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Another reminder of how much PBS’ “Austin City Limits” has changed its tone since Bob Mould himself called Austin home in the mid-‘90s, the former Hüsker Dü co-leader is featured in this week’s episode of America’s longest-running TV music series. The show will air locally on TPT 2 at midnight Sunday (as in right after “Saturday Night Live”), and again on TPT Life at 10 p.m. Sunday.
The producers for the show -- which was an exclusively all-twang affair up until the ‘00s -- coolly paired the ex-Minneapolitan with Southern Cali rockers the Delta Spirit to fill out the second half of this week’s show, making one excellent episode based on two of last year’s best concerts locally. For the TV cameras, Mould and his feisty bandmates Jason Narducy and Jon Wurster whittled down the set they played on tour last year, with some of Sugar’s “Copper Blue” and one song from the new “Silver Age” album rounded out by three Hüskers songs (you can see the set list here; or better yet, wait for the show).
The “ACL” episode is one of three new ways to see Mould on the small-screen. Ahead of his Feb. 28 “Late Night” appearance, Jimmy Fallon’s website just premiered the surprisingly comedic video for “Star Machine” (from “Silver Age”). Was Wurster a “Second City” cast member before he played in Superchunk, or what?
Meanwhile, the concert film from the all-star tribute to Mould at the Walt Disney Concert Hall in November 2011 -- titled "See a Little Light: A Celebration of the Music and Legacy of Bob Mould" -- is now available as a $10 stream/download. A DVD version of the movie was also funded through a recent Kickstarter campaign. The show featured Dave Grohl, Craig Finn and Tad Kubler (the Hold Steady), Britt Daniel (Spoon), Ryan Adams, No Age and Grant-Lee Phillips playing his songs, along with Bob himself. You can hear snippets of the songs for free here.
Oddly enough, there happens to be some Hüsker Dü news to report, too: Chicago reissue label Numero Music is prepping a new limited-edition of the band's first single, "Amusement" b/w "Statues" to be released for Record Store Day (April 20). The 7-inch set will also include "Writer's Cramp" and "Let's Go Die," two other tracks from the same Blackberry Way studio session as "Statues." The remastered version of "Statues" is newly posted online. These tracks have gone out to collectors in various forms over the years, but there's excitement for the single nonetheless. Perhaps it's the first baby step in a long-overdue and highly justifiable retread treatment of the band's catalog, which Mould hinted at in our interview with him last year.
It looks as if this might be José James’s year. Or at least it’s looking to be a good day for the Minneapolis-reared jazz/R&B singer, whose new album debuted today at NPR Music’s “First Listen” site -- a hip and prestigious outlet for streaming records ahead of their release -- and who is slated to perform tonight on “The Late Show With David Letterman.” This will actually be James’ second national TV performance in a month, too, as he also performed on “Conan” in December (see below).
All the attention on James is over his fourth record, “No Beginning No End,” which arrives Jan. 22 via Blue Note Records. NPR’s write-up on the album says it “splits the difference between Bill Withers and D'Angelo.” Among the participants in the sessions were co-producer Pino Palladino, who replaced John Entwistle as the Who’s bassist, as well as fellow cutting-edge jazzists such as Robert Glasper and Kris Bowers. The album’s innovative sound might come as a surprise to fans who only heard James’ last record, “For All We Know,” a more traditional jazz collaboration on Verve Records with Belgian pianist Jef Neve. But the smooth-baritone singer also worked with the likes of the Roots, Basement Jaxx and various electronic DJs in prior projects. His first big break was winning a 2006 jazz competition in London, and he proceeded to live there for several years. He has since relocated to Brooklyn.
James, 33, grew up in south Minneapolis with a Panamanian musician dad -- José James Sr. -- who played horns with Willie & the Bees and Ipso Facto, and with the daring jazz guru Carei Thomas as one of his main mentors. The younger James has played the Dakota many times, but his next hometown gig is instead at the Cedar Cultural Center on Jan. 29.
Chris Kluwe takes on Stephen Colbert
It was supposed to be Jimmy Kimmel's big night - and in many ways it was. The shift to an earlier time slot for "Jimmy Kimmel Live" helped guide it to victory Tuesday over "The Tonight Show With Jay Leno" and "The Late Show with David Letterman."
