Saturday, January 31, 2009

AC/DC - You Shook Me All Night Long - Nashville - 1/31/09

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Thursday, January 29, 2009

Lucero @ Barley's - Saturday 2/21

Lucero returns to Knoxville with the Dexateens on Saturday, February 21st for what is becoming their annual winter/spring show at Barley's. This will be awesome. Tickets are on sale now at Barley's and Disc Exchange. Lucero is working on a new record, due out this spring. Singer Ben Nichols also just released his first solo record, The Last Pale Light in the West, to rave reviews and multiple toasts (if you listen, you'll know why).

TONIGHT: Drive-By Truckers @ the Valarium

Tonight, oh yes, tonight! It's finally here. The Drive-By Truckers finally return to Knoxville after nearly a year and a half since Sundown in the City '07. This time, they are breaking in the Valarium, and bringing along their hometown buddies from Athens, Bloodkin. You do not want to miss this show, as it will be the show of the season!

The DBT are still on tour supporting 2008's Brighter Than Creation's Dark, before they release their new collaboration, Potato Hole, with Booker T. this April. Neil Young makes an appearance on the record too. Find out more about the album here.

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

TONIGHT: Tennessee Shines at the Bijou

Alejandro Escovedo is one of many performers tonight at the January edition of Tennessee Shines, the monthly concert series at the Bijou Theatre. This month's installment kicks of the Bijou Jubilee, for the theatre's centennial celebration!

Also on the bill tonight will be The Duhks, Blue Moon Rising, Jennifer Nicely and the Lovell Sisters. Tickets are $10 in advance, and I think they are sold out. If not, they are close to it, so you better get them now.

Escovedo's 2008 album, Real Animal, topped many best of 2008 lists. Sadly, I missed the boat on this one, and didn't pick it up until December, and I simply didn't have enough time with it. Not that one would need a lot of time to get into this album- it instantly draws you in and hooks you with his perfect blending of alt-country, punk, rock and pop. It's really great. I'll tell you more about it when I can go into more detail. But go get it tonight!

Oh, and the show will be broadcast on the radio on WDVX, just like in the olden days, so tune it to 89.9/102.9 or listen online here starting at 8pm tonight!

Thursday, January 22, 2009

American Bang & the Pretenders

Nashville boys American Bang are hitting the road next week, opening for rock legends The Pretenders! Now, they're getting somewhere. Go see them in a city near you.

Say It Ain't So




Make it stop!

Just when I finally started to like you too, Joaquin.


Wednesday, January 21, 2009

The Boss is Streaming

The Boss is streaming his new album Working on a Dream online here. Check it out before it comes out next week.

TONIGHT: Lewis Black -
Let Them Eat Cake

Lewis Black returns to Knoxville tonight on his "Let Them Eat Cake" tour at the Tennessee Theatre. Tickets are still available here or at the box office. It should be a good one, especially after the inauguration yesterday.

(Did you know we had one of those?!)

Friday, January 16, 2009

New Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit

Download "Seven Mile Island" from Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit's upcoming album here. The album will be out 0n February 17th, and we can't wait! The 400 Unit features Browan Lollar on guitar, Derry deBorja (formerly of Son Volt, too!) on keys, Jimbo Hart on bass and Chad Gamble on drums.

We had the pleasure of catching Isbell and the guys over the holidays in Chattanooga, and couldn't be more excited to hear the new album after hearing a few of the new tunes there. A couple of other tracks are streaming online at Isbell's Myspace- check it!

Thursday, January 15, 2009

Ryan Adams & the Cardinals --

Get'em while they are hot! Ryan Adams apparently is done (again) from playing (yeah right).

On the heels of Adams' announcement on Wednesday afternoon of the disbanding of the Cardinals and his hiatus from all things music related, Nashville concert promoters AEG LIVE announced that Ryan Adams will perform a second night in Nashville in March, as tickets go on sale on 1/23 for the 3/15 show (after the 3/14 show, naturally). Pre-sale is today at 10am CST.

Read Adams' blog and report here about his hiatus, or his break, or retirement, or a Wednesday...or whatever you want to call it. Check out Ryan and the Cardinals below:

And my favorite, and best solo Ryan Adams song of all time:

He'll be back.

He always is.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

New Neil

New Neil Young tune "Fork in the Road" from his upcoming album...Notice his headphones in the apple and the lyrics about downloading.

Oh Neil, you feisty devil, you.

Tuesday, January 13, 2009

Oh Wow.

I love a good cover, I really do. Especially one by a bigass rock band, or members of multiple bigass rock bands, covering good songs as a nod to other bigass rock bands with great songs.

For example (and if you haven't seen this around, or heard about it yet, here it is. If you have heard/seen this, enjoy it again):



Wilco (Tweedy) isn't afraid to play someone else's music, and to unintentionally make it his own, almost.

See another great cover by Tweedy and Co. here.

Monday, January 12, 2009

New Moz video

Morrissey's new video for "I'm Throwing My Arms Around Paris" from his upcoming album Years of Refusal, to be released on February 17th.

The Rest of the Best of 2008: Top 6

Review albums #13-7 here.
#6. Hank III - Damn Right Rebel Proud - Curb Records

If you haven't heard Hank III yet, you are missing out...maybe. You will either love him or hate him. You can guess where I stand. Hank's blend of honky-tonk, country ballads, rock, punk and metal make for a very interesting, entertaining and unique brand of music. He looks and sounds like Grandpa and enjoys the night life and social activities like both his Pops' and Gramps' younger days, but plays music that both would say "Turn that down!". I say turn it up!

With songs like "Six Pack of Beer", "The Grand Ole Opry (Ain't So Grand Anymore)", "P.F.F.", Hank takes the listener on a wild midnight ride (with the headlights off) of drugs, sex, booze, fighting, and more drugs, all while still championing his grand-daddy's longstanding blacklisting at the Opry. You have to hear it to believe, and probably see it in person to understand it.


#5. Jamey Johnson - That Lonesome Song - Mercury Nashville

Jamey Johnson is not new to country music. He's been around for a while, but has never been a household name or really be on country radio (for a multitude of reasons...). He's written some of the biggest songs in country music of the last few years- I will not list them out because it hurts my argument here, but hey, you gotta get paid I say...especially these days. But this album is a welcomed return to actual country music that sounds like actual country music. Johnson's got loving, cheating and leaving, drugs and drinking, and a sense of humor...all sang with a smug smirk and a chip on his shoulder, as if he is daring Nashville to cross the line drawn on the ground by accepting him into Nashville's High Society and mixing him in with the slick sounds of today's country (or Pop, with a cowboy hat).

Johnson sounds like Waylon if Waylon was to come out today. He sings about substance abuse like Cash might do today. He tells tales of rowdiness like Paycheck use to and would still be doing today if he was still around. And he sings stories of love and loves lost like Possum is still singing to this day...all with a sound of his own...

See previous Jamey Johnson posts here.


#4. The Whigs - Mission Control - ATO Records

Athens, Georgia's The Whigs burst onto the scene in 2007 with their killer debut Give'em All a Big Fat Lip, and follow it up in 2008 with this knockout of a sophomore effort. This is a solid album all the way through from this trio. The Whigs have one of the biggest sounds coming from just three guys playing simple, but confusingly complicated riffs and rhythms from frontman Parker Gispert, with one of the best and heaviest rhythm sections going today with Tim Deaux on bass and Julian Durio on the skins. And you should hear their lyrics, too.

See previous Whigs posts here.


#3. Justin Townes Earle - The Good Life - Bloodshot Records

Simply the coolest sounding old-timey styled music going today. JTE stands front and center like a balladeer of the 30s, 40s and 50s, with original songs that sounds like they were indeed from the 30s, 40s and 50s. He's further away from his last name than he is from his middle name, and that is not a bad thing in the least. It actually works better for him, and he knows it. We don't need (or want) another Steve, but maybe a new age, or a modern student of Townes is what we all need just a bit more of in our music listening circles and patterns. Justin tells stories, an art that seems to be forgotten in modern music today. And he tells them with such confidence, experience and charm that we believe every word he sings and hang on each one as we wait for the next.

Seriously, pick up this album ASAP if you haven't heard it or do not already have it.

See previous Justin Townes Earle posts here.


#2. Bon Iver - For Emma, Forever Ago - Jagjaguwar Records

So I missed out on this record the first time through: Justin Vernon and company originally released this own their own in 2007. It was so good that Jagjaguwar picked it up and re-released it with bigger distribution and promotion behind it in 2008. And we are all glad that they did, for we might not have heard this somberly gorgeous and haunting piece of work. This album is on most everyone's top of/best of lists of '08, and for good reason.

I don't think that I have ever heard an album that is so mournful, or and makes me feel anxious and alone as this album does. Someone somewhere said that this album track by track isn't very good, excluding "Skinny Love", but as a whole, this album ebbs and flows up and down and weaves through Vernon's sorrow-tinged falsetto, sang so softly that he is barely audible at times, and then crashing back in as his heart (and mine) breaks with every word.

See previous Bon Iver posts here.


#1. Drive-By Truckers - Brighter Than Creation's Dark - New West Records

The Truckers' latest release did not impress me upon first listen. Or fifth listen. Or even tenth listen. I don't know what it was that finally grabbed ahold of me. I was honestly disappointed with the album when it came out. It was too laid back. Too pretty. Too much of a continuous piece of art that moved in and out of emotions and stories and humor and peril and paranoia. I guess it was too perfect for me.

