Ode To George

Having made my inaugural blog about Paul McCartney, I feel obliged to write a fawning review of my favourite Beatle, George Harrison. While John and Paul got all the attention (as well as the majority of space on records,) during his time with The Beatles, George’s gift for songwriting grew exponentially, yet when it came time to cut a record, he consistently found a good deal of his songs rejected by Lennon/McCartney in favour of their own. By the time George’s first post-Beatles release, All Things Must Pass hit the shelves, he had two LPs worth of material.

The Great The Who Debates...Settled!

The Who or Led Zeppelin?
People have told me, "You can like The Who, you can like Led Zeppelin, but you're always going to like one of them more." Well, the winner here is The Who. Just listening to the wonderful The Who box set, Thirty Years of Maximum R&B, we can hear just how diverse their music is, ranging from furious energy to thoughful artistry, surging basslines to three part harmonies. Zeppelin, while popular, shouldn't even qualify as the same league as The Who. But don't take my word for it, what does Pete Townshend, The Who guitarist and main songwriter, have to say about the Zeppelin/Who rivalry? "I haven't liked a single thing that they've done. I hate the fact that I'm ever even slightly compared to them. I've just never, ever liked them. It's a real problem for me, because I think as people, they're all really really great guys... I've never liked them." (quoted from The History of Rock 'n' Roll. Disc 4.)

Life After Beatles

I do not exaggerate when I say my only goal in life is to convince people that Paul McCartney's solo career has (present tense) life beyond Ram and Band on the Run.

For whatever reason, back in 1970 when he started releasing his first solo albums, critics condemned his music as too poppy and superficial. Even the reviewers that liked the records seemed to slight him. Maybe everyone was still mad about the fact that Paul announced the Beatles were breaking up, or that his first album was released almost simultaneously with Let It Be, but now all the flak has stopped and his solo career is starting to get proper recognition.

Can you J-pop?


How does one distill the collected culture of a highly complex, varied society, whilst simultaneously wrapping it in a commercially viable bundle for export to mostly middle class Americans? Simple: J-pop! Intrigued by the phenomenon, we've just added several musical artists for your perusal, including Mr. Children and Hikaru Utada. So let us know what you think: Do you love it, hate it, want more of it, need someone to tell you what the "J" stands for? Here's a complete list of new discs in the collection.

Bowling and Bands

The Magic Stick is the self-proclaimed "Home of Rock" in Detroit. Rumored to be where bands such as the White Stripes got their start, the venue hosts local and national acts at a frenetic pace. There's a bowling alley in the basement, billiards in the bar, a cafe and pizza joint down the stairs, and the Majestic Theater next door. What more do you need to go with your frosty beverage and local rock stars?

Brush up on your local rock history with Grit, noise, and revolution : the birth of Detroit rock 'n' roll and check out upcoming shows including Band of Horses (8/13), Helmet (8/29), the Detroit Cobras (9/1), and many others.

What's on your IPod?


Lately I've been asked, Aim, what's on your IPod?

Although I do rip new songs to download from time to time, there are some songs I never get tired of hearing....

Doors "Road House Blues", Chingy "Right Thurr", Goo Goo Dolls "Name", Stevie Wonder "Superstition", Moby "South Side", Al Green "Here I Am", Marvin Gaye "Let's Get It On", Prince "Little Red Corvette", Van Halen "Dancing In The Streets", Matchbox Twenty "Push", Norah Jones "Feelin The Same Way", Black Eyed Peas "Let's Get It Started", B-52's "Love Shack", Gap Band "You Dropped A Bomb On Me", K.T. Tunstall "Suddenly I See", Pink "Just Like A Pill".....

SURPRISE, SURPRISE......It's not ALL Old School!


The Queen of Soul...

Aretha FranklinAretha Franklin

Aretha_Franklin will perform at the DTE Energy Music Theatre on Sunday, August 12th at 7:30pm.

Before you go, you may want to brush up on your knowledge about this legendary singer. You'll appreciate the concert even more... trust me.

So here are a few fast facts to get you started:

She began her singing career at the New Bethel Baptist Church in Detroit.

She sang at Martin Luther King's funeral in 1968 and performed at the Inaugural gala for Bill Clinton in 1993.

Aretha Franklin is the first woman inducted into the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame.

Want more? Check out AADL's collection of Ms. Franklin's music and if time permits, flip through her biography...


Hairspray is in again

A new film version of Hairspray, which is also an award winning Broadway musical, was released last week in theaters. Before heading out to see it why not check out the original film version by John Waters. The original cast, featuring Sonny Bono, Divine, Debbie Harry, and Ricki Lake, is sure to please. Watch Tracy Turnblad as she takes the Baltimore dance scene by storm with her hip moves and her wild hair-do. Don’t feel like watching a movie? The Broadway cast sound recording will get your feet tapping as well.

Local music groups on stage

A great display of local talent is on hand at Top of the Park this summer. Following are groups whose music you can continue to enjoy by checking out their cd's at the Library:

Hullabaloo. "This rousing band indulges in hip-shaking ska, Latin and rock." "Hullabaloo is sheer energy and fun." (Current Magazine)

Nomo. "Nomo swings a sense of spirituality, soul and grace into pop music." (Detroit Metro Times)

The Terraplanes "A rhythmn and blues powered vehicle that will take you along the entertainment highway to a swinging place where you can jump and shout. (terraplanes.net)

II-V-I Orchestra "Through it all shines the professionalism and dynamic vocal performance of Al Jacquez and the crack II-V-I horn section." (http://home.comcast.net/~iiviorchestra)

Ann Arbor Civic Band March Mania

Were you like me and spent your formative years in various bands? Not the kind with kids with cool haircuts and loud guitars, rather the kind with uncomfortable uniforms and instruments with spit valves. If you can relate then you should check out the Ann Arbor Civic Band as they kick off their summer season with March Mania, June 27th at 8pm in the West Park Band Shell. Concerts will run weekly through July.

If you are eager to get in the marching spirit listen to The World's Greatest Marches, the United States Marine Band, and the Boston Pops Orchestra. And just for giggles, check out the picture book, Olivia Forms a Band.

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