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Random Musings

Just a place to chat about things. Mostly music based. I like stuff, lets share.

Updated: 2017-04-25T11:32:53.146-04:00


Reflecting on Nirvana for some reason....


Been on this Nirvana kick the last few days. Occasionally when I listen I reflect on the fact they were a band I never saw live. The band didn’t make it easy to see them locally.  In my research, between 87 and 94 the band played in MA 9 times.  4 of them were before September of 91, which I’ll toss any ‘indie cred’ aside and admit I didn’t know of them until Nevermind began to break (the fall of 91).  In 91 the band did two shows as part of WFNX birthday.  On the 23rd  (a Monday) I drove in to Boston to try and get in.  The station didn’t pre-sell tickets, and the idea was you could go from club A to club B (there were 3 in a row).  By the time I arrived the line to get in was BEYOND the Cask and Flagon, and for those that know the area Axis/Avalon/Venus DeMilo was in the area that House of Blues now occupies.  This was a few hundred yards, with people not in single file line…groups of 6-8 all wondered if the line would even move. The venues were at that point of “one in one out”. I walked down towards the doors of Axis, heard the Smashing Pumpkins play for 2-3 minutes then moved on.  The following day the band did another show that was all ages at the same venue (I had no idea at the time this was happening).  The 25th was my best shot, the band was playing Club Babyhead in RI.  Again, in the car I went and I headed south.  Just as I was about to turn on to 95 south I had an ‘adult’ moment.  I had an exam the next day in school.  I was going to turn around and study.  So…I turned around.  I didn’t go see them.

The band didn’t tour the US much at all in 92 and in 93 the band was touring for In Utero and the fan base had exploded.  They played Springfield on the 10th (a Wednesday, had to be in work for 7am in Boston the next day) of November and then Fitchburg on the 12th. I tried like crazy to get tickets for Fitchburg and never lucked out.  I remember calling both lines from work trying to get in to the ticketmaster phone queue.  None of my friends had much luck, and looking back probably not a ton of interest.  That was it.  Cobain died a year later.

Just got me thinking and doing some web surfing last night.  I guess if you read this far my only “life lesson” is “don’t turn around”. 

If you really care here is the dates in MA/CT/RI
7/15/89  Green Street Jaimaca Plain
4/18/90  Man Ray, Cambridge MA
4/21/90   MIT, Party.
4/27/90   Hampshire College
-------------------- (knew who they were)
9/23/91   Axis Boston
9/24/91  Axis Boston
9/25/91  Club Babyhead
9/26/91  New Haven CT
11/10/93  Springfield MA
11/12/93  Fitchburg MA

On the music player...


I can't really say turntable, and if I say on the iPod or CD player people roll their eyes..but a few records have caught my fancy as of late.

The latest from elbow "Little Fictions" is very good.  Also the newest record from The Shins "Heartworms" and the Japandroids "Near to the Wild Heart of Life".

All of them are worth your time.

The Joshua Tree - 30 Years Old


30 years ago today U2 released "The Joshua Tree".  The album would win the band 2 Grammy Awards as well as sell over 25 Million copies worldwide.

As a music fan its hard to pinpoint any single record, or create "best ofs" because the moods always change.  30 years on though I can say this album ranks in my top 10, regardless of my moods.

I was 16 when it came out, March of 1987.  I was a junior in high school and over the prior few years had started to "get in to music".  About a year before I started to look at punk records and "indie label"bands.  I'd go to Newbury Comics and buy the newest issue of NME (it would be at least a month old) to read about what I should be listening to.

At the time the web and all our conveniences with access to bands/music was a few years off.  Any glimpse, mention, even song on the radio felt fleeting.  If you missed it, you'd never see or hear it again.  U2 threw me in to that hole of "following" a band.  Granted I was working a part time job for $3.35 an hour but by god I was going to buy every magazine, single, ep, cd, record, tape that was released.  Even if the cover was different I needed it.  I clipped articles, I tried to talk with like minded friends.  A few got it, others did not.  I was able to see them a few times on the various legs of this tour as well.

This summer the band will celebrate the 30th by taking it out on the road.  U2 has been at it for a long time that many greeted this with a collective "eye roll".  The shows sold quickly and additional nights were added in many cities.

Perhaps its taking folks back to "good times".  Heck at the time 17 years old was confusing, frustrating, happy, sad all in the matter of a day sometimes, yet when I look at this album cover I only feel happy.  I can't think of the bad times.

Music has that power.

So, Happy Birthday to the Joshua Tree.  You still "get me", and I thank you.

Dave Davies of the Kinks - New Album and Tour


Legendary guitarist and songwriter Dave Davies has announced the upcoming release of Open Road, a new full-length album written and produced in collaboration with his son, Russ Davies. A sonic testament of two musicians coming from different era.   Open Road will be released on March 31st, 2017. Davies has also shared the lead track from the album, "Path Is Long", which you can check outhereDave Davies is a musician who needs little introduction, as a founder member of legendary rock group The Kinks; his guitar sound, unique style and song writing has shaped the landscape of rock and pop music across generations. A pioneering rock guitarist who singlehandedly changed rock-n-roll when he sliced his little green Elpico amp speaker with a razor blade, creating the first heavy metal guitar tone and riff. This revolutionary guitar sound propelled the Kinks into stardom with the global smash hits ‘You Really Got Me’ and 'All Day and All of the Night', followed by numerous other classics over the next decades.  Russ Davies is well known in the global electronic dance music scene, having produced over 15 albums and toured the world over with his alter-egos Abakus and Cinnamon Chasers, gaining significant notoriety with the track and music video for "Luv Deluxe". Dave Davies 2017 Tour Dates: April 06 - Milwaukee, WI - Patawatomi CasinoApril 08 - St Charles, IL - Arcada TheatreApril 11 - New York, NY - City Winery April 12 - New York, NY - City Winery April 13 - Natick, MA - Centre for ArtsApril 15 - North Truro, MA - Payomet PACApril 16 - Hartford, CT - Infinity HallApril 17 - New Hope, PA - Havana New HopeApril 20 - Derry, NH - Tupelo Music HallApril 22 - Riverhead, NY - Suffolk TheatreApril 24 - Annapolis, MD - Rams HeadApril 29 - Atlanta, GA - City WineryApril 30 - Nashville, TN - City WineryMay  01 - Nashville, TN - City Winery[...]

2016 - A nice look back.


2016 – It has been a pretty wild and rough year for many but I decided to get a little corny and write down some things that made 2016 pretty darn ok. Just my thoughts, feel free to share yours.In 2016:I celebrated 20 years of marriage.I watched daughter act in a play she wrote with friends, sing on the town common, remain on the high honor roll and national honor society, work for a paycheck, apply to and visit colleges, attend her first prom and get publicly called out for her volunteerism in front of a crowded room.I watched my son score a goal in hockey, take a liking to mountain biking, witness him willing to spend many hours with his grandparents, work hard in school and see the results of that hard work (hello honor role) and continue to watch him grow in to one of the most selfless people I know.I got to coach my sons hockey team.I had parents thank me for coaching their kids.I did a DIY project and didn’t swear (too much)I saw Star Wars and Finding Dory with my kids.I met some hockey players when I skated on the Dunkin Donuts Center Ice.I mailed a personal letter to a Boston Bruins legend and got a response.I made people laugh and groan with a bad joke every week.I got to see my favorite band play live a few times and tell them to their faces how much I adored them.I get to hang out with some awesome friends when I see those shows.I saved for a drone, flew it 200+ feet up, took pictures, crashed it(not in the same flight) fixed it and flew it againI got to see backstage at the House of Blues in Boston.I saw Pearl Jam at Fenway Park about 6 rows from the stage.I took my parents out for breakfast.I’ve bought some awesome music this year.I’ve bought way too many coloring books.I actually read a few books.I went to the Rock and Roll Hall of FameI ran (well that is to be debated) not one but TWO 5Ks this year…and finished.I donated to charity and recycled moreI went to an aquariumI completed a fun money saving activity (more to come)I went to a job that I admittingly enjoy and feel like I make a difference.I watched some great TV shows (Designated Survivor, Stranger Things, Walking Dead)I played ice hockey every week in 2016 outside of one week when I was on vacation.I ate cheese and I drank beerI hung/hang around with artists, teachers and BBQ masters and home brewers, I know people that have written books and recorded music… I am impressed and envious of their passions.Chewbacca Mom still makes me laugh.I know this is all me,me,me..but take a minute and be thankful now and then..its much better.2017…you are up. Let’s do this.There you have it, I wrote the list a few times and kept emailing myself versions.  I know I wrote this:I rented kayaks with my family, paddled a river in NH and got caught in a torrential rain storm for the bulk of the paddle. That one makes me smile. Miserable when it happened, but I don’t think any of us will forget it.[...]

Caspian - New music and tour film.


Sometimes you just get inspired.

No secret for my affection for the band Caspian

They have done it again.  Just yesterday they released a short tour film with the soundtrack being a new track called "Castles High, Marble Bright".

The film (and song) are, at times, simply breathtaking.

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(it the imbed doesn't work - here)

The band kicks off a tour tomorrow in DC and it runs through the mid part of November.

They hit Royale in Boston on the 18th of November.  I'll see you there.

What are you people hiding from me??


Being a music fan, and a fan of many genres, it is always fun to find something that has flown under your radar.  Once exposed you get to be ravenous.  You want to hear more.  You want to hear their early stuff, their late stuff, their live stuff.  You comb the internet for videos of Late Night TV appearances (or European music festival coverage).My most recent to fall in to that category is Nina Simone.I knew the name, and that was really about it.  One day scrolling through my Netflix queue I saw a “recommended” pick for the documentary “What Happened, Miss Simone?”  A friend on facebook had posted their admiration for the documentary so I decided “what the heck”.She led a very interesting life and I’ll leave any sort of “was it accurate” etc to another time but what I really liked and what got me hooked was the music (of course).  The way she carried herself, the way she sang.  I felt mad…why had none of my friends told me about her?The tipping point was the black and white footage of her doing “Ain’t Got No, I Got Life”.  That stopped me in my tracks.  I had to watch it again…twice.  A day or so later I looked for the footage on line.  To both my surprise and frustration (again..nobody told me!!) the clip has been viewed over 14 million times.  14 MILLION!Yet it was brand new to me..and it was awesome.Watch for yourself hereLook at her smile around the 2:20 mark.  I mean..come ON!The final note she sings and never seems to bend makes my knees shake.Watch it again..go ahead I understand.What else are you people hiding on me?[...]

God Is An Astronaut - August 31, 2016 - Sinclair, Cambridge MA


God Is An Astronaut
Sinclair, Cambridge MA
Wednesday, August 31, 2016

Just two days prior to this show I was in an outdoor ampetheater setting listing to “metal” to then be inside the comfortable confines of a club outside of Boston.

Irish post rock band God Is an Astronaut kicked off their US tour to a ravenous crowd on a Wednesday night.  I am not sure where I read it, but GIAA noted that this might be their final US tour.  Issues with touring and papers I am sure is a hassle and when you are a band the size of GIAA it makes it even harder and even less cost effective.  Still, based off the reaction of the audience in Cambridge the band might want to reconsider (or re-locate!)

There was no support band so the band hit the stage shortly after 9pm.  It was dark and quiet and “Beautiful Decay” began.  After the keyboard and bass track ended the full band arrived and went in to “Pig Powder” from the latest record. The set list was solid and the band seemed to perk up after each track slowly realizing the kick off to the tour seemed to be a success.

Full Set list:
Beautiful Decay
Pig Powder
Vetus Memoria
Worlds In Collision
Helios | Erebus
From Dust to the Beyond
Forever Lost
Red Moon Lagoon
Suicide by Star

As I said the band seemed to really perk up and fed off the audience.  One particular fan was over zealous, yelling often between the songs, and you could see the band smirk.  Late in the set he kept shouting “Suicide”! (he request for Suicide by Star).  It was granted and the young fan hung over the balcony railing and flailed about.  The band stepped to the lip of the stage to play right along with him.

The US tour is now complete.  Sorry you missed em??!

Korn and Rob Zombie - August 28, 2016 - Xfinity Center, Mansfield MA


KornXfinity Center, Mansfield MASunday August 28, 2016Support – Rob Zombie and In This MomentIf you’ve been around this blog much you know that I have some sort of odd attraction to the band Korn.  I am not sure where this long lasting relationship has come from, but I still buy all their records and see them live when I can.  Although this past show was a little bit of a push for me I do have to admit that back in March I came upon a 20$ groupon for this show…so…..This was a back to back Sunday show for me at the Xfinity Center.  The plus side is the venue, although it’s a summer shed, is about 20 minutes from me.  Made my way to the show with little issue and parked further back than I expected (compared with the heavily undersold Prophets of Rage show the week prior).  Even upon entering the venue and then making my way to the “open air seats” I was surprised to find that that lawn was closed for the evening.  In this Moment was on stage when I arrived and I was pretty far back and it was pretty loud honestly.  Seemed “theatrical” with stage dancers (which I thought was odd since the band is fronted by a woman) but it was neither here nor there.Rob Zombie and Korn have been “co-headliners” and at this show Zombie was slated for the middle slot.  Rob was born in Massachusetts so it’s odd he didn’t get top bill, but perhaps with Korn having a new album due in October?  Who knows?I had never seen Rob Zombie and it was fun.  There was a lot of distractions on the stage (I giant boom box) robots, a walking giant, just sort of “fun”.  Rob seems sincere and a likeable guy but that bubble/gurgle microphone vocal effect it’s a bit played out.  When he is talking to us why does it still need to be the same as when he sings.  The set list was pretty good and I am admittedly a casual fan but I felt pretty happy in hearing tunes I knew.Rob Zombie Full Set list.Dead City Radio and the new Gods of SupertownIn the Age of the Consecrated Vampire We All Get HighSuperbeastWild Thing (Tone Loc) teaseLiving Dead GirlWell, Everybody’s Fucking in a UFOMore Human Than Human (White Zombie)Never Gonna StopThe Hideous Exhibitions of a Dedicated Gore WhoreHouse of 1000 CorpsesGuitar Solo (Rob in audience)Thunder Kiss 65 (White Zombie)We’re An American Band (Grand Funk Railroad)Encore:DragulaSo breaking down the set it wasn’t bad and he packed a lot in.  The band has a lot of visuals so the set list probably will remain pretty consistent.  The Wild Thing tease went on way too long (they don’t really play it outside of the drum and guitar riff)  The guitar solo was sort of “meh” and Rob was in the audience with a flashlight.  He never  came up as far as I was and it seemed sort of silly to do this.  When it came time for Thunder Kiss 65 they teased the opening guitar riff for probably 5 minutes.  Start, stop, yell at us, start, stop…by the time they finally started playing it people had lost the ‘ramp up’ they initially had.  It’s a killer riff, but get on with it.By the time Zombie was done and off the stage it was “late”.  The venue has a tight 11pm curfew and it was about 9:50 before Korn took the stage.The stage for Korn seemed wide open compared to the amount of stuff that Zombie had.  The lighting director spent a lot of time blasting us in the face with strobes and spotlights but it almost seemed expected.Opening with “Right Now” the first thing I noticed was the bass was way up….like way up.  Shake the freaking seat up.  I felt it was muddy and “boomy” at the same time.  It took a few songs for it to level out but the band moved right along.Korn full set:Right NowHere to StayInsaneSomebody/SomeoneComing UndoneY’all want a Sin[...]

Prophets of Rage - August 21, 2016 - Xfinity Center Mansfield MA


Prophets of Rage
Xfinity Center, Mansfield MA

Sunday August 21, 2016

Support – Awolnation

I realize its been a few months since the show and a review might hardly make any sense, but I had the chance to write so I wanted to.

Make America Rage Again!  Not only the tour name, but emblazoned on merchandise too.

A few months back I had heard about this new band being formed.  It was 3 of the 4 guys from Rage Against the Machine (Tom – guitar, Tim – bass and  Brad-drums)  The singers in the band would be Chuck D (Public Enemy) and B-Real (Cypress Hill).  On paper it all sounded pretty neat and thankfully live they mostly pulled it off.

DJ Lord got the crowd up for a 12-15 minute span of his turntable work.  Mixing everything from Stevie Wonder to Jackson 5 to Led Zeppelin.  It was neat but seemed to linger a little longer than it should.

Opening with Public Enemy song “Prophets of Rage” the band swerved over the next 90 minutes in an out of the various bands catalogs.  They even tossed some cover tunes in good measure.
The venue, which was very undersold to my eyes, seemed to enjoy the mix and match of the set list and you could see the fan bases of the 3 bands represented. 

Full Set

Prophets of Rage (Public Enemy)
Guerrilla Radio (Rage Against the Machine)
Bomtrack (RATM)
Miuzi Weighs a Ton (PE)
People of the Sun (RATM)
Take the Power Back (RATM)
Rock Superstar (Cypress Hill)
Testify (RATM)
Hand on the Pump/Can’t Truss It/Insane in the Bran/Bring the Noise/I Ain’t Going out like that/Welcome to the Terrordome (B-real and Chuck D in audience)
Sleep Now in the Fire (RATM)
Cochise/She Watch Channel Zero
The Ghost of Tom Joad (Bruce Springsteen)
Bullet in the Head (RATM)
Shut Em Down (PE)
Know Your Enemy (RATM)
The Party’s Over
No Sleep Till Brooklyn/Fight the Power
Bulls on Parade (RATM)
Killing in the Name (RATM)

As you can tell it did bounce around and kept the energy high.  Morello was pretty tame in his political messages by most standards.  He did have a piece of paper on the back of his guitar that read “Nobody for President” and did make a note that some proceeds from the evenings show was going to local charities.  Always a plus.

Overall it was fun, but I felt it lacked just that little “something”.  It could be the fact that Zack De La Rocha was missing and being the voice of Rage Against the Machine is a tough role to fill.  The venue was a bit large too, put that in a smaller place (even for two nights) and it really would have been something.  Also a big plus on this was I scored these tickets using my Ticketmaster voucher (my lone use so far) and had ticket upgrade from open air seats to section 5.

Mike Peters - Firehouse 13 9/16/16


Mike PetersFriday September 16, 2016Firehouse 13, Providence RISupport: Laurie SergeantIt is hard to think that I have been attending live concerts for over 30 years.  That really seemed to strike a chord on this particular evening.  Mike Peters, the lead singer of the Alarm, is on tour.  Mike is currently on the road calling the tour “The Spirit of 86 in 2016”.  The reason for the name is Mike is out celebrating the 30th anniversary of the show the Alarm played on MTV in April of 1986.  The show, at the time, was huge in that the band was being beamed around the globe live.  Remember this was 30 years ago so this was pretty huge.  30+, 000 people were there.  You can see for yourself right here.I had the good fortune to see the Alarm on a few occasions and seeing this show was really a blast.  At first I thought it was going to be totally acoustic.  Mike, his guitar and harmonica.  He’d tell stories, sing, we’d laugh, clap and have a grand old time.The good news is that did happen..but it was way more than that.Mike came on stage and painted the picture of that day.  He told the whole set up, left the stage and pretended to “enter the stage”.  Even his mock up of the MTV VJs Martha Quinn was on point.So Mike starts to play, and its “Declaration”.  The acoustic guitar is being just pummeled with his strokes and we all sing “Marching on annnnnnnnnnnnnnnddd oonnnnnnnnnnnnnnnnn” and it  pummels down.  “Marching On” kicks off and Mike has done some stage wizardry.  He is now playing along with the live track of bass, guitar and drums.  You’ve probably rolled your eyes but this works.  It really worked.  It was loud, rowdy and just a whole lot of fun. I’d have been fine with Mike playing the acoustic and telling stories, but this was just full on awesome.  I felt 16 all over again.  I was smiling, clapping, whooping and being a music fan.  Its how music should make you feel, its how live shows should be.  For the next 90 minutes we had it.Full Set list.DeclarationMarching OnHowling WindKnife EdgeBlaze of GloryWalk Forever By My SideSpirit of 7668 GunsStrengthThe StandRain in the SummertimeRescue MeThe Stand (Prophecy)Knockin’ on Heaven’s DoorThere we a lot of fun moments.  Mike telling stories of seeing the Sex Pistols and The Clash, and how both bands front men treated him differently.  How they got the support of U2 and toured with them early on, and even toured with Pat Benetar.The night was capped when Mike left the stage at the end and then proceeded to hang out and sign and pose for pictures.  He was just a gracious man.  It is hard to root against him and what he is trying to do.He accomplished a lot this evening for me personally.  A terrific night.For all news on Mike and his tour, the Alarm etc,check out the official site[...]

Tom Jones Returns to the Road! Boston show slated!


The legendary Tom Jones is back!

Late in 2015 Tom Jones released a new album Long Lost Suitcase (S-Curve Records) and autobiography Over The Top and Back (Blue Rider Press) to great acclaim.   Starthing this week, Jones will hit the road for his first major tour of the United States in support of his latest album and will make stops in New York City, Philadelphia, San Francisco, Los Angeles and more. Fans will hear songs from Sir Tom's latest release as well hits and deep cuts from his career repertoire.
Long Lost Suitcase was mostly recorded at The Distillery, a little known studio facility in Wiltshire. Some of the players are familiar from Jones' previous albums, including drummer Jeremy Stacey (who also plays in Noel Gallagher’s High Flying Birds), bassist Dave Bronze, and of course Ethan, who plays guitar or keyboards on most tracks. New to the team was Andy Fairweather Low, a fellow Welshman and peer of Tom’s from the early ’60s R&B scene, who started out in The Amen Corner and later proved his guitar mastery on tours with Roger Waters and Eric Clapton.
The result is a powerful collection of thirteen newly-recorded songs that includes the Celtic hoedown "Honey, Honey" by The Milk Carton Kids, the rollicking R&B tune "I Wish You Would" originally by Billy Boy Arnold and made famous the Yardbirds, a stripped-down version of Willie Nelson's "Opportunity To Cry" and many more.
US Tour Dates:
9/20: Philadelphia, PA - Tower Theater
9/21: New York, NY - The Beacon Theatre
9/23: Boston, MA - The Orpheum Theatre
9/24: Mashantucket, CT - Grand Theater
9/25: Washington, DC - Warner Theater
9/28: Montclair, NJ - Wellmont Theater
9/29: Pittsburgh, PA - Benedum Centre
10/1: Northfield, OH - Hard Rock Rocksino
10/2: Louisville, KY - The Louisville Palace
10/3: Chicago, IL - House of Blues
10/5: Kansas City, MO - Uptown Theater
10/7: Tulsa, OK - Brandy Theatre
10/8: Thackerville, OK - Winstar Casino
10/11: San Francisco, CA - Masonic Centre
10/13: Los Angeles, CA - Hollywood Bowl w/ Van Morrison
For everything Tom Jones be sure to check out his official website

