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Tag: Toad the Wet Sprocket

The Friday Five: September 23, 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:

Snaggletooth” by Motörhead (from No Remorse, 2001)

It’s too damn early for Lemmy. Thankfully, Motörhead tunes tend to be on the short side.

Before You Were Born” by Toad the Wet Sprocket (from 1992-09-16: Fox Theater, Boulder, CO, USA, 1992)

This is from an excellent soundboard recording of an equally quality performance by Toad. Save for, of course, when Glen flubs the second line.

Mighty Mighty” by Earth, Wind & Fire (from The Eternal Dance, 1992)

I’ve been listening to a lot of Earth, Wind & Fire lately.

“I Believe” by Chicago (from Chicago 18, 1986)

I spent the entire song waiting for a key change that didn’t happen.

Traffic” by Ned’s Atomic Dustbin (from Brainbloodvolume, 1995)

Brainbloodvolume is a criminally overlooked record.

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: March 25, 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:

“Nothing is Alone” by Toad the Wet Sprocket (from 1992-09-16: Fox Theater, Boulder, CO, USA, 1992)

“And now the song so happy, Todd had to sing it.” Who can resist a sappy love-lorn tune in 3/8 time?

“Both Sides of the Story” by Phil Collins (from …Hits, 1998)

This tune always seemed a bit like Phil trying really hard to sing a Peter Gabriel track. I realize the irony in that statement, but listen to “Biko,” and “Come Talk to Me,” and come back to this track and tell me that you don’t hear it. Go ahead, I’ll wait here.

“Bone Machine” by Pixies (from Surfer Rosa, 1988)

Two Friday Five appearances in a row!

“The ’59 Sound” by The Gaslight Anthem (from The ’59 Sound, 2008)

I haven’t listened to this record in over a year, I’ll have to cue it up over the weekend. I think I burned myself out on it, and didn’t care at all for the follow up; causing me to unintentionally shun the band for a bit.

“If I Can’t Change Your Mind” by Sugar (from Besides, 1995)

From the live portion of the set, I was always amazed at how fast these tunes were played live.

What’s on your shuffle today?

The Friday Five: June 4, 2010

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:

Editor’s Note: “Sometimes you’re the windshield, sometimes you’re the bug.” Today, I’m feeling a bit like the bug. – Michael

“Let Me Ride” by Dr. Dre (from The Chronic, 1992)

Puff, Puff, Pass…

“Every Woman in the World” by Air Supply (from Greatest Hits, 1988)

Shameless.

“Your Love” by The Outfield (from Play Deep, 1985)

Somehow, this has charted as my favorite ’80s tune. Undeniable.

“Pray Your Gods” by Toad the Wet Sprocket (from Fear, 1991)

Somber, haunting.

“Light” by Phish (from Joy, 2009)

The last Phish record has stuck with me longer than any of their previous. Very aptly titled record.

What’s on your shuffle today?

Review: Works Progress Administration, “WPA”

http://ickmusic.com/pics/WPALP.jpg

Glen Phillips’ brand of Southern California folk-rock has always flirted on the edge of its bluegrass and country and western roots. In the years since Toad the Wet Sprocket closed up shop, his songwriting has danced closer and closer to those roots, and with 2000’s Mutual Admiration Society – pairing Phillips with members of Nickel Creek – it seemed to come to the forefront. Taking that collaborative spirit to the next level, Works Progress Administration consists of Phillips and his MAS cohorts Sean and Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek, Fiction Family) with Luke Bulla (Jerry Douglas Band, Lyle Lovett), Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell, Bill Frisell), Pete Thomas and Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello and the Imposters).

The group’s debut record, WPA, is a slice of modern Americana with strong pop sensibilities. Recorded over the course of five days, the recording itself feels very alive and immediate thanks to the production of Jim Scott (Wilco, Tom Petty). There is a dynamic that showcases the collective beautifully and shines a light on the real star of the show: the 12 well crafted songs that make up the album.

”Always Have My Love” is easily one of the strongest tunes that Phillips has written in the past 10 years. It’s followed by the equally stellar “Good as Ever”, with Sara Watkins providing her angelic voice to bolster Glen’s vocal. Sara takes the lead for the gut-wrenching cover of Ray Davies’ “I Go to Sleep”.  As strong as these songs are, “I Could End This Now” (mp3) is easily my favorite track of the bunch. It manages to take the bluegrass mélange and adds just a touch of soul resulting in a stormy mid-tempo ballad.

WPA is not without its faults. The rave-up of “Paralyzed” and the hoedown of “Wedding or a Wake” seem awkward by comparison to the rest of the material. The record’s lowest moments come at the plodding “Who’s Gonna Cry for You” and “Remember Well”. Despite these small missteps, this record is a must for fans of the group’s respective origins.

Buy WPA: Amazon

Links: Official Site | on Last.fm | on MySpace | on Facebook | on Twitter

On Tour: Works Progress Administration

http://ickmusic.com/pics/WPA.jpg

The music collective known as Works Progress Administration is heading out on tour to support their self-titled debut, which is to be released on September 15th.

At the core of Works Progress Administration (or WPA, for short) is the trio of ‘Founding Directors’ Glen Phillips (Toad the Wet Sprocket), Sean Watkins (Nickel Creek, Fiction Family) and Luke Bulla (Jerry Douglas Band, Lyle Lovett). In addition to the base is the group of ‘Executive Board Members’ consisting of Sara Watkins (Nickel Creek), Benmont Tench (Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers), Greg Leisz (Joni Mitchell, Bill Frizell), Pete Thomas and Davey Faragher (Elvis Costello and the Imposters). The collective explains the origin of their name…

Works Progress Administration takes its name from FDR’s 1939 New Deal initiative, which put millions to work making buildings, bridges, theater, art and music. The original WPA was rooted in the values of community and creativity, and helped to keep the fire of human dignity burning through the darkest years of the Great Imposters.

Eschewing the usual “supergroup” clichés, WPA appears to be a truly community driven project with collaboration at every level. Vocal duties are shared across the board with each core member contributing lead vocals. The lead-off track “Always Have My Love” is an catchy uptempo number featuring Phillips lead vocals and layers upon layers of fiddles and pedal steel that give the track a depth that can sometimes be lacking in modern Bluegrass / Alt-Country recordings.

You can download “Always Have My Love” at the groups official site for the price of an email address (link)

Links: Official Site | on Last.fm | on MySpace | on Facebook | on Twitter

Click through for the groups tour dates…

The Friday Five: May 29, 2009

Gives A Meal Shuffle-Appeal!

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.

The Five:

Toad the Wet Sprocket
– “Nothing Is Alone” (mp3) (from 1992-09-16: Fox Theater, Boulder, CO, USA)

“And now the song so happy that Todd had to sing it.” From 1990’s Pale this remains one of my favorite Toad songs.

Stevie Wonder – “Sir Duke” (from Songs in the Key of Life)

To say that this song is one of the nearest and dearest to my heart would be an understatement. This song is truthfully sunshine for the soul. Don’t believe me? Next time you are having a bad day, put it on. You’ll thank me later.

Just to prove my point, here’s the set up. Glen Phillips (of Toad the Wet Sprocket, see what I did there?) has played so long that the venue has sent him and the crowd out into the streets where Glen along with Nickel Creek bring the encore to the streets and close the evening with a joyful rendition of Stevie’s classic “Sir Duke” (mp3).

Chaka Khan – “I Feel for You” (from Epiphany: The Best of Chaka Khan, Volume One)

Okay, so this is a Prince track featuring Grandmaster Melle Mel – that’s him on the “Ch-ch-ch-chaka-chaka-chaka Khan” – and Stevie Wonder on Harmonica. I mean really, how can you go wrong?

Prince – “Sexy Dancer” (from Prince)

Hey, look at that. It’s almost as if iTunes is paying special attention today. Stevie, Chaka, Prince… this could rank in my top 10 fives!

Jamiroquai – “Virtual Insanity” (mp3) (from High Times: Singles 1992-2006)

With the exception of the Toad the Wet Sprocket tune that kicked us off, this has turned out to be one damned funky five. The futuristic blend of soul, acid-jazz and funk of Jamiroquai has always resounded with me and this track is no exception.

**BONUS**

Down to the Bone – “Greedy Fingers” (mp3) (from Supercharged)

Okay, I’ve only done this once before… but the sixth track to shuffle up was just so good and fit the overall shuffle so well that I simply had to include it. More soul, acid-jazz and funk only this time of the instrumental variety. If you’ve never heard of the UK’s Down to the Bone consider yourself schooled in coolest collective of UK’s jazz groove.

Okay, I’ve shown you mine, now show me yours!