Posts Tagged With: pinball

Gameplay with Ryan Adams

tokennoteGiven how much of his life he’s spent pursuing numerous and varied types of gaming arts, it’s hard to imagine anybody on earth who would be more thrilled than Ryan Adams to have his likeness stamped onto an arcade token. So it was probably a bucket-list dream come true for a pinball enthusiast like Ryan to appear on tokens for the Analog Arcade Bar in the Quad Cities town of Davenport, Iowa. Analog is a game joint stocked with a ton of cool pinball machines and arcade games, and it looks like the kind of place that would be Ryan’s go-to hangout spot if he lived in the vicinity.

The tokens are about the size of a quarter and depict a bespectacled and tousle-haired Ryan beneath the motto “IN RYAN WE TRUST” on one side, with the Arcade logo emblazoned on the other. Ryan responded to the honor with an Instagram post, saying he felt like he’d “won the Nerdlympics.” The folks who run Analog were kind enough to send me a few with I asked for some, along with a very nice note. I plan to keep them in my Whiskeytown treasure trove, right next to the whiskey bottle. And I’d call this the coolest act of DRA homage this side of the menu at Sticks & Stones Pizza in Greensboro, North Carolina.

dratoken

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Ryan Adams, April Fools’ Day pinball wizard

AprilFoolFor an April Fools’ Day gag to work, there has to be at least a modicum of plausibility to it. So yeah, on the one hand, the idea of Ryan Adams putting together an album composed entirely of audio snippets from his pinball-machine collection is ridiculous. But on the other hand, given some of the weird-ass stuff Ryan has done in the past (not to mention his love of all things pinball and crazy-prolific nature), this Pinball Blizzard almost seems possible; like something he would’ve done as DJ Reggie, The Shit or one of his many other guises.

Anyway, that’s the joke of this story on the site RiffYou — which promises an album that will “balance Heartbreaker-era melodies, Cold Roses‘ expansiveness and Gold’s eclectic twang-driven explorations, guided and influenced by the noises of arcade games – namely pinball machines.” It also has a faux-quote from Ryan, describing Pinball Blizzard as “so fucked up, I can’t help but love it.”

For those who might be slow on the uptake, there is a helpful April Fool disclaimer at the end.

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Welcome to Bypass, North Carolina

NCUSAI heard from a fair number of people yesterday, all asking some variation of the same question: Do you think Ryan Adams will turn up at the Jenny Lewis show tonight?…

Aw, bless your hearts, you crazy naive kids.

And yet the question did have some apparent plausibility, all things considered. Lewis and Ryan are chums, he produced her 2014 album The Voyager and she accompanied him to the Grammys this past spring. More to the point, Lewis is the support act on the current leg of his tour, in which capacity she opened for Ryan Sunday night in Charlottesville and will do the same Tuesday night in Charleston. Yes, it’s hard not to notice that his tour routing seems designed to surround North Carolina without playing it, hitting every adjoining state except us with such deliberation that it has to be on purpose (and we’re coming up on the 10-year anniversary of the last time he played Raleigh).

Screen Shot 2015-05-05 at 10.08.16 AMAnyway, Ryan again bypassing the state that lies between Virginia and South Carolina left a hole in the tour schedule Monday night. So Lewis took the opportunity to play a headlining show of her own at the Haw River Ballroom, in the old mill town of Saxapahaw about an hour west of Raleigh. And if Ryan were to get a wild hair and decide to make an impulsive settle-up gesture with the Old North State, sort of like what he did with “Summer of ’69” at the Ryman last week, an unannounced cameo some distance away from his former downtown Raleigh stomping grounds seemed as likely as anything else.

So of course, it didn’t happen. Lewis played her show and it was quite fine, but Ryan did not appear. The only mention of him onstage was a story Lewis told at the end of her set about Ryan forcing her to write one more song for The Voyager — which he didn’t like, so she made it the album’s title track (ha!). Gotta say, I do like The Voyager a lot more than Ryan Adams, and hearing its songs live underscored that; especially “The New You,” which is still bouncing around my head a day later.

As for where Ryan was last night if not Saxapahaw, if his Twitter feed is to be believed, he was already in Charleston and seeking pinball machines:

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