Music Tonight: Though Brooklyn is viewed as the U.S. capitol of Indie music cool, that doesn’t mean every musician working out the New York borough fits the bill. One such band is progressive Funk/Rock jammers Dopapod, who moved to Brooklyn from Boson, where they met and formed as students at the Berklee College of Music. With twinges of Jazz and Electronica, Dopapod’s groovy mash has been building steam on the jam-band circuit. The group has released two studio albums since 2009 and, two days ago, the first Dopapodz live album, I Saw Live Dopapod Evil Was I, was released (it’s available as a free download if you “like” the group’s Facebook page). The band is joined by local, like-minded Psychedelic adventurers Pharaoh Loosey for tonight’s 9 p.m. show at Corryville club The Mad Frog. Check out the below clip for a taste of the group’s funky live sylings.
• If you like your music a little more familiar and less challenging, the free It’s Commonly Jazz series at Eden Park’s Seasongood Pavilion continues today. This evening’s 6 p.m. performance is from local native and professional session vocalist Dixie Karas and her backing sextet. For more on the 26-year-old music series — including its “green” initiatives — click here.
(Leave your suggestions/promote yourself or your favorites by telling everyone about your favorite music event recommendations for the day in the comments below.)
Momentous Happenings in Music History for Aug.
On this day in 1952, Hank Williams was fired from Grand Ole Opry for drinking too much. Told to return when he cleaned up, the Country music pioneer and American icon never got the chance. He died less less than six months later. Williams remains “banned” from the Opry, which was the impetus behind the Reinstate Hank movement, a grassroots campaign Hank’s grandson, musician Hank III, has been involved with. Click here to read more about the cause or click below to listen to Hank III’s (audio-only) explanation in song-form — “The Grand Ole Opry (Ain’t So Grand)”
Born This Day: The following people have music and an Aug. 11 birthday in common, little else: versatile guitarist turned premiere Roots music producer Charlie Sexton (1968); presumably the “Kriss” is Hip Pop kid duo Kriss Kross, Chris Kelly (1978); Death Cab For Cutie driver Ben Gibbard (1976); and eternally curious singer/songwriter Joe Jackson (1955).
Jackson, who slid down the back of the Punk era and into the mainstream with ’80s chart-toppers like “Stepping Out” and “Breaking Us in Two,” came up in a conversation I had after the Paul McCartney concert in Cincinnati last week. We were marveling over McCartney’s ability to perform these songs he has played for, in some cases, just shy of 50 years and not cheapen them by going on autopilot and delivering rushed Vegas-worthy renditions. McCartney is a people-pleasing showman. If he played a drastically rearranged version of even one of his biggest hits, there’s a big chunk of fans who’d be pissed he goofed on their all-time favorite song.
McCartney, we concluded, recreates the recordings as accurately as possible to not interefere with any fan’s sometimes profound experience at a McCartney show. They don’t want Reggae “Penny Lane,” they want “Penny Lane”! The customer is always right.
Joe Jackson is the precise opposite. It’s not that he doesn’t care what his fans want, it’s that he has a different kind of relationship with his — do I need to say? — considerably smaller audience. They understand Jackson’s need to occasionally completely dismantle one or more of his biggest songs on tour as a way to keep it fresh, mix things up. A few nostalgic concertgoers might be confused, but Jackson’s imaginative reinventions offered a panoramic, HD perspective on one of the more underrated songwriting minds of our time. His audience doesn’t just accept the song makeovers, they look forward to them.
Jackson’s 1988 album Live 1980-86 contained the best example of his sometimes extreme rearrangement tendencies, with four wildly different renditions (taken from four separate tours) of the 1978 hit, “Is She Really Going Out With Him?” Below are clips of Jackson playing the song in two very different formats.