Wednesday, July 29, 2009
Zach Galifianakis' Visioneers is actually available on DVD now, as well as showing at some theaters. Seems kind of a shame it never got its time on the big screen.
In case you were wondering:
The winners of the 7" vinyl giveaway were from Florida and California. Nice to see we got some coastal coverage, even if the process was completely random.
New Telegraph Canyon:
is available for Pre-Order at Velvet Blue. I think I might wait for the vinyl version, which I don't think is up yet. Also, catch them with the Old 97s in Fort Worth toward the end of this month or on tour to the west coast in early September.
In the "you probably don't care, but maybe I do" department:
one of the only spoken word artists I still follow, Buddy Wakefield, will be touring the U.S. this fall on the Elephant Engine High Dive Revival, with compatriots Derrick Brown, Shira Erlichman and Anis Mojgani and many others. So glad to see they are hitting Denver and Boulder. Whether you think spoken word is so 1995 or uncool or uninteresting, you should briefly suspend such judgment, because Buddy puts on one of the most entertaining shows around. More on this to come.
No, there is no reason to mention this:
but I found some early Dwight vinyl the other day, and realized I had basically forgotten the genius of his work. Dwight may have done some odd projects over the years in some folks' minds, but of all the major label country artists of the 80s and 90s, I think he may have maintained his integrity as an artist more completely than almost any of the others. Can you think of anyone better?
Very very randomly:
ran across some Ryan Adams news on this blog today. The basic message was that Ryan may be resurrecting an old label he developed some years back to release recordings of some sort.
If you live:
in any of the hipper cities of the western United States, Tour de Fat, from New Belgium beer, may be coming to a city near you. It's a pretty great time, so check it out in your town some time. And if you've got the chance to attend the original event in Fort Collins, it comes highly recommended from me.
And now for the upcoming shows (in CO & elsewhere):
Fri., July 31st - Bash Riprocks in the Depot - Lubbock, TX with Thrift Store Cowboys & One Wolf
Saturday, Aug. 1st - Triple Nickel Tavern - Colorado Springs, CO w/ Drag the River
Sunday, Aug. 2nd - 3 Kings Tavern - Denver, CO
Monday, Aug. 3rd - Surfside 7 - Fort Collins, CO
Tuesday, Aug. 4th - Larimer Lounge - Denver, CO w/ Action Packed Thrill Ride
Wed., Aug. 5th - Phil's Radiator - Pueblo, CO
Fri., Aug. 7th - Dry River - Tucson, AZ
Sat., Aug. 8th - The Modified - Phoenix, AZ
The band was nice enough to take time out while they are on the road to do a brief email interview. They didn't even question the fact that I can't count, and numbered the four questions 1, 1, 3, 4.
1. How would you describe the band's sound right now? Has it changed in any way compared to your past recordings?
I would describe it as heartfelt songwriting mixed in with drunken barroom rock and roll with a cherry on top.
1. You've been recording a new album lately. Do you have a few details you could provide about how that process is going, and what your release plans are for the record?
We're recording in El Paso with Jim Ward (Sparta). We're about halfway done. It's sounding great and we're really excited for it's release. Hopefully we'll have it done in the next two or three months, after which we will begin shopping it around.
3. How is the rock/indie scene in El Paso right now? Is there strong support of independent bands & music?
There are a lot of talented groups in El Paso and a lot of good music being made. Only downfall right now is good venues to play in.
4. Anything else we should know about the Lucy?
Be on the lookout for the record soon. We'll be touring again come early January.
Monday, July 27, 2009
I know you don't care:
but I find it humorous that the FMQB Triple A radio conference that I've mentioned before lost Ben Harper as a headliner and replaced him in the lineup with Mindy Smith.
I told you it would happen:
and sure enough, Visioneers looks to be coming out very soon now that Zach Galifianakis is a mega star. Showings in Denver on July 29th & 30th.
I said I would do a final recap on the UMS:
but I also know you don't care about it that much, especially if you are not from Denver. Let me summarize ever so briefly: 1) The festival is super cheap - $25 for a last minute pass - I think it was like $12 for presale. I've paid more than that for one band. 2) It features some of Denver's best talent and is beginning to bring in some choice national talent. 3) Next year is the 10th Anniversary and I guarantee you they will bring in some bands that will basically be a steal for the money. 4) Enough people will have heard about it 5 years from now that there is no chance your band will get in then, but it just might if you try for next year. 5) South Broadway in Denver in July is about the best place to be in the world.
