At this time of the year my music concentration focuses on the releases since January 1. I'll spend the next few weeks listening to nothing but this music, culled from the curated Spotify playlist Radio Hannibal's Albums of 2014.
That list is massive, containing not only new material but live recordings, re-issues, etc. As long as they came out this year and I thought them worthy of inclusion on that list. This was done by reading reviews, hearing a track or two and past performance.
The amount of music that's released these days is simply staggering. Just yesterday a friend told me his wife would love to stream music but just doesn't know how to pick what to listen to as far as new music goes. It's the need for "gatekeepers" in this deluge of music. I told him that's what I do, turn people on to good music.
I have the aforementioned album collection and there's my daily Radio Hannibal session that features a mix of old and new music. I told him she should read my blog and check out the daily playlist. If a new song interests her it's easy to just click on the album itself and play it. She should then begin curating her own playlist of things she enjoys.
Now I've created a short list of albums from 2014 that will contend for my end of the year list, Radio Hannibal Contenders 2014. It's an inside look as to what I've been digging this year. Of course, the daily playlist reflects that as well.
So check out these linked playlists and make your own list. You can compare it to mine in early December.
I had a good amount of feedback concerning the state of the concert going experience so I thought I'd share some of the comments.
- the concert (Ryan Adams) was awesome.. but we are true fans...people are so inconsiderate however.. kid next to Craig on his HUGE phone with highest brightness... just the worst.
- State Theatre = shitty place to see a rock band. My theory.
- LA theater crowds are by far the worst I've experienced. I had to scold drunk girls at The XX at the Palladium (they were louder than the band). I spent most of TV on the Radio at the Fonda contorting for an appropriate view.
- i thought the show was great. Ryan Adams played whatever and however he wanted to play, the way an artist should do it. it was a really, really mellow show and I get how you can be frustrated if you came to rock out. but still take it for what it was. I respect him immensely for not giving a shit no matter how restless some people might have become, and still played what inspired him. thats personally what i paid for. and I thought the crowd was super lame and didn't give any energy back to the band, and there were SO many parts of that show when the band played beautifully and there was no response from audience, like they didn't even notice the stuff they were playing. and the Dark Star comment was kinda funny and actually right on. The Cold Roses album, which the tune he had just played was from, was very much influenced by Jerry Garcia. again most people in audience maybe didn't notice that connection. anyways I have to admit i was lucky to have great seats very close and i think that makes a big difference at that particular venue. anyways sorry for rant just my opinion! but it was a very interesting and kind of unusual show.
- More than a few people walked out on Dylan last night only a few songs into his second set. I have no explanation why someone would do that! My thought is that none of those people bought his last 5 albums.
- I sensed Adams takes pleasure in calling out audience members. Great show.
- I'm not sure I understand what the big deal is. There have always been (and likely always will be) drunk asses at concerts...young and old. The complaint about fans using social media to complain about aspects of a show...well, the complaints have always been there. Now the artist can see them (just like any brand) and it's up to them to adjust or ignore. Let me know if I'm missing something, but from your post and the Atlantic article, I'm not seeing anything that concerning. Maybe the fact that with smart phones, photos are being taken, but there's not much you can do about that. And the fact that someone's taking a photo (as I have many times) doesn't mean they're not enjoying and engaging in the concert. Artists need to adapt and be glad someone wants to take their photo...
- Been a huge fan of Ryan Adams since his Whiskeytown days. Was lucky to add this week's show to the list of his performances I've seen. Gotta say he was in fine voice, the band was tight and the set list was outstanding -- wide range of tunes covered from his large catalog, including some stuff I've never seen him perform live. State Theater is a great place to watch theater, ballet, comedy, etc. Not so great for a rock concert, especially in the back of the house.
- Everyone is a critic. He was certainly not my "cup of tea" nor anyone else I knew and we all left early. He was quite a jerk too! Most of the people I ran into were bored in the lobby or were leaving when I did. I rarely leave shows early. I've seen him before at the Agora. I remember him being much better.
- While not making excuses for obvious bad behavior by a concert-goer of any age, it seems that we are experiencing a generational gap in what is expected and tolerated at a show. Some of the "standard" rock show behaviors that you & I ascribe to are highly frowned upon by our parents' generation. For that matter, I'm not sure that any single generation has ever agreed on a complete set of concert ground rules. Hoping for some modicum of proper behavior tonight at Chrissie Hynde.
- I do think there's a very fine line that gets crossed more and more all the time these days.
Add that generation gap and it's more complicated...
What's difficult, is that there are also instances where you can go to a show and people expect you to sit with your end glued in your seat the entire time. And not in an appropriate way. Thinking about recent Slash and George Thorogood gigs at the Rocksino. If these were Cleveland Orchestra gigs, the show most definitely would require -- maybe even beg -- for patrons sitting in front of those folks to sit down. But fans neared fisticuffs at both gigs because the older folks couldn't see from their own seats.
