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By Andy Argyrakis
Weekend Report: The
Friday, February 15, 2008
Wilco never has any problems selling seats, especially when the band plays anywhere near Chicago. But the phone lines especially lit up late last year with the announcement of an intimate Riviera Theatre residency, which finds the Jeff Tweedy-led troupe setting up shop for five surprise-filled shows with unique set lists. "Over the five nights, we will attempt the 'complete Wilco' and try to clear out the dusty corners of the catalog that we haven't attended to in a while," says the singer of the sold out affair. (Bet your life - Friday, Saturday, Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday at Riviera Theatre- Chicago, IL: www.jamusa.com).
Even though Babyface has flirted with several genres outside of soul (including a foray into adult rock with Eric Clapton on "Change the World"), his latest solo release is likely to catch even faithful followers off guard. Playlist (Mercury) finds the singer/songwriter/producer tipping his hat to several folk favorites, including Bob Dylan, James Taylor and Jim Croce, plus the even lighter fare of Dan Fogelberg and Dave Loggins (not to be confused with Kenny- we're talking even cornier "Please Come To Boston" contexts). Regardless of his reasons, it's a fairly lackluster set list from the get go, which hopefully won't weigh down a show that would be better off focusing on originals like "It's No Crime," "Whip Appeal" and "Every Time I Close My Eyes." (Fan club only - Saturday at Star Plaza- Merrillville, IN: www.ticketmaster.com).
Long before Less Than Jake and Reel Big Fish, groups like The Specials, Madness and The English Beat ushered in their own brand of punk-laced ska. That latter act (also known as simply The Beat in the UK) turns up yet again on tour, led by front man Dave Wakeling (also of General Public fame). While it's a pretty safe bet the group's singles "Mirror in the Bathroom," "Stand Down Margaret" and "Hands Off She's Mine" will pop up on the set list, there's also a chance for his other act's mega-smash "Tenderness." Sure it's a nostalgia trip at best, but the songs still stand up through today and have obviously rubbed off on other acts along the way. (Worth a shot - Sunday at Turner Hall Ballroom- Milwaukee, WI: www.turnerhallballroom.org).
Street Week: Moz's
Monday, February 11, 2008
Looking past his outrageous behavior over the years, there's no denying Michael Jackson's seminal role in redefining the soul/pop spectrum. Whether singing with his brothers or going solo, he's crossed over into virtually every genre and rubbed off on the subsequent generation of stars. The most apparent case in point comes from 1983's masterpiece Thriller (Epic), which remains the best selling studio CD of all time and earns deluxe edition treatment this week in celebration of its twenty-fifth anniversary. Beyond classic tracks like the title cut, "Beat It," "Billie Jean" and "Human Nature," this face lift boasts a series of exclusive extras, including "For All Time" (from the original sessions), plus 2008 versions of "The Girl Is Mine" (with will.i.am), "Wanna Be Startin' Somethin' (featuring Akon and will.i.am), "Beat It" (including Fergie) and "Billie Jean" (remixed by Kanye West).
When The Smiths broke up, a series of retrospectives flooded the market hoping to squeeze every last cent out of the iconic brand name. Even though Morrissey is still going strong in the studio and on the road, his product outpouring is following in the band's footsteps as yet another compilation hits shelves. Even though the last one was released a mere six years ago (and he's only recorded two CDs since then), Greatest Hits (Polydor) covers all the key singles, plus the pair of new tracks "That's How People Grow Up" and "All You Need Is Me." Additional purchase temptation comes from a bonus concert DVD, featuring eight tracks from a 2007 date at the Hollywood Bowl.
Other titles to look out for include British Sea Power's third full-length Do You Like Rock Music? (Rough Trade), plus Widespread Panic's Free Somehow (Widespread Records). In DVD contexts, the Scorpions turn in Live at Wacken Open Air 2006 (Sony), while this week's import alert comes from the Smashing Pumpkins' UK EP American Gothic (Wea International), featuring four tracks in the vein of Zeitgeist.
Feb. 4 & 8
Jan. 28 - Feb. 1
Jan. 21 - 25
Jan. 14 - 18
Jan. 7 - 11
Jan. 1 - 4
Daily Dish Archives - 2007