My reflections on over 1,000 concerts attended: My First Concert Ended in an Arrest and Riot

If I were to question my parents and my upbringing. The questions might start with a playful trip we took up to Milwaukee, Wisconsin in 1972. Sure there was no Wiggles or Raffi back then. We had Bozo and Ray Rayner but they didn’t tour.

Cornett family, Kentucky, 1972. Family in car, baby looking back ...

A child much cuter than I. Cornett family 1972 from

Usually in conversation, when asked about my first concert this is not the one I mention.  I usually turn to the first one I was able to attend as my passion for music started to boil over in my teen years.  Truly though this was my first concert and it was 1972 and my parents loaded up the station wagon.  We were off to the magical land of Wisconsin.  It was Summerfest and it was 1972.  The headliner this night would be the extremely inappropriate stylings of Comedian George Carlin.

Please know that these recordings are NSFW (Not Safe for Work). They may not even be safe for home-NSFH.  In fact you may click play below and a SWAT team may storm through your front door and may handcuff you and drag you into the back of their police car.   Be sure to duck your head when entering the back of the police car. 

This was truly my first concert.  George Carlin had dropped what are deemed inappropriate words throughout the set that night.  But for a big finish he decided to unveil his new “Seven Dirty Words” skit which caused the police to come out and arrest him on stage and the crowd exploding into a riot. To my parents benefit my dad was a strong man and we made it out of the stadium without being killed.

I am still addicted to live events 40 years later.

Hey the 70’s were a heavy time. George was really a lovely man. You can listen to these sets and even with the language which can offend, the underlying message is of love and peace and questioning what was wrong then and still now.  He was trying to help people from becoming sheep-le.  A new website with his work has been set up at

Maybe they were helping me by exposing me to these words and showing me that by saying them I would be arrested like that man on stage. This saved me a lot of ass beatings. Some how even in my tween years I still managed to get myself a good mouth-washing with a bar of soap.  I guess somethings you just have to learn yourself. As much as this is questionable parenting, I must take it all in the mix that has made me the man I am today. Sometimes people even say I am funny.  “Thanks Mom & Dad”

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Is This The Best Tour of 2015?

Don’t you love headlines that end with a question mark?

Scotland’s  The Twilight Sad are touring America with Brooklyn’s Port St. Willow and it could be the tour of the year.

Apparently even old people like me enjoy their live show as demonstrated in this video for “Dead City.” Although I am sure the audience is thinking the same thing that I am, Pull Up Those Trousers Young Man!

The latest album from The Twilight Sad is Nobody Wants To Be Here and Nobody Wants To Leave.

“I also love how they are selling bundles on their website.  I THINK THIS IS THE FUTURE.  If artists want us to buy their record then bundle it with a live concert ticket, maybe a T-shirt, or other band item.  Include a download code and extra tracks. BRILLIANT!!” said Spool Going Round.

VINYL BUNDLE – Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave (VINYL ALBUM, SHOW TICKET + 2 FREE TRACKS)

Vinyl album, a show ticket and two free Oran Mor track downloads

VINYL BUNDLE - Nobody Wants To Be Here And Nobody Wants To Leave (VINYL ALBUM,  SHOW TICKET +  2 FREE TRACKS)

From the new album “It Was Never The Same.” (Live Acoustic)

I remember reading a British magazine that asked Brian Eno what he was listening to. He mentioned how beautiful the music of Port St. Willow is and I had to put down the magazine and go to my laptop to check them out. Of course, he is right.

Catch this exciting double bill it may be one of the best tours of 2015.

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Make Listening to Other Lives part of your daily Rituals

The only bad news about the new release from Other Lives is that it isn’t out until May 5th. The good news is what a wonderful piece of work it is. Rituals is an exciting listen with lots of layers that will keep you interested until you make up your Top albums of 2015 lists.  It has that Radiohead-like adventuresome nature with Fleet Foxes-like harmony and song-writing.

