• Record collection

    Jun 21 2008, 22h14

    While I have my entire CD collection pretty much stored on my computer, I'm still very much in the process of recording my vinyl records onto my computer. Most of what I listen to when I'm at home are my records, so a whole section of my music is missing from my scrobbling. So, here's my record collection.

    Full albums:
    Toshiko Akiyoshi-Lew Tabackin Big Band - Insights

    Fred Astaire - Show Hits

    Joan Baez -
    • From Every Stage
    • One Day at a Time
    • Diamonds & Rust
    • The First 10 Years
    • Come From the Shadows
    • David's Album
    • Blessed Are

    The Band -
    • Music from Big Pink
    • Rock of Ages

    The Beatles -
    • Sgt. Pepper's Lonely Hearts Club Band
    • Rubber Soul
    • Abbey Road

    Belafonte -
    • At Carnegie Hall
    • An Evening with Bellafonte/Makeba

    David Bowie - Aladdin Sane

    Johnny Cash - Original Sun Singles '55-'58

    Harry Chapin - Verities & Balderdash

    Judy Collins -
    • Whales & Nightingales
    • Wildflowers
    • Who Knows Where the Time Goes
    • Recollections

    Crosby, Stills & Nash -
    • Crosby, Stills & Nash
    • Daylight Again

    The Decemberists -
    • Her Majesty
    • Picaresque

    Dropkick Murphys - The Gang's All Here

    Duran Duran - Seven and the Ragged Tiger

    Bob Dylan -
    • Nashville Skyline
    • Blood on the Tracks
    • Greatest Hits

    Brian Eno - Apollo Atmospheres & Soundtracks

    John Entwistle - Whistle Rhymes

    Mimi Farina and Tom Jans - Take Heart

    Robert Flack - Chapter Two

    Fleetwood Mac - Rumors

    Richard Harris - A Tramp Shining

    Herman's Hermits -
    • Herman's Hermits
    • Both Sides of Herman's Hermits
    • There's a Kind of Hush All Over the World
    • Blaze
    • The Best of Herman's Hermits

    Inti-Illimani - Palimpsesto

    Rickie Lee Jones - Girl at Her Volcano

    Carole King - Tapestry

    Morgana King - It's a Quiet Thing

    Led Zeppelin -
    • Led Zeppelin
    • II

    Wynton Marsalis - Trumpet Concertos

    Paul and Linda McCartney - Ram

    The Monkees -
    • More of the Monkees
    • Headquarters
    • Then & Now... the Best of the Monkees
    • Monkee Business
    • Tails of the Monkees

    The Mystic Moods Orchestra - English Muffins

    Michael Nesmith - From a Radio Engine to the Photon Wing

    Michael Nesmith & the First National Band -
    • Nevada Fighter
    • Loose Salute

    Peter Noone - One of the Glory Boys

    Tom Paxton - Songs from the Briarpatch

    Edith Piaf - Ihre Grossen Enfrolge

    The Pixies - Come on Pilgrim

    Buffy Sainte-Marie - The Best of Buffy Sainte-Marie

    Simon and Garfunkel -
    • Bridge Over Troubled Water
    • Wednesday Morning, 3AM

    Nina Simone -
    • Emergency Ward!
    • Forbidden Fruit
    • The Amazing Nina Simone
    • At Carnegie Hall
    • The Best of Nina Simone

    Barbra Streisand -
    • The Second Barbra Streisand Album
    • My Name is Barbra

    Pete Townshend -
    • Empty Glass
    • All the Best Cowboys Have Chinese Eyes

    Dave Van Ronk -
    • Gambler's Blues
    • Just Dave Van Ronk

    The Weakerthans - Reunion Tour

    The Weavers - Together Again

    The Who -
    • Who's Next
    • The Who By Numbers
    • The Kids Are Alright
    • Hooligans
    • Who Are You

    Wings - Wild Life

    And then there are the 45s...
    Sean Lennon - Home/ 5/8

    The Monkees - Heart and Soul/MGBGT

    Michael Nesmith & the First National Band -
    • Silver Moon/Lady of the Valley
    • Nevada Fighter/Here I am

    Special Needs -
    • Blue Skies/Sally O'Sullivan
    • Blue Skies/Stick Together

    Tsar - Band-Girls-Money/Rebel Rouser

    The Who -
    • You Better You Bet/The Quiet One
    • Let's See Action/When I Was a Boy
    • Who Are You/Had Enough
    • Pinball Wizard/Dogs Part Two
  • The Decemberists Set List

    Out 30 2007, 11h57

    Mon 29 Oct – The Short Of It

    My Mother was a Trapeze Artist
    Angel, Won't You Call Me?
    I Don't Mind
    O, Valencia
    Billy Liar
    The Soldiering Life
    Leslie Anne Levine
    Eli, the Barrow Boy
    The Engine Driver
    Yankee Bayonet (I Will Be Home)
    Culling of the Fold
    The Perfect Crime #2
    The Chimbley Sweep

    A Cautionary Song
    After the Bombs
    Ask Me (Smiths cover)
  • The Weakerthans at the Metro, 10/25

    Out 27 2007, 17h51

    Thu 25 Oct – The Weakerthans, The Last Town Chorus, Jim Bryson

    First of all, when did Weakerthans shows become the meeting spot for trendy indie hipsters? At least, that was my first impression as I got there at 5:30 and waited in line for the doors to open at 6. Am I now one of those hipsters, without realizing it? Or is this just the usual Chicago crowd? But as we were let in and the place started to fill up, I was instead surrounded by "normal" people, making me feel at ease, and... by photographers. Who all knew each other. Mind you, I love photography, and appreciate professional photographers, but endlessly going on about other jobs and wondering who the Weakerthans are and if they have enough fans to fill this venue... it's a little annoying and condescending to the band.

    Luckily, Jim Bryson came out and they shut up. In fact, everyone did. He started off by informing us that he makes mistakes but hoped, by giving us this disclaimer beforehand, we would be more patient with him. It was a disclaimer that all sets should have used.

    Jim Bryson has an amazing voice. It was clear, powerful, and melodic. It took maybe ten seconds into his first song for him to captivate the audience. His guitar playing was, for the most part, fairly simple, but in this case, it worked because it didn't overpower his voice. Between songs, he bantered with the crowd. He had great stage presence, loved talking to us (he said that's why he doesn't play as many songs, because he talks too much), and was constantly making everyone laugh. If he decides to give up music, he can always pursue a career as a comedian.

    There were some problems with one song. He needed his computer (a MacBook, yeah!) for the drumbeat and it had frozen. So he went along without it, having the audience clap it instead. About halfway through, he started laughing and said that to make things worse, he now needed the harmonica he had previously dropped on the floor out of reach (with the comment that it was okay, he didn't need it anymore). But in true rock and roll style, he made the best of what he had and continued on.

    After Jim Bryson, The Last Town Chorus came on. Now, I have an as yet disproved Rule of Three: if three bands are playing a show (two opening and one main, not two coheadliners), two will be amazing and one I'll never desire to see again. With the Last Town chorus, that rule still stands. Technically, the Last Town Chorus is just one woman, singing and playing guitar, but she had another man, Rich, playing guitar and singing back-up vocals as well.

    They came onstage, mumbled "We're the Last Town Chorus", and went directly into their first song. She's known for playing the slide guitar, and I'm a fan of that. Just not how she played it. The guitar was too loud, so you could barely hear her voice if you really tried. From what I could hear, her singing was decent, but it was hard to tell. And from what I've read, it wasn't a technical problem of the guitar being too loud, because it's been the same at other shows. During one song, she did turn the volume of the guitar down a bit while she was singing, but turned it back up otherwise.

    As for the guitar itself... it was jarring. There were a few moments that I liked, but for the most part it gave me piercing headaches. Apparently I wasn't the only one not impressed, because the rapt attention from Jim Bryson's set was gone and there was constant chatter throughout the Last Town Chorus' set (which I find rude, no matter how much you're not enjoying it, but whatever). They performed a cover of David Bowie's "Modern Love" and it took me until thirty seconds to the end of the song to realize what they were playing. It was a relief when they left the stage.

    I should also note that Luke Doucet, who was playing in Chicago the next night, came out for one song, but even he couldn't salvage the set.

    Finally, it was time for The Weakerthans! They opened with the thumping beat of "Psalm for the Elks Lodge Last Call". Probably an odd choice for an opening song, since it's about the end of the night, but it works in the Weakerthans universe. The set consisted mainly of songs from their two newest albums, "Reconstruction Site" and "Reunion Tour". For me, this was great because I hadn't seen them since June 2003, when they only had their first two albums out. Of course, they played some songs from "Fallow" and "Left and Leaving", choosing some of my favorites (if such a thing can be distinguished between Weakerthans songs!). During "Aside", an overzealous, possibly drunk fan started going crazy and bashing into us in the front row. I wasn't aware that Weakerthans shows were now a spot for moshing. He kept up the craziness, minus the attempted moshing, for the rest of the show.

    During "Left and Leaving", John K. Samson forgot a line of the song ("the strangers whose faces I know....") and laughed as the entire crowd kept singing along without him. When the song ended, he held out some money and gave it to the girl next to me, saying he has never before forgotten the words to that song and the money was a partial reimbursement.

    They surprised me by playing "History to the Defeated", since it wasn't one of their "hits" from their earlier album, but it was a surprise that I enjoyed. I could be wrong, but I don't think they played that the last time. The newer songs were amazing, and brought such energy to the crowd. Although there were mellow songs ("Sun in an Empty Room", "Benediction"), that didn't stop anyone from rocking out. Especially during "A Plea From a Cat Named Virtute", Greg Smith and Jim Bryson, who played with them for the entire set, were jumping around and rocking on their guitars.

    They exited the stage after "Plea" but shortly after, John K. came out and performed a few songs solo. Then he was joined by the rest of the band and they played a few more songs before leaving for real.

    In my opinion, there's nothing like seeing your favorite band live, no matter how many shows you've been to. The Weakerthans didn't disappoint. There wasn't a single song that I would have cut out. Of course, I would have loved for them to play their entire collection of songs, but that's not exactly doable. I'll keep dreaming about that one, but will be enjoying amazing shows like the one I did see in the meantime.

    Set List:
    Psalm for the Elk's Lodge Last Call
    Civil Twilight
    Our Retired Explorer
    Reconstruction Site
    Night Windows
    Relative Surplus Value
    Sun in an Empty Room
    Left and Leaving
    Tournament of Hearts
    The Reasons
    Time's Arrow
    History to the Defeated
    A Plea From a Cat Named Virtute

    One Great City!
    My Favourite Chords
    Confessions of a Futon Revolutions
    Virtute the Cat Explains her Departure