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Wednesday, March 29, 2017

US Tour Wrap-Up (3/5-3/17/17)

The first major US tour for Prisoner took place in the south and included stops in Virginia, South Carolina, Florida, and Louisiana. Ryan and his new band (currently called "The Unknown Band" on tour posters) performed some hard rocking sets that have me very excited for things to come. The band features Benny Yurco (from Grace Potter and the Nocturnals) on guitar, Charlie Stavish (from The Shining) on bass, Nate Lotz on drums (from 1989), and Ben Alleman on keys. Together they've created a pretty great backing for Ryan's songs - adding a new mix of soulful/jazzy touches plus some head-banging worthy metal inspired jams.

Looking through the set lists, there really weren't a whole lot of surprises on paper but they did whip up some really cool new arrangements for tracks like "Magnolia Mountain", "Shakedown on 9th", "Peaceful Valley", and "I See Monsters". Ryan also played a couple songs each night solo acoustic such as "Wonderwall", "Come Pick Me Up", "Doomsday", "Breakdown", and others. All of the shows except for one lasted between 22-26 songs. In 7 shows, the band played 34 different tunes.

All in all, I think this is easily the most exciting lineup since The Cardinals days. The band seems to be able to tap into more of Ryan's different musical sides. Ryan has also made a lot of changes to his effects pedals and his guitar arsenal (adding a Flying V and a 12 string acoustic) which has also made things sound more interesting.

Link to Song Stats.

Monday, March 27, 2017

US Tour Notes and Setlists (3/5-3/17/17)

3/5 - The National, Richmond, VA
22 Songs plus an improv called "Out of Tune Guitar". "Wonderwall" and "Come Pick Me Up" were played solo acoustic.
Do You Still Love Me?/Doomsday/Dirty Rain/Prisoner/Gimme Something Good/Am I Safe/Peaceful Valley/Fix It/Magnolia Mountain/Wonderwall (Oasis)/Let it Ride/Breakdown/Everybody Knows/Anything I Say to You Now/Haunted House/Kim/When the Stars Go Blue/Trouble/We Disappear/Come Pick Me Up/Shakedown on 9th Street/Cold Roses

3/6 - The National, Richmond, VA
22 Songs plus an improv about not using the flash when taking pictures. "Doomsday" and "Come Pick Me Up" were played solo acoustic.
Do You Still Love Me?/To Be Young/Prisoner/Haunted House/Gimme Something Good/Shiver and Shake/Peaceful Valley/Let it Ride/Shakedown on 9th Street/Doomsday/Outbound Train/Breakdown/Magnolia Mountain/Stay With Me/Dirty Rain/Kim/When the Stars Go Blue/We Disappear/Trouble/Come Pick Me Up/Everybody Knows/I See Monsters

3/8 - Township Auditorium, Columbia, SC
23 Songs. "Wonderwall", "Doomsday", and "Come Pick Me Up" were played solo acoustic.
Do You Still Love Me?/To Be Young/Dirty Rain/Prisoner/Haunted House/Gimme Something Good/Two/Breakdown/Peaceful Valley/Wonderwall (Oasis)/Shakedown on 9th Street/New York New York/Outbound Train/Magnolia Mountain/Kim/Stay With Me/When the Summer Ends/Am I Safe/Doomsday/Everybody Knows/When the Stars Go Blue/Come Pick Me Up/I See Monsters

3/9 - North Charleston Performing Arts Center, North Charleston, SC
24 Songs plus an improv ("Get the Febreze"). "Doomsday" and "Come Pick Me Up" were played solo acoustic.
Do You Still Love Me?/To Be Young/Dirty Rain/Gimme Something Good/Two/Outbound Train/Kim/New York New York/Shakedown on 9th Street/Peaceful Valley/Wonderwall (Oasis)/Breakdown/Halloweenhead/My Winding Wheel/Doomsday/Stay With Me/Am I Safe/When the Summer Ends/Prisoner/Everybody Knows/Magnolia Mountain/When the Stars Go Blue/Come Pick Me Up/I See Monsters

3/10 - The Parker Playhouse, Ft Lauderdale, FL
26 Songs. "Doomsday", "My Winding Wheel", and "Come Pick Me Up" were played solo acoustic.
Do You Still Love Me?/To Be Young/Gimme Something Good/Two/Dirty Rain/Prisoner/Kim/Doomsday/Haunted House/Peaceful Valley/Wonderwall (Oasis)/Outbound Train/Magnolia Mountain/Stay With Me/Am I Safe/My Winding Wheel/Do I Wait/Halloweenhead/Anything I Say to You Now/New York New York/Everybody Knows/I Love You But I Don't Know What to Say/When the Stars Go Blue/I See Monsters/Come Pick Me Up/Shakedown on 9th Street

3/12 - Gasparilla Music Festival, Tampa, FL
14 Songs plus an improv tune ("Dude With the Sign that Says No Flash").
Do You Still Love Me?/To Be Young/Dirty Rain/Gimme Something Good/Stay With Me/Peaceful Valley/Everybody Knows/Anything I Say to You Now/I See Monsters/Outbound Train/When the Stars Go Blue/New York New York/Magnolia Mountain/Shakedown on 9th Street

3/14 - Orpheum Theater, New Orleans, LA
25 Songs plus an improv ("Mr. Security Guard"). "Doomsday", "My Winding Wheel", "Two", "Breakdown", and "Come Pick Me Up" were performed solo acoustic. "Wonderwall" was performed with acoustic guitar and keys only.
Do You Still Love Me?/To Be Young/Gimme Something Good/Dirty Rain/Prisoner/Kim/Doomsday/ Haunted House/Peaceful Valley/Wonderwall (Oasis)/Outbound Train/Magnolia Mountain/My Winding Wheel/Two/Breakdown/Stay With Me/Am I Safe/Halloweenhead/Anything I Say to You Now/New York New York/Everybody Knows/When the Stars Go Blue/I See Monsters/Come Pick Me Up/Shakedown on 9th Street

3/17 - ACL Live Moody Theater, Austin, TX
Show was cancelled due to illness.

Thursday, February 23, 2017

Just in Case You Missed Anything Vol. 25....

Plenty of news and interviews are coming in everyday as Ryan continues to do tons of promo for his latest album. Prisoner came out a week ago and has been getting plenty of positive reviews from critics and fans alike. Although I wouldn't quite call it a classic yet it has been growing on me the same way that Love is Hell did. A few random thoughts after 15 or so listens.....

  1. I freakin' LOVE the guitars on this album! I think he's improved a lot as a guitarist since his self titled album. Very Johnny Marr-ish and probably my favorite of any of his records. 
  2. I'm hearing tons of Springsteen influence in the way he phrases certain lyrics (but not too obvious, just small hints here and there - I love it!). 
  3. This might have my favorite closing 4 songs of any Ryan album ("Outbound Train", "Broken Anyway", "Tightrope", "We Disappear" are all favorites for me). 
  4. Listening to his albums in chronological order from Ashes and Fire up to Prisoner helped me appreciate this album a lot more. There's definitely a nice progression and makes me look forward to what he'll do next.
  5. There's something very basic about the structure of these songs. Not really a negative since the lyrics and production more than make up for it but at times I kinda miss those random weird tracks on his albums like "The Sadness" (29), "Halloweenhead" (Easy Tiger), "Political Scientist" (Love is Hell) etc....
  6. I need to sit down and listen to this album with a good pair of headphones.

On to the news and other randomness....

Prisoner Updates:

- There are no bonus tracks on the Japanese import version of Prisoner but there is a really cool poster included with the liner notes.

- A handful of record stores across the country including Amoeba, Waterloo Records, and Bullmoose are doing drawings for a custom Prisoner Fender Stratocaster. For most of these you have to go into the stores but you can enter the contest online for Amoeba Records HERE.

Notable Interviews and Performances

Loud and Quiet Presents Midnight Chats (2/2) - In this interview Ryan talks about his cats, his early demos, Prisoner, Orion, 1989, his early band - Kotton, and the story behind starting his own record label.

The Renaissance of Ryan Adams by Chris Familton (2/10) - Good article about the making of Prisoner. Ryan also talks about his new band and the breakup of the Shining.

WTF Podcast with Marc Maron (2/13) - Really enjoyable interview. Ryan talks about hanging out with the Rolling Stones, the early days of Whiskeytown, Easy Tiger, Heartbreaker, Suicide Handbook, Gold, and his love of the Grateful Dead and Gram Parsons.

All Songs Considered with Bob Boilen (2/14) - Special Valentines Day show on NPR. Ryan and Bob play and give their thoughts about various songs with the theme of "Love and Lonesome Roads". Ryan chooses songs by The Smiths, Sonic Youth, Bruce Springsteen, and Bob Dylan.

Peering Into the Abyss with Ryan Adams by Eve Barlow (2/15) - Nice article about the making of the new album, as well as 1989, and the recent Liz Phair sessions.

Inside the World of Ryan Adams, Interview with Mark Bannerman, ABC News (Australia)(2/16)

M.C. Taylor (Hiss Golden Messenger) on Time, Death, and Ryan Adams' Newest Record (2/17) - M.C. Taylor is a gifted songwriter in his own rite. In this article he gives his thoughts and perspective on the new album.

The Tonight Show Starring Jimmy Fallon, NBC (2/17) - Live television performances of "Do You Still Love Me?" and "To Be Without You".

Midnight Wave, Beats 1 Radio (2/19) - Available through Apple Music. Ryan along with Tod Wisenbaker, Marshall Vore, and Charlie Stavish host this very entertaining hour of music and random stoner comedy bits. This was the first episode and featured such segments as "Who Said It? Morrissey or Trump?", "Pet News", "Viral Words", and "What the fuck are UFO's?." They also play tracks by the Bay City Rollers, Black Flag, Emperor, Styx, Kiss, The Cure, and Alice in Chains. I can't wait to hear more episodes! 

WFUV Interview with Alisa Ali (2/20) - Originally recorded in December, Ryan talks about the new album, his love of AC/DC and power ballads, and plays a few songs ("Do You Still Love Me?", "Haunted House", and "Tightrope").

KCRW Morning Becomes Eclectic (2/21) - Features an interview about the new album and box set as well as excellent solo performances of "Do You Still Love Me?", "Prisoner", "Doomsday", "Breakdown", "Haunted House", "Outbound Train", and "To Be Without You". The link features video and audio.

Jonesy's Jukebox, 95.5 KLOS, Los Angeles, CA (2/21)

Tuesday, January 31, 2017

Just in Case You Missed Anything Vol. 24

There's so much happening right now in the world of Ryan Adams, so strap yourself in for a long update................

The New Ryan Adams Album - "Prisoner" is due out on February 17th! Below is a quick rundown of different versions of the new album that will be available on 2/17 as well as promotions and other surprises related to the release. There will likely be more to come..

The End of World Edition is the most extreme version of the new record and costs $150. This box set release featuring 12 7" singles (one for each song on Prisoner plus 17 exclusive b-sides), a fold-out stage with working lights, 2D action figures of the new band, as well as some other hidden surprises. Twelve copies of the set will also include an extremely limited 7" single that Ryan recorded on an old Voice-o-Graph machine at Electric Lady Studios in NYC (Only 1 copy exists of each of these!). 5000 copies of the set were made and is available for purchase HERE.

Prisoner Deluxe Bundle starts at $55 and includes a puzzle, t-shirt, slipmat, and choice of the new album on CD, vinyl, or digital. Available HERE.

Prisoner and Tee Bundle starts at $25 - Available HERE.

Amoeba Records in Hollywood - Buy the album at Amoeba and you'll get a limited edition poster and free ticket to an in-store performance on 2/22 (while supplies last)! More info can be found HERE.

Limited Edition Red Vinyl version of the album can be purchased at most indie record stores. The red version is limited to 4000 copies.

Several indie record stores such as Newbury Comics will be giving away a Signed Prisoner CD Booklet with purchase of the new album.

Barnes and Noble will put out a version of the new record with an Alternate 'Apple Bong' Cover. Available HERE.

Lastly the Japanese Import Version of Prisoner appears to have a bonus track although no word yet as to what song it is. More info can be found HERE.


Other News Related to Prisoner...... Ryan has been traveling all over the place lately doing interviews to promote the new album. Below is a quick run down of some of the better ones of the bunch.

Beats 1 Radio Interview with Zane Lowe (1/19) Zane Lowe premiers Ryan's latest single - "Doomsday". He also does a 20 minute interview with him where they discuss the new album, the stories behind "Shiver and Shake" and "Do You Still Love Me", his side project - Ad Company, his recent work with Liz Phair and Jenny Lewis, and talks about the possibility of a Whiskeytown reunion.

BBC Radio 6 Interview with Lauren Laverne (1/24) - Ryan talks about the making of his new album, songwriting, producing Jenny Lewis, working with Don Was, and mentions he's working on 2 new books (one about Whiskeytown's early years and the other a science fiction novel). He also plays solo acoustic versions of "To Be Without You" and "Do You Still Love Me".

The Radio 2 Arts Show with Jonathan Ross, BBC Radio 2 (1/26) - Jonathan Ross always does a great interview. Informative and pretty funny. Ryan talks about the new album, his Taylor Swift cover album - 1989, pinball, cats, Treadwells bookstore, and plays a buried treasure (Greg Sage's "Straight Ahead").

BBC Breakfast, BBC 1 News Show (1/28 - see below)

The Radio Leary Show with Jo Whiley, BBC Radio 2 (1/28) - Jo Whiley filled in for Dermot O'Leary and interviewed Ryan about the new album, his love of films, his recent divorce, and his early upbringing. He also plays solo acoustic versions of "Doomsday" and a cover of Radioheads' "Karma Police".

Rolling Stone Magazine Australia (February 2017 Edition) - features a 6 page cover story about the new album. Available for purchase HERE.

Uncut Magazine UK (March 2017 Edition) - Also features a 6 page article on the new album. More info can be found HERE.

On the Horizon........... CBS Sunday Morning with Anthony Mason (filmed on 12/19).......... WTF Podcast with Marc Maron (taped on 1/18 - www.wtfpod.com)........... BBC Radio 6 Interview with Mary Anne Hobbs airing on 2/4.


All the Other News, Videos, and Random Info You Handle.........

