Archive for music

I and Love and The Avett Brothers

Posted in music, Reviews with tags , , , , , , , , on October 13, 2009 by JD

avetts_1_2I know, I know, it has taken me way too long to sit down and finally write a review of the Avett’s newest release. After 8 albums or so (not including live ones), the Avetts were “discovered” by producer extraordinaire Rick Rubin, who threw them in the studio and put his magic touch on their punk-grass sound.  A 3 song EP was released a few months back and gave fans their first taste of new Avett’s in about 2 years, and  of what was to come when the full album is released.  I think it is safe to say that many fans had the same reaction as I to the new Rick Rubinized Avetts…… “Track 1 – I and Love and You: okay, some piano,  the cello a bit more pronounced, overall a great mellow opening song.  On to the next tune – Kickdrum Heart: “Uhhhhhh……ummmmm…..what the hell is this? Did iTunes mess up and download the wrong band? No, these voices definitely belong to the brothers.”  Track 3 – Laundry Room:  “Okay, we’re getting back to the Avett’s I know, even a good old fashioned ho-down right at the end of the track.”   So the hooping and hollering aren’t really there and some other band’s song got downloaded by accident, but I’m looking forward to the full-length.

Judging by what I was reading online and by the 3 song EP, many fans were apprehensive as to what they would hear when I and Love and You finally came out.  I have to admit that I did not download the album the day it came out.  I was about a week late and was getting bummed out, as one of the terms I was hearing used quite a bit about this new album is “sell-outs”.  I was imagining and entire album of Kick Drum Heart.   A week after it’s release, I finally added it to my iPod and listened to it completely through several times to get a good feel for it and really hear it…and all I have to say is, “Are you f*cking kidding me?!?!” I and Love and You is nothing short of amazing!! This album shows even more what truly gifted musicians the Avett’s are.  Sure it’s more produced and more polished, but how in the hell does that mean sell-out?  If there is any band out there who deserves getting “discovered” by a mega-producer, getting major distribution and becoming huge, it is the Avetts!! They have stayed true to who they are and their music is still amazing.  It might not be the knee slapping, jug band, stomping on the porch music that the annoying fans refer to when they scream out “play some old stuff” at their live shows, but it shows an amazing progression and true growth as musicians, and the heart of what they have always been is  still there.  The banjo is a bit less prevalent but still there, and the piano has definitely come out a bit more in many songs.

Three highlights from this album for me:

  • I and Love and You
  • Head Full of Doubt/Road Full of Promise (this is one of 2 goosebump, tear to my eye songs on this album)
  • The Perfect Space (this is the other)

I and Love and the Avett Brothers! Nothing disappointing about this album in the least bit.
And as I’ve said before, if you ever get the chance to see these boys live…..DO NOT MISS IT!!!
One of the most amazing and crazy live shows you will ever see. My wife had never been to a show until this past summer, never really even listened to them much….the show (one of the mellower ones even) is now “the best show she has ever seen” and she hasn’t stopped listening to them since.

Make Noise!!

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Ballad of Love and ummm…..yeah, lots more love.

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2009 by JD

264890506_b67b1b2997_oThere has not been a show this summer that I have been more excited about than the Avett Brothers at Red Butte Gardens.  If you have never seen these guys live, you have no idea what you are missing….and in such an amazing venue!!  There is no folk / bluegrass group out there more punk rock than these guys.  Wait…..what?

Go to the show and you’ll see what I mean.

The show isn’t sold out and they may not have the biggest following of the bands to play before them at Red Butte, but their following has a voracious appetite for them and their music, and to say they get a bit crazy at their shows is an understatement.

Heartless Bastards open up tonight (another band I have been wowed by lately).
Grab a bottle of the strongest stuff you can find and some fine cheeses (it is Red Butte after all) and come on up for a show you will not soon forget.

Make Noise!

Summer Essentials – Chris Isaak “Baja Sessions”

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on July 15, 2009 by JD

album-baja-sessions Okay, so some of you might want to fight me by making this a Summer Essential, but honestly…..have you really ever listened to Chris Isaak? If this guy’s music doesn’t scream SUMMER TIME, then I don’t know what does (other than the previous Summer Essentials of course). Judging by the name alone, “Baja Sessions”, and the very much overall resort-esque theme to each song, I am damn sure he wrote this as a soundtrack to summer.

The laid back guitar on the first track, “Pretty Girls Don’t Cry”, makes this the perfect “chillin’ in a hammock with a cold beer” song.  Forward to track 3, “Only the Lonely” and you’ve immediately got a great cover of another perfect chill song. On “Two Hearts”, Chris shows exactly why all the ladies swoon when he takes the stage. Ohhh Chris, that sultry voice and those falseto high notes. melt melt swoon swoon….

Keep in mind, this is not exactly backyard BBQ music. You put this on and your guests will be snoozing soon or probably finding excuses to leave the most un-lively party ever.  “Baja Sessions” is hammock music, or hanging with close friends on the patio with some cocktails.

