RUSH TIX FOR SLC SHOW!!!!

GOT ‘EM!!!

Section 303, row J, seats 12-14. My brother and I are going, and either my wife or an old friend. August 5th cannot get here fast enough!!! WHOO!!!

For those of you who don’t know me (read: pretty much anyone), I came on board late with the whole “Rush” thing. I actually had Presto as a Columbia House SOTM at some point in 1989, but I shelved it because I didn’t “get it.” “Yah … what’s the big deal? These guys aren’t Van Halen. Screw ’em.” And I walked away.

About a year later, the guy across the hall from me kept playing this amazing music. “What is that?”

“You’re kidding. Right? ‘Who is this?’?!”

“Dude … it’s just a question. Don’t answer it then.”

“It’s *RUSH*. How do you not know who Rush is?!”

So then he shows me his tape collection, which was expansive. He let me borrow and copy all of it (poor college kids … what can you expect?). Between those tapes, I don’t think I swapped out anything else the rest of the semester. I drank it all in as often as I could, which, since I couldn’t have had a much worse GPA for the year, must have been pretty often.

I left for home at the end of the year, wondering if there was anything else out there of theirs. Keep in mind that this was before the advent of the people-friendly internet: I had to scour used record stores for anything I wanted. No surfing to find a complete discography on the band’s official or otherwise page. No wiki. No nothin’. Just me, car keys, and a lot of driving to various used music shops.

By the end of that summer, I had collected pretty much everything of theirs. Oh, what a music feast it was. I haven’t looked back.

Other bands have come and gone. I’ve had my dabblings with just about every genre of music with the exception of rap. My CD collection is rapidly expanding. My mp3 collection is on the verge of requiring a new hard drive. 4000+ “CDs” in mp3 format. Close to 700 in actual hard-copy. Amongst it all, there is none that is quite so timeless as Rush’s 19 studio albums and myriad live CDs.

Yesterday, I ordered R30 and their Snakes and Arrows tour videos on blu-ray. I can’t wait to show those to my girls. They’re already in love with Muse (another timeless band that will almost certainly have their place in music history). Now it’s time to step it up and get them some serious me

New Music Stuff

Sweet merciful crap. What a list. This is two Fridays and Record Store Day on the 17th, plus some assorted iTunes/Amazon raiding over the last couple weeks. It’s been … well, let’s put it this way: I’ve had more frugal weeks. 🙂

  • Noisettes – Wild Young Hearts
  • Noisettes – What’s the TIme Mr. Wolf
  • Dessa – A Badly Broken Code
  • Paz Lenchantin – Yellow My Sky Captain
  • Las Ketchup – Hijas del Tomate
  • Double – Blue
  • Echo and the Bunnymen – Discography
  • The Gathering – Discography
  • Frente! – Discography
  • Jewel – Discography
  • Bryan Adams – Reckless
  • Letters to Cleo – Discography
  • Madonna – Discography (yes, you are reading that correctly)
  • Mighty Mighty Bosstones – Discography
  • Beth Orton – Discography
  • Moonspell
  • Lois – Maffeo and Brendan Canty – The Union Themes
  • Julie Doiron – Heart and Crime
  • Nedelle – From the Lion’s Mouth
  • Freakwater – Old Paint
  • Heather Duby and Elemental
  • HIM – Sworn Eyes
  • Morcheeba – Charango
  • Morcheeba – The Antidote
  • The Standard – Albatross
  • Spiral Beach – Ball
  • The Von Bondies – Pawn Shoppe Heart
  • Endochine – Day Two
  • Moonraker – Peeg Vater
  • Brothers Creeggan – Discography
  • Kevin Hearn and Thin Buckle – Discography
  • Songs Ohia – The Magnolia Electric Co.
  • From Bubblegum to Sky – Nothing Sadder than a Lonely Queen
  • Colour Revolt – Colour Revolt EP
  • Coughs – Secret Passage
  • Blue Bird
  • Juliana Theory – Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat
  • Juliana Theory – Love
  • !!! – Me and Guiliana down by the School Yard
  • Breaking Pangea – Cannon to a Whisper
  • Evangelista – Hello, Voyager
  • Cantinero – Championship Boxing
  • Cat on Form – Structure and Fear
  • Scout Niblett – I Am
  • Dum Dum Girls – I Will Be
  • Acid House Kings – Sing Along with Acid House Kings
  • Athlete – Beyond the Neighborhood
  • Jennifer O’Connor – Here with Me
  • Cassettes Won’t Listen – Small-Time Machine
  • Brazilian Girls – Talk to la Bomb
  • The Do – A Mouthful
  • Death by Chocolate
  • Nana Grizol – Love It Love It
  • The Aliens – Astronomy for Dogs
  • Milemarker – Ominosity
  • Vivian Girls
  • The Album Leaf – Seal Beach EP
  • Mumble & Peg – This Ungodly Hour
  • Lovedrug – Everything Starts Where It Ends
  • The Honorary Title – Scream & Light Up the Sky
  • Ambulance Ltd – New English EP
  • The Blakes
  • Blake Babies – God Bless the Blake Babies
  • House & Parish – One, One Thousand
  • Howlin’ Rain – Magnificent Fiend
  • Annie Haden – The Enemy of Love
  • The Lovely Sparrows – Bury the Cynics
  • Das Oath – Mini LP
  • The Elevator Drops – People Mover
  • Dulcesky – Lands
  • Dulcesky – Film EP
  • Mara – It’s Who I Am
  • The Graduate – Anhedonia
  • I Like Trains – Progress Reform
  • The Lovely Feathers – Fantasy of the Lot
  • The Geometrid – Looper
  • Lansing-Dreiden – The Dividing Island
  • Kilowatt Hours – The Bright Side
  • Manchester Orchestra – Live at Park Ave.
  • The Ms – Furture Women
  • Hayden – The Closer I Get
  • David and Naomi – The Wondrous World of Damon and Naomi
  • Dressy Bessy – Electrified
  • AM Syndicate – Empire
  • Cart!  – DEMO
  • Holopaw
  • Hor – A Faster, More Aggressive Hor

