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

30Apr/0925

Make Me A Mix Tape

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Okay, I'm actually not looking for a mix tape...but how about a mix CD?

I've got an idea for a fun supremely interactive new feature that involves each and everyone of you reading this right now. I'll tell you about it in a second, but first I want to share a story or two with you.

Growing up, I always loved making mix tapes of my favorite songs. I wish I still had some of them, because some of them were really cool. But cassette tapes and I didn't have the best relationship going. I would lose the case for the cassette first, and not too long after that, I would lose the actual cassette. Sometimes I would find the cassette months later, buried under the seat of my car, but often times, they were gone forever.

I'm not sure why I made my first mix tape - living in the sticks of New Mexico, there was no internet to let you know how much fun it was to make a mix tape. The friends that I had weren't really the mix tape making types. I suppose that I was probably in a record store at some point, saw blank cassettes, and got the idea to put a bunch of my favorite songs on them. That was apparently some real forward thinking on my part.

A couple of years later, I was visiting my aunt and uncle, and found out that they had a younger friend named Charlie Detweiler (99% sure that was his name) that would send them the occasional mix tape of new music that he thought that they should hear. My uncle gave me a particular tape that he had just gotten from Charlie, and said that he thought I would really appreciate Charlie's taste in music.

It was on this tape that I heard Run DMC for the first time, with "You Be Illin'."

From that point, I've always loved to hear other people's mix tapes.

When I was working at the radio station, I began to make an entirely new kind of mix tape. With access to a full production studio, I could go in there with a stack of CDs from the control room, and because there were two CD players in the production room, I could segue the songs together without having to pause to change CDs.

This opened up a whole new door in my mix tape loving world, and also had an interesting twist: Since I was mixing live directly to tape, I was completely committed - there was no turning back if I suddenly decided that I wanted to have a different song than the one I had just put down on tape. There was no rewinding to make that swap, which added a certain level of excitement to the process. Once the tape was completed, I would pop it out of the recorder, put the CDs back in the studio, and head to the car to give it a listen to see if it held up. For the tapes that really hit it, it was a big victory - the feeling that "man, I can really make a helluva good mix tape."

Although I swear that I never said the above sentence out loud, because that would be really lame!

Mix tapes were therapeutic too - If I was bumming out about life or a particular relationship at that moment, I would head into that same production studio to make my mix of appropriately bummed-out music. Often, I didn't even listen to these tapes after I made them - it was good enough therapy to submerge myself in tunes for those 90 minutes, while trying to work past the current feelings that were bringing me down.

A curious way to cheer one's self up? Perhaps.

And then there were the collaborative mix tapes: My friend Spoony and I worked at the radio station together, and he was one of the first people to really reach out and make me feel welcome as the new guy at the radio station. We shared a love for Aerosmith, Motley Crue, and all of the various bands that you would term as "hair bands." Since the radio station had gone "alternative" at this point, all of the mainstream rock titles were shelved in a closet outside of the control room. Spoony had a key for that closet, and on a particular night when both of us had been working late at the radio station, we would grab a stack of the most rockin' tunes that we could compile and set our aim to make the most bitchin' tapes that anyone had ever heard.

That was the 90s, and man it was fun - so many great mixes, and so many great memories attached to them.

So here is where you fit in:

I want you to make me a mix CD. I want to hear the tunes that you are into, new or old. And I want to feature your mix on this site!

You can mail your CD to the following address:

Addicted to Vinyl
P.O. Box 771685
Lakewood, OH 44107

Include track listing, song notes (if you want to) and any particular notes that you want to share about the mix. For the real mix tape feel, feel free to hand write your song titles, draw artistic drawings on the "label," etc - I can scan them in using my handy dandy color scanner. Go nuts!

And if you're feeling particularly daring, give your mix a clever title!

I'll feature your mixes and stories here on the site, and send you something cool from the Addicted to Vinyl prize closet, so please include your address (legibly please!) with your mix notes.

Got it?

I'm looking forward to hearing your mixes!

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29Apr/0911

Not My Boss

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Waking up this morning and reading about all of this Springsteen stuff on ATV doesn't necessarily move me one way or the other as The Boss is not one of my favorites.  However, I did really like the smokin guitar solo he played on "Disorder in the House" from "The Wind," the last album by one of the greatest artists of our time, Warren Zevon.

While you have to respect a guy like Bruce who is a worldwide sensation, you don't have to like him that much (sort of like the effect that Michael Jordan had on Cavs fans). His early albums were really good but after "The River," he could have faded away and been the house band at the Stone Pony for all I cared. I never felt like he really rocked, his later songs didn't speak to me and to a large degree, I like my rock and roll with less introspection and more flat out groove to get your butt shakin and your hands clappin.

