MOG Music Network


It's That Time of Year- Best of 2008 Lists

Top 13 Albums of 2008

13. Love As Laughter- Holy

12. The Wood Brothers- Loaded

11. David Byrne and Brian Eno- Everything That Happens Will Happen Today

10. Sigur Rós- Með Suð Í Eyrum Við Spilum Endalaust

9. Lil Wayne- Tha Carter III

8. Delta Spirit- Ode To Sunshine

T-6. Fleet Foxes- Fleet Foxes

T-6. The Raconteurs- Consolers of the Lonely

T-4. Dead Confederate- Wrecking Ball

T-4. The Whigs- Mission Control

3. Stephen Malkmus and The Jicks- Real Emotional Trash

2. My Morning Jacket- Evil Urges

1. Dr. Dog- Fate

Honorable Mention
: moe.- Sticks and Stones, Howlin' Rain- Magnificient Fiend, Beck- Modern Guilt, Blitzen Trapper- Furr, R.E.M.- Accelerate, Cold War Kids- - Loyalty To Loyalty, Secret Machines - Secret Machines, Booka Shade- The Sun and the Neon Light, Widespread Panic- Free Somehow

Top 16 concerts of 2008

I rung in 2008 from the crowded floor of The Tabernacle taking in the 3rd set of STS9's marathon New Year's Show in Atlanta. This year I plan on ringing in '09 in the pit at Madison Square Garden at My Morning Jacket.

On to the list:

16. Moon Taxi- 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville, TN on September 14th

15. Ben Cameron and the T.V.A.- Christopher Pizza in Nashville, TN on January 25th

14. Metallica- Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, TN on June 13th

13. moe. - City Hall in Nashville, TN on April 2nd

12. Dr. Dog and Delta Spirit- 3rd and Lindsley in Nashville, TN on September 7th

11. Widespread Panic- Bonnaroo Music Festival, What Stage in Manchester, TN on June 15th.

T-8th. The Whigs- Mercy Lounge in Nashville, TN on February 23rd

T-8th. Band of Horses-Exit/In in Nashville, TN on January 29th

T-8th. Black Mountain- Exit/In in Nashville, TN on March 10th

7. The Dexateens- The End in Nashville, TN on September 12th

6. Sound Tribe Sector 9 (STS9)- House of Blues in Chicago, IL on July 19th

5. What Made Milwaukee Famous- WRVU 91.1 FM In-Studio performance on Any Colour You Like Radio Show in Nashville, TN

4. Tiesto- Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, TN on June 13th

T-2. My Morning Jacket- Riverfront Park in Nashville, TN on August 15th

T-2. Wilco- Ryman Auditorium in Nashville, TN on March 2nd

#1 Best Concert in History of them. My Morning Jacket- Bonnaroo Music Festival in Manchester, TN on June 13th on Which Stage from 12 a.m. to 4 a.m. in the driving rain.


Dead Confederate delivers the Wrecking Ball

Dead Confederate spent a good deal of time on the road before finally recording and putting out this full-length debut and it was worth the wait. Already receiving critical acclaim at last year's CMJ Festival and being personally invited by R.E.M. to open for them at this year's SXSW Festival, this is a band on the verge of something big. A band known for intense, powerful and LOUD live shows, Dead Confederate managed to capture the proverbial lightning in a bottle with Wrecking Ball (Razor & Tie) as their onstage intensity resonates throughout the album in a raw yet sonically refined manner. Produced by Mike McCarthy (Spoon, Trail of Dead) and released on The Artists Organization imprint, Wrecking Ball is unique because it is the band's first full-length but the core of the band have been together for several years.

