“The Dreamer” – The Tallest Man on Earth – “Sometimes The Blues Is Just A Passing Bird (EP)” (2010)

Nov 30
Posted by admin Filed in Singer Songwriter

Every time that I listen to a Tallest Man on Earth song, I hear traces of other great vocalists. I hear Deer Tick’s John McCauley. I get hints of Jeff Buckley at times. And, I even hear a skosh of Willie Nelson in some songs. Hailing from Dalarna, Sweden Kristian Mattson has been at it for a few years now as a solo artist.

The EP that bears today’s song is a real treasure. There are five perfect songs here to plug into your head, relax and/or contemplate life – yours or everyone’s. There are a lot of questions, some eloquent observations, and flinching hopefulness crammed into less than 20 minutes of music. Do yourself a favor, and listen to the whole thing two or three times in a row.

– DAVE

“Life in Technicolor II” – Coldplay – Prospekt’s March (EP)” (2008)

Nov 28
Posted by admin Filed in UK

What did I learn at the David Bazan / The Head and The Heart / Damien Jurado show last night?

I like Jurado a lot more than I thought I did. He’s a no frills singer/strummer, story teller who offers up his product from deep in his core. Very enjoyable set to get the night started.

I didn’t find out anything about The Head and the Heart that I didn’t already know. The amount of fun that they have on stage and their cohesiveness makes me hope that they stay intact for a really long time. I saw the band down in the Green Room after the show and wanted to go over and tell them that I listen to their album start to finish on average four times every week but they were busy enjoying their post gig cocktails and I’m not one to barge in.

Why do people go to shows and spend 90% of the night talking, and updating FB? There were four people next to me who first of all didn’t look like they get out much and weren’t the most likely to be at a rock and roll show on a Saturday night, and really they shouldn’t have been. They told jokes and laughed their heads off for the entire Head and the Heart show. When they did pay attention to the band (for never more than one minute at a time) they mockingly swayed back and forth and held up their thumb as if to mimic holding up a lighter. So not funny, so cliche, so annoying.

I learned that I am not a David Bazan fan. Whereas I was surprised at how much I enjoyed Jurado, Bazan did absolutely nothing to make me think that I’ll ever be into his music.

I was listening to Michael Franti’s celebrity playlist on Zune this morning and came up with today’s song. I’m not a Coldplay fan through and through but there are a few songs of theirs that I really love. At the top of the list would be “Fix You”, “The Scientist”, and today’s selection.

– DAVE

Super Bowl Halftime Show

Nov 26
Posted by admin Filed in Pop, Top 40, Uncategorized

So, The Black Eyed Peas are playing the Super Bowl halftime show. Good enough, I guess. They’ve got a pretty wide fan base from the left to the right edge of the musically affiliated centrists. “I Gotta Feeling” that by the end of the four or five song set, that Cowboys Stadium will be going “Boom Boom Pow.” But, let’s think for a second about what will be in the body of the four or five song montage.

“Where Is The Love?” charted very well in 2003 and reached # 1 on the Billboard’s US Pop Songs list. It’s a great pop song with a nice message. But, there was a guest vocalist on that song. 2004 was the year that Super Bowl halftime shows changed forever. Justin Timberlake was the guest featured vocalist on “Where Is The Love?” Does JT have a seven year itch and the credentials or disguise to get himself on stage. I’m guessing that there will be a few folks watching Bud Light and Doritos commercials on February 6th who would really enjoy seeing a couple of Fergie’s buttons fail a stress test.

“Where Is The Love?” – The Black Eyed Peas (featuring Justin Timbelake) – “Elephunk” (2003)

Gobble!!!

Nov 25
Posted by admin Filed in Rock Legends

This will be short and sweet because I’ve still got a bird that’s demanding my attention in the backyard. So, should I post something that I’m thankful for, or should I put up a turkey?

Easy call, I like to focus on the positive, so here’s something that I really like.

Happy Thanksgiving. Don’t hold back, eat and drink everything that your heart desires. On this day, moderation is for suckers.

“Jersey Girl” – Bruce Springsteen and The E Street Band – “Live 75/85” (1986)

– DAVE

“Letters & Drawings” – Damien Jurado – “Rehearsals for Depature” (1999)

Nov 25
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

I’ll be seeing Damien Jurado in concert on Saturday as he is the middle act on a bill with headline David Bazan, and opening act The Head and the Heart. I admit to not being a huge Jurado and anybody who has taken the time to read a few posts on this blog probably knows that I’m infatuated with The Head and the Heart.

Jurado’s style and body of work is sparse instrumentally, heartfelt folk and plays well when pondering life. For me, that’s the musical equivalent of comfort food and one of my favorite dishes. But, Jurado’s version of this recipe just isn’t quite right to my palate. However, he could make me a believer on Saturday as I’ve been known to be an instant convert to pretty much any artist, or even genre, when the performer brings their “A” game when it’s live time.

– DAVE

“Map of the Problematique” – Muse – “Black Holes and Revelations” (2007)

Nov 22
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

So, did anyone watch the American Music/Vanity Awards last night? Here I am being Mr. Hater but that show has just got to be the benchmark for ridiculosity in mu?ic (note: coined words that most succinctly sum up attractive attention seekers masquerading as musicians). I know, there are some legit acts on the bill – I’m not naming names, you know who they are – but it’s mostly about fashion and swag.

If this somewhat overlooked Muse song is not on your gym playlist, it should be. It also sounds like something that NBA teams would put on blast when they turn the lights out for introductions ala the Chicago Bulls playing of Alan Parsons’ “Sirius.”

Fear and panic in the air
I want to be free
From desolation and despair
And I feel like everything I sow
Is being swept away
Well I refuse to let you go

– DAVE

“The Simplest Thing” – Hey Rosetta! – “Plan Your Escape” (2007)

Nov 21
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

Yesterday, I listened to the entire Hey Rosetta! catalog after they came up as a suggested artist on my Last.FM station. Moody and heartfelt, this six piece outfit sounds like something that would originate from St. John’s, Newfoundland. Speaking of St. John’s and Newfoundland as a whole, I’m amazed to find that the area apparently has not produced much of a music scene. Gray, soggy, seaside outposts inspire heaps of musical treasures in similar locales in places like Ireland, Iceland, and the UK. Why not Newfoundland?

I’m not in love with Hey Rosetta!, yet, but I like them. “The Simplest Thing” perfectly sums up the reasons why I’m not totally buying in yet. It’s a sad, but hopeful muse of a song. I love this line from the first verse:

did you notice that happiness
happens less the more often you stop to find where it’s been hiding

But, I hate this line which is the last line at the very end of the song:

but to drown you too, that’s a sick way to love, it’s a sick way to love,
it’s a fucking sick way to love”

To me, that was just a gratuitous F-bomb thrown in at the end of a beautiful song, and did nothing to complete it but did taint the whole thing. I’m not one to shy away from an F-bomb when the occasion arises but I do think that those four letters are sometimes interjected when someone doesn’t really have anything to say but still wants to be listened to. So, how could Hey Rosetta! string all of those words together befor the last line and then decide that it wasn’t enough so that they had to throw in the F-bomb?

I don’t know, even so, I still like it. That’s about as critical as it gets on this here blog…. It’s trying to snow here in Seattle. What’s up in your neck of the woods?

– DAVE

“Try A Little Tenderness” – Otis Redding – “Complete & Unbelievable: The Otis Redding Dictionary of Soul” (1966)

Nov 19
Posted by admin Filed in Soul Music

Okay, I admit it – I spend a lot of time with public admittance on this blog, my first concert was David Cassidy, I like Lady Gaga, I’ve caved to “new” country (maybe I should changes this thing to “Admit Something Daily”, or “Guilty Pleasure Daily” – I took today off in order to use up some of my vacation surplus, and…. I watched “Pretty in Pink.” Riveting stuff, right? 45 year old man spends day off watching “Pretty in Pink” and eating fried Spam and rice for lunch. And, while I’m at it, I might as well admit that I’ve seen “Pretty in Pink” about ten times. Every time I see “Two and A Half Men”, and it seems like that show is on ALL THE FREAKIN” TIME, all I can think of when I see Alan is Duckie.

There’s some perfect 80’s music in that movie, of course, highlighted by OMD’s “If You Leave.” This Otis Redding tune is off the chain, bluesy soul at its best. The slow build, little snippets of alternating piano, organ, and a nice chunky guitar lick before Redding really cranks it up at the end makes this a really fulfilling three minutes. And every time I hear this son, I see Duckie serenading Andie.

– DAVE

“Welcome to the Black Parade” – My Chemical Romance – “Black Parade” (2006)

Nov 18
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

Tonight is Blackout at Husky Stadium. The end zones have been painted black and all of the fans are being encouraged to dress in black for the 5 PM nationally televised game vs. UCLA. I’ve been trying to think of a good “Black” entry song for the team and haven’t been able to come up with much. “Back in Black?” Nahhh, overplayed and outdated. “MIB” from the movie? Not very intimidating or edgy. “Black Parade” doesn’t really fit but it would be kind of an interesting choice.

Any suggestions?

It’s also Senior Day and will be the last time that a bunch of guys will play in Husky Stadium. This Dawg appreciates the hard work and effort that you guys have put in for the last four or five years.

Go Dawgs!!!

– DAVE

“If I Had $1000000” – Barenaked Ladies – “Gordon” (1992)

Nov 18
Posted by admin Filed in Canadian

I can get a grain of a thought for an idea of a post in a split second, and today’s song is the most indisputable evidence so far that this is true.

I was at work the other day listening in as our CEO gave us our quarterly update. Some good ratios here, less under performing assets there, chickens in pots over every fire, less regulatory ire, everything is pointing in a slightly upward direction. And then came the question and answer period.

One of my co-workers, bless their anonymous heart, asked about pay increases and if there would be any “catch up” in compensation for a couple of tough years gone by. “Catch Up!!!” I admit that I’ve never been the most money obsessed person in the world but this was a real eye opener for me, about me. When I heard “catch up” which obviously meant that someone was wondering if people at my company, hopefully including myself, could be bringing home more dinero, all I could think about was condiments. When I heard “Catch up” all that my brain registered was:

“And buy really expensive ketchups with it.”
“That’s right, all the fanciest Dijon ketchups.”

I love bushels and butt loads of songs and music but each and every time that I think of this song, I swear that it’s got to be my favorite song ever. The thing just makes you feel good, and happy about the world. The message is basically “damn, I could really find some good uses for the amount of money that A-Rod makes in two weeks.” It’s not the money that really matters though (just hang with me for a second, it’s really NOT ABOUT THE MONEY), it’s the ridiculous things that we would do with it. We would buy monkeys, Kraft Dinner, a green dress, and a Garfunkel. And while we did all of this we would still be just as happy, or sad, as we were before a crate of money magically fell out of the sky and into our piggy bank.

So thank you, “Catch Up” co-worker for reminding me of my favorite song ever.

If I had a million dollars we wouldn’t have to walk to the store
If I had a million dollars we’d take a limousine ’cause it costs more
If I had a million dollars we wouldn’t have to eat Kraft dinner
“But we would eat Kraft dinner.”
“Of course we would, we’d just eat more.”
“And buy really expensive ketchups with it.”
“That’s right, all the fanciest Dijon ketchups.”

– DAVE