I pity the fool who misses out on the best DVD box set release EVER.
(Yes, that's the actual packaging.)
Phil Collins called it "a convincing argument," and while he might have been referring to Trey Anastasio's introductory speech, the same could easily be applied to the performance of "Watcher of the Skies" by Phish. A "convincing argument," as in, let's get those discussions rolling and finally do that reunion with Peter Gabriel. The moment that the cameras panned in on the band's performance, which opened last night's Rock Hall induction ceremonies, suddenly everything began to make more sense. If you know a thing or three about Phish, they can certainly play their instruments (and also the occasional vacuum cleaner).
They nailed it.
Yet that didn't necessarily mean that I wanted to see Anastasio as the guy behind the podium doing the induction honors for Genesis. It seemed like an odd pick, out of all of the name musicians that one might think of to pay tribute to a band with a sizable legacy like Genesis. As it turns out, Anastasio is one of us - a prog nerd that got the ultimate phone call asking if he'd like to induct his heroes, and there was no way that he was going to pass up the opportunity - and thank goodness, because his speech was fantastic.
As you might expect, Anastasio was visibly nervous (think: The Chris Farley Show), although he had confidently taken Phish through the Gabriel-era "Watcher of the Skies" moments before making his speech. The members of Genesis looked occasionally uncomfortable during the speech, particularly Phil Collins. Not that they necessarily disagreed with Anastasio's assessment of their career, but hey, even the members of Genesis put their pants on one leg at a time like everybody else, and Anastasio was gushing.
I found the absence of Peter Gabriel to be a hard thing to deal with. As the members of Genesis spoke, guitarist Mike Rutherford called Gabriel's excuse (he was getting ready for a tour) "genuine," but with the amount of notice for this event, you're telling me that PG couldn't have re-arranged his plans and made arrangements to fly in for the evening? Weak. I'm guessing that if it had been an induction marking the achievements of his solo career, he would have conveniently found a way to be there. As a big Gabriel fan, it was a large opportunity missed to do something cool for the fans.
After their speeches, the members of Genesis left the stage one by one, and I heard the opening notes of "No Reply At All" - it sounded like Genesis! Wouldn't it make sense for Collins and crew to jam one out with the Phish guys? It certainly would, but instead, it was Phish, no Collins, Banks or Rutherford. While it was a fantastic pick, "No Reply" was a bit out of the ballpark for Phish. It was like being at karaoke night where that one guy gets up to take an ill-advised crack at "No Reply At All" (or in my case personally, anything by AC/DC) - it just happens that that guy was Trey Anastasio, and this was not karaoke night. Not officially, anyway.
Credit the Phish guys, Genesis, the Rock Hall, or some combination of the three, with an excellent choice of two songs to represent and pay tribute to the musical output of Genesis. (Note to self: Must. pick. up. The Movie Box. ASAP!) I can't argue with the song choices, and it was a nice kickoff to a night that was filled surprisingly with great speeches (Iggy Pop, Jackson Browne, David Geffen, Little Steven, etc.) and performances (THE STOOGES!). For an evening that looked mighty ho-hum on paper, it played quite well on television. I enjoyed nearly every moment up to the moment that the members of The Hollies took the stage. It's a shame that Allan Clarke couldn't be gentlemanly enough to share the moment and let Terry Sylvester properly be a part of the performance celebrating their induction.
Things I never thought I'd hear: Graham Nash welcoming his "friends in Maroon 5."
Things I'd rather hear: Graham Nash welcoming his friends, The BeeGees.
I'm cruel like that.
Choice Cleveland moments: Phil Collins thanking The Belkins during a moment in his speech where he recognized the important people that gave Genesis work in the early years. Graham Nash also acknowledged the help and support of Cleveland based artist manager (and early WMMS personality) David Spero during his remarks.
Where was I again?
Oh yeah - THE STOOGES.
I'll have to admit that I broke my own rules. Last week, I told you about a super-bitchin' show of the week featuring The Brought Low and The Suede Brothers, playing at Nemeth's in Painesville. And then when Saturday night rolled around, I missed it.
"Friends don't let friends miss The Suede Brothers."
Unless of course the powerful tractor beam of the couch at home sucks you in and decrees that you shall sitteth on the coucheth for the duration of the evening.
Such was the case in my world, and instead of inflicting further hearing damage on my fragile eardrums, instead I had a hot date with Whip It, the recent Ellen Page roller girl flick; also notably the directorial debut for one Drew Barrymore. And as the girlfriend pointed out later, there are lots of girls on skates. Sorry, Suede Bros and Brought Low dudes - I'll make it up to you next time.
This week's show of the week has virtually nothing to do with girls on skates, although certainly there are many that hit the rinks in the '80s fueled with a heavy Hall & Oates soundtrack. Even your beloved ATV friend (that's me) was known to enjoy skating to H&O numbers like "Private Eyes," "Out of Touch," and many others.
