Tag Archive: ryan adams


Music to buy; rock

Well I know what you’re probably thinking- you’re thinking ‘Dan Jones, I’m loaded with cash, I love music, and I want you to tell you to tell me what to buy!’

No? Ok, I still have some suggestions for you.

I love music. I struggle to think of any genre of music that I dont like. Even music I dont regularly listen to, I have an appreciation for everything. Today’s topic is a broad one; Rock music.

In short, Rock has been around since the 1940s. It stems from old time blues music made by artists like Blind Lemon Jefferson, W.C. Handy, and Robert Johnson. Johnson was arguably the originator of Rock and Roll, writing classics that are still sung today by huge artists like Clapton and John Mayer. It has worn many faces, and changed many times, but it still keeps pieces of origins.

#1 Eric Clapton
Eric Clapton has been playing the rock and blues for longer than most of my readers were alive. Starting off in a band called The Yardbirds, he grew to fame almost immediately after joining the band. He has been in Cream, Derek and the Dominos, and in a very effective solo career.

I very rarely suggest buying “Best of” albums, in short I think that its not the way most music is intended, but in Clapton’s case there is little choice. Unless youre into collecting vinyls, you will find it very hard to come across his albums.

#2 Jeff Beck
Jeff Beck was in the Yardbirds as well. He has grown into a blues/rock/jazz musician, and loves to prove that there is nothing he cant do. With his guitar in his hands, he becomes a jack of all trades and merges with whatever artist he is around.

You can pick up Emotion and Commotion and learn what hes all about. He also plays some killer tracks with artists like Joss Stone, and really brings out an old time Rock and Roll that . He also does a killer song with Imogen Heap in his Live at Ronnie Scott’s. You can watch it here; http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=uuXcGHjBeac

#3 Foo Fighters
The Foo Fighters started off as more of a grunge rock band, not reaching too far from Grohl’s roots in Nirvana, but they have grown over the years, and have perfected their own unique version of rock. They still hold to that old grunge feel, but they have refined their tastes at the same time. You can check out their latest album Wasting Light and see what they are all about. Two albums from them? The Color and the Shape is my favorite, and I know I have already plugged that album several times before.

#4 Ryan Adams
Ryan Adams is first and foremost an Alternative Country artist, but his album Rock and Roll is a brilliant display of how much he knows about rock music. With songs like “This is it”, and “1974” he blows the album up with a genuine classic rock feel. Its only disappointment is towards the end of the album when he sings “Everybodys cool playing rock and roll, but I dont feel cool, feel cool at all”, so I suppose that he quit the rock and roll scene and returned to the Alt Country scene, because he never put out a sequel.

#5 People in Planes
The next band is what I think would technically be considered Alternative Rock, but its roots are so steeped in classic rock that I think its unfair to put them in the same category as Alt Rock bands like Hinder and Disturbed. People in Planes is a great band that has really brought back a classic rock feel that I havent heard from a contemporary band in a long time. Its a tough call to say which of their two albums to buy, but I think that I slightly prefer “As Far as the Eye Can See” to “Beyond the Horizon”.

Just you wait, I have every genre keyed up for you. Polka is gonna be a tough one.

The Best of 2010

So as this year ends, we bring in a new one. Thats the way it works. I’ve never quite understood the cliche of  “ushering in the new year” cause it comes on in, like it or not.

Nevertheless, I thought it would be good to look back and reflect on some of the best times in 2010. Not all of these things happened this year, but this is the year that I found them.

This year had some big moments for me; first year anniversary with my wife, I got my first dog, I turned a quarter of a century in age, got my first blog, I got a twitter, I graduated college, I lost friends due to differences, and solidified other friendships at the same time.

Ive seen some great movies, but this list wont include just movies that came out in 2010, but movies I saw this year

Best Movies

1. Inception

2. Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows.

3. Iron Man 2

4. Hes Just Not That Into You (yeah, I saw it)

 

Music defines so much of who I am. I love or at least appreciate just about any kind of that I hear from any time. Its hard picking out just five for this list, but I feel pretty good about a list of music I have found this year.

Best new found artsits

1. Mumford and Sons

2. Barcelona

3. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals

4. The Black Keys

5. The Dead Weather

In Relation with music, I love live music I have been to some of the best live shows of my life this year, and I cant wat for more this new year.

1. Mutemath

2. Athlete

3. John Butler Trio

4. OK GO

 

I love books, but with school and such, I have had a slow year when it comes to reading.

