Posts Tagged ‘ ryan adams ’

new york, new york

i grew up listening to my dad tell the story of where he was when jfk was shot.  he was in his high school locker room getting ready to go play basketball.  he can remember every detail.  i used to wonder if there would be an event in my lifetime that would shake me the same way jfk’s assassination shook our parents generation.  september 11, 2001 is that event.  i’m not going to bore you with the details of what i was doing when i heard the news or what i did the rest of day.  i will tell you that i remember seeing this video a week or two after the towers fell, and every year on this day i watch it.  it’s an eerie feeling to know it was filmed 4 days before the attacks.  i realize the song is about a breakup, but i like listening to it as a tribute to the most resilient city in the world.  we’ll never forget.  “hell, i still love you, new york.”

ryan adams in wallabees

in the year 2000, ryan adams could do no wrong.  i had just discovered whiskeytown before he released heartbreaker in september of that year.  it was a game changer.  at the time, the radio waves were polluted with the britney spears types and boy bands of the world, and i found solace in anything alt-country.  i had always hated country music, but alt-country was…well, alt.  the sub-genre was full of artists and musicians that were influenced by country’s rebellious past, but they refused to play by nashville’s rules.  to me, ryan adams was the high priest of this pseudo-movement.  he was a punk rocker that stumbled upon country when he discovered punk was too hard to sing, and thank God he did.  he inspired a whole generation of twenty year olds to pick up the guitar and write from the heart.  he also influenced the way i wanted to dress at the time.  if you saw him in print or on stage, he was always in jeans, cowboy boots, a plaid shirt, and jean jacket – the dude looked cool.  i could never pull off the canadian tux but damn it if i didn’t want to try.  adams announced an indefinite hiatus from music in 2009 and has been hiding out (not really) in los angeles with wife mandy moore.  occasionally, i’ll see pictures of the two of them on some gossip websites.  i can’t remember which site i found the picture above, but i grabbed it immediately when i saw adams wearing wallabees.  i’ve been planning on doing a post on my history/obsession with wallabees, but seeing adams in his made mentioning them necessary.  i can’t believe it’s been 10 years and i still want to dress like ryan adams (minus the freddy frueger sweater).

buy yours here

required listening

i spent my first 2 years of college collecting widespread panic shows.  cd burning had just reached an all time high and i was trading shows frequently – so much so that it became exhausting.  not to mention i was attending the university of georgia where you couldn’t hide from wsp.  towards the end of my sophomore year, i decided i needed some new music.  i started to look for bands.  i re-discovered wilco and went on an “alt-country” binge.  i found a website totally devoted to alt-country music and anyone that was mentioned on there i checked out.  i noticed a lot of buzz around ryan adams and whiskeytown.  the timing couldn’t have been more perfect.  ryan adams released heartbreaker in september of 2000, but i didn’t jump on board until spring of 2001.  i had avoided heartbreaker because it sounded soft.  i remember previewing it at borders and thinking it was boring.  i bought it anyway just in case someone wanted to call me out as an alt-country poser.  after a horrendous breakup, i went looking for comfort in music.  naturally none of my wsp shows were doing the trick.  on a trip to st. simons island, i gave heartbreaker one more chance and all of a sudden it made sense.  i finally understood “damn, sam (i love a woman that rains)” and “why do they leave” and “call me on your way back home.”  adams had made the perfect breakup soundtrack.  it’s 14 songs of mood music that you won’t understand if you’ve never been heartbroken.  “come pick me up” is one the saddest, sexiest songs about dating and love ever written.  it opened a whole new world for me.  i began to write songs on the guitar about actual feelings.  i believe countless others did too.  there’s a lot of good music out there today that wouldn’t exist without heartbreaker.

the argument: the jean jacket

i started working on this post last week and since then i’ve seen jean jackets mentioned on gq and valet.  my inspiration for the post was a direct result of the photo above – which i believe is being used as a promo shot for brandon flowers’ new solo album.  it’s hard not to notice the jacket before you realize who’s in the photo.  it’s an alexander mcqueen jacket that flowers bought five years ago.  he said he wears it 90% of his days.  i believe it.  it looks worn in all the right places.

all canadian tux jokes aside, do jean jackets ever go out of style?  i remember seeing ryan adams wear one (pic after jump) when i was in college and then trying to find something like it online.  i never pulled the trigger because i knew i would catch hell from my friends.  i guess my point being: buy one now, wear it, hide it, and pull it back out when it’s relevant again in 10 years.

Continue reading