When (and what) constitute the dog days of summer vary from region to region, but (like irony) one knows it when they see it. The nights get a little longer and things tend to get slower, funkier. As we round out July into August, this week's playlist is designed to help transition into said dog days...as in a month, we'll all be lusting for fall color and cooler temps. Take us away, Al Green.
ABOUT AQUARIUM DRUNKARD
Today’s birthday boy is a bass-playing Eagle Scout who learned the merits of ragtime music as a youth but quickly came to appreciate the merits of hard rock and went on to make a major impact in the world of alternative metal as a member of Pantera.
Born in Texas in 1964, Rex Robert Brown wasn’t a founding member of Pantera, but he joined the band relatively quickly in their run – he entered their ranks only a year after they first came together – and meshed with his new cohorts Terry Glaze, Diamond Darrell (soon to be known as Dimebag Darrell), and Vinnie Paul in short order. At the time, Brown was using the moniker “Rex Rocker,” but he dropped the “Rocker” in 1990 and finally started using his actual name in 1994. Pantera’s commercial turning point didn’t take place until after Glaze had been replaced by Phil Anselmo in 1987, but 1990’s Cowboys from Hell turned the band into metal superstars, a status they maintained until their dissolution in 2003.
38 years ago today, The Grateful Dead released their ninth studio album overall and their first for Arista Records, the label which would remain their home through their thirteen and final studio album, 1989’s Built to Last.
London hosted the Olympic Games in 2012 and in celebration they put on a whole bunch of gigs at Hyde Park that summer. On July 27th, Duran Duran took to the stage - these are the tracks they played that night, nailing hit after hit from their incredible catalog.
With all due respect to the work accomplished by the band in more recent years, most music fans generally perceive the glory days of The Doobie Brothers to be during the Warner Brothers era of their career. Why? Well, obviously, it’s because that’s when they appeared on an episode of What’s Happening!! and famously provided Rog – played by Ernest Thomas – with the excuse to call the Brothers’ hotel room and ask one of the greatest questions in both TV and rock ‘n’ roll history.
Air, Moon Safari: You may recall our grand Air extravaganza last month, when we reissued pretty much everything in Air’s back catalog on 180-gram vinyl, but there was one notable omission from that last, and – you guessed it – this was it. Now that we’ve remedied that situation, you can go back and enjoy such classic Air tracks as “Sexy Boy,” “Kelly Watch the Stars,” and “All I Need.”
David Bowie, “Fame” 40th Anniversary 7” Picture Disc: The best thing about picture-disc singles is that they allow music geeks to defy the logic that they don’t need to own it because they already have the song. Yes, but do you have David Bowie’s “Fame” with this delightful picture on it? No, you don’t. But now you can.
Turning 53 today: the man who ended up as Depeche Mode’s predominant songwriter as much by default as anything, due to the departure of Vince Clarke from the band’s ranks in the wake of the release of their debut album, Speak and Spell. Fortunately, Martin Gore proved himself up to the task: it’s been 34 years since then, and the band continues to fight the good fight even now.