All posts tagged: Beatles

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BOXSET REVIEW: PAUL MCCARTNEY, “Pure McCartney” (various editions)

  What can you really say that hasn’t already been said about Paul McCartney?  This isn’t some “rock critic” trying to dissect the now 46-year solo career of the greatest (still living) pop musician of all time; this is simply an assessment of a very fine, albeit flawed, comprehensive compilation of the man’s works, picked by him. I plumped for the 4-disc, hardcover book edition of Pure McCartney and it is, indeed, quite a treasure trove that goes from 1970’s McCartney all the way to 2013’s New.  Of course, I find it flawed because aside from some glaring omissions which are personal favorites, he did leave off several essential tracks (certainly “My Brave Face” or “This One” from 1989’s Flowers In The Dirt should have been here or “Hope Of Deliverance” from 1993’s Off The Ground could have found a spot).  Nonetheless, according to the press release: ‘”Me and my team came up with the idea of putting together a collection of my recordings with nothing else in mind other than having something fun to …

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Review: Kurt Cobain – Montage of Heck: The Home Recordings (Deluxe Edition)

Kurt Cobain’s first solo record – recently released 21 years after his 1994 suicide and paired with a suspect “documentary” film project of revisionist mythmaking and iconography – is a jumbled, scraping-barrel-bottom mess of an affair. It’s not to say that, for die-hard fans, there are not things to like about it. There are moments of, I’ll go so far as to say, genuine beauty. The opener “The Yodel Song” shows how easily Cobain could toss off a Nirvana-style melody without giving a second thought, and tunes like “The Happy Guitar” make you feel like, alone sometimes, Cobain genuinely just had a good time making music, even if – maybe especially if – there was no audience to intrude sans himself. And, yes, the acoustic take on “And I Love Her” and the instrumental “Letters To Frances” are sweet. But for every engaging moment (an epic “Do Re Mi,” a frequently bootlegged “Sappy” demo, the Melvins-ish “Reverb Experiment”) there’s a lot of grime. The scattered montages and audio collages, while interesting ephemera, are dated sonically and haven’t aged …

Hurtsmile

Exclusive: Extreme’s Gary Cherone Previews The New Hurtsmile Album “Retrogrenade”

Gary Cherone is perhaps best-known for being the longtime vocalist of the Boston-based rock band Extreme and after that, the guy who picked up the microphone for Van Halen as the group’s singer for the Van Halen III album and tour. (If you’re a Van Halen fan, hopefully you got a chance to see Cherone on that tour — the shows were great!) Since 2007, Cherone has been focused on his new band Hurtsmile, a collaboration with his brother Mark playing guitars, bassist Joe Pessia and drummer Dana Spellman. They released their self-titled debut in 2011, which Cherone described at the time as an album which was “about returning to my roots [and] writing a record in my basement — a straight up rock `n’ roll record that turned out to be more diverse and ambitious than I expected.” The Hurtsmile album was well-received and Cherone and crew have come back around for round two, with plans to release their second album Retrogrenade in late May. Fans can pre-order the album now via PledgeMusic and …

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Beatlefest 2014: And?…

So it came to pass that this weekend is the 50th Anniversary of The Beatles’ arrival in the United States.  It is well established what their coming meant – for music and more importantly, for society – which would impact the following generations.  Certainly, a momentous occasion for me, having loved the band my whole life (yes, we all know that I go for long stretches without listening to them, but no matter what, I always come back). I decided since it is a once-in-a-lifetime event, I would go to the 50th Anniversary celebration at this year’s Beatlefest, held in Manhattan’s Grand Hyatt hotel.  I had always mocked anyone who went to these things as no different than sci-fans who go to the various conventions.  I went with the best intentions that I would hear interesting discussions – perhaps sociological discourses on The Beatles’ impact on society, not just music, etc.  I had hoped it would not be a swarm of “rabid fan” nonsense. I arrived early on Friday night; the first evening.  I just …

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The Man Who Brought The Beatles To America… And America To The Beatles

February 9, 1964. 8:00pm. The click-clack of changing dials rings through American homes as the fuzzy gray picture on the television screen clears to reveal the gleaming eye of CBS and The Ed Sullivan Show. Sullivan is a religion for America’s families (not least of which is the fictional McAfees, who put their dreams of an appearance to song in Bye, Bye Birdie). Tonight, however, is special. Momentous, even. Life-changing for the eager youth poised nose-to-nose with the set. Because within that golden hour, those precious 60 minutes, American households discovered the Beatles; the Sixties, and the future of music as we know and appreciate it today, were born. Though radio stations and record shops were crushed with demands for the Beatles’ music prior to the airing, for many young folks, this was the first time they had seen the Fab Four in motion as living, breathing young men. They could almost touch them. That fateful evening is so ingrained in many memories, almost to the point of fable, that sometimes it’s taken for granted. …

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Popdose Conceptual Theater: The Fool on the Hill

I read Matt Ruff’s fantasy classic “Fool on the Hill” at a rather strange time in my life.  I was living on the beach in South Africa, bartending sporadically, and generally enjoying the end of my twenties without much of a thought to the future.  Shortly after finishing the book, I went to a trance party at a secluded fishing camp north of Durban.  While I was about as geographically far away from upstate New York as it’s possible to be – and the warm beach was quite divorced from the icy gorges of Ithaca – I felt like I had stepped into a scene from the book.  I always felt that the good-natured debauchery of the Bohemians would blend well with rave culture, and the three pills of MDMA that I took at the trance party somehow led my brain back into the story for a while while my body took care of itself.  Much like the protagonist in the novel, I eventually found myself making out with a woman whose face I hadn’t …

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AJOBO: Why I Quit The Beatles

This upcoming weekend marks a milestone in music history; unless you live under a rock, you already know that it was 50 years ago Sunday that the Beatles performed on The Ed Sullivan Show. Unfortunately for them, after that appearance, they faded into obscurity and are now largely known as the biggest disappointments ever. Except for that Ringo. Hit after hit after hit! Not to mention his knighting… (Okay, I’m done.) I can’t remember how long it’s been since I’ve intentionally listened to a Beatles album. I’m inclined to say, like, eight years? Maybe more, maybe less. Folks who knew me in the “before times” will be shocked to hear that, since I was probably qualified to be institutionalized at one point for how Beatle-crazy I was. And we’re talking at least a decade here. (Nothing compared the first generation, but considering that’s a pretty substantial chunk or my life at this point, it probably warped my brain forever.) As with any fandom, a natural ebb and flow of interest is totally normal. Kind of …

It would be great if the walrus was Paul, but the hippo has Paul's hair, so I'm betting it's John. You can find web sources claiming it's Paul, however, so have it your way if you want.

The #1 Albums: “Magical Mystery Tour”

As if there wasn’t enough evidence of the vast gulf between record industry marketing practices of the 1960s and today, consider this: less than six months after releasing an album that was recognized in the moment as possibly the greatest of all time, the Beatles put out another one. Magical Mystery Tour, the soundtrack to a made-for-TV film, was released in time for Christmas 1967. In the UK, it was a double-length EP consisting only of the songs from the film. After briefly considering an EP release for the States, Capitol decided to do what it had done before—piece together a full-length album with tracks that had already been released as singles. The American Magical Mystery Tour eventually became the standard configuration, although it wasn’t released that way in the UK until 1976. Magical Mystery Tour is not an organic whole like Sgt. Pepper was, or as cohesive as Revolver and Rubber Soul were. Nevertheless, it’s a pretty good listen. The “leftover” tracks making up side 2 of the American Magical Mystery Tour are all …

Desert Island Discs with Jaime Michaels

If you had to go away for awhile and you could only take five of your favorite albums with you, which ones would you choose? Yes, we know it isn’t a fair question, but that hasn’t stopped us from asking music fans who happen to be recording artists in their own right. This week’s Desert Island Discs list comes courtesy of singer/songwriter Jaime Michaels, currently promoting his latest release, The Man with the Time Machine. Take it away, Jaime! The Band – The Band When I was younger and just starting out I was such a folk purist. I’ll even admit to being one of those young idiots that booed Dylan at Newport. Then a housemate of mine promoted a concert by the Band right around the time this album came out. Everything about the music I heard that night went right through me, and turned upside down my ideas of what folk/acoustic music is. Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band – The Beatles Why this Beatles album? A. Because I was blown away by …

Here’s Something Else!: Presenting The Beatles, At Long Last … In Concert!

The Beatles, just as their creativity went supernova, quit the road in 1966 — frustrated over the inability of that period’s sound systems to amplify the increasingly complex work spinning around on your turntables and in their heads. Even after their breakup, the Beatles’ individual members spent the bulk of the following decades building their own solo careers, not looking back. Next came the untimely twin deaths of John Lennon in 1980, after more than five years out of the spotlight, and then the similarly reclusive George Harrison in late 2001. That all combines to make a Beatles concert setlist difficult to compile, and necessarily subjective. It doesn’t include as much from Lennon as we’d hoped. He rarely performed live, even more rarely performed Beatles tunes and, of course, met an untimely end before the oldies money-fests of today. (All due respect, Ringo.) But it’s not impossible.

Desert Island Discs with Patrick Joseph

If you had to go away for awhile and you could only take five of your favorite albums with you, which ones would you choose? Yes, we know it isn’t a fair question, but that hasn’t stopped us from asking music fans who happen to be recording artists in their own right. This edition of Desert Island Discs comes courtesy of Patrick Joseph, whose debut album, Antiques, is available as a free download this month. Check it out — after reading his Desert Island picks, of course! The correct response to this concept of the “desert island disc” in 2011 would be that I’d cram my entire music collection into five MP3-DVDs. But in the spirit of playing fair, it’s a fun and extremely difficult process of painful indecision that I’m more than happy to partake in. Radiohead, OK Computer At the crossroads of organic sounds, abstract songwriting and the cold comfort of dizzying electro-nonsense, this album stands at the pinnacle of modern rock. My friends would argue me about the matter, but this is …