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

10Jun/101

Exploring “The Things We Left Behind” with Blue Rodeo

Written by:

Every now and then, you have these spontaneous reminders that tap you on the shoulder to let you know that indeed, "maybe we ain't that young anymore."  Like the other day, when I realized that this year marks the 20th anniversary of the release of Casino, the 1990 album that introduced me to Canadian alt-country imports Blue Rodeo.   Which means officially that I've been buying Blue Rodeo albums religiously for 20 years now - there's never a question or any waiting around to read a review - as soon as I know the release date, it's on my purchase list.

And in those 20 years, they've never let me down with any of the albums that they've released.  There have been a couple (Palace of Gold, Small Miracles) that have taken a couple of extra listens, but overall, the consistency has been admirable and it always interests me that these guys don't have more of a fanbase here in the U.S., particularly with Wilco fans.

They've certainly done okay for themselves, and with the release of The Things We Left Behind, which is studio album #12 for the band, they show no signs of running out of steam anytime soon.  Featuring a total of 16 new tracks, it really is an interesting listen that breaks the traditional rotation between Keelor and Cuddy numbers in favor of an overall flow, tracked specifically with four sides of vinyl in mind.  That's right - this sucker is a double album, and the vinyl has the full gatefold sleeve treatment and a nice bonus inclusion of CDs for on-the-go listening.  It's worth a few extra bucks to import the vinyl from Canada, but if you're not a vinyl person, you can buy the CDs or digital download too.

Blue Rodeo are currently in the midst of a 15 date U.S. tour that will bring them to St. Louis tonight (for the first time in a loooong time), and Chicago on Saturday night, where they're booked at their traditional Chicago home away from home, Martyrs'.  I spoke with Jim Cuddy about the band's long overdue return to St. Louis, the new album, and quite a few other topics.  Although the chat had Chris Farley fanboy overload potential, I kept it professional.

Check out the interview here (via the Riverfront Times) and also some additional "outtakes" from the interview.

Enjoy!

P.S. - for those that are heading out to a show, you'll enjoy this review of the recent Atlanta show.  It's nice to see that they're apparently changing up the set a bit from night to night.  "It Could Happen To You" has been a recent opener, and for Atlanta, it was "Cynthia" from Five Days in July that kicked things off!  And in even better news, they've got longtime BR associate Anne Lindsay out on the road with them, playing fiddle!

one
24Mar/104

Show of the Week: Cowboy Junkies at the Ohio Theatre

Written by:

Is it possible to have two shows in the category of "show of the week" within the same week?

My good pal Stereo Dictator once said something about "my site, my rules" or something along those lines, so I'm going to go with it. (Actually, he said "my stereo, my albums, my choice," but you get my point.)  Plus, we're talking about the Cowboy Junkies who have provided plenty of CanCon content for my musical collection, alongside Barenaked Ladies, Blue Rodeo, Tom Cochrane....you get the point.  I was kinda joking about Cochrane, but you go ahead and tell me that "Lunatic Fringe" isn't a bad ass tune.

The Junkies are in town on Saturday night at the Ohio Theatre.  I haven't seen 'em since 1996 at the Odeon, and I've certainly missed plenty of opportunities since that show, which sent me appropriately enough into full-on Junkies addiction.  In the weeks following that show, I slowly began to acquire all of the pieces of the Junkies catalog that were missing from my musical stash.

25 years into their musical quest, Cowboy Junkies have an interesting adventure on tap:

Over the next 18 months (May 1, 2010 – Nov 1, 2011, give or take a few weeks), we will be releasing four albums, which will collectively be called The Nomad Series. The idea was born in the tumult of a perfect storm of ideas, influences, inspirations and timing. We have just launched our new website and want to put it through its paces. For the first time in twenty years we are completely free of any recording contracts and obligations, we find ourselves writing and recording more than we have in years, our studio (The Clubhouse) feels more and more like home, the band now has twenty five years under the hood and is sounding so darn good…and then, added in to that mix, our friend Enrique Martinez Celaya, the brilliant and inspired Cuban-American painter, dropped these four spectacular paintings (a series of paintings called “Nomad”) into our laps, and it became clear that we needed to release four albums, with his paintings as our ground. And that we needed the challenge of doing so under an intense release schedule.

