January 25, 2007
It's been three years, a couple hundred blog posts and many more stories for the newspaper. My last day at The Bradenton Herald is Friday, my final column will run in the Feb. 1 edition of Weekend. Thanks a million for reading my reports, reviews and rants. I am grateful for the blog feedback, especially from frequent commentators such as Kellie M. and Ben B., who is booking the best original live rock shows in Bradenton. I also enjoyed seeing opposing points of view, such as when Anton Anonymous called one of my pieces a "total crock."
My journalism career will continue in print and online for Creative Loafing Tampa Bay. North of the Skyway is where I will live and roam the streets looking for stories and soaking up tunes. So long, B-town, it's been a ball.
Get out the hankies here's my...
"I'm Movin' On," Elvis Presley
"Hear My Train a Coming," Jimi Hendrix
"It's Over," Roy Orbison
"My Way," Frank Sinatra
"Goodbye's All We Got Left to Say," Steve Earle
"Move to the City," Guns N' Roses
"Born to Run," Bruce Springsteen
"It's All Over Now, Baby Blue," Bob Dylan
"We'll Meet Again," Johnny Cash
"Happy Trails," Will Rogers
The pics below are me kissing the Stanley Cup, watching Bruce Springsteen perform in New Orleans, sipping champagne with Allison Janney and working hard at The Herald. Cheers.
White Stripes need a home
The White Stripes are currently without a record label thanks to the apparent demise of V2. My favorite band to blow up in the '00s without a home? This does not sit well. Here are a couple YouTube clips of the Stripes doing Dylan to ease the pain.
Watch and learn kids as Jack and Meg pound the audience with a heavy remake of Bob Dylan's "Outlaw Blues." The duo transforms this 40 year-old album filler into a seething kiss-off. Check it out if only to hear Jack sneer: "Don't ask me nothing about nothing, I might just tell you the truth."
The White Stripes do a killer (and rather scary) version of Dylan's "Love Sick" that finds crazy Jack alternating between manic keyboards and nasty guitar while Meg bangs the drum slowly but with the might of a mad woman.
The White Stripes have also covered Dylan's "One More Cup of Coffee" and "Isis" over the years. But the real magic occurred at a show March 17, 2004, in Detroit when Jack White joined Dylan and his band for a version of the Stripes' "Ball and Biscuit."
Here's to hoping Dylan and White do an official collaboration in the near future ... You know, as soon as The White Stripes find a new home!
WHAT YOUNG AND OLD ROCKER WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE JOIN FORCES?
January 24, 2007
Wanna bang on the drums all day?
One of the area's most interesting and popular rock bands is looking for a drummer. Audtorium principal Joran Slane has posted this message online:
"Please have your own gear and transportation ... Styles may include pop, industrial, metal, country and jazz."
Click here for more info.
Rock 'n' roll reunions
A recent post at RollingStone.com got me thinking about the bands I would most like to see mount a comeback/reunion tour. I was too young to enjoy these groups during their heyday. Here's to hoping at least a couple reunite during my lifetime, preferably while I'm still in a position to get a press pass to the show.
Top 10 Rock 'N' Roll Reunions That Need to Happen
1. Talking Heads
Rent the Talking Heads "Stop Making Sense" DVD and marvel at the funkiest geek-rock performance ever brought to stage. Byrne (pictured on guitar) and co. are needed now more than ever.
2. Uncle Tupelo
By the time "Whiskey Bottle" and "Gun" became two of my favorite songs Jay Farrar and Jeff Tweedy had been going in separate directions for nearly a decade. Tweedy's Wilco is a bit too spacey for me and Farrar's solo career has proved less than mesmerizing. Make up, fellas.
3. The Byrds
Roger McGuinn, David Crosby and Chris Hillman still have the chops to make this a reuinion tour to remember.
How about George Clinton, Bootsy Collins, Bernie Worrell, Maceo Parker and the rest of the available originals tearing the roof off every major venue across the nation ... with Snoop Dogg as the opening act.
5. Guns N' Roses
Original lineup, not Axl and a cast of replacement players.
6. Led Zeppelin
Robert Plant, Jimmy Page, John Paul Jones and John Bonham's son Jason bashing the skins. Zep will fill football stadiums. It will be pure bombast. It will be beautiful.
7. Pink Floyd
With David Gilmour and Roger Waters sharing the stage for more than 20 minutes.
With Alejandro Escovedo opening so Ryan Adams will have him to duet on "Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight."
