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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Feb 28, 2011

Acoustic/Electric Trey

For the latest ”TAB” tour this February, Phish front man Trey Anastasio has gone back to the original format he had of one acoustic set and one electric set on his first solo tour in 1999. Last weekend at the House of Blues in Boston I caught the third show of the tour.

The biggest difference from normal Trey tours is obviously the return of the acoustic set. Previously, random acoustic engagements (Newport Folk, Bonnaroo, 10klakes) contained a set littered with simple strummy tunes like "Bouncin", "Sample in a Jar", "Water in the Sky" (he normally plays Phish songs acoustically). This tour he has been challenging himself with first attempts at rather difficult Phish songs and the HOB show was no different. First ever acoustic takes on songs like "Its Ice" and "Carini" were a nice surprise. He also tackled a couple “Page” songs, most notably "Lawn Boy" which contained the original jazzy feel complete with sax solo. At the end of his set he played the craptastic “Let me Lie” which starts out like a 5th graders first stab at lyric writing but ends with a pretty, layered culmination that sparkled with the backing vocals of Natalie Cressman and Jen Hartswick. The first set closed with a fun but sloppy “Hey ya” which just wasn’t as cool as it was on paper. How can you bail on the "To all the Beyonce's and Lucy Lui's" part?

The electric set gave us more energy but also a slew of predictable blues numbers and Trey's characteristic jam pop sleepers. The horns are the only thing that makes songs like "Valentine", "Ether Sunday", and "Sweet Dreams Melinda" tolerable. Highlights for me were the smoking hot "First Tube" through the "Magilla"/ "Black Dog" encore complete with Jen hartswick belting Plant’s classic vocal lines. Jams of the night were the contained yet dancy "Gotta Jibboo" and the expansive "Simple twist up Dave". If you are going to a Trey show to see a band on top of its game and in need of face melting than save your money for Phish, but if you want a fun, danceable twist on Big red’s trademark gleeful licks than you’ll have a great time.

openers: none
Venue info:
parking: free parking on the street is pretty easy as long as the Sox arent playing at home.
layout: square, club type room with GA floor and 1st balcony, seats in 2nd blacony
capacity: 2425 (sold out)

SET LIST: (links go to youtube videos)
Set 1: Sample in a Jar, Punch You In the Eye, Strange Design, AC/DC Bag, It's Ice, Bathtub Gin, Carini, Dog Faced Boy, Shine a Light, Sleep Again, Wilson, Chalk Dust Torture, Backwards Down the Number Line, Lawn Boy, Let Me Lie, Hey Ya

Set 2: I Done Done It > Valentine, In the Wee Wee Hours > Gotta Jibboo, Sweet Dreams Melinda, Burn That Bridge, Simple Twist Up Dave, Small Axe, Ooh Child, Tuesday, Ocelot, Ether Sunday, First Tube

Encore: Magilla, Black Dog

Video of "Carini" Acoustic

Feb 16, 2011

Bloodbuzz Ohio

I've heard of the National but have never heard them before (at least knowingly - "indie" bands are all over commercials these days). So yesterday I saw a video of my buddy's band Big Light playing a song called "Bloodbuzz Ohio" at a Halloween gig they did last fall at the Las Tortugas festival in Yosemite. I was immediately taken aback. This song was fantastic. I googled the name in hopes to find lyrics and I discover that it's actually a song by The National. How did I not know this already? I guess they are just one of those bands that get lumped in to a lot of discussions I have and have read about, but have never checked out, oddly enough. No time like the present right?

I think I may have some sort of musical OCD because when I hear a new song that reaches me like this one does I cannot not listen to it. I've watched youtube videos of the band playing "BloodBuzz Ohio", downloaded their newest album High Violet, and have already learned how to play and sing it myself. just devoured. The last time a song did this to me was last summer when I heard Dawes' "That Western Skyline". It makes me feel alive...

Anywho, I share this story with you because in the wake of the Arcade Fire winning "Album of the Year" (which I'm ecstatic about) and reading about how awful the recording industry is suffering and giant corporate chains (like Borders, Tower records, etc) are going bankrupt; music by the people and for the people is flourishing. Clearly there are some people that don't "get it" (quite hilariously represented on and still equate album sales with talent or don't search hard enough for quality music. But it's there, it's here. In a world where the Black Eyed Peas play on our biggest stage and 6 idiots from Jersey Shore are among Hollywood's elite; it's nice to know that the world is starting to become hip (pun intended) to the real artists. The ones that play music (or make films or "vandalize" public walls etc) because they HAVE to. NOT because they can make a quick buck or walk down a red carpet. I'm a musician - I don't make shit for money (in the words of the National "I still owe money to the money to the money I owe") but I wake up everyday grateful that I am able to do what I love for a living and I wouldn't change it for anything.

I stumbled upon the video below of a woman singing her interpretation of "BloodBuzz Ohio" with an ukulele (should it be "a" or "an" ukulele? an sounds weird but looks correct). I don't know who she is or what her deal is but i do know that she "gets it" and that brings a smile to my face.