Paul McCartney Still Goes to Work

[Updated] I give Paul McCartney credit. He doesn’t have to try this hard. He’s wealthy in ways few of us can imagine, and he has been knighted. He’s 76 and only Bob Dylan among his contemporaries tours as frequently. McCartney could lay out on the island of his choosing for the rest of his life, but instead he’s on yet another world tour, and flew from Brazil to New Orleans to play the first show of his North American tour Thursday night at the Smoothie King Center. 

Becoming the Residents

The Residents’ anonymity has been the band’s stylish calling card. The members have protected their identities by appearing in public and in photos wearing costumes, most commonly in their signature eyeball helmet/masks and tuxedos. Their music doesn’t draw attention to individual members either. Vocals are usually processed or distorted in ways that make it hard to be sure if the band has one lead vocalist, or if The Residents pass that chore around.

The Breton Sound Owns its Ambition

The Breton Sound plays arena-sized rock in indie-sized rooms. Many of the band’s models are pop classicists—The Beatles, The Beach Boys, The Monkees, Big Star—but the results are closer in spirit and sound to Weezer and Foo Fighters. It’s no coincidence that when the band performed a couple of Desert Island Disc shows last year, they covered Pinkerton and The Colour & The Shape from end to end.

The Flamin' Groovies Can't Stop Shakin'

When I told Cyril Jordan of The Flamin’ Groovies about seeing the band play two nights at a banquet hall in Southern Ontario - the sort of thing you’d think would make an impression on a rock band - he answered, “Wow. I don’t remember that.” But it was the early 1980s and the band had more or less just come apart, fueled by exhaustion and drugs. The Groovies started in San Francisco in 1965 playing wild versions of songs from the first rock ’n’ roll era.

Ivan and Alyosha Keep Spirits High

Seattle-based Ivan and Alyosha prefer optimism, four-part harmonies, and sing-along choruses. But there’s a realness to the band’s positivity. “We all deal with crap,” guitarist Tim Kim says with a laugh. “There’s a sunnier outlook if you look at our lyrics, but if you really dig into them, you’ll find darker material in there.” Ivan and Alyosha play One Eyed Jacks on Tuesday night.

Pages