MoonRunners II – 2014: You Ain’t Seen Nothing Yet

MoonRunners2014The Outlaw Radio: The Compilation Vol. 1 (2009) hit like a sonic boom in this tiny genre of artists. The first riff you hear is Dad Horse Experience’sGates of Heaven”. It is song after song of the best of the best. Now, it’s a sold-out festival at Reggies in Chicago. I met Jashie P shortly after the comp release at Layla’s in Nashville at a Hank III show. I thought he was a celebrity with the online radio show, a band, and a mix tape that helped introduce us to a whole new world.

And the festival! It’s another family reunion with great music. It’s fan heaven, I love the feeling of star struck; watching Calamity Cubes walk by will always give me a shiver. The Godfather of the fest this year is Gary Lindsey. The fact that I was surrounded by people who also revere Gary Lindsey is just another cool part of this. If you’re a Tom Waits fan, ask him to tell you the story of how they met. It’s fantastic.  More

Hellbound Glory New Year 2014 (Updated)

City Winery, January 2014, photo by Grayson Dantzic

City Winery, January 2014, photo by Grayson Dantzic

In the best beginning of a year I could hope for, I got to watch the artists’ process for a week. Hellbound Glory played a bunch of shows booked near here, and I was happy to host them. I attended two performances and heard Leroy singing this and that off and on. Heaven. More

New Rothko Discovery

My New Rothko

Untitled, Red, 1968, Peggy Guggenheim Collection

This might be the most disturbing painting I’ve ever seen and I can’t take my eyes off it. From what I gather, Rothko first painted the red series. It was all the passion and fury that red evokes. Before taking his own life, was the black; the eternal void. This was painted after the red, before the black.

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2013 in Music

In tune with the weather, we saw a super storm of fantastic music in 2013. We’re going to be listening to these albums for years to come. I can’t bring myself to put these in order because they mean so many things; they’re not meant to be ranked.

Here are my crème de la crème of 2013:

MUDDY:

Ok… there is one in another stratosphere: Possessed by Paul James. This entire album is a journey from the moment you hit play:
Hurricane (track 1) by Possessed by Paul James More

Nelson Mandela, Rest in Peace

MandelaIn the late 90s, I was fortunate enough to work with His Excellency Carlos dos Santos, Mozambique’s Permanent Representative to the United Nations. At a gathering at his residence, I listened to men talk about a soccer game they went to, where Mandela wore the team shirt and how it changed everything. More

Possessed by Paul James: There Will be Nights When I’m Lonely

PPJ There Will be Nights When I'm LonelyMy first listen of There Will be Nights When I’m Lonely, I put on the good headphones, turned up the volume, and closed my eyes. Seconds into Hurricane I was in 110%. That’s his power. He’s our Shaman.

Konrad Wert is a teacher/father/singer/songwriter from Austin, Texas. His achievements include Teacher of the Year, an Independent Music Award for his songwriting, and devotion of fans all over. He is a music aficionado. It’s the sound, the rhythm, the texture. He’s aware of all that surrounds him and weaves it into the human condition. More

Muddy Roots 2013

PPJ stageAnother stellar Muddy Roots experience to recover from. Though I missed many who could not make it, the joy and magic is still there. Things could not have happened better. I spent the experience with close friends whom I’ve known for decades and ones I only see here. The serendipitous events of the weekend made it another amazing ride. More

Hellbound Glory Owns NYC 2013

HBGA mere week after the magic of Muddy Roots 2013 (I’m still processing), Hellbound Glory full band plays one of my favorite venues, The Bell House (also home to my Secret Science Club) and he sang my favorite song, Showing Off Sure is Fun, that he was creating last time they played here. From him snapping his fingers in my kitchen, to a full band with a stadium riff sent me sailing. I wish I could have experienced it large scale. Seeing it at Muddy Roots is a close second. More

Lone Wolf OMB: Mine Us 13

 Lone Wolf OMB is a force of nature that is somehow captured and communicated through music. Last year, Don Maddox watched his set at Muddy Roots and told him he’s got the best timing he’s ever heard. It’s true. What he does can’t be done. And on top of that the guy has riffs that just send you spinning. I’ve had this on repeat for weeks and I heartily recommend it.

