Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Just a short burst...

We are alive..just catching our breath. Few days off last week with shows, in-laws in town, show tonight, kick off of the NHL season tomorrow...I should have more..but this *working* stuff you people talk about (and do) is getting in the way.

Friday, September 25, 2009

sent three angels to move the river

Wow, the last weekend of September already..sheesh.

Hope you might check out Forgotten Disc Friday.

This week, a female fronted band that took the alternative music scene by storm, but stumbled out of the gate somewhat on their second release. A lost gem for sure.

Thanks to all for reading.


Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Win a vinyl copy of Pearl Jam's latest - Backspacer

How about some free stuff?!

This time, your chance to win the latest release from Pearl Jam called "Backspacer" on vinyl!

That's right, I've got a full length vinyl for Pearl Jam's new album, Backspacker for you to win.

We keep it simple here. From now to noon ET Friday (Sept 25th) shoot an email to laokas2002 at yahoo dot com with all your mailing information. Please put in Pearl Jam, or PJ Vinyl..something that helps me to NOT delete it over the next few days. Open to US residents only. I will not share your email/mailing information with anyone. I am a father/dad so I understand your privacy is important. All emails will be deleted after the winner is selected.

Good luck.

As a side note, the winner of the Beatles Lithograph(Mike in NJ) the litho should be coming shortly.

Check out Pearl Jam on their official site.

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

U2 - Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA Monday September 21, 2009

Gillette Stadium - Foxboro, MA
Monday, September 21, 2009

Support - Snow Patrol

Okay, the dust has settled so to speak after the two night run of U2 at Gillette Stadium so now I can put pen to paper and give a little more of a review.

Both nights I arrived on the early side and parked pretty far from the Stadium. There is something to be said for going to shows alone, which is how I usually do it. For the Monday show I brought a lawn chair and a book and read for over one hour before getting in touch with some friends and hanging with them before the show. The walk before and after the show may be long, but the show ended close to 11 each night and I was in my driveway before 11:45..and that included the walk to my car.

This was my 16th and 17th time seeing U2 and those that know me know I have bowed before the altar of U2 for many a year. I've grown past them some, but still grab all their cds the day they come out and although I might not play them as frequently as I once did I still really like the music.

For both nights I had General Admission and decided to hang out between the sound board and the outer circle. All in all I'd say both nights 50 to 100 feet off the center stage. The crowd was thin in our area and I was surprised the field was not as packed as it could have been, which is a good thing now that we think of it.

The stage, coined "the Claw" is massive. Pictures just don't do it justice at all. In reading there are four PA systems on the stage, and ONE of the PA's could easily drive a show in a hockey arena. Many reviewers on line, and friends of mine that had seats in the upper levels complained of washing, and echo,but where I was it sounded pretty good for an outdoor stadium show. You can't be an audiofile at shows like this, you just can't.

Even with the massive stage, the instruments don't take up a ton of space. Larry Mullens drum kit was not that big. The Edge had a modest guitar rig set up and Adam Clayton had 4-6 bass cabinets, but not a ton. Bono still uses the Vox amp at the foot of Mullens drum when he plays guitar.

Sunday the band dragged out arriving on stage, it was 9pm when they came on and that was over 1hr after Snow Patrol had completed their set. Monday they arrived about 10 minutes earlier which was appreciated. In looking the upper levels were sparse at best, but the low bowl and the field were very full. They changed the set list at the outset. They opened with "Magnificent" which was the first time they opened with the song and played two more from the new cd before hitting "Mysterious Ways".

Usually I don't go "song for song" on my reviews but there are a few things to mention, at least for me.

"Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking for" was a massive sing along. The song falls sort of flat for me, but the enthusiasm from the band and audience is infectious. "Elevation" and "Vertigo" are really great live songs. The audience goes wild for these to boot.

The band played "Your Blue Room", a track from the Passengers sound track for only the third time ever. Honestly, this is a take a leak moment. Even hard core fans stand there and sort of wonder "what is this..and then for all the songs they could play they picked this?". If you like it, that's fine, but talk about taking the air out of the room. The one plus is "Beautiful Day" followed. At the tail end of that Bono sang a snippet of "King of Pain" which blended well.

Another lost gem on this tour is "Unforgettable Fire" which I give them credit for playing (the only other song from the same record was "MLK"). Although the song has been out of the set lists for a few years its novelty is already played out. It is sort of a mid-tempo tune when you really think about it. I am one to complain about set lists for sure but I'd rotate this one and have it be more of an event.

