Too Drunk To Dream

…ain’t no drinking when the bottle’s dry…

My Review: Ryan Adams and The Cardinals – CARDINOLOGY

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals – CARDINOLOGY [2008]


[Thanks Blogspot for erasing my 1st post assholes]

Ryan wears his heart on his sleeve. No doubt. He tried so hard to get his new album stamped with the name ‘Cardinals’, just Cardinals…No Ryan Adams, no Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, just Cardinals. When he eventually lost that battle with his record company, Lost Highway, he found the need to apologize to his band, and to remind his listeners that his band is one solid entity, one solid creative force. And after a couple of years playing together, it appears that CARDINOLOGY aims to prove the case. The band is still Ryan’s, and that’s thankfully still evident. He’s always going to be the spark plug of the engine, perhaps quite literally.

Ryan Adams & The Cardinals Cardinology in Stores NOW!

With his continued sobriety comes greater focus. I’m not gonna talk about Ryan’s ability to write and record 3 albums in a year. It’s clear that he can write that much above average material in that amount of time, regardless of mental or physical health. It’s possibly in the execution of this material where some of wheels have come off in the past. With Ryan figuring himself out, and dealing face to face with issues that, a few short years ago he would have confronted with a barrage of alcohol and pills, the music has finally met the lyrics. And with the partnership that Ryan has fostered with his bandmates, the music that is being produced is intelligently written, beautifully sung, even-keeled, and definitely holds far fewer surprises than with Ryan’s output in the past. Neal Casal, Jon Graboff, Brad Pemberton, and Chris Feinstein are all at the wheel, providing Adams with a new sense of direction.

At first listen, CARDINOLOGY doesn’t grab me. Sure a couple songs did. ‘Fix It’ and ‘Magick’ are easily singled out after a listen or two. What I found after subsequent listens is that this album slowly unveils itself to be a subtle, well-crafted Cardinals record. Now, on listen number ten, I’m convinced that this is an album to really like. talk to me in a month and I may be nominating it for a place high on my best-of 2008 . But you knew that already…I’m a fan, I admit it. but take that for what it’s worth. I was ready to NOT like this album…I was sold on CARDINOLOGY. It earned it.

Born Into A Light

echoes of Cold Roses, but a distant echo. A fitting opener and it sets a great tone.

For everyone alone I wish you faith and hope
And all the strength to cope
To be your own best friend have confidence and keep the faith
Be patient oh the past is just a memory and heal
Heal,you evangel,heal inside eventually

Go Easy

A sleeper that grabbed a hold of me after a couple of listens

If only to say this to you now
I love you still,
And I always will
If only to say this to myself
I will always love you,
I will always love you
So go easy on yourself

Fix It

The single. When I hear it played in Boston, it was an immediate yes. I love it. I hear it at night and wake up humming it in the morning.

I know it’s not a game
But it feels like losing
when someone you love throws you away


Hold on. Strap in. Hit the gas pedal. This tune is such a guilty pleasure. I want to dislike it, but there’s no way. It’s so fun. Every time I hear it, it gets better. I start off the song with a sinister smile on my face. Then Neal Casal comes in around 1:10 singing back-up on ‘zombies runnin’ all around’, and that smile grows to diabolical. Then they start singing about superpowers, and giving radios to evil clowns and making them disappear. And that’s when my head explodes. Love it. Guiltily.


A favorite for sure. Simple. Sparse, Atmospheric, and layered to hell.

I always pause if I can on 5th avenue
Look uptown with my head in the stars
Somewhere the buildings give way to sunlight
Give way to east and west Central Park

If I fall will you catch me?
If I’m sorry, sorry enough?
If I fall will you pity me?
Will you confuse my love for the cobwebs?

Let Us Down Easy

One of the highlights. Channeling Dylan at his lyrical and musical best. And Casal’s guitar playing on the last half of the song is perfect.

In patches of pink clouds, thick smoke
Comes rising off them hillside slopes
Down here in this neighborhood
It’s the dumps
With cars iced up
perfect for writing on if
you’re wearing gloves

Every season I spend alone
Feels like a thousand to my heart and to my soul
So let me down if you must, but let us down
Easy Lord oh, let us down easy Lord, oooo let us down.

Instead of praying I tell god these jokes
he must be tired of himself so much
he must be more than dissapointed
christmas comes we eat alone
a pretty girl surrounds some pretty thought
who takes your order she yells it and
she cries alone in the backroom once
it stops then she smiles
So let her down if you must
But let us down easy, lord

Crossed Out Name
this song is one that completely unfolded for me

Natural Ghost
another unfolded song.

And you, you make me feel like I’m here when I’m not
And it, it makes me feel like I’m not here
You, you make me feel like I’m not here
But I am, I am
More than you think I am

Sink Ships

silly lyrics and serious music. It makes for a really good song.

Evergreen and
Like Yesterday

nothing bad to say. I just want to get to:


My other highlight. Wow depressing! What is this, Love is Hell?

Stop is a confessional song about drug use and self help and is a testament of someone overcoming their demons. This fucking song gives me chills. 100 percent on board the Ryan train on this one. I feel like I’m inside his brain, and he’s inside mine, fighting those urges that scar soooo deep.

I know a sickness ancient and cross
No crucifix could ever fix enough
But in the basement of a church, these people they talk
There is a line that must be walked

If you want to make it stop
Then stop

I know a place where the future is denied
I know a hand that twitches inside
For some of us the glass is filled with lights
But if the honey makes you sick, honey there is the line
That must be walked

If you want to make it stop
Then stop

Call in the backup and the backup comes
But nobody can help you if you wont
Inside your chest your heart is just hurt
Behind your eyes a need replaced a want

I know a sickness so ancient and cross
No crucifix can ever fix enough
I know a past where the future is lost
I know a line that must be walked
There is a darkness and there is a light
And there is a choice
For a balance to be made every night
A weakness must be found

If you want it to stop

November 1, 2008 Posted by | alt country, cardinals, cardinology, lost highway, ryan adams, ryan adams and the cardinals | 1 Comment

Ryan Adams – Cardinology comes out tomorrow…go buy it.

Rolling Stone : 4/5

Ryan Adams’ drug problems and public tantrums have often overshadowed his music. But Cardinology may put an end to that. His first release in a year — notable for a guy who put out three (albeit spotty) full-lengths in 2005 — it’s the record he has spent the past few years promising but never quite delivering. Drunk on melody, high on musical history, but all his own, the record throbs with great playing and singing, and thrums with hope without pimping easy platitudes. It’s one of the best things he’s ever done.

Stereogum: Premature Evaluation:

Even though “Magick” tells us to turn the radio up (and “Go Easy” has a stronger Adams’ bellow in its power ballad moments) on the whole it’s a quieter affair. Actually, maybe that’s just because the best songs are the hushed ones — even when they have some uplift like “Cobwebs” — and they end up sticking in the mind. Cardinology also closes with its most spare moment, “Stop,” five minutes of Closing Time piano plus strings and Ryan’s voice in a fragile, higher register. It’s a kind of lament filled with religious imagery and moving to worries about the future, a visit to an ad hoc psychiatrist (i.e. the singer/songwriter and Cardinologist Ryan Adams), and a repeated whisper to “stop” (the last word on the record).

Let Us Down Easy


Cardinology Preorder at ITunes Store

October 27, 2008 Posted by | cardinals, cardinology, jameson, let us down easy, lost highway, rock, ryan adams, ryan adams and the cardinals, toodrunktodream | Leave a comment

Mr. Ryan Adams and the Cardinals, 9/7/08 Boston, Mass

The third part of my most amazing musical weekend ended on Sunday night with a concert by everybody’s favorite basket-case, David Ryan Adams. And while it’s true that I’m a huge fan, the events that took place under the Bank of America Pavilion’s space-tent the other night were just other-worldly.

Ryan Adams and the Cardinals 9/7/2008

[Really easy to download in 3 parts, and it works BITCHIN with DownThemAll]




Or Click to play along….


The Back Story

My fiance, Jess, and I left Philly around noon. We had spent a quick weekend visiting my sister and, with her, we saw My Morning Jacket on Friday night, and were surprised into seeing Ben Folds with the Philadelphia Symphony Orchestra on Saturday night. After sleeping in on Sunday morning, grabbing a few cups of sister’s excellently strong chocolaty coffee, and saying our goodbyes, we were on the road.

Sorry Pennsylvania, New Jersey, New York, Connecticut, and Massachusetts: we left you in the dust.

We rolled into Beantown after picking up a couple of friends, Anna and Jeff, and proceeded to drive around in circles while the GPS not-so-politely informed us that it’s a piece-o-fucking-shit. We found our venue the old fashioned way (thank you very much…), paid 35 bucks for someone to put a little ticket on our dashboard, and hit the venue. As with MMJ on Friday, when we walked into the venue, the band took the stage.

The Show

The BoA Pavilion is a completely laid back venue! I’d see a show there anytime! Good seats everywhere, cafe style table in the back if you just want to chill, nice restrooms, smallish capacity of 5,000 people, huge white circus-style tent, big beers, nice staff, video screens, room to spread out if you just wanna dance.

Ryan and company took the stage and quietly went straight to business, starting the set with “Off Broadway”, but not the track from Easy Tiger, no. And not much like it’s predecessor on the hodgepodge bootleg Suicide Handbook, either. This had flavor. It had aggression. It had purpose. It was epic. And it was going to be a sign of things to come.

The first set had Ryan and Neal Casal in business mode. Bartering Lines, the classic off of heartbreaker, was nothing short of haunting and powerful. Goodnight Rose, Everybody Knows, and Two from Easy Tiger. Three new songs, and a handful of perfect songs from the back catalog. The highlight had to be, for me, Come Pick Me Up, which Ryan had to regress back into the comfort of his therapist’s chair before he could belt it out.

“Some of this stuff is a little emotional and trying for me today…..(it’s ok)…..this one especially….let’s just get through this one…(ok, ok )…Ryan, you’re not crazy, you’re just spoiled, and…(sigh) ok……”

and then he nailed it.

The second set picked up where the first let off. Except the band took off from the stratosphere, puncturing the roof-canopy and joining the skyline of the city lights above. The set trancended time, and left the ground quickly with Let It Ride, Games, Cold Roses, and A Kiss Before I Go, before a powerful 1,2,3 punch of Peaceful Valley, Dear John, and a spine-shivering Shakedown on 9th Street.

We’re in the fourth dimension….

And after the debut performance of Sinking Ships and The Color of Pain, the band returned with a solid Beuatiful Sorta, and, one of the finest show closers I’ve seen in a long time, a loud, chilling version of I See Monsters.

Two and a half hours. It could have gone another 2 1/2. Tight, concise, on point. This was Ryan in control. I can’t wait to see where he’s going to take this show. I’m hoping, no praying, for another trip back to Boston this winter. We’d love to have him….I know I would.

ryan adams 2008-09-07 Come Pick Me Up.mp3

ryan adams 2008-09-07 Shakedown on 9th Street.mp3

ryan adams 2008-09-07 I See Monsters.mp3

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September 10, 2008 Posted by | bank of america pavilion, boston, concert, improvisation, indie, jameson, jamesonian, live, live concert, mog, playlist, rock, ryan adams, ryan adams and the cardinals, singer songwriter | 2 Comments