Tag Archives: Minus the Bear

23rd Up to 17th Top 2017 Albums

10 Jan

#23-Eisley I’m always a big fan of how so many voices in the band come together.  I’m Only Dreaming reminds me of the album that the Princess in Super Mario Brothers might be listening to while locked in the castle.  It’s got a fantastic, whimsical sound.  As always, the songs stick with you but are also good background music.

#22-Minus the Bear

Truly alternative music.  VOIDS isn’t nearly as dark and depressing as 2012’s Infinity Overhead, and that’s a good thing.  But it didn’t hit that spot in my psyche like it used to.

#21-Emily Saliers Her first solo album is really exciting to me!  I have been a long time, huge, huge fan of the Indigo Girls (and I’ve always thought that Emily was the better writer and singer of the two).  I mean, there’s really no comparing Amy and Emily–they are different and each have their own strengths.   But I figured if I liked Amy’s solo material than I would really, really like Emily’s.  Murmuration is a little on the sentimental side.  A little folksy and quiet.  And most definitely an album that requires multiple listens before you feel attached to it.  It can try a little hard, like the line, “. . .  mother-phallic gun. . .”  I mean, I get it, I agree, but still. . .  I really love when the songs have violin, and I really like the Native American style wailing (if that’s the right thing to call it?  Sounds like powwow music) in some of the songs.  And I appreciate the story and sentiment in “OK Corral.”  For the most part, I’m on board.

Back at home, they’re shaking heads and asking why
He was so quiet, seemed like such a decent guy
A heart of darkness lies in wait in everyone
It opens like a hollow point when you point and shoot your motherphallic gun

#20-Pink I didn’t intend to make this blurb full of backhanded complements (though I have).  I have been with Pink for her entire career, from the competition with the bubblegum-pop Brittany/Christina set, to the introspective Funhouse, with songs like “Sober” that really evaluates a lifestyle.  And I like Pink with her “if you don’t like me, fuck you” attitude and edginess.  I know Pink may not be the most mature or marketable artist, but she is never phony.  My favorite thing about Beautiful Trauma is not the usual catchiness that makes Pink have a lot of radio hits.  None of the songs really struck me as stand-outs or singles.  It also wasn’t WHAT Pink had to say.  As a matter of fact, her song “What About Us” bothers me.  It’s unclear to me what exactly she’s trying to say, or who she’s talking to.  It’s a partially political, partial love song, but equates to saying nothing at all.  I can tell it’s a song written to appeal to the masses and say whatever you want it to say.  There’s no real message from Pink’s heart here–other than buy the album!  Speaking of buying, I’m disgruntled Pink is selling her worst concert tickets for $206! What. the. Fuck?!  But, but but!  The thing that I think is put forward in Beautiful Trauma is Pink’s singing.  It is perhaps her best vocal work yet, and definitely the album that showcases her pipes best to date.  She can really hit the notes, and does so in almost all these songs, and that’s really what the music industry should be all about.

#19 -Michelle Branch “Living a Lie” is ummm, sort of like No Doubt in the 1990s.  Its poppy but with a rebellious watered-down punk vibe, listen to “Living A Lie” = ska.  It’s a nice change for Branch.  “Not a Love Song” is a good ballad of regret and trying to get over someone, and very catchy.  I’m glad Branch is working again, and admire an artist that can successfully do adult contemporary, country, and alternative styles.  Keep it coming!

#18-Rachel Platton

Waves sounds very much like Taylor Swift’s new album.  The style is better suited for Platten, but “Whole Heart” is good even though it doesn’t match the intensity and uplifting feeling that “Fight Song” garners.  I can appreciate the sentiment in “Loose Ends.”

loose ends lyrics

And “Perfect for You” is a plea to take her as she is.

#17-Miley Cyrus

I’m surprised how high I ranked Younger Now.  Miley explores a more serious side here, more mature without being boring.  Her voice is different than any female vocalist around—very deep relatively.  A duet with Dolly Parton is always a crowd-pleaser and shows Cyrus still values and hones her country roots.  I would not call this album country, though.  If you had to categorize it Younger Now would be pop.  But not superficial pop.  “You’re Not Him” shows depth of writing and emotion.  “Week Without You” is about enjoying time away from a boyfriend and the ramifications of that.  I would like to hear more things from Cyrus not put out to instill shock and rebellion.

miley-cyrus-younger-now-video

Best of 2012: NEW ALBUMS

6 Jan

Best Music Produced in 2012:

