Monday, December 31, 2007

DCist - Top DC Gigs of 2007

DCist writes up their top gigs in the District this year. The list includes indie punk/popster Ted Leo, former Drive-By Trucker Jason Isbell, and the still touring (??) MC Hammer. I myself have seen all three of these artists in concert over the years and can attest to their live shows being quite good. Of course, I saw MC Hammer in the Summer of 1990, but talent like that doesn't just fade.

Read the full compiled list

U2-3D: Even Better Than the Real Thing?

Bonnaroo/Zeppelin Rumor Is Back and Confirmed?

British tabloid The Mirror has reignited the Led Zeppelin/Bonnaroo rumor, by posting this newest article today, 12/31. The Bonnaroo promoters only said that the initial reports in the fall of BOTH Led Zeppelin AND Metallica appearing in Tennessee were false, so they did not deny that either band could appear without the other. I'm sure that there will be a flurry of additional "leaks" and "rumors," and possibly a full confirmation coming soon.

Led Zep for festival
Legends to headline music festival in new year

Looks like Led Zeppelin's appetite for rock is well and truly back.

We can exclusively reveal that the legends - who staged a triumphant "one-off" gig at the O2 this month - will be the headline act at the Bonnaroo festival in the US next year. The festival runs from June 12 to 15 in Tennessee - and if all goes smoothly they may even hit the road and tour.

An insider told us: "This is the news that will drive their fans absolutely wild. "They have been bombarding their website to get back together for good but only Robert Plant wasn't keen to commit. "Now he's had a change of heart and if it goes well they are also talking about touring." The band have a huge following and continue to influence today's young bands - sometimes in very mysterious ways.

Wednesday, December 26, 2007

The Weight: Crossword #1

What do Bill Clinton, Jon Stewart, Mike Mussina, The Indigo Girls, and The WeightStaff all have in common? That's right...we're all fans of crossword puzzles.

And feeling like there weren't enough of them available for solving online, I decided to create my own for The Weight. After many hours (I won't tell you exactly how many) I have finally completed my first puzzle and am making it available to you. Please give it a try and let me know what you think. The clues are music focused with some sports, entertainment, and general knowledge thrown in. As this is my first try, let me know if it is or is not working properly. Good luck!

The Weight Crossword Challenge #1

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

Spend Xmas At Bob Weir's Place

Website, Culture Catch, has posted a lengthy conversation with Bob Weir from his home in Mill Valley, CA. Bob discusses his near death experience at the hands of whales and a run in with mosquitoes at the Great Pyramids in Egypt. There's also some other talk about some band he was in.

When Bob is asked about new bands that he enjoys, he gives mention to Wilco's performance at Bonnaroo.

Culture Catch describes their website in the following way:
"I want CultureCatch to be your vid and podcasting site to experience provocative, insightful, entertaining and often-irreverent discussions and reviews about 21st century smart culture. Moreover, I want our content to appeal to ravenous pop culture junkies and savvy scene-stealers everywhere.

And I hope that my in-depth interviews with smart culture individuals dissecting art, comedy, fashion, film, music, politics, television, theater, even cooking will leave you craving for more. I’m not interested in the hype created by high gloss spin-doctors. I’d rather encourage the artists to wax poetically and passionately about their craft, not their next project."

Monday, December 24, 2007

Merry Christmas From The Weight

Clapton Connects With His Past

For the past few years, Eric Clapton has been taking us, and himself, on a journey through his past. He has lined up gigs with the artists that he played with throughout his legendary career and he has also revisited much of his back catalog in a way that he has not done before. It began with the reunion of 60s super group Cream, with original members Jack Bruce and Ginger Baker in May of 2005. Since then, Eric invited guitarist Derek Trucks along for a tour that featured many of the classic songs of Derek and The Dominos. Just recently Clapton announced a three night run at Madison Square Garden for February of next year with his Blind Faith band mate Steve Winwood. So what do you think Eric will do next? Maybe play with the one of legendary guitarists who replaced him in the Yardbirds? Wouldn't that be cool? Well my friends, it's already happened....last month in front of a crowd of just 200 in London.

From Clapton fan site, 'Where's Eric?':

On 29 November, Eric Clapton was Jeff Beck's surprise guest during Jeff's run of shows at Ronnie Scott's. The famed club, which can play host to only 200 people, is located in London's Soho. Eric stepped out at the end of last Thursday's show to jam on the Muddy Waters' songs, "You Need Love" and "Little Brown Bird." All of the shows were filmed for DVD release. Jeff's current band features Vinnie Colaiuta (drums), Jason Rebello (keyboards) and Tal Wilkenfeld (bass).

What next? There is John Mayall, who Clapton backed up in the Bluesbreakers. Jimmy Page is another ex-Yardbird who joined after Clapton left. Bobby Whitlock, the other principal songwriter and piano player of Derek and the Dominos still performs live and now calls Austin, TX home. I think Delaney and Bonnie and some of their friends are still alive too.

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Breaking News: Soon To Be No More Virgins In New York City?

No I'm not talking about myself. Ha, ha, very funny. Jerk. The famed Virgin Megastores that grace both Union and Times Squares in Manhattan may be no more in the not so distant future. As a real estate professional by day (and blogger by day also actually, you think i actually work without clicking on this site!?!) I always jump at the chance to meld my two worlds.

The Union Square and Times Square Virgin Megastores occupy prime real estate locations. And they have been located at their respective sites for years and years. Which means one thing: paying WAY below market rents for their massive spaces. So, their landlords did the only thing they could. They bought the freaking company. Yup, Related and Vornado, two of the titans of Manhattan real estate, and the owners of the 14th Street (Union) and Broadway (Times) located stores, jointly purchased all 11 of the Virgin stores in North America for the main reason of ending the long term leases that these two locations enjoy. Damn capitalism.

New York Post

Where the hell am I going to buy a Sex Pistols lunch box or a plastic Yellow Submarine bath toy?

Songwriting 101

Fall Out Boy, Good Charlotte, My Chemical Romance, pay attention. If you wanna be remembered 30 years from now, you gotta learn to write memorable songs -- not songs that provide the background music to The Hills or My Super Sweet 16, but songs that mean something -- songs that make think back to the time you picked up your junior prom date in your parent's station wagon, or the first time you smoked a cigarette in your hebrew school parking lot, or a road trip to the beach after high school graduation. I could be wrong, but if "Dance Floor Anthem" is that song of the younger generation, they're fucked.

Example 1:

Down By The Seaside - Led Zeppelin

Intro: 12/8 time (0:01 - 0:19) Page's mellow-chorus/tremolo effect on guitar setting the initial rhythm of the song;

Verse 1-2: (0:20 - 2:08) Plant's simple, but heartfelt lyrics along with Jones's accompaniment on the Mellotron and Fender Rhodes;

Mid-section: 4/4 time (2:09 - 3:01) Old-school Bonzo wailing on drums, hard-driven guitar and anthemic groove by all members (including the classic line: "Do you still do the twist, do you find that you remember things that well?");

Verse 3: (3:02 - 3:43) Back to 12/8 time;

Guitar solo: (3:44 - 4:06) Jimmy's descending delta blues-style guitar riff;

Verse 4 through outro: (4:07 - 5:15) Repeat above.

