July 29, 2008
Anchorage Daily News Review (set list is in the comments of the ADN article)
July 23, 2008
July 19, 2008
An album like Before These Crowded Streets is one of those times that songwriting, performance, and production all came together. People that loved Dave Matthews for songs like "Satellite" and "Crash" probably had a hard time initially getting their heads wrapped around BTCS, because with a couple of exceptions, the album went in a different direction that previous DMB albums. To me the album is a perfect melding of darker, minor key undertone with melodic almost anthemic bridges and choruses. There's a common feel throughout the album. The first single released from the album was "Don't Drink The Water" which set the tone for the mainstream reaction with it's haunting, deep rhythm set against an uplifting chorus. Mix in Bela Fleck's bango and Alanis Morissette's background vocals and it's hard to find a piece of the spectrum that isn't used by producer Steve Lillywhite. The songs are thick but still had commercial appeal with "Stay (Wasting Time)" and "Crush" getting lots of airtime back in the day. Well worth tracking down a copy and giving it a second shot. Near perfect albums are rare, and I'm not sure Dave Matthews has released anything close to the perfection of Before These Crowded Streets. My favorites are "Pig", "Halloween", "Don't Drink the Water", "The Stone" and "Crush".
July 13, 2008
July 7, 2008
July 6, 2008
June 20, 2008
Coldplay - Viva La Vida Or Death And All His Friends
Jakob Dylan - Seeing Things
Death Cab For Cutie - Narrow Stairs
Weezer - Weezer (The Red Album)
My Morning Jacket - Evil Urges
I can vouch for these. Check them out.
June 16, 2008
It’s one of those things that is both easy and hard to check off of a list. DigiTel, the company I work for is a sponsor of the Mat-Su Miners based in Palmer, AK. Yesterday we were the primary sponsor for the game. It involved lots of giveaways, and the opportunity to throw out the first pitch. With my love of baseball and my years of playing the sport, I jumped at the chance.
The combination of baseball and business makes it fitting that this event happened on Father’s Day. When I was a kid, my dad would come home from a full day of work to play catch, catch my often wild pitches, coach third base at games (who loved to send base runners to steal home), and was always the most supportive dad on all the teams I played on.
My dad has been a great example to me in business too. He’s always said that having a firm understanding of how the little things make up the big picture helps making big decisions easier.
Years and years ago, I took a summer job working as a contractor for his company while they went through an inventory management system installation. My work consisted of lots of data entry and working out the kinks on the database as it was implemented to the warehouse. Spending as much time with the warehouse guys gave me a good appreciation for how the blue collar working guys saw my dad. Union tensions were pretty high that summer as a few other unions went on strike, but getting the perspective of the union warehouse guys of my dad and his role in operations management let me know that he wasn’t just another ‘suit’ to them. Whether it was because he understood the parts of the whole, or because he found common ground relationally with the guys, they respected him and his role whether the union appreciated that or not.
He’s been an example of how to lead, how to organize and how to remain loyal despite the company not always being loyal to you.
I'm a weekly watcher of both Meet the Press and Tim Russert's MSNBC show, so the sad news of his death and the tributes that followed have been showing up in my Tivo recordings a lot the last few days. One thing Tom Brokaw and James Carville talked about on the special Meet The Press yesterday was how Tim Russert would become a fan of what his friends were fans of, he'd call Carville about LSU touchdowns, Mike Barnicle even mentioned how excited he was Thursday night about the Celtics coming back to beat the Lakers (I can't share that enthusiasm) with a midnight phone call. My dad shares this enthusiasm not just about sports teams, but will go above and beyond to learn about what his friends and family are in to. Whether it means buying an album on iTunes, sending articles about a particular industry to a friend, or calling the moment the last out of the Red Sox winning the World Series, he's dedicated to finding or creating common ground.
Whether baseball, business, or life, my dad has been a great influence on who I am and who I want to be. Thanks, Dad for the example, the advice (the more true; the harder to take), and for making time for a game of catch (even as adults). Know that I’ve found those times priceless.
