Wednesday, October 18, 2006

Varnaline- Little Pills


I listened to Varnaline's Man of Sin when it was released ten years ago. It sailed right over my head. I picked it up again last week and in hindsight it sounds like the perfect intersection of Richard Buckner's gothic Americana and Chris Whitley's white-noise blues. Varnaline mastermind Anders Parker has gone on to critical acclaim, if not commercial success. He has two new releases coming out on Halloween.

I've seen Chuck Berry perform a handful of times, but he was really good only once. That show started like the others. It was apparent that Chuck planned to phone it in. A funny thing happened after a couple songs. Chuck, startled by his phenomenal pick-up band, stared at the guys in disbelief. He realized they weren't going to let him off easily. Those upstart ringers were Lou Whitney, D. Clinton Thompson and the Morells. Today is Chuck's 80th birthday. This film clip is too much. "Good? He's great!"

Fabolous is getting the national headlines, but a more serious rap-related incident took place locally this week. The body of a member of this group was discovered outside Lawrence this week.

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