Friday, August 08, 2008

90's Rewind.

This week's selection goes to a band that barely had a one-hit wonder. Philadelphia was the home of Wanderlust, who received heavy airplay on the college radio charts in 1995. I have no idea where I first heard them because college radio stations were non-existent in this area, and with the exception of KTRM, Truman State's station, are still hard to find.

Anyway, if Wanderlust were still around today, they would have been compared to Our Lady Peace and an English version of Oasis. I Walked was their sole hit, and I love it. So download, and enjoy.

Sunday, July 27, 2008

90's Rewind.

With a little influence from a friend that puts up songs on Sundays, I'm going to try and put something up here on a weekly basis. My theme will be based upon the decade of alternative rock that influenced me the most.... the 90's. Once a week I'm going to put up an obscure song that you may or may not recognize.

This week is about The Caulfields. I first heard their song on long defunct WMOS (103.9, The Moose), which was the 99Q of alternative and grunge rock. Circa 1994, I made the trip to Musicland to buy Whirligig, The Caulfields' first album. It has since become one of the most played 90's albums on my iPod, and according to their Myspace page they're known as "That 'bigger than Jesus' band".

Devil's Diary

And they even made a video!

Wednesday, July 09, 2008

Hope and Fears all in one....

I must've hit the refresh button a thousand times for a half hour straight, seeing this image every time.... hoping to see the BUY NOW button appear.
Then my biggest fears arrive.

Fingers, arms, legs, toes, etc. will be crossed for attempt #2 on Friday.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008

Whatever Happened to Travis Meeks?

Travis Meeks was the lead singer of Days of the New, who created a major buzz in the post-grunge/alternative scene in the late 90s. I have their first two albums, which I listened to on a daily basis when they were popular.

Then word spread that his band mates couldn't figure out what direction he wanted and quit because "he was getting more and more weird by the day". I don't have a source for that quote, but remember it quite well when the band reformed with a different lead singer, calling themselves Tantric.

So whatever happened to Travis Meeks? He did a third album that did poorly, selling less than 100,000 copies. He was then on a TV Show on A&E. Not a show to brag about either.
Here's Parts 1, 2, & 3 of Travis on Intervention, where he battles his addiction to meth.

Best wishes Travis. I was always in your corner.

Thursday, April 17, 2008

Taking a second glance.

Today I got an email from the people at Bonnaroo. Bonnaroo is a big music festival of hippies, rocknroll, and acres of tents held every June in Manchester, TN. At the bottom of the email appeared something rather, well, phallic.

Calm down now..... having been to Bonnaroo I know that the magical exploding mushroom is an illustration of a water fountain at the center court. The water is filthy too.

Monday, March 03, 2008

Goodbye Jeff Healey

I've been a fan of the blues for a long time, but it wasn't SRV, Clapton, or BB King to get me started. My dad bought Jeff Healey's See the Light on CD back in '90. And it wasn't Angel Eyes that got me hooked... River of No Return and Hideaway were the kinds of songs that got me started. But the biggest, greatest song of them all wasn't even his song. He covered Steeler's Wheel's Stuck in the Middle With You in the mid-90s, and I liked it better than the original.

Friday, November 02, 2007

Yeah Yeah Yeahs - Show Your Bones b-sides

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Foo Fighters - Echoes Silence Patience and Grace b-sides

Come Alive (demo)

Jimmy Eat World - Chase This Light b-sides

Thursday, October 18, 2007

White Stripes - Icky Thump b-sides

Sunday, August 26, 2007

Well I could've been an actor,
but I wound up here.

Tuesday, July 03, 2007

So what if the seats were twelve rows from the top.....

Sting's voice is still as powerful as it was thirty years ago. After the show we were scarfing down Waffle House omelettes when I realized we may have just seen the greatest rock band ever to reunite. You can sense my obvious state of approval here.

Thursday, June 14, 2007

Report: NBA Star Lebron James to name newborn son after me.

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Wednesday, March 14, 2007

What the F***?I'm just going to hope Eddie didn't know who was behind him, tapping on his shoulder.

Tuesday, February 27, 2007

The Shins - Wincing the Night Away b-sides

Split Needles (alternate version)

Nothing at All

Monday, February 26, 2007

Muse - Black Holes and Revelations b-sides

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Who is Butterfly Boucher?
Butterfly is a beautiful and petite woman from Australia with a knack for catchy rock songs. Her music has been picked several times for use in Gray's Anatomy (which I still have not seen because it's opposite of The Office). Her first album, Flutterby, holds a few songs you might recognize if you've ever paid any attention to the Muzak channel in your local retail shop. I Can't Make Me and Another White Dash were both successes, but rarely played Never Leave Your Heart Alone and Changes (WITH David Bowie) are equally crafted. According to her website, Butterfly has another song being used by Gray's, A Bitter Song, which will be available on iTunes February 27, along with a new album to follow this summer, tentatively titled Scary Fragile.

Changes (with David Bowie)

Life is Short

I Can't Make Me

I myself am a fan of her videos. Check these out too.

Another White Dash

I Can't Make Me

Monday, February 12, 2007

Arctic Monkeys - Whatever People Say I Am, That's What I'm Not b-sides
The first ten minutes was all I needed to see. Nothing could have taken the permanent smile off my face as I was so thrilled to see a band I have longed to see live for decades open the show. The Police raised every hair on my body for four sold minutes as they blasted through Roxanne. Sting's retro hairdo combined with a black sleeveless shirt made the appearance look like 1985. They've never missed a beat and their settling of differences is long overdue. Quoting Sting's website, "No one on planet Earth was happier than Stewart Copeland on Sunday night. And it showed... The drummer of the newly reunited Police has been waiting ... and waiting ... and waiting ... for Sting to get done making adult contemporary music, saving the rain forests and doing whatever it is that Sting does and get back to Police business. The business that made them all famous." Yep. Pretty much sums up my feelings too. Overall, I have high hopes for the reunion of this threesome as it is so much more exciting than another Van Halen or boring Eagles reunion.

Equally as impressive was the second act, the Dixie Chicks, with their hit Not Ready to Make Nice, which would go on to strongarm nearly every category the song or album was listed in. Congrats to the girls. Natalie looked great with a reddish colored hairdo. I didn't watch more after that because Beyonce was the next live act and I had more important things to do from that point, like take my car to the car wash.

The only other thing I noticed about the opening minutes of the awards show is that Mary J Blige's eyelashes are two feet long.

Seriously, did she wake up this morning and say, "I need to get my nails done, my hair done, and my eyelashes? It's not humanly possible to grow them as long as hers were. When she walked up for her first award I thought I was looking at a well-tanned pair of Venus flytraps.

Monday, February 05, 2007

What's a brother to do?
Over the last year or so my friend who we will call "Randolph" has strayed away from alot of the good quality music that he and I could agree on and listen to. I've stayed true to my broad roots of rock n' roll, added some country/bluegrass, and a little tolerance for some punk/heavier stuff as well.

When I tried to introduce him to The Hold Steady he discarded the first song in less than 45 seconds. "I don't like his voice." After playing a couple other songs with no approval I give up and we then resort to listening to his kind of music. I've provided weblinks only because I need outside opinions.

We listened to Cartel (whose name sounds like a rapper to me), Motion City Soundtrack (which until today I thought was really a soundtrack, not a band named Motion City Soundtrack), Panic! at the Disco, Fall Out Boy, Plus 44, and the new Incubus album. All of these except for Incubus fall into some teen emo-shit pop/punk category that Randolph should have outgrown by now.

I'm pretty sure that Fall Out Boy started it all. I would get stuck hearing Dance Dance and Sugar We're Goin Down over and over last summer. Then this Panic! at the Disco thing happened. This band completely annoys the shit out of me. Randolph admits that he's seen their live performances on television and talks about how awful they sound. But when they came through St. Louis a few months ago I was begged upon to go. Why? If they suck on TV, they're going to suck in person, right? Plus 44 isn't that bad because it's one or two of the Blink 182 guys. The sound really hasn't changed much from the Blink days so it doesn't bother me as much. But this Motion City Soundtrack and Cartel has got to go! My Chemical Romance is another band that he likes, and over the weekend he said something about The Red Jumpsuit Apparatus. Or maybe is was the sound of him sneezing. Can't decide. He claims to hate bands like Bowling For Soup and Good Charlotte, but what's the F@#$ing difference? They're all pop-punk that my thirteen year old cousin would be listening to. Incubus is a tough loss for me. From S.CI.E.N.C.E. through Morning View my ears were filled with exciting rock and even a DJ spinning some tables. I've missed the bus that explains what their sound is now because I can't stand their last two albums. By the end of the day I did get to listen to Sam's Town from The Killers, and Fiction Plane, but only because I hooked up my iPod to his stereo. Then the damn battery died. Or was it a signal that his music taste isn't going away?

So what's a brother to do? Do I need to hold an intervention? Break into his computer and just delete all of this music? I feel like the guy in the Miller Beer commercials, trying to save a friend from drinking a tasteless beer. Remember those serious "I can't taste my beer" ad campaigns? Only thing is, that guy succeeds.

So here are a few songs that help me deal with the pain.

The Offspring - What Happened to You? "I try to explain but you just don't understand Man you're really losin' it."

R.E.M. - Radio Song "It's that same sing song, and the DJ sucks. It makes me sad."

The Format - Tune Out "Haven't we heard this song about a thousand times before?"

Kathleen Edwards - One More Song the Radio Won't Like "Johnny little rocket star flashing the label's credit card His name is at the door but no one knew what for."

Thursday, February 01, 2007

Farewell Mississippi Nights.

When I was at Ole Miss last November to see Old Crow Medicine Show and Wolfmother (separately) there was alot of construction going on just to the north of the building. Had me wondering whether I'd be seeing my last show there. Looks like St. Louis cares more about gambling revenue than supporting live music, which is supposedly an important part of St. Louis as well. The destruction of Mississippi Nights will leave one less venue to see middle tier bands with affordable prices. The Hi-Pointe stopped their live music schedule last fall as well. That leaves Blueberry Hill, The Pageant, Off Broadway, Pop's and not much else for choices.

There's a reason I'm not hyperlinking either one of these next two venues: They suck.

If you want to hear a high tier band but don't want to see them, then the big mound of grass called Riverport Ampitheater, no.... UMB Bank Pavilion, NO.... VERIZON WIRELESS AMPIDAMNEDTHEATER is the place for you. It will take you an hour to get out of the tundra that is their parking lot, the security are a bunch of damned nazis, and the big posts supporting the covered reserved seating block the stage well.

If you want to see a band in a climate controlled indoor facility that has to charge outrageous costs because their hockey team sucks, then the Kiel Center, no.... Savvis Center, NO..... ScottTrade Center is where you will go to get plowed over with $10 beers.
Way to go St. Louis!!!! Give all of the bands another reason not to come to St. Louis. Wipe out the variety, the choices. Only question remaining is: WHO'S NEXT?

These are the most appropriately titled songs I could find in my library.

The Hives - Closed for the Season

The Police - Can't Stand Losing You

Semisonic - Closing Time

Where has this past month gone?
My January four-pack of the month.
Wow. The month of January has FLOWN by fast. I've been busy settling into a new school, home, city, etc., but it sure hasn't felt like a month since I've posted something worthwhile.

I'm officially digging this new album from The Hold Steady. There are a couple, just a couple songs that don't really fit in for me but the rest of the album is really tight. I'll be giving a report on their live work in about six weeks. In the meantime I've got some tracks that I'm really hooked on.

Beck's new album has been out for a few months and I'm just now getting the chance to hear his work. The Information is another strange and experimental sound that Beck perfected years ago, and the catchiest song for me just happens to be the one on the radio so much right now. Please don't strike me down for listening to the radio. There isn't much else of a choice here in the frozen armpit of Western Illinois. Here's Think I'm in Love.

Last November the Silversun Pickups were supposed to open for Wolfmother at Mississippi Nights. Something happened, they couldn't play, and some crappy band got their slot and the Silversun's. Our loss. After listening to a few tunes they've got some talent and I like the guitar work. It's got an elegant way of blending in the sharp vocals and I approve of the song Lazy Eye. I'm keeping my fingers crossed that I will be able to see them return to St. Louis, opening for Snow Patrol this time.

Much like the way I've been a fan of the Boondock Saints movie sooo much longer than the rest of the world I've also been equally fond of The Shins. I knew about them long before Garden State and Zach Braff plugging away at their music. Their new song about two lesbian girls, Phantom Limb, is a bit on the pop-friendly side but still manages to be shy enough that it won't get picked apart by the radio stations (hopefully). The album itself, Wincing the Night Away, is another pretty solid addition to their career and will likely be one of the best of '07. Yes they are a trendy band and it's cool if you like them, but it's even cooler to have been a fan of them before everyone else jumps on the wagon.

With recent word that Tempe-based Jimmy Eat World will be releasing a new album soon they've played a few new songs at recent shows. Big Casino is not only a new song but is also partially named after a side project lead singer Jim Adkins was a part of, named Go Big Casino. Their last album Futures and Stay on My Side Tonight EP are incredible works of musical craftsmanship. Both contain the usual mainstream-friendly songs but also include some very serious songs that you don't clap your hands to, and I'm hoping for the same results with their upcoming release. If you like Jimmy Eat World enough to listen to their live stuff, check out the Jimmy Eat World Media Archive. There you can download entire concerts with good sound quality. I was shocked to find the Kirksville, MO, show I went to 4.5 years ago was on the front page.

Tuesday, January 23, 2007

Stadium Arcadium b-sides part two

Thursday, January 11, 2007

The Killers - Sam's Town b-sides

Romeo and Juliet

Daddy's Eyes

Friday, December 29, 2006

My Year in Review

Over the course of this year I have had the opportunity to see some outstanding concerts, meet new people who share the same passion as I do about music, and shed some light on my opinions and thoughts about the world of music in the creation of this blog. I'm disappointed that I've not been able to update this site as often as someone like Heather's, but satisfied that I've had the ability to reach out to so many viewers.

Instead of doing a top ten albums or top ten artists of the year I have decided to create a list of the best song heard live from each of the concerts I attended this year. Some of these artists appear twice (311 and Pete Yorn.... an odd pair), and I will include a short recap of each show. It's been a great year, I've seen an outstanding lineup of bands, and now it's time to share what I feel is the highlight of each show.


Black Rebel Motorcycle Club played at Mississippi Nights in St. Louis back in February. Their studio work is outstanding, but they've got major issues with the sound engineers while touring. At first I thought the venue just didn't provide a good live sound, but I've attended two other shows since then that had wonderful acoustics. The sound was so bad that the only recognizable song I could tell was played that night was Ain't No Easy Way, so this is all I've got.

March 11, 3/11, 311

Five guys, one Elvis impersonator, twenty-man drumline, SIXTY-FIVE songs......... all in a day's work. Known as 311 Day, the city of New Orleans has adopted March 11 as 311 Day for the last few years. But since Hurricane Katrina took its toll on the city, the band took a short drive up I-55 to the Mid-South Coliseum in Memphis. After being inside this venue I am convinced it is older than the Colosseum in Greece. My friend Steve and I have seen 311 a few times before but had never been to a 311 Day show. The show was a whopping five hours long. Steve's favorite song is Gap. It's a rarely played, relatively unknown, short, simple, song with a decent blend of pop and punk. Five songs into the show Steve decides to brave using the facilities. First song played after his departure? Gap. I sang away with an empty seat next to me while others around me wondered how I knew the song so well. It takes me back a few years whenever I hear it, and that's why it's my choice of this show.

