Wednesday, July 10 2002
Any one comp will give you a fair picture of the possibilities each scene has to offer. One or two will find their way into your lives, as perfect headphone or car driving accompaniment to your summer groove.
Monday, July 1 2002
I understood the value of John Entwistle's rock-solid strength amid the pinball-bouncing craziness of his bandmates' fierce energy. If they were the sizzle, 'The Ox', as he was affectionately known, was the steak.
The camera falls on Entwistle, who's caught with a half-assed grin that quickly turns into a grimace. That one shot says it all for John: the guy standing at the back who had more up his sleeve than he was letting on.
Onstage, while Townshend would be smashing his guitar, Moon kicking over his drum kit and Daltrey scraping the microphone on one of Moon's dislodged cymbals, Entwistle would stand in front of his bass cabinet playing various scales right through the chaos around him.
Friday, June 28 2002
Mention The Clarks to most music fans outside of Pittsburgh, and you're likely to be met with a look of blank indifference. However, the fact that the four-piece band stole the show when sharing the stage with Three Doors Down at the Iron City's IC Light Amphitheatre last summer, tells you all you need to know about The Clarks' popularity in and around their hometown.
The tag 'Soul Brother Number One', attributed to the great funk God James Brown, didn't come without him paying dues -- literally and figuratively.
Byther Smith has been a working man his whole long life, and rightly takes pride in that honest fact.
Bo Diddley is more important than the Stones, more crucial than the Beatles, more fundamental to rock as a lyricist and an instrumentalist and a conceptualist than Elvis Presley or Buddy Holly or Brian Wilson.
Mentioning his name will jumpstart memories of powerful Chicago-style soul blues that telegraphs a rhythm into the soul of any blues fan.
Longhair is the Picasso of keyboard funk.
Dixon's stature only grew with the British Invasion.
Dupree's own life, as well as his music, provide a narrative that touched on so many aspects of the 20th century African-American experience that it at times beggars belief.
The life of the New Orleans piano 'professor' who grew up playing in whorehouses and clip joints has long been the stuff of legend in both jazz and blues music.
The most telling connection between blues and boxing were the bluesmen themselves who had also been fighters. But evidence of this association can be seen elsewhere, if you happen to look in the right places. If you're lucky, there it is, staring you straight back in the face, just like the early blues and R&B posters do.
Popa Chubby is one of today's rising blues musicians and one of the blues' biggest fight fans.
Like many bluesmen -- and any boxer -- Texas guitarslinger Johnny Copeland got knocked down a lot, but he always fought hard to get back up.
Jackie Wilson will be recognized as a superb gloveman who wasn't afraid to mix it up in the corners, only to be brought down by the same habits he acquired when he was learning to harness his amazing gifts.
His tragic career will always be offered as an object lesson in power and greed (not to mention the fate of the black man in entertainment).
Comparing bluesmen to boxers is a parlor game -- okay, a saloon pastime -- worth trying once or twice.
Tuesday, June 25 2002
The record business perceived the Dolls as too dangerous, too radical, too frightening even to be in the same room with, too hard to sell. Every time Leber and I talked to record people we came across an invisible wall. Could they play as well as the Allman Brothers? What is this gender bending thing? Are they gay?