Thursday night was Ryan Adams’ second night at the Moody Theater; the previous evening he taped an ACL TV program, but this time it was purely all about the jams. A testament to this was the two-hour, and-then-some long set that Adams’ and his band gave to the very enthusiastic crowd. Comedian Dave Hall opened the night with his funny act. Read on to find out more about the evening.
Let’s just get it out of the way now that I am not one of those people that pisses on everything created by Ryan Adams since his debut solo masterpiece Heartbreaker. Sure, that album is one of a kind, but the dude has also put out some solid records by himself and with The Cardinals since then. That being said, I will confirm that the most recent albums produced by Ryan have been close to un-listenable. A heavy metal album? A dual disc record of mostly Cold Roses B-Side? And of course the atrocity known as Cardinology… Pass, pass and triple pass. Well, now Mr. Adams has a few new songs floating around the interwebs which show real promise of a return to form for the veteran songwriter. This new track “Lucky Now” is one of those promising tunes that’s been on the web as a stream for quite some time, but was just made free for downloading. It shows a man that’s grown tired of gimmicks and B.S., and might finally be ready to make us all happy again. Ryan Adams’ new album Ashes and Fire is due out October 11th. Our amigos over at The Gum have posted several more new tunes that you should check out.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/09/ryan-adams-lucky-now-1.mp3]
Download: Ryan Adams – Lucky Now [MP3]
One man’s love for fast rock n’ roll can only take him so far, so I’ve always got to have some folk or melodramatic jams to help me unwind. Recently I’ve been introduced to Musikanto, a Chicago songwriter who will likely be making a name for himself all over the country soon. Press releases hint at Van Morrison and Ryan Adams connections, and I definitely see that there, but I also see little pieces of early Mason Jennings. It’s heartfelt and honest, and there’s a willingness to provide a good narrative, even from a first-person point of view. Looking for something mellower today? This could be your jam; you can grab it, as well as the rest of the songs from his Sky of Dresses album on August 2nd via Grape Juice Records.[audio:http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Musikanto-Every-Which-Way.mp3]
Download: Musikanto – Every Which Way [MP3]
I’ve been heavily into the alt-country scene these days so I thought I’d continue that trend with a quick look back at Ryan Adams and his old band Whiskeytown. Now it’s been awhile since I’ve sung the praises of Mr. Adams (course with his recent material can you blame us?) and I thought it would be fun to glance back at how great he used to be. Most of us know by now that Adams fronted this great alt-country band that never really soared to the heights of fame seen on Adams solo career. The group only existed for about a 6-7 year period and released just the 3 official albums with countless B-sides and singles along the way. Below I’m bringing you “Easy Heart” off Whiskeytown’s final album Pneumonia which came out in 2001. I’d probably say that Strangers Almanac is my favorite from the band and where interested parties should begin their Whiskeytown tour. I like this song below because it’s the last song on the last album from the band and you can really hear the transition from this tune to Adam’s solo career.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2010/08/13_Easy_Hearts.mp3]
We really live in a day and age when the idea of being a rock star is just about gone. Gone are the days of the lead singer who gets mobbed by fans everywhere they go or sleeps in hotel rooms full of strange women. We don’t even get a lot of musicians with drug and alcohol problems anymore or who quite obviously don’t give a shit what anyone thinks. You know, those people who were just way cooler than you ever hoped to be? Dylan, Jagger, Plant, etc. We all know the names. That’s what makes them rock stars. So today I wanted to create a list of those “modern rock stars” who have carried the torch of debauchery and coolness into a new age. These guys (and gals) represent all the great things about being a rock star: alcohol/drug rehab stints, celebrity girlfriends, trend setting, don’t give a shit attitude, members of popular bands, and decent music all earn you a place on this list. As a disclaimer I’ll say that all these artists rose to fame in the last decade so this means you won’t see a Dave Grohl or Eddie Vedder on this list because they have long been in the halls of the greats. I’ll also make an attempt to compare each artist to who they most closely resemble from years past. Please don’t assume that I’m comparing anyone artistically, I just wanted to give you a frame of reference. Follow the jump for the full list.
