Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Happy New Year!

Greetings from La Quinta in Denver. We made record time from Houston to Denver today - about 14 hours. Getting some rest tonight and then hittin' the (hopefully unfrozen) pavement again in the morning for about 4 more hours to our destination of Steamboat Springs.

This quaint Colorado town will be gearing up for Music Fest as we gear up for a 44" snow base and champagne powder runs. Tomorrow night will be full of fireworks, champagne, and whiskey - yes all at the same time - so no time for posting. That's why i'm writing this New Year's Post now. But you wouldn't have ever known that as i'll schedule the post for tomorrow. Ok, i'll shut up now.

2009 already has lots of promise. Many highly anticipated releases are scheduled - as well as some others that i'm simply expecting without any substantiating evidence.

Also, the 22nd of January will mark the 1 Year Anniversary of This Mornin' I Am Born Again. You can email me for the address to send gifts to.

So, have a great remainder of the Holidays and we'll see you next year.


Todd Snider - Happy New Year
Slaid Cleaves - One Good Year
The Walkmen - In The New Year
Jack Ingram - Auld Lang Syne

Monday, December 29, 2008

New Old Stuff in '09....

The other day i got a request for a re-post of a song that showed up on my Ode to the Vinyl Record. Instead of just re-linking the Ryan Adams' If I Am A Stranger vinyl rip from an old 7-inch, i thought i'd make a post with some interesting news. Thanks to Christmas, i now have a new toy to help supply my faithful readers with some extra musical goodness in 2009:

Not only is that a badass new record player with great sound, fast playback, and an iPod dock, but it has a USB cable that allows for easy ripping of that Vinyl sound. So many of those Vinyl-only tracks i possess will be making their way to the digital world and onto the pages of This Mornin' I Am Born Again. This comes just in time for the part of my Ryan Adams Spotlight fast approaching that will now include many Side D's full of great bonus tracks.

Ryan Adams - If I Am A Stranger (Vinyl Rip)

Also, another re-post request came in for my Surviving Ike Mixtape. Get it while you can.


Townes Van Zandt - Colorado Bound

In other news, i'll be heading North bright and early tomorrow morning for a New Year's Ski Trip. Steamboat, CO is the final destination, and in terms of driving, that's just about as far as i'm willing to go. The laptop will be making the trip, so i'll try to get a post or two up.

Sunday, December 28, 2008

Top Albums of 2008 (Part II)....

5. The Raconteurs - Consolers of the Lonely
3/25/08 ~ Third Man/Warner Bros.

i've always been a little wary of Jack White. His first effort with The Raconteurs swayed me a bit, but Consolers of the Lonely has sealed the deal. Much like what Caitlin Cary does for Ryan Adams, i believe Brendan Benson has a calming effect on Jack, keeping his crazy side in check. With each turn taken during the album, i am continually impressed with the musical decisions of this superband. Consolers reached just far enough into the folk realm to get me interested in the first place, and acquiring the album made visible the allure that has surrounded Jack White since the beginning.

Old Enough

Purchase: [Amazon CD /Vinyl][Direct CD /Vinyl][iTunes]


4. The Felice Brothers - The Felice Brothers
3/4/08 ~ Team Love

Although they've been releasing music since 2006, i feel like 2008 was the breakout year for The Felice Brothers. i first posted about them back in February and, aside from Ryan Adams, they have been one of the most prevalent bands here at This Mornin'... An apt follow-up to last year's Tonight At The Arizona, their self-titled album from this year is a raucous ride through backwoods country-side making stops in old-time barrooms and dirty roadside oases. 'Frankie's Gun' took top honors in my Best Songs List without much of a fight. If i didn't feel the need to spread the accolades around, songs like 'Wonderful Life', 'Greatest Show', 'Take This Bread', and 'Love Me Tenderly' could have also made the list. Moreover, i got to see the brothers live a short while back, and it only further instilled my appreciation for this authentic, super-talented band.

