January 16, 2010

I fell in love with you, and out of love with you, and back in love with you (all in the same day)

When I was in Nashville last month, I stumbled upon Brendan Benson and Cory Chisel playing an afternoon set to a packed crowd at Grimey’s record store (surely one of the coolest music meccas on the planet). There was free beer (Magic Hat?) being handed out for the price of free, and it was as if I had slipped over to heaven for an hour there amidst the music.

Brendan Benson is noted these days for his role in The Raconteurs, and I had only ever seen him in that lineup, never solo. But his solo music tends towards the irresistibly solid power pop, never silly, always completely delicious and substantial. I took some videos for y’all that I’m just getting around to uploading on this sunny Saturday:

A Whole Lot Better – Brendan Benson
(rad opening track off his latest album, My Old, Familiar Friend)

And an older one that I’ve loved heartily…

And finally – covering Tom Petty’s “American Girl”! Brad Pemberton (of Ryan Adams’ Cardinals, Patty Griffin‘s band, and the Alternate Routes, among many others) rocking the drumkit, too.

I didn’t go to Benson’s show that night at the Exit/In, but ended up across the street. Standing on a rainy sidewalk outside the venue, I could see in past the packed crowd to watch him play “What I’m Looking For,” before we ran off into the night. It was a fine capper to a wonderful weekend.

July 21, 2008

Mile High Music Festival – Saturday

The inaugural Mile High Music Festival brought massive-scale concert enjoyment to Colorado this weekend. An estimated 80,000 festival attendees from all over the nation and beyond (Canada?) descended on the endlessly stretching, sun-baked green of the fields at Dick’s Sporting Goods Park on the eastern outskirts of Denver.

My hundred-degree Saturday started a bit belatedly (pitchers of cider called to me on a shady patio and I missed a few early day bands) with my favorite performance. The astoundingly rich Josh Ritter exploded through the more “rocking” of his folk songs (this meant no Thin Blue Flame, no Temptation of Adam sadly) and wowed the crowd with his incisive lyricism and ebullient joy in performance.

Oh, I heart you Josh Ritter.

Andrew Bird was next up, with his elegant orchestral pop songs that swirl around the otherworldly sound of his trademark whistling. My friend perceptively noted that this “instrument” of Bird’s whistle actually sounds a lot like a theremin, something I’d not previously realized but is absolutely true. Under the shade of the Bison Tent stage, Bird kicked off his blue shoes and strutted his tiny wiry frame around in multicolored striped socks. The silver double-head phonograph spun, dizzily. The crowd shouted their approval.

Spoon sounded excellent to these ears, making all the kids dance with the fantastic funk falsetto of “I Turn My Camera On” and the Paul Simon cover of “Peace Like A River,” a real treat.

Spoon photo by the awesome Julio

Lupe Fiasco knows what’s up.

And finally Tom Petty swooped in with his embroidered jacket and dozens of songs you forgot you knew every word to by heart. He finished off night one in grand style.

Festivalgoers shuffled exhausted out to our cars to get ready for day two . . .

[All my pics can be seen here for Day 1]

March 12, 2008

The Felice Brothers & Conor Oberst :: “Walls” (Tom Petty)

Bruce loves The Felice Brothers just as much as I do, and I found this cover he posted to be jubilant and electrifying.

I cannot help but smile wide at the loose, rough joy they exude in their musical jam (even if Conor is dressed kinda like he just stumbled in from post-work happy hour karaoke):

That is live music at its absolute best.

July 2, 2006

Off to wait for a friend

Just a quickie as we head out the door to see Pearl Jam in Denver with Tom Petty. I think this is my 8th or 9th Pearl Jam concert, and my first since 2000 (!). So I am no doubt overdue. Here is some appropriate music as I set off to collect my fanclub seats and wait, no doubt, in line.

Waiting On A Friend” (Rolling Stones cover) – Pearl Jam
06/23/06 in Pittsburgh, first time ever played

And a lovely bonus that a friend sent to me this morning, in honor of Pearl Jam playing with Tom Petty tonight: two fantastic duets from their last show a few nights ago (6/30/06 Summerfest in Milwaukee):

The Waiting” – Tom Petty & Eddie Vedder

American Girl” – Tom Petty & Eddie Vedder

The waiting is the hardest part. I am excited. If you are heading to the show and happen to see me enjoying myself (singing along, no doubt, drumming on my legs with my palms), say hi! I’ve got a red tank top on today.

PS – Drop the leash!

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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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