Archive for June, 2009

summer album of the week: 06/20/09

neil young and crazy horse: rust never sleeps (released june 1979)

neil young and crazy horse: rust never sleeps (released june 1979)

A quintessential Neil Young album split between solo acoustic works that turned his California folkie profile into a warped fantasia (Pocahontas and Ride My Llama) and filthy, filthy, filthy garage rock with even odder storylines (Welfare Mothers and Sedan Delivery). The coarse electric side with Crazy Horse was a jacked up variance of the sublimely scrappy guitar grinds Young had been playing for years. In the end, though, the whole wondrous mess was more psychedelic than anything else with each side producing a classic coming of age fable – the acoustic Thrasher and the electric Powderfinger. But it was the punk anthem Hey Hey, My My (Into the Black) that fully re-validated Young with a new rock generation by serving as a glorious kiss-off to the 1970s.

She may use a Ninte n do to play catch-up socially

The Washington Post August 25, 2011 | Marguerite Kelly QPlease help my husband and me decide on a present for our daughter’s ninth birthday, which is only a few weeks away.

She is a strong and enthusiastic reader, a good student, a dancer and a soccer player, but she recently told me that she wants only a Nintendo DS for her birthday. This surprised us. Our daughter isn’t a greedy or consumeristic child, and she has never asked us for anything like this before, so I really had to think about it.

Although her father is staunchly opposed to this gaming console, I do feel for her. This year she told me – in confidence – that, unlike most of the girls in her group, she doesn’t know anything about “iCarly” and “Hannah Montana” and that this sometimes makes her feel out of place.

Perhaps this is because we limit the computer time for our daughter and her younger brother and we let them watch TV for less than an hour a day. We just think that most of the shows aren’t good for a child’s mind and that our children should be entertaining themselves instead of sitting around.

Although I won’t bend on the TV issue, I do think that my daughter is old enough to play the same games that her friends enjoy – and I know that they do enjoy them. I’m the Girl Scout troop leader, and I hear their chatter every week.

I also think that some of the Nintendo games – such as the puzzle- based ones – would be appropriate for my daughter and that they would challenge her mind, too. And, of course, we would still limit her total screen time and make her earn her DS time as well.

What do you think? Am I caving in to the whims of a 9-year-old? Or is my husband being too rigid? go to site best nintendo ds games here best nintendo ds games

ANo, you’re not caving in; you’re just being thoughtful and even wise.

Parents should deal with the whole child, rather than focus on her mind or her body or her psyche. And if that child is 9 – or 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15 or even 16 – they should remember that children want to look and act just like their friends, especially when they’re between the fourth and ninth grades.

As much as your daughter loves you, loves books, loves dance and loves sports, her friends are deeply important to her now, and if she thinks that she doesn’t fit in with them, she might become quite uncertain about herself.

This could have unfortunate ramifications. The child who feels insecure in third or fourth grade is often the one who gets bullied in fifth grade or gets into the wrong crowd in junior high. If you compromise a little, however, your child will realize that her opinions really matter to you, and this in turn will make her more willing to see the world from your perspective.

You should, of course, respect your husband if he adamantly doesn’t want to give your daughter this present, just as he should respect your views on other matters when they are stronger than his. He might come around, though, if your daughter tells him that the lack of a Nintendo makes her feel out of place with her friends. He’ll then know that he is helping her climb over a social hurdle and not giving into a whim.

If you both agree to give this console to your daughter, you should continue to limit her screen time and see to it that she watches age-appropriate shows on TV, but don’t make her earn her DS minutes. The playtime you give your children is your gift to them, and you shouldn’t attach strings to any gift.

You also should learn to play Nintendo games with your daughter, just as you play Parcheesi or work on a puzzle with her. These moments might seem insignificant to you, but they matter to her now – and they always will.

