Joe Bonamassa - Different Shades of Blue

September 23rd, 2014
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When Black Country Communion split the different factions went different directions. While Joe Bonamassa returned to “full time solo artist”, Glenn Hughes and Jason Bonham joined forces with guitarist Andrew Watt and created California Breed. The betting at the time was California Breed would be an exciting new band, and Bonamassa would continue to make serviceable, yet sort of boring albums. The betting was wrong. California Breed’s debut album was a dreary 45 minutes of Glenn Hughes screamers, uninteresting and uninspired volume-rock.

Bonamassa, on the other hand, has returned with a fantastic blues album called Different Shades of Blue. The album features Bonamassa playing in various different blues formats and playing guitar better than he ever has. As a player he is, in fact, on fire throughout the album. Vocally, Bonamassa sounds like he learned a few lessons in his time beside Glenn Hughes, and he has a more versatile singing range than he has shown previously.

My hopes were not high for Different Shades of Blue in large part because his last album, Driving Towards the Daylight was so disappointing. Full of mediocre songs that lacked life, my personal expectations were not good that he could re-reach the form of The Ballad of John Henry a few albums back. But things changed when he released the single for the title track a month back. It is a pure guitarists blues song. And Bonamassa is brilliant on it, having a “Since I’ve Been Loving You” performance (guitarists can offer no higher praise). I keep re-listening to it, and I have been trying to figure out, when was the last time an established artist had a song this good? and I can’t come up with the answer. Possibly Springsteen somewhere on The Rising album. Maybe I have to go back as far as 1992 and Delbert McCLinton’s Everytime I Roll The Dice.

But the album doesn’t start and end with Different Shades of Blue. It is the best song, bar none, on an album full of great performances of great songs. Oh Beautiful!, Love Ain’t a Love Song, Heartache Follows Wherever I Go,So, What Would I Do are all excellent. And while some songs do suffer from Bonamassa’s tendency towards feeling soulless, those are few and by no means lousy songs. There is, in fact, not a bad song on the album, and more than a few great ones.

Different Shades of Blue will be released today and can be bought at your usual online sources, but really, run to the store and get it now. It’s simply too good to wait.


Tracklist

Hey Baby (New Rising Sun)
Oh Beautiful!
Love Ain’t a Love Song
Living on the Moon
Heartache Follows Wherever I Go
Never Give All Your Heart
I Gave Up Everything For You
Different Shades of Blue
Get Back my Tomorrow
Trouble Town
So, What Would I Do

Brian Gardiner Guitar Greats, Record Release , , , ,

Saturday Fluffernutter: The If This Blog is So Good, How Come He Writes it in His Underwear? Edition

September 20th, 2014
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All the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities

fluffincolorYaa, to Mayam Bialik, Seldon’s Big Bang girlfriend Amy. This week she took to her lifestyle blog to comment on a Billboard for Ariana Grande’s upcoming album, My Everything.fluff_2_2008

Noticing the Biillboard, which features Grande wearing very little, plus stilettos (nothing but her Keds, as the old song goes). Bialik asked first, what is she actually selling? then continued:

Why is she in her underwear on this billboard though? And if she has talent (is she a singer), then why does she have to sell herself in lingerie?

There’s more but… she’s profoundly right. If Ariana Grande had any kind of chops, she wouldn’t need to sell herself to sell her music. But the truth is, how you look in lingerie is far more important to the music industry than how you sing. We live in a world were Janis Joplin couldn’t get heard and Linda Ronstadt would be told to lose some weight and dress far less modestly. We, and the music, suffer for it.

As for Bialik, she makes her living in a Hollywood were the only unacceptable sin is the sin of prudishness. Sitting in judgement sits poorly by the people she surrounds herself with, and comments such as she has made could be career killers. Good on her.

fluffincolorKanye West is an idiot, full stop.

