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Technology Advice You Can Trust

Hi, I'm Dave Hyndman. I am a senior IT consultant providing CIO-level advice to small & medium businesses, non-profits and government departments and agencies.​

Filtering by Category: music

Wilco on Austin City Limits

Here's a great video of Wilco performing Impossible Germany on Austin City Limits. The song is from Sky Blue Sky, Wilco's most recent album and one of my faves. One of the highlights of the album is the addition of free-jazz guitarist Nels Cline to the lineup. The video is a great example of what he adds to the band.

Apparently this show aired on PBS a few nights ago. However, due to the frustration that is PBS, its affiliates and how they carry and schedule shows, it doesn't appear to be offered by our affiliate, WGBH in Boston. I guess I'll have to track it down on BitTorrent instead.

Thanks to Aquarium Drunkard for the video.

Tom Petty rock-doc, Running Down the Dream

Tom Petty resides high in my personal rock canon. Damn the Torpedoes and Hard Promises were formative, seminal albums for me; albums I've listened to hundreds of times. So I was very excited to learn this morning, via a post by John Gruber, that he's releasing a rock-doc this month called Running Down the Dream. The DVD will be released on October 16. I've pre-ordered mine.

Here's the trailer:

And here's a great video about The Waiting (I love Tom playing the guitar intro over and over):

But it shall be an awesome mini-van that will haunt your dreams.

This made the rounds a while back and was sent to me by my cousin, Rob. The Best Band Email EVER.

Valley Lodge/Thurs., January 18/10:30pm/Mercury Lounge (217 E. Houston St. at the corner of Avenue A)

Attention People Of New York City:

Hi. How are you? Super, I hope. Anyway, I was just writing to totally remind you about how my incredible rock band Valley Lodge will be rocking like a four-headed motherf&%ker TOMORROW night (Thurs., Jan. 18, dammit) at the Mercury Lounge (right over there on Houston Street, near all the shops) at the rock-sanctioned time of 10:30pm. We shall arrive on horseback, brandishing torches and drinking the blood of priests as the screams of the undead echo in the distance. Actually, now that I think about it, we will probably just rent a mini-van or something. But it shall be an awesome mini-van that will haunt your dreams. Anyway, I really hope you can make it. It is good to rock and one day we will all be dead and we will not be able to rock as much anymore. And then I shall see you in Hades and you will be all like I wish I had done more rocking in life and then I will be all like Well, I totally sent you that e-mail. Then I will ride off on the horse with the blood and the torch and stuff. It is easier to get that stuff in Hades. In fact, you kind of look like an a-hole if you do not have that stuff in Hades. Anyway, we can talk more about all this tomorrow at the rock show.

Godspeed, Dave Hill www.valleylodgemusic.com www.myspace.com/valleylodge www.davehillonline.com

Great Music ... 4 Months into 2007

Four months into 2007, I have a list of music in heavy rotation that I'm enjoying as much as any batch of music in a long time: Arcade Fire - Neon BibleArcade Fire - Neon Bible

Bright Eyes - CassadagaBright Eyes - Cassadaga

Dinosaur Jr - BeyondDinosaur Jr - Beyond

Kings of Leon - Because of the TimesKings of Leon - Because of the Times

Modest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even SankModest Mouse - We Were Dead Before the Ship Even Sank

The National - AlligatorThe National - Alligator

The Shins - Wincing the Night AwayThe Shins - Wincing the Night Away

Wilco - Sky Blue SkyWilco - Sky Blue Sky

Neil Young - Live at Massey Hall 1971Neil Young - Live at Massey Hall 1971

All of the links above are to Amazon.com (US). Unfortunately, of these albums only the Dinosaur Jr and The National are available from eMusic, my preferred source for music.

Happy listening.

Meet the Smithereens

Meet the Smithereens: Tribute to the Beatles I met the Smithereens 15 years ago, with the release of their brilliant Especially for You, featuring their somewhat hit, Blood & Roses. After a long hiatus they're back with a fun album of Beatles covers. This is a collection of familiar pop songs covered by a great band. My only complaint is that it's a little too note-for-note for my covers tastes. It definitely sounds like the Smithereens but I wish it sounded a little more like the Simthereens. Still ... this one is highly recommended.

And it's available at eMusic.

DRM sucks ... one reason why people steal music

Just received an IM from a friend. Goes like this:

this is why i STEAL music!!!

i bought a song on ITUNES to use in my PHOTOSTORY and can't use it..

grrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrrr

This is the problem with DRM. Here's someone who's not looking to steal music and, in fact, legitimately bought the music. But Apple's DRM wouldn't let her use it the way she wanted to. She will now go and BitTorrent it. The RIAA would certainly consider that theft. I would not.

Pitchfork interview with Tom Waits

Pitchfork has a good interview with Tom Waits. Best Line:

Pitchfork: Do you keep a notebook?

Tom Waits: Oh yeah, everybody does! Life is too confusing. Monkey wrenches, pocket knives, dog food, instant coffee, lipstick. You gotta get it organized somehow.

