Sunday, September 6, 2015

what happened to dave edmunds' guitar

Anyone who knows me or follows this blog (and, honestly, is there anyone who follows this blog and doesn't know me?) knows that I'm a big Dave Edmunds fan.

There's something I've been wondering about for a while...Dave's guitar.

For the longest time, Dave was associated with one specific guitar -- IIRC it was a Gibson ES335. It wasn't the only guitar he played, but it seemed to be his go to instrument, and that view is supported by numerous comments in interviews. It's what he's playing in the clip below:

But in recent years -- and I mean for more than a decade -- I don't see him plaing that guitar.

In videos, or concert footage it always seems to be something else.

Here, performing with the Refreshments, he's playing a Telecaster:
And here, in the video for "Again," it's a Stratocaster:
So, what happened? Did his taste change? Or did the Gibson get lost or stolen? Did he fly United with it?

Monday, August 31, 2015

rocky horror as my pick for film class

My son and I take a science fiction/horror film history class. It's taught by local film historian, Keith Crocker. Keith has directed a couple of features (The Bloody Ape and Blitzkrieg: Escape from Stalag 69). He also teaches cinema history classes at one of the local community colleges, lectures at libraries, runs programs in schools, etc.

At any rate, the class generally runs in groups of four sessions -- each with a theme. Such themes have been foreign-made films, drive-in trash, and 1950's sci-fi. The class format is simple. Keith talks about the week's movie -- the context, the people involved, other interesting facts, then we watch the movie and discuss.

This summer we experimented. For a special five-week session, each of us in the class picked a movie to show, and introduced it. Five weeks because there are five of us in the class. I went first, and chose The Rocky Horror Picture Show. I wanted to go with something that spoke to me, a movie that matters to me. And within the constraints of the class, TRHPS seemed like my best bet.

I am under no illusions that TRHPS is a great movie. Or even a good one. But I love it anyway. The two primary reasons for that are (1) I saw it at just the right point in my life for it to work its way into my head; and (2) The music.

There are, what, a dozen songs in the soundtrack? And not a bad one in the bunch. Sarandon's lustful "Touch-a Touch-a Touch Me," And Tim Curry's equally lustful "I Can Make You a Man." And, during the floor show, there's the longing when Tim sings:

What ever happened to Fay Wray?
That delicate satin-draped frame?
As it clung to her thigh
How I started to cry.
'Cos I wanted to be dressed just the same.

And, while he's singing that, I'm tempted to call out comments about Ms. Wray being buried in ape shit.

I love the clever wordplay so evident in "Dammit Janet" and "Sweet Transvestite," and the energy of "The Time Warp" and "Hot Patootie, Bless My Soul."

Keith noted that the movie musical had, as a form, reached a dead end, and TRHPS, love it or hate it, guided the form into a whole new direction.

I can't say that the others in the class loved the movie, but they were glad to have seen it. The consensus was that the music was great, but the plot was lacking and it was hard for the guys to identify with the characters.

I can't really argue with that.

Next year I'll show Shock Treatment, the non-sequel.

Thursday, January 15, 2015

bobtown last night

Last night was the album release party for Bobtown's A History of Ghosts.

It was a favorable crowd. I was standing -- I wasn't planning on buying food, so it didn't make sense to reserve a table. Unfortunately I was a bit too exhausted to fully enjoy the show. And my friend, Meep, who was planning to join, begged off pleading exhaustion.

Good show, albeit a bit short and rushed. They ran through all eleven songs from the new album, plus a one-song encore of a song from their first album. I wish I could remember which song it was, but alas I can't. Charlie Shaw joined them onstage as a guest drummer on a couple tracks. And Efrat Shapira joined them on violin.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

bobtown tonight

Tonight I'm going to the album release party for Bobtown's A History of Ghosts. It's at Hill Country in Midtown Manhattan. I can't wait.

This, their third album, is their best yet. Of course, ince it includes "Kentucky Graveyard," which is my favorite song from their live show, I can hardly think otherwise. But, seriously, the harmonies are smoother, and the album has a fuller sound.

Tuesday, January 13, 2015

who put the bomp in my soul?

A friend posted a link on Facebook, asking what was the band that first got me into Rock and Roll. I answered, "Ducks Deluxe."

It was a bit of a difficult answer. I was into the Monkees years before Ducks Deluxe. But I realize that The Monkees got me into the Monkees. My musical interest wasn't moving on from there. With Ducks Deluxe it was different. I came upon an album of theirs (technically, a compilation album) called Don't Mind Rockin' Tonite. I got really into that record, and from there there was an explosion. From the Ducks I moved on to Dave Edmunds. Then Nick Lowe. Then Rockpile, the Motors, Graham Parker & the Rumour, Dr. Feelgood, Wreckless Eric. I could name lots more pub rock bands. And then other non-pub bands that I got into as a result of them. Suffice to say it kind of exploded out from there in many directions. In a manner of speaking, Ducks Deluxe was my big bang of music fandom.

That's not to say that everything I like can be traced back to Ducks Deluxe. There were some small bangs too. The Monkees, I guess, were a small bang (that, as I said, came long before the big bang). So was Twisted Sister (which I got into because of a girlfriend). And Simon and Garfunkel.

But the big bang that opened my world was Ducks Deluxe. I've posted it before but here's a clip of them at their sweaty best:

Thursday, January 8, 2015

avenue q

A few months back, I went with my two older kids to see Avenue Q. We thought it was on Broadway, but it was actually Off Broadway; that's another story.

Anyway, I loved the show. But...

Here's the thing. The story line is thin. Maybe not nonexistent, but thin. The characters are not believable. I will admit that the use of muppets with their puppeteers being visible (you're supposed to ignore them) worked better than I expected. But the characters were inconsistent -- often making me think "no, (s)he wouldn't do that."

Now, the good part. The music. The songs, often ...irreverent... were great. "Shadenfreude," "The Internet is for Porn" and "It Sucks to Be Me" are wonderful sendups.

This is not a play that will go down in the annals as a classic. But, given my musical taste, it was loads of fun.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

how is that a compliment?

I was thinking about the Captain and Tennille hit, "Do That to Me One More time." Specifically, the two lines, "Do hat to me one more time. Once is never enough with a man like you." Seems to me that's not exactly a compliment.

Tuesday, January 6, 2015

mccartney fans trolled.

So apparentkly one of the "things" now is Kanye West fans tweeting about how Paul McCartney's career is going to take off now that they've done a duet. They are also hitting the note that it's great of Kanye to help out an unknown like McCartney. See the article here.

It's easy to make all sorts of smug comments about how kids today know nothing. Or tro make some snarky comment about how he was in some band called "Wings" a while back. But I'll resist. Partly because I think most of the tweets are jokes. I saw a bunch of them, and ity seems to me that these are not things that people would actually say if they really thought McCartney was an unknown.