They do a cool version of "I'll go Crazy if I Don't go Crazy tonight" with Larry playing the conga drums and the band really working the stage. The odd part is how much that Blackberry ad gets played they'd modify the tune. It works and is a cool version. "Sunday Bloody Sunday" to me is one of those songs that has been beaten to a pulp. Bono started it off semi chanting vs. singing the tune and that set me off. The band quickly gathered steam and really ended up doing one of the better versions I've heard in recent tours.

The main set ends with "Where the Streets Have No Name" (Sunday is was in the encore) and this still "does it" for me. The guitar riffs, the lights its a great set closer.

The encore was pretty short with a short pre-recorded clip from Desmond Tutu. Ultraviolet Light My Way ran in to With or Without You and then the show closer "Moment of Surrender"

Here is the full set list
1. Magnificent
2. No Line On The Horizon
3. Get On Your Boots
4. Mysterious Ways
5. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For
6. Elevation
7. Your Blue Room
8. Beautiful Day / King Of Pain (snippet)
9. Unknown Caller
10. Until The End Of The World
11. Stay (Faraway, So Close!)
12. The Unforgettable Fire
13. Mofo (snippet) / City Of Blinding Lights
14. Vertigo / Stories For Boys (snippet)
15. I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight
16. Sunday Bloody Sunday
17. MLK
18. Walk On
19. One / Amazing Grace (snippet)
20. Where The Streets Have No Name

21. Ultra Violet (Light My Way)
22. With Or Without You
23. Moment of Surrender

The breakdown of where the songs came from:
· No Line On The Horizon (6 songs)
· Achtung Baby (4 songs)
· All That You Can't Leave Behind (3 songs)
· The Joshua Tree (3 songs)
· How To Dismantle An Atomic Bomb (2 songs)
· The Unforgettable Fire (2 songs)
· Passengers: Original Soundtracks 1 (1 songs)
· War (1 songs)
· Zooropa (1 songs)

Okay, now for my "harshness".

I have to play devils advocate. Lets say I have never seen U2 live. What songs would I want to hear. Prolly the big hits, the classics such as Pride, Sunday Bloody Sunday et all. The issue that I have is that the shows are so "regimented" with lights and video they have no room to break out of the "mold" The set list sits on the same rotation and there is the one/two songs they change out. Night One was New Years Day, Night 2 was Your Blue Room for example. "Your Blue Room" was a head scratcher. With all the bands material they choose a track that 95% of the audience has no idea on. Place it in the middle of the set and try to sell it as "we've only played this a few times". It was dull, flat and poorly placed. The band totally ignored the Boy and October records, that is about 15-20 songs to choose from right? On the last tour they did pull out Miss Sarajevo from that same sound track and they were able to pull it off, but this just did not work.

The need to wait to come on stage needs to change. I hate to sound like the jaded old man but lets look at the fan base of U2. Probably the bulk of them are 25+, have full time jobs, kids etc. This bull crap of waiting 1hr between the opening band only elevates outsiders opinions of your arrogance. 45 minutes TOPS and that is even pushing it. I can see a band in a nightclub set up a drum kit from the side of a stage, get everyone tuned and start in under 15 minutes, U2 has over 150 trucks in their fleet. You need me to roll out a guitar cable..I'll help..lets move this along.

Okay, those two paragraphs are done, whew. I am sure others totally disagree while some agree that is all fine and good. Even with all that U2 "has me". I am curious to hear what they have next. I am curious to see/how they will out do this stage.

Some got off the ride a few records ago, some never got on, I'll stay right here in the Passenger (uggh/sorry) seat.


Monday, September 21, 2009

U2 Night 1. - Gillette Stadium Foxboro, MA Sunday September 20, 2009

I will do a bigger review after night two tonight. I don't expect a ton of set list changes.

Gillette Stadium, Foxboro, MA
Sunday, September 20, 2009

Support - Snow Patrol

Few quick things.
1) The stage is stunning. Like most things, you have to see it to believe it. It is massive. Sounded good, visuals were great etc.

2) The downside was the 1hr+ gap between Snow Patrol and U2. really..come on guys.