And you can hear the track “Reconfiguration” now…

Incentives to pre-order early:

  • First 400 physical pre-orders receive a set of 3 limited edition postcard lithographs
  • All pre-orders receive an early download of the album the Friday before release (May 1st)
  • All pre-orders receive an instant download of “Reconfiguration” + “2 Pyramids” prior to release


Rituals Tracklisting
01. Fair Weather
02. Pattern
03. Reconfiguration
04. Easy Way Out
05. Beat Primal
06. New Fog
07. 2 Pyramids
08. Need A Line
09. English Summer
10. Untitled
11. No Trouble
12. For The Last
13. It’s Not Magic
14. Ritual

Other Lives is comprised of Josh Onstott, Jonathon Mooney and Jesse Tabish. Rituals is a pure encapsulation of the band’s relentless drive for precision. The trio relocated to Portland, Oregon from their hometown of Stillwater, Oklahoma to record the album. Tabish says the relocation had a direct influence that can be heard through Rituals.

Photo Credit: Emily Ulmer

 “There was a spirit of change,” Tabish offers. “We had done [2011’s second LP] Tamer Animals, which was very close to us and about our home. So the next record was about the spontaneity of travel and being isolated. For the first times in our lives we were moving off on our own away from our families and kind of coming into our own. I wanted the songs to reflect that new spirit.”

“This one was a real journey,” Tabish says of the 18 months spent writing more than 60 songs for Rituals, a constant creative outlet for the relentless sonic architect amid a rigorous few years of touring their debut album.  “It was a long time spent searching for a new identity,” the soft-spoken singer continues of the writing process, “still trying to retain the past of our musical palate but also really trying to stretch ourselves into a new type of music.” The album was produced by Mooney, Tabish and Joey Waronker (Eels, Atoms for Peace, Beck, etc.).

While Rituals marks a new chapter in Other Lives’ story, it’s also a continuation of a decade-plus passage.  “I feel really lucky to be able to have a band and people around me that have been so supportive and we’ve stuck together all these years and still don’t hate each other,” Tabish says. “All three of us are like brothers. I don’t think that will ever go away. I loved those kids then and I love them now. There’s that mutual feeling. If I want to go have a beer with anyone it would be those two guys. That kind of says something.”

Let’s all have a beer together! You live in Portland now and they have many good breweries.

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Marky Knows Best

Marky Ramone helps take cell phones out of the concert experience.

Be a Punk and make one yourself. Or just Knife ’em.

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The Phantoms are worth looking into

The Phantoms

The Phantoms photo from their facebook page

Based in West Lothian, Scotland, The Phantoms formed in May 2012, quickly winning an army of fans with their huge sound and infectious on-stage energy.

It didn’t take long for Scotland’s most influential DJs to pick up on the buzz around the band with debut EP ‘This Is How It Should Be’ earning widespread airplay.  A UK tour and support slots for Catfish and the Bottlemen and We Were Promised Jetpacks preceeded the release of the anthemic ‘Revolution’ a single that was played by radio stations across the UK, earning praise for its sweeping guitars and driving beat.

Purchase the release This is how it should be by The Phantoms

Image of This Is How It Should Be

Influenced by Kasabian, Royal Blood, Catfish and the Bottlemen and Arctic Monkeys, their new single ‘Wasting Time’ is a perfect example of the sound that has earned The Phantoms the reputation as one of Scotland’s most exciting prospects.

The Phantoms are:
Colin Simpson – Vocals and Rhythm Guitar
Colin McKillop – Lead Guitar
Peter Stewart – Bass Guitar and Backing Vocals
Blair Cullen – Drums

Their influences are all the greatest current rock bands as well as Oasis of yesteryear.  Great rock and roll and still proving my belief that there are no bad bands from Scotland.

Please come see the wide open spaces of North America.





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U2 Remember From Whence They Came

Early U2 from


It is so easy nowadays to think of U2 as the champagne-swilling elitist whom sail yachts in the South of France.  But to live through and remember the 80’s from whence they came is to better understand this bands strength.  The streets of Ireland from which protestants and Catholics waged war on Sunday Bloody Sunday, that is how we need to see U2.

It is wonderful to know that they are now taking time to reflect on the groups evolution. The album “Songs of Innocence” which made Spool Going Round’s Top 10 of 2014 was a platform for the four lads of U2 to look back on their days on Cerdarwood Road.

The video serves a great reminder on this Valentine’s Day of where we will all be without LOVE.

This video by Aoife McArdle through The Creators Project is a STRONG visual with STRONG language but hits you right in the gut.

