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

29May/0925

Ian Gillan – One Eye to Morocco

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Ian Gillan has released a new solo album and it's pretty good.

Gillan is one of the most distinctive singers of the past 40 years, spawning a graveyard full of imitators and wanna-bes, most of whom never came close to matching his energy and power as frontman for Deep Purple. Before you start with the "they're such dinosaurs" remarks, take another listen to Machine Head, one of the greatest hard rock records of all time. Those songs are filled with his lyrics and his vocals are a perfect fit for the music. A true moment in time, or a "Child in Time" for those in the know.

There are about 37 years in between that album and his most recent, One Eye to Morocco. While he's not the screamer he used to be, Gillan still brings a recognizable vocal presence that recalls the old days while showing his tamer side.

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First off, the title song is a rock and roll trip to the Middle East, complete with a dreamy groove and a mystical feel that is ultra-cool in its restraint. If there still were such a thing, it would be the first single and a bit of a groundbreaker in its departure from his typical sound.

Next up is "No Lotion For That," a rocker which harkens back to the Purple sound of the 80s. Not too imaginative, not too fresh, but when a song rocks like this, it doesn't have to be. I could have done with a bit heavier sound and left the horn section behind but what the hell. A veteran bringing the goods and keeping it around three minutes.

Song three is "Don't Stop" which features a mellower guitar sound, more horns and a clippity-clop beat that would have made it to MTV if they still played music and if a guy who's old enough to be a grandfather could get his tunes played.

"Change My Ways" is heavier in the vein of "No Lotion" and features a little Santana-like breakdown of bongos and organ mid-song that is tailor-made for a load of solos live in concert. Pretty good stuff.

It sounds as if Gillan took his band to the beach for a day in the sun and they came back with "Girl Goes to Show." Reggae-influenced, slinky slide guitar and spending time with a girl. Not a stretch for most, but a departure for Gillan that works.

"Better Days" continues the slower pace with a heavy dose of the blues filtered through some slick production. Not bad, not great and not out of place here either.

"Deal With It" is a treat more for the production than the song. Cranked up, the instruments are very clear with a crisp acoustic guitar and dose of percussion that add the right color without overpowering the electric elements.

"Ultimate Groove" doesn't deliver on its name but is a mid-tempo blues rocker that features a pleasing mix of keyboards, bongos and guitar that works.

"The Sky is Falling Down" keeps it all moving at a comfortable pace and shows guitarist Michael Lee Jackson stepping out and handling it well while not going too far. Nice wah-wah Mike. Really.

Bassist Rodney Appleby brings a lot of bottom to "Texas State of Mind," which, with more guitar, less piano, no horns and a bit more speed, could have found its way on to Perfect Strangers, Purple's excellent comeback album of the 80s which reunited the classic early 70s lineup. But since it didn't turn out that way, it didn't do much for me.

"It Would Be Nice" plays the mellow verse/stomping chorus card and it sounds like everyone is trying too hard to make a mediocre tune into a good song. This is the dreaded filler cut.

"Always the Traveller" closes the album in a mellow way and brings out the sax, the organ and the sentimental part of Gillan's personality. "Always the traveller, I drift in the wind. There's something about you that's drawing me in."

That line sums up my feeling about this album. I have drifted far away from Gillan at times, not being terribly interested in his solo works following his initial departure from Deep Purple and then being sucked in again in the 80s only to fall off when Blackmore got bored and cashed it in for good. Now I am back again and I have found Gillan to be an artist who has more depth than I had presumed, who realizes that less is often more and that a singer needs to know his limits.

Hats off to producer Nick Blagona for often creating true aural beauty and showing a willingness to stay back and let the song do its thing. The band is also top-notch without being over the top.

Overall, One Eye to Morocco is a work of restraint that works pretty well.

Relevant Links:

Purchase One Eye to Morocco from Amazon - CD or MP3

Visit Ian Gillan's official website

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28May/093

Blame These Songs… For the Rain.

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I’ve been moody this last week. And not in-so-much one of those randy moods I’d so rather be. Mostly tired I guess – blaming lack of a good night’s worth of sleep again. But this weather… ugh, it’s annoying. Hopefully the mood passes as quickly as the crappy skies.

