0 Comments · Wednesday, May 16, 2012
Two contemporary music stars have been cast as two legendary ones in a pair of recently announced projects. The L.A. Times reports that Andre 3000 of Outkast will finally portray iconic Rock guitarist Jimi Hendrix in the biopic All Is by My Side.
by Mike Breen
The Beastie Boys get 'Ill' and Ernie Isley gets born
On this day in 1987, the Beastie Boys' debut LP Licensed to Ill became the first Rap/Hip Hop album to reach No. 1 on the Billboard album charts. Though the band members today seem embarrassed by some of the ridiculousness evident all over the album (including, no doubt, the Wiffle Ball Bat-assisted sexual assault references), it could have been worse for the now-enlightened MCs, who originally wanted to title the record, Don't Be a Faggot. Columbia refused to release anything by that name so the group was eventually convinced to go with something a little less … dumb. In 1999, Beastie Adam Horovitz wrote a letter to Time Out New York apologizing for their youthful indiscretions on that first album, saying he wanted to "formally apologize to the entire gay and lesbian community for the shitty and ignorant things we said on our first record. There are no excuses. But time has healed our stupidity. … We hope that you’ll accept this long overdue apology."The Boys' still perform bits of Ill, but with some careful self-editing. Here they are doing "Brass Monkey" at Madison Square Garden a few years back. But what we really wanna know is … when does Tom Carvel get his even-longer overdue apology?Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers sharing a March 7 birthday include celebrated French composer Maurice Ravel (1875); legendary Jazz sideman and producer, late drummer Lee Young (1917); one of the greatest frontmen in Rock & Roll history, J. Geils Band's Peter Wolf (1946); the man who played one of the most recognizable organ solos in Rock on "Whiter Shade of Pale," Procol Harum's Matthew Fischer (1946); Pop/Dance music performer Taylor Dane (1962); singer/songwriter for Louisville based Hard Rock crew Tantric, Hugo Ferreira (1974); and multi-instrumentalist with Funk/R&B/Rock & Roll legends The Isley Brothers, Ernie Eisley (1952). Ernie Eisley was born in Cincinnati 60 years ago and he joined his brothers' group when he was old enough, playing bass on the band's "comeback" hit, the funky "It's Your Thing," in 1969. His bros — led by Ronald Isley — were already hugely successful, selling a million copies of their 1959 single "Shout," not to mention "This Old Heart of Mine" and "Twist and Shout," which, of course, became one of the group's biggest songs thanks to a cover version by a little British band called The Beatles. When Ernie teamed up with his brothers, they became more of a "band" than a "vocal group," and enjoyed a long string of hits for which Ernie was crucial (either as songwriter or player), including "Fight the Power," "Between the Sheets" and a reworked version of their older tune "That Lady," this time featuring an amazing Rock guitar lead from Ernie. The group split in the ’80s — Ernie found success with Isley-Jasper-Isley, the group formed with brother Marvin and his brother-in-law — and joined forces again in 1991; littlest bro Marvin retired in 1997 (and passed away two years ago), leaving only Ernie and Ronald. In 2001, the Isleys hit the charts with "Contagious," which made them the only group to have a Top 100 hit in six decades in a row (from the ’50s-’00s). The Isleys were inducted in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame — a no-brainer, really — in 1992. While Ronald embraced being embraced by contemporary R&B and Hip Hop artists from R. Kelly to Tupac Shakur (and spent some time in the jail for tax evasion in more recent years), Ernie retreated from the spotlight somewhat, working with community groups and schools in St. Louis, where he now lives. But he still hits the road from time to time with Ronald and has continued to work as a solo artist.Ernie has also participated in the "Experience Hendrix" tribute tours of the past few years. It's fitting — Hendrix played guitar with the Isleys when Ernie was 11 years old, even living with the Isley family in New Jersey for a couple of years before becoming hugely successful on his own. Here's a fantastic archival video from Soul Train featuring The Isleys performing "That Lady."
