New Music Friday. Literally

Well, it’s been a while since I’ve written about the Friday pick-ups from Graywhale. Blame my lack of … something. One problem I’m running into is that I generally try to rip my new music either the day of or at least over that weekend. Well, ha ha ha … guess whose optical drive is in a non-functional state. Go ahead.

Okay, there’s generally no connection between the two. So really, I don’t know why I haven’t written about the additions. Allow me to make up for it today.

If you’re expecting a long list, you’re going to be disappointed. However, if you’re in to quality music and new releases from semi-/established artists, you’re going to LOVE this week’s list.

As I mentioned in a previous post, Jesca Hoop’s “new” CD was actually released internationally in November of last year. That does not at all take away from the fact that her new CD is just as sonically inspiring and vocally lulling. Hunting My Dress was released domestically this past Tuesday in quality music stores (effectively ruling out Walmart, Blockbuster, Target, etc … not that those are quailty places to get ANYthing, but whatever), such as Graywhale.  

So here’s the list for today:

  • Jesca Hoop – Hunting My Dress
  • Samantha Crain – You (Understood)
  • Sera Cahoone – Only As the Day Is Long
  • The Ms – Future Women
  • Interpol – Our Love To Admire
  • The Reverend Horton Heat – Smoke ’em If you Got ’em
  • Reverend Horton Heat – Revival

Sometimes, it’s all about quality vs. quantity.

My man Kyle hooked me up with Windham Hill Chill Vols. 1 and 2 as well for the cost of nothing. Thanks, Kyle! He also threw me a free movie pass for “Scott Pilgrim vs. the World.” The screening in a bit of a drive from my house, but it’d be worth it, right? Free movie? Just need popcorn. Yah. Pretty cool.

I’m stoked that Samantha Crain has a new CD out. Surprised, too. I didn’t see anything about it anywhere! Now that I check her site, it’s all over the place (of course).

Jesca Hoop Day

In honor of Jesca’s new CD coming out tomorrow, I’m listening to Kismet, an awesome release that snuck under many a radar in late 2007. Oddly, her new CD tomorrow isn’t exactly new new; it was released in the UK back in October 2009. Someone please explain to me how a California-native artist releases a new CD overseas 8 or so months before its initial release in the US. how does THAT happen?
Anyway, if you have the Hunting My Dress import, then this new release probably won’t rattle your sonisphere too much. To be noted though … Amazon is selling the new CD with an additional EP. Not sure what all is included on the bonus CD, but hey … that alone my be reason enough to pick up the US version … IF you don’t already have the UK import.
The thing I like about her music is that it’s completely accessible from multiple angles. For one, there’s the genre-shattering sound. At once a glancing nod to an air of country with respect to some of the harmonics, a mix of alt-folk electronica … a strong influence of free-verse poetry with accompanying acoustic guitars (even as I type, “Enemy” plays on iTunes) … her music is definitely not to be missed. Enjoyable by anyone with an ear for haunting melodies and and voice. I love how there’s a slight sound of Joana Newsom to some of her vocals.
I’m sure that Graywhale will have a copy of the new CD tomorrow. Hopefully, it’ll have the new EP along with it.

Rush in August

Section 202, row C, seats 1-3.

Can.

Not.

Wait.

They will be playing their entire Moving Pictures album to open their second set. The best song on there is “The Camera Eye,” in my opinion. The whole CD is phenomenal, but that song in particular is just shudder-inducing.

There are many things for which I’m thankful in life: my family, friends, house, working car, job … in my mind, everything is a gift, and I’m grateful for it all because there could come a time that I won’t have these things, so while I have them, I’m extremely happy to have them. One of those things is my passion for music. Just because I don’t write every day doesn’t mean I’m not blasting something or exploring something new.

Today is a day of exploration, of sorts. I’ve been listening to Rush since the late 80s, circa Presto. At first, I didn’t “get it;” I wondered what the mystique was to this band. it took going away to college and meeting James (whose last name escapes me) to really start diving in. Since then, I haven’t looked back. Ever. Yes, other bands have come and gone, but there are few bands that have the staying power Rush has.

So in the spirit of the upcoming show, I’ve been in a Rush mood for about a month. I bought “Beyond the Lighted Stage” and watched it until 1 in the morning while my wife blissfully slept through it. I knew that Alex Lifeson was an amazing guitarist, but … seriously? You listen to songs like “Finding My Way” or “Working Man,” and you know that better things are coming down the pike with the addition of Neil Peart. So this documentary has footage of the band WAY back in their early days, before they even had a contract. To watch Alex on stage was mind-blowing.

If you haven’t gotten into these guys because you “can’t stand that guy’s voice,” I pity you. While I acknowledge that his voice is not everyone’s favorite, you can’t get around the talent.  Especially in the later albums. Everyone will praise and Laud Robert Plant or Dennis DeYoung with their similar high-pitched voices, but mention Geddy Lee and people start cringing–the very same people who will listen to Styx or Zepplin for hours on end. Shame. Both other bands have long ago thrown in the towel. Rush is working on their 19th studio album. They’ve been around for almost 40 years. How can anyone deny their greatness?!

Whatever. Rant over. You can not like Rush all you want. If you want my unbridled opinion (and you might as well accept the fact that I’m going to give it to you anyway: my blog, my rants!), until you recognize their status as “legendary power trio,” you will *never* be able to converse intelligently about music. Sorry … that’s just me. And millions of other fans.

Basking in the Afterglow: Yet Another Barenaked Ladies Concert Review

Again, wow.

Iron Maiden. Plant killing. Pre-show fun with new friends. Sound check hilarity.

What else …?

Oh, yes. The music. The always engaging, entertaining music.

My day began with a line wait of epic proportions. 9 am to 6 pm. That’s right–9 hours in the sun. Relief didn’t even show up until almost 3, but at that point, I wasn’t about to give up my parking spot, which was literally feet from the exit across the main road.

I got some sweet footage of the band sound-checking to “Some Fantastic.” I’ll post it as soon as I can trim it. Meanwhile, enjoy these pics posted on flickr.

The gates opened a little after 6. Because the venue allows for coolers and stuff, we packed in some sandwich materials, snacks and beverages. My cooler was weighted down with the ice and beverages, so it was pretty heavy. The venue is all GA, so we made sure the person with the least to carry bolted for a spot as close to the front as possible and laid down blankets, then the rest of us lagged behind with our loads and stuff.

Front row. Again. Ha.

This time, we sat directly in front of Jim’s mic and in front of the stage left stack. I still can’t hear out of my right ear.

Angel Taylor truly lived up to her name. Her band was a blast. A guy on guitar, guy on drums, and herself, who alternated between keyboards, guitar, and some shaky thing. She played her radio hit “Hey Soul Sister,” which is a Train cover from their 2009 CD, Save Me San Francisco. It was awesome. Very, very well done. I don’t know the names of the other songs she played because she didn’t announce them, but they’re all on her new CD, Love Travels.

Kris Allen also played a set.

Barenaked Ladies took the stage shortly after he left. They opened with “Who Needs Sleep?” off of Stunt. Here’s the set list:

  • who needs sleep?
  • old apt
  • falling for the first time
  • botanical garden song
  • every subway car
  • easy
  • raisins* not on set list!!
  • some fantastic
  • plant eating song
  • another heartbreak
  • ordinary
  • sound of your voice
  • all been done
  • i saw it
  • you run away
  • wind it up
  • 4 seconds
  • big bang
  • one week
  • too little too late
  • pinch me
  • million

    *encore*

  • brian wilson
  • when i fall

As you can see, some standards, but there are also some amazingly non-expected songs, like “When I Fall.” Always a great song to hear. “Who Needs Sleep?” is another great tune that doesn’t get played as much as it should.

Kevin did a fantastic job with “The Sound of Your Voice.” Basically just him and a guitar, while the other 3 backed him up doo-wop style.

The highlight of the night … no–the highlight of my concert-going career was meeting Celina. She and her mom were off stage right by a bit. My wife has a background in working with children with special needs, so it always warms us to see them in any location, but seeing her rocking out so far away from the stage just didn’t seem right. Someone went over and asked if they would like to come up to the front so she could get a better view. We started clearing a path so she could come over. Once people saw what was going on, EVERYone chipped in–moving coolers, blankets, chairs … it was awesome. She and her mom got to see about half the show right in front of Jim’s mic stand. It was … wow. It was sweet. So here’s to you, Celina! Thanks for joining us for the show!!

I’ve written some other reviews of past Ladies’ shows in the last few months, and really … this show was just as good musically. The thing that I always love about BNL is their truly sincere appreciation for their fans. They really do seem to have an affinity for Salt Lake. According to Tyler, we were the only city on the tour that sold out. That’s really disappointing to hear from a fan perspective, but it gives me great pride that our town supports them the way they deserve to be treated. 4 quality musicians who put everything out there for their fans each and every show … if you people only knew what you’re missing.

Next tour. And trust me–there WILL be another tour. 🙂

Web Comic Fun

Admittedly, web comics aren’t my … thing. I don’t read a lot of them. It takes a lot for me to *want* to follow a web comic.

Enter Jeph Jacques. Much like Penny Arcade is to video games, the original concept of Questionable Content was to bring Indie music to the masses. I think. That’s my perception of the comic, anyway. With a degree in music, I’m sure there had to be some correlation.

As far as comics go, you’ll need to read it for yourself to judge of course, but I frickin’ love it. Witty, acerbic, sardonic, and TONS of indie music references. Especially at the beginning of the strip. As it progresses, it kind of reaches its zenith with the music references when the main character, Martin, forms a band with his friends. After that fizzles, so do the music references. Again … correlation? Dunno. One to ask Jeph.

Not only does he design his web comic exclusively, but he also designs the merchandise as well. I got a t-shirt the other day with the ever-endearing anthro PC, Winslow, that says “I am full of music.” It couldn’t be any more appropriate for me. LOVE the shirt.

Jeph also maintains a couple other blogs. here are somenod his links:

www.twitter.com/jephjacques
www.jephdraw.com
qcjeph.livejournal.com
qcjeph.tumblr.com

Awesome online comic. Enjoy it.

New Music Friday

Gah. I can’t wait for fall and winter. The upstairs at the U of U Graywhale is frickin’ hot. Maybe it’s all the amazing music. No air conditioning can contain the heat!

</stupidly unacceptable cheese>

Moving on, I’m stoked about the haul this week. Lots of great stuff. I threw in Pretty Girls Make Graves’ The New Romance on the way back to the office. Only got to hear a couple of tracks, but it was like Metric met the Raveonettes. Not at all a bad mix!

Here’s the rest of the grab.

  • Prinzhorn Dance School
  • Power Solo – Egg
  • Hello Blue Roses
  • Joker’s Daughter – The Last Laugh
  • Benjamin Gibbard & Andrew Kenny
  • Deborah Bonham – Duchess (John Bonham’s litte sister!)
  • Colonel Claypool’s Bucket of Bernie Brains – The Big Eyeball in the Sky
  • Boss Hog (
  • Emelie Autumn – Opheliac (deluxe edition)
  • Collide – Like the Hunted (DVD)

I’m stoked to watcht the Collide DVD. KARin can sing … reminds me of a subdued Maria Brink of In this Moment fame. Hello Blue Roses came highly recommended from a buddy of mine, so when I saw it sitting on the shelf, I grabbed it. Power Solo … not sure what to expect. I don’t know if these guys are intentionally trying to look like nerds or what, but I guess we’ll see.

Colonel Claypool is, of course, none other than Les Claypool of Primus fame. He loves to create side projects, doesn’t he? Oysterhead, Sausauge, Flying Frog Brigade … boy’s busy.

Deborah Bonham’s CD should be interesting. Jason Bonham, Joh’s son, plays drums on one of the tracks.

We’ll see how these pan out!

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