Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Greetings from Cleveland, where we've had way too much sunshine and good weather lately. I'm getting a bit concerned.
Here are the things that I dug this week:
Get Converse All-Star kicks featuring The Grateful Dead, Beatles, Doors.....and Kurt Cobain, bullet holes sold separately. I'd love to get my hands on a pair of Dead Converse, for sure....and probably Beatles too!
Some late breaking thoughts on the latest Eagles album, Long Road Out of Eden.
STP frontman Weiland, breaking the hearts of 16 year old girls nationwide, or in Cleveland, at least.
Journey performed on Ellen this past week delivering a sonic assault with "Separate Ways." Not a bad way to introduce new singer Arnel Pineda, but it might have been a bit of a shock if you were watching at home, and didn't know that they had a new singer.
Highlights this week here at Addicted to Vinyl:
Reflections on life and one of my favorite albums from last year, REO Speedwagon's Find Your Own Way Home.zero
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
David Wilcox - Mango (live in Utah)
Talkin' 'bout old love.......and "found songs."
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Mark Knopfler - Back to Tupelo
around the time of ‘clambake’
that old dream’s still rolling on
sometimes there’ll be the feeling
things are going wrong
the morning star is fading
lord, the mississippi’s cold
you can still be marlon brando
and the king of rock and roll
but it’s a ways to go
back to tupelo
I must really like this song, because it keeps coming up on shuffle on my Ipod.
Mark is back out on the road this summer. If you haven't had the pleasure of seeing his live show, you should absolutely go. Mark's performance on the Shangri-La tour is way up there on my list of favorite concerts I've seen.
Shangri-La (the album that contains "Back to Tupelo.")zero
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Find Your Own Way Home is the name of the latest CD from veteran Illinois classic rockers REO Speedwagon. And the album is also the unlikely source of inspiration that led me through what would be an important period of personal exploration in 2007.
I purchased the CD as part of a "can't miss" three CD package at Wal-Mart on release date in April of 2007 - the regular studio album came accessorized with an additional two discs of content, including a cool DVD that featured the band performing old classics mixed with songs from the new album, all unplugged and acoustic for XM Satellite Radio. It had been so long since I had heard an album of new material from the band, that I honestly wasn't expecting much. I was buying the package for the bonus content, and what I heard from the studio CD when I put it on, absolutely floored me.
It started when I first heard the album title "Find Your Own Way Home," as the band began to promote the upcoming release far in advance of the release date. "Good title," I thought. And thought provoking too, but it was a lot to hope for that the new material would match up and be as good as the album title. Man, did I have a surprise coming my way.
On the day that I brought that new CD home, I had just moved back unexpectedly to the so called "bachelor pad" where I had spent the previous 10 years. A move to the other side of the city had gone unexpectedly awry after 4 months, and the first phone call that I made when things went bust didn't go to my parents or best friend - instead, I called my old landlord and found out that she hadn't rented out my beloved apartment yet, and in fact, they were in the process of completely redoing it from top to bottom. So when I moved back after 10 months away, my old place was really a completely new place, although I still found myself going up those same three flights of stairs to reach that familiar space on the third floor of the house.
Find Your Own Way Home was the musical soundtrack that would drive me onward as I began trying to figure out life, round two.
Can't really say it's been a good year
I know I've seen better days
Some things that shouldn't have been going on around here
Been going on anyways
REO Speedwagon - Smilin' in the End (live at XM Satellite Radio)
Check out an electrified live version of the track that is more representative of the studio version, here.
"Smilin' in the End," was the raucous album opener that was very likely the loudest thing that many had heard from REO in years, and it did a great job of setting the tone as the opening shot on the album.
There's no easy way to say goodbye
I prayed this day would never come
It's best if I just walk away
Better if I run
REO Speedwagon - Another Lifetime
"Another Lifetime" (download) addresses the subject that many, if not all of us, have encountered. That "sure thing" that we had that was "the one," has come to an end. We could be together in "another lifetime," but for today, things are very clearly done. It's a heavy place to be, but also speaks lyrically to the fact that what's over is done. And in my case, I think that I knew subconsciously that things were done, and had been for a while. I had finally gotten the official notice that I needed to move on, and there was nowhere to go but up.