As I sit at my computer once again skipping past nearly EVERY new song I have downloaded in the last two weeks (meh, boring, sounds-too-much-like-McCarthy), I’m listening to rain.

Speaking of both blame and rain, I’ve had “Blame it on the Rain” in my head since its unwanted shuffle placement a few days ago on my home Mac. This in turn got me into my extended playlist on songs about weather. Or songs about weather that are really about sex.

I mean, aren’t most lyrics about sex? Seriously.

Or rain delays in baseball, for all I know. But wait. Isn’t baseball all about sex too – I mean, the bases loaded BS and all. And what happens when you’re “rounding the bases,” and there’s a “rain delay”?

Hmmm.

“Blame it On the Rain” by Milli Vanilli

I have a scrapbook with clippings from the Mill Vanilli debacle. Why have I kept these? I have no clue. Obviously this was huge news to a young fan and the media. Who doesn’t lip-sync these days? But it was Grammy-WINNING Milli Vanilli. Apparently I was a huge follower. And more than rain came down on these two. It was more like a shit storm. Poor… Fabricio? Was that his name?

Girl, I’m gonna miss you.

“It’s Raining Men” by The Weather Girls

EVERY specimen, ladies, to which Mother Nature has blessed upon us. Even the pretty, gay ones. I’ve got some news for YOU: when this song plays at every wedding or Cougar Club, we sing along. Word. For. Word. OK, you may retreat back to your closets.

“Put on a Happy Face” (I prefer the Tony Bennett version)

My gray skies clear right up when I hear this song. So much that I have to keep the “Happy” CD in my glove box for those moments of unexplainable road rage, keeping to mind that though my car be a couple thousand pounds, I am merely a buck-twenty.

“Weather With You” by Crowded House

Ahem, I know. Random.

“No Rain” by Blind Melon

No, Blind Melon, you’re missing the point. There is rain. It’s all I can do is to sleep all day. And complain, of course. But certainly not when there’s no rain. Because that would be… insane.

“The Greatest” by Kenny Rogers

Point = Made. All songs are about sex, in one form or another. And baseball is directly relatable to sex. See, this song is completely about “playing ball by yourself.”

If you know what I mean.

“Lightning Crashes” by Live

Man. I really didn’t need to hear about aborted babies ON TOP of it raining today.

“Rain Song” by Cold

A decade of love, indeed. After the death of the band Cold, I wasn’t particularly mesmerized by Scooter Ward’s additional musical projects. Cold “reborn” has also been bit by the Reunion Bug of 2009 – they’re touring the US with what looks to be all original members. Or those that made Cold memorable in music for me, anyway. Their album “A Different Kind of Pain” was on constant rotation after its release – can you believe that’s already been four years? I want a NEW kind of pain, Cold. Please release some new recordings.

“Thunderstruck” – AC/DC vs. Crookers

Battle it out, Bitches.

“Killed By An Angel” by Sunny Day Real Estate

If you or anyone you know is emo, then you are aware of Sunny Day Real Estate. Perhaps a lemming or two followed a little group by the name of Foo Fighters? Then you know bassist Nate Mendel (William Goldsmith from SDRE also joined in on the Foo, but after calling Dave Grohl a bad name or something, was released from the group). That being said, SDRE is rumored to be having a bit of reunion fever (again), with Mendel back as part of the original line up. Stay tuned. I know I am excited as all you to hear “The Shark’s Own Private F*ck” live, and none of Enigk’s born-again Christian crap.

And I refuse to even mention the “S” word (you know, all that puffy, shitty cold stuff we get from October through April).

But you know it is Cleveland in my neck-of-the-woods, and we got “Hot n’ Cold”… and usually within a 24-hour period:

No, I would never torture you with Katy Perry.

So there you have it – Mel’s Crazy iPod in Weather Shuffle Mode.

Go Rain! Because that is about all we got going for us today.

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27May/096

Radio Ga Ga Saved My Life Tonight

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When I was a kid, up until about the age of eleven, we moved around a lot. My father’s engineering job took us to such exotic locales as Port Huron, Michigan and Norcross, Georgia. It also dumped us in Wiesbaden, Germany for about 8 months in 1976/1977. Seeing as how I didn’t really speak the native tongue, an AM radio became my best friend.

I didn’t listen to any of the German stations, maybe short of spinning the dial to see what was on. No, I fixated on the Armed Forces Radio, and more specifically, Casey Kasem’s American Top 40 weekly countdown. This is probably where my chart obsession began. I would write down the countdown weekly and create my own personal charts, ranking my favorites to see how they would compare to the real thing. This also may have been where I picked up my uncanny knack for calling out a hit long before sometimes it’s even released as a single. [I’m calling it now: Shinedown’s “If You Only Knew” is going to be a MONSTER.]

Bands like Electric Light Orchestra, Pilot, Jigsaw and even Abba felt like best friends. To this day their songs still bring a reminiscent smile to my face and have become sort of a musical comfort food for when I’m moody. Seriously, you try being in a bad mood jamming to something like “Sky High” or “S. O. S.” I’m sure this also has a lot to do with my undying love of 70’s AM Gold and how every time the Time/Life infomercial comes on for any number of their collections, I’m hooked for a good half hour. Can any one go wrong with Redbone?

When we returned to the US, I started to buy my own music. I still have some of those early 45’s that I used to buy at a local store in NJ for .79 cents (though warped from sitting in a hot attic for many years). Oddly enough, the B-sides grabbed my attention as much as the single itself and as I grew older, albums and those deeper tracks became a weird sort of journey of discovery. For every “Photograph” I was as equally a fan of “Stagefright” (both from Def Leppard’s “Pyromania” in case I lost you). And, when I discovered import singles from the UK and their non-album track B-sides, I was in musical nirvana.

Those album cuts became even more important in my high school days as I discovered the art of the mix tape. There was always something very therapeutic about putting one together, making sure you get it JUST right, then taking it out for a cruise. Sometimes you wouldn’t know if a mix even worked or not until you listened to it a few times.

I was also a geek enough musically that I used mix tapes to make friends, both of the platonic and romantic kinds. Sometimes I wonder if those extra-special tapes that escaped my “studio” are still out there somewhere, waiting to rear their embarrassing heads.

While I still follow the charts, radio is now such a morass of overplayed tunes, over processed DJs and so much advertising clatter than I cannot imagine a life without my iPods. Yep, plural. I own two actually. A 16gb iPod Touch that holds all my recent music and an 80gb iPod Classic that holds everything else (actually, decades of chart tunes organized with the help of books from Joel Whitburn). When you throw the iTunes Genius feature in, it’s like someone is personally programming a radio station just for you.

About the only time I ever listen to radio anymore is when it’s out of my control. This is about all the confirmation I need that radio is as bad as I remember it. Just this past weekend I was subjected to the same Lady Gaga song six times in the span of six hours. That’s a lot of “P-p-p-p-p-p-p-poker Faces.”

It’s unfortunate that something that used to mean so much to me has became so irrelevant to my life.

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26May/0921

Super-cool concert alert: Venice with Billy Idol and Dave Mason

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I am WAY jealous of the residents of Santa Monica, CA, and their opportunity at the end of this week to catch one hell of a triple bill.

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Locally based California studs Venice, the coolest band of brothers and cousins that I've ever came across in my time as a music fan, are part of a very cool benefit show happening in Santa Monica on Saturday night at Santa Monica High School.

The Venice boys will be joined by the king of the 80's sneer, Billy Idol, and classic rocker Dave Mason for one unforgettable evening at the For The Arts Benefit Concert, loaded top to bottom with an enviable setlist of hits. For those of you that are familiar with the Venice covers side project Pine Mountain Logs, the pairing with Dave Mason will make complete sense. But I'm highly intrigued by Idol's presence on the bill. There are a lot of cool setlist possibilities, and I'd LOVE to see the Venice boys back Idol for a killer version of "Eyes Without A Face!"

