Saturday, May 31, 2008

The Wood Brothers Fly Like An Angel

I'm sitting here on my sofa re-listening to a rendition of a song that I discovered earlier this morning. Even though the sky is gray and rain is pouring down right now, four hours ago I set out from my apartment building for my first run in about eight weeks, since I injured my foot training for a ten-miler in early April. The sun was shining and a breeze was blowing and told me a storm was a-comin' so I knew I couldn't procrastinate or I was going to be washed out from my chance to get back on the train. Looks like got it right today.

I've been hesitant to get back on a regular running schedule because I didn't want to come back too early from injury and have to sit on my ass all summer with a more serious problem. So I played it conservative leading into my trip to jolly ol' England last week. I knew I'd be doing a ton of walking during our five days in London so I figured I would use that as my first real test to see if I was healed. Despite being ill-prepared for walking over 5 miles a day for 5 straight days and limping around the hotel with stiff legs, I could tell that my foot was healed enough to give full on running another go.

So this morning was trial numero uno and I would say that it was a success, even though I walked well more than half of my regular four-mile course. At least it was something and I should be back to running the full four miles in a few days.

So back to the point of this post. When I'm running on my own, I bring along my XM Pioneer Inno. With it, I can either tap into live streaming satellite radio or the songs I've saved onto the device. I get the features of an ipod with the added bonus of getting to listen to songs that aren't already my own on the satellite feed. Today's discovery was The Wood Brothers cover of Jimi Hendrix's "Angel". The track features vocalist and guitarist Oliver Wood, who fronts Atlanta-based blues band King Johnson, and upright bassist Chris Wood, of the long-running trio Medeski Martin and Wood, as well as vocalist Amos Lee (who is very much worth checking out on his own). The track appears on The Wood Brothers' April 2008 release titled 'Loaded'. It sounds like it was recorded in the 50s, incorporating acoustic bass, brushed drumming, swirling organ, natural vocals, and a bouncy reggae strut. It's excellent.

Check out the song here

Also check out the duo's take on Dylan's "Buckets of Rain"

Wednesday, May 28, 2008

Back in America

For those who actually care (and we appreciate you, really), the Weightstaff is back in the States after an extended "holiday" to London, England. I'm sure you all can't wait to hear about tea and crumpets with Pete Townshend, shopping at Harrod's with Eric Clapton, cricket with Jimmy Page, cribbage with David Gilmour...

Saturday, May 17, 2008

Virgin Addiction

I had also considered the working titles of "I Love Virgins" and "I'd Travel Anywhere for a Virgin". Hey, we did some demographic studies here at The Weight and apparently most of our readers are male. So, we did what any proper journalist would do...create a grossly over-sexualized and misleading title for our post. You're still reading...aren't you!?!?

So, I was sitting at work at 6 pm on Friday which is not one of my most fertile periods of work-related output. So I did what I would normally do to fake busy...peruse YouTube and I found myself getting a serious buzz off of Jeff Buckley's video clips. He may not have a bunch of albums under his belt, but the amount of unreleased bootlegs, live footage, covers of songs, and not to mention other artists covering his songs is tremendous. I would recommend Jamie Cullum covering "Lover You Should Have Come Over". Great stuff.

So sitting there, I remembered that I had been meaning to rebuy the Jeff Buckley DVD: "Live in Chicago". I had purchased this one about five years ago, back when I didn't take quite such good care of my DVDs and it got scratched to DVD hell. It's been on my repurchase list just hasn't been available. So with my few remaining seconds at work, I called up the Virgin Megastore in Union Square who actually claimed to have a copy. I wasn't convinced it was really on the shelf but made the trek anyway.

For those of you that don't know...the Virgin Megastore is my one remaining addiction in life. Except, of course, not counting my severe need for adulation, compliments, and attention. But that is probably never going away (Leave positive comments...please!!!). So I walk into the store and am inundated with the smells of CDs in cellophane, cardboard vinyl sleeves, and the aluminum of the Sex Pistols lunchboxes. In other words, I won't be able to keep my eyes off of ALL the merchandise. [There is also the din of the amateur hip-hop artists aggressively hocking their CashMoney knockoffs right outside, but for that I can keep my money in my pants]. So en route to the Buckley aisle, I already have Grand Theft Auto 4 in my hands, as well as two vinyl albums: Donny Hathaway's self titled record and Aretha Franklin's 'I Never Loved a Man the Way I Love You'. I also grabbed a Michael Jackson 'Live in Bucharest: Dangerous Tour' DVD when he was just half a freak back in 1992 and still had some credibility. All of this before I even reach the Buckley section. And lo and behold, they didn't have one copy of Buckley Live in Chicago, they had about 20!! I guess I wasn't shocked that this never available title was now available. Must be because of the Castro effect.

So all in all, I went from an intended $16.99 purchase to a $128 purchase. Not too bad for an addict. Until the store calls my name again and I venture in there next time...I just hope I stay away from the Stewart Copeland Police doll and the New York Dolls white stretch pants.

Note: Had to share this quote from the Donny Hathaway album: "People who believe in music are the happiest people I've ever seen."

Thursday, May 15, 2008

Wilquote of the Day

Today's Wilquote of the Day comes from the Phantasy Tour boards:

last time i saw wilco tweedys son fell asleep in the fourth row and somebody was eating a sandwhich in the front row. tweedy was not happy. they are a great band, great studio work as well, but they are more than capable of putting on a boring show.

-- Mindphuck

Disclaimer: The opinions expressed in the 'Wilquote of the Day' are solely of the quoter and do not reflect the opnions of the WeightStaff...but they sure as hell made me laugh.


Did anyone besides me witness that train wreck of a performance by Fantasia on American Idol last night? What the fuck was that??? It wasn't even music. It was atrocious. Simon looked embarrassed. It made a mockery of the show and the idiots who voted for her. Who listens to her? How is she relevant? Oh, right, she's not.

p.s. Archuletta looked like he was going to blow chunks when the finalists were announced. He has a lot of growing up to do. David Cook MUST win.

Elton/Downey Jr.

I guess when it comes to Elton John today on The Weight...when it rains it pours. Or maybe I'm thinking of Radiohead. Anyway, with all of the heat generated by Iron Man, and the press whoring being done by Robert Downey, Jr. who I'm a huge fan of, I can't help but remember one of my favorite music videos. It was probably being shown on a VH1 video countdown show back in the day, pre-BEST WEEK, EVER! and other crap like that, back when VH1 was MTV lite.

I'm thinking of Elton John's 'I Want Love' video off of his album 'Songs From the West Coast'. I later learned that this whole album was essentially inspired by Ryan Adam's album Heartbreaker which is way up in my list of favorite albums. What was so mesmerizing about this video is that it is one single tracking shot of Robert Downey, Jr. lipsynching the song in one take. Right when this came out in late 2001, RDJ was reeling from drug arrests, failed rehab stays, and an inability to get insured on film sets. And this song of needing unconditional love seemed to really fit the struggling actor. An incredible quote which I never forgot was uttered by Downey, Jr. regarding his addiction in front of a judge: "It's like I have a loaded gun in my mouth and my finger's on the trigger, and I like the taste of the gunmetal."

Here's to being happy that Robert is back on his feet and making a bunch of loot off of Iron Man. Maybe this means he will greenlight my idea for "Back to School 2". If you remember, he played Jason Melon's roommate. I'm smelling Oscar!!

Elton John
featuring Robert Downey, Jr.
I Want Love
Song From the West Coast album
October 2001

Wednesday, May 14, 2008

Worst song, EVER!

We've all been there. You're cruising down the highway, windows down, listening to your favorite classic rock station (or these days, XM or Sirius), you've just heard "Layla," "Whipping Post," "The Weight" (shameless plug) and "American Girl," when all of the sudden, you can't change the channel fast enough before "Crocodile Rock" causes your ears to start bleeding. What a buzz kill!

