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Random Musings

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

Updated: 2018-03-08T10:15:56.497-05:00


The art of the "farewell" tour.


There is a trend in music the last few months.  Artists retiring from touring.  Without a ton of looking in to it Elton John will do a three year “final tour”.  More on that in a second.  Neil Diamond suddenly stopped due to health issues.  Joan Baez, Paul Simon, Kenny Rodgers and Slayer have all said “we are done” after their respective runs.First lets cast off any thoughts you have on the artists mentioned.  What I mean is, I don’t care if you don’t like xyz.  That is really not the point.  Another reaction might be “thank god”.  Again, not really the point.Of all the bands mentioned there I have not seem them live and I am not sure I “need” to.  Honestly I’d sit through any of them with Slayer, Simon and Rodgers being my top picks.Lets start with announcing the farewell tour.  We as consumers have all been burned.  We are looking at you “The Who” as suspects #1.  Some of the artist have said “our last formal tour” still leaving room for one off shows here and there.As a fan of music this seems to make the most sense.  Sure I get it, years on the road take their toll.  Health, wanting to be near family are the big things you hear with these artists saying its time to slow down.  Face it, none of these artists are staying in a Motel 6 and driving a van with 200K miles on it.Look at what Springsteen has done on Broadway, or Billy Joel doing a series of shows per month in NYC not far from his home.  It would be like a long work day for the average person.  Get up, drive to the venue, sound check, eat, do the show, hang out for a bit then head home. In your bed, seeing your kids off to school the following morning its all very appealing I am sure.Elton doing the long run I have to applaud.  Again, just going off memory he is pretty much playing most of the places you’d expect.  US, Euro, Australia etc.  Probably South America too.  It seems silly to take three years to do this, but he is doing it at his own pace and when you think about it it’s sort of cool.  Not only that he can..but he can still “ease” in to it.As a fan of all genres of music it’s not hard to see the up and coming bands doing their thing.  Load in, play, load out, drive.  Rinse lather repeat 200+ times a year…for 45/60 minute sets.  That has to be very difficult.  Even if you look at pop acts, they might have a tour bus right out of the gate and play radio shows (again 45/60 minute sets) they still have high level of burnout.  The older I get the more I applaud what goes on OFF stage as much as on stage.  Again, for the bands that are doing tours on their own, with a van and one friend helping.  Let’s face it most bands probably have part time jobs on the side, struggle to get time off to tour, have a fan that was already pretty tired before the tour began and they try to jam a bunch of shows in over a two week period.I exchanged an email with a band that resides outside of Chicago a few years ago.  Fell in love with their record and wrote “will you be coming out east?” and I got a nice response but it wasn’t anything like I expected.  It basically said “we work full time jobs, we all took our allotment of vacation time and this is what we can do for now, sorry we can’t come your way”.Making music and playing music is HARD.If you have a chance get to the big “final” shows but make it a point to catch a new band, or arrive early for a support band.  There is just so much out there you HAVE to find something you’ll dig![...]

Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit - Vets Auditorium, Providence RI


Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
Friday, February 2, 2018
Veterans Auditorium, Providence RI

One of the artists I have recently found myself very interested in is Jason Isbell.  Isbell released a record in 2017 that was one of my favorites called “The Nashville Sound” with his band the 400 Unit.
Giving complete transparency I saw a feature on Isbell during a segment on CVS Sunday Morning and was very curious.  From that point I became ravenous.  I have a few friends that are fans of him so when I’d ask “have you heard Jason Isbell” I was typically met with an enthusiastic “yes, of course”.
I was able to connect the dots back on February 2ndwhen I was able to see him perform live at the Vet’s Auditorium in Providence.

The theater was a nice mid-sized venue.  Clean and acoustically sound.  Isbell and his band were so on point it was almost disorienting.  I could hear “EVERYTHING”.  It wasn’t just this wall of sound where you could pick a bass part out of, or an extended guitar solo.  I was able to hear all the instruments and I found myself completely captivated for the duration.

Isbell for me has landed on the “must see” list, where if he is local to me I just need to see him/his band again.  He is just such a likeable guy and humble too.

Can’t say enough good things. 

Here is the full set list if you are in to such things.

Hope the High Road
24 Frames
Go It Alone
Something More Than Free
White Man’s World
Last of My Kind
Cumberland Gap
Chaos and Clothes
Flying Over Water
Cover Me Up
Never Gonna Change (Drive By Truckers)
Super 8
If We Were Vampires

Randomness fall 2017


Just a ramble I guess…

I was thinking recently about how times change.  I guess that is just a nice way of saying  I am getting older and the world is speeding past.  Heck, as I type this record I realize that “Thriller” by Michael Jackson was released 35 years ago today.  Was I not just a wee lad when that was released?  Was it not tops on my holiday wish list (on tape no less..which is making a comeback as well??)  It really is okay.  Time is going to happen, it is just when you sit back and realize what you chose to do with it.

One of the things I was reflecting on was how blogging was a big part of what I was doing for a bit.  I met some nice, interesting people when I was doing this a bit more “on the regular”.  It was the earliest form of social media to me.  I had a network of friends and co-workers.  We’d write, we’d comment and if we were lucky we’d get pinned on the side bar as a “blog I dig” type thing.
Most of those that I was once following have long abandoned the craft.  Moving to social media for a quick fix, or in some cases seeming to disappear altogether.   I do have to say I miss looking for new posts and seeing what people wrote.  Often read only by a small group of people.  Occasionally I’d stumble upon people that were looking to make a career of writing and many of them, at the very least had a manuscript published!  Sorta cool.

I also followed a guy that had hilarious posts and he now is a sports writer and has over a million twitter followers.  Hopefully some of his old posts he hid/deleted!  I still giggle at some of the stories.
Writing, for me, was something I don’t mind doing…but I need a proofreader desperately!

2017 is drawing towards a close.  I am not sure I can do a “favorite records” of the year the way I’d like to.  My new job (now 2.5 years on) has not afforded me a lot of time to listen to music.  My commute to work is pretty short as well (I know..first world problems) so having that attention to give, even for 35 minutes, can be hard to find.  Couple that with I tend to buy 2-3 things at a time and give them a listen when I can.  Still I think 2017 has been pretty strong.  I should, at the very list do a list of the cds that got the most plays.  We shall see.

In the world of hockey I continue to do a fair amount of timekeeping.  Its getting easier and the pay has been pretty great.  With high school season kicking off soon I hope to maybe find/log some hours doing that.  I say that now, but sitting in a cold rink when it gets chippy might be one of my least favorite things in the world.  Just finish the game you big dummies…I want to go home.

About all I wanted to write today..(for the first time in weeks)

DunkFest USA 2017


(Had this saved on my computer and never posted)..Dunkfest USAHigher Ground, Burlington VTSaturday Oct 7th and Sunday October 8, 2017There are a couple of things to set up when talking about this particular event.  First, it’s a very popular that has been hosted in Belgium.  Most of the acts that play fall under the “post rock” genre (largely instrumental) music.  When I saw that a US version as going to be staged I felt I needed to go.And boy am I glad I did.The event ran for two days at The Higher Ground, a pretty good sized club in Burlington Vermont.  The venue has two rooms. (based off what I can find a 300 capacity and 1000 capacity room, separated by a lobby). The music ran both days from 230pm until midnight…it was a long day.But damn it was great….I arrived at the club having missed just the first 2 bands.  Part of it was hotel check in issues and the like, but once I was there in the club I was in for the long haul.  Going in I felt Sunday (day 2) was the strong of the days, at least for me personally.  I was more than happy to sit back and learn some new things, find some new bands and enjoy…and that I did.This Patch of Sky FINALLY came to the east coast.  This was a big pull for me. I’ve been wanting to seem them for ages, and they are active on social media so I feel like I always knew/know what’s up with them, but had yet to see them.  They released a new album less than 30 days before this show and they were in FINE form.  The band has a cellist, so there were new elements being played.  If you were new to the band it was probably as confusing (at the start) as it was refreshing to mix things up.  The lone bummer from them was the seemingly cut short set (I swear they had at least 10 minutes) but I did read another review that said they had some tech issues, but I didn’t see/hear anything.The band that most surprised me though was Astronoid.  When they guys came on stage it was not what I was expecting.  Big hair, big amps and one guitarist used a “Flying V”.  Not really something you associate to the genre.  Once they started I was hooked.  It could have been that the two bands (both in the same room and opposite room) were more on the mellow side these guys blew the roof off.  It was loud, it was fast it even had soaring vocals???!  Odd..but I loved it.  Refreshing..yes…and a sweet kick in the ass as we all approached hour 10ish and band 21 of 22…we needed it.Pelican wrapped up day one exactly like I had expected.  Powerful.Day 2Now that I had a day under my belt I knew how I wanted to approach the next day.  I was a little lazier in getting to the club on day two, instead taking in some of the sights and sounds of Burlington.  Despite being overcast (and a time of rain that seemed to fall sideways) it’s a really cool city.  I found two record shops and a decent place to grab some lunch so those were additional wins.The End of the Ocean took to the stage and by the first song of the set Tara (the keyboard player) had toppled over.  She fell, the keyboard with her and everything.  She was just rocking out THAT HARD.Coastlands were a ton of fun.  They really worked the second stage well and were even nicer at their merch booth (heck I went back to see them and chat).  One of the few bands that came from Portland just for this event (yes…other side of the US) and they made the most of their time.  I enjoyed their set very much.Junius was next on the main stage.  Phil, from Caspian, was sitting in on bass.  I was excited to see him as I didn’t know much about the band.  Sadly they didn’t do a ton for me.  The stage presence, outside of Phil, was pretty tame.  Even the lead singer had his hoodie up and it was overwhelmingly dark on the stage.  I wanted to like them more than I did sadly.The evening ended with a thunderous s[...]

Some great music these days..


Lots to be excited about these days.  The most time I can “sit” and listen to music is at work, and usually I am not at my desk so its hard to catch up.  The last week I’ve had a “light” week and have been able to sit and listen to things.  I still have a few new releases in their cellophane wrapper though!
A while back CBS Sunday Morning did a piece on Jason Isbell.  I had heard of him and sorta didn’t really waiver one way or the other, but for the 7 minute piece was was enthralled.  I went right out and bought the latest album and played it as often as I could.  I really was probably my “summer” cd.  I played it in car, when I worked in the yard and when I sat on the patio staring at a fire pit.  I was just ‘too late’ to catch him on the first wave of his tour, but have tickets for February and I am pretty excited.  I’ve grabbed a few others from him and each has something I seem to be looking for.  Late to the party, but I brought chips and I am ready to hang out for a while.

Caught Elbow the other night in Boston. (I gotta do a review).  They are touring to support their new album “Little Fictions”.  At first I wasn’t super drawn to it (again so many things pulling for my time) but leading up to the show I made the effort to “pay attention” and after 1-2 solid listens I started to really love it.  The album gets stronger as it goes and seeing/hearing things live even more so.  Why this band seems to contine to elude US audiences on a grander scale is baffling to me.
Still wrapped up (and the good thing is what I’ve been hearing is all pretty positive) are the latest from Beck, the 3rd (or is it 4th) release of the year from King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard and the Courtney Barnett/Kurt Vile album.

Might have a down week again this more to come!



ElbowParadise Rock ClubBoston, MAWednesday November 1, 2017Support: C DuncanElbow has been a band that I’ve grown to appreciate more and more.  Wednesday was the third time I’ve seen the band live and the 2nd time after I vowed to “never miss them again”.Arriving to the club (sold out) C Duncan was on stage.  One guy with what appeared to be a keyboard/laptop type set up.  He was on his 2nd to last song and what I heard didn’t overly move me, but he got a good response from the audience.My buddy and I settled upstairs.  The Paradise has a lot of history and one of the things its known for is the massive poles that are in the WORST places for sight lines.  A few years ago the club did some renovations and put in an small balcony area and moved the board up there.  Well, for whatever reason Elbow put their gear on the main floor.  They had big “staging” areas too for guitars/bass and a LOT of floor space was unused.  Sold out shows at the Paradise are a drag..there I said it.Thankfully Elbow helped me quickly forget all that.Opening with “Any Day Now” which is the first track of the bands 2001 debut album.  It was a dark and moody (and perfect) take on the track.  You could almost hear people audibly gasp that they were playing the tune.  They kept it “old” by then going in to “The Bones of You” from the 2008 release “The Seldom Seen Kid”  we then got “Fly Boy Blue” and finally the first track from the newest record (Little Fictions) in “Head for Supplies”“My Sad Captains” brought a (continuous) sing along with the wonderful line “What a perfect waste of time”.  Frontman Guy Garvey is just such a great front man.  He didn’t run around the stage, but he made good use of it.  His stories in between just about every song were more charming than annoying.  You actually looked forward to the story about how as song was put together, or why etc.The whole show was just a series of highlights, further confirming their “must not miss” status.  “The Birds” as a buddy noted is a track that “I could listen to for 2 hours” and “Little Fictions” with its Radiohead-esque final few minutes just pull you right in.Of course a big payoff song is “One Day Like This”.  This track ended the main set and will forever be a set closer for the band, it is just so perfect.  Garvey got the audience to “hum” early on.  The floor hummed in one key, then upstairs another key.  Then the song began so when the sing along came up Garvey commanded working “harmonies”.  I know that singing at shows can be seen in various ways, but this just HAS to happen when this song goes down.  Honestly one of those tracks where I wish I could transport the most cynical music fan just to experience.  It is just a perfect few minutes.The band left the stage and came back for three more tracks.  “Grounds for Divorce” was another track that whipped everyone in to a frenzy and the night was ended with that.The full set list:Any Day NowThe Bones of YouFly Boy Blue/LunetteHead for SuppliesMy Said CaptainsLeaders of the Free WorldSwitching OffAll DiscoMagnificent (She Says)MirrorballThe BirdsLittle FictionsKindlingOne Day Like ThisE:Station ApproachLippy KidsGrounds for DivorceThe band doesn’t seem to tour the US very much (at least in my opinion) so catch them when you can.  I know I won’t miss em if they are local.[...]

A new feature at the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame.


One of the perks of having in-laws in the Cleveland area is that I get to hit the Rock and Roll Hall of Fame pretty much on a yearly basis.I’ve been going since it opened and the first visit was a full day, we are talking from opening of the doors until being told the place was closing.  These days I can get in and out in about 2.5 hours.Keep in mind that items are on constant display from artists, with a little change.  For example there is a pretty large section devoted to Elvis Presley and much of it has been the same, but they’ve put in a car, or a motorcycle (the TV with the bullet hole in the screen is/was my favorite).  So, when I go to the museum sometimes it can be a “walk on by” vs slow down and read.  To cut down on time I skipped a lot of the “films” they played.  I had seen them.  There was one they had that would lead in to the actual “wall of fame” as I called it.  A darkened hallway with signatures of band members that had been inducted.  Its “neat” but I felt it took a lot of space.  The big thing is that at the end of that portion was a few displays of memorabilia from that year’s class of inductees, so that was never one to miss.The museum switched things up, the new class is now in one of the main levels and the lit up all is gone.What replaced it was a film that I initially was going to pass on, but decided to go through it.It was great.  It opened in July so it’s really new (and smells new still!!)   You wait in a small lobby area and see past inductees thank the audience and most of them would sort of elude to that “making speeches is/was not their thing” and they just wanted to “jam”.  That that is what this film was, you went in, sat down and were blasted to the back of the room with segments from the all-star jams.  It had concert hall lights and volume.  Heck the floor shook…it was great.95% of the film is 15/30 seconds of artists playing.  The final probably two minutes is the solo that Prince did during “While My Guitar Gently Weeps”.  It went on long enough that I thought, there is NO WAY they can cut this short…and they didn’t.  It was high def, with concert hall sound and lights etc.  It was awesome.  Below is the suit that Prince wore that evening as well as the clip to remind you just how awesome the moment was.  Video included that goes right to the solo…..  The gentle smiles, the awe of the other players is a great nod to a player being in “the zone”.  What I like the most is that a few times Prince sorta looks over and is like “I can wrap this up now…or I can keep going”.  Thankfully he kept going.Check out the solo right here[...]

Some Free Live Music in Boston!


The Revivalists, American Authors and New Politics to Headline ALT Rocks Boston 2017ALT 92.9, Boston’s Alternative Radio announces The Revivalists, American Authors and New Politics will headline ALT Rocks Boston 2017.The radio station’s free summer concert series, presented by RCN, will include two shows at Copley Square Park on August 17th and August 31st as well as a first time performance at the SoWa Art & Design District Market on September 9th, 2017.Line up and Venue (take note!!!)Thursday, August 17, 2017, 5:00PM - The RevivalistsCopley Square Park, BostonThursday, August 31, 2017 5:00PM - American AuthorsCopley Square Park, BostonSaturday, September 9, 2017 11:00AM - New PoliticsSoWa Open Market, 530 Harrison Ave, BostonAlt Rocks Boston 2017 is presented by RCN.  Opening acts for all three concerts will be announced in early August.  For more information on Alt Rocks Boston 2017, visit[...]

...and we are back!


So I had some free time at work and was able to hammer out about a summers worth of "Forgotten Disc Fridays".  I was able to circle back some some records and write down some thoughts.

Hope you'll check it out!

Festival at the Farm - Canton Ma, September 16 and 17


YES!!  Have a look at all the information by clicking right here

Guster - On the Ocean - August 11-13, 2017


"Guster On The Ocean" Set for August 11-13, 2017August 12 Concert at Thompson's Point Highlights Weekend of Music and Activities Tickets On-Sale Friday, May 5Twenty-five years ago, a group of college students first performed onstage at Tufts University.  In 2017, Guster is celebrating this 25th anniversary with a series of signature events and concerts.  Following sold-out shows at the Beacon Theatre in New York City and a four-night run at Boston's Paradise Rock Club, the Guster 25 celebration moves to Portland, Maine in August, with a full weekend of activities, highlighted by an August 12 concert at Thompson's Point.  Tickets go on sale Friday, May 5 at 10:00AM by calling 1-800-745-3000, in person at the Port City Music Hall Box Office Wednesdays - Fridays from 10am-5pm and online at www.statetheatreportland.comGuster On The Ocean kicks off on Friday, August 11th aboard a ferry that will cruise with just 200 fans on board!On Saturday August 12 the band headlines Thompson Point where the Maine Youth Rock Orchestra will join the band for part of the set!The weekend concludes on Sunday, August 13th with a kayaking trip from the Portland waterfront to a secluded location on the Casco Bay where Guster will perform an intimate acoustic set.  Tickets for the harbor cruise and the kayaking trip are very limited and will be available by lottery exclusively to individuals who purchase tickets to the Thompson's Point show by Friday June 30, 2017.  For fans wishing to travel from Boston to Portland for the show on Saturday night, the band has teamed up with AMTRAK to create the Guster Express, a private rail car filled with Guster Fans.  A $84 ticket includes round trip passage on the Guster Express and a concert ticket. Tickets for the Guster Express also go on sale Wednesday May 3rd at 10:00 AM. Get tickets and more info at: On the Ocean  Concert at Thompson's Point, Portland, MEDates: Saturday, August 12, 2017Time: Gates at 5:00PM. Concert begins at 6:00PM.All tickets are general admission and are just $40. Ages (children under the age of 3 are free)Tickets to Guster On the Ocean Concert at Thompson's Point go on sale Friday, May 5 at 10:00AM and are available by calling 1-800-745-3000, in person at the Port City Music Hall Box Office Wednesdays - Fridays from 10am-5pm and online atwww.statetheatreportland.comFor more information about Guster on the Ocean visit[...]

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[...]

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


Prophets of RageXfinity Center, Mansfield MASunday August 21, 2016Support – 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 SetProphets 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 ZeroThe Ghost of Tom Joad (Bruce Springsteen)Bullet in the Head (RATM)Shut Em Down (PE)Know Your Enemy (RATM)The Party’s OverNo Sleep Till Brooklyn/Fight the PowerBulls 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.  [...]

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 [...]