Pearl Jam Play Entire ‘No Code,’ Debut New Song at Moline Concert

 

 

 

Pearl Jam had a pair of major surprises in store for fans at their Friday night concert at Moline, Illinois’ iWireless Center. Not only did Eddie Vedder debut a new song dedicated to the Quad Cities town, Pearl Jam performed their 1996 album No Code straight through in its entirety, from “Sometimes” to closer “Around the Bend,” Jambase reports. “No Code. Front to back. #PJMoline #PJFall2014,” the band tweeted before sharing a photo of the Moline setlist, which confirmed that the new song Vedder debuted onstage was also called “Moline.”

According to WQAD, Vedder told the crowd that the new song was written especially for Moline and the Quad Cities area. “Moline, it seems, this is for me. You can call me Nancy and I live in Moline,” Vedder sings on the track that’s about a woman who leaves Detroit for the Illinois city. Vedder also revealed that he’d written the song just minutes before the band took the stage, and that the cut was related to Vitalogy‘s “Better Man.”

It’s unclear why Pearl Jam opted to make Moline, Illinois the setting for the No Code performance other than the fact that the 1996 album was partially recorded nearly two decades ago at the not-so-nearby Chicago Recording Company studio. Vedder joked following the performance of No Code‘s “Off He Goes,” “Alright, end of side one.” The singer told the crowd that the No Code performance marked only the second time the band had performed a studio album of theirs in its entirety; as the band’s official message board points out, Pearl Jam played their whole 2006 self-titled record, out of sequence, at a Torino, Italy concert in September of that year.

In a wild coincidence, on the same night that the Foo Fighters were rocking out with Cheap Trick’s Rick Nielsen at Chicago’s the Cubby Bear and on a previously recorded Late Show With David Letterman performance, Mike McCready also paid tribute to the guitarist by busting out a checkerboard guitar Nielsen had given him while Jeff Ament brought out a bass with a similar pattern.

Best Concerts at Lollapalooza 2014

lolla

 

Conceived and created in 1991 by Jane’s Addiction singer Perry Farrell as a farewell tour for his band, Lollapalooza ran annually until 1997, and was revived in 2003. From its inception through 1997, and its revival in 2003, the festival toured North America. In 2004, the festival organizers decided to expand the dates to two days per city, however poor ticket sales forced the 2004 tour to be cancelled. In 2005, Farrell and the William Morris Agency partnered up with Austin, Texas-based company Capital Sports Entertainment (now C3 Presents) and retooled it into its current format as a weekend destination festival.

 

The Festival Best Concerts

Arctic Monkeys at Lollapalooza 2014 (full show)

Lorde

Chvrches

Foster The People

Cage The Elephant

Portugal The Man

Album Stream – The Orwells’ ‘Disgraceland’

The Orwells

The Orwells

Album Stream – The Orwells’ ‘Disgraceland’

Chicago’s newest garage rock rebels The Orwells may only just be leaving their teens behind, but they’re already gearing up to release their second LP – with the brilliantly tongue-in-cheek title of ‘Disgraceland’ – on June 2.

Famed for their raucous live shows invoking the chaotic hedonism of Atlanta’s favourite tearaways Black Lips, and singer Mario Cuomo’s outlandish stage behaviour and outspoken tongue (the band’s recent comments about Arctic Monkeys’ stage patter being predictable landed them in hot water), the band are leading the charge of punk-spirited young bands putting fun at the fore.

A giant step on from the DIY ethos of 2012 debut ‘Remember When’, ‘Disgraceland’ ups the production values to form something that’s still full of carefree youth, but could also sit happily on the radio. You’ll probably have heard filthy first single ‘Dirty Sheets’ – a squalling mass of prowling riffs and 60s garage strut – while other recent cuts ‘The Righteous One’ and ‘Blood Bubbles’ are, in turn, full of brilliantly snotty swagger and surprisingly epic tendencies. Elsewhere on the record, the quintet up the pop factor on ‘Bathroom Tile Blues’, while old favourite ‘Who Needs You’ is still as much of a middle finger to the man as ever.

‘Disgraceland’ is due for release on Canvasback/ Atlantic next Monday, but for now you can stream the whole thing exclusively below. Let us know what you think in the comments section.

