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12.13.2013 | | Posted at 02:49 PM
By David Luhrssen
  Taped for a Cinemax broadcast in 1988, “Black & White Night” featured Roy Orbison and an all-star band in what proved to be the singer’s final concert. Reissued now on DVD, “Black & White Night” has endured as one of the great concert documentaries, its moody black and white cinematography matching the lonesome spirit of many of the songs. For most of...
07.05.2013 | | Posted at 12:47 PM
By David Luhrssen
 Solomon Burke was a pioneering soul man when he signed with Atlantic Records in 1960. By the time he played the Montreux Festival 46 years later, he had settled into being a showman. The new concert DVD, Live at Montreux 2006, finds Burke seated on a throne-like chair—a monarch whose court consists of a dozen singers and players. Burke’s considerable girth is robed in a blue three-piece ...
Wednesday, Nov. 21, 2012

The Georgia Bootleg Box (Evil Teen Records)

 Hulking, aggressive, overlong and practically dripping with sun-baked, redneck testosterone, this six-disc, seven-hour package acts as an apt metaphor for the band itself. And what with this Allman Brothers-spinoff
Thursday, Aug. 21, 2008

The Many Modes of Tom Waits

Bob Dylan, Patti Smith and Bruce Springsteen all suffer from genius exhaustion. They are hip nostalgia. Neil Young's superb Greendale went into so many different idioms (album, film, novel, comic book) that our short-attention culture couldn't manage its complexity. It was lost in translation. The Stones, Police and other rock brands are on Viagra tours, artificially getting it up. Weather Report is bringing back fusion that never should have existed and still doesn't if you want to authentically get down with jazz or rock. Tom Waits jumps out in front of all of them by scuttling up from the subterranean nether culture that has permitted him to grow artistically without suffering the kind of fame that can force one to keep going when it is long past . . .
Sunday, June 29, 2008

Tonight @ U.S. Cellular Connection Stage

One of the most enticing curiosities on the Milwaukee music scene, The Scarring Party play old timey, tuba- and accordion-driven jazz; classic American music as re-imagined through the lens of Tom Waits records and haunted carnival rides. Although they’re filtered through a quirky, vintage...
Tuesday, June 24, 2008

Anywhere I Lay My Head (Rhino)

In between getting engaged to Van Wilder and filming a make-out session with Penlope Cruz for the new Woody Allen picture, Scarlett Johansson (Scar-Jo if you’re nasty) decided, “Hey, might as well record a bunch of Tom Waits songs.” So she called on the production skills of TV on the Radio’s Dave Sitek, and the two . . .