Addicted To Vinyl Musical thoughts from the open road, with headphones on

27Jan/0912

Blue Rodeo: California or Bust!

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You guys all know what a big Blue Rodeo fan I am, right? One of the things that I've been looking forward to in the new year is the nearly-certain possibility that I will see Blue Rodeo at least once this year, and hopefully more.

One could definitely say that this legendary Canadian group march to the beat of their own drummer. As proof, I surfed over to the band's official website last night and found the following message posted:

Blue Rodeo are on their way to California for a handful of shows. If you're lucky enough to find yourself in San Francisco, Los Angeles or Santa Barbara near the end of February, head on over to the BlueRodeo.com Store to grab some tickets to these shows. Full concert details can be found on the Events page.

Here are the tour dates:

February 18, 2009 San Francisco, CA The Independent
February 19, 2009 Los Angeles, CA The Mint
February 20, 2009 Santa Monica, CA McCabe's Guitar Shop
February 21, 2009 Santa Barbara, CA Lobero Theatre

Cool venues, and the McCabe's show is acoustic! The Santa Barbara show looks like a co-headlining date with Tim Easton.

I would give my left arm to go to the acoustic show. Since I kinda like having two arms, I'll listen to my copy of their recently released acoustic live album Blue Road instead.

So why now for the CA dates? No idea. My random guesses? Okay, here ya go:

A. Some shows on the way to Los Angeles to discuss business details of some sort?

B. Shows to continue breaking in a new keyboard player?

C. Because Cuddy and Keelor SAID SO!

I'll go with C. Safe bet.

Speaking of Cuddy and Keelor, they just played an acoustic duo benefit show last week with the coolest setlist I've seen in AGES. I would have given my other remaining arm to hear "Sad Nights," one of my FAVORITE cuts off the typically-ignored (by the band) album The Days in Between.

Check out the complete setlist courtesy of the Blue Rodeo Forums:

* What am I Doing Here
* How Long
* Blue House
* 3 Hours
* Fools Like You
* Somebody Waits
* To Love Somebody
* Walk Like You Don't Mind
* English Bay
* Rage
* Rena
* Cynthia
* 5 Days
* Palace of Gold
* Lost Together
* It Could Happen to You
* Bad Timing
* Hasn't Hit Me Yet

Encore:

* Disappear
* Till I Am Myself Again
* Bad Timing
* Good Year for the Roses

For those of you in the California area - get out and check out one of the upcoming dates, and if you can't make it out - grab yourself a copy of Blue Road - a purchase you certainly won't regret!

Cheers!

Blue Rodeo - Joker's Wild (live 2008)

About Blue Rodeo:

Twenty some years after the formation of Blue Rodeo, Jim Cuddy and Greg Keelor are widely respected as one of Canada’s best songwriting teams. Since the release of their debut album Outskirts in March 1987, Blue Rodeo has established themselves as one of the most successful and well known contemporary bands in Canadian music history. Over the course of their stellar career, Blue Rodeo has released eleven studio albums, two live albums, a Greatest Hits collection and an award winning DVD, selling in excess of 4 million copies around the world. Blue Rodeo has won numerous Canadian music awards, including eleven Juno Awards.

(above taken from BlueRodeo.Com)

Relevant Links:

Blue Rodeo official website

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26Jan/093

Saturday nights were made for rockin’

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Dateline: Saturday morning at 7am.

I'm at the Rock Hall waiting in line to buy tickets for this year's induction ceremony happening in Cleveland. For the first time ever, tickets are being sold to the public. Brian and I are determined to not be the suckers sitting at home watching it on TV while it's happening in our own backyard.

Somehow I got suckered into being the one to go buy the tickets, which means I was the one waking up early on Saturday morning. I don't need to tell you how much that sucked. Secretly, I know this is payback for Brian driving to and from Virgin Festival the past two years while I sat reverse shotgun in the backseat. With the 2009 edition of Virgin Festival on the way, it seemed like a good idea to get on Brian's good side.

If I could go into the wayback machine, I'd travel back to last year to see the induction of Mellencamp and Madonna. 2007 would have been cool too with R.E.M., Van Halen, and Grandmaster-frikkin-Flash. But since we're talking 2009, I can tell you that I'm stoked to see Jeff Beck, Run DMC, and I'm also thinking that the prospects of Jason Newsted onstage again with Metallica are irresistible.

