Leslie's Bookcase

celebrating and recommending unforgettable books

Category: Music

“Gone Country” and “Drive” with Alan Jackson

I embraced the opportunity to see Alan Jackson in concert. This may seem random considering the last few concerts I blogged about were: The Killers, Tom Petty, and Green Day.

But it wasn’t random. I have loved Alan Jackson since the late 90s when I moved to Dallas and thought “Gone Country” might be my theme song. It wasn’t; I was never  that “country” and have never owned a pair of cowboy boots. But that didn’t keep me from listening to the album “Everything I Love” over and over. The songs on this album still make me think of my time in Dallas.

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After seeing The Killers at Lollapalooza!

In 2005, I listened to “Mr. Brightside” from the Hot Fuss  album all the way to my sister’s law school graduation, about a 3 hour drive! This was the beginning of my – maybe obsessive – relationship with The Killers.

But my (perceived) personal relationship with them began when I happened across the recording of their live performance, The Killers: Live from Royal Albert Hall, on Palladia. This, to me, is the best concert ever, featuring many songs from Sam’s Town. We had it on DVR at the time and I watched it so many times I developed a close relationship with all these songs and with Brandon Flowers. He is so dynamic and beautiful to watch, and the songs are magical to me.

“The stars are blazing like rebel diamonds cut out of the sun
When you read my mind” – from “Read My Mind”

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What’s your favorite Tom Petty song?

Author’s Note: I originally wrote this post before seeing the band on their 40th Anniversary tour last May. I will forever be grateful I saw him and the band in person; however, I truly believe that a relationship between a fan and music is not fostered in a huge arena, but through a jukebox, or through a speaker in a house, in a car, or on a walk. At least that is how it was for me.  Rest peacefully, Tom Petty, and thank you. – October 3, 2017

What’s your favorite Tom Petty song?

Ask this question to 10 different people and you are likely to get 10 different answers.

It’s a difficult question for many people to answer. But not me. I have my absolute favorite, and of course, several runner-ups. I’m sharing some thoughts and memories of these particular songs below.

Other people’s answers sometimes surprise me, and I at first think, Hmmm I wouldn’t put that one in my top Petty songs, but then when I listen to it again, I hear more of what they hear in it. I’m also sharing some of these below.

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On seeing Green Day 20+ years after I fell in love with Dookie

Green Day’s Billie Joe Armstrong, who doesn’t look or act any older since releasing Dookie in 1994, expected a lot from his audience the other night. He demanded early on:

“Stand up! This isn’t a tea party; this is rock and roll!”

The entire audience agreed; everyone to the very top row was standing up for the entire concert.

Also he chastised a fan for taking a video, “When you are looking at me through your phone, you are not seeing me,” he said. So…I don’t have any videos or photos to show you because I was embracing the experience and giving them my full attention for the two and a half hours they rocked the State Farm Center!

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Born to Run – Part I

I’m reading the new Bruce Springsteen memoir Born to Run slowly, savoring it.

A third of the way through, I’m to the point where he has released his first album Greetings From Asbury Park, N.J.

A tidbit of what he says about his Asbury Park album:

…the lyrics and spirit of Greetings come from an unself-consicous place. Your early songs emerge from a moment when you’re writing with no sure prospect of ever being heard. Up until then, it’s been just you and your music. This only happens once.

I listened to the album again and heard it differently than before – an awesome experience with this new insight.

So far I’ve learned about his childhood, his relationship with his parents and grandparents, his inspirations,  and the source of some of his songs, for example “The River” is a tribute to his sister and brother-in-law.

I’ve learned how hard he truly worked for his first opportunities. Natural talent – yes he had that – but he worked his a$$ off to get better. He was so focused and he didn’t even have a drink of alcohol until after he recorded his first album (the funny story of his drinking Tequila for the first time is what I just read about!).

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My Pearl Jam play list

This post is about poetry set to music, specifically that of Pearl Jam.

Earlier this year my husband said “I’m afraid I’ll regret it for the rest of my life if I don’t see them live.” A strong statement! So…even though I wasn’t – at that point – as dramatic about attending this particular concert, I started planning for a possible trip and started listening to the SiriusXM Pearl Jam station almost exclusively.

I soon fell back under their spell and realized I did want to see the concert as much as him. I even started noting my ideal playlist.

As it turns out, we won’t be at this concert. And that sucks. But it’s also OK because that’s just the result of being adults and parents with various priorities and responsibilities.

So in honor of the concert that I won’t be attending, here are the songs I’d love to hear live someday:

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Ode to vinyl records – also in my bookcases

I want to address the “other” shelves of my bookcases…the taller and deeper shelves I had custom made for my vinyl record collection.

Why do I keep vinyl records when most of the world has moved through cassette tapes, CDs, and now to digital downloads?

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