During a concert in Australia last week, West demanded - DEMANDED - that the crowd, every last person, stand up, or he couldn’t continue. He singled out a guy in a wheelchair, before realizing he wasn’t Joe Biden, and it’s not cool to demand wheelchair bound people stand.

The usual suspects, of course are outraged.

So am I, but for completely different reasons. Who the hell does this overpaid, under-talented dickwad think he is demanding anything of the paying customers?

“I can’t do this show until everybody stand up[sic],” he told the crowd (note, none of the press reports I saw indicated the grammatical error.) Oh, yea? Is that in your contract: no show unless everybody stands? If not, then shut up and sing.

Look, it’s one thing to encourage the audience to stand, but to actually single out a paying customer and demand he do so, or else I don’t sing, that’s beyond absurd.

Those people paid good money, money, unlike West, they worked hard for, money, unlike West, they don’t have an unlimited store of. West, on the other hand, was being paid a lot of that money to entertain the folk. If the folk decides he should sing show tunes while balancing teacups on his nose, then West should make like Flipper, not the other way around.

fluffincolorThe laziest trick in entertainment journalism is combining celebrity couple names to save typing a few letters and the word “and.” Typing Bennifer instead of Ben and Jennifer is about as lazy as you can get. Worse yet is the talking heads, who throw out Brangelina without so much as a knowing blush that they sound like idiots. Heaven forbid you speak all those letters.

The worst however, the absolute positive proof that the dumbest, most unoriginal, most uncreative people on the planet all go into entertainment journalism is “Chavril.” When Chad Kroeger and Avril Lavigne surprisingly married fourteen months ago, columnists and Ben Mulroney’s alike were quick to show just how dumb, how uninteresting they really were, and quickly dubbed the couple Chavril. No more!

It appears the couple is heading for divorce. After a year-and-a-half marriage and one creepy Japanese video that bordered on kiddy porn (which is the natural outcome when you combine kiddy punk and pop metal). Kroeger has reportedly been parading around L.A. telling people “it’s over.”

Not to overly amuse in other peoples misery, but thank God to see the end of the linguistic horror Chavril.

fluffincolor“Hey Martha,” you imagine Willard from Iowa saying on the first of two days of the holiday of a lifetime to the big city, “lets go see that there Times Square first.” Heading out of their fancy hotel (with a coffee maker in the bedroom, for gosh sakes), over to Broadway and south towards 42nd street. “Look at all the lights,” Willard says walking south on Broadway. “Look there, that’s where that David Letterman fellow does his show.” Approaching Times Square Willard and Martha are surprised to discover it’s closed. “Closed?” says Willard. “How do you close an intersection?”

Answer: you be a narcissist TV star, and you pay to have it shut down. If Willard and Martha’s two days in the city get disrupted, well sucks to be them.

Ryan Serhant, narcissist and host of Million Dollar Listings did just that, shutting down Times Square to propose to his girlfriend. Being oh, so important, and a bended knee over dinner not obvious enough, Serhant enlisted the help of the Mayor’s office (because that’s the Mayor’s job!?!?) and the NYPD to propose to his fiancé, nee girlfriend Emilia Bechrakis.

Professional camera crew being in tow (the scene will appear on his TV show), pictures quickly made it to various media outlets. So nice for Narcissus and Emilia, but what of Willard and Martha? Oh well, they’ll get to Times Square on their next trip to New York… in the next life.

fluffincolorI’m not a big Jack White fan. Nothing against him per se, just find I don’t like his voice and his production style. That said, he’s something that used to be common, but has become very rare nowadays, he’s a musician who’s in it for the music. He’s one of those guys who thinks being able to make great music is why he’s in the making music business, money is a side benefit.

This week he had an onstage rant against some of his peers. Noting that lots of acts lip synch nowadays, he turned his guns on fellow rockers The Foo Fighters who, while not accused of lip synching, do carry as third guitarist onstage to, according to White, cover up mistakes.

He then set his sights on Rolling Stone magazine, “mocking them for running articles such ‘15 outfits that will blow your mind that Taylor Swift wore this month…’” Interesting, I suppose, that he didn’t note teh Rolling Stone has also become the official tabloid of the Democratic Party, but you can’t have everything in one rant.

Good on Jack White. The music business has become a joke, Rolling Stone leading the demise, and lip synching epidemic (Beyonce being the latest to be caught out in Paris this week), and should be a career ender . But he’s also dead right on bands padding the lineup, thereby saving the performers your paying to see from actually having to create music while performing is just as dishonest.

It reminds one of the old Brittany Spears line, when asked by a young fan what was the hardest part of her job, she answered “singing and dancing at the same time.” So she eschewed the singing bit, farming out the job to an MP3 file, and upped her ticket price so you could watch her dance. It’s what they all do, when there not sitting around wondering why their business is dying.


Brian Gardiner Uncategorized

The Freedom of Music: You Too?

September 14th, 2014

freedom-of-music-header

One likes to believe in the freedom of music.
Rush - Spirit of Radio.

So did you get screwed over last week? Turn on your iPhone, iPod, iPad and discover somebody put free music there? Granted, it had the little cloud symbol beside it, requiring an actual download (or, you turned on automatic download and therefore, got what you asked for), but really, who wants a free U2 album, brand new to boot? Who would accept it as a gift when it could otherwise be bought for just $9.99? sidebar-3

When U2 released their new album as a free giveaway to all iTunes users last week, the level of complaint was astounding. People who didn’t want it complained that it was automatically put in their account, even though a)you still had to actively download it and b)if you didn’t download it by Saturday, it disappeared off your account. This week will sure to be filled with complaints iTunes took away their U2. Except they didn’t: they made it available, then they made it unavailable.

The complaints didn’t just stem from the manner of the giveaway, but a fair complaint against U2 could also be heard. Haven’t had a good album since the 80’s/90’s/ever, complained some. Giving away their music is proof they are a has-been band/corporate band/no good. All, more or less false.

I’m not a U2 fan, haven’t bought an album by them since The Joshua Tree and have never seen them in concert. Not my band, although I don’t automatically switch off the radio just because it’s U2. I really can take them or leave them, and am not sure I’ve even heard anything off their previous couple of albums, although I suppose I must have. But what the hell, Songs of Innocence was being given away, why not give it a listen.

If you didn’t download it because it pissed you off that they gave it to you, or you think U2 is a has been band, then you should know you missed out on something good. This “not a U2 fan” has listened to it a number of times, and like Songs of Innocence very much.

It opens with The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone) a complete rocker that U2 doesn’t do enough of, and doesn’t get credit for doing then they do. Credit or no, The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone) is an excellent song, maybe their best since 2000’s Stuck in a Moment You Can’t Get Out Of or even 1998’s Sweetest Thing.

But Songs of Innocence is not a song song album, and there’s a lot more good stuff than just The Miracle (Of Joey Ramone). California (There is No End To Love), Iris (Hold Me Close), Raised By Wolves and The Troubles are all excellent, while This is Where You Can Reach Me Now intros like a great, unheard 70’s era Stones song.

Oh sure, a band that has been recording and touring together for 35-years with the same four guys, without a single lineup change, are going to have “a sound.” Bono will always sing like Bono, and The Edge has a definitive guitar style. So yes, Volcano or Sleep Like a Baby Tonight may suffer from being U2-ish, and a Cederwood Road is probably about Aids in Africa or Ghandi or some other important topic that can’t be discerned by merely listening to the lyrics, and yes, Bono still hasn’t found a rhyme for Nicaragua. All excellent reasons, I suppose, to not listen to a free album. But if you let your distaste for the way it was distributed stop you from getting Songs of Innocence, then you let yourself miss a great album.


Brian Gardiner Uncategorized

Saturday Fluffernutter:

September 13th, 2014
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All the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities

fluffincolorI’ve never heard of him, but Steve Bauer is apparently a celebrity, apparently on some TV show called Ray Donovan, and apparently is 57 and dating an 18-year old called Lyda Loudon. pinkfluff

To give you an idea of the age difference, he was Manny Ribera in Sarface in 1983, she was born somewhere around 1996. She looks, however, young for 18, which makes the romance all the more creepier.

fluffincolorWe lost one of the real classics this week when Richard Kiel died at age 74.

Most will know Kiel as Jaws, the Bond Villian so good they cast him twice, first in The Spy Who Loved Me, then two years later in Moonraker. But us real aficionados remember Keal also as the Kanamit alien in the Twilight Zone episode, To Serve Man.

He is survived by a wife, 4 children and 9 grandchildren. May he Rest in Peace.


Brian Gardiner Uncategorized

Anson Williams: Singing to a Bulldog: Life Lessons a Fellow Janitor Taught Me: My Journey from Happy Days to Hollywood and Beyond.

September 12th, 2014

Being of such long title, I will henceforth refer to the Anson Williams memoir as The Potsyography. Note, I call it a memoir, not an autobiography, and that is entirely intentional. An autobiography is more chronological report of the fact of a life, a memoir something looser, more meant to get at the heart of a specific topic.

For those trying to place the name, Anson Williams was Potsy Webber on the 1970’s hit TV show Happy Days. The Potsyography walks you through his career highlights: meeting President Reagan; a White House visit plus date with Susan Ford; being directed by Steven Spielberg; meeting John Lennon, John Wayne and Elvis; watching Robin Williams create out of thin air the character Mork.

The book, however, is really about “Willie,” Williams boss when he was a janitor at Burbank department store, Leonard’s. Willie, and older black man (and drunk), would sit with Williams, having a drink out of his flask and offer advice. He was the first person to see potential in Williams, (”You gonna do something great in life”). WIllie’s advise, given in poor black man ebonics, amounts to nothing much more than a list of habits of successful people, but the source managed to get through to the young Williams, and the advice stuck. Williams gives great credit to Willie for his life’s successes, and The Potsyography seems an attempt to share that wisdom.

Singing to a Bulldog: From Happy Days to Hollywood Director, and the Unlikely Mentor Who Got Me There is a good, fairly quick read, that moves forward comfortably. It would make a great winter weekend reader for someone who fondly remembers Happy Days and Williams himself. The book is full of little inside Hollywood stories, without relying on dirt and scandal and divided into chapters developed around Willie’s words of wisdom.

Singing to a Bulldog: From Happy Days to Hollywood Director, and the Unlikely Mentor Who Got Me Thereis available November 11 from your usual sources.


Brian Gardiner 1970's , , ,

Fluffernutter Friday: Detroit Made

September 12th, 2014

New Bob Seger…

Bob Seger’s new album Ride Out, due Oct 14th, is now available for pre-order. The pre-order comes with two songs available immediately, the single Detroit Made and You Take Me In. The album comes in regular and deluxe edition, with three extra songs on the deluxe.

Tracklist

Detroit Made
Hey Gypsy
The Devils Right Hand
Ride Out
Adam and Eve
California Stars
It’s Your World
All of the Roads
You Take Me In
Gates of Eden

Listen (Deluxe Edition only)
The Fireman’s Talkin’ (Deluxe Edition only)
Let the Rivers Run (Deluxe Edition only)


Brian Gardiner Bob Seger, Rockin' and Rollin' and Never Forgettin' , , ,

U2 on iTunes

September 11th, 2014

738aa476U2’s new album, Songs of Innocence, is now available to download on iTunes free. The free download is part of Apples iPhone 6 (/iWatch) launch campaign.

The album is free for iTunes users until Saturday, exclusively from iTunes.

Personally, if it’s any good at all (review coming in the next day or two), I want that LP in plain packaging.