Sadly (yet interestingly), on my list of the "10 Most Annoying Songs By Some Of My Favorite Artists," a whopping three belong to Sir Elton John -- and I'm still not sure why. They just ruin my day when I hear them. Don't get me wrong, anyone that knows me knows that I have TREMENDOUS respect not just for Mr. Dwight, but for each of these artists/bands. Indeed, most of them wrote some of the greatest rock songs of all time. Nonetheless, I can't help myself but ask, what the fuck were they thinking when they wrote these:

10) "Whole Lotta Love" - Led Zeppelin
Maybe I'm alone on this one, but despite being a die-hard Zeppelin fan, the song is way too repetitive for 5:00+ and despite being novel at the time, I'm still not impressed by Jimmy's experimental guitar sounds in the mid-section of a "blues song" while Plant is having an orgasm in the background.

9) "Old Time Rock and Roll" - Bob Seger & The Silver Bullet Band
Too many Bar Mitzvahs and weddings ruined this one.

8) "Gimme Three Steps" - Lynyrd Skynyrd
Maybe you have to be from the deep south and have the ability to consume large amounts of whiskey to understand this enigma.

7) "The Joker" - Steve Miller Band
Can you say sleepaway camp and slumber parties?

6) "Bennie and the Jets" - Elton John

5) "You Shook Me All Night Long" - AC/DC
It's a shame that the bad boys from down under will go down with this song as their legacy -- thanks to decades of spring-breakers and frat boys.

4) "Saturday Night's Alright (For Fighting)" - Elton John
It's not even a song. It's more like shouting the most annoying chorus of all time, over and over and over again. No one really likes this song, do they?

3) "Love in an Elevator" - Aerosmith
After the genius of Toys in the Attic and before the surprisingly catchy Alicia Silverstone era, there was this debacle. Not only is the video a nauseating hodgepodge of cheesy acting, leather vests, dancing dwarfs and blatant sexual innuendo, but the lyrics are, for lack of better words, DUMB.

2) "Lovin' Touchin' Squeezin'" - Journey
I get VERY, VERY, VERY uncomfortable when I hear this song. I've already said too much about it...

and weighing in at #1, none other than,

"Crocodile Rock" - Elton John
No words can really express how I feel about this song except that if I've made it past the first half second of this over-indulgent, corny, irritating, mawkish piece of garbage, I deserve to lose any shred of credibility I once had amongst my peers in the music community...and so do you!!!

Did I miss any?

Coventry II: Radiohead at Nissan Pavillion

Sunday night's Radiohead concert at the Nissan Pavillion in Bristow, VA, 30 or so miles outside of DC, went on as planned despite the relentless rain storm/monsoon that caused significant flooding inside and outside of the venue. Many stories have emerged of the major CF that was the roads entering the venue that night. Sometime before 11:00 PM, as Radiohead began the first (lengthy) encore of two, fans who had still not reached the venue were told by police officers directing traffic that the show was over and that they would have to turn around and go home. Sounds an awful lot like what happened to me a few miles outside of a town you may have heard of called Coventry. Fortunately for me, it wasn't actually raining at the time those mounties had me turn my car around and I was still able to catch the concerts live from the air-conditioned, not-muddy New Rochelle, NY cinema. I also received a FULL refund, a Danny Clinch photo album signed my all four members of Phish, and a free download of both nights' shows. And what has Live Nation offered to compensate the poor souls who had scored impossible to obtain Radiohead tickets with stories like this:
Anonymous said...

The POS concert promoters, moron traffic controllers and the weather made yesterday a living hell. 4 hours of stop/go traffic up 66, getting rerouted because of a road closure only to hit more traffic. We finally made it to University Blvd, which had more stagnant traffic of course. We turned around finally after my wife was on the verge of tears. F U Nissan. $175 well spent.

