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by Mike Breen 05.22.2012
Posted In: Music News, Music Commentary at 09:43 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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This Date in Music History: May 22

Pedophilia in Pop songs and birthday boy Sun Ra's bizarre film, 'Space Is The Place'

Call it "Rock & Roll Pervs Day." On this date in 1958, Jerry Lee Lewis arrived in the U.K. for a tour. Though it had been hidden at the time from the press and public, a reporter greeted Lewis at the airport and asked the rocker about his wife, Myra Gale Brown. She was Lewis' third wife (he was 22) and "first cousin once removed." She was also 13.

Lewis' handlers told him not to talk about his marriage, but he ignored them and spilled the beans (though he insisted she was 15). The U.K. public was outraged and the tour was cancelled after three dates. When he returned to the States, he found many radio outlets had banned his music; even Dick Clark wouldn't let him on his show.


Lewis' career took a major hit due to the controversy. Almost all of his singles afterwards peaked between 80-100 on the main singles charts. But Country music fans didn't seem to mind the cousin lovin'. Lewis had numerous Top 10 hits on the U.S. Country charts from the late ’60s and throughout the ’70s.

Exactly one decade after Lewis' British mishap, San Diego-based Rock band Gary Puckett & The Union Gap hit No. 1 on the U.K. singles chart with the song "Young Girl," which caused only a "minor" controversy even though it was explicitly about falling in love with an underage girl and fighting the urge to continue pursuing the relationship. In other words, a pedophilia anthem on par with Lolita (though the narrator in the song does seem to resist). Sample verse: "Beneath your perfume and your makeup/You're just a baby in disguise/And though you know that it's wrong to be/Alone with me/That 'come on' look is in your eyes."

The blip of controversy had no effect on Puckett and Co.'s career — the song made it to No. 2 in the U.S., as did its follow-up, "Lady Willpower" (featuring a similarly toned line: "Well there's so much you have to learn/And I would gladly teach you if I could only reach you"). In August of 1969, the group released "The Girl is a Woman Now" (sample line: "This girl was a child/Existing in a playground of stone"). Creepy.

"Young Girl" was covered by ABBA singer Frida, Danny Tanner on shitcom Full House and the kids from Glee in a "mash-up" with The Police's "Don't Stand So Close to Me," another pedophilia ode of sorts, inspired by the aforementioned Lolita book.

Last year, the Village Voice's Michael Musto did a roundup of "The Weirdest Pedophile Songs of All Time" and included Puckett's unnerving tune, as well as Neil Diamond's "Girl, You'll Be A Woman Soon," Donny Osmond's cover of "Go Away, Little Girl" and perhaps the most blatant of all, The Sherman Brothers' "You're Sixteen."

You think ANY of those songs would fly if they were released today?



Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers sharing a May 22 birthday include Rock & Roll Hall of Famer as a member of the Parliament/Funkadelic family, Calvin Simon (1942); Elton John's lyricist Bernie Taupin (1950); founder of The Specials (though left out of the second-wave Ska band's recent reunion activities) Jerry Dammers (1955); Mope Rock king and frontman for influential British Indie legends The Smiths, Morrissey (1959); Folk/Pop singer/songwriter Catie Curtis (1965); guitarist for Metal band Type O Negative, Kenny Hickey (1966); Indie Rock favorite John Vanderslice (1967); and amazing, exploratory Jazz genius Sun Ra (1914).

One of the more enigmatic and eccentric musicians in history, Ra was born Herman Poole Blount in Birmingham, Ala. Ra sported outlandish, "futuristic" costumes on stage and insisted he was from Saturn; listening to his experimental approach to Jazz, you can't be blamed for thinking it might be true. His music either threw out the rule book of Jazz or turned it upside down and he was an influence not only on progressive Jazz artists, but artists from all genres that veer into unexpected and/or avant garde territory. He's been cited as a big influence on musicians from George Clinton to Sonic Youth.

Ra died in 1993 from pneumonia after reportedly having a number of strokes and circulatory problems.

In 1974, Ra was the focus of the film Space Is The Place, a movie almost as strange as Ra's music. The fictional film is fascinating to watch, though sometimes hard to follow. Check out the full flick below (it is NSFW due to mild nudity, violence and some saucy and racial language). It runs about 80 minutes (but it's fun just to skim through if you don't have that kind of time right now).  

 
 
by Mike Breen 05.21.2012
Posted In: Local Music, Music News at 09:16 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Self Diploma Announces Free "Beats" Summer Series

Local promoter books solid lineup for every-Saturday concerts on Fountain Square

Following last week's announcement of the lineup for this year's MidPoint Indie Summer — free concerts every Friday on Fountain Square featuring an eclectic mix of local and nationally-touring Indie bands — kick-ass local promoters Self Diploma have unveiled who they have coming in for the Beats Summer Concert Series. Like Indie Summer, the Beats series features a blend of local and national acts. The concerts will feature some big names and hot up-and-comers in Hip Hop, Dance and Electronic music, including one of the best rising Hip Hop acts on the scene, The Cool Kids (Aug. 4).

Self Diploma has booked over 80 artists for the events, which kick off June 2. The concerts run through Aug. 25 and are open to all ages. Shows start at 6 p.m. and will be hosted by local DJ D-Lo.

Click here for updates and further announcements from Self Diploma. Here's the video press release for this summer's events, followed by the full sched.



June 2:
AER
YOUNG DUECE
ERIK '222' BARNUM
DJ SKILLZ
JOEY MACK
CALI KID DUBZ

June 9:
TIMEFLIES
DJ ETRAYN
DJ SCHU  
IAN J
CRISTINA TADDONIO
JOSEPH NEVELS

June 16:
DJ CLOCKWORK
SANTINO CORLEON
GOLD SHOES
O'MY'S
HODGIE STREET

June 23:
BASS SLANGAS
JOHNNY QUEST  
MARKY C
QUINCY
J.STRUCK

June 30:
DAVEY C
MILK & COOKIES
DJ SHOESHINE
DJ JOHNNY B
DJ LOCO

July 7:
CRIS CAB
D-WHY
DJ SCHOLAR
NAPALM
CAL SCRUBY
FAN'S CHOICE

July 14:
3LAU
DJ E-V
DJ PULLANO
MANIC FOCUS
DJ SB

July 21:
PIERCE FULTON
DJ PRISM
PHNM
DJ FISSION
DJ FURSUR

July 28:
LOGIC
TAYYIB ALI
DJ BANDCAMP
VINCENT VEGA
JAMES WADE
SPONGE STALLINGS

Aug. 4:
THE COOL KIDS
PUCK
DJ DROWSY
BAILEE MOORE
THOSE GUYS
FAN'S CHOICE

Aug. 11:
KREWELLA
CJ THE DJ
THE CHAOTIC GOOD
SH3LLZ
NEON MEDUSA

Aug. 18:
FIRECAT 451
BITFLIP
TRIP TURLINGTON
INFECTED ANGEL
DJ MOWGLI

Aug. 25:
MIKE STUD
HUEY MACK
DJ HAWK
TRADEMARK AARON
JOLA THE TRUNK BOY
CHANCE THE RAPPER

 
 
by Mike Breen 05.18.2012
Posted In: Live Music, Local Music, Music News at 09:03 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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New Afghan Whigs Song Unveiled

Reunited Cincinnati band releases first song in five years

The Afghan Whigs have unveiled their first new recording in five years, an acoustic-based cover of "See and Don't See," original recorded in 1970 by Soul singer Marie Queenie Lyons. The song premiered this morning on Rolling Stone's website. At noon today, the song will be available for free at the band's website.

According to their publicist, this cover is the song they'll be performing on the May 22 episode of Jimmy Fallon's late night show on NBC. On May 23, they play their first concert in over a decade in New York City. Tickets sold out FAST.

The Whigs' last new material was recorded for the retrospective Rhino Records release, Unbreakable. The band released new songs "I Am A Soldier" and "Magazine" on the album.

Check out the tune at Rolling Stone here, then check out the original below.


 
 
by Mike Breen 05.17.2012
Posted In: Local Music, Music News at 08:22 AM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Foxy Shazam: House Band for "Guys Choice" Awards

Local rockers to play Spike TV's celebration of testosterone

It ain't the Oscars, but Cincinnati rockers Foxy Shazam will be making like Bill Conti and providing the music for Spike TV's manly "Guys Choice" awards, which will be telecast on the channel June 9 at 9 p.m. (the show is taping in Culver City, Calif., on June 2).

Foxy will rock between the doling out of awards such as "Holy Grail of Hot," "Most Dangerous Man" (fitting!), "Top Fantasy Leaguer," "Comedy MVP," "Best Fight Scene,"  "Outstanding Literary Achievement" (seriously, though it's Dick Cheney vs. Tina Fey in the category), "Best Ass Kicker" (alas, no "Best Ass Kisser") and "Top Masturbator" (OK, made that one up).

Joining Foxy on the broadcast will be Adam Sandler, Emma Stone, Mark Wahlberg, Mila Kunis, Seth MacFarlane, Dax Shepard, Kristen Bell and others.You can vote for the awards (and look at photos of half naked women) here

Foxy, as always, has been relentlessly touring, traveling the world in support of its early 2012 release Church of Rock & Roll on I.R.S. Records. The band is performing at the huge Rock on the Range festival in Columbus this weekend (they play the FYE second stage Friday at 8:30 p.m.). Here's some footage of the band from a recent U.K. stint.


