Sunday, May 8, 2011

April 3, 2011: Greetings from the Music Dept. - Passover Edition

Hello, Dear Friends.  Time for another one of my whenever-the-hell-I-feel-like-it blast emailings with various music ramblings.  Once again I've tried to be a good interweb citizen and have put all of the addresses in the BCC field (got some flack once before about not doing that,and you know how much I hate flack).  I've got some personal music news as well as some info on a couple of nice recordings you may not know about.  But first, this link to my little Passover Song.  Been a few years since I've inflicted this on people, so I know
that some of you getting this email haven't heard it, and for those who have, well, again, sorry...

OK, now that that's out of the way, on to the news...
I'm thrilled to report that my friend and musical cohort Matt Douglass and I have been invited by Geoffrey Himes to be a part of his 3rd annual Night of 1000 Dylans, down at the Creative Alliance (in the old Patterson Theater) on May 20th.  It's held each year to celebrate Dylan's birthday (he's 70 this year -- yeesh!).  A whole bunch of local performers (not quite a thousand but I guess Geoff couldn't call it Night of a Whole Bunch of Dylans) will do 3 songs each, with and/or without a backing band, who this year is Gypsy Dawg.  I know that the Official Promotion for this hasn't quite yet gotten started, but I figured I'd let you all know anyway (sorry Geoff!).  Last year it sold out, so if you're planning on coming get your tickets early.

I've been trying to convince Matt that we should have a name for our act.  I've suggested The Valdez Brothers (Juan and Exxon), The Never Be Brothers, and The Nazi Morons, but so far all to no avail -- probably a good thing.   Here's a recording of us working on one song we're considering performing that night:

Geoff has also invited Matt and I to do another one of the Roots Cafe shows  -- nice guy, that Geoff -- and it looks like that'll be in the fall, still nailing down the date.

Speaking of Dylan, did you know that he was once on the sitcom "Dharma and Greg"?  No lie.

I also found these absolutely fascinating (for Dylan nerds like me) series of articles about his writing process. Sort of the same old argument that he does nothing but steal from others, which is of course not true, but he certainly does borrow liberally.  Not only in his songs, but also in his book Chronicles: Volume One, and especially taking things from Henry Rollins in his most recent decade of work.

Bob Dylan, Scarface and The Science of Charlatanism

The Mind Polluting Words of Bob Dylan and Henry Rollins

Bob Dylan Disguised As Henry Rollins

"Things Have Changed" between Bob Dylan and Henry Rollins

Bob Dylan takes Henry Rollins through "Mississippi"

OK, enough Dylan already.  My last bit here is to mention a couple of nice music releases.  The first one I'd say was my favorite CD that I bought last year: Bettye Lavette's "Interpretations: The British Rock
Songbook".  Absolutely terrific and complete re-thought-through versions of songs by The Beatles (both collectively and individually), Pink Floyd, The Animals, The Stones...  Doesn't sound like it's worth it but it's incredible.  I had never heard of her before (don't know how I missed her, honestly, once I started reading about her), but last December I turned on the TV in the middle of a PBS broadcast of the Kennedy Center Honors for The Who.  They announce her, I'm thinking "Who...?" and she does a version of "Love Reign O'er Me" that sent chills up my spine. Pretty much the whole album is this good, and they've included the Kennedy Center performance on it at the end. Here's a link to the video:

The other is Black Dub.  It's Daniel Lanois' latest project.  His typical atmospheric sound, a great female vocalist, New Orleans swampy and reggae and who-knows-what-to-call-it stuff, right up my alley, anyway.  Dylan connection here again, I'm afraid, since Lanois was Producer on some of the better Dylan albums, but I think his work is better represented on the work he did with U2 and Peter Gabriel.  Anyway, Black Dub isn't knock-your-socks-off great, but it's worth buying.

Alrighty, then, till next time....

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