Wednesday, February 22, 2006

STEVE ROCK: Upcoming Love Experts Live Shows

March is a busy month for Love Experts live shows. Catch us if you can, cause you won’t be seeing us the rest of the spring and summer, as we plan to exclusively devote that time to finishing our next record.

Those dates:

Friday, March 3rd:
The River City Yacht Club at Port Cape Girardeau
Cape Girardeau, MO
With Giant Bear (Memphis, TN)

Saturday, March 4th:
St. Louis, MO
With Giant Bear (Memphis, TN) and Brain Regiment (St. Louis, MO)
We go on first (9:30pm-ish), hurray for us!

Thursday, March 16:
SXSW Undertow Records Showcase
Habana Calle 6 Patio
Austin, TX

Saturday, March 18th:
Jovitas Mexican Restaurant
Austin, TX

Saturday, March 25th:
The Duck Room
St. Louis, MO
Undertow "homecoming" show with Magnolia Summer and Waterloo. Order of bands yet to be determined.

Tuesday, February 21, 2006

MUSIC: Did I Grow My Hair Just To Scare The Teacher?

The deluxe remastered/repackaged cd versions of Mott The Hoople’s All The Young Dudes & Mott were released today. If you know me, then you probably know of my deep love for this band and the profound effect their music has had and continues to have on my life. Their music hooked me at that very awkward and confusing stage/brick wall that most teenagers run into: That time when you dare not speak your most private of thoughts, but you’d give the world to simply have them validated by someone or some thing. Rock ‘n’ roll validated me, and Mott The Hoople really validated me. To a Midwestern kid locked in his suburban bedroom in the mid-1970's, Mott’s music had one VERY LOUD message: “There’s a great big world out there kid, it ain’t pretty, but that’s the best part...”

So as we continue on in the cd age, with a better reissue followed by a better reissue followed by an even better reissue of our most beloved albums, it’s often a little scary when you finally sit down to listen to the latest “best version yet.” Will the remastering bring new illumination to the diamond, or will too many previously unexposed flaws emerge? Well fear not. Two of the greatest rock records ever made are now even better.

You know all the tales we tell, you know the band so well
“The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople”, from the Mott album.

Those of you not familiar with Mott The Hoople’s music and history may want to start here.

You diehards out there, rejoice:

1. The remastering meets the high standards established by Sony Legacy Recordings. I am so beyond knowing every single sound on these records by heart, if I had a dollar for every time I’ve listened to these records over the past 30+ years, I’d be typing this from some island paradise. YES, they sound amazing, and YES, on first listen I heard things in the music I never heard before, like a cute little drum mistake Buffin made toward the end of "Drive-In’ Sister." (They were rocking like motherfuckers, so the take was an obvious keeper.) What comes through sonically is how little Mott sounded like anything else at the time. The production and engineering on these records were forward looking for the era, but the incredible songs are why these records are so timeless. A lot of great ideas were colliding at once on both. Great ideas that all worked and yet never got in the way of the boys and their rocking.
2. Bonus tracks! Seven on Dudes and four on Mott. There’s some cheating, as a few of these cuts are from the 30th Anniversary Edition import version of their live album, but who cares, the live cuts are all kick ass. B-side "Rose" finally makes it onto a cd, as well as the Bowie/Hunter duet version of "All The Young Dudes." But what is of most historical significance here is the inclusion of five fascinating demos. You have "One of The Boys" with a feel reminiscent of the Who’s "Let’s See Action." There’s a version of "Momma’s Little Jewel" called "Black Scorpio," so fast it’s almost punk rock. And there’s a demo of "Honaloochie Boogie" with completely different lyrics! Great stuff all around.

Only minor complaint I have with either cd is the respective packaging. Both sets of liner notes are fine, but they really dropped the ball on the photos. The band had millions of great photos taken of them during the era of these two records, so it would have been nice to see a few more of them included. I also wish they had completed the trifecta and reissued The Hoople (my personal favorite) at this time, but I’m sure that one will definitely be worth the wait.

Ok you old Sea Divers, time to run out and pick these up. After all these years, Mott The Hoople continues to tell Chuck Berry the news.

