...we've got the means to make amends. I am lost, I'm no guide, but I'm by your side. (Pearl Jam, Leash)

Sunday, April 30, 2006

Re-formed Lemonheads sign to Vagrant

The Lemonheads to me represent a slice of mid-'90s goodness that will forever evoke high school memories of new white Converse and cutting class to go to Harry's Deli for lunch.

After several years of Evan Dando doing the solo thing (and putting out some great stuff, I must say) Vagrant Records announced last week that the Lemonheads are reforming and signed to their label, which also has been home to Paul Westerberg, Eels, The Futureheads, and The Hold Steady.

From their news section:
"The recently re-formed Lemonheads are currently in the studio putting the finishing touches on what will be their eighth studio album in a career that spans over two decades... Singer, songwriter, and guitarist Evan Dando is co-producing the album with drummer Bill Stevenson (Descendents, Black Flag), and the band is rounded out with bass player Karl Alvarez (Descendents). NYC-based Dando self-funded the project and has been recording in Stevenson’s Colorado studio off and on during the last year."

The press release contains a great quote from Rich Egan, the president of Vagrant Records:

"The thing I remember most about Vagrant's first year is being locked up in my apartment, drinking coffee, stuffing 7"’s into envelopes and listening to It's A Shame About Ray on cassette all day, every day. If it wasn't for that record, we probably would've left the apartment eventually and given up the label. Nobody writes songs like Evan Dando, nobody sings likes him...the new songs are incredible. He is in top form."

In honor, here are two excellent live Evan Dando shows that I have just been waiting for a reason to post. The first one (from Glasgow in 2001) is a lovely walk through pretty much every Evan Dando/Lemonheads song that I love, great setlist. The second (from Ludlow's in Ohio in 2000) has a different lineup, and is stocked full of some pretty funny and fabulous covers. I don't know what got into Evan that night, but he was all over the map and I like it.

Evan Dando, King Tut's Glasgow, Feb 18, 2001 (zip link at end)
01. It's A Shame About Ray
02. Down About It
03. The Turnpike Down
04. The Outdoor Type
05. Paid To Smile
06. The Great Big No
07. Big Gay Heart
08. Favorite T
09. Hospital
10. Being Around
11. The Same Thing You Thought Hard About Is The Same Thing I Can Live Without
12. Hard Drive
13. If I Could Talk I'd Tell You
14. Into Your Arms
15. Confetti
16. My Drug Buddy
17. Hannah & Gabi
18. Ride With Me
19. Stove
20. Rudderless
21. It's Up To You (featuring Ben Kweller, pictured)
22. All My Life
23. $1000 Wedding
24. Different Drum (Linda Ronstadt, right?)


Second show: Evan Dando - Ludlows Bar and Treehouse, Columbus, OH 12-14-00 (zip link at end)

01. Confetti
02. Hannah & Gabi
03. My Drug Buddy
04. It's A Shame About Ray
05. The Same Thing You Thought Hard About Is The Same Thing I Can Live Without
06. Frying Pan
07. All My Life
08. Whoops
09. Like A Rose (Lucinda Williams cover)
10. Side Of The Road (Lucinda Williams cover)
11. The Turnpike Down
12. Down About It
13. Favorite T
14. Rudderless
15. I Don't Care (Ramones cover)
16. Who Loves The Sun (Velvet Underground cover)
17. Jetstreams (Eugene Kelly cover)
18. Hate Your Friends
19. Homos (The Frogs cover)
20. Frank Mills
21. Don't Fear The Reaper (Blue Oyster Cult, minus the cowbell)
22. Paint
23. Backstreet Girl (Rolling Stones cover)


Enjoy! I am looking forward to seeing what the new Lemonheads will sound like, in a new musical era of sorts from the last time they released something.

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Saturday, April 29, 2006

"Ryan Adams: No Quality Control and Can't Edit Himself, Part 18"

So I made the journey to San Francisco and back and my head is still spinning. In town for less than 24 hours, I spent twice as much time seeing Ryan than I did sleeping. What a lucky gal.

Thursday night I got to see Ryan Adams for the first time and it was different, perhaps, than I expected – a lot more “free form?” – but pretty dang phenomenal. The Palace of Fine Arts was a fantastic place to see a show, I’d never been there before. It was an intimate venue and Ryan was in chatty form. I hear that Wednesday night was variable quality (as Ryan said Thursday, “Look, it’s no secret that I’m, like, doing that great tightrope walk between suck and maybe good…”). I thought Thursday was rambling but good.

I loved the solo acoustic interpretations, and a fine, fine setlist. And, yes, it was mostly true what my new pal Nathan said, "You'll probably find all the chatter endearing." The overall feel was a mix of sitting in Ryan's living room and listening to some sort of stream-of-consciousness interview.

Interesting comment from someone over on the Ryan Adams Archive site, which the more I read over, the more I think is a valid point: "The upside, if you were in the mood for it, was a very personal / intimate hangin' out with Ryan thing where we (the audience) were both therapist and entertainer for him – as well as being entertained by him. The downside was that we got too few songs and very few sung without interruptions of patter or joking that somewhat broke or (imho) belittled the emotional intensity & spell of the piece. Came away wanting to worship him and slap him upside the head at the same time. You are probably thinking ‘what else is new?’. I know most of our heroes have feet of clay – the artistic cauldron – inspired madness and all that - I just wish he would respect his own gifts more and honor this amazing music that comes through him."