If you are looking for the ultimate summer concert experience and are in Salt Lake City, be sure to get tickets to see him live at Red Butte Gardens on August 14th. Bring a magnum of a nice white or rose wine and some friends to see Mr Summer himself at the ultimate summer venue.

Make Noise!

Summer Essentials – “The Very Best of…”

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 15, 2009 by JD

TootsP1982Knock Just when you were probably thinking I had something against “island” music played by actual inhabitants of the islands, I spring this one on you.  Anyone who knows me and knows my taste in music knows that I am really not a fan of reggae, in fact I used to dislike it so much I’d leave the room if it was on.  Then along came my wife who introduces me to Toots, one of the original reggae “masters”, and in my opinion, the man who funkified Reggae.  My eyes were opened and now every summer out comes “The Very Best of Toots & The Maytals”.  When Toots comes from the speakers at any party, you know it is time to do some major chillin’.

Since this is a Greatest hits album it is hard to choose only a few songs to add to your ultimate summer playlist, but tops in my book are “Funky Kingston“; which, if you watched TLC’s Miami Ink, you will remember as their opening theme song.  I love the vocal flow of  “Pomps & Pride“, it has the ability to put a smile on my face every time I hear it. A tough choice for the third song you need to add would be a song you have probably heard Hundreds of times, but probably not this original version. “Pressure Drop” was probably made most famous by The Specials, but was originally recorded by Toots & The Maytals in 1969.

So there you go, probably the only “real” reggae album you will see on this list, so take it all in if you are a fan of Reggae.  Some people say Reggae IS summer music, but when all you listen to is Reggae all summer long, it definitely gets old.

Make some summer noise!!

Summer Essentials – “Vampire Weekend”

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 11, 2009 by JD

vampire-weekendOkay, I know, I know….probably the most overplayed album of last summer, but get over it folks, this is truly an amazing album, especially for everything summer.  Whip this out at the BBQ and everyone will be jigging, except maybe the hipsters in the corner busy being frumpy because they knew about Vampire Weekend before the band was even formed and it’s not cool to like bands anybody else likes.

So which of numerous great songs on this album do you need to add to your summer playlist?  “A-Punk” is a must have, “Cape Cod Kwassa Kwassa” follows right after it and is another one to add.  I really like the simplicity of  “Campus“, a lot of stop – start, really basic beats and a good build up – slow down rhythm to it.  “Walcott” is the next and last song you should add to that playlist of of yours. I really love the piano and cello mix in this song, along with the vocal build up of each verse leading to the chorus.

Honestly, if you don’t have the time to put together a playlist because you are busy making mojitos and preparing the BBQ, just download this entire album and throw it on, there will not be a disappointed person at the party (except, like i said, the hipsters in the corner who are too cool to be there anyway and just came along for the free beer in the cooler, even though it’s a local microbrew, which is so not cool….microbrews are so 2005….cheap ghetto beer is the thing now dont’cha know?)

Hmmm…..what is it with white boys from the east coast? I just realized the last two summer essentials were from east coast whities playing music with a distinct island tinge to them. I guess Bedouin does have 1 member to make them “legit”, but these Ivy League boys are about as not-from-the-islands as you can get.

Make Summer Noise

Top Summer Albums

Posted in music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on June 8, 2009 by JD

summer cocktails Who doesn’t want to know what some of my favorite summer albums are? I know you have all probably been holding your breathe just hoping this post would eventually come up.  Well here it is!! Start breathing again and get ready to start putting together some of the best summer BBQ playlists you’ve ever had. You will gain new friends, impress the neighbors and probably even get it a little more often from the significant other (or even random strangers who wander into your yard just to listen to your sweet summer mix).

Oh….you thought I was going to just give you a list of albums to go download? What fun would that be? I think i’ll stretch this out for all it’s worth. It’ll get me several more posts on the old blog and keep you entertained for weeks instead of a simple quicky. Don’t worry I’ll sum it all up later….hell, I’ll even create my ultimate summer mega-mix for you to compile just in time for your big Fourth of July BBQ.

Starting tomorrow I’ll go over my choices for albums you NEED to listen to this summer (or any damn summer really) as well the highlight song on that album to be added to your megamix.  No, they aren’t all new albums you need to check out this summer, no summer mix can consist solely of shit no one has ever heard before, there needs to be classics, soon-to-be classics and those few weird songs which make everyone question your sanity and taste in music.

Make Noise!

Floyd’s “The Wall” – Remixed and Made Green

Posted in green, Raves with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 16, 2009 by JD

green-tv-the-wallBritish kids sneaking around town, breaking into people’s flats to turn off TV’s not being watched, installing CFL bulbs, putting bricks in their freezers and toilet tanks in order to make them more eco-friendly, is the concept of a video released by green.tv to launch their new music channel.

The song is a remix of Pink Floyd’s “Another Brick in the Wall” done by DJ Eric Prydz and the actual title of the video is “Proper Education”. Give it a watch HERE

Make Noise!!!