November 28, 2007

One last gasp at warmer days

So, did I tell you I am going to Hawaii in January? Yaay. A relative is getting married on Kauai so I’ll be boarding a plane for eleven million hours and then living the island lifestyle for a good six days or so. Meanwhile in Colorado . . . little flurries of snow tentatively started falling last night (winter seems to be delayed this year which is okay with me) so I am bracing myself for colder days from now until then. Before we launch into December and Christmas music and all that, here’s one last track for sunnier days.

Island Style (with Jack Johnson) – John Cruz

John Cruz is a legendary Hawaiian slack-key guitarist/musician, and this duet is the closing track on the new Brushfire Records compilation album of laid back live cuts from their roster of, well, really laid back artists.

Thank You, Goodnight: Live Tracks from Bonnaroo and Vegoose
is available directly from Brushfire Records store, as well as from your local indie brick & mortar record store (find your nearest at Think Indie).

1. Take You There – G. Love and Special Sauce
2. Wasting Time – ALO
3. Staple It Together – Jack Johnson
4. Songs We Sing – Matt Costa
5. Color Of Your Blue – Money Mark
6. Constellations – Jack Johnson
7. Hot Cookin’ – G. Love and Special Sauce
8. BBQ – ALO
9. These Arms – Matt Costa
10. Island Style – John Cruz (Featuring Jack Johnson)

May 25, 2007

Spiderman winner and a sweeeet new giveaway from Brushfire Records

I didn’t forget about that Spiderman 3 soundtrack contest — you guys thought of some freaky superpowers. I think Ali’s was closest to my own heart, although if I had this superpower I would be ridiculously sleep-deprived from going to a concert every single night, somewhere in the world:

At May 14, 2007 12:12 PM, Ali said…
The superpower I wish I had would have to be the ability to Apparate (referencing the magical Harry Potter-isms), to appear somewhere else (like a pete yorn concert, for instance) *snap* just like that. anytime, anywhere, whenever. no plane tickets, rental cars or luggage necessary.

Ali, please email me your address and I’ll get your soundtrack prize pack sent. Thanks for playing!

NEW CONTEST — and this one may be my favorite yet.

I am a hearty fan of the laid-back quality tunes on Jack Johnson’s Brushfire Records label (formerly The Moonshine Conspiracy Records), which was started in 2002 as an offshoot to the surf film collaborative Woodshed Films. Jack birthed this idea in 1998 with Emmett and Chris Malloy during the creation of the surf film Thicker Than Water, and since then they’ve released soundtracks to several like-minded films, and built up a roster of artists whom I unfailingly enjoy.

So, I recently came across a new bright green Matt Costa t-shirt that I picked up in a schwag bag at a conference last year and it gave me the idea for this new contest. Thanks to the good folks at Brushfire, one random winner will get a fine smattering of the entire artist catalog:

1 Matt Costa CD [previously on Fuel]
1 Money Mark CD [previously on Fuel]
1 ALO CD [previously on Fuel]
1 G. Love CD [previously on Fuel]
1 Jack Johnson CD (your choice)
1 XL Matt Costa t-shirt
1 signed Matt Costa poster

Leave your name and email address (and some pleasant words or a joke or something if you want to make me smile too) in the comments and I will pick one lucky person next Friday.

Let It Be Sung – Jack Johnson w/ Matt Costa & Zach Gill of ALO

Rainbow – Jack Johnson and G. Love

April 22, 2007

Eddie Vedder @ the Kokua Festival this weekend

Eddie and Boom Gaspar played the Kokua Music Festival in Hawaii this weekend with Jack Johnson. By all accounts, it was pretty rad.

I am sitting here ripping audio from the streaming webcast up right now on the Kokua Festival MySpace: Currently they are playing highlights from Saturday night on loop (and loop, and loop) — tonight’s is supposed to air live soon or so we thought. Looks like it was just Jack’s set streaming from Saturday with Eddie dropping in.

It’s almost as good as being there . . .

Breakdown – Jack Johnson & Zach Gill from ALO
No Eddie, but I started recording because I saw the ukulele, and then it was such a truly lovely rendition that I’m sharing here

Soon Forget – Eddie Vedder & Jack Johnson
Ooh, they botch this one so bad…stopped in the middle — then where to pick up again?

Constellations – Jack Johnson & Eddie Vedder
…with a Hawaiian guy whose name I didn’t catch yet. Absolutely stunning and gorgeous with flawless harmonies. Hands down, best of the night that I heard.

I Shall Be Released (Dylan cover) – The whole gang
Grand finale. On the verses we’ve got Jack Johnson, Zach Gill from ALO, then Eddie taking the last verse. Boom Gaspar and Zach are on keys and various other dudes on percussion, etc (couldn’t tell from the video, sorry!)