BTCD is not the big rock album of the Truckers' past. It's not even a half rock/half soft album that has become one of their trademarks. This album is a stark contrast from 2006's A Blessing and a Curse, and rivals 2003's Decoration Day as the DBT's most beautiful album, and is absolutely a work of perfected art, with many mini-masterpieces within. Songs like "The Opening Act", "The Home Front" and "Monument Valley" showcase Patterson Hood's softer side and introspective lyrics, while "That Man I Shot" and "You and Your Crystal Meth" are the only really loud and raucous tunes on the album.

BTCD also debuts bassist Shonna Tucker's first lead vocal outings with three of her own tunes, which hold their own on the album which has historically been a "boy's club" as far as singing and songwriting goes. Check out "The Purgatory Line" to experience Ms. Tucker at her best.

Of course there are the Cooley songs, which never let the listener down. Cooley has really stepped up and written his songs from the inside out while looking back in on the soul of the songs' subjects. "Checkout Time in Vegas" is just a beautiful song. Patterson claims that "A Ghost to Most" is Cooley's best song that he's written. Patterson would know as they have been playing and writing together since the Eighties.

All in all, this record is a definite creeper. But it's a different kind of creeper than one that just has to grow on you as a listener. This one is a creeper because it is so deep, and so beautiful, that it just cannot be consumed without multiple listens. Five, ten, twenty times? Keep going. I am still listening to it, and hearing parts I have never heard before, and picking up things that one will not hear upon the initial listenings. If you tried this album, and gave up on it, try it again. Maybe a few more times. I'm glad I did. BTCD really deserves it, as this may be the best put together album of the Drive-By Truckers ten year career. It certainly is the most beautiful record that they have done.

I can't wait for what's next, because the Truckers just keep getting better and better, and continue to break new ground and push the boundaries to the next limit and more. Here's to 2009!

See previous DBT posts here.

See what you missed with albums #13-7 here.

Sunday, January 11, 2009

The Boss Wins

From Billboard:
Bruce Springsteen won the Golden Globe for best song for the title track from "The Wrestler".

It's Springsteen's second Golden Globe; he won in 1994 for "The Streets of Philadelphia" from "Philadelphia." That year, he also won the Oscar for Best Song for the same track.

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Best of '08: A Little Late

2009 is here, and already a week is gone. The blogging vay-cay is over and I'm just now getting back into the swing of things. I had originally intended to have my Best Albums of 2008 set up to coincide with the 12 Days of Christmas, but like it did with many this year, Christmas snuck up quicker than ever, and was gone even faster.

So, pretty much here's my BO'08 list, broken down into two halves. And I went with the 13 best albums. "13?" you ask.

"Why not?", I say. 13 is rock and roll, right?

And by "The Best", I mean the albums I liked the most and that I enjoyed listening to...these are not necessarily albums that will change the world.

But they will change your mood.

The Best Albums of 2008


#13. Hayes Carll - Trouble In Mind - Lost Highway Records

Hayes broke through this year with an album full of drinking, loving, losing and Jesus. You know, a good old country album, full of cliches and twang. But this is good, and Hayes has a sense of humor and doesn't take himself too seriously, especially in the novelty hit "She Left Me For Jesus", for which he won
Americana Music Association Song of the Year.

Review previous Hayes posts


#12. Jenny Lewis - Acid Tongue - Warner Brothers

Jenny Lewis breaks from her gig with the Watson Twins and joins up with Elvis Costello , the Black Crowes' Chris Robinson and others to deliver an album mixed with her swingin' blues tunes, her sexy rockers and soulful tunes that can only be delivered as Jenny Lewis does.


#11. Backyard Tire Fire - The Places We Lived - Hyena Records

Backyard Tire Fire's '08 release should probably be higher on my list, but several of my previous favorite bands released stellar albums (which we will get to), and without being a fan boy (as if), I gotta go with the albums that I simply couldn't stop listening to. Backyard Tire Fire is up there, just not quite all the way. If you haven't heard this record, you definitely need to. It's got a little bit of everything on it that a rock record should, but don't take my word for it. Go get it.

Review previous Backyard Tire Fire posts here, including my interview with vocalist Ed Anderson.


#10. Delta Spirit - Ode to Sunshine - Rounder Records

The Delta Spirit came out of nowhere this year with an outstanding record, complete with old-timey piano, a harmonica and trumpet, a marching band bass drum and a trashcan lid? How can this be? I don't know either, but it's damn good. Oh, and these white kids from Cali have more soul, and what I like to call 'the hurt', than I've heard in a long, long time. Fo' reals. Check out "People, Turn Around" if you don't believe me. If you haven't heard "Trashcan", do yourself a favor and buy it at least right now. The record is great, but their show is unbelievable. If you have a chance to see them live, do it (they are touring the South in February). It felt like a religious experience to me. I left the show feeling more uplifted, and emotionally exhausted, than I had in quite some time, especially from going to a show.

That, my friends, is what music and shows are all about.

I interviewed the multi-talented and multi-instrumentalist but primarily bass player Jon Jameson between their Knoxville and Nashville shows in the fall, and just before he spent a night in the pokey in Hudspeth County, Texas. Somehow though, with the craziness of Knoxville, and me, I haven't gotten around to cleaning it up and posting it. I should probably work on that.

Review previous Delta Spirit posts here. DS will be on Jimmy Kimmel on January 16, so set up those DVRs or put on a pot of coffee and be sure to catch them.


#9 - Guns N' Roses - Chinese Democracy - Geffen Records

I can't help it. I didn't want to like it. I didn't at first. But I gave the Axl project one more listen. Upon doing this, I heard something that I didn't catch the first time, and it made me listen another time to see what else I missed. That led to another round, and then another, and another. The next thing I knew, I listened to the album straight through four or fives times, and kept it in the car cd player (no iPod for this guy...) for at least a week and a half straight. Seriously.

This was followed by me then knowing every song well enough to whistle the hooks and the choruses, and it just went downhill from there, fast. I tried. I really did. I didn't want to like it. I didn't like the single of "Chinese Democracy". But if one thing can be said, this is a creeper album. Probably the biggest creeper of all time.

I do know it's the most expensive creeper of all time, coming in at 17 years and $14 million+ (shew!). Whether it's worth the $14 mill that Axl dropped to make his Pet Sounds or not, it's a solid album. Yes, it's over produced, and waayyyy over the top, but who are we talking about here? Axl was never one to be shy, or content with "eh"-level entertainment. Old schoolers and hardcore GNR fans probably don't/won't/can't dig this album (out of principle, and 80's teased-hair pride if nothing else), but I was introduced to Guns in their bloated production, big sound and orchestrated Illusion albums era. Hey, I can't help my age, so that was the Guns I knew first. And this isn't GNR, but it is Axl. It is his masterpiece that he slaved away on for more than four times as long as the original band was even together. And for that I give him credit, and appreciate his dedication, precision and attention to too many details.

Just next time, don't call it a GNR album. Just list it as "Motherfucking Axl Rose" on the cover and call it even.

Review previous GNR posts here.


#8 - David Byrne & Brian Eno - Everything That Happens Will Happen Today - Todo Mundo

This was the biggest surprise to me in 2008. I like the Talking Heads as much as the next guy that thought the late 70's in NYC at CBGB's was probably the coolest place on Earth and that the 80's were awful. With that being said, I had never gotten into Byrne's solo and collaboration records spanning back all the way to his and Eno's first collab in '81. I tried with 2001's Look into the Eyeball and 2004's Grown Backwards. I tried. I couldn't. Maybe I was too young, or just didn't get it. There's a chance that I just might not have been cool and smart enough for it.

This record is different. I am all over this one. It's fantastic from start to finish. Of course it's quirky- it's David Byrne (and Eno). That's what makes it good, and why we love David Byrne. ETHWHT has several stand out tracks including my favorite "One Fine Day", as well as the title track, the lead single "Strange Overtones" (which is funky and fun), and "I Feel My Stuff". It didn't hurt that I was lucky enough to catch Byrne in concert in December, which really helped everything fall in place with this album. It makes sense on stage, and that's about the only way to explain it. Trust me.

Review other Byrne posts here.


#7 - Motorhead - Motorizer - Steamhammer/SPV Records

Umm, it's Motorhead. It's Lemmy. What else can I say? What else could I say? What else do I have to say?

Oh, Lemmy is God?

In all honesty, this is Motorhead's best album in 15 years. Maybe longer. It's just LOUD and BIG. Put it on, turn it up, and prepare to get fired up, and probably break something! This is automatic "I feel like a badass now" music. Listen to this in the morning before work. Or before school. Or before a job interview. Or before "business time". Or any other time you need a "pick me up". Just be careful: too much exposure may result in bleeding ear drums, bloody knuckles and fists and a soar throat from guttural singing/yelling.

My advice: Take one Lemmy and call me in the morning.

Motorhead was set to tour with Social Distortion on the MusInk Tour in early '09, but it has since been cancelled. Keep an eye out though for when Motorhead does eventually roll though your neck of the'll probably hear them coming.

Review previous Motorhead posts here.

( be continued...)

Tuesday, January 6, 2009

Beardsley Community Farms
Presents: SNOW DAY

Barley's - Friday Night - 7pm

It's for a good cause, right here in Knoxville

Be there, or be square.

For more event info, see: