Friday, April 29, 2005
the second week-end of the new orleans jazz fest is well underway right now, and dang, we wish we were there . . .they have a ton of great music this weekend, elvis costello, randy newman, toots and the maytals, isaac hayes, north mississippi allstars, the neville bros. . . as usual, there is too much music to see it all. the best thing to do is map out who you really want to see 1st and work your way down. a lot of the time there is more than one act you like playing at the same time, on different stages at opposite ends of the grounds. you just gotta go with the one that sets you up for the other stuff you want to see. it is a scientific thing to be able to pack as much great music as one can in one day. ya gotta know where you are, so you can get there on time. as with any large gathering of people, a meeting place is essential in keepin' yer krewe together. the place at the jazz fest is the flagpole in the center of the grounds. it used to be that only a handful of festers would loiter there, but as the fest has grown, so has the number of people looking for other people. so over the last decade or so the way to keep track is to get yourself near a stage you know has all the good food and music, plant a colorful flag on a tall pole and the rest of the krewe will follow.
i've been going to the jazz fest for quite awhile, in fact, making it to every fest, at least for one day, from 1970 until my last in 2001. these last 4 years have been murder here at this time of year. reno tries to be hip, what with their little jazz fest, but to be honest, it just don't add up. it is damn funny to see these guys wearing beads, eating pseudo cajun food and listening to suburban yankee kids trying to play the blues. . . it just don't add up.
and if missing the music ain't enough to break this po' boy's heart there is all the wonderful food. no matter which way you turn at the fairgrounds food abounds, and not the kind you find anywhere else in the world. crawfish monica, crawfish pie, gumbo (of all sorts), jambalaya, soft-shell crab po boys, muffulettas, boiled crawfish . . . mmmmmm, i can smell it all the way here in reno.
well, we are gonna spend the weekend listening to jazz and blues records real loud, make some po' boys and red beans, then sit out in the yard with our umbrella and flag and wish we were home already!
(speaking of food, go see my friend danno's site, new orleans cuisine, and try some of his recipies for some great jazz fest cookins', he's missing the fest too i am sure!)
here are some tunes by various new orleans artists that usually play the fest but aren't very well known outside of the city . they are too good not to spread the word about:
the subdudes (w/ ivan neville) - straight shot (buy it)
the new orleans nightcrawlers - red cap (buy it)
the rev. chris marsceill - sentinal (buy it)
the iguanas - 9 volt heart (buy it)
the flying neutrinos - st. john's infirmary (buy it)
zachary richard - bon temps rouler (buy it)
kid red - it shoulda been me (buy it)
professor john - i want to go home (buy it)
jon cleary - tipitina live (wmv video) (buy it)
- and here is a cool little video on early jazz history - new orleans jazz
Wednesday, April 27, 2005
just a quickie.
we got a flyer from billy harvey yesterday. he is playing an accoustic show at bend studio in dallas, tx on saturday, april 30th. (dang, they never come up into the hills these guys).
so, if you are near 'big d' and you're not washing your sox or waiting for the next episode of 'amerikan idle', you should be there.(god knows if we could we would!)
we think he is the next big thing! he surely is #1 in the wreckroom lately, (even more-so once the mail gets here). . .
. . . in the meantime, i am waiting by the mailbox for my copies of the three billy cds, (the wifey had just enuff moola in her purse to cover it, tho she don't know it yet. but she loves billy too, so i'll prolly get off easy.)
uh oh, i think i hear the postman . . . yes!
a piece of the pie:
billy harvey - frozen through
(go buy 'pie' from billy harvey)
Monday, April 25, 2005
we watched a very good movie this weekend, 'basquiat'. it's the story of artist jean michael basquiat, and his metoric rise from street-wise grafitti artist to befriending andy warhol and becoming the darling of the new york art world. he died in 1988 at the age of 27 from a heroin overdose.
after the flick we started talking about all the other 'dead at 27' celebrities there were.
it seems to be a catagory only rock and roll could embrace. the deaths of
jimi hendrix, jim morrison, janis joplin, brian jones, al wilson and ron 'pig pen' mckernon in the late '60's and early '70's started what is the '27 club'. each died by drugs, alchohol or under bizarre circumstances, cut down in the prime of their careers, at the ripe old age of 27.
there were others of course . . .
