“Fair Verona” – Dan Mangan – “Nice, Nice, Very Nice” (2010)

Aug 31
Posted by admin Filed in Canadian, Singer Songwriter

I pretty much guaranteed the fact that another Dan Mangan post would be coming soon with my comments about this album. I’m kind of obsessed with it. Mangan is playing a show in Portland a week from Friday. That show does not at all mesh with the rest of my plans for that weekend but I’m thinking about taking the 200 mile drive any ways.

Like I said in my previous Mangan post, I love the way he strings words together. There’s a lot between the lines for the listener to attach meaning to, but I like the serpentine, loosely connected paths that his lyrics explore. Also, to reiterate my previous Mangan post, he’s got a lot of Glen Hansard in him. By design or natural causes, it makes no difference. Artists like Hansard and Mangan will always have a fan base because they make make words and music that describes how a lot of people feel. In “Fair Verona” there’s a lot of interesting sonic enhancers to drive the song forward but if it was just stripped down to one man singing with not a single accompanying instrument, it would still be a perfect song.

Here are two versions:


City Arts Fest

Aug 29
Posted by admin Filed in Singer Songwriter

I just bought tickets to a show at this brand new Seattle festival which will take place at venues around town from October 20-23. Some of the headliners include Belle & Sebastian, She & Him, Blues Scholar, and Gogol Bordello.

The show that I bought tickets for is headlined by The Weepies, preceded by The Head and The Heart, which follows opening act Lucy Schwartz. I’m most interested in seeing Schwartz who has built a solid catalog of material despite the fact that she is only 20 years old. She has a new EP out following up on her album from 2007 and has spent time in between, touring as part of Lilith Fair, and writing songs for at least five movies plus TV including Grey’s Anatomy, Parenthood, and Private Practice.

I’ve set kind of a soft budget for myself that is going to exclude me from seeing a bunch of shows that are kind of mid-range ($40-$60) – I’m crying inside a little about not going to Arcade Fire – so price-wise $15 for some really talented and original artists is a no-brainer. Plus, this show is at the venerable Crocodile Cafe which is the perfect venue for the artists in this line up.

“When We Were Young” – Lucy Schwartz (2010)


“40 Day Dream” – Edward Sharpe and The Magnetic Zeroes – “Up from Below” (2009)

Aug 28
Posted by admin Filed in Indie

I’ve stepped away for a few minutes from the album that has been getting the heaviest rotation in my head phones for the last couple of weeks, that being Dan Mangan’s “Nice, Nice, Very Nice.” I love that album start to finish and haven’t been able to put it away. But, it might have to share top billing with the Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeroes debut full length album.

The album is fresh and full of energy but at the same time feels like it could have been lifted right out of the Summer of Love. There are a handful of songs ready for you to listen to which as good or better than “Home” which you’ve doubtless heard a bunch of times.


“Alright” – Janet Jackson – “Rhythm Nation 1814” (1989)

Aug 26
Posted by admin Filed in Top 40

Fifteen years prior to JT (no, not James Taylor but can you imagine if it was James Taylor right at the chorus of “Handyman”, Ms. Jackson at his side for the duet, and wham JT causes a malfunction) freeing Janet Jackson’s breast, there she was in all of her chart topping glory. RN1814 came about right before Jackson’s career accelerated into full stride, as it was the top selling album of 1990, but didn’t see the CD’s fly off the shelves to the extent of “Janet” which was released three years later. New Jack Swing was dominating the Top 40 airwaves and the youngest of the Gary, Indiana Jackson family seemed to be right at the center of everything.

So anyways, what if it had been James Taylor that had molested Ms. Jackson’s clothing? Of what if it was James Toney, the big bloke ex-boxing champ, soon to be UFC punching bag? I guess if we had to have a JT disrobe a fading star, Mr. Timberlake was as good or better than any.


“Yulia” – Wolf Parade -“Expo 86” (2010)

Aug 25
Posted by admin Filed in Canadian, Indie

I often rely on the easy way out when describing various musical artists, and fall back on the “these guys who you might not be too familiar with, sound like these other guys who you do know, or who I know and like.” Kind of like this:

“If you took the macerated remains of Extreme, hired Chad Kroeger as a voice coach, then held a casting call for a band to co-headline with Hinder in 3,000 seat venues you might get the Sick Puppies.”

That sort of works to give people some bench marks to measure a band by, but it’s still mostly lazy, and I’m sure it’s insulting to a lot of the subjects. So for today’s band, I will refrain from drawing comparisons. Even better, I’ll do the opposite.

Wolf Parade sound nothing like three of my favorite bands from their hometown of Montreal. Those bands are: 80’s rock radio mainstays April Wine (I had true love for those guys when I was a kid, and credit them with inspiring my finest air guitar moments), The Dears, and or course, Arcade Fire. Wolf Parade does sound like some other really good bands, but I’ll let you come up with their likenesses.


One Paddle Two Paddle – Kui Lee (1966)

Aug 24
Posted by admin Filed in Hawaiian

Numerous times during our time in the car on our recently completed spontaneous trip to Kauai, I broke out this classic Hawaiian ditty. If you’ve never heard of it, you’re apparently not the only one, as I was positive that my wife knew it but apparently not.

Being part Hawaiian, although not growing up in Hawaii, I’ve heard this song a million times. It’s mainland equivalent would probably be “Row, Row, Row Your Boat” as it is kind of a kid’s song although it gained more widespread fame via the Don Ho rendition that he did most nights at his famous and long standing luau gig at the Waikiki Beachcomber.

I won’t torture you with details of our two person car version, mostly for the sake of my physical well being.


First Anniversary

Aug 22
Posted by admin Filed in Pacific Northwest

Lost in the all day commitment that was my niece’s wedding, I didn’t have time yesterday to add a post and wish my blog a happy first anniversary.

Within about a week of my inaugural post last August, one of my friends skeptically said to me something along the lines of “you’re going to run out of songs pretty quickly, aren’t you?” Pure poppy cocky, crazy talk, I tell ya’. If I were to pick one small segment of a music genre that I enjoy, let’s say, 80’s Hair bands (no, really I’ve got love for the glam rockers), I could easily post songs for a couple of years. Cinderella, Skid Row, Bon Jovi, Scorpions (yeah, their hair wasn’t as purdy as the rest of their peers), Dokken, White Snake, White Lion, Ratt, Van Halen, Quiet Riot, Twisted Sister, etc…. I would only have about one or two regular visitors, a year into this thing, but it would be easy to come up with songs galore. Then, when you try and fathom, the ever expanding musical universe, and all of the genres and styles that I enjoy within that vast space, I could go on posting songs to this blog well into the year 2094 when I’ll be a young and spry, very deaf 129 years old.

My goal was to post one song per day, each and every day. I didn’t quite make it as I only posted 256 times for the year. My longest streak of consecutive days was the first 87 days after I went on the air. 256 posts work out to about one for every week day with a couple of sick days and holidays sprinkled in. My goal for this year is to once again post “one song per day” but if I fail that, which I’ve already done since I missed yesterday, my goal is to beat the 256 posts that I put up last year.

For starters, how about if we go back to the band that got this thing rolling. There are so many Nirvana songs that I love, but the riff that Kurt Cobain plays throughout “Come as You Are” is what makes this song one of my favorites.

Come doused in Mud, soaked in Bleach, as I want you to be.

“Come as You Are” – Nirvana – “Nevermind” (1992)


“He that can have patience, can have what he will” – Benjamin Franklin

Aug 19
Posted by admin Filed in Indie, Pacific Northwest

A bagel, cup of coffee, departed 9:30 and 11:05 flights to Dallas all came and went and we still sat at SeaTac gate A8. We had access to Cousin Buddy Pass’s super secret insider access and would re-group after each plane left the gate to check our status. After the revenue standbys, our positions were locked in at about 10th and 14th n the Non Rev list. Things weren’t very promising for the 12:30 and 2:20 flights as they were both overbooked by a couple passengers not counting the wait listers all positioned ahead of us.

The all business gate agent warmed up as the day progressed and gave us hope saying that she was sure that we would get on the 5:20 flight meaning that we would hang in Big D for a quick sleep, say hi and bye to Cousin Buddy Pass, and be off to SC. We checked the list on line, saw that there were 15 open seats on the 5:20, still saw ourselves occupying spots 10 and 14 on the list and went to grab lunch (pre-packed, run of the mill sushi better than expected… Qdoba, not a hint of pesto in the pesto burrito, nor lime on the lime flavored chips.)

More lounging ensued, beer contemplation; bonding with a 7 AM Non Rev Standby for whom we checked status, exchanged numbers, and promised to call as she went home to be with her grandkids. The 3:20 PM prepared to board and we checked in with the gate agent just to get a refresher. “No problem, you’ll be on the 5:20”, she said. We wrote down the names called to the podium and checked those names against the standby lists on line to see if we moved up the lists. What we found didn’t bode well. Not only had none of the called names been standbys but more names were ahead of us on the list as D1s somehow had bumped Trudy down, and D1-3s had submerged moi. We were now 13 and 17 on the list making the chances of both of us getting on the 5:20 sketchy at best. When we looked at the overall numbers for the 5:20 is when we really started questioning our chances of making it out in time to get to the wedding the next day.

The 5:20 that had 15 empty seats when last checked an hour ago, now was overbooked by two plus there were all of the standbys to wade through. How could that be? We asked the agent who seemed genuinely surprised and guessed that the airline had sold the extra seats to another carrier. At this point, we were just a touch out of sorts, but I’m not exaggerating when I say “just a touch.” I mean what were we going to do about it, except have a little tizzy and turn into a couple of those travelers who everyone else just shakes their head at. Now what?

