Ultimately, despite (or perhaps because of) being bashed-about and knocked-out off-the-cuff, “Blue & Lonesome” firmly and expansively situates itself in time and place. Like most good albums, it captures and distills a mood and a feeling, a frame of mind, a state of being, and it’s a welcome, if relatively brief (at 42 minutes), escape.
MAC & KEYS: Two years ago this week we lost two titans who helped shape the sound, course, and texture of roughly a half-century of rock music, not to mention that of their frequent collaborators and employers, the Rolling Stones, who benefitted greatly from their skillful, soulful mastery on the horns and keys. I’d like to […]
The “Summer of Love” it may have been, but much of the music on those iconic records of 1967 contained a far more complicated series of emotions and refracted a darker reality shot through with chaos and doubt, turmoil and altered perceptions. Unlike some of its contemporaries, the music on Love’s ‘Forever Changes’ – not to mention the mystique that continues to surround the work — seems only to have deepened with time.
It’s now almost farcical to consider that for a spell during the mid-1970s, the Rolling Stones were not only grappling with questions of relevance as a creative and cultural force, but struggling to just stay afloat (even with that inflatable phallus – or perhaps in spite of it) as a working unit.
RPM TBT: Throwing it back to “RPM’s” ’85 college daze when yours truly’s first music-related by-lines debuted for the first time in my college newspaper, the Daily Collegian (New England’s largest, or so the slogan went). Even back then, it had been a four-year run-up to pseudo-Bangs-ian bliss. I had already been writing professionally, since I was […]
“In Western culture, if you’re not making money for somebody else, you’re a flop. And I’ve never succeeded, I’ve never made any money doing this, ever. And yet, I’m so compelled to do it. I’m not at the level of Van Gogh, but I think about him.” — Rick Berlin
In the spirit of Throwback Thursday (although, truth be told, we’re throwin’ it back pretty much every day of the week here), I invite you to check out a sample of some of my rarer records and vintage music memorabilia being posted and catalogued on an ongoing basis at my brand-spankin’ new “RPM: Life In Analog” Google+ […]
No wonder Nicky Hopkins felt right at home next to Jeff Beck’s wailing electric guitar. On the day of his birth, Feb. 24, 1944, an air raid hit his hometown of Perivale, England. It was 72 ago today that the late, great British pianist/keyboardist, a longtime session ace and sideman to the stars, as well as core member of […]
The best way to understand why Bruce Springsteen matters to his audience, and the American cultural landscape in general, is to turn to the man himself. Throughout his career, it has been virtually impossible to separate the rock star from the hippie kid who grew up in Freehold, New Jersey and the populist songwriter whose lyrics owe as much to John Steinbeck and Woody Guthrie as Bob Dylan and Chuck Berry
Much in the same way Miles, Elvis, Aretha, Dylan, Jagger, Jimi, Lennon, Bruce, and Madonna telepathically triggers an instant association, so does that particular arrangement of vowel-heavy letters in “Bowie” conjure an identity, a personae, an attitude, a style (or many of them) — even a perspective and way of looking at the world.