Friday, June 30, 2006

Top5 - Wilco Edition

I am taking a little road trip up to Duluth on Sunday to see Wilco. I just saw that the Black-Eyed Snakes are opening. I think it should be a good time. I am writing a review for HWTS. I think this is my first review of a big national show like this.

In deciding on a top5 I had some tough decisions to make. It would take a lot more effort and time to come up with an actual best of list. So, here is the five that I thought of this morning. I intentionally discounted anything from the Woody Guthrie albums just because that would make my decisions that much harder. I did try to pick a song from each album, but I didn’t pick anything off of A Ghost is Born, because I still don’t really get that album. (Also, note that I am not sure what that EP is called, in iTunes it is listed as the Australian EP, but I always referred to it as the More Like the Moon EP and this is my blog so whatever I say goes.)

Have a great Independence Day weekend y’all.

  1. Ashes of American Flags – Wilco (from Yankee Hotel Foxtrot)

I absolutely love the first verse of this song. It is so literal, but so beautiful at the same time.
The cash machine is blue and green
For a hundred in twenties and a small service fee
I could spend three dollars and sixty-three cents
On diet Coca-Cola and unlit cigarettes

  1. Passenger Side – Wilco (from A.M.)

I spent a couple days visiting a friend in Alton, IL in the early nineties. This song reminds of that visit. Mostly because we were drunk the whole time and we didn’t have a car so we walked and bummed rides and took taxis all over this little southern Illinois town.

  1. The Lonely 1 – Wilco (from Being There)

Another absolutely beautiful song. There is a heartbreaking sense of longing in Tweedy’s voice. It gives me the roller coaster feeling in my stomach just thinking about it.
When I get home, I turn off the alarm
I check the phone, no messages on
I play the ones from yesterday
I play your song just to hear you say that
You, you are the lonely one

  1. My Darling – Wilco (from Summerteeth)

I do miss Jay Bennett’s contributions to the band, but I also appreciate that Tweedy is constantly searching for something new. As much as I like Summerteeth or Being There, I am glad Tweedy is not settling for making those albums over and over. It does seem that it has gone from a band to Tweedy and some guys who happen to be in Wilco at the moment.

  1. Magazine Called Sunset – Wilco (from More Like the Moon EP)

Just a catchy as hell song that comes from the EP that appeared after Yankee Hotel Foxtrot. I can see why they wouldn’t include this song on that album as it sounds more like a Summerteeth era Wilco song.
There’s a magazine called sunset
And a tape machine that won’t let
Me ever forget this impossible longing for you

Friday, June 23, 2006

Top 5 - Summer Edition

In honor of the official start of summer, here are the top 5 summer songs.

  1. Summer Babe – Pavement

Summer of 1995 is when my Pavement crush fully bloomed. At first, it was Crooked Rain, Crooked Rain, but then I explored the album Slanted & Enchanted. The songs on that album sound like a sweaty, sticky and humid summer day.

  1. 405 – Death Cab For Cutie

I was unemployed the winter of ‘01/’02. What does that have to do with summer songs? Nothing. I did fall in love with Death Cab during that time though. This song about giving up and just going to get drunk resonated with me. I am no stranger to that feeling.

Misguided by the 405
‘Cause it led me to an alcoholic summer
I missed the exit to your parents’ house hours ago
Red wine and cigarettes
Hid your bad habits underneath the patio

  1. Three Days – Jane’s Addiction

The summer before my senior year of high school I discovered Jane’s Addiction. They were so powerful and vulnerable at the same time. I remember riding around in my friend Aaron’s Mom’s car, looking for places to skateboard or just driving around killing time. This was our soundtrack.

  1. Nuthin’ But a “G” Thang – Dr. Dre

Rolling around Denver in Buddy Keechel’s low rider pickup listening to all these hip-hop groups I had never heard of was how I spent the summer of 1993. The Chronic definitely got the most play. Remember back when Snoop Dogg was just a kid?

  1. Stars and Stripes of Corruption – Dead Kennedys

The first punk rock album I ever bought. It came from Mother’s record and tapes at Pembroke Mall in Virginia Beach. It was a cassette tape and I think I bought it just after school let out for the summer in the year before, I think, 9th grade. I didn’t understand the beauty of this song until a few years later, when I was jaded and cynical enough to empathize.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

I'm not sure what to call this

This statue is in Boston Common.

Both Heather and I could not quite figure out what it is supposed to represent.

We were not the only ones standing around laughing and taking pictures.

I think they put it there just to mess with the tourists.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Please know this...

If we are in a meeting together and you use the word "guesstimate," please know that I am concentrating hard to send from my brain to yours electromagnetic daggers that will destroy you.

The word is simultaneous, not sim-u-taneous.

Tucson is city in Arizona, Tuscan is a form of Tuscany, a region of Italy.

Friday, June 16, 2006

Top 5

  1. Why I Act This Way – The Winter Blanket

I’ll be at the Kitty Cat Klub tonight to try to review the Winter Blanket again. I’ve tried twice before, but for various reasons, haven’t got the job done. I’ve never seen a show at the KCK before tonight. I haven’t heard that much about it as a music venue either. I hope that it doesn’t piss me off.

  1. Can’t Hardly Wait – The Replacements

The new “best of” by the Replacements came out this week. Maybe this is one of those music snobbery things, but I don’t really like “best of” albums. I like to hear albums as entire pieces of work, rather than a collection of singles. That’s not to say I don’t own any albums like that, it’s just that I would rather hear what was left off the greatest hits.