Love Me Tenderly

Purchase: [Amazon CD /Vinyl][Direct CD /Vinyl][iTunes]


3. Fleet Foxes - Fleet Foxes
6/3/08 ~ Sub Pop

An album sure to be on many top lists, Fleet Foxes self-titled debut deserves every bit of praise coming its way. Sub Pop has proved once again that the sounds coming from the rainy Northwest are well worth paying attention to. The Foxes have self-described themselves as 'baroque-pop,' and as much as i've tried, i haven't found a better description. With a lack of desire for conventional song structure and soaring vocals, The Fleet Foxes have managed to come off as classical while retaining what the appeal of the indie sound. Their chamber-music is at once peaceful and deeply inspiring. The fact that a 22-year old Robin Pecknold had the sage vision to put together a band of their caliber gives me tremendous hope for this young generation and their music.

Your Protector

[Amazon CD /Vinyl][Direct CD /Vinyl][iTunes]


2. Conor Oberst - Conor Oberst
8/5/08 ~ Merge Records

Conor and his Mystic Valley Band took refuge in a secluded part of central Mexico to record the first album to bear the name of this Omaha alt-rocker. As you well know, Conor has a slew of releases under the moniker Bright Eyes as well as a ton of side projects. Conor Oberst is the most focused and accessible album that he has recorded. Shedding much of the cult-like stigma that hindered his 2007 Bright Eyes album as well as most of the peculiar and erratic tendencies from his adolescent career, Conor has solidified his place as the Best American Songwriter under 30. 'Souled Out' reached #7 on my Best Songs List, which is an obvious injustice to the rest of the album. i truly can't skip one song on the disc, and that includes the 50 second horn-blowing track from Ruben the Mexican. Conor and band headlined the above-mentioned show i attended in Austin. Read what i said about Conor Oberst back in my September Album Round-up.


Purchase: [Amazon CD /Vinyl][Direct CD /Vinyl /mp3][iTunes]

1. These United States - Crimes
9/23/08 ~ United Interests

These United States' second album of 2008 was immediately put in the running for the top spot when i first picked it up back in September. Read my original impression. Following A Picture of the Three of Us at the Gate to the Garden of Eden (whew...), Jesse Elliot put together a group of musicians and booked some studio time with an obvious vision in mind. What came out of the sessions was the Best Album of 2008. If you refer back to the preamble in Part I of this post, i talk a bit about the concept of an album - it being a complete work and not simply a neat packaging of songs. You'll notice no cuts from Crimes were on my Best Songs List. Crimes reads like a story, a narrative that wouldn't be complete without each element intact. The track-breaks flow seamlessly like chapters, with each song relating to the others through the common theme of the innate sinful nature of the human being. Crimes is jangly and loud for the most part, heavy on the background vocals and community instruments. Even the songs that begin at a crawl build and evolve back into an all-inclusive, welcoming sing-along. To have an album feel cohesive but still manage to continually engage the listener, one vital element is necessary: Dynamic. Crimes is unmatched in its layer quantity and progressive feel. And that's just the sound of the album. Jesse Elliot fills each song with witty phrasing that begs you to listen intently. He'll take a well-known saying and cleverly alter a word or two so that it will catch your ear no matter what other activity you're engaged in. His slightly arrogant, but overly friendly delivery has the effect of a beloved author - one that you know is much smarter than you yet is still very relatable. Pick up this one, don't simply download a track. Play it from beginning to end, and i promise it will leave you wanting more.

Old John Chapman Takes a Good Long Walk

Purchase: [Amazon][Direct][iTunes]


Be sure to read my Top 10 Songs of 2008.

Saturday, December 27, 2008

Top 10 Albums of 2008 (Part I)....