Finally.  I intended on publishing this on New Years Eve when it’s a little more relevant.  These important decisions take time, and listening.  Several listenings to really pars apart the minute details between albums.  It’s a more subjective measure, then just copying LastFM statistics.  You can’t use the stats, because albums produced later in the year are at a disadvantage.  So this is based on my careful listening and whittling of songs–as well as my own unsubstantiated opinions and feelings.  Oh, and let’s get this out of the way right off the bat–I in no way italicized or put into quotations album or song titles.  This took a look time to write (as you can see by the post date of Jan 6), and I just didn’t devote any more time then necessary to grammar.  Just appreciate the music, and forget proper English, OK?  So finally, finally the long awaited, BEST OF 2012 ALBUMS blog (from good to *glorious–for you, mom).  Enjoy–I know I enjoyed listening and writing it.

Thriller

Honorable Mentions:

30.  The Fray–which I found a little too churchy to stand up.

29.  Jack Johnson’s live HI benefit album, which featured many other artists, but was too libertine.

28.  Rhythms Del Mundo with their African remixes of popular songs.

the Fray

27.  Carrie Underwood-Blown Away

Meh–I can’t say I was.  I found it too poppy for the most part.  I want a little more range and a little more country twang from Carrie.  What I got was a very commercial effort and three songs I could settle on liking.  Maybe next album, Carrie will write more of her own material, get back to her roots, or at least construct the CD without sales figures and commercial appeal in mind.

Carrie Underwood

26.  Matt & Kim-Sidewalks

I suppose I like the IDEA of the album much more then I actually liked Sidewalks.  Indie music seems so cool, so hipster.  But each song was too similar to the next for me to really appreciate the whole album.  After a quick couple of listens I was tired of hearing the same song in slightly different variation.  I found only two songs which I liked for longer then a day.

25.  Ke$ha-Warrior

Mmmm, this one was good for working out, and I’m sure dancing.  I fount it to be a slightly immature record though.  Maybe I dislike a very genre-specific record.  It certainly makes sense that I redered a very country-pop, indie, and dance-pop albums to the bottom of my 2012 list.  On this one my attention was only captured momentarily, the songs were too poppy to hold up even over a week.  I think Ke$ha has potential as an artist if she can write a little deeper lyrics, while keeping the dancy beats.

24.  Jason Mraz-Love is a Four Letter Word

At first I was very enamored with Love is a Four Letter Word.  I couldn’t get enough of the catchy tunes, and Jason’s commentaries about the songs.  It just didn’t hold up over time though.  The more I listened, the more I got annoyed with certain songs, or intros to the songs.  So unfortunately  what started out as a very, very good thing, ended up on the chopping block so to speak.  By the end of the year I was left with just 5 songs I felt were outstanding and liked to play repeatedly.

where's Peter

23.  White Rabbits-Milk Famous

Apparently, in my best-of 2012, I require several things:  Originality, while being true to the expected sound.  Check.  Coolness factor.  They have it.  Many good songs, that mean something to me and that I can listen to anywhere and on repeat.  Sure.  Several Genres.  This is where the White Rabbits fell flat.  They are indy and hipster and original, and yet each song on Milk Famous was much the same.  Just OK.

cherry

22.  Pink-The Truth About Love

I like Pink.  Always have.  I don’t care how immature or how volatile a person she is.  And this album was no exception, I found songs I could sing to, feel emotionally, and dance with.  And I loved how she featured other artists for the first time.  Good things–I like six songs.  But a good, chart-topping, year wowing album requires more then one awesome single and a few notable duets.  There is just no way to put The Truth About Love at the top of any list.  When you listen, you know it’s the junk food of female pop artists. Pink may have a little more staying power then most, and she may have slightly more to say lyrically, but there is just something about this album that isn’t adult.  Despite serious subject matter, Pink is unable to delve deep into her (or my) psyche to warrant serious success.  I want more songs like “Sober” and “Who Knew” that really stop me in my tracks while still being singable.

21.  Alicia Keys-Girl On Fire

Alicia does a good job straddling the line between R&B, piano, pop, soul, and jazz music.  For that, I have to rank Girl on Fire toward the top-more albums of 2012.  In addition, good CD title too.  That said, I only liked six of the offerings.  Usually, with Alicia’s music, I can’t really LOVE each song, but grow attached to at least one.  Not so with Girl on Fire.  No song really grew on me as they had with past albums.  So she gets mediocre rank.