Your daughter might get tired of her Nintendo games pretty quickly, but they will make her feel technically proficient. You can then ask her to teach you how to work your new cellphone, download your new apps and defragment your old computer. Each skill your daughter acquires will make her want to learn more.

Nothing, though, will kill her love for reading, for once a child is bitten by that bug, she is hooked for life. You can satisfy her need to read by giving her a subscription to the excellent bimonthly, ad-free New Moon Girls magazine, which even has a safe, supervised chat room. To order, send $34.95 to P.O. Box 161287, Duluth, Minn. 55816.

Questions? Send them to advice@margueritekelly.com.

Marguerite Kelly

the goose giveth

charlie gearheart, left, and the current goose creek symphony lineup. photo by john flavell.

charlie gearheart, left, and the current goose creek symphony lineup. photo by john flavell.

That Goose Creek Symphony named one of its most recent recordings The Same Thing Again is more than a little serendipitous.

The record was cut as the band was splitting in the mid ‘70s. It sat dormant for 30 years until Goose Creek chieftain Charlie Gearheart was played a cassette copy of the record in 2006. The master tapes were then unearthed, cleaned up and released. Presto, one of Goose Creek’s oldest albums became one of its newest.

“Listening to it now definitely takes me back to the time I wrote the songs and when we recorded them,” said Eastern Kentucky native Gearheart (Goose Creek is named for a Floyd County holler). “It also makes me realize I’ve been here awhile. But it’s a great feeling.”

Gearheart and the newest Goose Creek lineup (which features fellow founding member Bob “Willard” Henke) are back on the road this month as another archival recording is being readied. This one dates back to 1976 when Goose Creek had officially disbanded. Titled Head for the Hills, it has been previously available only as a limited, independent release.

“We had dissolved the band at the time. I was going to immigrate to Canada, so we went to Vancouver to finish the album and then hit the road just for a few dates. But very quickly, we said, ‘Nah, it ain’t time yet.’ We needed a little bit of a longer break, so we shelved it and went our own ways.”

There is also talk of several solo studio performances made by Gearheart in the ‘70s being made available in the near future.

But regardless of their origin, Goose Creek’s music never strays far from its cordial rural mix of country sentiment and jam-savvy musicality, whether it’s found in one the newly rediscovered gems such as the Band-like Tulsa Turnaround (from The Same Thing Again) or the 1970 opus Talk About Goose Creek and Other Important Places. The latter is a centerpiece tune from Goose Creek’s debut album that remains an extended groove journey during the band’s recent shows.

“My wife says, ‘When you walk onstage, you step into another world,'” said Gearheart, who turns 70 in July. “And that’s really what happens. Everything goes away except the music and that’s a wonderful feeling. As you get older, you really realize and appreciate that.”

Goose Creek Symphony performs at 8 tonight at The Dame, 367 E. Main. Velvet Water will open. Tickets are $15. Call (859) 231-7263.

critic’s pick 76

While Woodstock – the event, the myth, the hype, all of it – celebrates its 40th anniversary in two months, what fueled the landmark cultural gathering was the music. And it all began with these two albums Woodstock: Music from the Original Soundtrack and More and Woodstock Two.

Sure, Woodstock was set against the social inferno of 1969 – the draft, the Vietnam War and a generation that wanted nothing to do with either. But as a time capsule of often astounding rock, folk and soul, it remains invaluable.

woodstock - music from the original soundtrack and more

woodstock - music from the original soundtrack and more

The Woodstock “soundtrack” – a live album designed to accompany Michael Wadleigh’s Oscar winning documentary of the three-plus day outdoor concert – was a No. 1 hit when it was released in 1970. Less expectedly, it also cracked the Top 20 of the R&B album charts, thanks largely to career defining pop-funk medley by Sly and the Family Stone. Other acts may have had agendas. Stone’s was simply to groove. From the instant he kicks into Dance to the Music, Woodstock loosens its collar and becomes a party.

The original Woodstock also introduced numerous artists to the pop mainstream, from Joe Cocker to Richie Havens to Crosby, Stills & Nash. But none took fuller advantage of Woodstock as a stepping stone event than Santana. Through nearly 12 minutes of Soul Sacrifice – which, in its remastered state on this new edition, sounds positively tribal – the band tossed percussive soul, jam-savvy rock, a monster guitarist in Carlos Santana and heavy psychedelia together and managed to redesign the role of Latin music in progressive pop in the process.

And then there was Hendrix. As the finale act, Jimi Hendrix played on Monday morning and reinvented the Star Spangled Banner as a respectful but frightening guitar rampage.

woodstock two

woodstock two

What exists on Woodstock Two, which was released in early 1971, was an initial listen to the remaining 120 hours of tapes recorded at the festival. With the exception of Mountain (a wonderfully noisy riot) and Melanie (a hippie folkie delivering a coarse, flat set), it simply expands on artists introduced on the first Woodstock album.

But there are numerous delights here, including one of the first serious looks at Hendrix’s de-glamorized Gypsy Sun and Rainbows band (the performance has since been released in near-entirety by Hendrix’s estate), a fortuitous set that matched Crosby, Stills and Nash with Neil Young and the Jefferson Airplane’s ultra trippy Saturday Afternoon (which, as it turned out, was played during the band’s set on Sunday morning).

Woodstock Two has few highlights to match Sly Stone, Santana or even The Who’s thunderous Tommy finale from the first. But it also has none of the earlier album’s gaffes. Nearly 40 years later, one is still hard pressed to explain how a ‘50s revival act like Sha Na Na made it way onto the first Woodstock singing At the Hop. Wasn’t that part of what everyone was rebelling against?

In the coming months, albums will surface that unearth the complete Woodstock sets by Santana, Jefferson Airplane, Janis Joplin, Johnny Winter and Sly and the Family Stone. And on Aug. 18, when the 40th anniversary directly hits, comes a six-disc box set to chronicle most of the acts omitted from – for whatever reasons – the initial Woodstock albums. Among them: The Grateful Dead, Creedence Clearwater Revival and the Incredible String Band.

But the journey started here, with two albums that captured the music and dubious magic of Woodstock in all of in muddy, fascinating and topical glory.

in performance: x

billy zoom exene cervenka and john doe of x last night at the dame. herald-leader staff photo by mark cornelison.

billy zoom, exene cervenka and john doe of x last night at the dame. herald-leader staff photos by mark cornelison.

“If you have to go to work in the morning, be proud,” proclaimed John Doe near the half way point of X’s spirited but uneven performance last night at The Dame. “Be proud you got out, got drunk and had a punk rock experience.”

On those terms, this return outing by the veteran Los Angeles band delivered the goods. Let X loose with tunes from its first five albums and you can’t help cook up some good cranky fun.

Sure, it was punk by definition – especially in the coarse but intriguing harmonies created by Doe and fellow vocalist (and former wife) Exene Cervenka. But today’s X is a friendlier beast with guitarist Billy Zoom offering razor sharp hooks (like the effortlessly energetic riff that ignited White Girl) and bountiful grins to the audience.

Doe, likewise, was a capable and, dare we say it, cordial host that let his electric bass rip during the heavily punctuated intro to The Hungry Wolf. And drummer D.J. Bonebrake proved a tireless beat keeper who hammered out Chuck Berry-style rolls during The World’s a Mess, It’s in My Kiss but also addressed the more pop savvy punk of Johnny Hit and Run Pauline.

exene cervenka.

exene cervenka.

Only Cervenka seemed a touch out of step with her bandmates. Admittedly, her vocals were essentially lost in the sound mix. But Cervenka looked distant and, at times, removed from the action at hand. Sure she let out the requisite howls for Your Phone is Off the Hook But You’re Not and delivered a fetchingly coarse acoustic duet version of I Must Not Think Bad Thoughts with Doe as an encore. Elsewhere, Cervenka – who announced two weeks ago that she has been diagnosed with multiple sclerosis – seemed detached and unenthused by the evening’s music.

