Monday, November 30, 2009

Watch This Now!

Happy Monday and welcome back from the Thanksgiving Break....

This week is a short one for me as I'm heading back out on the road Wednesday night for some more Phishin... before I post some of the pictures from the Philly run please watch this video below.

Last night I watched what probably was the greatest rock and roll concerts of all time. It was the 25th anniversary of the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame. The lineup included such legends as U2, Mick Jagger, Aretha Franklin, Jeff Beck, Simon and Garfunkel, Billy Joel, Stevie Wonder and many more including this crazy duet between Bruce Springsteen and Tom Morello. What Tom does to his poor guitar by the end of this song is nothing short of amazing.

No words to describe this one:

Tuesday, November 24, 2009

What Is Going On America?

A few questions America? Who is this lady? Why did I wake up to her on every single morning show imaginable this week? And how is it exactly her CD is being released at #1 beating out such heavy hitters as Rihanna, Lady Gaga and the (real) American Idol winner Adam Lambert?

America I get it; you are a sucker for the come from behind story of the person who "dreamed a dream" and made it a reality. But to avoid sounding really bitter on this cold evening, I will just say I will be glad to see this one pass into the youtube abyss soon. That and DOES SHE SING ANY OTHER SONG??? (Okay I'm done)

Okay that is all. I'm off on Phish tour for the next two weeks hitting up Philadelphia, NYC and Charlottesville on the run. Going to squeeze a little turkey in on Thursday. I suggest you do the same! I promise full tour update when I return.

Saturday, November 21, 2009

Album of the Week

Okay sorry for the long break from the blog world, work got a little too busy and I haven't had the time to write, yet no worries, the music collection is still really never stops...ever.

This week I went out and spent my usual 9.99 to support the musicians that I love. I believe to even out my karma for downloading so much music over the years is that I buy the albums that I love to show my support of these artists. Thats fair right? Moving forward...

My pick for album of the week is John Mayer's "Battle Studies". While I'm not the biggest John Mayer fan out there, (I really got into him when he played with the jazz trio). You can not deny that this boy is a talent. This being his third release he spent most of his off time collaborating with some of the greats in the game. Clapton, Jay-Z, Alicia Keys, Madonna, the list is long and impressive...

I bought this CD after watching his live concert on tv earlier this week. John definitely has his key demographic and it is not surprising...the ladies. His looks and charm alone send ladies at his concerts into absolute frenzy. Sure I understand it but stepping back and listening to this album without watching the full concert I felt something different. This is a man who loves all types of music. He loves his jazzy pop songs, his deep adult contemporary tempos, crazy jam band guitar rifts, there is such a mix of different styles that he brings to his music, just dismissing him into the "Pop" category would be a disservice to Johns talents.

The songs on this album flow like fine wine. They are all different but still have that thread that keeps them all the same. Heartfelt songs about love life and loss. Songs like "Half of My Heart" he sings such lyrics as "Half of my heart is a shotgun wedding to a bride with a paper ring/But half of my heart is the part of a man who's never truly loved anything". Musically, he's exploring the moody territory of acts such as Coldplay and Snow Patrol, yet at the same time he is displaying he debt to guitar heroes including David Gilmour, Eric Clapton and George Harrison.

This album is just good. I really can't explain it better than that. Go pick this one up today!

The video below is from his concert this week. This is one of his old songs "Gravity". I was so impressed by this display I was brought to my feet in my apartment. Yes that good.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

This Is It!

Last night I went to the movie theaters and saw the movie about Michael Jacksons last tour called "This is It". And after months and months about hearing about all the details and circumstances that went into that brilliant mans last few weeks leading up to his untimely death. I can finally say after seeing this. "This really is it".

Like many of you out there, I was a huge MJ fan. I think that the man was a musical genius, a talent of which we will never see the likes of again. I was skeptical about seeing this movie. I didn't want to see one of my
favorite artists, sick or not dancing well. I wasn't sure what this movies angle was going to be. Was this just the producers way of making an extra buck? A way to pay back AIG for the huge losses they are taking for the concerts that never happened in London? I'm happy to say that whatever the reason the producers decided to release this footage, THANK YOU!

What Michael was preparing to do for those last 50 concerts in London would have been something that would have made the world stop and take notice. This movie which basically is raw footage of his concert rehearsals, shows that he was nowhere near the end. His voice, his moves, the costumes, the backup dancers, the stage, the lights, his songs were all there. He was back. Of course he looked a little different (wink wink) but really the man sounded better then I have heard him in years and he was up on stage dancing showing these professional back up dancers moves that they would never even dream of.

This movie was shot documentary style and included many behind the scenes interviews with musical directors, show producers and dancers, all conducted before Michaels death. These interviews were especially poinent because of the way they spoke of the influence MJ had on all of their lives. These were the best of the best. Dancers and musicians gathered from around the world to take part of what would be the high point of all of their careers. Performing with the King of Pop. During his solo performances they would sit in the audience in awe of what they were watching. They would dance, encourage him to improve, they would laugh, cry and most of all just enjoyed being in the presence of their idol. One of the dancers even said "My whole life I have been thinking of my career and how to get to the next level. For the first time, after Michael. There is nowhere left to go".

This movie left me in awe of the man the myth the legend that is Michael Jackson. The talent that he had in his fingertips is more than most people have in their whole body. He knew his entire song catalog from front to back. He knew exactly in his mind what this show was going to look like, and he was hell bent on making it happen. He would stop production during a number to change the tune of the trumpet. He would stop a dancer mid move to show him how to hold out that extra count. This movie showed all of that genius and much much more.

The final thing I will say about this movie is what I took away from it the most. We should all be so lucky that the last six months of our time here on earth to be as fortunate as Michael. He was surrounded by about 80 performers, dancers, production and friends who were head over heals in love with him. He was performing the songs he loved, dancing on stage, laughing behind the scenes, not at home sick or under media scrutiny. Throughout the movie he often states into his mic how much he loves the people who were on stage with him and how much fun he was having. How great is that? How great it is to know that you left this world doing what you loved. We should all be so lucky...

Rest in Peace Michael Jackson.

Thursday, November 5, 2009

Song of the Day

Introducing you to my song of the day from the band: Black Carl called "Dirty Wine", click HERE to listen now.

They are an indie funk rock band from Arizona based around lead singer Emma Pew. Members site Aretha Franklin, Otis Redding, James Brown and The Meters as their musical influences. Yet from the looks of them (above) if you go and see them live they look like anything but their musical influences.

The yet to be signed band has been playing shows and making their way around the west coast and are currently on tour throughout California. According to the band, "Black Carl will make you feel like you're riding a psychotic horse toward a burning stable". Their mix of soul and funk paired with Pews out of control voice range makes this toe tapping music a success. Keep your eye out for them in the next few years...

Number 27

Well, what a difference does a good night sleep and a world championship make on a persons mood. I'm seeing the world through a better perspective today and I have to tell you its a whole lot better than where I was yesterday. The Yankees are World Champions of baseball and all is right in the world...

Last night I had such a fantastic time watching my (yes they are all mine) New York Yankees bring home their 27th championship. It brought me back to all those years during middle school and high school when the Yanks were the dominating force in baseball. The last 9 years they have struggled to stay on top, struggled with figuring out their lineup and especially struggling in pitching. Yet last night they put all those critics to rest hammering the Philadelphia Phillies to take home game 6 and bring another championship to the greatest city in the world.

It is times like these where I kick myself for moving to Virginia. I grew up 40 miles away from the best city in the world with some of the greatest sports teams and fans you will ever find. I moved to Virginia whose only sports team are the pathetic Washington Nationals and the even more suffering Washington Redskins. What was I thinking? Now I get to sit back and watch my brothers and dad go celebrate at the parade in the city tomorrow, celebrating with the rest of the world yet another championship.

I will be there in spirit, with my pinstripes on under my work clothes... Lets go Yankees!!!

Wednesday, November 4, 2009

Throw It On The Ground...

Well after a disappointing election in both my home state of NJ and my current state of VA, paired with me missing one of my favorite nights of the month: First Wednesdays Dinner Party, finished off with a hard night at work last night (yes people try and take advantage of a Hospitality House!). I'm not in the greatest of moods today. Which is why I'm featuring this video "Throw It On The Ground".... Which is how I feel about just about everything today...everything except for the chance of the Yankees bringing home a World Series title tonight. That could be my saving grace...hope everyone else is having a better day.

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

In Case You Forgot...


Norah Jones is Back...

Norah Jones has been a favorite of mine for a few years. And yes I am not too proud to say that this is someone that my mother has turned me on to. Now you should know that over the years I have taken many musical advice for my mother. I mean she was the Beatles fan that once made a "I love John" sign the size of her high school gymnasium to try and win a radio contest. So when she tells me that there is a new artist that I should listen to more often that not I'll listen.

Norah Jones is another nice break from todays pop culture music scene. Her soulful jazzy sound mixed with simple lyrics and genius collaborations makes her great for any age group.

A sample of her new album which is due out November 14th can be found below. Sit back enjoy it while you are at work... I know I am.

Favorite Tracks: "Back to Manhattan" and "Man of the Hour"

Monday, November 2, 2009

Taylor Goes Down...

There are not many celebrities that I love more than Ellen Degeneres. Her show is a nice and refreshing departure from many morning talk shows. The one thing that I like the most about her show is the way that she forces celebrities to get down off their high horses and act like normal people. She plays games with them, she jokes around with them, puts them in awkward situations. Its hilarious and definitely worth the spot on my dvr.

Well she did it again. This time with a spook to tween sensation Taylor Swift. I have watched this video 10 times this morning alone... Hilarious.

Regrets: Dave Matthews Band

This video does not need a lot of explaining....

To anyone who is familiar with the Dave Matthews Band concerts and their fans will find this parody video absolutely hilarious. DMB became famous in the early 90s with the release of the album "Crash". They maid their name by touring a good 250+ days of the year for the last 10+ years. They are a road band, a band that likes to get out there and play as many shows as they can for their fans. Many people have knocked DMB for "selling out" or for basically playing "glorified frat parties". I know that in my high school it was absolutely the "cool" thing to do. Especially during their epic 3 night runs at Giants Stadium...

I know when I watched this video all I thought was...."Yeah, I'm guilty"

Yet laughs or not, DMB is one of those bands that I make an effort to see when they come through town. Their unique sound of pairing an acoustic guitar with a sax, violin, piano and drums is something that just works. The lyrics that Dave writes I feel are lyrics that will last forever......"The future is no place to place your better days".

My Top 10 Favorite DMB Songs (and my favorite live version):
10. Grey Street - Live Trax 3
9. Satalite - Live at Red Rocks
8. Ants Marching - Live at Red Rocks
7. Warehouse - Best of Whats Around Greatest Hits CD
6. Crash - Live Trax 7 (Features Bella Fleck)
5. Funny the Way it Is - Va Beach - Summer 09
4. Say Goodbye - Live Trax 3
3. Crush - Live Trax 2008 Tour Sampler
2. #41 - Listeners Supported Album
1. Two Step - Central Park Concert