Alright, so we just finished wrapping up the 00s, and it’s left some of us (namely me) feeling a bit nostalgic for a decade that went by way too quickly. It left me thinking about things I ruined or things I succeeded in, but most of all, it’s left me reflecting upon the most disappointing moments in my life. Oddly, I deflect my own animosity for my life, and turn to the world of music. Below is the five most disappointing things for me, musically, in the decade that passed. Some have a chance at redemption, but others, well, you blew it big time.
5. Ben Gibbard stole my girlfriend
Look, I know that this happened only recently, but I also have come to believe that Zooey‘s hotness has only increased exponentially in the past few years. All that aside, it’s not just that Ben stole my girlfriend (really, he did!), but he stole the dreams of me and my many like-minded friends. Out of nowhere, he popped up his now skinny head, and crushed the dreams of many. Shame on you Ben Gibbard.
4. The Wrens don’t put out another album
The Wrens put out Meadowlands, which is absoltuely one of my all time favorite albums, and that feeling of joy when I put the needle to the record will never fade away. What did fade away was the feelings of joy I had in regard to The Wrens. Lead man Charles did a little bit of work, most recently with Will from Okkervil River, which means dudes were getting work done. Why didn’t I see any of it at all? Why did they leave me just as I was falling in love? Nearly a decade with no new tunes? You fail.
3. Wilco couldn’t replicate Yankee Hotel Foxtrot
You go against the odds and record one of the most brilliant masterpieces in modern pop music, one which everyone still talks about, but then you slowly decline all the way towards 2009s Wilco, the Album. You can’t entirely blame the guys, as they lost Jay Bennett (as did we all, RIP), but they went from such great heights to such a low. Not only this, but people somehow kept believing in them, as if they could bring back the magic. I admit it! I was a sucker; I fell for it. Never again Wilco!
2. Modest Mouse sold out
Sure, this is the age-old debate about whether or not you deem it okay to allow your favorite secrets to better themselves and move their careers forward. My answer? No! Modest Mouse had the control of the indie world after Lonesome Crowded West; they could do no wrong. Sure, a lot of people think Moon and Antartica was their best, but those people are wrong! Modest Mouse went to the majors, lost their luster, and they lost a fan (though I know I’m not the only one).
1. Ryan Adams
I’ll admit that I was a little bit late jumping on the Ryan Adams train, but I jumped all the way on. It baffles me how the guy that made Whiskeytown brilliant, then put out Heartbreaker, can rush down the hill of mediocrity so quickly. I know he landed Mandy and all, but that doesn’t excuse the fact that I willingly sat down to listen to things like 29 or Cardinology. Ryan Adams was my biggest disappointment.
Look, I know you all disagree with some of these, and I get that, but I had to let you know how disappointed I was in these things; isn’t time to be reflective, at least for another week? If you had a bigger disappointment, or want to tell me why I am wrong, we’re all for it! Leave a comment.
What? You still listen to THAT album? That record is so 2004! Well, that’s okay, because we really like that one too, which is why we decided to come up with a list of our favorite albums of the last decade (2000-2009). Sure, these might not be YOUR favorite records, or the most critically acclaimed, but we sat down and really thought out every record from the past ten years that we keep coming back to in our collections. You’re likely to disagree with some of these, and we won’t tell you we’re absolutely right we just know that these happen to be OUR favorites. If you think we totally blew it here, feel free to tell us so, but be nice, as our egos are kind of fragile. Follow the jump for more.
Today’s from the closet features an artist we used to love not too long ago but have been pretty indifferent to in recent years. Yes Mr. Ryan Adams, we long for the days of your 2000 gem of an album Heartbreaker and its incredibly beautiful sadness. Here’s to you sir and congratulations on the engagement.[audio: http://austintownhall.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/02/ryan-adams-come-pick-me-up.mp3]
Whether or not you’re a fan of Ryan Adams recent material, you’ve got to admit that the guy can still bring it with the best of them in the live setting. You can test this theory now if you’d like with a live recording/interview of Ryan Adams & The Cardinals in the Minnesota Public Radio Current studio. The band plays 3 new songs, all from recent effort Cardinology. Head there now and have a listen.
In 2008 we saw all kinds of releases across the board. Noise-pop seemed to be a pretty big deal, as did lo-fi production. But when preparing for our year-end lists, we came across the conundrum of deciding the biggest disappointments in 2008. Today’s Friday Top 5 is full of albums that our staff really looked forward to listening to when they were released, but instead fled in fear as to what our ears had just heard. List is after the jump