Showing posts with label funk. Show all posts
Showing posts with label funk. Show all posts

Saturday, August 29, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Shots in the dark


This edition of the Big Show comes at the end of a week that began with seven shots in the back.

Then it saw two protesters shot dead in the middle of the night by a teenage vigilante, then had a hurricane and Nuremberg for Dummies -- because the other mayhem wasn't enough to satisfy fate.
I need a drink, and you need the music. Because the crazy never, ever ends.

Otis! Take us away! (And if you want to know what that's all about, listen to the show.)

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Saturday, August 01, 2020

3 Chords & the Truth: Yet, we persist


This edition of 3 Chords & the Truth starts out by cleaning up -- or fervently hoping we'll have the opportunity to pick up, sweep up, mop up and wash up after this fine mess we've made for ourselves in these Benighted States of America.

This comes after your Mighty Favog was forced into a week away from the turntables and the microphone, because the doctor was afraid he'd contracted COVID-19 despite his paranoia about catching the Trump virus. The test was negative, but because the test ain't the greatest, there was a week confined to the bedroom and away from the studio.

Here's hoping to make up for lost time here on the Big Show.

And despite everything . . . we persist.

Our backs are against the wall. Yet, we persist.


We will persist. And we'll persist to a hell of a soundtrack, right here on this here program.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.



Saturday, November 16, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: It's all we got


Some years back, when LSU football was going through a meh stretch, and the Tigers had lost in agonizing fashion to one hated rival or another, a fellow native Louisianian was in despair.

My wife, trying to be encouraging, said something platitudinous on social media . . . you know, like "The sun will come up in the morning, and this, too, shall pass. So count your blessings, bucko."

Midwesterners. They're so frickin' earnest.

My fellow expat friend was having none of that bullshit.

"You don't understand," she said. "Football. It's all we got."

We Louisianians damn grew up in Trumpworld -- we just didn't know what to call it then. It's not like anyone was going to spend the money or give two shits enough to build a world-class university the Tigers could be proud of.

IT'S NOT LIKE, magically, government would generally work and voters would generally care.

It's not like the K-12 school system wouldn't always rank somewhere around dead last in the country.

It's not like the poor wouldn't always be with us, always be killing one another, always be hopeless and always have Bubba -- who had a union job at the chemical plant and would die of cancer in about 20 years -- blame the poor for their mean estate.

But goddammit, the LSU Tigers always had a shot. Except when they didn't.

It's all we got.

Folks in places like Nebraska don't get that. If the Nebraska Cornhuskers were magically transported to my home state, along with all their fans, in their present losing condition . . . well, "Nebraska" would supplant "Jonestown" in the Grim Reaper's thesaurus.

SO, YOU ASK. What's this have to do with the Big Show, with 3 Chords & the Truth?

Well, Cap, we all live in Trumpworld now. And we're all learning that, no, it's not darkest just before the dawn. It's darkest just before it gets even darker.

It's suckiest just before the president gets all jiggy with his Twitter account and commits witness harassment against one of his own ambassadors who -- at that very moment -- is testifying at his House impeachment hearing. And then things get even worse.

And then you learn to hang on to what you got. For as long as you can.

In the Gret Stet, that's football. And great food. And a rich culture. And a world-class musical tradition.

Being educated, having long lives and a minimally functioning government, with good roads and shit . . . not so much.

Louisiana will always have gumbo, Russia will always have great vodka, Catholics will always have the Sistine Chapel (I think), and America will always have what was the most amazing patrimony on earth -- until it all went to shit.

ME, I'M CLINGING to 3 Chords & the Truth. I look on the program as a flashlight in the darkness, a nod to musical truth, a tribute to what we had . . . and a hope that this present darkness just might be the precursor to dawn after all.

I guess that Pollyanna-ish Midwestern optimistic crap might be starting to rub off on me after 30-something years.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Friday, September 13, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: Still the same . . . or something


I feel like the Big Show is a Bob Seger thing . . . still the same.

Forget that. We actually don't have any Bob Seger on the show this week. We are, however, still the same -- in that we're rarely the same week to week.

Which, conversely, makes 3 Chords & the Truth still the same in programmatic non-sameness. Or something like that.

I am starting to not make sense. Which might make me president of the United States, and no one wants that. Then again, nobody wants the present president of the United States, either.

So I'll merely say that this current edition of the Big Show is the same as every other in its eclecticism and high quality. And your host is what he is.

