise it as the lowest show on Earth / And let them fight like hell to see who's king."

New Traditionalists was not quite as much of a success as the Freedom of Choice LP, peaking at #23 on the Billboard charts. The non-album single "Working in the Coal Mine" (a cover of the Lee Dorsey song, written by Allen Toussaint) peaked at #43 on the Pop Singles chart. The album and its singles continued Devo's success in Australia, with "Beautiful World" peaking at #14 and "Working in the Coal Mine" at #20. "Going Under" appears in Miami Vice episode "Heart of Darkness".

Saturday, April 28, 2012

Bob Dylan Will Receive Presidential Medal of Freedom (Rolling Stone)

By Rolling Stone

Bob Dylan will receive the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the New York Times reports. The songwriter will be given the highest civilian honor awarded by the United States along with author Toni Morrison, former Secretary of State Madeleine Albright, astronaut John Glenn and former Supreme Court Justice John Paul Stevens.

Dylan was praised as one of the "most influential American musicians of the 20th century" in a statement about the honor released by the White House. The White House also acknowledged that Dylan had "considerable influence on the civil rights movement of the 1960s and has had significant impact on American culture over the past five decades."

Dylan was previously honored with a National Medal of Arts in 2009.

Friday, April 27, 2012

Members of WSP and Drive-By Truckers to perform with Ike Stubblefield

Various members of Widespread Panic, The Drive-By Truckers, and Aquarium Rescue Unit and will be performing with organist Ike Stubblefield next month. 

The Ike Stubblefield and Friends show will take place at Athens, GA’s Georgia Theatre on May 18th. Stubblefield’s primary band throughout the night will feature Aquarium Rescue Unit drummer Jeff Sipe, Derek Trucks Band percussionist Count M’Butu and guitarist June Yamagishi.  Widespread Panic percussionist Sunny Ortiz and Drive-By Truckers keyboardist Jay Gonzalez will also sit in during the show. 

Thursday, April 26, 2012

Public wake for Levon Helm

A public wake will be held for Levon Helm at his Woodstock, NY-area studio, today. Fans and friends of The Band drummer can pay their respects between 10 AM and 3 PM ET.

Personal vehicles will not be permitted at the studio, however. Parking will be available at three locations in Woodstock: The Woodstock Playhouse 103 Mill Hill Road, Woodstock, Cucina Woodstock, 109 Mill Hill Road and Andy Lee Field, Rock City Road, Woodstock.

Helm will be laid to rest in Woodstock Cemetery next to longtime Band bassist Rick Danko. The bassist’s death effectively ended The Band’s touring days in 1999.

The Black Keys with John Fogerty

The Black Keys with John Fogerty

Pay tribute to Levon Helm

APRIL 23, 2012

During their headlining Coachella set last Friday, the Black Keys were joined by pal John Fogerty in paying tribute to the late Levon Helm of The Band. Taking the stage with the Ohio blues rockers, Fogerty led the group in an emotional version of "The Weight," The Band's 1968 classic. The Creedence Clearwater Revival frontman traded vocals with the Keys' Dan Auerbach, making the performance a joyous celebration of Helm's life and career. Helm passed away in New York on April 19th after a long battle with throat cancer. He was 71.

Read more:

Wednesday, April 25, 2012

Rush release new single (Rolling Stone)

Click to listen to Rush's 'Headlong Flight'
"Headlong Flight," the first single from Rush's 20th studio album Clockwork Angels, is one of the trio's most hard-charging numbers in recent years. "'Headlong Flight' was one of those songs that was a joy to write and record from beginning to end," says frontman Geddy Lee. "Alex [Lifeson] and I had blast jamming in my home studio one day before the second leg of the Time Machine tour, and I did not revisit that jam until a year later. Alex and I assembled the song to be an instrumental and its original title was 'Take That Lampshade Off Yo Head!," but once we saw the lyrics Neil [Peart] had written, I knew that the spirit of the lyrics matched the instrumental perfectly and it was just a matter of making them fit and writing the melodies."

Clockwork Angels, which was produced by the band and Nick Raskulinecz, will be in stores on June 12th, but you can preview "Headlong Flight" here today.

Tuesday, April 24, 2012

New Music Tuesdays: Jack White-Blunderbuss

For well over a decade now, Jack White has established himself as one of the best guitar players alive in addition to creating his own trademark brand, Third Man Records, which has attracted one of the music industry’s most dedicated followings.  During the past three years, Third Man Records – the physical store, venue, and headquarters in Nashville, TN – has hosted a variety of events, all cloaked in that White-endorsed mystery that makes it so intriguing. Whether it’s a rare and innovative LP pressings or  unique one-off performances from the array of White’s various acts, the black-bricked building has become a “Graceland” of sorts for Jack White’s many followers.