So if you've been wondering what's next for the Junkies?  There's your answer!  It sounds like our musical ears will be busy in the months to come.

The second volume of the four planned albums is personally interesting to me:

Demons (volume 2): for some time now we have been batting around the idea of doing an album of conceptually linked cover songs (anyone who has followed us over the years knows that we love our cover songs and that they are a big part of who we are), but we couldn’t find that key that made sense to any of us. And then, this past Christmas, our friend Vic Chesnutt died. We had been discussing with Vic, off and on for the past couple of years, about doing a Chesnutt/Junkies album. During one of the last conversation that I had with Vic, he mentioned that he was working on a series of songs about his childhood that he wanted to bring to the collaboration. So, it only seems fitting that we record an album of Vic’s songs. His catalogue is so deep and for the most part, so overlooked. It will be a labour of love.

The complete Cowboy Junkies tour schedule can be found here.

more
10Nov/094

Blue Rodeo – The Things We Left Behind

Written by:

Today is the official Canadian release date for The Things We Left Behind, the brand new studio album from Blue Rodeo.  Vinyl fans will appreciate that Blue Rodeo sequenced the new album with vinyl in mind - spreading two albums worth of carefully placed music across four sides of vinyl.  The Things We Left Behind is available in two flavors - as a double CD set, and also in the previously mentioned vinyl format, packaged in gatefold packaging with CD copies of the album included, and a lyrics insert.

For those in the U.S. - the new album will get a proper U.S. release in the above formats on January 26th (on the band's own Telesoul Records), accompanied by a planned U.S. tour in Spring 2010.  Blue Rodeo will mount a short series of U.S. dates starting on Friday with two sold out shows in New York City.

Blue Rodeo

I'm still waiting for my copy of the new album to show up, but in the meantime, good ol' ATV pal Chase pointed me towards an excellent full transcript interview with Blue Rodeo's Greg Keelor, talking comprehensively about the new album, and the overall career of Blue Rodeo.

more
5Oct/094

The Monday Morning Mix – Scenes From A Flood – 10/5/09

Written by:

atv_mix_tape_02.jpg

Graphic by Rachael Novak

Click here for details on how you can be a part of The Monday Morning Mix and win some cool stuff!

We've got some great mixes in hand and on the way - where is yours?

About Today's Mix:

I apologize for the lateness on today's Monday Mix - those darn real world responsibilities got in the way of ye olde blog, once again. Hopefully ya'll did the right thing and amused your eardrums with the tasty Tragically Hip show that Kevin posted earlier!

This week's mix again comes from my own personal collection. I put this one together at the end of last week, and really liked it to the point that I had to share it with all of my ATV friends. I'm guessing that you guys won't mind, right? A few selections were inspired by my new pal Emma and her fantastic radio show The Occasional Detour, which you can hear Thursday mornings on WRUW-FM  from 8am-10am EST on the radio at 91.1 and online at wruw.org.

I'll spare the gushing, because I've already hit Emma up to do a future Monday Morning Mix - wait for it and check out her radio show - it's good stuff!

Enjoy the mix!

more
13Sep/095

Blue Rodeo to release new album on November 3rd

Written by:

Blue Rodeo fans will close out the year with a bang, thanks to the release of a new album called The Things We Left Behind.  In stores on November 3rd (Canada only), the album will reportedly be a double CD release.

BR frontman Jim Cuddy discussed the album recently with The Canadian Press:

"It was funny 'cause just recently, (Radiohead lead singer) Thom Yorke said he couldn't be bothered making albums anymore -- that the album was dead, and he was going to make singles from now on," Cuddy told The Canadian Press in a recent telephone interview.

