Ric’s Picks

Curated clips & commentary

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Ashes to Ashes – Bowie 1947-2016

David Bowie was the consummate artist. Combining staging, fashion, lyrics, showmanship and grooves, this Tonight Show clip sums it up with minimal distraction.

noel-blog-3Always a master of reinvention, here the former Davy Jones snuck in an homage to James Dean’s Rebel Without a Cause red jacket, jeans and white t-shirt at Johnny Carson’s Burbank studio.

The great Ashley Kahn, offered me the opportunity to interview Bowie in 1995, IF I could get Wired to take it as a cover story, they nixed it, saying we just did Brian Eno – making us all losers.

When I first saw him live at The Warfield in San Francisco, Bowie remarkably carried his prime years forward to 1997 opening with “Quicksand” from Hunky Dory.  Never without a mime or sleight of hand, it was a rare privilege to witness his wit and presence first hand. His intro to Jean Genie at The Warfield: “This is an old blues song that was telegraphed to me at the time of my birth in 1947.” Seven years later I saw him again at the Berkeley Community Theater, dressed as a sailor, he suprisingly re-channeled his androgyne identity into what was to be his last tour.

A westerner with some Buddhist views, he kept a Balinese style place in the Caribbean and had his ashes scattered in a Nagben Ceremony in Bali. Ashes to ashes, funk to funky…

 

 

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Dylan and Band: Bootleg #11

Bob Dylan and The Band’s The Bootleg Series Vol. 11: The Basement Tapes Complete was first called The Great White Wonder in 1967-8. It began the bootleg LP craze and later defined Americana. Not to mention a T-Bone Burnette produced record and spinoff band with Elvis Costello, Marcus Mumford and others called The New Basement Tapes.

The original cuts “Mighty Quinn,”” You Ain’t Going Nowhere,” “I Shall Be Released” and dozens of other tracks finally get the deluxe treatment with outtakes, book and photos in Vol. 11 of Bob Dylan’s ongoing cupboard clear out.

The accompanying doc with Greil Marcus, Clinton Heylin and others captures the spirit of the work quite well.

‘Greatest record of the western popular music sphere’ – John Rockwell, The New York Times

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Exhibitionism – The Stones own their history

Mick Jagger famously quoted Jean Cocteau at The Rolling Stones’ Hall of Fame induction in 1988, “Americans are funny people, first you shock them, then they put you in a museum.”

Apparently, If you are truly patient, you can put yourself into a museum as The Stones are heading to the Saatchi and ten other galleries worldwide. This clip with Charlie Watts as frontman says it all.

EXHIBITIONISM will be the most comprehensive and immersive insight into a group described by critics as ‘The Greatest Rock ‘n’ Roll Band’, taking over nine themed galleries spread across two entire floors at the Saatchi Gallery on King’s Road, London. Tickets for EXHIBITIONISM go on sale to the public next week on Friday 10 July 2015 at 9am via www.stonesexhibitionism.com and 10am from the Saatchi Gallery.

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1973 – In Excess

Michael Walker defines a gray area in the history of Rock music with What You Want Is in the Limo : On the Road with Led Zeppelin, Alice Cooper, and the Who in 1973, the Year the Sixties Died and the Modern Rock Star Was Born. This NPR interview gives a nice overview of the Walker’s insights.

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From Oi! to Oy! in a single step

Rock jumped the shark in 1973, as big money proved a death knell to 60’s idealism. To put it another way Rock lost its artistic mojo :-(

Think Rod Stewart’s ’73 release Atlantic Crossingin contrast to his work with The Faces a year earlier – possibly the greatest rock show ever:

 

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THERE Music – 1996

Multimedia roots music throw-down

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“Amy” – The Movie

The Amy Winehouse bio Amy showed the rare singing/songwriting talent that basically never arrives together in the same person. In one of my favorite Amy clips, check out this British soul music refresher with Paul Weller and Jools Holland.

Weller, aka the Modfather, a British R&B and rock legend since his debut with The Jam in 1977, has the pipes. But his songwriting and singing chops are upstaged by Winehouse who won 3 Ivor Novello Awards to Weller’s 1 despite her tragic death at 27.

Hear It Through the Grapevine with Jools Holland’s band brings the funk.

 

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