NSFW video for “Every Breaking Wave”

The Creators Project premieres Irish director Aoife McArdle’s Every Breaking Wave, a short film based on the U2 song of the same name.

Set on the streets of early 1980s Northern Ireland, the film is built around themes of emotional abandon and the uncertainty of romantic relationships.  It follows two teenagers, one Catholic and the other Protestant, who fall in love amidst ongoing violence and the film’s emotional core is centred around ‘Every Breaking Wave’ and ‘The Troubles,’ two tracks from Songs of Innocence.

‘I wanted to make a film about what it was like to be a teenager in the early ’80s in Northern Ireland.’ explains Belfast-born McArdle. ‘All the different pressures on you, the pressures of friendship, of falling in love for the first time, and all that in the face of huge troubles. Violence was inescapable on your doorstep. I remember very vividly what it was like to grow up when there were bombs going off and army everywhere so I did draw on a lot of memories.

‘I hope people see that it’s a story. A story that’s based on real stories. It’s like capturing a time. And I hope people feel inspired by how resilient teenagers at that time were in Northern Ireland, and moved by their ability to live life in as full a way as possible, despite the circumstances.’

The film is already garnering praise and winning fans. Filmmaker Spike Jonze had not seen McArdle’s work previously but ‘was really taken’ with her film.

‘She captured that feeling and size of life of being a teenager and of first love so well. She drifts between the reality of friends and first love into fantasy so effortlessly and romantically. It’s a perfect little gem of a romance movie.’

Hotel Rwanda writer/director Terry George says McArdle has pulled off one of the most difficult tasks facing any filmmaker. ‘She has taken a Romeo and Juliet romance, set in the back streets and alleyways of Belfast, and created a universal story.
‘Aoife has captured the tragedy of our young men and women, so full of life and passion, energy and possibility, being swallowed up by  the destroying rage of poverty, bigotry and repression.’

As for the band, whose song inspired the film, Edge says they find the finished film ‘extraordinary’.

‘The Aoife McArdle short film expands on the theme of Songs of innocence which was largely rooted in our experience growing up in the early eighties in Dublin.
Aoife chose west Belfast in the same period, as it was the neighbourhood that was so formative to her. We think her work is something pretty extraordinary.’


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New Music from Ewert and the Two Dragons

How cool do you have to be to even  have one dragon? Ewart has two, no biggie. Ewert and the Two Dragons.

Ewert and the Two Dragons

Ewert and The Two Dragons


From Estonia, Ewert & The Two Dragons Tour North America:
Feb 24 – Philadelphia, PA @ MilkBoy
Feb 25 – Pittsburgh, PA @ Club Cafe
Feb 27 – Toronto, Ontario CANADA @ The Drake Hotel
Mar 01 – Chicago, IL @ Schubas
Mar 02 – Cleveland, OH @ Beachland Tavern
Mar 03 – Washington DC @ DC9
Mar 04 – Allston, MA @ Great Scott
Mar 06 – New York, NY @ Mercury Lounge
Mar 09 – Seattle, WA @ Sunset Tavern
Mar 10 – Portland, OR @ Mississippi Studios
Mar 12 – San Francisco, CA @ Brick & Mortar Music Hall
Mar 13 – Los Angeles, CA @ Hotel Cafe

Indie band, Ewert and The Two Dragons have premiered the video for their new single “Pictures”via MTV Iggy. Filmed in their native Estonia, the video features the band performing in an abandoned warehouse, perched atop giant modular cube-like lighted sculptures, surrounded by more than 200 lamps – all timed to an intricate sequence. “Pictures” is the first single off of the band’s upcoming album ‘Circles,’ which will be release on February 24 (Sire/Warner Music). The album is available for pre-order now on iTunes and Amazon.

Ewert has also released a behind-the-scenes looks at the making of the “Pictures” video, as well as new track “Million Miles” today on “Million Miles” will be on the band’s upcoming album and is also available for purchase on iTunes.

 In support of their new album, the band will be arriving in North America for a run beginning on the same day as album release (Tuesday, 2/24) thru mid-March.

Ewert and The Two Dragons formed in 2008 and released their debut album, ‘The Hills Behind The Hills’ in 2009. The band’s follow up in 2011, ‘Good Man Down’ became one of the best-selling albums in Estonia and earned them a slew of awards including; Tallinn Music Week / Skype’s “Go Change The World” Award (2011); Estonian Raadio2 Annual Hit of the Year Ceremony’s “Best New Act,” “Station’s Favorite,” and “The Hit of The Year” for their song “Good Man Down” (2011); Estonian National Television’s “Best Video” for “Good Man Down” (2011); Five Estonian Music Awards for “Best Band,” “Best Video,” “Song of the Year,” “Best Rock Album,” and”Album of The Year” (2012); and a European Border Breakers Award (2013).

 On Spool Going Round’s Soundcloud page

Circles track-listing:

1. Million Miles

2. Pictures

3. Speechless

4. Getting Older

5. Gold Digger

6. Circles

7. Could Have Been

8. Waiting For The Weather To Change

9. Stranger

10. Warhorses

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The Rise of The Viet Cong

New band Viet Cong is starting quite a buzz with its retro-sounding future-leaning Post-punk music.

Here is a little bit about the band on JAGJAGUWAR Records and a video for “Silhouettes”

Viet Cong’s highly anticipated self-titled debut album is out this week on Jagjaguwar (and Flemish Eye in Canada) and is receiving critical acclaim across the board for its depth, power and sheer inventiveness.

 The video for the breathtaking second single “Silhouettes” was today premiered by New York Times’ T Magazine who describe the band as having “a shared penchant for charred, factious punk.” The song is the only one with “obviously autobiographical lyrics on the record,” according to lead vocalist Matt Flegel who goes on to explain them, saying “We were playing a show in a venue with really sketchy power, and I was electrocuted badly. I was bleeding out of my ears and couldn’t hear properly for a few days. I was feeling anxious about it, and you can kind of feel that anxiety in the song.”

Starting with a list of classic science fiction reference points, director Brook Linder developed a concept that plays with vintage sci-fi and horror movie-inspired imagery. The glacial pacing and astronaut’s lumbering gait contrasts with the driving momentum of the song, gradually building tension and perfectly complementing the dystopian vision that runs through much of the album. Using beautiful cinematography, practical effects, and VHS-inspired interface design Linder created an unforgettable, richly cinematic video that stands alone as a short film.

Recorded in a barn-turned-studio in rural Ontario, the seven songs that make up Viet Cong were born largely on the road, when Flegel and band mates Mike Wallace, Scott Munro and Daniel Christiansen embarked on a 50-date tour that stretched virtually every limit imaginable. Close quarters hastened their exhaustion but also honed them as a group. With all four members traveling in one car, the mood conflated with the soundtrack, the soundtrack with the cities around them, and so forth.  There was repetition, but it was all different.  This combined with the grey, chilly emptiness of Calgary rendered a record with a viscerally rugged vibe.

To purchase on iTunes

Viet Cong Tracklisting 

01. Newspaper Spoons

02. Pointless Experience

03. March Of Progress

04. Bunker Buster

05. Continental Shelf

06. Silhouettes

07. Death

Upcoming Tour Dates 

03.03.15 – Mississippi Studios – Portland, OR

03.05.15 – Rickshaw Stop – San Francisco, CA

03.06.15 – Echo – Los Angeles, CA

03.07.15 – Soda Bar – San Diego, CA

03.08.15 – Valley Bar – Phoenix, AZ

03.11.15 – Record Bar – Kansas City, MO

03.12.15 – 7th Street Entry – Minneapolis, MN

03.13.15 – Thalia Hall | Levitation Festival – Chicago, IL

03.14.15 – Dionysus Club at Oberlin College – Oberlin, OH

03.24.15 – Larimer Lounge – Denver, CO

03.25.15 – Kilby Court – Salt Lake City, UT

03.26.15 – Treefort Music Fest – Boise, ID

03.27.15 – Barboza – Seattle, WA

03.28.15 – Biltmore Cabaret – Vancouver, BC

03.29.15 – Upstairs Cabaret – Victoria, BC

05.08.15 – Shaky Knees Festival – Atlanta, GA

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A Miracle Happened today in Seattle

Prayers were answered. God spoke. I remember the pain of watching my team lose in previous years only to hear “it wasn’t their destiny.” Today the team of destiny proved to be the Seattle Seahawks and they are my team.

They were down by 16 points and NOTHING was going right. The great quarterback was throwing interceptions to the other team. The great defense was being called for silly penalties. But it was still their destiny so a fake kick worked into a touchdown. An onside kick (which almost never works) worked. A 2 point conversion which was falling to pieces ended with a Hail Mary pass and completion then turned into an overtime coin toss win. A first possession pass, to the same receiver that led to several interceptions earlier in the day, sealed the victory with a touchdown this time.  The Seattle Seahawks are going to the Super Bowl!


There is no chance any other team will defeat this team of destiny in the SuperBowl.

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Spool Going Round Favorite Albums of 2014 (5-1)

Happy New Year! Before we get all jazzed about the great music and tours of 2015. We take a moment to look back at 2014. Here is a run down of my favorite albums from the past year.

5                     Johnny Marr- Playland


Johnny Marr is such an influential guitarist.  His work with The Smiths is untouchable.  I love when Johnny was asked about his feelings when Morrissey would sometimes write “silly” lyrics over his gorgeous music, he took the high road an explained that is was part of being in a band.  Who wouldn’t want to be in a band with someone like that?

Johnny went on to be in some other bands that I don’t personally think were using him to his full potential.  He finally came to this understanding and took the plunge into singing his own songs.  With every new release he becomes more comfortable fronting his own band and being a lead singer as well as lead guitarist.

If pop music had any credibility then “Easy Money” would have been a chart topper – Spool Going Round

4                   The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger- Midnight Sun

Midnight Sun

The Ghost of a Saber Tooth Tiger or GOASTT is mainly Sean Lennon but also much needed muse Charlotte Kemp Muhl.  Their love for each other shows in the music. Psychedelic music will always have an appeal with me. Sean had trouble finding his feet in other projects that were mostly goofy, he has now found his birth home. He has become more comfortable with being the son of John Lennon and Yoko Ono.  With age he has grown into his natural skin and it is a beautiful coat.  Watching this album unfold with its tour which invited Bob Weir on stage in San Francisco, and with the fun long form videos has been a true joy.

3                Robert Plant- lullaby and…The Ceaseless Roar

lullaby and... The Ceaseless Roar

I have to admit that I was one of those music listeners that hated Led Zeppelin just because most of the world loved them, or at least heard them multiple times daily on Classic Rock radio.  What I have come to enjoy in recent years is how much great music is on those albums that I had not heard.  I started enjoying a lot of these deep cuts.  Then when Robert Plant announced a date at Chicago’s Taste of Chicago, I thought why not try Robert Plant live with a large Turkey leg.

With all the talk of a Led Zeppelin reunion talk, and if that ever did happen, I am sure the tickets would be $700 each.  Here was a chance to see Robert for $25 in Chicago’s living room surrounded by good food.  I clicked PURCHASE.  On that beautiful day in July,  Mr. Plant came out to the sounds of “Babe, I’m Gonna Leave You,” I was converted.  That voice was so great to hear live and in new context with The Sensational Shape Shifters.  It is these Space Shifters that make the album a joy to listen to as well.  Parts Delta Blues, Chicago Blues, South African Mojo, Celtic, and Massive Attack, all join together to make a wonderful musical travelogue.

2                 Interpol -El Pintor

El Pintor

Seeing Interpol live has been a highlight for me over the past few years.  They really are great.  Sure they hit the sweet spot in your brain where Joy Division lives.  That is the brilliance of it though.  The built their music on the familiar foundation but by doing that and creating something refreshingly modern they are brilliant.  Joy Division never made that US tour and they never will.  But Interpol have several great albums for you to listen to and they tour a lot.

I read a recent interview with The Cult and they said they were asked whether they wanted to be an “art band” or a “rock band.”  They were then forced to make that decision and led to a lot of record sales.  I am glad that no one has forced Interpol to make that decision because they ride that fine line in the best way.

1                  First Aid Kit- Stay Gold

Stay Gold

I know I am just as surprised as you.  “I’m tired of looking for answers
Take me some place where there’s music and there’s laughter.” First Aid Kit sing on the best single of the year “My Silver Lining.”  It was a joy to listen to this album all the way through many times this year.  I look forward to seeing where their career goes from here.  Congratulations to First Aid Kit for their 2014 release and Spool Going Round’s favorite.

See what Spool Going Round had for 10-6 this year

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