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


It’s A Bleedin’ Board: A Hall of Fame Christmas Flashback

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In recognition of Rush FINALLY being selected to enter the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame, I bring you a classic Christmas gift: Rush live at the Cleveland Agora from December 16, 1974.

This show is the second of the one-two radio concert punch that broke Rush into Cleveland via WMMS and subsequently throughout the Midwest and beyond.  It has been referred to by many names in bootleg form, including Rush Returns to Cleveland and Finding Prime.  Featuring three songs from the upcoming May 1975 release Fly By Night, the show is energetic and also very early in the career of drummer Neil Peart, who joined the band not even five months earlier following the departure of John Rutsey.

The famous first radio show from August 1974, commonly seen as Fifth Order of Angels, just may show up here as a 2013 Christmas in July special so stay tuned.

Congratulations to the members of Rush (and Heart as well) for staying alive long enough to participate in their induction.  Now how about we get to work on Kiss and Deep Purple and Grand Funk and the Guess Who and ELO and Todd Rundgren and …


Finding My Way
The Best I Can
What You're Doing
Fly By Night
Here Again
Bad Boy
Working Man


Neil Young & Los Lobos: Cleveland 10-8-12

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Look out mama, there’s some greybeards comin’ up the river.

They may look like your old hippie parents or grandparents, but they are really one of rock music’s most enduring and consistent bands, Crazy Horse.

Playing as if the clock never moved over the last 40-plus some years, it was a treat to see Neil Young and Crazy Horse slip into their unique brand of rock and roll and get lost for a few hours.

With more than a nod to the Rust Never Sleeps era, the 21st century version of the “roadeyes” came out prior to the start of the set and began to put the finishing touches on the sparse but oversized set which included 20 foot tall Fender cabinets and an inflatable microphone placed center stage. While they dressed in lab coats and construction worker garb rather than brown robes, the crew worked diligently to get it all just right, backed by approving cheers from the anxious crowd at the Wolstein Center.

Following a pre-recorded rendition of the “Star-Spangled Banner,” Crazy Horse was now ready to rock.

“Love and Only Love” set the tone with its trademark Neil and Billy Talbot harmonies over layers of Neil and Frank Sampedro guitar wash.  Veering a little further into the past, Young broke out the first of only a few classics with “Powderfinger.”  Losing none of its original contempt, Young delivered the closing line “I saw black and my face splashed in the sky” with the same defiant surrender as he did nearly 35 years ago.

Moving ahead now to the yet-to-be released Psychedelic Pill, Young’s homage to his hometown, “Born in Ontario,” preceded the song of the night, a 20 minute throwdown called “Walk Like a Giant.” A nod to the failures and unfulfilled romantic ideals of the1960’s, the riff was huge as was the ending; over five minutes of droning power and feedback, seemingly simulating the sound of giants stalking the stage.  A noisy testament to knowing from where you came and not conceding to the limits imposed by your age, your history or your catalog.

Going acoustic for a few, “The Needle and the Damage Done” inspired a mini sing-along and “Twisted Road” brought approval with its mentions of the Grateful Dead and Bob Dylan. “Ramada Inn” was yet another reflective tune, looking back at life as a young traveler with nothing but ambition and contrasting that with the “what do we do now?” emptiness that pervades middle-age and beyond.

A fairly straight read of “Cinnamon Girl” preceded a wickedly welcome “F*! #in’ Up,” offering further proof that the band has lost nothing since that song’s debut over 20 years earlier on Ragged Glory.

Following “Psychedelic Pill,” Young commented that he forgot to introduce it as a new song while acknowledging that it didn’t matter because all of his stuff sounds the same anyway. He was certainly correct and that wasn’t a bad thing.  The new songs would sound like vintage Crazy Horse to one who didn’t know better.

“Hey Hey My My (Into the Black)” reinforced Young’s notion that rock and roll will never die while also clearly illustrating that it’s just not being taken care of too well at the moment by those who don’t fit into a certain advanced age bracket.

“Mr. Soul” rocked hard and loud in the hands of the Horse. Interestingly, the fattening up of its original guitar melody brought light to the debt the song owes to Keith Richards’ great “Satisfaction” riff.

Finishing with the nostalgia and realism of “Roll Another Number,” the band stood on stage for an extended period soaking in the cheers and communal atmosphere.  They had given it up in the name of rock and roll and Cleveland couldn’t have been more appreciative.

Love and Only Love
Born in Ontario
Walk Like a Giant
The Needle and the Damage Done
Twisted Road
Ramada Inn
Cinnamon Girl
F*! #in’ Up
Psychedelic Pill
Hey Hey My My (Into the Black)
Mr. Soul
Roll Another Number

Playing the role of supporting act, Los Lobos caught fire early and could have played all night. Their seven-song set provided a brief overview of their career, hitting five of their 19 original albums: 1984’s How Will the Wolf Survive?, 1992’s Kiko, 1996’s Colossal Head, 2006’s The Town and the City, and 2010’s Tin Can Trust.

The opening strains of “Will the Wolf Survive” were familiar to many in the crowd, which grew larger over the course of their set thanks to the show’s early start time. Moving through a spicy version of “Chuco’s Cambia” into the hypnotic “Tin Can Trust,” guitarist Cesar Rosas then broke things open with a stompin’ take on the blues shuffle “That Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore.” A surprise followed in the form of the Blasters classic “Marie Marie,” recorded by the band on their 2004 EP of cover songs, Ride This.

Heading back to Kiko for a second dose with Rojas’ ominous “Wicked Rain,” they closed things up with the rocker “Don’t Worry Baby” and an all-out freak out on “Mas Y Mas.”

A brief but infinitely potent set from one of America’s finest.  Catch them next time as a headliner for thorough exposure.

Will the Wolf Survive?
Chuco’s Cumbia
Tin Can Trust
That Train Don’t Stop Here Anymore
Marie Marie
Wicked Rain
Don’t Worry Baby
Mas Y Mas


Sons of Bill Take Their ‘Sirens’ To Vinyl & Plan Worldwide Trek

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Since we last left our heroes Sons of Bill, they've been quite busy. Their new album David Lowery-produced album Sirens was officially released in March and made its debut in the Billboard Top 200 (not too shabby, guys!). They're touring currently in support of Sirens and recently announced that they will go to Europe this fall to play shows, starting with two weeks of dates in Germany.

Before that, they have a summer full of U.S. tour dates including a Cleveland-area show at the annual Painesville Party in the Park on Friday, July 20th, where they will join in on three days of musical entertainment including music from Cleveland locals Tom Evanchuck, Oldboy, Hedgehog Dilemma and Alex Bevan, just to name a few.

Sirens is also available on vinyl, as I recently discovered when I got this at my P.O. Box.

The pictured note below says "we hear you've been enjoying our record (and given the name of your blog) thought you might enjoy it even more on vinyl. Thanks for listening and keep in touch. All our best, Sons of Bill."

Sounds like friends forever, doesn't it? Thanks so much, guys!

You can get your own copy of Sirens on vinyl, or digitally via compact disc or a new-fangled digital download.


Glen Phillips In The Chapel

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I finally had a chance to participate in "Sofa Sundays" with Glen Phillips last night via the fine folks at StageIt, which is a whole 'nother conversation. But while I was checking that out, somebody in the chat room mentioned that Fuel/Friends had recently posted an entry in their Chapel Sessions series featuring Glen, which I was completely unaware of!

[Clearly, my Toad radar is on the blink, dammit.]

Glen's going to be on the road in the coming weeks with a Cleveland date (which I can't wait for) at the Winchester on Saturday, May 19th.

Here's a link to check out his complete schedule of upcoming shows....including some dates later this year with Grant-Lee Phillips!

Until he makes it to your fine city, I'm sure you'll enjoy this session.