But those looking for Minnesota connections would have been better off tuning to Comedy Central.
On "The Daily Show," a hoarse Jon Stewart went after those who are not insisting we take a serious look at gun control, including fomer Minnesota Gov. Jesse Ventura who was quoted from a September 2012 roundtable discussion, arguing that taking guns away from owners because some people misuse them is the equivalent of taking cars away from Americans because some people are responsible for drunk driving. Stewart's response-- that Ventura was missing the fact that car use is regulated - got one of the biggest cheers of the evening,
You can see Stewart's rant here: http://www.thedailyshow.com/watch/tue-january-8-2013/scapegoat-hunter---gun-control
A much more hospitable reception was awaiting Minnesota punter Chris Kluwe who guested on "The Colbert Report." Kluwe was there to talk about his support of both gun control and gay rights, but Colbert couldn't resist getting in a dig about his team's loss to the Green Bay Packers.
"You got your lutefisk handed ot you," Colbert said.
Kluwe was relaxed - maybe too much so, sporting a stocking cap, t-shirt, blue jeans and sandals. Sandals?
You can see the entire interview here: http://www.colbertnation.com/the-colbert-report-videos/422719/january-08-2013/chris-kluwe
What nerves? Those young indie wunderkinds in Minneapolis’ little-band-that-could, Now, Now, made their network TV debut last night on “Late Night Jimmy Fallon,” and as you can see in the clip below they looked as cool-beans about it as they would at an Entry gig. Dig the great smiles that break out between Cacie Dalager and Jess Abbott at the start of the performance.
The song, “Thread,” is the almost-title-track off their sophomore album, “Threads,” which came out in March on Death Cab for Cutie guitarist Chris Walla’s boutique label Trans. Dalager, Abbott and drummer Bradley Hale have pretty much been on the road since then, including dates with “We Are Young” hitmakers fun. over the summer. This Fallon performance -- which came after a sure ratings-getter first guest, Kristin Stewart -- is a nice little pay-off to their hard work, although Poliça drummer Drew Christopherson says that the show’s music booker gushed about Now, Now fan way back in April when Poliça played the show.
Now, Now also performed a second song on the Fallon set, “Prehistoric,” which you can see exclusively on the show’s website. While you’re there, you may want to check out the amusing performance by RNDM, the band with Joseph Arthur and Pearl Jam’s Jeff Ament, which debuts locally at First Ave next Thursday.
Now, Now will be back in town on Nov. 18 for a sold-out show with current tourmates Motion City Soundtrack at the Varsity Theater.
Prince put on his banana-yellow pants, round sunglasses and psychedelic top with fringed sleeves for “Jimmy Kimmel Live” on Tuesday. The occasion was to perform his new single, “Rock ‘n’ Roll Love Affair,” with his revamped band, including a guest drummer and his large horn section.
Befitting his outfit, the song had an old-school vibe, with a little piano boogie and a blues-rock guitar solo by Prince himself.
For this number, Chicago jazz drummer Hannah Ford was at the drum kit and the large horn section (which included Maceo Parker) was split in half, with each situated on opposite sides of the stage.
After “Rock ‘n’ Roll Love Affair,” John Blackwell took over his usual spot on drums and Prince played “Dance Electric” as the show faded out.
According to reliable, on-the-scene blogger Dr. Funkenberry, the crowd at the outdoor stage (outside the TV studio) chanted for more from Prince and he accommodated with “Take Me with U” (with his latest protege Andy Allo on lead vocals), “Raspberry Beret,” “Cream” (featuring a Maceo Parker sax solo) and an extended version of “Cool.”
Prince did not do an interview with Kimmel. But the comic’s other two guests, actor Jerry O’Connell and comedian Russell Peters, told stories about meeting Prince – O’Connell as an NYU college student at the Limelight club in New York and Peters at a post-NAACP Image Awards party at Prince’s place in, of course, Bel Air.
After "Kimmel," Prince and his band were scheduled to perform at Los Angeles' Sayers Club, which holds maybe 250 people.
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