Tuesday, March 31, 2009


I'm not a big American Idol watcher, but I do catch bits and pieces sometimes. I feel bad for Paula Abdul and the way people make fun of her, uh, enthusiastic behavior.  And if she likes younger guys (allegedly), what's wrong with that?  Older guys go for younger women all the time.   I interviewed her and Randy Jackson once (yo, he's played for Bob Dylan and Bruce Springsteen, so step off) and it was really fun and they were both super cool. 

But she compared some really lame singer tonight to Mick Jagger and Steven Tyler. I don't hate on Idol contestants, but that is crazy.  It was really, really, awful.  I was surprised that Simon didn't beat him up over that. That said, the guy who went next and did Bill Withers' "Ain't No Sunshine," which was really really great. 

Oh yeah, and some kid said that he liked rock bands like The Fray.  Whatever, Idol isn't meant for me.  

Sunday, March 29, 2009


I'm not the type to download stuff from anywhere but iTunes. And I've never downloaded anything that is commercially available. BUT. Sometmies you can't resist. I found this great Stevie Wonder performance on the excellent blog Aquarium Drunkard (they host SIRIUS XM's Blog Radio on SIRIUS XMU; I don't always agree with their taste, we certainly don't agree on pavement, but it is a great blog). It's pretty incredible. I don't know why Stevie hasn't put out more live recordings from the '60s and '70s. I totally recommend Stevie's recently released Live At Last DVD (which he should also release on CD and mp3), as well as his 1995 live album Natural Wonder. But this is another level, it's him at the peak of his creativity.

Saturday, March 28, 2009


For years, Pete Townshend and his girlfriend, singer-songwriter Rachel Fuller, have been doing "In The Attic" online TV shows and performances in small venues, even when The Who is on tour. There are some great artists on it: Tenacious D does a Tommy medley (probably the same thing they did at the VH1 Rock Honors tribute to The Who), Ben Harper does some of his own songs and a cover of "I'm One," Jimmy Fallon is on it, but supposedly the highlight are a few duets by Pete with Lou Reed.  This 2 CD/1 DVD set is going to be available exclusively at Best Buy. 


Not even a year after putting out Momofuku, Elvis Costello is releasing his next album, Secret, Profane & Sugarcane, produced by T-Bone Burnett. It's a mostly acoustic album (T-Bone plays some electric guitar, the rest of the instruments are "unamplified").  

As I've mentioned before, I'm not an Elvis die-hard, and I think that makes me more receptive to his music. Of course he made some awesome music in the '70s and '80s, but for my money, he's done some of his best stuff in the '90s and '00s. For instance, I love "13 Steps Lead Down" and especially "Sulky Girl" from 1994's Brutal Youth; I like a lot of 2002's When I Was Cruel, especially "45," a lot of 2004's The Delivery Man, especially "Monkey To Man" and I love his collaborative album with Allen Toussaint, 2006's The River In Reverse. And I've already mentioned Momofuku.  So I'll definitely be picking this album up - it comes out on Hear Music, which used to be affiliated with Starbucks, I don't know what their deal is now. 


I'm super interested to hear Iggy Pop's new album, Preliminaires. Iggy has been signed to Virgin forever, and now EMI subsidiary Astralwerks is going to be releasing the album on June 2. I think Iggy needed to do something different.  The Stooges' reunion album from a few years back was OK, but didn't approach the greatness of their earlier albums, and Iggy's solo albums haven't been super-inspired.  I think he needed to do an album that he had fun making. I do wonder if he'll keep playing Stooges concerts with Scott Asheton and Mike Watt


Blender is the latest music magazine to shut down. I never really thought it was a great magazine although it did have some decent stuff.  I thought it was a pretty cynical magazine, that catered to the same stuff that parent publication Maxim does. But I do feel for the people who lost their jobs, and all the freelance writers who got work from the magazine.  It's hard out there and it just got harder. 


One of the great things about iTunes is that you can buy pretty much any song (usually ones less than ten minutes) for 99 cents.  Almost all albums (single albums) are $9.99.  That seems to be working, people generally seem to be willing to spend a dollar a song and ten bucks an album, and the majority of people don't want to spend more than that. And, generally, they don't have to. Although it is still illegal, downloading songs from filesharing sites is still rampant. So the fact that iTunes is about to start charging $1.29 for "hot" songs just seems like a bad idea. 