LF polar bear

20.  Minus the Bear-Infinity Overhead

I just expected more.  There was nothing wrong with Infinity Overhead (except that terrible, gritty video for “Steel & Blood”) but I had hoped for more.  The songs were good.  Easy listeners, that were repeatable.  Indy and cool and true to their roots.  I guess I looked forward to the album release so much that these seven songs I ended up liking most did not measure up.  Good music, but a let-down all the same.

IMG_20120901_173242

19.  Dave Matthews Band-Away From the World

I really hate to say it–I do.  Especially as a relatively new fan, whose favorite moment of 2012 was The Gorge Concert on Labor Dave Weekend.  Away From the World wasn’t the best CD DMB has ever put out.  Sure, “Mercy” grows on you and the video concepts are amazing.  There are just no stand out songs, and certainly not of sufficent length, jams, or live footage.  Now, I’m hungering for a new album already, because 2012’s just didn’t do the band justice.  I wish I could rank this one higher. . .

18.  Alanis Morressette-Havoc and Bright Lights

I’m not afraid to say it–I loved Jagged Little Pieces.  Not a popular opinion anymore.  It was one of my staple CDs for years–still is in the case of a break up.  After Jagged though, Alanis sort of lost her edge for me.  I didn’t really love her efforts until this year.  And this album features a lot of songs I don’t hate.  Though I can’t really say I felt much toward them.  I would classify Havoc and Bright Lights as unobtrusive.  The best album Alanis has put out in years, but not a knock out, stand out by any means.  It’s good background or study music.

my x-mas 14

17.  Bon Iver-Stems Project

This album was produced very early in 2012.  And it’s sits toward the middle of my favorites list despite eventual categorization as just unobtrusive, because it has a couple things.  Different variations of the same song?  Surprisingly a good idea.  It has a very original vibe?  Yup.  Indie? sure.  Hipster? definitively.  And yet, it’s not presumptuous.  Stems Project may not have any stand-alone, stand out songs, but in it’s achievement as indy-hip minus the attitude, I commend it.

Fiona Apple-Criminal

16.  Fiona Apple-crazily long obnoxious title, I’m not going to try to write out.

Jarring.  That’s the most effective description I can think of for *insert longest most unwieldy album title of all time here*  This is over a couple of other artist offerings, because even though I could hardly listen to some of the songs, Fiona was saying something.  Sometimes in a good way, oftentimes exceeding my listening saturation point.  I do like that Fiona did her own thing.  She made her own rules, and really went for it–not keeping an eye on record label profits.  Respectful effort for sure, and I can see potential again, because we all know Fiona can be a little unstable and unpredictable as a person–though she channeled that nicely for the album.  I do suggest less shouting and a shorter title for the next project.  Oh, and by the way, I don’t know if anyone can beat Fiona’s singing chops with her garble-waver and range of pitch.

15.  Amy Ray-Lung of Love

I always have love for any half of the Indigo Girls.  And I feel like Lung of Love has a more country feel to it.  Which is an awesome addition to the rock, folk, and punk infused grooves she already has going.  Extra bonus points for incorporating Brandi Carlile’s voice.  I also like the other featured artists on this album.  Except, I don’t know what it is, but Amy Ray has this way of getting a momentum where every song has the same vibe.  Even with all those different genres and contributing artists.  I start to wonder where one songs ends and the other begins.  And it isn’t in a cohesive–this CD has a theme way.  It’s like she finds an original sound, then sticks to that same sound too much, so that by the end of the CD it’s not novel at all.  I say an album that goes together is fine–but too much of a good sound just becomes boring.

Indigo Girls

14.  A Fine Frenzy-PINES

I love the enchanting whimsy of A Fine Frenzy in general.  And this album, certainly gels together in a nice theme.  Problem the best presented cohesive package of the year.  The only trouble with PINES is the length of some of the songs.  A couple of my favorites are 6-7 minutes long.  A few are just extraneous in length.  Anyway, a nice dramatic effort, that will last in time for sure.

CO wildflower

13.  Green Day-Uno, Dose, Tres

Though there were technically three albums, I judge as one musical effort this year.  Of course, conceptually, the guys deserve kudos for thinking outside the box and producing three separate  yet combinable CDs each several months apart.  I think it’s a great marketing ploy, it’s different, and it’s creative.  Together-it’s a lot too many songs, that tend to blend toward one sound.  Many songs lack their own characteristics, instead being obvious “fillers.”  Yet, I’m not sure I would have liked the 12 songs I ended up liking well, AS much if they would have been on just one disc, as one offering.  So I rank Green Day as top of the middle in my 2012 list, if nothing else for their creativity in bucking a rigid label-system to produce three mini-albums at three intervals.

12.  Keane-Strangeland

There was a different vibe on 2012’s CD then Keane had in the past.  Still good, just another variety   The one thing I disliked was really based on a feeling, then tangible qualities.  I felt like Keane had a certain umm, what’s the right word?  Not arrogance–that’s too much.  Just a level of comfort and familiarity that comes with being sure of success.  I got the feeling Keane feels established enough to not TRY and struggle to make it anymore.  Which, they may have a well-established fan-base, but I think very few artists truly get to stop worrying about their number of listeners.  It ranked just slightly lower because it’s heavy Europe.  There is just a UK vibe that, as a true American (I suppose) turned me off.  This makes it sound like I didn’t like the record at all, which isn’t the case at all.  I felt very strongly toward the 12 songs I did like though, and there were plenty more offered on Strangeland.

11.  Eisley-The Valley

It’s difficult to believe that more then one person is singing.  The blending is impeccable.  I think the musicality, the beats especially, are improved from their last few albums.  If I had to describe what Eisley does to me when I listen to The Valley, it’s to tear delicately.  The lyrics and peaceful pitch gets inside my head and heart, and the emotion behind along with the instrumentation rips at my insides.  It’s a soft assault on my sensibilities.

NV Feb 2010 241

10.  Maroon 5-Overexposed

I have no idea what it is.  These guys are just different from everybody else.  I really can’t put my finger on what makes their music so outstanding.  They can say mean things in ways that get stuck in your head.  Their beat initiates dance moves unparalleled.  They are poppy, and seem uncategorizable (yeah, I make up words to suit my purposes) as anything else.  Yet, it isn’t mindless, bubble-gum dance pop that is fleeting and superficial.  A relative flurry of music in the last two years doesn’t hurt to keep them on the radar.  But it’s more than that, too.  I guess that’s what is so great about Overexposed–you don’t know what makes it shine, and why you can’t stop listening.  But you do.

9.  Trampled by Turtles-Stars & Satellites

Damn you Trampled by Turtles!  First off, they get marked down where no one else was even judged, for NOT having any merch featuring a group of turtles, or any turtle at all.  If an animal is in your band name you HAVE to have it on at least one piece of merchandise!  Rawr.  Anyway, the music–ugh, I wanted more fat-playing banjo and fiddle.  I wanted upbeat, dancing blue-grunge or whetever they call their hybrid bluegrass, country, rock, indy, folk music.  But Stars and Satellites was quiet and thoughtful.  Which is not bad.  Not at all.  Just not exactly what I wanted.  So even though I liked every single song, and found no problems (other than the afore-mentioned merch dearth) they are here.  Because the prior CD was better.  That’s all.

turtle line 2

8.  Lifehouse-Almeria

The same band, but just different enough to be totally new–that’s the beauty of Almeria.  I liked the bouncier, dancier songs, though they were still laid-back and chill as Lifehouse has ever been.  I liked this especially, because with such a dramatic change of style, it doesn’t seem forced or over-marketed.  I don’t see Lifehouse catering to record labels or commercial interests with this change.  It just feels like an establishment of maturity.  A great effort, and I can’t want for more.

7.  Ben Folds 5-The Sound of the Life On the Mind

Yay they’re back!  Ben Folds +/- Five is like a club.  You just have to know to understand.  And apparently, I hold membership, because I’m finding it difficult to explain this to outsiders:  It’s less piano (which I loved) but still awesome.  Though the songs on The Sound of the Life On the Mind (or something to that effect-damn, keep album titles short!) seem somehow more down-tempo they are still captivating.  And not really down-tempo.  I totally just said two opposing statements, but it makes sense if you compare the older stuff to this new release.  At any rate, I found seven really solid songs and can’t stop listening to them.  What else can you say, but listen?

6.  Matchbox Twenty-North

Another YAY, they’re back.  What’s the refrain–again with more feeling?  That’s how I felt with North.  It’s everything great about Matchbox 20, lyrically superior, emotion, singable, textured.  But with more feeling.  Every song resonated with me.  I left the CD wanting more.  That’s why they’re in this position.  Also, they don’t really transcend genres or have a purely original sound.  That’s not criticism, just when you have to rank the best albums of a year it comes down to the meticulous details to differentiate the top from the superior.  And these guys are comfortably at the top.

