Too Drunk To Dream

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

LARRY CAMPBELL – silent troubador, ridiculous guitar-slinger

One of my first non-rant blog posts evah [archived from].

Larry never stops. Along with being Bob Dylan’s sideman for 8 years, this guy’s recently recorded with Levon Helm, Lucy Kaplansky, Ollabelle, Rob Barraco, Jim Lauderdale, Solomon Burke, the Holmes Brothers, and Linda Thompson. He’s also worked with the likes of Roseanne Cash, Sheryl Crow, Buddy and Julie Miller, Willie Nelson, Doug Sahm, Tracy Chapman, Cyndi Lauper, and kd lang.

He put out a solo record in 2005, which I picked up after seeing him at the Newport Folk Festival in the summer of ’05. It’s called Rooftops and it is amazing. Please listen to some mp3’s at:

In Larry’s own word’s : “I suppose the common thread running through most of this album (with the exception of the two originals and “House Carpenter”) is that these are all tunes that I originally learned on the fiddle. Playing fiddle tunes on solo guitar is certainly nothing new, but when you consider all the hoedowns, reels, jigs, rags, airs, waltzes etc. out there, it’s pretty rich territory to mine. Hope you enjoy it!” – Larry Campbell (Liner notes from Larry Campbell’s first solo recording “Rooftops”)

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December 9, 2008 Posted by | americana, bob dylan, ghost of electricity, guitar, instrumental, jameson, larry campbell, music, rock, rooftops, singer songwriter, toodrunktodream | Leave a comment

Wilco architect Jay Bennett releases new album, Whatever Happened I Apologize.

Former Wilco guitarist and blip-maker/knob-turner Jay Bennett has announced the delay of the release of a new album called ‘Kicking at the Perfumed Air’, and in it’s place released what he describes as “a very personal and concise 10-song album called ‘Whatever Happened I Apologize.’ After debating back and forth, I have decided to release ‘Apologize’ first. I am somewhat at a loss for words as to explain why I arrived at this decision, save to say it’s just one of those lonely and private choices one sometimes has to make-in other words, it just felt more like the right album for the time.”

Bennett described the new disc as “stark, stripped down and acoustic based-more so than any other record I have made. I really wanted to capture the simpler and more emotional nature of the songwriting, and I knew that the only way I could do this was to put it together quickly, with no second-guessing and no heavy deliberating about minor details. Consequently I would have to learn to embrace the resultant imperfections-and I have.”

Vocals were all done live with Bennett accompanying on acoustic guitar. “So it has some ‘warts,’ but, in my effort to not forsake integrity for technical perfection, the album ended up feeling more honest, immediate, naked and cohesive to me. I am very proud of presenting myself without my typical voluminous bells and whistles. I am left wondering why I haven’t done this more often in the past.”

From RockProper:

“The relationship between an artist and her tools is a complicated one. The instruments used to turn yourself inside out must be handled carefully. It is a dangerous responsibility to compress a lifetime into one single, frozen moment of color and texture.

She’s more into antiart now and we don’t talk much. But every so often I find myself thinking about all those long afternoons on the lakefront. Listening to the endless dramas of art school, I’d spend hours staring through her black mirror at the landscape of barren trees; her boney fingers working canvas after canvas into a diary of our lives back then.

Her work was simple, direct and courageous. Risking one’s heart on a thin layer of pigment is a hard way to live. I know I couldn’t do it. I kept a couple of her paintings, and I don’t think she knows, but every year it reminds me of the growing distance between now and that younger self, like the cracks in the plaster walls of my first apartment.”

Go to : RockProper to dowload the album for free
Go to : for networking of the social type

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November 24, 2008 Posted by | alt country, americana, ghost of electricity, indie, jay bennett, jeff tweedy, music, Rock Proper, singer songwriter, toodrunktodream, wilco | Leave a comment

Lead singer of Neutral Milk Hotel performed Sunday night in Columbus, OH

The fine, fine folks over at i guess i’m floating are reporting the legendarily reclusive Neutral Milk Hotel frontman Jeff Mangum played for a crowd at the Elephant 6 show Sunday night in Columbus, OH

Some of you are aware that Apples In Stereo frontman Robert Schneider, a fellow resident of Lexington, KY and co-founder of Elephant 6 Recording Company with Mangum, has embarked on a brief tour called the Elephant 6 Orchestra presents: “Holiday Surprise”. Naturally, one would hope to see Mangum join the extensive orchestra (surprise!) and (so far) it looks like he has. I’m not sure what his role is within the show, which artist is playing what, or how all of the Elephant 6 musicians are performing but I’ll be sure to find out soon; luckily, the final tour date for the tour is this Thursday in Lexington at The Red Mile and it’s for FREE! You can bet I’ll be there getting the scoop, but until then you can watch Mangum performing “Engine” last night in Columbus, OH. He’s still lurking in the shadows but that doesn’t seem to matter when it sounds oh, so good.

Tour ending grand finale of a full length NMH concert in Lexington, anyone? I’d hope so!

Jeff Mangum-XFM Radio Session May 1998 Engine

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October 22, 2008 Posted by | alt country, americana, blog, columbus, concert, indie, jameson, jamesonian, jeff mangum, live, live concert, live music, mog, music, Neutral Milk Hotel, singer songwriter, singing | 1 Comment

Can we discuss the band Shearwater?

I’m completely on the fence regarding the Austin, TX band Shearwater. Maybe I just need some like-minded junkies’ opinions on the matter. While I find the haunting, reflecting music of Jonathan Meiburg to be brilliant and hypnotic, I can’t say that I’m in love with the vocals. In the last year or so, my eyes and ears have run across countless industry people who fawn over this group, and I’ve tried so hard, keeping an open yet judgmental mind. I’m just not falling in love like I expected. I mean, I’ve fallen for Okkervil River (that was an easy sell) and since Shearwater is directly descended from the band, I expected an easy sell as well.

09 – Shearwater – The Snow Leopard.mp3 from ‘Rook’

02 – Shearwater – Rooks.mp3 from ‘Rook’

05 – Seventy-Four, Seventy-Five.mp3 from ‘Palo Santo’

06 – All The Pretty Horses.mp3 from ‘Sham Wedding/Hoax Funeral’

10 – Hail, Mary.mp3 from ‘Palo Santo’
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Tell me what you think?? Positive, negative…..hey, I’m an optimist (really?…no way) so sell me either way. ideally, the reason I am still on the fence is because I like them….mostly.

October 10, 2008 Posted by | alt country, indie, jameson, jamesonian, mog, music, okkervil river, rock, shearwater, singer songwriter, toodrunktodream | 5 Comments

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

Today is a Big Star kinda day

I wrote a long, beautiful fucking post about Big Star and I fucking hit paste instead of copy at some point and destroyed the whole fucking thing.  So what I’m left with is exhaustion, and some kick-ass links. 

What I was trying to say was that up until a year ago, I had no idea that Big Star carried the influence that they do.  They didn’t just put out a couple of masterpiece albums while facing utter commercial failure only to become hugely popular in the late 80’s-early 90’s alt-rock scene…..they WERE the late 80’s-early 90’s alt-rock scene, in 1972.  So here’s to them, and here’s to a post that’s floating around in the cache of my computer somewhere.   I’m gonna have a beer tonight, at pub trivia, for Big Star.

Big Star – 16 Kanga Roo.mp3

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Jeff Buckley – 08 Kanga-Roo.MP3

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Big Star – 12 September Gurls.mp3

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Of Montreal – 02 September gurls.mp3

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Big Star – 14 O, Dana.mp3

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Okkervil River 03 o, dana [big star].mp3

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Big Star – 04 Thirteen.mp3

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elliott smith – 12 – thirteen.mp3

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Wilco – Thirteen.mp3

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September 9, 2008 Posted by | #1 Record, acoustic, alex chilton, americana, art rock, big star, blog, indie, jameson, jamesonian, jeff buckley, jeff tweedy, jim james, mog, my morning jacket, of montreal, okkervil river, radio city, rock, singer songwriter, wilco | Leave a comment

Okkervil River posts new vids of artists covering O.R.’s new songs

In preperation for the release of Okkervil River’s new album The Stand Ins, the band has been releasing a series of brand new videos of artists and friends covering the new songs off of the album, which is due on Sept 9th. Get it? STAND INS!

One of the selections here, “Lost Coastlines”, is quickly becoming one of my top track of “the Ocho”, right along with “Singer Songwriter”. Will sat down and recorded the track acoustically, with New Pornographer A.C. Newman taking the vocals of recently-Shearwatered Jonathan Meiburg. Following that, there’s David Vandervelde and his stab at the aforementioned “Singer Songwriter”, and “Starry Stairs” performed by aussie Jack Ladder. Enjoy.

Intro to the series – Will Sheff

A.C. Newman and Will Sheff perform “Lost Coastlines”

David Vandervelde performs “Singer-Songwriter”

Jack Ladder performs “Starry Stairs”

August 26, 2008 Posted by | a.c. newman, acoustic, americana, david vandervelde, indie, jack ladder, lost coastlines, new pornographers, okkervil river, singer songwriter, stand ins, starry stairs | Leave a comment

Ray LaMontagne just touched me in my special area

Everyone’s favorite backwoodsman, Ray LaMontagne has returned with a HIGHLY-anticipated new album of material, titled Gossip in the Grain, being released on October 14, 2008 on RCA Records. Here is the second song to be previewed off of the album, titled “Let It Be Me”, and, yes, once again, the bearded one has touched me in my ‘special area’, my cardiac area.


Ray LaMontagne – Let It Be Me [from Gossip In The Grain].mp3


There comes a time, a time in everyone’s life
Where nothin’ seems to go your way
Where nothing seems to turn out right
There may come a time, you just can’t seem to find your place
For every door you walk open, seems like you get two slammed in your face.

That’s when you need someone, someone that you can call.
And when all your faith is gone
Feels like you can’t go on
Let it be me
Let it be me
If it’s a friend that you need
Let it be me
Let it be me

Feels like your always comin’ up last
Pockets full of nothin’, ain’t got no cash
No matter where you turn you ain’t got no place to stand
Reach out for something and they slap your hand
I remember all too well
Just how it feels to be all alone
You feel like you’d give anything
For just a little place you can call your own
That’s when you need someone, someone that you can call

And when all your faith is gone
Feels like you can’t go on
Let it be me
Let it be me
If it’s a friend you need
Let it be me
Let it be me.


and a little added bonus for today (I couldn’t pass it up)

Ray LaMontagne w/ Damien Rice – To Love Somebody (Bee Gees)[live]
…till next time…

August 23, 2008 Posted by | acoustic, art rock, gossip in the grain, indie, let it be me, new album, ray lamontagne, singer songwriter | Leave a comment

She & Him – You Really Got A Hold On Me [video]

I’ve become quite obsessed with this album this week. It doesn’t REALLY live up to the indie hype would indicate, but all-in-all the album is a sublimely eloquent and enjoyable album. Simple, no pretense. No aspirations of a hit single. Just back porch, indulgent music. Here’s my last video for a while….

April 2, 2008 Posted by | acoustic, folk, indie, jamesonian, m. ward, she and him, singer songwriter, toodrunktodream, you really got a hold on me, zooey deschanel | Leave a comment

Beirut in Paris Part 2 : Zach Covers "Hallelujah"

This video is a little montage of some clips I’ve collected with Beirut’s Zach Condon covering Leonard Cohen’s “Hallelujah” in the Jeff Buckley style (follow? good. I like you). This audio clip was culled from Beirut’s Nov. 2007 Black Session in gay Paris. Seek it out. It’s quite good.
Beirut – Black Session – Hallelujah.mp3

This marks my second foray into fooling around with some new video software. I did it the fast and easy way, but the back end took a while with editing and quality issues. It didn’t come out terrible.

March 30, 2008 Posted by | acoustic, balkan, beirut, black session, indie, jamesonian, jeff buckley, leonard cohen, live music, rock, singer songwriter, toodrunktodream, zach condon | Leave a comment