U.K. band Savages’ absolutely great debut album Silence Yourself will without a doubt be making an appearance on my end-of-the year best-of list for 2013. It’s an exhilarating punchy growl of guitars and drums that evoke Siouxsie and The Banshees, The Bunnymen, PJ Harvey slinging the guitar instead of auto-harp and the primal assault of the Bush Tetras. It’s a triumph of hardkicking rock ‘n’ roll from start to finish. And the record comes on transparent vinyl. Cool.
The group starts the American leg of their International tour in July and will be appearing in my hometown of Austin for ACL.
Here’s a solid 13 minutes of Savages performing live at KEXP studios in Seattle.
Consisting mostly of a live set shot just before they became worldwide sensations, Eurythmics’ Sweet Dreams Video Album (aka “Live from Heaven”) captures Annie Lennox and Dave Stewart at their most experimental. Within a year, they’d go from being a struggling band lugging their own equipment around to grossing more than some small countries.
This endearing performance was shot at Heaven, London’s notorious gay “superclub” in 1983 (known at the time for its amazing lasers—among other things—which are used throughout). At this point, Annie Lennox was in her gender-bending “Grace Jones” mode, and sports a man’s suit, hat and bright red hair.
Waylon Jennings on The Johnny Cash Show in 1969. The country great was still clean-shaven here, but already moving in the direction of his “outlaw” country sound even then.
Here’s another shit hot live version of “Only Daddy That’ll Walk the Line,” from what appears to be Hee Haw. I am currently monumentally obsessed by this song. I could play it on a loop for 24 hours. That fuckin’ guitar solo is sublime city, baby!
In case you were wondering (and I know you were) the mega-hottie on keyboards is Jennings’ then newly-wed wife, Jessi Colter. Below, Jessi Colter performs her 1975 pop-country crossover hit, “I’m Not Lisa”:
Ray Manzarek, keyboardist and founding member of The Doors, passed away today at 12:31PM PT at the RoMed Clinic in Rosenheim, Germany after a lengthy battle with bile duct cancer. He was 74. At the time of his passing, he was surrounded by his wife Dorothy Manzarek, and his brothers Rick and James Manczarek.
Manzarek is best known for his work with The Doors who formed in 1965 when Manzarek had a chance encounter on Venice Beach with poet Jim Morrison. The Doors went on to become one of the most controversial rock acts of the 1960s, selling more than 100-million albums worldwide, and receiving 19 Gold, 14 Platinum and five multi-Platinum albums in the U.S. alone. “L.A.Woman,” “Break On Through to the Other Side,” “The End,” “Hello, I Love You,” and “Light My Fire” were just some of the band’s iconic and ground-breaking songs. After Morrison’s death in 1971, Manzarek went on to become a best-selling author, and a Grammy-nominated recording artist in his own right. In 2002, he revitalized his touring career with Doors’ guitarist and long-time collaborator, Robby Krieger.
“I was deeply saddened to hear about the passing of my friend and bandmate Ray Manzarek today,” said Krieger. “I’m just glad to have been able to have played Doors songs with him for the last decade. Ray was a huge part of my life and I will always miss him.”
Manzarek is survived by his wife Dorothy, brothers Rick and James Manczarek, son Pablo Manzarek, Pablo’s wife Sharmin and their three children Noah, Apollo and Camille. Funeral arrangements are pending. The family asks that their privacy be respected at this difficult time. In lieu of flowers, please make a memoriam donation in Ray Manzarek’s name at www.standup2cancer.org
Below, a post-Jim Morrison Doors do “Love Me Two Times” on Germany’s Beat Club TV show, with Manzarek taking over the vocal duties:
Stick it up, mister!
Can you hear what I’m saying now, yeah?
Over the weekend, Toots and The Maytals were doing their version of John Denver’s “(Take Me Home) Country Roads” at the Dominion Riverrock festival—a song you’d think would go down a treat in Virginia—but an intoxicated moron identified by Richmond police as William Lewis, 19, had to go and ruin everyone’s good time by hurling a glass bottle at Toots Hibbert, hitting him right in the head. Hibbert was able to walk off the stage without help, but was rushed to the hospital where he was given seven stitches.
Speaking with The Gleaner, Andrea Davis, a member of Toots and the Maytals’ management team, noted that this was a first for the artiste but he remains in high spirit continuing the tour.
“This is the first ever. We have never had an incident like this. We have been travelling around the world for over 40 years and this has never happened,” she said. “It is a most unfortunate and unprecedented incident for an artiste of this stature.”
Lisa Sims, with Venture Richmond, the group that helps run Riverrock, explains that it’s mysterious as to how Lewis smuggled the bottle in the venue but measures have been taken to tighten loose ends.
“There are bag checks regularly,” Sims said. “You can’t just bring a big backpack in here full of stuff, and people aren’t looking at it. If there is any sort of incident or anything that gives us pause at any time, we obviously look at ways we might tighten things up,” she continued adding that the venue is reviewing its security procedures.
Police have arrested William Lewis, 19, and charged him with public intoxication and a felony count of aggravated assault.
A felony conviction for a class 6 assault in Virginia can mean one year in jail and a fine of $2500, on up to five years in a state prison. That this act of senseless violence was perpetrated in public, with literally dozens of witnesses able to finger him, and plenty of video, leaves William Lewis, 19, the “alleged” bottle-throwing tosser (see what I did there?) with quite a future ahead of him.