It’s amazing what Jack White has accomplished during a time when countless music labels are dwindling away and simply disappearing; the former White Stripes front man is always dressed dapper with that trademark smirk of his, surrounded by throngs of cash-carrying fans, who are willing pay any price for some rare 7″ vinyl, even if they’re falling from the sky (see balloon release from April 1st.)

There’s a reason begin the review of White’s debut solo album, Blunderbuss, with this back story as his image has now taken on its own mythos, something far greater than it was even when he was still one half of The White Stripes.

Blunderbuss, available today, is a record that feels like more like a tapestry of music woven together over the past three years rather than a singular or definitive direction.  In fact, there are songs on Blunderbuss that could have found their home on any release from  The White Stripes, The Raconteurs, or even a Dead Weather album. While the first single, “Love Interruption” sounds more subdued and mellow than White’s typical fare,  the follow-up single, “Sixteen Saltines” proves that Jack White is a one-man army and force to be reckoned with.  The paradox for Jack White on this record is whether or not he presses ahead, looks behind, or offers the best of both worlds…

Luckily, the listener is rewarded with the best of both worlds on Blunderbuss, and no matter what kind of departure Jack White makes with his sound, he always returns back to his roots-the Mississippi Delta blues.   Tracks such as “Missing Pieces,” “Freedom at 21,″“I’m Shakin,’” and “Trash Tongue Talker” all conjure up the sounds his fans have longed for since the breakup of The White Stripes and his more recent ventures with The Raconteurs and Dead Weather.  However, White displays a more meditative and contemplative side and gives a nod to Jeff Tweedy and Wilco on the alt-country track “On and On and On.”  

Despite being a little scattered, smothered, and covered on Blunderbuss, it’s as if Jack White is still shaking up his past to move forward into the future, and as a result, the album is a showcase of everything Jack White has already accomplished, which of course, isn’t bad at all.  Regardless of what was to become Blunderbuss, I seriously doubt any fan of Jack White/Third Man Records/The White Stripes/The Raconteurs/Dead Weather would not be lined up at their local record store today to get a copy of his debut album.

-Will Fisher, The Showbiz Kids
SBK Rating: 9 out of possible 10

Monday, April 23, 2012

Levon Helm, Drummer and Singer of the Band, Dead at 71

Article originally written by David Browne, Rolling Stone

Levon Helm, singer and drummer for the Band, died on April 19th in New York of throat cancer. He was 71.

"He passed away peacefully at 1:30 this afternoon surrounded by his friends and bandmates," Helm's longtime guitarist Larry Campbell tells Rolling Stone. "All his friends were there, and it seemed like Levon was waiting for them. Ten minutes after they left we sat there and he just faded away. He did it with dignity. It was even two days ago they thought it would happen within hours, but he held on. It seems like he was Levon up to the end, doing it the way he wanted to do it. He loved us, we loved him."

In the late Nineties, Helm – whose singing anchored Band classics like "The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down," "Up on Cripple Creek," "Rag Mama Rag," and "The Weight" – was diagnosed with throat cancer and underwent 28 radiation treatments, eventually recovering his voice. In recent weeks, however, Helm had canceled a number of shows, including one at the New Orleans Jazz Fest on April 27th and another in Montclair, New Jersey. A note posted to his website on Tuesday from his daughter Amy and wife Sandy said that Helm was in the "final stages of his battle with cancer. Please send your prayers and love to him as he makes his way through this part of his journey. Thank you fans and music lovers who have made his life so filled with joy and celebration...he has loved nothing more than to play, to fill the room up with music, lay down the back beat, and make the people dance! He did it every time he took the stage."

Born May 26, 1940 in Arkansas, Helm was literally a witness to the birth of rock & roll; as a teenager, he saw Elvis Presley, Little Richard, Johnny Cash and Jerry Lee Lewis in concert and was inspired to play drums after seeing Lewis' drummer, Jimmy Van Eaton. (Helm went on to play mandolin and other stringed instruments as well). In 1960, Helm joined the backup band of rockabilly wildman Ronnie Hawkins – a group that would eventually include Robbie Robertson, Richard Manuel, Rick Danko and Garth Hudson, all future members of the Band.

The musicians broke from Hawkins to form their own group – their names included the Crackers and Levon and the Hawks – but it was their association with Bob Dylan that cemented their reputation. After Dylan saw the group in a club (either in Canada or New Jersey, depending on the source), he invited Helm and guitarist Robertson to join his electric band. "Bob Dylan was unknown to us," Helm wrote in his 1993 memoir This Wheel's on Fire. "I knew he was a folksinger and songwriter whose hero was Woody Guthrie. And that's it." Robertson and Helm were in Dylan's electric band for his controversial, frequently booed show at New York's Forest Hills Tennis Stadium. Afterward, various members of the Band played on Dylan's Blonde on Blonde and toured with him in 1966. (Helm left temporary in 1965, tired of the ongoing hostility from Dylan's folk fans.)

