Thursday, July 30, 2015

They're Gonna Put Me in the Movies

Barring some catastrophe, NYMary and I are going to be interviewed on camera next week for what is clearly going to be the greatest film in the history of world cinema.

You can find out more about it at the official website HERE.

Obviously, this is exciting news on a gazillion levels; we'll keep you posted as things shake out.

But in the meantime -- Michael fricking Chabon? I'm not worthy!!!!

Wednesday, July 29, 2015

Closed for Monkey Business

It's too damn hot to blog.

Regular posting resumes tomorrow, weather permitting.

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Your Tuesday Moment of Words Fail Me

From her 1964 album Introducing Mandy -- and the Golden Age of British Hookers 'n' Blow -- please enjoy the irrepressible B-girl who helped bring down a government, Mandy Rice-Davies...

...and her definitive cover of the Allen Toussaint classic "You Got What It Takes."

I have to confess that back in the day, I was sort of obsessed with the fabulous British sex scandal Davies and Christine Keeler participated in, to the extent that I seriously wanted to name the family cat Profumo (fortunately, my parents nixed that one).

In any case, Rice-Davies went on to have interesting second and third acts; she married a rich Israeli, converted to Judaism, moved to Israel and opened a string of restaurants and clubs in Tel Aviv. Later, she wrote a memoir and a novel, and appeared in several movies (including David Bowie's Absolute Beginners) and TV shows (a cameo as herself on Absolutely Fabulous.)

Shortly before her death (in 2014), she described her post-scandal career as "one slow descent into respectability."

UPDATE: "You Got What It Takes" was NOT written by Allen Toussaint. The song's provenance is unclear, but it was probably penned by Marv Johnson, who had the hit record version.

I regret the error.

Monday, July 27, 2015

Cheap Thrills on the Backlot at Universal

From 1969, and an episode of The Name of the Game, please enjoy Robert Stack and Sharon Farrell (as a doomed rock star) in "A Hard Case of the Blues."

You know, for some reason, Farrell's character seems to be based on a famous real person...

...but I've never been able to put my finger on who, exactly.

Seriously, I hadn't seen this episode since it originally aired, but I remember thinking at the time that while the Hollywood hippies on the show were laughably unbelievable -- as they usually were on the tube in those days -- that on the whole the damn thing was extremely well written and genuinely poignant. And that Farrell -- whose chemistry with the usually wooden Stack is palpable -- pretty much captured Joplin's essential sweetness. Certainly, far better than Bette Midler did years later in that The Rose piece of shit.

In any case, I was pleasantly surprised to see that the show mostly held up. And I've said it in semi-jest on countless occasions before, but YouTube really IS the greatest thing since the Library at Alexandria.

Friday, July 24, 2015

Attention, Patrons of the Arts!

If you're in the vicinity of Jersey City -- which is a helluva town, BTW -- this weekend you might want to check out a very interesting group art show featuring splendid new paintings by friend of PowerPop buzzbabyjesus.

The show is at a gallery and exhibition space called The Drawing Rooms (180 Grand Street in the aforementioned Jersey burg) and on Saturday and Sunday it can be viewed from 2-6pm. A certain Shady Dame and I checked it out last week and had a splendid time, including finally getting the chance to meet the auteur himself.

Here's an earlier piece by BBJ -- a self portrait, in fact -- that isn't in the show (his recent work is more abstract and architectural).

You can find out more about the exhibition -- including directions on how to get there -- at the official Drawing Rooms website over HERE. The show can also be witnessed on Thursdays and Fridays from 4-7pm, and it runs till August 16.

Meanwhile, you can find out more about BBJ (including his band The Smoove Sailors) over at his official place HERE.

Have a great weekend, everybody!

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Life is Short, But Cool is Forever

The great Dion, live circa 1963.

Pretty amazing quality footage, no? In any case, there are times I'm convinced he's the greatest rock singer who ever wore shoe leather.

Wednesday, July 22, 2015

À la recherche des Modeles D'etages perdu

Went into the studio last night and 95 percent finished the title track from the forthcoming five-song Floor Models EP.