That is all.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Saturday, May 18, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: A Dacron state of mind


Call me Dacron.

Dacron. Dacron Polyester.

The Big Show this week is in a Dacron state of mind. Very double-knit. Give me some Boone's Farm, and I might get triple-knit to the wind.

That's pretty much where your Mighty Favog -- and 3 Chords & the Truth -- happen to be this week. Stuck in the 1970s. Actually, in retrospect, that's not such an awful place to be.

Especially musically.

HERE'S THE thing: It occurred to me the other day that next week, specifically May 23, marks the 40th anniversary of my graduation from Baton Rouge Magnet High School. And as you'll be able to tell from the show, my mind is still 18.

My body, not so much.

But, damn, the music is so good. Thank you Young Favog.

You're quite welcome, Old Fart Favog.

Now cue the nostalgia . . . along with the usual eclecticism.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.

Friday, May 10, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: An unapologetic blot


The Big Show is an unapologetic blot on the face of mindless musical conformity.

Do now what you will with that. I don't care.

3 Chords & the Truth is all about the music, exquisite taste and creative programming . . . not dumb preconceptions from the Usual Suspects. And boy, howdy, is this edition of the program an example of that.

You betcha, pally.

That is all. My throat hurts, and my typing fingers are sympathizing.

It's . . . well, you know what it is. Be there. Aloha.


Saturday, April 27, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: Is this thing (cough) on?


This edition of 3 Chords & the Truth is brought to you by a 60-something-year-old RCA KN-1A pressure microphone . . . and the croaking, hacking crud.

Trust me, the music on this week's edition of the Big Show sounds better than I do. It ain't even close because, of course, the music on the program always sounds great.

And a host who sounds like he's 85 going on eternity at least should benefit from the vintage "golden age of radio" warmth of a cool, old microphone.

Yes, it all started at a 20-watt FM station in Baton Rouge, La. . . .

I KNOW, I know. Knock it off, Ted Baxter!

And stop the radio-gear geekery while you're at it.

Message heard. Now about the music. . . .

Well, we have a little of everything on this 3 Chords & the Truth, spanning much of the 20th and a little of the 21st centuries. That includes a jazz band of future legends led by a dude playing a comb.

We also get our tie dye on, then jam with the Night Tripper a bit later on the show. And we got 78s. More than our share of 78s.

And that's about it. I need to go hack up a lung now.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Saturday, April 13, 2019

3 Chords & the Truth: Chasing electrons under the covers


If you're asking me what the hell I mean about "chasing electrons under the covers," you're asking the wrong sleep-deprived guy.

You have your electrons, and you have your covers. There you go. There may be chasing involved, though I'm unsure how you find and catch the exact ones you're seeking.

Thus, my friend, is the central mystery of 3 Chords & the Truth, where playing great music means never having to say . . . things that make any damned sense.

We do, however, have a set of mighty fine cover songs on the program this week, which is as close as we come to being comprehensible right now. And I have to tell you, there is nothing -- nothing -- more 1972 than Steve Lawrence covering Bobby Sherman . . . or Cass Elliott if that's how one prefers to roll.

Are we there yet?

Well, we are now.

It's the Big Show, pally. Be there. Aloha.


Saturday, August 25, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: Your refuge from the s***storm


I can't stand it anymore.

I suspect you can't either.

Well, let's you and I turn up the music real loud, grab a beverage or 30, then pretend the whole s***storm out there isn't happening at all. That's the game plan for this edition of Everybody's Favorite Podcast, otherwise known as 3 Chords & the Truth.

(thud)

Sorry, I may have started a little early on the drinkin'.

Good tunes, witty rejoinders, a little fascinating info . . . and drinkin'. That about covers it this go around on the Big Show. Descriptionwise, that's all I . . .

(thud)

. . . got.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there.  Aloha.


Saturday, May 26, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: Bing bong bing-bing bong . . . hold on!



Government by tweet.

Elections brought to you by . . . Russia.

Four words: Conspiracy theorist-in-Chief.

Rampant, resurgent racism and xenophobia. A large part of the American population who'd ask "Zee-no-what???"

And our president was filmed saying "bing bong bing-bing bong" in public. With accompanying gestures.

If you, like we at 3 Chords & the Truth, find this state of affairs to be some weird sh*t . . . you probably have had your patriotism and morality questioned by someone who actually is allowed to vote in this country. Well, friend, this edition of the Big Show has a message for you amid this dumpster fire of a country (and decade): Hold on.

Just hold on.

GRIT YOUR teeth, steel your nerves, take one minute at a time . . . and hold on. You can get through this.

We can get through this. Crazy can't endure forever if the sane hold on -- stubbornly hold on. It's not you who's nuts.

Consider this edition of the program, and the music within, your daily affirmation this week -- I'm OK; you're OK; the rest of the world is cray-cray.

Got it? Good. You're gonna get through this. We're gonna get through this together.


That is all.


It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Saturday, May 19, 2018

3 Chords & the Truth: Whatever gets you through the news


Timeless chic, eh?

Well, throw in a liberal dash of jamming, dancing, groovin' and just plain bizarre flapdoodlery . . . and we may just have a recipe for getting ourselves through the news. Which we accidentally happened to read online and watch on the TV.

It's enough to tempt you to major depression and bedsheet cocoonery.

This week on 3 Chords & the Truth, drastic action was called for. Primarily by me.

After all, one has to look out for Numero Uno first.

AMID THE drastic action on this week's program, there is one unifying theme -- the Big Show will limit itself to a tasteful and satisfying mixture of only four kinds of music. Those tuneful types are as follows:

◼︎ Music on 7 inch.

◼︎ Music on 10 inch.

◼︎ Music on 12 inch.

◼︎ Music on silvery CD thingies.

Sounds timelessly chic to me, Skipper. Sanity preserving, too. I find it helpful, and I'm betting you will also.

If not, I'll see you in the Happy Hotel. Where life, no doubt, is beautiful all the time.

Hell, it's got to be better than the evening news.

IT'S 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Thursday, July 27, 2017

3 Chords & the Truth: Staying on track

It don't come easy         
You know it don't come easy
It don't come easy         
You know it don't come easy
Ringo got it right. Love of music, like peace, is how we make it.

And I think I like how, back in my olden day, music didn't come easy. Well, at least as easily as today.

There's something to be said for stumbling across your musical passions the old-fashioned way -- happenstance, listening to the radio, a friend's record collection . . . something catching your eye at the record store. One in a building, not online.


Much also is to be said for having alien, uncool stuff imposed upon you via real Top-40 radio stations, as well as your parents' iron grip on the television . . . and the living-room console stereo . . . and the car radio, then being shocked, shocked when your youthful prejudice begins to waver.

THERE'S something to be said for having an 8 track instead of an iPod or iPhone to keep you in (CLUNK) tune. There's especially something to be said for music as a loudspeaker-based communal experience instead of an earbud-based solitary one.

What does any of this rumination have to do with this week's 3 Chords & the Truth? Beats me. I guess this -- the Not Easy way -- is where the show comes from.

We worked for it. And we're passionate about the music.


Modern times. Alas. . . .
THE BIG SHOW is music as a social exercise. And your Mighty Favog hopes you're playing it loudly on your stereo . . . sound system . . . whatever you call it today . . . and that your windows are open.

After all, it's so good it'd be a crime to keep it all to yourself.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Saturday, July 01, 2017

3 Chords & the Truth: The spirit of '76


There's no percentage in the present, so let's try the past.

Does 1976 sound good? Sounds good to me -- '76 was a very good year to be young and in love with music.

So it's settled . . . and the spirit of '76 it is! And it's all goin' down on the Big Show.

Now fasten your seat belt for a journey to the center of the Seventies. Stay tuned for complimentary 8-track tapes and some really cool tunes.

Right on, man!

Next stop: Recaptured youth and another crack at high school.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Friday, November 20, 2015

3 Chords & the Truth: Le fleuve de la vie


This edition of 3 Chords & the Truth is rather like life, which flows like a river. It goes where it will, swelling and ebbing, its current carrying us on its journey toward destiny.

Today, the music ebbs and flows. It goes where it will, and we're just along for the ride.

Just like every time, the Big Show is a trip worth taking. The mighty flood of good music breaks through every barrier, and it goes where we do not anticipate it going. We listen in wonder.

Just listen.

ALSO this week, we stand in the shadow of Paris, pushing back against the darkness of hatred and violence. We fight terror with joy.

Aujourd'hui, nous sommes tous français. Nous prions pour la paix de Paris.

The river of life -- le fleuve de la vie -- she sometimes carries us into darkness. She will carry us back into the light soon enough. We must have faith in the journey. . . .

And in the music. Musique joyeuse.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Saturday, November 14, 2015

3 Chords & the Truth: For Allen, with love


There isn't much to say about this week's edition of 3 Chords & the Truth.

There is much to hear during the course of this week's edition of the Big Show.

This episode of the program is dedicated to the blessed memory -- and to the divine music -- of Allen Toussaint, the soul of New Orleans and its gift to American popular song. Toussaint died this week at 77, and he brought joy to music lovers to the very end.

Every bit of this 3 Chords & the Truth will be devoted to the music this genius wrote, performed and produced. Listening to what this giant of music blessed our culture with over six decades is to realize how impoverished we all would be had Allen Toussaint never lived.

WE LIVE in a hard world, and we rely on God's tender mercies to bring us strength, solace and -- yes -- joy amid our travails and sorrows. Allen Toussaint and his music was the tenderest of God's mercies.

May God rest his soul, and may his memory, and music, be eternal.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.


Tuesday, November 10, 2015

It's raining

It's raining so hard 
Brings back memories 
Of the times 
When you were 
Here with me 
Counting every drop 
About to blow my top 
I wish this rain 
Would hurry up
And stop


In American pop culture, you could look at several moments -- several grief-stricken moments -- and think they were "the day the music died."

This is one of them.  Allen Toussaint --  the legendary New Orleans pianist, songwriter, singer , producer and recording artist -- died early this morning in Spain at 77. He was on tour, and an apparent heart attack felled him.

It's raining. And it brings back memories. Wonderful musical treasures from the times of our lives -- precious gifts for which we'll never be able to reciprocate, for which we'll never be able to properly thank  the great man.

It's raining so hard.


IN POPULAR CULTURE, you cannot have avoided the work of the man. From his recording debut in the 1950s as "Tousan" to his exit from the vale of tears (and, when listening to an Allen Toussaint song, tears of joy), his work has surrounded us all. There are songs you know and love that you didn't know were his compositions. There are songs that I've known and loved that I didn't know were Toussaint compositions.

Well, with all the posthumous plaudits and retrospectives, we're going to find out now.
Allen Toussaint, the gentlemanly Rock ‘n’ Roll Hall of Fame songwriter, producer, pianist and singer whose prolific, decades-long career cast him as the renaissance man of New Orleans music, of an apparent heart attack following a concert Monday night in Madrid, Spain. He was 77.

As a young man, Toussaint was the golden boy of the golden age of New Orleans rhythm & blues, writing and producing signature songs for multiple artists. His hundreds of credits include Ernie K-Doe’s “Mother-in-Law” and “A Certain Girl,” Irma Thomas’ “It’s Raining” and “Ruler of My Heart,” Benny Spellman’s “Lipstick Traces” and “Fortune Teller,” Art Neville’s “All These Things,” Lee Dorsey’s “Ride Your Pony,” and Chris Kenner’s “I Like It Like That,” as well as seminal recordings by Aaron Neviile, the Meters and Dr. John.

Acts that covered his compositions include the Rolling Stones, the Who, Bonnie Raitt, Boz Scaggs and Phish, among many others. In the years since his acclaimed post-Hurricane Katrina collaboration with fellow songwriter Elvis Costello, Toussaint enjoyed a late-career renaissance as a touring artist.

“He was an irreplaceable treasure of New Orleans, in the ‘immortal’ category with Jelly Roll Morton, Mahalia Jackson, Louis Armstrong, Fats Domino and Professor Longhair,” said Quint Davis, the producer/director of the New Orleans Jazz & Heritage Festival. “He was a one-man Motown. He created an entire era of New Orleans rhythm and blues.”
(snip)
In his songwriting and conversations, Toussaint could craft a turn of phrase with an elegance and economy that rendered it indelible. He once said that he “tries to remain as open as I can for inspiration all the time,” but preferred late-night composing. “I especially like the wee hours of the morning, like three. It’s quiet. The air is different. I like that time of night for anything.”

He was a familiar sight at functions and benefits around town, and a co-founder of the charitable New Orleans Artists Against Hunger and Homelessness. He had been slated to join Paul Simon at a high-dollar benefit concert for the organization on Dec. 8 at Le Petit Theatre du Vieux Carre.

“Allen was never not at the height of something,” Davis said. “Everything he did was at such a high level his whole career.”

Toussaint was born in 1938. He grew up in the Gert Town neighborhood as the youngest of three children. He taught himself to play on the family’s upright piano, influenced heavily by the syncopated style of New Orleans legend Professor Longhair, and Ray Charles, whom he heard on the radio. Barely 13, he joined a rhythm and blues band called the Flamingos, which featured Snooks Eaglin on guitar.

