Tag Archives: Music

Rock n Rolla

I posted this on my facebook a little while back, but I figured I’d put it here and enhance a bit.

I am a complete audiophile. Not really by the true definition because i don’t know jack about hi-fi technology, but by the wikipedia entry that says it could also mean someone who loves music. I truly, truly do. I love most kinds (obviously some more than others) and thrive on seeing live shows.

At 21, I have seen probably around 75 bands live, many of them multiple times. Spurred by a Facebook note by Eric R. Danton, rock critic at the Hartford Courant (newspaper under fire and my summer and possibly future place of work), I compiled a list of just 50 of the bands I’ve seen. Here, I will provide mini-reviews, too.

Eric Danton is a rock critic. I am a wannabe. Thought I’d see what I could come up with for 50 of the bands I’ve seen live….

I spend a lot of time at concerts, so here’s a sampling of acts I’ve seen live:

1. Dave Matthews Band (including Dave and Tim Reynolds and Dave and Friends) (30x)

Yes, 30. My father took me to my first Dave show at the tender age of 12, and I have averaged 2-3 shows a year since. I’ve sat everywhere from the 4th row all the way back to the lawn, and I’ve loved every second of it. Despite a few shows where I was frustrated with the set list, including this year’s first night at Nikon at Jones Beach in Long Island, I will go as many times as I can afford and until DMB stops touring. Unfortunately, Dave has such strained vocal cords that he had to cancel last night’s performance. I hope he takes some much-needed breaks so he can entertain for years to come!
2. Rolling Stones (5x)

I was born and raised a Rolling Stones fan. My father has a big ol’ man crush on Mick Jagger, and I’m pretty sure they were my favorite out of the womb. My dog’s name is Jagger. My first Stones show was with my entire family when I was about 10 and my brother was 6, and I’ve gone at least once to every tour since. There is nothing like it. The energy of that 60-something year-old man far exceeds my own. Besides, he’s sexy!
3. Taking Back Sunday (4x) Just saw them open for Blink 182, and they now suck.
4. Brand New (2x) A-mazing.One of my very favorite bands, from their pop-punk beginnings to super moody current stuff.
5. Saves the Day (2x) – good when I was 15, not so good now.
6. Incubus – Awesome.
7. Jack Johnson – Surprisingly great live.
8. She and Him – Zooey Deschanel’s voice is like melted butter.
9. Jakob Dylan – Way hotter and way better singer than his father (not to disrespect Mr. Bob Dylan, but everyone knows he cannot sing).
10. Peter Gabriel – One of the coolest sets with very cool effects.
11. Paul McCartney
12. Elton John – Faaaabulous.
13. Stephen and Damian Marley – very cool to see them sing their dad’s songs
14. Black Crowes (3x) – Always sound horrible. Love their studio albums, skip the live shows. Also known to do some weird shit onstage.
15. Tom Petty -thinks he is God, but good nonetheless.
16. Blink 182 (3x) – Do not know how to play their instruments, but fun fun fun. If you’re easily offended by “I fucked your mom (or dad)” jokes, steer clear.
17. No Doubt (2x) – No words. Gwen is a goddess, and they know their stuff.
18. The Strokes  Рopened for the Stones once.
19. The Used
20. Dropkick Murphys – very very fun show. Doesn’t matter if you know all the music, great time.
21. Gym Class Heroes (2x)
22. The Format
23. My Morning Jacket
24. Pearl Jam (3x) – One of the very best live acts around. Talented musicians, classic songs.
25. All American Rejects -I took my little brother for his birthday, don’t judge me.
26. Fall Out Boy (2x) – No matter how crappy they might be, I absolutely love them. They were terrible the first time (Warped Tour ’04) and much, much better in ’07.
27. The Academy Is…
28. Coheed and Cambria
29. Weezer (2x) Rocked out both times. This time they were in neon yellow haz mat-type suits (very Devo), but played an amazing set and still rock as much as ever despite their increasingly awful studio albums.
30. Foo Fighters – loud.
31. Coldplay – good, short, played every song I knew and none I didn’t.
32. State Radio – free show at UConn.
33. Dispatch – Zimbabwe benefit shows at MSG, high energy, really great.
34. MGMT – opened for Paul McCartney. Sick gig, eh?
35. OAR -3 too many times
36. Elvis Costello – one of my very favorites ever. Beacon Theater in NYC, sang part of a song a capella without mic from the edge of the stage and everyone could hear it. Great musician.
37. The Slip – $12 at the Webster, first time I’ve ever been there when the place wasn’t packed wall to wall. There were probably about 50-60 in the audience.¬† Really talented. I mean, no one’s ever heard of them, but “Even Rats” is on Guitar Hero!
38. Sara Barreilles (haha) she opened for maroon 5/counting crows. she plays a piano, cool.
39. Robert Randolph and the Family Band (3x) If you haven’t seen them, do it.
40. Black Eyed Peas – Not the time Fergie peed on stage. At a DMB festival. They were actually kind of good at the time (where is the love era, not all these new horrid songs)
41. Goo goo dolls – opened for the rolling stones
42. The White Stripes – Jack White is God. Best guitar player I’ve seen. Way too short (only about an hour and a half). Meg is practically useless.
43. New Found Glory – Was young.
44. Gwen Stefani solo – Her beauty and awesomeness and my undying love for her makes up for the crap that is her solo music.
45. Girl Talk – Sweaty. Fun. My anxiety prevented me from staying up onstage where you couldn’t move, but it was a great big dance party.
46. Kanye West – opened for the stones, sucks. Can’t run and rap at the same time.
47.Maroon 5 (3x) – Adam Levine is a beautiful sex god, and his songs are as sexy as he is. Fun times.
48. Counting Crows (2x) – Adam Duritz uses live shows as a therapy session, and it’s not a good thing. Although I was fully aware that the band drastically changes melodies and song arrangements live, I did not at all enjoy not being able to sing along. Second time was better, but wouldn’t recommend seeing them if you love their albums.
49. James Taylor – Too mellow, but he’s James Taylor.
50. Jimmy Eat World (2x) – Love. The first time, the band played every song a fan could ask for, and the second was the Clarity 10th anniversary tour, so JEW played Clarity in its entirety and a few other classics.

