Monday, October 26, 2009

Mason Jennings at the Magic Bag

At 10 p.m. Saturday night, we in the crowd at the Magic Bag in Ferndale were beginning to get anxious. Anni Rossi, the opening act had already played, packed up and left for Chicago, and in moments Mason Jennings would take the stage.

Jennings opened with "Blood of Man," the title track to his new album released in September 2009, which appropriately ignited the room with dark energy and an electric sound that the album explores.

The Magic Bag is a cool venue. It's small, has plenty of places to sit or stand and has tiered levels so there's a good view of the stage from anywhere in the room. No binoculars necessary.

Throughout the night, Jennings played songs from his earlier albums on up to Blood of Man. When he started picking the campy classic "Your New Man," the atmosphere turned from that of a typical concert into one like a small-town pub where everyone's got an arm around his neighbor and is singing and sloshing to the music.

After two encores, Jennings and his band wrapped up their set with "Hospitals and Jails," a romantic tune from the album Simple Life. It was sad to see him leave, but impossible to be disappointed with such a show.

Jennings, 34, dropped out of school when he was 16 to pursue a musical career and has released eight albums. His songs tell stories like nobody else's, and it's hard to believe he didn't live the tragedies he describes so eloquently.

Listen to Jenning's songs on his Web site. I especially recommend "Jackson Square" from Boneclouds, "How Deep Is That River?" from In The Ever and "Hospitals and Jails" from Simple Life.

Here's a video from the show:

Sunday, October 18, 2009


This song is like magic. I can't explain it, but it's been featured on NPR and it's been in my head for days. Take a listen!

Tuesday, October 13, 2009

New albums out today!

The Flaming Lips and Bob Dylan each have a new album out today. I've been really into both of these bands lately (although I'm well aware that new Dylan will not be the same as old Dylan. Not bad - just different.) and really hoping to hear more stuff. I'll get back to you once I hear a little.

Thursday, October 8, 2009

La Blogotheque Videos

Here are some videos a friend turned me on to recently. I love the style (and the music of course).

Find more at La Blogotheque's Web site.

Thursday, October 1, 2009

The Mix Tape

I'm trying not to sound like Rob from High Fidelity, but I've been noticing lately just how much of a role the mix plays in my life. Just this month I've had a new friend mix me a CD to try and get a feel for my taste in music, an old friend mix me one of songs we've heard at concerts and a former love-interest mix me one dripping with unrequited passion (we're talking Layla, Here's To The Night, Separate Ways and Escape here. Journey AND Enrique Iglesias).

Mixing a CD for someone is touchy. You have to be careful that the songs don't contain any hidden meanings, that they properly show off your musical prowess and that they're songs the person will actually like. It's a delicate process.

But if you need some advice, take it from Rob: