Monday, January 31, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 1/30

The B-52s-Planet Claire
Candie Payne-I Wish I Could Have Loved You More
Wanda Jackson-You Know I'm No Good
Iron and Wine-Me and Lazarus
Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros-40 Day Dream
David Lowery-Raise Up On Honey
Buffalo Springfield-Expecting to Fly
Simon and Garfunkel-America
Bat for Lashes-What's a Girl to Do
Yeasayer-Madder Red
Miike Snow-Burial
aTelecine-It's All Write
Throbbing Gristle-Convincing People
Coil-Tainted Love
Elastica-Line Up
Sleigh Bells-Rill Rill
Duran Duran-New Moon on Monday
Cee-Lo Green-Bright Lights, Bigger City
Thomas Dolby-Airwaves

Monday, January 24, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 1/23

Wiz Khalifa-Black and Yellow
Brazilian Girls-Jique
Twin Shadow-Tyrant Destroyed
Daft Punk-Armory
Robyn Hitchcock-So You Think You're In Love
The Pains of Being Pure at Heart-The Contender
New Shouts-Save Me
Belle & Sebastian-I Want the World to Stop
Tapes n' Tapes-One in the World
Loretta Lynn-Have Mercy
Ani Difranco-What How When Where (Why How)
Delorean-Real Love
Crystal Castles feat. Robert Smith-Not in Love
Scissor Sisters-Kiss You Off
Chromeo-When the Night Falls
Dam Funk-Mirrors
ElectricType-Watt is it to Love Someone
Indeep-Last Night a DJ Saved My Life
Herbie Hancock-Rockit
Run DMC-Peter Piper
LL Cool J-Big Ole Butt
Sheila E-Holly Rock

Wednesday, January 19, 2011

No Doubt salutes Macca

Their take on "All My Loving" is particularly tasty. As is Gwen, but hey - par for course.

These types of events always seem so incredibly awkward for the person being honored.

J'ai Claque La Porte

This song has become one of my favorites off of Chromeo's Business Casual LP from last year, and I just stumbled across an excellent stripped down version from a CBC broadcast:

And for good measure, here's the original:

Sunday, January 16, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 1/17

All soul show to round out the semester break:

Smokey Robinson and the Miracles-Mickey's Monkey
Otis Redding-Shake!
Wilson Pickett-Ninety Nine and a Half Just Won't Do
Percy Wiggins-It Didn't Take Much for Me
The Impressions-You Must Believe Me
Jay and the Techniques-Apple, Peaches, Pumpkin Pie
The Shirelles-Sha La La
Martha and the Vandellas-Jimmy Mack
Bob and Earl-The Harlem Shuffle
Ray Charles-Don't You Know
The Delfonics-Trying to Make a Fool of Me
Aretha Franklin-Ain't No Way
Jimmy Radcliffe-Long After Tonight is Over
Sam Cooke-Good Times
The Staples Singers-Respect Yourself
The Velvettes-He Was Really Saying Something
Joe Tex-You Said a Bad Word
Clarence 'Frogman' Henry-I Ain't Got a Home
Chairmen of the Board-Give Me Just a Little More Time
Marvin Gaye-Wonderful One
The Stylistics-Betcha By Golly Wow!
Roberta Flack-To Love Somebody
Isaac Hayes-Soulsville
Jackson 5-2, 4, 6, 8
Shirley Ellis-The Hand Clapping Song
Troy Sams and the Lala Wilson Band-A Thousand Miles Apart
The Parliaments-Look at What I Almost Missed
Sam and Dave-You Got Me Hummin'
Sharon Jones and the Dap Kings-The Dap Dip
Al Green-Love and Happiness
James Brown-Ain't That a Groove
Jo Ann Garrett-Goin' Man Huntin'
Stevie Wonder-Heaven Help Us All

Friday, January 14, 2011

Gonzo Reviews Michael Jackson's "Vision"

For years, I've bemoaned something that Prince, MJ and Madonna all have in common: Each has at least one video collection on the market, but none of the 1980s triple crown of pop has a definitive collection. That tide appears to be shifting. While it's still not "complete," Madonna's 2009 collection Celebration is a fairly comprehensive 2 dvd set covering 1983-2009 (still no "Gambler?" For shame). Prince's incredibly slim The Hits Video Collection remains his only career-spanning collection, and lacks many of the Purple One's promo films (too many to bother listing).

