The Friday Five: October 14, 2011

Friday Five

Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

“Come See About Me” by Tedeschi Trucks Band (from Revelator, 2011)

“Mary Ann” by Bob Dylan (from Dylan, 1973)

“Get Up to Get Down” by Brass Construction (from Phat Trax: The Best of Old School, Volume 1, 1997)

“(He’s) Seventeen” by The Supremes (from The Complete Motown Singles, Volume 2: 1962, 2005)

“Nasty” by Janet Jackson (from Control, 1986)

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: August 19, 2011

Friday Five

Friday Five : ‘frī-(,)dā,-dē ‘fīv : On the sixth day of every week, I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes, then share the first five tracks and thought for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, occasionally we’ll have a guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

The Five:

“Look Sharp!” by Joe Jackson (from Look Sharp!, 1979)

Why are you yelling at me, Joe Jackson?

“Rainy Day Women #12 & 35” by Bob Dylan (from MTV Unplugged, 1995)


“Wake Up Everybody (live in studio performance)” by John Legend & The Roots (from Wake Up!, 2010)

Why do these album titles keep yelling at me? Look Sharp! Wake Up!

“Team” by Bon Iver (from For Emma, Forever Ago, 2008)

I still fail to see what everyone loves about Bon Iver.

“Girl” by The Beatles (from Rubber Soul, 1965)

Sweet finish to summer’s penultimate Friday Five.

What’s on your shuffle today?

Tunes from The Last Waltz

The Last Waltz – best concert film of all time? Certainly right up there. When I stumble upon it on TV, like I did tonight, there’s no way I can turn away.

Thanksgiving 1976. The Band. Bob Dylan. Van Morrison. Neil Young. Dr. John. Joni Mitchell. Muddy Waters. Eric Clapton. Neil Diamond. Ronnie Wood. Ringo Starr. Ronnie Hawkins. Paul Butterfield.

Still such a thrill to watch.  Here’s the last song of the show, as Dylan leads The Band and all the guests in his own tune, “I Shall Be Released”…

Oh hell, let me add a few other tunes…

The Band w/ Neil Diamond
“Dry Your Eyes”

The Band w/ Joni Mitchell


The Band w/ Muddy Waters
“Mannish Boy”

The Friday Five: November 27, 2009

Friday Five : ˈfrī-(ˌ)dā,-dē ˈfīv : On the sixth day of every week I hit the shuffle button on my iTunes and share my five and drop a little knowledge and insight for each track. Sometimes there is a playlist involved, sometimes there isn’t. Sometimes we have guest, but most of the time it’s just me. The rest is up to you, our friends and readers! Fire up your media player of choice and share the first five random track of your shuffle in the comments.

Editor’s Note: My tryptophan-addled brain completely failed to realize that it was Friday until just about an hour ago, despite the fact that I’m working! Here’s a ‘live’ five for you to enjoy this weekend!

The Five:

Sunny Day Real Estate – “Pheurton Skeurto” (from Sunny Day Real Estate, 1994)

A quiet island in a stormy sea, “Pheurton Skeurto” is a jaunty sea shanty with impossible lyrics and one of my favorite tracks on the seminal emo band’s self-titled debut.

The Beatles – “You’ve Got to Hide Your Love Away” (mp3) (from Help!, 1965)

Lennon’s attempts at incorporating the folk influences of the day (specifically Bob Dylan) provide us with one of the most beautiful tunes in The Beatles catalog.

Marky Mark and The Funky Bunch – “Good Vibrations” (from Music for the People, 1991)

Occasionally the shuffle button betrays me. This could be one of those occasions.

Bush – “Machinehead” (from Sixteen Stone, 1994)

I’m going to go on record here and say that I never disliked Bush, but I never liked them all that much either. Of all their post-grunge (lite) tunes, this one was always a favorite.

Anthrax – “I’m the Man (Def Uncensored version)” (mp3) (from I’m the Man, 1987)

I’m so bad, I should be in detention.

What’s keeping you going on this Black Friday?

Bob and Tom on the 4th of July (Part Two)

As promised, here’s the second part of this nice collection of tunes from the July 4th, Dylan/Petty show way back in old ’86. An interesting note about “Rainy Day Women” – Howie Epstein plays slide guitar, and Mr. Tom moves over to bass. The last few songs of the night are missing from this collection for some reason (all Bob tunes) – I won’t torture you with what’s missing, I’ll focus on the positive – and that is, the rest of this killer set!

On a Petty side note, did you all hear about the Mudcrutch album and mini-tour? Mudcrutch was Petty’s pre-Heartbreakers band in the early-mid 70’s. They were the house band at Dub’s Diner in Gainesville, Florida before they moved out to Hollywood (into the great wide open). They only released one single, “Depot Street”, in 1975 (on Shelter Records). On April 12th, the original members (Tom Petty, Mike Campbell, Danny Roberts, Benmont Tench and Randall Marsh) will kick off a tour in the non-pretentious little enclave of Malibu, California. An album will follow on April 29th. You can check out the tour dates here (all California, for now). You can check out and pre-order the new album by clicking on the cover…

Enjoy, and make sure to check out Part One if you haven’t already.

Bob Dylan with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Buffalo, NY
July 4th, 1986

Part 2

1. I Forgot More Than You’ll Ever Know
2. Band Of The Hand
3. When The Night Comes Falling
4. Lonesome Town
5. Ballad Of A Thin Man
6. Bye Bye Johnny
7. Even the Losers
8. Spike
9. Refugee
10. Rainy Day Women #12 & 35
11. Seeing The Real You At Last
12. Across The Borderline
13. Thank God (Mt. View, CA 8/05/86)

Freedom! Bob and Tom on the 4th of July (Part 1)

Tom Petty and Bob Dylan-RS 478/479 (July 17, 1986) - photo by Aaron Rapoport

It would be most fitting to post this 4th of July show on Independence Day, but given that this is my first post on my new host (Hostmonster), and we’ve got a new theme and some new banners, I’m feeling free and refreshed, so here goes.

3 cheers to Michael for the awesome banners! Michael is indeed the sh-t.

This show comes from a great tour that took place over the summer of 1986: Bob Dylan with Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers. I was in the midst of my high school years, and there were two things consuming my life at the time (besides my studies, of course): Prince and girls. So while I was busy gallivanting about on this particular 4th of July – probably drinking Old Style beer on a Lake Michigan beach (while the girls drank White Mountain or Seagram’s wine coolers) – Bob, Tom & the boys were on the shores of another great lake, playing their hearts out in Buffalo, New York.

Here comes a two-parter. I’ll hit you with part deux in a few days. For now, take in some of the show….

Bob Dylan with Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
Buffalo, NY
July 4th, 1986

Part 1:

1. So Long Good Luck & Goodbye
2. Positively Fourth Street
3. Clean-Cut Kid
4. Emotionally Yours
5. Trust Yourself
6. We Had It All
7. Masters Of War
8. Straight Into Darkness
9. One Of These Days
10. The Waiting
11. Breakdown
12. To Ramona
13. One Too Many Mornings
14. A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall

Shaq joins the Suns – Sports Music

I’m a baseball fan above all else, but I have to say, my hometown team’s recent trade for Shaquille O’Neal has me pretty excited to watch more Phoenix Suns basketball. The Suns are the second best team in basketball as it is – thanks in large part to the guy they just traded away to the Heat – Shawn Marion. But something tells me things are going to get even better with Shaq on our side. And you Heat fans must be a happy bunch picking up someone of the caliber of Marion.

This of course segues into sports music. The only basketball song I can think of is Kurtis Blow’s “Basketball”, with his shout out to the greats of the day: “Dantley and Wilkins are on the scene, And Ralph Sampson is really mean!” Who’s Dantley?

Are there any other basketball songs out there? For baseball, all I can think of off the top of my head are “Centerfield” by John Fogerty, and Bob Dylan’s “Catfish”. Football…. yep, the “Super Bowl Shuffle”. Ah – Steve Earle’s “No. 29”. What else in the way of pop/rock sports-themed tunes?

Kurtis BlowBasketball (LastFM)

Bob DylanCatfish (LastFM)

John FogertyCenterfield (LastFM)

Ickmusic @ ACL: Day Three Recap

Here’s the last of the Austin City Limits Festival recaps: Day Three comin’ at ya!

Sunday, September 16, 2007

Yo La Tengo – This was the perfect way to kick off the day. We had a late Denny’s breakfast, with a couple cups of coffee. It turned out that no caffeine was needed, though. The Yo La Tengo wall of sound tore through us like a jet engine. We showed up in time to hear their take on the Beach Boys’ “Little Honda”, one of my faves from their ’97 album, I Can Hear the Heart Beating As One.

The jet engine experience came during the last song of their set , as the trio tore into “The Story of Yo La Tango” [yes “Tango”]. It was fun to watch Ira Kaplan enter “the zone” during these feedback and distortion frenzies. Georgia Hubley, Kaplan’s wife, kept the rhythm, and burly bassist James McNew laid down those steady bass lines that made my first live – albeit brief – Yo La Tengo experience a memorable one.

The Story of Yo La Tango (mp3)

Here they are doing “Pass the Hatchet, I Think I’m Goodkind” at ACL..

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The National – We caught the first few songs from Brooklyn’s The National. The only exposure I really have to them is through their latest album, The Boxer. I picked it up on eMusic a few months ago. Matt Berninger’s vocals remind me of that Peter Murphy type vibe. I got to hear my favorite, “Slow Show”.

Here they are singing “Mr. November” @ ACL…

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Sound Tribe Sector Nine – I wish I could have seen the full set by electronic jam band STS9. I may be wrong, but I think they’re all instrumental, right? We only dropped by for a couple – late in the set – and we already felt like we were late to the party, so off we went….

STS9 ACL Snippet

Ben Kweller – ..We saw the first three or four tunes of Ben’s set. Ben’s got some chops on guitar, and he had the power trio thing going too. He’s 26, but looks like he’s under 20 (form a distance). He has some great rock star moves, thrashing and flailing about like a red-maned 21st century Leif Garrett. There was an overabundance of upper teen-aged girls there for his set, too – which I had no problem with at all, mind you. But alas, my bro and I were soon off to our next musical adventure…

Here’s Ben slowing it down with “Old Hat”…

Grace Potter & the Nocturnals – We only caught a couple of tunes this time around, but my wife and I enjoyed a Grace & the Nocturnals set back in April at the McDowell Mountain Music Festival here in Arizona. So we had enough time to catch her on the Hammond B3, and rockin’ the Flying V front and center. Talented singer and a talented band. But… I don’t know. I just don’t get a”WOW” out of the experience like a lot of others do.

Common – One of the two full sets of the day that we caught was Common. I’ve seen a few hip hop shows in my day – well, pre-90’s hip-hop that is. The last hip-show I probably saw the “Jam ’88 Tour”- which was LL Cool J , Public Enemy, Whodini, and Run D.M.C (among some others that I can’t remember).

But it was worth the wait, because Common is one of the few hip-hop artists today that I can enjoy. Kanye’s a huge talent, but just too much of an ass. Others I hear are just too cliche – money, violence, misogyny.. it’s been played out for a while now. I’m sure there’s a ton out there I would like if given the chance though.

Common was a late announcement to ACL. Mexican guitar duo Rodrigo y Gabriela were slated to perform, but cancelled the week before. A number of people, then, were probably expecting R&G on the stage, when out popped Common. There were other gospel, R&B, and soul acts performing at ACL, but it was great of the organizers to bring in the intelligent hip-hop sound.

Common brought along a DJ, a drummer, and a keyboard player. The “band” hip-hop feel, a la the Roots, probably won over a lot of the crowd from the start. But it was Common’s smooth, slick lyrical flow that endeared the crowd to him. Performing songs like “Black Maybe”, “Drivin’ Me Wild” (with Lily Allen samples in the background), and “Go”, Common was in charge, commanding respect from the overflowing crowd at the Dell stage. Even my bro, who has little history with the rap/hip-hop genre, was converted.

Here he is rockin’ da (mostly) white folks with “The Light”…

Lucinda Williams – My intention going in to the festival was to enjoy Lucinda way up close, but as we found out quickly, ACL has a way of scheduling your time for you, rather than the other way around. So, while we caught a good part of Lucinda’s set, it was from far back in the grass, closer to the nearest beer tent than to the stage. We heard some good ones. Among them, “Joy”, “Essence” and a cover of the Doors’ “Riders on the Storm”.

Amos Lee – Favorite set of the day went to Philly soul-folkster Amos Lee. My whole family has loved “Arms of a Woman” ever since I snuck it on to a Wiggles CD (along with Metallica’s “Whiskey in the Jar”- get’ em started young) a couple years ago. It’s the perfectly crafted, perfectly sung, soulful love song. Like Amos Lee himself, the song is criminally under appreciated.

I hate to be an advocate for the placement of a song in a commercial, movie, or TV show, but if any song can appeal to a wide demographic of people, this one is it. This one’s a HIT folks!

From the moment Amos came out on stage with his Fender and went into “Dreamin”, the crowd was his. There is no other reaction than to be awed when you get to experience a voice like this live. The mainstream/ MTV / popular radio world seems so distant, otherworldly, and laughable when you hear a person like Amos sing. Effortless, smooth, and heavenly, quite frankly. For me, he’s on the same level as a Raul Malo: a voice from the gods, yet somehow managing to exist just below the radar.

It really hit home toward the end of the set, when Amos sang a steamy Isley Brothers ballad. The ACL setlist page lists it as “I Wanna Know”, but I think it may have been ” I Wanna Be With You”. Regardless, it transfixed the crowd. After the show, my bro remarked how he didn’t want that song to end.

Amos closed the set with a killer version of “Arms of a Woman”. Here’s a funny “It’s a Small Youtube world” moment: the first Youtube video I found of “Arms of a Woman” was shot directly behind me. I was shooting my own video (it ended up being too large for Youtube). My large melon is the centerpiece of this clip (and a sobering reminder that I’m losing my hair!):

My Morning Jacket – I have to admit my expectations were probably a bit high for this set. I was front and center a couple of years ago at the Henry Fonda Theater in L.A., where MMJ came out and blew the roof off the place. The acoustics were perfect, my positioning was ideal, and I guess I was spoiled. For the ACL set, we were behind the soundboard to the right, and it covered about half of the stage (the sound quality could have been better too).

MMJ is definitely an entertaining bunch. This set featured a beach backdrop, the band decked out in tropical beachwear (including a long blonde wig on lead singer / guitarist Jim James), a metal detector guy roaming the stage for the whole set, and a half dozen hula girls holding pineapples. Sure, it was funny and different, but unnecessary, I thought. Maybe it was just me, but I found that it distracted from the music. But that’s not to say it wasn’t enjoyable. Andrew Bird joined in for a great version of “Golden”, a beautiful acoustic MMJ tune. They played some off their most recent studio release, Z. And the highlight for me: the majestic rocker “One Big Holiday”.

Here, MMJ sings “Lay Low” at ACL….

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Wilco – I had only one gripe about ACL: My Morning Jacket and Wilco came on at the same time. Our decision was to start with MMJ and catch the last portion of Wilco’s set.

As we walked up to Wilco’s set, and heard them wrapping up “I’m the Man Who Loves You”, I immediately regretted not devoting all of my time to them. Live and learn I guess.

We saw the last few songs, which reached back to A.M. and Being There: “Red Eyed & Blue”, “I Got You”, “Casino Queen”, and “Outtasite (Outta Mind)”. I can’t get enough of Tweedy, Cline and the boys, and look forward to their return to the Arizona desert.

Here’s a cool sidestage view of Wilco doing “Handshake Drugs”…

Bob Dylan – As the festival headliner, Bob was the last one to go on. We made an attempt to get somewhat close to the stage, but found very quickly that it was futile to try. Tens of thousands of people were jockeying for a decent position to check out the legend. So we settled for a couple football fields back, and hoped to at least check out the large stage video screens. Well, guess what Bob didn’t allow for his set? Close-ups.

So as “Rainy Day Women..” kicked in from a distance, and I mean a distance, and all we could see on the giant screens was a distant shot of the stage. We gave it a few verses and called it a festival.

Wrapup: More than a week has passed since the festival wrapped up, and I still have that “post-good time” depression that we experience from time to time.

ACL was the one of the most well organized, seamless festivals I’ve ever attended.

  • Every act started and ended exactly as scheduled.
  • No cars / parking allowed anywhere near Zilker Park.
  • An army of shuttle buses zipped the tens of thousands of us between the park and downtown Austin with little delay.
  • Volunteers were available throughout the park to help anyone with any question.
  • The abundance of BAR tents made getting a beer a BREEZE. $4 for a 16 ouncer. $7 for a larger souvenir cup.
  • Plenty of port-o-potties, even without the few that got torched on day one. I still feel for the ladies though, as some of these toilets were looking quite nasty by the end of the days.
  • Note to self: hit the merchandise tent on Day 1 next year. I waited till the last day and couldn’t find any shirts for myself or my kids (the wife got one, don’t worry).
  • The Waterloo Records Tent gave fans the opportunity to get autographs and pictures with some of their favorites. I got the chance to meet Steve Earle. Can’t beat that!
  • The Eats area was awesome. Plenty of variety along the long line of food tents.
  • The giant mist-spraying fans were a godsend in the 95 degree heat.

I already miss the experience. If you love music, add this to your list of things to do before you move on to the great festival in the sky. Or if you’re like me, join me every year for the foreseeable future!

Thanks again ACL and Austin, Texas. See ya next year.

My Previous ACL Posts: Thanks Austin | Day 1 Recap | Day 2 Recap

Official ACL Festival Site:

Simple Twist of Fate, Jerry-Style

Jerry Garcia Band

Regardless of your general palate for the Grateful Dead, it’s pretty hard to listen to this version of the Bob Dylan-penned “Simple Twist of Fate” and not be moved. Whether it’s Garcia’s pleading and perfect vocal, or his crisp and cascading guitar solos, this performance is simply gorgeous.

The Jerry Garcia Band was Jerry’s opportunity to let loose and play some of his favorite music outside of the Dead “scene”, from Dylan to Motown to gospel. And in my opinion, it got no better than this…

Jerry Garcia BandSimple Twist of Fate (mp3)

Buy: Jerry Garcia Band