- Ryan has been working with a lot of other artists recently at Pax-Am. Most notably he produced and played guitar on a new double album for Liz Phair in January. The album was recorded very quickly and is said to harken back to her classic "Exile in Guyville" album. The record also features Don Was on bass, Nate Lotz on drums, and Charlie Stavish engineering the sessions........ Jenny Lewis  has returned to Pax-Am on several occasions to lay down demos for her next album. Ryan has been heavily praising her new songs as having the same spirit of Bob Dylan's "Blonde on Blonde". He also mentions that they are planning to add strings to a lot of the songs........... Lastly, Ryan mentioned that he produced a new album for an up and coming glammy psychedelic hard rock group called Starcrawler.

- Ruby Amanfu is a talented singer-songwriter from Ghana worth keeping an ear out for this year. She sang on Beyonce's recent album and also has a new record due out this year that features contributions from Ryan Adams. Two songs that she co-wrote with Ryan were performed at her Newport Folk Festival set last year which can be streamed HERE.

- Ryan Adams in collaboration with JHS Pedals is putting out his signature guitar effects pedal this Spring. The easy-to-use pedal features most of the Johnny Marr inspired guitar effects that he can be heard playing on such albums as Love is Hell, Rock n Roll, Prisoner, and his self titled album. The pedal is priced at $269. More info can be found HERE.

- In December, BBC Channel 4 aired an excellent hour long show called "The Great Songwriters". The hour-long episode featured an in-depth chat with Ryan Adams and went into great detail about his songwriting process. He also writes a song on the spot, and performs solo acoustic versions of 4 songs ("Gimme Something Good", "My Wrecking Ball", "Broken Anyway", and "Tightrope"). This was by far one of the most illuminating shows I've ever seen on Ryan and I highly recommend it as essential viewing for fans and aspiring singer-songwriters. You can watch the whole thing HERE.


More Stuff Worth Listening to.............

A Prairie Home Companion, Pasadena Civic Auditorium, Pasadena, CA (1/21/17) Really great performance from Ryan and friends. He performs "To Be Without You", "Doomsday", "Ashes and Fire", and "I Love You But I Don't Know What to Say" with backing from Chris Thile of Nickel Creek on mandolin and Kacey Musgraves on backing vocals.

Morning Becomes Eclectic, KCRW, Los Angeles, CA (8/1/16) - 35 minute broadcast that includes 3 solo acoustic songs ("Lucky Now", "New York New York", and "My Winding Wheel") plus an interview. Topics include touring, writing songs, his recent visit to the Dischord Records house, the Heartbreaker reissue, and his next album.

Newport Folk Festival, Newport, RI (7/23/16) - Ryan performed this show with Nicki Bluhm and the Infamous Stringdusters backing him. This was one of only a few shows that featured this lineup. This set was full of surprises including covers of Slayer and Black Sabbath plus some rarely played songs from throughout his career.


More Stuff Worth Watching.....................

The Official Music Video of "Do You Still Love Me?"

Lil Bub's Big Show with Ryan Adams

Sunday, January 15, 2017

Off Topic: My Favorite Music of 2016

My Favorite Albums of 2016

1. David Bowie - Blackstar
Bowie passed away earlier this year and left fans with one of the most interesting albums of his career. Is it jazz? Is it art-rock? Avant-garde? Experimental? Who knows? Who cares? This was easily my favorite album of the year and one that got better every time I listened. Sounds like how I imagine Radiohead would sound 2040.

2. Karl Blau - Introducing Karl Blau
Karl Blau is a DIY songwriter and producer from the Northwest who has been dabbling in all sorts of genres since the mid-90's. On "Introducing Karl Blau", he tackles an eclectic set of both classic and somewhat forgotten country songs by artists such as Waylon Jennings, Don Gibson, Townes Van Zandt, and more. The arrangements, production and Karl's deep baritone voice on this record very quickly made me a fan for life.

3. Thee Oh Sees - A Weird Exists
This is the 2nd year in a row that I've had an Oh Sees album in my top 3 but these guys just keep getting better every year. This was the first of 2 new studio albums that they put out this year and is full of long trippy spaced-out kraut-garage rock jams. The group also features a dual drummer lineup on this album which makes these songs sound even more explosive.

4. Beyonce - Lemonade
I never thought I'd have a Beyonce album on my top 10 but this is a really solid and diverse pop album! The songs on Lemonade range from country to raging rockers to sad soul ballads plus there's a lot of interesting collaborations (Jack White, James Blake, Kendrick Lamar). I wouldn't say she excels at the rock or country tunes as much but they do add to the overall vibe of the record and show off her wide-ranging vocal talents. I was surprised upon listening to find out she can be pretty damn funny at times too.

5. The I Don't Cares - Wild Stab
For some reason, this one seemed to go under the radar this year (even for big Replacements fans)! The I Don't Cares is a duo featuring Paul Westerberg (The Replacements) and Juliana Hatfield (Blake Babies/Lemonheads). Wild Stab is great, tossed off, rough-around-the-edges, garagey-bubblegum rock FUN and if you're a Westerberg fan - you need to own this!

6. Allen Toussaint - American Tunes
I just started getting into Allen Touissant this past year and can't believe I waited so long. For those that don't know, Allen was a legenday New Orleans pianist, producer, and songwriter who penned some of the greatest r&b songs of the 60s ("Mother-in-Law", "Fortune Teller", "I Like it Like That", "Working in a Coal Mine" and on and on). He passed away in 2015 but recorded this beautiful album before he died. "American Tunes"  is comprised of mostly instrumental jazz songs played alone on piano. Real perfect, loungey, early-Sunday mornin' tunes played by a true master.

7. The Rolling Stones - Blue and Lonesome
While trying to record a new album of original material, The Rolling Stones decided they needed to spend a few days having fun and jamming out. By recording some blues covers, it was a way for them to get comfortable in their new recording space before diving into new songs. Three days later during playbacks of these jam sessions, the band thought "Hey, we should just release this instead?". Blue and Lonesome sums up that 3 days of "jamming" and has a raw energy that I haven't heard on a Stones album since the 70's. Surprisingly even at age 73, Mick Jagger's voice and harp-playing have never sounded better!

8. Nick Cave and the Bad Seeds - Skeleton Tree
In a year full of really sad and dark (but great) albums, "Skeleton Tree" was by far the saddest. Cave's 15-year old son died in a cliff fall towards the end of these recording sessions and this record seems to carry his ghost with it. At times, this album can be a tough listen and seems to drift along in a droney, experimental, stream-of-conciousness way but once you get to the end ("Distant Sky" in particular) - it all makes sense.

9. Radiohead - A Moon Shaped Pool
Not my favorite Radiohead album but not my least favorite either. A Moon Shaped Pool is another great sad, mellow, and meditative album, Lots of nice strings on here as well!

10. Sturgill Simpson - A Sailor's Guide to Life
This was a really nice progression from his previous 2 albums as he added some country soul and Muscle Shoals-style horns into the mix. A Sailor's Guide to Life was written by Sturgill for his son and is a song-cycle meant to be listened to in one sitting. Features a countrified version of "In Bloom" by Nirvana plus some even stronger originals.

11. Parquet Courts - Human Performance
One of my favorite indie rock groups of the last 5 years, the group added some new sounds and textures to their arty-post-punk.

12. Czarface - A Fistful of Peril
Hip-hop duo of Inspectah Deck from the Wu Tang Clan, and 7L & Esoteric. Fun hip hop with a comic book-inspired theme

Honorable Mentions
Peter Wolf - A Cure for Loneliness
Dennis Brennan - Into this World
Grant-Lee Phillips - The Narrows
Lucinda Williams - The Ghosts of Highway 20
Anderson Paak - Malibu

Wilco - Schmilco

A few albums that might have made the list but I only just discovered them recently:
The Cactus Blossoms - You're Dreaming
A Tribe Called Quest - We Got it From Here
Alex Cameron - Jumping the Shark
Yorkston/Thorne/Khan - Everything Sacred
The Lemon Twigs - Do Hollywood

My Favorite Reissues
Ryan Adams - Heartbreaker Deluxe Version
Big Star - Complete Third

My Favorite EPs of 2016
Todd Terje and the Olsens - The Big Cover-Up
Kendrick Lamar - untitled unmastered

My Favorite Songs of 2016

Favorite Concerts
1. Willie Nelson @ ACL Fest 10/9
2. Mavis Staples and Nick Lowe at The Paramount Theatre, Austin, TX 3/6
3. Yonatan Gat @ The 29th Street Ballroom, Austin, TX 3/15
4. Radiohead @ ACL Fest 10/7
5. Kendrick Lamar @ ACL Fest 10/8
6. Die Antwood @ ACL Fest 10/7
7. Andra Day @ ACL Fest 10/8
8. Sturgill Simpson @ ACL Live Moody Theater, Austin, TX 5/5
9. Old Crow Medicine Show/Margo Price @ Stubbs BBQ, Austin, TX 6/17
10. Thee Oh Sees/Abjects/La Luz/Bleached/Amplified Heat@ Hotel Vegas, Austin, TX 3/16
11. Wussy/Werewolf Academy @ 29th Street Ballroom, Austin, TX 6/11
12. Protomartyr and Spray Paint @ Sidewinder, Austin, TX 2/26

