Friday, August 29, 2008

Noel Inspires Lars to Clean Up

In an example of disparate music world's colliding, NME is reporting that Metallica drummer/Bonnaroo vet Lars Ulrich kicked his cocaine habit by receiving inspiration from none of than Oasis' Noel Gallagher. It also turns out that Lars is madferit!

[Lars] added, "I was very impressed with Noel Gallagher. As you know, I'm an Oasis fanatic, and Noel was like [adopts Mancunian accent] 'You know what? No more cocaine!' (Gallagher quit in 1998) and I thought, 'If he can do it, everybody else can do it'."

Now we can add Lars to the list of artists who have publicly shared their love for the lads from Manchester. This Oasis track, Talk Tonight, goes out to Lars:

Happy 50th Michael Jackson

The gloved one turns the big 5-0 today. To celebrate, check out this 1987 live performance of Thriller, complete with bad 80's video fades. Look out at 2:48 for the original Glow In The Dark performance.

How Someday Finally Came

Read the story of how Bob Dylan was responsible for John Fogerty returning to his CCR catalog.

An excerpt:
But it was five months earlier that the cracks appeared in the dam. Fogerty went to a Taj Mahal show at the Palomino, a tiny Los Angeles club. In the audience were two other rockers - Bob Dylan and George Harrison. Veteran music journalist Todd Everett recalls seeing Fogerty and gently nudging him toward the other two. Within minutes, all three were onstage, and at Dylan's insistence, the legend went, Fogerty gave in and played Proud Mary.

Fans also credit that night with the genesis of the Traveling Wilburys, with Dylan and Harrison playing in a supergroup. The Wilburys' first album would be recorded in May of 1988. While a 1990 trip to Robert Johnson's grave got Fogerty, 63, fully on board with his old material, Dylan got the ball rolling.

Update: Download this show!!

The Silver Wilburys

Guest appearance with Taj Mahal and The Graffiti Band.
Live at the Palomino Club, North Hollywood (CA) on 19 Feb 1987.
The band: Jesse Ed Davis, Taj Mahal, George Harrison, Bob Dylan, John Fogerty

01- Farther On Down The Road
02- Introductions
03- Matchbox
04- Knock On Wood
05- Midnight Hour
06- Honey Don't
07- Blue Suede Shoes
08- Watching The River Flow
09- Proud Mary
10- Johnny B. Goode
11- Hand Jive
12- Peggy Sue
13- Dizzy Miss Lizzy
14- Lucille
15- Twist and Shout

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Oasis To Cross The Pond

Oasis are set to play a one-off show at Terminal 5 in NYC in two weeks time, September 12th. Read the announcement and the information on the ticket lottery via NME.

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Burial Unearthed

This news is a few weeks old now, but I never got around to posting it. It's a story that seemingly could only be dreamed up by a PR firm. But it wasn't.

The story begins:
A few weeks ago a young British artist updated his MySpace blog and added a photo. No big deal I hear you cry, and ordinarily you'd be quite right. But on this occasion the details in question belonged to the spectral figure at the pinnacle of Britain’s ferociously underground dubstep movement, who beforehand had preferred the blanket anonymity of being known only as Burial. And in finally revealing his real identity, a man with the public profile of a spy became national news.

Almost immediately speculation began to proliferate about who could've been capable of moulding these largely nascent ingredients into something so fully formed. For a long period of time Richard D. James (AKA Aphex Twin) was the popular favourite, whilst wilder gossip threw Fatboy Slimmer Norman Cook's name into the melee.

Read the full story about Burial's decision to reveal himself to the world here.

I personally love this guy's music. I can't get enough of it. It's music I can lose myself in and nod my head to and realize that an hour has passed when it felt like five minutes. Pitchfork makes a valiant attempt to describe the mostly indescribable sound of Untrue in their 8.4 Rated review: "It quivers like a hissing light bulb, one that illuminates the tracks scattered around it-- garage, dubstep, soul-- and in doing so smears them into unique shapes. Untrue shows the hunched, unreadable form of Burial's refusenik stance-- back turned, hands shoved in pockets-- and practically commands you to follow."

Gigwise: 50 Greatest Band Logos

Website has a phenomenal time-waster of a list for the 50 Greatest Band Logos. The usual suspects of The Rolling Stones, Zeppelin, and the Grateful Dead's Stealie make the list. You'll definitely find some more here that you wouldn't have thought of like the WuTang's Globe, the New York Dolls Lipstick, and The Strokes Chrome. Enjoy..

Extra: The story behind Andy Warhol and the Rolling Stones iconic lips (he DID NOT design the logo, counter to prevailing thoughts on the matter...)

Tuesday, August 26, 2008

Behind Blue Eyes: A Study on Body Parts In Music

Did you know that 23.64 percent of hip-hop songs refer to the behind, while 11.83 percent of rock songs talk about eyes? Visual artists Fernanda Viégas and Martin Wattenberg analyzed over 10,000 songs to find out which parts of the human body were mentioned the most and broke down the resulting data by genre.

Wired published their study.

Etta James: Take It To the Limit

I've been working my ass off these past couple weeks and it hasn't let up yet. To keep me sane, I've been listening to a ton of Pandora. On a daily basis, I get to hear a few gems that I'd never heard before. One of the most recent is Etta James' soulful cover of the Eagles' "Take It To The Limit". The "At Last" singer recorded this song on her 1978 "comeback album" titled Deep In the Night. On this album, she also covers Alice Cooper's "Only Women Bleed," and "Piece of My Heart." Most recently, in 2006, at 68, Etta reached #10 on the US R&B chart with her album All The Way that features her takes on "Imagine," "I Believe I Can Fly," "It's A Man's Man's Man's World," "Purple Rain," and "What's Going On."

Take a listen to Etta James' live performance of "Take It To The Limit"

Saturday, August 23, 2008

The Strange Design, Sullivan Hall, 8/22/08 (a.k.a. 11/21/97)

Back in the late '90's, the beginning of the fall season meant many things to me: a new set of freshman girls to chat up, the end of summer break, and...oh hell, who am I meant most importantly that I would be venturing back to Hampton, Virginia for Phish's annual two-night stand. The spaceship-shaped venue they played every year, the Hampton Coliseum, was a fitting symbol for how the night would unfold each year: Get prepared for take-off and be comfortable not knowing where you're gonna end up.

Fast forward to 4 years A.P. (After Phish), I recently found out that some dudes from my hometown were going on the road as a Phish tribute band called The Strange Design, essentially working the Dark Star Orchestra formula around recreating entire Phish shows. I have to say that I thought the guys, much like Suzy Greenberg, needed to get checked by a neurologist. Covering the Dead was one thing, but attempting to recreate the complexity, creativity, and downright goofiness of Phish should not be attempted in my humble opinion. Even the "Phish" tribute at the Jammys by the HeadCount All-Stars (w/ the extremely talented Brownstein, Gutwillig, Hollingsworth, Cinninger, and Russo) felt emotionless and flat.

So, heading into the Strange Design show at Sullivan Hall last night I felt a sense of excitement but predominantly skepticism having beared witness to Phish-covering debacles from bands like Stash and The Phix. I also didn't quite know what to think with the night creatively billed as 'A Weekend at the Hamptons' knowing the band was going to attempt a show I most likely had attended with the real four boys from Vermont.