OrphansI'm currently enjoying his brilliant new collection, Orphans: Brawlers, Bawlers, and Bastards. Actually, I'm enjoying the Bawlers third of it while I wait for my eMusic monthly subscription to refresh so that I can download the rest.

Robyn & The Venus 3 were great!!

Last night's gig was fantastic. Seeing Robyn rock with the Venus 3 made for a very different concert than the first time I saw him, but still a lot of fun. He is such a great entertainer and he's got this fantastic voice. And hearing Peter Buck's signature guitar ring through was equal parts new and familiar, particularly when he was playing the six-string Rickenbacker. Beth writes about the gig over at BlogTO, and has posted some pics of the show on Flickr.

It was also my first time at the Mod Club and I'd say it's Toronto's best concert venue. You can see and hear perfectly from anywhere in the room, so there's no stress of finding and defending a good spot. Best of all, it's just a walk down the street from our house.

Finally, it was great to see a gig with Chris & Carolyn (and Fred). Chris & Carolyn and Nicky & I started seeing Toronto gigs together 15 years ago. Old times. The biggest difference is that we had to leave before the gig was over because we all had to relieve babysitters at 12:30. Oh well.

Robyn Hitchcock tonight

We're off to see Robyn Hitchcock tonight. He's playing the Mod Club with his current band, the Venus 3. The Venus 3 are 3/5 of REM, including Peter Buck. I saw Robyn play a few years ago at The Sweetwater in Mill Valley. He played with Grant-Lee Phillips and they performed one of the best gigs I've ever seen. Charles Redell provides a set-list and writes a great review of the show:

Two men got up on stage with a sublime sense for entertaining and a remarkable talent for keeping audiences engaged and tried, while playing perfectly with each other, to always outdo one another too. They put on a show made up of their absolutely wonderful songs, hilarious interludes between those songs, and a tribute to the pop music history that allows them to exist as the entertainers they are today.

Hopefully he'll deliver something equally great tonight. His current album, Ole! Tarantula, is fantastic so it should be good.

For more information on Robyn, check out Mike Doherty's article about Robyn in today's National Post.

CD Baby: great customer service email

My cousin Rob just ordered a couple of Joe Purdy CDs from CD Baby. He received the common ecommerce, “your order has shipped” email. But it was somewhat uncommon:

Your CDs have been gently taken from our CD Baby shelves with sterilized contamination-free gloves and placed onto a satin pillow.

A team of 50 employees inspected your CDs and polished them to make sure they were in the best possible condition before mailing.

Our packing specialist from Japan lit a candle and a hush fell over the crowd as he put your CDs into the finest gold-lined box that money can buy.

We all had a wonderful celebration afterwards and the whole party marched down the street to the post office where the entire town of Portland waved 'Bon Voyage!' to your package, on its way to you, in our private CD Baby jet on this day, Sunday, December 11th.

I hope you had a wonderful time shopping at CD Baby.  We sure did.
Your picture is on our wall as "Customer of the Year".  We're all exhausted but can't wait for you to come back to CDBABY.COM!!

Thank you once again,

Derek Sivers, president, CD Baby

How did I not know about Lucero?

My music buddy, Jeff Hemphill, turned me onto Lucero this week. Now, I know the alt.country scene pretty well, though people like Jeff, his brother Mark, and Jim Finn, a good friend from my our San Francisco days, know it far better. So why have I never heard of Lucero?

After Jeff sent me an email saying Lucero's self-titled debut and this year's Nobody's Darling were in heavy rotation on his CD player, I downladed Tennessee from eMusic. That was five days ago and at this moment I have a copy in the CD players in both our cars. I also have it loaded as the current playlist on the iPod, the home PC and the work notebook. I cannot stop playing this album!! To my tastes, this is the best thing I've heard in a long while: that perfect, slow burn alt-country sung with a voice perfectly suited to the genre, that of Ben Nichols. Add some smart, painful lyrics and you've got perfect music:

When You're Gone
I miss you when you're gone
Please don't stay gone too long
I miss you when you're gone
Please don't stay gone

Darby's Song
Little girl is still far too young
To have a heart that's been so broken
It might seem like you ain't got noone
Well, I'm here for you

I'll Just Fall
I think I'll stay right down here on this floor
Cause if I get back up I'll only fall down more
It ain't the liquor and it ain't the beer that keeps me down
It ain't the sad songs or heartache it ain't even this town

Unless your music store is way better than mine, you'll not likely find this stuff there. For some instant gratification, head over to eMusic, sign up for the trial that gives you 50 free downloads, and grab a couple of Lucero's albums.

Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash, Aces & Diamonds

Here's a great find: free MP3s of Bob Dylan and Johnny Cash's unreleased Aces & Diamonds, 1969.

As far as I could determine, this 1969 session features tracks from a CBS Studios session in Nashville, TN that did not see an official release. A Japanese company released these discs from an unknown source. The bonus tracks are taken from The Johnny Cash Show. Cash's vocals have a more commanding presence than Dylan's.