Does a sax player really have a place in a rock and roll band post 1961?  Doesn't George Thorogoood sound better without one?  Aren't one or two guitars, bass and drums the cement of real rock and roll?

Keeping with the truly schizophrenic nature of my musical tastes, I have to give Bruce credit for being one of those guys who isn't really a singer but has mastered the ability to be a talker/shouter in the tradition of Lou Reed, Tom Petty, Neil Young and the great Zevon who are all legends to me.  While each of these guys often get into your head with their lyrics, they usually rock hard while doing it and when they mellow out a bit, I still like them.

Finally, a big shout out to Mel.  Her stuff is required reading.  Just as she is enamored with Tom Jones' gold lame', I love Zevon's ode to Elvis Presley called "Porcelain Monkey" from his "Life'll Kill Ya" album: "Hip shakin shoutin in gold lame', that's how he earned his regal sobriquet, then he threw it all away for a porcelain monkey..." 

More Zevon and dissenting views to come.

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29Apr/094

The Mel. The Myth. The Legend.

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My best to Matt for allowing me to entertain him via my own blog -- only for me to completely neglect it -- and now invite me to offer my perverse selections of music to his readers. I hope I don't wear out my welcome too soon here at Addicted to Vinyl. This will be a lot of fun -- definitely different from writing about my personal dating shenanigans. As with Matt, maybe you will share in some of my memories. Or maybe you WERE one of those memories...

I'm somewhat of a music anomaly. My favorite genres of music include: classic rock, "alternative" music of the 90s, anything Michael Jackson (and nothing Paul McCartney), indie, old-school hip-hop and most classifications of dance music. Yes, there are many music lovers who claim the cliche, "I listen to everything" route, typically followed with a disclaimer to all-things country music. I hold no judgment to anyone's musical likes (or dislikes) for that matter. I mean, I am a slightly over-obsessed Michael McDonald fan.

Here's McDonald and I in St. Louis:

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The picture -- not so much embarrassment with that, right? The shriek upon realizing his star existed? YOU would have disowned me.

I suppose it's appropriate to the site's namesake that my musical tastes are in some ways associated with vinyl: classic rock WAS vinyl; in the 90s I wore vinyl; MJ - well... didn't everyone own the Thriller album? - and hip-hop and dance DJs who use vinyl in creation of a good night out will forever be awesome. There it is -- Mel's Addiction to Vinyl.

What I hope to do here is tell you a little bit about my current iPod obsessions, maybe tie that interest into one of my favorite artist or songs or perhaps a musical memory. As with most of us, music can creep up and remind you of something so completely random: who was holding my hand at a certain concert in 1995, hearing an "F-bomb" dropped (legally) on the radio for the first time in Amsterdam, the song playing when we lost our virginity (not me, of course), dancing to Mr. Big at the 8th grade dance (um, OK, maybe not that) or the guy beside me on a Vegas flight laughing at my MJ Playlist...

Good stories.

While I'm on the topic of Vegas, I'm heading out there for a sun-filled weekend. Take a listen to a few songs on my list:

"Escape" - Enrique Iglesias

Don't hate me right off the bat (please). This song has been on every vacation playlist since its release. Add it. It brightens up that moment when all electronic devices are (finally) allowed in use... and you have left the snowy runways of Cleveland for tropical paradises or bright, shiny lights of Sin City.

"It's Not Unusual" - Tom Jones

Legendary. Makes me happy for my fetish for male chest hair. Tom Jones just epitomizes all the cheesiness of The Strip at his prime. And his voice urges me to return to the early-70s, dressed in a gold lame catsuit (with easy access to throw my unmentionables on-stage, of course). Rawr.

"Something Stupid" - Frank Sinatra

Las Vegas, at its inception, was a stupid idea. Today, it is a mecca for all-things-debauchery. I wish to be part of the days of the Rat Pack. Ah, Frankie -- you, me and martinis. I would do something stupid like say "I love you" too.

"7am" - Dirty Vegas

There is obviously no video release for this, but an awesome YouTube user-created video reflecting clouds over Las Vegas. Ironic. Not often do I enjoy albums in their entirety. DV's 2002 album was phenomenal in my little dance music world (most would remember the group from the "Days Go By" fame). Adding a song titled "7am" to a Vegas playlist is a necessity (just as partying until 7 will be). I am also excited that the Harrises recently reconnected to record new stuff, as the follow-up to their self-titled album was horrible. Cliche alert: third time's the charm?