...according to the Washingtonian blog, those who were not able to make it into the venue for the Radiohead show would be offered LAWN SEATS to Radiohead's concert in NEW JERSEY in AUGUST on a TUESDAY night. I don't know if you've seen a map recently, but Camden, NJ is 180 miles away from the Nissan Pavillion. That trip would cost a small fortune in gas and a produce a Shaq-sized carbon footprint. Needless to say, LN's offer isn't being taken too well. I'm willing to bet that this is not the last we'll hear of this story in the coming days.

** Best quote I've read from a concertgoer who left the show early due to the conditions: "Bear Grylls would've died out there." **

Tuesday, May 13, 2008

Dreams don't always come true...

As I was driving upstate from NYC this morning for what I'd like to call a "work-related road trip," breathing in the brisk mountain air, admiring nature in the springtime, and in total awe of the fact that it is possible to drive for miles without seeing another car, I had one of those moments:

[New York]* proved too much for the man,
(he couldn't make it)
So he's leaving the life, he's come to know.
He said he's going back to find,
(going back to find)
what's left of his world, the world he left behind,
not so long ago.

He's leaving (leaving), on that midnight train to Georgia.
(leaving on the midnight train),
said he's going back (going back to find),
to a simpler place in time.
Now, I'll be with him (I know you will),
on that midnight train to Georgia.
(leaving on that midnight train to Georgia, wooh! wooh!)
I'd rather live in his world (live in his world),
then live without him in mine.
(her world, is his, his and yours alone).

He got dreamin', that someday he'd be a star,
(a superstar but he didn't get far).
But he sure found out the hard way,
that dreams don't always come true.
(dreams don't always come true, ah ah, no ah ah)
So he pawned all his hopes, and he even sold his old car,
bought a one way ticket back, to the life he once knew.
Oh yes he did, he said he would.

He's leaving on that midnight train to Georgia,
(leaving on the midgnight train),
Said he's going back to find, (going back to find)
a simpler place in time,
Now, I'm gonna be with him,
(leaving on the midnight train to Georgia, wooh! wooh!)
I'd rather live in his world, then live without him in mine.
(her world, is his, his and yours alone).

So other than the references to moving to Georgia with some random dude, I actually connected with the lyrics -- maybe for just a few minutes, but it made sense. For once, I could understand why this guy wanted to return to a "simpler place in time" -- a place where rush hour doesn't exist, LCDs and the internet aren't staples of every household, where taking a walk in the neighborhood doesn't entail dodging cabs and endless mounds of garbage, and where sitting on your porch on a hot summer night with a cigarette and a cold beer is considered vegging out.

It's okay to dream, isn't it?

*my personalized take on the verse

Monday, May 12, 2008

Uncut Reviews the New Hold Steady Album

John Mulvey over at Uncut talks about listening to his advanced copy of the Hold Steady's follow-up to 2006's Album of the Year (says me), "Boys and Girls in America". The new disc is called "Stay Positive" and will get a Stateside release on July 14th. I haven't been this excited for a new release since Hootie and the Blowfish blessed us with "Fairweather Johnson".

Mulvey teases us with the following:
I’ve spent the weekend, amongst other things, bewitched by “Stay Positive”, and a few details are starting to come into focus. On the second play, it becomes apparent that this is another superb and compelling album by The Hold Steady, one whose complexity and anthemic punch might yet surpass “Boys And Girls In America”. An initial hunch that this is a record about being in a band in your late thirties – a hunch backed up by some of Finn’s early pronouncements about the album – proves to be only partially true. “Stay Positive” is a whole lot more complicated than that.
He then goes on to reveal that DBT's Patterson Hood appears on album cut "Navy Sheets."

Doing a little digging on the relationship between Patterson and The Hold Steady, I stumbled upon an interview with Pitchfork published in January of this year, where Mr. Hood had the following to say about The Hold Steady:

Pitchfork: You're a band that really works hard and sweats for the crowd. Not many acts are guaranteed to kick your ass, no matter what. The Hold Steady are like that...

