Why Go Home?
“And I listen for the voice inside my head, nothing, I’ll do this one myself…” – Pearl Jam

Jan
05

1.     Metallica – Death Magnetic

2.     Alkaline Trio – Agony & Irony

3.     Guns N’ Roses – Chinese Democracy

4.     Pennywise – Reason To Believe

5.     Blind Melon – For My Friends

6.     REM – Accelerate

7.     H2O – Nothing To Prove

8.     The Whigs – Mission Control

9.     Vampire Weekend – Vampire Weekend

10.  Weezer – The Red Album

11.  Rise Against – Appeal To Reason

12.  The Killers – Day & Age

13.  Motley Crue – Saints of Los Angeles

14.  Anberlin – New Surrender

15.  Disturbed – Indestructible

16.  Foxboro Hot Tubs – Stop Drop & Roll

17.  Kings of Leon – Only By The Night

18.  Death Cab For Cutie – Narrow Stairs

19.  Ben Folds – Way To Normal

20.  Carolina Liar – Coming To Terms

21.  Kay Hanley – Weaponize

22.  Local H – Twelve Angry Months

23.  The Raconteurs – Consolers of the Lonely

24.  AC/DC – Black Ice

25.  Nine Inch Nails – The Slip

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Jul
14

June 28, 2008 setlist:

Pre-Opener Throw Your Arms Around Me
Set 1 Hard To Imagine, Why Go, Hail Hail, Comatose, Low Light, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, Corduroy, Faithfull, Off He Goes, Given To Fly, Down, I’m Open, I Got Id, Even Flow, Do The Evolution, Once, Rearviewmirror
Encore 1 Love Reign O’er Me, Come Back, Insignificance, Black, Better Man(Save it for Later)
Encore 2 No More, State Of Love And Trust, Alive

June 30, 2008 setlist:

Set 1 Wash, Last Exit, Save You, Severed Hand, Animal, MFC, Elderly Woman Behind The Counter In A Small Town, 1/2 Full, Corduroy, Given To Fly, Even Flow, Education, Satan’s Bed, Whipping, Glorified G, Do The Evolution
Encore 1 Bee Girl, Who You Are, Better Man(Save it for Later), Garden, Why Go
Encore 2 No More, Once, Footsteps, Alive, Rockin’ In The Free World

Thanks to pearljam.com for the actual setlists for these two shows.

It is always a special time whenever Pearl Jam comes to town. These were the 11th and 12th PJ shows that I have seen.

Saturday 6/28 – Eddie did his solo preset, doing “Throw Your Arms Around Me.” The regular set opened with a song I have never heard them do before, “Hard To Imagine.” They rocked hard with the next couple of songs, and then slowed things down a bit. Ending the first set with “Once” and “Rearviewmirror” was awesome. The first encore started with “Love Reign O’er Me,” which they did an amazing version of. “Black” of course was amazing, but the show stealer was “Better Man” – I have never heard the crowd at any PJ show get so loud and so crazy with the singalong and right after the singalong – the place was shaking! Eddie looked genuinely surprised. The show ended with “No More” (from “Body of War”), SOLAT and Alive. I was surprised that “Alive” was the closer, but I think that had to do with the stupid Mansfield curfiew. PJ can play for up to 3 hours, and this show only clocked in at 2 hrs 15 min. Eddie was upset about that too, even flinging his wine bottle against the back wall of the stage. It was a solid performance, and the Ten Club seats were pretty good.