Pearl Jam/My Morning Jacket

I was at work in the middle of running cameras for the 10 o'clock newscast when I got the phone call. Brennan and Tyler were at Pearl Jam, Night #1, Chicago. I couldn't tell what song was being played in the background but I did hear "Ha ha ha, we're rocking out to Pearl Jam tonight and you're stuck at work! Sucker!" Now, I had no intentions on making it to either show because I couldn't afford it, didn't ask off from work, and didn't ask anyone else if they were interested in going. But when I got that phone call everything changed. Less than twelve hours later I was on the road. I bought tickets that morning, so of course I didn't get priority seating from my Ten Club membership. Instead I got one hell of a view..... from behind the stage. My Morning Jacket opened and rocked. Flat-out rocked. Of course they played One Big Holiday, but the best of the bunch was Off the Record. I got to see Hammond B-3'er Boom hanging out with the guitar techs during songs he wasn't involved with, drummer Matt Cameron has two "personal assistants" sitting behind him throughout the show, fetching water or drumsticks, and I got a great view of guitarist Mike McCready's guitar closet. It's huge. The most vivid highlight of the show seeing a girl behind me who seemed uninterested in the majority of the show instantly explode; screaming every syllable to every word of Crown of Thorns. I posted the video clips from my digicam on Youtube. Here is Elderly Woman, Insignificance, and the end of the show. (Yes, I cheated and layered the audio from the bootleg with the video from my camera. Or do you think you would like to hear distorted garbage instead?)


Just a few days later I was in St. Louis to see HIM. HIM is a heavy metal band that play ballads, smoke lots of cigarettes, and drink heavily. If you've ever seen Viva La Bam or anything Jackass related there is a good chance you've heard something from these guys. The opening act, Aiden, will be remembered for having the lead singer with the ability to swing his microphone cord all over and not hit anyone onstage, including himself. Unfortunately, HIM's lead singer, Ville Valo, smokes too much and had to end the show early because he had an asthma attack. Only nine songs were played, but I did manage to hear what I wanted. Right Here in My Arms isn't too harsh on the ears.

Black Crowes/Robert Randolph/Drive-by Truckers

The only show I attended in the month of June was all I needed. It was the trifecta of great American rock and roll. The Black Crowes were in town, with The Drive-by Truckers and Robert Randolph and the Family Band as supporting acts. DBT played a short set of only eight or nine songs, with The Day John Henry Died being the highlight. Even though it wasn't as powerful as their Bonnaroo performance from a year earlier it still drew a caring response from the crowd. Robert Randolph soon followed, playing long extended versions of Going in the Right Direction, Nobody, and several others. The biggest jam of the night was Squeeze. The Black Crowes came out with a roaring Virtue and Vice. Soul Singing, A Conspiracy, Jealous Again, and even The Seeker were stretched from their normal durations into nine to ten minute long jam sessions. Their setlists are short because the songs are rarely less than six to seven minutes, so the chances of getting to hear one particular song that isn't a radio hit are pretty rare. During a long transition from Ballad in Urgency into something new, I realized I was about to hear Wiser Time. Make fun of me, call me a weirdo, whatever... but I often think of the phrase "fourteen seconds to sunrise". No one ever tracks it down to the second. They do, and I love every second of this song. (pun intended)

Pete Yorn

During my day in University City (St. Louis) to see Pete Yorn, I met some of the greatest people I've ever met on the day of a concert. Blueberry Hill was the venue, and I spent much of the afternoon soaking up the A/C, watching the Cards game, and drinking beers with regulars and newbies like myself. We complained about the game and the heat, but were anxious to see some Yorn. Earlier in the day Pete finished up an in-store performance at a record shop down the street and was signing autographs afterwards. As he signed my cd liner I asked him to play Undercover. Before he handed my new piece of rockabilia back to me he looked at what he had just written, as if he was studying the name he just signed. Later on that night he explained his actions in the middle of the show. "I had a friend ask me to play a song earlier today, and after looking through my setlists from all the other shows I realized I haven't played it yet. So here's a rare one... this song is called Undercover." He didn't say my name out loud (that would have been really cheesy, a guy dedicating a song to another guy), but he spotted me in the crowd and gave me a nod. I gave an approving reply. I want to thank the person who took a picture at the same time as I did. Their flash provided excellent lighting for a great shot.

311/The Wailers/Pepper

This show was my least favorite 311 show. It was chock-full of their radio friendly songs and offered little variety. Perhaps seeing them play over 60 songs last time creates high expectations from that point on. Keeping the ball rolling, I have to pick a favorite song from their setlist.... so.... You Wouldn't Believe will do. I got to see Pepper, a Hawaiian band with a rough So-Cal sound reminiscent of the Sublime days. They garnered a loud ovation and cleared off the stage to make way for The Wailers. Great rasta-reggae music from a legendary band. It was pretty hard to avoid the contact-high after they hit the stage! (another pun intended)

V.A.S.T./Mardo/Murder Happens

I've done this review already. It's right here. I will tell you the best song Jon played that night was Three Doors. Download it NOW. Don't ever give Mardo a dime of your hard-earned money because they are arrogant assholes who don't deserve the attention, let alone the royalties. Supporting Murder Happens would be like supporting the goth-kids hanging out at the mall so they can go to Spencer's and buy the newest Slipknot poster.

Pete Yorn/Minibar

I'd rather focus more on Minibar than Pete this time around. I did a little bit of a review last month and was much more intrigued by his supporting band. Minibar consists of Simon Petty on vocals, Tim Walker on guitar. Sid Jordan plays bass while Malcolm Cross smashes away at the drums. I didn't realize until this night that Minibar is more than just a band that plays around Pete, but they've got two of their own albums. Trouble is, these albums are scarce and difficult to get a hold of. From what I heard them play this night, they have a crafty way of blending a soft country ballad with an upbeat rock song that has every muscle in your body pulsing to the beat. I can't tell you the name of a single song they played that night. But I can tell you that when they came back out to backup Pete, they gave every ounce of energy to Alive. This show was partially blurred by lots of draft beer so this review won't be much clearer than the one I attempted the morning after.

Old Crow Medicine Show

The review I attempted for this show has proven to me that I just need to keep it simple and provide the high points of the show.

What did I love the most about this show?

The bands' opening song, Tear it Down. Pure acoustic energy. It gets the crowd fired up fast. I loved the age gap in the audience. Beside me was a man in his mid 60s, another well into his 70s standing in front of me with a tall draft beer in hand. I loved seeing the couple that brought their six-year-old, wearing headphones to protect his ears so he can enjoy fine live music like this for a long time coming. I love the fact that I could have taken my grandparents to a concert and we all would have come home satisfied and thirsting for more. I love the fact that Kevin Hayes' played his guitjo with such intensity he had to step away from the mic two or three times per song to silence the howling feedback. I loved seeing the guy wearing a Dimebag Darrell shirt because it says hey, anyone can like these guys. I loved the song on their new album, Let it Alone. I love the chorus line:

let it alone

let it alone

if it don't concern you let alone

if you don't know say so

mind your own business and let it alone

And finally I love that they ended the show with a cover of Dire Straits' Walk of Life, with the cheesy electronic keyboard replaced with an accordion.


While standing in line for this show my friend Tyler spotted Andrew, the lead singer, standing in front of his bus and talking on his cell phone. Having had a few drinks in his system already, Tyler urged me to join him in going over to say hi to Andrew. I reluctantly agreed and we made our way over to greet him. I "pounded knuckles" with him as Tyler told him they were going to be awesome. He seemed annoyed. Anyway, there was an opening band that nearly put me to sleep and I can't tell you their name. The Silversun Pickups, intended to be the second act, bailed out for some reason. That meant the first band got to play an extended set, which was really unfortunate. Wolfmother came out and the crowd exploded. They open with Dimension, scream through their entire album, and even play Communication Breakdown. Colossal was the highlight for me though. It was full of keyboard solos, long electric guitar breaks, and a moment with Chris Ross playing bass and keyboards at the same time. Wow.


That does it everybody. I've met some great people on this blogspot community that I feel like I've known much longer than the six months I've been doing this. To Heather, Kraig, all of my friends in South America, thanks for keeping me motivated to make something out of this blog. It keeps my writing skills fresh. I'll sign off the year with one song from a show I dearly wish I COULD have seen. Ryan Adams, August 2. It is the inspiration behind the little quote below this blog's title. This is it, everybody, this is it. Happy New Year.

Saturday, December 23, 2006

"There goes my hero"
In a rather dangerous attempt to gain popularity and become a legend at his high school this kid has exemplified everything I think about Christmas. He is my hero.

Wednesday, December 20, 2006

A Visit to Hollywood.
I just spent a week in California, covering literally every city with a population of 300,000 or more. Monday night is the focus of this blog entry though. My mom and I got tickets to see the Late Late Show with Craig Ferguson.

Boy was I excited to see the list of who would be on. Not only my TV crush Jenna Fischer from The Office, but the one and only "I have had it with these motherfucking snakes on this motherfucking plane"..... Samuel L. Jackson. Oh, and some cook named Ming Tsai too. Don't berate me if I don't know who this guy is because I still don't know who the hell Rachael Ray is either.

Anyway... something very odd happened throughout the taping of this show. All you've got to do is look at the episode list on Ferguson's CBS site. When the show starts up I see the "tonight's show" graphic showing Edward Norton, Jenna Fischer, and some comedian. I'm confused already. Is it Ed or Sam? Whatever... I'll find out eventually. Here's something you may not be aware of.. the Ferguson show you watch on TV doesn't have the same guests that are taped that day. But if you want to see all three of these segments you'll have to watch three different nights.
Jenna: Monday
Ming: Tuesday
Sam J: Thursday
Now Craig's wardrobe was indeed changed for each guest, talk about knowing what you're going to wear for the rest of the week! Monday's show on TV consisted of Edward Norton, and Jenna Fischer. I suppose Ed's was taped last week, or earlier in the day?
So, the thesis of this random post is when you watch late night TV and the previous guest is not sitting next to the current guest on the set.... it's probably split up the way I've just explained. Weird, huh?
A new addition to the blog.

My friend Michael likes the way that the blogspot sites are set up. They are clean and organized most of the time, and he has offered to contribute various reviews of films and music. It will be a hearty addition of what my blog has become. So this is the first film review....

I have rented and just finished watching two documentaries on DVD, both of which were highly entertaining. They have nothing in common, aside from speaking with or referring to more popular or current musicians who make an appearance to reveal how these two men influenced them in their work.

Leonard Cohen first crossed my radar when "Pump Up The Volume" was released. He had his second round of "15 minutes of fame" around that time; articles in Rolling Stone, mentions by comedians on TV, featured in Entertainment Weekly. My roommate Dave, Jewish like Cohen, played "Everybody Knows" on Columbia's public radio when he next had a chance. We actually made up a chart on our chalkboard in the apartment and kept track of how many times we heard about him in popular culture for about a month.

On the soundtrack, Concrete Blonde does "Everybody Knows", but in the film, it's Cohen's cigarettes-and-gravel vocals that take the film to its pinnacle. Watching U2 reduce themselves to Cohen's band, even singing "oohs" and "doo wah wahs" for him is magical; all four members are totally enthralled by Cohen's presence, even though he admits he "can't carry a tune."

Most of the film centers around a tribute concert performed in January 2005, which at first seems obnoxious -- I wanted to hear Cohen himself. But this tactic redeems itself in that his influence is properly magnified by today's artists who are more direct in explaining Cohen's appeal. Leaving the final act for Cohen to take the mic seems fitting, as he has the bulk of the film to explain his life and where his lyrics come from. This is necessary to flesh out the life of a man who is an ordained monk, lived in Chelsea Hotel with beatniks and Janis Joplin, had the reputation of a lady's man (and still does, even at age 72), but who "laughed bitterly during the 10,000 nights I spent alone", as he puts it.

It's obvious that the singers who pay tribute, and especially Bono, have taken Cohen's philosophy of music and art and life and beauty and tried to the best of their abilities to not stray from that path. Although this is at its core a concert film with a low budget (some of the musicians are interviewed on the day of the show, while Bono and The Edge are cornered in a hallway), it's worthy of the 105 minutes it takes up on DVD at your local Blockbuster.

My favorite moments in this tribute are from Teddy Thompson, who covers "Tonight Will Be Fine", all songs by Rufus Wainwright, although he initially gives the impression that Elton John is nearly as hetero and uptight as Billy Graham, and actually, Rufus' sister, Martha, who seems like she might just be the craziest fuck you could ever have if she could just wrap those legs around your neck and crack your head like a walnut. (Think Famke Janssen in 007's Goldeneye.)

On the other end of the spectrum, there is "The Devil and Daniel Johnston". Raised in West Virginia to strict Christians, this is the tale of a kid who was undisciplined in everything except his art. While Cohen sought out the "regimes, the regimens", the orderly, Daniel acquiesced to every artistic urge he ever had. In his youth, Daniel ignored all attempts to be "converted" to religion, and spent all his free time, and even his schooldays, doodling, playing music, writing songs, and basically just fucking off. Much to his parents' dismay, he seemed hellbent on being "an unprofitable servant of the Lord".

After escaping with the circus and landing in Austin, Texas, Daniel's life changed. While he scammed his way onto MTV, and into a career as a singer/songwriter (besting Stevie Ray Vaughan in a local poll for year's best), he also began to crack under the pressures his parents had for years laid upon him.

While officially diagnosed as bipolar, his behavior could easily be mistaken for schizoid. Talking of the Devil come for him, and prosletyzing to audiences, he became over the years a man-child -- and a legend. When I first saw him perform live in this documentary, I wanted to laugh, but I couldn't. Afterwards, researching his Pearl Jam connection, Eddie said of Johnston "he is not to be mistrusted." I think this sums up Johnston about as well as anything in the film. Daniel's sincerity, his laser-beam focus on creating and being artistic, even on becoming famous, is rare. While others may deal with the consequences this extreme behavior causes in their lives, Daniel is mostly oblivious. Drugs, mental institutions, and even his parents and friends take years to correct the imbalances in his chemistry. Even today, as an adult, he gives the impression of being slightly retarded, and completely eccentric.

What is most unnerving is his place in popular culture. His drawings are hung in art museums -- they're drawn on regular notebook paper. His songs are covered by Beck, the Flaming Lips, and even Pearl Jam -- who did Walking The Cow at Bridge School in 1994. Eddie played Daniel's version of this song early in the setlist for Self-Pollution Radio.

Now his parents take care of Daniel, and his dad takes him to China and South Africa for performances. In Austin, the mod kids forego the statue of Stevie Ray Vaughan and have their picture taken by the record store Daniel frequents, the one where he painted his "Eyeball Frog" mural in 1994. The same Eyeball Frog that Kurt Cobain made famous by wearing it on a t-shirt for several weeks, including at the MTV Music Awards.

Two men, opposites in nearly every aspect, with far-reaching effects upon the musicians we hear today. Both incredibly sincere, and focused. Yet you couldn't find two catalogs of songs more unlike each other.