I hope it was worth it? Of all the people in the world worth having a bottle hit them over head, this dummy thought attacking the great Toots Hibbert, the hardest working man in reggae—now 67—was a good idea?
Here’s a link to the regrettable incident, caught on a cell phone. Hibbert went on to perform the next night in New York. Anyone with who witnessed the bottle throwing, or who has video of the event, is urged to contact Hibbert’s management at his Facebook page.
Below, Hibbert and his Maytals sing the classic, “54-46 That’s My Number” about his own time spent in prison for cannabis possession in 1966. Young Mr. Lewis needs this tune on his fucking iPod:
I can still remember where I was the first time I heard Daft Punk’s “Da Funk.” It was the summer of 1996 and my brother had taped a 1995-end-of-the-year-round-up show by Annie Nightingale off BBC Radio 1. Well, I say “first” but actually it was the second, as I had previously heard it in a dj mix, but at that point I had no way of knowing what it was. Thankfully Ms Nightingale was forthcoming with information, meaning I could track the tune down myself (in a shop and by word of mouth, remember the days?)
To say that “Da Funk” blew my mind is a bit of an under-statement. As a piece of music it referenced both the genres I was loving the most at the time, house music and hip-hop, but far from being some tawdry “hip-house” jam, “Da Funk” was the perfect summation of the best elements of both genres without compromising either. Everything about the record was perfect, including the feeling of “what the fuck was THAT?!” I got after hearing it. A year later Daft Punk released Homework, and it became the record that, more than any other, defined the late 90s for a whole generation of kids who were sick to death of grunge and Britpop and looking for something new and exciting that wasn’t about the past.
So there you have it. My Daft Punk background. I was there the first time round, and young enough for it to be absolutely MY thing. Does that make me an old fart now? Does that make my opinion on Random Access Memories, Daft Punk’s new album and the most hyped music product ever since the last most hyped music product ever, irrelevant?
Answer in the comments if you like, but to be honest, I don’t really care. Having grown up with Daft Punk, and had them make an immense influence on my own music production and song writing, I feel a personal connection to what they do that makes a review of their new album more than just another Internet commentariat bleating along with the herd (though I can’t stop anyone from shooting it down by calling it that).
So in as brief a nutshell as I can possibly put together, here is my review of Random Access Memories: potentially amazing production let down by really lacklustre songs. Now you know what I think. Feel free to ignore the rest of this piece if you want. For the rest of you, here are my gripes…
Daft Punk “Random Access Memories” full album stream:
One of Frank Zappa’s personal heroes, name-checked in the famous “Freak Out” list of his formative influences (“These People Have Contributed Materially In Many Ways To Make Our Music What It Is. Please Do Not Hold It Against Them”) is the legendary R&B singer, bandleader, promoter and DJ, Johnny Otis. As most Zappaphiles are also aware, Zappa copied the “Imperial”-style mustache Otis sported, a crucial bit of iconic borrowing that!
At one point during the recording sessions for Zappa’s 1969 solo album Hot Rats, Zappa called the bandleader, then doing a popular R&B radio show on KPPC in Pasadena, for some help in tracking down violinist Don “Sugarcane” Harris, who was then, it was discovered, currently sitting in the county jail (apparently Zappa bailed him out). Zappa invited Otis to the sessions in Hollywood and he brought along his musical protege son, Shuggie, who had been playing with his father’s band since he was twelve.
Otis the younger, credited incorrectly as “Shuggy” on Hot Rats, played bass on “Peaches en Regalia,” one of Zappa’s most famous numbers and on November 2nd, 1970 the two brought out their acoustic guitars for a delicious nine-minute-long jam session on-air during “The Johnny Otis Show.” There was also a blues jam with Ray Agee during that same radio show.
Shuggie Otis would later turn down an offer to join the Rolling Stones. His new album, Wings of Love, has recently come out and the seldom-seen Otis is currently touring the world in support of the slow-baked long-player that has some songs dating as far back as 1975.
Across the world tonight, millions of people are tuning-in to watch the Eurovision Song Contest. There will be the usual twinkly, pant-suited, satin-draped performers, with an excess of dry ice, singing about love, broken hearts, world peace and the weather.
While I like the idea of Eurovision, I doubt I’ll be watching, as I’ve always thought this fun competition tends to overlook better songs by greater artists, who know how to write an unforgettable tune.
The first that comes instantly to mind is “Mr Eurovision” by that great musical genius, Neil Innes.
Is there any other tune that gives the best of what Europe has to offer (in assorted cliches) with such a ludicrously catchy tune? I am still flummoxed as to explain how the UK never took up this work of unparalleled brilliance.
“Mr. Eurovision” originally appeared on The Innes Book of Records, which was one of the great high points in TV history, and now deserves to be repeated.
Dangerous Minds is a compendium of oddities, pop culture treasures, high weirdness, punk rock and politics drawn from the outer reaches of pop culture. Our editorial policy, such that it is, reflects the interests, whimsies and peculiarities of the individual writers. And sometimes it doesn't. Very often the idea is just "Here's what so and so said, take a look and see what you think."
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