Music Review

Tom Petty for President

I became a fan of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers several years ago by a chance encounter with a friend's iPod. I became obsessed and ended up going through what I thought was his whole catalogue. I classified him as a classic rock artist who was underappreciated, no longer relevant, and patted myself on the back for "getting it." So when I heard that Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers were coming to Seattle on August 19, I grabbed my credit card and headed to my laptop, ready to buy a general admission ticket to Neumos or the Showbox…maybe the Moore Theater. After all, if the bands that I listened to in high school were playing those venues when they came to town, that's where I'd find Tom Petty. Read more »

Joe Martino's Promise: A Fable Of Lost Folk

The Children of Rain - Red Corduroy (Bad Pressings)

This is a tale with two beginnings that merge revealingly. One is more than half a century old, the other only began at the start of the year. They meld on the account of a single name, or rather the mis-accounting of it, and the fact that it seemed beguiling to this writer on a late at night, nothing better to do trawl for "quality obscure" on auction sites. You are unlikely to have heard of The Children Of Rain. They released one single on Dot Records in 1966, but someone at the label sent the wrong credits to the pressing plant. Although they were the first to get their hands on "Get Together," their rendition tanked, not because it was in any way inferior to the later version by The Youngbloods which became a counter-culture anthem for that turbulent decade of hope and change, and sold! sold! sold! Such is the mysticism and capriciousness of fate, and the fact the song was demoted to the flip-side of their sole release "Dawn To Dusk." It might have had a better run at success had their name been at all visible on the disc, rendered an afterthought after the their lead singer's Pam Meacham, which had been randomly elevated and wrongly spelt in the process. Hence the black hole on search engines. How it appeared was never how it was supposed to but it stands as a portent laden indication of future calamities. Having taken a chance on their eight song acetate I realized I may be buying an expensive relic of little actual worth, but I coughed up the $200 and hoped that my instincts might have unearthed a wonderful curio, and not a batch of best forgotten musings. Read more »

Dusty Wright - "Weather This Storm"

Here's a new video collaboration with visual artist Ashley G. Garner. It was co-directed by Ms. Garner & Dusty Wright and produced by Dusty Wright for PetRock, Inc. The song was produced by d. Bindi, mixed by David Lee, and mastered by Alan Douches for West West Side Music. Recorded by Gio Loria at Black Volt Studio, LA & Straus Park Studio, NYC. Co-vocals by Jay Stolar.  Read more »

Bass of Bizarre

Primus
Marymoor Park, Redmond, OR
August 15, 2017

Over 25 years after setting sail on the Seas of Cheese, Primus continues to navigate uncharted, musical waters, over running so many younger vessels in a music scene progressively stagnating in the doldrums. This is an act that continues to play music because they love to and it shows. Read more »

Video of the Week: Liam Gallagher - "For What It's Worth"

Some music acts deserve our full attention because of the legacy that spawned them. And so it goes that former Oasis lead vocalist Liam Gallagher delivers his much anticipated solo long player As You Were (Warner Brothers) on October 6th followed by short tour in selecti cities in North America in November. The songs -- "For What It's Worth," "Chinatown," and "Wall of Glass" (12 million streams!) -- are deservedly getting fantastic press from journalists and public alike. When the Manchaster-based anthem rock band disbanded, the Brothers Gallagher seemed destined for the scrap heap. Could the parts equal the power of the collective? Well, yes and no. Neither brother has released a solo album to rival either Definitely Maybe or (What's The Story) Morning Glory?. I certainly prefer Liam's sneering vocals over Noel's comfortable vocals and Noel's songwriting chops over his younger brother's tunes. Yes, together they were a force of nature. Apart...? I liked Beady Eye songs, but didn't love either of their albums. And to be fair, I've not given Noel's solo albums my full attention. Read more »

Single of the Week: Glen Campbell - "I'm Not Gonna Miss You"

"I'm Not Gonna Miss You" is one of the last songs Glen recorded in the studio before being forced to retire from the music business due to his well-documented slide into alzheimer's. The lyrics reflect all of the pain and suffering so many feel when dealing with this brutal disease. Written specifically for his documentary I'll Be Me -- see it; you will not easily forget it or Glen's much-deserved legacy as one of the giants of the music industry, country or otherwise. This video features some of the moments from the film which captures his unforgettable farewell tour with his family and friends in tow -- both on stage and off. RIP, Glen! You were one talented man.

Album of the Week: Desertshore - Arc of an Arrow Blind

From the family tree of Red House Painters/Mark Kozelek -- one of my favorite artists -- comes the fifth Desertshore album, Arc of an Arrow Blind (Darkan Records). This is a wonderfully engaging instrumental album of sublime depth and beauty. Think of a more textured Red House Painters or Sun Kil Moon with arpeggiated guitars and piano/keyboard riffs with the bass and drums anchoring the proceedings in various rhythmic rock, jazz and even hypnotic world beat patterns. (Check out "Descend Like The Sun.") Read more »

C'mon and Hear Steve Ross

Steve Ross
C'mon and Hear: An Irving Berlin
July 4th Celebration
Birdland Jazz Club, NYC
June 26, 2016

In a letter to Alexander Woollcott, Jerome Kern wrote that "Irving Berlin has no place in American Music… He is American Music." What better person to present the art of Irving Berlin than venerable singer and pianist Steve Ross, who presented this great American composer's work in a sterling evening entitled C'mon and Hear: An Irving Berlin July 4th Celebration, at the historical Birdland Jazz Club on Manhattan’s West 44th Street, where he shared the stage with seasoned bassist Jered Egan.

Steve deeply understands the art behind Berlin's voluminous body of work, in a manner unique to himself. His renderings of both well-known, lesser known, and even obscure Berlin songs are historically astute and performed in an exceedingly skillful manner which is at once serious and at the same time carefree. The word "skillful" may sound academic and dry, but Steve's show was anything but. Read more »

Ornette: Tomorrow is the Question

Joining such memorable events as Ornette’s week at Lincoln Center in 1997 and the celebration in his honor at Celebrate Brooklyn which was the last time he played in public and which is now documented in an incredible box set alongside the memorial held for him at Riverside Church and Wynton's own celebration of Ornette at Lincoln Center will be Ornette Coleman: Tomorrow is the Question, July 11–16 as part of their yearly indoor festival. There will be a four-part series honoring Ornette's work as a composer, innovator, and performer. Read more »

LeAnn Rimes Brings The Proverbial House Down At Pride Fest!

On Sunday, LeAnn Rimes proved once and for all that she has outgrown the child prodigy country music label that launched her career at age 14(!) with the release of the mega-hit record "Blue," making her the youngest artist ever to win a Grammy (she won two). Read more »

Video of the Week: Melanie De Biasio - "No Reply"

Some artists transcend description, best they are not compartmentalized into a specific genre of music. Miss Melanie De Biasio is a Belgian artist that incorporates jazz, classical, nufolk, even electronica into her musically rich vocabulary to create her truly unique and atmospheric sound; not unlike Sigur Ros or Bjork or Joni Mitchell's jazz-informed work in the late '80s. This song was released on her 2014 album No Reply, an album I just got turned on to by my dear friend Michael Naso. This version of the song features strings and was recorded in a cathedral in Brussels. The arrangement is fantastic and it features a wonderful Gregorian contralto co-vocal by Romain Dayez. In fact, as much as I like this string-driven version of the title track, her song "The Flow" from that album is even better. It's got a killer groove. Think '70s era Gil Scott-Heron. And if that wasn't enough to take in, her new effort Lilies drops on October 6th. Check out her new single "Gold Junkies" -- one of the tracks from that album -- here. Take a deep breath and enjoy her wonderful music. I suspect the rest of America will be catching up with this extremely talented artist very soon. peace, Dusty

The Girl With A Thorn In Her Side

Lynn Castle Rose Colored Corner Light (Light In The Attic)

Coming across visually as a prototype Nancy Sinatra about to enter The Valley Of The Dolls, Lynn Castle in the 1960s was an entrancing and beguiling entity. Her debut album finally appears a few years shy of her turning eighty, and it is a tremendous affair, an index of splendid and unrealized possibilities, as stark as it is haunting.  Read more »

Tender & The Fury

Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds
Beacon Theatre, NYC
June 15, 2017

Much is being written that Nick Cave's current tour of Skeleton Tree may be his best yet. Seeing Mr. Cave and The Bad Seeds' performance last night at the Beacon Theatre in New York City, I would agree. Playing every song from that album except "Rings of Saturn" plus another eleven classic songs (set list here) from his catalog, it was a show that will be difficult to rival by any touring act this year or quite possibly until Mr. Cave decides to tour again. Quite remarkable given that he's a few months shy of his 60th year on Earth. Read more »

Something Strange Going On...

Long Strange Trip (Amazon Video)

I was stoked have scored a ticket for the limited-run (one week) theatrical screening of the new Grateful Dead documentary at IFC Cinema in the West Village. A four-hour love fest for Deadheads young and old, and more importantly for those music fans and the curious who just never got "it" and what it means to be a Deadhead. Expertly handled by director Amir Bar-Lev, there is so much to mine here that I can't imagine how much was left on the cutting room floor. (Props to executive producer Martin Scorsese, too.) Jerry's Frankenstein story frames the movie in a way that initially seems odd but by the end of the film makes perfect sense. After all, like the Monster, the band was "assembled" by the various parts (members, friends, fans, staff) that comprised it. Messy, joyous entropy in action; seemingly random, but actually spiritually connected on a very profound and metaphysically level. This could have easily been a 6 - 8 hour mini-series. Heck, I could have watched another hour just on the various keyboard players that brought their craft to the Dead. Or how the band would curate their set lists from show to show, never repeating a set list while on tour. But these are minor quibbles. This is a must-see film. Read more »

All Tomorrow's Karaokes

John Cale
Liverpool Sound City, UK
Friday 26th May 2017

Fifty years on and it is time to remember one of the most innovative albums ever impressed onto wax. A delicious dark and jagged confection of nihilism and sulky sophistication unlike it's Liverpudlian counterpart Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band, also now fifty, but which was sunny, funny and a bit vaudeville. Both represent a pair of wildly different bookends. The Velvet Underground and Nico was then a monumental, commercial flop, whilst the Beatles album sold in the millions. With half a century under its belt of shiny studded leather, the Velvets album now has an arc of influence that continues to reach into the hearts of those who wish to create a positive noise. Read more »

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