Brian Gardiner Uncategorized , , ,

The Feed - Outsider

September 10th, 2014

I did something I have never done before: after receiving free, high-fi .wav files for The Feed’s Outsider, after giving it a one-off listen, I went to their webpage and pre-ordered the vinyl LP. Outsider was simply that good.

I decide to bother downloading something for review usually based on a single song. So I gave My Blues a shot, and was blown away. It’s a great song but more so, it has a great groove. The rhythm section of Kevin Bowers on drums and Ben Reece on bass (and saxophone), are create a groove that vocalist/keyboardist David Grelle and guitarist Jordan Heimburger move around inside of to create great songs.

The influences permeate the album, without a dominant one coming forward: Is it 60’s rock? 70? That sounds like White Stripes or Wheezer, T-Rex or Deep Purple, but at the end it’s uniquely their own sound. It’s rock and roll. And very good rock and roll at that.

The Feed’s Outsider is simply a great sounding, great feeling album that should be on any rock fans must hear list. Damn it’s good.

Outsider is available now at the usual outlets, or you can pre-order the vinyl LP from The Feed’s website.


Tracklist
Celestial Calling
Outsider
Rexy
Stella
My Blues
Everybody Wants You
Victim
Strut
Maggie Jean

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Brian Gardiner Review , ,

lullaby and… and… and…

September 9th, 2014

Robert Plant’s new album, lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar, due to hit stores next Tuesday, get’s name half right: Lullaby, yes; Ceaseless Roar, not so much. Plant, in fact, as has been his habit for the past 3 to 5 albums, seems to be barely interested in singing. Putting together a band, hanging out with them, giving cryptic interviews, writing songs, he very much seems to enjoy. Singing, however…

Plant is backed by a band of his own creation, The Sensational Space Shifters, and they are solid throughout this album. The album rocks hard, has a pretty balled, some celtic, some folk, and a singer that sings half octave songs at slightly above a whisper. The band deserves better, as do Robert Plant fans shelling out $40 for a deluxe vinyl edition expecting some of that roar the title promises (full disclosure: I shelled out $40).

The album was announced with such promise, Rainbow being released along with the official announcement. The first single, Rainbow is heads and shoulders the best song on the album, and not coincidentally, the one of two songs where Plant stretches his vocals out the most. Read that again and, if you haven’t heard any of this album yet, go hear Rainbow, and imagine a world where that is stretching the old vocal chords. That’s the sad state of affairs Robert Plant has fallen to.

There’s plenty to celebrate in the songwriting, with Turn it Up, Somebody There and Poor Howard all very good. Most people commenting on the album are speaking fondly of the ballad Stolen Kiss, and in fairness, it is Plant’s most interesting, and possibly best, vocal on the album. However, that Plant can”t be bothered to come up with melodies any more complex or interesting than Bah Bah Black Sheep for most of the album is disconcerting.

You will read a number of reviews, a number of articles in the next while saying that lullaby and… The Ceaseless Roar is Robert Plant finding new horizons, stretching his musical chops or bravely going forward &tc. &tc. It’s all a pile of bullocks. If you like what Plant has done the last few albums, certainly since Raising Sand and The Band of Joy, then you will love this. It is easily the best of the three albums. However, if, like me, you haven’t particularly enjoyed Robert Plant’s forays into trying to impress NPR listeners, then don’t, as I have done, throw away $40 on an album you will never bother opening.



