June 26, 2007

New contest #2: Easy, tiger (Ryan Adams lithograph and new album)

And here’s the second contest of today, this one to celebrate the official release of Ryan Adams‘ ninth studio album Easy Tiger (out today on Lost Highway):

That snarly, wild piece of wall art is a limited edition Ryan Adams lithograph, hand-numbered out of 100, that I have to give away. It would fit nicely if you live in Alaska, or maybe have one of those urban-wolf decoration schemes. It also showcases (assumedly) Ryan’s hand quite nicely, and . . . it’s cool.

The contest also includes a copy of the Easy Tiger album, which I have been enjoying quite often these last few weeks. Although it has not risen to “absolute gem” status for me yet, I definitely think that it is a familiar step into a very good direction for Ryan. There is, as you have likely read in any of a dozen other reviews, a greater focus from Ryan here and a tighter feel to the album.

It is still Ryan, though, so it wanders some (though not unpleasantly) and feels a little bit jarring to me in places. But all nine of his albums have always varied wildly in their style and mood from one to the next. From burnished alt-country, to gorgeously sad rock ballads, to humid Southern jams, to squealing punk, Ryan doesn’t stay the same and I do appreciate that creativity. I hope Easy Tiger does very good things for him; combined with a newfound sobriety, I also hope that he delivers a string of focused live shows to reinforce that talent and convert a new round of folks to his musically-winning ways.

TO WIN THE PACKAGE: Since I’ve been in a pensive lyric mood lately, I would like to discuss your favorite lyric ever penned by Mr. Ryan Adams. I will pick a winner this weekend, make sure to give me a way to contact you.

26 – New York, NY – Hiro Ballroom
28 – Philadelphia, PA – The Fillmore
29 – Boston, MA – Somerville Theater

10 – Charlottesville, VA – Paramount Theatre
11 – Louisville, KY – Brown Theatre
12 – Germantown, TN – Germantown Performing Arts Center
14 – Austin, TX – Paramount Theatre
19 – Los Angeles, CA – Wilshire Ebell
21 – Santa Cruz, CA – Catalyst
23 – San Francisco, CA – Herbst Theatre
24 – Berkeley, CA – Berkeley Community Theater
26 – Portland, OR – Aladdin Theatre
27 – Seattle, WA – Moore Theatre
28 – Vancouver, BC – Orpheum Theatre
31 – Salt Lake City, UT – Red Butte Garden

2 – Boulder, CO – Fox Theatre (AAA Records & Radio conf)
3 – Morrison, CO – Red Rocks Amphitheatre

Two – Ryan Adams
Everybody Knows – Ryan Adams

Tagged with , .


  • My fav would have to be from the unreleased “Today”

    “When you face up to him and you’re face down again, wake up and know you’re not okay”

    I’ve always thought that was a powerful line.


    Christian C. — June 28, 2007 @ 2:10 am

  • The title track from “rock n’ roll” (a gorgeous gorgeous song) shows his vulernability:

    “Everybody’s cool playing rock n roll
    I don’t feel cool at all”

    Don’t we all?

    ( my email is jessica (dot) costello (at) gmail (dot) com )

    Jessie Costello — June 28, 2007 @ 7:17 am

  • I already made my ‘conteest’ entry, but I keep remembering lines of his I love, and I wanted to add one that I haven’t seen posted yet. It’s from ‘September’ on JCN.

    Laura lays on the foot of the bed,
    mimics a noose with the telephone chord,
    Doctor’s on the phone, she hangs up and says
    ‘I ain’t never gonna see the winter again’
    And I don’t know how but she smiles


    They carved your name into a stone
    and then they put it in the ground,
    I run my fingers through the grooves
    when no one’s around

    Drink till I am sick and
    Then I talk to myself
    in the dog days of the summer
    Then I feel you coming but I don’t know how…

    A few things about these verses kill me. One is just the rhythm and flow of his words are just flawless in this case. The other is the content. I’ve had young friends diagnosed with a terminal illness, and it’s just about the most terrible thing ever. This song REALLY cuts to the core of that experience. It’s also very visual — you can really see the girl smile, you can see the guy drunk at the graveyard. Powerful stuff.

