Recently by Night Glare with Dan Griffin

(Editor's Note: Part 1 of this preview of Neil Young & Crazy Horse's Psychedlic Pill can be read here) Way back in the early part of this year, Neil Young posted two teaser tracks on his website, an 18 minute jam later to be called “Horse Back” in reference to the return of Neil’s most noted band, Crazy Horse. The other track was a new studio-jam take on “Cortez the Killer,” often rated as his best song, which rivaled all the live versions I have personally witnessed. In addition, at 18 minutes, I can only surmise that Neil was giving
My introduction to Neil Young was at the age of ten when the first Buffalo Springfield LP was released, in December 1966, to an unsuspecting legion of future fans of at least three artists and many configurations of bands. Since my only source of information was a guitar-playing older cousin from “up north.” He was always up to date on all the great bands of the day – the first song I learned on guitar, around the same time, was “Heroin” by the Velvet Underground. It was a must with only two chords and subject matter that was definitely taboo
There are a couple of trends in the music business with artists young and old that started with a good idea but went a little wacky along the way. The covers record has been around as long as popular music but is now living up to it’s reputation of artists buying time for writer’s block or fulfilling a lost cause record deal. In the early days lf popular music, vocalists rarely wrote their own tunes so they were all covers records but in the hands of a Frank Sinatra or Ella Fitzgerald, Lena Horne or Perry Como, the chosen songs
Bob Mould is a bonafide rock and roll Renaissance Man. Over his three decades in the entertainment industry, Bob has serenaded us with thought provoking punk (Husker Du), pop music worthy of his best influences (Sugar), solo work that opened a vein for us to speculate on his personal life and loud, electronic grunge and DJ dance music on the road. He did all this and managed to be an early supporter of Aids awareness, came out on his own terms, dealt with hearing loss and wrote a damn fine memoir. And Bob did all this without regard to
I fear that after we lose Guy Clark, John Prine and a few more like Ramblin’ Jack, Jerry Jeff Walker, the Flatlanders (Joe Ely, Butch Hancock and Jimmie Dale Gilmore) and Billy Joe Shaver, there will be no more down and dirty troubadours to hang their hats on their hearts. Sure, there are excellent, next-generation stand-ins Steve Earle (too political), Lyle Lovett (too commercial), Todd Snider (too unpredictable) and that Iron & Wine Guy (way too sensitive). There is just something about the original guys from the seventies straight through to today that present their songs with just the
There is a music industry blog written by a guy named Bob Lefsetz. He can go a bit overboard ranting and raving on just about everything that is wrong with record companies and young musician’s quest for stardom over good material and content. Bob does not review or preview an act or release that does not touch him personally and never jumps on a bandwagon. When he does give thumbs up, you can rest assured the record is at least worth a couple of listens. Bob recently raved about a new release by The Rhett Walker Band. I know nothing

David Baerwald's "Triage"

