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Archive for February, 2010

Jerry Cantrell, of Alice In Chains, doesn’t like Dr. Drew’s Celebrity Rehab show on VH1.

From Rolling Stone:

“I think it’s a real travesty and a shame to put people in a really vulnerable situation like that and make it entertainment for people to see,” he told an Atlanta radio station (per Blabbermouth). “[Mike is] a friend of ours, and we wish him the best. But that show’s not really cool.”

Personally, I wholeheartedly disagree with Cantrell. These people volunteered to be on the show. It isn’t about exploitation (which Cantrell implies in his statements), but rather is about helping people. If seeing these celebrities going through the process helps even one person, then the show would not only be a ratings success (which is is), but also a cultural success. Everyone knows celebrities party hard, and this show shines light on the dark side of celebrity.

This is a scene from a recent episode where Mike Starr, former bassist of Alice In Chains, talking about the day Layne Staley, former lead singer of Alice In Chains, died:

At one point, Nancy Staley, Layne’s mother, asks Mike if he saw Layne die. Her tone leads me to believe that she wishes the answer to the question was yes. That Layne didn’t die alone. Mike then explains how he left and tells, for the first time, what Layne’s last words to him were: “Don’t leave like this. Not like this.”

It’s heart wrenching. I was crying watching this scene. Not only because it is such a sad moment, but because of my own personal investment in the players. Growing up in Washington meant Alice In Chains was a part of the local music identity. I was always more of a fan of Alice In Chains than Nirvana or even Pearl Jam. Years later, after Staley’s death, I had the opportunity to meet Nancy Staley. I blogged about that encounter once; I’ll quote that here:

I was wearing my Mad Season shirt at the show to pay an extra bit of homage to the man that was missing. I got a LOT of comments on the shirt. Actually, I’m pretty surprised there weren’t more people wearing the same damn shirt. But I was alone in my coolness.

So, we’re standing in this crowd and this little old lady walks by me and says, like so many people had that night, “Nice shirt.” I didn’t think anything of it. Why would I? She liked my shirt, no big deal. Well, she came back, tapped me on my shoulder and said to me, “My son drew that, I’m Layne’s mother.”

My first reaction was total disbelief. I said to her, “It’s a real pleasure to meet you ma’am.” And I shook her hand. That apparently wasn’t enough for her and she threw her arms around me and we hugged. This woman birthed one of the most influential singers in rock history (if you don’t believe me just listen to KUPD) and she’s hugging me. Her son had a lot to do with me making it through high school. I always identified more with Alice In Chains, and Layne himself, than Nirvana or Pearl Jam. AND I’M HUGGING HIS MOTHER! Very cool rock moment. Very cool.

What do you think of Celebrity Rehab, and in particular the situation with Mike Starr and Jerry Cantrell?

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Carolina Chocolate Drops hail from Durham, North Carolina, and just released their fifth album earlier this month. The single from the album, which is getting some attention, is a cover of Blu Cantrell’s “Hit ‘Em Up Style.” Not a song you expect to hear a old-time blue grass band to play, but it works surprisingly well, in my opinion.

Feedback for the song was split, people either loved it or hated it. Jeff said, “Very interesting song. I like it, though.” Z said, “It sucked. I didn’t think it had a good vibe to it at all.” Maryann said, “I loved it!” Darcie said, “I didn’t expect to like it, but I really did.” Zomg said via text, “that was one if the best things I’ve heard in I don’t know how long.” While Cassi said, “PLEASE never play that song again.”

If you missed today’s Spotlight, you can hear the song on the band’s MySpace page. They’re also on Facebook and their official website.

What do you think of the song?

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I’ve done these Twenty-some posts a couple times before. Here are twenty-some more albums that will tickle your ear drums:

Hot Chelle Rae Lovesick Electric
I discovered these guys when they were on a promotional tour and stopped in the End studio for an interview and brief performance. Their album is dancey emo-pop, and is very well produced. “I Like To Dance” has an infectious groove that cannot be denied. The band hails from, of all places, Nashville, which apparently has a burgeoning dance rock scene that recently spawned Ke$ha.

The Drums Summertime!
I was first introduced to these guys by Marco Collins. He posted the video for “Let’s Go Surfing” on his Twitter and I instantly downloaded this EP. There are some real gems on here. “Don’t Be a Jerk, Johnny” and “Saddest Summer” are equally infectious indie-pop tunes that will make you get up and dance. Unless you’re dead. I don’t know if it will work on the dead.

(more…)

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On February 18th, Matisyahu stopped by the End Zone for an intimate, exclusive performance for some of our listeners. He played four songs and told some great stories, and even complimented my beard.

Here’s his performance of “King Without a Crown”:

Check out the rest of the performance, and listen to full audio of the End Zone at 1019theend.com.

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Devo last released an album of new music 19 years ago. The band of nerds is back in 2010 with a new album, and today’s Spotlight song is the first from the new effort. “Fresh” is not breaking any molds for Devo, but it isn’t just the same old thing, either. While sounding like Devo, the song doesn’t sound stale or dated. It’s nice to hear a band take such a long break and pick up right where they left off.

Reaction to the song was very positive. Jeff said, “I would call that an instant classic.” Chris said, “I liked it; it sounded like Devo. They aren’t deviating from their normal thing, so I like it.” Pauly gave it 3.5 stars saying, “Not sure yet. Sounds like devo aright.”

If you missed today’s Spotlight, you can stream the song (and get a free download) on the band’s official website. Devo can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and MySpace.

What do you think of the song?

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Brandi Carlile is perhaps best known for her song “The Story” from 2007. Her latest album, Give Up the Ghost, is full of heartfelt songs about love and loss. Including today’s Spotlight song, “That Year.” Carlile performed live in the End Zone back in September, and you can still watch the performance at 1019theend.com.

Reaction to today’s Spotlight was split almost 50-50. John called in and said, “Really liked that song quite a bit.” Becky called in to say, “She sounded like a female Damien Rice or Mat Kearney. Kind of bland to me.” Rick sent in a text that read, “Very melancholy.i enjoyed it.” And other said, “that song was boring!”

If you missed today’s Spotlight, you can hear the song on Carlile’s MySpace page. Carlile is also on Facebook and has an official website.

What do you think of the song?

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Citizen Cope, the stage name of Clarence Greenwood, just put out his fifth album, the Rainwater LP. Today’s Spotlight, “Healing Hands,” is the first single from that album. Cope will be in town for a show at the Depot on April 14th. Tickets are available now through Smith’s Tix.

Reaction to the song was mostly positive. Dawna called in to say, “I thought that was an awesome song!” Chris agreed saying, “I was really feeling that.” Jen texted in, “Reminds me of tracy chapman. Like the bluesey feel of it.” Another message read, “Love the new citizen cope, but not as much as his earlier stuff.” Pauly, however, said, “new song today is a snoozer.”

If you missed today’s Spotlight, you can hear the song on Cope’s MySpace page. He can also be found on Facebook, Twitter and his official website.

What do you think of the song?

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