Curios

Don't Label Me!

times2We live in a society that loves to label and brand everything -- cars, bars, clothes, genres of music, coffee shops, even porn sites.

Throw celebrities into the mix and bingo!, you've hit the Mother Lode, plus instant street cred! What a shame that we can't find anything better to crow about. And, recently I was dumbfounded by the spectacle of Times Square and its hyper use of labels while shooting a vid/podcast interview for this site.

Bang! You're Alive Again

biggerbang.jpgI attended the Stones' press conference on Julliard's balcony at Lincoln Center this past May. What can I say...I was curious and it was in my neighborhood, required no great effort. A beautiful spring day in New York and the Stones were rumored to be playing a truncated set. If they sucked, I'd duck out and cruise Tower Records across the street. But the crowd seemed to be buying into the big press circus hype of their umpteenth tour announcement, and after running into about 20 excited friends/colleagues, I quickly got swept up in the fervor of the moment. Even for a jaded rocker such as myself, I was surprised.

Lanois

lanois.jpg"Blood of Eden" -- the special movie mix for the Wim Wender's film Until the End of the World -- is one of my favorite songs ever. It was a remixed track from Peter Gabriel's 1992 record Us, a gorgeous, spacious ballad unencumbered by the surgically percussive elements that made So and Us such massively popular albums. Last week I had the opportunity to interview the artist responsible for co-producing, playing, and singing on this majestic piece of music, one of the true unsung heroes of rock and roll: producer/musician/songwriter Daniel Lanois.

Greener Waters

greenriver.jpgI love retro when it's done with style and reverential respect to the past, but what was John Fogerty ingesting in the Bay Area when he unleashed Creedence Clearwater Revival in 1968? CCR was all swampy, hooch-drinkin' roots-rock in a land infested by flower power and acid-jamming rock bands. Green River was ballsy, amp-cranked pop-rockabilly with snarling, hooky roots-rockin' guitar riffs shakin' the foundation of '60s pop radio. Fogerty's nasal vocals and simple yet thought-provoking lyrics made it seem so effortless. Yes, this was music easily digested by both AM and FM radio programmers, and consumers as well, spawning two top ten hits. It was all Link Wray guitar snarl and Sun Records trem and reverb economy, but never before done with such a distinct rock and roll voice.

Manifesto

cramps.jpgWho said you can't have a hip, edgy, smart audio and video podcast site? One that offers more than a modicum of creativity to the World Wide Web? Well, I started obsessing about my own site for about three weeks -- not a long time, but certainly an eternity in my mind. As soon as my partner Richard got me hip to podcasting, I was hooked and needed to fling myself into the podcasting fray. So I took a running leap and flung myself into it -- belly-flop forward -- and started making calls and begging some hip people I knew to let me interview them.