Tuesday, February 05, 2008

The Four Tops- Bring Me Together

Fell apart.

I abandoned the vinyl format for newfangled compact discs in 1986. The LP versions of new releases were simply atrocious. I tired of buying increasingly flimsy and warped product. (A music industry conspiracy? No doubt about it.)

But in addition to the limited selection, most CDs were priced upwards of $20. Yet Motown two-fers at 7th Heaven, my neighborhood record store, were $7.97. Once a week I would buy titles by Al Green, Smokey Robinson, Marvin Gaye and the Four Tops. What a great investment!

The Temptations deservedly get a lot of credit for incorporating contemporary psychedelic rock into their sound. But the Four Tops forged a more nuanced sound on Still Waters Run Deep. It probably sounds even better now than it did as a new release in 1970. Need to hear more? Here's the album's sublime closing song.

I ran into Howard Iceberg at the Mutual Musicians Foundation on Friday night. That the folk-rock artist was hanging out at a Kansas City jazz jam session speaks to his broad sensibility. He let me know that he's embarked on an ambitious project to record his vast back catalog of songs. He regularly rotates new, downloadable songs at his MySpace page. While he jokes that he sounds "like Tom Waits on a bad day," Howard gives Waits, Dylan, Prine and Ritter a run for their money.

Local trio Trampled Under Foot won the Blues Foundation's annual band competition in Memphis.

Kansas City Click: It seems sacrilegious to suggest a non-Fat Tuesday show. But it's not everyday that DJ Shadow comes to town. Cut Chemist and Kid Koala join him at the VooDoo.

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