President Obama’s Weekly Address (July 28, 2012)

July 29, 2012 at 1:37 am (Life & Politics)

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President Obama’s Weekly Address (July 21, 2012)

July 28, 2012 at 9:35 am (Life & Politics)

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Tony Joe White – “Swamp Music: The Complete Monument Recordings” (2006)

July 26, 2012 at 10:37 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

This review of the limited edition Rhino Handmade box set was taken from the now-defunct No Depression magazine, Jan.-Feb. 2007 (issue #67) and written by Edd Hurt…

Polk Salad Days

As an examination of the moment when down-home whites and their equally down-home but somewhat less privileged black neighbors could no longer speak to each other, Tony Joe White’s “Willie and Laura Mae Jones” is as valuable a ’60s document as, say, Haskell Wexler’s film Medium Cool. Listeners who know only Dusty Springfield’s 1969 take on “Willie and Laura Mae” might hear the song as an idyll. Certainly, her version makes explicit the conceit of Dusty in Memphis — we can all be soul brothers and sisters, if only we can get Tommy Cogbill to play bass — but Springfield inhabited a world of surfaces that White never exploited.

Born on July 23, 1943, in the northeast Louisiana parish of West Carroll, White started out as a southern white blues fan; he began playing music in earnest after he heard Lightnin’ Hopkins. After knocking around in Texas and Louisiana clubs, he landed lucky in Nashville in the late 1960s, signing with Monument Records. The label and its publishing arm made a point to encourage new songwriters and to champion all manner of sports on its subsidiary soul label, Sound Stage 7.

White began recording when many white rock and pop performers were making the transition from the post-Beatles international style to something more conflicted and soulful. His Monument work — he made three albums for the label — survives not Read the rest of this entry »

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Betty Davis – “Betty Davis” (1973)

July 26, 2012 at 7:47 am (Miles Davis, Music, Reviews & Articles)

Taken from Must Hear, Oct. 31, 2003, written by John Ballon…

“If Betty were singing today she be something like Madonna, something like Prince, only as a woman. She was the beginning of all that when she was singing as Betty Davis.” ~ Miles Davis with Quincy Troupe, Miles: The Autobiography

The former wife of Miles, Betty Mabry Davis is perhaps the only woman in the world who could rightfully have the following legend tattooed across her rear: THIS ASS INVENTED FUSION. While their marriage only lasted a year (1968-1969), Betty’s impact on the immortal jazz trumpeter was tremendous. Her cutting-edge musical tastes and incomparable sense of style were too much for Miles to resist. A self-righteous 23-year old model, Betty conquered the man twice her age with a potent mixture of youth, beauty, and sex. Within a year, she had completely remade Miles in her own youthful image. As she poured herself into him, his playing grew younger, his outlook fresh. She ripped through his closets, tossing out the elegant suits he had worn for years. This was the late ’60s, revolution was in the air, and suits were the uniforms of the Establishment. The time had come to get hip, and Betty pointed the way, introducing Miles to the musical and material gods of revolutionary style: Jimi Hendrix and Sly Stone.

Anyone with half a grip on the past knows that Miles expereiced far more than a wardrobe makeover during his tumultuous Betty year. Deeply influenced by the cosmic rock guitar of Hendrix and the experimental funk of Sly Stone, Miles turned Read the rest of this entry »

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Jimmy Cliff – “Rebirth” (2012)

July 26, 2012 at 7:04 am (Music, Reviews & Articles)

Taken from the PopMatters website, July 18th and written by Colin McGuire. I definitely recommend this album to anyone who loves old-school reggae…

Reggae music legend Jimmy Cliff turned 64 on the first of April this year. In 2010, he was inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, making him only the second reggae artist to ever achieve such status (the other, of course, is Bob Marley). In 1972, the singer starred in The Harder They Come, a movie that introduced him to the American mainstream as his Ivanhoe “Ivan” Martin proved to be a mesmerizing character for audiences everywhere. The film not only received critical praise, but its soundtrack also essentially single-handedly brought Jamaican music to the United States of America.

Jimmy Cliff, in other words, didn’t ever need to make another record again to solidify his legacy and importance in the reggae music world. But he did. And that album, Rebirth, reminds music listeners everywhere that the reggae world would be forced to endure a hole the size of Kingston had the singer decided to give up making music for good. The record not only reclaims his position at the top of the Jamaican music mountain, but it also assures us that the man born James Chambers is far from finished when it comes to recording and performing.

Produced by Rancid’s Tim Armstrong, Rebirth is every bit its title. From the excellent ska-oriented album opener “World Upside Down”, to the final proper song Read the rest of this entry »

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Glen Campbell – “Ghost on the Canvas” (Video – 2011)

July 18, 2012 at 4:41 pm (Music)

Taken from Glen’s final album, this song was written by Paul Westerberg and is one of his finest songs, as well as one of Campbell’s finest performances. Westerberg appears in this excellent video.

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Bob Dylan – “Tempest” (2012 – Press Release)

July 17, 2012 at 10:02 am (Bob Dylan, Music, Reviews & Articles)

Columbia Records announced today that Bob Dylan’s new studio album, Tempest, will be released on September 11, 2012. Featuring ten new and original Bob Dylan songs, the release of Tempest coincides with the 50th Anniversary of the artist’s eponymous debut album, which was released by Columbia in 1962.

Tempest is available for pre-order now on iTunes and Amazon. The new album, produced by Jack Frost, is the 35thth studio set from Bob Dylan, and follows 2009’s worldwide best-seller, Together Through Life.

Bob Dylan’s four previous studio albums have been universally hailed as among the best of his storied career, achieving new levels of commercial success and critical acclaim for the artist. The Platinum-selling Time Out of Mind from 1997 earned multiple Grammy Awards, including Album of the Year, while “Love and Theft” Read the rest of this entry »

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Jon Lord (1941-2012)

July 16, 2012 at 5:50 pm (Life & Politics, Music)

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President Obama’s Weekly Address (July 14, 2012)

July 15, 2012 at 7:50 am (Life & Politics)

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President Obama’s Weekly Address (July 7, 2012)

July 15, 2012 at 7:48 am (Life & Politics)

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