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Sunday, September 30, 2007

Concert in the Park: Bob Dylan, Neil Young and The Band - Live in SF 1975

This is a great rare recording from March 23, 1975.

Bob Dylan, Neil Young and the Band played Kezar Stadium at San Francisco's Golden Gate Park for a benefit.
Bill Graham created the SNACK benefit (Students Need Athletics Culture and Kicks) to help preserve school programming for youngsters. The concert was broadcast over the air by K101fm and can therefore be shared with all of you today!

Of special interest - during "Knockin' On Heaven's Door" - somebody up on stage changes the lyric to "Knockin' on the Dragon's Door" in the first chorus. The change catches on. By the end, everybody's singing it that one! Unplanned and caught on tape!

Enjoy and don't forget to drop me a line or leave a comment to let us know what you think.

March 1975 a Benefit in San Francisco's Golden Gate Park:
Bob Dylan and The Band's Rick Danko

- The Snack Benefit 3/23/75 -
Bob Dylan, Neil Young, The Band


additional appearances by
Ben Keith and Tim Drummond


01 - Are You Ready for the Country?
02 - Ain't That A Lot of Love

03 - Looking for Love
04 - Loving You Is Sweeter Than Ever

05 - I Want You
06 - The Weight

07 - Helpless (into) Knockin' On Heaven's Door
08 - Will the Circle Be Unbroken

Saturday, September 29, 2007

Song of the Day - DONKEY KONG

Coming Soon: I have a handful of show reviews coming up, new albums to rate for you and a couple of rare live recordings. Come on back tomorrow. I am working on something big but am pretty much taking the day off from significant posts. (By the way, enter my free album giveaway!)

I do have an exceptional song to share with you today. Portland's Another Cynthia is one of my favorite bands in the country. In 2006 I named their self-titled debut CD as my dark horse candidate for album of the year.

(Here is a list of the Best of 2006 - Get 'em while you still can!)

Right now Another Cynthia is working hard to finish a new album. They recently sent me some demos, which I have been sworn to not share - so I won't. Just know that things are only sounding better in the future. Today's Artist of the Day is Another Cynthia. From their album last year, comes the song: "Donkey Kong."


SONG OF THE DAY

Another Cynthia with "DONKEY KONG"

Highly Recommended -
Another Cynthia - Donkey Kong

Like What You Hear? Pick Up the Album!
Another Cynthia on Myspace

Friday, September 28, 2007

Experimental and Incredible: NY's Slow Six & the RSL Record Giveaway !

There isn't much I can really say that the music can't communicate. Experimental and Neo-Classical Instrumental music have clearly crashed the mainstream with the success of artists such as Explosions in the Sky and Sigor Ros. Here is the latest entry into that fantastic world - Slow Six. The New York indie band is on the verge of releasing their new Nor'easter album. Get ready to have your mind blown. The songs will get some prime time playing during my downtime (not that there's much of that to speak of.)

Slow Six arrives in Boston playing Hennessey's in Faneuil Hall on October 3

NEW - PREMIERE!
The Pulse of This Skyline with Lightning Like Nerves
Give this song a minute to unfold and get taken away.

MORE ON THE BAND:
SLOW SIX ON MYSPACE


FREE STUFF FOR LUCKY BLOG READERS!!!
Two lucky readers will win a prize pack which will have this brand new album in it!

I worked with the Musebox to set this baby up! WINNERS will receive the following: A brand new CD of Slow Six's Nor'Easter CD and Vinyl Copies of artists BLOC PARTY, ISLANDS, and SCISSORS FOR LEFTY!!!

"How Do I win?" you ask. Email me with your name and contact information. That's it. (Hey, don't freak out. I don't share that with anybody and I don't do junk mail.) Two lucky winners take home all the loot. The rest will need to wait for my next giveaway - but this one is pretty sweet. - Ryan

KWIK PLUGG - My Appearance on another blog today

I do a guest shot today over on THE PLUGG - one of the best music and culture blogs going. I promote one of my favorite bands in the country right now, Of Montreal. Please allow that to hold you over. There is a new album review and a record give-away tonight. (Yep freebies and good stuff at that!)

Come on back now, ya hear?!


I promote Of Montreal today on the Plugg!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

Riding Shotgun with Tom Waits - The (Nearly) Indescribable Songs from Daddy's Hands!

Jangle. Rattle. Whisper. Shake. Shout. Drums. Thunder...
It kind of goes like that.

I could be describing the classic turmoil of Tom Waits but instead it's the creativity of Canadian artists Daddy's Hands. The group formally just released "Welcome Kings" - a record full of creative cacophony and more twists than a wind sock. The songs were initially record two years ago but it has taken some time for the band to get the music out there. Kill Devil Hills - a British Columbia indie record label has given the group a shot. The tracks leave differing and strong opinions in their wake - just like those crafted by Tom Waits!

