Archive | June, 2010

Foul Deeds never seemed so pure

30 Jun

Pegi Young, the wife of folk troubadour Neil, is not just a female backup singer for her husband any longer. Instead, her new album, Foul Deeds, paired with her self-titled debut in 2007, proves that she is far more than a one-trick-pony; more like a true Crazy Horse.

Young is the classic example of a late-blooming artist, releasing her first album in her 50’s. But, don’t let age fool you. In response to her age Young says, “I’m 57, so I’m never gonna be the next big thing, but I’m cool with that. If I was younger, I might be more focused on the commerce part of it. But I’m not a 20-year-old trying to make a living, so I don’t have to conform to some record company’s idea of whatever they’re looking for that week. In that way, I guess I can be truly independent and focus on the creative part. I have no idea where it will go from here, but I’m having fun and I feel really, really good about what I’ve done so far.”

While Young was too shy to do anything past amateur recording when she was younger, she began pursuing music only 10 years ago after her kids were grown. As a back-up singer for her husband, she was exposed more to music and was able begin recording her own songs.

As Young says in her quotation above, she does not need to conform to any record company’s idea and therefore can be independent. This is certainly reflected in her music. Her maturity inspired by life experiences is highlighted in her lyric and song. It is as if she just simply skipped the “growing up” portion that most musicians need to go through, and went straight into clean, fulfilling performances. Young knows who she is and it shows. I have so much respect for musicians who let everything out in their craft.

“Foul Deeds seemed like a good album title, because this record definitely has its share of dark themes… divorce, debauchery, disillusionment and despair,” Pegi Young says of her second album and first for Vapor Records. “But I’m not trying to be a bummer. I’m just trying to tell some stories and make music that I can get behind.”

And, isn’t this a breath of fresh air. Young tells it straight. So many musicians today put on a musical façade, refusing to reveal themselves. Young, while she may have been shy when she was younger, is recording music that she, “can get behind.” Music that she knows is real.

Foul Deeds is full of creative originals and fantastic covers. Her originals represent her grasp on heavy emotional issues and mastery over the folk style.

Young also concentrated on the flow of the album, a concept that is commonly forgotten about today. “I’m still a big believer in the old idea of a record being a complete experience,” Young asserts. “So it matters to me that the songs have thematic relevance, and that somehow it tells some kind of story. Maybe people don’t really listen to records as a whole anymore, and you can work on the sequencing till the cows come home but they’ll still put it on shuffle and it doesn’t matter. But it matters to me, and this group of songs just seem to make sense together.”


Buy the album:


SWOD: Come On, Come On and Make a Haptic Move at Me

29 Jun

Today’s Word:

Haptic (adjective): Relating to the sense of touch; tactile.

He's not afraid

Musical Example:
As the title evinces,  The Doors made a mistake when titling their 1969 hit, “Touch Me.” Obviously, haptic move would have been a better choice.

The song, which was written by guitarist Robby Krieger, implements a riff inspired by The Four Seasons’ “C’mon Marianne.” It is perhaps one of the most known Doors’ songs, and a perfect example of Jim Morrison’s excellent croon.

It also includes both brass and string instruments, which, according to fans at the time, was the problem with The Soft Parade, the album which the song finds itself on.

But, while the album faced controversy then, it has, like a fine wine, aged well.

Did You Know…

The album had numerous working titles before the Doors’ finally settled on “Touch Me.” Fortunately, “Make a Haptic Move at Me” was not in the running. “I’m Gonna Love You,” a lyric of the song, was a possibility. “Hit Me,” a reference to the card game black jack, also was a working title. Actually, the famous first line of the song originally went, “C’mon, hit me, I’m not afraid.” But, Jim Morrison frequently changed the line during live performances fearing that the “hit me” line would encourage fans to challenge him to a fight.


Glastonbury Muse and Vampire Blues

27 Jun

I am going to take you on a mini journey for this installment of Court Links. First, off to the just finished festival in Glastonbury.

