by Mike Breen
The Carpenters rock for Nixon and Rita Coolidge is born
On this day in 1973, the musical act Richard Nixon dubbed "young America at its best" performed at The White House. At Nixon's request, Adult Contemporary superstars The Carpenters performed for the Pres and visiting German Chancellor Willy Brandt. Laugh now, but that will seem cutting edge after the fourth or fifth time The Osmonds play Mitt Romney's White House. Meanwhile, at the Obama White House, Bob Dylan will be given the Presidential Medal of Freedom, the nation's highest civilian honor, later this spring, along with Madeleine Albright, John Glenn, Toni Morrison, basketball coach Pat Summitt and several other honorees. Born This Day: Musical movers and shakers sharing a May Day birthday include vocalist (best known for her rendition of "God Bless America") Kate Smith (1907); Country/Pop crossover star ("Young Love") Sonny James (1929); the Charlie Parker and/or Jimi Hendrix of Blues Harmonica, Little Walter Jacobs (1930); Jazz singer/pianist Shirley Horn (1934); singer/songwriter Judy Collins (1939); the singer forever tied to Ghostbusters, Ray Parker, Jr. (1954); half of Wang Chung, Nick Feldman (1955); Country star Tim McGraw (1967); original bassist for The Smashing Pumpkins, D'arcy Wretzky (1968); late Garage Punk artist Jay Reatard (1980); and singer Rita Coolidge (1945).Along with her hits with versions of Jackie Wilson's "(Your Love Keeps Lifting Me) Higher and Higher" and Boz Scaggs' "We're All Alone," Coolidge was something of an artistic muse in the ’70s. Leon Russell wrote "The Detla Lady" about her, she was married to Kris Kristofferson for seven years and Willie Nelson's refers to her in "Devil in a Sleepin' Bag" ("Just got back from New York City/Kris and Rita done it all/Bought perfection there for all the world to see/Lord, I heard an angel singing in that Philharmonic Hall/Rita Coolidge, Rita Coolidge, cleft for me"). Coolidge continues to record and tour. She formed a group with her sister and niece called Walela, which performed in a traditional Native American style (Coolidge is part Cherokee). Check out Rita's Facebook page to see what she's up to lately.Here is Coolidge and Kristofferson on the U.K. show The Old Grey White Test in 1972.
by Mike Breen
Big Sean, Booty Dance Fever and This Day in Music
Music Tonight: Hip Hop up-and-comer Big Sean brings the tour behind his debut album, Finally Famous, to Covington's Madison Theater for an all-ages, 8 p.m. concert with guests Shawn Chrystopher and Cyhi the Prynce. Admission is $25. As legend has it, the Detroit MC got his big break in old-school fashion — when Kanye West was doing an interview on a local radio station, Sean showed up and talked the star into letting him rap as a "showcase." Reluctant at first, West reportedly started getting into the young MC's wordplay and within two years he signed Big Sean to his G.O.O.D. Music label/management company. During those two years, Sean garnered attention from the industry outside of Kanye with several mixtapes. Sean's Finally Famous album finally came out in June of this year, showing off a heady guest list that includes West, Lupe Fiasco, Pharrell Williams, Chris Brown, Chiddy Bang and Wiz Khalifa. It debuted at No. 3 on the Billboard album chart. Big Sean has said he's working on his next album during his current tour; he says the plan is to release it next year during the summer. Below, check out Sean's single "Dance (A$$)" and a (largely NSFW) sampling of the innumerable videos of booty-shakin' choreography across the web inspired by the track. I'm grabbing my hotpants and heading to Bogart's right now.
Spindrift, Bettye LaVette and The Sounds, plus This Weekend in Music
Music Saturday: There's a clinic on modern Psych Rock music at the Southgate House as three disparate practitioners team up for a 9:30 p.m., all-ages show. Headliners The Black Angels touch on the Velvet Underground brand of psychedelia, with droning hypnotics, as well as later artists like Spacemen 3 and Jesus and Mary Chain. D.C.'s Dead Meadow have been working their brand of hard-rocking trippiness for the past 13 years, while L.A.'s Spindrift make soundtracks for desert vision quests, influenced by the likes of The Doors, Hawkwind and Electronic music pioneer, Bruce Haack. The band's cinematic sound has been used to soundtrack several film projects (including the Tarantino-produced Hell Ride), and, this spring, the group released Classic Soundtracks Volume 1, featuring 14 themes from various scores, which were made into short films by various directors, touching on everything from Bollywood to film noir (the films, music videos and trailers from the project have been screened to a national audience on the IFC network). Check out a few examples from Spindrift's soundtracks project below. Tickets for tonight's show are $18 at the door.
First Run Features, 2011, Not Rated
0 Comments · Tuesday, July 26, 2011
Phil Ochs was Bob Dylan’s chief rival as a Folk-based protest singer in the 1960s — Christopher Hitchens, interviewed in this documentary, maintains Ochs was better, more politically pointed and with a more sarcastic and thought-provoking lyrical bite. But while Dylan went electric and became a Rock & Roll star, Ochs struggled with the transition to Pop, although his first ambitious attempt — a heavily orchestrated album called Pleasures of the Harbor — had astonishing variety and great beauty.
Old 97's infuse latest album with propulsive energy of live shows
0 Comments · Wednesday, February 23, 2011
With last fall’s release of The Grand Theatre Volume One, Old 97’s added yet another twang-fueled burst of Power Pop/Roots music to their illustrious and lengthy career. The Dallas quartet began in 1993 as an AltCountry-styled Indie band, spent time on a major label, got dropped and then rebounded on wide-reaching independent label New West Records.
0 Comments · Wednesday, October 6, 2010
Those prankster Brits are scheming to “fix” the No. 1 UK single at Christmastime once again. Last year, an online campaign allowed Rage Against the Machine’s 1992 track “Killing in the Name” to win. This year's John Cage's "4'33'" is in the running. The song is 4 minutes and 33 seconds of silence.
0 Comments · Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Despite undoubtedly being called a Communist innumerable times during his storied career, China's ministry of culture has declined to give Bob Dylan permission to play Beijing and Shanghai. The ban is believed to be due to the legend's past affiliation with the counter-cultural movement of the '60s and Bjork's pro-Tibet statements during a concert in China two years ago.
April 10 • Madison Theater
0 Comments · Monday, April 5, 2010
Jakob Dylan, fighting to regain the long-lost career momentum he had
with The Wallflowers' 1996 multimillion-selling, Grammy-winning
'Bringing Down the Horse,' is on tour to showcase a new Roots Rock album, 'Women and Country.' The new album prominently features Neko Case and Kelly Hogan on supporting vocals, and the two singers will be on stage with Dylan in Covington.
0 Comments · Wednesday, August 26, 2009
Aw, now this is how all musical feuds should end. When the poor little Indie Rock band Coldplay was recently confronted with a major touring problem (the band's jet wasn't working properly) U2 reportedly jumped to their assistance immediately and loaned the group its own private jet!
0 Comments · Wednesday, December 5, 2007
The soundtrack to Todd Haynes' new movie about Bob Dylan is, in many ways, as inspired and daring (and successful) as the film. The 34 songs on two discs include only one actual Dylan recordi