Musical Advent Calendar: December 24

It’s Christmas Eve! Truth be told, I like Christmas Eve even better than Christmas Day. Today’s entry on the calendar was first performed on Christmas Eve in 1818 in a parish church in a village in Germany. I love the simplicity and beauty of this carol, and so I wanted to share a version that reflected that beauty and simplicity. This is “Silent Night,” released on the 1999 album Christmas by Low.

Musical Advent Calendar: December 15

Today’s entry on the calendar is “Christmas Song” by Dave Matthews Band. I haven’t followed Dave Matthews Band in years, but I really liked their first few albums & always appreciated this track.

The studio version as found on Remember Two Things (1993) has a nice little bonus song tacked onto the end after about 8 minutes of silence.  The version below is a live acoustic version with Tim Reynolds from 2009.

Musical Advent Calendar: December 6

I thought about what might follow the solemnity of yesterday’s song, yet move us into a little bit cheerier territory today and I think I may have found the right track to fit the bill. Today’s entry is “Frosty the Snowman” and this version is notable for being one of only a handful of times that you will hear a song with comprehensible lyrics from the Cocteau Twins.

My Friend Jay Goes to Reading – August 1993

So, back in the day we used to have usenet, which was a social part of the internet before we had a gui interface.

My friend Jay and I met in some subform, bonded over music and shared stories for years, he in the UK, me in the US.

I didn’t keep all our emails, but I kept more than a few. This one includes Jay’s review of  the Reading Festival in 1993.

email, reading review

Summer, 1993  – Jay emails me his Reading Festival review



Well I guess you wanna hear how Reading went !!!

Five of us went down in my car just for the Sunday and it was totally cool. I got some really terrible news when i got to see a program as The Posies and The Lemonheads were billed at the same time on different stages 😦 I was totally depressed by this as they are my two fave bands at the moment 😦 😦 After a lot of discussion myself and Tony decided to watch The Posies and miss out on the Lemonheads 🙂 and 😦  Isn’t that just typical Festival bad luck. Couldn’t miss The Posies first UK gig though 🙂

The Posies were due to be on at 7.00 so there were a lot of good bands to see before then.  In the afternoon, we just sat about and heard Jesus Lizard (Very dull, not my kinda thing really!), Primus (who were totally cool), The Juliana Hatfield 3 (who were good and Juliana was looking rather nice 😉 ) and Fishbone (totally funky and sounded great). During the afternoon we also took ages to put up a couple of tents !!!! What a mess!! hee hee

As soon as the band before The Posies went off (Grant Lee Buffalo) my friend and myself rushed in and got right at the front. It was quite easy to get there as hoards of people were leaving to see The Lemonheads on the main stage. The tent was definitely full though by the time The Posies came on.

Now for the review……… I was totally blown away. I don’t think I have enjoyed seeing a band play that much in a long time. The thing I really liked was how much the band seemed to enjoy playing. Ken Stringfellow was just so cool (as were the rest) and he was smiling for nearly the entire show. I was also surprised at how young Ken looked !!! How old are the band? ? As for the music….it was really flawless. The vocals and harmonies were totally excellent. I was also surprised to see Ken and Jon sharing the vocals as I was sure it was just one of them singing on their albums.

The band came on and started with “Definite Door,” which was excellent. The only old stuff they played was “Golden Blunders” and “Any Other Way” from ‘Dear 23’ and they didn’t do anything from ‘Failure’ at all 😦 I think they played everything from ‘Frosting…’ except for “20 Questions” and “Coming Right Along.” My particular faves were “Flavor of the Month” (where is the “u” in flavour!!) which was great to sing my head off to, “Love Letter Boxes” and “Lights Out” which was totally excellent and very eeries (Indiana?!!!). Another one of my friends jointed us at the front during the set and was a bit “under the influence” hee hee. I got him to shout SURRENDER at the end for a joke and I think one of them laughed…..I also enjoyed all the witty little remarks the band came out with …. very amusing!! One other funny thing that happened was that the band started one of the songs while the bassist was changing basses. They had a bit of a laugh about that and the bass player was really funny!!

Overall I absolutely lovvved the show and was so excited and singing my head off!!!!! I can’t wait to them in London on Thursday. The club they are playing at is billiant and it’s gonna be excellent 🙂 🙂 🙂 can’t wait!!! Oh yeah, if you speak to Ken soon tell him they were great and I loved the show!!!

After The Posies, I went down to the main stage and watched Dinosaur Jr. As usual they were very good and J Mascis actually spoke to the crows “WOW”!!After Dinosaur Jr finished, we all met up and went to watch Big Star in the smaller tent. When I met two of my friend who went and watched the Lemonheads they also told me they had just seen Evan Dando and Juliana Hatfield and got their autographs. I think someone didn’t like me that day! I was down the front for Big Star and they were all excellent as well Ken and Jon were absolutely brilliant as all the songs sounded like it was the original line up. It was really nice that the other two Posies were watching down the side. All the classics were played, like “September Gurls” and I had a great time all around. Alex Chilton didn’t smile much though!! Cor, I got to see the first UK dates for The Posies and Big Star in one day!

After Big Star, it was back to the tent and open a bottle of wine!!

Well, there’s the review … I hope it’s OK.

The Morrissey Show, Columbus, OH – 6/27/1991

ticket stub, Morrissey 1991

Morrissey in Cincinnati, 1991

(originally written 3.16.07)

Just saw that Morrissey is playing the Paramount in May [1997], and for an nth of a second got excited. But then I remembered the time when I was living in Columbus, OH and I won tickets to go see Morrissey in Cincinnati.It’s a bit of a drive from Columbus to Cincinnati, but it was never an issue to take a road trip for a show, as my friends can attest. We’d pile into the bumper-stickered Volvo with a vast selection of cassettes carefully chosen for the selected show and drive as far as necessary.

I was a huge fan of The Smiths, and for years had an advertisment for the UK Smiths “Queen is Dead” tour on my full-length mirror, one that I had carefully clipped out from a Melody Maker that I had purchased from the local “cool” record store on one of my regular visits. I had never seen The Smiths live, and while I liked some of Morrissey’s solo work, it wasn’t the same. But! Winning tickets to the show made it a foregone conclusion that I would at last see the illustrious MORRISSEY!! Awesome.

So we went the show, which was at an outdoor ampitheatre, took our seats and waited for the magic to begin. The show starts, but before long, there were some sort of issues with security that kept interrupting the show – Morrissey’s pissed at the interruptions, throws some kind of fit, and after six songs, storms offstage. Aaaaand… that’s the show, kids!

What a scam. I remember being glad that I had won my tickets, because if I would have had to pay for that show, I’d have been royally p.o.’ed. So I say, no thanks to you, Mr. Steven Patrick Morrissey and your stupid Paramount show. 😛

Here’s a video from a different show on the same tour.

Jane’s Addiction / Henry Rollins Band, Cleveland, OH – 11/27/90

Review, Jane’s Addiction/Henry Rollins Band
Cleveland Agora
27 November 1990

When Jane’s Addiction played in Pennsylvania a few weeks ago, they only performed eight songs, citing lack of enthusiasm on the part of the audience for the short set. Well, Perry and friends didn’t need to worry about the enthusiasm of the sold-out crowd at the Cleveland Agora Tuesday night.

The show began at 8:15, with Henry Rollins Band as the opening act. Rollins, formerly of Black Flag, and the rest of the band performed a tight, 45-minute set, consisting of mostly new songs with a few Black Flag songs thrown in for good measure. There was a high level of intensity throughout the set.  Rollins was like a rattlesnake, coiled to strike as he rocked back and forth on the stage. He did lunge at one of the several stage divers as he was stalking across the stage. Near the end of the set, Rollins finally asked politely that the audience stay off the stage.  The crowd’s enthusiasm was not dampened by the announcement, however; and the slam pit at the front of the stage kept the security guards busy all night long.

At 9:30, under the smoky haze of red and purple lights, Jane’s Addiction kicked into high gear. They performed several songs from their three albums, including “Whores” and “1%,” “Up the Beach,” “Obvious” and “Then She did…” Perry Farrell’s vocals were somewhat fuzzy during the first few songs, but that was quickly fixed by the sound men. There were a few other technical glitches during the show; however, they were due more to overzealous fans that to the band or the crew.

At one point, a stage diver (yes, they reappeared) took the mic with him as he leapt back into the crowd. This caused the show to stop momentarily while the crew retrieved the mic. Of course, once the mic was returned, the band responded to the crew with “Thank You Boys.”  The crowd obviously consisted of many fans as they sang along to “Standing in the Shower, Thinking” “Been Caught Stealing” “Ain’t No Right” and “Stop,” among others.

The lighting and stage set complemented the music of the band. Colored Christmas lights were strewn along the back of the stage. Along the sides, flowers and icons were overflowing from the shelves, which gave the whole stage the look of a shrine.

In all, aside from the distractions of a few overzealous fans, Jane’s Addiction delivered a very high-energy show.

– me

Here’s a video from a different night of the same tour: