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Archive for December, 2017

You know they got one hell of a band

A heartfelt RIP for Pat DiNizio of the Smithereens, a truly great and underappreciated band. I knew Pat just a little bit; he’d been to see my band a time or two, and we ran in some of the same circles when I lived in NYC. A very sweet guy, unassuming and diffident almost to […]

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A quibble

Minor, to be sure. But still. November 27, 1942, Born on this day, Jimi Hendrix guitarist, singer, songwriter who had the 1967 UK No.6 single ‘Hey Joe’, the 1970 UK No.1 single ‘Voodoo Chile’, and the 1968 US No.1 and UK No.6 album ‘Electric Ladyland’. Hendrix who is widely considered to be the greatest guitarist […]

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RIP

Farewell to the great Malcolm Young, the heart, soul, and backbone of one of my all-time favorite bands, AC/DC. His legacy is nothing short of staggering, whether you like the band or not. I’ve been listening to them since the mid-70s, back when being a fan of theirs meant you had NO chance of ever […]

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“What’s the connection between Puccini, Neville Chamberlain and David Bowie?”

Why, Fats Domino, of course. Like his fellow protean rockers (Chuck) Berry and Bill Haley, Antoine Dominique Domino Jr was way too old to be a teen idol. Born the youngest of eight children in a Louisiana Creole family in 1928, he had three-and-a-half grades of education and then went to work for the local […]

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Der Bingle

Another spellbinding Steyn music post. Where did it all go? Within a decade of his death, you could wander into a record store and find the biggest-selling record artist had dwindled down to a couple of compilation CDs on weird European labels you’d never heard of. To most Americans under a certain age, the name […]

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Covers

So what IS it with handing a husky-voiced female an acoustic guitar and an old pop song and having her turn the thing into a funereal dirge for a TV commercial, anyway? I mean, for God’s sake. The charm (pretty limited in the first place, according to my taste anyway) of the original was wrapped […]

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Elvis Week wrap-up

Amazing. Well, if you pick up almost any Elvis Greatest Hits compilation, you’ll find: Love Me Tender, love me sweet Never let me go You have made my life complete And I love you so… Words and music by Vera Matson and Elvis Presley. So who wrote what? Answer: Neither of the above. The tune […]

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The King is dead; you know the rest

I was hoping Steyn might have something to say about the King on Elvis Day, but didn’t really expect it. Imagine my surprise to find that, as The Man himself says: Forty years ago today – August 16th 1977 – Elvis Aron Presley passed …into a stunningly successful new phase of his career. All this […]

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Wichita whineman?

Steyn writes another of his brilliant music posts, this time on the passing of Glenn Campbell. I was never a big fan of his, frankly. But I can still hear a good many of his songs in my head—sometimes to my great chagrin and annoyance. But the one Steyn digs into would have to be […]

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Music break!

So the other day I heard a song on the car radio I hand’t heard in years and years but always loved. I had NO clue who did it, or what the title was; after hearing it, I had the guitar licks worked out in my head, but I could not for the life of […]

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There’ll always be an England?

Another fine Steyn music post, about a song I always did like. Not when she sang, though. It’s not a creamy voice, like GI Jo Stafford’s. There’s something rawer in there, and in those early records a very real emotional clutch. The sound of Britain at war is Vera Lynn singing, whether “There’ll Always Be […]

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Another fine tune

Okay, this here might shock some of you. It might horrify others, or even disgust some. But I was just listening to a truly wonderful song, one I always just loved and haven’t heard in a while. Usually I get totally sidetracked listening to it and just repeat it again and again; the music is […]

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AC DC

So I realized I haven’t done any sort of music post here in a while—or anything else, really, except politics for a good while now. That makes Jack a dull boy, and I need to correct that. And that’s gonna be easy, as it turns out. See, I recently acquired a Gretsch Duo Jet from […]

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A list

Oh, it’s a good one all right. Leo Decaj wrote: “Keep this in mind : Donald Trump did not steal your money. Donald Trump did not raise your taxes. Donald Trump did not quadruple the price of food. Trump is not stirring a race war. Trump did not leave any US soldiers in Benghazi to […]

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Saved the best for last: merry Christmas!

The fairest of them all: So very lovely it almost hurts to hear; as I said the other day, I don’t see how anyone could possibly be a serious musician—or hear something like this—and not believe in something greater, deeper, and more powerful than our mere selves. And no, I certainly do NOT mean the […]

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Twelve Days of…or, Ten, or…oh, hell, you guys got it already

Dang, I almost forgot today’s Ten Or Twelve Days installment. Here ya go: Santa Claus Is Coming To Town. Way better than that godawful, lugubrious Springsteen version, wherein he…well, I already told y’all how I feel about that one. This one is another A-lads barnburner, although I cannot for the life of me remember who […]

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The Twelve Ten days of Christmas continues!

Another perfect Aqualads surf-rockin’ rendition of a Christmas classic, Angels We Have Heard On High. Plus a bonus: Cantus’ version of Pat A Pan, or The Little Drummer Boy. I’ve spent a goodly portion of this holiday season trying to decide if I like this or not, and after much agonizing, I have realized that […]

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Twelve Ten days of Christmas

Today’s installment: another priceless A-lads reworking of a classic song: God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen. Previous installments here, here, here, here, and here.

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Twelve days of…

Twelve days, ten days, whatever. Run, Run, Rudolph. Me on guitar, my good friend Mark Lynch singing. Previous installments here, here, here, and here.

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Another Christmas song

Okay, while I’m hipping y’all to some good Christmas tunes, might as well share one of my all-time favorites: From 1939, Kay Kaiser. Can’t explain just why, but I totally love this song. Maybe it’s all those ting-a-ling-a-lings. I mean, come on, what’s not to like? But I tell you folks, if I have to […]

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12 Days…or, y’know, NOT

Today’s installment: I’ll Be Home For Christmas, featuring the Oso Grande himself, Rodney Lanier. He’s the fellow the whole benefit project was conceived for, an excellent musician in his own right, who died shortly before its release. And I only just realized something, to my tremendous embarrassment: I’ve been saying 12 Days Of Etc, because […]

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Twelve Days

Time for today’s installment of the Twelve Days Of Oso Grande Christmas: Blue Christmas, with your humble host on guitar and vocals. Hope you like it. Previous installments here, and here.

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A little Christmas music

I keep telling you guys that nobody does this stuff like the great Mark Steyn, and he keeps right on proving it to be true. As Richard Adler, Frank’s protégé, once told me, Lynn Loesser was a domineering woman. She was known around town, somewhat inevitably, as “the evil of the two Loessers”, a gag […]

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Christmas bonus!

So I just got internet service back after a pain-in-the-ass outage caused by some local hardware upgrades by AT&T, with the result being that things seem a helluva lot faster now, which is probably just my imagination. But to celebrate a rare pleasant delusion (as opposed to my usual kind), I’m gonna upload a few […]

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Steyn on…Jingle Bells?

I keep telling you guys: nobody does this stuff better than he does. Unlikely as it sounds, a real live songwriter did sit down one day and write “Jingle Bells”. His name was James Lord Pierpont and he wrote and published many other songs in his lifetime, among them “The Colored Coquette” and others lost […]

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