Wade on Birmingham

City Stages 2006: All mixed up


city stagesWith the Waldrep, Stewart & Kendrick City Stages Presented by Lanny Vines & Associates — or as we call it here on Earth, City Stages — just a week away, it’s time to plan your schedule.

But who to see? What to hear?

Why, fear not, music fans: Have we got a mix for you. Eighteen tracks (one for each year of the downtown music festival) to showcase a little bit of everything: country, funk, hip-hop, Cajun, rock, jazz, Latin and more.

You won’t find them at Bonanroo (but damn, what a lineup there). You won’t find them at Music Midtown (closed due to debts — blame it on the rain).

But you’ll find them here. Four are freebies, and the rest will set you back about $20 on iTunes (a steal!).

1. “Gin and Juice,” Snoop Dogg: It wasn’t always hard out here for a pimp. Let my man Snoop show you how to drop it (as if it were hawt). West Coast, represent.

2. “Wouldn’t It Be Nice,” The Beach Boys: Surf’s up! The group members change, but the ditty stays the same: timeless, wistful, forever young. Yeah, it would be nice.

3. “It’s a Shame,” The Ackleys: First, no one in the group is named Ackley. Second, it’s a Birmingham-based rock band. Third, they’re babies (ages 16 and 17). Don’t know whether to rock or score them milkshakes. (freebie from Earfood)

4. “She Hates Me,” Puddle of Mudd: Hello, 2001! Everything’s still so blurry and still so fake. But Puddle’s not dried up yet, right? Hello?

5. “Feel So Fine,” Meteorite: Birmingham jazz band with a funky side. It’s a group with a rabid following, as seen in this cutting-loose song where band members strut their stuff. (freebie from WBHM-FM)

6. “Too Tight,” Con Funk Shun: For those of you who love Earth, Wind and Fire, get down (with or without your bad self) for Memphis legends Con Funk Shun. Straight-up and very tight.

7. “Doxology,” Oteil and the Peacemakers: Birmingham bassist better known for his Allman Brothers membership than his own band. A shame, considering how talented his own group is, mixing jazz, rock, blues and more. Even a motorcycle accident can’t slow this musician down.

8. “Velvet Sky,” Los Lonely Boys: Back for a second trip to City Stages, the west Texas band of brothers can Tear. It. Up. Here’s another side to their Tex-Mex sound.

9. “Two Weeks From Twenty,” Yellowcard: Ah, new punk, not quite the old punk, but this buzz band from Jacksonville, Fla., can bring it. This quirky number shows its clever side. Wait, what’s my age again?

10. “Follow,” Brandi Carlile: One of the few female artists on this playlist, because she’s one of the few female artists booked. Washington state native Carlile is the darling of the singer-songwriter set and becoming a familiar face ’round these parts having played WorkPlay in February. One listen and you’ll be hooked.

11. “Mazulka,” Steve Riley and the Mamou Playboys: Dance Depot faves, this Louisiana band is tops in Cajun. Just to trip you up, no two-stepper here but a satisfying waltz.

12. “At Home,” The Chad Fisher Group: Fisher is a jazz junkie. He’s in this Birmingham-based band and Birmingham’s Downright and a Stages veteran (doing seven performances at the 2004 event alone). Hear him rock the trombone (rock the trombone?). (freebie from WBHM-FM)

13. “Word Up,” Cameo: Would someone run and get us a Cherry Coke? All this dancing is making us thirsty. If you can’t find us, wave your hands in the air (like you just don’t care). Even Korn couldn’t screw up this hit.

14. “How to Lie,” Kiss Me at the Gate: Birmingham-based indie rockers new to the scene. Lovely and lyrical. (freebie from band’s site)

15. “We Can’t Make It Here,” James McMurtry: A roots rocker out of Fort Worth, Texas, with a tough ‘tude. Let’s see how this anti-Bush, anti-war song plays in the Magic City.

16. “All I Do,” The Derek Trucks Band: Trucks is another Allman Brothers vet, having played in the group with his uncle, drummer Butch Trucks. Here, he gets down and dirty with the guitar as the band delivers a soulful gritty performance.

17. “A Country Boy Can Survive,” Hank Williams Jr.: It’s the song Taylor Hicks said he should’ve sung during country week on “American Idol.” Hank Jr. wouldn’t steer you wrong, especially on this down-home number.

18. “Have a Little Faith in Me,” John Hiatt: Singer-songwriter originally from Indianapolis who’s been covered by the biggies (Iggy Pop, Ronnie Milsap, Neville Brothers, Bonnie Raitt). Feel the power in this simple soulful song.

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Complete City Stages 2006 coverage.

2 Yips for “City Stages 2006: All mixed up”

  1. Jeremy Flint - Red Hot and Daily » Blog Archive » City Stages Week
    Monday, June 12, 2006, 12:42 pm

    […] If you want to sample the sounds of some of the artists that are playing this year, Birmingham blogger Wade Kwon has put together a mix of songs from most of those that are appearing. […]

  2. Wade on Birmingham
    Friday, June 15, 2007, 9:42 am

    City Stages 2007: The mix-up

    The 19th edition of City Stages kicks off today. Choosing from all those acts can be a challenge, so we again present our multimedia guide to the festival, including a playlist of 12 tracks representing the best of the fest.
    Three are freebies, the res…

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