Keyword: irresistible.

And that brings us to Saturday night, and the first can't-miss show of 2009. Austin rockers The Sword took time out from their ongoing schedule of tour dates opening for Metallica to play some headlining dates including a sold out pair of shows in Columbus and Cleveland. Saturday night's Cleveland bill was fully loaded with rock brutality courtesy of two opening sets from The Doctor Teeeth, and The Suede Brothers.

Music fans got the memo early on about The Sword and have paid close attention to their touring and recording activities over the past couple of years. The packed house at showtime indicates that Cleveland music fans were very aware that the opening double shot of The Doctor Teeeth and The Suede Brothers was one not to miss. And both bands rewarded fans with their standard top shelf performance with The Suede Bros devoting most of their set to new material from their forthcoming disc that is due any day now (read: not soon enough!)

By the time The Sword hit the stage, the normally excellent sound at the Grog had taken an unfortunate turn for the worse - almost as if the band had brought a special 1976 quadraphonic sound system along for the occasion. I'll be honest - my buddy Pat and I ducked out after a few tunes and took hold of the opportunity to call it an early night. Er, that is if you consider 1am early.

I've got good news for those of you that missed The Sword - here's another rock show that you can put on your calendar of things to look forward to: The Suede Brothers will be hitting the road in March for a week's worth of shows with Fu Manchu - including a Cleveland St. Patrick's Day gig (that's March 17th, for you rookies) at the Agora.

Mark that one down, alright?

The Sword - Freya

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22Jan/093

Too Much Evan Dando is Never Enough and Other 90s Misadventures Retold and Redrawn

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As you'll know from reading the stuff that shows up here, 90s nostalgia is everlasting and ongoing in my world. It never goes out of style.

Today I joined a Facebook group for music fans that "grew up listening" to 107.9 The End, the legendary Cleveland alternative station in the 90s. The End was the little station that could, and the radio station that apparently everyone heard, despite having the crummiest signal in the city.

The Waynes, my favorite local band in the 90s, are doing a reunion show in March at Roc Bar. You can forget about any plans that I might have mentioned in regards to attending my 15th anniversary high school reunion this year. Instead, I'll be celebrating 15 years down the road, the many memories I have of seeing The Waynes and Jehova Waitresses playing co-headlining gigs at the Phantasy.

The impossible has come to pass, and The Waynes will convene onstage in Cleveland for their first show in....how long has it been? Too long. How about that? The band will headline the birthday show for bassist Derek Poindexter, and there have been whispers of recent recording sessions tying up some loose ends. Could it be? We'll have to see about that....

That brings us to Evan Dando and his merry band of Lemonheads. Hopefully ya'll grabbed that speaker shreddin' good Lemonheads rock show that I posted here a few weeks ago.

Thanks to Rob @ wax.fm for dropping a heads up in the comments to let me know that It's A Shame About Ray has been reissued on vinyl! Available now so that you can spin it while thinking lewd thoughts about Juliana Hatfield. All of the cool kids are doing it!

Amazon calls the album a "jangle pop classic," and I agree!

But we're not done. Oh no.

On an average day in my perfect world, I'd be reading a never-ending supply of Entertainment Weekly columns from Diablo Cody and Stephen King while hanging out with my wife Jennifer Aniston. And she's a helluva a cook in my dreamland - we'd have pork chops a lot, and tell the story to friends about how how we bonded over a mutual love for the third Animotion album. Who even owns that third Animotion album?

That's right, this guy right here. Please don't think any less of me.

Animotion - Room To Move (from the soundtrack to My Stepmother Is An Alien)

So you didn't know that song was in that movie? Me either. But when you think about what movie we're talking about, is that a surprise?

We're getting way off track here.

I'd spend the rest of my time reading the stuff that my girl Whitney pumps out over at USA TODAY'S Pop Candy. Poor Whitney's been sadly neglected lately in my RSS reader, but she must have known that she could catch my eye with the following headline:

Come on, Watch the Lemonheads

Brilliant. Dammit, I mighta used that for a future Lemonheads post!

Too late now!

But while we're here, you really should check out the Pop Candy subject matter, a great Laundromatinee video session with Dando and the Lemonheads featuring 5 downloadable live tracks - 3 covers, "Confetti" from Ray, and "Style" from Come On Feel The Lemonheads.

According to the Laundromatinee folks, it was a long way to the top to rock and roll this particular session, and sadly it was also one of the final recording sessions engineered by musician/producer Lon Paul Ellrich prior to his unfortunate passing.

Good reading and listening await you.....

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20Jan/093

Wednesday: Dropping the needle in Los Angeles

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Los Angeles peeps will have something to look forward to on Wednesday besides the usual smog, traffic, and people that look like famous people that probably are actually famous people.

ATV reader Mitzye got in touch with me to let me know about the pending return of Album Sides Wednesday on KSWD-FM "100.3 The Sound."

The Sound

The popular series as the name suggests, pulls the station turntables out of storage for an entire day's worth of album sides 100% spun from vinyl!

That's good news for music-heads like you and I. The bad news is that you'll have to be in the Los Angeles area to hear it - the station doesn't stream the day of programming, which is likely due to DMCA streaming rules and regulations regarding the prohibited streaming of multiple songs from the same artist.

I'd love to be listening to Album Sides Wednesday, but unless I get a really kick ass antenna to grab the radio station's Los Angeles signal here in Cleveland, it's probably not going to happen - so I'm counting on all of you to enjoy it for me!

Here's the complete press release including a quote from a famous fan of the series - Jackson Browne!

VIVA VINYL!

THE SOUND SHARES ITS FAVORITE SIDES

WITH SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

Rock Station Readies Its Turntable And LPs In Anticipation Of

2009’s First Album Sides Wednesday

For Immediate Release:

(Los Angeles, Calif. ) – MP3’s are amazing but nothing compares to hearing your favorite albums - Exodus, Rumours and War - in their original, analog format. On January 21, 2009, 100.3 The Sound/KSWD-FM will present the first Album Sides Wednesday of the year, giving radio listeners an opportunity to enjoy entire LP sides unedited and uninterrupted for one whole day.

Avid record collectors, ardent music lovers and casual listeners will be able to hear rock's landmark album sides – from Pink Floyd's epic Wish You Were Here to the Rolling Stones classic Let It Bleed – the way the artists intended and in the medium in which they were originally released. With Album Sides Wednesday, The Sound brings back the music-first culture that initially made FM popular. In keeping with the spirit of radio, the daylong program will only be heard via the airwaves and not be streamed online. Says Sound DJ Mimi Chen, “The FM radio of the past was dominated by memories of Metromedia stations, stations such as The Mighty Met, WMMS, WMMR, among others. I had the honor of working at two of them - WMMR in Philadelphia and KSAN in San Francisco. At these stations, I could play whatever I wanted and I was given choices within categories. The Sound is an homage to this freedom, harkening back to Album Oriented Rock as well as ‘All Over the Road,’ just like in the past, the demand for this is stronger than ever.”

Album Sides Wednesday first launched on November 19, 2008 to rave reviews from Sound listeners. A West Covina listener e-mailed the station to say, "Truly amazing. This has to have been the best day in radio that I have experienced in over 40 years. Neil Young, Grateful Dead, The Who, Rolling Stones, Supertramp, Fleetwood Mac, whole sides of albums...every pop, every scratch.... it was wonderful. I just couldn't stop listening."

A Newport Beach resident agreed, "Whoever came up with the idea of playing classic vinyl, one side at a time, is a brainchild! What a great day of listening and the stories behind some of the vinyl played, were also fun to listen to. I'm inspired to hook up my turntable again."

In addition to fans, musicians are taking notice of The Sound’s format like singer-songwriter and record collector Jackson Browne who adds, “It’s good that LA has a radio station that actually plays songs from an artist’s body of work and not just from playlists that are generated by marketing teams, repeated over and over. The Sound honors the music in ways that corporate radio is unable, or perhaps afraid to do.”

Heartened by the excitement for Album Sides Wednesday, The Sound’s Program Director Dave Beasing has planned additional Album Sides Wednesdays for 2009. Says Beasing, “We express as many different sides as our veteran rock fan listeners embody and we are committed to growing a station that reflects our audience’s decades-deep music taste. Bringing back rock, especially Album Oriented Rock, is a vital part of our plan.”

Sounds like fun, doesn't it? Learn more about The Sound via their website!

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17Jan/092

David Letterman closes the curtain on Great Moments in Presidential Speeches series

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Saw this on Facebook and thought it was humorous. Here's the final video, and you'll also find a montage of all of them below!