N. lights 10

5.  David Gray-Foundling

A surprise new favorite.  Like everybody else I had heard David Gray, liked some of the more popular songs, then regaled him to the background.  Between 2012 Draw the Line and Foundling, I found 20 songs that I could not tire of.  Yes, they are still good for the background, but the more I listened, the more I felt in tune with David’s unpretentious croonings.  A secret success, that’s already has a huge fan-base.  Add me.

4.  John Mayer-Born & Raised

Growth, so much growth can be ascertained from this album.  I’ve always liked John, but I found Born & Raised to be his best work yet.  It was just the right blend of emotional, country, soul-searching, and pop.  I liked nearly every song, and thought the effort raised above commercial marketing and genre alone.  He stood alone and was his own person, overcoming, sameness (cute guy + guitar) syndrome.  It feels like John grew up, and with that maturity found his real musical niche.

fireworks 13

3.  Adele-21

Oh the talent! I have nothing new to say, that hasn’t already been said or written throughout the year.  This gal is the real deal–no disputing that.  Belying her physical appearance, she can belt it out like a soul-queen.  Riveting and heart-felt, that’s how I would describe 21.  And the ONLY reason she doesn’t rate higher on my list, is she put the album out too early in the year.  Last January, and due to over-play, I’m somewhat over it.  As much as a person can be, anyway.  Not Adele’s fault, or by any lacking of the music quality at all either.  I’ve just had enough for now.  I see this album will be classic, and remain on best-off all-time lists.

2.  Brandi Carlile-Bear Creek

Believe you me–I wanted to pick Brandi’s CD as the top album of the year.  If only for cute-ness factor (Brandi’s not the album).  But there is that ONE song on Bear Creek that I alone just do not feel.  Everyone else likes it, but this is my list, and that song took the CD down a notch.  Anyway, Bear Creek is amazing.  I feel it transcends genres, is re-playable, goes with any activity or mood, and does well live. I also thing it will stand up to the test of time.

Brandi cute cowgirl

And–drumroll please–the number one album of 2012–as I see it:

1.  Mumford & Sons-Babel

Musically and lyrically.  Catchy with longevity.  Multiple listens in a variety of contexts.  I deem Babel the number one album of 2012, just because I was able to listen to it everywhere over and over without tiring of it.  Also, because I enthusiastically liked each song.  The ONLY downfall is Mumford & Sons don’t tour in the U.S. widely if at all.  I would happily take in a concert of theirs!

Brandi Carlile is Too Late!

7 Oct

Last night I went to the Knitting Factory to see Brandi Carlile for the first time.  This experience was completely different from the Minus the Bear (also hailing from Seattle) concert.  I would NOT have purchased the tickets on a weeknight if I had known Brandi and her band would not step on to the stage until 9:30 PM.  When you have to work on your feet all day Friday from 7 AM to 6 PM, even 9:00 PM feels late.  But I did, b/c the tickets said the doors opened at 6:30 PM.

Did they open earlier for everyone else?  I felt like my mate and I were at the front of the line, but when Knitting Factory staff let us in (at 6:50! gerrr) the bar tables were full.  But that was OK because the venue had wisely allotted the upstairs for 21 and over.  Never-mind, somehow, ALL the tables and chairs were already packed.  It was a total bummer, and I was immediately sad I went early if I was going to have to stand anyway. . .

How many tickets does the Knitting Factory sell?  It seemed beyond capacity to me.  People were pretty much in every available space:  On the stairs, around the bars, standing in front of the doors.  I couldn’t help but to think of the book I just finished, “Triangle:  The Fire that Changed America” about the 140 people who perished in a fire because they did not have appropriate exits.  So we stayed on the ground floor for the most part–near the door.  We did manage to find “seats” on the inch and a half railing between the bar and dance floor area.  This was comfortable for 0.2 seconds only, and we abandoned the spot knowing we would lose it in favor of buying some beer.