I think it's funny:
that apparently some people have accidentally happened upon my blog because Google search led them here after searching for the new Lucero album, specifically the search terms "1372 Overton Park" and "download." Not here jerks. You'll never find a leaked album for download here. But you can pre-order the new album from their Web site and get a digital download of 6 songs from the new album right NOW.
The time has finally come to give away some vinyl:
I just sent emails to the winners. Sorry if you didn't win, but the chances were tough, given that a number of people entered, and you CAN always pick up a copy from Vinyl Collective.
If you like funny things (probably safe for work, but let's be on the safe side and say NSFW):
Ben Kronberg is an awesome comic who is originally from Denver. Honestly, I just read about him in the most recent What's So Funny?, but it's pretty awesome stuff.
Started the day off with Hawks of Paradise on the main stage. I think 3 Kings was more of their ideal venue, but still not a bad show by any means for the middle of the afternoon. Glad I checked out the Denver Post blog before I posted this, but apparently this band announced at the end of the show that this one might be their last, but have since recanted on such claims. I'm a little less impressed with them now. Maybe I'll check them out again when the angst is out of their system.
I knew this festival was missing something, but I just couldn't put my finger on it. Oh, that's it...pedal steel guitar. Thanks to the New Ben Franklins for making that happen. The steel guitar and cowboy hats were a nice break from all the loop pedals and headbands over the past 4 days. Plus, what better venue for this type of band than the Skylark?
Next up on the Cartoys stage was Houses, another local indie rock band. Nice tight rock set, and they did a good job of moving past some technical difficulties that involved getting shocked when they touched the microphone.
The next band I can remember seeing (not from drunkenness, just music overload), whether they were the next one I saw or not, was Everything Absent or Disorted. With this being their next to last show, I expected they would pull out all the stops, and their set was no disappointment. This was the last show on the Cartoys outdoor stage, which was a huge benefit for them, in that they didn't have to rush, and they could play about as long as they wanted. Despite some technical difficulties, the set was about everything the band's long time fans could have asked for.
The band and crowd loosened up a good bit as the set wore on, although I doubt it was from the Rolling Rock, as I don't know anyone who has gotten drunk off of that, but rather it was just a band soaking up every second of the near-finale of their 4-plus year tenure in the Denver scene.
I don't have any pictures where you can see the accordion being played, but it didn't really matter in the long run, as the accordion didn't survive the rock show intact. Eventually, the show evolved into something that looked a lot like this:
In a heartfelt gesture of appreciation for their support, they brought up their wives/partners/girlfriends/friends for the last song (before their other last (encore) song). I didn't get a great picture of it, but you'll also notice the pink airbrushed EAOD shirts, which the band apparently had no idea were part of the day's plan until the start of their set when the wives/significant others showed up:
The band announced that they'll be doing their last show at either the Hi-Dive or the Bluebird, some time in November, at which time they'll also be celebrating the release of their final EP, that I *think* they said will be a free digital download.
Following this set, I regrouped for a short time, before heading over to the Hi-Dive for the night's (and the festival's) finale. I caught most of the set by North Carolina's Megafaun, who are on tour with the Bowerbirds. Apparently Justin Vernon, i.e. Bon Iver, is a good friend and huge fan of this band. The band gave a strong set to the near packed house, most notably keeping the crowd quiet enough to hear their unplugged final song (a feat that a band earlier in the festival was unsuccessful at).
The Bowerbirds were next up and gave a very solid performance. I went in not knowing any of their music, but came out with a strong appreciation for them. "Northern Lights" is an initial favorite of mine, which you can check out on their myspace. If you've read this blog before, you know I don't often quote lyrics, but for some reason, I just love the line: "and I don't expect a southern girl/to know the Northern Lights."
