27 January 2009

Working on a Dream

I'm so angry that no one ever let me in on the secret of Bruce Springsteen and his massive brilliance. Like The National (although I should be saying it the other way around), he delivers those lyrics that have a prerequisite involved. Maybe several actually. There is no way in hell that you can walk into a Bruce Springsteen song and just think that you'll get a donut and some coffee. You absolutely have to be really hungry and ready to devour a steak... and be a wine connoisseur on top of it. That's probably the opposite of what most people think of him (just a working class, roughneck from Jersey) but COME ON! This guy is insane on a chart that few other people can even make a mark on. His new album, "Working on a Dream" is like ... heaven. Dealing with all of the topics that truly matter: life, love, strength, dreams, Springsteen manages to have all these crazy dimensions that have never even crossed my mind. And I don't even dare to say that The Wrestler is the closing track on the album. I have discovered a new part of my brain that wasn't there before I listened to this record. And believe me, I am usually against anything that even resembles New Jersey influence but this has nothing to do with 'that'. This is much more. Since I haven't listened to the entire album enough times to fully recommend specific tracks or tell you which song has the best lyrics, I highly suggest picking up this week's Rolling Stone with the Boss on the cover and giving your eyes delicious food to eat up in the form of the article/interview inside which not only gives you a look back at the formation of the E Street Band but goes a step further and kind of gets into his mind - the 59 year old version of his mind at least which seems far more interesting than any other one. I'm so impressed with this album and his sentiments (that within the article sound like improvised poetry of the highest order) that I might have to go out and gather many more of these Springsteen recordings. I live for these discoveries.

25 January 2009

Music Mavens

I was looking up "Music maven john mayer" on Google just now trying to see if anything would come up for my little blog over here and to my astonishment not only are we there but another blog called "Music Maven" is there. This other maven is much older than the one here and full of posts pertaining mostly to really good music... like John Mayer. Needless to say, I'm really surprised. It's kind of a coincidence, right? Not only is this blogger an interesting music nerd but an impressive writer. I'll be generous and say: go check it out.


Beyond that, I got some interesting ideas from this website. This blogger offers a lot of videos, images, and rather intriguing tidbits of information based upon each post. I really want to take of some of this style and incorporate into this blog. My goal, genuinely, is to make a really unique, eclectic website - focusing on the outside of the music cookie. When I hear a new (or even old) song I cannot get out of my head and can't stop listening to, I want to share it with the world. Although I know I won't reach the world from this little soapbox, the idea of even one other person reading about my current favorite songs excites me to no end. It's the little things. I've had some truly incredible experiences online - particularly with blogs. People fall in love through this kind of garbage. For me: I love music. It's the one thing that doesn't let me down and that's why I'm obsessed... and that's why I want to share everything I can with others. I want to share my love. If I could, I would put on a concert for everyone and take everyone to that place that I get to when I'm watching my favorite musicians live out their dreams. It kills me.

Someone, anyone... stick with me and maybe one day I'll write a good post.

24 January 2009

January Playlist

Bruce Springsteen - The Wrestler
David Bowie - Sound and Vision
Lou Reed - Vicious
Franz Ferdinand - Ulysses
Andrew Bird - Tenuousness
Kraak & Smaak - Squeeze Me
Lee Michaels - Do You Know What I Mean
The Smiths - Hand in Glove
Steppenwolf - Sookie Sookie
Todd Rundgren - I Saw the Light
The Black Crowes - Twice as Hard
Flake Music - Deluca
Jens Lekman - Pretty Shoes
Gram Parsons - Never Ending Song of Love
M. Ward - Never Had Nobody Like You

Keith Moon

In memory of the gorgeous, talented, frantic, inspiring drummer who had a thing for Holiday Inns..

My mother met him years and years ago at Convention Hall in Asbury Park where she was lucky enough to see The Who in their heyday. She was sitting by the beach when suddenly Mr. Moon decided to run over to the ocean and take a swim with all his clothes on. My mother was starstruck and ran over to the dripping wet drummer and simply asked to shake his hand. She tells me he was very cordial and extremely funny (apparently he made some type of joke but she doesn't remember what it was). She said he had crazy eyes. Oh my. I love crazy eyes and dreamy faces. God Bless Him.

From Wikipedia:

At 17, Moon joined The Who (in April 1964), a replacement for Doug Sandom. Without a drummer the remaining members hired a session drummer to fulfill shows they had agreed to play. Moon attended one of these shows. Pete Townshend described him as looking like a "ginger man" with his hair dyed ginger and wearing ginger-coloured clothes. As stated in Amazing Journey: The Story of The Who, Moon looked up to Roger Daltrey during the show and said "I hear you're looking for a drummer. Well, I'm much better than the one you've got."[6] The band knew they needed Moon after seeing him practically smash the drum kit to pieces.[2]

Early in The Who's career, live sets culminated in "auto destruction", members destroying their equipment in elaborate fashion, an act that was imitated by other bands and artists including Jimi Hendrix in his breakout performance at the 1967 Monterey Pop Festival. Moon showed a zeal for this, kicking and smashing his drums. For a performance on the Smothers Brothers Comedy Hour television show, he loaded explosives into one of his kit's two bass drums. During the finale of "My Generation," he kicked the other drum off the riser and then set off the charge, singeing Townsend's hair and embedding a piece of cymbal in his arm (the blast has been speculated as starting Townshend's tinnitus). Another time, he filled clear acrylic drums with water and goldfish, playing them for a television appearance. When an audience member asked "What happens with your goldfish?" he replied with a grin, "Well I mean, you know...even the best drummers get hungry."[7] Antics like these earned him the nicknames "Moon the Loon", and "Mad Moon".

His determination to add his voice to Who songs led other members to banish him from the studio when vocals were recorded. This led to a game, Moon sneaking in to join the singing. At the end of "Happy Jack," Townshend can be heard shouting "I saw you!" It is said that he noticed Moon trying to join in[citation needed] Moon can be heard singing on several tracks, including a section of "A Quick One While He's Away" (A Quick One, 1966), "Armenia City in the Sky" (The Who Sell Out, 1967), "Bell Boy" (Quadrophenia, 1973), "Pictures of Lily" (1967), "Instant Party Mixture" (My Generation Deluxe Edition, 1965), "Bucket T" and "Barbara Ann" (Ready Steady Who EP, 1966).

He was credited as composer of "I Need You," which he also sang, and the instrumental "Cobwebs and Strange" (from A Quick One, 1966), the single B-sides "In The City" (co-written by Moon and Entwistle), "Dogs Part Two" (1969) (sharing credits with Townshend's and Entwistle's dogs, Towser and Jason) and "Wasp Man" (1972), and "Girl's Eyes" (from The Who Sell Out sessions; featured on Thirty Years of Maximum R&B and a 1995 re-release of The Who Sell Out). He also co-composed the instrumental "The Ox" (from the debut album "My Generation") with Townshend, Entwistle and pianist Nicky Hopkins. "Tommy's Holiday Camp" (from Tommy) was credited to Moon, who suggested the action should take place in a holiday camp. The song was written by Townshend, and although many think Moon sings on the track, the version on the album is Townshend's demo. However Moon did sing it live and on the Tommy film. He also produced "Baba O'Riley"'s violin solo (which he had suggested), and was recorded by Dave Arbus, a friend.

Daltrey said Moon's drumming style held the band together; that Entwistle and Townshend "were like needles... and Keith was the wool."

A National Post

I really feel like writing a genuine ode to The National right now. I love them so much, there's no way I could put it into words actually. I've said it a million times and I will say it again: I don't know what I did before them. What did I listen to? Where did I go? Who was I?

But the secret is you need some type of life experience in order to appreciate Matt Berninger's incredible, sad voice and you need at least a little maturity to understand his lyrics. Not a day goes by that I do not listen to The National and not a minute goes by when I'm listening to something else that I'm not wishing I was listening to The National instead.

Oftentimes I believe myself to be a decent writer. I like the way I string words together sometimes and occasionally I can find some emotion that I'm impressed by later on but when it comes to something so inexplicable - like why you love your favorite band - words tend to fail me. It seems like I'm learning much more when I'm listening to The National than when I'm in class or at work. Somehow they find the deepest, saddest parts of the human condition and put them on display in such a way that it's hard to reach them. Every time I listen to a National song, I am trying to reach for that top shelf and keep missing - in a good way. They keep you guessing, searching, and wanting more. The hauntingly ironic nature of the lyrics mixed with the strange way every individual instruments seems to come to life is unlike any other contemporary band.

I'm a strong believer in modern music and the fact that there are some fantastic new bands out there if you're willing to search long enough but none will compare to The National. Kings of Leon, another of my favorites, has some incredibly catchy songs filled with melodies that are certainly unique and interesting but can you really put your entire heart into focusing on each instrument? I don't think so. They simply blend. On songs like, "Slow Show", "Squalor Victoria", and dare I even say, "Fashion Coat", The National as a band gives each player their own time to showcase their incendiary talents. I leave "Fashion Coat" for last because I'm not sure that any other song on earth has ever grabbed me the way that one has. It is a two minute song filled with so much greatness that sometimes I have to skip it on my iPod. There is no way I can listen to something like that when I'm on a bus thinking about a school assignment or having a conversation with a friend. A song like that deserves full attention.