Panda Bear at Chicago’s Thalia Hall (5/21)

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Panda Bear is the alias used by experimental musician Noah Lennox of Animal Collective, Jane and Together. He plays drums during Animal Collective’s live shows. He chose the name Panda Bear because he drew a picture of a panda on one of the first recordings he made. He is married and lives in Lisbon, Portugal with his wife and child, Nadja. He and Avey Tare are the only members who have contributed to every Animal Collective release.

Bio from Wikipedia’s article on Panda Bear

Categories: Music | Alternative

 

Right now, based on what he’s delivering with his new live set, here’s what we can expect from Noah Lennox’s forthcoming fourth album, tentatively – and so, so misleadingly – entitled Panda Bear Meets the Grim Reaper. This is the most rhythmically seductive and consistently uplifting music Lennox has ever made as a solo artist – or otherwise, if not for a little Animal Collective album called Merriweather Post Pavillion.

If his formal 2004 debut Young Prayer set out to stretch the role of the human voice, and 2011’s Tomboy did the same for the electric guitar, and his 2007 generally-agreed-upon-masterpiece Person Pitch challenged (obliterated) the thought that borrowed samples can’t construct an individual voice, then here, Lennox only wants to warp our mindset of what ingredients are essential for songs to register as really, really good pop music. There’s no other necessary term for the hour of new material Lennox is currently rolling out.

Lennox, with and outside of Animal Collective, has mainly used live shows for newly written material, last night being no exception, save for a three-song (guitar-less) Tomboy encore. This might be the best it’s ever gone over with audiences on the first round. The fourth song of his set, possibly called “Black Cloud”, is all sunshine and finds his looped voice agilely jumping octaves over a 2/4 beat that aims for “My Girls”-caliber happy feet. Though it’s likely his strongest of 10 or so new songs – maybe, just maybe ever – there was one in the middle of his set, a sighing pace-slower with mimicked harp arpeggios possibly called “Can’t Come Back”, that drew the strongest crowd reaction, by far.

Animal Collective visual collaborator Danny Perez was on hand to man the graphics swimming on the screen behind Lennox, who remained stationary pretty much all night. Amidst typical Perez bits – fruits, snakes, chromatic shapes and patterns – the only non-cryptic one was a clip of the Grim Reaper taking a stuffed panda bear, ripping its head off, and tearing it to shreds. Despite the new album’s working title, it went up during the Tomboy encore, over “Scheherazade”. Lennox signed off by thanking Perez and his crew by name and giving a genuine endorsement to Thalia Hall, a 124-year-old performance space and national landmark (with a tavern now, too) in Chicago’s Pilsen neighborhood that he was also there to christen: He was its first headliner upon reopening for the first time since the 1960s.

Are panda bears cuddly as fuck? Duh. But does that mean we know them? They’re still weird creatures that live and thrive on far-away landmass and tend to eat an odd stick-shaped vegetable. Noah Lennox happens to possess both the gold-toned vocal cords and the melodic ear of Brian Wilson, but the way he puts them to work aims to show that a natural Beach Boy can be anything but familiar. Again, he’s succeeding.

 

Live Review: Arctic Monkeys, Twin Peaks at Chicago’s The Riviera (9/23) – Just that ol’ time rock ‘n’ roll.

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September 23, 2013

Chicago’s archaic Riviera Theatre had its foundations rocked Monday night by two-and-a-half hours of loud, unapologetic rock ‘n’ roll from local favorites and recent CoSigned rockers Twin Peaks and the ever reliable Arctic Monkeys.

Tearing through favorites off their debut album, Sunken, Twin Peaks looked like they couldn’t be having more fun, business as usual for the teenage four piece. During blitzed out tracks like “Boomers” and “Natural Villain”, frontman Cadien Lake James controlled the venue with ease, gathering instrumental support from bandmates Jack Dolan, Clay Frankel, and Connor Brodner. The Chicago DIY scene has been and should continue to pay close attention to these guys.

Bathed in blue light, the UK foursome emerged from the sides of the stage, hands raised in the air to thank the packed house for coming out to party. Sticking mostly to newer and slower material off AM, the show had its lulls but also highlighted their new directions, specifically the album’s hip-hop drum beats and gritty desert rock influences. Of course, the biggest reaction was to the opening chords of “I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor”, a nostalgic cut that left the entire venue in the air.

Following slower cuts like Humbug single “Cornerstone” and AM’s “No. 1 Party Anthem”, the jumbly “Fluorescent Adolescent” brought the mood back into a swing, which helped grease up the eccentric funk of “Knee Socks”. As expected, the band waved their goodbyes, acting like a three song encore wasn’t about to happen. Nobody was fooled, the band played three more (two of them from AM, no less), and then it was really over. The number of fans that stayed hoping for another encore said plenty of the night’s success.

