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

22Dec/0911

Cage Match: Xmas Edition Vol. 3 – Run DMC vs. The Waitresses

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The big man is just around the corner, with his everpresent bag of toys and goodies, so we need to say goodbye for now, with our final Cage Match of 2009.

We've got two more holiday classics for you this week!

Perhaps you'd prefer to hear it on vinyl?

Lots of covers of this one, including The Donnas, Save Ferris, and the Spice Girls!

Run DMC or The Waitresses - what's your pick?

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29Jun/092

The Monday Morning Mix – 40 Summers Past ’69 – 6/29/09

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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!

About Today's Mix:

Today's Monday Morning Mix comes straight from our very own Mel! With 4th of July happening this week, I thought that this week might be a good time to drop a nice summertime mix. I got in touch with The Melness, and she agreed that she could put something worthy together.

Ah, summer. I love rolling down the windows and cranking my ridiculous playlists. Or a Basement Jaxx CD. I'll stick with the ridiculous for your Monday.

That being said, in honor of the official beginning of the summer, with a particular dedication to 4th of July about to mark our calendars, here is my Monday (It’s Still Very Morning to Me) Mixtape:

40 Summers Past '69 (download)

1. Summertime – Wiley (Crookers Remix) - from the single Summertime Part 2 – You just sat in the driver’s seat, ready to hit the road for a four-hour road trip warrior weekend. You need to start that drive off right – a wonky Crookers dance remix. Three shots of espresso are optional. The next rest stop is 48 miles away.

2. We Used to Vacation – Cold War Kids (Daytrotter version, I love) – But because I cannot drink anymore (and partially because I spent my savings on booze for the last five years), we will not be traveling to the beach this year. It’s a Stay-cation summer, kids!

3. I Come From the Water – The Toadies - from the album Rubberneck – I came from the water. I intend to not drown myself in the water on any of my summer weekends of which I may fall off a boat or a jet ski after suffering from waves of “heat exhaustion.” And damn, that sand does go on forever, doesn’t it? Especially when it gets washed into your swimsuit bottoms.

4. Back Porch – Presidents of the United States of America - from the album The Presidents of the United States of America – If you got a front porch, you can bring your one- or two- or no-string too.

5. Blister in the Sun – Violent Femmes - from the album Violent Femmes – I always forget my SPF45 on my nose and scalp. And I get these funky streaks on my back. Big hands I know you're the one!

6. Fantastic Voyage – Coolio - from the album It Takes A Thief – C’mon all let’s get inside. I got a Ford, not a convertible or a broad. We can ride with the doors open on the side road. And I'll stop rapping now...

7. Cruel Summer – Bananarama - from the album Bananarama – Summer is truly cruel when August creeps up. Then, you enjoy more “bars with air conditioning” than “bars with patios.”

8. Summer of 69 – Bryan Adams - from the album Reckless. You seriously didn't know that? – I imagine ’69 was a good summer. It will also be a great one for the 69-year-old karaoke show-offs this weekend. Cougar. Rawr!

9. Hot in the City – Billy Idol - from the album Billy Idol – Damn. I can’t take it over 80 degrees. Move over. You’re too sticky.

10. 4th of July – Stephen Kellogg & the Sixers - from the album Glassjaw Boxer – Scene: Mel is driving. Playing around on her iPod, finding good songs to add to the Monday Morning Mixtape v. ‘69 Summer. Boyfriend plugs in his iPod and declares shuffle war. A great song by an unknown band plays. Mel likes. Then shrieks of delight upon the singing of the chorus, “How appropriate for my mix!” And then, it was added.

11. The Boys of Summer – Don Henley - from the album Building The Perfect Beast – I love these boys of summer. And Spring. You can take the Boys of Winter. They have too many clothes on for my liking. But that’s neither here nor there.

12. Sunshine of Your Love – Cream – from the album Disraeli Gears - I’ve been waiting so long… I’ve been waiting so long… Ladies & Gentlemen, break out the air guitars.

13. Summer in the City – Lovin’ Spoonful - from the album Hums of the Lovin' Spoonful – Or your air keyboards, if you are so inclined.

14. Saturday in the Park – Chicago - from the album Chicago V – It’s such a cliché song selection to end the mix, no? But you know it’s perfect. Where is that man selling ice cream?

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22Jun/095

The Monday Morning Mix – The Completely Random Pete From Blogness CD Sampler – 6/22/09

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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!

About Today's Mix:

I don't think this one requires a lot of setup. Not too long after I started the blog, a new mecca for Springsteen lovers like myself came along on the internet. I can't completely recall how I came across Blogness on the Edge of Town, but someone pointed me towards the site, and the site name hooked me in as a regular visitor and commenter nearly immediately.

