2009 releases artists digital downloads guitar music

Little Birdy – Brother

Little Birdy

Maybe it’s just because I’m having some personal issues right now, but this new single from Little Birdy, “Brother”, from their upcoming album, “Confetti” is one of the most soul-rending songs I’ve ever heard.

The track also features Australian music legend, Paul Kelly on harmonica and backing vocals.

This song is killing me, right now.

Listen. Love. Support.

Listen: Little Birdy – Brother

“Confetti” is due out in May. If this track is anything to go by, it’s going to be a must-get.


PS. I know I haven’t put up a Ryan Adams post of the Cardinal’s show at the Tivoli the other night. Sorry, I meant to, but shit got in the way, y’know? And to be quite frank, as you may see by the brevity of this post, I’m finding it kinda hard to write right now. Sorry.

artists concerts guitar live songs music music videos rock gods

Neil Young & My Morning Jacket, live at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre

So, last night, I saw titans perform at the Brisbane Entertainment Centre. Not only did I see My Morning Jacket perform as the opening act, but then Neil Young came on and absolutely tore the stage apart.

There won’t be a normal review post here today, because, frankly, I decided that I needed to go to a show without the concern of posting about it the next day for a change. Hey, even music bloggers need to sit back, once in a while. I will tell you this, however:

1. My Morning Jacket playing “I’m Amazed”, “Gideon” (and geez, does Jim James have a set of lungs or what?) and “Touch Me I’m Going To Scream Pt II”… simply epic.

2. Seeing Neil Young perform “Hey Hey, My My”, “Everybody Knows This Is Nowhere”, “Cortez The Killer” (with its trademark killer guitar lines), “Needle and the Damage Done”, and freaking “Old Man”?? Absolutely. Insane. Point blank.
Actually, “Old Man” was touch and go there, for a while. Neil had some static issues with his guitar lead and had to stop the song… and he nearly didn’t come back to it. I would have been heartbroken.

3. Neil coming back for the encore with “A Day In The Life” cover. Absolutely mashing his guitar, he managed to break all his strings, and then literally starting pulling his guitar to pieces. I, and I think the rest of the crowd, felt that he was a heartbeat away from smashing his guitar. He didn’t, in the end, but trust me when I say the fire still burns fiercely in Neil’s belly.

All in all… Neil woke me up again. As he sang last night, “Just singing a song Won’t Change The World”. Maybe. But it sure as hell changed us, last night. And change enough people, and you change the world.

And so, with that short recap, I leave you with this…

Neil Young. A god of rock.

2007 Releases 2009 releases artists concerts guitar live songs music music videos

Bon Iver, live at the Tivoli in Brisbane – 17 Jan, 2009

Last night, I had probably the most visceral experience of my life, watching Bon Iver perform live at the Tivoli in Brisbane. To call it sublime would be an understatement.

It was over two years ago (side note: how fast is time going these days? I mean, honestly…) that the dulcet tones of Justin Vernon first made their ways to my ears. I managed to catch the tail end of the Hazeltons days/post DeYarmond Edison days, but really – if I’m honest – I was probably only fully hooked when I first heard Skinny Love. It’s a cardinal sin to admit something like that, when you’re a music blogger (especially considering the strength of the Hazeltons era), but that’s the moment when I realised that this was… different. That there was something transcendent in this music. So when the news made its way to me that Bon Iver would be performing at the Tivoli, I knew I would be going.

And man, am I glad I did.

boniver2Bon Iver performing live at the Tivoli in Brisbane

The gig was a sit down affair, which was a first for me at the Tivoli; but it complemented the night perfectly. First up, I have to talk about the crowd that was there that night. I’ve now been to more than my fair share of gigs at the Tivoli; but last night had, without a doubt, the best crowd of any gig that I have been to there. You always take a slight chance, in my opinion, with gigs at the Tiv: it’s such an intimate, beautiful setting, but sometimes you can get some really belligerent concert goers there (for some reason, they always seem to crawl out of the woodwork for the Ryan Adams gigs)… but last night, the Tiv was packed to the rafters with appreciative music fans. And it was an atmosphere that Justin and co. were definitely feeding off. For probably the first time, I truly believed an artist when they said, “You guys have just been the best audience”.

Because they were.

