Monday, February 9, 2015

Sound & Groove, Episode 54: "Blame it All on the Alcohol"

Gil Scott-Heron, mainly in is partnership with Brian Jackson, performed cutting edge, socially aware music in the 70s that could have been classified as R&B or funk but owed just as much to the improvisational nature of jazz. Owing to his poet background, Scott-Heron was able to meld that with musical ambitions and marry those with musicians who helped him see through his unique sound. The oeuvre he left many credit to paving the road for hip-hop's arrival in the 80s. But just as his truly authentic reportage of the streets approach was paying dividends with a younger crowd of artists, Scott-Heron's recorded output began to slow as he became more like a subject of his old musical portraits of the drug-addled, disenfranchised aspects of society. With a long rap sheet built up due to a debilitating addiction to crack-cocaine, Scott-Heron became a cautionary tale of what happens when an artist forgets to practice what he/she preaches. After a late career renaissance and multiple samples from hip hop giants, Scott-Heron fell ill with pneumonia and died at age 65 in 2011.

Ahhh yes, alcohol. The cause of and solution to all of life's problems. Also a central part of the rock and roll mythology and lifestyle. Several greats were drunk off their ass performing live or in the studio with their best material. Often times the good times could not keep rolling and these artists had to face those demons or ended up succumbing to them. Other artists never let the bottle get the better of them and could sing about it from a critical viewpoint or caution their listeners to its tempting dangers. Also some artists sang about its celebratory and social importance in the world. Cause booze and good music can often go well together, especially in a live setting.

So sit back and soak in another  musical journey through yet another themed podcast for your listening enjoyment. And if you're new to this podcast: Every month there will be a theme that the selection of music is centered around. It will be jam packed with my analysis, synopses, breakdowns, anecdotes and other witticisms you might enjoy. And not to worry, each month will contain a different theme than the last. All killer, no filler... other than when I talk and introduce the tunes and recap the ones before it. But aside from that? 100% juicy meat! 100% juicy tofu if you happen to be a vegetarian.

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Track Listing:
1. Drunk Kid Catholic- Bright Eyes (2001)
2. Gin Soaked Boy- Tom Waits (1983)
3. Jesus and Tequila- The Minutemen (1984)
4. Bottle of Red Wine- Eric Clapton (1970)
5. Empty Glass- Pete Townshend (1980)
6. Please Mrs. Henry- Bob Dylan & The Band (1967)
7. The Bottle- Gil Scott-Heron & Brian Jackson (1974)
8. Drinkin' Wine Spo-Dee-o-Dee (Live)- Richard Thompson (2003)
9. Twilight Alehouse- Genesis (1972) 

Info of note:
Intro- "Heartbreak Hotel" by John Cale (1975)
Outro- "Chinese Envoy" by John Cale (1982))
All comments, questions and feedback are greatly welcomed and appreciated! I encourage participation. Even though I drain an hour off your life by listening to the podcast then checking through the links, at least you don't have to fork over your money to me... though if you feel like, you know... But in all seriousness, let me now what you'd like to hear or see and I'll consider it. Popular approval doesn't always sway me but having fans or listeners get their input would be just grand!

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