I spotted this fabulous Jimi Hendrix mural as I was out for a post-snowstorm stroll through my East Village neighborhood one Saturday afternoon. The mural can be found on the security gate for Mikey Likes It, an ice cream shop located at 199 Avenue A. According to their website, Mikey Likes It is the world’s first Pop Culture-inspired premium ice cream brand! I’ll have to make a point to stop by for a cone during their regular business hours!
There is nothing that I do not love about this video for the blistering instrumental “Clear Eyes Clear Skies” by “soft shredder” guitarist Hugh Myrone. “Clear Eyes Clear Skies” appears on the soundtrack to Drift Stage, an arcade racing game that is coming soon to PC/MAC and PS4, and it can also be found on Myrone’s new album, Drift Stage, Vol 1., which is out now. Recommended for fans of Steve Vai, Joe Satriani and Paul Gilbert, you can follow Hugh on Instagram @hughmyrone. Enjoy!
Do you love The Smiths? I sure do. But while I haven’t necessarily remained the hugest fan of Morrissey’s wildly uneven solo work, I have found much of guitarist Johnny Marr’s post-Smiths’ output to be nothing less than utterly mind blowing. This past fall, Marr released his second official solo album — unless you count Boomslang, his 2003 album with The Healers, which is a work of genius — which is called Playland. It is excellent, of course.
This weeks Video Clip is for the song “Dynamo,” a song from the Playland album. It’s a “live” performance which fills me with happiness and joy. You can purchase Playland on Amazon.com and iTunes. Enjoy!
On this day, September 27th in 1979, Scottish guitarist Jimmy McCulloch (sometimes spelled McCullough) died from a heroin overdose in his flat in Maida Vale, London. He was 26 years old.
McCulloch, perhaps best known as the lead guitarist for Paul McCartney’s Wings (1974 to 1977) had also been a member of Stone The Crows and Thunderclap Newman. When “Something in the Air” by Thunderclap Newman went to No.1 in 1969, it made McCulloch the youngest guitarist to ever play on a UK No.1 single, as he was was just sixteen years old at the time.
In a tragic case of artistic irony, the Wings‘ hit, “Medicine Jar,” sung by Jimmy, was the first song recorded by the group to feature another band member on all lead vocals. “Medicine Jar” is an anti-drug song with music written by McCulloch. Colin Allen, who was a drummer in the band Stone The Crows (with McCulloch), wrote the lyrics. RIP.
The Morrison Hotel Gallery, in conjunction with the Dream Downtown Hotel is currently presenting a collection of fine art photographs by legendary Blondie guitarist Chris Stein. A student of NYC’s School Of Visual Arts, Chris started taking photographs in 1968. In 1973, he met and began working with Debbie Harry and together they founded the band Blondie. Chris was always taking pictures in the environment that surrounded Blondie and, lucky to be on the inside, was able to mingle with many pioneers of the new wave and punk music scenes.
Stein’s photos of Deborah Harry helped establish her as an international icon. This exhibit, celebrating Blondie’s 40th year as a band, focuses exclusively on his photos of Debbie; some that will be familiar and others that we are seeing for the first time.
Last Friday, the Dream Downtown Hotel hosted a fun party to kick off the exhibit the night before its official opening on Saturday, May 10th, and what fun time it was! Here are some photos of the evening.
This awesome DJ warmed up the room with an incredible set of classic punk and new wave that included bands like The Clash, X-Ray Spex and The Buzzcocks. As his song selections advanced through the years, at one point he played The Smiths’ “This Charming Man” followed by The Charlatans’ “The Only One I Know” and Blur’s “There’s No Other Way,” at which point my head exploded.
There was an open bar for at least part of the evening, which served a very potent Texas Cherry Limeade.
My friend Jamie and I toast to a fun evening!
The Rational Animal charity organization had a Booth where they sold raffle tickets to win a guitar, with proceeds going to help Animals. They also gave away these cute and yummy dog cookies (Clarification: Cookies shaped like Dogs, not Cookies for Dogs) which Jamie and I played with before eating. The frosting had a bit of orange zest in it – very tasty!
Here are some more pictures of Debbie.
The light wasn’t great in the space, but you work with what you have.
Chris Stein is releasing a book of photography later this year and you’ll be able to own it and have these photos (and others) of Debbie all to yourself.
I’m not sure how long Blondie 4(0) Ever will be on exhibit, so you’ll have to investigate further on your own to find out. Here is where you need to go:
The Dream Hotel Downtown is Located at 355 West 16th St, Just East of 9th Ave, New York, NY.
Led Zeppelin Guitarist Jimmy Page celebrates Seventy (70, Wow!) years on the planet today, January 9th, having been born in the year 1944. Happy Birthday Jimmy, You Are the Best!
Comprised of Melanie Krahmer on drums and vocals and Rich Libutti on guitar, Sirsy is a Rock & Roll force to be reckoned with! Their new video for the awesome song “Cannonball” is lots of fun in that it was shot entirely at live shows by fans using cell phones! I mean, I hate cell phones, but…Cleverness! I totally love Melanie’s smoky, sassy powerhouse of a voice that I would compare favorably to groundbreaking female rock vocalists like Brenda Lee and Dusty Springfield, but also modern soul singers like Duffy. And High Fives all around to Sirsy for being able to put so much swing into this tune with only drums and guitar — what a couple of badasses. “Cannonball”– from the CD Coming Into Frame (on Funzalo Records) is Super Groovy! Sirsy will be releasing a new EP with a new single and some live material in early December, 2013! Enjoy!
Most people know the name Kim Gordon for her prominence in the music industry as the vocalist and guitarist for Sonic Youth, but Gordon is also an accomplished artist and filmmaker, having graduated from LA’s Otis College of Art and Design in the 1970s. Gordon is currently exhibiting a collection of her Paintings, Sculptures, Installation, Performance Art Documentation and Films in a show called Design Office with Kim Gordon – Since 1980, at White Columns Gallery in downtown Manhattan.
Gordon has also written extensively about art and music, and several of her books and articles are also part of the exhibit.
Design Office with Kim Gordon works well as a career retrospective of Gordon’s body of work from 1980 to the present, and while it is impressive for revealing her willingness to experiment with a variety of mediums and the obvious passion she has for her artistic expression, it reminded me very much of the student art exhibits I attended in college.
My favorite quote attributed to the late great Andy Warhol is “Art is What You Can Get Away With.” I see a lot of art and all I can add is that I believe he was correct.
The highlight of the exhibit for me was the ten minutes I spent in a small screening room watching part of the film X Girl Movie (1995), in which actress Chloë Sevigny roams the city, eventually crashing a Marc Jacobs Fashion Week event, looking for a man named Guy Lionaise who works at The UN. It’s more interesting than it sounds.
I also liked her Twitter Paintings, which reminded me of the word art of David Shrigley, a tree branch painted with ice-blue glitter and one or two other isolated pieces, the best of which I’ve shown here.
That said, I’d tend to recommend this exhibit for fans of Kim Gordon and/or Sonic Youth, only.
Design Office with Kim Gordon – since 1980 will be on exhibit through October 19th, 2013 at White Columns Gallery, Located at 320 West 13th Street (Enter on Horatio Street, between Hudson and 8th Avenue), New York, NY 10014. Gallery Hours are Tuesday – Saturday from 12 Noon – 6:00 PM.
Thanks to Leah Cevoli for telling me about this campaign:
“My name is Brad Carter. I am an actor, artist, occasional stand-up comedian and a guitarist from Macon, Georgia now living in Los Angeles, Ca. In the past few months I’ve had two surgeries on my brain to help me play guitar again. Maybe you saw it on the Today Show or your local news. I never knew any of that was going to happen. All I wanted was to be able to play guitar for a few years longer. I have a disease called Essential Tremor. This is a progressive neurological disease and there is no cure. My doctors think it could very well become Parkinson’s in the near future. I want to make the most of the time the surgery has given me by recording an album and sharing my story with you. Thank you for becoming a part of this Kickstarter project. It means the world to me.”
Please visit Brad’s Kickstarter page at This Link to watch Brad’s very moving video, to get more information on Brad and to donate to his very deserving campaign! Thank You!
Earlier this week, I attended a party at The Cutting Room and ran into my friend Billy Amendola, who I got to know during my 13 years spent writing for Modern Drummer magazine. Billy is not only a fantastic writer and editor, but he’s also quite an accomplished working drummer, having racked up a couple of dance hits during the 70s with the band Mantus, as well as playing drums on many of Debbie Gibson’s hits. Billy told me about a project he just completed called Influenced, featuring a song he wrote with a couple of his industry friends called “She Does.” He turned me on to the video, and I was instantly blown away by how much this track sounds like The Beatles.
Actually, The Beatles comparison is not at all surprising, when you consider that they recruited producer Mark Hudson for lead vocals. I remember having a ridiculous crush on Mark Hudson when I was probably 13, and he and his two brothers, Brett and Bill (father of actress Kate Hudson) had a summer replacement television series, The Hudson Brothers comedy variety hour. I even owned a couple of the Hudson Brothers excellent albums, which I absolutely adored because all of their songs sounded so much like The Beatles.
In his career, Mark has worked with huge hit makers including Ringo Starr, and I know Billy is also a huge Beatles fan, so, again, the similarity is no surprise. What’s also a standout on this track is how guitarist Vinnie Zummo (formerly with Joe Jackson) completely channels George Harrison’s Elmore James-influenced slide guitar.
The track was produced by Billy’s son, Matty, who I used to fondly refer to as “Matty’s Fro,” owing to his impressive Afro hairstyle! Matty has gone on to become quite adept producer and multi-instrumentalist in his own right, and it’s fantastic to hear father and son working together on such a solid track. Please enjoy!