by Deirdre Kaye
If you mimicked everything you heard in popular songs, you'd be in jail right now
As you know, the Bengals aren’t the only celebrities that have been busted for illegal activities. Actors and actresses have certainly had their share of run-ins with the po-po, too. No one, though, is more ballsy about their lives of crime than those in the music industry. They also enjoy broadcasting their vices. While most of the smack is centered around drugs, they’ve also done their fair share of whoring and murdering, too.Perhaps the most famous murder-boasting singer is Johnny Cash. While, as far as we can tell, Cash never actually shot a man in Reno (or anywhere) just to watch him die, he sure enjoyed singing about it. On “Cocaine Blues,” he notably sings of shooting his woman down, for example.He’s not the only gun-toting singer, though. In “Murder Was The Case,” the hard-to-hate Snoop Dogg rapped about the allegations that he murdered a rival gang member. On the other end of the musical spectrum, everyone’s favorite space oddity, David Bowie, sang of going on a killing spree in “Running Gun Blues.” Of course, Morrissey sang of killing in The Smiths' “Meat is Murder.” But that doesn’t count, because there’s nothing illegal about a steak. Thank God.A distant third on the list of bad things to sing about are sex crimes. Most disturbing is the personal favorite of nearly every girl who grew up in the '90's. We all grew up singing with Reba on “Fancy,” but we were quite a bit older before we realized what, exactly, Fancy was up to. Mama Fancy turned her daughter out to prostitute.Our long-time love affair with sex doesn’t stop at “Fancy,” though. In 1967, The Velvet Underground released one of their more mainstream hits, “There She Goes Again.” Listen carefully — It’s pretty blunt. Sting, always the voice of morality, tried to clean up the streets with The Police’s hit, “Roxanne.” It didn’t work. Of course, sex crimes include more than just street-walking. Sublime’s “Date Rape” is a song about a much more serious sex crime. Only Bradley Nowell could take it full-circle so … poetically.Perhaps the biggest illegal vice used as song fodder by Rock stars, Country musicians and rappers alike is drug use. Oh, where to begin?! Nearly all of the previously mentioned artists have songs about drugs, but there are so many more to chose from!“Next Episode” from Dr. Dre, Snoop, and Nate Dogg is almost entirely about smoking weed (and also drinking and the alphabet, both still legal — for now). It also has a pretty catchy last line. It’s safe to say the number of people who know all the words to this song is far greater than number of people who actually partake in its subject matter on a daily basis. Back in the '90's, AltRock band K’s Choice sang “Not an Addict.” Someone should tell her that the first step is admitting you have a problem. The Beach Boys sing about drugs in “Good Vibrations," yet another song sung innocently by children all over America. And there’s the famous “Purple Haze” by Jimi Hendrix (you’d chastise me if I didn’t mention it).Let’s face it, “Sex, Drugs and Rock & Roll” is a cliche saying for a reason. While we at CityBeat in no way condone partaking in any illegal activities, it’s fun to live vicariously through our friends on the radio. Once again, here’s a playlist of even more songs about breaking the rules.
Last-minute holiday present needs? You can't go wrong with these music collections
0 Comments · Tuesday, December 21, 2010
This wasn't a plentiful year for CD and DVD box sets, but there weren't many misses in this year’s crop of releases, either. Here are the best of the bunch to my ears and eyes, from Springsteen and Hendrix box sets to DVDs of legendary 'Soul Train' and 'T.A.M.I. Show' performances.
0 Comments · Tuesday, December 7, 2010
It's been a while, boys and girls. Sorry for going dark — it's been a wild
November, what with the mid-term elections, a trip to Michigan and the excellent Music CEAs event. Let's check out new releases from Elvis Costello, The Greenhornes, Rory Gallagher, Kanye West, Jimi Hendrix, The Russian Futurists and The Sights.
0 Comments · Friday, March 12, 2010
If you're going to Austin for South By Southwest, have a fantastic time, drink several dozen Shiners for me and enjoy some great music. I'll be doing the same thing here, missing SXSW again, but I'll be largely sober, rested and coherent. And I won’t be having as good a time as you. Damn it. Instead, I'm listening to new releases from Black Rebel Motorcycle Club, Frightened Rabbit, Miles Kurosky, Jimi Hendrix, Ted Leo, Aloha and This Moment in Black History.
1 Comment · Monday, December 21, 2009
Richard Lloyd's story on its own is pretty compelling — his membership as guitarist in Rocket from the Tombs and Television, his solo career, his session work with Matthew Sweet — but the tale Lloyd spins on his latest solo album, 'The Jamie Neverts Story,' is worthy of a movie script. In a nutshell, the teenaged Lloyd met a young man named Velvert Turner who had started an unlikely friendship with Jimi Hendrix around the time that Hendrix moved to New York. Turner and Lloyd became best friends, Hendrix began giving guitar lessons to Turner and Turner imparted his newfound knowledge to Lloyd.
0 Comments · Friday, March 6, 2009
This is the biggest week for releases since the first of the year, at least in terms of sheer quantity. I check out new CDs from Neko Case, Justin Townes Earle, Soundtrack of Our Lives, Buddy & Julie Miller, Wild Light, Faces keyboardist Ian McLagan, Eric Elbogen and The Church's Marty Wilson-Piper and remember a live Jimi Hendrix bootleg.