Friday, February 25, 2011

WVUD Friday Night Programming Feb 25, 2011

Folks,  until our station increases our signal, tighten up those tin can lines and tune into WVUD tonight via the control knobs on your Internet and listen to the blues show, "Red, Hot & Blue" from 7:00 PM until 9:00 PM EST, followed by the weekday Jazz progrma, "Avenue C", from 9:00 until 11:00 PM EST.

Yours truly will be sitting in on both shows and doing the honors for tonight.  A different slant will be offerd on both shows with heavy emphasis on live show CD's for the Blues program and Thelonius Monk for the Jazz program.

All of the music has been pre-listened to and arranged so that segues are transparent and individual listeners' (we know who YOU are) synapses were taken into consideration such that old and familiar is inter-mixed with bold and new so that your mind's eye is ever-widened.

Music for the hearing-in-paired.

*** Addendum 2/28/11 ***  Play list for Red, Hot & Blue is here.   Play list for Avenue C, on the other hand, is here.


Monday, February 21, 2011

Open City

James Woods' review of Teju Cole's "Open City" is reason enough to head off to Border's to try to save the place by buying the book...although Amazon still makes it easier to feed the habit.

However, there's that pile o' books bedside wearing that jilted look that shrivels one's heart...


Friday, February 18, 2011

WVUD Weekend Music Selections

Just a note (bad pun intended) that yours truly will be hosting tonight's regular Friday WVUD Jazz program, Avenue C.  Running from 9:00 pm to 11:00 EST, this Monday-Friday show is hosted by 5 different folks who bring you 5 different takes on the Jazz idiom.  Tonight, I'll be doing a heavy rotation of the Jazz Gods, Coltrane, Davis and Peterson, with small sojourns to less famous folks.  Tune in at 91.3 on your FM dial if you're within spitting distance of U of Delaware.  Otherwise, you can listen in on the Internet @ WVUD on line.

Then, on Sunday, February 2oth, I'll be doing my regular gig on The Morning After, which runs from 9:00 AM 'til Noon, EST.  Same places to listen to as Avenue C, 91.3 on your FM dial and here on the Internet Dial.   Still working on the play list for that show as the spectrum is wider.  You can count on selections from the latest Drive By Truckers and Todd Snider's Live recording (though my selection form this 2 CD set will be limited due to Mr. Snider's proclivity for lively language).  Other CD's by Gregg Allman, Charles Walker, Rebecca Martin, Jenny Scheinmann, and the usuals will be played as well.

So, got the "Can't Go Out & Spend Some Cash" Blues?  Well, settle in for some free entertainment picked out especially for you.

***Addendum 2/28/11***:  Play list for the Feb 20th Morning After show is here, if you're interested.

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Wednesday, February 09, 2011

Two Guys Who Look Good In Hats Will... @ the Waldorf-Astoria on March 14th for a long-deserved honor.  Wondering how a regular guy from Delaware can sneak in?  Perhaps an appropriate hat will do the trick?


Tuesday, February 08, 2011

Wordle-Guess I've Been a Bit Excited 'bout Sharon Jones....

Wordle: Verging on Pertinence Jan 2011

(Click on image to enlarge)


Monday, February 07, 2011

Sharon Jones & the Dap-Kings @ Grand Opera House, Wilmington, DE

On the last Friday in January of 2011, with streets in Wilmington still not cleared from the 8 inch snowfall on Wednesday, the whirlwind of energy know as Sharon Jones and her band, the Dap Kings, came to the Grand to see if their heat and eternal gyrations could melt the unplowed pile of white stuff.  While the slush and snow cones still waited for us after the show, it was with a slide in the step and a jive to the jump that were the end results of watching this remarkable performer and her just-right-tight band do the thing that they do so well.   It was a night of music, movement, and laughter that will not be soon
forgotten; even Mr. Kundera would have worked up a sweat and possibly dis-jointed a hip.

The Dap-Kings, the house band for Daptone Records, started up the show (probably better described as the Soul-Funk Revue), with guitarist Binky Griptite acting as MC for the evening.  All the musicians are dressed tight with nary a t-shirt nor un-beltedpants amongst them.  Mr. Griptite's serious carriage and especially crisp sartorial appearance let's you know from the get-go that this WILL BE a night of serious musicianship and too much fun for most humans to possibly stand.   Two short songs fronted by each of the backup singers, the Dapettes, opened the show up setting the stage for Ms. Jones....