Kicking off with the angst-ridden "Heavy Petting," a track that would've fit nicely on an early Nirvana album, the album hits the ground running. Wrecking Ball's second track, "The Rat," is the magnum opus of the record and maybe this year, opening with an ominous B-3 intro and lead singer Hardy Morris growling out the lyrics in such a way that you can almost see the veins popping out of his neck. The song is musically tight, dark and surprisingly catchy (although singing "Stupid human, shit for brains" at the bus stop might get you some strange looks). The raw power of this song is almost impossible to convey with words and any fans of Secret Machines, Nirvana, Pink Floyd and/or My Morning Jacket ought to give this one a good, head-banging listen. Fans of David Gilmour's sprawling slide guitar trips through psychedelic soundscapes will particularly enjoy "Goner" and "The News Underneath." "Start Me Laughing" reins in the early '90s grunged-out intensity that opened the album, delivering a squall of sound with a metallic edge and some kick-ass drum work. "The News Underneath" and "Flesh Colored Canvas" are both life-affirming rock epics that burn slow and then rock you right down to the core. Although not for the listener with a short attention span, these two anthems reward one for their patience in a way that recalls My Morning Jacket's "Dondante" or Pink Floyd's "Echoes," leaving you breathless and with a wicked case of the chills. The title track would be my recommendation for anyone wholly unfamiliar with the band as it seems to encapsulate all things Dead Confederate and aptly serves as the album closer.

If you dig their sound, be sure to check these guys out at a small club near you this fall and winter, because next time they come to town it might not be in such an intimate setting. But, with such a large and sprawling sound, Dead Confederate will be able to make an arena feel like your friend's basement.


Jerry Douglas Glides on

Jerry Douglas: Glide

Whenever a master of his craft releases a piece of art, expectations are unbelievably high and curiosity is abound. "Glide" exceeds the lofty expectations and builds on an already impressive armada of solo releases from the king of the dobro.

Ever the virtuoso and musical chameleon, one should expect Douglas to draw from such a rich musical palette and utilize many of the legends he has befriended in the studio and on the road throughout his impressive career. Having recorded with a broad array of artists including Ray Charles, Garth Brooks, Allison Krauss, Paul Simon, Phish, and Elvis Costello among others, "Glide" features appearances by Travis Tritt, Rodney Crowell, Tony Rice, Earl Scruggs, and Sam Bush.

As expected, dobro master and bluegrass superstar Jerry Douglas' newest solo release Glide hits the ground running with "Bounce," a fast-picking grassy tune that finds Douglas immediately in his element furiously showing his unparalleled dexterity and in total command of the instrument that he has reinvented throughout his career. Written by buddies and fellow Bluegrass All-Stars Sam Bush and Edgar Meyer (with Douglas contributing the melody), "Bounce" gives each artist a chance to showcase their raw talent and build upon the lively, down-home melody. An orchestral outro segues beautifully into the title track and is the first of many genre-crossing changes of pace on the record. "Glide" shows Douglas' appreciation for classic melodies and styles with a sound apt for a horseback ride on the open range. The Nashville resident shows his affinity for the sounds of Music Row on the third track by inviting Travis Tritt to sing vocals on "Marriage Made in Hollywood", a tragic and familiar tale of the star struck Hollywood addict hell-bent on achieving fame and notoriety. Tritt's vocal performance is impressive and the lyrics chillingly familiar with lines like "all you need to be a star is to die in open view". Like so many before, the antagonist of the story plunges to his death and is "buried in a media grave". The ethereal and somber "Route Irish" follows, written after Douglas had viewed several days of coverage of the Iraq War. With an intense and stern melody, the tune serves as an apt follow-up to the tragic ending of "Marriage Made in Hollywood". Douglas captures Louisiana lightning in a bottle with his recreation of a New Orleans dirge in "Sway". It starts out slow and somber and then like any French Quarter jazz funeral, a change occurs, and a raucous party ensues as the song gains momentum and transforms into a festive Mardi Gras parade. "Unfolding" is a refined instrumental featuring iridescent string work and sprawling electric guitar arranged by Douglas and performed by Luke Bulla.
Nostalgia is abound in "A Long Hard Road (A Sharecropper's Dream)," a song featuring a wistful duet by Rodney Crowell and Carmella Ramsey as a lyrical tribute to simpler country times with a verse that ends "'Cause those city lights ain't all that bright, compared to what its like/ To see lightning bugs go dancin' in the rain". "Home Sweet Home" is an opportunity for Douglas to live out his musical dreams playing alongside Earl Scruggs on a bluegrass interpretation of the vocal stylings of the Louvin Brothers. "Two Small Cars in Rome" is a cinematic Western-tinged highway gallup featuring a steely foundation and Douglas' mastery of the dobro. Douglas takes all musical responsibilities on "Trouble on Alum", a Scottish medley that would make William Wallace proud. The album's final and most impressive instrumental "Pushed Too Far" is a sublime finishing touch to yet another fine piece of work from Jerry Douglas that takes the listener on an journey through international dobro soundscape. "Glide" is rich in it's diversity and further proof as to why Douglas is an 11-time Grammy winner and the deserving recipient of CMA's 2007 Musician of the Year award.


Hot Fun in The Summertime: MMJ steals the show at this year's Bonnaroo

A Bonnaroo Declaration:
Let it be known that between the hours of 12:00 a.m. and 3:45 a.m. on Saturday, June 14th that My Morning Jacket began their ascent from festival phenom to the pantheon of rock-n-roll superstardom.

Going into this year’s Bonnaroo Music & Arts Festival there was an undeniable feeling that My Morning Jacket’s late night appearance on Which Stage would be a pivotal and potentially monumental performance for the band. With a critically acclaimed record hitting the streets earlier in the week that all but stylistically disregards MMJ’s previous albums and an extensive tour on the horizon of rather large venues throughout Europe & the U.S. forthcoming this summer and fall, excitement was aplenty on the 700-Acre farm. After Friday night’s four-hour extravaganza that primarily focused on material from the new Evil Urges record and 2005’s Z and also included covers of Bobby Womack, Funkadelic, Velvet Underground, Erykah Badu, Motley Crue, I have come to expect the unexpected when it comes to the Jacket.

As strangely repetitive and soothing sitar music played shortly before the stroke of midnight the Tennessee skies opened up and a steady rain began to fall. Unbothered and anxious, the great majority of folks in the large crowd knew it would be well worth sticking it out. MMJ has grown stylistically and in popularity each time they have appeared at the festival and in many ways serve as the Bonnaroo mascot having played almost every kind of set a band can play besides the headlining slot in their five years appearing in Manchester. With Evil Urges in the live rotation, each show is like a festival in itself, as the band shows their flexibility covering the genres of rock, country, soul/folk, funk, dance and metal each night. With some jazzy house music playing, the band took the stage and segued out of it with the title track off their new album Evil Urges and quickly jolted the crowd into a euphoric state that would persist the rest of the night. Following “Evil Urges” with the dubbed out fan favorite “Off The Record” was an excellent follow-up as the rain intensified. A Vermont-style glow stick war unfolded at the perfect moment during the climactic "Come Onnnnnnnnnnnnn" part of "Gideon", giving fans a chance to relive the festival’s early jam band roots. The cover heavy set was off-and-running when the band invited Flecktone Jeff Coffin and the Nashville/Louisville Horns section and took turns singing verses of Sly & The Family Stone's appropriate "Hot Fun in the Summertime". Jim James was a dramatically intense leader on this rain-soaked night reeling off epic renditions of songs that seemed to oscillate in intensity in perfect sync with the ongoing rain storm. A common sentiment I heard the following day was something along the lines of “they even had control over the rain!” The twisted metal-psych Prince style “peanut butter pudding surprise” rocker otherwise known as “Highly Suspicious” would follow and exceeded expectations in the live setting. Two of the band’s poppier tunes “What A Wonderful Man” and “I’m Amazed” saw an unusual amount of stage presence from typically subdued keyboardist Bo Koster who looked to be enjoying himself like never before. Technical problems seemed to affect everyone in the band at one point in the show but ultimately did not faze the band as they continued to adapt and churn out new covers and fan favorites. Jim James’ omnichord, a electronic MIDI style instrument that the bandleader has brought to prominence, was sadly a casualty of the night, but James filled the void with vocal improvisation where the instruments’ sound was voided.