Slash fans sitting through a show? That makes as much sense as standing on your head in a tarpool.
Shows in proper "theatre" venues (rolling my R there, with British pinky finger extended) are probably the grayest of gray areas. Thinking of Ryan Adams the other night here, but it dates back in my own personal experience to Joe Satriani at the Palace in 1990. Metalheads banging their heads and standing on the chairs was sending the red-coat ushers into conniptions...
Bottom-line: You can't go to a concert and expect your experience to be like it is on Palladia, unless you shell out for scalped front-row seats. And even then, the odds are good you'll have a drunk knucklehead with a fat checkbook next to you. It's a constant battle of hoping for the best and expecting the worst at every show.
- I had no idea Radio Hannibal was still around! Literally, we used to go hear him DJ in Fairview Park every week - I can't remember the name of the bar, they used to have a great Sunday night crowd - on Lorain Road. Ugh, help me, with the name of the bar! LOL
That last comment was from a thread where my blog post was shared. The bar was By George, run by George Schindler who's now managing partner of the very successful Hospitality Restaurants group (Blue Point, Cabin Club, Salmon Dave's, Delmonico, Rosewood Grill, etc).
Perhaps I was wrong in pointing a finger at just the younger generation. I think this rude behavior at concerts has always existed but seems to be escalating thanks to the digital age. Too much photo and video shooting, distraction from the outside world via the phone, and an overall decrease of the human attention span all factor in.
See you at The New Pornographers. I'll be the one dancing, not talking.
There's been debate here in Cleveland social media on the performance of Ryan Adams at the State Theatre on Tuesday night. More specifically the talk has centered around the audience.
Take a look at two reviews of the show. There's Michael Heaton of The Plain Dealer, who's focal point of the review was the largely disinterested crowd, Ryan Adams in fine form, but somehow fails to ignite his legion of fans. Conversely, Jeff Niesel is quoted in his review for Scene Magazine, Singer-songwriter Ryan Adams Inspires Devotion, Shuts Down Hecklers , as saying "during some songs, the crowd was so quiet you would think fans were witnessing a religous ceremony of some sort".
Granted, both headlines speak about the audience itself, and there were plenty of boneheaded shout-outs at the show. My favorite was a call for "Dark Star", the legendary space jam by The Grateful Dead. It was some well-placed humor and hardly condescending to Adams.
Adams set list in recent weeks has seen the addition of more songs from his one time band, The Cardinals. A group that could easily find billing on a jam band cruise. Adams is mercurial in his personality and songwriting. My take is that many in the audience were hoping for more of the power pop Adams as opposed to his freakier side.
Personally, I dug the performance and those around me were hardly of the chatty and restless nature that Heaton and others in social media have complained about. As for his lack of encore, the only song missing from recent set lists, early on he announced that one of his bandmates was sick. The show ended just before 11 pm too, which I'm told is the union cerfew. Another song would've meant a fine to pay.
This all leads to a new story from The Atlantic, Me Against the Music: How Should Fans Behave in the Digital Age?, where in the author makes a case for an increasingly obnoxious audience at rock shows. Stories of artists chastising fans are presented. Others, like Peter Frampton and Nick Cave, have gone further literally breaking smart phones.
It's an excellent read and I agree with the assertion that a younger generation has lost respect for live performance. There's an attitude of "I paid for my ticket and therefore can do whatever I please, even at the expense of my fellow concert goers". Where this self-centered attitude came from is a debate in itself. Some point to misguided parenting. The troublesome attitude goes beyond just attending concerts too.
Saturday night I'll be at the House of Blues to see The New Pornographers. I'll guarantee a large contigent of the crowd in the back of the venue will be rudely disruptive. It's the norm for the HOB and, sadly, for a younger generation.
It's been awhile since I compiled a best of year list. We're in descending order and the year was 1988. It was Bush Sr. vs. Dukakis for president, the US Navy mistakenly shot down a commercial Iranian airliner, a Boeing 747 exploded of Scotland and crack hit the streets. But, hey, the music was great.
I think it was the first time since the Browns returned that I stayed up for the whole game. I'm not a fan of night time football. Ideally I want every game to be at 1pm on Sunday afternoon.
The national spotlight that an NFL night game shines on a team is nice though, especially when the team does well. That's rarely been the case here in Cleveland. The Browns don't do well anytime of day.
Going into last night's game the Cleveland Browns had lost 17 consectuive division games on the road. Talk about a pathetic team.
Last night, all I kept thinking to myself was that this was fun. Watching my team, who at this time of the season had been written off in most every other year since 1999, dominate the first place Bengals was a joy I hadn't felt in a long, long time.
The message is clear. The culture has changed for my Cleveland Browns. Finally, we're not going to take it. We're a competititive team that sits in first place this Friday morning and it sure feels good.
Enjoy it Browns fans. We deserve it.