April 2, 2004 |
"This machine here, it kills fascists too," said Audioslave's Tom Morello on Wednesday, pointing his acoustic guitar toward the capacity Troubadour crowd during a benefit concert titled "Axis of Justice." The youthful audience cheered, though most probably didn't get Morello's reference to a slogan that once adorned folk singer Woody Guthrie's instrument.
June 17, 1990 |
Scott Huckabay was no child phenom. He didn't even pick up a guitar until he finished playing with adolescence. "I was hanging around in the basement, when I found this old, thick Spanish guitar," said Huckabay, who was 17 at the time. "It suddenly became part of me, and I couldn't put it down. I found my thing." Today, his thing has landed him recognition--he placed second recently in BAM magazine's vote for guitarist of the year.
June 1, 1991 |
John Wesley Harding stands widely accused of being a lesser version of Elvis Costello. Thursday night at the Coach House, he blithely pleaded guilty. The young British rocker launched his encore segment with Costello's "Miracle Man," lending new meaning to the song's pointed refrain, "Why do you have to say that there's always someone who can do it better than I can?" The delivery was raw, but it lacked the bitterness and gumption of a sarcastic self-defense. Harding seemed to be saying that the criticism doesn't bother him, that it hardly matters.
May 22, 1989 |
Some of the most exciting moments in Friday's Jerry Garcia Band-Bob Weir show at Irvine Meadows Amphitheatre came early in the evening, indeed, well before either performer took to the stage. The pre-show tail-gate party/new-age swap meet common to Grateful Dead-related events was particularly enlivened this night by a bearded, be-turbaned fellow rolling around on high-tech skates, a portable amplifier strapped to his back. With a look of fried glee on his face, he sailed about, playing manic riffs on a battered Les Paul, singing something on the order of: "Computerized cocktail time, Computerized cocktail time, Midnight box opens, Arrgh!
March 18, 2013 |
AUSTIN, Texas -- Below is a highly subjective list of bests and worsts of the South by Southwest music festival, which concluded Sunday after many thousands of performances over six packed days. Best fan/singer interaction: During the Austin punk band A Giant Dog's thrilling set of bare bones punk, the charismatic singer Sabrina Ellis complained about the heat. “Could you all blow on me?” she politely asked. The response from one subservient fan: “Yes, Lord!” Best Beatles cover: During a night celebrating 50 years of the Beatles, the Pyramids, which features Tim Nordwind of OK Go and charismatic singer Drea Smith, chose two gems from the white album.
August 31, 1986 |
Clouded Crystal Ball Dept.: In the original 1959 liner notes for the Kenny Burrell reissue reviewed below, the writer bemoans the declining use of the guitar. Perhaps he was on target for that era, but today this is the most played, most purchased of all musical instruments, and any bunch of jazz records received for review will illustrate the wide range of uses made of the guitar in every area of jazz, as the following examples make clear: "THE LIVING ROOM TAPES." Lenny Breau & Brad Terry.
January 25, 1994 |
People aren't buying as many new pianos these days. Clarinets and trumpets aren't doing so well either, what with all those school-band budgets running in the red. And despite the guys with the big hair and the leather trousers running around on MTV, even electric guitars are down. What is selling are unamplified, acoustic guitars: Old-fashioned, folk-singer-guy-with-a-crew-cut, let's-have-a-hootenanny-type guitars.
June 13, 1990 |
In an ideal universe, all rock albums would be titled "Adventure," or at least would try to live up to that label. To Tom Verlaine, whose seminal '70s band Television did indeed claim "Adventure" as the title to its second LP, that's the whole point of the music. "It always surprises me when I hear so many bands sounding like so many other bands," Verlaine said in a recent phone interview from his Manhattan apartment.
June 2, 1989 |
Some folk or country music performers will tell you that singer-guitarist Doc Watson is American music's finest proponent. Others simply maintain that he is American music. Watson carries a repertoire in his head of more than 800 songs, many older than the nation, and his staggering flatpicking abilities have influenced practically everybody in folk or country who ever picked up an acoustic guitar. But, more than being a repository of lore or an influential stylist, perhaps the most American of the blind musician's traits is the enlivening way he makes everything he touches his own, leaving both tradition and his legendary six-string techniques open to nightly reinterpretation.