Settled Down Like Rain

Wow. When I decided to start hitting concerts again I picked a good place to start, last night’s The Jayhawks and Josh Rouse show was INSANE. Alex accompanied me and was later thankful I’d convinced him to go – a mighty good compliment from a gent that normally listens to electronica – and we met Frank from while we were there. Great guy, great site, check it out.

Anyways, Josh Rouse was on his game to start off playing mostly material from his new 1972 album (1972, Love Vibration, Sunshine (Come On Lady), Slaveship, Comeback (Light Therapy), Under Your Charms, Flight Attendant, Rise), but delving into Under Cold Blue Stars (Miracle, Feeling No Pain) for two songs. Rouse writes such catchy little 70’s-tinged pop songs that you really can’t help but enjoy it, and he certainly had the crowd as the opener. Things picked up even more for The Jayhawks, making their third trip through Toronto in recent memory – their first time as a headliner.

Owners of 6 albums dating back to 1989 (and one indie from 1986) I was surprised to find the band played songs from all their major albums, not simply showcasing the new stuff. They claimed their version of Pray For Me to be the first playing since 1995 but it sounded just as good as everything else. The guitar mastery on Waiting For The Sun and Sister Cry proved to me that if The Jayhawks had existed in the era of The Byrds, The Beatles, The Rolling Stones, Cream, etc.., they’d be one of the biggest names in music. There’s no possible way for me to indicate exactly how “on” they sounded last night, but by God I’m going to find myself a bootleg if it exists.

For fans and collectors you’ll find the songs they played below the drop down. For non-fans, get with it and make sure you’re by my side the next time these boys hit town. ;)


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Stumbling Through The Dark

Well, for the first time in almost 5 years I’m actually going to a concert. For the first time in well over that I’m going to a concert of a band I actually want to see. Alex, my good buddy (and guest blogger) from succumbed to my nagging and questions of his aged indifference and inability to be spontaneous and will be hitting the Phoenix tonight for The Jayhawks with Josh Rouse opening. I was prompted into my concert moratorium because both these artists delivered stunning albums in 2003, and because the lead singer of the Jayhawks (Gary Louris) is actually expecting me to be there.

Long story short Kip and I went on a trip to my grandparent’s condo many moons ago to see the Blue Jays in training camp. While there we met Mrs. Kelly, an amazing older lady in an apartment below my grandparents. Us two kids hit it off with her so well we would actually look forward to going to see her again to hear some more of her stories, many of them revolving around her grandson Gary and his band The Jayhawks, who at the time were touring Europe with the Black Crowes. Once back home I picked up their album ‘Hollywood Town Hall‘ and was hooked – it was completely new music to me. Soon after I was on the Internet and discovered this music – known as roots rock or y’alternative at that time – was an entire genre. I began to seek out albums by bands like Uncle Tupelo, Son Volt, Wilco, Blue Mountain, The Bottle Rockets, The Gourds, etc.. and haven’t looked back since.

So, anyways, time to go catch the ‘Hawks for the first time since 1997, and my first concert in almost that long. I shall report back tomorrow.


Come Back (Light Therapy)

I’ve been back for 22 hours now – it was an all-day trek and then some to get back from Miami, and I’ll have more fun to explain tomorrow. My system is right off its rocker because I was going to bed at 3AM every night on the cruise, so here it is 1:30 and I’m not tired yet. Gotta get back in the groove.

Thanks to Cliff and Alex for posting while I was gone. My comments after a brief once-over:

a) Cliff, the water on yet?

b) I have no use for NASA in general. Can someone tell me exactly why we’re still allowing our tax dollars to go towards useless trips into outer space? Unless we’re planning some sort of simultaneous jump to Mars when the Earth starts to burn up I fail to see how this is more valid than health care, education, or me owning a PlayStation 2.

c) The Atkins Diet is crap. Alex’s opinion does not yet matter because he hasn’t been on it for over 12 months. Just because it helps you lose weight doesn’t necessarily make it good. For example, you could lose 25 lbs instantly by slicing off your head, although I wouldn’t recommend it. Eat smart, and eat less than you work off. I don’t agree with either “eat to live” or “live to eat”, but I’m pretty sure there’s a happy middle.

Most importantly..