Above is an album cover youtube I made of the song “The Masked Marvel” which is my current favorite. “Mama’s Boy” holds steady as the sweetest and “Baby, Don’t Hold Back” is another gem.

You can find Mine Us 13 here

JAY Z’s Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film

I love hip-hop in the summer. It’s hard not to break out into a groove to Blurred Lines. (Yes, I’m aware it’s pop, but it’s a who-cares-cause-it’s-GOOD song.) I’m reading ?uestlove’s book, “Mo Meta Blues” and it’s a joy to watch the trajectory of The Roots of music from his point-of-view. I’m finally beginning to understand Kanye’s new album, Yeezus, and it’s worth it. Plus, Jay-Z is knocking one out of the stratosphere once again with “Picasso Baby: A Performance Art Film” It pretty much sums up why I’m an art nerd. Early in hip-hop art, music, and dance were the trifecta that formed the lifestyle. Jay-Z was there for that and our tastes in art grew parallel. People say that art and hip-hop grew apart when art went all shi shi poo poo money and shut the door in hip-hop’s face. I disagree. Hip-hop grew just as greedy and bling hungry and closed the door on art’s face. As in most in-genre drama, both parties have egg on their face.

Jay-Z is king of the world right now and in the Biggie style of doing things, he brought Brooklyn with him. So if this new video that’s labeled a performance piece (which you would have had to be in that room for) educates the who’s who of whoville in creativity, I’m happy. Picasso Baby

Macklemore and Lewis: “Can’t Hold Us”

That’s what you get when Wu-Tang raised you.
Macklemore

This video is 110%. Over the top, stoopid budget, win-win fearless fun. It broke YouTube with 1.4 million plays in 24 hours. I bemoan a lot of the modern pop, hip-hop, and country that’s being played on radio and sausaged through media. This is when it all works.

Update: Hellbound Glory

HBG2013Fresh on their tour with Kid Rock, our very own Blake got to see Hellbound Glory play and got a backstage interview with Leroy. How cool is that? Better still? He asked all the questions we want answered: More

Rachel Brook(lyn)

RB BK 2013Not only did Rachel Brooke come to NYC to sing with a full band, we got to spend time together. Rachel with a full band is the bee’s knees. On bass is Brooks Robbins and he is just the coolest cat. We sang Rocky Horror Picture Show songs in the van on the way to the gig. Her brother Andy is on drums and he is so good, and is a fellow sound aficionado. On guitar is Nick who gave me my perfect show moment when I heard him start up Serpentine Blues. During the show, Rachel sang a few songs with just her guitar, and there wasn’t a dry eye in Public Assembly during Life Sentence Blues. More

The Christy Family Present: Jayke Orvis and His Broken Band

There is a network of people all over the country who help support underground music: the fans, the bands, the couches, the kitchens, the promoters, the bloggers, the internet radio DJs, and everyone on Facebook and Twitter and YouTube. There is a family in Pennsylvania who opens their home, and fills the venue. BJ and Coley Christy are the creative force behind Silent Storm Design, and the overlords of Silent Storm Radio where different DJs spin their perspective of good music. Their micro-fest last summer, Christy Fest, was a highlight. They host many a musician, and have broadcast live house concerts from their living room. So when they booked the bar in town to host Jayke Orvis and His Broken Band, people came in from hundreds of miles away to be a part of it. More

Coca Crystal, TV Star

IfICantDanceIn late 70s and through the 80s and 90s, there was a television show on local NYC Public Access called “The Coca Crystal Show“. Coca is my mother’s best friend, and she took me under her wing by appointing me cameraman for the show. By the power of YouTube, I get to watch one of the best shows on television again. More

Rachel Brooke: A Killer’s Dream

A Killers DreamRachel Brooke’s new album, “A Killer’s Dream” shows her progression as an artist, and it’s a joy to be a part of as a fan. I still think everyone needs to own her Demos. They are simply a woman and her guitar and it is perfection. With a base so strong, she can only go up. This album wonderfully showcases her progression as a songwriter, instrumentalist, and band member. She collaborates with Viva le Vox (love them!) and I get the feeling they were like kids in a candy store picking and choosing all the instruments heard on this album. It’s old blues and bobby socks.

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All My Friends are Brilliant

In the post-coitus glow of Muddy Roots, my pal Rev. Nix of Cracker Swamp Productions, got a bunch of the boys in the studio and this is what came out:

Brownbird Rudy Relic = brownbirdrudyrelic.com
Husky Burnette = www.huskyburnette.com
Lone Wolf OMB = www.lonewolfomb.com
Los Bastardos Magnificos = losbastardosmagnificos.com
Scotty Crow of The Gladezmen = www.gladezmen.com
The Jonny Monster Band = www.jonnymonsterband.com
The Scissormen = scissormen.com
No Brow Productions (video) = www.youtube.com/user/nlindsay03

Hurricane Sandy 2012

I’ve tried to write about it, but I can’t. Suffice to say I dodged a bullet.

If you have the comforts of heat and Google, I ask you to please find a way to donate, help, or pray.

Here are images I’ve collected from the internets (and a few of my own): 

My Newest Obsesh: Macklemore and Ryan Lewis

LOVE THIS (and the entire album is worth the cash!)

Website Review: Possessed by Paul James

With a Possessed by Paul James song, the soul is where the song begins; soul is where it is built from.”  – Saving Country Music

Recently, Possessed by Paul James unveiled his new website. The photo was taken at Muddy Roots 2011 during a set so powerful, the winds came and shook the entire tent.

And there’s an EPK. Nothing is cooler than an electronic press kit. He talks of community as we’re all over this. We’re the filmmakers, the audience, the interviewer, the trucker hat, and the t-shirt.

Five stars!

Molly Gene One Whoaman Band: Waitin’

I can’t think of a better way to introduce someone who doesn’t know about Molly Gene other than this video. It was filmed by my friend, Nick Lindsay, and he has captured the hurricane that is her performance. Muddy Roots friends of ours are in the photo collage. I love it.

Kacey Musgraves: Merry Go ‘Round

Jay-Z Opens Brooklyn

The first song I liked by Jay-Z was “Hard Knock Life (Ghetto Anthem)” in 1998. As an urchin who grew up with the Broadway soundtrack to Annie on cassette tape, it immediately became my personal theme song. I also remember when Hot 97 was playing The Takeover like a broken record to hype the Nas beef. There is no arguing with me over poorly sampling Jim Morrison.

I think every genre has its masters. Jay-Z came from one of the country’s most dangerous neighborhoods; grew from artist to executive, and still does his art. He’s married to Beyoncé, and is a father for the first time. He is such a great success story. More

Muddy Roots 2012

Again, I have receipts, notes, stickers, phone photos and videos, and somehow they tell the Muddy Roots story. The stink from my luggage of mud, sweat, and moonshine was enough to keep airport security from thoroughly searching my bag after they found my stash of Gatorade in the side pocket.

This year was about extremes. There were extremely high points and extremely low points. For instance, I, and everyone else, still have not recovered from Possessed by Paul James’s cancellation. I can only shudder to think what must have happened to keep him from us. I send him my best wishes and good luck. That said, DAMN! Eeeeveryone was looking forward to his set. And my personal loss on not seeing Black Eyed Vermillion on stage 3, or anywhere on the grounds. I’ve had a fan crush on Gary Lindsey since he bled and screamed for me back in the AssJack days. Plus, I want to hear his version of the Tom Waits interview.

