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Category Archives: Music

R.I.P. Don Cornelius

“… and you can bet your last money, it’s all gonna be a stone gas, honey! I’m Don Cornelius, and as always in parting, we wish you love, peace and soul!”

Those words closed every episode of a show that many of us soul and r&b fans grew up with. Of course, I’m talking about Soul Train and the man that will forever be associated with the iconic musical variety show, Mr. Don Cornelius. Cornelius sadly passed away this morning in Los Angeles and we want to take this opportunity to recognize a cultural icon that turned many of us on to the likes of James Brown, Aretha Franklin and Al Green.

Soul Train first aired on October 1971 and ran through March of 2006 earning it the credit as the “longest-running, first-run, nationally syndicated program in television history,” boasting over 1,100 episodes in its 35-year history. Cornelius created the show, was the executive producer and was the original host until 1993.

Cornelius started out as a journalist and recognized that, in the late 60s, there was no televised venue for America’s thriving soul and r&b music scene. By creating Soul Train, he exposed many soul artists to a much wider audience and also made the airwaves a little more funky. Thanks Don, you’ll be missed.

For some great clips of classic Soul Train moments, be sure to check out the Soul Train YouTube Channel.

In his memory, we’ve put together a list of some events coming up that Don would’ve dug. Get out there, support your local soul scene and shake it like you’re one of the Soul Train dancers.

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Posted by on February 1, 2012 in Music

 

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Two Tributes to the Incomparable Etta James

Most of you know that the great Soul/Blues singer Etta James died last week. Today, what would have been her 74th birthday, gives us the opportunity to remember and pay tribute to one of the great voices of our time. As a singer, I can’t understate how much of an influence she’s had on me and countless others. She had the rare talent of being able to project attitude and ferocity at one moment and then turn around and sing with tenderness and vulnerability without missing a beat. Her talent was incomparable and she left us too soon.

Etta was born in Los Angeles under the name Jamesetta Hawkins on this day in 1938. Her mother, Dorothy Hawkins, who was only fourteen at the time. She never knew her father but suspected that he might be the legendary pool player Rudolf “Minnesota Fats” Wanderone, who she met briefly in 1987. Her mother, sadly, was mostly absent during her early childhood, and she was raised by various caregivers, many of whom abused her.

She began voice training at the age of five and quickly became a popular singer at her church. In 1950, her mother took her to San Francisco where she was exposed to the early doo wop sound. She formed her first group, The Creolettes, a couple of years later. The group was taken under the wing of R&B singer Johnny Otis (who, strangely, also died last week, three days before Etta) who convinced them to change their name to The Peaches. Otis got them signed to Modern Records and gave Jamesetta the stage name that she would carry for the rest of her life. Her first release as Etta James, “Dance With Me, Henry,” was released in early 1955. The song reached number one on the Hot Rhythm & Blues Tracks charts and earned Etta and The Peaches an opening slot on Little Richard’s national tour. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 25, 2012 in Music

 

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Happy Birthday To The Late, Great Django Reinhardt!

Today, in 1910, a guitar legend was born in Liberchies, Pont-à-Celles, Belgium, to a family of Manouche gypsies. Though born with the first name Jean, he was given the nickname “Django” which means “I Awake” in the Romani language. Django Reinhardt was drawn to music at an early age and initially played the violin. At the age of twelve, he was given a banjo-guitar as a gift and quickly learned the instrument, mimicking the Roma musicians that surrounded him in the encampments outside of Paris. By thirteen, he was making a living as a musician and by eighteen, he’d made his first recordings, playing banjo.

That same year, the caravan that he shared with his first wife, caught fire. Returning home late from a performance, Django knocked over a candle on his way to bed. His wife made imitation paper flowers as a way to supplement their meagre income and as a result, their caravan was loaded with flammable materials. Django received first and second degree burns all over his body. His right leg was paralysed and the third and fourth fingers on his left hand were badly burned. Challenging doctor’s claims that he would never walk again, he refused to have one of his legs amputated and was walking with the aid of a cane within a year. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 23, 2012 in Music, Seasonal

 

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DIY Gig Poster Contest Winners: Netherwood!

Congratulations to the winners of our Do It Yourself Gig Poster contest: Netherwood, hailing from Orlando, Florida. They rallied their fans and got more votes than any of the other contestants. As a result, they have won a full day of in-person consulting with Bill, our Music Doer. Congratulations, guys.

Netherwood have been together for about three years. The band features John Lazar on vocals and lead guitar, Erica Kirkland on guitar, Kevin Meehan on bass and vocals and James Campbell on drums. They met through social circles and through the university where three of the members work. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 20, 2012 in Music

 

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DIY Gig Poster Contest Runner-Up: Inside Outlaws

The second place runner-up for our DIY Gig Poster contest hails from right here in Brown Paper Ticket’s home of the Pacific Northwest. They are Inside Outlaws from Woodinville, Washington and they specialize in covers of the best classic rock. So, we’re talkin’ Led Zeppelin, AC/DC, Heart, Pat Benatar and Janis Joplin to name a few. They also throw in some modern day Top 40 hits to get the younger crowd out on the dancefloor. The band strives to be “a band with powerful vocals and music that everyone loves” and judging by the number of votes that they received in our contest, they’ve achieved that. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 19, 2012 in Music

 

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DIY Gig Poster Contest Runner-Up: Leche De Tigre

Leche de Tigre love to play theaters where the crowd has space to dance and this Hawaiian Latin Gypsy funk band definitely know how to get people on their feet. The 8-piece group originated in 2009 in Kona, Hawaii. Blending Caribbean rhythms with Eastern European, tango and rock influences, with a dash of bossa nova, Leche de Tigre created a unique style that has attracted a strong following over the years.

Their favorite show they’ve ever played took place in September at Aloha Theatre. They said, “The place was full, the sound was good, and the vibe was fantastic. [There was] a great crowd up and dancing.” This New Year’s Eve, the band returned to the Aloha Theater and judging from this video, this show was no different. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 18, 2012 in Music

 

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The Land Before Goth Rock – 45 Grave Are Back Again!

Before the terms Goth Rock, Death Rock or Horror Punk were popular, 45 Grave were spreading their eerie horror-movie-punk sounds around the scene. Based in Southern California, their heyday was 1979-1985 and I remember seeing them countless times, always thinking they were going to “make it big” due to their theatrical, larger-than-life stage show. This was not common in the stripped-down, DIY punk scene. While I had more of an affinity with the sociopolitical side of punk, teenage Bill couldn’t resist Dinah Cancer covered in blood with smeared makeup, fishnet stockings and black leather.  What teenage boy could? Other bands had a similarly dark, theatrical approach to punk rock (Bauhaus, Siousxie And The Banshees, etc.), but 45 Grave took it to the next level (6 feet under).  I never imagined that this strange sub-genre of punk rock would have the impact it has, flourishing and thriving for almost three decades. Read the rest of this entry »

 
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Posted by on January 16, 2012 in Music

 

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