Monday, April 25, 2005

This Weeks Play List

Aqualung – Strange and Beautiful (2005) Matt Hales has created a beautifully produced CD. Like Beth Orton’s “Central Reservation”, the production draws you in but the song writing keeps you there.


Rilo Kiley – More Adventurous
(2004) This was a fun CD to listen to. Some of the songs are radio friendly. Many of them take on serious subjects like death and suicide, but from a young prospective. I really enjoyed this a lot.

Bruce Springsteen – Nebraska (1982) This is on sale right now at Tower.com and other places. If you haven’t upgraded your vinyl, this is a good time to do it. 23 years later it still rings true.

Aimee Mann – Batchelor No. 2 (1999) It’s Aimee. She doesn’t put out a bad CD.

Stevie Ray Vaughan – Couldn’t Stand The Weather (1984) How can I be playing all this music from Austin and not put some Stevie in there. Every year when we go to the ACL festival in Austin, we always walk past Stevie’s statue along the way and stop and say hi. What a huge loss it was to the music world when he died.

Surf Report – Supersonic Salvation (2002) If you liked the songs I played from Charlie Can Surf, you’re gonna love this CD. I’m not a surf music aficionado, but this stuff really gets my feet tapping. It also takes me back to my childhood and listening to great bands like The Ventures. The surf’s always up at www.surfreportwebsite.com .

Nuggets – Disk 2 (1998) More music from my childhood. Rhino took an excellent 2 LP set of music from the psychedelic era and turned it into a 4 CD set that is amazing.

Cat Stevens – Tea for the Tillerman (1970) I must be regressing this week. Sorry. For those of you who listen to The Promise for the new music, trust me, there is plenty of new music this week. But as always I try and leave some room for reminiscing. And what a great album this was.

Sunday, April 17, 2005

This Weeks Play List

Missy Higgins – The Sound of White (2004/2005) A singer out of Austrialia, with a voice like Fiona Apple, Missy seems destined for stardom. WB appears to be putting some muscle behind this CD so expect to hear way too much of it in the near future; if you aren’t already hearing it. That isn’t to say that it is bad. If you like female singer/songwriters, you are going to like Missy Higgins. This is good songwriting with catching tunes (I’ll leave off the most catching for terrestrial radio stations). You can see more Missy at www.missyhiggins.com .

Jellyfish – Bellybutton (1990) I probably wasn’t ready for this band 15 years ago, but I am now. What a great power pop band this was. Third billed in the band is Jason Falkner (I recently added him to the play list) and that tells you a lot about how much talent is here. It is very easy to compare them to Crowded House. But you can decide for yourself.

Limbeck – Hi, Everything’s Good
(2002) I saw them open for the Drive By Truckers and said at that time that I couldn’t hear the lyrics but liked their Americana power pop. The one thing I did notice was that they talked a lot about the cities they traveled to. And so after listening to the CD, everything I heard was correct. They really do like talking about the off beat cities that they’ve been to. The lyrics are at times conversational (which you may or may not like) but they are good enough to raise this band above the ordinary. I even like the packaging of the CD which includes a mini booklet. Each page in the book looks like a postcard with a stamp and a picture and the lyrics to a song. Very cute. And a fun band to listen to. For more info, go to http://www.limbeck.net/ .

Joe Henry – Scar (2001) His name has been around forever, but he’s another artist that has not gotten the attention he’s deserved. Scar is my first real intro to him and I like it a lot. This CD, which I don’t believe is like any of his others is very jazz based with people like Ornette Coleman on sax. I fell for this CD immediately. It is dark with rich textures; my favorite combination. And Joe’s site is: http://www.joehenrylovesyoumadly.com/ .

Patti Witten – Land of Souvenirs (1999) Patti is one of my favorite indie artists (yes, I do have favorites, but I love you all). She is a very talented writer with a wonderful voice that carries her songs about life in the not so big cites along the east coast. This is an older CD that I finally got around to. Please check out Patti at http://www.pattiwitten.com/ and if you like this CD you will love “Sycamore Tryst”.

Drive By Truckers – Alabama Ass Whuppin’ (2002) What can I say that I haven’t already said ( http://thepromiselive.blogspot.com/2005/04/drive-by-truckers-and-limbeck-live-at.html ) . These guys are something to see in concert, and this live CD gives you a taste of that.

Southside Johnny & The Asbury Jukes – I Don’t Want To Go Home (1976) How could any station that plays as much Bruce Springsteen as I do, not have any Southside in the rotation? Well I don’t know how it happened, but I am correcting it this week. If you listen to The Promise, you are most likely a Springsteen fan and therefore I really don’t need to explain Southside to you. So I won’t. I’ll just say that this is a great album produced by Miami Steve. You know the rest.

Monday, April 11, 2005

This Weeks Play List

Bruce Springsteen - Devils and Dust (2005) We've got the single and I can't wait for the rest of what should be another excellent CD from The Boss.

Jamie Anderson - A Promise of Light (2005) Jamie knows what she is doing, both artistically and promotion wise. She loves to promote that she is a parking lot attendant. Gotta love that. And her promo material attempts to break down where her songs fit in a broadcaster's format. I'm sure her work as a DJ influenced that idea. The bulk of her CD is folk based with much of it being social without being preachy. I think you will enjoy this fun indie artist. Jamie's web site is http://www.jamieanderson.com .

Friday, April 08, 2005

Drive By Truckers and Limbeck live at the Coach House

The Coach House in San Juan Capistrano is a wonderful place to see a concert, except for the sound. They have good equipment and generally do a good job at mixing. But, if you are near the front of the stage and it is at all loud, you will never hear the vocals. The speakers are above the stage and the sound pretty much goes over your head. What ends up happening are that the amps on stage end up blasting the front tables; therefore no vocals. That being said, Limbeck, the opening band, sounded really good. They are, if I have to label them, an Americana Power Pop Band. How’s that for a label? A more rockin’ John Mellencamp would make a good comparison I suppose. With a band like this though, the lyrics will make or break them. I have no clue. They do have a tendency to write about places; and not classic places either. Minneapolis, Virginia, Ohio, and Orange (okay they are a local band) give you an idea of where these guys travel. On a positive note, they have an EP that is acoustic versions of songs from their CD, “Hi, Everything’s Great”. Any band that is willing to re-record their songs in an acoustic setting must have something to say; right? Otherwise, we enjoyed their show and I look forward to listening more closely to their CD.

I have never seen the Drive By Truckers before and have only heard their latest CD which I really like. Deb, if you’re reading this, I think they played ACL last year and we didn’t see them. BIG MISTAKE. These guys (and gal) had the half filled Coach House, rockin’, performing music you just aren’t gonna hear anywhere else. This is a three guitar (plus bass and drums) army and when they are in sync, they blow through you like (oh I better not do that metaphor) radiation from an atomic blast (okay that may be overstating it a bit). But this isn’t just another loud band. These guys are mainly from Alabama and actually have something to say. They are as much Southern as they are dark. So we were all bouncing around to dark tunes about hurricanes destroying towns and people dying of cancer because they can’t afford chemo and of course those “pieces of sh*t” politicians. Unlike some political/social rockers who make happy music and sing about serious subjects (“Born in the USA”, need I say more?), there is nothing happy about most of these songs. They are loud and dark and, and, and irresistible. But what impressed me most about DBT last night was that they also know how to pace a show. They came out blasting with songs from their latest CD, “The Dirty South”. About 3 or 4 songs into the show, they slowly started slowing it down. By the third song in this section they had reached a very mellow point (really, three electric guitars and it was still mellow). They then started slowly building it back up until the finale where they just kicked the doors out of the place. The encore was a mixed bag of music that was interrupted 3 times by a waitress delivering shots to the band (did I mention that they were all swigging on a bottle of Jack throughout night?). They were at least smart enough to know that 2 was their limit on shots and left the last round for after the show I assume. With all the drinking going though, on this is still a no nonsense band. They didn’t talk to the audience much, but there was lots of eye contact and at one point all three guitars and the bass were out on the tables playing their guitars TO the crowd. This was one hot show. If you are anywhere near the El Ray tonight (Friday) GO SEE THEM. They will be up at the Fillmore on Saturday.

Monday, April 04, 2005

This Weeks Play List

Lots of new music this week…

Holly Palmer – I Confess (2004) If you haven’t read my review of her show with Kenny White, start here: http://thepromiselive.blogspot.com/2005/03/kenny-white-and-holly-palmer-live-at.html . I really like this CD. It’s pop enough to lure in the casual listener, but her lyrics are well beyond the typical pop pulp. And what she does with her voice; how she plays with phrasing… it’s just a pleasure to listen to. You can find her music and her sexy photos at www.hollypalmer.com .

Young Dubliners – Real World (2005) I’ve been a Young Dubliners fan for years. They have always been known for their live shows (Mosh pits with 30 year olds floating is a thing to behold). Their CDs never lived up to these shows until their live one a few years back. And with each succeeding CD they have continued to improve. This may be the best yet. A little U2? Lots of Ireland and plenty of rock and roll.

Jon Dee Graham – The Great Battle (2004) My friend Deb saw Jon open for Alejandro Escodevo in Chicago this year and loved him. After listening to his latest CD I can understand why: Good melodies, strong songwriting and a voice that makes you want to clear your throat throughout (okay, that is either a plus or a minus. I love it).

The Devlins – Waves (2005) Another good CD from The Devlins. I know, I just added an old Devlins CD to the play list. Isn’t that always the way. Anyway, this is an excellent CD. 2005 is turning into a good year musically.

Charlie Does Surf – A Tribute To The Clash (2004) Living in Southern California you can’t really go too far without running into something that has to do surfing. And here in the OC we are the home of surf music. But it took a some guys down in San Diego to put together this wonderful grouping of surf bands playing their favorite Clash tunes. The best songs on this CD aren’t the biggest hits. But check it out for yourself. You can get more info at www.rickshawrecords.com .

Joni Mitchell – Hejira (1976). When I was a teen, back in the very early 70’s, Russ Shaw, a friend of the family’s, handed me the Warner Brothers catalog and said, “Pick out all the albums you want”. This was around 1971 or so. What a great time for music that was. I picked around 20 albums. Stuff from Van Morrison, James Taylor, The Grateful Dead, Black Sabbath, Deep Purple and Joni. So began my love affair with probably the greatest woman in folk and rock. I think I love Hejira today more than when it came out. Joni was moving away from the accessible pop and closer to her jazz future. The music on this album is still powerful, almost 30 years later.

John Fogerty – Premonition (1998) It’s John Fogerty Live, playing not only his solo music, but CCR classics as well (finally). What else needs to be said?

Bruce Springsteen – Live in New York City (2001) The live album we always wanted. As close to a full set from The Boss as we will ever get… legally.

Music Hall Link - Cowboy Junkies 4-1-1996 listen