Tag Archives: U2

Super Bowl Musical Hype

Let’s take a few minutes and talk about Super Bowl hype.  Fear not Steelers Nation, we will be back!  Not the hype of the game, or the rivalries that pit storied franchise against each, but the musical hype that surrounds the game.  With such a high profile venue, I mean come on, it is the Super Bowl, and the expectations are high.  In some years, the game is a distant second or third to the music and commercials.  Love the Darth Vader commercial and the finger licking Dorrito dude! 

The Half Time Show has become a separate entity within the game.  In recent years, we have had a range of talent that skewered towards the top of the musical stratosphere with such notables as Paul McCartney, Prince, The Rolling Stones,U2, Tom Petty, Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band, and last year, The Who.   

Historically, the half time performance was a college marching band and maybe a single special musical guest who sang a song.  This all changed in 1993 when Michael Jackson, in all his uniqueness, turned the half time performance into the Half Time Show.  Since 1993 some of the performances have included the following artists:

  • Clint Black
  • The Judds
  • Travis Tritt
  • Teddy Pendergrass
  • Tony Bennett
  • Dianna Ross
  • Boyz II Men
  • Mary J Blige
  • U2
  • Shania Twain
  • Janet Jackson (I’m pretty sure we all remember that one)
  • Paul McCartney
  • Prince
  • Bruce Springsteen & the E Street Band
  • Stevie Wonder
  • Phil Collins
  • Christina Aguilera
  • Aerosmith
  • N Sync
  • Britney Spears
  • Nelly
  • Miami Sound Machine
  • No Doubt
  • Sting
  • Justin Timberlake
  • Kid Rock
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
  • The Who
 

Perusing this fine list, you can see that there have been some hit and miss performances.  Some of the performances such as The Boss, U2, and Tom Petty were deserving of a solo show that covered a few of their big hits and maybe a mash up medley or two.  Other lesser known or listened to artists shared the bill with other spares. 

Last night, I was decidedly underwhelmed at the prospect of The Black Eyed Peas taking the stage for even the briefest of moments.  So, much to my surprise, they sucked so much more than my lowest of expectations.  While I try, albeit not very hard, to appreciate their take on music and their apparent enthusiasm for a good time, I just think everyone would have had a better time if their music and their performance did not suck quite so much.  I realize that their brand of music is hard to recreate live.  I would imagine it is excruciatingly difficult when the entire band consists of talentless hacks that look like they should be in another remake of Lost in Space and your lead singer is vocally challenged. 

A quick side note: As if Axl Rose does not have enough anger issues, Slash, what they hell were you thinking?  I suggest you shave your head, lose the hat and go in to hiding.  Your playing guitar while Fergie brayed out what I think were the lyrics to Sweet Child O Mine makes you complicit and just as guilty in the crime that was The Half Time Show.  Clean living has clearly altered your ability to make good musical decisions.  Someone get that man a fifth of Jack, some black tar heroin, any G n R groupies that might be left, and a new agent.

Oh, and I think Usher was on the stage as well.  Well, I think his musical relevancy at this point is the fact that he is partly responsible for exposing the entire world to Beiber Fever. With that being said, he is definitely deserving of the front row on the Hell Express.

I would be remiss if I did not discuss the National Anthem debacle with Christina Aguilera.  I can only imagine the pressure of singing that song in front a hundred thousand live people and also being viewed by millions.  I give her a partial pass on the words.  However, I do not give her a pass on the bluesy, sultry, diva type delivery that she tricked up last night.  I’m just spit balling here but I bet the words would be a little easier to remember if you just sang them straight!  We all know it is a difficult song to sing and we have seen it screwed up countless times by far less talented people.  We all know you have an amazing voice with great range.  We also know that by your quickly released statement, you have a great management team.  Here is a hint fellas, big, theatrical award show let the pipes blow, nationally televised, time honored traditional song, stick to the damn script!

As for the game, I’m more than a little disappointed in the outcome.  I’m a huge Steelers fan and really held on until the last fatal mistake of the game.  Hats off to The Pack and their fans, they did the Super Bowl proud.  This is more than I can say for the music.

Great music hopefully awaits!


My Top 40 at 40!

Recently, and by recently I mean yesterday February 2nd, which just happens to be my day of birth, a buddy of mine threw down the musical gauntlet.  I have briefly and succinctly paraphrased the challenge below:

Top 40 Artists of your life. Not simply a list of 40, but a ranking from 40 to 1. You have to do it. It must be done. It’s your personal Hall of Fame. This is your preference, your jukebox, regardless of genre or generation. This isn’t educational or time relevant. It’s YOUR Top 40 of all time.

