News & To Dos

September 3, 2020

Zappa, Elvis, Gentry, Bukowski, Booker T & The MG’s


For the first-time ever, Frank Zappa’s historic October 31 1981 New York Halloween night concerts and the closing November 1 show recorded live at The Palladium in 1981 will be released as a gigantic six-disc box set featuring 78 unreleased live tracks totaling more than seven hours of live performances from three complete concerts.

Available October 2 via Zappa Records/UMe, the expansive release is the next in the acclaimed costume box set series which began with the Halloween 77 box set in 2017 to chronicle these iconic concerts and celebrate Zappa’s love of Halloween.

The specially-designed costume box will include a Count Frankula mask along with a red and black cape so fans can dress like vampire Frank Zappa for Halloween or display alongside their FRANKenZAPPA mask and gloves from last year’s Halloween 73box or the retro mask and costume of the maestro himself from the inaugural release. Fully authorized by the Zappa Trust and produced by Ahmet Zappa and Zappa Vaultmeister Joe Travers, the concerts have been newly mixed from the original Ampex 456 2-inch 24-track analog tape masters by Craig Parker Adams in 2020. This king-size offering also includes a 40-page booklet with rare photos from the event by John Livzey and new liner notes by touring band member Robert Martin, vaultmeister Joe Travers and super fan-in-attendance Gary Titone who pens a remembrance of the shows.

In addition, a 1-CD version titled Halloween 81: Highlights From The Palladium, New York City will also be released, featuring performances from all three shows along with an exclusive track, “Strictly Genteel,” from the November 1 show not included on the box set. It will be packaged in a jewel case with liners by Travers.

Zappa, a documentary on Frank Zappa, directed by Alex Winter will be screened at theaters across North America and available from video-on-demand on November 27th. The rights to the long-awaited film were acquired by Magnolia. Zappa was scheduled to premiere at the SWSW festival owing to the coronavirus COVID. Winter worked closely with the Zappa Family Trust. Frank’s late widow, Gail Zappa, appears in the documentary, Pamela Des Barres, as do collaborators including Ruth Underwood, Steve Vai, Ian Underwood, Scott Thunes, and Mike Keneally.

RCA/Legacy Recordings, a division of Sony Music Entertainment, is pleased to announce the forthcoming release of From Elvis In Nashville, a 4CD/digital collection presenting the long-awaited definitive chronicle of Elvis Presley‘s mythic 1970 marathon sessions with the “Nashville Cats.” Recorded live in RCA’s Studio B in Nashville over the course of an epic five day/night run in June 1970 (with an additional session on September 22), Elvis’ performances from those sessions formed the core of three of his most successful studio album releases from the 1970s: Elvis: That’s the Way It Is, Elvis Country (I’m 10,000 Years Old) and Love Letters from Elvis.


Booker T and The MGs

Bobbie Gentry’s oft overlooked brilliant, conceptual masterpiece The Delta Sweete has been expanded and is now available as a deluxe edition on CD, LP and digitally via Capitol/UMe. The release comes on the heels of 2018’s GRAMMY®-nominated The Girl From Chickasaw County box set which reacquainted the world with the beguiling work of the enigmatic singer-songwriter who became one of the most iconic and influential artists of the 1960s and ’70s and then in the early ‘80s made her final appearance and disappeared from the public eye completely, never to return. The expanded CD edition of The Delta Sweete features a new stereo mix of the album (sourced directly from the original four-track and eight-track tapes) by Andrew Batt, producer/compiler behind the acclaimed The Girl From Chickasaw County retrospective, alongside the original mono mix making its debut on CD.

Ace of Cups, the pioneer-ing all-women band from the ‘60s San Francisco psychedelic scene, will release their sophomore album Sing Your Dreams on September 18th via High Moon Records. Sing Your Dreams is a new collection of 12 songs and stories, produced by Dan Shea and features collaborations with Jackson Browne (who duets on album closer ‘Slowest River’), Sheila E. and the Escovedo Family, Bakithi Kumalo (whose iconic bass-playing was integral to the sound of Paul Simon’s Graceland), jam-band guitar luminary Steve Kimock (Jerry Garcia named him his ‘favorite unknown guitarist’), peace activist and counterculture icon Wavy Gravy, Jack Casady (Jefferson Airplane, Hot Tuna), and David Freiberg (Quicksilver Messenger Service, Jefferson Airplane/Starship).

August 16, 2020 marked
100th Birthday of Legendary Writer Charles Bukowski. To Celebrate, Real Gone Music Is Releasing a Special “Vomit Vinyl” Edition of His 1972 release on John Fahey’s Takoma Label, Charles Bukowski Reads His Poetry. The album presents a September 14, 1972 poetry reading limited to 1000 copies.

The centennial celebration of Peggy Lee’s birth — May 26, 1920 — continues to be commemorated with new music releases and the airing of an updated documentary. Honoring one of the 20thcentury’s most important musical influences in the world of jazz and popular music, and in conjunction with UMe/Capitol, the Peggy Lee Estate today announces the digital-only release of The Capitol Transcriptions 1946-1949, and the airing of an updated edition of Fever: The Music of Peggy Lee in partnership with American Public Television. Fever: The Music of Peggy Lee, which originally aired in 2004, has been newly updated for the centennial commemoration. The 60-minute PBS program, premiered in most areas the week of August 29, explores her life and songs as told in her own words, though vintage interviews and performances. Check local listings for air dates and times.

