Guess who’s back, back again
Wicked’s back. Tell a friend.
Guess who’s back, back again
Wicked’s back. Tell a friend.
How cool is it to ring in the new year with your family and 7,000 of your biggest fans? Pretty damn cool! This past Friday night, I got to be one of those 7,000 fans. The Avett Brother’s New Year’s Eve concert is a traditional show performed each year, near the band’s hometown in Asheville, NC. I’d read on the Avett Bros fan site how incredible this show was, so thought I would give it a go.
I reluctantly purchased these tickets back in early December, due to “GA” ticketing. I’m a concert veteran, so I know how General Admission works. And the older I get, the more excited I get about reserved seating. It’s cold…. I don’t want to stand in line for hours to get a good seat. However, after pacing back and forth from The Bier Garden to the gates of the civic center, from 3:30 until 5:30, I decided to get in line. Nothing had really developed as far as a “crowd” so I was good. Asheville is an AWESOME town. I highly suggest visiting if you haven’t. I was the first in line at the gate, and according to my new found friends behind me in line, this was good. After a three and a half hour wait in line, the doors opened! Yeah!!!! I secured my spot on the lower balcony, stage right, front row. AWESOME view. You’re out of the congestion, close to the bathrooms, and near a beer stand! PERFECT!
Since seeing The Avett Brothers at Bonnaroo in 2010, I’ve become a huge fan. The energy and atmosphere at an Avett show is something I’ve never experienced. It’s like hanging out with thousands of your best friends. No fighting, no rude words, just lots and lots of singing and dancing. The Avett Brothers have released, to date, 14 albums/EP’s. That’s a lot of songs to know how to sing. Amazingly enough, Avett fans know every word to every song. And we belt them out as loud as we can! One thing that I absolutely LOVE about an Avett show is there is NO predicting a set list. You never know what is going to be played, but you know it’s going to blow you away.
This show was no exception. They opened the evening by performing “Cupid”, a 1961 classic written and recorded by Sam Cooke. It was a perfect beginning. They performed it like they’d written it themselves, just for us. It was incredible! The set list continued with a GRAND mixture of old and new, including an old gospel song “Walk in Jerusalem” sang by Scott, Seth and their dad Jim. That was a very moving moment for me. Their dad was so sincere and proud as he put his arms around his sons and sang with them. It was a great way to end the show and start out a new year.
Happy New Year Music Lovers!!!!
Check out Seth Avett performing the old Tom T. Hall song, “Pamela Brown” right before the show started.
|Left On Laura, Left On Lisa|
|Go To Sleep (with big sis Bonnie on the Keyboard)|
|Swept Away (with big sis Bonnie helping on vocals|
|Traveling Song (new version – “no pretty girl can ever slow me down”)|
|New Song (with the line “if i live the life im given, i won’t be scared to die”)|
|Please Pardon Yourself|
|Will You Return|
|Head Full of Doubt, Road Full of Promise|
|Ballad Of Love And Hate (acoustic with Seth Avett alone on stage)|
|Nothing Short of Thankful|
|Kick Drum Heart|
|*break before new year*|
|Blue Ridge Mountain Blues|
|Down With The Shine|
|Pretty Girl from Cedar Lane|
|Pretty Girl from Annapolis into “For Today” with Jessica Lea Mayfield…then back into PGAnnapolis.|
|I and Love and You|
|Walk In Jerusalem (With Father Jim Avett)|
Blisses B released it’s second full length album “Thirty Days, Sixty Years” on November 9th 2010. I wasn’t introduced to this album until December 20th, 2010, which was WAY too long! The amazing mixture of harmony, acoustics and engineering brilliance of bassist Nick Testa makes this my number 1 pick for new music must haves.
This 11 track album was recorded, produced and engineered by band members Ben Keegan, Noah Libby, Matt McBride, and Nick Testa. This is the time in a bands career that I LOVE!!! They are discovering their own unique sound and playing off of their amazing instrumental talent without the use of an overrated money hungry producer. The vocal arrangement and harmonization in “Valley Low” mixed with the mandolin and banjo seems effortless for this fabulous foursome. The title track to the album proves no less. The percussion and tempo changes that lead up to the powerful chorus is addictive. I must say though…. my personal, absolute favorite track from this album is “Cattywompus”. It’s like WSP, Phish, and The Grateful Dead got together and had a threesome. It’s amazing!!!!