This did indeed get the blood rushing and made my musical pants go a little crazy.  I started to brainstorm a list (and by brainstorm I mean immediately sat down and pounded out 40 names, clarified his initial challenge, perused my list again, and started typing the first sentence you read. 

The initial list was not a difficult as I thought.  The ranking of 1-40 took a little bit of time as did my annotations (those are in my tiny, little head) as to why the band/musician made the list.  The list that lies before you is organic in nature and I believe it to be fairly finite to the time that it was written.  The list is not to be likened to a doctoral thesis, packed with statistics that verify the respective placement, resourced with renowned critical fawning, or any type of research other than my ears and their time on earth. 

Be mindful of the fact that there are only 40 spots on this list.  I can tell you that there are probably some glaring omissions on this list.  Michael Jackson, Aretha Franklin, Bob Marley, Waylon, Willie, and the boys, did not make the list as well as a litany of other great, well deserving artists.  This list is completely subjective and the omission of anyone is not meant to be a form of disparagement.  It is quite simply a list of bands/musicians that I have loved over the years and also value their contributions to the musical world. 

The final piece of the musical puzzle for this list was really a late night revelation.  I realize it has only been a moment or two since you began reading this but I actually have been running the various scenarios of greatness in my head all night.  And then it hit me, the true measure of an artist’s greatness is my personal commitment to that particular artist. 

  •  How much of myself have I invested in the artists? 
  • What percentage of their catalog do I own? 
  • Would I take the time to see them live if the following were aligned:
    • They are still alive
    • They band is still together
    • The venue was geographically conducive to seeing them live
    • The cost of the ticket did not require me selling my 1st born child.  Although at 15 years of age and being really good at being 15 I would be willing to barter for a really good show right now.

Oddly enough, this revelation did not greatly alter my original list, there were a few additions and subtractions of artists and then the harrowing process of ranking them, with reason, was underway. 

No musicians were harmed in this list.  Of course, egos might be slightly bruised if they ever happen to stumble upon this little read blog and realize their spot on or omission to the list.

So, I give to you my Top 40 at 40!

  1. The Beatles
  2. Bob Dylan
  3. Bruce Springsteen
  4. The Rolling Stones
  5. Led Zeppelin
  6. The Who
  7. Pink Floyd
  8. Tom Petty
  9. The Eagles
  10. Eric Clapton
  11. Elton John
  12. Jimi Hendrix
  13. The Doors
  14. U2
  15. Metallica
  16. Pearl Jam
  17. Van Morrison
  18. Billy Joel
  19. R.E.M.
  20. Rush
  21. Lynryd Skynyrd
  22. Simon & Garfunkel
  23. John Mellencamp
  24. Stevie Ray Vaughan
  25. Prince
  26. Nirvana
  27. Uncle Tupelo
  28. Eminem
  29. Nine Inch Nails
  30. Beck
  31. The Dave Matthews Band
  32. Rage Against the Machine
  33. Robert Earl Keen
  34. N.W.A
  35. The Black Crowes
  36. The Beastie Boys
  37. The White Stripes
  38. Ryan Adams
  39. Ben Harper
  40. Joe Purdy

 

Great music awaits!


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

Tune In Tuesday: 6/29/10

Welcome back for yet another installment of Tune In Tuesday

Music’s connectivity varies by person but I believe that there is some resonating emotional cord that is struck when we are truly touched by the music.  While I appreciate the complexity of the instrumentation, I tend to gravitate to the lyrical aspect of music.  While this is not always etched in granite, it holds about 90% of the time.

Today I am going to go back a few years and highlight some albums that are indelibly etched in my fabric for various and sundry reasons.

Under the Table and Dreaming

Dave Matthews Band

This was the first studio album from Dave and the band and was a really musically liberating sound.  The combination of guitar, bass, violin, saxophone and drums just sounded so fresh in the early 90’s.  The vibe from the music was so upbeat that you couldn’t help but move while listening to it. 

This album was in heavy rotation during college and began a twenty year relationship with the band.  I’ve seen them live several times and own all their studio albums as well as the majority of the live albums. 

Key Tracks: The Best of What’s Around, Typical Situation, Jimi Thing, Ants Marching, What Would You Say

Singles (Soundtrack)

Various Artists

This is the best soundtrack to come out in the 90’s and may very well be the greatest soundtrack of all times.  I realize that is a really bold claim and I’m ok with that.  I’m a rebel!

This album captured Soundgarden, Pearl Jam, Alice In Chains, and Smashing Pumpkins on one album before they reached the collective conscience of the country.  The album went platinum and really caught the buzz of the Seattle grunge scene.  In addition to the great songs from the soon to be huge bands, there were several key tracks from stalwart Seattle bands such as Mudhoney and Mother Love Bone.

Key Tracks: Drown, Chloe Dance/Crown of Thorns, State of Love and Trust, Breath, Birth Ritual, Would

And Justice for All

Metallica

This was my heavy metal musical baptism and bible in the latter part of my high school years.  I was really into classic rock and when this album came out I could not get enough.  The guttural growls of James Hetfield, the relentless drumming of Lars, and just the all out anger of the sound was so intoxicating.  As a recalcitrant teen, this was my anthem.  As I’ve gotten older, I have learned to appreciate the level of skill that they possess as a band of musician and how they helped define the genre.

Key Tracks:  Dyers Eve, One, The Shortest Straw, Blackened

Green

R.E.M.

Green was R.E.M.’s sixth album but was their major label debut.  This album was also the debut of Peter Buck’s mandolin which would help define the band’s sound on subsequent albums.  The album had such a different sound from their previous albums.  Stipe’s singing is more deliberate and clear and the lyrics run a range of emotions. 

Key Tracks:  Stand, You Are the Everything, World Leader Pretend, Orange Crush, I Remember California

Full Moon fever

Tom Petty

This was Petty’s first venture into solo territory even though he had collaborations with his Heartbreakers and a Wilbury or two.  The album has a cleaner almost crisp sound compared to some of the earlier Heartbreakers albums.  Helmed by Jeff Lynne (Traveling Wilbury’s, Electric Light Orchestra) the album is solid with no real weak tracks. 

Key Tracks: Runnin Down a Dream, Free Fallin’, Love Is a Long Road, I Won’t Back Down,

Joshua Tree

U2

This is my all time favorite U2 album.  They had not quite blown up into the biggest rock band in the world but were well on their way.  Each track is unyielding in musical bliss and twenty plus years later, it plays like a greatest hits album.  The album is sonically heavier than their previous albums and is their foray into the influence of the blues. 

Key Tracks: With Or Without You, Running To Stand Still, I Still Haven’t Found What I’m Looking For, Trip Through Your Wires

Great music awaits!


Mixed Tape Monday: Numbers

Welcome to another installment of Mixed Tape Monday, where I will WOW you with my whimsical list of wonderful music which is brought to you by the wonder of the World Wide Web. 

Today’s topic is Numbers:

Song:             One

Artist:              U2

Album:            Achtung Baby

Song:              16 Days

Artist:              Whiskeytown

Album:            Strangers Almanac

Song:              Seven Nation Army

Artist:              The White Stripes

Album:            Elephant

Song:              Angel Dream (No. 2)

Artist:              Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers

Album:            She’s the One

Song:              Say Hello 2 Heaven

Artist:              Temple of the Dog

Album:            Temple of the Dog

Song:              40 Oz. To Freedom

Artist:              Sublime

Album:            40 Oz. To Freedom

Song:              Seven Bridges Road

Artist:              Steve Young (Popularly covered by the Eagles)

Album:            Rock Salt & Nails

Song:              One for the Cutters

Artist:              the Hold Steady

Album:            Stay Positive

Song:              99 Problems

Artist:              Jay-Z

Album:            The Black Album

Song:              Dash 7

Artist:              Wilco

Album:            A.M.

Song:              Nine Bullets

Artists:            Drive-By Truckers

Album:            Pizza Deliverance

Song:              Little One

Artist:              Elliott Smith

Album:            From A Basement On the Hill

Song:              60 Feet Tall

Artist:              Dead Weather

Album:            Horehound

Song:              9 Crimes

Artist:              Damien Rice

Album:            9

Song:              40 Dogs

Artist:              Bob Schneider

Album:            Lovely Creatures

Song:              One Road to Freedom

Artist:              Ben Harper

Album:            Fight for Your Mind

Song:              1000 Bpm

Artist:              Beck

Album:            The Information

Song:              One Last Dance

Artist:              Badly Drawn Boy

Album:            Born in the U.K.

Song:              Ten Thousand Words

Artist:              The Avett Brothers

Album:            I and Love and You

 Song:              17

Artist:              Cross Canadian Ragweed

Album:            The Purple Album

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!


50 Artists you should be listening to and own at least one album!

Ok, I thought yesterday’s blog was fun and elicited some reaction from you, the sweet , gentle reader  and a few David Cassidy fans( ITILY ladies and possibly gentlemen) and also caused a bit of a stir on facebook as well.  So, let’s go and reverse the whip.

I will attempt to continue to WOW you with my vast musical knowledge and then silently judge you if you are not impressed with my musical prowess.  Just kidding, I would never judge you or your poor musical taste. 

I do think that there are some artists that transcend genres and have universal appeal.  Others have a loyal following and then have that one album that regales the masses and they are beloved for generations.  Some of us grew up on music and we think it is greatness based solely on the nostalgia for the time and place in which we first heard it.  And then there are music purist who likes a band /artist because they respect the lineage and the impact that they had on music.

I tend to be a bit of all of the above.  There are some artists that I like because there is some form of connectivity that I really can’t explain, while others are truly a moment in time that has endeared me to an artist, and then there is the whole musical heritage piece.  I am intrigued by the evolution of music and the artists that find themselves compelled to play.  As mentioned previously in a blog, I have no musical talent.  I do not play and instrument, I do not sing close to well, and I’ve never had aspirations to do either.  I simply love to listen to music. 

As much as I have a propensity to scorn/judge, in my humble opinion, awful music, I really respect the fact that those dreadful musicians had the nerve to attempt to play, at some point get signed, and were able to release an album or at the very least a single.  When it comes down to it, I don’t judge the horrific musicians as mercilessly as I judge the faction who listens and procures the music.

So, below is a listing of artists/bands that you should be listening to and would be in any reputable music collection.  

  • Ryan Adams
  • The Band
  • The Beastie Boys
  • The Beatles
  • Beck
  • The Black Crowes
  • Jimmy Buffet (with love to Gwendolyn)
  • Johnny Cash
  • Eric Clapton
  • Credence Clearwater Revival
  • Drive-By Truckers
  • Bob Dylan
  • The Eagles
  • Steve Earle
  • Foo Fighters
  • Pat Green
  • Merle Haggard
  • Ben Harper
  • Jimi Hendrix
  • Robert Earl Keen
  • Led Zeppelin
  • Lynyrd Skynyrd
  • Dave Matthews Band
  • John Mellencamp
  • Metallica
  • Willie Nelson
  • Nirvana
  • Pearl Jam
  • Tom Petty
  • Pink Floyd
  • The Pixies
  • Joe Purdy
  • Radiohead
  • R.E.M
  • Red Hot Chili Peppers
  • The Rolling Stones
  • Rush
  • Paul Simon
  • Sonic Youth
  • Sound Garden
  • Bruce Springsteen
  • James Taylor
  • Traveling Wilburys
  • U2
  • Stevie Ray Vaughan
  • Wilco
  • Whiskeytown
  • The Who
  • Neil Young
  • ZZ Top

I just listed the artist and not the album or albums that you should be listening to and really own by said artist.  Also, I stopped at 50 and that took a considerable amount of restraint.

This is fundamentally meant to light the candle of thought and get you to think about your 50 artists.  If you only had 50 artists that you could listen to, who would they be?  Think of yourself as Tom Hanks in Cast Away and instead of Wilson the volleyball, you have an iPod with 50 artists and their entire catalog. 

So take some time, peruse the list and let me know who you would have added or deleted from the list or send me you complete list.

Great music awaits!


You should be listening to Arcade Fire!

Arcade Fire is the multi instrumentalist indie band from our neighbors to the north.  That would be Canada for those of you that might be either geographically or border country cliché challenged.  In addition to being a great band, they are also a testimony to the sacred and blessed union of holy matrimony as the band is fronted by the married duo of Win Butler and Régine Chassagne.

Formed in 2003, prior to the nuptials of Win and Régine, Arcade Fire released their self titled EP.  While the debut was a solid effort it is forever lost under the greatness of their follow up album Funeral.  Upon the release of Funeral in 2004, Arcade Fire took the music world by surprise and their debut EP was rereleased.  Their music made it to the Late Show with David Letterman and saw them opening three shows for U2 during the Vertigo tour, and two Grammy nominations. 

2007 saw the release of Neon Bible the highly anticipated follow up to Funeral.  The album debut at #2 and was well received by critics.  The themes on the album seem to be more external and in some cases overly dramatic.

Arcade Fire Discography:

  • Arcade Fire
  • Funeral
  • Neon Bible

Top 5 Arcade Fire Songs:

  1. Headlights Look Like Diamonds (Arcade Fire)
  2. Crown of Love (Funeral)
  3. No Cars Go (Neon Bible)
  4. Wake Up (Funeral)
  5. Intervention (Neon Bible)

Musically, Arcade Fire uses an array of musical instruments to wrap each song in its own sonic temple.  While guitars, bass, and drums are a staple to any band, these crazy cats are playing piano, viola, cello, double bass, xylophone, glockenspiel, keyboards, French horns, harp, and mandolin.  This is not just the studio version, most of the instruments go on tour and the multi talented band members swap instruments throughout the live show.

At times, the band is sonically explosive, beautifully textured, and always a formidable backdrop to the anguished and often pleading vocals of Win Butler.  The variety of instruments do not sound out of place nor do they seem over indulgent.

Check out Arcade Fire at www.arcadefire.com

www.youtube.com/watch?v=1-wEBmLht5g

www.youtube.com/watch?v=5Mum6ggkBJs&feature=related

Great music awaits!