There were many high points as well. There were sets that melted my face off. James Leg. Scissormen. Dad Horse Experience. Husky Burnette. Lone Wolf. They all KILLED it. But the man who gave me my Muddy Roots religious experience was Dr. Ralph Stanley. Holy moly. Not a dry eye under that tent. I’ll get to all this in a few…

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Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band: “Devils Look Like Angels”

This is the most innovative video I’ve seen all year. And it’s my favorite song off their new album, Between the Ditches

Nas: “Life is Good”

I’m calling it now. Best Hip-Hop album of 2012 is Nas: Life is Good. It will take such an epic proportion of amazing to knock this off of repeat on my iPhone that I just don’t have the faith in hip-hop that I used to.

We’re both hitting 40 and it’s fantastic to hear his point of view once more. He’s got his ex-wife’s wedding dress draped over his knee on his album cover. He’s been through it.

The song everyone is talking about is Daughters:

The one I’m playing over and over and I’m head over heals in love with the NYC porn of a video is Don:

No Introduction: Nas waxes poetic about what brought him here complete with electric 80s drum beats. With gems of stories “I remember talking to Biggie inside his Lexus truck, he said stay fly when you’re bumming. Keep your pajamas Armani.” More

Caitlin Rose: Piledriver Waltz

I keep coming back to this video. It’s so pretty and so perfect; a great example to showcase our genre. And, as usual, Triggerman nails it in his review.
Enjoy:

Bob Wayne: Till the Wheels Fall Off

I enjoy the sharper edges of life; from the stark sculpture art of David Smith to the persona that is Bob Wayne. This cd is not perfect and neither is he. There a few well done acts out there and I like what he has crafted. He gets such inspiration from the life his mother has led and the stories she must have. What he learned from Hank III is play and work at working with the best.

I’m glad I watched the promo video for “Till the Wheels Fall Off” where Bob explains where the title song comes from. Every time I hear the song, I’ll have the context to it which just adds another layer of coolness.

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Husky Burnette Jams with Linus the Lion

Still happily buzzing from ChristyFest, Husky Burnette played Rodeo Bar last Friday. And in the coolest of all coolness, my Godfather happens to be Bill “The Lion” Lynas, famous harmonica player from back in the day. This man has played with Muddy, Janis, Etta, and so many more I want to make a documentary about his life. He sat in with Husky. I hit a musical happiness of the uppermost of the toppermost.

Seeing Husky, whom I consider to be of the best of our genre, play with a man I’ve admired since I was in diapers was one of those moments when life comes full circle. To add to the awesomeness, Scott Gibson jumped in on drums at the very last minute and just brought the show together. Thanks dude.

ChristyFest 2012

One of the things I like most about our genre is that we’re so small; everyone pretty much knows everyone and we adore each other like family. BJ Christy and his wife, Coley, invited all of us over to their house in palatial Southern Pennsylvania last weekend for their own mico-festival, ChristyFest. Our friendships stem from Muddy Roots, live podcasts with chat rooms over the past few years, and Facebook. Due to lack of a working teleporter, there were some people who just weren’t able to make it, and they were so very missed by all of us.

I brought with me a visiting friend from London to experience what American music is without Auto-Tuned corporate commercialism. These bands are all working class people. Nobody showed up in a limo, brought an entourage, or presented any airs. Hell, Olds Sleeper slept in tent in the side yard. The rest of us were on air mattresses (why does my butt always wind up hitting floor?) couches, and spare beds.

We came in late Friday night to the hospitality of the Christy Family and friends: Blake Clayton, Podcasting God of IBWIP, Molly Nelson, Andy, Editor of RNZ Magazine, Kimberly Moore (we call her Rosie), Lone Wolf (Brunoooo!) and Mr. Cracker Swamp himself, Rev. Nix (Gary and Melissa got in by the hair of their chinny chin chin on Saturday). The Christy children, Sean, 11, and Liam, 5, are such great boys. Sean is 11 going on 25, and you just wanna smooch and snuggle little Liam. Beej was marinating meats, and futzing with the grill and smoker. Yum. We all stood in a circle under the magnificent night sky until we were too tired to talk.

