A Little Musical VD Help!

Happy Valentine’s Day to all of the dear, sweet, gentle readers, I hope this post finds you with the one you love or at least someone you like a little. In honor of the beloved and mass marketed one day year love fest, I’m dropping a Mixed Tape Monday Special Edition VD List.

Click on the link below!

VD Mixed Tape

So, if you are one of those procrastinating types, take this list, hop on iTunes and download these fine tunes; run to your local grocery store, sift through the remaining sappy, mass produced cards and while you’re there pick up some not so fresh roses or other flowers conveniently available for this special day. To top it all off, grab a box of heart shaped chocolates and make your reservations at your local Applebee’s or Macaroni Grill, show that special someone how much you really care.

Great music awaits!


2011 DFW Concert Calendar: Music You Should Go Listen To!

Hello sweet blog readers. I had some trouble formating this list and grew impatient and frustrated so I just PDF’ed it. CLick below for the actual content.

2011 DFW Concert list2


Super Bowl Musical Hype

Let’s take a few minutes and talk about Super Bowl hype.  Fear not Steelers Nation, we will be back!  Not the hype of the game, or the rivalries that pit storied franchise against each, but the musical hype that surrounds the game.  With such a high profile venue, I mean come on, it is the Super Bowl, and the expectations are high.  In some years, the game is a distant second or third to the music and commercials.  Love the Darth Vader commercial and the finger licking Dorrito dude! 

The Half Time Show has become a separate entity within the game.  In recent years, we have had a range of talent that skewered towards the top of the musical stratosphere with such notables as Paul McCartney, Prince, The Rolling Stones,U2, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, and last year, The Who.   

Historically, the half time performance was a college marching band and maybe a single special musical guest who sang a song.  This all changed in 1993 when Michael Jackson, in all his uniqueness, turned the half time performance into the Half Time Show.  Since 1993 some of the performances have included the following artists:

  • Clint Black
  • The Judds
  • Travis Tritt
  • Teddy Pendergrass
  • Tony Bennett
  • Dianna Ross
  • Boyz II Men
  • Mary J Blige
  • U2
  • Shania Twain
  • Janet Jackson (I’m pretty sure we all remember that one)
  • Paul McCartney
  • Prince
  • Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Phil Collins
  • Christina Aguilera
  • Aerosmith
  • N Sync
  • Britney Spears
  • Nelly
  • Miami Sound Machine
  • No Doubt
  • Sting
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Kid Rock
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
  • The Who
 

Perusing this fine list, you can see that there have been some hit and miss performances.  Some of the performances such as The Boss, U2, and Tom Petty were deserving of a solo show that covered a few of their big hits and maybe a mash up medley or two.  Other lesser known or listened to artists shared the bill with other spares. 

Last night, I was decidedly underwhelmed at the prospect of The Black Eyed Peas taking the stage for even the briefest of moments.  So, much to my surprise, they sucked so much more than my lowest of expectations.  While I try, albeit not very hard, to appreciate their take on music and their apparent enthusiasm for a good time, I just think everyone would have had a better time if their music and their performance did not suck quite so much.  I realize that their brand of music is hard to recreate live.  I would imagine it is excruciatingly difficult when the entire band consists of talentless hacks that look like they should be in another remake of Lost in Space and your lead singer is vocally challenged. 

A quick side note: As if Axl Rose does not have enough anger issues, Slash, what they hell were you thinking?  I suggest you shave your head, lose the hat and go in to hiding.  Your playing guitar while Fergie brayed out what I think were the lyrics to Sweet Child O Mine makes you complicit and just as guilty in the crime that was The Half Time Show.  Clean living has clearly altered your ability to make good musical decisions.  Someone get that man a fifth of Jack, some black tar heroin, any G n R groupies that might be left, and a new agent.

Oh, and I think Usher was on the stage as well.  Well, I think his musical relevancy at this point is the fact that he is partly responsible for exposing the entire world to Beiber Fever. With that being said, he is definitely deserving of the front row on the Hell Express.

I would be remiss if I did not discuss the National Anthem debacle with Christina Aguilera.  I can only imagine the pressure of singing that song in front a hundred thousand live people and also being viewed by millions.  I give her a partial pass on the words.  However, I do not give her a pass on the bluesy, sultry, diva type delivery that she tricked up last night.  I’m just spit balling here but I bet the words would be a little easier to remember if you just sang them straight!  We all know it is a difficult song to sing and we have seen it screwed up countless times by far less talented people.  We all know you have an amazing voice with great range.  We also know that by your quickly released statement, you have a great management team.  Here is a hint fellas, big, theatrical award show let the pipes blow, nationally televised, time honored traditional song, stick to the damn script!

As for the game, I’m more than a little disappointed in the outcome.  I’m a huge Steelers fan and really held on until the last fatal mistake of the game.  Hats off to The Pack and their fans, they did the Super Bowl proud.  This is more than I can say for the music.

Great music hopefully awaits!


My Top 40 at 40!

Recently, and by recently I mean yesterday February 2nd, which just happens to be my day of birth, a buddy of mine threw down the musical gauntlet.  I have briefly and succinctly paraphrased the challenge below:

Top 40 Artists of your life. Not simply a list of 40, but a ranking from 40 to 1. You have to do it. It must be done. It’s your personal Hall of Fame. This is your preference, your jukebox, regardless of genre or generation. This isn’t educational or time relevant. It’s YOUR Top 40 of all time.

This did indeed get the blood rushing and made my musical pants go a little crazy.  I started to brainstorm a list (and by brainstorm I mean immediately sat down and pounded out 40 names, clarified his initial challenge, perused my list again, and started typing the first sentence you read. 

The initial list was not a difficult as I thought.  The ranking of 1-40 took a little bit of time as did my annotations (those are in my tiny, little head) as to why the band/musician made the list.  The list that lies before you is organic in nature and I believe it to be fairly finite to the time that it was written.  The list is not to be likened to a doctoral thesis, packed with statistics that verify the respective placement, resourced with renowned critical fawning, or any type of research other than my ears and their time on earth. 

Be mindful of the fact that there are only 40 spots on this list.  I can tell you that there are probably some glaring omissions on this list.  Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Waylon, Willie, and the boys, did not make the list as well as a litany of other great, well deserving artists.  This list is completely subjective and the omission of anyone is not meant to be a form of disparagement.  It is quite simply a list of bands/musicians that I have loved over the years and also value their contributions to the musical world. 

The final piece of the musical puzzle for this list was really a late night revelation.  I realize it has only been a moment or two since you began reading this but I actually have been running the various scenarios of greatness in my head all night.  And then it hit me, the true measure of an artist’s greatness is my personal commitment to that particular artist. 

  •  How much of myself have I invested in the artists? 
  • What percentage of their catalog do I own? 
  • Would I take the time to see them live if the following were aligned:
    • They are still alive
    • They band is still together
    • The venue was geographically conducive to seeing them live
    • The cost of the ticket did not require me selling my 1st born child.  Although at 15 years of age and being really good at being 15 I would be willing to barter for a really good show right now.

Oddly enough, this revelation did not greatly alter my original list, there were a few additions and subtractions of artists and then the harrowing process of ranking them, with reason, was underway. 

No musicians were harmed in this list.  Of course, egos might be slightly bruised if they ever happen to stumble upon this little read blog and realize their spot on or omission to the list.

So, I give to you my Top 40 at 40!

  1. The Beatles
  2. Bob Dylan
  3. Bruce Springsteen
  4. The Rolling Stones
  5. Led Zeppelin
  6. The Who
  7. Pink Floyd
  8. Tom Petty
  9. The Eagles
  10. Eric Clapton
  11. Elton John
  12. Jimi Hendrix
  13. The Doors
  14. U2
  15. Metallica
  16. Pearl Jam
  17. Van Morrison
  18. Billy Joel
  19. R.E.M.
  20. Rush
  21. Lynryd Skynyrd
  22. Simon & Garfunkel
  23. John Mellencamp
  24. Stevie Ray Vaughan
  25. Prince
  26. Nirvana
  27. Uncle Tupelo
  28. Eminem
  29. Nine Inch Nails
  30. Beck
  31. The Dave Matthews Band
  32. Rage Against the Machine
  33. Robert Earl Keen
  34. N.W.A
  35. The Black Crowes
  36. The Beastie Boys
  37. The White Stripes
  38. Ryan Adams
  39. Ben Harper
  40. Joe Purdy

 

Great music awaits!


