This week’s label of the week is Get Hip Records. I mean, how can you not buy a CD from a label who’s motto is “Get Hip or Get Lost.“
According to this article the Webcaster Alliance is threatening to sue the RIAA for behavior that they believe threatens the survival of small independent webcasters who (surprise, surprise) primarily play indie music. I urge you to read the article (especially if you are American), research the issues and then decide for yourself if you should support the Webcaster Alliance in their fight. The future of radio choice could very well hang in the balance.
Station of the Week is a weekly feature I have added highlighting a radio station or show that you might want to check out. The criteria for inclusion is loose but obviously, it has to be somehow related to rock and roll. ‘Nuff said.
This week’s station comes to you from Woodstock, New York, WDST-FM. You can listen to their stream online. Mac users may want to check out this story at Macdaily News where I originally read about them.
Don’t forget to e-mail The Report with any of your suggestions on what you think constitutes good Rock and Roll radio, something that is harder and harder to find every year.
Ever wanted to see the Sacred Music Festival in Fez, Morocco and have your own Brian Jones revelation? Or check out the Iguanas in Cuba? Springsteen at Fenway Park? All this is possible with a very cool little company operating out of Boston called Adventures in Rock. These are not your regular bus tours to see Molly Hatchet at the Backwoods State Fair. These are first class, luxurious trips to great concerts and incredibly exotic festivals around the world and from what I can tell their reputation is stellar. If you ever wanted to sip Perrier with Sting in the V.I.P. tent backstage, these are the people who will give you the best shot at making it happen! Sign up for their newsletter and start saving! Catch you in Rio.
So Brian Wilson has announced that he will be performing the legendary holy grail of rock and roll (or at least one of them), “Smile”, live in concert in 2004 in North America and Europe. What took so long? It’s only been 37 years since production on this unreleased “masterpiece” was halted in a haze of acid fueled paranoia as Brian Wilson descended into a quagmire of (a) eccentricity, (b) insanity, (c) paranoia or (d) all of the above.
If you are not familiar with the history of “Smile”, a thumbnail sketch is as follows:
1. Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys create “Pet Sounds” a monster of a pop masterpiece album.
2. Paul McCartney hears “Pet Sounds.” It blows him away. The Beatles go on to create “Sergeant Peppers” in response.
3. Brian Wilson and the Beach Boys follow up with their “pocket symphony” single “Good Vibrations.” Critics and fans go gaga.
4. Brian Wilson immediately jumps into the creation of “Smile” the follow up to “Pet Sounds” but cans production after hearing “Sergeant Peppers” and thinking that his arrangement of one tune destined for the album is causing outbursts of fire around Los Angeles.
5. Bits and pieces of “Smile” have been surfacing on various bootlegs and legit recordings for the last 37 years.
To say that these concerts will be “historic” is probably a bit much but seeing a performance of “Smile” using today’s modern technology should be amazing.
Can’t wait for next year? Check out Rocument’s “Smile Sessions” site for tips on how to create your own copy of “Smile.” For an even more in depth look at the creation of the album and the chaos surrounding it, I recommend trying to get a copy of the book “Look! Listen! Vibrate! Smile!” by Domenic Priore (Last Gasp, P.O. Box 410067, San Francisco, CA 94141-0067 U.S.A.). Will it be worth the wait? I’m guessing a lot of fans are ready to pony up and find out. I just might be one of them.
Despite my last post expressing my preference for British rock mags, there is one magazine from America that I consider indispensable. Ugly Things, a magazine billed as “the ultimate rock’n’roll read, bringing you wild sounds from past dimensions, from times when rock’n’roll was young, daring, dangerous and vital”. This is a great Rock and Roll magazine chock a block with interesting features and cool reviews focusing on the obscure and not so obscure rock bands and labels from the sixties to now. The current issue (which is sold out) has an incredible feature on the Jimmy Page era Yardbirds. Essential reading for any rock and roll fan. Like you.
Despite the abundance of music related web sites on the internet these days, there is something to be said about plopping yourself down in a deck chair by the pool and reading a good old fashioned rock and roll magazine. I always try to make some time for this necessary life affirming function and increasingly the rock mags I tend to read regularly are British. Why? I like big and glossy. I like a mixture of old and new. I like features on esoteric bands and record labels and it seems more and more that British mags like Mojo, Q and Uncut give me what I want.
This weekend, I finally got a chance to catch up on some reading with the June (Led Zeppelin on the cover) and July (R.E.M. on the cover) issues of Mojo. While I enjoyed the cover stories, it’s always the little snippets and news items that catch my eye and are the main reason why I continue to buy Mojo (despite the steep cover price here in Canada). The June issue features an excellent CD of American garage bands (“Sometimes You Just Can’t Win” by Mouse & the Traps is wild and it also features the most excellent “Psychotic Reaction” by the Count Five). I also enjoyed the feature on the Beatles obsessed sixties band The Aerovons who’s long lost album “Resurrection” has been released by RPM Records.
The July issue has a feature on the very cool Toe Rag Studio where the White Stripes recorded “Elephant” as well as a host of other bands. There is also a great story on Trunk Records , features on Neil Young , “Double Nickels” by the Minutemen (check out Mike Watt’s home page at http://www.hootpage.com/ ) and the Godfather of Soul James Brown performing in Vietnam at the height of the Vietnam War.
Both issues were great reads. Next!
I haven’t had a chance to check this out yet but it looks kinda cool!Audioscrobbler.com :: Discover new music based on your listening habits
“A Journey Through America with the Rolling Stones” (also referred to as STP) is a great book. This is hand’s down one of the best books about rock and roll in general and a band on tour in particular ever written. Greenfield tracks the Rolling Stones as they barrel through America on their 1972 tour with razor sharp focus, veering from glimpses of the band in concert to the gaggle of hangers on that manage to lurch through the proceedings just outside the spotlights. Every stereotype and cliché is there for the viewing: drugged out rocker, underage groupie, stoned but efficient roadie as well as a group of jet set “guests” that make the whole scene bizarre in the extreme. Keith Richard’s take on Hugh Hefner and the Playboy mansion and Hugh Hefner’s take on Keith Richard’s take on the Playboy Mansion is a scream. Perfect reading for the summer.
Highly recommended. Get it at Helter Skelter books, the premier music oriented bookstore.
The Stooges have reunited. Why? Check out No Rock and Roll Fun for this and more dirt from Simon B.