SATURDAY setlist (Ed & Boom)
Throw Your Arms Around Me (!!!!!!!!!!!)
Don’t Be Shy
No More War (new, Ed said he wrote it 3 days ago)
I Am Mine (!!)
Betterman/People Have the Power tag
Jack Johnson came out here but the person isn’t sure of the song
Corduroy w/Jack Johnson
Elderly Woman w/Jack Johnson
So You Wanna Be a Rock and Roll Star

As linked above, Eddie joined Jack Johnson for:
Soon Forget
Constellations (with Hawaiian guy, I’ll get his name!)
I Shall Be Released

New song from Eddie on Saturday night, “No More War”:

No More War – Eddie Vedder

SUNDAY setlist (Eddie & Boom)
Hide Your Love Away (started twice for some reason)
Driftin (Oops - Ed screwed this up, started sucking/blowing on the microphone instead of the harmonica)
I Am Mine
No More (the new song, this time with a full band)
Throw Your Hatred Down (full band)
Wasted Reprise
Hawaii 78 (full band)
Betterman (full band, riff on the Ramones “i wanna be your boyfriend” — Hey mother earth, i wanna be your boyfriend)
Warch Outside (with full band, jack johnson on bass)
Corduroy (full band with jack johnson on bass)
Elderly Woman (full band, jack johnson on bass and dueling vocals)
Indifference (full band)

note from the poster: “2 things to keep in mind. this is all from memory, so the order may be wrong or i may have missed a song. and when i say full band i obviously don’t mean pearl jam, i mean the guys he played with last night.”

A few good articles from the weekend:

Interview with Eddie in the Honolulu Advertiser: Vedder rocking in a magical place

Star Bulletin feature on native Hawaiian Boom Gaspar: Way to go Boom! Local guy plays with Eddie Vedder at Kokua Festival

Bonus re-up: Remember last time PJ was in Hawaii?

Hey, guess where I got that picture from? Yeah, that’s right: Getty Images. There’s several good shots from last night up there now.

February 2, 2007

Vedder to appear solo at Hawaii’s Kokua Festival with Jack Johnson and Matt Costa

Just announced: Eddie Vedder is confirmed to play solo as part of this year’s Kokua Festival at the Waikiki Shell in Honolulu.

Joining organizer Jack Johnson, Matt Costa, and local Island favorites Ernie Cruz Jr. and The Girlas, the Fourth Annual Kokua Festival will be on Earth Day weekend — April 21 & 22.

Eddie is playing with the amazing Booooom Gaspar (a native Hawaiian and mostly full-time PJ band member lately) on keys. All proceeds go to the Kokua Hawaii Foundation, a non-profit organization founded by Jack and Kim Johnson to support environmental education programs in Hawaii.

Tickets will be available exclusively to Kokua Hawaii Foundation members starting February 6 (become a member to buy). Tickets to the general public will be available via Jack Johnson’s web site on February 10, via their Myspace on February 15, or via Ticket(bastard) starting Feb 17.

Oh, Hawaii, why do you taunt me so?!

Here’s a sample of the goodness we might be able to expect from Vedder; all of these live songs are just wonderful, some of my favorites.

Ed Vedder (solo), 2/26/2002
Wiltern Theatre, Los Angeles
You’re True (first performance, beautiful ukulele ditty)
Can’t Keep
Broken Hearted (unreleased)
Thumbing My Way

Ed Vedder (solo), 3/15/2002
Royce Hall, UCLA
Goodbye (first performance, also on ukulele)

October 26, 2006

A Glass And A Half In Every Heather

I tell ya people, this having an actual life that takes time away from my blogging is really a pain. That being said, I’ve been busy and it’s been a while since I’ve done a sort of Odds & Ends post, but there’s several good things rattling around in my brain today that I thought I’d share.

Plus it’s Blizzard 2006 here in Colorado so no work, no schools, no nothing except being a homebody all day. I was going to post a few great sets of music, but EZArchive seems to be migrating to a new system and may be unavailable for 24 hours. Bah.

Ûž The first diversion of the day is the Advertising Slogan Generator where you plug in your name and it makes you your very own slogan. Mine is above in the subject line, and it’s awesome. What’s yours? I keep hitting refresh and laughing out loud.

Ûž The charming Mr. Tim Young has assembled a fantastic Contrast Podcast #30: “A Song I Like By A Band I Don’t.” I had several discussions about my possible submissions last week when I was on vacation, but ultimately didn’t get my stuff together in time to submit anything. I had some good ideas, though (sure, sure).

Ûž I posted about the Brokedown Melody soundtrack last week, and got the news today that there are 2 song streams available (thanks “Craig”!) — one for the Eddie Vedder track (without the annoying AOL voiceovers every time he stops to take a breath) and the other for one of the 2 unreleased Jack Johnson tracks:

“Let It Be Sung” – Jack Johnson with Matt Costa & Zach Gill
STREAMS: [.asx] [.ram]

“Goodbye” – Eddie Vedder
STREAMS: [.asx] [.ram]

Ûž Fuel friend and fellow blogger Bruce makes XPN Radio in Philly one of the coolest stations on the air. They’ve got a few great live performances this week for your streaming pleasure:

-TODAY: (Oct. 26) at 2PM EST, Lindsay Buckingham interview and performance on World Cafe at
-FRIDAY: (Oct. 27) at 12pm EST, it’s Sean Lennon live in concert on and

Ûž Speaking of streaming, the new Damien Rice album 9 is streaming in full at A-O-Hell (AOL). I have a little window open here and intend to listen to it very soon. I want to give it the full attention it deserves.

Ûž Chad over at Everybody Cares, Everybody Understands is a huge Elliott Smith fan, as anyone who has ever spent even a little bit of time with him likely knows. In observance of the Oct 21 anniversary of Elliott’s death, he has posted a lovely and heartfelt tribute piece. Recommended reading with soundtrack.

Ûž Howie Payne was that guy from The Stands (who put out a pair of kicking albums), and since they’ve broken up I have been keeping an eye on his solo MySpace page. Finally there are some new streaming songs from him, and they sound great — bluesy & rolling.

Ûž Everybody’s doing it: Robert Schneider (Apples in Stereo) is set to release a children’s album, according to You Ain’t No Picasso. Kids these days are going to grow up never having to listen to bad music, and that’s clearly the first step towards world peace.

Ûž A few of you astute and kind readers have sent me a recent Chris Cornell set from Sweden, with a fantastic blend of solo, Audioslave, and cover songs. J over at Sweet Oblivion has now saved me the time uploading it, he’s got it for ya. Nice set, how ’bout that Michael Jackson cover?

Ûž Aquarium Drunkard has ripped some vinyl audio for us from his much-beloved Bill Withers at Carnegie Hall LP, and it makes me love Withers (and A.D.) even more. Check out the warm snap, crackle and pop of these tracks.

Ûž Finally, Lore Sjöberg over at has penned the funniest article I’ve read all week: MySpace, Now With Random Crap. He muses, “I don’t really know what to do with my 319 new online chums, compatriots and cronies . . . I think you just collect them, as they collect you. It is the 21st century, and we are all each other’s Hummel figurines. I think MySpace should take a hint from collectible figure games like HeroClix, and find a way to let you make your friends fight.”
Read the entire thing here

October 19, 2006

New from Brushfire Records: Brokedown Melody soundtrack

Just got word from the folks at Brushfire Records (Jack Johnson’s label) that they are finally releasing the soundtrack from the 16mm surfing film A Brokedown Melody (2004). Johnson’s other surf films have had very interesting, well-put-together soundtracks (see the write-up of Sprout here) so I am looking forward to hearing this one as well.

Notable ’round these parts is the inclusion of a nice little ukulele ditty with Ed Vedder which, as I recall, played over the closing credits. A friend of mine once said I’d do backflips for this but I was never able to find a version of it until recently. And I’ll admit, I fairly did.

Goodbye” – Ed Vedder
This version from 3-15-02 in Los Angeles, the first live performance

Here’s the full tracklisting of the album, which includes the usual suspects (Jack Johnson, Matt Costa) and some notably interesting inclusions (M. Ward, Kings of Convenience, The Beta Band):

01. The Cave – Culver City Dub Collective
02. Breakdown (film version) – Jack Johnson
03. Know How – Kings Of Convenience
04. We Need Love – Johnny Osbourne
05. Transfiguration No. 1 – M. Ward
06. Let It Be Sung – Jack Johnson/Matt Costa/Zach Gill
07. Goodbye – Eddie Vedder
08. Needles In My Eyes – The Beta Band
09. Heart (Things Never Shared) – Doug Martsch
10. The Road – Matt Costa
11. Vuelo Al Sur (Koop Remix) – Astor Piazzolla
12. Home – Jack Johnson

It’s available for pre-order now and comes out November 14, to coincide with the theatrical release of the film. Speculation is flying fast and furious that this would be the perfect song for Vedder to bust out at the Bridge School Benefit this weekend, which I am conveniently in-town to attend. I wouldn’t mind hearing this one live at all.

