THE ROLLING STONES: SOME GIRLS Live in Texas ’78

This piece was originally published April 8th, 2013.

Some Girls still stCharlie Watts Some Girls Icon Templateands today as one of The Rolling Stones last incredible album masterpieces.

While they certainly made some outstanding albums afterwards—Tattoo You and Undercover are both high points—there were none that would be so perfectly complete as Some Girls.

Released in 1978 and quickly becoming a #1 album, it is hailed as an across the board classic, and one of their all time best selling studio albums.

Recorded in ’77 & early ’78, the writing and sessions were done amidst a time of even more internal turmoil than usual for The Stones, with Keith Richards’ looming Toronto drug bust a concern as to whether he could be imprisoned for years, and the challenge of responding to punk rock’s ground zero takedown of the dinosaurs of many of rock and roll’s giants.

 

The original cover art (there was also another color variant cover) to the 
Some Girls album, spoofing a wig ad is brilliant. The cover was quickly changed 
when copyright issues came up regarding the various female celebrities depicted.

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THE REPLACEMENTS: REUNITED FOR SLIM

This piece was originally published January 28th, 2013.

Formed in 1979 in Minneapolis, Minnesota, The Replacements were one of the great groups that merged a love of classic rock, hook-laden bands such as The Beatles ( they named one of the albums Let It Be ), The Rolling Stones, and Badfinger with the proto-punk of The New York Dolls and the more recent snap of The RamonesThe ClashThe Jam and The Dead Boys.

In their early sloppy, alcohol-sopped party rock days, when they weren’t downright terrible, they could be a short distance from their musical heroes, The Faces

 

The Replacements, Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, Chris Mars, Bob Stinson, Slim Dunlap, Steve Foley

Rod Stewart and The Faces defined great drunken Rock and Roll

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When they summoned up a melodic beauty in a song’s refrain, they could reach the cosmos of one of their other major influences, Big Star

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The Replacements, Paul Westerberg, Tommy Stinson, Chris Mars, Bob Stinson, Slim Dunlap, Steve Foley

Big Star with Alex Chilton (right)

Through their earlier days the line-up was founder/guitarist Bob Stinson who, in an effort to keep his little half-brother out of trouble, presented Tommy Stinson with a bass. Adding their friend, guitarist turned drummer Chris Mars, the new band, Dogbreath, would cover Ted Nugent, and Aerosmith, standard stuff for 70’s kids to play.
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LYRES: Back on Fyre! — MY FAVORITE MUSICAL ACTS, PART 3!

This piece was originally published November 19th, 2012.

Lyres Post Icon TemplateOnce again, here is the next installment of a series of columns that would each cover one musical act that I would gladly go to see in concert over and over again.

As previously mentioned in an earlier episode, in deciding which acts should go into this list of live favorites, these are my prerequisites:

1) They are still currently making music I like and are touring live.
2) I’ve seen each more than a few times.
3) All stand out with a unique sound, presence and charisma.

Here I present to you,  MY FAVORITE MUSICAL ACTS, PART 3 — LYRES

By the time he had assembled his band Lyres, Boston singer/songwriter/tambourine shaker/pianist/Vox Continental organist, Jeff Conolly, had already become a legendary figure on The Hub’s local music scene via his band DMZ.

DMZ was one of the nascent punk rock bands formed in Boston, early 1976, that landed a label deal with Sire Records (and later Bomp!) with their Stooges/Saints/Stones sound filtered through a heavy dose of  ’60s garage trash punk.

 

DMZ featuring singer Jeff Conolly (center)

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After DMZ broke up, Conolly, a.k.a. “Monoman” (a nickname that has several possible origins including Jeff’s obsession with ’60s monaural soul and rock and roll recordings and collecting them, as well as a single-minded obstinate determination when it comes to running a band) founded Lyres in 1979, retaining the fiery power of DMZ, but pushing even more of a garage rock and soul 60’s sound to the forefront.

The two members of DMZ who stayed on as the first of a billion changing lineups of Lyres would be the always present Jeff Conolly and bassist Rick Coraccio.
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HOWARD DEVOTO AND MAGAZINE: BACK ON THE STANDS!

This piece was originally published December 5th, 2011.

Magazine Post TemplateAs if thirty years had never even happened.

Howard Devoto and his band Magazine, reformed for live shows in 2009, and have just released their first new material since their last album in 1981.

Picking right up where things left off, Magazine have always been a band that sounded fresh, smart, relevant, and illustriously special.

Now with their new album No Thyself, the band has the ability to reinsert themselves into the current musical climate, which will hopefully garner them a new audience, new accolades, and acknowledgement that they are truly one of the great groups to come out of the U.K.

Magazine’s origins begin with the background of the legendary and starkly original vocalist/songwriter Howard Devoto.

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Richard Gottehrer: From Strange Candy to Dum Dum Pop

This piece was originally published february 8th, 2011.

I Want Candy Post IconOnce upon a time, back in the early ’60s, there was a trio of American songwriters/producers who, working as a team, had previously scored some major pop hits such as writing the chart topping song “My Boyfriend’s Back” for The Angels.

This trio, Bob Feldman, Jerry Goldstein and Richard Gottehrer (a.k.a. FGG Productions) then decided to get into the recording and performing act themselves.

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The Strangeloves sans the black sweaters

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They pretended to be three Australian brothers, Giles, Miles and Niles Strange, who hailed from a sheep farm down under, where they became wealthy via an invention for crossbreeding the long-haired “Gottehrer” sheep.

Now, having plenty of money and time on their hands, they figured it’d be fun to form a pop band, thereby naming themselves The Strangeloves.

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URGH! A MUSIC WAR

This piece was originally published Monday, April 12th, 2010.

Klaus Nomi Post IconFilmed in 1980 and released in 1981, the concert film, URGH! A Music War, was then and still is, a revelation.

Not only was it one of the few film examples at the time where you could actually experience 38 punk rock, “New Wave” and post punk acts performing in one 122 minute back to back smörgåsbord, but a large number of the acts at the time were operating at their peaks of creativity.


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Mark E. Smith and The Fall: My Favorite Musical Acts I Will See Again and Again. Part 1.

This piece was originally published May 18, 2009

Don’t Give Up On Live Music!

I'm A Mummy IconI’ve been going to see live music for as long as I can remember loving music. Whether it was as a kid being brought somewhere to experience the new sensation of various summertime jazz performers in the park, or later on as I ventured out to nightspots and musical gatherings on my own. I have lived music, played music, gone to support fellow comrades in sound as they too formed bands, and later helped put together a massive 3-day music festival that was beyond an incredible experience.

No matter what your particular preferred genre of sound, simply put, there is little in life that can come close to the thrill of seeing and hearing a live concert. If the concert happens to be by an artist whose music you are already familiar with and own work by, that’s a plus. For myself, there are then the wonderful few who make a return touring visit extra special and rewarding.

This is the first column for what will end up being 13 columns spread out over this year, for which I have cherry picked favorite musical acts that I really get excited about going to see over and over again in concert.

My prerequisites:
1) They are still currently making music I like and are touring live.
2) I’ve seen each more than a few times.
3) All stand out with a unique sound, presence and charisma.

Perhaps there is a chance you will have heard and love a few, or perhaps have not heard of any. Hopefully, at least one will tickle your interest enough to check out a sample or read further about them via their web site.

Fan=fanatic and I guess you could say that for each of the musical acts I will be covering, I am a fanatic and will almost always buy whatever it is that they have to sell me.

Part 1)

The Fall

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