Tag Archives: Counting Crows

Mixed Tape Monday: Sounds of Summer

Welcome to another installment of Mixed Tape Monday.  School is out, pools and water parks are full, and my grass is dying.  It can only mean one thing, SUMMER is here. 

I believe that we all have some form of Pavlovian response to songs and that they are etched in our brain based on times and circumstance.  The following songs are one’s that take me back to the halcyon days of my youth and summers spent with varied and sundry people and places.

 Today’s topic is Songs That Remind Me of Summer. 

Song:              Boys of Summer

Artist:              Don Henley

Album:            Building the Perfect Beast

Song:              Chattahoochee

Artist:              Alan Jackson

Album:            A Lot About Livin’ (and a Little About Love)

Song:              Wasting Time

Artist:              Animal Liberation Orchestra 

Album:            Fly Between Falls

Song:              Margaritaville

Artist:              Jimmy Buffet

Album:            Changes in Latitude, Changes in Attitude

Song:              Cannonball

Artist:              The Breeders

Album:            Last Splash

Song:              Wicked Game

Artist:              Chris Isaak

Album:            Heart Shaped World

Song:              Under The Milky Way

Artist:              The Church

Album:            Starfish

Song:              Mr. Jones

Artist:              Counting Crows

Album:            August and Everything After

Song:              Linger

Artist:              The Cranberries

Album:            Everybody Else Is Doing It, So Why Can’t We

Song:              Breaking the Girl

Artist:              Red Hot Chili Peppers

Album:            Blood, Sugar, Sex, Magic

Song:              Ants Marching

Artist:              The Dave Matthews Band

Album:            Under the Table and Dreaming

Song:              Hey Jealousy

Artist:              Gin Blossoms

Album:            New Miserable Experience

Song:              Epic

Artist:              Faith No More

Album:            The Real Thing

Song:              Listen Like Thieves

Artist:              INXS

Album:            Listen Like Thieves

Song:              The Pretender

Artist:              Jackson Browne

Album:            The Pretender

Song:              Been Caught Stealing

Artist:              Jane’s Addiction

Album:            Ritual De Lo Habitual

Song:              In Your Eyes

Artist:              Peter Gabriel

Album:            So

Song:              River of Deceit

Artist:              Mad Season

Album:            Above

Song:              Smells Like Teen Spirit

Artist:              Nirvana

Album:            Nevermind

Song:              So Fresh So CLean

Artist:              Outkast

Album:            Stankonia

 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!


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!


Missed and Must See Concerts!

So, this week has focused on music in a variety of, genres, decades, degrees of greatness and what some might call an assault to the auditory senses.  To wrap up this fine week of blogging, I am going to take my writing cue from some of the responses to the Concert Blog.

Over the course of my musical life, I’ve been extremely fortunate to have had the opportunity to see all of the shows I’ve seen.  In addition to that, I’ve had the ability to create a personal library of considerable size in both CD and digital format.  However, being a music devotee, I want more.  I want more CD’s, more digital files, and more opportunity to catch live acts.  I look back at the missed opportunities to see some amazing shows and kick myself for being too lazy, too late, or at times even too responsible to attend certain shows.

Today we are going to talk about concerts in both past and future terms.  Confused yet?  Good, me either.  I will keep this in a Top 10 format and will list the concerts that I missed or at least wished I had the opportunity to see and I will also list the concerts that I want to see before I am unceremoniously taken from this lovely thing some call life.

Top 10 missed opportunities:

  1. Pink Floyd Momentary Lapse of Reason Tour
  2. U2 Joshua Tree Tour
  3. Guns N Roses & Metallica (I realize that tour was plagued with problems but at long as I am dreaming, if I had attended, it would have been a flawless, musical love fest with duel encores)
  4. Bruce Springsteen Born in the USA Tour (I’ve seen Bruce on several occasions but this tour was sort of a revival and they went all out and played monster sets (3-4 hours).)
  5. Uncle Tupelo (This band was such a tinder box of musical genius that there was no conceivable way for it continue.  I’ve seen both bands from the former temperamental leaders (Jeff’s Wilco & Jay’s Son Volt) and would have loved to catch them early.)
  6. Led Zeppelin Reunion (This was never an option or an opportunity but man what a treat that would have been.)
  7. The Black Crowes (I had free tickets at Will Call for an early show they did in Dallas when they opened up for ZZ Top.  I never made it to the show for various and sundry reasons.  Looking back none of the reasons were reasonably worth what I missed.)
  8. 2002 Austin City Limits Music Festival (This was the inaugural musical voyage for ACL and it had a great lineup of bands on the rise as well as the ARC Angels reunion show.)
  9. Farm Aid 1 1985 (A great event with a stellar line up.  Bob Dylan, Johnny Cash, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Billy Joel, John Mellencamp, Willie Nelson, Roy Orbison, B.B. King, Waylon Jennings, to name a few.)
  10.  Nirvana (Just to be part of that bit of musical history.)

Top 10 Must See Acts:

  1. My Morning Jacket (Amazing live shows and wicked cool music)
  2. Red Hot Chili Peppers (I just dig them)
  3. Neil Young (Musical icon)
  4. U2 (They are awesome)
  5. John Mellencamp (Great catalog even when he was Johnny Cougar, John Cougar, and John Cougar Mellencamp)
  6. Phish (Ultimate Jam band that took the torch from the Grateful Dead)
  7. Paul McCartney (Come on, he is a friggin’ Beatle)
  8. Lyle Lovett (I like all his music even the song from the Stuart Little soundtrack and well, he was married to Julia Roberts!)
  9. Counting Crows (I realize that despite their latest release, they are in the twilight (or beyond) of their career but I really dig their live albums and think they would be fun to see live)
  10. The Eagles (I am a huge fan and begrudgingly have never seen them.  In my defense, their exorbitant ticket price is one key factor to this dilemma.)

So dear reader, who is on your concert list?

 Great music awaits!


Music you should have listened to last month but can now watch!

Greetings music fans,

Today I will highlight the artists from last month and give my selection for their best album and song. 

This may seem like a copout blog, and it kind of is.  But, with good reason, we became foster parents to three endearing and for the moment, little puppies on Saturday, and they necessitate and deserve more attention than you!  Just kidding, you too deserve some attention, but this is as good as it gets today.  However, I did pull video for each song selected.  That should count for something!

Last month’s featured artists, in no particular order:

Artist Best Album Best Song
The Avett Brothers I and Love and You Ten Thousand Wordswww.youtube.com/watch?v=Gt6k8htvc9k
Bruce Robison Wrapped My Brother & Mewww.youtube.com/watch?v=Q3q8ShBkqBI
Counting Crows August and Everything After Anna Beginswww.youtube.com/watch?v=1tY9SNFAK2I
Doyle Bramhall II Jelly Cream So You Want It to Rainwww.youtube.com/watch?v=N52cpz6NJ_4
Drive By Truckers Brighter Than Creations Dark Gravity’s Gonewww.youtube.com/watch?v=BHnbiiPoMSU
G. Love & Special Sauce Philadelphonic Rainbowwww.youtube.com/watch?v=5glVe3BmjmM
James McMurtry Childish Things We Can’t Make It Herewww.youtube.com/watch?v=ZbWRfBZY-ng
Jay Farrar & Ben Gibbard One Fast Move or I’m Gone Big Surwww.youtube.com/watch?v=NNIWA5esH4o
The Jayhawks Smile Bluewww.youtube.com/watch?v=GUVVGQjWFg4
Josh Ritter The Animal Years Wingswww.youtube.com/watch?v=X3OiUUEzwwI
Mason Jennings Boneclouds Fighter Girlwww.youtube.com/watch?v=ABfK9zajLdo
My Morning Jacket Z One Big Holidaywww.youtube.com/watch?v=_0Q9iAcPjzc
One Day as a Lion One Day as a Lion Wild Internationalwww.youtube.com/watch?v=6mKtt7F0rPU
Reckless Kelly Under the Table and Above the Sun Let’s Just Fallwww.youtube.com/watch?v=mW5uP8aYZsk
Robert Earl Keen Walking Distance Shades of Graywww.youtube.com/watch?v=eEgY93WECEc
Ryan Adams Gold Wonderwall (Cover)www.youtube.com/watch?v=N6xX6ZE16PI
Silversun Pickups Swoon There’s No Secrets This Yearwww.youtube.com/watch?v=Qbz-SqEd7JQ
Them Crooked Vultures Them Crooked Vultures Scumbag Blueswww.youtube.com/watch?v=2M53SxSLHYk
The White Stripes Icky Thump Seven Nation Armywww.youtube.com/watch?v=xi8KdTk0u0g
Wilco Being There Sunken Treasureswww.youtube.com/watch?v=j_GQWm35Ndo

 

Great music waits!


You should be listening to Counting Crows!

I’ve always liked the Counting Crows and fondly recall the release of their debut album “August and Everything After”.  This was due, in large part, to the timing of the release which was late in my college career and I associate the album with the freedom and liberating experiences as a student of the University of North Texas in Denton, Texas.  To be fair, I was pretty liberated before this time but at this point, I was in my own apartment and had cultivated a wide circle of friends to share the experience with.  And yet, I digress.

August and Everything After” was released late in 1993 and the band toured relentlessly in 1993 and 1994.  They toured with The Cranberries, Bob Dylan, Cracker, Los, Lobos, Midnight Oil, and The Rolling Stones to name a few.  The surprise success of their first single, “Mr. Jones”, an ironic tail of struggling musicians who dream of becoming a star, propelled them to stardom and made their debut the fastest selling album since Nirvana’s “Nevermind”. 

The sudden and staggering success took a toll on the band and caused lead singer Adam Duritz to have a nervous breakdown.  It also halted their touring as they only played two gigs in 1995.  This allowed Duritz to write their sophomore album “Recovering the Satellites” which was released in October of 1996.  The sound was a little heavier and lyrically dealt with the trappings of stardom and the ability or lack thereof, to acclimate.  Their touring resumed and they released “Across a Wire: Live in New York” which was a double live album that captured their acoustic VH1 Storyteller concert on one disc and disc two was a bit of a an electric set recorded for MTV’s Live from the 10 Spot.

Over the course of years, the band has had a variety of  musicians that have come and gone.  While their sound has stayed relatively close to its origin, in large part, due to the emotional connectivity of Duritz’s passionate vocals, there has been some variation of songs that have been done both electrically and acoustically.

Counting Crows Discography:

  • August and Everything After
  • Recovering the Satellites
  • Across a Wire: Live in New York
  • This Desert Life
  • Hard Candy
  • New Amsterdam: Live at Heineken Music Hall
  • Saturday Nights and Sunday Mornings

Top 5 Counting Crows’ Songs

  1. Anna Begins (August and Everything After)
  2. Colorblind (This Dessert Life)
  3. Miller’s Angels (Recovering the Satellites)
  4. Holiday In Spain (Hard Candy)
  5. Omaha (August and Everything After)

Personally, I’ve always been drawn to the emotionally tortured vocals of Adam Duritz.  Lyrically I find him to be beautifully expressive while, on their latest album in particular, at times a bit self absorbed.  Lately, I’m more inclined to listen to their live music as it seems riskier in the respect that they alter the arrangements and can do multiple interpretations of a song in either acoustic or electrical instrumentation.

Their music has appeared in several movies, which include: Clueless, Rounders, Cruel Intentions, Mr. Deeds, Two Weeks Notice, and most notably, Shrek 2.  As well as television shows such as Dawson’s Creek, Scrubs, Party of Five, Felicity, E.R., One Tree Hill, and Brothers and Sisters.

I’m a fan and I know that nostalgia plays a factor in that but I also think that musically, they have found a way to stay somewhat relevant.  I don’t think there music necessarily paved the way for bands or pioneered a sound, but I also think that they don’t suck. 

Check out the Counting Crows at www.countingcrows.com.

Counting Crows music is available at iTunes, record stores, and www.countingcrows.com.

Great music awaits!


Live albums you should be listening to!

The live album is always a risky proposition.  In years past, it was the other give up album (hello Greatest Hits) that was done to fulfill the contract with the record company.  Not to say that there have not been great live albums but there have been some less than stellar albums that have not quite stood the test of time (“Frampton Comes Alive” anyone?). 

 I think, as music has progressed, the live album was a great way for bands to better connect with their audience.  Some bands have earned the reputation as a great “Live” band and the live album was just an obvious avenue for them.  Artists like Phish and The Dave Matthews Band have more live albums in their discography than studio albums.  In 2000 Pearl Jam, in an attempt provide their fans with a better quality and affordable live recording, recorded all of their concerts. 

 So, here is a list of great live albums.  This is by no means a list of the greatest live albums, but merely an installment of great live albums.

Metallica S&M 

This album features Metallica and the San Francisco Symphony.  Such a brilliant merging of two seemingly polar opposites sounds and styles.  The set list takes a bit from each of the early works as well as their late 90’s work.  Definitely worth adding to your collection.

Tom Petty Live Anthology

This album is a compilation of thirty years of live concerts.  Petty is timeless and the music is amazing.  Radio staples such as “Refugee”, “American Girl”, and “Free Falling” are comfortably arranged around deeper cuts like “Louisiana Rain”, “Angel Dream (No.2)”, and “”Straight Into Darkness”.  The covers on this four disc set are a real treat including The Grateful Dead’s “Friend of the Devil” and Fleetwood Mac’s ”Oh Well”. 

The Dave Matthews Band The Central Park Concert

This is a three disc set that is a typical Dave Matthews jam session with the usual song suspects in the lineup and has a great cover of Neil Young’s “Cortez the Killer” with Warren Haynes (Allman Brothers & Govt. Mule) and Dave sharing the vocals.  It is not overly produced or reworked so you get more of the raw concert sound and vibe. 

 Ben Harper Live from Mars

If you are going to own one Ben Harper album, this is the one.  This two disc set is a great cross section of his work as well as covers of Led Zeppelin’s “Whole Lotta Love”, Marvin Gaye’s “Sexual Healing” and The Verve “The Drugs Don’t Work”.

Counting Crows Across A Wire Live in New York

This two disc set is actually two separate concerts.  Disc one is an acoustic set while disc two cranks up a bit electrically.  The set list is comprised of songs from their first two albums “August and Everything After” and “Recovering the Satellites”. 

Undone: A Musical Tribute to Robert Earl Keen

This two disc live album has great covers of Keen’s music by the likes of:  Walt Wilkins, Wade Bowen, Randy Rogers, Reckless Kelly, Chris Knight, Cody Canada (Cross Canadian Ragweed), and Max Stallings.  Robert also appears on the last few song son disc two. 

Alice in Chains Unplugged

This album captured the essence and greatness of the late, great Layne Staley.  All acoustic (hence the unplugged) set that include “Would”, “Angry Chair”, and ‘The Killer is Me”.  This was one of the final performances of the original band. 

Chris & Rich Robinson (The Black Crowes) Brothers of a Feather

This two man acoustic set is the brothers and their guitars at their greatest.  The album is a variety of cuts from their shows at the Roxy Theater.  It features songs from The Black Crowes and a few cover tunes.  My favorite tracks are “Thorn in My Pride” and “My Heart is Killing Me”. 

Rage Against the Machine Live at the Grand Olympic Auditorium

Great album recorded during their last two shows in September 2000.  The intensity of the album lasts al sixteen tracks.  Standout tracks on the album are “No Shelter”, “Bulls On Parade”, “Bomb Track”, and “Killing In the Name of”. 

Pearl Jam Live (any of the band produced live albums)

In an effort to better connect with the fans and provide quality and affordable live recordings Pearl Jam recorded a series of concerts in the early 00’s.  Sets often included “Crazy Mary”, “State of Love and Trust”, covers of Neil Young’s “Rockin in the Free World”, Bob Dylan’s “Masters of War”, The Who’s “Baba O’Riley”.  So, take your pick as any of the live series is a treasure.

Dispatch All Points Bulletin

This two disc set is the final farewell concert that was held in Boston that had over 100,000 fans in attendance.  It is the subject of the DVD “Last Dispatch.  This album has an early version of the State Radio song “Riddle In Londontown” and a fan sing along to the Dispatch tune “The General”.

Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Live in New York City

Amazing two disc set that at the time of release has two new and unreleased songs “Land of Hopes and Dreams” and “American Skin (41 Shots)”.  Both stellar songs but in my opinion, “Youngstown” is the gem of this album. 

Paul Simon’s Concert In the Park

This live recording was done in New York’s famous Central Park on August 15th 1991. The album opens with one of my all time favorite Simon songs “The Obvious Child”.  He also covers the Simon and Garfunkel period with “The Boxer”, “Bridge Over Troubled Water” and closes the set with “The Sounds of Silence”.  This concert also featured many of the South American and African musicians that played on “Rhythm of the Saints” and “Graceland” respectively.

Rush Different Stages

It is a three disc set that covers several of their concerts in 1994 and 1997.  Disc three is a concert in London from 1978.  They cover quite a bit of their catalog but the one glaring omission is “Mystic Rhythms

 Bob Dylan The 30th Anniversary Concert Celebration

This tribute concert was a star studded event with performances from: John Mellencamp, Kris Kristofferson, Stevie Wonder, Lou Reed, Eddie Vedder, Willie Nelson, Neil Young, Eric Clapton, Tom Petty, George Harrison, The Band, and Roger McGuinn to name just a few!  While all of the performances were amazing, Eddie Vedder and Mike McCready’s cover of “Masters of War” was the highlight of the show. 

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!