• My 1972-1981 bracket song picks...finally!

    14. Jul. 2008, 15:14

    This wasn’t easy for me at all. I tried to just limit it to files that I already have on my compy instead of loading a bunch of additional stuff to confound myself further but the main issue is that I was born in 1978. While I certainly listen to a lot of things within this era, I don’t necessarily think of it existing within this timeframe, since I was barely a part of it. Does that make any sense? Shhhhh, Rebecca, get to the tunes!

    1. Steely Dan - Bodhisattva

    I’ve been listening to many of these songs my entire life. I’ve made no secret that my musical leanings come from my dad and this list will be very laden with "dad songs" because of it. Dan-comma-Steely (my favorite way to find them in karaoke books!) is one of those bands that I know all the songs but not the titles or the band performing said songs until I went to go see a friend perform in a Steely Dan tribute band (yes!) and I knew every single song. This was one of my favorites as a kid because it’s so easy to do a floppety muppet dance to. What, you don't know how to do the floppety muppet dance?!

    2. Weather Report - Black Market

    I love Joe Zawinul and I am still saddened by his passing as he was still touring and creating amazing music all over the world. This is one of Weather Report’s most well-known songs (save Birdland, of course) and that is well deserved, but it's even better in person. It’s a great tune and, as a bonus, I also included a live version with Joe and the WDR Big Band from 2006’s Brown Street.

    3. Joni Mitchell - Talk to Me

    Joni is here in person this time from my favorite Joni album, Don Juan’s Reckless Daughter. There’s something about the Jaco & Joni combo that works so well for me and I just can’t get enough of their blend of fluid musicality entertwining. It's kind of smooth...

    4. Quincy Jones - Takin' It to the Streets

    McD, represent! This cover of the well-known Doobies hit takes it to the streets in a way that any band associated with Skunk Baxter never could. I kind of wanted to pick another song from this Q album (Sounds...And Stuff Like That!) but decided to go with this since I know y’all have such a weakness for covers. Anyone heard this one before?

    5. Michael Jackson - Burn This Disco Out

    I’ve always had a soft spot for this song’s angular, trip-over-the-beat bass line so I decided on this track from the spectacular Off the Wall album.

    6. Paul Simon - God Bless the Absentee

    I covered my love for this Paul album in my personal iTunes tournament. While I know it’s not his best, it’s one of my most loved albums from my childhood. This song shows Paul in rare band form…and what a band he has here: Tony Levin, Richard Tee, Steve Gadd, to name a few.

    7. Peter Gabriel - No Self Control

    No one shapes a song quite like Peter Gabriel and this one from his third self-titled (Melt) is one of my favorites. He is a master at perfecting a mood time capsule and this one –- which builds from slightly addled to freaking out –- highlights this talent so well.

    8. Kate Bush - Breathing

    So dramatic, so Kate…so excellent. Her words are simple yet so effective in creating a snapshot of nuclear fallout's after-effects. I love this album. I love this song.

    ****edited to add a 9th song****

    9. Quincy Jones - Tell Me A Bedtime Story

    Yeah, more Q. Can't help myself! This song is mainly a Herbie Hancock solo transcribed by a violin player who then proceeded to overdub himself into oblivion. Fun, fun!
  • Call for help: Goodbye Songs

    14. Mai. 2008, 0:37

    I have a friend who is leaving Oregon soon to return to Wisconsin for the summer and then on to Peru for a ESL teaching position. Over the two years I've known her, she's become a really good friend and I'm definitely going to miss her. Why? For things like this:

    She's been an enthusiastic part of my local music appreciation things since I started them here. Never missing a meeting, she's brought a lot of fun songs to the group and, when it was her turn to pick a theme, she asked that it be songs for her to remember her time with us by. Awwww....

    Of course, I'm having a tough time deciding. Possible options so far? She's a huge TMBG fan so I've thought about The End of the Tour because I'm hoping she'll come back to Oregon at the end of her world tour.

    I don't want to bring a song that's too sad and it'd be nice for it to be a good driving song since she'll be driving back to Wisconsin. I don't mind sappy as long as it's not too weird coming from me. There's the new Weepies song, Just Blue that could work.

    But so far, the front-runner is Andrew Gold's Thank You for Being a Friend because I know she loved watching the Golden Girls (as did I....so?!) and the full version is awesome and perfect.

    Other things: she likes dancing, ska, St. Patrick's Day, indie music, bluegrass, rap, anything hilarious.

    Any ideas?
  • Cruisin' for a bruisin': soundtrekkie's 10

    28. Apr. 2008, 21:26

    Phew, I made it!

    After going through my own top 64 song challenge, it is a joy to only have to pick 10 songs and join in the fun. In no particular order:

    1. Jericho - k.d. lang
    I wanted to pick a Joni tune but this version has some staying power and is a bit more emotionally present than the original. Not that I don't love the original... You know how it is.

    2. Ruin My Day - Jon Brion
    This song has had a lot of press on Popdose (my favorite place on the internets! tm) lately and it was my choice for "best breakup song" at my local music appreciation event. Jon's one of my faves and there are doubtful few songs better than this.

    3. Jason and the Argonauts - XTC
    English Settlement is one of the best albums ever. (Discuss?) This one always makes me play steering wheel percussion.

    4. The Be All And End All - Bic Runga
    So, I have something for songs in 6/8. My favorite Kiwi girl makes a lush appearance. Prepare to have your hearts annihilated, boys.

    5. Astounding Moon - Tim Finn
    One of Tim's new ones. When I saw him in January, this is the one that we were hoping to hear. Just so you know, he's in better voice now than he has been in years and is astoundingly handsome and charming in person.

    6. The City of the Sun - Kevin Gilbert
    Kevin, you remind me that music is awesome. A crazy, proggish song by one who could've ruled them all.

    7. God If I Saw Her - Anthony Phillips
    My Genesis-related track (if you don't count Kevin). It's funny that I'm so into this song. Maybe it's the Phil and Peter living in recorded peace and harmony. Genesisian equality.

    8. Last Night Of The World - Bruce Cockburn
    This is from my favorite "driving through the desert at midnight with the windows open marveling at the multitude of stars" album. What's yours?

    9. All I Want - The Weepies
    My list has become a recurring discussion in my house and I've gone back and forth on The Weepies so many times that Earl finally yelped, "Just do it already!" So I went with the lesser known holiday themed All I Want.

    10. Free Time - Michael Penn
    I went with a track from Penn's surprisingly superior sophomore slump. I love him on acoustic but he is so inventive on electric, I have to give them equal time. You know, in my free time.

    Let's do this!
  • iTunes64 Tournament: Finale!

    28. Apr. 2008, 20:39

    Ok, I've really got to finish this up so I can move forward into the group tournament guilt-free!

    It's ovah!

    Outstanding Ocho Results:

    Casimir Pulaski Day - Sufjan Stevens
    Persuasion - Richard Thompson
    Winner: RT *****
    I am apparently a man who's open to...

    Get Some Sleep - Bic Runga
    I Can Tell - Michael Penn
    Winner: MP ***
    Sorry, Bic.

    Serpentine Fire - EARTH WIND & FIRE
    Unison - Bjork
    Winner: Bjorky ***
    Bjork's Vespertine gem can't get danced out by EWF.

    What a Fool Believes - Self
    Nobody - Paul Simon
    Winner: Paul *****
    While I love Self's cover and the original, there's no lyrical match for "Who knows my secret broken bone?"


    Chosen Four Results: There are no stars. It's all hard.

    Persuasion - Richard Thompson
    Unison - Bjork

    It almost always comes down to lyrics, doesn't it? There's a thematic unity in these two tracks, with both voices hoping for reconciliation. While Bjork goes for a more cryptic approach (hardly unexpected, given her English), Tim Finn's lyric is clearly handcrafted, baring its seams as prizes won. It's difficult for me to say, especially given these artists, the difference between these songs comes down to basic gender stereotypes, but it's true. And for me and my tastes, that means Bjork's song is slightly too soft, too gentle to win out. I've made no secret of the fact that I love Persuasion in this forum but this was not an easy battle.

    Winner: Persuasion - Richard Thompson

    I Can Tell - Michael Penn
    Nobody - Paul Simon

    I have loved both of these guys for seemingly forever. My dad had only a few Paul Simon records but One-Trick Pony was strangely one of them. Michael Penn was one of the first artists I found for myself. I heard the two radio hits and wanted to hear more so I bought March on cassette from the Ben Franklin. Because they were my first solo explorative purchases (and because they are both exceptional) Penn and Edie Brickell have a fan for life in me.

    I Can Tell is an epic in every way. The studio version begins in a quiet, unassuming way but by the end, it is orchestrally lush and all-encompassing. Penn's made his living writing back alley L.A. stories -- the kind you only know about if you do some major digging -- and this one is no different. This tale layers past, present, and future so close together that no one take on its meaning is better than another. That's the fun of Penn's songs: it's Chinatown. Hire Jake on this one if you want, but you may not like what you'll find.

    Then, you have Nobody. On the surface, it's Paul Simon does the standards. But it's got its own build-up/pay-off musically and lyrically. What starts off as a pained, lonely guy answering his own poetic questions ("Who feels my flesh when I am gone? ...Oh, nobody") turns into one of the sweetest, quietest tributes to a lover I've heard. A gem of a B-side with no A, this song and album are practically forgotten in Simon's impressive catalog. Not even Songs of the Capeman can say that!

    In the end, I have to keep it simple. Penn is a master of the L.A. obtuse, but Paul takes a chance on a well-worn topic in a well-worn genre and it sparkles.

    Winner: Nobody - Paul Simon


    Cage Match Results:

    Persuasion - Richard Thompson
    Nobody - Paul Simon

    Winner: Nobody - Paul Simon

    It comes to this: U.K. vs. U.S. I've always thought that Richard Thompson sings with a sob choked inside his throat but the stereotypical staidness never allows it to surface. He would never write or sing a song that would lay him as bare as Simon's Nobody. Just wouldn't happen. While both songs feature some amazingly well-played lyrics, Simon's cut closer to the bone and all the while, his soft performance at the beginning keeps his cards well hidden. Simon wins.
  • iTunes64 Tournament of Champions: Round Three

    20. Apr. 2008, 0:37

    Well, the outstanding ocho are making an appearance today and, while my heart has already been broken *sigh*, I am continuing the heartbreak right here for your entertainment!

    Right here, kids!

    Casimir Pulaski Day - Sufjan Stevens
    P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) - Michael Jackson
    Winner: Sufjan **
    Like I said, no dancing. Until we get home. Then it's all good.

    Bad Day - R.E.M.
    Get Some Sleep - Bic Runga
    Winner: Bic **
    One-off R.E.M. track is no match for a kiwi working that early R.E.M. jangly sound.

    Free to Go - Folk Implosion
    Persuasion - Richard Thompson
    Winner: RT **
    Here's to you, Folk Implosion. You snuck in from my Millenium Mix and totally held your own.

    Sky Blue - Peter Gabriel
    I Can Tell - Michael Penn
    Winner: MP ***
    The battle of the long, slow building tracks (well, over 6 minutes anyway) and MP comes out a winner. You just can't beat that chorus.

    Serpentine Fire - EARTH WIND & FIRE
    This Is Love - Self
    Winner: EWF ****
    A tough one because this is a great Self track but I can't pass up the elements!

    Brimful Of Asha (Fatboy Slim Mix) - Cornershop
    What a Fool Believes - Self
    Winner: Selfies *
    Oh Cornershop, you have made it so far on your remixy goodness. But even I don't know why you're here. I blame random!

    Miss America - David Byrne
    Unison - Bjork
    Winner: Bjork **
    Mr. Byrne's dancy little tune is great but against Unison, he ain't got a leg to stand on.

    Cloudbusting - Kate Bush
    Nobody - Paul Simon
    Winner: Paul ***
    Katie's reign is over at last. It's sad to see her go but Nobody is a better song. And while I love Cloudbusting, it's always bugged me that there's not a little more chord variation for a bridge.
  • iTunes64 Tournament of Champions: Round Two

    15. Apr. 2008, 6:31

    Okey dokely, I'm paring down the 32 songs inch by inch. This got too hard too fast, I tell ya. Some of my favorites are losing out and I hate every minute of it. Waaaah.

    Follow along!

    Casimir Pulaski Day - Sufjan Stevens
    Vodka - Carter Albrecht & Edie Brickell
    Winner: Sufjan *
    Pretty easy victory for the Sufjinator.

    Bad Day - R.E.M.
    Comfort - Michael Penn
    Winner: R.E.M. ***
    See, this comes down to the R.E.M. love and the fact that I have never been able to stand the way MP says the word "comfort." Call me classically trained, ok?

    Jupiter - Earth Wind & Fire
    P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) - Michael Jackson
    Winner: MJ ***
    I love Jupiter but I just can't let the damn synth squigglies go.

    Burn This Disco Out - Michael Jackson
    Get Some Sleep - Bic Runga
    Winner: Bic **
    The jingly-jangly sound beats the disco.

    Sexy - Los Amigos Invisibles
    Free to Go - Folk Implosion
    Winner: Folk Imp *
    It just starts coming down to lyrics after a while, don't it?

    Sky Blue - Peter Gabriel
    Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart - Judy Garland
    Winner: PG **
    Yeah, this is some sort of blasphemy but I've never been one for vibrato.

    The More I Hide It - Bankstatement/Tony Banks
    Persuasion - Richard Thompson
    Winner: RT *********
    This is where the heartbreak begins. It hurts to let Tony go so early but it goes to the other Brit on performance and lyrics. Sucks!

    I Can Tell - Michael Penn
    Ain't That the Way - Ani di Franco
    Winner: MP **
    Sad for funky Ani but this is one of those sublime Penn tracks.

    Serpentine Fire - Earth Wind & Fire
    Ballad #61 - Jennifer Kimball
    Winner: EWF ****
    This match totally blows. I can't pass up the Fire.

    Brimful Of Asha (Fatboy Slim Mix) - Cornershop
    Mystery Dance - Elvis Costello
    Winner: Cornershop **
    Sorry, Elvis. You have to bring it to this kind of competition. And this isn't it.

    Boogie Wonderland - Earth Wind & Fire
    This Is Love - Self
    Winner: Self ****
    I am never doing this again. Ok, maybe later.

    What a Fool Believes - Self
    Another Year - K's Choice
    Winner: Self **
    "That's what a fool believes, Kenny. What a fool believes."

    D.I.Y.- Peter Gabriel
    Miss America - David Byrne
    Winner: The Byrne
    For the longest time, I kept confusing these two guys. I don't now but I love them both so much. Did I mention I hate doing this already?

    Get on the Floor - Michael Jackson
    Cloudbusting - Kate Bush
    Winner: Kate ***
    All my dancin' songs are losing. I only wish I could the damn Donald Sutherland video out of my head.

    Unison - Bjork
    SOULS - Bird
    Winner: Bjorky *
    An easy one, finally. Still...there's apparently no dancing in the top 16.

    Nobody - Paul Simon
    Love You - The Free Design
    Winner: Paulie **
    I know there's not much love for the One Trick Pony soundtrack but I've always loved it. I did a big band chart of Nobody in college.
  • iTunes64 Tournament of Champions

    8. Apr. 2008, 20:29

    I'm cribbing from JoeIsListening and running a head-to-head tournament of songs. However, I'm going with my most played songs to create a true tournament of champions! Ok, maybe not. Some songs just get a lot of play in my dance mix; others are certainly well-worn favorites.

    So, check it out here: soundtrekkie's iTunes 64 Tournament

    I'll be commenting here and maybe even stealing Joe's difficulty star ratings. But check it out and see if you can predict the ultimate champion!

    Violin - Kate Bush
    Casimir Pulaski Day - Sufjan Stevens
    Winner: Sufjan **
    Not my favorite Katie track.

    Bad Day - R.E.M.
    Rockin' The Suburbs - Ben Folds
    Winner: R.E.M. ***
    Ben might have won with a different track. My R.E.M. weakness has spoken.

    Vodka - Carter Albrecht & Edie Brickell
    I Smoke A Lot - K's Choice
    Winner: Wojka **
    It's the hippie vice bracket! Reckon I prefer drinkin' to smokin'.

    Comfort - Michael Penn
    Decatur, Or, Round Of Applause For Your Step-Mother! - Sufjan Stevens
    Winner: MP ***
    A matter of good song vs. state pride. Weird match.

    Jupiter - EARTH WIND & FIRE
    There's More To Life Than This - Björk
    Winner: EWF ***
    Dance off! Bjork's bathroom breakdown loses her the medal.

