28 December 2009

Some Things Read On A Dollar Bill

In anticipation of their big New Year's Eve show at Milwaukee's Riverside Theater, Britt Daniel of Spoon talks to the Journal-Sentinel about the band's new album Transference (to be released 19 January) and its allegiance to indie label Merge.

Two noteworthy birth dates of 28 December: (1) Bandleader Johnny Otis, known as the "Godfather of Rhythm & Blues," born 1921. The son of Greek immigrants, Otis blended in with the black community in the Los Angeles area easily and produced a number of hits. The Johnny Otis Show's crossover into pop territory, going all the way to #3, was "Willie And The Hand Jive" (a live TV performance can be accessed here - watch for Lionel Hampton at the end on vibes). Later, Eric Clapton revived the tune on his album 461 Ocean Boulevard. (2) Roebuck "Pops" Staples, patriarch of The Staple Singers, was born on this date on a Mississippi plantation in 1914 (he died in 2000). Together with his children, Staples started in the gospel realm and kept that socially conscious edge even when the group crossed over into the popular music charts with smashes like "Respect Yourself" (here's a live version from the Wattstax festival featuring the one-two dynamism of Pops and daughter Mavis), "I'll Take You There" and "Let's Do It Again."

David Fricke talks to Ed O'Brien about Radiohead's musical output over the past ten years.

Over the next week, BBC 6 Music Programmes is offering a chance to listen to a three part series titled "Bob Dylan: Changing Times." The episodes, each one hour in length, delve into three seminal albums: Nashville Skyline (1969), Slow Train Running (1979) and Oh, Mercy (1989).

The latest Take-Away Show from La Blogotheque is with critically praised band The Antlers.

Like 'em or not, Vampire Weekend is on deck with their second record. The Times of London visits with the New York band.

Step right up: Pop & Hiss chats with Tom Waits. The singer hints at a studio release in 2010.

Adam Sheets of No Depression lists the considerable production credits to date of T-Bone Burnett. (And we'll add one more - the fine Martinis & Bikinis by Sam Phillips).

And since we're thinking about Sam Phillips, TNOP invites you to enjoy the Rubber Soul vibe of "Baby I Can't Please You" from Martinis & Bikinis.

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