Monday 6/30 – Another song I have never seen live before, “Wash,” opened up this show. The next five songs I was happy to hear – starting with “Last Exit” and ending with “MFC.” The rest of the first set was average in song quality – it was nice to hear some songs I haven’t heard them do in awhile though (“Satan’s Bed,” “Whipping,” “Glorified G”) and one I never heard before (“Education”). The first encore started off with a surprise, with Eddie and Jeff coming out to do “Bee Girl.” “Better Man” was good but nowhere near Saturday night. A nice original version of “Garden” and “Why Go” closed out the first encore. The second encore had an old favorite of mine, “Footsteps,” following by “Alive” and an awesome version of “Rockin’ In the Free World” (joined by members of the opening act, Ted Leo & the Pharmacists). These seats were great – sat right before the soundboard, which was good and bad (good because we had an awesome view, dead center, bad because we got to see the setlist which took away the surprise).

Overall, these shows were great. I could have done with a little more song variety (but I have been spoiled, especially in 2003 when they didn’t repeat a song during the Mansfield shows). The shows also could have been longer (but that is Mansfield’s fault). And the cool thing is that I am not done with all things Pearl Jam related just yet – I got tickets to see Eddie Vedder solo at the Opera House on August 1st. That should be special!

And here are some pics from the two shows:

May
13

Atreyu

Ok, so I was not an Atreyu fan before this album, and I am still not really a fan of their older stuff now that I got them. Too much screaming, nothing I could really get into – not my thing. But I heard “Falling Down” on the radio and I loved that song. I ended up getting this album (with the bonus tracks) and I loved it. A little screaming, but good metalcore (or whatever you want to call it). The album starts off with some good, loud songs, like “Doomsday,” “Honor,” “Falling Down” and “Becoming the Bull.” The rest of the album keeps going, and there isn’t a bad track on here. And the new, bonus tracks – they do a really good version of Faith No More’s “Epic” and a Descendents song “Clean Sheets.”

This is a great album if you want something loud that you can blast and still sing along to. I am not one to buy into this whole “selling out” thing just because a band changes their sound a little to make it more acceptable to the public (like Alkaline Trio, Against Me!, etc.) If it sounds good, then what is the problem? And if it doesn’t (like Metallica’s last album, which was just way too complicated and not even one guitar solo) then who really cares how indie or underground sounding it is? Just my two cents.

May
06

Pennywise Reason To Believe

Flashback: 1995, I found Pennywise’s “About Time” in a bargain bin for $5. It became one of my favorite albums and they became one of my favorite bands. Very similar to Bad Religion, but I like BR. I enjoyed the next albums that followed, but the last few albums they released in the 2000s were very uneventful, and I can’t even remember a lot of the songs from those albums.

Flash forward: 2008, Pennywise releases “Reason To Believe.” They seem to recapture some of the magic that they had on those earlier albums. Lots of powerful songs, like “One Reason,” “Something To Live For,” “All We Need” and “The Western World.” There is even one song (“Affliction”) that sounds so much like Bad Religion you would think it was a cover song! But it is still a good song and easy to listen to.

If you are a fan of their older stuff, you’ll enjoy this. It may not be as good as “About Time” or “Unknown Road,” or even “Full Circle,” but it is a lot better than their last three studio albums and it is really good from start to finish.

May
02

REM Accelerate

It seems like a lot of people have forgotten about R.E.M. for awhile. They haven’t put out a meaningful album in quite some time – does anyone even remember anything off of their recent albums? The last one anyone really cared about was “Automatic For the People.” There was some hype for their new release, saying that they were cranking up the volume some more and rocking hard. I thought, fair enough, I’ll give it a shot. And the first single sounded really good, so it seemed like there was some hope for them after all.

And the result? A pretty solid rock album. The first three songs rock hard – “Living Well Is the Best Revenge,” “Man-Sized Wreath” and the first single, “Supernatural Superserious.” The next track, “Hollow Man” has the potential as a good follow-up single. And I love the title track a lot. It is a short album, but maybe that is good – no room for a lot of crap.

Another recommended album!

Apr
30

Flashback: Blind Melon’s first album, self-titled, was pretty good – “No Rain,” “Tones of Home,” “Change” and “Time.” Their second album, “Soup,” got better the more you listened to it – “Galaxie,” “Toes Across the Floor,” “2×4.” Shannon Hoon was so deep into drugs that I read somewhere that he didn’t even remember recording “Soup” at all. I had tickets to see them in concert, but I never got to go because Hoon died of an overdose.

Flash forward, thirteen years later: a new album, a new singer (Travis Warren). I didn’t even think too much about it, because who could replace Hoon? I just so happened to pass by Best Buy, saw the album sitting there, and figured, what the hell. And what the hell was right – I was pleasantly surprised with what I heard. So pleasantly surprised that my favorite song of the year so far is on this album.

It took me all of two listens to realize that I really enjoyed it. And Warren does sound a lot like Hoon, so they didn’t have to completely change their sound. The first song, “For My Friends,” was ok but nothing special, but then tracks 2, 3 and 4 did it for me – “With the Right Set of Eyes,” “Wishing Well” and “Sometimes.” “Wishing Well” is just amazing. Awesome melody, great chorus, even a pretty good guitar solo. The rest of the album is pretty solid, all good songs, but those three songs alone give it a chance to end up as one of my favorite albums of the year.

It’s funny – Blind Melon became a band that I, and most people, pretty much forgot about. When I got a copy of their greatest hits, only a few months before the new album came out, I realized, wow, they have a ton of awesome songs in their back catalogue. And now they can add some new songs to the greatest hits mix.

Highly recommended to all.

Feb
21

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Pearl Jam is definitely my favorite band, which is no secret. But when it comes to my second favorite, Guster is that band that has slowly moved into this position. Why? Well, my wife Melissa got me into them after seeing the band play at her college. I warmed up to them the more I listened, and after seeing them in concert a few times, I got hooked.

This is a band that has gotten better and tighter as a band after every album they put out. They seem like regular, fun guys, and they are not huge where they would develop big egos, but they are big enough where they would have a cult following and sell out or almost sell out whenever they play.

Below is a list of Guster’s studio albums (including their most recent EP), and some tracks that I personally like from each:

Parachute – Mona Lisa, Love For Me

Goldfly – Demons, Airport Song

Lost and Gone Forever – Fa Fa, Happier, Two Points For Honesty

Keep It Together – Careful, Amsterdam, Keep It Together, Come Downstairs and Say Hello, Red Oyster Cult

Ganging Up On the Sun – Satellite, The Captain, The New Underground

Satellite EP – G Major

They also have a wonderful live album called Guster On Ice – Live from Portland, Maine (which I was lucky enough to be in attendance at).  And if you are craving for more, you can click on the this link to access downloadable live shows from the past through the present.

Feb
14

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Happy Valentine’s Day!

On this day, let’s think back to all of the songs with “love” in the title – obviously I can’t name them all, but I did remember a bunch of them, thanks to iTunes, the Internet and whatever was in my head. Enjoy.

A Groovy Kind of Love Phil Collins
Ain’t Talkin Bout Love Van Halen
All You Need Is love The Beatles
Because I Love You Stevie B
Believe In Love Scorpions
Can You Feel the Love Tonight Elton John
Can’t Help Falling In Love Elvis Presley
Can’t Buy Me Love The Beatles
Fell In Love With a Girl The White Stripes
Friday I’m In Love The Cure
Glory of Love Huey Lewis and the News
Hello, I Love You The Doors
I Believe In a Thing Called Love The Darkness
I Just Called To Say I Love You Stevie Wonder 
I Will Always love You Whitney Houston
I’d Do Anything for Love (But I Won’t Do That) Meat Loaf
In and Out Of Love Bon Jovi
Interstate love song – stp Stone Temple Pilots
Is This Love? Whitesnake
Love Smashing Pumpkins
Love and Marriage Frank Sinatra
Love Bites Def Leppard
Love Boat Captain Pearl Jam
Love Buzz Nirvana
Love For Me Guster
Love Her Madly The doors
Love In An Elevator Aerosmith
Love Is a Battlefield Pat Benetar
Love Song Tesla
Love Song The Cure
My Love Will Not Let You Down Bruce Springsteen
Pride In the Name of Love U2
Sending All My Love Linear
She Will Be Loved Maroon 5
Somebody To Love Queen
Stand Inside Your Love Stone Temple Pilots
State Of Love and trust Pearl Jam
Tainted love Soft Cell
The One I Love REM
The Way My Love Is Smashing Pumpkins
This Could Be Love Alkaline Trio
This Love Maroon 5
Too Fast For Love Motley Crue
Too Late for Love Def Leppard
Too Young to Fall In Love Motley Crue
Used To Love Her Guns N’ Roses
When It’s Love Van Halen
You Gave Your Love to Me Softly Weezer
You Give Love a Bad Name Bon Jovi
   