Sure, there was still considerable fun to be found in a performance like this. It was also cool to hear Doe deflate the nostalgia aspect of X’s music during between song chats. But seeing how Cervenka was as uninvolved as she was unheard, this X outing rated a C.

john doe: x man

john doe of x. photo by autumn de wilde.

john doe of x. photo by autumn de wilde.

After nearly 30 years of taking its genre-defining punk, rock and pop to the world, X figured it was time to try something new.

Oh, don’t fret – the veteran West Coast band still possesses the same elemental, accessible charge that fueled such genre-defining albums as 1980’s Los Angeles and 1982’s Under the Big Black Sun. Also, the X that returns to The Dame tonight boasts the full original lineup of vocalist Exene Cervenka, vocalist/bassist John Doe, guitarist Billy Zoom and drummer D.J. Bonebrake.

So what could be new? The band is the same. The music remains blessedly unblemished. There hasn’t even been a new studio album from X since Hey Zeus! in 1993.

Well, the difference this summer is that X is delegating some of its set list responsibilities. In an exercise than many veteran bands have experimented with in recent years, X is letting its fans vote on the songs they want the band to play.

“I’ve heard about other bands taking requests through their websites,” Doe said in a recent phone interview. “They would wind up pulling out all these really obscure songs of their back catalog. We don’t have the time or interest to know all of our songs, so we just added about 15 songs to the set list we normally use and posted it. We take the top 28 songs or so that people vote for and play those.”

So far the five top vote-getters for the Dame show are the title tune to Los Angeles, Johnny Hit and Run Pauline, White Girl, When Our Love Passed Out on the Couch and Sex and Dying in High Society. Not surprisingly, all of those tunes come from X’s first two albums (Los Angeles and 1981’s Wild Gift). And that’s just fine by Doe. In recent years, with members balancing band duties with projects of their own, X has drawn exclusively on music from their first four albums for concerts. Those are the recordings, Doe said, that continue to define the band.

“That’s the music where we made our stamp, where we made our brand. Of all our records, the first four are the most original. Those are the ones where we really developed our style.”

Those records were also documents – postscripts might be a better term – of a vital, fruitful and ultimately brief scene that pervaded art and music in Los Angeles decades ago.

“I think everybody had a sense back then that something important was happening. But everyone was so busy being involved in it to really notice it. It was surprisingly short. I think any scene has a surprisingly short life – like, maybe, three or four years. Even by the end of 1980, it was like ‘Wow, this has really changed.’ But the scene was incredibly vital because of its social and cultural impact. Everybody involved made some sort of contribution to it, even if it was just through their personality.”

Doe said he does have a bit of a final say of the voter selected set lists. For starters, he selects the order in which the picks will be played onstage.

“If we did the songs in the order they were voted on, the setlists would be terrible. But it’s still difficult because sometimes people will choose a bunch of slow stuff. I don’t think that’s really a measure of the age or desire of an audience. It just sort of turns out that way.

“But when you’ve got songs voted on like Burning House of Love (which comes from X’s fifth album, 1985’s Ain’t Love Grand), Blue Spark, Adult Books and White Girl and all these sorts of slower things that I sing, it gets to be like, ‘We’ve got to do all of those in the same set?’ So I’ll only put maybe three of those on at the most. Also, if I see Soul Kitchen (a vintage Doors tune refashioned for Los Angeles that wonderfully reflects X’s early collaborations with Doors keyboardist Ray Manzarek) hasn’t been voted on, I might put it in because, well, I need it.”

Doe also said he and Cervenka have been collaborating on what might become new X music. One of their new tunes, It Just Dawned On Me, made its way onto Country Club, Doe’s new country covers album with The Sadies.

“We’re still good,” Doe said of X. “Over time, you push a lot of your own pettiness aside. You start to realize what’s important and what kind of gift you have. I mean, a lot of the people coming to see us now weren’t even born when X started, so we’re grateful they get to see us.

“I know what that’s like. I wasn’t around when Chuck Berry was in his prime. But I saw him later, in ’72 or ’73. And he just blew my mind.”

X performs at 8 tonight at The Dame, 367 East Main. Steve Soto and the Twisted Hearts will open. Tickets are $20. Call (859) 231-7263.

in performance: the bill frisell trio

the bill frisell trio

the bill frisell trio: drummer kenny wolleson, guitarist bill frisell and bassist tony scherr. photo by jimmy katz.

Guitarist Bill Frisell has mined areas of Americana, pop and vintage jazz so often that their inspirations have become like welcome spirits within his music. They state their presence briefly, celebrate within whatever emotional context that best fits the tune at hand and then evaporate into the ether.

Last night during his immensely satisfying trio performance at the 930 Art Center in Louisville with the New York rhythm section of bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wolleson, Frisell called upon those friendly ghosts again for a 95 minute set of sound collages, looped interludes and purely effortless swing.

There was a touch of Thelonious Monk here, a verse or two of Burt Bacharach there and a glance over the shoulder with a double dose of Hank Williams as an encore. But what fascinated continuously was how all these inspirations lined up within Frisell’s cunning, but very understated guitar work.

For instance, a solitary bass groove, a loose and light drum shuffle and a few brittle guitar shards morphed into the Monk standard Misterioso to start the program. The tune’s temperament suited the trio well with a playful melody that eventually broke down into an equally animated guitar-and-bass dialogue and, at its conclusion, a merry, guitar jangle with a percussive, chime-like charm. Similarly, the ‘60s Bacharach pop hit What the World Needs Now was again in the setlist last night. But this time Frisell used the tune’s hopeful chorus as a prelude to Question #2, an original tune from last year’s sublime History, Mystery album that boasted a darting, lyrical phrase with a modest Eastern accent.

And then there were instances where Frisell’s material and outside inspirations became one. On the set-closing That Was Then (from 1999’s Good Dog, Happy Man, arguably Frisell’s finest recording), the trio teamed for a lively pop shuffle that was colored with a descending guitar melody that sounded like it came straight out of The Pretenders’ Back on the Chain Gang. Wolleson shut his eyes and grooved to the tune’s inviting drive while Scherr’s face grew solemn as he tightened what had previously been a very flexible bass sound into an efficient, pop-friendly underpinning. Frisell simply beamed with a smile that suggested an almost impish sense of pop wonder.

The feel of the performance wasn’t always so summery. Bob Dylan’s Masters of War was played as a dark, fractured blues accented by the chatter of pedal-induced guitar loops and sharp, jagged power chords. But a show-closing medley of two country classics by Williams (Your Cheatin’ Heart and Lovesick Blues) emphasized the tunes’ melodic warmth over their lyrical desolation.

Such music placed Frisell and company back on the lost highway of Americana mystique and improvisational wonder. Long may they reign on that road.

summer album of the week: 06/13/09

lucinda williams: car wheels on a gravel road (released june 1998)

lucinda williams: car wheels on a gravel road (released june 1998)

Tales of life, love and family, how they intertwine and how they crumble – those were the storylines Williams labored over for Car Wheels on a Gravel Road. Cut in multiple versions with multiple producers (among them, Steve Earle and Roy Bittan) in multiple cities over multiple years, the album was a scrapbook of bittersweet stories told with masterful simplicity, from the remembrances of an uprooted childhood in the title tune to the burning romantic desperation of Joy (“You took my joy. I want it back”). This was country music without sentimentality, restless folk with a fortfied twang and rock with a cinematic reach. Car Wheels wasn’t just the greatest summer album of 1998. It was the best of the entire year – and the year after, for that matter. An alt-country masterwork.

hugh hopper, 1945-2009

hugh hopper

hugh hopper

We lost Hugh Hopper last weekend. The acclaimed British bass guitarist and cornerstone Soft Machine member, as well as one of the flagship members of a fertile Canterbury prog-rock scene that began to boom in the late ’60s, died on June 7 after a battle with leukemia.

We wrote of Mr. Hopper’s wonderful music last Decemeber when several of his prog-rock mates teamed for a benefit performance on his behalf. We refer you to that post again today for recommendations on some of the astounding recordings Hopper released during and after his Soft Machine tenure.

Hopper was a musical journeyman in every sense of the term, only his sense of adventure was always countered by exquisite taste. While his “fuzz bass” tone from the psychedelic prog heyday of the Softs may have possessed a Hendrix-like intenity, his latter solo and band albums turned those temperaments inward with playing that was, at times, blissfully melodic and, in other instances, almost elegantly disruptive.

So this weekend, treat yourself by tracking down or downloading a copy of Soft Machine’s groundbreaking Third or the brilliant 2007 quartet sleeper Numero D’Vol. Kick back. Pour a glass of libation. One of Canterbury’s most prolific spirits will take things from there.

the bluegrass dreamer

doyle lawson.

doyle lawson.

The dream came to Doyle Lawson as a child. As it unfolded, he was on a bandstand playing and singing bluegrass. The details weren’t always apparent. But then, they didn’t need to be. The crystal clear intent of his dream compensated.

“I remember when my head would hit the pillow, I would imagine I was onstage with a band, a bluegrass band,” said the veteran singer, mandolinist and, yes, bandleader, who returns to Lexington as one of this weekend’s featured performers at The Festival of the Bluegrass. “Of course, the players I was with were faceless and nameless, but I was in a band. That’s what mattered.”

In a career than has spanned nearly a half-century, Lawson has played with some of the forefathers of bluegrass, including Jimmy Martin and the early lineups of The Country Gentlemen. Since forming the first version of his Quicksilver band in 1978, he defined his music with unwavering gospel inspiration and ensemble harmonies as well as band personnel that have graduated to usher in a succeeding bluegrass generation.

Among the names that passed through the Quicksilver ranks: Jamie Dailey (from current International Bluegrass Music Association Entertainer and Vocal Group of the Year Dailey & Vincent), Steve Gulley (longtime Renfro Valley and Mountain Heart artist, now with Grasstowne), Russell Moore (founding member of IIIrd Tyme Out), Lou Reid (currently of Seldom Scene) and many others.

“I’ve had my own group now for 30 years,” Lawson said. “All the guys that have come through and gone on fill me with a great sense of pride. I know they’re not trying to play my music. But there’s a certain discipline about what they do. There is no mistaking where that came from just as I came out of the Jimmy Martin school and learned from that.

“All of this is good for the music. It’s necessary to keep bluegrass going.”

During the early ‘60s, Lawson went in search of string sounds in Louisville but was surprised by the lack of bluegrass in that corner of the Bluegrass. By 1966, he took a look around Lexington and met another Martin alumnus starting a band called the Kentucky Mountain Boys. At its helm was a banjo playing phenomenon named J.D. Crowe (who will also be featured at the Festival of the Bluegrass). During their collaborative years, Lawson and Crowe discovered the joys of a steady bluegrass gig – namely, a residency at a North Limestone haunt called Martin’s Tavern.

“Up there at 7th and Limestone with J.D. I had more fun playing bluegrass than at any other place or in any other situation.

“In those days, we had to work day jobs and play music as much as we could. Most every bluegrass musician did. But when we played Martin’s, the UK kids would just pack in like sardines. And we played whatever we wanted to play – Flatt and Scruggs and (Bill) Monroe, especially. We didn’t have to worry at that point about being an artist or a stylist in our own right. We were just there doing the music that we loved. There was no pressure

“Later on, when we decided to take the music on the road, we realized we couldn’t go out on the circuit and play Flatt & Scruggs and Monroe songs. They were still out there. J.D. knew you can’t beat a man at his own game. So we began working on our own styles.”

Today, some over 40 years and 14 IBMA awards (half of which were won for Vocal Group of the Year) later, Lawson leads a confident string band sound that continues to evolve.

On his newly released Lonely Street album (his 34th Quicksilver recording), Lawson takes a detour into Western swing on the instrumental Down Around Bear Cove while his band’s familiar vocal harmonies soar on Call Me Up and I’ll Come Callin’ on You, a 1954 single by the late country songsmith Marty Robbins.

“I heard Chet Atkins say one time that he hoped he would never wake up someday and say, ‘Well, I’ve learned everything I can learn about a guitar.’ In the same way, I always want to be doing something new and creative. Mr. Monroe was a testament to that. He always loved his craft. He cared about it. It was a comfort to him.

“That’s my approach to the music, too. I don’t ever want to stop being creative or productive. When that happens, you will see Mr. Lawson getting off the road.”

Doyle Lawson and Quicksilver performs at 3 and 8:30 p.m. Saturday for the Festival of the Bluegrass at the Kentucky Horse Park Campground. Tickets are $35. Call (859) 846-4995. Lawson will also be a guest of the WoodSongs Old-Time Radio Hour at the Kentucky Theatre at 7 p.m. June 22. Tickets are $10. For reservations, call (859) 252-8888.

bonnie, buddy and bill

A 3B Saturday is heading our way. The participants? Why, there’s Buddy Guy in nearby Owenton, the return of Bonnie “Prince” Billy here in Lexington and Bill Frisell just up the interstate in Louisville. And they all hit their respective stages on Saturday night.

Here are the particulars:

buddy guy.

buddy guy.

What do you do when you have already spent the spring touring the country on a double bill with B.B King? Well, for the tireless Buddy Guy, the summer means hitting the road again on your own, just as the Chicago blues giant has done for the better part of his 50 year career.

At 72, Guy still possesses one of the most fearsome blues sounds – as a vocalist as well as a guitarist – on the planet. Last year, he nearly stole the show from The Rolling Stones in Martin Scorsese’s concert documentary film Shine a Light. He made Muddy Waters’ Champagne and Reefer sound so devilish and nasty that Keith Richards almost seemed like an innocent.

Then in the fall came Skin Deep, a Guy album that sported several high profile guests. Among the highlights were duets with pedal steel guitar dynamo Robert Randolph and expertly versed guitar buck Derek Trucks.

Guy returns to the Elk Creek Vineyards on Saturday with 10 year old guitar prodigy Quinn Sullivan, who tore the blues up with Guy on Skin Deep‘s Who’s Gonna Fill Those Shoes.

7 p.m. at Elk Creek Vineyards, 150 Highway 130 in Owenton. $30-$100. (502) 484-0005, (800) 745-3000.

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bonnie "prince" billy

bonnie "prince" billy

In a move that seemed brave and somewhat desperate, Louisvillian Will Oldham – better known to pop followings as Americana journeyman Bonnie “Prince” Billy – dealt with a hopelessly inoperative sound system last November during a Tsuga Art and Music benefit at the Old Tarr Distillery  by laying flat on the stage floor and singing into a monitor microphone. The show must go on, indeed.

We will hope for clearer sailing at Oldham’s return concert this weekend at the Red Mile Round Barn. His current music certainly deserves it. The performance comes on the heels of a new album called Beware. The recording boasts a spirited and unspoiled neo-country atmosphere that sounds like it was designed in 1972.

An even newer digital/vinyl only project titled Among the Gold with Louisville violinist/vocalist Cheyenne Mize (who will be part of Oldham’s band on Saturday) further peels back the years to re-examine  parlor-style songs from the late 19th and early 20th centuries.

New Zealand psychedelic pop stylist Annabel Alpers, who performs as Bachelorette, will open Saturday’s show.

9 p.m. at the Red Mile Round Barn, 1200 Red Mile Rd. $10 advance, $12 at the door. (859) 255-0752.

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bill frisell

bill frisell

As if Buddy and Bonnie weren’t enough for a Saturday night, there is also an intimate Louisville outing by the ever industrious Bill Frisell.

A guitarist often viewed merely as a jazz stylist, Frisell offers  ambient flavored recordings that echo shades of vintage soul, country and even pop. It’s nothing for a Frisell performance to revolve around lengthy soundscapes and looped melodies that employ fragments of songs by Hank Williams, Marvin Gaye, The Beatles and Sam Cooke as sorts of stylistic signposts.

Frisell performed unaccompanied in one of the most inviting listening rooms in the region, Louisville’s 930 Art Center, as recently as 2007. On Saturday, he returns there in a trio format backed the New York rhythm section of bassist Tony Scherr and drummer Kenny Wollesen – the same players that fortify Frisell’s 2008 History Mystery album.

8 p.m. at the 930 Art Center, 930 Mary St. in Louisville. $15 in advance, $18 day of show. (502) 635-2554.

Astronauts Prepare With Weightlifting this web site lower back exercises

AP Online September 11, 2006 CAPE CANAVERAL, Fla. – Before doing their heavy lifting in space, the astronauts on the shuttle Atlantis did lots of heavy lifting back on Earth.

Weight training is essential to help them counter the effects of zero gravity while taking on a herculean construction job – expanding the international space station.

“Most of us have spent a lot of time in the gym, doing weights, to build up the forearm strength, to build up upper body strength,” said astronaut Heidemarie Stefanyshyn-Piper.

She’s one of four astronauts who will take a six-hour spacewalk over the next few days. She and Joe Tanner go on their outing Tuesday when they try to connect a 17 1/2-ton addition to the orbiting outpost.

Training an astronaut for a spacewalk in zero gravity is not all that different from preparing an athlete for competition, said Jamie Chauvin, a trainer at Johnson Space Center who helped the Atlantis crew prepare for the 11-day mission.

But look at it this way: “Just imagine lying in bed for 11 days,” said Chauvin. That’s the best way to describe the effect weightlessness has on the body. Astronauts can experience muscle loss and loss of coordination. see here lower back exercises

Of course, the effects are much worse for the full-time inhabitants of the space station, who live there for six months. Once back home, it can take 45 days of physical rehabilitation for the astronauts and cosmonauts to regain their bone and muscle mass and balance skills. After their mission, the space station crew usually works on rebuilding strength in the spine, pelvis and hips.

To train for the Atlantis mission, the spacewalking astronauts concentrated on building muscle and cardiovascular endurance. Spacewalks can last more than six hours, involve repetitive motions and require astronauts to be attached by foot tethers for long periods of time.

Typically, the astronauts do some cardiovascular work at least four times a week and hit the weight room two or three times a week before their going into space.

The workout routine often starts with stretching and then moves on to at least two leg exercises that emphasize large muscle groups and body stabilization. Astronauts usually do chest, back, shoulder, abdominal and lower back exercises before working on certain muscle groups specific to mission tasks. For spacewalkers, that means hand and shoulder muscles.

“In the spacesuit, it’s hard to open and close your hands due to the pressurization of the suit,” Chauvin said. “Also, good shoulder strength is necessary to do tasks.” Like all Earth-bound mortals, the astronauts have likes and dislikes.

Astronaut Dan Burbank, who will participate in the mission’s second spacewalk on Thursday, loves running – usually logging 40 miles a week – and hates weights.

“I have a weightlifting routine I go through where my goal is to get in and out and finish that just as soon as I can.”

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