Tea for the Bloggerman

New Yusuf Islam (Cat Stevens) Album + Mini-Tour in May
April 3, 2009, 10:00 pm
Filed under: Concerts, music | Tags: , ,


Yusuf’s new album is available for preorder on Amazon with a release date of 5/5/09. To promote the new album, Yusuf will be playing a small number of shows in North America, including Toronto, LA, and New York. No further details are yet available.




Tentative Coachella Schedule
February 8, 2009, 4:15 pm
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So, Yanira and I are going to Coachella this April and it’s going to be a blast! We’re going to camp out with our little tent and see so many great musicians. Anyone who hasn’t seen the schedule for this year’s festival should make their way over to coachella.com and check it out.

Coachella.com has this nifty thing called the Coachooser which allows you to pick which bands out of the line-up you want to see and organize it into a list. Below is our Master List. Acts I want to see are in blue, ones Yanira wants to see are in red, and ones we both are looking forward to seeing are mixed.

Here’s a link: http://www.coachella.com/interact/coachooser/share/c45f7cb15b2e397bed0c73cb4d921db5

Friday, April 17th:
Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
Franz Ferdinand
Leonard Cohen
Noah and the Whale

Paul McCartney
The Black Keys

Saturday, April 18th:
Amy Winehouse
Booker T.
Fleet Foxes
Henry Rollins

Hercules and Love Affair
Jenny Lewis
The Killers
TV on the Radio

Sunday, April 19th:
Antony and the Johnsons
Okkervil River
Paolo Nutini

Paul Weller
The Cure
Throbbing Gristle
Yeah Yeah Yeahs

Hopefully there’s no conflict in the schedule! But in case there is, Yanira and I have made a “must-see” list. Here it is:

Friday, April 17th:
Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band
Leonard Cohen
Morrissey (he’s sort of in between, I would ditch him for any other must-see)
Paul McCartney

Saturday, April 18th:

Amy Winehouse
The Killers

Sunday, April 19th:

Antony and the Johnsons
The Cure
Throbbing Gristle
Yeah Yeah Yeahs

T5AotW: Week 24
January 18, 2009, 10:15 pm
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Week 24:

1. Live Santa Monica ’72 by David Bowie
Classic live Ziggy. Mick Ronson shines, securing his place as one of rock’s finest guitarist. Any doubters should listen to the live version of “Moonage Daydream” then prompty change their opinion.

2. Unplugged in New York by Nirvana
Kurt Kurt Kurt Kurt Kurt.

3. Get Behind Me Satan by The White Stripes
Odd blues bluegrass rock from the people who brought you awesome.

4. The Downward Spiral by Nine Inch Nails
This has been on my shelf for a while but I haven’t really listened to it until I saw in the bookstore. After a couple of plays, it really shines.

5. Tom Waits Live in Phoenix June 17, 2008
My little burned bootleg of Tom Waits’ first concert of the Glitter and Doom tour. The one I attended. After not hearing these songs for a while, the sounds welcomely return to my ears. Christmas Card from a Hooker in Minneapolis. Who would’ve called that one?

Woody Guthrie would be so proud
January 18, 2009, 6:51 pm
Filed under: music, Politics | Tags: , , , ,

In my search for Youtube video of Obama’s inagural concert at the Lincoln Memorial, I stumbled upon this video.

Bruce Springsteen was joined on stage by Pete Seeger to sing Woody Guthrie’s classic “This Land is Your Land.” The crowd sings along. Imagine, hundreds of thousands of people all gathered in front of the Lincoln Memorial celebrating the nation’s first African-American president by singing a song by one of America’s most beloved folksingers, and accompanied by one of Guthrie’s personal friends, the 89-year old Pete Seeger.  It is moments like this that makes me proud to be an American.

T5AotW: Week 15
November 17, 2008, 1:22 am
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Week Fifteen: November 16th

Blues, Muse, and Huun-Huur-Tu!

1. Anthology of Muddy Waters
I can’t say anything about Muddy. Muddy is Muddy. If you haven’t heard Muddy, you should. If you have, then you know.

2. Harlem Blues by Satan and Adam
Satan and Adam, arguably the greatest thing to happen to blues in this generation. Satan and Adam’s music is pure, unfiltered street music. It started on the street and the street is everywhere in their music. They sadly do not play much together anymore due to Mr. Satan’s illness, but Adam Gussow has been doing so much for the blues community. He runs the Dirty South Blues Harp channel on Youtube where he offers free harmonica lessons, as well as http://www.modernbluesharmonica.com with some very cheap and highly detailed lessons. Revolutionized the playing of harmonica players all over the world, including myself.

