Tag Archives: The Dead Weather

You should be listening to The Raconteurs!

The Raconteurs are supplementary proof of Jack White’s (The White Stripes, Dead Weather) musical brilliance, greatness, importance, etc…Formed in Detroit, Michigan (picture my surprised face) and featuring members of assorted other bands such as Jack Lawrence (The Greenhornes, Blanche), Patrick Keeler (The Greenhornes), and Brendan Benson.  The group actually began as a duo (Jack and Brendan) recording one song and then morphed into a four piece band and an album worth of material.

Their debut album, Broken Boy Soldiers, was released in 2006 and was nominated for two Grammys: Best Rock Album and Best Rock Performance by Duo or Group with Vocals for “Steady as She Goes”.  In 2008 they released their follow up Consolers of the Lonely.

Due in large part to Jack’s already impressive musical profile, they quickly hit the festival scene and played, Bonnaroo, Coachella, Austin City Limits Music Festival, and Lollapalooza.  They also opened for Bob Dylan on part of his U.S. tour. 

The Raconteurs Discography:

  • Broken Boy Soldiers
  • Consolers of the Lonely

Top 5 Songs by The Raconteurs:

  1. Steady As She Goes (Broken Boy Soldiers)
  2. Broken Boy Solider (Broken Boy Soldiers)
  3. Salute Your Solutions (Consolers of the Lonely)
  4. Many Shades of Black (Consolers of the Lonely)
  5. Hands (Broken Boy Soldiers)

I was fortunate enough to catch them in Austin in 2006 and thoroughly enjoyed the show.  I’ve seen them twice and also caught Jack White’s other love child The Dead Weather as well.  I’m beginning to think that Jack cannot focus on one thing for too long.  And for that, Jack, I thank you!

Check out The Raconteurs at www.theraconteurs.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=Q7aOWIFgIZQ

www.youtube.com/watch?v=9B7npSXQkxE

www.youtube.com/watch?v=mm4_htUbgrU

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to The White Stripes!

The White Stripes is the formidable rock duo that hails from Detroit.  Anchored in Meg White’s skillful percussions and Jack White’s bluesy, rocking guitar and ever-changing, expressive vocals the White Stripe are everything that is right with the minimalist approach to music.  Formed in 1997 and claiming to be siblings, when in fact they were married, Jack and Meg White incorporated their musical interests of rock, folk, blues, and punk and added a red and white color scheme to their clothes and album art and the White Stripes were born.

The self titled debut album was released in 1999 on the heels of successful tours with Pavement and Sleater-Kinney.  Their sophomore album De Stijl was released in 2000 but it was the release of 2001 White Blood Cells that really established the White Stripes in the music world.  With the release of 2003’s Elephant came more critical acclaim as well as platinum sales.  Elephant spawned the awesomely bombastic single “Seven Nation Army”. 

In 2005 they released Get Behind Me Satan which had been written and recorded in two weeks.  Later that year, Jack White formed The Raconteurs, which would become one of his many side projects (check out The Dead Weather), with Brendan Benson, jack Lawrence, and Patrick Keeler.  Much of 2006 was spent touring in support of the band’s debut album Broken Boy Soldier.  I saw The Raconteurs at ACL in 2006 which furthered my musical appreciation of the greatness that is Jack White.

In 2007 The White Strips released yet another commercially and critically successful yet oddly titled album Icky Thump.  It won a Grammy and was recorded in three weeks.  Hey Mr. Rose, you might want to get with Jack if you ever decided to release another album in your or more importantly, my life time.  In late 2007 Meg White suffered severe anxiety attacks that caused the cancellation of 18 tour dates and have not performed live since, with the exception of the final episode of Late Night with Conan O’Brien on Feb. 20th, 2009.

White Stripes Discography:

  • The White Strips
  • De Stijl
  • White Blood Cells
  • Elephant
  • Get Behind Me Satan
  • Icky Thump

Top 5 White Stripes Songs

  1. Seven Nation Army (Elephant)
  2. Fell In Love with a Girl (White Blood Cells)
  3. Blue Orchid (Get Behind Me Satan)
  4. We’re Going To Be Friends (White Blood Cells)
  5. You Don’t Know What Love Is (You Do As You’re Told)

With a sound that is deeply rooted in the blues and early punk, and stark, basic instrumentation, The White Stripes are a minimalistic group that has been a massive force with a low-fi sound.  Their music, both live and recorded, centers on the number three.  Whether it is vocals, percussion, and guitar, or piano, guitars, and vocals, three is their perfect number.

Check out The White Strips at www.whitestripes.net

The White Stripes’ music is available at iTunes, music stores, and www.whitestripes.net.

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!


25 albums you should own!

Over time, there have many great musical artists and from each artist comes an assortment of songs that become an album. In theory the sum of an album should be equal or greater than its parts (songs).  If only this were true.  Today, with streaming audio, and the ability to buy/download single songs, the allure and importance of the album has waned.  Artists might release several EP’s before they release a full length album. 

Growing up, I had to roll the dice and hope that each album I saved for would be as good as the song I heard on the radio.  Sadly, that was not always the case.  Domo arigato Mr. Roboto!

However, some artists do indeed get it right and below is a list of 25 albums you might not know but you should own.  This collection does not include live albums or greatest hits. 

Also, I do not include any type of review for the below artists/albums.  This is in an effort to allow you to form you own opinion, keep the blog reading to an acceptable time, and selfishly save me time writing the blog itself. 