I was able to record the Palace of Fine Arts show, so you can hear it too. I was pretty impressed at how the sound quality turned out for just being recorded on a little $60 digital voice recorder thingie. (Maybe I am impressed because my audio-technology-knowhow falls somewhere on the scale between that of a box of dirt and pet gerbil). Hence it is far from perfect quality, but for those of you that were there, you can relive the set, and for those that weren’t, you can hear all the chatter and two new songs (and the occasional guffaw that I let out, even though I tried to keep my mouth shut. I have a hard time with that. Just ignore me and my friends' chatter. Sincere apologies.)

Oh, so we’ll call this “Set One:”

PALACE OF FINE ARTS SET (Zip file link at end of setlist)
Brown Sugar & Why Do They Leave? (forgot to break this into two tracks)
Sweet Lil Gal (23rd and 1st)
Banter 1 & 2
Strawberry Wine
Banter 3 & 4 & 5 & 6 (I kept starting recording, thinking a song was coming. But nope.)
Don't Get Sentimental On Me (new)
Blue Hotel (new)
"I Want It That Way" (Ryan is fixin to join the Backstreet Boys if this whole solo thing doesn't work out)
Please Do Not Let Me Go
Banter 7
New York, New York
Come Pick Me Up
Rescue Blues
Banter 8
Magnolia Mountain
Banter 9 & 10
(teaser) Oh My Sweet Carolina? In My Time Of Need?
Solitaire (w/ Jesse Malin)
Peaceful Valley


Following the Palace of Fine Arts show, my friend Julia and I jetted on over to 12 Galaxies club. After stashing our cars in an alley by her apartment, we walked hastily to the club, nervous and excited because Ryan was playing a “Set Two” with Phil Lesh from the Grateful Dead. A mere $5 cover, all going to charity (supporting the cause of organ donation – they can have mine, not sure if they want my liver).

I hear everyone (who was over 21) who was waiting outside got in, which was great because there was a massive line and I wasn’t sure if all the cool kids in the back made it in for an incredible show.

I was maybe the 15th person in the door, and headed right to the front. I was literally about 5 feet from Ryan when he came on stage. It was an absolutely amazing vantage point, to see every scowl and chord and smile and interaction on stage.

Ryan seemed like a completely different person for Set Two - engaged, on fire, sharp, musically adventurous, and basically just enjoying himself - and loving the music. He and Phil even kissed once, ain't that sweet.

I am far from being a Dead fan, but of all the times I wish I had known a lyric, this was it: Ryan blanks on a verse to one of the Dead songs and leans down front to me and asks "Do you know it?" holding out his hand to me. Uhhhhhhhhhhhh . . . nope. Damn. But later on when he forgot one of his own lyrics, he asked again, and this time my fabulous cohorts jumped up to the plate with the needed memory jog, and he carried on with the verse. So fun what can happen in such an intimate little place.

The version of "Cold Roses" was INSANELY jamming, I was mesmerized by the opening riff and how intricate the guitar fingerwork was. And by "Shakedown on 9th Street," we were all pretty much hoarse from yelling along. "Luuucy, lucy my gal...." "What Sin" was so stretched out into these mega-jams that I almost didn't recognize it. And "I Still Miss Someone" was jammy, electric and rockin like I have never heard it before; I think Johnny Cash would have just shook his head, but probably appreciated the passion behind it.

12 Galaxies Setlist (“Set Two”)
Not Fade Away
Dark Star
Help On The Way
Magnolia Mountain
He's Gone
Stella Blue
What Sin Replaces Love
Wharf Rat > Not Fade Away

Dire Wolf
A Kiss Before I Go
Dire Wolf (cut off)
China Cat (instrumental, cut off)
Cold Roses
Shakedown on 9th Street
Not Fade Away
I Still Miss Someone
Cold Roses

I don't have anything from the second set, I was dancing too much to record (and fending off weird Deadheads who kept sweating on me).

Video clips from the 12 Galaxies set:
Video 1
Video 2
Video 3

We were discussing amongst ourselves in the audience who the kickass drummer was, sporting the Nirvana t-shirt, watching the guys for cues of where they were going in the jam. The story of how local San Franciscan drummer Chad Tasky got the gig with these two is a fan's dream come true:

"i was at the ryan adams solo shows this past wednesday and thursday at the palace of fine arts in san francisco. my buddy robie and i are hanging out backstage when ryan shows up and says that he needs a drum kit so that his producer jamie can sit in on drums during the encore along with phil lesh - who is also scheduled to play during the encore. i graciously offer to rent them a set of my drums for the show, then race down to pick them up. ryan played... then ryan, phil, and jamie played the encore... then i went home.

upon arriving the next evening to watch the show then pick up my drums - i'm informed there's been a secret benefit show scheduled for after the show at a small club in the mission district called 12 galaxies, and that i've been chosen to play drums. having the imaginary courage that i needed, i proceeded to play to a sold-out crowd with ryan, phil and a guitar-tech named harry for over two hours. the setlist was filled with dead songs ands ryan's songs - which i did my best to pretend to know. what a crazy night. check out video and photos from the show."

