Thanks again for the continued support everyone.
Thursday, March 31, 2011
Thanks again for the continued support everyone.
|Photo by: Jason Benton|
Wednesday, March 30, 2011
This guy reminds me of a Petty/Vedder/Young combo. Thanks Chris.
Tuesday, March 29, 2011
This is exciting for me. First off, Pearl Jam is my favorite band of all-time. They were the band that first got me into music, so I feel qualified to be writing a review about an album that was released when I was two years old. That being said, if I fail at this review, maybe I should just stick with the news. But there’s a reason why I’m writing a review about an album that came out in 1993. Today, Vs. is being rereleased along with it’s 1994 follow-up Vitalogy.
“Go,” the album’s opening track, begins with one of Jeff Ament’s most famous bass lines pounding over Dave Abbruzzese’s hard drumming. The following track, “Animal,” is where the album got it’s original title from, which was Five Against One (told you I was a fan.) “Daughter” is one of only a couple speed bumps over the course of the album. A more stripped down song, Ament plays an upright bass on the track, and it features the first time that Stone Gossard had recorded a Pearl Jam song using an acoustic guitar. The album gets back on its aggressive track with “Glorified G,” a song Eddie Vedder penned after he found out that Abbruzzese had purchased a handgun. The song features technical guitar work from Gossard and Mike McCready, and it carries on over to the next track, “Dissident.” The tom-heavy “W.M.A.” is the only part of the album where it’s easy for the listener to drift off, but if they do, they will be brought right back with the heaviest track on the album, “Blood.” “Rearviewmirror” was actually the last song to be recorded for Vs. after numerous failed attempts, but all the practice paid off in the end with this fast-paced gem about leaving bad situations. “Rats” precedes the acoustic ballad “Elderly Woman Behind the Counter in a Small Town.” Vedder frequently dedicates this song “to anyone from a small town who needs to get out.” The eleventh track on the album, “Leash,” is one of the most underrated Pearl Jam songs of all-time. This song is a perfect example as to why they have “jam” in their name. If you don’t believe me, take a look at this (don’t you just miss grunge fashion?) The album closes with “Indifference,” which to this point in the band’s career was the quietest that Vedder had ever sung.
So why should you go out and buy another copy of an album that you probably already own? The reissue is packed with goodies. First off, the packaging is really well done. The booklet includes photos of the original lyrics for each song as well as rare photos of the band. But the reason to buy albums that you already own is for the three bonus tracks, “Hold On,” “Cready Stomp,” and “Crazy Mary.” Diehard fans already know “Hold On” from Lost Dogs, the band’s album of B-sides, and anyone who has seen them live knows the Victoria Williams’ cover “Crazy Mary.” So the only new completely new material is the three-minute instrumental jam “Cready Stomp.”
I feel like Vs. is sometimes overlooked. Sure, it did great commercially, but it was released right in between the band’s two most critically acclaimed albums (Ten and Vitalogy.) This is the album where Pearl Jam just rocks the eff out the whole way through. It is without a doubt their most aggressive album. After the massive success of Ten, this was the album that proved that Pearl Jam wasn’t just some band whose fifteen minutes of fame was starting to wind down, but a legitimate rock band that would be around for years to come.
Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars.
Stand Out Tracks: “Daughter,” “Rearviewmirror,” “Leash,” “Cready Stomp”
From Festival organizer Brian Cohen:
“I think we’ve come back with a bigger and better lineup. Along with the rock and Americana we’re bringing back from last year, we’ve added hip hop, soul, and dance, while staying true to our mission as an indie music festival."
Monday, March 28, 2011
Mark your calendars! Circuital is coming at us on May 31st with the first single headed April 12th. Don't forget to check the T5 countdown to Circuital here.
Eddie has to quit, Neil fills in. Lots of intense guitar to be had here.
The blues is, in every possibly aspect of the word, the beginning of music for me. Without the blues, there is no Rolling Stones. There is no Doors. There is no Zeppelin, no Aerosmith, no AC/DC, no Stevie Ray Vaughn, no Bob Dylan, no Springsteen, no Otis Redding or Public Enemy . . . for me, the blues is the absolute genesis of music as I know it today and this past week, March 21st, to be exact, the world lost a disciple of American music in Pinetop Perkins.
Over at The Countdown, we’re going to have yet another Evil Urges-filled week. We’ll celebrate tracks 6 though 10 (that’s “Sec Walkin” through “Aluminum Park”). Looking forward to enjoying these songs with all of you!
Friday, March 25, 2011
Thursday, March 24, 2011
Really amazing, bare bone acoustic jams from one of the best rock and roll bands out there.
Thanks to everyone that I'v spoken with, exchanged emails with, shared music with and experienced music with. It's truly been a pleasure and I look forward to the future.
Wednesday, March 23, 2011
Since this here Steam Engine is all about music, I’ve been trying to figure out what kind of music Robin Hood would listen to if he were to visit this time and age and this is what I came up with.
Do you need anybody?