Olds Sleeper was the first to arrive on Saturday and he and Lone Wolf hit it off and were jamming out on the front porch within minutes. We then moseyed off to the stage under the big tent and the festivities began.

Olds Sleeper started it all and he’s one of those artists that is like a fountain that just keeps giving. At the end of his set, he managed to completely sum up the high and low points of my life of the past year and I got to lay down in the grass and let his music wash over me as he weaved together the songs “May the Circle Be Unbroken” and “Rainy Day Women 12 & 35”. The man is a lyrical genius.

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2012 Summer Concerts

It’s barely May and I already have a beefy list going. I’ll update it as I find out more.

Saturday, May 12th = ChristyFest, Shippensburg, PA
Friday, May 18th
= Husky Burnette: Rodeo Bar, NYC
Tuesday, June 5th
= Jimmy Cliff: Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park
Friday, June 8th
= The Goddamn Gallows: The Bell House, Brooklyn, NY
Friday, June 15th
= Esperanza Spalding: Celebrate Brooklyn at Prospect Park
Saturday, June 16th
= Ice T’s rockdoc “The Art of Rap
Sunday, July 1st
= Reverend Peyton’s Big Damn Band: Brooklyn Bowl
Wednesday, July 11th = Buddy Guy at World Financial Center Plaza
Wednesday, July 11th = Tchaikovsky NY Philharmonic at Prospect Park, Brooklyn
Saturday, July
21st = Arturo Sandoval: Celebrate Brooklyn in Prospect Park
Friday, July 27th – Sunday, July 29th
= Farmageddon Fest in West Yellowstone, Montana (I’ll be there in spirit!)
Monday, July 30th =
Public Enemy and Salt N Pepa: MLK Concert Series at Wingate Field, Brooklyn
Friday, August 31st – Sunday, September 2nd
= Muddy Roots in Cookeville, TN

Possessed by Paul James

Milk Products Media, who did such fantastic work with the Charlie Louvin documentary, Still Rattlin’ the Devil’s Cage (which, by the power of KickStarter, I am a Producer of) brings to us new greatness. They created a short film to the song “We Welcome You Home” by Possessed by Paul James. It’s beautiful. The man is a Shaman, or some kind of spiritually gifted soul who heals us through his music. And this is the video: (watch it full screen)

XSXSW 5: A Virtual Review

Take care of the music, and the music will take care of you.
~ Jac Holzman, Founder of Elektra Records

And the momentum of greatness keeps keepin’ on! A gaggle of my favorite musicians, labels, podcasters, bloggers, and fans all gathered in Austin, TX this weekend to showcase our slice of amazing music that is happening today. Here’s the lineup

There’s also a charter: “The idea of XSXSW is to re-focus the event on music and people, to rekindle the spirit of the Austin music scene, as well as civic and Texas pride by using music to renew community, infrastructure, and people, instead of taxing them to their limits.” More

Hank 3: The NYC Metal Wreckage Show

I know, I know, I know, every time I see Hank 3, I say it’s the best show I’ve ever seen. This was one of the best shows I’ve ever seen. My cheeks are sore from smiling so much! Metal Wreckage put on a fantastic show. They checked us all in on the line that went around the corner and up the block to save time. I love that! Even with the long line, the crowd was much smaller than what I’m used to (though nothing has compared to the gazillions of people we saw at the Atlanta 2011 show). More

XSXSW 5

Yeah, I said it, Ex South by South West. This is the alternative to alternative. It’s underground music at its best. If I had a teleporter, I’d so be at this! Just look at the lineup! Holy smoke! Thankfully, my pals over at Saving Muddy Hillgrass bring the awesome to me via radio and the internets. Here’s the lowdown via The Trigger Man:

Hillgrass Bluebilly Records, Muddy Roots Music, and savingcountrymusic.com, along with KVRX 91.7, The Real Deal KOOK 93.5, and Cracker Swamp Productions are excited to announce the complete lineup for XSXSW 5, or “Saving Muddy Hillgrass”, a two day event happening parallel with South by Southwest, the annual mid-March music festival in Austin, TX. More

Hellbound Glory Gig in NYC

You know that band your friends worship, and for some reason or another, you missed the fan wagon? Hellbound Glory is mine. Trigger Man’s been writing about them forever on his Saving Country Music site. Buddies of mine planned their elopement around them (see video below). I even poo-poo’d their song in my review of the greatest compilation CD ever made! I finally caught the fever when Leroy went live on Outlaw Radio Chicago and was blown away.

They played two shows here in NYC last week (Hank’s Saloon and Rodeo Bar) and I’m fully converted to their awesomeness. Leroy Virgil is the epitome of what a front man should be; talented, street smart, and oh so charming. His raspy voice and gritty writing are the perfect combination that wrap you right in. Eric “Rico” Peterson on Lap Steel is a hundred shades of gorgeous. What girl can resist a man’s instrument that moans and cries out his country songs? Frank Medina on Bass is the music encyclopedia of the band. I wish I had more time to get to know his likes and theories about music. He plays like a philosopher, all in his notes. The three of them combined onstage is fantastic energy. They sing, play, banter, and wholeheartedly kick a world of ass. Each show they pleased the old fans, and made a bunch of new ones.

I had the honor of them crashing at my apartment but, alas, I didn’t think to video a song of them playing in my kitchen for YouTube. Next time. More

Being Singular Plural at the Guggenheim

Being Singular Plural offers visitors the unique opportunity to encounter recent and new film, video, and sound-based works by seven of the most innovative and visionary contemporary artists, filmmakers, and media practitioners living and working in India today: Shumona Goel, Shai Heredia, Sonal Jain, Vikram Joglekar, Amar Kanwar, Mriganka Madhukaillya, and Kabir Mohanty. The works included in this presentation reveal the quiet principles of practice, process, and perception, while being grounded in a vital social consciousness. This timely and discourse-defining exhibition is oriented toward coproducing new work, facilitating research, and assembling a community of practitioners.

My favorite was the room with an adult sandbox in the middle. It had different sized rocks, leaves and dirt. You take off your shoes and walk through while listening to your feet touch them via speakers above your head and microphones on the border of the box. It’s like walking along a rocky beach without having to travel. Loved it!

Whitney Biennial 2012

Whitney Museum of American ArtThis year’s Whitney Biennial is … meh. The best part of it was my artist date, Katelan Foisy. We walked in and she said “I want my work to be in The Whitney Museum of American Art” and by the end of the opening, it IS! Girl’s got skills.

There are some pieces that are cool. I really like the organ and some paintings, but overall I get the same feeling I do with American music right now. There is lots of great things happening underground, but they don’t make it to the big time.

Rest in Peace Whitney

In 1985 I was 13 (an actual teenager!) and was given Whitney Houston’s first album. I squirreled away in my room and played it over and over again. I sat pretzel style, hovering over the turntable wearing huge headphones with a cord as thick as a garden snake. I closed my eyes and escaped in to her voice that asked all my questions and dreamed all my hopes of finding true love. Clive Davis discovered her and paired her with Jermaine Jackson and Teddy Pendergrass. I was in pop music heaven.

Her second album, “Whitney” bore the video I Wanna Dance with Somebody (Who Loves Me); I thought she was perfection. She was my teenage dream and I wanted to be just like her. She was so beautiful, so talented, and had so much fun. I thought she would never have any problems in her entire life. The rest, we know, is history and her battles with demons have been heart-wrenching.

I will always remember her and love her as my ambassador into teenagehood. My warmest condolences go to her family, friends, and us fellow fans who were never the same after we first heard that voice.