  |   Comments
I can define my life by certain records that appear at different times in my life. “Sgt. Pepper’s,” the first four albums by The Band; “Court & Spark, “ “Late For the Sky” and several more. It is the darker ones that I take with me wherever I go and have them there when I need a dose of reality. Lou Reed’s “Berlin,” “Street Hassle” and “New York”; Neil Young’s “Time Fades Away” and “On the Beach,” “The Who’s “Quadrophenia” and David Baerwald’s “Triage.” It is hard to comprehend that the latter is 20 years old this year. Radio listeners
New York City audiences are tough. Even when they like an artist, they can be brutal. I had the (mis)fortune of seeing one of the legendary shows of Neil Young at the Beacon in the early '90s. There was almost a riot because he was playing the soft acoustic songs that would evolve into Harvest Moon. None of that was evident for Rodriguez. The 1100-plus audience, made up of 21-80 year old fans, was his from before he stepped onstage with an acoustic/electric guitar and strummed quietly as he sang, “I Only Have Eyes For You.” The old cliché
There is a great website, allegedly based in Singapore, that posts old and new concerts and demos each Thursday. The people who run the site must be obsessive Neil Young fans as they have his shows uploaded within a day or two of the performance. They never post anything that can be purchased legitimately from any artist they post even purging tracks from compilations if they are available commercially. Only a handful of artists from the '60s and '70s can maintain an air of creativity and mystique and still sell out giant venues. Neil is the king of that
Ten or so years ago, I read an article in Mojo Magazine about this obscure artist named Rodriguez who made two great records and disappeared. I kept the image in my head and early last week I read a review of the film, “Searching For Sugar Man.” A week ago, today I walked alone into the intimate setting of the Angelika Theater, one of NYC’s excellent art/indie theaters, to see the film not knowing what to expect or what the music could sound like after 40 years missing in action. As you can glean from my film review posted last
When I was first becoming aware of the world, circa 1959, I loved Elvis movies and knew the songs by heart. My parents were fans so we watched whenever an Elvis film was on one of our three channels. As an 8 year old I discovered the three “B’s” – Beatles, Byrds and Beach Boys and parallel to that, Elvis became stale and the reruns tiring. I did not think much about Elvis from 1965 until his death in 1977. Sure there were some great songs, “Kentucky Rain,” “Suspicious Minds,” “In the Ghetto,” Guitar Man,” “Burning Love,” but when you
Most documentaries about forgotten musicians tend to be a bit tedious and overwrought as the subjects are not around or refuse to take part in the films. I should know - I have made two of them. There are excellent films such as The Devil and Daniel Johnston and New York Doll (about the life of the New York Dolls bassist Arthur Kane), Nico/Icon and Grievous Angel, Gram Parson’s film bio, but these films are tragic looks into the lives and deaths of damaged people. Malik Benjelloul’s Searching for Sugar Man is not one of those films. It is one
Karl Wallinger, as World Party, has released five CDs, a few singles and an EP in twenty-five years. Now, as a late or very early Christmas present, he gives his fans a five-CD set in a spiral-bound notebook with personal notes about each song. Karl is quite the character, musician and artist. I first became aware of him as a member of The Waterboys and considered him a staple of the band, that is, until he left after the second LP. He resurfaced as World Party, Karl with a random set of backing musicians, and as a producer on Sinead
Loudon Wainwright III has been a constant fixture in my music collection since 1972, pre and post “Dead Skunk.” Once hailed as one of the “New Dylan’s” along with Bruce Springsteen, Billy Joel, Jesse Winchester and others, Loudon has remained the same throughout all the changes in music over four decades – a sarcastic, sometime misogynist, but seldom wrong in his observations – singer songwriter with a clear vision of what he wants to say in his music. This total honesty has cost him three marriages and difficult relationships with family and friends but he has remained true to himself.
The Band’s fourth studio LP, Cahoots, was released on September 15, 1971. Just over a year later, Steely Dan’s Can’t Buy A Thrill hit the radio waves and record charts. Steely Dan came to the forefront, as The Band seemed to lose their way on Cahoots, an album that is mediocre at best. Steely Dan carried on as “the thinking fan’s band.” “Can’t Buy A Thrill” was sarcasm and anger with a bit of sentimentalism mixed in for good measure. Cahoots contained two great singles, “Don’t Do It” and “Life Is A Carnival” but also included tracks that do not
The Band’s fourth studio LP, Cahoots, was released on September 15, 1971. Just over a year later, Steely Dan’s Can’t Buy A Thrill hit the radio waves and record charts. Steely Dan came to the forefront, as The Band seemed to lose their way on Cahoots, an album that is mediocre at best. Steely Dan carried on as “the thinking fan’s band.” “Can’t Buy A Thrill” was sarcasm and anger with a bit of sentimentalism mixed in for good measure. Cahoots contained two great singles, “Don’t Do It” and “Life Is A Carnival” but also included tracks that do not