"Still the Same" - Bob Seger

Ah, yes... as Matt expected, I'm using Bob Seger in my first post. It will most certainly not be my last reference to Seger. I'm a big fan of double entendre in musical lyrics. While not sexually overt, the references between playing the game of cards to playing the game of relationships is pure genius. Once again, fun addition to the playlist, with all its gambling undertones. And I'm jealous because I cannot sing that low in karaoke. I'll return soon, refreshed from the desert sun (and a hangover or two)... perhaps with a tad less random play Tuesday.

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29Apr/091

You can’t stump those that cannot be stumped

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Bruce fans,

Are you having as much fun as I am watching the setlists on Backstreets?

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I actually think that the band got off kinda light the other night with that "96 Tears" request.

"I Wanna Be Sedated"
on the other hand, was a big brass set of balls totin' fan request. I'd like to buy the guy a beer that made THAT sign!

Thank goodness for Pete @ Blogness, the little instigator that he is. He had the great idea of offering up suggestions for future "Stump The Band" attempts, including the musical rookie learner's permit tune "Gates of Delirium" by Yes. I'd like to join Pete's worthy cause, and offer up some potential setlist suggestions of my own:

Honeymoon Suite - "New Girl Now"

I realize the timing might not be the best for this one, but I think that Bruce and the band could tear the hell out of this tune in the tradition of "Glory Days," "Light of Day," and perhaps for all of you haters, this one would keep "Mary's Place" out of the setlist.

Jackson Browne - "Late For The Sky"

A duet with Patti? Who the hell said that? Step forward and identify yourself! One of my favorite tunes, sung by my favorite singer. It's a win.

Bad Company - "Silver, Blue and Gold"

This one would be cool. Think about it.

REO Speedwagon "Can't Fight This Feeling"

Oh man, I can see the looks of hate and disdain that I'm suddenly getting after this suggestion. But tell me that there isn't some sick perverse part of you that would love to wake up and find this one on Youtube? Extra points if Bruce wears the 1985 Kevin Cronin wig. Clarence could take a sax solo on this one.

Tom Petty - "You Don't Know How It Feels"

This one goes over big with the young kids at Petty concerts - Bruce could swipe this one away and make all future generations believe that he wrote it.

Slayer - "Angel of Death"

Obviously Jay Weinberg would be on the drums for this one. Lucky Bruce fans in attendance for this show might see the first ever circle pit at a Springsteen concert. Do I need to say anything more?

Bruce, I'll remind you about that idea that I had a couple of weeks ago, for a disc's worth of Social Distortion recordings. Could be some fun stuff to knock out backstage with a quick and dirty recording setup while you're on the road.

Just a few more things for you to think about...

See ya in Cleveland, (which reminds me, where is that tour date, anyway?)

your pal Matt

Thanks to Backstreets for the photo at the top of this post.

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28Apr/095

Rusted Root – Dance In The Middle

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I'll offer apologies again for that epic Grammy Award acceptance-length speech that came from me earlier today. Like I said, in future years I think it is safe to assume that there will be no similar posts, or if there is a post, it will be a heck of a lot shorter.

But yeah, in case you missed it, Kevin has his introductory post online now, and I've already heard bits and pieces of ideas that he has for upcoming posts. Should be fun, and perhaps even a bit inflammatory at points. I think we need some more of that around here.

Speaking of flames, Mel has her first post in the can, ready to go for tomorrow. I took a look at it, and man, it's signature Mel for all of you that already read her blog. For those of you that are new to the Mel experience, I think that you'll dig it. It's exactly what I thought that she could kick out musically for the masses to enjoy.

Now that they are on their way, with all of the announcements, first posts, and related things out of the way, I'll return my focus to my own blogging weirdness. I've got a good post in mind with audience participation (read: special guests) that should post later this week, or early next week at the latest. Get stoked.

In the meantime, I just got the first bit of new music from the upcoming Rusted Root album Stereo Rodeo. The album has been available digitally since early March, and will be in stores on May 5th.

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With the title "Stereo Rodeo," you can imagine the willpower it took to resist the temptation to open this blog post with something like "Yee-ha, a new Rusted Root album."

I can resist the cheese, but sometimes not the urge to share my evil thoughts with you.

I've never really been a huge fan of Rusted Root, but I've always kept an interested eye trained in their general direction, because of the various contributions that the members of RR made to the albums of fellow Pittsburgh band The Gathering Field during the 90s. The Gathering Field were/are one of my favorite bands of all time, and I've got my fingers crossed that perhaps we MIGHT see a performance-based relapse from the band this summer.

The Rusted Root 90s radio hit "Send Me On My Way" was drilled into my noggin repeatedly at least 98 times per week during the 90s when it was a single, to the point that I had to file it in a deep dark place with musical mementos like the Jagged Little Pill album from Alanis, the entire AC/DC catalog, and a little bit later, "She Hates Me" by Puddle of Mudd.

