Tag Archives: Tom Petty and the Heartbreakers

ALBUMS OF WEEKS 23 & 24: ECHO / DE-LOUSED IN THE COMATORIUM

It was obvious the soundtrack of the week I was travelling to Dublin to attend Tom Petty & The Heartbreakers’ show, was to be focused on his discography, right? Truth is that I didn’t chose Full Moon Fever or Into the Great Wide Open, and got hooked to my favorite, and the forgotten one: Echo.

You know how this goes, these artists who put so much of their life experiences into their albums, many times through their music, they develop a kind of relief therapy, and once overcome, they’d wish it had never seen the public light.

Echo is my favorite album of Petty’s. For many years I thought it was The Last DJ, but not so long time ago I came to the conclusion it was its predecessor I liked the most.

Echo core of songs were written when Petty was going through his divorce, apparently quite dramatic, and in general the tone is quite low, and some songs imply some kind of painful stuff. Think of Won’t Last Long, Echo or Lonesome Sundown, for instance.

There’s an anthem for me, a song which gives me goose bumps, from its earliest chords and the harps, to the lyrics, the sort of lethargic way Petty sings, and the powerful chorus, is no doubt, Swingin’. The story of a girl, getting away from her private Hell, who prefers to endure pain and suffering, and rough times, rather than stick to her old life. Like I read once somewhere, it’s an ode to the fighters of the world, quite inspiring I have to say, and the song, damn! It’s a blast!

It’s a pity Mr Petty decided not to perform  any of these wonderful 15 songs live on stage anymore, because they’re awesome, but as fans we are, guess we have to respect his will. A couple of years ago I learned to separate certain albums and songs from personal experiences and feelings, mostly related to someone I used to love, otherwise I wouldn’t be able to listen to much music I adore, but in the case of Petty, if you are involved in the writing and the developing of those songs, it must be tough to isolate those memories, I guess.

Still, it was not necessary for Petty to recover songs from Echo to make us enjoy one of the best times in our lives, so… this is forgiven, cowboy!

After the past weeks At The Drive-In overdose, and because The Mars Volta were about to perform at Azkena Rock Festival, I felt the need to dive into their stuff once and for all. What I had previously listened was ok, but don’t ask me what it was, because it wasn’t under my will nor command, but other’s, thus it happened as it was the usual way to happen, I had listened to perhaps 2 or even 3 albums of this band, but didn’t have a clue of which ones.

I had asked for a starting point reference to somebody very into their stuff, and he had advised me to start with De-Loused in the Comatorium, Octahedron and Frances the Mute. My mistake was to start with Amputechture as I had heard lots of it and the cover of the album was, or better said, is, inexplicably attractive to me. Sorry to say, this first approach was too Martian (ha! Sometimes I amuse myself with such witty remarks), so I followed the initial advice and went straight to De-Loused.

Again, I was standing in front of something devastating and overwhelming, not easy to assume at the very first listening. Too much sound excess, chaos, rhythms, changes, passages, epic moments, styles… For me, the concept of The Mars Volta is like The Tower of Babel, after suffering God’s rage, sowing the confusion of languages, this is, giving birth to cultural and multilingual chaos.

How can you define a band like this, which plays with jazz, rock, progressive, latin sounds, hardcore…? It’s simply impossible. The brains of the band, Omar Rodriguez-Lopez, and Cedric Bixler-Zavala, had already left a print in the history of contemporary music with At The Drive-In, but this time the guys from El Paso, wanted to turn the screw even further, developing a conceptual album based on the tale of Cerpin Taxt, also referring to a acquainted local artist, Julio Venegas, who had passed away after  OD’n on morphine and rat poison (!!!). No need to say there’ve been many more turns of the screw I’m right now trying to experiment and assimilate. I don’t mention the word comprehend, because I think it will take me long time.

Having realized that I had already heard this album, I have to admit De-Loused in the Comatorium is one of the most shocking experiences I’ve lived later together with Spiderland. It’s fascinated me in a way close to the moment I discovered Tool’s Aenima in 1996, with Toi more experienced both in musical and life terms, yet sharing that open mouth gesture in amusement. I love such state of shock when it’s positive and enjoyable, and yes, after all, I reckon this album is a blast. I finally spent listening to it nonstop last week, getting acquainted to the strange sounds I was to listen from now onwards, as I’ve decided I will go on with my investigation on The Mars Volta.

While listening to the album I was wondering which is the song I like most, and I can’t tell, because all of them, are so extent and contain so many different parts, the more I listen, the more I enjoy different fragments of this crazy acid trip.

Let’s try with Drunkship of Lanterns

If you’ve dared to see the video I’ve posted I hope you don’t feel like killing me. Can you imagine the hours these guys have to rehearse for THAT? As an anecdote, 5-6 years ago I heard of a drummer who quit the band because the two afro Volta boys thought 8-hours rehearsal a day weren’t enough. Can you dig the level we’re talking about? These are the real 24/7 workaholic musicians we’ve ever been wondering of their existence. In-fuckin’-sane!

