Wednesday, February 10, 2010

TVD First Date | Everest

This week The Watson Twins have selected our First Date:

We've spent the last few years collaborating and recording with music producers, musicians and friends Russell Pollard and J. Soda from the band Everest. Playing music and making records with folks is much like being married... you fight, you laugh, you cry, you pull your hair out...

But over the years you begin to form a language that helps you communicate creatively. We have certainly reached this point with J. and Russ, in fact they could probably produce our songs without hearing a single note. Ok, maybe that's a bit of an exaggeration, but you get the drift.

Just coming off the heels of producing and playing on our new record Talking To You, Talking To Me... the fellas went almost directly back into the studio to record their second full length On Approach, the follow up to their 2008 release Ghost Notes, both on Neil Young's Vapor Records. Since their first release much has happened for the Everest boys, they've been all over the world pretty much touring with Neil, Wilco, My Morning Jacket... just to name a few, while also playing and producing records for other musicians.

As friends and fans of Everest we highly recommend that if you haven't heard their music you check it out and certainly keep your eyes peeled for their April 2010 release
On Approach.

Everest - Rebels In The Roses (Mp3)

(Live in Lethbridge, AB, Canada)

It's The Watson Twins' Vinyl District!

It's Part Two of TWT's favorite slabs of vinyl:

Bonnie 'Prince' Billy 'Master and Everyone' | The combo of Will Oldham and Marty Slayton on vocals is a treat for your little ear drums. So sweet and sonically sparse, but rousing and heart wrenching... put this one on once the sun drops below the horizon, sit back and take some time to listen.

Vashti Bunyan 'Just Another Diamond Day' | Ever wanted to know what it would be like to be transported back to the 60's, take a journey in a horse drawn carriage across the hills of England with a fella and a dog? If you listen to this one and close your eyes real tight, you just might be able to do it.

Rufus featuring Chaka Khan 'Rags To Rufus' | When you need to feel the funk and tickle the soul, this combo of Rufus and Chaka will do the trick. We heard this record for the first time many years ago and remains a staple in the Watson household when we wanna get down and sing at the top of our lungs.

Vetiver 'To Find Me Gone' | Through touring with "Farmer Dave" our piano/steel player in the Jenny Lewis band, we were introduced to this folk/rock band from Northern Cali. Whether you hear Vetiver on vinyl, CD or live you will not be disappointed... not to mention they are some of the nicest people on the planet.

Miles Davis 'Kind of Blue' | Ok, so it's a given, a shoe-in, a go-to, a classic, etc., etc... but still remains one of our favs and listening on vinyl makes you feel like you're in the room with those jazz greats... Davis, "Cannonball", Chambers, Cobb, Coltrane, Evans and Kelly may as well be in your living room, pulling each heart string as they play "Blue In Green"... beautiful.

Vashti Bunyan - Diamond Day (Mp3)
Vashti Bunyan - Rose Hip November (Mp3)
Rufus feat. Chaka Khan - You Got the Love (Mp3)
Rufus feat. Chaka Khan - Tell Me Something Good (Mp3)
Miles Davis - Blue In Green (Mp3)
Miles Davis - Stella By Starlight (Mp3)

TVD's Alternative Ulcer | The Queen of Rockabilly

So, on Friday night I'm supposed to be seeing the Queen of Rockabilly herself, Ms. Wanda Jackson, at the Black Cat and if the snow this week creates an environment in our nation's capital in which Ms. Jackson cannot make her own concert, I will be absolutely heartbroken.

Why? She is a legend and seeing her live is something anyone would kick themselves forever if they missed it. Ms. Jackson, is, in the music world, as hardcore as they come.

She had her own radio show and was being courted by record producers by the time she was fifteen. Her first song, "You Can't Buy My Love" was recorded with Billy Gray and she toured with Elvis Presley (who got her to start singing rockabilly) twice before the age of twenty. Although the story goes that Ken Nelson, a producer with Capitol Records didn't originally sign Jackson because, as he put it, "girls don't sell records" it didn't stop him from signing her a few years later after her short stint with Decca Records.

During Jackson's time at Capitol, which ended in the early 1970s, she recorded and toured her backside off. (Sidenote: Wanda's backside was covered in costumes designed and made by her mother and Jackson credits herself with bringing glamour to country music due to being decked out in " fringe dresses, high heels, [and] long earrings.")

Because her sound vacillated between country and rockabilly, Ms. Jackson would often put one type of song on each side of a single. She toured with a mixed-race band during the same year the Little Rock Nine were challenging segregation in Arkansas. They loved her in Japan. They loved her in Germany. They loved her on the US pop charts AND the US country charts. And when Wanda got married, she didn't quit her job. Instead, her IBM-supervisor husband quit HIS job to become her manager—something completely unheard of at the time.

After becoming a Christian in 1971, Ms. Jackson recorded her first gospel album, which was to be her last recording with Capitol. Throughout the 1970s she recorded more gospel albums with several labels but after wanting to record both gospel and country music the religious labels lost interest.

In the years since, Ms. Jackson has continued to tour all over the world. In 2009 she was (finally!) admitted to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. And now, at the age of 73, has released a double-A side single, produced by Jack White of the White Stripes, containing covers of Amy Winehouses's "You Know I'm No Good" and Johnny Kidd's "Shakin' All Over." The full album will be released on White's Third Man Records which is also currently selling Jackson's 7 inch single.

Nick Touches describes Ms. Jackson "as simply and without contest the greatest menstruating rock ‘n’ roll singer whom the world has ever known" but I don't see any reason to compartmentalize her—I'd put her up there as one of the greatest rock 'n' roll singers, male or female, the world has ever known and I suspect a little 10 or 20 inches of snow ain't gonna stop her on Friday.

Wanda Jackson - There's A Party Goin' On (Mp3)
Wanda Jackson - Fujiyama Mama (Mp3)
Wanda Jackson - Hard Headed Woman (Mp3)
Wanda Jackson - Makin' Believe (Mp3)