Monthly Archives: May 2010

Mixed Tape Monday: People’s Names Part Deux!

Welcome to another installment of Mixed Tape Monday, where I will WOW you with my wonderful compilation of music. Do to the overwhelming response of last week’s Name blog, here is a second helping of songs with names in the title.

 Today’s topic is People’s Names Part Deux!:

Song:              Kylie

Artist:              William Fitzsimmons

Album:            Until When We Are Ghosts

Song:              Johnny 99

Artist:              Bruce Springsteen

Album:            Nebraska

Song:              The Ballad of Carol Lynn

Artist:              Whiskeytown

Album:            Pneumonia

Song:              Jonathon Fisk

Artist:              Spoon

Album:            Kill the Moonlight

Song:              Billy Breathes

Artist:              Phish

Album:            Billy Breathes

Song:              Regular John

Artist:              Queens of the Stone Age

Album:            Queens of the Stone Age

Song:              Dani California

Artist:              Red Hot Chili Peppers

Album:            Stadium Arcadium

Song:              Mariano

Artist:              Robert Earl Keen

Album:            West Textures

Song:              Camilo

Artist:              State Radio

Album:            Us Against the Crown

Song:              Anna Begins

Artist:              Counting Crowes

Album:            August and Everything After

Song:              Roderigo

Artists:            Seven Mary Three

Album:            American Standard

Song:              Tommy Jackson

Artist:              Randy Rogers Band

Album:            Like It Used To Be

Song:              Ava Adore

Artist:              Smashing Pumpkins

Album:            Adore

Song:              Eric’s Trip

Artist:              Sonic Youth

Album:            Daydream Nation

Song:              Billy and Bonnie

Artist:              Steve Earle

Album:            I Feel Alright

Song:              Courage (For Hugh Maclennan)

Artist:              The Tragically Hip

Album:            Fully Completely

Song:              Tweeter and the Monkey Man

Artist:              Traveling Wilburys

Album:            Traveling Wilburys

Song:              Madame George

Artist:              Van Morrison

Album:            Astral Weeks

Song:              My Name is Jonas

Artist:              Weezer

Album:            Weezer (The Green Album)

Song:              Suzy Lee

Artist:              The White Stripes

Album:            The White Stripes

Great music awaits!


Tune In Tuesday: 5/25/10

Welcome to another addition of Tune in Tuesday!  Today’s musical choices are all relatively new and all exude musical greatness in some form or fashion. 

Now that the requisite pleasantries are over, let’s get to the music!

End Times

Eels

Sparsely produced and largely recorded on a four track recorder, this album is the second installment in the trilogy that began with Hombre Loco.  The theme seems to focus on the loss of love and the dark bits associated with divorce.  This is the eight album released by the band whose only constant is the singer/songwriter Mark Oliver Everett or E as he is known in most circles.

Key Tracks:

In My Younger Days, Gone Man, A Line in the Dirt, and On My Feet

Broken Bells

Broken Bells

Broken Bells is the self titled debut album of the mash up of Brian Burton a.k.a Danger Mouse (Gnarls Barkley) and James Mercer (The Shins).  In 2004 the two met and decided to work together and four years later they actually got together and began recording.  The album was released in March 2010.  The music has an experimental edge to it but it is also bathed in melody. 

Key Tracks:

The Ghost Inside, The High Road, The Mall and Misery, and Trap Doors

Brothers

The Black Keys

This is the eighth album for this Akron, Ohio duo.  I think this band is absolute greatness ad cannot believe two white dudes from Ohio can make this much music.  Formed in 2001, the band has not had a bad album since their inception.  If you have not heard of them, I’m sorry, go out and buy or download their music right now.  You will not be disappointed.  Steeped in blues and guitar driven rock, this band is all that is right with music today.

Key Tracks:

Next Girl, Too Afraid to Love You, Ten Cent Pistol, and I’m Not the One

Infinite Arms

Band of Horses

Infinite Arms is the third release for the band and they do not drastically alter their musical playbook from their previous releases.  The music has an ethereal framing that is supported by the dulcet vocal styling of lead singer Ben Bridwell. 

Key Tracks:

Compliments, On My Way Back Home, Neighbor, and Infinite Arms

High Violet

The National

This is the fifth studio album for the Brooklyn based indie band.  The distinguishing baritone of lead singer Matt Berninger continues to be the calling card of the band.  The band has a little more musical force on this album than their previous release but never strays too far from their comfort zone.  Terrible Love, the opening track, and Conversation 16 seem to be the furthest reach of the album and they still connect.

Key Tracks:

Sorrow, Bloodbuzz Ohio, Little Faith, and Lemonworld

Sea of Cowards

The Dead Weather

This is the second album from Jack Whites third band and it is every bit as good as anything he has ever done.  White and Alison Mosshart continue to share the vocal responsibilities on this album.  Mosshart’s angry howl is the perfect accompaniment for White’s primal scream.  This album is in your face from start to finish and might not sit well on the musical palate of all.  It is well worth the initial listen just to check out the cornucopia of musical talent that resides in this band.

Key Tracks:

Blue Blood Blues, Die by the Drop, The Difference Between Us, and Jawbreaker

Great music awaits!


Mixed Tape Monday: People’s Names

Welcome to another installment of Mixed Tape Monday, where I will WOW you with my wonderful compilation of music:

 Today’s topic is People’s Names:

 Song:              Ruby’s Two Sad Daughters

Artist:              Walt Wilkins

Album:            Fire, Honey, & Angels

 Song:              Sherry Darling

Artist:              Bruce Springsteen

Album:            The River

 Song:              Melissa

Artist:              The Allman Brothers Band

Album:            Eat a Peach

 Song:              Jolene

Artist:              Ray LaMontagne

Album:            Trouble

 Song:              Suzie Blue

Artist:              Ben Harper

Album:            Burn to Shine

Song:              Oh, Josephine

Artist:              The Black Crowes

Album:            War Paint

 Song:              Capn Kirk

Artist:              Bob Schneider

Album:            I’m Good Now

 Song:              For Emma

Artist:              Bon Iver

Album:            For Emma, Forever Aga

 Song:              Mr. Larkin

Artist:              State Radio

Album:            Us Against the Crown

 Song:              Meanwhile, Rick James

Artist:              Cake

Album:            Comfort Eagle

 Song:              Suite Judy Blue Eyes

Artists:             Crosby, Stills, & Nash

Album:            Crosby, Stills, & Nash

 Song:              Amie

Artist:              Damien Rice

Album:            O

 Song:              Elias

Artist:              Dispatch

Album:            Silent Steeples

 Song:              Carl Perkin’s Cadillac

Artist:              Drive-By Truckers

Album:            The Dirty South

 Song:              Johnson’s Love

Artist:              Dwight Yoakam

Album:            Hillbilly Deluxe

 Song:              Amelia

Artist:              Erin Ivey

Album:            Sweet Little EP

 Song:              Stella Was a Diver and She Was Always Down

Artist:              Interpol

Album:            Turn On the Bright Lights

 Song:              Kathleen

Artist:              Josh Ritter

Album:            Hello Starling

 Song:              Slow Down Jo

Artist:              Monsters of Folk

Album:            Monsters of Folk

 Song:              Oh Maria

Artist:              Mudcrutch

Album:            Mudcrutch

 Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Jay Farrar!

Jay Farrar is the incredibly gifted singer/songwriter/musician who has been part of the creative process for two influential bands (Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt).  He has also had a nice solo career and most recently ventured out with Ben Gibbard (Death Cab for Cutie) on the soundtrack for “One Fast Move or I’m Gone”. 

Musically he is just as adept in the sparse folksy acoustic of Americana music or the powerful roar of rock and roll.  In addition to the guitar, Farrar also knows his way around the harmonica. 

Jay Farrar Discography:

  • Sebastopol (2001)
  • ThirdShiftGrottoSlack (EP 2002)
  • Terroir Blues (2003)
  • Live EP (2004)
  • Stone, Steel, & Bright Lights (2004)

Upon the demise of Uncle Tupelo, Farrar formed Son Volt and released three albums before going on a six year hiatus.  Upon return in 2005, Farrar was the only original member of Son Volt and the newly designed band released an additional four albums. 