Recuperating in Woodstock after his 1966 motorcycle accident, Dylan again hooked up with the band that would soon be the Band. Before Helm rejoined them, they recorded the landmark Basement Tapes, and the Band's crackling, homespun take on American roots music began to take shape. Rechristening themselves the Band, they signed to Capitol Records and released two classic albums, Music From Big Pink (1968) and The Band (1969). Although Robertson was the Band's principal songwriter, it was Helm's beautifully gruff and ornery voice that brought the Canadian Robertson's mythic Americana songs to life. He was also one of rock's earliest singing drummers.

In 1976, at Robertson's urging, the Band broke up after its farewell concert, known as "The Last Waltz." In meetings before the concert and as recounted in This Wheel's on Fire, Helm was adamantly opposed to the group disbanding. "I didn't want any part of it," he wrote. "I didn't want to break up the band." He begrudgingly went along, but his relationship with Robertson was never the same. After the show, Helm formed his own band, Levon Helm and the RCO All Stars, featuring fellow legends Dr. John, Steve Cropper, and Booker T. Jones, and recorded several solo albums. Helm also ventured into acting with an acclaimed role in 1980's Coal Miner's Daughter, playing Loretta Lynn (Sissy Spacek's) father. But he couldn't leave the Band behind, and with Danko, Manuel, and Hudson, he formed a new version of the Band in the early Eighties, recording three new studio albums with them.

The Band continued for a while after Manuel's suicide by hanging in 1986, but Danko's death in 1999 of heart failure ended the Band once and for all. By then, Helm was dealing with throat cancer. After his recovery, he began holding intimate concerts in his combination barn and studio in Woodstock, called the "Midnight Ramble," in part to pay his medical bills. The low-key, woodsy performances became must-see shows and attracted a rock who's who; Elvis Costello, Natalie Merchant, the Grateful Dead's Phil Lesh and Donald Fagen were among the many who joined Helm and his band. The Ramble shows led to two acclaimed Helm solo albums – 2007's Dirt Farmer, which won a Grammy in the Best Traditional Folk category, and 2009's Electric Dirt, which resulted in a Grammy for Best Americana album. "This go-round has been a lot more fun," Helm told Rolling Stone in 2009. "Now I know I've got enough voice to do it."

When the Band was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in 1994, Helm didn't attend, revealing that his feud with Robertson was still on. "I thought Levon was going to show," Robertson told Rolling Stone a few years later. "Then that evening they said he changed his mind and wasn't going to come. And I thought, 'Oh, God, it would have been better if he was here.'"

Helm's throat cancer had taken a toll on his singing voice. On stage and in recent interviews, his voice was sometimes strong but other times was reduced to a low rasp. But at one his last shows, in Ann Arbor on March 19th with a 13-piece band, the audience roared when he sang the Band classic "Ophelia." "I'm not the poster boy of good health," he said in an interview last year. "But I'm not doing too bad. I still got the energy to make music. As long as I can do that, I'm great."

Sunday, April 22, 2012

On the turntable this Sunday...Junta

Junta is the first official studio release from the American rock band Phish. The album was independently recorded and released on tape in 1988, and did not appear in stores officially until May 8, 1989. The album was re-released by Elektra Records on October 26, 1992. The album is named after Ben "Junta" Hunter, the band's first official manager/agent, whose nickname is pronounced "'Joon-tah' (the o's sound like they do in 'look')."

In addition to a few more traditionally structured songs, Junta contains symphonic-like epics, large-scale improvisation and multi-part progressive rock suites. "Union Federal" was recorded at Paul Languedoc's home during one of the band's longform improvisational "Oh Kee Pa ceremonies". "Sanity" and "Icculus" were recorded live in concert at Nectar's in Burlington, Vermont, on July 25, 1988, (incorrectly labeled as 5/3/88 in the Elektra release liner notes).

The album was certified gold by the RIAA on October 9, 1997, and was certified platinum on July 7, 2004.

In February 2009, this album became available as a download in FLAC and MP3 formats from

On February 13, 2012, it was announced that Junta would be released on vinyl for the first time on April 21, 2012 as Limited Edition Deluxe 3-LP vinyl set, as part of Record Store Day. The LE Deluxe 3-LP vinyl set is limited to 5,000 individually numbered copies. 

The vinyl release was created from the original stereo master reels with lacquers cut by Chris Bellman at Bernie Grundman Mastering, and pressed onto 180g audiophile grade vinyl and includes a free MP3 download of the entire album (transferred from the new vinyl master).