This June marks the 10th anniversary of Bonnaroo, and Blisses B would be a perfect addition to a This or That tent performance. I would definitely be on the front row for that one! If you are in need of some new upbeat raw talent, I highly recommend giving this album a listen.
Check out the band’s website to take a listen to their first album “You Should”
As a long time, die hard, borderline addict Kings of Leon fan, I was a little concerned about this album. While “Only By the Night” managed to FINALLY break through the US music border and land them 4 Grammy awards, the old “Youth and Young Manhood” fans were sort of sitting dazed and confused. Have they sold out? I, along with many other veteran fans were wondering if we were up for yet another over produced album filled with beautiful, inspiring lyrics that lacked the intense sincerity we were all used to.
I’m glad they didn’t disappoint us.
While this album does contain some clearly over produced musical arrangements to keep the “sexsomebody” fans happy, it contains something that I’ve yet to hear in any other KOL album. Maturity! If you go back to 2003 and listen to songs like “Happy Alone” and “Wasted Time”, there is virtually no drum combination and no base line. Lyrically they are awesome. Sticking to things they know and being faithful to their surroundings. They were young, inexperienced, and very talented. Being a group of southern boys from Tennessee, I’m sure they experienced quite a culture shock when entering the mass chaos of European music culture. As they progressed and grew musically throughout the next 3 albums, they became bigger and bigger in Europe. Forcing them to spend A LOT of time there. Drawing them farther and farther away from their deep southern roots. When it became apparent that “Only By the Night” was going to be big in the US, they added more and more shows on their home turf. Which I believe inspired many of the lyrics and songs in “Come Around Sundown”.
The album contains 13 tracks and 3 additional bonus tracks. One of which is a remix of “Closer” from “Only By the Night”.
1. The End
5. The Face
6. The Immortals
7. Back Down South
8. Beach Side
9. No Money
10. Pony Up
12. Mi Amigo
13. Pickup Truck
15. Bonus track: Radioactive with the West Angeles Mass Choir
16. Bonus track: Closer (Presets Remix)
I will make this easy for all the fans that want to cut through the crap. Your traditional dirty sex songs that refer to sexual drunken stoopers and Caleb referring to “Big ol’ Dicks” are tracks 11 and 12. They are both good listens, very upbeat, and in a weird way, sort of…… sweet.
The kick ass and take names fight song is number 13. This is actually one of my favorites. When listening to this song live, it’s hard to make out some of the lyrics. So until I heard the album version, I thought it was about something completely different than what it actually refers to. Which is awesome! I won’t ruin it for you, but my favorite lyric from this track is “But when he pulled in and revved it up, I said ‘you call that a pickup truck?’ And in the moonlight I brought him down, a kickin’ and screamin’ and rollin’ around, a little piece of a bloody tooth, Just so you know I was thinkin’ of you.” In other words, I kicked dudes ass and I was thinking of you the whole time.
The please replace these songs with some of the awesome B sides from the past are “Beach Side”, “Mary”, and (I could do without) “Pyro”. Mary is apparently an important song to Caleb. It’s actually about marriage. He wrote this song when Nate was getting married and moving out of the house. But I really don’t like the whole beach/50’s arrangement. “Pyro”, is a song that I’ve heard them play live twice. It’s got an awesome lyrical meaning, but again the musical arrangement could have been better. “Beach Side” is probably the worst song I’ve ever heard KOL play. It’s uncomfortable for me to even listen to. I don’t get it. It reminds me of an 80’s adult contemporary song…..yuck.
Now…the best of the best! “The End”- Has an amazing bass line in the beginning and continues throughout the song. Matt’s guitar arrangement compliments the base line with a strong start and fade out. I thought this was a great track to start the album with. The lyrics are very powerful especially coming from Caleb. This is a prime example of how the band has matured over the past few years. With lines like “I just want to hold you, take you by your hand, and tell you that your good enough, and tell you that it’s gonna be tough” you feel a sense of caring and love in Caleb’s voice that hasn’t existed before.
If you grew up in a Southern Baptist or Pentecostal Church, the opening to “Radioactive” will seem oddly familiar to you. That’s because it’s taken from an old gospel hymn the brothers grew up listening to in their many travels with their Pentecostal preacher father. I immediately connected to this song when I heard it for the first time at Bonnaroo in June. It’s a powerful song urging all of us to remember where we came from. The roots of who we are, no matter how painful or forgetful or uneventful our life might be or was, will always be found in the place where we came from.