robert johnson was a blues artist, but being poisoned by a jealous husband is oh-so-rock-n-roll.
d. boon of the minutemen, was killed in an auto accident.
kurt cobain, whose supposed suicide struck the world of grunge music.
kristen pfaff, bassist for courtney love's hole, of a suspect overdose shortly after the death of cobain, and in some circles her death is connected with his.
i can't think of anymore, if ya do let me know!
and here's some '27' songs:
jimi hendrix - izabella/machine gun (dec '69 rehersal) (real stream)
nirvana - smells like teen spirit
canned heat - wait and see
the rolling stones - jumping jack flash
robert johnson - 32-20 blues (real stream)
the doors - love her madly
the minutemen - a political song for michael jackson to sing
. . . and to top it off here is a band called 'dead at 27'
well, here's to those that lived/died out the line, 'hope i die before i get old'.
Saturday, April 23, 2005
god i am weird.
some very strange disney-related mp3s, (not with walt's approval, i'm sure)
fish on the wall - dopefiend from disneyland (stream)
david wolfenberger - freezing walt disney
delete - disneyland
the dickies - stukas over disneyland (clip from amazon.com)
the bullfrogx - bombs on disneyland
richard bey - disneyland (comedy bit)
kay bell - disneyland radio spot #3
Thursday, April 21, 2005
today marks 39 years since 'the trombone man' died. he passed away in las vegas after a long, nasty battle with cancer. he was only 36 years old and he was my father.
freddie assunto played trombone, and along with his brother frank on trumpet, my grandpa 'papa' jac on banjo and 'bone, and my mom, betty 'the duchess' owens singing, he helped to make 'the dukes of dixieland' one of the most popular and sucessful acts in the 1950's.
no one had ever played the trombone the way he did. he was like the jimi hendrix of the 'bone. tall, thin and lanky, he would use everything while he played, it seemed as though the slide was an extention of his body. swinging wildly and blowing so loud as to bring down the walls of jericho. he would tear it up like a lead guitar and on songs like 'slide, frog, slide', the 'bone is driving the whole thing. it slips and slides around around the melody, ripping down to the lowest note which rumbles like a fading thunderstorm.
there has not been such an animate trombonist since, probably never will.
together these guys were a well-oiled dixieland band machine, and the music they made is the most infectious sound ever put down. their records for audio fidelity are as fresh and clean today as they were 50 years ago. and still a delight to listen to.
the dukes left new orleans in '55 to persue a line of shows in las vegas. i was born in january of 56 followed by a slew of transported yats that were raised in that sleepy desert town until the mid 60's.
when all was said and done, everyone was back in new orleans, (in one form or another), by summer of '69. but what a wild ride it was . . .
i was on the road at 6 weeks old. mom told him she wasn't gonna sit around with a kid while he bopped around the country. so, for over six months out of each year we traveled back and forth across the country, (mostly by car), doing one-night stands in every backwater place you can imagine. by the time i was 10 we had been to all the lower 48 and canada and mexico. not to mention the times we moved to chicago and new york.
but i was blessed, i got to be with him growing up. my cousins weren't so lucky as they stayed in vegas or chicago while we were on the road. i really couldn't imagine a cooler way to grow up. every two years was a new midnight blue olds vista-cruiser, (the one with little windows in the roof). we were the cargo wagon and my sister and i would make forts with the drums and such, and i remember alot of peeing in jars while we plowed thru the dark rushing to the next greenville. they had it fixed so that we did school work and sent it back, but the u.s.a. was our school room. whenever we could we would stop to take in some local flavor. when i 1st saw 'vacation' w/ chevy chase, i thought that was just like dad. 'let's go see the biggest ball of gum wrappers!' i swear we saw every cave in the country, he really liked caves, and i am now scared to death of them. he made sure we saw as much as possible and taught me to drink up life and everything it has to offer.
i still miss him badly, but i am sure he is up there jammin' with his family and satchmo and jimi and miles . . . well, i am off to play some old dukes records.
here are some videos of the dukes on the ed sullivan show in the mid-50's:
(video stream from the dukes of dixieland.com)
bill bailey/tiger rag
old man river/south rampart street parade
and a tune:
satchmo and the dukes of dixieland - bourbon street parade
Monday, April 18, 2005
it seems we are never there when they play in the city. my sister knows how i love these guys and she loves to call from the show to kinda dick-wave. so, i'll probably be getting a call that night . . .
