Five from the Archive: Tedeschi Trucks Band in 2015

It’s been a few years since the last Five from the Archive post, but we haven’t lost touch with the Live Music Archive.  It just keeps growing and getting better. So we’re bringing Five from the Archive back. To start, we’ll be focusing on my favorite form of musical flattery – covers – from a few different bands. For our first go around, it’s the Tedeschi Trucks Band. Tedeschi Trucks became a band when Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks (now married) merged their bands together a few years ago. They are huge on the festival circuit, and growing more popular each year. They do extensive touring, and are currently on their Wheels of Soul Summer Tour, with Sharon Jones and the Dap-Kings opening up.

As a band, Tedeschi Trucks is like an old school soul revue meets the Allman Brothers. They’ve got two guitar players (Tedeschi and Trucks), two drummers, a keyboard player, a bass player, plus two back up vocalists and a horn section. A big band that knows how to occupy (and not occupy) the open spaces in a song. They’ve released two of their own albums, and they do a good number of covers. Today we’re highlighting five of the covers they’ve played so far in 2015.

1.  Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright”. A classic Dylan song. From The Freewheelin’ Bob Dylan, it’s just Bob and his guitar, but here it becomes a soulful big band ballad in the hands of Tedeschi Trucks. There are great flute and trumpet solos in there, too. Full show: Tedeschi Trucks Band – January 17, 2015 at Vinoy Park in St. Petersburg, Fl.

2. Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Oh! You Pretty Things”. A surprise but welcome choice, and a great cover. This is old school David Bowie, going back to the early 70s and Hunky Dory. It’s mostly just him and the piano on the album, and so it is here – mostly Tedeschi’s vocals and a spare piano accompaniment, that builds to the full band as the song progresses. People have no idea what song they’re playing. I love it. Full Show: Tedeschi Trucks Band – January 18, 2015 at Mizner Park in Boca Raton, Fl.

3. Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Space Captain”. “Space Captain” is practically a standard for Tedeschi Trucks now. It’s a frequent encore selection. It originally comes from Joe Cocker’s Mad Dogs and Englishman record. Full Show: Tedeschi Trucks Band – February 21, 2015 at Warner Theatre in Washington D.C.

4. Tedeschi Trucks Band – “Living Loving Maid -> What Is And What Should Never Be  -> The Storm”. OK, I’ll admit, this one is a bit of a stretch as a full fledged cover. It’s not. The band plays around with the riffs from the two Led Zeppelin songs for a few minutes, but the rest of the clip is their original “The Storm” from Made Up Mind. It’s a solid jam, though. Full show: Tedeschi Trucks Band – April 17, 2015 at Santander Performing Arts Center in Reading, PA.

5. Tedeschi Trucks Band – “I’ve Got A Feeling”. Here’s an example of where the background vocalists get elevated to lead vocal. They both add so much depth to the band’s sound. This version of The Beatles “I’ve Got A Feeling” highlights some of that added depth. Full show: Tedeschi Trucks Band – May 18, 2015 at Central Park Summer Stage.

Not a bad collection of covers, and we’re not even halfway through 2015 yet. I’m going to see these guys again this summer, this time at Meadow Brook Music Festival. Can’t wait to see them and Sharon Jones.

Find more of Mike’s work at MVP Presents. Follow him on Facebook and Twitter.

[Ed. Note: Image from Wikimedia Commons, courtesy of Michael F. O’Brien]

New Jenny Lewis video ft. Fred Armisen and Feist

Video: Jenny Lewis – “She’s Not Me”

Directed by Jenny Lewis. Starring Fred Armisen, Zosia Mamet, Leo Fitzpatrick, Feist, and Vanessa Bayer. From the album The Voyager, produced by Ryan Adams. This is one of my favorite albums from last year. I never got into Rilo Kiley, but Lewis won me over when I saw her with the Postal Service at Lollapalooza in 2013. She’s a super charismatic performer. And her videos are full of her famous pals, which comes across as a lot more charming than you might expect.

Video: Jenny Lewis – “Just One Of The Guys”

Directed by Jenny Lewis. Starring Anne Hathaway, Brie Larson, Kristen Stewart, and Tennessee Thomas.

Lewis told Rolling Stone that Adams was “the most unique producer I’ve ever worked with, in his approach and behavior… He made me listen to five or six Creed songs, really loudly on these beautiful tube speakers. My ears were bleeding. And it was Creed! He was like, ‘This is great music. I want you to hear it.’ And by the third song, I was like ‘Huh. Umm. Yeah, I can maybe see that.'”

I’m just glad that not much Creed oozed into The Voyager, like it did on Adams’ own self-titled 2014 album. Yuck!

Liz Phair recording new music

Reporting on somebody’s Twitter comments seems a little silly, but I guess GLONO has a long history of writing about musicians’ unofficial announcements (see “Ryan Adams: New Whiskeytown Album?” or “Mooney Suzuki’s Souls Stolen by Satan”). Anyway, it’s 2015 and stalwart old establishments like Billboard and Rolling Stone spend half their time scraping Instagram and Tumblr for juicy celebrity gossip. What once was the domain of bloggers has been co-opted by the major publications and now passes for journalism. So it goes.

Anyway…

It looks like our beloved Liz Phair has been recording new music again!

On April 8, Phair tweeted that “in 3 days I’m going rafting in #GrandCanyon w no wifi, no toilet & no way out.”

She also solicited requests, and said “We’re recording the music.”

Looks like she was off the grid from April 11 through April 21 when she tweeted a bunch of photos of the Grand Canyon and mentioned that “we recorded new songs in amazing locations.”

Continue reading Liz Phair recording new music

New Mountain Goats wrestling video featuring Chavo Guerrero

Video: The Mountain Goats – “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero”

Just like every middle school aged boy in the early 80s, I got into professional wrestling for a while. It probably started with seeing Hulk “Thunderlips” Hogan in Rocky III, but who knows? Wrestling was booming with Cyndi Lauper videos featuring Capt. Lou Albano and Hulkmania spreading everywhere. My pals and I would attempt figure-fours and piledrivers on each other in our basements. I can no longer remember who was a good guy and who was bad, but they were all impressive characters: Andre the Giant, Junkyard Dog, Rowdy Roddy Piper, the Iron Sheik, King Kong Bundy, Brutus Beefcake, Big John Studd, Sgt. Slaughter. Very exciting stuff when you’re a kid.

I’d never heard of Chavo Guerrero. As John Darnielle admits, Guerrero was “almost completely unknown outside of Texas and the west coast.” But I love him now because of this video. By now, we all know Darnielle’s back story as covered on 2005’s breakthrough album The Sunset Tree: his stepfather was abusive and cruel, but also intellectual and complex. “The Legend of Chavo Guerrero” rises above being just a tribute to a childhood hero in the verse where Darnielle directly addresses his stepfather:

He was my hero back when I was a kid
You let me down but Chavo never did

At this point in the video, JD has one hand on Chavo’s shoulder and points straight at the camera with his other hand. In the previous verse Darnielle admitted, “I hated Chavo’s enemies, I would pray nightly for their death,” and in recent interviews he has said that his stepfather always rooted for the heels. So the next lines are even more powerful:

You called him names just to get beneath my skin
Now your ashes are scattered in the wind

Chavo makes a “Whoa!” face in the video, sort of like “Dude, did you just say that? Did you just suggest that your prayers were answered? That your stepfather was my enemy and you prayed for his death and now he’s dead? Whoa, dude!”

It’s awesome.

Beat the Champ is out now on Merge Records.

Ticketstubs: The Jacksons Victory Tour, 1984

I’ve always said that this was my first concert, but I’m pretty sure I’m wrong. I saw the Oak Ridge Boys at the Ionia Free Fair around the time of “Elvira” and the internet tells me that must have been on August 5, 1981. (I think I also saw Cheap Trick there, which would have been August 2, 1983).

But the Jacksons Victory Tour was the first concert that I was super excited about. I was 12 years old and I was a very big fan of Michael Jackson. Like everybody else on the planet I had been completely captivated by Thriller. I had watched all of his videos and cheered for him on the American Music Awards and the Grammys, but this was the chance to see him in person! At the time of this show I don’t think I had yet listened to Off the Wall and I had definitely never heard Destiny and Triumph (still haven’t). All I knew was that I was going to see Michael Jackson!

Getting tickets was something else. First of all, they were $30 each which may seem cheap now but was crazy at the time. Especially for my recently widowed mom. And you couldn’t just buy them. There was some convoluted process whereby AAA members could purchase blocks of four tickets. My mom’s best friend had AAA and she had a babysitter who was about my age and liked Michael Jackson too. We came up with a plan where the babysitter would stay in line all night and buy the tickets for us. In return, my mom’s friend would buy her a ticket.

This seems preposterous to me as I think about it today. We dropped an 11 or 12 year old girl off in the evening to wait in line all night long with a bunch of strangers? With $120 in cash? Her parents let her do this? Really?

Continue reading Ticketstubs: The Jacksons Victory Tour, 1984

New Rentals video: It’s Time To Come Home

Video: The Rentals – “It’s Time To Come Home”

I love the Rentals. I still think Return of the Rentals is an underrated 90s classic. Maybe “Friends of P” had “one hit wonder” written all over it (one minor hit, of course: it peaked at No. 82 on the Hot 100), but it works great in the context of a perfectly conceptualized and executed album. Neither Return of the Rentals nor its 1999 follow-up Seven More Minutes charted on the Billboard 200 but they both rank pretty high on my personal all-time Top 200 Albums chart.

This site’s first real interview was with Cherielynn Westrich back in 2001, and we caught up with Matt Sharp himself in 2003 while he was doing his solo project. The Rentals released an EP in 2007 and some kind of multimedia project in 2009, but just last year they released their first full-length album since 1999: Lost in Alphavile on Polyvinyl. I pre-ordered it on Coke bottle colored vinyl.

And it’s good. None of the people from the first two albums other than Matt Sharp have anything to do with it, but the guy from the Black Keys plays the drums on it, so that’s kind of a big deal, right? It came out last August, but they finally got around to making a video for it, and it looks like a bunch of semi-futuristic, quasi-scientific mumbo jumbo, so it’s pretty much perfect!

The Charlatans are still around

If you would’ve told me back in 1991 that the Charlatans would still be making music twenty-something years later, I would have scoffed. Back then, as much as I enjoyed their Some Friendly album, it was obvious to anybody reading imported copies of the NME that these guys were total bandwagon-jumping posers. The Stone Roses were the real deal and everybody else was a sad imitation. But time has a funny way shaking things out. So here we are in 2015 and the Charlatans are still touring and releasing albums and making videos.

Video: The Charlatans – “Let The Good Times Be Never Ending”

…in which our boys walk around Japan and show off their terrible haircuts. Modern Nature is out now.

Continue reading The Charlatans are still around