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

1Jul/121

Contest: Win David Bowie’s ‘Ziggy Stardust’ On Vinyl!

The back cover of David Bowie's The Rise and Fall of Ziggy Stardust and the Spiders from Mars carries a very simple message: "To be played at maximum volume." How can one refuse such an invitation like that?

Those who took Bowie up on the offer found themselves enveloped by the sounds of an album that sounded very different than nearly everything that had come prior. 40 years beyond the original 1972 release, Ziggy Stardust is still an engaging listen.

On vinyl, the masterful segue between "Ziggy Stardust" and "Suffragette City" is striking. For every time that we hear "We Will Rock You" into "We Are The Champions" and "Feeling That Way" into "Anytime" on the radio, why does it not make similar sense to segue "Ziggy" into "Suffragette?"

So awesome.

In honor of the 40 years that have passed, Ziggy Stardust is being celebrated with an appropriately lavish anniversary issue that is available in several different configurations, including vinyl.

We've got your chance to win a copy of the newly reissued vinyl edition of Ziggy, which has been remastered on heavyweight vinyl. Additionally, the vinyl edition comes with a bonus high resolution audio DVD which contains extra tracks and both the 2012 stereo remaster, plus 2003 remixes engineered by Ken Scott, who co-produced the original album with Bowie.

All you have to do is fill out the form below for your chance to win. We'll pick one lucky ATV reader to get this coveted black wax.

18Jan/122

Random Youtube: Gin Blossoms – ‘Pieces Of The Night’

This is one of my favorite tunes by the Gin Blossoms. I love the extended version with the piano ending that's on the deluxe edition of 'New Miserable Experience.'

Here's a live version from Youtube and as I recall, they actually played a full set that was broadcast on television and I kept hoping that perhaps a DVD of the whole thing might surface, but if it's out there (and I'm sure it is), I haven't seen it yet.

23Oct/111

Revisiting the ‘Girlfriend’ album with Matthew Sweet

In a time when both the music industry and the artists themselves are struggling to figure out a new financial model that works, the full album performance seems to be the latest carrot being dangled in front of today's music fan. On a large scale, the idea has been overwhelmingly successful, because who wouldn't want to see Bruce Springsteen play through an entire album? Often, it's the chance to see something that you've never seen – such as Rush performing the rarely played 'The Camera Eye' as part of their run through the classic 'Moving Pictures' album.

I've seen the good and bad sides of this concept – on the good side, it's a joyful reunion for both the band/artist and their fans, a chance to revisit a mutually loved piece of work that holds special meaning for all involved. But the other side of it is that when it doesn't work, you can feel the awkwardness on stage as they attempt to track through an entire album that they really have no interest in revisiting, shuffling through the entire running order somewhat listlessly before reaching the end and saying “there's the album, now let's play some other stuff.”

When it came to the idea of Matthew Sweet performing the entire 'Girlfriend' album, I knew that there was no way that the idea could possibly fall short – and I'll admit that it was the optimist in me thinking that. Although I had seen a show from Sweet in 2008 on the 'Sunshine Lies' tour that was a bit sub-par, I just had a good feeling about this 'Girlfriend' thing, because the source material he was working from had been so magic and as a result in my mind, the mojo would be too good for this not to work out.

From the cosmic feedback that emanated from the amps at the opening of 'Divine Intervention,' it was clear that it was indeed going to be quite a “divine” night of music at the Kent Stage. Both on record and in the live setting, Sweet has always had a great band of players behind him and on this evening, it was mostly the usual suspects with longtime drummer Ric Menck – himself a veteran of the original 'Girlfriend' album sessions and Menck's fellow Velvet Crush member Paul Chastain on bass and vocals, with Dennis Taylor filling out the lineup on guitars and additional backing vocals.

This lineup of players paired with Sweet proved to be tactically the perfect unit to tear through every inch of the 'Girlfriend' album with fully charged amounts of enthusiasm that properly rendered each cut as remembered with not a single second of that feeling like it was tossed off as album filler.

Statistically, 'Girlfriend' might be front-loaded with 'Divine,' the syrupy 'I've Been Waiting' and of course, the unforgettable title track, but it's the rest of the songs that remind you exactly how good of an album 'Girlfriend' was and in 20 years, it hasn't lost a single bit of its charm. After playing those first three, Sweet quipped “thank you, goodnight!” and said “now, we're getting to the deep tracks.”

All of these years later, I'm sure I'm not the only one who's learned a little bit more about life and with those additions, comes a better understanding of exactly what Matthew Sweet was getting at with the songs on 'Girlfriend.' You gain a stronger appreciation for the mental numbness that he captured so perfectly with 'You Don't Love Me' (which really came through as he performed this one live) and the resignation that lies behind the words as he sings “what a beautiful moment/ the truth comes out at last/ once your heart would own me forever/then this passed/and what a beautiful moment/as my head comes apart/drunk and in a manner of saying, wasted.”