    Bacalao Con Pan - Irakere
    Burn This Disco Out - Michael Jackson
    Winner: MJ **
    Damn that off-kilter beat!

    P.Y.T. (Pretty Young Thing) - Michael Jackson
    Daybreaker - Beth Orton
    Winner: PYT **
    Not much can overcome such synthy goodness.

    Get Some Sleep - Bic Runga
    Get Started, Start A Fire - Graham Parker
    Winner: Bic ***
    The "Get" round is won by the jangly Kiwi.

    Don't Take Your Love Away - Jennifer Kimball
    Sexy - Los Amigos Invisibles
    Winner: S-E-X-(X)-Y ***
    Jen deserves to win something but not this round.

    Sky Blue - Peter Gabriel
    Penguins - Lyle Lovett
    Winner: PG ***
    Wah, the Lyle is out too soon.

    Anywhere - Beth Orton
    Free To Go - The Folk Implosion
    Winner: FI ***
    Tough choice but this indie bracket is over!

    Everybody's Boppin' - Lambert Hendricks & Ross
    Zing! Went The Strings Of My Heart - Judy Garland
    Winner: Zing! ***
    Interesting that the only songs pre-1970 got paired....

    The More I Hide It - Tony Banks/Bankstatement
    That Was the Worst Christmas Ever!- Sufjan Stevens
    Winner: Tony ****
    Agony! The hardest decision yet.

    Kites Are Fun - The Free Design
    I Can Tell - Michael Penn
    Winner: MP ***
    Kites did not fly high enough this round.

    Persuasion - Richard Thompson
    Let's Pretend We're Married - Self
    Winner: RT *
    Easiest match yet.

    Ain't That the Way - Ani DiFranco
    People Power In The Disco Hour - Clinton
    Winner: Ani **
    Funky track by Ani overcomes.

    Serpentine Fire - Earth Wind & Fire
    Human Behavior - Björk
    Winner: EWF ***
    Ack. Sorry, Bjork bear song. Your lumbering ends here.

    I Engineer (Remix) - Animotion
    Brimful of Asha (Fatboy Slim remix) - Cornershop
    Winner: Cornershop **
    The remix bracket! So weird!

    Ballad #61 - Jennifer Kimball
    Long Beach Nightmare - Puffy AmiYumi
    Winner: Jen ****
    I hate to see Puffy out so soon. Alas, there's too much Duke Levine for them to win out.

    Mystery Dance - Elvis Costello
    Who Cares? - Gnarls Barkley
    Winner: Elvis *
    Another easy one.

    Boogie Wonderland - Earth Wind & Fire Feat. The Emotions
    Knifin' Around (Space Ghost Song) - Björk
    Winner: EWF
    Another EWF vs. Bjork and she loses with my most played track. Poor Iceland!

    Workin' Day and Night - Michael Jackson
    What a Fool Believes - Self
    Winner: Selfish Fool ***
    Not my fave MJ so it goes to Self's toy laden cover. Go McD!

    This Is Love - Self
    Knew What I Know Now - Self
    Winner: Self (duh) **
    Beating my self up. This is Love is too great to pass up. One of the best summer love songs.

    No Dancing - Elvis Costello
    Another Year - K's Choice
    Winner: K **
    A throwback Elvis is no match for Scandinavian melancholy.

    D.I.Y.- Peter Gabriel
    Rock And Roll Heaven's Gate (Feat. Pink) - Indigo Girls
    Winner: PG **
    An easy win for the Peter.

    Get on the Floor- Michael Jackson
    Fantasy - Earth Wind & Fire
    Winner: MJ ****
    This EWF/MJ thing is going to happen again and I will cry. Floor's bass line wins.

    Pitseleh - Elliott Smith
    Miss America - David Byrne
    Winner: USA ****
    Tough girls enter, one wins. Sad to see Elliott out so soon. Great track.

    Cloudbusting - Kate Bush
    Violently Happy - Björk
    Winner: Katie! ***
    This Bjork song is no match for the mistress at her best.

    That Voice Again - Peter Gabriel
    Unison - Björk
    Winner: Bjork ***
    The voices have spoken and one of my favorite Bjork tracks can't be beat here.

    Las Vegas With the Lights Out - Geggy Tah
    Nobody - Paul Simon
    Winner: Paul **
    Shame Geggy is gone too soon but this isn't a winning track. Nobody is Paul at his best.

    Walk Through The Fire - Peter Gabriel
    SOULS - Bird
    Winner: Bird **
    Birdy boy can't beat Japan's Bird with a soundtrack contribution.

    Rubberband Girl - Kate Bush
    Love You - The Free Design
    Winner: Free Design ***
    Red Shoes isn't Kate at her finest so the Free Design's lush family harmonies win out.
  • Odds and sods

    22. Jan. 2008, 17:40

    I am quite literally bouncing and clapping on the inside (as much as possible--sometimes it leaks out!) about the shows I will be seeing next week.

    Howard Jones

    Tim Finn

    The only way that this week could be more complete is if Nik Kershaw and Tony Banks decided to come to Portland and play shows on the dates in between. *sigh* A girl can dream.

    I've picked up my music buying habit and managed to get a ton of Howard Jones and Split Enz on vinyl in preparation. How these albums made it to my little corner, I don't know. But I did notice something odd the other day: the Split Enz US fan club circa 1970 was in Eugene, Oregon. What are the odds of that? The Earl and I plan to send something to the P.O. Box and see if it's still in business.

    Other purchases include:

    - Radiohead's In Rainbows, which I am thoroughly enjoying now that it sounds better.
    - Brad Mehldau's Largo, which I didn't know about and picked up based on Jon Brion's contributions.
    - A reordered copy of Meaningless that I have missed so badly.
    - The first Weepies album, Happiness should be gracing my mailbox soon. Can't wait for the next one!
    - ELP's Pictures at an Exhibition. I've always had a weakness for this Mussorgsky piece so I grabbed it. The first ELP album I can stand!
    - Teddy Thompson's Separate Ways, another "couldn't find" for a while. Wish he didn't have his dad playing guitar on a few tracks -- it's distracting for us RT fans.
    - The Devil Makes Three debut. I missed them on my birthday but was told it was a great show. :(

    In other news, the music appreciation bug has spread to my little town. I hosted four of us (though there were quite a few interested) for the first meeting and we had such diverse childhood songs as The Beatles' Hey Bulldog, It's a Hard-Knock Life from Annie, Chuck Mangione's Feels So Good, and Willie Nelson on City of New Orleans. Next week: break-up songs.

    Also....if anyone hasn't heard the Legion of Rock Stars or The Most Wanted/Unwanted Music, get thee hence!

  • 10/9 & 10/12: Genesis

    15. Okt. 2007, 18:23

    So, the tour's over. Now what? Let's pore over the details and see if we can determine what's next, when Peter Gabriel will show up, and consult the stars to divine the release date of the next album. :p No? Ok, let's just talk about the shows!

    We flew to San Jose on Monday to see the Tuesday show, which meant we did much of what there was to do in ol' SJ: Winchester House, J, Lohr tasting room, Rosicrucian Egyptian Museum (we played Senet!), the rose garden, and the planetarium. Then, we met up with a whole bunch of Genesis fans from the website forum at a local bar and proceeded to take over the place. It was awesome to meet people from all over (New Zealand, Australia, Germany, Canada, Vegas, LA, and Oregon!) and not feel ridiculous about my personal Genesis insanity since there was much to go around! Everyone was incredibly personable and genuine; it was a real highlight of our time in San Jose.

    But, oh wait--there was the show! It was, as expected, incredible. The sound in the Arena (*ahem* Pavilion) was better than most enclosed venues I've been to but the volume was still way too loud and distorted much of the low end. Phil Collins was in good voice and humor, Tony Banks was great and did his head bobble all night, and Mike Rutherford had some excellent guitar moments. (I'm sure he had bass ones too, but they weren't heard by me.) The only song that wasn't completely solid was Follow You, Follow Me since Phil kept losing tempo during the verses -- a real shame since the visuals were some of the most nostalgic of the evening. The highlights? Everything! But then it all got better at the Bowl....

    We flew down to LA the next day to see friends and family there before the Friday show. Though it looked like rain in the morning, the clouds had cleared up by the afternoon and I figured we'd be safe at the concert. We tried to meet up with some friends and forum folks again but everyone was too spread out at every location to find anyone. Our terrace seats were good and we ended up being near a few forum folks and real fans. Stage-wise, it was great. Their stage was shortened to fit inside the bowl and they used the Bowl's screens instead of setting up the ovals. Additional lights were set up all the way to the back, setting the entire audience valley aglow along with the stage.

    The band was engaging and near perfect and the sound was gorgeous. You could hear everything! Follow You... was still an issue but the rest of the show was everything a fan could possibly want. And then, it started to rain. The crew ran out with covers for the equipment but it was too late. Things started shorting out but the band kept going and stuck together through the glitches. And just when we thought the rain was lightening up after a few songs, it got even worse. During Invisible Touch, Tony completely lost a keyboard and started getting frantic. The fireworks went up, the crowd went wild, and Phil came up and said goodnight. So, no encores but it was an amazing show. I'm just happy I finally got to cheer for Tony Banks and see the band all together. We would've loved to see the final show Saturday but we needed two days to make our way back to Oregon.

    What next? Who knows! My wish is for them to do another Genesis album together. They are all good songwriters and I'd love to hear their perspective at this point in their lives. I just know that this particular selection of shows made me a happy girl. Thanks, guys!
  • 9/2/07: Crowded House @ Schnitzer Concert Hall

    4. Sep. 2007, 23:38

    If I didn't completely love Crowded House before, I do now. But first, the supporting acts:

    A scruffy, bearded Liam Finn, son of Neil, opened the show solo with guitars, drums, loops, and a theramin. While the boomy great hall did him no justice, his humor, his frenetic energy (oh, was this a vision of Neil in days gone by!), and gorgeous Finn (tm) voice carried through. If his uncle and father weren't hitting things out of the ballpark lately, I bet we'd be hearing more about Liam. But as we know, the world is big enough for two Finns, why not three?

    Pete Yorn was definitely hampered by the hall. Most of his songs had the same-sounding instrumentation (Minibar on three guitars, bass, drums) and the drummer was slamming on his set for no conceivably good reason. I liked a few songs but it was excruciating to listen because of the excess noise. They also did a cover of the ubiquitous whistling Peter Bjorn and John song, which was much more listenable than the original.

    The band came on to an uproar and went into There Goes God from Woodface, of all songs. Hilarious and awesome choice; however, it really separated the audience into fans (me and the man) and radio listeners from the 80s (half the folks in the cheap seats including the people on both sides of us). I don't usually try to remember set lists but I actually tried this time:

    - There Goes God
    - When You Come
    - Say That Again
    - Age of Aquarius changed to Capricorn as sung to a front row lady Nick was "courting" from the stage.
    - Nobody Wants To, which was a bit on the slow side but still lovely.
    - Don't Stop Now
    - Distant Sun
    - Hole In The River
    - Silent House
    - Whispers And Moans
    - You Are The One To Make Me Cry
    - Throw Your Arms Around Me
    - Don't Dream It's Over/Dream (All I Have To Do) medley with disco ball!
    - Pineapple Head
    - Locked Out
    - Something So Strong

    Encore 1:
    - Mean To Me
    - Sister Madly
    - Weather With You

    Encore 2:
    - Steppenwolf's On The Road Again/A song I didn't know!
    - You Sexy Thing/Transit Lounge
    - Better Be Home Soon

    Almost every song was flawless with a few tempo issues on Nobody Wants To. Neil was in fine voice and hit every high note confidently. Liam and the other band members joined in often on backing vocals and they were right in tune and time with each other.

    I know some Crowdies have expressed disappointment that the new band isn't as energetic/funny/quirky as before. I have to say that they're wrong. Yes, the new album is a bit low mood-wise but it's to be expected, given the events that inspired their reunion. During the show, they were very much alive and very much hilarious and quick witted. And it was great to see Nick Seymour out and about, bantering with Neil and ruling the low end. I look forward to hearing the much-rumored album in the works with everyone contributing.

    Also, Nick designed the set using much of his artwork from the album. Many of the touches were subtle but very effective and worked well with the setlist. To begin with, the set only had the three-limbed tree from the cover but there were many hidden delights. Other set pieces included two little skyscrapers that rose and fell, and his only slightly garish but fun touch: a disco ball that sent single letters of the new Crowded House font all over the walls during Don't Dream It's Over.

    Go see their show if you get a chance. It's a must see.