As much fun as it is to see the band display an head banging intensity during extended dualing guitar solos, it is perhaps even more mind-bending to hear Jim James's reverb-drenched and downright angelic voice wash over the masses during one of the eerily slow jams like "Golden" and the brand new, and sonically astonishing R & B tune "Thank You Too". The second half of the first set featured an unbelievable run of heavy rockers including a blistering "Lay Low" from Z, a hilarious rendition of Funkadelic's "Hit it and Quit it", and a cover of Erykah Badu's mid-90s hit "Tyrone". Finally the band setting sail on a larger-than-life "Steam Engine" which seems to encapsulate the band's many styles as it weaves through it’s many phases. “Steam Engine” gave the band’s drummer Patrick Hallahan a chance to showcase his incredible talent and the band/crew a badly needed chance to dry off equipment as he meshed hard rock Bonham-style drumming with psychedelic rhythms pummeling through a “Moby Dick” style drum solo. “Anytime", "Aluminum Park (the only song on Evil Urges that could have fit on the band's 2005 release Z)", the raucous "Easy Morning Rebel", and "Dancefloors" established this set as unstoppable, and the following song would serve as the musical event of the weekend (maybe a lifetime for a handful of diehards) as guitar legend Kirk Hammett of Metallica shredded alongside Jim James and Carl Broeml during the band's breakthrough tune "One Big Holiday". Hammett’s frenetic speed metal complemented James and Broeml’s style nicely and the “holy s*&^s” were aplenty in the crowd. Of the ten or so energetic overdrive guitar solo freak outs of the night this was the most memorable with James running around on his own and getting in on the action with Broeml, bassist Two-Tone Tommy and Hammett from time to time. After a nearly two-hour first set the band exited stage right for a short break to give the crew a chance to dry off the stage and get everything back in working order. If the show would've ended right then and there it would have stood out as perhaps one of the best shows of the weekend. Amazingly, the rain subsided for the duration of the short set break giving fans a chance to dry off a little and gush over what they had just seen.

Sure enough, as soon as MMJ took the stage again, a heavy downpour started that would continue for the remainder of the show. The Kentucky quintet came out even more energized than before and proved there was still plenty left in the tank with more tricks up their sleeve as Jim James conjured up his inner James Brown striking up the horn section for a trio of funk covers including Brown's "Cold Sweat", Kool & The Gang's "Get Down On It" and Bobby Womack's "Across 110th Street". James performed like a Bonnaroo master of ceremonies throughout the second set flying around the stage sporting some newfound dance moves and feeding off the intensity of drum extraordinare Patrick Hallahan's spot-on drum work. “Wordless Chorus”, "Mahgeetah" and "Phone Went West" would follow and it was funny to see three get songs almost get lost amidst surprising covers. If the malady described in “Phone Went West” was hypothermia and rainy night blues, then Jim James was the doctor:

Is there a doctor in the house tonite?
If there’s a wrong, he could make it right.

A fantastic take on Velvet Underground’s “Oh, Sweet Nuthin’” followed and surprised Jacket faithful all had wide-eyed smiles that went for days knowing that this was a first-time treat. The mellow slow tune “Librarian” segued perfectly into “Dondante” while an eerie stillness came over the crowd as a “golden rain (as James described it)” fell and JJ’s lonesome ghostly voice softly belted out the opening verse of Dondante. Like many of MMJ’s greatest songs, Dondante slowly builds to an extended explosion of syncopated psychedelic euphoria and is brought on by a moment of vocal exposition that only James could do justice to. After several minutes of earth-shattering guitar jamming and gut busting drum fills, the song returns to its original delicate state as multi-instrumentalist Carl Broeml plays an ominous and tonally lustrous saxophone outro of “Floydish” proportions. The hefty slow motion guitar journey known as “Run Thru” came next and a feeling that the show might carry historical significance started to emanate through the crowd. “Smoking from Shootin” aptly came next and had James asking “Have you had enough excitement now more than you ever did” and following up with show closer TOUCH ME Part 2 that had James exclaiming: “Oh! this feeling it is wonderful! Don't you ever turn it off!”. To cap off the monstrous four-hour set the band did a final cover of Motley Crue’s “Home Sweet Home” and invited a visibly inebriated Zach Galifinakis (Out Cold, Sarah Silverman Show) dressed as Little Orphan Annie to sing along.

At last the journey through rain and song had ended and the buzz from the show still hasn’t worn off . It is always special to watch a band at the peak of the career and right now it seems MMJ has reached the rarefied territory of operating in a space where there are no boundaries to what they can achieve musically. Their ears are as big as the enormous venues they are beginning to regularly fill with a newfound affecttion and respect for R & B, Funk, and Soul that didn’t show itself in previous LPs. Their appeal is genre-defying and seemingly universal reaching metal-loving freaks, jam band hippies, and the oftentimes fickle indie rock blogosphere. With a New Years Eve performance at Madison Square Garden and an exponentially growing fan base, the sky is the limit for this band that might just become the biggest non-mainstream crossover rock act since…?


Interview with moe.'s Al Schnier before their show at City Hall Nashville

I never thought I would be given the opportunity to interview moe. I quite frankly had an amazing forty minute phone conversation with one of our heroes last Wednesday morning before the band’s gig at City Hall – lead guitarist of moe., Al Schnier. The anticipated chat was fluid, friendly, and positively fantastic. Just to put it in perspective for those people out there who are not familiar with moe.’s work or Al Schnier as a guitarist, Schnier (along with fellow band mate and guitarist Chuck Garvey) was recently named one of the “new guitar gods” by Rolling Stone magazine this past summer alongside guitar heroes Jack White (White Stripes) and Tom Morello (Rage Against The Machine) among others. As a band that been in existence for nearly two decades, and one of the last remaining groups to consistently draw fans with them for extended tours, it was somewhat of both a lofty privilege and also an occasion to celebrate their wonderful music and the scene that they have helped sustain. After their headlining and self-created late August festival aptly named “moe.down”, the band will begin a hiatus for a period of time that most fans believe will last somewhere over a year. One thing has been self-proclaimed regarding the upcoming hiatus, moe. will be back. And if this interview doesn’t make it clear that they have the potential to take things further upon their return, I guess you don’t know moe.

DigMusicCity; Its been since Halloween 04 since you’ve all been in Nashville, excited to be back in town?
Al; Oh yea. Of course. Always fun to be in Nashville too, we’ve actually passed through town in past tours but haven’t been able to do any shows so were real excited about tonight.
DigMusicCity: Yea I just wanted to ask first about the last time you guys came to town, you actually debuted 14 songs that night and I was curious what the preparation was like for that show? Also, what did you as a musician take from that night?
Al: Well you know it was definitely a pretty significant night. I grew up listening to a lot of country music because my dad always did. And he had a lot of the music we ended up playing that night. So I remember hearing a lot of that stuff when I was a kid, and I listened to Hank [Williams] as a kid with me dad and he was always a big Loretta Lynn fan, Johnny Cash, so I used to hear all of that stuff. And then I used to watch the shows too. Definitely so cool for me to be in that venue and perform on that stage [Ryman Auditorium], then working up arrangements with the band it was sort of like an exercise in history almost. It was a really cool process.
DigMusicCity: I remember a lot of you had sheet music in front of you for some of the songs and stuff so you must have definitely laid it all out on the line that night. You just talked about your dad and I know you have kids so I wanted to ask how you incorporate music into their daily lives? A Rock star dad must have some influence…
Al: Well they’ve been talking piano lessons since they were four and now there going to be 8 and 10 so its been quite a while. My son just started playing drums a year ago so yea they are taking formal lessons but the rest of it is organic. There is music in the house always. I have an old Silvertone, short scale electric guitar and amp downstairs that just there’s and they can play whenever. It’s actually starting to get to the point now that there friends come over and like jam.
DigMusicCity: That sounds great.
Al: Yea you know I think a lot of that comes from the culture that we grew up in and what my friends and I do, etc. and also Guitar Hero, watching Youtube videos, and other stuff that inspires young kids to play rock music.
DigMusicCity; What kind of Guitar Hero player are you?
Al: I’m OK. Whatever new version comes up my son is in mode within 2 days and I’m on medium all the time, [laughs]
DigMusicCity: Here’s a tough one; Who is your favorite country musician of all time?
Al: Wow tough one. I guess I’d have to say Hank Williams. Yea that probably comes from growing up with it, but then there are always the bluegrass guys too.
DigMusicCityLive: The guys that made u pick up the mandolin?
Al; Well yea I’m a big bluegrass fan, passing hobby mostly though. I wish I had a whole other life time to devote to mandolin so I could shred like [Ricky] Skaggs, but I’m not sure I’m going to have the time or dedication to ever do that. Unfortunately.
DigMusicCityLive; You said u have guitars lying all over the house? Any stand outs? I’ve seen so many of your axes on stage? Speak for a moment on your collection.
Al: Sure, you know its funny my wife and I were standing out-front of these ply wood racks I have at home, we’re standing there looking and there were like 30 cases in this particular row and she asked if there were guitars in all of them and I said yea. Then it was; Do you really need all these guitars?
DigMusicCityLive: Of course you do! [laughs]
Al: You know its never going to end, I have a recording studio if nothing else I could justify for it but as guitar player I want to have a [Tele]caster in every color, a Les Paul from every year, I’m not prejudiced towards any in particular, although I do really kind of favor the classics…big telecaster fan for sure.
DigMusicCity: But how have different covers found their way into the setlists over the years? Who is responsible for that? I know you guys just did “Baba “O’Reilly” That seemed pretty cool!
Al: Yea well somebody in the band gets really excited about a song but that’s not enough. There has to be some sort or level of quorum or majority momentum or it doesn’t go anywhere. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve suggested songs and it hasn’t happened. You know if there’s a Zappa tune or a Radiohead song I want to play next thing you know Rob [Derhak, bassist] comes back and wants to play a Tori Amos song and no one wants to do that either. Everybody has to be really excited about a song; I mean it’s an organic conversation. We know we never get to play the cover songs that any one of us wants to play; we play the ones that we all want to play. And that’s sort of the way everything goes in the band, I mean were very much a democracy and everything gets diluted to a common denominator. And I think that’s a strength. I mean if that weren’t the case it mine as well be the Al Schnier band or something. For example we were playing “Born to Run” for a while and I had suggested it 5 years ago and no one was that excited and then like 2 years ago Rob was like lets do “born to run” and I was like hell yea lets do it because then we had some momentum and we got it up and running but it didn’t really stick. That’s important too. It has to be fitting. Like “Cant You Hear Me Knocking” really fits our band.
DigMusicCityLive: Was that Tori Amos song you were talking about was that “Cornflake Girl?”
Al: Yea
DigMusicCityLive: That caught me off guard actually but y’all seemed to do just fine with it, I liked hearing Rob croon on that one.
Al: Laughs
DigMusicCityLive: I had a business question for you not to bore but you all are very business minded and if you were starting a band similar to moe , what approach would you take to be successful in the industry?
Al: Well I’m not really sure, Its weird because I’ve actually talked and thought about with people about this recently and the landscape has sort of changed. when we started 18 years ago the internet didn’t really exist, which is bizarre, and it didn’t so the only way to get out there was to physically do it and maybe if you were lucky you would gather some momentum and some presence so we encouraged live taping from the start and that’s how we started building a fan base. And you have to do gigs every day we could driving all over the country and a lot of it was dumb luck and hard work. It seems old fashioned that u could kind of do it from your home. I mean if u made a great video and circulated it on Youtube or had a good thing going on facebook you may not always have to be out touring but it seems like u benefit more from that than taking the time to tour. Just a sign of the times, still though nothing is substitute for the live music experience so at end of the day you need to be a good live band and need the experience and have the ability to blow a crowd away and win them over and in the process make them lifelong fans. I also think the players are a lot better than they were when we started. A lot of killer players who have really done their homework and just did a lot of shredding when they were young grew up listening to Trey [Anastasio]. There’s a lot of great material these days too, So the next few years could be a great thing for the scene.

DigMusicCityLive: I want to ask you about the new album [Sticks and Stones] It kind of has a more emotionally reflective feel to it I’d say as opposed to other albums. And also to stem off that, you had for example “Tailspin” on The Conch and which was charged politically as well. So was there any motivation to put in “George” on Sticks and Stones or something that was targeted from that political perspective too?

Al: Well regarding the lyrics on this album, I mean I can’t speak for Rob [Derhak] or Chuck [Garvey] but for me personally its one of the things where I feel more a little attention to writing about the status quo, of all of my efforts it’s the area I feel like I could use the most work. So yea I’m making a concerted effort to write better songs, but at the same time your not trying to compromise your own voice so its sort of a weird thing its just has to come out naturally and right, so you know hopefully are songs are growing.. regarding the political side of things, I mean “George” was a contender for the last album and I wish it had been on The Conch and I campaigned for it pretty hard for. But I don’t think it would have fit on this one I mean in terms of the lyrics I’m more and more inclined to speak out politically. We’ve always sort of taken a stance in the past that moe. was not a place to speak out politically, that it would be and leave the serious things aside or to another venue. It’s more about personal things/fun because people are coming to the shows to have a good time, on the other hand, I need to express myself. I mean “tailspin” was not necessarily directed at our government as much as it was at the media, I just get tired of not being handed the truth. I just want the facts, I’m even tired of CNN. I can’t even tell u a good source for news anymore. It’s aggravating after time. The song “George” even though it comes across as negative it actually more about the Man

DigMusicCityLive: Yea you should actually plug it to Oliver Stone’s new movie W, sounds like it might fit.

Al: Yea well yea I want to learn more about the Guy and reach out to him and say its OK and give him a big hug, I really think he’s got a chip on his shoulder or something, and its at our extent.

DigMusicCityLive: So do you think “Conviction Song” would work out well as a twanged out country song here in Nashville? It’s my favorite one on the record

Al: Thanks, yea I’d love to hear that twanged out [laughs]. I have a whole book of songs like that.

DigMusicCityLive: There’s always room for a second job…

: When you’re amidst a huge tour and fired up about big markets or festival dates, and in a town that doesn’t necessarily draw as many fans, how do you guys get jacked up to make sure to give it you’re all each night?

Al: Well it has to do with just being on the road all the time. We don’t really think that far in advance so each night is taken pretty seriously. So to be honest even if there is a big show coming up or a major city big gig like in Atlanta at the end of the week or something, it doesn’t matter if were in Knoxville on Tuesday. We think about what soundcheck’s going to be, what’s for dinner, what the setlist is going to be like, etc. Everyone lives in the moment, each show gets the attention it deserves. I can’t really think about tomorrows show because we have so much to focus on today, because the nature of what we do playing something unique each night, the really interesting thing is that by the following day I have no recollection of what we played the night before. And I’m totally sober I don’t really party, no drugs or anything like that, it has to do with just all the information and then a matter of making enough space in my brain to deal with the next show. And I just go on and start working again and ill meet someone and he says what’s that thing u did in the second set? And I’m like what?

DigMusicCity: Cool man, I have an overarching question; can you speak briefly about your opinions about the trance based jams that the scene has come to embrace? The whole jam/electronica movement?

Al: Sure, it makes sense, I mean a lot of those sounds, that whole style, makes sense because your providing dance music for a live crowd. I mean you have that element, house/trace, and it makes even more sense with that modern sound when you parade it with a live improvisational band, that has an audience that wants to dance all night. So its a win win situation for the bands. To be honest a lot of these electronic bands are not unlike the early 80s shit, I mean it’s the same sort of vibe that there all dancing. Same kind of thing we’re seeing these days. There are some great bands of this nature, I mean, Sound Tribe Sector 9 has made a culture out of it, you have the Disco Biscuits, etc.

DigMusicCity: Also I’m really excited about this “Raise a Glass” concept. It’s so unique, I love it. Was it a management thing or band created?

Al: Actually it was our managers wife’s idea, she is a huge Iron Maiden fan and they were doing something like this and she goes out and sees Maiden several times a year, and we talking about the idea and it would be a great thing to do with the fans, and it’s a little awkward at first and some nights are weird, sweet, whatever, it all depends on whose up there on stage with us.

DigMusicCity: I hope our Nashville voice impresses you guys. I think that’s about it man, thanks so much for your time Al.

Al Schnier: No problem guys, see you tonight.

Last Wednesday’s show at City Hall was great as always and the band invited about fifteen lucky moe. fans on-stage (including myself) during the encore to sing-along with the band for their Irish drinking song “Raise A Glass”, it was a sight to be seen and capped off a memorable day. As always, moe. brought the house down with their brand of hard driving adventurous progressive rock music that left the always attentive and fanatical moe. fans only wanting more. Here’s hoping it won’t be another four years for another moe. concert here in Music City, U.S.A.


The Wood Brothers deliver an emotionally "Loaded" album

The Wood Brothers second studio effort Loaded due out next Tuesday April 1st on Blue Note Records is a successful amalgamation of folk, a touch of gospel, country, roots, and blues music produced by Chris Wood's Medeski, Martin and Wood band mate John Medeski. Chris Wood (from MMW) and his brother Oliver have a close musical connection that really shines through in Loaded. The lyrics are mundane in such a delightful way that almost any listener could connect with them. At the heart of the album is the inspiration and closer connection the brothers now feel with the recent loss of their mother. Many of the song lyrics have a tortured artist feel to them with an upbeat melody thus providing a unique feel within the traditional blues format. The melodies are simple and harkens back to a simpler musical time and the Wood Brothers’ vocal harmonies are so tight that it sounds like they are just overdubs of the same pipes. Every song on the record is not only listenable but downright enjoyable. “Postcards from Hell” is a great introduction for new listeners to the duo’s distinct roots-y, blues sound. The second verse sums up the way I feel about Loaded saying “you never heard a soul so pure and true/it’s flowin’ right out of his hands/ he can sing sweet as a choir girl/ he can sing a house on fire”. Dylan and Hendrix fans will certainly enjoy The Wood Brothers’ take on “Angel (featuring Amos Lee)” and Dylan’s “Buckets of Rain”. “Make Me Down a Pallet On Your Floor” is probably the most fun track on the record and sounds like a couple of friends jamming on the porch on a sunny Friday afternoon, which hopefully we can all relate with. “Still Close” is the brothers’ requiem ode to their recently deceased mother and is a fitting end to a rock-solid album.

7.5 out of 10


Stephen Malkmus & The Jicks Real Emotional Trash

Guitar enthusiasts/heroes rejoice! Malkmus unapologetically shows off his unmistakable guitar chops and conjures up the 70’s while paying homage to artists like Velvet Underground and the Grateful Dead. Many of the songs are longer and although they sprawl, these songs do not drag. In fact, the best track on the album is the ten-minute “Real Emotional Trash”, the song is a road trip itself, give it a listen and you’ll know what I mean. Even those with a short attention span can enjoy poppier tunes like “Gardenia” and “Cold Son” while jam band fans will surely appreciate the down and dirty jammer “Hopscotch Willie” and the choppy voyage track “Baltimore”. Good time tracks like "Elmo Delmo" show Malkmus' appreciation for the far out yet somehow it doesn't seem silly. The entire CD is fit-to-play, there is not a weak track on the entire album. There is no good word to describe Real Emotional Trash, so I’ll make one up right now, RET is a zoned-out “Slashterpiece” of epic proportions. His lyrical range is impressive and this album shows that Malkmus' mind is still as rich and generative as it always has been.
9 out of 10