Just in time, i bring you my list for the Best Albums of 2008. Throughout this year-end list process, i've come to realize i don't like making lists. Maybe next year i won't order them.

i will offer some limited justification for my picks after naming each album, so i won't go on too much here in the preamble. But i feel like i should explain some of my decision making processes. Since really getting into good music in the last couple of years, one of the biggest changes i've gone though is to deeply respect the concept of an album. An album shouldn't just be a collection of songs thrown together haphazardly; an album should have an overall theme, a prevailing mood, a focused direction. Like any good story, an album should have a distinct beginning, middle, and end. It should feel like a completed project. In most cases, albums represent what a band/artist has to show for their talent and inspiration for that year. Often though (as for the group that takes the top spot on my list), bands put out multiple albums in a year. In these cases where the artists' muses are set to overdrive, you get to see a maturity and musical transition from a much closer viewpoint.

Most of my picks - the top 4, for example - were fairly easy decisions. The rest of my list however, required much more deliberation. i made this list about six times, and albums 5-10 changed form as much as Texas weather. With time running out, i forced myself to come to a final count. Some really good albums didn't make the cut - even some i was subconsciously rooting for. But i will stick by picks (for at least the next week).


10. Bombadil - A Buzz, A Buzz
4/29/08 ~ Ramseur Records

The guys in Bombadil were some of the first folks to reach out to this new blogger back in April. They thought i might be interested in their music and subsequently sent me a promo copy. What i heard was one of the most youthful and unique albums ever. Eight months later, A Buzz, A Buzz remains just as refreshing as day one; and just as unconventional as the first time i heard that Peruvian flute put to use. Read my original Bombadil post.

Julian of Norwich


9. Frightened Rabbit - The Midnight Organ Fight
4/14/08 ~ Fat Cat Records

One of the latest additions to this list, The Midnight Organ Fight obviously didn't require much getting used to. This Scottish band has found a perfect indie-rock sound that doesn't come out trite or overdone. Immediately impressive guitar licks provide a background for thoughtful lyrics sung with barefaced emotion. Read my New Digs from November 11th with a feature on FR.

Head Rolls Off

Purchase: [Amazon][Direct][iTunes]

8. Horse Feathers - House With No Home
9/9/08 ~ Kill Rock Stars

Another late applicant for this list (read the same New Digs with a feature on Horse Feathers), House With No Home is a sparse, rustic folk album. The outward simplicity in the songs allows the true musical talents of this trio (sometimes a quintet+) to shine through. Horse Feathers toes the line between Classical and Bluegrass to bring you a sophisticated yet still earthy effort.

A Burden

Purchase: [Amazon CD /Vinyl][Direct CD /Vinyl][iTunes]

7. The Dedringers - Sweetheart of the Neighborhood
7/10/08 ~ Dedcrow Records

My local pick for this year goes to Austin/Houston's own Dedringers. At first this album didn't seem like a year's best, mainly due to the fact the majority of the songs on Sweetheart had been floating around Sean and Jonny's setlists and Myspace page for the last couple of years. Finally finding a profitable avenue through which to release a full-length disc, The Dedringers grabbed the best of those older songs and combined them with a handful of new tunes (including #6 on my Best Songs List as well as a groovy cover from the side of Townes Van Zandt that is often overlooked). Their strong folk influences are sometimes clouded by other... dirtier, electric ones, but the guys found a perfect balance between the two on Sweetheart of the Neighborhood. If you've been a regular here for a while, you know you could have picked up the album FREE a while back.


Purchase: [Amazon][iTunes]

6. Kasey Chambers & Shane Nicholson - Rattlin' Bones
9/16/08 ~ Sugar Hill Records

One of my most anticipated 2008 releases did not disappoint. What was said to be Kasey (and husband) returning to their musical roots was just that. Often stripped down, always well-crafted songs center around themes of Heaven and Hell in this AIRA-winning album. The title track received the #2 spot on my Best Songs List. Check out Nelson's more in-depth review over at A Fifty Cent Lighter... If you don't know about Kasey, check out my Artist Spotlight.

Jackson Hole



Thursday, December 25, 2008

Ryan Adams: It's Christmas Time....

Ryan Adams - Hey Parker, It's Christmas

This exceptional and rare B-side from Ryan was included on a 7 inch with limited purchases of Rock N Roll in December of 2003.

