Jimi Hendrix & BB King in 1968

One of the pleasures of working from home over the holiday week is that I can to listen to music and explore the depths of an inherited music collection passed on from friends (thanks Alex, thanks Charlie) over the years.

Today I was dipping into the 330+ song Jimi Hendrix section and stumbled across this amazingly soulful version of Bob Dylan’s Like a Rolling Stone by Hendrix at an impromptu concert in NYC. Before you press play, let me set the scene.

It’s a few days after the assassination of MLK in Memphis, Tennessee. The nation is in shock. Jimi, who had been spending his days soaking in the New York blues scene, gets together with BB King who was also in town along with Buddy Guy, Al Kooper, Elvin Bishop and Paul Butterfield to put on a memorial concert that will go down as one of the greatest blues jam sessions ever caught on tape.

The entire performance is worth a listen but it is Jimi’s soulful rendition of Dylan’s requiem for the 60’s that is emotionally hair-raising. The performance  features Al Kooper on organ who came up with the riff that became that song’s signature when it was originally recorded.

When Jimi sings we can’t help but feel what Dylan’s biographer called the song’s “loss of innocence and the harshness of experience.” What a night that must have been.

Italian Foo Fighters Fans Wishes Granted

1,000 Foo Fighters fans gathered in a field in Cesena, Italy to play Learn to Fly to get the band’s attention and to listen to their plea to play a concert in Italy. Maybe you’ve seen the video which was all over the ‘nets. It’s pretty awesome.

The band noticed, later posting Ci vediamo a presto, Cesena…. xxx Davide from their twitter account. Google Translate tells me it says, “See you soon, Cesena”

Today Dave Grohl, the band’s leader posted this video response in Italian.

In awe.

Radiohead streamed live from Coachella

15 Steps

YouTube is streaming live from Coachella this weekend. I don’t normally watch live concerts on my computer but I was working tonight and had this going on my second screen. As it got late, Radiohead came on and I ended up working less and watching more, captivated by the set which featured a series of LED panels that were playing back camera feeds of the band. These panels moved from song to song and changed colors to accent their light show, giving the effect of shards of a mirror descending on the band.

Karma Police

What was also amazing was the fidelity of the feed. Rarely a buffer dropout, almost no pixalation. The shots I’ve posted here were all screenshots taken off my computer.

Paranoid Android

Every now and then I snap out of my assumptions and recall what it used to be like trying to experience good music. The trips to the record store, trying to record something off a radio broadcast, mix tapes, concert scalpers, sneaking up into the hills behind Red Rocks or the Greek Theatre. . . now this stuff just finds you across the web at your desk!

It never ceases to amaze me how far we’ve come.