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Showing posts from October, 2004

Tina Dico & Teitur, Joe's Pub, NYC, 10/12/04

Zero 7 already had a wealth of vocal talent on their 2001 album, Simple Things , rotating Mozeez, Sophie Barker and Sia Furler into the lead vocal slot like so many ace pitchers in a championship starting rotation. As such, they hardly needed another singer, and yet when they recorded this year's release, When It Falls , they could not resist adding a fourth vocalist in the person of Tina Dico. When Dave & I saw Zero 7 play New York's Irving Plaza back in May, all four vocalists were amazing, as was the instrumental excellence of the group led by Henry Binns and Sam Hardaker who bring so much more to the table than would be suggested by the characterization that they are merely a British version of Air. In addition to her prodigious vocal talent, Dico's knockout good looks are totally consistent with her Danish origin. I'd travel to hear any of these fine vocalists work solo; Sia's got a great solo album but so far only Dico has done solo gigs stateside, play

Guess I Touched a Nerve (Fear and Loathing on the Melodica Bulletin Board)

Well, I guess it had to happen sooner or later, I've been flamed. My post "Why Only Germany Gets to Hear the Hooters" resulted in this seemingly over-reacting response. Message: 1 Date: Wed, 27 Oct 2004 20:19:08 -0400 From: Name Omitted at Writer's Request Subject: A COMPLETE OUTRAGE!!!!! Personally, - I really don't think that Rob or Eric should have to address anyone about their personal financial business - especially on the internet. Where does anyone on this list come off asking that Rob & Eric should have to answer questions about how much they get paid for shows. That is a completely out of line question. Back when I did bookings for my friend Blake's band - If you asked me how much we got for a show and were someone just off the street (fan or not) and even slightly pushed about it I would tell you to "kiss me $#+". Bottom line. You did far worse that quoting a source without permission - you made a completely baseless statement that co

Putting the Fat in the Fire on the Hooters Discussion Board

For the past two summers (2003 and 2004) the Hooters have reunited to play a tour of Germany where apparently they still enjoy superstar status and as such have enough drawing power to make such a tour highly profitable. Unfortunately, even with the long history of local support they've gotten from fans in their hometown of Philadelphia, they have been unwilling to play any dates here either at the beginning or end of either German tour. Eric Bazilian has been quoted on the message board as saying that the band really does want to play in Philly but that due to the high cost of venues and promoters and so forth that it has been "economically unfeasible." The first summer it was somewhat amusing to read the accolades posting to the message board from the German fans, and it was likewise interesting to hear Jonatha Brooke discuss her experience as opening act for the 2003 tour. By summer 2004 however, the accounts of the two and a half hour shows where they played "e

k.d. lang - World Cafe Interview & Performance, 9/10/04

I was just listening back to this radio appearance and although I usually think that there's too much interview and not enough live performance on the World Cafe segments, in this case the interview is fascinating (and there's no shortage of music either, it's a nice long segment). You can hear her starting out with some stock answers, almost word for word the same as on her NPR Morning Edition appearance, but when she discusses her motivation to interpret on her last two records rather than to write, and also when she discusses her experience with Tony Bennett, her answers are so honest and insightful that it's almost revelatory, as compared with the usual promo tour interviews which nine times out of ten come right out of the p.r. playbook. David Dye does a nice job eliciting this conversation then getting out of the way to let her talk. Her last two records are so good that it makes me want to go back and discover (or rediscover) her earlier work. If any readers woul

A Tale of Two Documentaries and a Teen Comedy: Fahrenheit 9/11, Supersize Me, & Saved! (All 2004)

Perhaps if I had seen Fahrenheit 9/11 when it was first released to theaters, I would have found it to be more earth-shattering, but having read and heard all the reviews, accolades, fact checking nitpicks and so forth, watching the DVD on the small screen turned out to be somewhat anticlimactic. For reference, I must state that I strongly believe that George W. Bush has proved in his four years in office, to be one of the worst presidents ever, as bad as Richard Nixon, if not more so. What he has done to damage the environment, the economy, every social program you could name, and turning the surplus back into all-time record deficit would be bad enough in and of itself, but his actions in response to 9/11 have hurt our standing in the world, encouraged more terrorism, and as a result have left us less secure as a result with a very uncertain future. The degree to which he has looted the U.S. treasury and mortgaged the future of our children and grandchildren to pour untold sums of m

WXPN's 885 Song Countdown - The Final Tally or Welcome to Brucetown

It's hard to remember when a week of radio was this much fun to listen to, and WXPN deserves a lot of credit for coming up with this deceptively simple concept and then playing all 885 songs. The simultaneous discussion on the WXPN bulletin board only served to amplify the excitement that grew day by day as the songs counted down. There were many great moments, including yesterday when both "Supper's Ready" by Genesis and "Close to the Edge" by Yes were aired in their full album side entirety. That the Yes masterwork was followed by a great Stevie Wonder tune was one more unexpected pleasure that resulted from this programming. Even though WXPN added server capacity to accommodate 4,000 listeners online, the demand overwhelmed the station's website during the final day of the countdown, and the site is still down as of 11:15pm. When it comes back online, I'll update this entry with the vital statistics, final top ten, and I'll list how my top ten

Enjoy Every Sandwich - The Songs of Warren Zevon (Artemis, 2004)

This tribute disc which is scheduled for October 19th release, looks just great on paper (and the Jill Sobule song is even good). Check out the tracklist, courtesy of the Artemis website. "Searching For A Heart" - Don Henley "Werewolves of London" - Adam Sandler "Reconsider Me" - Steve Earle "Poor Poor Pitiful Me" - Jackson Browne with Bonnie Raitt "My Ride's Here" (live) - Bruce Springsteen "Lawyers, Guns, and Money" - Wallflowers "Studebaker" - Jordan Zevon "The Wind" - Billy Bob Thornton "Splendid Isolation" - Pete Yorn "Mutineer" (live) - Bob Dylan "Monkey Wash Donkey Rinse" - David Lindley and Ry Cooder "Don't Let Us Get Sick" - Jill Sobule "Ain't That Pretty At All" - Pixies "Keep Me In Your Heart" - Jorge Calderon/ Jennifer Warnes "Keep Me In Your Heart" (strings only) - arranged by Van Dyke Parks We

Rebecca Martin & Jill Sobule - World Cafe Live, 10/04/04

Having travelled to New York City's Livingroom many times to see Rebecca Martin, I couldn't pass an opportunity to see her play here in Philadelphia, at the new World Cafe Live on only it's third night open. Even though I had no interest in the headliner, it seemed worth the $20 ticket just for the opening set. Rebecca Martin as a member of Once Blue was responsible (with Jesse Harris) for one of my favorite albums of all time. In her solo career, she has turned away from the melodic pop music that Once Blue was so good at, and instead she has explored a form of introspective jazz music with vocals that is always a pleasure to listen to. What the music lacks in rhythm and melody, it makes up with tonal shadings and Rebecca's always appealing voice; I could listen to her sing the phone book. Her last album, Middlehope consisted of mostly standards with two Jesse Harris compositions, one of which ("One Flight Down") became more familiar when Norah Jones late

WXPN's All Time Greatest Songs Countdown

The countdown of the 885 all time greatest songs as selected by the listeners' top ten lists (with staff and music industry votes "weighted") began on Monday October 2nd to celebrate WXPN's move to their new facility. The countdown goes from 6am to 11pm daily and will run through Friday October 8th. The selections are as arbitrary and variously good and bad as any given person's top ten list multiplied by about 4,000 entries. The best thing about it is that it allows WXPN to go off format and play some tunes you would never normally hear. It's almost surprising (but not really) that there is such a predominance of Grateful Dead, Rolling Stones, Dylan, Neil Young, Led Zeppelin, Beatles, and Springsteen on the list. If the survey data was fudged at all to allow the Tom Waits and Springsteen versions of "Jersey Girl" to follow each other at #685 and #684, it was a nice touch, at least from a programming standpoint. I didn't hear Jethro Tull's &q

Jonatha Brooke, World Cafe Live, 10/02/04

World Cafe Live is a new music venue located in WXPN's beautiful new building at 30th & Walnut Streets in Philadelphia. Given the degree to which her career has crossed paths with WXPN, it was more than appropriate that Jonatha Brooke got the call to open the new venue headlining the opening night shows. The deco era Hajoca Building was gutted and remodeled completely as the new home of WXPN and World Cafe Live, which is a separate entity from the radio station, a for-profit company owned by Hal Real that is a tenant, sharing the building and licensing the World Cafe name, hopefully to the mutual benefit of both. I haven't had the pleasure of a tour of the WXPN portion of the building, but from what one can see from the public areas, the building looks just great. The Walnut Street entrance brings you into the top floor which has a public lobby with a merchandise and ticket selling desk, and "Upstairs Live", a restaurant/bar where music theoretically is performed