Tuesday, December 6, 2011

Top 20 Songs of 2011

These songs are listed in no particular order, rhyme or reason. These are the songs, that made me think, cry, laugh, and over all make me remember 2011 for the truly spectacular year of music that it has been.

1. Dirty Rain- Ryan Adams
2. The Lovin Cup- Hayes Carll
3.I Found You- Alabama Shakes
4. Heart on A String- Jason Isbell and the 400 Unit
5.Angeline- The Wooden Sky
6. Shaved (Like A Razor) Jonny Corndawg
7. Change the Sheets- Kathleen Edwards
8. Convince Me- Lucinda Williams
9. The Way It Seems To Go- Rachael Yamagata
10. Someday- Middle Brother
11.Funny Word- Deer Tick
12. Lemon Drop- Pistol Annies
13.Be Your Bro- Those Darlins
14.Champaign Il. - Old 97s
15. Escape-Richard Buckner
16. What's In It For Me? Robert Ellis
17.Gasoline- Shovels and Rope
18.Till It Kills You- Tim Easton
19.Don't Let Me Go- Korean is Asian
20. The Way You Laugh- Dawes

Wednesday, November 30, 2011

The List: Top Five Bands of 2011 that I just don't "get"

This is the list that we are not suppose to admit to, which is where I am going to start with my 2011 lists. The list of the "it" bands that I just don't "get" but feel that I should or should at least care more about than I do. So here we go the Top 5 bands that I feel like I should get but I don't (in no particular order)

Bon Iver^
Kurt Vile and the Violators^
War on Drugs
The Civil Wars^
The Mumford Brothers Show (Mumford and Sons, Avett Brothers and Old Crow Medicine Show) can't agree that they all sound very very similar

^I will say that I have seen these bands in 2011 and their live shows did not change my feeling on them.

Monday, September 26, 2011

Ashes and Fire- Ryan Adams

Ashes and Fire is the Ryan Adams record that I have been waiting on since, Heartbreaker was released eleven years ago. It's a sparse, almost naked record, that is lyrically driven, which is where Adams has always had a certain understated brilliance.

There is a warmth to this record, that Heartbreaker lacked, but that warmth has come with time and with understanding.It's disarming in its honesty, the exploration and reconciliation of life. From note one, it builds a space that  for just that a reconciliation, of who you are versus who you were. That there is something enchanting in the past, and its the mysticism. The needing to understand who you were, so that maybe you can either embrace that person, or change it all together.

Ashes and Fire is the most apt title since Heartbreaker, it is the sifting through, on more than one occasion the idea of "who we were" flows through, as much of a question as the answer itself. The balancing act, of pleasing our self and pleasing others. There is a quiet resolve that it knows where the road is leading from the almost hopeful "Dirty Rain" to the exasperation in "I Love You and I Don't Know What Else To Say"

As with all of Adam's records it breathes and it will grow and change. That's the beautiful thing about a writer of his magnitude is that you get from it what you need to and everyone's experience is different.


Dirty Rain
Do I Wait?
I Love You and I Don't Know What Else To Say

NPR- First Listen Ashes and Fire

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Everyone has something special..Guess I just wanted a ghost - Ryan Adams

It seems only fitting to title this story with an obscure Ryan Adams lyric.I am going to start my 2011 SXSW with probably the silliest trip I have ever taken with two of my best friends, to chase the ghost of Ryan Adams, and a rumored Whiskeytown reunion all over Austin on SXSW Friday.

First, let's go through a little Misty/ Whiskeytown history, the roots of what I listen to now, are rooted in Whiskeytown. For me as silly as it sounds they are that band that is everything to me and I never got to see them live I was 16 when they did their last tour. When the 2011 press releases for SXSW  came out and I read the Lost Highway release with the line up for the 10th Anniversary party, I became fixated on the 10:00 p.m. slot with the words "Special Guests". I became hopeful, then with the follow up information of Caitlin Cary's multiple dates in town that week, and the re release of Pneumonia on vinyl by Lost Highway it all seemed to align for a Whiskeytown reunion. I put the thoughts out of my head for the most part, but I would allow myself to indulge in a daydream in the weeks leading up to SXSW. The week of SXSW comes the first surface of Mr. Adams since the last melt down (in regards to the last release on PAXAM), that he is playing the UK in the summer and that Glyn Johns (Ethan Johns father) was producing the new record. Then comes the news of a four song for record store day "Class Mythology". This is more Ryan news than had come out in months. Caitlin Cary earlier that week had been quoted as saying that a Whiskeytown reunion is something that she and Ryan continue to talk about and that it is not out of the realm of possibility. I started to wonder if things might be coming together.

