Category Archives: Ramble On

U2 Vs. Thom Yorke: The Surprise Album Shakedown

U2 vs. Thom Yorke: The Surprise Album Shakedown

The last month has brought two high-profile surprise albums in U2’s Songs of Innocence and Radiohead frontman Thom Yorke’s second solo album, Tomorrow’s Modern Boxes. As we all know, there can only be one surprise album champion, so I thought I would go through five rounds of criteria (announcement, distribution, price, reach, and ultimately, the music) to decide who won the September Surprise Shakedown. Two men enter the ring, only one can leave. Round #1: Announcement U2: The Irish lads

Lamenting a Fallen Artist and Other Thoughts on Robert Randolph: Part 2

rob randolph

Editor’s Note:  Check out Part 1 of Austin’s piece here Between 2004 and 2010 I got to see Robert Randolph gain a lot of notoriety and success.  I got to see him steal the show on the Grammy’s.  Unclassified (2003) and Colorblind (2006) were really solid records for an artist known mostly for his live performances.  But, slowly, starting in maybe 2007 or so, I was subjected to seeing Randolph lose a little bit of flavor just about every time.  I

Lamenting a Fallen Artist and Other Thoughts on Robert Randolph: Part 1

Robert Randolph

Nope, Robert Randolph isn’t dead.  He also didn’t retire or do some horrible thing essentially ending his career.  It’s just been a really long time since Randolph did anything to catch my attention, and believe me, I would really like Robert Randolph to catch my attention again.  So, why am I writing about him right now, you ask?  Randolph has been brought to my consciousness twice in the past several weeks pretty randomly. First, Wes wrote his Public Service announcement

Public Service Announcement: Ticket Scalpers, You Are the Worst Kind of Human Being

ticket scalpers

We have all been there. Your favorite band is coming into town, and tickets go on sale at 9:00 AM on Friday morning. You are at your computer at 8:45 AM, just for good measure. Ticketmaster.com is most likely, and most unfortunately, the place of purchase. At 8:55 AM you begin to refresh the webpage, just to make sure the ticket status has not been changed a few minutes early. At 8:56, you refresh again. 8:57, refresh, nothing. 8:58, refresh,

Public Service Announcement: Your Heckles Aren’t That Clever

Statler and Waldorf

We started a new series of public service announcements last week for do’s and don’ts in concert-going, and we opened up with our biggest concert-going sin: the crowd surf. To continue in my curmudgeonly ways, I want to denounce the artist heckle today. Yes, I realize I’m speaking to a largely inebriated group of people here, but more and more, I’m finding people say dumber and dumber stuff at shows. I’ve even seen heckling create sort of a strange and

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