 
 
by Mike Breen 05.14.2012
Posted In: Music News, Music Video at 12:49 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Sebastian Bach Sings "WKRP" in Cincy

Former Skid Row frontman goes on TV theme tangent at Inner Circle gig

Reality show regular and former singer for Hair Metal faves Skid Row Sebastian Bach was in town Friday night for a solo show at Inner Circle (formerly Annie's) and the appearance made a few national music news headlines.

What happened? Bach broke into a little TV theme song segment during his performance, leading with the theme to WKRP in Cincinnati. I imagine the thought process went something like this: "OK, I know I'm in Ohio. Should I say, 'Hello, Cleveland' like in Spinal Tap? That never gets old. Shit, I think this might be that other city in Ohio. What's it called? Ah, thank you, tall skinny dude in the front row with the Cincinnati Reds shirt. Cincinnati … wait! I have an idea!"

Check the clip below.


 
 
by Mike Breen 05.11.2012
Posted In: Local Music, Music News, Music Video at 12:14 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Elementz Shows Off New Location Tonight

Hip Hop youth center to also detail "expanded mission" of Elementz

Local Hip Hop youth center Elementz — which provides an outlet for young people in the area to learn and practice the Hip Hop arts (DJing, MCing, dancing and legal graffiti artwork) — is settled into its new location at 1100 Race St., across from the School for Creative and Performing Arts and they're ready to show off their new digs. The new facilities are allowing the center to expand its mission, which will be discussed tonight, along with tours of the location and a few performances. The "open house" is free and open to all ages, running 5-9 p.m.

Here is the video press release for tonight's event, as well as a recent interview with Elementz creative director Akhe Abdullah.




 
 
by Mike Breen 05.10.2012
Posted In: Local Music, Music News at 03:32 PM | Permalink | Comments (6)
 
 
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Walk the Moon Album Cover, Tracklist Revealed

Cincinnati AltPop quartet's major label debut due June 19

Local on-the-rise AltPop band Walk the Moon's debut album for RCA Records (NOT their debut album, as is widely reported) is set for release on June 19 and MTV just posted the album cover and tracklist on its "Buzzworthy" blog. (The band was deemed one of MTV's "Artists to Watch" for 2012.) Click over to MTV for the list of songs on the release (yes, "Anna Sun" is on there!). The band begins its "Naked Feet Tour" later this month. No Cincy date yet, though they'll play the Forecastle Festival in Louisville on July 15 (and will surely fit a local date or two into the schedule at some point). The band will be touring Europe later in the year for the first time with majorly-buzzing band fun.

Here's the cover to the RCA Records release, Walk the Moon.




 
 
by Mike Breen 05.10.2012
Posted In: Local Music, Live Music, Music News at 11:49 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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Fountain Square's Music Season Kicks Off Tonight

Tropicoso, Bad Veins, Chris Comer Trio, Bluebirds and Triage to rock Square

The summer musical events on Fountain Square are kicking off a little earlier this year. (Blame global warming?) Tonight, local Salsa band Tropicoso kicks off the Salsa on the Square series, which runs each Thursday through Aug. 30 at 7 p.m. As usual, dance instructors will be on hand for tips and pointers. And, like all of the PNC Music Series concerts this summer, it's free.

The rest of the PNC Music Series shows — including the Friday "MidPoint Indie Summer" concerts (which are especially strong this year) — begin the week after Memorial Day. Stay tuned for lineup announcements.

If it were legal, you could bring a tent and camp out at the Fountain this weekend, because Friday and Saturday also will feature some solid local tunes. Tomorrow (Friday) is "4EG Square," sponsored by the 4EG group that owns nine local clubs (The Pavilion, The Stand, Lackman, etc.). Local Indie sensations Bad Veins is set to perform at the 5-10 p.m. event before taking off for a West Coast tour beginning next Friday. (The band has a live performance on KEXP slated for May 22 at 12:30 p.m. EDT.) DJ Matt Joy will be spinning and there will lots of food and drink specials, plus the promise of 4EG swag.


Saturday on the Square you can sip wine and listen to live music from Jazz crews the Chris Comer Trio and Triage, plus Classic Rock/R&B headliners The Bluebirds. The Bella Vite Wine Tasting event offers 24 different wines to sample (at $1 a pop); tasters will then vote for their favorites. The event also runs 5-10 p.m.

 
 
by Mike Breen 05.10.2012
Posted In: Music Video, Music News, Music History at 09:38 AM | Permalink | Comments (0)
 
 
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This Date in Music History: May 10

The Rolling Stones enter the studio for the first time and Sid Vicious would've been 55 today

On this date in 1963, right after signing their deal with Decca Records, The Rolling Stones entered London’s Olympic Sound Studios to track its first single, a cover of Chuck Berry's "Come On." The single came out in the U.K. on June 7 and went to No. 21 on the U.K. charts, allowing them to begin playing shows outside of London. The band's singles steadily performed better in the U.K. — the second one, "I Wanna Be Your Man" (a Beatles cover) made it to No. 12 and their cover of Buddy Holly's "Not Fade Away" went to No. 3 (it was their first U.S. chart single, as well, reaching No. 48). In early 1964, the band had its first No. 1 single (in the U.K.) with another cover, Bobby and Shirley Womack's "It's All Over Now."