"Well we're making a double record. In an effort to swim completely cross-current -- we're very excited about this -- we're making a double record, so we'll have a double vinyl and a double CD."

Read more here

Obviously, I'm stoked - a new album, means a new set of tour dates - although it's not like I've been deprived.  It seems like the band has been on the road nearly non-stop over the past few years, so I'm always surprised when they find the time to make a new album.  The band's website promises more album details in the coming weeks, and no doubt, a single release will be included in that promotional blitz as well.  Having heard about six songs from the new album, thanks to a fan recording of the band's August gig in Toronto, I think it's safe to say that the new album will be an enjoyable listen for all Blue Rodeo fans.

A sampling of some of the new song titles:  "Don't Let The Darkness In Your Head," "Never Look Back," "One Light Left In Heaven," and "Gossip."

On a related note, BR's Greg Keelor produced the new album from Toronto-based band Cuff The Duke, and judging from this Youtube clip of a recent CBC performance, I'm going to need to track down some more music!  CTD lead singer Wayne Petti apparently will also be providing some vocals on the new Blue Rodeo album.

more
17May/092

Quick Hits: Alice in Chains, The Grog Shop, Coldplay

Written by:

Greetings all,

I hope this dispatch finds you in the best of places and moods.

I'm typing this to you on the other side of day one of the annual Columbus, OH mega-rock weekend Rock On The Range.

I went down for the first day with D.X. Ferris from Scene Magazine, and for this guy, the day was all about Alice in Chains. I caught strong performances from Saliva, Rev Theory, and Chevelle, but there was no denying why I was really there.

Chevelle were definitely the surprise hit of the day with me - I've always liked my share of the radio hits, but hadn't ever seen the band live. They delivered a really tight 50 minute set that even had a nice one-tune preview of their forthcoming new album due this summer. Korn were also performing last night, and if you've seen one Korn show in the past 10 years, you've seen them all - same tunes each time, slightly different setlist order, but for what it is, it's good. I wasn't looking forward to seeing them at all, but I have to admit that drummer Ray Luzier (Army of Anyone, DLR Band) adds at least something different to watch during the Korn experience. Great drummer.

Alice in Chains hit the stage about 15-20 minutes late for their scheduled performance and turned in a setlist that was just under 50 minutes and way too short. No real surprises in the setlist, but it was very happily heavy on song choices from Dirt, including the set-opening "Rain When I Die" and also "Dam That River" a few tunes later. I was worried that their performance might lose impact in such a large festival setting, but they held up and delivered a great performance, despite what the Columbus Dispatch said about the show. They must have been at a different show, because from where I was standing, AIC went over great with the crowd.

The band were joined by Duff McKagan (introduced by Jerry as the "fifth member of Alice in Chains") for the set-closing "Rooster," and one of the most humorous rock and roll slip-ups EVER came when Cantrell introduced AIC bass player Mike Inez mid-set as "Mike Starr" (i.e. the original bass player for AIC who departed during the touring cycle for Dirt.)

The new Alice in Chains album will be in stores in September via their new label Virgin/EMI. Rumor says that Elton John might make a guest appearance. Really? Very interesting!

So there you go - a mini-report from the Rock on the Range weekend. Ferris had to drive back after day one, due to prior commitments, and I opted out of driving back down with him for the second day - AIC covered all of my rock and roll needs for the weekend!

So what else is going on? We'll start with a couple of Cleveland-specific items:

Cleveland radio legend Ed "Flash" Ferenc shares an update on his daughter Stephanie one year after her diagnosis with MS. It is a positive update, and there are details on how you can offer support to the Ferenc family and their fundraising efforts dedicated to fighting MS, titled Motivate Steph.

