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Robert Baird Posted: Apr 10, 2009 0 comments
JASON ISBELL: Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Lightning Rod/Thirty Tigers LRR-99682 (CD). 2009. Jason Isbell, prod.; Matt Pence, prod., eng. AAD? TT: 52:09
Performance ****½
Sonics ****
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Robert Baird Posted: Mar 26, 2009 1 comments
Another South by Southwest is in the books. My 21st out of a possible 23 festivals. Let me start with three acts that were among the most prominent participants there in terms of appearances. It seemed like every time I turned around—day, night, those sunny, warm Austin spring afternoons when the free drinks flow freely and the good times roll—there would be Raul Malo, the Heartless Bastards and/or M. Ward playing yet another gig.
Robert Baird Posted: Mar 10, 2009 0 comments
ARVO PÄRT In Principio
In Principio, La Sindone, Cecilia, vergine romana, Da Pacem Domine, Mein Weg, Fur Lennart in memoriam.
Tõnu Kaljuste, Estonian Philharmonic Chamber Choir, Estonian National Symphony Orchestra, Tallinn Chamber Orchestra
ECM New Series 2050 (CD). 2009. Manfred Eicher, prod.; Teije van Geest, Margho Kolar, engs. DDD. TT: 70:44
Performance *****
Sonics *****
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Robert Baird Posted: Mar 03, 2009 2 comments
I can see the scene now, Gary, the mighty Max, the Big Man, all standing around the studio, looking at their feet, afraid to tell Bruce that one of his new songs, the otherwise very charming, “Outlaw Pete,” has a melody very similiar to the one found in KISS’ “I Was Made For Lovin’ You Baby,” their successful quasi-disco single off their otherwise weak 1979 stylistic stumble, Dynasty.
Robert Baird Posted: Feb 10, 2009 1 comments
RYAN ADAMS: Cardinology
Lost Highway B0012195-02 (CD, LP, 7" EP). 2008. Tom Schick, prod., eng.; Noah Goldstein, asst. eng. AAD?, AAA. TT: 40:29
Performance ****
Sonics ****
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Robert Baird Posted: Feb 09, 2009 2 comments
The mini–dustup over Etta James saying she “can’t stand” Beyonce and was gonna “whip” or “whoop” her ass is a hoot. First of all, Etta’s legacy is in no danger. No one will ever top her rendition of “At Last.” That performance, her greatest single track, is in no danger of being superseded.
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Robert Baird Posted: Jan 20, 2009 1 comments
How great was it to hear all the music at the inaugural. Maybe music and the arts will once again be valued in the country. Maybe someone else than right wing country singers can get a tune in edgewise.
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Robert Baird Posted: Jan 16, 2009 5 comments
As soon as we pulled up, I knew that this was gonna be the highlight of my trip to New Orleans. When the door to Snake and Jakes Christmas Club Lounge swung open, I got tears in my eyes as I beheld the kind of unclean, unsafe booze shack that I've wasted many an hour in.
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Robert Baird Posted: Jan 05, 2009 5 comments
Sorry to be a humbug, but it seems that Christmas is becoming a magnet for musician death. This year Eartha Kitt, Robert Ward and Freddie Hubbard all expired around the holiday.
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Robert Baird Posted: Dec 12, 2008 0 comments
One night last week, a bout of channel surfing brought me to the Grammy nomination concert. Not the Grammys mind you, that’s in February, but a televised special to announce the nominations. And only the nominations of the celebrity—driven stuff like Best New Artist which is when LL Cool J, who was hosting, walked across the front of the auditorium and ask the Jonas Brothers how it felt to be nominated. As the bile rose in my throat I changed the channel. I found it to be very strange that this was proceeded by a showing of the venerable 1964 stop motion animation special, Rudolph, The Red—Nosed Reindeer which is narrated by Burl Ives and contains a couple of indelible toon icons in the prospector Yukon Cornelius and a Yeti called a “bumble.”