Friday, April 20, 2012

Record Store Day: Friday Edition

Guide to Record Store Day 2012 in Knoxville, TN

Wild Honey Records has been adding “must-have” LPs to the store every day this week leading up to Record Store Day on Saturday. Please note their special ‘extended’ hours to celebrate Record Store Day:

Friday  3:00 pm to 7:00 pm (an extra hour later than usual)
Saturday 8:00 am to 8:00 pm (“Rock Around The Clock” Part 2)

The Disc Exchange will be throwing their usual Record Store Day party on Saturday and this year’s promises to be unlike any before!  In addition to all of the exclusives, sales, food, and beverage, our friends at the Disc Exchange will have live music on stage throughout the day!

Lost and Found Records is also throwing a party in celebration of Record Store Day.  Java, Kegs of beer, food, and live music-what’s not to love about April 21st?!?!

Thursday, April 19, 2012

Record Store Day April 21st: Thursday Edition

For this year’s Record Store Day, Phish will issue their debut album, Junta, on vinyl for the very first time. This will be the second year that Phish has participated in Record Store Day after releasing their only live recording on vinyl, Phish: Two Soundchecks, as part of last year’s event.

Last year’s exclusive  7-inch was limited to only 2,000 copies and featured two tracks taped during the summer of 2010, while the Junta package sees the band going much bigger.

The 5,000 individually numbered, limited edition 3-LP Junta sets will be available at independent record stores across the country.   Of those, 2,500 will be randomly distributed with a limited edition Jim Pollock poster designed specifically for the Record Store Day event.

Man, I am going to be broke after Saturday!!

-Will Fisher, The Showbiz Kids

Wednesday, April 18, 2012

Record Store Day April 21st: Wednesday Edition

Ahhh…the smell of vinyl is in the air!  Record Store Day takes place this Saturday, April 21st, and has become the annual celebration of the wonderful people and the independent record stores that have held off the big box retailers from completely ruining the music business altogether.  This equates to a wealth of exclusive releases and reissues, some of which are made in such limited quantities that they are practically only available on Record Store Day.

The entire list of exclusive releases are available on the official Record Store Day website or on the free Record Store Day app available for free in the iTunes store.  While reviewing my wish list last night, I added another exclusive from Genesis to my ever growing list of “must haves.”

Genesis - Spot The Pigeon EP

Spot The Pigeon is a lost entry in the Genesis catalog, containing three tracks recorded during the Wind & Wuthering sessions and one of the records recorded between Peter Gabriel's departure and the time when Phil Collins became the band's lead singer. This Record Store Day edition is one of the first official releases of Spot The Pigeon since its original run in 1977. While it's certainly not the band's best work, the prog-sounding Yes vibe on the second half of "Inside And Out" is what will make this EP sought after by fans and yours truly.

-Will Fisher, The Showbiz Kids

Tuesday, April 17, 2012

Record Store Day April 21st: Tuesday edition

This may come as a surprise to no one that I chose this, but today's edition of what is coming out on Record Store Day is a Paul McCartney release of "Another Day" and "Oh Woman Oh Why"...I've never uttered those words before and nor have I ever heard of this McCartney song. It has a great rhythm guitar opening and continues throughout the song.  Listen to it at the end of this bit.

Here are the details of the release on April 21st,but what is even more exciting to me is its just the beginning...this is just a preview for the re-release of Ram that comes out on May 22nd with a bunch of unreleased tracks and some documentary footage much like when he re-released Band on the Run a few years ago.

Format: 7" 45
Label: MPL / Hear Music

"Another Day"
"Oh Woman Oh Why"

A classic Paul McCartney vinyl single reissue manufactured exclusively for Record Store Day! "Another Day" was originally recorded in 1970, during the sessions for the album Ram. It was the first single of his solo career. It was originally released February 19, 1971 with "Oh Woman, Oh Why" as the B-side. Upon its release "Another Day"/"Oh Woman, Oh Why" reportedly sold over a million copies worldwide. It was a number one hit in France and Australia, in the U.K. it reached number two, in the U.S. it reached number five. This exclusive reissue single is taken from the forthcoming Paul McCartney Archive Collection edition of Ram coming this spring!

Kraftwerk's Ralf Hutter Reveals New Album in the Works

By Rolling Stone

In an interview with the New York Times, Kraftwerk's Ralf Hütter revealed that the groundbreaking electronic group's next album is coming "soon."

"We didn't fall asleep," said Hütter, the band's sole remaining original member. "The 168-hour week is still going on since the beginning, since 1970." Beyond confirming that the new album is "under way," Hütter did not elaborate. The album would be the group's first since 2003's Tour de France Soundtracks.
"Kraftwerk is a living organism," explained Hütter. "Music is never finished. It starts again tomorrow."

The German pioneers are currently in the middle of their eight day residency/exhibit at the Museum of Modern Art, "Kraftwerk - Retrospective 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8." They performed day five, featuring 1981's Computer World, last night.

