“We apologize for ruining indie rock,” Colin Meloy announced as the band took the stage last night at House of Blues Boston. They were referring, of course, to a recent article in The Phoenix, which blamed The Decemberists as the destroyers of all that was good and perfect in the land of indie-ness. The crowd hooted and hollered their approval, not of Luke O’Neil’s rant against this quietly brilliant band of Portlanders, but of Mr. Meloy’s playful indifference to the negativity of the critic. And why should he care? Meloy and Co. have the #1 album on the Billboard 200 and were playing the second of two sold out shows at Boston’s House of Blues. So, while Mr. Meloy’s stomach flu may have cut the concert short and removed a bit of the intensity of his performance, it in no way challenged these guys’ status as the kings of indie rock. Continue reading →
There is music coursing through my boys’ souls, through Ariel’s and the other boys, and my daughter is drawn to it, too. On this blog you’ve heard Gilad jamming; he lived and breathed this stuff. Music speaks to my kids, gives them a kick and a buzz, and for Gilad it was often his escape.
My kids know that their dad was a Dead-Head, and he followed Pink Floyd, Led Zeppelin, and the Stones instead of reading his college texts. He went to concerts and he was cool, at least until he met me, which has become our family legend. But what my kids don’t know is that their mom feels music in her soul, too. It speaks to me and always has, ever since I listened to bad AM radio on my Panasonic toot-a-loop radio in groovy yellow, and walked to Sam Goody (the former FYE) to pick up each week’s paper list (on actual paper – no computer searches then) of Top-40 hits. I played guitar through my teens, collected sheet music and belonged to every choir. It’s why I turn up the volume when I’m alone washing my kitchen floor or driving around in my car. Music simply stirs me in a profound way, just like it does for my daughter and sons. So what can I do to get a little respect here? Continue reading →
There’ve been a bunch of Pearl Jam related videos that have appeared on YouTube recently.
This professional quality video of Got Some performed at the final Spectrum show appeared on YouTube last week. A promotional video for Live on Ten Legs? A (purposely) leaked preview of a yet-to-be-discussed Spectrum DVD? Who knows. Who cares.
Jeff Ament, Pearl Jam’s bassist, has a brand new band called Tres Mts. Instead of describing them to you, I’ll let Jeff do the talking:
I first saw dUg Pinnick sing and play in 1989 with his band Kings X at the Central Tavern. Three years later, I asked them to open some shows for Pearl Jam and we quickly became friends. I always joked, “when are we gonna make that heavy R & B record, you and me?” In 2001, dUg joined Richard Stuverud and me in one of our yearly writing sessions in Montana and again in 2004 with McCready. After a few years of crossed up schedules, in 2010, we finally mixed the baker’s dozen songs that make up Tres Mts. These guys are all monsters and this batch of tunes is gonna be fun to play live.
I’ve never been the hugest Iron & Wine fan, but recently I’ve come to appreciate their greatness. Not only does Samuel Beam have a fantastic name, a glorious beard, and a pretty cool job-history (he was a professor of film and cinematography and U of Miami before making becoming a successful recording artists), but he’s been able to create some of the most soulful and beautiful acoustic music we’ve seen in the last decade.
His new album, “Kiss Each Other Clean,” begins in this manner. Walking Far From Home is a wonderfully lush song, with syrupy vocals that just seem to drip out of the microphone. From there, the album gets a bit weird. Continue reading →
I purchased Mother Love Bone’s lone album about ten years ago, but I never really knew what the song Bone China was about. Until today.
Today, while updating our wedding registry with our choice of china, I noticed that it was described as “fine bone china.” And suddenly it all made sense. Andrew Wood was obsessed with fine dinnerware. Let’s tap our crystal wine glasses with our silver forks and toast Andy’s weirdness, and the fact that I still have no idea what this song is about.
In the morning She gone crazy With a painted picture Her father’s story.
When you call your album “The King Is Dead,” there needs to be a mood (either lyrically or musically) that backs up and explains that statement. And when you’re The Decemberists, there’s going to be a story to go along with the entire album. Who was this king? Was he a good king or a bad king? Are people dancing in the streets, or walking aimlessly in sackcloth, unsure of their futures. Was it an assassination, was he killed in battle, or did he die of old age or disease? Continue reading →
Posted onJanuary 20, 2011|Comments Off on James Vincent McMorrow – Early In The Morning
Photo courtesy of Vagrant Records
I love music. I guess that was obvious, but sometimes it’s nice to be reminded of that fact. Hearing a new album by an artist you’ve never heard before – one who sounds eerily familiar and surprisingly fresh at the same time – is one of the best ways to accomplish that goal. Continue reading →
I received my copy of Pearl Jam’s “Live On Ten Legs” in the mail yesterday. I immediately ripped it open, spun that black circle, and sat back for a gratifying listen. Yet, despite my excitement and overeagerness, a question looms: For a band that has released almost every single concert of theirs as a bootleg in the last 11 years, what’s the point of a live album? Why would PJ fans go out and buy this album, when there are clearly more exciting concerts for purchase? Continue reading →
When I worked in the writing center at Yeshiva University, there was a giant poster on one of the walls of the room. The poster featured Martin Luther King Jr. and had the following quote:
Darkness cannot drive out darkness; only light can do that. Hate cannot drive out hate; only love can do that.
Today, we celebrate Dr. King. And interestingly, we don’t celebrate the day he was shot; we celebrate his birthday. Because, there will always be bigots, idiots, and people who don’t understand. There will always be those who hate, and those who kill. But despite that, and despite King’s assassination, the civil rights movement lives on. So we celebrate, not the hitches in the road, not the acts of hate. We celebrate the light, and we celebrate the love. Happy birthday, Dr. King.