When New Orleans was flooded in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, musicians all over the world staged benefits to aid the city and its residents. Now it’s our turn. This benefit, which is daytime event at the Howlin’ Wolf, is raising funds for those affected by the floods in Colorado.
Colorado’s Front Range was hit hard by flooding in September. The effort to rebuild is going strong in Colorado towns like Lyons, and some New Orleans musicians are supporting the cause from afar.
The New Orleans Suspects keyboard player CR Gruver called Denver home before settling in the Crescent City, and he has enlisted some pillars in the New Orleans music scene to throw a concert to benefit the Lyons Community Foundation. Tickets are available here.
Back in September, MGMT released their self-titled third studio album and have been busy touring ever since, including a month-long tour in the UK in October. In order to hype up fans for this Friday’s show, the band has been hiding one-of-a-kind autographed posters of images from the “Your Life Is A Lie” video in the New York tri-state area.
For “the artsy types out there,” MGMT is running a poster contest for the show via Instagram and Tumblr. The winner “will receive a one of a kind signed & framed print of their poster design hand decorated/enhanced by the band.” Designs are to be submitted with the hashtags #MGMT and #MGMTBrooklyn so that the band can find them, and the deadline is tonight at 11 PM EST. Multiple entries are allowed, and the winner will be notified via Instagram on December 14.
In 1973, “Why Can’t We Live Together” b/w “Funky Me” was a massive hit, and it remains the best known achievement of its creator Timmy Thomas. Steeped in socially relevant Soul, it also possesses a beautiful, distinct simplicity that has perhaps interfered a bit with its status as a truly classic single. If not forgotten, it’s a 45 that deserves to be even better remembered.
Not all hit singles enjoy the same fate after they exit the charts. Plenty of big sellers from the ‘60s and ‘70s have landed in heavy rotation on oldies radio of course, the songs adapting to a second life as a representative of the popular whims of a bygone era. But other tracks get passed over by this process, often because they don’t fit the accessible nature of the oldies template. In other situations however, it seems that certain songs are excluded mainly due to the very uniqueness that led to their commercial success in the first place.
Timmy Thomas scored an early-‘70s smash with “Why Can’t We Live Together,” hitting the #1 spot on the R&B chart and making it to #3 Pop with further inroads internationally (#12 in the UK). And yet I’ve never heard it over the airwaves even once, a circumstance that might just be chalked up to the nature of regional playlists or even to the happenstance of not being in the right place at the right time.
However, a little snooping around the internet does reveal some discourse over the song’s lack of retrospective recognition. The reason behind this situation seems to come down not to a lack of accessibility, but rather to the warmly unusual feel of Thomas’s creation. To be frank, it stands considerably apart from the norms of nostalgia.
“I knew that there was a lot you could do with the song “Soothing Me So” and I was excited to hear some fresh takes on the song. The original version is a raw, fuzz-heavy, song that encompassed my feelings of lust and desire.
Luckily house/dance producers ENSO were able to take those feelings and make them even more palpable. They knew that there was a dance song hidden beneath the fog and they started an entire dance party in my head the first 10 times I heard it.
The original album version of this song is available on limited-edition clear blue vinyl via “Victory Is Music” (Reserva Records).”
Greater Manchester’s most in the know radio host Shell Zenner broadcasts the best new music every week on the UK’s Amazing Radio and Bolton FM. You can also catch Shell’s broadcast right here at TVD, each and every Thursday.
“Wichita’d up to the eyeballs as always, so this show features a Record of the Week from Swearin‘ who released two albums on the label this year, their second “Surfing Strange” is in the hot seat this week. I’ll be spinning three blissed out tracks and no doubt air guitaring in the studio too.
In conversation this week, Roxanne from Veronica Falls who I chatted to just before they flew abroad for some of their furthest tour dates yet!” —SZ
San Francisco’s The Avengers were one of the USA’s great punk bands. They not only rocked with intensity and imagination, but through the talents of vocalist Penelope Houston made it clear the California wing of the punk gestalt wasn’t just a boy’s club. And that’s the achievement for which she is most celebrated, but Houston has also worked outside the punk rock paradigm in a solo context. Birdboys, her 1988 debut under her own name is a fine record that’s deserving of far wider appreciation.
The Avengers made some great racket in their original incarnation from ’77-’79. While extant they were responsible for one of the finest of the Dangerhouse singles in the “We Are the One” 3-song EP, but the rest of their fine initial discography appeared post-breakup, a circumstance that helped to keep them fresh on the minds of those attuned to punkish affairs for a good long while after their too brief creative spurt.
Well, that and the band’s rep as openers for the Sex Pistols’ legendary last gig at San Fran’s Winterland. Toss in a production credit by the Pistols’ Steve Jones and the esteem of worthy punk theorist Greil Marcus, and The Avengers shape up as one of the enduring pillars upon which the pre-hardcore American punk experience sits, registering not as a group that was destined for a short existence due to youth, snot, and barely being able to hold it all together, but instead as a fully formed and confident expression of the music’s vast potential. And so much of their sturdiness came right down to Houston’s impressiveness as front-woman.
This is why the band’s reformation in the ‘90s was no great surprise. That decade found Houston and original guitarist Greg Ingraham touring and recording new material with replacement members to a solid response, an activity that’s continued right up to the very present. And while it’s surely cool that Ingraham is a member of the reformed lineup, it’s basically a plain fact that without Houston there would be no reason for The Avengers to exist in the here and now.
With the aid of his trusty trombone, Troy Andrews has built a persona and reputation as Trombone Shorty, a prolific New Orleans virtuosic musician who has played around the world representing his city and its colorful range of music.
Shorty leads the Orleans Avenue band with an electric charm and an heightened musicianship that speaks through his solos and melodic themes alike. This year, he released his 9th studio effort, the funk-fueled Say That To Say This. Out on Verve Forecast Records, Andrews describes the album as “James Brown mixed with The Meters and Neville Brothers, with what I do on top.”
Trombone Shorty & Orleans Avenue are coming to the 9:30 Club on New Year’s Eve on the last of a three-night stint at the club. We have tickets to give away so that you can ring in the new year in New Orleans style.
“The first memory I recall (must have been about age 5 or 6) of vinyl was my parents’ collection. They had a record player and their records stored in an armoire under the TV set in the living room. I remember hearing the Tale of Peter Rabbit and noticed the other records in the collection. I remember being just fascinated looking at the collection for the first time.”
“They had the Beatles, Bob Dylan, Joan Baez, Rolling Stones, Carly Simon, The Beach Boys, and few others. They would play those records from time to time and I have such a special connection / vivid memory because I remember right around that time was the first time I felt mesmerized by instruments—I recall looking at the records and watching a classical violinist in a small symphony of sorts on TV. I was so excited. I remember trying to get my mom’s attention and was asking her about it—that’s when I first felt a true connection to music. I felt some unexplained urge that I wanted to play too but didn’t really realize what it was at that age.
The first record I ever bought was a used Nirvana record called Verse Chorus Verse. I bought the record at Rhino Records in Westwood where I worked for a short time before they closed their doors and went out of business.