Another moment from 'I Wanted To Tell You,' just the thought that “I wanted to tell you....what I couldn't say.” Romance, as we know now, can reduce even the most articulate person to nothing at the moment when they need that string of words the most.

Summarizing the album, Sweet told Rolling Stone at the time that it was released, “It's funny how the album ended up showing everything I needed to feel. Everything I needed as an antidote is there.” I think that says a lot about why Girlfriend' still works so well as an album today – it covers the entire range of emotions and mental confusion that we've all experienced. The divorce that inspired Sweet's third album, which ultimately would provide his breakthrough moment, gave him some of the most potent material he'd ever release.

The current crop of 'Girlfriend' shows is a very necessary chance for fans to revisit a true classic album and although Sweet chuckled when an audience member suggested that perhaps he should release a live album from these shows, one can hope that these performances are being documented in some form. Sweet and his band paid perfect tribute to the spirit of 'Girlfriend' and it would be a shame to not bottle the moment.

There are about two weeks of dates left on the current tour and if you've got a copy of this album sitting in your collection, don't you dare skip out on this show. Alternatively, if you're looking to discover a great album you might have missed, your moment of discovery awaits.

Additional stuff:

Matthew has a new album out called 'Modern Art' (from which he played only the current single, 'She Walks The Night' during Thursday's performance) which you can check out here.

He's been doing quite a few interviews about the new release and the 'Girlfriend' shows - read a recent chat with Matthew done by Scott of 3 Minute Record for KDHX and also, Mike Ragogna's interview with Sweet at The Huffington Post.

After the show was over, I spent some good time revisiting the 'Girlfriend' album and the companion 'Goodfriend' promotional disc that features alternate acoustic and electric versions of many of the 'Girlfriend' album tracks. You can get both discs via the Legacy Edition of 'Girlfriend' that was released a couple of years ago and at the very least, if you already have the album but haven't heard the second disc of 'Goodfriend' tracks, you really need to - it's such an excellent companion to the album.

Dig for example, this alternate take on 'Girlfriend.'

18Feb/113

Random Youtube: The Fab Faux – Abbey Road, Side Two (Mostly)

Yes, the source for this video doesn't actually come from Youtube, but I think it fits in with the general spirit of the series - cool and random video on the web that you won't want to miss.  I was on the phone today with my pal Chris Horvath and he said "have you seen the video of The Fab Faux performing side two of Abbey Road?"

Believe it or not, somehow I had missed it. What could I have possibly been doing besides watching this video on the internet?

Only a few seconds into watching it, I knew I had to share it here with you, the good vinyl citizens of the internet.  From the band name, I think you can get the general gist of what they're all about and to school up further, I invite you to go check out their fantabulous website which wins the "cool website design of the week" award from the ATV panel of judges. It's slick, unless you're on dial-up. Then again, if you're on dial-up, you a) need to move and b) you're probably not enjoying these video posts very much.  The short description on this video performance is that it was recorded for the Howard Stern Show.  For the longer version, just watch the Star Wars-like text scroll at the beginning of the video.

All hail Will Lee, all hail Jimmy Vivino and let's give big respect to the rest of the Fab Faux gents.  Remember how I mentioned my rock and roll bucket list in the Robert Cray post?  Well, you'd better believe it that seeing the Fab Faux play a show is on that list. (Um, and I just noticed that they're playing on March 19th in Ann Arbor. Hmmmmm.)

The Fab Faux - Abbey Road Side 2 (mostly) from The Fab Faux on Vimeo.

4Nov/100

Contest: Celebrate the 20th Anniversary of Empire by Queensrÿche!

Last weekend I had the great opportunity to finally meet a record label friend of mine who is someone that I've known for nearly 20 years but we hadn't met face to face until a random New Jersey trip gave me the opportunity to connect in person.  After grabbing a quick bit of breakfast on Sunday morning, he made the excellent suggestion that I should take advantage of being in New Jersey and make a very necessary pilgrimage to Vintage Vinyl.

Yes! But of course, why didn't I think of that?

We rolled up to Vintage Vinyl and discovered that although my buddy thought they opened at 11am on Sunday, it actually was noon, which left us an hour to converse about music.  No problem at all, there.  So randomly, we spent the next hour talking about Queensrÿche and our various radio encounters with the band through the years.  As it turns out, I met my match as he had just as many cool Queensrÿche stories and maybe even more, but who's counting?

24Oct/104

Celebrating Darkness in Cleveland: An Evening of Bruce at The Winchester

The Winchester Music Hall and Addicted to Vinyl are pleased to present a tribute evening to a longtime Cleveland favorite, Rock and Roll Hall of Fame inductee Bruce Springsteen, happening on Saturday, November 20th at The Winchester (doors are at 7pm).  Tickets are $10.00.