Phish - XFinity Center - Mansfield MA Friday July 8,2016


Friday night marked the 20th time I’ve seen Phish.  Granted, depending on your taste in music (and desire to see live shows) is either a big number or a laughable low number.After a particularly rush partial day at work my first indication of a “different” evening arrived when I was in the store getting supplies for later.  As I drew my wallet from my pocket to pay…no debit card.  I was already running later than I wanted so I left my merchandise on the counter and raced home to look for the card.  No luck.  Call to the bank, cancel the card, confirm last transaction was mine just a day before etc.  That part is a major “whew”.  My buddy met me about 45 minutes later and we were on our way.I’ve chosen to pay for parking at the Xfinity Center for some years now.  The place has been open for over 20 years yet the stories still linger of folks sitting in long lines of traffic going to/coming from.  I just don’t have the patience.  Typically a conversation with friends that have never done this goes like this.Me: I bought premier parkingThem: Why would you pay..It’s free?Me: After that final note is struck I can walk to my car and be IN my driveway within 20 minutes.Them: blank stareMe: Try it with meThem the night of the show when tires are rolling – GREAT IDEA!The lot scene was fine.  Not that I’d have partook anyway, but still it was a nice evening.The band hit the stage about 7:40.  Opening with “Party Time” they seemed in fine form, but just glancing from my open air seat it seemed WOEFULLY undersold.  There were rumors it was sold out and rumors it was not. (It got VERY full).  The new light show was something to behold even a few hours before it really got dark.  “46 Days” followed, then “Poor Heart” in to a newer some “The Dogs”.  It seemed a little slow for my liking, but whatever I was ready.“Bathtub Gin” followed and that can go either way.  The band didn’t take it where I had hoped and I still was feeling sort of out of the loop.  Then it happened.  My least favorite tune “Fast Enough for You”.  Gah.  ZZZZ boring. Lame.dull.  Uggh.  (After the show I see it was the first time in 2 years they played it..oh yay!).  Now I won’t say I was “mad” but I was bumming out.  Mind you I was pretty darn sober but this set was going nowhere for me personally.  “How Many People Are You” and “Strange Design” were okay, but still nothing.  “Fuego” was a lot of fun and I felt we were warming up more and that went in to “Cities” which saw Trey roaming the stage and a super long jam.  Okay we are on a roll.First set ends with an a capllea version of “Space Oddity” originally by David Bowie.  Now this was neat, cool, and they sounded pretty good.  Well, at least the parts I could hear.  The audience around me, if they were not nose deep in their phones, were either talking or signing along…loudly…off key..and not knowing the words.  Set 1 was thankfully coming to a close and I felt okay..set 2…lets do this.After an okay set break (they used to say 15 minutes but that is long gone) they came out for “Ghost->Light” not too bad but we could be really pushing it on the jam side (for me).  The band went in to “Wolfman’s Brother” which was a welcome smile from me.  The band was going along and happened.No soundNo PANo instrumentsCrowd yells as at first it almost seems like a “silent jam”.  My buddy says “Do they know the sound is out?”After a few moments the band departs the stage and we sort of sigh.  I felt like it was going to tak[...]

A new..not so cheap toy.


I had been eyeing a drone for some time.  I am not sure why.  I am not a photographer and never was really in to “remote control” cars for example.  That is probably because the sheer number of batteries it took to run them and it was always a hassle a few days after Christmas or your birthday, so it would sit unused.The Phantom Drone had always struck a chord with me.  It just looked cool, seemed reasonably priced and could do some neat things.So…I finally bought one.  Went with the DJI Phantom 3 Standard.Figured I’d share my thoughts a few days out.Ordered it on line from the DJI site on a Sunday and it arrived on Thursday.  That experience was “ok”.  Outside of a “thanks for your order” I felt I was checking their web site every few hours for an update.  It was in “payment pending” for what seemed like days.  Regardless, it did arrive.I am not sure what I was thinking, but I decided to unpack the drone thinking I might have some quick fun before I really read the directions.  Mind you, it had been raining for 5+ days and was still pretty damp out, but by god I was going to get that drone off the ground!The manuals are below average at best.  It’s not a simple “plug and play” type deal.  I am glad I had my laptop close by to hit up the internet for various ideas and thoughts.  Finally after a good 30 minutes of the drone beeping and flashing I just had to put it away.  Way too much for this late in the evening.I let things charge up and watched some hockey.It can get nerve wracking and frustrating.  There were at least two updates I needed to do to the firmware.  Most videos I saw indicated this, but we are talking 30+ minutes of an update.  Again, I was ready to fly this!!Finally the rain broke and it was time to fly it. (2 days later…)Brought out to the back yard and tried to sync stuff up.  Did everything I could…the drone would not take off.  I was getting a message that the RC was not connected (RC = Remote Control) so after I shut it all down, lugged back inside to then google what the hell that meant I was good to go. (Just another re-sync).I like to consider myself a calm person, but I was starting to get upset.  I paid a fair amount of money for this drone and the rotors still had not even spun.  You use your cell phone (or tablet) as part of the remote and I realize I have the internet at my fingers in a way, but you have to disconnect the drone etc etc.  I’d much rather have a “pre flight checklist” in the manual.  Here is what you need to do, here is what may happen and how to fix it.  Easy right?Back outside I go…we are beeping we are ready.Then I realize I have no idea how to get the rotors to start up.NoneBack inside to look that up.  (for your reference pull both the control sticks down and inward and hold).Okay…good to go.Back outside, and I get another message that I am in “beginner mode”.  That is all fine and good.  What this basically does is puts a set distance/height on your flights until you get used to the controllers.  Even after a few days I am still in this mode honestly.Control sticks down…..and……….Contact.Up it slowly climbs.I do have to say it’s pretty cool.  Actually it’s really cool.  In flight you can change from video to still pictures so you capture your flight.  Be aware there is NO audio on the video.  That makes sense.  The drone itself is not super quiet.  It is not LOUD but you certainly know you are flying it.  When the drone is low and your are nearby you can feel the air moving.Like anything else it i[...]

Tortoise - The Sinclair, Cambridge MA March 15, 2016


TortoiseThe Sinclair, Cambridge MATuesday, March 15, 2016Support –Mind over Mirrors, ETortoise released"The Catastrophist"  back in January and it is a great return record for them.  Seems it had been quiet from their camp for some time.  When the band announced a string of shows I knew it was fine time I went to see them again.  The last time I saw the band was at the Museum of Fine Arts in Boston so the venue felt a little more suited for them on this night.Arrived when Mind Over Mirrors was performing.  Note I did not say anything about “on stage”.  Nope, set up on the floor right off the sound board.  The music was neat, sort of “drone” but enough that, at least at first, I wasn’t  begging for him to stop.  It was interesting, but 20 minutes or so was plenty.  It sort of felt like PA music so the wait for Tortoise seemed all that much longer.Arriving on stage with little to no fanfare the members took their places on the stage.  On the front lip of the stage was two drum kits (both facing one another).  There were times when there were two drummers going, and others when there was no drummers.  The band played about 55 minutes for their “main set” stopping only once to speak about how the primary was being held in their home state (Illinois) and that they were too scared to look at the results.  Other than hand waves that was about all the band did to acknowledge the sold out crowd.The two encores felt a bit forced.  Why the band did two songs, break, then two more seemed unessesarry .  We still got the music, but the gaps messed up the flow where it was nearly flawless for the previous 55 minutes.What drives Tortoise is the musicianship.  They are accomplished performers as evidenced by the carousel like ease the band had with swapping instruments.  The audience was respectful and engaged which is always a plus[...]

New Music - Dead Trains


New from Boston based band "Dead Trains" comes the release "Country Road Bound".  The albums is out now and includes 7 tracks that run that fine mix of punk rock meets country.  Its an odd mix, but it works!

Check out the track "Mean Town Blues"

You can grab the album now.  Check em out!  Looking for some shows to pop up soon too!

Two bands to mention..


The year has been a bit quiet so far on new releases.  I grabbed the new Tortoise record last week.  Called "The Catastophist" its a pretty solid listen. I have to say the cover of "Rock On" is not really what I would have expected. It actually is the one song I tend to skip on the record for whatever reason.

Otherwise I've really been digging on the band King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard.  I read about them in a magazine (yep still old school around here) and it was cool to dive in and check em out.  They are really prolific, releasing 2 records a year at their current clip.  Excited to hear new stuff, get in to it and then be ready for even more new stuff.

The good news is both Tortoise and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard are making local area appearances.  Both bands hit The Sinclair in the next few months.



The year is coming to a close and the blog continues to be on the back burner.

new job, lots of hockey and just a little change of direction.

I like the blog, I need to decide in the next few weeks really to see what is up.

Happy New Year to all.

2Cellos come to Boston (rescheduled tour info)


2CELLOS COMING TO BOSTON’S WANG THEATREFebruary 20, 2015  Tickets on sale now!The duo come to Boston on Friday February 20, 2016.  Tickets are on sale now and range from $37.75 to 62.75 (price includes $3.75 facility fee).  They are on sale now through ticketmaster or without service charge(s) at the Wang Theatre box offce located at 270 Tremont St.A limited number of Meet & Greet and VIP packages priced at $250 and $150 respectively will go on sale online at starting Wednesday, September 16 at 10:00 AM.Forced to cancel much of their North American tour earlier this year due to cellist Stjepan Hauser’s neck injury, music’s most electric and dynamic instrumental duo are healthy and happy to be back on the road.The Croatian cellists Luka Sulic and Stjepan Hauser, together known as 2CELLOS, have achieved international success by taking the cello to a new level with their incredible talent and undeniable passion. Their playing style has broken down the boundaries between different genres of music, from classical and film music to pop and rock. 2CELLOS have no limits when it comes to performing live and are equally as impressive when playing Bach and Vivaldi as they are when rocking out to AC/DC and Iron Maiden.The duo released their album "Celloverse" in January of this year.  It debuted at #1 on both the Billboard Classical and Classical Crossover charts as well in the Billboard Top 200.  Their new album is supported by a world tour landing the 2CELLOS in the U.S. in mid-February for 42 sold-out dates. Moreover, 2CELLOS’s viral video for “Thunderstruck” from Celloverse has racked up over 33 million views to date on YouTube!Aside from their huge online following where they continue to amaze with new YouTube hits, 2CELLOS’ main focus is performing live. In addition to many sold out solo tours (U.S., Japan, Europe), the duo have joined Sir Elton John on tour globally, performing with him and opening his shows in massive stadiums, as well as appearing at prestigious venues and events such as Madison Square Garden, Paris Olympia, Queen’s Diamond Jubilee, and the Emmy Awards. They have also collaborated on stage with the Red Hot Chili Peppers, Queens of the Stone Age, George Michael, and Lang Lang.Sulic and Hauser have played the cello since childhood; Sulic graduated from the acclaimed Royal Academy of Music in London, and Hauser from the Royal Northern College of Music in Manchester, both in 2011. Sulic has won a series of top prizes at numerous prestigious international music competitions including First and Special Prize at the VII Lutoslawski International Cello Competition in Warsaw (2009), First Prize at the European Broadcasting Union “New Talent” Competition (2006) and First Prize at the Royal Academy of Music Patron’s Award in Wigmore Hall (2011) among others. Hauser has worked with acclaimed classical artists such as Mstislav Rostropovich, Bernard Greenhouse, Mennahem Pressler and Ivry Gitlis, to mention a few. He has collected no less than twenty-one first prizes at the national and international music competitions and performed twice for Prince Charles in Buckingham and St. James’s Palace. Both have appeared in major classical music venues throughout the world including Wigmore Hall, Royal Albert Hall, Southbank Center, Amsterdam Concertgebouw, Vienna’s Musikverein and Konzerthaus.For more information please visit their[...]

