Archive for July, 2008

Now THAT’S What I Call Deconstruction!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 30, 2008 by pulmyears

When I was a kid, it was all about The Beatles.

Then, as a teenager in my first band, I had moved into the Led Zeppelin years of my life (immediately prior to the Punk and New Wave era where I first became a performer).

I have long conceptualized about a band that plays the early Beatles “beat group” material in the psychedelic style of the later period Beatles. Inverseley, to take the Pepper era Fabs and return the songs to their nascent “beat group” era sound. That day will come, I promise, but for now let’s go back to the Beatles and Zeppelin being a big part of my early listening.

Conceptually speaking, what if we combined the Beatles and Zeppelin?

Which brings me to a clip that my friend Blair Packham just forwarded to me, of the Australian Beatles cover band called The Beatnix, doing a distinctly Fabbish take on Zeppelin’s “Stairway To Heaven”

Now that’s what I call Deconstruction. Enjoy!

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Baldry In The News: Four-Star Review in Record Collector, and another Brick in the Walk at the Hard Rock Resort

Posted in Uncategorized on July 3, 2008 by pulmyears

This morning, my email inbox had TWO different Baldry surprises.

First, my father-in-law Michael had sent me some photos from the new Hard Rock Resort in Myrtle Beach, SC. They were close-up shots of the bricks in a memorial tile walk at the park. One of which commemorates the subject of my most recent book, Long John Baldry. (Thanks Mike for sending these).

Here’s the setting (click on the photos to enlarge):

Photo © Michael Algar

And here’s a close-up;

Photo © Michael Algar

Also this morning, the great Spencer Leigh of BBC Merseyside legend tipped me off that he had given my book IT AIN’T EASY: LONG JOHN BALDRY AND THE BIRTH OF THE BRITISH BLUES, a FOUR STAR review in the August, 2008 edition of the prestigious RECORD COLLECTOR magazine. (The one with Paul Weller on the cover).

Here’s a screen grab from the online version CLICK ON IT TO ENLARGE;

Myspace Karaoke to Mac Users: Drop Dead!

Posted in Uncategorized on July 2, 2008 by pulmyears

It’s not like I even wanted to enter the Myspace Karaoke contest in the first place. But I was curious about their new karaoke feature so I started clicking on the screens to get deeper into it. So I thought “let’s just see how this works”. Next screen I was asked to download the special recording application: But when I clicked to download the app, I noticed that it was one of those, Windows only, MS-DOS files with the word “exe” in it. As a lifelong Mac user, I knew what this meant. Everybody sings! But not so fast Mr. MacBook Pro, Mr. Second class citizen!

Of course, I scrolled further and found the confirmation in the System Requirements:

So once again, there’s this blanket assumption that everyone’s using PC’s. But that doesn’t make sense to me, as most of the artists and musicians I know have been Mac users forever. Like I said at the start, I didn’t really care about entering a Myspace Karaoke contest, but I do care about being barred because I happen to prefer the Mac OS. I guess this is just another example of how uncool Myspace really is. Shame on me, of course, for still having an account there, but I am only there because I can “park” a few of my musical things on my page. The real action goes on here, in this blog. Of course I also have a  Facebook page, but even that’s getting a little boring – networking and messaging aside.

Quick Take: Is Nashville Star Cool?

Posted in Uncategorized on July 2, 2008 by pulmyears

I’m just asking, is Nashville Star (NBC Monday nights at 9 / 8 central) cool?

I happened to catch about five minutes of it last night when a sailor named Tommy sang a countrified version of Elton John’s “Tiny Dancer” and I stayed and watched the juror panel give their critiques. The panel consists of a Nashville pro named Jeffrey Steele, pop singer Jewel and Big And Rich’s John Rich.

Left to Right: CYRUS, JEWEL, RICH and STEELE

Seriously, even the least real thing about this show, host Billy Ray Cyrus, seems grounded here. I expected some lame-ass advice or misguided Paula Abdulisms from Jewel, or some pitchy dawgs from Steele, but to my surprise, my pleasant surprise, each of the members of the jury gave thoughtful, totally useful opinions that were frank, helpful and respectfully professional. I’d never seen Jewel, for instance, talking like the seasoned music professional she surely must be by now, and Rich may have wearing the cowboy hat, but his musicians head was ten gallons full of great wisdom and considered opinion. Does anybody here watch this show? My first impression, from the limited sampling I had last night, is that it is way more “real” than American Idol. You know, I was a judge on a Canadian series (for the CanWest Global Network) called Popstars: The One. There was me (a songwriter and producer) Erica Ehm (former VJ and TV personality), and a shock comedian named Jason Rouse, later replaced by Toronto rapper Choclair. I was always trying to be the “real” advice guy on the panel, the songwriter, the working musician, who hoped to give frank but polite advice to these kids -many were actual kids – and I treated the review sections quite seriously. Some wannabe divas, particularly one self-absorbed princess in Montreal, became difficult when they were confronted with charges of oversinging, pitch shy vocal acrobatics and downright affectation. They made it less fun, because they weren’t professional about the craft, and they were clearly just out to be “famous” and had the impression that you could be a star by acting like one. To them, I was some dweeby nobody standing in the way of their entitlement. It seems to me that Nashville Star, and I may have to watch it again to be sure, is more what I was hoping the Popstars attitude would be. Maybe it’s because it’s focussed on Nashville, a serious music town where players, and songwriters, have to really hone their chops and work the craft in addition to giving emotional truth to it all, that makes their proceedings seem, well, “real”?

I’ll have to check it out again.

Meanwhile, if you have any thoughts on this, as always, my comments box is always open.

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