Posts Tagged With: 16 Days

In your eyes, I’m “Losering”

In addition to having a way with a T-shirt, DRA superfan Thom Bennett is a regular crackerjack when it comes to Photoshop. For example, below is something he dashed off for a Ryan Adams Archive thread about whether or not “Losering” is worth reading — a riff on the most iconic scene from the 1989 romantic-comedy classic “Say Anything.” But where Peter Gabriel’s “In Your Eyes” plays on a boombox in the original, I kind of imagine this scene with Whiskeytown’s “16 Days” as theme music.

CusakLosering.jpg

 

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The final countdown: “16 Days” vs. “Come Pick Me Up”

16CPMU.jpgAfter six rounds and 2,000-plus online fan votes, it’s come to this: the “BEST DRA SONG 2017” has a final matchup for all the marbles between a pair of No. 1 seeds, “16 Days” (from Whiskeytown’s 1997 masterpiece Strangers Almanac) and the Heartbreaker standard “Come Pick Me Up.”

There were other dark horses I was pulling for, including “Jacksonville” and “Dear Chicago.” But it’s hard to argue with the final pairing of these two particular signature tunes in the Ryan Adams universe — especially since they’re both from my favorite era of his, the Whiskeytown/early solo period that is the focus of “Losering.” I love both songs, but ultimately…I’ve got to cast my vote for “16 Days.”

Voting will be open through Saturday (June 24). Vote here; check the complete bracket so far below, or here; and for more on the methodology, see this interview with poll-meister Christopher S. Bradley. Also below, Christopher’s compilation of some of the comments and complaints he has received via social media.

ADDENDUM (6/25/2017): And here are the final results. My choice didn’t win, but I’m not complaining. Well, maybe just a little.

CPMU16D.jpgDRA BEST SONG FINALS RESULTS!!!!

Well y’all, after 322 people cast their votes in the final matchup, the winner, by a landslide, is Come Pick Me Up!

Many of you predicted this would at least be in the finals early on, and being one of his best known songs, it was. Here’s the final bracket.

Thanks again to everyone who participated and gave comments of support and constructive criticism along the way. Special thanks to David Menconi and Chris Migliaccio.

Maybe next June we will try this again, but mix it up a little ūüėČ.
For now, I will post the results of this year’s bracket to a yet to be finished blog.

 

 

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“Garbage”-Some RAA commenter

“These aren’t even his best songs.”-A bunch of unoriginal commenters

“Where is *insert unreleased track*, that’s his best song.”- A bunch of snobs.

“Where is *insert track that lost*, I love that song.”-Pretty much everyone

“This is torture.”-Random DRA Superfans commenter.

“This is like choosing between two children.” -A bigger bunch of unoriginal commenters.

“How could YOU pick song A over song B.” -Several commenters too lazy to pay attention for the past month

“How does this even work, what’s a bracket?”- People from other countries where people go to college to learn, not play/watch sports.

“The Russians hacked the voting.”- Everyone living a
continuous nightmare from November 8, 2016 -Present

“Thanks for doing this.”-Those of you I actually like.

“Jason Isbell sucks!”- People without ears

 

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Final Four in the ‚ÄúBEST DRA SONG 2017‚ÄĚ

The “BEST DRA SONG 2017” listener poll has gone pretty much exactly according to Hoyle, in that it’s now down to the last four songs — and all four No. 1 seeds have made it into the Final Four. I’d call that an indication of how solid a job that superfan poll-meister Christopher S. Bradley did with seeding the bracket and putting this thing together.

So anyway, it’s come down to “16 Days” from the Whiskeytown bracket matched up against the Ashes & Fire track “Dirty Rain” (winner of the 2011-Present bracket) in one semifinal; and in the other, the Cardinals’ Cold Roses track “Let It Ride” facing off against Heartbreaker bracket champion “Come Pick Me Up,” which only narrowly beat out “Oh My Sweet Carolina” in the Elite Eight round. I’m pulling for “16 Days” versus “Come Pick Me Up” in the final, because those two songs both come from the heart of my favorite “Losering” era. But we’ll see.

Voting for this round will close at 11:45 p.m. Wednesday (June 21). Vote here and check the updated bracket here, or below.

 

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Echoes of “Strangers Almanac”

WorldCafeNot sure why this particular artifact popped up today — maybe because of all the hideous things happening in North Carolina right now, and they figured we could use a break — but public radio¬†station WXPN¬†has resurrected a World Cafe broadcast¬†from 1997, “Sense of Place North Carolina: Whiskeytown.” Dating back to shortly after¬†Mike Daly‘s¬†arrival in the lineup as a sideman, it features about three minutes of excruciating small talk followed by performances of five¬†songs: “16 Days,” “Somebody Remembers the Rose,” “Too Drunk to Dream,” “Excuse Me While I Break My Own Heart” and a cover of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”

This was recorded at WXPN during the Strangers Almanac tour, not much more than a month before Phil Wandscher’s departure from Whiskeytown.¬†Not surprisingly,¬†the vibe is…tense.¬†Check it out here.

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Holding onto black metal

BernieRyan Adams has always had a fondness for the darker side of metal, to the point that he’ll occasionally bust out a death-metal version of “16 Days” onstage (full-band as well as solo). So I bet he’d totally dig this exceptionally well-executed reimagining of Presidential campaign logos as black-metal icons by the great designer Christophe Szpajdel, via Fast Company.

Ryan hasn’t expressed a candidate preference that I know of, but I’d be surprised if he weren’t supporting Bernie Sanders for President. So that one is on the right here, and you can click on through to see the rest of the field — including Jeb! Bush, and Donald Trump memorably signifed as the rear end of an elephant.

ADDENDUM (7/7/2015): Also can’t beat Death Metal Cats.

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Ryan Adams: “Afraid of Ghosts”

ButchWalkerSo yeah, Ryan Adams’ self-imposed Old North State exile¬†remains in effect, with no sign it will end anytime soon. But even if Ryan himself doesn’t come around here¬†anymore, at least that doesn’t seem to keep any of his associates away. By the close of this coming weekend, in fact, two of his most recent production clients will have headlined shows here within the span of a week.

Following Jenny Lewis in Saxapahaw this past Monday, the¬†next in line is¬†onetime Marvelous 3 leader Butch Walker, who plays Durham’s Carolina Theatre on Sunday night. Ryan produced Walker’s lovely new¬†album Afraid of Ghosts¬†(Dangerbird¬†Records), which (1) was released on a¬†label run by Whiskeytown’s old manager, oddly enough;¬†(2) is, like Lewis’¬†The Voyager and the most recent effort from Ethan Johns, yet another Ryan-produced record¬†that I find¬†vastly superior to last fall’s Ryan Adams;¬†and (3) has¬†kind an ironic title, given that something like a fear of old ghosts might well be what’s kept Ryan away for so long. The ghost has got me runnin’, indeed.

Anyway, a bit more verbiage about Walker from the paper can be found here.

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Come on out for “Losering 2: A Tribute to the Songs of Ryan Adams”

Losering2lineupI am very rarely on stages myself, which is better all the way around. But this Saturday night (April 11) you can find me onstage at Deep South the Bar in downtown Raleigh, where it will be my privilege and pleasure to host “Losering 2: A Tribute to the Songs of Ryan Adams.”

It’s an event that’s been in the works a while, ably booked and produced by John Booker and Deep South head Dave Rose. And if it’s anything like the first edition from 2013, this will be a great night. Members of I Was Totally Destroying It, Old Quarter, Dragmatic and other fine area acts will be performing songs from the Ryan Adams/Whiskeytown songbook; and the playlist includes “Somebody Remembers the Rose,” “16 Days,” “Too Drunk to Dream,” “Tennessee Square” and lots of other favorites.

Just to reiterate, Ryan himself will not be there. But you should be. Proceeds benefit the Food Bank of Eastern & Central North Carolina, so it’s for a righteous cause. Y’all come!

