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Jahfin

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Everything posted by Jahfin

  1. I never got to see the original Lynyrd Skynyrd. They had a tour date scheduled for North Carolina on The Tour of the Survivors in support of their Street Survivors album but then history took it's course. When they regrouped in 1987 for the Tribute Tour I was there. Of course it wasn't the same but it's the closest I've ever come to seeing Lynyrd Skynyrd. With all due respect to the surviving members, it probably should have ended there. As the years have gone on, it's become more than evident that you simply can't have a band called Lynyrd Skynyrd without the presence of Ronnie Van Zant.
  2. I've never really given it a lot of thought but the way in which we were exposed to music back then was markedly different as you had no choice but to hear an album in it's entirety whether it be on vinyl, cassette, 8-track or reel-to-reel. Of course you could make your own mix using several of those formats but more often than not, you were hearing the album all the way through, just as the artists intended. Nor do I. I have least favorites but no songs I actually hate. With Skynyrd however, I don't really count the work of the post-crash band. There's some decent stuff there but it doesn't measure up in any remarkable way to the work done by the pre-crash version of the band. Without Ronnie Van Zant the heart and soul of Lynyrd Skynyrd is simply not there. As for the Stones, I can't really think of a single song of theirs that I hate but there are quite a few I've heard way too many times but that's also true of a lot of other bands, including Zeppelin and Skynyrd. It doesn't mean I hate those songs, it just means I probably have less of a desire to listen to them because they've become so ingrained in my brain after years of having them pounded into my subsconscious due to overplay on the radio.
  3. I love "Pop" music and by Pop music I don't just mean "Popular music", I mean the style more widely known as Power Pop that has been perfected by artists such as Nick Lowe, Elvis Costello, Cheap Trick, Big Star, R.E.M., Rockpile, Tommy Keene and tons of others that have their roots in bands such as the Beatles. In that regard, I think it only got better in the 80's. When In Through the Out Door first came out I was only thinking of it in the context of it being the latest Led Zeppelin album, it wasn't until years later that I learned about all of the behinds the scenes stuff. Even then, it didn't change my opinion of the record. These days, I'm afraid a lot of newer fans that weren't around then that read every thing they can get their hands on about Zeppelin arrive with a lot of preconceived notions about In Through the Out Door and are completey unable to form a solely objective opinion about the record. That's not to say that a lot of the negative things I've read about In Through the Out Door aren't justified but thinking back to 1979 I can't think of a single person I knew that knocked it with the amount of vitriol that I've seen here. Hell, it even got a pretty favorable review in Creem magazine back then. Again, we all have our own opinions but mine is definitely in the favorable column when it comes to In Through the Out Door. As for the samba section mentioned above in reference to "Fool In the Rain", I love it and have always found it to be a very pivotal part of the song. Not only that but it puts Zeppelin's love of world music on full display. Again, I'm probably in the minority when it comes to the album most Zep fans love to hate.
  4. Perhaps but when I listen to In Through the Out Door, I'm not suddenly reminded of "Dancing Queen" or any other Abba songs for that matter. I've also never considered "Pop" to be a dirty word so that may play into my opinion as well. That, and I've never knocked In Through the Out Door in the manner that I've seen it criticized here (and to think, people are still bitching about the early Rolling Stone reviews). Bands must evolve or die and In Through the Out Door is the sound of a very vital band working through some very difficult internal conflicts as well as coping with an ever changing musical climate. I guess some people would have been content with them repeating Led Zeppelin II for eternity, I'm not one of them. I loved that record when it was released and I love it in 2012. It may not be my favorite Zeppelin record (that honor goes to Presence), nor is it the pockmark on their career that so many make it out to be. To me, it's the sound of a band in flux and coming out victorious on the other side.
  5. I'm not sure what Coda catches so much shit, especially when you take into consideration that it's not an album they released while they were still an active band, it's a collection of rarities. That seems to make it an easy target. As for In Through the Out Door, maybe it's just me but I don't hear even the slightest hint of an Abba influence on that record. Do you make a connection between the two simply because it was recorded at Abba's studio? If that's the case would you say it sounded too much like the Beatles if it had been recorded at Abbey Road studios? Seems like a very weak link to make to a record that has absolutely nothing in common with Abba's sound.
  6. So new that this is not even on a record (yet). By the way, if you're not familiar with James McMurtry, his Dad is renown author Larry McMurtry who most folks probably know from the book (as well as miniseries) Lonesome Dove.