Man alive.

The whole night was so sweaty and rocking and mindblowingly fun that I felt like I needed to roll over and have a cigarette afterwards. And I don’t even smoke.

But it was that satisfying.

Thanks to Sherry for some of the pics (and loaning me her camera so I could take a few of these) and Sharif, who rocks. Also, check out this savage set of pictures on Flickr (and if you look at the one below, that is SO my arm on the left side of the shot. I am a geek, I know).

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Thursday, April 27, 2006

So what has Pete Yorn been up to lately?

I am so excited about this post. There are some 24 great songs in this post. You can jump to them, but let's chat a bit first. A while back I posted a set that Pete Yorn did in 2001 at the Roxy in L.A. In the comments, fellow blogger Jesus posed the question "is this yorn fella going to release something new soon?" That stuck in my mind as a quest, and I love quests, so off I went and here's what I found. ("We're on a mission from God.")

You may remember Pete Yorn from when he burst onto the scene in 2001 as a 26-year-old drummer-turned-singer/songwriter whose album Musicforthemorningafter was a gold seller, based in part on the strength of singles like "Life on a Chain" and "Strange Condition." I personally love the completely creative and refreshing percussive layer behind the entire album. When I listen to it, that's one of the things that stands out for me, and now I know why (because he was a drummer first).

In fact, he is such a stellar drummer that the Channel 4 News Team from the movie Anchorman tapped him (in a fabulously large moustache) to play bongos in their music video for "Afternoon Delight." Excellent.

Following Musicforthemorningafter, Yorn released Day I Forgot in 2003 and the excellent Live From New Jersey double disc in 2004. Since then, he's been busy working on a new album with an unspecified release date, although some say this summer is a possibility. Yorn has been touring with the guys from Minibar as his backing band, and recently did a fantastically small benefit show for tsunami relief for a $5 cover (plus tips!) at O'Brien's bar in Santa Monica which raised $13,000. And while exact dates are still unconfirmed, Minibar's website says they expect to be touring with Pete starting in July. Yorn's also been keeping busy working with the Dixie Chicks (really?) on songwriting for their upcoming new album Taking The Long Way, which will be released next month.

Check out some of his unreleased/new/cover stuff you may not have heard that he's been crankin out:

These three songs were posted over the last couple months on Pete's MySpace (streaming), but are taken down now. These are likely candidates for release on the new album, whenever that may be.

If you visit his MySpace page, appreciate how his music genre is listed as "crunk":

"Old Boy" (new song, MySpace)

"For Us" (new song, MySpace)

"When She's Mine" (new song, MySpace)

(Thanks a million to Kraig for the first two tracks - I was posting all over God's green earth looking for someone who had them, and he found me with just the two I was looking for. He's just started a new blog, title also based on a Pearl Jam lyric, and so far his track record of featured music is stellar. Check him out: A Spacious Hole In The Ground)

Pete offered Nancy Sinatra three of his songs to choose from to record for her 2004 eponymous album. She chose "Don't Mean Nothin'" - here is her version (which is so clearly Yorn-ey):

"Don't Mean Nothin'" - Nancy Sinatra

Then hear how it sounds with Pete performing his song, this version from a live set on WOXY last summer, along with two other new ones he played:

"Don't Mean Nothin'" - Pete Yorn live on WOXY

"Broken Bottle" (new song, live on WOXY)

"Lions" (new song, live on WOXY) - coming soon!

Thanks on these ones to Kevin from So Much Silence who helped me immensely with the audio ripping. He is a music master of live radio shows, check out who he's had on his blog lately. It's all good.

OTHER YORN SONGS, new or unreleased or rare:

"Baby, I'm Gone" (unreleased, live) - sound quality is not the best on this one, but I really like the melody & drive of this song. I hope a nice clean studio version is on his new album because this rocks.

"Knew Enough To Know Nothing At All" (musicforthemorningafter vinyl)

"Seventeen" (Day I Forgot import)

"Hunter Green" (released on Trampoline Records Greatest Hits Volume I, 2005)

"Rooftop" (unreleased) - recommended!

"Model American" (unreleased)

"Farmer vs. River" (unreleased)

"You Never Knew" (unreleased)

And then, ahhh, the covers. You all know how much I love the covers and Pete apparently does too. Let's browse:

"China Girl" (Iggy Pop then Bowie cover, musicforthemorningafter bonus disc)

"Just My Imagination (Running Away With Me)" (from the Just Like Heaven OST, 2005)

"New York City Serenade" (Light Of Day: A Tribute To Bruce Springsteen) - check the stirring harmonica

"Chimes of Freedom" (live at the Axis Of Justice benefit concert with Serj Tankian & Tom Morello)

"Splendid Isolation" (Enjoy Every Sandwich: The Songs of Warren Zevon)

"Suspicious Minds" (two versions, the "Dawn Version" (love this) and the "Dusk Version." Total side note, but the dusk/dawn dichotomy reminds me of some of my favorite Michelangelo sculptures that I once did a huge presentation on in situ and is one of the things I am most proud of.)