The Rick Danko/Graham Parker evening at the Bearsville Theater was such a success Rick and I talked about doing one each month with different special guests. As the season wore on and Rick’s money woes increased, he wanted to host a night at the theater twice a month. We never seemed to have a problem attracting special guests with drawing power for a capacity crowd for all performances. Rick would have been happy with one night at the theater every week but I knew that would be overkill for ticket buyers despite the creative spin we could put on the
The bar and theater were empty save for me and Rick, the brightest lights in the room were the exit signs, and I had just listened to a brand new Danko song five times in a row. Each replay of “Driftin’ Away,” sounded better, especially with Rick’s live harmony. The sun was about to rise and I had a day of work ahead in the Bearsville office but Rick wanted to keeping playing tapes for me. He played, and then gave me, copies of a recent solo show he had done a Amherst College along with a writers-in-the-round tape with
The Band’s Music From Big Pink was such an important record in my young life, especially as an aspiring musician. To my twelve-year-old ears, this was music I could latch onto without betraying the British invasion, which had been the core of my listening material for several years. I was lucky to have had a cousin from Chicago who was a guitarist in a semi-popular regional band and had every record I could imagine. He spent his summers down south so, for three months each year, I had access to great music, guitar lessons and his vast knowledge of the
11/11/11, the mysterious “day of ones” was alternatively dreaded and anticipated. New York City drew the biggest crowd ever for the Veteran’s Day Parade – on a very cold day - and Egypt closed the pyramids to avoid uncontrollable crowds of mystics and seers. And Richie Furay played B. B. King’s for the second time this century. To say that Buffalo Springfield, and its various tentacles, was not the biggest American influence on my musical tastes would be to suddenly declare that Jackson Browne does not exist. They were and are my US version of The Beatles or The Stones.
December 10, 1967 I was eleven years old and spinning around on a rotating chair on my grandmother’s front porch. It was just after dark and I had the radio on to my favorite station, WVOK in Birmingham. A DJ cut into a song and said he had just received news that Otis Redding had died in a plane crash. I stopped spinning. In my eleven years I had only experienced death on TV and the radio. The day John Kennedy died was important because we were sent home from school and had to watch the news on TV.
Unlike my recent usual, “so what?” demeanor regarding any new music by the young or old, I waited impatiently for the arrival of Robbie Robertson’s first real solo record with all actual songs in twenty years. From the advance press it sounded like it was a return to form as evidenced on his first solo LP in 1987. The net was full of stories about Robbie writing and recording with artists as diverse as Eric Clapton, Trent Reznor and Robert Randolph. Robbie had worked on his debut solo record in 1987 for a decade and recorded with the young and
When I learned the Go-Go’s were going on tour for the Summer of 2011 with the B-52’s, I had to call my friend of 35 years, Jeff, a ravenous Go-Go’s fan for nearly as long. In NYC, the Go-Go’s “Girl Gone Wild” tour and the B-52’s 34th Anniversary show, surprisingly, were scheduled as two separate dates with each band headlining the 1,000-capacity Irving Plaza instead of a co-headlining date with both acts. The price for each show was cheaper than most so the obvious boomer crowd could afford both shows for less than the price of the two together. Regardless
I don't make records for pleasure. I did when I was a younger artist, but I don't today. I record so that I can feed people what they need, what they feel. Hopefully, I record so that I can help someone overcome a bad time” – Marvin Gaye Sometimes I wake up in the middle of the night unable to get back to sleep so I give up trying and listen to a record that would not normally be on my radar. This morning that record is Marvin Gaye’s Here, My Dear. I have always loved the drama of
My recent reunion with Cowboy Jack Clement reminded me of another old friend who passed away nearly two years ago. Billy Lee Riley died from cancer at age 75 on August 2, 2009. I have written a long and long overdue account of my experiences with Billy and the other Sun artists I am blessed to be associated with over the past 18 years. I am sorry it took Billy's passing to inspire me. I had an interesting but rocky friend/manager/producer situation with Billy but when I think back to it, I only remember the fun times and the incredible
Looking back over my posts of the past few months, I realized that I never finished the weird but true story of my experience with Alex Chilton (here are Part 1 and Part 2 of the story). When I left off, I had returned to north Alabama and began rehearsing a band in hopes of getting Alex to come play some old and new music and, maybe, get back into the groove, so to speak. Alex would have none of that and would not be ready to reemerge for a couple more years. In the meantime, I had the good