3. Absolution by Muse
In my opinion, Muse will one day be considered one of the finest rock bands of the era. Think the Jimi Hendrix Experience smashed into Pink Floyd then dunked into a pit of despair. Everything about them is wonderful: the searing guitar work, the ghostly vocals, the vicious drums, the haunting lyrics. The songs mainly deal with the frailty of the human condition and humanity’s inevitable destruction. We are in a barred spiral galaxy and are being slowly drawn into a supermassive black hole. Songs to listen to are: “Apocalypse Please,” “Time is Running Out,” “Knights of Cydonia,” and…”Supermassive Black Hole.”

4. Come on In by R.L. Burnside
I love R.L. Burnside. The blues don’t git no dirtier than his. But this is a weird album. Even for R.L. This is a remix album, turning some of R.L.’s songs from classic albums like “Mr. Wizard” and “A Ass Pocket of Whiskey” and…takes a hammer to them. The end result is catchy, yet unfulfilling. The only exceptions would be the remix of R.L.’s rendition of the standard “Rollin’ and Tumblin” (done as “Rollin’ Tumblin'”) and “It’s Bad You Know,” which is basically a verse of “Rollin’ Tumblin'” mixed in with some harmonica and a loop of R.L. saying “it’s bad you know.” The song is on the Sopranos soundtrack and is featured in a new commercial for the Sopranos DVD boxset. It’s bad, you know.

5. Tuvan Throat Singing
I’ve been exposed to Tuvan throat singing recently and fell in love with it. Huun-Huur-Tu and Ondar especially. I also recently saw the movie Genghis Blues where blind blues singer Paul Pena travels to Tuva to participate in a throat singing competition. A very heartwarming movie, everyone should see it. R.I.P. Paul. Huun-Huur-Tu made a cameo in the movie and they also made a cameo in Las Vegas today, playing a black away from my house. What a show.

Top Five Albums of the Week–Week Nine
October 5, 2008, 11:34 pm
Filed under: Concerts, music | Tags: , , ,

Week Nine: October 5th

1. Relaxin’ With the Miles Davis Quartet
I’ve been getting off on a bebop kick recently. Now I’ve listened to bop for a while now, mostly Thelonious Monk/Charlie Parker/Dizzy Gillespie, but I’ve been expanding my horizons. I’m taking a class on the Beat writers at UNLV and Kerouac writes a lot about bebop so that was a bit of an inspiration. Miles is great. He’s different from some of the other bop players, a lot smoother and “cool”er. And this is a very cool CD. Short, but very sweet. Also featured in the Miles Davis Quartet is John Coltrane on sax before he went solo. It doesn’t get much better than that.

2. Giant Steps by John Coltrane
An influential recording by Coltrane. This is a fun album to listen closely to, follow along with the changes and the improvisational journeying. How does he do it? I don’t know. Jazz magic I guess. Also, Coltrane’s music reminds me of the music on The Sims. And I love The Sims.

3. The Alligator Records 20th Anniversary Collection
Now this was a real find! Found this yesterday and it is a monster compilation. The cuts on this two-disc collection are taken from various records produced by Alligator Records over their (then) 20-year existence. Artists on the record: Albert Collins, Big Walter Horton, Hound Dog Taylor, Johnny Winter, Sonny Terry, Clarence “Gatemouth” Brown, Professor Longhair, Koko Taylor, Pinetop Perkins…blues titans. The greatest cut on this collection is the song “Brick” by Albert Collins simply because of the first two lines: “A brick baby, I’m going to throw a brick upside yo’ head/I said a brick baby, I’m going to throw a brick upside your head…”

4. “Fly Me to the Moon” by Frank Sinatra
Now, I don’t have this song on any of my Frank Sinatra CDs (I’ve been listening to it on youtube) so I used Come Swing with Me for the picture. “Fly Me to the Moon” is a fantastic song. I fell in love with it from watching Neon Genesis Evangelion but soon found Frank’s version. I’m taking Guitar II at UNLV, taught by a guitarist by the name of Joe Lano. Jazz guitarist extraordinaire. He’s been teaching us some standards and I asked him if he could show us this song. He wrote it up on the board the next day and now we are busy working it out. I love it so much.

5. Various song by Mindless Self Indulgence
I saw MSI at the House of Blues on Friday. :] They were absolutely amazing. Where they get the energy from I have no idea. Of all their contemporaries (most of which suck) there is something about MSI that puts them on a whole ‘nother level. I got into them years ago when I was a little Jhonen Vasquez whore. Jhonen directed one of their music videos. Going to the concert was like a trip back into my past. The sounds and lyrics and themes. It was very refreshing. Thank you Jimmy and the gang.

