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Showing posts from March, 2009

Arrogance @ 40, Carolina Theater, Durham NC 3/21/09

Don Dixon 's been a fixture and a mentor in my life since I was a kid. His band with Robert Kirkland, Arrogance , is one of the most revered institutions in North Carolina rock history, tearing it up since 1969 when I first saw them shaking the stage at Ardmore Methodist Church coffeehouse. When he asked me and Chris to be a part of Arrogance's fortieth anniversary show, it was flattering and humbling. When he asked if I'd play organ on their debut single "Black Death", possibly the heaviest record to come out of Winston-Salem, it blew my mind. This would be the first time that the original Arrogance band would have taken the stage together since 1971. Lead guitarist Michael Greer and primal drummer Jim (formerly Jimmy) Glasgow practiced with Dixon and Kirkland, and everyone was buzzed about how great it sounded. I realized that I'd never met Glasgow, as improbable as that seemed, so Greer was eager to fix that. Jim and I and Smart Wife (we got a sitter !

Tennessee Road Trip, pt. XIII (Postlude)

I borrowed my mother's car and drove to Lebanon yesterday to empty out the Eurovan. After we put a bunch of money into the timing chain and water pump and their 'accessories', it was obvious that an engine replacement was the only alternative if we planned to keep the van running. I felt that perhaps the Eurovan was slightly more delicate than I'd thought it would be. It was big as a van, but little shit broke on it all the time. I'd had to develop a new method of driving where I could coax some revs from the accelerator as I drifted to any stop; otherwise, it would sputter and die, often mid-turn taking the power steering with it. Harrowing for passengers, although I'd become inured to it. Then there was my creasing the passenger side on a boulder at Chris' studio. It wanted for attention that a Real Van wouldn't require of me. It was only sixteen years old, old for a dog but not a hauler, and the problems seemed to outweigh the groovy stereo tha

The dB's Now (Finally) on iTunes!

Well, it happened. You can get three dB's albums, Stands for Decibels , Repercussion and The Sound of Music plus a new collection called Best of the IRS Years on iTunes . I realize that about 90% of the people who read this blog have owned the first three releases at some point in their lives, maybe via an old boyfriend's mixtape or an import they'd brought in to play on their college station shift. On the off chance your cassette deck sounds wobbly or you need a new needle, and you just have to hear "Change With the Changing Times" or "Bonneville" for the first time in over twenty years, this new digital transfer service is just the thing for you! Or, if you're just tuning in... happy landings!

Rock-It Science, Pt. 2

L to R: Dee Snider, Tim Sommer, Joseph Shireman, me (no idea what to do with my hands) *********** As I sit in the glare of morning coming through the windows of LaGuardia airport, I'll try to reconstruct the somewhat surreal aspects of the Rock-it Science show last night while it's still fairly fresh in my bleary mind. This nice cup of Au Bon Pain coffee should help (I think). I cabbed from the Park Central Hotel to the Highline Ballroom on the far west part of 16th Street. There was a lot of crosstown traffic (cue Hendrix) and took a lot longer to get there than I'd expected. I arrived with my NORD and my little Les Paul at around 2:30pm and marched up the stairs to the ballroom proper, which was actually more of a club with no perceptible dance floor. It was already a small ruckus of activity. I saw Tim Sommer there, probably nearing the height of his anxiety about this show he was putting on for the conference of eminent scientists. Then Pete Kennedy and I spied

Rock-It Science, Pt. 1

I am part of the house band for a show in New York called Rock-it Science, a part of the Sensation to Emotion Conference . What, pray tell, have I gotten myself into this time? Headed up by my old friend Tim Sommer , who has provided me with more opportunities in the music business than I can even recall now, we will be backing up the legendary Dee Snider ( Twisted Sister 's lead vocalist who testified with Frank Zappa and John Denver in the US Congress years ago against the Parents' Music Resource Group's attempt to label content on albums--go, Dee!) and some of the cast of the new Broadway musical Rock of Ages , including American Idol heartthrob Constantine Maroulis . Plus we'll have noted physicist/Blue Oyster Cult associate Dan Levitin , cabaret star Anna Copa Cabanna and former Captain Beefheart guitarist Gary Lucas on board. The house band is me, Lenny Kaye (Patti Smith Group and compiler of Nuggets), Steve Wynn (Dream Syndicate and old friend) and Joseph