Daddy's Hands with Welcome Kings

Daddy's Hands -
A Phenomena All Its Own. New Songs


Daddy's Hands - Dress You Down
Daddy's Hands - Gentlemen You May Stand Down


Once Misunderstood, Now Appreciated:
The Sensational Tom Waits



Compare and Contrast:
Tom Waits - Such A Scream
Tom Waits - Step Right Up


Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Latest and Greatest MIT Hack: The HALO3 statue

On the eve of the Halo3 game release, MIT students - in a time honored tradition* played yet another public and professional grade prank: Altering a statue of John Harvard into the game's Master Chief character. (I hope there was some kind of kick-back for that!) The statue even came equipped with one of the marine assault rifles from the game. Good one!

MIT students - up to their old tricks again*

John Harvard was altered to commemorate the coming of Halo3

* - The MIT pranks, or hacks as they are known, are a established tradition here in Boston. There is quite a history of these pranks played on fellow students, the public and other schools in MIT's history. (The victim of this particular hack was the likeness of Harvard University's founder. Hopefully the Harvard faculty and administration got the joke!) Often times the law looks the other way as most of the time there are no real victims and no property damage. A look at some of the greatest and most notorious MIT hacks ever committed.



The Archie Bronson Outfit - Dead Funny
Download This mp3
Highly Recommended!

Boston's Eldridge Rodriguez releases the THUNDER CHIEF EP album - 2nd Record of 2007

Add "prolific" to the various positive attributes belonging to Boston's Eldridge Rodriguez. The talented Beatings frontman has already released one of the best national releases this year with his full length album "This Conspiracy Against Us" (check it out and pick that one up!) and just this week, Midriff Records made available a download-only EP called "... and the Thunder Chief" - which picks up right where "Conspiracy" left off!

"... and the Thunder Chief"
the New Record - Available for Download:



As an E-Release, Midriff Records is able to see the EP for just $5. And having listened to it, drop the five spot - it's well worth it!

Midriff's description: The 5 new tracks recorded by Greg Lyon and E.R., and produced and mixed by E.R., range stylistically from simple vocals and guitar campfire songs, to sweeping noise ballads, to experimental noise tracks. It's dark and fun, creepy and welcoming. We hope you will enjoy it.
E.R.

Tuesday, September 25, 2007

New Music - The Pet Ghost Project

Today I introduce you to the multi-instrumentalist talent of Justin Stivers who is doing business as the Pet Ghost Project. He single-handedly put together the eleven-track Great Satisfactory album. Along the way, he recorded the vocals, bass, guitar, drums and brought it all together. There are unfinished portions on this record - it's not polished but let me tell you - "Talent swims along these Rocky Shores!" Perhaps the best part of The Pet Ghost Project is the way that he mixes ethereal vocals, his own guitar with tracks that rise and flow like the tide during a coastal storm.


Justin Stivers is the Pet Ghost Project!

Long Live DIY! (Somebody do us all a favor and get this guy a job, though!)

TWO KEY TRACKS:

The Pet Ghost Project - Of God and Science

The song begins in a sonic hole - a cave in which only some sounds escape.
The listener is thrust out into the world: Into a universe of guitar, keys and vocals.
We are left wondering is this really the Pet Ghost Project?
Could easily be Syd Barrett's vocals or the instrumentation of the Flaming Lips.

Very Highly Recommended

The Pet Ghost Project - The Dog
Think Seventies folk guitar mated with the mind of Beck!
Highly Recommended


Monday, September 24, 2007

It came from THE MIST - a tribute to Stephen King's latest movie!

I was just a boy when Stephen King released the now famous Monkey Shines short story collection. If my memory serves me well I asked a babysitter at least a dozen times to read of her copy. Eventually I got my paws on the book. I ended up reading it front to back but only clearly remember reading one short story - It was called, "The Mist." And it was one of the down-to-earth yet scariest tale I had read. It was a story about irrational fear and human tendencies - you only got glancing descriptions of the monsters outside in the supernatural fog. It was too much for a little kid to read, so I read it twice.

The Book That Stirred My Soul:

Twenty-Seven years later the story has been adapted into a brand new movie, set to be released on November 21st. The story is the same - but these modern times can finally support the special effects necessary to make the movie! Supernatural ethereal blindness, fear and death are outside. Those inside are trapped - with each other.



"There's Something In the Mist!
Shut the Doors! Shut the Doors!"




LINKS:
The Mist Official Webpage / The Mist Wikipedia page

Sunday, September 23, 2007

An End for Sound Team - Tribute to a Power House from Austin

It's with a heavy heart I relay the news that Austin's Sound Team has split apart. The band is one of my top ten current bands playing and I was sincerely hoping the long wait since they released the "Movie Monster" album meant they were set to release a new record... There really isn't much I can say that their music can't tell you.

