In November, Led Zeppelin will release their highly-anticipated live CD/DVD set Celebration Day. Taken from their one-off reunion gig at the O2 Arena In London, the live release is likely to be the band’s best live performance since John Bonham’s death and will also serve as a must-read chapter in the waning stages of their stories career. Led Zeppelin’s performance of one of their seminal songs, “Kashmir,” has circulated on the internet and various radio stations today, allowing enthusiasm for the release to grow even further.
Check out the stream of “Kashmir” from Celebration Day here: http://ultimateclassicrock.com/led-zeppelin-kashmir
With Hurricane Sandy veering toward the East Coast, Long After Dark Radio will give you a handful of songs to listen as the power goes out. Unfortunately, deep cuts like John Hiatt’s “Love in a Hurricane” and Tom Petty’s “Louisiana Rain” were unavailable through Mixpod, but here are the best storm tracks:
A little over a month ago, Long After Dark stumbled upon “Coke Beat,” the first single from Philadelphia-area band The National Rifle’s forthcoming album debut Almost Endless. There have been days since then when the track has been on an endless loop as one of my personal favorite songs of 2012.
On Monday, the band put out the album’s second single, “Glass Line.” A spacier, more electronic-based track than “Coke Beat,” “Glass Line” continues The National Rifle’s strong early output for Almost Endless. Interspersed by brief bits of an up-tempo beat, the track has a mellow electronic flow that is anchored by the mystique of Lynna Stancato’s repetitive lyric, “you want it all.” A solid mid-album song, the LP is most certainly on Long After Dark’s watch list for next year as another potential nugget from a rising Philadelphia indie band.
Almost Endless is set for a January 22nd, 2013 release date.
Pop star Bruno Mars brought an infectious energy as the host and musical guest on Saturday Night Live last evening. The 27-year-old Hawaiian soul singer made his second appearance on SNL following a spot as a musical guest two seasons ago. In his acting debut as a host yesterday evening he became one of the better masters of ceremonies that the show has seen so far this season.
After a solid monologue set to song, Mars made his formal debut as an actor as a short-skirted teen on a Springer-esque talk show. On the following sketch, Mars showed off his acting chops as a Pandora intern who desperately tossed off snippets of Green Day, Aerosmith, Katy Perry, and Michael Jackson to save the internet radio station. The singer also held his own on sketches as a mascot going through some tough times, a robotic haunted house prop, and an eccentric innkeeper who was terrified of a yeti.
Mars and his very entertaining band continued the refreshing energy that they brought to the show by performing two solid takes of a jiving “Locked Out Of Heaven” and an emotional new song from his forthcoming album, Unorthodox Jukebox, “Young Wild Girls”
Other highlights of the show included a well-construed Presidential Debate sketch starring Jason Sudekis, Jay Pharoah, and a mustachioed Tom Hanks. Cast member Bill Hader also succumbed to a fit of laughter as he barely made it through the season debut of his hilarious pet character Stefon.
SNL will take a break on October 27th, but is slated to return on November 3rdwith comedian Louis C.K. as the host and hipster superstars Fun as the musical guest.
Bruno Mars’ Opening Monologue:
When Gary Clark Jr.’s 2011 EP Bright Lights first came out, the work was accompanied by a tremendous amount of buzz. The 28-year-old musician was hailed for his skill as the next great axman to come from Texas. Many lofty comparisons flew around, including allusions to Eric Clapton, who had allowed Clark into his 2010 Crossroads Festival lineup. At the time the association was on point, Clark had showed himself to be very deft with a guitar, although his prowess with a six-string was significantly ahead of his songwriting. A year later Clark is set to release his first full album, Blak And Blu, where he will face the first major test of his recording career: can he craft a song, not just shred it?
The answer to the question is as varied as the different styles of Blak And Blu. A record that seems to drift about without a particular focus, the LPcombines past work from Clark that was cut en route to his major label contract with Warner Brothers and material recorded for Blak And Blu. Clocking in at nearly 67 minutes in length, the album felt like a marathon to labor through at times, even though that feeling was interspersed with flashes of brilliance from the Austin native.
This particular aspect of the album reveals itself in the first two songs of Blak And Blu, “Ain’t Messin’ ‘Round” and “When My Train Pulls In.” An excellent pop track that was circulated well before the album is set to be released, “Ain’t Messin’ Round” blends Clark’s guitar and a horn section that brings the LP’s most up-tempo song to life and confirms the idea that there may be something here. Clark then nullifies that with the lengthy, bluesy jam of “When My Train Pulls In,” a seven-minute effort that first appeared as an acoustic track in his 2011 EP The Bright Lights. Later in Black and Blu, the guitar player also released a fully fleshed “Things Are Changin’,” another acoustic piece from the same EP.
