Thursday, September 27, 2007

First-time grabbers, Italian Festival

I'm back! After two weeks of newborn baby, I am not falling asleep all the time anymore and I have a few moments to type this sucker out. Actually, Will has been a very good baby so far. He's not very fussy and is a good eater and sleeper. Not that he is sleeping through the night mind you, but when he does sleep, he sleeps pretty hard and is not easily awakened.

If you are getting this on Thursday night, you can check out Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band on the Today show on Friday. I think they are repeating it on Sunday if you miss it. I listened to a preview of his new CD, "Magic", and I thought it was pretty good. You too can listen to it HERE. I'm sure it will grow on me as I listen more and especially once I see/hear the songs live. Not making the first leg of the tour because of Will, but will surely catch Bruce and the Band when they return in the spring.

Listening to the album got me thinking about when I have heard music for the first time and it has totally grabbed me. Strangely, as much of a Bruce fan as I am, his albums usually have to grow on me for a while. Also, most of the list of instant "Wow!" songs came around college or shortly thereafter. I wonder if as you get older, it becomes harder to impress because your music vocabulary is larger so there is less of a chance to hear something that somehow touches you unlike anything ever before. Anyway, here is a short list of first-time "grabbers", in no particular order, and probably not all of them:
When Doves Cry - Prince
Smells Like Teen Spirit - Nirvana - I was driving to work when this came on a local college station. I arrived at the parking lot before it was over and had to sit in the car until it ended. Didn't know then that the face of rock 'n roll had changed but did know I had just heard a kick-ass song.
Epic - Faith No More - This was really one of the first times hard rock and rap would be blended and the song was truly epic. Another one where I had to sit in the car until it was over. We all know that the rap/rock thing was eventually doomed to destroy rock radio with the dreadful likes of Limp Bizkit and Linkin Park
Drive - REM - I was working at the radio station at the time the single was released. The program director, who knew I liked REM, handed it to me and asked me to give it a listen. I sat in his office and listened to it three or four times in a row. Still a haunting, powerful song and was very different from what they had done before.
Ocean Size - Jane's Addiction - Can't remember what made me throw this on the turntable while I was dj'ing on my college station. All I remember is when it was done, my mind had been permanently blown. "Nothing's Shocking" would be one of my top albums for the next six months.
Should I Stay or Should I Go - Living Colour - This cover of the Clash song was out before they had released their first album. I was studying in the college library and listening to the college station on my Walkman. This came on and I immediately knew that this was an amazing guitarist and a killer band. Still love Vernon Reid and hopefully he'll do something, Living Colour or otherwise, that will bring him back to Richmond.
Icky Thump - White Stripes - My current rave. The car stereo goes up to 11 when this one comes on. With a guitar riff that Jimmy Page would kill for.

On to this week's events. Henry Rollins will be doing his spoken word thing at the Canal Club on Saturday night. Doors open at 6 and tix are $18.50 in advance and $20 at the door. I always find Henry entertaining. Some of his rants are quite insightful and funny and no one's neck bulges like his.

Delbert McClinton brings his rockin' blues to the State Fair on Sunday night. Show starts at 6 PM and is free with fair admission. You can load up on Fried Pepsi Turnovers (I kid you not, they have these), fried oreos and turkey legs before you go.

You may also want to check out the Italian Festival at Broad & 25th in Church Hill this weekend, on both Saturday and Sunday. We will have beautiful weather and if this is anything like the St. Pat's fest, its a good time and a good event to bring the kids too. Will is still a little too little to bring to something like that or we would be there in a second. Also, with no High on the Hog this year, this may be your last chance to party on the Hill until St. Patrick's Day.

Here is some other stuff going on at Toad's Place:

Marty Stuart
Friday, September 28 8:00pm
Marty Stuart is a country music singer, known for both his traditional style, and eclectic merging of rockabilly, honky tonk, and traditional country music.
Tickets are $27.50/advance, $30/day of show, $35/gold circle

RVA's Fist City Fury
Saturday, September 29 2:00pm
Fist City Fury Music Festival and the Canal Walk Arts Flea Market. Music and demonstrations by Richmond Luche Libre and Capoeira Resistancia inside Toad's Place, an Arts Flea Market on the Canal Walk with acoustic sets by Hoots & Hellmouth and late night DJ dance party. Tickets are available at and at all Plan 9 Music locations.
Tickets are $10.00

Andrew Bird
Sunday, September 30 7:00pm
Andrew Bird is a musician, songwriter, and multi-instrumentalist, whose musical proficiency includes violin, whistling, guitar, and glockenspiel.
Tickets are $20/advance, $22/day of show

The United Abominations Tour: Megadeth
Monday, October 1st 6:30PM

with In This Moment
The Confession

Advance: $37.50 / Day of Show: $40

Loudon Wainwright III

Wednesday, October 3rd 7PM
with Lucy Wainwright Roche

First floor is seated for this show.

General Admission: $25

That's it for me. Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan

Thursday, September 6, 2007

Paul Anka, George Jones

Hello, hello. I'm listening to XM's 70s station now and just heard Paul Anka's "Times of Your Life". I'm being quite open tonight and in touch with my feelings when I tell you that the song chokes me up a little. I'm not sure if its the lyrics, the music or that it was used in all those Kodak commercials in the 70s. It reminds me of the whole family sitting around on a Sunday night watching that big Sunday night event TV, whether a movie like "Gone With The Wind", or a TV premiere like "Battlestar Galactica" or a mini series like "Roots" or "Shogun". Those days of true water cooler TV, before VCRs and TiVos when you had to watch it when it was on or miss it. In a way the song "Times of Your Life" reminds me of those early comforting times of my life. Oh man, I am getting way overly sentimental. Must be because my next kid will probably be born next week.

Now they are playing Cher's "Half Breed". That song just makes me laugh. Though I did quite enjoy the "Sonny & Cher" show when I was a kid.

Speaking of overly sentimental moving into the maudlin, that is what country hits radio is these days. A whole bunch of crappy, over-produced, sensitive songs about God, family and country sung by men with shaved chests in black hats and American Idol divas who think they are talented because they sing a note long and loud. If you want to hear real country music, country music about drinkin' and cheatin' and drivin' a pick-up with your old hound dog, check out George Jones, Sunday night at the Landmark. Show starts at 7 PM, tickets are $38 - 48. This is a man who has placed over 160 songs on the country charts. This is a man who loved and lost Tammy Wynette. This is a man who, when his wife cut him off from alcohol, got on a riding lawn mower ride drunkenly into town to buy more. He did this not once but twice!

That's about all that's going on this week. I don't know if I'll have a blog next week. Looks like the new boy is coming early, maybe Wednesday, maybe Friday. Just as long as he waits until after this weekend so we can make final preparations.

Here's some stuff going down at Capital Ale House Downtown:

Lipbone Redding, Friday, September 7, After Work Brews & Blues 5:00-8:00pm, Free


Inventive voicestrumentalist and Southern Gentleman, Lipbone Redding, creates original songs that effervesce with New Orleans swing, Memphis grooves and New York City style. Though his songs stand alone, his entire show is greased with uncanny riffs of vocal trumpeting (AKA THE LIP-BONE*), booming mouth percussion, hilarious side moments and esoteric lyrics.

Whiskey Rebellion

Friday, September 7



The Whiskey Rebellion has covered a lot of ground in their first year together. Playing to audiences all over the region and bringing some attention to the band. They have been asked to come back to every venue they have played.

High-energy shows with solid playing is what you can expect from The Whiskey Rebellion. The band pushes the boundaries of traditional bluegrass music and has added a refreshing approach to the genre.


Green Giant

September 8

Doors open at 9:00


Green Giant plays a mix of Bluesy Funky Slightly Hard Edge Jam Rock from “Big Boss Man” to “Godzilla” with plenty of originals in between with the emphasis on having fun and getting in the groove.


Watermelon Slim

September 9

Doors open at 5:00


The Truck Drivin' Blues Man, Bill "Watermelon Slim" Homans is back with the band the Workers! Elwood Blues (a.k.a. Dan Akroyd) said, "He’s been a farmer, teacher, truck driver, and who knows what else. He’s also one of the best blues singers out there.”

Have a great weekend!

Tony Jordan