Cowboy Jack Clement

  |   Comments
“Last scene of all/That ends this strange eventful history/Is second childishness and mere oblivion/Sans teeth, sans eyes, sans taste, sans everything.” Obviously, Shakespeare never met Cowboy Jack Clement. At 80 years, Jack is the walking, talking, living cliché of not getting older but getting better. Just recently I have witnessed fine performances by an 80 year-old Jack Clement at Joe’s Pub on Friday night and an aural/visual experience with a 78 year-old Yoko Ono at The Stone on Saturday. I didn’t even consider their age while watching them do what they do best – entertain while opening and expanding minds.
My introduction to Phoebe Snow, as with most everyone, was the song, “Poetry Man.” In early 1975 I witnessed her wonderus set opening for Jackson Browne in Birmingham, AL. She sang as if she knew you, the listener, and everyone around you. You couldn’t help but listen, her voice demanded and compelled any audience whether it was a radio tune or a TV commercial. I met Phoebe personally when I managed the career of Mindy Jostyn. Mindy along with her husband, writer and lyricist Jacob Brackman, were friends with Phoebe and we had dinner before Mindy’s solo set in Piermont,
I really don’t know how to begin this posting without sounding like a kid at a Justin Bieber show.  There are some people that have real charisma, too many others who manufacture it or have it manufactured for them, and then there are others that just are born with it. Yoko Ono has it, always has and always will. Saturday night April 23rd, I witnessed the real thing - a once in a lifetime performance by Yoko Ono and Kim Gordon of Sonic Youth. Yoko was the unannounced special guest before a crowd of 75 sitting and standing in a
Those of us who are addicted to the early and middle roots of rock and roll in the fifties and sixties know about Joe South. I doubt there is a popular singer/songwriter who unintentially made so many diverse artists stars with his songs while staying so far in the background as Joe. How many songwriters alive can write hits for artists as diverse as country music star Lynn Anderson, Deep Purple, Kula Shaker, the Osmonds and Bryan Ferry? Sure, he must have had a good publisher who did his or her job pitching the tunes but Joe’s catalog – including
Not long ago I received a call from a friend who informed me that Bob Dylan opened his first ever concert in the still-communist China with the song, “Gonna Change My Way of Thinking” from his landmark LP, Slow Train Coming. After all these years, Dylan is, once again, doing something subversive, at least the Dylan version of subversive. It has only been a few years since that song and performance could have gotten him killed or detained by government agents. He did, however, submit his set list to the government goons to tell him which songs – not –
The first time I heard “Strawberry Fields Forever” was at 5:30 in the morning. My parents had one of those clock radios that woke you up with a music station, usually turned up loud. They didn’t object to my obsession of rock and pop music at age eleven. It was always set for WVOK-AM out of Birmingham, Alabama. Just as it was minutes ago, I can remember the feeling I had when hearing those mellotron notes and John’s slowed down vocals and felt that the world had changed. I had never heard anything like it and have not since. My