Sad news to hear of the passing of former Grog Shop co-founder Matt Mugridge who passed away on May 7th at age 42. Grog Shop owner Kathy Simkoff told Scene Magazine that "there would be no Grog Shop without him." There is a Facebook group that has been established for friends, family, and Grog Shop patrons to share their memories and photos of Matt. I have to share the following photo of the old Grog Shop stage, because I know that it will spark fond memories for many of you like me, that attended amazing shows at the old Grog.

grogshop.jpg

For me personally, I'll always remember some of my favorite groups that I saw jammed on the tiny Grog stage - Blue Rodeo probably had the most equipment and band members I ever saw shoved onto the Grog stage, and I'm sure there are many other similar shows and bands that you can think of. One of my favorite Grog experiences is a tie between seeing Fred Schneider from the B-52's play a solo show there in the late 90s, and also seeing John Squire's post Stone Roses project Seahorses at the Grog during their brief U.S. run. If there was someone really cool doing a short/limited run of dates in the U.S., you could always count on finding the Grog on the tour schedule.

leftright_tracklist.jpg

Coldplay have released a new 9 track live album for free download, recorded during the Viva La Vida tour, originally planned as a bonus item for ticketholders attending the latest round of Coldplay tour dates, and instead now available to anyone with an internet connection via the band's website. I am sure that there are some that might have snickered when Lefsetz mentioned the new live album in the same sentence as Live at Leeds....but have you listened to it? For those of you that have dismissed Coldplay as cold, corporate, and void of any emotion, I dare you to listen to LeftRightLeftRightLeft and change your opinion. As someone that didn't dig Viva La Vida, this new live album made me want to take a second look, based on the material that was included from the album. There are at least two moments on this live disc that will paralyze your ears with their emotional beauty - "The Hardest Part/Postcards from Far Away," and the performance of "Fix You."

During the classic Springsteen Agora performance from 1978, Springsteen describes his favorite live albums in which the audience was "twice as loud as the band," and that is definitely the feeling that runs throughout LeftRightLeftRightLeft, a release that features the audience offering audible vocal accompaniment, most notably during "Fix You," which Lefsetz notes in his piece. It's a great listen and a must for your Ipod, and if you're not a Coldplay fan or on the fence, this one will convince you once and for all in 9 tracks, what side you are on.

wilco_album_240.jpg

Wilco NOW!

The new Wilco album is streaming now via the band's website. To these ears, the album sounds like a mix of the layered production of Yankee Hotel Foxtrot combined with the more stripped down Sky Blue Sky. I'm wishing they would have sequenced "Wilco (The Song)" later in the album, instead of track one. Favorite tracks: "You and I" (with Feist,) "You Never Know," and "Everlasting Everything."

Todd Rundgren will perform his classic A Wizard, A Star album during a September performance in Akron. Tickets are on sale now, and a Rundgren junkie friend of mine tells me that a short tour featuring the album is rumored, but to play it safe, he bought tickets for the Akron performance and will come in from New York for the show. Something tells me that he won't be the only one!

My buddy Brian at Brokenheadphones has your first look at the new videos from 311 and Rancid. I've been listening to quite a bit of 311 lately on the Ipod - Music and Grassroots specifically. I would love to hear another great album from 311, but I'm not holding my breath.

Good ol Bear takes a look at the dirty words "tribute band," and spends some time talking about Shaw/Blades, one of my favorite projects of all time featuring Tommy Shaw and Jack Blades. I love that Bear is one of the 9 people besides me that bought the My Hallucination album.

Soundtrack Saturday at Popdose features the classic 80s flick Krush Groove. C'mon, you know you wanna check it out!

Gregor offers up a disc's worth of Altered Beast demos from Matthew Sweet, and I think that is part of a two disc compilation that I've got somewhere of Sweet demos from those first few albums. Choice stuff. There are a ton of Matthew Sweet b-sides and rarities floating around out there, so if you don't have any of them, this is a good place to start!

Go on over to Swap's house and find out how Led Zeppelin saved his ass!

Site Stuff:

Mel generated some reaction with her list of "bands that sold me out." Drop by and add your opinion if you haven't done so, already!

Kurt drops his first post full of lament about loudness wars and that darn new music stuff.

Kevin takes a crack at picking "the worst single of all time."

Check out our reviews of the Queensryche tour stop at House of Blues here in Cleveland, which we both loved, and hated!

That's what I've got for this week, folks!

Hope that ya'll have a great week!!

Cheers,

Matt

more
11May/094

The Monday Morning Mix – Halfway To The Distant Sun – 5/11/09

Written by:

What It Is: A weekly mix tape posted on Mondays, created by the fans of Addicted to Vinyl, posted for all to enjoy!

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.

We've got some great submissions coming in so far, and I think I'll probably feature the first reader mix here next Monday. I made four more mixes this past week (I think I'm kinda sucked in here..) and thought that I'd share another one of mine here, before we dig into some reader stuff next week. For this particular mix, I made a playlist with particular cuts that caught my ear as they came up on my Ipod. Once I had a good playlist worth of tunes, I re-sequenced the running order slightly, and had myself a new mix.

monday-morning-mix-5-11-001.jpg

Halfway To The Distant Sun (download)

1. Matthew Sweet - "Time Machine" - Last year's Sunshine Lies wasn't quite the album I was hoping for from Matthew Sweet, although it was good to finally see him live when he came around to the Beachland. I'm looking forward to the release of Under The Covers vol. 2 on July 21st, and I also had the chance to snag a cool vinyl EP set from the first Sweet/Hoffs disc, during a recent visit to Music Saves.

2. Fountains of Wayne - "Baby, I've Changed" - If you haven't said these words, chances are that you've thought 'em. The Fountains of Wayne compilation Out of State Plates is one of the greatest odds and sods compilations that you'll ever come across, and is essential stuff for the FOW fan. While you're at it, you'd do well to add their recent live DVD release to your collection as well!

3. Crowded House - "Distant Sun" - The Crowded House double live Farewell To The World CD set the alarm clock that woke up my long dormant love for Crowded House. I ended up re-buying the entire catalog of releases that I was lacking, during my recent Ann Arbor trip a couple of weeks back. "Distant Sun" is a song that oddly enough, comes off of the one Crowded House album that I kept through the years, Together Alone. I'm not sure how I missed it all of these years, but I heard it on Farewell, and it really struck a chord. I love the innocence of the lyrics, which can be appreciated by anyone that has spent any amount of time trying to figure out love.

Tell me all the things you would change
I don't pretend to know what you want
when you come around and spin my top
time and again, time and again
No fire where I lit my spark
I am not afraid of the dark
Where your words devour my heart
and put me to shame, put me to shame

I missed seeing Crowded House during their reunion tour in support of Time On Earth, and I'm excited to see that they are at work on a follow-up album. For anyone that is looking to find out what Crowded House is all about, you won't find a more perfect primer than Farewell To The World, which is everything that you need to know about Crowded House on two discs.

4. Bruce Hornsby and the Noisemakers - "Circus On The Moon" - From the Noisemakers Summer 2007 compilation that was distributed as a free download via BruceHornsby.Com a couple of years ago. I've been wishing for a Cleveland Noisemakers date for quite a few years now, and perhaps with a new album on the horizon from Bruce and the Noisemakers, we'll get it. The original studio version of this song can be had on Halcyon Days, which is in my opinion, a very underrated Bruce disc.

5. Blue Rodeo - "Blue House" - From the Blue Road acoustic live CD/DVD release. As a fan of the Jim Cuddy side of Blue Rodeo, sometimes the Greg Keelor sung numbers take a little while longer to work their way into my music lovin' heart. "Blue House" is a good example of one of those Blue Rodeo tunes that I didn't quite get, until I got the chance to see it a few times on stage as the band toured behind Small Miracles. Blue Road didn't look very compelling to me when I first saw the track listing, but after hearing it, I fell in love and the streak continues. The "streak" would be the complete catalog of Blue Rodeo releases - I've yet to meet one that I didn't like.

6. Survivor - "The One That Really Matters" - The story of my love for the Eye Of The Tiger album is best saved for another day, and another blog post. For now, I'll tell you how I first heard "The One That Really Matters." We were living in New Mexico, and I was browsing through the stacks of vinyl at the local flea market, when I came across a white label promo 45 of "The One That Really Matters." I liked the song title, and it was a song that I hadn't heard by a band that I knew that I liked. This particular 25 cent purchase opened the door to my eventual love for the Eye Of The Tiger album. I know it looks like I just told the story that I said I wasn't going to tell, but really, there is a whole 'nother story yet to be told.

7. Rick Springfield - "Alyson" - Don't laugh at me. Don't judge me. I've actually had a Springfield post brewing, and haven't had a chance to knock it out. I've always thought that this is one of the underrated songs in the Springfield catalog. And on a side note, I recently discovered that if you Twitter "just a little sexual tension, under the guise of love," a lyric from "Alyson," you too can lose followers. This one comes from the Living In Oz album.

8. Tom Petty - "One More Day, One More Night" - From the Echo disc, which is not one of my favorite discs from Petty. Sometimes those are the albums that have buried gems, and that was the case with "One More Day, One More Night" when it popped up on my Ipod.

9. Doobie Brothers - "South City Midnight Lady" - I was in a Borders a few years ago looking to pick up a Doobie Brothers greatest hits disc, to get a copy of "The Doctor." I grabbed Greatest Hits, and behind Greatest Hits was Doobie's Choice, a great companion to Greatest Hits, featuring a disc's worth of the necessary album tracks, as selected by the Doobies. I saw "Another Park, Another Sunday," which a co-worker at the radio station had introduced me to some time back, and knew that I had to take Doobie's Choice home with my Greatest Hits purchase. Doobie's Choice is one of my favorite albums to pull out when I'm in the mood to hear something good. And God knows, I've got plenty of choices to choose from in that category.

10. Sammy Hagar - "Halfway to Memphis" - This one caught my ear for the first time on Not 4 Sale, an album that came and went quickly when the label that put it out went belly-up shortly after release. Hagar gave this one a second life and reached a few more ears when he included it on Livin' It Up.

11. Bruce Springsteen - "Gypsy Biker" - I wasn't blown away with Springsteen's Magic release, but he sold me on it, as he so often does, when I saw several dates on the Magic tour. "Gypsy Biker" was a definite highlight of the Magic tunes featured in the setlist throughout the tour.

12. Eels - "Sweet Lil' Thing" - My love for E and the Eels has been briefly documented in various places on this site. blinking lights and other revelations was the great Eels album that I had been waiting to hear, after a couple of non-stellar efforts. Definitely looking forward to hearing the new album Hombre Lobo in June.

13. Liz Phair - "Rock Me" - Cleveland songwriter Nicholas Megalis and I were nerding out talking about everything from Kate Bush to The Kills to Liz Phair. He expressed his love for Exile (not bad, considering he's barely 20,) and I asked him if he had heard the later period stuff from Liz, which I enjoy as well. He had, and was a fan, and from there we talked about 10 to 20 more bands and singer/songwriters before we called an end to the nerd session. A few days later, this one came up on my Ipod, from the self-titled Liz Phair release.

lizphair.jpg

Have mercy.

14. Jenny Owen Youngs - "Secrets" - I'll end this mix with a new cut from what will be in my top 5 favorite albums of the year, without a doubt. Transmitter Failure is the brand new album from Jenny Owen Youngs, and it is just as fantastic as the initial single "Led To The Sea" indicated that it could be. Transmitter Failure will be available in stores on May 26th, and it is begging for your ears to give it a listen. I can't wait to see Jenny live here in Cleveland, hopefully soon! "Secrets" is the perfect song for anyone that's ever found themselves trapped in a relationship wracked with constant jealousy. Pre-order the new album here.

Here is a video for "Clean Break," another tune that you'll find on Transmitter Failure:

Jenny Owen Youngs - Clean Break from Jenny Owen Youngs on Vimeo.

Enjoy the mix, and have a great week!

more
19Mar/090

4 Days in California with Blue Rodeo

Written by:

Yeah, you caught me...trying to put a clever twist on the Five Days in July album title from Canadian treasure Blue Rodeo.

ATV reader "oldmanflint" was lucky enough to attend two out of the four recent California area dates from Blue Rodeo. The review of one of those shows was shared previously in the comments section of this post.

Now, thanks to "oldmanflint," here is the review of the acoustic show at McCabe's! Thanks very much for sharing this with all of us!

Enjoy!

Blue Rodeo's acoustic show at McCabe's Guitar Shop in Santa Monica was
a perfect companion show to their show the previous night at The Mint.
Both venues hold about 200 people. The Mint is all standing, electric with
a 2 foot high stage with no seperation from the crowd and offering a bar well
stocked with micro brews which obviously leads to a looser audience. Maple
flavored new best comrades singing every word to every song.

At McCabe's, the stage is raised, removed 5 feet from the front row. Not a
complaint, just attempting to set the scene. McCabes shows are alcohol free
and seated in the back room of the store. Considering the gorgeous merchandise
hanging from the walls, subdued crowd behavior is a must. (A one point the
fellow behind me suggested Keelor could just work his way down the wall through all the big hollow bodies hanging there.

Acoustic in this sense meant Keelor & Cuddy played acoustic guitars all night
and drummer Glenn Milchem worked the hell out of a lone snare. Bob Egan,
Basil Donovan and (touring) piano/organist Michael Boguski were all plugged
in, but at the lowered volume and the cordiality of the crowd allowed for unheard of textures, especially between the Hammond B3 sound and the pedal steel. I've not missed these textures before, but they are certainly not as pertinent in an electric setting.

(A word or 2 about Michael Boguski. I don't know if he's filling in for awhile or
if he will be Bob Packwood's permanent replacement. On the 2 LA shows, he
certainly played Bob's parts, whether on piano or organ. I will say when he
streched out on his own solos, I really enjoyed his sense of syncopation. If the
Packwood comparison wasn't looming I might have suggested Steve Nieve.
Michael has several jazz combo CDs and is apparently quite established in Toronto. www.michaelboguski.com )

The set list that follows reflects an unsurprising group of songs, considering their latest release, the Blue Road CD/DVD package is an acoustic evening. I have to admit, I didn't own it until that evening, so I was pleasantly surprised by quite a few of the choices.

1. Now & Forever (Diamond Mine)
2. Cynthia (5 Days In July)
3. Bad Timing (5 Days In July)
4. Blue House (Small Miracles)
5. Disappear (Tremelo)
6. Rebel (Outskirts)
7. Trust Yourself (Casino)
8. Crying Over You (Jim Inveldt)
9. 3 Hours Away (shuffle) (Small Miracles)
10. 5 AM (A Love Song) (Casino)
11. 5 Days In May (5 Days In July)
12. Try (Outskirts)
13. Is It You (Lost Together)
14. Rage (The Days In Between)
15. Photograph (5 Days In July)
16. To Love Somebody (Gibb)
17. Head Over Heels (5 Days In July)

encores
18. 'Til I Am Myself Again (Casino)
19. It Hasn't Hit Me Yet (5 Days In July)

"Hasn't Hit Me Yet" was a slight let down. After the raucous sing-a-long the night before, the crowd at McCabe's felt a little self conscious. Which was too bad, since we really could've raised that roof a few inches. I had hoped maybe they would do "Where I Was Before" instead of "3 Hours Away" in this acoustic setting. Some folks always gotta complain. I did think it was cute they did all the "number" songs together !

My non-scientific guess from talking to folks before and after suggested 80% of attendees were previous big fans. The other 20% left the show completely converted. The waves of reaction that rippled through the crowd at each incredible turn of the phase or when the band "hit (their) stride" instrumentally was a joy to behold.

Last but not least, my favorite band aside of the night...
Cuddy to Michael B. - "I pick on you 'cause I love you..."
Keelor - "Is that what it is? You must really love me."