Knitting Factory–who do you think you are with your beer prices?  $13.03 for two plastic cups of beer???  Really?!  We drank ours as the first opener played–at 7:30 PM.  After an hour of nothing.  Standing up.  By the way, when did bands start having TWO openers?  Brandi mentioned she had opted to share the night with Justin Towne Earle because of some snaffu.  I’m not sure if the venue double-booked, or if his venue shut down, or if the timing was off or what, but I thought it was gracious of her.  But this Justin Townes Earl really took advantage of her kindness.  Instead of realizing they had to SHARE the time, he just went ahead and played an entire long set.  So the night should have been ending before she ever took the stage–it was really rude.  And neither the true opener, nor his thing really resonated with me this time, but they weren’t terrible or anything.  He just busted the time-table.

When Brandi and her band came on it was already past my bedtime.  She looked really cute and is the ONLY person that can pull off a vest–this includes Ellen DeGeneres.  Anyway, I can see why the Indigo Girls love Brandi Carlile–she is a powerful singer, her songs are catchy and personal, she’s a top-notch performer, and she already has a devoted fan-base, even though she’s just now working on her fourth CD.  A lot of the people around me had seen her in concert 5-7 times, and two girls even flew in from CA to take in another show.  The crowd went absolutely wild when Brandi and her band jammed out to Johnny Cash!  They looked to be having so much fun that how could the crowd NOT be into it?

It HAS to be mentioned that we encountered about the douchiest group of people possible.  When we were scouting out seats, these people were using their stools to hold their coats as they stood.  Then, later these same (belligerently drunk) old people shoved through the people that had stood at the front of the dance floor for two hours to secure their good places.  Then, they proceed to couple-dance in the tight area, pushing everyone around, and generally taking up more then their share of space.  Then, these people pretty much edged out everyone around them, all the while giving the stink eye at anyone who looked annoyed by their shenanigans (me).  I would have thrown an elbow or two if I didn’t think it would lead to an actual fist fight.  That sort of put a damper on the spirit of the show. . .

Set List

9:30 PM

Dreams
Closer/Falling
What Can I Say
Folsom
Heart Young
Promise

–>10:40 PM (left for bed)
Raise Hell
Before it Breaks
Turpentine
Story
Pride & Joy
Me

autographing for the crowd *please say it ain’t so!*

Unfortunately, I left after the second new song, because it was 10:40 PM and I knew I would pay for it in the morning.  So I left feeling a little regretful, but hoping to see Brandi–either earlier or on an eve of a day off–soon.  Maybe CoMo or Reno. . .

And of course this would be the time Brandi walks through the crowed talking and giving autographs–because I had to leave early to get ready to do surgeries the next morning!  I blame the stupid Knitting Factory, because they’re a terrible venue who can’t get their shit together.  I also blame Justin Townes Earl for not shortening his set when he shouldn’t have even been there.  And I blame Brandi for being too nice.  I am so disappointed.  That was probably my only chance to meet Brandi Carlile!!!

Enhanced by Zemanta

Concerts (2003 to July 2022)

20 Jun

2003 when I was 20 (so old!) was my first concert.  Randomly Mid-Missouri got a lot better people than Northern Nevada.  Steadman opened for Jason Mraz.  It was a really cool first concert, because Steadman sings amazingly and Jason Mraz talked a lot throughout the show, telling song origins and being funny.  that same year I saw John Mayer, who was good, and Shania Twain who is SUPER-talented!  I cheaped out and ended up in the second to last row, but boy can Shania belt it out!  She had costume changes and was totally giving things to the first few rows and singing autographs as she sang.  I wish I would have paid for better seats!

I saw Ani DiFranco, in Columbia, Missouri because she is Douche’s favorite.  All the lesbians young and old were there, so that was cool, but I am fairly unimpressed with Ani.  Firstly, she doesn’t vary her guiter riffs.  Her singing voice is sub-par.  She thinks she’s so profound, so her lyrics are pretentious.  She can’t really be a lesbian icon, because she was married to a man at the time.  I especially do not like the drug rumors.  And she did seem jittery and erratic to me, so I could see how she might be doing coke or some other upper.  I can say, she is very congenial and the audience wants to LIKE her.

I also saw Soggy Bottom Boys who opened for Blind Boys of Alabama because of Douche.  It was a really good show though I initially had no interest.  The blind guys would get up and rock out dangerously close to the edge of the stage, and their gospel flavors would just inspire the crowd to really get into it!