My pictures really took a downturn when I got into the Hi-Dive, which you might find hard to believe. However, turns out the cheapest Kodak digital doesn't do indoor night pictures...at all. Here's about the best picture I got (well, maybe I'm exaggerating a little):
Check out the Denver Post's blog for better pictures and a recap of all the acts I missed. I may post one more time about the UMS before I give it a rest until next year, not that you care, but nonetheless, that about does it for a great 2009 UMS. In the meantime, take heed:
Sunday, July 26, 2009
I didn't have a ton of bands on my to-see list this rainy Saturday evening, but I did want to see the comics of Wrist Deep Productions. These include Adam Cayton-Holland, Greg Baumhauer, Jim Hickox, and Ben Roy, a group that has begun to make a name for themselves in the media over the past year or two. Slotted to start at 9 p.m., I showed up to Sobo 151, a sports bar where the showcase was to take place, and my first impression was that I was not in the right venue. Nonetheless, I waited it out and eventually saw the comics come in. However, in the mean time, I overheard discussion that a band, maybe more of a flash mob, called Boba Fett and the Americans was going to be making an appearance in front of the Sputnik at 9:45. Greg Baumhauer did start the comedy off around 9:30, although this was out of order from the schedule. I stayed for his set, which was hard to hear over the sports bar crowd, but there were some decent high points. I left out soon after to find out about Boba Fett.
Getting to the Sputnik about 9:45, I heard lots of talk about the band, which over time devolved into talk of whether they would show up or not. By 10 p.m., I was starting to think I should head back to the comedy, but on my way back that direction, I finally saw the Boba Fett crew warming up in the parking lot. Back at the Sputnik, the marching band finally showed up outside, possibly more fueled by the rain than deterred by it. Given the lack of any major headliner of the night, Boba Fett was really the talk of the town, and apparently the talk of the twitter as well.
(Boba Fett and the Americans outside of Sputnik)
It's hard to show exactly how many people gathered on the street to watch, but it was quite the party. Here was just a sampling of some of the crowd. I was really never able to get a picture of the entire band, nor of the entire crowd, which is probably the way it should be. Tons of local musicians, from bands such as the Wheel and Everything Absent or Distorted, could be found among the crowd, as well as festival organizer Ricardo Baca, who I happened to catch in this picture on the right side of the frame (holding the camera).
After the Sputnik performance, the band retreated briefly to regroup, but they proceeded to march around South Broadway for a couple of hours with groups of followers of varying sizes throughout that time. It was definitely a highlight of the night. The band ventured down as far as the front of a (maybe out of business?) adult entertainment store, stopping to play a song, and then proceeding to talk about how awesome it was the time they played Pleasures.
(Boba Fett shortly after their awesome gig in front of Pleasures)
Anyway, back to the comedy, I arrived back at the bar in the middle of Adam Cayton-Holland's set. Of the 4 comics I saw, Cayton-Holland seemed to keep the sports bar crowd at bay better than most, such that one could actually hear his set over the din of the crowd. Given that he was supposed to go on at 10:30, and actually was finished about 10 minutes before then, I overheard some disappointment from the late arrivals who had come to see him. But that's the nature of things like this. Ben Roy finished out the night, and while he hit a few high points, the crowd didn't really respond to his antagonistic antics, and rather just kept talking, so things didn't really finish on a high note. I would really like to see the comedy showcases get moved to a gallery or some non-sports bar in future years, as this setting was far from ideal.
I had to work a volunteer shift in the middle of all of this, so I ended up seeing one band I hadn't planned on. A hip hop group backed by a live band called Input played to an enthusiastic crowd. While I don't really listen to their type of music on a regular basis, the live band was extremely tight and the show was really high energy. Pretty cool show for a band I hadn't heard of or expected to see.
Next I checked out a band at the Irish Rover called A Mouthful of Thunder. Pretty cool stuff. I didn't know much about them, and still don't, but apparently at least some of them were/are in a local band called Hearts of Palm that has been around for a while. The lead singer said that they had gotten together most of the songs as a group fairly recently, but you really wouldn't have known if he hadn't told you. It is discoveries like this one that make festivals like this the most worth it for me. No matter how many national acts the UMS brings in in the future, you really have to hope that it always leaves room for musicians to throw together bands/side projects/marching bands at the last minute and give the fans something they hadn't expected.
(A Mouthful of Thunder at the Irish Rover)
The rest of the night unfortunately involved me standing in line for 10-15 minutes or so at the Hi-Dive and 3 Kings, mostly to see bands that I watched one song of and then moved on. Saw a band from L.A. called El Ten Eleven that had one guy on double necked guitar/bass and a drummer. The guitarist did some pretty cool loops and seemed to have a really strong crowd, but it was so packed that I moved on. Unfortunately the biggest excitement after that was watching a 3 Kings bouncer give a young woman a seriously hard time about her ID. The fact that she just walked away when he said he was keeping the ID didn't bode well for her credibility. That and a person driving the wrong way down one-way Lincoln Street pretty well capped off the night. It's always quite an experience at that time of night being the only sober driver on the road.