If you're a Bruce fan and haven't visited Blogness yet, I can't imagine why you're still reading this post. Tell ya what - download today's mix, hit play, and head over to Blogness to catch up on everything that you've missed!

Blogness head proprietor Peter Chianca also maintains the excellent At Large blog, and is an all-around good dude in my book.

I was thrilled to open the P.O. Box to find a no-nonsense/no B.S./down and dirty super-awesome mix from Pete, and now it's my duty to share it with my fellow Vinyl citizens.

Good stuff, and incorporating a cut from one of the more random Brian Setzer solo albums into your mix, is always awesome! I can think of one other person that owns that particular album (Kevin, I'm looking at you...)

Enjoy!

The Completely Random Pete From Blogness CD Sampler (download)

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1. "None But the Brave," Bruce Springsteen, The Essential Bruce Springsteen. The fact that this was an outtake speaks to the depth of the man's catalogue. Plenty of artists don't come up with anything this good in their entire careers. So there.

2. "The 3 Kids in Brooklyn," Butch Walker, Sycamore Meadows. Why isn't this guy rich and famous? I don't get it, America.

3. "Barbwire Fence," Brian Setzer, The Knife Feels Like Justice. Was I the only one who loved Setzer's first solo album? Was I the only one who bought Setzer's first solo album?

4. "Could've Been Anyone," Aimee Mann, Whatever. I think Aimee Mann should have been super-big, like Sheryl Crow big.

5. "I Believe," Chris Isaak, Forever Blue. I hear Isaak and Setzer are doing a show together in California -- now there's a tour I'd like to see!

6. "If You Belonged to Me," Traveling Wilburys, Volume 3. Did Dylan ever have more fun than when he was a Wilbury? (BTW, this is off the orginal disc, not that slick remastered whatever-it-is box set.)

7. "Dirty Old Town," David Byrne, Rei Momo. I still love his first solo disc, although his most recent was probably his best since then. But why no Heads reunion?

8. "Minutes to Memories," John Cougar Mellencamp, Scarecrow. I think this was actually the only song at that album that wasn't a hit.

9. "Meet Me By The River's Edge," The Gaslight Anthem, The '59 Sound. Best Springsteen tribute song ever.

10. "Rock & Roll Heaven's Gate," Indigo Girls, Despite Our Differences. I know people love their new album, but I actually think this one was their true return to form. Why? Because they started using the F-word, that's why.

11. "Redemption Song," Johnny Cash and Joe Strummer, Cash Unearthed. Love this cover -- especially poignant now that both of these guys are gone.

12. "Let Them All Talk," Elvis Costello, Punch the Clock. Elvis + Horns = Whammy!

13. "Stars of Leo," M. Ward, Hold Time. How does he get that subway sound in this song? I love M. Ward because you get the sense that he actually listens to records that came out before 1980.

14. "Pizza Cutter," Letters to Cleo, Wholesale Meats and Fish. Surreal Twitter moment of the year: Following Kay Hanley live tweeting a Red Sox/Angels game from L.A. -- with pictures!

15. "Better Back Off," Marshall Crenshaw, Life's Too Short. Add this guy to the Setzer/Isaak tour and I am there, baby!

16. "Someone to Pull the Trigger" (live), Matthew Sweet, Son of Altered Beast. His best slow song, period.

17. "Adios Hermanos," Paul Simon, Songs from The Capeman. I can see why this musical was a flop -- I imagine sitting through it in the theater was a real downer. But I love what he did with some of the '50s melodies here.

18. "Hi Heel Sneakers" (live), Tom Jones, Live at Caesar's Palace. Get thee to a Tom Jones show. He's on tour right now, you have no excuse.

19. "Murder 101," The Wallflowers, Breach. Elvis + Wallflowers = Double Whammy!

20. "Perfect Situation," Weezer, Make Believe. Lousy album, great song. Plus, I just like saying "Weezer."

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15Jun/0921

Bonnaroo Day Four: A View From The Hotel Room

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Coheed and Cambria were on stage at Bonnaroo on Sunday evening running through a mesmerizing setlist that included covers of "Red Rain" by Peter Gabriel," and "Under The Milky Way" by The Church. Despite what you might think, the Gabriel cover wasn't a direct response to any rain on the day - there had been nary a drop to be felt for those in attendance - instead Coheed were just rockin' out, doing what they do. It was a nice touch during the closing moments of Sunday's festivities, which also featured sets from country legend Merle Haggard, Akron-based Jessica Lea Mayfield, and a big healthy helping of metal courtesy of Dillinger Escape Plan, Shadows Fall, and High on Fire. And the hippie nation put their hands together to rejoice one more time with a weekend closer courtesy of Phish, who already had gotten their Bonnaroo on with a lengthy setlist on Friday night.

And some guy named Bruce Springsteen that we talked about yesterday, came out to help Phish wrap up their first set with three tunes - "Mustang Sally," "Bobby Jean," and "Glory Days."

Me?

I was feeling sick and in a hotel room. We had plans to check out of the hotel on Sunday morning, but my body dictated otherwise and gave me the invitation that I couldn't refuse, to pay for an extra night in the hotel so that I could lounge around and feel sick throughout the day.

We arrived at the hotel in Murfreesboro, which sounds like I asked someone where they were, and they got punched in the face before they could answer. Our assigned room was very Bonnaroo appropriate!

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'Tis okay though because it's already been a weekend's worth of memories that will stay with me for life (not to mention, things that Brian will have fun giving me crap about for eternity!)

We're on our way home this morning, and I'm planning to soldier through with my plans for Monday night in Columbus, which is on the way home, to see Eric Clapton and Steve Winwood. I don't have to drive home from C-bus - Bear will take care of that, and I think that I can prop myself up in a seat for a couple of hours to see two of my favorite legends do their thing again. I saw Clapton and Winwood at Crossroads 2007, and I've been looking forward to a return engagement ever since.

Gotta give big thanks to my good friends Brian and Adam, my favorite two people to road trip/attend festivals with. Year three of festival road tripping was not without its challenges (mostly on my side, yay!) but we certainly had some good times!

I'll leave you all with a couple of Coheed videos from Youtube, featuring their cover song performances referenced above, as recorded live last month.

A reminder for Cleveland fans - you can catch Coheed performing live with Heaven & Hell (read: Black Sabbath) this summer on August 22nd at Nautica Stage, and Church fans are in luck as well - The Church will be at the Beachland Ballroom on Friday, June 26th.

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14Jun/091

Bonnaroo Day Three: Santa Bruce Comes To Bonnaroo

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Today's post had the original title of The Chair That Saved The Trip. I had my initial moment of chair lacking regret on Thursday night at the B-52's show, and the feeling intensified when I got to Bonnaroo on Friday afternoon and saw tons of people relaxing in folding chairs while I was baking in the sun.

"Wuss" is what you're thinking or even saying out loud right now. Stop that. Don't be cruel. That's my job.

A morning trip to the local Wal-Mart resulted in the best 10 dollar purchase I've made to date, and the chair was mine.

We had an easier trip in to the Bonnaroo grounds yesterday that was happily void of any drug task force car searches (for us anyway,) and we got to wave to our friend selling the bananas. With chair strapped to my back like Rambo (okay, not even close) I made my way into Bonnaroo with my trusty rock and roll road warriors Brian and Adam by my side.

And then as before, I ditched those guys and thought that once again the lineup at That Tent was a good place to be for the afternoon. I made the effort for today to step out of my usual comfort zone and skip seeing bands that I've already seen (and bands that I LOVE) in favor of checking out artists that I had never seen.

This means that Govt. Mule and Wilco were not on today's agenda.

In their place, a wide variety of music from Allen Toussaint, Raphael Saadiq, Jenny Lewis, and Elvis Costello performing a special solo set.

Seeing a legend like Toussaint to start off the day was musically educational food for my music loving brain. Like a big ol' plate of gumbo, I ate it up, and that's one of the best things about Bonnaroo, is that you have the opportunity to feed your head all weekend long with both music and cultural experiences that are limitless in oppportunity.

I had been looking forward to seeing Raphael Saddiq, an artist with a body of work that would make quite a few of his peers jealous. Many of you probably heard Saddiq for the first time (without even knowing it) as a member of 80s/90s R&B soulsters Tony! Toni! Tone!, a project that registered a number of hits, including "Little Walter" and "Feels Good" which came across my radio many times while growing up. After a brief detour with the Lucy Pearl project, Saddiq moved into producing, and has worked with a number of artists from Whitney Houston to the Bee Gees.

Saddiq is currently enjoying just being an artist, playing the music that he loves, and gave back to the crowd at Bonnaroo, commenting that "my last record was not a radio record. Truth be told, I made all of my records for me. I was fortunate enough to have you enjoy those records. Thanks for that." The statement felt as real and honest as Saddiq's performance, which got the Bonnaroo crowd jamming from the moment he hit the stage. Yet another artist that I had to add to my list of folks that I need to pick up music from.

