Yup…you got that right…Miley Cyrus…and not only that, but a credible cover of this Dylan classic from the just released Amnesty International 4 CD collection “Chimes Of Freedom.” At 76 tracks, this collection of Dylan covers is all over the map with as many cool additions to the canon…”Most Of The Time” by Bettye Lavette, “One Too Many Mornings” by Johnny Cash & The Avett Brothers using an unreleased Dylan-Cash outtake for source material, “No Time To Think” by Belle Brigade, “The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll” by Cage The Elephant and “Love Sick” by Mariachi El Bronx …as there are clunkers “Don’t Think Twice, It’s Alright” by Ke$ha, “Tonight I’ll Be Staying Here With You” by Sugarland, “Desolation Row” by My Chemical Romance, “Just Like A Woman” by Carly Simon and “Knockin’ On Heaven’s Door” by RedOne & Nabil Khayat. Along the way you get good versions of Dylan songs by some of the likely suspects who always show up on this type of collection: Elvis Costello, Sting, Steve Earle, Lucinda Williams, Billy Bragg, Patti Smith and Bob Dylan himself. You bet it’s a mixed bag…but when you consider the source material, you could do worse…
We live in the day and age of festivals.
For music fans, festivals offer bang for the buck providing the opportunity to see numerous bands that you might not ever get to see otherwise at one time and in one place. For musicians, they open up the possibility of gaining a wider audience, particularly with festivals like the annual Pitchfork Music Festival that will be taking place here in Chicago next weekend.
With a roster consisting of mostly up and coming artists, Pitchfork provides a bonanza for inquiring fans who want to discover music they’ve never heard before. However, problems arise when a festival offers a group of well established artists who can fill smaller venues by regularly touring and playing to their fan base. With that in mind, the Americanarama Festival rolled into the Chicago market last night with a made-for-aging-rock-fans bill consisting of Bob Dylan, Wilco, My Morning Jacket and Richard Thompson.
While it was indeed a dream lineup, problems arise when the artists are forced to truncate their normal set lists to fit the schedule, resulting in not enough time afforded to acts that deserve it. Case in point was Richard Thompson’s criminally short (30 minute) opening set. Thompson and his Electric Trio consisting of Taras Prodaniuk on bass and Michael Jerome on drums took the stage to a sparse audience, and made the best of his time by performing several tracks from his latest album Electric including “Sally B” and “Stuck On A Treadmill,” plus his classic “Tear Stained Letter.” And while his set was performed well and well received by those in attendance, an artist of Thompson’s stature surely deserves better than a perfunctory 30-minute slot with no encore.
Almost immediately after Thompson exited the stage, My Morning Jacket’s set began. Although I’ve been a fan of My Morning Jacket since their first record, they were the only band on the bill that I’d never seen before. ..and of the four bands tonight, they put on the most satisfying set. Jim James was in fine voice as he caterwauled around the stage, and their 75-minute set included fan favorites like “Circuital,” “The Dark” and “Masterplan.” But when they launched into “I’m Amazed” and followed it with “Victory Dance” their set really took off, making them the band to beat on this night.
Wilco took the stage next to the enthusiastic cheers of a hometown crowd. And what a treat it was to see them generously share the stage with the opening acts by bringing Richard Thompson out for a guitar-laden extended version of the Fairport Convention classic “Sloth,” as well as the Wilco tracks “That’s Not The Issue” and “California Stars.” Several tunes later, My Morning Jacket joined them for a stomping version of Neil Young’s “Cinnamon Girl.”
As usual, Wilco’s set started out very subdued and on this night really didn’t’ begin to catch fire until several songs in with “The Art Of Almost” from their latest album, The Whole Love. Nels Cline was at his usual manic greatness adding the element of Krautrock feedback to “Misunderstood” and playing an extended lyrical solo during a great version of “Impossible Germany” from Sky Blue Sky.
We also got Wilco classics like “Hummingbird” and “Misunderstood,” plus two more songs from their latest album, “Born Alone,” and “Dawned On Me,” that will probably become stalwarts of their set for years to come. While Wilco’s set was immensely enjoyable, by adding the cameos and pairing down their usual two and a half hour stage time to 75 minutes, the flow of their set seemed a little disjointed.
Dylan came out next and was enigmatic as ever as he barked the lyrics to a somewhat bewildered audience. As a result, the crowd began to disperse early his set which is a shame because he was far better than I thought he would be, and let’s face it, he’s Bob Fucking Dylan!
It’s been at least seven years since I’ve seen Dylan in concert and while it’s true his voice is pretty much shredded to pieces, his crack band featuring Tony Garnier (bass), Charlie Sexton (guitar), Stu Kimball (guitar), Donnie Herron (pedal steel) and George Receli (drums) more than compensate. Dylan was animated throughout and stuck to singing, playing the piano and harmonica. Unlike his late 1980s shows where his vocals were an unintelligible jumble, this night found him enunciating the lyrics clearly on such classics as “You Belong To Me,” “Tangled Up In Blue,” “Simple Twist Of Fate” and today’s Song Of The Day, “A Hard Rain’s Gonna Fall” (The video shown here from an earlier date of the tour is dark, but provides an idea of how he’s singing these days).
Dylan dipped into his latest record several times with credible versions of “Duquesne Whistle,” “Early Roman Kings” and “Soon After Midnight,” and pretty much focused on late-period classics for the rest of his set including “Love Sick” from Time Out Of Mind, “Beyond Here Lies Nothin’” from Together Through Life, “Thunder On The Mountain” from Modern Times and “High Water (For Charley Patton)” from Love and Theft.
While Dylan has been playing the exact same set on every date of this tour, on this night he changed his encore from “Blowin’ In The Wind” to “Ballad Of A Thin Man,” sending the faithful who stayed to the end home on a high note.
My Morning Jacket Setlist:
1. The Dark
5. Slow Slow Tune
7. I’m Amazed
8. Victory Dance
9. Wordless Chorus
10. Phone Went West
11. One Big Holliday
1. At the Window, Sad and Lonely
2. When the Roses Bloom Again
3. What Light
5. Poor Places
6. Art of Almost
7. Sloth (with Richard Thompson)
8. California Stars (with Richard Thompson)
9. That’s Not the Issue (with Richard Thompson)
11. Impossible Germany
12. Cinnamon Girl (with My Morning Jacket)
13. Born Alone
14. Dawned on Me
Bob Dylan Setlist:
1. Things Have Changed
2. Love Sick
3. High Water (For Charley Patton)
4. Soon after Midnight
5. Early Roman Kings
6. Tangled Up in Blue
7. Duquesne Whistle
8. She Belongs to Me
9. Beyond Here Lies Nothin’
10. A Hard Rain’s A-Gonna Fall
11. Blind Willie McTell
12. Simple Twist of Fate
13. Thunder on the Mountain
14. All Along the Watchtower
15. Ballad Of A Thin Man
Liam was a member of the Irish folk group The Clancy Brothers whose recording of this song was one of their most popular. The song was later adapted by Bob Dylan for his song “With God On Our Side.” But today, the song is highlighted because the Super Bowl is a Patriot game…one a Patriot fan hopefully will not like the outcome of…unless God is on their side…
Song of the Day by Eric Berman: Top Albums of 2015
- Kendrick Lamar: To Pimp A Butterfly
- Kamasi Washington: The Epic
- Wilco: Star Wars
- Sufjan Stevens: Carrie & Lowell
- Bod Dylan: Shadows In The Night
- Rudresh Mahanthappa: Bird Calls
- Alabama Shakes: Sound and Color
- Kurt Vile: b’lieve i’m goin down
- Sleater-Kinney: No Cities To Love
- The Sonics: This Is The Sonics
- Jason Isbel: Something More Than Free
- The Bad Plus Joshua Redman
- D’Angelo & The Vanguard: Black Messiah
- Tame Impala: Currents
- FFS (Franz Ferdinand and Sparks)
- Courtney Barnett: Sometimes I Sit and Think, Sometimes I Just Sit
- Darlene Love: Introducing Darlene Love
- Ryan Adams: 1989
- Miguel: Wildheart
- Hollywood Vampires
- The Arcs: Yours, Dreamily,
- Father John Misty: I Love You, Honeybear
- Paul & The Broken Bones: Half The City
- Ike Reilly: Born On Fire
- Unknown Mortal Orchestra: Multi-Love
Top Reissues 2015
- Miles Davis: At Newport 1955-1975
- Bob Dylan: The Cutting Edge 1965-1966 – Bootleg Series Volume 12
- Velvet Underground: Complete Matrix
- Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band: The Ties That Bind
- Led Zeppelin: Coda
- Beach Boys: Party! Uncovered and Unplugged
- The Rolling Stones: Live Vault Vinyl/DVD Concert Series
- Todd Rundgren: Live at Electric Ballroom 10-23-78
- Yes: Seven Shows from Seventy-Two
- Neil Young & The Bluenotes: Bluenote Café
Song of the Day by Eric Berman – Top Albums 2014 from “The Alta Cocher Rocker”
So this is my 34th Top Albums of the Year list and occasionally I go back to the older lists that I still have and see if I am still as enamored about my picks now as I was then. For the most part I think the records that make my lists are pretty solid for their time and manage to have some staying power years later. There are, of course numerous instances of picks over the years that have me now asking myself “What the heck was I thinking?”
Nevertheless, these are indeed the greatest of times for music lovers. Never has so much music been at our disposal for unlimited listening pleasure. With dispensaries like Spotify, you have access to pretty much everything, instant playback 24-7. What more could a music lover want?
Now I fully admit that Spotify has changed my relationship with music. I am now exposed to much more music than I actually buy, and freed of the expense, I’m more willing to listen to stuff I probably wouldn’t have paid much attention to in the past.
But I also believe that never before has physical product been more important, at least to me. I know, I’m totally old school, but I like the whole package with my music. The artwork, the liner notes, the credits and the lyrics…I want them all, and I want to hold them in my hand and preferably see them spinning on my turntable. They aid to the enjoyment of the music. They give the music an importance that a download never could. And the old argument, vinyl does sound better than the digital counterpart.
That said, this is the first year that I don’t own physical versions of about half of the records listed. This is especially true of the recommended listening section which is comprised of records I found myself going back to many times throughout the year and are more than worthwhile of your attention if you’re so inclined…
At any rate, listen to what you like, and I hope you’ll be inclined to share your lists with me. Have a safe and healthy new year to all!
TOP ALBUMS 2015
- Deerhoof – La Isla Bonita
- St. Vincent – St. Vincent
- Lost On The River – The New Basement Tapes
- Afghan Whigs – Do To the Beast
- TV On The Radio – Seeds
- Spoon – They Want My Soul
- Pharrell – G I R L
- Tweedy – Sukierae
- Ravonettes – Pe’ahi
- Dave Alvin & Phil Alvin – Common Ground – The Songs of Big Bill Broonzy
Compilations/Reissues (“This one goes to 11”)
- Bob Dylan and The Band – The Complete Basement Tapes
- Sleater-Kinney – Start Together
- John Coltrane – Offering: Live at Temple University
- Miles Davis – Bootleg Series Vol. 3: Miles At The Fillmore 1970
- Wilco – Alpha Mike Foxtrot
- Herbie Hancock – The Warner Bros. Years (1969-1972)
- Beatles – White Album in Mono
- Nilsson – The RCA Albums Collection
- Sonny Rollins – Road Shows 2
- Crosby, Stills, Nash & Young: CSNY 1974
- Michael Jackson – Xscape
ALSO WORTH A LISTEN:
- Alvvays – Alvvays
- Beck/Various Artists – Song Reader
- Benjamin Booker – Benjamin Booker
- Black Keys – Turn Blue
- D’Angelo & the Vanguard: Black Messiah
- Flying Lotus – You’re Dead
- Freeman – Freeman (Aaron Freeman of Ween)
- Jack White – Lazaretto
- Jenny Lewis – The Voyager
- Julian Casablancas & The Voids – Tyranny
- Leonard Cohen – Popular Problems
- Mary J. Blige – The London Sessions
- Neil Young – A Letter Home
- Neil Young – Storytone
- New Pornographers – Brill Busters
- Parquet Courts – Sunbathing Animal
- Perfume Genius – Too Bright
- Prince – ArtOfficialAge
- Robyn Hitchcock – The Man Upstairs
- The Roots – and then you shoot your cousin
- Rudy Royston – 303
- Ryan Adams – Ryan Adams
- Sharon Jones & The Dap-Kings – Give The People What They Want
- Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks – Wig Out At Jagbags
- Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers – Hypnotic Eye
- Tune-Yards – Nikki Nack
- U2 – Songs Of Innocence
Once again we are playing songs that peaked in the #1 position in Billboard magazine, the international publication devoted to the music industry, one of the oldest trade periodicals in the business. It maintains several charts that track the most popular recordings internationally in various categories on a weekly basis. These have existed for pop, country and R&B, since 1946, with additional album listings for each style debuting for the next twenty years. The two big ones are their 200, for LP sales, and the Hot 100, which ranks the top 100 tunes regardless of genre. At the end of the year , they chronicle the best tracks of the past 12 months as determined by the journal, based on radio airplay, digital sales, and internet streaming data. Sean and I expect some serious head bobbing, heart throbbing and toe tapping to be happening on this episode, so let’s keep the party going here on The 3D RadioActivity.
You can click the arrow to listen
Come back again in a week, as we conclude our series of episodes featuring Award Winning Music for you with another trip with Oscar. Be sure to advise me of your ideas with an email to me or if you are on Facebook , look for The 3D RadioActivity where you can “Like ” the program and leave me a message there too.
Thanks for dialing in, and we will “ear” you next time. Rock On!
“Education is When You Read the Fine Print.
Experience is What You Get If You Don’t.”
~ Pete Seeger
1966, Bob Dylan and The Band played at the Convention Center in Louisville, Kentucky. This was the first date on a world tour which would become noted as Dylan’s first that used electric instruments, after he had ‘gone electric’ at the 1965 Newport Folk Festival.
1967, The Rolling Stones’ Between the Buttons enters the U.K. chart at No. 3.
1967, The Monkees self-titled debut album started a seven-week run at No.1 on the album chart.
1968, Billed as ‘Tour 60 cities in 66 Days’ The Jimi Hendrix Experience appeared at the Winterland in San Francisco.
1968, Working at Abbey Road studios, London, The Beatles recorded ‘Across The Universe’. John and Paul decided the song needed some falsetto harmonies so they invited two girl fans into the studio to sing on the song. The two were Lizzie Bravo, a 16-year-old Brazilian living near Abbey Road and 17-year-old Londoner Gayleen Pease.
1970, John Lennon and Yoko Ono donated their hair for an auction in aid of the Black Power movement.
1972, Genesis appeared at the Hippodrome in Bristol, England.
1973, Pink Floyd played at the Palais des Sports de la Porte de Versailles, Paris.
1972, In a memo to Attorney General John Mitchell, South Carolina Sen. Strom Thurmond suggests that John Lennon be deported.
1974, Pink Floyd release “Time” b/w “Us and Them” as a 7-inch single in the US.
1975, Led Zeppelin performs at the Nassau Coliseum in Uniondale, New York.
1975, American jazz, blues, songwriter and saxophonist Louis Jordon died aged 66. Known as “The King of the Jukebox,” between 1942-1950 he scored eighteen No.1 singles and fifty-four Top Ten hits on the US R&B chart.
1976, David Bowie appeared at Memorial Coliseum, Portland, Oregon.
1977, The 25th anniversary show of TV’s “American Bandstand,” which began as a local program on WFIL-TV, Channel 6 in Philadelphia on October 7, 1952.
1977, Aerosmith played at the Kyoden-Taiiku-Kan, Fukuoka, Japan.
1977, Fleetwood Mac’s Rumours is released. The album shoots to the top of US album charts, staying there for 31 weeks. More than 17 million copies have been sold in the U.S.
1979, The Grateful Dead appeared at the Dane County Coliseum in Madison, Wisconsin.
1981, The Who performed at the Rainbow Theatre in London.
1982, Scottish singer Alex Harvey died of a heart attack while waiting to take a ferry back to shore after performing a concert with his new band, the Electric Cowboys. In an ambulance on the way to the hospital, he suffered a second heart attack, this one fatal. It occurred on the day before his 47th birthday, in Zeebrugen, Belgium. Formed Alex Harvey Big Soul Band in 1959 and then mid 1960’s band Tear Gas. Had the 1975 UK No.7 single with Sensational Alex Harvey Band ‘Delilah’ and 1975 album ‘Next’.
1983, Karen Carpenter died aged 32 of a cardiac arrest at her parent’s house in Downey, California; the coroner’s report gave the cause of death of imbalances associated with anorexia nervosa. The Carpenters 1970 album Close to You, featured two hit singles: ‘(They Long to Be) Close to You’ and ‘We’ve Only Just Begun.’ They peaked at No.1 and No.2, on the singles chart. In 1975 – In Playboy’s annual opinion poll; its readers voted Karen Carpenter the Best Rock Drummer of the year.
1984, Culture Club started a three-week run at No.1 on the US singles chart with “Karma Chameleon” the group’s 5th US Top 10 hit, also a No.1 in the UK.
1984, Eurythmics scored their first UK No.1 album with their second release Touch, featuring the singles “Here Comes The Rain Again,” “Who’s That Girl” and “Right By Your Side.”
1984, Stevie Ray Vaughan and Double Trouble kicked off their 114-date Couldn’t Stand the Weather tour at the War Memorial Auditorium in Nashville, Tennessee.
1985, Prince performed at the Mid-South Coliseum, Memphis, Tennessee.
1992, Pearl Jam appeared at The Borderline in London, England, tickets cost £5 ($8.50.)
1999, In a daring move, Rykodisc becomes the first music label to give its stamp of approval to the MP3 music format.
2001, Jimmy Buffett is thrown out of a New York Knicks – Miami Heat basketball game after verbally abusing a referee.
Born on this day: John Steel, The Animals (1942); Florence Larue, The 5th Dimension (1944); Margie and Mary Ann Ganser, vocalists, The Shangri-Las (1947); Vincent Furnier, aka Alice Cooper (1948); Phil Ehart, Kansas (1950); Jerry Shirley, Humble Pie (1951); and Clint Black, country singer (1962)
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