Archive for August, 2009

Anniversary Update – Coming Soon

Monday, August 17th, 2009

Probably today or tomorrow.

3 years and countin’

Wednesday, August 12th, 2009

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Photo by Phillip Parker.

Lou and Lolla

Monday, August 10th, 2009

Lollapalooza is over. And unfortunately, I’m not going to be receiving a paycheck from being a part of it. Last week, after being on hold for months for the festival that I’ve worked on for the past two years, I was told that the client was bringing in their own crew and gear in order to save money. Which is a shame because working the festival allowed me the opportunity to get paid for taking in a festival that cost the general concertgoer $240.

Of the over 130 artists and band scheduled to play the festival, I was the most interested in the legendary Lou Reed who was performing on the last night. I was first introduced to the music of Mr. Reed when I was a freshman in high school, and I purchased The Best of The Velvet Underground: Words and Music of Lou Reed through BMG (remember them?). While that collection certainly initiated the spark, it was the debut The Velvet Underground and Nico that had the most effect on me, especially when it came to discovering new music as I traced the group’s influence on others throughout the years. Apparently, the album also had a strong impact on Beck who has been covering the entire album on his website, adding a new song each week (currently, he’s on “There She Goes Again”).

After The Velvet Underground (which I currently own twelve releases), it was time to discover what the solo Reed had to offer. Apparently, a lot. Over a career that started in 72 and has produced over 20 studio albums and numerous live releases, Reed has covered a lot of ground, creating a career that is constantly changing directions as well as its sound. If your interest lies beyond the greatest hit package, I recommend the box set Between Thought and Expression. Which makes the idea of Reed solo show a bit daunting. I mean where do you even begin?

Well, last night I hopped the train and headed down to Grant Park to find out. Of course, I wasn’t allowed on the main grounds without a ticket, but a small crowd had gathered behind the gates to get a free listen. Check out our view from the first photo on this post. After taking the stage nearly twenty minutes late (what’s he a rap star?), Reed started off with the crowd pleasing, “Sweet Jane”. He then followed this with “Senselessly Cruel” (Rock and Roll Heart) and “Dirty Blvd” (New York) and a few numbers off his last studio album (Ecstasy). After a long, screeching freak out from the band, Reed ended the show with the classics, “I’m Waiting for the Man,” and “Walk on the Wild Side”. The best part of the show, other than to say that I have “attended” a Lou Reed concert, was Reed’s powerful touring band, especially the saxophonist who was really belting it out. Sure, I never got to see Lou but I certainly heard him.

Folks listening to Lou Reed outside Lollapalooza.

As I was leaving, I was thinking how perfect it was that Reed was stationed on the far north stage, since he was right across the street from the Modern Wing of the Art Institute, and the works of Andy Warhol. The cover of The Velvet Underground and Nico is, in fact, a Warhol painting.

Listening across the street as Lou Reed opens up his show with the classic “Sweet Jane”. And believe me, it sounded better than what the mics from my digital still camera could pick up.

Are you ready for some football?

Saturday, August 8th, 2009

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Eva is!

NFL Preseason Football starts tonight on NBC with the Bills against the Titans! I’m sure going to miss John Madden this season.

Field Recordings #2 – Open Rehearsal

Wednesday, August 5th, 2009

Here are a couple of excerpts of a recording that I did of pianist Ingrid Fliter during an open rehearsal yesterday at the Pritzker Pavilion in Millennium Park. Fliter was rehearsing for a Grant Park performance of Schuman’s Piano Concerto in A Minor.

Open Rehearsal
– A very short piece with applause.

Open Rehearsal #2
– A longer piece.

It should be noted that these files are lower quality MP3’s so they don’t take forever to load.

Ingrid Fliter at the piano.

Field Recordings #1 – 16 inch softball

Tuesday, August 4th, 2009

Here are a few excerpts from audio recordings that I did last night of a 16 inch softball game at the park across the street from our apartment:

Play Ball
Notice how you can hear the EL train in the background.

Batter Up!
A base hit!

3 Outs
A quick 1-2-3 inning. A pop out. And then a double play.

Home Run
The first home run I’ve seen at the park. The ball went over the fence and into the street which upset a little dog out for a walk.

Sivad and the Sound

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

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Speaking of Pitchfork, the new Reigning Sound album Love and Curses was reviewed today. Despite the ho hum rating of 7.6, the review gets a 10.0 for exposing a wider audience to most endearing monster of ceremonies from the Mid-South, Sivad. The Pitchfork review not only references Sivad, but reviewer and fellow Tennesseean Stephen M. Deusner uses the Sivad character as a catalyst for the influences of the Reigning Sound sound. Apparently, “love and curses” was Sivad’s motto, and Reigning Sound’s frontman Greg Cartwright honors the phrase with the naming of the new album. While I wasn’t alive when Sivad was on air (thus not recalling the uttering of “love and curses”), I certainly remember that Fantastic Features opening which WHBQ-TV took out from the vaults every Halloween. In recent years, thanks to Judy at WEVL, I’ve become more and more familiar with the cult status of Sivad (including his short music career). Below, the one and only Sivad:

Blitzen Trapper at Pitchfork Music Festival

Monday, August 3rd, 2009

A week ago, Pitchfork Media started adding videos from this year’s Pitchfork Music Festival, including one of the artists I was surprised to have enjoyed as much as I did, Blitzen Trapper. Above, Blitzen Trapper performs “Wild Mountain Nation,” a song that reminds me of the classic rock I used to listen to when I was younger, which is why I think I’m so fond of it.

Recently, I have been on a bit of a classic rock kick, which clearly started a few weeks ago when I found one of my old VHS tapes of The Black Crowes playing MTV Spring Break Daytona Beach (bootleg copy here) from 1993. While I haven’t owned a Crowes album since The Southern Harmony and Musical Companion, watching the 16 year old (!) video got me into such a reminiscing spirit, that I was nearly compelled to download their latest, Warpaint.

Perhaps, I’ll check out a copy from the library. Right after I return The Rolling Stones’ Flowers, Lovin Spoonful’s Greatest Hits, Grateful Dead’s Europe `72, and Captain Beefheart’s Trout Mask Replica.