Robert Baird

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Robert Baird Posted: Aug 19, 2011 29 comments
Michele Bachmann, who is now warning us about the rise of the USSR, vowing to padlock the EPA, and saying she will single–handedly bring back $2 a gallon gas. . .
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Robert Baird Posted: Aug 04, 2011 5 comments
Talk about the R.E.M. catalog with most music people and the conversation usually comes down to albums released during the years the band spent on its original label, the late, great I.R.S. Records.
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Robert Baird Posted: Jun 03, 2011 0 comments
If you measure success as confusing people, provoking discussions, evoking strong feelings, keeping listeners off balance, creating opposing camps, having the same record hated and loved by equal minorities, then Circuital by My Morning Jacket is already a big hit.
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Robert Baird Posted: May 18, 2011 11 comments
Thirty six years ago, Ted Nugent just played guitar...

To write intelligibly about the experience of seeing Ted Nugent sitting in with the Les Paul Trio—let me repeat that—Ted Nugent sitting in with the Les Paul Trio at The Iridium Jazz Club on Broadway and 51st Street just off Times Square on Monday May 16, I need to first explain two bits of context.

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Robert Baird Posted: May 05, 2011 5 comments
Talk about your bad ideas. I can’t decide whether Whole Lotta Rosie subtitled “An All Star Salute to Fat Chicks,” exists just to be obnoxious or whether Paul LaPlaca and A.J.Confessore really are the kind of hard rock dudes that actually love large women.
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Robert Baird Posted: Apr 01, 2011 3 comments
In the chronicles of the now absurdly revered Memphis alt rock originators, Big Star, the third record called appropriately enough, Third (or sometimes Sister Lovers) is perhaps the band’s best record. That’s only true of course if slow, often gossamer thin melodies pitched too high so that Alex Chilton’s voice couldn’t help sounding anguished and lyrics that fit under the term of “Fragile” or “Twisted,” and a pervasive feeling of doom (with several outbursts of partly cloudy pop rock) are your thing.
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Robert Baird Posted: Mar 22, 2011 2 comments
Pinetop Perkins at SXSW 2011

Many years ago, when all of the South by Southwest seminars and panels were located inside the Hyatt Hotel across Town Lake from downtown Austin, I tottered in from a long night of music and revelry, and stood waiting for one of the glass elevators that ran up and down one side of the hotel’s giant atrium. When the car arrived the doors swung open to reveal Mississippi blues piano player Pinetop Perkins who according to my math had to be in his early Eighties then, and who, with a mixture of teeth and gold in his mouth, was flanked by two beautiful and much younger white women luxuriously dressed in fur coats. Far be it from me to cast aspirations but these looked to me like working girls. The dapper Pinetop shot me the most mischievous grin you can imagine while slipping his arms around each woman’s waist.

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Robert Baird Posted: Mar 17, 2011 2 comments
Robert Baird reports from South by Southwest (SXSW), the annual music, film, and interactive conference and festival held in Austin, Texas.

I couldn’t resist. It was a sunny Monday afternoon and after a cruise on Austin’s famous drag, (otherwise known as Guadalupe), past the old (real) Antone's club, which is now a dry cleaners, I parked the rental car and slid into a nearly deserted Hole-in-the-Wall, for a shot of Patron Silver and to soak in a little classic Austin atmosphere.

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Robert Baird Posted: Feb 25, 2011 1 comments
Willie Nile
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Robert Baird Posted: Feb 14, 2011 13 comments
Las Vegas ruled the night!
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Robert Baird Posted: Jan 21, 2011 1 comments
While I know through reading all about Don Kirshner’s work at the Brill Building...
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Robert Baird Posted: Nov 05, 2010 0 comments
By convenient circumstance, I recently caught Tony Jo White on a Sunday night at the Thunderbird Caf in Lawrenceville, a rapidly changing for the better part of Pittsburgh, Pa. In a small but sweet back room, White put on a low key show that shows both his voice and his ability to get in a groove and jam are still potent. His methods are easily understood, he comes out, looking vaguely like a long and lean version of Charlie Rich, when the Sliver Fox wore a similar kind of hat, and plays either spooky ballads or a bluesy, rumbling groove that runs for many verses and becomes a long jam. His hits (or “best known songs” if you prefer) , “Polk Salad Annie” which is probably most famous because of Elvis’ version (Tom Jones actually slays it as well) came off with the needed amount of snap to the choruses. And then there’s “Rainy Night in Georgia” a tune I always forget TJ wrote until he starts singing it or someone puts a Tony Jo record on. It’s a sweeping slow number whose chorus changes are really gorgeously bittersweet. The man has soul, there’s no doubt. And rock gigs like the 1970 Isle of Wight Festival gave him serious rock chops for awhile as well.
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Robert Baird Posted: Sep 24, 2010 1 comments
Berlin was a much smaller market yet there were some interesting music stores, headed by Mr. Dead & Mrs Free which sells only new vinyl. Nearby was Rock Steady Records (pictured above) which had a decent selection of used vintage vinyl. I hear the flea market by the Brandenburg Gate has a number of vinyl dealers but somehow I never made it there.
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Robert Baird Posted: Sep 24, 2010 0 comments
So call me a wild colonial boy, but while I found European record stores fun and all—and being in huge Virgin megastores stuffed full of jazz and classical records made me long for the days when they were still in the U.S.—one visit to Jerry’s Records in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania made me realize what that rock and roll immortal Chuck Berry said best— “Anything you want, we got right here in the U.S.A.” Jerry’s is easily, I mean EASILY! one of the top five record stores here on Starship Earth. The man is a mensch, the store is a huge, rambling barn of a place, and my God does he have the product. No onesies at Jerry’s. You often have many different copies of a single title to choose from. Never, ever miss Jerry’s when you’re anywhere near Pittsburgh. Seriously, the place is as much a shrine to the vinyl LP as it is a store.

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