Tuesday, December 22, 2009

It Might Get Loud DVD & Blu-ray release, December 22nd, 2009

Just the thing for all the middle-aged white guys on your Christmas list.

According to the official press kit: "It Might Get Loud tells the personal stories, in their own words, of three generations of electric guitar virtuosos – The Edge (U2), Jimmy Page (Led Zeppelin), and Jack White (The White Stripes)."

PDGB sees it like this:
Jimmy Page: Aided in no small part by his like-minded Led Zeppelin band mates, James Patrick Page essentially created the genre of bombastic, riff-based arena-rock by regurgitating the blues through cranked-up VOX AC30's and Marshall stacks, making each lick his own along the way.

The Edge: In a quest to create an unmistakable musical voice worthy of U2's ambitious lyrics, Mr. David Howell Evans cleverly combined sparse, syncopated guitar rhythms with the latest available signal processing technology, inadvertently spawning an entire sub-genre of copycat guitarists more concerned with the effects rack than the fretboard in the process.

Jack White: Choosing to go low-brow right from the start, John Anthony Gillis created an instantly recognizable tone to call his own by combining inexpensive instruments with uniquely configured analog gear, confirming what ol' Pagey has known about white boys playing the blues all along: It's what you've got to say that matters, not the amount of words you can cram into a sentence.

Now, how about that sequel spotlighting
Ron Asheton(RIP),
Robert Quine(RIP),
Johnny Ramone(RIP), Tom Verlaine, Greg Ginn, and Josh Homme?

Thursday, September 10, 2009

Toledo Pop Festival-This Week In Toledo, Ohio, 1969:

So Happy Together!  
Sunday, September 14th 1969
Four short weeks after Jimi Hendrix closed the generation-defining Woodstock Festival with a soul-stirring, whammy-bar laden performance of the Star Bangled Banner, Toledo fans got a homegrown opportunity to air out their freak flags courtesy of the daylong Toledo Pop Festival.Culled primarily from the S.E. Michigan/N.W. Ohio axis of high-energy rock'n'roll, the day's slightly disparate line-up featured a virtual who's who of Rust Belt axe-slingers: Brothers Wayne Kramer and the late-great Fred "Sonic" Smith from the MC5; Ted Nugent from the Amboy Dukes; The Frost's Dick Wagner, who would later go on to co-write, record, and tour extensively with the likes of Alice Cooper and Lou Reed, among others; Ron Koss of Savage Grace; Gary Quackenbush of SRC; Steve Correll of The Rationals; and, the soon-to-be-known-as “Leather Tuscadero” in the persona of one Miss Suzi Quatro, performing bass, vocal and jail-bait duties for the Pleasure Seekers, a band consisting chiefly of her brothers and sisters.

PDGB wonders if the concert promoter’s somewhat curious decision to place feel-good hit-makers The Turtles atop a bill filled largely with outfits known for their aggressive, potentially incendiary histrionics was -at least in part- a conscious decision intended to serve as a musical blow-off valve, The Turtles cheery melodies and infectious lyrics helping to ease the attendees transition from frenzied jam kick-outing to the parking lot slough that awaited them. Then again, maybe they just needed a big name to sell some tickets.

Either way, we’re sure the inevitable twenty minute-plus live rendition of “Happy Together” didn’t go unnoticed, reshuffling the synapses of numerous first-time psychedelic users so completely that even now, some forty-years later, the simple act of hearing said melody errantly whistled by passerby is capable of triggering intense psychotic episodes of such severity that even immediate medical attention followed by years of therapy can't guarantee the return of normal brain activity. Way to go Boomers!
Held at Toledo Raceway Park (which we assume is the Horse racing facility of approximately the same name that still stands in North Toledo today) the $5.00 admission ($4.25 Advance) was an unbelievable bargain, even adjusted for inflation.
If you attended the Toledo Pop Festival and have a recollection you'd like to share about it -or any like event/concert/happening in the N.W. Ohio/S.W. Michigan region- click that comment button and tell it!

Tuesday, August 4, 2009

Isn't That the Banjo Player's Porsche?

1. Q: How are Kenny G and a Ginsu knife alike?     A: They're both sharp as hell all the time, and that's never gonna change.

2. Define Perfect Pitch: A violin, from 10 paces, straight down the toilet without touching the seat.

3. A musician comes home after a gig and finds his girlfriend tied to the bed, bruised, naked and gagged. In a panic, he removes the gag and asks, "What happened?" His girlfriend replies: "While you were out, your agent came over and...." Interrupting her, he says: "You're kidding? My Agent? He came to see me? What did he say?!"

4. Q: How can you tell when your female lead has arrived at the rehearsal studio?     A: She fumbles for the key for over ten minutes, and when you open the door, she still doesn't come in right.

5. Q: How do you turn a loud guitarist down?     A: Put some sheet music in front of him.

6. Kenny G gets into an elevator. After a few floors he turn to the businessman next to him and says "Hey man, this place is really rockin'."

7. Q: Why did Bach have so many children?     A: His organ didn't have any stops.

8. Q: What's the difference between a trampoline and a viola?     A: You take your shoes off when you jump on a trampoline.

9. Two DJs meet at a gig. They finish a set each. After much mutual praising, they decide to hang out. One DJ suggests there's a great movie in town. The other replies, "Let's call ahead, find out who the projectionist is."

10. Q: What's the difference between a musician and a pizza?       A: A pizza can feed a family of four.

11. Q: What's the difference between a trombone solo and a buzz saw?       A: Vibrato.

12. Q: What's the difference between a rock guitarist and a jazz guitarist? A: The rock guitarist plays 4 chords for 10,000 people...

13. A Classical conductor reluctantly books a jazz saxophonist for a solo spot in a modern concert piece. To his surprise, the saxophonist turns up early for each and every rehearsal with his pencils sharpened, music in order, and plays flawlessly. He even stays back after rehearsals to ask important questions of the conductor in regards to interpretation of the score, always carefully marking his parts. Finally, after the final dress rehearsal, the conductor walks up to the jazz saxophonist and says, "I have to admit I had serious misgivings about using a non-classical musician, but your performance so far has been impeccable; always here early, looking after your music, a real example for the rest of the orchestra. You've certainly changed my mind about jazz musicians." To which the saxophonist replies, "Well Man, it's the least I can do seeing as I can't make the gig."

14. Kenny G goes into a Burger King: "Give me two Whoppers." Employee: "OK. You're good looking and you sound great."

15. Q: What's the definition of a gentleman?       A: Someone who can play bagpipes but doesn't.

16. Q: Why is a bassoon better than an oboe?       A: The bassoon burns longer.

17. Q: What' the difference between a dead snake in the road and a dead banjo player in the road?       A: The snake was on it's way to a gig.

18. Q: How many female lead singers does it take to screw in a lightbulb?       A: One, she just holds it while the world revolves around her.

19. A conductor sees a disturbance in the back of the orchestra, so he stops the rehearsal to find out what's going on. The last chair viola points to one of the bass players and says, "He...he just grabbed one of my tuning pegs and detuned the string!" The conductor is pretty irritated, but he says, "Okay, don't do it again, but we'll talk about it later." A little while later, he sees that something's going on again, so he stops the rehearsal again and says, "What the hell's the matter now?" The violist responds, "He, he...he won't tell me which one!!"

20. In my first year of college, an accordion-player friend of mine drove up from home to visit me. He arrived quite late on a dreary Friday night, and after getting settled I asked him where he parked. To my dismay, he informs me he parked on a nearby dimly-lit street notorious for car break-ins. I asked him if he brought is accordion, and he said he did, but he left it on the back seat of his car. Upon hearing this, we rushed down to his car to move it, but it was already too late; Someone had broken in and left two more accordions.

21. Two American guitarists were part of an international music act traveling by train across Europe. Several hours into the trip, one of the Russian members stands up and boasts, "In Russia, we have so much fine vodka I can afford to just throw it away." To illustrate his point, he takes a bottle of the finest Russian vodka and throws it out the window. Never to be outdone, a member of the French contingent holds up a bottle of the finest Champagne and retorts, "Well in France, we have so much of the finest Champagne, we can afford to just throw it away," and proceeds to throw the bottle out the train window. The first American guitarist accepts the challenge and, without saying a word, picks up the second guitarist and throws him out the window.

22. Q: What do a Yngwie Malmsteen guitar solo and premature ejaculation have in common?       A: You know its coming and nothing you can do is gonna' stop it.

23. Q: What's the least-used sentence in the English language?       A: "Isn't that the banjo player's Porsche?"

This collection of comedic gems was compiled from too many sources to bother mentioning. If you've got a few of your own, get busy with the comment button A.S.A.P. and share 'em with your fellow Pizza Don't Go Bad readers.

Friday, July 3, 2009

Detroit's Grande Ballroom: It done kicked 'em out!

Location, Location, Location.
Unlike San Francisco's Fillmore, which successfully parlayed it's late-sixties, hippie-dippy pedigree into a multi-million dollar franchise under the crafty tutelage of Bill Graham, Detroit's Grande Ballroom was virtually abandoned and left to rot, not unlike Detroit itself.

With the official release of the widely bootlegged Future/Now films documentary, MC5- A True Testimonial still(!) in limbo, it's of particular importance that Louder than Love, the Story of the Grande Ballroom, get completed and released in a timely manner, lest the rest of the world continue under the false impression that California and New York held exclusives on all of the music, revolution, and counter-culture mayhem that went down in the 60's.

The Grande's legacy may have been resurrected in the mid-80's by a new generation of fans hungry for the pure, pre-corporate, high-energy rock music that the venue fostered during its short influential reign, but the building itself has not fared nearly as well; numerous online sources offer photographic evidence of the building's structural decline, and practitioners of the urban exploration movement have produced several video accounts of exposing the decay behind the Grande's exterior walls.

Fun Fact: The debut performance of The Who's Tommy took place at the Grande.
Sour Grapes: Machine Gun Thompson of the MC5 apparently has a bone to pick with Iggy and/or the Stooges.

Even a partial listing of Grande Ballroom Alumni reveals the sonically diverse zeitgeist of the Grande's brief tenure:

The Amboy Dukes, The Animals, Jeff Beck Group, Chuck Berry, Big Brother and the Holding Company, Blood Sweat and Tears, Blue Oyster Cult, Bonzo Dog Band, Brownsville Station, Butterfield Blues Band, Canned Heat, Cream, Detroit w/Mitch Ryder, Bo Diddley, Fleetwood Mac, The Frost, Frut, Genesis, Sir Graves Ghastly, Alan Ginsburg, Golden Earring, Buddy Guy, Abbie Hoffman, John Lee Hooker, Howlin' Wolf, J Geils-who recorded their breakthrough live album Full House at Detroit's Cinderella Ballroom, The James Gang, Elton John, King Crimson, The Kinks, Led Zeppelin, MC5, NRBQ, Pink Floyd, Procol Harum, Shakey Jake, John Sinclair, Sky with future Knack leader Doug Fieger, Sly and the Family Stone, The Stooges, Third Power, T-Rex w/Marc Bolan, Turtles, The Troggs, The Who, Johnny Winter, The Yardbirds.

Kick out the jams indeed.


Wednesday, June 17, 2009

Free-Range Art of the Toledo Region #1

click images for a larger view

We haven't a clue regarding the identity of the resident artist (artist resident?) who transformed so much junkyard detritus and industrial-sized scrap iron into this clever display of garden fauna, but we do know that it represents one of the purest forms of Free-Range Art we've seen.

Our feet never left public soil during our short visit, ninety-nine percent out of respect to the homeowner, and one percent because you gotta' figure anyone this talented with a welder is equally as handy with the old shootin' iron when sufficiently agitated. We happily settled for the long-distance photos you see here. If and when a proper introduction is arranged, we'll gladly shoot some close-ups and elaborate on the artist and their work if they are so inclined.

Numerous additional sculptures dot the yard, and like most free-range exhibits, finding them is half the fun. Here's a hint that should make your search an easy one: It's situated east of Oak Openings Preserve, on a road beginning with the letter "R."

It seems the purest examples of free-range art are the result of a direct conduit between the creator's mind and their hands, a passion undiluted by rational thought and outside influence.

If you do visit, please practice common courtesy.

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Gary Louris-This Week In Toledo, Ohio, 1973:

Jayhawks guitarist Gary Louris graduates from Toledo’s St. Johns High School. In a bold career strategy that can only be described as genius, Louris doesn’t even own an electric guitar until after receiving his college diploma, potentially saving thousands of music admirers and witless bystanders from the shrill cacophony of yet another drooling adolescent tunelessly fumbling with his six-string penis in public.

The prolific songwriter’s decision to hone his craft in semi-obscurity was a wise one, evidenced not only by his vast catalog of passionate and melodic country/rock rock/country tinged-tunes, but also by the sheer number of A-list performers (Dixie Chicks, Kelly Willis, Nickel Creek-among others) that have come calling in recent years, all in hopes that at least some of the secret ingredients comprising G. Louris’ special sauce will stick to their fingers.

In addition to Louris's recently released and critically acclaimed solo work, "Vagabonds," the highly anticipated "Music from the North Country: The Jayhawks Anthology,"is slated for a July 7th release.


Sunday, May 24, 2009

The dirty low-lowdown

Freak Not, My Friends! You can still find a video of the The Oak Ridge Boys performing The White Stripes, "Seven Nation Army" by clicking here.
Not bad, but I prefer The Gaither Vocal Band's note-for-note rendition of "Dehumanized" by Void.

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

Shrine on, you crazy diamond(s)

Rarely performed outside the protective cover of temple walls, the "Raised-rear, throttle-plate tickle" is arguably the most provocative of all Shriner secret handshakes.

T-4 days till Shriner Car Day, AKA Memorial Day.