Rock ‘n’ Roll’s a loser’s game, it mesmerizes and I can’t explain
The reasons for the sights and for the sounds
The grease paint still sticks to my face
So what the hell? I can’t erase
The Rock ‘n’ Roll feeling from my mind
"The Ballad Of Mott The Hoople", from the Mott album.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Wednesday, February 15, 2006

POLITICS: Best Cheney Joke Yet

"At least when Clinton shot a load in someone's face, no one had to go to the hospital. "

From guest blogger Michael Anderson, on
B.A.'s Weblog.

Tuesday, February 14, 2006

STEVE ROCK: Love Experts At SXSW

Ok, we just got word where we're playing at this year's South By Southwest Music Festival in Austin, Texas. We're on the Undertow Records showcase, here's the line-up and venue:

Thursday, March 16 - Habana Calle 6 Patio (709 E 6th Street):
Love Experts - 8pm
Waterloo - 9pm
Steve Dawson - 10pm
Magnolia Summer - 11pm
Milton Mapes - 12am
Jay Bennett - 1am

Habana Calle? Wonder if that's anywhere near Cuba Street?

And our Irish Undertow homeys The Amazing Pilots are currently scheduled to perform at Soho Lounge on Friday, March 17 at 8:00 p.m. And they really are amazing...

Thursday, February 09, 2006

TV/MUSIC: Cartoons "Do It" Better

Last night I was knee deep in rehearsals for upcoming Love Experts live shows, so I wasn't able to get to my dvr of the Grammys until this morning. Only got to watch the first half hour or so, but man, I totally loved that Gorillaz/De La Soul/Madonna show opener! Anyone out there besides me catch that hilarious and oh-so-obvious heroin induced nodding off from the cartoon drummer of the Gorillaz as Madonna took the stage? As the English say---BRILLIANT! Leave it to the cartoons to get past the censors...

I had no beef with Madonna's lip-synching, as singing live would have just gotten in the way of her fabulous dance routine. And as we all know, dancing is the only thing people really care about on these shows. But she was just wonderful, and "Hung Up" remains one of the greatest "old school disco" songs ever.

Tuesday, February 07, 2006

POLITICS: Don't Trust Him, Don't Trust Him, Don't Trust Him

You know I get asked all the time by folks from all sides of the political spectrum, "What do you think about John McCain, would you ever vote for him?" My answer is always the same:

1. Aw hell no, I don't see any scenario possible that would ever lead me to voting for McCain, even if it was a choice between him and Joe Lieberman. And I really hate Joe Lieberman.

2. What do I think of McCain? I say don't trust him, don't trust him, don't trust him.

Daily Kos provides an amazing example, here.

Friday, February 03, 2006

POLITICS: You Tell 'Em, Sparky!

The latest from the greatest: This Modern World by Tom Tomorrow.

Wednesday, February 01, 2006

POLITICS: SOTU-A Pox On Both Their Houses

Bush's State Of The Union address, as well as Tim Kaine's embarrassing Democratic Response sickened me. I'll forgo the laundry list of horrors, but will point out that I found Bush's sly swipe at homosexuals being the supposed cause of the country's moral decline to be particularly vile, yet of course, no surprise. If Karl Rove's 2006 campaign strategy could be likened to the programming of a classic rock radio station, then terrorism fear mongering would be Dark Side Of The Moon, and gay bashing would be "Stairway To Heaven".

But the most shameful of all last night were the six, count 'em, six lines of absolute nothingness devoted to Katrina recovery, with Kaine's words on the subject every bit as empty. Here's the deal people: NEW ORLEANS HAS VANISHED AND YOUR GOVERNMENT COULD GIVE A RAT'S ASS ABOUT IT!!! But what about that 85 billion? It's just an allocation folks, and more and more it's looking like no one is actually interested in ways to effectively spend it---especially if you're looking for a plan to help the dispersed poor folks of New Orleans move back home.

The Democratic Response left me ashamed to be a Democrat. We had Bush set up like a bowling pin, and we threw a gutter ball.