Tag Archives: Eddie Vedder

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

Fistful of Mercy

This is the first blog I have done about a band who has not released any music to date.

Fistful of Mercy is the latest band to get the super group moniker attached to them.  This is, often a dubious title as the sum is never equal to the parts.   Fistful of Mercy is comprised of Ben Harper, Joseph Arthur, and Dhani Harrison.  Their album, As I Call You Down, is scheduled to be released in October. 

Just for the record, this group makes my music pants a little crazy.  I’m a huge fan of both Ben Harper and Joseph Arthur.  Dhani Harrison might have a little genius in him as he is the progeny of the late, great, George Harrison. 

While they all have distinctive vocal styling, the comparison to harmonious groups of yesteryears such as Crosby, Stills, & Nash, and The Eagles might be thrown around as there becomes an increased awareness of Fistful of Mercy.

Recently they played eight songs at an invitation only event in Los Angeles hosted by radio station KCRW.  The set was decidedly acoustic with guitars and violin being the instrument of choice.  At one point, Harrison ventured to the piano while Harper and Arthur continued on guitar.

In addition to the KCRW show, the band has recently played a few shows and benefits.

Here are a few clips of the band.

www.youtube.com/watch?v=TkfIlV7Nur8

This clip is from “Voices for Justice” rally and features Eddie Vedder

www.youtube.com/watch?v=CBTFm7JVtGI

 www.youtube.com/watch?v=QuRb_K0LbTA

 Great music awaits!


Mixed Tape Monday on Tuesday

Well readers, I know it has been a while and I have the same excuse as last time.  Home repairs! The lovely dwelling of mine had a leak  in the upstairs bathroom that has required two plumbers, a general contractor, and an insurance adjuster.  As a result, we have had to remove and replace of all of the upstairs plumbing.  In order to do so, they had to rip up floors, ceilings, walls, etc…Insert a litany of foul, four, six, seven, and eight  lettered words and various combinations of said words.  And, at this point, insurance is not covering the damage.  Again, insert more obscenities.

Of the folks mentioned, only two are currently in good standing with me.  Jason McCord of B&B Contracting you, my good man, are a life saver.  Chad and Kyle, from Flow Force Plumbing (www.flowforceplumbing.net ), you guys are the best. 

Welcome to another, late, installment of Mixed Tape Monday.

Topic: House, Home, Room, Repair, anything you might find in a house or that can go wrong with a house, etc…

Song:  She Came In Through the Bathroom Window

Artists: The Beatles

Album: Abbey Road

Song:  Light Up My Room

Artists: Bare Naked Ladies

Album: Stunt

Song:  Summer House

Artists: Better Than Ezra

Album: Deluxe

Song:  Black Door

Artists: The Black Keys

Album: Magic Potion

Song:  My Father’s House

Artists: Bruce Springsteen

Album: Nebraska

Song:  Walnut Street (Just listen to the song and you will get it)

Artists: Walt Wilkins

Album: Rivertown

Song:  Lost In the Backyard

Artists: James McMurtry

Album: Where’d You Hide the Body

Song:  Mudhouse

Artists: Bob Schneider

Album: The Californian

Song:  Back Against the Wall

Artists: Cage the Elephant

Album: Cage the Elephant

Song:  Burn That Broken Bed

Artists: Calexico & Iron & Wine

Album: In the Reins (EP)

Song:  Down the Drain

Artists: Chickenfoot

Album: Chickenfoot

Song:  Beautiful Homes

Artists: Chris Isaak

Album: San Francisco Days

Song:  Floorboards

Artists: Chris Mills

Album: The Silver Line

Song:  Living Room

Artists: David Gray

Album: A Century Ends

Song:  No Ceiling

Artists: Eddie Vedder

Album: Into the Wild

Song:  Climbing Up the Walls

Artists: Erin Ivey (cover of Radiohead)

Album: Sweet Little EP

Song:  Renovations

Artists: Helmet

Album: Aftertaste

Song:  Dusty

Artists: Kings of Leon

Album: Youth & Young Manhood

Song:  Another Brick in the Wall

Artists: Pink Floyd

Album: The Wall

Song:  Big Crash

Artists: Less Than Jake

Album: Hello Rockview

Song:  This Old Porch

Artists: Lyle Lovett

Album: Lyle Lovett

Song:  House Carpenter

Artists: Nickel Creek

Album: This Side

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!


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!


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!


You should be listening to Jack Johnson!

Jack Johnson is the easy, breezy, heir apparent to the acoustic strumming of today’s folksy surf/beach music.  In addition to being a singer/songwriter/musician, Johnson is also a film maker and former professional surfer.

Johnson splashed (notice the subtle water reference) on to the musical scene by way of surfing when he and G. Love became acquainted.  G. Love recorded Johnson’s song “Rodeo Clowns” on his 1999 release Philadelphonic.  Johnson sang and played on the track and it was the first single from the album. In 2000, he co-directed and composed the soundtrack for the surf film Thicker Than Water.  The soundtrack, coincidentally, contains four of Johnson’s songs.

With the release of his 2001 debut album Brushfire Fairytales Johnson was able to get Sam Beam (Iron & Wine) and Ben Harper (with his beautiful lap guitar skills) to appear on the album.  In 2002 Johnson starred in and directed the surf film The September Session.  Johnson has two songs on the soundtrack, one of which is a cover of Jimmy Buffet’s “A Pirate Looks at 40”.

His sophomore release, On and On, continues the mellow vibe of his previous album and does not deviate much on his third album In Between Dreams. His third album brings Zach Gill (Animal Liberation Orchestra) in to the musical mix and is the beginning of a series of fruitful collaborations with the multi talented Mr. Gill. 

