Monthly Archives: August 2010

“Juke In The Back” – Matt The Cat’s New Radio Gig

As many fans of the late, lamented XM5 channel will remember, Matt The Cat was one of XM’s greatest talents.  Out on his own for a couple of years now, Matt has been keeping the Friday Night Cat Fight alive through a weekly podcast.  His newest program is called “Juke In The Back,” and is being carried by a growing number of radio stations around the country.  This program features “The Soul Before Rock & Roll,” the rhythm and blues that predated the rock and roll era.  The name comes from the era when the jump blues records would not be available on the jukebox in front of an establishment, but were instead found on the jukebox in the back.  This is another excellent show.  Check the site often for local listings, or stream it via Rock-It Radio.  If you are a radio programmer, consider becoming an affiliate.

How Your Google Account Empowers Android

For the most part, I’ve heard very few complaints about the way Google’s services tie into an Android phone.  Some of the complainers, in fact, don’t even own an Android phone and claim, “Hey, my phone can use Google Maps, and I can get my Gmail.”  Talk about missing the point!  On an iPhone I looked at recently, Google’s “apps” were nothing more than a menu of Google shortcuts to mobile versions of their various sites.  They work, but they don’t integrate.  At any rate, I’ll give you a rough outline of how your Google account ties into the Android phone, and how it makes the platform easier to use overall.

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Pandora, Last.FM and Slacker (Upcoming Shootout)

I’m in the middle of comparing three popular online radio services:   Pandora, Last.FM and Slacker Radio.  All three offer you the choice of picking a favorite artist and “training” your own custom stations.  Given my recent experiences, my success rate varies among the three companies’ offerings.  In their free modes, there are limitations, which I will outline in my coverage of all three.  Look for the full comparison in a few weeks.  In the meantime, I’ll outline each one individually in separate articles, including a how-to guide to get the most out of them.

Stevie Ray Vaughan SACD Reissues

STEVIE RAY VAUGHAN - TEXAS FLOOD (NUMBERED LIMITED EDITION HYBRID SACD)Listed on the Music Direct website are five essential albums by Stevie Ray Vaughan:  the four original albums Texas Flood, Couldn’t Stand The Weather, Soul To Soul and In Step, and also the posthumous collection The Sky Is Crying.  These are being remastered and released on hybrid SACD by Mobile Fidelity Sound Lab.  SACD afficionados remember that the first two original albums were issued on SACD by Columbia, but the reissue program was scrapped thereafter.  The first album, Texas Flood, is slated for an October release, with the remaining four release dates to be determined at a later time.  These are essential for any fan of Stevie Ray’s guitar and vocals, as well as aficionados of guitar blues in general.  The current remastered CDs sound really good, but the Mobile Fidelity releases will take this to an even higher level.

Detroit Jazz Festival Memories

Over the Labor Day weekend, Detroit will once again host their international Jazz Festival.  The lineup this year is impressive, which is surprising due to the economy.  We are planning on visiting the festival for a few hours on Saturday, if the planets align themselves properly and we can be in the area for the weekend.  Highlights include Terrence Blanchard, Yellowjackets, Branford Marsalis, Allen Toussaint, and dozens of others in a three-day festival of jazz.

I do have a few good memories of the festival over the years.  I did have a few missteps, like the time I tried to go see Wynton Marsalis and couldn’t even get near the Hart Plaza stage to see what was happening.  But I did get to be a part of the festival a few times in various capacities.

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