Setlist:
Do I Wanna Know?
Brianstorm
Dancing Shoes
Don’t Sit Down ‘Cause I’ve Moved Your Chair
Teddy Picker
Crying Lightning
Snap Out of It
Evil Twin
Old Yellow Bricks
Why’d You Only Call Me When You’re High?
Arabella
Pretty Visitors
I Bet You Look Good on the Dancefloor
Cornerstone
No. 1 Party Anthem
Fluorescent Adolescent
Knee Socks
Encore:
One for the Road
Do Me a Favour
R U Mine?

Ryan Adams Live – Review

Ryan Adams Live
By Anthony Kuzminski

Cadillac Palace, Chicago, IL – December 11th, 2011

“He may not be the Ryan Adams I imagined back in 2001, but he’s without question the Ryan Adams that he was always meant to be.”

“This concert is a prelude to pizza”, Ryan Adams told in a wry deadpan manner to the sold-out Chicago crowd on a wintry December evening. Right from the introduction, Adams appeared to be in high spirits which he channeled rapaciously through his voice and guitar.

The shows for Adams current solo tour are more than splendid performances but arguably the most invigorating and spot on performances of his career.

In the not too distant past, there were numerous people who looked to Ryan Adams to be more than just “Ryan Adams”. They had titanic hopes for him, wanting him to ascend to the rock throne previously inhabited by the likes of Townshend, Springsteen and Dylan but Adams confounded them by releasing record after record with little or no thought to old school marketing strategies and concert performances. This infuriated many, but maybe it was because we were trying to shackle him into what we wanted instead of letting him become who he is?

Inside the Cadillac Palace Theater in Chicago, it wasn’t an arena rock spectacle but simply a man, a pair of guitars, a piano, a notebook and a soul wanting to break through and articulate itself.
It may not have been what those record executives wanted but what I saw was an artist who has never been more relaxed in his own shoes than at this very moment.

I’ve said it before and will say it again; it’s wrong to want so much from music. Those of us who are scholars of the art want it to transcend boundaries, penetrate young minds with radical ideas and ultimately revolutionize the world. We want grand Beatles-esque achievements, but are we right?

The Ryan Adams I saw on the Chicago stage was full of wit, charm and in possession of some of the most gorgeous songs composed over the last dozen years. There’s a refined splendor to Adam’s lyrics few can touch; Bob Dylan, Patti Griffin and maybe a handful of others. He paints the most magnificent pictures and is able to draw us into his world as he did during what I feel what may be his best tour to date.

Opening with the Heartbreaker cut “Oh My Sweet Carolina” Adams dug deep into a solemn prayer like trance where nary a pin drop could be heard. For the next 135-minutes, he kept the concentration up despite the fact that there was no backing band. On a dimly lit stage with an acoustic and harmonica around his neck, he sung lyrics so visceral and dreamy they literally cut one from their life and place them in a Terrence Malick film.

“Ashes & Fire”, “If I Am A Stranger” and “Carolina Rain” proved that sometimes it’s the soft spoken songs that can open eyes because the picturesque the lyrics cut right through you. “Dirty Rain” is lyrically evocative, emotionally wrenching and finding exhilarated mental state in life’s simplicities. Whether it is nature or the simple spinning of a record, Adams beautifully weaves these tales that take you and transport you in a time machine to precise situations from our past. He reminds us of the good and bad and as a result, we feel tapped into the heartbeat of life.

This was the first time where Adams dug deep into the entire breadth of his career, going as far back to Whiskeytown all the way through Ashes and Fire.

In the past, he has tended to draw his set from a two year window of his latest material. There’s nothing wrong with this as it illuminated much of his 2005 output when I saw him in 2007, making me take in the loveliness of these records I had not previously recognized. However, as much as artists strive forward hoping to leave their past in the dust, it’s always there in the rearview mirror haunting and taunting them. The same could be said of our past where we’re never truly free or at peace until we embrace it.

The most spectacular facet of Ryan Adams at this moment in time is that he doesn’t appear to be running from his past but rather acknowledging it as a foundation from which he’s still building on to this very day. He didn’t glide through the old numbers either, but they were enlivening performances brimming with the same emotional euphoria and turmoil Adams is best known for.

