Tag Archives: ryan adams

Ryan Adams: Chin Up, Cheer Up

( #RyanAdams, #ChinUpCheerUp )

Great acoustic version of this Chin Up, Cheer Up.

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Legends of the Chelsea Hotel: Ryan Adams

( #RyanAdams, #ChelseaHotel )

Someone from one of the Ryan Adams blogs posted this and I thought it was really cool. Got the book too. You should check out Ed Hamilton’s book




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Music Review: Ryan Adams and the Cardinals – III/IV

( @TheRyanAdams, #Cardinals, #RyanAdams )

I purposely held off on reviewing this album for over a full week. I have been living with it in my car, MP3 player, and home media centers. I don’t know if it was intentional, but I got the album on Saturday Dec 4th. It has been in constant rotation in the Lombardi household.

Now that I am comfortable with the songs, here is my take:

III

  1. Breakdown into the Resolve: The album opens up with the crunchy Ryan Adams that I love. I thought Rock N Roll was a great album so I was really happy hearing “Breakdown”. The chorus has an instantly catchy hook. Excellent tune. Here is a live clip:
  2. Dear Candy: Adams slows it down for the 2nd tune on III, but his vocals and the Cardinals backgrounds make the song pop.
  3. Wasteland: The song starts a little off-tune clunky (intentionally), a technique that Adams employees a few times on this project. After the rough start, he opens the song wide with a massive chorus.
  4. Ultraviolet Light: The Cardinals have revisited the concepts of light and darkness several times in their body of work—all of them are excellent and this tune is a fine example. Some reviewers have mentioned a Smiths homage, I can hear it, but it isn’t overt, this song sounds like a logical successor to some of the tunes on Love is Hell
  5. Stop Playing with my Heart: Straight up band-focused rock and roll tune. Simple and easy to listen to.
  6. Lovely and Blue: In the week listening to the album, this song has become my favorite on III. I love the vocals, the straight rock, and Popper’s background vocals.
  7. Happy Birthday: Sad Bastard Ryan Adams at his finest.
  8. Kisses Start Wars: Adams and the Cardinals exploring some of their punk preferences. This song doesn’t go as deep into the punk as some of the tunes on IV and the chorus softens up with operatic vocals, providing an interesting balance.
  9. The Crystal Skull: This is another favorite because I like when Adams tells a story (like Strawberry Wine). When I first saw the track list, I thought it was going to be some riff on the last Indiana Jones movie (its not that far fetched).
  10. Users: This tune has very 80s vibe musically (which is surprisingly welcome for me). Lyrically, the song has a darker theme, but isn’t that the best when the masses are mindlessly singing along to some crazy shit?

OVERALL THOUGHTS: I really liked “III”: It has three songs that I would put in my Ryan Adams “best of” playlist. I like the pacing, production, and overall effect that the album gives off. I don’t know if it was intentional, but I feel like the 10 songs tell an overall story in a subtle way. I read a review last week that said this was the better of the two since it was so “cohesive”, and while I agree with the reviewers comments, IV’s chaos really peaked my interest….

IV:

  1. No: Like Breakdown on III, IV starts off with a delightfully crunchy song. No is a little more bleak, but the repetitive chorus “Something is wrong” is somehow bright and sucks you into sing-a-long mode.
  2. Numbers: This song is nuts and I love it. Starts off full punk and then slows down and gets really melodic. I have mentioned Catherine Popper being my long standing music crush, so I really liked that she was featured vocally on the song (she has an awesome salt and honey voice – kinda like when Sheryl Crow was still Sheryl Crow).
  3. Gracie: This one also has a twist of 80s but more wistful, so it isn’t too sweet. This song could get overlooked in the mayhem of IV, but don’t because it is a gem.
  4. Ice-Breakers: Heavy rock/punk tune. Starts off with a bit of stank, but mixes in a little sweetness during the chorus with great harmonies with the Cardinals to make it go down easier.
  5. Sewers at the Bottom of the Wishing Well: This is another great Cardinal showpiece where Adams steps back and lets the band shine (background vocals and musically)
  6. Typecast: Who doesn’t love Ryan Adam duets with Norah Jones? Great analogies in the song; clever writing that demonstrates Adams lyrical prowess. The binary stars line is fucking brilliant.
  7. Star Wars: I thought this song was going to be about the movies (who knows, maybe it is, no direct references that I picked out), but it wasn’t anything I was expecting… it starts of straight pop-rock and then breaks down into echoing chant about star wars. This song is random, light, and totally enjoyable.
  8. My Favorite Song: A little slower, this song allows the listener to catch their breath. It kind of has a Replacements vibe to it, but with more polish. Yet another tune that has excellent harmonies with the rest of the band.
  9. P.S.: Straight up rock anthem. Bright mixed with classic Adams lament.
  10. Death and Rats: Crazy title where you would expect something hard, but this tune is soft and down right romantic.
  11. Kill the Lights: IV has a fitting end as it incorporates a few running themes both lyrically and musically: Yet another lights reference, it has that stanky crunch start, keeps the rock pumping, and allows the whole Cardinals band to shine. A very solid way to end this effort

OVERALL THOUGHTS: I love the randomness of IV. I like the sounds and themes explored. While III might be an easier pill to swallow for normal music fans, Cardinal fans will appreciate Adams exposing his eclectic tastes—I personally feel that is when he is his most brilliant.

BOTTOM LINE:
This is a Ryan Adams album and I am fan: so there is no point in bullshitting you with half-hearted critiques. By taking you through each song, I hope I can lend you some of my enthusiasm for a musician/band that I think is one of best of the current generation. This album proves that Ryan and his associates never half-ass the musical process by writing the same fluff over and over. Every album is completely different and I respect and appreciate that because it is not the safe thing to do.

You can listen to a full stream of the album on Paxam (not sure how long it will be up)

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Sir Grapefellow Cereal

Yesterday, recording artist Ryan Adams ( @TheRyanAdams ) posted a picture of old forgotten breakfast cereal on his facebook. One called “Sir Grapefellow” caught my attention – I thought it was fake. I was wrong:

I did some digging, looks like it came out in 1972, a little before my time, not sure when it was discontinued, but it makes me sad that they don’t make crazed fighter pilot cereal anymore.

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A Thirty Year Retrospective

Since I am turning 30, I figured I would take a look back at the last 30 years from my perspective.

[1979 – 1983]

The first four years of my life are a little hazy. My father’s family was my whole world – literally – they all lived across the street from us, so I was always with my Grandparents, Aunts, Uncles, and Cousins. I remember my Uncle Joe being a huge ball buster and always taking my legos, my sister attempting to kill me a few times, my Grandmother buying me vanilla ice cream cones with rainbow sprinkles from Mr. Softy, “Painting” my Grandfather’s shed (using water) with my cousin Laurie, chasing my Grandparent’s dog Pebbles under their couch (that was the dog’s name right?), my cousin Clara (aka Fonzie) putting Combos in my cheese sandwich starting a life long love affair with that particular snack, Clara creating plastic with an easy bake oven and it promptly being taken away from us, my Godfather shoving squid between my teeth (because I wouldn’t eat it) knocking out a tooth, my Grandmother (Mom’s side) buying me an organ, eating freshly grown grapes from everyone’s back yards, watching Thriller and “Faces of Death” with my cousins, My mom buying us 45s of “Born in the USA” and “Thriller” (and playing them non-stop), Ida’s Ice Cream shop, Eating Fruity Pebbles at Jackie & Paulette’s house, walking around with Ernie, the Lebanese Festivals where I went on my first rides and making friends with the Vietnamese family next door – they had a son my age that they called “Chewy”.

I also remember a show called “Automan” being my absolute favorite because the dude could make anything with a “computer buddy”.

Does anybody else remember this show?

[1984 – 1994]

We moved into a bigger house in 1984 near the Philadelphia football and baseball stadiums. I remember my mother and grandmother going to the house cleaning it and getting ready to move in. I don’t remember much about my pre-school days, but it is where I inevitably met my childhood friends because the school nor the classroom changed much over the next 9 years. I remember my mother’s father passing away and my father’s mother following soon after while I was in Kindergarten.

There were plenty of kids in the neighborhood and typical of children, sometimes we got along, and sometimes we didn’t. One thing that was clear from the beginning was were were all very competitive with each other in the grades department I never really shook of the fear of getting anything “less than an A because I will look dumb”. Going to a Catholic grade school certainly had pros and cons: The nuns were excellent teachers who had complete control of the class (they didn’t beat us with rulers btw), but you had to deal with the whole religious aspect of a Catholic education, but I didn’t know what the hell was going on back then. I have a strong affection for nuns even though I loathe the church – they were good ladies.

First Holy Communions shifted into Confirmations and by that time we weren’t all sugar and sweetness. The desire to be “cool” started to manifest itself – it might have started with haircuts and clothes (fucking Air Jordans, Z-Cavariccis, and “spike” haircuts), then it was minor acts of vandalism, and then it was going out and wanting to fight the kids who lived on 13th street “by the tunnel”. My first window to the world outside of South Philadelphia came from my growing annoyance at my peer’s taste in rap music. Kriss Kross did not make me want to “Jump Jump” and I wasn’t into wearing my clothes backwards. I was sort of shocked how quickly Kriss Kross morphed into 2-Live Crew, Black Sheep, and NWA. This may have been historical music for a lot of reasons, but my 12 year old ears heard a lot of angry shit that I could not relate to. I ended up befriending an older guy named Mark who lived across the street that was in a bar band who taught me about Led Zeppelin, the Stones, the Beatles and that led me into the grunge age (I always liked Pearl Jam more than Nirvana in case you were wondering, but as an adult, I think the Pixies were the best of the genre).

My last years of grade school saw the Soviet Union collapse, ending the cold war and Bill Clinton take office (with a nice box of cigars in his desk drawer). Music was an entry drug to books, which then got me interested in history, which then got me interested in how fucked up the Catholic church was (this was heavy shit for a 12-13 year old going to Catholic school). By the time I entered my first year at St. John Neumann High School (SJNHS) I was done with the church but knew enough to keep that to myself. The school employed blatantly homosexual priests… okay I have to side track here for a moment because I will never have another reason to write about this:

At St. John Neumann High School, we were required to (of course) take a religion class. The messed up thing about this class was after a few weeks of teaching the new testament, the priest blows off the curriculum and starts teaching basic health, spending a considerable amount of time on “wet dreams”. I know what you are thinking because I was thinking it too while I was trapped in the classroom with this lunatic who threatened to spank us if we were getting out of line.

I didn’t have an issue with the priest’s preferences (whatever my understanding of the lifestyle was at the time) but I knew enough to determine that he had serious internal conflict between his orientation and his “employers” (thinking about it makes me very sad for this guy because I don’t imagine his life was easy).

Back to my time at SJNHS – it was terrible. It sucked at the time and looking back, it really sucked. That school was a dark and miserable place. The Catholic high schools in Philadelphia had track systems based on your ability. Honors Track and Track 1 were the best, Track 2 was average, Track 3 not so good, Track 4 – well – you didn’t see many track 4 kids leave the basement. I was placed in all Track 1 and honors classes, but it was clear to me that many parents got their kids into these classes who didn’t belong – there was a dude who used to sit behind me that I don’t think could read – he used to try to cheat off of me, which I would have been cool with had he not been so open about it. I used to get into fights with this dude and his cronies all the time. It was a joy to be educated in such an institution.

By the end of that school year my old man informed us we were packing up and moving to South Jersey. My sister and I were appropriately horrified at the time and after a few visitations to my new high school, my opinion did not change (the school smelled like cow shit and all the kids looked like they just got done surfing). Leaving the world of South Philadelphia was hard at the time, I knew it wasn’t perfect, but I liked the freedoms it afforded me (an ever increasing mobility thanks to public transportation). I knew Jersey would make me very dependent on my parents for transport and that was not appealing – but in the end it was one of the best decisions my father ever made.

[1994 – 1997]

By the time we moved, I don’t think I was talking to any of my childhood friends; most of it was due to the typical high school split – we just didn’t see each other and we moved in different circles, so it made cutting ties to the old neighborhood easier than I thought. The hardest part was not having the access to my family that I used to have, but weekly music lessons in the city kept up visitation for a few more years until I was independently mobile (but I am getting ahead of myself).

Moving to New Jersey was an adjustment; at first I thought the kids at my new high school were “simple”. That was a costly error in judgment. Having just gotten out of an all boys Catholic high school, co-ed public school offered unique freedoms regarding dress code and the opposite sex. I became friends with Rob Austin on my first day of classes and he still is one of my best friends and actually the only person I still talk to from High School. Rob was friendly with a group of girls that I had assumed would be friendly to a new person. They weren’t. That created an interesting dynamic and earned me a reputation with Rob’s merry little group of band-chicks (I wasn’t taking their shit lying down, hence the reputation).

I had a small window of opportunity to get in with the cool kids the first 2 weeks of class and I had no clue that there was a window, thus resigning myself to an odd form of anonymity. Most of these kids knew each other for years (all 264), so even though nobody gave a shit about me, they all knew me because I was a new face. A new school gave me a chance to reinvent myself a bit, but I didn’t really know who the hell I was, so I went through the motions, but overall I was relatively content in my new surroundings.

In the summer of 1995, my Uncle Joe agreed to take me to Italy for a few weeks (the same Uncle Joe that took my legos from me as an infant) – this was a game changer: 3 weeks left to my own devices with distant relatives who were awesome people. I immediately struck up a friendship with my cousin Luca and we spent the next few weeks playing music and running around my family’s ancestral home. I came back a changed man (internally).

The remainder of my high school years were blissfully uneventful. I joined a little rock and roll band and indulged some rock star fantasies for half a second (covering Oasis and Beatles tunes – which thanks to hours of practicing, I can’t listen to anymore), I remember watching the OJ trial in my English class and thinking justice does have a price, Smashing Pumpkins were the all the rage (“Despite all my rage I am still just a rat in a cage” – I fucking hated that song and the douche-bags that wore the zero t-shirts). I worked at a woman’s shoe store in the mall and made friends with a lot of strippers. I had a few great mentorsteachers that steered me in the right direction career wise (Thanks Mr. Cromer) and then I went to college.

[1997 – 2002]

The guy I was in Italy made a strong comeback when college hit – I wasn’t afraid of offending people’s delicate sensibilities or worried about “what my mother might think”. I immediately made a new friend a few minutes on campus and we have been thick as thieves ever since. Sean and I quickly assembled a posse in college – we were all good kids that wanted to do well, some of them had their issues which led to some philosophical disagreements, but I didn’t really meet any bad people at Drexel.

Freshmen year was a haze of unrestricted freedom, building friendships, bi-sexual girls, and the end of any remaining threads of childhood. My grandfather (dad’s side) passed away in November of 1997 and effectively marked the end of childhood. School was turning into “punish the bad professors” with some professors supporting my verbal terrorism on the lazy professors. A funny side note – I had won a GPA based award in the spring of 1998 and they had a little dog and pony show for the parents; one of my favorite professors, John Hall, was there to give the awards. During dessert, I introduce him to my mother and he says to her “you look too nice to be his Mom!” I think my Mom started to actually believe the stories my friends were telling.

Sophomore year brought steady employment (with it some excellent friends – Jack and The Good Looks Crew) and steady romance which brought upon forced maturity; looking back I wished I had another year of not being too responsible, but responsibility suits me. During the next few years my cousin Anthony introduced nature into my social scene organizing camping and rafting trips which have become a staple for years to come (Nate in particular enjoyed these outings and has bonded with Anthony). Somewhere in the middle of this bliss George W. Bush managed to become president of the United States. Like an asshole I didn’t vote (but Gore carried in my town anyway) but I have never skipped an election since (and never viewed Florida the same way).

Some time in 2001 I went to see Glenn Philips (lead singer of Toad the Wet Sprocket) playing at the Northstar bar in Philadelphia. The guy opening for him was late and my friends were at the bar wondering what the hell was going on. This tall kid was drinking a beer next to us (overhearing us complain about the delay) says: “I hear the guy opening is pretty good”. We were all glad to hear that, so this dude puts his beer down, walks up to the stage, picks up the guitar and starts singing this song:

Remember, this is before John Mayer became any form of famous, and a douchy celebrity dater. I maintain that Mayer is one of the best guitar players of my generation and he blew our minds. Excellent performance. He was very nice after the show, selling his self-made EPs of what became “Inside Wants Out”. That fucking CD was the soundtrack of my college years.

I worked hard in college and graduated a term early, allowing me to start working early and earn some money, I shifted easily from full time student to full time worker.

[2003-2006]

In mid-2003 I broke up with a long time girlfriend and made some major life changes. I fully embraced the out with the old mentality: I rid myself of troublesome acquaintances, about 140 lbs of excess weight, started focusing on my corporate career, and opened a computer repair shop.

During this time I went on a ridiculous amount of dates. I tried all methods: bars, dating sites, blind dates – anything I could think of or suggested to me – why? – because why not? I met alot of nice girls and always tried to do the right thing. The added bonus about going out on all of those dates was it made me much better at job interviews. I had some opportunities inside and outside of my company (I kept my corporate job in addition to running my business for those not in the know) that I attribute to the girls I spent time with during those years. In the middle of this storm, I started my first blog – “Traffic in the Skyline” (I don’t mess with it anymore, but it’s still out there).

As Mayer got more famous and became more interested in being a celebrity, my musical mascot became and continues to be Ryan Adams. This song is a personal favorite:

Eventually I met my wife and those single days were all over.

[2006 – Present]

With my future wife in the picture, my life started calming down quite a bit (sometimes naturally, sometimes I forced it). We closed the computer shop down to everyone’s relief (eventually) and I started spending my free time looking at houses. Since the housing market was in such an unsteady state, it took us two years to find a place we felt wasn’t going to lose value. We moved in December 23rd 2007 – it was a pretty good Christmas that year. In October of 2008, I made an honest woman out of Allison and we got married…

With thirty years behind me, I am looking ahead to a future that is isn’t assuring: that pot belly has come back, the economy is still depressed, oil supplies will continue to drop as energy concerns rise, fresh water has the potential to be in short supply in thirty years as we continue to pollute the oceans (making it less beneficial to develop desalinization technology), but I maintain hope that everybody can get their shit together and I can bring a child into the world that still has potential to do amazing things. Responsibility: You can hide from it – but it will always find you, so you might as well embrace it.

Sure some other stuff has happened along the way – promotions, fights, reconciliations, new family members, a new president, – and I am sure all of those stories will be told in some way, by me or someone else, but this is good for now.

I will end this article and this period of my life with a few pearls of wisdom:

1. Be brutally honest with your family, it is better to have it all out in the open than to try to spare someone’s feelings or your concept of your own self-respect.
2. Good friends are truly a rare gift; bad friends are a dime a dozen (I like to throw my dimes at cars that cut me off).
3. If you can, make friends with people who are of different backgrounds and ages than you, it helps you get different perspectives of life and you borrow some of their hard earned wisdom.
4. Accept that you, like most people (myself absolutely included), are probably a total asshole. Once you accept that you can move past it and attempt to live a decent life.
5. Sitting on the couch will get you nothing but a fat ass.

That just about sums up 30 years, thanks for taking the ride with me. I am looking forward to the next trip.

Take it away Bruce…

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Great Ryan Adams Performance

Ryan Adams did a acoustic show on June 7th 2007 in Ireland. A gentleman named Jameson compiled the songs on a blog & youtube…

Check it out: Ryan Adams @ St. James Church, Dingle, County Kerry, Ireland

Stars Go Blue

Two

Let it Ride

WildFlowers

Cher’s Ass

Looks like someone has MP3s of the performance:
The Steam Engine: Ryan Adams & Neal Casal @ St. James Church

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Ryan Adams: Rare Version of “Desire”

To the facebookers that are getting this on the re-blog feed. Check it out @ the blog:
Ryan Adams – Desire

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Random Blog, Random Thoughts

Final Thoughts on the Wedding

Hi there true be-loggers! I haven’t posted a blog in a while because I have been waiting for the elusive mistress known as inspiration. My original plan write a bookend piece to the wedding blogs, but then I edited hours upon hours of video footage that the good looks crew took and I think I kind of exhausted any interested I had of the wedding for the time being and honestly who really cares about my damn wedding.

I will say this: In short – It was a lovely day that was drama free for the most part. I had a great time with the Lombardi and Delmonte sides and I honestly think everyone had a good time (or at least that is the feedback I got). So if you came, thanks for being there, you made it something special for us. If you were not in attendance, head on over to youtube, you can see the whole thing there.

Here is a link to make it easier
Wedding Video Playlist

I am now officially done with wedding talk barring a little shout out in my year end coming in December (unless I find out some crazy shit happened that nobody told me about).

New President

I am going to admit to a disservice I committing against my little blog, I am holding out on a few topics because I am saving them for the year end post. I am trying to be a little more coherent with a theme and since I know I have a whopping two loyal readers, I really don’t want to repeat my content for their benefit. For now, my thoughts on the election are: regardless of your political leanings, this country needed a change of leadership and that is what we got. So lets hope President Obama can be the leader everyone needs him to be. For first time voters (either due to age or getting off your lazy ass), congratulations. People should take part of their government, the government works for you, not the other way around – make your voice heard.

On a related topic, I would like to share this with you:
News Article: SC Priest on Obama

In summary, a catholic priest in South Carolina told parishioners they should refrain from taking the communion sacrament if they voted for Obama until they go to confession and repent their sin. To Rev. Jay Scott Newman I say this: Thanks for serving the cause of driving people away from organized religion; your well crafted letter did more than any rational argument ever could. Amen.

Entertainment

In my endless conflict between the materialistic and the natural, the material side had a landslide victory the last 10 days. I have been itching to get a blue ray player for a while, and I didn’t want to spend the money on one, but Dell has been teasing a good deal the last week were I could get 15% off the PS3. I finally got an active coupon and bam – game over. Of course, now I needed a better sound system to compliment the PS3 in my living room. Not wanting to repeat the nightmare of wiring the basement (and I don’t think I can with cathedral ceilings), I got a sound bar solution. I now have a garage full of boxes I need to cut down and a defeated feeling for not holding out. But then I pop in a blue ray dvd and see how damn good my TV looks and I say money well spent. I am such a whore.

I also snagged a few albums recently and here are some quick recommendations:

The Cardinals – Cardinology: You won’t hear a “standout single” on this album, every song is strong. This is a solid album from Ryan Adams and his full-time backing band. Absolutely worth listening from front to back (or the whole damn thing for those who don’t buy CDs anymore).

Little Joy – Little Joy: A sunny 60’s cali-pop album from Strokes drummer Fab Moretti. Its good mindless pop.

