K’Nann on ACL

/off topic

Since setting up my DVR to record Austin City Limits on PBS so I wouldn’t miss the Pearl Jam episode that aired in November 2009, I’ve been treated to a lot of really good music. Some very familiar (Kenny Chesney, Willie Nelson, Dave Mathews Band) and some that I hadn’t heard of. It is of one of these that I’m going to tell you about.

The episode from this past Sunday featured the artist K’Naan and Mos Def. Mos Def I’ve heard of (and can’t say I’m a huge fan of), but K’Naan was a complete unknown to me. I had never even heard the name.

The performance by K’Naan was amazing. His family is from Somali and left the country in 1991. His life growing up wasn’t easy and he uses his music to give you a little bit of insight into that life. You can check out the full episode online here. Really, you need to watch it. I’ve posted an excerpt of it below.

Mos Def performed for the second half of the show. Still not a big fan, but did like his song called Micheal which is a rendition of a Micheal Jackson song. The song right after that one, Quiet Dog I believe, was also very good. I did like him as Ford Prefect in the Hitchhikers Guide.

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A New Holiday Classic

No, this isn’t water skiing related, but it is a relatively new Christmas. This dates back all the to 2005 when Carson Williams put together this little light show for his neighborhood.  I’m not sure if it was that year or next, but Miller picked it up for their holiday beer advertising.  Then the following year they tried to create their own, but it wasn’t nearly as good as the original.

Without further adoo, here is the original Symphony in Lights featuring the Wizards in Winter by TSO…
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2nd Line

Tonight, after a busy day mowing the lawn, cleaning, doing laundry and watching the Badger’s win their first game of the year, I caught up with my old friend Brent. He’s in the navy now, so I don’t get to see him very often, so it was good to catch up with.

We stopped at BW3’s first for some food and our first frosty beverages of the night. Then we headed to the UW Memorial Terrace for another beverage. They usually have a band playing there as well, which is always nice, but tonight, they really had a band. A very good band. They weren’t playing your typical music though. The band was Orleans Avenue, a project of a musical virtuoso named Trombone Shorty.

Trombone Shorty dong the 2nd Line

If you read up on the guy, he’s been “leading bands” since he was six years old. He’s that good. And after watching him in person, he is. My reaction was wow. His band that he plays with is really good too!

Initially, I’d think to describe the music as Dixie Land Jazz… but there more to it than that. Way more. A little funk, a little bit of a rock edge and a whole lotta fun. He manages to get a crowd of Wisconsinites up on their feet dancing and singing along to the song “When the Saints.” Yes, we all know the song, everyone does, but to get a huge crowd up and dancing and singing… now that is a very big feat in my eyes. The crowd loved it.

And then after that, he busts out the next song… “Back in Black”. Everyone knows the riff that opens that song. Everyone. Well, you haven’t heard that riff until you’ve heard it done on a trombone. Wow! The song will never be the same.

Trombone Short doing Back in Black… yes, that is the song by AC/DC

If you ever get the chance to catch this act, do it. You might be thinking that the music doesn’t sound like something you like. I would think the same thing and I’d know I was wrong. The music is great.

My buddy Brent and I at the end of the night. We’ve known each other since we were like 6 years old.
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As some of you know, I have an HD TV now. Works great. DirectTV carries HDNet and HDMovieNet, both great channels. I have found one thing that shouldn’t be shown in HD.

Old school metal hair bands.

I’m not picking on Whitesnake in particular. I saw that they had an hour long concert airing on HDNet, so I recorded it. The songs of their’s that I recognized, they did a really good job with. They nailed their power balladsIs This Love” and “Here I Go Again” and jammed out to “Still of the Night”. There are just some things that don’t need to be seen in HD.

First off, style wise, I don’t think they’ve changed since the 80’s in regard to their dress. Like Jerry Seinfield said (paraphrased), they found a look and they’ve stuck with it. But underneath their big hair, they have old wrinkly faces. It just doesn’t look quite right. You think they’re 20 somethings and they you see they’re not. And HD makes it very evident.

The band isn’t the worst part. Just like the band, the crowd looks like the are all dressed from 80’s and they don’t look nearly as good. Some looked done right scary. Remember how when old people would try and dress up like rockers from the 80’s back in the 80’s, well these are the rockers from the 80’s and now they’re the old people.

If you want to see them in all of their glory, go check out the video for “Here I Go Again“. Guys, it has Tawny Kitaen in it. Gotta watch it.

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Gone Daddy Gone

So I recently joined the realm of HD TV with a recent purchase and managed to find myself an over the air broadcast channel that actually plays music videos* and doesn’t really have commercials. Granted the channel, called The Tube, isn’t in HD, but it plays good music. Billy Idol, Green Day, Springsteen, Modest Mouse and Gnarls Barkley (they like their variety).

Anyway, the Barkley video for Gone Daddy Gone, a Violent Femmes remake (aka cover), came on and I loved it. Good rendition of the song and a hilarious video. Enjoy.

First Up… The Original by the Violent Femmes

The Violent Femmes – Gone Daddy Gone

Next on the Dock**… The Cover by Gnarls Barkley

Gnarls Barkley – Gone Daddy Gone

*Music videos became popular in the 80’s. MTV rode their popularity and became a major TV network brainwashing millions of teenagers into some poor choices regarding their music (and still does). Fortified in it’s position of power, MTV stopped playing videos but somehow still calls itself a music channel even though the vast majority of it’s programming is now based on reality TV (or at least as close to reality as MTV will ever get). They also started M2 to play music videos since MTV(1) wasn’t playing them anymore. M2 stopped playing them as well. Maybe they have an M3 that plays videos? I don’t know.

**With ski season finished (I put the boat away last weekend) I’m still trying the throw a water skiing reference in now and then. Admittedly, this one is weak. Look for a full recap of this summer’s adventures coming soon. Want to know how many sets I took, how many trips to the lake, etc? I want to know and we’ll find out together in a couple days.

BTW, I got a little link happy in the post.

Photo from Violent Femme website.

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