In 2006 Farrar and Anders Parker created Gob Iron and released one album while he was in the process of recording another Son Volt album. 

Farrar’s distinctive vocals are the glue that holds all of his music together.  While he has respectable writing and musical skills, it is his voice that puts the energy and emotion into the songs.   At times, it is low and deeply emotive, conveying the world weary troubadour.  Others times, it is painfully hidden behind the weirdly tuned guitar.

Top Five Jay Farrar Songs:

  1. No Rolling Back (Terroir Blues)
  2. Damn Shame (Sebastopol)
  3. California (Terroir Blues)
  4. Feel Free (Sebastopol)
  5. Station to Station (ThirdShiftGrottoSlack)

Check out Jay Farrar at www.jayfarrar.net

www.youtube.com/watch?v=S9UNSyisYG8

www.youtube.com/watch?v=D9N4fDkSLUE&feature=related

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Temple of the Dog!

One of the albums that are in rotation this week is Temple of the Dog.  I’ve owned the album for close to twenty years and I never seem to grow tired of it.  I realize part of that is the nostalgia for the time in which the album was released, part of it is the musical energy and excitement that was breaking out in the Seattle music scene, and part of it is that it is just a really great album.

So, with that in mind, you should be listening to Temple of the Dog!

Temple of the Dog is the grunge super group that is only a super group because of what the members of the group became later in their career.  In reality, Temple of the Dog is a fortuitous union of friends who are paying tribute to their dead friend. 

Andrew Wood died of a heroin overdose in 1990 and was widely revered in the Seattle area for his work as the lead singer of Malfunkshun and Mother Love Bone.  Andrew was friends with Chris Cornell (Soundgarden) and band mates with Jeff Ament and Stone Gossard.  Chris Cornell began writing a few songs as a tribute to his friend and enlisted the help of Wood’s former band mates to help with the recording of the songs. 

As the recording processed continued, the band line up was filled out with the addition of drummer Matt Cameron (Sound Garden & Pearl Jam) and guitarist Mike McCready (Pearl Jam).  The addition of Eddie Vedder was a bit of a fluke as he just happened to be in town to audition to be the lead singer in a band called Mookie Blaylock which later became Pearl Jam.

Temple of the Dog was recorded in 15 days and produced by the band.  The album was released in April of 1991 and the name is a reference to a line in a Mother Love Bone song called “Man of Golden Words”.

The album received decent reviews and sold around 70,000 copies upon release.  As Soundgarden and Pearl Jam exploded on the musical scene, the album received new life and the single “Hunger Strike” was released and a music video was put in heavy rotation.  The album ended up selling over a million copies and was among the top selling 100 albums in 1992.

The album has a less frenetic pace than some of the earlier material that either band recorded and at times is a bit more harmonious.  “Hunger Strike” is a phenomenal duet between Cornell and Vedder and “Wooden Jesus” is one of my favorite songs from the album. 

In the nearly 20 years since its release, there have only been a handful of appearances by Temple of the Dog.  Cornell has played some of the material while on tour with Audioslave as well as his solo tours.  As recently as 2009, he joined Pearl Jam on stage and sang “Hunger Strike” which sparked rumor and speculation of a 20th anniversary reunion tour. 

Great music awaits!


Tune In Tuesday: 5/18/10

Today’s installment of Tune in Tuesday features six random albums. 

Whiskeytown

Pneumonia

Whiskeytown is the springboard band for the genius of Ryan Adams.  A short lived group that only released three, albeit stellar, albums Whiskeytown helped herald the Alt/country scene.

Pneumonia is a phenomenal album that can be listened to from start to finish. 

Key tracks: Jacksonville Skyline, Sit & Listen to the Rain, Don’t Wanna Know Why

Until When We Are All Ghosts

William Fitzsimmons

William Fitzsimmons is the whispering hirsute folk singer that channels demons into lush, ethereal songs about love, loss, life, etc…  His music is mostly guitar and vocals with the occasional piano.  Soft, sparse, and not quite radio friendly) no poppy hooks or bombastic bass beats) his music is well worth checking out.

