The Drifters have been a musical touring act now for more than 50 years, despite the fact that none of the original members have been in the band for much of its existence. In fact, since the group's initial formation in 1953, there have been 57 different members!
The current lineup is comprised largely of members who joined in the early ‘90s, and they continue to tour and perform the band's classic catalogue. They've re-recorded many of those oldies with the help of a background orchestra, so if you want to hear an updated version of “Under the Boardwalk,” “Fools Fall in Love,” “Save the Last Dance for Me,” and more, you can check out The Drifters The Greatest Hits from MVD.
The label also offers a DVD of the current lineup performing these songs. For more information, check http://www.mvdb2b.com.
It seems like there's a collection of Simon & Garfunkel or Paul Simon material released every year or two, and the latest is a 36-song, two-disc hits collection called The Essential Paul Simon.
The first disc in the set focuses on his early post-Simon & Garfunkel hits in the ‘70s, from “Mother and Child Reunion,” “Loves Me Like A Rock,” and “Kodachrome” to “50 Ways to Leave Your Lover,” “Slip Slidin' Away” and “Still Crazy After All These Years.”
The second disc offers songs from his smash ‘80s album Graceland and onward, including the title track of that disc, “Diamonds on the Soles of Her Shoes,” and “You Can Call Me Al” as well as three tracks from his most recent 2006 disc, Surprise.
Old rock bands seem to be focused on their influences this year; Shaw/Blades released an album of cover songs from the ‘60s and ‘70s called Influence this spring, and now hard rockers Tesla offer Real to Reel.
The new disc finds the band revving the guitars up to celebrate their heroes on Deep Purple's “Space Truckin'” Led Zeppelin's “Thank You,” Rolling Stones' “Honky Tonk Women,” The Beatles' “I've Got A Feeling,” Eric Clapton's “Bell Bottom Blues,” and eight other tracks.
It's a solid workout of some great rock songs, although as I've written about other albums of old cover songs… what's the point? They don't change the arrangements on the material, but simply prove that if Tesla isn't writing their own rock songs, they'd make a darn good cover band. And cover bands are best heard live –if you want to catch this one this summer, you'll have to head to Wisconsin this month – they don't have a Chicago show, but they'll be in Milwaukee on July 13.
For a dose of more modern music a little closer to home, check out Klaxons at the Pitchfork Festival along with De La Soul and The Sea and Cake on July 15 at Union Park in Chicago.
The band is on the road supporting its new album Myths of the Near Future on Geffen, which melds a variety of musical styles, from the opening New Order-esque bass and keyboard lines of “Two Receivers” to the Prodigy-electronica mania of “Atlantis to Interzone” to the Scissor Sisters disco-rock relish of “Golden Skans.”
The album is definitely all over the map, with punkish attacks a la The Vines and even a melange of African rhythm with ‘80s techno and Brit-pop vocals. From experimental punk noise to polished synth pop, this is a CD that truly mixes it up – Myths of the Near Future is like a random rock jukebox, which never fails to interest, and usually manages to entertain pretty well too!