Jack White Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016

Jack White announces a career-spanning new release: Acoustic Recordings 1998-2016, out September 9 on double CD, double LP, and digitally via Third Man/Columbia. It’s a 26-track compilation that features album tracks, B-sides, and alternate takes of songs by the White Stripes and the Raconteurs, as well as selections from White’s solo catalog. Acoustic Recordings also includes the unreleased White Stripes song “City Lights.”

The song was originally written for  The White Stripes album, Get Behind Me Satan, but wasn’t finished until this year. According to a press release, “The track is the first new, worldwide commercially released White Stripes song since 2008.”

Acoustic Recordings also comes with liner notes by noted music journalist, Greil Marcus. The track list is in chronological order.

This is another must have for my collection.

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Our Musical Journey to Tennessee: Part 1 – Memphis, Home of the Blues, Birthplace to Rock ‘N’ Roll

July was an action packed music month for us. The month started with our vacation trip to Memphis and Nashville, Tennessee. Stay tuned for other music posts about more music events we experienced in July.

I brought along an essential music book to read on the plane, Mystery Train (Sixth Edition) by authoritative music journalist, Greil Marcus. The synergy of this book fit perfect with the music mission. The first chapter was about Harmonica Frank, 1951 (the year of my birth), Sam Phillips and Sun Studio. The book set the stage for the first leg of the music journey, Memphis. There was also a chapter about Elvis Presley but more about the King of Rock and Roll in Memphis later in this saga. 🙂

The path of American music discovery

A major goal in the music of our heart has been to visit the four homes (birthplaces) of American music, blues, country, jazz and rock n roll. We had previously visited the birthplace of jazz, New Orléans, Louisiana where we saw Preservation Hall on St. Peters Street.

We journeyed first to Memphis, Tennessee to learn more about the home of the blues and the birthplace of rock n roll. We stayed at the Hampton Inn at 175 Peabody Place a half block away from Beale Street.

The music on Beale Street spirited us out of the  hotel and around the block like a pied piper. We saw two blocks of motorcycles lining the pedestrian thoroughfare.

Bikes on Beale

“I’m walking in Memphis, Walking with my feet ten feet off of Beale” Marc Cohn ©Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC

Beale Street is a majestic street. We took note of B.B. Kings Blues Club at the top of Beale. We decided to have dinner and catch a show there the next night. We had to pay our respects to the King of the Blues.

From the 1920s to the 1940s, Louis Armstrong, Muddy Waters, Albert King, Memphis Minnie, B. B. King, Rufus Thomas, Rosco Gordon and other blues and jazz legends played on Beale Street and helped develop the style known as Memphis Blues. As a young man, B. B. King was billed as “the Beale Street Blues Boy”.

We had a fantastic dinner at the Flying Fish the first night. It was rated 4.5 stars. The fish was deeeelicious as my great-nephew Blake loves to say 🙂

The next day we signed up for a day tour of Memphis at the Memphis Convention and Visitors Bureau. We had a wonderful tour guide. Our first stop was Elvis Presley’s home, Graceland. I kept hearing the song, “Graceland” by Paul Simon in my head as we drove to the tourist attraction.

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Graceland was a sight to behold. What knocked me out the most about Elvis’s estate was The Jungle Room and the sheer amount of awards he received in his lifetime for music and movies. Truly we were witnessing the King of Rock N Roll’s palace. What an honor it was to see it all.

The next stop on the Memphis tour was Sun Studio. A momentous place where Sam Phillips recorded, Howlin Wolf, Elvis, Johnny Cash, Carl Perkins and Jerry Lee Lewis. We didn’t take the studio tour as the place was mobbed. We looked around, took some pictures, bought some souvenirs and got back on the shuttle. Finally got to witness the birthplace of rock n roll.

(RoadTripSports.com photo by Kendall Webb)

I preordered the book that Peter Guralnick has been writing about Sam Phillips for 25 years. My goal is to learn more about Sam Phillips from his close friend.  Peter Guralnick is the definitive Memphis music historian. I can’t wait to get back to Memphis and continue the music discovery.

sphillips

Nashville Skyline  will be Part 2, stay tuned….

The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in 10 Songs – Greil Marcus

 

Greil Marcus selects ten songs recorded between 1956 and 2008, then proceeds to dramatize how each embodies rock ’n’ roll as a thing in itself, in the story it tells, inhabits, and acts out—a new language, something new under the sun.

The History of Rock ‘n’ Roll in 10 Songs is available for purchase in stores and online. Disregard the September 2, 2014 availability date. I saw it on the shelf today at Barnes & Noble, Inc.

The Facebook page for this book is being managed by the Publisher, Yale University Press. It’s quite informative in positioning the 10 songs and includes the YouTube links for each song.

 

Bob Dylan, The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 – Another Self Portrait (1969-1971)

I become intimidated when it comes to writing about Bob Dylan. I chalk that up to the fact that there are music journalists who write more authoritatively about Bob Dylan than I ever could hope to accomplish. They are the writers I have been reading and following for decades, Dylan musicologists if you will.

I noticed in my Facebook stream this morning that there would be breaking news about Bob Dylan’s next music project release, The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 – Another Self Portrait (1969-1971).

Read more: http://www.bobdylan.com/us#ixzz2ZDvftiRc

I am enthused to learn that the Bob Dylan bootleg series curation was revisiting the era of the Self Portrait and New Morning recordings. The years 1969 and 1970 figured strongly in my life as well as the evolution of popular music. I purchased both albums when they were released. I didn’t connect very well with Self Portrait but New Morning was a warm and constant phonograph companion.

The Bootleg Series, Vol. 10 – Another Self Portrait (1969-1971) has helped me to reacquaint the music of our heart with the original tracks on Self Portrait and New Morning. My first order of business was to relisten beginning to end to those recordings so I can better appreciate what Another Self Portrait creates for us.

I did not fathom that Bob Dylan had just a small nucleus of musicians on Self Portrait, notably David Bromberg and Al Kooper. They each appear on the Another Self Portrait trailer speaking about the sessions and music recorded.

As the trailer audio indicates we are in for some astounding music to make clear our understanding about this phase of Bob Dylan’s recording career.

I mean after all aren’t we all entitled to Another Self Portrait in this life. Right Greil Marcus : -J

Greil Marcus to Speak at SVA 2013 Commencement Exercises

I was just thumbing through the latest School of Visual Arts (SVA), Visual Arts Journal, Spring 2013 edition. SVA is our son’s alma mater. He graduated in 2008. Wow has it been five years already since his commencement. I noticed that Greil Marcus has accepted the honor to speak at the SVA 2013 Commencement Exercises.

I recently wrote about Greil Marcus in my A-Z Music Journalism (February, 2013) blog series. As Paul McCartney would say, “I am chuffed” to see that SVA prizes Greil Marcus’s cultural criticism to have him as 2013 commencement speaker. Music criticism has vaulted ahead to being valued and honored on a more intellectual level. This is an important development for Greil Marcus’s literary body of work as it relates to the elevation of cultural criticism’s role in the arts.

I have to say that the book after Mystery Train that peaks my interest is Mr. Marcus’ 1989 book Lipstick Traces: A Secret History of the 20th Century which is a fascinating study of the hidden voices of counterculture in 1970s London, 1950s Paris, and Zurich and Berlin in the nineteen-teens. The book inspired a soundtrack album by Rough Trade and a theatrical adaptation by the Rude Mechanicals of Austin, Texas.

The event takes place on Thursday, May 9, 2013, 1pm, at Radio City Music Hall, 1260 Avenue of the Americas, New York City. The ceremony is a ticketed event and open to students and invited guests only. It will be streamed live via a webcast at www.sva.edu/commencement. That’s where I plan to watch Greil Marcus speak ;), thank you ahead of time InterWeb and SVA!

Music Journalism A-Z – Aidin Vaziri

Aidin Vaziri

I love to cultivate new music influences. One benefit in blogging this series is to learn more about music journalists I have not experienced yet like Aidin Vaziri.

Aidin Vaziri is a Pop Music Critic for the San Francisco Chronicle. He was featured in the book  “Best Music Writing 2009,” that was edited by Greil Marcus.

Click on the buttons to read his blog and past SF Chronicle articles.

Many of the music journalist’s I have covered have written for the New York Times so it’s refreshing to read the West Coast perspective. San Francisco is such a vibrant music city. Aidin writes about music with conviction and honesty. He’s a straight shooter.Aidin Vaziri

Aidin is adept at interviewing many famous musicians passing through San Francisco. Since turnabout is fair play he was interviewed by The Bold Italic an online San Francisco Magazine. Click on his picture below to read how he parries and thrusts with the questions for a change 😉

Aidin

You can keep up with Aidin Vaziri via Twitter here

Music Journalism A-Z – Greil Marcus

File:Mystery Train single cover.jpgTrain I ride, sixteen coaches long

Train I ride, sixteen coaches long

Well that long black train got my baby and gone

Mystery Train , Written By Junior Parker, 1953

I have greatly admired Greil Marcus‘s writings for 45 plus years. He has stamped an indelible impression on my musical taste and interpretation. I thank him from the bottom of the music of our heart for all he has shared and communicated.

I first discovered Greil Marcus in the record review section of Rolling Stone in the folded newspaper days (1968). His reviews contained an innate sensibility of the artist’s musical intent. He immediately understood what the music was accomplishing and communicated that knowledge directly to the reader. He transitioned the audio experience to the printed word effortlessly which has never been easy to articulate.

I bought his first book, Rock and Roll Will Stand in the summer of 69. He initiated my rock music book collection. I found his writing frank, honest and compelling. He cultivated my interest in the live concert idiom. I have been to 400+ concerts since that time. You might say he was a strong early influence for me.

The Greil Marcus book I treasure the most is Mystery Train. The first edition was published in 1975.  I continue to marvel even after the fifth edition (2008) how well the author informs the reader with its focused range of subjects from Robert Johnson, Elvis Presley, The Band, Randy Newman, and Sly Stone.

I wrote about Greil Marcus in December of 2011 when he published The Doors: A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years (2011) . Here is that earlier blog post.

The Doors

 

The Doors A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years by Greil Marcus

The DoorsI love to haunt the stacks in a book store that feature books about music. Whenever I enter a new book store I make a beeline for the Music and Arts section of the store. I will find at least two-three new titles or thumb through old favorite books I don’t own yet.

My two favorite music book authors are Greil Marcus and Peter Guralnick. They are each articulate writers who write authoritative, well researched works. My admiration for their writing stems from their superior command of the music subjects they cover. They each paint a poetic landscape that is captured in stunning prose and incredible descriptive depth. Their passion for music, its artistry and the artists who create the sounds reaches way inside of me.

The Doors

Greil Marcus has released a new book, The Doors, A Lifetime of Listening to Five Mean Years, published by PublicAffairs books. The book is receiving  solid press and there are two Web articles in particular about the book, the author and The Doors I want to bring to your attention. One was written two weeks back for the New York Times by Dwight Garner, “Listening Again to Rock’s Wild Child and Finding Grandeur and Dread”.  That article stimulated my interest and I thumbed through a copy at Yale Bookstore on Black Friday.

I didn’t buy it that day but I placed it back in the stack with gingerly care as if to say, “I’ll be back for you someday soon…”

Then today I saw a Facebook share post about The Doors on NPR. “The Doors Prove Strange Days Are Still With Us.” It was a continuation of Greil Marcus and his subject The Doors. So I got to read a chapter excerpt and to hear Greil Marcus’s thoughts about this eternal band I love so much.

So Santa Claus I am adding this book to my Christmas list 😉

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