A Bloggers Musical Look at 40!

Well, my dear, sweet, gentle blog readers, today is a milestone day for me.  Or, so I’m told.  Yep, it is my 40th birthday.  Feel free to comment on how old I am or must feel.  Candle jokes are always funny, and yes, I am actually typing this attired in black and with one foot in the grave.

I like to think that I have made my musical feelings abundantly clear over the last year or so in this blog.  Songs are snapshots along our continuum that allow us to recall special times, people, and places. Music shades us in many ways, some so beautifully moving that we are overcome by emotion, others etched in our fabric like a familiar scent that recalls the halcyon days of our youth, while others are just simply attached to a moment in time.

In my forty years, I have lived and experienced more life than I probably deserve.  I know I certainly lived more than my parents deserved.  Through it all, music is the one constant that I have turned to regardless of the situation.  Adolescent love, loss, birth of children, marriage, divorce, and death, and yes, much living in between, music has been my salvation. Music resonates within me at many different levels. The basic premise behind music is notes, keys, chords, rhythm, etc….   It is analogous to food in the fact that there is music for all occasions.

So today, is my musical look at 40!  Below are 40 songs that have colored me indelibly. I will offer no explanation as to why these songs resonate with me nor will I debate their worthiness of inclusion.  After all it is my birthday, my blog and my computer at which I type. 

Below is this Bloggers Musical look at 40:

Song

Artist
  • Blinded By the Light *note* Cause Mama that’s where the fun is!
Bruce Springsteen
  • Everybody Hurts
R.E.M.
  • Simple Man
Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Tiny Dancer
Elton John
  • With or Without You
U2
  • Louisiana Rain
Tom Petty
  • Dyer’s Eve
Metallica
  • Touch From Your Lust
Ben Harper
  • Fire Lake
Bob Segar
  • Masters of War
Bob Dylan
  • See What Tomorrow Brings
Arc Angels
  • There Is So Much More
Brett Dennen
  • Mystic Rhythms
Rush
  • Jimi Thing
The Dave Matthews Band
  • It’s In the Way That You Use It
Eric Clapton
  • Rearview Mirror
Pearl Jam
  • Sweet Child O’ Mine
Guns N’ Roses
  • The Sea and the Rhythm
Iron & Wine
  • Waiting for the Sun
The Jayhawks
  • Little Wing
Jimi Hendrix
  • Highwayman
The Highwaymen
  • Gimme Shelter
The Rolling Stones
  • Chloe Dance/Crown of Thorns
Mother Love Bone
  • When You Come Back Down
Nickel Creek
  • I’m Trying To Find It
Pat Green
  • Wish You Were Here
Pink Floyd
  • Slip Sliding Away
Paul Simon
  • Sideways
Citizen Cope
  • Wheel In The Sky
Journey
  • Sign O’ The Times
Prince
  • What a Crying Shame
The Mavericks
  • Sweet Caroline
Neil Diamond
  • Minutes To Memories
John Mellencamp
  • Band on the Run
Paul McCartney
  • Killing In the Name
Rage Against the Machine
  • Shades of Gray
Robert Earl Keen
  • Life Without You
Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Plush
Stone Temple Pilots
  • Badfish
Sublime
  • Into the Mystic
Van Morrison

When I hear any of these songs, I vividly remember the moments, feelings, situations, and the friends I shared the moments with.  I contend that these artists and their songs do or will stand the test of time and are just as relevant today as they were in the past or will be in the future.  At least for me!

So there you go, me sharing a little of my birthday with you.  Enjoy and come over later for some cake and ice cream.

Great music awaits!


Grace Potter and the Nocturnals

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals is the smoking hot Vermont band led by musical wunderkind and band namesake Grace Potter.  She is a multi instrumentalist/vocalist with some serious skills.  She plays both electric and acoustic guitar, Hammond B3 organ, Fender Rhodes piano, and Wurlitzer electrical piano.  Did I also mention that she sings?  Her expressive, genre changing voice is the hook that drags you into the music.

The band was loosely formed in 2002 when Potter was spotted by, soon to be band mate, Matthew Burr as she was singing folk songs in a student hot spot on the St. Lawrence University campus.  In 2005 the band received two nominations at the Boston Music Awards and independently released “Nothing But the Water”.  The band eventually signed with Hollywood Records and the album was rereleased in 2006 and received two more nominations from the Boston Music Awards.

Their second album “This Is Somewhere” was released in 2007 and they toured with Gov’t Mule.  The same year they made TV appearances on The Tonight Show with Jay Leno, Good Morning America, and The Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.  In addition to those appearances, their song “Apologies” made the rounds on several shows such as:

  • All My Children
  • One Tree Hill
  • Grey’s Anatomy
  • ER
     

2008 found them touring with The Black Crowes and Dave Matthews and they played a full set at the Mile High Music Festival.

Grace Potter and the Nocturnals Discography:

  • Nothing But the Water
  • Live Oh Five
  • This Is Somewhere
  • Live In Skowhegan
  • Grace Potter and the Nocturnals
  • Live at the Fillmore

The 2010 release of their self titled album finds Grace and Co. melding the myriad parts of their band; the raw live vibe, the sultry, bluesy vocal prowess of Grace, the deft musical abilities of the band, and the classic rock sound.  While they have spent many years wowing the crowds on the live circuit and have toured with some of the jammiest of bands, this album and the TV spots are the bridge to a broader audience. 

Check out Grace Potter and the Nocturnals at www.gracepotter.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1Vy1OoBAL-E

www.youtube.com/watch?v=paeNnR33i5Q

Great music awaits!


2011 Sneak Peak of Music You Should Be Listening To!

Another year has come and gone and we are in the early stages of a new year.  Out with the old and in with the new!  Today, I give you a sneak peak at some of the highly anticipated releases of 2011.  So sit back and let your music pants go crazy as you peruse this fine list of music to come.

My Morning Jacket

Currently Untitled (Unscheduled 2011)

Let the love and reverb flow as Jim James and gang do their thing.  Producing the set themselves the band used a converted gym as their recording space.  The Louisville, Kentucky, rockers are keeping it real on their sixth record.  I’m going out on a limb and stating that this album will be one of the best albums of 2011.

Beastie Boys

‘Hot Sauce Committee Part 2’ (Unscheduled 2011)

Now that Adam Yauch is on the road to recovery from throat cancer, the New York trio will release their first album in four years. I for one am glad to see the boys back in the studio mixing and mingling their distinctive sound. 

Drive-By Truckers

Go-Go Boots (February 15)

The boys are back and I could not be happier.  Cooley and Hood continue their southern styled rock with their topical lyrics and swagger.  Expect plenty of guitars, stories steeped in deep southern experiences and the vocal contrast of Cooley’s drawl and Hoods howl.

 R.E.M.

Collapse Into Now (March 8 ) 

Rumor has it that the 12-tracks are some of their strongest rock songs in years. It also finds front man Michael Stipe rocking old school R.E.M machine gun like phrases with the frantic cadence of classic tunes like “It’s The End of the World as We Know It (And I Feel Fine)”. The boys have teamed with producer Garrett “Jacknife” Lee (U2, Weezer,) and laid down the tracks for their 15th album in locations within the contiguous 48 states and Europe. And as is the latest craze, the album has guest vocals from none other than Mr. Eddie Vedder of Pearl Jam fame.

Kanye West & Jay-Z

Watch the Throne (Unscheduled 2011)

In keeping with the bigger than life style of hip/hop royalty these two juggernauts the laid down tracks all over the world, including the South of France and Australia. Their first single “H.A.M.,” hit the airwaves this month.  Even before he released, his 2010 masterpiece, My Beautiful Dark Twisted Fantasy, Kanye was already working on this collaboration with Jay-Z, The record was initially set as an EP but morphed into a full-length album.

