Music Tonight: Alternative music legends (and The Beatles of children's music) They Might Be Giants play the Southgate House in Newport tonight in support of their latest "grown up" album, Join Us. Check out CityBeat's interview with one of the Johns here. The duo will also being doing an in-store signing at Joseph-Beth Booksellers in Norwood at 6:30 p.m. (hang around until 8 p.m. and you can catch magician/comedian/social commentator Penn Jillette, who will discuss and sign his new book, God, No!: Signs You May Already Be an Atheist and Other Magical Tales). They Might Be Giants and Jonathan Coulton's SGH show also begins at 8 p.m. and tickets are $25 SOLD OUT. Below, check out the just-released TMBG music video for the Join Us track, "Cloissone."
(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 Sept. 20
On this day in 1975, David Bowie scored his first No. 1 U.S. single with "Fame," a funky ditty written with John Lennon (who gave the song its title, subject and "Fay-Eeem" hook) and Bowie guitarist Carlos Alomar (the creator of the dope riff). Lennon also played guitar and sang backing vocals on the track. The Beatle was in the studio working with Bowie on his cover of "Across the Universe" when "Fame" came up in a jam session. Here's the cover (audio only):
Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers sharing a Sept. 20 birthday include: Singer/percussionist/xylophonist for ’80s New Wave Pop stars Thompson Twins, Alannah Currie (1957); guitarist for ExtremePerry Farrell, Nuno Bettencourt (1966); Soundgarden bassist Ben Shepherd (1968); and "Cowboy" from Grandmaster Flash & the Furious Five, Robert Keith Wiggins (1960).
Wiggins — who died of a heart attack in 1989 — was the pioneering Hip Hop group's "hype man," a role in the genre perhaps best exemplified by Flavor Flav's position in Public Enemy. As the name suggests, the hype man is responsible for keeping the party going during live performances. Who's the greatest of all time? Check out this article from New York's Societe Perrier site for more solid examples.
Here's my Top 3 (NSFW — for language):
Flavor Flav is the quintessential hype man — energetic, visual, weird and attention-grabbing. (Also reasons why he made such a successful reality TV star.)
Joe C. from Kid Rock's band. I accidentally walked into a small club show about 15 years ago to find Kid Rock destroying the joint and some little kid cursing like a sailor and bragging about how big his dick was. It turned out to be Joe C., a "little person" who was a regular feature of Kid Rock shows until he passed away in 2000 when he was just 26. Say what you will about Rock but he's a master showman and Joe was a big part of that early on.
James Brown has been responsible for a lot of Hip Hop features — from the beats to the braggadocio to the social consciousness. He was also a pioneer of the "hype man" — Flavor Flav might not exist were it not for Brown's MC and "cape man," Danny Ray.