A while ago, Kid Rock said something that I agreed with.  He doesn't think that every song should be the same price, and that's why he doesn't allow his songs to be sold a la carte on iTunes.  He said that his friend who just started a band and has a new song isn't worth as much as "Born To Run." I agree in theory, but the reality is, people are just going to start illegally downloading songs if iTunes starts charging more than a buck. Yes, it's still illegal, but still, I think by now the music industry should have learned not to try and force their will on the public, it worked for decades and it doesn't really work anymore. 


The official website of Record Store Day has a list of exclusives that will be available, which includes a Ben Harper 10" (with an unreleased track, "Spanish Red Wine"), a Bob Dylan 7" (two tracks recorded when he played Bonnaroo, "Down Along The Cove" which was on a Bonnaroo album, and "Dreaming Of You" from Bootleg Series Vol. 8), a Bruce Springsteen 7" with "What Love Can Do" from Working on a Dream and "A Night With The Jersey Devil," 7" singles from Jane's Addiction and Heaven & Hell, The Stooges, The MC5, Slayer, The Smiths and Sublime, and a split 7" by Elvis Costello and Jenny Lewis.

It's interesting that Record Store Day, which is April 18, comes just weeks after the biggest record store in the world (I think), the Virgin Megastore in Times Square, is closing (I think it actually closes Monday). They've been having a clearance sale, so of course I went to check it out. Even with 40% off of CDs, it was surprisingly untempting: that's because they charge 50% too much for CDs. While walking through the store, I had the chorus to Radiohead's "Just" in my mind ("You did it to yourself..."). By the way, Radiohead has an exclusive release for Record Store Day as well. Support independent record stores: if you don't live near one, you can still order something from their websites, I often order from Newbury Comics.


I bet Tool fans have been wondering when the band would return to the road or the studio, since frontman Maynard James Keenan has kind of made it known that his winery is his main priority. But they are co-headlining a Colorado festival called Mile High, and their website says that they are going on tour this summer. This is looking to be an expensive summer! 

Thursday, March 26, 2009


The documentary on '80s metal band Anvil has been picked up by VH1, and it will be released in select cities in April.  I was never a fan of the band, but I hear it is an awesome film. 


My wife got me the super deluxe version of the Pearl Jam Ten reissue for my birthday. It comes with Ten remastered on CD and LP, Ten remixed by Brendan O'Brien on CD and LP, a live concert recording from 1992 on LP (a double album), MTV Unplugged on DVD and a cassette demo of the band's original demo, plus lots of pictures and stuff. Pretty sweet. Thanks Mrs. No Expiration! There's a cool interview with Jeff Ament about it at Billboard


I must be slacking! I haven't written about one of my favorite artists of all time - Ben Harper - lately.  Ben has put his longtime band The Innocent Criminals on hold, and his now working with a new group called Relentless7. It's a more "rock" band than the Criminals, and I've seen him perform with them twice so far: once for WFUV and once at SIRIUS XM (you can watch video of some of the performances here). Anyway, the new album, White Lies For Dark Times, comes out May 5. And he says in an interview with Billboard that he and Relentless7 have already started writing a new record. 

Wednesday, March 25, 2009


According to The Independent, a reel to reel tape of Jimi Hendrix doing acoustic demos for songs from Electric Ladyland will soon be legally auctioned.  What the article doesn't clarify is if this tape will be sold just as a piece of memorabilia, or with the potential to release it to the public (I hope for the latter, but doubt it). 

MIND-BLOWING SHOW ALERT (or, "these guys must have had some interesting conversations about Chris Cornell")

Before taking his new band Street Sweeper on the Nine Inch Nails/Jane's Addiction tour, Tom Morello is leading another of his Justice tours.  Last night, it hit Seattle in style.  Tad Doyle, formerly of Tad, performed with Kim Thayil, Ben Shepherd and Matt Cameron, doing three Soundgarden songs, with Tom Morello sitting on on "Spoonman" (which he knew, because Audioslave used to perform it). Also on the bill: Steve Earle and Wayne Kramer of The MC5.  Read about it at The Seattle Weekly. The Justice tour is coming to New York, with Perry Farrell and Jerry Cantrell on the bill.  I missed that tour last time, I gotta catch it this time. 

