Let’s all just take a minute to realize that Sports, the seminal break-through record from Huey Lewis & The News, turns 30 this year. Rolling Stone has an interview with Lewis about the milestone where Lewis talks about the band going on a tour this summer where they will play the album front to back along with other hits and deep cuts.
I may have mentioned this before, but this year also marks the 30th anniversary of the release of Return of the Jedi. That’s right, the last movie in the Original Trilogy is three decades old. Think about that for a few minutes.
Solid first offering off their upcoming album.
I love how Dave Grohl’s answer to “what should we do with this song?” appears to always be “Let’s add another guitar!”
Flipness aside, I have the feeling we’re watching something truly awesome as Grohl continues to promote his Sound City documentary. Not only is he obviously having a blast playing with all these legendary musicians and sharing his passion for this place where so much great music was made, but I have to believe there’s lots of goodwill that’s spilling over from the live appearances to the film itself. It’s cross-media story-telling in a very pure fashion.
Watch this video for the wordless “Mantra” from the film’s soundtrack and see what a great musician Grohl really is. The song’s progression from one segment to the next is seamless and marked most notably by changes in how he plays the bass drum part.
Today would be the birthday of Terry Kath, the original guitarist for Chicago. Kath continues to be an incredibly underrated artist and is, when you look at the band’s early music, incredibly responsible for a lot of its sound in that era.
There’s a quote from Robert Lamm I once read where he pointed out that Kath often wasn’t playing what would be considered traditional guitar parts. Instead they were more like what would be played by the left hand on a piano. It’s an observation that drastically impacted how I listened to his playing after that.
Kath deserves more acknowledgement for just what an incredible musician he was and not be judged by how people now see the band he once, by virtue of his outsized personality, seemed to lead.
Eric Clapton has a new record coming out:
Due on his own Bushbranch label, Old Sock will include two new originals – “Every Little” and “Gotta Get Over” – and versions of 10 of the guitarist’s favorite songs from throughout his life. The LP also includes several guests: blues legend JJ Cale lends backing vocals and guitar on “Angel,” R&B singer Chaka Khan sings back-up on “Get On Over,” Clapton’s old Blind Faith mate Steve Winwood plays organ on “Still Got the Blues” and Paul McCartney plays bass and sings on “All of Me.”
In other words, it’s more of the trend begun with 2007′s reuniting with his Cream bandmates: Clapton realizing there’s very little he has still to prove and so making some fun music with his friends, something I’m very much in favor of. I’d rather here him and his collaborators enjoying themselves by playing some old favorites and have that joy come out through the music than have him – or anyone else – feel like they need to push themselves in directions they’re not comfortable with. Good stuff can come out of that and I’m not decrying those bands or artists that still go out there with a fire in their belly. But I’m also a big fan of this kind of “Hey, let’s just do this.” attitude.
Judge me if you want, but I dig it. And you certainly can’t say he’s not having fun.
Yesterday, as many people noted, was the 30th anniversary of the compact disc’s introduction as a music medium. It’s hard to believe that an entire format has been phased in and already gone through much of its life cycle within my lifetime but there it is.
It wasn’t until 1988 that I bought my first CD. Up until that point I’d been fine with tapes and even records, the latter of which was on its way out as I was growing up though it was still prominent enough that I bought quite a few LPs and even 45″ singles in the record stores I frequented as a youth (particularly Flipside Records in Hillside, IL…dropped quite a few allowance dollars in that place…).
After receiving my first CD player the Christmas of 1988 (an all-in-one bookshelf type thing with a CD player, tape deck, radio tuner and, yes, a record player) I almost immediately bought my first two albums on disk: Phil Collins’ But Seriously… and the Danny Elfman Batman score. I still have both, though it’s been ages since I put the disks themselves in anything other than my laptop to rip them into iTunes.
No huge point here. Not going to start pontificating on the transience of media delivery forms or anything like that. Just a fond memory I have of feeling the excitement of being able to skip to any song I wanted to listen to with the push of a button and without the vagaries of rewinding of trying to find just the right groove.
(One minor additional point: Remember on the back of CDs there used to be a three-letter code with a bunch of As and Ds to show how the album was recorded, mixed and mastered? I used to be mildly obsessed with checking these before buying any album.)
In case you were wondering how a video for a new Ben Folds Five song could be more awesome in execution than it might be in theory, I have one word for you: Fraggles.
I’m not usually interested in these “one night only on the big screen” music releases, but this one *might* entice me to the theater.