Jack Johnson Discography:

  • Brushfire Fairytales
  • On And On
  • In Between Dreams
  • Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George
  • Sleep Through the Static
  • En Concert

The 2006 soundtrack Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George is a menagerie of musical talent that includes Ben Harper, G. Love, Matt Costa, and Zach Gill.    Johnson riskily yet skillfully covers The White Stripes “We Are Going To Be Friends”.  The soundtrack made #1 on the billboard chart and has sold over three million copies. 

Top 5 Jack Johnson Songs:

  1. Breakdown (In Between Dreams)
  2. Gone (On And On)
  3. Cookie Jar (On And On)
  4. Upside Down (Sing-A-Longs and Lullabies for the Film Curious George)
  5. Flake (Brushfire Fairytales)

In 2008 Johnson released his fourth album Sleep Through the Static which has electric guitars and keyboards playing a more prominent musical role than on previous albums. Lyrically, Johnson seems more mature and at times, a bit dark.  Not in a Nine Inch Nails kind of dark, mind you, but a slight departure from the relatively sunny nature of his previous efforts.

A world tour followed the release of Sleep Through the Static and from that tour, came the live album En Concert.  This album captures various performances throughout the tour and has a duet with Eddie Vedder (Pearl Jam) and a performance with Ben Harper.

Johnson’s music is easy to digest and does not require a lot of attention.  You can get lost in the vibe of each album or song.  He has a capable voice, good musical sense and surrounds himself with great talent. 

I’ve seen him several times in concert and his live shows are just as laid back as his albums.  He is typically in bare feet or flip flops, jeans, and t shirt.  His guitar slung over his shoulder while he strums.  Jack tends to be a stationary performer and allows his music to fill the room instead of his personality or presence. 

Check out Jack Johnson at www.jackjohnsonmusic.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=2UbT3U-fQt4

www.youtube.com/watch?v=FZRvtr2g3z0&feature=related

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5jIca_LpXSM&feature=related

Great music awaits!


You should partake in Austin City Limits Music Festival!

Austin City Limits Music Festival is a three day music festival that takes place in Austin, Texas at Zilker Park and unites 65,000 people (music lovers, drunks, stoners, hippies, college kids who don’t own shirts, middle aged men and their 20 something mid life crisis, middle aged women wearing their mid life crisis, etc…) and showcases 130 bands that range from established acts, up and coming artists, and cult bands.

As I have mentioned in previous blogs, I am a huge fan of Austin City Limits Music Festival (ACL) and have attended each year since 2005.  In addition to being a fan of the event, Austin is my favorite city in Texas and ranks in the top five in the country.  Shout out to San Francisco and Chicago as well.

Each year is special and I recall fondly my time spent with the mass of people who endure a new environmental nemesis while responding to the siren sound of the multi staged musical extravaganza.  In five wonderful years, I have seen fire (burning trailers while Pete Yorn performed and burning speaker while Bjork performed) and I’ve seen rain (thanks James Taylor), I’ve seen dust (Foo Fighters were absolutely worth the 2 weeks of brown soot seeping from my nose) and I’ve seen what some thought was mud (Eddie Vedder became one with the crowd and slid in it) but smelled a bit more pungent and was actually some animal fecal matter. 

Over the course of my attendance, I have seen some pretty amazing shows.  Listed below are just some of the high lights: 

Ben Harper Tom Petty Foo Fighters Pearl Jam
Beck Robert Plant & Allison Krause The Raconteurs Drive-By Truckers
Son Volt Donavon Frankenreiter State Radio Brett Dennen
The Dead Weather Damien Rice Cross Canadian Ragweed Arcade Fire
Amos Lee Robert Earl Keen Iron & Wine Mason Jennings
Van Morrison John Mayer Ray LaMontagne Wilco
G Love & Special Sauce The Toadies The Shins B-52’s
Slightly Stoopid Eli Young Band The Black Keys Okkervil River
Queens of the Stone Age Bjork The Killers Steve Earle
Bob Dylan Lucinda Williams The Tragically Hip Willie Nelson

Over the last few years, it has become a tradition for me and my long term, heterosexual, significant other, life partner to attend.  We eagerly anticipate the sale of the early bird tickets and the unveiling of the lineup.  She too is a huge fan of the festival and city.  Which makes the trip all the better.  While our musical tastes are similar, with the variety of acts available at the festival, we have a ritual of mapping out the days and comparing our schedules and see how close they match.  There is usually some slight difference with the day shows but most of the evening shows are fairly in-line

Last year was particularly memorable because we took our oldest children (her daughter, my son). It was my son’s first concert, he is fifteen and we share a pretty strong bond over music.  Several of his favorite bands were playing and I surprised him by waking him up early Sunday morning and driving to Austin and living vicariously through him as he excitedly took in the whole seen.  His first concert consisted of Brett Dennen, The Toadies, State Radio (his favorite), Ben Harper, and Pearl Jam.  Not a bad first concert.  As if this were not enough, he got to meet State Radio, get a picture with the band and their brand new CD “Let It Go” signed. The look on his face was priceless as he posed for a picture and the band talked to him for a few minutes.   Add to this day, Home Slice Pizza, two concert shirts, and the use of port-a-pots on the last day of a three day festival.  It was indeed a day to remember.

All this, is to say, if you have not attended ACL, I strongly suggest you take the time and attend a day or two if the thought of three days is too grueling.  I am a fan of the three days and love every minute of the music and the experience.  However, I recognize it is not for everyone and as I have gotten older I have come to realize that the recovery time is just a bit longer with each passing year.  My days include less beer, more water, sunscreen, comfortable shoes, and a chair.

So, if you have some time and disposable income, check out www.aclfestival.com.

Great music awaits!