4th of July Weekend Music Festival*

(*Update 3/12/07:  Some of these videos are no longer available.  The IP police have snatched away all but the last two from YouTube.) 

For your singing and dancing pleasure over the next five days. No lip-syncing — all of this is live!

I’ll be back Wednesday. If you leave a comment while I’m gone, I won’t be able to post it til I get back, but I will post it then. (Unless you’re a spammer!) Have a blast. Be safe.

Neko Case: Hold On, Hold On (from the Tonight Show, 2006)

Frank Sinatra and Antonio Carlos Jobim: Medley (from a 1967 TV special, “A Man and His Music”)

Steely Dan: Reeling in the Years (early 1970s, not 1978 as the screen graphic says)

Little Feat: Fat Man in the Bathtub (1975)

Al Green with an All-Star cast: Let’s Stay Together (From “The Green Room.” Includes Macy Gray, Mary J. Blige, Bonnie Raitt, Michael McDonald, Hall & Oates, Joss Stone, Darius Rucker and others)

Aretha Franklin: Respect (1967)

The Beach Boys: Wendy (from the Ed Sullivan Show, probably 1964)

The New Pornographers: Use It (from a concert in Vancouver, 2005? — Neko Case is absent.)

4 thoughts on “4th of July Weekend Music Festival*

  1. Ah, Little Feat. One of my favorite underdog bands from my high school and college years. You rarely heard them on the radio back then — not even free-form FM stations. So I took it upon myself to force my friends to listen to their early disks. “Easy to Slip,” remains one of my favorite songs all-time.

    The lead singer on this clip is Lowell George, who was a co-founder of the band, played slide guitar, wrote most of their best songs, and provided the band with its quirky, funky spirity. However, he was a major substance abuser, which seemed to affect his songwriting output, and certainly contributed to his untimely death at age 34 in 1979.

    The greatest Little Feat studio albums are their first four: “Little Feat,” “Sailin’ Shoes,” “Dixie Chicken,” and “Feats Don’t Fail Me Now,” for which George wrote 75 percent of the songs. (“Sailin’ Shoes” is their masterpiece, IMHO.) George makes some superb contributions to the next group of Little Feat disks, but appears to relinquish his role as leader, with only one or two new compositions. Shortly before his death, his artistry re-emerged on two records: “Waiting for Columbus,” a great live Little Feat album and “Thanks, I’ll Eat it Here,” a funk-soul solo record that suggests he was preparing to leave the band and become…well it’s almost too sad to think about what kind of great records he might’ve made if he’d lived. For Little Feat, George’s voice was a vehicle for his songs and guitar-playing, but with the solo album, he seemed to have realized the power of his pipes, with beautiful re-interpretations of songs by Allen Toussaint and Ann Peebles.

    Little Feat still performs and makes records and includes George songs it its live set. But while they are undeniably talented — especially keyboard player Bill Payne — there’s nothing really essential or special about them anymore.

    If you like this clip, you should surely add “Sailin’ Shoes,” “Dixie Chicken,” “Waiting for Columbus” and “Thanks I’ll Eat it Here” to your record/CD download collections.

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