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

Artist Album
Alexi Murdoch Time Without Consequences
Animal Liberation Orchestra Fly Between Falls
Arcade Fire Funeral
Ben Harper Welcome to the Cruel World
The Black Keys Attack and Release
Citizen Cope   The Clarence Greenwood Recordings
Chris Whitley Living with the Law
The Dead Weather Horehound
Drive-By Truckers Brighter Than Creation’s Dark
Elliott Smith From a Basement on the Hill
Sonic Youth Daydream Nation
Jason Isbell Sirens of the Ditch
Jeffrey Foucault Stripping Cane
John Butler Trio Sunrise Over Sea
Joseph Arthur Come To Where I’m From
My Morning Jacket The Tennessee Fire
A Perfect Circle Mer De Noms
The Raconteurs Broken Boy Soldiers
Slaid Cleaves Broke Down
Tom Petty She’s the One
The Tragically Hip Fully Completely
Joe Purdy Only Four Seasons
Son Volt Trace
Neko Case Middle Cyclone
Iron & Wine Our Endless Numbered Days

 Great music awaits!


Music you should have been listening to in 2009

Greetings music fans,

 As we eagerly anticipate ringing in the New Year and 2009 comes to a close, I thought it would be entertaining to do a little musical year in review.  Here is smattering of albums that were released in 2009 that you should be listening to.  The list is compiled alphabetically by artist.  This, of course, is for my own personal benefit and helps calm my little OCD head.

 Arctic Monkeys “Humbug” 

Third album for the band with several tracks produced by Joshua Homme of (Queens of the Stone Age), (Eagles of Death Metal) and (Them Crooked Vultures)

Dan Auerbach “Keep it Hid”

Dan is half of the genius behind (The Black Keys)

The Avett Brothers “I and Love and You”

Major label debut produced by Rick Rubin

The Black Crowes “Before the Frost and Until the Freeze”

Two disc set (“Until the Freeze” only available as download) that was recorded in Levon Helm’s (The Band)Woodstock Studio.

The Dead Weather “Horehound”

Yet another reason Jack White is musical greatness

Drive-By Truckers “The Fine Print”

A collection of oddities and rarities that includes a cover of Tom Petty’s “Rebels”

Steve Earl “Townes”

In homage to the late, great Townes Van Zandt, it is an amazing collection of songs, with “Lungs” being my favorite track.

Jay Farrar and Ben Gibbard “One Fast Move Or I’m Gone”

Music from Jack Kerouac’s “Big Sur”. These songs were recorded over a five day span with minimal revisions.

Grizzly Bear “Vectatimest”

A diverse collection of songs that will take a few times to appreciate.

Ben Harper and the Relentless 7 “White Lies for Dark Times”

Ben ventures beyond his Innocent Criminals and adds some Texas folks to the band.  Another solid Ben Harper venture.

Patterson Hood “Murdering Oscar (and other love songs)”

Hood, of (Drive-By Truckers), releases his 2nd solo disc.  Check out “Pride of the Yankees”

Iron and Wine “Around the Well

Two disc set of previously unreleased materials and cool covers.

Jay-Z “The Blueprint 3”

Come on, it is Jay-Z.  What is not great about this?  If you are into Jay-Z, check out his unplugged album with (The Roots) as his backing band.  Pure greatness.

Dave Matthews Band “Big Whiskey and the Groo Grux King”

First album since the death of founding member Leroi Moore.  I’m a huge DMB fan and make no apologies for it. 

M Ward “Hold Time

2009 was a busy and fruitful musical year for Mr. Ward. 

Monsters of Folk (Self titled)

Well, you have Jim James (My Morning Jacket) Conor Oberst and Mike Mogis (Bright Eyes) and M. Ward.  How could you go wrong?  They brought back the multi part harmony that is reminiscent of Crosby, Stills, & Nash and The Eagles.

Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band “Outer South”

This dude has been recording since he was 13.  Dropped the “Bright Eyes” moniker but still exploring and expanding the boundaries of music.

Pearl Jam “Back Spacer”

Great follow up album to their 2006 self titled album.  I saw them live at the 2009 Austin City Limits Music Festival.  Two plus hours of amazing music played with such fervor and with guest appearance by Ben Harper and Perry Farrell. 

Tom Petty “The Live Anthology”

This four disc set is a must have for any Petty fan.  This set spans 30 years of concerts and is absolutely amazing.

Phish “Joy”

Great to see the boys back together and playing nice.

Silversun Pickups “Swoon”

Second full length release that is a gradual departure from “Canvas”

Son Volt “American Central Dust”

From the ashes of Uncle Tupelo, Jay Farrar created Son Volt.  Not a disappointing album in the collection.

Sonic Youth “The Eternal”

After all these years, still making relevant music and inspiring others to do so as well.

Bruce Springsteen “Working on a Dream”

The Boss has been rather prolific in the 00’s.  This was a great way to round out the year and decade.  Saw him in Charlotte NC in 2008.  Amazing!

State Radio “Let It Go”

This is the third full length disc from Chad Stokes formerly of (Dispatch) and company.  A great live band if you ever have the opportunity.

Street Sweeper Social Club (Self titled)

Tom Morello  (Rage Against the Machine), (Audioslave) and (The Nightwatchman) and Boots Riley (The Coup) come together and create revolutionary party jams.

Them Crooked Vultures (Self titled)

Dave Grohl (Nirvana) and (Foo Fighters), Joshua Homme (Queens of the Stone Age) and (Eagles of Death Metal), and John Paul Jones (Led Zeppelin).  Need I say more?

U2 “No Line On the Horizon

Getting back to the greatness of The Joshua Tree.  Bono and Co. show why they continue to be in the running for world’s greatest rock band.

Wilco (Self titled)

From the ashes of Uncle Tupelo, Jeff Tweedy created Wilco.  Not a disappointing album in the collection.  Funny how that worked out for both he & Jay.

Pete Yorn “Back & Fourth

I’ve always been a Pete fan but have found a new appreciation for him in the last few years.

Great music awaits!