Tuesday, October 4, 2011

Freddie King: This Is The Blues! Are You Listening?

About 10 years ago, I remember walking through Record Theatre back home in search of new cds.  On past occasions, the music in the background ranged from local punk bands to the most recent heavy metal album.  However, on that particular day, whoever was in charge of the music made a great choice.  A live blues concert graced the speakers as I searched for new music.  Having no idea who this was, I asked the manager upon checking out.  He informed me that what I was listening to was a bootleg concert of Freddie King.  I've been a big fan of the blues ever since.  Don't get me wrong, I love being lucky enough to live in this time period, but man I wish Blue was more prevalent in music today.

Freddie King was one of the "Three Kings of Blues" (B.B. King and Albert King).  He like many other Blues artists influenced legendary artists such as Eric Clapton and Stevie Ray Vaughn.  Unfortunately, Freddie King died of acute pancreatitis at the age of 42 in 1976.

Here's Freddie King's 1973 performance of "Have You Ever Loved A Woman" live in Sweden. 

Also, check out the collar on that shirt!  It's outstanding!

Rolling Stone also listed Freddie King at number 25 on their list of best guitarists.  Here's exhibit A:

Monday, October 3, 2011

Pegasus Bridge: Just Waiting For Your Boyfriend To Go

I've been holding out on posting this song for awhile, in hopes I'd come across a high quality video.  After months of waiting, it appears as though I'm out of luck.  For one, Pegasus bridge and sadly decided to break up.  And seeing as though they played their farewell concert a few weeks ago, it seems unlikely a better video will surface any time soon.

The news that Pegasus Bridge is parting ways is a bit sad.  I just found this band this past spring, and really enjoyed their material.  They seemed like a band with a lot of potential.

This is a song about holding out for something, and then realizing that holding out may not be a healthy choice.  Here's Pegasus Bridge performing "Paris" and as a bonus "Swimming Pool."

Saturday, October 1, 2011

Vanessa Carlton: You Could Be The End Of Me

This past Tuesday, at the Matt Nathanson concert at 9:30 Club, I had the pleasure of hearing Vanessa Carlton's opening set.  Carlton has been out of the limelight the last few years.  Most would be familiar with her remarkably popular song "A Thousand Miles" which reached the top five of Billboard's Hot 100.  However, before making her most recent record, Rabbits on the Run, Carlton admits she was dealing with severe writer's block.  Thankfully, she was able to overcome  the block and produce the record.  From what I heard Tuesday night, the songs are phenomenal.

Here's Vanessa Carlton performing her most recent single, "I Don't Want To Be A Bride" off Rabbits on the Run.

Find more from Vanessa Carlton right here.

Thursday, September 29, 2011

Cover Thursday: Baby, You Don't Know What It's Like

Ray LaMontagne is playing Merriweather Post Pavilion tonight, and I'm currently kicking myself for not getting tickets.  I've already seen him a handful of times and he and his band do an amazing job.  I also think Ray's voice is as close and we can get to Otis Redding in today's music.  Oh well.  As they say times are tough, and I'll have to catch Ray LaMontagne on his next trip through.

Just in case you're feeling the same way I am about missing the show, here's something to hold you over.  A few years back Ray LaMontagne and Damien Rice sang a cover of the Bee Gees "To Love Somebody."  It's a pretty stellar version!  Enjoy it!

Wednesday, September 28, 2011

Concert Review: Matt Nathanson @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC- 9:27.2011

I've been going to Matt Nathanson concerts since my sophomore year in college.  In those seven years and numerous concerts, I've never been disappointed by Matt Nathanson.  Each and every time it's been a blast.  However, going into last night's show, I wasn't convinced it would be the same. To me Still Waiting For Spring and Beneath These Fireworks are quintessential Matt Nathanson albums.  They're all time favorites in my book, and like most artists that make a huge personal impact, their following albums don't exactly measure up.  It makes sense really.  Artists evolve and change just like their fans, and the chances that both are on the same wave length as they were previously, is unlikely.  The last couple of Matt Nathanson albums, I thought were pretty good, but I didn't like them as much as Still Waiting For Spring and Beneath The Fireworks.  To be honest, I didn't know what to expect.

Well, as it turns out, Matt Nathanson still puts on a damn fine show.  The new songs off Modern Love, that I wasn't too fond of, turned out to be gems live.  The old songs were just as good as they were seven years ago.  The night started with "Mercy", a new one.  It was then followed by "Pretty the World" a perfect song to get the night going.  For the better part of the evening the band alternated between old and new.  One aspect of Matt Nathanson concerts has never changed.  The banter was still hilarious.  A particular favorite was his introduction to "Queen of (K)nots".  Nathanson talked about dating someone, and then realizing they were evil.  He explained, "It's like waking up one Sunday and saying, 'Oh, I'm sorry. I thought I was sitting on computer chord, but it was just your devil tail.... you evil shitty human being.'"  Hilarious right?  But besides being hilarious, his songs and their explanations are about basic human emotions.  Who hasn't felt that way about someone?  Everyone at the show last night seemed to have dated someone they perceived as evil, and that's why Nathanson's music works.

Other highlights included "Kiss Quick" a song I had previously underestimated, an acoustic "Bare" and "All We Are".  "All We Are" was chosen by fans on facebook, as a song they'd like to hear this week.  Matt Nathanson has always been on the forefront of using social media to reach out to fans, and this is just another example.  The set also included covers of "La Bamba", "Here I Go Again", and Prince's "Little Red Corvette."

It turns out my fear of disappointment was unfounded.  The new songs from Modern Love do well when given a live setting to stretch and breathe.  While the style of Nathanson's music has changed, his live shows are still stellar!  Matt Nathanson's tour just started, so make sure to check them out.

Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Matt Nathanson: Sad Can't Catch Me, Or Call Me Baby Now

Heading back to 9:30 Club again tonight for a Matt Nathanson show!  His concerts are always entertaining.  Even if you aren't a huge fan of his music, you're guaranteed a good time, as he is hilarious.  I happen to be a huge fan of his music, so the jokes are an added bonus.

Matt Nathanson's latest album Modern Love was released this past spring.  Check out one of my favorite songs off the new album, "Room @ the End of the World."

The 9:30 Club is just the second stop on Matt Nathanson's tour, so there's a good chance he's heading your way.  Check out his website for details!

Saturday, September 24, 2011

Concert Review: The Head and the Heart @ 9:30 Club, Washington, DC- 9.23.2011

What a great concert last night at the 9:30 Club.  The Head and the Heart was everything we expected and more.  This band is on it's way to big, big things.

A bit of a cold and a week full of teaching left my voice in pretty rough shape last night.  That coupled with the fact that The Head and the Heart wouldn't be taking the stage till 11, left me hoping I could just make it through the evening.  This getting older thing is no fun at all.  Fortunately, none of those things got in the way of having a good time.

After a couple beers at our trusty nearby Irish bar, my concert buddy, Teresa, and I arrived at 9:30 Club shortly after 10.  We missed the first supporting act, Devil Whale, but walked in as Thao with the Get Down Stay Down were just starting.  Though much of the crowd talked their way through the set, as is typical, Thao and the Get Down Stay Down grabbed quite a few fans with their set.  Nearly everyone around us made some kind of positive comment.  The praise was well deserved as set was very energetic.  Favorites included "Bag Of Hammers" and a cover of "You've Really Got a Hold on Me".

As 11PM rolled around, so did The Head and the Heart.  Earlier in the evening Teresa and I talked about how surprised we were that the show was sold out given the relatively short history of the band.  It's a clear indication that this band is onto something.  The audience sang along to nearly every song, and was very enthusiastic.  Just as their self-titled debut album opens, last night's set opened with "Cats and Dogs" and "Coeur d' Alene".  From their the band ripped through each song on the album as well as a trio of new songs, each just as promising as their existing material.  The band made sure to comment on how amazing the venue and crowd was.  They had been to 9:30 Club a few months back as a supporting act for Dr. Dog.  The band seemed blown away by the response from the crowd last night.

While the entire set was top notch quality, my favorite performances were "Rivers and Roads" which ended the main set, and the final song of the evening, "Down In The Valley."  "Rivers and Roads" is a song that extends to both ends of the spectrum.  Mid song the instruments stop for vocalist and violinist Charity Rose Thielen's angelic voice.  The pause in only temporary as it quickly picks up to a raucous fervor, which slowly gets stripped back to a chorus of voices singing "Rivers and roads/Rivers and roads/ Rivers till I reach you."  Really the perfect song to get the crowd riled up for an encore.

The encore began with a solo song and ended with crowd favorite "Down In The Valley".  As we sang along I couldn't help but notice how the entire room was fully behind this newish band from Seattle.  They have quite the following, and it's clear that they'll be around for awhile.  Coming from Seattle in relative obscurity at this time last year to selling out the 9:30 Club on the other side of the country is no small feat.  Go check them out.  You won't regret it!

Back to 9:30 Club next week for Matt Nathanson!