Ryan seems to have an affinity for the obscure brunette actress. Although he claims to only have been good friends with Winona Ryder, rumors of their dating still abound. Later, he very publicly cavorted with Parker Posey. Along with the infamous Amy, Parker is one of a select few lovers to be immortalized in a song title. Also, Alanis Morrisette got more than a few liner mentions back in the Gold days, but Ryan denies ever dating her.

Earlier this year, Ryan was seen terrorizing Hollywood with actress/singer Mandy Moore. But the most recent raven-haired starlet to have a Ryan Adams connection is the stunning Mary Louise Parker. My newly acquired copy of Ryan's first literary work Infinity Blues contains the following quote from Mary Louise on the back cover:
"Ryan Adams writes with equal parts precision and recklessness; the blood he draws from the text is easily as unnerving as its unapologetic tenderness. He is proof that poetry will find its writer."
'Thank You Louise' from Love Is Hell is rumored to be an ode to the Weeds star; in the song he expands on the name referring to a Mary-Louise. Here you'll find the essential music to know to get with Mary Louise. Number 6 on the list is Ryan's 'Come Pick Me Up.' She says it "makes [her] want to &%#$ the butcher, the baker, and the candlestick maker."


Enjoy these tidbits, as they will be the closest thing to celebrity gossip you will ever find on This Mornin' I Am Born Again. Oh, and Merry Christmas!

Wednesday, December 17, 2008

David Allan Coe Live @ The Firehouse....

In my line of Landman work, living arrangements can be fleeting. So a few weeks ago, i had to leave the homestead and head back home to SW Houston. Despite losing the openness and privacy, there are quite a few advantages to the new (old) place: quantity of good friends nearby, reliable internet service, great (hell any) restaurants, and an abundance of LIVE SHOWS.

One particularly surprising find was seeing that David Allan Coe was scheduled to play at Houston's Firehouse Saloon. i didn't even know the original outlaw was still alive, but this long-haired redneck hasn't lost any of his fire.

Coe's music played a large part in my high school career - at least on the weekends. For a couple years, most gatherings ended with a group sing-along of his notorious You Never Even Called Me By My Name - the 'perfect country & western song.'

My expectations for the show weren't particularly high - i expected to get a few of his standards and plenty of four-letter words. But like i said, David hasn't lost one bit of his offensive sprite. He is brutally honest and unmatched in his arrogance - but that has always been his allure.

After a multi-song cover medley to start the show (Hello In There, Please Come To Boston, Drift Away...) a fan near the front seemed to be displeased by the song choice. A drink managed to find its way to the stage, and the encounter that ensued lit the pilot light for the rest of the show. David's drink consequently ended up on this fan's head along with some choice words, and i quote:
"You cunt mother fucker! You think I'm a toy, you bitch mother fucker? I'm 69 mother fuckin' years old!"
Which the rest of the crowd thoroughly enjoyed while the culprit in his Lone Ranger style black trench coat was escorted out the door. After a quick mood shift with Rollin' In My Sweet Baby's Arms, David continued to rant:
"I came here to play music. If you came here for any other reason, you can get the fuck out!"
After mixing in a few more covers (Blue Eyes Cryin' In The Rain, You Were Always On My Mind...) David Allan Coe reminded us all, quite bluntly, that he's no slouch when it comes to writing his own tunes.
"I'm a great songwriter... For my age, i write still write some great songs..."
David proved his worth by giving us a slew of classic original songs along with a few new ones. As an intro to Willie, Waylon, and Me, Coe informed us that the line in the about Cash helping him get out of prison was no lie. The man was on Death Row in his early twenties, and without going into too much detail, said that Cash saved his life. He sent the song out to his dad and Waylon in heaven, and said that he would've liked to honor Johnny Cash, but "he's probably not where they are."

David rounded out the show and, like the outlaw he is, escaped off stage before his band had finished the last song. If the chance arises, get your ass to a show from this criminal/music man while he's still kicking and screaming.

David Allan Coe - You Never Even Called Me By My Name
David Allan Coe - Please Come to Boston
David Allan Coe - Willie, Waylon, And Me

buy For The Record: The First 10 Years (1974-1984)

Tuesday, December 16, 2008

Top 10 Songs of 2008...