    Maloney — June 28, 2007 @ 10:57 am

  • not so much a lyric (because i can’t beat “come pick me up” or “la cienega just smiled”), but i think it’s cool that he put the “argument with david rawlings concerning morrissey” in the side 1/track 1 spot on “heartbreaker”. followed by the “he’s got a mouthful o’ cookies” intro to “to be young”.

    actually, my favorite thing he wrote may be the improv song he did at his infamous 1st ave show where he called out paul westerberg. something along the lines of “i’m so tired of having influences and writing so many f-ing songs”. good times.


    Anonymous — June 28, 2007 @ 12:53 pm

  • “Well, everybody wants to go on forever
    I just wanna burn up hard and bright
    I just wanna be your firecracker
    And maybe be your baby tonight”

    Love this song.

    Andy — June 28, 2007 @ 4:36 pm

  • gotta go with one of my favorite songs from when he was in Whiskeytown.

    “Well excuse me if I break my own heart. It’s mine from the finish, I guess. It was mine from the start.”


    Cornelius — June 28, 2007 @ 6:25 pm

  • Love this lyric-

    Up through the alley, take the door under the stairs
    My head ain’t feeling nothing but cats and rocking chairs
    Bad nights lead to better days
    It never happens but I think about it anyway
    -Easy Plateau
    Haven’t heard the new album yet as I am in Africa for the summer, but will be picking it up as soon as I get back to the States.


    Matt — June 29, 2007 @ 9:36 am

  • “I want to be the bluebird singing
    Singing to the roses in her yard
    The roses in her yard her father grew for her
    It’s been raining that Tennessee honey
    So long I got too heavy to fly
    Ain’t no bluebird ever gets too heavy to sing”

    Born and raised in Tennessee, of course I love the “All the sweetest winds, they blow across the south” line, but the above lyrics from Magnolia Mountain are even more important to me. My dad and I, from the start, have shared a strong love of music (even though he subjected me to the first music I remember – the Bee Gees). When I go home to visit, he’s always asking me if I’ve heard so and so, and I do the same to him. He’s one of a kind…never met a stranger, very sentimental and a great artist, even though he never sketches anymore. He has struggled with depression for many years now. Several years ago when I was home, he told me that he knew he would commit suicide one day – he just didn’t know when. Unbeknownst to him, after that confession, I have had more nightmares than I can count…mostly consisting of me struggling to get the gun away from him…and succeeding. When I first heard the above lyrics, they made me cry and still do almost every time I hear them. I don’t know what Ryan was thinking when he wrote them, but, to me, it means that my dad, no matter how heavy things get, always has a reason to keep going. He hasn’t mentioned suicide for years now and seems to be doing a lot better, in general, thank goodness. :)

    Kelli — June 29, 2007 @ 9:51 am

  • “i thought maybe i could be some kind of shelter
    but oh, your storm how it raged
    you know your kisses, they like lightnin’ and thunder
    and your smile is sweet and come down like rain

    i never wanted to be your dancin’ shoes
    i just wanted you to love me
    i just wanted you to love me
    touch, feel & lose
    and cry, cry, cry
    i just wanted you to love me, honey
    cry, cry, cry”

    Ryan adams can write songs like no other. This is an awesome song about lost love. Not only are they great lyrics, but Ryan always seems to match the intonation of his voice perfectly to the tone of every song he sings. It is EUPHORIA when ryan sings “cry, cry, cry”. it makes me want to break down and CRY. I wish I was cool enough to hang out with him and Adam, but alas, I’d be like Joe Pesci in Lethal Weapon 3…


    Anonymous — June 29, 2007 @ 10:33 am

  • It’s sort of like choosing my favorite grain of sand, if it was magical, poetic sand that made me cry sometimes.
    But here’s a try:

    From “Starlite Diner”
    Have you ever slept it off to the bones,
    And woken up at night, my love
    Having dreamt you called them all
    Every person you could never love?

    This piece is something I can imagine seeing in an english literature book, one of those giant ones with the best-of-the-best of poetry in it for english majors to drool over. Who would ever think to say “slept it off to the bones”? And yet, everyone can feel what he means, can feel exactly how deep that goes.
    Everyone has people in the past that they couldn’t love, for whatever reason, and that kind of regret or guilt can haunt dreams, no doubt. He paints the picture perfectly, of a moment we’ve all had…that moment when you lie awake at night and can’t get the past out of your head.

    It’s beautiful, strong, slam-the-wind-out-of-your-chest kinda stuff. Relatable and perfect, at the same time.


    Anonymous — June 29, 2007 @ 10:50 am

  • “It’s harder now that it’s over
    Now that the cuffs are off
    And you’re free
    You’re free with a history, im sorry”

    I think this is one of the most amazing lyrics I have ever heard. Gives me shivers everytime I hear it. I feel like with all the woman troubles that he has had over the years that this best describes how heartbroken he gets over failed relationships. To be the one in love in the relationship, and knowing the other person wants out…heartbreaking. But not out with any scuffs, free with a history. kills me eveyrtime.


    Anonymous — June 29, 2007 @ 12:06 pm

  • Not that I wanna cheat or anything, but choosing one, or even two or three, is just way too hard! So here’s ten. ;) (I’ve tried to come up with ones that nobody’d mentioned yet.)

    #10, from Meadowlake Street:

    there’s something about you that reminds me of all those times
    when i wasn’t sorry, when i wasn’t blue
    the cherry moon it shone down on us
    under the stars, shining down – every one for you
    if i could count them all i would circle the moon
    and count ‘em back to nothing ’til i got to you

    #9, from The Ballad of Carol Lynn:

    when you need a friend to be there for you
    i won’t be one who can help you out
    when you need someone you can let you in
    you can count me out, oh carol lynn

    #8, from Billy Joel:

    well i don’t know if i’ve got the cash
    to cover a car
    but i sure as hell know i ain’t got the money
    to fix your house

    #7, from To Be The One:

    i don’t know which is worse
    to wake up and see the sun
    or to be the one
    to be the one that’s gone

    #7, from 1974:

    it’s raining like the bombs in my room when i’m alone

    #6, from City Rain, City Streets:

    taking bullets for a team of bad poets – how is it up there?
    taking bullets for the team…

    #5, from The Hardest Part:

    the hardest part is loving
    somebody that cares for you
    so much

    #4, from Hallelujah:

    and every night i throw you out
    leave you stranded on the boulevard
    you love it how i use you up
    how i use you like i use them all
    with the band singing hallelujah
    … you’re all gone

    (check this!: http://www.archive.org/download/ryanadams2006-10-17.sbd.flac16/ryanadams2006-10-17.sbd.d1t03_vbr.mp3)

    #3, from Excuse Me… (Faithless Street version):

    if the rain falls down on a trailer park town
    let your eyes slip easy into mine

    #2, from Halloween:

    snowflake eating
    she is mildly self-defeating
    and the secrets that she’s keeping
    they are really only dangerous to her
    ships ain’t sinking…

    #1, from What Sin:

    wanna kick love right in its gut
    beat it and leave it for dead
    go and wash my hands in the river
    lie down and die in your bed

    PS: what’s those lyrics again from Dead People Unite And Take Over? “Meet me tonight at the mall…”? lmao – would’ve made my top 10, had i only remembered them better. Oh and i forgot Tractor Beam, damn. And Statuettes With Wounds.


    Jozef — June 29, 2007 @ 2:21 pm

  • “see her smile and say come on…”
    dance all night

    to me this lyric is a great addition to the man’s beautifully depressing catalog. he has so many great songs and wonderfully penned lyrics about depression and loss and this one always leaves me smiling. very hopeful and uplifting. i love everything about this track and, as lame as it sounds, i think i would like to play it at my wedding.

    so yeah. thats it.

    kevinscott — June 29, 2007 @ 10:33 pm

  • H

    I would say the best Ryan lyrics have an ‘ache’ the you can feel through his voice and the images he creates with the words.

    An example would be ‘Call me on your way back home’ which (when I first heard him sing it live) main the hairs on my neck stand up –

    “honey I was just a kid, bubblegum on my shoes, but you loved me and I loved you”. Fantastic.

    The best example however is my entry – ‘How do you keep love alive” – the image:

    “she runs through my veins like a long black river and rattles my cage like a thunderstorm” is a favourite as is

    “I would’ve held your mothers hand on the day you were born”.

    The best is

    “What, what are the words
    They use when they know it’s over
    “We need to talk,” or
    “I’m confused, maybe later you can come over”

    It has that ache.

    Chris Jacques Tottington (and Edinburgh)

    P.S. it would look grat in my Edinburgh flat.

    Anonymous — June 30, 2007 @ 12:09 am

  • My lyrics come from my favorite Ryan Adams song–Rescue Blues.

    “And everybody wants to see you fall
    That’s why they always love to get you high
    And everybody knows you need the pain so much, lady
    Well, keep in touch, baby
    Just don’t charge me with your rescue blues…”

    To me, these lyrics are very personal. They remind me of ‘life after high school.’ All of my friends stayed back home, while I went away. When I’d come home, we’d always get together, for my first semester away. After that, they began to use me and toy with me for their amusement–I’m still not sure why. They were nice to me for one phone call, and then awful for my next visit. It was a constant state of high and low. By the end of everything, I felt like the only reason they were nice to me was to see me crash and fall when they weren’t.

    So there’s my take on the lyrics!

    email: monarchmajesty@hotmail.com

    SauriSteph — June 30, 2007 @ 7:06 am

  • Whiskeytown’s song “Avenues” just demolishes me every time–I really think it’s one of the saddest but most beautiful songs ever written. My favorite lines are “all the sweethearts of the world / are out dancing in the places / where me and all my friends go to hide our faces.”

    Of his solo lyrics, I think the first verse to “Cry On Demand” is my favorite:

    So, it’s how the story goes.
    Can we cut to the scene where I’m holding you close.
    She moves, moves like a thin dulling blade
    Cuts, all the words that I said.
    The only difference is,
    The only difference is,
    The truth…
    The truth is I miss you.

    Aside from maybe Lucinda Williams, I don’t think there’s any American songwriter who can write about heartbreak the way Ryan Adams can. He’s got so many sad, lonely, miserable songs that are just so pretty, too.

    My email is bonoismymuse (at) gmail.com

    maggie — June 30, 2007 @ 2:43 pm

  • “Somewhere the night sky hangs like a blanket/I shoot it with my cap gun just to make it seem like stars”
    Jacksonville Skyline

    I love the image that this line invokes.

    I think this line has a touch of childlike innocence (cap gun, trying to change something as vast as the sky.) Ryan has said that Jacksonville Skyline is pretty autobiographical about his life growing up. While the song paints a somewhat dismal picture of his childhood, I think with this line it ends on a happier, somewhat hopeful note. No matter where Ryan ends up, Jacksonville will always remain his home, and he’ll always have the same night sky to sleep under, gaze upon, and the hope that he can change things for the better.

    That’s at least how I want to see it.


    Anonymous — July 1, 2007 @ 9:23 pm

  • “I’ve been thinking some of suicide.
    But there’s bars out here for miles.”

    i cant think of another line that seems as “ryan” as that one. Especially the non-sober ryan.


