Tuesday, October 27, 2009

The Spring Heeled Jacks Original Swinging Jass Band welcomes Parlour to Parlour to Texas

I knew that the Spring Heeled Jacks Original Swinging Jass Band’s debut album, The Dicky Comstock Show, was going to be good. The band’s bassist/arranger (and a very good friend of mine), Josh Morrow, had been sending me rough mixes as he and singer/guitarist/primary songwriter Nate Dunton worked on the tracks. What I didn’t know was that the album would be so good, so engaging — magical, even — that it would be one of the most-played albums in my collection during 2007. But as much as I enjoyed the record, it was maddening to know that so few ears had a chance to hear it.

See the full post at Popdose.

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

The interview you'll never hear with Norfolk & Western

I actually hadn't explicitly planned on getting footage of Norfolk & Western when I put together my initial wish list of Parlour to Parlour artists. I figured they might be good for a second season, once I had become more familiar with their recordings. I had seen them perform live once before, at Cafe du Nord in San Francisco. Chris Robley was filling his usual role as supporting guitarist and keyboard player in their road band, so it was chance for me to see and hear him in a context other than what I was already used to.

See the full post at Popdose.

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

The New Up shows us what a "pleasure pad" is...

The New Up, like Le Switch, was another band whose second time crossing my path felt just like the first. Only difference this time, other than the fact that their name remained the same, was that their sound had changed. Hooking up with noted producer/engineer Jaimeson Durr (Dan the Automator, Chickenfoot), the band had streamlined their studio sound, and after stabilizing their personnel, ended up with a polished modern rock identity that translated equally well on disc and on stage. Hearing them three years after the first live show of theirs I reviewed, I felt like I was hearing a whole new band.

See the full post at Popdose.

Sunday, October 11, 2009

Bob Dylan @ the Greek Theatre, Berkeley, 10/10/09

Saw Bob Dylan last night night in Berkeley. Quick and to the point: best Dylan show of the five I've seen to date (previous shows I've seen were summer of '97 at Great Woods in Mansfield, Mass. with Ani DiFranco; spring of 2005 at the Paramount Theater in Oakland with Merle Haggard; fall of 2007 at the Ryan Center in Kingston, RI with Elvis Costello; and this summer at Banner Island Ballpark in Stockton, CA with Willie Nelson and John Mellencamp).

His voice was clear and strong (relative for this period of his career, anyway) and he sounded like he was really enjoying the set. Spent part of the time at the keyboard, part of the time on guitar and harmonica, and part of the time singing without an instrument. Opened with an old Jesus song from his born again days, played some sweet new arrangements for "Mama, You've Been On My Mind" and "Cold Irons Bound," got the crowd all riled up with that "you think I'm over the hill" line in "Spirit On The Water" (just like he did at the Ryan Center), and best of all... NO opening acts, just Bob, with Charlie Sexton back in the band on guitar, and a nice long set in the open air. Show was sold out. He plays again at the Greek tonight (though I won't be there...)

Set list:

Gonna Change My Way Of Thinking
The Man In Me
Beyond Here Lies Nothin'
Mama, You've Been On My Mind
Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum
I Don't Believe You
My Wife's Home Town
Spirit On The Water
Cold Irons Bound
The Lonesome Death of Hattie Carroll
Highway 61 Revisited
I Feel A Change Coming On
Thunder On The Mountain
Ballad Of A Thin Man

Like A Rolling Stone
All Along The Watchtower

Tuesday, October 6, 2009

Parlour to Parlour gets an intimate look at Lila Nelson

Waiting to get into the men’s room at Mississippi Studios in Portland, Oregon, I noticed a tall (relative to me, anyway), attractive young lady with a guitar standing quietly by. She was soft-spoken, seemed kind of shy, and turned out she was also visiting from California. Based in Arcata at that time, Lila Nelson was playing an early set before Rachel Taylor Brown that Spring night in 2008, and was about to completely rip apart my initial impression of her.

See the full post at Popdose.