Heather from Fuel/Friends writes (and I agree):

Glen is one of the most lovely, wrenching songwriters that I know of who is still plugging away intelligently from those bands I loved in the ’90s. There is a specific timbre his voice hits that other longtime fans will understand when I say just slices through all those deadened layers that calcify around my insides. Just a straight shot through. As the years pass, I hear him harnessing a certain type of weariness –no, quietness, maybe– but also there is still that bubbling current of hope and a satisfaction with the lives we have woven together from all of this crazy life.

Click on over and check it out here.

By the way, a recent interview updates the status of the in-progress Toad the Wet Sprocket reunion album and Phillips says that “it could be out later this year and that will be something since we haven’t made an album in 16 years.”

Having heard a couple of the new songs during the band's performance here last year at the Kent Stage, the new album should really be something to look forward to.

Glen pic via Opticality


Setlist: Fountains of Wayne at Beachland Ballroom, 4/24/12

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The song selection was delectable, the offbeat sense of humor seemed to be fully intact and overall, it was just nice to have Fountains of Wayne back in Cleveland.

I thought it was 2009...but no, it was 2007 that was the year of my last Fountains of Wayne encounter. There were two great encounters that year in fact, one of them being a performance at the Virgin Festival that found me seeing FOW and Cheap Trick back to back. Now that's an awesome day.

Since then, there have been road trip worthy shows that I've missed, including the mouth watering acoustic tour (damn! damn! damn! I should have gone!) and finally a new album this year, the crowd pleasing Sky Full of Holes.

As is the case with any Fountains of Wayne album, you develop favorites and a hit list of songs both old and new that you hope they might play live.

When they came to the Beachland Ballroom on Tuesday night (with frontman Chris Collingwood wearing a trucker's hat, looking somewhat like he'd wandered in straight from a hunting expedition), they did a pretty good job of covering the bases with a setlist that served up a choice selection of songs from the new album ("a fairly recent release by our standards," they quipped from the stage) and some great deep cuts and favorites from the back catalog.

There are songs that I would have liked to have heard from the new album which went unplayed (hmmmm...."A Road Song," to name one) and others that I was quite happy to hear like "A Dip In The Ocean!"

If you've heard "Hate To See You Like This," you'll appreciate the humorous mismatch of the venue disco ball that they chose to feature during the song. Or depending on your point of view, perhaps it was completely appropriate.

As Girlfriend Annie said, they just need to rock out the classic rock covers album and get it out of the way - the mid-song medley of rock classics in the middle of  "Radiation Vibe" was an extremely convincing argument in favor of such a project - we think they'd knock it out of the park.  [Honorable mention to bassist Adam Schlesinger who pulls off an awfully convincing Frampton lead vocal when he's not helping to co-write awesome power pop songs.]

The setlists have been fairly fluid with songs rotating in and out, so if your favorites aren't present here, there's a good chance that they still might pull it out on an upcoming night when the tour hits your city.

It's a show not to be missed.


Little Red Light
Someone To Love
Red Dragon Tattoo
Leave The Biker
No Better Place
The Summer Place
Richie and Ruben
Hey Julie
Fire In The Canyon
A Dip In The Ocean
Hate To See You Like This
Mexican Wine
Radiation Vibe (with excerpts from: Everybody Wants Some (Billy Squier), Double Vision (Foreigner), Jet (Wings), Do You Feel Like We Do (Peter Frampton), Twilight Zone (Golden Earring), White Wedding (Billy Idol)


Cemetery Guns
Stacy's Mom
Sink To The Bottom

(80 minute set)


Joe Walsh And The James Gang Ride Again…

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This picture says quite a bit....

While this picture adds a few more details...

....and this article fills in the rest of the gaps.

As a rock and roll geek for life, it's no shock that I love moments like this...and it's even cooler when they happen right here in Cleveland. Take that, Cleveland bashers, rest of the world, etc.

When I got a chance to see Joe Walsh last fall, it was a make good on several levels. First, it made up for the James Gang reunion shows that I had missed in the past 10 years. Also, it answered a question that I was unsure about. Could Joe Walsh still rock?