Key Tracks: Passion Play, Find It In Me, Forsake All Others

The Wind

Warren Zevon

This is the last album by the late, great Warren Zevon and was released two weeks prior to his death.  There is also a great documentary regarding the creation of this album and last days of Warren.  Keep Me in Your Heart is the closing song and it is amazing as is the eerie cover of Dylan’s Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door.  There is a Who’s Who of rock and roll royalty that appear on this album:  Bruce Springsteen, Don Henley, Tom Petty, T-Bone Burnett, Jackson Browne, Dwight Yoakam, Joe Walsh, John Waite, Timothy B Schmidt, and Ry Cooder.

Key Tracks: Keep Me In Your Heart, Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door, Disorder in the House,

Temple of the Dog

Temple of the Dog

This is the early grunge version of a super group and was spawned by the death of Andrew Wood (Mother Love Bone).  Members of Pearl Jam and Soundgarden collaborate in this tribute to friend and fellow musician.  Chris Cornell and Eddie Vedder have never sounded better than on Hunger Strike.  Such a contrast in vocal styles but a rocking duet none the less. 

Key Tracks: Hunger Strike, Wooden Jesus, Four Walled World, say Hello 2 Heaven

Us Against the Crown

State Radio

This is the debut for the Boston based trio that is fronted by former Dispatch member Chad Urmston.  State Radio is steeped in sociopolitical rhetoric and reggae vibrations.  I’m a huge fan of the band and have seen them live several times.  This is my favorite album that they have released. 

Key Tracks: Camilo, Riddle In London Town, People To People, Mr. Larkin, Right Me Up

Roadhouse Sun

Ryan Bingham

This is Bingham’s second album on Lost Highway and has not been hurt by his sudden popularity due to the release of the movie Crazy Heart.  He has a raspy, whiskey soaked voice that seems road weary despite his relative young age.  The fact that he does not follow the current crop of pop country is refreshing. 

Key Tracks: Day Is Done, Country Roads, Wishing Well, Snake Eyes

Read, review, and respond.

Great music awaits!


Mixed Tape Monday: States

Greetings blog readers!  Have you missed me?  I’ve been away for a few days and am back in time for Mixed Tape Monday.  Due to recent travels, today’s topic is States. 

Note:

I tried to stay away from the low hanging fruit such as Sweet Home Alabama, Nebraska, and Hotel California, etc…

Song:              Oklahoma Girl

Artist:             Eli Young Band

Album:           Level

Song:              Georgia, Georgia

Artist:             Elliott Smith

Album:           New Moon

Song:              California Justice

Artist:             Five For Fighting

Album:           Two Lights

Song:              Texas Skies

Artist:             The Freddy Jones Band

Album:           The Freddy Jones Band

Song:              Sodom, South Georgia

Artist:             Iron & Wine

Album:           Our Endless Numbered Days

Song:              Dressed Up Like Nebraska

Artist:             Josh Rouse

Album:           Dressed Up Like Nebraska

Song:              The Stars In Alabama

Artist:             Jamey Johnson

Album:           That Lonesome Song

Song:              California

Artist:             Jay Farrar

Album:           Terrior Blues

Song:              Crossing Mississippi

Artist:             Jeffrey Foucault

Album:           Miles from the Lightning

Song:              Coast of Carolina

Artist:             Jimmy Buffet (with love to Gwendolyn)

Album:           License to Chill

Song:              You Can Tell Georgia

Artist:             Joe Purdy

Album:           You Can Tell Georgia

Song:              Idaho

Artist:             Josh Ritter

Album:           The Animal Years

Song:              Arizona

Artist:             Kings of Leon

Album:           Because the Times

Song:              Carolina Drama

Artist:             The Raconteurs

Album:           Consolers of the Lonely

Song:              Tennessee Square

Artist:             Whiskeytown

Album:           Faithless Street

Song:              Nashville to Kentucky

Artist:             My Morning Jacket

Album:           The Tennessee Fire

Song:              Leaving New York

Artist:             R.E.M.

Album:           Around the Sun

Song:              Songs About Texas

Artist:             Pat Green

Album:           George’s Bar

Song:              Tennessee Sucks

Artist:             Ryan Adams

Album:           Demolition

Song:              Long Way From Georgia

Artist:             Ryan Bingham

Album:           Mescalito

 Read, review, and responds.

Great music awaits!


Tune In Tuesday: 5/11

Today’s installment of Tune in Tuesday features six random albums. 

Monsters of Folk

Monsters of Folk

Monsters of Folk are the latest “Super Group” to hit the music scene.  Comprised of Jim James (My Morning Jacket), Conor Oberst (Bright Eyes), M. Ward, and Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes).  These boys bring back the sweet harmonies of classic bands like The Eagles and Crosby, Stills, & Nash and evoke the not so distant memory of The Traveling Wilburys.

The music is a mixed bag of rock, folk, and as mentioned before, sweet harmony, and lush melodies.  The lead track on the album “Dear God (Sincerely MOF)” is a trippy little number that is gently bathed in R&B and is based around a sample of the 1970 gospel song “Is There Any Love” by Trevor Dandy.

Key tracks: His Master’s Voice, Temazcal, Losin Yo Head.

Joy

Phish

This is the newest ad fourteenth studio album form the Vermont Jam band.  It is also the album that brought the band back from a four year hiatus and reunited them with produce Steve Lillywhite.  The album is aptly titled as the songs all seem to have a happy, joyful quality to them.  If you have a fan or former fan, check it out and get reacquainted with the boys from Phish.

Key Tracks: Time Turns Elastic, Backwards Down the Number Line, Twenty Years Later

En Concert

Jack Johnson

This album is a great cross section of all of Jack’s work and has guest appearances by Eddie Vedder and Paula Fuga.  It also showcases the harmonizing backing vocals of Zach Gil (Animal Liberation Orchestra), who has toured with Johnson in the past but only recently became a permanent fixture on the tour. 

The special addition has a DVD that captures various stages of his 2008 tour.  The DVD has more guest appearances by the likes of Ben Harper, Eddie Vedder, Mason Jennings, Matt Costa, G. Love & Special Sauce.

Key Tracks: Constellations (w/ Eddie Vedder), Gone, Flake, and Times Like These

White Lies for Dark Times

Ben Harper & the Relentless 7

The Relentless 7 is Ben’s latest incarnation of a band and is a bit heavier than the Innocent Criminals.  The album is solid from start to finish and is not a dramatic departure from any of Ben’s other work.  He still blazes on the slide guitar and is the focal vocal point of the band. 

Key Tracks: Faithfully Remain, Skin Thin, Keep It Together (So I Can Fall Apart), Shimmer and Shine.

Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away

Slaid Cleaves

Slaid Cleaves is pure musical greatness and genius.  This Austin based singer and songwriter is a thoughtfully introspective writer who catches the subtle nuances of life in this crazy world.  He sings of love, lost, hope, faith, and the lack there of.  Not afraid to raise a political edge with his music but never appearing to be preachy or on a soapbox.  If you have not heard of him, he is well worth checking out. 

Key Tracks: Beautiful Thing, Cry, Dreams, Hard to Believe

Natural Forces

Lyle Lovett

Natural Forces is the latest album from Texas’s own Grammy winner Lyle Lovett.  There is just something about the calm confidence in which Lyle sings his songs.  This album is typical Lovett, good song selection, well crafted, and a slight sense of humor. 

 Key Tracks: Pantry, Farmer Brown/Chicken Reel, Don’t You Think I Feel It Too

Read, review, and respond.

Great music awaits!


Mixed Tape Monday:Colors

Welcome to another installment of Mixed Tape Monday!  I hope everyone had a great weekend and remembered to call, visit, or at least think about your dear old mom. 