Next up was Jenny Lewis, an artist that I've gotten a ton of education about thanks to Jose and Kelly at Sensory Overload who have schooled me nicely regarding Lewis's work both solo and with indie rock darlings Rilo Kiley. Performing a solo set at Bonnaroo, Lewis turned out a set that was one of my easy favorites for the weekend. She's got such a charming voice that will suck you right in, and I think she's got a lot of musical similarity to what I want to love about Neko Case, but unlike Case, she's got better songs.

Now for the hard choice of the day, that was in reality, the easiest - choosing Elvis Costello over Wilco. Costello, like David Byrne, was on my list of legends that I hadn't seen yet, but I've always been a fan. Having seen Wilco three times last year, I figured that I would survive missing them at Bonnaroo to check out Elvis Costello. I knew that there was the possibility that Costello could drop an oddball setlist, but I also knew that the chances were good that he would play it safe for the Bonnaroo crowd. And really, he did a little bit of both, mixing newer tracks (including a brand new unreleased track) with favorites ("Watching The Detectives," "(The Angels Wanna Wear My) Red Shoes," Radio, Radio") and after joining Lewis during her set for "Carpetbaggers," Lewis returned the favor joining Costello mid-set for a number of tracks. Joined by a band for the last few songs of the set, Costello, Lewis, and Toussaint wrapped up with an all-star run-through of "What's So Funny 'Bout Peace, Love, and Understanding."

Costello's Bonnaroo set wasn't a complete replacement for the 90's Nautica Stage date in Cleveland that I still kick myself for missing, but it was a lot of fun.

With Costello's set wrapping up, we made our way over to the main stage for the headlining set from some guy named Bruce Springsteen that I think I might have mentioned once or twice here on the blog. He was playing with this young group of hipsters that call themselves The E. Street Band, and they actually could play their instruments pretty well.

Who am I kidding, you know how big of a Bruce fan I am. You know that of the very impressive Bonnaroo lineup, Bruce was definitely front and center on my dance card of stuff that I couldn't wait to check out. With the insanity of the current tour, sign requests, and general setlist tomfoolery, I was interested to see how Bruce would play at Bonnaroo. Would the crowd be a Bruce crowd? I very quickly got my answer, as I started to hear plenty of "Bruuuuuces" from the surrounding crowd, and the first crowd request/sign of the night was right behind me.

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A group of 11 music fans had made their way from Boston, driving nearly 20 hours straight through to get to Bonnaroo. Armed with the sign above, they were ready and waiting for Springsteen's set, and I had to know - "did you guys come for Bruce?" "Nah, man - we came for EVERYTHING." With eyes that were definitely more than a bit "baked," I had to dig a little bit deeper with these guys, and came to find out that one guy had seen Springsteen one time, another in the bunch had seen Bruce five times, and I stopped the quizzing right there - Springsteen rookies, these guys were not. Another lesson to show that you can't judge a book by its stoned out cover. Good guys, fun to hang with during the show.

Here's another example of why you shouldn't judge: Two shirtless jock a-hole types come up beside me, of the type usually accompanied by mass amounts of sweat dripping on you as they go past, or rub against you in their travels. Thankfully, it's cooled off enough that the sweat was left behind several stages and bands ago. The one has clearly had a little bit more to drink than he should have, and is negotiating hard that they should move up even closer. The more level-headed of the two notes that really, "I think we've done about as well as we're going to do - we're pretty close."

"Dude, we can just push our way through to the front!"

"But dude, that would be a total dick move!"

I have to smile at the guy when he says that, and he gives me a smiling yet frustrated look. As a bonus, these guys haven't stepped in front of me to block my view for the entire show. These guys are alright with me.

As for me, I've managed to grab a pretty good spot in the center of the action, just slightly behind the pit area. I'm happy. I've achieved my goal of actually being able to "see" Bruce Springsteen at Bonnaroo.

We're about a half hour away from the scheduled show time, and as it happens, Bruce will take the stage at about 9:26pm tonight, nearly reaching his usual "stroll on stage a half hour late" start time at a normal show. It's The Boss, and we'll wait for the Boss.

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photo courtesy of Metromix Louisville

"Badlands" is the opener - pretty standard stuff, but I like it....into "No Surrender" - YES! Is there anybody a-live at the Bonnaroo! Now THIS is why I came to Bonnaroo - Bruce never fails to nail me early with a certain song - "No Surrender" is tonight's track that is one for me personally that whenever I hear it, it always takes me back to 1984 where I am a kid discovering Springsteen's music for the first time.

"My Lucky Day" is up next, off of Working On A Dream, and actually has evolved positively in the live setting. Working On A Dream is my least favorite of the Springsteen catalog to date, and while there are moments on the album, "My Lucky Day" hasn't been one of them. I really enjoyed this one.

