Monday, February 28, 2011

Musi-Quote Monday, February 2011

What makes the most money for this business? Dead rock stars.
-- Courtney Love

I won't be a rock star. I will be a legend.
-- Freddie Mercury

No change in musical style will survive unless it is accompanied by a change in clothing style. Rock is to dress up to. 
-- Frank Zappa

I do arouse primeval instincts, but most men can. I just happen to be able to do it to several thousand people. It's fun. 
--Mick Jagger

Sunday, February 27, 2011

Pictures of Linkin Park

On Linkin Park's website are listed their top five shows: New York City, Osaka (Japan), Berlin (Germany), Paris (France), and Tel Aviv (Israel).  I doubt Salt Lake City will be added to that list any time soon since the ESA was not full, but Linkin Park delivered a great show on their "A Thousand Suns: World Tour 2011."  We all loved Linkin Park's music, lights, and show delivery.  A sweet night.

The Music
Cutting edge nu and alternative metal, rap rock, with a smattering of alternative rock, electronica, and hip-hop

The Show
High energy metal with intensive stage effects, lights and video

The Band 
Chester Bennington, Rob Bourdon, Brad Delson, Phoenix, Joe Hahn, Mike Shinoda

Hybrid Theory, Meteora, Minutes to Midnight, A Thousand Suns

American Music Awards - Favorite Alternative Artist for 2003, 2004, 2007; Favorite Alternative Rock Artist for 2008
Grammy - Best Hard Rock Performance for 2002; Best Rap/Sung Collaboration for 2006
MTV - Best Rock Video for 2002, 2003, 2008; Viewers Choice Award for 2004

The Prodigy
The monologue for The Prodigy consisted of a litany of "f-bombs" repeated at least ten times in between each song they played.  Shock me if you must but after awhile, the same word over and over and over and over and over and over and again is repetitiously, redundant, boring, excessive, superfluous, surplus, supernumerary, and supererogatory.  The Prodigy played fierce metal, which would have been much more delectable had we been on the floor dancing and jumping.  But alas, most of us, including me, were on Row 26.  Two of the rest of us were on the floor and I hope to procure pictures soon of the upheaval down there.  The metal vibe permeated to our chairs.  In any event, the lights show was more spectacular than Disney at night, as you can see by the pictures below.  

Americana Folk Revivalist With An Urban Tribe: Justin Townes Earle:

Ironically, the ticket to the Justin Townes Earle concert at the State Room in Salt Lake City I bought in September of last year was the first I'd purchased in months because the summer had been flush with free concerts in Park City as well as volunteer work at USANA Amphitheater.  When it was announced that Earle's concert was postponed, patrons were given the option for a full refund or wait for the reschedule. I waited.  And for those who didn't, their tickets were sold to others to yield a sold out show.

Lanky-lean, vested Justin Townes Earle matter-of-factly eased into the picture and onto the stage with his Americana Folk music last Thursday.  The five months between the original concert date in October until the actual delivery in February built the anticipation for what was an evening overflowing with Americana and a taste of lawlessness.

Listening to Earle feels like being painted into a hot day Old Tucson, with a desert-y, Wild West ambiance.  "Who is he?" I kept on saying to myself and everyone around me.  The voice sounded so familiar.  I finally concluded I was hearing "Walk the Line," and Earle was playing the part of Johnny Cash.  "They Killed John Henry" and others similar have an outside-the-saloon edge to them, filled with hints of ruggedness and shootouts. Earle related another brand of wildness:  his adventures in porn theaters, where he wrote songs while running errands for drug dealers. 

I'm not the biggest fan of musicians attempting to cross over into the comedian role as part of their concert delivery, but Earle's dialogue in between sets was edgy -- in a good way -- and truly funny, even in his thread about the substance abuse problems that led to delay of the concert.  He was a bit self deprecating and soberingly honest about his addiction to cocaine and alcohol: ""I love the stuff but make bad decisions when I use it," he said.

In spite of his personal challenges, Earle has emerged above the fray to win important music industry awards such as 2009 Americana Music Awards, Best New and Emerging Artist, and to release four CDs since 2007.  And when you hear his voice -- and you should -- you'll know why.
Born in Nashville, Tennessee, there's a pedigree behind Earle's style and success, and really, even his missteps.  His dad was country/rock singer Steve Earle, who like his son, had substance abuse problems and spent time in jail.  Like his father, Earle's baritone voice and his music is anything but urban vibe, which leads to the oddest fun fact of all: Earle lives not on an unmarked, secluded ranch in Arizona but in the heart of Manhattan. 

Earle smacks of cowboy poet sans country twang, and he doesn't hint that he may be eating deli sandwiches on Broadway for lunch.  He has a fiddler (Joshua Hedley) and bass (Bryn Davies) in his band ... but with his talent, he could easily carry a concert by himself.  And mid-concert, he did with such numbers as "Wanderin'" and "Won't Be the Last Time."

Real life, Earle-style led to his "Nobody Loves You When You're Down and Out" and "I Won't Cry When You Walk Out On Me."  Earle's a man who's lived a lifetime in his 29 years.  And his music reflects that, and much more.

Justin Townes Earle
Justin Townes Earle - MySpace


Saturday, February 26, 2011

Amy's and Monica's Birthday Concert: Stephanie Mabey and Ryan Innes


1) Stephanie - Gracious down to earth elegance when she plays, stunning blonde hair, easy rapport with the audience, sing along and fan requests shouted from amongst all those who'd gone to Bobby's Birthday House Concert some months ago, hearing renewed passion and depth in her playing, sings to keyboard and guitar, gripping soprano voice, driven lyricist - "I'm very particular about my lyrics" - who will chew on the writing one line of a song for days (recently her friends saw this in progress on Facebook), dreamy trancelike quality to her music, so no surprise she's singing songs like "Zombie" and "Wake Up Dreaming."  More recently she learned to play ukelele for the intriguing Bruno Mars' "Count On Me" for a wedding film project.  A refreshing departure from the usual array of wedding tunes such as "Unchained Melody" or "How Deep Is Your Love."


2) Ryan - Oh ... so this why Amy has been raving about Ryan for months (I missed all the previous gigs she attended somehow), flying fingers, pop, soul, is this Utah's answer to Billy Joel?, Perhaps not. His website says "If Michael Buble and Joni Mitchell had a love child raised by Jimi Hendrix and babysat by Norah Jones, that child would be Ryan Innes."  That sounds incredibly complicated, but Norah Jones as babysitter must be the perfect guy fantasy.  Sporting a newsie cap, Ryan settles into a silky rhythm on the keyboard, never missing a chance to engage the crowd.  He cuddled the audience with his rich, Buble-like vocals and drives his keyboard like a Maserati, fast and smooth.  Ballads, rock, soul, blues, lullaby-like, sometimes sultry and mellow tunes, hinting of the gentle sparks that could fly while sharing a 1940s overstuffed art deco chaise lounge with someone special.

The Ultimate Career Transition ... From Software Development to Songwriting: Teresa Storch

Blonde-haired, blue eyed Teresa Storch warmed up Salt Lake City's Magpie House Concert stage for Stephanie Corby by describing a phone conversation with her mother. “I have had that exact conversation with my mom about a hundred times!” I told her during the break. Moms, it seems, care about financial security, health care benefits, and 401Ks for their daughters. And rightly so, but getting lost in the quagmire of the 9-to-5 (or more likely 7-to-6) world can lead to a life of passionlessly working ones's brains out to live for the 2-4 weeks of vacation, a few holidays, and weekends.

Teresa jettisoned her ballet slippers and software developer tools when she lost her job, she picked up a guitar, and began to chase her musical dreams. Her journey began in subways and “around town” in her then-hometown of Boston, but since 2003, she's been tantalizing audiences around the country with her spunky brand of acoustic folk music. With CDs – “Live for Now," “Muscle Memory," and "Stream of Concrete" – under her belt, Teresa has proven a quick study on the folk music scene.
At Magpie, Teresa was joined by Drew Frink, her Utah-based musical collaborator. Now based in Denver, Teresa opened the set with “It's Time to Go,” about making the decision to leave Boston. I remember when I left Boston after living there five years: I cried as I kissed the “ground” in my second story apartment.

Teresa's deep, ponderous themes, comforting cadences that modulated then fell, were spell-binding. With her lyrics, she captures common human emotions and “bottles” them with her music. Pigeon-holing Teresa would be impossible: she's all over the folk map, stirring soul and funk into her auditory stew.
“The Eyes of June” captured the emotion of meeting her niece for the first time.

And then she brought you
Held you out to me, I felt so awkward
How could I hold something so small, yet
My heart pounding in my chest
A sudden instinct to protect
You opened up your eyes
I was mesmerized

There’s a new world in the eyes of June
There’s a new world in the eyes of June
There’s a new world in the eyes of June
Everything’s new…in the eyes of June

The tone turned to scintillating slow dance music with “Don't Let Me Down,” from her “Stream of Concrete” CD. When we hear songs like that, we should dance. Just sayin'.
Teresa and Drew wound down their set but not the intensity of the evening with “Holiday" … so cute, so fun, so true! The audience sang “da da da da da” (sort of makes it appear we babbled, but we sounded inspired, really). 

Life came seem unfair 
Yet it's too short to care 
About the shit that keeps us up at night
And I wonder if we really ever help each other
I think we might

And I think I might just like to hear Teresa again ... soon.