Hope Springs Eternal

Mar 31
Posted by admin Filed in Rewind, Rock Bands

Baseball season starts tomorrow. Earlier this evening, I looked around for a good baseball song but, you know, I’ve just heard all of those songs so many times that it was hard to get excited about anything. There is that one song but for the life of me, I couldn’t recall the title or artist. It’s heavy on the electric with a lot of reverb and a big rock and roll sound. The dude singing sounds a lot like Alejandro Escovedo (but I don’t think it’s him) and I’m pretty sure that the song revolves around the Minnesota Twins. I couldn’t find it though and went into two strike defensive mode in an attempt to avoid sending “Centerfield” or “Sweet Caroline” to the plate. I fouled off a bunch of pitches and finally stroked a solid single although you’ll have to work with me to get the baseball context.

Until tomorrow evening, all 30 MLB teams have the exact same record of zero wins and zero losses. Big market, and mall market, downtrodden, or on the rise, all baseball fans can put together a scenario in their mind where everything comes together on the diamond this season, and their favorite team wins the World Series in October. When they go to bed tonight, even the most calloused of fans have secret hopes and dreamy faith that their team will emerge victorious. You should know where I’m going with this by now and when you wake up tomorrow and welcome the new season, you should wear hope on your sleeve as if it were a super power. Hope, after all, really is a powerful and essential thing because without it, what do we really have.

Play Ball!!!

“Don’t Stop Believing” – Journey – “Escape” (1981)

– DAVE

“Second Chance” – Liam Finn – “I’ll Be Lightning” (2007)

Mar 29
Posted by admin Filed in Singer Songwriter

Getting ready to head out the door for a bite at Serious Pie and then on to The Croc for Liam Finn. So, I’ve got to come clean with the hidden agenda for going to tonight’s show – not that I don’t want to see Finn but there’s a little something else possibly going on. Finn is quite chummy with the fellas from a little local band by the name of Pearl Jam, so when Jeremy first proposed that we go to this show, it was presented with the possible bonus of a surprise guest appearance or two. It’ll be good no matter what, so if you’re going, or can’t go here’s a little Finn for your listening pleasure.

– DAVE

“Cradle” – The Joy Formidable – “The Big Roar” (2011)

Mar 28
Posted by admin Filed in Indie, UK

We’re heading to The Crocodile tomorrow night to check out Liam Finn. Neil Finn’s kid, he who is partially responsible for the humble abode becoming more cozy, has been doing his thing solo for about four years and two albums worth of music. It should be a good one, and of course it doesn’t hurt that it’s in one of my favorite club venues in town.

As far as The Croc goes, I’ve got my eye on The Joy Formidable show scheduled for two weeks from tomorrow. This trio from Wales throw come fully equipped with a very busy wall of sound which incorporates some very energetic textures. Adding this show to my wish list, there are now about five shows (Joy Formidable, the Head and the Heart, The Twilight Singers, The Cave Singers, The Kills, and Lykke Li) that I want to see in the next 6-7 weeks. I guess I’m going to have to tweak my budget, or come up with some sort of self-directed Continuing Resolution in order to fit in an extra show or two. That’s because, I set a soft budget (time, and money) of one show per month for the year. Counting, tomorrow’s show, I’m way over my allotment for the year as I’ve already been to: Bobby Long, PUSA, Ted Leo, and Dan Mangan. Maybe, I can amend my personal music constitution with: “thou shall not go to more than one singer/songwriter gig per month.” I’d still be pushing it but I would create a little wiggle room.

“How Can There Be Another Day?” – Gerald Collier (2007)

Mar 27
Posted by admin Filed in Singer Songwriter

I usually, in fact, I’ve never posted an album. It’s always just a song but I just find this album so solid through and through that I want to encourage anyone who hasn’t heard it, to listen to the whole thing. I’m often dumbfounded at the fact that incredible artists like Gerald Collier are virtual unknowns to the vast music listening public. Although, every creator of quality, worthy art would want the coin in their pockets that would come with greater recognition, the flip side is obviously that they won’t be expected to make a cool follow up, like that other song that people heard on the radio. That freedom to express one’s self as they see fit is what keeps people like PJ Harvey, and bands like Guided by Voices committed to what is embedded in their musical soul.

Collier once upon was part of a little band named The Best Kissers in the World. After their mid-90’s break up, Collier re-invented himself in more of a bluesy, country mold and released a hand full of albums. “How Can There Be Another Day?” is his latest effort and after looking digging around quite a bit, I wasn’t able to find anything new from Collier. If anyone out there knows of Collier’s future plans specifically new music or a tour, I would love to hear about it.

He has a mournful, sweet, worn out tone to his voice and lyrics. The things lost, or missed out on and never found that Collier sings of sound like they could have been sung for the first time sitting at the foot of a bed in a $70 motel room in the dusty, middle of no-wheres-ville in the Southwest. His voice sounds a little like Gordon Gano of the Violent Femmes, and I catch a note or two of Willie here and there. A couple of my favorite tunes are: “Is This What Your Wanted?”, and “Taking My Baby Away.” Give the album a try, I think you’ll like it.

– DAVE

“All Land Crabs and Divinity Ghosts” – The Cave Singers – “No Witch” (2011)

Mar 26
Posted by admin Filed in Folk, Pacific Northwest

The story goes that the three guys who make up The Cave Singers never really played or listened to much fol before they joined forces and formed the band about four years ago. It’s kind of hard to believe mostly because it’s pretty pure stuff and doesn’t borrow much of anything from other genres. Deer Tick is one of my favorite bands so I guess that The Cave Singers are up my list as well since I hear a lot of similarities.

I like the way this song sort of starts with a few little trickles of a beat here, a clean guitar line there, some more percussion, and a guiding voice. It’s like narrow streams are carrying run off that folds together mid-stream, picks up some steam, heads around the bend, and meanders fro. It’s happy, sad, hopeful, and soothing.

Good work as usual by KEXP in capturing this live performance from Doug Fir down in Portland.

– DAVE

“Train in Vain” – The Clash – “London Calling” (1979)

Mar 26
Posted by admin Filed in Rock Bands, UK

Growing up, I didn’t always appreciate those bands that spent most of their time in the studio as opposed to touring. I’m talking about bands like Steely Dan, The Alan Parsons Project, and Genesis (to a degree). As a teen, and college kid, I leaned on artists that had more of a spontaneous sound, and fly by the seat of your pants attitude. So, I occasionally stop and think about the fact that I’m getting kind of old which is part of the reason that I currently count, for lack of a better description, progressive rockers such as Elbow as one of my favorite bands. Of course, there is the fact that Elbow our a fine tuned band that performs material from many different angles, but still 20 years ago I might not have given them a second listen. That’s all a long way of saying that I was tempted to post another new Elbow song tonight.

I’m going to pull away from Guy Garvey and his boys for the evening and go back to my roots and a band that was more in my comfort zone in my younger years. After all, they were “The Only Band That Matters” once upon a time. It’s that highly combustible, youthful idealism, energy, and freedom of expression that hooks many-a kid on the great power and charisma of rock and roll.

– DAVE

Idol Thoughts

Mar 25
Posted by admin Filed in Rewind

– Am I the only one who thinks about Where The Wild Things Are when I look at Casey Abrams?

– Isn’t this year’s show a lot more fun without all of the chest puffing negativity of “He Who Wears White V-Neck Tees and We Shall Not Name?”

– James and Pia in the finals? Or, maybe James and Naima? Or, James and Jacob?

– How about a theme of “Duets” for one week? They’ve done it inside of the Top 5 before but it would be interesting to do it with ten contestants left with each singer picking the music for one duet, and then accompanying on a second song.

