Little Lies and Massive Dreams

My name is Bear. I play in a band called Talking About Commas and live and work in Providence, RI. I like music.
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Jun 11, 2007

6/8 Umphrey's McGee @ Truckee Park

Ah Jambands, gotta love em, I think, wait... Last night the summer music series at the Truckee River Regional Park had its second show of the year. Chicago based jammer’s Umphrey’s McGee (Picture is from the first Vegoose, I had no camera at the Truckee show) laid down plenty of two chord “wankfests” for the 1/3 capacity crowd.

Since Phish broke up to pursue their respective crappy solo careers I have split from the jam scene. You see, I don’t want a burger if I can’t have steak, I want sushi. However, after winning a pair of tickets through a local radio station (thanks again KTKE) I figured a (garden) burger every once in a while couldn’t hurt. So I met up with some buddies and checked out what the kids were up these days. When we parked we met some heads that drove all the way from Oregon (Although it’s one state away, they had been driving for 10 hours). You’d think that would be a good sign that Umphrey’s was capable of throwing down.

I will say that Umphrey’s puts on a solid show. 2 full sets and a great light show decorated the aspens that surrounded the back of the outdoor stage. What they don’t have are quality songs. Singer/guitarist Brendan Bayliss has a decent voice but his range is quite small. I wish these jambands put a little more energy into the song writing part of their act though. If I had to listen to a studio Umphrey’s disc I’d probably have to shoot myself in the face. (That’s an expression I like to use, if it’s over the top than I’m sorry... well not really.)

The one good “song” of the night came with the encore, some sort of rant about a character named “Alex”. It had a funky little groove and something that jambands seem to forget about when they're too busy bolstering their chops, a decent vocal melody!

Set 1: Professor Wormbog, 2x2 > Great American^ > Partyin' Peeps, Intentions Clear > Great American, Wife Soup

Set Two:Plunger# > "Jimmy Stewart" > Plunger > "Jimmy Stewart"# > In the Kitchen** > Rainbow Country > Anchor Drops > In the Kitchen, Lenny > Andy's Last Beer

Encore: Alex's House > Got Your Milk (Right Here)

Notes Frame of Mind opened. ^ with Josh Scott (Frame of Mind) on harmonica. # with In the Kitchen tease. ** with bass solo
I took the setlist off of (I don't know their song titles)

6/1 Arcade Fire rocks the Greek Theatre

review to come soon...

Set List: intro > Black Mirror, Keep the Car Running, No Cars Go, Haiti, Neighborhood #2 (Laika), Black Wave/ Bad Vibrations, In the Backseat, Intervention, (Antichrist Television Blues), Ocean of Noise, Neighborhood #1 (Tunnels), The Well and the Lighthouse, Neighborhood #3 (Power Out) > Rebellion (Lies)

E: Cold Wind, Wake Up

Review: Wilco's "Sky Blue Sky"

So this album came out about a month ago but I have to say I am loving Wilco’s new Sky Blue Sky. Wilco is a band that reinvents itself with nearly every new offering. Sky Blue Sky gives free reign to Nels Cline screeching, melodic and playful guitar work while showcasing Tweedy’s most direct lyrics to date.

The disc starts with Jeff singing “Maybe the sun will shine today, the clouds will roll away..”which is the perfect start to any commuters day. Musically the band has taken a much more organic approach, leaving out the noise effects and loops it has incorperated in the past. Straight ahead rock songs like “Hate it Here” and “Walken” mix perfectly with throwback folk anthems such as “You are My Face” and “What Light” as if The Band was backing Woody Guthrie.

Rating: home run

Key songs: “Either Way”, “Impossible Germany”, “What Light”