Last weekend I walked into my local Berkeley coffee shop and Bob Dylan’s Desolation Row was playing on the stereo. I turned to my friend and asked if he had any way of identifying what verse we were at – but neither of us could place how far into the song we were, or how likely it was the song would still be playing when we left. It was, in fact, still playing when we left. Later that night, I saw Wilco at The Greek Theatre open with One Sunday Morning (Song For Jane Smiley’s Boyfriend) – yet another song with numerous (albeit short) verses, and thus was born this week’s B List. Interestingly, both of those songs, and many listed below, share the characteristic of also not having a chorus.
Hurricane – Bob Dylan
There was a time in high school where I could recite all eleven verses from Dylan’s protest song for boxer and accused murdered Rubin “Hurricane” Carter. If I had time to dig through enough songs, we could probably make a B List of only Bob Dylan songs that have eight or more verses. In addition to the mention of Desolation Row in the intro, Tangled Up In Blue, Lily, Rosemary and The Jack of Hearts, the list goes on and on.
Earlier this week, Edinburg’s Django Django released yet another video from their brilliant 2012 self-titled debut LP – this time for the track Hand of Man. In case you missed it, Django Django pulled #17 in the Hidden Track Collective Top 25 albums of the year. Check the video below directed by John MacLean who is both the older brother of Django Django’s drummer Dave and an alumni of the wildly influential Indie-Gods The Beta Band.
When it comes time for selecting songs for Cover Wars, I often skip a song because there are just too many covers of it. I Put a Spell on You, a song from 1956 written and recorded by Screamin’ Jay Hawkins, is a prime example. So tough choices need to be made, we can’t include every version – because let’s be honest, who wants to listen to this song 30 times in a row (though, someday I’m going to write the All Along The Watchtower Cover Wars and we are going to include a LOT of them)? So, we’re going to cap it at 11 versions, try and make it a diverse sampling – if I didn’t include your favorite, feel free to let me know in the comments. On a personal note, I’ve loved this song since its inclusion on a favorite VHS tape from my childhood titled Baseball Funny Side, or at least I’m pretty sure that’s the one.
The Animals recorded this cover on their 1966 album Animalisms. The song just seems built for Eric Burdon. There is a great version of him singing it in 2008 on YouTube but emedding is disabled, so you have to click here to check it out.
This opening track from Nirvana’s 1991 album Nevermind has spawned a whole lot of covers – many of which are instrumental, the vocal melody seems to speak to jazz piano players especially. Female vocalists also like taking a shot at this grunge classic – we round out with a few male-vox covers, a guest appearance from The Muppets and you’ve got – 10 covers of Smells Like Teen Spirit.
Artist: Tori Amos Album: Crucify The Skinny: Tori Amos was one of the first major artists to record this cover back in 1992 for an EP where she also covered Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. Cobain once said that this cover was, “a great breakfast cereal version”.
It was a bit dustier, slightly more crowded (on account of all three nights being sold out) and home to considerably less sunshine than last year’s Outside Lands Music Festival, but overall it felt like the same great three-day setup in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park as last year. With five stages of music – many of which often overlap – the large scale event has the choose-your-own adventure feel of other 65,000+ person fests that need to schedule conflicting major touring acts to split the crowd.
The solar powered Pandhandle Stage, the smallest of the main stages, was home to a number of noteworthy performances. On Friday Tennis delivered a solid day-time set – they followed YACHT on the Lands End stage, what we were calling the sweater-vest combo. Michael Kiwanuka’s Saturday performance, marking the Englishman’s first time in San Francisco, proved that his band can back up the smooth recordings from his 2012 LP Home Again. Despite a short time-slot they still managed to slightly jam out the outros of a few songs. It was early Sunday afternoon when the next generation of musicians got their chance with an impressive lead-off set from the aptly named Infantree and the first festival performance of 16-year-old Birdy who serenaded the crowd with her down-tempo indie covers.
Next weekend marks the 5th year of the Outside Lands music festival in San Francisco’s Golden Gate Park. 2011 marked my first year as a resident of the state of California and I had an incredible time at my first OSL. For this Friday’s Mix Tape, I wanted to focus on my must-see bands that are hitting the stage well before the sun goes down. Certainly you don’t need anyone telling you that you should go see Stevie Wonder, Jack White or that you need to ponder the drastic differences that are the conflicting sets of Metallica and Sigur Ros.
Leading off is the track Tell Me a Tale off Michael Kiwanuka’s 2012 release Home Again, a shoe-in for my Top 5 Albums of the Year list. Kiwanuka sadly only gets 40 minutes on the Panhandle Stage on Saturday but he’ll be returning to San Francisco to play The Independent on October 7th. Despite winning album of the year honors from Hidden Track in 2011, White Denim only drew a Noon time-slot on Friday at the always beautiful Sutro stage – we listen to their track Burnished. If that 45-minute set leaves you wanting more, White Denim plays a night-show later on Friday with Futurebirds at Brick and Mortar Music Hall.
Former Fleet Foxes drummer turned mushroom-taking bad-ass singer songwriter Father John Misty plays the Pandhandle stage Saturday at 2:55 – we listen to his tongue-in-cheek Writing A Novel from his 2012 release Fear Fun. While Fitz & The Tantrums surely thrive better in a sold-out-club atmosphere, they are guaranteed to get any festival crowd moving with tracks like Moneygrabber, even if it is at the main stage (Lands End Polo Field) at 3:10 on Friday. Fun fact about those guys, they have perfected that soul/funk feel without having a guitar player in the band.
Alabama Shakes are having quite a year and they are playing the Sutro Stage at 3:50 on Saturday. You’ve probably already heard their hit Hold On, this tune – I Found You – is another catchy one from their album Boys and Girls. And finally, if you’ve never heard Tame Impala’s 2010 record Innerspeaker, aka what John Lennon would sound like if he was an Indie Band, you should fix that. Their new album isn’t out yet, but the first single Elephant is taking the blogosphere by storm. You can catch them at the mainstage bright and early at 1:50 on Saturday.
Whenever I tackle a song by The Beatles for Cover Wars, I like to head on over to see what Alan Pollack has to say on the song’s topic and the in-depth musical analysis he provides on his website, a must-bookmark site for any Beatles fan or musician. The absolute basics: Released on The White Album, written by George Harrison and Eric Clapton guests on lead guitar.
This Cover Wars has been a long-time coming as I have started compiling it at least once in the past but did not complete it as there is such a large number of exceptional covers of the tune. But today, I present to you these 14 covers of While My Guitar Gently Weeps.
Artist: Jake Shimabukuro Album: Gently Weeps The Skinny: Leading off this week is ukelele extraordinaire Jake Shimabukuro who consistently wows audiences everywhere he plays. Shimabukuro’s cover is well known and is the inspiration for his 2006 album Gently Weeps.
There are no shortages of live performances from Shimabukuro of this song on YouTube with multiple clips having 1,000,000+ YouTube views. This one is the most popular, shot in New York City’s Central Park:
Phish’s summer tour begins tonight and it kicks off with two shows at Worcester’s DCU Center, a room that will see its 13th and 14th Phish shows. There have been many notable moments dating back to the venue’s first Phish show in 1993 and for this week’s B List we’ll take a listen and/or a look at an individual highlight from every show at the room we’ll always know as The Centrum.
After these shows wrap up, this Massachusetts arena will have housed more known Phish shows than all other venues except seven: The Front (53), Nectar’s (43), Madison Square Garden (23), Deer Creek (20), Hunt’s (16), Alpine Valley (15) and Hampton Coliseum (15).
12/31/1993 – Auld Lang Syne > Down with Disease Jam
Though Down With Disease wouldn’t see its proper debut until April 4, 1994, the band brought out the sick jam introducing the world to Trey’s blistering guitar solo as the year turned from 1993 to 1994. The premature jam came about because Mike Gordon taped the footage of the jam for future use in the DWD video. When my friend put the XLII in for our first listen I was told to prepare for the best guitar work ever, and it’s still one of my favorite moments in the band’s history. - Andy Kahn
It was 2001, and we were spending a lot of time at a place called “The Clubhouse” – it was my friend Dan Wolf’s long-abandoned poolhouse at his parents’ house – and we were in the summer after our freshman year of college. Phil Lesh was touring with what I considered at the time (and what I still think to be true), the best post-Jerry Garcia Grateful Dead related lineup of musicians. Warren Haynes, Rob Barraco, John Molo and of course – Jimmy Herring. We had three sets of CD’s in heavy rotation, 10-1-2000 from Memorial Auditorium in Burlington, Vermont; 10-6-2000 from The Orpheum in Boston and 10-27-2000 from the Las Vegas House of Blues. I don’t know how we picked those three – I’m sure we downloaded them off of GDLive because they were officially released free soundboards. It is with great excitement that I can say I am going to see that lineup once again tonight in San Rafael, Calif. As you may have read, this lineup played their first live show since 2003 last night.
For Friday Mix Tape, I have thrown together seven covers, and sometimes the ensuing ridiculous jams, from those three shows that I seem to know by heart. While I apologize for any abrupt transitions, (I recommend listening to these shows in their entirety for uninterrupted listening) the playlist goes…
Broken Arrow (Robbie Robertson) – 10/1/2000 Just Like Tom Thumb’s Blues (Bob Dylan) – 10/1/2000 Low Spark of High Heeled Boys (Traffic) – 10/6/2000 Into The Mystic (Van Morrison) – 10/6/2000 She Said, She Said (The Beatles) – 10/6/2000 Dear Mr. Fantasy (Traffic) – 10/27/2000 Strawberry Fields Forever (The Beatles) – 10/27/2000
It’s a long way to the top if you want to Rock and Roll. It’s been almost 11 years since Umphrey’s McGee made their first journey from the Midwest to the San Francisco Bay Area. In a little over a decade, UM has steadily grown from smaller clubs and mid size theaters, to multi-night runs at the Fillmore, which set the stage for a St. Patrick’s Day, Saturday headlining spot at Oakland’s Fox Theater. While the sextet can’t add another notch to their already impressive record of 2012 sellouts, The Fox certainly seemed as filled in as it does when bands like Wilco and My Morning Jacket pack the place.
The Mother Hips, a California band with an even longer history in the area, took the stage for a 45-minute opening set that kept the attention of the early arrivers for the 7:30 ticket time. Their complex interplay was highlighted by Hips bassist Scott Thunes, whose resume includes playing with Frank Zappa for a majority of the 1980s.
Last week we all got to have a listen to a track from Jack White’s upcoming solo debut, Blunderbuss, which is due to hit shelves on April 24. For this week’s Mix Tape we’re going to take a chronological stroll through the works of White as he plays guitar, piano, drums and even a little bass.
Leading off is Let’s Shake Hands, a single released prior to The White Stripes self-titled debut in 1998. Then, we head over to Jimmy The Exploder – the first track off that self-titled 1999 LP. Moving to 2000, we mellow out with the Zeppelin-esque I’m Bound To Pack It Up from the De Stijl. From 2001′s White Blood Cells we get a little bit country with Hotel Yorba. Things get a bit more mainstream with 2003′s Elephant, so it has to be Seven Nation Army that gets the nod from that album. Also in 2003, White contributed a few tracks to the soundtrack for Cold Mountain including Wayfaring Stranger.
2005 saw a hit with My Doorbell from Get Behind Me Satan. Also in 2005, White co-wrote Go It Alone on Beck’s album Guero – White also got to play bass on the track. 2006 saw the first record from The Raconteurs and we have the Jack White screamer almost-title-track Broken Boy Soldier. One of my favorite White Stripes songs of their later era is You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Just Do As Your Told) from the last White Stripes LP, 2007′s Icky Thump. Getting to some of White’s work behind the piano, we have a track from the second Raconteurs record, Consolers of The Lonely, and the track is You Don’t Understand Me. In 2008, White collaborated with Alicia Keys on Another Way To Die.
At a Facebook event last week, 60 applications were launched that integrate directly with Facebook’s open graph and the newly rolled out (and now being forced on users) Timeline Profile. It was back in September when this functionality was first announced and that was also when we started seeing the ticker on the top right of the page telling us what our friends were listening to on music streaming services such as Spotify and MOG.
The launch of FB Timeline Apps has arrived and there was much excitement last week about Ticketmaster’s contribution, with TechCrunch calling it one of the best. I decided to kick the tires on this new event discovery/ticket purchasing incorporation – perhaps they had done a better job than with the social integration of select-your-own-seat, of which I wasn’t exactly a fan.
Well, I can’t say I was surprised to see that Ticketmaster’s attempt at a Facebook App was disappointing.
#1: The events it recommends: So Ticketmaster is going to recommend concerts and events to me based on my listening history and the bands I “Like” on Facebook, sounds simple enough. Wait – why should I go see the Sacramento Kings and Phoenix Suns play basketball? Oh, it’s because I like the band Phoenix.
Death Cab For Cutie made news last year recording the music video for You Are A Tourist in one take and letting everyone watch the live recording on USTREAM to prove it. The Shepard Fairey street-art take on Home Is a Fire was pretty damn cool too.
The new video for Underneath The Sycamore is a whole different type of awesome this time using animations from Walter Robot.
Jambase has just reported that Strangefolk founding members Reid Genauer, Jon Trafton, Erik Glockler, and Luke Smith will reunite for the first time in over 11 years two shows: March 30th at Higher Ground in South Burlington, VT and March 31st at State Theater in Portland, ME. Our love for this Vermont band is well documented here on Hidden Track.
In April of last year we ran a two part feature titled The Strangefolk Story. Part two concluded with the following,
A Strangefolk reunion featuring the original lineup, including Genauer, becoming reality remains to be seen. At this point in their collective careers, the band members – both past and present – appear willing to entertain the idea.
Trafton: I would say the door is open, but we’re not sure about the future. It has been discussed internally and with Reid, and we are leaving it open-ended, although we have discussed the potential. Would it be all old guys? New guys? A mix? Since we [Jon and Reid] have talked about it in the recent past, there is definitely potential, and it would be fun to celebrate everything and keep it from being exclusionary. It is definitely nice to consider the questions, especially since the breakup was tough. But time has passed and it’s nice to be in touch with everyone again, on good terms. I think we all agree it would be fun to do some playing together. I know I miss some of those songs – it would be fun to resurrect some of them.
Genauer: I’m open to it and I think it would be fun. I think the reason it has taken so long is that there were some hard feelings at first and a desire to re-establish and redefine Strangefolk in my absence. Then from my perspective, I was pretty determined to establish myself and a track record beyond Strangefolk. After some eight or nine years with AOD I feel like I have checked that box.
There are a litany of new milestones I’ve achieved, like playing Carnegie Hall and Bonnaroo, recording Some Assembly Required, which lead to the realization of the long road. Having some of my friends and favorite musicians on that album – Richie Havens, Mike Gordon, Bela Fleck, Jerry Douglas, Tony Rice, Grace Potter, Al Schnier and Keller Williams – is one of my most proud moments and in my mind anyway, notable achievements. All of that said, playing with Strangefolk is something I would be open to. Jon and I talk fairly regularly and I wouldn’t rule anything out.
Check back for more information on tickets (and hopefully more shows) as it becomes available.
After yesterday’s lineup announcement, expect to see a lot of artists adding West Coast dates to their itineraries, especially since the festival is back-to-back weekends this year, these bands will have to do something during the week.
Radiohead added three shows: April 9th at Key Arena in Seattle, April 11th at HP Pavilion in San Jose and April 21st at Santa Barbara Bowl in Santa Barbara.
The Shins also added four shows: April 13th at The Cosmopolitan in Las Vegas, April 22nd at Santa Cruz Civic Auditorium in Santa Cruz, April 23rd at Mondavi Center for the Performing Arts in Davis and April 25th at Grand Sierra Resort in Reno.