For the longest time, we've all thought Ringo Starr was quite possibly the luckiest guy in all of rock and roll. (That is until we all tried playing drums on Beatles Rock Band.) Since the end of the Beatles back in '72, Starr's been content to put out the occasional album and even had a few hits ("Photograph" anybody?) but now with the resurgence of his old band through the 13 remastered albums and a certain video game, the famed drummer is striking while the irons are still hot with a new album.
Released this week, Y Not might be as close to a Beatles reunion as we're going to get right now, with Paul McCartney singing backup on "Walk With You," (written with Van Dyke Parks) and playing bass on another track ("Peace Dream"). The album also features guest appearances from Ben Harper and Joss Stone along with some other famous(ly forgotten) friends like Joe Walsh (Eagles), Dave Stewart (Eurthymics), Edgar Winter, Richard Marx and Gary "Dreamweaver" Wright. Ringo plays several times this week to promote the album, most notably on The Late Show with Jimmy Fallon on Tuesday and The Daily Show with Jon Stewart on Wednesday (with Ben Harper's band backing him).
Meanwhile, when UK's Supergrass had to deal with a long layoff due to a back injury to bassist Mick Quinn, the remaining members (singer/guitarist Gaz Coombes and drummer Danny Goffey) decided to play some gigs as a duo, and thus Hot Rats was born. Their debut release Turn Ons (out this week), is an inspired collection of covers, in the spirit of David Bowie's classic album of covers, Pin Ups (1973). Some of Supergrass' obvious influences are represented here, like The Kinks ("Big Sky"), Bowie ("Queen Bitch") and Squeeze ("Up the Junction"), but also contains some surprises like Beastie Boys' "(You Gotta) Fight For Your Right to Party."
Hot Rats will playing (likely "Damaged Goods" from Gang of Four) on Letterman Wednesday night and Fallon on Friday.
Finally, our featured performer from last week's calendar, Vampire Weekend, is on pretty much every night this week, to promote the release of their sophomore album Contra. FUEL TV's The Daily Habit has VP as their house band for the week, while the band also plays The Tonight Show (aka, The Some Time Show with Some White Guy) on Monday night. The band also taped a performance for MTV Unplugged back in July that will be aired this Saturday night on MTV2, but you can also see most of it streamed online at Unplugged's home. At the time of the taping, the band was still in the studio putting the finishing touches on Contra, and tried out a couple of the songs on the audience, including this rousing rendition of "Cousins.":
Playlist: Picks for the week
Monday, January 11
Tuesday, January 12
Wednesday, January 13
Thursday, January 14
Friday, January 15
Saturday, January 16
curator of the music/soundtrack blog thus spake drake