“Southbound” is a true southern rock song. It really reminds me of The Allman Brothers or Lynyrd Skynyrd without the redneck. I really like the version they play live much better than the track that is on the album. The big difference on the album is the fiddle. Come on guys…..we don’t need a fiddle. The acoustic guitar will suffice. It’s still an awesome song that accurately describes what it’s like to “hang out” on a warm Saturday night in the south.
“The Face” is a pretty cool song, mainly because you can tell it’s written specifically for Caleb’s now fiance, Victoria’s Secret model Lily Aldridge. I really like the opening arrangement and fade out before Caleb’s voice comes in. I know personally, if I heard him sing to me, “If you’ll give up New York, I’ll give you Tennessee….the only place to be”. I’d pack my bags and be on a plane to Nashville.
My absolute favorite song from this album is “The Immortals”. This was another new song that I connected with at Bonnaroo. The lyrics are so moving to me that I actually shed tears when I listen to them. Not sure if it’s because I’ve figured out who I am, but have failed to face it and have not taken chances that I should have, or instead of loving along the way, I’ve been selfish and hurt more people than I should have. Either way, I’m sure everyone can relate to not taking chances and having regrets. The message being portrayed in these lyrics are very clear and very powerful.
|The open road, the path of greatness, it’s at your fingers|
|Go be the one, that keeps on fighting, go be the stranger|
|Just put your foot, in front the other, crow like the rooster|
|We are allowed to get us something, fear is a danger|
|Spill out on the streets and start, right away|
|Find out what you are, face to face|
|The windows are, the perfect picture, they’re always changing|
|Go on get lost, jump in the waters, when they are raging|
|Spill out on the streets and start, right away|
|Find out what you are, face to face|
|Once you’ve had enough, carry on|
|Don’t forget to love, before your gone|
Overall, I am very impressed with this album. The Kings of Leon managed to make everyone happy while introducing a new maturity in their writing that we’ve never heard before. I highly recommend you check out some of the tracks:
Abney Park is about to play at the amazing DNA lounge in San Francisco. If you aren’t in SF, you should click this link and enjoy! I am so excited to watch this!
I’ll admit it. As much as I love Sons of Anarchy, I was looking forward to the music as much as anything else. It took them all of one episode to get me on the Internet looking a song up. I suspect many of you will be here looking for the same thing I heard. Do these lyrics ring a bell?
Dad’s Gonna Kill Me
Dad’s Gonna Kill Me
When I first heard the song I liked it, but I was trying to place the singer. I was bouncing around crazy things in my head like Nick Cave?, Nah can’t be him, but I know that voice. I finally got off my butt and looked it up and I was suddenly jumping out of my seat screaming, ” no way, RICHARD THOMPSON”!!!
Richard Thompson happens to sing the best version of an amazing song. I have listened to him sing this song on youtube a thousand times and I love it more every time I hear it. “Dad’s Gonna Kill Me” was a great choice for the scene, but if you loved that, you gotta listen to Richard Thompson sing “Mingulay Boat Song”.
If you just want to hear “Dad’s Gonna Kill me” by Richard Thompson, just click here. Welcome back Sons of Anarchy, we have missed you.
When wickedplaylist.com author Lucy Gray first told me Eminem’s new album Recovery was his best ever I was certainly a little skeptical. 8 Mile was an amazing album and if you didn’t like it, you probably just don’t like the genre. Can I get a “I like everything buy rap and country” up in here?
Needless to say, I was interested in hearing the album based on Lucy’s comments so I transferred it to my DROID to check out. The first time I listened to Recovery it was me and my almost two year old daughter in the kitchen. I plugged the DROID in to the kitchen system and started listening. I was cooking along and my daughter was dancing to the beat. It was a great time. A great time until my wife walked in and heard the lyrics and then, well we decided this album should get a “older than 2” rating.
In the short amount of time I heard Recovery I knew it had some songs I liked. The next attempt to listen to it was during a Sunday afternoon yard work extravaganza. The temperature was a cool 97 degrees and the breeze was absent like a football player with 9 kids. What, you pictured me doing this in a music studio with strippers dancing behind me as I listen to music and artists tossing 100’s at me while chanting “wicked rain”? Yea, sorry, that is only in my head, not in the real world.
Anyway, as I am listening to Recovery, I hear some pretty good stuff. You know, I just heard Pink and now Eminem is sampling some Ozzy “Changes”. At this point, it is already better than his last CD. But then something interesting happens. “Not Afraid” comes on. For me, the entire album changes now. “Not Afraid” and Seduction are pretty good but then we get to stretch of 3 number 1’s in my opinion. The first is No Love featuring Lil Wayne and sampling Haddaway’s “What is Love”. Amazing song and equally amazing sample of “What is Love”, which is a song I remember sitting in my bedroom, listening to radio station recordings, hoping I could find it.
The next song up is “Space Bound”. An ode to love and pain and all the things that come with being vulnerable. The difference here is the phenomenal hook sung by Steve McEwan and Eminem’s usual lyrical prowess. “Love is Evil, spell it backwards and I’ll show you” is just one of his thought provoking and moment of clarity type lyrics.
As much as I liked those two songs, I almost missed the third one in the group because I kept hitting rewind. “Cinderella Man” is a great song with Queen type beat, amazing hook and some really truthful lyrics from Eminem. Not many musicians will basically apologize for their last CD. Eminem does just that with the line, “fuck my last CD that shits in the trash”. This is the kind of lyric I personally expect from Eminem. He has always been truthful in his rhymes even if that truth isn’t the easiest thing to say.
This all comes back to the question, is this Eminem’s best album? Well, best is a pretty subjective term. I mean reviewing and critiquing art is really nothing more than one persons opinion anyway. Short of divulging my cd buys, single buys, current economic climate, and record company hype dollars formula, I will just say this. If Recovery is Eminem’s best album, it isn’t far off. If you like Eminem, you should like Recovery.
I have realized something interesting lately. 8 out of 10 albums that have been in my rotation lately have singers with beards.
I have been listening to a ton of The Avett Brothers lately. They are currently resting comfortably in my list of top 5 bands of all time. They are way to complex to dissect in this quick post, but damn I love them.
I am also looking forward to the new Kings of Leon album. I have been listening to the song “Southland” from it, thanks to our good friend Lucy Gray.
The new Band of Horses album, Infinite Arms, is also very intriguing. It has some really good songs. The last song on it, “Neighbor”, is currently my favorite. Hard not to like a song with the line, “If Bartles and James didn’t need no first names, we could live by our own laws and favor”.
Some really good music coming out lately, check them out. If you aren’t gonna buy an album, buy a ticket, a t-shirt, or maybe even a beer glass.
I recently heard a bootleg of “Southbound” from Kings of Leon’s new CD. I am here on 7/7/2010 going on record that it is gonna be a major hit.
The first time I heard Train Company was about 7am one morning while driving in the cold and pouring rain. The windshield wipers and blurry red brake lights in front of me, combined with the silky saxophone whispers jumping from my speakers, reminded me of walking out of a smokey downtown club, flipping up my collar against the cold night air, and strolling down the boulevard to my next haunt. That was a pleasant distraction from rainy Atlanta traffic and an introduction to an interesting new band, Train Company.
Working their way around the Chicago music scene, Train Company is headed by the unique and memorable vocals of John Zozzaro and the perfect accompaniment of Mark Alletag’s sax. Not to be outdone, Train Company is rounded out by Mike DeWitte on Bass and Rob Lejman on drums. Their sound is more of a upbeat rock/jazz infusion with the sax and flute in more of a support role. The sax is used very similar to older O.A.R stuff but that isn’t to say the music from the two bands is similar. Train Company’s sound is more of a quicker burst of energy than the jam type feel of an O.A.R song. This is definitely evident when you notice half of the songs on their self titled debut are under 2 minutes and 50 seconds long.
Their first release from Train Company’s self titled debut is “A New Kind of Home” and it really sets the tone for the beginning of the album. A quick stepping cymbal really sets the pace and continues on through “Lovely Lady” and “Do You Really Wanna Know” but then we slow down a little for one of my favorites from the album, “Clementine”. Every album needs a song about a girl and this one showcases Alletag on the sax and is the perfect lead in to one of Zozzaro’s songs from his days, finding his own sound, in New York. That song, “Forest”, is one of the other songs on Train Company that slows the percussion down a little and really lets the Jazz vibe breathe. Part of the credit for this has to go to Train Company’s producer on this album, Patrick DeWitte. Producers don’t always get mentioned in album reviews, but the quality of this debut, self released album cannot be ignored. Pleased trust me on that, I have heard a lot of shit over the years.
One of the last songs on Train Company is “I’ll Keep Walkin'” and it kinda sums up my impression of this new Chicago band. Not in the way of I’ll keep walkin on by them, but in the way that this group of early 20 somethings has managed to put out a pretty good album, they are going to keep on and there ain’t no stopping them.
Click the link below to hear Train Company’s new single, “A New Kind of Home”.