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Free downloads: The Bayonets

If you were listening to Triple M on the morning of Thursday July 17th, you may have thought somehow we slipped back to 1965.

But it wasn't an old song we were playing--it was a brand new one from the Los Angeles band the Bayonets, called "Crash Boom Bang!"

They don't have an album out, but if you sign up for their mailing list you can get a free four-song EP here.

Crash Boom Bang! by The Bayonets from The Bayonets / Brian Ray on Vimeo.



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RIP Johnny Winter--that guy sure could play

"For me, blues is a necessity."

That's a quote from blues guitar great Johnny Winter, who died on Wednesday in Zurich, Switzerland. He came to prominence in the late 1960's after he was featured in a story in Rolling Stone magazine, put out 20 albums and produced some others that were pretty amazing--three for Muddy Waters, and the hit song "Rock and Roll Hootchie Koo" for Rick Derringer.

I got a chance to see Johnny Winter twice--first at the Belleville Blues Festival, where I got to introduce his band (along with Triple M's Gabby Parsons), and again at the Crossroads Guitar Festival in 2010. While he appeared to be quite frail on both those occasions, he could still play the hell out of the guitar.

Here he is at Crossroads, playing what might be the BEST version of Bob Dylan's "Highway 61."

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World's Worst iPod: Information Society "What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)"

There's something about the allure of Star Trek that made this song by Information Society extra special.

It went all the way to #9 on the charts in 1988 for the band based in St. Paul, Minnesota. According to wikipedia, the band got the permission to use samples from Star Trek in the song because one of the band's members was friends with Leonard Nimoy's son!

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Locations : MinnesotaSt. Paul
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It's not *that* kind of pool party! ~ Stevi

Pool party's are the best! ...Until someone decides to drive a vehicle in for a swim. Someone should have told her Jeeps don't make good pool toys, and aren't boyant. Check it out, it'll make you feel better about that time you walked out of the house with mismatched socks! ~ Stevi
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Warren Buffett and Paul McCartney: the conversation

By now you've probably seen that "selfie" taken by a kid in Nebraska with Warren Buffett and Paul McCartney sitting on a bench in the background. (No? Click here).

But I have something more exclusive..the transcript of the conversation these two rich guys had after they enjoyed a treat from a nearby ice cream shop.

Here's a portion:

McCartney: You never give me your money, you only give me your funny paper.

Buffett: And in the middle of negotiations, you break down. I never give you my number

McCartney: You only give me your situation.

Buffett: And in the middle of investigation, I break down.

(unintelligible garble)

McCartney: One sweet dream

Buffett: Pack up the bags and get in the limousine

McCartney: Soon we'll be away from here. Step on the gas and wipe that tear away

(Disclaimer: I listened to Abbey Road A LOT over the years, and this may or may not be part of the Buffett/McCartney chat).

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Locations : Nebraska
People : Paul McCartneyWarren Buffett




 

The new Pink Floyd album won't be what you're hoping for

A lot of Pink Floyd fans got a little bit excited over the weekend, after the wife of David Gilmour announced that a new Pink Floyd album would be coming out this October.

Even though Roger Waters wouldn't be a part of it, the idea of the first new songs since Division Bell was certainly intriguing. But now a spokesman for the band says, in not so many words, that the new album will be made up of leftovers from the Division Bell sessions back in the early '90s...instrumentals and ambient music.

What? I guess some never-before-heard jams from that era could be interesting. But let's face it, it's not nearly as enthralling as the idea of brand new songs.

While we wait to see what comes of this new album, enjoy this video in which the band seems to be in an unusual mood.

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World's Worst iPod: Alice Cooper "You and Me"

Can a song be so horrible that it's actually awesome?

Well, if that is possible, here is an example: Alice Cooper's emotional ballad "You and Me" from 1977. I'm not sure we could think up a more hideous lyric than "we shared a bed, some popcorn and TV...yeah."

Alice (aka Vincent Furnier) took this song all the way up to #9. And that's probably the biggest reason that Alice Cooper (the band) and not Alice Cooper (the solo artist) made it into the Rock Hall.

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Johnny Cash/Sheryl Crow duet is pretty cool

Johnny Cash recorded a version of Sheryl Crow's 1996 song "Redemption Day" before he passed away...and now Crow makes use of it in a new video. The song, with back and forth vocals from each of them, is haunting, and made even more so through the images used in the video.

Usually I'm not a fan of resurrecting dead people for new performances, but somehow I think this one works. Do you agree?
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World's Worst iPod: Sugar Loaf "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You"

The trials and tribulations of a band trying to get a record contract are related in the 1975 hit "Don't Call Us, We'll Call You" by Sugar Loaf. This song, which was actually recorded two years earlier, made it up to #9 on the chart.

What's not to love about this song? A cameo by Wolfman Jack, the touch tones of the White House phone number...a Beatle reference?  This song has that and more.

One little tidbit for you--Sugar Loaf was originally called "Chocolate Hair," which they changed when they got a record deal. Good move!

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Four days gone by too fast

Bonnaroo is over and as I unpacked my bags, swept out the tent and caught up on my sleep I can only think about how incredible my time in Tennessee was.

Before I even start to attempt to convey my time there I have to thank Triple M for sending me there and for setting me up with guest passes. To have those extra perks that come with guest passes made Bonnaroo that much more special. What special perks? Well, there was the camping area that’s not even on the map and is filled with lots of shade and free showers. Plus, a guest hospitality tent set up with a big screen live streaming the headliners; special entrances into Centeroo, Which Stage and What Stage; bleachers at the What Stage; and a back entry so we didn’t have to wait in a long line of cars waiting to enter the camping area.

I did get to see my top four acts and was not disappointed. I had a great spot for Jake Bugg’s set, where the only time he spoke was to say ‘thank you.’ Otherwise, he just performed and I swear he looked a bit unsure of how to react to all the attention from the crowd. He didn’t need to make his hour about anything other than his music.

Jack White was mesmerizing, bringing music from the White Stripes through his solo work on Lazaretto to the audience. I used the bleacher seating to my advantage and didn’t leave until the last final notes of his encore. I think he ended up going two and a half hours and kept saying if we wanted him to keep going, he’d keep playing.

Avett Brothers were as great as I expected them to be. I did spend a bit of their slot making my way through the crowd of who-knows-how-many-thousands of people to find some friends but it was hard to not dance along with everyone else as I wove around the sea of swaying bodies.

But, the best performance I saw at Bonnaroo goes to Sir Elton John who was joined on stage by Ben Folds for one song and had Two Cellos perform with him. When I saw Two Cellos on stage I’m pretty sure I squealed just a bit. Things just fit together too well, from the visuals on the screen to the fact he didn’t spend much time talking to the audience to the Buzz Lightyear balloon launch during Rocket Man.  The only downside was that when Elton’s two hours were up, he didn’t play any encores. So after his performance, the few fireworks that were lit seemed awful lackluster.

Since Bonnaroo is filled with so much, I missed out on a lot of great music due to checking out other acts. I heard Arctic Monkeys put on a great show and that a group of people almost took out the Miller Stage after climbing on top of it. But, each day I saw four full sets from different bands that I’d never seen perform before or had even heard prior to the festival. Suggestions had me checking out St. Paul and the Broken Bones, Valerie June and the Glitch Mob.

What made Bonnaroo special was more than just the great music – it was the people I met. First, there were the camp neighbors. We had a couple who worked with a video production company that was interviewing artists (I offered to help with the Damon Albarn interview), the couple with Crazy Mountain Brewing Company who freely gave out six pack samplers, the pair who were also recipients of radio station contest, and the guys from California whose roommate worked with the company that produces the festival. They all had suggestions on what band to see and understood the pain of there never being any toilet paper in the port-a-potties. And those were just the people next to us. Others I saw in guest camping included musicians and the guys responsible for the Terminator and Point Break movie events. I can say there is nothing quite like walking past The Unlikely Candidates on your way to the shower.

Then there were the staff I saw every day as I walked to Centeroo. The security staff worked 12-hour shifts so there was plenty to time to chat. One kid who stood out was posted at the main venue entrance. He was super excited to report seeing Skrillex walking around backstage a few hours before his set. After standing in the sun for 12 hours and occasionally having to deal with angry people I would probably have wanted to call it a day. This kid instead headed to the main stage to watch shows before getting a couple hours of sleep. He and I exchanged a lot of high-fives, the unofficial greeting of Bonnaroo.

I also had the chance to spend time with some friends and get to know them a bit better.

I could probably go on about all the conversations I had with friendly strangers I encountered, but I won’t. The word friendly though barely covers what I encountered at Bonnaroo. Maybe it was something in the water, but people seemed to be a bit nicer to each other at the festival; they looked out for each other. If someone was sleeping under a tree, you merely walked around them and let them be. You could always start a conversation with anyone by asking what performance they enjoyed the most, who they were most looking forward to seeing, what their opinion of Kanye was, or if they could hear Skrillex’s performance from their campsite.

So as I adjust back to regular life where you don’t randomly high-five strangers or run into musicians hanging out near the artist hospitality area I can only think that this won’t be my last Bonnaroo. Because I too hope to one day where a shirt with #Bonnagrannies  printed on the front.


 
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Free downloads: The Bayonets
If you were listening to Triple M on the morning of Thursday July 17th, you may have thought somehow we slipped back to 1965. But it wasn't an old song we were playing--it was a brand new one from the Los Angeles band the Bayonets, called "Crash...
Read More
RIP Johnny Winter--that guy sure could play
"For me, blues is a necessity." That's a quote from blues guitar great Johnny Winter, who died on Wednesday in Zurich, Switzerland. He came to prominence in the late 1960's after he was featured in a story in Rolling Stone magazine, put out 20...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Information Society "What's On Your Mind (Pure Energy)"
There's something about the allure of Star Trek that made this song by Information Society extra special. It went all the way to #9 on the charts in 1988 for the band based in St. Paul, Minnesota. According to wikipedia, the band got the...
Read More
It's not *that* kind of pool party! ~ Stevi
Pool party's are the best! ...Until someone decides to drive a vehicle in for a swim. Someone should have told her Jeeps don't make good pool toys, and aren't boyant. Check it out, it'll make you feel better about that time you walked out...
Read More
Warren Buffett and Paul McCartney: the conversation
By now you've probably seen that "selfie" taken by a kid in Nebraska with Warren Buffett and Paul McCartney sitting on a bench in the background. (No? Click here). But I have something more exclusive..the transcript of the conversation these two...
Read More
The new Pink Floyd album won't be what you're hoping for
A lot of Pink Floyd fans got a little bit excited over the weekend, after the wife of David Gilmour announced that a new Pink Floyd album would be coming out this October. Even though Roger Waters wouldn't be a part of it, the idea of the first...
Read More
World's Worst iPod: Alice Cooper "You and Me"
Can a song be so horrible that it's actually awesome? Well, if that is possible, here is an example: Alice Cooper's emotional ballad "You and Me" from 1977. I'm not sure we could think up a more hideous lyric than "we shared a bed, some...
Read More
Johnny Cash/Sheryl Crow duet is pretty cool
Johnny Cash recorded a version of Sheryl Crow's 1996 song "Redemption Day" before he passed away...and now Crow makes use of it in a new video. The song, with back and forth vocals from each of them, is haunting, and made even more so through the...
Read More
 
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