Manic April Part 2

As I said the other day I went to see the Milk Carton Kids.  We saw them at The Ark which is the same venue we saw Frank Fairfield.  It is a perfect small venue I would hazard about maybe 200 people maximum.  If you are ever in the Ann Arbor area I would highly recommend going there.  The tickets are always affordable they have ranged from as low as 15 dollars to 40 dollars for a big name like Cowboy Junkies.  Often the general admission tickets we get are literally two feet from the artists.


Now on to The Milk Carton Kids.  They are an up coming modern folk duo.  They both play acoustical guitars and sing in harmony.  How I used to always describe them was one part Simon and Garfunkle, and one part Everly Brothers.  Their harmonies are amazing and Ken Pattengale ‘s is amazing on the guitar as well.  Their passion for music, much like Frank Fairfield, is one of the many reasons I love their music.   Their love of music even goes as far as they allow people to down load their first two albums for completely free off of their website.  Now how cool is that?  So how did I find out about them?  Well the same friend who has a blog on cooking posted a link of them playing in a NPR’s Tiny Desk concert.

It was a bit ago when she posted it.  But I think she summed it up perfectly with “Absolutely beautiful.”  I was enthralled with their work immediately.  They have only been together since 2011 and they already have three albums out.  Their latest just came out the other month.  The other two are free to download.  Did I mention that already?

The concert at The Ark was the first I saw them live.  It will not be the last.  It simply was the best concert I have ever been to in my life.  I have never enjoyed a concert as nearly as much what they put out.  It goes up there w/ the Violent Femmes concert I went to.  Which I might add was amazing as well.. Men At Work, Smithereens and the Violent Femmes in one concert.  I now have to reassess how I describe their style now.  They are not only a combination of Simon and Garfunkle and The Everly Brothers. They are a combination of Simon and Garfunkle, The Everly Brothers and The Smothers Brothers.  I have never laughed so hard in a concert in my life.  They had a banter between songs that to quote Claptrap from Borderlands 2 “was absolutely highlarious”.  You get a bit of the banter in the NPR clip from above.  However, it does not do them justice.  The lyrics of their songs go from melancholy to happiness.  One of the sadder songs is the song that got Joey to want to work with Ken.  It is written from a dogs perspective as he writes down his memories as he dies due to being run over.

If they are the future of modern folk then the folk genre is in good hands.

Lastly… this a rather long one but worth listening to all the way through..

I would like to add that the opening act Aoife O’Donovan was rather good as well.

Lastly… if Ken or Joey you ever happen to read this your sound man knew his shit!  The guy had you guys spot on!  He is an amazing sound man.


Best Christmas Gift Ever!

I figure I would add some levity to the blog by talking about music. I first will warn you that I have a very eclectic taste in music. It is one of the many reasons for my my blogs title. My blogging about music may contain (but will not be limited to) country, classical, period, folk, rockabilly, bluegrass, blues, rock, renaissance, classic rock, prog rock, goth, trip hop, jazz, and alternative. I always jokingly say that I do not like opera because I can not understand the lyrics. Plus, my mother had a thing for Luciano Pavarotti. My childhood was filled with my mom singing along with him.

Last night my wonderful wife Shawna took me to see Great Big Sea. The tickets were a Christmas gift. We went to see them on their Twentieth Anniversary Tour at the Michigan Theater in Ann Arbor. The venue was absolutely amazing it reminded me of the Fox Theater in Detroit. I would highly recommend both venues to anyone in the metro Detroit area.

The Great Big Sea are an absolutely wonderful modern folk/Celtic rock band. They are from St. Johns New Foundland. I was introduced to them by my wife. So I cannot claim finding out about them. Their albums usually are a good balance between sea shanties, Celtic and modern folk rock. There are other more popular bands of a similar milieu The Proclaimers, Spirit of the West, and Flogging Molly. I often tell people that they were Flogging Molly before there was a Flogging Molly. Both Flogging Molly and Great Big Sea shows have amazing amounts of audience participation and energy.

If you never heard of Great Big Sea I would recommend giving them a try. You will be surprised. Their concerts are up there w/ Men At Work and Violent Femmes as the best concerts I have attended.

Here is a couple links of their songs..

This one is the one that made me make up mind to propose to my wife..

Captain Wedderburn

Here is a more traditional shanties song.. Sean McCann’s voice is amazing.

Safe Upon a Shore

Hanging Johnny (with Gaelic Storm)

Something more folky rocky…

The Old Black Rum