Bonus Tracks

  |   Comments
OK, I am going to complain about something that I buy into every time it is offered – reissue/remastered CDs with bonus tracks and box sets. It happens to every “Legacy” (i.e., old), artist to get suckers like me who bought the original versions to buy the latest format to get those rare B sides and demos on CD for the first time. By my count I have bought five different versions of The Byrd’s Sweetheart of the Rodeo. The original LP at age 12, (not counting a replacement due to overplaying the first one), the 8 Track at 14,
I was a co-owner of a small record store in a small Alabama town in 1977 when Warren Zevon’s second Asylum LP Excitable Boy was released. I already memorized every note of his eponymous recording from a year and a half before. The biggest memory I have is the first day Excitable Boy came into the store and I was absorbing every song. When the record got to the track "Vera Cruz" and the line, “I heard Woodrow Wilson’s guns…I heard Maria crying,” a girl in the store started laughing uncontrollably. She thought it was totally silly for someone to
There was a time in the southern US starting with the birth of America until around 1965, farmers rode or drove around in overburdened horse-drawn wagons or overloaded pickup trucks selling farm-grown fruit and vegetables, chickens in coops as well as pots and pans through neighborhoods far and wide. In my rural North Alabama neighborhood it may not have been too far but it certainly had to be wide for a horse or an old truck. My grandmother always called them, “The Peddlers” and seemed to look down on them as a necessary evil. Hearing the ringing bell of the
For Zevonologists every LP in his canon is a separate work a place in time. If God exists, Warren will be remembered long after Beiber Fever. In my previous post on Warren I talked about his first LP. I am going to skip around and write about his “comeback” record, Sentimental Hygiene. I am not sure how many recovering alchohlic junkies could make a record so well put together as opposed to his life, drunk or sober. A little background, I loved every note the man played from his first Jackson Browne-produced Asylum LP in 1976. I had the good
“If California slides into the ocean like the mystics & statistics say it will,  I predict this motel will be open until I pay my bill…” Warren Zevon’s first LP on Asylum Records hit the shelves while I worked in a record store during my mid-seventies college days. I ordered two copies, one LP for the store and one for me, because of a Billboard Magazine ad with the tag-line: “Produced by Jackson Browne.” Jackson pretty much defined my life from 1972 until, well, now. If Mr. Browne thought this guy was good enough to produce a whole record, I’m

The Grammys, Part One

  |   Comments
I made it all the way up until Lady Gaga came out of that fucking egg before I fell asleep on the couch. I am sorry that I missed the look on Justin Beiber’s face when he lost the best new artist award to some woman no one had ever heard of…it must have been a classic moment. I don’t know about you but his latest record just doesn’t have the depth of his first. As for Lady Gaga, can anyone really be considered a serious artist when they come out of a plastic egg looking like Madonna twenty years
I just read an article about the state of Arizona to start requiring hospitals to check the immigration status of patients before admitting them for treatment. I was immediately drawn back ten years when I had recently been diagnosed with a potentially terminal disease with no health insurance. Lucky for me, better yet blessed, I had three decades of work in the music and film business and qualified for healthcare through MusicCares and The Actor’s Fund. Dr. Christopher Wang, an Asian-American, was my primary care physician for five years and I credit him with saving my life. He was the
“Can you show me a dream, Can you show me one that’s better than mine?” “Itchycoo Park” is a song that means pure happiness, no drug references to an 11 year-old music lover in 1967. “It’s all too beautiful!” shimmered on the airwaves and record players all over the states. It was also the last Small Faces tune to be heard on American radio for a long time. But I kept up. I couldn’t understand why there was no follow-up. “Little Tin Soldier” and “Lazy Sunday” were nearly as perfect as “Itchycoo Park” but it was obvious the band just
The Seventies Are Dead I just read the New York Times obit of J Paul Getty III. Like most people, I had no idea that he had a stroke and was incapacitated for the last twenty or so years. Like most people, I had forgotten about him but at one time I kept up with his every move. I knew when he was kidnapped – I knew when his ear was cut off and I knew when he returned to his, obviously, uncaring family. It was difficult for me to understand then when I read that his billionaire grandfather refused
It sounds too much like a cliché but my life has really been defined by music since I can first remember. As a child of the sixties and seventies, my tastes run the gamut from the usual, Beatles, Stones, The Who to Jackson Browne (my favorite artist and one of my favorite people), Roseanne Cash and Billy Bragg. I have been fortunate enough to get to know and work with, in different capacities, practically every artist I admired in my formative years and found all of them to be great people as well as great artists. Not an asshole in

Sweet Moans

  |   Comments
It sounds too much like a cliché but my life has really been defined by music since I can first remember. As a child of the sixties and seventies, my tastes run the gamut from the usual, Beatles, Stones, The Who to Neil Young, Jackson Browne (my favorite artist and one of my favorite people), Roseanne Cash and Billy Bragg. I have been fortunate enough to get to know and work with, in different capacities, practically ever artist I admired in my formative years and found them to be great people as well as great artists. Over the last decade
New Yorkers can be such wusses. They act like there has never been snow like this  and get pissed off with the mayor because the streets are not clean. I think they should spend a Winter in Albany. They also freak out when they finally have to move three feet of snow off their car – after three freaking weeks! Granted, I have seen some cars that will possibly be in the same spot until June. I don’t even know where the cops will stick the ticket on several cars. In honor of winter and staying inside, I have put

