Bag Of Songs Top 25 Albums of 2008 : 16 to 20

January 1, 2009 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Happy New Year’s 2009 everyone, five more of the Bag Of Songs Top 25 albums of 2008 for you.
Again, feel free to chime in with comments along the way,let me know your picks, what you think I missed, etc.

20 Bon Iver – For Emma, Forever Ago [BUY]
I’m sure by now you ‘ve all heard the story of how Justin Vernon holed up for three months alone in a cabin in the woods of northern Wisconsin in the winter to make this record. If you’ve listened to it you know how he managed to translate the heartbreak of a breakup combined with all of that isolation into a set of stunning, powerful,intimate songs. It’s worthy of all the raves you’ve been hearing. What’s even more amazing is that his live show is even better than the record.

Bon Iver – Skinny Love

19 MGMT – Oracular Spectacular [BUY]
Giving keyboard based electronic pop their own twist, this is one of those albums where your favorite songs change as you listen to it more. Filled with some of the years best singles in Time To Pretend,Kids and Electric Feel, just about every song is a winner.

 MGMT – Time To Pretend

18 The Major Labels – Aquavia [BUY]
Sort of a supergroup of sorts, The Major LabelsMike Viola, Bleu, and Ducky Carlisle rolled all their influences into what is arguably the best pure power pop record of the year,jangly, fun, and filled with irresistable sugary hooks. They also put on one of the best live shows I saw this past year.

 The Major Labels – Don’t Hear A Single

17 The Rosewood Thieves – Rise And Shine [BUY]
Steeped deep in songs influenced by the likes The Beatles and T Rex, The Rosewood Thieves put out one of the most overlooked records of the year in Rise And Shine.

 The Rosewood Thieves – She Don’t Mind The Rain

16 James Hunter – The Hard Way [BUY]
Another strong contender bringing old school style R&B and soul into the present, where Eli Reed mines the Southern sound of artists like Otis ReddingJames Hunter is more akin to people like Sam Cooke and Ray Charles, and even spent some time in the past in Van Morrison‘s backing band.

 James Hunter -Jacqueline

Number 21 to 25

HOT Summer Tour : James Hunter and Chris Isaak

July 10, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

Photo by Chris Ramirez

A few weeks ago I caught James Hunter as he tore through an absolutely smoldering set of his horn infused soul music at World Cafe Live in Philadelphia (listen here). With a sound reminiscient of people like Sam Cooke, Ray Charles and Jackie Wilson, his live show is a party not to be missed as James pours 110% into every performance. His latest disc, The Hard Way is easily among the best of 2008 so far. As if that wasn’t good enough, James is teaming up with Chris Isaak, an amazing showman himself, in what is sure to be one of the hottest double bills of the summer. Check it out when it heads your way, and don’t forget to bring your dancing shoes because this one will be impossible to not get up and shake your thing to.

James Hunter – Jacqueline
Buy The Hard Way

Chris Isaak – Baby Did A Bad Bad Thing
Buy Forever Blue

James Hunter/Chris Isaak Summer Tour (All dates with Chris Isaak unless otherwise noted):
August 7 Denver, CO Botanic Gardens
August 8 Boulder, CO Chautaugua Auditorium
August 9 Morrison, CO Red Rocks Amphitheatre (w/ George Thorogood and Buddy Guy)
August 10 San Jose, CA San Jose Jazz Festival (Headlining)
August 13 Minneapolis, MN Zoo Amphitheater
August 15 Chicago, IL Venue TBA (Headlining)
August 16 Lisle, IL Morton Arboretum
August 17 Rochester, MI Meadow Brook Music Festival
August 20 New York, NY Nokia Theater
August 21 Vienna, VA Wolftrap
August 23 Burlington, VT The Higher Ground (Headlining)
August 24 Bridgeport, CT The Klein Memorial Auditorium
August 26 Hampton Beach, NH Hampton Beach Casino
August 28 Cohasset, MA South Shore Music Circus
August 29 Westbury, NY Westbury Music Theater
August 30 Woodstock, NY Bearsville Theater (Headlining)


While You Were All Here, I Was Walking In Memphis

January 26, 2008 by · 1 Comment
Filed under: Uncategorized 

So after nearly a week of no posts you’re probably wondering what’s up at Bag Of Songs, I no internet access to update during the week so I’ll kind of summarize with some photos and a little accompanying mini mix for you today. The beginning of the week started off having to get upo at 4:00 AM in lovely freezing 10 degree weather to board a 7:00 AM flight to Memphis for a work trip. Arrived right on time and spent the morning seeing a bit of Memphis and then checked into my hotel to await the arrival of my coworkers who were all on later flights. As the hours passed and no one arrived it became pretty obvious that their flights into Memphis didn’t go nearly as smoothly as mine, taking anywhere from 7 to 12 hours for a 2 and half hour trip. The next morning brought another extra special treat, a fire alarm going off in our hotel at 7:00 AM. Everyone had to climb down the stairs and evacuate the building until the firemen arrived and the all clear was given to re-enter. Thankfully there was no big fire, just a smoke alarm going off for some reason or other. Wednesday night was my birthday and a group of my friends joined me for a night out on the town on Beale Street, Memphis equivalent of Bourbon Street in New Orleans, where a great time was had by all. Thursday night was the trip home arriving in Philadelphia just in time to head over to the North Star Bar and catch a set by the always amazing Jealous Girlfriends. Finally, after that it was arrival home.

The White Stripes – In The Cold Cold Night
Buy Elephant
Brian Eno – Here Come The Warm Jets
Buy Here Come The Warm Jets
Marc Cohn – Walking In Memphis
Buy Marc Cohn
Elvis Presley – Heartbreak Hotel
Buy 30 #1 Hits
Dr. Dog – Worst Trip
Buy We All Belong
James Hunter – No Smoke Without Fire
Buy People Gonna Talk
The Thirteenth Floor Elevators – Fire Engine
Buy I Have Always Been Here Before
Altered Images – Happy Birthday
Buy Happy Birthday
Big Star – Thank You Friends
Buy Third/Sister Lovers
Jealous Girlfriends – How Now
More Jealous Girlfriends
Eric Lichter – Home
Buy Chorduroy

Jealous Girlfirends photo by Carly Marcoux