Entries for October 2016

  • Notes from Desert Trip

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    Day One Day one of Desert Trip (or “Old-chella”) had all the bells and whistles of Coachella. The faint taste of sand in the mouth, black boogers snuggling in the nostrils, traffic, over-priced concessions, the scent of marijuana–yeah, you get the picture. But Desert Trip is more like Coachella’s grandpa. Owning an older crowd with […]

  • Strange Stage Stories/Five Questions for Doug Booth/CD Reviews

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    STRANGE STAGE STORIES Tom Araya / Slayer: Slayer has performed in San Diego many times over the decades, but no local show is more memorable to the band than their appearance at the Adams Avenue Theatre on February 1, 1986. “It had two different levels right in front of the stage,” Araya recalled. “Some kids […]

  • Hail the Conquering Groovies!

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    Before Big Star, the Flamin’ Groovies was a band embraced by rock critics. This meant, of course, that the group was off the radar of most American teenagers and, to use that old show business cliche, they  couldn’t even “get arrested” in most cities. Glowing album reviews and positive reportage of live performances had to […]

  • The Changing of the Guard

    Bluegrass music is often thought of as old, but in actuality it is not. Bluegrass as a musical form was created in the 1940s by Bill Monroe and his seminal band. Being from Kentucky, the bluegrass state, Bill called the band “Bill Monroe and his Bluegrass Boys,” and the popularity of this new music soon […]

  • JAMES LEE STANLEY: Alive at Last

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    Alive at Last is the new disc from James Lee Stanley. A prolific singer/songwriter who has been recording and releasing music (on his own and partnering with others) since the early ‘70s, Stanley plays acoustic Americana that jump genres (jazz, funk, folk, blues, pop-rock) while retaining his unique view of the world. His live shows […]

  • SOMETIMES JULIE: Bright Side of the Line

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    Bright Side of the Line, Sometimes Julie’s new six-pack EP track, scores big. Blending Indie-rock, Louisiana-style blues, and Americana country with rich melodies and powerful vocals, the singing-songwriting duo of Monica Sorensen and Rick Walker knock the band’s second CD out of the ball park. Sorensen, a self-described poet “looking for a new outlet for […]

  • STEPH JOHNSON: Music Is Art

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    In 1971 the young Gil Scott-Heron released his second record album, Pieces of a Man. With this effort the poet pulled together elements of funk, soul, and jazz, then married this musical admixture to lyrics that were cogent, emotional, and insightful. The recording was largely overlooked by critics and much of the larger public. Other […]

  • Race Records: The Birth of Black Blues and Jazz

    Black history on record started with orchestra and gospel music by groups like the Fisk Jubilee Singers and the Jim Europe Military Band and a few vaudevillians like Bert Williams, Robert Woolsey, and Laughing Jim, but black jazz started with Mamie Smith’s Okeh 4169 “Crazy Blues/It’s Right Here for You.” Both songs were described on […]

  • Danny Green Shares his Passion for Music

    As Danny Green talks about his music, the first thing to come up is Wagner. The jazz pianist waxes on about the German composer’s use of thematic devices and leitmotifs. He ticks off the Wagner operas he’s enjoyed, sometimes traveling to Los Angeles to catch a production of Lohengrin or Tristan und Isolde. He even […]