All of these items were musical moments that were initially pleasing the first time that I heard them, but after mass-over exposure to them, which came in the form of being inside and around radio stations throughout the 90s and 00s, I needed a little bit of a break.

Now, I can hear those popular Rusted Root ditties on the radio and on my Ipod, and I smile, recalling great times with friends that were enjoyed during the era that these songs were on the radio.

Since I haven't paid attention to a single RR release since the 90s, I was intrigued to hear "Dance In The Middle." On the first listen, I was surprised to hear a vibe that is almost a bit Stones-like. Perhaps in 126 years, when the Rolling Stones are still making records with Robo-Keith and Robo-Mick, they'll decide to try a crack at this one.

Take a listen to "Dance In The Middle" for yourself, and check out the full album details below, and also some tour dates! I look forward to hearing the entire album - I've always had a bit of a thing for Liz Berlin's vocal contributions to RR.

Rusted Root will be releasing Stereo Rodeo, their first studio album in 7 years, on May 5, 2009. On March 13, 2009 the album became available online. "We named our record Stereo Rodeo after a song that I started writing back when we were recording our last studio record. It’s really just a great name,” says band founder/leader Michael Glabicki. “We were all just so into the music,” says vocalist/percussionist Liz Berlin about the recording process, “the synergy and excitement on this album is so fresh and energizing.” “It is one of the most powerful albums we have ever recorded,” agrees bassist/vocalist Patrick Norman.

“[Stereo Rodeo] is filled with all the different styles you’ve come to expect from Rusted Root, definitely having all the elements you want. From the energetic dance euphoria that Dance in the Middle evokes to the powerful epic sound of Weary Bones,” writes Evan Levy (CBS Radio), of the long awaited eleven-song collection. “We are getting a lot of positive feedback from fans,” says vocalist, guitarist, and primary songwriter, Michael Glabicki, “We are definitely heading in a lot of different directions with this new CD.”

Patrick Norman says about the invigorating energetic track that leads off the album, “Dance in the Middle is one of those tracks that once we first started working on, we knew we had something.” The title track, Stereo Rodeo brings a cinematic, wide-open and intimate style to the album that is captivating. The one cover on the album, Suspicious Minds, made famous by Elvis Presley in 1969, is reworked with new and vitalizing Latin rhythms and has become a powerful favorite at the band’s incendiary live shows. Glabicki states that the political track on the album, Bad Son, “is about George Bush’s accomplishments, {as his fellow band members laugh} talking about his childhood insecurities that you can see were prevalent in how he ran the country.” Filling out the album, the last track Crucible Glow was an obvious conclusion, as it’s about change and the uncertainty of the future, adding horns and a heavy groove to the polyrhythmic flow of the album.

Songs like Driving One & Driving Two “came about musically by hanging out playing on stage, just improvising, and a groove just fell together,” relays Patrick Norman. Other tracks on the album such as Weary Bones, Animals Love Touch and Garbage Man are songs Glabicki has been playing solo over the past few years that have been restructured by the band. “What I like about our band is that I might write a song and have a certain idea for it but then we start playing and the group comes together, they often come up with different ways to express the emotions of the song,” says Glabicki.

News Pop music critic Jeff Miers writes “Rusted Root, which all but tore down the Tralf (Music Hall) on Thursday, knows how to take the singer/songwriter guy’s songs and pump them full of fire and life… These were strong lines with supporting chord progressions penned by Glabicki, and given abundant support by the [band]…in essence, this was a dance party…the new songs, Stereo Rodeo and Weary Bones, were standouts… Crucible Glow (was) among the most visceral…Glabicki appears these days as an elder statesman of ‘world music’-based rock.”

Stereo Rodeo blends the diverse influences of each member to create an album that explores a variety of musical styles crossing and merging genres as usual. Original members Michael Glabicki (lead vocals, guitar), Liz Berlin (vocals, percussion), and Patrick Norman (vocals, bass, percussion) are joined on this album by Jason Miller (drums, percussion), Colter Harper (guitar), Preach Freedom (percussion) and Dirk Miller (guitar). “Labeling is dangerous and limiting,” said Glabicki. “We are a band made up of individual musicians who come together collectively to create music, call it what you want but we are simply creating music that has a message.” “That message has been resonating with fans for nearly 20 years” writes columnist Rick Coats.

Rusted Root has sold more than 3 million albums worldwide. Formed in Pittsburgh by singer/guitarist Glabicki in the early ‘90s, Rusted Root’s worldly style quickly charmed fans of roots music and world rock. After debuting in 1992 with the self released Cruel Sun, Rusted Root signed with Mercury Records and released the 1994 platinum selling breakthrough When I Woke, which featured the hit songs Send Me On My Way, Ecstasy and Martyr. Not long after, the band scored on tours with Toad the Wet Sprocket, Santana, The Grateful Dead, Dave Matthews Band, The Allman Brothers Band, HORDE Festival and, perhaps most notably, the highly coveted support role on the landmark Jimmy Page/Robert Plant reunion tour.