Fans that caught the Venice performance over the weekend at Topanga Days Festival got a nice preview of this weekend's performance when Billy Idol joined Venice onstage during their set to perform "Dancing With Myself," "Rebel Yell," and Idol's signature cover of "Mony, Mony."

Venice will stop by The Mark and Brian Show on Wednesday morning between 9am and 10am PST to chat about the Santa Monica benefit concert, and perform a track with Billy Idol. You can stream the interview and performance right here.

Some tickets are still available for Saturday night's benefit in Santa Monica, and you can purchase them right here. If you haven't ever seen Venice, I can't stress enough what a great first show this would be.

The band performed at a similar benefit concert earlier this year with Michael McDonald, Tommy Shaw, and Christopher Cross to rave reviews, and if you haven't been, these shows are always a ton of fun. I'd love to be at this one, but sadly the ATV travel budget is a bit depleted with Bonnaroo on the way.

I'll leave you with some sample material to dig into, including a recent video performance of the Venice original "Weight Has Been Lifted," that was edited by longtime Venice fan and site webmaster Matt Levitz. Directly below that, you'll find fan-shot video of two of my absolute favorite Venice tunes back-to-back, "World On My Back" and "Time On My Hands."

For your enjoyment, check out some Pine Mountain Logs live videos as well!

And for all of your Venice info, check out the band's website here.

I like the lighting/sound on the following video just a bit more, so here's an additional performance of "Time On My Hands," because you can never have enough live performances of "Time On My Hands." This one was filmed at the special Lennon Lounge concert earlier this year.

I'll leave you with a couple of heavy hitter endorsements:

“Venice is the best vocal group in America right now. They're better than anybody else I know. They're fantastic. I’m a student of harmony.
That’s my thing. I love all kinds of harmony. But I particularly love theirs, because it’s so natural. It’s not like anybody else’s. Very unforced, very from their hearts. I’ve been telling people about them since the first night I heard them. I’ve told everybody I could find that they were the best. This is my favorite band in the world.”

--David Crosby

"Venice, one of my favorite bands, is quintessentially Californian, with soaring harmonies. We’ve played together at numerous benefits and at each other's concerts. What they do is sing amazingly. There are two lead singers, there are four harmony parts a lot of the time, and what it most resembles is CSN, or sometimes Sly and the Family Stone. Well, anything unique is pretty hard to describe, but that's the general musical terrain. They sing and play their asses off, and I have seen them knock out many an unsuspecting crowd. On two separate occasions I booked them for large outdoor venues where we were doing benefits and they took the audiences, who had not come to see them, completely by surprise. It's such a pleasure to play with these guys, because they have that power."

--Jackson Browne

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26May/0930

Cage Match: Sweet vs. The Eagles

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This week's Cage Match is another one courtesy of Michael's warped mind. This one slips quietly in front of another great suggestion by The Cleveland Caper that we'll have to save for a future week. And ya know, if you have a suggestion for a future Cage Match, drop us a line and we'll add it to the ever-growing list!

I'm still smarting a bit from how bad our friend Pat Benatar got her ass handed to her in last week's Cage Match, but thanks to Michael's help, I've found a way to press on with a new batch of contenders.

In the left corner, we've got our good pal Timothy B. Schmit, his pals The Eagles, and their song "Love Will Keep Us Alive."

On the other side, we've got glam kids Sweet, and the 80's glitz of "Love Is Like Oxygen." Not bad since it was recorded in 1978. Nicely done guys, you were trendsetters!

"Love Will Keep Us Alive" vs. "Love Is Like Oxygen." Get it? These are the crazy wacky things that Michael and I think of.

In 1994, The Eagles finally reunited for that big huge reunion tour that was 115 dollars too rich for the only-semi-employed concert-going me to attend. But damn, I should have sold some CDs or plasma (plasma wins this one) to attend it. I realized that after I saw the MTV broadcast, picked up the home video, bootlegs, etc. Oh well.

Hell Freezes Over was released on both audio and video to document the initial stages of the Eagles relapse, and weren't you SO excited that there was new material included? I know that I was.

Now let's look at the recorded results.

