strumzilla

​A blog/journal about my life and the stuff I like. Popular subjects include music, guitars, gear, books, movies, video games, technology, humor.

Filtering by Tag: Adult Contemporary

New Music Appreciation Post

So I've been on somewhat of a new music surge (at least compared to the normal for me) as of late.  I think it started when I downloaded several songs on Neil Peart's house music set list (the one they play before the shows) from Itunes.  Among the groups I was newly exposed or gained a new appreciation for were:  Porcupine Tree, The Mars Volta,  The Tragically Hip, Jeff Buckley, King Crimson and early Genesis.  Porcupine Tree especially hit a nerve with me and I subsequently have bought four albums by them. I especially like "Fear of a Blank Planet", "In Absentia" and "Deadwing".  For reasons I'm not quite sure of, I also finally bought "Hunky Dory" by Bowie. I always liked the tunes from that album (Mick Ronson was a key player/producer) and I'm not sure why it took this long.  I had been listening to "Life on Mars" repeatedly after hearing it a recent movie ("Life Aquatic with Steve Zissou?"), and decided to get the album.  

I also recently bought albums by Amy Winehouse (Back to Black), Sheryl Crow (Detours) and Robert Plant/Alison Krauss (Raising Sand) but have only really got into the RP/AK effort.  In my explorations I also got to checking out Itunes mixes by other users. These are basically just mix tape made by other Itunes users, but the nice thing is you can search them by keyword.  So, in my typical music preference vein I searched for sad or melancholy mixes and actually found a really good one that has several tunes that I have grown quite fond of. Some of the artists on the mix were: "The Weepies", "State Radio", "City and Colour", "Jason Reeves", "Gregory and the Hawk", and "Cocunut Records".  It's a really great mix tape and I'll be checking out the other stuff from these guys in the near future. 

Oh, Sweet Nectar (Collage de Stubs 2003/04)…

Didn't realize how much I missed live music until Steely Dan took the stage at Smirnoff/Dallas in 2003. The notable shows were the acts we had never seen live before including Eric Johnson, Steely Dan, Fleetwood Mac, Sarah Mclachlan, and Norah Jones.  The most enjoyable show for me was easily the Rush 30th Anniversary Tour show. Well documented with a DVD shot in Germany, this tour show was over 3 hours long split into two sets and featuring deep album cuts from all their various eras. Just a great show on all levels from the set list, to the sound, to the production (lighting, sets, etc.) and as usual the videos were always entertaining, whether serious, atmospheric, or funny.

Also notable was the Eric Clapton Crossroads festival where I got to see Eric Johnson, Pat Metheny, John McLaughlin, Steve Vai, Robert Cray and many other great players.  Too bad it was a festival and all the sets were short. In a bit of self-indulgence (kinda the theme of the site just this once, promise) I pasted a screen capture from the Crossroads DVD showing me in the audience during the Saturday show which featured EJ among others. (That's me behind the Crossroads ticket stub) (Damn, I look good) Fleetwood Mac was also especially good, due in part to great seats, but mostly to the band just being really tight and well produced.  They also had a great set list and I must admit that I didn't miss Christine McVie as all of my favorite FMac songs are by Buckingham and Nicks. Steely Dan and Sarah McLachlan (MIA on the ticket stubs since they were internet tickets, wahhhh) were both great shows as well, and we were both very happy to finally see them live. I had been wanting to see Steely Dan for over twenty five years (FMac too) so it was great to finally get the opportunity.

Sting was a bit of a snoozer, unfortunately.  He was good on his first solo tour in 1985, and I imagine the "Soul Cages" tour would have been great as well. At this point he is going on about 3 albums in a row that have more forgettable than great songs, so the highlights were mostly his older material and the Police stuff of course.  He did play "Every Little Thing She Does is Magic", so that was great to hear.