|October 10, 2012||We're outta here!||no comments|
|September 27, 2012||Mississippi 'Mutt' comes home to perform at Proud Larry's||no comments|
|September 24, 2012||Who Ya Gonna Call? Ghostbusters quote-along set for October||no comments|
|September 20, 2012||Performing Arts Commission, 9/19||no comments|
|September 17, 2012||Coliseum Commission, 9/17||no comments|
|September 12, 2012||New favorite book: 'Talking to Girls About Duran Duran'||no comments|
|September 04, 2012||Fulton home to be featured on 'Abandoned'||no comments|
|August 29, 2012||'Gone With the Wind' to screen at The Lyric next week||no comments|
|August 15, 2012||Album Reviews: 'Handwritten,' 'O' Be Joyful'||no comments|
|August 22, 2012||New music: Fleetwood Mac covers, Tame Impala||no comments|
BY SHEENA BARNETT
OXFORD – It’s easy to hear why Cory Branan named his new album “Mutt.”
“Mutt” includes Mellencamp-style country rock, earnest singer-songwriter tracks and folky tunes.
But Branan’s life has been a bit of here and there: he was born in Southaven and has lived in Memphis, L.A., Brooklyn, Austin, Texas and, now, Nashville, and each town’s style has seeped into his music a bit. He doesn’t mean for it to happen, but it kind of does.
“I don’t write a sound in mind,” Branan said in a phone interview from a tour stop in Georgia. “I try make the song sound like what the song’s saying.”
“Mutt” says plenty.
It’s Branan’s first record in six years, following his two successful first records, “The Hell You Say” and “12 Songs.”
“I had quite a few songs to choose from – I had 100 to 110 to choose from. I chose those with similar themes,” he said. It’s those themes and Branan’s storytelling that tie the diverse sounds together.
Branan’s playing solo on this tour to promote the “Mutt,” so fans can get a taste of the new tunes and hear a few old favorites, too.
“I don’t really make set lists,” he said. “Right before I walk up on stage I can usually tell where to go. The good thing about playing acoustic is you can turn on a dime.”
He’s as ready for the studio as he’s ready for the stage.
“Oh, I’ve got the next three records written,” he said.
Shortly after his Oxford gig, he’ll take off for a European and UK tour. Then he’ll hit the studio, and fans can expect new music soon after.
“None of this 5, 6 years stuff,” he said, laughing.
• On stage
Who: Cory Branan, The Pollies, Chris Milam
When: 9:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Proud Larry’s, Oxford
Extra: 18 and up
"Human sacrifice, dogs and cats living together, mass hysteria!"
"Ray, when someone asks you if you're a god, you say, YES!"
"That's gotta be some cockroach."
"Mother puss bucket."
"He slimed me."
"That's a big Twinkie."
"Ghostbusters" is one of the most quote-able movies ever, and next month you can quote right along with it.
The Link Centre is hosting a quote-along of "Ghostbusters" at 7:30 p.m. Oct. 25.
It's just $10.
Don't worry if you don't remember some of the most famous lines; they'll be provided for you on the screen.
Who ya gonna call?
Here are notes from yesterday's Performing Arts Commission meeting at the Link Centre.
Here are highlights from today's Coliseum Commission at the BancorpSouth Arena:
Part of the reason I am here today, ladies and gentlemen, is because of one Mister Rob Sheffield.
You may have read his work in Rolling Stone or his first book, "Love is a Mixtape." You've probably seen him on one of those VH1 countdowns, like the top one-hit wonders, best songs of the 80s or the best break-up songs Taylor Swift has written about whatever guy just looked at her.
For years I watched him on those shows and read his reviews. I wanted to know as much as he knew about pop music and pop culture and be as witty about it as he was. So when he released "Love is a Mixtape" – which chronicles the love story between himself and his first wife, who died tragically young, and how music was part of their relationship and his grief – I read it immediately and loved it.
But his new book, a collection of essays called "Talking to Girls About Duran Duran," is probably my favorite. It's been out for a while but I've just finished it, and I love it.
In it, he uses songs and artists to talk about different aspects of his life.
Duran Duran and his relationships with girls – from girlfriends to crushes to how he relates with his sisters – is a focus, but doesn't take up the whole book.
For instance, there are chapters on his Catholicism and Madonna's "Crazy for You"; karaoke adventures and Chaka Khan's "I Feel For You"; Prince's "Purple Rain" and his job as an ice cream truck driver; Big Daddy Kane's "Ain't No Half Steppin" and his relationship with his grandfather (a favorite chapter of mine); his relationship with his first wife and L'Trimm's "Cars with the Boom."
