Friday, July 13, 2012

Shameless Plugs

Most mornings, I feed my political jones by watching the morning pundits on MSNBC, starting with some of "Morning Joe" and easing into "The Daily Rundown" with Chuck Todd. Todd ends the show by asking each member of the pundit panel for a shameless plug, wherein they promote a book, a birthday, whatever. In a similar spirit, I'll mention my friend and former producer Darrell, a very funny, often bawdy, television writer who is also a major music fan.

Sample conversation between his wife and child, as he drives them home after a stop at some record fair or music store:
Child: Mommy, why did daddy buy two copies of the same record?
Mother: Because they didn't have three.
(Darrell likes to be covered in case any precious album gets damaged.)

Darrell's Los Angeles guest house has no room for guests as it's a floor-to-ceiling repository for his massive collection of vinyl, CDs and recording gear, since he also works with a local band. Or two.
And, when he's not writing funny for money, he loves to share what he loves musically with his Facebook friends and in a fairly exclusive daily emailing of news and notes (and shhhh.....downloads) which he calls Radio Vickers. (Let me know if you're interested and I'll see if I can get you an invite.)

So that's a shameless plug for him. And he gave me one, too, by inviting me to become a "Guest DJ" in his email missive after he saw that I liked a performance by the L.A. band Everest (via this story here).

He asked me to write a little something on the band for him, too. And so I did. And it went like this...
(Darrell's words - including deliciously embarrassing, kind words for me - in italics)

From: Radio Vickers (Guest DJ!!) plus Offspring plus Six Organs of Admittance
Date:     July 3, 2012 6:34:45 PM

Hey everyone, it's Tuesday and we're off to a great holiday week. We have a Guest DJ:- a professional music writer (not to mention Television and books!)  And wait till you hear about her Website!

The Featured album today is Offspring's new offering "Days Go By" - Boy do they!.  It's a lot like their last 6 offerings.  These guys are nothing, if not consistent. 

My "Limited Interest" Cd is Six Organs of Admittance.  This guys place some very tasty acoustic guitar.  My writing partner turned me on to him.  The guitar players out there might want to give him an especially close ear.


Marianne Meyer is going to handle the honors of talking about Everest - a very cool L.A. band.  But first, I just want to let everyone know about an extremely amazing blog that she has.  Music lovers will go gaga over this.  Having been a music reviewer for years and scooping up setlists of innumerable stages, she decided to put out this great blog/collection of setlists.  These are small bands and huge bands.  The dates, the places, the songs they sang or planned on singing at the beginning of the night.  There's pics of the concert (From Arcade Fire all the way up to Wilco) - it's fucking great.  The Url is below - check this out.  Tons of great music trivia.

Here is how she introduces the site.

[the following are my words, taken from Whatcha Gonna Play site home page]

We’re the people who linger at the front of the stage when the show is over, or who try to make friends with the sound guy before the show begins. We’re the music fans looking to score a set list from the show. And, to judge from the jostling I’ve seen at recent shows, our numbers are growing.

A set list is a great memento of a night’s music. Here’s where the band decides what songs they’re going to play. Not all bands use ‘em, not all acts follow them slavishly - and that’s part of the fun. To see which songs made the first cut and which ones got heard.

Collecting them is fun, but sharing them is better....

AND NOW EVEREST!! (by Marianne)
[back to my words]

My first exposure to the L.A.-based band called Everest was this photo:
Clearly, not a Boy Band aiming for the teen market. And, despite the group being four albums in on a career that’s included plenty of positive press and opening for My Morning Jacket and Neil Young, I was woefully ignorant of the music being made. My loss.

Thankfully, the photo arrived with an invitation to see Everest celebrate the release of Album Number 4, “Ownerless,” with an intimate (<100 guests) concert at a new DC joint, 918 F Street.

 Yes, please. Guest list confirmed and off to the (legal!) download sites and a publicist’s stream to catch up with music I’d missed. Solidly entwined with the City of Angels music scene, the four members of Everest have played with a variety of well-regarded artists - Earlimart, Sebadoh, the Folk Implosion, Great Northern, John Vanderslice, and the Watson Twins – and all four write songs.

 As both players and tunesmiths, the quartet show abiding respect and skill for classic guitar-fueled rock, with a tinge of country here, sweet harmonies there, a range of great influences/kindred souls – Wilco, Tom Petty, Kings of Leon, the aforementioned Mr. Young and MMJ - plenty of late 70’s SoCal sheen, even a touch of psychedelia. All in all, the studio work is a pleasing cross-section of styles at the sweet spot of classic and alternative rock.

None of which prepares you for the band in concert. You can see a full report of the show at 918 F Street here (*), but suffice to say that Everest live has high-voltage riffage to spare. The scruffy gentlemen you see above, plus a touring drummer who’s worth his (somewhat scrawny) weight in gold, found the hard-beating heart of even their quieter songs and used them as the basis for satisfying guitar forays that jammed hard, never noodled and made it perfectly clear why Neil Young himself picked them for this fall’s tour with Crazy Horse. If you can catch them on a current summer tour in smaller spots with blues-rockers Alberta Cross, you’ll have bragging rights later.


So, that was my Guest DJ spot on Radio Vickers. Go visit and sign up. Shameless plug!