With the forthcoming release of The Promise, Bruce Springsteen's incredibly massive box set dedicated to his classic Darkness on the Edge of Town album, we will have a listening and viewing party to finally experience what many of us have been waiting for over 2 years.

Come meet Lawrence Kirsch, publisher of the Bruce Springsteen books The Light in Darkness and For You, Original Stories and Photographs by Bruce Springsteen's Legendary Fans. Lawrence will be signing copies of his book The Light in Darkness. This is a limited edition book only available on line or at The Winchester the night of the show.  (You can read our interview with Lawrence about The Light in Darkness here.)

Springsteen goes surfing - Rocco Coviello©

18Sep/100

Rebuilding The Wall: Looking inside the new Roger Waters tour

It's an event that ATV pal Peter Chakerian said was a really good idea....it just took a while for Roger Waters to see the light.  Now with that light fully illuminated, Waters is putting The Wall back up with a 30th anniversary tour celebrating the classic album, a tour that opened earlier this week in Toronto (and eventually will land in Cleveland on September 28th).

The tour is bait enough to draw me out to see Waters for the first time in nearly 10 years.  I wasn't a huge Doyle Bramhall fan, so my previous Waters experience was marred quite a bit by the presence of Bramhall on stage.  This time around, I'm intrigued by the vocal inclusion of my longtime faves Venice, with three-quarters of the band enlisted to provide the background vocals for The Wall tour.  Looking at that key nomination as well as the rest of the members selected by Waters to make up his 2010 touring ensemble, I knew this was going to be a show that I probably wouldn't want to miss and with the information below, my thoughts have now been confirmed.

My pal Matt Levitz, webmaster of the official Venice website received the ultimate job perk (can you really call something that you don't get paid to do a job?) when the Venice members offered him a pair of tickets to check out a full dress rehearsal run-through of the tour setlist last weekend in New Jersey.

29Jun/101

Rush “Beyond The Lighted Stage” documentary in stores today!

This past weekend, I was out of town.  While I was away, I had the DVR set to tape the VH1 Classic broadcast of Classic Albums featuring Moving Pictures and 2112 by Rush.  After clearing some weeds out of the flower beds tonight (METAL!) and a bit of dinner, it seemed like a good time to officially chill out for the day, and watch a bit of Rush on the television.

Turn DVR and television on, select Classic Albums program for viewing....and suddenly I'm watching The Top 100 Hard Rock Songs of All-Time (or something like that) instead?

But....but......the SCREEN says Rush: Classic Albums!

What happened?  What the hell, VH1 Classic?

Apparently, the Classic Albums broadcast was scrubbed at the last minute for reasons unknown.

Drat.

Luckily, today was still a good day for Rush fans, with the DVD/Blu-ray release of Beyond The Lighted Stage - the great new officially sanctioned Rush documentary that screened recently in theaters and made its television debut on VH1 Classic over the weekend.  Having seen it in the theaters, I can tell you that it is one of the best rock docs that I've seen in quite a while.  And the home video release is stacked stacked stacked with extras.

You can nab the DVD or Blu-ray as of right now and you'll be awfully glad that you did!

P.S. - conveniently, tonight also happens to be the opening night of the Rush tour!

How 'bout some random Rush video?  You got it...

25Jun/102

Contest: Win the new Black Sabbath “Classic Albums” DVD

We're officially 900 posts deep here at Addicted to Vinyl as we march towards our third year of existence (February 2011, for those that are keeping track).

To celebrate, we've got the chance for you to pick up a copy of the new Classic Albums DVD featuring the classic (of course it is!) album Paranoid by Black Sabbath.  Celebrating the 40th anniversary of the album, the DVD (also available on Blu-ray) features new interviews with Ozzy Osbourne, Tony Iommi, Geezer Butler and Bill Ward, and includes over 40 minutes of bonus features for a total running time of 97 minutes.

Check out a trailer:

Black Sabbath - exclusive clip from 'Classic Albums: Paranoid' from RawknRoll on Vimeo.

If you'd like to win a copy, send us an email with Sabbath in the subject line for your chance to win!

7Jun/101

Classic Albums: Tom Petty “Damn The Torpedoes”

Mark your calendars for this one, which will be out August 3rd via Eagle Rock Entertainment on DVD and Blu-ray.  It's fantastic.  But then again, how could it not be awesome, watching Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, Benmont Tench and Jimmy Iovine in the studio, breaking down multi-tracks of the songs that you love into the individual parts?

Here's a nice preview for ya.....and if you want to geek out a bit more, they're discussing the UK release (which came out earlier this year) here.

P.S. - bringing things back to the present, you can now stream the new Petty album Mojo in its entirety, here.