Monday, Monday, Monday! Time to make this a great week and to help get your week started off in a positive way, here’s a playlist to crank up as you work away the day, drive around with the windows down or just to just relax and enjoy the sunshine. Hope you like it and stay positive!
To help make sure you don’t get a case of the Monday’s, here’s a little Monday Happiness playlist for you! Hope you enjoy and find a few good reasons to smile, dance, laugh, daydream, have fun and get this week started off in a positive way.
Here we go, time for another little playlist to help you Jump Into Fall! For October here are a bunch of tracks that are on constant rotation for me. Hope you enjoy and find some new tunes you like.
Thanks to the nifty little Spotify playlist button you can listen right here!
A good friend of mine, Mike Watson, recently won an all expenses paid trip to see Dave Matthews Band at the legendary Gorge up in Washington over Labor Day Weekend courtesy of Volkswagen. Here’s his recount of the once in a lifetime experience. Want some photos, click HERE, Rolling Stone captured his experience as well!
Figured I needed to write down my random thoughts for the weekend since I have been asked about it a million times!
How I won:
So I got an email a while back about a contest on twitter to win all expenses paid trip to The Gorge for Dave Matthews Band so I decided to tweet about it. I attached the tweet. So about a month passes and I remembered that they said @VW would contact the winners by following them and sending a Direct Message. So I get an email that @VW was following me, so I got a little excited, then I got a Direct Message from them about 5 minutes later saying that I was a grand prize winner. Obviously I started freaking out, though I was a little skeptical. I got a call back and they asked some basic questions about whether I would pay taxes if I am deemed the winner, etc. Obviously said yes. So I had to fill out an affidavit stating I would pay taxes, that I wouldn’t sue VW if I died on the trip, etc. I had called Joel and asked him what he was doing for Labor Day, and then dropped the bomb on him that he needed to cancel his plans cause I was taking him to The Gorge for FREE. Basically I won free flight, tickets to all 3 nights in the PIT for the shows, camping in the VW area, and possible meeting with Dave. I was beyond pumped because I have always wanted to see Dave at The Gorge but it is just logistically a hard thing to do, not to mention expensive. Was definitely a bucket list item. So I had to call one of my closest friends, my neighbor from growing up who is basically like a brother to me, and tell him that I wasn’t going to be able to go to his bachelor party in Vegas!
So our flight leaves Houston at 10:30am on Thursday and we get into Seattle around 12:30. They have a sign with our names on it waiting for us at the baggage claim. Bags come right out and then we walk immediately outside and they have our VW waiting for us. Was so quick and easy. I had told my friends in Seattle that I would meet them downtown around 2 for lunch but we were definitely going to be there sooner. So we took in some sites and had lunch in Seattle. Such a cool city. The weather was perfect, about 80degrees and not a cloud in the sky. The weather was perfect like that all weekend. 80 during the day and about 50 at night.
We started the drive to The Gorge later in the day, sun was starting to go down and it was about a 2 and a half hour drive. It was such a beautiful drive. The scenery in the Pacific Northwest is just incredible. I would love to visit there again. We got to the camping ground about 9 and the VW people escorted us to our private little fenced in area. It was crazy because all the other people camping were literally right on top of each other and we had our own huge area. They set up our tent for us and everything. Joel and I just cracked open some beers and took it all in. After they finished setting it up we decided to go out to the general camping area and do some partying with some people. They gave us an HD video recorder to record the entire weekend. Was a good time and everyone is so ridiculously nice. Basically was one big party.
VW Area 41:
So each day that we woke up we they had yoga, smoothies, etc for everyone in the VW area. There were probably 100 people who had won different levels of prizes. There were only 5 grand prize winners and we were the ones with the white picketed fences. Everyone was really nice, so we just relaxed a lot that first day. Went out and read a bit of a book and took in the whole view, which was amazing. Walking out of the tent in the morning and seeing the view that first day was unreal. Each day they had different people playing private concerts. The Silent Comedy was the first day. They were really good and cool dudes, we hungout and had beers with them a few times throughout the weekend. They also had set up volleyball, a huge tent with rugs and lounge chairs, a solar powered charging station, huge movie screen for movies at night after the concert, free food after the show. It was really a top of the line operation they had set up. Beyond impressive. That set up literally set the weekend over the top. They people running it were so nice. I can’t thank Lisa, Acacia, and Audrey enough for making our weekend the best weekend ever.