Ok, i've put this off long enough. We're now only 2 weeks away from 2009, and i might be one of last to get their lists up. And to be completely honest, my top 10 album list is not yet complete - well not the back half. But i have made final decisions on the Best Songs of the Year. But first....

What makes a song great?

That question has been tossed around since the first single was ever recorded, and if we (or anyone) knew the answer, there would be nothing left. The truth is, there is no answer. Music is subjective - some people simply listen, and if they like it, it's a good song. Some look for originality, some for familiarity. Many people want emotive lyrics. Many want to hear words they can relate to. Many people (who are no doubt Dylan fans) are looking for groundbreaking wordplay that will blow their minds.

Of course, certain instruments excite certain people. i, for example, love the plunk of a banjo in an otherwise non-bluegrass tune. Acoustic guitars picked with purpose will grab my attention far earlier than a hard-strummed electric. Lately hand claps and tambourines make me happy.

What about vocals? Let's be honest - the Folk/Americana/Alt-Country (what have you) world doesn't possess the greatest or most talented vocalists. Many lead voices are of the love it or hate it variety, and can immediately turn someone off from a song. If i can't listen to the lead vocals, the band is going to have a hard time getting on my good side. That said, there is no formula or standard that i judge by, and i have a fairly wide acceptance range. The most important thing a singer can possess is believability.

Growing up listening to mainstream country (and shifting between rap phases), i was under the impression the only song structure consisted of verse-chorus-verse-chorus-bridge-chorus. While that simple formula still works, an artist can expand or abbreviate to an indefinite degree as they see fit. Adding dynamic to a song with a tempo or key change can seem strange at first, but is one the most vital factors in keeping the listener engaged.

A particularly separating attribute for a list like this is enjoyability. This doesn't mean that the song has to have uplifting lyrics; it's often the opposite. The best judge for this element is how fun the song is to sing along to. The songs that i found myself belting out (severely off-key) in my car were the first to be added to the list.

So where does this leave me? Basically back where i started. There is no formula, no set of rules, and no boundary to great songs. That is what keeps music interesting, fresh, versatile, and what makes it an essential part of life. Taking these factors into consideration, here are my picks for the Top 10 Songs of 2008.

10. The Greatest Hustler of All ~ Old Crow Medicine Show

from Tennessee Pusher, written by Willie Watson/Ketch Secor

9. Who Am I To Say ~ Justin Townes Earle

from The Good Life, written by Justin Townes Earle

8. Skinny Love ~ Bon Iver

from For Emma, Forever Ago, written by Justin Vernon

7. Souled Out!!! ~ Conor Oberst

from Conor Oberst, written by Conor Oberst

6. Sideman Blues ~ The Dedringers

from Sweetheart of the Neighborhood, written by Jonny Burke

5. Murder In The City ~ The Avett Brothers

from The Second Gleam, written by Scott Avett

4. Traipsing Through the Aisles ~ Samantha Crain
from The Confiscation EP, written by Samantha Crain

3. White Winter Hymnal ~ Fleet Foxes

from Fleet Foxes, written by Robin Pecknold

2. Rattlin' Bones ~ Kasey Chamber & Shane Nicholson
from Rattlin' Bones, written by Chambers/Nicholson

1. Frankie's Gun! ~ The Felice Brothers

from The Felice Brothers, written by Ian Felice

"My car goes... Chicago.
Every weekend to pick up some cargo.
I think I know the bloody way by now, Frankie,
Turn the god damn radio down, thank you.
Pull over. Count the money.
But don't count the .30 in the glove box, buddy.

That's for to buy Lucille some clothes.

Bang Bang Bang went Frankie's gun!
He shot me down Lucille!
Bang Bang Bang Bang went Frankie's gun!
He shot me down Lucille! (He shot me down!)

Work zones, double fines.
Don't pass the double lines.
Trailer McDonald's, rest stop trailer double wide.
I saw a man hit my mom one time, really
I hurt him so damn bad I had to hide in Jersey.
Called my mama told her, 'In the dresser
There's ten or twenty dollars but there ain't no lesser.'
That's for to take my sister to the picture show.

Bang Bang Bang went Frankie's gun!
He shot me down Lucille!
Bang Bang Bang Bang went Frankie's gun!
He shot me down Lucille! (He shot me down!)

Sha nay na sha nay na na na na na...
Sha nay na Sha nay na...

Slip make a fender shine,
Frankie you're a friend of mine,
Got me off a bender after long-legged Brenda died.
I thought we might be on a roll this time, Frankie.
I could have swore the box said Hollywood blanks, but
You see my mama
Please tell her
I left a little rock in a box in the cellar.
That's for to wear till kingdom come.

Bang Bang Bang went Frankie's gun!
He shot me down Lucille!
Bang Bang Bang Bang went Frankie's gun!
He shot me down Lucille! (He shot me down!)

Sha nay na sha nay na na na na na...
Sha nay na Sha nay na...

Yodelea he hoo."

Click the album covers to purchase.

Check out last year's list (my 2nd post on This Mornin'...), and stay tuned for the definitive Top 10 Albums of 2008.

Sunday, December 14, 2008

Mailbox Music: Christmas Edition...

Free music has been a rising theme in the world lately - at least the one i live in. Bands have been experimenting with giving away creations in order to simply get their music out to more people. And what better time of year for this generosity than the Christmas season. i got a few leads in my inbox the other day that lead me to some free holiday downloads:

Frontier Ruckus - Driving Home, Christmas Eve
and a video

The Gougers - Just Because It's Christmas
here's the page link

Also, Hayes Carll's folks sent word that if you join his Lost Highway mailing list by December 17th, you'll get a link to download his festive tune I'm Grateful for Christmas This Year (on the 17th, naturally).

And while we're in the spirit here, i thought i'd share a few more Christmas tunes with you. i, of course, have many more... traditional Christmas songs in my collection, but just because it's a holiday doesn't mean i will forgo my usual posting standards nor step too far out of my preferred genre realm.

Randy Rogers Band - Please Come Home For Christmas
Old 97's - Here It Is Christmas
Fire Apes - Last Christmas
Asylum Street Spankers - Mele Kalikimaka
Bright Eyes - Blue Christmas

Merry Christmas

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

The Lists Begin: Top EP's of 2008

Sorry for the lack of updates - been finding other things to do (movies, games, even a trip to the zoo) trying to stave off adulthood as long as possible, i guess. But here we are, nearly halfway through the last month of the year... and it's list time.

As a warm-up, here is a mini-list for EP's of the year. My motive for this post is the need to highlight the band who holds the top spot - newcomers whose 2008 EP would've easily made my album list had there been twice as many songs.

1. Samantha Crain & The Midnight Shivers - The Confiscation EP

Beloved, We Have Expired
Youthful Okie Samantha Crain emerged on the folk scene this year with an EP released by Ramseur Records. i first posted on this EP in a New Digs here. The disc has remained in my rotation since i picked it up, and it simply keeps growing on me. Songs In The Night, the band's first full-length effort is scheduled for an April 28th, 2009 release. Also, check out their brand new website.

Buy it.

2. Fleet Foxes - Sun Giant EP

English House
The precursor to the Fleet Foxes self-titled debut offered a smooth introduction into the classical yet contemporary stylings of this Seattle band.

Buy it here.
Get the Fleet Foxes on vinyl and it comes with the Sun Giant EP.

3. The Avett Brothers - The Second Gleam

Tear Down The House
The Avett Brothers' Emotionalism was my top pick for album of 2007, and i wouldn't change that choice a year later. While the second edition in their Gleam EP series was not near as impressive, it shows that the band is still the most creative act on the scene, espicially with regard to their instrumental decisions.

Buy the CD.
Buy the Vinyl.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Mixtape II: NYC MIX.....

