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Pop in his element
Posted May 27, 2011 by Clarisa Gerlach
Updated May 27, 2011 at 10:08 PM
“Refined” may not be the word that comes to mind when describing Iggy Pop’s albums. Listening to “Roadkill Rising: The Bootleg Collection 1977-2009,” Shout! Factory’s new four-disc set of live Pop bootlegs, though, shows just how little of Ig’s raw power can be captured in the studio.
Make no mistake, these are bootlegs. The sound quality is never less than decent, but none of this would pass muster with a major label gatekeeper. Each disc covers a different decade but with several shows as sources. Edits are jarring – Pop will introduce one song and start singing another. The styles of his backing bands vary wildly. The liner notes are unforgivably skimpy as to who’s playing what, when and where.
However, compared to Pop’s studio output since 1980’s “Soldier,” “Roadkill Rising” is reason to celebrate.
This is Pop, the good, bad and ugly, and Iggy’s good, bad and ugly is better, worse and uglier than most anyone else’s.
He spends most of “One for My Baby,” yes, that one, alternately threatening and begging the audience for quiet. Disc three ends with Pop taunting a (presumably) French audience.
But there’s also no shortage of rock ‘n’ roll roar, and tepid studio numbers such as “Candy” and “Real Wild Child” get a sound thrashing here.
“Roadkill Rising” is a sordid mess with more than ample rock ‘n’ roll cajones – much like Iggy Pop himself.
(Order from http://www.shoutfactory.com and receive yet another disc of live Pop madness, recorded in San Francisco in 1979.)
Duo’s home has wheels
Posted May 26, 2011 by Clarisa Gerlach
Updated May 27, 2011 at 11:56 AM
Roots-rock duo Hymn for Her doesn’t have to give up the comforts of home when it tours.
That’s because home is an Airstream trailer that also serves as transportation and recording studio for the twosome, made up of Wayne Waxing and Lucy Tight.
The couple shares the space with their four-year-old daughter and a black Labrador named Pokey, who Tight described as “90 pounds of love.”
Sounds cramped but Tight insisted it’s not.
“We lived in our van for years,” she says. “Having the Airstream is like adding a wing onto our house.”
Based in Philadelphia, Hymn for Her is on an extended Florida stay. It played WMNF’s Tropical Heatwave festival earlier this month, has performed in Sarasota, Orlando and at a farmer’s market in Winter Park.
Tuesday, though, was a day off so Tight and Waxing took their daughter to Disney World, from where Lucy spoke by telephone.
“I’m having a Mickey Mouse heat wave right now,” Tight said.
Tight and Waxing, then known as Maggi Jane and Pierce Ternay, according to the All Music Web site, were two-thirds of eclectic folk trio Maggi, Pierce and EJ before forming Hymn for Her.
The duo’s first album, 2008’s “Year of the Golden Pig,” had a spare, acoustic sound. But second album “Lucy and Wayne and the Amairican Stream,” released last year, is loud, loose and rocking.
Part of the change is due to the decision to record in the Airstream.
“We thought it would be good to record in,” Tight said. “We got great sounds playing in there and it turned out to be a great little studio.”
The other change was the addition of a cigar-box guitar which is cranked through an amplifier and played with a slide.
A friend gave them the cigar-box guitar years ago, “but we never busted it out of the closet until a year ago.”
The instrument not only affected the sound but the songwriting as well.
“This was a very new sound we were working on,” Tight said. “We were developing the sound as we were recording, and that was all part of the writing process.”
Hymn for Her performs May 27 at The Hideaway, 1756 Central Ave., St. Petersburg. Call (727) 644-7895.
The band returns to St. Petersburg on May 31 for a show at The Independent, 29 Third St. N. Call (727) 820-9514.
Gaga gives it away, almost
Posted May 23, 2011 by Clarisa Gerlach
Updated May 23, 2011 at 11:38 AM
Lady Gaga isn’t exactly giving away her new album, but she’s coming close.
Today on Amazon, Lady Gaga’s new album, “Born This Way,” can be downloaded for 99 cents. Detractors will say this is a dollar too much, and fanatics will want the special edition - three extra tracks on the album proper plus an extra disc of remixes - but for just about anyone else this is a steal.
The standard edition includes all three singles released so far - the title track, “Judas” and “The Edge of Glory.”
If there was any doubt Gaga would have the number one spot on Billboard’s pop album chart next week, this should pretty much seal it.
Mother’s Day show benefits The Spring
Posted May 7, 2011 by Clarisa Gerlach
Updated May 7, 2011 at 08:19 PM
A Mother’s Day tradition, “Take Back the Night” presents local music to raise awareness about domestic violence and funds for The Spring of Tampa Bay.
Volunteers from The Spring will be present to talk about its mission of preventing domestic violence and providing shelter and assistance to victims.
This year’s musical lineup features some new faces - Next of Kin, a blues-rock outfit featuring father and daughter on guitar and vocals, respectively; The Applebutter Express, pictured above, a ukulele and vocals duo; and singer-songwriter Wendy Barmore.
The show starts at 5 p.m. Sunday at Skipper’s Smokehouse, 910 Skipper Road, Tampa. Admission is by donation ($10 is suggested). Call (813) 971-0666.
Feelies “Here” and now
Posted May 6, 2011 by Clarisa Gerlach
Updated May 6, 2011 at 02:25 PM
THE FEELIES: HERE BEFORE (BAR/NONE)
The Feelies are nothing if not self-aware. On the very first lines of their very first album in 20 years, they ask:
Is it too late to do it again?
Or should we wait another 10? …
Well, you never know
How it’s gonna go.
The answers are: No, no and quite well.
Considering the Feelies broke up and reformed with half the original band gone between albums one and two, twenty years between albums four and five hardly seems remarkable. Besides, this time, the lineup that recorded every Feelies album besides 1980 debut “Crazy Rhythms” remains intact.
It’s hard to imagine, though, that “Here Before” would have sounded much different had it been released 15 years ago. The Feelies have essentially worked the same musical ground since 1986’s “The Good Earth,” with varying degrees of voltage.
It sounds simple and even formulaic – hypnotic, almost metronomic rhythms, understated vocals and occasional guitar bursts to break up the monotony. Except there is no monotony. Like most simple-sounding music, there’s much more going on beneath the surface and it’s doubtful any other group of musicians could play these songs and get within a mile of the Feelies’ magic.
There are few better examples in music of the whole being greater than the sum of its parts than The Feelies. Additions to the basic strum ‘n’ drum - Dave Weckerman’s percussion, for example, or a distorted guitar circling menacingly beneath the crisp chords, have an almost subliminal effect. Nothing ever calls attention to itself. Everything serves to strengthen the songs.
Forget this being a reunion album. “Here Before” is as good as, maybe even the best of, the Feelies post-’”Crazy Rhythms” work. But we can reassess that when the next Feelies album rolls around in, oh, 2031 or so.