The Boss Returns, Hartford Premieres

(AP Photo/Jessica Hill – link)

Last night marked the 2008 resumption of Bruce’s Magic tour. He and the E Street Band (minus Patty and Danny F. – still) kicked this leg off in Hartford, Connecticut. From the report on Backstreets, this wasn’t one of those safe warm-up gigs after a break. The band “were immediately up to speed, and Hartford was a hot, high-energy show.”

Three – count ’em – three high quality tour premieres last night:

  • “So Young and In Love” (mp3 from the show) – This kicked off the show! The studio version found on Tracks was recorded in January 1974.[audio:hartford01.mp3]
  • “Loose Ends” (mp3 from the show) – an outtake from The River.[audio:hartford02.mp3]
  • “Janey Don’t You Lose Heart” (mp3 from the show) – One of my favorites from the Born in the U.S.A. sessions. Last night, Nils Lofgren took the second verse – his “first recorded vocal with the E Street Band”, according to Backstreets.[audio:hartford03.mp3]

Next up on the calendar? Sunday night in Montreal. Look out Quebec.

LOOKING FOR TICKETS….. Since it doesn’t look like a Phoenix date is going to happen (!), I am in the market for two tickets to see Bruce in Anaheim on Monday, April 7th. If you or anyone you know has a couple available, please let me know (pete at

The full set list from last night’s Hartford show after the jump…

Ickmusic’s Friday Five: February 29, 2008

Do You Have The Shuffle Inside?Can I kick it? Yes I can! It’s Friday and it’s time for a shuffle to the weekend. So wipe your feet real good on the rhythm rug and join in.

Last week was a decidedly laid-back Five with Acid Jazz courtesy of Herbaliser, mellow 70’s grooves from The Doobie Brothers, some funk laced jazz from Madhouse, a live classic from Depeche Mode and a slice of melancholy from Iron & Wine. For those of you playing along at home here’s how it works I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes and then show you my five with some witty quip for each track.

Then, if we’re lucky, you show us yours!

Here are this week’s tracks:

1. Portishead – All Mine (from Roseland NYC Live)

Portishead deserves an award for taking the longest time between releasing records and remaining relevant. If you haven’t heard the Brixton trio is set to release its third record, the aptly titled Third, on April 28th.

2. Panic! At the Disco – Nails for Breakfast, Tacks for Snacks (from A Fever You Can’t Sweat Out)

I will admit to this being one of my ‘guilty pleasures’. These kids have managed to write some of the catchiest songs of the last decade. I do, to some degree, think that they will go on to become this generation’s Duran Duran.

3. Huey Lewis & The News – Heart and Soul (from Time Flies… The Best of Huey Lewis & The News)

I know it, Seth Rogen knows it and his hordes of screaming fans know it, Huey Lewis is the man.

4. Sara Bareilles – Love Song (MP3) (from Live Session (iTunes Exclusive) – EP)

Half of you will hear this and go “Oh, it’s that song from the cable company commercial” and the other half already know all about this little gem of a pop song. I’ll admit that I was by in large disappointed by the full album but I hold hope for a sophomore blast with more well crafted pop ditties like this.

5. Richard Cheese – Nookie / Break Stuff (MP3) (from Lounge Against the Machine)

Gah! Fred Durst is following me around the blogosphere today! This morning while reading this weeks ‘ChartBurn’ over at PopDose not only did I end up watching all of Limp Bizkit’s “Re-Arranged” but then went on a self destructive watching spree of “N 2Gether Now” and “Stuck”. I feel so dirty! Thankfully, Richard Cheese is here to save my afternoon (and quite possibly my soul) from the ninja death grip of Mr. Durst.

Okay, so I showed you mine, now show me yours!!

Marco Benevento’s Real Morning Party

My latest eMusic download is Marco Benevento’s new one, Invisible Baby. Marco is a crazy-talented keyboard-man and composer from NYC, specializing in experimental effects-laden jazz-jam. I’ve been somewhat familiar with him from his work as a member of the Benevento/Russo Duo.

It’s an adventurous album – God knows how he makes some of those sounds. I’d love to see Marco live, working all the bells and whistles on his keyboards – and that’s definitely a plural – look at that setup in the pic!

Here’s a fun one that just sounds so damn retro-good to me. And just wait until the percussion madness kicks in at 2:48. Sick! (as the kids say). . . Don’t think it’s in any way indicative of the album as a whole, ’cause it isn’t. Every tune has something fresh and new (with healthy doses of strange) to offer. A must have for musical explorers.

Marco Benevento – The Real Morning Party (mp3)


A Heavenly Day

There I was this past weekend, wrapping up a late Sunday afternoon car wash in the driveway (washing the hell out of my wife’s car due to the guilt of trading myself up for a new Honda Ridgeline – naughty, selfish husband!). I had the iTunes streaming down to the garage stereo (because I will perform no household or automotive task without background music – that would be silly).

As dusk set in, and I was pulling her car into the garage, this song came on. I sat silent for a few, taking in the song. I sighed in contentment, closed the garage door, and went on with my night. It was already a good weekend. Patty Griffin made it even better.

Patty Griffin – Heavenly Day (mp3)

Buy Children Running Through:

festivals and subdudes

If I had my way, I’d hit all of the big festivals.. the Coachellas, the Bonnaroos, the Lollapaloozas, etc. But add the tricky dynamic of wife and kids (not to mention a shitty economy), and a guy like me has to choose his battles festivals. So 2008 is shaping up to look exactly like 2007, which works just fine for me.

I’ll be hitting two festies, a local and a biggie. The local is Scottsdale’s 5th Annual McDowell Mountain Music Festival , coming April 25th & 26th. Not too shabby of a lineup: Gov’t Mule, Robert Randolph & the Family Band, Grace Potter & the Nocturnals, the subdudes, the John Butler Trio, Blues Traveler, the Wailers, and JJ Grey & Mofro.

And nationally, I’ll once again be attending the Austin City Limits Music Festival, for the second year in a row. It takes place September 26-28, so too early for lineup announcements – but they never disappoint. Can’t wait!

At last year’s McDowell Mountain Festival, my highlight was the Crescent City’s own Neville Brothers. This year, the subdudes will be representing New Orleans. A nice laid back mix of soul, rock, and cajun influences, lead singer Tommy Malone and the boys have been shredding up the stages on and off since 1987. Their very first gig was an impromptu one at Tipitina’s – a great place to be born.

My favorite tune of theirs comes from a mid 90’s album of theirs, Annunciation. “Save Me” is beautiful and heartfelt – a tune that I always return to.

the subdudes – Save Me (mp3)

Links: the subdudes official site | myspace | on foxytunes – You guys & gals should check out FoxyTunes if you haven’t already – cool widgets to different music sites, and a controller for your music player built into your browser (Firefox on the Mac).


Liam Finn’s Second Chance

Full of sunny melodies, Beatles-esque harmonies, and of course more than a hint of his old man Neil, Liam Finn’s debut solo album has been getting some frequent plays over at El Casa de Ickmusic. I’ll Be Lightning was recorded in early 2007 at his dad’s studio in Auckland, New Zealand. It was released overseas last summer, but it took until last month for the U.S. release on Yep Roc.

Liam is clearly not just the son of a famous musician capitalizing on his situation, but is a huge talent in his own right. Check out one of my favorites…

Liam Finn – Second Chance (mp3)

Links: Liam Finn’s Official Site | MySpace

Click the cover to buy at the Amazon MP3 Store

Ickmusic’s Friday Five: February 22, 2008

The Shuffle is Mightier than the Sword.First was Kevin, then came Lucy, third in line was me. And this Friday were mixing up some starfish & coffee, maple syrup and jam, some Butterscotch clouds a tangerine and a side order of ham so pull up a seat and join in the jam.