 The Kills

Blood Pressures (April 5)

 For the duo’s fourth studio album, both Jamie Hince and Alison Mosshart wrote separately, more out of necessity brought on by Mosshart’s involvement with Jack White’s musical love child The Dead Weather.  In other Weather news, Jack Lawrence’s band The Greenhornes also recently released an album!  Incidentally, Lawrence is also in White’s other musical venture The Raconteurs.  Allow another side note: Jack White is musical genius!

U2

Songs of Ascent (Unscheduled 2011)

The veteran rockers are busy working on three albums, (talk about over achieving), and the first to arrive will be their collaboration with super producer Danger Mouse. So, how does the Broadway production of Spiderman fit into the mix?  Danger Mouse has been on fire as of late.  He contributed production value to the Black Keys major breakthrough Attack & Release and last year he teamed up with The Shins front man James Mercer and gave us Broken Bells

Foo Fighters

Currently Untitled (Unscheduled 2011)

After the side project of Them Crooked Vultures, I am looking forward to this little rock’n’roll revival for the Foo Fighters’ first disc in five years. There are 11 songs on the album and the word on the street is that from start to finish, there’s not one ballad.  This album finds Dave Grohl reuniting with Nirvana’s Krist Novoselic and Butch Vig, who produced 1991’s Nevermind.

Lady Gaga

Born This Way (May 23)

Some might believe this to be the most anticipated pop record of the year. As for Lady Gaga, she won’t let you forget it. For months, she’s been teasing bits of info via the time suck of Twitter and at her shows about the 2011 release. The wait is almost up: Gaga will drop album’s first single, “Born This Way,” on February 13.

Fleet Foxes

Currently Untitled (Unscheduled 2011)

Washington State’s hirsute folk style band was close to wrapping the follow-up to their self-titled debut last fall. Ever the perfectionist, Robin Pecknold scrapped much of the material to “return to the cave,” as he called it, and start over. The record has since been mastered and is prepped for release. No new territory explored on the follow up; Folksy, sweetly layered vocals and harmonies that call to mind the early harmonious groups such as The Eagles and Crosby Stills, and Nash and sometimes Young!

Radiohead

Currently Untitled (Unscheduled 2011)

Their first album since 2007’s In Rainbows with the record, which will be produced by Nigel Godrich. Still, a rep for the band confirms a new record is due out sometime this year.

Jane’s Addiction

 (Unscheduled 2011)

With the abrupt departure of, Perry and crew went way out on a limb and hired TV on the Radio guru/producer-instrumentalist Dave Sitek to handle the bass lines and possibly contribute ideas as well as a cool infusion of new life for their new LP, tentatively titled The Great Escape Artist

 Red Hot Chili Peppers

Currently Untitled (Unscheduled 2011)

With the loss of guitarist John Frusciante, The Peppers have recruited touring guitarist Josh Klinghoffer for their latest LP.   Some of the disc will include songs that were written by Flea on piano, as well as material inspired by Afro-beat music from Lagos, Nigeria.  

Wilco

Currently Untitled (Unscheduled 2011)

After splitting from their longtime home Nonesuch last year Jeff Tweedy and the Wilco boys will release their latest effort on their own label. The band has been quiet about details of the new album but there has been confirmation, by a band rep, that the album is due out sometime in 2011.

Lil Wayne

Currently Untitled (Unscheduled 2011)

Since his release from the joint Weezy has been on lockdown in his Miami studio working on Tha Carter IV, his sequel to 2008’s Tha Carter III. Its first single, “6 Foot 7 Foot,” featuring Cory Gunz, was released on last month. The word is that Wayne, who started working on the album before his state sanctioned vacation, started over and will use rhymes from his time spent reflecting in the pokey.  How many funny jail references can you work in one paragraph?

Outkast

Currently Untitled (Unscheduled 2011)

It’s been four years since the Atlanta duo dropped and we quickly forgot Idelwild, but there has been confirmation that they’re working on their long overdue follow-up, which is expected this year. Both Andre 3000 and Big Boi have been busy working on solo projects.  Boi dropped his solo release (Sir Lucious Left Foot:  in 2010 with much hype and was on several year best of lists, including mine.  Dre’s efforts have yet to come to fruition but might also appear in 2011.

Dr. Dre

Detox (Unscheduled 2011)

Though there’s no official release date, and appears that this release might be Hip Hops version of “Chinese Democracy” but given Dre’s musical genius and many collaborations it just might be worth the wait. 

Here is a cursory view of what is expected in 2011.

 Monthly Breakdown of Releases

January 11

  • Cage the Elephant, ‘Thank You, Happy Birthday’
  • Cake, ‘Showroom of Compassion’
  • Edie Brickell, ‘Edie Brickell

January 18

  • Decemberists, ‘The King is Dead’
  • Gregg Allman, ‘Low Country Blues’
  • James Blunt, ‘Some Kind of Trouble’
  • Social Distortion, ‘Hard Times and Nursery Rhymes’

January 25

  • Amos Lee, ‘Mission Bell’
  • Cold War Kids, ‘Mine is Yours’
  • Corinne Bailey Rae, ‘Love
  • Deerhoof, ‘Deerhoof vs. Evil’
  • Iron & Wine, ‘Kiss Each Other Clean’
  • Talib Kweli, ‘Gutter Rainbows’
  • Wanda Jackson, ‘The Party Ain’t Over’

February 1

  • The Go! Team, ‘Rolling Blackouts’
  • Matisyahu, ‘Live at Stubb’s Vol II

February 8

  • …And You Will Know Us By the Trail of Dead, ‘Tao of the Dead’
  • Alison Krauss, TBA

February 15

  • Bright Eyes, ‘The People’s Key’
  • The Dears, ‘Degeneration Street’
  • Drive-By Truckers, ‘Go-Go Boots’
  • Mogwai, ‘Hardcore Will Never Die, But You Will’
  • PJ Harvey, ‘Let England Shake’

February 22

  • Harry Connick Jr., ‘Harry Connick Jr. in Concert on Broadway’
  • INXS, ‘Original Sin’
  • Jeff Beck, ‘Rock ‘n’ Roll Party: Honoring Les Paul’
  • John Waite, ‘Rough & Tumble’
  • The Low Anthem, ‘Smart Flesh’

March 1

  • Blessed Union of Souls, ‘The Mission Field’
  • Dropkick Murphys, ‘Going out of Style’
  • John Popper & the Duskray Troubadours, ‘John Popper & the Duskray Troubadours’
  • Lucinda Williams, ‘Blessed

March 8

  • Avril Lavigne, ‘Good Bye Lullaby’
  • Lupe Fiasco, ‘Lasers
  • R.E.M., ‘Collapse Into Now’
  • Sara Evans, ‘Stronger

March 15

  • Danger Mouse & Daniele Luppi, ‘Rome’
  • Green Day, ‘Awesome as F**k’
  • New York Dolls, ‘Dancing Backward in High Heels’

March 22

  • Edwyn Collins, ‘Losing Sleep’
  • Pitbull, ‘Planet Pit’
  • Raphael Saadiq, ‘Stone Rollin’
  • Ray Davies, ‘See My Friends’

March 29

  • Mountain Goats, ‘All Eternals Deck’
  • Peter Bjorn and John, TBA

April 12

  • Paul Simon, ‘So Beautiful or So What’

April 26

  • Dirty Vegas, ‘Electric Love’

 2011 Releases With No Date Etched In Granite:

  • Aerosmith, TBA
  • Andre 3000, TBA
  • Fiona Apple, TBA
  • Busta Rhymes, ‘The Chemo’
  • Chingy, ‘1st Quarter’
  • Coldplay, TBA
  • Common, ‘The Believer’
  • Death Cab for Cutie, TBA
  • Eve, ‘Lip Lock’
  • Wyclef Jean, ‘If I Were President: My Haitian Experience’
  • Nickelback, TBA
  • Britney Spears, TBA
  • Justin Timberlake, TBA
  • Ting Tings, TBA