This is going to be a big year. I'm not talking about the battle of the egos found with our Democrat and Republican candidates, either. I'm talking about the number of new studio efforts that have come out or are near unveiling for 2008. Everyone from Jack Johnson, Black Crowes, My Morning Jacket, to Radio Head has or will have new work to tour. Not to mention the Athens locals of Widespread Panic, REM, and the B-52s!
As a music fan, a guy that grew up on recording the Casey Kasem's America Top 40 every Sunday, so he would not miss the countdown while being dragged to church; I've always looked forward to my hero's of music next piece of work. As the talk of Iraq, Recession, Illegal Immigration, who has the right moral values and what it means to be American dominate the American scene, this body of new work will relieve me...no, save me and offer sanity in 2008.
Who do I want to see in person, live on stage representing a piece of this inner sanctum? As a new dad, my festival experience will be cut out, so this question rings out particularly loud, "WHO ARE YOU DYING TO SEE IN 2008?"
I could just rattle them all off, but that would be laboriously boring for anyone that took time to read. I should discriminate and name just one, single solitary act. It will have to be an act that I've seen before, a band that I know can deliver. It has to be someone with a new body of studio work coming out. No live albums or soundtrack stuff would qualify. Maybe I could name two bands? After all, most shows have an opener.
This is difficult, but I'm going to have to say I'm dyin' to see The Black Crowes live, outdoors, but opening for My Morning Jacket. Maybe vice-versa? What cares, as long as they guest each other's set. What? Is this too strange of a combination? Just imagine how the two could mesh, explore themselves before your very eyes!
The thought of Chris and Jim belting out heavy lyrics over the battlings of Carl and Luther under a clear summer night sky, cold whisky in my hand, sounds really right- what anyone should die to see. The crowd would be really friendly, totally into the music. Not a soul would sit for a minute and the encore would be never ending as the electric jams and guttural vocals beckoned us all to forget the news, the headlines, and the probable disappointment.
My witnessing this new music, but it coming from old, trusted friends might be the signal; a signal that it might be true about change being in the air.
At least I’d know what the new songs sound like live.