Tag: Music

Booker T. Jones – What’s In My Bag?


Soul legend Booker T. Jones went shopping at Amoeba Music in San Francisco before the pandemic. His latest album ‘Note By Note’ is available from Edith Street Records.

Check out his picks:
Steve Cropper – Dedicated: A Salute To The 5 Royales (CD)
Jimmy Smith – The Sermon! (CD)
Gil Scott-Heron – The Revolution Will Not Be Televised (CD)
George Shearing – My Ship (CD)
Itzhak Perlman – Vivaldi: The Four Seasons (CD)
Ashkenazy/Stein – Sibelius: Finlandia (CD)
Bob Dylan – Highway 61 Revisited (LP)
Ray Charles – In Person (LP)
Marc-André Hamelin, BBC Scottish Symphony Orchestra, Andrew Litton – Shostakovich: Piano Concertos Nos 1 & 2 / Shchedrin: Piano Concerto No 2 (CD)
John Coltrane – Giant Steps (CD)
Luciano Pavarotti – Pavarotti’s Greatest Hits (CD)
Albert King – King Of The Blues Guitar (CD)
John Coltrane – Blue Train (CD)
John Coltrane – Live At The Village Vanguard: The Master Takes (CD)

Integration in Las Vegas

In 1955, limited integration came to heavily segregated Las Vegas when the Sands first allowed Nat King Cole to stay at the hotel and perform.[2] Sinatra noticed that he never saw Cole in the dining room, always eating his meals in solitude in his dressing room. When he asked his valet George to find out why, he learned that “Coloreds aren’t allowed in the dining room at the Sands”. Sinatra subsequently stated that if blacks were not permitted to eat their meals in the dining room with everybody else he would see to it that all of the waiters and waitresses were fired, and invited Cole to dine with him the following evening.[28] Cole was allowed permission into the casino, as was another black performer, Harry Belafonte, who took a more aggressive approach by walking into the casino on his own accord and sitting at a blackjack table, which was not challenged by the bosses. Belafonte became the “first black man to play cards on the Las Vegas Strip.”[29]

Sammy Davis Jr. was instrumental in bringing about a general change in policy. When the Will Mastin Trio began performing at Sands in 1958, Davis informed Entratter that his father and uncle must be allowed permission to stay at Sands while he was performing there. Entratter granted them permission but continued his objection to admitting other black guests.[30] In 1961, an African-American couple entered the lobby of the hotel and were blocked by the security guard, witnessed by Sinatra and Davis. Sinatra told the guards that they were his guests and let them into the hotel. Sinatra subsequently swore profusely on the phone to Sands executive Carl Cohen at how ridiculous the situation was, and the following day, Davis approached Entratter and demanded that Sands begin employing blacks. Shortly afterwards the hotel changed its policy and it began hiring black waiters and busboys and permitting blacks entry into the casino.[30]


Jon Batiste on Thelonius Monk

Five Minutes That Will Make You Love Thelonious Monk
We asked Jon Batiste, Arooj Aftab, Mary Halvorson and others to share their favorites.

Jon Batiste, pianist and composer


It’s not possible for me to choose a favorite Monk song. At 19, I became obsessed with everything Thelonious and spent a year focused exclusively on absorbing as much as I could. Monk is a world. “Introspection,” from the album “Solo Monk,” is borderline atonal while still distinctively melody-rich. The melody is akin to a nursery rhyme in its playful logic and symmetry, all while whistling overtop a bed of through-composed dissonance. Those chords! The way he constructs the harmony to shift between at least three identifiable key centers creates a trance-like quality to the recording that rides the borders of Eastern mysticism and some obtuse sanctified hymn. The chord voicings are constructed for every note to have a deliberate intention. There’s no room for harmonic interpretation here — if you add or take away any of the notes from his chord voicings, the song risks completely losing its identity. Monk’s way of “super syncopation” is utilized significantly in this tune as well, making his charismatic approach to aligning the harmony and melody a defining characteristic of the composition.

He named it “Introspection” ’cause he certainly had a lot on his mind with this one. Very concentrated in all harmony, melody and rhythm. The master of repetition. Over the years it’s the least played Monk tune of all. This is significant given that he is one of the most covered and influential composers of the modern age. I love the “Solo Monk” version because he doesn’t even improvise over the chord changes, he just states the melody twice and walks out of the studio (or at least that’s how I envision it). Sometimes that’s all that needs to be played: the tune.

Yarling – Vocal Style, Defined, Examples of

To “yarl” is to sing melodramatically with a sort of barely suppressed letter “r” sound lurking beneath every other syllable. When I mention it, people always know exactly what I mean. Steve Turner describes it as singing as though your lower lip is stuck way out.

Who can we point the finger at today? The singer for Creed is the current expert. “Crahn yrou trake mree higharr” he yarls in their big radio song. Days of the New come to mind. Godsmack. There are plenty of others. The problem is that the current crop of yarlers are copping their shtick from our homeboys Layne and Eddie V, who are actually quite restrained at yarling; Eddie hardly did it at all after the first PJ album. Chris Cornell never did it, nor Arm. Lanegan and Cobain sure as hell didn’t need to. Nonetheless, it’s now “Seattle Singing” to some people. Sigh.

Friends don’t let friends yarl. Please, stop the madness.


The Singers Talk – Some Quotes from

Simon LeBon
How are you with hearing your own voice?
I don’t dislike my own voice, but I don’t like watching myself and I don’t like listening to myself because it’s not natural. It doesn’t help. It just makes me feel self-conscious. And I’d rather not. I’d rather be inside the singer, singing out, communicating something than standing outside of the singer, trying to watch myself and see myself as other people see me.

Michael Stipe
It’s pretty amazing how people can connect so deeply to a vocal.
I love the power of music. Singing along to a favorite song, finding harmonies and melodies within it that you love, that’s such a powerful thing. That’s such a powerful community thing. It really helps bring us together in a beautiful way. Singing is one of the most natural and beautiful things we all share. What we don’t share is the ability to hold a note. [Laughter]

Bryan Adams
Yeah. Hitting that note and sustaining it, while staying in pitch? That’s tough!
One thing about my voice: I don’t sing.

What do you mean?
Note. Note. Note. Note. I scoop practically every note that I sing. I sing [subtly ramps the note upwards] “ALL FOR ONE” Every single note is a scoop.

But all the music stops and you have to hit that note.
It’s not, [sings, hitting the note dead-on] “Let’s make it ALL.” It’s [runs his voice up to the note] “AAALLL.” So, you scoop up, that’s how you do it. I’ll do it slower for you. [Starts small and eases his voice up into the note] Everything I sing has a scoop to it. I don’t sing any note straight on.

The Singers Talk: The Greatest Singers of Our Time Discuss the One Thing They’re Never Asked About: Their Voices
Jason Thomas Gordon

Duran Duran – Red Rocks – August 29, 2023

Velvet Newton
Night Boat
The Wild Boys
Hungry Like the Wolf
The James Bond Theme (John Barry song)
A View to a Kill
Give It All Up
Lonely in Your Nightmare / Super Freak
Is There Something I Should Know?
Friends of Mine
Careless Memories
Ordinary World (Dedicated to the people of Hawaii and Ukraine)
Come Undone
Planet Earth (With band intros)
White Lines (Don’t Don’t Do It) (Grandmaster Melle Mel cover)
The Reflex
Girls on Film / Acceptable in the 80’s

Save a Prayer


NOTE – I was at this show. Also featured were Nile Rogers/Chic, and a band I was unfamiliar with called Bastille. All excellent, imho. And, the crowd was into it, singing along with a number of the tunes.

Kool-Herc Interview – NPR, Fresh Air

MOSLEY: This month marks 50 years of hip-hop. To celebrate, all this week we’ll be featuring interviews with some of the most influential rappers and DJs over the last 50 years. We’ll start at the beginning with DJ Kool Herc, who, on August 11, 1973, DJ’d an end-of-summer party in his Bronx apartment’s rec center. Little did he know that it was the beginning of hip-hop as we know it. Kool Herc was the first DJ to isolate and repeat the breaks – the most danceable beats in a record – to rev the party and keep the dancers going. Although Herc is often credited as the father of hip-hop, he didn’t record and, for years, remained relatively unknown.


The Hives – What’s In My Bag?

Vigilante Carlstroem, The Johan and Only, and Nicholaus Arson from The Hives go record shopping at Amoeba Music in Hollywood. The Hives’ latest album ‘The Death Of Randy Fitzsimmons’ is available now from Disques Hives.

Check out their picks:
Howlin’ Wolf – Rockin’ Chair (LP)
The Flamin’ Groovies – Shake Some Action (LP)
Tom Petty And The Heartbreakers – Greatest Hits (LP)
Bad Brains – Live At CBGB 1982 (LP)
Big Star – #1 Record (LP)
Big Star – Radio City (LP)
Tom Waits – Real Gone [Remixed And Remastered] (LP)
Tom Waits – Alice (LP)
Bad Brains – Bad Brains (LP)
Roky Erickson – The Evil One (LP)
Elliott Smith – Either/Or (LP)
Neil Grant Vosburgh – God’s Best (LP)
The Magnetic Fields – 69 Love Songs [Box Set] (LP)
Emmylou Harris – Wrecking Ball (LP)

Hats off to Taylor Swift and the Food Banks

When the Arizona Food Bank Network received a call that Taylor Swift wanted to make a hefty donation to the charity as she kicked off her Eras tour in the state, some staffers thought it was a prank.

But it was no joke. The megastar, who is raking in big bucks from her blockbuster concerts, has been giving back to communities where she plays. From Georgia to Michigan to Texas to California and in between, food banks have benefited.

In Arizona, Swift’s donation in March allowed the network to send several tractor-trailers filled with 40,000 pounds of fresh produce to its member food banks, said Terri Shoemaker, a spokesperson at the nonprofit organization. Plus, it bolstered funding for programs aimed at combating hunger, such as helping eligible children gain access to free and reduced-price school meals and senior citizens obtain food stamps.

Taylor Swift is a hero to food banks from coast to coast

Trumpet Player on the Roof – Flea anecdote.

I spent the most peaceful and light hours practicing trumpet on the roof. Our sweet landlady was a tripper who’d come up there to sit and listen to me play; she told me it was beautiful, and I once saw a soft tear roll down her painted face when she said it. I had two different friends later on, Maggie Ehrig and Ione Skye, both who told me they would hear the trumpet sounds flying through the neighborhood, not knowing the origin, and it brought them joy.

Acid for the Children

Note – good stuff, recommended.