The hard-touring Rusted Root returned in 1996 with Remember, which was followed by 1998’s Rusted Root. Following some time off the band re-emerged in 2002 with Welcome To My Party. After leaving Mercury/Island Def Jam Records the band’s sixth album, Rusted Root Live, was released in 2004. This double live album was the second release on the band’s Touchy Pegg label, following the re-release of the newly remastered Cruel Sun in 2003. Along the way, Rusted Root has also issued three EPs (Evil Ways, Live, and Airplane), a home video (Rusted Root Live) and miscellaneous film and TV soundtrack tracks (Twister, Mathilda, Home For the Holidays, Party of Five, Charmed, Homicide, Ice Age). And interestingly, NASA engineers chose Send Me On My Way as "wake-up" music for the Mars Exploration Rover Opportunity, for Sol 21.
-Neato.

Rusted Root will be touring throughout 2009, playing their new music as well as some of the faithful fans favorites.

www.rustedroot.com
www.myspace.com/officialrustedroot

Rusted Root On Tour: additional dates TBA

May 1 2009-9:00P-Hard Rock Hotel & Casino - Hard Rock Pool-Las Vegas, Nevada
May 15 2009-7:45P-Brown’s Island-Richmond, Virginia
May 16 2009-5:00P-The Church of Universal Love & Music-Acme, Pennsylvania
May 30 2009-7:00P-Saranac Brewery-Utica, New York
Jun 3 2009-8:30P-The Handlebar-Greenville, South Carolina
Jun 5 2009-8:00P-Amos Southend-Charlotte, North Carolina
Jun 6 2009-9:00P-Lincoln Theatre (Outdoor)-Raleigh, North Carolina
Jun 20 2009-5:00P-MidSummer Music Fest at Candler Park-Atlanta, Georgia
Jun 26 2009-8:30P-David Ulrich City Courtyard-Lockport, New York
Jun 27 2009-7:00P-Howelsen Hill-Steamboat Springs, Colorado
Jul 5 2009-8:00P-Great Blue Heron Festival-Jamestown, New York
Jul 11 2009—8:00P-KOTO Radio-Telluride, CO
Jul 23 2009-9:00P-Riverside Park-Oshkosh, Wisconsin
Jul 25 2009-TBD-Lodo District – Denver, CO Sound Czeck Festival
Aug 15 2009-TBD-Ghirardelli Sq-San Francisco, CA Czeck Festival
Aug 23 2009-TBD-Freemont District-Seattle, WA Czeck Festival
Aug 29 2009-TBD-Pearl District-Portland, OR Czeck Festival
Sep 9 2009-TBD-Midtown Village-Philadelphia, PA
Sep 12 2009-TBD-SOWA-Boston MA
Sep 19 2009-TBD-Empire Fulton Ferry State Park-Booklyn, NY
Oct 24 2009-TBD-2nd Str District-Austin TX
Sep 6 2009-7:30P-Hartwood Acres-Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania

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28Apr/094

Site News: New additions, reflection, and the road ahead

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Hey folks,

Here's a post that I've been planning for a while, and with a couple of recent developments, it is time to make a couple of announcements!

The one year anniversary of Addicted to Vinyl came and went in February, and at the 15 month mark, I'm pretty happy with where things are. The site began with simple goals - after nearly 10 years of blogging in various locations, I wanted a space to call my own.

Initially, I debated between the idea of starting something with a group of friends or putting up my own site. In the end, a sudden need for web space for other projects pushed me to spring for my own hosting, and I purchased the Addicted to Vinyl domain. The move secured the much needed server space, and I began mapping out plans for the unknown future site that would eventually become ATV.

In the time since launching Addicted to Vinyl, I've done a good amount of unexpected networking, and made a lot of new friends, including plenty of fellow Cleveland bloggers. Anyone that knows me will appreciate that as much as I like to view myself as a happy loner, I am truly happiest when I am working on new and exciting projects with friends.

With that in mind, I'd like to announce the addition of a couple of new voices to Addicted to Vinyl.

The first one will be very familiar to most of the readers here at Addicted to Vinyl.

From the moment that I met the infamous Mel of Life, Liberty, and Pursuit of Your Boyfriend fame, I knew that we would eventually end up collaborating on something together. We had too much in common musically, had been to too many of the same shows in the 90s, and it was not a big stretch to envision that she would eventually contribute at least a few guest blog entries to the site.