Matthew Bellamy from Muse performing at the Greek Theatre Los Angeles, California - 19.07.06 Credit: (Mandatory) Aaron D. Settipane/WENN

The Glastonbury Festival of Contemporary Performing Arts, the largest open-air music festival in the world, was supposed to feature U2 as a performer on their expansive list of acts. But, because of Bono back surgery, U2 could not participate in the festival. But, U2 fans at the festival got a special surprise when the Edge came out to help Matthew Bellamy and Muse perform the U2 classic, “Where the Streets Have No Name.”

Bellamy and the Edge, both bathed in red stage light, provide an excellent vocal, guitar combination and a wonderful harmony when the Edge provides his backing in the chorus. The fans certainly seemed to enjoy the performance and it is hard not to. Kudos to the Edge for joining Muse on stage for the encore.


Now, on to the more obscure “Vampire Blues.” This, of course, unless you are a Neil Young fan. Then, you would understand that we were going to explore the actions of the always liberal-minded 64-year-old folk musician. But, for this journey we must enter the world of the interweb.

On Thursday, at 6:17 p.m., Young expressed his computer literacy, by giving his 416,628 fans who like his Facebook page a special treat. He typed, “I have been thinking about adding Vampire Blues to my show but I would rather do it with a band. This is my first posting. Thanks for being there.” The post stirred over 11,000 likes and over 3,000 comments from excited fans, many beckoning Young to write more. Who knows if this is actually him or simply a publicist trying to spark some excitement. But, let’s be real, it is probably Young and that’s just awesome.


Happy Birthday Colin Blunstone: It is the Time of the Season

24 Jun

It may be late, but it is still June 24 and as long as it remains this date some important musicians are celebrating their birthdays. The expansive list includes Mick Fleetwood, Jeff Beck, Arthur Brown and the often overlooked Colin Blunstone of the 60’s pop/psychedelic group The Zombies.

Colin Blunstone turned 65 today and I want to use this opportunity to wish him a very happy birthday. His soft voice was instrumental in giving The Zombies’ iconic hit “Time of the Season” the whispering, almost spooky, sound that has become synonymous with the psychedelic late 60s. The song, written by Rod Argent, was the last track on Odessey & Oracle which was released in April of 1968. “Time of the Season” only made it on the record because of the urging of Al Kooper (who is best known for bringing Blood, Sweat & Tears together), and it hit the big time over a year after the band broke up. Very strange story. So, in honor of Mr. Blunstone, let me take you back to the summer of love.

Heavy Glow visits the New Band Palace

23 Jun

Band: Heavy Glow

Genre: Raw power rock with a hint of classic rock blues


Jared Mullins: Vocals, Guitar

Joe Brooks: Bass

Dan Kurtz: Drums

Band Description:

Bill Miller of the Rock And Roll Report said of Heavy Glow’s brand of rock, “I don’t think I have heard any other band capture the classic sound of 60s/70s guitar rock…This trio rocks it like it’s 1969.”

Quite a compliment. Reading this, I had to look into the band Heavy Glow and see what this comment was all about. And, classic rock fans look here, there are certainly elements of late 60’s hard rock bands like Blue Cheer in Heavy Glow’s original take of an old genre, where one can easily fall into the category of “It’s all been done before.” Isn’t that an exciting treat. It is always fun to come across bands who are keeping such a rockin’ sound alive.

Joe Brooks, Jared Mullins, Dan Kurtz (center)

Heavy Glow was formed by Joe Brooks and Jared Mullins in August of 2008 (Kurtz joined in 2009). They are based in San Diego, California, where their fresh music matches well with the unpolluted sea air. Their self-titled EP was released in February of 2009, and contained six raw releases, stripped of any unnecessary filler. After adding Kurtz in 2009, the band went back to work and released their most recent EP The Filth and the Fury in January of this year.

Favorite Song:

Out of the five songs on the new EP I must say that the second track, “Love Ghost” is the most catchy and wonderfully bluesy. It is this harder blues that hits you with a strong beat and distorted guitar that thumps inside of you. Mullins has stated that Heavy Glow attempts for, “hard-hitting, gritty, infectious and melodic rhythms to create a sound that is both informed by the past and undeniably modern.” This is put quite well, as it describes what their music accomplishes. They are an up and coming band and all I can say is watch out for the Heavy Glow.



Buy the new EP:

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