And then there's Michael Jackson. The artist who rather early on redefined music video as an art form and MTV as a cultural force. 1992's HIStory collection gathered the hits, some in truncated form (on the VHS release anyway). The companion volume repeated some of the hits from volume 1, along with videos from the HIStory album. 2001's Number Ones DVD rehashes the big hits, most in their edited forms.

So despite it being an obvious effort to cash in on posthumous Michael Mania, I was excited to get wind of Vision, a 3-DVD career spanning set of MJ's videos in original, unedited form.

The set chronicles Michael's career as a visual artist from Off the Wall through Invincible. And to have the full-length, unedited versions is a treat, as I hadn't seen many of these since their original MTV premieres. The 18+ minute version of "Bad," for example. Or the 9+ minute cut of "The Way You Make Me Feel." Or the 9+ minute version of "Smooth Criminal."

There is one censored cut, however. While the full 11 minutes of "Black or White" is here (zipper pulling, crotch grabbing, Simpsons' outro and all!), it is not the originally aired version, which included some graffiti-ed racial slurs in the dance segment. I believe that version is still available on Dangerous: The Short Films, however, so chalk one up for cashing in on those with completest tendencies (moi?).

It's also great to see the lesser known cuts, like "Another Part of Me," "Liberian Girl," "Give in to Me" and "They Don't Care About Us." It seems they were really going for a definitive collection here.

So much so that the bonus disc includes 7 videos that don't strictly fall under the banner of Michael Jackson - "Enjoy Yourself," "Blame it on the Boogie" and "Can You Feel It" (all by the post-Motown Jacksons), "Say Say Say" (the so-cheesy-it's-good duet with Sir Paul), Spike Lee's alternate "prison" cut of "They Don't Care About Us," "Why" (with nephews 3T, though none of them are Jermajesty) and the previously unreleased "One More Chance."

It wasn't until this bonus disc that I recalled a few cuts that are in fact absent. If we're talking Jacksons videos, absent here is "Torture" (which is in fact, a pretty torturous cut) and "2300 Jackson Street." If I recall my Pop-Up Video correctly, MJ didn't actually appear in the "Torture" clip, but they borrowed a wax figure from Madame Tusseaud's (!). Wikipedia also claims video clips for "Dreamer," "Goin' Places," "Even Though You're Gone," "Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" and "Body," though this is all news to me. My guess is most of these were clips from Bandstand and the like that aired on outlets like The Box.

Oh wow...there is definitely a video for "Body!" (Though again, no MJ.)

Thank god for YouTube. And of course, I had to check all of the others. There is a video for "Dreamer" [embedding disabled by request. BOOOOOO]

"Shake Your Body (Down to the Ground)" -

"Even Though You're Gone" -

"Goin' Places" -

Of course, some of these may actually be pulled from the Jacksons Variety Show.

Despite the absence of some of the Jacksons cuts, the collection is quite comprehensive (though I believe the video for "Gone Too Soon" is different than what I remembered).

It's a good thing that I bought this set over a semester break, because I ended up watching the bulk of it in one sitting. It does suck you in, particularly on the first disc. Sure, there's a dropoff point on disc 2, but if even the lesser videos weren't included, people like me would be quick to point out the omissions.

All told, this is the Michael Jackson video collection we've been waiting for. Given that it only touts 7 cuts, the bonus disc could have been padded with a number of other clips (the aforementioned Jacksons material, "We Are the World," etc.") But I'm splitting hairs here. Vision may be a bit of a rush job, but as the estate floods the market, this is one of the items that most fans actually want.

The sad thing is, I don't think we'll see anything like this from Prince until he dies, but that's another story altogether.

Thursday, January 13, 2011

Gonzo Review Michael Jackson: The Experience

In the late 1980s, I pumped a lot of quarters into Moonwalker at the local arcade. You got to dance, hear midi-versions of MJ hits, turn into a robot and even Bubbles was in the game!
It was the one regret I had about choosing a Super Nintendo over Sega Genesis (although, I felt vindicated years later when I learned the Genesis version paled to the arcade game).

When Michael Jackson: The Experience was announced, I was both excited and skeptical. But as gameplay videos began to leak out in the fall, I knew I'd have to get it sooner or later. The game has met with mixed reviews. Personally, I think it's a hoot. Following on-screen guides, you use your Wii-mote to replicate MJ's on-screen moves. Greater accuracy garners higher point values. It's a great party game (especially after a few beverages), and you will work up a sweat. All tracks are the original masters, although a couple are edited for length.

I will say that the track collection could have been stronger. The most iconic cuts are here, but there are also a few very questionable choices. For example, "The Girl is Mine:"

Other headscratchers include "Dirty Diana," "Heal the World," "Will You Be There" and "Money." For a dance game based on an artist known for high octane pop, these ballads are neither challenging nor particularly interesting to play. I would gladly have foresaken these cuts for "Jam," "PYT" or "Scream," all of which are excluded from the game. The upcoming PS3/XBox versions will have two extra cuts however. The equally pointless "I Just Can't Stop Loving You" and "Blood on the Dance Floor," which could be interesting.

Ballads aside, the game is a blast. One edge the Wii version has over the PS3/Xbox versions (at least from the press material I've seen) is that the Wii game puts you inside of the iconic videos for MJ's hits, while the other versions put players on a concert stage. For an artist whose popularity rests largely on music video innovation, it seems odd to forgo drawing on that familiar imagery.

On the other hand, the Xbox version is likely to have the best control. I haven't used a Kinnect, but the with one hand held Wii-mote as your only measure of movement, you can bs the moves if you really care to. Hell, you could stand still and simply move your hand in the appropriate directions and get the points (similar to the vocal in Rock Band being based on pitch and rhythm rather than actual phonetics). But that defeats the purpose, no? Might as well go all out and burn a few calories.

In sum, the song collection could be better, but other than that, I think that most Michael Jackson fans will enjoy the game, and that cocktails will be spilt on many a living room rug as players dance the night away.

Up next: review of the Michael Jackson's Vision dvd box.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 1/9

The Creation-Making Time
Flash and the Casuals-Uptight Tonight
The Starlites-Everybody Needs Somebody
Gore Gore Girls-Astral Man
The Sonics-Do You Love Me
The Time Stoppers-I Need Love
The Eyes-I'm Rowed Out
Them-Half as Much
The Yo-Yo's-Leaning on You
Pink Floyd-See Emily Play
The Count Five-Psychotic Reaction
The Mourning Reign-Evil-Hearted You
The Detroit Cobras-Cha Cha Twist
The Brogues-I Ain't No Miracle Worker
The Animals-Baby Let Me Take You Home
The Monks-Oh How to Do Now
The Kinks-Louie Louie
The Chesterfield Kings-Baby Doll
The Fleshtones-The Girl from Baltimore
The Action-I'll Keep on Holding on
Dave Clark Five-Any Way You Want It
The Rolling Stones-I Wanna Be Your Man
The Balloon Farm-A Question of Temperature
Yankee Rebels-Hey Girl
Paul Revere & the Raiders-Kicks
Love-Seven and Seven Is
The Pretty Things-Rosalyn
The Swamp Rats-It's Not Easy
Davy Jones and the Lower Third-You've Got a Habit of Leaving
Lyres-Don't Give it Up Now
The Who-Lies
Les Fleur de Lys-Circles
The Standells-Dirty Water
The Nerves-One Way Ticket
The Golliwogs-Fight Fire
The Strangeloves-I Want Candy

Monday, January 3, 2011

Gonzo on the air, 1/2

Still on a Fela Kuti kick coming off of seeing Fela! The Musical a few nights ago. Ergo, this week was devoted entirely to Fela.

Monkey Banana
Sorrow, Tears and Blood
Water No Get Enemy
Fear Not for Man
2000 Blacks Got to be Free (w/ Roy Ayers)
Authority Stealing

Check out the Fela reissues from Knitting Factory Records