But I wonder if "Tadgarden" will play again.  Cameron is a member of Pearl Jam, and that seems to be going really well for him, he's been in PJ longer than he was in Soundgarden. But in a recent interview, Chris Cornell said that there really wouldn't be a downside to reuniting with Soundgarden, so who knows, maybe this will prompt him to leave his more pop-oriented solo work the same way Keith Richards' rocking solo stuff lured Mick Jagger away from his more pop solo material. Although I don't know if Soundgarden can reunite without the involvement of their former manager, who is also Cornell's ex-wife. Time will tell! 


I just found out about this: The Hold Steady is releasing a live CD/DVD set, A Positive Rage, on April 7.  I'm pretty psyched about that: I've never had the chance to see them live. I've heard varying reports about them. Some say they are great, but I heard that when they recently toured with The Drive-By Truckers, the Truckers totally blew them away. But I think that's because the Truckers come from the southern-rock school, while The Hold Steady has the indie rock thing of not wanting to look like you're trying to hard. It's too bad, they have some great songs. 


OK, I realize that the headline brands me as "the old guy at the Warped Tour." I admit it, I don't know who many of the bands on this year's Warped Tour are: the only ones I care about other than Fishbone are Bad Religion, Flogging Molly, NOFX and Shooter Jennings (!).

The last time I went to the Warped Tour was years ago: Rancid and The Rollins Band were both on the bill, I don't remember who else. I did actually go to the first one, I think the admission was actually $5 and the headliners were Quicksand, L7 and Sublime (one of my favorite bands already, but they were a terrible mess).

As for Fishbone, I had to check their not-very-updated MySpace page, which indicates that the only old-school members are singer/sax player Angelo Moore (of course! he is one of the greatest frontmen of all time) and bassist John Norwood. Rocky George, formerly of Suicidal Tendencies, is the guitarist and I don't know who the rest of the guys are. But Fishbone always put on a great show. I may actually go this year.


I can't wait. And I'm a guy who was cynical about them when Dookie first hit in '94. I liked Green Day, but I became a fan when I heard "Minority" from their 2000 album, Warning - which was when the media really stopped paying attention to them. Of course, they got that attention back -- deservedly -- with their next album, the classic American Idiot. And their next project, as Foxboro Hot Tubs, Stop Drop And Roll!!!, was my favorite album of last year.

So, I know all the "they're not punk" etc. slams that the band always gets. I think that they're the real deal, and I can't wait to hear their 21st Century Breakdown. When they tour, I'll be there (and hoping to hear some Foxboro songs).


As James Hetfield alluded to earlier this year, Metallica will in fact jam with former bass player Jason Newstead when they are inducted into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame (according to Blabbermouth), even though his likeness isn't included in thier Guitar Hero game. That's cool: he's being inducted as a former member (as is the late Cliff Burton, of course) and should be included. I wonder if Robert Trujilio is being inducted? He has only played on one album, their latest, Death Magnetic. But that album has, for sure, proved their relevance, and I doubt the guys would show up if he wasn't going to be included. (The Rolling Stones threatened not to show up when the Rock Hall said that Brian Jones and Mick Taylor, but not Ronnie Wood, would be inducted, so the Hall relented, and rightfully so).

But it's gonna be awkward I bet: I can't imagine anyone fitting in as well as Trujilio has, and I doubt that the other guys want Jason back. But if you've seen Some Kind Of Monster, you can tell that when he quit, he kind of wanted the guys to ask him back, but they never did.

Tuesday, March 24, 2009


Tomorrow on OutQ, I'll be talking about the brand-new

Indigo Girls album, Poseidon and the Bitter Bug (the deluxe edition has a second disc with acoustic versions of all the songs) and the big kahuna reissue of Pearl Jam's classic debut, Ten. My lovely wife got me this for my birthday: it has the original album on LP and CD, a new version remixed by Brendan O'Brien on LP and CD, a live concert from 1992 on LP, MTV Unplugged on DVD and thier original demo on cassette.

I'll also be talking about some of the songs on the FREE Nine Inch Nails/Jane's Addiction/Street Sweeper EP that you can get at NINJA2009.com.

If I have time, I'll talk about another one of my favorite artists, Hamell On Trial, who I need to write about more here. Next week: it's all Stevie Nicks.


I almost forgot about this, but last week, Billy Corgan made the Bush-ian move of putting out a press release late Friday noon, no doubt hoping that it wouldn't get much attention (and full well knowing that most of the music press was at SXSW). He announced that drummer Jimmy Chamberlin was leaving The Smashing Pumpkins and that he'd been going on without him. Meaning that Billy is the only original member of the band. It's weird: no one seems to mind that Nine Inch Nails = Trent Reznor, but Billy has taken criticism for using the band name without the involvement of guitarist James Iha and bassist D'Arcy. But I guess Trent established that he is NIN early on, while Billy tried to make it seem like the Pumpkins were a "band." Billy Corgan hasn't been doing interviews, but I wonder what he would say is the difference, at this point, between a Smashing Pumpkins album and a Billy Corgan album.


I got a good laugh from the Flaming Lips vs. Arcade Fire beef. Although neither band is macho, the Lips use lots of blood, lasers and may be aliens. Every Arcade Fire song sounds like the world may come to an end, so that's not wimpy.

But, via Twitter, The Decemberists are beefing with Pitchfork. It's on, son! Even though I don't have an opinion on The Decemberists one way or another (when I tried listening to their last album, I fell asleep, and when I woke up I was like, "who put on the Emerson, Lake & Palmer record?") and the overwhelming negativity of pitchfork isn't my thing, I got a good laugh out of imagining what this beef would actually look like.


I wish I had gotten tickets for Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band's warmup shows at the Convention Hall in Asbury Park. Seeing them there is pretty intense: I saw a Christmas show there once, and a warmup show with the Seeger Sessions Band there before that tour. I heard there was some ticket controversy about these shows, but when Bruce fits his arena-sized stage into a small venue and does two nights, people are going to be shut out, and that's that. As long as he does a bunch of shows at Giants Stadium this summer so everyone can go, all is forgiven.

You can read all about the rehearsals and see some pictures and video at (where else?) the great Bruce fan site Backstreets. Last night, Jay Weinberg - son of Max - played drums for a few songs, since he will be playing drums on select dates on the tour. Also, the band is being augmented by two singers from the Seeger Sessions Band - Curtis King and Cindy Mizelle. The setlist was cool, and included one of my favorite Springsteen covers: Woody Guthrie's "I Ain't Got No Home" which Bruce recorded for the Folkways tribute album from 1988. I don't know that he's ever performed that. I'm sorry I'm not at the rehearsal tonight, but I can't wait to see the band in May.

Monday, March 23, 2009


So, supposedly Neil Young's Archives Vol. 1 box set has a definite street date, June 2. Given that I first read about this box set when I was in college -- twenty years ago -- I'll believe it when I see it. But at South By Southwest, some people did see it, and even touch it. The always excellent Neil site, Thrasher's Wheat has a full report of tracklisting (it contains more previously released stuff than I would have expected, but whatever, I'm not complaining!). I think this is the next evolution of prestige releases from legends, or just artists with deep catalogs, deep vaults and a deep connection with fans. Like I said, you can read about it at Thrasher's Wheat, but it's worth mentioning that (a) you can now get it on CD, not just DVD and Blu Ray (the CD box set is $100, which is a good price for ten discs and a hard cover book) and (b) if you get it on DVD or Blu Ray, you get the entire thing in mp3 form, so you can listen in the car, on your iPod or whatever. It's now a much more fan-friendly package than it was originally going to be. Neil posted a note at the site where you can buy it explaining why you should really get it on Blu Ray - but that's a $300 box set, and I don't even have a Blu Ray player, so I just don't have the bucks to cough up (to paraphrase one of his new songs).

In other Neil news, Jonathan Demme premiered the Trunk Show DVD recorded in December of 2007 at South By Southwest, and Neil now has a new video for "Cough Up The Bucks" from his upcoming album Fork In The Road.


The single greatest song that Ted Nugent has ever been involved with is "Journey To The Center of the Mind," with his former band, The Amboy Dukes. He claims he didn't know it was about drugs. OK.... And now for the first time in 30 years, Ted is reuniting with them to perform at the Detroit Music Awards April 17. More importantly, the show will feature a tribute to the late Stooges guitarist Ron Asheton.


So, Jay Weinberg, who will be sitting in for his father Max Weinberg at a few Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band shows this summer plays in a number of bands: a metal band called Chaosis, a more punk band called Reveling and a more pop group, they're a bit like The Foo Fighters, called Get It Good. You can hear all three bands at his myspace page.


I'm trying to be good. I'm saying, "other than
Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band and the Nine Inch Nails/Jane's Addiction tours and U2 in the fall, I'm not going to spend tons of bucks on shows this summer.