    Joe — July 2, 2007 @ 2:41 pm

  • So many solid lyrics already posted, some more obvious than others, but I really like some lyrics that are usually completely overlooked or under-rated in a more obvious song. Everybody knows and loves “Oh My Sweet Carolina” (If you don’t you may be a communist). But if you look at what Ryan Adams has done here…its really genius:
    “I ain’t never been to Vegas but I gambled up my life
    Building news print boats I raced in sewer mains”
    This is such a classic line because it shows the weight of gambling versus the weight of life, and how you don’t have to go to Vegas to lose it all. The newsprint boats seal the deal for me, becuase you can actually picture a humbled loser sitting on the corner after a good rain with nothing but yesterdays newspaper making little boats and watching them drift away down the “river” and eventually down the drain like his life and his dreams. Under-rated lyrics from an obvious song!


    F. Scott — July 2, 2007 @ 2:47 pm


    Mockingbird, Cold Roses.

    Anonymous — July 2, 2007 @ 2:53 pm

  • My favorite lyrics are from the song Tomorrow:

    “A million miles of nothing
    Yeah, you’re driving on the moon
    I can smell you on the pillow
    Of the hotel room
    Baby, make it and call me soon
    Ohhh, my baby’s going home
    My baby’s going home
    Ohhh, my baby’s going home
    My baby’s going home

    this is what ryan said about that song in particular:”I wrote that with a friend of mine, a playwright called Kerry Hamilton, who has since died of cancer. I was living in Room 1034 at the Hollywood Roosevelt, and it was written the day before she was going back to Colorado. It was the last time I was to see Kerry healthy. I’m still going through it and haven’t been able to touch it in a song.”

    A close second From JCN “The End”

    “I don’t know the sound of my father’s voice i don’t even know how he say’s my name…but it plays out like a song on a jukebox in a bar in the back of my head till its worrying machine.”

    contact me at:


    Rod — July 2, 2007 @ 3:09 pm

  • “If we were nothing, we were only the best, I’m just lonely inside I guess…You gave me everything, you really tried…Thanks.”


    Keith — July 2, 2007 @ 3:44 pm

  • Pretty sure this blog test can’t be had until these lyrics are entered…i’ve already entered mine but these are some of my fave lines

    Ain’t it strange, I see your face in the window of a store
    Holding me back from throwing my bottles out at the cars
    Sha la. Sha la la la
    So hey there, Mrs. Samuels
    Hey Laura, I’m thinking of you
    Would you take an old drunk as-is
    If he was sweet to you
    And tomorrow, you’ll probably give up on me
    I won’t blame you, hell I’ll celebrate
    ‘Cause despite anything you may have said to me
    The bar is a beautiful place. . . . sha na na na, sha la la

    Rod — July 2, 2007 @ 3:59 pm

  • And Rod….those are possibly my favorite lyrics from one of my all-time favorite Ryan Adams songs. Perfect note to end on.

    By the way, folks, the contest is now closed, but thanks for playing and feel free to keep commenting if you want but there is no more booty to be had. I just found out the lithograph is SIGNED. Dah! I want one.

    heather — July 2, 2007 @ 5:55 pm

  • I know the contest is over but…

    “You’re just a nobody, girl, with a radar to the scene”

    BriTunes — July 10, 2007 @ 8:21 am

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Bio Pic Name: Heather Browne
Location: Colorado, originally by way of California
Giving context to the torrent since 2005.

"I love the relationship that anyone has with music: because there's something in us that is beyond the reach of words, something that eludes and defies our best attempts to spit it out. It's the best part of us, probably, the richest and strangest part..."
—Nick Hornby, Songbook
"Music has always been a matter of energy to me, a question of Fuel. Sentimental people call it Inspiration, but what they really mean is Fuel."
—Hunter S. Thompson

Mp3s are for sampling purposes, kinda like when they give you the cheese cube at Costco, knowing that you'll often go home with having bought the whole 7 lb. spiced Brie log. They are left up for a limited time. If you LIKE the music, go and support these artists, buy their schwag, go to their concerts, purchase their CDs/records and tell all your friends. Rock on.

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