Pina

Quite possibly the most beautiful film I’ve ever seen in my entire life:

Home

Of all the horrors and nightmares my life has served up, one of the things I’m luckiest for is where I live now. The story of how I got here is  a gem in itself: After being evicted out of Harlem in the early-90s, I landed a roommate share near Gramercy Park in Manhattan in a pre-war 5th floor walk-up for $250/month which I barely afforded on my security guard minimum wage pay. The apartment gave a new meaning to tiny. It was built before indoor plumbing so the new amenities meant the toilet was outside the apartment in a tiny room in the hallway. The shower was in the kitchen and ran off the sink. My bedroom (later converted into an actual bathroom) was 7’x7′ and the walls were lined with clothing racks from my roommates pimp period style of dress. There was no room for a bed. I slept on a stained futon chair and watched a mini television the year OJ Simpson was chased by the police in his white SUV. More

MERRY CHRISTMAS!

My neighbors did their own take of Dominick the Donkey and I absolutely love it!

2011: A Year in Music

What an amazing year for my underground favorites! Hank 3 became free, Muddy Roots was the festival of all festivals, the podcasting world became my CNN, and record labels turned out greatness like it’s their job.

As for hip-hop, I don’t have anything that gives off fireworks. ‘Lil Kim’s single “Black Friday” was an awesome dis war against Nicki Minaj but then face-planted with the ill planned release of her mixtape. The uber spectacle of Jay-Z and Kanye’s “Watch the Throne” just didn’t do it for me (though I kinda love the fun factor of the Otis video). There’s a new mixtape out by Lupe Fiasco called “Friend of the People” that’s been floating around. The final product is supposedly cancelled and what I’ve heard is very political and just what I’ve missed about hip-hop, but I’ll wait until the release to review it because I’m unsure if my copy’s legit.

A L B U M S :
Bob Wayne: Outlaw Carnie – As much as I think Bob Wayne walks on songwriting water, this cd is just too clean and polished for me. I’m too loyal to the previous releases of most of the songs. That said, I’m on the edge of my seat for his next release which will have the song I saw him write at Muddy Roots!
Caitlin Rose: Own Side Now – Thanks to Triggerman’s review, I bought this cd and it’s always somewhere in my rotation. The songs are well done and I look forward to listening to her future projects. (see video below)
Caleb Klauder’s Foghorn Trio: Sud De La Louisiane – I went to a house party where they played and was instantly captivated by their talent. I got a bit on YouTube and recommend this to anyone whose interested in the country French sounds of the Louisiana bayou. (see video below)
The Goddamn Gallows: Seven Devils – How I love this band! They are so talented and just about nothing beats their live shows. They reminds us why we love punk and what punk should be. More

David Smith: Cubes and Anarchy

Nothing makes me happier than when art meets geometry. These sculptures are fantastic. They’re stark and playful at the same time. He’s like Picasso in the form of sculpture. It shouldn’t work but it does and he welds them together intensely. With an electric disc grinder, he polished these strokes and weaves of reflective surfaces in fleeting, chaotic motions.  It’s beautiful.

In short, it’s hard to take the full measure of these sculptures and even harder to make the connection between geometry and labor, cubes and anarchy. For that you’ll have to look to the catalog. Its essays stress Smith’s blue-collar credentials, reminding us that he was the son of an engineer and great-grandson of a blacksmith; that he worked as a telephone lineman, a riveter in a Studebaker automobile factory, and a welder at the American Locomotive Company; that he was a proud union member and remained one, even after his art career had taken off. More

Sherrie Levine: Mayhem

The invitation to The Whitney Museum of American Art opening had an image of a clear crystal skull against a white and gray background. Sherrie Levine’s “Mayhem” had me from the start. But nothing close to mayhem occurs in this exhibition. Over all it is disappointingly sedate, resembling a tastefully appointed art boutique full of fastidious, expensive-looking objects lightly dusted with irony. I’d like to think that Ms. Levine is a better artist than this, but I’m not sure. Whatever life her art has mustered in the past seems to have been mostly left at the door. (NY Times) There are pieces that I love though. The skulls transfixed me and the crystal newborns are mesmerizingly beautiful. More