Final "Great Moments in Presidential History" Video

Complete Montage

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15Jan/0933

Hold On….Wilson Phillips is coming back

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Wilson Phillips on the cover of the Rolling Stone

In 1990, I don't think that I could have predicted that one day I'd be reading about a Wilson Phillips reunion via something called "the internet" on a website called The Music Slut.

Am I a music slut too?

The Music Slut led me to an article at FemaleFirst featuring a short interview with Carnie Wilson. In the article, we are handed the following factoid:

The band is celebrating its 20th anniversary this year (09) with a series of gigs across America.

That's right, 20th anniversary. So that means that the inevitable 20th Anniversary Wilson Phillips box set is undoubtedly on the way. You know, the one with four CDs, a coffeetable book, and vintage live concert on DVD or Blu-Ray.

It's gotta happen, right?

Perhaps I'm getting a little bit ahead of myself. For now, plan on the opportunity to see the girls play a few shows. You're either delighted or horrified by this prospect. I'll let you think about that one for a bit...

Wilson Phillips - Hotel California (live)

Wilson Phillips - Live Medley

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13Jan/094

Review: Jason and the Scorchers – Beachland Ballroom – 12/31/08

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Well hello vinyl citizens!

So it seems that I've been away for a little bit. I'm so behind the blogging 8 ball, I don't know where to begin! Real life has been hogging up large amounts of my precious free time of late. Mother Nature also kindly decided to dump a hella-ton of snow on Cleveland this past weekend (with more on the way!) Shoveling that evil white stuff didn't really leave me with a ton of energy for blogging, and my thoughts kept drifting back to that snowblower I was supposed to buy this summer. I guess that didn't happen!

Today's entry is a guest review from my buddy Kevin, chronicling our New Year's Eve night out at the Beachland Ballroom with Jason and the Scorchers, Stacie Collins, and Cleveland's own Whiskey Daredevils. As the Scorchers took the stage, Kevin leaned over and said "I have to warn you, you're about to see a motherf*cker of a guitar player!"

That night, Scorchers guitarist Warner E. Hodges spun round and round and round leaving me with dizzy good memories the next morning of the perfect New Year's Eve spent with a couple of good friends at the Beachland. As for the show? Well, I'll let Kevin tell you about that one....

Jason and the Scorchers - a vintage shot

A vintage shot...

All hail the kings of cowpunk! The return of Jason and the Scorchers to Cleveland after a ten-year absence was indeed a cause for celebration. Back together on the heels of receiving a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Americana Honors & Awards Show in Nashville, the band rocked in the New Year with a thunderous twang all its own.

Ripping through about 20 songs over two hours, the Scorchers took the Beachland Ballroom crowd on a great ride through their catalog while also bringing the bassist’s wife onstage for a few songs, dazzling the audience with a rumbling version of “Auld Lang Syne” complete with Jason on Gaelic lyrics, asking everyone to vote for their favorite Scorchers album, and showing why they are true pioneers worthy of their recent recognition.

While Jason doesn’t prowl the stage and create the I’m-about-to-jump-out-of-my-skin type of frenzy that he used to, his calmer demeanor reflects a complete command of the band’s material and also its legacy. As a performer, he combines the genuine everyman appeal of country legends such as Hank Williams and Porter Wagoner with the urgency of his punk contemporaries of the 70s and 80s who brought it hard, fast and loud because they could.

The gunslinger in this group is ace guitarist Warner Hodges, whose patented over-the-shoulder guitar whip is still as awesome as his playing. His versatility was on full display as he produced beautiful country-western tones that would shake the ghosts of Merle Travis and Chet Atkins right alongside roaring blasts of rock and roll that just kept coming like a train.

Replacing original members Jeff Johnson and drummer Perry Baggs on bass and drums are former Clevelander Al Collins, husband of singer Stacie Collins whose latest album was produced by former Georgia Satellites frontman Dan Baird, and Fenner Castner, who has recorded with Bill Lloyd and Tommy Womack among others.

Opening with a hammering take on “I Can’t Help Myself” from the band’s debut EP “Fervor,” the early years were well-represented by “Last Time Around,” “White Lies,” the so-classic-Dylan-could-have-written-it “Pray For Me Mama, I’m a Gypsy Now,” and a stunning version of “Both Sides of the Line” featuring the wizardry of Hodges.