TOM PETTY, MISSION ACCOMPLISHED

When Tom  Petty & The Heartbreakers announced European tour dates ignoring Spain due to lack of interest from promoters I got so disappointed I didn’t consider the option of visiting him overseas. I love Petty but it’d be untrue to define myself as a diehard fan.

There are certain obligations or at least a list of things not to be missed by all means, for a rock lover. I’ve always said that attending a Kiss live performance should be compulsory, and better if you’re a teen. I really mean it.

Well, same happens with Tom Petty. If you get the chance, you must see him regardless. It’s like paying your respects to one of the Godfathers of rock.

I didn’t realize about it until I helped my best friend to purchase tickets for the show in Dublin, the first one. In the afternoon of that very same day, I was with Artie and Mayra when they insisted on me joining them in their trip. Thus at that point eventually I understood they wanted the best for me and accepted the proposal, despite my financial situation. This was one of those Do or Die situations, once in a lifetime.

As we didn’t know the city, Dublin seemed like a good destination, a very easy city, with pubs every two meters. We arrived in town the day before, so we could start getting acquainted with the birthplace of remarkable celebrities such as Imelda MayJonathan Swift and Oscar Wilde among others. I thought Rory Gallagher was born in Dublin, but a reader corrected me, he was raised in Cork (my mistake!).

Weather was rough on Thursday, typical horrible shitty Irish weather, raining nonstop, but we didn’t really care, Petty was already in town and we were basically focused on the upcoming evening.

It was 7pm when we got into the venue, the stunning O2. Tickets had eventually been sold out, and although there were still 30 minutes remaining for Jonathan Wilson’s performance, there was a great deal of audience already congregated.

The supporting act started on time. Wilson’s performance was neat and atmospheric, and he and his band sounded amazing. I was delighted when he started with the beautiful Desert Raven. He went on playing remarkable songs from his album The Gentle Spirit. The audience was quite attentive to his set, and seemed that everybody was quite pleased. The double voice melodies and guitar lines were outstanding. A very nice appetizer.

The standing zone got packed after a while, although we could easily move and track friends among the crowd. Once settled, we were ready to welcome Mr. Tom Petty and The Heartbreakers, who started playing Listen to her Heart to go on blowing out minds with You Wreck Me, I Won’t Back Down and Here Comes my Girl.

I’m not very good at remembering song and album titles, especially since I’ve had limitless access to so much music. Those days when you used to learn all lyrics and album details by heart are long gone. I still keep back lyrics but I’m awful with the rest. Don’t tell me about producers nor band members, I’ll disappoint you immediately.  Why am I telling you this? Because Mr. Petty had the kind gesture of introducing most of the songs in the set list, providing a brief feedback or background. It was really helpful for all who were writing down the songs. I had this guy from Madrid by my side with a small pocket book, in the same situation as I was, so we were assisting each other when necessary, sort of journalist brotherhood, hahaha!

So many tours ignoring, or better said, leaving Spain behind, are obliging diehard fans to move overseas to enjoy the shows. It’s a sacrifice and a huge expense, worth investing most of times. I could see many familiar faces around and Spanish language presence was remarkable. I don’t think the band had realized about it before, because when Tom related the meeting with a fan coming from Spain the night before, the venue almost fell down due to the noise, shouts and soccer style chants coming from all the Spanish crowd. I’m not fond of such cattle displays, but this time, and considering the disappointment suffered by the absence of Spanish dates in the tour, I felt glad and even proud of all of us letting Petty know we love him.

Free Fallin’, It’s Good to Be a King, Learning to Fly, Runnin’ Down a Dream…imagine hit after hit, it was the closest idea I’ve got of being in Heaven. It was wonderful, the band sounded perfect, and the work of Mike Campbell and Scott Thurston was brilliant and essential for the final result.

It was at the time of the encore, with Mary Jane’s Last Dance, and once we had left the first rows dehydrated in search of a pint of beer, when my strength collapsed and I started crying like a child, hugging my friends and thanking them for being there by my side sharing such an awesome experience. gotta admit crying of happiness and excitement in a show is something I feel glad for, cause among several circumstances of each time, it also means I’m alive and happy for real, and it’s mostly music the only thing which makes me achieve such state.

Despite the length of the show, not reaching the 2 hours, and many hits among such an extended discography missing, the experience was worth living, and the concert was awesome, leaving us with a blissful sweet taste in our mouths and all of us wishing we had tickets for the show in Cork the following day. Never enough of Petty.

I only wish what he said at the end of the show is true, and we can see him soon again.

