Apr 142020

I am a big fan of Wesley Stace (the artist formerly known as John Wesley Harding) and I have had a few occasions to speak with him over the years after shows at the merch table (captive audience). When he put out his last LP, featuring the “Minneapolian Sound of The Jayhawks,” I was in heaven. My favorite band, The Jayhawks, with one of my songwriting heroes. We had an (possibly imagined) moment after a Squeeze show in Atlanta (he opened) while discussing how we both loved The Jayhawks.

I saw him play a month ago: back when there were concerts! (At Eddie’s Attic in Atlanta – birthplace of Indigo Girls and John Mayer) and we traded a few FB messages (ok, he responded to my messages) about mandolin and songs he chose to play for this particular pre-shutdown show. So basically we are best friends now.

So this week some of his Facebook fans created an “imaginary tribute LP” and posted which artists they wanted and what song they should perform (The Cure should do “Goth Girl,” for example). Many were deceased (Johnny Cash), others were never going to say yes (Billy Joel will never record “My Least Favorite Things”). Some were serious, some were to be clever (Jacob Dylan playing “Making Love To Bob Dylan”).

My suggestion was to have The Jayhawks record “Kiss Me Miss Liberty” from John Wesley Harding’s New Deal (1996?). Wes “liked” it and it became part of the “imaginary” track line up.

Then a funny thing happened, Wes started to reach out to the artists and they started agreeing to record the songs that the “fans” wanted them to play!

Graham Parker started the ball rolling last week with his cover of “The Devil In Me” and I began to construct the Jayhawks arrangement of “Kiss Me Miss Liberty” in my head as a cure for my captivity boredom.

So today I see a message from Wes to me (ok to the group) that Gary Louris (of The Jayhawks) is the next artist to record a Wes song, thanks to Eric Leland (well, after I reminded him that it was my idea).

So I am basically a record executive again! COVID19 dreams do come true!

Aug 052013


2013 is the year that my mom (who still has a flip phone and turns it off when she has completed a call) has purchased an iPod. This has proven to me the the iPod’s time of relevance has come to pass. I have used the “mom” rule successfully many times before when it comes to electronics.

I have been interested in “cloud” music for a while. I like the idea that if I ever need to hear “Baby Snakes” or “Girls With Guns” that all I have to do is log onto any computer (not even my own) and I can access MY copy of this song and play it instantly.

I am an iPhone owner, so I only just discovered the Android Market aka Google Play and the Google Play music storage feature.

You can upload 20,000 songs (not a misprint) for free and access them from the homepage of Google or gmail.

I narrowed my digital collection to 20,000 (was 4,000 over) and could not use DRM-protected iTunes files (protected .aac). I think that was maybe 30 songs. It would not accept .wav files either, but you can make them into mp3s and they work.

MOST of the files are not uploaded, they are just “recognized” by Google Play and they match it with their copy. If they can’t match it, THEN they upload it.

You can stream from ANY Android phone or tablet and from any computer, but not iphone or other devices that do not use flash.

You can burn my house down. but you can’t take my music collection!

The Instant Mix feature is pretty decent (unlike iTunes’ Genius which was pretty bad). It makes mixes based on a single song or LP. Kind of like Pandora w/o commercials and ONLY using your music.

I am so impressed by this program and it’s potential to use with BluTooth to shove my music down everyone’s throats.

May 252013

Picked up two CDs from the $5 bin at FRY’s today (which is HUGE and has many treasures), both from the 1980s.

Darryl Hall and John OatesVoices has been a favorite of mine since I bought it in 1980 at the age of 9.

The other, Stevie Ray Vaughan‘s Soul to Soul, which was a huge LP for me when it came out 1985 and my band I’m in now can play the whole LP as a set (see Electric Stevieland).

I love both CDs—they just didn’t make the upgrade to CD…or to the car once the cassette deck went away.

The liner notes from SRV are a celebration of the Texas guitarist hitting the big time as part of a blues revival (Cray, T-Birds, Thorogood, etc) and keeping true to Texas blues roots—the words “the ’80s” are never used.

In their liner notes, Hall and Oates on the other hand mostly apologize for all things 1980s. Not sure why, the ’80s were pretty good for them! Cause its dated? X-static from ’78 is way more dated sounding but ’70s—a time that we have forgiven for its sins.

Question: Is “well it WAS the ’80s” a legit excuse for any musician/band/song/album?

Do any artists get an “’80s pass”?

Is there such thing as a “’90s pass?” A “’70s pass”?

A crapbuger record is bad because its bad. (Loverboy is Loverboy’s fault, not the producer or stylist’s.) It’s not all trends, fashion and production is it? Knowing when to say when is part of your artistic (or at least stylistic) integrity, right?<

The ’80s did not force itself on you (or did it) any more than that bandana and parachute pants combination did.

PS – Hall and Oates did have a Bad and Dated release: 1988 Ooh! Yeah! Sounded like it was stuck in 1986!!! The next one they went back to early ’70s soul and it was like the 1980s never happened.

Oct 112012

Next up for Lynne: A self-recorded tribute album to ELO!

Enjoying the new Jeff Lynne CD Long Wave and was thinking about LPs that are all cover songs.

What are some of the RTH favorites? What am I missing?

Here are the ones that came to mind; am I missing any big ones?

  • Bowie, Pin Ups
  • Elvis Costello, Kojak Variety
  • Jeff Lynne, Long Wave
  • Bob Dylan, Good As I’ve Been to You/World Gone Wrong
  • Paul McCartney, Run Devil Run, Russian Album, Kisses On the Bottom
  • Rod Stewart, Great American Songbook Vol 1-4
  • Golden Smog, On Golden Smog
  • Def Leppard, Oh Yeah!
  • Stray Cats, Original Cool
  • Dave Edmunds, DE7
  • Bruce Springsteen, We Shall Overcome
  • Johnny Cash, American Recordings 1-4
Oct 172011

My brother and I are playing an acoustic ALL-KINKS show this weekend to test the waters on an all-Kinks band. (No joke, it’s at LOLA Art Gallery!) Acoustik Kinks will just be acoustic guitar and vocals with a focus on the Face To Face through Lola era.

I plan to record the show and post on YouTube if it goes well. We already have a few drummers interested. Now will there be an audience for this (see my very short-lived Hendrix/SRV cover group)…who knows???

You are the crew that came up with (and most likley put the nail in the coffin of) Electric Stevieland, my Hendrix/SRV Tribute band in 2008 that played one great show and then forgot to book a second one…ever.

I had forgotten that there was a website for this band until I just “Bing-ed” myself (I need to reset my work computer back to Google):  http://stevierayhendrix.wordpress.com/music/

My favorite Kinks name so far is Art Lovers, but nobody will every know that we are a Kinks group with that name (and if they know the song they may keep their kids away).

I’d also like to find a name that is not being used already. Dave Davies‘ band is Kink’s Kronicles, there is a Kinda Kinks (and a Kinda Kinda Kinks) and a Kinky 2, etc.

There was a band called The Dedicated Followers, but they have been gone for a while, so that may be an option.

Our set list follows…after the jump!

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Sep 192011

I subscribe to Pop Market. They send me one-day offers on box-sets, vinyl, and limited-edition stuff from Sony.

Today’s special is a Lou Reed CD bundle for $23.99, including shipping and comprising the following:

  • Transformer
  • Rock ‘n Roll Animal
  • Metal Machine Music
  • NYC Man: The Collection

I own ZERO (0) Lou Reed  (I had New York on vinyl in the late ’80s and know the hits). Is this a good place to start? I know that Metal Machine Music is NOT for the pop fans, but the rest?

Sep 122011

Thank the iPod Shuffle gods for re-introducing me to The Wallflowers. I was a big fan of their universally ignored 1992 debut album (s/t The Wallflowers) and 4 years later was surprised that they got another shot, Bringing Down the Horse, and that it was a huge hit record. The two singles, “One Headlight” and “6th Avenue Heartache,” were good Adult Rock tunes (aka Dad Rock) in an era where there were plenty of them to choose from (Counting Crows, Hootie, Better Than Ezra, The Rembrandts, BoDeans, Cracker, and CU beneficiaries The Gin Blossoms), and since the record is so front loaded with hits, I tended to move on after my first 5-song fix. That was my mistake.

My iPod must be a big Wallflowers fan, because I hear them all the time, and not the singles usually.

Jacob Dylan sounds more or less like the other “sons of Dylan” (eg, Springsteen, Petty, Mellencamp, Knopfler), in fact his clean Tele strum sounds very Petty-ish and the organ, from Walflowers’ MVP Rami Jaffee, is “Like a Rolling Stone” meets the bands that wish they wrote that one (see list above). Jacob writes a good sad song, not quite to the level of Dire Strait’s “Romeo and Juliet,” but in that vein. He has some Elvis Costello in him as well; there is some anger behind his sadness.

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