The next day was Tim Reynolds, which obviously set off a mass of people flooding to the VW area to watch his solo performance. People were surrounding the VW area trying to catch a glimpse of Tim. He then went and signed autographs for a while in the VW tent. The last day it was Allen Stone (who was opening up for him all 3 nights along with The Avett Brothers; and big thanks to my buddy Craig of DoYouHearTheMusic.com for turning me on to him). Allen Stone has a crazy amazing voice. He almost sounds black he has so much soul. After he played the main event of the day started. Carter Beauford was going to do a Q&A with everyone in the VW area. There were some amazing questions asked but none better than the one asked by our new friend Maegen Fetter. She asked Carter how the band mustered up the courage to play the night LeRoi Moore passed away. Everyone cheered at the question and Carter did not take the question lightly. He got deep into the feeling involved and how he learned of LeRoi’s passing. It was an amazing point of the weekend to hear him speak of something that means so much to everyone in the band.
The first time I walked over the lawn and saw The Gorge was surreal. You seriously cannot express the depth of that place in a picture or words. It is just unbelievable beautiful. I got chills just looking at it. You definitely need to go there sometime. The concerts were amazing and of the 3 nights that Dave played he only repeated one song (played his new single each night). It is definitely a different experience seeing him at The Gorge. They bring a different energy level when they play there.
Meeting Dave Matthews:
So Saturday was the day that I found out we would be meeting Dave. I really didn’t want to believe it until we were on our way there. VW had assigned this bad ass photographer just to us for the weekend to document everything. Brian Nevins is his name. He does some amazing stuff (www.briannevins.com). We got to the backstage area. We took some pics right on the cliff. Right after that Dave showed up. I knew that he is a quirky person and I also knew that he didn’t really care for deep questions or talk with us random strangers. So we kept the conversation light. Jordan had met him before doing PR for the Shake Weight so they discussed that a bit, then Dave asked Joel “So did you get too hot and had to cut off your jeans?”, Joel then replied with, “these are jorts!” to which Dave replied “What are jorts?”, we just died laughing because we couldn’t believe he didn’t know what they were. We literally had to explain it to him. Was amazing. He is just a quirky and cool guy. He makes you feel like you are old buddies just chilling having a regular conversation. I was thinking about it before I went and he is definitely the only person in the world I would really want to meet and I got to. So life is complete!
Today is the day, a bevvy of new albums drop, I listed a heap of them on Five For Friday last week but for me the one I’m most excited about is Dave Matthews Band Away From The World. Not just because it’s a new disc from one of my favorite bands but because Steve Lillywhite produced it (Before These Crowded Streets was the last released album together; while the unreleased Lillywhite Sessions was simply an amazing collection of songs that took on a whole life of its own). Finally after more than a decade DMB and Lillywhite have reunited and put together a great album. If you were lucky enough to catch a show on the summer tour, you’ve definitely heard some of the new material as “Mercy,” “Gaucho,” “Sweet,” “The Riff,” and “If Only” were steady on setlists while the last few tour dates have had the band performing nearly the entire album. As for the album itself, after listening through the disc, you will really start to hear that old DMB sound we all grew up loving. Enjoy!
Five For Friday, here’s some good tidbits to get you in the right mindset this weekend.
- Recently a buddy of mine won an all expense paid trip courtesy of Volkswagen to see Dave Matthews Band at the Gorge over Labor Day Weekend. Not only was I stoked for him because he’s a huge DMB and music nut like me but it’s the Gorge, a place I’m still trying to get to. Little did I know that after the show him and two other friends would appear in a whole Rolling Stone slideshow documenting the weekend. Check it out HERE.
- Hometown Vegas boys Imagine Dragons dropped their first full length release this week, Night Visions. Pick it up and catch them on tour with AWOLNATION.
- Click HERE to listen to the new Kanye West track “Clique.” Some good guests on this track too!
- One of the final music festivals of the summer takes place this weekend, Doheny Days and features a pretty solid lineup where tickets are only $100 for two days. Jane’s Addiction, The Flaming Lips, Edward Sharpe & The Magnetic Zeros, Santigold, Steel Pulse, Delta Spirit, Milo Greene and Jeramiah Red and others perform.
- Next Tuesday is going to be one of the most ridiculous New Music Tuesdays ever, you’ve got Bob Dylan (Tempest), Dave Matthews Band (Away From The World), Chris Robinson Brotherhood (The Magic Door), The Avett Brothers (The Carpenter), The xx (Coexist), Thee Oh Sees (Putrifiers II), ZZ Top (La Futura), A$AP Rocky (LongLiveASAP), Ludacris (Ludaversal), David Byrne & St. Vincent (Love This Giant), Calexico (Algiers), Akon (Stadium), Aaron Lewis (The Road), DMX (Undisputed), Kix Brooks (New To This Town) and more!
East coast trip took me to Boston for a few days and lucky for me, Dave Matthews Band just happened to be in town during my stay. Last night I attended yet another DMB show and all I can say is this was my favorite show I have seen to date. Even in the chilly weather (you could see your breath, it was that cold) couldn’t put a damper on this evening in which the band was dynamite and the energy was through the roof. Being night one of two sometimes you never know what to expect on these double-dip shows but I for one may have been the happiest person in the crowd as I finally heard “The Song That Jane Likes” live! My favorite song the band had yet to play in some 20 something shows I’ve seen (and I assume many haven’t either). In the back of my mind I knew there was an outside chance since the guys busted it out last week in Scranton (and it was fumbled a bit at that show so I had my doubts) and when Dave said “I have a sister and this is…” I was in music euphoria. Add in playing “Save Goodbye” and I heard two songs I’ve been waiting every show for in one night!! From beginning to end the show was sensational and packed a punch that makes me want to venture out on the road to catch a few more gigs this summer. A great balance of old and new, some rocking jams, Jeff Coffin continues to amaze me, and it sure looks like the boys are having a ton of fun out there this year.
Don’t Drink The Water
You Never Know
Why I Am
Funny The Way It Is
What Would You Say
Everybody Wake Up
The Song That Jane Likes
Lie In Our Graves
Pantala Naga Pampa
Digging A Ditch
Anyone Seen The Bridge
Want a download of the show? You can find the torrent HERE.
Pretty powerful line-up at the Hangout Music Festival, May 18-20, on Alabama’s Gulf Shores.
Jack White, Dave Matthews Band and Red Hot Chili Peppers are a solid trio of headliners that highlight three days of solid music.
A look at some of the other initial acts announced:
Wilco – will be rocking in support of their new album
String Cheese Incident – never met a SCI show I didn’t like
The Flaming Lips – performing Pink Flyod’s Dark Side of the Moon
Chris Cornell – solid choice
Dispatch – ah a year back together and in comes the festivals again! So exciting!
Steve Winwood – now this will be a fun performance
Allen Stone – everybody needs a little Allen Stone in their lives
Alabama Shakes – what more can I say, they are on FIRE!
Gary Clark Jr. – if you haven’t listened to this man, best do so now
G. Love – c’mon y’all know this is a must see
Michael Franti & Spearhead – YES!!
Young The Giant – energetic live performances
Cage the Elephant – look online for video from Lollapalooza 2011
Dawes – amazing live show
M.Ward – another not to miss
Also included in the first announcement of artists Skrillex, Randy Newman, STS9, Coheed and Cambria, Flogging Molly, Dr. Dog, Gogol Bordello, Mavis Staples, Big Freedia, Shpongle, Zeds Dead, Paul Oakenfold, Yelawolf, Mac Miller, Hey Rosetta!, Paper Diamond, and Sleeper Agent.
More artists are expected to be announced soon.
If you are reading this and have not at least given a listen to Chimes of Freedom: The Songs of Bob Dylan Honoring 50 Years of Amnesty International, do so immediately after reading the rest of this post. Released today digitally (next week on CD) and comprised of 80 musicians who contributed new or previously unreleased recordings, this is an amazing collection and tribute to my favorite musician of all time. While the list of musicians featured on the four disc set is staggering and I have yet to listen to all the renditions, there are a selection that stand out to me:
The Belle Brigade – “No Time To Think”
Michael Franti – “Subterranean Homesick Blues”
State Radio – “John Brown”
Ximena Sarinana – “I Want You”
Cage The Elephant – “The Lonesome Death Of Hattie Carroll”
The Gaslight Anthem – “Changing Of The Guards”
Lenny Kravitz – “Rainy Day Women”
Elvis Costello – “License To Kill”
The Airborne Toxic Event – “Boots Of Spanish Leather”
Mariachi El Bronx – “Love Sick”
Raphael Saadiq – “Leopard-Skin Pill-Box Hat”
We Are Augustines – “Mama, You Been On My Mind”
Fistful of Mercy – “Buckets of Rain”
Flogging Molly – “The Times They Are A-Changin”
Of course Dave Matthews Band – “All Along The Watchtower”
And yes, I can’t believe I’m writing this but Miley Cyrus – “You’re Gonna Make Me Lonesome When You Go.” See for yourself, below.
You can click here for the official release regarding the album, artists, making, etc. and how you too can support Amnesty International.
The Head and The Heart are one of the bands I am most excited to check out next month at Bonnaroo. After selling more than 10,000 copies of their self titled debut album by word of mouth alone (we’re talking self burned copies), the disc was re-mastered and released last month. Hailing from Seattle and having already opened for DMB, Vampire Weekend and The Decemberists, The Head and The Heart are definitely one of the rising bands that are sure to strike it BIG very soon.
Sunday 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM – The Other Tent