Tracklist
Little Maggie
Rainbow
Pocketful of Golden
Embrace Another Fall
Turn it Up
A Stolen Kiss
Somebody There
Poor Howard
House of Love
Up On The Hollow Hill (Understanding Arthur)
Arbaden (Maggie’s Baby)

Brian Gardiner Review , ,

Saturday Fluffernutter: The Internet Rejected My Leaked Pictures Edition

September 6th, 2014

All the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities

fluffincolorSinger Cee Lo Green created a mess out of a mess this week. Following a no contest plea for being accused of slipping Ecstasy in a woman’s drink - who then found herself waking up naked in Cee Lo’s bed - Green took to twitter to, well who knows what he thought he was doing.

brighams-fluffernutter-761079 Basically, Green tweeted that if you are unconscious and can’t remember it happening, it wasn’t rape. Realizing a shit storm was brewing, Green deleted the tweets, then deleted his twitter account, but not before an attempt at apologizing. He has since reactivated his account, minus the offending tweets. In the aftermath, TBS has cancelled Green’s reality show, The Good Life.

Here’s a tip for TBS: when you create a show starring a guy who recorded songs called Fuck You, Groupie Sex and Pimp’s Don’t Cry, the quick cancel doesn’t absolve you from the disaster that follows. Double so when he was already under indictment for slipping a drug to a date, with suggestions (although never charges) that he then raped her, and that didn’t cause you to cancel/ not air his show.

fluffincolorThe big news of the week is the nude photo hacking scandal. Several major female stars, including Jennifer Lawrence, Kate Upton, Kirsten Dunst and, reportedly, up to 100 other celebrities had their iCloud accounts hacked, and nude photos stolen. The photos have, according to accounts, been trading for over a week on the pervert grapevine before a few of them leaked, notably the three above mentioned ladies.

The hacking appears to be, in fact, Apples fault, and Dunst was the first to take them to task for the leak, tweeting “Thank you iCloud,” on Tuesday (God bless her, she got the grammar correct as well - I think I’m smitten). One wonders how many of the victims were even aware that their pictures were being uploaded to iCloud, seeing as, by my recollection, Apple products default to iCloud backup, and the user must change the setting.

Fall out of the pictures is, and will be far and wide, with “comedian” Ricky Gervais being one of the first non-pictures casualties. Proving that the stupid routine isn’t actually an act, Gervais pulled a blame the victim routine tweeting “Celebrities, make it harder for hackers to get nude pics of you from your computer by not putting nude pics of yourself on your computer.” Put another way, anything Ricky Gervais owns is free for you to take if you can get into his house and grab it.

fluffincolorJustin Beiber came to my part of the world last weekend, where she and Selena Gomez took a quiet getaway in Perth, Ontario near Ottawa. Unfortunately, the constant presence in Beiber’s life, the paparazzi, followed (we’re assuming these weren’t Perth’s local paparazzi).

Upset by the romantice interruptis, Beiber reacted, getting into a collision with a the photographers. Thinks quickly go downhill form there… in the end, Beiber was charged with dangerous driving and assault. This is, by our recollection, Beiber’s second brush with the local law this year.

fluffincolorBetty White has Dyed, not died.

Reports of Betty White’s death circulated this morning, after a parody website did a piece on Betty White Dying her hair. The intelligentsia of the internet then pounced, and twitter reacted with Betty White is dead.

God Bless the collective intelligence of the internet, and long live Betty White.


fluffincolorJoan Rivers (1933-2014)

Other websites and other obituaries will cover Joan Rivers better than I will, but let it be said the pioneering comedienne had a remarkable career, even more so for the way she re-invented herself to keep relevant later in life. Her humour was never my style, but I deeply admire the way she had no sacred cows, something that is desperately lacking in modern day comedy.

Brian Gardiner Fluffernutter , , , , , ,

Fluffernutter Friday

September 5th, 2014

From the inbox: a little ukelele chick rock for your Friday morning, The Prettiots - Boys (I dated in Highschool)


Brian Gardiner YouTube, ukelele , ,

David Bowie Is

September 2nd, 2014

Victoria and Albert Museum in London, ran a David Bowie exhibition, David Bowie is, from March until this past August 11th. Now over, the exhibition goes on the road, with stops in Berlin, Paris, Groningen, Melbourne, Chicago and a local stop for myself, Toronto. The exhibition spans five decades, with over three hundred artifacts, some from as early as Bowies very young childhood.

david-bowie-is-cinema-poster

On the last day at the Victoria and Albert Omniverse Vision was invited to shoot the exhibition, and a special presentation made to visitors on that day. The result is a documentary that captures the exhibition, David Bowie Is. It will be premiered on September 23rd to coincide with the opening of the Chicago Exhibition. David Bowie Is will play one day only at a select 100 theatres across the U.S. (click the link to see if it’s playing at a heater near you).

The documentary takes you through the exhibit in chronological order, from Bowies baby movies up to the 90’s. Throughout, speakers in a live presentation setting offer a glimpse into Bowie, and the exhibition. Clips of fans touring the exhibition give an idea of what Bowie means to fans (hint: more to fans in the U.K. than is generally so here in the colonies).

Highlights of the exhibition, and movie feature Bowies stage costumes (a number of which are at the exhibition), handwritten lyrics, teenage sketches and an short animated film of Diamond Dogs, based on Bowies on sketches and notes for just such a project that never happened.

But while the documentary focuses on Bowie the fashion icon, Bowie and his characters, Bowie the actor, the music throughout rends you that Bowie was a very creative musician who never repeated himself. It is the music, like Bowie himself, that makes David Bowie Is worth seeing.


Brian Gardiner A Day At The Movies , , , , ,

Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Record Industry by Gareth Murphy

September 1st, 2014

Cowboys and Indies: The Epic History of the Record Industry is a well researched trundle through the record industry from it’s inception with the first voice recording in Paris in 1860 to the modern era. Author Gareth Murphy runs through the history of recorded music, noting similarities to todays problems from the past, with a working thesis that the modern record industry isn’t in as bad shape as it currently seems, and certainly not when looked at against the historical record.

Beginning in the late 19th century, Murphy chronicles the rise and fall of such notables as Thomas Edison and Alexander Graham Bell, as well as lesser knowns like Eldridge Reeves Johnson and Frank Seaman, the latter of whom in 1900, in a move that will resonate with modern buyers, threatened prosecution against customers who bought Gramophones.

“The record business of the twenties and thirties experienced a crash even more devastating than the recent one,” Murphy notes in the books introduction. A crash that saw the record industries “biggest boom in record sales, in and around 1921, was immediately followed by the biggest slump in the industry’s thirty-year history.” A slump caused, it should be noted, by the introduction of a new technology that made “talking machines” seem obsolete.

Cowboys and Indies is, in fact, a good romp through the ups and down, the people and the musicians throughout the history of the record industry.

Except…

Except in the 1970’s the narrative changes, and Cowboys and Indies suddenly becomes a story about the underground club scene in New York and an Independent (read: small) record store in London. The rock era is virtually dismissed for disco, punk, electronic music and eventually, hip-hop and dance music. Led Zeppelin and Pink Floyd are minimized and Ian Drury becomes a major player. It’s a strange turn, and I found myself wondering more than once, what happened to the book I was reading?

Despite this, Cowboys and Indies is a good read and is recommended for those who like the inner workings of the music industry.


Brian Gardiner Book Review, Books , ,

Saturday Fluffernutter: The Justin Beiber TPed My House Edition

August 30th, 2014

All the fluffy news about those nutty celebrities

fluffincolorWhy don’t I particularly like Leonard DiCaprio? you ask. What could possibly be wrong with him? you’re thinking.

imagesThis week, DiCaprio did the same old, same old ALS Ice Bucket Challenge that all your Facebook friends are doing. DiCaprio, however, used it as an opportunity to call out Stephen Harper, whom he seems to dislike, being democratically elected by mere Canadian’s and not Hollywood approved. So from his pious perch, and while visiting the Athebasca oil sands, the little pissant couldn’t resist turning a charity stunt into a political one.

So to answer your question, I can’t stand twerps who can’t let something go, just the one time.

fluffincolor

Hibbity-Hop impresario Suge Knight, who was in the car with Tupac Shakur when he was shot, was himself shot this weekend at an LA club.

