December 19, 2011

Concert Souvenirs?

It's always nice when my favorite band releases an official live album to accompany a tour I attended. And every once in awhile an actual performance I saw is recorded and released. These days it's easier than ever for a band to make every recording available. Three concerts I went to were recorded and released on offical live albums:

"Eleanor Rigby" live at the Worcester Centrum February 9, 1990 
Paul McCartney: Tripping The Live Fantastic

Unlike the contemporary trend towards releasing an entire concert from one night, McCartney recorded many dates of his 1990 tour. The resulting two-disc live album appears to select the best recording of each performance from the rigid set list. The result? The 37-track album was recorded in ninteen different cities. For example, eight tracks are from an eleven-night series at Wembley Arena, but they're from five different nights, and no two songs from the same night are presented together. I has a great time at the show (I had just turned 18, and had been a rabid Beatles fan for exactly 30 months) even if the Rolling Stone concert review spoiled all the surprises in the set-in-stone set list.
In the spring of 1990, six months before Tripping was released, while in New York City on a school trip, I visited a Greenwich Village record store and bought a three-LP bootleg recorded in Los Angeles the previous autumn. The bootleg was pressed on white vinyl with red, white, and blue spin-art designs in the vinyl. (photos to come)

Pearl Jam live at the Orpheum Theater Boston, April 12, 1994
The best rock concert I ever attended was the penultimate date of the 1994 Vs. tour. Thanks to my friend Meg (Goldstein) Chapman, who sold me her tickets. The show, when they finally started, was amazing. Mudhoney was the opening act, then there was a long interval (at least 45-60 mins) before Pearl Jam came on. I remember loving "Go" and "Animal" and the new song "Not for You". In 2011, Pearl Jam released a three-CD Deluxe Edition of Vs. including a full CD of the Orpheum show. Due to size constraints, the disc leaves out a third of the set list:

  • Oceans
  • Even Flow
  • Sonic Reducer (Dead Boys cover)
  • Immortality
  • Glorified G
  • Daughter
  • Not For You
  • Rats
  • Blood
  • Release
  • Tremor Christ
  • Once
  • Fuckin' Up (Neil Young cover)
  • Dirty Frank
  • Rearviewmirror
  • Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town
  • State Of Love And Trust
  • Hard to Imagine
  • Go
  • Animal
  • Alone
  • Better Man
  • Yellow Ledbetter
  • I've Got a Feeling (The Beatles cover).

Ben Folds Live at Avalon June 8, 2002
June 8, 2002, three months before we would meet for the first time, my future wife and I would both attend this Ben Folds solo show at the former Avalon nightclub in Boston. It was a lot of fun, even if I am not a fan of the Reinhold Messner album.  The live album recorded during that tour features a photo taken at our show (I am not pictured) At least one song from the CD or limited edition bonus DVD was recorded on the night we attended.

November 08, 2011

Seventies Easy Rock

Also known as "Yacht Rock", this is another great mix from my wife.

1.    “Operator (That's Not the Way It Feels)” Jim Croce
2.    “How Much I Feel” Ambrosia
3.    “On and On” Stephen Bishop
4.    “Sara Smile” Daryl Hall & John Oates
5.    “After the Love Has Gone” Earth, Wind & Fire
6.    “Dance with Me” Orleans
7.    “We'll Never Have to Say Goodbye Again”, and
8.    “I'd Really Love to See You Tonight”
England Dan & John Ford Coley
9.    “I Keep Forgettin'” Michael McDonald
10.    “This Is It” Kenny Loggins
11.    “Just Remember I Love You” Firefall
12.    “Sailing” Christopher Cross
13.    “Summer Breeze” Seals & Crofts
14.    “I Love a Rainy Night” Eddie Rabbitt
15.    “Steal Away” Robbie Dupree
16.    “Lotta Love” Nicolette Larson
17.    “Arthur's Theme” [live]  Christopher Cross
18.    “Baby Come Back” Player
19.    “Listen to the Music” The Doobie Brothers
20.    “Take It Easy” [live & acoustic] Jackson Browne