Gary Moore, 1952-2011

  |   Comments
Gary Moore is known to most US music fans for his three short periods as part of Thin Lizzy. In Gary’s career, as well as Thin Lizzy, that was just a small part of their history. His biting white boy blues came from the second wave of Belfast rock musicians that started with Van Morrison and his band Them. Euro and US guitarists with an interest in rock and blues technique know Gary well. My personal dealing with Mr. Moore was when Gibson Musical Instruments decided to open their UK office with a party to launch the opening of a

Gary Moore

  |   Comments
Gary Moore April 4, 1952-February 6, 2011 Gary Moore was known to most US music fans for his short period as part of Thin Lizzy. In Gary’s career, as well as Thin Lizzy, that was just a small part of their history. His biting white boy blues came from the second wave of Belfast rock musicians that started with Van Morrison and his band Them. My personal dealing with Mr. Moore was when Gibson Musical Instruments decided to open their UK office with a party to launch the opening plus the addition of a limited run of a “Scotty Moore”
Editor's Note: Part 1 of 'Searching For Alex Chilton' was previously published on Blinded By Sound and can be read here. I was stunned that such a talented and influential artist, seemingly from a great family, would be living in such squalor. I surmised he must have chosen that anonymous life over the inane world of rock music. He had sold millions of records as a teen in The Boxtops and never made a dime, then, after a few months hanging out with Dennis Wilson and Charles Manson, retreated to Memphis to make three of the most amazing American records

Exile On Main Street Blues

  |   Comments
With nothing to do on a Sunday in the New York snow, I usually find myself at Barnes and Nobles on 86th and Lex, just to browse. Every time I go into the music department there is a big box that keeps calling my name – the Deluxe Edition of The Rolling Stones’ Exile On Main Street. I can’t recall how many times I have looked at the big, heavy box with the cover I have known for nearly 40 years but now holds many goodies for a rabid baby-boomer who used the record as the soundtrack for a life.
It was around 1980-81, I read in Trouser Press, (the go-to rag for “underground,” FM ,and college radio bands), that one of my childhood heroes, Alex Chilton, vocalist for The Boxtops, later in Big Star, had quit trying to make it on his own in NYC and had moved back home to Memphis. It just happened that my last week with my last band was playing in the not too distant Corinth, MS.  I let my fingers do the walking and called every Chilton in the Memphis phone directory and, lo and behold, had great conversations with Alex’s mom and
Editor's Note: The first part of this incredible evening spent with George Harrison, Scotty Moore, and D.J.Fontana was previously published on Blinded By Sound and can be read here. Can anyone fathom being invited into George Harrison’s music room and being given permission to pick any guitar from the entire Beatles history and beyond and sit down and play? It came naturally to Scotty, as he was never star struck by anyone and seemed fully at ease around George, Alvin and Joe. After everyone, including me, had picked an instrument (mine was “Rocky” the Magical Mystery Tour Stratocaster), George asks

Neil Young In Reverse

  |   Comments
If you happen to find yourself waking up at 3:00 AM and have nothing else to do, I have a suggestion: listen to a couple of Neil Young records. Most Neil die-hards have the CD of On the Beach but it is not the same without the clicks, pops and lack of sonic clarity. Time Fades Away is not on CD or digital download and possibly never will be since it is reported that Neil has an anxiety attack every time he tries to listen to the tapes. It was recorded during his first arena tour when people who bought
Just as everyone in any civilized country, I found December 8, 2010 a somber reminder of a loss not just to music but also to the world. Every newscast, even al Jazeera, made note of the three decades that have passed without John Lennon. I was sitting in a car outside a friend’s house and we were discussing the strengths and weaknesses of John & Yoko’s Double Fantasy LP when his mother walked out of the house to let us know John had been shot. We were almost too stunned to turn on the radio to hear the news. The