The - ahem - 49-year old was shot multiple times by a single suspect during a party ahead of the MTV Music Video Awards.

The co-founder of Death Row Records is reportedly resting at Cedars-Sinai Medical Center. “Suge is currently resting and has lost a lot of blood, he’s human. He’s done a lot of things for the community and the culture as a whole so we ask that you respect that,” the family said.

It’s one thing when 21-year olds go to clubs and shooting breaks out - it’s not OK, and it happens far too often nowadays, but at least you can see how it can happen. But a 49-year old? And for the record, the fact that a 49-year old man can’t go to a club without risk of being shot is what the family is talking about when they say, “He’s done a lot of things for the… culture as a whole”

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David Beckham booted one on his bike Friday morning, dropping his custom built motorcycle on Sunset Boulevard. Becks was leaving a tattoo parlour - cause what he needs is more tattoos - when he apparently swerved to avoid paparazzi, dropping his ride.

Later in the day, Beckham was spotted at LAX with a cast on his right arm.

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Who’s dumber than Miley Cyrus? The people who run the MTV video awards? Close, but no. A lamppost? Not really. Jesse Helt? Yes, and who’s that now?

Helt is a young homeless man, whom Cyrus took to the MTV video awards as her date - if by date you mean someone she picked up literally off the street for the express purpose of manipulating him. When she won an award for “Wrecking Ball,” (which should embarrass MTV no end, but won’t), she had Helt go on stage an lecture the assembled on the plight of the homeless. Problem is, Helt has an outstanding warrant for parole violations back in his home state of Oregon.

All the attention, while I’m sure wonderful for Cyrus’ career, meant that Oregon officials took notice. So Helt has now returned to Oregon and turned himself in. He is out on bail, possibly paid for by Cyrus, but having had his 15-minutes - literally actually -  Helt can now face the consequences while Cyrus gets to go on with her privileged little life.

That’s OK though, Cyrus can feel all squishy-goodnessy about herself for raising awareness about homelessness, even if she had to screw over some homeless guy to do it.

fluffincolor

And finally, my favourite story in, well forever. While Justin Beiber is egging houses and getting in car accidents and then blaming the paparazzi for causing them, the guys in Motley Crue mocked him this week as “weak.” The Crue guys took hell raising to unheard of heights during the 80’s, so they know a bad boy when they see it, and they don’t see it. According to Vince Neil this week:

“He started with the eggs, which was a little weak - a poor start. Then he got arrested in Miami for drag-racing and that was kinda cool - he was under the influence. Then he got arrested in Toronto and turned himself in. So he’s getting better, but he has work to do…. The next thing he’ll get arrested for is toilet-papering a house.”

Love it when the Beeb get’s taken to school, but as I always say at these stories, will somebody please tell him to pull up his pants.


Brian Gardiner Fluffernutter, Saturday Morning Coffee , , , , , , , ,

Fluffernutter Friday: David Bowie Is

August 29th, 2014

Omniverse Vision is releasing a documentary of the Victoria and Albert Museum exhibition, David Bowie Is. To coincide with the opening of the exhibition in Chicago (gee, now that’s 2 reasons to head to the Chicago area), the documentary will be screened in 100 movie theatres across the US on September 23. Here’s the trailer for David Bowie Is:

At Home in Hespeler will have a review of David Bowie Is coming soon.

Meanwhile, if you like Bowie, a couple of years ago this video, previously thought lost, of him playing The Jean Genie in 1973 on Top of the Pops was leaked. The film for it had been saved from destruction and living in the basement of a cameraman on the program. It shows Bowie (and Mick Ronson on guitar) at his absolute best.

And for those who opened the link up the page and thought, Bondfest? Maude Adams? Who? This is Maude Adams

Maude Adams


Brian Gardiner David Bowie, musicians , , ,