New Music For Old People: California Breed, Flaming Lips, Seether

Al Kooper

Al Kooper

This column is like the title says — its intention is to fill the gap for those of us who were satiated musically in the ’60s and then searched desperately as we aged for music we could relate to and get the same buzz from nowadaze. iTunes was the answer for me in 2003 and I have been following the new releases every Tuesday ever since I realized there was an endless stream of music I could enjoy there.

I also include older items that I felt were obscure originally and might not have been heard back then. The reason I am writing this column is to make sure others don’t miss this wonderful music. These are not top ten items; but they SHOULD’VE been!

1. California Breed – “The Way”

The guitarist wants to play out again; the bass player will do what the guitarist says; the lead singer is smart enough to know he’s too far gone to recreate the high notes of yesteryear. The drummer passed away at the height of it all, from the height of it all. But now, his son Jason has put a new band together and I don’t see anybody grasping this the way I have. This band does Led Zep the way you want to hear it live today, and original tunes are what they are pushing — not the Led retread. I think the singing is the closest to a young Plant I have ever heard growing. And they certainly have the drumming covered. This track alone should be an event for the LZ community. Jimmy Page meanwhile pushes his new old stuff mastering on Jimmy Fallon’s show. What is wrong here?

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2. The Flaming Lips – “Lucy in the Sky With Diamonds”

Always versatile and multi-formatted, the Lips take on the Fabs. The chorus PURPOSELY sounds like it’s overloaded and distorted (that’s them, not me doing that) and with that and other goodies, they put their own mark on the song titled by a young Julian Lennon.

3. Seether – “Words as Weapons”

Originally from Pretoria, South Africa but now settled all around the US, Seether is a power trio that can also be gentle when required. Lead singer and composer Shaun Morgan lives in New Hampshire now and has built a writing room in his house he spends a great deal of time in. The band’s friendship with über producer Brendan O’Brien (Springsteen, Pearl Jam) hasn’t hurt their latest release either. They feel he is like a fourth member of the group and understands perfectly how it all works. This is a great track and perfectly produced.

This column originally appeared on The Morton Report. Click for more great selections from Al Kooper! As always, show some love to the Morton Report!

Photo Credit: Joe Mabel [GFDL or CC-BY-SA-3.0], via Wikimedia Commons

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