critic's pick 124

Reissues come and go. For rock ‘n’ roll acts past the age of 20, it’s an inevitable part of keeping albums in print. Exile on Main St., the zenith of a four year drive of diabolically great Rolling Stones music that began in 1968 with Beggar’s Banquet, doesn’t exactly work that way. A bonafide gem revered far more now than it was upon release in 1972, it remains a boozy, bluesy, brassy epic – a double album of the Stones as true demons of the rock art form.

Now, 38 years and one week after its initial release, Exile lives again. Granted, it has been reissued several times over the decades as the Stones jumped record labels (from Columbia, which issued it with a disgusting tin can sound, to higher quality mixes on Virgin and, now, Universal). This week, it comes to us in multiple new editions, including a box set full of books, DVDs and a price tag of $150.

What we will examine here is the more modest two-disc “deluxe edition” which sells for about $26. The first disc is the remastered Exile, 18 songs of bawdy rock ‘n’ roll with Mick Jagger singing with ragged fervency under layers of wicked soul-drenched horns (as on the party finale to Loving Cup), equally nasty guitar tradeoffs between Keith Richards and Mick Taylor (on the Slim Harpo blues variation Casino Boogie) and the full force support of the Stones’ major ace-in-the-hole, Nicky Hopkins, the late session pianist who arguably never sounded better than he did on Exile.

The second disc is the real tease – 10 unreleased tunes from the Exile sessions with some modest modern cosmetics to make them complete. Of the lot, only the sweaty, horn soaked regret of Plundered My Soul approaches the abandon of the original Exile. But the rest still makes for an immensely engaging listen, from the gospel-esque Following the River (which better approximates the Black and Blue-era Stones) to the street wise funk of Passing the Wine (Sophia Loren) and a more somber take on the Exile closer Soul Survivor sung by Richards that enhances all the more one of the Stones’ all-time great guitar riffs.

Again, these tracks don’t so much augment the original Exile as compliment it. They amount to postcards from another time, a hint of the sloppy greatness that percolated in the loose, dangerous grooves of Exile.

For those yearning for the Stones at their best, you can hardly match the devilish charm of the original Exile. For those now hungry for more after championing this classic for nearly four decades, now you have it. In spades.

Steelheads get letter of credit, shot at new life

Post-Tribune (IN) June 22, 2005 | Andy Grimm, Post-Tribune staff writer THIS ELECTRONIC VERSION MAY DIFFER SLIGHTLY FROM PRINTED VERSION Gary City Council members Roy Pratt (left) and Ronier Scott listen to public discussion during their meeting Tuesday at Gary City Hall.(PHOTO – Color) (JEFFREY D. NICHOLLS/POST-TRIBUNE) Harris(PHOTO) White(PHOTO) Prince(PHOTO) Hughes(PHOTO) The Steelheads won’t go belly up yet. City Council members on Tuesday night passed an emergency resolution to guarantee a $100,000 letter of credit for the struggling pro basketball franchise. letter of credit

Council members suspended rules to pass the measure by a 7-2 vote and meet a final deadline imposed by the Continental Basketball Association.

“It really is time to put up or shut up,” said Roy Pratt, at-large councilman. “You’re either for the Steelheads or you want to see them move out (to the suburbs).” Jewell Harris earlier said he would have to fold the team after losing millions during the past five seasons.

CBA officials on Monday formally dropped the Steelheads from the league roster. But the team can be restored to good standing on a majority vote of the other team owners, commissioner Gary Hunter said.

On Monday afternoon, Hunter said he expected no trouble rallying support for the Steelheads.

“I expect it to be a unanimous vote,” he said. “We very much want the Steelheads.” Financial struggles are not uncommon among teams in the minor-league hoops circuit, which feeds its top players into the NBA and overseas leagues. Hunter said only two teams are profitable, and the Steelheads and two other franchises lost money last season.

After the season ended, Harris laid off his front office staff and tried to lure in other financial backers.

Harris in May turned to Mayor Scott King, his political adversary, asking the city to back the line of credit and boost the $150,000 the city pays to market the team’s 24 home games at the city-owned Genesis Center.

“You might as well board up the Genesis Center,” said City Councilman Robert White, D-2nd. “That’s all it’s good for if the Steelheads leave.” The team missed two league-imposed deadlines as King and Harris negotiated on terms of a line of credit. The Steelheads will have to pay back any money drawn on the line of credit within 30 days.

There was more than a touch of drama during the month-long negotiations. Harris was once one of King’s closest political allies, but the two have feuded since a split in 2004.

King said the city moved as quickly as possible, though the team’s status with the league reached it’s lowest point last week after the mayor’s staff failed to submit the resolution to the city clerk. see here letter of credit

Harris remained cautious Tuesday night, noting that league officials have said reinstatement proceedings couldn’t start until they have the letter of credit in hand.

“This is a major step in getting the letter of credit ,” Harris said. “It is over when the CBA gets the letter of credit in their hand.” City Councilman Jerome Prince, D-5th, and council President Chuck Hughes, D-at large, were the only dissenting votes.

“From a fiscal and logical standpoint, if $100,000 is the difference between success and failure, (Harris) is in trouble all ready,” Prince said.

Andy Grimm, Post-Tribune staff writer

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