I’m getting slightly ahead of myself though. First up was the opening act, and for the life of me I could not hear the girl’s name. (update: @lexiphanic mentions in the comments below that the opening act was McKisko). This didn’t surprise me, as it was the same girl who opened up for Sophie Koh and Howie Day at the Troubadour last year, and I had the same trouble then. Regardless, “Performer X” has certainly improved since that last performance, but I was still left… cold, with her performance. There’s an attitude of avante-garde “raw emotion” to her stuff, but it comes across as a facade; too calculated, an “art school pastiche” for me to really believe it. I can hear there’s talent there, but I think this girl still needs a year or two to find herself, and I really hope she does.

After “Performer X”, it was time for Bon Iver to come on… and with an unassuming, “Hey everybody”, Justin and co. launched straight into Flume; and what a killer opening it was. I managed to catch a few videos of last night, and made sure I got the opening number; so here, below, is Bon Iver opening the night at the Tivoli, with “Flume”.

After that opening, the crowd simply fell, and fell hard, for Bon Iver.

There was just something in the air, that give and take between performer and crowd that meant the energy was simply electric, and unlike anything I have ever felt before. Nowhere was that connection better displayed than in the third song Bon Iver played, “The Wolves (Act I & II)”. (By the way, we all know my love for that tune as I featured it back here. Check out the video).

Justin introduced the song by asking the crowd to sing along with the band… and how we all did! The sheer emotion running through the crowd as we all sang, “What might have been lost…”, and the screaming towards the end was a sheer visceral moment that I think I will always remember. If ever emotion took hold of me, it was in that tune, and I was screaming along unashamedly as the song closed. I managed to get the whole thing on video, but unfortunately because of the noise levels towards the end with everyone screaming (in that last two minutes), it slightly turns into a sheer wall of sound; so you can’t quite hear what really happened that night. But trust me when I say it was beautiful.

Anyway: below, Bon Iver performing “The Wolves (Act I & II)”, live at the Tivoli.

Truly, truly magical, and a moment I will take with me for years to come.

boniver3Justin Vernon performing re: Stacks, solo at the Tivoli in Brisbane

After that, I have to admit, the night passed in a bit of an ecstatic blur for me… while I’m normally quite good at making a note of the setlist, that night I kind of blissed out and slacked in that duty a bit. However, for those who are interested, here is the set list as I recall it; that said, I’m sure there might be some errors or omissions in this, so feel free to drop a line in the comments if I’ve got something wrong below, and I’ll be sure to update the post.

Bon Iver at the Tivoli in Brisbane, 17/1/2009 setlist

1. Flume
2. Lump Sum
3. The Wolves (Act I & II)
4. Beach Baby
5. Blood Bank
6. re: Stacks
7. For Emma
8. Lovin’s for Fools (Sarah Siskind cover)
9. Babys (and yes, they do spell it that way. Check out the Blood Bank release)
10. Skinny Love


11. Creature Fear

Highlights of the set for me? Well, apart from the obvious answer of “Everything!”, I’d have to go with the previously mentioned “Wolves”, “Blood Bank” (which I featured back here, by the way, and which had an insanely frenetic guitar line at the end), and the solo rendition of “re: Stacks”. Unfortunately I didn’t manage to get the entire performance of “re: Stacks” on camera, but I did manage to get just over 5 minutes of it, so I’ve included it below. The vulnerabilty of that man, lit up on stage is breathtaking.

And, of course, where would we be without mentioning “Skinny Love”? Sheer fragile beauty, combined with powerful, ravaging emotion (watch that floor tom being beaten towards the end of the track… that’s the very definition of cathartic music, in my opinion). In other words, the performance was perfection…

All in all, I can say this, without any fear of hyperbole… Bon Iver at the Tivoli was one of the best gigs I have ever been to. Without a doubt, without hesitation. I look back on this post, and I know that no matter how many times I rewrite this, I’ll never be able to truly convey the magic that transpired there that night. It was simply too big, too huge to post about. Those that were there will no what I mean when I say that. So really, all that’s left to say is thanks; so thanks to Justin and Co, for sharing that perfect night with us. We hope you come back soon, because until then… we’ll be waiting.

boniver4Bon Iver performing live at the Tivoli in Brisbane. Come back soon guys…

music rock gods sad news

Ryan Adams calling it quits?

