A Few Moments with Joni Mitchell

Joni Mitchell first came into my consciousness more than 20 years ago when Prince mentioned her as one of his biggest influences in an interview. He’s covered Joni’s “A Case of You” (“U”, naturally, when Prince does it) over the years, and “The Ballad of Dorothy Parker” has that Joni influence as well.

Oh, I’ve heard “Big Yellow Taxi”, and I’ve seen her sing with The Band in The Last Waltz. But beyond that, not much Joni in my life.

But I heard her new single, “Shine”, in the car a few weeks ago (on Sirius of course – “terrestrial” radio would never play such a song – at least not in Phoenix: Radio Wasteland America). It’s a beautiful, fascinating song. I can’t quite measure the feeling it gives me. It’s contentment, but guilt. Joy and sadness, if that’s possible. Just read her amazing lyrics to this song. Well, listen first, then go back and read along the second time.

It’s raining steadily outside right now for the first time in ages. Has been all day. It’s dark, quiet, and all I hear are the rain and this beatiful song. They perfectly complement each other.

Joni Mitchell – Shine (mp3)

Buy: Shine

Joni’s Official Site

The Reason I Still Dig John Mayer

I make no bones about being a John Mayer fan. Since before Room for Squares was released I’ve followed and enjoyed his career. The preceding video is just one more reason that I’m a card carrying fan. John jumped up on stage with local NYC band The UnionN for a medley of his hit “Waiting on The World to Change” and Alicia Keys brilliant new track “No One”.

Buy: Continuum (Special Edition) (Amazon) (iTunes)

The UnionN: Official Site | MySpace
John Mayer: Official Site | MySpace

A Nudge in the Right Direction

  • Ear Fuzz breaks down the Beasties’ “Shake Your Rump”, with a look at the ten songs that are sampled.
  • Craig over at Songs:Illinois gets us ready for the holidays with a righteous Christmas mix, including John Prine, Asylum Street Spankers and Asleep at the Wheel.
  • My buddies at Hidden Track take a look at the 10 Least Dangerous Rock Stars (#’s 4 thru 1 are priceless).
  • Matt kicks down some Zambian acoustic guitar action at Benn loxo du Taccu.
  • Led Zeppelin’s complete BBC Radio sessions, anyone? That Truncheon Thing‘s got you covered here (part 1) and here (part 2).
  • Eliot at Wired’s Listening Post likes the new Pixies tribute album, including Mogwai’s cover of “Gouge Away”.
  • Like Krup says, Best National Anthem ever (goosebumps).
  • Finally (and not music related), Dusty at Pork Tornado (aka Salami Tsunami) is one of the most entertaining writers I’ve come across on the web. Check out his latest post here, where he talks about his new job and an ugly abscess in his tooth as only he can. He doesn’t post that often, but they’re always worth the wait.

Ickmusic Giveaway: New Joshua Tree Deluxe Edition

I’m about to make a U2 fan – or the U2 fan in someone’s life – very happy. I have a fresh copy of the newly remastered Joshua Tree album. But not only that. This is the deluxe edition, baby, and includes a second CD of B-sides and demos from the original sessions. It’s got a beautiful hard cover booklet to go with it – and I can’t quite figure out why I’m not greedily grasping on to it, but I’m givin’ it away. Must be the Christmas spirit. It’s certainly not due to the dismal amount of comments I’ve been receiving around here lately – you slackers.

So as exhibited in a giveaway of yore – we honor U2’s roots and return to the Irish limerick contest. This one has to be good. Here are some groundrules:

  • Leave a Comment below with your limerick. Be sure to include your email address (no one else can see it).
  • It has to at least loosely adhere to the rules of a limerick. A rhyming scheme of AABBA. Here’s the Wikipedia entry on limericks. Or follow the steps here.
  • It has to mention a member of U2: Bono, The Edge, Adam Clayton, or Larry Mullen.
  • Bonus points for working in a lyric or song name.
  • UPDATED: I’ll allow 2 entries per person if you’re inspired…
  • I’ll pick my favorite from the Comments in a week or so.

Leave ’em in the comments below and let her rip! Good luck!

Now for some assorted U2 goodness…

Find out more about the new Joshua Tree release after the jump.

Breaking: Ickmusic to Take Over Sirius E Street Radio

…well, for 30 minutes anyway!

Sirius channel 10 is E Street Radio, dedicated to the music of the Boss. Every morning at 10am Eastern, they hand over the reins to a Bruce fan for a half hour.

I’ll be playing five of my favorite Bruce tunes, passing along a few anecdotes, and basically dominating the satellite airwaves for thirty minutes. Look out, Howard Stern!

Stay tuned for more details…

Blech! (with accompaniment courtesy of the Pogues)

This Thanksgiving, my family and I received an unwanted guest, in the form of a stomach virus. Evil shit, I tell you. If someone can tell me how it’s anatomically possible to puke motor oil, I’d like to know!

But worry not: inspired, witty, highly entertaining posts will return from my neck of the woods soon. But for now, Blech!

The PoguesThe Sick Bed of Cúchulaínn (mp3)


A Nudge in the Right Direction

It’s been an odd day of departures in the music world today. First the news that Kevin DuBrow of Quiet Riot was found dead in his Las Vegas home on Sunday. Then not an hour later the news that Casey Calvert of Hawthorne Heights was found dead on the band’s tour bus on Saturday. Now I’m not generally the superstitious type, but if I were Amy Winehouse or Pete Dougherty I’d be taking the day off and hiding under the covers.

In other news:

Organist Danny Federici played his last show for the time being in Boston with Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band Source: NME

U2’s Bono and The Edge popped up unannounced for a short acoustic set at a charity gig in North London. Source: BBC

And break out your lighters because Extreme is back in the studio and will be touring in 2008. Source: NME

Gimme Shelter DVD, Live Stones 1969

I’ve been a Stones fan for a long time, but it took me until yesterday to sit down and watch Gimme Shelter. What kind of Stones fan am I, then, you say? Good question, I don’t really have an answer. It’s only one of the most important rock documentaries in existence. Shame on me! And thanks Netflix.

Gimme Shelter documents the tail end of the Rolling Stones’ 1969 U.S. tour, which wrapped up with a free show at the Altamont Speedway, near San Francisco. The Stones originally were going to hold a last minute surprise show at Golden Gate Park, but when Mick Jagger let it slip during a press conference earlier in the week, the venue needed to be changed, due to overcrowding and logistical concerns.

So on Saturday, December 6th, more than 300,000 eager fans, drugged out crazies, and a boat load of Hell’s Angels descended on Altamont. What transpired is the stuff of legend.

The stage was only about four feet high, so it provided easy access to the throngs of fans. Leading up to the Stones, the lineup included Jefferson Airplane, the Flying Burrito Brothers, Crosby Stills & Nash, and others. The Hell’s Angels – whether asked or not is debatable – ended up providing security around the stage area. The “security” included knocking Jefferson Airplane singer Marty Balin unconscious and bashing people with pool cues. The Grateful Dead, after arriving for their set, cancelled after hearing about the ugly scene.

During the Stones set, while “Under My Thumb” played, an 18 year old black man in the crowd, Meredith Hunter, pulled a gun. Before anything could happen, Hell’s Angel Alan Passaro pounced with a knife, stabbing Hunter multiple times, stomping him, and killing him. The film captures a lot of the violence and ugliness that day (it was impossible to avoid), and it really gives the viewer a firsthand feel of the tension around the stage area.

Altamont took place only four months after Woodstock, and is considered by many to be the end of the free love / flower power era, or whatever you choose to call it. The film is most notorious for capturing the event, but don’t forget about the music. We get some great live Stones footage from Alatamont as well as an earlier Madison Square Garden gig: “Street Fighting Man”, “Satisfaction”, “Love in Vain”, “Brown Sugar”, “Sympathy for the Devil”, among others. There’s also some studio footage from Muscle Shoals, Alabama.

Stones fan or not, this is a must see for any music lover. This is an amazing and fascinating document of a legendary band in their prime, and a very unfortunate event in rock and roll history.

So as I tend to do after watching an intense film about one of my favorite bands, I spent today listening to the Stones: Beggars Banquet (1969) through Tattoo You (1981) on shuffle. I also tracked down a boot from the same 1969 U.S. tour. It’s called ‘Secret Garden’, and was recorded about a month before Altamont in Oakland. Enjoy!

The Rolling Stones
November 9th, 1969
Oakland, CA

Jumpin’ Jack Flash
Prodigal Son
You Gotta Move
Sympathy For The Devil
Stray Cat Blues
Love In Vain
I’m Free
Under My Thumb
Midnight Rambler
Live With Me
Little Queenie
Street Fighting Man
Honky Tonk Woman

Ickmusic Local: Stone Devil Hill

The local music scene in New York’s Hudson Valley, by in large, consists of a myriad of cover bands, the occasional singer-songwriter, a smattering of bluesmen, a punk trio or two and a plethora of de-tuned metal-core bands. While Poughkeepsie’s Stone Devil Hill doesn’t squarely fit into any of those genres they certainly contain the sensibilities of them all combined into a very cohesive package that ranges from melodic and soaring to heavy and grooving. Their debut record …for the fallen captures the essence of the bands energy and highlights the groups strength in songwriting. Heavier tunes like the lead-off track “Down with the Captain”, “A.F.O.C”, and “Neverchange” take notes from the forefathers of heavy metal and groove with an urgency that is relentless. Lyrics ranging from political to deeply personal are delivered with the utmost passion and the slow burn of “Child Inside” and “Lost Denial” feature dual vocals reminiscent of Alice in Chains at their best. And putting the power back in the ballad the track “This Lie” is nothing short of majestic. As a teaser here is the band at their most honest and passionate…

Stone Devil Hill20 Years (MP3)

Buy: …for the fallen Buy

Link: Official Site | MySpace

Thank You, Danke, Merci, Grazie, Gracias…


I wanted to take the opportunity on this day of thanks to extend my warmest wishes to the friends of Ickmusic. I also want to thank Pete for allowing me to take up space on his little corner of the internet. And I’d be remiss if I did not thank all the friends and folks who read and leave the occasional comment. To share my thanks and spread the love here is the brilliant Robert Randolph & The Family Band performing “Thank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin)” live.

Robert Randolph & The Family BandThank You (Falettinme Be Mice Elf Agin) (MP3)


Link: Official Site