Today’s topic is Colors:

Song:              Orange Sky

Artist:              Alexi Murdoch

Album:            Time Without Consequence

Song:              Back In Black

Artist:              AC/DC

Album:            Back In Black

Song:              Blue Sky

Artist:              The Allman Brothers Band

Album:            Eat A Peach

Song:              Black Tambourine

Artist:              Beck

Album:            Guero

Song:              Brown Eyed Blues

Artist:              Ben Harper

Album:            Diamonds On the Inside

Song:              Gary Indiana Blues

Artist:              Big Head Todd & the Monsters

Album:            Riviera

Song:              Bad Luck Blue Eyes Goodbye

Artist:              The Black Crowes

Album:            The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion

Song:              Big Blue Sea

Artist:              Bob Schneider

Album:            Songs Sung and Played on Guitar at the Same Time

Song:              Black Cowboys

Artist:              Bruce Springsteen

Album:            Devils & Dust

Song:              Red Dust

Artist:              Calexico & Iron & Wine

Album:            In the Reins

Song:              YellowBlues

Artists:             Charlie Robison

Album:            Beautiful Day

Song:              Soldier Blue

Artist:              The Cult

Album:            Sonic Temple

Song:              Green Light Girl

Artist:              Doyle Bramhall II & Smokestack

Album:            Welcome

Song:              The Deepest Blues Are Black

Artist:              Foo Fighters

Album:            In Your Honor

Song:              Whitewash

Artist:              Gin Blossoms

Album:            Congratulations…I’m Sorry

Song:              Mr. Brownstone

Artist:              Guns ’N’ Roses

Album:            Appetite for Destruction

Song:              Dress Blues

Artist:              Jason Isbell

Album:            Sirens of the Ditch

Song:              Yellow

Artist:              Coldplay

Album:            Parachutes

Song:              Far Away Blues

Artist:              Joe Purdy

Album:            Julie Blue

Song:              Pink House

Artist:              John Mellencamp

Album:            Uh Huh

Read, review, and respond.

Great music awaits!


You should listening to The Hold Steady

The Hold Steady is the Brooklyn based bar band that formed in 2003.  Their musical styling is more narrative and conceptual than most current bands.  Lyrically intense, crunchy, riffing guitars paired with cigarette and whiskey vocals are the calling cards of The Hold Steady.

Their debut album, Almost Killed Me, was released in 2004 and was the shot across the bow that made the critics musical pants go crazy.  In 2005 they released their sophomore album Separation Sunday.  The Hold Steady made the cover of the Village Voice and began to draw comparisons to Bruce Springsteen and Husker-Du. 

The Hold Steady Discography:

  • Almost Killed Me (2004)
  • The Virgin Digital Session EP (2005)
  • Separation Sunday (2005)
  • Boys and Girls in America (2006)
  • Live At Lollapalooza (2006)
  • Stuck Between Stations EP (2007)
  • Live at Fingerprints (2007)
  • Stay Positive (2008)
  • A Positive Rage (Live 2009)
  • Heaven Is Whenever (2010)

2006 saw the release of Boys and Girls in America and more critical success as they were named Band of the Year by Blender and Rolling Stone ranked the album #8 on their Best albums of 2006.

The band has been fortunate to open and tour with a diverse line up of bands such as The Dave Matthews Band, The Rolling Stones, King of Leon, Counting Crows, and Drive-By Truckers.  The band released Stay Positive in 2008 which saw a slight departure from their previous efforts and had some guest appearances by J. Mascis (Dinosaur Jr.), Ben Nichols (Lucero), Emilyn Brodsky and Doug Gillard (Guided By Voices).

Top 5 The Hold Steady Songs:

  1. Stuck Between Stations (Boys and Girls In America)
  2. Lord, I’m Discouraged (Stay Positive)
  3. Sequestered in Memphis (Stay Positive)
  4. The Swish (Almost Killed Me)
  5. Stevie Nix (Separation Sunday)

This past Tuesday saw the release of Heaven is Whenever which is their fifth studio album.  I’ve only had it a few days and have been impressed with what I have heard thus far.

Check out The Hold Steady at www.theholdstedy.com.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=sfrPQUSzVHY

www.youtube.com/watch?v=M3GXOcy2mcs&feature=related

Great music awaits!