Previously on the ‘Friday Five’, LL was doin’ it (and doin’ it and doin’ it well), Alice brought the realness, Raekwon and his Clan-mates shared his love of 32 flavors, the Fab Four started a revolution and Miles gave us a lesson in love. If you’ve missed the ‘Friday Five’ to date its quite easy, I hit the shuffle button and share the first five tracks along with thoughts, quips and memories.

The rest is up to you; feel free to add your random five in the comments.

Here are this week’s tracks:

1. Herbaliser – A Little Groove (from If Ya Can’t Stand Da Beatz, Git Outta Da Kitchen)

Now there’s nothing like a little acid jazz groove to start the shuffle! I bought in on the whole Acid Jazz movement in the 90’s and I’ve got hours upon hours of Ninja Tune records to prove it. Out of the many faceless groups the UK duo of Ollie Teeba and Jake Wherry stand out for their hip-hop leanings and the fact that they are one of the only artists still around.

2. The Doobie Brothers – Without You (from Listen to the Music: The Very Best of the Doobie Brothers)

Not my favorite track, that honor would be reserved for the classic Michael McDonald vehicle “What a Fool Believes”, but this is a nice slice of rock n’ roll to get the juices flowing. Jeff “Skunk” Baxter is the star in this one serving up some tasty licks.

3. Madhouse – Two (from 8)

A slice of funk from His Royal Badness’ and his band of new power jazz cohorts is next on the skillet. While the fusion of jazz and funk never really caught on en masse, this record is a must for all Prince fans.

4. Depeche Mode – Enjoy the Silence (Live) (from Condemnation)

I’ve never had the chance to actually see Depeche Mode live and recordings like this make me regret that. There is something so very pure in David Gahan’s voice and while very synth driven the music still retains some fluidity and is clearly ‘live’.

5. Iron & Wine – Jesus the Mexican Boy (from The Sea and the Rhythm)

This track struck a chord as I look out the window at the snow falling. Something about Sam Beam’s music always equates itself back to weather. This is a nice coda to an interesting shuffle.

What’s cooking in your shuffle this afternoon?

First Listen: Last Kiss…

Nothing Works Better Than a Seven Mary Three.

It’s been 12 years since Seven Mary Three released their debut record, American Standard. In that time they’ve gone from indie to major and have now landed back in the indie world with their new record Day&Nightdriving. I’ll have a full review soon, but had to share this tune now as it’s too good to keep to myself. Check it out!

Seven Mary ThreeLast Kiss (Streaming MP3)

Buy Day&Nightdriving: Amazon

Links: Official Site | on | on MySpace

Review: The Foo Fighters at Madison Square Garden

What's In Your Foo Fighters?
Photo: Bao Nguyen

Dave Grohl is truly the savior of arena rock and last night he was received with open arms at one of the Meccas of all things rock. He and his merry band of Foo Fighters took the stage and rocked the Garden for a solid two hours only letting up briefly to show the band’s softer side with a mid-set acoustic break. It astounds me that last night was the first time that the Foos played Madison Square Garden. What further shocked me is it’s the first time Dave Grohl has played the venue (I did some historical digging and confirmed that Nirvana never played MSG either). Despite being ‘first timers’ they managed to make the arena feel like a much smaller venue.


Things Go Better with #41!

Occasionally you come across cover tunes that so perfectly capture the original sentiment and transcend it with a renewed sense of devotion. This cover of the Dave Matthews Band song “#41” is an example of just such a track. I’ll admit that I know very little about the performer of this song. I found it quite a few years ago while participating in a discussion on a DMB message board. I know that it was arranged and played by a (then) college student named Jay Wood. I know that it was recorded sometime in 2003. That’s about the extent of what I know about the tune. My wife and I used this particular piece of music as the recessional in our wedding ceremony. To me, it captures the beauty of the lyric and melody perfectly with just the piano and makes for a perfect soundtrack to this rainy Monday in New England.

Jay Wood – #41 (MP3)

Buy Dave Matthews Band – Crash: Amazon | iTunes

Links: DMB Official Site | on | on MySpace