Herb Alpert, 1966

Herb Alpert, 1966

MVD has recently distributed the Juno Films Presents DVD Barbara Rubin & the Exploding NY Underground a film produced and directed by Chuck Smith. Real deal New York. Actors in the cast include Amy Taubin, Barbara Rubin, Allen Ginsberg, Lou Reed, Andy Warhol, with Richard Foreman and Jonas Mekas as themselves. Also just issued from Juno and MVD is Rob Graver’s What She Said: The Art of Pauline Kael.

The MVD Entertainment Group on September 11 will release on DVD and Blu-ray Where Does a Body End?, an intimate portrait of Michael Gira’s band SWANS. From their roots as a brutal, confrontational post-punk band that emerged from the same early 1980s era NYC that gave us Sonic Youth through their ill-fated bid at mainstream success in the ’90s indie-rock gold rush, through breakups and chaos (on and offstage) to their odds-defying current status as one of the most accomplished and ambitious bands in the world, one whose concerts are more like ecstatic rituals than nostalgic trips back through their most popular songs. Testimonials come from Thurston Moore (Sonic Youth), Lee Ranaldo (Sonic Youth), Jehnny Beth (Savages), JG Thirlwell (Foetus), Blixa Bargeld (Einstürzende Neubauten), Karen O (Yeah Yeah Yeahs), Kid Congo Powers (The Cramps / The Gun Club), Jim Sclavunos (The Bad Seeds), Daniel Miller (Mute Records), Steve Von Till (Neurosis), Dana Schechter (Angels Of Light), Devendra Banhart, Anna Von Hausswolff, Amanda Palmer, Ben Frost, Martin Bisi.

Craft Recordings for Record Store Day October 24th offers a real audio gem. Booker T. & The M.G.’s: McLemore Avenue – Special 50th-anniversary edition of the LP has been cut from the original analog masters by Jeff Powell at Memphis’ Take Out Vinyl. It’s pressed on 180-gram vinyl at Memphis Record Pressing. It comes housed in an old-school-style tip-on jacket, featuring the classic, tongue-in-cheek cover image of the band crossing McLemore Avenue. As the longtime house band for Stax, Booker T. & The M.G.’s not only helped to shape the label’s iconic sound but also backed sessions by some of the biggest acts of the ’60s — from Otis Redding and Carla Thomas, to Sam & Dave and Wilson Pickett. The group also released many acclaimed titles of their own, and their 10th studio album, 1970’s McLemore Avenue, was no exception. Inspired by The BeatlesAbbey Road, released just a year before, Booker T. Jones set out to record a tribute to the album — naming his version after the Memphis avenue where Stax stood. In an interview with the A.V. Club, Jones recalled that when he first heard Abbey Road, “I thought it was incredibly courageous of The Beatles… They were the top band in the world but they still reinvented themselves.” Featuring the classic lineup of Booker T. Jones on keyboards, Steve Cropper on guitar, Donald “Duck” Dunnon bass, and Al Jackson Jr. on drums, the instrumental McLemore Avenue offers a supremely funky take on Abbey Road’s songs in the form of three medleys and one standalone version of “Something.”

Real Gone Music has cherry-picked the Grateful Dead catalogue’s Dick’s Picks with a couple of new releases: A 2-CD set Grateful Dead Road Trips Vol. 3 No. 1 – Oakland 12-28-79 just out in August and Dick’s Picks 26 – 4/26/69 Electric Theater, Chicago, IL and 4/27/69 Labor Temple Minneapolis, MN (4-LP set) due September 25th.

Guitarist Jan Savage, October 23, 1942-August 5, 2020, who was born Buck Jan Reeder, of the American rock band the Seeds died in early August. Formed in 1965 in Los Angeles, the Seeds, guitarist Savage, keyboardist Daryl Hooper, drummer Rick Andridge and singer Sky Saxon were an influential pioneering psychedelic and garage rock outfit who offered a whole lot more for pop culture than their hit single “Pushin’ Too Hard.”

Badfinger’s Joey Molland has a new solo album due from Omnivore Recordings, Be True to Yourself, a tour de force pop album by Molland co-written with producer Mark Hudson. It’s out October 16, 2020.

The album is filled with delicious pop hooks and features musical contributions from Joey’s friends (Julian Lennon, Micky Dolenz, Jason Scheff and Steve Holley). With front and back cover photography by Julian Lennon. An extraordinary piece of rock history will finally be heard this October with the release of the Allman Brothers Band‘s last show with founder and guitarist Duane Allman. Recorded October 17, 1971 at the Painters Mill Music Fair in Owings Mills, MD, the recording marks Duane’s last show, as he was tragically killed in a motorcycle accident 12 days later. Recorded on a hand-held cassette machine by 18-year-old radio journalist Sam Idas, this music will be released for the first time on October 16.

A feature-length documentary focusing on musician and entertainment executive Herb Alpert is due to hit theaters and VOD on October 1. The title is simply Herb Alpert Is…, apparently a reference to the 84-year-old’s multi-faceted career. Abramorama has the distribution rights.

The film’s original opening was planned for May but was delayed due to the pandemic. It is directed by John Scheinfeld who did Chasing Trane: The John Coltrane Documentary, and with filmmaker David Leaf, The US vs John Lennon.

A companion 3-CD collection, also titled Herb Alpert Is…, is being released on October 2.


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