So, we get to Charleston a day late (at best) and miss the wedding. Not to appealing, We could skip Charleston, make two other standbys happy, de-list ourselves, and buy tickets to Atlanta. Kind of spendy and we would have to un-wind all of our reservations. Both of those options were Plan A Version 2. How about Plan B? What about booking a last minute Alaskan cruise? We’d heard that you can book last minute and get screamin’ deals. We checked, the price was right, and we would have gone, but it wouldn’t get us back in town for our niece’s wedding the following weekend. How about San Diego, San Fran, Chicago, any place that is a major hub and that we could get to – on our dime, and not this standby crap – by the next day. Nothing jumped out. How about Kauai? One of our favorite places, extremely directionally challenged when our original destination was the Deep South, but how ‘bout it? Air fare isn’t too bad. Let’s do it. Hey, but what about our checked bags. The gate attendant said that they were still here… she was wrong, our bags are at cruising altitude heading for the east coast. Screw it, we’re going to Kauai, and we’ll figure out what to wear later.

We jumped on the train, hopped on the bus, got greeted by the pets and house sitter, got on the computer, found a car and condo in Kauai, went for dinner and drinks, checked in on football practice at the alma mater (Go Dawgs!!!) the next morning, a quick stop at REI to get a couple things that were in our luggage, reversed course on previously mentioned bus and train, went to the gate, and approximately 33 hours later were finally on a plane leaving a gate at SeaTac airport.

And now, the smoothing sounds of one of the Seattle area’s hottest bands.

“White Winter Hymnal – Fleet Foxes – “Fleet Foxes” (2008)


South Carolina?

Aug 18
Posted by admin Filed in Singer Songwriter

We made our vacation plans about a month ago. The itinerary? Charleston, South Carolina was to be new territory for Trudy and I. The main attraction was the wedding of a friend and former co-worker accompanied by moderate to heaping doses of barbecue, She Crab Soup, and most likely several heaping ladles full of oppressive mid-August heat. After two days in the “Chucktown”, we would point the rental southwest, and after a brief stop in the Low Country for a meal of the boil that the area is known for, we would head across the river to Savannah for two more days of southern cookin’, a ghost tour, Spanish moss, and all the fixins. The last leg of our trip would be a four hour jaunt northwest to A-Town with our one and only agenda item being to spend the better part of two days with a good friend who moved to Georgia about ten years ago.

Sounds pretty straight forward, doesn’t it? There are no Amazing Race style road blocks or detours demanding our attention. Well of course there is the climate change and the fact that we’re from the most weather neutral place in the US and headed to a smoldering, wet blanket of 90+ degrees in mid-August. Other than the literal body function variety, no sweat, just hit up the cousin with the buddy passes, pay the nominal fee and taxes, and jump on a plane.

The buddy pass comes with dress code requirements summed up as business casual and a strong suggestion to check in on line four hours before flight time. For us, that meant setting the alarm for 3 AM logging on to check in, before rushing back to bed for a couple more hours. When we got to the airport, the agent threw our luggage on the conveyor, checked passports, and said “good luck.” Good luck? Actually, it was more like, “good luckkk” served with a canned smile and a hint of a cynical laugh. What does that mean? “Good luckkk?” How about, “have a nice trip.” Or, “travel safely.” But, “good luckkk?” (By the way, Ms. Good Luck Ticket Agent had the hairiest arms I’ve ever seen on a woman. She wasn’t particularly attractive, or otherwise, very normal size and shape, but she had shag carpet on her arms.)

We headed to the gate where the plane was getting ready to board. Did I mention that we were “Non Rev Standbys? Trudy was a D1, I was a D3. To the airline, that meant that we didn’t pay any real money (non-revenue) and were on standby in case paying customers didn’t check in with Trudy on the first string, and me, three deep. The gate agent was all business and didn’t attempt to dress up any of her announcements with and false pleasantries. The flight was full and by the time the gate agents closed the door, we realized that maybe one or two D1’s not named Trudy were on the flight, but definitely no D2s, and D3s, you should have stayed in bed for another hour. We had two more chances to get to Dallas in order to catch a connection on Day One of vacation. The day, by the way, just so happened to be Friday, August 13th. D1 + D3 also kind of looks like a 13.

(to be continued)

“Six Days on The Road” – Steve Earle (1987)


“How You Like Me Now” – The Heavy – “The House That Dirt Built” (2009)

Aug 11
Posted by admin Filed in Indie, UK

You know that smell that is supposed to smell kind of nice, and freshly washed but doesn’t quite cut it. Sometimes it kind of anti-septic and fools you for a second. Your brain senses it as “oh wow, that’s sweet and piney, citrus, old leather, or minty” but then a couple seconds into sifting through your olfactory’s hard drive, your brain screams, “CAUTION, avoid breathing deeply.” What lies beneath that thin layer of masking fragrance is something funky.

I smelled that all day at work. It’s the same smell in a locker room after a bunch of people have showered and smell like Irish Spring which is doing it’s fightin’ best to ward off the smelly, sweat soaked uniforms or workout gear that litters the floor. It’s the can of Febreze that you spray in a pair of hockey gloves in attempt to ward off the musty, wet dog nastiness that lingers in the gloves’ leather. It’s the person who overslept and tried to sponge bath and speed stick the funk that they don’t want their co-workers to wiggle their noses at. It doesn’t work folks. Funk is funk, and no matter what you try to cover it up with, it’s going to make its presence felt Of course some types of funk are better than others and it doesn’t matter who’s wearing it, we like it.