As time passed, I realized that it was time to skip straight past the guest blogs and add Mel to the Addicted to Vinyl team.

After 6+ years of writing about the highs and lows of relationships, and the most colorful parts of Cleveland, I had an idea that she would be down for a change of pace - and perhaps it was time for a bit of a musical vacation?

Mel agreed, and she'll be contributing what is sure to be an entertaining cocktail of musical memories and the ex-boyfriends that are attached to them. Expect a rapid-fire look at the fresh tunes and events that are infecting the world of Mel at any given moment, and also plenty of randomness. There will be at least one post involving Bob Seger, I promise.

The other new face at Addicted to Vinyl is a little bit less familiar, but if you read the review of Jason & The Scorchers reunion show at the Beachland on New Year's Eve, you might recognize my buddy Kevin Brennan, a regular reader and commenter here on the site since it was launched.

Kevin is one of my oldest friends, and we've enjoyed many musical adventures and plenty of conversation in the nearly 15 years that we've known each other. We share a mutual love for all things Dan Baird/Eric Ambel/Georgia Satellites/Yayhoo related, Blue Rodeo, The Smithereens, Del Amitri, the Jayhawks, and so many more.

Plus, you've really gotta love a guy that incorporated the name of a Johnny Cash song as part of his daughter's name (and perhaps, he'll tell you that story.)

Kevin loves the eclectic (Webb Wilder, Del Fuegos) and a whole lotta the rock (AC/DC, Thin Lizzy, etc.) I credit him for really exposing me to stuff like the genius of Warren Zevon, and also for making me an even bigger fan of the Stones. Kevin's always been great at looking at my collection, and exposing me to the records that I'm missing.

With Kevin, we'll dig deeper into the stacks of music from the 70s and 80s with the artists and prime cuts that you know, and plenty more that you'll want to know about.

Both Kevin and Mel are folks that I have huge amounts of respect for that aren't currently writing about music, and I feel like they've got a lot to contribute that many people will enjoy. I wanted to give them both the voice here at Addicted to Vinyl to do that.

Mel and Kevin represent step one in the planned growth of Addicted to Vinyl as a musical community. I can definitely see the possibility of adding additional voices and regular features as the site continues to grow.

In the meantime, I've got a few things that I would like to knock out in the coming year. First, I'd like to develop a real logo for Addicted to Vinyl. In connection with that, I am planning for a long-overdue facelift and actual design for the overall site to enhance the experience for the 12 people that actually visit this site on a daily basis, instead of reading the latest posts with an RSS reader :-)

I owe a lot to everyone that visits Addicted to Vinyl, leaves a comment, sends me an email, or links to this page from their own website. This site is a hell of a lot less interesting if you're not participating! I am also grateful to the many industry friends that have sent music, books, DVDs, concert tickets, site giveaways, etc. etc. Thanks for making me look cool by giving me cool stuff to give away!

And I'd really like to give special thanks to my longtime pals Chris Akin at Pitriff, Heather at I Am Fuel, You Are Friends, Jeff of Jefitoblog-fame and Popdose, and Gregor at captain's dead for providing great reading material, the inspiration to start this site, and plenty of encouraging words along the way. Special thanks to Chris for giving me my first shot at writing for Music's Bottom Line, and also for being the best friend a guy could ask for. You rock.

Thanks also to my good friend Brian for joining me in the blogging crusade to write about the heavy percentage of bands that have a lot of tattoos that I'm not covering here.

To John, Peter, and D.X. - I've spent years enjoying the stuff that you write - it's an honor that you're reading my stuff. Thanks fellas!

To my blogging friends, consider this a thank you to all of you, and there are way too many of you to mention here in this single post. Let's continue to take shots, and have fun with each other - the ball is in your court now.

Now that we've officially gotten the belated 1st anniversary post out of the way, I'm guessing that the same post in future years will feel a lot less like I'm accepting a Grammy. Thanks for reading this far!

As we welcome Mel and Kevin to Addicted to Vinyl, I've added an author tag to each post to clearly identify the proper writer for each piece posted here on the site. Clicking on the author name will bring up a list of all of the latest posts from that person.

Let's get started!

Here is introductory post #1 from Kevin, and you can prepare yourself for the first dose of Mel on Wednesday!

As always, I welcome your thoughts, suggestions, and comments - feel free to leave them below, or send them in email.

Cheers!

Matt

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28Apr/0926

The Stereo Dictator Makes the Scene

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Greetings ATV fans! It is an honor to join you all as an official member of one of the coolest websites on the net hosted by one of the coolest guys I know.

Now that the sucking up is over, let’s get down to it.