And then I hear rumors the Bob Dylan, Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp are going to tour together. Wow.

In other Mellencamp news, he posted a great essay about the decline of the music industry as he sees it on his website. John's well known as a cranky guy, but he's smart and he ain't wrong.


Billboard reports that the Jimi Hendrix Estate has just resigned with Universal Music, and the interesting thing about that is the next release that they're putting out: this fall they're putting out a CD and DVD from The Jimi Hendrix Experience's 2/18 and 2/24/69 gigs at The Royal Albert Hall. A camera crew followed Jimi for about a month leading up to the shows, and that footage will be edited for the DVD. Janie Hendrix, Jimi's half-sister and the CEO of Experience Hendrix says there's "ten more years" of Hendrix music in the vaults. I kind of doubt that, unless she's talking about live recordings, in which case, bring them on.

Sunday, March 22, 2009


Nine Inch Nails, Jane's Addiction and Tom Morello's new band Street Sweeper are offering a free mp3 EP of unreleased tracks (easy in Street Sweeper's case, since they haven't actually released anything yet). All you have to do is give your email address. Get it at NINJA2009


This year's list of presenters includes Flea (Metallica), Eminem (Run-D.M.C.), Jimmy Page (Jeff Beck), Ron Wood (Bobby Womack), Smokey Robinson (Little Anthony & The Imperials), Paul Schaffer (Spooner Oldham) and Garry Tallent and Max Weinberg of The E Street Band (Bill Black and D.J. Fontana of Elvis Presley's band). They haven't come up with a presenter for Wanda Jackson yet. 

I think Flea is a weird choice for Metallica: it seems like he's just paying them back for performing at his Silverlake Conservatory benefit concert last year. I know The Red Hot Chili Peppers signed to Metallica's management a few years ago because they respected the way Metallica has handled their career; on the other hand, I thought that Flea was always kind of anti-metal and macho stuff. Don't get me wrong, I'm a huge fan of Flea and the Chili Peppers, I just think it's a weird choice.  I would have gone with Dave Grohl, or Jerry Cantrell or someone a bit more metal. 

Eminem was sort of obvious for Run-D.M.C., but I would have gone with LL Cool J or Chuck D or The Beastie Boys or Q-Tip or Mos Def. But I know Eminem is a huge hip-hop fan, he'll probably come up with a cool speech. 

Jimmy Page is a great choice for Jeff Beck: I think it would be bad-ass if they reprised "Beck's Bolero" with John Paul Jones on bass and Zak Starkey on drums (filling in for Keith Moon). What would be even cooler would be if Ron Wood and Rod Stewart did they honors for Jeff, but I guess Rod would worry that that would only fuel the Faces rumors even more. 

Max and Gary were a good choice: I guess there's a chance that Bruce Springsteen will show up and the trio will do some Elvis covers. Anyway, the ceremony will air live on Fuse on April 4, I look forward to seeing it. 

Saturday, March 21, 2009


So the big news with Bruce Springsteen (other than the fact that he's playing Pete Seeger's 90th birthday celebration in May) is that he has announced that Max Weinberg will not, in fact, be playing all of the dates on Workin' on a Dream tour. That's because Conan O'Brien's show starts at its new time right as Bruce and The E Street Band start their European tour. I thought that maybe Larry Eagle from the Sessions Band might be a logical pick (Charlie Giordano from The Sessions Band is now E Street's touring organ player). But he's sticking closer to the family: Max's son, Jay Weinberg (who played drums on "Born To Run" at one of the Giants Stadium shows last summer) will fill in when Max can't make it. 

Bruce has also announced two "rehearsal shows" at Asbury Park's Convention Center Monday and Tuesday.  They went on sale Friday and predictably, sold out immediately.   But I'm still hoping that I can pull off tickets for Tuesday's show. 


In an interview with Rolling Stone, Big Boi said that his long-awaited solo album is being held up by he defacto label, Jive, who got OutKast when Arista disolved their roster. He says that both he and Andre 3000 are working on solo albums with the same production team - Organized Noize - so they've been listening to each other's tracks, and holding on to some of them for the next OutKast album. Leave it to a major label to drop the ball on one of the coolest and best selling bands of the decade. OK, Idlewild was a bad move, but it's not like this was a one-hit wonder: OutKast has earned the right to try something new and fail without being deemed "over." 

Thursday, March 19, 2009


The Daily News caught an extra fee that Ticketmaster was trying to hide from tickets to New Jersey's PNC Bank Arts Center.  Essentially, the were going to add a $6 parking fee, people got mad, they decided not to do it, and then sneakily added $6 to the ticket price. 


Interesting story at Portfolio about Courtney Love selling a 50% of Kurt Cobain's publishing catalog a few years back.  Basically she went from being almost broke to being a millionaire, but the company who bought the rights haven't really made much money from it because Nirvana's music was so uncommercial (despite it's commercial success). 

Wednesday, March 18, 2009


Anyone who reads this blog or listens to me on SIRIUS XM OutQ's Morning Jolt with Larry Flick knows that I'm a huge fan of Little Steven's Underground Garage. He puts out some really cool compilations, like his recent Halloween and Christmas collections, but more frequently he puts out collections of "The Coolest Songs In The World" (every week on his channel and his syndicated terrestrial radio show, he actually chooses a "coolest song in the world"). The latest edition, Volume 8, might be the best one yet. It's like a great collection of not-very-well-known bands, and there's some great stuff there. Some highlights: The Cute Lepers (their singer is a dude named Steve E. Nix) with "Terminal Boredom," The Downbeat 5's "Dum Dum Ditty," The Love Me Nots "Give 'Em What They Want," Man Raze (featuring Phil Collen of Def Leppard[!] and Paul Cook of The Sex Pistols) with "Turn It Up," The Night Marchers (featuring Speedo, formerly of Rocket From The Crypt) "Jump In The Fire," The Skybombers' "Always Complaining" and a song from David Bowie's last album, Reality, "Days," that is actually really good -- I didn't really notice that one when the album came out. It is a really great compilation. I'm not saying that you should get all the Coolest Song collections, but this one is a keeper for sure.


Last year, Lucinda Williams recorded a bunch of cool covers: she did AC/DC's "It's A Long Way To The Top (If You Want To Rock and Roll)" on her album Little Honey. And she did Bob Dylan's "Masters Of War," Buffalo Springfield's "For What It's Worth" and the Thievery Corporation/Flaming Lips collab "Marching The Hate Machines Into The Sun" all for her Lu In '08 EP. But somehow I missed her cover of Willie Nelson's "Mamas, Don't Let Your Babies Grow Up To Be Cowboys," which I just found on iTunes. It was for a record called The Imus Ranch Record. Good cover. Thanks Imus? I wonder if it is Outlaw Country host Fred Imus.


The first track from the upcoming PJ Harvey & John Parrish album, A Woman A Man Walked By is out on iTunes, it's called "Black Hearted Love" and it is great. I honestly wasn't a huge fan of their first album together, 1996's Dance Hall At Louse Point, but it grew on me. But this sounds a lot more rocking than that album.


Lots of rock docs and biopics in the works. To boot:

When You're Strange is a documentary about The Doors.

Julien Temple is doing a documentary about Madness.

The Weinsteins company just landed a biopic about John Lennon, Nowhere Boy.

One biopic that will be in limbo for a while is the Tupac film, his mom is suing the producers.


Lots of rumors circulating that The Stone Roses are going to reunite, but bassist John Squire says that it isn't true. Too bad, I would love to see them. Squire and singer Ian Brown say that it won't happen, but then again, Richard Ashcroft said that about The Verve.


A lot more artists have signed on for Pete Seeger's 90th birthday celebration: joining the aforementioned Bruce Springsteen, Eddie Vedder, Steve Earle, Bob Dylan, Emmylou Harris and John Mellencamp: Ben Harper, Warren Haynes, Tom Morello, Dave Matthews, Ani DiFranco, Kris Kristofferson, Michael Franti of Spearhead, Patterson Hood of Drive-By Truckers, Del McCoury, Richie Havens, Ramblin' Jack Elliott and Taj Majal among others. See the whole lineup here. There's an American Express pre-sale, which I find shocking, but they are probably donating money to The Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, which is close to Pete's heart.


Great news!  The New York Dolls reunion is still going strong! They're reunited with producer Todd Rundgren, who produced their classic 1973 self-titled debut album for Cause I Sez So, due out in May. Their 2006 reunion album, One Day It Will Please Us To Remember Even This, was one of the best reunion albums ever - no mean feat as it included only two original members, singer David Johansen and guitarist Sylvian Sylvain. I saw their first U.S. gig after they reunited -- at Little Steven's Underground Garage Rock Festival in 2004 I think it was -- and they killed.  That's actually what originally turned me on to them. I saw their own gig at Irving Plaza a few years later, which was also awesome. So, I'm glad they are still together. And by the way, you should check out Johansen's weekly radio show on SIRIUS XM's The Loft channel. 