PH: I'm hoping we get to tour together. I'm pen pals with [guitarist] Tad [Kubler].

Pitchfork: Craig Finn once told me he's such a big fan of you guys that he once had someone take his picture walking past you so that it looked like you were in the frame together.

PH: [laughs] It's not like I'm unapproachable!

Pitchfork: I think he's said the Drive-By Truckers helped inspired what that band's up to.

PH: I really hope we get to tour together. That's my personal mission. Their road manager is a dear friend of mine from Athens, and this tells more than almost anything about a band: when someone's worked for them for a year, comes home, and all they talk about is what great guys they are. I mean, the road does not always bring out the best in people. [laughs] I'm hoping that will happen. We're not booked for fall yet...

Please god, let this happen!!

Trey at the Jammys - HQ Video

Check out this high quality video of Trey performing "Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except For Me and My Monkey" with the Fab Faux at the Jammys last Wednesday night. Given what is currently available in Interland, the quality of this (pro-shot?) video is fantastic. It was great to see Red back out in front of a crowd enjoying himself.

Thanks to SpottedStripers for uploading this video and 9 others from the Jammys, of equal quality, to YouTube.

Saturday, May 10, 2008

Sometimes All You Need is a Little Grass

Not so fast there, Jammy fans. Don't get the wrong idea. Let me explain:

New York City is a concrete jungle in the worst variety. Apartment to subway to work to subway to apartment traveling leaves little time for stimulation beyond my iPhone shuffle. And trust me, life didn't used to be this way. Growing up in the suburbs, pre-Internet mind you, was endless trees, grass, the smell of the outdoors, maybe walking to a friends house, maybe even physical activity! This was way in my past. Hell, even in college (pre-Internet, sense a theme here) I actually used to "get outside" and breathe. What the fuck happened?

But, like Ryan Adam's says in 'Anybody Want to Take Me Home?': "Well, I am in the twilight of my youth". And you know what, I pretty much feel that way. With the age of 30 barreling down like a runaway freight train, the idea of playing in the park seems so far away. But that is just what I did today. Not having cleared my head in days (since when do I even have to do that?!?!?) I decided to start up at 76th Street and walk down through Central Park en route to the glass cubed Apple store at the retail mecca of the world: 59th St./Fifth Ave. And I was pretty surprised at myself that I was getting a bit emotional. (Crying during Intervention on A&E, maybe, but not with dads playing wiffle ball with their kids.) Sometimes you forget what its like when 'The Weight' (shameless plug) of money, work, and girls isn't on your mind at all times. Shouldn't a 30 year old have his shit together?? And why does a swatch of grass amidst skyscrapers cause reflection? Because its the perfect symbol for what I have been needing to find. A calm amidst the chaos, shelter from the storm as it were. My anthem used to be "Can't I live while I'm young?!?". I'm just not ready for "Old man, take a look at my life, I'm alot like you"

Yeah, I really think i should be on the grass more often.

This post was typed while at the Fifth Avenue Apple Store. Do you know how hard it is to type curse words while 7 year olds are tugging at your shirt to use the sample laptop???

Friday, May 9, 2008

Facebook in Reality

I had to restrain myself from audibly laughing at my desk at work while watching this live action reenactment of what goes on through Facebook:

Thursday, May 8, 2008

Phish Surfaces at Jammys

Trey emerged during the Fab Faux's second song of the night, 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' and stayed on for their final number, 'Everybody's Got Something to Hide Except for Me and My Monkey.' Trey looked nervous and uncomfortable upon walking out onto the stage but it took him very little time to become comfortable and take the lead from Jimmy Vivino on these tunes. Trey played fantastic tonight.

Photographer and friend of the band, Danny Clinch, gave a short speech before presenting Phish with the Lifetime Achievement Award. The loudest crowd response of the night came after Danny said that he would love to hear the band back together again.