9. Allman Brothers Band (with Dickey Betts)
He wrote "Ramblin' Man," "Blue Sky," "Revival," "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed," "Southbound," "Jessica" and the group's sweetest 1990s track, "Seven Turns." Betts deserves to be invited back to the Brotherhood. Make him promise to behave, recognize Gregg as the leader and understand that he must share — equally — lead guitar duties with Warren Haynes and Derek Trucks.
10. Van Halen
Original lineup with Diamond Dave. Eddie's a jerk but this could be fun.
WHAT DID I MISS?
January 22, 2007
Dickey Betts at his best
Dickey Betts was hotter than the Florida sun in 1974. Following the death of Duane Allman, Betts became co-leader with Gregg Allman of the Allman Brothers Band for the recording of the wildly successful "Brothers and Sisters" LP, which came out in 1973 and produced the band's biggest hit single, "Ramblin' Man." The song was written by Betts, featured his sunshine soaked vocals and went to No. 2 on the Billboard Pop chart.
While Gregg climbed the charts with his masterful soul-blues solo album "Laid Back," Betts released, under the name Richard Betts, the equally impressive "Highway Call," which spotlighted his country music roots with spirited fiddle playing by the great Vassar Clements. The album cracked the Top 20 upon being released in November of 1974.
A previously unreleased Betts concert that can be streamed for free here was recorded Dec. 14, 1974, at the legendary and now defunct Winterland concert hall in San Francisco. The 134-minute set is a tour-de-force of what Betts dubbed the Great American Music Show. It featured him leading a 14-piece band including Clements and other A-listers such as Spooner Oldham on organ. Heavily influenced by the Western swing of Bob Wills, Betts creates an American music tapestry that holds its own with just about any live album of the 1970s.
Lengthy versions of "Blue Sky," "Hand Picked" and "Jessica" cook from start to finish as does the concert's centerpiece, a 40-plus minute rendering of "In Memory of Elizabeth Reed." The show is mandatory listening for fans of Sarasota County resident Betts and the Brotherhood he may no longer be a part of but greatly helped define from the late 1960s through the 1990s.
Here's to hoping "Dickey Betts' Great American Music Show" gets remastered and issued as a gorgeous double CD some time soon.
January 19, 2007
Bare Jr. back in Tampa
I can't rave enough about Bobby Bare Jr. and his space cowboy CD "The Longest Meow," which came across my desk last summer and remains popular in my stereo to this day. Bare lives in Nashville, near his legendary outlaw country dad, but seems to play Tampa more often than the Bucs. His latest gig takes place 8 p.m. Sunday at the intimate hipster hangout New World Brewery in Ybor City for the bargain price of $8. The Heathens and The Diviners open the show.
Here's the interview I did with Bare Jr. originally published Aug. 23, 2006, in the Bradenton Herald.
Bare Jr. takes 'outlaw-country' down new path
By WADE TATANGELO
Bobby Bare Jr. is becoming a fixture of the Tampa Bay music scene. Granted, he lives in Nashville but the alt-country luminary has performed around here lately more often than many popular local acts.
Recent Bare gigs have included a set at WMNF (88.5)'s Tropical Heatwave, playing outside Raymond James Stadium prior to the Kenny Chesney show and then headlining his own gig at New World Brewery in Ybor City.
Bare will share a bill with The Walkmen on Monday at The Orpheum in Ybor City. He is touring in support of 'The Long Meow,' which (was) released Sept. 26 (2006) on Bloodshot Records.
The album effortlessly sways from classic country to 1960s psychedelia and punk rock while featuring lyrics that are alternately heart-breaking and humorous. An advance copy sent to The Herald several weeks ago has proven to be one of my favorite CDs of the year. Concertgoers already privy to the new material have responded with similar enthusiasm.
The album's killer opening track, 'The Heart Bionic,' can be heard at www.myspace.com/ bobbybarejr.
"I've never had this kind of response from a new album," Bare said when he was called at his home in Nashville. "It's more aggressive and people are reacting to it."
Thanks to a tune that was anything but "aggressive," Bare scored his first hit at the same age most people start kindergarten.
"Twenty years from now he's going to be so ashamed of what he did on this record that's he's probably going to sue me," jokes country music legend Bobby Bare Sr. during the recorded introduction to "Daddy What If." "He and all his friends are going to be sitting around stoned and he's going to say "Look what the old man made me do.'"
"Daddy What If," which was written by Shel Silverstein, reached No. 2 on Billboard's Country Singles chart in 1974 and netted Bare Jr. a Grammy nomination at the age of 5. Just as his dad predicted, a smart aleck tried to humiliate Bare Jr. by playing it over the cafeteria speakers at Belmont University in Nashville., Tenn.
"He tried to embarrass me," Bare said. "But I wasn't embarrassed. Listen to the lyrics of that song - they will make you cry.
"Shel (Silverstein) was tickling me as I sang that song," he recalled fondly.
Bare writes and performs songs that can sound far removed from the records his father made. But the satiric yet sweetheart nature of the lyrics can be traced directly back to the dozens of Silverstein songs that the elder Bare recorded during the 1970s. As it happened, Silverstein would proof all of Bare Jr.'s lyrics and even co-wrote a song with him.
"He'd critique me," Bare explained. "He'd say, 'You're being lazy here.' Or 'I lost you at this pint.' Or 'That was really great.'"
Silverstein died in 1999, the same year Bare hit No. 12 on Billboard's Mainstream Rock Chart with "You Blew Me Off," which was featured on the "Cruel Intentions" soundtrack. It remains a favorite at concerts. In it, Bare sings "When I said I loved you / You blew off, it turned me on."
"It's a big, stupid, dumb, fun song about something sad," Bare said. "To get a roomful to laugh at something like that is great."
When "You Blew Me Off" was released, Bare was fronting a band called appropriately enough Bare Jr. and it was signed to the major label Sony/Virgin. But the relationship lasted only two albums. Since then, Bare has formed a new band and has been at Chicago-based indie label Bloodshot Records since the release of "Young Criminal's Salvation League" in 2002.
"It was the best thing that could happen to me," Bare said. "(Virgin/Sony) wanted rock radio hits. They wanted us to go head to head with Everclear and stuff like that. Which is fine and I did fine, but being at Bloodshot is a better use of my talent.
"'Whatever talent I got," Bare added with a chuckle.
Whereas this year it's Bare's "The Longest Meow" that I can't get out of my stereo, last year found his father's "The Moon Was Blue" being played in my work computer, in my car, and at high volumes at my home. In retirement for the better part of two decades, it took his son, who produced "The Moon Was Blue," to get Bare Sr. back into the studio.
"Once he got there, though, he was on fire," Bare Jr. said. "And he loved it."
Bare might have prodded his famous father to finally start recording again, but that doesn't mean dad doesn't still chide his son about making music.
"'You're lazy,' he'll tell me," Bare Jr. said with a laugh. "'Why aren't you writing more songs?'"
January 18, 2007
Roller derby rawks!
Bradenton has finally arrived — we got Roller Derby, baby! Joining popular leagues in neighboring metropolises such as Tampa and Orlando, our city now boasts the Bradentucky Bombers. Their 2007 season starts 6 p.m. Sunday at Florida Wheels ($12 admission) with a bout between the Cut Throat Cuties and Mensa Misfits. The event will also feature a performance by area rockers Last Great Hope, which might consider goosing their set with a punk makeover of Jim Croce's "Roller Derby Queen." Check out the Bombers' Web site for rules, rosters, pics and video clips.
Click here for info regarding my writing future.
January 17, 2007
Food, drink, tunes and people watching
It's the block party that brings out a most interesting cross-section of locals. Bradenton's monthly Get Down, Downtown bash features food, beverages and live music. It's also where you'll find civic leaders rubbing shoulders with bikers while young parents push junior around in a stroller. B-town will get down from 5:30 to 9:30 p.m. Thursday on Old Main Street. Entertainment will be provided by the DT's.
"We play acoustic rock," said lead singer Terry Harris. "You're gonna hear anything from Jimmy Buffett to Pink Floyd."
The DTs were a popular on the area bar scene from 1990 to '93. The group reformed with original and new members a couple months ago.
WHAT LOCAL BAND WOULD YOU LIKE TO SEE PERFORM AT THE NEXT GET DOWN, DOWNTOWN?
January 16, 2007
Celtic punks to play B'town
Celtic punk rockers The Scurvy return to Rasher Tierney's Back Bar in Bradenton on Friday for another evening of bag pipes, power chords and primal screams concerning good beer and bad women. The Tampa-based seven piece reportedly blew the rafters off the place the last time they played the pub. Attendees are advised to stop in the restaurant for a hardy plate of shepherd's pie and bowl of Irish stew before braving the high-voltage sounds that will be unleashed in the back bar when The Scurvy get rowdy with Spirits Down and Code Zero.
January 12, 2007
DAC: My guilty pleasure
I have endured much criticism for digging politically-incorrect country singer David Allan Coe. I've met and interviewed the ex-con and found him to be as entertaining as the hillbilly and Southern rock music he makes. This Florida show from 1984 finds him in fine voice with an ace backing band that includes Warren Haynes, who gets introduced and sings a verse when Coe covers "Knockin' on Heaven's Door." Other highlights include Coe's "Willie, Waylon and Me" and a spirited reading of The Band's "Up on Cripple Creek."