Another old reliable for Clark, the guitarist included the head-turning, “Bright Lights,” a song that introduced many to the Texan as the nominal centerpiece to The Bright Lights. Among the new work in the LP, noteworthy tracks include “Travis County” and the hip-hop sensitive “The Life.” The true attention-grabber of Blak And Blu’s new material is “Third Stone From The Sun/If You Love Me Like You Say,” a double-dip cover of Jimi Hendrix and Little Johnnie Taylor. Almost ten minutes long, the track contains the most blistering guitar work in the record and reinforces the notion that Clark is a god in that regard. As for his songwriting guise, this is an instance of a hung jury whose judgment is partially clouded by the multi-genre, hectic, and drawn-out style of recording.
Gary Clark Jr.’s Blak And Blu will be available on October 23rd as a digital download, CD, and vinyl. A 15-track deluxe edition will be available on iTunes.
True greatness rises to the occasion when it is most often needed. For public figures, it is something we often see in sports, but not necessarily in music. Artists frequently perform to large crowds every night, but there has never been a concert that has been so sorely needed to provide solace as the one which took place nearly 11 years ago in New York’s Madison Square Garden on October 20th, 2001. An evening that was organized by Paul McCartney in the aftermath of the horrific terrorist attacks one month earlier, the Concert For New York City was supposed to be an occasion of healing for the city’s police, fire, and first responders. But on a night with a somber atmosphere, one of England’s finest bands gave their best performance to an audience with whom they had bonded very closely over their tenure and had ached for a sorely needed distraction.
With a lineup that included Paul McCartney, David Bowie, Eric Clapton, Billy Joel, Elton John, Mick Jagger, Keith Richards, and a fireman who invited Osama Bin Laden to “kiss [his] royal Irish ass,” the night was sure to be a success, but it eventually belonged to The Who, who delivered the most important show in their storied career. While many of the artists chose to ere on the side of a more somber or dramatic performance, The Who turned it up well past 11 with a four-song set of career staples, “Who Are You,” “Baba O’Reilly,” “Behind Blue Eyes,” and “Won’t Get Fooled Again.”
Watching the set is to see the embodiment of The Who’s legacy as a live band. Pete Townshend was simply breathtaking, dealing note after note of awe-inspiring guitar licks as he slung his six-string around as if it were light as a feather. Not to be left behind, members John Entwistle plucked a thunderous bass, drummer Zac Starkey earned his spot as the band’s best replacement for Keith Moon, and an emotional Roger Daltrey matched Townshend’s incredible energy on stage. It is hard to put into words exactly how well The Who played, but watching the crowd’s reaction may be the only way to process seeing people getting their minds blown by music after the terrible weeks that preceded the show.
The Concert For New York City sadly, although somewhat appropriately, wound up being John Entwistle’s final concert in North America, as the bassist died only eight months later as The Who were to begin a reunion tour. When The Who were needed the most to give back to their fans, the band was able to give it with the last appearance of their esteemed bass player.
Last year, Paul McCartney released The Love We Make, a documentary that relayed the behind-the-scenes aspects of the show. Shortly after The Who’s performance, Stella McCartney burst into her father’s dressing room to tell him how well the band played and that they “woke” the crowd up. She merely delivered an understatement about a band that owned the spotlight at a time when they have never been needed more.
In Week Nine of WLAD, we find a novena of personal favorites from the 90s, from the Wallflowers jamming “One Headlight” with Bruce Springsteen at Alcatraz to Jakob Dylan’s gang covering David Bowie’s “Hero.” Other highlights include Noel Gallagher cutting an acoustic “Morning Glory,” an amazing showing from Nirvana at their iconic gig at the 1992 Reading Festival, and Radiohead’s “Creep.”
The Wallflowers with Bruce Springsteen, “One Headlight” – Live From Alcatraz
The Wallflowers, “Hero” – Godzilla
Red Hot Chili Peppers, “Give It Away” – Blood Sugar Sex Magik
Oasis, “D’you Know What I Mean?” – MTV Superdry
Oasis, “Morning Glory (Acoustic)” – Earl’s Court ‘95
Nirvana, “Come As You Are” – Live From Reading
Foo Fighters, “My Poor Brain” – Unknown Bootleg
Radiohead, “Creep” – Pablo Honey
The Frames, “Revelate” – Fitzcaraldo