Well, now I’m really glad that I made the decision to get tickets to go see Ryan Adams & The Cardinals later this month. Ryan Adams yesterday posted on his blog that:

me- 34-a non smoker and happy, for the first time in my life.. i am excited to finish this wonderful time i have had with the cardinals and whatever new adventures may come after march. atlanta will be my last venture with the band and i am grateful for the time we have had and maybe someday we will have more stories to tell together[…]

well, i will walk away now and it will not matter what anyone say’s. there are other things i can do in this life, other ways to be creative and to try and help others and be expressive without being demonized for attempting to gain the same things any other human being desires- love- friendship- understanding- and being able to express yourself without constant fear of being mistreated for speaking up[…]

and you know, whatever this is- it’s not my dream. and it is a punishing thing to endure when you are getting worse and worse- it’s not my dream, my dream was to try and tap into that energy i saw watching Minutemen vcr tapes when i was just a little shit in NC of mike watt’s crazy shaking leg and his electric fingers- or how sonic youth droned into beautiful clouds those guitars shaking, kim and steve rattling the pulsing lines into feverish thudding imaginary subway cars racing through my heart- and how it felt to just let go and static up a riff and find the sweet spot- but getting yelled at for just being a songwriter- to be called so many horrid things because i chose to love music so much, and also to look for peace and balance in my life- that is not kindness and just not my thing. at least not now.

Click through to read the whole thing; although, if you’re a Ryan Adams fan, it might be a slightly depressing read (although I’m sure most of us saw this coming… eventually).

I’m seeing them perform at The Tivoli at the end of Jan. Lord knows it’s going to be bittersweet this time.

artists live songs music music videos

Ryan Adams, “Sinking Ships” – Black Cab Sessions

Because it’s been a while since my last Ryan Adams post, and because Black Cab Sessions just posted this a few days ago… well, the timing was too fortuitous to ignore. Below, for your entertainment: Ryan Adams performing “Sinking Ships”, live for a Black Cab Session.

Hat’s go off to the cabbie; Ryan could have been a very intimidating passenger:

Jason loved the idea, and on his return looked us up and offered his services for a Session. What is more, he just so happened to be a pretty big Ryan Adams fan. Perfect. There was a slight concern at the start of the Session though: Ryan gets car sick. Ryan’s manager warned us of this and asked that, as much as possible, we drive in a straight line. It’s definitely one of the stranger requests that Jason’s ever had, but he did his best while in the back Ryan manfully rose above the nausea to sing his heart out. Hope you enjoy it; Jason certainly did. Best straight line he’s ever driven.


Motown 50 – 50 Great Years

Regretably, this will be a quick post today, as it never rains, but it pours, you know? Anyway, hat-tip to Richard at Makakmedia for bringing this to my attention: today, January 12, marks the beginning of a year long celebration of the 50th anniversary of global music icon: MOTOWN.

Read more about the event here… but I thought I would pay simple tribute with this… two of my favourite clips, of possibly two of my favourite Motown artists… the incomparable Stevie Wonder, and Marvin Gaye.

Stevie Wonder – Superstition

Marvin Gaye – What’s Going On/What’s Happening Brother

Inspirational thoughts

Braddigan and the Dia de Luz – Day of Light

This is just a quick post – but hopefully one that will grab your attention – to let you know that DAY OF LIGHT, a feature documentary produced by Braddigan, will have its world premiere at Cinequest Film Festival in late February 2009.
Originally featured on this blog back here with the post “The World Needs You. Yes, You“, the images of La Chureca
still haunt me.

I’ll repeat what I said in the last post:

If you can help support this cause, in any way… I urge you to do so. Love Light and Melody’s “Donate” page is here (donations are tax-deductible up to 50% of adjusted gross income… and they accept PayPal, Visa, Mastercard, American Express, Discover, or eCheck; so it really couldn’t be easier); you can learn more about them her […] Finally, their homepage, with haunting images, is here.

I’ve embedded the trailer for the documentary below, and you can visit the official movie site here: Day Of Light Movie.

Below that, I’ve embedded a youtube clip of Brad Corrigan (aka Braddigan) talking about his reasons for bringing light to La Chureca.

Day of Light from Love Light & Melody on Vimeo.

Again… please, if you can, do something.