SOUND TEAM are, sadly, No More.

Sound Team were always a group of talented individuals. It sounds cliche, but it was probably the music that held them together. A lot of bands work that way, actually. The differences, no matter how they manifest, comes out in tour vans, emerging during off-hours, and while the band waits for things to develop. It's a good thing when bands know when their time is up - especially if they have different dreams. But it is so sad that this particular band released only one full-length album and a couple of EPs. My in-depth interview (*Highly Recommended) with bassist Bill Baird (a music genius) and Jordan Johns (exceptional young drummer) stands as one of my favorite Q&As to date. You can also read what I have had to read and say about the band here and Baird, here. (There are others, but you get the idea.) If you are new to the band's material, do yourself a favor - go to their webpage and listen to their songs. Streaming versions of all the band's songs will remain up on the band's page, according to Baird. Run out to your neighborhood record store and buy a copy of Movie Monster before supplies run out (and they will!)


Good bye to an exceptional group and Best of Luck to each and every one of you!

A Ryan's Smashing Life Top Ten Album for 2006:

Do it for 'em one more time
Do it for 'em one more time, boys
Let's take 'em back to where we came from
Before we say GOODBYE.

Lyrics - "Your Eyes are Liars"

Saturday, September 22, 2007

A New Record from Ryan Adams - "Follow the Lights" EP in October

Following close on the heels of Ryan Adams' incredible "Easy Tiger" 2007 album release, he will release "Follow the Lights" - a seven track EP record with The Cardinals next month.


NEW RYAN ADAMS - "FOLLOW THE LIGHTS"

The 7-Song EP to be released in October!

I am really looking forward to this! First off - two new songs and then a cover? Excellent. While possibly just a coincidence, the release of the new EP matches up with Easy Tiger's recent decline on the Billboard Charts. (I guess the release of the new EP would be an example of good economics and maintaining positive product placement.) Easy Tiger reached as high as #7 on the Billboard charts (Top 200). There is some evidence that there will be material on this record that Adams wanted on the solo album but his label but Lost Highway Records - objected to... presumably on the context they wanted to make money and were willing to repress some of the artist's creativity. This is what Adams said in an interview after Easy Tiger was released - and my review of the full-length album.


Track 1
Follow the Lights
(new song)

Track 2
My Love for You Is Real
(new song)

Track 3
Blue Hotel
(previously released by Willie Nelson on his last album. Written by Ryan Adams.
This one is recorded live in studio
)

Track 4
Dear John
(live in studio - previously recorded on Jacksonville City Nights)

Track 5
This is It
(Cardinals version, live in studio - previously record on Rock N Roll)

Track 6
Down in a Hole
(Alice In Chains cover, live in studio)

Track 7
If I Am a Stranger
(live in studio)

SNEAK PEEK of "Follow the Lights"

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - Down In A Hole

(Alice in Chains cover live - Kingston, NY - May 16, 2007)

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals - Dear John
(album version)

Ryan Adams - This Is It
(album version)


Ryan Adams
Web / Myspace

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Rilo Kiley - All Grown Up and Better than Ever with "Under The Blacklight"

I decided to write my review of Under the Blacklight - the highly recommended new release from Los Angeles' Rilo Kiley in narrative form. Rilo Kiley plays a sold out show at the Avalon here in Boston tonight.

I was driving home from work listening to Rilo Kiley's new record and it finally became clear "Under the Blacklight" is one of the finest releases of 2007.



Rilo Kiley in 2007 - Better than Ever


Jenny Lewis has only improved - perhaps "sharpened" is a better adjective, due to her sojourn with the Watson Twins on last year's "Rabbit Fur Coat" album. Due to that experience and perhaps tearing away -if only temporarily, from her Rilo Kiley creative partner Blake Sennett - Lewis had some more room to grow and improve. Both Lewis and Rilo Kiley are better for that briefest of deviations. The fans are the real winners. There always is some resistance to change and I anticipate that the new album may actually be rejected by some longterm fans. All I can say is that change is good!


Rilo Kiley - Under the Blacklight
(Press Play and Keep Readin')

For the most part, the lyrics of the new album aren't as important as the delivery here. The music and Lewis' spectacular voice are what's most important here. Together they paint a beautiful picture. It's easy to enjoy some of the words, though. In "Breakin' Up" Lewis has this bejeweled lyric:

"The trail is a thorny crown
You wear it well
Just like a King
Revenge is the saddest thing
Honey, I’m afraid to say
You deserve everything"

Being happy is the sweetest of sweet revenges! And within moments, Lewis repeatedly tells us how good it is to be free. And we believe her.