BaROCK Obama.

Taking advantage of the massive support from the musical community for Barack Obama, his campaign now offers a CD entitled “Yes We Can: Voices of a Grassroots Movement.” According to The Associated Press, the $24.99 for a digital download and $30 for an actual CD will go directly to the campaign through Election Day, and after that it will be sold through other outlets.

John Mayer is one of the artists featured on the CD

John Mayer is one of the artists featured on the CD

The CD contains previously released tracks, like “Waiting on the World to Change” by John Mayer, along with tracks specifically recorded for the album, such as “American Prayer” by Dave Stewart and “Promised Land” by Malik Yusef featuring Kanye West and Adam Levine from Maroon 5. Los Lonely Boys, John Legend, Sheryl Crow, and Stevie Wonder are also among the diverse line-up featured on the album. It was put out by Hidden Beach Recordings, a division of Universal Music Group.

According to the AP article, the McCain camp criticized Obama for using this method of fundraising. “‘It’s ironic that on a day when the economy is in turmoil, Barack Obama fails to release an economic plan, but instead chooses a celebrity rock album,’ said spokesman Tucker Bounds.”

Maybe Obama shouldn’t play into his celebrity connections so much, but I think that this is a perfectly acceptable way to make some money for the campaign. The fact that all these credible musicians back him might fuel McCain’s “Obama is a celebrity” fire, but it also speaks a lot for Obama’s message. Those in the “in crowd,” particularly the musicians who value a democratic government, are behind Obama enough that they would sell their music to further his cause. Obama’s promise of change really resonates with a large demographic, especially young voters, who are influenced by the music of the stars featured on “Yes We Can.”

A variety of stars already showed their support in will.i.am’s video “Yes We Can,” which featured stars like John Legend, Tatiana Ali, Kate Walsh, Scarlett Johansson, Common, Kareem Abdul-Jabar and Aisha Tyler, among many others. The song used clips from an Obama speech from the New Hampshire primary, and featured the celebrities singing over it with the speech serving as the lyrics. It’s a pretty inspiring piece of work, and I think the compilation CD just takes it one step further.

I really don’t think it’s wrong for Obama to profit from it, either. If famous people want to come together to help him spread his message, and it’s going to help him fund his campaign, why not?