Now, comes the first ballsy move of the night from Springsteen: An audible for "Outlaw Pete," which I would see later on the printed setlist, but Springsteen must have been feeling confident, because he moved it up from its scheduled slot. I now know what I'll be doing for the next 8+ minutes, and it sounds fine. I'm seeing some interesting sign requests in the crowd - "Light of Day," "NYC Serenade," "Quarter to Three," but I am feeling bad for the person that made the sign for "Working On A Dream." Pretty sure you didn't need to make a sign for that one, but thanks for the support!

In fact, that "request" is fulfilled thanks to the setlist a couple of songs later, after an easy winner, "Out In The Street."

Finally got a chance to hear the emotional trio of "Seeds," "Johnny 99," and "Youngstown." All three are just as powerful as you've been hearing from reviews on the tour, particularly "Seeds," which knocked me on my ass. The only time I've heard this one prior to tonight is via many spins of my beloved Live 1975-1985 box set. Never live. It's pretty cool that all Springsteen fans are getting a chance to hear "Seeds" on this tour, I just wish that it was a random setlist pick, and not a necessary statement of these current hard economic conditions.

Bruce Springsteen, "Raise Your Hand" Live at Bonnaroo 2009 from Bonnaroo on Vimeo.

We've now reached the "sign request" portion of the show, and the band is running through an extended instrumental lead-in for "Raise Your Hand" as Springsteen collects signs from the audience - the most entertaining sign of the night that I see is "It's Hard To Be A Saint at The Bonnaroo!"

Bruce Springsteen, "Santa Claus is Coming to Town" Live at Bonnaroo 2009 from Bonnaroo on Vimeo.

A lifesize "Santa Claus" sign prompts a bit of mock protest from Springsteen, "It is two hundred and fif-ty-nine days until Christmas....is everybody being good out there? You're not takin' the brown acid!" I thought that this was my first "Santa," but my friend Tony very quickly reminded me that we got "Santa" at the December 2002 date in Columbus. Oh yeah. I must have been taking the brown acid that night.

Two more sign requests come one after another in the form of "Growin Up," "I saw it in there somewhere," Springsteen quips, and "Thunder Road."

A few songs later, I was surprised to see Jay Weinberg behind the kit - because I thought that he was on tour with his band for the next two weeks. While I thought that he was in Cleveland on Saturday night playing a show at a venue that is a short distance from my house, he's actually there on Sunday night, which leaves him free to rock it up with Bruce and the boys on a Saturday night at Bonnaroo in front of 80 thousand people.

And he makes it look so damn easy.

I was glad to get a chance to see him play, and I wasn't disappointed by what I saw. The kid is a monster behind the kit, and brings an audible difference to the band's sound with his playing. I feel like it took him a couple of songs to settle in with "Radio Nowhere" and "Lonesome Day," but from that point, he was on the money. As it was, Weinberg was driving the bus for the most intensely rockin' version of "Lonesome Day" I've ever heard. It's very inspiring to watch how much the band visually seems to enjoy playing with Jay, and he looks like he is on top of the world.

Overall, this wasn't the best Springsteen show I've ever seen - "Santa" was a definite nugget, and there were a lot of the "Springsteen fan favorites" that I enjoy hearing - "Thunder Road," "Growin' Up," etc; all in one show, but there weren't really a lot of jawdropping moments like "Kitty's Back," "Incident," "Lost In The Flood," etc. And maybe I'm a bit greedy, having seen two out of those three during what was allegedly a disappointing show in Cincinnati last year.

It was a smart show, and probably the kind that Springsteen needed to play at Bonnaroo, but it left me wanting/needing to catch another show on this tour. Which probably would have been on my agenda anyway. It was a fun show - I heard a lot of my Springsteen favorites, and also got the longest show I've seen personally, clocking in at nearly three hours. YES!

I was surprised by the lack of special guests - I felt sure that Alejandro Escovedo (who played earlier that day) would be an automatic, or perhaps Elvis Costello, but we did get one special guest - Robert Smigel and Triumph the Insult Comic Dog who made a couple of brief vocal appearances during Springsteen's set, adding "vocals" to "Waitin' On A Sunny Day," and "American Land."

Nice to see Nils Lofgren moving around just like the old Nils did after a double hip replacement - he was all smiles, all night long. And Clarence Clemons looked and sounded better than I've seen him in a long time.

And there it was, Springsteen had played his first performance at Bonnaroo, and I began to make my way back through the sea of people to meet up with Brian and Adam for Nine Inch Nails to close out the night - a task that took me nearly 30 minutes to accomplish, working my way from the main stage back to the Which Stage where NIN would be performing.

I'm completely cashed out at this point, and grabbed my chair back from Adam and Brian who had it for safe keeping, and watched the NIN set from a distance. We caught NIN at a good point, just having wrapped up the NIN/JA tour a few days earlier, fully primed and ready to show the Bonnaroo crowd how it was done.