Other Soundtrack Contributions:

"Ever Fallen in Love" (from the Shrek 2 OST, 2004)

"Undercover" (from the Spiderman OST, 2002)

"Red Right Hand" (from the Hellboy OST)

Now have at it:


Oh, and I knew there was another reason I loved him: He was a Communication major like me. Oh yeah, go Comm majors! There's one that made something of himself.

Keep me posted if you hear any new album/tour news, kids. And enjoy the unique new sounds of Mr. Yorn's recent musings.


Wednesday, April 26, 2006

Beautiful new songs from Leona Naess

British singer-songwriter Leona Naess is honing her angelic voice on some new songs which will be released on her fourth studio album, rumored to be titled Thirteens.

If you go to her website www.leonanaess.com you can stream three songs from the new album on the main page:

"I Wait For My Prince"
"Beautiful Boy" (not a Lennon cover)
"Everyone's Given Up"

I am pretty sure that the labelling on the songs is off: The second song title pops up as Beautiful Boy, but the lyrics talk about Wait For My Prince. So go figure. They are all excellent, whatever they are called. My favorite is the #1 track. Also available for download on Leona's site is the song Ballerina, which was produced by Tori Amos.

Her new album includes a duet with Ben Lee on a song called "Boyfriends," and is currently in the process of being mastered for a potential early summer release date. This will be the followup to her lovely 2003 self-titled release, which was produced by Ethan Johns.

Leona is playing tomorrow night in NYC at the Living Room if you are a New Yorker hankering for a good show.


Ryan Adams Bedhead, Volume 3

Well, on that congenial note . . . here's the third installment of Bedhead. A reader reminded me that I need to keep putting these up as promised. A whole lot of life has ambushed me in these last few days, getting a bit behind.

Related Ryan Adams content: Something he posted to the RyanAdams.org message board back in February. Interesting, if a bit incoherent, ramble:

2/12/2006 6:56:18 PM

Onto the music . . .

Disc III (Volume 17)
1. A Kiss Before I Go 5/17/05
2. My Winding Wheel 5/6/05
3. Games 5/16/05
4. Mockingbird Song 5/14/05
5. This Is It 5/6/05
6. Come Pick Me Up 5/4/05
7. The Hardest Part 5/17/05
8. Strawberry Wine 5/16/05
9. Hard Way To Fall 7/26/05
10. Tennessee Sucks 5/7/05
11. Oh My Sweet Carolina 6/16/05
12. La Cienega Just Smiled 5/7/05
13. Brown Sugar 6/7/05
14. Expressway To Your Skull 8/7/05


It is worth noting that #9 Hard Way To Fall contains one of my favorite lyrics in the history of lyrics: "I could find her in a thunderstorm by the way that the rain would fall." I love that.

And tomorrow, tomorrow is the day that I fly to California to accomplish some work & personal related things, but also to see Ryan Adams for the first time! Hey, if you are one of my SF-area readers going to the show, you should stop by the Final/Final bar on Baker & Lombard beforehand to grab a beer with me & a few others of us who are meeting up. It is a sports bar, or so I hear, so be prepared to compete with a wall of TVs, but it has the distinction of being the closest bar to the Palace of Fine Arts that we could locate. It'd be fun.


Tuesday, April 25, 2006

Jason Ricci and New Blood

And now for something completely different. Here is some dirty old backwater blues for you, heavy on the harmonica and rollicking in a very good way.

Jason Ricci and New Blood's album Blood on the Road was on music critic/longtime friend Brad Kava's top ten list of albums for 2005. Kava plays the harmonica himself, so I was not surprised to hear that Ricci can wail. Kava says:

"This powerful quartet takes me back to the days when blues rock was a lethal weapon, sharp and brutal. The Rolling Stones once sounded this pure, a long, long time ago."

Check out this sample live track:

"Shake Your Hips" - Jason Ricci and New Blood
(orig by Slim Harpo, made famous by the Stones)

If you want to hear more, then you can peruse the 11/11/04 show on the Live Music Archive from whence this came. Or you can listen to a more recent set from February 2006; it's from one of my favorite clubs in San Francisco, Biscuits and Blues. Sah-weet place! Check out "Mellow Down Easy" from that set.

Although Jason is only in his late 20s, he is making a huge splash among those who know blues harp. In 2000, Jason received a two page write up in Blues Access magazine written by Adam Gussow saying: "I am convinced that he . . . is one of the best harmonica players of his generation."

It is also interesting to read Jason's list of favorite harmonica players/styles to get a better sense of what makes him such an amazing player. As is usually the case when you start reading about an instrument that you admire but do not play, I had no idea that there were so many factors that went into playing a harmonica well. I just thought, put to mouth, blow. Sheesh.

Here is one bonus track as well, Jason playing harmonica with Heidi and the El Cats, covering the Led Zep classic, "Going to California."

The M's and Rogue Wave on WOXY

Thanks to Dodge over at My Old Kentucky Blog, I now know that many of the varied and rich Lounge Act live sets from WOXY.com are available as mp3s that you can download, not just as streaming audio. So you can take 'em with you and listen over and over.

Here are some good recent performances that you might enjoy (I did!):

Have fun! Head over to MOKB for the full list to keep your ears happy.