Thanks "oldmanflint" - good, good stuff!

On a side note, I have to say that lately I've been really digging "Losing You," the new studio track included on Blue Road. Give it a listen via the video below...

Relevant Links:

Purchase Blue Road, an absolute MUST have for Blue Rodeo fans.

Blue Rodeo official site

McCabe's Guitar Shop

zero
16Feb/0910

15 Albums That Changed My Life – Super-Sized Edition

Written by:

The following post is ripped straight from my Facebook page.....kind of. I've been amused recently by the people that are irritated by the rising amount of Top 5/10/15/25 "chain letter" posts on Facebook. "Don't turn Facebook into Myspace," is one of the pleas that I read from one person. I actually enjoy reading this kind of stuff - probably because most of the ones that have been coming my way, have been music-related.

As soon as I hit submit on this particular post on Facebook, I started thinking of albums that I had left out - including one of the first ones that had come to mind - August and Everything After by Counting Crows. My friend Cristi left me a FB comment asking me to "let her know when I finish the list."

With that in mind, I thought about adding 5 more, and then 10 more, and I settled for an additional 15 albums, which are tacked on below. It still doesn't cover 'em all, but I had fun putting this list together.

Original post follows - enjoy!

Wow, this is going to be fun. There's no way I can even begin to include all of the albums that have inspired me. I'd need a lot more than 15 slots. This list is in no particular order, although I like the running order on this one. It's tough, because Blue Rodeo could easily be at #1 on this list, same for Bruce Springsteen, etc. etc. etc.

Without a doubt, these are 15 albums that all made my life a little bit brighter at the time I got them. They continue to inspire me to this day, and when I hear them individually, they remind me of where I was the first time that I heard them, and the people I was with. Good times.

I'd like to thank Corey for tagging me in his note, and for having the courage to include T-Ride in his list of albums. Now that I've done that, I'm going to steal his entire setup paragraph:

Think of 15 albums, CDs, LPs (if you're over 40) that had such a profound effect on you they changed your life. Dug into your soul. Music that brought you to life when you heard it. Royally affected you, kicked you in the wazoo, literally socked you in the gut, is what I mean. Then when you finish, tag 15 others, including moi. Make sure you copy and paste this part so they know the drill. Get the idea now? Good. Tag, you're it!

1. Del Amitri - Twisted
2. Gin Blossoms - New Miserable Experience
3. Weezer - Weezer (The Blue Album)
4. The Wallflowers - Bringing Down The Horse
5. Bruce Springsteen - Live 1975-1985 (Honorable mention to Lucky Town)
6. The Lemonheads - It's A Shame About Ray
7. Sarah McLachlan - Fumbling Towards Ecstasy
8. The Smithereens - 11
9. Blue Rodeo - Five Days in July
10. The Jayhawks - Hollywood Town Hall
11. Sting - The Soul Cages
12. INXS - Kick
13. Jackson Browne - I'm Alive
14. Dada - El Subliminoso
15. Tonic - Sugar

+15 MORE

Social Distortion - Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell

16. Social Distortion - Somewhere Between Heaven and Hell
17. Alice in Chains - Dirt
18. Matthew Sweet - Girlfriend
19. Counting Crows - August and Everything After
20. Van Halen - 5150
21. Michael Penn - Free-for-All (Now We're Even is STILL one of my favorite tunes!)
22. Tom Petty - Wildflowers
23. Ben Folds Five - Ben Folds Five
24. E - A Man Called E (honorable mention to Broken Toy Shop)
25. U2 - Achtung Baby
26. Tears For Fears - The Seeds of Love
27. Peter Gabriel - US
28. Yes - 90125
29. The B-52's - Cosmic Thing
30. Faith No More - Angel Dust
31. Def Leppard - Hysteria (okay, so I ended up with 16 more....)

more
27Jan/0912

Blue Rodeo: California or Bust!

Written by:

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

more