the black rose, the screaming eagle of soul

Charles Bradley & His Extraordinaires brought soul, funk, and sequins to the High Noon Saloon on December 4, 2013. The victim of love himself shouted and shimmied his way through two sets and an encore, often proclaiming his love for the crowd and even stepping offstage to hug his fans. Click on any photo below to see more shots from the night, or follow this link.

focus your audio: name

In M|H’s weekend feature, focus your audio, I’ll be looking at some of my favorite songs. Some I haven’t listened to in years, some I keep in regular rotation, but all having in some way informed my life, my taste, and and how I view music.

Goo Goo Dolls – Name

I learned about the Goo Goo Dolls from a sticker on my new classmate Luke’s binder at the beginning of sixth grade. Our last names were close in the alphabet, so we were seated next to each other in nearly every class. Aside from the number 69 doodled all over it, the binder’s most defining feature was a blue oval sticker that just said GOO. I asked him about it, and he told me it was a cool band he heard over the summer called the Goo Goo Dolls. A few weeks later “Name” was released on the radio and everyone knew who they were.

The song is totally 90s (and the video painfully more so), but I still love it. If I’m scanning through the radio and I hear it, I’ll stop. I think it’s the solo and its weirdo tuning – there’s really nothing else that sounds like it. Despite being all over the radio in the late 90s with their material from Dizzy Up the Girl, “Name” is the only song I hear still getting played now – I couldn’t tell you the last time I heard “Iris“, their biggest hit and arguably one of the most popular songs of the 90s.

I saw the Goo Goo Dolls live in the early 2000s, opening for Bon Jovi. Despite being a fan of theirs during the Dizzy Up the Girl era, I expected their set to be eye-rollingly awful but remember being pleasantly surprised and actually having a good time. It didn’t inspire me to get back into their music, but I will vouch that they’re solid performers. Even when you outgrow a band, there’s usually a song or two that sticks. For me it’s “Name”.

please please me oh yeah

Fifty years ago The Beatles released their debut album and the world of rock and roll was forever changed. To mark the occasion, we thought we’d share our favorite songs from the record.

Please Please Me

The harmonies. The edge to John’s “come on”s. The perfect balance of rock and pop.
Check out this live video to see some of the charisma our favorite foursome exuded at the height of their fame.

Love Me Do

A little bit bluesier and subdued with a not-so-subtle nod to the Everly Brothers.

Twist and Shout

Yes, it’s a cover, but goddamn if it’s not one of the best. We all wait for that “woo!” and we’ve all pretended to be Ferris Bueller at some point. The raw quality of John’s vocals abutting the sweetness of Paul and George’s backup efforts is incredible.

Baby It’s You

I almost didn’t include this as it’s another cover, but it’d be a lie to leave it out. There’s something so sad about it that I can’t help but love it. Damn you, Burt Bacharach!

I Saw Her Standing There

What a way to open a record. This is one of my favorites not just on Please Please Me, but of The Beatles’ entire catalog. If you can sit still through this song, I’m concerned that you’re not actually hearing it.

If you’ve got half an hour, go ahead and listen to the whole album: