Saturday, January 29, 2011

To the Dreamers Go the Dreams

I had the privilege of taking my 8-year-old son to see Guster Thursday night in Des Moines and we were blown away. It's my fourth time seeing them and they are one of those rarities that keeps getting better and better with age. These guys have been touring together virtually non-stop for 15+ years - only taking breaks to record albums or have babies. They are tight yet find a way to stay loose and have fun. You know they are well rehearsed, but they make you believe they just picked up their instruments and started jamming.

I remember fondly first hearing Airport Song back when I was working radio and it struck me square between the ears then and I've been smitten since. What a joy then to hear a wild version of it last night complete with discoed guitar bits and the irresistible bongo freak out. The ping pong balls came out a bit prematurely, but this was such a new, different version I can't blame my fellow concertgoers. This was my favorite highlight, but I'll always have a soft spot for Airport Song. Others were Happier, Barrel of a Gun, Come Downstairs and Say Hello (complete with a summoned ukelele that gently glided down from the heavens), and of course the requisite Jesus on the Radio unplugged to close it down. Oh and who can ever forget the relatively impromptu A Dong, an ode to a favorite Vietnamese restaurant in Des Moines. Hilarious. Everything from Easy Wonderful sounded like it perfectly belonged in Guster's ever-growing catalog of tunes that sound fantastic on CD and even better live. They found the right balance with playing old favorites mixed with the new tunes, that judging by the audience's reaction were just as beloved as the classics. No song was unwelcome and I really only missed hearing Either Way and One Man Wrecking Machine. Check out some videos here. Looking forward to a bootleg!

Guster satisfies every time but also leaves me impatiently waiting and hoping for another visit really soon. The tour goes on so get out and see them if you have the chance. Me gusta Guster.

Opening band Good Old War was quite good in their own right. It was clear from the beginning that very few people in the audience had ever heard of them. By the end of their 45-minute set, they earned a standing ovation and cries for encores - a pretty impressive response. I dug the three-point harmonies and overall hippy-dippy yet poppy vibe. I look forward to digging a bit deeper.

Wednesday, January 26, 2011

Never To Be Seen By Naked Lovers' Eyes

Dada is still alive and kicking - and touring. Here are upcoming tour dates...

03/31/11 - Denver, CO @ The Bluebird Theater - NEW!
04/01/11 - Minneapolis, MN @ Fine Line Music Cafe - NEW!
04/14/11 - Agoura Hills, CA @ Canyon Club - NEW!
04/15/11 - Redondo Beach, CA @ Brixton - NEW!
04/16/11 - San Juan Capistrano, CA @ The Coach House - NEW!
Ah, so tantalizingly close to Des Moines. C'mon! And hey, what about some new tunes?!

Saturday, January 08, 2011

It's Sweet and It's Sad and It's True

R.E.M. has released a new "lyric video" for new tune Oh My Heart. Check it out below. Sounds like it would fit in nicely on Automatic for the People, which bodes well for the new album Collapse Into Now.

R.E.M. is also generously giving away another new tune, Discoverer, for the cheap price of your email address. Go here to sign up and get the free download!

Finally, dig deeper into the artistic mind of Michael Stipe at his new tumblr site: Confessions of a Michael Stipe.

The full court marketing press is on for Collapse Into Now out March 8. More to come I'm sure!

Inside My TV Eye

MTV's 120 Minutes was instrumental in helping me find the path from The Beatles to modern music and it's peak run was during my formative years. I would tape every episode Sunday night and would spend the next week furiously fast forwarding and rewinding while soaking it all in. What a joy when my wife happened upon The 120 Minutes Archive, which lovingly details every single episode. The Internet is a wondrous place. Enjoy spending hours perusing the history of alternative music videos. Check out the Top 20 of 1990, a particularly fantastic year!

You're Working So Hard

Will Yates of The Pop Project has remixed Jeremy Messersmith's Lazy Bones from his excellent 2010 release The Reluctant Graveyard. The original album is certainly one of the best from '10, which is some nice synergy given The Pop Project's Stars of Stage and Screen was one of the best of '08. Name your price or stream...