The world lost a musical giant when Allen Toussaint died this week
“I’d Rather Go Blind” was a B-side that practically defined the R&B genre
All of the Kings of the blues guitar are gone now. We lost Freddie King back in 1976, and then Albert King in 1992. The most renowned member of this esteemed trio left us on May 14 when B.B. King died at his home in Las Vegas at the age of 89.
Ken Shane pays tribute to Percy Sledge, the great Southern soul singer who we lost this week
“That Lady” was a crowning moment in a legendary career
Al Green’s hit train left the station in ’67
Tonight’s the Night was a small hit at the beginning of a Hall of Fame career
Proving once and for all that they care about the fans, Kiss has decided not to play with their most popular lineup at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.
Wilson Pickett had a storied career with Atlantic Records in the ’60s.
This week the pre-Beatles spotlight shines on Atlantic’s Queen of R&B, the one and only Ruth Brown.
In the spring of 1959, the Flamingos achieved immortality with one of the most beautiful pop songs ever released.
Now that Rush is at long last in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, it’s as good a time as any to look at their best material… from the ’90s to today.
Axl Rose sent a (no) thank you card to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, and the Popdose staff couldn’t help but analyze it.
Chickenfoot. When word of the band name of Sammy Hagar’s new “supergroup” leaked out, half the internet responded by saying “that’s the dumbest band name I’ve ever heard…..and just when I thought Sammy couldn’t get any cornier!” The other half of the internet said “you know what? That band name is pretty funny.” The official word from band camp was that “Chickenfoot” was merely a working title for the project, and the real band name would be revealed later. But the buzz about the “name” was large enough, that Hagar and crew quickly realized that they had the attention of their audience, and when you’ve got that, you pick it up and you run with it. So “Chickenfoot,” the temporary working title, became Chickenfoot, the band. (And for those that remember Sammy’s HSAS project from the ’80s, take note that the members of Chickenfoot happen to spell out H.S.A.S. as well. Cool!) And what a band it is! After an aborted attempt at a similar project a few years back underneath the name of Planet …
There seem to be two camps of people when it comes to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame: those who feel that rock and roll deserves a permanent place to showcase the important effect it’s has had on popular culture, and those who believe that the intention of rock music was rebellion against the mainstream; that a stuffy old shrine goes against everything the music stands for, and screw you if you don’t agree with them. I belong to the former group, partly because I’m from Cleveland, Ohio and got caught up in the hysteria of bringing the Rock Hall to the north coast, and also because I feel that there needs to be a place where people can look at rock and roll as an art and examine its history. I’ve been to the museum, and could have stayed for days marveling at Hendrix’s guitar and fragments of Keith Moon’s drum kit. This year marks the 25th Anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and there’s a star-studded concert in Madison …
More than just the guy who plays keyboards for David Letterman, Paul Shaffer is really one of the more underrated musical icons of the last 35 years — something illustrated in Shaffer’s new autobiography, We’ll Be Here for the Rest of Our Lives, as well as his Popdose Interview with Will Harris.
It’s been a busy time lately for Marshall Crenshaw: He released his 10th studio album, Jaggedland, last month; it’s his first proper release in six years, and his first for the Santa Monica-based label 429 Records. In addition to keeping up his usual touring calendar, he contributed a slowed-down, moody rendition of “Supernatural Superserious” to the R.E.M. tribute concert at New York’s Carnegie Hall a few months back, and last month he became one of the first musicians featured in the “Drop” series of intimate performance/conversation events at the Grammy Museum in Los Angeles. After working primarily in home studios and with makeshift assemblages of musicians over his last several records, Crenshaw laid down most of Jaggedland at the Sage and Sound studio in L.A. His band included legendary drummer Jim Keltner and former Soul Coughing bassist Sebastian Steinberg, and the album was helmed by Jerry Boys. A prolific producer/engineer whose resume dates back to the early ’70s, Boys cut his teeth on folk-rock (Steeleye Span, Richard Thompson, 10,000 Maniacs) but came to Crenshaw’s attention …
Leonard Cohen has been referencing his own mortality in his lyrics for decades now, and on his current world tour the first such hint arrives about a half hour into the show. Near the end of his 1988 classic “Everybody Knows,” he sings, “Everybody knows it’s coming apart / Take one last look at this sacred heart / Before it blows…” One couldn’t help but sense that Cohen’s mortality – he’s 74, after all – was part of what packed the house on two consecutive nights this weekend at Los Angeles’ Nokia Theatre. It was, perhaps, our last opportunity to watch pop music’s most poetic singer/songwriter do his thing, and we treated the occasion with all the reverence it demanded. Why, then, was this septuagenarian skipping – literally, skipping – on and off the stage every chance he got? And how on earth does he manage to pull off a show far longer (three hours plus) than we can reasonably expect Bruce Springsteen to go during his L.A. shows later this week? Cohen’s clearly enjoying …
“All the lies, all the truth, all the things that I offer you / All the sights, all the sounds, all the times that you turned me down / Is it my name? / … Why don’t you love me? / Is it my name?” —Todd Rundgren, “Is It My Name?” (from 1973’s A Wizard, a True Star) A few weeks ago, when Jeff Giles asked Popdose’s writers to brainstorm the names of bands and artists who aren’t in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame yet, I said I’d like to write about Daryl Hall & John Oates. Their albums are spotty, and Hall doesn’t seem to have a humble bone in his body, but I’m sick of their hits being called guilty pleasures by people who just aren’t man enough to admit how much they really like them. Hall & Oates should be inducted just to spite hipsters. (Eat it, skinny boys in tight pants.) Then my mind made the leap to Todd Rundgren, the producer of Hall & Oates’s 1974 album War Babies. …
I’m a fan of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame and feel that it’s important in preserving the history of the art form and recognizing important musical artists. However, they don’t always get it right. I mean, ZZ Top? Bob Seger? Whatever. Here are two that should be included and, with any luck, will be soon. PAT BENATAR There’s a moment in Fast Times at Ridgemont High (1982) where a character points out the various girls at school who dress like rocker Pat Benatar. It’s a funny joke, but there’s also an important point being made: Benatar was so influential in the early ’80s that girls wanted to be her. Moreover, her brand of mainstream rock had crossover appeal, with her records and concert tickets selling equally well among men and women. While Heart’s Wilson sisters, Fleetwood Mac’s Nicks and McVie, and Chrissie Hynde of the Pretenders — all important female artists — did their work within the confines of a band, Benatar has always been front and center bearing the success or failure …