The Black Crowes

Jam Band Podcast

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I figured it out in the shower after swimming laps in the pool. Donal Trump supporters are the people in high school who dismissed any band that wasn’t top 40 material. They didn’t make mix tapes, but if they did, they would have recorded the popular radio station programming. Underground bands were ignored until they were popular enough to accept. Today’s Trump supporters are making up for lost time. They have found their underground candidate and are running with him at full speed with their heads in the sand. The Bernie and Hillary supporters have traded NPR for the dusty mix tapes that sit in lonely boxes in attics and garages.

I admit it. I voted for Hillary. Sadly, I wasn’t able to vote for Bernie 🙁 It was an easy choice for me when presented with the alternate candidate who viewed the presidential race as no more than a challenge. A mountain worth climbing to the top of. An arm wrestling match under the world stage spotlight. One more trophy on a custom gold inlay mantle inside one of many cavernous dwellings.

Well anyhow, The Black Crowes were a band that I regretfully did not pay much attention to in the mid 1990’s. I don’t why I ignored them, but they were definitely not on my radar. Lately, I have been listening to some live shows from this time period and I have been really getting into them. During their live shows, they are not afraid to get into the jams and explore. You can hear all kinds of influences in their music above and beyond southern and classic rock. I hear lots of Allman Brothers and Grateful Dead in their jams.

Here is an especially cool jam by them recorded at at the Glastonbury Festival in the United Kingdom on June 23rd, 1995. I am currently working on a future podcast featuring a collection of songs recorded live between 1992 and 1997. Should be a pretty rocking podcast.

Thievery Corporation Live at Burning Man 2014.

I listen to this show whenever I am looking to get inspired. Thievery Corporation is a musical powerhouse who explores the far reaches of music with seemingly no limitations. One of my favorite musicians, Frank Orrall, who is a founding member of the band Poi Dog Pondering, often joins them on percussion and vocals. Check out his work if you get an opportunity. This Thievery Corporation show is available for download via Soundcloud.

God Street Wine Podcast

jam band podcast soundcentury

God Street Wine On The Road

Soundcentury has been on hiatus for quite some time and now that I am somewhat used to being a Dad to two beautiful girls, I am ready to get back on it. I would like to say that I have been out traveling the world seeing exotic places and doing radical things. Perhaps, I could tell you that I have been deeply pondering the future of Soundcentury at hip coffee shops, martini joints and fancy beer bars. You know, just sitting there in my faded Soundcentury T-shirt with my drink, massaging and twirling my light and wispy mustache. Those in the know would ask me. “Hey man, when are you going to get Soundcentury back up and running? My practiced response came in a  hushed husky voice “it’s got to be the right time man. It’s coming soon. I can feel it.”

Well, the time has come. No more calls from my agent asking me when I am going to get my shit together and start podcasting again. It’s time to rock. It’s time to spread the peanut butter extra thick on the blueberry jam. As I was nursing a delicious red IPA from my favorite brewery, The Black Bear Brewery in Orono, Maine, just a short walk from my house, I ran through the possible bands I could kick things off with. I went back and forth listening to tons of shows from a whole lot of bands. I ended up choosing a band that really goes back to my roots as a live music enthusiast or perhaps more descriptively, a seasoned progressive rock band connoisseur of sorts if you will.

I grew up about 30 miles west of New York City and in the 1990’s as a young buck, my brothers, cousins, friends and I would take the train into NYC to see lot’s of shows. I was a regular at the Wetlands during these years and one of the bands I enjoyed seeing in the city was God Street Wine. This got me thinking about the God Street Wine shows I have been to and how much of an impact they had on me as a young music fan. At the time, their incredible performances gave us all the inspiration we needed to go out, party and have a real good time. I never really did think too much about the bands name until I sat down to do this podcast.

Think about the name God Street Wine. It has to have a hidden meaning. Careful now, I am about to get weirdly deep in some mindless philosophical mud. I will try not to get stuck.

God, oversees Earth and all of us things that are alive that run around it. He apparently cares a lot about the living things on Earth but also provides a whole lot of opportunity for suffering. He must feel bad about some of this suffering, but it certainly doesn’t stop it from continuing. A strange arrangement he has with us indeed.

A street is a passage across a landscape. It is sometimes narrow. It can be wide. It often has a lot of travelers going in one direction or the other. It can take you from where you are to the next place you want to be. People live in houses along streets. Sometimes they are divided and sometimes they have holes that you have to avoid. There are speed limits that people often ignore.

Wine comes in many colors and often gets better as it ages. It brings people together to share in its beauty.

Maybe this is what the band was thinking when it brought these three different words together. The members of God Street Wine are the only ones who could truly explain the meaning behind the name. Who knows? I am sure someone cares.

The songs I picked out for this Soundcentury episode are derived from the years spanning 1994 to 1997. These were great years for the band. They broke up at some point in 1999, but often get back together to play reunion shows. The God Street Wine Facebook page stays up to date on what the band is up to.

I did my best here to put together a cool mix of God Street Wine playing live at a few different venues over the course of a few different years. I combed through numerous shows to find a collection of songs that work together and I hope you enjoy listening to it. Thank you God Street Wine for making this music. You poured your heart and soul into what you did here and it’s clear when you listen.

Songs featured in this episode include:

Driving West – (Fox Theatre 1994-10-27) > Warm in Here – (Fox Theatre on 1994-10-27) > Diana – (Ithaca 1997-09-12) > Are you for real? (Ithaca on 1997-09-12) > Who’s Driving? (Ithaca on 1997-09-12) > Instrumental (Toads Place 1997-09-25) > The Wall. (Ithaca on 1997-09-12) > Hello Stranger (Ithaca on 1997-09-12) > Happy Birthday Mr. President (Toads Place 1997-09-25) > Express Yourself > Nightingale (Toads Place 1997-09-25)

Worldwide Companies Plan For 100% Renewable Energy. That’s Right Bonehead Skeptics.

A little positive thinking sprinkled with foreword ideas often leads to progression. A step foreword for a planet that needs it badly. Google announced that it plans to have its operations running with 100% renewable energy by next year. This is fantastic news for planet Earth and not so good news for the non-renewable kings and queens that are ever so slowly losing their grip on controlling how us Earth folks get around.

Google is not the only company with bold plans to move towards a more sustainable future for everyone. There is a whole host of companies out there who see the light and are investing into a sustainable energy model that will benefit the Earth and eventually their bottom line. According to their website, RE100 “is a collaborative, global initiative of influential businesses committed to 100% renewable electricity, working to massively increase demand for – and delivery of – renewable energy.” Currently, over 80 companies have signed an initiative with RE100 to make their way towards powering their business through 100% renewable energy resources. The list of companies contains some big names and hopefully they will start swinging the energy consumption pendulum away from finite energy sources. Take it from Urs Hölzle, Google’s senior vice president of technical infrastructure, “the science tells us that tackling climate change is an urgent global priority. We believe the private sector, in partnership with policy leaders, must take bold steps and that we can do so in a way that leads to growth and opportunity.” Thanks Urs from Google for stepping up and recognizing that scientific data collected by some of the worlds smartest people does actually indicate reality.

That’s right. Climate change is real folks. To one of our nations bigger boneheads, the madly disgruntled Rush Limbaugh, although I question if his real name is actually Rush, who has said in response to overwhelming scientific data clearly showing that greenhouse gases contribute to a warmer planet, “It’s just absurd, and it’s all based on bogus, bohunk computer modeling. There’s not one shred of scientific data,” I reiterate my assertion that you are indeed a class A bonehead who happens to have a crappy radio program with a low information audience. I will try to get to more boneheads future Soundcentury posts on environmental issues. There is certainly no shortage of them.

Here is an interesting tune by Mac Mccloud. It’s called the “The Bone Head Song.” This one goes out to you Rush.

Talking Heads Live at 11/4/1980 – Capitol Theatre – Passaic, NJ

Anything at all from the Remain In Light tour by the Talking Heads is fantastic, but the show from 11/4/80 at the Capitol Theatre in Passaic, NJ is one of the best. Here is the band performing Crosseyed and Painless from the show. You can watch the entire show on YouTube and the whole thing is worth archiving. I love how they bend their sounds and extend notes out for extended periods of time over incessant percussion grooves.

Christine Malcolm – “True Hearted Girl”

I had the opportunity to live in both the central and northern sections of the great state of Vermont for a number of years. It’s a hilly land that I think about often. One of it’s greatest attributes just may be the creative people that call it home. It’s no secret that in the valleys and hills of Vermont, live some of the most talented musicians around. During the years that I lived up in the Lamoille River Valley, I became acquainted with quite a few of the musicians who live there primarily through my photography work.

There is a friendly collaborative spirit present among those who play in this part of Vermont. I am sure it is much this way in many other parts of the world, but this just happens to be one community I was directly exposed to. It is not uncommon for groups to form for just a show or two. More often than not, live performances feature guests sitting in. The friendly music community vibe of the musicians casually flows out of the spotlight and down effortlessly to mingle with those out to listen. It truly becomes a whole creative experience for everyone involved. This is not a once and while anomaly; it is consistently the way it is there.

I got wind of a cool video recording from a talented banjo player from this part of Vermont, Luke Auriemmo, who plays with the Mud City Ramblers and Beg, Steal or Borrow. He recently sat in on banjo during the beautifully composed video recording of the song “True Hearted Girl.” This song is featured on the newly released album “Crickets, Coyotes, and the Big Yellow Moon” by Elmore, Vermont based musician Christine Malcolm.

This recording session was meant to be. It’s an honest snap shot into the warm Vermont music culture that continues to thrive and grow. In a world, so often portrayed by the media as ungrounded, disconnected and chaotic, this well crafted song, shared and composed by this eclectic group of Vermont musicians, brings home a sense of comfort and warmth that simply feels good. Take a few minutes to check this video out and check out some of the bands that the participating musicians are affiliated with. I am certain to be exploring and featuring many of these artists work over time here on Soundcentury.