I’m Kevin Brennan aka the Stereo Dictator, a lifelong Cleveland-area resident who is old enough to have seen former mayor Ralph Perk set his hair on fire, to have seen the city enter default during the tenure of another former mayor named Kucinich, to have witnessed the transformation of the warehouse wasteland that became the Flats and then to have seen it much of it go to hell again, to have been one of 2,000 people at an Indians game on several occasions, to have experienced firsthand the agony of the Drive, the Fumble, the Shot and many more hideous sports-related meltdowns, and most important of all, to have felt great disappointment as I watched one of the greatest radio markets in the country be swallowed up by owners and consultants whose only reference to rock and roll was the unbelievably restrictive 250 songs that some dumb-ass programmers classified as a “classic-rock playlist.”

Before you think that I’m just another bitter old guy, let me tell you a bit about some of the pleasant musical memories stored inside my swelling, itching brain.

I was there as the “hottest band in the land” – KISS!! blew everyone away at the Coliseum during a snowstorm in 1976. I sat in the 10th row on the floor when Led Zeppelin played Cleveland for the last time in April 1977. When AC/DC came to the Palace with Thin Lizzy in 1978, I stood on a tabletop and sang “The Jack” at the urging of Bon Scott.

In 1979, I was one of 70,000 or so in attendance at the World Series of Rock which featured unannounced opener the Scorpions who seriously rocked, the return of Bon Scott and AC/DC who could have played all day as they won over the audience after their first song, Steve Perry of Journey tripping and falling over his microphone cord midsong, Ted Nugent swinging down from atop a 20 foot tall stack of Marshalls and subsequently playing his ass off, and the well-documented final Aerosmith performance before the first breakup which included a fight instigated by Joe Perry’s wife.

There are many, many more stories about bands, radio stations, record stores, bootlegs, albums and concerts to tell but I can’t give it all away in my first post so I hope you come back to enjoy them with me. Though I have begun with recollections that are older than many of you reading this, know that my posts won’t all be ancient history but they will feature a healthy dose of my “old-school” perspective which, when it comes to rock and roll, is not a bad thing.

Thanks again to Matt for the outlet and remember the mantra: “My stereo, my albums, my choice.”

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28Apr/096

Cage Match: Jefferson Starship vs. Joe Walsh

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Ola friends!

As we get going, let's start of by congratulating Steve in Nashville, who is the winner of the contest for the super-awesome Jane's Addiction vinyl reissues of Nothing's Shocking and Ritual de lo Habitual!

Congrats Steve!

You know what that means - it's time to give something else away! But you'll have to wait a little bit for the next one, because we've got some weekly business to attend to in the following post.

In the meantime, click here to order your own copy of A Cabinet of Curiosities, and check out my man Rob's rundown on the box set contents - it is slaaaaaaamin'!

P.S. - The MP3 version is only $18.99 at Amazon MP3 - that's crazy talk!

Remember how I was talking about those blog posts that come to you like a gift? This week's showcase showdown is very much in that vein. I was on my way out, heading to Detroit with a brief stop at the post office to pick up mail before leaving town.

In the mail, I got the new Jane's Addiction box set, A Cabinet of Curiosities (SWEEET!), and a package of musical love from Scene Magazine staff writer D.X. Ferris.

Inside the package was Par-Tay Mixxx G:9 #6 (2009) (download)

with the note Designed for linear or random play.

That's right, another mix disc from Ferris, in the tradition of DXMas, Danzig Slow Jams, and all of the many mixes that have come prior to those instant classics.

Unlike previous mixes, there was no track listing for this one. I popped it into the CD player, and without knowing it, I suddenly had this week's Cage Match locked, loaded, and ready to go. Oh, don't worry - I already had one on deck previously, but it got bumped.

The 1st contender: "Jane" by Jefferson Starship:

The track comes off of the 1979 album Freedom at Point Zero, featuring drummer Aynsley Dunbar, who had departed from Journey the previous year (uh, nice career move,) and is also the first album featuring new lead singer Mickey Thomas.

mickeythomas.jpg

You know, the guy that also sang "Fooled Around and Fell In Love" with the Elvin Bishop Group, and would go on to sing on many Jefferson Starship/Starship hits.

Today, he continues to tour rib cookoffs, parties in the park, and 80s radio festivals across the United States, singing those hits. He's also available for your next bar mitzvah, as long as he can borrow your car to pick up the rest of the band, and oh yeah - dinner is included with that gig too, right?

Now, despite my previous snarky comments above, I actually really like Mickey Thomas as a singer.

This is a viewpoint that is not necessarily a slam dunk across the board with everyone else, however. There are people that think that Mickey Thomas is the devil, and these same people view the Knee Deep In The Hoopla album as a musical scud missile turd of an album from a band that wrecked two to three years of their formative period as a young adult.