He dropped out of high school to pursue a career in music. He became a fixture around local recording studios, where he was sometimes asked to mimic the style of Fats Domino and other pianists. He learned much about the art of crafting a song from Dave Bartholomew, Domino’s producer and co-writer.

His first recording under his own name was an instrumental album called “The Wild Sound of New Orleans,” released in 1958 by RCA Records. He was billed as “Tousan,” reportedly because the record label didn’t think consumers outside New Orleans could pronounce “Toussaint.”

Under the auspices of the Minit and Instant record labels, he soon discovered his true calling: as a songwriter, arranger, producer and accompanist for other artists. At the home he shared with his parents, Naomi and Clarence, and siblings Vincent and Joyce, he often hosted rehearsal and writing sessions that resulted in a remarkable run of regional and national hits. Irma Thomas once recalled that “It’s Raining” was “written in Allen Toussaint’s bathroom.”

Not even a two-year hitch in the Army — which began in 1963 — could stem his creativity. Backed by an Army band, he wrote and recorded a breezy instrumental called “Whipped Cream.” Trumpeter Herb Alpert & the Tijuana Brass turned “Whipped Cream” into a massive hit; their recording also served as the theme music for TV’s “The Dating Game.”

ALLEN TOUSSAINT was a giant of music and a prince of a man. To lose that presence is to find that words are inadequate to convey the loss.

Rather than blather on, maybe it's just time to allow a small fraction of his masterpieces to express what the mere words of a Louisiana-born blogger and radio guy cannot.

Rest in peace, sir. And thank you. Thank you so much.




Tuesday, August 20, 2013

Nerve, defined


The headline on NPR's Planet Money blog sums it up so well, it leaves one with little else to say:
Robin Thicke's Song Sounds Like Marvin Gaye. So He's Suing Gaye's Family.
WELL, that about covers it. All I have to add is Robin Thicke's actions here pretty much define "nerve."

In this new age of the barbarian, the future belongs to the plunderer.

Saturday, April 20, 2013

3 Chords & the Truth: Do you remember?

Somewhere in America today, there is a little girl blue.

You see, when someone asked her "Do you remember rock 'n' roll radio?" she realized that, no, she did not. Truth be told, she barely remembered radio at all.


Her parents, engrossed in the latest episode of 3 Chords & the Truth -- a most excellent podcast, by the way -- said that rock 'n' roll radio hadn't mattered, hadn't really mattered, since the end . . . the end of the century. Maybe the end . . . the end of the '70s.

For some reason, this left the child on needles and pins. She knew that her parents, despite their advanced age, were barely old enough to remember this thing -- was it on television?-- called Hullabaloo.

Upbeat, Shindig and Ed Sullivan, too.

But they remember rock 'n' roll radio.

YES, they remember rock 'n' roll radio. Country, jazz and easy-listening radio, too. Were they anything like that Hullabaloo? Wow. Rock 'n' roll radio. It must have shone brighter than the California sun.

The folks told her radio was a lot like 3 Chords & the Truth is today. In other words, a really Big Show, only back at the end of the century. Back at the end -- the end of the '70s.

But then the country took a swing to the right, and Mom and Dad said it was like everybody just put their teeth up on the windowsill after moving into a one-room country shack. And not even Mr. President has pity on the working man -- unemployed DJs, for instance.

It's all in the game, apparently.


Everybody wants you to pay them their money down. This has caused many to have almost lost their mind in the still of the night. After hearing her parents bare a piece of their hearts, the little girl blue wished she could bring Murray the K and Alan Freed to show and tell.

But she learned the two great DJs were not on Broadway, but instead were long cold, cold, cold in the ground. I don't know about you, but I go to pieces just thinking about it. Mercy, mercy.

THEN the little girl blue thought that, perhaps, she could bring the Big Show to show and tell. That's as close to rock 'n' roll radio you can get now, the folks say. And it makes them feel so young! They dream of lying in bed, with their covers pulled up over their head. Radio playin' so no one could see.

Yes, she thought, we need change, we need it fast. Before rock's just part of the past.

Yes, she thought, she will bring 3 Chords & the Truth to show and tell. She'll rock it like it's the end, the end of the century. Like it's the end, the end of the '70s.

Mom and Dad, she realized, are pretty smart. So's the Big Show.

It's 3 Chords & the Truth, y'all. Be there. Aloha.