Viva la Vinyl: Whiskeytown’s Record Store Day 7"

Posted by Payton | Posted in viva la vinyl | Posted on 04-30-2009

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Since the completion of my Ryan Adams Vinyl Collection, I’ve been hard at work building my stash of Singles/EP’s/7-inchers. So far, I’ve gotten my grubby little hands on these:

So Alive 7-inch Single (2004)Wonderwall 7-inch Single (2004)

Nuclear 7-inch Single (2002)Hey Parker, It's Christmas 7-inch Single (2003)

On average, each disc cost me $30 bucks on eBay. So you can imagine my elation when, in the midst of this hunt, I find that some amazing person decided to (re)release an old Whiskeytown Single for Record Store Day. In the spirit of the celebration of the independent, locally-owned vinyl shops, the Whiskeytown disc was offered at under 10 bucks!

It’s a limited edition new pressing produced exclusively for Record Store Day ‘09. The 2 tracks are from The Baseball Park Sessions – the same session that produced the bonus tracks included with the Faithless Street re-issue. They were originally recorded in 1996 and previously unreleased.

Whiskeytown – San Antone (vinyl rip)
Whiskeytown – The Great Divide (vinyl rip)

Previously Posted in Viva la Vinyl:

Whiskeytown’s Theme For A Trucker
~tracks re-upped for a couple extra days~

A Good Egg…..

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized, links and news | Posted on 03-11-2009

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Way to go, Ryan.

He’s “a good egg. I’m in awe of him: his brain, his passion. He’s truly one of a kind.”
- Mandy Moore


Bruce Robison – Just Married
from Long Way Home From Anywhere (1999)
Whiskeytown – Matrimony
from Faithless Street (1996)

Viva la Vinyl: Whiskeytown’s Theme For A Trucker

Posted by Payton | Posted in viva la vinyl | Posted on 02-20-2009

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After setting up and installing my USB record player, the first piece of vinyl I reached for was probably my rarest and most prized piece.

Whiskeytown’s Theme For A Trucker Double 7″ was released in April of 1997. Personnel included – of course – Ryan and Caitlin, as well as Phil Wandscher, Steve Terry, Bill Ladd, and Chris Stamey. The 7″ is comprised of 3 songs that would later see album releases in some form but begins with an otherwise unreleased title-track. A remastered version of each one of these tunes was released with the Deluxe Edition of Stranger’s Almanac but just remember that these come straight off an original vinyl pressing – to your ears. The pops and scratches are authentic and provide an unmistakable ambiance. Enjoy.

Theme For A Trucker ~ Vinyl Rip
1. Theme For A Trucker
2. My Heart Is Broken
3. Houses On The Hill
4. The Strip (Dancing With The Women At The Bar

Playlist Pulse: Pianoforte….

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized, playlist pulse | Posted on 10-18-2008

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1. Iron & Wine – The Devil Never Sleeps
buy The Shepherd’s Dog (2007)
2. Whiskeytown – Mirror, Mirror
buy Pneumonia (2001)
3. The Felice Brothers – Love Me Tenderly
buy The Felice Brothers (2008)
4. The Raconteurs – You Don’t Understand Me
buy Consolers of the Lonely (2008)
5. The Rolling Stones – Let’s Spend The Night Together
buy Between The Buttons (1967)

Whiskeytown: The Missing Bridge….

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized, ryan adams spotlight | Posted on 07-14-2008

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Because i only briefly talked about Whiskeytown on my very first installment of the Ryan Adams Spotlight, i’ve decided to periodically jump back and mention them as i see fit.
i’ll admit that i was not cool enough back in the day to know about Whiskeytown while they were still a band – in fact, i had even listened to Ryan Adams for about a year before i snooped around and found out about them. But that was a long time ago, and i now consider myself quite sapient on the matter.
So what’s the point of all this……?
A while back, a friend of mine called me and began to sing a small piece of music he couldn’t quite place:
“Baby I want you
Honey I need you
I know you want to
I can feel you cry”
i immediately recognized it as an obscure bridge from a song i knew.
Slowly i pinned it as Ryan Adams, then Whiskeytown specifically.
After singing it to myself a few more times than necessary, i was almost certain that the snippet was the tempo-changed bridge from “Crazy About You” off Pneumonia. But as i listened to the song in iTunes, the bridge was nowhere to be found.
At this point i became very intrigued to find an answer.
i pulled out my copy of Pneumonia – no bridge
i looked for any copies available on The Hype - no bridge
i was sure i wasn’t crazy and had heard a version of the song with the bridge included – and i was pretty sure that i owned a copy somewhere.
So i pulled out my old brick of an mp3 player and went through my Ryan Adams folder.
There it was – Crazy About You with a running time :38 longer than the album version.
Crazy About You (album version)
Crazy About You (extended with bridge)
It kicks in at 2:13 if you wanna skip right to it.
But the enigma is still not completely solved as i haven’t found anything else on the web about it. says the song made an ‘unofficial appearance’ on a Pre-Release of Pneumonia and includes the bridge in the lyrics, but nothing more is said.
i’m fairly positive i picked up the extended version off of some file sharing network back in the day.
i’ve listened to both versions intently and have yet to find a difference other than the bridge addition. It’s hard to tell whether or not they recorded two cuts of it. My idea is that Lost Highway may have cut the bridge in order to save the up-tempo feel when they obtained the rights to Pneumonia.
So this is where you come in. Look through your libraries and pull out your copy of Pneumonia (if you don’t own the album…. change that).
Tell me which version you have and when you got it.

In other Pneumonia-related news, i just received a copy of The Kites’ John Logan covering Whiskeytown’s Under Your Breath. Really good.
Under Your Breath
It’s a simple home recording, but the vocals are silky-smooth.

The End of the Depression….

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized | Posted on 04-27-2008

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Got my final issue of No Depression magazine in the mail the other day. After 13 twang-filled years, the leading publication in the Alt-Country music scene is ceasing production. The simple reason for the stoppage is revenue. With the growing popularity of music information on the web (with blogs like this, and sites like Pitchfork and Stereogum), and the more specialized genre of No Depression – as opposed to mags like Rolling Stone – the demand for printed music commentary just isn’t there anymore. The good news, however, is that the company will continue with their website. They have a complete update and overhaul planned in order to make the shift to the digital world of publication. No Depression will continue, in print, with a semi-annual ‘bookazine’. Focusing on longer, more in-depth pieces, the bookazine will contain material that can’t simply be transitioned into web content.

i was a fairly new subscriber, but i managed to make a couple purchases of back-issue bundles on eBay – a steal compared to what, i’m sure, old issues are going for these days. So now i’ve got another stockpile of music relics to show my grandkids, one day.

The farewell issue (with Buddy Miller on the cover) has a great mix of articles and stories with both new views and sentimental memories of the alt-country world. An aritcle that is perfectly fitting for this issue is a story on the Old 97’s – a band that has weathered the storm of the music industry (for just as long as the magazine), only to come out of the ashes still very alive. The band will release their 7th studio album, Blame It On Gravity, on May 13th.
Another great article is a nostalgic look back at Whiskeytown’s first major release, Strangers Almanac. The landmark album for one of the leading bands at the birth of the alt-country scene recently saw a re-release as a deluxe edition packed with bonus tracks.
Other articles up my alley are stories on Hayes Carll and James McMurtry. Get you a copy while you still can.

Some fitting songs:

mp3: Uncle Tupelo – No Depression
buy No Depression (1990)
mp3: The Carter Family – Give Me Roses While I Live
buy The Carter Family 1927-1934
mp3: Son Volt – Windfall
buy Trace (1995)
mp3: Whiskeytown – Somebody Remembers The Rose (acoustic)
buy Strangers Almanac – Deluxe Edition (2008)
mp3: Ryan Adams & Caitlin Cary – The Battle
buy No Depression: What it Sounds Like, Vol. 2 (2006)

Other News:
i’ve recently switched file hosting services, due to numerous problems with bandwidth. My new one should have enough – i get 9 gigs per day, so even if i do run out, it’ll reset the following day. Keep that in mind in you ever run into that nasty little error message…..

i’m still going through and updating file links throughout my blog. i’ve got the first page done, and i should have the rest fixed sometime this week.

Took Me Long Enough…

Posted by Payton | Posted in artist spotlight, ryan adams spotlight | Posted on 03-04-2008

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So, i’m sittin’ here thinkin’ about who/what to post about next, and i realized that, aside from a couple brief mentions in my ‘best of 2007′ posts and a couple songs here and there, in about 2 months of blogging, i haven’t talked about one of my favorite guys ever….

Ryan Adams

i’m not gonna be timid like a bunch of people are when they talk about Ryan…

He IS the best American songwriter since Bob Dylan. Many other people say that he may be, he will be, or he is close to. Fuck that.

i think there are a few conditions – most of which one must meet to be considered a great singer/songwriter:

  • must pay their dues – prior to Whiskeytown, Ryan helped form a couple different bands (Blank Label, Lazy Stars, Space Madness, The Patty Duke Syndrome) and is no stranger to smoky bar gigs, long road stretches, or heckling fans.
  • must be prolific – how’s 9 full-length albums in 7 years (12 in 11 years if you count Whiskeytown’s releases). Not to mention numerous EP’s, and at least six albums-worth of material that never made it to a release (yet).
  • must have a (somewhat) troubled life – Ryan, in his new found sobriety, is not ashamed to talk about his past drug and alcohol addictions, and how they almost ended his life/career on numerous occasions. Moreover, these addictions, plus failed relationships, and even deceased lovers are almost essential in forming the mindset that fuels great songwriting.
  • must live in New York City at some point - ok, so this isn’t required, but from a songwriting standpoint (and from the sheer amount of songs the city inspires), it sure helps.
  • must be respected by peers – there’s no doubt that any kid with a guitar (and any sense of musical taste) at one point has looked to Ryan as a musical role model. But to have people the caliber of Elton John and Steven King as fans and personal friends proves his validity.
  • must be hated/criticized by peers – whether its – bad reviews, show-goers shouting obscenities from the audience (ranging from requesting ‘Summer of ‘69′ to ‘turn the lights up’), or journalists saying he’s “too prolific” (wtf), a “spoiled brat”, or that he “hates his fans” – people are always going to find ways to detract what Ryan does.

(as long as we’re making Dylan comparisons, see if you can’t apply all those conditions to Bobby D as well)


If you don’t own every one of Ryan’s albums, STOP what you’re doing right now and go get ‘em. If you can only afford a couple, start with Heartbreaker, Gold, and Cold Roses. But if you wanna get a real RA education, start with Whiskeytown’s stuff:

Ryan, along with violinist Caitlin Cary and a revolving cast of others put out two official albums (Faithless Street & Stranger’s Almanac) as Whiskeytown – a (now) critically acclaimed pioneering band in the Alt-Country scene of the 90’s. After the success of Ryan’s first solo album, Heartbreaker, Lost Highway signed Ryan and picked up Whiskeytown’s unreleased 3rd album Pneumonia. The major release of this more-polished material brought Whiskeytown the notoriety they deserved.
* i have to credit for a lot of this info


With that said, i can begin my mulit-post Ryan Adams Artist Spotlight.
i can’t say that there is any strict form i will adhere to, or how often i’ll get installments out, but i can promise one thing: no tracks posted will be from any of Ryan’s officially released material. There is so much cool unreleased stuff of his out there that it would be a crime just to focus on the stuff you can find at a record store. So mp3’s will either be unreleased studio cuts, or live tracks.

Because i want to jump right into my Heartbreaker review (and because i don’t have a lot of bootleg Whiskeytown material) here are just a few goodies:

mp3: Whiskeytown – A Song For You ~ from Return of the Grievous Angel: A Tribute to Gram Parsons (1999)

mp3: Whiskeytown – Picture of Jesus on the Dashboard ~ from The Freightwhaler Sessions

mp3: Whiskeytown – New York Angel ~ from Those Weren’t The Days

On a related note (and as mentioned here), the reissue of Whiskeytown’s Stranger’s Almanac came out today. i couldn’t find it at Hasting’s or Best Buy (although they have in their catalog), so i ordered it through Amazon ($5 cheaper than Best Buy anyway)

—-> Continue on to the Heartbreaker review….

—-> View the Ryan Adams Spotlight on one page…

Spring Album Release Forecast….

Posted by Payton | Posted in Uncategorized, album release | Posted on 02-19-2008

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Alright, so February is almost over, and i’m pumped. Beacause, starting in March, a flood of great albums are coming out. Seeing as i’m pretty new to this music journalism (hardly…) world, i don’t have any cool new friends on the inside to give me any exclusive news or tracks, but i’ve got a couple tricks up my sleeve. For some of these that are coming out a little further in the future, i’ll re-remind you, but here are the forthcoming album releases on my radar:

3.4.08 (Big Day)

The Black Crowes – Warpaint (Silver Arrow)

The first release from the soulful Black Crowes in 7 years is set for early March. 10 of the 11 tracks were written by Chris and Rich, and the album marks the debut for two new band members: guitarist Luther Dickinson and keyboardist Adam MacDougall.

1. Goodbye Daughters of the Revolution
2. Walk Believer Walk
3. Oh Josephine
4. Evergreen
5. Wee Who See The Deep
6. Locust Street
7. Movin’ On Down The Line
8. Wounded Bird
9. God’s Got It ~ this is the same song that OCMS did on Big Iron World, written by The Reverend Charlie Jackson
10. There’s Gold In Them Hills
11. Whoa Mule
pre-order Warpaint here

The Felice Brothers – The Felice Brothers (Team Love)

The band (3 out of 4 are actual brothers), from upstate New York, released Tonight at the Arizona in the UK early last year. Upon returning to the States, they hooked up with Conor Oberst of Bright Eyes for some concert dates, and consequently he signed them to his label. The’ve been called ‘backwoods americana’ and have a perfectly un-polished sound with hints of Dylan, Townes, and Neil Young. Their self-titled American debut is due out March 4th.

here’s one from it:
mp3: The Felice Brothers – Wonderful Life

pre-order The Felice Brothers here

Whiskeytown – Stranger’s Almanac (Deluxe Edition) (Mood Food/Geffen)

i don’t know who decided to put this re-issue together, or why, but who fuckin’ cares. This isn’t just a re-mastered edition with a couple bonus tracks; this thing is like discovering an attic full of old vinyls. Ok, maybe not that cool, but listen: It’s a 2-disc set, the first of which is the original album (13 tracks) plus 5 bonus tracks from unreleased radio performances:

Bonus Tracks:

14. Houses on the Hill (live)
15. Nurse With the Pills (live)
16. I Don’t Care What You Think About Me (live)
17. Somebody Remembers the Rose (live)
18. Turn Around (live)

and disc 2 (19 of the 21 tracks are previously unreleased):

1. Indian Gown
2. 16 Days (acoustic version)
3. Somebody Remembers the Rose (acoustic version)
4. Avenues (acoustic version)
5. Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart Tonight (acoustic version)
6. Houses on the Hill (early version)
7. mp3: My Heart Is Broken*
8. I Still Miss Someone (Johnny Cash cover) (acoustic version)
9. Kiss & Make-Up
10. Barn’s on Fire
11. Dancing With the Women at the Bar (early version)
12. Dreams (Fleetwood Mac cover)
13. Breathe
14. Wither, I’m a Flower (previously released)
15. mp3: Luxury Liner**(Gram Parsons cover)
16. Theme for a Trucker
17. Streets of Sirens (previously released)
18. Turn Around (alternate version)
19. 10 Seconds
20. Ticket Time
21. The Rain Won’t Help You When It’s Over (True Believers cover)
* The song linked here is from a solo concert of Ryan’s (with help from Caitlin Cary) at The Brewery in Raleigh, NC in ‘99. The quality isn’t great, but here the song is stripped down to its core – Ryan is strumming just enough to keep in time. The vocals are amazing and, compared to the version that showed up on Jacksonville City Nights, much slower, which reveals just how, well…. heartbreaking the song really is.
** i don’t know if this is the same version that’s gonna end up on the re-issue, but it is a studio cut i picked up somewhere along the way.
pre-order the Deluxe Edition here
Justin Townes Earle – The Good Life (Bloodshot)

The son of Steve Earle and namesake to Townes Van Zandt has a lot to live up to. And from what i’ve heard, he’s doin’ a pretty good job. He’s got just enough of his daddy’s gravelly growl, but with a little more energy. His background consists of performing in bluegrass/ragtime bands to full-out rock bands, and, of course, with his dad. He previously put out an EP, Yuma, from which i already posted a track.

1. mp3: Hard Livin’
2. The Good Life
3. mp3: Who Am I to Say
4. Lone Pine Hill
5. South Georgia Sugar Babe
6. What Do You Do When You’re Lonesome
7. Turn Out My Lights
8. Lonesome and You
9. Ain’t Glad I’m Leavin’
10. Faraway In Another Town

no pre-order found, but some info here



The Black Keys – Attack and Release (Nonesuch)
i’ve already posted a couple tracks from The Black Keys, but i haven’t really said much about ‘em. They’re an indie rock/blues duo (Dan Auerbach – guitar/vocals – and Patrick Carney – drums) from Akron, Ohio. If you listened to the tracks, you already know that they produce raw, in-your-face, super groovy electric rock music. They’ve got five previous releases – some recorded in Carney’s basement, and some in an abandoned tire facotry. Attack and Release will be their most polished record as of yet. Not only did they record in a real studio, but they enlisted the help of producer Danger Mouse. He’s the guy that famously remixed The Beatles White Album with Jay-Z’s Black Album. If you’re ever in the mood for some really loud, powerful tunes, put on The Black Keys.


