Posts Tagged With: Ryan Adams

Ryan Adams goes back to the future: 1989

TS1989So in case you missed it, Ryan Adams kind of broke the internet a couple of days ago when he started posting soundbites of his latest PaxAm Studio project. He’s been recording a cover version of Taylor Swift’s current megahit album 1989 in his Los Angeles studio, with various songs in the style of the Smiths and other unlikely sonic templates.

“Guaranteed saddest version of Welcome to New York ever — or your tears back,” Ryan tweeted, referring to his version of Swift’s second single from 1989 — and the entire rockpress music blogosphere went wild. Swift herself did, too, responding via twitter, “I WILL PASS OUT.

The whole thing is almost too adorable for words because (a) pretty much everybody loves Taylor Swift nowadays; (b) Ryan is kind of the perfect deconstructive genius to pull off a gimmick like this convincingly; (c) it’s perfectly in-character with his 1984 fetish; and (d) thanks to social-media buzz, it seems like there’s more of a chance we’ll actually hear the finished product this time than his never-released Strokes cover album from a few years back.

Nothing like a release date has been mentioned yet, but stay tuned. Meantime, despite the silly headline (“Grizzled Old Rock Music”?), this story is a pretty decent summary and also has some video clips.

Based on what I’ve heard so far, I’m thinking I’ll like this a lot more than Ryan Adams. And heck, maybe she can even talk Ryan into giving Raleigh another chance.

ADDENDUM: Here’s another update, with a preview of “Bad Blood” done Heartbreaker-style.

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A Loserblog milestone

100KSometime yesterday, this modest little WordPress blog quietly reached a milestone, though no one but me would have known it. According to the statistics page, loseringbook.wordpress.com has crossed the six-figure threshold, attracting more than 100,000 views since debuting at the end of July 2012 with an introductory post titled, “Hello world!” — actually 100,122 total views as of a few minutes ago, if we want to keep it up-to-date.

Two years and 10 months later, this is post number 313. My output has ebbed and flowed over that time, usually dictated by events. I was posting at least once a day during the initial publication period of the book “Losering” and also last fall, when there was lots of news surrounding Ryan Adams’ doings with his latest album and touring (and I must note with some disappointment that this blog’s most-viewed post to date remains the one about his divorce; oh well). There have also been slow stretches where I’ve gone weeks between posts, either because Ryan didn’t have anything going on in public or I was busy elsewhere — or just not feeling inspired regarding DRA World.

LoseringBut I’ve had enough fun here to keep the blog going beyond its initial mission of supplying background for “Losering” (a function it sometimes still serves, such as when I have mistakes to correct). It’s been a way to acknowledge some of Ryan’s old bandmates, as well as various superfans and others’ Ryan-inspired artwork, plus weird reactions and other projects I’m involved in. If nothing else, the Ryan Adams Reference Library page gets enough traffic that I feel like the superfans still find it useful. And if Ryan ever takes the unlikely step of ending his North Carolina embargo, I’m sure I’ll have plenty to say about that here and elsewhere.

Beyond that, I’m not sure about the Loserblog’s future. It does have a certain amount of momentum built up and a handful of subscribers (thanks, y’all!), and it gets enough feedback on social media to make me feel like it’s worthwhile to keep it going. So I think it will continue, at least for a while longer. We shall see.

In any case, to everyone who has been a part of that 100,000 number — which, it goes without saying, is a whole bunch of multiples of the sales achieved by the “Losering” book — you have my grateful thanks. I appreciate you stopping by. Keep on coming back and I’ll do my best to make it worth your while.

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Oh, no…

Screen Shot 2015-03-17 at 4.53.07 PMWell, this is regrettable. But I suppose it’s the sort of thing that’s going to happen at Best Buy. Besides, it’s not like there aren’t some pretty striking visual similarities between key albums of the Nov. 5 Adams twins, Ryan and Bryan — plus nowadays, the dudes are buddies.

(Thanks to Mr. Anthony Neff, who posted this photo on the Guitartown people page of Facebook.)

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Poor Ryan…

MandyRyanXThere will be a lot more said about this — there’s already plenty flying around out there — but all that needs saying from the outside is it’s too bad and we’re sorry to hear it.

(UPDATE, 12/9/2015: Almost a year later, things are turning ugly over money.)

Meanwhile, Ryan’s Twitter feed has been rather illuminating. Right around the time that news of the Ryan-Mandy split was breaking Friday night, Ryan tweeted a link to the Grateful Dead’s “Bird Song.” He didn’t add any sort of comment, so maybe it was just coincidence. But coming on the heels of recent tweets with “Tunnel of Love” and “I Am the Cosmos”… I don’t think so:

All I know is something like a bird within her sang,
All I know she sang a little while and then flew on,
Tell me all that you know, I’ll show you snow and rain.
If you hear that same sweet song again, will you know why?
Anyone who sings a tune so sweet is passin’ by,
Laugh in the sunshine, sing, cry in the dark, fly through the night.
Don’t cry now, don’t you cry, don’t you cry anymore.
Sleep in the stars, don’t you cry, dry your eyes on the wind.
All I know is something like a bird within her sang,
All I know she sang a little while and then flew off,
Tell me all that you know, I’ll show you snow and rain.
UPDATE (6/6/2018): Mandy Moore on her exes, including Ryan:

Moore then touched on her first marriage to musician Ryan Adams, which ended in a “devastating” divorce.

“It didn’t sour my idea of romance or marriage or monogamy. I just chose the wrong person,” she said. When Stern said she should have done a Braff with Adams and just done “two years in and out,” Moore joked, “Maybe less!”

Though she denied Adams cheated on her, she explained, “We’re just different, we were not meant to be. It was a very lonely life. Someone who’s obsessed with themselves and obsessed with their work and wasn’t able to be a partner or husband. The anger subsided for me now. I have so much distance from it now, I have a different perspective.”

She added that new fiance Taylor Goldsmith “couldn’t be more diametrically opposite” of her ex. “Life is good, I feel very lucky,” she added. Moore also said she’s “ready” for kids, but will have to time it out with her “This Is Us” shooting schedule. “I jump around in time, so it would be weird playing an older lady with a pregnant belly,” she joked.

 

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Whiskeytown treasures from Thomas O’Keefe

SAtourbook

If you’ve read “Losering,” you might remember Thomas O’Keefe — a man I only half-jokingly described as “Whiskeytown’s long-suffering tour manager.” He probably spent more time alongside them in the trenches than anyone else they ever worked with, and hilarious tales aren’t all he came away with. Thomas also amassed quite a pile of Whiskeytown and Ryan Adams mementos that he’s been hanging onto for the past two decades. And as fate would have it, the time to sell some of them off is now, for the very good cause of raising money to help out the family of his late sister (who passed away suddenly in November, leaving behind three children).

The auction just opened and will run through Jan. 14 on eBay. Included in this lot of items are laminated and sticky passes to various Whiskeytown shows and tours, one of Ryan’s guitar picks and what Thomas calls “the crown jewel” — his notebook with tour notes, guest lists and such from Whiskeytown’s last leg of Strangers Almanac touring. Gotta say, that one makes this whole package mighty tempting.

Anyway, you can scope out details and pictures of it all here.

UPDATE (1/14/2015): Below is the winning bid. Have to say, I’m surprised this didn’t come in higher. My estimated over/under figure was $500, so I figured it would go for at least double that $205 price.


 

TOeBayFinal

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Different strokes: “Gimme Something Good,” indeed

voxlogoOn the one hand, I’m still not too fond of Ryan Adamsso I’m kind of with the writer of this “11 great songs of 2014 that were buried on terrible albums” listicle about the overall quality of that album. On the other hand, however, “Gimme Something Good” is not what I would have picked as the redeeming track on Ryan Adams, because I’m even less fond of that song than the rest of the album.

“Still, this one is a stunner.” Um…no. No, it is not.

But heck, Grammy seems to like both, so what do either of us know?


 

VoxGSG

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Helpful holiday shopping suggestions

DRAamazonspecialSo a fair quantity of you nice folks out there have taken advantage of my $12 “Losering” holiday special (which is still available!), and for that I thank you. If you’re more inclined to do your shopping on Amazon, they’ve currently (on Friday, Dec. 12, at least) got a deal that’s almost as good as my holiday-special rate — 25 percent off the hard-copy price on any book. That takes their usual $16.55 price on “Losering” down to about $12.41, which is even less than the $13.37 price of buying it directly from the publisher. As noted in the “Special Offers and Product Promotions” part at the bottom of this illustration on the right, the promo code to use is BOOKDEAL25.

So check it out. And while you’re at it, it would also be worth using that discount to pick up this book right here. Meantime, I hope everyone out there is having a wonderful Christmas time this year.

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Like Yesterday: Good morning, Afghanistan

This is the time of year when homesickness might start feeling particularly acute, especially for people on duty overseas. So it is that this fun little video based on Ryan Adams’ Cardinology song “Like Yesterday” turned up on the Ryan Adams Superfan page Wednesday morning. The accompanying note thanked Ryan “for making deployments a little bit more bearable” with his music:

I’m currently on my 2nd tour in Afghanistan and your music still helps me to “feel”…This was a goofy video I made from my first tour..I would request you to play a free show here, but I rather you be safe and continue to make amazing music for us! I cannot wait to see you play live someday when I return to the states.

-Staying Weird.

..One of your many fans,

-Britt

It’s the sweetest video tribute to Ryan I’ve seen since the “Wish You Were Here” travelogue from back in January. In this one, the gal with the broom is Brittany Caruso, an Air Force Sergeant currently stationed in Afghanistan. I got in touch to ask a little about herself, and here’s what she wrote back:

BCaruso

Brittany Caruso, reporting from Afghanistan.

I’m 25 years old and I’m originally from Napa California. I joined the military when I was 17 and I’ve been exploring and learning about life since then..I’ve been on 3 deployments and am currently serving my second tour in Bagram, Afghanisfan..My home station is Eglin AFB, Flordia..Music is my outlet, and mantra..When I’m not listening to music I am playing it- I’ve been playing drums for a little over 8 years now..Ryan Adams music has greatly inspired after the first album I bought years ago – “Easy Tiger” ..the songs “Rip Off” and “Two” have accompanied through some very challenging times and milestones of my life..With saying that, I would have to say “Easy Tiger” is my favorite album and a footprint of my growth in adulthood.

Ryan really does have some great, great fans out there.

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“And her weapon of choice is a red-patterned dress…”

At the time he was making his first solo album Heartbreaker in 2000, Ryan Adams was still fully in thrall to Amy Lombardi — who he once told me was “my Anita Pallenberg, the coolest and most beautiful woman I’ve ever met” (a quote that’s in chapter eight of “Losering”). Lombardi was the muse behind many of Ryan’s best songs back then, and Easter eggs about her aren’t too hard to find out there.

For example, there’s this photo Lombardi posted a while back to her instagram account, in which she’s wearing a dress that figures prominently into the lyrics of the Heartbreaker song “Don’t Ask for the Water.” Much as I’d like to post that picture here, I shouldn’t. So take a listen to the song below while you cruise over to take a look here.


 

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Stories of the departed: Ian McLagan

KimIanThe past few days, social media has been awash in tributes to the late great  Ian McLagan, the legendary Small Faces keyboardist, who died on Wednesday of complications from a stroke at age 69. Mac was a wonderful all-around chap, dynamite musician and one of the funniest raconteurs of all time (for proof, just check his hilarious and no-holds-barred 2000 memoir “All The Rage: A Riotous Romp Through Rock & Roll History”). I got to interview Mac a few times over the years, including one especially memorable 2009 chat that involved equal amounts of tears and laughter once we got to talking about all the songs he’d written about his late wife Kim.

Pretty much everyone in the roots-rock world who’s played the club circuit over the past few decades has a McLagan anecdote or two, including various members of Whiskeytown. The one from Ryan Adams, which you can listen to here, dates back to when Ryan was bottoming out while making his Love Is Hell album, on which Mac played; and it’s funny, but pretty much a standard excessive-drinking tale. Ryan’s old bandmate Skillet Gilmore has a better story, from his post-Whiskeytown days in Patty Hurst Shifter — in part because he can boast of having been given a nickname by Mac.

Dude, I’m jealous.

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