Take notes. This is how to write a song. It never gets old.

Top Ringtonez of 2007

Im not reely shore wut this list sayz bout the musik industree or changin tastes or kidz today or speling mizztakes in song titlez, but I think it's wurth posting.

I've barely even heard of half of these songs and I really don't have a problem with that.

Posted: December 21, 2007
SAN ANTONIO (Hypebot & AT&T)

1. Shop Boyz - "Party Like a Rockstar"
2. Mims - "This Is Why I'm Hot"
3. Soulja Boy - "Crank That (Soulja Boy)"
4. Nickelback - "Rockstar"
5. Akon - "Don't Matter"
6. T-Pain - "Buy You A Drank (Shawty Snappin)"
7. Hurricane Chris - "A Bay Bay"
8. Sean Kingston - "Beautiful Girls"
9. Huey - "Pop, Lock & Drop It"
10. Fergie - "Big Girls Don't Cry"

The Waits WAS Over, For A Few Cities

UPDATE: These tourdates are from 2006, not 2008. Which means these shows already happened. Damn you Celebrity Accesss Mediawire! Well....if you attended any one of these were they?

LOS ANGELES (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) -- Iconic singer/songwriter Tom Waits is planning a rare tour next August, taking the singer on an 8-date run, stopping in several cities that haven't enjoyed a performance by Waits in decades.

"We need to go to Tennessee to pick up some fireworks, and someone owes me money in Kentucky," said Waits, in a statement about the reasons for this tour.

Aug. 1: Atlanta - Tabernacle
Aug. 2: Asheville, N.C. - Thomas Wolfe Auditorium
Aug. 4: Memphis - Orpheum Theatre
Aug. 5: Nashville - Ryman Auditorium
Aug. 7: Louisville - Palace Theatre
Aug. 9: Chicago - Auditorium Theatre
Aug. 11: Detroit - Opera House
Aug. 13: Akron, Ohio - Civic Theatre

Van Morrison Doesn't Play The Hits

Van Morrison Set List
12/21/2007 - Reno, NV

This Love of Mine
Magic Time
Whinin’ Boy Moan
Too Many Myths
All Work and No Play
Rough God Goes Riding
They Sold Me Out
Tupelo Honey/Why Must I Always Explain
Stop Drinking
Keep Mediocrity at Bay
It’s All in the Game
Precious Time
Don’t Start Crying Now
Baby What You Want Me to Do
In the Afternoon/Ancient Highway/ Golden Autumn Day (with snippets of other songs I couldn’t identify)

Read the full review from the Reno Gazette-Journal

Saturday, December 22, 2007

High Hopes

High Hopes. Everybody at one time or another has them. Have yours dimmed? The song that always gets me thinking about the past, the future, and my own present is 'High Hopes' by Pink Floyd. Enter the recently released David Gilmour DVD and this post. High Hopes is on the setlist on the disc, as it also was a part of the set that I saw at Radio City. I first heard the song in 1994 when the Division Bell album dropped and I was still learning the ways of the classic rock titans. This song was my Stairway to Heaven, my Terrapin Station, my You Enjoy Myself, which is to say my not-exactly-radio friendly epic opus that was always on repeat and had me growing up in my cultural leanings. If you think that's sad, hey, I was 15 so cut me some slack. Every damn time I hear the song now I do a reassessment of my life. Some people do that after they attend weddings or even funerals. The full life check-up. I don't know why but mine happens to occur when 'High Hopes' is on.

I moved to New York City in late 2004. There was a very good reason. College graduation/first job happened four years earlier in 2000. My immediate dreams of a playboy lifestyle were in full force. I wanted to go to bars just like I did in college, knowing 75% of the people there, walking laps around, and chatting with girl after girl along the way. I figured for sure that graduating college would continue this debaucherous/flirtatious lifestyle just with a whole lot of money in my pocket and a saucer full of confidence overflowing with my professional life and personal life in perfect order. High Hopes indeed.

Reality set in and I found myself instead lingering around my old campus as a post-graduate trying to hold onto my college girlfriend and living 30 miles deep into the suburbs. Hugh Hefner I was not. As the first few post-collegiate years yielded little but a broken relationship, Sundays eating Quiznos or Taco Bell in a faux-blissed out state in front of the TV, losing touch with the "married" ones of my friends, or sitting in suburban bars with seemingly even the 40-years olds still reminiscing about their own college and younger years, a BIG change was in order. Only 24, my own high hopes for myself couldn't possibly be dashed that quickly, could they? Enter New York City. A clean break, a fresh start, new girls to meet, a big city to conquer, and a suitcase full of hopes and dreams.

As for New York City, I'm still working on the conquering part. And after additional ended relationships, the only love I'm currently in is with my new one-bedroom sans roommate, my new Sony flatscreen, and my bonus check. And the pleasure in the fact that I'll be having drinks in my adopted home neighborhood of the East Village with another member of The Weightstaff tonight chatting about high school, college, girls, work, and perhaps a little Pink Floyd. For what it is worth, enjoy my rambling, enjoy the song, and let me know how your own life-check goes. Just be prepared for a little good 'ol fashioned personal honesty. And as for any updates in the future on this life of mine, I'll let you know as soon as I hear the Division Bell ringing in the background again...Stay Tuned.

High Hopes
Pink Floyd

From The Archives: Levon Helm in Central Park

It's been just about six months since I saw Levon Helm in concert as part of Central Park's Summerstage series in New York. This afternoon, I revisited a video that I shot that night, of Levon singing Springsteen's Atlantic City while out front on mandolin. I have such great memories of this occasion, with its steady light rainfall and huge grins all around. Take a journey back with me to June 28, 2007:

Merlefest 2008

Through a conversation with an American dentist on the ferry between the North Island and South Island of New Zealand, who had travelled to many concerts in his day, including seeing the Grateful Dead and Phish (he took his wife and kids to Big Cypress for NYE!), I received a first hand account of attending Merlefest, the bluegrass/americana festival held in western North Carolina each year. He raved about it and recommended that I check it out.

Having now looked up this year's lineup, I would love to go. This year features:

Levon Helm & The Midnight Ramble
Ricky Skaggs and Bruce Hornsby
Bela Fleck
Jorma Kaukonen
Jerry Douglas
Sam Bush
Peter Rowan and Tony Rice
The Avett Brothers
and more

It is being held April 24th - 27th on the campus of Wilkes Community College in Wilkesboro, NC.

View the complete lineup and daily schedules here.

Classic(al) Phish

I found this video of Stash being played on violin while I was perusing the Phantasy Tour boards. It's really very impressive. She absolutely nails all of the nuances of the original.

Check out the video:

UPDATE: After some further research, I have learned that she was on tour all year with Steve Vai, throughout Europe and the States. I'm still just as impressed with the performance, but she certainly is not an unknown amateur.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

The Band to Receive Lifetime Acheivement Award at Grammys

It is my pleasure and honor to write that The Band has been announced as one of this year's recipients of the Grammy Lifetime Achievement Award. Sure the Grammys have lost most their credibility over time, but this is still something to be celebrated. It will be interesting to see who shows up to receive this award. Could Robbie share the stage with Levon again? It is just about guaranteed that Levon will be in attendance considering that his first new studio release in 25 years, Dirt Farmer, is nominated for Best Traditional Folk Album this year.

The other acts named by the National Academy of Recording Arts and Sciences are pianoman Bert Bacharach, actress-singer Doris Day, jazzman Cab Calloway, bluegrass stomper Earl Scruggs, percussionist Max Roach and the legendary violinist Itzhak Perlman.

Congratulations to Levon, Rick, Richard, Garth and Robbie!

Also, head to Levon's website to find a recent NPR interview broadcast on 12/11 and also watch the music video for "Poor Old Dirt Farmer" featuring frequent collaborator and Midnight Rambler Little Sammie Davis.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

The Weight: Did You Know?

I used to love SportsCenter on ESPN. Middle school mainly, early high school. Back when sports trumped music and I knew Chuck Knoblauch and Lenny Dykstra and had never heard of John Bonham or Lindsey Buckingham. Wasn't Bonham a center on the Bucks and Lindsey was that hot chick in my homeroom?

My favorite part of Sports Center was the daily 'Did You Know' segment. At the very end of the show, one of the hosts (Tirico, Ley, Patrick, Olbermann?!?) would drop a little knowledge on the viewers with a trivia tidbit that would have them scratching their heads. Here is the debut of The Weight's 'Did You Know'.

Sunday, December 16th, 2007 - Did You Know

Did you know who wasn't Bad enough? Apparently Michael Jackson's 1987 hit single, Bad, was originally intended to be a duet. When the other artist ultimately heard the track, he knew the song would be a hit without him. So he dropped out. Who was it?

That artist was Prince. You should also know that a young actor would go on to appear in the 18-minute extended version of the video as the head bad guy, Mini Max. It was Willie Mays Hayes himself, Wesley Snipes. He had already appeared in the 1985 movie Wildcats (which was the first rated -R movie I ever saw), his first pairing with Woody Harrelson, but was an unknown actor building his career.

What About The Verve?

With all the talk of rock band reunions this year, how come it seems like no one is talking about the reunion of The Verve, a band who Noel Gallagher referred to as "one of the most important bands in history"? Within a single week, the O2 Arena in London has featured sold out concerts by a reunited Led Zeppelin, a reunited Spice Girls, and a reunited The Verve (last Thursday night), featuring original members Richard Ashcroft, Nick McCabe, Simon Jones and Pete Salisbury. No plans to tour the States have been announced for these Brit Pop superstars, but if they do, consider me a lucky man.

Here is the set list from their show on 12/13:

Set List:

'A New Decade'
'This Is Music'
'Space and Time'
'Gravity Grave'
'Weeping Willow'
'Life's An Ocean'
'Sit and Wonder'
'Velvet Morning'
'Lucky Man'
'Stormy Clouds'
'On Your Own'
'Rolling People'
'Drugs Don't Work'
'Bitter Sweet Symphony'

'Man Called Sun'
'Come On'

Trojan (Crazy) Horse

BOSTON (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) -- After a gig at Boston's Orpheum theatre, a local classic rock band tucked themselves away and stayed the night in order to infiltrate a sold-out Neil Young show planned at the theatre for the next day.

Read the full story here.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

North Meets South: Felice Brothers To Open For The Truckers Out West

The Felice Brothers have gotten many mentions from The Weight recently, and here we have some more news from the Upstate New Yorkers. Tour dates have just been released detailing their opening jaunt with the boys from the dirty south, The Drive By Truckers. I so hope this tour heads East. Patterson and the Truckers are one of the best bands touring today and I think The Felice Brothers will learn alot from being on the road with them, primarily how to properly pass a bottle of Jack around the stage.

Feb 11 2008 HOUSE OF BLUES / Anaheim, California
Feb 12 2008 AVALON / Los Angeles, California
Feb 13 2008 MEZZANINE / San Francisco, California
Feb 15 2008 ROSELAND BALLROOM / Portland, Oregon
Feb 16 2008 SHOWBOX THEATRE / Seattle, Washington
Feb 17 2008 SHOWBOX THEATRE / Seattle, Washington
Feb 19 2008 BIG EASY / Boise, Idaho
Feb 20 2008 SUEDE / Park City, Utah
Feb 21 2008 BEELY UP TAVERN / Aspen, Colorado
Feb 22 2008 OGDEN THEATRE / Denver, Colorado
Feb 23 2008 FOX THEATRE / Boulder, Colorado
Feb 25 2008 THE SLOWDOWN / Omaha, Nebraska
Feb 26 2008 BLUE NOTE / Columbia, Missouri
Feb 27 2008 CANOPY CLUB / Champaign, Illinois
Feb 28 2008 PABST THEATRE / Milwaukee, Wisconsin
Feb 29 2008 THE PAGEANT / St. Louis, Missouri
Mar 1 2008 HEADLINER’S / Louisville, Kentucky

Corey Smith: Living The Good Life

What do you get when you cross Dave Matthews, Jack Johnson, Kenny Chesney, Jimmy Buffett, some whiskey, a keg, and songs about college girls, drinking, growing up, religion, good times and bad times? The answer is Corey Smith. And, yes, this is a good thing.

I was drawn to listen to Corey's music after reading the latest Lefsetz Letter, where Bob hails Corey as one of the most successful/unknown-by -the-masses artists touring today. Corey is now selling out shows all over the southeast, and you should know who he is whether you dig his style of music or not. He is gaining fans like wildfire and more importantly doing it on his own terms, without the help of a major label.

Check out this live video of Mr. Smith performing 'If I Could Do It Again' at City Stages in Birmingham, AL. You'll know pretty quickly whether this is your cup of Kool-Aid. It looks like one hell of a party, with the crowd singing every word to the song and nearly drowning out the singer himself.

Tom Petty, Dave Grohl, and The Heartbreakers

I've been watching the four-hour documentary on the story of Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers on and off for the last week. It is fantastic. I would consider myself to be more than a fan of Tom's. Wildflowers, released as a solo album in 1994 is one of my favorite albums of all time and I have seen his band play as far away as London.

One segment I watched today, covering the making of Wildflowers and the departure of original drummer Stan Lynch, shows Tom and the HBs playing rocker "Honey Bee" on Saturday Night Live. As the story goes, Tom called up Dave Grohl to ask him to play drums with his band on the show. As a fan of Tom's, Dave answered with a resounding 'Yes'. Grohl goes on to say in the movie that this was the first time he was excited to play the drums since the breakup of Nirvana.

Check out this performance of a young, energetic Dave Grohl bashing out this tune on the kit:

And go buy, rent, Netflix Running Down a Dream.

Friday, December 14, 2007

Blitzen Trapper: "The Best Grateful Dead Knockoff in Forever"

Rolling Stone has released their Top 100 Songs of 2007. Without wanting to ruin the surprise of the Top 10, I navigated directly to the end of the list on Page 25. Why wouldn't they start us from #100 anyway? So I only made it as far as #98, before reading....

98 "Wild Mountain Nation"Blitzen Trapper:
A shambling, hypermelodic jam from Portland, Oregon, indie boys down with Native American culture — and the best Grateful Dead knockoff in forever.

Of course I was immediately intrigued. I can't say I agree wholeheartedly with their classification after listening to the song, but I certainly do think its a great song in the vein of The Dead. Take a listen and let us know what you think.

UPDATE: Blitzen Trapper are playing the Langerado festival at Big Cypress next March.

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

Robert Plant Will Be At Bonnaroo

This article from Blabbermouth is either further evidence that Led Zeppelin will in fact play Bonnaroo this June, seeing as how Plant will be on the festival grounds already, or this may be what contributed to the rumor in the first place and Jimmy Page won't be there to join him. What do you think?

According to Nashville's NBC affiliate WSMV-TV, LED ZEPPELIN frontman Robert Plant and bluegrass star Alison Krauss will perform at the Bonnaroo festival in Manchester, Tennessee next June to promote their collaborative CD, "Raising Sand". In addition to the "Raising Sand" material, they'll perform songs from their catalogs — including LED ZEPPELIN's "When the Levee Breaks" and "Black Dog".

Plant has told Rolling Stone magazine that he plans to hit the road in early 2008 with Krauss.

According to, Plant and Krauss first performed together in 2004 at a Leadbelly tribute at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame in Cleveland, but it took several years before they found time to team up in the studio with Burnett in Nashville and Los Angeles.

Monday, December 10, 2007

Hey Chili Peppers, Nice Openers

It's always dangerous to sign up opening acts who may be better than you. As found on Billboard's 25 best concert posters (as found on Hidden Track), check out this tour poster and pay special attention to the opening acts.

Yup, that's Pearl Jam opening for Nirvana opening for the Red Hot Chili Peppers back in 1991. If I could bend space and time like Hiro on Heroes, this would be one of my top stops. Damn, that's a great idea for another post...where would you drop your time machine, first? Cavern Club? Fillmore? Winterland?

* The original poster is on sale at Wolfgang's Vault for $300. The site states:

Pearl Jam had yet to reap fame from their August, 1991 release of Ten, Nirvana's future held less than two more years with lead singer Kurt Cobain, and The Chili Peppers would soon lose guitarist John Frusciante as he battled a heroin addiction, but this New Year's Eve 1991 concert at the Cow Palace was a celebration.

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Crosby, Gilmour, and Nash

I have a problem. I can't control these urges. And I'm ashamed. It happens every time I go into a Virgin Megastore, or a Best Buy, or a Circuit City. I have to buy at least one concert DVD. Sometimes even more. Its so humiliating. Some of these purchases are even still in their shrink wrap because the mood has passed.

My latest problem purchase was 'Remember That Night', a DVD documenting David Gilmour's Spring 2006 tour stop at London's Royal Albert Hall supporting his solo album entitled 'On An Island'. I had the privilege of attending one of his Radio City Music Hall shows on the same tour. With Richard Wright on keyboard I was able to witness half of Pink Floyd play such numbers as Echoes, Comfortably Numb, Breathe, and Wish You Were Here. All of these songs and more are featured on the DVD. Gilmour also plays his entire solo album. To be honest, this was pretty disappointing when you know he will only be performing for upwards of two hours, and there are so many more songs from The Floyd to hear. But the new album is what got him on the road, so if that is what it takes to see David Gilmore live, so be it.

The highlight of the night for me was hearing Shine on You Crazy Diamond played by the master himself. And who provides "backing" vocals at the Radio City show, as well as on the DVD? Well its David Crosby and Graham Nash belting out "SHIINE...ON....YOU CRA--AZY DIII-AMOND" Just brilliant. It's like David Gilmour couldn't/didn't get Roger Waters or Nick Mason so he said, well hell, what group can I steal half of their members from to complete this puzzle. I know, I'll pillage Crosby, Stills, Nash, and Young. That makes sense, right? And it did.

Enjoy the odd pairing below, and shine on...

The Dude of Life...

Move over Cavemen, this is hands down the greatest commercial I've seen in years (maybe EVER).

I got more laughs from these 52 seconds than from this entire season of Curb.

Description from YouTube:
"This guy has mastered the universal language of 'Dude.' Join him as he navigates the obstacles of everyday life."

Pure Genius.

Who Did They Open For? Radiohead Edition

One of my favorite music trivia questions involves Radiohead and which act they opened for in the U.S. back in August 1996. It was for a short 13 show tour and the headliner was known to cover 'Fake Plastic Trees' in '95 at their own show. So it's true that Radiohead, arguably the biggest band in the world, was subservient enough to be a proverbial side show to increase their fan base. So obviously they would have hitched their ride to U2, maybe Pearl Jam, or even the Chili Peppers, right? Not exactly.

Do the following lyrics ring a bell?

You live you learn
You love you learn
You cry you learn
You lose you learn
You bleed you learn
You scream you learn

You grieve you learn
You choke you learn
You laugh you learn
You choose you learn
You pray you learn
You ask you learn
You live you learn

Isn't it ironic? Radiohead had the honor and privilege of opening for the one and only Alanis Morisette for the month of August 1996. Another short month later, Radiohead would head to a secluded and supposedly haunted 15th Century mansion to begin recording the epic album OK Computer.

From Wikipedia:

Radiohead began a brief tour as opening band for Alanis Morissette, in which they premiered many new songs that would go on to make up OK Computer, and played "Paranoid Android" regularly. However, the ending differed markedly from the final version of "Paranoid Android." The third section originally had the lyrics "Hallelujah", where the final version has "Rain down...".

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Rest Well...

"Please don't wake me, no, don't shake me,
leave me where I am, I'm only sleeping..."

John Lennon
October 9, 1940 - December 8, 1980

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Garth Hudson Talks About Dylan and The Band

Listen to a podcast, featuring a discussion on Bob Dylan, The Band, and The Basement Tapes, narrated by Patti Smith and featuring commentary by Garth Hudson and rock critic Anthony DeCurtis. It runs 8:30 and is well worth the time. This is episode 7 in a series of 'casts on Bob Dylan. It was first posted on 11/21/07.

Start with the first Dylan podcast and listen to all 8 here. Commentary within these episodes comes from Tom Morello, Greil Marcus, and others.

Wednesday, December 5, 2007

Dustin Bentall: Grandson of a Preacher Man

I would like to thank Pandora for turning me on to yet another fantastic artist. This time it is Dustin Bentall, a Western Canadian twenty-two year old alt-country/folk/rocker that channels Jeff Tweedy, Jay Farrar, and Neil Young with his own authentic style. I've so much enjoyed getting to know the music of The Felice Brothers over the last week or so, but I am also now just as excited to discover Dustin. I have yet to hear anything by him that I don't consider to be excellent. Here is a short segment of a bio I found on
Dustin hails from North Vancouver BC and it seems an unlikely place to nurture such a rustic troubadour. It seemed like an unlikely country for Rick Danko, Robbie Robertson, Garth Hudson, Richard Manuel or Neil Young to be from… until people took a closer look. Up here you'll find as deep a frontier spirit and hard luck charm as any nation. You'll find a reverence for the tales of everyday life and loss and you'll find a lot of people who have time to woodshed and learn their craft. Spinning songs by Young, the Band, Bob Dylan, John Prine, Tom Petty, and Steve Earle Dustin found the heart of that music and placed it under his own landscapes. "The narcotic cowboy thing definitely comes from my love for cosmic American music. I got into Gram Parsons and never looked back. "GP/ Grievous Angel" was the first time I ever sat down listened to a record and thought, holy shit! music can sound THAT good. And that there are songs out there that are THAT good. I found it so beautiful, honest, true and real. I had always listened to tons of Dylan growing up and loved it. I listened over and over in my room because I understood the music and it made me feel good …but with GP I had to listen to it over and over just to figure out why I knew that this is the kind of music I wanted to create."

Visit Dustin Bentall's Myspace site and listen to the tracks. His quote there sums up his music quite well - "WHICH CAME FIRST, THE BOTTLE OR THE TRUTH?" Dustin also presents a cover of CSNY's "Helplessly Hoping" on his debut album 'Streets With No Lights.'

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

Gnarls Barkley Reunion in 2008

It appears that Gnarls Barkley have been inspired by the likes of The Police, Van Halen, and Led Zeppelin, and have decided to reuinite in 2008 to begin work on the follow-up to their widely successful first album St. Elsewhere. Despite not having played a festival in the last five minutes, this duo has decided that it is time to set their differences aside and do this for the fans.

Drowned In Sound reports that Gnarls Barkley are crazy enough to start work on a new album.

Gnarls Barkley will release a new record next spring, according to limited comment in the New York Times. The follow-up to their number one smash debut St. Elsewhere doesn’t have a name yet, but Danger Mouse had this to say about it:

"It sounds like we're more comfortable with each other and just as uncomfortable with everybody and everything else."

Revealing stuff. Work is expected to begin on the new record at the start of 2008.

Bush Sings U2: Sunday Bloody Sunday

I have deep respect for creative minds. This video of the President singing U2's protest anthem is a pleasure to watch.

Starbucks: You Want WuTang With That?

So I head over to Starbucks on 42nd Street in Midtown Manhattan as much to get out of the office as to get a 'lil caffeine fix. And not surprisingly, about 20 people ahead of me in line also had the same work break/caffeine issues. So with my unbelievably short attention span (damn Internet addiction side effect), I can't really contemplate standing around with no stimulation for the five minutes in line. So I whip out my iPhone, remember Starbucks is a WiFi/Apple friendly zone, and peruse the iTunes WiFi Store which immediately appears once I set foot in the store. Looking through the new releases, I saw that the new WuTang single called 'The Heart Gently Weeps' is available which samples 'While My Guitar Gently Weeps' with Dhani Harrison, George's son, supplying the "sample". I hit the buy button, popped in my iTunes password, and within 15 seconds the song was residing in my 'Purchased' playlist with the album cover art and all. Amazing!

A few years ago, I would have said that story ended with getting into my flying car and speeding off but the future is now at Starbucks. Sure, I avoided the new Wyclef disc at the counter like the plague. Don't force feed me your corporate choices of music. But this WiFi store, with all tunes available, is my cup of tea. Er, I mean, mocha caramel grande macchiato.

Letters to Lefsetz

Here is a letter I wish I had written. I found it in Bob Lefsetz's mailbag.


I don't know if you remember, but there was a time when rockers, really big rock stars were smart, read books, studied art and other cultures and thought about big stuff. Lennon, Morrison, Dylan (Highway 61 Revisited was a rock album) Townshend, Davies, Slick, Crosby, I'm sure you can name 20 more real smart and engaged rockers of old. Yeah they partied and were irresponsible too but... What happened? How did it come to pass that western culture decided to embrace ignorance as if it had some kind of value?


Well said, Owen. Well said.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Chuck Berry: A Particular Place To Go

Eighty-one year old rock n' roll pioneer and living legend Chuck
Berry has been booked for a British festival in Dorset, England taking place next July 18th to 20th. He will be co-headlining alongside The Flaming Lips at Camp Bestival, which will be held to a capacity of just 10,000.

The full lineup announced so far:
* Flaming Lips
* Chuck Berry
* Suzanne Vega
* Billy Bragg
* Kid Creole & The Coconuts
* The Cuban Brothers
* Florence and The Machine
* King Creosote, Ladyhawke
* The Wurzels
* Scroobius Pip

I saw Chuck Berry in concert at Blueberry Hill in St. Louis, the only regular gig that Mr. Berry has played for many years. This was eight years ago in a venue that couldn't have held more than 150 people. I've seen many a concert in my day, lots of them from famous acts, but seeing Chuck Berry resides in the most special of all of the shows that I have ever attended. 'Surreal' is a good word to describe the experience. Musically, it was far from outstanding. But it didn't matter. Just being in the same room as the man, let alone watching him play his signature riffs on "Johnny B. Goode" and "Roll Over Beethoven" with a full band, was something that I will never forget. He doesn't have a reputation for being the most affable man, but he was kind enough to speak with fans and sign some autographs after the show. I plan to hold on to my signed ticket for a long, long time.

Could The Faces Be Next??

Amidst classic rock acts like Extreme reuniting left and right, could The Faces be next? This band of Brits, including Rod Stewart and Ron Wood, is criminally underrated here in the States.

British website Uncut reports:

The Rolling Stone [Wood] said: “I’m looking through about 5,000 hours of Faces footage. Stuff we shot on hand-held cameras, us messing around. It’s hopefully getting a release next year.”

Wood’s comments add to speculation that the Faces might reform in 2008. There are already plans to release re-mastered editions of the band’s four studio albums, and UNCUT believes the surviving former members – Wood, Rod Stewart, keyboard player Ian MacLagan and drummer Kenny Jones – have recently been in negotiations to reform for live dates in 2008.
Read the full article.

Every Blogger's Best Friend: The List

Rolling Stone brings you the 50 greatest songs over seven minutes long. Elizabeth Reed, I'm looking in your direction. And they only are considering studio versions, so Deadheads relax. They didn't inlude that 94 minute Dark Star you love but cut them some slack.

The list includes:

- Layla
- War Pigs
- The End
- Some song called Free Bird

And you can listen to each track on the RS site. What did they miss?

When Lyrics Speak My Mind, Version 2

This is just too good to pass up...I like the Oasis shout out, but my lyrics come from another group of English lads...

Ticking away the moments that make up a dull day,
You fritter and waste the hours in an offhand way.
Kicking around on a piece of ground in your home town,
Waiting for someone or something to show you the way.

Tired of lying in the sunshine, staying home to watch the rain,
You are young and life is long, and there is time to kill today.
And then one day you find, ten years have got behind you,
No one told you when to run, you missed the starting gun.

That, ladies and gentlemen, is my life.

(If these lyrics don't sound familiar, you should not be reading this blog...)

