Wednesday, July 31, 2013

The Lowrider Band is at CAN'T SAY IT with another band

If you visit the web site of the Lowrider Band, you can find this story:

Since 1969, members of Lowrider Band have compiled a tapestry of quintessential songs and live performances so musically infectious that its moniker traces from Los Angeles to Mexico City and from London to Copenhagen. And the genius of this Southern California troupe is captured in the musical medley of Hispanic, African-American, Asian and mainstream cultures, resulting in monster compositions such as “Slippin into Darkness,” “Low Rider,” “9 to 5 (Ordinary Man),” “All Day Music” and many other chart-toppers.

Comprising four prolific, multi-platinum singer-songwriters, Howard Scott (guitar), Harold Brown (drums), Lee Oskar (harmonica) and B.B. Dickerson (bass), this dynamic team of accomplished musicians is guilty of dishing up many of the greatest tunes to permeate airwaves since the dawn of radio: “The Cisco Kid,” “Why Can’t We Be Friends,” “Spill the Wine” and “The World is a Ghetto” are a few more mega-hits from the band’s exhaustive discography....

Lowrider Band and staff are thrilled to announce that band members Howard Scott, Harold Brown, Lee Oskar and B.B. Dickerson have been nominated for induction into the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame for 2010!

If you visit the website of the band called War, you can find this story:

The year was 1969, and these 'kids' had the nerve to carry the name WAR at a time when peace was the slogan in an anti-Vietnam America. "Our mission was to spread a message of brotherhood and harmony," states one of WAR's founding members, singer/keyboardist Lonnie Jordan. "Our instruments and voices became our weapons of choice and the songs our ammunition. We spoke out against racism, hunger, gangs, crimes, and turf wars, as we embraced all people with hope and the spirit of brotherhood. It's just as apropos today"

And a little later on, the War web page includes this mention:

In 1979, B.B. Dickerson departed during recording sessions for WAR’s next album.

But the War website includes no mention of Scott, Brown, or Oskar. And the Lowrider Band website includes no mention of Jordan, nor does it mention the band called War.

John at Rock Roots explains the story:

It seems in` 1996 the band desired a change in management. In their attempt to separate from Jerry Goldstein they found themselves unable to retain the name War due to the fact it was a trademark owned by Goldstein and Far Out Productions. Consequently, the band adopted the name The Low Rider Band, which of course was a reference to one of their biggest hits. All except keyboardist Lonnie Jordan who opted to remain with Goldstein and put together a whole new band calling itself War.

And John clearly has an opinion on the matter:

Given that The Low Rider Band contains all the surviving members of the group that made all of the artistic and commercial achievements of War, while the present band named War contains only Lonnie Jordan and a bunch of other guys, I felt that to write about War required that I reference The Low Rider Band because with Scott, Dickerson, Oskar and Brown as members, The Low Rider Band essentially is War. The present band named War is pretty much just Lonnie Jordan's War tribute band.

Why can't we be friends?

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Warr on Kraftwerk

If you've never visited Wilson & Alroy's Record Reviews, you should. The presence of the word "record" indicates that the site is focused toward older releases, although they review newer items also. But the site is truly marked by Wilson & Alroy's high standards.

Very high standards.

Extremely high standards.

I'll give you an example. I personally think it's a travesty that Depeche Mode are not in the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, but I think it an even worse tragedy that Kraftwerk has not been so honored. Wilson does not share my views on Kraftwerk, as is evident from his review of Devo's second full-length album, Duty Now for the Future. Note: Wilson hated that particular album.

I don't think the damage Kraftwerk did to our culture has been adequately assessed. Their mid-70s robotic, primitive synth instrumentals made a huge impression on music cognoscenti, essentially undoing all that Stevie Wonder had done to make synthesizers musically expressive. The Kraftwerk influence basically ruins Devo's sophomore effort, which is loaded with repetitive, mechanical keyboard lines...

For a taste of a later review, here's Wilson's review of a Drake album.

Saturday, July 13, 2013

As long as you love me - the Edward Snowden/Justin Bieber's "Wild Kidz" mashup

Earlier today, I issued a challenge:

Mash up Edward Snowden and the Wild Kidz (Justin Bieber's bucket-peeing, Clinton-hating gang).

If you haven't kept up with the news, or if you read this long after the events in question were forgotten, Edward Snowden is the serious former NSA agent who revealed secrets of (possibly un-Constitutional) spying by the US government before fleeing the country; he is currently in the international section of a Moscow airport. Justin Bieber is a young singer, who hangs with a gang of people who call themselves the "Wild Kidz."

So here's my mashup. If others contribute, their contributions will be found here.

It was a bright, sunny morning at Simón Bolívar International Airport. Despite its distance from Caracas, a crowd of tens of thousands had arrived at the airport to meet the historic flight from Havana.

To many of the Venezuelans at the airport, the arrival of the flight was a source of national pride, and a true indicator of the fact that Venezuela was its own nation, capable of making its own decisions, and not subject to the whims of its rich foreign neighbors.

To many of the U.S.-based press at the airport, the arrival of the flight was a meal ticket. News networks, blogging empires, and newspapers all wanted to be present to record this flight, and the arrival of its famous passenger.

Rather than proceeding to the gate, the plane stopped in the middle of the runway. A podium had been set up on the runway; within a few minutes, President Maduro would make a speech from that podium, welcoming the distinguished guest to the country. The podium was surrounded by some metal chairs, a few tables, and a trash can. None of the dignitaries had yet arrived; the only person by the podium was a border control officer, responsible for performing a (ceremonial) inspection of the arriving passenger's papers.

In Tattoo-like fashion, the crowd began yelling, "The plane! The plane!" Sure enough, an airplane landed on the runway, and taxied toward the podium, stopping 50 meters away.

The door opened, and a man appeared at the door, blinking into the sunlight. The man, who was instantly recognizable to the crowd at the airport, blinked in the sunlight, then started to walk down the steps.

But he was not alone.

Anderson Cooper, in a studio in Atlanta, Georgia, couldn't believe his eyes. "Correct me if I'm wrong, but I believe that the person behind Edward Snowden is Julian Assange, the famous head of Wikileaks. We had believed that he was still holed up in the Ecuador embassy in London, but it appears that he was on this plane, and is now deplaning in Venezuela."

Similar chatter was heard on the other networks, and in the crowd. The British secret agents who had infiltrated the crowd were dumbfounded.

With all of the attention directed at Snowden and Assange, no one noticed the other four men who disembarked from the plane, and no one noticed the fact that all six men were wearing identical hoodies and jeans.

Near the podium, the six began a conversation that only the entire world could hear.

"DUUUUUDE! We made it!"

"Party in the Caribbean, dude!"

"Uh, just a minute." Edward Snowden, who was either the face of whistle-blowing of the face of treason, depending upon your point of view, currently had a pained look on his face. He stood there for a second, and then walked toward the trash can. As the world watched, Snowden unzipped his pants and relieved himself.

The other five laughed uncontrollably.

"DUDE!" said Assange. "You're peeing!"

One of the other guys yelled a question. "Who are we?" he asked.

The other five responded, "We're the Leaky Kidz!"

Some of the network cameras had already picked up the "Leaky Kidz" emblem on the back of the six mens' hoodies.

As everyone laughed, Julian walked up to the podium, which was adorned with a picture of Venezuelan President Maduro - the man who would provide asylum to Snowden, and the man who would provide Assange himself with safe passage to Ecuador.

Assange threw his Red Bull at the picture. "F@@k Maduro!" he yelled.