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Monday, April 24, 2006

Monday Music Roundup

Ahhh, Monday. Here are a few things I am listening to this week.

"Chasing Cars"
(Acoustic on BBC 4/15/06)
Snow Patrol
I am not a huge Snow Patrol fan -- mostly via benign neglect and not for an overt reason -- but I like this new song off their upcoming release Eyes Open (May 1 in the UK, May 9 U.S.).

Thanks to Good Weather For Airstrikes blog for this; they have other new tracks from Snow Patrol as well as some rare covers, head on over if that's your cuppa tea.

"Can't Go On"
The Shifties
Charming pop songs from The Shifties coming out of Chicago. This upbeat track is definitely Beach Boys/surfin-safari reminiscent, although other tracks (their whole demo album is available to download on their website) have more of a quirky Shins feeling ("Insomniac") or a Mason Jennings vibe ("Tell Me Why"), very unassuming and nice for these spring days. I really like them. Definitely check out their newer song "On My Way" on their MySpace page -- that's the one I wanted to post, but it's not for download. It is, however, featured on their 2005 album Silent Agreement, which you can buy from CDBaby for a mere 8 bucks.

"Playing In The Distance"
Grand National
From the opening notes and sweet beat of this funked out Folk-Implosion-meets-The-Police cut, I cannot sit still. This is fun stuff. It opens with some smooth, low repetitive vocals, and then at about a minute in the vocal hook echoback begins with what appears to be the soulman incarnation of Sting himself. I hear that these guys played SXSW, I wonder how their sound translates live. Anyone catch their set? Off their recent release Kicking The National Habit.

"Soul Thing"
Taylor Hicks
I am not even gonna try and say anything at all to justify my posting of this track. No wait, I am: It's actually good! I admittedly have an inferiority complex over the fact that I watch American Idol, but Taylor Hicks has a healthy dose of soul and a visible genuine love for the music. If I voted (resist! resist!), I'd probably vote for him. From his 2004 album (I didn't know he had one either!) Under The Radar. Now my secret is out.

"You Rock My World"
(Trackmasters remix ft. Jay Z)
Michael Jackson
Does anyone sing like MJ? I mean, with all that "'cha, 'unh, 'shmoa" stuff that can't be captured in writing? Here he tag-teams it in a remix with Jay Z and the result will make you want to get your shwerve on. Thanks to Palms.Out.

Sunday, April 23, 2006

If you are looking for an idea for your next album cover, allow me to suggest . . .

For Julie's 16th birthday, it looks like 'ole Dad is finally gonna pop the question.

Aaah, just another picture of my typical Friday night.

Cody, you can borrow a feelin' from me. It's that kind of heeby-jeeby feelin' that your lazy eye gives me. Or maybe it's your moustache. One of the two.

Aww, only 50 cents for Joyce? Heck, I'd pay, like 60, 65.

Now, ventriloquism is always a logical connection to environmentalism, because Trees Talk Too. What?

Thank God Ken is by request only.

Because nothing says, "Do me, you sexy, sexy beast" like the word pooh in your name.

"For the first time: Tino." Good God, Tino, please point those shorts in another direction. Gracias.

Devastatin' Dave is a turntable slave. What else can I say?

Do they have an actual midget in their crusade?

Satan is real, and apparently he lives in your barbeque. If that's not enough to keep you on the straight and narrow, I don't know what is.

Now these guys look like they know how to have a good time.
Am I right or am I right or am I right? Right?

And that's just unfortunate.

Saturday, April 22, 2006

Wait, who sucks the most at this Earth Day business?

Happy Earth Day y'all.

I sat down to write this post and then had to chuckle as I took a retrospective look at how I have inadvertently commemorated thus far today:

-Took a shower that was far too long & hot (but needed after my late night)
-Drove around town doing a bunch of errands, SOLO, with the windows down (doesn't that decrease fuel efficiency?)
-Accidentally left some lights on all morning
-Did a very small load of laundry to get some mustard out of my sweater I was wearing

I am ON A ROLL, folks. Environmentally conscious, that's me! Next I think I will dump some used motor oil down the storm drain, maybe club a baby seal.

(Oh, and please don't leave me hateful comments if you don't understand the sarcasm)

"The Outdoor Type" - The Lemonheads
("I can’t go away with you on a rocking climbing weekend
What if something’s on TV and it’s never shown again
Just as well I’m not invited
I’m afraid of heights
I lied about being the outdoor type

Never learned to swim
Can’t grow a beard or even fight
I lied about being the outdoor type")

"Insects Rule" - Brendan Benson

"I Like Birds" - Eels

"The Green, Green Grass Of Home" - Johnny Cash, Live at Folsom Prison

"In My Tree" - Pearl Jam

Friday, April 21, 2006

Bacchanalia of unreleased Ray LaMontagne & new album news

Phonetic guide: Ray La-Montaine (that's how you say it, Nathaniel). You could also substitute the words "freaking awesome" or "I can't believe how good he is" in a pinch. Same effect.

Billboard reports:
“Ray LaMontagne is in the midst of finishing his next RCA studio album with hopes to release it in early August. The artist has been recording with producer Ethan Johns at Allaire Studios in Shokan, N.Y. The pair previously worked together on LaMontagne's 2004 debut, Trouble, which has sold 239,000 copies in the United States.