The towering Gold album opener, “New York, New York” has transformed into a somber piano ballad as did “My Blue Manhattan” where Adams voice soared. The forward momentum of his strumming and the terse strumming made “Chains of Love” a standout for more than the Danzig mentions that preceded the performance which houses indelible Ryan Adams lyrics and a wholly contagious melody. It’s possibly the best cut on Ashes & Fire. “Crossed Out Name” featured a punctured and staggering strumming. On “Firecracker” the harmonica danced along with the audience’s shuffling feet while in stark contrast “SYLVIA PLATH” was toe-curling startling on a spare piano. “Let It Ride” he confessed the opening acoustic riff was a take on the Britney Fox cut “Long Way To Love” and he even went back o his Whiskeytown days for “16 Days”. As he insatiably sung “My Winding Wheel” you couldn’t help but feel that Adams set list is a syllabus in the University of Life, ready-made for survival where through our pain we find strength.

Anyone who has followed Adams on Twitter and Facebook in recent years has seen his comments and posts about hard rock and metal from the 1980’s. He even recorded a vinyl only album inspired by Voivod’s “Angel Rat” in 2010.

The Chicago concert featured Adams wearing a Motorhead t-shirt, an Iron Maiden jacket and included shout outs to former Badlands and Ozzy Osborne guitarist Jake E. Lee, Britney Fox (and their song “Long Way To Love”) and even included a brief snippet sample of the Bullet Boys “Smooth Up”. The music ironically is embedded is much of the audience’s DNA whether they want it or not.

For years I’ve often felt ostracized by friends as my taste in music runs far and wide. My alternative fans raised their pierced eyebrows at my love for hard rock from the 1980’s and those muscular metal riffers often stuck their now pierced noses up at me.

Seeing Adams perform Ratt’s “Round and Round” alongside the dramatic encore of “Nutshell” by Alice in Chains validates my love and admiration not just for hard rock and grunge, but for all types of music. His inner child who dreamed of being a rock star came out.

Say what you want about Ratt, but more kids probably played air guitar to Ratt in their bedroom mirrors than anyone will admit. Ratt has never been a band with any critical acclaim and now that Ryan Adams has brilliantly re-imagined their biggest hit people are beginning to see the need for their music and the purpose it served. The performance wasn’t turgid but hypnotically earnest. He sung from his gut as if he had written the words himself.

The main set closer “Come Pick Me Up” was a fall-to-your-knees performance with Adams perfectly emulating the anguish and desperation in the song. If there is any one thing I am sure of in this universe, we are not destined to walk through it alone. That doesn’t mean you have to be married or in a relationship for it to have meaning, it simply means sharing your life with someone and having them open up the world for you. The road to too treacherous, the terrain is too winding and the ache too colossal to mount alone.

Often we find someone or something that allows us to let go of our desperation, dislocation, desolation and isolation as we’re reminded that life’s travails contain extreme pain but also joy…and the elation outweighs it all. The greatest gift any artist can give any listener is to nudge them towards the dark side within. Not to embrace it but to tame it, understand it and above all else learn from it. They’re cinematic in scope where we don’t see a tiny portion of our life, but where it comes through in widescreen ambitious awesomeness.

Ryan Adams took the Chicago crowd to an intersection where his wondrous catalog converged. The performance flourished under the dimply lit stage as Adams joked, laughed and yearned with the audience in tandem. His banter with a female audience member in the balcony verged on hysterics as he made up a back story for her life and he even made up a song for her on the spot. This wasn’t a purging of demons so much as it was a group of friends reconnecting after not seeing each other for years. This was more than an artist at ease, but a man at peace.

Adams sung with all his heart and performed with all his gusto and above all else, both he and the audience relished each other’s company. The agony, dejection, euphoria and anxiety that embody his songs were on full display. This was a rare breaking bread moment where the artist pulls back the curtain and lets us in. Not only was the audience thankful, but we were grateful to be allowed so close to someone who spent the last decade guarding himself. He may not be the Ryan Adams I imagined back in 2001, but he’s without question the Ryan Adams that he was always meant to be.

Anthony Kuzminski is a Chicago based writer and Special Features Editor for the antiMusic Network. His daily writings can be read at The Screen Door.

Ryan Adams – Come Pick Me Up

Ryan Adams singing Come Pick Me Up with Neil Finn and Janis Ian on BBC 4’s Songwriters’ Circle on October 21st 2011.

Pure poetry. The harmonica part in the beginning is awesome. I like how it slows down after that, just an over all great song. ~AA