Get Over It. Ick.
The Girl From Yesterday (Frey). Eh.
Learn To Be Still (Henley). This is actually my favorite track of the batch. Typically good stuff that you would expect from Henley in that time period.

But unfortunately, they let Timothy B. Schmit sing a track. And Paul Carrack co-wrote it, which sounds good on paper, but Paul forgot to send over one of the tracks with a sound like "Tempted" or "Silent Running." Or even "I Live By The Groove."

Instead, he sent "Love Will Keep Us Alive" in that fateful FedEx package.

Soccer moms worldwide were swooning to the sounds of "Love Will Keep Us Alive," packaged with Schmit's still-boyish looks.

I was pissed off that they weren't playing "Boy's Night Out" on the tour.

And many years later, Jason Hare tied it all together nicely with his loving portrait of Timothy B. Schmit, the artist.

As a bonus track, here's the sign language version of "Love Will Keep Us Alive."

Dude, Sweet!

Sweet is one of those bands that is hard for me to think about. I'm sure that they might be really great, but they've been forever tainted in my world by the 6 million times that I've heard "Ballroom Blitz."

And yes @jukebox65, I will listen to REO Speedwagon instead.

While working at the radio station, we played the hell out of "Ballroom Blitz," almost as if it was a current single. But it wasn't. It had been in the ears of music fans for 20+ years at this point, and now could be identified as one of the staple tunes at classic rock. I heard it for the first time in nearly 10 years about two months ago, and it still hasn't been long enough.

"Love Is Like Oxygen" is a different story - always liked this one, still do.

These days, you can choose from two different versions of Sweet that are touring - one featuring Andy Scott, and a recent addition featuring bass player Steve Priest.

Thanks to the Priest version, we can play the fun game "Sweet or Quiet Riot?"

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Can you really raise hell at 61 years of age without hurting yourself?

Anyway.


How 'bout you? Are you going to go with The Eagles or Sweet?

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25May/0916

Good Listening: Wilco – Live at The Troubadour – 11/12/96

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image courtesy of Daytrotter

Sunday night as I was getting ready to head down to the radio station, I saw a Facebook message with the news that former Wilco multi-instrumentalist Jay Bennett had passed away. A quick search of Google, industry message board The Velvet Rope, and a few of my other usual online haunts turned up nothing, so I posted a quick Twitter message of inquiry, and headed out the door.

Later that evening, I watched a combination of fans on Twitter and the Wilco fan message board Via Chicago try to piece together the bits of news as we all waited collectively to find out if the horrible rumors were true. And unfortunately, we learned late in the evening via a post on the website for Bennett's management that Bennett had passed away in his sleep early Sunday morning at the age of 45. The Twitter community of Wilco fans reacted with expected sadness, with post after post ranging from shock to posts sharing their favorite musical memories of Bennett.

That has continued into today with posts from noted Chicago rock critics Greg Kot and Jim DeRogatis (who also host the popular radio program Sound Opinions together, while working for the Chicago Tribune and Chicago Sun-Times respectively.) Kot also shares a look at some of the best moments in Bennett's musical career.

I imagine it's very possible that Kot and DeRogatis will do a special episode of Sound Opinions sharing additional memories, so keep your ears tuned for that one, which would be a great show, without a doubt.

Here's one great moment in Bennett/Wilco history courtesy of Twitter pal @JackieInChgo:

Bennett's time with Wilco began when he answered an ad placed by Tweedy, who was looking for a guitar player. Bennett, at the time working in a VCR repair shop, was the only one that answered, according to Tweedy. The pairing brought magical results that produced some of Wilco's most celebrated musical output until Bennett's departure in 2001. Though Tweedy and Bennett's working relationship in Wilco ended with complications, I'd like to think that they might have eventually one day worked together again.

The fans over at Via Chicago are remembering Bennett's many musical contributions by listening to some of their favorite Wilco shows, and my pal Dave Lifton has his own post and musical tribute online right here.

UPDATED:

Here's an additional post with some more tribute links and more stuff for you to listen to from Gregor at captain's dead.

I'd like to share my own favorite Wilco musical moment, with a bit of explanation to set it up. My ride with the band began in 1996 with the release of Being There. My good radio comrade Matt, who has shared so many great musical gifts with me over the years, handed me a promo copy of the album and told me that I needed to listen to it. Even though I was already being exposed to so much music on a constant basis at the radio station, this was still a time when I would get an album and listen to a particularly good one for a month or two straight.

Such was the case with Being There, an album that was locked in my CD player nearly daily going to and from the radio station. Late in 1996, I got what is still one of the coolest radio promotional items I've ever received, a promotional cassette from Reprise Records containing a copy of the band's show recorded that same year in November at The Troubadour in Hollywood.

The cassette of the show disappeared many years ago from my collection, and I was excited to find a digital copy of the show online this past week via a fan that's been posting some great 96/97 shows at Dimeadozen. Hearing the show tonight for the first time in nearly 13 years, I thought that you would all enjoy hearing it as well. The show download itself is sourced from the great Wilco Archive maintained by Owl and Bear, and if you haven't visited this incredible Wilco resource yet, I highly recommend checking it out for hours and hours of great Wilco listening!

This Troubadour show is not only one of my favorite Wilco shows ever, but it's also one of the best sounding shows that you will hear from the time period. Enjoy....

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Wilco
The Troubadour
1996-11-12
Los Angeles, CA

Promo Cassette > HHB CDR 800 > Audio Cleaning Lab 2004 (for levels and track marking) >
CDR
(broadcast over KSCA FM, this source is pre-FM)

complete zipped download

Download full-resolution files of this show at the Wilco Archive

Download a scan of the original cassette label

Disc 1:

01. Sunken Treasure
02. Red-Eyed & Blue >
03. I Got You
04. Someone Else's Song
05. Someday Soon
06. Forget the Flowers
07. New Madrid
08. I Must Be High
09. Passenger Side (Punk Version) >
10. Passenger Side (Regular Version)
11. Hotel Arizona
12. Monday

Disc 2:

01. Say You Miss Me
02. Outtasite (Outtamind)
03. The Long Cut
04. Kingpin (with band introductions)
05. Misunderstood
06. Far, Far Away
07. Give Back the Key to My Heart
08. Gun
----------------------------------------------------------------------------------------------
wilco is / was:
Jeff Tweedy
Bob Egan
John Stirrat
Ken Coomer
Jay Bennett

Relevant Links:

Check out a great Daytrotter Session with Jay Bennett here.

Jay Bennett official Myspace page

Download Bennett's latest album Whatever Happened I Apologize for free here.

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25May/0910

The Monday Morning Mix – Honky Tonks & Hootenannies – 5/25/09

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What It Is: A weekly mix tape posted on Mondays, created by the fans of Addicted to Vinyl, posted for all to enjoy! The mix is available for one week, until the new one goes up.

The Goal: Introduce yourself to great new music from bands of the past and present, from albums that are new and old. Buy music. Repeat.

Be A Part Of It: I want you to make me/us 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

What To Include: Include track listing, album that the song comes from, song notes (if you want to) and any particular notes that you want to share about the mix. Save a digital copy of your notes that you can send me via email, so I don't get carpal tunnel retyping them! Include a printed copy of the notes, and an email address that I can use to contact you for the digital version of the notes. 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!

What You'll Get: 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.

Welcome to today's mix. And you thought we'd be delivering this sucker a day late because of the holiday, didn't you? Truth be told, I thought about that, but then realized that since this is the "Monday Morning Mix," I'd better deliver it on time. At least for now. Now, three months down the road when I don't give a crap about it anymore, it might be another story.

Anyway, this week's mix comes to us courtesy of The Cleveland Caper who sent me not one, but TWO mixes to share with all of you. We'll share the first one this week, and then the second one will follow at a point to be named later.

Wait for it.

The Caper delivered a helluva mix that really speaks for itself. And for everything that the music doesn't communicate, her notes will tell you the rest - if you can stop movin' your ass long enough to read 'em, that is.

Well done Caper, well done.

Here goes:

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Honky Tonks & Hootenannies (Download)

1. "Old Number Seven" - The Devil Makes Three (The Devil Makes Three)

I figured I'd ease into it with this one...This is a new discovery (passed to me, not made myself) of a great band from Cali. Their fusion of punk, rockabilly and blues is so believably authentic you can't help but think you're listening to something, like, you know, old;) Rarely do I enjoy every song on a band's album, but DHT totally delivers on this one. I also thoroughly enjoy "The Plank."

2. "Black Betty" - Ram Jam (Ram Jam)

If you can listen to this song without at least tapping your foot then we wouldn't like each other. Ram Jam took Leadbelly's classic and short song and turned it into a hit. Spiderbait also does a great job covering this badass tune. This song makes me want to slam back a sixer of PBR while tuning my (imaginary) '69 Pontiac GTO.

3. "Swing Low" - Rocco DeLuca & The Burden (I Trust You To Kill Me)

I have Jack Bauer, I mean Kiefer Sutherland to thank for my exposure to this band in '06 via the documentary, "I Trust You To Kill Me." The documentary was sub-par, but the music rocked and I think he (they) is highly underrated.

4. "Jack Killed Mom" - Jenny Lewis (Acid Tongue)

First, I loved her in "The Wizard" then I loved her with Rilo Kiley and now I crush hard on solo Jenny Lewis. Maybe it's because I am one, but I love when a chick makes a kick-ass album and Jenny did it with Acid Tongue. Her songs are also great for singing in the shower (oooo, another mix idea!)

5. "Come Pick Me Up" - Ryan Adams (Heartbreaker)

If I listed the reasons I love my boyfriend, exposing me to Ryan Adam's music would be close to the top of the list. This song, along with his duet with Emmylou Harris, "Sweet Carolina" are my absolute favorites. When I heard this song for the first time, I couldn't believe my ears. I love when a song is darkly beautiful like this.

6. "Ted's Jam" - Robert Randolph & The Family Band (Live at The Wetlands)

Oh this song. Ummm, this one is a sore spot for me as I was invited to this show in '01 and didn't effing go. Stupid. (Editor's note: Yup!) Anyway, I don't know if there's anything to say about RR, you just have to listen. I will say this song has no words and I never notice.

7. "Home" - Marc Broussard (Carencro)

I discovered Marc Broussard (again thanks to the boy) when this song appeared on a free mix CD in a copy of Esquire. This song makes me want to eat a big bowl of jambalaya. 'nough said.

8. "Dixie Chicken" - Little Feat (Hotcakes & Outtakes Disc 1)

I love this song for so many reasons, namely because Little Feat is one of my Dad's favorite bands, so it reminds me of him. When, I hear this song, I am 6, back in our old living room on a sunny, Spring Saturday morning. No TV allowed, just music as we were all doing chores with several impromptu dance parties of course. My favorite version of this song is the band joined by Bonnie Raitt and Emmylou Harris. Youtube it, it's so worth it.

9. "Stack-O-Lee" - Samuel L. Jackson (Black Snake Moan)

Who knew he could sing? Not I. I loved this movie and I love this scene where he is singing this song in a bar and there are sweaty, happy people gyrating all over the place. Great movie. Great song.

10. "Talk On Indolence" - The Avett Brothers (Four Thieves Gone)

The first time I saw The Avett Brothers was at my cousin's wedding in a barn in PA. How cool is that? They got married in a barn and were lucky enough to be able to book the Avett Brothers before they blew up and got signed by Rick Rubin. I fell in love. These guys are awesome! I think this song is quintessential AB with elements of rock, folk and even a little punk.

11. Long Ride Home - Patty Griffin (A Kiss In Time)

I just love her distinctive voice. It makes me feel like I'm back in time, at the Kentucky State Fair with a caramel apple in my hand.

12. Medicine Bag - C. Gibbs (Medicine Bag Single)

This song is a great one by C. Gibbs of Lucinda Black Bear. To my knowledge it was only released as a single/video. The video is just as awesome as the song and all I wanna do is run my fingers through his big hair.