Then, I went to a flurry of Indigo Girls concerts.  The first was in Saint Louis with Douche.  Then, two years later I saw IG on all three tour stops near Missouri:  Saint Louis where Girlyman opened, the Blue Note in Columbia (which the Girls hated, b/c the acoustics weren’t right for them), and Kansas City.  The Kansas City show was especially good, as the crowd was really into it, and Amy and Emily were surprised by that, and geared up to meet the energy, and promised to come back in the future.  Then, I saw them again in 2006 in Saint Louis with Lori.  And in 2010, I saw them in Tacoma with Cool.  I make all my girlfriends go to their concerts with me, I guess!  Now Cool and I are going to see them at the Seattle Zoo next month.

In between, the IG I don’t remember going to any other concerts.  Maybe there are more that I just don’t remember right now. . .  I tried to see Dave Matthews Band with Cool, even had the tickets, and went to the Gorge and everything.  Only to find out that the tickets were for the day before.  It.  Was.  Heartbreaking.  That super-sucked!

In 2016 I saw Lord Huron and Trampled By Turtles at The Complex in SLC.  The venue was horrible!  It’s in a bad neighborhood of abandoned buildings, trash, and the edge of the homeless population.  The first thing was getting frisked.  The venue is literally a dark, dank warehouse that someone slapped a stage into.  There is no seating, sticky concrete floors, and the alcohol options are sorely lacking.  You can get over-priced watered-down (I assume) cocktails in a different room and miss the show, or pay for over-priced piss-water fratty beer in a sectioned-off portion of the main room.  Who doesn’t sell a single craft-beer option in 2016???  Get with the program!  The sound is loud, but garbled.  You are packed in like cattle, and as always, people are rude.  And the tall people always push to the front.  The two screens went black.  There were 45 minutes between the opening act and the main band.  The small of “fart” would waft by frequently.  It was hot.  I’ll never go back to that venue–I’m too old for that crap.  But both bands were awesome!  Lord Huron opened and I’m sure some of the crowd came just for them.  People seemed really into it, and knew the songs.  They made a fan out of me, too.  The light show was good, and they rocked!  It’s the very first time I’ve ever heard the crowd chant, “one more song” at the end of the opener.  I don’t think they prepared another song, or maybe someone told them time was too short, because there was no encore by the opener.  But the crowd most definitly clamored for one and it would have been awesome to see!  Looking back, I’m kinda glad they didn’t because things moved slowly enough as it was, and that standing in a jam-packed group on concrete super-sucks.  Then, Trampled By Turtles came on and were amazing.  I would describe their sound/genre as “hipster bluegrass.”  It’s the instrumentation of bluegrass, with less country of vocals, more indy/alternative singing.  I like them all the time, especially their fast songs.  But watching in person made it even better.  Their hands move so fast!  And the harmonies and timing are so awesome!  TBT just moved into my top 4 favorites.  I think this year (this moment) it goes:  Indigo Girls (because of 1sts/nostalgia, longevity, a huge catalog, ability to tame any crowd, and ability to grow with the times), Brandi Carlile, Dave Matthews Band, then TBT.

’03 Steadman opened for Jason Mraz- Jessie Hall(?) CoMo

’03 John Mayer-  Jessie Hall(?)(2nd x) CoMo

’03 Shania Twain- Arena(?) STL

’03 Indigo Girls (1st time)- The Pageant(?)(2nd x) STL

’04 Ani DiFranco- ____Theater(?) CoMo

’05 Soggy Bottom Boys opened for Blind Boys of Alabama- Blue Note, CoMo

’05 Indigo Girls (2nd x)- The Pageant(?)(3rd x) STL

’05 Indigo Girls (3rd x)- Blue Note (2nd x) CoMo

’05 Indigo Girls- _____ KC (4th x)

Oct 2005 Miranda Lambert played a concert prior to the NASCAR race & sang the national anthem- Kansas Motor Speedway, Kansas City

’06 Girlyman opened for Indigo Girls (5th x)- The Pageant(?)(4th x) STL

’10 Indigo Girls (6th x)- Pantages Theater Tacoma

06/’11 Empty Space Orchestra opened for Minus the Bear- Knitting Factory, Spokane

Got a table and beer service

07/’11 Indigo Girls (7th x)- Woodland Park Zoo, Seattle

10/’11 Brandi Carlile- Knitting Factory (2nd x), Spokane

(left an hour early b/c of super late start and necessity of working early the next day)