There's no question that they should have been on the main stage, instead of the Which Stage, which was considerably smaller, but they made good use of their allotted time with a mega-crowd pleaser of a setlist featuring stuff like rarities "I'm Afraid of Americans," (recorded by David Bowie originally,) and "Burn" back to back, and also Broken album track "Gave Up," just to name a few. And late in the set, a special guest appearance by the members of Dillinger Escape Plan for "Wish." The two bands performed the track together previously earlier this year in Perth:

NIN: Wish live with The Dillinger Escape Plan - Perth, 3.02.09 [HD] from Nine Inch Nails on Vimeo.

Cashed out, three weary music lovers left Bonnaroo and headed back to the hotel to rest up for one more day on the farm....

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8Jun/090

Jenny Owen Youngs – If I Didn’t Know

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Transmitter Failure, the new album from Jenny Owen Youngs will unquestionably wind up as one of my favorite albums of 2009. While I'm still waiting for a Cleveland date from Jenny, I can in the meantime share her latest video with you....

And yeah, buy Transmitter Failure if you don't have it yet!

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11May/094

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

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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!

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.

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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!

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3Apr/094

Founder of Crawdaddy! Magazine needs your help

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After seeing quite a few blog items/news entries on the web about this, I wanted to chip in with a personal note of support for Paul Williams, founder of legendary music mag Crawdaddy!.

Paul Williams

A biking accident in 1995 left Williams with a brain injury and subsequent disabilities that have escalated to the point that his family are no longer able to care for him alone. In 2008, his family made the painful decision to move Williams into managed care outside of his home. To help offset the accompanying financial challenges of the full-time medical care, a page has been established where friends and fans can donate to help Paul's cause.

I first became aware of Paul's situation in the mid-90s after becoming a fan of his significant other (and future wife,) singer-songwriter Cindy Lee Berryhill. In the liner notes of her 1996 album Straight Outta Maryville, Berryhill included a note thanking everyone that helped during Paul's recovery, and a personal note to Paul for "coming outta the hospital the same great boyfriend."

They're good folks who would be grateful for any assistance that you might be able to provide. Surf on over to the website here for more information.

I dug up the following old interview with Paul Williams titled "The Godfather of Rock Criticism" that is good reading for fans, and anyone that might want to know more about his career over the years.

So what does Paul have to brag about, but doesn't? The man started the first real rock music magazine, Crawdaddy!, while still a teenager--a year-and-a-half before Jann Wenner started Rolling Stone. Via Crawdaddy!, he gave a lot of other "legends" their first writing outlet: Sandy Pearlman, Peter Guralnick, Jon Landau, and Richard Meltzer, to name just a few. He also hung with Tim Leary and sang with him on John and Yoko's "Give Peace A Chance" single, recorded in a Montreal hotel room in 1969. If you ever get a chance to see the video from that day, Paul's clearly in it...I could go on all day. He's the man. Long may he run.

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29Mar/0914

New Music: Cracker, Jenny Owen Youngs

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Hello kids,

Thought I would spotlight briefly, a couple of things that have been in my ears this past week.

First, a few links of interest for your enjoyment:

Leading up to the Rock Hall induction ceremonies, I've been talking Metallica with my former radio comrade Chris Akin and Cleveland Scene's D.X. Ferris. The first installment can be found on Scene's newly re-born C-Notes Music Blog here.

Also on the Scene site, Anastasia Pantsios shares details from the opening night of Blue Arrow Records and Books. As one that doesn't really enjoy the opening night crush, (unless it is Van Halen or Springsteen,) I haven't been yet myself, but it's on the schedule for this week!

My buddy Ryan has a chance for you to win the new live CD and DVD from Stevie Nicks. Get your name in the hopper by going here! Smashing!

The Lemonheads covers record that was scheduled for release late last year, is finally scheduled for June.

Michael Penn talks about a lot of things during a SXSW interview, including a total flashback to the days of Hypercard!

Locally, Don Henley spent 20 minutes on the phone with Bill Lewis/WNCX, the day before the Eagles concert at Quicken Loans Arena. After the show, my good pal Bear posted a great recap on his Cleveland Rock and Roll website.

Finally, I'm quite stoked to read about a two CD "legacy" edition that is on the way for the classic Lenny Kravitz album Let Love Rule. I want one.

Cracker - Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey

Cracker have more than just a little bit of sneaky nature bundled inside the works of the Cracker machine. They have this knack for dropping new Cracker albums on the unsuspecting music fan, seemingly from out of nowhere. Such is the case with Sunrise in the Land of Milke and Honey (pre-order from Amazon,) the new Cracker album that will be released on May 5th. I believe Cracker have at least one more great album in the tank, and while this isn't it, it is DAMN good.

