The Beatles Catalog Available on iTunes

16 11 2010

FINALLY! What does it take to get one of music’s biggest bands available on the iTunes store? Apparently, all you need is love… and A LOT of lawyers. After years of tension and disputes Apple Corp. has finally allowed Apple Inc. to offer The Beatles’ complete catalog of work online. I get it. I do. But after all that concern over Apple Inc. branching out from computer technology to music distribution and possible conflicts of interest, the whole argument seems futile and moot. After all, we know Paul is down with it, as his music is already on iTunes . He even filmed a commercial for them. How long did it really take for the folks at Apple Corp. to realize that iTunes is clearly one of, if not, the biggest digital music distribution channel? I guess after all those years, today is the day of epiphany. Finally. Check out The Beatles on iTunes HERE.

So, at this point you probably already own every album in various mediums and have even digitized it yourself, but for those that have not… this your chance. You can cherry pick your favorite songs or grab the whole album(s). Or, you can just bite the bullet get the entire box set ($149).  Like any major product roll out, this comes with a lot of fanfare. One of the promotion items they are touting is the complete 1964 Washington D.C. performance in HD (well, as hi-def as I’ve seen). This video exists in snippets all over the internet, some of which has been featured here, but this is the complete unedited release. CHECK IT OUT HERE. There are also some other cool videos that you can browse through while on the band’s artist page in the store.

There are a few ads that the ‘Apples’ collaborated on for this launch. They are pretty straightforward and simple but, if you’re a fan, you will enjoy them nevertheless. You can see all 5 ads below:

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Talking Heads | Psycho Killer

10 11 2010

This tune is an all-time great. Not only are the song and lyrics amazing, but the various versions that exist make it legendary. As I said, the song as it appears in it’s original studio form is great but this acoustic guitar/drum machine version from The Talking Head’s 1984 concert film-meets-performance art piece, Stop Making Sense, is truly amazing. David Byrne, walks out on to an empty stage. Empty. As in, they haven’t even set up the backdrop or any of the band’s gear yet.  He drops a boombox at his feet and presses play to cue the drum track. Within seconds, Byrne begins to play those classic chords and then he rips into the verse. As he continues, the stage crew begins to build the set around him for the rest of the show. There is even an 80’s style drum break that comes at the end. Couple that with his moves and you got a real winner.  Check it out below.

And if you haven’t seen the whole film, make sure you seek it out immediately. It may very well be the best “concert” film of EVER!





Pink Floyd | Live at Pompeii

7 10 2010

This 1972 classic features Pink Floyd playing live in the ruins of the Roman Amphitheater in Pompeii, Italy. The film is really cool. It was directed by Adrian Maben and recorded in October of 1971.  Some versions of this film have additional footage from an Abbey Road concert that showcased a bunch of new material from the bands upcoming album, The Dark Side of The Moon.  Below are the six songs performed live in Pompeii. If you are only going to watch one, it has to be “Mademoiselle Nobs”. It a very short tune that has David Gilmour playing harmonica, Roger Waters on guitar, Richard Wright on keyboards and a Russian Wolfhound named Nobs on lead vocals. This song was originally titled “Seamus”, which first appeared on the “Meddle” album released in 1971. It was renamed for this, the only live version of it, in honor of their guest vocalist. You have to check out this dog, it’s fantastic.

The other songs are great too. Plus, the performance footage amongst the ashy ruins is pretty spectacular. Watch all six tracks or, if you just want to watch a few, make sure you check out “Nobs” and “One of These Days”. I also really like “Saucerful of Secrets”, but you may want to skip to about 5 mins into it. The crescendo intro is pretty tough to endure if your not in the mood. This song happens to be my favorite from this entire performance. With or without the intro, it’s just a really good tune.

Echoes Pt 1

Careful With That Axe, Eugene

Saucerful of Secrets

One of These Days

Set the Controls for the Heart of the Sun

Mademoiselle Nobs

Echoes Pt 2

References:

More info on Pink Floyd

More info on Pink Floyd: Live at Pompeii





Randy Watson & Sexual Chocolate

21 09 2010

This clip from the 1988 Eddie Murphy comedy Coming To America cracks me up every single time. The whole movie is hilarious but this is by far the best moment. It seems that the all the really good scenes  in this movie have Eddie and co-star Arsenio Hall playing multiple characters. This was actually the first of many movies where Murphy would take on multiple parts. If you haven’t seen it, it’s a must.  His soul-singer extraordinaire Randy Watson is amazing. Caution: You may find yourself watching this over and over again.

Reverend Brown’s introduction is the funniest part. So without further ado, here he is… Jackson Heights own… Randy Watson! PS– The song is Whitney Houston’s “The Greatest Love Of All”. A little side note about this song: it was actually performed by George Benson first but made famous by Houston. Enjoy the whole clip…

References:

More info on Coming to America

Coming To America on IMDB

More info on Eddie Murphy

More info on Arsenio Hall

More info on John Landis

More info on Whitney Houston

More info on “The Greatest Love Of All”





Cee-Lo | Fuck You!

1 09 2010

This is some pretty  interesting $h!t… Cee-Lo Green, of Goodie Mob and Gnarls Barkley fame, released his newest single “Fuck You!” on YouTube. This first video is just the song with animated lyrics, but nevertheless received instant attention due obvious reasons: 1. the explicit title/lyrics and 2. the explicit pop-stickiness of the song itself. It’s true. It’s one of tunes that you embarrassingly catch yourself humming or singing, not unlike his Gnarls Barkley hit from 2006, “Crazy”.  So, this whole tactic is a relatively new concept. No doubt it’s inspired by the the current state of the recording industry, the ever-growing use of social media and the fact that this particular piece of work would be hard to release anywhere but the internet. He, rather wisely, is using YouTube (an extension of his social media) to promote his new album Lady Killer. At first, I didn’t think much of it but I got to thinking about how clever a move that is… and like that, I had forgotten about it. All of a sudden as of today, Green releases a more “traditional” MTV-style music video but this time via Facebook. The catch is: you have to “Like” his page. When I heard this I was at the same time both disgusted and impressed. All these little teasers actually seem to be working. People are talking about it and he is engaging fans (albeit a tad forcefully). I am only curious what the next step will be. At this same rate, it should only be another week or so ’til we find out.

Below is the original YouTube video with lyrics. Many will tell you that they can not yet offer the Facebook video as it is exclusive to Cee-Lo’s Facebook Page. Well, no here. I was able to obtain a copy and uploaded it as discreetly as possible so that you do not have to officially become a fan on FB. Before watching, I should tell you that this “Official Music Video” is not all that cool. Actually, it kind of reminds me of Pepsi commercial… and not one of the good ones. Check out, it’s the second video below.

References:

Cee-Lo’s Official Site

Cee-Lo’s Facebook Page

More info on Cee-Lo Green

Read more about “Fuck You!” @ PitchFork.com HERE & HERE





Cinespia | Easy Rider

8 07 2010

Last weekend we went to see Easy Rider at Cinespia. This is one of the coolest things we have done since coming to LA. Every weekend in the summer they project films, usually old cult classics, at the Hollywood Forever Cemetery. As creepy as that might sound, it is actually pretty amazing. You come in while the sun is still up and setup. People bring full picnics complete with food and wine… or beer, etc.  It’s pretty much an organized free for all. As you might imagine there was a lot of smoke in the air for this particular showing and, if I had to guess, some occasional psychedelics depending on which blanket you passed by. Needless to say, the crowd at Easy Rider included quite a few hippies amongst the usual enclave of LA hipsters and some regular folks.

If you haven’t seen this movie, it really is a classic. Beyond the counter-culture subtext, it’s a story of the road. Thinking about it now, there isn’t much dialogue. Although, the bit that is present is quite good. This story is mostly told through images with the help of sound, GREAT sound. On the whole, it feels a tad dated but that is part of the appeal and, of course, the cast is really great. It includes Dennis Hopper, Peter Fonda, Jack Nicholson and an odd appearance by, none-other-than, Phil Spector. Fonda is particularly great in this one. I kept telling Lady GG how great he was all throughout, I really couldn’t help myself. Nicholson is, well, Jack: great as ever. The end of the movie is a little… should I say, rough. I won’t ruin it but, you should definitely be cognizant as a viewer. You certainly won’t see it coming, nor will you forget it.

Anyway, at the time of it’s release Dennis Hopper was applauded not just for his acting, writing and directing in this feature but the soundtrack as well. Back in 1969 it was considered groundbreaking, which featured music from The Band, Jimi Hendrix, Steppenwolf and Bob Dylan. Dylan actually was reluctant to contribute so he had Roger McGuinn of The Byrds record his songs. In fact, for “Ballad of Easy Rider”, he only wrote the first verse and said, “give this to McGuinn, he’ll know what to do with it”.

The soundtrack was released along side the film in ’69 and rose to #6 on the album charts. There was a deluxe version released in 2004 that included an additional disc of music that appeared in the film but didn’t make the list on the first printing. I guess that’s one of the biggest shortcomings for vinyl, it would have taken 4 discs to accommodate the complete track listing… which you can find HERE.

When I think of Easy Rider, these next few tunes always come to mind… they’re still classics today. It really shows you, that Dennis Hopper was one clever dude, perhaps even genius. It’s too bad he’s gone but at least his work will always live on forever.

*I just discovered that the embedding has been dsabled on a few of these videos. Typically, I would find other versions but in this case I recommend you follow the links back to YouTube. Just click the play button, then use the link in the window to view it on YouTube… Sorry, but it’s worth it.

References:

More info on Easy Rider

More info on Cinespia

More info on Dennis Hopper

More info on Peter Fonda

More info on Jack Nicholson

More info on Phil Spector

More info on “Ballad of Easy Rider”

More info on “The Pusher”

More info on “The Weight”

More info on “If 6 Was 9”

More info on Roger McGuinn

More info on The Byrds

More info on Jimi Hendrix

More info on Steppenwolf









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