....who delayed her entrance so that the special guest for the night, Mr. Charles Bradley, could promote his cause. And a worthy cause it was. Along with 2 members of his own group, the Menahan Street Band, Mr. Bradley performed 3 selections from his new release, No Time for Dreaming. Mr. Bradley looks as if he may be Tracy Chapman's older brother. If you thought Tracy Chapman's songs were road-weary tales of lives gone wrong, well, Mr. Bradley's songs are based on road maps through Dante's Inferno. His stage presence is a James Brown shadow and I mean that in a positive way. Where Mr. Brown's physique suggested a solid all-consuming form on stage, Mr. Bradley projects fragility and grit both in the same Brown-ish dance steps he splays out. The hitch in his hips give you a shudder that he may throw out a joint; you lean forward thinking you may have to hold him up. His voice struck me as similar to a favorite soul singer of mine, Charles Walker, although Mr. Walker's range and depth are at a higher level. Both singers have the requisite plea in their timbre that get you right in the gut. Charles Bradley ended his set with an incredible version of Neil Young's "Heart of Gold", the listing of destinations in the song dead-on with the travels and travails that Mr. Walker's face revealed.

A short break to wipe away the "Woahs!", the curtains re-open, the anticipation awaits its answer.
Mr. Griptite (o.k...o.k., I'm with you here...."Binky Griptite" can NOT be his real name, right?) re-starts the band after the Dapettes take up their roost by the drum set and he whips the audience to a froth so that when Ms. Jones sallies unto the stage, shimmering and shaking in her two-tone above-the-knee slinkware, the evening's set for constant motion. Her dress was of this style, I guess you may get away with calling it Flapper-Ware, with fringes that must have been sewn on using Kevlar so as to withstand the shaking that Ms. Jones put the dress through. The Ever-Loving Wife, who had tuned into my fascination with SJDK by perusing the CD collection and decided that a suitable holiday gift was a ticket (or two..) to see the Dap-Kings, was hooked. Here was this diminutive dynamite of a woman belting out a tune while seemingly shaking every shakable part of her body in concert with this fabulously tight band pushing her on and on.
Apologies for not laying out the set list! The songs covered were many with most diving into last year's release, I Learned The Hard Way and 100 Days 100 Nights, but the highlight of the show revolved around Ms. Jones choreography and song cycle revolving around her African and American Indian heritage.

Escaping the confines of her shoes, she padded on bare feet toward the center of the stage, taking the audience with her to a village in Africa. As she began dancing slowly raising her legs so that her toes reached her knees, she recounted her legacy. The drumbeat and bass lightly pounded out the rhythm, gradually building the tension and increasing the beats. It was primitive. It was primal. It was quite sensual. She then segued into a different dance, toes pointed downward but still rising high to her knees as she sang and talked about her American Indian background. The ELW whispered that MS. Jones seemed to have risen out of the earth with her movements. The Dap-Kings, with emphasis on the tom-toms increased the beat and the volume until there was a stabbing silence.

Then, bedlam broke loose and Ms. Jones combined the African and the American Indian movements into a frenzy that had her costume defying sewing logic by staying together. She took a (very) short breather; the audience was exhausted.

Then, as is her custom she brought another audience member on stage to "help her out".   Ah ha.   Her eye is sharp, her character assessment dead on. She invite, through the course of the evening 6-7 folks to the stage, one at a time, to "assist" her. With each invitation, a suitable song was performed. One character had been a pure pest up at the front of the stage. He knew her tendencies and was counting on being one of the chosen few. She dialed him out a few times, at one point noting, "Honey, you’ve got to cool yourself down if you want to join me up here."

Eventually, he calmed down enough such that Ms. Jones did invite him up for a dance. While she sang, and while she set her tassels a-jangling, she also kept Mr. Slim Gin at a safe but useful distance. Her previous employment as a prison guard @ Rikers Island and as an armored car guard for Wells Fargo served her well, although Mr. Griptite, while strumming the rhythm guitar, kept a wary look on Mr. Gin to make sure no unwelcome actions were thrown in her general direction. Appropriately enough, the song selection was Better Things .    Mr. Gin was the right man for the job in this case but he certainly did not do Wilmington proud with his stage manner nor dancing.

Other notable songs in her set were "Window Shopping" and "Mama Don’t Like My Man", both from the 2010 release, I Learned the Hard Way .   The latter song was done solely with Ms. Jones and Mr. Griptite on guitar,with the Dapettes cooing and Ahumming in the background.  Ms. Jones went out with a flourish with the audience clapping for an encore for a solid 5 - 7 minutes.  It was almost too much to ask for; if she didn't return, we would have been fine with it.  She had gone through a sizable songbook with barely a pause to refresh.

But, she did return to introduce each band member so as to allow them some solo time and a signature.  It was a complete and professional performance tailored for this particular hungry audience.  Most probably, this will be the best concert of this young 2010 season for Wilmington; Sharon Jones had set a high standard to beat.

Here she is with Charles Walker (one of my faves, his 2003 release, Numbers By Heart, is a long time favorite of mine) doing "Summertime".  Unbelievable.....

Ms. Jones doing "Amazing Grace and "How Long", her way.
...and just one more version of , "Better Things"

Her latest CD is "I Learned the Hard Way"....and since good things always come in threes, why don't you also pick up "100 Days, 100 Nights" and "Naturally" while you're pondering which one to pick.   You will not be disappointed.  Most importantly, though, is be sure to see her and the Dap Kings when they are anywhere in your vicinity...
...and be sure to get zooted up.  You can't be wearing sweatpants lounge wear or khakis to see Ms. Jones;   she's got better things to do..

Sorry for the late posting!  Blogger crashed and burned on me last week, taking with it most of the post, so the memory banks were put to the test to re-create the verbiage & the order.


Friday, February 04, 2011

Sometimes It's the Direction of The Message...

...that matters.

A dear and wise friend sent this video.

If you have 2 minutes and 25 seconds of free time on your hands then....

1) Click on the "Enlarge to Screen" box in the lower right corner of the video.
2) Hit "Play".
3) Make sure to stay until the very end.....

If you don't have the 2 & 1/2 minutes...come back another time when you do.  It is important to see your way through the whole thing.


Some Jazz on February Friday Evenings

Anyone caring to listen to jazz on a Friday evening in February could tune their Internet knob to WVUD.  I'll be sitting in for the regular host of "Avenue C', a weekday jazz program that runs from 9:00 to 11:00 pm EST for the next 3 of 4 Fridays, beginning with tonight's broadcast.  Each week will vary with musical offerings.  Tonight, I'm planning a heavy dose of Lafayette Gilchrist, Will Bernard, Jenny Scheinman, Charlie Hunter, Soulive, and some surprises.  As always when I'm playing any jazz @ WVUD, there will be some B3-Hammond, so you can expect some Jimmy Smith, Dr. Lonnie Smith, Joey DeFrancesco, and other keyboard wizards.  Give it a listen, starting tonight @ 9:00.

..and one more quick note.  For anyone who fell in love with Karen Russell's writing as displayed in her quirky collection of short stories (some published in the New Yorker), "St. Lucy’s Home for Girls Raised by Wolves", news that her first novel, "Swamplandia!", is available is welcome indeed.  The novel is a further exploration/exposition of one of her short stories, "Ava Wrestles the Alligator".   The short story is available for reading here  An excerpt of the novel is available here


Thursday, February 03, 2011

If It Weren't Sad, It'd Be Funny

In today's NYT, there's an article concerning "Italy’s traditionally byzantine, male-dominated politics" and, naturally, the further sex-capades of Silvio Berlusconi.  Among the choice facts mentioned and Italian conditions of life listed, the following came to the fore:

* 59 percent of women in the 27-member European Union are employed v. 46 percent of Italian women
* According to the 2010 World Economic Forum Gender Gap Index, Italy ranks 74th out of 134 countries.
* In familycentric Italy, fewer than 10 percent of toddlers have access to preschool nurseries (I hear Maria Montessori turning in her grave).
* Italian women have come far in a country whose most entrenched power structures - the Roman Catholic Church and organized crime - remain male and secretive.   For the first time, women now lead the industrialists’ association and Italy’s largest labor union. (“It took them nearly 100 years to appoint a woman, and they chose the worst economic moment,” Ms. Marcegaglia recently said about herself.)

I did a double take when reading the pairing up of organized crime and the Roman Catholic Church; I'd always missed the connection.  What with the other issues the Church has been having the past 5 years or so, I'm wondering which of the two male dominated organizations feels more slighted being grouped with the other.


Wednesday, February 02, 2011

Poor Artistical Timing

I'm not a Sarah Palin fan, except when she comes out with another car crash of a comment...which is usually any time she feels the need to expel air.  However, in a recent incident at the Missoula Children's Theatre, a performance company of national renown, I'd have to say I'm in total agreement with this letter writer to the local newspaper, the Missoulian.  It's one thing to make the comment referred to in a play for adults, but to do so in a performance aimed toward children?  Total lapse of judgement.


Tuesday, February 01, 2011

This Sunday... Who Am I Cheering For?

(Note: Video NSFGBF *)

Take a guess.

Game preparations include watching this DVD.  Franco is still The Man...and a great Dad.

* NSFGBF: Not Safe For Green Bay Fan

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