You are everything you feel, everything you know
Everyone you ever love, all that you let go
Everything you hide, all that you reveal
Everything you overcome, you are everything you feel
REO Speedwagon - Everything You Feel (download)
Find Your Own Way Home found its way onto my newly acquired Ipod and was playing frequently through my stereo speakers at home, and on the road as I drove from city to city. I was in the midst of many rock and roll road trips to musically clear my head, and at the same time, I was trying to figure out if it was time for me to move onward and elsewhere after nearly 20 years in Cleveland.
Now, I'm sure you can all insert your appropriate Cleveland joke here, but I'm telling you, I actually had to think about this one!
I came home at the end of July from Chicago where I had been attending Eric Clapton's Crossroads Guitar Festival, and in my mind, I had already begun to work out my exit strategy. I was going to go to Chicago and begin again. And then something unexpected happened - I found out that a departed friend's house was going on the market. It was a house where I had spent many a great evening, and though I didn't end up in that house, it ultimately led me to put down official roots in the Cleveland suburb of Lakewood, my home base for most of those past 10 years. I bought a house in December of last year and in my mind, I had finally found my way home, indeed.
Find Your Own Way Home is not a perfect album, but it is damn close. There are a couple of songs that are a bit cheesy lyrically, and REO Speedwagon bass player Bruce Hall contributes an ill-advised lead vocal and writing credit with "Born To Love You," which is not exactly in the same league of his most noted REO contribution, "Back On The Road Again." And honestly, I wasn't the biggest fan of "Back On The Road Again."
The album wraps with "Let My Love Find You" (download,) a song which to me is filled with the same hope that I am feeling today in 2008. Against all odds, we've battled our way back to good, and REO Speedwagon have done that in a perfectly reasonable 10 tracks, a number of new songs that feels like quality, and just right.
A year after its release, I was interested to read the following Newsweek piece that chronicles the tough love and hard times within REO lead singer Kevin Cronin, who struggled to help his son battle an ongoing drug problem. The subject matter is revealed for the first time, as Cronin's personal inspiration for Find Your Own Way Home.
I shared the story with my mom, who had the following reaction, which is actually a subject and something that we have discussed several times over the years:
You know, the story behind this album reminds me that so often when we look at or visit with or meet someone (or even know someone for a long time) we often don't REALLY know what's going on inside them or what tough road they are walking. Often, for me, it's sobering and/or inspiring to find out what someone has really been faced with and perhaps triumphed over.
REO Speedwagon - Find Your Own Way Home
Hear samples of four more tracks via the official REO Speedwagon Myspace page.more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
The Verve Pipe "Villains"
The Verve Pipe - Villains
Every once in a while, a song will come up on my Ipod that I've forgotten about, or don't think of often. This is one of those songs.
Read more about The Verve Pipeone
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
Let's stop for a second: Chickenfoot is a horrendous name.
Now that we've got that out of the way, I am definitely excited to see one of my favorite singers pair with one of my favorite guitar players, paired with my favorite rock and roll bass player. I've got no opinion one way or the other on Chad Smith from RHCP - he's solid, and I know he'll fill the slot well.
Sammy Hagar to hit studio with guitar hero Joe Satriani and ex-Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony plus Red Hot Chilli Peppers drummer Chad Smith -
TORONTO - Sammy Hagar has a new supergroup that includes a virtuoso guitarist and a fellow Van Halen alumnus, but fans eager to see the so-called Red Rocker sing alongside the six-string hero he's most famously associated with shouldn't hold their breath. It seems a peace settlement in the war of wills between Hagar and Eddie Van Halen could be years away, if it arrives at all. "I love Eddie, but we don't love each other," Hagar said during an interview Thursday.
"I heard that he got cleaned up again. Hopefully he stays that way and doesn't die, because before we both die we have to be friends again. But like I said, people have to be level-headed and have to be healthy before you can settle a feud."