Monday, April 16, 2012

Record Store Day April 21st: Monday edition

Draw Naturally – A Buck Owens Coloring Book is a Record Store Day Special Treat
By Michael Berick Musical Shapes blog

This year’s Record Store Day is all about the vinyl exclusives, limited edition CDs and a coloring book. What? A coloring book? Yes, and not just any coloring book but a vintage 1970 Buck Owens & the Buckeroos coloring book!

Here’s the story. Last year, the folks at Omnivore Recordings released a 45 of rare Buck Owens (“Close Up The Honky Tonks”/”My Heart Skips A Beat”) and they were looking for a different Owens item for this year’s RSD. Omnivore partner Cheryl Pawelski had a Buck Owens coloring book in her collection and thought they could do some type of reprinting of it. They checked with the Owens estate, who asked how many of the actual coloring books they wanted. So they struck a deal for 2,500 of these sought-after collector’s items that were stored in the Owens warehouse.

There’s a bit of a mystery surrounding these vintage coloring books. While there were made back in the 1970, Pawelski isn’t 100% sure if they are ever available to the public except for periodically at the Crystal Palace.  The coloring book deals with Buck Owens and the Buckaroos performing a concert and features a double page spread of them playing with a list of four songs: “Act Naturally, “I’ve Got A Tiger By The Tail,” “Together Again” and “Crying Time.”

It wouldn’t be a Record Store Day item, however, without some music involved. So, Omnivore is also including a four-song flexidisc (and a digital download card) with the four songs spotlighted on the coloring book’s songlist. These songs are come from a Live At The White House album that Omnivore is giving its CD debut to in June. This CD release also comes packed with some interesting extras – previously unreleased recordings that Buck & The Buckeroos did for the Apollo 16 astronauts (so, you could say that these tunes are making their earthly debut).

To go along with the patriotic theme of this material, the flexidiscs will be pressed up in three different colors – red, white or blue (although it won’t be red, white and blue, like Buck’s signature guitar). While Record Store Day will come with a treasure trove of music treats, few will match the uniqueness of these real, antique coloring books. Just keep them away from any crayon-crazy toddlers!

Sunday, April 15, 2012

On the turntable this Sunday...Boston

Boston is the debut album by American rock band Boston, released in July 1976 on Epic Records. It peaked at #3 on the Billboard 200, and has been certified as selling 17x platinum by the Recording Industry Association of America in 2003. The album is the second best-selling debut album of all-time in the United States, after Guns N' Roses' Appetite for Destruction.

Scholz started off jamming in a makeshift band that included drummer Jim Masdea, lead guitarist Barry Goudreau, and vocalist Brad Delp. Unsatisfied with the live sound, the perfectionist Scholz disbanded the act and instead made demos in his home studio with Delp on vocals and Masdea on drums. The demos eventually attracted the attention of Epic Records.

Scholz was satisfied with the demos to the point that he wanted to finalize them to a real album. Unfortunately, Epic declined. "The material had to be recorded in a 'professional' studio in exactly the same way!" Scholz later wrote. Scholz insisted on doing the re-cuts in his basement. Epic producer John Boylan, who had worked with the Little River Band among many others, made a deal with Scholz. Boylan would have the rest of the makeshift band record some studio arrangements in Los Angeles, to "create a diversion" while Scholz made his multi-track recordings at home.

Most of the instrumentation was performed by Scholz and recorded at his basement studio in Massachusetts. After Scholz recorded the instrumentation the tracks were then transferred from his 12 track tapes to a 24 track machine in a remote recording truck outside his basement studio to make them compatible with standard professional studio equipment. Delp's vocals were then recorded at Capitol Studios in Hollywood with producer Boylan. The album was then mixed by Scholz, Boylan and Warren Dewey at Westlake Audio in Los Angeles. Drummer Sib Hashian plays on all but "Rock & Roll Band", and only two tracks feature the contributions of Goudreau and Fran Sheehan, "Foreplay/Long Time" and "Let Me Take You Home Tonight". This quintet would perform and tour under the name Boston.

The album soared, with three singles becoming Top 40 hits. All eight of the songs on the album still receive regular airplay on classic rock radio to this day, across the country. Taking a mere three weeks to earn an RIAA Gold Record Award (500,000 in unit sales) in 1976, and a Platinum Award (1,000,000 in unit sales) after three months, it was the fastest selling debut album for any American group. It has continued to sell very well, accumulating 9 million in sales by the tenth anniversary in 1986, reaching diamond in 1990, and 17x platinum by 2003.

Legacy Records released a re-mastered version for compact disc on June 13, 2006. The original master tapes were digitally re-mastered by the band's leader, Tom Scholz, after he heard that the re-mastering project was to be handled by Sony. This was unacceptable to him, and he took it on himself after negotiations with Legacy. "I've always wanted to make those albums sound good on CD, and the chance arrived," he said.[10] The re-masters have received very high praise from magazine critics[citation needed], and especially from the die-hard fan base.