The crowd at the West Village venue appeared to be 90% kids who were 14 when Phish broke up and 10% veterans looking for even a touch of magic that Trey, Mike, Page, and Fish could bring to a stage. The band got started with the funky Rolling Stones tune Emotional Rescue as the first number out of the gate. Okay, here we go, because I was definitely at this show. November 21, 1997. But it was too long ago to remember the entire setlist (If it had been five years earlier, I would have named every song plus segues and teases). The "Mike" falsetto was rough, the band was loose, and it actually felt a bit uncomfortable. Then I slowly realized that was EXACTLY how I felt when Phish attempted that song eleven years ago. Phish was never a perfectionist band; they were out to have a good time and explore new boundaries. So a random cover was not an attempt at note-for-note recreation. And the same vibe was being captured with Strange Design.

The song melded into a loop-jam straight out of Trey's Languedoc. And the first song being a cover (of a cover!) I didn't pass judgement just yet. Up next was Split Open and Melt. Major test! I was nervous FOR them. Funky drums: Check. Funky bass: Check. Impossibly challenging guitar line: Nailed! Rhythmic keyboards: Perfect! Vocals: Just as ridiculous at the original! Folks, this was a very, very good sign. The challenge of recreating the song was hard enough, but then making me feel like the song could feel Phishy outside the boundaries of the orchestrated parts I felt was an even tougher challenge. Now nodding my head, tapping my foot, and closing my eyes to what was well beyond my hardened expectations, I was truly engulfed in the music.

I really felt the era of the show when Beauty of My Dreams was played into Dogs Stole Things!! That little number was busted out on the'97 Europe tour and played sporadically thereafter. This was what I came for. To be reminded of the Phish catalogue, groove to great tunes, and relive my phall days in VA. Other highlights were Lawn Boy with full on schmaltz by "Chairman of the Boards" Aaron Levy, "Can't I live while I'm young!" chanting on Chalkdust, and a digital loop delay jam on Prince Caspian.

While I may not tour with The Strange Design for the next five falls, it was a true pleasure having my tapes come back to life. Which is great considering they are actually back in my childhood bedroom under all of my mom's stuff (my room is now a storage closet, apparently). Thanks goes out to Matt, Adam, Aaron, and Ben for helping me get back to where I once belonged and rekindling my love of Phish. I look forward to hearing what shows, legendary or otherwise, they pull from the Phish canon. And to those that are skeptical of the Phish cover experience, take it from a major phan who lived and breathed the band growing up. This is as close as you can get to the real thing, without the real thing, and a chance to experience the magic that is the live Phish experience in an intimate setting. And anyway, anyone who has the balls to pull off Guyute when Trey ALWAYS flubbed that song, is cool with me.

The Strange Design: 8/22/08- Sullivan Hall- New York, NY

Recreating: 11-21-97 Hampton Coliseum, Hampton, VA

1: Emotional Rescue*-> Split Open and Melt, Beauty of My Dreams, Dogs Stole Things, Punch You in the Eye-> Lawn Boy, Chalk Dust Torture, Prince Caspian^

2: Ghost-> AC/DC Bag-> Slave to the Traffic Light, Loving Cup

E: Guyute
*Rolling Stones cover (first time played). ^With digital delay loop jam.

Devendra Banhart Is . . . Not Good

He may only be on for 20 minutes in between Galactic and Steve Winwood on this Outside Lands webcast, but after five minutes this guy is killing me. I keep waiting for Jack Black to come out and smash his guitar into pieces so that the joke can be over and we all can have a good laugh. But unfortunately, I don't think it's going to happen. Is there something to this dude that I'm not getting? I mean, the band has the 70s look down pretty well, but musically it's just grating.

Inside Lands Festival

The Outside Lands Festival is going on this weekend in Golden Gate Park in San Francisco. Since I am not oustide in SF and am instead inside in front of a laptop (damn job), I'm having my own Inside Lands Festival and catching some of the action online via the webcast. Below is the webcast schedule (All Times EST).

Check out the webcast here

08:30 PM Black Mountain
09:10 PM Steel Pulse

04:00 PM Abigail Washburn & Bela Fleck
04:45 PM Goapele
05:20 PM Dredg
05:50 PM Galactic
06:50 PM Devendra Banhart
07:10 PM Steve Winwood
08:10 PM M. Ward
08:50 PM Ben Harper & Innocent Criminals
09:40 PM Primus

04:00 PM Jackie Greene
04:50 PM ALO
05:25 PM Toots & the Maytals
06:35 PM Andrew Bird
07:10 PM Sharon Jones & Dap Kings
08:00 PM Broken Social Scene
08:55 PM Rodrigo y Gabriela
09:55 PM Cake
10:40 PM Jack Johnson

Friday, August 22, 2008

Team USA: Having a Volley Ball

It's 2:52 AM. I'm still up. I'm working towards a Friday COB deadline for work. Thank god for the Olympics because they've been keeping me company as I've worked crazy late each night this week. The US Mens Indoor Volleyball team just beat the mighty Russians in a 5-set nail biter, live from Beijing, to advance to the gold medal game in a couple days. I'm going to take this opportunity to share my favorite rendition of a patriotic song, Ray Charles' America The Beautiful, to celebrate the victory. Any chance I can get to post Brother Ray singing this song, I'm going to take it. I got to watch the men's beach volleyball team beat up on the Brazilians earlier tonight for the gold and I caught the women's beach volleyball gold medal win last night.

If the US had lost, I think I would have posted The Beatles' 'I'm So Tired' instead.


Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Tragedy Strikes the Dave Matthews Band

I'm still overcome with shock and sadness at reading the news tonight that Leroi Moore, saxophonist for the Dave Matthews Band, has passed away as a result of the injuries he suffered while riding an ATV on his property near Charlotteville, VA in June. DMB was one of my favorite bands throughout high school and the first band that I made repeated efforts to see in concert. No reports that I'd read to date had described his injuries as life threatening and that is why this news is so surprising. I never considered one time that I would be reading this news.

He always appeared to be taking his performances very seriously, hardly cracking a smile on stage, but in every interview I have seen with him he always had a wide grin on this face. The band continued on with part-time Flecktone saxophonist Jeff Coffin while Leroi was recovering. It remains to be seen what decisions the band will make about continuing on and if they do, who might replace the incredibly talented Leroi.

The band posted the following statement this evening:
We are deeply saddened that LeRoi Moore, saxophonist and founding member of Dave Matthews Band, died unexpectedly Tuesday afternoon, August 19, 2008, at Hollywood Presbyterian Medical Center in Los Angeles from sudden complications stemming from his June ATV accident on his farm near Charlottesville, Virginia. LeRoi had recently returned to his Los Angeles home to begin an intensive physical rehabilitation program.

Dave Matthews Band has gone on with their scheduled appearance at the Staples Center in Los Angeles tonight, with Jeff Coffin playing sax on show opener Bartender. The song begins:

If I go / Before I'm old / Oh, brother of mine / Please don't forget me if I go

Bartender, please / Fill my glass for me / With the wine you gave Jesus / That set him free after three days in the ground.

Oh, and if I die / Before my time / Oh, sweet sister of mine / Please don't regret me if I die

Bartender, please / Fill my glass for me / With the wine you gave Jesus / That set him free after three days in the ground

RIP Roi.

Billy Bob Thornton & The Boxmasters: Highline Ballroom, NYC, 8/18/08

Armageddon, Bad Santa, The Ice Harvest, The Boxmasters...the what? No, this is not the next dark comedy starring Billy Bob Thornton as the grouchy, always intoxicated Southerner with a chip on his shoulder. The Boxmasters are much better than that. For those who don't know (and I was one of these people), over the past several years, Hollywood veteran Thornton has passionately pursued a second career as a singer-songwriter. His prior band, Tres Hombres was hailed by rock icon Billy Gibbons (Z.Z. Top) and his most recent incarnation, The Boxmasters, is deserving of equal praise. I know what you're thinking: Actor gets rich. Actor gets bored. Actor releases an album. Album sucks. Actor goes back to acting (think Lindsey Lohan). Quite the contrary, Thornton, whose roots are in rock and blues, does not follow this oft ill-fated formula. In fact, he pulls off his latest role in convincing fashion. After all, he is a country boy at heart.

The show is broken into two one-hour sets. The first set consists of what the band describes as "Electric Hillbilly" -- a retro blend of rockabilly and 60's Brit-pop. Each member wears an identical Savile Row-esqe suit with matching pompadours and black-framed glasses -- campy enough to make even John Waters envious (in a good way). As for the sound, Thornton casually mans the mic (and cigarette) while backed by a tremendous group of talented musicians. Lead guitarist Michael Wayne Butler is reminiscent of a young Brian Setzer and Nashville-style pedal steel player Marty Rifkin - affectionately called "Hank III" by Thornton (presumably after the First Family of country music) - is a potent addition to the seven-piece ensemble. From a technical standpoint, the band is exceptional. Each member undoubtedly has extensive experience with their respective instruments -- always a good thing. The second set was straight up "balls to the wall" rock n' roll. Basically, the band adds a few extra guitarists and Thornton shows off his grittier side (and his tattoos).

Now everyone knows that NYC is a hard place to win over a crowd. But last night, the more or less 250 in attendance seemed to have enjoyed every minute. Frankly, I wasn't sure what to expect from the audience. The crowd ranged from Bergen County to Long Island to the East Village to the Upper East Side. That is a tough group to please.

Oh...I forgot to mention one last bit of information: Early in the show, I brushed by none other than Mr. Warren Haynes near the back of the venue. Having seen Warren sit-in with numerous bands over the past few years, I figured the same would happen last night. But as the band was wrapping up the 2nd set, I was starting to lose faith. Then, out of the blue, Warren humbly took the stage, Les Paul and all, and blew everyone away with one of his trademark solos. What can't this guy do!?!

I and a fellow Weightstaffer were fortunate enough to score backstage passes for the show and had the pleasure of meeting with Mr. Thornton and his mates. Everyone was straight up cool -- no attitudes. They exchanged war stories while we quietly listened. We even shared some of our own memories with Warren regarding some of the gigs he played with the Allman Bros., Levon, and Phil Lesh. Hearing his perspective on some of our most meaningful concert experiences was quite surreal.

[Shameless plug] Save the money you were going to spend on the new Star Wars movie, throw down a few Buds, sport your American flag bandanna and catch The Boxmasters when they pass through town. He is Billy Bob Thornton after all...

Music History 101: Small Faces

I'm enjoying this song too much right now not to want to share it. It's the Small Faces' "All Or Nothing." To go along with the video, I'll throw in some facts about Small Faces.

Small Faces were founded in East London in 1965 by members Steve Marriott, Ronnie Lane, Kenney Jones, and Jimmy Winston. By 1966, they were offered a deal with the newly established Immediate label, formed by ex-Rolling Stones manager Andrew Loog Oldham. Marriott officially quit the band at the beginning of 1969, walking off stage during a live New Year's Eve gig. Citing frustration at their failure to break out of their pop image and their inability to reproduce the more sophisticated material properly on stage, Steve was already looking ahead to a new band, Humble Pie, with Peter Frampton. After they disbanded, Lane and Jones were joined by Ronnie Wood (guitar) and Rod Stewart (lead vocals), both from The Jeff Beck Group, and the new line-up with Ian McLagan was renamed The Faces. Kenney Jones later became the drummer in The Who after Keith Moon's death in 1978.

In July 2008 Faces keyboard player Ian McLagan has confirmed the surviving members of the band, including Rod Stewart and Ronnie Wood, have been considering a reunion.

With that aside, lets get back to the music. I guarantee you'll be singing along with this one when you play it the second time through.

Bling Kings

Here are Forbes' 2008 top 20 highest earning hip hop artists:

1. Curtis "50 Cent" Jackson: $150 million
2. Shawn "Jay-Z" Carter: $82 million
3. Sean "Diddy" Combs: $35 million
4. Kanye West: $30 million
5. Timothy "Timbaland" Mosley: $22 million
6. Pharrell Williams: $20 million
7. Kasseem "Swizz Beatz" Dean: $17 million
8. Calvin "Snoop Dogg" Broadus: $16 million
9. André "Dr. Dre" Young: $15 million
10. Christopher "Ludacris" Bridges: $14 million
11. Clifford "T.I." Harris: $13 million (tie)
11. Dwayne "Lil Wayne" Carter: $13 million (tie)
12. Marshall "Eminem" Mathers: $12 million (tie)
12. Lonnie "Common" Lynn Jr.: $12 million (tie)
12. Aliaune "Akon" Thiam: $12 million (tie)
13. Jermaine Dupri: $11 million (tie)
13. Jonathan "Lil Jon" Smith: $11 million (tie)
14. OutKast: $10 million (tie)
14. Hakeem "Chamillionaire" Seriki: $10 million (tie)
14. Jayceon "The Game" Taylor: $10 million (tie)

Fitty coming in at $150M is unbelievable considering it seems to me like he didn't do anything in 2008. I guess Vitamin Water is treating him pretty damn well. Eminem seemingly did nothing in 2008 too and he pulled in only $12M. This list is just further proof that talent and income have no relationship whatsoever.

Ozzfest 2008 Considered A Success

Ozzfest 2008, with Metallica and Ozzy Osbourne as headliners, grossed nearly $3.5 million and drew close to 30,000 people to Dallas' Pizza Hut Park, according to producers Sharon Osbourne and AEG Live.

In addition to Metallica and Osbourne, main stage acts were Serj Tankian, Hellyeah, Johnathan Davis, Cavalera Conspiracy, Shadows Fall, Apocalyptica, and In This Moment. The second stage featured Sevendust, Devildriver, Kingdom of Sorrow, Soilent Green, Witchcraft and Goathore. On the third stage were the Sword, Drowning Pool, Rigor Mortis, Within Chaos, Destro and "battle of the bands" winners Debris and Black Tooth.

Read the rest of the article here.

Monday, August 18, 2008

Dylan Watches Helm, No On-Stage Reunion

As the crowd watched Helm and his band perform “Got Me A Woman,” Dylan watched as well, barely identifiable in the dark as he stood stage left, on a grassy hill in a restricted area off a wide walkway, near where tour buses came and went all day.

Anyone in the section of seats closest to Dylan could have tossed him a grapefruit, he was that close. People in the same backstage area from which Dylan watched milled about around him, and moved past him, as if they did not know the legend was a mere few feet away.

Dylan stood expressionless and motionless as he paid strict attention to the Levon Helm Band’s set.

Any doubt that this figure in the dark was Dylan was erased by the white stripe on the outside of his left pant leg, a familiar sight for anyone who has seen Dylan perform in recent years. The white stripe on the dark pants is part of Dylan's on-stage costume, which typically features a cowboy hat and suit right off a late 1800s stage coach.

Dylan was only seen watching “Got Me A Woman,” the a cappella dirge, “Anna Lee,” from “Dirt Farmer,” and “Rag Mama Rag,” a rollicking Band song that features a tuba solo.
Read the rest of the Poughkeepsie Journal article about last night's show at SPAC here.

Dylan's Setlist:

1. Leopard Skin Pill-Box Hat
2. It's All Over Now, Baby Blue
3. Rollin & Tumblin
4. Desolation Row
5. Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
6. Million Miles
7. Most Likely You Go Your Way (And I'll Go Mine)
8. Highway 61 Revisited
9. I Believe In You
10. It's Alright, Ma (I'm Only Bleeding)
11. When The Deal Goes Down
12. Thunder on the Mountain
13. Ballad of a Thin Man
14. Like A Rolling Stone
15. Blowin' in the Wind

From a messageboard:

No guests during Dylans set , there was an unused mic out between Bob and Tony, I dont remember if its usually there or not but I dont think so. During Levon Helm's last song the stage was full with nearly all the previous performers of the festival for "The Weight." Steve Earl sang the "Chester" verse (he really likes to say the F word alot) and everybody else sang on the chorus's. It was fun.

When Dylan's set started the intro was said and the band started playing "Leopard Skin Pill Box Hat" without Bob visible onstage, at the last possible second he could hold out, he appeared and semi-ran over to his keyboard just in time to sing - I see you got was kinda dramatic. He was pretty into it tonight but Denny looked and sounded tired. Bob sang the Dr Filth verse 2x's in Desolation Row, and did alot of kinda toe touching stretching stuff which may have been a signal for Larry and Levon to stay away.

Pandora: Back In The Box?

"Pandora is an internet radio service that allows you to create your own radio station based on songs and artists that you like. While you can't necessarily pick and choose what you'll hear on the service, you can fine-tune your radio station's tastes by giving the songs that Pandora recommends a thumbs up or a thumbs down. Pandora on the iPhone is one of the best applications for streaming music and finding new tunes. So, what will the service's 1 million plus users do if Pandora pulls its own plug?"

Read the rest of this potentially tragic news here. There must be something we can do!!

I have bought more music recently as a result of bands I've been introduced to by the Pandora application than by any other means. I use the site every day at work. How else will I be able to listen to Sam Bush Radio (my current favorite custom station)??

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Vintage Vinyl

Through the efforts of one dedicated man, you can download thousands of digitized recordings that he is currently working to upload from old 78s contained in his personal collection. These tracks, available free of charge, come from the greats of jazz, blues, country, bluegrass and more. They feature legends such as Art Tatum, Artie Shaw, Benny Goodman, Bill Monroe, Billie Holiday, Count Basie, Duke Ellington, Fats Waller, Gene Krupa, Hank Williams, Jimmy Dorsey, Les Paul, Lionel Hampton, Louis Armstrong, Tommy Dorsey, and tons more. He's currently uploaded 3,739 songs with many more in the pipeline.


Thousands of recordings that had been largely consigned to the realm of prehistory in the digital age have gained a new life, thanks to the tireless efforts of one man [Cliff Bolling].

As the digital music movement started in earnest, Bolling began digitizing his records, and posted a list of first 1,500 songs he had digitized so fellow collectors could see what kind of progress he had made. Finally, he decided to upload MP3s of every song on the list so that he could access them from anywhere, and so that curiosity seekers could find them

RIP Jerry Wexler

From the AP:

Legendary record producer Jerry Wexler, who helped shape R&B music with influential recordings of Aretha Franklin, Ray Charles and other greats, and later made key recordings with the likes of Bob Dylan and Willie Nelson, has died, says his co-author, David Ritz. He was 91.

Wexler earned his reputation as a music industry giant while a partner at Atlantic Records with another legendary music figure, the late Ahmet Ertegun. Atlantic provided an outlet for the groundbreaking work of African-American performers in the 1950s and 1960s. Later, it was a home to rock icons like Led Zeppelin and The Rolling Stones. He later helped Dylan win his first Grammy by producing his 1979 "Slow Train Coming" album.

Wexler landed a job writing for Billboard magazine in the late 1940s after serving in World War II and studying journalism in college. There he coined the term "rhythm and blues" for the magazine's black music charts; previously, they were listed under "race records." While working at Billboard, Wexler befriended Ertegun -- a life-altering friendship for both. Ertegun and a partner had started Atlantic, then a small R&B label in New York. In 1953, when Ertegun's partner left for a two-year military hitch, Wexler stepped in as the label's co-director.

In 1967, Wexler and Ertegun sold Atlantic to Warner Bros. for $17.5 million. Although they stayed on to run the company, the pair began moving in different directions. Wexler began working with a collection of Southern musicians in the 1970s, including guitar genius Duane Allman, Dr. John, and Delaney & Bonnie. He also produced albums for Willie Nelson.

Read the full profile here.

Fashion Rocks: Here Comes The Son

To hype the upcoming Fashion Rocks concert in NYC, Dhani Harrison eerily channeled his Dad, Beatle George, in a recent fashion spread from the creatively named Fashion Rocks magazine. Check out the rest of the pics/more of the uncanny family resemblance here.

For the fifth year, the VH1 Fashion Rocks concert will be held at New York City's Radio City Music Hall with the following "artists" scheduled to perform [Note the quotation marks around "artists"]

Hosted by Denis Leary with performances by Beyonce, Black Eyed Peas, Chris Brown, Mariah Carey, Chris Cornell, Duffy, Fergie, Kid Rock (with special guest Lynyrd Skynyrd), Lil Wayne, OneRepublic, Pussycat Dolls, Rihanna, Timbaland, Justin Timberlake, Keith Urban ... and introducing Solange

The concert will take place on September 5 with the show already completely sold out. I just happened to try to see if tix were available for, um, research purposes. You know, just like Pete Townshend. Anyway, this list is pretty embarrassing but what do you expect from the channel that brought you Rock of Love and Find Diddy an Assistant. And Solange, otherwise known as the only way sister Beyonce would show up, doesn't need an introduction. She actually makes the Black Eyed Peas look like Rock Hall potential. Chris Cornell and Kid Rock, you should be ashamed of yourselves for this!!!

Friday, August 15, 2008

From The Vault: The Band, 7/17/76

Wolfgang's Vault is featuring The Band's July 17, 1976 concert at Carter Barron Amphitheater in Washington, DC's Rock Creek Park.

1. Introduction / Don't Do It 5:18
2. Shape I'm In 4:10
3. It Makes No Difference 7:19
4. The Weight 4:46
5. King Harvest (Has Surely Come) 3:39
6. Twilight 3:25
7. Ophelia 3:32
8. Tears of Rage 5:43
9. Forbidden Fruit 6:10
10. This Wheel's On Fire 3:51
11. The Night They Drove Old Dixie Down 4:04
12. Organ Solo 2:57
13. Chest Fever 5:12
14. Up On Cripple Creek 5:47
15. The W.S. Walcott Medicine Show 3:58

Set the Controls: Blue Floyd 'Begins'

Did anyone else see these guys in NYC when they played at the Wetlands (Jammin' with the Wizard) or their Bottom Line show? with Allen Woody? with Marc Ford? or their Beatles shows in 2001/2002 at BB Kings?

A series of their live shows were at one time available via mail order from their now defunct website. All of them featured incredible performances including: Echoes with Jimmy Herring, A Good Fool is Hard to Find with Pink Anderson and Warren Haynes, the almost never-ending Us and Them>Breathe>Jam to end at the credits of the Wizard of Oz playing on the screen behind them, rarities like Cymbaline and Fearless, Seamus with Johnny Neel on keys and vocals, Sheep > Eleanor Rigby tease> Interstellar Overdrive. Those shows were really amazing. Not to mention the den of ill repute that was the Wetlands. I can't be the only one?? Is there anybody out there???

Blue Floyd setlists

Blue Floyd Myspace

Their March 2008 release titled 'Begins' features the original line-up of:



Disc 1:
1. HAL 9000 Intro / Shine On You Crazy Diamond
2. Have A Cigar
3. Fearless
4. Interstellar Overdrive / Wish You Were Here
5. Drums
6. Set The Controls For The Heart Of The Sun
7. Hey You / Another Brick In The Wall Pt. 2

Disc 2:
1. In The Flesh / Sheep
2. Money
3. Us & Them / Jam
4. Young Lust
5. Beatjam - Come Together
6. Beatjam - Taxman

Feels Like The First Time - 8/14/96

Exactly twelve years ago we piled into my friend's mom's metallic blue van and left Baltimore for Hershey, PA and my first live concert experience with Phish. On the way up we listened to some bootleg tapes of the band that would be considered unlistenable in today's age of digital filesharing. But back in 1996, these tapes were gold to us. Just being able to hear Trey's vocals, Page's twinkling keys, Gordo's funky bass lines, and Fishman's complex fills at a louder volume than the hiss of the tape was good enough.

Hershey Stadium turned out to be a sweet venue to see the band for the first time, given that the entire infield leading up to the stage was General Admission and we were able to get quite close. I certainly didn't appreciate that aspect at the time, but now with some more perspective, I realize how rare that setup actually is. I don't have as many memories from this show as I do of others, but I do distinctly remember the first set Mango Song and the second set Cracklin' Rosie. How could I ever forget seeing the dress-clad drummer running around on the stage wielding crash cymbals for a Neil Diamond cover! This was a band I knew I needed to see again. The band continued on with their very next show being the infamous Clifford Ball and I returned home a changed man.

One of my friends that I shared this experience with, he would go on to many more Phish shows than I, is as of Wednesday the proud father of a new baby girl. Congratulations!

08-14-96 Hershey Park Stadium, Hershey, PA

1: Wilson-> Down With Disease, Fee-> Poor Heart, Reba, The Mango Song, Gumbo, Stash, Hello My Baby

2: Runaway Jim, You Enjoy Myself, The Horse-> Silent in the Morning, Cars Trucks Buses, Tweezer, Theme From the Bottom, HYHU-> Cracklin' Rosie > HYHU, Sample In a Jar-> Tweezer Reprise

E: Julius*

*Dedicated to Matty Sands, Brad Sands's brother.

The Avett Brothers: The Other TAB

As mentioned in our Rick Rubin feature a couple weeks back, North Carolina's Avett Brothers have signed with Rubin's American/Columbia Records. Their first album for the label will be released in 2009. I had the pleasure of seeing them perform a daytime set at the '07 Asheville Music Jamboree at a time that I'd not yet heard of them. There were plenty of folks in Asheville though that were already diehard fans. I was mightily impressed with their high intensity set featuring a blend of bluegrass instrumentation and punk rock energy.

According to the Brothers' website, about their recently released follow-up EP to their critically praised 2007 Emotionalism album:
[The Second Gleam] was also the highest debut on CMJ’s Top 200 Chart at #39 and has moved up to #26 this week! The NY Daily News said that the album has "melodies as pure and pretty as a crystalline stream," and Performing Songwriter called it "mesmerizing." USA Today recently highlighted the track "Murder In The City" in their weekly playlist calling it "charmingly spare" and "Bella Donna," was recently chosen as the Top Tune at legendary LA-based radio station KCRW.
Take a listen to the beautiful ballad 'Living of Love', one of my favorite tracks on their Emotionalism album:

Also, check out the band's upcoming tourdates including two shows in Virginia and Maryland with The Drive By Truckers.

Thursday, August 14, 2008

Wilco: McCarren Park Pool, Brooklyn, NY

Yes, I was one of the lucky few to attend last night's much anticipated Wilco show at McCarren Park Pool. However, both humbly and concededly, I'm not the right person to review the show. It was my first time seeing the mythical Chicago alt-country rockers and the hype surrounding the band was astonishing. As a modern parallel, I can only liken the experience to not yet having seen The Dark Knight (which I still haven't seen) after all of your friends have declared it, albeit prematurely, "Best Movie EVER" (or at least, best of the Batman saga). I'm the first to admit, I'm a little late to the Wilco game. So over the past year, I've done my best to try and familiarize myself with the iconic band and their signature sound.

To that end, I thought the venue was great. For those who don't know, McCarren Park Pool was a public swimming pool in the Williamsburg community of Brooklyn from around 1936 until 1986. The pool (or what's left of it) is enormous; surprisingly, it makes for a very cool spot to see an outdoor concert.

We hung mainly towards stage right for most of the show. While we were somewhat removed from the main crowd, we did have a decent view of the stage which was key. I, for one, had one too many glasses [plastic cups] of wine (not counting the pints we had before we arrived), which on an empty stomach, made the experience all the more "fun?" All in all, it was a beautiful night to be in Brooklyn, watching a band that is undoubtedly on the verge of legendary. Below, is a short review from Brooklyn Vegan which does more justice than I could do (setlist and photos included).

Wednesday, August 13, 2008

The Lynx

U2's Daniel Lanois-produced followup to 2004’s How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb will be titled No Line On The Horizon according to several U2 fan sites. The album will be released by Universal Music on Friday, November 14 (unconfirmed by the label).

A three-disc CD/DVD boxed set that features unreleased material from Johnny Cash's legendary 1968 concerts at Folsom State Prison in California will be released Oct. 14 via Columbia/Legacy.

The Rock And Roll Hall of Fame is planning to open an annex to the Cleveland museum in Manhattan.

Nine Inch Nails are releasing another new studio album, The Slip, via — for free.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

Mike Gordon Crosses The Bridge

Baltimore's The Bridge opened yet another show for Mike Gordon and his band tonight at the State Theatre in Falls Church, VA. The Bridge played a solid hour-long set that included an improv jam with Mike taking over for Bridge bassist Dave Markowitz. The same jam later included an appearance from guitarist Scott Murawski on his Languedoc guitar. Mike then left the stage and Murawski stayed on for a searing performance of Whipping Post that saw Bridge guitarist Cris Jacobs calling Scott out front for an Allmans-worthy duel lead guitar jam. Cris more than held his own against the veteran Max Creek band member. The Bridge's set also included a duet between Kenny Liner's beatboxing and Cris' seated lap steel playing on Son House's Death Letter Blues.

The full Bridge set:

Honey Bee
Station Blues
Old White Lightning 95
Bad Locomotive
Death Letter Blues (Cris and Kenny)
Good Rhythm ->
Jam w/Mike Gordon, Scott Murawski, and Craig Myers
Whipping Post w/Scott Murawski and Craig Myers
Dirtball Blues

In the crowd for tonight's performance were jam scene celebrities Tim Walther (mid-Atlantic concert promoter and founder of the All Good Music festival) and John Kadlecik (Dark Star Orchestra's lead guitarist and 'Jerry Garcia').

I'm not too familiar with Mike's band's material but they played an enjoyable set (which I left a little bit early) that included a take on Phish's Makisupa policeman. I made some additional notes that the set included what my ear heard as a Destiny Unbound-like jam and an Another One Bites the Dust-like jam. Mike appeared to be having a great time with the set including some quick stories and general banter.

The Bridge remain on Mike tour for one last show tomorrow night at NYC's Highline Ballroom.

Related: Listen to the Bridge's opening set from 8/7/08 in Charlotte, NC with a bonus track included from the encore of Mike's set from that night where the entire Bridge joined Mike and his band for a cover of Little Feat's 'Skin It Back'.

Monday, August 11, 2008

Jethro Tull Doesn't Play The Hits

In a review of Jon Fogerty's concert to close out the 10-day Musikfest in Bethlehem, PA, Express-Times writer Joseph P. Owens complains that Ian Anderson and 1989 Grammy Award winners for Best Hard Rock/Metal Performance, Jethro Tull, chose not to play Aqualung during their earlier show at the festival. I have mixed feeling about a classic rock artist choosing not to play their biggest hit at a show. Part of me respects that Ian left the song out. After all, isn't it more special if it doesn't come out every night. But, don't get me wrong, if I was in that audience, I'd be pissed.

Have you ever read the lyrics to Aqualung? Well, I just did and I wish that I hadn't. The verse begins:

Sitting on a park bench -
Eyeing little girls with bad intent.
Snot running down his nose -
greasy fingers smearing shabby clothes.
Drying in the cold sun -
watching as the frilly panties run.
Feeling like a dead duck -
spitting out pieces of his broken luck.


Most Annoying Frontmen in Rock

Chicago Metromix has named their Top 23 Most Annoying Men in Rock.

23. Gerard Way of My Chemical Romance
22. Conor Oberst aka Bright Eyes
21. Paul Banks of Interpol
20. Anthony Kiedis
19. Adam Levine of Maroon 5
18. Ed Kowalczyk of Live
17. Sting
16. Thom Yorke
15. Chester Bennington of Linkin Park
14. Eddie Vedder
13. Pete Doherty
12. Vince Neil of Motley Crue
11. Chad Kroeger of Nickelback
10. Chris Martin
9. Adam Duritz
8. Tom DeLonge
7. Scott Weiland
6. Axl Rose
5. Dave Matthews
4. Billy Corgan
3. Bono
2. Fred Durst
1. Scott Stapp


Drive-By Truckers Cross The Pond

Uncut editor Allan Jones raves about DBTs London gig at the Electric Ballroom on Camden High Street on August 4, 2008.
It takes them only a couple of numbers to get into a fearsome stride, the opening “Putting People On the Moon” giving quickly way to “Self- Destructive Zones”, a vintage Cooley romp, by which time they are on all fronts positively blazing. “The Man I Shot” – one of their angriest responses to the war in Iraq, and a highlight of Brighter Than Creation’s Dark - finds the chain-smoking Cooley again in the spotlight, wailing furiously like Neil Young at his most combustible before Hood weighs in with a terrific solo of his own, the pair of them combining again with incendiary consequences on roaring versions of “Where The Devil Don’t Say” and “Carl Perkins’ Cadillac”, before Shonna delivers an exquisitely-wrought “I’m Sorry Houston”.
It is easy to tell from his review that he was an avid fan of the band before the show, but his raving review makes me with I was there. If you check out the Comments that were left, you get the sense that the band is killing it over in the UK. Check out his full review here.

Sunday, August 10, 2008

RIP Isaac Hayes

Isaac Lee Hayes, Jr. (August 20, 1942 – August 10, 2008)

Be Trey: Phish Guitar Hero

Have you seen the 'Be Kanye' ads? Well they are plastered on New York City subways and advertise a product that allows you to transform into Kanye West. (It's really a subversive Absolut Vodka ad, but whatever). I guess I was always thinking about being Trey instead and now it's a reality:

Guitar Hero: Phish

This hilarious clip was completely stolen from our good friend Reuben at the Partyin' Peeps site. Thanks man, and I hope you are enjoying All Points West!

Soundgarden Reunion?

SEATTLE—Members of the popular 1990s grunge band Soundgarden shocked critics and fans alike Tuesday, appearing together publicly for the first time in more than a decade after accidentally running into one another at the Northgate Mall Cinnabon.

The unplanned 15-minute reunion was the result of a number of unrelated events, including lead singer Chris Cornell stopping by the baked-goods franchise to buy a Caramel Pecanbon, drummer Matt Cameron taking a break from shopping at the nearby Banana Republic, bass player Ben Shepherd walking by and noticing his one-time bandmates in the food court, and former guitarist and Cinnabon daytime supervisor Kim Thayil working the 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. shift.

According to those in attendance at the packed fast-food venue, the highlight of the incidental Soundgarden reunion came when the rockers reconciled their differences and teamed up for the first time in years to finish off an order of Cinnabon Stix.

"At first it was pretty awkward and none of them seemed like they were really into it," said Al Helbling, 30, a Northgate Mall Sam Goody employee and Soundgarden fan. "But then the drummer comes in and right after that the bass player comes in, and it was like, 'Yes, Soundgarden is back.' It was so intense."

Thanks to The Onion for the ridiculously fake new story...but it's funny as hell. I heard their first song was a cover of 80's classic 'Pour Some Sugar On Me'. Sorry, had to say it.

Continuing reading about the "reunion" here.

Saturday, August 9, 2008

It Was Ten Years Ago Today, Vol II

Still coming down from the energy of the previous night's encore at Merriweather, we headed down to Virginia Beach, VA for the second summer in a row. Where the Merriweather Post Pavillion venue gains points for history and character, the Virginia Beach Ampitheater lacks heavily in both categories. It is yet another concrete and plastic corporate clone, one of many that seemed to pop up all over the country in the late 90s. It is indiscernable from Nissan pavillion, the former Polaris Ampitheater in Columbus, and the former Riverport Ampitheater in St. Louis. I would love to say that the lot scene made up for the surroundings, but not on this night. The cops-on-horseback security team was in full force breaking up any fun that was possibly being had on the premises.

With the show starting, as like for any other Phish show, all is forgotten about the pre-game and full attention is paid to the band and the music. With the sun still in the sky, we were not yet able to bathe in the glory of CK5. We had even better seats than Merriweather, closer and in the middle of the pavillion, and our location may even have been the best view that I ever had for the band (outside of any general admission shows at Hampton).

The whole concert was equally as great as the night before. This many years later I can't really tell you which one was played better. But what I can tell you is that this show featured my only Esther and one of only two YEMs I would see in 25 shows. I would see five Avenu Malkenus and only two YEMs. Go figure.

The distinct memories from this one are, like the night before, all about the encore. Phish chose this opportunity, the three-year anniversary of the death of Jerry Garcia, to pay tribute to their musical heroes, The Grateful Dead. Back in 1998, the comparisons between Phish and The Dead were at a fever pitch due to the rising popularity of the band in the wake of the flood of fans of the Grateful Dead flocking to them after Jerry's passing. Phish was known to play Dead covers in their earliest days in the mid-to-late eighties, but up to this point they had chosen not to play any Dead songs in their concerts for what must have been close to a decade. So when the opening notes of Terrapin Station began to ring out from the Languedoc, rather than reckless energy in the celebration of Sabotage of the night before, this encore was purely emotional. Phish hadn't chosen Fire on the Mountain or Not Fade Away, songs that would have been easier to pull off, they chose one of the Dead's masterpieces. A song where one bum note or flubbed lyric would have been readily apparent. A song that could have fallen apart midway through. That didn't happen though. The band put forth a beautiful rendition of a beautiful song that no one in the audience could have predicted and almost everyone relished. Many ended the prior night with their face dripping with sweat and many ended this night with their face dripping with tears. A fitting tribute to Jerry indeed.

After this concert, the musical interactions between Phish and the Dead could no longer be restrained. Next up was Trey and Page featuring as Phil's friends in April 1999 at the Warfield. In October 2000, Bob Weir appeared on stage with Phish at Shoreline Ampitheater. In more recent years, Trey has reappeared with Phil on stage and Phil has played Wolfman's Brother on occasion. I believe that the door to all of this was cracked open on 8/9/98, exactly ten years ago today.

Please join me in reliving this night of music and download/stream Phish at Virginia Beach Ampitheater from one decade ago, courtesy of

08-09-98 Virginia Beach Amphitheatre, Virginia Beach, VA

1: Punch You in the Eye*, Bathtub Gin, Lizards, The Moma Dance, Birds of a Feather, Esther, Roggae, Bouncing Around the Room, David Bowie (1:23)

2: **AC/DC Bag > Sparkle, Run Like an Antelope, Brian and Robert, Waste, Somewhere Over The Rainbow^, You Enjoy Myself, Frankenstein, Chalkdust Torture, Hello My Baby (1:22)

E: Terrapin Station+ (0:11)

Jerry Garcia's Death: 13 Years Later

If you can name at least one Grateful Dead song, then surely you remember where you were when Jerry died. Not coincidentally, Jerome John Garcia, or simply "Jerry" to his friends and followers, departed this life on August 9, 1995. I, for one most certainly remember where I was when I got word of his death: serving side dishes and corn muffins at the neighborhood rotissere chicken restaurant when a good friend from school frantically relayed the news -- customers in line and all. It was like a swift blow to the gut. I immediately left my post (not caring that I might get fired) to go outside and catch my breath. Although I didn't fully get it at the time, I realized that I had lost a friend I never met, yet knew so very well.

Incidentally, it was an otherwise good summer. I was entering my senior year of high school. I was in a band that had some local notoriety amongst classmates and friends from rival schools. I watched The Wall and The Song Remains the Same hoping to find the answers. I joined both Columbia House and BMG solely to get my hands on every Zeppelin and Dead CD known to man. I was finally getting good on the guitar (no small thanks to Jerry and Jimmy Page). I was mesmerized by "Help> Slip>Franklin's" and "Eyes of the World" was the most perfect song I'd ever heard. It was also that summer that I got my first car -- a haven for Phish bootlegs, window decals, and McDonald's drive-thru (before I stopped eating fast food).

I had long hair. I wore tie-dyes. I drank cheap beers with friends when parents were out of town. My bible was The Dark Side of the Moon. I lived and breathed anything and everything music. It was a summer of "firsts" and I had not a care in the world. As I look back, I realize that from some bad, came much good. To this day, Jerry's death has continued to serve as a bookmark for this most meaningful chapter of my life -- and for that, I'll always be grateful.

I have spent my life
Seeking all that's still unsung
Bent my ear to hear the tune
And closed my eyes to see
When there were no strings to play
You played to me
Jerry Garcia
August 1, 1942 - August 9, 1995

King of Comedy, Bernie Mac 1957 - 2008

Bernie Mac, whose resume included successful stand-up comedian, TV star, and movie star (well, predominantly the Ocean's Eleven series...not sure his turn with Ashton Kutcher in 'Guess Who' was a star-worthy performance) has passed away from complications related to pneumonia. Bernie was the perfect comedian, who could cause an audience to erupt in laughter with merely a look in his eye or a crack of a smile. While his comedy frequently had racial undertones, or sexual undertones, or crude language, his appeal crossed color, gender, and age-related boundaries.

His television show, The Bernie Mac Show, which ran from 2001 to 2006 won a prestigious Peabody Award in 2002. The stodgy Peabody judges spoke with surprising candor when describing why they picked Mac's shows for the award: "[we] chose the sitcom for transcending race and class while lifting viewers with laughter, compassion — and cool". Pretty well said for a bunch of old white dudes.

Bernie Mac, 1957-2008

He Will Be Missed...

Friday, August 8, 2008

It Was Ten Years Ago Today, Vol I

It was exactly one decade ago that I witnessed the most electric moment in all of my 25 Phish shows. On a Saturday night in August of 1998, the boys travelled onto my home turf at the Merriweather Post Pavillion in Columbia, MD. Yes, the very same venue immortalized in the instrument-swapping Walfredo. At this point in the tour I'd already seen them in Columbus, OH on 7/31 and at Deer Creek in Noblesville, IN on 8/2 and 8/3. With the show being local, we knew a good number of people throughout the crowd and had, if I remember correctly, a row of 6 seats together in the pavillion (Page side). The entire show was a treat that night, peppered with covers of Sneaking Sally Through The Alley, Sweet Jane, a Bob Weaver-sung Sexual Healing, and the aforementioned electric shock in the form of Beastie Boys' Sabotage.

Phish has consistenly been able to produce epic peaks of energy in their live performances, but never before and never after have I felt the wave of exhileration that was produced during and after Sabotage. Summer '98 was the season of odd covers, with Running With the Devil, Ramble On, and Been Caught Stealing making very rare appearaces in the previous days. But when this encore started and the crowd gradually realized what the band was trying to tackle, the next two minutes and 50 seconds was complete pandemonium at Merriweather. We all spent more time in the air then we did with our feet on the ground. They 100% nailed it. Phish would try again on two other occasions to reharness the lightning of Sabotage, on 8/16/98 at Lemonwheel to open Set III and on 11/21/98 at the Hampton Coliseum to open Set II, but it was all for naught as the energy and the precision of 8/8/98 could not be recreated (I've heard the tapes).

Please join me in reliving this night of music and download/stream Phish at Merriweather from one decade ago, courtesy of

08-08-98 Merriweather Post Pavilion, Columbia, MD

1: The Wedge, NICU, Sneakin' Sally Through the Alley* > Guyute, Fikus, Farmhouse, Possum, Sweet Jane**

2: Cavern, Also Sprach Zarathustra, Tela > Piper, Sexual Healing^, Harry Hood^^

E: Sabotage+

Stay tuned tomorrow for It Was Ten Years Ago Today, Vol II where I'll recount the night Phish woke The Dead . . .

Thursday, August 7, 2008

Phlashback: The Old Home Page

With the return of Andy Gadiel's Phish page, a website that was my homepage for many many months in college, I have been feeling very nostalgic recently for the good ol' days of Phish. The days of long tours, mail order envelopes, and Fishman stage left. While perusing the PT boards, I stumbled on a post that linked to the official Phish homepage circa 1997. In viewing the home page, the news page, and the tour dates listings, even more than Gadiel's page, vivid memories of viewing this site regularly came rushing back. Memories of new tour dates being released and the immediate decisions being made about which shows I would hit and who I would mail order with. And memories college life and my college friends.

Seeing this page now after ten years is an experience like I have not had before online. The Internet is relatively new thing, but being able to see a website the way it was a decade ago really does result in a trip down memory lane. I wonder if it will trigger the same emotions for you too. Check it out here.

No Sleep 'Til Brooklyn

This is the first of what we hope will be many posts from our good friend and music aficionado Ari. He'll be attending Wilco's show in Brooklyn next week and submitted this content as a preview to the gig. (Ari - You're welcome for the tickets and we look forward to posting your review).

If you believe the story told by Bob Dylan in his Chronicles Vol. I, about 40 years ago, just before the death of his great idol Woody Guthrie, a young Bob Dylan was invited to trek through ice, snow, and salt air to pick up a few boxes of hand written, forgotten, unpublished lyrics kept in the closet of Woody Guthrie's Coney Island, Brooklyn apartment.
"On one of my visits, Woody had told me about some boxes of songs and poems that he had written that had never been seen or set to melodies - that they were stored in the basement of his house in Coney Island and that I was welcome to them...I found the house...One of Woody's kids, Arlo...told the babysitter to let me in. Arlo was probably about ten or twelve years old and didn't know anything about any manuscripts locked in the basement.... Forty years later, these lyrics would fall into the hands of Billy Bragg and the group Wilco and they would put melodies to them, bring them to full life and record them. It was all done under the direction of Woody's daughter Nora. These performers probably weren't even born when I had made that trip out to Brooklyn". -BOB DYLAN CHRONICLES VOL. I-
As referenced by Bob...about 10 years ago, Jeff Tweedy and company, at the request of Billy Bragg, and the prodding of his manager, took a look at those old lyric sheets and together, with some guests, put them to music. The results: Mermaid Avenue and Mermaid Avenue Vol. II are classics. After ten years, I consider them some of the best albums to come out of that period, 1998, and 2000 respectively. (you can argue with me, its ok, perhaps you were sitting at home getting real psyched about Fat Boy Slim, or Moby or something...hows that going for you?...)

Track Highlights:
California Stars
Way over yonder in a minor key
She came along to me
Airline to Heaven
Hoodoo Voodoo (could have been a rubber soul/revolver outake)
Stetson Kennedy
Remember the Mountain Bed
Blood of the Lamb
Someday Some Morning Sometime

Which brings this Post back to Brooklyn. Forty years after Bob Dylan traveled across the East River in search for that box of scribbled lyrics, and 10 years after Wilco received the material, they too will be crossing the East River to Brooklyn to perform August 13, 2008 at McCarren Park Pool, in Williamsburg, Brooklyn (East Village East).

Thank you WeightStaff for the tickets.

Monday, August 4, 2008

Overtime: Will Ferrell as Tiger Woods

With this post, I'm starting a new feature where I will bring you sports-related news more than two weeks after it happened. Genius, right? This new column is in no way merely a cover for my being late to the game in watching some videos from last month's airing of the 16th ESPY awards. From now on, I plan to draw attention to many many more sports highlights that are well past relevancy. I know....I can't wait either!! And now, here is the first Overtime:

I have no idea if the whole world has already seen this clip. I don't really watch ESPN much anymore since all I ever do in the mornings these days is try to be less late to work than the day before. I would so much though love to check back in with Charlie Steiner and Kenny Mayne while eating Eggo's. But that train has sailed.

So I was searching through YouTube for Justin Timberlake's show-starting monologue, which according to Page 2's Bill Simmons and my brother (watched via his iPhone) was pretty damn funny. But, instead of finding the audience participation-oriented opener from the star of Alpha Dog, I found this hysterical acceptance speech featuring Will Ferrell as Tiger Woods for the 2008 Male Athlete of The Year. Will has been known to take miscalculated risks in his many many appearances on the stages of awards shows, but this one is played perfectly. Enjoy:


Who are these people that ruin concerts? You know the type: they have an uncontrollable urge to request the band's most popular song at every possible moment (as if the band is going to play it for that reason); they throw objects onto the stage; they flail their arms, knock into you and step on your feet while "dancing;" they hold up flags and signs that block your $75 view; they are unable to control their drunkenness; they clap and cheer after anything spoken by the band; they are constantly whistling in your ear; and naturally, they have no regard for your presence or anyone else's for that matter. They treat the concert as their own private forum to do whatever the hell it is they want to do. Their sense of entitlement sickens me. I hate these people. They are the Concertwreckers.

Have you no shame? Have you no respect? Have you no manners? I've come to realize that these people aren't "fans" at all -- they are selfish, narcissistic attention seekers who make their point by acting like assholes. Ironically, the only [negative] attention they get is from the audience.

This occurrence has happened at virtually every show I've seen -- and I've seen a lot of shows. And the fact that most of the concerts I see are in New York doesn't help. In essence, you have thousands of Tony Soprano wannabes yelling out "Free Bird" at an Eagles concert! Worst yet, they actually think people are clapping with them in approval. Give me a fucking break!!! Have you ever seen concert footage from Japan? The level of respect is outstanding. People actually watch the show. You could hear a pin drop.

One instance that immediately comes to mind is a Neil Young show I saw last year. Not only did some asshole feel the need to yell "Dance Dance Dance" after every song, but some elder floozy insisted on gracing us with her screeching vocal accompaniment during each song. It was like a tone deaf Joni Mitchell on crack. It was so bad that she was justifiably cursed at by several audience members and was ultimately escorted out by the police. Sadly, this event stands out in my head more than the concert itself. Thanks for ruining my experience.

Yesterday, I read a review of one of the Eddie Vedder shows that took place in Boston this past weekend. Apparently, an overzealous audience member insisted (loudly and repeatedly) that Eddie play "Pearl Jam songs." Vedder, in typical fashion responded, "So my answer to you is, yes, I would love an omelet." Why didn't Dylan think of that?!?

Bottom line: Stop annoying us. Stop drinking until your blind drunk. Stop yelling "Free Bird." Stop coming to shows. Keep your fucking mouth shut, and for God's sake, stop wrecking concerts!

Bonnaroo + iTunes = Major Disappointment

Day 1: We arrive at the parking lot for the obligatory "car search." The staff is handing out promotional iTunes gift cards. At first glance we think, this is great, "30 free songs...Jackpot!"

Day 2: We return to the parking lot. Again, the staff is handing out iTunes gift cards -- thousands of them. We get another three cards. Do they not realize (or care) that we got them yesterday? Must be a mistake. Will we get caught? Now we've each got 60 free songs from iTunes! I'm already making a list of which Grateful Dead Downloads and Dick's Picks I'd be purchasing upon my arrival home (I lost about 90% of my Dead songs when my old iPod crashed)

The Fine Print: Bonnaroo Sweet Sounds Vol. 15: A special collection of songs from Bonnaroo artists for our fans [now very suspicious]

Not as good, but still a great lineup: Pearl Jam, Levon, Metallica, MMJ, Phil Lesh, Wille Nelson, Raconteurs...Plenty of songs to download.

Today, after downloading the Bonnaroo Sweet Sounds sampler: No Pearl Jam, no Phil, no Metallica, no Jack Johnson (not that I like Jack Johnson), no Vampire Weekend, no Raconteurs, no B.B. King, no Gogol Bordello, no Felice Brothers, no Willie Nelson, no Robert Plant, no Dark Star Orchestra, no MMJ...just one Levon Helm song. So basically, 1 song out of 41 that I will listen to (maybe).

Great exposure for the unknowns; Apple makes out from impulse buyers; Good for those who like Colour Revolt, Ladytron or Jessie Baylin; Bad for me.

Like most things in life, this was too good to be true.

Saturday, August 2, 2008

LiveCountingCrows Lauches With Free Download

The Counting Crows have just launched their own live concert download site. It works just likes sites from Phish and Pearl Jam in that entire sets will be available for purchase and download within 72 hours of the show. To get things started, they are giving away the show from the third night of their joint tour with Maroon 5, from the Verizon Amphitheater in Charlotte, NC, to the first 10,000 fans who register for a free account at I just got my copy and I'm currently listening to 'Richard Manuel is Dead' from their excellent Hard Candy album. I bought that album and didn't play it for months. Once I listened for the first time, it was in rotation for a year. Whether or not you've listened to much of their work since August and Everything After or Recovering the Satellites, if you haven't listened to Hard Candy, go do it.

The setlist for the free show from 7/28/08 is:

Angels of the Silences, Up All Night, Omaha, Richard Manuel Is Dead, Rain King, Speedway, High Life, Los Angeles, 1492, On Almost Any Sunday Morning, A Murder of One, Accidentally In Love, Come Around E: Walkaways

According to Adam Duritz, stated before the encore, on this night they played an entire set of songs that had not yet been played on the tour. You have to respect the band's interest in changing up the setlists night to night in a significant way.

Did You Know:

In June 1992, the Counting Crows opened for Bob Dylan, before they even recorded their debut album August and Everything After.

On January 16, 1993, the band, still relatively unknown, filled in for Van Morrison at his own induction at the Rock & Roll Hall of Fame ceremony to play Last Waltz track 'Caravan', and they were introduced by an enthusiastic Robbie Robertson. They remain the only unknowns ever to play the ceremony. (listen to an early Crows performance of Caravan)