The very first concert I have any recollection of attending was with my little sister, Mom, and Dad. It was, of all places, at the Cincinnati Zoo. A mere 15 minute car ride across the Ohio River and I was looking at lions, tigers, and monkeys (the bears were hibernating). Oh my, indeed! With the flow of animal spectators slowing and the sun disappearing, my sister and I were led to this grassy pavilion with a stage and large crowd. Tired from hiking around the zoo all day, we were content to sit down and eat our caramel apples. As soon as I took my last bite of the sugar coated apple, my first concert experience commenced.
People screamed; I covered my ears.
People applauded; I covered my ears.
He walked on stage; I covered my ears.

Moments after the first key on the piano was played, I was catapulted onto my Dad’s shoulders for prime viewing of Bruce Hornsby.

Now, I know what you’re thinking. “Bruce Hornsby?! Come on, I was expecting something nifty like Nirvana or Pearl Jam!” Unfortunately not, but people tend to underestimate Bruce, he has more musical talent in his pinky finger than most have in their entire body. Aside from my personal praise of Hornsby, I noticed something I would never forget; the (concert) look. In my Dad’s eyes was a look full of happiness, anticipation, and disbelief. That same look that every fan has in their eyes when the sound on a CD stands in front of them; sweating, jumping, singing, and cracking jokes with the crowd. There probably couldn’t have been a better concert to have my eyes and ears opened to at such a young age. Thank God it wasn’t Milli Vanilli.

Since then I’ve always had a soft spot for piano driven music, mainly due to my Dad’s playing since I was young, giving me me a certain predilection to acts like The Beatles, Billy Joel, and Elton John. Now, I can add The Gabe Dixon Band to that list.

Gabe Dixon, before focusing on his own band, kept busy spending time behind the keyboards for artists as varied as Paul McCartney, Alison Krauss, and Loggins & Messina; co-writing with Grammy Award nominee Dan Wilson (Semisonic) and working with other various musicians. With his own decorated resumé, Gabe Dixon pulled together a three piece band and started making some great music. His sound resembles that of Bruce Hornsby with a more piano-pop feeling. The blends of soul, jazz, rock, funk, and pop mesh so well that it’s almost sickening. Their live shows, which got them signed to Warner Brothers, are rumored to be spectacular and even spawned a 6-song EP Live at World Café. After touring with Sir Paul you can’t be that bad, eh? I wouldn’t think so either.

[MP3] The Gabe Dixon BandFive More Hours
[MP3] The Gabe Dixon BandAll Will Be Well
[MP3] The Gabe Dixon BandShallow

Too bad I can’t have a mentor like Paul McCartney. Snap! Hit their site up for some upcoming tour dates and new album info.

I was just told a funny joke.

A man died and went to heaven. As he stood in front of St. Peter at the Pearly Gates, he saw a huge wall of clocks behind him. He asked, “What are all those clocks?”
St. Peter answered, “Those are Lie-Clocks. Everyone on Earth has a Lie-Clock. Every time you lie the hands on your clock will move.”
“Oh,” said the man, “Whose clock is that?”
“That’s Nelson Mandela’s. The hands have never moved, indicating that he never told a lie.”
“Incredible,” said the man. “And whose clock is that one?”
St. Peter responded, “That’s Abraham Lincoln’s clock. The hands have moved twice, telling us that he told only two lies in his entire life.”
“Where’s Bush’s clock?” asked the man.
“Bush’s clock is in Jesus’ office. ..He’s using it as a ceiling fan.”

You had to have smirked, at least a little bit.

Other Tidbits & Fun

Birdmonster‘s new CD is finally available to buy. They’ve been posted about so much within the past 6 months, that it’s nearly impossible to believe that this is their first LP. It’s a tribute to both blogger and band alike, when 3 songs can cause so much hype around the blogging community. Kudos to the band and blogs! Go buy their debut, No Midnight, and check out a few tracks.

[MP3] BirdmonsterSpaceman
[MP3] Birdmonster‘Cause You Can

The Flaming Lips? Death Cab For Cutie? Another festival? Holy multiple stage orgasm, Batman! Looks like yet another summer festival is shaping up, and it’s not on the East or West Coast!! Suckers. I am starting to theorize that this is a way for the musical acts that never hit spots in the Midwest (constantly clinging to coasts), to make up for their selfish ways. Or maybe they just want a central location? Regardless, K Rock Kuyahoga Festival is starting to turn Cleveland into an Emerald City.. for a weekend, anyways. Sonic Youth, The Go! Team, and other acts are also taking to the stage. Check out some festival information and some tracks.

[MP3] The Flaming LipsHaven’t Got A Clue
[MP3] Death Cab For CutieCrooked Teeth
[MP3] Sonic YouthDirty Boots

Easter is approaching quickly. What better way to gear up for the Bunny/Egg/Jesus Resurrection Holiday than a Bunny Apocalypse?

This site gives a pretty good chuckle. If you have overwhelming compassion for Peeps or other marshmellow animals, do not visit this site.

The Marshmellow BunnyOcalypse

Like the return of Elian Gonzalez to Cuba, the cover filled Thursdays are back! I was looking through my library and realized that the first two tracks that I had picked contained the theme of love and were all live recordings. So, without further ado, here are some live covers dealing with L-O-V-E.

[MP3] Elliott SmithGive Me Love (Live)
It’s safe to say that I love Elliott Smith. It’s also safe to say that Elliott Smith loved The Beatles and George Harrison. In fact, I’d say he covered the combination of those two more than any other band/artist. The influences their music had on Elliott is brazenly apparent in all of his music. This cover, though, is great. Something about Mr. Smith demanding that all of these wonderful things be given to him is really appealing.

[MP3] Jeff MangumI Love How You Love Me (Live)
Although the amount of music available by Mangum performing solo is limited, the tracks that do exist do not disappoint. When you’re the writer of so many awesome Neutral Milk Hotel songs, who needs to cover other songs? Apparently not Jeff Mangum! Although this is a Phil Spector cover (hold back your snickering), I am convinced that Mangum’s unrefined voice makes this song better than it’s original.

[MP3] Sufjan StevensThe One I Love (Live)
R.E.M. are a pretty talented group of musicians capable of making some beautiful yet underrated songs. Sufjan apparently noticed the brilliance of this song and made it his own. When he hits the chorus of The One I Love, his exclaiming of “fire” sounds a lot like R.E.M. frontman Michael Stipe. But hey, when you have the voice of an angel (much like Sufjan), it’s preposterously difficult to mess up any song you cover. In fact, I would be willing to bet that he could cover an AC/DC or Metallica song and make everyone gasp in awe.

Maybe I’ll have some more covers next week. Who knows?

Who spells Matt with one “T”? I wonder if that’s a stage name or his parents way of making their kid’s name unique. This is shaping up to be a mystery I may never find out, but what I have found out is that Mat Kearney can make some excellentt (with two T’s) music.

Hailing from Oregon, Kearney has a style which is interesting to say the least. Sounding vaguely like Chris Martin, Kearney incorporates a rugged singer/songwriter type with a hip-hop flare. An awkward mix of genres leads to a sound that is (awkwardly) welcoming. His simple guitar riffs and pop-rock laced melodies/choruses are effectively contagious and enchanting. Equally as enchanting are his live shows and genuine interaction with the audiences. He recently came to Cincinnati and played a great set, the highlight being the song Chicago. In the first verse of the song he sings “Maybe Cincinnati..”, of course everyone in the audience made their applauses heard taking up that concert-to-city pride that every city performs with any mention of where they reside. After the song he said he was going to give his EP away for free as a “Thank You” for letting him use our city’s name in his song. Here are couple of tracks from it, as well as the new single from his upcoming record.

[MP3] Mat KearneyNothing Left To Lose (New Single!)
[MP3] Mat KearneyUndeniable
[MP3] Mat KearneyChicago (Acoustic)

His new album, Nothing Left To Lose, is hitting stores this coming week (April 18). It’s a great album that will flood your speakers with talent. You can pre-order it for ridiculously cheap over here. Be sure to check out his MySpace for a ton of tour dates.

I’m getting into the habit of making this a habit!

Yeah, well I don’t mind it. It’s educationally stimulating and musically invigorating. Plus it’s a good way to mix things up a bit, not always post on the unknowns and knowns. Just a compilation of neat songs.

Anyways, anyone with a well versed background in history may know that the title of this post comes also the “famous last words” of Franklin Delano Roosevelt. One of the best Presidents of all time, if not the best, said, “I have a terrific headache!” before slumping over in his chair and losing consciousness. Of course, the country wasn’t aware of their four term President’s declining health. But, hey… those were some pretty good last words to proclaim before you have a massive cerebral hemorrhage.

[MP3] Jeff MangumTwo Headed Boy (Live @ Jittery Joe’s)
[MP3] Tom WaitsHang Down Your Head
[MP3] The FrayOver My Head (Cable Car)
[MP3] Modest MouseHead South
[MP3] The WallflowersBleeders
[MP3] Travis MorrisonGet Me Off Of This Coin C

Sorry for the somewhat small post, but I have some studying to get finished and have had multiple exams this week. I’ll have some new stuff for tomorrow, no fear!!