The Lost Notebooks of Hank Williams: My Review

This project is controversial to say the least. It’s as if someone found some rough Picasso sketches and asked you to finish them. How could you possibly even pick up a brush? I think Hank Sr. is the best songwriter in American history. There is not one flawed lyric in his entire collection. He was gifted. So a part of me thinks it’s blasphemy to even add your own assumed lyrics to his masterpieces. But then I came across Lucinda Williams’s “I’m So Happy I Found You” on youtube and every single time I hear it, I tear up. I heard she didn’t add any lyrics, just her simple guitar. It’s wonderful. And because of that I can’t stand on a soapbox and yell and scream about how wrong this whole thing is. So I’m going to give this a chance. I would greatly appreciate a PDF attachment of liner notes detailing who added what lyrics. I would have also greatly appreciated the input of his grandson, Hank 3. I don’t think he would have touched it with a ten foot pole, but I now have a wish to see him on stage sing with Lucinda. I think that might beautifully tear my heart right out. –my Amazon.com review

I’ve since listened to it and I think the top 3 songs are: “You’ve Been Lonesome, Too” by Alan Jackson, “How Many Times Have You Broken My Heart” by Norah Jones, and (obviously) “I’m So Happy I Found You” by Lucinda Williams.

Muddy Roots Festival 2011: My Review

(photo: to the left is Lone Wolf, one man band and master craftsman <not only is he perfect, he’s Italian too!> and to his right is BluesBeaten Redshaw who you need to know about)

I have no idea how I’m going to capture the magic of what just happened to me over the past week. I’ve taken notes, saved receipts, downloaded photos from Facebook, and am working on a YouTube playlist.

We arrived at Muddy Roots Friday night and I saw Baby Genius in the sign-in line. We looked like kids at Christmas. Everybody was so stoked to be there. We camped across the dirt road from the people I’ve been conversing with online via blogs and podcasts. The whole night was surreal like you’re walking through a dream state but it’s really happening. We met up and the conversation was so easy and effortless. There was also this great kismet level of timing that I encountered repeatedly with Aran Buzzas. My first star-struck moment was when Pier came and got us to see JB Beverley play Rolling Stones covers while he sat on the trunk of a car. It was surreal. You know that voice like you know your own skin. After that experience, I vowed to wander. So I walked past our tent, up a small hill (the one Miller faceplanted onto) and first thing I found was Bob Wayne’s trailer with him and some friends sitting outside writing a song. And I’m watching the creativity process from Mr. Bob Wayne himself. It was awe inspiring. He’s cool as hell. He remembered me and my friend from the Brooklyn show in July and my heart just about lept out in celebrity joy. Walking around became an adventure. Everybody was there. It was like a family reunion for the family you wish you had. Rachel Brooke was just beaming with fiancé happiness. More

Jayke Orvis: “The Long Way Home”

Lucinda Williams’s “Copenhagen”

Love this.

Hank 3

The recent news that’s come out about Hank 3 is a flood of amazing. First of all, on Tuesday, September 6, 2011, he is releasing FOUR new post-Curb era CDs. He wants to come out of the gate strong and his creativity has apparently been a flowing. The first is a double-disc set of his country that we all know and love called Ghost to a Ghost / Guttertown. Guest appearances include the mythical Tom Waits on the haunted “Fadin Moon” from Guttertown and on the Ghost to a Ghost title track, Alan King of Hellstomper, Les Claypool of Primus fame and beyond, Dave Sherman, Troy Medlin and Hank3’s dog, Trooper. Also is the much anticipated release of his ADD (Attention Deficit Disorder) album and a release called Cattle Callin, a mix of speed metal woven in and around actual cattle auctioneering. More

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