(By the way, we got less snark from the Indy this time than last time.)

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Bryan Adams: how to heckle

So they just announced that Bryan Adams is coming to town on his “Bare Bones” acoustic tour, which will play Jan. 22 at Meymandi Concert Hall. And here’s what I’m wondering: Given that Meymandi is the very place where Ryan played his last Raleigh concert back in June of 2005 (an event recounted in chapter 16 of “Losering”), and Ryan’s own heckling history¬†with select portions of Bryan’s catalog…should I go and yell for “16 Days”? Or “New York, New York”?

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Remembering the “Summer of ’69” at the Ryman

Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium figures into Ryan’s story as site of¬†one of his most infamous onstage meltdowns, the “Summer of ’69” incident. Reports vary as to just what happened that night in October 2002, when Ryan played the former home of the Grand Ole Opry. But it started with somebody in the crowd keeping up a line of heckling that culminated with a mocking¬†call¬†for the mid-’80s Bryan Adams hit. Ryan got angry, words were exchanged and the heckler was either thrown out or moved to a seat farther from the stage, with Ryan reportedly giving the guy his money back.

Critic Peter Cooper reported on the incident in his review of the show in the Nashville Tennessean (visible¬†here), which went out over the wire and caused a minor sensation that rippled far and wide.¬†For a while back in Ryan’s former hometown, it became fashionable to yell out “Summer of ’69” at shows in Raleigh, as a mocking stand-in for “Freebird.” And Ryan’s alternative-country peer Robbie Fulks, who is always up for a joke, offered to reimburse the ticket price for anyone who made Ryan mad enough to get themselves thrown out of a show. A decade later, it’s still the one thing even non-fans seem to know about Ryan.

In one of his online post-mortems about the incident, Ryan later claimed that Cooper made the whole thing up for the purposes of sensationalism (which I don’t believe). He also had some harsh words for the Ryman, the fabled cradle of country music, swearing he’d never play there again (nevertheless, he has). See Chapter 15 in¬†“Losering” for more on this. Nobody asked me, but I thought Ryan could have defused the whole thing by working up a speed-metal version of “Summer of ’69” to break out for hecklers; sort of like the black metal “16 Days” he did onstage last year. Oh well.

I don’t know where Ryan was on Wednesday night, but Cooper was back at the Ryman — onstage, one of several-dozen performers playing the Americana Music Association¬†awards show. I’d never been to the Ryman before, so I had a fine time wandering around drinking the place in. It’s not too long on creature comforts, and the seating is hard wooden pews (it is a former church, after all). Nevertheless, the Ryman has a living, breathing vibe you can’t help but get caught up in, imagining all the legends who have played there over the years. The Opry ¬†broadcasts moved elsewhere long ago, but here is where that spirit still lives.

I would have been content seeing anything at the Ryman just to go there, but man, did I get lucky. The AMA show was the stuff of dreams, a fantasy all-star revue:¬†Bonnie Raitt, Richard Thompson, John Hiatt, Rodney Crowell, Brandi Carlile, Alabama Shakes, Guy Clark, Punch Brothers, Carolina Chocolate Drops, Jason Isbell…On and on.

It left me wanting to hear more from pretty much all of them, but still — wow. Coolest live event I’ve been to in recent memory. Highlights included the Punch Brothers’ acoustic skitter, as appropriate for a conservatory as a folk festival; the always-wondrous Thompson, one of the few guitarists I’d dare mention in the same breath as Doc Watson; and Alabama Shakes, who I’m still not completely sold on, but what a voice.

Best of all was the all-hands-on-deck finale, a version of “The Weight” led by Amy Helm in tribute to her late great father Levon. Alabama Shakes singer Brittany Howard blew the place out with her verse, but Raitt’s more restrained closing verse was even better, ringing loud and clear up to the heavens. I was misting up by the end, and I don’t think I was the only one.

ADDENDUM (2/9/2017): Ryan’s version of the incident.

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