As I pulled up to a stoplight I realize, Lewis' trademark voice has a new edginess one might not expect. It's "Moneymaker" - and it's a strong-willed, sexy number - the band would be fools not to follow. The lyrics, empowers while it teases. "You've got the money maker, this is your chance to make it" - the tracks dissolve into fantasy but the track proves out a theory: Rilo Kiley isn't all it's cracked up to be. It's much more these days. The people in the next car know how much I like the album - "Moneymaker" is rattling windows.

The most interesting track on the new album is "15."
It's rock's latest version of the lolita song. The beat bobs and weaves through the track. The first protagonist here is an older (but only 25 yrs old) man with a string of bad luck. She - being the other hero, is young and unexperienced but highly excitable. She is easily categorized by her thirst for life and everything in it. The images here are incredible....

She said, "Is there anybody out there?"
She was bruised like a Cherry, ripe as A Peach
How Could he have known she was only 15?
...
He was deep as a graveyard, white like tv…
How could he have known, that
She’d be down for almost anything?


And so it goes. Under the Blacklight is one of the best albums of the year. Pick it up and hit repeat. I pulled up to the house and went to get out. I put the key back in and turned it. The stereo fired up again. I hit eject; grabbed the Rilo Kiley disc and took the music inside where I could listen for just a little while longer.


After tonight's show, Rilo Kiley has a two-night stand at Webster Hall in New York.


Rilo Kiley
Web / Myspace

Just a Word - What's Happened, What's Up Next

Thank You Thank You Thank You to John Brazile, Ryan Lee Crosby and Tim Williams and company for making my show last night at the Lilypad a huge success! And thank you all who attended! (You were already treated to a wonderful show - but you deserve a big pat on the back for helping things along.) There was a good turnout and things went very smoothly. I definitely look forward to setting up more shows very soon. If you are in a band and would like to get your music out and just need some publicity.... this might be just the way!



Boy in Paris by photographer Andrea Giacobbe

Up this Week: My review of the Rilo Kiley album. Two new artist profiles - and FINALLY: The start of my Best of 2007 So Far List (it's been a long time coming - but will definitely be worth it!) While you are thinking about the best of lists, I invite you to look at the Best of 2006 List in the right toolbar. With the publication of this latest list, I will be tearing all those songs and corresponding posts down. Please give them one more look, listen, download now if you like! That's all for now.

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

A Mix for OJ Simpson - In Court Today for Armed Robbery

I'm not too keen on grandstanding or social and political commentary. I don't get caught up in the cult of celebrity - it's just not what I do. But, there are always exceptions. And I love to laugh. You might have been in a cave for the last few days, but otherwise I am pretty damn sure you now know that former NFL running back and accused murderer OJ Simpson is back in the news. Simpson, who was found libel for the murder of his ex-wife and her friend in Los Angeles, will appear in court again today - expected to enter a "not guilty" plea today for armed robbery and kidnapping charges stemming from incidents that occurred just last weekend. This should not surprise you.


Evidently, OJ hasn't had much luck finding his ex-wife's murderer (something he pledged to do after being freed from police custody years ago). That leaves a lot of time for golf and to get in trouble with the law. And he is in serious trouble. It looks like this time he has really done himself in. OJ stormed a hotel room where he was to meet with a memorabilia dealer with what police are describing as Simpson's "gun-toting golf buddies." Evidently Simpson has proven to be devious - but not very bright when it comes to his allies. He was egged on by a friend to stand up for himself and to crash the party, so to speak. OJ was evidently upset about "stolen" OJ Simpson and Joe Montana merchandise he was peddling. One would wonder why OJ would care so much - since two out of every three dollars he makes goes to the family of his reported victims. (Again, the weirdness is he is still on the street.) There is a new theory that OJ has off-shore banking accounts and that he is funneling these memorabilia sales into these banks where the victims' families cannot touch the money.




To make the story even more interesting (in a prurient kind of way) - OJ's pal recorded the whole thing as they busted into the room together. (Wow - with friends like that, who needs enemies!) The recording completely blows Simpson's early statement - "What Guns?"(and essentially his defense - unless he can somehow find another Johnnie Cochran.) Authorities listened to the remarkably clear recording where Simpson is commanding the men in the room to keep their hands up - maybe he is just really scary in person and no gun was needed. Actually - that probably is the case. I respect that everyone is innocent until proven guilty. I'll just hold my breath.

Yep, You Got Me


I put together an OJ Simpson mix last night for 'The Juice's" latest adventure.
It's good to laugh. Enjoy.

Tuesday, September 18, 2007

A Collection of Angry Songs for Stressful Days!

Back By Popular Demand - As a new series.... Blow Off Some Steam!!!