Eddie Van Halen's battles with drug and alcohol addiction are legend, marring past shows with Hagar and delaying the start last year of a reunion tour with original singer, and Hagar's predecessor, David Lee Roth. Instead of waiting for that friendship to be repaired, Hagar has teamed with acclaimed guitarist Joe Satriani, Red Hot Chili Pepper drummer Chad Smith, and former Van Halen bassist Michael Anthony. The group, code-named Chickenfoot, will enter the recording studio just before Labour Day.
"We've written eight, nine songs. We just got to go in the studio Sept. 1," Hagar said.
"When people hear the music, it's Led Zeppelin. It's as good as that. I know that's a mighty bold statement... We could rival Zep."
Hagar, 60, stills looks remarkably like he did during his time with Van Halen - suntanned and goateed with that trademark mop of curly blonde hair. In town following a show at Casino Rama, north of Toronto, with his "party band" The Wabos, Hagar took up residence for the day in a downtown hotel to promote his latest career turn as a spirits connoisseur.
Halen fans are no doubt familiar with the song "Cabo Wabo", a track from the multi-platinum 1988 album "OU812" that sang the virtues of Cabo San Lucas, Mexico. Hagar's love of all that is Cabo has seen him open cantinas bearing the name, and now he's spending the summer selling Cabo Wabo Tequila. The brand, with its origins in Hagar's desire to serve a local, high-end tequila at his cantina in Cabo San Lucas, grew over the years, eventually gaining recognition and robust sales in the United States. Last year, Hagar sold an 80 per cent stake in the company to multinational spirits company Campari for a reported US$80 million. "It wasn't planned. All this happened step by step. Every time I turned around there was a new opportunity for it," Hagar said.
"Everyone thought it was a gimmick. It's an expensive tequila (a 750 ml bottle retails for $71.20 in Canada). They thought, what does this guy know about premium tequila?"
Apparently Hagar has even convinced bassist Anthony, who was known for drinking Jack Daniels whisky straight from the bottle onstage during his Van Halen years, to quaff his tequila while performing. The two have remained close, and perform together often, since the Hagar incarnation of Halen finally folded after a reunion in the late 1990s.
When the band reunited last year to tour with original singer David Lee Roth, Anthony was replaced by Eddie Van Halen's son Wolfgang. Although it's "great that they finally did the reunion with Dave," Hagar said he had no desire to take in the show. "Mikey should have been there. It's ridiculous," he said. "(Seeing the show) just wouldn't interest me in the least, all the hoopla and all that around something without it being the original."
As for the Van Halen vs. Van Hagar debate, Hagar is content to let the fans choose their favourite and listen to the old recordings. "I'm really not interested in being in that band right now. I'm so much more interested in our little Chickenfoot project," Hagar said. "To me that's 10 times Van Halen, because it's functional, we all like each other."
Joe Satriani - The Extremist (live on the G3 tour)more
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
I remember the time when I came so close to you
Sent me skipping my class and running from school
And I bought you that ring cause I never was cool
What makes me think I could start clean slated
The hardest to learn was the least complicated
Indigo Girls - Least Complicated
Young love. Kathy was the girl that sent my head spinning in 1988. I can't tell you at this point how we came together, but for the first time that year, I was in love, a new and often confusing feeling. We went to the same church, and as I fell head over heels, I couldn't believe my good fortune to have this girl giving me the time of day.
The summer of '88 was our summer, and we did everything together. It was also unfortunately in the summertime that my family would take our annual month-long vacation to the mountains of New Mexico. The New Mexico trip was a favorite trip on any other summer, except for this one where I found myself thinking every second of every day of that girl who was thousands of miles away from me.
We wrote letters to each other, and upon my return home, we took a church mission trip that was filled with great conversations, music, and a bike trip along the river. Sometime later in 1988, our "relationship" ended, and we didn't speak after that. Lucky for me, we moved out of town in 1989.
Still, when you think about "the girl you can't forget," Kathy is that girl for me. She was so cool, and out of all of the people that I've re-established contact with over the years, I've never spoken with her. I could probably find out where she is with a couple of phone calls, but so far, I've held off. Perhaps some things are better left as memories? That's my general thought most days.