13. Thank God I'm A Country Boy - John Denver (The Essential John Denver)

Maybe homeslice was a country boy, but anyone who rocks out with the Muppets and meets his maker in a fiery plane crash is a total rock star in my book. Also, this song makes me want pancakes reeaaaaalll bad!

14. Champagne & Reefer - Muddy Waters (Muddy Mississippi Waters Live)

I mean c'mon, it's Muddy Waters. In other news, check out his website for music info and some Mud-tastic recipes.

15. I Never Picked Cotton - Johnny Cash (American I: Unchained)

Because the Man In Black always gets the last word. Always.

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24May/095

Bruuuuuce! Photos from last night in NJ

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photo by Ron Ring

This morning I was reading a great endorsement of the Springsteen live experience via Gail Worley and The Worley Gig.

Gail sez:

Bruce and the E Street Band played for three hours and blew our heads right off.

Think she had fun?

Her concert comrade Geoffrey Dicker has a few GREAT shots posted from the show that you can check out right here.

Gail and Geoffrey picked a great night to catch a Bruce show - the show featured the tour premiere of "Incident on 57th Street," and also "Something In The Night" and "Cover Me." Other highlights in the setlist - "The E. Street Shuffle" and "Kitty" came back around, too!

Not a bad way to wrap up the first part of the tour. Stan Goldstein from NJ.com sums it up nicely:

Any time you get three classic songs played off "The Wild, The Innocent and the E Street Shuffle," it's an amazing night.

Indeed.

UPDATED:

Here's a really great review of the NJ show from Blogness regular Deb Filcman. I have to tell you what a complete and total nerd I would be if I ever got the chance to meet Tom Brokaw....

The tour resumes in a couple of weeks with an appearance at Bonnaroo that will be attended by yours truly and also my good pal Brian from Broken Headphones, who will take in his first ever Bruce show. 'Bout time!

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24May/0915

Setlist: Billy Joel and Elton John – Quicken Loans Arena – 5/23/09

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photo above by John Soeder

Put the shotgun away - that's no intruder, it's just your good pal Elton John captured during last night's concert at the Q.

Sigh. No, I wasn't in attendance for this one.

I took a pass on last night's show with Billy and Elton, because I knew that things would be pretty standard and by-the-numbers.

Turns out that I was close, but not completely right. My good pal John Soeder has more details in his review of last night's show here.

Here's the setlist, thanks to John!

BILLY JOEL AND ELTON JOHN:
"Your Song," "Just the Way You Are," "Don't Let the Sun Go Down on Me," "My Life"

JOHN:
"Funeral for a Friend/Love Lies Bleeding," "Saturday Night's Alright for Fighting," "Burn Down the Mission," "Madman Across the Water," "Tiny Dancer," "Goodbye Yellow Brick Road," "Daniel," "Rocket Man," "Levon," "I'm Still Standing," "Crocodile Rock"

JOEL:
"Angry Young Man," "Movin' Out (Anthony's Song)," "Allentown," "Zanzibar," "Don't Ask Me Why," "She's Always a Woman," "Scenes from an Italian Restaurant," "River of Dreams," "We Didn't Start the Fire," "It's Still Rock 'n' Roll to Me," "Only the Good Die Young"

ENCORE WITH JOEL AND JOHN:

"I Guess That's Why They Call It the Blues," "Uptown Girl," "The Bitch Is Back," "You May Be Right," "Bennie and the Jets," "Birthday," "Back in the U.S.S.R.," "Candle in the Wind," "Piano Man"

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23May/091

Taylor Swift and John Mayer

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I keep seeing and hearing things that make me think that I need to own Taylor Swift albums.

Here's the latest piece of visual evidence courtesy of Bob Lefsetz.

From Bob:

Hang in there until 4:00, when the audience takes over the song...

Audio is far from perfect, but you'll get the idea...

Song starts approximately :35 in...

For the Mayer haters - sorry that there are not really any clear shots of Mayer's frequent "guitar face" expressions. I'm sure that you can find plenty of that elsewhere on Youtube. For now, give the above a shot, and you might like it.

But then again...

one