Let’s not make it 20 years next time

This is what we enjoyed the other night:

SET LIST
Listen to Her Heart
You Wreck Me
I Won’t Back Down
Here Comes My Girl
Handle with Care
Good Enough
Oh Well
Something Big
King’s Highway
Free Fallin’
It’s Good To Be King
Something Good Coming
Learning to Fly
Yer So Bad
I Shoulda Known It
Refugee
Runnin’ Down A Dream

ENCORE:
Mary Jane
American Girl

And here is the set of the most decent pictures I could take. Hope you like them.

SUNDAYS SUCK, MONDAYS SUCK EVEN MORE

After enjoying an amazing and one of the funniest weekends, mainly thanks to my soul sista Agnès, staying with me since Thursday night, it was time for going downhill. Considering the past state close to euphoria, I guess it’s not so weird.

It’s not that we’ve partied as hard as other times, but activities have been great, both deep and superficial endless chats very nice, and companion couldn’t be better. My belly is very stiff for so much laughing.

Sundays aren’t as bad as Mondays for obvious reasons, yet they’re quite depressing, especially when you’ve been enjoying such great moments the days before, and it like “shit, tomorrow I gotta work”, no matter that at the end of the day, weekly routines are essential for keeping the right track, or at least they help me being focused.

In order to face these low times, yet not being in the mood for doing much or going out either, the two antidepressant devices at hand were music and movies.

First thing in the morning right after preparing coffee was playing something. I’ve realized, vinyls are the best option when you don’t really have to do anything else, so you stay concentrated on what you listen and in changing sides of the albums.

This was my choice for the day, not super kicking ass nor depressing either, but to cheer myself up:

–          SO ALONE – JOHNNY THUNDERS: I really like this guy. He was a total waste of guy, yet a genius. This punk junkie was able to transmit love or a heartbroken state with such rage and harshness, I used to call him the tender junkie. This album contains such hits, starting from Can’t Put Your Arms Around A Memory, I think I’ll write a post just to talk about Thunders, So Alone, LAMF, and everything this guy did for music. 

–          THE 59’ SOUND – THE GASLIGHT ANTHEM: at this point I’ve talked enough about this album and this band, if you don’t feel like giving them an opportunity, in case you’re a music lover, at some point you’ll regret not having followed my advice. They’ll be here in two months…it’s up to you. 

–          DAMN THE TORPEDOES – TOM PETTY & THE HEARTBREAKERS: I must admit I’m not an expert on this guy, but this is not any obstacle for loving him. I really do, and sooner rather than later will dive into his discography more intensely. Here comes my girl or Louisiana Rain sound heavenly to me. 

–          NOT FAKIN’ IT – MICHAEL MONROE – no doubt this is his best solo album, and it’s a punch in your face. A friend gave me the CD for my birthday many years ago and I had an instant crash on it. Monroe is rock n’ roll to the max, energy, rage and power, if you listen to this and are not able to cheer up, you don’t deserve being alive. I’m counting the days to see him again in Barcelona and Madrid, I know for sure, the blond crazy Finnish, is gonna leave everyone wide open-mouthed. 

–          LIVE IN JAPAN – THE RUNAWAYS: these girls rocked. Remember I told you about their first album? Ok, this live album is a compilation of their first albums, released due to their major success in Japan, so you can imagine, hit after hit after motherfuckin’ hit. 

In the afternoon, I was meant to meet people, but was completely wasted, so decided to watch movies. I’ve been lent few, so I started with Shyamalan’s The Village, after some friends insisted I had to give it another chance.

When reviewing movies for Popcorn and Movies, I already expressed that I don’t like his movies, and now I reckon I haven’t changed my mind. Probably Unbreakable it’s the only one I’d say is bearable. The Village was boring and predictable.

Feeling that I wasn’t in the mood for drama, my choice changed completely and went straight forward the classics: Back to the Future!!! Cannot describe the amazing pleasure of seeing Calvin Marty Klein sweating by the harassment suffered by his own mother once again…I love these movies you can see on your own and enjoy them, laughing out loud. Doesn’t matter you’ve seen it thousands of times, you always discover details and things you had missed before. Personal favorite: the chasing scene with the skateboard. Simply love it!

Foxy Brown was to close the session. Pam Grier at her most is something worth seeing. She’s just too much, sexy and aggressive, with so many outfits and hairdo’s. Blaxploitation is so much fun…music, hilarious dialogues, explicit content, and always about pimps, drugs, prostitution…Ace!!!

And now it’s Monday afternoon. I was meant to post this yesterday but passed away on my couch…shit! Today my neck is in pain.

What seemed to be a horrible day, has ended up being half shit. Not much work at the office, plus half of the country is on holidays…we’ve been sent home earlier. That’s great news but it’s raining…  😦

Let’s see how the rest of the week goes…wish you a good one, by the way.