  1. I Hate My Generation – Sloan

This is off my favorite Sloan album, Twice Removed. Honestly, I haven’t cared much for their other albums. The musical chairs version of singers always made me happy. I love good two or three part harmonies. I’m a sucker for ‘em.

What could you both possibly share?
Other than the color of your hair
Shawn said, “We both play guitar.”
Never even have to say a word
That’s the best thing that I’ve ever heard
You have left your fingerprint on me

  1. Junior High Smiles – Beight

A friend told me about Beight a while ago. I downloaded this song from Beight’s myspace page and then didn’t pay much attention. Then it snuck up on me a few weeks ago. The falsetto during the chorus just makes me smile and think of sunny days in high school just hopelessly crushing on girls in the parking lot after school. Is that weird?

The way the water drips off of you
When we’re running from the bus to school
Makes me wanna run and hide
‘Cause I feel so shy, shy, shy, shy, shy-y-y-y
Run around you-oo-oo
Shy, shy, shy, shy, shy-y-y-y

  1. School’s Out – Soul Asylum

This Alice Cooper cover begins Soul Asylum’s After The Flood live album. This is number five because my summer class end next Tuesday and I am so ready to actually enjoy summer instead of stressing about homework.

School’s out completely

Monday, June 12, 2006

Say What Now?

Last night, Kare11 ran a story about the Dixie Chicks' new album and how they are not backing down from their anti-W remarks a few years ago. Dan Wilson and Gary Louris each helped the chicks with some songs for their new albums. Kare11 reporter Scott Goldberg reported this and then somehow made the leap to Bob Dylan to Prince to Doomtree in the span of about 90 seconds. Apparently they are all purveyors of the Minnesotan protest song. The piece was fluff and a nice way to get the two most famous Minnesota musicians on the air. Oddly, Goldberg didn't have any comment from the Dixie Chicks, Louris or Wilson.

He also failed to mention that even though the Chicks have the number 1 country album on the charts, they are recieving no airplay from corporate owned country radio. Goldberg did mention that the chicks may have to cancel some concerts because of slow ticket sales. A fact the chicks themselves deny.

Overall this is a worthless story. There is so much good music in this town that if the television stations wanted to do an interesting story they would have no problem, but I guess they think the soccer mom from Minnetonka may not understand or appreciate that.

Friday, June 09, 2006

Top 5

It's been a busy week so I didn't have time to work a proper Top 5 into shape. Luckily there is the trusty shuffle feature on my iPod. So here is a cheater's edition...

  1. The Ashtray Hearts – English

This is one of those local bands that I think should be huge. Their spare, alt-country sound just evokes heartache. Singer-Guitarist Dan Richmond’s and multi-instrumentalists Aaron Schmidt’s voices harmonize so well together that every word sounds absolutely sincere and immediate.

  1. Broken Social Scene – Almost Crimes

It is 8:00 in the morning and my brain is not quite up to full speed yet. I can’t think of an accurate way to describe BSS. I will say that sometimes their music just irritates me and then sometimes I just totally dig it. It is very dependent on my ever-swinging moods.

  1. Pearl Jam – Don't Believe in Christmas

PJ’s fan club single from a few years back. It has a heavy garage sound. I believe it is cover of a 60s garage band. (I think it is the Sonics, but I can’t be sure.)

Don’t believe in Christmas
Don’t believe in Christmas
‘Cause I didn’t get nothin’ last year

  1. Stook – Deliverance From Your Eyes

I still need to make it out and see this guy. From the glowing reviews from the HWTS crew, I think the live show is probably something special. He definitely shows his skills on record, but I feel like he is one of those performers that would shine with the energy of performance.

I’ll be back time after time
Lead that straight and narrow line
Doesn’t anybody hear my cries
When I’m begging for deliverance from your eyes

  1. Hayden – Woody

This is a short little love song from the vastly underrated Canadian folk singer. There is a live version of this song on Live at Convocation Hall where Hayden explains the origin of the song. He adopted a stray cat and each spring the cat disappears only to return looking disheveled and, “obviously up to no good.”

I am just sitting here
wasting my time
Til you come home
from your escapades
In the backyard
with your friends of late

I would be worried
if you didn't do this
every spring
when the grass grows
and there's birds and trees
and the sun shines
and you don't need me

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

Black T-shirt

I'd been meaning to share this picture for a few weeks now. This guy was at the Dad in Common CD release show at the Turf Club in May.

Monday, June 05, 2006

Back in Black

I was going to post some pictures from my vacation to Boston and Virginia, but I left my camera at my Mom's house. I should have some photographic evidence by the end of the week.

We went to a Red Sox game, visited my cousin, drank alot and spent a shitload of money in Boston.

We slept, hung out by pools, walked down the beach and enjoyed dinners bought by relatives in Virginia.

One interesting, if slightly uncomfortable incident to relay.

We went to Chicho's in Virginia Beach which is on the strip down by the beach. I used to go there when I would come home and have drinks and party. They have the best pizza in Virginia Beach in my opinion.

So we went there on a Wednesday night and it just happened to be Lifeguard night. They had some heavy metal cranked on the sound system, which I didn't really enjoy at all. But some people who did enjoy the music were the throngs of tanned young lifeguards. I would guess aged 21 or 22. Meanwhile, me and the wife sat there drinking our Corona and eating our pizza feeling very, very old. I think it is the first time I have felt like a tourist in my hometown. An old tourist to boot.

Okay maybe that story was only interesting to me, but aren't blogs all about self fulfillment.