According to a spokesperson, the as-yet-untitled effort will be preceded by a short North American tour in July, a month after he finishes a stint supporting David Gray in the United Kingdom. As previously reported, LaMontagne released the Live from Bonnaroo 2005 EP last December, which included the previously unreleased song "Empty."

Because of the goodwill in my heart towards anyone who would also call Ray LaMontagne friend, I am opening my vaults. Here is a slew of unreleased tracks to sate you until the new album is released:

01. Amy
02. Lesson Learned
03. Until The Sun Turns Black
04. Country Girl
05. Still Can't Feel The Gin (I love this song, also posted back in December)
06. You Should Belong To Me
07. I Can Get High
08. Life Is Long
09. Can I Stay? - (also posted this as well, absolutely gorgeous)
10. Half Alive
11. Sarah
12. Write You A Letter
13. Lead Me On
14. Stone's Throw From Lonesome
15. You Got What I Want (So Why Don't You Give It To Me?)
16. Katie Belle (Gettin' High)
17. Simple Consolation
18. Three More Days
19. Heaven is a Honky Tonk

THESE LINKS ARE DEAD, but I re-posted most of these (and more) here.

Oh, and did we mention he does wicked Gnarls Barkley covers?


If you're in Colorado, consider heading on down to the Springs tonight (Friday night) for the Roger Clyne & The Peacemakers show at the Black Sheep. Absolutely one of my favorite live acts, period - if you come, you will not be disappointed. We'll all kick back some Mexican Moonshine together. And then tune in this weekend for the results of my first ever real interview for the Fuel blog - I will be talking with Roger Clyne about the future of rock 'n' roll and sharing the gems of wisdom with you. Wish me luck, I'm goin' in!


Thursday, April 20, 2006

Happy Birthday Joan Miró

Check out the cool Google logo today for Catalan surrealist artist Joan Miró, born today in 1893:

Miró was a master of the surrealist movement, along with contemporaries Dali, Magritte, and Kahlo. Of the approach, Miró said: "Rather than setting out to paint something, I begin painting, and as I paint, the picture begins to assert itself, or suggest itself under my brush. The form becomes a sign for a woman or a bird as I work . . . the first stage is free, unconscious. . ."

"Miró's floating biomorphic shapes, hovering, vibrating, advancing, and retreating, are suggestive of musical tones made visible. The tempo is light and graceful, the mood playful and humorous."
-- from Art Through The Ages, Gardner

Colorful Revolution - The Redwalls

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Wednesday, April 19, 2006

"What the funk is up?"

Let's all admit right now that 1990 was an embarassing year for a variety of reasons. Mariah Carey, Bel Biv Devoe, Vanilla Ice, and Whitney Houston: yes, I knew them all. I was 11.

Eddie Vedder took some time in 1990 to perform this rather unfortunate song: (with Bad Radio, Feb 11, 1990)

Thanks for the tip, Chad. You ROCK, you closet Pearl Jam stalker, you.


I'm Shakin'

Day late and a dollar short again. Dangit! I intended to post this yesterday and I forgot, but you'll forgive me:

As a lifelong born-and-raised resident of the San Francisco Bay Area, I feel compelled to recognize the 100 year anniversary of the Great Quake of 1906 (see, I even capitalized it, as if I remember it from days of yore). I am sure there was a lot of commemoration hoopla in the Bay Area about the anniversary, but not so much in Colorado. See, Coloradoans just don't care about California. Or so I hear.

Here's a song for you that fits the occasion by L.A. band Rooney (previous blog mention here), who is actually hitting the road with Kelly Clarkson between June 30 and August 6th. I can't, again, condone this (as much as I secretly love American Idol). But in any case, this is a great pop song with an infectious riff.

"I'm Shakin'" - Rooney
(yousendit link - open in new window.
EZArchive sucks, as usual. EZ my ass.)

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

New Black Crowes Songs & Summer Tour Info

Excellent! Two new acoustic songs have surfaced from the Black Crowes. These were played just last Friday night (April 14) at their sold-out show at the Rose Theatre show in New York, the second night of their currently-in-progress acoustic tour, billed as “Brothers Of A Feather: An Acoustic Evening With Chris & Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes.” They're in Austin tonight, followed by a three-night stint at various excellent San Francisco venues, and then ending with 2 shows at The Roxy in L.A.

I Got The Late Nights Again - Black Crowes

Cut From The Shadow - Black Crowes

Summer Tour News Update from their website:
"On the heels of CHRIS and RICH ROBINSON's three sold-out nights of acoustic performances in New York City to ecstatic fans and lengthy standing ovations, THE BLACK CROWES have announced a major summer headlining tour with their special guests Robert Randolph & The Family Band and Drive-By Truckers. Launching June 10 in Seattle, the nine-week trek will visit mostly sheds--including Jones Beach (New York), PNC Bank (New Jersey), Shoreline (San Francisco), Tweeter Center (Boston) and Cynthia Woods (Houston)--as it criss-crosses the U.S. into mid-August.

Each night of CHRIS and RICH's “Brothers Of A Feather: An Acoustic Evening With Chris & Rich Robinson of The Black Crowes” has sold out within minutes after going on sale. The two-week trek marks the first time the brothers have ever performed full-length acoustic sets in their 16-year career.

