Tag Archives: Brett Dennen

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


Mixed Tape Monday: Cities

Today is Mixed Tape Monday and today’s topic is Cities!

So, listed below are great songs that have a particular city in the title or referenced in the song. 

City Mixed Tape:

  • Atlantic City
    • Bruce Springsteen
    • Album: The River
  • Brooklyn Bound
    • The Black Keys
    • The Big Come Up
  • Toyko
    • Bob Schneider
    • Album: Lonelyland
  • San Francisco
    • Brett Dennen
    • Album: Hope for the Hopeless
  • Omaha
    • Counting Crows
    • Album: August and Everything After
  • L.A. Woman
    • The Doors
    • Album: L.A. Woman
  • Birmingham
    • Drive-By Truckers
    • Album: Southern Rock Opera
  • South of Cincinnati
    • Dwight Yoakam
    • Album: Guitars, Cadillac’s, Etc., Etc.
  • Chicago Promenade
    • Jason Isbell
    • Album: Sirens of the Ditch
  • Train to Jackson
    • Jeffrey Foucault
    • Album: Ghost Repeater
  • San Jose
    • Joe Purdy
    • Album: Take My Blanket and Go
  • When Jesus Left Birmingham
    • John Mellencamp
    • Album: Human Wheels
  • Jersey Clowns
    • Josh Rouse
    • Album: Subtitulo
  • Manhattan
    • The Kings of Leon
    • Album: Only by the Night
  • Lake Charles
    • Lucinda Williams
    • Album: Car Wheels on a Gravel Road
  • The Road to Ensenada
    • Lyle Lovett
    • Album: The Road to Ensenada
  • Memphis & 53rd
    • Minus the Bear
    • Album: Menos el Oso
  • Jacksonville Skyline
    • Whiskeytown
    • Album: Pneumonia
  • Lynnville Train
    • Robert Earl Keen
    • Album: Gringo Honeymoon
  • Riddle In London Town
    • State Radio
    • Album: Us Against the Crown

Read, review, and respond.

Great music awaits!


Concerts

We hear a song, purchase/download some music; it raises our awareness of the band and then we become a fan.  The concert is the culmination of our musical inclinations.  It is the holy grail of the musical experience.  At least, in our mind, it is. 

The concert is the musical equivalent of craps (the game of chance, not Jack in the Box 2 for $1 greasy tacos passing through your bowels)

Some nights go like this:

You purchase your ticket with the expectation that it will be musical bliss and a night to remember.  You get there, fight the crowd, listen to the mediocre, at best, opening act, and wait impatiently for the headlining show.   After what seems like an eternity, out stumbles the drunk/high lead singer, forgets the words to your favorite song, becomes enraged at the crowds displeasure and walks of the stage giving you the double fisted one finger salute. 

While other nights go like this:

You show up at some little dive barbeque joint and begin to think the show has been canceled because there are only four cars in the parking lot.  You go in, order some food and a beer, take you pick of the abundantly available tables and notice two chairs on the stage and a couple of guitars.  You take a seat, sip your bear and out strolls the singer and his buddy and the play for several hours, come sit down and thank you for coming to the show and take your request and play it before the night is over.

I’ve regaled you with some stories of concerts from my past and touted the greatness of Austin City Limits Music Festival but today, I’m going to chronologically list the concerts, to the best of my recollection, I’ve attended over the years.

Year Band
1983 Quiet Riot
Interesting Facts
7th grade, first concert to attend and broke my ankle that afternoon after being chased by a large classmate who took off his belt and began swinging it at me.  I left the hospital on crutches and planned on going to concert while my mother drove along beside me screaming at me to get in the car.  Being 12 and disabled, mom won and I missed the concert.  I did, however, get the t shirt as a consolation prize from my buddy who I gave the ticket to.
1985 Def Leppard
Interesting Facts
My first official concert that I actually got to attend.  Reunion Arena in Dallas, TX.  Oddly enough, I do not remember much about the concert other than it kicked much 14 year old musical butt.
1985-1989 Tom Petty

Stevie Nicks

Elton John

Don Henley

White Snake

Tesla

The Cult

Metallica

Interesting Facts
This period was the high school years and while there are funny stories, time has blurred the lines a bit.

  • One concert I went to with a group of girls and as soon as we got to Starplex Amphitheater, they all had to go to the rest room.  So, they opened the passenger door and all took turns squatting in the parking lot under the shroud of secrecy that was the afore mentioned door.  Don’t worry ladies; your identity is safe with me.
  • Another concert had some of the above mentioned girls and on the way home we got lost and drove around through an amazing fog which we likened to the moors, a Sherlock Holmes reference at the time, and eventually made it home.  Some of attendees were really upset with the turn of events.
  • White Snake concert we bought tickets from scalpers and got totally ripped off but thought we were so cool because we were seeing White Snake.
  • Metallica was an amazing show and the first time I had seen mosh pits and thoroughly enjoyed the frantic pace of the music.  Some fans really enjoyed the show and started lighting the lawn on fire and once security came out, the fire just seemed to move to another location.