A small number of the Sony re-mastered versions briefly went on sale in Canada on April 4, 2006 before being yanked from the shelves. Those discs also included bonus tracks with live versions of "Smokin'" and "Foreplay/Long Time" from a 1976 Philadelphia concert.

All songs written and composed by Tom Scholz, except where noted.

Side one
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "More Than a Feeling"     4:44
2. "Peace of Mind"     5:02
3. "Foreplay/Long Time"     7:47

Side two
No. Title Writer(s) Length
1. "Rock and Roll Band"     2:59
2. "Smokin'"   Scholz, Brad Delp 4:22
3. "Hitch a Ride"     4:12
4. "Something About You"     3:48
5. "Let Me Take You Home Tonight"   Delp 4:44

Saturday, April 14, 2012

The Avett Brothers Add More Summer Dates

The Avett Brothers are continuing to finalize their summer and fall tour dates. The group has recently added a couple of new headlining shows, including big September dates at New York’s Rumsey Playfield and (9/18) and Indianapolis, IN’s The Lawn at White River State Park (9/3).

The group is also working on a new studio album, the follow-up to their successful I and Love and You.

Here’s a look at the group’s busy touring schedule:

4/12/2012 Lincoln, Nebraska—Pershing Auditorium
4/13/2012 Tulsa, OK—The Brady Theatre
4/14/2012 Tupelo, MS BancorpSouth Arena
4/17/2012 Durham, NH—Whittemore Center Arena
4/18/2012 Montreal QC—Corona Theatre
4/20/2012 Morgantown, WV—Creative Arts Center
4/21/2012 Ithaca, NY—State Theatre
4/22/2012 Albany, NY—Palace Theatre
4/25/2012 Providence, RI—Lupo’s Heartbreak Hotel
4/27/2012 State College, PA—Movin’ On Spring Music Festival
4/28/2012 Portsmouth, VA—nTelos Wireless Pavilion
5/9/2012 New York, NY—Terminal 5
5/11/2012 Fairfax, VA—Patriot Center
5/12/2012 Cleveland, OH—Jacobs Pavilion
5/15/2012 Toronto, ON—The Danforth Music Hall
5/16/2012 Toronto, ON—The Danforth Music Hall
5/18/2012 Detroit, MI—The Fillmore – Detroit
5/19/2012 Columbus, OH—LC Pavilion
5/20/2012 Pittsburgh, PA—Stage AE, Outdoor Stage
6/1/2012 Ozark, AR—Wakarusa Festival
6/2/2012 Grand Prairie, TX—Verizon Theatre at Grand Prairie
6/3/2012 Houston, TX—Free Press Festival
6/5/2012 Shreveport, LA—Strand Theatre
6/7/2012 Kettering, OH—Fraze Pavilion
6/22/2012 Los Angeles, CA—Nokia Theatre
6/23/2012 Berkeley, CA—Greek Theatre
6/24/2012 Sacramento, CA—The Grove Amphitheater
6/26/2012 Vancouver, BC—Vancouver International Jazz
6/28/2012 Salt Lake City, UT—Gallivan Center
6/29/2012 Morrison, CO—Red Rocks Amphitheater (w/City and Coloue)
6/30/2012 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheater (w/Devotchka)
7/3/2012 Council Bluffs, IA—The Cove
7/5/2012 Milwaukee, WI—Summerfest
7/6/2012 Des Moines, IA—80/35 Festival
7/20/2012 Glen Allen, VA—Innsbrook After Hours at Snagjob Pavilion
7/26/2012 Kansas City, MO—Crossroads KC
7/28/2012 New Braunfels, TX—Whitewater Amphitheater
8/29/2012 Palmer, AK—Alaska State Fair
9/18/2012 New York, NY—Rumsey Playfield
9/30/2012 Indianapolis, IN—the Lawn @ White River State Park

Friday, April 13, 2012

Chuck Leavell Discusses The Rolling Stones’ Tour Plans (Relix)

Longtime Rolling Stones keyboardist Chuck Leavell recently spoke at length with WBAI’s Morning Dew hosts Don Grossinger and Bob O’Donnell in an interview that aired this past Sunday. During the interview, Leavell shared his thoughts on the Rolling Stones’ 50th anniversary tour plans.

“I’ll give you my gut feelings on it…I just can’t imagine the milestone passing without activity,” said Leavell. So, my best guess is that, yes, it’ll happen. But only Mick and Keith and the inner circle know any details.”

Leavell also discussed his history with the Allman Brothers Band, Sea Level, George Harrison, Eric Clapton, as well as performing with Ray Charles, Dr. John, and more recently, John Mayer, whose tour was just cancelled due to a throat ailment.

You can listen to the full interview for the next two weeks on the WBAI Morning Dew archive page.

Thursday, April 12, 2012

Phish Summer Tour 2012

Phish has announced the second leg of their 2012 summer tour. The new dates begin on August 15 at the Long Beach Arena in Long Beach, CA and will take the band to the Bill Graham Civic Auditorium in San Francisco, CA for the first time. Just like last summer, the tour will close out at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park in Commerce City, CO over Labor Day weekend.

Phish’s summer tour will feature stops at several venues the band has yet to perform in addition to their first show ever in the state of Oklahoma (one of only seven states the band has yet to play). The tour will also feature Phish’s first show at Oak Mountain since 1999 and the band’s first gig at Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood since 2003.

For the second year in a row, Phish has also announced that they will not tour this fall.

Phish Summer Tour 2012

Aug 15 Long Beach, CA—Long Beach Arena
Aug 17 San Francisco, CA—Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Aug 18 San Francisco, CA—Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Aug 19 San Francisco, CA—Bill Graham Civic Auditorium
Aug 22 Kansas City MO—Starlight Theatre
Aug 24 Pelham, AL—Oak Mountain Amphitheatre
Aug 25 Atlanta, GA—Aaron’s Amphitheatre at Lakewood
Aug 26 Charlotte, NC—Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Aug 28 St. Louis, MO—Chaifetz Arena
Aug 29 Oklahoma City, OK—Oklahoma City Zoo Amphitheatre
Aug 31 Commerce City, CO—Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Sep 01 Commerce City, CO—Dick’s Sporting Goods Park
Sep 02 Commerce City, CO—Dick’s Sporting Goods Park

Wednesday, April 11, 2012

Tom Waits to make two late night talk show appearances in April

Tom Waits is scheduled to make two rare late night talk show appearances later this month.

On April 24, Waits will perform on Late Night with David Letterman and on April 25 he is scheduled to appear on Late Night with Jimmy Fallon.

The eclectic songwriter will both perform songs from his latest album Bad As Me and also will sit down to talk with both late night hosts. Fans are certainly excited and eager to hear songs from 2011’s Bad As Me performed live.

Tuesday, April 10, 2012

New Music Tuesdays...The Alabama Shakes 'Boys & Girls'

Available today is the highly anticipated debut album, Boys & Girls, from the Alabama Shakes, an aspiring bar band this time a year ago.   The Alabama Shakes has easily been one of the most talked-about new bands to come along in some time thanks in part to an early anointing by the Drive By Truckers’ Patterson Hood, some good breaks, and a rigorous schedule of endless touring.

Much of the buzz centers around the dynamic presence and unique voice of singer/guitarist Brittany Howard. Throughout the stellar Boys & Girls, she is as good as advertised, singing with unabashed zeal, and at times, threatening to come undone.

In fact,  Boys & Girls offers that same raw and ‘rough around the edges’ feel of the Kings of Leon’s excellent debut, Youth & Young Manhood. 

The lead single, “Hold On” is immediately likeable if not recognizable because it recalls the best qualities of both the Kings of Leon and the White Stripes with a strong R&B/Soul influence.

After listening to the album in its entirety, the overtones of R&B/Soul are as strong as, say, Led Zeppelin, and the Alabama Shakes have found the perfect balance in their music which transports the listener back to the 60’s and 70’s when rock bands channeled R&B/Soul more frequently.  

The gospel-tinged “On Your Way,” the call-and-response vocals in “I Found You,” and my personal favorite, “You Ain’t Alone” are excellent tracks in which the band allows the songs to breathe like a fine bottle of wine; the band lays back and leaves some open space in the song arrangements, rather than playing all out, all of the time. 

The Alabama Shakes are new to the confines of a recording studio and almost reserved on this album compared what I have been able to see and hear from their live performances.  So, like many of the bands I enjoy, the best way to experience Alabama Shakes is ‘live.’ But for a studio album, Boys & Girls, is a great way to get introduced!

-Will Fisher, The Showbiz Kids
The Showbiz Kids Rating: 9 out of possible 10 

Monday, April 9, 2012

KISS to perfrom on ABC's Dancing with the Stars

KISS will be special guest stars on ABC’s Dancing with the Stars on tonight and Tuesday night.  The costumed rockers will kick off both of this week’s scheduled episodes as part of the show’s “Rock Week,” which will feature the celebrity contestants and their partners dancing to a variety of rock classics.

Tonight, Kiss will play their 1975 classic “Rock and Roll All Nite,” as the program’s group of professional dancers perform alongside the band.  On Tuesday’s results show, Kiss will rock their 1983 hit “Lick It Up” with accompaniment from five of the profesional high-steppers.

Dancing with the Stars airs on ABC Mondays at 8 p.m. ET and Tuesdays at 9 p.m. ET.

Relix - Blogs - Picks and Pans (videos) - Bob Weir and Bruce Hornsby "Sugaree"

Relix - Blogs - Picks and Pans (videos) - Bob Weir and Bruce Hornsby "Sugaree"

Sunday, April 8, 2012

On the turntable this Easter Sunday...Closing Time

Closing Time is the debut studio album by American singer-songwriter Tom Waits, released in March 1973 on Asylum Records. Produced and arranged by former Lovin' Spoonful member Jerry Yester, Closing Time was the first of seven of Waits's major releases through Asylum, the final being Heartattack and Vine (1980).

Upon release, the album was mildly successful in the United States, although it did not chart and received little attention from music press in the United Kingdom and elsewhere internationally. The album is noted for being folk and jazz influenced. Critical reaction to Closing Time was positive. The album's lead, and only, single, "Ol' '55", attracted attention due to a cover version by Waits's better known label mates The Eagles. Other songs from the album were covered by artists ranging from Tim Buckley to Bette Midler. The album has sold under 500,000 copies in the United States and has gained a contemporary cult following among rock fans. The album has been reissued twice since its initial release, in 1999 and again in 2010.

Tom Waits began his musical career in 1970, performing every Monday night at The Troubadour, a venue in Los Angeles. Waits’ setlists at these series of shows, described as "hootenanny nights" consisted primarily of Bob Dylan covers although it included songs which would later appear on Closing Time and its successor, The Heart of Saturday Night (1974), including "Ice Cream Man", "Virginia Avenue", "Ol' '55", "I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love with You", "Shiver Me Timbers" and "Diamonds on my Windshield". Around this time, Waits also began working as a doorman at the nearby club, The Heritage, which was also a coffee house by day. In November 1970, Waits performed his first paid show at The Heritage, earning $25 for his performance. At a Troubadour performance in summer 1971, Herb Cohen inadvertently spotted Waits and became his manager. Through Cohen's contacts, Waits recorded a number of demos in Los Angeles in late summer 1971 with producer and engineer Robert Duffey, later released as The Early Years in two respective volumes, against Waits’ wishes. In order to focus on his career, Waits relocated from San Diego to Los Angeles in early 1972 and performed more frequently at The Troubadour, where David Geffen discovered him performing "Grapefruit Moon." The performance, which "floored" Geffen, led Geffen to negotiate with Waits’ manager Cohen and Waits signed to Asylum Records within a month.

Closing Time, at the time of its release, was received by the American music press with positive critical acclaim, although its coverage was limited. In its original Rolling Stone review, the album was positively referred to as "a remarkable debut album", compared to Randy Newman, and was branded as a "boozier, earthier version of same and delights in rummaging through the attics of nostalgia, the persona that emerges from this remarkable debut album is Waits’ own, at once sardonic, vulnerable and emotionally charged" while the "Dean of American Rock Critics" Robert Christgau noted that with his "jazz-schooled piano and drawling delivery [...] Waits exploits an honest sentimentality which he undercuts just enough to be credible", also noting his similarity to Newman. Allmusic held the album in high regard, describing "his lovelorn lyrics" as being "sentimental without being penetrating. But he also has a gift for gently rolling pop melodies" and his "self-conscious melancholy can be surprisingly moving." Billboard referred to the album upon its release as "hauntingly lovely [...] which captures the essence of a moment, a thought or a love."

The album received little coverage the United Kingdom and elsewhere internationally, with its promotion being little more than a featured advert in the NME.[1] However, in recent years, NME has described Waits as a "veteran singer-songwriter."[28]

Closing Time reached a wider audience through cover versions by more successful artists and have since continued to have been covered. Later in 1973, Tim Buckley released the album Sefronia, with a cover of "Martha," the first ever cover of a Waits song by a known artist. Buckley's version was also included in the 1995 tribute compilation Step Right Up: The Songs of Tom Waits. "Ol' '55" was recorded by The Eagles for their 1974 album On the Border. "Martha" was covered again in 1979 by Bette Midler on Saturday Night Live and once again by Meat Loaf on his 1995 album Welcome to the Neighborhood. "Ice Cream Man" was covered in 1991 by Screamin' Jay Hawkins, one of Waits’ influences, for his album Black Music For White People. "Lonely" was covered by Bat For Lashes, and a live version was included on the deluxe edition of her album Two Suns.

Track listing:
All songs written by Tom Waits.

No. Title Length
1. "Ol' '55"   3:58
2. "I Hope That I Don't Fall in Love with You"   3:54
3. "Virginia Avenue"   3:10
4. "Old Shoes (& Picture Postcards)"   3:40
5. "Midnight Lullaby"   3:26
6. "Martha"   4:30
7. "Rosie"   4:03
8. "Lonely"   3:12
9. "Ice Cream Man"   3:05
10. "Little Trip to Heaven (On the Wings of Your Love)"   3:38
11. "Grapefruit Moon"   4:50
12. "Closing Time" (instrumental) 4:20
Total length: 45:46