Tuesday, March 17, 2009


Lots of fun stuff to talk about tomorrow on
OutQ. First off, Jack White's new band, The Dead Weather. Also, Pansy Division. Two weeks ago, I gave Larry Flick a 7" EP by Pansy Division. The EP features a funny song called "Headbanger," about a gay guy seducing an ostensibly straight guy in a guitar store; it also has covers of Judas Priest's "Breaking The Law" and Kiss' "Sweet Pain." I was working at a heavy metal marketing company at the time, and so many people were offended by it, I thought it was great. Anyway, maybe we'll play "Headbanger," or their brand new song, a cover of Green Day's "Coming Clean" (I actually first heard Pansy Division because they opened for Green Day). Then, there's Little Steven's Coolest Songs In The World Vol. 8, maybe the best in the Coolest Song series thus far. I had a hard time choosing songs to play, and I'll have to do a seperate post about that collection. Then, an awesome box set that came out in 2006, What It Is! Funky Soul And Rare Grooves 1967-1977. I've been meaning to do a seperate post about that too.

If you played all of the above at a party, it would be going strong for hours. A good way to calm everyone down and get them to think about leaving is Willie Nelson's Naked Willie. It's the opposite of a remix album. Basically, Willie's harmonica player Mickey Raphael took some of Willie's old recordings from the '60s and stripped back the Nashville elements - strings, backing vocals - so that only guitar, bass, drums, piano and Willie's singing was left. Pretty cool stuff, I wish someone would do that with Ray Charles' country material. The song to play: "The Party's Over" of course.

Anyway, we probably won't get to all of it. But next week, I'll be talking about the new Indigo Girls album, Poseidon and the Bitter Bug, and the deluxe reissue of Pearl Jam's Ten.


I read about Lucky Soul somewhere, I think there may be a "buzz" on them at the moment. They have a kind of '60s girl group/wall of sound thing going on (even though there's just one female in the band). I checked out their MySpace page and liked it, maybe you might also.


Pete Seeger is the real deal, period. He's always been about connecting with people, and not just about making a buck. He's super humble, and usually avoids all showbiz type stuff. My first few concerts were performances by Pete in parks, and it made a huge impression on me. He turns 90 on May 3, and there's going to be a huge concert at Madison Square Garden to celebrate. According to Backstreests, Bruce Springsteen, Bob Dylan, Steve Earle, Emmylou Harris, Eddie Vedder, John Mellencamp will all perform. It's hard to imagine that Pete would be into this - it seems kind of more high profile than he is comfortable with. On the other hand, he just performed with Bruce Springsteen at Barack Obama's inauguaration, that was pretty grand. He performed right before Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. made his "I Had A Dream" speech. I bet Pete never thought he'd perform for the first African-American president's inauguration. I definitely want to catch this concert. Also, the concert will benefit the Hudson River Sloop Clearwater, which is close to Pete's heart.


Kanye West is one of the most prolific bloggers in pop music. How does he find the time to post a few times a day? He has a two person staff of bloggers! For real: he told New York magazine's Vulture blog. I guess he doesn't make his records on his own, and these days blogging is another source of content, why not have someone help you to make it as great as it can be? Still, I wish someone would break his vocoder already.


If you were wondering what Chuck D and Flavor Flav backed by The Roots will sound like when they perform Public Enemy's classic It Takes A Nation Of Millions To Hold Us Back at the annual "Roots Picnic" in Philly, check out this clip of their performance of "Bring The Noise from Late Night With Jimmy Fallon. The headline incorrectly says that The Roots backed a "reunited" Public Enemy, but the guys have been playing together pretty frequently for years now. On Sunday night, they played at B.B. King's in Times Square for Flavor's 50th(!) birthday. Lots of hip-hop legends were there, including Melle Mel from The Furious Five and Ice-T.


Rolling Stone's U2 cover story is pretty good. It is enough? For some people maybe. For for people like me, it's never enough! I'm glad they posted stuff that got cut out from the print article to their website. They talk about a few interesting topics like Pop (Bono says they wanted "Discothque" to be their "Sledgehammer") and the Rick Rubin sessions. Check it out.