Two songs from the undeservedly-overlooked album “Thunder and Fire,” which preceded the first breakup of the band, were pleasant surprises. “Find You” rocked just like it did 20 years when it somehow missed heavy rotation on MTV. Jason told a funny story before “When the Angels Cry” about his co-writer on the song, Grammy-Award winner Don Schlitz, who commented that he liked working with Jason because he “didn’t have to be commercial.” If that doesn’t about say it all.

Getting back to the bassist’s wife, Stacie Collins joined the Scorchers onstage for a few songs including a throwdown on Loretta Lynn’s “You Ain’t Woman Enough to Take My Man,” and Jason’s own ode to true love, “200 Proof Lovin’” from 1995’s “A Blazing Grace.” Stacie is the real deal, a honky-tonk queen who can belt it out and back it up with some big chops on harmonica. Make it a point to see her live.

Jason and Warner took center stage alone for a few tunes, the highlight being a hauntingly stark rendition of “Jeremy’s Glory” from “Clear Impetuous Morning.” This was the point in the show when the Scorchers rookies in attendance had all doubt removed and realized the company they were in.

The night moved into overdrive as Warner beat his guitar to the opening strains of the John Denver million-seller “Take Me Home Country Roads.” Rarely has a song been so right for a band and rarely has a song been as transformed as it was in the hands of Hodges.

Closing with a fury that included their all-time classic “Broken Whiskey Glass,” the Scorchers showed why they still matter and that there still may be something for them to say. If not and this is all there is, it was a great way for them to bring closure to their Cleveland fans.

If they continue to perform together and end up doing more gigs this year, be sure you take the time to see the Scorchers. A great American singer and songwriter, a living guitar legend and a rhythm section that won’t quit all add up to one hot time in whatever town you’re in.

Kudos to Cindy Barber for jumping on the moment and bringing this legendary American band to Cleveland. Please patronize the Beachland whenever possible. It is a great club bringing a wonderful variety of music to our area.

Closing Comments from The Editor:

It's worth noting that Greg Miller and his Whiskey Daredevils kicked all sorts of ass as per usual. They were the perfect opening band for the evening! Miller led the band through a rip-roaring set with bullet mic in hand, while offering a recollection of a previous night onstage long ago with Jason and the Scorchers at Wilberts. Whiskey Daredevils are one of those bands that are always a pleasant surprise if I see them listed in the opening slot on a show that I am planning on attending.

Additional kudos go out to the Beachland folks who really pulled out the stops for New Year's Eve spinning vintage 45s before the show and in between bands, a nice change of pace from the usual canned classic rock you might hear as pre-show music at other clubs. With complimentary champagne at midnight, noisemakers, and other traditional NYE items, they covered all of the bases to make sure it would be a special New Year's Eve for all in attendance.

And P.S. - Thanks to Kevin for the great review above! I'm looking forward to catching another rock show soon.....although I guess it won't be The Godfathers.... :-(

Relevant Links:

Beachland Ballroom official website

Visit www.jasonringenberg.com for Scorchers info and merchandise as well as Jason Ringenberg solo material.

Visit http://www.mohawkvisuals.com/warnerhodges/index.htm for information on projects involving Warner Hodges including Dan Baird’s Homemade Sin.

Visit http://www.staciecollins.com for information about Stacie Collins.

Whiskey Daredevils official website

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7Jan/095

Trent Reznor got mad, and now he’s getting even

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Thanks to Burgo for the Twitter heads up on this:

UPDATED 1/12/08 (see below):

Remember the plans that Trent Reznor had for a 3-D concert film documenting the recent Nine Inch Nails Lights in the Sky tour? As you'll recall, the project fell through, allegedly due to Reznor's former label Interscope declining to fund the project at the last minute.

Barely a month later, it seems like Reznor has come up with Plan B, and the plan is one that fans will be happy with, for sure!

The internet is full of surprises these days.
I was contacted by a mysterious, shadowy group of subversives who SOMEHOW managed to film a substantial amount (over 400 GB!) of raw, unedited HD footage from three separate complete shows of our Lights in the Sky tour. Security must have been lacking at these shows because the quality of the footage is excellent.

If any of you could find a LINK to that footage I'll bet some enterprising fans could assemble something pretty cool.

Oh yeah, you didn't hear this from me.

complete posting with download link

To say that I am excited, would be an understatement! The 2008 tour was without question, one of my concert highlights of the year, and once again raised the bar visually far above all of the previous NIN shows I had seen in the past.

With rabidly talented fans of movies and music releasing new fan edits everyday (just check out some of the Star Wars fan edit stuff to see what I mean,) I look forward to viewing the forthcoming fruit of the efforts of many.

UPDATED 1/12/08:

Here's a page with links of various audio and video goodies that are being posted from the above source material. Links are updated as new ones appear!

Here



NIN - 1,000,000 Live at Rehearsals, July 2008

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7Jan/095

Latest purchases: The holiday weekend edition.

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This morning I feel a bit like Jim Carrey hearing the voices and problems of everyone in Bruce Almighty. Except I'm hearing nothing but Duran Duran fans arguing over the band's most recent album Red Carpet Massacre, which is at least humorous. I'm guessing that like GNR and Journey fans, they can probably keep going on this one for a while. *cough* Not that there's anything wrong with that...

I had a good weekend, and thought I would share few moments from, and items acquired during my weekend with you all. As you're reading this, I'm still staring at the calendar in disbelief, checking to make ABSOLUTELY sure that there are no holidays this week, after two holiday weekends in a row!

Friday afternoon, I accepted an invitation to go to the Rock Hall with my buddy Brian and his wife Annie. Dinner was acquired after our Rock Hall visit at Melt, and we wrapped up the day with our good friend RADam at Phoenix Coffee in Lakewood. This was my 2nd visit to Phoenix in a week, and I think I might be developing an addiction - to hot chocolate.

Lucky for me, Brian detailed the entire day in his fabulous blog post here.

After parting ways with my three compadres, I decided to make a trip out to my ongoing addiction known as Half Price Books. I picked up a few things, and thought that I would share the rundown with you here:

CD: Bonnie Raitt - Sweet Forgiveness (1977) (purchase) - I'm continuing to make my way through Bonnie's Warner Brothers years, working to catch up. My Bonnie mission is one-part fueled by being a longtime fan, one-part influence from my old boss Greg, and one-part Bob Lefsetz, from the various things he's written about classic Bonnie in recent years. It seems like everytime I go to Half Price Books, they have another one of Bonnie's WB CDs sitting there. This time, it was Sweet Forgiveness, and when I turned the CD over and saw "Three Time Loser" and "My Opening Farewell" in the track listing, I knew I would enjoy it more than my previous Bonnie purchase of Nine Lives.

CD: The Classic National Lampoon Box Set (4-CD) (2005) (purchase) - Picked this up for Greg (mentioned above,) knowing he would want a copy of this. The actual set seems pretty bare bones - 4 National Lampoon albums packaged together in one box set, but there is no booklet, and no individual liner notes for each album. Still, it seemed like good value at 10 bucks.

VINYL: The Cars - Heartbeat City (1984) (purchase) - Snagged this for a buck, and then came home realizing that I probably already have this one. I love the title track, and I realized while listening to the album that it is probably one of my favorite albums from the 80s. And I'd add that I think it's one of the best sounding albums from the decade, in the same category as Bryan Adams' Reckless. Those two albums still sound amazing every time I listen to them.

DVD: Aerosmith - The Making of Pump (1990) (purchase) - Saw this for cheap, and couldn't resist picking it up. This is one of my favorite music documentaries, documenting one of my favorite Aerosmith albums. Pump is another album that I would have worn holes in the CD from the amount of times that I listened to it.

DVD: Elizabethtown (2005) (purchase) - Directed by Cameron Crowe, I really loved this one when I saw it around the original time of release. When I watched it again this weekend, I had the thought that the combination of film imagery and musical soundtrack in Elizabethtown made the most powerful connection with me since Say Anything.

And there's a good reason for that - David Lifton reminded me on Twitter that Say Anything was of course, also directed by Crowe. I'm not sure how I spaced out on that fact, but I completely did. From Kathleen Edwards to Tom Petty to Ryan Adams, the two volume soundtrack for Elizabethtown comes up often on my Ipod musical choices. Pick up Crowe's Almost Famous with the previous two movies mentioned, and you've got an excellent Cameron Crowe mini-film festival ready to go.

Just a note on the soundtracks for Elizabethtown: While they are both excellent, at least one of them was infected with that Sony root kit fiasco. Your best move is to download them from Amazon MP3 where they are available DRM-free. I listened to both soundtracks today, and man, I love 'em both so much. I'll agree with one of the Amazon reviews that the second volume might be just a tad better than the original soundtrack.

Here's one of my favorites from the second volume:

Rachel Yamagata - Jesus Was A Crossmaker (Hollies cover)

Purchase Volume 1 and Volume 2 from Amazon MP3.

Heart fans will also want to grab the film score, by Heart guitarist Nancy Wilson, who happens to also be Crowe's wife!

CD: 10,000 Maniacs - Our Time in Eden (1992) (purchase) - Another snag for a buck, this time on CD. I had this one back in the day, and lost it at some point. A previous attempt to pick this one up (at The Exchange for a dollar,) found me at home, opening the CD to play it, and instead of 10,000 Maniacs, I saw the CD for 311's Grassroots, staring me in the face. I might have been pretty stoked about that, if I didn't already own Grassroots. This time around, I opened the CD case, and the familiar purple/green CD was in there, and in nice shape. I'm still mystified trying to figure out why Natalie Merchant and I are not together.

Bob Greene - When We Get To Surf City

BOOK: When We Get To Surf City by Bob Greene (2008) (purchase) - I first encountered the writings of Bob Greene as a ten year old kid living in Texas. I found a copy of Greene's book Good Morning, Merry Sunshine in a thrift shop which I enjoyed immensely, and later read Greene's Chicago Tribune column during our time living in Illinois in the late 80s. When We Get To Surf City is a chronicle of the nearly 15 year musical journey that Greene took as a touring member of the backing band for Jan and Dean beginning in the early 90s. I heard about the book via Lefsetz, put it on my Amazon wish list, and then I forgot about it until I was standing in Half Price Books and saw the cover. As soon as I saw it, I knew I had to read it, and it looks like a book that I will have to pass on to others as well. The cover of When We Get To Surf City makes me want to take vacation days....

BOOK: Summer in the Land of Skin by Jody Gehrman (2004) (purchase) - Summer in the Land of Skin proves the theory that if you put a girl and a guitar, two of my favorite things in life, on the cover of your book, I will buy it. I purchased this book at the new Books-a-Million location in Rocky River. Several friends had told me that I needed to check out Books-a-Million, and so there I was, looking at books when I came across this one. It's been years since I've read ANYTHING fiction, but this one looks like a winner. Of course, I had an interesting experience buying the book once I got up to the counter, because the name of the book was slightly obscured by the price sticker.

CLERK: Summer of love....Summer in love...Summer...

ME: Summer in the Land of Skin. *now waiting for the female clerk to give me a disgusted look* It's a musical kinda book. (Which is always a great cop-out. Take one image from the cover, and go with it.)

CLERK: Do you play music?

ME: No, but I'm a big music fan.

CLERK: Me too.

ME: Right on.

CLERK: Have a nice night.

So I emerged relatively unscathed by the experience - it definitely could have been a lot worse.

Verdict: Half Price Books, always impressed. Books-a-Million, Eh.

What are some of your recent purchases?

I've got some good reading and listening ahead, and I chose Summer in the Land of Skin as my next bit of reading material. I wanted to put that one in front, since it's been so long since I've read fiction. I'll probably follow that with Greene's book.

Speaking of reading material, gotta throw a plug to a cool site I came across this past weekend - This Is Not Pitchfork. Love the name, and the premise behind the site, which is reviewing my music collection, one memory at a time. Cool concept, great writing, and I imagine that you'll dig it too!

P.S. - got new glasses. *Sigh,* the whole experience was expensive. I guess the upside is that I finally have new glasses after a year of dealing with my current scratched up frames. They had to order the lenses, so it will be about a week to 10 days before I actually have them.

Coming up tomorrow, a guest blog from my buddy Kevin, reviewing our New Year's Eve night out at the Beachland Ballroom with Jason and the Scorchers, Stacie Collins, and Whiskey Daredevils.

Stay tuned, kids!

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3Jan/095

More laserdiscs – Bon Jovi – Keep The Faith: An Evening with Bon Jovi

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Still 'lovin this holiday weekend! On today's agenda, I'm meeting up with a friend of mine who will be driving me to an eye exam where I'll finally get new glasses. Getting new glasses has been on my agenda for about a year now, and I decided to have her come along to be my style consultant on the purchase.

About a year ago, she was at my house, and noticed a pair of glasses on one of my stereo speakers.

"Whose glasses are those?"

"They're mine."

"Oh no."

Read: those glasses suck.

There's a bit of a humorous story connected to this pair of glasses. I got them a few years back while visiting my parents, who were at the time, living in Florida. Okay, make that five years ago, because I was in Florida for the holidays, unemployed, and feeling crummy about it all. My parents offered to take me for an eye exam to get glasses, knowing that I was sick of wearing contacts. Somewhere in the whole process, I managed to forget that they dilate your eyes before an eye exam. I hadn't picked out frames prior to this, and had to squint like hell afterwards to pick glasses. It was pretty horrible.

I don't blame the incident for the apparent lack of cool attached to these glasses. I liked them at the time, and was okay with them until they got pretty scratched up over the past couple of years. At that point, they just became annoying to me, and that's been the status for the past year.

I've always thought that Yayhoo/Del-Lord rock and roller Eric Ambel had cool specs. Speaking of that, wouldn't you know it, "Roscoe" has his own signature guitar now. Hopefully he can bring that guitar back to Cleveland soon for a show at the Beachland!

Of course none of this has anything to do with the subject line, as you're probably thinking. But here's the connection: I'm thinking I'll be able to see these laserdiscs on my HDTV that much better, with the new glasses.

How about that for a connecting point? Please, don't throw things at me for such a shaky transition - ya'll should be used to that by now!

I'm continuing to make my way through some lasers in my collection that I either haven't watched, or haven't watched in a long time. In fact, I just picked up the laserdisc of the famous 1985 Hall and Oates "Liberty" concert off Ebay the other day. Those of you that heard the MP3s will understand how much I'm looking forward to receiving the LD when it shows up at some point next week.

The other day, I was watching Bon Jovi's Keep The Faith: An Evening with Bon Jovi. This was one of my favorite MTV broadcasts from "back in the day," with one of the other ones being Springsteen's Plugged. We could mention Eagles Hell Freezes Over, the Don Henley Unplugged, and the list goes on and on.

I was pretty stoked when I got my hands on the Jovi laserdisc a few years back. I think I paid about 40 or 50 bucks for it, which was well worth it in my mind for the set. The Keep The Faith broadcast is probably the last live show from Bon Jovi that I REALLY enjoyed. The setlist is eclectic - an acoustic/electric mix of hits and covers performed in the round. They really were at the top of their game, and they really shine in this stripped down broadcast which is impeccably mixed.

Bon Jovi - Fever/We've Got To Get Out Of This Place/It's My Life

That last song in the medley was in the setlist at a time before Jon had completely ripped off the entire Bruce playbook. By the time I saw the band on the Crush tour several years ago, the transformation was nearly complete.

I forgot about the Ross Perot shout-out prior to the mellow version of "Living On A Prayer."

Bon Jovi - Living On A Prayer

Bon Jovi - With A Little Help From My Friends

Love some of the Youtube comments on the above video:

biglebowskir: thats a cover of a cover, thats a double cover

BloodOfObsession: It's kinda amusing..because you have the gall to say that Bon Jovi made this better because HE slowed it down and made it rock'n'rollish....well, do your research. It was originally done by the Beatles but this version is more like Joe Crocker who started the whole "slowed down/ soulful rock" version. So, Bon Jovi rocks. The Beatles rule. And Joe? Crocker owns. I think they're all amazing and this is a classic, wonderful song. Long live rock'n'roll.

SexualTourettes:
I would call this an "attempt" One of the worst singers in the world ringo starr did the original - and its better than this. Sgt Pepper was named the greatest rock album ever, so basically beat bon jovi as his own game, even the beatles are more rock than he is.

Keep The Faith: An Evening with Bon Jovi is yet another laser title that remains unavailable on DVD. I've got a list of lasers building up that I'll hopefully be able to ship off to a friend to have them transferred to DVD.

As long as we're talking about Bon Jovi, my buddy Chris was THRILLED to find out that I have a DVD copy of the Japanese import LD Tokyo Road '85. We all have those killer musical moments locked in our memory banks, even if it's been years since we've seen/heard them. For Chris, he had a photographic musical snapshot in his brain, of Sambora's guitar solo leading into "In and Out of Love."

Richie Sambora guitar solo

Bon Jovi - In and Out of Love (Tokyo '85)

What are some of your favorite live performances - officially released, bootleg, etc?

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