The first original song by the Stones to make it to No. 1 didn't come until 1965's "The Last Time." Later in ’65 the Stones released the following tune, which signaled the coming of a legendary, enduring band — it reached No. 1 in countries across the globe. Over 50 years after forming, the Stones are still rocking. They ended up doing pretty OK for themselves.

A 50th anniversary tour is currently said to be in the works; reports are that the band has been rehearsing in New York and New Jersey for … something (details have not yet been publicly released). Keith Richards told Rolling Stone their aiming to hit the road next year.

Mick Jagger is hosting Saturday Night Live on May 19 for the show's season finale. He'll also be the musical guest. But with whom will he perform? Maybe those New York-area rehearsals will result in a full Stones performance on SNL? All four members of the Stones were present (along with Don Was on bass). They reportedly rehearsed just a few songs, including "Miss You" and "Jumping Jack Flash."

But Jagger's most recent release was with the "supergroup" SuperHeavy, featuring Joss Stone, Dave Stewart, A. R. Rahman and Damian Marley. Perhaps that's who will play?

My money's on either a solo performance backed by SNL's band or the full Stones. Though if The Rolling Stones are performing on Saturday Night Live, you'd think NBC would be very, very eager to promote that. We'll see.

One thing of which I'm fairly certain — wanna bet Jimmy Fallon makes another cameo on SNL May 19?

Click on for Born This Day featuring Donovan, Bono, Craig Mack and Sid Vicious.

Read More

 
 
by Mike Breen 05.09.2012
Posted In: Music News, Music Commentary at 12:15 PM | Permalink | Comments (1)
 
 
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Music Stars and Gender Identity

Before Against Me!'s Tom Gabel there was Wendy Carlos and Genesis P-Orridge

The Internet is abuzz today with Rolling Stone's teaser about an article in the mag's issue out this Friday. The magazine spoke with Tom Gabel, lead singer for successful Punk band Against Me!, about his plans to begin "gender transition" to become a woman (taking the name Laura Jane Grace). The article will include conversation with the singer about her years of struggling with gender dysphoria (gender identity disorder) and her plans to transition by undergoing hormone treatments and electrolysis.

It's a huge story because a Rock star with such relative mainstream popularity has never come out as transgender. But she's not the first notable music star to pursue gender reassignment. The Rolling Stone article says she's the first "major Rock star" to come out, but two other notable (and way more influential) musicians have gone from man to woman (or almost woman).

Walter Carlos was a musical prodigy who would grow up to be an Electronic music pioneer … as a woman. In 1967, he began hormone treatments and began living as a female. In 1968, Wendy Carlos released Switched-On Bach, an album featuring the music of J.S. Bach rendered on a Moog synthesizer (then a new instrument). The success of the album allowed Wendy to undergo gender reassignment surgery in 1972 (40 years ago this month). Carlos — who also composed and recorded the soundtrack to the legendary film A Clockwork Orange — didn't speak about it until a 1979 interview with Playboy magazine. After feeling exploited, she rarely spoke in public about it again. Carlos took her identity very seriously; in 1998, she sued a songwriter called Momus for $22 million after he wrote a satirical song called "Walter Carlos," about Wendy going back in time and marrying Carlos. The case was settled; Momus took it off his CD and paid $30,000 in legal fees.

Genesis P-Orridge was also a pioneer of Electronic music, as well as Industrial and dance music, with the groups Throbbing Gristle and Psychic TV. In the ’90s, P-Orridge and his collaborator/wife, Lady Jaye (Jacqueline Breyer) embarked on an interesting "Pandrogyne" project that found the two artists working to become one individual androgynous person, Breyer P-Orridge. Though it was more of a living performance art project — and quite a romantic notion, if you think about it — about gender identity and less about gender identity disorder, Genesis didn't have a complete sex change, but the couple each had various surgeries to look more like each other. Among other surgeries, they both got identical breast implants; Genesis had lip surgery, cheek implants and hormone therapy; Lady Jaye had her eyes done. They also wore identical clothes and makeup.

Sadly, Lady Jaye passed away in 2007, but P-Orridge has continued the project with more surgery.

An acclaimed documentary about the couple, The Ballad of Genesis and Lady Jaye, came out last year. Check the trailer out below.



Famous transgendered people are nothing new. Click here for a fairly extensive list.
 
 

 

 

 
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