BnL Live at the Klein, November 2010 – The Weekend Review

Originally posted 2010-11-21 12:24:32. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

By Chris Moore:

See the Set List HERE.

On the heels of my previous BnL concert review, posted little more than three months ago, there isn’t much more that needs to be said, other than to underscore several assertions concerning the Barenaked Ladies.

First, it really can never be too soon to see them play live again.  After seeing them in August with decent seats and having had an outstandingly fun time, I almost considered letting this second New England tour stopover pass me by.

Almost.

Being fortunate enough to live in an area that is located in, as a friend recently referred to it, the “Barenaked Belt,” it simply doesn’t make sense to not take advantage of it.  And, this time around, the venue was considerably smaller – Mohegan Sun Arena being 9500 capacity, and the Klein Auditorium being only 1400.  We sat front row balcony, or “mezzanine” as the theatre people say, and got some performances that probably wouldn’t find their way into a stadium set, songs like the rarely played “Moonstone” and “Tonight is the Night I Fell Asleep at the Wheel.”

A second assertion, and perhaps the main thrust of my August review, is that BnL is every bit as good as they were when Steven Page was in the band.  This is surprising, as he is such a unique talent and a man who brings considerable stage presence and energy to the live shows.

And, for the record, let’s be clear that I would love to see the five-man band reunited at some point down the road.

But, for now, the four-piece Barenaked Ladies are still a force to be reckoned with, and they have apparently decided that no catalog item is off limits, regardless of how much of a “Steven” song it is/was.  Take, for example, the fairly standard middle of their order, a veritable greatest hits of Steven Page tracks: “Sound of Your Voice,” “It’s All Been Done,” “Too Little Too Late,” and “Brian Wilson,” all topped off with the not-so-subtle “You Run Away.”

A third assertion is one that struck me early in the set last night: the Barenaked Ladies are the rare group of men that have gotten cooler as the years pass.  One needs only to compare their image and sound from the excellent and not-to-be-slighted Gordon era with their current stage show in order to appreciate just how cool they’ve become without losing too many fans to claims of selling out.

They have such a vast array of music, and to a certain degree, they allow for it in their set lists.  Although there are certain songs that you can reasonably expect (and in certain orders), there is room for adlibs and unexpected deep tracks, songs like those mentioned above.  Even songs that have been played about ten thousand times over their career, like “One Week,” have taken on a fresh appeal.  With Kevin Hearn singing the Page parts of “One Week” last night, I think they’ve finally perfected their recent live arrangement of this, their best-known composition.  Likewise, Tyler Stewart and Jim Creeggan have stepped up their game, Stewart bringing down the house with his reinvigorated, Jack Black-esque approach to “Alcohol” and Creeggan with his on-stage gesticulations, ear-to-ear grin, and acceptance of the spotlight for tracks like “On the Lookout” and “Peterborough and the Kawarthas.”

Finally, as if it needs to be said, Ed Robertson is a force unto himself.  His white man rapping helped to establish the band’s public image, and he is ever willing to put himself out there for a laugh.

When I choose the words “put himself out there,” I mean that literally.

Last night, as a tribute to their excellent opening act Jukebox the Ghost’s final night on tour, Robertson emerged from backstage with only a towel on.  Then, positioning himself between keyboardist/lead vocalist Ben Thornewill and the audience, he opened his towel so only Thornewill could see him and proceeded to dance to the music.  He moved around the stage and repeated this process for the other two band members.  Meanwhile, the crowd was laughing and clapping and screaming, and guitarist Tommy Siegel laughed his way through his vocals.

As Thornewill pointed out after the song, he could only see Robertson in his peripheral vision at first.  When he reached his hand out to pretend to tickle him, he found that Robertson was indeed wearing only a towel.

Never let it be said that the “Barenaked” part of their band name hasn’t been earned.

Forgive me for getting up on my soapbox yet again, but BnL continues to be one of the most underappreciated rock music acts of the modern age.  If you or someone you know hears “Barenaked Ladies” and instantly thinks “goofy,” “funny,” “If I Had $1,000,000,” and/or “One Week,” then check bnlmusic.com for a tour date in your area.  One show and you’ll be hooked.  Guaranteed.

I’ve been a fan now for over a decade, and they continue to recapture my interest and adoration each and every time I see them live.

As I climb off my soapbox, I bid you good day and hope this review might at least inspire a spin of Maroon or Stunt.  Or Gordon.  Or Maybe You Should Drive.  Or Everything to Everyone.  Or…

Well, you get the idea.

Barenaked Ladies SET LIST – 8/06/2010 at Mohegan Sun, Uncasville, CT

Originally posted 2010-08-07 12:03:57. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

Click HERE to read the review!

1)  “Who Needs Sleep?”
2)  “Old Apartment”
3)  “Falling for the First Time”
4)  Improv 1 – “At Mohegan Sun” rap / “Something Tells Me I’m Into Something Good”
5)  “Every Subway Car” (with Angel Taylor)
6)  “Told You So”
7)  “Easy”
8)  “Eraser”
9)  “Another Heartbreak”
10) “On the Lookout”
11) “Sound of Your Voice” (acoustic)
12) “It’s All Been Done”
13) “Too Little Too Late”
14) “Golden Boy”
15) “You Run Away”
16) “Four Seconds”
17) “Big Bang Theory Theme”
18) “One Week”
19) “Pinch Me”
20) “If I Had $1000000”
21) Improv 2 – “Oh, It’s Magic, You Know” / rap / dance number

22) “Alcohol”
23) “Watching the Northern Lights”
24) “Brian Wilson”

“Up in the Air” by Kevin Renick – Chords, Tabs, & How to Play

Originally posted 2010-02-08 12:30:45. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

To see how it’s played in a music video, CLICK HERE!

“Up in the Air”
Kevin Renick

C    G            C
I’m up in the air,
C                       G                C
Choices drifting by me everywhere.
C       Am                Em
And I can’t find the one
Em             Am                                        Em
That would help me do the work I’ve left undone,
Em            G            C
‘Cause I’m up in the air.

I’m making some plans,
Finding out there’s always new demands.
And I can’t be precise;
When people ask me what I’m doing with my life,
I say, “It’s up in the air.”

C    G                  C
I’m hearing from friends.
C                   G                C
It’s that tired, old advice again:
C      Am                                        Dm
“You just cannot keep floating all around.
Dm        Am                                             Dm
Oh, you got to get your feet back on the ground.”
Dm      Am                Em
But it’s hard to come down
Em               G             C
When you’re up in the air.

C         G                    C
Daaaa, da-da, da, da-da.
C         G                    C
Daaaa, da-da, da, da-da.
Am      Em     Am             Em
Daaaa, daaa; daaa, da-da-da
C
Mmm-mm…

I’m traveling in my car,
Always lost, though I don’t go that far.
I find that I can live most anywhere.
Everyone I meet has so much they can share.
But I don’t settle down,
‘Cause I’m up in the air.

I’m thinking of my past,
The comfort in my home that couldn’t last.
Now my family tells me work for your success,
And they want to see me find some happiness.
But I’m not sure where that is,
‘Cause I’m up in the air.

I’m talking with my peers,
Listening to them tell their inner fears.
Some have lives that haven’t gone the way they planned,
And some are trapped in situations they can’t stand.
But I don’t want the same for me,
So I stay up in the air.

Daaaa, da-da, da, da-da.
Daaaa, da-da, da, da-da.
Daaaa, daaa; daaa, da-da-da
Mmm-mm…

I’m out in the woods;
Something here does my heart so good.
I breathe the air, and I know that I’m alive.
And I stare at all the birds as they fly by.
I guess it all comes down to them,
‘Cause they’re up in the air…

** These chords and lyrics are interpretations and transcriptions, respectively, and are the sole property of the copyright holder(s). They are posted on this website free of charge for no profit for the purpose of study and commentary, as allowed for under the “fair use” provision of U.S. copyright law, and should only be used for such personal and/or academic work. **

“Up in the Air” (Kevin Renick Cover)

Originally posted 2010-02-08 20:46:22. Republished by Blog Post Promoter

For Kevin Renick chords & lyrics, CLICK HERE!

By Chris Moore:

Hello and welcome to another week of new material from the best acoustic cover song music video blog in the universe!  We’re glad you’ve chosen to stop by and we hope you’ll read the posts, watch our music videos, and leave us some comments and requests.

Let me begin my post tonight by explaining the new background.  Although I think I will eventually establish the living room as my backdrop — better lighting, better acoustics — I wanted Laptop Sessions regulars to see that my “wall 0′ CD’s” has been rebuilt in the condo.  I just recorded this video, so there wasn’t any natural light to speak of.  Thus, the image is a bit yellowed.  Additionally, I spent the weekend working on installing surge protectors, organizing my bookshelf, maximizing space in the closet, etc., so there aren’t any posters.  The walls look pretty plain, but I promise there will be a more complete backdrop soon.  I have a cool Beatles poster that came free if you bought two or more Beatles remasters at Newbury Comics, and I’ve been itching to put that up.  And, of course, there are the Bob Dylan posters that have been with me since I lived with my parents, so it will be nice to get those up soon, as well.

Until then, let’s just focus on the music…

I’ve wanted to record this song since I heard it in the closing credits of Up in the Air a month ago.  I had planned to record it right away, but Spoon’s new album, an Elvis Costello phase, and the aborted Locksley new release all intervened.  I had considered milking the Who publicity for a session and I was looking for a fitting Jimi Hendrix song for today, but I just couldn’t put this one off any longer.

If you haven’t heard of Kevin Renick, well, that’s kind of the point.  Apparently, he wrote “Up in the Air” a couple years before he heard that director Jason Reitman was working on a film adaptation of the book.  The version you hear in the film is the original recording Renick handed to Reitman after he heard Reitman speak.  The cassette recording begins, “Hi, Jason.  My name is Kevin Renick, and I’ve written a song called ‘Up in the Air.’ I wanted you to hear it.  It goes like this…”

What follows is a home recording that is simple and wonderfully suited for the film.  Of course, it was literally no work to translate this into a Laptop Session as, for all intents and purposes, it already is.  When I read more about Renick tonight, I became even more excited about posting this session.  He is not signed to a record label.  He has never released an album before.  Being unemployed himself, he sings his song with conviction, and it was relaxing to learn, play, and record.

The lyrics, like the song, are deceptively simple.  There are some great lines here — “When people ask me what I’m doing with my life, I say, ‘It’s up in the air'” and “I’m hearing from friends; it’s that tired, old advice again: ‘You just cannot keep floating all around; oh, you got to get your feet back on the ground.'”

I can’t understate how well this song encapsulated the feel of the film and of the other excellent music chosen for the soundtrack.  The Up in the Air soundtrack includes one of my favorite Elliott Smith songs, “Angel in the Snow” (from the New Moon posthumous release), a couple of cool Graham Nash songs (one with Crosby and Stills, one solo demo), and Dan Auerbach’s “Goin’ Home” (from Keep It Hid, my pick for the #10 best rock album of 2009).

So, that’s the story behind “Up in the Air.”  Once I’ve finished posting this session, I’m off to grade some senior papers before dinner, and then I have two things I’m looking very much forward to.  The first is watching — and yes, your nerd-o-meters are about to go crazy — Star Trek: Voyager with Nicole.  I haven’t watched Voyager for YEARS, not since I watched from the sixth season or so on with my mother.  Every week, we’d meet and watch that show until it went off the air.  And I loved it!  But I never thought to go back, so that’s been my recent television indulgence.

In music-related “news,” the second activity I’m looking forward to tonight is finally being able to relax and read the booklet to the posthumous Jimi Hendrix collection First Rays of the New Rising Sun.  I unfortunately had to return a Christmas present, and although I put it off for weeks, I finally exchanged it last Friday for this Hendrix CD.  I’ve been mildly interested in it for a few years, but I wasn’t sure what it would be like.  I’m generally of the opinion that the overall consistency and quality of Hendrix’s albums started at near-perfection with Are You Experienced? (1967) and declined from there, particularly on Electric Ladyland (1968).  That’s not to say that he didn’t make some tremendous, outstanding music after his debut album — “Wait Until Tomorrow,” “Castles Made of Sand,” “Bold as Love,” “Crosstown Traffic,” and his cover of “All Along the Watchtower” — but the second and third albums themselves just weren’t as tight or compelling as the first.

Let me tell you: it’s a SHAME that Hendrix never finished First Rays of the New Rising Sun.  Even as a 17 track collection compiled “under the direct supervision of the Hendrix family,” this disc is easily the best, most dynamic work he released after Are You Experienced? Given the time, Hendrix may very well have topped even that.  Anyone who owns the greatest hits collection Experience Hendrix already knows the rocking “Freedom,” the jaw-droppingly beautiful “Angel,” and “Dolly Dagger.”  If you like those tracks, you should check this out as well, especially for great work like “Night Bird Flying,” “Hey Baby (New Rising Sun),” and “In From the Storm.”  Great stuff indeed.

Well, that about does it for me this week.  Of course, you should hurry back every day of this week for fun new material — you can bank on another full Laptop Session, a three-part “Yes, No, Maybe So, Retro” series, a Guest Session of a great Buddy Holly song, and an all-new Weekend Review.  Don’t miss any of these great music-related posts — you’re only going to find them here…

See you next session!