Feb
11

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After Amy Winehouse cleaned up at the Grammy’s last night, it got me thinking about all the addicts in music these days and in days past. Here is a little scorecard of bands and artists from the time that I really got into music – the ones that I can think of (I am sure there are many more), and what their deal is:

Alice In Chains: Layne Staley, deceased, cocaine and heroin overdose (and seemed like he was dead even when he was still alive).

Blind Melon: Shannon Hoon, deceased, cocaine overdose.

Pete Doherty: major junkie. Media only cares because he went out with Kate Moss. Media probably cannot name one song he did with the Libertines or Babyshambles.

Leif Garrett: crashed his car, left his best friend paralyzed for life, continues to get busted for drugs.

Guns N’ Roses: all of them, obvious alcoholics, especially Slash & Duff McKagan. Axl Rose, nutcase.

Metallica: James Hettfield, was in rehab for alcohol.

Mother Love Bone: Andrew Wood, died from overdose before album came out, but lead the way for Pearl Jam to emerge.

Motley Crue: Vince Neil, car accident, killed a good friend of his. Nikki Sixx, rock n’ roll junkie, was pronounced dead but was brought back to life.

Nirvana: Kurt Cobain, deceased, suicide after many years of heroin abuse and stomach pain.

Pennywise: Jason Thirsk, deceased, committed suicide after battle with depression and alcoholism.

Quiet Riot: Kevin DuBrow, deceased, cocaine overdose.

Sublime: Brad Nowell, died from heroin overdose before band it hit big.

Ramones: Dee Dee Ramone, deceased, heroin overdose.

Red Hot Chili Peppers: Hillel Slovak, deceased, heroin overdose. Anthony Keidis, recovering heroin, cocaine and alcohol addict (one of his relapses was after he had his wisdom teeth out, and the dentist had to put him on liquid Valium).

Britney Spears: major issues. Forgets underwear on occasion. Lost her kids to Kevin Federline.

Scott Weiland: repeatedly arrested for drug possession.

Amy Winehouse: junkie. Seen shooting up something and walking down the street in a bra and no shoes. Really ugly without any makeup.

Feb
08

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A “new” band just hit the scene called Foxboro Hot Tubs. They put up six songs on their website to download for free (they are not available anymore – if you go to their webpage, you get redirected to their Myspace page). Their music has a 60s rock feel, and they sound a little like, hmm, what’s that band, GREEN DAY. They sound so much like them that many people are pretty convinced that these guys are them. And it could very well be, from the stories I’ve heard.

There’s the story of the album Green Day made that was supposed to be the followup to “Warning” – it was supposed to be called “Cigarettes and Valentines.” It was stolen, and they didn’t like the backup tapes they had, so they scrapped the whole album and started fresh. The result of this was “American Idiot.”

It is possible that some of those songs that were stolen are these Foxboro songs. They are a little similar to songs on “Warning” and to some lyrics on “American Idiot.”

I am sure we’ll find out one day who these guys really are, but in the meantime, these songs are six catchy, easy to listen to tunes that can hold us over until the next full length Green Day album is finished.