Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Musical Passings of 2010

Several of my favorite musicians- Ahmad Alaadeen, Solomon Burke, Bobby Charles, Alex Chilton, Guru, Gregory Isaacs, Hank Jones, Abbey Lincoln, Willie Mitchell, Teddy Pendergrass and Carl Smith- passed in 2010. Yet it's the murder of my acquaintance Sliccs Gotcha that truly saddens me. His entry is among the local figures I've highlighted below.

1/01 Gregory Slay, 40, Remy Zero drummer
1/01 Lhasa de Sela, 37, singer-songwriter
1/05 Willie Mitchell, 81, legendary soul producer
1/10 Dick Johnson, 84, jazz clarinetist
1/10 Dannie Flesher, 58, co-founder of Wax Trax! Records
1/11 Mick Green, 66, guitarist for Johnny Kidd & The Pirates
1/12 Jimmy O, 27, Haitian hip hop artist
1/12 Yabby You, 63, reggae artist
1/13 Jay Reatard, 29, indie rocker
1/13 Teddy Pendergrass, 59, soul star
1/13 Ed Thigpen, 79, jazz drummer
1/14 Bobby Charles, 71, Louisiana songwriter and musician
1/16 Carl Smith, 82, country star
1/16 Jimmy Wyble, 87, guitarist for Bob Wills
1/17 Gerald McCabe, 82, proprietor of McCabe's guitar shop
1/18 Kate McGarrigle, 63, singer-songwriter
1/22 Apache, 45, rapper
1/23 Earl Wild, 94, classical pianist
1/31 Pauly Fuemana, 40, of OMC
2/06 John Dankworth, 82, British jazz musician
2/13 Sliccs Gotcha, 27, Kansas City rapper (Jabrielle Francis)
2/13 Jake Hanna, 78, jazz drummer
2/13 Dale Hawkins, 73, Southern rock pioneer
2/14 Doug Fieger, 57, the Knack
2/14 Lil' Dave Thompson, 40, blues musician
2/15 Art Van Damme, 89, jazz accordionist
2/17 Kathryn Grayson, 88, star of musicals
2/17 Ruby Hunter, 54, Australian singer-songwriter
2/25 David Soyer, 87, cellist
2/27 T-Bone Wolk, 58, session bassist
3/04 Ron Banks, 58, of the Dramatics
3/04 Johnny Alf, 80, father of bossa nova
3/06 Mark Linkous, 47, of Sparklehorse
3/07 Tony Campise, 67, jazz saxophonist
3/09 Theodore Jan Wilson, 63, jazz bassist
3/17 Alex Chilton, 59, of Big Star and Fhe Box Tops
3/23 Marva Wright, 62, soul singer
3/24 Johnny Maestro, 70, of The Crests and Brooklyn Bridge
3/24 Jim Marshall, 74, rock and roll photographer
3/27 Oscar "Lucky" Wesley, 82, bassist of The Scamps
3/28 Herb Ellis, 88, jazz guitarist
3/30 John Bunch, 88, jazz pianist
4/06 Luigi Waites, 82, Omaha jazz musician
4/07 Graciela Perez-Grillo, 94, Cuban vocalist
4/08 Malcom McLaren, 64, punk svengali
4/08 Pete Eye, 77, Kansas City jazz pianist
4/10 Dixie Carter, 70, cabaret singer and actress
4/13 Steve Reid, 66, jazz drummer
4/14 Mississippi Slim, 66, blues artist (Walter Horn, Jr.)
4/14 Peter Steele, 48, vocalist for Type O Negative
4/16 Devon Clifford, 30, drummer for You Say Party! We Say Die!
4/19 Guru (Keith Elam), 43, of Gang Starr
4/20 Hutch Carlock, 86 founder of Music City Record Distributors
4/22 Gene Lees, 81, jazz author and lyricist
4/27 Morris Pert, 62, Scottish drummer and composer
4/30 Mo Kash, 23, Kansas City rapper (Bernard Jackson)
4/30 Will Owsley, 44, singer-songwriter
5/01 Rob McConnell, 75, big band jazz artist
5/04 Roy Carrier, 62, zydeco musician, father of Chubby
5/05 Willie Pooch, 72, blues artist
5/09 Lena Horne, 92, vocalist and activist
5/16 Ronnie James Dio, 67, heavy metal vocalist
5/16 Hank Jones, 91, jazz pianist
5/24 Paul Gray, 38, Slipknot bassist
5/30 Ollie Woodson, 59, of The Temptations
6/05 Danny Bank, 87, jazz baritone saxophonist
6/06 Marvin Isley, 56, Isley Brothers
6/13 Jimmy Dean, 81, country star
6/16 Bill Dixon, 84, jazz composer and trumpeter
6/16 Maureen Forrester, 79, opera singer
6/16 Garry Shider, 56, of Parliament/Funkadelic
6/17 Tommy Johnson, 59, Kansas City jazz trumpeter
6/23 Pete Quaife, 66, bassist for the Kinks
6/24 Fred Anderson, 81, jazz saxophonist
7/08 Ruth Rhoden, 85, jazz radio host on KCUR's "Just Jazz"
7/10 Sugar Minott, 56, reggae vocalist
7/11 Walter Hawkins, 61, gospel artist
7/12 Harvey Pekar, 70, cartoonist and jazz critic
7/12 Tuli Kupferberg, 86, The Fugs
7/12 Paulo Moura, 77, Brazilian clarinetist
7/12 Olga Guillot, 87, Cuban bolero vocalist
7/14 Gene Ludwig, 72, jazz organist
7/15 Hank Cochran, , country artist and songwriter
7/19 Andy Hummel, 59, Big Star bassist
7/22 Philip Walker, 73, blues man
7/26 Ben Keith, 73, steel guitarist
7/26 Josh Broadhead, 29, vocalist for KC metal act Saved By Grace
7/26 Al Goodman, 67, of Ray, Goodman & Brown
7/30 Richard Lopez, 65, of Cannibal & the Headhunters
7/31 Mitch Miller, 99, easy listening icon
8/02 Mitch Jayne, 80, bassist of The Dillards
8/03 Bobby Hepp, 72, wrote and recorded "Sunny"
8/08 J.P. Tha Mex, 28, Kansas City rapper
8/12 Richie Hayward, 64, drummer for Little Feat
8/14 Herman Leonard, 87, jazz photographer
8/14 Abbey Lincoln, 80, jazz vocalist
8/15 Ahmad Alaadeen, 76, Kansas City jazz saxophonist
8/19 Michael Been, 60, vocalist of The Call
9/08 Hadley Caliman, 78, jazz saxophonist
9/15 Arrow, 60, soca star
9/19 Buddy Collette, 89, jazz saxophonist
9/21 Don Partridge, 68, "king of the buskers"
9/22 Eddie Fischer, 82, popular vocalist
9/27 Buddy Morrow, 91, trombonist and bandleader
10/08 Albertina Walker, 81, gospel singer
10/10 Solomon Burke, 70, soul giant
10/10 Joan Sutherland, 83, opera star
10/10 Marion Brown, 75, jazz saxophonist
10/13 General Johnson, 67, of the Chairmen of the Board
10/17 Eyedea, 28, rapper
10/20 Ari Up, 48, of The Slits
10/25 Gregory Isaacs, 59, reggae star
10/26 James Phelps, 87, gospel singer
10/28 Walter Payton, 68, New Orleans bassist
11/03 Jerry Bock, 81, cowriter of Fiddler on the Roof
11/03 Sonia Pottinger, 79, reggae producer
11/05 Shirley Verrett, 79, opera singer
11/12 Henryk Gorecki, 76, classical composer
11/17 Harry Whitaker, 68, jazz pianist and composer
11/20 Little Smokey Smothers, 71, blues man
11/24 Dave Conn, 63, Kansas City retailer and music enthusiast
10/24 Joseph Stein, 98, co-wrote Fiddler on the Roof
11/30 Elbert W. "Big Woody" Davis Jr, 61, regional blues man
11/30 Monty Sunshine, 82, English jazz clarinetist
12/06 Steve Herold, 62, Kansas City saxophonist
12/09 James Moody, 85, jazz saxophonist
12/13 Enrique Morente, 67, flamenco singer
12/17 Lina Romay, 91, sang with Xavier Cugat
12/17 Robin Rogers, 55, blues woman
12/17 Don Van Vliet, 69, aka Captain Beefheart
12/19 Trudy Pitts, 78, Philadelphia jazz organist
12/20 Magnolia Shorty, 28, New Orleans rapper
12/24 Myrna Smith, 69, of the Sweet Inspirations
12/25 Dorothy Jones, 76, singer in The Cookies
12/26 Teena Marie, 54, soul star
12/26 Bernard Wilson, 64, member of Harold Melvin & the Blue Notes
12/27 Billy Maddox, 57, Austin-based drummer
12/28 Billy Taylor, 89, jazz pianist
12/28 Jack Towers, 96, remastered jazz recordings
12/30 Bobby Farrell, 61, of Boney M.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

Monday, December 27, 2010

Teena Marie, 1956-2010

Sometimes I forget about the ephemeral nature of popular music. When I attempted to share my grief upon hearing that Teena Marie had died yesterday, the first few people I spoke to didn't remember the R&B artist. She had a couple platinum albums in the early '80s but in spite of fine recent work like La Dona, her career is largely forgotten. She was sort of a combination of Alicia Keys and Rihanna. My last chance to see Teena Marie again, a 2009 concert at the Midland Theater, was canceled. Here's the subsequent discussion at Back To Rockville.

Many people, myself included, have pontificated about the demise of Streetside Records in Westport. Yet I haven't seen anyone mention my three favorite in-store appearances at the location. They are The Replacements (signing on the Pleased To Meet Me tour), the Psychedelic Furs (signing on the Talk Talk Talk tour and James Harman (performance on the Do Not Disturb tour). What am I forgetting?

Vedera's new homecoming video is very nice.

XXL offers a free Tech N9ne mixtape here.

Download Reggie B's new "Every Pharoah Needz a Queen" here.

My friend L.K., the "other" Kansas City jazz blogger, unearths two forgotten Jay McShann videos.

Only two titles on Concert Chris' 20 Favorite Albums list made my Top 25 list. I still love the guy.

New Orleans rapper Magnolia Shorty was killed December 20.

Kansas City Click: CrossCurrent returns to Jardine's on Monday.

James Christos hits the Record Bar on Tuesday.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

Thursday, December 23, 2010

Way Out Here: The Top Albums, Singles and Concerts of 2010

The 25 Best Albums of 2010
A new album changes my life every other year. It just didn't happen in 2010. With no clear favorite, I made my hometown jazz hero's new album my top pick. (My jazz-only selections are here.) The Star's Tim Finn compiled dozens of regional music lists here.

1. Bobby Watson- The Gates BBQ Suite
2. Sleigh Bells- Treats
3. Rudresh Mahanthappa and Bunky Green- Apex
4. Deftones- Diamond Eyes
5. Rick Ross- Teflon Don
6. Kanye West- My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy
7. Tracey Thorn- Love and Its Opposite
8. Merle Haggard- I Am What I Am
9. Esperanza Spalding- Chamber Music Society
10. Alaturka- Tamam Abi
11. Erykah Badu- New Amerikah Part Two: Return of the Ankh
12. The Gobots- D-Boy Era
13. Mulatu Astatke- Mulato Steps Ahead
14. Seu Jorge and Almaz
15. Brad Mehldau- Highway Rider
16. Gary Allan- Get Off On the Pain
17. Lazerbeak- Legend Recognize Legend
18. XV- Vizzy Zone
19. Patty Griffin- Downtown Church
20. M.I.A.- Maya
21. Janelle Monae- The ArchAndroid
22. Jonas Kaufmann- Mozart, Schubert, Beethoven & Wagner
23. Z-Ro- Heroin
24. Soulcrate Music- The Heartland Panic
25. Hearts of Darkness- Hearts of Darkness

The 25 Best Singles of 2010
I concur with the general consensus that singles have once again supplanted albums as the dominant medium in popular music. My three favorite singles of 2010 reflect the strength of the format. Taken together, the aspirational hunger of Akwid, the libertarian ire of Josh Thompson and the affluent angst of Kanye West capture the national zeitgeist.

1. Akwid- "California"
2. Josh Thompson- "Way Out Here"
3. Kanye West- "Power"
4. Leela James- "Tell Me You Love Me"
5. DJ Khaled- "All I Do Is Win"
6. The Black Keys- "Tighten Up"
7. Antoine Dodson- "Bed Intruder"
8. Young Jeezy- "Lose My Mind"
9. Best Coast- "Boyfriend"
10. Tech N9ne- "O.G."
11. Nas & Damian Marley- "As We Enter"
12. Janelle Monae- "Cold War"
13. Eminem- "Love the Way You Lie"
14. Das Racist- "Rainbow In the Dark"
15. Sunny Sweeney- "From a Table Away"
16. Lloyd Banks- "Beamer, Benz or Bentley"
17. Waka Flocka- "Hard In Da Paint"
18. Yelawolf- "Pop the Trunk"
19. Cee Lo Green- "F*** You"
20. James Fortune- "Encore"
21. 8Ball & MJG- "Bring It Back"
22. Sade- "Soldier of Love"
23. LCD Soundsystem- "Drunk Girls"
24. Eric Church- "Smoke a Little Smoke"
25. Jaheim- "Finding My Way Back"

The Top 36 Live Performances of 2010
Why 36? I've witnessed 366 live performances in 2010. And I'm going out again tonight.

1. Os Mutantes- Granada
2. Janelle Monae- Liberty Hall
3. Marilyn Maye- Jardine's
4. Bobby Watson and Horizon- Blue Room
5. Sufjan Stevens- Uptown Theater (Same show fan footage.)
6. V.V. Brown- Record Bar
7. Slayer- Sandstone (Same show fan footage.)
8. Phoenix- Uptown Theater (Same show fan footage.)
9. Marty Stuart- Paola Roots Festival (Same show fan footage.)
10. Matt Otto Quartet- Jardine's
11. Levon Helm- Crossroads (Same show fan footage.)
12. Pat Metheny- Uptown Theater (Same show fan footage.)
13. Kansas City Symphony, Sibelius and Stravinsky- Lyric Hall (Official concert preview.)
14. John Hammond- Gladstone Blues Fest
15. Alice In Chains- Sandstone (Same show fan footage.)
16. Stefon Harris and Blackout- White Recital Hall
17. The Flatlanders- Knuckleheads
18. Keith Sweat- Municipal Auditorium
19. Deborah Brown- Blue Room
20. Hammerlord- Beaumont Club (Same show fan footage.)
21. The Bad Plus- Folly Theater
22. Billy Joe Shaver- Knuckleheads
23. Karrin Allyson- Jardine's
24. Kronos Quartet- Lied Center
25. Weezer- City Market (Same show fan footage.)
26. Raul Malo- Knuckleheads
27. Five Finger Death Punch- Liberty Memorial (Same show fan footage.)
28. Trey Anastasio- Uptown Theater (Same show fan footage.)
29. Rachel Lee and Michael Brown- Folly Theater (Same show authorized footage.)
30. Soft Reeds- Riot Room
31. Bobby Watson and UMKC jazz students- GiGi's Jazz Inn
32. Andrew W.K.- Sandstone ((Same show fan footage.)
33. Rich the Factor- Uptown Theater (Same show fan footage.)
34. Tony Ladesich- Davey's Uptown
35. Allen Toussaint- Folly Theater
36. Carrie Rodriguez- Knuckleheads

The 10 Best Opening Acts of 2010
I attended so many one-and-done classical and jazz events this year that I've gained a new appreciation for concerts with multiple acts.

1. Janelle Monae for Of Montreal- Liberty Hall
2. Dead Weather for the Flaming Lips- Sandstone (Same show fan footage.)
3. Ice Cube for Snoop Dogg- VooDoo (Same show fan footage.)
4. Woven Hand for Tool- Sprint Center
5. Fran Healy for Brandon Flowers- Liberty Hall
6. Roger Daltrey for Eric Clapton- Sprint Center (Same show fan footage.)
7. Cypress Hill for Slightly Stoopid- Crossroads (Same show fan footage.)
8. Will Hoge for Shinedown- Midland Theater
9. Katie Herzig for Brandi Carlile- VooDoo
10. The Mynabirds for Mumford & Sons- Record Bar

(Original image of Ariel Pink by There Stands the Glass.)

Monday, December 20, 2010

Don Van Vliet, 1941-2010

I was about ten years old when I innocently took a flyer on Clear Spot after I spotted it in a four-for-a-dollar cassette bin. The album changed by perception of "music." I was aware of the blues, but this baffling outsider music was something entirely different. It raised several questions.

Did the band sound like this on purpose? What's wrong with this "Captain Beefheart" guy? What color is his skin? Why would Reprise issue an album by this deranged blues man? Did I waste a quarter? What in the world is going on here, anyway?

The battered condition of the cassette indicates that I spent a lot of time seeking answers to those questions.

Don Van Vliet, a.k.a. Captain Beefheart, died December 17.

Grieves is perfect for Warped Tour.

Enrique Morente has died. (Tip via BGO.)

Blues artist Robin Rogers has died.

Nick Hunter has died. (Via C.C.)

Kansas City Click: Joe Satriani returns to the Uptown Theater on Monday.

New Jazz Order performs at Harling's on Tuesday.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

Thursday, December 16, 2010

Is the Kauffman Center Predatory?

I was flabbergasted when I read the 20th item of a survey conducted on behalf of The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts.
20. The following is a list of performers that potentially fit within the programming vision of the Kauffman Center. Please rate your interest in attending a performance by each performer: BB King, Willie Nelson, Eric Clapton, Demetri Martin, Ricky Gervais, Tracy Morgan, Bill Maher, Seu Jorge, The Peking Acrobats, Mumford & Sons, Ben Folds, The Flaming Lips, Norah Jones, Regina Spektor, Janelle Monae, FELA! On Broadway, Stomp, Pat Metheny
Save Seu Jorge, every musical act on the list has performed at a Kansas City-area venue at least once in the past 24 months. Crossroads, Liberty Hall, the Midland Theater, the Record Bar, Sandstone, Sprint Center and the Uptown Theater served as recent hosts to these artists. The Kauffman Center, it would seem, intends to compete with existing Kansas City music venues and promoters. That's not merely disappointing- it's predatory.

I had assumed, perhaps naively, that in addition to giving the Kansas City Symphony, the Lyric Opera and the Kansas City Ballet a stylish new home, the new spaces (Muriel Kauffman Theatre- 1,800 seats and Helzberg Hall- 1,600 seats) would fill an artistic void in our community. The official line sold me:
The Kauffman Center for the Performing Arts will have a dramatic and transformative impact on Kansas City, changing both the city’s skyline as well as the experience of artists and audiences throughout our region.
Unless he's accompanied by the Symphony, the only "transformative" element of catching a Willie Nelson concert at the Kauffman Center promises to be the price of my ticket. Partisans of the Kauffman Center will undoubtedly reference its superior acoustics. I'm sure the new rooms will sound magnificent, but near-perfect sound is often achieved at most of the venues listed above. (The Folly Theater is also wonderful.)

Rather than booking touring acts that regularly perform in Kansas City, I'd hoped that the Kauffman Center would attract important artists that might otherwise not visit our town. Here's a set of suggestions:
Laurie Anderson, Antony & the Johnsons, Jorge Ben, Ornette Coleman, Nick Cave, Brian Eno, Cesaria Evora, Jan Garbarek, Gilberto Gil, Egberto Gismonti, Philip Glass, Charlie Haden, Herbie Hancock, Keith Jarrett, Daniel Lanois, the Last Poets, Rudresh Mahanthappa, Mariza, Brad Mehldau, Joni Mitchell, Yoko Ono, Arvo Part, Steve Reich, the Residents, Terry Riley, Sonny Rollins, Oumou Sangare, Maria Schneider, Jimmy Scott, Gil Scott-Heron, Patti Smith, Henry Threadgill, Tinariwen, Caetano Veloso, Kenny Wheeler, Marva Whitney and Cassandra Wilson
I would like to think that high-minded supporters of classical music would appreciatively throw their financial backing behind most of these artists.

Am I reading too much into an innocuous blog post? I hope so.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

Tuesday, December 14, 2010

Ten Odd and Overlooked Christmas Albums

My friend Joel initiated a chat about Christmas music with the idea that we could publish our discussion at The Daily Record and There Stands the Glass. It seemed like a good idea at the time, but today I was reminded that Arcade Fire tops his Top Ten Albums of 2010 list. And he writes haikus. I don't particularly care for either affectation.

(Update- our conversation may be read here.)

Anyway... I made this list but I didn't check it twice. I already know that I overlooked a few of my favorites.

Ten Odd and Overlooked Christmas Albums
1. Sam Billen- A Word of Encouragement (2010 release available as a free download)
2. Brave Combo- It's Christmas, Man
3. Charles Brown- Cool Christmas Blues
4. John Fahey- Christmas Guitar
5. Dan Hicks- Crazy For Christmas (2010 release)
6. Tish Hinojosa- Memorabilia Navidena
7. Manzanera and MacKay Present The Players- Christmas
8. Max Roach- It's Christmas Again
9. Allen Toussaint & Friends- A New Orleans Christmas
10. Matt Wilson- Christmas Tree-O (2010 release)

I discovered Tamikrest on an NPR music blog today. What a find!

Kansas City Click: Tony Ladesich revisits Pendergast's The Truth About Saturday Night Tuesday at Davey's Uptown. Here's my review of the 2006 album.

I last time I saw The Sword, they opened for Metallica at the Sprint Center. The metal band is the headliner Wednesday at the Record Bar.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

Sunday, December 12, 2010

James Moody, 1925-2010

The first album I reached for when I had time to mourn the death of James Moody was Young At Heart. I hadn't listened to the 1996 collection of standards associated with Frank Sinatra in a decade. It floored me. Gil Goldstein's arrangement of "That Old Black Magic" is especially stunning. It opens with Mulgrew Miller quoting Thelonious Monk's "Mysterioso" before Moody brilliantly solos without interruption for four enthralling minutes. Authoritative appreciations of Moody can be found elsewhere. I'll simply suggest the obvious- the world has lost one of the rare serious jazz artists with universal appeal.

Sam Billen has a new Christmas album available as a free download. RIYL: snowflakes and Sufjan Stevens. (Tip via Wayward Blog.)

I reviewed Mark Lowrey's Live at Jardine's solo piano album.

Last night's old-school R&B concert by Keith Sweat, Con Funk Shun, the S.O.S. band and SWV was excellent. Here's my review.

A couple misguided comments aside, I'm impressed by the discussion that's followed this Plastic Sax post.

Kansas City Click: The Hearts of Darkness, Audiovox and New Riddim are among the bands playing at the Beaumont Club on Sunday. There's no cover. The catch? Formal attire is required.

Mini Mansions is at the Riot Room on Monday.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

Thursday, December 09, 2010

The Top 25 Kansas City Music Videos of 2010

With the disappointing exception of jazz artists, it seems like every area musician with a Flip camera and a recording to promote made a promotional video in 2010. I've listed the 25 most effective efforts here. Don't mistake this for a music-based "best-of" list. I made these selections based on a subjective combination of importance, relevance and general watchability.

1. Making Movies- "Tormenta"
2. Tech N9ne- "O.G."
3. Soft Reeds- "This Affair"
4. ACBs- "Street Fighter II"
5. Janelle Monae- "Cold War"
6. XV- "Mirror's Edge"
7. Beama (featuring Berner)- "Trying To Do Right"
8. Dutch Newman- "Get Retarded"
9. JP Tha Mex- "Like a Game"
10. MBird- "Train Song"
11. Ron Ron- "100 Barz"
12. Cowboy Indian Bear- "Saline"
13. Steddy P- "And It's Like That"
14. Rondoe- "We Been On"
15. SSION- "Clown"
16. The Popper- "Killa City"
17. Puddle of Mudd- "Stoned"
18. Stik Figa- "Whutupwidit"
19. Roman Numerals- "This Motion"
20. Red Line Chemistry- "Dumb Luck"
21. Irv da Phenom- "Red and Yellow"
22. Reach- "Radio Love"
23. Saharan Gazelle Boy- "Strange Teen Heart"
24. Txx Will- "Last Call"
25. B Double E- "KC Clean"

Tuesday, December 07, 2010

Review: Reverend John Wilkins- You Can't Hurry God

Welcome to a blues time machine.

Reverend John Wilkins' You Can't Hurry God is the first great album of 2011. Even though it's not officially released until next year, it's available for purchase now directly from Big Legal Mess/Fat Possum.

Wilkins' time machine also transports us back 75 years. His father, acoustic blues legend Reverend Robert Wilkins, began recording in 1928. The vintage Wilkins style remains virtually unchanged.

In addition to affecting his father's spectacles and hat (compare and contrast above), Rev. John recreates two of his father's most famous songs on his forthcoming debut album. Most people know "Jesus Will Fix It" from the Doobie Brothers' hit version. He also covers "Prodigal Son," a composition famously popularized by the Rolling Stones. Here's a live version by Rev. John filmed in 2008.

Unlike that somewhat sketchy performance, however, Rev. John sounds powerful and fully on-point throughout You Can't Hurry God. A band supports him on five of the album's nine tracks.

Anyone with an interest in R.L. Burnside, Sister Rosetta Tharpe or the Holmes Brothers needs this raw, vibrant and uplifting album in their life. The new year has yet to begin but any album that tops You Can't Hurry God on my top album list of 2011 will need to be incredible.

English clarinetist Monty Sunshine has died. He takes lead on Chris Barber's "Petit Fleur".

I'm pretty sure that if I invested any time in Titus Andronicus it might be my new favorite rock band.

Wayward Blog tipped me to the availability of a documentary on Lawrence's hip hop scene of a decade ago.

I saw Shinedown and Will Hoge last week. Here's my ostensibly controversial review.

It's no "Fairytale of New York," but I actually like Coldplay's "Christmas Lights". Lord help me.

"Buy Nothing Day" from The Go! Team makes me very happy.

The latest Plastic Sax post has sparked a healthy discussion.

Kansas City Click: The Pretty Things Peepshow is at the Beaumont Club on Tuesday.

My Chemical Romance top Wednesday's bill at the Midland Theater.

(Original image by There Stands the Glass.)

Thursday, December 02, 2010

What Am I Doing New Year's Eve?

Maybe it's much too early in the game but I thought I'd ask you just the same.

I go out a lot. Last night I caught a jazz band at a club in south Kansas City. So why not close out 2010 with yet another live music event?

Ornette Coleman, the Flaming Lips, Janelle Monae, Os Mutantes and Nancy Wilson aren't in town on December 31, so I'll have to make do with what's actually on tap at Kansas City's live music emporiums. Because I just can't bring myself to consider a cover band or a DJ no matter how much I like the club that's featuring them, the seven most palatable New Year's Eve options follow.

Please help me decide. Let me worry about cabs, cover charges and my date's musical interests. (Hint: She loathes Coalesce.)
Hearts of Darkness- Crosstown Station
Mac Lethal/Coalesce- Riot Room
Ida McBeth- Jardine's
Big Bill Morganfield/Kenny Neal- Knuckleheads
Harold O'Neal- Mutual Musicians Foundation
Republic Tigers/Roman Numerals/Saharan Gazelle Boy- Beaumont
Bobby Watson- The Blue Room

My December 31 is in your hands.

Here's Dave Conn's obituary. (Sad tip via BGO.)

While I don't put much stock in the Grammy Awards, I was pleased that the artist I refer to as "The One" received a Best New Artist nomination.

Stik Figa's "From the Top" video biography is very nice. His new EP is available as a free download at Bandcamp.

Uncomfortably numb.

Steddy P and Ces Cru made a simple video for "Persistence Pt. 2."

Blues man Elbert W. "Big Woody" Davis Jr. has died. (Tip via Bill Lee.)

Kansas City Click: Samantha Fish returns to BB's Lawnside BBQ on Thursday.

The reunited Hadacol is one of three acts on Friday's bill at Crosstown Station.

Joey Calderazzo plays the Blue Room on Saturday.

The Peoples Liberation Big Band is featured at the Record Bar on Sunday.

(Random image by There Stands the Glass.)