George

All the Videos From CONAN’s George Harrison Week

If you’ve seen A Hard Day’s Night then you know George was definitely the coolest Beatle. If you’ve seen any clip of him you know it. And so it’s fitting that we celebrate George Harrison Week with Conan O’Brien and a cast of friends, family and admirers.

Beck Kicks it off with “Wah Wah” and the influence of All Things Must Pass on Beck’s sound become so obvious now.

Next is George’s old pal, Paul Simon with a tasty cover of “Here Comes the Sun.”

Contrast that with this version of the George Harrison and Paul Simon playing it together in 1976 and you can FEEL the years wash over you.

My favorite is definitely Dhani Harrison’s version of “Let it Down” from All Things Must Pass. Dhani is in the lead for my nomination for Upright Standing Man of the Year for his devotion to his dad’s legacy.

Wrapping up is Norah Jones, whose father Ravi Shankar was a close friend and mentor to George Harrison. It’s a really nice tie-in to his history and personal relationships and a very, very pretty version of one of my favorite dep cuts.

So, you might be asking: Why is Conan even having a George Harrison Week? I mean, it’s nice and all and he’s surely a fan, but why now? It might have something to do with this week’s release of the new box set George Harrison, The Apple Years 1968 – 75. Whoever came up with this bit of promotion should get a raise because it goes so far beyond dopey old advertising and into creating something new and interesting in support of a record release.

Pet Sun

Pet Sun – Feel Like I’m Going Away

Guess what other flavor of rock isn’t dead, Gene Simmons? Garage Rock! Yes, there are lots of bands out there banging away on rough guitar riffs and smashface drum parts. I like Toronto’s Pet Sun, made up of a gang of high school pals who just can’t let go of the rock.

The band’s first official release is out on September 27 and includes this gloriously bizarre video for the single, “Feel Like I’m Going Away.”

Follow these goons on Facebook, I guess.

HANDSOMEJACK_Band1

Handsome Jack – Right On

While we all loved KISS as kids we also now know Gene Simmons is an unbearable blowhard and apparently a dipshit too. How else do we explain his claim that rock and roll is dead? Maybe if you never go to clubs or talk to people who pay attention to independent music or have no access to the Internet or record stores or…

Not only is rock and roll still very much alive but classic rock (Simmons’ own genre) is chuggling along just fine too. Exhibit A: Handsome Jack

Heavy, fuzzy, muddy guitar tones sloppily bump up against a wheezy Hammond organ and leave you with the distinct feeling of dudes in jean vests slowly lumbering around the floor while their cougars prowl the perimeter. No pretense, no skinny pants, no Swatches to be seen. This is your dad’s rock and roll. And your dad was cooler than you.

Stream the full album here

Follow Handsome Jack on Facebook

(photo credit: Natalie Solotes)

TheAsteroidNo4_TheAsteroidNo4_CoverArt

Stream the new Asteroid No. 4 album

You can now stream the entire new album from Asteroid No. 4. What I love about this band is their inclusion of sounds beyond “drone” in their exploration of psychedelic music–but rest assured, there’s some drone in there too. It’s just that there were as many weirdos on the farms back in the day as there were in warehouses and these guys know it.

Dig this 45 minute tour of Cosmic American Music while summer fades to fall and the nights take over the days. There’s a golden chill in the air, so warm up with a nip of whiskey and a tug on your pipe.

Read our interview with the band:
12 YEAR ITCH: GLORIOUS NOISE INTERVIEW WITH THE ASTEROID NO. 4

Chuck D and Mavis Staples

Chuck D and Mavis Staples bring the pride in new video

Video: Chuck D – “Give We The Pride” ft. Mavis Staples

Chuck D continues to rule. The Public Enemy leader comes to Chicago to hang out with Mavis Staples and to showcase 2120 South Michigan Avenue, the former home of Chess Records. Also featured prominently in the video is Tribune/Sound Opinions critic Greg Kot’s Mavis biography, I’ll Take You There. Chuck’s new album, The Black In Man, is available now via Rap Central Station.

Ryan Adams on Letterman

David Letterman Loves Some Ryan Adams

I’m a Letterman guy; always have been. I would stay up super late on hot summer nights getting fat on PB&J and honing a sense of humor built on Bill Murray and David Letterman. They’re Midwestern guys like me. We’re a bit sarcastic but generally good guys with an honest (earnest?) love of good things.

One of the reasons I love David Letterman is that he isn’t shy about getting geeky on bands he loves. He did it hilariously with Future Islands and now gives a big gap-toothed sweet nothing to Ryan Adams. The song veers way to close to Glenn Frey for my tastes but I can’t help but fall in with Dave’s enthusiasm.

Rock and roll can change your life.