Mike, Page, and Fish each said a few words upon receiving the award.

Trey gave the lengthiest speech of all the guys, saying that he wanted to take this opportunity to put into words what the band meant to him.

Tuesday, May 6, 2008

Crazy Covers: Sum 41 vs. Oasis

Deryck Whibley sucks. He is married to Avril Lavigne which makes him suck even more. And...he covered what?? Oasis?!?! No fucking way. And he picked Morning Glory?!!?

It's actually really good! He says he loves Oasis!!! What do you think?

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Tom Waits Press Conference at 9 AM

Tom Waits will be holding a press conference tomorrow (Monday) morning at 9 AM to announce plans of a world tour, reportedly starting in June. Will he mention anything about Bonnaroo? Tune in to find out.

Steve Winwood: I'm Not There

It's Sunday night and I'm home in my apartment near DC. A few hours north of here, the other two-thirds of the WeightStaff are enjoying a live concert by Steve Winwood at the oh so small Blender Theater near Gramercy Park in New York City. Tonight is the only scheduled proper concert for Stevie and his band before they hit the road on May 30th, when they'll kick off their opening duties for Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers in Grand Rapids, MI. For the time being, he's in New York doing press for his just released album Nine Lives. He'll be on Letterman Tuesday night (May 6th).

I would love to be there, at the Blender Theater, but I just left NYC a few days ago after witnessing the first concert from The Verve in Manhattan in a decade, and I'm making a quick return trip for Wednesday night's Jammy Awards. Coincidentally, the second time I saw Steve Winwood play in person was in March 2004 when the Jammy's presented him with the Lifetime Achievement award. One of the highlights of the night was Winwood's mini-set that featured fantastic performances of 'Gimme Some Lovin' and 'Dear Mr. Fantasy'. The latter song featured a jaw-dropping guitar solo from him, who I didn't know played guitar. Since then, I saw his rain drenched set on the main stage at Bonnaroo in the summer of 2004 and I had the pleasure of attending the opening night of his three-night run with Eric Clapton at Madison Square Garden, a night I consider to be one of the best concerts I have ever witnessed. If you must know, the first time I saw him play live was when he surprised 60,000 of us by taking to the stage with Widespread Panic at the inaugural Bonnaroo festival in 2002.

So as I sit here listening to my just opened copy of Nine Lives, my friends at the show are teasing me with text messages from inside the venue. So far they've informed me that he's played: "Light Up or Leave Me Alone," "Crossroads," and "Back In The High Life Again." I'm sure he sounds great live tonight...but I have to say he sounds pretty damn good on my stereo. What stands out most about this album is both fantastic musicianship and top notch production (the album was produced by Winwood). All of the instruments sound perfectly mixed. The most prominent styles featured on the disc are latin (percussion) and jazz, with these extended instrumental breaks filled in by Steve's vocals and organ work. But don't get me wrong, this is not simply a recorded jam session. These songs have an orchestrated structure...a structure that allows his band to show off their talents. The second track, "Fly," which stands out as my favorite, features beautifully incorporated soprano sax and flute, accompanying Steve's Hammond fills and trademark soulful singing. The track almost reaches eight minutes in length and it never gets boring; the musicianship is just too good to want it to end. "Dirty City," featuring guitar work by Eric Clapton is a track that I have heard regularly on a local radio station. It takes some time to peak, but towards the latter half of the song Eric really steps up and lays down some stellar guitar work. The second half of the tune reminds me of what I loved so much about their collaboration at The Garden in February.

So many of these songs would be feel right at home on any Traffic album, but they don't sound dated. 'Timeless' would be the right word to use here. Fantastic musicianship still works in 2008. I've already listened it all the way through twice and I'm ready to give it another spin. At a time where I have virtually no attention span to listen to more than a couple songs by any artist, let alone an entire album, that is saying a lot about how much I'm enjoying this one. The only real criticism I have is that too many of the songs simply fade out, whereas I would love to hear some of them extend even further. Maybe Steve and the band played a twenty minute "Fly" tonight...that would be great....but I wouldn't know...I'm not there.

Relive Bonnaroo 2002 - 2004

The AT&T BlueRoom will be replaying video highlights from the first three editions of Bonnaroo on their website. Find the schedule and partial artist lists below:

May 6th 3pm ET 2002 Trey Anastasio, Jurassic 5, Phil Lesh, Widespread Panic, Ben Harper, Norah Jones, Galactic, Ween, Gov’t Mule and many more

May 20th 3pm ET 2003 Jack Johnson, The Flaming Lips, The Roots, Ben Kweller, The Dead, Sonic Youth, The Allman Brothers Band, James Brown and many more

June 3rd 3pm ET 2004 Dave Matthews & Friends, Trey Anastasio, Robert Randolph, Steve Winwood, Guster, Kings of Leon, My Morning Jacket and many more
I'm not sure what they accomplish by playing these at 3:00 on a Tuesday, but hopefully they'll be continuously showing each of these sets until the next one starts. As long as they do that, I'll be checking in to relive the memories that I have from attending each of these three years in person. I'm disappointed not to see Neil Young listed along with the others from 2003, but hopefully he is inlcluded as "many more."

Bonna-rumours: SuperJam 2008

One of the key features of each Bonnaroo festival is the unique musical pairings and highly improvised output of the SuperJam set. Some years the lineup is announced ahead of time (last year's Ben Harper, John Paul Jones, ?uestlove) and other years it is a surprise until the the players appear onstage (Gordon, Russo, Anastasio, Benevento). So far this year, there has been no official word from the organizers on who will be participating in this year's SuperJam, and until today, I hadnt read any rumors either.

While perusing the PhantasyTour boards, I stumbled on a post that references the blog of the Press Democrat, the newspaper of record from Santa Rosa California. The blog contains a short post about Gogol Bordello's vocalist Eugune Hütz, which ends with:

While in SoCo, he's crashing with his buddy Primus frontman Les Claypool. It turns out they're rehearsing a set of Tom Waits songs with Metallica guitarist Kirk Hammett for the upcoming Superjam at Bonnaroo.

So you might be thinking that these three gentlemen coming together to play Tom Waits tunes is just too crazy to believe, but here are some connections pointing to why it's not:

1. As a teenager, Claypool met fellow student Kirk Hammett (yes, the Kirk Hammett of Metallica fame), who turned him on to such rock acts as Jimi Hendrix, Cream, and Led Zeppelin. It was around this time that Claypool took up the bass, influenced by the likes of Rush's Geddy Lee, Yes' Chris Squire, and Paul McCartney. Although Hammett asked Claypool to join a band he was in, he opted for another group in his high school, progressive metallists Blind Illusion, while broadening his musical horizons by playing in jazz and swing bands. []

2. In 1986, after the death of Metallica bassist Cliff Burton, Claypool auditioned to play bass for Metallica, playing the song "Master of Puppets" on his bass. In Metallica's Behind the Music, Claypool said that during the audition he wanted the others to "jam on some Isley Brothers tunes," after which Lars Ulrich asked whether he's "not really used to playing this kind of music." James Hetfield remarked that Claypool didn't win the job because "he was too good." [Wikipedia]

3. From an interview with Eugene Hütz:

"Are there other influences of yours that you would like to get together with?"

You know Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds, Sonic Youth, Primus and yeah I haven’t met Tom Waits yet. But at the same time he is one house away from Les Claypool and Les Claypool has been playing on his records for the last ten years.

4. Tom Waits has a brief voice-over on "Tommy The Cat" from Primus' 1991 Sailing the Seas of Cheese.

5. "Clearly, Claypool--who popped up, along with Brain, on several songs on Tom Waits' new (2004) album, Real Gone (Anti)--is hitting his creative stride." []