Hola, amigos, how’s it going? I know it’s been a while since I rapped at ya… (that’s my tribute to one of my favorite columnists in The Onion.) I know I’ve been pretty dour lately, so I’ll try to keep a PMA (positive mental attitude) today, just like Jesse Malin encourages everyone to do during his brilliant weekly live stream concerts.
Alrighty, let’s get into it.
There is nothing like the energy and atmosphere of live music. It is the most life-affirming experience, to see your favorite performer onstage, in the flesh, rather than as a one-dimensional image glowing in your lap as you spiral down a midnight YouTube wormhole.
Speaking of energy and atmosphere, yesterday’s live stream from Dropkick Murphys at Fenway Paahhrk is pretty lively:
And here’s some pure joy for you, marimba style:
As mentioned previously, the Broken Record podcast is a great listen. Their last two episodes have been superb: Jason Isbell and Nick Lowe
Under the covers
Speaking of Nick Lowe, here’s a cool cover of his most famous (and most covered) tune, from Sharon Van Etten and Josh Homme:
Several local luminaries got together to do Bill Withers’ “Lean on Me” for Cincinnati Children’s (HT to list member Keith Neltner for the link)
Tanya Donnelly (founding member of Throwing Muses, Belly and the Breeders… can anyone top that?) covers this great song from Yazoo
Here’s Whitney and Waxahatchee doing classic John Denver
And Caroline Spence (whose album Mint Condition was one of my faves from last year) puts her own spin on a Jimmy Eat World tune:
Great news for Americana fans
Kathleen Edwards (to whom Caroline Spence has been compared) is back! Her 1st album in eight years is due out in August. Read more in this Rolling Stone article and check out a new tune here:
The Jayhawks have a new album XOXO due out July 10. A couple of tunes from it are below, and hat tip to list member Bruce Frasure for tipping us off to the fun quarantine series from Jayhawks’ leader Gary Louris called “The Sh*t Show.”
DBT created a new song for these times:
And Wilco created a song that made its debut on Colbert:
Jeff Tweedy played Jesus, Etc. too!
Calling all vinylheads: to celebrate the 25th anniversary of the Yo La Tengo album Electr-O-Pura, Matador is releasing it on two LPs. Here’s the original video of a tune from that album, as well as a nice cover from Lucy Dacus.
I know I wanted to stay positive, but I have to mention the passing of comedy genius Fred Willard, whose 75-second appearance in This is Spinal Tap is one of the most memorable scenes ever.
Harry Shearer worked with Fred on the woefully underappreciated Fernwood 2 Night TV show and in several movies (including Spinal Tap). Listen to the three-minute opening of Harry’s Le Show podcast from 5/17 for this heartfelt tribute.
Worth another look
Billy Bragg’s home show was lovely. Check it out on Facebook https://www.facebook.com/watch/live/?v=176421906998317&external_log_id=954427e51f78d3b249aa6e79ec7f2104
Jesse Malin’s newest live streams are multi-camera gigs done in an NYC basement bar, with Rob Clores adding great licks on piano… and the first episode of “Season Two” also features a long interview with Lucinda Williams.
Here’s Jason Isbell and Amanda Shires playing his new album in its entirety.
The latest episode of the “97X Rumblings from the Big Bush” podcast features Joe Long, an early music blogger (Each Note Secure, The Futurist) who joined the station during the woxy.com era.
Have a great week!