 

1989-1992 Travis Tritt

Shenandoah

Various country acts at Billy Bobs

Interesting Facts
Some of my buddies were really in to country music and I would often tag along because I had nothing else to do and wanted to make some new female acquaintances. The Shenandoah concert was particularly memorable, not because the concert was good, in fact, I never actually saw them.  I got kicked out of the bar because I was 18 and using a fake ID to buy beer.  My buddies, of course, stayed and watched the show.  The crushing event of the night was that the girl I took to the show also stayed inside and I sat alone in the back of my friend’s truck for several hours.  The night was not a total loss, because I drank all of the beer in the cooler while sitting in the parking lot of Billy Bob’s.
1993-1995 Lots of local acts in the musical mecca of Denton, TX

Rush

Interesting Facts
The Rush show stands out for two reasons:To procure the tickets for this concert, my buddy and I left Denton very, very early on a Saturday morning after a very, very, late Friday night to go to Lewisville Mall to get tickets.  We arrived way too early and drove to Braums and got a double order of biscuits and gravy.  While this might not read as funny as it was, we were way hung over and those biscuits and gravy were the magic elixir that restored our health. Night of the concert we pick up our dates, have dinner and head to Dallas.  There is mild drinking, as colleges kids are known to do, and before you know it, we are on the floor of Reunion Arena basking in the glory of Rush.  On the way home there is some conversation of the concert and the girl that I took begins to nod off a bit and then suddenly hurls into and on the door.  We stop and ask if she is ok and she looks at us as if nothing happened and denies what is clearly on her chin, clothes, seat, floor, and of course door.  We get home she gets out like nothing happened.
1995-2005 The Dave Matthews BandMetallica

Linkin Park

Beastie Boys

Pat Green

Willie Nelson

Jack Johnson

Bob Dylan

Bruce Springsteen

Beck

G. Love & Special Sauce

Merle Haggard

Tori Amos

Korn

Chevelle

Robert Earl Keen

Interesting Facts
All pretty good shows and some artist like Dave Matthews and Pat Green I’ve seen multiple times.  The one stand out concert story is this:A group of folks went to see Willie Nelson at Lone Star Park which is an outdoor horse track.  His stage was set back a bit and there were risers and bleachers that elevated the fans to better see the stage.  I am walking up, wearing loose cargo shorts and minding my own business, when I feel something moving up my leg and heading north central.  I look down and there is an older woman with her hand up my shorts grabbing my junk.  I jump up and swat at her as if she is some form of annoying insect and she looks up, smiles with what teeth she has left and says “Oh, excuse me” as if she had accidently bumped into me as were passing on a sidewalk.  She then turned and walked away as if nothing had happened.
2006-Present Pearl JamBen Harper

Foo Fighters

Tom Petty

Beck

G. Love & Special Sauce

Wilco

Son Volt

Drive-By Truckers

State Radio

Brett Dennen

Bruce Springsteen

B-52’s

Robert Plant & Allison Krause

Joe Purdy

Cross Canadian Ragweed

The Killers

The Tragically Hip

The Eli Young Band

Pete Yorn

Bob Schneider

James McMurtry

Kris Kristofferson

Merle Haggard

Damien RiceDonovan Frankenreiter

Arcade Fire

The Shins

Okkervil River

Mason Jennings

The Black Keys

Ray LaMontagne

Queens of the Stone Age

Bob Dylan

Willie Nelson

Van Morrison

The Toadies

The Killers

John Mayer

Steve Earle

Bjork

Iron & Wine

Walt Wilkins

The Dead Weather

The Raconteurs

Lucinda Williams

Erin Ivey

Amos Lee

Interesting Facts
The majority of these artists have been seen at the Austin City Limits Music Festival which is an annual pilgrimage for me.  Some artist I have seen both at ACL and their own headlining tour.

So, there you have it, a little stroll down concert memory lane.  Let me know about some of your favorite or at least memorable concert experiences and who is a must see when they roll through town.

Great music awaits!


25 Albums (since 2000) you should own

Greetings music lovers,

 Today’s blog is a monthly continuation of 25 albums you should own and has the following parameters:

  • Album must have been recorded/released in or after to 2000
  • No duplication of artist
  • No live albums or greatest hits (kind of an all encompassing copout to include either)
  • Listing of my favorite track from said album (This is not so much a parameter but a mere bonus for your reading pleasure)

 Twenty Five albums you should own! (In no particular order):

Artist Album Song
State Radio Us Against The Crown Camilo
Amos Lee Last Days At the Lodge What’s Been Going On
Brett Dennen So Much More Ain’t No Reason
The Black Crowes Before the Frost Appaloosa
Bob Dylan Modern Times Thunder on the Mountain
Beck The Information Strange Apparition
Ben Harper & The Relentless 7 White Lies for Dark Times Faithfully Remain
Bon Iver For Emma, Forever Ago Flume
Corrine Bailey Rae Corrine Bailey Rae Seasons Change
Eddie Vedder Into the Wild Society
Erin Ivey The 11th Floor Chocolate
Foo Fighters In Your Honor Another Round
The Hold Steady Stay Positive Lord, I’m Discouraged
James McMurtry Childish Things We Can’t Make It Here
Josh Ritter The Animal Years Girl In the War
Yeah Yeah Yeahs Show Your Bones Warrior
Zac Brown Band The Foundation Highway 20 Ride
William Fitzsimmons Until When We Are Ghosts Passion Play
Vampire Weekend Vampire Weekend The Kids Don’t Stand A Chance
TV On the Radio Dear Science Halfway Home
Tom Petty Highway Companion Square One
Spoon Transference Nobody Gets Me But You
Slaid Cleaves Everything You Love Will Be Taken Away Beautiful Thing
Serj Tankian Elect the Dead Money
Rilo Kiley Under the Blacklight Silver Lining
Ray LaMontagne Trouble Jolene

 So, there you have it, another list of musical bliss.  Take your time, check them out and let me know what you think.

 Great music awaits!


Lyrically Speaking: Great lyrics in music!

I’m always impressed when an artist writes his own material and has the ability to play an instrument.   As I’ve gotten older, I have come to better appreciate all the subtleties of a song and the work that goes into its creation.  To me, the key to great music is the lyrics. I appreciate the instrumentation and all the musical components, but the lyrics are what draw me in. 

The beauty of a lyric is that it can be a simple, well placed line or it can be the entire composition of a song.  It is the artist’s ability to convey a thought or emotion that connects personally to the listener.  In my opinion, it is poetry set to music.  Witty, quirky, rambling thoughts, scathing sociopolitical commentary, beautiful, fluid observations, or emotionally charged lyrics, in my opinion, are the cornerstone of music.

So, I’ve compiled a list of great lyrics.  This will certainly be a reoccurring topic on the blog as there are so many areas to mine for genius lyrics.

Here is the first installment of great lyrics you should be listening to:

Lyric Song Artist
So you’ve been broken and you’ve been hurt, show me somebody who ain’t.  Yeah I know I’m nobody’s bargain but hell a little touch up and a little paint.  Human Touch Bruce Springsteen
A candle throws its light into the darkness, in a nasty world so shines a good deed.  Make sure the fortune you seek is the fortune that you need.  Tell me why the first to ask is the last to give every time. What you say and do not mean follows you close behind.

 

Diamonds On the Inside Ben Harper
People walk a tightrope on a razor’s edge carryin’ their hurt and hatred and weapons.  It could be a bomb or a bullet or a pen or a thought or a word or a sentence.

 

Ain’t No Reason Brett Dennen
Soak me in the sunshine, rinse me in the rain, the smell of hate surrounds me and I want to love again.  Wrap me in feathers lost from angel’s wings, they’ve broken my reflection and I am in need.

 

Broken Reflection (Troubadour’s Prayer) Wade Bowen
Those little demons ain’t the reasons for the bruises on your soul you’ve been neglecting.  You’ll never lose your mind as long as your heart always reminds you where you left it.  And don’t ever let them make you feel like saying what you want is unbecoming. 

 If you were supposed to watch your mouth all the time I doubt your eyes would be above it

 

Gravity’s Gone Drive-By Truckers
Your words just a bloody fallacy a house of cards you painted white. You tried to recreate Normandy but you made up the reason to fight.


And now red oil is spillin’ down on the street and your eyes too big for the belly is weak.

Will you not refuse this currency or is blood money just money to you is blood money just money to you

 

Camilo State Radio
Well I looked my demons in the eyes lay bare my chest
Said do your best to destroy me. I’ve been to hell and back
So many times I must admit you kinda bore me.
There’s a lot of things that can kill a man there’s a lot of ways
To die yes, and some already did and walk beside me.

There’s a lot of things I don’t understand so many people lie. It’s the hurt I hide that fuels the fire inside me.

Will I always feel this way so empty so estranged?

 

Empty Ray LaMontagne
I dreamed you, I saw your face. Caught my lifeline when drifting through space. I saw an angel, I saw my fate I can only thank God it was not too late.

Over mountains I floated away across an ocean I dreamed her name. I followed an angel down through the gates.

I can only thank God it was not too late

 

Angel Dream(No. 2) Tom Petty
Boy, don’t you worry, you’ll find yourself. Follow your heart and nothing else. And you can do this, oh baby, if you try. All that I want for you, my son, is to be satisfiedand be a simple kind of man.
Oh, be something you love and understand.

 

Simple Man Lynyrd Skynyrd
There’s a red barn in the half light and a white frost on the shade. And in the bars down off the main drag they’re drinking down what they got paid and I wonder in all my leaving if I ever could have stayed. I’m coming home There’s a junked out car in the tall grass it ain’t ever gonna sell. And Jimmy’s raising daughters and Jack’s out raising hell.

And I always said I loved you, I never said I loved you well.

 

Cross of Flowers Jeffrey Foucault

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Animal Liberation Orchestra!

Animal Liberation Orchestra (ALO) is the hippie, trippy, California band that brings the good time vibe to everything they play.  The band was formed by high school buddies Zach Gill, Steve Adams, and Dan Lebowitz.  They all share vocal responsibilities and play a variety of instruments. 

They grew into a nine-piece band featuring a brass section and dubbed themselves The Animal Liberation Orchestra and the Free Range Horns, they began receiving considerable attention in the Santa Barbara area with their exciting live shows.  Eventually, Zach, Dan and Steve returned to their hometown and stripped the band back down to a quartet by reuniting with drummer David Brogan (with whom they played with in college) and the ultimate version of Animal Liberation Orchestra was finalized.  They are a huge hit on the jam band circuit and have drawn comparisons to everyone from Phish and The Grateful Dead to The String Cheese Incident.

Their debut album “Fly Between Falls” was originally released in 2004 and rereleased when ALO signed to Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records in 2006 and in 2007 they released the album “Roses and Clovers”.  Their latest album “Man of the World” is set for release in February 2010.

Zach Gill went to college with Jack Johnson and has been touring with Jack and playing piano in his band, while Steve and Dan have toured with Brett Dennen.  ALO has toured with The Dave Matthews Band and Jack Johnson before headlining shows in late 2006.

I saw them a few years back when Jack Johnson came through Dallas.  The show was at the Nokia Theater and was pretty awesome.  Zach has a really great voice and is amazing on the keyboards.

ALO Discography

  • Time Expander (EP)
  • Fly Between Falls
  • Roses and Clovers

Top 5 ALO according to Butler (Albums listed on right):

  1. Wasting Time (Isla Vista Song) (Fly Between Falls)
  2. Girl I Wanna Lay You Down (Fly Between Falls)
  3. Monday (Roses and Clovers)
  4. Valentine’s Day (Time Expander)
  5. Barbeque (Fly Between Falls)

Check out ALO and let me know what you think.

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=PqKSf8bt1eM

 ALO music is available is available on iTunes, record stores and www.alomusic.com

Also, if you have a facebook page, you can become a fan of the blog.

http://www.facebook.com/?ref=home#/pages/Music-you-should-be-listening-to/261897107787?ref=ts

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Brett Dennen

Brett Dennen is something of a pop/folk artist. Brett’s impressive inflections are the focal point of his music.  His voice has a youthful timbre but is deceptively soulful.  His debut album is a bit more bright and playful than the rest of his work.  Through poetic lyrics he addresses numerous sociopolitical issues such as poverty, child labor, war, disasters, and the dark side of politics.  The thought provoking lyrics are gently delivered through his warm, dulcet vocals. 

 In concert, Dennen is a comically energetic stage present who never stops dancing.  Standing 6’5” tall with a shock of red hair, his physical presence does not seem in line with his vocal prowess.  He sings his songs in such a manner that he pulls the audience in to them.  In addition to his musical ventures, he is involved in the “The Mosaic Project”.

 The Mosaic Project embodies the most important work to be done today. Too often we burden our youth with the responsibility of fixing our mistakes. The Mosaic Project empowers children to create peace now, build communities across differences, and break down stereotyping, prejudice, and discrimination.  (Info from Brett’s website) 

 It sounds like a really worthwhile endeavor but based on the information that I was able to gleam from the website, I am not completely sure what they do.  So, if you know, please let me know.

 Brett Dennen Discography

  • Brett Dennen
  • So Much More
  • Hope for the Hopeless
  • Peace (EP)

 Top 5 Brett Dennen Songs according to Butler (Albums listed to right of song):

  1.  Ain’t No Reason (So Much More)
  2. So Much More (So Much More)
  3. Make You Crazy (Hope for the Hopeless)
  4. I Asked When (So Much More)
  5. Closer to You (Hope for the Hopeless)

 Check out Brett Dennen and let me know what you think.

 Brett Dennen’s music is available on iTunes, CD Baby, some record stores and www.brettdennen.com and www.brettdennen.net

   Great music awaits!