December 15, 2010

God Street Wednesdays: Irving Plaza ’93

Taper Scott Bernstein continues to release new installments of his BARN series, which features wonderful uncirculated recordings from his collection. BARN release #67 hits right in this column’s wheelhouse. God Street

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Postcards From Page Side: Jah Live

This week, featured columnist Brian Bavosa lets legendary artist Bob Marley do most of his talking for him by sharing this playlist of videos that represent who Marley was…

There are few artists we have ever known that are considered by some more than just a mere mortal. Some are revered to legendary, idol-esque status, for not only mastering their craft, but the very essence of their being and what they represent. One such musician is Bob Marley.

There is nothing more that I can say about Marley that you don’t already probably know, or is written about in dozens of books. So instead, this week’s installment of Postcards was simply inspired by my walks to and from work these past few days in the freezing temperatures of New York City. Being a man of many words, I figured I’d mix things up for you loyal readers this week, and instead focus on a man and an icon that speaks volumes by himself. So, sit back, relax and simply enjoy this playlist of some of my favorite – and most poignant – Marley tunes to help get you over hump day.

1.) This first track, War, is a timeless piece that still resonates today. In a recent issue of Rolling Stone, musician Jack Johnson speaks of Marley as “royalty” in the islands, and has some specific comments about this track. “Marley was able to dive into politics and take on the darkest issues. That’s what made him amazing. The thing is, he had sweetness in his voice, but he also had fire, and when he opened up, nobody could do it better.”

READ ON for clips and Brian’s thoughts on six more Marley tracks…

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When There Was No Alternative

Among all the fleeting genres that show up briefly as a blip on the popular culture radar screen only to quickly fade away, there are a few that really manage to stick, and ultimately define a sub-culture or even a generation. We’ve seen it to varying degrees with genres like punk, heavy metal, or rock n’ roll itself; all essentially made up terms that went on to mean everything.

For better or worse, another one that stuck was “alternative.” Initially, an outcrop of the grunge scene, alternative went on become an all-consuming pop culture multi-beast; taking hold of not just music, but cinema, fashion, and art as well. Alternative was everywhere, which begged the question: to what exactly is this an alternative? It was a brand, a marketing gimmick that was consumed – no, devoured – by the mainstream.

Yet beyond the irony of it all, it also represented a relatively heroic period in popular music whereby genuinely awesome bands ruled the radio. Pop culture, the mass media, and most of all, kids, were actually listening to good music. It was one of those rare times in modern music history where to some extent, the best bands were also among the biggest, most famous, and widely listened. READ ON for more from Ryan…

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Conspirator Expands Lineup, New Tour Dates

Conspirator, the duo of Disco Biscuits’ staples Marc Brownstein and Aron Magner which often feature guest musicians in the live setting, has announced a series of “full band” performances featuring

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Johnny Winter: Hard Rock Live, Biloxi, MS 12/3/10

Legendary Texas blues guitarist Johnny Winter took the stage recently to a loud revelry of respect, then quietly and calmly drove home some amazing licks that only proved how he has become an idol to just about every musician who has ever plucked some strings on an old guitar since 1969 when he released his first album.

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