Sat, 9/1/’12 Avett Brothers opened for DMB- Gorge

Thurs, 10/’12 Brandi Carlile (2nd x)- Knitting Factory (3rd x) Spokane

Sat, 11/23/’12 Brandi Carlile (3rd x) w/Seattle Symphony- Benaroya Hall, Seattle

Sun, 8/31/’13 DMB (2nd x) @ Gorge (2nd x)

Fri, 8/29/14 Brandi Carlile (4th x) opened for DMB (3rd x) @ The Gorge (3rd x)

Sun, 8/31/14 Brandi Carlile (5th x) opened for DMB (4th x) @ The Gorge (4th x)

Sun, 8/16/15 Anderson East opened for Brandi Carlile (6th time) @ Red Butte Gardens, SLC, UT

Wed, 9/9/15 DMB (5th time) @ Stateline (Harvey’s, Lake Tahoe)

Sat 8/13/16 Blind Pilot opened for Brandi Carlile (7th time) @ Deer Valley Resort in Park City

Mon 8/15/16 Lord Huron opened for Trampled By Turtles @ The Complex in SLC, UT.

TBT didn’t take the stage til 10 PM, so we left after 2 songs. I never want to have to leave a concert early again!!!

3/23/18-3/25/18: 1st Annual Innigsfestival (Young the Giant, Cold War Kids, Lord Huron, White Buffalo, Luke Combs, The Head and the Heart, MT Joy) @Tempe Town Park

10/3/19: Tour de Fat- Trampled by Turtles. @tempe town park

8/11/19: bought ticks to see Young the Giant in Phoenix, but Cool was being bipolar & it was on a Sun and I had to work at McKesson early Mon, so we didn’t go. I hate that so much!

2/29/20: 3rd Innings Festival (Portugal the Man, Jason Isbell, DMB (6th time)). @tempe town park

Covid taken seriously

7/6/22:  Katie Pruitt was 1st opener.  Tanya Tucker was next.  Brandi Carlile (8th time) at Kansas City’s Starlight Theater

I’m Part of the Band!

19 Jun

I went to see Minus the Bear last night as part of Cool’s belated birthday activities.  Even though she had totally overplayed two of their songs in particular and ruined them for me, the live show was amazing.  And those two songs in particular were awesome live.  The concert experience was so fun, because everything just kinda fell into place without a lot of effort on my part.  I had initially found out they were playing our city at all just randomly perusing the venue’s web page.  We went downtown early to get fondue at The Melting Pot so we were able to get parking immediately outside of the venue.  We walked around lost in the pouring rain for a bit, which wasn’t the ideal, but that was the only inconvenience of the night.  Though Melting Pot was unavailable (of course) without reservations, Twix martini bar is right in the area so we settled for a couple of dessert martinis.  I say settled as if it was the least bit disappointing, which martinis never are.  We walked right into the venue without a wait, and it must have been some sort of adult entrance because we showed ID, got our arm bands, and were able to grab a table in the drinking area immediately.  A table right by the bathrooms and the exit.  And after a martini and a half plus three beers I was really having fun.  Everything went so well for us!

The first opener was called Empty Space Orchestra and they were good.  So great that I went out in the hall to buy one of their CDs.  The merch-tender(?) told me $10 for the newest CD that I wanted.  I figured getting the newest would be the best bet since I didn’t really know them as artists.  Then she said $5 for the older one, nah still wanted the newest,  OR $12 for both.  What a deal!!!  So I grabbed both.  I liked their music and loved the way the bass player moved.  I can’t explain, and the video didn’t turn out, but trust me, it was exciting to watch.  Seeing a new band live also made me think about the past concerts I’ve been to.  I’ll make a list in a future blog.

Minus the Bear, as expected, was exciting to watch and listen to live.  The coolest part of the evening was during the encore.  We left our table at the drinking area and went down to the floor–right in front too.  I was grooving to the music and generally just having a good time taking it all in, when the bass player looked right at ME gave a thumbs up and waved.  Right at ME!!!  And I locked eyes with him and waved back–I was officially acknowledged as part of the band for a brief moment!!!  I turned to the amazonian gal to my right tapped her shoulder (ok I couldn’t possibly reach that high) and asked, “Isn’t this awesome?!”  She nodded or something, I didn’t care that much.  Then, the security guard, who apparently had not recognized that I was now in the band, got right up to me and said, “You gotta get back, you gotta get back.”  To which I replied, “This is awkward.”  All in all it was stellar!

I’m a true fan of both bands now.  And any other rock/alternative band with a keyboard.