"'Brothers of a Feather' is certainly a sight to behold and a sound to endear. Although there are only eleven dates booked for the tour, if Friday's show is any indication, they will go down in rock and roll history as some of the greatest performances ever played," reports the Stony Brook Independent (4/15/06) about the brothers' show at Rose Theater @ Jazz at Lincoln Center.

Meanwhile, the band's first-ever DVD FREAK 'N' ROLL...INTO THE FOG roared out of the box, debuting at #2 on Billboard's Music Video chart. A film crew captured THE BLACK CROWES performing five sold-out nights at San Francisco's historic Fillmore Auditorium in August 2005. Writing in the SAN FRANCISCO CHRONICLE about one of the shows, Joel Selvin noted that "The Black Crowes never sounded better than it did Saturday at the Fillmore Auditorium, the peak performance of a sold-out five-night run...(the band) definitely staked a claim in these Fillmore shows as one of the last of the classic rock bands” (8/8/05).

Since reuniting and re-connecting with their loyal fans last year, THE BLACK CROWES have been performing what some called "the best shows of their career." While they achieved a career watermark by headlining their New Year's Eve show at Madison Square Garden, the band--Chris (vocals), Rich (guitars), Marc Ford (guitars), Eddie Hawrysch (keyboards), Sven Pipien (bass) and Steve Gorman (drums)--also played seven sold-out shows at New York City's Hammerstein Ballroom, performed five-nights at the Henry Fonda Theatre in Los Angeles and were headliners at three of the most prestigious festivals in America (New Orleans Jazz and Heritage Festival, Bonnaroo, and Austin City Limits Festival). Summing up the allure of THE BLACK CROWES' concert experience, Mikael Wood of The Village Voice (12/28/05) said the band "remain one of rock's best live acts, as hard-grooving as during their heyday and caked with an extra layer of rambling-man soulfulness."

Look for Pre-Sale information on www.blackcrowes.com.

THE BLACK CROWES with Robert Randolph & The Family Band and Drive-By Truckers summer tour dates (unless otherwise noted):
“*” indicates shows that go on sale Saturday, April 22
“**”indicates show that goes on sale Sunday, April 23

* Sat 6/10 Seattle, WA White River Amphitheatre
* Sun 6/11 Ridgefield, WA (Portland) Clark County Amphitheatre
* Tue 6/13 Sacramento, CA Sleep Train Amphitheatre
Wed 6/14 Los Angeles, CA TBA
Fri 6/16 Las Vegas, NV The Joint (TBC only)
Sat 6/17 San Diego, CA Concerts in the Park
** Sun 6/18 San Francisco, CA Shoreline Amphitheatre
Fri 6/23 St. Louis, MO UMB Bank Pavilion
Sat 6/24 Chicago, IL Charter One Pavilion @ Northerly Island
Sun 6/25 Pittsburgh, PA Chevrolet Amphitheatre
Tue 6/27 Nashville, TN Amsouth Amphitheatre (TBC & D-BT only)
Wed 6/28 Birmingham, AL Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Fri 6/30 Dallas, TX Smirnoff Amphitheatre
Sat 7/1 San Antonio, TX Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Sun 7/2 Houston, TX Cynthia Woods Mitchell Pavilion
Mon 7/3 Austin, TX The Backyard
Thu 7/6 Atlanta, GA HiFi Buys Amphitheatre
Fri 7/7 Tampa, FL Ford Amphitheatre
Sat 7/8 West Palm Beach, FL Sound Advice Amphitheatre
Tue 7/11 Charlotte, NC Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Wed 7/12 Raleigh, NC Alltel Pavilion @ Walnut Creek
Fri 7/14 Virginia Beach Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Sat 7/15 Masontown, WV Allgood Music Festival (TBC only)
Tue 7/18 Uncasville, CT Mohegan Sun Arena
Wed 7/19 Wantagh, NY Tommy Hilfiger @ Jones Beach
Fri 7/21 Camden, NJ (Philadelphia) Tweeter Waterfront
Sat 7/22 Holmdel, NJ PNC Bank Arts Center
Sun 7/23 Boston, MA Tweeter Center
Tue 7/25 Darien Center, NY Darien Lakes Amphitheatre
Wed 7/26 Detroit, MI DTE Energy Music Theater
Fri 7/28 Cleveland, OH Tower City Amphitheatre
Sat 7/29 Scranton, PA Toyota Pavilion
Sun 7/30 Saratoga Springs, NY SPAC
Tue 8/1 Columbus, OH TBA
Thu 8/3 Milwaukee, WI Marcus Amphitheatre
Fri 8/4 Indianapolis, IN Verizon Wireless Amphitheatre
Tue 8/8 Sturgis, SD Rockin' the Ralley (TBC only)
Fri 8/11 Billings, MT Magic City Blues Festival (TBC only)
Sat 8/12 Denver, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Oooh, Red Rocks. That would be a fine initiation for me to that particular venue. But I am still so skint - Note to self: STOP buying concert tickets you can't afford! Maybe I can sell something (a kidney?).


