Music

Jeff Beck: Rock 'n' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul

Beck and friends pay fitting tribute to the late guitar giant.


Jeff Beck

Rock 'n' Roll Party Honoring Les Paul

Label: Deuce
US Release Date: 2011-02-22
UK Release Date: 2011-02-21
Amazon
iTunes

Les Paul played at New York's Iridium Jazz Club every Monday night for 14 years before he died at the age of 94, so it's only fitting that Jeff Beck and friends chose that venue to honor the late guitar pioneer. Documented on Rock 'n' Roll Party (and its companion DVD with seven extra songs), the concert finds Beck joining forces with the Imelda May Band for a show that's equal parts Paul standards and early rock songs that bear links to Paul's towering influence. May and her band appeared with Beck on the 2010 Grammy Awards for a rendition of the Les Paul/Mary Ford standard "How High the Moon", and their familiarity with the material pays dividends on Paul/Ford classics like "The World is Waiting for the Sunrise", "Vaya Con Dios", and "Bye Bye Blues". Beck's playing, of course, is fantastic, and he honors Paul's clean, liquid tone on the Paul covers. He saves the rock vibe for tracks like "The Train Kept a Rollin'" (a nice synthesis of Yardbirds and Johnny Burnette Trio), "Peter Gunn" (with Trombone Shorty), "Twenty Flight Rock" (with Brian Setzer), and a ferocious "Walking in the Sand". It was obviously an electric evening and that certainly comes across on this disc. It's a fair bet that Paul would have enjoyed this tribute from one of his favorite proteges.

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Cover down, pray through: Bob Dylan's underrated, misunderstood "gospel years" are meticulously examined in this welcome new installment of his Bootleg series.

"How long can I listen to the lies of prejudice?
How long can I stay drunk on fear out in the wilderness?"
-- Bob Dylan, "When He Returns," 1979

Bob Dylan's career has been full of unpredictable left turns that have left fans confused, enthralled, enraged – sometimes all at once. At the 1965 Newport Folk Festival – accompanied by a pickup band featuring Mike Bloomfield and Al Kooper – he performed his first electric set, upsetting his folk base. His 1970 album Self Portrait is full of jazzy crooning and head-scratching covers. In 1978, his self-directed, four-hour film Renaldo and Clara was released, combining concert footage with surreal, often tedious dramatic scenes. Dylan seemed to thrive on testing the patience of his fans.

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TV

Inane Political Discourse, or, Alan Partridge's Parody Politics

Publicity photo of Steve Coogan courtesy of Sky Consumer Comms

That the political class now finds itself relegated to accidental Alan Partridge territory along the with rest of the twits and twats that comprise English popular culture is meaningful, to say the least.

"I evolve, I don't…revolve."
-- Alan Partridge

Alan Partridge began as a gleeful media parody in the early '90s but thanks to Brexit he has evolved into a political one. In print and online, the hopelessly awkward radio DJ from Norwich, England, is used as an emblem for incompetent leadership and code word for inane political discourse.

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The show is called Crazy Ex-Girlfriend largely because it spends time dismantling the structure that finds it easier to write women off as "crazy" than to offer them help or understanding.

In the latest episode of Crazy Ex-Girlfriend, the CW networks' highly acclaimed musical drama, the shows protagonist, Rebecca Bunch (Rachel Bloom), is at an all time low. Within the course of five episodes she has been left at the altar, cruelly lashed out at her friends, abandoned a promising new relationship, walked out of her job, had her murky mental health history exposed, slept with her ex boyfriend's ill father, and been forced to retreat to her notoriously prickly mother's (Tovah Feldshuh) uncaring guardianship. It's to the show's credit that none of this feels remotely ridiculous or emotionally manipulative.

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Here comes another Kompakt Pop Ambient collection to make life just a little more bearable.

Another (extremely rough) year has come and gone, which means that the German electronic music label Kompakt gets to roll out their annual Total and Pop Ambient compilations for us all.

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8

Winner of the 2017 Ameripolitan Music Award for Best Rockabilly Female stakes her claim with her band on accomplished new set.

Lara Hope & The Ark-Tones

Love You To Life

Label: Self-released
Release Date: 2017-08-11
Amazon
iTunes

Lara Hope and her band of roots rockin' country and rockabilly rabble rousers in the Ark-Tones have been the not so best kept secret of the Hudson Valley, New York music scene for awhile now.

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