Wednesday, September 13, 2006

A True Rock Star and with Pick Tricks to boot

Holy crap... twenty-four hours later and I'm still feeling the high of seeing Butch Walker live last night at the House of Blues in Anaheim, CA (my bros, Dan and Rich were there, too). It was one of the best shows I've ever seen simply because he is just an amazing entertainer... a true rock and roll superstar.

The guy makes you feel like he called you up and invited you personally to come and see him go nuts. I haven't seen energy like that live since I saw Kid Rock six years ago? Butch struts and poses with sheer rock star confidence that shows he's just too huge for this little club, but dammit if he isn't going to rock the hell out of the joint anyway because he's with friends (remember, he called and invited them all over).

Then there's the pick tricks. He throws his pick in the air, bounces it off his guitar, catches it in his mouth, spits it back out, catches it and keeps playing his guitar... all while singing at the top of his lungs and bouncing all over.

Plus he's got the musicianship and songwriting skills to back it all up. Nearly the whole crowd was singing almost every song... especially during the campfire sing-a-long moment when he came down onto the floor and had us all sit down with him.

For the first of two encores, he and his excellent band ("The Let's-Go-Out-Tonites") did the most amazing rocking cover of Gnarls Barkley's "Crazy"... outta control. He introduced it like this: "Goddammit if this isn't the most covered song in the world. But we're going to play it anyway because I like it so much. (long pause and then he says through his teeth as if embarrassed by the addiction) SHIT!" and then they ripped into it.

I was already hooked on his albums and now I know what it means to see someone who completely transcends the medium of recorded music and belts out the same songs with a gripping immediacy and emotional power... you're convinced that right then and there he's feeling the same feelings he felt when he wrote the song. Amazing performer.

And here's a shout-out to opening act, Damone from Boston. Man, they were good... so much so that we all bought their CD right on the spot. Here's a good description of them from

Damone is a hard rock band that is influenced by power pop, punk rock, and most notably, classic metal. Their sound could be described as a female fronted Cheap Trick with Thin Lizzy inspired dual lead guitar.

Sunday, September 10, 2006

Butch and I: Old Pals

Ok, this is weird. In the last post I mentioned that I was going to see Butch Walker in concert this Tuesday night. No big deal. I'm excited because I'm thinking that this will be the first time I see him since being turned on to his solo career back in 2004. I was late to the game on his previous band, the Marvelous 3, not learning about them until after the release of their last album. So for the past two years I'm playing catch up on an artist who I thought was new to me. I heard about even earlier bands that Butch was in like Floyd's Funk Revival and an L.A. glam metal group called Southgang.

Here's what I didn't know until my friend Scott filled in some missing details: Back on Oct. 13, 1989, I hung out with Butch Walker and the other two guys from the Marvelous 3 crammed together in the same booth at the Roxy on the Sunset strip.

As it turns out, the name Southgang was not the original name of that particular band. On Oct. 13, 1989, they were headlining the Roxy as "Byte the Bullet" and Scott's sister was dating the lead singer (whom a quick Google search tells me was Jesse Harte - the one guy in the group who did not go on to be a Marvelous 3). So she got us in for free and... we hung out.

Maybe if I print out the flyer and show it to the right people at the concert this Tuesday, Butch might get a little nostalgic and we can hang out again.
Byte the Bullet

Friday, September 8, 2006

New Release: Butch Walker

Rise & Fall of Butch Walker & The Let\'s-Go-Out-TonitesI think we forgot to tell you about Butch Walker's new album. Shame on us. Dan and I will be heading out to the show next week at the House of Blues, Anaheim. I'll let you know how that goes. In the meantime, get the new album already. Sheesh! It's called The Rise & Fall of Butch Walker & The Let's-Go-Out-Tonites.

Here's a cool bit from Butch's site:

If you live in the LA area, and you are half-way cool, you have listened to the best station in the FM world indie103. You may have heard a song getting played a lot on there called "Hot Girls in Good Moods". Yo, that's us. It's getting played a lot, so if you call them up and tell them how much you love it, I will love you forever. If you are from out of the area, do like we do on the road and stream the station on your computer (listen live). You will see a massive improvement in the sound of your computer and it will thank you and love you unconditionally forever as well.

Wednesday, September 6, 2006

BestOf: Aerosmith

I thought I'd share my list of the all-time best Aerosmith songs ever. This is, of course, personal opinion, but I'd be interested in hearing about songs that I may have missed. You don't need to tell me that a song sucks and shouldn't be on the list. If it's there, it's because I really like it. But let me know what you think you'd add if you were making the list for you.

Dream On
Mama Kin
Same Old Song and Dance
Train Kept a Rollin'
Toys in the Attic
Walk This Way
Big Ten Inch Record
Sweet Emotion
No More No More
You See Me Crying
Back in the Saddle
Last Child
Rats in the Cellar
Nobody's Fault
Get the Lead Out
Home Tonight
Draw the Line
Come Together
Heart's Done Time
Rag Doll
Dude (Looks Like a Lady)
Hangman Jury
I'm Down
Love in an Elevator
Helter Skelter
Baby, Please Don't Go
You Gotta Move
I'm Ready
The Movie

Friday, September 1, 2006

Upcoming: Ben Folds Collection

From the Ben Folds web site:

Ben To Release Rarities Collection supersunnyspeedgraphic, the lp October 24th!
Ben Folds is set to release supersunnyspeedgraphic, the lp, a comprehensive collection of original songs culled from his rare EPs, b-sides, covers and film soundtrack appearances. The album is due in stores October 24th. Boasting remastering and tweaking that was completed at Ben's own studio in Nashville, TN with bassist Jared Reynolds and drummer Lindsay Jamieson, the 12 tracks on supersunnyspeedgraphic, the lp also includes covers of "In Between Days" (The Cure), "Get Your Hands Off Of My Woman" (The Darkness) and Ben's own version of the Dr. Dre hit "Bitches Ain't Shit." The tracklisting as as follows:
1. In Between Days
2. All U Can Eat
3. Songs of Love
4. There's Always Someone Cooler Than You
5. Learn To Live With What You Are
6. Bitches Ain't Shit
7. Adelaide
8. Rent A Cop
9. Get Your Hands Off My Woman
10. Bruised
11. Dog
12. Still

Nine of these songs are from the three EPs that Ben released in the last few years. "Bruised" is from "The Bens" EP (collaboration between Ben Lee, Ben Folds and Ben Kweller). "Bitches Ain't Shit" is from the "Landed" single, can be had on iTunes and was also on a special vinyl version of Songs For Silverman. I can't find info on "Still" - is this a retitling of "Still In Love" (a collaboration between Ben and William Shatner from Ben's Fear of Pop Volume 1)? Not sure.