Going To California

22 06 2010

As of today, The GG is officially based in Los Angeles, CA… Venice to be exact. As a native New Yorker, it goes without saying that I will miss NYC, especially Greenwich Village. It’s a truly unique place with SO much to offer, not just musically but culturally and beyond. At least one thing is for sure… I’ll be back there soon. Of course, I will try my best to stay in tune with everything going on there in the NY music scene, even from afar. But I’m especially excited to get an up close glimpse at all the cool stuff coming out of LA. Wish me luck on the left coast…

Them Crooked Vultures

9 02 2010

I saw Them Crooked Vultures’ impromptu show at Roseland Ballroom (NYC) last night. What a show! This is some seriously hard rock and not that metal-esque stuff that just simply thrashes. I haven’t been to a performance that rocked that hard in many, many years. With their lineup I thought I knew what I was in for but I was surprised at how heavy it was in such a small room like Roseland. For those that don’t know, Them Crooked Vultures is a modern-day supergroup made up of drummer Dave Grohl (Nirvana, Foo Fighters), bassist John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin) and guitarist Josh Homme (Queens of the Stone Age, Eagles of Death Metal). For live shows they bring in another QOTSA alum, Alain Johannes. The cool thing about this band is not just the intensity with which they play but also there ability to switch roles to accommodate the music. All of these guys are multi-instrumentalists. Just as he had done in Zeppelin, JPJ not only plays bass but he also plays slide guitar, mandolin, keyboards and keytar… yes, that’s right a KEYTAR! I thought it to be a rather dated move but it was actually done really well. Needless to say, the combo of Jones and Grohl makes for a really strong foundation. They are just wild up there and I think it was perhaps the loudest show I have ever been to. Below is a clip from earlier in the tour. It doesn’t quite capture the feel of the room at Roseland last night but it’s a nice multi-cam video with high quality audio… although I wish the bass was mixed a little louder. Then again, I always want to hear more of the bass.

Rain, Rain… Go Away

25 01 2010

It poured all morning in NYC. Total deluge. I went out to walk the pup and came back completely soaked regardless of how “prepared” I was. It made me think of some of my favorite rain tunes. Sorry, Doors fans there is NO “Riders on the Storm”. It’s just seems a little tired.

First, there’s Led Zeppelin’s “The Rain Song”. I really like the richness of the studio version. It includes all of Jimmy Page’s guitar parts and both John Paul Jones’ bass and Mello-Tron work. But if you want it LIVE (albeit a little stripped down)… here it is. It’s not the Song Remains the Same footage (here) as I thought it was a little too campy with all the extra medieval Robert Plant sequences. I just can’t take that stuff seriously.

Next, is Traffic’s “Rainmaker”. It seems like nobody knows this one but I like it… a lot. I used to work in an industry where rain would equal a day off.  This was my anthem as I used to play it  to summon the rain gods when I wanted to go home early.

Finally, this is blues great Freddie King’s version of “Ain’t No Sunshine”. It’s a Bill Withers tune and for the record: nobody does it like Bill. His is definitely the best one but I am reserving it for another post about the man. That said, I will add one nice anecdote: When Withers first came to the recording session for Ain’t No Sunshine, he didn’t even realize he was coming to work. He thought he was just the songwriter on the gig. You know… hang out, watch the artist, give notes. Then he gets there and they want him to sing and play guitar. What humility! The guy ends up producing a hit that has spanned decades and been covered a crazy amount of times. Just wait for the Bill Withers post, it’s got some great stuff in it.

*alright, alright… I caved: Riders on the Storm

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