I'm a big fan. And about five years ago (or perhaps more), I missed the opportunity of a lifetime - the chance to BBQ backstage at Tower City Amphitheater with Hall & Oates prior to their show with Todd Rundgren. My pal Chris Akin had interviewed John Oates in the weeks leading up to the gig, and had a personal invite from John to come back and hang. As a fellow H&O nut, Chris was in heaven, and called me to offer up his plus-one so that I could experience this dream event as well. The only problem was, I was heading out of town for work.
Being the good friend that he is, Chris made sure to call me from backstage on the day of the show, to let me know what a cool experience it was. Chalk that one way up on my list of missed show regrets. But it's all good, really.
Here's some more information about the gig from a recent interview:
“When I decided to start doing solo gigs and albums, I figured, I’m going to do something solo; it should be different than what I’ve been doing with my established band — the stuff that people already know me for,” says Oates. “I’m really proud of the work I’ve done with Daryl all these years, and we have an amazing band.
“But I did have a history before I met Daryl, and back then, I was definitely interested in the traditional Americana stuff. That’s what I brought to the blend initially, but as we became more popular, some of the fans didn’t really know what to make of that aspect, so that sort of faded from the mix,” explains Oates by phone from his home in Aspen.
“But as I began playing around with the idea of doing solo shows and albums, I began exploring those styles again, and I rediscovered that those really were the roots of my musical life."
For those that are curious - Oates regrew his famous mustache for last year's 'Stache Bash in St. Louis, but it was a short-lived return for his famous facial hair - Oates shaved it at the conclusion of the event. (And if you look at the picture, can we really call that a mustache?)
The Kent Stage gig will be a mix of solo, Hall & Oates favorites and very likely, a warm story or two remembering longtime H&O bassist Tom "T-Bone" Wolk who passed away recently. H&O fans can look forward to additional Oates solo dates later this week in Ann Arbor, Michigan, and Evanston, IL.
Check out more details on upcoming solo dates via John's Myspace page.
And on a related note, The Bird and The Bee are about to release a totally worthy Hall & Oates tribute , Interpreting the Masters, Vol. 1: A Tribute to Daryl Hall & John Oates. As it happens, this Oates fellow that we've been talking about, made an appearance at the record release show in Los Angeles, an event that also was webcast. If you missed the webcast, they're promising a replay will be available shortly.
There really isn't enough time to listen to all of the audio/video goodness floating around out there on the world wide web. Here's some more proof of that. While working on a future Ticket Stub column for Popdose, I came across streaming audio courtesy of NPR, featuring Dave Brubeck's entire performance at the 2009 Newport Jazz Festival.
For those of you that like to do more than just rock and roll, I think you'll find it to be an enjoyable listen. Dad and I saw Brubeck last year, and it was sadly, a rather brief performance, which was a bit disappointing on the surface, but for me, something that I ultimately enjoyed, getting the chance to see a legend one more time.
Here's a nice interview that John Soeder did with Brubeck prior to that show.
I always enjoy when somebody nails down a really great producer for an interview that dissects their entire career. These are the guys that you don't read about nearly enough, for all of the cool things that they've done, and all of the legendary albums that they've been a part of.
This interview with producer Steve Lillywhite (Dave Matthews Band, U2, Peter Gabriel, etc) is certainly one of those interviews. I learned quite a bit of "oh wow, I didn't know that" kind of things - stuff like the fact that Lillywhite produced Dirty Work by the Stones - I had no idea!
AVC: Speaking of working with artists in the latter part of the career, you worked with The Rolling Stones on Dirty Work.
SL: Yes, I produced the worst-ever Rolling Stones album. Until the one after, that is. [Laughs.] But basically, I couldn’t turn down The Rolling Stones. A real man would never turn down the chance of working with legends like them. But that doesn’t mean I knew it was going to be any good whatsoever. You need a good tailwind to make a great record, and there wasn’t a great tailwind with the Stones at that point. There was too much bitterness. It was the bad end of the drug-taking. It was just messy, but I had to do it. I learned a lot more from them than they learned from me, that’s all I can say about that experience. Maybe “Harlem Shuffle” was okay. That was sort of a hit. They didn’t tour the album or anything. I enjoyed working with them and it was great fun hanging out with Keith Richards.
Check out the whole (massive) interview here. Thanks to Annie for sharing this with me!
It's not often that Cleveland is blessed with a concert appearance by any one of the many great rock and roll bands on the Detroit-based Small Stone Records label. (We're not counting Cleveland's own Red Giant - besides, even those rock dudes need to play more Clevo shows!)
Saturday night, prepare yourself for a brutal rock and roll doubleshot featuring Cleveland's own (and ATV favorites) The Suede Brothers, who will take a break from recording their upcoming third album to play a show opening for The Brought Low, who are SXSW-bound and playing a short set of dates on their way to the Small Stone showcase in Austin, TX. (Dates include stops in Cleveland, Columbus, Chicago, St. Louis, Austin (duh!) and Richmond!)
I caught my first show from The Brought Low completely by accident a few years ago at the Hi-Fi Club. They were in town opening a Small Stone related bill that featured Five Horse Johnson and/or The PB Army, and while I came out to see those bands, it was The Brought Low that savagely ripped every inch of my face off (it sounds painful, but it really wasn't) and forced me towards the merch stand where I immediately bought both of their albums. As a Small Stone connoisseur, how had I missed The Brought Low?
A couple of weeks after that show, I was going through the CD stacks in my music room, looking for an album, and came across a dusty, still-sealed copy of one of the two albums that I'd bought that night. It turns out that The Brought Low had been sitting in my music collection for a couple of years without me even knowing it. Oops.
Good rock and roll sometimes comes at a price, and on Saturday night, you'll have to drive to Painesville for the privilege of seeing one of the best rock shows you'll see this year. Fresh from opening for Them Crooked Vultures in NYC, The Brought Low will be playing tunes from their new album, creatively titled, Third Record, an album that my comrade D.X. Ferris compares to a "collection of Tom Petty B-sides," and believe me, that's no slam. Third Record finally captures the energy of The Brought Low's live show, something which I found to be missing from their previous albums - they've done damn good things with this new album, and I can't wait to see some of these tunes live.
The Suede Brothers have been playing material from their upcoming album during recent shows as well, so if you've missed out, Saturday night would be an excellent chance for you to catch up. Friends don't let friends miss The Suede Brothers.
How to get there - a handy step-by-step guide:
1. On Saturday night, point your GPS toward Nemeth's Lounge in Painesville, located at 40 North State Street.
2. Keep your ears open for the healing sounds of lowdown and dirty sludgy guitars, and you'll know that you've reached your destination.
3. Enjoy, dammit!
While looking over the Scene concert announcements for this week, one show jumped out at me. No, it wasn't Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers (playing Blossom this summer) or the announcement of Elton John's first appearance in Youngstown.
This is the baddest of all rock 'n roll songs - bar none. If you don't know, you better ask somebody. The Godz ARE Rock 'N Roll Machines.
Sure, The Godz is basically Eric Moore and friends these days, and you won't find Gregg Giuffria in the Angel lineup either, but can I pass up the opportunity to see both of these bands at a show that's walking distance from my house?
I think not.
For Columbus-area ATV readers, The Godz and Angel will be hanging on Moore's home turf on Friday, April 16th for a show at The LC.
Click here for more details and other Godz-related nonsense!
The folks at Because Sound Matters (the vinyl arm of Warner Brothers) are currently taking a five part video stroll through Bernie Grundman's mastering studio. The first two parts are up, and it's an interesting look inside Grundman's bag of tricks.
The Because Sound Matters blog also features a number of videos "unboxing" their latest vinyl releases, including the newish Green Day "Ultimate" 7" Singles Box Set, which was released in September. The box set features 21 (!!!) Green Day singles, packaged together for the first time. Check it out for yourself, and peep the track listing here:
Peter Frampton and Yes, on tour together? It's actually not as random of a combination as you might think - it turns out that the pair have some past touring history together. Frampton and Yes played stadium shows together in 1976, and if you think about it, who didn't play together back in those days?
Frampton will be promoting his new album Thank You Mr. Churchill (out April 27th via Universal on both CD and vinyl). Frampton and Yes will play 90 minutes each, co-headlining a total of 25 shows this summer.
The tour dates will start in early June and run through the middle of July. Here's the initial list of dates (more to be added):
June 16 Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT
June 18 Bethel Woods Center for the Arts, Bethel, NY
June 19 Tower Theater, Upper Darby, PA
June 20 Meadows Racetrack and Casino, Meadow Lands, PA
June 23 Wolf Trap Foundation for Performing Arts, Vienna, VA
July 4 Lake Forest Venue, Blue Ash, OH
July 7 Sandia Casino, Albuquerque, NM
July 9 Greek Theatre, Los Angeles, CA
July 10 Harrah’s Rincon-Open Sky Theater, Valley Center, CA
I haven't seen Frampton (come alive) in a few years, so if this tour ends up coming somewhere near Cleveland (perhaps closer than Blue Ash), I would love to see it. The last time that I saw Frampton was probably about 10 years ago, touring with Journey and John Waite. I really enjoyed his 2004 solo release Now.
The Yes lineup will once again feature Benoit David touring in place of Yes vocalist Jon Anderson.
Of special note - Frampton's new album will be out two weeks early on vinyl, hitting the shelves on April 13th.