Bob Dylan obliges annoying fan in Berkeley by actually playing ‘Free Bird’

(via SFGate)

You’ve seen that guy.

He emerges from some dark corner of the audience, maybe drunk, gawkily shoving his way through the crowd as the audience stands contented, mesmerized by the rock god onstage. He leans forward next to your ear, brutishly disturbing your daydream with a shrill, piercing shout:

“FREE BIRD!”

Eyes roll in the audience. The man’s face snarls with wretched delight. He is the only one laughing.

But just before your disgust impels you to jam your elbow into this troll’s ribcage, a guitar rings out. Everyone turns to the stage.

Holy hell, Bob Dylan is actually playing “Free Bird.”

To the shock of a Berkeley audience, Dylan closed out his set at the Greek Theater last week — which featured covers of some of Frank Sinatra’s most famous songs from his newest album “Fallen Angels” —  with a take on Lynyrd Skynyrd’s 1973 hit “Free Bird.”

The Death of the Electric Guitar

(via The Washington Post) By June 22, 2017

The convention couldn’t sound less rock-and-roll — the National Association of Music Merchants Show. But when the doors open at the Anaheim Convention Center, people stream in to scour rows of Fenders, Les Pauls and the oddball, custom-built creations such as the 5-foot-4-inch mermaid guitar crafted of 15 kinds of wood.
Standing in the center of the biggest, six-string candy store in the United States, you can almost believe all is well within the guitar world.
Except if, like George Gruhn, you know better. The 71-year-old Nashville dealer has sold guitars to Eric Clapton, Neil Young, Paul McCartney and Taylor Swift. Walking through NAMM with Gruhn is like shadowing Bill Belichick at the NFL Scouting Combine. There is great love for the product and great skepticism. What others might see as a boom — the seemingly endless line of manufacturers showcasing instruments — Gruhn sees as two trains on a collision course.
“There are more makers now than ever before in the history of the instrument, but the market is not growing,” Gruhn says in a voice that flutters between a groan and a grumble. “I’m not all doomsday, but this — this is not sustainable.”

The numbers back him up. In the past decade, electric guitar sales have plummeted, from about 1.5 million sold annually to just over 1 million…

Read more: https://www.washingtonpost.com/graphics/2017/lifestyle/the-slow-secret-death-of-the-electric-guitar/?utm_term=.471017b5534a

Video of the Week: Don’t Use Sweaty Boob Money to Pay for Merch

Video of the Week: Chicago–Full Tanglewood Concert 1970

For fans of Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductees Chicago who are too young to remember what a true Rock band they once were, and what a major role original lead guitarist Terry Kath was, here’s the full Tanglewood concert from 1970. The band’s mix of jazz and rock styles was truly innovative, and Kath’s guitar work astonishing.

Thanks, Renee Gray!

Video of the Week: Story Behind the Song–‘Brandy (You’re a Fine Girl)’

Songs You May Have Missed #614

Steven Wilson: “The Day Before You Came” (2014)

Steven Wilson doesn’t exactly specialize in the straight-ahead love song. The Porcupine Tree mastermind and frontman is not typically prone to a tendency to deal in anything so treacly as a lyric that extolls a lover’s positive influence on one’s life.

So it makes sense it would appeal to him to tell the love story in a more emotionally subtle and artistically subversive way–in this case by painting a picture of the dreary routine of life prior to “the day before you came”.

Yep, it suits the melancholy Wilson to a T. Except he didn’t write the song. It’s from his 2014 album of cover tunes. So who is responsible for this devastating examination of an empty existence?

Why, ABBA of course. And it’s not as inconsistent as one may at first think. With hits like “Knowing Me, Knowing You” and “S.O.S.” and especially album track “My Love, My Life”, those lovable bejumpsuited Swedes routinely created dichotomous musical clashes of emotional turmoil and musical glee, something Elvis Costello celebrated as he paid unlikely tribute with “Oliver’s Army” in 1979.

Wilson’s reading of the minor key meditation takes it into darker territory indeed.

Video of the Week: ‘Every Major’s Terrible’

Performed by Ben Miller. Lyric from Randall Munroe’s comic xkcd.

Original melody from Gilbert and Sullivan’s “Major General’s Song”, also parodied by Tom Lehrer’s “The Elements”.

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