Last week the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announced the nominees for the class of 2014. You can see the full list and contribute to this year’s fan ballot on the Rolling Stone magazine website. To be eligible for induction an artist or band must have released its first record 25 years ago, but many of this year’s nominees are still putting out new music.
Nirvana is nominated this year; their first single “Love Buzz” was released in 1988. Dave Grohl wasn’t with the band at that time, he joined in 1990, but he has carried the torch as a prolific musician, producer and filmmaker. And here’s “Love Buzz” in case you’ve never heard it.
Chic is also up this year, nominated for the eighth time. Nile Rodgers’ funky guitar was a central part of Daft Punk’s “Random Access Memories” CD released earlier this year – maybe that will put Chic over the top this time around.
Hall & Oates are on the ballot, and Daryl Hall is planning to add more episodes to his series “Live at Daryl’s House” soon.
The Zombies first became eligible for induction in 1989 (just when Nirvana was getting started!) but are nominated for the first time this year. The classic “She’s Not There” was released in 1964, and “Time of the Season” followed in 1968. Colin Blunstone and Rod Argent, the core of The Zombies, released “Breathe Out, Breathe In” in 2011 with some jazz-inflected tunes featuring Rod’s fantastic keyboard work and Colin’s clean vocals. Check out this very retro video for “Time of the Season”, and see the gray-maned men still at it after 50 years.
Our blogger friends at Read and Hear surfaced an artist with a retro-soul-falsetto style that recalls Smokey Robinson and Curtis Mayfield. You can read a bit about Bo Saris in this Billboard article. Like many “new” artists, he’s been working and recording for years.
You won’t see Bo in the video for “She’s on Fire”; instead you’ll see clips of Sam Cooke, Curtis Mayfield and Bo’s library of stripper movies. “The Addict” was released recently, and this one hides Bo behind clever animation.
To see Bo without any artiface, visual or otherwise, watch this live, unplugged performance of “Tender”.
Since Bo paid homage to Curtis Mayfield in the video for “She’s on Fire”, let’s do the same, and then let’s listen to Smokey Robinson and Daryl Hall having fun with a Miracles classic.
It’s probably fair to say that the granddaddy of all music websites is Wolfgang’s Vault. If by any chance you’re not acquainted with it, discover this gold mine. In 2003 rock fan and businessman Bill Sagan bought the archives of legendary rock music promotor Bill Graham’s production company, archives which had collected dust for over a decade following Graham’s death in 1991. In addition to uncovering an huge collection of mint condition photos, tickets, posters and other memorabilia from three decades of concert promotion, Sagan came upon an amazing treasure trove – thousands of live concert recordings. Since Wolfgang’s Vault launched, recordings beyond Graham’s collection have been added as well.
You can sample the site for free, but if you check out the “Performers” list on the “Concert Vault” section of the website, you’ll see why a membership is the best money a rock music fan could ever spend. And by the way, “Wolfgang” refers to Graham’s given name when he was born in Berlin before World War II.
In 2007 Daryl Hall of Hall & Oates launched “Live from Daryl’s House”, a web series of performances featuring Daryl and his band hosting an incredibly broad range of artists. Among the dozens of episodes, for example, are sessions with Nick Lowe, Cee lo Green, and Neon Trees. See our earlier post for a link to an episode featuring Allan Stone and Daryl Hall
A potpourri of unknown and well-known artists cram into a corner at the offices of National Public Radio for its “Tiny Desk Concert” series. You can hear stripped-down sets from blues giant Robert Cray, electro-pop favorite Passion Pit, and the late Chuck Brown – Godfather of Go-Go. And do check out the unknowns too.
The buzz about Seattle blue-eyed soul singer Allen Stone is growing by the day. He’s just been signed by Dave Matthews’ ATO records, and he’s been making the late night TV circuit. Enjoy the living room performance of “Unaware” from his 2012 self-titled CD, then watch him perform with blue-eyed soul icon Daryl Hall on Hall’s web series “Live at Daryl’s House” (the link will take you to episode 59, then pull up “Celebrate Tonight” from the menu).
And if you’d like to hear what Daryl was doing in his 20’s, listen to “Sara Smile” from the 1975 album “Daryl Hall and John Oates”.