the band consists three guys from tupelo, miss. whose 1st two albums, (shake hands with shorty and phantom 51), are the best blues rock to blow out of the delta in a long time. luther (guitar) and cody (drums), are sons of the legendary jim dickenson of memphis (who notoriously recorded big star and played outrageous pianny with 'the jesters' on 'cadillac man', which was the last sun record release).
nma are a kinda family really, taught by the blues great r.l. burnside, and accompanied by the likes of robert randolph as 'the word', a band that is always a big part of the bonaroo fest.
maybe in a few months they'll pass that way again . . .
and then it's springtime in reno. believe it or not this is a good place to write the blues, what with all the gambling, prostitution, it's transient nature and the freaky weather. it is snowing right now, (the thick and heavy kind), with more tonight, if nothing else it is great blues weather. but then again, i don't remember any snowy blues tunes. i don't think it snows in the delta . . .
some songs to warm us up:
north mississippi allstars - shake 'em on down (mp3 download)
north mississippi allstars - drop down mama (mp3 download)
and some songs that you may have heard by others:
robert johnson - love in vain
leadbelly - where did you sleep last night ?
kansas joe & memphis minnie - when the levee breaks
Friday, April 15, 2005
the u2 show was great! we had a blast, ('specially s.a.), and we got the shirts to prove it.
i thought u2 to be a little flat, but even a mediocre show from them is light years better than some acts i've seen in the last few years, (um, fleetwood mac comes to mind). then again cali is so laid back . . .
i really think bono is eyeing popedom. i know u2 is a very spritual band, but before the song 'yahweh', bono went on and on about the pope while he played with his magical rosary beads. i guess since he didn't get the world bank position he is setting his sights a little higher. pope bono I. it's got a certain ring to it, eh?
the highlight was during 'mysterious ways' as bono grabbed a girl from the audience and danced up the runway together. soon this chick starts to really dance, (she was quite good), and bono just stood amazed. she danced him back to center stage while the crowd howled in delight.
here be the set list:
02. Love and Peace or Else
03. Vertigo / Stories for Boys / Hello
05. The Cry / Electric Co / Send in the Clowns / Miles and Miles
06. An Cat Dubh
07. Into the Heart
08. City Of Blinding Lights
09. Beautiful Day / We Shall Overcome
10. Miracle Drug
11. Sometimes You Can't Make It on Your Own / No Regrets
12. New Year's Day
13. Sunday Bloody Sunday
14. Bullet the Blue Sky / Johnny Comes Marching Home
/Hands That Built America
15. Running to Stand Still
17. Where the Streets Have No Name
19. Original of the Species
20. The Fly
21. Mysterious Ways
22. All Because of You
the kings of leon seemed a little over-whelmed by the size of the arena, but they got a great reaction from the sparse crowd, (most people were standing in shirt lines up until u2 hit the stage). and while not familiar to their music, i think the king's would shine in a smaller venue.
the staging was similar to the u2 shows of the recent past, just scaled down a bit.
but they didn't work it too much. with just bono using the circular runway and the band settling for the main stage, the show lacked the punch of the u2 i've seen in '82 and '97 or some of the videos like the elevation show or slane castle. tho, like i said, i think it may have something to do with san jose, which is one cold-hearted city.
before we left for the concert we were sure made to feel welcome as two of san jose's finest came a-knockin' on our motel door lookin' for someone with an outstanding parking ticket. it ended up like a scene from 'cops'. deputies fife and tootie went to almost every door and were soon accompanied by another 4 squad cars. there were numerous parking lot arrests, breaking into of cars and other overdone police-state activities. it was a more thorough search than tora bora. and they still had no suspect by the time we left for the show.
afterwards we ended up walking the 3 miles back to the motel because we couldn't catch a cab, ('the taxis are all over', we were told, but they lied). that wasn't such a bad idea at the time, in fact it was quite fun, being all hopped-up and giddy from the show. but i paid for it dearly all week. with every joint in the hands and feet swollen from the fun of it all, it has taken me this long just to get up the energy to punch this out.
ahh, but this week i did get to catch up on my marx brothers movies, (we have both box sets, 12 of the movies and extras, worth every penny. tho we had to get 'love happy' separate). i did the whole marathon thingy, starting with 'cocoanuts', giggling all the way thru to 'love happy', (stopping twice for 'duck soup'). that made the smell of ben-gay easier to tolerate, and s.a.'s pain pills helped too.
and here is a story about a wrecked movie collaboration with the marxes and salvador dali called 'giraffes on horseback salads', (i am changing the name of the album!). very strange . . .
some more marx related goodies:
'duck soup' (part 1) radio promo (real stream from 'why a duck?')
'duck soup' (part 2) radio promo (real stream from 'why a duck?')
you bet your life - 10-10-49 (complete show download)
groucho sings everyone says i love you (real stream) and lydia, the tattooed lady (wav file)
video - groucho's dance (from duck soup)
video - the mirror scene (from duck soup)
goin back to cali, (i don't think so) . . . and i just found out we're going to see brian wilson in berkley sept 2nd. i guess we go to cali once more. then no more!
Friday, April 08, 2005
we have tickets for the sun. show.
we thought we had the sat. show, at least that's what we thought we paid for.
had the room arranged from fri thru sun. everything looked to be rolling smooth, then, there i was looking for a map of san jose, and i glanced at the ticket, (they are the new print-it-yerself kind) . . . lo and behold. sunday the 10th it sez!
never thought to look at the silly thing before. . .
as it turns out it is all for the better. got the hotel fixed, missed the storm that would hit the sierras while driving, s.a. got to finish some work today and i got to make more various bullshit cds for the ride, along with other nefarious things that needed done.
this is s.a.'s first u2 show, i've been lucky to make this my 3rd.
in the last few years i have been plugging them to s.a., she is just nuts about 'em and now i think we own every dvd and cd out. (the slane castle dvd is great!)
and last week we grabbed 'u2 show', a huge monster of a book with everything you need to know about the staging of their shows since the first apperance. (it was really for me since i used to do that silly backstage gig).
we're outta here!
but not before leaving this rare single by the band negativland. they got sued by island records for infringment on u2 and made some fun of kasey kasem in the process . . . (warning, not for the faint of heart!)
negativland - u2 (radio edit)
negativland - u2 (a capella)
oh, and i don't know if everybody has seen this, but google maps has the most fascinating thingy going. it is a satellite map of almost the entire usa. we sat up last night picking out our old houses and just looking at landmarks from space. the detail is downright scary. it can zoom in so close i could pick out harpo peein the back yard!
be careful of this at work it is addicting!
have fun ya'll. . . we will!
Tuesday, April 05, 2005
i found mike's sonicfrog blog, where he has a few really good tunes up and running, and he is a very good guitarist by the way. the song 'anyways' is getting lotsa play around the wreckroom today.
also on his blog were links to a band called 'chris plays guitar'and billy harvey.
c.p.g. also have a few mp3s up. these guys are a very tight, rowdy rock and roll band. 'drunken mexico weekend' is a howl! doritos indeed . . .
but the jewel is billy harvey. he has the coolest site i think i have every seen. words do it no justice, you just have to see it. the music and the videos are pure pop genius! dig around and follow the masking tape as you listen to the songs. it was the most fun 20 mins i have had on the web in a long time. i don't where he came from, (he has 3 cds out, i need to rob the cookie jar), but he is gonna be big one day. you'll know what i mean when ya go see for yourself . . .
another cool music site we found thru rinkadink productions is 'aural innovations'. there is a ton of space rock from various bands all over the world. if you haven't had your hawkwind fix lately, here ya go!
and if that's not enuff for ya, there is always this:
. . . now, i'm going back to watch billy housesit, (singin' 'i'll be burnin' up in heaven, with these dope wings on my back').
Sunday, April 03, 2005
but a.g. sent me this link to an unreleased frank zappa album, 'chalk pie'. it's culled from live shows in 1981, and the sound is surprisingly clean. the whole thing is available for download, tho i am not sure for how long. so ya better get it while the getting is had to be got!
i did have a story about working a zappa show in the late 70s, but that has got to be told another time 'cuz the power just failed and i don't know how long the battery will last . . .
gotta go, but here are a few pieces of 'chalk pie' . . . and the whole thing too:
clowns on velvet (mp3)
the complete 'chalk pie' (c/o hungarian frank zappa association)