With the extreme drunkenness I saw last night, I don't expect a large number of folks to come out tonight, but I hope they do, as there are some great bands still on the schedule. Come on people, just hold it together for one more night.
Update: The Denver Post has a ton of pictures up and more accounts of the Boba Fett appearance, if you're in to that sort of thing.
Saturday, July 25, 2009
The ridiculous internet marketers on Twitter have found that they can put the most popular labels on the end of their tweets, so that when you search for "Michael Jackson," you'll get a ton of links on how to make $500 online every day. You had to know that these people would ruin twitter before long Michael Jackson Harry Potter Moon Michael Vick.
Being from West Texas:
I always love a good article on Stanley Marsh 3. The link is to a recent article from the Toronto Star.
I'll come clean right now:
I skipped the second night of the Underground Music Showcase, partly because I won tickets to Wovenhand at the Fox, and partly because I didn't think I could make the late night Denver-Boulder drive 4 nights in a row.
The Wovenhand show:
was okay. Not really anything happened warranting a full account. Crowd was made up of mostly old dudes, and the band was very tight, although they seem to avoid playing some of their best older material. And this is coming from someone who really likes his newest album. Oh well.
Who would've thought:
that the Jim Ward duet with Tegan Quin, on his new In the Valley, On the Shores, would be so good? Probably not me, but it is really good.
Just linked up with an old friend:
from the time before I quit the music business for the first time, and probably hadn't talked to her since some time before I quit the music business for the second time. If you live in the DFW area and want to know the best events going on, check out her blog the Fine Line.
Dear bands who think it is still 2005:
sending out random myspace friend requests to get people to listen to your band doesn't work these days. Consider yourself lucky if any of your actual fans even use myspace anymore.
I guess because of Lucero's new album:
Ben Nichols may not be on the next Revival Tour with Chuck Ragan and company. Have seen some concert listings though that indicate Jim Ward (Sleepercar, Sparta, ATDI) is going to be one of the other headliners.
Sorry for this, really:
but have you ever thought about who the person was who decided to use the "@" symbol in emails? Was probably a fairly random decision, but I bet that person is sure proud of him/herself now.
If you haven't bought:
your $30 (+ service charge) Gomez tickets for the Boulder FMQB Radio Summit, you'd better hurry. The $45 Ben Harper tickets already sold out. Have a great time - don't think I'll make it out.
Friday, July 24, 2009
(photo by Todd Roeth via eaod.net)
In all honesty, I was close to talking myself out of going to the first night of the festival, but hearing the announcement that tonight would be one of the last three shows EAOD will play, I decided it was time to suck it up and drive to Denver to finally get my chance to see them perform. The air conditioner at the Hi-Dive was no match for the fans that packed out the venue for the band's set, but once the music started, everyone seemed to forget they were watching the show from Butt Sweat City anyway. It is sets like these that make me realize my capabilities in describing music are far short of adequate, as the passion that the band put into this set, and the true artistic drive that has driven this project would be shorted a good deal by my use of buzz words and flowery language (talkin' purdy). Thus, if you live in the Denver area, all I can do is implore you to catch one of the last two shows (one of them being this Sunday). I think I'm going to have to make it just in the hopes of hearing "Gospel of Slight Rust" live at least one more time. I'm going to go ahead and be the first one to say (to the band), that maybe you guys should think about getting together next year for a little reunion at the UMS - it will be recent enough everyone will still know you, and your music will still be new, so all I'm asking is just think about it. Nonetheless, the band is finishing up its tenure the right way, and watching them perform appears a bittersweet experience for them.
Langhorne's closing set followed, his second of the night. The first had been opening up a sold out show for Josh Ritter at the Bluebird. A talented songwriter and energetic performer, he seems to be the go-to opener for some of the bigger acts around - The Avett Brothers and Lucero are just a couple that he's toured with in recent years. I recognized a number of his songs that I was familiar with, but just didn't know he was the one who sang them. I honestly have to say I was more impressed with his set than I went in expecting, and given the act he had to follow, his set was even more commendable.
(Langhorne photo credit crackerfarm)
So far, I'm very impressed with the UMS. While modeled as a SXSW style festival (in the organizers' words), it's far less obnoxious and FAR less expensive. You can walk right up any day of the festival and get a $25 pass, whereas I think a similar pass at this year's SXSW was somewhere around $750. Mind you, it is not on the same scale, nor do they pretend it is. Rather, the organizers have made an effort to build it each year, with this year's festival being the first where national touring acts have begun to take the stage. Also nice about the festival is that while there are a lot of good bands, for the most part you avoid the situation where choosing to go see one band doesn't feel like you have just chosen not to see 5 other good bands.
The first unknown (to me) that I ran across tonight was Hawks of Paradise. Only caught a couple of their songs at 3 Kings, but I think they'll be worth another chance on Sunday when they play again. Regarding Sunday, Denver, remember, 7 p.m., Sunday night, Everything Absent or Distorted at the Cartoys Stage in the Goodwill Parking Lot. I'm done talking so you can put it on your calendar right now. I expect this show will be very well attended after word spreads over the next couple of days that the band is hanging it up.
Wednesday, July 22, 2009
Everything Absent or Distorted
Elin Palmer & Kal Cahoone
4 great comics this night, including:
Adam Cayton-Holland - Check out the new What's So Funny? while you're at it.
Everything Absent or Distorted (if you missed them the first time)
UMS is over, and I feel sorry for anyone playing Denver Monday night, but... if you can stand one more night, you can check out Bloodshot Records artist Ha Ha Tonka at the Hi-Dive. They've got some promising new material, so if you're just not ready to let go of the 4 day party that was the UMS, then why not make it one more night before you return to reality?
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
As you should well know, Austin label Mt. Inadale Records recently released a 7" vinyl split with Lubbock bands Thrift Store Cowboys and One Wolf. These two bands represent some of the best talent Lubbock has seen in recent years, and this record is no exception. Hopefully you are such a big fan that you've already bought a copy to support this label and the bands, but alas, I'm sure some of you have not.
This vinyl includes two amazing songs from the bands: "Everything's On Fire" by One Wolf, and "Nothing" by TSC, recorded specifically for this release, and not likely to appear on future albums in the same form.
Here's the deal. All you have to do to enter to win is send an email to windfarmblog(at)gmail(dot)com with your name in the body of the email, and "Mt. Inadale vinyl" in the subject line. You will be assigned a number based on the order in which your email shows up. In one week (i.e., after 11:59 p.m. on 07/28/09), I will count the number of responses, and then proceed to use this random number generator site to pick 2 winners. You have my word that I will take the first two numbers that pop up, even if you are a person I do not like. Please limit one entry per person.
Not that you need to be a super educated consumer to get things for free, but you can hear the songs from this record on each band's respective myspace. And in the event that you do not win, first of all, I am terribly sorry, but second of all, perhaps you should ease your sorrows by ordering the record from Vinyl Collective, and consider picking up a copy of the 12" Cory Branan/Jon Snodgrass split while you're at it.
Let me know if you have any questions or can't/won't read directions. I am not responsible for your own failure to comply with the unbelievably simple rules (i.e., don't enter multiple times or you'll be disqualified).
Monday, July 20, 2009
Enter David Eugene Edwards. It so happens that one of Colorado’s most compelling artists is playing a show in Boulder (i.e., about 5 minutes from my house, no less), on Friday night, the same night when there are a number of bands I’d like to see at the UMS. Not that I haven’t seen him before -- quite the contrary -- but I hate to miss his show at the Fox Theatre, because at least according to a 16 Horsepower fan site, DEE has only played Boulder 3 times, ever (two with 16 HP, and one with Wovenhand). And it's a very reasonably priced show for Boulder ($10, or $14 DOS).
Even as I write this, I’m leaning back and forth on what I think I should do. I’m not sure I have the energy to make all 4 days of the UMS, but if I had to choose, I wouldn’t purposely make Friday one of the ones I missed.
Can anyone talk me through this one?
Sunday, July 19, 2009
released under the name Yim Yames, until I found out it costs $35. The CD plus the download is just $10. I mean, I know that some of it goes to charity, but $35 for 6 tracks and a t-shirt?
$35 -- Seriously?
If it was maybe $20, I'd totally be on board, but now I think I'd rather just have the $6 download.
Have I ever told you:
how much I hate when people use the phrase "rock and roll" or "that rocks!" or "s/he is a total rock star" in the everyday workplace or in casual conversation? No? Well, I hate all those phrases and how they have tricked us into thinking our office jobs "rock" in the same way Zeppelin "rocked" in the 70s. Don't even get me started on the energy drink...
there's the phrase "we partied like rock stars." Just because you got too drunk and (insert stupid behavior), that doesn't make you a rock star, and alternately just makes you a sad 16-48 year old.
Big announcement from Lucero:
New album out on Oct. 6th, entitled 1372 Overton Park. One track is up on their Web site.
This Tuesday, 7/21:
You can catch the Flatlanders on Late Night with David Letterman.
This isn't breaking news:
but I have to commend the Monolith Festival for their recently announced headliners: The Yeah Yeah Yeahs and the Mars Volta. Nice to see a mid-level festival that focuses on bringing in fairly relevant indie bands, and, I think, taking a gamble by bringing in so many other bands that are largely unknown.
Saturday, July 18, 2009
If you have a regular record store in your town that you frequent, you likely know a couple of things. 1.) Once you've gone through the used records a few times, there's not much to look at other than the new arrivals, and unless your store gets tons of new stuff, new used records of interest are few and far between. 2.) You know that because of reason 1, there's a lot bigger satisfaction to finding something good at your local store than locating something on ebay.
You've probably stopped reading by this point, but today was right up there with some great finds. I've come to find that Talking Heads albums are few and far between at record stores these days, and hence finding this one ranked up there with the time I found an original Grievous Angel at Twist and Shout. Also, judge me if you must, but the Jackson 5 Greatest Hits is a 1971 original in great shape (not that I'm planning to resell it), and surprisingly, it wasn't horribly overpriced, as I'm sure a number of Jackson's albums are these days. Some idiot on ebay had one of these same records posted for $500 (it didn't sell).
Rounding out the day's finds were records from John Prine, Faron Young, and Waylon. After a first listen to the Waylon record, I'm really coming to decide that he may be one of the more under-appreciated legends of country music, or more appropriately, of music in general. Not that he's been forgotten, but I think his impact and artistry aren't recognized to the extent that they should be.
We should talk more about this Waylon business soon. Until then, why don't you read up on Littlefield and be ready for a quiz next week.
Friday, July 17, 2009
The first thing we noticed when we arrived at the Boulder Theater was that the Old 97s crowd these days is really...old. I'm sure a substantial portion of them were the "Question" crowd, and were there because they heard the song at a Rockies game one time when someone got engaged on the Jumbotron. However, as the night wore on, the crowd began to fill in with the jaded looking 30-40 year olds that I was so accustomed to seeing at Old 97s shows in Dallas. Then of course there were a couple of token beat up cowboy hats that apparently some people still wear, and to round it out, of course, were a few people wearing the band's t-shirt to their show.
Murry Hammond opened up the show with a set of his solo material, which was pretty well a dream come true for me. The set was fairly eclectic, comprised mostly of acoustic gospel songs from his album I Don't Know Where I'm Going But I'm On My Way, but also including "I Will Never Marry" performed on the harmonium, and my personal highlight "Valentine." I guess the mellow set gave the audience a bit too much room to talk, so Murry sang the latter half of his set over a sizable background noise from the audience. However, he seemed unfazed by such, and for those listening, the music was well appreciated. In the men's room, I overheard someone say "it takes balls to be that guy," which pretty well sums up a guy who plays gospel music in front of an audience who came to see a loud and raucous rock band.
Songs I could identify from this set were:
What Are They Doing In Heaven Today?
Between the Switches
Lost at Sea
I Will Never Marry
I Believe, I Believe
(Might have been one more song on here that I didn't recognize)
Rhett Miller followed with a short solo set. While I was well aware that Rhett is an amazing rhythm guitarist, this set really highlighted his ability to strum the guitar so fast that you can't see his right hand. I don't know all of his solo material quite as well, but I've increasingly become a fan of it, probably more so now that it's clear the Old 97s aren't likely to dissolve as a result of his solo career. That's kind of ridiculous I know, but you have to understand, things were a little tense for 97s fans around the time The Instigator came out.
Songs I could identify from this set were:
This Is What I Do
(Sorry, probably missed 2-3 songs from this one)
The Old 97s set was great, as always, and the band sounded extremely tight. There aren't a lot of bands with this many albums that I would be able to identify every song in their set, but this show wasn't even really a challenge. Keeping with tradition, they played at least one song from every album. Maybe I overdid it, but my three twitter requests - "Hands Off," "House that Used to Be," and "Melt Show" - didn't make it into the show.
The set list was as follows:
Won't Be Home
The Other Shoe
Dance With Me
W. TX Teardrops
The New Kid
No Baby I
Murder (or a Heart Attack)
If My Heart Was a Car
Color of a Lonely Heart
I Need to Know Where I Stand (new Rhett song)
Question (and a verse in French)
I Will Remain
Big Brown Eyes
Rocks Off (Rolling Stones cover)
With this concert done, now all I've got to do is try and figure out if I can make all 4 Colorado shows for the Avett Brothers.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
The oddest thing is that, despite the fact that the conference is apparently still scheduled, not a single thing has been reported for close to a month, when FMQB was announced as the new backer. Sure, they did say in the article they wouldn't announce the lineup until July 20th, but come on - if it's set, then announce it now. Even though it hasn't been officially announced, I did finally find the schedule here.
I'll be out of town for majority of the conference (not that you care), being held August 5-7, and sadly, I'm not even that bummed about it. The lineup seems to be a bit trimmed back compared to previous years. The Fox has a few acts that might be worth seeing in a small venue. Among those, Ben Harper and Andrew Bird on Wednesday, and Gomez on Thursday. Odd that Yonder Mountain String Band is also playing the conference at the Fox on 8/7 when they already have a sold out show there on 8/27...not that they'll have any trouble selling out again in this town. That thought alone almost brings me to a grumpy old man rant about the state of the Boulder music scene, but I'll spare you for now. Well, except for the fact that it really shows how ridiculous this town's music scene is that the David Gray E-town performance has already sold out.
So in summary, I *guess* the newly sponsored radio summit will happen. However, I'm still not sure anyone is going to hear about it until a week or two before it happens. I guess they are banking on the fact that people in Boulder don't really like good music anymore and will turn out in droves to see mostly non-cutting edge acts.
Well, I say non-cutting edge, but I guess that is unfair to the big Fox second stage show on Wednesday night featuring...yep, Marcy Playground.
Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Doug Burr will be heading back into the studio at the end of the summer.
to Amanda Shires for her recent spotlight piece in Texas Music magazine, and also for charting on the Americana Radio charts (up to #28 so far).
If you care about this type of thing:
Bloodshot Records now lists the limited edition vinyl for Justin Townes Earle's The Good Life as sold out. You can probably still find some copies here and there, but probably not for a lot longer.
to Telegraph Canyon, from Denton, whose next album will be released on Velvet Blue and Spune, which is also Doug Burr's label.
No matter how long we've had cell phones:
it turns out that it's still not a good idea to be talking to someone on the phone while you're pulling out into traffic on a busy street. Just in case you didn't know.
Austin City Limits Festival:
is looking more and more tempting. Must keep in mind how expensive it is though, and how it will be 150 degrees and 50,000 people will share 2 porta potties. But then again, there's also the Avett Brothers, Bon Iver, Devotchka, Grizzly Bear, and the Felice Brothers. Sorry to offend any major Arctic Monkeys fans, but I can't see much reason to go on Sunday.
Denver's SXSW equivalent:
is called the Underground Music Showcase (the UMS), although there's probably about 5,000 less bands in town for it. However, I count that as a plus. Hoping to make it down, with early intentions to catch Bela Karoli, Elin Palmer, The Wheel, Dressy Bessy, Adam Cayton-Holland, and Everything Absent or Distorted.
Tuesday, July 14, 2009
I'll never forget the first show of theirs I ever saw, at the Gypsy Tea Room in Deep Ellum in 1999. I didn't have a ticket, so I showed up at 7 p.m. to stand in line and proceeded to wait about 4 hours before I finally got to see them. I can also still remember basically being mesmerized as the entire room sang along with Rhett to "Wish the Worst." But I digress...I have way too many Old 97s stories.
Monday, July 13, 2009
Update: You can also check out the Denver Post's reviews of the Denver and Boulder shows, and also Wyoming Beat's review of the Boulder show. You know, if you like pictures and stuff.
Friday, July 10, 2009
And while you're at it, check out the relatively new Justin Townes Earle "Midnight at the Movies" video:
Monday, July 6, 2009
Bands from West Texas just make me feel good about the world. I love it that Jim Ward has been to rock stardom and back, but continues to live in El Paso, and is apparently helping some friends of his get a new bar started there. I understand he is also helping to produce the new Lusitania album, which will no doubt add to the legacy of El Paso music.
Wednesday, July 1, 2009
We wanted to take a moment to write you a letter of praise in regard to your band’s new album, Wilco (the album). It has been a genuine pleasure to release your albums over the past 8 or so years, and we take pride in the fact that our relationship with you and Wilco has lasted so long. We hope you love the artistic freedom we give you as much as we love the money you make us.
While you were not on our label for Being There (well, you were sort of, on a subsidiary of our parent company), I think we all know that Wilco was on the verge of going the way of the Jayhawks. However, given your big label affiliation at the time, you rode it out and made Summerteeth, which no one understood at the time, but importantly, it gave those of us in “the biz” a sign that Wilco might actually be far from finished. Thank goodness WB put out that album, or you very well could have fallen through the cracks before you found direction and began to hit your stride.
At that point, you still weren’t that big of a deal, but oh man, the Woody Guthrie business was the beginning of great things to come. The great things just got better when we got the opportunity to pick you up after our parent company dropped you. (Still not entirely sure, but did you really get paid twice for that album?) Anyway, Yankee Hotel Foxtrot really broke ground because it was so experimental (seems like a tiny bit too much noodling at times now, but that’s neither here nor there), and was coming from what people had previously thought was an alt country band. And then there was the documentary about all the drama in the band…a better script could not be written for an American rock band.
After you reinvented the Wilco wheel, we have to say we couldn’t be more pleased with the direction things have gone since then. A Ghost is Born worked to push the envelope just a bit more, but not enough to scare away any of your ever expanding fanbase. And honestly Jeff, when you listen to some of the musical shenanigans on Kicking Television, don't you wonder how you get away with some of that stuff yourself? Whatever the case, you can take a song like "Via Chicago" and play the skillet and wooden spoon on it in your live show, and the crowd just eats it up. After that, Sky Blue Sky continued the path of changing things up just enough to make people still feel like it was cool to blast "Impossible Germany" out of their Subaru factory speakers. The addition of Nels brought such an amazing dimension to the band, and thankfully, the rest of your personnel changes have never been so drastic as to alienate any substantial segment of your fanbase. Remember when you included one of John Stirratt's songs on A.M? It's almost funny to think about now.
Sure, you have never gotten much radio play over the years, but it just hasn’t mattered. You’ve steadily grown into one of the most respected American rock bands, with virtually complete control over your artistic integrity, and we just couldn’t be happier that you’re going stronger now than ever before. The pleasure is all on this side of the table, trust us.
More adeptly than most bands of your kind, you have found a way to stay relevant enough to your fans that they stick with you. All those hipster kids in 2001 who fell in love with YHF are mostly out of college and/or have families and good jobs now. And as you well know, those are the same people who pay to download songs from their favorite artists like nobody's business. Downloads basically cost us nothing, and we don’t even have to go to the bank to cash in on them, since the money just drops straight into our (and your) offshore accounts. Turns out your fans aren’t quite as hip as they used to be, but the key is, your music is just far enough out of the mainstream that they still believe they’re listening to cutting edge music. Good for us, and doubly good for you, since they pay $35 & up (plus typically $25 in service fees) to see you live at huge venues across the country. Hipsters would rather spend that money on PBR and silly hats, but they aren’t vital to your success anymore, so no reason to change what you're doing now.
In fact, what better to keep your fans energized than to make your 7th album such a tongue-in-cheek affair by naming it Wilco (the album), with “Wilco (the song)” as the lead off track? Whether intentional or not, you’ve created a blogger's dream, as blogs have already begun to proliferate the internet with clever titles such as “Wilco (the review)” and “Wilco (the blog post).” This has prompted those of us around the office to refer to the album in-house as “Wilco (the cash cow).” Can we also say that the Feist guest appearance was a brilliant move that we think will see you continue to gain new fans in the ITunes demographic? We’re actually in talks with Toyota to have “You and I” preprogrammed into every new Prius sound system. Just as expected though, this album is not a one trick pony, given that "I'll Fight," "Country Disappeared," and "One Wing" are likely to become instant Wilco staples as well, because after all, you're the one making the rules. The album is accessible, but appropriately, not instantly accessible to the casual listener. After a few listens, your core fans will start reminiscing about the days when they listened to really cool music, and remember why they got that "I am an American aquarium drinker" ankle tattoo. Admittedly, we get a little sentimental too, when we think about how much money we were making off of you back then. Let's keep this gravy train going, why don't we?
For future reference, we’d love it if Spencer is ready to put out an album in the next few years, so please keep us in mind. Otherwise, we'll leave you alone for now, as we've got to get back to our layoffs, but please let us know if there's anything we can do for you.