Raphael Saadiq – The Way I See It: A throwback to the great Motown sounds with a modern twist. If you miss Marvin Gaye, give this kid a try.

Lucinda Williams – Little Honey: A departure from her last few efforts, Lucinda Williams actually sounds happy. No talk of parents dying or broken relationships, just a bright (for her) album about life and love.

The Pretenders – Break Up The Concrete: Chrissie Hynde sounds great on this new CD. I don’t care if she is old enough to be a grandmom, she kicks ass.

Link for those reading on Facebook Note: Boots of Chinese Plastic

Books

On the plane to San Francisco I read “Twilight”. I didn’t know anything except it was a vampire story and it was being made into a movie. I don’t get it. Terrible writing and weak character. Within 30 pages I realized that the target was girls (not women, girls) – so if you aren’t 14 and don’t have a vagina, don’t read it and I am guessing the movie will be the same. But I read it all the way through because I was stuck on a plane with nothing to do and I am no better off for the experience.

I got a few books in San Francisco and thankfully (and as always) Hunter Thompson redeemed my hopes for humanity. I picked up a book of collected short articles. I read “The Kentucky Derby is Decadent and Depraved” on the ride home and was laughing the entire time. Here is a nice chunk: The Kentucky Derby…

For those comic book readers out there, I found out that Blue Beetle is canceled as of issue 33. This is a great comic from younger and older readers that introduced minority characters into a very white comic landscape and didn’t sugarcoat issues, didn’t come off as preachy, and was accessible and well written. If you want a great way to introduce your kids to reading, science, different cultures look up the Blue Beetle trade paperbacks, you won’t regret it.

Conclusion

I think I have shared enough for today. Here is hoping somebody annoys me on the train or I have a melt down at the gym so I have something interesting to write about. Thanks for reading.

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Review: Ryan Adams at the TLA (Philadelphia)

Recent interviews with Ryan Adams had me excited, it seems that the alt-country “bad boy” has been clean and sober for the last year. Normally I honestly wouldn’t care – Rock’n’Roll means drugs – but Mr. Adams has burned me before. The last time he played in Philadelphia he was angry and paranoid getting into several verbal skirmishes with the audience (telling one guy he wasn’t going to get laid was actually pretty funny but distracting none the less). He eventually walked off stage. Now almost two years later I wondered if buying a ticket to a Ryan Adams show would be worth the money, the answer was a resounding yes.

One thing that I really enjoyed was the lack of opening act. Sometimes you win, most times you lose, so I was glad the night started with Ryan & the Cardinals and ended that way. Of course he came out 35 minutes late, but I didn’t expect him to be on time. Adams set the stage up similar to his most recent tonight show performance, all the musicians were seated and the boys were presented in a straight line with the drummer at center. With the band sitting on their asses and me being on the floor, it was hard to see the band, but I honestly didn’t care considering they were just sitting down.

The first few songs of the night started off slow and had me a bit worried, but then it all came together. Adams and company steered clear of their most popular songs (New York, New York, Come Pick Me Up, To be Young, Stars Go Blue) instead favoring his country western-esque material such as Magnolia Mountain, Beautiful Sorta, some tracks from his new album, and some reworked songs from Demolition (Dear Chicago was a crowd pleaser).

There were a few elements of the show that did fall short. The gentleman working the boards was not on his game, the audio sounded hollow and tinny. When Adams spoke to the audience (which is a miracle in itself) it was almost impossible to hear it. The concert ended around 11:30 PM and since Ryan got up around 9:30, I was a little disappointed that the show didn’t go on a little longer. I was looking forward to hearing Let it Ride and Winding Wheel with the 7 piece band – but it was not meant to be.

Overall, the band sounded great, Ryan was looking happy and healthy, and Ryan managed to go an entire show without getting into a fight with someone in the audience. Do I consider that money well spent? You bet your ass.

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