  7. Don't recall if you posted a report on this show but I'd love to hear what you thought of it. As much of a fan of the Old 97's as I am, I've had to pass on some of their more recent visits to the area. When they return to the Cat's Cradle in Carrboro next month with Salim Norurallah in tow I may find myself in a similar predicament as there's a whole slew of concerts happening around that same time that will be vying for my attention including Sharon Van Etten, Steve Forbert, Kathleen Edwards, Southern Culture On the Skids and A.C. Newman (New Pornographers). I'd love to see them again, especially since they'll be celebrating the 15th anniversary of Too Far To Care by playing it in it's entirety (of which I'm sure you're more than aware). As for Those Darlins, I saw them headlining a show at the Local 506 in Chapel Hill a few years ago that I thoroughly enjoyed. As for the last show I attended it was a house concert out in Wake Forest yesterday afternoon that served as a fundraiser for the upcoming documentary on the North Carolina music scene circa 1978-1990 called Bring It On Home which is named after the Arrogance song of the same name. For those not familiar with Arrogance, they count among their members one Don Dixon who is more well known in most music circles as the producer of albums by R.E.M., the Connells, Guadalcanal Diary, the Smithereens, Hootie and the Blowfish and tons of others. Dixon has also had his songs covered by the likes of Joe Cocker ("The River") and is also a well known session and touring musician. These days, in addition to touring with his wife Marti Jones he also serves as the bass player in Mary Chapin Carpenter's touring band. Performing at yesterday's house concert was Robert Kirkland, another member of Arrogance who also at one time fronted a band called Kick the Future, his wife Debi (from a local band called Molly Bond), Jeff Hart (from the Ruins, the Hanks, Brown Mountain Lights and many others), Holden Richards (One Plus Two, the Swamis) and George Huntley (the Connells). While I enjoyed everyone's songs immensely, it was George Huntley who really got my attention. Even though I'm a longtime fan of the Connells it wasn't until yesterday that his contributions to that band really dawned on me. Not just as a guitarist but also as a vocalist and songwriter. After 17 years with the Connells he retired from the music business and now runs his own real estate business in the Triangle area (Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill). Following the show he thanked the organizers (filmmakers Herb Campell and Mike Allen) for luring him out of retirement and even expressed some interest in playing some more shows. That was literally music to my ears and I truly hope it comes to fruition as he is one of the areas most gifted musicians. The Connells still record (they're presently working on a new record) and tour but without George Huntley (as well as drummer Peele Wimberley), it's just not the same. I doubt we'll ever seen Huntley return to the fold or to touring and recording full time but hopefully some area shows will be in order. At present, the filmmakers behind Bring It On Home have 10 days left to meet their goal and are still close to $10,000 away from reaching it. I know there's not a lot of fellow fans of the North Carolina music scene on this board but if you are out there, I'm sure they would greatly appreciate any contributions you are able to make. To learn more about Bring It On Home and how you can help, please take a few moments to check their Kickstarter page which you can find here.
  8. This cover has become the stuff of legend in R.E.M. circles over the years. Only thing is, the lack of a copy with decent sound quality has kept it from making the rounds. Plus, I believe they only performed it once. Finally, a good sounding copy of it has surfaced. While on the surface it may seem like a strange song for R.E.M. to cover, it really fits them quite perfectly. http://youtu.be/HHwNnEoswX0
  9. Slobberbone covering Neil Young from a tribute record that was released in the Netherlands back in the 90's called This Note's For You Too!
  10. All Star performance of "The Weight" from the AMA's at the Ryman in Nashville, TN earlier this week. More on the performance from Relix.
  11. I'm not sure if I'd refer to this as "good" as I've never really been a fan of Dashboard Confessional but it's definitely a very different take on R.E.M.'s "It's the End of the World As We Know It (And I Feel Fine)" from Dashboard Confessional frontman Chris Carrabba. His all covers album, Covered In the Flood from 2011 (which is available as a download only) also includes his take on songs by Guy Clark, John Prine, Justin Townes Earle, The Replacements and Archers of Loaf.
  12. Really enjoyed this. Looking forward to seeing the other films in the trilogy.
  13. From a tribute to Levon Helm that was held at the Mercy Lounge in Nashville, TN last night following the Americana Music Awards at the Ryman; Hayes Carll, Patterson Hood (Drive-By Truckers), Jason Isbell, Amanda Shires and Steve Gorman (Black Crowes) performing "The Weight":
  14. Saw this guy (Mike June) open for Jon Dee Graham at a house concert in Raleigh a few weeks ago. When he performed this song it definitely turned some heads. If you listen, you'll hear why. It's pretty tricky lyrical territory to navigate in this day and age of political correctness and oversensitivity but Mike June handles it well. Speaking of Jon Dee, he contributes lap steel to this song and also gets a real nice shoutout in the video itself.
  15. From Wanda Jackson's new album, Unfinished Business, which comes out on October 9th.
  16. Just finished reading this book by Raleigh News & Observer music writer David Menconi on Ryan Adams. It's a very brisk read at less than 200 pages, which is supposed to be part of the purpose of the book. It's the second in a series of American Music books from the former publishers of No Depression magazine (the first one was on Dwight Yoakam). In the early stages of Ryan Adams' career, Menconi had unprecedented access to Adams which allows for some pretty compelling reading, especially if you are interested in that era of his career, prior to the solo records when he was still with Whiskeytown. That said, much of it was familiar territory to me since I was following David's writings and Ryan's antics pretty closely in those days but there's still a few revelatory things that made it well worth reading. Unfortunately, Ryan asked several principle folks not to cooperate with Menconi's writing of the book. However, that doesn't get in the way of his telling of the story as there are plenty of people out there that were close to Ryan that were able to add their own personal insights. One thing I might add is that the focus of the book is on Ryan's years in Whiskeytown. His solo career is covered up until the present day but somewhere following the release of Gold, Menconi no longer had the access he once had to Ryan.
  17. I went back around 2006 or so when I was in the area for my nephew's wedding. Definitely not worth a trip up there just to visit the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame alone but if you find yourself in the area, I'd say it's certainly worth a visit. When I was there, the main exhibit was one on Dylan that was being presented by the Experience Music Project out Seattle that I thought was very well done. They also had some Beatles memorabilia on display such as handwritten lyrics and John Lennon's report card. A friend of mine said that when she was there a year or two earlier, they had a phone line in the Beatles section that Yoko Ono would sometimes call at random. I know she catches a lot of shit, as does the Rock n' Roll Hall of Fame itself but I still think that's pretty fucking cool of her. When I was there we were allowed to photograph certain things, such as a few of Jerry Garcia's guitars that were on display on the bottom floor of the Museum.
  18. Some thought provoking stuff from Dylan here. Makes me wonder what Jimmy Page's response would be to Dylan's comments. Bob Dylan Strikes Back at Critics Addresses plagiarism charges for the first time in new Rolling Stone interview
  19. Cool to see Alejandro Escovedo opening some dates for them on this tour. If anyone's more deserving of being exposed to a larger audience, it's Alejandro. Some of you may be familiar with him from his work with the Nuns, Rank n' File, the True Believers or his band Buick MacKane. Others may know him as the brother of Pete Escovedo of Santana. Others may be familiar with him because of his niece, Sheila E. Back in 1998 he was named Artist of the Decade by No Depression magazine. Unfortunately, he still remains largely unknown by the masses despite being championed by the likes of Bruce Springsteen. If you're not familiar with Alejandro, I strongly suggest checking out his song "Castanets", probably his best known tune to date:
  20. I was working in Jacksonville, NC at the time, home of the Marine Corps base Camp Lejeune. I first heard the news via a locally oriented music listserv that I belong to. Shortly thereafter radios were turned on and TV's were brought in so we could all witness the unfathomable. To show how much has changed in the past eleven years, the news was not immediately reported on the web via legitimate news sources as it would be in 2012. As my memory serves, that actually took a while back in those days. Otherwise, fellow citizens were reporting on the horrific events of the day in a variety of different ways online. I was also getting firsthand accounts from people at work as well as others that had loved ones in the vicinities of the attacks. Since Camp Lejeune would be considered a target we were all deeply concerned but what do you do in a situation like that? At first, my boss said she wanted everyone to stay at work but that you could go home if you really felt the need to. Trying to immerse yourself in daily routines was next to impossible with all that was going on. Shortly after lunch we were told we all had permission to leave if we wanted but most of us stayed. What were we going to do at home that was any different than how were handling the situation at work? I thought it best to stay on but I did leave a little early and took an alternate route home because of traffic coming on and off of the base. Of course, music played a role in this day as well since Bob Dylan's Love and Theft came out on September 11, 2001. Ironically enough, Ryan Adams' Gold (which depicted an upside down American flag on the back cover) was also due to come out on September 11th but was pushed back until the 25th. I stopped by the record store that day to pick up the Dylan but wasn't really in the mood for music. Like everyone else, I stayed glued to the television and radio for the next few days. That Friday I went out to hear one of my favorite local bands at the neighborhood dive which was probably the best thing to do. It sure beat sitting at home worrying about whether it was safe to go out or not. The next day, I broke the shrink wrap on Love & Theft and plopped it into the CD player. If there's ever been a more soothing musical salve, I've never heard it. Strangely prophetic at times, Love & Theft was the album that broke the musical silence for me. There was a lot of confusion and very mixed feelings that day and they're all forever captured in that record.
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