Editor's Prologue:
Regular readers know I am upbeat and positive pretty much every day but everybody gets upset, stressed out and angry when put under the right circumstances. I last posted an angry song selection back in January and it was VERY POPULAR. So popular in fact, it was a little scary. Here we go again...

We all have our limits.
Damn this feels good - Angry Songs for Stressful Days!


Shut Up by artist "Niagra"


Computer Problems

Traffic Snarls

Speeding Violations - Parking Tickets

Passive Aggressive Co-Workers

Idiots and Imbeciles

Unfair Expectations and Deadlines

Late Fees, Taxes and Penalties

Constant Volume, Stress and Nastiness

Collection Calls, Debt and Minimum Payments













Fuck You Larry Koesche, I hope you Starve and Die Someday - The Broadways




Just like there will be more stressful days in our lives, there will be more tracks in the Angry Song Collection! Any suggestions are welcome!

Boston Love: Ryan Lee Crosby's impressive album

The title of Ryan Lee Crosby's latest CD claims "There is No Music." It's hard to determine if he is claiming the songs are the results of hard knocks and stressful times - anything other than the process of crafting fine art. This might be true but there is no refuting the fact that the songs on the new record are soulful, talented affairs! Ryan Lee Crosby and the Mindless are successful throughout - and that's just the beginning.


Looking through a collection of newspaper clippings and online media posts about Ryan Lee Crosby, it's tough to remember the man is in his twenties. (Maybe it's his old soul?) The type of reviews he has had written about him (Globe, Herald, Phoenix, Dig, Metro) - and who has been assigned to his story (at times, senior staffers) is impressive. Crosby has had little trouble getting himself taken seriously. And perhaps that's where his songs and the music does come into play. Crosby and his band present tales of love and loss, regret, scorn and descent - themes you might find in any ordinary pop song - but in a most ethereal, transforming way. All it takes is just one listen to see what I mean!


The greatest compliment one can pay an artist about their material is that the music is worthy of repeat listening. After that, one can make the further comment on whether it all holds up with time. Ryan Lee Crosby and the Mindless strike a very strong chord of the modern soul with the "There is No Music" disc. It comes to you highly recommended.

Ryan's Smashing Life Presents...
Ryan Lee Crosby at the

Inman Square - Cambridge
1353 Cambridge Street

Ryan's Smashing Life presents: Ryan Lee Crosby show tomorrow! - I listened to some of this music when I worked with Dovecote Records to setup tomorrow's show at the Lilypad (Inman Square in Cambridge) with John Brazile and headliner Tim Williams. As it turns out - we made a wise choice. The show starts at 7pm and costs just $5. Considering the line-up, it's an absolute steal!

Monday, September 17, 2007

The Best of Elvis Costello: The First 10 Years - With a Twist: Secret Recordings!

As if a tour with Bob Dylan this year and a re-release of his celebrated career material wasn't enough - Elvis Costello had to up the ante.... Ten randomly selected packages of ELVIS COSTELLO: The First 10 Years will have an added bonus. Ten of the copies of this collection have hand-recorded CDRs with home-recorded material popped in by Elvis Costello personally! Talk about bonus material....!


What's even more bizarre - the insertions were done in April and still, no one has reported finding one of the secret recordings... (I hear Ebay is already starting its engines!) Here is the scoop - straight from Elvis' mouth in an interview with the Tennessean.com:

"I recorded some new melodies for some of my older songs, and for a gag I recorded them on just a cassette player. And I didn't have a microphone so I plugged in headphones into the tape recorder, because you switch them backwards, they work as a microphone. I didn't want to be like a Luddite, so I put them on a CDR, and I put 10 of the CDRs in 10 copies of the best of record that we released in April, and hid 'em in the shops in America, just to see whether anybody bought records anymore. And as nobody's found 'em yet and it's now September, I guess nobody buys records anymore. But somewhere somebody's gonna get a little surprise one of these days... They're gonna be in Wal-Mart or somewhere, and they're gonna buy one of these records and they're gonna discover a little free gift from me... There's not enough fun with the business of music. It's all very serious. The record thing for as long as it's gonna last, it needs a little mischief put back into it."

Whoa. That would be good to have! According to sources at Filter magazine, Costello's story rings true - there were secret recordings popped into the 10 Years collection - but only in American copies. So if you had hesitated before, maybe now is the time to pick it up!


Are You Ready for the Heartache - Cause Here It Is

Remarkably fun and slightly addictive... Murder Mystery is every bit the product of our modern times - and that is a very good thing for listeners. Murder Mystery just released the enchanting "Are You Ready for the Heartache - Cause Here It Is" record which is awash with the sounds of influences both past and current. The tracks are proof positive that Frank Black, They Might Be Giants and the Talking Heads walk the Earth.

From the New York Indie Scene:
Murder Mystery


"Are You Ready for the Heartache - Cause Here It Is"

On "In A Sentimental Mood" and "What My Baby Said" the band begins on a meandering path towards a point at which frontman Jeremy Coleman's voice takes on Black's textured, ironic resonance. On "Love Astronaut," Jeremy's sister Laura Coleman (who is the drummer) squares up with her brother - formally sounding like anything early on in TMBG's career. Think the classic stuff: Lincoln, Flood, Apollo 18 or John Henry. Sweet! My favorite track (at this point - I have already changed my mind twice!) is "Tell Me I'm Your Man." It has such a street-walkin' early 1980s theme (before the decade would take on it's sometimes negative reputation.) As with many of the tracks, the vocals and drums are tempered - if not completely dissolve into a bit of Americana. Here the bass work of Adam Fels and guitar of Kevin Jaszek take over in what sounds like "late 1950s rockabilly/surf era swing" between the stanzas and verses.





The four-piece band doesn't break into any new territory on this record - but "Heartache" is fun as hell and a smashing success without forced artist abstraction. The music is a celebration of itself - something bands should realize has always worked and they should attempt more often. I definitely look forward to hearing what comes next.


The Hook-Up:
Murder Mystery
Fb / Web / My

Saturday, September 15, 2007

Picture This! Indie and Punk Rock photographer Pat Graham's Incredible New Collection: "SILENT PICTURES"

I marvel at the power conveyed through photography. You aren't supposed to be able to hear images or taste the dust in a photograph of a dirty room - but it does happen. You aren't supposed to breathe in history but if the stories are told well enough - you do. Photographs of strangers aren't supposed to make you feel as if you can read their thoughts or know what's in their souls.... But it happens. Thanks to "Silent Pictures" - a collection of images from talented photographer Pat Graham, we have new photographic insight into the lives of musicians Modest Mouse, Ted Leo, Bikini Kill, Fugazi and the Shins!

Hot Off the Presses:
SILENT PICTURES

Graham's photo collection, released just this month, captures the highlights of an incredible 19-year career. "Silent Pictures" focuses largely on emblematic stage images of punk rock and the dynamic music scene that has emerged in the Nation's capital. In D.C., Pat Graham lived and worked for a time with Dischord Records founder Ian MacKaye (Minor Threat, Fugazi, Embrace) - providing him unprecedented access to the local music scene. For photography and music enthusiasts - this photo book is an absolute must have!

Ian MacKaye by Pat Graham

FROZEN IN TIME - Like the bands he captures on film, Graham thrives because of his uncompromising anti-establishment aesthetic. Many of the images presented here have taken on iconic status over the years, proving that the energy of live shows resonates beyond the walls of the nightclub. Graham’s unique style is partly a consequence of the countless times he has accompanied groups like Modest Mouse and The Make-Up on tour across the world; these photographs convey the power of legendary performers like The Jesus Lizard and the late Elliott Smith in unscripted spontaneity onstage, while more intimate portraits provide candid glimpses of life on the road, behind-the-scenes peeks backstage, and shots of euphoric audiences participating in similar scenes of community collaboration across the country. Graham lives in London with his wife Melanie. He is still active in photography and runs the 96 Gillespie Gallery.

Graham Captures Bikini Kill

Images and review copy of Silent Pictures are courtesy of Akashic Books.
A limited number of autographed copies are available online.


LINKAGE:

An Interview with Pat Graham

TAKE A LIMITED PHOTO TOUR

On the Pat Graham Myspace page

Thursday, September 13, 2007

Bob Dylan - Little White Wonder Volume II (an Italian bootleg record)

I figure I have been a Dylan fan for about half of my life. And I have spent about an hour or two a month for the last 10 years in record stores combing through their used discs - buying rare albums and Bob Dylan records off the shelf. I still wish I had more Bob Dylan 45s.

Today's highlight: the bootleg album: Little White Wonder Volume II. This is an old Italian bootleg record I picked up several years ago. I have owned it for years and only listened to it a handful of times. Holding the disc in my hand today as I write this... it's in remarkably great shape - probably for this very reason it has only been played two or three times in as many decades. Now it's a bootleg collector's item!


The cover: Shot from an LA concert - 2/14/74

I had the songs from LWW2 burned from vinyl by a sound tech I ran into once. That has allowed me to give them the songs the occasional listen - and to share the tracks with you today! These are bootleg tracks - never before released and not available commercially. FOr this reason - the fact I am sharing these songs does not harm Bob Dylan and no money is being directed from the Columbia label. The songs are free! Check 'em out:

Bootleg album tracks.
Original source for each is listed following the title.