April 1, 2006

Splashing around in the Live Music Archive

Ahhh, it is so much fun (and so time-consuming!) to just browse around and see what kind of good stuff there is for the listening in the Live Music Archive. It really is a phenomenal resource for music lovers. Late one night recently I spent some time immersed in the archives and I wanted to share with you what I sauntered away with, happily. Oh, and this is just the tip of the iceberg. It’s like the Smithsonian, which I once got lost in during the class trip to Washington D.C. in junior high. It’s easy to wander off.

All kinds of great KFOG in-studio sessions (Matt Nathanson, Jack Johnson, Cracker, Cowboy Junkies, etc)

Lots of KCRW stuff (Ben Lee, David Gray, My Morning Jacket)

A bunch of Amoeba Records in-stores (Rogue Wave, Michael Franti & Spearhead, etc.)

10/10/04, Moonshine Festival in Laguna Beach
See You On Rooftops
(and note that the cringe-inducing hissing at the beginning stops shortly after the song starts)
**He was also featured on the surf-movie soundtrack Sprout that I posted about a while back

(formerly of Soul Coughing)
June 22, 2002 at the Aladdin Theatre, Portland OR
Grey Ghost (partly because it is a good song, and also because it is written about Jeff Buckley)

Recently added: February 26, 2000, The Empty Bottle in Chicago

Bent > Anna Begins
(one of his great original songs segueing into -!!!- a Counting Crows cover. Really lovely.)
(From his 10/29/04 show at the 9:30 Club, Washington DC).

FM Broadcast (= great quality) of the show at The Palace Theater in Louisville on November 23, 2005.
Off The Record

My favorite show of theirs to listen to from the Live Music Archive is still the August 19 show at the Gothic Theatre last year: It was my birthday, and my first inauguration to the sweaty, rockin’ goodness that is a Roger Clyne show. Plus, Clyne kissed my hand after the show for a birthday present. The whole show is top notch, and I love how it captures all the audience participation as well.

Loving Cup (Rolling Stones cover)
From their New Year’s Eve 2005 show, Mountain House, Santa Barbara

A great show from last month: 2/2/06, La Zona Rosa, Austin, TX
I Turn My Camera On

Recent show: February 15, 2006 at the Carling Academy in Glasgow
(excellent setlist & show quality!):
Dear Chicago, an absolutely heartwrenching version of Please Do Not Let Me Go, and Ryan’s banter about receiving text messages from his mom.

Some goodness from his January 18, 2006 show at the Belly-Up Tavern in Solana Beach, CA:
Cold Beverage > Gold Digger (Cold Beverage is a guilty pleasure of mine. Hidden talent: I can rap ALL the lyrics, stemming from the same SPIN Magazine cassette sampler in 1994 that introduced me to Jeff Buckley, oddly enough)
The Times They Are A Changin’ (yes, a Bob Dylan cover, since Garrett knows how to play the harmonica)
– And, why not: a little Booty Call action

Sitting, Waiting, Wishing (with a little Just What I Needed thrown in) From August 5, 2005, Dodge Theatre, Phoenix

Soon Forget (Pearl Jam ukulele song)
From June 11, 2005 at the Bonnaroo Festival in Manchester, TN

Free (with Donovan Frankenreiter)
From May 10, 2005, Palladium, Cologne, Germany

Three Is A Magic Number/3 Rs (a little Schoolhouse Rock love)
From the August 10, 2005 show at the Santa Barbara County Bowl
(Tip: don’t make drunken concertgoers chant counting answers!
Jack: “And the eighteenth letter of the alphabet is . . . “
(no response – crickets from the crowd) -
“Well, that’s kind of a hard one, it’s actually hard…”)

Plus, they have the whole Jack Johnson show at Santa Clara University (my alma mater) from Feb 10, 2002. I thought that was pretty cool, an excellent sound-quality recording.

It’s in the .shn format (like a lot of the stuff on the Live Music Archive), but there are some free converters that you can use to change it into .wav, then mp3 (I use FreeRip).

That should keep you well-stocked for the weekend, muchachos, wherever it takes you! Be good.

December 21, 2005

Soundtrack for a monkey

Saw the preview for the new Curious George movie last night. Will Ferrell does the voice of the Man With The Yellow Hat, which means I will see it because Ferrell could make me crack up while reading the back of my cereal box.

Anyway, Jack Johnson is writing some songs for the flick, which seems like a nice pairing. Jack Johnson is a fairly new dad so I think he will have a unique viewpoint on non-sucky kids music. Here is a link to a video clip previewing some songs (you have to click play on the video once the page opens). The soundtrack will be released February 7, 2006.

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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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