Favorite New Music Discoveries (pre-2016)
Eagles of Death Metal - "Zipper Down" (2015)
Various - "Ork Records: New York, New York" (2015)
Allen Toussaint - Songbook" (2013)
Alex Chilton - "Loose Shoes and Tight Pussy" (1999)
Richard Buckner - "Bloomed" (1994)
Public Enemy - "Fear of a Black Planet" (1990)
Elvis Costello and the Attractions - "Blood and Chocolate" (1986)
Philip Glass - "Glassworks" (1982)
Black Flag - "Everything Went Black" (1983)
Elvis Costello and the Attractions - "Imperial Bedroom" (1982)
Various - "DIY: The Boston Scene 1975-1983" (1993)
Alex Chilton - "Like Flies on Sherbert" (1979)
The Dead Boys - "Young, Loud, and Snotty" (1977)
AC/DC - "Let There Be Rock" (1977)
Iggy Pop and the Stooges - "Metallic KO" (1976)
Mott the Hoople - "The Hoople" (1974)
Ron Wood - "I've Got My Own Album to Do" (1974)
Neu! - Neu! 2 (1973)
Mott the Hoople - "Mott" (1973)
Hawkwind - "Space Ritual" (1973)
Donny Hathaway - "Live" (1972)
Dr. John - "Dr. John's Gumbo" (1972)
Faust - "Faust/So Far" (1971/1972)
Hawkwind - "In Search of Space" (1971)
Sir Douglas Quintet - "The Mono Singles 1968-1972"
The Move - "Message from the Country" (1971)
Hound Dog Taylor and the Houserockers (1971)
The Move - "Shazam" (1970)
The Velvet Underground - "The Complete Matrix Tapes" (2015)
Them - "The Complete Them" (1964-1967/2015)
Roger Miller - "King of the Road: The Genius of Roger Miller"
Various - "The R&B Box: 30 Years of Rhythm and Blues" (1994)
Chuck Berry - "Johnny B. Goode: His Complete 50's Chess Recordings", "You Never Can Tell: His Complete Chess Recordings 1960-1966", and "Have Mercy: His Complete Chess Recordings 1969-1974"
Eddie Cochran - "Something Else: The Fine Lookin' Hits of Eddie Cochran" (1998)
The Everly Brothers - "Heartaches and Harmonies" (1994)

Tuesday, October 11, 2016

The Road to Release Day: A Timeline of Events (November 14' - February 17')


11/26/14 - After 2 back to back shows with the Shining at the Hammerstein Ballroom, Ryan mentions via twitter that he'd be recording some new tunes with the band while in New York City later that night.


1/19/15 - Ryan posts on twitter that he's in the process of writing and recording both a new solo album and as well as a 2nd album with The Shining.

3/3/15 - In an interview for the Spanish website Binaural. Mike Viola mentions that some of the songs that he and Ryan recorded for the unreleased Alien USA sessions would likely be used for the next album.

3/23/15 - Ryan posts pictures online of recording sessions at Electric Lady Studios with Paul Shaffer (David Letterman show) and Johnny T Yerington (Ryan's old bandmate from the Rock 'n Roll/Love is Hell days).

5/23/15 - A fan mentions online that they randomly met the wife of Charlie Stavish at a bar the night before. She mentioned that Ryan Adams and the Shining were almost done recording their next album.

5/26/15 - During a Radio Interview with Jon Williams for The Zone on 91.3, Ryan tells him: "I have another record done as of this week. Its not mastered but it's done. You're the first person I've told."

6/29/15 - During an interview for Soundz Magazine, Ryan is asked if he has plans for a new album:

"Yes. I would like to end of next year will have a new album with the same people in my PAX AM studio. I think it's a combination of acoustic and electric songs will be. I currently have enough songs for a new album, but I keep on writing so that I will soon have a choice. I think I once again call the album Ryan Adams."

Mid-September 2015 - Ryan posts more pictures on twitter from sessions at Electric Lady Studios with Johnny T Yerington.

9/15/15 - Ryan Adams is interviewed for Zane Lowe's Beats 1 Radio Show on Apple Music. Regarding the next album Ryan mentions: "Charlie and I would fly back to New York on our 2 weeks off (from touring)....... it's probably the most fragile thing I've ever done, and i think it will replace Love is Hell for a deep fan..... It's connected to that in every way but with the songwriting knowledge that I have now."

9/21/15 - An article for Entertainment Weekly mentions that Ryan recorded 23 songs for his next album at Electric Lady Studios. It goes on to mention that the new record has the sonic vibe of being a throwback to Heartbreaker and Love is Hell but also draws inspiration from The Smiths and Bruce Springsteen. “It’s really wildly attached to the Love Is Hell sound but more of the focus lyrically of Heartbreaker...... But there is this clean, unadorned element that felt like the last record I made, but taking it and pushing it further, more simpler, and more into that realm...... I wanted to find this combo of Darkness on the Edge of Town and Meat Is Murder—the sonic geography of those records but with me in them and my ’80s crush, the blown synth, the weird inappropriate synths you’d hear on a [Bruce] Hornsby record. It totally spoke to me.............. It’s about me. It’s not about any situation or any person. It totally is just a guy, in this crazy time in my life, where I’m not some teenager, not some twenty-something, running around being crazy. It’s really looking around my world and how changed stuff is. I feel like I was able to stop time for a second and take that one still from a Super 8 view of my life…That felt strangely more powerful and sadder than anything I could write.............What’s weird is it’s virtually the same sound we got on 1989, But [the next album] is just me doing it.”

9/28/15 - From a radio interview on Birmingham Mountain Radio 107.3, he says "My next record is a part 1 and a part 2 record. I don't wanna say its a double record, because I'm not sure I wanna release it as a double record.... It's already been recorded... if you listen to the sonic geography of what we did on 1989, but you also like the direct writing of my last album, and you like the album Love is Hell - you're really gonna like the new record..."

9/30/15 - During a radio interview on The Current, Minnesota Radio 89.3, Ryan briefly mentions that he had already finished recording his new album in between breaks of touring with the Shining. After being asked what his new record sounds like: "Since i did all of the electric guitars myself, theres a feeling of the album - 'Love is Hell', 80's/90s alternative sound but theres also that reductionism...some songs are just me and acoustic guitar.. This is my most power pop record ever, Big Star, The Replacements... the most that my stuff has ever sounded like that, and a lot of it was due to being on the road for a year and i knew what songs were speaking to me live and what songs felt good to let go of... You're gonna love it, its sad as hell.. if my other stuff is sad, this one is just miserable... its like a musical cold ramen soup

10/2/15 - From an interview with Shadrach Kabango for CBC Radio, Canada : "The new record was made at 2 different stops on my tour where there were 2 weeks off....... It was 6 years ago when I lived in New York, and i wanted to go back to where i lived before i moved to LA... I wanted to view my life from there to where I am now... I wanted to cut a record where just my friend Johnny T plays drums, and I sit and play guitar...... and then I finish them myself. because that's a really raw and awesome way to record. I knew it would leave the record really vulnerable and exposed, and that's kind of how Love is Hell was recorded..... My first record Heartbreaker was essentially Ethan Johns on drums and me cutting a vocal and a guitar and then being very spare about how I finished it. So this new record started that way at 2 different sessions that were 2 weeks long..... I ended up with 25 songs. There was no denying that they were the next step in the story of my musical life and i love it..."

10/11/15 through 10/19/15 - Ryan posts more pictures from sessions at Electric Lady Studios with Johnny T. On 10/18, he mentions that he wrote 5 new songs that day. One of the pictures shows lyric sheets for songs titled "Stay", "I'll Wait" and "You Don't Love Me".

Mid-November 2015 - Recording sessions at Pax-Am Studios

End of November-Early December of 2015 - Recording at Electric Lady Studios


1/1/16 through 1/6/16 - Ryan posts more pics from sessions at Electric Lady Studios including pics of Paul Shaffer, Charlie Stavish, and Johnny T

2/18/16 - Ryan posts on twitter that he has wrapped up sessions for the next album - recording 65 songs in total!

Early July 2016 - Ryan posts some pictures from Pax-Am Studio band rehearsals with the Shining. One of the pics shows a long list of brand new songs the band had been rehearsing. These included the following titles:

We Disappear
To Be Without You
Take it Back
So Helpless
Outbound Train
Haunted House
Do You Still Love Me
Broken Anyway
Baby I Love You

7/8/16 - Ryan Adams and the Shining debut a new song called "Outbound Train" at the Winnipeg Folk Festival.

7/24/16 - During a gig at The Capital Theatre in Port Chester, NY - Ryan debuts 3 new songs during a solo portion of the gig. The songs played are: "To Be Without You", "Haunted House", and "Tightrope".

7/26/16 - Two nights later at the Lincoln Theatre in Washington DC - Ryan debuts another new song on acoustic guitar called "Was I Wrong"

8/1/16 - During a radio interview for KCRW's Morning Becomes Eclectic, Ryan says of the new album: "I don't think I've ever worked on anything harder than i have on this. I'm still working on it... in fact when I leave here i go straight over to work on it more. I think its probably the most songs I've ever written for a record and its the most emotional... All the different emotions a person can have i think went into making it, and its been really amazing... whatever this process was was so cathartic, and cathartic in a way where i actually made songs that I listened back to and would go 'that is really messed up' or listen to something and go 'theres actual hope in there, what does that mean?'. I really let the process become part of me this time...... I feel like whatever I'm making bookends so much of what Ive gone through and experienced in the last couple of years, and trying to find a way to serve myself and serve people and serve the record in a way where its not some sort of cautionary tale or some kind of thing made of darkness. I found a way to become optimistic and to find ways of writing that can be helpful to myself. That's been a huge challenge...."

8/9/16 through 8/11/16 - Ryan posts pictures from sessions at Capital Studios. Producer Don Was is shown in one of the them. He also posts: "What a glorious place to cross the finish line".

8/17/16 - Ryan Adams and the Shining debut a new song called "Do You Still Love Me" at Red Rocks Amphitheater.

8/31/16 - Ryan mentions on twitter that the 4 records that he 'studied' in the making of this new album were: Bruce Springsteen's "Tunnel of Love", AC/DC's "Fly on the Wall", Bruce Hornsby's "Scenes from the Southside", and Don Henley's "Building the Perfect Beast". Ryan also responds to a fan question mentioning that the new album ranges from "Heartbreaker spare to Love is Hell lush".

8/31/16 - A new article in Entertainment Weekly mentions that Ryan wrote 80 songs for the new album. After recording all the tracks, he took them to Don Was who helped to narrow it down to an 11 song album. The article also mentions a November 4th release date. Ryan also says that Electric Light Orchestra and Bachman-Turner Overdrive influenced the guitar sounds for the new album.

“I’m taking all the cool, big questions I’m asking on this record, then flipping it over, and then flipping it back to Side-A and you still have more questions…I’m a relatively convoluted soul creatively...... I don’t think there’s anything wrong with that. I think the challenge for me—the Everest peak, for me—is to tell this story in 11 songs, to tell this part of my life in 11 songs. How do I make a real distinct record where anybody listens to it and says, ‘That’s the truth from beginning to end.’ So it’s like exercise. It sucks in the beginning. But then you get into it.”

9/6/16 through 9/10/16 - Ryan posts on twitter that he is finishing the final mixes at Capital Studios.

9/8/16 - Rolling Stone Magazine posts their Fall Music Preview which includes mention of a new Ryan Adams album called Prisoner due in November. Below is a brief blurb:

"Most people don't say, 'Hey, we're having a fucking party – let's put on a Ryan Adams album!'" admits the singer. Adams wanted to change that. Drawing from his Eighties heroes – from AC/DC to Jefferson Starship – he recorded more than 60 songs, playing every instrument except drums. Many of the lyrics address a broken relationship – possibly his recent divorce from Mandy Moore. "It's about the big questions of somebody my age who's been through the things I've been through," he says. "But I didn't feel I needed to make something that was dark and heavy."

9/23/16 - Ryan plays an unannounced show at Largo in Los Angeles. During his brief solo set, he performs 3 brand new songs. (not sure which ones though)

11/17/16 - Ryan and his new band performed a private show at the Capital Records building for employees and press. According to reports, the entire album was played from start to finish.

12/6/16 - Ryan releases the first radio single from Prisoner ("Do You Still Love Me") and officially announces the release date for the album will be on February 17th, 2017

12/19-12/20/16 - Ryan re-recorded the songs on Prisoner in a do-it-yourself recording booth at Electric Lady Studios in New York City. All the recordings were directly pressed to vinyl and only one copy of each exists. These records will be placed in the Prisoner mystery box sets sold through his online store.

12/22/16 - Ryan releases the 2nd radio single from Prisoner titled "To Be Without You".


1/19/17 - Zane Lowe premiers the 3rd radio single from Prisoner titled "Doomsday". He also interviews Ryan about the new album. Ryan mentions that "Do You Still Love Me" is the only song on the new record that features The Shining. "Shiver and Shake" was the first song recorded at Electric Lady Studios.

1/23/17 - In an article found on the CBC Radio blog, Ryan mentions that "Doomsday" was written 2 years before it was finally recorded at Electric Lady Studios. He tried to record it 4 different times including trying it out as a punk rock song.

1/24/17 - Ryan unveils the Prisoner "End of World Edition" Box Set containing 12 7" records (one of every song on the new album) plus an additional 17 unreleased b-sides. He also posts on instagram that he is recording some cover songs for the new album promo. One of them is "Streets of Philadelphia" (Springsteen).

Monday, October 10, 2016

US/Canada Tour Wrap-Up (8/4-8/26)

The August tour marked the end of an era for Ryan Adams and the Shining. With a new album due in the next couple months and a new backing group currently in rehearsals for the next tour, these shows may have been the last that we'll see of this lineup. Despite the bittersweet news, you couldn't have had a more perfect ending to the tour as Ryan Adams and the Shining played an epic 29 song tour-de-force at Red Rocks Amphitheater. This was followed by an emotional solo gig in Ontario that was heavy on material from Ashes and Fire.

Ryan Adams and the Shining stuck to a pretty normal setlist for most of the gigs. But as always there were some surprises - mostly at the Red Rocks show. Another song from the new album was debuted called "Do You Still Love Me?" which drew quite a few comparisons to Foreigner. Other rarities played at Red Rocks included "Mockingbird" (first time played live since 2009), and 4 songs that hadn't been played since 2015 ("Political Scientist", "I Love You But I Don't Know What to Say", "Nobody Girl", "Easy Plateau"). Over the course of the 7 shows on this tour, Ryan and the band performed 44 different songs.

On the first 2 nights of the tour (8/4 in Santa Barbara, and 8/5 in Los Angeles), Jenny Lewis' new group NAF opened up for the band. On both nights, she sang with the Shining on "Oh My Sweet Carolina" as well as "She's Not Me" from her last solo album. The other guest appearance came from Jason Isbell who played lead guitar and sang on "Oh My Sweet Carolina" during the Outside Lands Festival in San Francisco. Earlier in the day, Ryan returned the favor by coming out to play on a cover of "Sway" by the Rolling Stones.