I'm around the moon over how great this sounds; we've scheduled another session to possibly add some discrete background vocals and tweak the mix, but essentially this is it, and I would like to take this opportunity to thank my once and future bandmates for making work on the track such a pleasant experience. As I've said before, going in I wasn't convinced we could pull this off, but boy....

And I think Andy would have liked it.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015

You Know, Some Days Life Really IS Worth Living

To wit, the Undead will walk the earth once more.

And perform one of the most magnificent rock albums of all time live, in its entirety.

The official announcement by The Zombies:

USA, this has been a long time coming.

It has been 5 decades since the original Zombies' line-up last toured the States. Our final album together was released in 1968, but we never got a chance to perform it live for our American fans.

Starting on September 30th in Dallas, that is all going to change!!!!

That's right! The Zombies are returning to the USA, and bringing some special friends - the incredible Chris White and Hugh Grundy - to perform "Odessey & Oracle" in it's entirety! The original line-up (minus the sorely-missed Paul Atkinson) will join the current line-up for a very special evening of Zombies music, past and present. Whether you missed us in the 1960's, or just discovered us yesterday, we hope you can join us on this journey today!

Here's a sneak peek at the tour schedule (and we hope to add a couple shows more if we can!). Stay tuned for ticket information - most shows will go on sale this week.

According to their Facebook page, these are the current tour dates.

Sept 30 - Majestic Theatre, Dallas TX
Oct 1 - Paramount Theatre, Austin TX
Oct 3 - Provincetown Town Hall, Provincetown MA
Oct 6 - The Wilbur Theatre, Boston MA
Oct 8 - Lincoln Theatre, Washington DC
Oct 9 - New York Society For Ethical Culture - Concert Hall, New York NY
Oct 10 - Rhode Island Center for Performing Arts - Park Theatre, Cranston RI
Oct 11 - Keswick Theatre, Glenside (Philadelphia) PA
Oct 13 - The Ridgefield Playhouse, Ridgefield CT
Oct 14 - Carnegie of Homestead Music Hall, Munhall (Pittsburgh) PA
Oct 15 - The Kent Stage, Kent (Cleveland) OH
Oct 16 - Star Plaza Theatre, Merrillville (Chicago) IL
Oct 17 - South Milwaukee PAC, South Milwaukee WI
Oct 19 - Paramount Theatre, Denver CO
Oct 21 - Benaroya Hall - S.Mark Taper Foundation Auditorium, Seattle WA
Oct 22 - Revolution Hall, Portland OR
Oct 24 - The Saban Theatre, Beverly Hills (Los Angeles) CA
Oct 27 - The Fillmore, San Francisco CA

This is such breaking news that apparently it's not on their official website yet. I'll keep you posted as things develop.

UPDATE: You can order tickets over HERE.

Monday, July 20, 2015

Your Monday Moment of Words Fail Me

From 1966, and the inexplicably obscure Wildest Organ in Town elpee (produced by a pre-fame Sly Stone), please enjoy Billy Preston and "Advice."

And yes, this is a warm-up for Sly's "I Wanna Take You Higher." Most of the rest of the album is cover versions of recent hits, but a few of the tunes are early Sly originals.

In any case, pretty cool stuff.

[h/t Dave™]

Friday, July 17, 2015

The Genius of Brian Wilson (An Occasional Series)

From 1965, and the wonderful Summer Days (And Summer Nights!!!) elpee, please enjoy the Beach Boys and their delightfully Beatles-esque "Girl, Don't Tell Me."

In true stereo.

I somehow missed the 2012 stereo reissues of the first two of the classic Beach Boys' Today/Summer Days/Pet Sounds trilogy, and when I finally snagged them last week, "Girl" was the first song I listened to. It's not particularly different from the familiar mono version, but I'm just insanely fond of the song itself, so this was a treat.

I should add that the Immense Dickitude of Mike Love is nowhere to be found on the track, and neither do any session musicians (unless you count Bruce Johnson on celesta). The rest is an all Wilson brothers collaboration -- bass is by Brian, "Ticket to Ride" guitar and vocals by Carl, and drums by Dennis.