This band was the band that delivered not only Hoopla, but also No Protection, an album that contained the dreaded Starship hit "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now."

Now again, I actually like "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now." Quite a bit, actually. My pal Jason Hare at Popdose recently put "Nothing's Gonna Stop Us Now" underneath the microscope for this revealing probe, identifying the track as one of the suckiest songs in the world.

I think that means that he liked it.

So how did "Jane" wind up as track one on Ferris's par-tay mix?

"Jane" is inspired from the opening of Wet Hot American Summer, which is 3 of my favorite minutes ever committed to film. Totally captures a moment there. the subtitle of the par-tay mix is "Wet Hot American Par-Tay." I make those every year to listen to in the garage, for outdoor chores, etc.

I STILL haven't seen Wet Hot American Summer - it's one of those films that I keep hearing about, and Bela Dubby even did a screening here in Lakewood at some point last year. Gotta check that one out, pronto. Ferris tells me that it is airing this month on cable via Starz or similar.

Now let's welcome in the 2nd contender: Joe Walsh - "Turn To Stone."

When Ferris and I were at the Rock Hall earlier this month watching a Q&A with drummer Joe Vitale, Vitale told some stories about the recording of "Turn To Stone," and then we heard a portion of the track played over the theater sound system, with that big fat drugged out 70s production featuring drums that were recorded so that they kick you in the face when you first hear them.

The drums are surrounded by blankets of reverb that make you wonder if there might have been acid in that Dr. Pepper that you drank on the way to the Rock Hall. You start looking around the room to see if it is really floating, and determine that it's just the song, not you. This time.

You know that was a good day in the recording studio, when they recorded that song. Between the stories for that one, and the stories about recording "Life's Been Good," Ferris and I left the Rock Hall realizing that it was really cool to be Joe Vitale back in the day.

So there you have it - Jefferson Starship or Joe Walsh. What's it gonna be?

P.S. - Download your own copy of Ferris's Par-Tay Mix.

To keep with the spirit of the mix as I originally heard it, the tracks are only tagged with artist (D.X. Ferris) and album name ("Par-Tay etc.) I suggest that you should put it on, and rock out. Let the mix surprise you, as it did me.

I'll let you know, that when the mix crossed over into Canadian territory, I punched the dashboard with happiness and commenced air keyboards to the extreme. People that were driving next to me at that moment, gave me that weird look that says "Dude, go back to Cleveland - PLEASE."

NOTE: There's some extremely NSFW language in track 15. If bad words offend you, you're going to want to skip that one!

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27Apr/090

No Words Necessary

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Interesting food for thought via @thewordpainter and Bob Lefsetz.

zero
27Apr/095

Good Listening: Indigo Girls – New York City 3/26/09

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From talking with fellow music loving friends, we all agree that Poseidon and the Bitter Bug - the new album from the Indigo Girls, is their best album in a really long time. It's been quite a while since I've paid real attention to an Indigo Girls release - Swamp Ophelia was the last one that I really loved, and I was still living at home with Mom and Dad when I got that one....so yeah, it's been a while!

igposeidon.jpg

I caught up to at least 2000 with the Indigo Girls a few years ago when Jefito posted this bootleg (download) which continues to be one of my favorite listening choices on the Ipod, wherever I might be at any given moment.

Poseidon and the Bitter Bug is a brilliant batch of songs, and lucky for you all, Emily and Amy played a great acoustic set for WFUV in late March that will sell your ears on the new album as the album itself did for mine.

"Closer to Fine" falls early in the setlist, as it always does - I'm amazed at how many times the Indigo Girls have performed this one, night after night - and yet it still maintains the same fresh honesty and passion that was present in the recorded version the first time I heard it. And that was over 20 years ago, folks!

Enjoy this, and please snag yourself a copy of Poseidon pronto - You'll be so glad that you did.

A special note on the broadcast below - Make sure to check out Rita Houston's great interview with the band, midway through the set. Great stuff!

P.S. - If you haven't visited WFUV's corner of music blog awesomeness on the web, you really need to - Check it out here for lots of regularly updated content from Rita and the whole WFUV crew!

Indigo Girls
The Living Room
New York City
March 26th, 2009

broadcast live on WFUV

complete zipped download

Grab full-res files of this show at Dimeadozen (Free membership required.)

Thanks to the original taper/poster

1. intro--Rita Houston
2. Love Of Our Lives
3. Sugar Tongue
4. Closer To Fine
5. Yield
6. Fleet Of Hope
7. Driver Education
8. interview
9. Power Of Two
10. Kid Fears
11. What Are You Like
12. Second Time Around
13. Galileo

Amy Ray - guitar, vox
Emily Saliers- guitar, vox

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