– The judges have drawn comparisons between Paul McDonald and Rod Stewart, and McDonald and Ray Lamontagne but I keep thinking of that dude as a cross between James Blount and Yusuf Islam aka Cat Stevens.

– Did Gordon Ramsay really have to be so disdainful of Stetano’s mom’s cooking? Some people are just so majorly in need of a good old fashion ass whoopin’.

“Wild World” – Cat Stevens – “Tea for the Tillerman” (1970)

– DAVE

“Every Light in the House” – Trace Adkins – “Dreamin’ Out Loud” (1996)

Mar 23
Posted by admin Filed in Classic Country

Like I said yesterday, I listened to a country song or two in Phoenix last week. As I play catch up for all of my years of shunning country, I realize that some of my judgments about the genre were true. Specifically, there’s a lot of lyrical content revolving around beer drinking and tequila shots. I used to spend a lot of time yammering about a bunch of hicks getting boozy but who am I to judge, like I never partake. This song doesn’t directly mention libations but, you just know that lonely old Trace filled a glass or two waiting for his loved one to return. No mater how you want to serve it up, it’s a beautiful song by a big ol’ country boy from the Deep South.

– DAVE

“The Last Living Rose” – PJ Harvey – “Let England Shake” (2011)

Mar 22
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

My week in the desert is over, and with it my search for postable music from a Phoenix are artist. I just never found anything that moved me enough to find a clip and write a few words about – I did however find that, yup, The Gin Blossoms still get a lot of love from their people in Tempe. I know this because my golfing buddies headed to Mill Ave. after our round and ran into a big traffic jam because of a benefit concert that the band was headlining. I think that there’s enough proof in this blog to the point that I’m not a music snob and I bought a copy of New Miserable Experience back in the day, but I’m just not feeling an urge to post a Gin Blossoms tune.

So what did I do all week with the extra few hours that I had since I was too lacking in motivation to add a post since March 16th (disgraceful, I know). I didn’t listen to that much music besides the seemingly 12 song playlist on the local country station (KMLE 108). About all that I listened to was the sublime Kelli Schaefer album that I touted on 3/16, and a nice Gerald Collier (think Best Kissers in the World). I watched the Lincoln Lawyer – if this was a movie blog, I’d give it about a B- – and was happy with the Citizen Cope appearance in the soundtrack. Other than that, I played golf, ate french fries and red meat, drank lager colored beer, more frites, watched a ball game or two, listened as the rental car fembot GPS voice almost got us shot in the middle of the desert (a short story that I’ll tell later), ate tater tots (I had to throw some variety into my grease and spud diet, made friends with over served Giants fans, and finished it off with….. a baked potato. I had a blast but I’m glad to be home.

I’ll be overloading on KEXP and people like PJ Harvey for the next several days.

– DAVE

“City Morgue” – “Ghost of the Beast” (2011)

Mar 16
Posted by admin Filed in Uncategorized

Is everybody in on Kelli Schaefer? If not, let me tell you about her. She’s yet another fine, emerging artist from Portland, Oregon. Possessing a sweet, jazzy set of pipes singing in tones of abandonment (reckless and otherwise), joy, and sorrow , Ms. Schaefer sounds like she has a lot of music in her. This album is a really fun listen as it covers a lot of moods and topics. I admit that I don’t know a ton about her as she caught my ear last weekend when I heard her on KEXP.

Luckily, “City Morgue” served as a nice alternative to the Phoenix (the city, not the French guys) post as I’m in the Valley of the Sun and wanted to post something by a native. Alice Cooper? I’m having a hard time pinning down what I want to post. The Gin Blossoms? That would be a little nostalgic for yours truly as the first time that I ever came down here about 18 years ago, The Gin Blossoms were dominating mainstream radio. That was also in the days of Candlebox…. who will claim a Play On Daily post first of those two bands? Any votes? Is anyone voting “None of the Above?” Ahh, come on, don’t be like that, they were both fun in a sort of truncated kind of way.

– DAVE