It turns out that solo Joe Walsh is still a very different animal than the Joe Walsh that you see on stage these days with the Eagles. And yes, Mr. Walsh most certainly can rock and then some.

His new solo album Analog Man has just been confirmed for a June 5th release date (what's this CD/DVD "deluxe edition" that I'm reading about now?) and even with the Eagles celebrating their 40th anniversary this year, Walsh will be playing at least a few scattered solo dates in support of the new album, which is his first solo release in 20 years.

Dates are starting to pop up and based on what I saw last fall, you'd do well to schedule yourself some time with Joe if he's coming to your area.

Stream the title track:

Pictures via Lava Room Recording in Cleveland


Good News From Cleveland: Fountains Of Wayne Coming To The Beachland

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Hasn't it been way too long since Fountains of Wayne played a Cleveland show?

The folks at the Beachland Ballroom apparently must agree with that thought, because they've booked FOW for a Ballroom show on Tuesday, April 24th.

[Details of which were shared mere minutes ago in their fine email newsletter which you should be subscribed to.]

*dancing and celebrating commences now here at the ATV compound*

FOW are touring in support of their latest album Sky Full Of Holes and their tour schedule seems to indicate that perhaps there might be additional dates added in April to go along with the dates presently listed on their site.

Tickets for the Cleveland show go on sale on Friday, February 3rd at 10 A.M.


2012 Rock Hall Inductees Announced

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I'm mostly okay with this list, when considering the slate of nominees (yes, there are lots of bands that should have been nominated), but I think it's a shame that Heart didn't make the final list of inductees. I would have happily swapped out the Red Hot Chili Peppers to make room.

John Soeder has a good analysis of the 2012 inductees here.

Today, the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame announces its inductees for 2012, and the inductees are:

Performer Category:

Beastie Boys
Guns N’ Roses
Laura Nyro
Red Hot Chili Peppers
The Small Faces/The Faces

Early Influence:

Freddie King

Ahmet Ertegun (nonperformer) Award:

Don Kirshner

The Award for Musical Excellence:

Cosimo Matassa
Tom Dowd
Glyn Johns

The ceremonies will be back in Cleveland this time around and tickets will go on sale 12/16 for members and 12/17 to the general public. Here's the general on-sale information:

Tickets to the 2012 Rock and Roll Hall of Fame Induction Ceremony go on-sale to the public on Saturday, December 17, 2011 beginning at 10 a.m. EST. To purchase tickets, visit or call (877) 212-8898 (please note, this number will not be activated until 10 a.m. EST on 12/17). Tickets are expected to sell-out quickly. Individual tickets to the Induction Ceremony are available for $50 and $100. There will be a two ticket limit on all orders.


Rock and Roll Hall of Fame + Museum members can purchase Induction 2012 tickets in advance, beginning Friday, December 16, 2011 at 10 a.m. EST. To purchase tickets, visit or call (877) 212-8898 (please note, this number will not be activated until 10 a.m. EST on 12/16). There will be a two ticket limit on all orders. To be eligible for the member pre-sale, fans must become members by 11 p.m. EST on December 12, 2011 and have a valid Member ID.  To join please call (216) 515-8425 or click here.

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Revisiting the ‘Girlfriend’ album with Matthew Sweet

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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.'


Great deal on Tedeschi-Trucks Band tickets for Cleveland

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The marital pairing of Susan Tedeschi and Derek Trucks produced one of my favorite albums of this year and they're currently out on the road promoting that 'Revelator' album on a tour that will bring them to the Nautica Pavilion here in Cleveland on September 3rd.

If you've held off on making plans to go to the show so far, that's great news for you, because Groupon has a sale on tickets, which are priced at $12 and $19 for the next two days.

I can't think of a better way to spend an evening! Here's one of my favorites from the album.

By the way, you can get a free download of 'Bound For Glory' by visiting their website, where you'll also find a complete listing of their current tour dates.