Ryan Adams Bedhead, Volume 2

As promised, here is the second disc of the 5th volume (What Will Happen Next) of the Ryan Adams Bedhead live series. Three more to come following this one. If you missed the first one, it's here.

I've received some interesting feedback from y'all on the topic of seeing Ryan Adams live. Several of you have either commented or emailed to say how horrible he was when you saw him live, and how very disappointed you were. Others concede that when he does have a good show, it is really, really good (when all the celestial elements align for that perfect evening). My friend Chris in the UK made me laugh when he wrote that his wife will not go with him to see Ryan Adams ever again, that she thinks, "her summation - beautiful voice, depressing bastard in dire need of a good wash." He also continues with "As the man says himself, 'The sign on the door should read: variable quality - buyer beware.'

Here's to hoping that all the stars are in alignment next week for the SF shows, that the variable quality is high, and that I get some gems like this:

Disc II (Volume 15)
01. Cold Roses --> New York, New York 5/7/05
02. Stella Blue 7/26/05
03. Already Gone 6/11/05
04. Wonderwall 6/17/05
05. Easy Plateau 5/14/05
06. Meadowlake Street 5/1/05
07. Wharf Rat --> Bird Song 6/16/05
08. You Will Always Be The Same 6/7/05
09. Beachfront Town 4/29/05


Oh, and happy birthday to my brother Brian, somehow he is 24 already and I still picture him as being about 5, pronouncing his "r"s as "w"s. Go see the San Diego ocean for me and enjoy the California sunshine, lil brother! Love you.


Monday, April 17, 2006

Monday Music Roundup

So, I have pleasantly spent my weekend playing the tourist in Colorado because my Grampy is here to visit. I am doing the all the things I haven't done yet, including ascending to the top of the world (aka Pikes Peak, to the right) by cog railroad (and let me categorically say now that there is no way in Hades that I am ever doing the real "Ascent" - the half-marathon to the top on foot!!) and visiting the breathtaking Royal Gorge in Cañon City. What a gorgeous state I live in!

I had some time with the iPod during the drives to whittle down a fine little set for all y'all this week, and I think the end result is somewhat evocative of the landscape that was rolling out before me, although unintentionally:

Ray Lamontagne
In my mind, this man can nary do a wrong. Here Ray Lamontagne shows us all why I love him: reinventing the catchy Gnarls Barkley tune that is all over the cool British kids' iPods into something wrenching and folksy-acoustic and great in its own right. When is he going to release a new album? I will go camp out for that (um, on iTunes? I don't know). Son, there was a day when we camped outside record store for new CD releases and good concert tickets. Back before this newfangled internet jazz.

"Street Light Halos"
Jeffrey Foucault
I had never heard of this Wisconsin heartland artist until I randomly came across his superb "Buckets of Rain" Dylan cover. That being one of my favorite Dylan songs, perfect in its simplicity, I downloaded the cover and listened to it about 5 times in a row as I slid silently through a gorgeous red rock canyon by train this weekend, and was pleased to discover the rest of his work when I got home. Miles From The Lightning (available on eMusic) is somber and atmospheric with sparse acoustic & slide guitars and a very quiet organic feel to most of the songs. Reminiscent of Springsteen (Devils & Dust or Nebraska) and Townes Van Zandt, I think it is going to become one of my favorite chill CDs. Foucault's new disc Ghost Repeater is coming out next month.

"Weekend Soldier"
Gus Black
From last month's release Autumn Days, Gus Black is a Los Angeles singer-songwriter with a nice feel to this, his fourth studio album. I have read descriptions that liken him to Jeff Buckley, Pete Yorn, Eels, and David Gray; comparisons are helpful in narrowing it down, but Black has a shiny sound that is all his own and thoroughly enjoyable. Allmusic said that Autumn Days "often sounds like the perfect soundtrack to be listening to on your headphones while you go sight-seeing in the great outdoors." The album ranges from lo-fi fuzziness to driving guitar ballads, to this track, which instantly made my ears perk up. With his vulnerable and dramatic vocals, lovely strings and keyboard backing, I really like what I hear from this guy.

"Miss You"
The Concretes
Pouty Swedish pop meets Rolling Stones swagger with fantastic results. This was featured on their b-side compilation Layyourbattleaxedown in 2005. Easy, loping, hazy.

Songs:illinois had a nice little post up introducing me to this Spanish indie folk artist Remate. Born in Madrid, but educated in Wales, his English is pretty good but sounds just different enough to make me smile and remember my time abroad fondly. Lonely harmonica and banjo evoke wide open plains like the rural Colorado I saw this weekend. Slow, but with an interesting layered rhythm.


"Hungry Heart"
Mike Love
While you were sleeping, the Beach Boys hooked it on up with Bruce Springsteen and this is the lovely result. I know I promised no more Springsteen covers for a while, but I lied.

The fabulous Mr. Kevin from So Much Silence has the nice 'lil KEXP set from Band of Horses last Thursday. I have restrained myself from posting anything on them thus far, but I will say that I am rather digging their fresh, jangly, Shins-y sound.

Also, INDIEBLOGHEAVEN has one of the new Springsteen tracks from the Pete Seeger tribute album, if you've been curious to hear how those came out. Springsteen sure turns the whole congregation out on this one.

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