Hands down, AC/DC are 2008's comeback kids. The Australian hard-rockers' first album in eight years, the Walmart-exclusive Black Ice, trailed only Lil Wayne in first-week sales. It's the band's best since 1990's The Razor's Edge to boot.
Even after such a long hiatus, AC/DC's near-immediate resumption of its rightful place as king of the rock and roll mountain — Sunday's show at Toyota Center sold out within minutes, something even Lil Wayne couldn't accomplish — was hardly surprising. Like every other AC/DC album, Black Ice's singular devotion to Rock, in both music and lyrics, places it in a class by itself.
No band before or since has gotten more mileage out of four simple letters, freely employing "rock" as noun, verb and modifier. Chatter surveyed AC/DC's discography and found nearly 20 uses of the word in song titles alone. Noah Webster would be proud.
With the Answer, 7 p.m. Sunday, December 14, at Toyota Center, 1510 Polk, 713-758-7200.
Decreeing "Let There Be Rock" on the 1977 album of the same name, by 2000's Stiff Upper Lip, AC/DC had proved conclusively "You Can't Stop Rock and Roll." Because "Rock and Roll Ain't Noise Pollution," as established on 1980's Back in Black, the pathway is clear for its full appreciation — from Dirty Deeds Done Dirt Cheap's "There's Gonna Be Some Rockin'" in 1976 to Black Ice's "She Likes Rock and Roll." Now and forevermore, these Ozzie ballbreakers will always be "Hard as a Rock."
From the very beginning — i.e. 1975 debut High Voltage, not released stateside till '76 – AC/DC knew "It's a Long Way to the Top (If You Wanna Rock and Roll)." Showing appreciable forethought on 1981 title track "For Those About to Rock," the band went on to "Rock Your Heart Out" on The Razor's Edge and continues "Rocking All the Way" on Black Ice and, on the Australian version of Dirty Deeds, even stretches beyond the grave to "R.I.P. (Rock in Peace)."
As even casual AC/DC fans know, "rock" can be a very descriptive word. The European TNT (1975) brings us "Rock and Roll Singer," while Powerage (1978) fires up "Rock and Roll Damnation," and Black Ice brings us both "Rock and Roll Dream" and the group's latest smash hit, "Rock N Roll Train."
Twenty-six Texas artists snagged 30 nominations in 20 categories when the contenders for the 51st annual Grammy Awards were announced last Thursday, including Beyoncé (Best R&B Vocal Performance, "Me, Myself and I") and Rodney Crowell (Best Contemporary Folk/Americana Album, Sex & Gasoline). Houston's Urbana Records, meanwhile, is home to nominees in Best Polka Album (Paulino Bernal, El Maestro del Acordeon y Sus Polkas) and Best Norteño Album (Los Palominos, Me Enamore de Un Angel). The Grammys will be given out February 8 at Los Angeles's Staples Center...The band combining former members of arch-metal ironists deadhorse and hardcore legends D.R.I., which debuted as Krud Krudder at Meridian in October, has rechristened itself Pasadena Napalm Division and plays its first local show under the new name at Warehouse Live January 10.
3710 Main, 713-533-9525
1. Various Artists, Bombay Connection Vol. 1
2. Various Artists, Never Ever Land: The International Artists Anthology
3. Various Artists, R. Crumb Presents Hot Women: Women Singers from the Torrid Regions of the World
4. Aggrolites, Dirty Reggae
5. Rodney Crowell, Sex & Gasoline
6. Ry Cooder, The UFO Has Landed: The Ry Cooder Anthology
7. Jackie Mittoo, Macka Fat (LP)
8. Hot Rod Pinups DVD
9. Various Artists, Bombshell Baby of Bombay: Bouncin' Nightclub Grooves from Bollywood
10. Loudon Wainwright III, Recovery
Pe-Te's Cajun Bandstand
KPFT (90.1 FM), Saturdays 6-9 a.m.
Selections from Pe-Te's November 29 playlist
1. Steve Riley & the Mamou Playboys, "Between Eunice and Opelousas"
2. Pine Leaf Boys, "Chere Joues Roses"
3. Waylon Thibodeaux, "My Baby Don't Wear No Drawers"
4. Doug Kershaw, "Cajun Stripper"
5. The Four Louisiannaires, "Amazing Grace"
6. Beau Jocque & the Zydeco Hi-Rollers, "Give Him Cornbread"
7. Bad Bob, "The Ballad of Harry Choate"
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8. Cedric Benoit, "Bring Your Blues to Bed Tonight"
9. Cypress City, "My Toot Toot"
10. The Country Cajun Aces, "Mathilda"
(lists compiled by Chris Gray)