Bill Hicks: Angry Young Man of Stand-Up Comedy

Born in Georgia in 1961, Bill Hicks worked his way around the U.S. stand-up comedy circuit in the late 70s and throughout the 80s after first beginning his career at the Comedy Workshop in Houston, Texas, at the age of 17, when he was still a high-school student by day. By the early 90s, he had hit the big time.

Mostly known for his particular brand of anti-war, pro-smoking, corporate-bashing stand-up — Hicks was, and remains, the “angry young man” of stand-up comedy. Perhaps best remembered for his attitude to smoking – Hicks revelled in being a chain smoker and baiting the “prissy non-smokers” who urged him to quit.

But his career, and life, were cut short; he died from pancreatic cancer on 26 February 1994, at the age of 32.

Talking Heads @ CBGB’s at Wolfgang’s Vault

This appearance at New York’s seminal punk club, CBGBs, on May 31st, 1977 captures the Talking Heads before their debut record had even been released. The band’s characteristic sound is already fully evident as they dig into some classic material including their artsy interpretation of Al Green’s “Take Me to the River” and the career-defining “Psycho Killer.”

Concert Set List:

* 1. Don’t Worry About The Government 3:08
* 2. Take Me To The River 5:37
* 3. Uh Oh, Love Comes To Town 3:02
* 4. Psycho Killer 5:18

The Talking Heads are:

David Byrne – vocals, guitar
Chris Frantz – drums
Jerry Harrison – guitar, keyboards
Tina Weymouth – bass

Click here to listen to the concert.

Bo Diddley — Dead at 79

The musical pioneer whose songs, such as “Who Do You Love?” and “Bo Diddley,” melded rhythm and blues and rock ‘n’ roll through a distinctive thumping beat, has died. The cause was heart failure, his family said. I don’t think there is anyone who hasn’t cranked up either of the songs on this video, “Hey, Bo Diddley” and “Bo Diddley”.

Lindsey Buckingham – Under the Skin

Continuing on with the theme of great, underrated guitarists is this video of Lindsey Buckingham performing “Shut Us Down” from his 2006 solo album, Under the Skin. This album features Buckingham on almost all instruments, with the exception of two tracks that feature John McVie and Mick Fleetwood from Fleetwood Mac. Unlike many rock guitarists, Buckingham does not use a plectrum, or a pick. Instead, he uses his fingers and fingernails, which is showcased in this video. Another solo album is expected sometime in 2008. A CD/DVD combo of his Fort Worth concert in January 2007, entitled Live at the Bass Performance Hall, was released on March 25 2008.

The Frank and Mikey Show

I was recently arranging and updating my personal MySpace profile page when I came across these two video gems: Frank Zappa’s “Watermelon in Easter Hay” live with Mike Keneally and the rest of the 1988 band, and The Mike Keneally Band live performing “My Dilemma”.

Frank Zappa: Watermelon In Easter Hay

Mike Keneally