Tuesday, April 25, 2017

Reflecting on Nirvana for some reason....

Been on this Nirvana kick the last few days. Occasionally when I listen I reflect on the fact they were a band I never saw live. The band didn’t make it easy to see them locally.  In my research, between 87 and 94 the band played in MA 9 times.  4 of them were before September of 91, which I’ll toss any ‘indie cred’ aside and admit I didn’t know of them until Nevermind began to break (the fall of 91).  In 91 the band did two shows as part of WFNX birthday.  On the 23rd  (a Monday) I drove in to Boston to try and get in.  The station didn’t pre-sell tickets, and the idea was you could go from club A to club B (there were 3 in a row).  By the time I arrived the line to get in was BEYOND the Cask and Flagon, and for those that know the area Axis/Avalon/Venus DeMilo was in the area that House of Blues now occupies.  This was a few hundred yards, with people not in single file line…groups of 6-8 all wondered if the line would even move. The venues were at that point of “one in one out”. I walked down towards the doors of Axis, heard the Smashing Pumpkins play for 2-3 minutes then moved on.  The following day the band did another show that was all ages at the same venue (I had no idea at the time this was happening).  The 25th was my best shot, the band was playing Club Babyhead in RI.  Again, in the car I went and I headed south.  Just as I was about to turn on to 95 south I had an ‘adult’ moment.  I had an exam the next day in school.  I was going to turn around and study.  So…I turned around.  I didn’t go see them.

The band didn’t tour the US much at all in 92 and in 93 the band was touring for In Utero and the fan base had exploded.  They played Springfield on the 10th (a Wednesday, had to be in work for 7am in Boston the next day) of November and then Fitchburg on the 12th. I tried like crazy to get tickets for Fitchburg and never lucked out.  I remember calling both lines from work trying to get in to the ticketmaster phone queue.  None of my friends had much luck, and looking back probably not a ton of interest.  That was it.  Cobain died a year later.


Just got me thinking and doing some web surfing last night.  I guess if you read this far my only “life lesson” is “don’t turn around”. 

If you really care here is the dates in MA/CT/RI
7/15/89  Green Street Jaimaca Plain
4/18/90  Man Ray, Cambridge MA
4/21/90   MIT, Party.
4/27/90   Hampshire College
-------------------- (knew who they were)
9/23/91   Axis Boston
9/24/91  Axis Boston
9/25/91  Club Babyhead
9/26/91  New Haven CT
11/10/93  Springfield MA
11/12/93  Fitchburg MA

Thursday, March 23, 2017

On the music player...

I can't really say turntable, and if I say on the iPod or CD player people roll their eyes..but a few records have caught my fancy as of late.

The latest from elbow "Little Fictions" is very good.  Also the newest record from The Shins "Heartworms" and the Japandroids "Near to the Wild Heart of Life".

All of them are worth your time.

Thursday, March 9, 2017

The Joshua Tree - 30 Years Old


30 years ago today U2 released "The Joshua Tree".  The album would win the band 2 Grammy Awards as well as sell over 25 Million copies worldwide.

As a music fan its hard to pinpoint any single record, or create "best ofs" because the moods always change.  30 years on though I can say this album ranks in my top 10, regardless of my moods.

I was 16 when it came out, March of 1987.  I was a junior in high school and over the prior few years had started to "get in to music".  About a year before I started to look at punk records and "indie label"bands.  I'd go to Newbury Comics and buy the newest issue of NME (it would be at least a month old) to read about what I should be listening to.

At the time the web and all our conveniences with access to bands/music was a few years off.  Any glimpse, mention, even song on the radio felt fleeting.  If you missed it, you'd never see or hear it again.  U2 threw me in to that hole of "following" a band.  Granted I was working a part time job for $3.35 an hour but by god I was going to buy every magazine, single, ep, cd, record, tape that was released.  Even if the cover was different I needed it.  I clipped articles, I tried to talk with like minded friends.  A few got it, others did not.  I was able to see them a few times on the various legs of this tour as well.

This summer the band will celebrate the 30th by taking it out on the road.  U2 has been at it for a long time that many greeted this with a collective "eye roll".  The shows sold quickly and additional nights were added in many cities.

Perhaps its taking folks back to "good times".  Heck at the time 17 years old was confusing, frustrating, happy, sad all in the matter of a day sometimes, yet when I look at this album cover I only feel happy.  I can't think of the bad times.

Music has that power.

So, Happy Birthday to the Joshua Tree.  You still "get me", and I thank you.

Wednesday, February 8, 2017

Dave Davies of the Kinks - New Album and Tour


Legendary guitarist and songwriter Dave Davies has announced the upcoming release of Open Road, a new full-length album written and produced in collaboration with his son, Russ Davies. A sonic testament of two musicians coming from different era.   Open Road will be released on March 31st, 2017.
 
Davies has also shared the lead track from the album, "Path Is Long", which you can check out


Dave Davies is a musician who needs little introduction, as a founder member of legendary rock group The Kinks; his guitar sound, unique style and song writing has shaped the landscape of rock and pop music across generations. A pioneering rock guitarist who singlehandedly changed rock-n-roll when he sliced his little green Elpico amp speaker with a razor blade, creating the first heavy metal guitar tone and riff. This revolutionary guitar sound propelled the Kinks into stardom with the global smash hits ‘You Really Got Me’ and 'All Day and All of the Night', followed by numerous other classics over the next decades.
 