In just a few words, he can make you laugh out loud, shed a tear and agree with whatever insanely true point he's making about a song, or a John Hughes movie, or MTV, or whatever. He opens the door to all of these memories by way of this music, and it's cool to see how someone else relates to a band or song you love – or maybe even hate. I like Madonna, but his chapter about her made me see her in an entirely new light. I can definitely appreciate that.
I bought "Talking to Girls About Duran Duran" for my Nook, but you best believe I plan on buying a physical copy so I can highlight favorite phrases and paragraphs, dog-ear favorite chapters, sleep with it under my pillow every night and re-read it as often as possible.
If you love music and pop culture, this book is a must-read.
An old Fulton home will be featured in Wednesday night’s episode of “Abandoned” on the National Geographic channel.
The Owens Homestead is so old, according to the National Geographic website, it doesn’t even have an address. Inside the show’s hosts find treasures like an Edison phonograph, a Windsor icebox and a top-secret manual for the Boeing B-52 bomber.
The episode can be seen Wednesday at 8 p.m. on the National Geographic channel.
Learn more at channel.nationalgeographic.com.
From Tupelo Community Theatre:
Tupelo Community Theatre will present A Southern Affair on Broadway, a season opening party and showing of Gone With The Wind, Thursday, September 6th. Pre-show festivities begin at 5 p.m. with light refreshments, cash bar of Gone With the Wind drinks, entertainment, trivia competition, Lyric tours, and giveaways. Information about season tickets and TCT’s support organization, The Lyric Krewe, will be available. Tickets for the movie are $10., and may be purchased at the door. Showtime is 7:00p.m. For more information visit www.tct.ms or call 662-844-1935.
The screening is in advance of TCT's season opener, "Moonlight & Magnolias," which tells the true story of producer David O. Selznick, director Victor Fleming and writer Ben Hecht, holed up in a hotel room for five days, writing the script to the classic film. The comedy takes the stage at The Lyric in late September.
OK – anybody out there a big "Gone With the Wind" fan like me?
I first watched the movie as a teenager and liked it, but about five years ago I saw that it was being shown at The Orpheum in Memphis. So I went and really fell in love with it, and for the last four years, me and my friend Debbie have been going every year to see it at the Orpheum.
This last year, it was PACKED with all kinds of folks: the couple beside me had never seen it before, but the friends behind me knew it word for word, just like I did.
About two years ago I picked up a great hardback copy from Greatest Hits in Tupelo and finally read the book, which made me fall in love with Scarlett's story even more.
I never thought I'd become such a "GWTW" nerd, but here I am. I have a portrait of Scarlett hanging in my bedroom (but not Rhett – the book kind of soured my view of Rhett), I watch it all the way through a few times a year, I just bought a 2013 "GWTW" calendar and I have a T-shirt with Scarlett's famous "I'll think about it tomorrow" line on it.
So, I'll be at The Lyric next Thursday. Will you?
Come on, I need some good competition in the trivia contest!
Sorry it's been a while since my last update – been too busy with Elvis!
But I've been listening to a lot of music, so let me tell you all about it...
"O' Be Joyful," Shovels & Rope
Shovels & Rope are kind of like the Alabama Shakes: on record, they sound great, but live, they sound unbelievable and you'll swear this is the best live band you've ever heard. Thing is, though, I think Shovels & Rope sounds almost as good on record as they do live.
Husband-and-wife team Cary Ann Hearst and Michael Trent have released solo records and a few things here and there, but "O' Be Joyful" is their debut. When the duo plays live, they switch up on drums and guitar and share singing duties, but they manage to make quite a loud noise. That sound is fleshed out a bit on "O' Be Joyful" but it isn't overproduced. It sounds just like them, but a tiny bit polished. Take, for example, "Tickin' Bomb" – one many fans know already as a bare-bones, sexy love song. But on this record, it's a bit shinier, with cool horns.
The record starts out with the rollicking "Birmingham," which is basically the pair's origin story. That's the great thing about Shovels & Rope: these two are storytellers. Whether they're telling how they met or who they've met out on the road or some made-up drama, you're hooked from start to finish.
They keep that country-rock swagger up until they slow it down, with the emotionally heavy "Lay Low" and the graceful "Carnival." Shovels & Rope is the rare band that can make you stomp your feet and yell one minute, but make you sway (and maybe cry in your beer) the next.
Shovels & Rope is one of my favorite bands. They are so incredibly talented, and that talent shines through on this wonderful debut. There is not a bad song on this record. There's not even a good song on this record. Every single song is terrifc. It's really that good. You will not be disappointed!
"Handwritten," The Gaslight Anthem
Let me start by saying this: I love, love, love The Gaslight Anthem. A lot of folks compare them to Springsteen, and I get that, but I also hear a lot of Jackson Browne. What I'm saying is, this band talks about life as it is, in a really honest and beautiful way. But The Gaslight Anthem likes to rock, so there's lots of awesome punk influence.