Sunday, December 2, 2007

When Lyrics Speak My Mind, Version 1

I decided to buy the Heroes Season 1 DVD set. This show and Lost are two that I have regretted not following and I am excited to catch up. My fear is that I will not sleep tonight, miss work tomorrow, and get so damn hooked on this show that I have to fake a pretty serious illness to not have to head to the office. What takes about 5 days to clear up?

Anyway, one of the characters paints pictures of news events before they even happen. I think Oasis has the same special powers because they wrote these lyrics about 13 years ago which describe my life right now:

I live my life in the city
There's no easy way out
The day's moving just too fast for me
I need some time in the sunshine
I've gotta slow it right down
The day's moving just too fast for me

Ain't that the damn truth. The lyrics are from 'Rock N Roll Star' off of Definitely Maybe. One hell of an album.

Any lyrics speaking to you right now?

Saturday, December 1, 2007

Led Zeppelin to Play Bonnaroo 2008

Q: What do Stewart Copeland and John Paul Jones have in common?

A: They both played Bonnaroo without the bands that made them famous, only to return to the festival alongside their famous bandmates to headline the festival.

Early this morning, Bob Lefsetz revealed, from a reader letter to his Mailbag, that the reunited Led Zeppelin will be one of the headliners at next years Bonnaroo in June 2008. I have no reason to believe this rumor, but I also have no reason not to. After all, how do you follow-up previous Roo headliners Radiohead and The Police? By going after the band with the biggest buzz today. With Bonnaroo as the richest festival in the world, they certainly have the money to pay for whoever they want...Led Zeppelin included. Oh, and also of note, the email mentions that Metallica will be a headliner as well.

The real impact of having Led Zeppelin on the Bonnaroo festival bill will be known once all the tourdates for Zep are released. If they are making a large number of stops in the US, then this will be less of an event and less people will be coming to Tennessee just because they want to see the reunited Zeppelin. But it would certainly be the biggest 'get' yet for the organizers of the event and it could just sell out with the annoucement of one band.

Let's see if this rumor gains any traction in the near future.

Friday, November 30, 2007

The Bridge Sandwich, Carnegie Deli Style

The Bridge
Lion's Den, New York, NY
November 29, 2007

The Bridge brought their brand of Baltimore blues, funk, jazz, and Jacob's style shredding to the newly renovated Lion's Den last night in the West Village of NYC. What was once a dilapidated hole in the wall venue in the immediate vicinity of The Bitter End, the now defunct Bottom Line, and numerous other folkie/rocker venues has been spruced up with a new coat of paint, a new hardwood floor, and hotel-style bathrooms. In other words, the soul is gone. But what is dead, can still be reborn. And the Bridge raised the spirits of the venue voodoo-style when they took the stage.

They had some help with Afroskull performing the opening duties playing a Headhunters brand of funk and jazz. The musical sandwich was completed with Jamie McLean, the badass guitarist from the Dirty Dozen Brass Band, closing the show post-Bridge, tearing it up like Clapton fronting The Black Crowes.

I've seen The Bridge on multiple occasions, being born in Baltimore and all, yet most times I see them it is in New York when they make the trip. And what amazes me so much about their shows, other than the solid musicianship of Chris on guitar, Dave on bass, Kenny on electro-mandolin, Mike on the drums, and Patrick on sax is that there always appears to be an extra unseen member of the group that raises the whole game. It is the hidden presence in their melded sound that makes them better than the sum of their parts. The Bridge fans know it. It's the feeling that you can lose yourself in the haze of their sound and soul and mentally refocus minutes later thinking "How the hell did that happen?" Many bands are talented, but few bands do what The Bridge does.

I am not an expert in Bridge setlisting so I won't take a stab but it was a real treat to have Jamie McLean join The Bridge for most of their too short set. I've seen Jamie with Dirty Dozen play the main stage of Bonnaroo and to see him share the stage with my hometown boys years later was awesome. Chris and Jamie appeared to have a kindred spirit of white-boy blues inspired singing and guitar slinging while sharing the stage. The entire band was definitely pleased with their newfound member who was clearly listening intently to the tunes as he appeared to be learning them onstage as he went. That pleasure was evident in Jamie's face as well as his contorted expressions of improvisational bliss were only interrupted to smile at Kenny, Chris, and the gang.

If you don't know The Bridge, make the effort. It ain't just a way to get from borough to borough across troubled water. It is also the way to hear a band playing blues->funk->rock->bluegrass without hitting shuffle on your iPod. This was a Carnegie deli style musical sandwich I wouldn't mind paying $16 for. As for the actual Carnegie sandwich, not so much.

The Bridge @ Myspace
The Bridge @ Live Music Archive

Grammy's Best Moments

A show called 'My Night at the Grammy's' is currently on CBS highlighting the fan's choices for best Grammy moments at the award shows of the past. Two things I hate are so called "fan's choices", because it usually involves Avril Lavigne or the entire cast of High School Musical, and the other thing is award shows with their scripted banter and celebrities in attendance only because they won.

Once in a while an award show does something right. An example:

The 2003 Grammy Awards honoring Joe Strummer with Bruce Springsteen, Elvis Costello, Dave Grohl, and Lil Steven Van Zandt performing 'London Calling' by The Clash. It's badass and worth the click.

Interesting 'London Calling' Fun Fact: The song was performed by Bob Dylan in 2005 during his short residency at Brixton Academy in London, the site of many legendary Clash concerts.

Charles Barkley Chatter

I love Charles Barkley. Here is his quote regarding the safety of Isiah Thomas's job as the coach of the NY Knicks if they lose again tonight:

"He's about as safe as me in a room full of cookies."

"Let's make it a true daily double, Alex..."

Baltimore has never really been known for its notable celebrities. Sure, we have Sisqo, Babe Ruth, Rick Ocasek and Barry Levinson, but for the most part, many of the renowned Baltimorians abandon their "Charm City" heritage once stardom hits.

In any event, I was watching Music Choice last night when a song came on that I'd heard a few dozen times in the 80's, but never really knew who sang it. In fact, the version most people, including myself, are most familiar with is Weird Al's memorable spoof. The song: "Jeopardy." The artist: Greg Kihn. Greg Kihn's hometown: Baltimore.

Who would have thought? Growing up in the suburbs of Baltimore myself, I have always prided myself as knowing the entire list of A, B and C-list Baltimore celebrities. Not sure how this one slipped by...

So where is Greg Kihn now? According to Wikipedia:

Since 2001, the Greg Kihn Band has been one of the opening acts at the annual Kihncert, which is organized by San Jose, California radio station KUFX-FM (promotional name 98.5 K-Fox), where Kihn is the morning DJ.

Kihn has also written four novels, Horrow Show, Shade of Pale, Mojo Hand, and Big Rock Beat, and released a collection of short stories by himself and other well known rock musicians, named Carved In Rock: Short Stories By Musicians. Contributors include Ray Manzarek of The Doors, Pete Townshend of The Who, Joan Jett, and Ray Davies of The Kinks.

Greg Kihn in 2007 was inducted into the San Jose Hall of Fame.

Unfortunately, like many before him (and surely, many more after), it appears that Mr. Kihn has also abandoned his Baltimore roots for, of all places, San Jose. C'mon Baltimore, we can't lose guys like GREG KIHN to SAN JOSE -- where the hell is our Hall of Fame???

On the other hand, I guess we'll always have "The Thong Song..."

Greg Kihn

Editor's Note: This clip contains all of the "accoutrement" of the successful 80's music video: mullets, tuxedos, mock-skeletons (think "Touch of Grey" and Taco's "Puttin' on the Ritz"), and a plot that makes entirely no sense.

Wednesday, November 28, 2007

The Felice Brothers: Upstate Revivalists

Authenticity. The word gets bandied about in regards to new music releases these days, specifically the lack thereof. (Actual talent is also missing these days, but that is for another post.) Ultimately though, isn't everything these days derivative of preceding bands and therefore lacking in authenticity. Well, I must remind myself there is a difference between authenticity and originality. The Felice Brothers are not originals. But with all of the crap being released today, isn't a great derivative band worth writing about (and listening to). And with chops like theirs, authenticity does not seem like a problem for them.

Slinky, greasy, and vampy are words that are brought to mind when listening to The Felice Brothers. So are the names Lou Reed and Bob Dylan. And The Animals a la an organ sound ripped from 'The House of The Rising Son'. How's that for derivative.

And I got all of that after listening to just one song on The Felice Brothers Myspace page titled 'Helen Fry'. The Felice Brothers are from the Hudson Valley of Upstate New York. For you out-of-towners, Upstate NY is a far, far cry from the Lower East Side by about 60 miles and 10,000 hipsters. In other words, they are the only band on my radar from that part of the country.

I really enjoy the loose, roots rock feel of the band. I don't get a sense that the band is too proud to beg like The Kings of Leon or other hipster bands like The Killers who seemed ripped out of a GQ spread rather than a garage practice space where true bands hone their skills. Derivative, maybe. But probably because like myself they LOVE the music of Dylan, The Band, a touch of Bowie, and did I mention Dylan? I'll take this any day. Thanks for the tip on these guys and let me know when they are coming to town. I'll bring my leopard skin pill box hat, me and all the young dudes will take a walk on the wild side, and after the show we'll crash at Big Pink. Sound like a plan? Or has that been done before?

Listen to my favorite track, called Frankie's Gun, on their Myspace page.

Update: And come see them live with me in NYC at The Highline Ballroom with The Dirty Dozen Brass Band opening on Friday, 12/7.

Update to Update: Dirty Dozen is the headliner, The Felice Brothers have the opening slot.

Sweet Home Seattle

Kurt Cobain just smiled. That is what drove me to write this post while watching the recently released Nirvana MTV Unplugged DVD. The man, who is now remembered as being a brooding individual uninterested in fame and ultimately uninterested in living, is cracking jokes with bandmates on MTV of all places. He is chatting in between songs. He is, well, an artist clearly relishing the spotlight (although he wouldn't have admitted it) and projecting a maturity in his music that does not appear to support the tortured soul theory very well. Ultimately what is really so great about the DVD is that all of the MTV editing and commercials have been eliminated and the uninterrupted essence of the concert bleeds through with a tiny glimpse at what it would have been like to attend this show.

Another fun part of the DVD: Dave Grohl looks like a preppy youngster in his navy blue turtleneck and clean shaven face rather than mired in his "posterboy of hipster fatherhood" look of today with his ever-present facial hair and tattered rock duds . Also, when an audience member predictably shouts "Freebird", Kurt says, "I've been waiting for that." Then the band breaks into a full on "Sweet Home Alabama" tease with guitar, bass, and drums and Kurt mumbling a couple lines. Truly amazing.

Its funny. It seems as though the "Nirvana in an acoustic setting" concept just makes so much sense and is so familiar. I, as well as a large portion of folks in their 20's, associate the band as much with acoustic guitars as anything else. But this show was a HUGE departure from their typical sound. The band typically rocked out; acoustic tenderness did not appear in their vocabulary. But the band, so understated in their sound, appears born for this night. It was like the stars were truly aligned. Whatever intern recommended Nirvana for this show should be knighted.

This Unplugged episode became so iconic not just because of how opposite an "unplugged" setting appeared to have been from Nirvana's typical sound, but also by how this show gave MTV actual artistic credibility. Instead of airing videos shot in advance on soundstages just to promote acts, the channel was presenting a true forum for artistic creation and risk taking. Nirvana without a net, if you will. And here we are a decade later and MTV now has no true cultural relevance anymore. The more things change, the more they stay the same, I suppose.

Yes, Nirvana unplugged is a time capsule. It reminds me of high school and signing up for the BMG music club (Anyone else get Nirvana Unplugged for just 1 cent?). But ultimately all of the songs stand on their own. Not because a rock/punk band changed their sound for a tv show. That novelty would have worn out long ago. Its because Kurt Cobain and the band laid their souls and hearts on the line without the benefit of amplifiers and let us into their living room jam session for a night. And luckily its documented to watch over and over.

Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Happy Thanksgiving from The Weight

Happy Thanksgiving Everybody. What do you have to be thankful for this year?

If you are like me, you have traveled home for the holiday and are sleeping in your childhood bed, surrounded by your childhood things, as well as all the crap that moved from dorm room/fraternity house/keg holding apt and then back home after college. Part of that mess is the holy grail of a concert goer's life, the concert ticket pile.

With the advent of online ticketing and Ticketfast (I pay extra to print my own tickets for what reason exactly?) the days of the torn ticket stubs are numbered. But from 1995 until recently, the pile was a formidable presence.

And this year I am thankful for that first fateful concert that tore a hole in my brain, that fried my soul, and freed my mind. The show was George Clinton and the P-Funk All Stars at the University of Maryland in the summer of 1995. I had the pleasure of telling George himself this at the Virgin Megastore in Times Square a few years back. He was actually very humbled, extremely friendly, and half awake during the day which was a pleasant surprise

The show was a free concert on the "mall" at Maryland, which is a huge field in the middle of campus. Still being in high school, and being surrounded by throngs of people both in the crowd and on stage, was a life changing experience. We were all one nation under a groove witnessing George and band clad in nun's outfits, diapers, wizard costumes, extremely phallic noses, and who knows what else romping around. The funk was thick and more importantly I was growing up and into a concert lover. Concerts aren't just about the music but what your life is about at the time, the trip to get there, who you are with, the venue, the parking lot/ride out, and analyzing the night's show. This, my friends, is my favorite activity. So thanks once again George, and thanks to all of you concert lovers out there, on this turkey week 12 years later.

George Clinton and Parliament Funkadelic
Washington DC, 1979

Tuesday, November 20, 2007

The Cult to Open For Zep in '08??!?

This would be the best indicator/rumor yet that the one-off Led Zeppelin gig at the O2 in London next month is not a one-off after all.

Ian Astbury has accidentally on purpose revealed that his own reunited Cult will be supplying opening duties for a 2008 Led Zeppelin tour. To be honest, Ian Astbury is an idiot for letting this information out in this fashion. If the Zeppelin people have approached him and his band to open for Robert, Jimmy and John, they should now find someone else just to prove a point.

Read the Billboard article here.

Phish Not Playing NYE

For all those still holding on to the possibility of a Phish reunion in 2007, you'll have to continue holding your breath...

Jon Fishman has been added to the the Del McCoury Band and Friends New Year's Eve Concert, December 31st at Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN. Tickets are on sale now at or at the Ryman Box Office. For more information, please click here. Other guest performers include Ronnie Bowman, Drew Emmitt & Vince Herman (of Leftover Salmon) and Steep Canyon Ranger.

For those keeping score, that would be 2 consecutive posts mentioning Jon Fishman.

Monday, November 19, 2007

Girl Talk Plays Wash U Fraternity

Another day, another college campus tasering...only this time, the incident resulted in partying! An inebriated unclothed man attending Greg "Girl Talk" Gillis' gig at the Gargoyle on the campus of Washington University in St. Louis was subdued by local police after being "...tasered in the ass for a prolonged period of time."

After the WashU gig was cut short, the university's Sigma Alpha Mu house opened their basement up to Girl Talk where 200 to 300 students witnessed a continuation of the ill-fated concert. This must be the most significant artist appearance on this St. Louis college's campus since Phish drummer Jon Fishman performed a late-night impromptu gig in the dorms in 1999 following a concert by his then side project Pork Tornado.

Controversy seems to be following Gillis around, as his unconventional opening slot for Widespread Panic was cut short earlier this year due to overly intoxicated fans not being able to keep it together after being invited by him to dance on stage.

Read the full tasering/WashU article here.

Editors Note: The writer of this post is an alumni of the above mentioned university and he is still not over receiving the news of Fishman's jam session in the dorms a few hours too late.

P.S. - Forgive me for posting this more than a week after the incident occurred. I was out of the country at the time.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra Blows...

...City’s Power Grid

JACKSON, MS (CelebrityAccess MediaWire) -- While performing at the Mississippi Coliseum in Jackson, Mississippi the Trans-Siberian Orchestra came to a sudden halt in mid-show, during their seasonal rock Christmas concert, when the city’s power grid went down, reportedly due to the strain from the show.

The experience was recapped by violinist Anna Phoebe in a blog update:

"WOW!! Our first matinee day of the tour! And we make the show even more memorable by blowing the entire power during 'Good King Joy'! First ever time in TSO history!! Hilarious! The first 3 seconds you think it's just the monitors in your ears or on the stage, then the lights all went out then we started looking around and then realized it was EVERYTHING! Except the spotlight on Al! We kind of left the stage - the arena was SILENT...15 minutes later (just when the slow clapping had started) they manage to get the extra generators going and we went on as normal.

I tell you - there is nothing so eerie as going from 100 or so decibels to SILENCE in a split second in a huge space filled with thousands of people. Spooky!!

The audiences were FABULOUS and LOUD both shows! I love it when it feels a little bit more like a rock show rather than a 'concert'."

Sunday, November 18, 2007

They Want You Back

Call me crazy, but cost aside, I would probably go to this show. It would sure be one hell of a spectacle. Do you think this could actually happen? Dangle a few million in front of Michael and I believe he'd be in.
The man behind Michael Jackson's Off The Wall tour in the late 1970s and early 1980s - admits he has been in touch with the infamous Jackson family to discuss reforming for a number of live dates. And Rowe claims Jackie, Tito, Jermaine and Marlon have already confirmed their involvement.
Read the full article from

Saturday, November 17, 2007

We Are Everywhere

Bill Walton, Al Gore, Ann Coulter, Nancy Pelosi, Al Franken, Pete Carroll.....and the newly appointed head of British Intelligence....yeah baby, yeah!

The new head of Great Britain's Joint Intelligence Committee, the country's top intelligence body, Alex Allan, is a "Deadhead" by his own admission. Allan maintains a personal website fully devoted to the Grateful Dead where one can find information on all their music, concerts etc.

Allan who is 56...has been British High Commissioner to Australia and private secretary to both Prime Ministers John Major and Tony Blair. On his website Allan writes, "I first saw the Dead in the mud at Bickershawe in 1972, and was so knocked out I went to all the Lyceum concerts after that. I have been a Deadhead ever since, and saw them whenever they came to Europe, but sadly never managed a U.S. tour."
Read the article from the UK's The Independent here.

Allan is pictured above windsurfing on the Thames.

Willie Nelson: Imperfectly Perfect

Earlier this week, I borrowed a homemade compilation of Willie Nelson songs which I have been listening to on each car ride ever since. On it he sings everything from Paul Simon's 'Graceland' to Danial Lanois' 'The Maker' to Kermit the Frog's 'Rainbow Connection'. And on each of these songs as well as the 17 other tracks, I cannot get over how perfectly imperfect (or is it imperfectly perfect) Willie's singing is. He falls into a long line of other favorite singers of mine who have have far from what would be considered innate singing talent. This list includes Bob Dylan, Tom Petty, Neil Young, Rick Danko, and most recently Warren Zevon. They each have a way of conveying emotion through their voices, which I find so much more poignant than the singing of many others with far superior vocal talent. Maybe the true appeal of these singers for me, and others, is that they sound real. That it's the emotion and the feeling that you get when you listen to them which makes them so attractive. Willie Nelson just has that intangible 'something' about his voice which connects with me every time.

Having decided to share a favorite song from this disc, I called upon YouTube to see what I could find. I had the great fortune to find Willie Nelson performing onstage with Paul Simon on the aforementioned "Graceland". The video features a nice pictorial tribute to Willie over the first minute.

Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Always Take the Weather With You

Hi there.

I enjoy surfing, hiking, long walks on the beach, dining at trendy restaurants with a bottle of wine, roadtripping along the coast, and trying new and exotic foods.

And that, unfortunately, was only accomplished while on vacation the last two weeks. At home, um, no so much. Not even close. My typical interests include miserably waking up entirely too late for work, attempting to remain awake and/or interested at the office, dejectedly commuting home, ordering delivery for dinner, and then delaying going to sleep as late as possible (hello, Tivo) so that I don't have to awake the next morning to repeat.

To the layman, this may seem like two completely different people enjoying (for lack of a better word) their day. Surfing vs. sleeping in. Hiking vs. ordering General Tso's Chicken. Two different people? It is in fact...just me.

Vacations are like new year's go out, get decked out, spend a bunch of money at a new and hopefully excting place. And then you commit yourself to resolutions about getting up early, being productive, going to the gym, being active, actually leaving the apartment. On vacation, I get motivated. In "real life", which is 99.2% of the time, not so much.

But this time, is different. After a trek half way around the world, as my jet lagged haze is wearing off, I want to do things differently. I want to wake up and smell the Sanka, I want to actually use my $80 per month gym membership (lately I'm averaging $80 per session...that should be easy math), I want to see more of New York City then the blocks between the subway and my apt/office. Australia and New Zealand have breathed new life into me. Go if you can. I really did accomplish all of the things I mentioned in the beginning of the post.

Seeing Crowded House at the Sydney Entertainment Center left a song in my mind to remind me of the trip, the energy and spontaneity I had, and the ability to get off my ass. Maybe it will help you too.

Weather With You
Crowded House