1.The Complete Verse of Rudyard Kipling

2. Anthem by Ayn Rand

3. Lullaby by Chuck Palahinuk

4. The Girl With the Dragon Tattoo Steig Larsson

 

So I have a whole lot to be proud of this year, and I hope to have a whole lot more in the next year. I’m not big on New Years Resolutions, especially since I heard the statistic that most everyone has given up on them by the end of February. If I want to improve my life, I don’t wait till January 1st,  I start immediately. Pretty much all of these have been goals of mine ever since I graduated, so I figured that I can call them new years goals as well… So that being said, here are my goals for the year

1. Be more conscious of what I am eating and putting into my body.

2. Continue to run outside and stay in shape.

3. Become more fluent in Spanish.

4. Continue educating myself past what I already know.

5. Blog at least once a week, but try to hit as many Monday and Wednesday posts as possible.

6. Finish the rough draft of my first book and begin looking at getting it published.

5 Albums that changed my life

I know that There has been a trend going on since the earlier days of myspace.com of writing your top favorite albums, favorite songs, or random songs on your iPod, so I know I’m not exactly groundbreaking with today’s post.

But music has the ability to cross certain paths that conversation simply cannot traverse. Once defined for me as “organized sound”, music is found everywhere; its in every store or restaurant you enter, its playing in every car you pass, and its being played every night in the deepest parts of the rainforests by the most primitive people. Its quite inescapable.

I don’t think that we could ever accurately depict what music does to us. Its almost magic how we can be moved by a homely old Scottish woman singing in a language we don’t understand. Or how we can watch one person moved by a song that just feels silly or corny to us.

Anyways these are the first five albums that came to mind when I thought up the topic. Ask me next week and I might give you five different ones.

First up is an album by David Crowder, “A Collision”.

“Everybody wants to go to Heaven….. But nobody wants to die.”

This album is beautiful. When I listen to it, I hear a man who really believes. Its not someone who writes for a living, its someone who writes to live. Its set up like an old sermon you might hear on the side of a crowded street; first you are invited to come and listen, he tells of his own flaws, he talks about losing his best friend, and how he came back from his despair in the 7th track “A Collision”. This song was written not long after he lost his friend, and it one of the most powerful songs I have ever heard. It goes on for over 20 tracks detailing his message eloquently to anyone who would hear.

Then at the end is this strange interview in which he torments a poor radio host by trying to talk about his album in a jumbled, enigmatic way ( I have a feeling that this is what happens when he tries to express himself in speech, which explains why he writes music and not speeches). I always thought of this as an opportunity to talk with  him after its all over.

The next album is especially influential because of how I came across it. When I was in middle school, I would tape songs on the radio, so I could listen to them whenever I wanted. There was this one song, though that always eluded me. I would turn my radio on, and it would already be playing, and the DJ wouldn’t say the song name or the band when it was over. I had about the last minute of it for the longest time, and I would listen to it over and over.

Fast forward to my senior year of high school, when my buddy John starts playing it on the guitar. I immediately got chills down my back, I hadn’t heard that song in so long, and yet as soon as it started I recognized it. I found out that it was “Everlong” by the Foo Fighters, and I bought the album “The Colour and the Shape” as soon as I could.

This album really shows Dave Grohl’s ability to write.

“what have we done with innocence
it disappeared with time
it never made much sense”

“real life is so hard
we hide in the stars
that’s where our heads are
my head and your heart”

“come and I’ll take you under
this beautiful bruise’s colors
everything fades in time it’s true
wish that I had another
stab at the undercover
was it a change in mind for you”

The band does an amazing job at timing lyrics with music, and placing crescendos at the most vital parts of the songs. They are still one of my favorite bands ever.

Heres my favorite off this album “Everlong” on youtube;

Just a heads up, its a really strange video. I heard in an interview once that its based off of dreams he used to have.

I have to thank my old roommate Jon for introducing me to Stars. They are a Canadian band on Arts and Crafts Records, and I don’t even know how I would categorize their music. Want me to try anyways? ok, here goes. Going by this album alone, I would describe it as semi-electronic, jazz influenced, modern somewhat progressive indie rock. There, theres my categorization; take it or leave it.

Its the perfect music for almost anytime in your life.”Ageless Beauty” is a feel good song about being in love, “One More Night (your something something something) is about a hard breakup and letting go,  “Your Ex-Lover is Dead”  is about running into an ex, as they are getting over each other, and then “Celebration Guns” and “Soft Revolution” seem to have a political overtones (not sure I agree with them). Its not just an album about love, it really seems to hit you wherever you are in life.

Ok, I had no idea that this blog would be as long as it is. I’m going to take a break, post it, and write more later.

Up next: My other two albums, and honorable mentions!