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Archive for the ‘Concerts’ Category

Good Sunday afternoon to all the people out there. By out there I mean those who may just happen to stumble across this blog, be it your Google reader, CSS feed, or somehow mysteriously wound up here while trying to find the “Western Wind” a cappella music group, who has been bringing high quality non-instrumental music your way since 1969.

If you are here to read my musings on life, music, running and school teaching, then you have indeed come to the right place.

Since I last wrote on July 7th, the school year has begun and life is once again filled with grading papers, catching up on emails, and various meetings throughout the week. I hate to say it, but by Friday evening of each week I am usually in bed by 9:30, with barely enough energy to read two pages of whatever novel I may be working on at the time.

So I have decided to try my best and give a quick update on all that has happened over the past couple of months in short little bullet points of information.

  • My girlfriend and I went to Cancun, I drank way to much water there and got sick on my return home, thus causing me to miss the Bon Iver show at the Ryman.
  • I read all the Hunger game series, book two was my favorite.
  • The have watched all the Titan’s games so far this year and have been impressed. As I say that, they are getting killed by Pittsburgh right now!
  • I watched both seasons of Twin Peaks this summer, and I thought it was AWESOME!
  • Like I said before, the school year has begun, but I am really excited about it and love every single one of my classes. I now know each of the students names, although I have yet to come up with any great nicknames so far.
  • My girlfriend and I celebrated our 1 year anniversary. Part of the celebration was acknowledging our relationship via facebook.
  • Finally I have begun assisting in coaching the middle school boys’ soccer team. Sure it take more time out of my day, but I am happy to lend a helping hand and spend my afternoons out in the beautiful Fall weather.

So that is about it. I leave you with a little film footage I shot of birds flying at sunset yesterday in downtown Nashville. My girlfriend and I had just visited with her cousins, in town for a concert the night before. The song is “A Short Reprise…” by Sufjan Stevens

I hope to not be a stranger to this post for so long in the future.

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Fireworks and U2

This 4th of July weekend was a pretty BIG one. But since I am on vacation, I can actually go all the way back to Wednesday, June 29th, to when all the fun really began.

Me and Erick B.

On the one year anniversary of the departure of my good friend Hugh Mundy, my brother and I celebrated the exact same way by doing a little stand-up comedy with…Hugh Mundy. After preparing a little bit the night before by watching our 2010 debut of the “The Jones Brothers Experience,” Drew and I both agreed that it at least could not be any worse than our first time out. We decided to take a different approach and separate our sets, with introductions by Hugh, and I personally think that it worked for the better. I created a very standard stand-up set that focused on the origins of my name, the joys of traveling with my brother Drew, and of course the world of education today. Overall, I enjoyed getting up and performing for my friends, and it made me aware of just how lucky I am to be surrounded by such wonderful people on a daily basis. Also, a special element to the show was that my great friend for life, Erick Baker, was able to come and perform before us, to which I am very grateful again.

The next big event (besides dinner and time well spent with my girlfriend’s parents) was the U2 show at Vanderbilt Stadium on Saturday night. Love um’ or hate um’, that show was absolutely EPIC! It was kind of like seeing them at the Basement in Nashville, as the stage and everyone felt so close together. The opening four tracks nearly caused me to walk out, because they were so unbelievably good. I honestly thought the show could not get better, but it did. With every single track they played, the audience only grew more amped up. We all sang “Amazing Grace” with Bono leading the way, and then the true treat of the evening was what everyone on the news has been talking about, “A Blind Man plays with U2.” Not only was the moment something special, but the song he played (dedicated to his loving wife) was an untold classic, “All I Want is You.” It just may be the concert event of the year!

Then came the 3th and 4th of July, and YES I meant the “3th” as it has been dubbed in East Nashville. On Sunday, a large group of East Nasty’s headed over to a nice little BBQ at Lee-Roys. Conversations were had, people discussed U2, and community hotdogs were consumed. All and all a great time. Finally for the grand finally, my girlfriend and I headed out to my parents for the 4th of July fireworks show of Murfreesboro, TN. It was a nice, cool evening, and we enjoyed sitting out in the yard and lifting our heads to the sky.

A wonderful way to spend 5 days, and I am forever thankful to those that I got to spend time with over these past couple of days.

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I would be posting my update on A Year with Dylan today, but instead I am heading out to Bonnaroo for the second year. Wish me luck. I will give you a full report sometime next week, as well as my updates on everything else happening in my world. Until then, keep rockin!

Rod

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An update from Vegas

So I know that I have not updated this blog for a little while, but like so many other bloggers that I know when they take a break, my intentions were always there to update you (my readers) on what is going on in my life…

Right now I am sitting in Las Vegas with my brother and a good friend. We are still discussing the event that brought us here, which you can watch here:

Not a bad way to open my first Vegas experience…

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Author’s note: The next two musical acts both made the cut of my 2010 Mix.* For those interested in what tracks made the final cut, see the message at the end of this post.

(#4) The Avett Brothers, Oct. 29th, The Ryman Auditorium (Night 1 of 2)

Now I certainly mentioned the Avett Brothers before, such as here and here, so it should be no surprise that it ended up here. But I am not sure if I want to keep pimping them out the way I have over the last 6 years. Don’t get me wrong, I truly believe that they deserve all the success that they are achieving each year, but like all music snobs, I miss the old days. I can remember a time when they played inside of Grimey’s and the crowd was not too packed. In fact, they were still such a small band then that I bought my merchandise directly from Seth Avett out of the back of their tour van right after their short set.

Then again, there is always something special about getting the chance to watch a band grow up, and even more important, remain true to their roots no matter how big they get. Perhaps that is the reason that I am still such a fan of them after all these years. The Oct. 29th show this year was an extra special treat because Seth Avett took at least 75% of the singing duties that night. Now don’t get me wrong, his brother does have an incredible voice, and his songs are also top notch, but because Seth took a majority of the vocal work that night I was treated to some of my favorite hits such as Pretty Girl from Cedar Lane, January Wedding (which I did not realize was his song), and At the Beach.

Always a great show, I recommend that everyone go out there and see them before they get even bigger!

 

(#3) Julian Casblancas, April 27, Cannery Ballroom

A couple of days after the Country Music Half Marathon, my usual crew of concert goers (which consists of me, Drew, and Mundy) headed out to the Cannery Ballroom to watch The Strokes lead singer present his new solo album. Unsure what to expect we arrived in time to catch all of the opening a band (a great sister act out of California) and then we waited for Julian to begin. Then we waited some more. Then we un-patiently  waited for a little longer. FINALLY the lights dimmed low (so low that I could only ever make out Julian’s silhouette) and the show began.

The wait was DEFINITELY worth it! Besides only knowing half of the setlist and the fact that everything was turned up so loud that it made my teeth vibrate, that concert brought the thunder like only Strokes-style music could. In fact, the second song of the night was “Hard to Explain” and I thought the roof of the place was about to blow off. Watch the clip from Coachella this year for a similar reaction.


Anyway, like I was saying, the concert was mind-blowing, and I would pay the money again to see it once every month for the rest of my life. I can’t wait until The Strokes come out with their new album in 2011, and hopefully will make a stop at this year’s Bonnaroo or at least in the Nashville vicinityin the near future.

 

*If you are reading this and you are interested in getting your own copy, then just send me an email (or comment) with your mailing address and I will be sure to send you a copy of my Best of 2010 Music CD through the mail to you as soon as possible. If you live in Nashville, just be sure to ask me to bring it out to East Nasty or some other place that I am likely to be.

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The Roo

One of the things that I have always loved about Nashville is the ability to decide to do things at the very last minute and have them still work out. Whether it was deciding to go see David Gray at the Ryman on a spur of the moment one day and having someone offer me a free ticket that night or all the numerous other times when just randomly going out with friends has turned into a glorious time for everyone involved, my experiences have taught me to look at life in an optimistic way. So when I decided to go to Bonnaroo this year a day before it got started, I should have figured that it would all just fall into place.

-I was right, it did!

With that being said, in the previous 8 years of Bonnaroo’s history I have come up with every excuse of why I would not like to go. I would say that the crowds will be way too big, that all the music there is just dirty-hippy crap, and that it is way too hot to just be standing around listening to bands I don’t really know or care about.

-BOY WAS I WRONG!!!!

From Friday afternoon until Sunday night I participated along with 75000 other music fans in what can truly only be experienced versus being accurately described in words. Overall though, I would say that it was kind of like a mixture of vacation and summer camp. But let me run through what I watched first, then I will sum up my thoughts in the conclusion.

Friday: 1pm-2am (in the order I watched them)

The Gossip, Hot Rize, She & Him, The National, Steve Martin & the Steep Canyon Rangers, Kings of Leon, and The Flaming Lips

Saturday: 12pm-9pm (in the order I watched them)

Langhorne Slim, World Cup Soccer USA vs. England, Norah Jones, The Avett Brothers, Weezer, and Ozomatli

Sunday: 1pm-11pm (in the order I watched them)

Lucero, Blues Traveler, John Fogerty, Dropkick Murphys, Phoenix, and the Dave Matthews Band.

18 bands plus 1 World Cup game with 5000 other fans was well worth the ticket price. And for me one of the best aspects is that I feel like I am just getting my “sea legs” about the whole event. Next year I already plan on going, know what to do differently, and have a better understanding of what is the best way to experience the whole festival.

If you want a great wrap up to the whole event, I suggest listening to Bob Boilen and his NPR crews wrap up here. At the very end of the piece, I like how all these radio voices admit that the key to having a good time at Bonnaroo is to let go of their criticisms and just sit back and enjoy the music. To me, that nails exactly the same way that I felt about the festival this year.

In the end, it was all about Wayne Coyne and The Flaming Lips for me. You just can’t beat 30 minutes worth of confetti, smoke machines, and all the other craziness that goes along with their performances (see the picture above.) The two best songs of the entire festival were “She Don’t Use Jelly,” and “The Yeah, Yeah, Yeah, Song,” both of which came in the first half of the Flaming Lips show. And even though I can’t say I back 100% of what came out of Wayne’s mouth that night, I can say that his positivity has infected me, and I am now seeing the world in a much different light. But perhaps that is a subject for another blog post next week.

I am glad that I was proven wrong  so massively about my previous thoughts on Bonnaroo, and I very much look forward to the 10th anniversary of the festival next year! Until then, I will continue to enjoy the new music I heard and re-discovering all the songs that have been reawakened in me this last weekend.

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So I went to Bonnaroo for the 1st time this weekend, and it was a blast!

But right now I have work and sleep to catch up on, so all I can offer is this picture of the Which Stage and promise to re-cap all that I witnessed soon enough.

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