Kathy came to my mind last year as a longtime relationship was ending. I had bought a house with this person, and as I moved back to the west side, I thought about all of the "house cleaning" that I had done prior to moving to the east side.
I wondered if I had thrown those letters away after all of those years, as I prepared to take the big step into "co-habitation," and sharing a house with another. As I unpacked various boxes, I was happy to discover that I still had those letters from 20 years ago. Almost as if somewhere inside, some part of me knew that I should hold on to them.
They're cool - I'm glad I have them, because they are a real snapshot of childhood innocence. It's fun to look at what we considered to be problems at that point, versus the problems that we encounter and face today in the real world, as adults.
All of this brings us now to the Indigo Girls. I first got into Indigo Girls via my uncle (my dad's brother,) who was listening a lot of the self-titled album, which of course more than a few people heard because of a little song called "Closer to Fine." I was hooked by what I heard, and while I didn't become a diehard fan, I bought or heard each Indigo Girls album up to Swamp Ophelia, which was the last IG album that I bought (on vinyl, no less.)
This past weekend, I was in a local record store (big shock,) and came across a CD copy of their double live CD 1200 Curfews for seven dollars used. I'm not sure why I didn't buy it back in the day, but for whatever reason, it was a hole in my collection that I never thought about, until I saw it in the store.
That CD made me think of one of my favorite "bootlegs" on my Ipod. We'll get to that in a second. First, let me tell you how I heard Indigo Girls live for the first time. It was via a local radio broadcast here in Cleveland in 1989 that featured Amy Ray and Emily Saliers performing together acoustically, many of the tracks that made up that self-titled Indigo Girls album release. It was one of many great nights of live music that I've been fortunate enough to hear on the radio here in Cleveland, and perhaps I'll share that particular show with you all, one of these days.
But for today, the show I would like to share with you all is one of my all-time favorite downloads from the dear departed Jefitoblog. Jefito can be found these days at the helm of Popdose, with an entire team of Jefito-esque music fans. In the days of Jefitoblog, "Bootleg City" was a popular weekly feature that offered up a choice live show download (and sometimes studio demos/rarities) from a particular artist.
One particular week, the shared show was "In Cold Storage" by Indigo Girls. The original show description can be found here in archived form at Popdose.
One of the many concerts happening during the 2000 Gasparilla celebration was an acoustic appearance by Indigo Girls. The show was just Amy Ray and Emily Saliers with special guest Sandy Garfinkel. The concert happened at the Cold Storage Cafe on Saturday, February 5.
And that's what makes this show cool. Just like that Cleveland show from 1989, this particular show in 2000 captured the Indigo Girls live and acoustic in Tampa. The setlist is a perfect rundown of the Indigo Girls' career at that point. All of your favorites are here in a setlist that runs just over an hour, including the best version of "Least Complicated" I've ever heard.
My friend Rebecca noted that there are only two times that she called the radio station to find out what the song was that was playing at the time. The first time, it was "Whip It," by Devo. The second time, it was "Closer to Fine," by the Indigo Girls.
The Indigo Girls have written a number of songs that still give me goosebumps and take me back to where I was in life the first time that I heard them.
Check this show out, and you will enjoy it. As for that Cleveland show from 1989? I'll share that with you sometime soon!
01. closer to fine (4:36)
02. go (4:14)
03. peace tonight (4:20)
04. i don't wanna know (3:17)
05. power of two (5:06)
06. ozilline (4:21)
07. least complicated (4:30)
08. chickenman (7:37)
09. southland in the springtime (4:36)
10. compromise (2:53)
11. get out the map (3:30)
12. kid fears (5:26)
13. galileo (4:39)
14. shame on you (4:28)
Complete Zipped Download
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
I'm wrapping up the day as the email hits my inbox. New Kids on the Block have confirmed a Cleveland date for October 3rd.
This is the same group that played the Cleveland Agora (cap. 2000) in the mid-90s for a show that I recall hearing was not very well attended. They were promoting the "grown up" album Face The Music album, billed simply as NKOTB to reflect their newly grown up status.
And now, in 2008, they're booked for Quicken Loans Arena (cap. 20,562.)
Now, before anyone gets out the big can of hate - let me state for the record, not only do I understand the New Kids mania from "back in the day," I grew up in the midst of it.
And, I've been following the excitement about the current reunion. Heck, they even have a song on the charts of the Billboard Top #100. New Kids fans definitely hung in there over the years. I've worked with several of them, who are not afraid to wear their fan status, ongoing for the many years that their idols were inactive, firmly on their sleeve.
I'm just a tad surprised - I didn't think of this tour as hitting arenas....yet a look at the tour schedule reveals sellouts in Chicago and Toronto at a couple of venues that are comparable to Quicken Loans Arena. Yet, there appear to still be tickets left for the Boston shows.
My question: Is this tour going to do well in the venue sizes that are currently booked, or will it tank with sellouts in several cities, and shows that are downsized to smaller venues in other cities?
20 thousand-plus New Kids fans in grown up women bodies....bring earplugs if you've got a ticket for that show.
Now that I think about it, it might be the perfect show for any guy that's looking for a date. Just don't wear a New Kids shirt - they might be diehard fans, but a thirtysomething guy in a New Kids t-shirt will never be stylish, in any decade.
New Kids on the Block - My Favorite Girlmore
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
I caught Filter on Saturday night for a show that will easily land on my concert memories highlight reel for the year. It was great. And despite the fact that I've still got a review of last weekend's Rock on the Range show (which also featured Filter) that is pretty close to being ready to publish, it's not ready yet.
So instead, I'll share with you the Filter review that I filed with Scene Magazine here in Cleveland.
“This one is for the mosh pit that has yet to arrive,” taunted Filter frontman Richard Patrick from House of Blues stage last night. It arrived early in the long-awaited homecoming show by the Bay Village native. A little encouragement was all it took. And from the opening chords of Short Bus favorite “Dose,” the Cleveland crowd got their “dose” of moshing and crowd surfing for the week.
Richard Patrick interview with AltitudeTVzero
Written by: Matt Wardlaw
I wrote previously about Kathleen Edwards following her mid-April appearance on David Letterman. And now, I've got a treat for you all.
Quality well-recorded live stuff from Canada's foul mouthed sweetheart isn't an easy thing to find. In fact, with the exception of some Austin City Limits audio that was pretty far removed from the original broadcast, I've yet to hear ANYTHING really good, until now. And man, was it worth the wait.
(p.s. - if you've got some nice sounding stuff from Kathleen - contact me via email, and I'd love to hear it!)
The syndicated program World Cafe was the venue for 45 minutes of great conversation and live performances from Kathleen and her full band in support of her newest release Asking For Flowers.
Host David Dye and Kathleen move through a wealth of topics including an interesting look behind the meaning of the album title, working with producer Jim Scott (Tom Petty, Whiskeytown, etc,) and some of the star power that pitched in musically on the album.
"Tom Petty's Wildflowers was the soundtrack to my young life."
The live stuff is a perfect cross-section from Asking for Flowers - including the title track, album opener "Buffalo," a haunting rendition of "Goodnight California," and the prize of the set, a fun rendition of "The Cheapest Key," which has evolved a bit in the live setting, first catching my ear when Kathleen and her band performed it on Letterman in April. Sadly, one of my favorite tracks from the album, "Scared At Night," was not in the World Cafe setlist, but the music that is contained within this 45 minute performance, is golden.
The sound of this recording is typically excellent as you would expect from the World Cafe crew, and the recording capture of the broadcast is perfect. If you dig Kathleen Edwards (and now would be the perfect time to start digging it,) this World Cafe show is going to be your new favorite bootleg! This performance ranks with a Jayhawks World Cafe performance that I have from 2002, in my unofficial list of favorite World Cafe performances.
For the uneducated, this recording is the perfect primer for your Cliff Notes lesson on Kathleen Edwards, a talented artist that in my opinion has only just begun to share the best of what she has to offer.