As promised, i've put together a mixtape from my trip to New York. Across the blogosphere, you'll find many such compilations (great example here). My NYC MIX is a bona fide 2-sider that will fit on one disc for your easy burning pleasure.

Side A consists of the best from a playlist i've had running for a while. Easy but essential selections that mention the city directly span from Harlem to Chelsea and capture that classic New York inspiration.

Conor Oberst's tune (also posted here) leads off with a driving ferocity too perfect to leave out. The beautiful Joe Purdy song that follows hits upon many familiar notions, and a bluesy groove from The Black Keys adds gritty texture. Three songs pay tribute to certain New York women, of whom there are plenty. Just try not to groove to Chelsea Dagger. Most songs are fairly recent examples save for a rare Whiskeytown track and one from Simon & Garfunkel. i first heard The Only Living Boy In New York on the Garden State Soundtrack - one that i've been meaning to do a complete feature on.

Finishing off Side A is a 9 min+ jam version of Ryan's ever evolving
New York, New York. i listened to several live versions in preparation for this post and found that the song has expertly changed form throughout its relatively short tenure. The Gold-type version, simple and effective, still gets played live on occasion, but in 2005 The Cardinals displayed the jam version in The Loft Sessions. The edition on NYC MIX is from The Tennessee Theatre in May of '05 and is nothing short of epic. Make sure to listen to minutes 4-7 intently. The song deserves more attention in an Evolution post.


The mix changes direction at the turn. Side B is filled with tunes that i heard while in the city - some on in-store radios, some from pub jukeboxes, and a few from my own iPod.

It's fitting that Spoon should lead the charge as Ga Ga Ga Ga Ga had just been released on my last trip to the city, and promotional posters were plastered on every inch of free ad space. The song i heard in Mr. Dennehys's, I Turn My Camera On, is from the band's 2005 release, but is equally apropos since most of what i did while in New York was turn my camera on. Check out some photos.

One of a couple new songs heard, Sea Wolf's You're A Wolf was the first to be added to this half of the mix. As soon as our arrival flight touched down, the song came across the plane's speakers. Thanks to the magic of Google, jotting down a few specific lines turned up the song and The Hype Machine provided the file. Sea Wolf will be getting some much deserved research in the coming weeks.

Me & Jiggs and Such Great Heights both played through the Starbucks in-store player and were quickly added to the playlist. Cat Empire provides some horn-blowing levity with Hello. Indie-rock dominates the second side with some great songs from Maximo Park, The Killers, and The Kooks. The title track from The Raconteurs' latest album pretty-well sums up my excursion as well as some resulting sentiments from another successful trip to New York.


Side A:
1. NYC - Gone, Gone ~ Conor Oberst

2. The City ~ Joe Purdy
3. Brooklyn Bound - The Black Keys

4. NYCG ~ Cross Canadian Ragweed

5. Chelsea Dagger ~ The Fratellis

6. New York Angel ~ Whiskeytown

7. Broadway ~ Old 97's

8. Back Home To Harlem ~ The Rosewood Thieves

9. O City! ~ Jayber Crow

10. The Only Living Boy In New York ~ Simon & Garfunkel

11. New York, New York (Jam Version) ~ Ryan Adams & The Cardinals

Side B:
1. I Turn My Camera On ~ Spoon

2. You're A Wolf ~ Sea Wolf

3. Me & Jiggs ~ Josh Ritter

4. Such Great Heights ~ The Postal Service

5. Hello ~ Cat Empire

6. Apply Some Pressure ~ Maximo Park

7. All These Things That I've Done ~ The Killers

8. Always Where I Need To Be ~ The Kooks

9. Consoler of the Lonely ~ The Raconteurs

Download NYC MIX (zip)

Super Photo Post: NYC

A near complete recovery from The City has been made. One piece of luggage seems to still elude the fine folks at both Delta and Continental. Never switch airlines/airports after you check baggage. Our luggage was purportedly cargoed by Delta, but strangely the claim must be filed with the airline that transported you. And i've recently found out that the claim/reimbursement process is much like microbiology.