EDITOR'S NOTE: Due to Bandwidth Restrictions some people may find the files below are empty. This will not remain the case for long. Always try to listen to the song first to ensure the link is working. If you find difficulties downloading - then use the MediaFire Direct Download Option at the bottom of the page to download these great Dylan tracks. Also - if you have no sound or speakers, this is the best option. - Ryan (Keepin' It Real)


That's Alright Mama - Source One Another Side outtake
That's Alright Mama - Source Two Another Side outtake

Stealin'- Source One the Minnesota Tape Sessions
Stealin'- Source Two the Minnesota Tape Sessions

Suze (The Cough Song) - Source One Original Recording - the Times... outtake
Suze (The Cough Song) - Source Two Original Recording - the Times... outtake

Hard Times in New York town - Source One the Minnesota Tape Sessions
Hard Times in New York town - Source Two the Minnesota Tape Sessions

If I Could Do It All Over Again (All Over You) - Source One Gil Turner recording session 1963
If I Could Do It All Again (All Over You) - Source Two Gil Turner recording session 1963

Ryan's Note: This song title is misspelled on the album:

"IF I COULD DOLT IT ALL OVER AGAIN (ALL OVER YOU)"

Wade In The Water - Source One the Minnesota Tape Sessions
Wade in the Water - Source Two the Minnesota Tape Sessions

V.D. Blues - Source One the Minnesota Tape Sessions
V.D. Blues - Source Two the Minnesota Tape Sessions

New Orleans Rag - Source One Another Side Of outtake
New Orleans Rag - Source Two Another Side Of outtake

Let Me Follow You Down - Source One the Minnesota Tape Sessions
Let Me Follow You Down - Source Two the Minnesota Tape Sessions

Cocaine Blues - Source One the Minnesota Tape Sessions
Cocaine Blues - Source Two the Minnesota Tape Sessions


Guilty Pleasure - Michigan's Child Bite with "I Like Friends"

Enjoying the Times When I Spin My Wheels so long as the Music is Good:

Sometimes I put material up there because it's timely. Other times, I just want to play songs because it's good to have fun for just a little while. This is certainly the later of the two. It's late/early this morning and I am listening to Michigan's Child Bite while I prepare some work for the page later this week. I wrote about this band last in August when they spun their wheels through town - appearing in Cambridge at P.A.'s Lounge with local music genius Eldridge Rodriguez (who it appears just sent me an email today.... Better read it.) At any rate, I picked up the band's record that night and have been listening to it's frenetic grace - a kind of acrobatic approach to music. The song is "I Like Friends" and to be honest, who doesn't??!


CHILD BITE
Ultra Fun Diversion

"The Future isn't really that well dressed. And, it hurts my eyes!"

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Live at the Lily Pad - Ryan's Smashing Life Presents!

MARK YOUR CALENDARS NOW!!!

The Lilypad - Inman Square, Cambridge
Wednesday, Sept 19
Three amazing talents - Just $5


A Ryan's Smashing Life Special Show

poster by Boston artist David Battilana

Headliner Tim Williams (Dovecote Records) will release a new album on October 2.



Important Links
Tim Williams myspace
Ryan Lee Crosby Myspace
John Brazile Myspace

The Lilypad Webpage

"Good Morning Sun" - Starting the Day with Nick Drake

There is no better way to start the day than than this song by Nick Drake. I have long been a fan of his music. But what you come to realize after years of careful listening is that the man's songs become interwoven into your soul; your very DNA. Songs like, "From the Morning" leave impressions on the soul. Enjoy the track.



Tuesday, September 11, 2007

Ode to the Opening Act - FAIR TO MIDLAND has made its name by being one of the best Supporting Bands in the Country!

When Fair to Midland takes the stage tonight in Boston, it will be in a familiar role - as opening band to a popular national act. The role brings its own set of challenges - shorter set times, smaller crowds - but the exposure level this year has been huge. And based on the talent level here... Well, I have to imagine that the roles will soon be reversed. Fair to Midland give Opening Acts a Good Name! Don't be late.


Rockin' the Stage Early in Boston tonight!
- FAIR TO MIDLAND -


FTM photo by Isaac Flores


Fair to Midland
(Streaming Audio)

Vice/Versa

At the Avalon tonight, Dallas' Fair to Midland brings their electric brand of progressive jam rock to town in support of Chevelle. (tickets) I probably won't be staying for the whole night, but you have better believe I will be there for FTM. Here is a completely amazing band on the rise and a rare chance to see a great band before the witching hour even comes to pass. Whether you are in Boston tonight or a future date along the tour - this one is a slam dunk, can't miss!