June 9, 2008
(Photo via Wil Wheaton's flickr photos)
June 8, 2008
Once Son Volt took the stage, they hit hard and kept punching. Several classic Son Volt songs as well as a good mix of songs from The Search. It didn't seem like there was the same level of energy on stage in the Beartooth as there was at the Fillmore last year, but it may have been the difference between leaning against the legendary stage and being seated in a booth at the back of the theater pub. All in all, it was a great show and showed again that if musicians however big show up in Anchorage, the crowds will follow.
May 29, 2008
With a little back story it should come as no surprise to you that there was a lot of energy in the air Wednesday night. Fairly promptly after 8pm, Elton John took the stage to thunderous applause. He made a point to wave and salute each section of the arena. Throughout his performance he consistently smiled and waved, and acknowledged the entire crowd. Speaking of the performance…it couldn’t have been better! He kicked off the two and a half hour set with “Your Song” and mixed in with several lesser known songs from older albums, he thrilled the crowd with classics like “Tiny Dancer”, “Daniel”, and “Levon.”
Above all it was a great reminder of how much Elton John has contributed to the musical landscape over the past 40 years. Everyone has their “Tiny Dancer” moment like one of my favorite Almost Famous scenes. Everyone has a “Mona Lisas and Mad Hatters” moment or “Someone Saved My Life Tonight” moment. And whether images of Marilyn Monroe or Diana, Princess of Wales come to mind during “Candle in the Wind” the point is that Elton John’s music has done one of those amazing things by moving you, sticking in your mind or just bringing a pleasant memory back to you.
(Anchorage Daily News review)
May 20, 2008
May 11, 2008
My mom met INXS.My mom always has time for a trip to Disneyland.My mom loves a good time and always knows how to dress for an occasion.My mom is a great leader, especially when an adventure is afoot. My mom loves to hike and is never afraid of where her feet might take her.My mom is cringing at having these 5 pictures of her up on my blog but is so polite, I won't hear about it. Love you, Mom.
May 10, 2008
Let's back up a bit. My understanding of what is bringing Sir Elton to Anchorage is there are a handful of states he's never played in the US, so with his greatest hits tour, he scheduled himself in places like Vermont and Alaska. He scheduled one show in Anchorage and one in Fairbanks.
So, back to Elton.
The tickets went on sale Monday morning at 10am local time. I'm a big fan of old Elton, and can occasionally tolerate new stuff when I don't have control of the music. I find myself singing along with his songs...even occasionally a Lion King era song. So in light of it being a greatest hits tour and the novelty of him coming to Anchorage, I logged into my lucky Ticketmaster.com account at 9:50am and rested my browser on the Elton John/Sullivan Arena page. At 9:58, I hit refresh and where it previously said "Not Available Until May 5 at 10am" now said select your tickets. Grabbed best available and had the confirmation email by 10:02. I watched Anchorage Twitterers chattering about trying to get tickets and soon after received a breaking news email from ADN.com that the Elton John show sold out in 58 minutes. He has since added a second night after the Fairbanks show that goes on sale Monday (5/12), but this is where the lesson can be learned.
No it's not a lesson of how a lucky Ticketmaster.com account can beat people who camp out all night at the brick and mortar box office, no it's not a lesson in how Twitter can guide you to the least busy Fred Meyer (though, it could've), it's a lesson for musicians and bands that ignore the Anchorage market. Sure there isn't a great venue, sure it costs a lot of money to bring extravagant sets and 100 piece bands, but what Elton John can teach you is that if you make the effort, Anchorage will show up. I haven't seen any stats on how fast Wilco, Third Eye Blind or Son Volt tickets are selling for their summer dates, but many more people have heard of Elton John than any of them.
So let this be the summer that re-defines Anchorage as a must stop on any North American tour. We're hostages of ClearChannel up here so the discovery of new music is a challenge for the average Alaskan, but even when Colin Hay came up last summer the Discovery Theater was packed, not to mention plenty of local talent that would love to say they opened for a big nationally recognized band. So, for the record, when Elton plays Sullivan Arena on May 28th, I'll be singing along from row 15.
April 22, 2008
I forgot to include the tour dates for the MRVSS Tour...no West Coast, and of course no Alaska, but if you find yourself anywhere near these dates, it'll be well worth your time and effort to see him live.
May 2 ATLANTA, GA Eddie's Attic
May 3 CHARLOTTE, NC The Evening Muse
May 4 RALEIGH, NC Berkeley Café
May 6 ARLINGTON, VA The Iota
May 7 NEW YORK, NY The Living Room
May 8 PHILADELPHIA, PA World Café Live
May 9 PITTSBURGH, PA Thursday's
May 10 INDIANAPOLIS, IN Sam's Saloon
May 13 CHICAGO, IL Schuba's
May 14 CLEVELAND, OH Beachland Tavern
May 15 ANN ARBOR, MI The Ark
May 16 FORT WAYNE, IN Come2Go
May 17 NASHVILLE, TN Mercy Lounge
April 14, 2008
April 5, 2008
June 5th Moose's Tooth First Tap (but at Beartooth Theatre) - Son Volt (more info)
June 21st Moose's Tooth Solstice Show - Third Eye Blind (more info)
July 26th Moose's Tooth 12th Anniversary Show - Wilco (more info)
April 1, 2008
Matthew Ryan - Matthew Ryan vs. The Silver State
Beauty that sneaks up on you.
R.E.M. - Accelerate
Best R.E.M. album since 1994's Monster.
Below, a screenshot of what my morning looked like...just a snippet of hours of great music. (More)
March 26, 2008
The whole album is worth the purchase (with or without bonus tracks). Here's the link to Amazon.
George Clooney, Michael Clayton
Emile Hirsch, Into the Wild
Viggo Mortensen, Eastern Promises
Samuel L. Jackson, Black Snake Moan
Joaquin Phoenix, We Own the Night
March 24, 2008
To get started...here are my Best Movie (Drama) nominees.
No Country For Old Men
We Own the Night
For the record I haven't seen There Will Be Blood, yet.Vote for your favorite or your winner or submit one you think I left out in the comments.
March 18, 2008
Drive-By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark
A very solid post Jason Isbell album with some great contributions from bassist Shonna Tucker.
Cat Power - Jukebox
Another great covers album from Chan. I think I've mentioned her philosophy on covers before, but I tend to agree with her when she sings the way she does.
Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago
I don't think I've read a single review that doesn't compare this album to Iron & Wine or Nick Drake...can't really argue with the comparison, nor can you go wrong being compared to them.
Mike Doughty - Golden Delicious
A great mix of sounds on the follow up to an MKinMotion favorite (Haughty Melodic)...and who didn't have at least 27 Jennifers (Jenns, Jennys, etc) in their school? And a rock n roll blogger on top of all that.
Nada Surf - Lucky
Very solid album from indie rock die hards.
Vampire Weekend - Vampire Weekend
As mentioned in a previous post, they've already played the talk show circuit and SNL, and there's still a good chance you haven't listened to their album...go on, give it a shot.
Chris Walla - Field Manual
Guitarist and producer from Death Cab (and Portlander) busts out a great little album with plenty of depth.
Kaki King - Dreaming of Revenge
I'm not sure any one can keep up with Kaki on guitar...definitely good, definitely unique.
Kate Nash - Made of Bricks
There something about her accent...
The Black Crowes - Warpaint
Riche was more excited about this one, but there's plenty about this album that takes me back to Shake Your Money Maker and The Southern Harmony... glory days.
Daniel Lanois - Here Is What Is
To most he's both more known and unknown as a producer of U2, Peter Gabriel, Bob Dylan, etc, but the guy can put together great songs. Now available via traditional methods as well.
Jason Collett - Here's To Being Here
Another solo album from Broken Social Scene's Jason Collett...but this one feels more like he's into it than some other solo stuff I've heard. I consistently catch myself loving songs as they come up on random on the iPod.