October 27, 2011

134 Mayhem

  1. "Twenty-Five Miles" Edwin Starr (1969), or, as my wife put it, "that song from Adventures In Babysitting"
  2. "Junk Of The Heart (Happy)" The Kooks
  3. "Cold Comfort Flowers" Fountains of Wayne
  4. "Hammer And A Nail" Indigo Girls
  5. Upon listening to "Careful" by Guster last month, I was immediately reminded of "Hammer and a Nail"
  6. "Mayhem" great muscular arrangement and sassy vocals by Imelda May.
  7. Eurythmics "Would I Lie To You?" This song (from Be Yourself Tonight) has always been one of my favorite rave-up fast driving songs. I found this extended edit on a 12 inch single. As far as I can tell, it's the same mix as the LP, but it doesn't fade out until 25 seconds later.
  8. Pearl Jam "Jeremy" [2009 Remix] Thinking about this song a lot lately as "Pumped Up Kicks" has been all over the airwaves.
  9. Gomez: "How We Operate" I love the loud-and-soft dynamics. Reminds me of Led Zeppelin?
  10. "Lost In My Mind" The Head And The Heart
  11. "Ramble On" Led Zeppelin
  12. "It's Only Natural" Crowded House
  13. "Stripped" A cover of the Depeche Mode song from Duncan Sheik's Eighties Covers LP.
  14. "Outta Mind (Outta Sight)" Wilco
  15. "Candy" from Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers' MOJO LP.
  16. "For You Blue" The Beatles
  17. "She Walks In So Many Ways" As soon as I heard this new Jayhawks song on the radio, I immediately knew (by the two-part harmonies) that it was the Jayhawks, and I knew I wanted to buy it!
  18. "As for Now" Another "thanks to SoundHound" find. This song by newcomer Lindsay Rae Spurlock (the EP is called Heart On) was featured on the Adult Swim show Childrens Hospital. I held my smartphone up to the speaker, triggered SoundHound, and her name popped up!
  19. David Bowie "Modern Love" Nile Rodgers is one of my favorite producers, definitely my favorite producer of the 1980s. Love his drum sound.
  20. The Cadillacs "Speedo" Recently picked up the soundtrack CD for...anyone, anyone? GoodFellas.
  21. "You're The Inspiration" At the Beelzebubs' chapel show at Tufts Homecoming Weekend, the Bubs performance of this Chicago classic (from Chicago 17) was a highlight. Of course, the song is old enough to be the prom theme of the Beelzebubs' parents! Aiee!

August 11, 2011

133 Paradise by The "C"

  1. "Cissy Strut" The Meters (1969) The squeaky hi-hat pedal is practically it's own instrument!
  2. "Stranded In A Limousine" Paul Simon, a 'new' song from his Greatest Hits, etc. (1977)
  3. "Options" Gomez
  4. "Don't Play No Game That I Can't Win" Beastie Boys featuring Santigold this terrific song from Hot Sauce Committee Part Two is my nominee for Summer Song of 2011, but I think Lady Gaga's "Edge of Glory" may have edged them out.
  5. "Gimme All Your Lovin" ZZ Top
  6. "Rumour Has It" I didn't dream that Adele could equal the power of "Rolling in the Deep", but she did! I was blown away when I first heard this on the radio.The lyrics! drums! handclaps! backing vocals! Wow.
  7. "Hangman Jury" Aerosmith
  8. "Barton Hollow" The Civil Wars, two swampy songs together.
  9. "I'm A King Bee" The Rolling Stones, as heard on the cop show Memphis Beat. A brief aside: Memphis Beat (starring Jason Lee as a Memphis PD detective by day, blues singer by night) is an old-school cop/detective show. It feels like an old Simon & Simon episode. But, they spend a lot of money on music clearances for bands like The Rolling Stones. Actually, now that I think of it, Jason Lee's last show, My Name Is Earl, had lots of brand-name rock music too.
  10. "Monday Monday" Matthew Sweet & Susanna Hoffs, or, as we sing it to our son: "Mango Mango"
  11. "If You Love Somebody (Set Them Free)" This William Orbit remix removes all of Sting's jazz trappings in favor of a synth-heavy dance groove. All of Brandford Marsalis's saxophone is gone.
  12. "Just Another Night" I heard this Ian Hunter song, from his LP You're Never Alone With A Schizophrenic, and thought it sounded like a Bruce Springsteen song. Turns out I'm half right: the recording features Roy Bittan (keyboards) Garry Tallent (bass) and Max Weinberg (drums) from the E Street band.
  13. "Freeway of Love" [Extended Remix] Aretha Franklin featuring Clarence Clemons - One of Clarence's best guest spots.
  14. "Did It In A Minute" Daryl Hall & John Oates - the arrangement is a little overcomplicated, but the hook is solid. Maybe their biggest hit which didn't make it onto the 1983 Rock N Soul Pt 1 which I listened to 1,000,000 times as a teenager.I heard this song for the first time when I took their LP Private Eyes (1981) out of the Topsfield Town Library. Yes kids, these things HAPPENED.
  15. "If I Can't Change Your Mind" (Solo Mix) Sugar - This is one of my favorite songs of the 1990s, so when it was selected for the Onion A/V Club's Undercover series, I was excited. The A/V Club invites bands to visit their office a cover a song from a pre-selected list. Somehow, Bob Mould visited and covered his own Sugar song, then, the Decemberists visited and covered it too. Since I can't buy these songs on MP3, I've added the solo mix of "If I Can't Change Your Mind" to my mix-- the B-side which singer Colin Meloy cites as his favorite.
  16. "I Might" Wilco, the first single from their upcoming album The Whole Love
  17. "China Grove" [live at the Greek Theater 1982] The Doobie Brothers
  18. "Paradise By The "C" [live at the Roxy] Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band 
The Big Man 1942-2011

May 26, 2011

132 DJ Zoomba

One of my favorite apps on my Android phone is SoundHound- the app listens to music and identifies it for you. Just press one button, hold the phone up to the speaker, and presto! This is super-handy for identifying songs from the radio, incidental music from TV and movies, and in public spaces. Once it IDs the song, I simply press "bookmark", then I can go back later and buy the songs wherever I want. Unlimited uses are free, so perhaps I overuse it, but the novelty has not worn off yet.
  1. "Breaking The Girl" Anna Nalick sings that song "Breathe (3AM)" which I included in my last mix. I found her cover of the Red Hot Chili Peppers' song while buying the "Breathe" song on Amazon.
  2. "Tree By The River" Iron & Wine
  3. "Clocks" An amazing salsa-ification of the Coldplay recording by something called 'Rhythms Del Mundo'. It's not a cover- more like a remix.
  4. "Quattro (World Drifts In)" Calexico, from their album Feast Of Wire.
  5. "Untitled" [live] Shockra: One of the coolest experiences of my Emerson College experience was working at WERS. One of the cool experiences of that cool experience is my three-year association with the world-funk-jazz combo Shockra. I was a host and manager of the world music show Gyroscope, and Shockra became our favorite band. We played their music every day, mostly from promo cassettes, we saw them live a dozen times across town, and they came to the studio to perform live in the studio regularly. In 1993 we released a live CD, which included this epic 10 minute track, maybe Shockra's most ambitious song. I was thrilled to be sitting in the studio for the recording, as the host of that day's live music. After their encore, the crowd in the control room went apoplectic; at the end of the CD you can hear (21-year-old) me "out-troduce" the song, then open the control room door to let in the applause.
  6. "Let The Light In" I don't know anything about Bob Schneider, but I heard this song on the radio, and it has a nice thumb-piano part.
  7. "Sound And Vision" from David Bowie's Low (1977). Fun fact: David Bowie's lead vocal does not begin until exactly halfway through this three-minute song.
  8. "Burning Down The House" this live performance, from Stop Making Sense, is far superior to Talking Heads' studio recording.
  9. "One Thing Leads to Another" The Fixx
  10. "On Melancholy Hill" Gorillaz
  11. "Les Yeux De Ton Pere" Fun story here: I used to play this Franco-Clash song ("Eyes of Your Father") from Les Negresses Vertes, regularly on WERS Gyroscope in the early 1990s. Fast forward to the MP3 era, the LP is out of print and the song is not available for 99c download. The song was also included in the movie French Kiss, and its soundtrack CD. I wasn't about to pay $17 for one song, but so I have kept my eye out for it--- until May 2011, when I finally found the French Kiss CD at a church tag sale. Persistence pays off!
  12. "You, Now" I heard this Greg Laswell song on the "Adult Alternative" channel on my cable TV.
  13. "Mandolin Rain" This recent live performance from Bruce Hornsby & The Noisemakers is a little too "jazzy" for me. I don't know if he has discarded most of the melodic hooks for artistic reasons, or because he's too old to hit the notes anymore, but it's not the same melody anymore.
  14. "Sweet Love" Anita Baker
  15. "Come and Find Me" Josh Ritter: As heard on the ABC-TV show Castle!
  16. "To Kingdom Come" Passion Pit
  17. "Jane Says" Jane's Addiction
  18. "Time To Pretend" MGMT

May 23, 2011

(Some Titles Are) Parenthetical

The parenthetical song title is a unique phenomenon to music. Why do song titles have parens? This morning, I read a post on with a list of 169 parenthetical song titles. Each title fits into a type:
  • The title is too short/not descriptive, so they add more words "Christmas (Baby Please Come Home)"
  • The title is too long, so they chop it off "How Sweet It Is (To Be Loved By You)"
  • The record label worries that people won't recognize the song they heard on the radio because the title is not the chorus. Sometimes these parens only appear on the 45, not the LP:
    •  "Pride (In The Name of Love)"
    • "Brass In Pocket (I'm Special)"
    • "Train In Vain (Stand By Me)"
  • Beck just being weird "Truckdrivin’ Neighbors Downstairs (Yellow Sweat)" 
  • REM just being weird "Auctioneer (Another Engine)"
  • Movie Theme Songs (Theme From "This Blog")
  • Silly jokes "She Got the Goldmine (I Got the Shaft)"
  • Completely arbitrary "Pretty Fly (For A White Guy)"
I have selected 75 parenthetical song titles, and severed the main title from the paren part. Print out this page, and try and match them back up again. Remember, some parens go in front, some at the end. Good luck! (Answers here).
December 1963(500 Miles)
4th of July, Asbury Park(All Night)
A Natural Woman(And I Feel Fine)
Against All Odds(And That's the Truth)
All Night Long(Anthony's Song)
Bang A Gong(Are Made of This)
Chelsea(But I Like It)
Da Doo Ron Ron (But I Won't Do That)
Died In Your Arms(Come Out Tonight)
Don’t Forget Me (Coming Home)
Don't Go Away Mad (Don’t Go Back To)
Don't Know What You Got (Don't Fear)
Don't You (Enjoy What You Do)
Dude (Everything I Do)
Earth Angel (For Me)
Escape (For My Love)
Exhale (Forget About Me)
Falling in Love (Get It On)
Fascination(Gonna Be Alright)
Fight For Your Right(I Can’t Get No)
Good Riddance (I Don’t Want to Go to)
Happy Xmas (I Feel Good)
He Hit Me (I Just)
Higher and Higher(I Like It)
I Believe (I Think It's Going To Be A Long Long Time)
I Can't Go for That (I'm Only Bleeding)
I Do It For You(I'm Sorry)
I Got You (Is Hard on the Knees)
I Knew You Were Waiting (It Felt Like A Kiss)
I Never Loved a Man (It's in His Kiss)
I Ran (I've Been)
I Wanna Dance with Somebody (I've Had)
I’m Gonna Be (Just Go Away)
I'd Do Anything for Love (Just Like)
I'd Lie for You (Keep Feeling)
In Hammersmith Palais(Let Me Be Your)
Instant Karma (Looks Like a Lady)
Istanbul (Man in Motion)
It’s The End of the World As We Know It (Naive Melody)
It's Alright, Ma (Nine to Five)
It's Only Rock 'n' Roll (No Can Do)
Jump (Not Constantinople)
Major Tom (Not to Come)
Mama Told Me (Oh, What A Night)
Money (Pretty Young Thing)
Morning Train (Put a Ring On It)
Movin' Out (Sandy)
Norwegian Wood (Say So Much)
P.Y.T .(Shoop Shoop)
Peace, Love and Understanding(Sittin' On)
Red Shoes(So Far Away)
Rocket Man (Take a Look at Me Now)
Rockville(That's What I Want)
Rosalita (The Angels Wanna Wear My)
Sad Songs (The Final Acclaim)
Satisfaction(The PiƱa Colada Song)
Searchin' So Long(The Right Stuff)
Separate Ways (The Way I Love You)
Single Ladies (This Bird Has Flown)
So. Central Rain (Till It's Gone)
St. Elmo’s Fire (Time of Your Life)
Starting Over(to Everything There Is a Season)
Sweet Dreams (War Is Over)
Teddy Bear(We All Shine On)
That's the Way (What’s So Funny ‘Bout)
The Dock Of The Bay(When He Walked Me Home)
The Reaper(When I Fall in Love it Will Be Forever)
The Shoop Shoop Song (When I’m Gone)
The Time of My LIfe(White Man)
This Must Be the Place (Who Loves Me)
Tonight's the Night (Will You Be Mine)
Turn! Turn! Turn! (Worlds Apart)
Wham Rap! (You Gotta)...(To Party!)
You Got It (You Make Me Feel Like)
You're in My Heart (Your Love Has Lifted Me)

March 21, 2011

131 Spring Forward

  1. "Got To Give It Up, Part 1" Marvin Gaye: From the campfire scene in Paul.
  2. "Fun, Fun, Fun" Pharrell; From the movie Despicable Me.
  3. "Old Days" Chicago
  4. "Nineteen Hundred and Eighty Five" Paul McCartney & Wings: Special version from the film One Hand Clapping, the first half showcases Paul's soulful solo vocal and piano, which then is spliced into the full final arrangement.
  5. "Lasso" Phoenix
  6. "Velcro Fly" ZZ Top has the same drum part as the "Lasso".
  7. "F.M." Steely Dan
  8. "Seven Chinese Brothers" R.E.M.
  9. "I'm A Loser" The Beatles
  10. "Victoria" I just saw The Old 97's play "Victoria" at a free show at SXSW.
  11. "It's Bad You Know" R.L. Burnside
  12. "Freeway" Aimee Mann
  13. "Morning Moon" I am not saying I am going to become a superfan, but when I heard this song on the radio, I thought to myself "this is terrific! where has The Tragically Hip been all my life?"
  14. "Dreams" Fleetwood Mac
  15. "All Over The World" Electric Light Orchestra: the closing credits song from Paul, previously in the movie Xanadu.
  16. "Loving You Is Easy" Sarah McLachlan: a pleasingly ordinary 4/4 chugging piano riff from Ms McLachlan.
  17. "All My Nights I've Been Waiting [Liz Lemon's Theme] Tina Fey & Christopher Cross: what started as a gentle Christopher Cross joke on 30 Rock crossed over to reality when Mr Cross recorded an actual song based on the joke. When Worlds Collide!
  18. "See The Lights" Simple Minds
  19. "Breathe (2AM)" I learned Anna Nalick's name after holding my Android phone up to the radio and activating the SoundHound app.
  20. "Good Is Good" Cool George Harrison-y guitar riff. From Sheryl Crow's Lance Armstrong period. Isn't it retroactively embarrassing to dedicate an LP to him?

February 21, 2011

130 Warm Spell

  1. "Silly Love Songs" GLEE Cast Version: I won't apologize for loving this supremely uncool song.
  2. "Plane" Jason Mraz
  3. "I Still Have That Other Girl" Elvis Costello & Burt Bachrach
  4. "Find My Way" The Gabe Dixon Band: the opening credits song from the Sandra Bullock movie The Proposal.
  5. "Gimme Shelter" The Rolling Stones
  6. "Rolling In The Deep" Adele: This whole mix revolves around the awesome song. It totally gives me chills. "Gimme Shelter" is as close as I could come to equaling the drama and goosebumps it evokes.
  7. "Dead American Writers" Tired Pony
  8. "Learning To Fly" Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers
  9. "Settled Down Like Rain" The Jayhawks
  10. "Ring of Fire" Johnny Cash
  11. "Home" Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeroes
  12. "She Runs Away" Duncan Sheik: I have this on an promo only alternative music sampler from 1997.
  13. "Rain In The Summertime" The Alarm
  14. "3,000 Miles" (remix) Ellis Paul [from Sweet Mistakes]
  15. "Windows Are Rolled Down" The first time I heard this new Amos Lee song, I was instantly reminded of "3,000 Miles."
  16. "Run Through The Fields" Does anyone else remember Nuclear Valdez? I have this on a promo only alternative music sampler from 1990.
  17. "Hi Hi Hi" Paul McCartney & Wings
  18. "Jungle Love" Steve Miller Band
  19. "Battlestar Galactica Theme" Jonathan Coulton feat/John Hodgman: Who knew there were words to the Battlestar Galactica theme song?
  20. "Valerie" Mark Ronson feat/Amy Winehouse

February 08, 2011

129 Twenty Eleven

  1. "I Got More Than A Feeling" A clever mashup of Boston vs. Black Eyed Peas, from Mad Mix Mustang. Found on Best of Bootie 2009
  2. "Fuck You" Cee Lo Green
  3. "Garbage Truck" Sex Bob-Omb
  4. "Down By The Water" The opening drums-and-harmonica of this new Decemberists song reminds me of a song... or maybe many many songs?
  5. "Settled Down Like Rain" The Jayhawks
  6. "Rocks Off" The Old 97'S cover the Rolling Stones (and R.E.M. too!) on their 2010 Mimeograph EP.
  7. "Up Around The Bend" Creedence Clearwater Revival
  8. "Bossa Nova Baby" This Elvis Presley song was featured during a montage in the movie No Strings Attached.
  9. "California Gurls" (feat. Snoop Dogg) Katy Perry
  10. "Rush" I chose this Big Audio Dynamite II song because it pokes fun at stuffy English aristocracy in the same way the following track does...
  11. "You're A Good Man Albert Brown (Curse You Red Barrel)" The Dukes Of Stratosphear was a 1960s-psychedelic pop side project of XTC. This song has a rustic English beer-barrel pub atmosphere mixed in.
  12. "Effington" Ben Folds Presents : University A Cappella! includes many terrific university groups. This particular track is Ben multi-tracked over and over (with some help from his kids!)
  13. "It Won't Be Long" The Beatles: has some of the same antic energy as "Effington."
  14. "Ain't Good Enough For You" Bruce Springsteen writes these inconsequential freewheeling party rockers all the time, but they usually don't make it onto the album. This one is no different. Bruce recorded it during the Darkness On The Edge of Town sessions. Obviously it doesn't fit with that album's atmosphere, so he sat on it, until the 2010 release of The Promise.
  15. "Stop Playing With My Heart" A fascinating "concept" album, with a authentic 1980s vibe, from Ryan Adams & The Cardinals.
  16. "I'll Be Alright Without You" Journey
  17. "Caravan" Van Morrison
  18. "Boys Don't Cry" I heard this Grant-Lee Phillips cover of the Cure song on his all-covers CD nineteeneighties, and years later on an episode of How I Met Your Mother.
  19. "Stay Gold" Stevie Wonder recorded this treacly ballad in the early 1980s for the movie Rumble Fish. I thought Emily was pulling my leg when she told me this story... until I found it on iTunes!
  20. "Stand Together" The Beastie Boys