Lyrical Musings: High Water Everywhere
September 20, 2008, 11:05 pm
Filed under: Concerts, music | Tags: , , , ,

I just got back from seeing Joe Bonamassa at a free concert at the Clark County government center. Excellent show. Joe had some technical problems in the beginning (who doesn’t?), which caused the band to completely drown him out for a song and a half. His first solo, gone. Only he could hear it. But from then on out it was a rockin’ set.

The highlight of the show was Bonamassa’s searing rendition of “High Water Everywhere,” a song with a long history. The song was written sometime after 1927 by the timeless bluesman Charley Patton, written about the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 which caused great destruction throughout Mississippi and Louisiana. The haunting lyrics and tone reflect the helplessness and the heartache of those affected by the flood, Patton repeating that there is nothing to do but pack up and leave his former home and life behind beneath the flood.

High Water Everywhere by Charley Patton

Backwater at Blytheville, backed up all around
Backwater at Blytheville, done took Joiner town
It was fifty families and children come to sink and drown

The water was risin’ up at my friend’s door
The water was risin’ up at my friend’s door
The man said to his women folk, “Lord, we’d better go”

The water was risin’, got up in my bed
Lord, the water was rollin’, got up to my bed
I thought I would take a trip, Lord,
out on the big ice sled

Oh, I can hear, Lord, Lord, water upon my door,
you know what I mean, look-a here
I hear the ice, Lord, Lord, was sinkin’ down,
I couldn’t get no boats there, Marion City gone down

So high the water was risin’ our men sinkin’ down
Man, the water was risin’ at places all around,
boy, they’s all around
It was fifty men and children come to sink and drown

Oh, Lordy, women and grown men drown
Oh, women and children sinkin’ down Lord, have mercy
I couldn’t see nobody’s home and wasn’t no one to be found

The song went through many covers and variations since the late 20s and I won’t bother talking about it. Skip on down to September 11th, 2001 where, just hours before the World Trade Center attack, Bob Dylan’s “Love and Theft” was released. Among “Love and Theft”s many blues songs is a song titled “High Water (For Charlie Patton).” Easily the best song on the album, Dylan takes Patton’s description of a natural disaster and puts it in a modern social context, speaking of God, love, and evolution as well as nature’s fury. Take a look:

High Water (For Charlie Patton) by Bob Dylan

High water risin’ – risin’ night and day
All the gold and silver are being stolen away
Big Joe Turner lookin’ East and West
From the dark room of his mind
He made it to Kansas City
Twelfth Street and Vine
Nothing standing there
High water everywhere

High water risin’, the shacks are slidin’ down
Folks lose their possessions – folks are leaving town
Bertha Mason shook it – broke it
Then she hung it on a wall
Says, “You’re dancin’ with whom they tell you to
Or you don’t dance at all.”
It’s tough out there
High water everywhere

I got a cravin’ love for blazing speed
Got a hopped up Mustang Ford
Jump into the wagon, love, throw your panties overboard
I can write you poems, make a strong man lose his mind
I’m no pig without a wig
I hope you treat me kind
Things are breakin’ up out there
High water everywhere

High water risin’, six inches ‘bove my head
Coffins droppin’ in the street
Like balloons made out of lead
Water pourin’ into Vicksburg, don’t know what I’m going to do
“Don’t reach out for me,” she said
“Can’t you see I’m drownin’ too?”
It’s rough out there
High water everywhere

Well, George Lewis told the Englishman, the Italian and the Jew
“You can’t open your mind, boys
To every conceivable point of view.”
They got Charles Darwin trapped out there on Highway Five
Judge says to the High Sheriff,
“I want him dead or alive
Either one, I don’t care.”
High Water everywhere

The Cuckoo is a pretty bird, she warbles as she flies
I’m preachin’ the Word of God
I’m puttin’ out your eyes
I asked Fat Nancy for something to eat, she said, “Take it off the shelf –
As great as you are a man,
You’ll never be greater than yourself.”
I told her I didn’t really care
High water everywhere

I’m getting’ up in the morning – I believe I’ll dust my broom
Keeping away from the women
I’m givin’ ’em lots of room
Thunder rolling over Clarksdale, everything is looking blue
I just can’t be happy, love
Unless you’re happy too
It’s bad out there
High water everywhere

And with the hurricanes that have been devastating Louisiana in recent years, the lyrics of both songs have resonated with an even greater force. People can connect with the despair Charley Patton feels and the cynicism Dylan describes.

Then there’s Bonamassa’s version. High winds bearin’ down on New Orleans, ever’thing lookin’ blue. Hurricanes don’t discriminate. Break it down, Joe: