Category: Music

Beat JENeration #010: Liz Phair

Beat JENeration #010: Liz Phair

I love Liz Phair. That has always been true, but last Monday, I was reminded, again, how much.

Currently, Liz Phair’s in the middle of her Amps on the Lawn tour and let me tell you, she looks great. And I don’t think I’ve ever seen a performer look so happy on stage ever. She sounded better than I remember too. Earlier shows — I’m thinking primarily her Whitechocolatespaceegg tour stop at SDSU’s Montezuma Hall (the internet tells me it was 1998) — was a little uncomfortable. Well, she seemed uncomfortable and I remember feeling bad about it.

But I still loved her. 

My favorite time seeing her was in 1994 or 95 in Chicago at Bub City (the old location on Weed St) while she was eating BBQ with her parents. Two tables over, I was too dumbfounded by breathing her same air to speak. I would later see her at Lounge Ax and Delilah’s just being a civilian and I never once even attempted to make eye contact. Aside from being raised near enough to LA to never bother celebrities, I’m also a firm believer that we mere mortals should never speak to deities. She’s a goddess.  Continue reading “Beat JENeration #010: Liz Phair”

The New England Shake-Up Year 6 Is a Party Not to Miss

The New England Shake-Up Year 6 Is a Party Not to Miss

The last full weekend of September sees the idyllic New England town of Sturbridge invaded not by leaf peepers but vintage loving Rockers. The New England Shake-Up is a roots rock weekender held at the Sturbridge Host Hotel and Conference Center, put on by Beck Rustic of Retroactive Northeast.

For three days, four if you count the pre-party on Thursday night, folks gather from around the world to watch bands and dance to djs playing some of the best rockabilly, western swing and greasy rock and roll to be found! There’s also a classic carshow on Saturday afternoon and on Sunday they throw a pool party!

Continue reading “The New England Shake-Up Year 6 Is a Party Not to Miss”

Beat JENeration #007: So, there’s this thing called Australian Pink Floyd

Beat JENeration #007: So, there’s this thing called Australian Pink Floyd

Last night I ventured out to Segerstrom Hall in Costa Mesa. This is where all the Broadway tours stop in Orange County. I recently saw Liza Minelli here. Eddie Izzard. Misty Copeland dances on this stage for American Ballet Theatre often. Plush red velvety seats for almost 3000 asses, it’s civilized for sure — not that it stops men from attending in shorts and flip flops most nights. But last night was, um, special, different, odd. Last night perplexed me, quite frankly, and I think I need you all to help me figure it out.

There’s this thing called Australian Pink FloydI love pretty much all things Australian. I’ve been there and the place holds up to its hype. Not only do they have koalas, kangaroos, Olivia Newton-John, Hugh Jackman, and Paul Kelly (essentially their Bob Dylan, but he can actually sing well), but they are home to the best dessert ever, the Lambington,  So, I’m always cool with Aussies as a general rule. 

Pink Floyd, on the other hand, hmmm… I went to a typical American high school and then matriculated to a party university. The Wall was rented many a night from Tower’s cult movies section (a young Bob Geldof, eye brows or no, was intriguing) and I owned Dark Side of the Moon to cue up with Wizard of Oz. But, as I wasn’t a stoner myself, I think I missed a lot of the finer points of Pink Floyd aside from the entry level hits – “Comfortably Numb,” “Wish You Were Here,” and…well, actually, if I’m being totally honest I just know The Wall and Dark Side of the Moon, “Wish You Were Here,” and I thought I knew “Shine On You Crazy Diamond” but only the radio cut, which I’ll get to later. Fake fan…I’ll accept that, though I would never use the word fan. I did, however, see Pink Floyd live once at Jack Murphy Stadium. This guy, Craig, who I knew from the BBS Board, Anarchy X gave me a ticket — probably because he felt bad for telling mutual friends he slept with me, when he most certainly did not — and well, he thought I was a fan, but he, as I already established, had a problem with the truth. Point? Pink Floyd’s okay by me.   Continue reading “Beat JENeration #007: So, there’s this thing called Australian Pink Floyd”

Rocket J Remembers Lorrie Collins

Rocket J Remembers Lorrie Collins

Lorrie (Lawrencine May) Collins passed away on August 4, 2018.  There have been plenty of obituaries written for her, including one in the venerable New York Times.  The facts about her life can be summarized in a few paragraphs, but I’ll give you the bullet points:

  • Born on May 7, 1942, in Tahlequah, Oklahoma
  • She won her first talent contest at the age of 8
  • Her brother, Larry, two years younger than she, was a Rockabilly guitar prodigy
  • Together they formed The Collins Kids, moved to Los Angeles and performed on Tex Ritter’s Town Hall Party

All that information is readily available on the internet.  Now let me tell you what Lorrie meant to me as a female Rockabilly singer.  Continue reading “Rocket J Remembers Lorrie Collins”

Aretha Franklin, 1942 – 2018: A Remembrance from the Heart and Soul

Aretha Franklin, 1942 – 2018: A Remembrance from the Heart and Soul

Well, we knew this day would come. She had been ill for over a decade, but, still, her power was so overwhelming we simply could not allow ourselves to think about it.  Continue reading “Aretha Franklin, 1942 – 2018: A Remembrance from the Heart and Soul”