I have everything else this Jersey band's ever released, so how does this new record, "Handwritten," stack up? It's just as good. Since this is their major label debut, it sounds just a bit more slick, but that was expected, really.
Otherwise, it sounds like another great Gaslight Anthem record. I am in love with "45," the lead single, and the title track – both have intense lyrics with an incredible beat and energy.
But the best song on the album is "Here Comes My Man." It kicks off with a Wall of Sound/"Be My Little Baby" throwback, but then the song begins to chug along, calming down only for the chorus: "Singing, oh sha la la, oh, sha la la/Listen, honey, here comes my man." It just sounds so classic.
Other favorite tracks include "Biloxi Parish," "National Anthem," "Howl" and "Mulholland Drive."
The Gaslight Anthem's music doesn't dramatically change from record to record; the band basically either rocks a little harder or a lttle less on each one. But on every record, they offer up solid melodies and lyrics, and this one's no different. Don't expect anything other than more of the same Gaslight Anthem you'v heard before. That may disappoint some, but for a big fan like me, I find it comforting. This band is consistent.
OK guys, here's my ONE complaint...
There are three bonus tracks, and two of them are – and I NEVER thought I'd say this about Gaslight Anthem – some of the worst songs ever. "Blue Dahlia" sounds like a very young, immature band who doesn't have it together. There's great energy, but just sounds wrong.
*Update: I complained about "Sliver" – complaining about the lyrics, etc., – and then a friend clued me in that it's a Nirvana cover. Duh. It was obviously never a favorite Nirvana song (I always skipped it), so I certainly don't like this cover... oh well.
The one good bonus track, and worth your $1.29, is a cover of Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers' "You Got Lucky." It's straightforward and really good.
Otherwise...well... thank goodness for songs like "Here Comes My Man," which make up for those two mistakes.
What are you listening to these days?
Is it just me, or does Fleetwood Mac get covered, like, a lot?
"Just Tell Me That You Want Me: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac" is the second Fleetwood Mac covers record I've ever purchased (anybody else remember "Legacy: A Tribute to Fleetwood Mac's 'Rumours'"? Came out in the late 90s and featured Matchbox Twenty, Duncan Sheik, The Corrs, the Goo Goo Dolls and other bands you'd expect on a late 90s tribute record).
This new release, which came out this month, features tracks that span Fleetwood Mac's career, and the artists are mostly indie: MGMT, Best Coast, Gardens & Villa, Karen Elson and the Crystal Ark.
Some of them are so incredibly perfect and spot-on, I couldn't have wished for a better cover/artist match-up. See "Landslide," performed by Antony of Antony & the Johnsons. His voice is incredible, and while he could easily oversing that song, he doesn't. It's simple and gorgeous and perfect.
Another gorgeous, simple cover is Lykke Li's "Silver Springs." She gives it an ethereal feel, making an already-beautiful song almost heavenly.
I'm a big fan of Best Coast, so I love their weird little take on "Rhiannon." The song is so witchy and mysterious in the hands of Nicks and Co., but Best Coast turns it into a sunny, summery jam. Never thought I'd want to roller skate or skip to "Rhiannon," until now.
Another band I love, The Kills, takes a Fleetwood Mac classic and flips it on its head. The Kills makes "Dreams" sound dirty, sleazy and grimy – ya know, like a really good Kills song. It's awesome to hear.
I think it's interesting, too, how each band makes the songs sound like they're theirs, yet somehow you can always tell it's a Fleetwood Mac song. Maybe it's in the melody or lyrics or something, but it almost always feels like a Fleetwood Mac song being covered by (insert artist here).
That "Legacy" covers record now sounds laughingly SO NINETIES when you listen to it today, and this one will definitely sound SO 2010S in about 20 years. Know that going into this one.
Some covers are totally forgettable, some are awesome, some are just eh.
It's a mixed bag, but not a bad one.
The only other new music I am totally amped about is "Elephant" by Tame Impala. This is the new single off the band's upcoming record, "Lonerism," out in October. Had I just heard how the band describes itself – as "psychedelic hypno-groove melodic rock music" – I would've never actually listened to it. But a friend turned me on to them by saying, "John Lennon is risen."
Think of the Beatles during their "Strawberry Fields Forever" days – that's Tame Impala.
I have yet to hear a bad song by this band; its first record, "Innerspeaker," was one of my favorites a couple of years ago.
"Elephant" is so much fun to hear. If you like psychadelic rock even a little bit – remember! Beatles reference! – give this band a try. I cannot stop listening to this song right now.
What are you listening to these days?