See?! Told ya the list was sick. I believe the term is “binge.”

In light of today’s tragic ticket debacle, I’m pretty sure this isn’t the end, either. So, those Rush tix went on sale at 10. Apparently, Firefox doesn’t have 128-bit encryption–a requirement for buying pre-sale online. I can sort of see the point, but … come on. Either that or their stupid anti-bot word-typing thing was just severely fubar, which wouldn’t surprise me in the least. Anyway, in short, I didn’t get any tickets, and I ended up having to buy a new keyboard

Rush Tix!

Tickets for the SLC show go on pre-sale in about 50 minutes. I’m hoping to get front row, but after reading over some of the issues people have had, I don’t know if it’ll even be possible to get tickets at all.

And the prices … what?! $150 for premium seats in some locations, $70 for the same seat in other locations. Why the disparity?! And what is with the state fair gigs? New York AND Minnesota?! That’s … sort of comical. Bands like REO Speedwagon and Styx play state fairs–not Rush. At least it’s not a state fair tour.

New Music Friday. Soon To Be Followed by New Music Saturday.

Another Friday, another trip to Graywhale. The things I learn from going there …

For example, tomorrow is Record Store Day. At Gray Whale, all used CDs are buy 2, get one free. WHAT?! WHAT!? Yah. My morning was going to be about getting ready for game 2 of the Sabres/Bruins series (hockey, for all you who are not “in the know”). That has changed. Since I own a Killer Whale card–a must for anyone within 50 miles of a Graywhale store–I get in at 9. An hour or so of perusing, cavorting, etc, then home for the game. That’s the order of the day.

So here’s the new list of what I picked up today.

  • The Juilana Theory – Love
  • The Juliana Theory – Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat
  • Evangelista – Hello, Voyager
  • DulceSky – Media Luna EP
  • Blue Bird
  • Coughs – Secret Passage
  • Colour Revolt
  • From Bubblegum to Sky – Nothing Sadder than Lonely Queen
  • Lois – Bet the Sky
  • Lois – Butterfly Kiss
  • Scout Niblett – I am
  • Bettie Serveert – Log 22
  • Cat on Form – Structure and Fear
  • Cantinero – Championship Boxing
  • Breaking Pangea – Cannon to a Whisper
  • !!! (Chk Chk Chk) – Me and Guiliani down by the School Yard

I have other stuff by some of these bands, but not many. I already have Bettie Serveert’s “Log 22,” but only in mp3s. I’m familiar with Scout Niblett’s work, so I’m glad to have found that CD. I’ve heard a few snippets of some Juliana Theory material and I’m familiar with their history, but I don’t have any of their stuff. Well, okay … NOW I do, but I didn’t. That’s my point.

The Breaking Pangea CD interests me on name alone. I’m listening to the Juliana Theory’s Deadbeat Sweetheartbeat at the moment. It’s a shame these guys broke up after making this CD.

Dulcesky is a local band. In fact, they’re playing tonight at the Woodshed in downtown Salt Lake. Wish I had known that earlier today.

Anyway, more tomorrow. Probably.

Review: Drop Side Nine – A Perfectly Orchestrated Breakdown.

So, the other day, I got a friend request on Facebook. I had no idea who this guy was, so I checked out his page. Turns out he’s a local musician. I sent him a message asking him how he found me, thinking he found this blog. In actuality, he found me on The Depot‘s Facebook page. I told him about this site, and he said, “Well, hey. I have some stuff. Wanna review it?” Downloaded it, listened to it, and … well, here it is.

Drop Side Nine is comprised of Scott Peterson and Brandon Larsen, life-long friends who grew up in the same small town, went their separate ways, and ended up doing exactly what they’ve always wanted – making music. The result is what we’re given in A Perfectly Orchestrated Breakdown.

The first thing I noticed was the sound quality. I like the garage recording sound. We’re not talking Garage Days Re-revisited, but there’s definitely an awesome vibe to the recording … like they’re seriously just having fun. Gives it a very raw, unaltered sound. Having said all that, I’m also extremely excited to see what some more professional recording and mixing can do for these guys. There is potential. Lots. And lots. And LOTS.

As for the instrumentation, I’m … wow. There are two guys, right? Just two? I mean, there’s synth, piano, guitars, strings (violins? cellos? maybe it’s synth … hard to tell), standard drums, drum loops … there’s a lot going on here. I’m guessing a lot of this is track layering. I can see the need of a full, 4 or 5 piece band to pull off this stuff live. Probably two guitarists, a keyboardist, bassist, and drummer. Obviously, some of the elements are already there.

Brandon has a kind of pre-trained James LaBrie-type voice going on that with some proper training could seriously take off. I like that it sounds completely unprocessed. I *hate* processed voices that sound great on a CD, but then you go see a band live, and come to find out, the singer really sucks. Such is not the case here. What you hear is what you’ll get live. Again, with a bit of vocal training, we could have the next Geoff Tate.

It’s fairly evident from lyrics that either Scott or Brandon (or, both?) have been through some painful experiences–the genesis for many of the songs on the CD. (from “Broken Down”) “Make this go away, turn a page–a brand new day. Now I’m so alive. I know this time that I’ll get it right. Broken down, I’ve begun to bleed.” (from “Take”) “I want you all to see it. I want you all to hear it, and this is what I’m screaming so maybe now you’ll feel it, and I will say it again: the walls are closing and, and I can’t take it no more.” (from Something New”) “I’ve awakened from my downward slide. I won’t be a victim anymore. Take a hard look at yourself cuz I’m coming out swinging. Ready to take your ugly world and turn it into something new–maybe a taste of the blues will help you secretly.” They’ve taken their experiences and turned them into this first offering.

Overall, there is serious potential for these guys. It’s obvious from Scott’s Facebook page that there’s already a growing interest. Now is the time to “get on board” and have the chance to say, “Hey … I knew them and saw them before YOU did!” If they keep plugging away (get it?! guitar and amp joke!), there’s no telling where they can go. We, the fortunate ones, get to watch the entire ride.

To Scott, who I know will read this, thanks for finding me. It’s been my privilege and pleasure to listen to your stuff. I’m serious … keep this up.

Feeding the Addiction: New Music Friday

I love it when I go to Graywhale and the guys start playing stuff they think I’d be interested in. That’s just awesome. Thanks!!

By that, I mean the new Scout Niblett CD that came out in January, Calcination of Scout Niblett. It sounded like new Joanna Newsom, but nothing I recognized. “No, man. This is Scout Niblett.” So she’s on my radar of things to watch out for.

Kyle also recommended Songs: Ohia’s last/Magnolia Electric Co.’s first CD, Magnolia Electric Co. He has pretty impeccable taste in music, so I just ordered it on Amazon.

Anyway, here’s today’s list.

  • HIM – Sworn Eyes (this is not to be confused with H.I.M.)
  • The Von Bondies – Pawn Shoppe Heart
  • The Standard – Albatross
  • Spiral Beach –  Ball
  • Nedelle – From the Lion’s Mouth
  • Julie Doiron – Heart and Crime
  • Freakwater – Old Paint
  • Moonraker – Peeg Vater
  • Endochine – Day Two
  • Morcheeba – The Antidote
  • Morcheeba – Charango

I’ve heard some of Morcheeba’s stuff, but that was mostly from the mid-90s, circa Who Can You Trust and  Big Calm. Very Tricky/Sneaker Pimps type stuff.

Anyway, I’m feeling way under the weather today, so I’m leaving this post as-is for now and going to try to rest. I have some other stuff to discuss, but that’ll probably be later this afternoon or tomorrow. 5 words: the return of the king. And no–I don’t mean the movie (which is fantastic, and now out on blu-ray, but I’ll wait until the extended edition is released before I buy the set).

Muse and Silversun Pickups Concert

Well, it’s 1:30, cold, windy. Doors don’t open for another 4.5 hours. There’s a girl in the group 2 down from me who knows *a lot* about the band. It’s always interesting to see the types of people who show up to a show.

I wonder how many people here even know who Silversun Pickups are. No one is talking about them.

There’s a guy walking around with a guitar. Haven’t heard him play it yet. Maybe he’s hoping to get it signed. That’d be pretty cool.

My wife took off about an hour and a half a go to find a blanket. Poor girl gets so cold so easily. It’d be nice if it were mid-June instead of April 5th.

7 minutes until the doors open. Let the mad rush begin.

SECOND ROW?! YOU’RE KIDDING!

These are some friends of ours.

Here are some pics of the crowd.

If you see yourself in the pic, feel free to point it out. 🙂

On to the reviews.

SILVERSUN PICKUPS

One word: damn.

I’ve seen some intense guitar playing before. Brian played out of his mind. Literally.  He looked like an acid trip on Gord Downie. Yes, you read that right. How he managed to keep his balance and not fall over is beyond me, but he did it.

As my wife put it, by the end of their relatively short set, Chris looked like he needed a break and a lot of water. As anyone who’s previously seen a SSPU show, this is no doubt due to the fact that he plays a very bombastic style of drumming. And he totally owns the kit.

The set list was mostly off of “Swoon.” No surprise there. Being that it’s their new CD and has been out for less than a year, I would suspect that they’d tour on the strength of the new offering. They opened the set with “Growing Old Is Getting Old.” They also played “There’s No Secrets This Year,” “Substitution,” “Future Foe Scenarios,” and “Lazy Eye.” I know I’m missing a couple, but those are the ones I remember.

It’s always great to see a crowd get into the opening band. A lot of the front row kept yelling, “WE LOVE YOU NIKKI!” Not a surprise. 🙂 It was great to have the chance to check them out.

M– USE

Two words: HOLY DAMN.

We were all taunted for a couple of minutes with the opening sequence video (displayed on what looked like 5-story square towers) of  of several sets of white shadows traipsing up some stairs. One shadow on each towers started to fall, after which the curtain that obfuscating the true intention of the towers fell around the band members, standing on elevated platforms.

Opening with the anthemic “Uprising” as was so highly anticipated, Matt came out in some futuristic silver suit with glow in the dark blue shades. The crowd went absolutely nuts. Being that we were about 3 rows from the front, right in front of Matt, we were quickly swept up in “the pit,” swaying back and forth on tidal waves of humanity and adrenaline. If you haven’t been hiding under a rock for the last 7 months, you know the chorus: “They will not force us; they will stop degrading us. They will not control us; WE will be victorious!” Singing for all the world to hear, Bellamy belted out the lyrics while Dom smashed his drum kit into oblivion and Chris threw his back out of alignment with his unparalleled head whipping and thick, fat, grueling bass playing. I swear, that guy must have a chiropractor on retainer.

“Uprising” led to “Resistance,” the second single off the new CD. More from the platform. More psychotica from the pit. Let the mayhem ensue.

No rest for the weary. Muse treated us to “New Born,” the first track on Origin of Symmetry. One of my all-time favorites. At the end, they jumped into the middle/end part of “Micro Cuts”–another favorite of mine.

You can’t go to a Muse show and not hope to hear “Hysteria.” Tonight’s show was no let-down. The *only* disappointing factor to the song was the fact that my iphone picked up basically nothing but screaming and sound-popping, with few discernible notes in between. I was really hoping to get a better recording for my girls, who absolutely love singing along whenever they hear it. “I WANT IT NOW! GIVE ME …. YOUR SOUL!!” So frickin’ awesome watching them dance to that. Ha ha!

Dom and Chris jammed out while the crew set up Matt’s piano for “United States of Eurasia” and “Feeling Good,” with the “Take a Bow” intro thrown in before the latter as a teaser.

Far and away, my favorite of the night was “Undisclosed Desires.” Matt played his key-tar, and the lighting was unbelievable. All decked out in purples, blues and reds, when the chorus started, and the keyboard bass threw us all back about 10 feet.

The rest of the set was all too short. “Starlight,” “Unnatural Selection,” “Time is Running Out,” and “Plug In Baby” rounded out the main set. After the requisite lights-out screaming and demanding more, the band came back out and played part I of Exogenesis. My wife and sister in law were in utter awe. Well, okay … we all were. In the words of my wife, “I could sleep to this.” For those not familiar, Matt pulled out ALL the stops on this one. The orchestration is haunting, melancholy and beautiful, like the soundtrack to the death of a mother whose lived a full and rich life, leaving no regrets. That’s just my take. 🙂

It would be cruel and unusual not to play “Stockholm Syndrome.” There’s WAY too much energy in that song not to play it live. It’s a must. The band was as tight as they’ve ever been, ripping their way through the crowd-moving intro. I love the chorus to this song. It’s so un-nerving. “This is the last time I’ll abandon you, and this is the last time I’ll forget you. I wish I could …”

To end the show, the band played “Knights of Cydonia”–another anthem of freedom and the will to live life. “No one’s going to take me alive. The time has come to make things right. You and I must fight for our rights. You and I must fight to survive.” The crowd jumped and swayed as if we were back in 2007, when Muse opened with KoC.

Everyone left everything on the floor, in the stands, on the stage … there was not one person who didn’t give everything they had to offer for that show. With the exception of the girl who sat next to my sisters-in-law, who saw fit to sit through the entire show, arms folded. I’m not one to judge anyone for anything, so I will assume that she wasn’t feeling well and really just wanted to see the band. Who knows. I hope she’s okay–either emotionally or physically.

Everyone else had 0 left to give, but if the set had gone on another 2, 3 … 5 songs, we would have found the energy somewhere. That’s what you do at Muse shows.

In summary, both bands were unbelievably amazing, gracious, un-humanly intense. The crowd reciprocated the intensity in its own way–jumping up and down, creating tsunamis of human proportions … you could not have asked for a more energetic crowd. I even forgive the 6′ 5″ jerks who bragged about not having GA tix and got on the floor anyway, only to cut off my wife’s view with their selfishness.

If you haven’t seen Muse or SSUP yet, make it your concert-going priority. You can’t go through life wondering what it’s like and not know first-hand. Your musical life will not be complete.

As promised, here are some of the pics.

Muse/Silversun Pickups Concert Day

First off, sorry for the hiatus. I took the fam on an impromptu mini-vacation to St. George, UT for some R&R. We went “hiking” in Zions National Park on Saturday. With two little girls in tow, it’s hard to actually do REAL hiking, but they loved seeing all the cliffs and dirt, so it was fun for them walking around. Checked out Weeping Rock and the entrance to the narrows … nothing really strenuou. Definitely decided that we’re going to try to hike “the narrows” one of these days.

Now on to today. Muse and Silversun Pickups. I’m serious … this should be a double bill – not SsP opening for Muse. I guess they’re not “up there” yet. They will be though. They have the potential to go very, very far.

So my agenda for the day is like this:

11:00 am – drop off the girls at friends’ house.

12:00 pm – get to E-Center and see what there is to see

3:00 pm – dinner with friends at Applebees (gotta carb and protein up for the show)

4:00 – get in line for the show

6:00 – doors open, and so begins the mad dash for front row floor

7:00 – Silversun Pickups hit the stage

8:30-ish – Muse

I’m bringing my camera with a fresh set of lithium batteries, just in case I can sneak it in. I have my methods, which I won’t divulge here for obvious reasons.

I’ve checked out Muse’s setlist from previous shows. Nothing really stand-outish in the states, but in Asia, they’ve played “Dead Star” and “Can’t Take My Eyes off of You” (cover, but really well done).

Okay, there is much for which I need to prepare, so more from the show!

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