Gary Louris - Vagabonds
I could go on and on about The Jayhawks and Golden Smog...and I have...so I'll cut right to saying this album lives up to what you would assume would happen when an Americana royal does a solo album.
And released this week:
The Dodos - Visiter
These guys opened for Hothouse Flowers back in September 2006 in San Francisco and they've got a great unique sound.
She & Him - Volume One
This is a collaboration of Portlander M.Ward and actress Zooey Deschanel.
Next week I might be too wrapped up in Counting Crows new release to post a review of it...a long time coming. What music has grabbed you lately?
March 11, 2008
March 3, 2008
A post addressing the traffic to this blog looking for Wilco info wouldn't be complete without some recommendations. In the days of digital downloads, it makes more sense to list some tracks that will give you a more complete picture of Wilco. Here are my 20 favorite Wilco tracks, not in order of preference, but rather how they would sound good on a CD. Paring down to 20 was tough and even as I dropped them into a playlist I found myself resigning to the fact that I'm leaving out a lot of great music. So check these tracks out and don't be afraid of anything in the Wilco catalog.
A disclaimer: I think Yankee Hotel Foxtrot is to Wilco what OK Computer is to Radiohead, what Joshua Tree/Achtung Baby is to U2, what Vitalogy is to Pearl Jam, what August and Everything After is to Counting Crows...and that bias may show through in my track selection.1. "I'm the Man Who Loves You" from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
"All I can be is a busy sea of
spinning wheels and hands that feel
for stones to throw and feet that run but
they come back home, make no difference
ever known, make no difference
ever known to me"
2. "ELT" from Summerteeth
3. "At Least That's What You Said" (Live) from Kicking Television [Nels Cline makes all the difference, though the studio version holds its own]
4. "Hotel Arizona" from Being There
5. "Ashes of American Flags" from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
"All my lies are always wishes"
6. "Hummingbird" from A Ghost is Born
"Remember to remember me
Standing still in your past
Floating fast like a hummingbird"
7. "I Got You(At the End of a Century)" from Being There
Gotta love the tambourine...
8. "Impossible Germany" from Sky Blue Sky
9. "Radio Cure" from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
10. "The Late Greats" from A Ghost is Born
11. "Far, Far Away" from Being There
12. "I Am Trying To Break Your Heart" from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
13. "Monday" from Being There
14. "Passenger Side" from A.M.
"Hey, wake up, your eyes weren't open wide
For the last couple of miles you've been swerving from side to side
You're gonna make me spill my beer,
If you don't learn how to steer
Passenger side, passenger side,
I don't like riding on the passenger side"
15. "Via Chicago" from Summerteeth
16. "Kingpin" from Being There
17. "Jesus, etc." from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
18. "The Lonely 1" from Being There
19. "Hell is Chrome" from A Ghost is Born
20. "Misunderstood" from Being There
"There's a fortune inside your head
All you touch turns to lead
You think you might just crawl back in bed
The fortune inside your head"
[Bonus Hidden Track] "Poor Places" from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
Vampire Weekend are scheduled to play SNL March 8, which is an even further trip away from the mainstream.
And by the way I can't figure out why, but I giggled the whole way through the SNL Digital Short with Ellen Page waking up from dreams. Don't know why, but it was hilarious.
Stock up on Wilco at iTunes or Amazonmp3.com
February 20, 2008
Shaq looks strange in a Suns jersey. If someone had told you in 1995 that Grant Hill and Shaquille O'Neal would play on the same team, you'd probably assume they'd be favored to win a championship. Shaq was drafted #1 overall in 1992 and Grant Hill was drafted #3 overall in 1994.
Jason Kidd returned to the Mavericks who originally drafted him in 1994 (#2 overall). He's not the only player lately to return to their original team. Steve Nash made this move a few years back when he rejoined the Suns after his time with Dallas. Chris Webber recently signed with the Golden State Warriors who didn't draft him but traded for him on draft day. Not only does he return to the Warriors, but he returns to Don Nelson who coached the Warriors during Webber's first stint. Keith Van Horn was involved in the Kidd trade, and while he hasn't played for a few years, he technically returned to the New Jersey Nets who drafted him #2 overall in 1997.
The trend of NBA players being traded as well as free agency always tends to muddy the memories of current players' original teams. Afterall, who could forget Tracy McGrady the Raptor or Chauncey Billups the Celtic?
With respect to LOST:
What a great season so far! Lots of new questions...
I think I know how Jack and Claire discover that they're (half)brother and (half)sister.
I think I know who's in the coffin and why.
Perhaps coincidentally following a trend. Gary Louris joins Dan Wilson in releasing a solo album. Both musicians are more famous as a part of bands (Louris from the Jayhawks and Wilson from Semisonic), but the common ground continues in that they both worked with the Dixie Chicks on their Grammy winning album. Louris' album hit stores (and more commonly, online outlets) this week and it sounds good. You might remember my raving of Gary Louris when I saw him with side project Golden Smog.
February 17, 2008
February 14, 2008
I think there's something to those two things that we miss 99.9999% of our lives. Whether it be routine or busyness or jadedness, there's something to be said for allowing yourself to be caught off guard by a great song or a great sunrise or anything else that seems routine or habit (FYI, the sun rises every day in most parts of the world). Let it happen and embrace it.
February 5, 2008
January 28, 2008
January 26, 2008
Uganda is having it's National Music Festival and filmmakers Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine follow three members of a refugee camp school as they train for and compete in the competition. They are the only team coming out of the war zone to compete.
Beauty: The film is insanely beautiful. All aspects from the dance, the colors, the landscapes of Uganda and the sounds. The visuals, stories, and sounds help to create images that don't leave your consciousness very quickly.
Insight: Whether the team won anything or not, the subject was found in the bush of Uganda and pursued. It shows incredible insight into the heart of the story; these amazing kids who won't let the terrible hand they've been dealt in life to affect their attitudes and their outlook. The selfless adults that work with these children are also so amazing.
Unspoken Call to Action: Never in the film do they try to tell us something. The innocently show us a story unfold and let us react. There is no celebrity who tells you how you can help these children. There's no connection to an organization to donate money to. There is no call to action. The filmmakers leave it to you to draw your own conclusions. Many people will be able to watch this movie without letting themselves be changed by the story or the exposure to the world, many other people will hear the unspoken call to make a difference in their world.I can't comment on the next project from Sean Fine and Andrea Nix Fine, but I trust their vision, insight and ability to expose the world to us in the form of Documentary film. I'll be rooting for them come Oscar time. It will be released on DVD officially on April 15.
January 20, 2008
Whether you "get it" or not, there is so much value in experiencing art in a museum or gallery setting and I highly recommend SFMOMA. Just don't loose your parking garage ticket.
If you live in a town that has an art museum or a modern art museum, do yourself a favor and don't take it for granted.
January 14, 2008
- My Return to College
- My Ride Along with Anchorage Police Department (this might be the most requested I've ever had)
- My thoughts on MOMA (I may just have to add a blurb about tiger attacks)
- My thoughts on The Beat Museum
- The state of College Football
- Odd similarities between air travel and laundromats
And in light of adding #1 to an already busy schedule, I'll have to pencil these in over the next week. If you've got any last minute requests for me to add to the list, you can comment or email.
January 9, 2008
“Each time a man stands up for an ideal, or acts to improve the lot of others, or strikes out against injustice, he sends forth a tiny ripple of hope...”
- Robert F. Kennedy
There have been times in the world’s history where great men and women have stepped into these roles with the sole motivation to make a difference and change the world as much as they could. Names like Benjamin Franklin, Mother Teresa, Susan B. Anthony, Mahatma Gandhi, Rosa Parks, Martin Luther King Jr., Desmond Tutu, and many other people throughout time. None of them were Presidents or Kings or
As I watch coverage of the 2008 election, I think of all the quality people who are seeking the highest office in
Immediately I think of people like Al Gore, Bill Gates, Bono, even George Clooney. They seem to be using what influence they have whether it is money, celebrity or political clout to take on their issues. Al Gore has been outspoken in his crusade to improve our environment, you may not agree with everything he says, but you can respect his effort. Bono has been outspoken against many things in his career, but lately his focus has been on AIDS, hunger and poverty in
January 4, 2008
Again, no particular order and in no way inclusive:
Spoon - You Got Yr. Cherry Bomb
I'm From Barcelona - We're From Barcelona
M.I.A. - Paper Planes
The National - Fake Empire
Travis - My Eyes (youtube)
Josh Ritter - (tie) Right Moves & Rumors
Feist - (tie) 1,2,3,4 & My Moon, My Man (youtube) & (youtube)
Okkervil River - Our Life is Not a Movie or Maybe
Bloc Party - I Still Remember
Derek Webb - I Wanna Marry You All Over Again
Coconut Records - West Coast
Dan Wilson - Easy Silence (originally written by Wilson for the Dixie Chicks, but wonderfully done by him)
Robert Plant & Alison Krauss - Gone Gone Gone (Done Moved On)
Ryan Adams - Halloweenhead
Eddie Vedder - Hard Sun
Sharon Jones & The Dap Kings - 100 Days, 100 Nights
Kings of Leon - On Call
Elvis Perkins - Emile's Vietnam in the Sky
The Arcade Fire - Keep the Car Running
Josh Rouse - Hollywood Bass Player
Andrew Bird - Imitosis
Wilco - Impossible Germany
The New Pornographers - Myriad Harbour
Paul McCartney - Dance Tonight (youtube, still not a horn playing prairie dog)
Peter Bjorn & John - Young Folks (youtube) For the record, this is my ringtone
The Shins - Sleeping Lessons
[In honor of Heather from I AM FUEL, YOU ARE FRIENDS] The Swimmers - Heaven (not available on iTunes, but on their myspace page)
That same post about Josh Ritter included a quick two sentence review of Nicki Chambly (now Bluhm). I recently noticed some traffic coming from NickiChambly.fuzz.com and followed the link back to the press tab of her profile where that article is listed. Thanks Nicki, and/or your people.
Sometimes I feel like I'm the only fan of Matthew Ryan because I never see him getting press despite being amazing, engaged with his fans, and critically heralded. Well, this morning while reading through my feeds, I came to an article about his home recordings Dissent from the Living Room and Hopeless to Hopeful being posted. The first thing Riche ever trusted the internet enough to buy online was Dissent and I remember being really impressed with the fact that Matthew Ryan would number and sign each copy (and I was impressed that my copy of These are Field Recordings was also signed). Since then I've become a huge fan, but Hopeless has always eluded me. So I followed the link and downloaded it. As Heather discussed in the interview above, sometimes artists are supportive and sometimes they're apprehensive about having their stuff posted for free. Here's what Matthew Ryan posted on his MySpace page about the albums being posted:
"After I left A&M Records I started working on my 4track. This was only a handful of years ago, the internet was just getting warmer. I'm still not sure how Napster took off with all that dial-up going on. But I started releasing some DIYs on my soon to be relaunched website (matthewryanonline.com). Dissent From The Living Room and Hopeless To Hopeful are very raw home-recordings. Some of these songs went on to be part of future records when they were "properly" recorded. So, I was burning the discs and making the artwork and trying to keep up. I didn't think I sell more than 40 or 50 CDs. It was amazing, because it was the first time I realized we were all out here looking for each other. There were humans across all those wires. The truth is, these DIY records were the first time that I made any real income from releases. The submarine word of mouth was very inspiring. And it was a very large part of why I'm still doing this. They went on to sell so well and consistently that I took them down because I couldn't keep up. And I genuinely felt bad when CDs took to long to arrive or, and I'll admit it now, I sometimes forgot to mail them!
So if you don't have these, go on ahead and grab them. I'm glad they're available at this blogspot. Plus, I don't have to grab scissors and lick stamps.
Share the link with anyone you know that might be looking for these songs."