Monday, December 31, 2007

Only nine more to go ...

It's New Year's Eve, and I'm sitting here trying to think of nine more good things about the departing year so I can finish my list of ten, when up pops a link to the Buffalo Beast's rundown of the 50 Most Loathsome People of 2007, courtesy of, complete with spot-on ugly caricature of Hillary Clinton.

At this time, the link seems to have disappeared from RawStory. Can't even find it in their Archives. Do you suppose they had a threatening call from Ralph Reed's lawyers, complaining that their client didn't make the cut?

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Monklite in Vermouth

Since LivePDX music critic Tom Dantoni named "Monklite in Vermouth" his favorite unreleased track of 2007, I thought I'd put it up for a short while on MySpace, so folks could hear it if they want to.

Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Ten Things 2007: Number One

A series of posts spotlighting some things that made a bad year bearable.

1. "Is It News," Doyle Bramhall's amazing new genre-transcending CD.

Doyle Bramhall -- not to be confused with his guitar-slinging son, Doyle II -- is probably best known for his contribution as a songwriter to some of the late Stevie Ray Vaughan's biggest hits. Not to mention his influence (obvious once you've heard him) on SRV's vocal style, and his status as one of the great drummers in this line of music.

As his label, YepRoc, puts it, Bramhall had a key role in helping to create "the largest audience the blues has ever known." I suspect this new CD will further expand that audience.

Up to now, Bramhall's albums have been distinguished by matchless covers of songs like "I Can See Clearly Now," reborn as a Texas roadhouse rocker, and O. V. Wright's "I'd Rather Be Blind, Crippled and Crazy."

"Is It News" changes all that. This CD is all originals. Some of them are instant classics, like "Lost in the Congo" and "I'll Take You Away," the best new soul song I have heard in way too long a time. If radio stations played this kind of music, people would believe in radio again.

The album is somehow both thoroughly modern-sounding, even edgy, while also being a throwback to the days when bluesmen like Jimmy Reed routinely ignored the genre police and crashed the pop charts.

If you're a fan of rocking Texas R&B music, you probably didn't think they made records like this anymore. If you're among the people who think they're not supposed to like this kind of music, you may be surprised by your own answer to the question posed by the title.

You can hear four songs from the CD on Bramhall's MySpace page:

Monday, December 3, 2007

One of the Great Kill Shots

"I feel like Trotsky being rubbed out of the photograph," says Dave Marsh, whose name will always be synonymous with Creem, no matter who buys the "naming rights."

It's like somebody who toured with them for 15 minutes grabbing the rights to The Byrds name, using it to put some bar band on the Wallapaloozer circuit, and treating Roger McGuinn as a marginal figure. Oh wait, did that already happen?