Here are a few new releases that caught my ear this morning:
JJAMZ is the side project of Maroon 5 guitarist James Valentine and his indie-pop pals from Phantom Planet and Rilo Kiley, and their debut album Suicide Pact is out today. This is mellow, fresh-scrubbed SoCal pop . . . and you’ll be able to see Jjamz at the Tractor Tavern on September 7. My only isue with the band is their rather lame name, but the truthis that the first names of the members of the band start with the letters J, J, A, M and Z., so I guess we'll let it slide. Here's the video for their song "Never Enough."
Here’s a cool reissue . . . in 1981 when the Rolling Stones were doing three dates at a big arena in Chicago, they snuck off for a late-night rendezvous at a little club with blues legend Muddy Waters. I lived in Chicago then, and I remember the buzz : "Did you hear? The Stones are playing a club date? Are you in?" Anyway, it’s all on a CD/DVD called Checkerboard Lounge Live Chicago 1981. You gotta see Mick Jagger and Muddy Waters trading vocals – it’s like the blues master and the eager young intern from London. Here's a sample:
And then there are three new releases today from one of rock’s most prolific artists – and he’s been dead for 42 years. Yes, more from the Jimi Hendrix vaults – the most important one is Live At Berkely, the Second Set. Worth it for the music, sure, but even more for Jimi’s stoned stage banter.
It's great to have access to some of these long-lost performances. But it also reminds me about how much money Jimi's family is still trying to squeeze out of his music, and it makes me a little sad.