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The Mid-Week Beat: RIP Ray Price

1387236857-ray-priceSome more sad news for music lovers out there, Texas-born country music legend Ray Price passed away on Monday at the age of 87. For those of you that are unfamiliar with Price, he penned country classics “Release Me”, “Crazy Arms”, “Heartaches by the Number”, “For the Good Times”, “Night Life” and “You’re the Best Thing That Ever Happened to Me”. Price was a consummate performer as well and continued to tour and record well into his eighties.

Price was born in Perryville, Texas and began singing for KRBC in Abilene, Texas in the late 1940s. He moved to Nashville in the early 1950s, and even shared a room, for a brief period, with the legendary Hank Williams. When Hank passed away, Price managed his band, the Drifting Cowboys and had some minor success in 1954 with the song “Release Me”.

In the early 50s, Price formed the Cherokee Cowboys, who boasted Roger Miller, Willie Nelson, Johnny Paycheck and others as alumni. In fact, Roger Miller wrote one of Ray Price’s classics in 1958, “Invitation to the Blues”, and sang harmony on the recording. Willie Nelson also composed the song “Night Life”.

Throughout the 1950s, Ray Price largely became associated with the honky tong sound. He even developed what would be known as the “Ray Price Shuffle” which featured a 4/4 beat accompanied by a walking bassline, which can be famously heard on his 1956 classic “Crazy Arms.”

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The Mid-Week Beat: Happy Birthday Mike D and Phife Dawg!

Today is the birthdays of two prominent contributors to the so-called “Golden Age of Hip Hop” – Mike D of the legendary Beastie Boys and Phife Dawg of the equally influential A Tribe Called Quest.

Mike D was born Michael Diamond on this day in 1965 in New York City. Born into an upper-middle class Jewish family, young Diamond was drawn to the gritty, urban hardcore punk scene that was starting to blossom around clubs like CBGB’s and Max’s Kansas City.

In 1978, at the age of 13, he co-founded The Young Aborigines, an “experimental-hardcore” band with Diamond sitting in on drums. Eventually, Adam Yauch (later dubbed MCA) would replace Jeremy Shatan on bass and Diamond would move from drums to vocal duties. In 1983, Adam Horovitz (Ad-Rock) would join the group on guitar and they would eventually change their name to the Beastie Boys. The group released the legendary Polly Wog Stew EP in 1982 and it would be their only release as a hardcore punk band.

** WARNING! This video contains language that may be offensive to some viewers. **

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BPT’s Featured Venue: The Lizard Lounge

There’s a great little venue in Cambridge, Massachusetts that uses Brown Paper Tickets to ticket their events. It’s called the Lizard Lounge and Rolling Stone calls it an “eclectic hot spot.” It’s gained a reputation as a great place to see top-notch musicians performing in an intimate setting and by intimate we mean intimate (maximum capacity is right around 100 people). But they set the mood right with low lighting and a plush, cozy, hipster-basement vibe.

They have a Poetry Night on Sundays, an open mic on Mondays and live acts throughout the rest of the week. Upcoming acts include “Gypsy Dirge-core” band Bury Me Standing, who will be doing a 4 week residency on Thursdays in April, tickets available here. And “Morroccan-dosed dub-jazz collective” Club d’Elf, will be celebrating their CD Release with two shows on Friday, April 22. Special guests will include none other than John Medeski and other guests from their 13 year residency at the Lounge. Tickets available here.

For drinks, they boast a full bar with top notch custom cocktails like their Watermelon Margarita and the Absolut Homerun that features Absolut Boston vodka, white grape juice and a splash of ginger ale! They also have 24 beers on tap featuring a rotating selection of local microbrews and imported classics like Chimay and Guinness and a dinner menu that is available every night until midnight.
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