New Music from Bob Forrest


New Album Survival Songs out 10/9 via Six Degrees Records, on tour this OctoberForrest Best Known as Lead Vocalist of Thelonious Monster, The Bicycle Thief, and as a Drug Counselor on Celebrity RehabOn October 9th, singer-songwriter Bob Forrest will release Survival Songs via Six Degrees Records.  Formerly the lead vocalist of LA rock bands Thelonious Monster and The Bicycle Thief, Forrest is also known for appearing as the lead drug counselor on Celebrity Rehab with Dr. Drew.   The first track "Truth Chaos & Beauty" premiered at Yahoo Music, listen or embed the track via Soundcloud right here!! To record Survival Songs, Forrest worked with friend and Grammy-winning producer and author Ian Brennan (Ramblin’ Jack Elliott, Tinariwen). The pair, along with a small crew of musicians that featured Zander Schloss (Circle Jerks, Joe Strummer) went to Big Sur to record the album on a plot of property owned by Bob's close friend Flea (Red Hot Chili Peppers).During his past battles with addiction to cocaine, heroin, and alcohol, Forrest once almost killed himself onstage, and infamously mangled the “Star Spangled Banner” so badly at a Clippers game he become a minor sports celebrity. After 24 attempts at rehab, Forrest finally recovered from addiction in 1996 — eventually going from celebrity drug-runner to celebrity drug-counselor and Dr. Drew Pinsky's right hand man. A fixture in the recovery community, Bob Forrest has appeared alongside Pinsky in Celebrity Rehab and Sober House. Bob Forrest was also the subject of the full-length documentary Bob and The Monster, which featured testimony from his peers including Anthony Kiedis (Red Hot Chili Peppers), Scott Weiland (Stone Temple Pilots), Keith Morris (Black Flag/The Circle Jerks), Steven Adler (Guns & Roses), Courtney Love, and more. Survival Songs coincides with the paperback release of Forrest's memoir, Running With Monsters, which details his struggle with addiction in L.A.’s ‘80s and ‘90s indie rock scene. Tracklisting: 1. See That My Grave Is Kept Clean2. Song Of The Songs3. Cereal Song4. Sammy Hagar Weekend5. Looking To The West6. Body And Soul7. Off-Street Parking8. Lena Horne Still Sings 'Stormy Weather'9. Not Going To Do It Again10. Anymore11. You've Gotta Be Kidding Me12. Elvis, We Are Waiting For You!13. Truth, Chaos & Beauty (Peace in the Valley)Tour Dates: 10/03/15 – Seattle, WA – Elliott Bay*10/10/15 – Washington DC – The Potter’s House*10/12/15 – Minneapolis, MN – Boneshaker Books*10/13/15 – Chicago, IL – City Lit Books*10/14/15 – San Diego, CA – The Whistlestop^10/15/15 – Los Angeles, CA – Book Soup*10/16/15 – San Francisco, CA – Make-Out Room^10/17/15 – Big Sur, CA – Henry Miller Library^10/18/15 – Reno, NV – Sundance Books*10/20/15 – New York, NY –  Joe’s Pub^10/21/15 – Boston, MA – Johnny D’s^10/25/15 – Philadelphia, PA – World Cafe^ * = Bob Forrest Book Tour^ = Bob Forrest Solo Show Official siteFacebook fan pageTwitter[...]

Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear -Brighton Music Hall July 23, 2015


This is just a very short entry for now.
Had the chance to see Madisen Ward and the Mama Bear at Brighton Music Hall tonight.
What a great show. I've seen a lot of shows and it takes a lot for me to stand back some and think "I am seeing something really special".
Tonight was one of those nights.

Much more to come (including some pictures) but here is the set list.
Live By The Water
Whole Lotta Problems
Daisy Jane
Modern Day Mystery
Alligator Fish N Chips
Undertaker and Juniper
Silent Movies
Dreams (Fleetwood Mac)
Dead Daffodils
Fight On
Stand By Me (Ben E.King)
Sorrows and Woes
Yellow Taxi

Its been 49 years today...


I've worn a POW/MIA Bracelet for 20+ years.  Today is the anniversary of this gentleman's journey.

This post is old,but it still rings true today.

My thoughts are with a man and family I've never met,and with all that have suffered similar heartaches.

Rival Sons -- Paradise,Boston MA May 11,2015


Rival Sons
Paradise, Boston MA
Monday, May 11, 2015

What a night.  I have to admit I am very new to this band but they just didn't fail.   Lead singer Jay Buchanan just has one of the, if not the, most powerful voice in rock. He just soars above it all. The playing was tight, clean and no frills. The band didn't bound around the stage all crazy, they just brought it from start to finish.  I had to grab a few of the cds at the merch stand because they are not the easiest to find around here for some reason.  The bummer was t-shirts sized XL and up were sold out (I need at LEAST an XL)

See them if you can.  You'll be impressed.

The full set list
Electric Man
Good Luck
You Want To
Pressure and Time
Manifest Destiny, Part 1
** break to set up for acoustic set **
Burn Down Los Angeles
The Man Who Wasn't There
White Noise
** break to set back up for electric **
Tell Me Something
Rich and the Poor
Where I've Been
Get What's Coming
Open My Eyes
Keep on Swinging

Grace Potter Announces Lineup for Fifth Annual Grand Point North Festival


Grace Potter has announced the lineup for the 2015 Grand Point North music festival, scheduled for September 12th and 13th at Burlington, Vermont’s Waterfront Park. This year the festival will feature the legendary Flaming Lips, marking their first return to Burlington since 2006 and carrying on the tradition of Grace inviting friends she has met along the way since forming Grace Potter & the Nocturnals in 2003.  Flaming Lips front man Wayne Coyne and Grace first collaborated when she recruited him to record "My Mechanical Friend" with her on the Tim Burton-Disney film Frankenweenie..  Most recently, they worked together on The Flaming Lips' 2014 tribute to The Beatles classic album, Sgt. Pepper’s Lonely Hearts Club Band on With a Little Help from My Fwends. Also on the bill will be Shakey Graves and Greensky Bluegrass, both coming off sold out performances at Higher Ground in Vermont.   Additional acts include Mike Gordon, Spirit Family Reunion, Amy Helm & The Handsome Strangers and Odessa. Keyboard wizard Marco Benevento, another longtime pal of Potter’s, will also make an appearance following the release of his critically acclaimed album, Swift which was recorded with renowned producer Richard Swift. Each night will close with a full set from Potter's new band, featuring both new and old faces.  Continuing its tradition of highlighting local talent, this year's lineup includes a strong representation of local and regional acts making their mark on the Burlington, Vermont music scene. Local bands featured this year include Madaila, Soule Monde, Heavy Plains, Maryse Smith w/ Michael Chorney, The Snaz, Barishi, and Mal Maiz. For the third year in a row, Seven Days, Vermont’s award-winning alt-weekly, is running a crowd sourced online contest giving Vermont artists the chance to open this year’s Grand Point North festival. Musical act submissions start May 6th with public voting beginning the following week on May 14th. Check for more details.The festival will close Sunday, September 13th with a post-party performance featuring Matt Burr’s widely buzzed about Pink Floyd project, Dark Side of the Mountain at the Higher Ground Ballroom.   Dates: Saturday, September 12th and Sunday, September 13th, 2015Time: Saturday, Gates at 3pm. Sunday, Gates at 2pm (Box Office opens each day at 11am)Location: Waterfront Park, Burlington, VTTwo-day festival tickets are currently $79 while supplies last. Single day tickets are $59.  Children 12 and under are free. Festival is rain or shine. VIP tickets are also available for $159 and include early entry to the festival, VIP viewing area at the soundboard, a commemorative VIP laminate, festival poster signed by Grace Potter as well as access to a VIP tent featuring shade and seating, discounted beverages, and light food.  Tickets are available online at, by phone at 802-652-0777 or in person at the Higher Ground Box Office, 1214 Williston Rd., S. Burlington Festival Official SiteHigher Ground (Venue) Grace Potter Official Site Facebook page @grandpointnorth for twitter, #gpnfest     [...]

Caspian - The Met - Pawtucket RI May 8, 2015


CaspianThe Met Cafe,Pawtucket RIFriday May 8, 2015Support - BloodphesantSo its been a bit since I've updated the blog but when I get to see one of the bands that I just adore it always stirs my creative juices and I had to put finger to keyboard.When we last saw Caspian live they were doing their 10th Anniversary show at the Larcom Theater. It was an amazing night and  I wrote about it.   Anyhow, the band has been hard a work since.  They are set to release a blu ray of that very show in the coming weeks. (you can pre-order it  in a link below)  They also headed to the studio to record LP#4.  As of this typing its "done" and according to the band they hope to see it come to the masses at the end of September.So,the band decided to do a one off show before heading to play a set at the Dunk! Festival (holy crap I wish I had tickets for this).The band hit the stage shortly after 10 and its always a thrill to see them just walk on the stage. The lone bummer of the night was the lack of any sort of light show.  Awash in a blue light it was hard to see the guys and I think that kept many a cell phone camera away (hence the image from their wiki page up top). Opening with "The Raven" it was a full on assault. The crowd was that of adoring fans.  The last time we were together for a "seated"show so it was nice to get up and move with others.  The band then played their first of two new songs "Darkfield".  It was good, and I am curious to hear this one develop.The always welcome, file under my all time favorite song from them, came in "Some Are White Light".  I never get tired of that song and honestly the band could have walked off stage and I would only have been mad for a instant.  They mellow it out some with "Concrescence"and I get now why they do this.  They need  breather as they then launched in to the "The Heart that Fed" a track from the bands last ep.  That then spiraled in to the always crowd pleasing "Gone in Bloom and Bough".  This 8+ minute romp takes you on a ride and the false ending still catches me off guard.  The band then played the last song off the main set a second new one called "Arc of Command". Now I'll admit I was texting the set list to a buddy that couldn't make it.  I wrote as it started "new one".  Then as the song absolutely blew my brains in I texted him again...and simply said "Whatever it was, its our new favorite".  It was awesome.The band left the stage and returned with "Halls of Summer" in which Phil took a moment to thank us all again and sort of give a report on the band, the album, (sept) etc.  We then got the standard closer of "Sycamore" with the band engaging in the full circle drum circle at the end.  It never ever fails.The Full Set:The RavenDarkfieldSome Are White LightConcrescenceThe Heart that FedGone in Bloom and BoughArc of CommandencoreHalls of SummerSycamoreAs the weekend progressed the band was hosting a listening party. Basically they have 30 ipods loaded with the new record and you can go to a park or what have you with the band and listen..soak it in and then talk about it.  There was a system mishap for me personally when the tickets for that went on sale and sadly I missed it.  A friend was able to go and posted pictures.  The band set up on the ocean, brought out a grill and hung out.&nbs[...]