But prior to Monday evening, NYC did me well. Great weather - a little chilly 35-45, but it was very refreshing. We don't necessarily have bundle-up weather here, and therefore winter attire is a welcome change. i've done the touristy thing before, so i spent most of my trip in and around the West Village where my sister lives. Greenwich Village is an oasis of civility in an otherwise commercial and dizzying metropolis. As it was in the 60's when Dave Van Ronk was the unofficial Mayor of MacDougal Street and Dylan was playing for change in a hat, The Village is brimming with eclectic culture and more importantly, record stores.

As expected, many pictures were taken. Sunshine through Saturday supplied good skies, and the rain that came Sunday made for good night shots. After sorting through hundreds of photos, a few keepers were found:

Stay tuned for my second mixtape - NYC MIX - coming tomorrow... time permitting.
Meanwhile check out Mixtape I: Surviving Ike.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Stuck Inside of Queens with the Travelin' Blues Again...

We've all heard about holiday travel nightmares around Thanksgiving, and i'm currently in the midst of one. It started as innocent as increased traffic on Queens Boulevard on the way to my 7:20 pm flight out of JFK, but just 2 minutes ago, i witnessed LaGuardia Airport Security performing a bum sweep in the sitting area i am holed up in for the night.

Apparently you're not allowed to sleep in airports? Luckily i was busy beginning this post when the fuzz came through. Everyone asleep in this area was rudely awoken, and one woman that didn't look to be homeless was escorted out. i need a red bull.

If you noticed, i mentioned two different airports. Let's just say my travel plans have gone slightly askew. That 7:20 flight of of JFK was first delayed until 8:50. No big deal - dinner and a couple beers at an airport bar. Then it was pushed back to 10:00. Then 10:15. Finally at 10:30 we board the plane. Just as i get settled in my seat, the steward... flight attendant.... whatever - air travel accommodation representative informed us that our flight back to Houston had been canceled and we were to return to the gate for further instructions. Upon returning inside it quickly became obvious that those on the flight with me were not too pleased. We later found out that the 7:20 flight from the previous day had also been delayed numerous times before finally being canceled. Those on the flight were put up in a crappy hotel for the night, given $7 bucks for dinner, and told to return to the airport for the same 7:20 pm flight the following day (today), only to repeat the entire process. You can imagine their fury.

The 15 minutes following the cancellation were a little tense to say the least. The Delta representatives back in the gate cluelessly asked a line of 50+ angered travelers (half of which were well versed in the cancellation/hotel voucher process by now) what we were doing and if we had all missed our flight. This instigated a rash of exchanges between the two sides. Warnings of calls to attorneys, some personal threats, and many understandably worrying what missing another day of work could spell for them. That was my first encounter with airport security for the night. Needless to say, most folks on the flight (including myself) will never fly Delta again.

Instead of trust the promise of a 6:00 am flight being added the next morning to get everyone back to Houston, my party has decided to cut ties with Delta and the shithole that is JFK. We booked a Continental flight out of LaGuardia scheduled for 5:45 am. After another cab ride stifled by traffic, we arrive at the new airport to find that the Continental check-in desk has closed for the night and the automated kiosks don't function until 3:00 am. These days, you obviously can't enter the terminal (where comfortable and numerous seats reside) without a boarding pass. So here we are. Sitting with the bums.... well not anymore, i guess. Now if i can only suffer these next 3 hours in an iron seat and hope the gestapo don't come back, i may make it home in the morning.

Thanks for humoring my attempt at killing time/venting a bit.
Here's some jams:

Bob Dylan - Stuck Inside of Mobile with the Memphis Blues Again (alt. take)
buy No Direction Home Soundtrack (2005)

Robert Johnson – Traveling Riverside Blues
buy The Complete Recordings (1990)

Leadbelly – Where Did You Sleep Last Night
buy Best of Leadbelly (2000)

Adam Hood – Million Miles Away
buy 6th Street (2004)

Kasey Chambers – Better Be Home Soon
from Don’t Talk Back [Single] (1999)