Fair to Midland are touring to support their new "Fables of a Mayfly" album. So far this year, they have opened up shows in the US and abroad for Chevelle, Smashing Pumpkins and Bury Your Dead - playing for crowds who have often been left scratching their heads - wondering exactly which band they had paid to see jam out live. Pretty damn electric!

FAIR TO MIDLAND
Web / Myspace

Live Show Review: The Editors Leave Their Mark on BOSTON

Since early this spring I have been on a live music tear. I have been checking out at least two to three amazing indie rock shows at week. When none is available I try to check out a blues bands. I paint this picture so that what follows can be taken into perspective...

Last Thursday's Editors show here in Boston (9/6/07) was easily one of the best two or three shows I have ever witnessed here in the city. The show was great, because all the necessary elements were in place...

The Editors - - - - - - - -

Smith (at front) is one of the best these days.

Through radio appearances, live shows, bootlegs and video performances - the Editors had demonstrated over the last year that they are improving - almost day to day based on live recordings. Secondly, the songs are getting better: As much as I thoroughly enjoyed the "Back Room" record - the new album; "An End Has A Start" is just better. The thing that brought it all home last Thursday is the fact that Editors frontman Tom Smith has evidently learned to empty his soul, on command, up on stage. Scary Good.



The New Album - An RSL "Best of 2007"

The Racing Rats is a great example of superior songwriting and improved instrumentation from the new album. It's probably my favorite song from the new record right now. The band played the song live here in Boston last Thursday night with Tom Smith stepping in take the keyboard during the performance.

Editors - The Racing Rats
Highly Recommended!

Buy this album.
The Editors
Web / Myspace

Special Note: The sensational Ra-Ra-Riot opened for the Editors at the Paradise last week. I was extremely impressed! I will be giving the band a proper write-up once I have had time to fully absorb their EP. Please note - an Editor's show on this tour means you get to see Ra-Ra-Riot too. Do not show up late and miss them!

Monday, September 10, 2007

Put It In Your Mind - HIS NAME IS ALIVE's new record to be released in just days!

His Name is Alive is a quality Michigan band producing some pretty mind-bending, exotic music. The band does some high-end genre jumping (for examples of this -dwell for a minute on the diverse but quality records released over the years by Yo La Tengo and David Bowie.) HNIA is about to release the new record XMMER. I suggest you ask for it by name as I fear even your finer indie record stores may accidentally leave this one of their buyer lists.


HIGHLY RECOMMENDED - Album Release date set for Sept 18

Close your eyes and listen to His Name is Alive's "Put It In Your Mind." First of all just know the song is an obvious guitar homage. There are no apologies needed - just an understanding in fact. Embrace the quality - get hypnotized by the track and production. By the time you have finished listening you come to realize the album should be on "repeat." There will be no need to get up from your seat anytime soon.


HIS NAME IS ALIVE
Web / Myspace

Saturday, September 08, 2007

You Ready for This? The Quest for The Best - Fantasy Football

I have said it before, but for clarity's sake - I'll say it again. You wouldn't know it, but I am as big and as knowing a sports fan as I am a music enthusiast. And, truly, that's saying something. My policy is to seldom merge the two, but opening week in football has stirred the creative side of me.
The Quest for the Best

The Pursuit of Excellence..

A former player myself, I quit after collecting more injuries than accolades in high school. Now, I leave the playing to the guys on the field. I have come to enjoy, however, the much enjoyed but often maligned past time of Fantasy Football to keep it interesting - even when the Patriots have already played or are on their bye week. Here is my 2007 fantasy team in an eight-man league. What do you think? (And feel free to drop me a line about your team.) Then there are some songs (a ten-track mix I threw together) to celebrate this joyous sports season!

Quarterback Tom Brady
Wide Receiver Torry Holt
Wide Receiver Hines Ward
Tight End Antonio Gates
Running Back Joseph Addai
WR/RB Clinton Portis
WR/TE Antwaan Randle El
K John Kasay
DEF Pittsburgh
D Shawne Merriman
D Adrian Wilson
DB Ed Reed
DL Zach Thomas
DL Adalius Thomas
BENCH Eli Manning, QB
BENCH Asante Samuel, DB
BENCH Jeremy Shockey, TE
BENCH DEF – Carolina

RSL FANTASY SEASON SOUNDTRACK


Calvin Harris - myspace page
Merry Making at My Place

The Floor Is Made of Lava - myspace page
Told Her I'm From Compton

The Misfits - webpage
Great Balls of Fire

Rock Kills Kid - myspace
Run Like Hell

The Breeders - wikipedia
Cannonball

The Go Team - webpage
The Power is On

Rob Zombie - webpage
More Human Than Human

Bridges and Powerlines - myspace
Late Last Thursday

Social Distortion - webpage
Ball and Chain (live)

Stevie Wonder - webpage
Higher Ground