After an eventful Friday of bands, and trying to figure out what the plan for the night is I get a text from a usually reliable source of these things. Texts started coming in that the reunion had been confirmed and that the party had been moved to a larger space to accommodate. This is all I needed, I took off running across a parking lot, and told friend because he had an artist wristband and if I couldn't get in then he should go. I start running across the parking lot thinking about what I had on what credit card, what I had to sell (nothing), that I would do ANYTHING to see this. I had to, so my two best friends, are tweeting and texting trying to get 100% conformation, and I realize in this moment its not going to happen for me, I don't have a badge and surely this would be badges only. After offering up my first born child, and everything I own. My friend Emily who now has naming rights to my first child, had procured a badge for us, when she presented me this badge, I started to cry. Yes, it was that big of a deal, just the thought of it was enough. We continue to text and tweet we are getting varying answers from yes its sure, to you have to just go, and finally its a cold day in hell. With batteries dying on all phones the call is made, to just go.

So we are off, we try hailing a cab, and none of us know where the new ACL theater is so, we have a cab with the worst, least amused cab driver ever, drop us close to sixth. We ask a very nice valet if he knows where the new ACL theater is, and we get vague directions with a general idea that is by the new W Hotel.We then start running. I am not a runner, and after being outside since 10 am and its day 3 of SXSW I am definitely not a runner. We are running the streets of Austin, with me at this point with hope of a child running. I don't care, I have tunes in my head, hope in my heart. I have my two best friends who are more than a little amused that more than a little jaded Misty is giggling about the possibility. As we get closer, the reality of what the odds truly are that this is A) going to happen and B) we would actually get in starts to settle in. So, I decided at this point to go ahead and pull the first "Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight" joke.

In front of the venue we ask a police officer if he knew if cash tickets were being sold, and he said yes. We round the corner, and get in line. $25.00 cash to see the remaining line up of Hayes Carll, Special Guest, Robert Earl Keen, and Lucinda Williams. We eagerly hand over our cash, and I flash "my" badge, and we are in. Walking up the stairs into the new very beautiful ACL theater, and we enter to hear the final moments of Hayes Carll's set. The place is relatively empty, Hayes finishes a great set, and we are standing around. I feel like a kid on Christmas waiting to see if it will happen. A Lost Highway representative starts talking about the first release on Lost Highway, my friends look at me hopeful for me, and I know and I say that it has something to do with O Brother Where Art Thou (yes these are the random bits of knowledge I have in my head), they trot out  Dan Tyminski, I am still hopeful. He wasn't on the bill, but its only 9:45. I start looking at the stage and start to see if I see anything that might be Ryan esque. I don't know what I was looking for, the last time I saw him tour was with the Cardinals, and the set up wouldn't be the same. Especially if it was my dream come true of just him and the wonderful Caitlin Cary and maybe Skillet on drums. It would be a quick set up. So we pay attention, but I am bracing myself for how I will feel if I do hear "Everything I Do","16 Days", "Inn Town".  The Lost Highway rep comes out and starts talking about the history of the label, and how this person, helped to build the label, then the words T Bone Burnett come out of his mouth, and my heart falls, and I know that the dream has just come to a crashing halt. It's Ryan Bingham, the only thing that can come out of my mouth is wrong f'in Ryan.

Being a Ryan Adams fan is never easy, you learn to take it on the chin. Even when he is confirmed to play you never know what Ryan you are getting. As Bingham drones on, I realize that its okay, that the idea was enough in a lot of ways, that it was fun to chase the ghost and be silly. To have that hope of being a fan, of seeing something you never thought possible. Dreams you never thought possible were part of the allure of SXSW some 25 years ago. That maybe the idea was better than what the execution could ever be, that maybe it is better to hold on to the dream.

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Best Songs of 2010

I have been going over and reading a lot of "Best of" Lists, it somehow seems that picking anywhere between 10-50 songs to represent a year, or heaven help us a decade is somehow going to justify what we listen to. I consider all "Best of" pieces, as an opinion piece. It should be, what is going to make my list may not make your list, and what may make your list, I may frown, scowl and question what it is that you are hearing that I am not. I also think each person's best of list tells the story of their year. I know that mine does. So this is my opinion on the songs that are the best of the year for me. The list is in no certain order because, each holds a spot and is a favorite for its own reason, and I am not going to wage a competition between moments of the year for me.

Songs of  2010

1.Nothing But the Whole Wide World- Jakob Dylan

2.Piece by Piece Frame by Frame- Deer Tick

3. If Time Was For Wasting- Dylan Leblanc

4. Rave on Sad Songs - Jason Collett

5. High Road- Broken Bells

6. War Machine- Black Rebel Motorcycle Club

7. Long Way Down- The Romany Rye

8. New York City's Killing Me- Ray LaMontagne

9. Hand of God- Jason Boesel

10. Hey Lover- Blake Mills

11. One More Night In Brooklyn- Justin Townes Earle

12.What He Wrote- Laura Marling

13. 40 Day Dream- Edward Sharpe and the Magnetic Zeros

14. We Never Win- Nathanial Ratliff

15. Champaign Illinois- the Old 97's

16. Slipin and Slidin- Justin Townes Earle

17. White Table- Delta Spirit

18. One of These Bottles- Caitlin Rose

19.Angst for the Memories- The Wooden Sky

20. No Better Than This- John Mellencamp

Saturday, December 25, 2010

Let's get to 2011 already

Thanks to social networking we no longer have to gaze into have cloudy crystal balls to see what our favorite bands and musicians are doing and when to expect what from them. I already have my top 5 albums that I am looking forward to in 2011.

The Romany Rye
Rumored Title: My True North
Expected Release: February- March

Luke MacMaster hailing from Big Bear California, and his band Whitman Bransford, Ryan Hitt,Joshua and Judson Spillyard  all from Little Rock Arkansas formed the Romany Rye in 2010. The Romany Rye spent the Summer and Fall of 2010 touring on Highway One Looking Back Carefully, opening for Delta Spirit and then going out on the road with Dawes I would not try and classify their music in the Laurel Canyon vein everyone is so fond of touting this year, but there is definitely a Californian feel, mixed with a Southern sensibility that is as compelling as anything that I have heard this year and are drawing comparisons ranging from Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, to Neil Young and Crazy Horse.

Rumored Title: Fire Away
Expected Release Date: Early Summer 

I am equally excited for what Taylor Goldsmith and the Dawes guys have in store for us in 2011. Having to follow up the still growing popularity of North Hills, would seem like a feat  for most bands. Though having taken time "off" in September to go make the new record, and with an appearance by Benmont Tench, it would seem that Goldsmith and Co know fully what is being expected and are more than ready to deliver. Having seen and heard a good portion of the new record, it is exciting to hear the growth that they are willing to challenge themselves to both lyrically and musically.


Middle Brother
Title: Middle Brother
Release Date: March 1, 2010
Having given away their first single "Me,Me, Me" as a Christmas gift, is capitalizing on the recent buzz that has been generated since changing their name and signing to Partisan Record. The band consisting of Taylor Goldsmith (Dawes), John  McCauley (Deer Tick) and Matt Vasquez (Delta Spirit) recorded this record in December of 2009, but with each bands busy schedules chose to wait until they could properly support the record.  In listening to Middle Brother, the distinction between the three songwriters is clear, and each stay true to their own writing styles, the arrangements and harmonies are what make this band. 

Kathleen Edwards 
Rumored Title Unknown 
Estimated Release Date Unknown:

The status updates from Kathleen Edwards on her facebook page are enough for me to get excited about the record. For two reasons 1) with songs "Change the Sheets" and "I'm Going to Hell"  and 2)  bringing back Jim Bryson to play on the record are two solid moves.  From what I have heard the record reminds me more of her first two records "Failer" and "Back to Me" which are my two favorite records.

Tim Easton and the Freeland Barons 
Rumored Title "Beat the Band"
Expected Release Date: Spring

Tim Easton is the one person that I stop any of my SXSW plans to go see. He has a talent that I admire and respect he can play a song with a full band but also deliver an equally resonating version of the song solo. It seems like a simple feat, but when you strip down an artists to him and his guitar its amazing how many fall flat. I am excited that he is going to release a solo acoustic record called "Since 1966" and the full band record with the Freeland Barons (Aaron Lee Tasjan, Mark Stepro, and Alex Livingstone).

Wednesday, December 22, 2010

I knew it was going to be good,

I am sure that there will be plenty of raving over how good the self titled release from Middle Brother is, and I am sure that I will blog about its greatness with the giddiness of a school girl. However, here is video from Monday Night and the charity benefit for Invisible Children

Having seen the first show at SXSW, and video from this show, I am hoping that the rumored Triple D tour takes place this spring.