Two Degrees In Bebop

Two Degrees in Bebop is a New York/Chicago-based music blog.
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Atl-ien Brendan O’Brien is one of the most reclusive people in rock n’ roll. You might have never heard his name but you’ve certainly heard projects he has touched. He is a great great producer who has worked with everybody from Bruce Springsteen and Bob Dylan to Incubus and Limp Bizkit. Hear him talk about how he got his start in the biz and how he gets the best out of his bands. 

I didn’t even know what he looked like until I recently came across this interview series and I’m pretty sure this is the only thing you can dig up on him online. 

UPDATE: Wikipedia has O’Brien’s insane discography.  

NOTE: The other parts of the segment can be found in the ‘suggested videos’ at the end. 

Hope the bar is stocked in Honky-tonk heaven. 

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As part of a new series called “One Country One Soul,” we explore the roots of a song through different genres.

The Four Tops:

The year was 1966 and Motown legends The Four Tops recorded and released this Stevie Wonder and Ivy Jo Hunter-penned song. It comes hard with that iconic mid-’60s Motown vibe: a piano, a tambourine, a bass, and a simple drum beat, tied together with one of the tightest vocal harmonies of the era. 

The Band: 

No strangers to a good cover song, The Band caught on to the infectiousness of “Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever” and stuck it on their 1972 album, Rock of Ages. It’s a much looser version than The Four Tops’ with perms-loose wild man Rick Danko leading on vocals and Levon Helm handling the bulk of the backup vocals.

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From here, it looks like Ryan Adam’s hired all of his musical heroes as his new backup his band, what-a-badass. Look at this roster:

Ryan Adams - Vocasl/Guitar
Ethan Johns - Guitar
Don Was - Bass
Jeremy Stacey - Drums
Cindy Cashdollar - Pedal Steel
Benmont Tench - Organ

Below, is a clip of “Ashes and Fire” from Royal Albert Hall in London and here is a link to a dowload of the entire show

Ryan Adams - “Ashes and Fire”

SXSW photo recap courtesy of Sam Birdsong. Thanks for sharing Sam!

Another new series where we select out favorite photos from musical happenings on Instagram and put them in front of your eyes.

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Jonathan Wilson taking a ride with Neil Young, presumably listening to Neil’s latest Pono PureTone digital music player.  

Jim James playing a saxophone this past week during his Sleep No More appearance at the McKittrick Hotel in New York City. 

Tyson from the Two Gallants going for a swim in a sea of Australian fans. 

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As part of a new series called “One Country One Soul,” we explore the roots of a song through different genres.

It was tough to choose out of the dozens of artists who have taken a crack at this Dan Penn and Chips Morgan classic from 1967. But here goes. 

Gram Parsons and The Flying Burrito Brothers: 

The Flying Burrito Brothers might have just recorded their version of the song at the end of a dark street, late on a quiet night with just one single street lamp shining above them. The bleeding harmonies of Gram Parsons and Chris Hillman seem like a perfect fit for this sinful cheating song. 

Aretha Franklin:

 

Even though this version is instrumentally slower and sparse than The Flying Burrito Brothers, Aretha Franklin does not hold back. Hitting and holding high notes with vibrato, Franklin belts out the lyrics in a soul princess way that is all hers. Those fat vocals on top of that thin organ combined with the slow bass and splashy cymbals from her band, Aretha brings out the lonesome and illicit sentiment of the song.

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Fresh, explorartory, weird. Very Beck. And yes we recognize this is a Lincoln advertisement.  

Beck, “Sound and Vision”

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Jim James delivers a tantalizing performance of “A New Life” from his new record Regions of Light and Sounds of God. Watch him build this song up and then send it in to outer space.