Stone Gossard is a founding member and guitarist of Pearl Jam. He has released two solo albums, Bayleaf (2001) and Moonlander (2013), both of which I feel are highly underappreciated. Although the studio version of “Your Flames” appears on Moonlander, this live version was recorded in 2008. Don’t tell Stone, but I like the live version a tad more. (It’s the vocal harmonies and that bass clarinet, guys.) But don’t get me wrong, the studio version is great, too. I’ve chosen to feature the live version today as I’ve listened to it on repeat while relaxing, studying, and writing papers. It’s so calming, and on top of that, it’s just a darn good song. Hope you enjoy!
You’ve got a light inside, so there’s no need to hide your flames.
Virginia-based band Carbon Leaf has been going strong for more than twenty years. The founding members met while attending Randolph-Macon College in Ashland, Virginia before relocating to Richmond, Virginia. Current members Barry Privett (lead vocals), Terry Clark (guitar/vocals), Carter Gravatt (guitar/vocals/various instruments), Jon Markel (bass), and Jason Neal (drums) are known for their energetic live shows and a sound that blends elements of folk, Celtic, and other musical styles. In August 2014, Carbon Leaf released Indian Summer Revisited, a tenth anniversary re-recording of their 2004 major label debut, Indian Summer. On March 20, 2015, the band played an excellent set at the Cat’s Cradle, which included a beautiful, completely unplugged performance of “One Prairie Outpost.” A few hours before the show, I sat down with Barry Privett to discuss the band’s decision to leave a major label, songwriting process, and contributions to save Sweet Briar College, among other things.
Have you ever associated a song so closely with its music video that it feels weird to listen to the song by itself? For me, Switchfoot’s “Awakening” is one of those songs.
This music video takes us back to 2007, when Dance Dance Revolution and Guitar Hero were culturally significant games played at high school parties across America. Then again, maybe that was only my high school experience.
Happy St. Patrick’s Day! Today’s tune is a new single from Janet Devlin, a 20-year-old singer-songwriter from Northern Ireland. Devlin rose to fame after appearing on The X Factor (UK) in 2011. Since then, she has released two albums, 2013’s Hide and Seek, which received a limited digital release through Pledge Music, and 2014’s Running with Scissors, which is available on iTunes and in stores.
X Ambassadors are an alternative rock band from Ithaca, New York. They are currently supporting Canadian pop singer Lights on her Little Machines tour. Over the weekend, a friend and I had the pleasure of seeing them live. “Unconsolable” is a song that stood out to me at the show, so I’ve selected it as this week’s tune.
This week, I’m featuring one of my favorite Sonic Youth songs, “Chapel Hill,” from the band’s 1992 album, Dirty. The song is based on the city of – wait for it – Chapel Hill in North Carolina. There are also references to people and places related to the state, such as late bookstore owner and activist Bob Sheldon, the famed venue Cat’s Cradle, the city of Durham, the Char-Grill restaurant, and politician Jesse Helms.
This Tuesday, I’m enjoying a snow day off thanks to Winter Storm Octavia. I’m also enjoying some music from Sloan, a favorite band of mine. Hailing from Canada, Sloan is known for their unchanged lineup throughout their 20+ year career and their unique approach to making music – each member shares songwriting duties. “The Life of a Working Girl,” written by bassist Chris Murphy, appears on the band’s 2001 album, Pretty Together.
Whether or not you watched the Grammys on Sunday, if you’ve visited any social media websites since then, you’ve probably read about Beck Hansen’s Morning Phase earning three Grammys for Best Engineered Album (Non-Classical), Best Rock Album, and Album of the Year. You may have also seen celebrities’ reactions to his Album of the Year win or heard Kanye West’s comments about Beck “disrespecting artistry” – comments I find rather nonsensical and ironic.
On January 30, Mad Season joined the Seattle Symphony Orchestra at Benaroya Hall in Seattle for a one-time reunion concert. Titled Sonic Evolution, the show featured original compositions by former Mad Season member Mike McCready, along with several guest appearances. “River of Deceit” featured McCready, Barrett Martin, Duff McKagan, and Soundgarden frontman Chris Cornell filling in for the late Layne Staley on vocals.
“River of Deceit” was one of three singles from Mad Season’s sole album, Above (1995). I think this arrangement of the song is absolutely beautiful and moving, and I would have loved to see this live. I’m crossing my fingers for a live CD/DVD release in the future.
Today’s song is from Soundgarden’s frontman, Chris Cornell. Cornell wrote “The Keeper” for the 2011 film, Machine Gun Preacher. The song appears on the film’s soundtrack and on Cornell’s 2011 live solo album, Songbook. Though it has a different mood than the film, “The Keeper” has well-crafted, meaningful lyrics that tie in closely with the film’s story. It’s simply a beautiful song.
Cornell discussed his songwriting process for the film in this 2011 Hitfix interview.
And before I let one more fire go out / Understand that I won’t give one inch of ground / From beneath yours and my feet / Whatever the price happens to be