Tea for the Bloggerman


T5AotW: Week 29
February 22, 2009, 6:14 pm
Filed under: music | Tags: , , , ,

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Week 29

1. Texas by PlayRadioPlay!
A very good album by an up-and-coming musician by the name of Dan Hunter. “Madi Don’t Leave’ Was one of many songs I turned to this week in my emotional distress. And yes, that CD is autographed.

2. Them or Us by Frank Zappa
Didn’t help with the distress, but songs like “In France” and “Stevie’s Spanking” sure do put a smile on one’s face.

3. The Best of the Velvet Underground
I downloaded a lot of VU bootlegs recently and have been listening to those, as well as playing a number of songs on the g-tar.

4. Bob Dylan’s Greatest Hits
I haven’t really listened to a lot of Dylan this week except the song “Positively 4th Street” which represents the other side of my emotional spectrum. An opposing force to “Madi Don’t Leave.” One song pleads for things to stay the same, the only lifts a big middle finger to society.

5. Marc Ribot Y Los Cubanos Postizos by Marc Ribot (not pictured)
Left this one at the bookstore. Very good CD of Cuban music from jazz guitarist virtuoso Marc Ribot. He did wonders when he was with Tom Waits, and he’s done wonders by himself.



Lyrical Musings: High Water Everywhere
September 20, 2008, 11:05 pm
Filed under: Concerts, music | Tags: , , , ,

I just got back from seeing Joe Bonamassa at a free concert at the Clark County government center. Excellent show. Joe had some technical problems in the beginning (who doesn’t?), which caused the band to completely drown him out for a song and a half. His first solo, gone. Only he could hear it. But from then on out it was a rockin’ set.

The highlight of the show was Bonamassa’s searing rendition of “High Water Everywhere,” a song with a long history. The song was written sometime after 1927 by the timeless bluesman Charley Patton, written about the Great Mississippi Flood of 1927 which caused great destruction throughout Mississippi and Louisiana. The haunting lyrics and tone reflect the helplessness and the heartache of those affected by the flood, Patton repeating that there is nothing to do but pack up and leave his former home and life behind beneath the flood.

High Water Everywhere by Charley Patton

Backwater at Blytheville, backed up all around
Backwater at Blytheville, done took Joiner town
It was fifty families and children come to sink and drown


The water was risin’ up at my friend’s door
The water was risin’ up at my friend’s door
The man said to his women folk, “Lord, we’d better go”


The water was risin’, got up in my bed
Lord, the water was rollin’, got up to my bed
I thought I would take a trip, Lord,
out on the big ice sled


Oh, I can hear, Lord, Lord, water upon my door,
you know what I mean, look-a here
I hear the ice, Lord, Lord, was sinkin’ down,
I couldn’t get no boats there, Marion City gone down


So high the water was risin’ our men sinkin’ down
Man, the water was risin’ at places all around,
boy, they’s all around
It was fifty men and children come to sink and drown


Oh, Lordy, women and grown men drown
Oh, women and children sinkin’ down Lord, have mercy
I couldn’t see nobody’s home and wasn’t no one to be found

The song went through many covers and variations since the late 20s and I won’t bother talking about it. Skip on down to September 11th, 2001 where, just hours before the World Trade Center attack, Bob Dylan’s “Love and Theft” was released. Among “Love and Theft”s many blues songs is a song titled “High Water (For Charlie Patton).” Easily the best song on the album, Dylan takes Patton’s description of a natural disaster and puts it in a modern social context, speaking of God, love, and evolution as well as nature’s fury. Take a look:

High Water (For Charlie Patton) by Bob Dylan

High water risin’ – risin’ night and day
All the gold and silver are being stolen away
Big Joe Turner lookin’ East and West
From the dark room of his mind
He made it to Kansas City
Twelfth Street and Vine
Nothing standing there
High water everywhere

High water risin’, the shacks are slidin’ down
Folks lose their possessions – folks are leaving town
Bertha Mason shook it – broke it
Then she hung it on a wall
Says, “You’re dancin’ with whom they tell you to
Or you don’t dance at all.”
It’s tough out there
High water everywhere

I got a cravin’ love for blazing speed
Got a hopped up Mustang Ford
Jump into the wagon, love, throw your panties overboard
I can write you poems, make a strong man lose his mind
I’m no pig without a wig
I hope you treat me kind
Things are breakin’ up out there
High water everywhere

High water risin’, six inches ‘bove my head
Coffins droppin’ in the street
Like balloons made out of lead
Water pourin’ into Vicksburg, don’t know what I’m going to do
“Don’t reach out for me,” she said
“Can’t you see I’m drownin’ too?”
It’s rough out there
High water everywhere

Well, George Lewis told the Englishman, the Italian and the Jew
“You can’t open your mind, boys
To every conceivable point of view.”
They got Charles Darwin trapped out there on Highway Five
Judge says to the High Sheriff,
“I want him dead or alive
Either one, I don’t care.”
High Water everywhere

The Cuckoo is a pretty bird, she warbles as she flies
I’m preachin’ the Word of God
I’m puttin’ out your eyes
I asked Fat Nancy for something to eat, she said, “Take it off the shelf –
As great as you are a man,
You’ll never be greater than yourself.”
I told her I didn’t really care
High water everywhere

I’m getting’ up in the morning – I believe I’ll dust my broom
Keeping away from the women
I’m givin’ ’em lots of room
Thunder rolling over Clarksdale, everything is looking blue
I just can’t be happy, love
Unless you’re happy too
It’s bad out there
High water everywhere

And with the hurricanes that have been devastating Louisiana in recent years, the lyrics of both songs have resonated with an even greater force. People can connect with the despair Charley Patton feels and the cynicism Dylan describes.

Then there’s Bonamassa’s version. High winds bearin’ down on New Orleans, ever’thing lookin’ blue. Hurricanes don’t discriminate. Break it down, Joe:



Mama, Mama, Mama See Me, Mama Come and See Me I’m a Pop Stawwwr!
September 10, 2008, 5:42 pm
Filed under: Misc. | Tags: , ,

Click on this picture!

Blog visits on 9/9: 9 visits

Blog visits on 9/10: 183 visits

Thanks Expecting Rain! I guess you can say that I wasn’t expecting this, harr-dee-harr-harr.

Here’s another interesting bit of blog trivia. These are some of the terms that people have searched for using that little search bar on the left:

Search                                                      Views
bob dylan                                                    2
setlist                                                          1
adam cohen montreal                                  2
“david winkler”                                            2
montreal fashion designer that slept wit     2
josh cohen wilkes barrre                              1
“leonard cohen” montreal free concert 20    1
shady places montreal                                 1
irving layton on utube                                  1
korean clothes stores in montreal                1
hazleton bus schedules to ny                       1
annie sellick opens for leonard cohen mo    1
“elton john” “greatest hits”                           1
leonard cohen concert & las vegas               1
the pillows in the meditation room in al       1
“chris botti” devestated katie                        1
i did not like montreal                                  1
raymond conrad trumped wilkes barre         1

You people is strange.



All Along the Waterfront: Bob Dylan at AEG Concerts on the Green
September 10, 2008, 12:47 am
Filed under: Concerts, music, Travel | Tags: , , , , ,

Last weekend I had the pleasure of taking a hot, uncomfortable bus ride down to San Diego. I was hungry, sweaty, and cramped, but it was all worth because on that Saturday (the 6th) I would be seeing the one and only Bob Dylan, one of my idols, in concert in a place I hold dear more than any other location.

I woke up at around 5:30am on Friday in order to prepare for my 8am Greyhound bus ride. The bus ride lasted until 4pm with a transfer in San Bernadino, and upon arriving in San Diego I felt instantly better. Yanira met me near the Pizza Hut that is connected to the Greyhound station and we proceeded from there to 7-11 where I bought some Arizona iced tea to quench my thirst. From there we walked to the trolley station where I bought my three-day trolley pass and waited for the train. While waiting someone walked by wearing a 2008 Montreal Jazz Festival shirt. Small world.

The trolley came eventually and we boarded. From there it was on to the Old Town San DIego area where Yanira lives. From there we ordered pizza, decorated cupcakes for the birthday of one of Yanira’s roommates, and watched two French movies, “Amelie” and “Paris, je t’aime,” both excellent movies that I would recommend to anyone. It was no surprise that I would like “Amelie” because of my extreme fondness for the soundtrack. Yann Tiersen’s accordion is immaculate; the movie cannot be more than a little less than perfect with that music.

The following day was Saturday, the day of the concert. Leftover pizza was on the menu for breakfast, yum. The only thing on the schedule before the concert was a trip to Old Town, which we went on around noon. I love Old Town San Diego, a place where some of the early buildings of the Spanish settlements in California are preserved and maintained as museums. There are also lots of other tourists attractions too, restaurants and shops and the like. All in all a lovely place to spend the day. And what a lovely day it was too. The weather could not have been better. Why oh why must I live in blazing-ass Vegas?

In Old Town we looked at most of the shops and buildings before sitting down in a restaurant for iced tea and chips while watching crazy raver circus performers give knives to children. At one of the vendors I found something that made my heart soar like a big soaring thing: a toy accordion! And a great one at that! The sound is so rich and loud! I’ve been toying with it since, but I can’t do much with it. I can play Sabbath’s “Iron Man” thanks to a tab I found online, and a C major scale, but that’s about it so far. Yann Tiersen here I come!

At around 4ish we left Old Town and went back to the apartment. More leftover pizza was eaten, blankets were grabbed, and we were off to Qualcomm Stadium. We got there around 4:45ish and the line was already enormous. The concert started at 8, doors opened at 7. Guess we weren’t as early as we thought. We assumed our place in line and waited like good chirren, talking amongst ourselves and with the obsessive middle-aged woman Dylan fanatic behind us. She  was also a Leonard Cohen fan and my Leonard Cohen tour t-shirt gave us away as fellow Cohenites. Around ten minutes or so into our waiting a security person from the venue made his rounds down the line to inform everyone that no cameras would be allowed but lawn chairs were okay. Even though their website clearly says “no cameras with removable lenses” and “no lawn chairs.” Le sigh. I prepared to take the trolley back to the apartment to drop off our cameras and come back, but asked the guard anyway about our situation. He said to just explain that we didn’t drive to the stadium and they would do something stupid like ask us to take the batteries out or something. So we waited more, camera bundled up in our blankets hoping they wouldn’t search. I had Yanira hold the blankets because she looks far more innocent than I.

Eventually the line starts moving and behold, four tables of security personnel going through and searching everyone. We went to our table and said we just had a blanket and jackets. They said we could just shake them down and keep moving. Yanira feebly shook the mass of blanket in her arms and we were allowed safe passage. Eat that, AEG!

We made our way to the front of the large field and laid out our blanket with the rest of the crowd. It appeared like it was going to be a nice night, laying out on our blankets listening to Dylan croon. But alas, people soon started to crowd to the front and everyone had no choice but to pack up their blankets and lawn chairs and smash forward. Before the havoc I made my way to the merch table and bought a poster and the “eco-friendly” bag I mentioned earlier.

At 8 the concert begins and man, what a concert it was! Bob was in top-form that night, completely annihilating the low bar I had set for the concert. Watching recent youtube videos of him would lead one to believe that his voice is COMPLETELY, not partially but COMPLETELY, destroyed. Not rough and smokey like his vocals on Modern Times, but  REAL GONE. Like Tom Waits with a tracheotomy gone. Watch this clip to get a feeling of what I was expecting:

But his voice was far from that; in fact, I would even describe it as strong! And Bob appeared to have such a good time playing, which shatters his image as a morose musician tapping on his keyboard for a couple of hours and leaving to collect his check. He smiled in between verses, would occasionally glance at the audience (but still kept from facing us), stuck his tongue out on more than one occasion, bopped his knees at particularly rhythmic moments in songs, and walked around the stage in between songs with a sort of skip in his step. His harmonica playing was also very surprising; it appears Bob has actually learned how to play it, and is playing it well.

The set list was excellent as well. Mostly newer tunes from Modern Times, “Love and Theft,” and Time Out of Mind, but a number of revamped classics were included like “The Times They Are A-Changin’,” “She Belongs to Me,” “Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again,” “Highway 61 Revisited,” “It’s Alright Ma, I’m Only Bleeding,” and “Like a Rolling Stone” and “All Along the Watchtower” for the encore. I had my fingers crossed for “High Water (for Charley Patton)” but I was completely satisfied. Highlights of the concert were “It’s Alright Ma,” an impossibly deep “Ain’t Talkin'” which gave me flashbacks to Tom Waits’ dark tones at the Phoenix Orpheum, and the profound “Workingman’s Blues #2” which should be near the top of anyone’s top Dylan song list.

Despite the packed conditions, the slightly heavy smoke and the idiot near us who would scream “HURRICANE!” between every fucking song, it was an excellent concert. I sincerely hope the Neverending Tour stays neverending, because I must see Bob again. Once you go Bob you don’t go back, as they say.

———————-

Setlist:

Cat’s in the Well
The Times They Are A-Changin’
The Levee’s Gonna Break
She Belongs To Me
Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again
Ballad of Hollis Brown
To Make You Feel My Love
It’s Alright, Ma (I’m Only Bleeding)
Working Man’s Blues #2
Honest With Me
Lenny Bruce
I Don’t Believe You (She Acts Like We Never Have Met)
Highway 61 Revisited
Ain’t Talkin’
Thunder On The Mountain

Encores: Like A Rolling Stone, All Along the Watchtower

———————-

Video Clips Yanira and I Took With Our Smuggled Camera:

“Stuck Inside of Mobile With the Memphis Blues Again” minus the first few seonds.

A verse of “Workingman’s Blues #2”

A good portion of “All Along the Watchtower”

Long Live Bob Dylan.



Top Five Albums of the Week–Week 5
September 7, 2008, 10:05 pm
Filed under: music | Tags: , ,

Week Five: September 7th

This week is a little different as most of my music-listening pleasure was concentrated into two long bus rides to and from a concert. I’ll give you a hint on who I saw: his name starts with “Bob Dyla-” The thing underneath the CDs is an “eco-friendly” bag purchased at the concert. $5 well spent. More on the concert in an upcoming blog post.

1. Live Santa Monica ’72 by David Bowie
This is what I was listening to during the week before I left for San Diego. Just ordered this limited edition vinyl badboy last week and it finally came it. Excellent bootleg, now made official in a nice package. I enjoy the covers Bowie does at this concert, the Velvet Underground it written about scoring drugs in New York “Waiting for the Man” and Jacques Brel’s “My Death.” Also this bootleg showed me how bad a song “Andy Warhol” is. Serious Bowie.

2. Blonde on Blonde by Bob Dylan
Listened to this on the bus ride to San Diego. Lots of great songs, some not so great, but overall great. “Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again” is my favorite Dylan song, and he ended up singing it at the concert! Exceellllleeent. Another under-appreciated tune on this album is “Obviously 5th Believers,” a good electric blues song with simple lyrics. Mike Bloomfield’s twangy guitar is top-notch on this song, but the real highlight is bassist Charlie McCoy’s harmonica riff. One wonders why Dylan didn’t use McCoy’s harp playing abilities more often, considering how bad Dylan was at playing the thing. But oh well.

3. Dylan by Dylan
This, along with Modern Times, is on the list because they feature songs that Dylan sing during the concert. Dylan sang a number of songs from “Love and Theft” which I don’t own, but some of the songs are on this compilation.

4. Modern Times by Bob Dylan
Dylan also sang a number of songs from this album too, such as “Thunder on the Mountain,” “The Levee’s Gonna Break,” “Ain’t Talkin’,” and the masterful “Workingman’s Blues #2.” Dylan still had it when this gem of an album came out and he continues to have it today.

5. Desire by Bob Dylan
Played this a lot during the weekend. It’s a nice album. “Hurricane” is obviously the best song on it, but the controversial “Joey” is good too as well as the pseudo-Arabian (in my opinion) “One More Coffee for the Road.” Emmylou Harris did a great job doing the backing vocals for this, even though she personally doesn’t care for them.