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Texas Is The Reason - Live At The House Of Blues, January 6, 2013 [Review + Setlist]

Texas Is The Reason are: (l/r) Chris Daly, Garrett Klahn, Norm Arenas, and Scott Winegard

One fateful day sometime back in the late 1990s I made my way into Vintage Vinyl to pick up whatever albums I could find from four bands that my friend, Dan Huffman, had played for me a few days before.

I would end up buying Horse Latitudes by The Promise Ring, Four Minute Mile by The Get Up Kids, Finding The Rhythms by Hot Water Music, and Do You Know Who You Are? by Texas Is The Reason. Sounds trivial, but this would end up being one of those life-altering type of events.

I ended up seeing The Promise Ring, Hot Water Music, and The Get Up Kids, as much as I possibly could, even traveled out-of-town - mainly to Champaign, IL - to catch their shows. Sadly, I never had the chance to see a Texas Is The Reason show. By the time I was introduced to the band they had since disbanded. I felt like the only way I could ever hear a live Texas Is The Reason show would be to play the split live album they released with Samiam at a really high level on my stereo. We all know that never even remotely comes close to recreating the experience of a live show no matter how loud you turn the stereo up.

In November 2006, my hopes were raised when the band got together to play a show at Irving Plaza in New York City to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of the release of their debut - and only - album, Do You Know Who You Are? This show would prove to be a "one time only" gig and no further dates or plans were made by the band.

Fast forward six more years and Revelation Records started to announce plans to have shows to help celebrate the label's 25th Anniversary. News came around that Texas Is The Reason would be headlining the New York installment of the anniversary shows. And then the news hit, the band would be headlining the second night of the Chicago installment of shows. Without hesitation I snagged tickets to the show. I was finally going to be at a Texas Is The Reason show.

The show would be held on January 6, 2013 at the House Of Blues in Chicago, IL. Reunion shows in the freezing winter months in Chicago must just be in the cards for me. In February, 2008 I went up to see a reunited Hot Water Music at the Metro, and in February, 2012 I got to see The Promise Ring reunite, also at the Metro.

I was pretty anxious to get to the venue and ended up getting in the door with plenty of time to look around before the festivities kicked off. The Chicago House Of Blues is definitely a little more intimate than the Orlando and Las Vegas locations I have been to in the past. Normally, I would not describe a venue that has two balcony levels as being intimate, but the distance between the front of the stage and where the balconies started was minimal and really helped keep with the small theater vibe.

Opening the show were Popeye (from Farside), Sense Field, and Into Another. All three acts put on solid sets and were a testament to the level of quality music that Revelation Records has released over the years. The crowd was really into all three openers and many people were heard singing along during all three sets.  One personal highlight was seeing Popeye cover the Dramarama tune, "Work For Food." The set from Sense Field brought back memories of Mississippi Nights, where I saw the band open for The Mighty Mighty Bosstones. I admit I felt a little guilty though in wishing that the openers would just hurry up and be done. I was getting really anxious and looking forward to finally seeing a band after a 14+ year wait.

At about 11:20 p.m. my wait would come to an end as the house lights went down and the instrumental "Do You Know Who You Are?" started playing over the PA system. An image of the state of Texas filled with alternating colors, patterns, and pictures was projected onto a screen at the front of the stage. As the song came to an end, the screen slowly started to rise out-of-the-way and the curtain was drawn back to reveal the band as they exploded into "Back And To The Left."

As a cruel twist of fate, Norman Arenas' amp decided to cut out within about 30 seconds of the opening song. The band took the setback in stride and powered their way through the song. Norman held his cool and smiled his way through the gear malfunction and took to firing up the crowd by emphatically clapping along with the band. While the guitar tech swapped out amps after the song ended, Norman quipped about how everyone had been waiting 14 years for this show, so they could probably handle waiting a few more minutes.

Even after this minor delay, the band appeared to be in extremely high spirits. The smiles on all of their faces was infectious and they played just flawlessly. Bassist Scott Winegard seemed to be on cloud nine as a smile stretched from ear to ear for most of the set. The crowd sang along with every song and there was a great energy throughout the room. I found it hard to believe that a band that had been inactive for so long was just absolutely killing it. Garrett's voice sounded great and getting to watch Chris Daly play drums was such a thrill. Seriously, Chris Daly is a beast on the drums. Watching him play, especially towards the end of "Antique", floored me.

The band was playing with such a high energy level and with so much joy that you could not help but wish that they had never ceased to be a band after such a short time. Garrett even joked after playing a little riff to check his tuning that the riff was from a new tune they were writing. This joke brought up the realization that the band has stated that they have no plans to write or record any new material. I really made a concentrated effort to just let myself get lost in the performance and soak it all in and make the most of the opportunity.

In just over an hour, the band played its way through their entire catalog and even included two new songs, "When Rock 'N' Roll Was Just A Baby" and "Every Girls Dream." These two new songs were the last songs the band ever wrote but never recorded. The band went back into the studio last year with Producer J. Robbins to record them. The two new tracks will be included in Do You Know Who You Are?: The Complete Collection which will be available in February through Revelation.

