Arlo Guthrie: Alice’s Restaurant – Video

alices-restaurant

Chances are that Arlo Guthrie’s royalty checks for the month of November are always significantly higher that than they are for the other months each year. For while there is a seemingly infinite number of Christmas songs in the pop music idiom, Guthrie’s “Alice’s Restaurant” is one of the few songs set during Thanksgiving.

Not that the holiday has all that much to do with the song. “Alice’s Restaurant” is living proof that truth is stranger than fiction. The first part of the story, a tale of small-town law enforcement run amok against the 60’s counterculture, actually happened to Guthrie, even though he added some exaggerated comic touches for effect. He was indeed arrested in Massachusetts for illegally dumping garbage for friends who lived in a former church, was brought before a blind judge, and had to pay a small fine.

Guthrie pretty much made up the second half of the song, a surreal visit to a U.S. Draft inspection station in New York, but the spirit of the story, that he was ineligible to serve in Vietnam because of his littering offense, was true. That bit of topicality meant that this shaggy-dog story hit home for a lot of folks even as Guthrie’s dry humor had them in hysterics.

In a 2005 interview with NPR to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the incident behind the song (which wasn’t released until 1967), Guthrie was asked why he thought “Alice’s Restaurant” was so resonant. “Well, you know, I wasn’t sure at first, but I thought it’s probably just a story of a little guy against a big world,” he said. “It’s just a funny tale, and I had–I still have–and I cherish the letters and the postcards and the pictures I got from the guys over in Vietnam, you know, who had little Alice’s Restaurant signs outside these tents in the mud and who would be quoting the song, you know, to their superiors or to each other when their superiors had no idea what they were talking about.”

Guthrie also benefited from the fact that the late ’60s were a time when the rules for pop music had loosened to the point that “Alice’s Restaurant”, essentially an 18-minute monologue bookended by refrains that turn out to be non sequiturs, could gain great popularity. “I was adding to it, and if it was funny and it was true, I kept it,” Guthrie said of the song’s evolution. “And if it wasn’t funny and people didn’t respond to it, I dropped it. And so it was really–you know, it was performance art that I just memorized the best parts of.”

Here we are nearly 50 years after Arlo Guthrie found himself an unlikely prisoner, and “Alice’s Restaurant” is still enthralling. Sing along to that deceptively inviting chorus this Thanksgiving and you’ll get to enjoy a little vicarious defiance with your turkey.

Live a healthier life, become a vegetarian!

View the lyrics below.

Jake Bugg’s sophomore album Shangri La is a remarkable album

JBcover

Jake Bugg: Shangri La album – Island Records

Jake Bugg’s second album takes its title from the studio in which it was made with  the most famous producer in the world, Rick Rubin. This along with his success and global travels felt so far removed from his past and threatened to detach him from the basic essence that successfully connected with the British public.

But our 19 year-old troubadour’s down-to-earth authenticity has ensured the survival of his pragmatism, and while ‘Shangri La’ is worlds away from the Clifton estate of his childhood (literally – it’s named after producer Rick Rubin’s Malibu studio in which it was recorded), it’s an impressive and suitably exciting reflection of his current lifestyle. And here he’s with his sophomore album already and, on the back of the acclaim he achieved on his first album, the speedy release of ‘Shangri-La’ is a promising sign that Bugg is bursting with ideas and has no plans of sitting back on top of his one Mercury nomination.

Shangri La is an album that connects emotionally. These are slices of real life beyond the hometown borders. It’s the next logical step in the Jake Bugg journey: seeing the world and singing about his experiences.

That folk-rockabilly approach noticed in his first album sure got Bugg noticed on his self-titled debut. This one, recorded under the guidance of  Rubin, is a big step forward even better than his debut album.  One can notice elements of folk, rock ‘n’ roll, country, and punk. All the songs include his creative lyrical phrasing, with more confidence. He’s an artist who knows what he wants out of his music.

Rick Rubin oversees an expanding sonic palette and a tougher sound; the punk-fired “What Doesn’t Kill You” and grungy country rock of “All Your Reasons” push up against MacDougal Street serenades like “Pine Trees,” an alienated epistle that could’ve been cut in a winter cabin.

There’s A Beast And We All Feed It’ immediately kicks things into gear. A scathing rant at “finger pointers” and Twitter rumor mongers, it’s backed by a frantic rockabilly rhythm that continues breathlessly across ‘Slumville Sunrise’ and ‘What Doesn’t Kill You’.

It’s in the more sensitive moments, however, that Bugg’s expressive qualities truly shine. The sweet, star-crossed ‘Me And You’ is lovely, while the haunting sustained note held in the chorus of ‘A Song About Love’ is the album’s first goosebumps moment.

The acoustic ‘Pine Trees’ and pastoral closer ‘Storm Passes Away’ are testimony to Jake’s writing sessions in Nashville, and his slight country vocal twangs are genuinely affective.

Rubin knows all about emotional intensity and, just as with Johnny Cash’s seminal ‘American Recordings’, on ‘Shangri La’ he has captured everything cleanly and sparsely to really let Jake’s storytelling shine. The resulting exposure makes for a mature and remarkable album, and the continued development of Jake Bugg something especially worth watching.

‘Shangri La’ out now:
iTunes – http://po.st/ShangriLaYT
Official Store – http://po.st/JakeBuggStore
Google Play – http://po.st/GoogleSL
Amazon – http://po.st/ShangriAmazon

Tour Dates

The Seductive ‘Modern Vampires of the City’ – Vampire Weekend

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Album Review – Modern Vampires of the City

Vampire Weekend redefine independent artistry with mature third album “Modern Vampires of the City”. Co-produced by Ariel Rechtshaid and band member Rostam Batmanglij, the third full-length release from the indie rock quartet was inspired by New York City.

Vampire Weekend
Modern Vampires of the City
XL Recordings
Grade: A+

Vampire Weekend just made it that much more difficult for all other indie bands of the day. The New York group had already charmed a sizable legion of fans and critics with 2008′s Vampire Weekend and its irresistible follow-up 2010′s Contra, both gold-sellers. But the third album, Modern Vampires of the City, is on a lofty new plane.

What Ezra Koenig, Rostam Batmanglij, Chris Baio and Chris Tomson created on Modern Vampires of the City is an opus full of breadth, maturity and adventure. The record is a cavalcade of sonic soldiering, a collection of a dozen tunes that explore the high and low soundscapes of the iconic place the guys call home. Lyrically the record name drops Harry Hudson and The New York Times while it explores love in an uptown falafel shop, the engulfing melancholy of church organs and haunting choirs, and the euphoric rush of synthesizers in interval mode. They speed up into breathless paces before they slow down again for a breather.

One of the most impressive aspects of Modern Vampires of the City is the production by Batmanglij and Ariel Rechtshaid. Koenig’s voice is so brilliantly mixed with the textured and sometimes intricate instrumentation. His singing is clear, crisp and upfront. We hear the piano, the trumpet, the trombone, the tuba, the strings, the bass, the drums, the guitars, and even the banjo. Nothing is cluttered; this isn’t a record over-washed in cascades of compressed sounds.

Vampire-Weekend-Modern-Vampires-of-the-City-300x300But yes, the immediate songs are brimming with hooks and melodies. I’m talking about “Diane Young,” “Don’t Lie,” “Unbelievers,” “Everlasting Arms” and the totally catchy “Ya Hey.” This time, though, there’s a much more sophisticated air to the choruses than we heard on Contra, which is perhaps the band’s poppiest disc. Yet on the other side of the spectrum, Vampire Weekend enthrall us with gorgeous dirges such as “Hudson,” “Young Lion,” “Hannah Hunt” and the quietly rhythmic opener “Obvious Bicycle.” Also, we have “Step,” an ethereal ballad that borrows inspiration from such disparate artists as ’90s New Jersey rapper YZ, Oakland, California rap group Souls of Mischief, ’70s soft rock band Bread and the late R&B-jazz saxophonist Grover Washington, Jr.

There are so many audible rabbit trails here that you’ll discover something new with each listen. Modern Vampires of the City was recorded in New York, Los Angeles, Hollywood and Martha’s Vineyard after Vampire Weekend took a much needed break following the extensive Contra tour, which stopped at Dallas’ House of Blues in April 2010. It is a rare record that actually ups the creative ante of a buzz band that could’ve easily lost its way after the initial critical and commercial headiness. These guys just redefined independent artistry.

Published on Mar 18, 2013

From the new album ‘Modern Vampires Of The City’ out May 13th/14th. Pre-order now: http://smarturl.it/mvotcpreorder

More info: http://vampireweekend.com

Music by Rostam Batmanglij and Ezra Koenig, lyrics by Ezra Koenig, 2013 Vampire Weekend Music(ASCAP)/Imagem Music. Lyrics reproduced by kind permission. This composition contains elements from ‘Aubrey’ (Gates). Published by Kipahulu Music. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ‘Step’ interpolates a vocal melody from ‘Aubrey’ by David Gates, and lyrics from YZ’s ‘Who’s That Girl’. Thanks to YZ’s ‘Who’s That Girl’ for our hook “Every time I see you in the world you always step to my girl.”

Modern Vampires of the City:
01 Obvious Bicycle
02 Unbelievers
03 Step
04 Diane Young
05 Don’t Lie
06 Hannah Hunt
07 Everlasting Arms
08 Finger Back
09 Worship You
10 Ya Hey
11 Hudson
12 Young Lion

Vampire Weekend Tour Dates:
03-13-16 Austin, TX – SXSW
04-12 Las Vegas, NV – The Cosmopolitan *
04-14 Indio, CA – Coachella
04-16 Davis, CA – Freeborn Hall at UC Davis *
04-17 Oakland, CA – Fox Theater *
04-21 Indio, CA – Coachella
05-08 London, England – The Troxy
05-10 Paris, France – Casino De Paris
05-15 Boston, MA – Agganis Arena
05-16 Toronto, Ontario – Sony Centre
05-17 Detroit, MI – The Fillmore Detroit
05-19 Kansas City, MO – Midland Theater
05-20 Denver, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre ^
05-21 Salt Lake City, UT – Red Butte Garden Amphitheater
05-23 Portland, OR – Keller Auditorium
* with Tanlines
^ with Of Monsters And Men

‘Take Me Home’ – Tom Waits’ song from soundtrack for Francis Ford Coppola film ‘One From The Heart’

Tom Waits. Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns

Tom Waits. Photo by Rob Verhorst/Redferns

 

Watch a collection of photos of Tom Waits while listening to ‘Take Me Home’. a song from the album ‘One From The Heart‘, a soundtrack album of Tom Waits compositions for the Francis Ford Coppola film of the same name. It was recorded from October 1980 to September 1981, and released in February 1982. It was during this period that Waits met his wife Kathleen Brennan, an employee at the studio where it was recorded.

Crystal Gayle features prominently on the record, performing either solo or in duets with Waits. The soundtrack was nominated for an Academy Award for Original Music Score.

The movie was re-released on DVD on January 27, 2004, and the DVD contains remixed and remastered Dolby Digital 5.1 Surround Sound of the soundtrack from Waits’ original studio sessions, a documentary on the making of the soundtrack, as well as previously unreleased demo recordings and alternate takes.

All tracks written by Tom Waits.

Side One
No. Title Length
1. “Opening Montage (Tom’s Piano Intro/Once Upon a Town/The Wages of Love)” 5:16
2. “Is There Any Way Out of This Dream?” 2:13
3. “Picking up After You” 3:54
4. “Old Boyfriends” 5:53
5. “Broken Bicycles” 2:53

Side Two
No. Title Length
1. “I Beg Your Pardon” 4:26
2. “Little Boy Blue” 3:43
3. “Instrumental Montage (The Tango/Circus Girl)” 3:00
4. “You Can’t Unring a Bell” 2:20
5. “This One’s from the Heart” 5:45
6. “Take Me Home” 1:37
7. “Presents” (Instrumental) 1:00

Take me home – Lyrics:

You’ve got to take me home, you silly girl
and put your arms around me
you’ve got to take me home, you silly girl
oh, the world’s not round without you

I’m so sorry that I broke your heart
please don’t leave my side
oh, take me home, you silly girl
cause I’m still in love with you…

Watch Beyoncé Smash the National Anthem

Beyoncé at President Obama’s Second Inauguration

Your musical guests at President Obama’s second inauguration also included James Taylor, who wore a fleece under his suit, and noted Republican Kelly Clarkson, who overcame a less-than-ideal performance slot — right after the Obama speech — with a solid but not-too-showy (until the third verse) “My Country, ‘Tis of Thee.” But Beyoncé was the big name, and Beyoncé had the big, difficult song — which, being Beyoncé, she nailed, even as her earpiece malfunctioned halfway through. In the pantheon of Great National Anthem performances, by the time Bey got to “waaaaave,” with the melisma and the “I did it” smile, and the entire National Mall cheering. And Biden making Biden faces? Yeah, this has to be top five! Kudos to Beyoncé!

Beyonce Sings the National Anthem at the 2013 Inauguration of Barack Obama

TheNewYorkTimesTheNewYorkTimes