Wade on Birmingham

City Stages 2007: The mix-up

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city stagesThe 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 rest will run you about $10 on iTunes. Plus, videos of performances and more.

1. “Change for You,” Within Reason: You loved them on “One Tree Hill,” now see the Birmingham rock band live and not on TV. (freebie from WBHM-FM)

2. “You R Loved,” Victoria Williams: The singer-songwriter from Shreveport started Sweet Relief to provide financial assistance to musicians for medical expenses. Good music and a good cause.


3. “I Hate Everything About You,” Three Days Grace: You R Hated, bitchez.


4. “September,” Earth, Wind and Fire: If you could capture joy in a three-minute track, this would be pretty darn close.


5. “The Joker,” Steve Miller Band: We still think Homer Simpson’s version is pretty groovy.


6. “Work,” Caddle: If you haven’t caught the loud-and-proud blue-collar Southern rock of Caddle around town, you are missing out, my friends. Brace yourself. (freebie from band’s site)


7. “Just Kiss Me,” Marcia Ball: A little piano-based blues, by way of Louisiana, most recently at the Alys Stephens Center in September.


8. “Stay Saved,” Canton Jones: Holy hip-hop! No, really, holy hip-hop, part of the Extreme Gospel lineup. Praise Him and praise him.


9. “Fearless,” Frankie Velvet and the Mighty Veltones: Birmingham party band with a 30-year history and Rick Carter to boot.

10. “Talk Dirty to Me,” Poison: We still think the Carla-Ted duet on “Scrubs” is pretty groovy.


11. “Cat’s in the Cradle,” Ricky Skaggs and Kentucky Thunder: Bluegrass with a Birmingham connection … Skaggs collaborated with Emmylou Harris early on.

12. “The Gift,” Sharrif Simmons: The spoken-word artist, originally from Brooklyn, was mugged and shot in the leg recently. His life has been surgery, rest and a wheelchair, along with several benefit concerts to help with the medical costs. And yet, listen to the hope in this song: “If you’re lucky, you will have a present like this … given to you like the sunrise.” (freebie from WBHM-FM)

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Complete City Stages 2007 coverage.

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