Continuing the solid groundwork laid by Greenland (2006) (purchase), Sunrise is the no-bullshit straight up rock record that music fans have been waiting for. Blasting through 11 tracks in under 40 minutes, Lowery spits out rapid-fire lyrics that are signature Lowery.

From the album opening "Yalla Yalla" (I had a girl, Nantucket Massachusetts. She had a lisp, but man her ass was perfect,) to "I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right" (Don't you look down in that hole, cause the devil come out, and keep you for his own,) Lowery really brought his A-game on this album. Cracker axeman Johnny Hickman spreads his unmistakable guitar licks all over Sunrise, and grabs a solo writing credit with "Friends" (Well, I'd never sleep with your ex-girlfriend, even if she starts to flirt with me again,) one of the finer tracks on the album.

Cracker reeled in a ton of special guests for this album, including John Doe (vocals on "Shine a Light,") and a slew of special guests for "Darling One," which features Kevn Kinney (Drivin' n' Cryin',) Adam Duritz and David Immergluck (Counting Crows,) and singer-songwriter Shannon Worrell, to name a few. Sunrise in the Land of Milk and Honey is the band's first album for new label 429 Records, and hopefully we'll get to see some full-band shows supporting the new album, if we're lucky.

BEST TRACKS:

"Yalla Yalla"
"Turn On, Tune In, Drop Out With Me" (the first single) (download)
"Friends"
"I Could Be Wrong, I Could Be Right"
"Hand Me My Inhaler"

BONUS LISTENING:

"Something You Ain't Got" (download) from Greenland

ADDITIONAL HOMEWORK:

Greenland (2006) (purchase)
Gentleman's Blues (1998) (purchase)
The Golden Age (1996) (purchase)
Kerosene Hat (1993) (purchase)

Cracker official website

Cracker on the Live Music Archive

Jenny Owen Youngs - Led To The Sea

My apparent love for potty-mouth female singers led me to the music of Jenny Owen Youngs via "F*ck Was I" from Batten The Hatches, an album I bought via Itunes on a whim, after hearing the track from a friend. Youngs' Nelly cover of "Hot in Herre" was an additional purchase I had to make while hanging out at Itunes. Some of you might be familiar with Youngs, from hearing "F*ck Was I" on the hit television program (just wanted to use those three words to sound like "announcer guy nerd") Weeds, a spotlight slot that ultimately helped score Youngs a record deal with Nettwerk. If you missed all of that stuff....well, that's a shame - but now's a great time to catch up!

New Jersey-born Youngs is about to release her second album Transmitter Failure on May 26th, produced by Dan Romer (Ingrid Michaelson, April Smith, The Woes.) Her earlier work is more acoustic-based, and Transmitter Failure will flesh that sound out for the first time with a multitude of instruments including keys, horns, digital drum tracks, flute, glockenspiel, and even a full string section on some tracks. For those that are anxious to hear the new album, (me! me! me!) Youngs will preview the new album with an EP release, Led To The Sea on April 7th.

Youngs shares the following info regarding the new album:

“I wanted to make something that would move people emotionally, but also move them physically. I did not want to end up touring for another three years on a record that wouldn't offer people the opportunity to move. So. Dan and I set out to make something that was, quite simply, more fun to play live. In the process, my writing took turns I didn't expect.”

Dig that. Jenny Owen Youngs will hit the road for a tour with Jukebox The Ghost that goes all over the place with sadly, no tour date for me here in Cleveland. But for the rest of you, check here to see if Jenny is coming to your neck of the woods!

Here's the title track from Led To The Sea, for your enjoyment. Hope you enjoy it - it's my favorite thing that I've heard this week!

Jenny Owen Youngs - Led To The Sea

BONUS LISTENING:

(video)

ADDITIONAL HOMEWORK:

Purchase Batten The Hatches from Amazon - CD or MP3

Jenny Owen Youngs on Twitter

Jenny Owen Youngs on Myspace

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10Mar/094

Last night with Anya, Jay, and some guy named Greg….

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So after a nice spurt of warm weather this weekend, I can see my breath in the air again this morning. What the hell? Oh yeah, thanks Cleveland....

Last night I was at The Winchester, which has become one of my favorite clubs over the years, and lucky for me, I now live about a block away from it! I was there with Kelly and Jose, Mel, and my new arch-nemesis (and old friend) Justin, who were all making their first stop at The Winchester to see a show.

Kelly and Jose had invited us all out to see Anya Marina, who was opening a double bill anchored by Greg Laswell and Jay Nash. I recognized the names when I heard them, but hadn't heard any of their music prior to the evening. I decided not to cheat by checking out Myspace, Hype Machine, etc. before the gig - I wanted to let the music on stage sell me for the first time, and I didn't know it, but I was in for one heck of a sales pitch.

As the opener, Anya Marina delivered a charming set that had a vibe that reminded me a lot of the early shows that I saw Jewel play here in Cleveland. Like Jewel, you had the feeling that you were watching something special going down on stage. Marina, a short sprite of a singer, took confident command of the stage early with humorous conversation between songs including a comment about her "microphone that had gone flaccid" that we continued to laugh about long after Marina's set had ended.

When Jay Nash took the stage, you might have made a move to adjust your television set. Are you a fan of NBC's Friday Night Lights? Well, imagine if football misfit Tim Riggins' brother were to come strolling out on stage with a guitar, and you have a pretty good picture of what Nash looks like. Nash delivered a set that quickly won over all in attendance at The Winchester.

Really, how can you not like a guy that comes armed with plenty of songs and stories of "romantic miscalculation," including a tactical error of purchasing a guitar in Paris while wallowing in the emotional dumper, before realizing that he would have to carry the guitar with him for the next five weeks of the trip. Nash's voice was both smooth yet gritty at a moment's notice with the soul of a troubadour. "Sweet Talking Liar" was the song that a close friend loved enough to want Nash to sing it at his Connecticut wedding. The only problem was that Nash's friend had swapped out "liar" in his mind with the word "lover" - um, well....not quite.

Nash made a couple of Dylan references during the night, including a reference to the shared vision for the current tour as a Rolling Thunder Revue type of tour, with all of the musicians on the tour playing together throughout the night. Co-headliner Greg Laswell came out to add keyboards to a couple of songs during Nash's set, and Nash returned the favor playing various instruments during Laswell's set, including an ominous black bass guitar that looked like it had been stolen from Glenn Danzig's tour bus. Special mention should also be given to many of the tasty guitar licks and solos that Nash served up throughout the night during both his own set and Laswell's.

Laswell shared with the audience that none of the musicians really knew how to play bass, and that they had all been learning to play bass throughout the tour, and now they could actually play pretty well. Even Marina strapped on the bass for one of the closing numbers in the set, and Laswell remarked that it was really cool how their touring package of artists had become an actual band during the course of the tour.

It was an incredible night of music at The Winchester that kept getting better from the moment that Anya Marina took the stage to the closing moments of Laswell's set as the final notes faded away. Not having heard a note prior to the evening, I enjoyed the sets from Marina and Nash the most, and while I didn't connect as much with Laswell's music, he was very talented, and had a number of shining moments on stage, including a drastically reworked cover of "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun" that came packaged with a great story about a hate email he had received after recording the cover.

Laswell also shared one of the most poignant moments of the night with a dedication of "Not Out" to a soldier that was in attendance that had just returned home from Iraq, and a friend of the soldier told Laswell that evening that it was his music that had carried the soldier through the time in Iraq. It was a powerful moment, and Laswell was visibly moved as he shared details of the conversation.

The trio (and band) are on the road for a few more weeks, with the next show happening tonight in Columbus, OH. I can't recommend this tour enough, it was a GREAT evening of quality music from three exceptional artists. All three are promoting newish releases that would be worthy of your entertainment dollars. Check out the links below for more info....

While you're at it, get out and check out a show at The Winchester - the Winchester folks are good people that work hard bringing a lot of good music to Cleveland that might skip the market otherwise - The Winchester is a hidden treasure that more folks should be aware of!

P.S.

Here's a Daytrotter Session from Jay Nash that you might dig.

Edit: And here's a Daytrotter Session featuring Greg Laswell as well!!

As a closing bonus, I'm also going to link an MP3 from Nash's latest album The Things You Think You Need. Nash has some good musical help on the new album, including David Immerglück and Charlie Gillingham from Counting Crows. I knew from hearing Nash's set that I really needed to grab a copy of the album on my way out the door, and I'm glad that I did. Here's one of my favorite tracks from the album, a tune called "Keep On Talking" that won me over early with the George Harrison-esque guitar riffs that slide out in the opening moments of the song:

Jay Nash - Keep On Talking

Nash has a number of albums that are available on Itunes via this link. The Things You Think You Need is his first proper album that is available in actual record stores, for those of you that still frequent those types of places like I do!

Relevant Links:

Jay Nash - The Things You Think You Need - Amazon

Anya Marina - Slow & Steady Seduction: Phase II - Amazon

Greg Laswell - Three Flights from Alto Nido - Amazon

The Winchester official website

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