Tag Archives: White Lies for Dark Times

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!


Ben Harper

Today’s hot topic is slide guitar extraordinaire and multi band leader (Innocent Criminals & Relentless Seven) Benjamin Chase Harper! 

Ben Harper (In all incarnations) Discography and Best Song From Each Album:

  • Pleasure & Pain (1992)
    • This is a limited edition release prior to Harper signing with a major label.  It is the only album of his that I do not have nor do I have track listing.
  • Welcome to the Cruel World (1994)
    • Waiting on an Angel
  • Fight For Your Mind (1995)
    • Excuse Me Mr.
  • The Will to Live (1997)
    • Glory & Consequences
  • Burn to Shine (1999)
    • Please Bleed
  • Live from Mars (2001)
    • Sexual Healing
  • Diamonds on the Inside (2003)
    • Amen Omen
  • There Will Be Light (2004)
    • Wicked Man
  • Live at the Apollo (2005)
  • Both Sides of the Gun (2006) (Double CD)
    • Morning Yearning
    • Better Way
  • Lifeline (2007)
    • Having Wings
  • Live at the Twist & Shout (2007)
  • White Lies for Dark Times (2009)
    • Faithfully Remain

Top 5 Ben Harper albums:

  1. Diamonds on  the Inside
  2. Welcome to the Cruel World
  3. Live From Mars
  4. Burn to Shine
  5. Fight For Your Mind

Top 10 Ben Harper Songs:

  1. Amen Omen
  2. Please Bleed
  3. Burn One Down
  4. Touch from Your Lust
  5. Steal My Kisses
  6. Glory & Consequences
  7. Fool For a Lonesome Train
  8. Skin Thin
  9. I’ll Rise
  10. Walk Away

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 Ben Harper!

Whether Ben Harper is playing with the “Innocent Criminals”, “The Blind Boys of Alabama”, or “The Relentless Seven”, he is making some pretty amazing music.  His style is as varied as his influences: Funk, Soul, Blues, Gospel,Reggae, Rock, and R&B, it all comes out in his music.  He is renowned for his ability on the slide guitar.

 Ben had a cult following in the decade of the 90’s and started to gain some commercial success in 2000 with the single “Steal My Kisses” from his album “Burn to Shine”.  His expressive voice and varied musical styles offer his fans a kaleidoscope of ear candy.  Another example of this is his stunning 2004 collaboration with the Blind Boys of Alabama “There Will Be Light”.   With each album it seems that he further embraces his influences such as Bob Dylan, Bob Marley, and of course, Jimi Hendrix, while continuing to explore and expand his own.

 To really appreciate Ben Harper, you must see him live.  I have had this privilege on three separate occasions and in three different phases of his career.  The first time I saw him was four or five years ago at Austin City Limits Music Festival.  He was energetic and engaging and had the entire crowd of thousands completely enthralled.  The next occasion was on his “Lifeline” tour with his backing band ‘The Innocent Criminals” at the Majestic Theater in Dallas.  The tour was billed as acoustic and intimate and it was indeed both of those things.  The fans were seated for the entire show and captivated by the music.  The most recent concert was the 2008 Austin City Music Festival.  He was touring with his new band “The Relentless Seven”.  His hour long set was tight and focused on his new material from “White Lies for Dark Times”.  He was in fine form and his new band sounded great.

Ben Harper Discography

  • Welcome to the Cruel World
  • Fight for Your Mind
  • The Will To Live
  • Burn To Shine
  • Diamonds on the Inside
  • Live From Mars
  • There Will Be Light
  • Both Sides of the Gun
  • Lifeline
  • Live at the Twist & Shout
  • White Lies for Dark Times

 Top 5 Ben Harper Songs according to Butler (Albums listed to right of song):

  1. Amen Omen (Diamonds on the Inside)
  2. Having Wings (Lifeline)
  3. I’ll Rise (Welcome to the Cruel World)
  4. Excuse Me Mr. (Fight for Your Mind)
  5. Better Way (Both Sides of the Gun)

 If you have never listened to Ben Harper, then I highly recommend “Live From Mars” as your introductory sampling. It is a great selection of his music and some covers songs from artists such as Marvin Gaye, Led Zeppelin, and The Verve.

 Give Ben Harper some love and let me know what you think.

 Ben Harper’s music is available is available on iTunes, record stores and www.benharper.com.

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Great music awaits!