 
Russ Davies is well known in the global electronic dance music scene, having produced over 15 albums and toured the world over with his alter-egos Abakus and Cinnamon Chasers, gaining significant notoriety with the track and music video for "Luv Deluxe".
 

Dave Davies 2017 Tour Dates:
 
April 06 - Milwaukee, WI - Patawatomi Casino
April 08 - St Charles, IL - Arcada Theatre
April 11 - New York, NY - City Winery 
April 12 - New York, NY - City Winery 
April 13 - Natick, MA - Centre for Arts
April 15 - North Truro, MA - Payomet PAC
April 16 - Hartford, CT - Infinity Hall
April 17 - New Hope, PA - Havana New Hope
April 20 - Derry, NH - Tupelo Music Hall
April 22 - Riverhead, NY - Suffolk Theatre
April 24 - Annapolis, MD - Rams Head
April 29 - Atlanta, GA - City Winery
April 30 - Nashville, TN - City Winery
May  01 - Nashville, TN - City Winery


Tuesday, January 3, 2017

2016 - A nice look back.

2016 – It has been a pretty wild and rough year for many but I decided to get a little corny and write down some things that made 2016 pretty darn ok. Just my thoughts, feel free to share yours.
In 2016:
I celebrated 20 years of marriage.
I watched daughter act in a play she wrote with friends, sing on the town common, remain on the high honor roll and national honor society, work for a paycheck, apply to and visit colleges, attend her first prom and get publicly called out for her volunteerism in front of a crowded room.
I watched my son score a goal in hockey, take a liking to mountain biking, witness him willing to spend many hours with his grandparents, work hard in school and see the results of that hard work (hello honor role) and continue to watch him grow in to one of the most selfless people I know.
I got to coach my sons hockey team.
I had parents thank me for coaching their kids.
I did a DIY project and didn’t swear (too much)
I saw Star Wars and Finding Dory with my kids.
I met some hockey players when I skated on the Dunkin Donuts Center Ice.
I mailed a personal letter to a Boston Bruins legend and got a response.
I made people laugh and groan with a bad joke every week.
I got to see my favorite band play live a few times and tell them to their faces how much I adored them.
I get to hang out with some awesome friends when I see those shows.
I saved for a drone, flew it 200+ feet up, took pictures, crashed it(not in the same flight) fixed it and flew it again
I got to see backstage at the House of Blues in Boston.
I saw Pearl Jam at Fenway Park about 6 rows from the stage.
I took my parents out for breakfast.
I’ve bought some awesome music this year.
I’ve bought way too many coloring books.
I actually read a few books.
I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame
I ran (well that is to be debated) not one but TWO 5Ks this year…and finished.
I donated to charity and recycled more
I went to an aquarium
I completed a fun money saving activity (more to come)
I went to a job that I admittingly enjoy and feel like I make a difference.
I watched some great TV shows (Designated Survivor, Stranger Things, Walking Dead)
I played ice hockey every week in 2016 outside of one week when I was on vacation.
I ate cheese and I drank beer
I hung/hang around with artists, teachers and BBQ masters and home brewers, I know people that have written books and recorded music… I am impressed and envious of their passions.
Chewbacca Mom still makes me laugh.
I know this is all me,me,me..but take a minute and be thankful now and then..its much better.
2017…you are up. Let’s do this.

There you have it, I wrote the list a few times and kept emailing myself versions.  I know I wrote this:
I rented kayaks with my family, paddled a river in NH and got caught in a torrential rain storm for the bulk of the paddle.

That one makes me smile. Miserable when it happened, but I don’t think any of us will forget it.

Friday, October 21, 2016

Caspian - New music and tour film.

Sometimes you just get inspired.

No secret for my affection for the band Caspian

They have done it again.  Just yesterday they released a short tour film with the soundtrack being a new track called "Castles High, Marble Bright".

The film (and song) are, at times, simply breathtaking.


(it the imbed doesn't work - here)

The band kicks off a tour tomorrow in DC and it runs through the mid part of November.

They hit Royale in Boston on the 18th of November.  I'll see you there.

Friday, October 14, 2016

What are you people hiding from me??

Being a music fan, and a fan of many genres, it is always fun to find something that has flown under your radar.  Once exposed you get to be ravenous.  You want to hear more.  You want to hear their early stuff, their late stuff, their live stuff.  You comb the internet for videos of Late Night TV appearances (or European music festival coverage).

My most recent to fall in to that category is Nina Simone.

I knew the name, and that was really about it.  One day scrolling through my Netflix queue I saw a “recommended” pick for the documentary “What Happened, Miss Simone?”  A friend on facebook had posted their admiration for the documentary so I decided “what the heck”.

She led a very interesting life and I’ll leave any sort of “was it accurate” etc to another time but what I really liked and what got me hooked was the music (of course).  The way she carried herself, the way she sang.  I felt mad…why had none of my friends told me about her?

The tipping point was the black and white footage of her doing “Ain’t Got No, I Got Life”.  That stopped me in my tracks.  I had to watch it again…twice.  A day or so later I looked for the footage on line.  To both my surprise and frustration (again..nobody told me!!) the clip has been viewed over 14 million times.  14 MILLION!

Yet it was brand new to me..and it was awesome.

Watch for yourself here

Look at her smile around the 2:20 mark.  I mean..come ON!

The final note she sings and never seems to bend makes my knees shake.

Watch it again..go ahead I understand.


What else are you people hiding on me?