Even though the band has a few gigs booked on both coasts, they have stated that Chicago was the only and last Midwest show they will be doing. To me, it was very fitting that the last song they played, and the last song I may ever hear them play, was "A Jack With One Eye." This has always been one of my favorite songs and with the lyric, "Your place is still at the heart of my everything," seemed very fitting it would end up being the last song. I am so glad I made my way up for the this show. Thank you to the band for some great memories and for being part of "my everything."

Setlist:

  1. Do You Know Who You Are? (recorded intro)
  2. Back And To The Left
  3. The Magic Bullet Theory
  4. Nickel Wound
  5. Johnny On The Spot
  6. When Rock 'N' Roll Was Just A Baby
  7. If It's Here When We Get Back, It's Ours
  8. There's No Way I Can Talk Myself Out Of This One Tonight (The Drinking Song)
  9. Something To Forget
  10. Dressing Cold
  11. Every Little Girls Dream
  12. The Days Refrain
  13. Blue Boy
  14. Antique
  15. A Jack With One Eye

Record Spin Playlist - December 2012

Nearly each month we are lucky enough to spin our vinyl and plug in our iPods for a few hours at The Royale in South St. Louis to provide the soundtrack for the evening. Here’s our playlist for December 2012.

Record Spin Playlist – The Royale, St. Louis, MO – 12/27/12 with Scott Allen, Bart Darnell, Jeff Fields and Lauren Smalley

Cat Power - Cherokee
Now, Now - Thread
Gossip - Love and Let Love
Macklemore & Ryan Lewis - Thrift Shop
* LCD Soundsystem - Daft Punk is Playing at my House
* Sleigh Bells - A/B Machine
Foxy Shazam - I Wanna Be Yours
Japandroids - Evil's Sway
* The Gay Blades - Bob Dylan's 115th Nightmare
Titus Andronicus - In A Big City
The Gaslight Anthem - Biloxi Parrish
Butch Walker - Synthesizers
Delta Spirit - Trashcan
The dB's - That Time Is Gone
The Rolling Stones - Can't You Hear Me Knocking
Lucero - Sounds of the City
Alejandro Escovedo - Evening Gown
Beck - Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat
Lee Baines III & The Glory Fires - Magic City Stomp
JC Brooks and the Uptown Sound - To Love Someone (That Don't Love You)
Fontella Bass - Soul of a Man
Fontella Bass - Brown-Eyed Handsome Man (Chuck Berry cover)
Fontella Bass - You'll Miss Me (When I'm Gone)
Freddie King - Palace of the King
Wilson Pickett - In The Midnight Hour
Ike & Tina Turner - A Fool in Love
Eddie Floyd - I'll Take Her
Barbara Lewis - Baby I'm Yours
Stevie Wonder - Signed, Sealed, Delivered I'm Yours
Aretha Franklin - Don't Play That Song (You Lied)
J.D. McPherson - North Side Gal
John Paul Keith & The One Four Fives - I Think I Fell In Love Today
Justin Townes Earle - Baby's Got A Bad Idea
Buddy Holly - Not Fade Away
Alabama Shakes - Be Mine
Craig Finn - No Future
Wanda Jackson - Tore Down
Langhorne Slim - Cinderella
David Bowie - Suffragette City
T. Rex - Baby Strange
The Jam - Art School
The Clash - Spanish Bombs
Buzzcocks - Ever Fallen In Love (With Someone You Shouldn'tve)
The Menzingers - I Was Born
Uncle Tupelo - Postcard
Black Flag - Gimmie Gimmie Gimmie
Wire - Pink Flag
Morphine - Thursday
Big Black - Bad Penny
Fairweather - If They Move...Kill Them
Torche - Kicking
Title Tracks - Every Little Bit Hurts
Small Brown Bike/Casket Lottery - Under Pressure
Cory Chisel - Never Meant To Love You

* = Dings on the bell from the bartenders

Also see playlists for April 2012May 2012, July 2012, September 2012 and November 2012.

3 Minute Record presents the Best Albums of 2012

Today, it's time to share with our readers the 3 Minute Record Best Albums of 2012. Yesterday, we posted our first podcast in which we talked about our favorite albums of this year. In case you missed it, due to all the holiday food filling up your belly, please do us a favor be sure to check it out! (To download: Right Click (PC)/CTRL-Click (Mac) and then select Save Link As….)

Tonight, our staff will do our very best to spin many of these records and much more at The Royale from 10 p.m. to 1:30 a.m. We hope you can join us for a pint or two at our favorite corner watering hole and listen to some of our favorite music from this year. Please - as the sign above indicates - just don't sit at the back table at 10 p.m.

So, without further pomp and circumstance here is our list. Enjoy!

Best of 2012

Bart

Lucero - Women and Work (ATO)
Hot Water Music - Exister (Rise)
Cory Branan - Mutt (Bloodshot)
Craig Finn - Clear Heart Full Eyes (Full Time Hobby)
Gaslight Anthem - Handwritten (Mercury)

Jeff

Japandroids - Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)
Alabama Shakes - Boys & Girls (ATO)
White Rabbits - Milk Famous (TBD)
Minus The Bear - Infinity Overhead (Dangerbird)
Blake Fleming - Time's Up (self-released)

Reissues: My Bloody Valentine - Loveless (1991 Creation / 2012 Sony)
Shiner - The Egg (2001 DeSoto / 2012 Son Of Man)
Archers Of Loaf - Vee Vee (1995 Alias / 2012 Merge)
Sugar - Copper Blue (1992 Ryko / 2012 Merge)
Codeine – Barely Real EP (1992 Sub Pop / 2012 The Numero Group)

Lauren

Cloud Nothings - Attack on Memory (Carpark)
Wanda Jackson - Unfinished Business (Sugar Hill)
Make Do and Mend - Everything You Ever Loved (Rise)
The Menzingers - On the Impossible Past (Epitaph)
Japandroids - Celebration Rock (Polyvinyl)

Scott

Bruce Springsteen - Wrecking Ball (Columbia)
Cat Power - Sun (Matador)
Sharon Van Etten - Tramp (Jagjaguwar)
Bobby Womack - The Bravest Man In The Universe (XL Recordings)
Heartless Bastards - Arrow (Partisan Records)

Reissues: R.E.M. - Document [25th Anniversary Edition] (1987 I.R.S. / 2012 Capitol)
Peter Gabriel - So [25th Anniversary Deluxe Edition] (1986 Geffen / 2012 Real World Productions)
The Velvet Underground & Nico - S/T [45th Anniversary Super Deluxe Edition] (1967 Verve / 2012 Polydor/UME)
Ryan Adams - Life After Deaf [Live Boxset] (PAXAM)
Cotton Mather - Kontiki (1997 Copper Records / 2012 Star Apple Kingdom)

Finally, feel free to take a look back at our 2011 Lists here - Bart / Jeff / Scott

Record Spin Playlist - November 2012

Nearly each month we are lucky enough to spin our vinyl and plug in our iPods for a few hours at The Royale in South St. Louis to provide the soundtrack for the evening. Here’s our playlist for November 2012.

Record Spin Playlist – The Royale, St. Louis, MO – 11/15/12 with Scott Allen, Bart Darnell, and Jeff Fields

Japandroids - The House That Heaven Built
Bob Mould - Star Machine
The Ramones - Rockaway Beach
Hot Snakes - LAX
Pylon - K
White Rabbits - Heavy Metal
AC Newman - I'm Not Talking
David Bazan - When We Fell
Cat Power - Sun
Now, Now - Prehistoric
Seam - Get Higher
Minus The Bear - Lies and Eyes
Grand Archives - Torn Blue Foam Couch
Brian Eno & David Byrne - Mea Culpa
Pink Floyd - Astronomy Domine
Blake Fleming - Street Corner Throwdown
Rockets - Oh Well (Fleetwood Mac cover)
Rye Coalition - Paradise By The Marlboro Light
The Plimsouls - A Million Miles Away
The Beatles - I've Got A Feeling
Otis Redding - Satisfaction (Rolling Stones cover)
Alabama Shakes - Be Mine
William Bell - You Don't Miss Your Water
The Bottle Rockets - Come On
John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives - I Think I Fell In Love Today
J.D. McPherson - Wolf Teeth
Man In Black - Ringo Del Fuego
Old '97s - 4 Leaf Clover
Steve Earle - Sweet Little '66
Lucero - Juniper
Benjamin Gibbard/Jay Farrar - California Zephyr
Ted Leo & The Pharmacists - Even Heroes Have To Die
Russian Cirles - Re-Enter
Jimi Hendrix Experience - I Don't Live Today
June of 44 - Sanctioned in a Birdcage
Devo - Girl U Want
So Many Dynamos - New Bones
Patti Smith - Till Victory
Make Believe - Armscardic A
Ben Folds Five - Draw A Crowd
Jack White - I'm Shakin'
The Heavy - How You Like Me Now
Robert Plant and the Band of Joy - Angel Dance
The Supremes - Love Is Here and Now You're Gone
Edwin Starr - 25 Miles
Little Milton - Grits Ain't Groceries
Jimmy Castor Bunch - Sad Leroy
Herbie Hancock - Hang Up Your Hang Ups
Meters - Funky Miracle
Stevie Wonder - Maybe Your Baby
DAG - Sweet Little Lass

Also see playlists for April 2012May 2012, July 2012, and September 2012.

Record Spin Playlist - September 2012

Nearly each month we are lucky enough to spin our vinyl and plug in our iPods for a few hours at The Royale in South St. Louis to provide the soundtrack for the evening. Here’s our playlist for December 2012.

Record Spin Playlist – The Royale, St. Louis, MO – 9/27/12 with Scott Allen, Bart Darnell and Jeff Fields

Alejandro Escovedo - Chelsea Hotel '78
Drive-By Truckers - Self Destructive Zones
Willie Nelson - Cowboys are Frequently Fond of Each Other
Wanda Jackson - California Stars (Billy Bragg & Wilco cover)
Justin Townes Earle - Can't Hardly Wait (The Replacements cover)
Jay Farrar, Will Johnson, Anders Parker, and Yim Yames - No Fear
Robyn Hitchcock - All I Wanna Do is Fall in Love
Lucero - She's Just That Kind of Girl
The Stone Roses - Love Spreads
The Black Keys - Money Maker
AC/DC - Rocker
Drive Like Jehu - Golden Brown
Jawbreaker - Do You Still Hate Me?
Hot Water Music - It's Hard To Know
Quicksand - Omission
Japandroids - Continuous Thunder
Triple Fast Action - American City World
Minus The Bear - Lies & Eyes
R.E.M. - It's The End Of The World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)
Dramarama - Don't Feel Like Doing Drugs
Foo Fighters - Dear Rosemary
The dB's - That Time Is Gone
The Hold Steady - Most People Are DJs
Archers of Loaf - Harnessed In Slums
Superchunk - Why Do You Have To Put A Date On Everything
Mercy Rule - Hey Now
...And You Will Know Us By The Trail Of The Dead - It Was There I Saw You
The Breeders - Happiness Is A Warm Gun (Beatles cover)
Braid - Do You Love Coffee?
Shiner - The Egg
Joe Jackson - Happy Loving Couple
Madness - House of Fun
The Hives - Hate To Say I Told You So
Teenage Fanclub - About You
Fig Dish - Pretty Never Hurts
Sunny Day Real Estate - 8
The Replacements - Bastards of Young
Two Cow Garage - Skinny Legged Girl
The Jesus Lizard - Dancing Naked Ladies
The Stooges - Real Cool Time
Kentucky Knife Fight - Misshapen Love
White Rabbits - Percussion Gun
Sam & Dave - Broke Down Piece of Man
Ray Charles - Shake Your Tail Feather
Dr. John - Revolution
Mitch Ryder & The Detroit Wheels - Little Latin Lupe Lu
John Paul Keith and the One Four Fives - Anyone Can Do It
Black Joe Lewis - Living In The Jungle
Jackie Wilson - I Get The Sweetest Feeling
Amy LaVere - Candle Mambo (Captain Beefheart cover)
Otis Redding & Carla Thomas - Tramp
Ben E. King - Stand By Me
Bob Dylan - Tonight I'll Be Staying Here With You
The Band - The Weight
Percy Sledge - When A Man Loves A Woman
Bruce Springsteen - Blinded By The Light
Ryan Adams - Nutshell (Alice In Chains cover)
The Bulletproof Tiger - Our Band Name Sucks
Junior Battles - Seventeen

Also see playlists for April 2012May 2012 and July 2012

Record Spin Playlist - July 2012

Nearly each month we are lucky enough to spin our vinyl and plug in our iPods for a few hours at The Royale in South St. Louis to provide the soundtrack for the evening. Here’s our playlist for July 2012.

Record Spin Playlist – The Royale, St. Louis, MO – 7/26/12 with Scott Allen, Bart Darnell and Jeff Fields

North Side Gal – J.D. McPherson
Green Onions – King Curtis
Boss of the Blues – Dave Alvin
Bitch, I Love You – Black Joe Lewis
How Does It Feel – Bob Dylan
40 Miler – Tim Barry
Heavy Chevy – Alabama Shakes
Brand New Cadillac – The Clash *
Never Could Say No – John Paul Keith & the 145’s
Kate – Ben Folds Five *
Ob-la-di Ob-la-da – The Beatles
Mama’s Pearl – Robbie Fulks
50ft. Queenie – PJ Harvey
Never Talking to You Again – Husker Du
Good Enough For Rock n’ Roll – Chuck Ragan
The Rover – Led Zeppelin
Castanets – Alejandro Escovedo
Lonely Is a Town – Glossary
Emerald – Thin Lizzy
Badlands – Bruce Springsteen
45 – Gaslight Anthem
Superstition – Stevie Wonder
Goin’ Back to Cali – LL Cool J
Coochie – BlakRoc
Peter Piper – RUN DMC
Paul Revere – Beastie Boys
Oh My God! – A Tribe Called Quest
I’m With You – Sam & Dave
Fa-Fa-Fa-Fa (Sad Song) – Otis Redding
25 Miles – Edwin Starr
Shotgun – Junior Walker & the All-Stars
Crazy – Gnarls Barkley
Red Headed Stepchild – Golden Smog
In My Mind – Johnny Polonsky
Just – Radiohead *
So. Central Rain – R.E.M.
The Plan – Built to Spill *
Bull Black Nova – Wilco
Kizza Me – Big Star
Behold the Hurricane – Horrible Crowes
Bug Stomp – Piglet
Never Will Come For Us – Braid
No Division – Hot Water Music
Fire’s Highway – Japandroids
Southtown Girls – Hold Steady
Bikeriders – Lucero
Blue Blood Blues – The Dead Weather
Money Maker – The Black Keys
No Surrender – Two Cow Garage

* = Dings on the bell from the bartenders

Also see playlists for April 2012 and May 2012.

Cloud Nothings and 1,2,3 play impressive sets at The Luminary [Live Review]

Cloud Nothings-18

By Lauren Smalley

“Holy shit!”

This was the sentiment shouted by one, but shared by all at the Luminary Center for the Arts on Monday night during and after the incendiary set by Cloud Nothings. I thought it was going to be difficult to top the performance that 1,2,3 put on, but I was completely unprepared for the wall of sound that hit.

I got there early enough to catch the first act, Volcanoes, a local group which I have heard a lot of hype about. For a duo, they project some loud, intense noise rock. I definitely enjoyed the heavy barrage of sound made by the drum-and-bass-soaked-in-synth combo, and the enthusiasm of gregarious “front man” Eric Peters was infectious. Both members shared time on the drum kit, adding a different twist to each song, since each has his own unique drumming style. The highlight of their set for me was “Exploding Hands” with its gritty, fuzzy bass line – which caused the kids in the front to completely lose inhibitions and became dancing fools.

After a seemingly short set up, 1,2,3 took the stage. As soon as singer Nic Snyder stepped up to the mic with his denim shirt slightly teasing hints of sweat, I noticed the girls around me moving a little closer to the stage and sharing those aside looks that only girls share. They opened the set with the hit “Work”, which I first heard on last season’s premiere of HBO’s Hung. After reading numerous tweets touting the greatness of the band from the show’s star Stephen Amell, I checked out their stuff and became a quick fan. 1,2,3’s sound is a perfect confluence of '60s era pop and white boy blues – sometimes with tinges of soul or a punk attitude.

The album New Heaven is a great listen all the way through, but if you want to really grasp what 1,2,3 is about, you need to see them live. No recording can capture how Snyder’s ardent vocals caused the females in the audience to twitter and flush. During “Scared, But Not Scared” and “Wave Pool” he was moaning, sweating, growling, whispering, screeching, oozing passion into the crowd. They finished the set with a new song that will début on their second record (according to their Facebook page) called “Leave Me in the Sky With a Lawn Chair.” It was a definite crowd pleaser, short and sweet, and a great indication of what’s to come.

Cloud Nothings took the stage at 10:00pm and did not stop their electrifying onslaught until after 11:00. I have been to hundreds of shows, but I am not sure I’ve ever been more impressed with a drummer’s live performance. The closest comparison I can think of is David Haik from the post-hardcore, screamo outfit Pianos Become the Teeth. Cloud Nothings have been playing festivals and getting a lot of press for some time, even from acclaimed critics like Michael Azerrod.

After opening with “Stay Useless” and catchy “Fall In”, two tracks from the new album Attack on Memory, Cloud Nothings launched into “Separation”; an instrumental breakdown that showcased the tightness and synchronicity of the rhythm section. It was such a frenetic and unexpected explosion of talent, that the aforementioned “Holy shit!” was shouted at the culmination.

“Cut You” was a worthy follow-up with the lyrics “Does he hurt you like I do / Can he be as mean as me / Can he cut you in your sleep” being spit out in a rage by wiry front man Dylan Baldi. In the middle of “Wasted Days” the boys catapulted into another strictly instrumental furor, this one lasting a full 12 minutes. Usually jam sessions annoy me during a song, but I was completely blown away by the skills of this band, as a unit and singularly. Guitarists Baldi and Joe Boyer were the highlights this time, with searing, emotional melodies and solos over a dredging bass line.

By the time the set ended, the crowd was sweaty, exhausted, and screaming the lyrics “No future! No past!” right back at the stage. The encore was the showcase for the older songs, and included a funny anecdote about Baldi’s recent run in with Wilco. Even with the pause, everyone was left with ringing ears and heart pumping. “Holy shit” was the perfect reaction.

Record Spin Playlist - May 2012

Nearly each month we are lucky enough to spin our vinyl and plug in our iPods for a few hours at The Royale in South St. Louis to provide the soundtrack for the evening. Here’s our playlist for May 2012.

Record Spin Playlist – The Royale, St. Louis, MO – 5/30/12 with Scott Allen, Bart Darnell and Jeff Fields

Trouble Won’t Last Always – Glossary
You’re So Fine – Wilson Pickett
Rise to the Sun – Alabama Shakes
Centreville – Lee Baines III & the Glory Fires
Like Lightning – Lucero
Nights of Wine and Roses – Japandroids
Mainline – Hot Water Music
Southtown Girls – Hold Steady *
Hey Jane – Spiritualized
Feel the Pain – Dinosaur Jr. *
Just Like Heaven – The Cure
Shrine – Dambuilders
Movie Star – Cracker
Castanets – Alejandro Escovedo
Graveyard Shift – Uncle Tupelo
I’ll Be Coming Around – Bottle Rockets
Spinning Wheel – John Henry & the Engine
Debra – Beck
Sunshine – Atmosphere
My Adidas – RUN DMC
Doowatchyalike – Digital Underground
Magic Number – De La Soul
Can’t Be Still – Booker T & the M.G.’s
Uptight (Everything’s Alright) – Stevie Wonder
Funky Miracle – The Meters
She’ll Dance to Anything – John Paul Keith
Stuck in the Middle With You – Stealer’s Wheel
Whole Lotta Love – King Curtis
Cut Like a Buffalo – Dead Weather
Bad Ass Fucker – Muckafurgason
Run to You – Lou Barlow
Cut Your Hair – Pavement
Game of Pricks – Jimmy Eat World
Terminal Void – Bunnygrunt
Straight American Slave – Rocket From the Crypt
Forever Got Shorter – Braid
For Apples – Casket Lottery
I Believe in a Thing Called Love – The Darkness *
Yesterday (Circa Summer 80 Somethin) – Corey Branan
Dark Side – Eddie and the Cruisers
Bang a Gong – T.Rex *
No Future – Craig Finn
Wasted Time – Kings of Leon
No, Not Now – Hot Hot Heat
Our Lips Are Sealed – The Go Go’s
Heroes – David Bowie
Spanish Bombs – The Clash
Radio Radio – Elvis Costello *
On the DL – Caviar
Wouldn’t It Be Nice – The Beach Boys *
Saturday Night’s Alright For Fighting – Elton John
Rosie – Bruce Springsteen
No Matter What – Badfinger
Pattern Against User – At the Drive In *
Trusty Chords – Hot Water Music *
Love – Poster Children
The Pod – Hum
Love Gun – Kiss *
Raspberry Beret – The Derailers
Six Days on the Road – Dave Dudley
Gimme Little Sign – Brenton Wood

* = Dings on the bell from the bartenders

How the Beastie Boys' Adam Yauch influenced my musical tastes [Remembrance]

http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/thumb/8/85/Adam_Yauch_2.jpg/640px-Adam_Yauch_2.jpg

It has been a week since Adam "MCA" Yauch has passed away from a bout with cancer. I really felt like I should post something on here at the time, but just could not figure out what to say that you would not be able to read in any of the many stories and tributes you could find on the web.

As the news spread that day, Facebook and Twitter became grounds for an outpouring of "RIP MCA" posts and reflections of listening to the Beastie Boys and the influence the group had on many of my friends.

Sixth Grade would end up being a highly significant year in my life. I found myself starting over in a new school, having moved the previous summer from the much smaller Greenville, IL to what seemed like an overwhelmingly large Belleville, IL. At some point in the school year, I decided to sacrifice my weekly allowance for a considerably lengthy amount of time so my Mom would buy a recently introduced Nintendo Entertainment System for me. While the NES was a huge change in the landscape of video gaming, and would become a huge part of my life, there was another event in the world of entertainment during this time that would help shape the rest of my life. Licensed To Ill happened, and I was introduced to the Beastie Boys.

The first two friends I made when I first moved to Belleville were Travis and Brandon. Travis lived directly across the street and Brandon lived just down the block. Brandon had an older brother and that is how I remember getting a copy of Licensed To Ill. It was only a matter of time before Travis, Brandon, and I would have every line of the album memorized. By the summer of '87, Licensed To Ill would become the soundtrack to just about everything we did - as long as the parents were not around anyway. I cannot even remember how many times we would dub copies on blank cassettes because the previous copy would be worn down to unplayable levels.

Fast forward a couple of years and I would find myself starting high school and becoming close friends with Jeff. We became friends through a mutual interest in music, particularly hip-hop and the Beasties. Their sophomore album, Paul's Boutique, had recently been released and you just felt that they just elevated the hip-hop game to a new level. In our junior year, Check Your Head hit the record racks and the group appeared live at Mississippi Nights on tour in support of the album.

The date of the show was May 8, 1992; the first time I would ever step foot inside Mississippi Nights. This show marked the first time I would go to a concert without parents involved or being in a huge auditorium or concert hall. I remember being incredibly excited and even slightly nervous before the show. I think the nervousness stemmed from feeling like I was going into this whole new world that I was nowhere near cool enough to be a part of. I could go into the details of the show, but then this post would end up being a book. Let me just leave it at the show was amazing and is still in my top five shows I have ever attended.

Even more important than the show being absolutely amazing, was the experience I took away from being in that room that night. To me, there is no greater feeling in life than being in a small venue while a group is just absolutely killing it and the crowd is having the time of their lives. Whenever the jackpot amounts in the various lotteries get to the astronomical range, people always start talking about what they would do with the money if they won. My selfish answer to that situation would be that I would go to a show every night until all the money was gone, or just build my own venue and throw the most amazing concerts I could come up with. The Beastie Boys helped kickstart my addiction and helped me find something that makes me happier than I ever thought I could be.

Though this is embarrassing to admit, I can remember on quite a few occasions where Travis, Brandon, and I would be listening to License To Ill and all rapping along to the album and basically pretending to be the Beastie Boys. Though it seemed like we were getting to the age where this was completely silly, it just felt natural and still really fun. (I find it ironic that we still had no problem playing those video games on the NES pretending in the back of our minds to be the characters in the games, but playing "pretend" at that age was just for the little kids and we were now so old.) I was always MCA when we did this. I remember actually feeling a little resentful in that I wasn't Mike D or Ad-Rock because I wanted to be one of the more "outgoing" members. MCA always seemed like the mellow member of the group. This was fitting because I was the quieter and introverted person in our group and just wanted to be the person I wasn't.

As I got older and more involved in listening to hip-hop, MCA became one of my favorite MCs and, to me, was the strongest link in the band. While the Beasties started out as partying delinquents, the group went on to raise the consciousness in hip-hop. MCA was heavily involved in various charities and organized the Tibetan Freedom Concerts. He also was incredibly creative in the video production, often directing many of the Beasties' iconic videos under his alias, Nathanial Hörnblowér.

Maybe 47 is too young to lose someone with so much left to give. But, maybe we should be looking at it another way. Here was someone who made the most of the time he had here and remind ourselves  to do the same. Thank you Mr. Yauch for being a huge part in my love of music and, ultimately, in my life. To my friends, the next time the Beasties come on over the stereo and we all start to pretend to be one of the B-Boys in our minds, I call MCA.

Jeff's ticket stub from 1992 show
Jeff's ticket stub from 1992 show

A Weekend at Coachella - Part 2 - Saturday and Sunday

By Shelia Moore Coming off the high of seeing Refused for the first time ever on Friday night I went back to the festival on Saturday with very few expectations. We started the afternoon watching Childish Gambino on the main stage. I’m a huge fan of Donald Glover in Community and watching him as a rapper was equally entertaining. I think the thing that surprised me the most was the fact that he used a full band while performing. In an era where electronic music is becoming king and musicians are using their computers instead of real instruments this was refreshing to see. After listening to Childish Gambino rap about his love for Asian girls in “You See Me” (Forget these white girls/ I need some variation/ Especially if she very Asian) we walked to the other side of the grounds to get some food and chill out while listening to Grace Potter and the Nocturnals. I was unfamiliar with Grace Potter before Coachella. Upon hearing her sultry vocals and watching her wail on guitar I became completely enamored with her soul and funk infused style.

Saturday afternoon and evening became our indie-band portion of the festival- mostly by accident. Having recently seen the Head and the Heart headline their own tour back in March, I was a little bored. That’s not to say they didn’t play well; they sounded great and had great set list (it is kind of hard to have variation when you only have one album). Playing their semi-hit “Down in the Valley” mid-set got everyone singing and clapping along- it was one of the few times during the festival that I could tell everyone watching the band genuinely liked the band. They closed with my personal favorite “Rivers and Roads.” The lush harmonies created by Josiah, Jon and Charity gives me tingling chills every time I hear it. (Not to mention, the song was used during a pivotal moment of this current season of "How I Met Your Mother" making it the song and show that much better). Watching keyboardist Kenny Hensley slam his stool on the stage to the beat of the bass drum was the perfect end to the song and their set.  

Multi-instrumentalist and whistler extraordinaire Andrew Bird was a delight to watch, filling his 50 minute set with songs off his brand new record, Break it Yourself, along with old crowd-pleasers “Plasticities”, “Fitz and the Dizzyspells” and “Fake Palindromes.” The highlight of the set was his rendition of “Bein’ Green” that he did for the Muppet movie soundtrack which had even the oldest of fans smiling ear to ear.

Jeff Mangum, of Neutral Milk Hotel fame, prefaced his set with an audio recording telling people that “taking photos and videos were strictly prohibited” which kind of made me laugh. What made me laugh even more were all the cameras and smartphones I watched shoot straight up in the air the minute he came on stage. Nice try, Jeff. He opened his set with just his acoustic guitar playing “Two Headed Boy, Part 2,” bringing out the drummer and horns for “In the Aeroplane over the Sea” and several other Neutral Milk Hotel songs. Because he played a majority of his set acoustically I became very aware of how close together the organizers placed the stages. You could clearly hear the band on the main stage during the especially quiet parts. I realize that is the nature of a big festival but that didn’t make it any less distracting.

The Shins, Bon Iver, and Radiohead were back to back on the main stage. We lingered far in the back unwilling and unmotivated to push our way through the hoards of people get a closer spot. While I enjoyed The Shins and Bon Iver had an impressive stage set-up and sounded amazing, they definitely were not the highlight of my Coachella weekend. The cold desert night and numb feet got the best of us so we only stayed for a few songs of Radiohead, who I don’t care much for, but my husband assures me they were awesome.

Sunday was my favorite full day of the festival, mostly because all of the bands we cared to watch were all playing back to back on the same stage. After two days of walking around and pushing through hoards of people to get to each stage it was nice to stay in one spot. We made it back to the festival in time to catch Fitz & the Tantrums play an energetic, sassy afternoon set which had everyone dancing to their jazz-inspired hits. I was impressed with how great they sounded live and how vocalists Michael Fitzpatrick and Noelle Scaggs worked the crowd the entire time.  Bookending their set with their two most popular songs “Don’t Gotta Work it Out” and “Moneygrabber” was a great way to pull the crowd in and leave them wanting more.

A friend once told us that watching The Hives perform is like watching a ringer leader in a circus. This is probably the most accurate comparison one could make after seeing their performance.  Kicking off with percussive “Come On!” the band walked on-stage in their signature black tuxedo tails and top hats. Frontman Pelle Almqvist proved to be entertaining and hilarious asking the crowd between each song if they loved him and if they loved The Hives saying that he loved all of us. At one point during his stage banter he said “Here in America you have a game called Simon says.  Well as far as you’re concerned my name is Simon and you will do exactly as I say” continuing with “Please, please everyone move in, I didn’t come here to play to grass, fill that area in.” While whipping the crowd into a frenzy during their hit “Hate to Say I Told You So” a young guy in front of us, who’d been jumping around and dancing the entire time, looked back at a nearby couple and asked if they had seen The Hives before and if they were always this awesome before running up front to join a mosh pit that had broken out. Closing their set with “Tick Tick Boom” Pelle stopped mid-song and asked everyone to sit down continuing to call-out those who didn’t comply ripping into the VIP section saying, “Everybody in the fucking VIP you’re not that important! Sit down! I see you over there VIP, you’re not that important just because you spent a little more money on your ticket or know someone in middle-level management at Coachella, sit down. I’m talking to you Tom Hanks,” gaining riotous applause from everyone in general admission area. They kicked back into the song with everyone leaping up and jumping to the beat of song while cheering. Their performance was the second highlight of the weekend for me.

Watch The Hives performance of “Tick Tick Boom”:


Awaiting At the Drive-In’s performance, we had the pleasure of experiencing Justice, our first electronic/DJ of the weekend and all of the fans who came along with it. While sitting and waiting for them to start we watched a few young kids taking swigs out of a sunscreen bottle - assuming (hoping) it was filled with vodka and chasing it Vitamin Water. It reminded me of something I would have tried in college. I can’t say I blame them for going to such lengths to sneak in alcohol considering beer was $9 and cocktails were $10+ and you could only drink in designated “Beer Garden” areas. We also overhead a rather interesting exchange between a self-proclaimed medical professional who spent several minutes explaining to her friends why they should quit smoking weed, but then accepted just half a tab of ecstasy rather than the whole; because she felt like she may have had too much already that day. There are no words.

Justice was exactly what I expected- loud, lots of lights and lasers, good beats and lots of jumping, dancing, and fist pumping. They did an interesting mix of D.A.N.C.E and DVNO- playing only portions and mixing in a few other songs. While watching all the people around me go crazy I started to see the merit in some electronic music. Since nothing is really happening on the stage there is no reason to get a good spot and you can act like a loon and no one cares, but after about 15 minutes I was deaf (those DJs can turn up the amps way louder than any rock musician) and exhausted from sensory overload.

The second reason I decided to fly out for Coachella was to watch one of the few reunion shows At The Drive-In was playing. Much like Refused, I became a big fan after they broke-up making this one of the few chances I was going to have to see them perform. The excited buzz in the crowd exploded into impromptu mosh-pits as they kicked off with the opening track from Relationship of Command, "Arcarsenal." Much to my chagrin, the band didn’t live up to what I was sure was going to be my second favorite performance of the weekend. While the music was played with precision and sounded phenomenal, lead guitarist Omar played with zero enthusiasm Cedric’s vocals sounded rough. After an 11 year hiatus of screaming and playing hardcore/punk shows, I’m sure it isn’t easy to readjust. Between songs Cedric was drinking what appeared to be hot tea which would explain his rough vocals. They continued with “Pattern Against User” followed by “Chanbra” off of In Casino Out filling the set with a good mix of songs from their two most popular albums. At one point Cedric dedicated a song to “all of those who came out to the desert and decided to dress like it is Cirque de Soleil.” They predictably closed with “One Armed Scissor,” the only song that had the entire crowd singing along and ending their set on a high note.

The only time I thought I might actually get trampled to death occurred as we were desperately trying to leave the main stage area after At The Drive-In while everyone else in attendance was pushing their way in to secure spots for Dr. Dre and Snoop Dogg. Making our way to safety, far in the back with easy access to the exit, we waited. Earlier in weekend we’d heard rumors that Eminem was going to make a surprise appearance with Dre and Snoop which sounded promising. Little did we know how many other famous rappers were going to make appearances that night. The set started with “The Next Episode” to the elation of the white college girls next to us who started bumpin’ and grindin’. “Gin N Juice”, “Nuthin’ but A “G” Thang”, and a cover of the House of Pain hit “Jump Around” filled the first half of the set along with special appearances by newcomers to the rap scene, Kendrick Lamar and Wiz Khalifa. I was ecstatic when 50 Cent joined Dre and Snoop on stage performing, what became our college anthem, “In Da Club” as well the hit “P.I.M.P.” Snoop and Dre performed “California Love” before bringing out the next special guest. Since we were so far back there was some confusion as to exactly who was on stage with Snoop for the next two songs. My husband insisted it was a video of Tupac since the voice was undeniably his. I was insistent that it was not a video, there was person walking around on stage. It turns out we were both somewhat correct. Hologram Tupac had made his debut and it was probably the coolest thing I’ve seen at a concert ever. I was awestruck by the ingenuity of it. Managing to top themselves one last time, Eminem came on stage to perform “I Need a Doctor” and then breaking into “Forgot about Dre,” the song we’d been wanting to hear all night. Eminem teased the crowd saying he was out and had a cab waiting, leaving just as quickly as he arrived. Wanting to beat the crowd, we left Coachella while Dre and Snoop were finishing their set, knowing we would probably never again have the opportunity to see so many rap legends - both alive and dead - share the same stage.   

Watch Hologram Tupac’s performance: