The Soul of Soul: Smokey Robinson
“I’m living beyond
my wildest dream,” says 66-year-old Motown legend Smokey Robinson. With an
equal amount of charted hits under his belt as his years, Robinson could easily
rest his laurels on his 4,000 song-plus catalog. Yet
the sultry soul master is as indefatigable as ever, releasing a collection of
standards earlier this summer with an aim to release an album of original
material in the near future.
Tom Verlaine: Taking the TV out of Television
In the category of “Influential Bands with Legendary Debut Album that Broke Up Too Soon,” Television is always a top contender. Though the band periodically regroups for shows with its original lineup and releases an album even less frequently, its five-year, two-album existence from 1973 to 1978 still has lasting influence.
By Mike Greenhaus
After spending 2005 working on Shine, Anastasio returned to a batch of songs written shortly after Coventry and shelved sometime in late 2005. Bridging his two worlds, he recruited a number of downtown New York jazz freaks as well as a crop of Vertmont stalwarts. He also reached out to his old friend Mike Gordon, inviting him into the studio with The Duo to lay down a track on his forthcoming solo album, Bar 17. The quartet’s initial recording sessions went so well that Anastasio asked The Duo to spend the summer on the road with him and Gordon, including a number of ampitheater dates with Phil Lesh. While riding to his Brooklyn rehearsal space with Gordon, and quoting lines from Curb Your Enthusism’s infamous “in the backseat” sketch, Anastasio clued Relix into his summer plans, his new album and why The Duo’s “Becky” may be the next “Fluffhead.”
Former Grateful Dead keyboardist Vince Welnick died on June 2, 2006, at the age of 55. The cause of death is believed to be suicide. Welnick, who played keyboards in the Grateful Dead from 1990 through 1995, cut his teeth performing in the California shock-rock band the Tubes in the 1970s. During his tenure with the Grateful Dead, Welnick contributed a number of original songs to the group's canon, most notably "Samba in the Rain." Bruce Hornsby helped usher Welnick into the Dead, playing piano by his side through 1991. While Welnick did not participate in any of the Dead's studio sessions, his work can be heard on both the experimental live albums Infrared Roses (1991) and Grayfolded: Transitive Axis , as well as a handful of Dick's Picks releases.
When one speaks of reggae music’s progenitors, there are usually three names that come before any others: Bob Marley, Coxsone Dodd and Lee “Scratch” Perry. And now, only the Upsetter remains—Perry, the mad, mystical and wildly talented musician and producer who burned down his legendary Blark Ark studio, which produced many of the genre’s landmark albums, including much of Marley’s seminal early work with The Wailers.
The Go! Team is a righteously fun band that’s really all the work of one man, producer Ian Parton. He put the band’s first record, Thunder, Lightening, Strike together via samples and studio tricks before assembling a live band with Ninja, his hype-woman MC, and an interracial mix of party-starting multi-instrumentalists. Before the record came out, the Go! Team were the toast of the music-insider world, playing line-around-the-block shows at South By Southwest and flying just under the radar—but now, they’re on a world-domination tour/dance party. We talked to Parton backstage at Coachella, and he gave us his take on live performance, writing new material, and his new favorite thing to do on the West Coast on Friday night.
The British brother-sister and brother-sister quartet The Magic Numbers are enjoying a kind of half-fame these days: they’re big enough to play the main stage at the huge Coachella event in California this past weekend, which also featured everyone from Matisyahu to Tool to Madonna (incidentally, the band is also booked for this summer’s Bonnaroo) but small enough that they still maintain an organic humility. It doesn’t hurt that they also write some of the catchiest songs around.
Etta James has always been a fighter. From her upbringing in South Central Los Angeles, to her various bouts of drug addiction to her successful reemergence as a vital champion of the blues and R&B, James has always managed to retain her audacious attitude and charisma—not to mention her sonorous pipes. What she hasn’t retained is her full figure— recent operation has left her quite svelte and 200 pounds lighter. Just past the heels of her 68th birthday, James released All the Way, a new collection of songs by some of her favorite artists including Marvin Gaye, Prince, James Brown, Bobby Womack and her old pal, Johnny “Guitar” Watson.
Beto Hale has learned to wear different hats. Born in Mexico City, but currently residing in Colorado, he’s a bilingual singer who composes in both English and Spanish. A onetime magazine editor (Musico Pro), he’s both an avid reviewer and an introspective songwriter. A onetime session musician, he’s a guitarist’s guitarist and a road-weathered drummer. Hale talks with Relix about how his duel identities add up to a single
He’s back. No, it’s not for another film sequel like Honey, I Made a Kid Out of a Stem Cell or even anything on celluloid. Rather, funny man Rick Moranis has recorded a sharp collection of songs called The Agoraphobic Cowboy with the help of downtown New York jazzman Tony Scherr. As much bluegrass as country, the album delivers 13 intelligent, humorous and philosophical ditties that juxtapose old-time ethos with 21st century modernity in a way that feels more genuine than kitsch.
here to view a sample of the new Relix digital edition!
Also in this issue:
SCENE & HEARD
Mindful music from around the globe: The Beat, Soundcheck and Fragments
The Brazilian Girls
Soul legend Sam Moore
[ Full Table of Contents ]
Check out our new Relix Radio Podcast - Cold Turkey with Benjy Eisen
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LaMontagne Three More Days
- Medeski Scofield Martin & Wood Little Walter Rides Again
- John Popper Project featuring DJ Logic All Good Children
- RAQ Bootch Magoo
- Circus Mind Injuns Comin'
- Dave & Ansel Collins Double Barrel
- The Duhks Down to the River
- MOJOE Yesterday
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- Devon Allman's Honeytribe Torch
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