Ryan Adams (via kaityballgame)
That Ryan Adams limited edition box set that was supposed to go on sale Friday (and subsequently crashed the entire Kung Fu Store nation for the entire day, and enraged—enraged!—Ryan Adams facebook fans) is officially going on sale today at 4:00 PM. For $130 you get 15 records that span his European acoustic tour, along with a digital download card and SuperFan Status and I guess a great job that allows you to buy something online during a workday.
And yeah, if I had more money and/or didn’t have to immediately buy things like more plaid shirts from J. Crew over the weekend, I would consider spending the money. Ryan has been my favorite for years now. I’ve seen him four times. I want the box set. But I don’t need it.
While you wait for the torrent of this album to go up later in the week (real talk!), why not take advantage of the hundreds of live shows already available at archive.org?
They have RA shows going all the way back to Gillian Welch/David Rawlins collaborations in 1999, solo stuff in the early aughts, and, I think, every Cardinals show. 99% of these are available for streaming and for free download in a variety of formats (FLAC, mp3, VBR).
Some of my favorites:
- Norfolk, VA in 2005. As much as I love Neal Casal, JP Bowersock absolutely shredded on lead guitar. “Rosebud” at this show could chop down mountains.
- Morgantown, WV in 2007. This tour turned into a stripped-down acoustic arrangement after Ryan broke his arm, but the music didn’t suffer at all. They end up doing a lot of songs they normally don’t on electric—“Starlite Diner,” “Blossom,” “Carolina Rain”—and the banter after “Tears of Gold” is world-class.
- Charlottesville, VA in 2007. My first show, so it’s a sentimental favorite, but good lord is it one hell of a setlist. After the technical issues, “My Winding Wheel” is fantastic, there’s extended jams on “Magnolia Mountain” and “I Taught Myself How to Grow Old,” and “I See Monsters” will rip your face off.
- Nashville, TN in 2009. This is probably the best quality I’ve heard from a soundboard recording—the guitars are loud and crunchin’ and trios like “Come Pick Me Up,” “Cobwebs,” and “Two,” (and on the second disc, “Shakedown,” “A Kiss Before I Go,” and “Magick”) give me the goosiest of goosebumps.
- Atlanta, GA in 2009. I drove 6 hours to Atlanta because I knew this would be special, and goddamn it, it was—it’s The Cardinals’ last show. Fun banter, an Evening Joke with Jon Graboff, and the last stretch of the show, which was a complete Greatest Hits Sing-Along. Dat crowd reaction when Ryan sings “The sweetest winds blow across the South.”
So. That is way too many words about Ryan Adams on a Monday morning. Just consider this a public service announcement. I don’t need to go into Black Friday mode to get that box set today. Nor do you.
Ryan Adams - Red Lights (Rock N Roll B-Side)
This song is badass.