First of all Robin Hood is the poster boy, for good reason, but where would he be without his band of merry men? Just as one does not simply walk into Mordor, one does not simply confront corruption locally, while leading an uprising against the crown, at least not all alone. Naturally Robin’s first playlist pick would have to be a tribute to his friends and what better song than With A Little Help From My Friends by The Beatles? However, since Robin recently saw the 2007 movie Across The Universe, he went for a slightly different version, sung by Joe Anderson and Jim Sturgess. Call it blasphemy, call it crazy, but it’s what Robin told me, I’m only conveying the message…
With A Little Help From My Friends, Jim Sturgess, Joe Anderson
My country 'this of thee
While the Robin Hood gang likes rowdy protest music as much as the next noble outlaw, once they get back to the camp after a long day of fighting, they prefer a calmer type of music. Robin likes to get his guitar out (is there anything that man can't do?) and play a wistful tune from the soon-to-be-found New World (he can tell the future too!), by troubadour Ani DiFranco
My Country 'Tis Of Thee, Ani DiFranco (camp music)
Roosevelt Room, Conor Oberst and the Mystic Valley Band (iPod while fighting music)
Would you be an outlaw for my love?
Though friendship and revolutionary action is most important to Robin Hood, nothing is more important to him than a certain Lady. Rarely has there been a more romantic scene than the one where Robin confesses his love for Marian with the simple but achingly heartfelt: Marian, my darling, I love you more than life itself. So the last and most important pick has to be a song about love, namely Thirteen and Robin prefers the Elliott Smith version, it’s just how he rolls.
Thirteen, Elliott Smith
Tuesday, March 22, 2011
Well, along with My Morning Jacket's next record, Circuital, looks like we'll be getting a summer tour. They've already been confirmed for about every major festival under the sun and now they've announced a hefty amount of other gigs. I'll definitely be in Chicago, maybe Red Rocks (because it would be awesome).
What I find interesting is that most of the non festival dates are in theaters despite it being a summer tour. Perhaps the new material is best suited for a more intimate setting?
Also, check out the amazing free downloads they're giving away leading up to Circuital here. The recordings are from the holy T5 shows.
Monday, March 21, 2011
Do you ever get obsessed with a song, obsessed the point that you listen to it over and over and over? Well, I have and I still do. It doesn't even have to be a new song, just a random song in general. For the last few days, I've really only listened to two songs. For me, that's just crazy talk. Two songs? That's it? Yep . . .just two. Normally, I"m all over the musical map in the course of a single day. I'll meander through an album, then jump to another, back and forth, covering a lot of ground genre-wise. I may start the day with Pete Yorn then jump to Blackstar. After that, it's on to The Black Keys, then Buddy Guy (if you're not familiar, check out the video and you'll see why both Hendrix and Clapton were such big fans. Check out Buddy's Blues (Chess 50th Anniversary Collection) for the old school stuff, and Sweet Tea for more recent recordings) and maybe even ending up with Jamey Johnson or Shooter Jennings (true outlaw country that would make Waylon Jennings and Johnny Cash proud ) and so on. You get the picture.
I've been obsessed with these two songs:
I'm thoroughly convinced that The National can do no wrong . . .period.
For some odd reason, this song just popped in my head the other night. Deftones happen to have done quite a few amazing covers and this is definitely one of them.
Ok . . .enough rambling. This weeks band is pretty damn good, so let's get to it.
It's hard to imagine that California Wives basically began as a side project for Jayson Kramer (vocals, keys, guitar), Dan Zima (vocals, bass, guitar), Hans Michel (guitar, keys) and Joe O'Connor (drums), but they quickly realized they had something between them, something cohesive . . .something that just made perfect sense (none of the California Wives are actually wives . . .or even women for that matter). Combining two things that I dearly love, music and Chicago, California Wives produce a sound that could easily be compared to The Police or New Order. As a huge fan of The Police, I'M IN!! There's also an element of their sound that could easily be compared to Nada Surf. Somewhere in the melodies and the hooks are stirring, beautifully written songs that somehow just float through your ears long enough for you to get lost in them with an ease that's not seen in music much anymore.
Their EP, "Affair" is five songs that really capture the bands dynamic. Sandwiched between the rousing beach worth opener, "Blook Red Youth" and the absolutely perfect bookend, "Photolights," are three additional songs that sound like they could provide the soundtrack to the changing of winter to spring. Fitting, considering the weather, huh? These songs are each perfect examples of how music an sound warm and inviting without being some sort of unbearably cheesy Don Ho version of what good music can be. This band deserves to be heard, so buy their EP and let everyone you know who appreciates music have a listen.
You can find California Wives on Facebook, MySpace and on Twitter and on their Official website, where you can also stream the EP, "Affair."
Spread the word, boys and girls.
p.s. i've had the pleasure of posting some guest playlists on one word titles. if you'd like to so one, let me know. i always love knowing what others are listening to and this is the perfect opportunity. email me HERE if you'd like more info!