1. All You Ever Wanted
2. I Got Mine
3. Strange Times – you can buy this single from iTunes now
4. Psychotic Girl
5. Lies
6. Remember When (Side A)
7. Remember When (Side B)
8. Same Old Thing
9. So He Won’t Break
10. Oceans & Streams
11. Things Ain’t Like They Used to Be
pre-order Attack and Release here and get a free tote bag with it???
Mike McClure Band – Streamline (Boohatch)
Streamline is tentatively scheduled for release on April 1st. This is simply info straight from Mike himself via his MySpace blog. Unless you’re into the Texas Music/Red Dirst music scene, you probably haven’t heard of Mike. He previoulsy fronted the somewhat successful country band The Great Divide. He split with them to go solo in ‘02 and since has put out five albums – one of which was a collaboration with fellow Okies The Burtschi Brothers. i plan on doing an artist spotlight on Mike soon, so i’ll stop there. The only confirmed tracks for Streamline are The Eagle and the Crow, and Supposed To Be. The following track was up on his MySpace a while ago, and could show up on the album as well:
mp3: Mike McClure – Another Place To Run
here’s another MySpace track that was posted at some time. A cover of a ZZ Top song that kinda sounds like some late night goofin’ off in his home studio:
mp3: Mike McClure – Legs

ordering information will be posted when i find it
Hayes Carll – Trouble in Mind (Lost Highway)

i’ve already posted some info, as well as one song, from this release here. You can also hear a few of the tracks on Hayes’ MySpace.

1. Drunken Poet’s Dream
2. It’s A Shame
3. Girl Downtown
4. Bad Liver And A Broken Heart
5. Beaumont
6. mp3: I Got A Gig
7. Faulkner Street
8. Wild As A Turkey
9. Don’t Let Me Fall
10. A Lover Like You
11. I Don’t Wanna Grow Up
12. Knockin’ Over Whiskeys
13. Willing To Love Again
14. She Left Me For Jesus

pre-order Trouble In Mind here


Flight of the Conchords – Flight of the Conchords (Sub Pop)
Unless you were living under a rock last summer, you heard about Flight of the Conchords. Brett and Jermaine are “New Zealand’s fourth most popular digi-folk paradists” (self-proclaimed). They created an HBO comedy show that aired on Sunday nights after Entourage after becoming popular as comedians that performed hilarious, satirical songs on Comedy Central and various late-night talk shows. On their show, they play a very unsuccessful band with no social skills – and spontaneously break into stupid songs. Ok, so that doesn’t sound very funny, but i promise it is. Anyway, their debut album, that includes re-worked songs from the show, is due out at the end of April. Check ‘em out:

mp3: Flight of the Conchords – Business Time

mp3: Flight of the Conchords – If You’re Into It

both from The Distant Future [EP] - Grammy nomination for the Best Comedy Album


The Dedringers – Sweetheart of the Neighborhood
- scheduled for Spring ‘08 release

The first time i saw the Dedringers, i hadn’t heard of them, but they were opening a show for Mike McClure. i was blown away. These guys – younger than i was – stole the show as much as an opener can. Really original songs, all with some sort of errie, haunting quality. Then, they were just a duo – Sean Faires and Jonny Burke. Since, they have added drums and bass and, more importantly, grown much more popular. By befriending fellow musician and producer McClure, as well as many others in the Texas Music realm, they starting getting bigger gigs and continued to impress people with their ‘wise-beyond-their-years’ songwriting talent. They self-released an EP titled Definately, Purposely Infinite (produced by McClure) as well as a Live At The Continental Club in Austin album that were both sold at their shows. Their debut album, Sweetheart, was produced by R.S. Field, who has done work for Billy Joe Shaver and Hayes Carll. Here’s the previoulsy released (i think i bought it from their MySpace page) title track from the album – most likely this is not the version that will be on Sweetheart, though:
mp3: The Dedringers – Sweetheart of the Neighborhood

happy shopping….