I am always so extremely frustrated when those digital jukeboxes at bars (that are supposed to have everything) don't have The National. What kind of world are we living in? Listening to The National at a bar with a beer in hand and heavy emotions in head are the kinds of things that fuel life! When I started this entry I wasn't listening to anything but now "Karen" is blasting out of my work computer's speakers and everything seems a little bit better. How do they do that? This isn't even a happy song... it just makes me happy. It makes me mesmerized.

The National are simply hypnotic.

14 January 2009

Favorites by yourfuzzyscarf

With Your Host....Jooohhhn Mayer

Musician John Mayer is shooting a variety show pilot for CBS, network entertainment president Nina Tassler said at the Television Critics Association winter press tour in Los Angeles Wednesday. Tassler said the pilot could end up becoming a series of specials or a full series. Mayer has hosted his own show before. The short lived John Mayer Has a TV Show aired one episode on VH1 in 2004. Variety shows are suddenly in vogue on the broadcast networks, though not always with the success they would probably like. NBC aired a live variety show during the holidays hosted by comedian Rosie O'Donnell. It did poorly in the ratings and future installments were nixed. Fox is preparing to launch a variety show hosted by the musically inclined Osbourne family later this year.

Source: www.tryjm.blogspot.com

Music Survey

I found this on a crazy Boink site or something and while bored at work decided to spend/waste some time polishing it off. I ended up really enjoying it. Take a look:


What is your favorite genre of music? Indie pop, classic/southern rock, classic R&B/standards (but really it’s probably singer/songwriters)
Why? I’m not sure.
Name your favorite band(s) The National, Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers, The Shins, Led Zeppelin, Fleetwood Mac, Chicago, Creedence Clearwater Revival
Name your favorite solo artist(s) A million. First and foremost: John Mayer. Then: John Legend, Johnny Cash, Matt Nathanson, Jason Mraz, Sondre Lerche, Bobby Darin, Frank Sinatra, Ari Hest, Marvin Gaye, Andrew Bird, Eric Clapton, George Harrison, M. Ward, Ryan Adams, Amos Lee, Pete Yorn and SO MANY more.
What is your favorite album? Wildflowers – Tom Petty
What is your favorite album cover?
“Mystery to Me” – Fleetwood Mac
“Revolver” – The Beatles
“Never a Dull Moment” – Rod Stewart
“Mudcruch” – Mudcrutch
Name your favorite song(s)
Some currents:
“90 Mile Water Wall” – The National
“Hang Me Out to Dry” – Cold War Kids
“100 Yard Dash” – Raphael Saadiq
“Queen Bitch” – David Bowie
“Squeeze Me” – Kraak and Smaak

Some Eternals:
“I Need to Know” – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
“D’yer Mak’er” – Led Zeppelin
“Covered in Rain” – John Mayer
“Song to Sing When I’m Lonely” – John Frusciante
“Beginnings” – Chicago
“Speak Low” – Billie Holiday

Favorite CD you own Well… “Wildflowers”. Excluding that, here’s a list of ones I continue to play even though I only listen to music on my iPod now (so that’s saying a lot for these albums):
“Continuum” – John Mayer
“Room for Squares” – John Mayer
“Greatest Hits” – Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers
“Pure Ella: The Very Best of Ella Fitzgerald” – Ella Fitzgerald
“The Legendary Bobby Darin” – Bobby Darin
“Rubber Soul” – The Beatles
“Cloud Nine” – George Harrison

And lately: “Money and Cigarettes” – Eric Clapton

Favorite song on your computer Absolutely all 1915 of them – and even some of the ones I’ve deleted to make room for new ones.
Favorite song you DON’T have
“Wild is the Wind” – Nina Simone
“The Wrestler” – Bruce Springsteen
Favorite lyrics “Looking for somewhere to stand and stay; I leaned on the wall and the wall leaned away”…
Favorite vocalist Matt Berninger (others: Robert Plant, Frank Sinatra, Bobby Darin, Robert Lamm, John Legend, Ella, Marin Mazzie, Audra McDonald, Brian Stokes Mitchell)
Favorite guitarist John Mayer
Favorite bassist Jason Scheff, Tom Petty
Favorite drummer Bryan Devendorf
Favorite instrumentalist (any instrument not mentioned above) Chet Baker (trumpet)
Favorite classical/jazz composer Miles Davis, Herbie Hancock
Favorite rapper Common
Favorite theatrical score “Ragtime” Broadway Soundtrack
Favorite of anything not mentioned Songwriters: Jackson Browne, Tom Petty, Ray LaMontagne, James Mercer, Kris Kristofferson, Matt Nathanson

The Bad Stuff

What’s your least favorite genre of music? Ska and really hard heavy metal
Who’s your least favorite band? Life of Agony-ish bands
Who’s your least favorite solo artist? Paul Simon
Who do you think is the most annoying musician? Conor Oberst
If you could shoot any “artist” or “band”, who would it be? That’s not nice.. but some do shoot each other.
Least favorite song Me and Julio Down by the Schoolyard – Paul Simon
Most annoying song Stand – REM or Year 3000 – Jonas Brothers
Most repetitive song The Meow Mix jingle
Last song to be stuck in your head “The Holiday Seasons”
Did this survey get that song stuck in your head again? “so leave a peppermint stick for old Saint Nick hanging ‘round the Christmas tree…”
Worst band that used to be good? The Killers (in my opinion at least.. there might be better examples though..)
A good band that used to suck? I used to hate AC/DC but now I love them (although it has nothing to do with them improving – it has to do with me changing my mind).

Your Musical Background

What was the first music you remember listening to? Chicago
What type of music do your parents listen to? Classic Rock
Do you play any musical instruments or sing? If so, elaborate. I was president of my high school choir and LOVE to sing although I would rarely do it in front of anyone.
Do you take lessons for instruments or voice? If so, for how long? Vocal class for four years in high school
Do you plan to/have gone to college for music? Does music journalism count?
Who are your musical inspirations? Tom Petty
Who was your first favorite band or artist? Chicago, Paula Abdul, Michael Jackson
Who is your most recent favorite band or artist? The National
What styles of music are you interested in learning about? All of them
What styles of music do you already know a lot about? I don’t know enough about anything
Do you know much about musical theory? If not, would you like to? No, yes.
If you take lessons, do you like your teacher(s)? N/A
How many different music teachers do you have, or have you had? I’ve had maybe four?

This or That

Classical or jazz? Jazz
Classic rock or modern rock? Classic Rock
Rock or rap? Rock
Emo or punk? Punk
Funk or blues? Blues
Pink Floyd or Led Zeppelin? Led Zeppelin
Bob Marley or Michael Franti? Bob Marley
Coldplay or Radiohead? Both equally I think.
Guster or Dispatch? Guster
John Mayer or Jack Johnson? JOHN MAYER
Eminem or 50 Cent? 50 Cent
Britney Spears or Christina Aguilera? Britney Spears
Backstreet Boys or N’SYNC? N’sync
The Beatles or The Rolling Stones? Beatles
Beethoven or Mozart? Mozart
Rachmaninoff or Debussy? Rachmaninoff
Duke Ellington or Count Basie? Count Basie
Electric or acoustic? Acoustic
Mandolin or ukulele? ukulele
Saxophone or trumpet? Saxophone


Why do you like music? “Without music, life would be a mistake” - Nietzsche
When you’re angry, what type of music do you listen to? Foo Fighters (no joke)
Has music ever made you cry? When? Almost on a daily basis for every reason imaginable.
Has music ever made you laugh? When? Adam Sandler singing “Like a Hurricane” because it’s so good!
Do you like local music? I wouldn’t know but Boston had good local music.
What is the best show you have ever been to? Tom Petty & the Heartbreakers @ the Prudential Center, 2008 … BUT it must be said that I am happiest at John Mayer concerts no matter what kind of moron that makes me sound like… AND The National at Hammerstein Ballroom was hypnotic. A quote from the Spin Magazine review said it best: “the previously noisy audience became bizarrely -- and silently -- enraptured.”
Have you ever played in any shows? Many musicals.
Do you enjoy being on stage? Insanely.
Do you like to sing, even if you don’t consider yourself a singer? Very much so.
If you could meet any musician and ask them for advice, who would it be? On life? Tom Petty.
If you could chill with any musician, who would it be? Willie Nelson (or James Mercer)
What instrument that you don’t play now would you like to learn next? Drums or Guitar
Do you like foreign types of music? If so, what types? Indian

08 January 2009

Top Ten Nothings

One of my New Year's resolutions, which is not exactly a list at this point, should be to keep up with this blog if for no other reason than I enjoy it. I can't say that I believe anyone reads it but if it were good enough perhaps I would take the initiative and put it out there. With a little research, I've found a number of blogs on this site I peruse everyday. If I thought it were permissable (and had a purpose), I would probably put them under a "Favorites" list on this very page but what's the point?

I must admit that I haven't been in the mood to listen to music lately. All I want to do is write about music and go to concerts but finding the time to do those things is immensely difficult. Funny how you must have a job in order to have the cash to do the things you want but then you don't have the time. Unfortunately, due to my lack of music, I don't have much to say on the topic so instead here's a list of ten things I hope to do someday soon:

1. Take a road trip to California
2. Write a review of a concert that people will read
3. Get my own apartment
4. Work for a music magazine
5. Blast Tom Petty's "You Don't Know How It Feels" while driving down a freeway
6. Get a compliment that means something to me
7. Create a shoe design
8. Figure out what I want to do and make some money doing it
9. Meet some full fledged hippies
10. Be brave enough to sing karaoke on my own