Lefsetz Letter

by (@unclegrambo)

SXSW 2012: Alabama Shakes Ditch Their Day Jobs, Downplay Bob Lefsetz, Refuse To Eat Gumbo

You’re forgiven if you haven’t yet heard of Alabama Shakes. After all, they don’t have a song on the radio, they haven’t made any music videos, and they don’t even have an album in stores for you to buy (yet). However, what they do have is a TON of internet buzz, as their soulful, southern roots rock sound has propelled them from the club circuit in the deep South into a place where they’re on the verge of entering the national consciousness. “Did you see Alabama Shakes yet?,” is a question that’s on everyone’s lips in Austin this week for the 2012 SXSW Music Festival, and we were lucky enough to be able to snag some time to sit down with Shakes lead singer Brittany Howard and drummer Steve Johnson the other afternoon.

We began by asking them to describe their sound for audiences not yet familiar with their music, and Brittany was quick to respond. “Well, I’ll tell you a little bit about what we like,” she explained. “We like Lee Fields & The Expressions. We like Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings. We like Otis Redding. We like AC/DC. We like Black Sabbath. We like My Morning Jacket. We like Kings of Leon. We kind of put all that together, plus more.” Kind of like a rock and roll gumbo, right? “I don’t like gumbo, though,” Brittany quipped.

Read more…

by (@unclegrambo)

Ideas That We Love: Pat Monahan From Train Should Team Up With Led Zeppelin Guitarist Jimmy Page

The frequent emails that irascible music industry veteran Bob Lefsetz sends to his list of well-connected music biz types are pretty hit or miss. Oftentimes, they present passionate, well-thoughted arguments about the past, present and future of the music business, but just as frequently, they seem to be repetitive and somewhat curmudgeonly in nature. Last night, however, he sent out an email that contained an idea we initially shrugged off as preposterous, but ultimately, one that we couldn’t get out of our head. He writes:

“Best piece of gossip I ever heard about Train? Pat Monahan was suggested as a replacement for Robert Plant in Led Zeppelin. The idea was dismissed out of hand, but it?s a brilliant one, one Jimmy Page should still act on.

Pat Monahan can sing those Zeppelin tunes, he?s got the pipes, he does them in the Train show. And he can write.

Everyone—even Howard Stern!—knows that Monahan is one of the strongest singers working these days. That said, it wasn’t until we watched this bootleg footage of Monahan belting out the Led Zep classic “Ramble On” that we thought this idea had legs.

Wow, right? Now it’s time for you to weigh in.

Read more…