Here is the set list.
1. Breathe
2. No Line On The Horizon
3. Get On Your Boots
4. Magnificent
5. Mysterious Ways
6. Beautiful Day / Blackbird (snippet)
7. Elevation
8. I Still Haven't Found What I'm Looking For / Stand By Me (snippet)
9. Unknown Caller
10. New Years Day
11. Stuck In A Moment
12. The Unforgettable Fire
13. City of Blinding Lights
14. Vertigo / She Loves You (snippet)
15. I'll Go Crazy If I Don't Go Crazy Tonight (Remix)
16. Sunday Bloody Sunday / Rock The Casbah (snippet)
17. MLK
18. Walk On
19. One / Amazing Grace (snippet)
20. Where The Streets Have No Name

21. UltraViolet (Light My Way)
22. With Or Without You
23. Moment Of Surrender

More tomorrow.


Friday, September 18, 2009

I took a little nap where the roots all twist

Here is to the end of the work week!

Hope you might check out Forgotten Disc Friday.

Following suit of last week. Band blew up early, sorta fizzled (from mainstream) and are back (still) making music. Hope you will stop over.

Thanks to all for reading.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

The Cult - "Love/Live" House of Blues, Boston, September 12, 2009

The Cult
House of Blues, Boston, MA
Saturday, September 12, 2009

Support - Living Things

When I read a few months ago that The Cult were going to tour with the intent to perform "Love", a record that is easily a top 10 record of all time with me, I couldn't pass up the chance. After a quick few emails I had three other like minded friends, who also find the record in at least their top 20, well it was easy.

Saturday was rainy and cold but we made our way in to the city. It was the first time for all of us at the new House of Blues in Boston, and it wasn't too bad. We mulled around a bit then Living Things took the stage. They were not terrible, but they were not great either.

After what seemed like ages the guys arrived on stage. Granted it is not 1985 any more, but the Cult was on stage. Ian Astbury and Billy Duffy are the two tenured guys and they didn't fail to deliver.

The Love record was played in full. I've been lucky to see the band live before, but I had not heard some of these tunes live before. That was a plus.

Ian was darkly silhouetted all night it seemed. He has a bushy hair style these days and was in leather. He even had leather gloves on. He was channeling Jim Morrison from time to time I felt. He'd saunter around the stage, and of course he teased a Doors tune as well. (Yes I know he toured as a member of the Doors of the 21st Century or whatever it was called). The Love set moved far to fast and before we knew it they were already on "She Sells Sanctuary". Still to this day one of, if not the greatest rock song ever. Never get sick of it. They closed out with "Black Angel" and took a break for 2-3 minutes.

The second "set" was more like and extended encore. My friend John said at one point "They could have just done Love and I'd be happy, so these extra tunes are just a bonus". They didn't dig too deep, giving us "Wildflower" and "Electric Ocean". The audience seemed to be having a grand time with this abridged "best of" set.

The full set list was

Big Neon Glitter
Brother Wolf, Sister Moon
The Phoenix
Hollow Man
She Sells Sanctuary
Black Angel
Electric Ocean
Sun King
Dirty Little Rockstar
Love Removal Machine

Ian has lost some of his vocal range. I have grown to accept it but I do miss it. (read my review from a past show here). Billy Duffy still slings the guitar off to the side and down low and is just a monster. He plays his roll, and just lets it rip. The other guys have been on the road (and studio) with them for a bit. John Tempesta did a great job on drums, Mike Dimkich filled in guitar riffs for Billy to give it a full sound. Bassist Chris Wyse kept the rhythm going all night and tossed out some backing vocals as well.

The merchandise was pretty good. The shirts had everything from Love to Sonic Temple logos. One cool thing they are doing on some of the shows is they are recording them and allowing you to buy a limited edition USB drive with the show on it. We grabbed one (split it 4 ways). Its pretty slick, its that show and the it looks like a military dog tag. Its engraved with "Cult Love Love MMIX". A very cool keepsake. I hope even more bands do this. Check out their site here.

The band is in great form. If you have even passing interest see them do this record and then you get the hits after. Touring for an old record and playing it in its entirety is a cool, albeit niche market. As long as you get other stuff with it I'll be there.


Monday, September 14, 2009

Kings of Leon - Comcast Center, September 11, 2009

Kings of Leon
Comcast Center, Mansfield MA
Friday, September 11, 2009

Support - Glasvegas

There is little doubt Kings of Leon are riding a big wave of success these days. Now, to be fair it has been at least a little time coming for the Tennessee based band.

Overseas the band will headline festivals to 60+ thousand ravenous fans. Here in the States they are slowly starting to crack the arena market. There was little doubt on Friday the band had finally "made it". The audience was ravenous and sang along from the get go.

The band, made up of three brothers Caleb Followill - lead vocals, rhythm guitar, Jared Followill - bass, Matthew Followill - lead guitar and their cousin Nathan Followill on drums took the stage about 8:45 to a semi full venue, but that would not last long. Opening with the lead off track off the latest record "Only By the Night" Closer slowly built to a strong crescendo and the band seemed to be ready for a fun evening.

For over an hour the band would dip in to their catalog and hit on all the records. "Mollys Chamber" would appear pretty early in the set and a personal favorite "Fans" was not far after that. "Fans" was a treat with Caleb taking to the acoustic guitar and the band playing their rolls perfectly.

During the show there was no pretentious moments. No flashy drum, guitar or bass solos, and that was fine with me. There was a job to be done, and the band was doing just that. About 5 songs into the set I notice how "good" the band sounded. The bass for example was very clean. When there was a bass riff that was up in the mix it was very clean, no *WHHOMM WHOOM* sound that often times you hear a bass riff overwhelm the entire mix, but that never happened.

The band mentioned they had been on touring for the new record for a while and said we'd be getting some things that had not been played before...but I think they meant in a while. Nothing groundbreaking was played, but the band did dust off "Soft" and "Trani" which had been gone from the set list for a bit.

The main set ended with "Slow Night, So Long" and it felt out of place until the later part of the track where it really gets going. The band did end on a high not.

After a short break the encore began with "Be Somebody" a very strong track and Caleb was in fine voice. During the show there was occasional backing vocals and the members harmonize well. Two more of my personal favorites "Knocked Up" and "Black Thumbnail" followed. "Thumbnail" seemed to fall flat with the audience, at least around me, but this is typically the show closer, so it was surprising not as many people were feeling it. I could be wrong.

Totally forgetting perhaps their biggest radio song "Use Somebody" completed the show. I had forgotten about it honestly but the audience really liked this. It was a peak moment like another big radio song "Sex on Fire" was earlier in the set.

The Full setlist:
Molly's Chamber
I Want You
The Bucket
Four Kicks
Sex on Fire
On Call
Cold Desert
Slow Night, So Long


Be Somebody
Knocked Up
Black Thumbnail
Use Somebody

Overall I was pleased. I had good seats, about 8 rows off dead center behind the "pit section". The audience was mixed, and some folks rolled in 45 minutes in to the set. That seemed really odd to me.

Casual fans rest assured, you'd hear the songs you know..and more long time fans embrace they touch on each record.

I ran tape for the show and in scanning it sounds pretty good. I actually missed part of Use Somebody because they had been closing w/Black Thumbnail so as they were wrapping that up I began to move toward the exit. Right as I got to the top of the section they began Use Somebody. I was too committed with the move to go back at this point. Oh well, what I have heard so far sounds good.


Friday, September 11, 2009

The pretty machine wil swallow him whole.

Happy Friday. Thanks to all the entrants for the Beatles contest. A good turn out..thank you.

Hope you might check out Forgotten Disc Friday.

This week, a band that had some moderate success in the late 90s and honestly I was surprised to read they are still active.

Thanks to all for reading.


Wednesday, September 9, 2009

Win a Beatles lithograph....

I have the chance to give a Beatles Lithograph away. This is to celebrate the release of the Beatles remasters as well as Rock Band: Beatles.

Win a Lithograph!

Rules are real simple. You've got 24hrs to send me an email to laokas2002 at yahoo dot com be sure to include all your mailing information with "Beatles" in the subject line. Restricted to US entries only (sorry). No information is shared. I respect your privacy. Good luck. Again, closes in 24hrs....

Check out the Beatles official site.

Tuesday, September 8, 2009

In the news...

The "Great Red Spot" on Jupiter is actually a hurricane with winds at close to 400 miles per hour. The "spot" is nearly twice the size of planet Earth.

There is a camp for kids with Tourette's syndrome in Georgia that recently opened. It is called Camp Twitch and Shout.

Pranksters in Amsterdam have taken to tossing Smart Cars into the city's canals. The cars weigh about 1,600 pounds.

The British government issues a guideline to civil servants who use twitter. The 140 character messages were "outlined" in a 20 page document.

The average American eats 16 pounds of french fries, 23 pounds of pizza and 26 pounds of candy per year.

When Lance Armstrong was winning all those Tour De France membership in USA Cycling grew 5.5% or more per year. In the three years he took off, it fell to 3.5-4% annually. - New York Times

With "snail mail" quickly becoming obsolete the blue mailboxes have been going away. There are only about 175,000 of them in the entire United States. - Washington Post

USA Today's "best sellers list" now includes data on sales for books to the Kindle reader. - Wall St. Journal

Need work? Even with the national unemployment rate at close to 10% more than 100,000 Nursing positions need to be filled. - BusinessWeek

Speaking of Nurses, a Connecticut woman was honored "Nurse of the Year" in 2008 was, in fact, not a nurse. The woman created an association, and staged a dinner in her honor - to bolster her resume to get a job.

A Kenyan man offered Hillary Clinton 20 cows and 40 goats in exchange for her daughter Chelsea's hand in marriage. Mrs. Clinton responded with "My daughter is her own person and I will convey this very kind offer."

70% of Americans believe women should take their husband's last name when they marry, while 29% feel its better for a woman to keep her name. - American Sociological Association

In Zimbabwe, inflation is 234 MILLION percent. There, it is cheaper, per sheet, to wipe your backside with the 1,000 dollar Zimbabwe note than with toilet paper. The notes are so bad for the plumbing as well that some public toilets have signs reading "No Zim Dollars"

H.W. Warner, one of the three "Warner Brothers" was stunned by the idea of "talking" movies saying "Who the hell wants to hear the actors talk?"

Many people were impressed with the telephone when it was invented. When then President Hayes met Alexander Graham Bell he asked "Who would ever want to use one?"

In May 1940, Gandhi said of Hitler "I do not consider Herr Hitler to be as bad as he is depicted...he seems to be gaining his victories without bloodshed."

Leonardo da Vincic could write with one hand, while drawing with the other. To one up him, James Garfield could write in Latin with one hand while writing Greek with the other.


Friday, September 4, 2009

I laid out for a while....

Hey, happy book end to your work week... and for some the start of a three day weekend.

Hope you might check out Forgotten Disc Friday.

This band burst on to the scene with one big single, then faded just as quickly it seems. You may not have heard the big single in a while so go check it!

Thanks to all for reading. Oh, come back next week too (to FDF that is) for a cool contest chance.


Thursday, September 3, 2009

Cool Artist Alert - Dejha Colantuono

Singer/song writer Dejha Colantuono released her first solo record back on July 28th called "Tea & Vodka". Colantuono has a few records under her belt with acts like Ragazza, Rotten Apples, the Pin Ups and others.

The album was recorded in two sessions dating back to 2007 and the final product was produced by Matt Bayles who has worked with bands as diverse as Pearl Jam to Russian Circles and the mixing, in part done by Jamie Siegel, who has worked with the likes of Joss Stone and Lauren Hill bring a very diverse set of skills to Colantuono's project.

Handling the singing duties, Colantuono also plays the guitar, keyboards, synthesizer and piano, but she surrounds herself with 12 great supporting cast members on the record. Siting influences of Bowie, PJ Harvey and Prince she adds elements of each on the 11 tracks. We go soul, we go funk, we go rock. The focus is on her strong vocals, they just call right out at you.

Here is a track from the cd called "Miss Fortune"

Check out her official page here as well as her
myspace page. You can also follow her on Twitter if you so desire.

Boston area folks, she is performing live. Here are the details:

Friday, September 11th
at All Asia
(334 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge, MA 02139)
tickets: $6 for over 21 / $9 under 21
Show begins at 7:00 pm, Dejha performs at 8:45 pm; Tiff Jimber and Mrs.
Danvers are also on the bill.

Be sure to check her page(s) for other tour dates and news.


Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Saintseneca - Cool band alert!

Check out the "folk but not really folk" band "Saintseneca". The band who come to you/us via Columbus Ohio are a four piece band that play with a fire and passion that will have you wondering why they are even put under the folk moniker. Sure they have banjo, dulcimer and banjo but when the violin comes in the sound blends with the layers of voices and joyful "stomps, claps and trash cans" you'll be grinning ear from ear you will forget all "genre tags".

The band has put out a 4-song 7" vinyl/digital EP and are ready to wow new and old fans alike.

Check out an mp3 for the track "God Bones". You can download that track here.

If you like what you hear, the entire record is streaming on the bands myspace page.

Check out the bands label (Paper Brigade) for information and ordering of a limited 7" single (300) on colored vinyl. You can do so right here.

As always, please check out the bands myspace page for tour information (no Boston shows at this time).