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Archive for the ‘Craig Finn’ Category

2017-02-25-23-47-33[ATTENDED: February 25, 2017] Japandroids

I was mostly excited to see Japandroids because in addition to liking their music, I wanted to see how two guys could be so powerful live.  I’d also heard that their live shows were a ton of fun.  And was it ever.

Interestingly, I had tickets for the Friday night show, which sold out.  But then something more important came up–a father daughter dance.  I was able to get my ticket to someone I work with and he enjoyed Friday night and I was still able to get a ticket for Saturday night.  So everybody won.  There was also some joking from Brian King the guitarist/singer that Friday night was a better crowd–until the Saturday night crowd decided to prove him wrong.  They were also filming on our night, so I wonder if anything will ever come of that.

But back to the show.  When the crew set up their gear, I was surprised to see them putting the drum set literally right in front of me, sideways–facing the guitar.  I knew that he faced that way but didn’t think they put him right a the front of the stage. (more…)

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2017-02-25-21-21-28[ATTENDED: January 31, 2017] Craig Finn

The universe has insisted that I see Craig Finn perform.  Last year he opened for My Morning Jacket, but my friend Jay and I arrived late and missed his whole set.  Well, here was a second chance.

Back then I had assumed that Craig Finn was one of the Finns from Crowded House.  It wasn’t until that MMJ concert that I discovered he was the guy from The Hold Steady, a band I’d never listened to.  I didn’t know much about him beyond that except that his delivery was kind of spoken/sung and there were comparisons to Bruce Springsteen.

I had gotten up pretty close to the stage, and I was surrounded by diehard Finn fans, so I felt like a bit of an imposter.  But he didn’t seem to mind and he played a really enjoyable set.

Given how raucous the Japandroids were he seemed like a bit of an odd match, but he certainly has a punk vibe, even if his songs are not very loud. (more…)

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2016-12-05-21-06-09SOUNDTRACK: CRAIG FINN-Tiny Desk Concert #193 (February 9, 2012).

I’d published these posts without Soundtracks while I was reading the calendars.  But I decided to add Tiny Desk Concerts to them when I realized that I’d love to post about all of the remaining 100 or shows and this was a good way to knock out 25 of them.

finnCraig Finn opened for My Morning Jacket when I saw them in New York.  However, we arrived late, so I missed him.  I was fairly certain that Craig Finn was actually Neil Finn when I saw his name, so I expected Crowded House, not The Hold Steady.

For this solo venture, Finn has crafted some slow folk songs.  He sings slowly and deliberately on these three acoustic songs.  The melodies are simple and his voice sounds very California to me. He’s accompanied by Ricky Ray Jackson playing a great-sounding echoey slide guitar.  In fact, I feel like Jackson is the highlight of the show.

“Apollo Bay” and “Western Pier” are from the solo album.  They are story songs.  The final song “Jeremiah’s Blues” is not on the record, but it’s fun to challenge yourself.

[READ: December 6, 2016] “Just Like Us”

Near the end of November, I found out about The Short Story Advent Calendar.  Which is what exactly?  Well…

The Short Story Advent Calendar returns, not a moment too soon, to spice up your holidays with another collection of 24 stories that readers open one by one on the mornings leading up to Christmas.  This year’s stories once again come from some of your favourite writers across the continent—plus a couple of new crushes you haven’t met yet. Most of the stories have never appeared in a book before. Some have never been published, period.

I already had plans for what to post about in December, but since this arrived (a few days late for advent, but that was my fault for ordering so late) I’ve decided to post about every story on each day.

I really enjoyed this story about a girl and her mom and the struggles they have had.  It opens with the excellent line: “It wasn’t easy to get kicked out of Happy Trails RV Park and Camp.”  The owner put up with a lot.  Including her son, who was rather a layabout.  He was injured in a construction job and is on disability–meaning he doesn’t do anything around the camp either.

Nina was fourteen, part white, part Chinese.  Her father returned to China when she was a baby  and sent them money for the first two years.  And then suddenly he stopped.  So her mama had spent time with many different boyfriends.  Her last boyfriend, Roy, seemed promising until she caught him cheating on her (for the third time).  And after that she decided it was time to get outta California.  So they got in their camper and took off.

There’s a line that I really enjoyed: “She turned on the radio…the lead singer wailed about a small-town girl escaping into a lonely world–the coincidence of a song about our lives.” (more…)

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