Music Channel

That time Neil Young played San Luis Obispo

San Luis Obispo is hardly a big city. It’s just not the kinda place you expect to see the terms “rock legend” and “surprise show” come together. But last night, a buzz was building on local social media that something was going down at SLO Brewing Company, SLO’s premier venue for live music.

I first caught wind of the whole thing when I saw this tweet from the SLO Brew account:

I really didn’t believe it. I mean, if you squint hard enough that blurry photo almost resembles Neil Young. I scrolled back a bit thru my Twitter feed and noticed this tweet from local promoter Numbskull Productions:

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“Flickr” by Jonathan Coulton

I’ve been a fan of Jonathan Coulton for a long time.  He has produced a ton of music, so I probably haven’t heard all of his songs (but I am familiar with lots of them).  In February of 2012, my friend Nathan Lott brought the song “Flickr” to the Halfway Around the World podcast that we co-hosted together.  It was part of Season Three, Episode Six “Good/Evil”. The song stuck with me.

I might not have heard “Flickr” at ...

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Concert Review: Straight No Chaser

1950's style cartoon drawing of the guys in Straight No Chaser wearing festive hats

Last night I went to see a fantastic show of an a cappella group I’ve followed for several years.  Back in 2007 Straight No Chaser posted a video of them performing in college about 10 years earlier a version of 12 Days of Christmas. This was not your boring old 12 Days of Christmas that you are used to. They changed up the days, added a ton of humor and then to top it off sang the song to the music of Toto’s Africa.  I knew this video basically launched their careers, but I didn’t realize until they mentioned last night that shortly after the video was posted and went viral, someone at Atlantic Records saw it and signed them to a record deal.  Here is their famous video:

Straight No Chas...

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And So It Goes

I wrote And So It Goes in 2008. I’d never written a song before. At the time, I was working in Retail Hell at what I’ve often referred to as “The Evil Bookstore”. We were in the midst of the Christmas shopping season craziness, and I just couldn’t take it anymore.

And So It Goes was my way of expressing what it felt like to be stuck in that situation. The frustrations, the stress, the struggle to smile at customers who are screaming and yelling at you…. ended up in the song.

It was only after I’d posted it that someone (I forget who) said the song sounded as though it was done in the style of Lou Reed. Up until then, I hadn’t realized that his music influenced me as much as it did.

When I read the news today that Lou Reed passed away, at the age of 71, I was sad...

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Minus one Slayer – RIP Jeff Hanneman

Logo for the heavy metal band Slayer

The news came down a few days ago that Slayer guitarist Jeff Hanneman had died of liver failure. It was a big surprise to me. I think it was a big surprise to a lot of people. Hanneman was only 49 years old, which just seems like… damn.

Despite being a founding member of the band, Hanneman hadn’t been touring with Slayer over the last few years. He had apparently been inflicted with one of those strange and rare “flesh-eating” diseases. It’s unclear as to whether or not that had anything to do with his death.

I was pretty depressed after hearing the news. I wasn’t really sure at first as to why. I mean, it’s sad when people die. But, I was only a casual Slayer fan at best...

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Your Right, You Best Be Fightin’ For It – RIP Beastie Boys’ Adam Yauch

Candid grayscale photograph of Adam Yauch smiling

You’ve probably heard that Adam “MCA” Yauch died a few days ago.

It was public knowledge that he had been battling the cancer for a few years. I wasn’t aware that the disease had progressed to this point. I was filled with the same kind of shock/surprise that I think everyone else was when the news came down.

Stephanie summed it up pretty well:

The Beastie Boys are three dudes you’d expect to live forever. You’d expect them to always be this background presence in your life, doing cool shit you can only dream of and being these weird almost super hero characters, lending their voices to causes you care about. Doing things you can’t do yourself.

I was in fifth grade when Licensed To Ill came out. I listened to it. A lot...

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